Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The Lord reminded me of a devotional that Ann (my wife) had written for a group of her co-workers as I finished my prayer time earlier this morning.  Many of us get into such a hurry that we fail to follow the process that God is allowing to work in our lives at any given moment.  We live in a hurry up world that encourages us to ignore anything that might require us to take time to savor the moment and also learn from those moments.  I believe that you will be blessed and challenged through the thoughts that God placed on Ann's heart.

Every day we influence someone in our lives either for good or bad.  Influence isn’t about power and getting what we want.  It’s about servanthood and giving our best to others, whatever our position in life. 
Whatever our station in life, we can pray powerfully as we pray persistently for others.  We need to keep at it, as we would our work.  A lack of endurance is one of the greatest causes of our defeat, especially in prayer.  I don’t know about you but I don’t wait well.   You see I am into microwaving; but God on the other hand, is usually into marinating.
If we allow Prayer to be a priority in our lives it will help us juggle the multiple often conflicting duties of work, home, husband, children, friends, ministry, and even ourselves.  Can I share something about ME?   I can write on my calendar 6:30 – 7:00 a.m. PRAYER.   But many times I passed that up.  It was one more thing to pass by that day.  Now I try to think 6:30 – 7:00 a.m. – GOD.  Somehow that’s a little harder to neglect.
When we pray, asking God to center us on Him and His purpose, we will find the balance we need in our work place and in our life.  He will give us guidance and energy in determining priorities.  He will change our attitudes at work and pray daily for our coworkers as they battle the conflicts of life. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Reflection

It is always a wonderful privilege to share the Word of God with a congregation of people.  I am blessed as I witness the energy of the Spirit begin to move among and move in the hearts of the believers that are present in the service.  It is such a blessing to realize that God is calling/wooing us into His presence so that He can complete in us what He started at our initial conversion.  We all know that God is Awesome and Mighty but He uses many different actions and processes to bring His presence alive to our hearts.  Yesterday I asked the children in the church to stand with me and sing "Jesus Loves Me."  This song brought memories to many in the congregation who were taught this song in their childhood.  You could sense the re-connection not only with the song but with the love of God that had inspired the writer of this song.  You could see the faces of the children light up as they offered their song of worship to God.  I share this simple illustration to remind you that God has a desire to reach out to every individual of our world.  No one is exempt from the love of God.  Let us remind ourselves of the declaration of John 3:16a, "For God so loved the world..."  Our responsibility as Christians is to share that love with fallen humanity.  Our opportunity as believers is to live under the awesome influence of that love and allow His love to make a difference in our lives.  Take some time this week and look for those moments in which God reveals His love to you.  Take opportunity this week to share the love of God with someone through acts of kindness, concern, prayer, and encouragement.  Your life will be blessed and strengthened as you walk in the promises of both of these spiritual activities.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Family of God

We enjoyed an inspiring as well as challenging conversation in Discipleship Class on Wednesday night.  We were discussing the concept that everyone was important in the eyes of God and that each one had the ability or abilities to impact and influence the lives of our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord.  I truly believe that each and every member of the Body of Christ has an unique and very important role to fulfill.  I believe that the Apostle Paul's words in I Corinthians 12 teach that valuable lesson.  But each of us have the tendency to downplay or in some cases deny the ability or abilities that God has deposited in our lives.  We diminish our contribution to the work of the Kingdom because we allow the enemy to lead us into the process of comparing ourselves to the other members of the family of God.  The Bible calls this action on our part "unwise."  We need to become comfortable with our identity and our abilities.  This does not mean that we do not seek to improve those gifts, talents, or abilities.  For example a  musician may identify at an early age that they have an ability to play an instrument or in some cases multiple instruments.  These individuals do not stop at learning the basics rather they began to delve into the deeper knowledge of music so that they can excel in the release of their gift or ability.  I truly believe that God expects us to exhibit excellence in all things but this excellence is not based on human judgment but based on the true and perfect judgment that God displays toward each of us.  We must remember that we are meant to please God and not perform for the praise of mankind.  The praise of humanity is fickle and our emotions regarding our self-worth can change quickly based on the reactions of others toward us.  We will never be able to please or impress others all of the time but if we can become comfortable in offering to God our best service we will see a difference in our relationship with God and even with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  I believe that the Body of Christ was never meant to compete with each other but we were meant to compliment one another.  We are not involved in a talent contest with each other but we should seek to edify (build up, encourage) our fellow travelers on the road of life.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Weekend Reflection

