Friday, July 9, 2010

Just Say "HA!"

Too often, we overlook one of the greatest keys to victorious living. I like to call it "HA!" It is an acronym for living life with an attitude that simply says; "Hallelujah, Anyhow!" No matter what, God is good. No matter what, God loves me. No matter what, God is STILL God! It is living life with the knowledge that God is greater than any circumstance or situation that I may encounter.

It Starts with Gratitude

The first necessary step to living the "HA!" life, is to have a thankful heart and grateful spirit. In Colossians 2:7, the apostle Paul, encouraged Christians to "Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving."

Two men were walking through a field one day when they spotted an enraged bull. Instantly they darted toward the nearest fence. The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent they wouldn't make it.
Terrified, the one shouted to the other, "Say a prayer, John. We're in for it!"
John answered, "I can't. I've never made a public prayer in my life."
"But you must!" implored his companion. "The bull is gonna catch us."
"All right," panted John, "I'll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: 'O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful!'"

One of the greatest privileges of being a Christian is to have the capacity to give thanks regardless of the circumstances. It is easy to be thankful when things are going our way, but a Christian can rise above any situation to thank God for causing all things to work together for good. Paul, the apostle, was a man who suffered a great deal of pain and yet he wrote, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (I Thes. 5: 16-18)

Why is it God's Will for us to give thanks in everything?

1) When We Thank God in Every Circumstance, We Focus on God and not the Circumstance.

Paul wrote this from prison: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)" Paul was living what he was encouraging others to do -- he was focusing on the greatness of God, not his present circumstance. Stop looking at the problem and look at God!

2) When We Thank God in Every Circumstance, we are Declaring God’s Greatness.

In Job 1:21, in the Bible, Job was able to say; “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." He was declaring God's greatness in spite of his own personal loss. The more that we declare how great God truly is, the more we have faith to believe that He will make a way for us through our present difficulty.

3) When We Thank God in Every Circumstance, we Defeat the attitudes of Defeat.

The psalmist made an interesting statement in the Bible. He penned, “I complain, and my spirit is overwhelmed" (Psalms 77:3-WEB). When we grumble, complain and whine about our circumstances, our spirit gets overwhelmed. It is overwhelmed by negative attitudes that are defeating. When we give God thanks, the opposite is true -- our spirit is encouraged and strengthened. That's why we also read in the Psalms, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD! (92:1)”

God has given us an incredible tool to live victorious, overcoming and abundant lives in Him -- It is the "Hallelujah anyhow" attitude of living. Not predicated on human circumstance, but God's divine providence.

Start using the "Hallelujah, anyhow" attitude in your life today.
Just say; "HA!"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Making the Most of Your Easter

This Sunday will be your best opportunity to get your lost friends to visit Church with you in 2010. Why? Simply because they believe or at least respect the idea of Easter. The fact of the matter is, Easter changes everything. The empty tomb has implications for spirituality, morality, parenting, work, you name it. Most unbelievers, and many believers are oblivious to this fact. Nevertheless, for whatever reason they are open to attending Church somewhere on this “Holy” day. Statistics show that 82% of people who are actually invited to Church will go. 100% of them will be impacted by it.

Here are some ideas to help you connect with them:

1. Plan an egg hunt for the kids after Church (Let them know that there is one for Kids at CCC, also).

2. Offer food – For whatever reason free food still works. Have a nice seasonal meal for your invited friends after church.

3. Consider inviting a few people who may not have extended family to celebrate with. Everyone likes good food and hang out time.

4. Have your kids invite their friends from school, little league, soccer, etc.

5. It’s always nice to attend Church as a family on Easter, so mention to those you invite that they are welcome to invite their extended family.

6. Bring the office – if you work at an area where people aren’t committed to a particular Church, invite the whole group to attend together.

7. Take advantage of social media – start now using your profiles on various social media venues to invite people to attend.

If you have other ideas, you can share them in the comments section. The main thing you need to keep in mind is that LOTS of people are going to go to Church this one day out of the year somewhere. You want them to attend at a place where they will be honestly confronted with the claims of true Biblical Christianity. Remember, the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Surviving the Storms

It's been a stormy winter across much of America. As record snows continue to blanket the east, we are even experiencing severe weather in Southern California. A storm that blew through here the other night, spawned a few tornado's and left a swath of debris behind it -- including a massive tree that was uprooted, just a block from my house, flattening a passenger van.

As America has been getting hammered, weather-wise, it seems but a metaphor for the people that have been getting hammered by the terrible recession that we are mired in. It's been a "stormy winter" for a lot of people who have lost jobs, homes, income, etc. Unfortunately, many people feel that the prospects of coming out the storm are bleak. Things seem to be getting worse, not better and hope seems to be but a pipe-dream.

For Christians, however, we must be reminded whose we are. We are not "nobodies," but we are the people of God. It is He who has made us and it is He who will keep us. We need to understand that seasons come and seasons go, but the Word of the Lord stands forever. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

How to Swim, Not Sink -- In the Midst of the Storm

1) Live with God’s Kingdom as the priority – keep Christ first in your heart, home and finances. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things shall be added unto you"(Jesus in Matthew 6:33). What "things" you ask? Jesus was responding to those who were worried about their clothes, food, and provisions. His promise was that those who keep the kingdom a priority will be taken care of. What kingdom is a priority with you?

2) Live with confidence in God, not in fear of the circumstances around you.
“Don’t cast away your confidence which has great reward.” (Hebrews 10:35)
The writer had previously encouraged the Christian to “Hold fast to confidence” in Hebrews 3:6. In the 27th Psalm, David said; "The Lord is my light and my salvation... in this will I be confident." We have to live with the confidence that God is with us and that God is for us.

