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Sunday, September 27, 2015

“Dreaming Better”

I have a chair in my office that I call my “DREAM CHAIR”. When I sit there, I ask the Lord to talk to me and speak to my heart about things He wants me to do with my life, my family,  the call of God,  His Church, and fulfilling His will and plan for the days He blesses me with in this life.

It’s easy to get into a routine and a rut where we forget to ask God to keep giving us His DREAMS! God says “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps 37:4) I still have dreams that haven’t come to pass. What should I do? Be disheartened or, discouraged with the delays and give up on those dreams?  Or should I “PRESS IN” until I see everything that He has put in my heart come to pass?                                                                                  Some People Give Up Because Of Their:

  • Mistakes Tell me who hasn’t made mistakes? The Bible reveals multiple characters who have had their share of blunders and mistakes. It should encourage each of us that God chooses the weak things of the world to confound the wise. YES, God handpicks leaders knowing in advance their shortcomings and weaknesses. Abraham got impatient. Moses in anger killed a man. David committed murder and adultery. Jonah ran away from God’s perfect will. In spite of all of their hang-ups, these men repented of their mistakes and God restored them. God says, “Forgetting those things that are behind and reaching unto those things that are before us.”
  • Fears Twelve leaders of Israel were sent to spy out the Promised Land. Ten came back reporting, “We’re not able to go in and possess the land because we are but grasshoppers in their sight.” God was grieved with their torment and fear. But 2 men, Joshua and Caleb said, “We are more than able to go in and possess the land.” Friend, God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. (2Tim 1:7) Use your faith to possess your dreams.
  • Doubt The cousin of fear is doubt. When I was 16 years old, I felt God call me into the ministry. I said “Lord, me?” I strongly doubted that God could use someone like me who was shy and timid. When God calls you to do something, He won’t leave you alone! I tried to get my dad to agree with me that surely God couldn’t use me to preach. Dad did say, “Son if you can do anything else in the world, do it!” Well, he was right; when you’re truly called, your heart stays after what He has called you to do. I’m so glad I didn’t allow DOUBT to hinder me from the call that was on my life to preach and pastor a church like Oceanway.
  • Burned Out Can you still have hope for you dream when you’ve been totally spent? T. D. Jakes said, “Burnout is nothing more than being distracted.” I do believe that many have been distracted by hurt, pain, or a misinterpreted setback that has impacted their life. God gives grace to the humble. When your pride says that God has been unfair to you because you didn’t get the right breaks in life, that is believing lies from the pits of hell. Friend, get in God’s presence and He can RESTORE what the enemy has taken from you. He can “Revive” you again!

Walt Disney died before the dedication of Disney World in Orlando Florida. The man introducing Disney’s wife said, “It’s sad that Walt never got to see the dream he started.” When his wife got to the podium she said, “Friend, Walt did see this many years ago; we are the ones today seeing it for the first time.” Don’t ever lose your dream; stick to it regardless of your fears, doubts, delays or even your mistakes. God is All you need to bring your dreams to completion. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”(Phil 2:13)

Thursday, September 24, 2015


A few years ago, I started up our grill outside to cook some steaks and chicken. Everything seemed to be going just fine until a fire shot out from underneath the grill. The connecting hose to the gas tank had disintegrated and within a few moments the fire was up 12 feet high over my head in the air! It all happened so fast; it singed my eyebrows and I felt like my head had been placed in a microwave. My faced was sunburned in a “nano” second.

Later on I came to realize that the hose on the grill had been deteriorating for some time. That day it finally decided to completely come apart. Thank God for 911 and all the great firefighters who came running to my aid which thankfully I didn’t need after all. My water hose was able to put it out.

Is something deteriorating in your life to where you know something is out of control? Fires can be deadly! Most of us have experienced some type of deadly fire: it might have been in our family life, an anger issue, a pride issue, a lust issue, a bitter situation with our job, a friend who betrayed us. We keep fighting back but many of us are dealing with something that now seems out of control!

