God Wants To Change Your Life!

God wants to change your life! He really does want to change your life! And if you knew, could understand or come close to grasping the change that He has in store for you, then you would embrace the change and be amazingly excited about what your life is about and where your life is going!

Most of us do not like change, but we know that we need it and we often even want it, but are not willing to open our lives to change, because the change that comes might not be the change that we think we desire or want.

God wants to change your life and change it in an amazing way, but you have to have faith. We have to trust Him! If we’ll trust Him, then He can and will do amazing things! Open your heart, soul and mind to God. Trust Him – you’ll be glad you did!

What Do You Do When You Have A Problem?

Let The Water Flow!

It has been one of those crazy weeks, when everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.  I was going to cut my grass, but the tires were flat on the lawn mower.  I went to pump them up and discovered that the valve stem was bad.  I went to the store to buy a new valve stem and they were out.  I went to another store to buy a valve stem and they were out.  I finally found a valve stem, went home, changed it out, pumped up the tires and began to cut the grass.

As I was cutting grass, I noticed that I had a rather large mud puddle in my front yard.  What makes this really strange is that we have not had any decent rain amounts in since I don’t know when.  Upon closer examination, I discovered that when my house was built they ran the water lines right beside two big ole trees.  The roots of the trees had attacked the water supply line and the tree was enjoy the water that should have been going into my home for me and my family to enjoy.

What I thought was going to be a minor repair, ended up requiring that we replace the whole water line from the road to the house.  We got that taken care of and were looking forward to no more worries, until we cut the water on and after a few seconds of good flow, discovered that we had almost no flow!  It seems that when the line was replaced, some trash got in the line and caught in the pressure regulator which stopped up the flow.

All of this kind of junk is the kinda stuff that most of us will allow to stop us dead in our tracks.  We get frustrated, angry, discouraged, mad and despondent, when what we need to do is realize that this is life and that which does not kill us, will make us stronger!  Every step of the way, I kept reminding myself that God is in control and has a plan – a plan that I do not want to miss out on!

Being a Christian is not easy!  God never promised that it was going to be easy.  God promised that He would be with us and that He would never leave us or forsake us.  In fact, I have noticed that during the tough times of life, I get more dependent upon God and more open to whatever plan He has for my life.

So, the next time you have a problem, just remember this:  Your problem is God’s opportunity to prove Himself real and active in your life! Don’t have a bad attitude.  Have a good attitude, knowing that as you trust God through this tough time, He is going to grow you in an amazing way for His glory and everyone’s blessing!

PEACE!

Want Real Peace?

I used to think that peace was getting your life to a place where you did not have to face any storms, or at least it was a place where the storms were not that big. I have discovered that this is the world’s definition of peace and I had bought into it.

We work so hard to get our lives lined up in a “just so certain” way, because we have convinced ourselves that if we can get life to line up just right, then we will have peace – “the absence of conflict” according to the world. The truth is: It does not really matter how lined up I think I have my life, I am always going to be going into, in the middle of or coming out of a storm. Let’s face it – storms are a reality of life, they cannot be avoided and they don’t have to be a bad thing.

Peace is not the absence of the storm, but the presence of the Master. Peace is knowing that you do not face the storm alone and in your own strength. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in our time of need. (Psalms 46:1) Next time you find yourself in storm, don’t focus on the storm. Focus on the One Who is with you in the midst of the storm! Focus on the amazing reality that you have a Savior who loves you, Who you get to love back and you will discover a peace that cannot be understood or explained!

Oblivious!

This month at Northwood we have been taking a look at Spiritual Warfare! Last week we looked at Angels and their ministry to us and around us. This week we took a look at the schemes of Satan and his Demons. When I finished sharing the message at the second service, one of our young people came up to me and asked: “So what do you think Angels and Demons are doing if they are in the same place at the same time?” We both agreed that they are not just sitting there looking at each other, but are most likely engaged in warfare. The thing that amazed him, was the realization that all of this can be going on all around us in the spiritual realm and we can be totally oblivious to it all here as we live our lives in the physical.