3) Live by faith. Don’t panic. Continue to do those things that are good, wise and right. Keep on keeping on. Paul told the Christians, “We walk by faith, and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). We are not to live according to what we see, but rather by what we believe. Don't allow your circumstances or surroundings dictate your actions -- let your actions follow your faith.

4) Live with the knowledge that this, too, shall pass. One of the most encouraging scriptures in the Bible; “it came to pass!” Tough times don’t last, tough people do. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us; “To everything there is a season." Remember that storms are seasonal. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!"


I do believe that our best days are still ahead of us. I am prayerful that our worst are behind us. One thing that I do know, is, that if God is for us, we will be victorious. Live mindful of David's attitude during a difficult time in his life. In Psalm 27:13-14, he proclaimed; “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord."

Make a faith-declaration like David did. The end-result for David? He realized what he had confidence in -- the salvation of the Lord. He did get to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living -- and so can you! Be a storm-survivor by trusting in the Savior.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mounting Up With Eagle's Wings

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.” -Isaiah 40:31

Fly Like an Eagle

Christians today need to know where their strength is. It is not found in their own physical, spiritual or mental prowess, but rather in the Lord. He is the source of strength, help and power that each of us need to be connected to in our lives. In the Bible, David stated that "The Lord is the strength of my life" (Psalm 27:1). Then, expounding on this further, David boldly declared that "The Lord will give strength to His people" (Psalm 29:11). Again, he re-iterates the fact that God gives strength to His people in Psalm 68:35, and then adds that God gives them "power" also.

Turbulent Winds Don't Bother Eagles

God does not permit adversity for the purpose of defeating us, but for the purpose of benefiting us. God designed the eagle to thrive in the face of adversity. The same Creator designed you to thrive also -- living an abundant life. The blustery winds and stormy clouds of circumstance are an opportunity for you to see how big and strong your God truly is!

1. Turbulent winds cause the eagle to fly higher.
There is great lifting power in the thermal updrafts of turbulent winds. These updrafts do not defeat the eagle, but rather they cause the eagle to soar to new heights!

2. Turbulent winds give the eagle a better view.
The higher the eagle fly's, the better his viewpoint -- for his perspective changes, it is enlarged. As He soars to higher places is then able to see more than before. What you can see from a mile high is much different than a ground level perspective.

3. Turbulent winds lift the eagle above harassment.
At lower elevations, the eagle has to contend with crows, hawks and other birds. Those other birds will do their best to harass the eagle, swooping on him and pestering him with the hope that he will leave their territory. As he flies higher they are left behind.

4. Turbulent winds allow the eagle to use less effort.
The wings of an eagle are designed for gliding in the wind. The feather structure on the eagle's wings, prevents stalling and reduces drag. He was created with soaring in mind.

5. Turbulent winds allow the eagle to stay up longer.
The eagle uses the power of the strong winds to his advantage and can soar -- riding the wind for long periods of time. God gives strength and power to His people so that they can enjoy "up" lives. "Up" is where the people of god belong.

6. Turbulent winds help the eagle to fly faster.
Normally, the eagle flies at a speed of 50 mph. However, when he rides the wind currents, he can go from 80 to 100mph.

Let God’s Power Work in You.

The power of the Christian to be able to rise above the circumstances, pressures and temptations of life, comes from our identification with, and connection to, Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul commanded Christians to "be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" Ephesians 6:10). It is His power that works through us and His strength that lifts us. He’s got all the power that we need to succeed -- no matter what the storm, circumstance or situation that we may encounter in life! Our strength for soaring is renewed, when we trust in the Lord.

When facing the blowing winds of this life, don't fear or fret, but remember whose you are. You are a child of God! Boldly proclaim God's word, (Philippians 4:13), in faith; "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME!" Mount up! You were created to soar!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Big Eraser

It is time to Leave Behind 2009!
On the first Sunday of 2010 at Cornerstone, we recognized how difficult the year 2009 was for so many of the people in our church and community. It was not a good year. It was a year of loss. Loss of family, loss of friends, loss of jobs, loss of finances, loss of sleep, loss of a sense of security, loss of health… The list goes on and on. It was a year filled with many struggles and much stress. It was a year that most of us are more than happy to see go.

It’s a Brand New Year!
Thankfully, 2009 is behind us and we have been presented with a brand-new year. Now it’s up to each of us to erase the past and start fresh with a clean slate in 2010. In the classic TV series “Star Trek,” the common recurring enemy of the Enterprise and its crew were the “Klingons.” Ironically, we have to constantly battle an enemy of the same name in order to move forward in our lives. The problem is that many of the old habits, struggles, and issues of the past will “cling-on” to our lives unless we deal with them. That is why we need to have our past and sins “erased.”

Some of the Reasons that we all need an Eraser…

1. Everybody Makes Mistakes.
James 3:2 “We all make many mistakes.”

2. Everybody Has Hard Times.

Ecclesiastes 7:14; When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.

3. Everybody Experiences Trouble.
Psalms 138:7; Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.
The Good News:
It’s comforting to know that our God has a big eraser! He is ready, willing, and able to cleanse us from ALL sin and unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9; “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” His grace is indeed sufficient for each and every one of us. He can erase our past and give us a new future – if we will simply allow Him to!

It’s a New Day - a New Year - a New Decade. It's a fresh opportunity for all of us -- you included -- to allow God's amazing Grace to give a brand-new start! Let's put the past far behind us. Let it be forgiven and forgotten. Let's move ahead in our lives, ahead in our faith, ahead into the promises of God that are awaiting us!

It’s Time to Win in 2010!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

T-Rex Christians

This was too funny not to re-post!
Have you run across any of these beasts?!

Thanks to