Direction

- Monday, September 23, 2013

Instructions given by somebody who controls something or somebody; Management; Control and supervision; a feeling of having a definite goal or purpose; Prescription; either verbal or written; instruction in what manner to proceed.


If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.


Why is it so easy to “Give Direction” yet so hard to “Receive Direction?”

When we “Give” Direction, our motive is pure, we only want to help, we don’t assume to be superior, we just might have traveled that road; that experience.


But when “Someone” wants to “Direct” us we assume all these truths to be reversed.


What’s their Motive, are they trying to ruin me? They just think they are better than me!

Dude! We are so suspicious.


President Woodrow Wilson once said, “I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow.”


Listen, we even struggle with taking “Direction” from God. Unless of course He happens to agree with us.


In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. ~Proverbs 3:6


Socrates said, “Whatever authority I have rests solely on Knowing how little I Know.” It would seem to me that such Not-Knowing –Humility in the face of the mysteries of life

could open the door of our hearts to the Divine Director.

God’s earth abiding presence….”The Holy Spirit.”


This Heaven sent “Director” of surrendered lives, has our best interest at heart.

He knows when to say “Action” “Cut” “Print” ….. Go Stay wait


He has direct access to the plans and purposes God the Father intended for you and your life. He has the script…Not just today’s lines; He knows how this movie ends!

He can warn us of Impending danger. Recognition of His Voice could stop countless deaths, tragedies and difficulties.


Many broken homes and marriages could be transformed by hearing and abiding His Direction.


His voice can unlock waves of favor and blessing, He can connect you with uncommon people. Recognition of His Direction brings Inner Peace.


Confusion Is The Proof Of Rejected Truth.


Stop discussing your problems with someone incapable of solving it.

Start asking the Holy Spirit to Lead You. To Show You!


Imagine an all-wise, all knowing guide living inside you, waiting to answer all your questions….

He will Talk to you If You Listen to Him.


Joy Is The Divine Reward For Discerning The Divine Purpose Of The Immediate Moment.


Hey! Deb & I are praying for you to receive direction. So pray for us!

See You In Church


Comment Question??

Do you believe spirituality and an active religious life has anything to do with physical health and well being?


Avoiding Raunchy Movies Doesn't Make You Legalistic

- Monday, July 29, 2013

We read the following article this weekend by Larry Tomczak… and said AMEN!! We pass along, not to judge or condemn, but to hopefully spur this generation toward Holiness & Revival.

For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. 1 Peter 4:17

Recently my wife and I attended a decent movie when we had an encounter with a Christian woman in the lobby. Making conversation, I inquired what film she was seeing and had to conceal my cringe when she told me the title of the flick. 

"Are you aware of the content?" I gently inquired, as I had previously read a review. Not wanting to come across as self-righteous or critical, I bantered with her a bit about what she was about to partake of. She giggled and then shrugged it off by saying, "Well, I already bought the ticket!" To which I smiled and said, "Nobody stands at entrances; there's a bunch of other decent flicks." "Well ... I like the actress who's one of the leads," she said.

I knew this was a losing cause. 

What was it my sister in the Lord saw as she sat in that theater? An R-rated profane comedy starring "America's sweetheart" (from the godly film The Blind Side) featuring constant crude jokes about female and male genitals, 150 F-words, characters misusing God's name more than 60 times, adultery, violence (including people shot in the head and genitals with blood spurting), drunkenness, cocaine use, stealing and a nonstop barrage of human indecency. 

"At least there weren't any major displays of nudity, homosexuality or gore!" you might say. 

True, but are Christians really in touch with what's happening today to entertainment? How many in our ranks are sadly being seduced to compromise and just "go with the flow"? We don't want to be accused of legalism, you know. 

Hollywood churns out shocking raunchfest movies-directed primarily at youth-intended to gross people out at a torrid pace. Feces, vomiting, bodily functions, profanity, nudity, sexual perversions, self-pleasing and as many crass and crude jokes as possible is standard fare. Next up in the long line of films like this is “The To-Do List” about a young high school girl trying to prepare herself for college by systematically learning the ins and outs of every kind of imaginable kinky sexual activity-no holds barred. It ought to be hilarious! 

