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What’s The Big Deal?

I grew up in Church. In fact, before I was born, I was in church. My family did not believe in going every now and then, they believed in being there every time the doors were open. They sang in the choir, my Mom led teen missions and my Dad drove the bus to pick folks up on Sunday mornings. Church was a part of our life and living and our lives would not be the same without it.

We are so faithful to church, because of our faith. We believe in God and that God is love. We believe that because God loves us, He gave His most precious gift, His Son Jesus, which is God in the flesh making a way for us, where there was no way. It’s really not complicated, it’s very simple and I think that is where a lot of folks get messed up. I think some folks are looking for complicated.

God created us and because He loves us, He gives us the ability to choose the life we are going to live. Our choices have consequences and as we live our life, those consequences usually teach us what we do and do not want, which is why God offers us: Mercy and Grace. Mercy is not getting what we deserve, which is eternal separation from God and whatever punishment our sins bring into our lives, while Grace is getting what we don’t deserve, which is a relationship with God that allows our Spirit (the real us) to grow on with God through all Eternity.

When you read through the the life of Jesus in the Gospels, you do not find Him going on and on about rules, regulations or religion. You find Jesus, over and over again, inviting people into a relationship and it is because of the loving relationship that people want to get it right with rules, regulations and religion.

“He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” -John 1:10-13

The important thing to remember and never forget is that it is all about RELATIONSHIP with the ONE, who brought us to the dance. When we are really connected to God, the our Spirit can see, feel, hear and experience His presence, power, protection and direction. The most important thing we can ever do, is get into a relationship with our Creator. The second most important thing we can do, is grow in that relationships. The Bible, Church and Prayer are the keys that unlock the doors to help make that happen.

I want to encourage you today, if you don’t know God in a personal way, start looking for Him, because He will allow Himself to be found by you. Get into a church that encourages and teaches you how to get into and grow through this personal relationship. And above all, enjoy the amazing journey, because it’s what you were created for…

The Church “Ain’t” Dead!

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with a group of retired Pastors and even though they are not serving in a position, everyone of them is still serving Jesus through preaching, teaching, writing and encouraging. Since then I have been thinking a lot about the church and it’s modern day condition and I just feel led to proclaim: The Church Ain’t Dead! (And I said “ain’t” on purpose to get your attention!)

I think that a lot of church folks have become convinced that the church has seen it’s best days and the majority have become content reminiscing about the good ole days, way back when… Most of the people in our communities seem to have the attitude that I can live with it or without it. I think they like having us on the corner, just in case, because you never know???

As our world becomes more and more secular and less and less Christian, one might be tempted to think that it’s all over for the church, but that would be a mistake, because Jesus said: “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!” (Matthew 16:18)

The real issue at hand is: Whose church is it? Some buildings are occupied by folks who think that the church is theirs, because they have been there all their lives and their Momma, Daddy and Grandparents too. Some folks think the church belongs to them, because of the community it’s located in. It’s a place to celebrate the births and a spot to be buried when death knocks on our door. There is another group of folks that think the church is a place we go every now and then to be entertained, a show to go to on Sunday to prove just how spiritual I really am.

These buildings, locations, congregations, tribes, communities, stages, and productions are not the church, although it is possible for the church to be found at some of these places. The CHURCH is the body of Christ and is made up of men, women, boys and girls that have a real life changing relationship with God through Jesus. Jesus is the head and people are the body and this is the church that is promised a beautiful, blessed and magnificient future.

I think we sometimes forget that the ONE who made the promise died, but is not dead. Jesus is ALIVE and his promise is more alive today, than it has ever been. Those retired fellows that I sat down to have lunch with, believed it back in the younger days when they were just getting started and they still believe it today as their life and ministry here on this earth is coming to an end.

And we need to believe it too! We need to believe it, claim it and live it, everyday and in every way we can, because God is worthy, His Word is faithful and His promises are true. The CHURCh is not dead, it just needs to wake up to it’s RESURRECTION power and reclaim God’s ground…

2022 Word For The Year!

At the beginning of every new year, I pick a word that is going to be my one word for the year. It’s a word to guide me, encourage me and challenge me to grow on this amazing journey called life. I’ve been doing this for many years and I have found that it is a lot more motivating and easier to utilize than the half hearted resolutions that I used to come up with. It has amazed me at how realistic, powerful and true to life my words have been over the last few years and they have proved to be amazing predictors of the positive direction I was created for.

If you would like some help in trying to figure out your one word for the year, then you might want to check out http://myoneword.org where you will find lots of great ideas, resources and very helpful guides to head you in the right direction of discovering and harnessing the power of your one word.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I spend the last couple of months of the year thinking about and searching for the perfect one word for my new year. Sometimes the word comes quickly and easily, while at other times, it is a challenge trying to figure out the what and why of it all. Regardless of the process, I am a very big advocate of everyone working to discover and adopt their one word for the new year.

My word for this year is “THINK” or “THOUGHTS”, because what we think about has such a powerful impact on our life, who we become, what we experience and the way we live. Along with my WORD, I also try to find a Scripture verse or passage for the year that goes along with my word or sometimes I have the scripture and I am looking for the word.

This year my Scripture verse is Philippians 4:8, which provides a great starter list of the kinds of thoughts I need to be thinking…

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” -Philippians 4:8

So here is my challenge to you with my new word for the year think: I challenge you to THINK about what your one word might be and how it can make a difference in your life and living…