Friday, January 30, 2009

Bold Humility

We are told in the bible to be both Bold and Humble. I have asked myself often "how?" both at the same time. Well, here is my understanding. We are to apporach God with boldness and confidence knowing that what we are asking lines up with His will, and know that we will get it. That is confident boldness. We know that the Grace provided to us is more than enough. Jesus has settled our debt once and for all. Therefore we can ask boldly.

As far as humility, I think we have to be humble in dealing with others. We have to approach another with love, and not arrogance. When we are discipling others, we have to offer the same grace and mercy that we received from God. Therefore, we can be both bold and humble at the same time.

It is powerful when we beging to understand the royalties that come with being a child of the King. We need to step out and claim our "unclaimed royalties".

Thursday, January 29, 2009

When fiaith and fear collide...

We all have fears. Some fear driving, some fear aloneness, some fear failure. Statistically, Americans fear public speaking more than death itself. That means at a funeral, most people would rather be in the casket than up front reading the eulogy. However, we are told in the Word, over and over and over and over and over to "fear not". It reminds me of the popular t-shirts from the nineties "No Fear".

We are also told that we are all dealt a measure (an amount) of faith. When we allow our faith in God to occupy the space where fear formerly resided, we are able to fulfill the purpose God has for us. Consider Peter, when Jesus asked him to come out of the boat and walk on water, he was afraid. Jesus told him to "fear not". When Peter's Faith moved into the house where Fear had lived, he walked with Jesus. However, when he began to doubt of fear, he began to sink.

What are you afraid of toaday? Ask God to come into fear's house and clean it out and move faith in. We are told that our faith can grow. We must remember and believe what God has said about us. He says we are more than conquerers, we are above and not below, the head and not the tail. He says we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

Let's move forward in faith, and leave fear behind.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Judge..... on intentions or actions?

We all judge people. Even though we shouldn't, we do. We are told "judge not, lest ye be judged". That says you will be judged with the same measure that you judge others. We judge people by their smell, their clothes, their car, or even their job. Why????? We should all attempt to give the same grace and mercy that God shows us, to others.

Often times we judge others by his or her actions. We decide that they just don't measure up. They don't give enough effort, they are competent, of they just did it wrong. We judge other by their actions. Then, we judge ourselves by our intentions. We say well, "I meant to do something nice for my wife, but I forgot" or, "I didn't mean to hurt his feelings, but he deserved it".

Sorry is not really relevant when you follow it with "but". It is like saying I'm sorry for hurting you, but you shouldn't have hurt me first. Try each day to judge others less and less. If God judged us by the same standards we judge others, none of us would measure up.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jesus, Take the Wheel

We've all heard the Carrie Underwood song. She talks about driving in the ice one night where she starts to slide out of control. She lets go of the wheel and asks Jesus to take control of the wheel. We can use that example in our own lives every day. Here in Tulsa, we can even use it in our cars today and tomorrow.

However, it would be much better if we would learn to let Jesus take the wheel of our life. You know, Garth Brooks released a song speaking of our dreams being like a river, and us, the dreamer being a vessel that "floats" along the river. We often times feel like we are out of control, and just floating away into oblivion. That is because we have the wheel, and actually think that we might be able to navigate our ship (our life) to a place of happiness.

However, until we find our peace, love, and happiness in Jesus, we will always just feel like we are spinning out of control.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Love the One Your With

Its an old song title, you know "if you can't be with the one you love, then love the one your with." Most of us claim to be with the one we love, or at least I do. Why then do we treat the ones we love with the least amount of respect? We are quick to yell at our children or our spouse, and then pick up a phone call and be as sweet as we have ever been. Why????? We are instructed on how we are to treat our loved ones and even strangers. We are told as children, to obey our parents. As parents, we are told not to exasberate (wear out or nag) our children, as spouses, we are told to submit and respect our mates. As strangers, we are told to love our neighbors as ourselves.

We are told that even pagans can love their families, but it takes the love of God to be able to show love to a complete stranger (our neighbors). Let's seek that love so that we can love others the way He loves us.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

If you can't say anything nice,......