New River Worship Center celebrated "Christmas in January" this past weekend.  We were unable to present our Christmas musical and worship time before Christmas because our building at the new location was not completely ready for occupancy.  But something very nice developed from the delay; we were able to focus on Christ and His birth without all of the distraction of commercialism that normally occupies the celebration in December.  Christmas in January may be the answer to this challenge that increasingly is developing for the family of God.  The celebration of Christ is being lost in the television commercials, the newspaper ads, and the decorations of stores that are vying for our attention.  But I realize that we must not allow our hearts to drift from the true purpose of the birth of Christ.  Christ was born knowing full well that He would eventually die for the sins of humanity.  Christ knew all of this information yet He willingly chose to give His life for the redemption of humanity.  It is no wonder that the choirs and musicians on Friday and Sunday were able to offer praise and worship to God with fervency, passion, articulation, and thankfulness.  Will you take the time today to offer God thanksgiving for the wonderful and precious gift of eternal life?  Do we truly appreciate the marvelous gift of hope that Christ has offered to us?  I encourage you to offer your celebration to our Savior today.  God is waiting to hear this expression of praise from your heart and not just the heart of someone else in your family or in your local church.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekend Reflection

We are now entering our third week of a dedicated time of Prayer and Fasting.  I am hearing testimonies of answered prayer and a renewed desire to serve God in a manner that pleases Him.  Prayer and Fasting should not just be about asking; Prayer and Fasting is also about receiving.  We should seek to receive those revelations and understandings that will propel us into a deeper relationship with our Savior.  God needs to be more than just our Provider, He needs to be our Lord as well.  Many of us freely receive His saving Grace into our lives but we struggle when it comes to Him being Lord of our lives.  I truly seek for Him to be the Lord of my life.  I truly desire for Him to order my steps and direct the path of my journey.

I reminded the congregation yesterday that God does not want a facsimile of my life but He desires for me to surrender my life to Him as a sign that I desire to serve Him with all of my heart.  I don't believe that God will settle for a copy of my life; He calls me to offer my life to Him as a living sacrifice.  This sacrifice must be freely offered in which I allow Him to do His complete and perfect work in my heart and soul.  Romans 12:1 has been in my spirit for several weeks now and I know that God is speaking to me from that passage of scripture.  Let me remind you of the words that are written in that passage; "I beseech (urge) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service" (NKJV).  I truly believe that God's Word does express the expectations that He has for each of us.  This is the time in my life in which I need to live up to those expectations.  I also do not believe that God will force me into that type of relationship; although in my judgment I believe that He could.  God is lovingly calling me into that type of willing surrender to His will and way.  I want to be prepared to offer my life to Him for Him to use as He sees fit.  I can accomplish that goal if I will remain committed to seek after the Heart of God.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Experiences vs Experiencing

The Discipleship class last evening brought a great reminder to my heart as I participated in the discussion.  Christians have a tendency to describe their relationship with God based on an experience or  a series of experiences that they have received from God.  We use such words or phrases as my Salvation experience; my Spirit filled experience; my water baptism experience, or the experience of sanctification just to name a few.  I believe in each of these experiences but we must be careful and not limit our relationship with God to those moments of an encounter with God and allow ourselves to become content with just those wonderful moments.  God is so much greater than just any initial encounter with Him.  God has so much more to offer to each of us than just those initial encounters.  Just for a moment think about your friendships that you have developed with various individuals over the course of your life.  Aren't you glad that you went beyond the initial introduction to that person?  Many of us have even developed life long friendships with people that started with a casual introduction at church or at work.  I do not mean to imply that our initial introduction to God was a "casual" one but I do want you to see the need for the continual development of that relationship with God.  Aren't you glad that you chose to go beyond a surface relationship with that individual who would become a life long friend?  That transition happened because you chose to develop that relationship with your new friend not fully realizing the end result of that relationship.  I believe that we must chose to take that same posture with God and realize that He desires to see our relationship develop with Him.  After all did not God call Abraham His friend?  I am glad to declare that I  have chosen and continue to choose to make a conscious decision that I will seek to develop my personal relationship with God!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


