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Necessity of NO

October 21st, 2017

No! A word that not many of us if any, likes to hear.  No is a much needed word and unstinting it’s meaning and utility is a necessity if we are going to live the highest and best life possible.

That is why I’m calling this installment the “Necessity of NO”

No is one of those words that I believe is misunderstood in its application.  Most people hear No as a restriction or a limitation but for me No has become a great motivator, an innovator, and even a qualifier.  It is not always the end but can become something greater, a new or different way.  It could be an end of something good so something great can take its place.

When you hit a No you are in a good position to doing something else or try something different.   No can help to find ways that don’t work so you can ultimately find something that does.  Thomas Eddison, one of the greatest  inventors of all time, when asked about why he doesn’t just give up said this:

“I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”

No can be just what you need to try something new.  No can help us find a new direction or new path.  No can help you to innovate, No might be not that way but this way.  No doesn’t have to be the end it can just mean you have just found one way that doesn’t work.  No can just mean not today but tomorrow, thats a different story.  No can help us to focus, redefine the problem, to think about it more deeply.  No flushes out the why not?

Why can’t it change? Why can’t I change?  No separates the men from the boys if I can still say that.  No requires me to hear with maturity and act accordingly.  Men and women of character hear No and accept the reality but still look for another way.  No defines your faith like no other word I can think of.

No, Its over, it cannot be done, I will not help you, that will never work, you can’t do it, you are too_______________ (fill the blank) to do it. When we hear No it is a signal that it is time to grow up and face reality not a time to pitch a fit and pout or give up.  When we hear No it should be a call to action, we can no longer continue the way we are going and a change is needed.   We would never know that if we never heard the word….

                                                       “NO”

Please don’t misunderstand me I hate to hear the word “NO”  but it does cause me to deal with the reality of the moment.  It makes me stop and think. It helps me focus again on my purpose.  No helps me to consider ALL the possibilities.

God uses No to keep us from spiritual harm, not to keep us from fun.  I can have more in the context of a No from God than all the yes’s of the world.  Pay attention to the ‘No’ in your life right now.  You might find out that someone loves you enough to take a stand and say NO.  Before you discount them as being out of touch with reality they may be the only ones standing between you and the biggest mistake you have ever made in your life.

Jesus taught this lesson often, one time after he healed a man this is what he said:

John 5:14 (NKJV)

14  Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well.  Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”

Sometimes No at just the right time can keep something worse from happening to you and that’s the way I see it in my market.

The single mindedness of Larry Green.

August 2nd, 2017

I had the great honor and privilege of preaching my friends funeral His name in Larry Green. Larry went home to be with His Lord on April 6th, 2017 and is enjoying the presence of the one he loved and served.  Left behind were those who loved him and those whom he loved, Larry was passionate about three things and as a matter of fact when I asked Larry what he would want me to tell people?  Oh, Just so you know it was Larry who chooses me to be his pastor and I am grateful for that.

What were the three things?

He Loved his family.

He loved his Church.

He loved his country. And he served them well.

Larry is the kind of guy that you don’t come a cross every day, you see Larry had a different way of looking at life Larry was always looking for the best in you and me, He thought of others before himself.  He never met a stranger and just had a way with people no way to really describe it and I think it had a lot to do with how he approached people.  The first thing out of his mouth was “do you know Jesus loves you?”

Larry loved God and He loved people, he served them both well.

Larry served his country in Vietnam from 1968-1971.  He was wounded in action and still had some shrapnel in his body.  He received a number of metals and accommodation for his service, a bronze and silver star and a purple heart to name a few.  Larry also learned to fly and took that skill to the mission field in Alaska. where he became a circuit preacher for a number village churches. Larry was not a polished preacher he was rough and rugged like the rough sawn lumber that was so common in Alaska. but it also possess a unique beauty with no two pieces being exactly alike.  That’s what set him apart from most people, Larry could look past the flaws.  Larry was always looking for what was best in people and had a way of bringing it out of them sometimes you thought you were helping him but in the end, it was you that got something you needed.

