Friday, December 7, 2007

The Only Vehicle that God will Endorse

David’s desire was to have the Glory of God returned to Israel and specifically to Jerusalem. His heart was in the right place, yet; he quickly found out that just having the right desire was not enough.

Knowing David, I am sure when he commissioned a cart to be built for the purpose of conveying the Ark of the Covenant back to it’s rightful place, that he did not ask for just any cart.

In my imagination I see the finest vehicle that Israel’s artisans could create. No doubt, these artists carefully crafted a cart like no other. However, there was a fatal flaw in David’s plan and David’s ignorance cost Uzza his life.

No matter how ornate the vehicle, no matter how grand the plan, and no matter how right the desire, God still cares about the procedure.

The cart may have been something to behold, yet what David quickly found was that there is only one vehicle that God will endorse and that is man.

The Ark and the Glory that sat upon it was only to be carried by men. From the beginning of time it has been about man. God’s chosen people; God’s chosen vessels; God’s chosen vehicle…men.

God has not changed. He still only endorses the chosen vehicle of men. Programs and plans are necessary. Goals and organizations are important. However, God uses men. No program, plan, goal or organization will bring His Glory to our midst. Those things with out God moving in our lives only bring empty songs, empty messages, and empty hearts.

We must carry His Word, for He has chosen the foolishness of preaching to save them that are lost. We must carry His love, for if we have not love we are sounding brass or tinkling cymbal. We must usher in His presence with our praise. We are his chosen vehicle.

However absurd it may seem, God has chosen you and I to carry His presence to a lost and dying world. We cannot craft a cart ornate enough or effective enough to save our cities. We must carry Him ourselves.

Therefore, let us pray, praise, and preach like never before!

The only vehicle God will endorse is you and I!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ten Pathways To Positive Speech And Healing

Excerpted from Gossip: Ten Pathways To Eliminate It From Your Life And Transform Your Soul, by Lori Palatnik with Bob Burg

Gossip may be defined as any form
of communication that harms another. It can ruin lives, assassinate reputations, split families, alienate friends and destroy businesses.

On the other hand, a gossip-free environment leads to peaceful lives,
healthier relationships, and overall prosperity.

Yes, the gift of speech is a marvelous one, depending upon how it is used. Would you like your words to soothe instead of sting? Heal instead of hurt? And build instead of burn? Following these ten pathways will help:

1. Speak No Evil. Say only positive statements. Let words of kindness be on your tongue. This means to respond instead of react. And, even, to edit your speech before you speak.

2. Hear No Evil. Refuse to listen to gossip, slander and other negative forms of speech. Hint: If avoiding the conversation is impossible, have another topic of "positive" interest you can quickly bring up in order to change the subject.

3. Don't Rationalize Destructive Speech. Excuses like "But it's true" or "I'm only joking" or "I can tell my spouse anything" just don't cut it. Gossip is gossip, anyway you cut it. Besides, the fact that it is true is what qualifies it as gossip. If it were not true, it would be libel or slander.

4. See No Evil. Judge people favorably, the way you would want them to judge you. If you've ever been accused of doing something for which you know you were innocent, then you know how it feels to be misjudged. Remember, if you weren't there, you don't know. And, even if you were, you may have missed what actually happened in context.

5. Beware of Speaking Evil Without Saying An Evil Word. Body language, and even positive speech, can bring tremendous destruction. Yes, telling someone you know takes advantage of others' kindness that a particular person will give you "the shirt off his back," although it seems like positive speech, is not an act of kindness.

6. Be Humble; Avoid Arrogance. These will be your greatest weapons against destructive speech. As Rabbi Noah Weinberg teaches, "Take pleasure in your accomplishments, not pride." This way you recognize the Ultimate Source of your accomplishments. And those who are arrogant are so filled with themselves, there is no room for their Creator in their lives.

7. Beware Of Repeating Information. Loose lips sink ships. Even positive information needs permission before being repeated. Telling someone who's out of a job that your mutual friend, Julie, got a raise, does not constitute proper speech.

8. Honesty Really Is The Best Policy—Most of the Time. Be careful to always tell the truth unless it will hurt others, break your own privacy or publicize your accomplishments. Strive for honesty in everything you do. But if it's between honesty and unnecessarily hurting another's feelings, it's better not to be so truthful. Those who boast about being "brutally honest" are usually more brutal than honest.

9. Learn to Say, "I'm Sorry." Everyone makes mistakes. If you've spoken badly about someone, clear it up immediately. It might be embarrassing, but get it over with quickly. Apologize, ask for forgiveness, and let him or her know it won't happen again.

10. Forgive. If you have been wronged, let it go. Forgive for your sake, if not for theirs. Those who can forgive live healthier, happier, and less stressful lives. Those who say they'll forgive but not forget are actually saying that they'll neither forgive nor forget.