We have all heard it, "if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all". We are told that our words should only be used to compliment ohters, to build them up, to make them feel better. However, we soon forget; soon enough, we will be "ragging" on people or cutting them down, or even saying out right hateful things.

In James chapter 3, we are instructed on taming our tongue. Our tongue is compared to a rudder on ships, a bit in the mouths of horses, and even a spark that starts a wild fire. We are told that a world of evil among our bodies. Words that we say often times do more harm than any other action we could commit.

I encourage you today to stop and consider an appropriate "RESPONSE" rather than an evil reaction. We often times praise God, and then curse men who are made in the likeness of God. How can that be? How can we kiss our children with the same mouth that curses men? We really should always be cautious of our mouth, and more importantly, what comes out of it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Die to Live

On Friday night, I heard a song written and performed by Louis Drapp. The title was Die to Live. The song talked about when we choose to follow God's ways, we have to "die" to our old ways of life. When we make a stand for God, we are suddenly in the spot light. Our friends, families, and co-workers all start watching the way we live our lives.

In Matthew 10:39, Jesus tell us "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it". We are told in this passage that God has to be our number one priority. When we are so arrogant as to say that we have found "life" outside of God, we will ultimately lose it. But, when we are willing to "lose" the life we have grown accustomed to so that we can follow God, that is when we actually find what life is really about.

I vow today to put God's ways first in my life. That means the old person has gone, and the new person is on his way, constantly being transformed by God.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Religion or Relationship

We all have our very own understanding of what "religion" should look like. Some may say, well "you can't have long hair, you can't wear shorts or hats, you can't smoke, drink, or cuss". Other may say "you have to do "service" at least two times a week, you have to give ten percent, and you can't eat pork".

I know some of these are silly, and I am just using them to prove a point. Sometimes, even in our times of fasting, we get caught up in rules (religion), and forget all about the relationship. Relationship is a noun derived from the verb meaning to relate with, or to involve yourself with. Relationships are not places for monologues, but rather conversations. They are not places for self-centeredness, but rather places for servanthood.

I challenge myself today to focus on my relationship with the creator of the universe. I have to remember that most "religious rules" are not found in the Bible. God created us to fellowship with Him always. Jesus can't be just a line item on our list of priorities, that is not what He wants. Instead, we have to put Jesus in the center of everything we do. He wants to walk through life with us.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Independence, it's what we all so ignorantly seek. We think "well, if I can just get that job, or that house, or that car." We think that will make us able to fend off any ill-situations that may arise in the future. Men seek indepence, or self actualization more than women. This can be explained in the garden of Eden. Eve was cursed that man would be her desire, therefore, women are naturally better at relationships.

Consider this, in your mind, where do you spend the majority of your time? Past, Present, or Future? Most of us spend the majority of our time eith re-living horrible incidents from the past such as deaths of loved ones, or terrible relationships with loved ones. If not the past, we are always trying to make plans for the future. We might prepare for economic hardships, loss of jobs, some may even consider divorce before they are even married. HOWEVER, we were created to dwell in the present.

Independence is NOT our goal. We should strive to be DEPENDENT on God. We have to let go, and let God speak to us and guide our steps. How arrogant will we become before we completely surrender to Him? Surrender is the word of the year for the youth at the Landing Community Church. That means to willingly "give up" trying to guide our own lives, and to allow God's plan for our lives to unfold.

The main key to this is a relationship with Him. If we aren't familiar with Him, we won't know when he is guiding us. He desires a relationship with us just as He had with Adam in the garden. He said if we seek, we will find Him.

We should not attempt independence, but rather to live a life in DEPENDENCE on Him.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Do you get it????

We often times wonder why we can't remember what we have read or what we have heard. Have you ever attempted to read the Bible and stood up and said, "wow, I can't remember anything I just read."? Studies show that when we see/learn things 20-30 times, we are much more likely to "know it".

I guess that is why we are told that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. We have to "drill it into our brains. Learning by Repetition, that means over and over and over and over. We tell our kids, "practice makes perfect". However, do we really practice that? Why do we read the bible entirely once, and then never pick it up again? How can we "know" God without continually spending time with Him?