As Believers we need to remember that Spiritual Warfare is a very real thing! Just because you can’t see it with your physical eyes does not mean that it does not exist. It does exist and it is going on in your life, and even while you can’t always see it, you can feel it, if you are paying attention. The good news is that while the enemy is very active, so also is God and the forces of Heaven and we have the promise of the Word that the enemy has already been defeated.

Wake up to the reality that spiritual warfare is going on and you are often smack dab in the middle of it! Don’t be oblivious to the fact that God loves you, has an amazing plan for your life and intends for you to win over the enemy. When you and I win – God get’s glory! Look to Him, live for Him and love the life that he has blessed you with!

Look For The Opportunity!

I have already had the opportunity to be a blessing to several people this morning! Just little things, but pretty cool in the grand scheme of things. I have not had to go out of my way or really make any special effort and it has not cost me a great deal of money or required a lot of my time.

I am not really sure why, but as I have moved from one place and event to another this morning, I have been presented with these opportunities to be a blessing to others and as I have taken advantage of the opportunity to bless – I have been blessed in return!

When I stopped for just a minute to grab a quick bite to eat, I could not help but think about how in a few short hours, God has already worked in my life and allowed my life to work in the lives of others to bring glory to Him and blessing to myself and others.

There are opportunities all around us. Let’s look for them today and take advantage of them. It will make our day and our life better! Hang in there, keep it real, have a great weekend and enjoy the blessing!

Preacher Boy!

Making An Impact!

I had the opportunity a couple of months ago to go and celebrate with my Pastor and friend Dr. “Cool Hugh” Cooper. We were celebrating his serving the Lord in ministry for 50 years. People from all of the churches that he had served through the years, showed up for a fun time of reminiscing, food and fellowship. I was honored that I was able to be there, because I had often heard him refer to me as one of his “preacher boys!” I hope that my being in ministry now for over 20 years as a “preacher boy” brings glory to the Lord and honor to my Pastor.

On my ride home, I thought about Dr. Cooper and all of the influence and impact that he has had on my life. As a teenager, he helped me to figure out and understand God’s calling upon my life. As a “minister in training” he gave me opportunities to preach, teach and participate in ministry. He helped me and my bride to tie the knot. And he has always been a source of encouragement and a great example to my life and ministry. Thank you Dr. Cooper! I love you and appreciate you and thank you for being my pastor and friend!

Tonight at Northwood, one of my “preacher boys” is going to be preaching! Jonathan Pearson came to Northwood as a young teenager and it has been a joy for me to watch as God has worked in his life and through his ministry. God has already done an amazing work in his life and I know that God has even greater things in his future. I am looking forward to his sharing with us tonight. I love you Jonathan and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life and ministry and for being a part of mine!

My writing today makes me feel a little old, but more than old, it makes me feel thankful. Thankful for those who have influenced my life and thankful for those that allow my life to influence theirs! God is good all of the time! G3! Give God Glory!

I Did Not Run For Office!

When I was in school, most everyone that knew me, probably thought that I would one day be involved in politics. I was very involved in politics and was elected president of a lot. Even in college, while I was preparing for ministry, I was very involved in politics and would eventually serve as Student Body President during my senior year. Funny thing happened during that Senior year: My love and excitement for politics began to dwindle and my desire to help people figure out their spiritual life began to grow.

It was very slow at first, but then it began to pick up speed as I began to make some personal discoveries about myself and the struggles that I would continually find myself dealing with. While I was in Seminary, my distaste for politics continued to gain ground and my love for the spiritual side of life and learning to live in the power of it began to grow. I was very quickly learning that the two – politics and spiritual do not mix!

