Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy? How To Be Happy Every Day Of The Week

Definition of Happiness- according to Webster’s dictionary, it means good fortune, prosperity, a state of well-being & contentment, joy, or a pleasurable or satisfying experience.  
“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” Ecclesiastes 3:12 (NIV)

According to the CDC, 1 in 10 americans take anti-depressants, up by more than 400% over the last 20 years!  In a country where the pursuit of happiness is our claim to fame, we don't seem to be very good at finding it.  Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most people are as happy as they’ve decided to be”  Here are a few thoughts from Biblical principles about how you can live a happier life!

1.  GOD MADE US TO BE HAPPY.
To the person who pleases himGod gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness...”.  Ecclesiastes 2:26  (NIV)
“... may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.”  Psalms 68:3  

God does want us to be happy.  He knows that when we follow His plans and purpose for our lives than we will experience happiness.  Often times people will choose destructive & selfish desires & say things like, "God wants me to be happy doesn't he?"  The answer is yes, but He understands when we choose to live differently (be holy) & follow His ways, happiness follows!

2.  YOU CAN’T BE HAPPY IF YOU ARE PURSUING IT.
"Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product." - Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady
Happiness Myths-  Pastor Kevin Gerald shares 7 myths regarding happiness. They are:
Myth #1-  MONEY Will Make You Happy.  Money only magnifies what's already inside of you.  If you aren't happy today, money won't make you happy tomorrow!
Myth #2-  LEISURE & EASE Will Make Me Happy.  People with positive attitudes & a sense of purpose live, on average, 7 years longer than those who don't.  Many people die soon after retiring because they were making a living versus making a life.
Myth #3-  FAME & PRESTIGE Will Make Me Happy.  Look at the news... enough said.
Myth #4-  MORE POWER Will Make Me Happy.  More power will only give you more to be unhappy about.
Myth #5-  OTHER PEOPLE Will Make Me Happy.  People will let you down if you're always counting on them to life you up.
Myth #6-  GETTING EVEN Will Make You Happy.  We've all won the argument & felt just as cruddy after the fact.
Myth #7-  Being A  CHRISTIAN  Will Make You Happy.  You can be eternally secure & still miserable.  Go hang out with a bunch of saved church people & this one will be self-evident.  

3.  YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.
Many people stay miserable because they realize that they'll get less attention if they choose to be happy.  Some people would have nothing to say if they weren't complaining!  We all have the incredible power to choose our attitude & our own level of happiness.

Key Thought-  Act your way into a feeling instead of feel your way into an action!
  • All feeling come from your thoughts!  You are the thinker of your thoughts, not God, not the devil, not anyone else. You are the thinker of your thoughts.  Choose to fix your thoughts on the right things (Hebrews 12:2)
  • The key to being happy is this:  Choose The Right Thoughts!  Your thoughts are either ascending or descending.  Fix your thoughts & choose to be happy.  The Apostle Paul said, "... I have learned how to be content with whatever I have."  Philippians 4:11  (*see also Isaiah 55:8, Philippians 4:8, Romans 12:2)  I absolutely love this quote from Bertha Damon, who said, "Getting what you go after is success;  but liking it while you are getting it is happiness."
CLOSING THOUGHT-  Happiness is a CHOICE.  The real question today is, "Do You Want To Be Happy?"  "Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Hope in God."  Psalm 43:5

Friday, November 11, 2011

10 For 10 Challenge, Pt. 6


10 for 10 11-9-11 from Freedom Life Christian Center on Vimeo.



You choose what you will believe about your own potential & your own future.

If you’re going to be a dream-releaser in your life & in the lives of others, you must see yourself as God sees you!  To often we look at our lives through our own eyes or through the eyes of others.  Today, choose to see yourself through God’s eyes!  The Bible tells us Ephesians 1:4, that, “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”  

Dr. Dave Martin said in his bestselling book, '12 Traits of the Greats,' “Belief in yourself is a deep-seated awareness that, at least in one area, God has made you to be very unique. It is an understanding that you have what it takes—all the resources, all the talents, all the abilities—to accomplish that which compels you. It is a self-confidence that overcomes all opposition and the doubts of naysayers and pessimists who might infiltrate your life. It is a strong positive attitude and belief in who you are “in Christ.

Be A Dream-Releaser by believing in yourself & believing in others.  Speak to the destiny in your own life & in the lives of others.

Abraham Lincoln is regarded by many Americans as our nation’s greatest president. But how many Americans also know that he persisted through more failures than any other president? Abraham Lincoln had a very difficult childhood and less than one year of formal schooling. Up until the age of 51, he suffered 2 business failures, 7 election defeats in his desire to become an elected official, the loss of the woman he was engaged, a difficult marriage & the loss of 3 of his 4 sons before the age of 18.  But at the age of fifty-one, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the sixteenth president of the United States.  Lincoln’s was well acquainted with difficulties & failure which helped him guide the United States through the difficult trials of the Civil War.  Think about it, in the initial stages of that war, the Union suffered defeat after defeat and setback after setback before they finally were victorious under Lincoln’s leadership.

Abraham Lincoln was the essence of a dream releaser!  Joel Osteen writes in his best-selling book, 'Every Day A Friday,' "On that fateful night of his assassination, Abraham Lincoln was carrying several things when he was killed that are on display now at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.  He had a handkerchief with his initials on it.  He had a $5 bill, and he had a newspaper article folded up.  the headline read, “Abraham Lincoln-- One of the Greatest Statesman That’s Ever Lived.  Why would he carry around an article like that?  Lincoln served during difficult times of civil war and upheaval over slavery and other major issues troubling our young country.  He was criticized, ridiculed, and constantly put down.  So even this great man needed reminded now and then that someone appreciated and believed in him."