Try this for the next month. The good news is, if you slip up now and then, it only means you are human. Try again. I congratulate you simply for making the effort.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Changin Our Stinkin Thinkin

When Israel left Egypt they were nothing more than a battered band of slaves. They knew nothing in their life except for slavery, oppression and tyranny.

God, through the wilderness experience and the giving of His word, had to change their "Stinkin Thinkin."

Why do you suppose that these people we
re so quick to say "let's go back to Egypt." "Let's go back to slavery and oppression."

Huh? Wait, they were willing to exchange their glorious freedom for the shackles of slavery? Why? Because they were still thinking like slaves.

God was trying to change them from slaves to sons.

Why do we lack the freedom and power that God desires for us to have. It is because we have been conditioned by the world to think like slaves.

We must realize that God did not call us out of slavery to be His slaves... He called us to be His sons and to possess His authority and His birthright.

We must change our Stinkin Thinkin from thinking like slaves to thinking like SONS...

Gal 4:6-7
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Moving Forward Despite the Setbacks

In leadership and especially in pastoring, forward is always the direction of choice. Backwards is never the plan. I have never heard someone say "this quarter we are going to decrease sales" or "this year we are going to down size our congregation." However, in leadership as in life, setbacks are inevitable.

How we deal with setbacks will determine whether we are ultimately successful or ultimately a failure. Here are some simple principles for dealing with setbacks:

1. Failure is not Final

2. Many times setbacks are just God's way of showing you a new door or bringing blessing through unconventional means...My Pastor called these "Gifts Wrapped in Less Desirable Packages."

3. Stay True...If Truth get you in a bind Truth will bring you out

4. Do not compromise simply to minimize the will always cost more than you want to pay and take you farther than you're willing to go.

5. Trust God...All things work together for your good...

6. Trust Wise Counsel...Godly Counsel will always move you in a forward direction

7. Press...Pray...Strive... Don't let setbacks cause you to coast, give up or let down.

Forgetting those things which or behind...I Press toward...

Hang in there... today may feel like 1 step forward and 2 steps back

but tomorrow is a 2 step forward kind of day...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What State Do You Live In?

3 Keys to the State of Contentment

I am from Texas!

I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas…Big D as we like to call it. I am not sure if it’s like this everywhere, but we Texans seem to have a pride in our state that is unrivaled. In fact, in most cases, we are Texans first and Americans second.

I heard a joke that I enjoy telling on occasion… “Did you know that it is rude to ask people where they are from? Why? Because if they are from Texas they will tell you and if not, don’t embarrass them.” Okay… Okay, I know that is corny!

Well, I said that for absolutely no reason because that is not the STATE I am talking about.

The state that I am referring to is more beautiful than any geographic location; more peaceful than any seashore; more joyful than any babbling brook. In this state you will find solace than cannot be found in any mountain getaway.

It is a place simply called Contentment.

The road to Contentment is fraught with obstacles such as ambition, jealousy, and competitiveness.

Many times our flesh will invade this peaceful place and steal us away from contentment. We awaken in the state of Frustration, Anger and Disillusionment. Then, before we know what hit us the moving truck as whisked us away to a terrible place called Bitterness, from where few ever return.

How do we secure our place in this place called Contentment?

The answer to this question is simply stated but not easily accomplished.

1. Seek First the Kingdom

Kingdom mindedness is key to any heavenly “success.” We must realize that we are building THE Kingdom not A kingdom. We must lay aside our own ambitions, dreams and goals for a higher cause. The Kingdom’s cause!

When we spend our time and effort pursuing our own ambition we will continually be frustrated and discontent.

However, when we pursue God and His will, it will lead us to a place of fulfillment.

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

2. Be Faithful to the Task at Hand

Put your hand to the plow that is right in front of you! Stop looking for the “next best thing” to come along. The principle that everyone can quote but few realize the power of it, is…

“thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:” (Matt 25:21).

If we can stay focused upon the task at hand we will accomplish more and God will reward our faithfulness in due season.

3. Refuse to Compare Your Calling, Your Gifts and Your Position with others

The Bible says that if we compare ourselves with one another we are not wise. Many ministers have fallen in the trap of bitterness by constantly comparing their vineyard to their neighbors’. God called you to where you are for a purpose. Work it, love it, and prosper in it until He opens another door.

“...they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (2 Cor 10:12).”

We must constantly guard the door of contentment because our flesh is given to discontent. If we are not diligent we will find ourselves outside of its walls wishing we could enter in again.

What state do you live in?

As for me, I desire to live in the state of Contentment!

Phil 4:11
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

1 Tim 6:6-8
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Heb 13:5
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

"Daddy, Can I Go Make Some New Friends?"

The other day my children and I were at the park. As I was walking along holding Anna's hand she looked up and asked, "Daddy, can I go make some new friends?"

This simple phrase resonated in my heart. "Making" new friends described the process very well.

Prov 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

There are many people who feel lonely, isolated and alone, simply because they do not realize that friendship is work and close friendships have there costs.

However, the benefits far out way the price.

True Friendship will require us to...