Larry taught me through relationship, Sneaky he was.  The Lord used him in my life and ministry to show me things about people and about God I didn’t know.  One of the last lessons he taught me was “preacher you have taught these people to get a long with each other now you need to teach them to love each other”  speaking about our church.  And he is right.  Larry learned the love lesson a long time ago and we would do well to learn that one ourselves.  Sometimes God will put people in your life to help you, and if you’re not careful you will miss it,  I almost did and if it had not been for Larry I would have. “hey pastor what you doing?”  Was the start of most conversation whether on the phone or in person that’s how it started. Dorthy was amazed at how much he  had called me because he never made a big deal about it to anyone,  Larry and I  talked often and the last year or so of his life when the phone would ring and I was it was Larry I just  stopped and sat down because I had learned God had something to say and he was using Larry to say it.

 

I miss him.

This is the message I delivered to the congregation that day.

Welcome to Friends and Family.

I want to welcome you here today and to tell we are here to celebrate the Life of My friend Larry Green.   Today I don’t want to think about all the things we could have done for this good man, today I want us to think about all the things he did for us. 

 it’s Larry’s fault I am here today………….. Many of you know Larry had a thing for strays, You see I am Here today because Larry adopted me to be his pastor. I didn’t choose Larry He choose me and it is my great honor to be here with you. So I am grieving with you and I miss him.  So I want to begin with a word of comfort and as Larry would say A word of Prayer.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NIV2011) 

13  Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 

14  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 

15  According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 

16  For the Lord, himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 

17  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 

18  Therefore encourage one another with these words. 

Pray Father may we comfort and encourage one another with these words.

Poem by Hunter.

Song by Kevin.

Obituary.

Song.

Message: The least of these.

What Larry wanted you to Know.

I love my Family.

I love my Church.

I love my Country.

Can I tell you about the Larry Green I knew?

Bear Joke.

Broken finger Joke.

Stories about Larry. Who is Lou? The queen of his life.

Larry was the kind of man that made do with what ever he had and for Larry lack was just another opportunity of God to show up and do something. Larry was a man of Great Faith Scary faith……..

Larry was always thinking about others before himself and to be honest I don’t know if he ever thought of himself because I never heard him.  It was always a concern for someone else.

The Fort Yukon…….

I have known for some time now that this day would come and the Lord spoke to me while I was visiting with Larry and Dorthy (Lou) a couple of months ago…………………………

Matthew 25:31-40 (NIV2011) 

31  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 

32  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 

33  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 

34  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 

35  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 

36  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 

37  “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 

38  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 

39  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 

40  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 

 

The Righteous did the work but never realized the significance of the work. That was Larry. “All in a day’s work”

Really that all? I don’t think so. This was significant. 

But Larry would say when Lord when did I do that……..

I believe this would be the Lords response:

When You save those kids for drowning is southeast Asia.

When you put your hand on a bleeding soldier on a battle field….

When you talked a man off a bridge……..

When you stopped a man bent on mass murder…..

When you took a gun out of a man’s hand…

When you walk a tank of propane into a man’s camp…

When you opened up your home to college kids so they would have a place to hang out.

Larry when you gave the coat off you back……

when you gave your last $20.

 

Larry when you said Yes I will go to the least of these…….

 

I tried to write this blog about Larry several times and wanted to get it perfect but I have never been able to make that happen.  I wanted you to know the man I knew and loved  Larry was the first sheep of mine I had to bury, Its was an honor to do it but it hurt, a lot to do it.

But Larry would say “it’s all in a day’s work Pastor” and laugh.

 

And thats the way I see it in my market.

 

 

 

What does God want from me?

March 3rd, 2017

I’m looking out of my home office window as the leaves are falling off of this huge Bradford Pear tree Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is just a few days away.  I have this question that has been banging around in my head for weeks now but if I’m honest years and just now I think I might be just little closer to the answer. Oh the Question?

                                                   What does God want from me?

I have been on all sides of this issue, outside of the church where I was told that there was no God to there might be a God but He really doesn’t care for me. Then inside the church I was told (for awhile i bought it) that God wanted my money,  God wanted my service,  all I had to do was just believe. But, I need a really big BUT here:               BUT

I have discovered a whole lot about church that just leaves me asking the same question:

                                              What Does God Want From Me?

The place where meeting God should be so easy and natural yet we or me have messed it up. God went to a considerable amount of trouble and work to show us what it is that he really wants yet some how we can’t see it.

