Friday, January 27, 2017

I'm not waiting on WHEN!

I believe God wants you to ENJOY life not just ENDURE it.  In John 10:10 (AMP), it says, "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)."

This verse tells me that God doesn't just want us to be ALIVE, but He wants us to ENJOY being alive!  He wants me to live with JOY - ABUNDANT, OVERFLOWING JOY!

I've met too many people that seemingly aren't happy.  They have a scowl on their face all the time, rug burn on their chin and they're always tripping over their lower lip. 

My passion as a pastor and teacher of God's Word is to help people learn how to live the life Jesus died to give us!  I've also learned in my own experience that if you don't have JOY, then no matter what you HAVE or what you DO or how great your circumstances may doesn't mean much.

Where do you get the JOY from?

Jesus said in John 15 that if we will ABIDE in Him, we will experience God's will for our lives, and everything Jesus has will be OURS!

ABIDING means MAKING Jesus the most important person in our life, LIVING and REMAINING in Him, and making everything in life REVOLVE around Him.  That's when we bear the FRUIT of a godly life.  And that's when God's TRUE JOY is explosive in our life!

Focusing on Jesus has BENEFITS!  For one, when I'm focused on Him, I'm not focused on my problems, politics or people.  PEACE comes easy and JOY is FULL!  

I'm not waiting on WHEN!

I know so many people who think that they will really be happy and enjoy life WHEN...when they go on vacation, when their kids are older, when they get that promotion, when they get married, and on and on.

I understand this thinking, because I spent some of my life thinking the very same thing. There was a season that I even thought about that in ministry.  I wasn't enjoying my responsibilities and the activities I was leading.  I HAD TO LEARN to live in the moment and enjoy what God was doing in me and through me NOW...not WHEN I was able to take a breather and go on vacation.

Someone needs to hear this right NOW...not WHEN! 

As a Christian, you have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in your life.  He is the HELPER who gives us supernatural strength and anointing to live this ordinary, day-to-day life with the JOY of the Lord!

I'm learning more EVERYDAY that the JOY OF THE LORD is my STRENGTH! (Nehemiah 8:10)

What is JOY?

It's not about always having to be ENTERTAINED.
It's not about always GETTING YOUR WAY.
It's not about LAUGHING all the time.

Joy can be intense LAUGHTER and even a settled CALMNESS!

The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22 that "a happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing..."  Interesting enough, studies even show that laughter has good BENEFITS!

  • Laughter release ENDORPHINS. (A chemical in your body that relieves pains and creates a sense of well being.)
  • It can boost your ENERGY level.  Which can relieve tension and improve your attitude.
It's no wonder the devil wants to STEAL our JOY and get us discouraged, depressed and distressed!  His job is to steal, kill and destroy.  But we don't have to give in to him and lose our JOY!

Lighten up!

Joy is a CHOICE!  Choose today to start enjoying life, no matter what!  Don't be so serious about everything!  Laugh at yourself!  Refuse to be frustrated!  Remember that God loves you!  He knows everything about you and loves you anyway!  That ought to make you smile right there!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In Alignment, Out of Alignment

When you've been down the road enough, you become aware of patterns and behaviors. I've seen just about everything you can imagine & can usually discern which way the water is flowing. Although I can't read people's minds, their behaviors are pretty predictable.
I shared this morning, in our 2020 Leadership Class, that everything we do must come under the covering of our spiritual authority. (i.e., decisions, plans, intentions, etc.) It's not that God doesn't speak to you but He will use your spiritual authority to CONFIRM what He has already spoken. UNTIL receive counsel, remain steadfast, unmoveable & abounding in the work of The Lord. (And you keep doing that regardless.)

However, we live in a culture (sadly, even in the church world) where people do WHAT they want, WHEN they want, the WAY they want...and THEN desire a "blessing" after the fact. It DOESN'T work that way.

In EVERY move I've made, whether it was in ministry, work, family, moves, major purchases, etc., I've sought counsel from my covering BEFORE I had discussions, made decisions or put one foot in front of the other. Nothing was done in secret. That's called total transparency and it can afford you the greatest BLESSING you've ever experienced.

The reason I feel so strongly about this is because I know it works. It's in order. It's in alignment and it speaks volumes of a submitted heart. I deeply desire the blessing of my leaders. Their covering is not only sustaining it's protecting.

The Scriptures teach us that "wisdom is in a multitude of counsel." Obviously, you can get the opinion of your family & your friends. But there's nothing like the voice of your spiritual authority - the same leadership you gave the right to speak into your every area. The same people who have stood with you, prayed for you, interceded on your behalf & have spiritual insight & wisdom.

