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!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Craz(z)ies, Part 2- Hope

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Key thought- “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

HOPE- The Greek word for "hope" is elpo meaning "to look forward to with pleasurable confidence and expectation."
HOPELESSNESS- it means- having no expectation of good or success : to despair

WHAT CAUSES US TO HOPE LESS?
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” Proverbs 13:12 When the answer to our prayers seems distant, it can cause us to feel these three things:
Disoriented. “Where then is my hope? Who can see any hope for me?” Job 17:13
Drifting. “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.” Isaiah 53:6
Despair. “We had great burdens there that were beyond our own strength. We even gave up hope of living..” 2 Corinthians 1:8

Are you a prisoner of your past, of your circumstance or of hope?
“If you will be a prisoner of hope, God will restore back to you double everything that was stolen.” Zechariah 9:12

3 CHOICES YOU NEED TO MAKE TO BE A PRISONER OF HOPE

1. You need to choose to follow the God of hope.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (see also Psalm 62:5,Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 42:11)

2. You need to choose a perspective that looks to God's promises, not to your circumstance.
Elisha helped his young servant see things from God's persective! Read- 2 Kings 6
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1 (see also Romans 4:18, Psalm 119:81)

3. You need to choose certainty in the midst of uncertainty.
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego delared in the midst of their trial that they would put their hope & faith in God no matter what! Read Daniel 3
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23 (see also Romans 5:2-5, Romans 8:28)

Hope is believing that it can happen. Faith is believing that it will happen. Faith based on hope stays strong no matter what happens! Receive hope, then take a step of faith!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Somebody Honor Somebody!





This past weekend we celebrated our long time worship pastor, Chad Fisher. Chad has been a huge part of our team for 10 years & I wanted to take time during weekend experiences to present him with money, kind words & encouragement. This morning during our monthly all-staff meeting, we gave him an official 'Dundie' award for his years of service. The replica bobblehead is still being made. The reason that we as a church are taking this week to honor Chad is because we appreciate the fact that he's a gift to our church. We want to demonstrate our appreciation & esteem for his integrity, leadership & giftedness. My desire is to create a culture of honor that flows down & around to everyone that is involved in the life of our church. While honor will be demonstrated differently depending on one's role, the goal is always the same. I desire the life of our church to be filled with the honoring of one another. I wanted to share a few thoughts about what honor is & why it's important to our every day lives.

HONOR 
by definition is as follows: 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.

• RESPECT IS EARNED. HONOR IS GIVEN.

Honor can be demonstrated even when respect is not warranted. In fact, the Bible is a book about honoring God & His instruction. The 10 commandments teach us how to honor. The first 4 are a warning about dishonoring God & the next 6 warn us about dishonoring others. You need to understand that law of honor flourishes in every season & in every environment. It will elevate every part of your life! Honor is a part of the Kingdom culture that He wants you to have in your life.

Honor is the willingness to reward someone for their difference. It is not flattery. It must be genuine & heartfelt.

When thinking about giving honor to others, you need to understand this key thought- HONOR QUALIFIES YOU TO ENTER ANY FUTURE THAT GOD HAS FOR YOU! Honor brings power to your life & to the lives of others. (see Mark 6:4-6) Jesus said that a prophet is without honor in his home town. One of the lessons that we learn from this story in the gospels (Matthew 13:53-58) is that where there is no honor, there is no power.

SINCE HONOR IS VITAL TO OUR DAILY LIFES, WHO THEN ARE WE CALLED TO HONOR? HERE'S WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES-

• OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
THE UNDERLYING REASON THAT OUR CULTURE IS DISHONORING TO OTHERS IS BECAUSE THEY DO NOT FEAR & HONOR GOD.
The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me…” Isaiah 29:13 (see also Psalm 22:23)
• OUR PARENTS, SPOUSE, GRANDPARENTS, ELDERLY.
"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12 (see also Ephesians 6:2-3)
“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together... Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7
“Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord." Leviticus 19:32 (see also 1 Timothy 5:3-4)
• THOSE IN AUTHORITY.
“Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” 1 Peter 2:17
"Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe…respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." Romans 13:7
 (*see also 1 Timothy 5:17)
• EVERYONE YOU CAN.

"Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." Romans 12:10

WHO IS GOD CALLING YOU TO HONOR THIS WEEK? SOMEBODY HONOR SOMEBODY!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Crazzies- Hope

Yesterday I shared a message about the life of Jonah. In this crazy pill story we see a man that was at the end & had seemingly lost hope. The reality of the situation is that it was His own disobedience to God's Word that caused his life to fall apart. Jonah was in the belly of a large fish pondering how he had gotten there. At that moment, he did something that each & every one of us need to do, he looked to God.
We need to remember that when things don’t look good, we should always LOOK to God. Wherever you may be or whatever you may be going through, you can call out to the God of hope. Jonah 2:1-2,10 says, “Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish. 2 He said, ‘I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me...’." God is a God that answers us! (Jeremiah 33:3) The Apostle Paul refers to God as the 'God of hope.' In Romans 15:13 he says, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The Greek word for "hope" is elpo meaning "to look forward to with pleasurable confidence and expectation."
So whether you're in the belly of a large fish or in the midst of discouragement, bankruptcy, difficulty or divorce, you can look forward in life with pleasurable confidence and expectation!
Right now, call out to God & let Him fill your life with hope!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

THE CRAZZIES, PART 1- JONAH

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LIFE LESSONS FROM THE CRAZY PILL PROPHET JONAH
4 Truths That You Need To Know When You've Messed Up!


1. You Can RUN But You Can’t HIDE.
“The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” 3 But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. 17 Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:1-3, 17 (NLT)
“I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there. 9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.” Psalm 139:7-10

2. When things don’t look good, always LOOK to God.
“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish. 2 He said, ‘I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me...’10 Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.” Jonah 2:1-2, 10 (see also Jeremiah 33:3)
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)

3. God Wants To Give EVERY PERSON A Second Chance!
“When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.” Jonah 3:10
YOU- “The Lord's love never ends; his mercies never stop. 23 They are new every morning...”. Lamentations 3:22-23
OTHERS- “Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” 22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Matthew 18:21-22
“The Lord (God)... does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)

4. God LOVES You.
I (Jonah) knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.” Jonah 4:2 (NLT)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)