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A LOVE Letter

Imagine the Lord saying this to you right now…

“I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, The First and The Last. I started all this and I’ll be the one to have the last word, you can count on that.

As in your life when trouble falls on you like rain, do not fret or have a care.   Remember I make rainbows from storms!  I make beauty from ashes!  I make what seems to be the end a fresh new start. Deep sorrow may last for a night but JOY comes in the morning!”

“The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.”  Psalms 34:19

Each time! Every time!

So today…don’t be discouraged or down but hold your head high. Look around and see not only the physical blessings I’ve given you but the spiritual blessings as well.  You’re seated with Me in heavenly places.   I’ve given you all authority to overcome all evil. I’m with you and in you through the Holy Spirit. The same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives deeply and richly in you.

You are more than a conquer.  Don’t look back and panic.  I am the one who holds time together just as I hold you.

All good and perfect gifts come from Me and you will see that the greatest days are ahead. Keep planting, keep serving, forgive and forgive some more.  I’ll see to it that you reap a harvest of everything you could ever hope, imagine or dream. Oh yes! A truly grand place of MORE.

More peace!
More power!
More healing!
More hearing from Me in this very hour!

I will work with you to pour out my Spirit beyond measure.   People will run to be in My presence and leave changed…not just for a week or two but for a life time. The same goes for you…spending time with Me is the key to that place of intimacy. It’s where I’ll build you up and I’ll make sure your gift is in full operation. Make a determined purpose to know me and you will see that the greatest days are ahead for you.  In every action and in every day I’ll be with you telling you what to do. I’ll give you the Spirit of seeing and knowing. You will see it and then do it.   You will need to listen and it will take time to learn but be still because in that hour I will give you the power to fulfill all your dreams and desires as you delight in Me and walk out My will.

No demon can stand in the presence of the one who carries My name…JESUS! Speak the name Jesus, the name above all names.  Throughout your day then Listen and Obey!  And above all love.

Love, love, love it’s your best weapon against the enemy. It confuses his plan and no weapon formed against you will stand.   Yes you’re the head and not the tail you’re above and not beneath you’re the body of Christ moving and reigning! Preparing a way for Me!

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Hurting? You need this!

Did it cut you to your core? Shatter your trust?

It’s bad enough that you were hurt—deeply—but what’s worse is that it lingers.

Perhaps you’ve found it harder to get up in the morning. Your smile has waned. It’s harder to laugh. The light in your eyes has dimmed. And, you find it harder to trust…anyone…

Friends and family have noticed. And you’ve heard their concerns.

“It seems like you’re not as happy as you used to be.”

“I’m worried about you.”

“We miss the old you.”

But you? You just wonder exactly how much longer it will hurt like this.

You’re not alone. I know because I have been there. No, I don’t pretend to know your exact circumstances. But if you’re anything like me—when you start thinking or talking about what caused your pain—you find that what has settled gets stirred to the top. And before you know it, it feels like it happened just yesterday.

Here’s how I get back on my feet. I hope it will help you.

1.) God is ever faithful. Man will Always let you down. God Never ever will. There are no perfect people. Keep your eyes on the One you CAN always trust: Jesus—the Author and Finisher of your faith. Hebrews 2:2 (The Message): Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

2.) My identity—and yours– is not found in others. Our identity can only be found in our Heavenly Father who calls you “beloved,” and loves you far more than you could ever wrap your mind around. Grab a Bible (the all-time best seller—there has to be something behind that my friend), and discover who you are in Christ. A few places to start are John 1:12; 1 Peter 2:5; and 1 Peter 2:9-10.

3.) Guard your heart. Even if you have been sorely wronged. The very issues of life flow out of your heart. That’s the way God created us. Cry out to Jesus…tell Him everything. Ask Him to cleanse your heart. And then—brace yourself, this is the hardest part—forgive. I’ll say it again: FORGIVE. Not for their sake but for yours. This is where healing begins. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV): Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Pray for those who hurt you. 