Lets tell ourselves today that we will read, and re-read, and re-read scripture until we "know" it. We will examine God's Word over and over until we "know" God.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Creature Comforts

You might ask, what in the world is that? Well,it is all the amenities that we have grown so accustomed to. I was encouraged yesterday, to think about the creature comforts that we all too often put in front of God's Will for our lives. First, we have to establish the fact that God has a plan for each and every one of us. Also, each of our individual plans come together with those people around us to form an even bigger plan.

As for the comforts, we often times eat because it feels good, rather than when we are hungry. Many of us have unused bedrooms in our homes, yet we think of excuses why they can't be used to house the homeless. Some of us even have chewing, drinking, or smoking habits that we continue; not because they taste good, or that they are heathy, but rather because that is what we have become comfortable with.

Comfort is no substitute for abundant living. People live with depression, obesity, eating disorders, maritial disarray, and even drug addictions. These people most often don't want this, but rather they have accepted it and became comfortable with it.

Today I challenge you to forget comforts, and look to be uncomfortable for God. As Rick Warren has said, God is more concerned with your CHARACTER than your comfort.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Recession Proof your life

We all hear about the recession our country is in right now. We may even be a little nervous or concerned. However, as children of God, we are told to worry about nothing. He will supply all our needs according to His riches. That is where we get things mixed up.

We all too often, get our needs and wants mixed up. Maslow has a hierarchy of human needs. They go something like this: Physiological needs, safety needs, the need to be loved or belong, the need for self esteem, and finally the need for self actualization. We often move the last to the first. We will forego some basic essentials and replace them with entertainment, nice cars, nice homes, nice clothes/shoes, etc.

We are commanded to take care of (be good stewards) what God has entrusted us with. That means we should take care of our family's needs with our paychecks, we should support our churches with our pay checks, we should give to charity with our wages. However, most of America, pays car notes, or buys their vice of choice, or goes shopping, or even thinks they are entitled to a night out on the town with the first fruits of his or her pay check.

We can recession proof our lives, if we will line ourselves up with God's way of handling money.

Friday, January 9, 2009

National Champions

Last night, the NCAA crowned its National Champions in Football. The stadium was buzzing with over 76,000 people. Folks all over the world were watching to see if it would be the sooners or the gators. Well, as most know by now, the gators took a pretty big bite out of the sooners.

I was thinking yesterday, with all the hype leading up to the game, "why can't we who call ourselves Christians, get that excited about the work of God?". Really, think about it, it is all we can do to get out of bed on Sunday morning to go worship with other believers. According to Barna Research, about 7 out of 10 people in the US call themselves Christian. It's sure not easy to see out in the real world.

Most people can't even tell you who won the national championship last year, or the year before, or five years ago. Why do we make it such a big deal? Why can't we live out the religion that we claim. Christianity is not about being religious, it is more about a RELATIONSHIP with the one who died for us all, Jesus Christ.

I encourage you to consider this, Jesus Christ will one day be "WORLD CHAMPION". The bible tells us that all his enemies will be made into his footstool, that EVERY knee will bow, and EVERY tongue will confess that He is Lord. Would it fell better to surrender to that fact now, and live like we are on the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP team now?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obedience..... better than sacrifice?

Most of us think that when we sacrifice something, we have really accomplished something. It is good, but really, if you stop and think, anyone can sacrifice (give up) something for a short period of time. We often think about foregoing TV time for time with our family once a week or once a month. However, we should be obedient enough, disciplined enough that it is just part of us. In Deuteronomy 6 we are told that it is our job as parents to tell our children of the good things of God.

We are told early in the bible that we should OBEY our parents so that we can have a long and healthy life. This was the first command given with a promise attached. We are later told in the new testament that if we love Jesus, then we would obey his commands.
Here in the 15th chapter of First Samuel, we are told of a story where King Saul was given direct orders to destroy the Amelkites and all they had. Instead of heeding the instruction, he decided to take the best of the sheep and cattle for his tribe. God was dissapointed with Saul because he disobeyed. He claimed he would sacrifice the animals. However, if you think about it, he really wasn't sacrificing. He was taking the best animals from another people's herd. Saul had zero effort or resources invested into those animals. Therefore, he really wasn't giving up anything.
22 But Samuel replied:
"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

Strive to live a life of discipline, of obedience rather than sacrificing something for a short period of time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sacrifice, What????