1. Take Risks

We must take the risk of rejection. We must open ourselves up. We must be willing to reveal our weaknesses, failings, and fears.

2. Make an Effort

Close friendships are work. Casual acquaintances may spring up over night but deep friendships have to be cultivated. Phone calls, emails, and trips out of your way must be made to grow and maintain strong friendships.

3. Be Selfless

Selfishness has killed so many budding relationships. Many times we must sacrifice our own desires; our own likes and dislikes; so that a friendship can continue. Selflessness does not mean that you must always give in, but it is the wisdom to know when you should and the meekness to do it.

Good things in life seldom happen by accident. Therefore, deep friendships happen on purpose. "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly."

As my little Anna does on a daily basis, go out today and "MAKE" a friend.

You will be glad you did.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Secret to a Good Relationship

When seeking a relationship we are always looking for something to be right. We look for the common ground where we can build a strong relationship. Most of the time we either over look or learn to live with the things that we do not like.

However, when we are looking to get out of a relationship we do the very opposite. We search diligently for the wrong. We focus on the irritating things that we dislike and ignore the common ground.

The Secret to a Good Relationship is to keep our focus on the common ground while continuing to build a consensus on our differences...

Friday, July 13, 2007

An Oddly Beautiful Word...

The word that I write about today is one that may seem out of fashion. Many consider it an embarrassing memory of a by-gone era.

It was popular before political correctness began to creep into our pulpits. It was a staple in the diet of prayerful churches before sensitivity training was en vogue. It existed before the term "seeker sensitive" was contrived by weak minded and cowardly so-called "preachers."

The beauty of this word lay in the fact that it was not just a word, but a response. It was an atmosphere that permeated our services. It gripped our hearts as the powerful Word of God was preached by prayerful Godly men.

The word? Conviction...

I know...I know...there is no beauty in that word, you say.

However, I beg to differ. There is nothing more beautiful than when the Word of God goes forth in power and the hearers submit to the message in repentance and obedience.

What happened? Is conviction dead?

No... However, I do believe that in many places it is on life support.

I believe that it has suffered in two critical areas:

1. Weak Delivery

Many preachers have allowed the culture of tolerance and acceptance to move into their consciousness. The voice of those who have "itching ears" have drowned out the voices of the hungry.

2. Insensitivity of the Receiver

Many that hear the Word of God have lost their sensitivity. Our media driven society as desensitized the hearts of people.

Pastor Jesse Williams preached a powerful message in Mississippi almost 10 years ago. It was entitled "The Death of the Most Famous Preacher." His message was about the death of conscience.

How do we revive conviction?

1. It is time for our preachers to pray, fast and commit to delivering the whole Word of God. Let me clarify something, conviction preaching does not and should not have to be mean or angry preaching. In fact, true conviction preaching is a product of love. Conviction is not condemnation!

2. We must cultivate a hunger in our churches for more of God. A hunger and a love for the Word of God. We must allow the oil of the Holy Ghost to soften and heal the calluses that have covered our hearts.

The oddly beautiful word...Conviction!

Rev 3:19-20 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Simply Profound... (50 Nuggets of Advice for Ministers)

This list was compiled by a group of ministers on WordShare Forum. Simply Profound...

  1. Pray always
  2. Be patient
  3. Love the Word
  4. Keep a journal of ideas
  5. Remember that God is sovereign
  6. Listen to your wife!
  7. Nothing happens overnight
  8. Be a Giver
  9. You are a servant… never a master
  10. Take notes on everything, keep every note you take
  11. Hurting people hurt people
  12. You can only see 30% of what people are feeling, treat them accordingly
  13. You are always a leader, whether you are doing well or not
  14. Every person is valuable and all flesh is designed to fail
  15. Nothing can take the place of prayer
  16. Always look for a door of reconciliation… always
  17. Saints are sheep - they have to be led, they can’t be driven
  18. Take care of your family – saints will come and go
  19. Relationships are invaluable, connect with as many peers as you can
  20. To thine own self be true - don’t copy anyone, develop your own ministry
  21. Never seek a position or title. If it is God’s will, it will come
  22. When it comes time to “step down” then step down in the same way as you “stepped up” – with grace, dignity, thankfulness that you had the opportunity to serve the kingdom
  23. Always leave something better than the way you found it. Leave a legacy for the next person
  24. There are two primary choices in life: Accept things as they are or accept responsibility for helping to change them.
  25. Know when to be silent
  26. Never lose your ability to dream!
  27. People are not going to understand you and some are not going to like you… get over it!
  28. Don’t feed people yesterday’s bread
  29. People resist change, God loves change
  30. Men who challenge you are not your enemies; they keep you in check and are often sent by God
  31. Refused to be offended.
  32. Don’t preach for response
  33. Talent alone does not justify using someone, a servant's spirit does
  34. Don’t throw rocks at every dog that barks
  35. Give the Word the credit it deserves
  36. The message is more important than the messenger
  37. There is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us, that it does not behoove any of us to talk about the rest of us
  38. Living a sermon is more important than preaching one
  39. Prayer accomplishes more than preaching
  40. Lessons not learned will be repeated
  41. Spend more time praying over a message than you do preaching it
  42. Love people; use money - Do not love money; use people
  43. Trust is the greatest commodity you can give or receive
  44. Do not accept gifts that make you beholden to the giver
  45. Do not dwell in an ivory tower and neglect the flock
  46. Do not dwell with the flock so much that you cannot be a prophet on Sunday
  47. Stand up straight, speak boldly, and sit down quickly.
  48. Always leave them wishing you had preached longer opposed to wishing you had quit sooner
  49. Only say …”I am closing “ once
  50. Never give a position to appease.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Surrendering Your Future