2 THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO DO TO BE A DREAM RELEASER


1.  BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
If you are going to see the dreams that God has placed on the inside of you ultimately released in your life, you need to believe in yourself.  You must choose to encourage yourself when you face the difficulties of life.  The Bible says in 1 Samuel 30:6, “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” Remember all that God has done in your life & keep reading all that God says about you in His Word!

2.  BELIEVE IN OTHERS
You can be the right person, at the right place, at the right time in someone's life.  Sow seeds into others by speaking into their destiny.  Look for opportunities to encourage others & remind them of who they can be in Christ!  The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 to, "Encourage one another and build each other up.” (NIV)  Mark Twain once said, “I can live for a whole year off of one good compliment.”  Look for opportunities to be a dream releaser in someone's life this week!

Decade Of Destiny, Week 6- How To Find Your Dream Team


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“If you can dream it, you can do it-- but you can’t do it alone!
"If you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, go with others."  African Proverb
"One person standing alone is easily attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three people are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT)
 
Key Thought-  You can’t choose who will touch your life but you can choose who you will hold hands with.  Choose wisely, for it will determine your destiny.  
 
1.  You Need To Be Connected With THE Grace-Filled God.

“Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.”  Nehemiah 2:17-18  
“Every day they continued to meet together...  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  Acts 2:46-47 (NIV)
 
2.  You Need To Be Connected With Grace-Filled People 
 
 “... Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages[a] on the plain of Ono.”  But they were scheming to harm me... Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.”  Nehemiah 6:1-4
“And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own...”.  2 Corinthians 8:1-3
 
2 Key Thoughts-  
  1. People can hold you back or they can hold you up. 
  2. Every incredible opportunity or plan meant to destroy you will come into your life disguised as a relationship.  Evaluate every relationship in your life.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” — Proverbs 27:17
“He who walks with the wise grows wise but a companion of fools suffers harm.” — Proverbs 13:20  (see also Proverbs 14:7, 1 Corinthians 15:33, 1 Corinthians 5:11, Matthew 7:6)
 
According to Pastor Kevin Gerald, in his book called, "Forces That Form Your Future," there are five areas where God has put people in your life.  Each of them have an impact on your future whether you realize it or not & play a part in the overall success and/or failure of your dreams (life).  They are your:
 
 Contacts: They network us.
• Friends: They affirm us and are committed to us.
 Partners: These people share a common interest or goal.
• Mentors: They produce change in us.
 Protégées: They learn from us. God sends great people into all of our lives—how we treat them determines whether they can stay.
 
4 Questions That You Should Consider This Week:
1.  Are you connected to God's dream for your life or are you following your own?
2.  Who are the people that are currently influencing your life the most?
3.  Is there a voice speaking into your future that you need to silence?
4.  Do you need to choose some new members to join your dream team?

Friday, November 4, 2011

10 For 10 Challenge, Pt. 5


10 for 10 11-4-11 from Freedom Life Christian Center on Vimeo.



If you can dream it, you can do it, but you can NEVER accomplish your dream alone. The Bible teaches us in Ecclesiastes 4:12, that, "One person standing alone is easily attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three people are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." (NLT)  We were designed to need God & to need others.

You can have a great dream, a great vision & a great strategy & still not accomplish your God-given destiny.  You must understand that if you are going to reach your goals, you will need the help of others.  There's an old African Proverb that says, "If you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far, go with others."  In other words, you need a DREAM TEAM!

Every success story is a joint venture. In Dr. Dave Martin's book, "12 Traits Of The Greats," says that, "Thomas Edison... acquired an astounding 400 patents in a six-year period of time. But what few people know is that “Thomas Edison” was actually a fifteen-man team with a common goal. As one of his team members so aptly put it, “Edison is, in reality, a collective noun.” His work was the result of the efforts of many men.   Those closest to you will determine your success.  God gave us many stories & proverbs in the scriptures to help give us wisdom in choosing our dream team.  (Proverbs 14:7, Proverbs 13:20, 1 Corinthians 15:33, 1 Corinthians 5:11, Proverbs 27:17)

According to Pastor Kevin Gerald, in his book called, "Forces That Form Your Future," there are five areas where God has put people in your life.  Each of them have an impact on your future whether you realize it or not & play a part in the overall success and/or failure of your dreams (life).  They are:

 Contacts: They network us.
• Friends: They affirm us and are committed to us.
 Partners: These people share a common interest or goal.
• Mentors: They produce change in us.
Protégées: They learn from us. God sends great people into all of our lives—how we treat them determines whether they can stay.

Ask yourself these 3 questions today:
1.  Who are the people that are currently influencing my life the most?
2.  Is there a voice speaking into my future that I need to silence?
3.  Do I need to choose some new members to join my dream team?

Decade Of Destiny, Week 5- How To Overcome The #1 Barrier To Your Dream

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The book of Genesis reminds us that God created the world 1 day at a time.  Each day was unique and each day was a masterpiece.  In the same way, your future is created 1 day at a time.  Today is the seed for tomorrow.  The Bible reminds us that, "Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life, and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven." 1 Peter 1:3–4 (MSG)  Even though our future is bright and our destiny is secure, it is easy to get stuck in life.  Often times our plans can go awry and our dreams seemingly come to a stand still.  We stop creating what God desires for our lives.  What do you do when you lose energy & focus for the future?  What do you do when the life plan you've been working on is written and ready but life seems no different?  Stop & consider Nehemiah 2:20, which says, “... The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall.”  (NLT)  You have the God of heaven & earth on your side, you WILL succeed!  Keep moving!

