Archive for April, 2013

from JO’s sermon tonight:

when you gave your life to Christ, God put a power in you greater than any power that you’ll ever face.  we’re not supposed to go through life backing down, in fear, intimidated, like we’re at a disadvantage.  “this problem is so big, the medical report is so bad, these people coming against me, they’re so much more influential than me, I’m no match for them.”  no:

Romans 8:11  (NIV)

11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

most of us believe that Jesus has incredible power, but God turned it around and said, “I’m  putting the same power in you.  it’s a power so strong that death couldn’t keep him in the grave, all the forces of darkness couldn’t stop it.”  the only way to activate the power is to believe.  you can’t go through life thinking, “this situation is impossible, I’ll never accomplish my dreams, I’ve been through too much”;  that will keep you from your destiny.  have a new perspective;  you are not weak, you are full of resurrection power.  you may have had some bad breaks, but you are not a victim, you are a victor.  you are not supposed to back down from life, run from difficulties, things that are hard, no, stand your ground and fight the good fight of faith. the reason it’s called that is because the enemy has already been defeated, the keys to death and hell have already been taken away.  Jesus said:

John 14:30 (NIV)

30 … the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me

you can say the same thing;  the enemy has no power over you.  that sickness cannot stop you, that bad break can’t hold you back, those people can’t keep you from your destiny.  there is a power in you that is a match for any power that tries to stop you.  all through the day, this should be playing in our mind;  “I am powerful, strong, well-able, I will not fear, back down, run and hide, I am not intimidated, I’m not a victim, at a disadvantage, I am full of resurrection power.  “I don’t feel very powerful, strong”;  you can’t go by what you feel, you’ve gotta go by what you know.  your feelings may change every other hour.  what you’re up against may look bigger, stronger, more influential, powerful, that’s ok;  the bigger they are, the harder they fall.  you have an advantage, it’s called resurrection power;  even though you may not feel powerful, you gotta put your shoulders back and start acting like you’re powerful.  fake it ’til you make it.  act like you’re strong, well able, more than a conqueror;  don’t go through life intimidated when you have the most powerful force in the universe on the inside.  one time in the scripture, the Syrian army was trying to overtake the Israelites:

2 Kings 6:8-17 (NET)

Elisha Defeats an Army

Now the king of Syria was at war with Israel. He consulted his advisers, who said, “Invade at such and such a place.”But the prophet sent this message to the king of Israel, “Make sure you don’t pass through this place because Syria is invading there.” 10 So the king of Israel sent a message to the place the prophet had pointed out, warning it to be on its guard. This happened on several occasions. 11 This made the king of Syria upset. So he summoned his advisers and said to them, “One of us must be helping the king of Israel.” 12 One of his advisers said, “No, my master, O king. The prophet Elisha who lives in Israel keeps telling the king of Israel the things you say in your bedroom.” 13 The king ordered, “Go, find out where he is, so I can send some men to capture him.” The king was told, “He is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent horses and chariots there, along with a good-sized army. They arrived during the night and surrounded the city.

15 The prophet’s attendant got up early in the morning. When he went outside there was an army surrounding the city, along with horses and chariots. He said to Elisha, “Oh no, my master! What will we do?” 16 He replied, “Don’t be afraid, for our side outnumbers them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he can see.” The Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw that the hill was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 

Elisha wasn’t in the military, didn’t have any protection, he was a civilian.  you would think the commander would take 4-5 people with him, maybe a dozen at the most, no, this commander was so afraid of Elisha that he took his whole army, all to capture one man filled with the spirit of God.  that’s the way you need to see yourself.  you and God are a majority;  when the enemy looks at you, it’s like this Syrian commander looked at Elisha.  he thinks, “I can’t defeat them, they’re not weak, they have an advantage”;  it’s resurrection power.  the servant saw into the unseen spiritual realm;  he saw a vast host of the heavenly armies all across the mountainside, ready for battle.  you may not always feel powerful, but you’ve gotta know, God’s got your back;  the Creator of the universe has got you covered.  no matter what comes against you, keep the right perspective;  there are more for you than there are against you.  when the enemy looks at you, he doesn’t see you as weak, intimidated, at a disadvantage, just the opposite;  he sees you as powerful, equipped, anointed.  when he sees you, it reminds him of that day when Jesus crushed his head.  don’t be afraid of the enemy;  he’s scared to death of you.

whether you’ve been a believer 5 days or 50 years, he has to send a whole army just to try to slow you down.  it’s good to see ourselves as God sees us, but I want you to see yourself the way the enemy sees you;   when you know who you are, and whose you are, when you realize you’re full of resurrection power, you won’t live intimidated, thinking, “this problem’s too big,” you’ll put your shoulders back, knowing that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you.  if death couldn’t keep Christ in the grave, that bad break can’t hold you back, that sickness cannot stop you, that addiction cannot defeat you;  there is a power in you greater than any power that comes against you.  you may not feel powerful, but you’ve gotta know in this unseen world you are glowing with God’s glory, radiating like a brilliant light.  you are protected, set apart;  it’s resurrection power.  we activate it by believing, not giving into fear, no, “I’m powerful, strong, glowing with God’s glory.”  we may not see it with our physical eyes, but in this unseen realm, you are shining so brightly that you blind the darkness.  the enemy cannot penetrate your house, life, future, finances.

God has put a hedge of protection around you;  you have nothing to worry about.  nobody can put a curse on you;  they can say all they want, it bounces right off of you.  God has already put a blessing on you, and the blessing always overrides a curse.  somebody has already gone down our path and cleared it of everything that can harm us;  we have nothing to fear.  Jesus went about healing, teaching, forgiving, showing love, but the religious leaders didn’t like him;  they were jealous, critical, found fault.  even though he had done no wrong, they unjustly had him beaten with a lead whip, put a crown of thorns on his head, forced him to carry his own cross to be crucified.  the soldiers mocked him, ridiculed him, spit on him.  they put him on the cross, and nailed the spikes into his hands and feet.  he had all power, he could have called 10,000 angels, ended it in a split second, but he didn’t do it.  the nails didn’t hold him on the cross;  love held him on the cross.  he did it for you, for me.  when Jesus breathed his last breath on this Earth, the veil in the temple, this big thick curtain, was ripped from the top to the bottom.  behind that veil was the holy of holies;  that’s where the ark of the covenant was, where God lived.  nobody could go in there, except the priest, and then only once a year.  when that veil was ripped, it wasn’t to let God out, it was to let you and I in.  now, we can all come boldly to the throne of grace.

