Friday, December 28, 2012

I'm HOOKED & I Have to tell!!!


Most popular gift?!


Matthew 10:32-33
32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

Psalm 34:1-3
34 I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. 3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

I read that the most popular item on people’s 2012 Christmas wish list was some sort of Apple product, (Ipad, Iphone, Ipod, Mac). I can’t refute those requests. After all I own many Apple products and as a matter of fact I’m typing this blog on my MacBook Pro.

The product’s popularity could be attributed to it being user friendly and colorful but a big chunk of credit has to go to how the Apple brand is marketed. Every time you turn on the tv, open a website or walk anywhere – the Apple brand can be seen. The company does a great job promoting the product but people’s word of mouth testimonials are twice as powerful.

I believe that if we talked about God as much as we talk about Apple – maybe He would be number one on more lists.

We are to be living examples of Jesus Christ – a walking billboard always exclaiming the goodness of our relationship with the King of Kings. We receive little to no reward from the creators of many products for promoting them. However when we publicly promote our love for Jesus Christ He brings our name up to God. The creator of the universe and author and finisher of our faith!

Equally as intriguing is the fact that “A Dad” was the tenth most popular item on the wish lists. (http://now.msn.com/britains-10th-most-popular-christmas-gift-request-is-a-dad)

People are seeking a physical father to encourage, empower, love and invest in them. Our spiritual Father can do all of those things and more if we would just accept Him and trust Him.

My new year’s resolution is to be a better example of Jesus and tell others about how great of a father He is. I challenge you to look back over your Christmas list, evaluate what you promote, and consider how good your Father in heaven has been to you! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Drink the FINEST French Water! Faw-cet!


Bath Water is Delicious!

John 2:1-11
2 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” 11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

I have read and heard about this story many times. Recently, my eyes gravitated to two unique aspects – the servants and the water pots.

This was Jesus’ first miracle. Beyond what we can deduce in the book of John, Jesus’ full identity was still a mystery to most people.

The waterpots were large containers that held water for washing. The people acquired all sorts of street debris as they walked around in those days. The roads weren’t paved and most wore sandals. In order to enter the wedding festivities they had to clean and purify themselves.

Jesus tells the servants, who most likely barely knew who He was, to refill the waterpots and take them to the master of the feast. That means they were mixing dirty debris water with fresh water. Nowhere does he mention to empty or clean the water pots.

The master of the feast loves the bath water that is now a vintage wine!

Here are my two quick points.
  1. The servants were asked to do something awkward that ended up awesome! Review the things God has been asking you to do. Do they seem awkward or unbelievable? He is about to do something amazing for you and through you! Don’t believe me? Ask Moses! He was an awkward, stuttering, orphan that led one of the greatest exits ever!
  2. Some people feel as if they start out their day, week, month, or year having everything they need. Over time they give and are used. That fullness has now diminished. They are essentially the half used water pot. Jesus is sending people in your life to refill you with joy and strength to endure. He will take what you have or what you have been through - add to it - and still make miracles! If you do the math - there was enough from the gallons of water to make over 900 bottles of wine!!! Just when you feel insignificant – God will remind you that you have everything you need to be more than enough. You ARE MORE than a CONQUEROR! (Romans 8:37)

You are not half-empty – you are half-full and God is providing the nourishment you need to be full again. Take His challenge and do something AWESOME!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Black Leather and 90's Swag!


Busting Out!

Matthew 9:17 "
Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Before I was married I was given a pair of black leather pants from the lady I was dating at the time. I absolutely loved those pants. Whenever the weather in Houston got a slight bit chilly, I would pull them out and rock them like they were brand new. I also had a motorcycle at this time. I felt very awesome getting off my bike with my black leather pants and riding boots.

After I got married, my wife kept threatening to get rid of my favorite leather pants. I gave every excuse to keep them. Her response was consistent, “You no longer have a bike, they don’t fit, and we are not living in the 90’s!” One wintery afternoon I came home prepared to rock my leather pants - THEY WERE GONE!!! She smiled like a Cheshire cat and claimed innocence.

God has brought you through and promoted you to better days and higher heights. However, there is that piece that wants to reclaim your past for any number of reasons.