4 THOUGHTS ABOUT KEEPING MOMENTUM TOWARD YOUR DESTINY


1.  Don't Drag The Past Into The Present.
“...Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!”  Nehemiah 2:17 (NLT)
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing... I am making a way...". Isaiah 43:18-19
 It's too late for yesterday.  Don't allow the past to dictate the present and the future.

2.  Don't Allow The Future To Discourage Today.
“Then the people of Judah said, “The work crews are worn out, and there is too much rubble. We can’t continue to rebuild the wall.” Nehemiah 4:10 (GWT)
Bring your life into focus today.  The Bible reminds us to, "...seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6:33  Everything starts and ends with God.  Pray and focus on today!  You can't depend on tomorrow but you can overestimate it.  Today is all that you have!

Key Thought-  Shake it off & step up-- Remember, Fatigue + Frustration + Failure + Fear = Discouragement.  shake it off & keep stepping up in faith!

3.  Keep Fighting For Your Future  
"Then as I looked over the situation...  and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight...”.  Nehemiah 4:14 (NLT)
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper,  And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD... Says the LORD.”  Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV)
"...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  Isaiah 30:41 (NIV)

4.  Make Today Your Masterpiece.  
“they were plotting to harm me, 3 so I replied... “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come... 9 They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination."  Nehemiah 6:3,9 (NLT)

Decide what the dominant goal is for today and determine to achieve it.  Little successes lead to bigger successes.  Every small victory will help you gain momentum toward your destiny.  You can't accomplish your dream today, but you can take a step towards it.  Remember, you are God's masterpiece & He is at work in your life today!

“For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  Ephesians 2:10

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

10 for 10 Challenge, Pt. 4



10 for 10 OCT. 26th 2011 from Freedom Life Christian Center on Vimeo.


The book of Genesis reminds us that God created the world 1 day at a time.  Each day was unique and each day was a masterpiece.  In the same way, your future is created 1 day at a time.  Today is the seed for tomorrow.  The Bible reminds us that, "Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life, and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven." 1 Peter 1:3–4 (MSG)  Even though our future is bright and our destiny is secure, it is easy to get stuck in life.  Often times our plans can go awry and our dreams seemingly come to a stand still.  We stop creating what God desires for our lives.  What do you do when you lose energy & focus for the future?  What do you do when the life plan you've been working on is written and ready but life seems no different?

3 Thoughts About Keeping Momentum Toward Your Destiny:

1.  Don't drag the past into the present.  The Bible tells us, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19  It's too late for yesterday.  Don't allow the past to dictate the present and the future.

2.  Don't allow the future to frustrate the present.  Bring your life into focus today.  The Bible reminds us to, "...seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6:33  Everything starts and ends with God.  Pray and focus on today!  You can't depend on tomorrow but you can overestimate it.  Today is all that you have!

3.  Make today your masterpiece.  Decide what the dominant goal is for today and determine to achieve it.  Little successes lead to bigger successes.  Every small victory will help you gain momentum toward your destiny.  You can't accomplish your dream today, but you can take a step towards it.


Closing thought-  The famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed many beautiful buildings, homes, and other magnificent structures. Toward the end of his career, a reporter asked him, “Of your many beautiful designs, which one is your favorite?” Without missing a beat, Frank Lloyd Wright answered, “My next one.” Keep believing and trusting God for the future that He has for you! Take a step into that future by making TODAY a masterpiece.  Why not start right now by answering the question, "What Is Your Goal (focus for achievement) for TODAY?"


Click here for a resource that will help you learn more about designing your daily schedule for success.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Decade Of Destiny- Week 4, The Big Thing & The One Thing

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Everyone Ends Up Somewhere, Few People End Up Somewhere On Purpose!  

"The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?”  With a prayer to the God of heaven, 5 I replied, “If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.” 6 The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, “How long will you be gone? When will you return?” After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request."  Nehemiah 2:4-6

Nehemiah stepped into his destiny by confessing his sin, confessing God’s promises & declaring his dream. His dream got traction though the moment that he set a goal.  Planning & setting goals are not only practically useful, they are spiritually powerful!  Here are a few thoughts about goal setting that I recently adapted from Rick Warren this past weekend.  

KEY THOUGHT-  Goals are dreams with deadlines.  

WHY DO I NEED TO SET PERSONAL GOALS?

1.   Goal setting is a spiritual discipline. 
“God plans to bring all of history to its goal in Christ.  Then Christ will be the head of everything in heaven and on earth!”  Eph.1:10 (GW)
2.  Goals focus my energy.
“I do not run without a goal.  I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air.”  1 Cor. 9:26 (NCV) *see also Eph. 5:16 (NLT)
3.Goals stretch my faith. 
“According to your faith will it be done to you.”  Matt. 9:29 (NIV) *see also Rom.14:23 (NIV)
4.  Goals build my character.
Paul: “I do not claim that I’ve already succeeded or have already become perfect.  I keep striving toward the goal for which Christ Jesus has won me to himself.”  Phil. 3:12 (TEV) *see also Eph. 4:13 (CEV)
5.  Goals give me hope.
Job: “I do not have the strength to endure.  I do not have a goal that encourages me to carry on.”  Job 6:11 (NLT) *see also Jer. 29:11 (NIV)

HOW SHOULD I SET PERSONAL GOALS?  
"All this I have in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me, and He gave me understanding in all the details of the plan."  1 Chronicles 28:19
1.  Goals should be specific, attainable & written.   Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)
2.  Goals should be for God’s glory.  1 Cor. 10:31 (NIV)
3.  Goals should be made by God’s power. Prov. 16:9 (MSG)  *see also Zech. 4:6, Prov. 3:5-6
4.  Goals should be motivated by God's love. 1 Cor. 16:14 (NLT)