God called Abraham out of the land of Ur. He called him to leave the land of idolatry; the land of his fathers; everything that he knew and even who he was.

Abraham surrendered it all. The Bible said when he was called out that he obeyed not knowing where he was going.

He surrendered his past.

In the story of Abraham there is a great lesson for us. When God calls, He calls us out. He asks us to surrender our past.

This level of commitment is basic and in many ways, easy compared to the next level that He calls us to.

We bring our sin, our guilt, our hurts, our failures and our pain to God. Our shattered dreams are healed and restored in his presence. The guilt of our past fades into peace and contentment in the light of His mercy.

However, the story of Abraham does not end there. God promises him that he is going to have a son and that his seed will be as the stars in the sky and the sands of seashore. Isaac was promised and chosen.

Therefore, I am sure that it was devastating to Abraham when God told him to take Isaac and sacrifice him.

When Abraham looks at Isaac he not only sees his beloved and long awaited son, his own flesh and blood, he sees much more.

He sees in Isaac the face of his dreams. He sees his promise. He sees the future.

God was not only asking for his son. He was asking for his dreams, his ambitions, and his legacy.

As Abraham bound Isaac to the altar he also bound his desires.

As he raised the knife he surrendered his future.

Surrendering our past is an obvious benefit to us. We give God our guilt, our hurts and our pains. He takes the tattered pieces and weaves them into something beautiful.

However, are we willing to surrender our future? Are we willing to give God our dreams, our hopes, and our ambitions?

As we surrender everything we desire it releases us to be completely led by Him.

Position, titles, prestige, or even geographic location no longer dominates our desires.

Completely surrendering our future to God opens up a whole new level of covenant, power, and anointing.

As God told Abraham, "now I know."

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Leap of Faith

Jump out of the Boat!

Throw the mantle down!

March around the wall!

God cannot fail. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

When we are in tune with His purpose we have the authority to call things that are not as though they are. We can speak to the mountain and it shall be removed into the sea.

We live in a faithless and perverse generation. Our faith is being tested on every hand.

Fear and doubt are trying to silence the voice of faith. The church and the men and women who lead her, need to be bold enough to pray the prayer of faith; to speak the word of faith; to preach faith like never before.

This is our day.

I believe that God desires for the church to take the limits off of our faith.

I believe that God desires to enlarge our territory.

I believe that he wants to release the church from the bonds of fear and doubt.

Sickness, Spiritual Oppression, Financial Burden are no match for a church that will take a leap of faith.

God will honor your faith!

Jump out of the Boat...God will guide your steps...

Throw the Mantle down...He will part the water...

March around the Wall...He will give you the victory...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Day

The true meaning of Memorial Day is not about cookouts, parks and family fun. Those things are great and I enjoy them, but it is the day that we remember those that have so selflessly given their lives for the ideals of Liberty and Freedom.

So, this memorial day as we run from place to place enjoying the activities of the day, let us pause to remember those brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that today, we might worship without fear.

Thank You!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Full Proof Team Blog


Please click here and then bookmark the site for future inspiration and thought provoking posts.

God Bless You!

Monday, May 14, 2007

The View from the Cross

Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

It is said that perception is 9/10 of reality. The way we perceive things to be are the way that they are, at least in our minds.

In our flesh it is so easy to have misconceptions or more precisely mis-perceptions. Therefore, how do we find the proper perception?

As Christians and as church leaders we can only find a true perspective and perception at the cross.

Daily we must trudge up the hill called Calvary. We must stand in the shadow of that beautifully awful place. From there the view is so clear. From there reality can be found. When I view life from the cross everything takes on it's true meaning and value; everything falls into focus.

Firstly, the cross changes the way I see God. No longer is He a distant; no longer is He an anonymous creator, but he is my savior. As I review the nails, the spear, the crown, and the blood I am overwhelmed by the love. No not shallow "I love you" love but a deep unwavering "no cost is too high" kind of love.

From this location I can see His eyes and hear his voice saying "Father forgive them, they know not what they do." As He took the ultimate offense, as He became sin for those that stood there jeering and mocking He offered them mercy instead of revenge. Peace instead of wrath. Love instead of hate.