you don’t need anybody to go to God for you;  you don’t need a pastor, priest, rabbi, Sunday school teacher, you can go to God for yourself.  God wants to talk to you, to be your friend;  doesn’t matter how religious you are, the mistakes you’ve made, what you’ve done in the past, or even what you’re doing right now.  he took your sins, he paid the price for every mistake, every wrong, his blood covered it once and for all.  the veil is open, he’s waiting to hear from you.  people tell me, “I’m not a religious person, I wasn’t raised in church like you were,” I’m not talking about being religious, Jesus didn’t come to start a religion, he came to have a relationship with you. he has a purpose and a destiny for your life, he’s the one that created you, he knows the reason that you’re here.  when you come into agreement with him, your life will be more rewarding, fulfilling.  a man told me, “I’ve never been to any kind of religious event, but I’ve been watching you on television, and something is drawing me, there’s something I know I need.”  that’s your heavenly Father wanting to be in relationship with you.  there is a void on the inside that only God can fill.  we are living in the day where the veil is open;  God’s mercy is available to whomever will accept it.

they put Jesus in the tomb on Friday, thinking that it was over.  he said, “you thought you got rid of me, but it was all a part of my plan to redeem mankind.  you didn’t take my life, I gave it away.”  Jesus crushed Satan’s head and totally defeated him.  the scripture says, “he paralyzed him and rendered him powerless.”  (NB: I was unable to find this verse.)  it looked dark on Friday, but on Sunday morning it was a different story.  the grave couldn’t hold Jesus in.  he came bursting out, and said:

Revelation 1:18 (AKJV)

I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

(NB: Revelations is supposed to portray visions, NOT what has already actually happened.)

he came out with all power, and then:

Luke 10:19 (NIV)

19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

the same power he had he gave to us.  now you and I have all power;  it’s resurrection power.

Hebrews 2:14 (ASV)

Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil

another word for nought is zero.  when thoughts of fear, worry, intimidation come, instead of dwelling on them, getting worried, discouraged, just give the enemy the 0 sign;  remind him that he has no power over you. when you do it, learn to look down;  that’s where he is, under your feet.  the thought says, “you’ll never get out of that problem”;  0 sign,God always causes me to triumph.  “you’ll never accomplish your dreams”;  0 sign, I can do all things through Christ.  “your family will never get back on the right track”;  0 sign, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. ” you’ll never get married, you’re too old”;  0 sign, no good thing will God withhold because I walk uprightly.  “you’ve made too many mistakes”;  0 sign, God’s mercy is bigger than any mistake.  remind the enemy of his defeat.

John 20:6-7 (NKJV)

Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.

why did Jesus think it necessary to fold that cloth?  he was sending a message to the Jewish people.  in that day, if you went to dinner at a Jewish home, and you enjoyed the dinner, the company, the tradition was to take that cloth napkin, crumple it up, and leave it on the seat.  that sent a message that you appreciated the dinner, and you would be back again.  but, if in any way you felt insulted, disrespected, the people weren’t courteous, the food wasn’t good, you would take that cloth napkin, carefully fold it up, and neatly place it back on the dinner table.  when Jesus arose from the grave, he knew many Jews would come to the tomb looking for him;  he took the time to fulfill this very common, well-understood tradition.  he took that cloth that was wrapped around his head, he very carefully folded it up, and placed it over to the side.  he was saying, “I wasn’t treated right, I was disrespected, put to shame, humiliated, and I will never come back to this tomb again.  I defeated the enemy once and for all, I died for the sins of the world once and for all.”  (NB:  WOW!!  This is the sort of brilliant explanation of a Biblical subtlety that we usually get from JP!!)  he was saying, “it is finished, the price has been paid, the sacrifice has been made, our enemy has been eternally defeated.  we have nothing to fear.”

Ephesians 6:11-17 (NIV)

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

there is not one piece of armor that is designed for our back side;  it’s all designed for our front.  why is that?  God never intended for us to be running from the enemy.  if you live in fear, backing down from life, feeling like you’re at a disadvantage, then you’re leaving yourself wide open.  no matter what life throws your way, stand your ground, look that challenge in the eye, and say, “you will not defeat me, I am a child of the most high God, full of resurrection power.”  you may not feel powerful, but you gotta know the most powerful force in the universe is on the inside of you.

Philippians 2:10 (NIV)

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth

we don’t have anything to be afraid of.  we don’t have to fear the past.  some people say, “I’ve made so many mistakes, I’ve got all these skeletons in my closet,” no, when you gave your life to Christ, he cleaned your closet.  your sins have already been forgiven.  God doesn’t have a big hard drive, computer up in heaven keeping a list of everything that you’ve done wrong;  when you repented, He totally erased them, He doesn’t remember that anymore. we don’t have to fear the present, “prices are so high, my neighborhood’s kinda dangerous,” no, God has you in the palm of His hand, nothing can snatch you away.  if God takes care of the birds of the air, how much more is God going to take care of you?  we don’t even have to fear the future.  we don’t have to fear death.

2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV)

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

when it comes your time to go, you’ll breathe one final breath, but that’s not the end;  your next breath, you’ll be more alive than ever, breathing heavenly air, at a place where there is no pain, sickness, sorrow.  we can say, “oh death where is your victory, oh grave were is your sting?”  we’re not afraid of the past, present, future.  why?  we know we have resurrection power, those that are for us are greater than those that are against us, our enemy has been eternally defeated.  put your shoulders back, hold your head up high;  you are not weak, intimidated, at a disadvantage.  the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you.  if you’ll rise up and tap into this power, because he lives, you too will live an abundant, overcoming, faith-filled, victorious life.

Read Full Post »

359 hits

On  8-12-12, I asked God for 100 hits a day…  although I only got 128 hits my entire first YEAR.

By mid-February 2013, I was getting about that many hits…  so I asked for 500 on 2-24.

On 4-21-13, I beat 200 in a big way;  267 hits.

On 4-24, I got a mind-blowing 359 hits…  which is about the best my earlier blog did at its PageRank 6 height.