First of all, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Alabama Crimson Tide on winning the BCS National Championship game on Monday night.  I was raised in the state of Alabama during the time that Paul "Bear" Bryant served as the head coach.  Those of you who are acquainted with me realize that I am a fan of the Crimson Tide.  I offer my congratulations to Coach Saban, the coaching staff and the team for winning the championship.  Whether you count the Tide winning 9 or 14 championships it really does not matter; what matters is the fact that Bama is the BCS Champion for 2011.

This morning I was reminded of something that I heard and witnessed last night.  Coach Saban kept saying that the team "bought into" the coaching staff's plan for the season as well as their plan for the game.  The winning quarterback, A J McCarron, spoke about all of the extra time that he spent in the "film room" studying the opponent.  The game revealed the evidence that a group of individuals came together as a team to accomplish their goals.  Once again let me refer to one of the comments of Coach Saban.  He referenced the fact that the win was a "team effort."  He recognized all players, all coaches, as well as the administration of the University.  He actually believes that the championship was a "team effort."

Let me share three points with you that came into my mind this morning.  1) What if every Christian "bought into" the leadership of Christ and the leadership of the spiritual leaders that God places in their lives?  What if we were sold out to the "spiritual game plan" that is revealed in the Bible?  2) What if we spent extra time in the "spiritual film room?"  What if we realized that we have an enemy but that enemy can be defeated through the power of prayer, surrender, and application of the Word of God to our individual lives?  3) What if we realized that each individual believer needs to stop operating as an individual and become a part of a spiritual team that desires to share the power of the Gospel with a hurting world?    What if we were glad to be a member of that team regardless of our position or recognition?  

There are spiritual victories to be won and spiritual enemies to be defeated.  I truly desire to follow after Christ and His direction for my life.  Will you join me on that journey?

Monday, January 9, 2012


I am very much a creature of habit (my wife would completely agree with that statement).  My early morning schedule has been very hectic the past several weeks and I am a person who likes to write on this blog early in the morning.  It may be apparent that I need to pray about being a little more flexible; those of you who know me personally might offer a hearty Amen to that statement.  But I do know that the Lord continues to deal with my heart as we enter the second week of the call to 21 days of Prayer and Fasting.  I do not want to ignore the call from God to draw near to His heart so that I might more completely understand His purpose and call for my life as well as the ministerial call that I sense at work in me.

Yesterday the spirit dealt with my heart concerning making resolutions in comparison to making commitments.  Many believers settle for making resolutions to improve, change, pray more, read the Bible more, etc. rather than taking the Biblical challenge to step into the lifestyle of commitment.  Commitment requires participation with God.  Commitment requires surrender to God.  Commitment requires seeking His will and way rather than my will and way.  Commitment requires me to look to God for direction and guidance as I follow after Him.  I am determined to make that transition in my life.  I refuse to be content with just following a list of resolutions for a few days or possibly a few months and then drift back into the some mundane lifestyle of Christianity.  I want to upgrade my spiritual journey into a deeper lifestyle of commitment.  I want to receive all that God has planned for my life and I truly believe that revelation  begins with seeking after God with all of my heart.  I desire to stop holding anything in reserve for some other desire that may arise in my heart.  I strongly sense the need for God to be the lead desire of my heart as I continue to walk this blessed road of Christianity. 

Prepare your heart to move from just making resolutions and walk in the strength of full commitment to our wonderful Savior!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Last night (Tuesday) I was involved in a time of prayer with a group of leaders that serve New River Worship Center.  It was a wonderful time of prayer and encouragement as we gathered to seek after the heart of God.  I truly sense that God is at work in the hearts of many believers and that is the reason we are sensing the enemy working against us in various ways.  Many of you are facing your own set of unique circumstances but I want to encourage you to continue seeking God regardless of the circumstances around you. I also want to encourage you to seek out a prayer partner or prayer partners who will stand in agreement with you.  There is power in agreement and we could sense that power in the prayer service last night.