CLOSING THOUGHT-  Ask yourself, "What's the big things that I'm believing for & what's 1 thing that I can do about it TODAY?"  
Set your faith goals one small step at a time!  In one of my favorite movies, What About Bob?, there is a key phrase that Bob's phsychiatrist tells him over & over again: "Bob, take baby steps."  Keep taking"baby steps" today into the destiny that God has for your life! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10 for 10 Challenge, Pt. 3


Everyone Ends Up Somewhere, Few People End Up Somewhere On Purpose!   Thanks for continuing to take part in the 10 for 10 challenge.  If you’ll keep giving me 10 minutes a week for the next few weeks, I will help you plan the next 10 years of your life!
During week 1, I asked you to begin to write your future dreams for the 5 most important areas of your life:  1.  Spiritual Life.  2.  Relational Life.  3. Physical Life.  4. Work Life.  5. Financial Life. 
During week 2, I challenged you to think through the following 3 questions: 1.  What Are Your Values?  2.  What Are You Good At?  3.  What Are Your Life Experiences?  The answers to these 3 questions will help you prioritize & plan for your future.   If you haven't yet done that, why not go back right now & get started!

Before you can ever accomplish anything meaningful in life, you have to see what God sees so you can see what God can do in your life.  The sooner you look at your life with faith, the sooner you can step into your destiny.  Setting goals is a part of spiritual discipline. It's not just a good idea; the Bible says you need to set goals in order to grow in your faith. Goals stretch you and help you become all God wants you to be.  If you set tiny goals, God will work in tiny ways.  But if you set big audacious goals, God will working in big ways! Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, “Because of your faith, it will happen.” (NLT)
In 1 Chronicles 28:19, when King David was seeking God’s will for the temple, he says, “All this I have in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me, and He gave me understanding in all the details of the plan."  God desires to give you understanding as you consider & plan for your future.  
 The Apostle Paul said, "I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air." (1 Corinthians 9:26 NCV)  Setting goals is Biblical, spiritual & practical!  This week I want to encourage you to begin writing some of your short & long-term goals for the next 10 years.  Ask yourself, "What's the big things that I'm believing for & what's 1 thing that I can do about it TODAY?" 
When writing out your goals, Rick Warren suggest making F.A.I.T.H goals: Focused (specific), Attainable (realistic), Individual (4you), Trackable (measurable), Heart-felt (motivating) 
Remember this when you consider your goals this week, “... those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.  All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”  Proverbs 14:22b-23  Set your faith goals one small step at a time!  In one of my favorite movies, What About Bob?, there is a key phrase that Bob's phsychiatrist tells him over & over again: "Bob, take baby steps."  Keep taking "baby steps" today into the destiny that God has for your life!  Take 5 minutes of focused thinking & begin to write your short & long-term goals today!




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Decade Of Destiny, Week 2- Declare Your Dreams


This week we talked about declaring our dreams.  You may be wondering about how you know if you have the right dreams for your life.  It's actually much easier than you realize.  You discover your God-given dreams by beginning a relationship with God. As God’s child, you will know His voice & the dream that He has for you. Nehemiah is an incredible story of a man who decided to make a difference. (read chapters 1 & 2 of Nehemiah) The city walls of Jerusalem, his homeland, were in ruins for many years & God's people were scattered & disgraced.  When Nehemiah heard about this tragedy, he prayed to God & determined in his heart to do something about it.  He approached the King with his request to rebuild the walls & the moment that he began to talk about his dream was the moment that it began to happen.  


Declaring the dreams that God has placed in your heart is vital to seeing them become reality.  You are becoming what you say.  Your words are powerful because they are declarations of what’s already in your heart.  The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21, "Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose."  Remember that God said, "I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Therefore choose life." (Deuteronomy 30:19) You choose life by choosing the words you speak. What you say out of your mouth is going to determine whether you have life or death. Your words determine whether you are going to have blessings or curses.  Please know this, before anyone or anything could put a curse on you, God had already put a blessing on you.  Choose to declare that every good thing God has put in you will come to pass.  Every gift, talent, dream & desire.  You will fulfill your purpose. You will overcome every obstacle.  Strongholds are being broken today & negative things in your past will no longer hold you back. 


Still fearful about declaring your future dreams?  Remember that God has equipped you with everything you need to fulfill your destiny through His Word.  "Every Scripture is God-breathed…so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (AMP)  Why not declare right now that you talented, equipped & able.  The Scripture tells us that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are anointed & equipped for every good work.


Speak life over your future today & declare the dreams that God has placed in your heart!  Declare right now!


1.  The favor of God surrounds my life.  (Psalm 5:12, Proverb 11:27 & 12:2)
2.  The blessings of God are chasing me down & overtaking my life. (Deut.28:1-2, Luke 6:38)
3.  I will prosper & be successful in everything that I do.  (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:3, Psalm 35:27, 3 John 2)
4.  My heavenly Father gives me power to get wealth. (Deut. 8:18, Proverbs 8:17-21, 2 Corinthians 8:9)
5.  God is supplying all of my needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.  (Phil. 4:19, Prov. 4:19, Matt. 6:8, 33)
6.  I no longer live under the curse of sin, sickness & poverty.  The windows of Heaven are open to me, & God rebukes the devourer for my sake. (Gal. 3:13-14, Isaiah 53:5, Malachi 3:8-12, 1 Peter 2:24)
7.  The Lord has commanded me to be blessed; so, I am blessed & cannot be cursed.  I am the head & not the tail.  I am above & not beneath.   (Deut. 28:3-14, Proverbs 10:6)


What you believe has a much greater impact on your life than what anybody else believes. Make the decision to declare the dreams that God has placed in your heart!  Believe on God's Word today in faith!  
Why not make this your prayer today!  “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.”  1 Chronicles 4:10


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

10 for 10 Challenge, Pt. 2


10 for 10 OCT. 12th 2011 from Freedom Life Christian Center on Vimeo.