It is everywhere all of creation points to one thing and one thing only so simple many of us disregarded it. Surly there has to be more, that can’t be all there is, Yet it is true nevertheless. Are you ready?  The one thing that opens all the mysteries is: FELLOWSHIP.

It’s true just start with God’s word the bible in chapter one of Genesis the book of beginnings:

Genesis 1:1 (NIV2011)
1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

But God is intentional, the world he is creating is designed with purpose for a great purpose so that we would have fellowship. Look Genesis 1:27 (NIV2011)
27  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

We are created by God on purpose and for a great purpose. Made like Him so we could know him and theres more. Genesis 2:5-9 (NIV2011)
5  Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground,
6  but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.
7  Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8  Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
9  The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

God made everything on earth so that the earth would sustain life so that man would be able to have fellowship with God. But God doesn’t stop there he wanted us to have fellowship with each other so he made man a helper:  Genesis 2:18 (NIV2011)
18  The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

and there is more, No sin in the original creation to mess up our relationship with God or each other.

Genesis 2:25 (NIV2011)
25  Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

But this is when things start to go sideways and we doubt God and we start to lose the fellowship that God had worked so hard for. The enemy of our soul steps into the scene and asks a really good question:

Genesis 3:1 (NIV)
1  Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Puts a point on it! Did God say?

The answer should have been Yes He Did! end of story God said and that settles it. But thats not what happened and doubt led to disobedience that opened the door for sin which quickly destroyed the fellowship that Adam and Eve had.

Now everything is broken and that is why Jesus Christ came to set things right, to pay my sin debt so I can once again enjoy fellowship with my God.

God wants me, all of me to know All of Him. To enjoy His presence, to desire His company, to live with and for Him and to tell anyone who will listen He wants them too. Whosoever will, That none should perish. That is what God wants from me, to have true and meaningful fellowship just like it was before sin in the garden. This is not a complicated thing, but it will require some effort on my part. Look at this:

Genesis 3:14-24 (NIV)
14  So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
15  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
16  To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
17  To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
18  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
19  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.
20  Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
21  The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
22  And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
23  So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
24  After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

I am not suggesting that we work for salvation is a free gift from God. Salvation is:

Grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

But we now have to work at the relationship. What was so easy before now requires effort. I have to learn to bend a knee in prayer I have to open the bible and pray. I have to do that God doesn’t do that for me. If I want to have a deeper relationship God says great! Follow Me.

It is time for surrender it is time for fellowship again are you willing? and thats the way I see it in my market.

 

“IF”

November 21st, 2016

“IF.”  Such an incredible strong word.  It can leave you feeling great regret or it can fill you with hope. How many of us have said, “If only I had” and you can fill in the blank________________.

“If only,” has some cousins named “coulda, woulda, and shoulda” and these are horrible people to live with because they never shut-up.  They constantly assault your mind reminding you of everything you’re not, they bring no hope, no promise, and no solution.  All they can do is point their crooked little finger in your face and tell you all the things you’re not.  A very wise man said, “you are miserable comforters.”

Job 16:2 (NIV)
2  “I have heard many things like these; miserable comforters are you all! 

Even “If” what they say is true, YOU don’t have to live there because the beauty of this incredible word is “If” you are willing “If” can make a way.  Look at this for just a moment and allow its truth to penetrate your heart:

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
14  if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

   IF:

My People call.

v14  if my people, who are called by my name,

Matthew 7:21 (NIV)

21  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Will Humble. 

v14…….will humble themselves

James 4:4-6 (NIV)

4 ……Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

5  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?

6  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

 And Pray.

v14…….and pray

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)

9  “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

10  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

11  Give us today our daily bread.

12  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’  for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And Seek.

v14…..and seek my face

Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)

9  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

10  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Psalm 63:1-11 (NKJV)

1  O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.

2  So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.

3  Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.

4  Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.

5  My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

6  When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.

7  Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.

8  My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.

9  But those who seek my life, to destroy it, Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.

10  They shall fall by the sword; They shall be a portion for jackals.

11  But the king shall rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him shall glory; But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

And Turn.

v14……..and turn from their wicked ways,

Acts 2:38 (NKJV)

38  Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Mark 6:12 (NKJV)

12  So they went out and preached that people should repent.

 

Then:

v14…….then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

God Hears, God forgives, God heals.