500 here I come!!

Read Full Post »

from JO’s sermon tonight:

some people are sacrificing their own happiness to try to keep everyone around them happy;  they’ve gotta stop by a friend’s house to say hello, if not they may get upset, they’ve gotta work late every night, if not, the boss may be unhappy.  if they don’t meet all these demands, rescue this person, keep this person fixed, solve this person’s problem, then they’ll fall out of somebody’s good grace, somebody won’t understand.  but God did not call you to keep everyone happy;  it’s good to be loving, kind, generous, but you are not responsible for other people’s happiness, you are responsible to keep yourself happy.  “if I don’t loan them the $, bail them out again for the 12th time, they may get upset with me.”  maybe it’s time for them to be unhappy instead of you to be unhappy.  if they get upset, they’re not friends, they’re manipulators.  your time is too valuable to go through life letting people control you, make you feel guilty if you don’t come running every time they call.  the easy thing is to just give in, bail them out, don’t make any waves, but as long as you rescue them, and you’re there to keep them fixed, cheered up, you’re not really helping them, you’re becoming a crutch, enabling their dysfunction.

the only way they’re really going to get free is for you to not meet all their needs, not come running every time they have an “emergency”;  you’ve gotta put your foot down and say, “I love you, but I’m not going to let you control me, jump every time you call, feel guilty if I don’t meet all of your demands.”  if somebody is controlling you, it’s not their fault, it’s your fault;  you have to set some boundaries.  quit allowing them to call you all hours of the day and night and dump their problems on you;  that’s why we have voice mail.  quit catering to them every time they throw a fit;  ignore it.  quit loaning them $ every time they make poor choices.  don’t take on that false sense of responsibility;  you are not the savior of the world, we already have a savior.  you’re not supposed to keep everyone happy, fixed;  if you take on that job, the one person who will not be happy is you.  a lot of times, we do things out of guilt;  “I should help them, I feel like if I don’t I’m gonna feel bad about it,” but if that person is not taking responsibility, you’re not really helping them, you’re hurting them.  they’re not having to deal with the real issues.

some people are always having a crisis, always in need;  it’s good to help them once, twice, a dozen times, certainly be kind, show mercy, but 5 years later, they’re still having those regular emergencies, counting on you to come running.  if you keep giving in, it’s just like they have you as a puppet;  they know if they pull this string you’ll feel guilty, pull this string, you’ll come bail them out.  cut the strings;  no more puppets, letting them make you feel guilty, come running.  “if I do that they may not be my friend anymore”;  there’s your answer, God may have just closed that door for you.  if they get upset because you don’t meet every demand, they give you the cold shoulder because you don’t call on cue, they’re not really a friend, they’re a controller.  the sooner you break free, the better off you’re going to be.  it’s like with a toddler;  if every time they throw a fit you come running, give them what they want, they’ll continue to do that.  they know what they have to do to get their way.  but if you let them throw that fit a dozen times, and even though they’re hollering and screaming you ignore it and go about your day, enjoy your life, before long they’ll realize throwing a fit doesn’t do any good and they’ll have to change.  it’s the same principle in adults;  as long as somebody can pressure you into doing what they want, they will continue to do it.

but when you don’t respond to their fits, you don’t let their guilt cause you to give in, you don’t come running every time they have a need, that will force them to look inside and deal with the real issues.  don’t take on that false sense of responsibility;  God did not call you to be unhappy in order to keep somebody else happy.  there may be seasons where we make sacrifices, we have to put up with some things to help a friend get well, a loved one overcome, but you cannot let a season turn into a lifetime where you are sacrificing your happiness, not pursuing your dreams, putting your life on hold, to try to keep somebody else happy.  life is too short to go through it letting people control you who will not make good decisions for themselves.  there’s a fine line here, but you are not responsible for your spouse’s, children’s, friends’ happiness.  you can’t make people do what’s right;  no matter how hard you pray, try, you can’t make a family member serve God, a friend stay out of trouble.  when we love people, it’s very easy to take on that responsibility, spend all our time and energy thinking we gotta get them fixed.  the problem is, some people don’t wanna be fixed;  you gotta turn those people over to the Lord.

quit being frustrated because they won’t do what’s right;  that’s what it means to become co-dependent.  somebody has a problem, they won’t make good choices, and you make the mistake of letting their problem become yours.  if you’re putting off your happiness until they change, you may be unhappy for a long time.  why don’t you let that person off of your potter’s wheel?  you are not the potter, God is.  God knows how to get people to change;  your job is to love them, pray for them, help them when you can, but don’t take responsiblity for their poor choices.  sometimes, the best thing is to not rescue them, don’t keep enabling that dysfunction.  the prodigal son took his inheritance, wasted all the $ with wild living, making poor choices; he ended up in the hog pen, no $, so desperate that he was eating hog food to survive.  the father didn’t go rescue him, bail him out, he just left him there;  the father went about his business, pursuing his goals.  eventually:

Luke 15:17 (KJV)

17 And when he came to himself

the young man came to himself, came to his senses, and realized, “I’m making poor choices, I gotta get back on the right track.”  he went home and got his life straightened out. I’m all for helping people, saving them whenever we can from heartache and pain, but some people you can help them 100 times, and when they leave every time they’ll go right back to the mess they were in.  the only way they’re really going to get free is to come to a place where nobody’s bailing them out, paying their bills, acting as a crutch. then, at some point they’re gonna come to themselves, realize, “I’ve gotta take responsiblity for my life, rise up and become who God’s created me to be.”  some of you are doing too much for other people, and not enough for yourselves.  you’re so good-hearted, kind, you’re sacrificing your happiness to keep everyone around you happy.  your first priority is to keep yourself happy.  you need to evaluate your relationships;  if you’re dong all the giving, and very little receiving, something is out of balance. if you have to keep that person cheered up 24 hours a day, something is wrong.  you should be able to tell your friend, “no, I’m not going to be able to go,” and them not try to make you feel guilty.