Everyone Ends Up Somewhere, Few People End Up Somewhere On Purpose!
Thanks for continuing to take part in the 10 for 10 challenge.  If you’ll keep giving me 10 minutes a week for the next few weeks, I will help you plan the next 10 years of your life!
During week 1, I asked you to begin to write your future dreams for the 5 most important areas of your life:  1.  Spiritual Life.  2.  Relational Life.  3. Physical Life.  4. Work Life.  5. Financial Life.  If you haven't yet done that, why not go back right now & get started!
There was a study done by a group of sociologists a few years ago where they asked a group of 90+ year old people, "If you had it to do all over again, what would you do differently?"  They responded overwhelmingly by saying, "We would risk more!"  Life is too short to play it safe.  You'll live approximately 25,550 days.  I'm asking you to consider, TODAY, how you will live the next 3,650 days (10 years)!
The Bible tells us to, “Write the vision (revelation, dream) and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who  reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)  Planning is hard work but it is the price of admission for a purposeful future.
A number of years ago, you may recall, there was a movie series that came out entitled, "Back To The Future."  The underlying theme of these movies was to demonstrate how 1 small act in the past could dramatically affect the present.  In the same way, you need to understand that 1 small act in the present can set the course for your future.  Let's take a moment & go back to the future by responding to the following questions:
1.  What Are Your Values?   You've heard it said, "If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything."  Our core values are what we stand for in life.  Your values set your priorities & plan your future.  You can discover your values by asking yourself:  What inspires or angers you in life?  What do you love? What is really important to you?
2.  What Are You Good At?  What are the talents & gifts that you have?  What do you do exceptionally well?  You are gifted & equipped to do everything that God has called you to do!
3.  What Are Your Life Experiences?  Everything that you have experienced in life, pain or pleasure, is what makes you who you are.  Take a moment & write down those memorable experiences that you've had in your life. The experiences that God has given you will position you for future promotion that can help you fulfill His purpose for you life.  Remember, God never wastes a hurt & He never wastes a pain. He will use your past for your future good & the good of others if you allow Him. (Romans 8:28)
Here's the challenge.  Step 2 of developing a plan for your future is this, REMEMBER!  Take 5 minutes of focused thinking to begin the process of writing your past & present so that you can prepare for your future.  Answer each question to the best of your ability.  Don't worry if everything looks perfect, just begin! Proverbs 14:22-23 says, “...But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.  All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”  Go ahead & do the hard work & you'll take 1 small step into your future!




Thursday, October 6, 2011

10 for 10 Challenge, Pt. 1



10 for 10 OCT. 5th 2011 from Freedom Life Christian Center on Vimeo.


Everyone Ends Up Somewhere, Few People End Up Somewhere On Purpose!
Thanks for taking part in my 10 for 10 challenge.  If you’ll give me 10 minutes for the next 6 weeks, I will help you get started in planning the next 10 years of your life!  
There’s a ancient hebrew word known as, “Chawzon,” which means a dream, revelation, or vision.  God desires that you would live out the “Chawzon,” that He has for your life! The Bible teaches us about what God desire's for your life in Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “For I know the PLANS I have for YOU, declares the Lord, PLANS to PROSPER you, and not to harm you, PLANS to give you HOPE and a FUTURE.”  If you will begin to believe right now that God has good plans for you, it will revolutionize how you think about your future.
I want to challenge you to begin to visualize & get a revelation in regard to the future that God has for you.  If 10 years from now your life is going to be any different, it will be the direct result of the change in your thinking today.  Albert Einstein once said, "Your imagination is a preview of life's coming attractions."  The Bible says it like this in Proverbs 23:7 (AMP), “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Think big in regards to your future.  Take the limits off and whatever you do, "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Here's the challenge.  Step 1 of developing a plan for your future is this, THINK!  Take 5 minutes of focused thinking to begin the process of writing your future dreams for the 5 key arenas of your life.  Write 1 or 2 sentences that describe where you envision your life being over the next 10 years.  Remember to write down dreams & make plans that are not about God fulfilling your purpose but are about you fulfilling God's purposes.  Don't worry if your plans or dreams are perfect.  They will change over time.  The most important thing is that you begin the process of writing down your future TODAY!  “Write the vision (revelation, dream) and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who  reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)“
THE 5 KEY AREAS OF LIFE
GOD-
HEALTH-
WORK-
FINANCES-
PEOPLE- (give each one their own mission statement) Spouse, Children, Parents, Colleagues, Friends)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Decade Of Destiny, Week 1- What You See Is What You Get

Chazown (pronounced Khaw-ZONE)-  from the Hebrew, meaning a dream, revelation, or vision.  Are you living your own Chawzon?

