Do You Believe?

dsc_0173Do you believe in God?  Do you really believe in God?  Do you believe that He is Who He says He is and is capable of all of the things that we say He is capable of?  If we really believe in God, then we must see life in a radically different way than the person who does not believe, and this should change the living out of our lives in a big way!

There are a lot of people that say they believe, but very few really believe – believe in such a way that it changes them and their lives.  To really believe – means that you look at life differently and live life differently.  Our values are influenced and shaped by what we believe.

If we really believe in God, then our belief must make a difference in our lives and our lives should make a difference in this world.  Do you really believe?  Here are just a few thoughts to get your motor running today:

What can compare to our God or what can you compare our God to?  The answer:  NOTHING!  I mean, I can honestly come up with nothing that even comes close!  Our God is incomparable and just acknowledging this truth changes everything!

God is in the TRANSFORMATION business!  I love this time of year, because we are watching things that were dead, come to life.  This is the business of God!  God takes people that were dead and makes them alive!  If you really believe, then stop walking around like a dead man!

God is VICTORIOUS!  And if you believe in Him and have a relationship with Him – you will be victorious!  Can you think of one battle that God has ever lost or will lose?  Take some time today to think about God.  Take some time to REALLY BELIEVE!  And let your real belief change your life!

P.S.  Just one more thing I want to remind you of:  God Believes In You!

Who Has Your Back?

I used to love playing out in the woods when I was younger.  My friends and I would head out into the woods for all kinds of adventures.  We once built a dam to block the creek in a bend and ending up building it high enough to have a six foot deep swimming pool.  We had a big time jumping in and cannon balling, until we saw a snake swim across our pool.  All of a sudden, no one wanted to swim anymore!  My fried Dennis said:  “You jump in – it’s no big deal!”  I said:  “If it’s no big deal, then you jump in!”  We finally convinced his little brother to go for it and our swimming resumed!

I remember once we discovered a vine that hung over a valley.  We could run off of the edge of a cliff, grab the vine and swing like Tarzan.  It was a lot of fun until part of the vine broke and then it became a bit more of a risk.  Your jump had to be longer and your grip stronger or you were going for a rough tumble.  Everyone wanted to do it and no one was willing to do it.  We were all capable.  If one of us would just take the jump and grab.  I decided to go for it!  I took several steps back, bent down and blasted off with all of my strength.  I went off of the edge of the cliff and flying into the air, my hands made perfect contact with the vine and for just a moment I felt like I was Superman!

I jumped that day because my friends were there with me and I knew that they had my back.  If anything happened, they would go running to get my MOMMA and my MOMMA would make everything alright.  Dennis’ little brother jumped in the water that day, because he knew that we had his back.  If anything happened, we would go running to get his Momma and his Momma would make everything alright!

God has some amazing things in store for you.  It may be a little scary standing there on the edge, but know this:  God and the people that He has placed around you – have your back!  The Bible says in Romans 8:28  “All things work together  for good for those who love God and who are called according to His purpose.”   What is it that God is calling you to do?  How can you live your life and fulfill His calling?  You are not by yourself and you are not alone!  God loves you and has an amazing plan for your life.  It does not matter what mistakes you have made or how bad it might all be messed up.  Love and trust God and allow the friends that He has put around you to help you to succeed!

You Ain’t So Bad!

Yesterday, we took a look at the “Family Tree” of Jesus found in Matthew 1:1-17!  In this family tree, we discover that Jesus had a rather scandalous group of ancestors.  It is a very amazing and beautiful thing that God would allow all of these ordinary and messed up people to be a part of His Grand Plan Of Salvation.

One of the people that we talked about yesterday was King David.  We read about David in I & II Samuel.  David is one of my favorite people to read about in the Bible, because he was so normal!  He was just an ordinary shepherd boy that God used in a mighty way to defeat a giant!  He did some great things and made some huge mistakes!  David had a regular line of successes and screw-ups!

The thing that made David special was the fact that he had a heart for God!  He was not some religious “goody goody.”  He was just a normal guy, that believed in God and loved having a relationship with Him.  David reminds me that God loves me – no matter what!  He loves me when I succeed and He loves me when I fail.  God’s love for me is not based in my successes or failures!  God’s love is a free and amazing gift and this amazing love motivates me to want to live for Him!

Take some time today to think about how much God loves you and don’t buy into the lie that God’s love is something that you have to earn.  Just accept it and enjoy it and live in the power of all that His love brings to you!

GRACE!

Old Well At Campbell's Covered Bridge!

Old Well At Campbell's Covered Bridge!

This Sunday I will be preaching the second message in our Matthew series.  We will be taking a look at the genealogy of Jesus recorded in Matthew 1:1-17.  All week long as I have been studying and preparing for this message, I have just had an overwhelming sense of God’s Grace!  

I don’t deserve any of the good that God has allowed me to experience and share!  I deserve – well I don’t even want to get into what I deserve, because it ain’t pretty!

If we are all honest – God is better to us than we deserve!  Take some time before Sunday to think about God and His grace and how it has made a difference in your life.  Also take some time to think about how you can open up your life to receive and appreciate more of God’s grace!

I hope to see you at one of our two campuses on Sunday!  Grace to you – until then!

Do You Really Trust God?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

We all know this verse and we all quote this verse and we all forget to apply this verse!  Our first temptation is to always lean on our on understanding.  We only get around to trusting God, when we have exhausted all of the other options!  We try to manipulate our paths and make them straight and when we can’t do that we will take any available short cut that might seem like an out.