The same leader I needed when I was down...I need when I'm up. I cannot disregard their voice just because it's not what I want to hear.

May you always be found in spiritual alignment.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Do You Know Your Generational Connection?

God is getting His church ready for His coming.  The church is being "BUILT" for His appearing.  One of the understandings of the Hebrew word "build" (banah) is to obtain children.

God is a builder.  He builds three ways:

1. Revelationally
2. Generationally
3. Relationally

Could it be that the method the Lord is using to build up Zion (Psalm 102:16) is the obtaining of children, or the establishing of generations? 
The Bible is a book of generations. (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc.)  

In the Old Testament, a history of generations was necessary for ministry in the PRIESTHOOD. Today, few people can trace their spiritual heritage through generations. Some may be able to point to a pastor, a leader or a church that was significant to their growth but not many, today, can go back through generations and list their ancestral father-to-son connections and spiritual inheritance.

It is God's plan that the church be reconnected in it's proper generational connection for the purpose of reestablishing true spiritual authority. 

Each generation should be BUILDING on the 
next so that nothing is lost in the grave.

Did Jesus have any natural children? Isaiah said He was stricken for the transgression of the people and cut off, leaving no natural children to carry on His generations. Yet the Scripture speaks of His offspring in numerous places. 

The CHURCH is His offspring and we will usher in His coming as the BODY represents the HEAD.

Notice that in Matthew's Gospel 42 generations are recorded in the lineage of Jesus.  For Jesus' right to minister as the Son of Abraham and the Son of David, He would have to show a GENERATIONAL CONNECTION.

The good news for us is that even if we cannot trace our spiritual lineage, if we are a believer, we are the seed of God and included in His family plan!


God is a God of order.  Everything He does is systematic and exact.  For example, when we look at the faithfulness of Abraham, we find that he was a TITHER.  (By the way, tithing is not law.  Tithing was instituted 400 years before the law was ever given.)  Because Abraham was a tither...he was blessed.  Because we are considered Abraham's seed, we receive those same blessings when we tithe.

You obtain the PROMISE 
when you follow the PATTERN. 

Abraham only had one son of PROMISE.  He was dependent on Isaac not only to be in POSITION to receive the inheritance, but also to be able to PASS it on to other generations.

Abraham could have many promises from God but only through a lineage of SONS could they be achieved.

I believe the reason God made those promises to Abraham is because He knew that Abraham would command his children and his household after him!

Friend, the promises of God in our ministries are not dependent on our GIFTS and TALENTS but they are dependent on our willingness to put our ministries and churches in order...and that order is Spiritual Fatherhood.

When we flow in the APOSTOLIC order (the succession of spiritual authority) of Father/Son relationship we are able to trace back to the fact that somewhere in our lineage, a Spiritual Father entered into a higher relationship with God THROUGH FAITH that afforded us the opportunity to be GENERATIONALLY CONNECTED.

Do you know who YOUR spiritual father(s) is?

More to come...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Art Of Being Blessable

Sadly, by the time I'm asked to provide a voice into some people's lives, they've already made up their mind. I'm merely brought in to stamp a "blessing" on their decision. #outoforder

Anytime I've had major decisions to make, I've presented it to my spiritual covering and gave them the latitude to perceive, process & pray, no matter how long it took. I remain prayerful & keep my ear tuned to what they have to say. Sometimes it's "wait". Sometimes it's "no". Sometimes it's "proceed".

1. I have already given them permission to speak into my life, long before I sought direction. I can't reject their voice when I don't "like" or "agree" with what they say.

2. I'm submitted to spiritual authority because it's biblical & on this side of the cross, God has established delegated authority.

3. Even when God speaks something to me, He confirms that word through those I've submitted myself to. Yes, God speaks to me, but He uses my leader to lead me..."if" I can be led.

This is a process, just like anything else in life. It takes prayerful consideration, time & preparation. You can't rush it & you can't demand it. If it really is from "God" it will be a natural step with a supernatural unanimity.

If you desire a BLESSING, posture yourself to be BLESSABLE.
I can't BLESS a MESS.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This is for someone today 1-11-17

You're either running FROM something or running TO something. Until you fix what's IN you you'll always be OUT of sorts while God is trying to PERFECT (mature) you.