if they do, they try to give you the cold shoulder, get upset, they’re not a friend, they’re a  controller.  don’t go the next 20 years trying to meet all their demands;  the best thing you can do is cut the puppet strings.  they’re not really interested in you, they’re interested in what you can do for them. you don’t have time to play games, get distracted, entangled, trying to keep everybody around you happy;  you have a destiny to fulfill. be bold, and take control of your own life.  if you allow it, people will run your life, tell you what to do, where to go, how to dress, spend your $.  it’s good to get free from addictions, debt, but one of the greatest freedoms is to get free from people.  quit letting people pressure you into becoming something that you’re not.  quit living on eggshells thinking you’re gonna fall out of their favor;  if you don’t perform perfectly, call them on cue, come running every time they ask, they may get upset;  let them be upset.  if you spend your life trying to please everyone, letting people control you, you may make them happy, but you will miss your destiny.  I’d rather please God and have a few people upset with me then to please people and have God upset with me.

you need to be especially be careful of high-maintenance people.  you can never do enough for them.  no matter how much you do, they expect more.  you’ve gotta be available 24/7, run their errands, compliment them, keep them cheered up;  if not, they get their feelings hurt, they try to make you feel guilty.  don’t go year after year playing up to people like that.  they are impossible to keep happy.  if you do that, all that’s going to do is end up frustrating you.  there will be people who lift you, brighten your day, make you feel better about yourself, when you leave you got a spring in your step;  they’re lifters.  there are people who will thrust you, motivate you, inspire you, challenge you to move forward and accomplish your dreams;  they are thrusters.  then there are people who are a weight;  they pull you down, when you leave you feel heavier, discouraged, negative, worse than you were before.  there are people who are a drag;  they’ve always got a sad story, flat tire, dishwasher broke, they’re always in the pits, and they expect you to cheer them up, solve their problems, carry their heavy load.  we all encounter people from these 4 groups;  make sure you’re spending the majority of your time with lifters and thrusters.  if you’re only hanging out with weights, drags, they will keep you from becoming all God’s created you to be.

some people have a perpetual problem, always got a sad story, and if you allow it, they will use you as a trash can to dump all their garbage.  you spend an hour with them, feel like you just ran a marathon.  they’re energy suckers;  you leave drained and worn out.  you cannot continue to put that in day after day and expect to reach your highest potential. you will not liftoff, be thrust into the amazing future God has in store, if you’re weighted down, letting people dump their problems on you, make you discouraged, taking all your energy, thinking that you have to spend your time keeping them fixed, encouraged.  it’s hard enough to keep yourself encouraged;  don’t take responsibility for their happiness.  there are times that we need to sow a seed, be a listening ear, help love somebody back into wholeness, but that should be for a season, not an ongoing drama, to where every day somebody calls you and tells how bad her husband’s treatin’ her, how the neighbor didn’t do her right, they’re in the pits, now they’re expecting you to work your magic.  you got enough drama in your own life without listening to everybody else’s drama.  you cannot put that negativity in and expect to soar like God wants you to.

some of you, if you don’t make an adjustment in this area and not spend so much time with the weights and drags, it’ll keep you from God’s best. what if they get their feelings hurt?  what if you miss your destiny?  what if they get upset?  what if you don’t accomplish your God-given dreams?  pay attention to who you’re spending time with;  are they lifters, thrusters, do they motivate, inspire, challenge you, leave you better than you were before, or is it just the opposite, they drag you down?  you may have to make a change:  in where you do business, where you work out, in whose phone calls you take. don’t let that negativity go into you day after day, you need to be around other thrusters, lifters, people that motivate, inspire.  that’s why so many people are drawn to our ministry;  there are enough weights, drags, I’m gonna push you forward if you get around me.  some of you work around people who are a weight, or go to school with people that are a drag;  you don’t have a choice, you have to be there.  before you go to work, school, you gotta get prayed up, praised up, encouraged, set your mind that it’s gonna be a great day.

you cannot go into that negative environment in neutral, you gotta get already filled up, encouraged.  don’t let your guard down, stressed out because of the traffic, worried about your deadline, listening to the news;  if you’re not on the offensive, the weights and drags will pull you down.  on the way to work, put on some praise music, get your spirit person built up, have a grateful attitude, start thanking God for what He’s done.  or put on a good teaching cd, something that inspires, motivates you.  then, start talking to yourself the right way;  “this is gonna be a great day, I have the favor of God, I am strong in the Lord, something good is gonna happen to me today.”  that’s how you stay strong, and not let the weights and drags pull you down;  you gotta build up that resistance.  what happens if you live with the weight, are married to a drag?  you’ve gotta do the same thing, take extra doses of praise, encouragement, inspiration, stay filled up.  while God is in the process of changing that person, don’t let them steal your joy.  some people don’t wanna be happy, they like living in the pits.  you’ve gotta have the attitude, “if you don’t wanna be happy, that’s fine, but you’re not gonna keep me from being happy.  if you wanna live in the pits, that’s your choice, but I’m not getting in the pits with you.”

take responsibility for your own happiness, don’t let those issues sour your own life,  pray for them, be respectful, but don’t become co-dependent, where you let their problem become your problem and you miss your destiny.  it’s time to break free.  is there something keeping you from being happy?  are you allowing somebody to control you, make you feel guilty ’cause you don’t meet all their demands? why don’t you cut the puppet strings, set some boundaries?  don’t miss your destiny trying to keep everyone happy, fixed. God did not call you to be unhappy to keep somebody else happy.  make sure you have plenty of thrusters and lifters in your life. if you’ll learn this principle of taking control of your own happiness, this is going to be a new day, bondages that have held you back for years are being broken right now, you’re gonna step into a new sense of freedom, joy, greater happiness.  you will overcome every obstacle, defeat every enemy, and become everything God’s created you to be.

Read Full Post »

A couple of days ago, my roommate brought up a show that we both really like but had not seen in years:  The Odd Couple.  I looked it up on Zap2it, and it showed no listings for the next 2 weeks (which is as far as they go).  We were bummed.

Yesterday, we remarked how 2 other Golden Age of TV shows that used to be on daily had not been on for ages:  The Bob Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore shows.  We were bummed.

Today, I saw an ad on Cloo, that I assumed was for them, for another classic show we love:  Get Smart.  I looked it up so I could mark it as a favorite (which would show as purple in the listings), and it did not show as being on Cloo.  It did however show it as being on an unfamiliar channel, which I checked to see if I received (by turning on the TV and entering that channel);  when I saw that I did, I added it to my channel listings.