"For I know the PLANS I have for you, declares the Lord, PLANS to PROSPER you and not to harm you, PLANS to GIVE you HOPE and a FUTURE." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
“Where there is no vision (revelation), the people are unrestrained (run wild), But happy (joyful) is he who keeps the law.”  Proverbs 29:18 (NASB)

Key Thought-  Your Current Decisions Will Determine Your Future Destiny  (Read NUMBERS 13-14)

“Moses gave the men these instructions as he sent them out to explore the new land: ‘Go northward through the Negev into the hill country and SEE what the land is like and FIND OUT whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls or are they unprotected? How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Enter the land boldly, and bring back samples of the crops YOU SEE.’”  Numbers 13:17-26 (NLT) 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOUR FUTURE WITH EYES OF FEAR?
1.   I Get STRESSED OUT.  (vs. 27-28)
2.   I Develop A SCARCITY MENTALITY.  (vs. 29)  
3.   I Live Up To My Own EXPECTATION.  (vs. 31)
4.   I Become NEGATIVE.  (vs. 32)
5.   I See Myself As INADEQUATE.  (vs. 32-33)  
6.   I Become MISERABLE.  (Num.14:1-2)

HOW DO YOU LOOK AT YOUR FUTURE WITH EYES OF FAITH?
1.  Choose Faith over FEAR.  ( Num. 13:30 & John 11:40)
2.  Choose To Invite Jesus Into EVERY Area Of Your Life.  (John 3:3)
3.  Choose To Do WHATEVER God Tells You To Do.  Num. 14:6-9 (CEV)

YOUR DECADE OF DESTINY BEGINS THIS WEEK!  IT'S TIME TO WRITE A NEW FUTURE!
“Write the vision (revelation, dream) and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who  reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)
"One of the main reasons people lose their dreams is because they fail to write them down, and one of the main reasons people fail to achieve their dreams is because they fail to visualize them."  
-Dr. Dave Martin  (12 Traits of the Greats)
Visit my this Wednesday at www.sammasteller.com for instructions & a blog message series about how to write a new future!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A 10 Point Strategy For Training Kids, by Willie George

Below is a 10 point strategy given by Pastor Wille George this past week on Twitter. I thought that it was so practical & excellent that I wanted to share it with you. Here's all of his words compiled together for the blog post. He's a great dispenser of wisdom & I recommend that you follow Him on Twitter & check out His resources at www.churchonthemove.com!


A 10 Point Strategy For Training Kids, by Willie George (via Twitter)

Every kid needs training. Some are easier. Some are fence-pushers. They're not evil just because they need correction. Most parents miss it by being inconsistent. Child-training is a long-haul game & good parenting is not a magic wand! Don't let your kids see you panic. If you don't know what to do with them, don't show it. There's always an answer!


#1- See each child as a gift from God. God doesn't give us kids we can't develop!
#2- Teach them the things of God. Kids learn in bits & pieces-not marathon sessions
#3- Correct them when they do wrong. Do it calmly, not in anger. Proverbs 22:8
#4- Reward them when they do right. Reward character more than talent!
#5- Teach them how to work. Let them earn money for the things they want. Inspect jobs!
#6- Do not undermine the authority you put them under. Support teachers, coaches, etc...
#7- Know what & who they are being exposed to. Some church members don't have your values.
#8- Participate in & help them with their interests. I built bike ramps, forts, etc...
#9- Claim God's promises for them. This saved my daughter's life. Know verses!
#10- Close the door on iniquity in your own life. What you allow finds your kids!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bringing Honor Back!

Last weekend we honored & prayed for local 1st responders, military & those affected by the tragic terrorist attacks 10 years ago on September 11th. I deviated from our current series & shared a message that I know will bless, challenge & encourage you! You can listen to this message right now by clicking here or watch it by visiting our online experience by clicking here!

BRINGING BACK HONOR!

HONOR: time (tim-may’); to value, respect, or highly esteem; to treat as precious, weighty or valuable. On the flip side, a lack of honor is: atimos (at'-ee-mos); to dishonor; to treat as common or ordinary.

Read Genesis 9:18-28-- The Story of Noah & His 3 Sons

1. You cannot honor what you don't recognize. (vs. 22)
2. Honor qualifies you to enter any future that God has for you! (vs. 23)
3. Honor will elevate your life, dishonor will deteriorate your life. (vs. 24-27)
4. Bring Honor back by…

*Honoring up (Exodus 20:3, Isaiah 29:13, Psalms 22:23, Proverbs 3:9, 1 Corinthians 6:20)
*Honoring down (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:2-3, 1 Peter 3:7, Leviticus 19:32,1 Timothy 5:3-4)
*Honoring all around (1 Peter 2:17, Romans 13:7, 1 Timothy 5:17, Romans 12:10)

5. Remember this about Honor, Adam lost it, Jesus brought it back!
"When Adam sinned, sin entered the world... the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through... Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift (JESUS) leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 11So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God." Romans 5:12-16,11 (NLT)
“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered." Romans 4:7 (NIV) *see also 1 Corinthians 15:22, 1 Peter 2:16, 1 Peter 4:8

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1 Way To Take Your Life To The Next Level!

Next week we will be launching something that has been in my heart for the life of our church! For well over 5 years I've been desiring to offer our church family, young & old, an opportunity to grow their faith to the next level through a college (like) experience. I've been wanting to offer something that will help people keep growing & gaining momentum in their lives without a great expense. The truth is that momentum graces our lives only when we keep moving forward & doing something new. My desire is that a holy momentum would permeate the life of every single person in our church & one of the ways to do just that is by continuing to learn.

After considering many different options for a continued learning experience, I came across Faith Works evening college, an initiative of Hillsong International Leadership College based in Australia. The material is excellent & the focus is life relevance versus test memorization. During year 1, the student will be able to earn a certificate in Biblical studies & learn how to live life well! Topics included in the course curriculum are:

The Heart of God and the Cross
The Word of God
Faith & God's Covenant
Worship & Spirit-Filled Life
Discovering Your Purpose In Life
Blessed To Be A Blessing
Transforming Your Thought Life
The Spirit of an Overcomer
Attitudes That Build The House
Heaven Is In This House

The cost is very reasonable, the material is first class & the opportunity is invaluable. I want to encourage you to seize the moment & consider being a part of Faith Works this year. If you are waiting until the new year to join, please understand that enrollment will not be open again until next fall. Year 1 is three terms of 10 weeks each finishing in May. If you attend another church or live out of the area, you're welcome to register & join us! For more details that will answer just about every question that you can think of, please visit us at www.faithworkscollege.tv! I truly believe that it will take your life to a whole nutha level!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Exciting Changes For This Fall!