The music industry is right in line, serving our young people video nudity on top of lyrics that likewise are downright shameful. Justin Timberlake's blockbuster "Tunnel Vision" features naked female dancers, which YouTube justifies as having "educational" and "artistic context." Robin Thicke has the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Top 100 with "Blurred Lines," the video of which features totally topless and bare-behind dancers. Right behind, at the No. 2 spot, is our dear former Disney princess Miley Cyrus with her defiant anthem "We Can't Stop!"-a totally disgraceful display of rebellion and sensuality. Hannah Montana, come back, please. I'm prayin' for you! 

I'm not citing these examples to discourage the reader but rather to awaken us to how far our culture has crumbled, how desperately we need revival and how those of us who are parents must remain vigilant in our homes.

Navigating the Gray Areas

From television to music to the Internet and other entertainment choices, we daily confront situations that affect our walk with Jesus and our character. As Hebrews 12:14 teaches, without holiness, no man will see the Lord. 

Religion can come up with lists of dos and don'ts, but those lists don't deal with our hearts. If we are determined to glorify God in every area of our life, may these 10 questions help us evaluate entertainment in order to walk in a manner pleasing of the Lord:  

1. Is it beneficial—spiritually, mentally and physically—to me as a Christian? (1 Cor. 6:12)

2. Can I do it in fullness of faith? If I doubt, better do without! (Rom. 14:23)

3. Will it enslave me and bring me under its power? (1 Cor. 6:12)

4. Does it glorify God? (1 Cor. 10:31)

5. Is it good stewardship of time and/or money? (1 Cor. 4:2)

6. Will it dull my spirit and cause me to lose my edge in God? (Rom. 12:11)

7. Will it grieve (sadden) the Holy Spirit? (Eph. 4:30)

8. Will it edify others? Does it seek their good? (1 Cor. 10:33)

9. Is it worth imitating? (1 Cor. 11:1)

10. Could it cause others to stumble? (Rom. 14:21)

Sometimes evaluations are easy to make based on clear-cut Scripture teachings. Where it's not crystal clear, may these guidelines guide us. 

I don't know about you, but I want everything God has for us as His people in these climactic hours of history. Entertainment is undoutedly eroding, but the true church of Jesus Christ is arising! As Scripture promises, it will be a glorious church before His return. We have a chance to be a part of seeing that bride radiate in all her beauty. Will you join me?

Larry Tomczak is a best-selling author and cultural commentator with over 40 years of trusted ministry experience. His passion is to bring perspective, analysis and insight from a biblical worldview. He loves people and loves awakening them to today's cultural realities and the responses needed for the bride of Christ-His church-to become influential in all spheres of life once again.
 
Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy star in 'The Heat,' which features crude jokes, curse words, the frequent misuse of God's name, adultery and more. (Twentieth Century Fox)


Wisdom

- Monday, June 03, 2013

Why do the same problems keep re-appearing?

Maybe it's because Lessons Reappear Until We Learn Them.

Some of us do the same thing over and over and still expect a different result.

Intelligence allows for making new mistakes and learning from them, instead of repeating the old ones.

 

The more we live, the more we learn, the more adaptable we should become and the fewer mistakes we should repeat.

 

Learning requires change; dying to the old, giving birth to the new.

However, Nothing really Changes until We do.

 

Because our attention is often distracted, obscured, or lost in thought, we fail to notice many things. That is why the ability to pay attention to what is arising in any given moment - to our Actions and their Results - is one of the basic principles of living on purpose.

Failures and unwanted outcomes MUST serve to Generate new Behavior and Different Approaches.

 

The only real Failure is the Failure to Learn from our mistakes.

 

"Awareness of a Problem is Half the solution."

 

"The Wise Learn from Adversity; the Foolish Repeat it."

 

Until we become AWARE of our Actions & Attitudes we are destined to Re-peat our behavior patterns and their Consequences.


Recurring problems in our lives point to lessons not yet learned.

 

We know we've learned a lesson when our actions change.

 

Insights are powerless without behavioral change!

 

Knowledge + Prayer = Wisdom

Wisdom + Application = Transformation

 

Let's keep Growing!

See you in Church.


Mark & Deb

12 Ways to Kill a Great Idea

- Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ever watched a really good idea just Die? 

Just crash and burn right in front of you? 