When life is not working the way that you want it to work, then what you need to do is stop right where you are and start trusting God.  Don’t take another step until you have determined in your heart that you are going to trust God!  Now, once you have decided to trust Him, make sure that you are really trusting Him by trusting Him with all of your heart.

You know that you are trusting God with all of your heart, when you have gotten rid and thrown to the side your understanding!  Now your goal is to acknowledge God and let Him work on the paths that you are traveling on!

I hope this little reminder is good for all of us:  Trust the Lord!  Throw your understanding away!  Target God and His will!  Transition to letting Him do it for you!

God’s Perspective!

It Ain't That Bad!

It Ain't That Bad!

 

We see life from beginning to end.  We think about our future starting where we are and thinking about where we want to end up.  This is the natural human way, because there are no guarantees, only hopes and dreams.  This is not a bad thing – it’s just the way it is.

God sees the end from the beginning!  God sees it all and knows it all at one glance.  This is one of the reasons that a relationship with Him is so important.  God sees things and knows things that you and I cannot see and cannot know.  This is why I make the choice to have a personal relationship with God that includes daily contact and communication.  He knows “stuff” that I need to know!

God wants to bless us!  His primary way of blessing is by keeping us on the right track.  If God can help us to stay on the right track – His track, then we will grow and be blessed.  If you are facing heartache and struggle, please understand that this is not God’s desire for your life.  If you look close enough, most heartache and struggle can be traced back to something that we have done or failed to do.  When we get off of God’s plan and out of God’s will – life can very quickly spin out of control.

Realize that God sees and knows all.  Realize that God loves you and has an incredible plan for your life.  Realize that His plan is not that far away from you.  In fact it is as close as a little conversation with Him.  Take some time today to talk with and listen to Him.  You will be surprised at the difference it will make in your life and your day!

Focus On Being!

I had to take this picture - actual hydrant in a grave yard!
I had to take this picture - actual hydrant in a grave yard!

Focus on being rather than doing! What our world needs is people that are what they say they are!  We get so caught up in doing the things that we think we are supposed to be doing that we often miss the point.  The point of our doing is to make life better, but our doing often becomes more of a habit, routine or frustrated obligation.  Most people are active and busy doing, serving and going through the motions of life.  The question is:  What is your “doing” actually accomplishing?

I am not suggesting that we should stop doing.  What I am suggesting is that we take some of the time and energy that we contribute to doing and give it to being.  BECOMING is an amazing gift of God!  It is in the process of becoming that God does a work in us and through us that only He can do.  God has an amazing plan for your life – get out of His way with all of your “doing” activity and  let Him help you to “be”!  Focus on being and enjoy the process of becoming what God has called, gifted and created you to be!  Focus on the “being” and the “doing” will take care of itself!

King Of Kings!

matthewYou do not want to miss Worship this coming Sunday morning.  We are beginning a new series of messages that will help us to focus on, know and share Jesus as the King of Kings.  Our ultimate goal is to walk through the Gospel of Matthew – verse by verse.  We will begin this Sunday morning by seeking to understand God’s plan and His amazing work of REDEMPTION!

If you have ever wondered who the devil is, where he came from and how you can have victory over him, then you do not want to miss.  If you have ever tried to figure out and understand what God is up to and why does He care, then you don’t want to miss.  This is going to be one of the most amazing times of learning in the life of our church.  I hope that you will join us and plan on bringing some friends – lives will be changed!

Also for those of you that don’t have a small group – Pastor’s Boot Camp is every Sunday morning at 8:45 AM.  If you have been thinking about joining us – then come on out Sunday morning as we jump into some new material!  We have been having a blast and it is a great group of friends and a very diverse group of people.  Just ask someone to show you where the Pastor’s Boot Camp is meeting!  I look forward to spending some personal time with you this Sunday.

I hope that your weekend is filled with rest, refreshment and revival!

People Matter!

My Daughter Grace & My Cousin's Daughter Rayna!

My Daughter Grace & My Cousin's Daughter Rayna!

Sorry for being a little late posting this morning.  I was at the hospital to the wee hours of the morning this morning.  I then ran into the office and got a few things together that they have to have from me for the weekend services and now I am at another hospital visiting with another family.  I stepped away for a few minutes so that I could share a quick update and a few words of encouragement.

Someone asked me the other day:  “Why do you work so hard to try to be there for everybody?”  They then went on to explain that I am not a small church pastor, but that I act like one.  At first, I was not real sure how to take what they were saying, but I think on some level it must have been a compliment.

God has been very good to me by allowing me to lead a growing and meaningful ministry.  He allows me to preach in multiple services in two very beautiful facilities to some of the most wonderful people that you could ever want to meet.  He has given me a team that works hard to help me to accomplish the things that He is laying upon my heart.

When I began to understand that God was calling me into ministry, I was excited about the fact that I would have the opportunity to touch and make people’s lives better with my life.  Ministry would not be ministry for me, if I could not have personal and meaningful interaction with the people that I minister to!  People are people and sometimes people can be messy, mean and selfish, but we are all still God’s creation and we all matter!

I don’t have to make myself care about people.  I don’t have to make myself love people.  I care and love because that is what I got from Jesus.  Caring and loving people is a natural part of who I am.  I just do it because Jesus does it for me!  Jesus has done it for you too and if you will let Him, He will do it through you!

I hope this encourages you to love and be loved today!