When you accepted Jesus into your life He spoke this statement over your life, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

You can’t move forward while looking back!

There may be items in your life that you tried to remove but haven’t had the strength or ability. That is when God will provide the necessary action to remove those things. Don’t be mad they are gone! Give God praise and accept His new blessings that replaced your old sins. 

That life, those issues, those problems don’t look good on you anymore. He has clothed you in new life – so let go and let GOD!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Same Difference!!!!!!


Gone Fishin'

Luke 5:4-7
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

I was told that the definition of insanity is to repeatedly do something while expecting different results.

In this passage of scripture, the men were practicing their profession. They were fisherman by trade. When they got up every morning for work – they went fishing! Unfortunately, on this trip, they were not yielding their intended results.

The passage says that the men fished ALL NIGHT! That is a long time to work at something and receive nothing for it. This same scenario is true for many of us. We have been good at something for a while and achieved nominal success, but now we have hit a roadblock. 

Your career/life/workout/relationship has reached a plateau and as much as you go back to what YOU did to get there – the results are insignificant.

Now it is time to do the same thing – DIFFERENTLY!

Get a NEVERTHELESS in your spirit.

THE LESS this situation looks good – NEVER stop trusting God!

The fishermen couldn’t go back to their normal fishing hole that they called the sweet spot – Jesus Challenged them to Go further and fish deeper!

Despite what you see and what you have experienced – you MUST TRUST God! This situation may be bad but God IS Good and thisWILL work out. The men were rewarded for their attitude and their faith. Trust Him with your WHOLE HEART and Try Again – Your overflow blessing is not right there - you are going to have stretch out a little further into the deep and go for it! Then, you and those near you will be overwhelmingly blessed. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Get 2 Steppin!!!!


MAKE MOVES!

1 Samuel 30:6
6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
He took his first steps and then he started running! There are several experiences that bring a smile to a parent’s heart. One of which is seeing your child’s first steps.

When my son first started walking, he would fall after a few steps then reach for me to help him up. Now that he is getting the hang of walking – he has a bit more confidence.

It’s bitter sweet though! When he gets tripped up and falls, instead of looking for my hand, he gets into a crouched position and slowly rises back to his feet. Before you know it – he is on his way again!

Life has obstacles that trip us up too. Whether the obstacles are physical or internal – right when we get going we find ourselves on the floor.

As Christians it is good to surround ourselves with individuals who will stand by us and help put us back on our feet. The bible says in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

But just the same, you have to study the bible for yourself and develop a real relationship with your God. It is in those moments when you can’t find a friend that you will realize that God sticks closer than brother.

That is the intestinal fortitude or GUTS you need to rise back to your feet, by yourself, and as Martin Lawrence used to say – “Get tuh STEPPIN!”

Every now and then my son still reaches for me when he falls. As you get stronger in your faith stay connected with others – you never know when you will need them. And, just as you were helped, you must in turn help someone else!

Friday, November 23, 2012

They don't fit

1 Samuel 17:38-42
New King James Version (NKJV)
38 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.

The other day my brother and I traded shoes. He put on my Nike's and I put on his Lucchese boots. The boots were made from the underbelly of an alligator and dyed a deep jet black.

I felt taller, powerful, stronger, and fancy!

Then, I tried to walk. Each step hurt worse than the one before. Assuming there needed to be some time for adjustment, I kept walking.

It never got better!

Although we wear the same size - they didn't fit!

The bible teaches us that God orders our steps! As much as people may try to clothe you in their perception of what your identity may be - it will never work out.

As a parent we can not make our children fit our mold - we must lead them according to the gifts God has given them.

David told king Saul after a few steps in the kings armor, "this isn't for me!"

David was more victorious being who he was than what he was asked to be!

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” - Dr Seuss




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

You Can't Have It!


ALL MINE!


John 10:28-29 (NKJV)
28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

I was told that the more pacifiers (binkys, passies, nuks, mouth-plugs) I had the easier it would be to find them and keep my child content. Even though the goal was for him to grow up without a dependency on the pacifier – my patience was weaker than the strength of my goal.