How many GREAT IDEAS never come to life? How many answers to life’s problems die before they have legs? 

Entire movements have gone down in flames because of boneheaded approaches to good ideas. This isn’t to say we can’t afford to make mistakes. In fact, the only way to know we’re taking risks is to make mistakes. We can’t afford not to make them. But we also can’t afford to ignore timeless principles of “Idea Delivery effectiveness.” 

Here are 12 ways to kill a great idea… (Warning: sarcasm ahead) 


1. Form A Committee. In this way, you’ll be able to devote more time to keeping minutes and electing officers and less time to solving problems. Also, we’ll be able to prevent a single great leader from running with the idea without feeling the need to check with several people with different opinions before proceeding. 

2. Be Sure To Control It. Before you even start executing a good idea, be sure to write plenty of rules and parameters so that no one feels the freedom to run too fast with it. Freedom is the enemy when we’re trying to kill good ideas. 

3. Devote A Lot Of Time To Calculating The Costs. Be sure that everyone understands just how much failing can cost us so that we inch along, paralyzed by fear. 

4. Assume It’s Everyone’s Responsibility. If we’re able to say, “Our church should really be doing this,” it takes the pressure off anyone in particular who might actually take ownership. In this way, no one gets blamed for the death of the idea ... at least not individually. 


5. Assume It’s Your Responsibility Alone. If we get help, we’ll just saddle people with the burden of investing their time into meaningful pursuits rather than having more free time to not develop their gifts for kingdom influence. 

6. Vote On It. This will give everyone a sense of power and let them decide that they’re “against” the idea even if it isn’t something they understand. After all, majorities of people are usually smart, right? Besides, in the end, it’s really about keeping as many people as possible happy. 

7. Avoid Learning From Others Who Have Acted On Similar Ideas.Never ask people who have succeeded or failed before. It’s better to re-invent the wheel, take full credit (or blame) in the end and brag on how much we’ve been able to do (or not do) all on our own. 


8. Keep Young People Out Of It. They’re all too inexperienced and unwise to lead anything. Besides, do the voices of the young really matter? I thought they were meant to be seen and not heard ... or valued. 

9. Keep Old ... Advanced ... Experienced People Out Of It. After all, they’re just all grumpy, afraid of change and set in their old-fashioned ways. Their years of wisdom and experience will just complicate matters. 

10. Keep Women Out Of It. In all honesty, even in sarcasm, I’m too afraid to touch this one. I can just testify it’s boneheaded. 

11. Execute The Idea Purely In Our Natural Power. God’s power is just too much. The Holy Spirit can’t even be seen visibly, especially at committee meetings. Besides, we need to be busy executing, not wasting time in prayer. 


12. Take A Little More Time To Talk About Your Intentions For The Good Idea. As long as you’re intending to do something good, it’s as good as doing it, except that it never gets done. But you will have meant well when it’s all said and not done. 

I’m guilty of at least a majority of these at one time or another in my own leadership, so I’m not sharing this out of arrogance but in confession…. 

Don’t let anyone or anything Crush and Kill your God Given Ideas & Dreams! 



Live Big!
Live Bold!
Live Brave!



With All Your Mind

- Monday, April 15, 2013

Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:12 

Your mind has been highly trained, programed in fact.
Maybe you didn't know that, but it's true. From the day you were born, you have been taught how to live. Your family, your culture, and your own exploration have given you plenty of ideas about who you are, how your world works, and what your God is like. The problem is that you've grown up with a limited mind in an almost unlimited corrupt world. 

According to the Bible, we all begin with a darkened understanding. Despite the best intentions of our families and friends, our culture, and our own senses, we have distorted perspectives. Our understanding is only as good as the influences that have shaped it. And, in most cases, that's not good enough. What's the solution? Paul says to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). That means that once we've embraced God's truth in Christ, we're to embrace His truth about everything. HIS Truth about Family, Finances, Social issues. We are to reject our old perspectives and live by the Spirit of truth. 


Living the gospel, of course, is not simply a matter of the intellect. If it were, brilliant people would have it made, and the mentally handicapped would be far from God's blessing. But we know that isn't the case. We know that when God talks about obtaining wisdom from Him, it's about perspective and wise living. It's about knowing what to do with the circumstances, the gifts, and the relationships He has given us. 