The Bible is full of characters who also dealt with deadly fires. Abraham dealt with a fire of impatience waiting for his promised son Isaac. Jacob dealt with the deadly fire of manipulating his brother Esau to obtain his riches and blessings. David dealt with a deadly fire of lust for Bathsheba that caused him a nightmare of pain and sorrow. What’s the answer for fires that are out of control in our lives?

Have You Considered Fighting The Deadly Fire With:

  • The Fire of His Word? God’s Word is like a fire, “Does not my word burn like fire?" says the LORD. "Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?” (Jer 23:29) In order to fire up a grill you need some fuel. Without the fuel of The Word of God, it’s very difficult to cook up anything worthwhile. Without filling up your mind, thoughts and spirit man with His Word, you have nothing to fight with to overcome the enemy. Every day deposit God’s Word into your life.
  • The Fire of Prayer? If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray? (2 Chron 7:14) God waits and longs to hear from His children about their daily struggles and tests in life. Jesus said to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” If you have lost your way in spending time with Him in prayer, go and get your fire back again. “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Ish 40:30,31)   He stands at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me.
  • The Fire of the Spirit? While Jesus was on trial to be crucified, Peter’s emotions were out of control when he denied that he knew the Lord. Jesus’ last words to His disciples before He left this earth were, “Go to Jerusalem and tarry there until you be endued with power.” (Acts 1:4) It was an Upper Room experience that gave them power that would forever change them and also their world.
  • The Fire of Your Faith?Without faith it is impossible to please God.” God requires each of us to use our faith in order to win victories. David had to use his faith to kill a bear, a lion, a giant and yes, to overcome King Saul’s jealousy. Saul hunted him down like a wild animal, but David said, “O Lord, You are my shield, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Let God cause you to rise up today in winning over every evil that comes against you. Sometimes life gets out of control, but God always has His hand on the steering wheel of your life.  Let Him keep it there and you will win victoriously!

Sunday, September 20, 2015


My daughter Dana, when she graduated from SEU with her business degree, was offered a job selling communication equipment in Colorado. That wasn’t her passion nor her love, and neither was that her best strength. But in her first year she outsold every salesmen who had worked there before her. There was something about Dana’s smile that sold electronics better than her former coworkers. Each of us need to realize that there’s value in our smile. You may not have the most knowledge, but your demeanor and smile are like a magnet that draw people in.

You may not realize it, but a sour lemon face and frown don’t sell your testimony of Christ very well. When the man who had been blind for years was healed by Christ, His smile said everything that the Lord had done for him. He couldn’t keep it to himself. He said, “I was once blind but now I can see.” I have a feeling that his frown changed into a smile forever. And it changed others as well.

Did you know that your smile can draw people to Christ? I’ve never seen a future bride reel in her man with a gloomy face. I’ve never seen a lady win a beauty pageant with a frown. I’ve never seen a car salesman sell a vehicle who was down in the “mullygrubs”. I’ve never seen a waitress get a great tip by being short and mean with her customers. A smile goes a long way in spreading cheer to someone else that you come in contact with.

Consider with me how Valuable Your Smile Is to the person who is discouraged and disheartened?

You just may be the one light who brings hope to the one who is suicidal, going through a divorce, or who just got word that they only have three months to live. Your smile may bring hope to one who has just lost their job. Tell me, why would someone ask for help from someone that is in the dark themselves? Jesus’ smile had a way of drawing people in. Most kids probably aren’t going to be attached to someone down and depressed. Jesus’ smile drew the little children to Him from everywhere.