I do not have the time or space to share all that took place last night in our lives.  But I do feel impressed to share a few of the highlights that the Spirit has placed in my heart this morning.  The Lord encouraged one of the leaders to direct a corporate time of prayer after we had spent time in prayer concerning our individual walk with Christ.  In this time of prayer we had focused on seeking after the heart of God; surrendering our lives to Christ; and offering ourselves as servants in the family of God. The second round of prayer offered each of us the opportunity to not only intercede for our fellow laborer but the Spirit through prayer afforded each of us the opportunity to affirm our brother and sister in Christ.  There are people in your sphere of influence who simply need someone to affirm them and recognize the various gifts and abilities that they bring to the family of God.  I was touched deeply as I listened to the various leaders pray over one another and declare the worth of that individual.  Each of you today are important to God and you are an important part of the Body of Christ.  Do not downplay your importance because you view yourself as insignificant; NO ONE is insignificant in the eyes of God!  Each and every believer has an important role to play in the work of the Kingdom of God.  Just take the time to allow the Spirit to reveal to you the gifts and abilities that have been placed in your life and then be willing to use those gifts and abilities for the glory of God.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Recognizing the NEED to Pray

In addition to asking others to pray and fast during the first 21 days of 2012 I have chosen to respond to this call from God in a personal manner. I am truly convicted that God desires to remove the lack of prayer from His family. We are called to a developing relationship with God and prayer is one of the spiritual growth factors that is available to each of us. There are times that we bemoan the fact that we consider the church weak and powerless yet at the same time we choose to ignore those growth factors that God has placed before us. We live in a world of vitamins, power drinks, exercise machines, and personal health trainers. Our bodies may be growing stronger yet our spirits may be growing weaker. I am certainly not against the improvement of our physical health but I am concerned about the deterioration of our spiritual health. Will we make the effort to spend time with our Heavenly Father through a time of prayer and meditation? Strength, hope, courage, and the renewal of our faith can be found in the presence of God. Have you ever wondered why the enemy works so diligently to keep each of us out of the presence of God?

Monday, January 2, 2012


I have not written a post since last year.  I thought that my schedule would improve somewhat but the need to assist in finishing Phase 1 of our remodeling project at New River Worship Center took me away from my desk last week.  I certainly do not mean that previous statement in a negative way because it is always a pleasure to be able to serve in whatever manner in the Kingdom of God.  There are times that serving God in His Kingdom requires some "manual labor" (just ask Paul about his tent making ability).  It is a great blessing to witness the direction of the Spirit in the ordering of our steps so that we can accomplish HIS plan for our lives.

20011 has come and gone but I can truthfully say that I have witnessed the presence of Christ in every step of my journey.  Now we begin to look forward to 2012 and all that God has in store for our lives.  I can truthfully say that I look forward to the presence of Christ being evident in every step of my journey.  New River Worship Center is joining with other believers around the world in beginning the first 21 days of 2012 in an extra effort of Prayer and Fasting.  Hopefully each of these Biblical principles are evident in our daily walk with Christ but there are those times that we need to make an extra effort to connect with God through a time of sacrifice and seeking His face.

I spoke to New River yesterday about 3 Goals/Purposes/Desires for 2012.  First, let us commit to Seeking God.  We must reconnect with our need to be people of Prayer.  The House of the Lord must return to being a House of Prayer.  Second, let us commit to Surrendering to God.  Each of us need to be prepared to offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).  Third, let us commit ourselves to Serving God.  Each of us need to be willing to serve the family of God through our time, gifts, talents, and abilities.  I truly believe that each of us are called to serve and we need to be "about the Father's business."

My prayer is that the church in America will walk in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit and that we will spread the Good News of the Kingdom throughout the communities that we serve.  Have a blessed and prosperous 2012!