Do you know what to do with God's resources? Do you know how to spend your life? Knowing such things requires a lot of time in His presence, His Word, and the community of faith He has placed us in. The only way to retrain a mind is by immersion. What you repeatedly hear you WILL eventually believe. Old thought patterns are simply too deep; they can't be redirected without considerable trauma. Let the Spirit of God, the Word of God, and the people of God immerse you in His grace. Let your mind love Him in every way. 

Better Thinking = Better Living 

Here are four unique ways to love the Lord with our minds. 

1. Reason…. Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:” 

To reason is to think, understand and form judgments by a process of logic. I believe that part of loving God with our entire mind is loving him logically. For guys like me this is a relief. I enjoy strategic thinking and order. I must note though, that reason should never trump revelation. The mind is the learner not the leader. The heart is the leader. Many times the heart receives from the Lord first and the mind cannot make sense of it, at least initially. Eventually the mind catches up with what the heart received. When we prize reason over revelation we have a God made in our own image and likeness. Faith in many ways goes beyond reason. It looks to the impossible and trusts in the All-Knowing God. 

Yet reason is powerful. We can systematically and logically look at the ways God has intersected our lives and give Him praise. 

2. Knowledge… Heb. 10:16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 

To love God with all our mind involves taking time to fill our mind with God’s Word and to rightly agree with who He is. When we grow in truth we gain knowledge. 

Tozer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” 

When we come into agreement with God it awakens love in us. Love itself includes great depths of knowledge. Loving God is continually refueled when the mind encounters truth over and over. Knowing truth and loving God are deeply connected. Jesus is the Truth. As our mind grows in the knowledge of Jesus we are liberated to love Him more. 

3. Memory…. Isaiah 63:7 “I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us.” 

The Bible is filled with commands to remember. Memories lead to gratefulness and worship. When we use our minds to remember His kindness, faithfulness, patience, peace etc. we build a foundation of faith, hope and love. We are loving God with our remembrance. 

For some, we cannot forget the negative events of the past because the past has a voice. We must triumph over it with truth. Don’t allow your past to freeze you but rather lead you into the depths of God’s love. Our thinking about the past can affect us positively by remembering the truth about God’s goodness toward us in forgiving, delivering and providing for us. 

4. Imagination…. Psalm 8:3 “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained;” 

Isaiah 55:8 “My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” 

God has given the mind the power to imagine. Some call it dreaming big dreams. Some say get a “picture” of your future. While others say if you can see it, you can be it. Imagination sees, creates and thinks outside the box. 

In our imagination heavens thoughts can come to us and be captured. With our imagination we actually can extend our knowledge to explore the possibilities we have in God in all areas of our lives. This releases love which is anchored in faith. 

We have the mind of Christ. Let’s love Him with it! 

Philippians 4:8 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” 

See YOU in Church 

Live Smart 

Live Big 

Mark

Stuff Happens!

- Monday, March 11, 2013

Stuff Happens!

Life is Full of “Surprises!”

Some Great. Some Not so Great.

In your pursuit of Success in any field, something may happen (or fail to happen) and you may think that you have been deluding yourself about a Happy ending.

But Listen: Every Successful person has experienced Failure. It’s just part of taking the risk of a brighter and better future.

If – and when – you fail to reach a goal, or you disappoint yourself or others, remember it’s not the getting knocked down that counts it’s the staying down that does you in.

In fact most successful people I know count occasional failure and disappoints as a requirement of success.

Success is how High you bounce when you’ve hit bottom. ~George Patton

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. ~Winston Churchill

Only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly. ~Bobby Kennedy

Garrison Keillor, writer, comedian, and radio host said it this way:

We need to talk about the pursuit of failure. A person who does not know failure is a person with a poor sense of reality. A person who goes through his twenties and thirties racking up one prize after another, getting the great job and the beautiful size 4 wife and the starter mansion and the two beautiful, gifted children with the Celtic names, is a man headed for a gigantic midlife crisis in which he runs away with a waitress named Misty and perms his hair and becomes a 45-year old singer/songwriter….You don’t want that.

Stuff Happens! But it happens to everyone. And it may just be for a reason.

You are who you are Today because of “ALL” The Stuff that has Happened to you.