Consider with me today that God is the One who can give you the smile that all of us desperately long for. It starts on the inside and shines through us on the outside. Did you know that the moon has no light within itself but rather is a reflection of the Sun. We also are to be a reflection of the Son of God. My prayer for you today is that God’s SON will shine upon you and through you. “May God be merciful and bless us. May His face smile with favor on us.” (Ps 67:1)

There are many people today looking for a light that will give them peace in their despair. Years ago, late at night, I walked up to my home and found the door Wide-Open. It was not a good feeling, since our house was far out in the dark near an orange grove. Was there a burglar inside? I went inside and started moving to each room with a broom handle. I didn’t own a 44 Magnum like Clint Eastwood; all I had was a broom handle. As I moved through the dark with my broom, I would turn the light switch on in that room. It wasn’t until I stuck the broom handle inside the last room, through the shower curtain and turned the light on, that I had a great Peace and a Big Smile of relief that everything was okay!

Each of us who shines with God’s glory and Presence is saying to a hurting world that everything is okay because God’s light is what really brings the smile on our face. Let us shine today!

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Did you know that America spends 11 billion dollars a year on face lifts Botox and other surgeries for looking better? But is that the path to take for smiling better? If I need 10k in order to put a smile on my face, then I’m in trouble. What I’m going to share this morning is much cheaper and a much better route to take. You don’t need thousands of dollars in your bank account to improve your smile. As a matter of fact, it’s a lot less painful and doesn’t take weeks and months to heal, it can literally be sudden and instantaneous.

The Psalmist says, “But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the One who holds my head high.” (Ps 3:3) “Serve the Lord with gladness.” (Ps 100:2) Notice he didn’t say sadness!

Your smile doesn’t come from having a healthy bank account. Neither does it happen by having a good marriage, a great job or having a lot of friends.                  A True Smile Really Happens By:

Having a Genuine Relationship with Christ. I’m not talking about having “religion”. Nor am I talking about going to church once a month on Sundays. Going to church doesn’t put you in right relationship with the Lord any more than going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger. There is only ONE person who can give you a true smile in your heart and on your face. And that is by accepting JESUS, the Son of the Living God as your Lord and Savior.

Quit Depending On Others To Bring Your Smile. You may say, “If I had a better wife or husband, a better job, a better home, car, or family to support me; if I would have had a better dad, mom or better friends, then my life would have a smile.” Placing blame on others only helps support a continued vicious cycle of living in self-pity. The bare facts are that you and I are responsible for our own happiness. When we’re in right relationship with the Lord, we can live with a smile on our face.

Living Out God’s Dream for Your Life. Jacob started out wrong by manipulating his way to his riches and lifestyle. It wasn’t until he wrestled with God, face to face, that the Lord changed his life and the “God dream” took place in his life. Seventy percent of people in America hate their work. Start seeking first the Kingdom of God and He will add these “other things” to your life (Matt 6:33).  Seek Him first and watch God develop the dream that He has designed for your life.

Trusting God With Your Future   You may say, “I’ve had too many setbacks in life to really have a smile.” Listen, Job faced the worst nightmare possible by losing his kids, his riches, his health and his wife and friends’ support. But Job said, “Yet the Lord slay me, I will still trust Him.” Somewhere you have to use your FAITH in order to get where God is trying to take you. Job could have lost his smile when his friends blamed his troubles on some hidden sin. But Job prayed for his friends, and in the end, God blessed him with twice what he started with! Trust Him NOW, in the middle of your nightmare, and watch God deepen and enhance the SMILE on your face. God is for you. And if He be for you who can be against you?

Keeping Your Heart Clean David lost his joy when he fell into sin at Bathsheba. It wasn’t until he came clean with God that God restored his joy and smile again. David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps 51:10). Let God refresh, restore and rejuvenate your smile today.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Singing Better 2 "What Song Are You Singing?"

I’m so thankful for my Song of Salvation. Where would you be right now had not Christ reached down and pulled you out of your pit of sin? Had it not been for Him running and chasing after you, you would be lost in your iniquity. But praise the Lord, if you know that you’re saved, washed in His blood, your name is in the Book of Life and you’re ready for Heaven.