My son has several pacifiers in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. He has gotten so used to his multiplicity of pacifiers that he frequently carries two with him. At random he will put one in his mouth then switch to the other without ever putting one down. I tried to remove the pacifiers from him. It would have been easier to wrestle a piece of steak from a starving pit-bull.

I believe that Jesus is just as passionate and protective of you! He loves you so much that he made the ultimate sacrifice of His life so that you can enjoy a limitless future and residence with Him upon death.

He rejoices when more children are added to His hands, but he never plays favorites. Each child gets their turn to not only hear from His lips but to also speak into his ears for as long as they want.

Lastly, His love is personified in the fact that He will fight for you! He refuses to allow anyone or anything to remove you from His presence. God made the declaration in Isaiah 54:17, “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, And their righteousness is from Me”. Then, to coincide with that confirmation, you can stand on Romans 8:31 which states, “…If God is for us, who can be against us?”

I don’t know about you but that is a strong cup of confidence. Out of all the protection in the world, I will take Jesus. This affirmation is proof that you are forever loved, protected, and empowered to be EVERYTHING you were created to be!

You are the property of God! So tell the devil, the haters, the bad addictions, and the negativity - YOU CAN'T HAVE ME!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tell the Lord Thanx!

Thank ya!


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

A universal theme during this season of turkey and dressing is the aspect of being thankful. Many people will sit around their dinner tables salivating over their meal while waiting for each individual before them to profess the items they are thankful for.

In these three impacting verses of 1 Thessalonians, we learn a powerful lesson.

Our lives require constant communication. We cannot relegate our conversations with Christ to only good or bad days.

As full out followers of Jesus we must communicate consistently!

When we grasp the concept of talking to Him in the midst of EVERY situation we gain better insight and focus. People often stay lost when they aren’t listening to the leader!

I was told a story about a young boy who was born with a severe immune deficiency that forced him to grow up in a bubble isolated from the world. The only thing that could save him from that bubble was a risky bone marrow transplant. Before he received the transplant they asked him what he was looking forward to the most. His reply was simple. “I want to walk barefoot on grass and touch my mother’s hand.”

God will help you lie down in green pastures and hold your hand through the storms.
I challenge you to enjoy life, communicate constantly, and be thankful for EVERYTHING!

Life – you may not always like it but you can always learn from it! 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Roar of a Whisper!

I Kings 19:11, 12 NKJV
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord .” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord , but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

There is a unique story of a teacher that had an unusual way of managing her students. Students at her school were very unruly except in her classroom. Open house was coming soon and the parents were eager to see what she was doing differently. The parents came in and sat in their children's desks. Before the teacher could begin to explain her classroom, a parent on the front row raised their hand and asked, "What do u do to make such a major difference?" The teacher reached in the top drawer of her desk and pulled out a small bell no bigger than two inches tall. She expressed that whenever she needed to get her kids attention she would simply ring the small bell. The kids had to pay attention in order to hear the bell.

As simple as the teacher's solution was for her classroom, the same solution can be applied in our everyday lives.

Elijah was told by God to get to a certain location. And although large earth rattling occurrences took place God was not audible until there was silence.

We must learn to see and hear God in the simplicity of things.

Keep listening!

God is talking - keep listening!

God speaks when u least expect it - keep listening!

A small pebble can cause ripples across a mighty lake and even a little drip can create a hole in concrete.

Are you prepared to Hear what God has to tell you? His directions may be basic but His results will be beyond compare! Go where He has sent you, a place away from the noise, and listen intently for His small but powerful voice! God has ordered your steps and is about to tell you your next major move!

Monday, October 29, 2012

What 2 wear this week!


The Greatest Garment Ever!!

Isaiah 61:3
and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Psalm 34
King James Version (KJV)
I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. 3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

This week many people will spend hours preparing a garment to disguise themselves. From the super cute to the super scary each outfit is designed to be displayed just for a night.

Although the costume is momentary - there are those that wear a costume daily.

Fear, pain, degradation and more are covered up by temporary smiles and false feelings because of the trepidation that if everyone knew how ugly they really felt people would prefer they wore a mask anyway!

