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!

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.

Soldier On

Friend, can I encourage you this morning that God has not left you?  Your Heavenly Father has not left you helpless or hopeless.

HE is with you…Right now.
HE adores you…At this very moment.
HE sings over you.
HE rests in His love for you.

As a follower of Jesus you and I have been well equipped to live a victorious life here on planet earth. We have been given the word of the living God. One day the heavens and earth will pass away but the Word of God will stand and remain forever. The Word is a promise book for you and me.  Unlike man, God’s promises are each one kept and fulfilled.  All of his promises are YES and AMEN to you and me today. The word of God is sharper than any two edged sword once it’s spoken it never return’s void. The Bible isn’t about somebody…it IS somebody. The Living Word is yours to stand on and to feast on and to use as a weapon against the enemy. The Word works and it’s yours.  Alive and Active…The Word belongs to you.
We not only have the Word but we have the precious and powerful Holy Spirit.  Jesus said, “It’s better for me to go because when I do the Holy Spirit will come. He will teach you ALL things.”  Not only is the Holy Spirit the teacher but He is the Comforter and the Guide. He is real! He is present at this moment desiring to guide your day and give you the power and strength to fulfill your destiny.  He is the Comforter, when we are hurt He comforts, when we are lost He guides and when are wrapped in confusion He speaks and leads with truth. The Holy Spirit is so real and He belongs to you.
We also have the name…the name of  JESUS!  It’s the name that’s above all other names.  Philippians 2:10, “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of  Jesus every knee will bow of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” When my little girl had a fever a week ago I spoke that name over her and the fever instantly left. Say the name, speak the name of  Jesus and everything that’s not of God must leave and will leave.  The name of  JESUS belongs to you.
As the world day by day grows darker…the church (that’s us) we are growing Brighter and Brighter.  By using the Word, speaking the Word, being led by the Holy Spirit and walking in the authority of the Name that’s above all names.  Friend you’re not helpless and hopeless.  Your well equipped to be a force to be reckoned with!  Now for the kingdom’s sake go take your day. It won’t be long until we will see our King face to face…until then soldier on.

 

Zephaniah 3:17Amplified Bible (AMP)
“17 The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.”

Storm Clouds

Years ago my life was spiraling out of control.   I won’t go into the details but daily things kept getting worse. I’m here to tell you it was a nightmare.

I ran to several pastors and close friends and told them all my problems…really I told anyone who would listen!  The more I spoke the worse it got! I was faced with blank stares and a pat on my shoulder conveying that it would get better and that I should just hang in there. I soon realized though wisdom is found in wise counsel!  My only hope was in a Living God and I started crying out to Him.

In my darkest moment God said, “Your words are seeds; only speak what you want to harvest.  Only speak what you want to see.”  I sat and pondered the words spoken and I immediately started to speak daily confessions of God’s Word. Sometimes five times a day, sometimes three times a day, sometimes all night long! It was a very long list of confessions from the Word of God.

I promise you this…as I started speaking Scripture over my life and my circumstances…Everything changed. I mean Everything!

My friend, I’m sharing a very personal story to encourage you with this truth.

It’s impossible to speak the Word of God and not see results.  God said “I watch over my Word to perform it.” Isaiah 55:11   After about a week of just speaking the Word things started changing.  I started getting more stable and I felt myself from the inside out getting stronger. It didn’t happen instantly but gradually.  I’m telling you what worked for me. I know it will work for you.

If your currently in a storm, a situation that you never thought you would be in, here’s my advice… take God’s Word like a medicine several times a day!  I hope this doesn’t sound simplified like:  Just say this and stand on one leg and everything will be just fine.  That’s not at all what I’m saying.

Remember the parable told by Jesus from Matthew Chapter 7?

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

We may feel as if life is “beating on our house.”  We are standing in a storm and taking a real beating.  I know that’s how I felt.   Because you have built your house on the rock you have this promise…”but it did not fall.”  We have a living God who hears and answers prayer and watches over his Word to perform it.   My house did not fall. You are loved and prayed for, hold strong and keep standing on the rock.  I promise to keep on praying for you. This storm will pass and you will come out stronger than before.