2 Chronicles 7:15 (NIV)

15  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

This place called prayer, is a place of submission and dependance on God. v15

“Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

When we realize that it is me that needs revival, If I call out to God, If I humble myself, If I pray, If I seek, If I turn THEN God.  If doesn’t have to be a word of regret it can be a word of great hope and comfort because If God is for me who could ever be against me?

Gypsy Smith was once asked how to start a revival. He answered, “Go home, lock yourself in your room and kneel down in the middle of your floor.  Draw a chalk mark all around yourself and ask God to start the revival inside that chalk mark.  When he has answered your prayer, the revival will be on.” Why not covenant with God to draw that private circle?

A Treasury of Bible Illustrations.

What IF we drew a circle?  Just so you know I have decided to draw my own circle.  It is me that needs revival and thats the way I see it in my market.

 

 

No More Good Sermons

October 11th, 2016

It was a good day this past Sunday, the church is filling up again after the summertime slump. Sometime during the summer a pastor wonders if he has a church left because so many are out doing other things but, thats just a pastor thing.  I thought I had preached a good message and the people confirmed that as they passed by on their way out, “good message pastor”, “good job”, ” good sermon” and that is nice because I have had the other side of that when people file passed and can barely look you in the eye and the ones that do have that “may be you’ll do better next week” look or they just pat you on the shoulder as if to say “you tried.”

I hope that last Sunday was my last “Good Sermon.”  Now I think the pulpit’s of America should have the best communicator in the world because we have the greatest message in the world.  I have spent a lot of time and money trying to get better delivering God’s word.   A “good sermon” for me was never the goal, transformation is and has been my goal.  People don’t need to be informed they need to be transformed.  Information can be helpful but, God’s word, the bible will transform your life if you apply it’s truth to your past or current situation of life.  The bible says as Dr. Billy Graham would say: 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV2011)
17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

The Transformation of the soul is the goal.   A “good sermon” is just that good but not life changing.  I never want people to leave a meeting where I preached cheering me, I want them cheering Jesus Christ the lover of their soul.  To walk out challenged but hopeful in the fact that the Holy Spirit can and will help them to change and transform their life.  To know what it is to experience the “old” going and the “new” coming.   If I can remind you the Gospel Is GOOD NEWS!  I don’t have to live a remodeled life and can have a new life in Christ.  To say to me or any pastor worth his salt “Good Sermon” is a huge let down.  It is great that you connected with me but my goal is to connect you with the one who lived and died for you so you might find hope and courage to try to live one more day knowing that God is with you.   Knowing He will never leave you NO matter how hard a blow life has given you.

So if you want to encourage your pastor, tell him about how the message that God gave him impacted your life and what gave you hope.  Tell him what challenged you to change or what corrected your thinking.  Tell him how you saw Jesus in the message.  That kind of feed back is what we all pray for.  I want you to see Jesus.  I want you to feel his touch and hear his voice saying “what do you want me to do for you”.

Mark 10:51-52 (NIV2011)
51  “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52  “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

You see a “good sermon” just doesn’t cut it when you are hoping to see Jesus.   And thats the way I SEE it in my market.

 

Survival: Things you need.

September 20th, 2016

I have a thing for survival shows I like them. The idea of survival under harsh or impossible circumstances fascinates me.  I often marvel at the will to live when faced with a life and death situation, why do some live and others die in the same situations? When the seemly strong fail to live and the ones we considered weak do? I have discovered that the drive to survive has little to do with brute force and has more to do with the willingness to face the facts without losing hope. It is the one who understands their needs and weakness that fair better than the ones who place all their hope in their physical ability.  The question then is what do we all need when we find ourself in a fight for survival.  Four things are common to those who survive.  Maybe you’ll never find yourself lost at sea or lost in the wilderness.  Maybe you are just fighting bad choices or maybe it wasn’t anything you did but you are fighting for what’s left of your life.  The needs are the same and here they are:

1.Shelter. We need a place to get out of the elements or out of the fight.  We need a place to weather the storm and rest if just for a moment.  A place to think and pray away from the fight.   A chance to dry off or to warm up.  Someplace that offers some amount of safety.  The bible teaches that the name of the Lord is a strong tower and that the Lord will hide me under His wing.  No matter where you are or what you’ve done or what has been done to you Jesus is a safe place, run to Him.  He will never reject you.