Watch this!

Just as swiftly as this week appeared -it can quickly disappear! There is an immediate ointment for your ailment. The weight of sorrow is heavy - but God has a light and custom fit garment called praise which will relieve you!

Refocus from pain to praise and watch God show up.

Instead of promoting problems - praise God! Turn off the music that is spiritually and emotionally destructive and turn on something encouraging.

Get clothed in praise!

Praise is your weapon! Praise is your power! Praise is your victory dance in the face of what looks like defeat!

Psalm 118:24
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
24 This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Safety of The Shadow

Shadow walkers!


HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. (Psalm 91:1 AMP)

There are many things I want in life. But of all of them one of my strongest current desires is to see my son walk on his own. As a baby, I looked forward to him holding his head up on his own - then I wanted him to sit up on his own - then it was crawling - now it is walking.

In Jeremiah 29:11 we learn that just as we have plans and desires for our children - God has a great and mighty plans for us!

I know my son wants to walk because he is always trying. He just hasn't built the confidence in his legs. When his desire to move outweighs his fear of falling he makes a step. His greatest moments of confidence occur when he is under me holding on to my hands.

Hold on it gets better!

Under my shadow my son can move. When you set up permanent residence under the shadow of God you can you shall and you will survive & move!

The closer you are to God the better you can hear His voice and the more protected you will be!

Get up - Get under His shadow - Get moving!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ready 2 Go Home?!?!?!





Never Too Far to Come Back!


Luke 15:20
20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.


Sunday, October 14, 2012 will forever be remembered as the day a man fell from space and survived.

Felix Baumgartner, a thrill seeker and Austrian paratrooper who had successfully completed over 2,500 jumps took a giant plunge from the stratosphere, a height over 24 miles up.
With seized breath I watched Felix inch onto the platform of a capsule that was pulled into space by a massive helium-filled balloon.
When Baumgartner reached the desired launch height, mission control instructed him to detach his suit from the capsule and prepare to jump.

Felix made two profound statements while standing above the curve of the earth.

"Sometimes we have to get really high to see how small we are," and “I’m going home now.”

I have been skydiving before. That moment before you leap – a litany of thoughts darts through your mind.

As I stood on the edge of uncertainty I was amazed at the distance and the widescreen view of God’s design but also afraid to make a move. Can you imagine what it would have been like to see the earth from Felix’s view?

There are many people who have reached their personal edge of uncertainty. They are teetering on the threshold of a breakthrough and a breakdown. Like the prodigal son who had reached his breaking point, he had a new worldview and a decision to make.

It was time to move!

When Baumgartner landed, Red Bull made a Facebook picture post of him kneeling on the ground. That post generated nearly 216,000 likes, 10,000 comments and more than 29,000 shares in less than 40 minutes.

When we make a life choice to leap and leave a former lifestyle and then acknowledge God for making it happen, people notice! That single prayer pose was seen around the world!

However, this isn’t the first time a man came from the heavens and changed the way people see world.

It’s not too late for you to come home! It doesn’t matter how far you have traveled. Even if you took millions of steps away from God, it only takes one to get back home.

The Father is waiting for you to come home, he sees you in the distance, and his arms are outstretched towards you!




PHOTO BY RED BULL STRATOS
research for article by JUAN CARLOS LLORCA, Associated Press

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!

Who Told You...


Genesis 3:11 (NKJV)
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

My son recently celebrated his first birthday. Helium filled balloons, colorful red blue and yellow decorations, food, cupcakes, and more packed the Dr. Seuss themed party.

Now anyone who has been to a typical first birthday knows that although everyone is celebrating the baby, the party is really for the adults.

According to the party planner, there was a segment of time dedicated to outdoor activities.

My mother was in charge of the games.

She donned a tall purple top hat with black stripes and pulled out a giant bag of games with prizes. Marching through the back door, she motioned the little ones to join her outside. She chased, tackled, tickled, and played an endless game of toss with the children!

The other “adults”, including me, observed her playing with a sense of child-like energy while wondering why she was doing the most.

Afterwards I asked my mom, “How do you do it?”

