Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

06
Feb
12

Surrender

Have you ever asked yourself, “why am I still holding on to this and why haven’t I surrendered it to God?” Whether it is the weight of sin, unforgiveness, fear of the unknown, a deep hurt of the past, pride, shame, insecurity, etc., there are lots of things that we hold on to. These things take the joy out of our life and we end up living in mediocrity and not truly experiencing all the amazing things that God has for us.

So how can we truly surrender these things? I am learning that everyday. Here are a few things that I am learning about surrender.

First, I think we have to recognize that we don’t have the power to surrender on our own. It is God’s Spirit at work in us that gives us the power to surrender.
Recognizing this is the first step in surrendering. In our weakness, His strength is made perfect.

Second, we need a revelation of His love. So often times we try to surrender something out of fear and this only leads to still holding on to whatever we are trying to surrender. God loves us so much and when we truly understand His love for us, then we will want to live our lives surrendered to Him because of His goodness. Spending time with Him is key. If you want to get to know anyone, you spend time with them. Whenever my wife and I recognize we need to reconnect in our relationship…we plan a getaway and spend time together. This is the same with God. If you want to know who He is, you have to be intentional about spending time with Him. He wants to reveal His love to us everyday. Our team is doing a 30 day devotional called- “Will You Worship?” by Ray Jones. This book invites you to spend time with God and fresh way. I see God revealing His love to me in a great ways.

I invite you to take this journey with us, you can get the book at http://www.cbcmusicstore.com/products/Will-You-Worship-Book-%26-Study.html

Lastly, I think surrender is saying YES without knowing the outcome. We are so wired to give our yes only if we know the outcome. We play our “yes” safe. True surrender is understanding that God has a plan, it may not always be what we want but it will be the best for our lives. Saying yes to Him without knowing all the outcome is true surrender. If He gave His only son, what good thing would He withhold from us?

Today, you may be holding on to something that you know God is wanting you to surrender. Pray this prayer with me.

Father, help me surrender _____________. I don’t want to hold on to this anymore. I say yes to you and your plan for my life. Help me, by your spirit, to not hold on to it anymore. Give me a revelation of your love today. Help me to love you and know you the way that you want to be loved and known. Help me to live my life surrendered to you. In Jesus name I ask these things. Amen.

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18
Jul
11

my believer-er is busted.

I had one of those conversations this morning where it was just as amazing as it was painful. I was sitting across from a woman who I greatly admire and respect who is walking some of the very same roads I am walking, and is just a few paces ahead of me in some respects.

She has every reason not to believe. She’s been burned, she’s seen signs and visions come to pass, and lives in a society that says the stats are stacked too high against her. She said God recently challenged her by telling her she wasn’t praying expectantly anymore. Everything she said after that was a blur. I heard it all, but it was swimming around in some pretty heavy emotions that I was starting to have to interface with as she was talking.

I guess “praying expectantly” brings to light the idea that sometimes when we pray, we’re not expecting anything we are praying for. That hurts my heart, mainly because I know it hurts His heart. I can’t imagine how many prayers I’ve prayed without really expecting anything….it was more like wondering…and wondering if God is going to do something is not the same thing as expecting Him to do something. And now that I think about it, hoping falls a little short of “expecting” too. Expecting is for those really bold, brash people who have the audacity to believe such things could happen. But not me. That would be impolite. And rude. And demanding. And assuming.

How contrary to how the mind and heart of a daughter of The King should work.

I am in a season where I think my believer-er is busted. Don’t freak. ”Oh my gosh, the worship pastor doesn’t believe anymore. Gasp!” It’s not beyond repair, but it’s seen it’s fair share of dreams, visions, scriptures, lights in the sky that spelled things out, and numbers that flashed frequently enough that it had to have meant something. I want to cover my eyes and ears sometimes because I am afraid I will believe something that won’t happen. Yep. Something’s busted. And the fact that I have the Holy Spirit within me to recognize that it needs repair is a really good thing.

The problem is I have to believe. If I have the Spirit of God living inside of me, I really don’t have a choice. I know what you’re going to say, I do have a choice. But I beg to differ. My heart can try to not believe, but my heart is inextricably tied to Jesus’ heart, and it cannot be divided. It might bleed and struggle, but at the end of the day the only way my heart can find peace is if it aligns itself with the heartbeat of an all-knowing God. And that alignment comes with expectantly believing that God is who He says He is, and will do what He says He will do.

12
Apr
11

Inspired to Inspire?

We live in a busy world. Actually, I take that back, we live in an extremely busy world. If most of you are like me (and I’m sure you are), we go go go all day long. Between family, work, school, church, our family member’s work and school, house work, exercising, eating, (fill in the blank) and trying to get a decent night’s sleep, most of us run full-throttle most days. And again, if you are like me, you are happy and content with your crazy, busy life. There remains a question though – are you inspired? We are called to be lights in the world and the salt of the earth. How can we inspire a lost world to find joy and salvation in Jesus if we ourselves are not inspired? Looking back in the gospels, it’s amazing how many times Jesus Himself would take time to get away and be with the Father. He knew that He needed that time of fellowship with the Father to be refreshed, refilled and to ultimately be effective in His ministry. You and I are no different, other than the fact that we are not Jesus. That may sound silly, but I ask you this: if even Jesus needed time away with the Father, how much more do you and I need that? The fact of the matter is that I can’t inspire my family, peers or even strangers to be more like Jesus unless I am inspired by Him. As a worship leader, I can’t lead people into worshiping Him unless I know how to worship Him myself. I can’t worship Him myself if I am not inspired to do so.