2. Water.  There is no survival without water.  The first thing after shelter is water, clean drinkable water.  You can survive about three days without water so finding it, catching it or digging for it is a priority.  Jesus said He was living water that he could quiche the driest soul and one drink from the water He gives you will quiche your thirst forever . You can read about a woman who found the living water in Johns gospel chapter 4.

3. Food.  At some point you have to find something to eat, if you are to survive you will need the energy. Most survival experts say you can make it about three weeks without eating but thats about it. Sometimes we can become so consumed with the battle we forget to take care of ourself.  Our bodies as well as our souls need to be nourished.  Jesus said He is the bread of life:

John 6:35 (NIV)
35  Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

Jesus is real food for real hunger.

4. Escape plan.  Simply a way out, a way back, a way home.  Some times the challenge is becoming too comfortable in our situation or we become too afraid of what we don’t know.  After we have had time to shelter it’s time to reengage life.  If life has beaten you up or you find yourself suffering because of bad decisions it’s time to plan an escape.  Jesus said: John 14:6 (NIV)
6  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Jesus knows the way out, “follow me and I’ll get you home” many a lost soul has heard those words and made it out of impossible circumstances, many who should have died live because they realized they couldn’t save themselves.  You, me, we all need a savior and His name is Jesus.  And thats the way I see it in my market.

 

How can I be Successful?

June 22nd, 2016

How can I be successful in business? A young man struggling in his first year of business asked me that a couple of weeks ago. My answer was not complicated, Not that I’m that smart, Its just that it is simple, but difficult. Before I give you my answer let me put it in context:  James 4:13-17 (NIV2011)
13  Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”
14  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
15  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
16  As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.
17  If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

And

Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV2011)
18  But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

It all starts with the Lord with that being understood as my context this is what I said:

Pray

Work Hard

Give more than you take

Pray

Concentrate on value and not price

Build good will

Pray

Keep your word even if it costs you, if it cost you learn from it and don’t do it again.

Learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them

Never stop learning, never stop growing

Pray

Show up early and stay late

Be where you are

Be faithful

Pray

If someone is doing it better, go and meet them and see what they will teach you

And most important thing is trust God and pray. and thats the way I see it in my market.

Is it too small a thing?

May 10th, 2016

I was reading my morning devotion today when the Lord asked me a question? Before you think I’ve lost my mind (too late) God speaks to me through His word and he will do the same for you. Anyway here is what stuck.

Isaiah 49:6 (NIV)
6  he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Is it too small a thing for me to use you? Or do you have more important things to do? I was convicted and the excuses started coming, I mean I have a life to live, money to make, things to do, important things like raise a family, run a business, pastor a church, be a dad, be a husband, be a son, be a friend and a poppy. God, “as I thought to myself” I’m busy doing good things and most of it is for others. But the thought persisted, “It is too small a thing to be my servant to restore” and look at what he wants to do: Restore His chosen people Israel, to be light and to bring salvation everywhere. To me the heart of the question is “are you so busy with your life “big things” to be concerned with what I have for you?” “Do you see what I have for you as small?”

I have to admit in a lot of ways I live my life as if it is the most important thing in the world, I have big things important things to do and I’ll fit God’s plan in if I have some time. This is where (if we are honest) most of us live, we make God a side dish and not the main course. But here’s the deal all of and I mean ALL OF the things we want out of life come through Christ when we put God first:

Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

I’m not talking about God making us rich and happy by the worlds standard. I’m taking about a life rich with purpose, meaning and fulfillment. If we can understand that God’s plan for your life is anything but small we might be willing to give HIM a bigger piece.

Think for a moment……….Do you know anybody that needs restoration?

Do you know anybody that needs light?

Do you know anybody that needs to be saved from something?

 

with those people in mind let me ask you a question? would it be a small thing if it happened for them?

What if God wants to use you to do it? would that be a small thing? after all you are busy with your own big things. Remember the angel said “with God nothing is Impossible” God can handle my big life if I can handle his small assignment, help somebody rebuild their life, shine a light so somebody can see, rescue somebody so they can live. God said “do you think it a small thing for me to use you?” I say No, its the biggest thing in my life and thats the way I see it in my market.