It’s not the “Stuff” It’s how you Respond that counts!

If You are going through some “Stuff” hang in there, and know this:

Deb & I are Praying for You….And We Believe You will Survive.

SEE YOU IN CHURCH

We really need you all to leave a “Comment” this week. I just need to Know that somebody is really reading all this “Stuff.”

Find a quote about Perseverance, Commitment, or Overcoming Failure.

Prayer That Obstructs Prayer...

- Wednesday, February 13, 2013

To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me [unless they are the offering of the heart]? says the Lord. I have had enough of the burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts [without obedience]; and I do not delight in the blood of bulls or of lambs or of he-goats [without righteousness]. When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you that your [unholy feet] trample My courts? Bring no more offerings of vanity (emptiness, falsity, vainglory, and futility); [your hollow offering of] incense is an abomination to Me; the New Moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure—[it is] iniquity and profanation, even the solemn meeting. Your New Moon festivals and your [hypocritical] appointed feasts My soul hates. They are an oppressive burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. And when you spread forth your hands [in prayer, imploring help], I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear... Isaiah 1:11-15

In this chapter from which these words are taken we have God’s accusation against His own people’s Prayers and Sacrifices... God is both accuser and judge here. The external of their religion was perfect, but it was a religion without experience; it was the shell without the seed. So, in the absence of a heartbeat, this form of religion became an abomination in the sight of God. 

Writing with caution and humility I put forth to you this statement, that I believe there are Prayers that hinder Prayer, there are Prayers that Quench the Spirit, that there are prayers that carry within themselves the seed of their own defeat; that there are prayers that have a form of godliness, but in their very exclamation they deny the Power thereof. There is a ritualism that has no genuine experience in the NEW life. These prayers therefore that are a mere empty form become in fact a hindrance rather than a help in the life of the Spirit in us. 

Prayer that is Formal never Prevails…. A formal prayer is nothing more than a mental exercise. It may in fact be nothing more than the product of a carnal mind which of itself is enmity, hostility against God, and therefore has no prevailing power, and more alarmingly has no defensive power against the principalities and powers and the rulers of this world’s present darkness. We may under these carnal conditions pray for things that are in fact contrary to God’s Will and 
purpose…

That which is born of The Spirit is spirit, that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and the flesh has within it the seed of corruption. So, let’s analyze our prayers, let’s question the motive of our prayer, let’s pray for our prayers, so that our prayers may be sanctified and separated completely from all that which is carnal or natural, from all that which is not of God; so that we may worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Prayer is too precious to be entrusted to our carnal minds. We must be led by The Spirit in prayer, we must pray His will not our wants…

Selfish Motives can be an obstruction to our prayers… We must ask only for things that are consistent with the character and nature of God. We must ask for things that are for the spiritual benefit of ourselves or for the person on whose behalf we pray. God will not answer our self-centered, self-serving prayers. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, (you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives) to spend it on your passions.” James 4:3

Rejecting the Truth of scripture can be an obstruction to our prayers… If we are not spending time immersing ourselves in Scripture and are not obeying what we have already learned, we should not expect God to answer our prayers. Our defiance in ignoring the life-giving Words of the Bible may hinder us from having our prayers answered. Solomon goes so far as to suggest that prayers made from such a hardened heart are an abomination to God. “He who turns away his ear from hearing the law [of God and man], even his prayer is an abomination, hateful 
and revolting [to God].” Proverbs 28:9

Family Disharmony can be an obstruction to our prayers… It is God’s will that families live together in peace and harmony. It is, of course, impossible for us to live in perfect peace, but God demands that we maintain close relationships and that we seek harmony in our family relationships. When discord does exist, especially in the relationship of a husband to his wife, our prayers may very well be hindered. The apostle Peter, a married man himself, exhorted husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way, being sensitive to their needs, “In the 
same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]” 1 Peter 3:7 

Unacknowledged Sin can be an obstruction to our prayers… “If I regard (cherish) iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” Psalm 66:18. Before we conclude that God has simply not heard or prayers or that it is not His will to give us what we ask, we need to examine our hearts to see if unconfessed sin, actions, attitudes, or personal attributes in our lives that we have refused to confess before God stand as a barrier between ourselves and God.