What show was on that channel the 1st moment I saw it?  The Odd Couple.

What other shows were showing in the 3-hour listings window for this channel at that time?  The Bob Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore shows.

Coincidence?  For THREE shows, one of which was showing 0 listings for 2 weeks just a few days ago and now shows a bunch of times for that same timeframe?  Not a chance.

God is always working behind the scenes to provide us with solutions to even the little things we want, trivial things that we’d never want to “bother” Him with but that He still wants us to have.  Count on it.

Read Full Post »

Get over it

from JO’s sermon tonight:

too many people go through life thinking somebody owes them something.  they didn’t have a perfect childhood, now they’re offended at their parents, they got laid off after years with the company, they’re offended at a boss, or maybe they came down with an illness, life threw them a curve, they went through a divorce, didn’t get the promotion, now they’re offended at God.  they’ve got a chip on their shoulder, bitterness on the inside;  “if God was so good, how could He let this happen to me?”  God never promised that life would be fair, but He did promise if you would stay in faith He will take what’s meant for your harm and use it to your advantage.  nothing that’s happened to you is a surprise to God.  the people that raised you may not have given you everything you needed, it may not have been fair, but that didn’t catch God off-guard.  don’t use it as an excuse to be bitter, thinking that you got cheated;  if you’ll get over it, God will still get you to where you’re supposed to be.  the person that did you wrong in a relationship, the betrayal, divorce, it may have been painful, it wasn’t right, but if you’ll get over it, quit reliving all the hurt and pain, and start moving forward, then you’ll come into the new beginning God has in store.

whatever wrong that was done, whatever’s causing you to feel sour, whatever seems unfair, get over it.  “all my friends are married, I’m still single”;  get over it.  don’t let that bitterness take root, that will keep the right person from showing up.  “I wish I came from a different family”;  get over it, God knows what He’s doing, God wasn’t having a bad day when He created you, you are not at a disadvantage, you have been fearfully and wonderfully made. “my friends, seems like they’ve got more going for them, he’s more talented, she’s more beautiful, I feel like I got shortchanged,” no, get over it, you have exactly what you need to fulfill your destiny.  “they did me wrong, left me out,” get over it, and God will make it up to you, fight your battles.  you can be pitiful or powerful, but you cannot be both.  instead of sitting around thinking about all the reasons you have to feel sorry for yourself, the bad breaks, disadvantages, you’ve gotta take the hand you’ve been dealt and make the most of it.  nothing that you’ve been through has to keep you from becoming all God’s created you to be.

sometimes we think, “if I had their life, his talent, if I was born into that family, then I could do something great,” no, don’t compare your situation to somebody else’s, you’re not running their race.  it may seem like they have more advantages, more going for them, but God has given you the grace you need to fulfill your destiny;  you’re not anointed to be them, you’re anointed to be you, you’ve gotta shake off any self-pity, bitterness. our attitude should be, “nobody owes me anything, I am not at a disadvantage, I didn’t get left out, shortchanged, passed over, cheated, I am equipped, empowered, anointed, all the forces of darkness cannot keep me from my destiny.”  your time is too valuable, your assignment too important, to go through life thinking about what you didn’t get, who hurt you, how it didn’t work out;  that is a trick of the enemy to get you distracted, wasting valuable energy on things that don’t matter.  he would love to keep you discouraged, in self-pity, blaming others, yourself, even God.  get over anything that’s holding you back:  bad attitude, an offense, what somebody did to you, a mistake you made;  don’t be pitiful when you can be powerful.

the creator of the universe breathed his life into you. every day of your life has already been written in God’s book;  your book ends in victory.  we all go through tough times, but we’re not supposed to stay there;  keep turning the page, and you’ll come into another victory.   God knew there’d be unfair situations, that’s why He’s already arranged a comeback for every setback, vindication for every wrong, a new beginning for every disappointment.  don’t let one bad break, a divorce, rough childhood, cause you to get soured on life.  if you didn’t get the promotion, get over it;  God has something better in store.  if those friends don’t accept you, they leave you out, won’t give you their approval, get over it, you don’t need their approval;  don’t go trying to play up to them, win them over, you have almighty God’s approval, that’s all that matters.  maybe your business didn’t make it, you had a setback, now you think, “what did I do wrong?  I blew it, this is the end,” no, get over it.  don’t condemn yourself, you are not a failure, you took a step of faith and a door closed, that means you’re one step closer to an open door.

when you get knocked down, don’t stay down, get back up again.  nothing good is going to happen as long as you’re down on yourself, down on life, focused on your mistakes, disadvantages;  that’s going to keep you from the amazing future God has in store.  I know some of you are dealing with a sickness;  our hearts go out to you, we’re standing in faith with you…  but don’t you dare sit around nursing your wounds, thinking, “poor old me, I guess my life is over, I’ve got this disadvantage”;  no, dig your heels in and fight the good fight of faith.  God did not bring you this far to leave you;  when the going gets tough, the tough have to get going.  get over the disappointment, self-pity, doubt;  you have been armed with strength for this battle, no weapon formed against you is going to prosper, nothing can snatch you out of God’s hand.  the enemy doesn’t have the final say, God has the final say;  He says the # of your days He will fulfill.  you keep turning that page;  praying, believing, being your best, being good to other people, and you’re going to come into another chapter, a chapter of victory. Job had a lot to get over;  he lost his health, family, business.  if anybody had a right, at least in the natural, to have a chip on their shoulder, be angry and bitter, it would have been Job.  he was a good man, he loved God, he was being his best, yet his whole life was turned upside down.