 

Something is Different

December 2nd, 2015

“Something is different about you,” she said. The comment caught me a little off guard, because when you are a pastor and you just finished preaching you never know what is on the other side of that comment. She continued “You were spiritual before you got sick but now you are so much better.” Before you think this is becoming self-serving let me explain. I spent some time in the hospital flat on my back recently but thats a story for another day.

She was right I am different but not because I have seen the light but because of the opposite, I have seen the darkness to be more specific the blackness of my own sin. While in the hospital and while I was recovering I was unable to do most anything for my-self, I needed help with everything, thank God for the people that God put around me, especially my wife and daughter. Wendy took care of me and Amber took care of the church and with the help of my leadership team everything just got done. FYI train your people then let them do it, that is just for free.

Anyway, when you are flat on you back you have the tendency to pray and read thats all I could do and it turns out to be a good thing. While I was down it was very convenient to look up and as I prayed and read God began to deal with me in some areas of my life, things that needed to change. I took a long hard look at my life and came to the painful realization I had somethings that were taking my attention away from God, some areas that I’ve held back and that this illness could be a turning point in my life and ministry. Then I discovered this truth: There are some things about God you can only learn from a crushing blow, there is something about being unable to function that will make you ask questions you most likely haven’t had the time to ask.

I am a sinful guy and God is holy, But until you can see your sin for what it is you can’t really understand the holiness of God. The prophet Isaiah had an experience after a crushing blow where he see’s God and is never the same again.

Isaiah 6:1-8 (NIV)
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.
2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

I had seen the Lord, not the same way Isaiah did but as I read and prayed I saw the Lord high and lifted up and Just like Isaiah I thought to my-self I am doomed, Holy is He and sinful am I. Thank God the story doesn’t stop there, Jesus bridges the gap between a Holy God and a sinful man and when you can see that, how can you say anything but….

“Here I am Send ME”

The Apostle Paul wrote this not long before he gives his life for the gospel.

Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Yes, I am different but not because of anything I’ve done, but because of what has been done for me. And that’s the way I see it in my market.

Something is Different.

November 28th, 2015

“Something is different about you,” she said.  The comment caught me a little off guard, because when you are a pastor and you just finished preaching you never know what is on the other side of that comment. She continued “ You were spiritual before you got sick but now you are so much better” Before you think this is becoming self-serving let me explain. I spent some time in the hospital flat on my back recently but thats a story for another day.

She was right I am different but not because I have seen the light but because of the opposite, I seen the darkness to be more specific the blackness of my on sin. While in the hospital and while I was recovering I was unable to do most anything for my-self, I need help with everything, thank God for the people that God put around me, specially my wife and daughter. Wendy took care of me and Amber took care of the church and with the help of my leadership team everything just got done. FYI train your people then let them do it, that is just for free.

Anyway, when you are flat on you back you have the tendency to pray and read thats all I could do and it turns out to be a good thing. While I was down it was very convenient to look up and as I prayed and read God began to deal with me in some areas of my life, thing that needed to change. I took a long hard look at my life and came to the painful realization i had somethings that were taking my attention away from God, some areas that I’ve held back and that this illness could be a turning point in my life and ministry. Then I discovered this truth: There are somethings about God you can only learn from a crushing blow, there is something about being unable to function that will make you ask question you most likely have had the time to ask.

I am a sinful guy and God is holy, But until you can see your sin for what it is you can’t really understand the holiness of God. The prophet Isaiah had a experience after a crushing blow where he see’s God and is never the same again.

Isaiah 6:1-8 (NIV)

1  In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.

2  Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.

3  And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

4  At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

5  “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

6  Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.

7  With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

8  Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

I had seen the Lord, not the same way Isaiah did but as I read and prayed I saw the Lord high and lifted up and Just like Isaiah I thought to my-self I am doomed, Holy is He and sinful am I. Thank God the story doesn’t stop there, Jesus bridges to gap between  a Holy God and a sinful man and when you can see that, How can you say anything but

“Here I am Send ME”

The Apostle Paul wrote this not long before he gives his life for the gospel.

Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)

12  Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

13  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

14  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Yes, I am different but not because of anything I’ve done, but because of what has been done for me. And that’s the way I see it in my market.