A Lack of Confidence can be an obstruction to our prayers… God wants us to have confidence in His ability and willingness to provide what is necessary for us to attain to godliness. He wants us to believe that He can and will do what He says. Thus when we doubt—when we ask expecting rejection and when we ask almost hoping for rejection—we will hinder our prayers. “Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord..” James 1:6-7

We “Never Asked” can be an obstruction to our prayers…Perhaps the greatest obstruction to answered prayer is the prayer we never asked. “You do not have, because you do not ask…” James 4:2

Whatever your “Enemy” is to your Prayer life Kill it, Conquer it, Crush it…

Let’s not let anything we do or say obstruct our prayers, the lost need us to pray with power and authority…

Let’s Pray BIG! 
Mark

What Happens When the Church Stops Praying?

- Monday, January 21, 2013

We are almost at the close of our series “Building A New You” and our plan this week is to teach about “New Knees” in essence that we must become people of “personal prayer” we must become passionate about communicating with our Heavenly father… I read this article by Pastor Mark Batterson he is the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., a multi-site church in the nation’s capital. Meeting in movie theaters and Metro stops throughout the D.C. area, if you have not read his book “Circle Maker” you need to order it from Amazon today. Can I ask you to read this article and PRAY with us that this series we are in will Change and Motivate our Church to move into not necessarily new heights but perhaps New Depths of relationship and power with our King! 

Live Big! Pray Big! 

Mark
  
What Happens When the Church Stops Praying?     by Mark Batterson

We’re not trying to grow a church, we’re trying to bless a city, and when you bless a city then God grows His church. And I think that’s gotten into our DNA as a church. You know how you can read a verse in the Bible a thousand times, but then one day the full force of it hits you and it’s like this revelation. This little statement Jesus made, “I will build my church”… I’ve heard that a thousand times, but I think it hit me this year.

My job is not to build the church.

It’s a little thing, but it’s been big for me. We need to remind ourselves, it’s His church—He’s the one who will build it, and if we can stay out of the way, then some great things are going to happen.

Prayer has also played a big part.

I feel like prayer is the difference between the best you can do and the best God can do. So if we’re not praying, then the best we can do is the best we can do, and that’s not good enough. When we get on our knees, the Holy Spirit does the heavy lifting. Prayer creates the culture and gives people a heart for evangelism, because when you get into God’s presence, you start to get His heartbeat.

That’s been the game-changer for us. 

You can delegate a lot of things, but you can’t delegate prayer. The Lord convicted me out of Acts 6—when the church leaders were delegating stuff so they could be in the Word and in prayer. I love conferences. I’m a conference junkie, but I’d rather have one God-idea than a thousand good ideas. You can go to conferences and get a good idea, but you’re not going to get a God-idea there—you get that by being in the presence of God and getting into prayer.

When my book“The Circle Maker” came out, I had this thriving personal prayer life, but I realized I hadn’t led the church corporately into that. So we started doing these 7:14 a.m. prayer meetings (based on 2 Chronicles 7:14), and I realized it was changing things. I don’t know if it took me writing a book on prayer to realize how far short I had fallen—to kind of wake up to the reality. I felt a sense of responsibility that I better make sure I’m not just leading the way in my personal prayer life—I better be leading the way corporately. 

What happens if “The” Church (Any Church) stops praying?

Wow! I think the very first thing that comes to mind is we would get bored. SorenKirkegaard said boredom is kind of the ultimate sin. I don’t think you can live a Spirit-led life and be bored at the same time. So when you stop praying it takes the supernatural element out of what we’re doing and the church becomes a club.

There’s no conviction of the Holy Spirit, no miracles—then the church stops being a movement and becomes a museum to what God has done in the past.

If you want God to do something new, you can’t keep doing the same old thing. You have to do something different, and I think prayer is the difference between you fighting for God and God fighting for you. So if we stop praying, we’re on our own and I don’t think we’re going to get very far. When you start praying it begins to create some of that momentum you can’t manufacture—it’s God beginning to move.