Matthew 5:45 (NLT)

45 … he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

I’d love to tell you that if you have faith and love God you’ll never have any difficulties, but that’s not reality.  when the storms come, if you’ve got your house built upon the rock, if you’ve got an unshakable confidence in God, if you know the Lord as your shepherd, the storms will come, but you will not be defeated.  you may go through the fire, flood, famine, but you’ll come out still standing strong.  don’t be discouraged by the storm, don’t fall into self-pity, “I don’t know what I did wrong,” no, you may not have done anything wrong, it may be because you’re doing something right, taking new ground for the kingdom, setting a new standard for your family.    the enemy’s not going to roll out the red carpet and let us fulfill our destiny, but the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you.  Job could have given up on life, blamed God, thought, “just my luck, I do my best and look what happens to me,” no, right in the middle of the difficulty, when he could have been bitter and sour, he looked up to the heavens and said:

Job 13:15 (NKJV)

15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.

he was saying, “no matter what comes my way, I’m not gonna get bitter, angry, offended, have a chip on my shoulder.  it may not be fair, but I know my God is still on the throne;  He will make my wrongs right.  I may not like it, but I’m gonna get over it and keep moving forward.”  9 months later, Job came out with twice what he had before.  when you get over it, you position yourself for double.  when you forgive even though they did you wrong, get ready for double.  when you have a good attitude even though life has thrown you a curve, get ready for double.  when you go through the day being your best, even though it seems like you’ve got a disadvantage, thoughts tell you, “you’re not as talented as she is, look at him, he comes from an influential family, you got cheated, look at her, she’s so beautiful, you’re so average,” no, you know better than to believe those lies. instead of getting depressed, you shake it off, knowing that you have been made in the image of almighty God, you have royal blood flowing through your veins, you don’t let those thoughts defeat you, you don’t let what people say, circumstances pull you down;  no matter what comes your way, you get over it and keep moving forward.  when you do that, you better get ready, God says to you what He says to Job, “double is coming your way:  double joy, peace, favor.”

is there something you need to get over  today, a friend that betrayed you, a business deal that didn’t work out, a childhood that wasn’t that great?  unless you get over it, it will keep you from the fullness God has in store.  the key to the double is will you not get bitter, not have a chip on your shoulder, go around thinking that somebody owes you something?  it’s easy to make excuses to live a sour life;  people blame the past, how they were raised, “mama didn’t give me what she should have given me, my father wasn’t around growing up, that’s why I’m bitter, can’t get along with people, be successful”;  what your mother or father didn’t give you is not a surprise to God, don’t use that as an excuse to be sour and go through life feeling shortchanged.  get over it, start moving forward, this is a new day.  God knew who your parents would be, He knew what kind of environment you would be raised in.  some people came through a very unfair situation, didn’t get the love, approval, support they should have…  but I don’t believe in giving anyone the right to feel sorry for themselves, because as long as they think they got shortchanged, and life is not fair, “I’ve got this sickness, I’m not that talented,” that will keep you from the amazing future God has in store.  it may not have been fair, but if you’ll have the right attitude, instead of being a setback it’ll be a setup for God to do something great in your life.  I know people 50 years old still talking about what mama didn’t give them;  have you ever thought about maybe mama didn’t have it to give?  maybe your father did the best he could with what he had?  sometimes we rely too much on people when we should be relying on God

Psalm 27:10 (AMP)

10 Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].

a mother or father may not have given you what you needed, but if you’ll start looking to God, He will make up for everything that you did not get.  if you want someone to give you 100%, don’t look around, look up;  God is the only one that can give you everything that you need. some people, it’s not that they don’t want to, they were never taught how to show love, express approval.  they never saw that model growing up;  now they’re passing down what they’ve seen.  if you only look to people, you’ll be disappointed;  people will let you down.  if you’re not  careful, you’ll get bitter and resentful toward them, and think, “you owe me, why won’t you give it to me, what’s wrong with you?”  no, maybe God is teaching you to not rely on people, but to rely on Him.  you gotta let people off the hook.  quit trying to make someone be everything to you;  no one person has 100%.  no person can meet all your needs, no matter how good they are, how loving, how kind, at some point, they’ll fall short.  you gotta look up to your heavenly father, and say, “God, I know you will give me everything that I need.”  when you open the door to self-pity, blame, all kinds of negative thoughts will flood your mind.  the enemy will be right there to egg you on, tell you, “you’re right, they did you wrong, you got cheated, you should have a chip on your shoulder, you need to go straighten them out.”  it’s easy to remember what we didn’t get, and where they made a mistake, how they should have done better, “why did they say that?”, but most of the time if you put yourself in their shoes you’ll find they did the best they could with what they had.  why don’t you let people off the hook, quit expecting them to be perfect?  look to God to give you what people could not give you.  if you don’t, and you go through life thinking somebody owes you something, you got that chip on your shoulder, it’s going to cause you to get bitter. when you’re bitter, it poisons every area of your life.

Hebrews 12:15 (NASB)

15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble…

a bitter root will always produce bitter fruit.  bitter people don’t have good relationships;  they’re too negative.  when we’re bitter, it affects our attitude;  we see everything through a critical lens, nothing is ever good enough.  bitter people, they can smile on the outside, “how ya doin’, good to see you today,” but on the inside they’re thinking, “I don’t like you, why’d you show up here?” bitterness taints everything about them;   it follows you everywhere you go.  if the whole world ever stinks for you, look inside, maybe there’s some adjustments you need to make.  bitterness will follow you everywhere you go.  when we hold on to things we should be letting go of, when we don’t forgive, when we remember the worst, it’s not harming the other person, it’s  poisoning our own life.  God is saying today, “get over it.  life is flying by.  you don’t have time to waste another minute being negative, offended, bitter.”  so they did you wrong, get over it, and God’ll make it up to you. so you had a bad break, disadvantage, get over it, God is still on the throne.  are you making an excuse for some reason you can’t be happy, why you can’t succeed?  “They hurt me too badly, that’s why I can’t forgive.”  no, you’re not forgiving for their sake, you’re forgiving so that you can be free.  “I’ve had some rough times, a bad break in my business,” get over it, you wouldn’t be alive unless God had another victory in front of of you.  nothing in life has happened to you, it’s happened FOR you;  every disappointment, wrong, closed door has helped make you into who you are.  you are not defined by your past, you are prepared by your past.

you may have encountered some great obstacles;  it’s because God has a great future in front of you.  if you will get over what you think is a disadvantage, God will take what looks like a liability and turn it into an asset.  it may not be something physical, but the way you were raised, a mistake you made, what somebody did to you.  we think, “if only I hadn’t had that accident, then I could fulfill my dreams.  if only I hadn’t been through that divorce, gotten laid off,” you gotta get rid of the if-only thoughts.  if-only can keep you from your destiny.  David:  “if only Goliath wasn’t so big.”  Joseph:  “if only my brothers hadn’t sold me into slavery.”  what’s happened may look like a disadvantage in your eyes, but it is not a disadvantage in God’s eyes.  it’s not going to keep you from your destiny, it’s going to thrust you into your divine destiny.  do your part, get over anything that’s holding you back.  get over what they said about you;  they don’t determine your destiny, God does.  get over what didn’t work out, the mistake you made, the disappointment.  it may have been a setback, but it’s not a surprise to God;  He’s already arranged the comeback.  our attitude should be, “nobody owes me anything. I am not going through life with a chip on my shoulder.  I’m letting go of what didn’t work out, I’m forgiving the people that did me wrong, I’m pulling up the root of  bitterness, and I’m moving forward into the amazing future God has in store.”  if you will learn this simple principle to get over it, no disappointment, bad break, injustice, is going to keep you from your destiny.  God’s going to take what’s meant for harm and use it to your advantage.  you’re not only gonna come out, but you’re gonna come out better, stronger, increased, with twice the joy, peace, victory, in Jesus’ name.