It amazes me that He could react that way to such a terrible, unmerited offense and it makes me ask myself "how should I react when my feelings get hurt?"

Secondly, the cross changes how I view myself. I see myself reflected in this monument of suffering. What I see is a paradox because simultaneously I see my weakness and my possibility. My weakness overwhelms my thoughts, as my voice cries for mercy. Yet, at the same time my soul is empowered with the possibility that His sacrifice purchased for me. In my weakness I am humbled and at the same time in my weakness His strength is perfected.

The view from the cross changed my personal perspective. It has changed forever the way I see God and the way I see myself.

Thirdly, the cross changes my view of others. It is impossible to judge others harshly in the shadow of mercy. Desire for position seems so petty and insignificant at the cross. My offenses fade in the light of His long suffering love.

When I find myself growing cynical and becoming me centered I make my way back to the cross. The view from there brings everything back into focus. The cross experience purifies my desires, my ambitions, and my motives.

Have you been to the cross today? The view from there will change your life.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Forget Not...

The human memory is an amazing thing. No computer in the world can match the power of the mind. The things we experience, read, hear and see are forever stored there.

However, our mind's filing system sometimes can get jumbled and discombobulated.

The clutter of the unimportant, foul up our ability to recall those things that we need to remember. Files of trouble, trials and stress overwhelm the system and good things seem to get pushed into the hidden recesses of our mind.

Especially in leadership, we can get so caught up in putting out fires and trying to keep people happy, that the good gets overshadowed by the negative.

Today, I feel the Lord is trying to get our attention. I feel Him trying get us to focus on what He has done.

We need to stop and remember the benefits of God. God is so good!

What can I render unto the Lord for all of His benefits?

The least I can do is to turn my eyes upon what God has done and off of the things that are negative around me.

I will not forget! God's benefits are more than I can number. His goodness far out weighs any trouble that I may endure.

Be encouraged! Forget Not...

Ps 103:1-22
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
21 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
22 Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Glorious Inadequacies

There are times that we look at ourselves and wonder, "why did God choose me?" We wonder, "what talent or attribute did He feel was so extraordinary, so redeeming that He would put such confidence in me?"

The tasks before us seem so insurmountable... Reach the World. Bring in the Harvest. Nurture the new. Challenge the old. Give hope to the hopeless. Be the fountain of wisdom for all of life's questions. Be a good father or mother. Be a good spouse. Pray. Study.

On and on the list of requirements pile up in our lives and in our ministries.

The responsibilities and burdens far out weigh our strength and out run our abilities.

We are overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. We are minimized in our own sight by the mountain of position. What is the use, right?

Nevertheless, our weakness is actually an attribute that God chooses to exploit. He thrives on making up the difference between our challenge and our ability.

My mind goes to Gideon and his 32 thousand men. God commanded Gideon to send home those that were unwilling to fight and the majority of them left. Then, with one final test, Gideon's "army" was down to only 300 men.

God made sure that the glory was His and His alone. He made the difference between their weakness and their challenge.

There are numerous other examples such as the Battle of Jericho, David and Goliath, and the four lepers. In each of these stories, God brought great victory, liberation, and provision out of inadequate vessels.

When you sit at your desk, stand at your pulpit or even when you pick up your pen to write, remember God is the X-Factor. He is the Great Equalizer.

So, when the enemy reminds you of your lack; when he points out your weakness; when he scoffs at what seems to be your futile efforts; just agree with him. "Yes, you are right!" "I am gloriously inadequate!"

Then remind him that you are also gloriously called and that your deficit only leaves more room for God to move.

God has called. He will empower. His strength is more than sufficient.

Take courage in the face of your inadequacies. Let faith rise.

One day the tasks will all be accomplished and you will stand victorious, and then all Glory will belong to Him.

2 Cor 12:9
9 but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Beyond Minimum

We live in a "get by" culture. The work ethic of our father's and grandfather's generation has all but disintegrated. Selfishness has created an atmosphere where the questions of the day are... "what's in it for me?" and "what can I do to just get by?"

The infection of these immature attitudes used to be, almost completely, a disease of children and young people. Yet now they seem to be spreading into every aspect of society.

We cannot allow this minimalist mindset to seep into our spiritual pursuits.

We should never get caught in the immature pursuit of the minimum. We should strive to please God to the maximum.

It is time to Pursue Him and His character.

Let us not use simple logic to justify our selfish desires or our lack of spiritual desire. We must refuse to just "get by."

We cannot trade service for relationship; surface for depth; form for substance.

When the darkness of this world works to blur the edges of right and wrong, we must allow the Lord to illuminate our heart. As we press in and pursue His righteousness, His hand will lead us; empower us; and propel us to higher heights and to deeper depths.

The tragic results of living to the minimum can be found in the life of Samson.

Samson was asked to do things that other men did not have to endure. He had a vow from birth attached to his life. 1. He would not cut his hair 2. He would not drink wine 3. He would not touch anything that was dead.