2013 Your Opportunity to Be a Ground-Breaker

- Wednesday, January 02, 2013

One of the most necessary attitudes of a groundbreaker is being able to view problems as opportunities and setbacks as temporary annoyances. This positive attitude also welcomes change as helpful and is not upset by surprises, even negative ones. How we approach challenges and problems is a critical part of our decision-making process, whether in our professional or our personal lives. In environments in which criticism, pessimism, cynicism, and motivation by fear prevail, an attitude develops that leads to avoiding failure at all costs. The trouble with failure avoidance is that at the same time it creates avoidance of success, which depends on big risks.

Improvement and creativity are impossible when people are in fear of being punished for failure. Early experiences often imprint on us that failure is to be avoided at all costs. This began in early childhood, when we ran into our first "No!!" It grows like a wild plant when we are criticized by our parents, other family members, our teachers, and our peers. It leads to connecting ourselves with our mistakes, and to a self-image of clumsiness and awkwardness. Therefore, as adults, not wanting to be criticized or rejected, we seek security rather than risk looking foolish or giving the impression being awkward. They quietly ride with the system, not rocking the boat.

All lasting success in life is tied up with problems, hardship and disasters which require imagination and improvement. Winners turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

In the 1920s, when Ernest Hemingway was working hard to perfect his craft, he lost a suitcase containing all his manuscripts. The devastated Hemingway couldn't conceive of re-doing his work. He could think only of the months he'd devoted to his arduous writing—and for nothing. But when he lamented his loss to poet Ezra Pound, Pound called it a stroke of luck. Pound assured Hemingway that when he rewrote the stories, he would forget the weak parts and only the best material would reappear. Instead of framing the event in disappointment, Pound cast it in the light of opportunity. Hemingway did rewrite the stories, and the rest, as they say, is history.

As this New Year unfolds before you, focus on framing your challenges as "opportunities to grow" rather than "disappointments and problems." Learn from the past, but don’t lament, there is a reason it rhymes with cement. Step into 2013 knowing that God is with you, in the present, but He has also been in your future. He knows what is down the turnpike of life and has already made arrangements for you to “Make It Through.” An attitude touched by Faith in a God of today and tomorrow is like carrying around a Jack-Hammer nothing can stop you, things may slow you down, but you will smash through! Pray through! Get through anything. In Jesus Name!

Opportunities

- Saturday, January 21, 2012

Every New Day is filled with Challenges, Struggles, Obstacles and Opportunities. Which one you see is largely determined by which one you are looking for. 

Every obstacle is an opportunity. Whenever & Wherever you’re having a problem it is an opportunity to trust God. It is an opportunity for growth. It is an opportunity to think outside of the box. It is an opportunity for you to become bigger than you were. Every problem has a purpose and the purpose is to teach you to trust God and to help you grow…. God has given us great opportunities.

The only real Question is what will we do with them?

What will we do with each New Day of this New Year?

There is a Universal God ordered Principle at work: “The Rewards of Ritual…” What You Do Daily Determines What You Become Permanently….

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house, and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he got down upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Daniel 6:10

We have been in a “series” on Sunday mornings “Brand New Year—Is It The Same Old You?” You Can; You Must, Decide Today to seek out the Opportunities of this New Year… To Grow… To Change… To Share… To Be Used…

You Have The Opportunity “To”….

1. “To” Deepen Relationships…

It’s time to get together with other people. Have fun and enjoy each other. Build fellowship and deepen relationships. Get involved in your Church!! 

Treasure your relationships, not your possessions…

Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow…

Encourage each other every day while you have the opportunity. Hebrews 3:13 

As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.  Galatians 6:10 

2. “To” Develop Character…

Attend “Study-Hall...” Read Your Bible... Pray… “Selah” each AM…

Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing… 

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. James 1:2-4 

3. “To” Serve God By Serving Others…

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal….

Don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love. Galatians 5:13 

4. “To” Practice Generosity…

The truly generous is the truly wise, and he who loves not others, lives unblessed. Henry Home 

... God will give you many opportunities to do good, and he will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.” 2 Corinthians 9:10 

5. “To” Begin A New Life With Jesus...

Don’t “Know” Jesus? Start Here: http://tinyurl.com/66ltdgv

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

6. “To” Share Jesus With Others… 

Invite somebody to Church!! Tell somebody what Christ has done for You!!

Behave yourselves wisely [living prudently and with discretion] in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity. Colossians 4:5-6

Deb & I are Praying that 2012 will be your “Greatest Year Yet”… LIVE BIG!! 

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