Read Full Post »

I’ve had significant stress in the last few months because of a friend who has done one of her disappearing acts;  I’ve been imagining various shades of butt-kicking when she finally returns…  I know, I know, but she knows what I’ve been through and is really being a jerk.  My Daily Bible Reading from very early 4-10 from BibleStudyTools (which I just belatedly read) included Deuteronomy 14:13, which contains a bird reference that is very powerful to me.  I wondered if something else would happen to give me a reason to post about it.  And, right on cue, my newsletter from BibleStudyTools showed up, and contained the following words of wisdom:

“To restrain your desire to even the score

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge… but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:18-19
Someone hurts you. Your immediate instinct will be to want to hurt them back. They brought you down, and you find a certain pleasure in bringing them down. How do you restrain the desire to even the score?
God will repay, so leave room for His wrath. You don’t need to take it into your hands when you know it is in His. You can leave it to Him.”

This wasn’t a big deal, until I had the urge to say out loud to God that I would accept that friend back without trying to take her to task or otherwise make an issue out of her behavior;  I was stretching at the time, and I got protracted chills on my arms, and my stomach too (which was a new one)…  which is God’s way of telling me He approves.

As the final touch, I was looking up a high-tech concept, glanced down that page…  and there was a result for a company with that same special bird name!!  God was not subtle today;  I’m so grateful, as always, for His signs.

Read Full Post »

from JO’s sermon tonight:

everywhere we go, we should look for opportunities to be a blessing.  it doesn’t have to be something big:  you bring your coworker a cup of coffee in the morning;  a small act of kindness. or on the freeway, traffic backs up, you slow down, you let that car in in front of you;  just being good to people.  you don’t have to, there’s nothing wrong if you don’t, but you’re on the lookout for ways that you can be good to people.  on the forefront of your mind is not, “how can I get blessed?” but, “how can I be a blessing?”  if you will make somebody else’s day, God will always make your own day;  if you’ll bring a smile to their face, God will bring a smile to your face.  this is the most rewarding way to live;  not, “what can I get?” but, “what can I give?” not, “what can you do for me?” but, “what can I do for you?”

Acts 10:38 (NIV)

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

the first thing Jesus did, before healing, ministering, delivering, was he was good to people.  we all have an assignment, a ministry;  it may not be up in front of people, or to go overseas and be a missionary, our ministry is to be good to people.  that’s one of the best witnesses that we could ever have.  you don’t have to necessarily preach them a sermon, argue doctrine, try to make them believe what you believe, just be good to them.  our actions speak much louder than our words.  we can say all day long, “I love you,” but true love is seen in what we do.  if I really love you, I’ll be good to you, let you have the parking spot, even though I got there first;  I’ll prefer you.  God said to Abraham:

Genesis 12:2 (NIV)

“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.

one key to being blessed is are you willing to be a blessing.  God is not going to increase us in the way He wants if we don’t we make it a priority to be good to people.  being good to people is better than preaching a sermon.  being kind, generous, compassionate, speaks much louder than any words.  we should have a goal every day to do at least one good thing for somebody else. don’t wait for a special occasion, it doesn’t have to be Christmas, their birthday, anniversary, no, just an ordinary day;  bring your spouse home some flowers.  you’re at the mall, and you see that blouse that would look good on your friend;  buy it and take it to her.  “what’s this for?  it’s not my birthday, Christmas?”  “no, it’s because you’re my friend, and I wanna be good to you.”  you can’t be good to everyone, but you can be good to the people God put in your life.  you need to study them, listen to what they’re saying, be sensitive to their needs.

Galatians 6:10 (NIV)

10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

when you’re good to people, you’re sowing a seed for God to be good to you.  “I don’t have extra $ to buy a computer monitor”;  maybe not, but can you buy a cup of coffee for a friend?  can you clean the kitchen, give your spouse a night off, take time to compliment someone, brighten their day?  that doesn’t cost anything;  don’t miss opportunities to be good to people.  you hear your coworker talking about how they’ve gotta take their car into the shop for repairs;  “hey, can I give you a ride, you need me to swing by and pick you up in the morning?”   you’re on the lookout.  that young couple that just had a baby, you hear them talking about how tired they are, how they’re not getting any sleep;  don’t say, “oh yeah, I remember those days, that’s a really tough time,” no, be sensitive, that’s an opportunity to be a blessing. “hey, how about my spouse and I come over and babysit?  you guys go out to eat one night and have some fun.”  are you looking for ways you can be good to people?  the more you bless others, the more God will bless you.  when I’m good to other people, God will always be good back to me.  my assignment is to be good to people;  that’s one of the main reasons God has put us here.   if we’re going to reach our highest potential, we have to make it a priority to be a blessing;  not just big things, small things:  borrow my cellphone, give a compliment, a ride home, stay late and help a coworker.  all through the day, we should be looking for ways we can be good to people.  the real joy in life is not in what we get, but in what we give;  there is no greater feeling than in making somebody else’s day.  we were never created to be ingrown, and think about me, my dreams, problems, challenges;  that’s a shallow way to live, that’s why some people are not happy.  we were created to be givers;  when you help make somebody else’s dream come to pass, God will always make your own dream come to pass.

Proverbs 11:17 (NLT)

17 Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel.

when you’re good to others, yes, you’re doing them a favor, but really, you’re doing yourself a favor;  your own soul is being strengthened, your own life is being enriched.

