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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Waiting?

Waiting on God can be one of the greatest challenges in life. What are you waiting on today? Are you waiting on your spouse, son or daughter to come to Christ? Are you waiting on your breakthrough in your health? Maybe you’re waiting on your door of ministry to open up. God says; “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” (Proverbs 13:12) Friend, don’t allow your weariness to cause you to miss God’s plan and blessing. God says; “Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season you shall reap if you faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)

Elijah prophesied to King Abab during the days of Israel’s backsliding; "As surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives--the God I serve--there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!" What was God doing?

God was getting Israel’s Attention. Israel had been chasing after other gods instead of Jehovah God. During this season came a time of great famine. Cattle, donkeys, horses, were dropping dead. Everybody was struggling with their farming. Growing food and staying alive with shallow wells was a challenge. This famine made life very difficult and painful.

God knew how to Shake things up. God says; “When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: "Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also." This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. (Hebrews 12:26, 27) I have watched God shake people up in their money matters, health, family, job, and many other things to bring about CHANGE. I heard John Maxwell say; “Three things will cause someone to make a change.
 
  •  When people HURT enough they have to,
  •  When they LEARN enough they want to,
  •  When they RECEIVE enough they want to.”


      God would Show His Might and Power. When Elijah prayed at Mt Carmel, He prayed; “The God who answers by fire is the one true God.” When he prayed, fire fell down from heaven that proved to Israel who the real God of power and might was. After that day, God sent His rain that ended the drought. Nobody said WAITING was easy, but those that will wait on the Lord will see Him prove and show Himself strong.


What are you waiting on? Are you waiting on the rain to end your drought? Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) Don’t give up but rather wait on the Lord and start Anticipating and Expecting God to send His rain on your life.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lean In and Listen

Just how important is it to LEAN IN AND LISTEN to the voice of God? The first warning of a possible Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor arrived, January 27, 1941 in a coded cablegram from the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Joseph C. Grew and was addressed to The US State Department. Grew’s cable reported that “the Japanese military forces planned to attempt a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor.” A State Department Japanese-language specialist believed the warning and urged his superiors to treat it as such. However, Grew and U.S. intelligence specialists dismissed the report as a wild rumor.

Many lives were lost the 7th of December, 1941, and a great deal of pain came as a result of ignoring the warnings. The assault, which lasted less than two hours, claimed the lives of more than 2,500 people, wounded 1,000 more and damaged or destroyed 18 American ships and nearly 300 airplanes. There are several things that can cause us to “Lean in and Listen.”  Sometimes it’s passion; other times it’s pain and there are times it’s pressure. Just how well are you Listening to the Lord’s words to you?



Mary was just a young virgin girl who Leaned In and Listened to God’s message through an angel of the Lord named Gabriel; He appeared with a pertinent message for Mary. (Luke 1:26-35)
·             The Lord Is With You.” That was the first thing that God spoke to her. Mary would soon realize just how important that statement was in giving her courage and faith in the days ahead.

·              Don’t Be Afraid, You Have Found Favor with God.” Where would you be today without the favor of God on your life? Mary was chosen for an assignment that would change the world. Did you realize you can achieve great things for God, not because of your gifts, but because of His favor on your life?

·             You Will Conceive and Bring Forth The Son Of The Most High. Can you imagine what went through her mind that day? She said, “That’s impossible, I’ve never been with a man.”

·             The Holy Spirit Will Come Upon You, And The Power of the Most High Will Overshadow You.” God’s word can be unthinkable, unexpected, extraordinary, and mind boggling. She was leaning in to listen to this incredible word that would forever change and bring hope to the world.
Can you imagine what Mary would have MISSED had she rejected God’s plan for her life? I hate to think what I would have missed in life if I had not learned to Lean In and Listen to God’s still small voice. It was at a burning bush that Moses heard God say, “Go tell Pharaoh the King of Egypt; let my people go.” When Elijah was running in fear from Jezebel, God showed up in the cave where Elijah had hidden. God said, “What are you doing here? I’m not through with you; go back and anoint the King of Syria, the King of Israel and anoint young, upcoming Elisha.” Listening and obeying is essential for each of us.
Mary could have run from God’s plan, but instead decided to hang tough through the pressures of people’s suspicions, doubts, reservations and unbelief. What if she’d refused to accept God’s plan of bringing Christ into the World? Would God have found someone else? I can’t prove it, but I personally do believe God would have moved forward with His plan. However, Mary would have missed the joy of being a part of God’s plan in bringing Christ into the world. Will you Lean In and Listen to what God is saying to you? Your greatest JOY in life is doing things God’s way.








Monday, December 1, 2014

"Lord I’m Amazed At Your Power To Liberate" 2

Several years ago our family dog “Tera”, an English Springer went missing for 3 days. Our kids and I went up and down the neighborhood calling out her name; still we came up empty, disheartened and discouraged not knowing if we would ever find her.