In exchange for his obedience he would receive a strength that no man had ever possessed. He was destined to be the deliverer of Israel.

However, Samson lived to the minimum. He held his great potential so cavalierly. He did just enough to hold on to his "gift" until even that was gone.


Samson was empowered to free Israel from the scourge of the Philistines. He did win a few battles, but he did not even come close to fulfilling his destiny.

We have been empowered to reach our world. We have received the Holy Ghost which gives us the potential to truly impact our city, our nation and our world.

Yet, so many of us choose to live life to the minimum. As Samson we do not go beyond our initial experience.

However, let us strive today for more. Let us reach beyond the minimum. Let us press into His presence. Let us commit to pray, study and reach like never before.

Beyond Minimum!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Time to Tarry

Before the disciples could preach one message, evangelize one city, build one church... Jesus commanded them to go and Tarry in Jerusalem...until!

Many times we get so caught up in the "work" of the Lord that we rush past the "relationship" with Him. Then we wonder why we feel powerless, burnt out, and ineffective.

Tarry for Him. Let the Fire of the Holy Ghost fall on us again and again.

They that wait upon the Lord have their strength renewed.

Let us Tarry UNTIL!

UNTIL His strength saturates...

UNTIL the Power Permeates...

UNTIL the Fire Falls...


Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Isa 40:31
31 But 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; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Pendulum Still Swings


Eccl 3:1
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

God set time in motion. With the words "let there be" the worlds were created, set in their place, and then released into motion. As the newly created earth began it's inaugural trip around the sun, time began also. Eternity became bisected by the ticking of a clock.

Today the pendulum still swings. Even now, as I write and you read, seconds and minutes have faded into nothingness.

How is it that we take something so precious for granted. We carelessly toss these precious moments aside, discarded like yesterdays newspaper.

We spend this moment wishing for the next. The young are the most guilty of this but they are not alone in this tragedy of wastefulness.

I remember being 8 and wishing I was 10.

I remember being 10 and wishing I was 13.

On and on from 16 to 18 to 21 to marriage to children to retirement, we constantly live in the future.

However, we know that there is coming a day when time shall be no more. Therefore, the economy of time makes it even more invaluable.

What will we do with it?

Today is fleeting, let us...
        • Seize it's Potential
        • Enjoy it's Blessings
        • Conquer it's Challenges
We must make the most of each moment.

The Pendulum Still Swings

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Mountain of Greatness!

This is just something short that has been on my mind...

Peter, James and John were called away from the crowd and taken up into the mountain by Jesus.

There they saw Jesus in away that they had never seen Him. They saw Jesus transfigured before Him.

They saw His divinity...

They saw Moses and Elijah standing with Him.

The Voice of the Law... Moses

The Voice of the Prophesy... Elijah

Standing with the embodiment and fulfillment of both...

In that moment, on the Mountain of Transfiguration the History of God's manifestation and His plan for the future was joined together.

Not many make it to the mountain of Greatness...

The air is thin and the trek is long...

It takes Commitment...

It takes Determination...

It takes Separation...

I want to make the trek to the Mountain of Greatness!

Monday, March 12, 2007

In "Critical" Condition

Some of this came from a Richard Whitman post on UPC Pastor's Helper (Oct 2nd, 10:33am)... Thank you Brother Whitman....

God Bless!

The Audio of this lesson can be heard at

Rom 14:10-13 10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

Romans 14:10-13 (AMP) “Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. And so each of us shall give an account of himself - give an answer in reference to judgment - to God. Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.”

A Fool and His Note

A pastor received an anonymous note with nothing but the word "FOOL!" written on it. The next morning he got in church and said, "I've gotten many notes without signatures before but this is the first time I got one where someone forgot to write the note and just signed his name!"

Foolish Commander

It is said that when the British and French were fighting in Canada in the 1750s, Admiral Phipps, commander of the British fleet, was told to anchor outside Quebec. He was given orders to wait for the British land forces to arrive, then support them when they attacked the city. Phipps' navy arrived early. As the admiral waited, he became annoyed by the statues of the saints that adorned the towers of a nearby cathedral, so he commanded his men to shoot at them with the ships' cannons. No one knows how many rounds were fired or how many statues were knocked out, but when the land forces arrived and the signal was given to attack, the admiral was of no help. He had used up all his ammunition shooting at the "saints."

Criticism Defined

Webster defines criticism as “an act of criticizing; to judge as a critic; to find fault; to blame or condemn.”

Fault finding is not difficult

Isaac Murray illustrates this in his story on how a dog hitched to a wagon stopped pulling to bark at a passerby. The boy who was riding in the wagon said, “Don’t mind the dog, he is just barking for an excuse to rest. It is easier to bark than to pull the wagon.”

Build-up not Tear Down

The text tells us not to tear down our brethren through criticism or judgment, as this can pose a serious stumbling-block and cause irreparable damage to their faith.

Among God’s warnings to us in scripture, there are none more somber or serious than His warning to not become a stumbling block to His followers.