I Am With You

I sometimes wonder if God longs for our attention just as much as we long for His. There are days my heart aches for no other reason than for just a touch of Heaven.

I watch my five year old daughter pedal on her bike as she makes circles in the driveway, her sweet voice rings out, “Watch me Daddy!  Watch me!” I quickly respond, “I am!” and she yells, “Well…watch me MO!”

I am awestruck as I realize “that’s ME!”  God do you see ME?  This situation I am experiencing? I yell out, “Well, Lord, watch me more!”

Life can be so hard!  The questions fill our mind does God see me? Does God know my name? Does God have a better ending to this story I’m currently living?

The answer is YES!  Always…Yes!  I’ll let Him take it from here…

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” ~ Jesus  Mathew 6:26

“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.  I’ve called your name. You’re mine.” Isaiah 43:1

God says: “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Today, look not only with your eyes for Him but with your heart.  Today, maybe just for ten minutes…sit somewhere very quiet and whisper His name.  Listen and be still.  I believe He will speak. I believe He will show you what you need to do. I believe you will hear him say, “I love you more!”

The most amazing thing is we can have as much as we want of Him, our hearts cry may very well be “Daddy watch me!” and He says… “I am!”

“I am never out of your sight.” – Psalms 139:3

Help is On the Way!

Do you really believe today that God is fully aware of your needs, your desires, your
hurts, your fears? Do you believe that He holds your heart and your future?
I do! I really do…

Just take a glance at what He says…
Psalms 145:18 “The Lord is near to all who call on Him.”
Isaiah 46:4 “I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.”
Psalms 37:23 “He delights in every detail of their lives.”

Obviously He sees, He cares, and He loves.

Please, hear me today!  No matter what storm you’re facing, what valley you’re walking
through, no matter what doctor’s office you’re sitting in, no matter what financial
brokenness you’re finding yourself in…HE REALLY CARES! HE REALLY LOVES YOU!
This IS not the END! When all else fails, when no human on this earth has the answer.

HE does! HE really does!

Seek Him, get alone, and withdraw to a quiet place.  Shut off your phone, shut off the
noise of the world which is commanding your attention and just ask for Supernatural
HELP from a Supernatural Father who ALWAYS takes care of His kids.  Then after
you’ve spoken to the one who holds it all…Simply trust.  Trust.  Just TRUST. Yes, THAT
simple.

As you trust.  Watch…watch what you prayed in the supernatural come to pass in the
natural, sometimes suddenly, sometimes daily.

He is setting up appointments. He can stretch that dollar; The call, the text has already been sent. He’s never let you down and He won’t start now.  He will move heaven and earth to Help you, you simply have to ask.

He is GLORIOUS!

HE is FAITHFUL!

He is LOVE!

Mark 11:24 “You can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” ~Jesus

Thankfulness

It really does work. You don’t hear a lot about it.  It’s shrugged off, looked over, and swept under.  It’s something that changes everything. Thankfulness

Several years ago I was the producer for a nationally syndicated morning show, among a long list of other responsibilities; my job was to screen hundreds of calls every morning.  I would listen intently for radio gold, this was an 800 number that received calls from 47 States, some calling to comment about a story we had just aired, calling for prayer or to speak with one of our pastor’s. Here’s the point…it didn’t matter how bad my week had gone or what was going on in my life. After being on the phone for only FIVE minutes I was SO thankful for all my problems because after hearing the stories of others for only FIVE minutes I had ZERO issues.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  

I Thessalonians 5:18

I’ve tested this out in my own life for sure.  I get why it’s the “WILL OF GOD” for our lives! Here’s the picture…your driving to work and you start complaining maybe not out loud but internally. “This stinking traffic!”  “What the car needs an oil change already?” “I want a new car, look at that car?” “What do they do for a living?”  You go on…and on…and on.

Flip it around!  “Well, good morning GOD!”  “I’m so thankful I have a JOB. It’s not the best pay but I get to GO to work.”  “This car isn’t the greatest but it’s PAID for!”  “God, thank you for the warm bed I slept in last night, the coffee this morning and that bagel with cream cheese.”THANK YOU! THANK YOU! You get the picture!