You may have a son, daughter, mom or dad that is still living in the sin and you wonder when, where, how will you do it, Lord? Friend, God’s ways are higher than our ways. Here are some things to keep in mind when you want to see your loved ones come home to Christ.

Let God LIBERATE them HIS way. When God healed the blinded man, never before in history had the Lord used this method in healing. Jesus spit on the dirt and made clay and put it on the eyes of the blind man. What if the man had of said, “What are you doing to my eyes? I not only can’t see, now there’s this sticky mess on my eyes.” He not only allowed the Lord to use His plan and method, he also followed His instructions to go wash off the mud in the pool of Siloam. (John 9:6,7)
Mom and Dad, allow God to save your child the way He wants to. He has a design and knows the where and when and how it will happen. He knows how to open blinded eyes.

STAY out of the Way and Let GOD liberate them. I’ve watched many times people get in the way of setting someone free. Moses couldn’t stand seeing the mistreatment of the Jews and he took matters into his own hands and killed an Egyptian solider. From that point, Moses ends up running for his life. He lived on the backside of the desert for 40 years. Let God do the LIBERATING HIS WAY. Afterward, God does liberate Israel from Egypt His way and still uses Moses in the great deliverance.
DON’T LOSE HOPE IN THE WAITING. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” (Proverbs 13:12) Waiting can be painful. The father of the prodigal son didn’t run to Vegas to pull his son out of his crazy living. “NO”, he waited till his son came to himself. Let God put the pressure on your lost loved one. He has to power to bring them to himself. Luke 15:17 says;”When he came to himself, he said I will arise and go to my father.” As much as you want to see them saved, bailing them out of their problems may be getting in the way of what God is trying to do in bringing them to themselves.

By the way, 3 days later “Tera” did come home. There’s nothing more exciting than experiencing the return of one that’s lost come home. Remember, some plant, some water but God gives the increase. Only God can transform a life.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

“Lord I’m Amazed At Your Power To Liberate! “ 1

Thirty-five years ago under the President Jimmy Carter administration, militant students supporting Iran's Islamic Revolution stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took scores of hostages. Ultimately, 52 Americans were held for 444 days. Minutes after President Ronald Reagan took office, those Americans held in captivity were released. Wow, what a great moment of celebration for America.

You may still remember the moment you were liberated from your shackles of sin. Paul says, “I am what I am by the Grace of God” (1 Corinthians 15:10). You and I really can’t take the credit for getting ourselves out of the bondage of sin. There is a great God of power who had a plan of deliverance for you. Have you thought, “Where would I be today if He had not reached down for me?” I could easily today be enslaved with drugs, with alcohol, puffed up with pride, behind prison doors, or even blinded in sin not knowing the slippery road of eternal death.
“But God who was rich in mercy, for His great love He loved us” (Ephesians 2:4).

You may say, “BUT HOW?” Jesus fought Hell itself to save you. When a storm of wind attempted to hinder and sink the boat the Lord was in, He kept going after the man that was possessed by a devil. Not even a wave or wind could stop Christ from His purpose. He rebuked the wind, and set the man free. (Luke 8:22-39) Realize today, Satan cannot stop God's purpose and passion to seek and to save that which is lost.

You may say, “WHEN?” God tells us not to be weary in well doing, for in due season you will reap if you faint not (Galatians 6:9). God knows the day, the hour, and the moment the Holy Spirit will change and transform a life. We’re only responsible to believe, reach, pray, love, hope, and give. We need to show mercy, grace, kindness and faith. Some plant, some water, but God gives the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:6)

You may say, “BUT WHY ME?” God saved you by His grace when you believed. You can't take credit; it is a gift from God. (NLT Ephesians 2:8). God had a plan for you before you were ever created in your mother’s womb. Why don’t you come to the realization that God didn’t create you to LIVE IN DARKNESS as a stripper, drunk, drug addict, politician or a lost preacher? God alone has the power to deliver and set you free. “No,” you can’t do it on your own. Like Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).

HE created you for His pleasure and purpose. When will you say, “YES!” to the Masters Voice? “Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:23).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

“Lord, I’m Amazed by your Blessings!” 2


Have you been blessed by the Lord? I have watched many people’s perspective become tainted and toxic through a clouded view of where they are in life. I recently read a story that brings out this great truth.
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?" "It was great, Dad." "Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked. "Oh Yeah" said the son. "So what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.
The son answered, "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to middle of our yard and they have a creek that has no end. We have lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.”
  
“We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.  We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.  We buy our food, but they grow theirs.  We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them."

The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks Dad, for showing me how poor we are."

Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don't have.  What is one person's worthless object is another's prized possession.  It is all based on one's perspective.  It makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for the bounty we have instead of worrying about wanting more. Take joy in all you have, but know that friends are the most valuable possessions. (Author unknown).

