Monday, September 28, 2009

Two Sided Coin

I remember growing up always selecting tails in a coin toss as I recited the phrase "tails never fails." Even though I had a 50/50 chance, it always seemed like tails came out on top more times than not.

Check Spelling
Just like a coin, the cross of Christ has two sides to it. To be honest, we haven't done the best job of giving both sides equal attention. Historically, the church has been very good at focusing on one side.

1 Peter 2:24--He personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right (NLT)

In this scripture verse we see the two sides (purposes) of the cross...
#1--To set us free from sin (to be dead to sin)
#2--To have the power and freedom to live for what is right

So often we think of serving God and growing closer to God as sinning less and less, which is a really good thing. However, equally as important as not sinning is doing what is right. If we were really honest, James 4:17 says it is a sin to know what we ought to do and then we don't do it.

Let's us be followers of Jesus that are known for what we do more than what we don't do! Let our lives shine brightly with the love of God because of what we are consistently doing at work, at home and in our community.

Don't forget there are two sides to the coin and two sides to the cross!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


One of the hardest questions we will ever wrestle with this side of heaven is "Why does God allow bad things to happen on the earth?" We often wonder and ask, "Why did God allow that situation or experience to happen to me?" Honestly, we may never know all of the answers, however, there are a few thoughts from God's Word that guide us.

James 5:11...Job is an example of a man who endured patiently. From his experience we see how the Lord's plan finally ended in good, for He is full of tenderness and mercy.

The other day I was watching my daughter and our neighbor play in the sand box. They were talking about certain things like they were experts and that even though they are only 4 & 6 they had it all figured out. I laughed to myself as I listened and watched. I thought, "aren't they cute...they don't have a clue." Instantly I pictured God saying the same thing about us. He watches us act like we have all of the answers and that we know how life works.

Does God ordain these events or just allow them to happen? Either way, God is able to take the most horrific, painful and crazy situations and use them and spin them for good. (Romans 8:28)
God has such an infinite perspective and we have, well, such a small perspective. Just like my 4 year old daughter only having 4 years of experience and life to draw from, we only have the short years here on earth. God has been around before the beginning and sees the beginning from the end.

What hurtful situations are you facing right now? What hurts from the past are you holding on to? Why did they happen? I wish I had all of the answers! Why not surrender them over to God and allow Him to heal, restore and bring good out of it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


20/20 is considered normal vision. Many can see 20/16, 20/12 or even 20/10. Being able to see is extremely important to being who God called us to be. However, the kind of eye sight I am talking about isn't physical eye sight.

If you read Hebrews chapter 11 which is considered the "Hall of faith," you will see a common theme throughout the entire chapter.

Verses 13 & 14 sum it up...All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

They saw what others didn't see so they could do what others couldn't do!!

Jesus was the same way. Spend some time and go through the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and take note of how many times it says "Jesus saw"

One that I have been chewing on today is Matthew 9:46--When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Let me ask you, when you see the crowds what do you see? Do you see someone who just cut in line or do you see someone confused and helpless? Do you see someone always late for work and sluffing off on the job or someone not living their purposes confused and helpless? Do you see someone angry, bitter and a jerk or someone hurt, broken, confused and helpless.

God give us 20/20 vision to see the way you see!! Give us compassion!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How may I serve you...

Came across this great story's worth the read!!!

No one can make you serve others well. That's because great service is a choice. We all get the same amount of time each day. Some choose wisely and use it to serve others!

Years ago, my friend, Harvey Mackay, told me a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point. He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey. He handed my friend a laminated card and said:

"I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk, I'd like you to read my mission statement."
Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said:

Wally's Mission Statement:

To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest, and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment
This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, "Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf."
My friend said jokingly, "No, I'd prefer a soft drink."
Wally smiled and said, "No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice."

Almost stuttering, Harvey said, "I'll take a Diet Coke"
Handing him his drink, Wally said, "If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today."

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card. "These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio."
As if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of the day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights, or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

"Tell me, Wally," my amazed friend asked the driver, "have you always served customers like this?" Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. "No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, 'Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'

"That hit me right between the eyes," said Wally. "Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more."

"I take it this has paid off for you," Harvey said.
"It sure had," Wally replied. "My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action."
Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab.

I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting. Do we quack like ducks full of excuses or do we make the choice to make a difference in the world around us?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lasting Impact

"You may be only one person to the world but to one person you may be the world."

Think about some of the best memories you have in the entire history of your life. Chances are someone played a major role in your life that assisted or contributed to that memory.

We often don't feel like we have much to offer or that we have no time to do much for others however you can make a lasting impact on anothers life. Maybe it's a phone call or text today? Maybe you send an e-card or a real card in the mail? Maybe you decide you are going to cut your neighbor's lawn or bring them over some cookies and sit down and spend 15 minutes talking and listening.

Whatever it is remember the words of Jesus when He said..."The greatest among you will be your servant.(Matthew 23:11). Jesus didn't just preach it, He lived it

John 13:12-17--When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Don't underestimate the power of serving. When you put someone else first you will make a lasting impact on their life and show them a glimps of the presence and love of God! What a deal!

Friday, September 11, 2009


this lesson has been adapted from Andy Stanley

Temptation is something we face every single day of our lives. Tempted by chocolate cookies, tempted by drivers who cut us off on the highway, tempted to cheat on our taxes, tempted by TV commercials, tempted to say things we shouldn't to our spouse or children and tempted to leave work early and still get paid. In some way, shape or form we are all tempted to live life opposite of how God designed us to.

Learning to pause and think about these two principles, will empower us to be more successfull in resisting temptation. If we start asking these two questions on a consistent basis we will find ourselves having more victories than defeats.

#1--There is always more at stake than we think


Matthew 4:3-11—the tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." 4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'[a]"

5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:
" 'He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

7Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test." 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." 10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' 11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

With every decision we make it effects our future, somebody elses future and our faith. Look at the life of Christ.
What was at stake for Jesus? Do you know what hung in the balance? You & I hung in the balance? Our eternal destiny hung in the balance on that day. Jesus’ ability to pause and see the bigger picture allowed Him to be the perfect sacrifice and die on the cross for our sins. IF HE WOULD HAVE SINNED…HE couldn’t have died for ours.

#2--Our ability to resist temptation is connected to our confidence in God

Look back at Jesus’ three temptations. He always referred to what His Father God had said. He didn’t respond by his feelings, which he wa
s starving. He responded with confidence in God...IT IS WRITTEN

Because we see a behind the scenes look into the 3 major causes of temptation. All temptations no matter how big or small you may think trace back to these 3 things that Jesus faced. All 3 of these temptations deals with Jesus’ confidence in God.

1. Tempted to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate way

2. Tempted to leverage and use God for His own gain

3. Tempted to take a short cut—to do the right thing the wrong way

How many times have we tried to meet a legitimate need…intimacy, love, peace, provision in an illegitimate way? How many times have we tried to use God for our own gain? How many times have we tried to do the right thing the wrong way?

Our ability to resist temptation reveals the level of our confidence in God.

PAUSE....may we add it to the remote control of our lives and learn to focus on these two principles. Ask God today to help you pause and think about these two principles!