Don't let the PRESSURE of PERFECTION cause your feet to wonder. Stay ROOTED. God desires to get MUCH FRUIT out of you, as He matures every part of your life. It's a PROCESS.
If you opt out of the PROCESS, to pursue what's easy, you'll forfeit the PROMISE and miss your PURPOSE.
There's a reason you FEEL the way you do. You cannot escape the knowing of God's DEALINGS in your heart, even when everyone around you is telling you "it's OK."
God is saying, "wait on me." God is saying, "I will perfect that which concerns you." God is saying, "I have planted you for a purpose." God is saying, "I will keep you aligned with like faith."
Trees are PLANTED and take time to mature to the place where they can provide FRUIT and SHADE to those closest to them or those coming to them. If you UPROOT too soon, you stunt your growth and delay your season. The SEASONS of God produce BARK, BRANCHES, LEAVES, BLOOMS and FRUIT.
You're GROWING but you're not GROWN yet. Yes, you've been PLANTED, you've SPROUTED and you can now see your own SHADE as the sun (spotlight) is shining on you. But your ROOTS are where your strength is. What cannot be seen is more important to God than what can be seen by others.
Don't forget the SOIL where God allowed your SEED to be planted. It's nutrients, though at times muddy and plain, remain the garden of your SEEDLINE.
Praying for you.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Two Kinds of Church Members

There are two kinds of people in your church:
1) Those who come to GET HELP. 
2) Those who come to HELP.
We will always have both. However, at some point you can't just view the church as a SOCIAL AGENCY that is always there to bail you out of whatever your emergency is this week. You must transition yourself to be the kind of person that is now HELPING THE VISION OF THE HOUSE.
Sadly, I see in the church world too many people that only want to HELP THEMSELVES.
IF YOU ATTEND A LOCAL CHURCH, get up under the arms of your leaders & push them upward! When you do, you will be first in line for the OIL that falls from their elbows. (That oil is thick & fragrant.)
Don't view your church as just a place for you to "do your thing" or "showboat your gift".
Refuse to bail from your post, because the CROWD is competing for your attention. Be ROOTED. Be FAITHFUL. Be FRUITFUL.
I don't view our church as a "stepping stone" ministry...while I'm waiting on something "BETTER" to open up. I'm ALL IN! I'm in it to win it! I've burnt my plowshare & killed my oxen. I have no "Plan B".
It's VISION is my primary concern. And when we achieve it...TOGETHER...we will reap a harvest that will affect our CALLING, CAREER, CHILDREN & CHOICES!
Get rooted & HELP where you're needed. Quit waiting for the NEXT BIG THING. Focus on what God has so graciously given you now, and you'll walk into contentment.
If you run here & there, you'll be one of those people that are known for running here & wherever looks advantageous at the time.
I simply say this: NO ROOT...NO FRUIT. God's GRACE will KEEP you & will COMPLETE you right where you are, if you'll remain long enough for Him to finish in you what He has started.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Can You Receive Correction? (10 Things)

1. If you ask your leader to lead you, expect COMPLIMENTS & CORRECTION. The choice to receive...rests within your heart. 

2. Without an EARTHLY FATHER to lead us, we reject the correction & love from our HEAVENLY FATHER because we become skeptical that someone can actually love us and correct us at the same time. 

3. SONS are secure & can handle correction, discipline & change. SERVANTS place blame on someone else. Hebrews 12:7 says that "God deals with us as sons." If He doesn't correct us, we aren't His. 

4. When a student's heart isn't right towards his teacher, INSTRUCTIONS sound like INSULTS & CORRECTION is mistaken for CRITICISM. #pureheart 

5. "Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die." Proverbs 15:10. 

6. If you can't HANDLE the correction of a trusted mentor, it reveals an undercurrent of arrogance that may be blocking your progress. 

7. CORRECTION is the offspring of COMPASSION. If you don't love them, you can't correct them. 

8. As a father, I love my children too much to rob them of the correction (adjustment) necessary for their SUCCESS. I owe it to them. 

9. Beware of those who mischaracterize the actions of leadership. CORRECTION & GUIDANCE can be misconstrued as control & deception. 

10. You have to recognize authority in order for it to benefit you. Authority is God's plan to protect our lives. CONNECTION before CORRECTION.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

"Let me know what I can do to help"

I've met lots of people along the journey who've said to me, "Pastor, let me know what I can do to help."  And although I love hearing that, to be honest, time always proves what level they're willing to get involved in.

I love meeting people who are PASSIONATE about serving in Ministry.  Their excitement is contagious. They are like a breath of fresh air with their light hearted outlook.  They are a joy to serve with and their love for JESUS resonates.

However, have you been around people who act bored out of their mind or they hardly smile, serve or share the load?  Have you witnessed their lethargic approach to the work of ministry?  They're not a lot of fun to be around.

Which of the two describes you?

If you attend church but aren't involved, or if you're serving right now and LOVE it (which if you are, I'm glad!), you might not even understand why I would ask this question.