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. ~ JESUS (Luke 6:28)

4.) You and I will not be accountable to God for how they behaved. The onus is on them. I am only accountable for my heart toward them. As are you. Forgive. Release the hurt. Move on. Life is too short. Don’t waste it being hurt. I know it’s hard. Yet remember….

5.) God is your victorious Warrior, and He alone will have the final say. 2 Chronicles: 20:15b (NCV): The Lord says this to you: ‘Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of this large army. The battle is not your battle, it is God’s.

When one is hurt, sometimes the tendency is to run from the church. If you find yourself doing this, you’re running in the wrong direction. Make a U-turn, and join with fellow believers to further the cause of Christ. Give God a chance to turn your hurt into something beautiful. Your journey there—and back—will most assuredly be someone else’s answer to prayer. You’ll catch their glance, you’ll see the light in their eyes has dimmed, and you’ll know…

People don’t determine your destiny; God does. His plan for you is greater than any you could dream on your own. Every morning, when you put your feet to the floor, trust in him.

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The Other Side Of The Wall

I was driving home several years ago after a very long day at work.  I shut off the radio and began praying, much better use of my time.  I started praying the same old prayer I have prayed for years.  “God USE me. Please USE my life.  I want to change the world for You.”

As I arrived home and walked to my front door in the dark.  My neighbor who has barely spoken two or three words to me asked for a moment to chat.  He chased off his girlfriend and another neighbor by saying, “I need to talk to KC alone for a moment.” Thoughts raced through my head wondering what he wanted to say to me?  We exchanged a little bit of small talk about his car we were standing by and he seemed to finally muster up the strength to utter these words, “Would you happen to have a Bible I can have?”  Shocked, I gasped and smiled with laughter in my voice repeating his request, “You want a Bible? Bro, I can hook you up.”  He went on to share how life was rough for him right now, that he had no job and suffered with back problems…the list went on and on.  I listened.  I prayed. With compassion flooding my soul from personal experience in my own life I shared stories of God’s provision and how He keeps His promises.  I went home and as promised came back to give him that Bible.

Here’s my point in sharing this moment in my life.  We are asking God to send us to the nations…”Oh Lord, SEND ME!”  It’s a great prayer and don’t stop praying it but here’s the deal…God is just wanting you and I to look up.  LOOK!  Follow your heart and your eyes to the person nearest you.  In my case it was just talking to the guy on the other side of the wall.  You don’t need a pulpit or a ministry title for God to use you. You don’t need to be a graduate of a Bible School.  He wants to use you NOW.  Today in your family, in your workplace, in your neighborhood!  Invest in one person at a time and watch God truly use you to change this world.  Jesus said YOU are the light of the world.  Turn the light on!

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”   Matthew 5:14-16 (MSG)

PRAYER:

God today give me Your eyes, Your heart to see the needs around me. I pray they see YOU in me. Let me be sensitive enough to know when to reach out. Let me be your hands and your feet today.   I know this day has purpose.  Let me be someone’s answered prayer. In Jesus name.

 

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Let’s Talk About It!

I’m no spiritual giant.

I’m no Billy Graham.

Someone once said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

I get that.
I always have.

Ever since I was a child, I have been very sensitive to spiritual things.  I have always felt God’s presence with me.

I had a dream the other night. I was standing on a stage in a filled-to-capacity theater. I told the crowd, “If God would open your eyes for just one-half of a second to see what hell looks like you would all be evangelists for life.”

Then I woke up.
I laid in bed the rest of the night, eyes wide open.

Pondering eternity.
Pondering heaven.
Pondering hell.

There is a one-hundred percent chance you and I are not making it out of here alive.

Yet, today I am consumed with paying bills, dealing with family issues, wondering if I am a good father…or a good husband. Are we taking a vacation this year?

I will tackle all these…one by one.

Which brought me to consider, should we not all be compelled to spend at least the same amount of energy with an inward compassion about the destination of our soul?