2 Corinthians 8:7 (NLT)

Since you excel in so many ways — you have so much faith, such gifted speakers, such knowledge, such enthusiasm, and such love for us — now I want you to excel also in this gracious ministry of giving.

he could have said, “I want you to excel in sports, business, medicine,” that’s all good, but he said, “what I want you to be really great at, excel in, is in giving.”  I’m gonna live my life as a giver and not a taker.  If you get around me, I better warn you, you’re going to get blessed.  I’m gonna study ways that I can be good to you, encourage you, buy your dinner, be good to your children, help make your dreams come to pass.  I’ve heard it said:  if you want happiness for an hour, take a nap, if you want happiness for a day, go fishing, if you happiness for a month, get married, if you want happiness for a year, win the lottery, but if you want happiness for a lifetime, be good to people.  so often, we are praying for a miracle;  we have to realize we can become someone’s miracle. look around at who God has put in your life;  you may be their miracle.  there may be miracles in your closet, in storage, that furniture, equipment, those outfits you’re never going to wear again, you could give them to a friend and become their miracle.  you can become someone’s miracle;  “I am not going to give away my umbrella to a total stranger, it cost me $22.95,” listen, you can’t out-give God:

Luke 6:38 (NLT)

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

when you’re good to people, when you meet a need, become a miracle, God will make sure that you get paid back;  your gifts, generosity, kindness will come back to you.  you go around being good to people, and God will make sure that people are good back to you.  when you’re kind to people in their time of need, God will make sure somebody will be kind to you in your time of need;  your gifts will come back to you.  every opportunity you have, be good to people.  you don’t know why God has put that person in your path;  it’s not a coincidence, God has strategically lined up every person, every detail, every step of your life.  now do your part;  don’t miss an opportunity to do good.  even small things;  giving a glass of cold milk, giving somebody a ride, letting them use your cellphone.  you say, “I’ve got my own challenges, I’m dealing with this health issue, got these problems in my finances, I didn’t come all the way out here to hear about being good to people, I want somebody to be good to me,” no, you’ve gotta sow a seed:

Psalm 37:3 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord and do good

most of us know how to trust, we’re believing for a breakthrough, healing, promotion, we’ve got the trusting down, now we’ve gotta move on to step 2 and be good to somebody, be a blessing.  if you will become a miracle, that is the seed God will use for your own miracle.  in difficult times, it’s easy to fall into self-pity, and think about my problems, “I can’t believe this is happening, I don’t understand it,” no, get your mind off yourself and go out and be a blessing to someone.  being good to people in your time of need is one of the most powerful things you can do.  don’t let that difficulty cause you to become ingrown and sour, “I don’t feel like doin’ it,” no, shake it off and go out and be a blessing.  the medical report may not look good, but don’t you sit around at home all day and just think about it, get out of the house and go cheer up that neighbor.  if you can’t leave, bake some cookies and give it to the mailman.  if you can’t get out of bed, at least pick up the phone and call and encourage a friend.  when God sees you not only trusting, but doing good to people, that’s when He promises your gifts will come back, your kindness will be returned;  you’ll not only come out, you’ll come out better off than you were before.  being good to people is contagious.  when you go out of your way to show kindness, you start a chain reaction;  you compliment someone, puts them in a good mood, and they compliment someone else, on and on.

there are enough chain reactions in the negative;  “they were rude to me, I’m upset, I’m gonna be rude to somebody.”  no, let’s start some chain reactions of kindness, being good to people;  not waiting for special occasions, no, “I heard you’re going on a trip, let me run you up to the airport, so you don’t have to pay that $ for parking.”  your generosity will not only bless that person, it’s not only a seed for God to bless you, but it’s contagious;  it will inspire them to be good to others. what would happen if every one of us would do at least one good thing for somebody every single day?  what would our office, school, home be like, if we made it a priority to brighten somebody else’s day?   you don’t have to do something big;  small things can make a big difference, small acts of kindness will be remembered for a lifetime.  kind deeds will never be forgotten;  it may seem small to you, but they’ll be remembered for a lifetime.  take time to be good to people, look for ways that you can make their day, don’t miss an opportunity to be a blessing.  this is where the true joy of life is really found.  when you become a miracle, that is the seed God will use for your own miracle.  have a goal every day to do at least one good thing for somebody else.  let’s start some chain reactions of kindness.  have the attitude, not, “how can I get blessed today?” but, “how can I be a blessing?”  don’t wait for a special occasion;  let every day be a blessing day.  if you will develop this simple habit of being good to people, you’ll be happier, your life will be more rewarding, plus God promises your gifts will come back to you.  in your time of need, the right people will be there, the right doors will open, you will see God’s goodness in amazing ways and live the life of victory that He has in store.

Read Full Post »

Watch for the signs

JO is sending a series of video messages in his daily newsletters this week, and here’s the one for today:

“when God puts a promise in our heart, many times He will give us some kind of sign that that promise is going to come to pass, something that will boost our faith to encourage us. it may be something small;  a friend makes one comment, they don’t even realize it, but it’s exactly what you needed to hear;  something lights up on the inside, that’s a sign from God.  I’ve had people tell me after the service, “when you mentioned this in your message, it’s exactly what I needed.”  I think to myself, “I didn’t even talk about that,” you know what that is?  God causing them to hear what they needed to hear.  maybe you’re reading the scripture, and all of a sudden a verse jumps out at you, you feel 10 feet tall, you know God’s in control, you know He’s fighting your battles, that’s a sign from Almighty God.  it’s important that we recognize these signs;  that’s what’s going to keep us encouraged while we’re waiting for the promises to come to pass.  when we’re tempted to get down, we can go back and say, “no, I’ve got this sign, God confirmed it through a phrase that was spoken to me, through a dream that I had, through the time that I woke up singing.” if you can just remember not just the promise, but the time God confirmed it with a sign, that’s going to give you the faith to stand strong and see the promise come to fulfillment”

Every so often I ask myself if the things I see as signs are just wishful thinking.  Some of them probably are, since as a mere human I won’t have perfect judgment…  but they certainly can’t ALL be that way, given that there’s no doubt that God DOES give signs…  especially when some of them that are SO out there.  I’m grateful as always for the encouragement, and live in expectation of unprecedented favor.

Read Full Post »