I’m so thankful for my Song of Peace. The world cannot give us peace. Not money, a job, a marriage, riches, retirement, no relationship on earth can fill the inner void of a man. Only God gives Peace to His children. You can’t buy it, earn it, work for it or make it happen without the Living Son of God who paid for it on the cross. “Thou wilt keep us in perfect peace.”(Ish. 26:3)

I’m so thankful for my Song of Faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God. For He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6) There is no way a man can walk in His will and His plan for your life without using his faith.

I’m so thankful for my Song of Protection. “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord He is my refuge my fortress, my God in Him I will trust.” (Ps 91:1) It’s wonderful not to live in fear and in a panic mode. Satan wants us to live in fear and not faith.  Rejoice today that God is for you and has His Angels of protection around you.

I’m so thankful for my Song of Purpose. I get up every morning knowing that I’m not here by chance, but by design and purpose. God never makes mistakes. When He brought you into this world, it wasn’t by accident but rather ON Purpose.

I’m so thankful for my Song of Power. I really couldn’t live this life in Christ without His Power working in my life. How does one get through the valleys, storms, winds of adversity in our health, the hiccups in our marriage and the question marks about the losses in life? Can you really trust God when you lose everything? Job did and fell down to worship His God. Then he said, “Yet the Lord slay me, I will still trust in Him.” Job could have sung a song out of tune, off pitch and sang a sour note the rest of his life; rather he chose not to figure out what all was going on. He chose instead to depend and trust in his Jehovah God.

The real question in life is “Where does this song come from?” Many in life are on a search, looking for that something that will fill that empty hole or achy heart. There is only One Person who can truly bring a song in someone’s heart. It’s not a new job, a new location, a new relationship, a new automobile, a new marriage, a new home or a new turn or transition in life.

Jesus Christ is that One and only Person who can truly give each of us the song that we’re looking for. He’s ready to give it to each of us right now. Just ask, and the heavens will open up and bring in everything you have been searching for. Jesus will do it TODAY if you invite Him in to give you that song. Life is too short to live without a song that comes from Christ. For you that have lost your song, let Him refresh, renew, restore and reset that song one more time in your life! He will do it RIGHT NOW! Just ask!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Singing Better! 1 Don’t Allow Anything, Anyone, Anywhere Steal Your SONG!

Each of us have had our moments when we have been sabotaged by Hell in robbing us of our song in Christ Jesus. David said, “He hath put a new song in my mouth, many shall see it and fear and trust in the Lord.” (Ps 40:3) Does the world see and hear the SONG of Christ in your life? Or do they see a life engaged, entangled or spoken with a different agenda? Does the world know there is something different about your SONG? Do they say, “What drives them; what are they excited and motivated about in life?

There’s nothing wrong with people singing about their Jacksonville Jags, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles or their Georgia Bulldogs; (well maybe even the Gators). But what do they sing MOST about?  One of the greatest ways to be a light for God is through the song that’s on your lips. I don’t know anyone who gets excited about somebody who’s singing the blues, about their disappointments and despair that drives them into depression. For some reason that doesn’t attract people to you. What does stir up some attraction is when somebody is still SINGING a song of Joy when everything in their world is upside down.

I love riding the best and most challenging rides at theme parks. But I have turned a few colors, maybe even green, when they turned me upside down for more than a few seconds. Friend, life will turn you upside down, sideways, and on your head, because that’s just life. God says, “It rains on the just and the unjust.” (Matt 5:35) It’s not a matter of if your life will ever go into a tail spin, but how are you going to respond to those moments. I don’t mean to gross you out, but the rides that go round and round about 50 mph are the ones where I lose everything on and in my stomach. “That is life.” We’re all going to face something, maybe in your marriage, with your kids, your health, your money matters, your in-laws, (or your “outlaws”) when your best friend betrays you or maybe when you’ve lost your job.