She proudly blurted out, “Who told you that 60-year olds were supposed to be boring?!”

Adam and Eve were naked and comfortable until they chose to believe a lie that disregarded the truth that was designed into their very existence.

Everyone has an opinion about who you are, what you do, and how you should live your life. The bible commands us in 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, do not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world”(AMP).

Who told you…
You are too old?
You aren’t big enough?
You aren’t smart enough?
You can’t…

You MUST believe what God says! If the information you are given sounds good – take it to God. If He confirms it - THEN believe it.

If you are ever looking for the lady I call mom – visit my church and see the single mother of two college graduates dancing on the front row. She preaches to prisoners, has a doctorate, two masters degrees, a bachelors, and can still chase her grandson with arthritis in her knee!

Given every reason to stop, go back, or quit – she broke the mold of tradition and blazed a new trail by trusting the report of The Lord!

Why fit in when you were born to stand out? ~ Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Water Walking - Leading From the Front!

You First!



He who follows the leader won’t be following the follower – Vern McLellan

There are no office hours for leaders – James Cardinal Gibbons

Matthew 14:28:29 Amplified Bible (AMP) 
28 And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.
29 He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus.

Hebrews 12:2 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

I used to laugh at parents that would do any and everything to get their children to eat their food. I believed that if a child were hungry, they would eat. There was no need to do all of that extra stuff!
Well…recently I caught myself doing the very same thing I would laugh at other parents for doing.

Admittedly I was rushing to feed my son breakfast before school. I knew he was hungry but despite me putting his spoon in front of him, he kept pushing it away.

Before I knew it, I was making airplane sounds and showing him how good the food was (it really wasn’t) by tasting it in front of him. It worked!

Leaders are willing to do what it takes to get the results they desire. Leaders take the first step in confidence and convince others that they will have equally as favorable results.

I can imagine Peter and the disciples being tossed across the deck of the boat during the fourth watch of the night between 3am and 6am. Then, through the crash of the waves they see a man walking on water.

“Leaders know how to walk when everyone else feels like running”

Peter, inspired by his leader, solicits Jesus to beckon him.

There are several people looking for the right motivation to move. Inside they are hungry for progress but they just want to know that someone has accomplished it first.

Sure, Peter stumbled after a few steps on the uncertain surface but mistakes happen when we lose focus. But, what would have happened had Peter never got out the boat. Leaders take risks but they also take time to focus on the goal of those risks.

Take this blog as your motivation! God has placed a hunger in you for greatness. And the template you are searching for is found in Him.

Jesus didn’t ask Peter to do anything he had not already accomplished. And just the same, the trials and difficulties we experience on the path to purpose are setups for success.

People are human and humans aren’t perfect. Jesus endured it all for the glory of the cross. If He can handle it and His spirit is alive and dwelling on the inside of you – YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Set your eyes on the originator and ultimate example of endurance as well as success.

As a believer, spouse, parent, employer, or employee - You are a leader!

Friday, September 28, 2012

2 Chaaaaaaaains!!!


Piece & Chain Around My Neck!



Proverbs 6:20-23

    20 My son, keep your father’s command,
      And do not forsake the law of your mother.
       21 Bind them continually upon your heart;
      Tie them around your neck.
       22 When you roam, they[b] will lead you;
      When you sleep, they will keep you;
      And when you awake, they will speak with you.
       23 For the commandment is a lamp,
      And the law a light;
      Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,

In the early 80’s gold chains were very popular. They started out as simple neck accessories and eventually turned into a status symbol. The bigger the better was the belief. Along with the chain there had to be a “piece”. The Piece was some sort of medallion or object that hung from the chain. Television stars, athletes, and musicians wore their “piece and chains” with pride. Then the fad disappeared.

However, with the resurgence of retro style, the “piece and chain” has returned. The chains grew from 26” and 30” to 60” and 70”. The piece, which denotes everything from a cartoon character, a symbol for Jesus, personal initials, the name of a record label, or some popular saying has grown to weighty chest size billboards. I even saw a long chain with a piece that read “Big A** Chain”!