We're finishing up the best summer that we've ever had as a church! God has been doing fantastic things among us and we're expectant that He is going to do even more great things before the end of the year!

I'm excited to announce changes to our fall programming here at Freedom Life beginning in two weeks! There are some big changes happening that will benefit you and our entire church family. And, we'll be celebrating our 40-year anniversary as a church and preparing for the next decade.

Below is the weekly FL schedule beginning in September. In the coming weeks there will be some small group additions we'll tell you about, and our Decade of Destiny 40-day spiritual growth campaign--complete with 6 week small groups--will be happening from October 2nd through November 6th.

MONDAYS- Faith Works College - This excellent program will be a focal point of our future training to take our church & your leadership to a whole nutha level! Check out the details at www.faithworkscollege.tv!
TUESDAYS- Married Group Ministry will be on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. We will offer two new studies and childcare. Worship Team practice will occur on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday nights.
WEDNESDAYS- Midweek will take place MONTHLY so that we can focus our energies on our 1st Wednesday celebrations & our upcoming expansion! We'll have a special program for children on those nights, along with special guests for our services. 24/7 Youth WILL continue to meet year-round each week from 6:30- 8:30 p.m. Jr. High & Sr. High will now be meeting on the same night, two separate environments. They will have one united youth service during our 1st Wednesday all-church celebrations. Life’s Healing Choices small group will also be meeting in the offices.
THURSDAYS- Men’s Group will be on the 1st & 3rd Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Life Cafe. Our new Mommy Minute Group will offer two meeting times: 1st & 3rd Thursday mornings or 2nd & 4th Thursday evenings. Divorce Care will meet weekly in the church offices.
FRIDAYS- Our Lioness Arising Women’s Group will meet the 1st Friday of the month in the Life Cafe at 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAYS- We will be launching a brand new Saturday night service on January 7, 2012.
SUNDAYS- Our Young Adults ministry will meet along with other small groups in the evening.

That is our week at a glance this fall for our primary ministries. All of the details regarding those ministries and their contacts, as well as other small groups opportunities, will be available on our website at www.freedomlife.tv!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Crazzies, Part 5- MIRACLES

You can listen to this message right now by clicking here

DEFINITION OF A MIRACLE - A miracle is something that only God can do.

There are 2 types of miracles
“God who gives life to the dead and who creates something out of nothing.” Romans 4:7 (NCV)
1. HE RESURRECTS SOMETHING THAT’S DEAD
2. HE CREATES SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING

That's what Romans is talking about. God does two types of miracles: He resurrects something that's dead (He gives new life to it) and He creates something out of nothing. Those are both miracles. If you need a miracle from God, here's what you need to do:

1. RECOGNIZE That You Need One.
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” For this people’s heart has become calloused...”. Matthew 13:14,15

2. ASK God for one.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7
“... if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 (NIV)


3. EXPECT God to do it.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24
Key thought- Faith is a verb, Faith is not passive, it is active. Faith is taking the initiative.

4. You Can TRUST Him.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)
Jehovah-Rapha (The Lord that Heals) Exodus 15:26
Jehovah-Jireh (The Lord that Provides) Gen 22:14.

The cross qualified you for a miracle!
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)
‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Crazzies, Part 4- LIMITLESS



You can listen to this message right now by clicking here

Limitless- (adj.)Having no limit or limits; unrestricted: limitless authority; the limitless reaches of outer space. (American Heritage Dictionary)
Limit- something that bounds, restrains, or confines (webster’s dictionary)

It's time for you to believe for increase. I want to challenge you to let go of little dreams, little goals, little plans. You will think 2,400 or so thoughts today & since you're already thinking, why not think & believe big. There’s incredible untappped potential in your life right now! God wants tap into the potential that He has deposited on the inside of you. God wants you to live the limitless life that He purchased for you thru the death of His son Jesus Christ on a cross 2,000 years ago!. If you want to be limitless, here's what you need to do:

1. You Need To Understand Your Limits. (Samson- Judges 13-16)
Jesus qualified us for Gods blessing. Wisdom is 1 of His blessings. Walk in wisdom, obey His principles &build a great life. When you have God's vision for your life it will bring focus & restrain you from making decisions that are not wise.

“Wisdom is the most important thing; so get wisdom. If it costs everything you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7 (NCV)
“You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.” 1 Cor. 10:23-24

The best question that you can ever ask if you are unsure about whether or not God wants you to do something is simply this, "What’s the wisest thing to do in light of my past experience, my current circumstance, & my future hopes & dreams?"

2. You Can't Be Limited By The Limitations Of Others. (Elisha- 2 Kings 2)
Walt Disney was told that He lacked talent by his art teacher, Elvis Presley was told repeatedly that he didn’t have the talent necessary to make it in the music industry. The Beatles, Abe Lincoln, Babe Ruth & Bill Gates are just a few examples of people that were told they wouldn’t make it in their field. Don’t allow others to create your life for you, they’ll always create it too small!

Elisha asked the prophet Elijah if he could receive a "double portion" of his anointing, & He did. (see 2 Kings 2:9) He wasn't limited by what this great prophet had done with his life. God wants you to see your life from His perspective & believe big!
Remember, you are“... fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
You were born an original, don't die a copy!