And those of our family?
And those of our neighbors?
And … our co-workers?

Even the majority of unchurched, non-spiritual individuals believe in heaven or an afterlife.

But, what about hell?
Hell is just as real as heaven.

So what am I going to do about it?
What are we going to do about it?

It starts with love. Pray for someone today. God will show you just who to pray for, if you ask.

Then, pray earnestly for them by name, requesting God to open the door to conversation.

Then be bold.
And be strong.
And just ASK.

After all, we talk about everything else with people.
The weather.
Politics.
The highlights from last night’s game.

What if, with compassion-filled eyes and love on every spoken word, you asked…

Have you ever turned your life over to God?
Do you know how easy it is to have Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
Did you know He will accept you just as you are?
Would you mind if I pray with you?

No need for religious language. No “what church do you attend?”

A plain and simple, “Jesus changed my life. Did you know He can do the same for you?”

Now GO.
Someone is praying for you to speak.
Someone just called on God for help.
You can be answered prayer.

God wants to use YOU.
We have the honor of sharing the greatest story ever told.

Love has a name. That name is Jesus.
Healer.
Deliverer.
Savior.

And He just as real as you and I.

Jesus was moved with compassion and healed them ALL.  Matthew 14:14

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God Bless America, Land that I love.

Founding Father John Adams, to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776:

“(Independence Day) will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other. From this time forward forever more. You will think me transported with enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means. And that Posterity will triumph in that days’ transaction, even though we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not.”

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
– George Washington

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” – Patrick Henry

“Freedom is the last, best hope of earth.” – Abraham Lincoln

2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Proverbs 14:34 – Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

“I speak as a man of the world to men of the world; and I say to you, Search the Scriptures! The Bible is the book of all others, to be read at all ages, and in all conditions of human life; not to be read once or twice or thrice through, and then laid aside, but to be read in small portions of one of two chapters every day, and never to be intermitted, unless by some overruling necessity.” – John Quincy Adams

“We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel.”
– Benjamin Franklin (From the debates at the Constitutional Convention, June of 1787)

“I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in the Assembly every morning…”
– Benjamin Franklin, 1787 Constitutional Convention

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
– Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence

“I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living.”  – Ronald Reagan

“And finally, my fellow Americans, may every dawn be a great new beginning for America and every evening bring us closer to that shining city upon a hill…My fellow Americans, on behalf of both of us, goodbye, and God bless each and every one of you and God bless this country we love.” – Ronald Reagan

“Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.” -Ronald Reagan

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. Psalm 33:12

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We Win. No Matter What!

We all need Victory in some area of our lives; God wants us to live a life of Victory.  Be encouraged today that we can’t have Victory without a few battles along the way, and we all have them.  You are not alone!  You may be in a battle right now at this very moment, hold your head high and declare these promises over your life and situation.  Remember the battle is not ours but the Lords and he is our Victorious warrior.  We are on the winning side.

The Lord your God is with you, the Victorious Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17

Proverbs 21:31 – The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but VICTORY rests with the Lord.

Deuteronomy 20:4 – For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and will give you VICTORY!

1 Corinthians 15:57 – But thanks be to God, who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:4 – For every child of God defeats this evil world and we achieve the VICTORY through our faith.

2 Corinthians 2:14 – In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual VICTORY parade.  Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ.  Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.

I’m praying 2016 is the year of Victory!  Not only for my family but yours, in every area that matters to you! God delights in every detail of our lives, be confident that everything that matters to you right now, matters to him. With him, we win!

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Stellar

Ever wish you could be famous?
Do you dream of being on TV, or in magazines?
Perhaps you desire to become a household name?

I get that.

What about having your face plastered on billboards all across the world?
Or, having your name on the side of a building? Or two. Or more!
(What do you think Donald thinks when he pulls up in front of Trump Towers?)

Yeah, that would be cool.

What about a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
Or having your name sold to become a franchise?
(What’s that you’re wearing? Oh, those are Steve Madden’s?)