Of all things people wear around their neck to symbolize their beliefs and personal statements, it is debatable whether the weight of the statement they're carrying is pulling them down or lifting them up. The weight, actual or literal, can be more of an anchor than an emblem of encouragement.

People also wear past experiences around their neck like a medallion on a chain. As much they want to progress in life, they are carrying this pendant of failure and disappointment that promotes an uncomfortable past.

That does not have to be your story. God gave you great vision and purpose before you were placed in your mother’s womb. Then, He instilled divine instructions into your upbringing. Even those parents that struggled at being quality parents occasionally provided a great piece of direction. I believe those moments of great direction are divine.

Carry quality instruction as your piece and chain by maintaining moments of correction close to you – these will not only be the light for your eyes to see what is right, but also the lamp that guides your footsteps along the way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Cure For Disappointment...

A Big "But"



Genesis 50:20 (NKJV)
20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; butGod meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, tosave many people alive.

In 1992 there was a popular hip-hop song by an artist whowas overly enamored with posteriors. The music video had oversized rear-endsand even showed the artist dancing on top of one.

As extreme as the video was, there is something to be saidabout great, tremendous, and outrageous occurrences.

I am talking about the moments that impede progress andforce you to find a different or better way.

I am talking about the big “BUTS”.

Have you ever been at church, a concert, a game, or even amovie - and just when you were ready to enjoy your purpose for being there,someone walked in front of you and blocked EVERYTHING! Maybe you have beentraveling along the road and some oversized vehicle abruptly got in front ofyou without a turn signal or at least a gesture out of their window.

The moment, as annoying as it was, forced you to react andcreate a different or better way of achieving your purpose.

Joseph was the favorite boy and of course that title camewith its fair share of hate. He had several moments that stopped him in histracks. His brothers sold him into slavery. The wife of his employer accusedhim of making advances toward her. Then, the two people he befriended in prisonforgot about him when they got out. Could it get any worse?

My favorite part of the story is our selected passage,Genesis 50:20. Despite everything that he had been through and regardless ofthe negativity - God had a greater plan.

If you look back at some of the hard days and then take amoment to notice the upside, you will undoubtedly see that God brought youthrough every time.

The next time you are halted because of what feels like morehate than you can handle – remember God has a BIG BUT coming and you can danceon it, sing about it, and rejoice knowing that He will turn that test into yourtestimony. Take the problem and trust God! There will be lives changed becauseof your experience.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in risingevery time we fall – Vern McLellan

Keep Persevering! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hurry up and Wait!!!!!!


Worth the wait!


Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

For the past twenty-one months, I have been subjected to a very difficult question. How old is your son? When they are in the womb you have to keep up with how many weeks and then when they are born you have to keep up with how many months they are.

I made a habit of just making up numbers and waiting to see what people’s reactions were. It often confused them when I would say that my six-month-old child was only two-months old. I blamed his size on performance-enhancing vitamins to help him be the king of the daycare sandbox!

Time is a prominent part of everyone’s life. Time conscious people are either standing at the microwave yelling hurry up or taking a test begging slow down.

But if you really look back at the moments where time was not obedient to your demands – what were the results?

I was impatiently eager to meet my son while he was in his mother’s womb. But I knew that if he arrived too early, he would not be fully mature enough to handle the demands of this world.

Have you ever done or received something prematurely? Was the cost of your impatience worth the time you could have waited?

Butterfly Story

There was a young boy sitting on his porch one afternoon. He noticed a quivering butterfly cocoon hanging in the distance. There was an opening that the encapsulated butterfly was trying to emerge though. Not wanting the butterfly inside to struggle, the little boy took a small blade and cut open a slit for the butterfly to escape.

The butterfly pushed through the larger hole and fell to the ground. His body was big but his wings were weak. As much as the little boy wanted to help the animal fly, he actually stunted its growth.

The restricting cocoon and the struggle 
required by the butterfly to get through the opening 
was a way of forcing the fluid from the body 
into the wings so that it would be ready
 for flight once that was achieved.

There is power in patience. I challenge you to acknowledge your struggles with time and realize that if you are being encouraged to wait then there must be something greater coming in time.

Do not allow others expectations of your future to force you to move faster than your Father (God).