But if you've ever served at a local church as a dedicated VOLUNTEER or a PAID STAFF member, you likely have an idea of what I'm talking about.

Sadly, I've seen a trend in churches that disturbs me.  It's a trend of people who used to serve in ministry but now are content to sit in the pew.

I've personally seen...
  • Pastors who used to lead a church who now just sleep in on Sundays and have given up on all forms of the local church.
  • People who only attend when they're "ON" the music team, the greeting team, serving in student/kids ministry, or speaking.
  • People who stop attending the moment they stop serving.

Every time I hear this or see breaks my heart!

Please understand, I know the local church is not perfect. but I honestly do believe the PROMISE of the local church is greater than the PROBLEMS of the local church.  And I realize the Church (as Jesus sees it) is bigger than any local church.  But to pretend the local church in all its forms around the world isn't a part of the Church is, well, just not accurate.

Lets me clear, I intend to be part of the local church as long as I live, whether I'm paid to lead or not.  

Why do you attend your church? 

I want to share several reasons why you may be struggling to attend your local church:

  • Who are you really?
  • A preacher?
  • A musician?
  • A worship leader?
  • A student director?
  • An elder?
  • An usher?
  • A group leader?
  • A staff member?
NO...that's not who you are.  You're a child of God redeemed by a Savior who came for you! So many of us define who we are by what we do. 

Before you ignore this, take this test:

If work (or ministry) is your idol, 
if you are successful it goes to your head, 
if you are a failure it goes to your heart.

Maybe your IDENTITY is more tied up in WHAT you do, more than you think.


Many people LIVE FOR THE APPLAUSE. Could it be that you've grown accustomed to being the center of attention, no matter how small your audience may be?

Often my decision that something doesn't FIT "me" is far more a statement about me that it is about whatever I'm uncomfortable with.


Yes, church is messy, flawed, disappointing and a times deeply hurtful.  Largely because PEOPLE are messy, flawed, disappointing and at times deeply hurtful. And we live on THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN.

Hurt, unresolved, breeds CYNICISM. and there are SO many cynical former church attenders who simply haven't addressed their unresolved issues.

Part of MATURITY involves realizing that I contribute to some of the MESS. I am part of the problem. And so is almost every leader who has abandoned church.

Jesus never said we would be known for our perfection. But he did say we would be known by our LOVE.

Love owns my share. Love forgives. Love says I’m sorry. Love reconciles. Love works toward a better tomorrow. 

Love sees who you really are and stays anyway.


This one's hard.  Once you've been on the INSIDE, you listen "AT" a sermon as much as you listen "TO" a message. 

You ask “What’s he doing here? Why did he make that transition this way? What’s up with his body language?”

Musicians critique the music. 

Guest services people criticize greeters. 
Graphic design people laugh at other designs.
And lead pastors critique everything.

What’s missing in this picture?


This one’s ugly.
I don’t know what else to say about it except STOP IT! Really.
Okay one more thing. So maybe you are smart. Or more successful. Got that.
If you think you’re too 
important to help someone, 
stop fooling yourself. 
You’re not that important.

Leadership is best when it springs from the OVERFLOW of our personal walk with God.
There are many ways unusual church leaders struggle with God, but just because you lost your closeness to God while leading in a church doesn’t mean church is bad.
He loves you, and He loves the church in all of its weakness.

Originally all of us got into ministry after we decided to become followers of Jesus. That following should never stop.
A leader who can only lead but not follow is actually not a great leader. And certainly not a godly leader. 

I know it’s cliche, but the goal is not to attend church or go to church. YOU ARE THE CHURCH.
I think the church is so much stronger when we are TOGETHER, not when we are apart.
While we can all use some REHAB in a back row of a church somewhere from season to season, ultimately, every follower of Christ has a role to play in the local church. Even if it’s not your favorite role or a role you’re used to.
Being involved is one of the best ways to stay engaged, even if it’s not what you used to do or want to do.
Church leadership is a lot of ‘what’ and ‘how’. I find I have to remind myself daily of the ‘why’ of church.

  • Because God is good.
  • Because he loves us.
  • Because Jesus gave his life for a world he desperately loves.
  • Because our cities are full of people who don’t know the love of Christ.
  • Because my life is not my own.
  • Because the church was Jesus’ idea.
  • Because grace ultimately makes all things new.
So does that help? I realize these reasons will not address every issue, and that some will flail against any organized church no matter what is said.
But so many leave unnecessarily. Maybe you’re one of them. If any of these reasons are true, what will you do about them?
I know that working through them has kept my passion and hope for the local church strong, even if it flickers in the wind some days.