It’s just the difference in FOCUSING, sometimes hard, on what you DO have instead of focusing on what you DON”T have. What if we just spent some real time in thanksgiving mode?  Try thanking God for all the big things, like your health to something small like a hot shower.  Create your own list!  I get why this is “THE WILL OF GOD!”  You may not be where you want to be but thank GOD you’re not where you once where. You may not have what you want to have but thank GOD for what you do have.

It’s something that changes everything. Thankfulness!


“Thanksgiving is the language of heaven, and we had better start to learn it if we are not to be mere dumb aliens there.” – A.J. Gossip

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”
– Harry Ironside

believe

I believe in a God…who cares, who holds, who loves.  Who’s not distant or untouchable.
Who is as close to you and I as the air we breathe, and everything that matters to you, right now, matters to Him.  I believe He loves you more that you can comprehend; His thoughts toward you are countless.

I believe He heals not only the body but He heals everywhere we hurt…the brokenness, the past, the soul, the marriage, the loss, the unimaginable hurt, our family.  I believe He loves and He longs.  He hears and He answers.  He longs for us to know Him more.  I believe He hurts for His children.  He grieves for those whom the enemy has captive.

I believe He is seen everywhere.

I believe when we speak the name of  JESUS supernatural power is available.

I believe His word is 100% true and accurately prophetic, scientifically proven, holy and eternal.  Armies of Angels stand at attention when His Word is read.  His Word is healing medicine to you and me, we who are so far from home.  Like a hot shower or a good night’s sleep it soothes and comforts us.  It’s not an option, its life sustaining and life fulfilling.  His Holy written Word is filled with promises for YOU, for me!  Every promise kept by the faithful “promise keeper” sealed with a rainbow as a reminder.
I believe Heaven and Earth will one day pass away but NOT His Word.  I believe His Word is eternal and is a love letter penned for each of us.  I believe our loved ones and saints gone before us still study His Word.  Heaven is filled with His life giving Word.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Teacher, and the Comforter.  He is the daily reminder that you’re not alone in all this.

I believe in loving people right where they are.  That’s how He found me.  That’s the day Heaven touched Earth and I was set free, filled with His Spirit and sealed with a promise and now sent to tell the world that I believe.
I believe He uses the “nobody…” the least and the last, the uneducated the one with the “bad name….” anyone…. anywhere…the shepherd boy and the one everyone overlooks and forgets.  I believe He uses anyone He wants so His power is displayed for all to see.  Showing that He is alive and well and still performing miracles.  The blind see, the dead are raised to life and any minute of any day we can start again.

That’s what I believe.

I believe the news headlines are matching what I believe.  I believe the birth pains are happening on the Earth more frequently and coming rapidly closer and closer together…I believe in the signs of the times and believe something is about to be born.

Do you hear the call?  Do you sense it?  Do you feel deep within something is coming?
A call of urgency is what I believe more and more.

I believe the sky will split and our King will return and every knee will bow and every eye will see.

That’s what I BELIEVE.

We Are The Body

You know those people who listened when you called.

Those people who invested in your life, when all was broken and so lost.

FEAR shouted “WE WON!”

They whispered in your ear… “Have Faith.”

Those people, who stopped, stooped and cared when others ran.

Those people who said “Hang in there!” when others said, “Give up and just go on.”

Those who lifted you up instead of put you down.

Who not only spoke love but were love.

Those people who gave you time, resources and texts in the middle of the night.

Those people who said “I had you on my heart.”

“You want to come over?”

“Let’s go for a walk.”

“What are you doing for dinner tonight?”

“Hey, I know someone who can…”

Those people … don’t forget them.

PLEASE don’t forget them.

Invest in them.

Either we are watching a storm, in a storm or waiting for a storm to pass.

They will need you someday soon.

Someday sooner than you think they will need you.

Maybe even now, when was the last time you heard from them?

Don’t abandon them because you’re busy or tired.

Answer when they call.

Text when your heart speaks their name.

Remember the light they carried when your world was dark?

We cry out for GOD.

GOD in a human form is standing in front of you, working through “THOSE People.”

Those people ~ the body of Christ, the family of God!

Don’t forget them, please don’t forget them.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. ~ Galatians 6:2