Sweet, huh?

What about all those statues and monuments of famous people who did great things?
The Lincoln Memorial…The Wright Brothers…Thomas Edison…

That’s cool.

Hey, I would like to be a famous Missourian.
But, the only one who thinks of me as a celebrity is my Grandma.
And she thinks I hung the moon.

Strangely, I am happy with that!

But here’s the deal…

Birds will poop on your statue.
People will walk all over your star.
And the paparazzi? They will follow you everywhere…

Sure, some see it as a big honor—in the here and now.
Yet, the truth is, you can’t take it with you.
And it doesn’t matter how famous you are—when you die—you’re mortal.
Just like the man who sells newspapers on the corner or the person who served you at the drive thru.

Elvis died. Michael Jackson died. John D. Rockefeller died.
Did any of them take their fame and fortune with them?
No.

Join me in thinking BIGGER.
WAAAAAY bigger!
Like out of this world bigger!

Like…..FOR-EV-ER.
Yep! I am talking’ the big “E”!
Eternal.

Why settle for fleeting fame when you—and everyone you know–can achieve Daniel 12:3 (AMP):

Those who are [spiritually] wise will SHINE brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead many to righteousness, [WILL SHINE] like the STARS forever and ever.

Now we’re talking!

When you tell people the “greatest love story ever told,” they are lead to righteousness and eternal life by accepting Christ. And, they in turn, will become busy doing the same as will their next generation, and so on …

Announcing to the world that God IS indeed ALIVE…and on the throne.

Now that’s something worth doing.

Those who are [spiritually] wise will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead many to righteousness, [will shine] like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12: 3 (AMP)

 

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Love Your Life, Every Minute Of It.

Time is what I want the most. Time is also what I waste the most.

Doesn’t make sense, does it? I want to savor time. Savor like I would a good meal or dessert. The kind of meal that makes me throw up my hands and shout, “This is amazing!”

I learned how to savor time the hard way. I ran out of time with my dad. I still remember the moment we said our last goodbye even though I didn’t know it at the time. I backed the car out of his driveway after bringing him home from the doctor’s office. He waved goodbye… I woke up the next morning to a fresh snow fall which blanketed the Ozark hills. I walked to my office at the church I worked at, and that’s when I got the call. My sister was on the other end telling me, “Daddy ran out of time.”

I’ll be honest, I sometimes get anxious about time now. But the answer to my worries is not needing more time. The answer is to use each day, each hour, each minute more wisely and not to waste those precious moments.

When each of my grandfathers passed away, my grandmothers gave me my grandfather’s watch. Of all the gifts to give, they gave me time. To this day, I believe those gifts didn’t come to me by chance or accident. My father’s watch sits next to the two that were given to me. Watches of three men who impacted my life and ran out of time. A sober reminder to cherish my time.

There are three things I do to help keep my mind in perspective.
– Choose to schedule time with those I love.
– Choose to look into people’s eyes instead of at my phone/tablet/computer screen.
– Choose to think of those things that will last for eternity.

Family, friends, and neighbors are what matter the most. Those relationships we make during our time on Earth will last us forever. So, my friend, don’t waste the time you have.

Make goals, dream big, and don’t put things before people. Time offers no refunds, spend it wisely.

I am come that they might have life, and life more abundantly. – Jesus

I’ll leave you with this prayer.

Lord, help me savor my time. Allow me to redeem it and use it wisely. Let my time here bear fruit as yours did through your son, Jesus. Help me number my days and count each one blessed. For my time on this earth is truly a gift.

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When Running Is Easy.

A son in the Bible asked for his father’s inheritance early.  He more or less was saying, “I wish you were already dead, Dad.”

He took his inheritance, ran away and blew all the money.  Having nothing left, he ended up eating out of a trough with pigs.

That is when his “Aha moment” occurred.