I thought the days of sacrifice were over? Yet, I read in Romans 12 that we are to continually present our bodies, our lives, everything we do as "living sacrifices". Yeah, that's right, the things we say, the things we look at, the things we think about, and even the things we do. I think that covers mind, soul, body, and strength.

Our minds are even supposed to be transformed, so that we will know and approve (accept) God's will for our lives. I challenge you to attempt to consider this daily. We should be seeking to "please God", rather than praying "ohh please God, I need.....".

What does sacrifice mean to you? Could it be sacrificing one's wants to meet the needs of a spouse or family? Could it be sacrificing that double cheeseburger to make sure that you honor the "temple of the Living God" (your body)? Could it be sacrificing time watching and thinking about whatever "trash" comes in your email box today?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Good Bread Good Meat

I am reminded of a dinner-time prayer that my childhood pastor once gave. He was asked to bless the food at dinner one night. He agreed and this is what he said "Good bread, good meat, good God, let's eat." As you can probably guess, he was scolded pretty bad for that.

You might wonder "why is Randy thinking about this?" That is a good question. I bet it could be that I haven't had bread of meat for a couple of days, and nor do I plan to. You see, our church is in the beginning week of a "Daniel Fast". That means no meat, milk, eggs, bread, sugar, caffiene, etc for three weeks. Nothing processed for 21 days. That's right, fruits, veggies, and nuts.

I hope and pray that I can replace bad eating habits with good spiritual habits. Habits such as continual prayer and eating the Word of God. Jesus said "man shouldn't live on bread alone, but by every word of God".

Monday, January 5, 2009


We have all heard the speaches over the past few months. "We need change". Change our leaders, change our economy, change our health care. The arguments go on and on. However, I agree, we do need change. The change we need comes from the inside. The bible tells us not to conform to the world (the people around us), but rather, be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We should take this brand new chalk board that we call 2009, and seek God and ask Him to Change the way we think, the way we talk, the way we act, and even what we watch. Change........, rather let Him change us.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hakuna Matata

Yeah, that's right, we are back on kids movies. Hakuna Matata means no worries; you remember, Timon and Pumba. They also had a lesson to teach Simba. They basically told him he needed to let go of his worries.

Our bible tells us over and over not to worry. God is the God of the universe, he set the sun and the moon, he tells the wind where to come from and where to go. We are unable to add even one hour to our lives by worrying, so why do we???????

I wonder if we actually think that we have all the answers, and can actually change situations for our benefit (how arrogant are we?). We really should give ourselves a break, and stop worrying.

Okay, let's end with the song from the Lion King.
Hakuna Matata, such a wonderful phrase,
Hakuna Matata, it means no worries, for the rest of our days,
its our problem free, philosophy, Hakuna Matata.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A new what?????

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It is finally 2009, ten years ago, everyone was cautious of Y2K. At this time in history, the economy is about the only thing that concerns people. However, with every day that passes, we come one day closer to the return, the second advent, of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. We are told in Paul's second letter the the Corinthians, that if we are in Christ, that means sealed and saved, then we are a new creation, with old things gone, and new things coming. That means, if we have admitted that we are sinners, and need someone to pay our debt, and have believed that Jesus is capable of settling that debt because of who he is, and have confessed our beliefs, then we are "in" Christ.

Therefore, if we are in Christ, then old things are gone, and the new has come. That means, that we can leave those OLD habits in the past, we can leave depression in the past, we can leave broken hearts and lives in the past, because the new has come. You might say, "well you don't know my circumstance". That's true, but Jesus does, and he can feel where you are coming from. He was rejected, spat upon, beat, and then hung on a tree to bleed to death. All of that, so we can have a new creation in Him.

Decide today, that we won't dwell in the past, but rather we will push toward the "new and better promises" that we have in Christ. Stand up, put one foot in front of the other, and start walking toward the new life Jesus has promised.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”- 2 Corinthians 5:17