God has placed inside of you a desire to know more and incased it in uncertainty because He wants you to seek Him first and follow His lead. After all He knows your end from the beginning – why not just trust Him.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Are you bout this life?!?!


One thing!



Psalm 27:4 (NKJV)
One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.

Acts 17:27-28 (NKJV)
...so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

One of my son’s favorite activities is to take paper (magazines, newspaper, napkins, etc…) and tear it to shreds. It is like he has an internal homing signal for paper. When he locks in, it is world war 3 and there are only fragments of paper left in the aftermath.

I believe that God has placed inside of every one of us a unique purpose with a homing signal for success.

When we get close or start to execute what we have been innately designed to do, something goes off inside of us that ignites a desire to do more.

What is the one thing that you desire?

When you operate in your God-designed purpose there is a certain peace about what you are doing. Your purpose energizes you beyond normal strength and allows you to work effortlessly.

I heard someone say, “Work at what you love and you will never work a day in your life!” I have been working at what I love for the past eleven years and I haven’t worked a single day yet!

In Psalm 27:4 David pens that his ONE and only desire is to set up permanent residence with Lord and bask in His beauty and intelligence.

Why would David so single-mindedly want to be there? He knew that in the presence of the Lord was total peace!

Many people have become job nomads – moving from occupation to occupation looking for that perfect position.

I contest that your perfect Job will be found when you passionately seek the Lord. It is as Paul writes in Acts, “in Him we live and move and have our being...”

God created you, God created your purpose, and God created the perfect position for your purpose.

I challenge you to find your peace by passionately pursuing Him. God has the answer you are seeking.

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

Maintain His purpose ahead of your personal plans!

Your answer will be in a supernatural peace that will provide a certain confidence about your decision.
When you get your answer, go after it with pit bull tenacity daring anyone or anything to stop you from achieving success!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ready for a blessing?!?!?!?!


Hungry?


Isaiah 43:16-21 (MSG)
16-21This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, 
 who carves a path through pounding waves, The God who summons horses and chariots and armies — 
 they lie down and then can't get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: 
"Forget about what's happened; don’t keep going over old history.
 Bealert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out!Don't you see it? 
There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers inthe badlands. Wild animals will say 'Thank you!' 
— the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
   rivers through the sun-baked earth,
 Drinking water for thepeople I chose, the people I made especially for myself,
 a people custom-made to praise me.

One of the first things people say when they meet my son is,“Wow he’s big, what are you feeding him!?”

Even though it sounds like they are sneakily calling my son chunky, I know they are really just wondering how he got so…“healthy”.

My son is no stranger to table food. In fact he has preferred the well-seasoned delicacy of a grilled pork chop to a blended jar of bland meats and veggies from the moment he discovered his teeth.

The other night, he ate out of everyone’s plate, polished off an 8oz bottle and pompously topped it all with a deep belch!

The following morning, he sat at the same table prepared to eat again and expecting something equally as great!

In his mind, whenever he sits in his high chair, or seessomeone eating, it is time for him to eat. Despite how good the previous meal was or how much he ate – he is always prepared to eat again.

In Isaiah 43, God is saying, don’t get so caught up on your previous blessings that you fail to be prepared for the impending ones. Many people have gotten so consumed in what God has told or done for them before that they are not listening out for what He is telling them to do right now.

God is consistently feeding you with blessings in some way form or fashion. His mercies are renewed daily. (Lamentations 3:23) He delightsin rewarding you!

Don’t Just GET PREPARED FOR TODAY – BE PREPARED EVERYDAY!

God has done some amazing things in your life. Although God brought the children of Israel through the red sea and closed it on their enemies, He didn’t stop blessing or performing miracles.

God is doing a NEW thing everyday for you. It’s great to be excited about what God has done for you but be ready, open your mind, heart, hands, and more – HE IS ABOUT TO DO SOMETHING EVEN GREATER THAN THE LAST TIME!!!!!

Those traverse areas are about to be cleared and your doors of opportunity are here. IT IS GAME TIME - STAY READY!


“It’s not going to be easy – but it’s going to be awesome!” –Steve Gleason