Why don’t you choose today to say like David, “I will bless the Lord at all times and His Praise shall continually be in my mouth?” (Psalm 34:1). Life only gets better when you see that God is for you and is working all things out for your good.
Feel free to share with me How the Lord has Blessed your life for the good?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Lord, I'm Amazed By Your Blessings" 1

Ten men were healed by the Lord of their leprosy, but only ONE that was healed returned to the Lord to say, “Thank you.” WHY?  Jesus never tells us why the other nine didn’t return but He does ask, “Where are the Nine?” (Luke 17:11-19)  Is He still looking for those today who will Bless and Praise Him for blessings that have come in their lives?
  

David says, “The Lord inhabits the praises of His people.” Tell me what parents don’t really want a response of “Thank You” from their child when they’ve received a gift or a great favor extended to them. It warms the heart of a parent to hear their child say, “Thank you.”

We live in a society today that seems to be thankless for blessings and favors that are extended their way. Is it that we’re so blessed, that we don’t realize what life could be without those blessings? My wife and I went without water to drink out of our house for six months because the community well went toxic. I whined for six months about picking up six gallons of water a week at the firehouse for our home.  In that same time frame, I went on my first mission’s trip to Honduras. It was there I took note of people who waited daily, two to three blocks in line for one small bucket of water from the community well. I went home repenting I had ever complained about anything.
No wonder David said, “It is good to give thanks unto the Lord and to sing His praises.” Praise redirects our focus off of our issues and troubles and onto our Great Jehovah - Elohim our creator, Jehovah - Jireh our provider, Jehovah - Nissi our banner of victory, Jehovah - Rapha the LORD who heals. There’s many Jehovah names, too numerous to write in this blog, but He is greater than most give Him credit.
We are the loser if we ignore to say, “Thank You Lord, for all you do and have already done.” Start thinking of the benefits of Praising and blessing the Lord at all times.
Praising God causes you to “Refocus your Mindset” on the good things He has done. Paul says,And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Phil 4:8) Remember our thoughts lead to our emotions, which leads to our decisions, which leads to our actions, which leads to our habits which leads to our character which leads to our destiny.
One thought can either lead you in an upward trajectory toward God or one thought can lead you to a downward road away from your heavenly Father who loves you. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Choose today to lift your voice in Praise to God who is and has already done great things.
Refuse to be like the nine that Jesus was looking for to receive their gratitude of thanksgiving. Has He blessed you with amazing abundant blessings?  Say like David, “All that is within me Bless His Holy name.”




Sunday, November 16, 2014

LORD I'M AMAZED BY YOUR DIVINE CONNECTIONS

Have you ever lost your cell phone or your car keys? Those two lost items alone can cause you temporary heartburn and anxiety. Once you locate your missing item though, there is an immediate sense of relief and liberation to move forward with your day. Connection with God and people can change the way we function in everyday life, but what about when we lose something of great value?

I still think about the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that disappeared on Saturday, March 8th, 2014. The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, was carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 15 nations. I can’t imagine the grief and sorrow of the families who were in shock and doubt of what happened to their loved ones. Undoubtedly, they STILL deal with a constant gnawing and hurt from their loss. Only God can give one His peace with loss, but people who care can also make a difference.

Your entire life purpose can be summed up in two streams: we are here to be connected to God and People. You cannot fulfill your destiny without it. God is the person who creates amazing connections in the work place, family, neighbors and those we meet throughout life. Each of the Ten Commandments are wrapped into these two streams. We are to, “Love God and Love People.” What does that mean?

Your connection with God brings joy, peace, love, purpose and His favor over your life. Your connections with People should bring them love, light, encouragement, support, joy and peace.

Jesus says, "If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders.” (Luke 15:4, 5) God has a heartbeat to protect and connect us to His purpose and passion. Satan is the thief that comes to steal, kill and to destroy, but Jesus has come to give us life and give it more abundantly.

It may be your simple phone call, text, and/or visit to stop and say, “How are you doing today?” Mark Batterson tells of a businessman that was asking God to bring about “divine connections” in his travel. A young teenage girl flopped herself down in the seat next to him on the plane. He could tell she was upset. He simply said to her, “I can tell something is bothering you, but if you need a listening ear, I’m here.” It wasn’t long she began to explain how she told her boyfriend she was pregnant. He told me, “Get rid of it and to go have an abortion.” So I stole my dad’s credit card, and bought a ticket to fly to another city to have the abortion. The businessman knew that God was orchestrating this moment. He encouraged her by saying, “I bet if you called your dad, he would understand and wouldn’t want you to lose that baby.” When she got off the plane, she called home and told her dad what happened. He responded, “You come home baby, it’s going to be alright and we’ll get through this together.”

God used one man to make a difference in not only one life but two. Let him use you today. Your connection with God and people does count.