Matt 18:6
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

We tend to judge others by their actions, while we judge ourselves by our intentions. We cannot rightly judge anyone else, because we do not know the contents of their heart. We should be content to judge only ourselves and seek to bring our own lives in alignment with God’s Word

1 Corinthians 11:31
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

The Profile of a Critical Spirit

• an obsessive attitude of criticism and fault-finding
• seeks to tear others down
• not the same thing as “constructive criticism.”
The only criticism that is ever constructive is that which is expressed in love to “build up,” not to tear down — it is always expressed face-to-face, never behind their back.

The person with a critical spirit usually dwells on the negative, seeks for flaws rather than good. They’re a complainer, usually always upset, and generally have a problem or a complaint about something. They often have little control over their tongue, their temper, and have tendencies for gossip and slander, which Paul said were sins “worthy of death” (Rom. 1:29-32).

What Causes a Critical Spirit?

Negativity - A bad attitude and a negative view of life. A person may have unconfessed sin in their life (Rom. 2:1), or may harbor unforgiveness or bitterness toward someone who may have offended them (Heb. 12:15). The offender may be another, themselves or even God They may have resentment regarding the “hand that life dealt them” or the circumstances they have endured. Because they don’t truly trust God they may even be angry with Him and take it out on life in general.

Insecurity - Criticism is often a subconscious means to “elevate one’s own self image.” By putting others down, they are inwardly trying to feel more important or that “they know more.” Jealousy toward the spiritual victories of others is often the cause of criticism and belittling comments. Popular, talented or gifted people are often the target of such tactics.

Immaturity - Believers must always keep their focus upon Christ and His Word, not man, who will often fail (Heb. 12:2). The young or immature believer who has not progressed very far in their own faith, remain overly dependent upon the faith of those within the body of Christ. Unfortunately, when they begin to notice the flaws in their brethren, subconsciously, this becomes a threat to their own sense of victory. Criticism becomes a reaction of disappointment, because their expectations in others have been crushed.

An Un-renewed Mind - Put-downs, making-fun-of, criticism, sarcasm are the world’s ways of reacting to the faults of people. However, as Christians we don’t behave this way. Our thinking and attitude should be renewed by the Word of God, which teaches us to bear the infirmities of the weak, to love, and show compassion and encouragement (Rom. 12:2).

Satan - As we may realize, the Devil specializes in influencing obsessive behavior. He may use any or all of the above channels, or other techniques, to influence a complaining or critical attitude to stir up turmoil and strife within the body of Christ (Eph. 6:12). We must be on guard that none of us would be used as a tool of the Devil to bring harassment or discouragement upon our brothers or sisters through continual criticism, as the Bible warns us not to “give place” to the Devil (Eph. 4:27). Remember that Satan is specifically called “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10). Are you an accuser of the brethren?

The Ministry of Encouragement

The Bible says that the reason that we are to come together as a church is, not to criticize, but to “exhort” (encourage) one another (Hebrews 10:25). “Cursing the darkness” won’t change anything, but we must light a candle and “expose the light” of God’s Word. By sharing the truth of God’s Word, and encouraging people to live in its truth, people will change. Love and encouragement is a “motivational force.”

If we ever hope to bring improvement in others, we need to become people of encouragement. This is the only attitude that will change people, and our actions and words must be devoted to encouraging the spiritual progress of our brethren.

Our Tongue

The Christian’s tongue should never be used for anything but good.

Eph 4:29
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Scientific Proof

Dr. David H. Fink, a psychiatrist for the veterans administration, wrote an article entitled, “Release from Nervous Tension.” In his article, he outlined his research into the causes of mental and emotional disturbances.

From over 10,000 case studies, he discovered that there was a common trait with all his patients who suffered from severe tension. They were habitual fault-finders, constant critics of people and things around them. Those who were free from tension, were the least critical. His conclusions were that the habit of fault-finding is a prelude or mark of the nervous, or the mentally unbalanced. Those who wish to retain good emotional and mental health, should learn to free themselves from a negative and critical attitude.

Seven Steps to Recovery from a "Critical" Condition

Isaiah 26:3
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

1. Focus on God not Man
2. Trust in God

2 Cor 10:12
12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

3. Do not compare yourself to others

1 Tim 5:19
19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

4. Do not Receive an Accusation

So many people are ready to receive bad information. They revel in the negative. They believe and pass on the information whether there is proof or not.

I call it having a “Ready Ear.”

Mark 11:25
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

5. Forgive

Rom 12:2
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

6. Be not Conformed to this World

There are whole industries in our culture today that thrive on nothing more than the art of criticizing…

Art Critics… Movie Critics… Fashion Police… Politic Pundits… Tabloid Journalism… Talk Shows… News Cast

7. Be Transformed by the Renewing of Our Minds

Wash your mind with the Word. Strengthen your resolve with the renewing of the Holy Ghost.