So how do we get inspired? The answer is really quite simple: we get into His presence. One of my favorite lyrics, by Jason Upton, is “In Your presence all fear is gone, in Your presence is where I belong.” We have got to have time alone with God. How you do that is up to you. It could be in the car while driving to work, while having your morning jog or coffee, on your lunch break or wherever! It can be at different times, in different places depending on what day it is. It just has to be a priority. Just like we all manage to fit in eating and breathing everyday, we need to make it an essential priority to have time with Him as well. It’s in His presence that we are renewed and refreshed. We get to know Him more and more as we learn to recognize His voice. We gain peace and understanding. The Holy Spirit fills us and empowers us to do His will. When we get in His presence it’s an awesome, amazing thing. We come out of that time recharged and more in love with who He is. We come out inspired to live for Him and bring Him joy. When we are inspired, then we are able to inspire others. We can’t help it, it just spills out of us in what we do.

Are you inspired? If yes, then great! You know exactly what I’m talking about. I exhort and challenge you to go deeper with God. Seek Him with all of your heart, soul, mind and being. I don’t think we can ever get enough of Him on this earth. If the answer is no or if you’re not sure, I challenge you to start spending time alone with God, every day. Even though you might feel too busy, take the time. You won’t be disappointed!! Let Him share Himself with you. He loves you and wants to spend time with you. It’s an investment of your time that will never return void. Get inspired by Him first and then go inspire others.

29
Mar
11

We Are So Busy

My Dad used to say, “the most active chicken in the yard is the one without his head.” I can tell you that most everyone I know has a busy, hectic lifestyle going on, and in most cases we are all on the verge of crashing and burning. The truth be told, we are so scheduled and frantic that it can steal the joy out of doing things that are good and right. The problem is we want to do the right things but there seems to be too little time to spend enjoying any of them.
Jesus was well aware of this problem…especially in ministry. There were several times He told His disciples that He was going to the mountain and He would be gone for a period of time. We all assume He was praying and doing spiritual things…but I suspect that He was also resting. If it was good for Jesus, then I know that it would be good for all of us.
When was the last time you just sat alone in a room or went to your special prayer place to be quiet and listen for God’s voice? When was the last time you stopped and went to your bedroom and took  a nap? When was the last time you took a walk alone and reflected on the goodness of God ?
I know my first response is that I don’t have time…but really…can you afford not to take time to recharge your batteries ? Selah!!!
17
Mar
11

Toys, Toilets, and God’s Love

Three things that probably aren’t often mentioned in the same sentence, but the first two are the things that made me consider the third this morning. I’ll explain:

I have three beautiful daughters. They teach me so much more than I teach them. This morning, Adyson (four) was playing with her toys in the bathroom instead of brushing her teeth. I heard a devastated cry coming from her restroom. When I got there, she struggled to tell me through her tears that her toys had fallen into the toilet.  My first thought was to say, “oh well” and flush them down the toilet, thus teaching  a *valuable lesson* about obedience. As I looked into her eyes, I couldn’t imagine the pain I would feel watching her as her favorite toys got flushed. So instead, I prepared myself mentally for what I had to do.

I know what you’re thinking. “Please tell me the water was clean.” Well, technically it was a fresh bowl of water, but is toilet water ever really clean? No. Never. And I refuse to discuss this further.

Just as I plunged my hand into the toilet, I looked at Adyson and said, ”this is how much I love you.” That’s when it happened.  At the exact moment I spoke those words, I could feel God saying the very same words to me. “This is how much I love you.”

Now, I’m betting that God wasn’t trying to tell me that He literally put His hand in a toilet for me, but the analogy resonated in my heart. He put his hands into the depths of my heart. He reached into the filth of my sin and placed His hand on my life.  No matter how many times Adyson has been or will be disobedient (and trust me, that’s a lot) I still love her. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll stick my hand in the toilet again if she didn’t learn her lesson, but I love her the same regardless. Yet, how much greater is God’s love for me? How much more does He care for me? When the storms of life (or maybe the toilets) come, He is there. He might not always fish my toys out of the toilet, or He might not retrieve them right when I ask Him to, but He will surely comfort me in a loving embrace.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. When we choose to play with toys instead of brushing our teeth, when we choose to listen to our flesh instead of His voice, still He loves us more than we can ever begin to fathom.

God, today I worship You because of Your unfailing love, a love that I cannot reach the end of. Help me to listen to Your voice, trust Your word, and surrender fully to You. Thank you that when I don’t listen and my toys fall in the toilet, You still love me the same.

Romans 8:38-39 (New International Version)

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.




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