That is when you find out what your Faith is made of and when the world sees what’s really on the inside of you. I challenge you to KEEP your SONG WHEN:

  • You’re In The Middle Of A STRUGGLE!  Tell me who is alive that hasn’t had struggles? Someone once said; “The only people without a struggle on earth are dead people.” You do have reason to sing today because there’s still breath and life inside of you. Anybody can sing when you’re on top of the world, but only people of faith and confidence in God can sing when their world is turned upside down.
  • You’re Questioning The Whys Of Life? You have experienced a great loss in life! You say; “But why?” Joseph could have asked God “Why?” for 13 years, but he chose to believe that God’s ways were higher than his ways. God used Joseph’s stink to blossom and perfect His plan in and through his life to save thousands from dying in a famine.
  • When You’re In The Heated Battles. God told Jehoshaphat to “Stand still” when three nations rose up to fight against Judah. Did they run and hide? No, King Jehoshaphat led his people to stand still and trust in their God. They chose to Keep their Song and to Sing Praises to Jehovah God in the battle. When they did, the enemy turned on one another and destroyed each other.  It’s Better to KEEP SINGING and watch God lift you higher than the roller coaster episodes of life. Why not TRUST GOD and stand still today and watch Him fulfill His destiny for your life.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Yesterday after men’s prayer, I was thanking Sam for lining up our chairs in the sanctuary. They have a way of shifting with the bumps of the crowd, the construction on the lights, the ceiling, or the elevated projectors. It takes a good eye and a lot of work to get them all in place. I was about to leave and go to breakfast with the guys, but I noticed something that most people would have missed. For some reason we have to pay the JEA light bill, the insurance cost on 10 million dollars’ worth of property and buildings, the mortgage payment, and the missionaries we support every month. The tithes and the offerings cover a few of the things I mentioned, but what Sam missed in the placement of the chairs is that they have communication cards and tithing envelopes on the back of them. Several rows had NO envelopes for peoples giving. Peoples giving does make a difference in the way this ministry touches lives. I had another perspective that he had overlooked.

Sometimes we have another perspective based on the bumps and bruises of life or just keeping up on the maintenance of our lives. A lot of our thinking comes from the roots of our upbringing, experiences of hurts, setbacks, betrayals, or our cultural generations and the environment we were raised in. Is this the accurate way to develop the ruts that get embedded in our heads? Stinking thinking doesn’t just happen! Many times it happens from the stink that we deal with in life. We all know that manure stinks, but it’s what makes plants grow and blossom, Well, God wants to do the same thing in us.

I have beautiful plants in my front yard that have blossomed BECAUSE OF THE STINK that was used to make them grow. In this series, “BETTER”, choose to get Better and not Bitter. It all starts with what’s between the ears, in your head.

So what is shaping, influencing and molding the ruts of your thinking? Is it your momma, daddy, work, friends, culture, environment or the bumps and bruises you’ve experienced? To a degree it certainly is! But there’s a BETTER way of shaping your thoughts. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. His WORD is the best way to shape your thinking and your thought life.

I heard about a mother who was cooking a big ham for their family reunion. As she was cutting the end of the ham off and then throwing it into the trash, her daughter asked; “Momma, why are you cutting the end of the ham off?” “Because that’s the way you do it!” “But why?” “Because that’s the way my momma always did it! Let’s go ask her, she’s in the living room.” She said, “Because my Grandma taught me to do it that way.” Great grandma said, “That’s the biggest pan we had in the house.” The Word of God is what we should be using to shape, mold and straighten out the stinking thinking in our lives.

So much of winning is what’s in the head. Winning in tennis, golf, football, baseball and basketball is such a mental game. When you get behind in your head, you start losing points. Stay up, stand up, and get up in your head and you’ll rise to the top of Gods plan and purpose in your life. Choose today to Rise higher, BETTER in your thinking and watch God’s blessings increase in your life.