He asked himself, “What am I doing here?” So he got up and went to his father.  He knew his father was good and knew his heart and character. This story goes on to say that the father was looking for his son from afar off. When he saw his son returning, he ran! He ran to his son grateful for his return.

Before a sincere apology or a long list of excuses, the father ran to his son because he was just thrilled his son had finally come home.

There is nothing like coming home.

“The father kissed him and welcomed him to all he had.”   Luke 11:32

A story that perfectly represents God’s love for you, friend.  That’s a Father’s Love!

He is looking for you right now.

Think outside the stained glass windows and Christian television preachers with slicked back hair with one hand on the Bible and one in your pocket.

You have a real Dad who adores you and loves you and knows everything about you and still says…

“I love you!”

You may go days without even thinking of God but there’s never a moment when He’s not thinking of you.

“My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore.”  Psalms 139:17-18  

It’s hard to wrap our minds around a love like that.

Many of us have grown up with broken relationships with strained, absent or based on conditions with our earthly father.

God, our Heavenly Father, isn’t like that.

His love is unconditional.

Nothing can even separate you from the Father’s love.

None of these things:

“Not death or life, not angels nor demons, not our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”   Romans 8:38

Several times a day, I say out loud, “God loves me. My Father Loves Me. God is good to me. My Father is watching over me. God is for me and not against me.”

His arms are wide open waiting for you to run to him.  God knows the worst about you. Nonetheless, He is a loving Father who loves YOU the most.   

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

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The Best Gift

She was a joy!  She had a smile from ear to ear and oh how she loved  Jesus.  He was the reason her smile was always bigger than the state of Texas.

She stopped by the church on a Friday as I was working.  She drove by just to give me a hug and tell me how sorry she was for missing my father’s funeral.  I remember the day.  I remember that hug.

She was on the radio that coming Sunday.  I listened while I ironed my shirt for church.  She shared how sure she was that heaven had cotton candy clouds.  REAL clouds made of cotton candy.  I laughed, “Only Julie!” I thought.  I almost called to tell her that I loved her and to thank her again for stopping by the church on that Friday.  I wish I would have…because by the following Friday…she was gone.  I heard stories from friends on how people from all over rushed to the hospital to pray for her.  In the midst of the crowded hospital waiting room that day someone spoke up as friends and family had gathered saying, “Guys, you know Julie, if she gets one glimpse of Jesus she’s not coming back to us.”  He was right.

Hundreds of us gathered, not one empty seat, to celebrate her life.  It was truly something to hear the stories of how God was with us in the form of this friend we called “Julie.”  The day was bright and beautiful, a reflection of her, we released balloons as our final earthly good-bye.  It was so much a celebration!  It was the way she would have wanted it, the way she lived her life, one big “Celebration!”  I was so taken in by the moments there that I forgot to grieve, the reality of earth’s loss and heaven’s gain however hit me hard on the drive home.  I remember pulling over to the side of the road to let the tears flow, I cried buckets.  My love ran deep for this treasured friend.

Years later her name came up in conversation.  Amazing, how a comment from someone can actually take your breath away and make time stand still momentarily.  “KC, recently I was able to read some of Julie’s old prayer journals” she confided, “and your name is written everywhere.  She prayed for you KC.  She called on God many times for you.  She really loved you KC.”  My heart sunk, I had no words.

The Gift.

That day, knowing that Julie had prayed for me and knowing who I am now and remembering who I was, reflecting on her prayers, each one had come to pass.  I believe with all my heart our prayers are never wasted.  They are tangible, powerful, and life giving and those prayers last longer than we do.  They cover us, surround us, and continue on long after we leave this earth.  I’m the minister, father, husband that I am because of “the Gift”, the precious gift of an uttered prayer on my behalf.

So Julie, I don’t believe they have blogs in Heaven but THANK YOU!!  I have names in my journal who I’m speaking the Word over and crying out for them just as you did for me.  I love and miss you and all these years later, I am still beyond thankful for your gift.

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16

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