The Bible doesn’t promise peace to those who dwell on the faults of others! It says that the Lord will keep them in perfect peace, whose minds are stayed on Him!

Phil 4:8
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Friday, March 9, 2007

My Trust is in the Lord!

In times of sickness, tribulations and trials, our faith is sometimes shaken.

However, the object of our faith never wavers. His power is unaffected by the wind, waves and uncertainty of the hour.

God is a healer... even when He chooses not to heal.

God is a peace-speaker... even when He chooses not to calm the storm.

God is the source of knowledge... even when we do not understand.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Acknowledge Him... Acknowledge that He is God... Acknowledge that His ways are perfect... Acknowledge that He is working for our good, even when we cannot see the reason.

Dear God,

Today, I release my fears and my doubts.

Today, I release my preconceived ideas.

Today, I let you out of the box of my agenda.

My faith is in You Lord!

My Trust is in You Lord!

My surrendered to Your flow.

Oh God, my God, do with me what You will!

Friday, March 2, 2007


Our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. There is no shadow of turning in Him. His word is established and it will not fade, change or pass away. He is our Rock.

The pressure of our culture is pushing us to accept each others differing views. It is striving to convince Oneness Pentecostals to change our doctrine to conform to the view that any path to God is correct.

They have attacked our holiness standards. They have attacked our stringent adherence to the infallible Word of God. They challenge our love for people because of what they term as our “exclusive doctrine.”

However, we will not apologize for the Word of God. We will not bend to the pressure. We may alter our methods but not our message.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

There is coming a day when all will see the truth. As a great light on a hill the true Church of the living God will stand.

The Bible speaks of a day where all will be shaken, so that when the shaking ceases, the only thing that will remain is that which cannot be shaken.


There is but One God. His name is Jesus. Salvation starts with Faith, then Repentance, Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

"On Christ the soild rock I stand... all other ground is sinking sand."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Ministry of Abigail

David and his men were at the brink of exhaustion and starvation. David sent 10 young men to Nabal's house to ask him for food and drink.

These 10 young men were instructed to greet Nabal with salutations of peace. However, Nabal, being a foolish man, did not receive them and refused to give them what they requested. He turned them away, even though David and his men had given protection to Nabal's men and flocks through out the year.

David's anger was kindled against Nabal and he commanded his army to gird themselves for battle and they stormed out of their camp ready to exact vengeance on Nabal's household.

Abigail, Nabal's wife, who was a "women of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance," knew that she had to act quickly. She gathered two hundred loaves of bread, two bottles of wine, five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs and instructed the servants to go before her to meet David and his men.

Abigail met David and his men along the way. She offered her regrets and asked for forgiveness. Her words even foreshadow the death of Jesus as she says, "upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be."

David accepted her apology and her offering. Nabal's house, or should I say Abigail's house, was spared from destruction and death.

David praised God for her wisdom and for the guilt and regret that it saved him.

1 Sam 25:32-33
32 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:
33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.

We would do well to learn from this wise women.

I know that I have personally been on both sides of this story.

There have been times that my anger and my ego has caused me to bring injustice upon those around me.

Also, there have been times that I have been the receiver of injustices and I allowed my desire for revenge to stir with in my spirit. Blind with anger and hurt, I would bluster and stomp as I prepared to lash out and exact my own vengeance.

Then, I heard that tender, wise voice of reason speaking to me. There stood Dawn, my dear wife ("Abigail"), with compassion, concern, and sometimes disappointment in her eyes. She would sooth my anger. She would bind my wounds and encourage forgiveness not revenge.

She reminds me that God will take care of me and my enemies.

I wish I could say that she was always successful in her counsel, but I can not. However, through the years I have come to realize that, more times than not, when I do ignore her counsel, I tend to tear up more than I fix.

Now, I know that there are times that do call for quick and decisive action. I know that we as leaders do have to go into battle at times.

Yet, before we rush into action, let us sheath our sword and slow our steps long enough to consider the wisdom and ministry of our own Abigail.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bearing Good Fruit

Matt 7:17-29

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Luke 13:6-9

6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

How do we bear Good fruit?


1. Remove Stones

2. Remove obstacles to growth (Our flesh is the main obstacle in our lives)

a. Fasting

b. Discipline

c. Sacrifice

3. Pull Weeds

a. Remove sinful things from our lives

b. Fertilize

i. Pour in the Word

ii. Fellowship with godly people

iii. Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together

4. Water

a. Prayer

b. Worship

c. More Prayer

5. Sun – the sun gives its power to allow the tree to transform the water and the nutrients into growth.

a. Relationship

John 15:4-5

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Jesus is the source. We must stay connected to Him.

It is He who give the anointing.

It is He who gives the power.

If we are connected to the vine there is no doubt that we will bear good fruit.

· Fruit of the Spirit

Gal 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

· Fruit of Praise

Heb 13:15

15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

· Fruit of Harvest

John 12:24

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

What happens if we do not bear fruit?

John 15:6

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

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