3. You Can't Be Limited By Your Limitations. (Ehud- Judges 3:12-30)
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” -Anais Nin Look at the limitations of your life from God's perspective.  
“Give yourselves to God... Surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes.” Romans 6:13 (TEV)
" By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life...". 2 Peter 1:3 NLT
Give your limitations to God & watch Him remove & use them by His power & for His glory! Choose to live a limitless life today!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Honor Your Friends



This past weekend I had the privilege of hosting my good friend, Rick Shawley & his awesome family. Rick has been a great friend & influence in my life for over 20 years. Over 20 years ago He became my youth pastor & has been investing into my life ever since. A few months ago I asked Rick to come & share to our church so that I could honor him. The Bible teaches us that we should honor one another. Honor is the willingness to reward someone for their difference. It is not flattery. It must be genuine & heartfelt. I recently wrote a post about what the Bible teaches in regard to honor & you can read it by clicking here!

Real friends that love & believe in you don't come along every day & are a blessing from the Lord! The problem that we often have is we don't recognize how valuable the people in our lives really are. In other words, what you don't recognize, you don't honor. Honoring others is a big deal & it will elevate your life! I want to encourage you to recognize those in your life that make a difference & choose to honor them in some way today! Don't just feel it, show it! Make the call, write the note, send the email, buy the gift & esteem the people that God has placed in your life! Honoring others pleases God & qualifies you to enter any future that He has for you!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Did You Know?

Did you know “the average person spends a typical life span of seventy years? If you live to be seventy years old, more than likely, you will spend twenty-three years sleeping, sixteen years working, eight years watching television, six years eating, six years traveling, four and a half years on leisure activities, four years being sick, and two years getting dressed. The average person spends six months of his or her life on spiritual activities. Excerpt from Power Thoughts ~ Joyce Meyer. We're all investing our lives into something! I want to encourage you to not waste your life! Today, make a commitment to being PLANTED In God’s House. Psalm 92:12-14, says, "The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing...”. I want to encourage you to invest your life into the only thing that Jesus is building & the only thing that He's coming back for, the local church. Together, we are the hope of the world! Stay planted in the house of God, it's a decision that you'll never regret!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Crazzies, Part 3- Crazy Favor

“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Favor- fa·vor- means to give special regard to; to treat with goodwill; to show exceptional kindness to someone. Sometimes, it means to show extra kindness in comparison to the treatment of others; that is, preferential treatment.

6 STEPS TO HELP YOU RECOGNIZE, GROW IN & WALK IN THE FAVOR OF GOD!

1. Understand That You NEED It. Ruth 1:3-5 (NLT)
Key Thought- Answered prayer (Esther 7:3), Protection (Psalm 5:12), Life (Psalm 30:5), Victory over enemies (Psalm 41:11), Mercy (Psalm 119:58)

2. ASK God For It. Ruth 2:2 (NIV)
"... You do not get what you want, because you do not ask God.3 Or when you ask, you do not receive because the reason you ask is wrong. You want things so you can use them for your own pleasures." James 4:2-3

3. Become FAVOR-Minded Ruth 2:3 (NCV)
Key thought- Whatever you recognize you become thankful for, whatever your thankful for will increase in your life.

4. Understand That You Can GROW In Favor (Ruth 2:6-7)

7 Ways You Can Grow In Favor! (1 Samuel 2:26, Luke 2:52)
1. By having an EXCELLENT spirit. (Eccl. 9:10; Daniel 6:3)
2. By solving a PROBLEM for someone else. (Genesis 39:2-6)
3. By giving a GIFT. (Proverbs 18:16)
4. By sowing a SEED. (Proverbs 3:9-10; Malachi 3:6-12)
5. By being a obedient & living the RIGHT way. (Isaiah 1:19, Proverbs 11:27;14:9)
6. By growing in WISDOM. (Proverbs 8:34-35, Luke 2:52)
7. By being GRATEFUL. (Ruth 2:10)

5. Understand That Favor Follows FAITHFULNESS (Ruth 2:11-12)
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NLT)

6. Understand That Favor Is RELEASED Into Your Future When You Place Your LIFE In God’s Hands Ruth 1:14-18 (NLT)
“Grace (favor) and peace be given to you more and more, because you truly know God and Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2 (NCV)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mom, Should I Eat My Booger?



I am blessed to have 5 beautiful children that fill my life with so many great stories. They also have a tendency to fill my life with some pretty gross ones as well. Recently my 4 year old son Colby posed an interesting question to my wife when he asked, "Mom, should I eat my booger?" As you can imagine, the entire scene was rather, shall we say, disgusting! If you can get past the picture of my son staring at his booger like it's dinner, you (& I) can learn a valuable non-dietary lesson. Colby paused & asked before he acted. In other words, he sought wisdom. Imagine what would happen if we would pause, like Colby, & ask before making our decisions today. What would have happened if Eve would have paused before eating the fruit & said, "Father (God), Should I Eat This?" What would be different about your life today if you would have sought wisdom yesterday? The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." The best question you can ever ask in any situation is simply this, "what is the wisest thing to do?" Wisdom is essentially anointed common sense that begins with pausing & asking before acting. Wisdom is knowing what God wants you to do & then choosing to do it! What are you getting ready to do in your life today that you need to pause & say, "Father (God), should I do this?" Whatever you do, understand that "Wisdom is the most important thing; so get wisdom. If it costs everything you have, get understanding. 8 Treasure wisdom, and it will make you great; hold on to it, and it will bring you honor." Proverbs 4:7-8 (NCV) Before you take another bite, maybe it's time to pause get some heavenly advice!