I have been in ministry for a good number of years now and I have observed again and again how politics get in the way of the mighty move of God! I am a Pastor! God called me! I did not run to get my position and I will not run to keep it! I would rather lead 30 who are spiritually submissive, obedient ready and ministry minded, than 3000 personally political, obedient when it’s convenient and in it for themselves.

As I look back on my life, I have not done everything right, in fact, I have made more than my fair share of mistakes, but I have always done so with a heart that it totally sold out to Jesus. I love Him today, more than I ever have and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and lead His Church! I take my responsibility very seriously, so please help me out by not forcing me back into politics – it’s a waste of the talents that God has given me!

Sunday Rewind!

Rewind!

I don’t typically write a blog on Sunday evenings, but felt compelled to write one tonight for some reason. I thought that it might be beneficial just to share a few thoughts about what I have seen and experienced of God today.

-Got up and spent time with God like I do everyday! Had a good personal time with Him and I am excited about where I am in my personal relationship with Him. I really feel like I am growing and in some ways that I have needed to grow for a long time.

-Looked over my notes for my class and AM Message. Very excited about what I believe God wants to reveal in our Iives today. I hope that we don’t miss it!

-Went to the main campus and spent some more time in prayer. Have really felt very intense spiritual warfare going on for the past week. I believe that this is just another indication that the enemy knows that God is getting ready to do a great work at Northwood. Prayer and the Word are my most powerful weapons and I find that I am leaning on them both more heavily than ever before!

-Class went great! I am really excited about the people who God has brought together and that He will bring together in this fellowship. We all just seem to want to get it and get it and that makes an amazing difference. I am really excited about the realness that is shared between us all. No one pretends to be perfect and everyone seems really fine with that!

-Worship was great at both campuses! We are very blessed with a very surrendered worship team of men and women who have their hearts in the right place. They amaze me at how hard they are willing to work to make it a real experience with the Master. Can’t wait to see where God is going to take us in this area of our body life!

-Message seemed to go really well at both campuses. Seemed to flow a little smoother at the Ansel School Campus, than at the Ridgewood Campus, but feel that we left both places with the understanding that we needed to make some gains spiritually this week. Was very excited about all of the new young faces that I saw sitting out in the congregation at the ASC and excited about the spirit at the RC!

-Spent the afternoon trying to recoup some of my strength. Really spent myself spiritually this morning and I am very tired physically. Have another message to share this evening, so I have gone get myself built back up, so that I can bring God and my congregation my “A” game! Looking forward to the salad fellowship – this is always s special time in the life of our church.

-PM service went great! Very strong Word! Not so much because of what I had to say – the Word was just very powerful. God is speaking, I just hope that we are listening and avoiding the distractions of the enemy.

-Fellowship was sweet! Enjoyed mixing with all ages – from young to old!

-I am now home and have just shared a rewind. I hope you enjoy it and that it might help you to know how to pray for me in the upcoming week. I love you and I am thankful that you bless me with the opportunity to provide you with some spiritual leadership in your spiritual journey.

No More Drama Please!

Save The Drama For Your Momma!

I think that “DRAMA” is funny! You know what I mean when I say drama?   I am talking about how some people always have something that is stirring or needing to be stirred!  I guess the reason I think it’s funny is because if you just stop for a minute and look at it realistically, it’s usually a bunch of nothing.

You are responsible for you! You can only make decisions for yourself!  You can only do so much!  You have to make sure that you do your part!  You have to remember that God has a great big ol part that He has taken care of.  When you realize and really grasp what God has done for you, then you will find the motivation to take care of “your stuff!” and the result will be less and ultimately no drama!

Some Help! Here is a really good verse that reminds me of what God has done for me and helps me to take on and take out the drama that is often knocking at my door! “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…”  Romans 5:1 Notice what God has done – justified (made me right with Him).  Notice how He does it – through my faith and trust in Him, what He has done and what He will do.  Notice the result – peace with God through Jesus = no drama!  God has done His part – will you do yours?