Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'll never forget Saturday March 09, 2013 and Sunday March 10!  That Saturday evening I received a Facebook private message from a pastor friend in Pueblo, Co., Aaron Tomlinson.  In the message Pastor Aaron let me know that he just had a prophetic dream concerning Jeanie and me.  I'll not share the contents of the dream but I would like to share the following sentence.  "Your lack of perseverance has caused you to be delayed but not disqualified."  Then Pastor Aaron said he believed he needed to reference the scripture found in 1Corinthians 9:24.  I'll share why this is significant later in the blog.

I loved the whole message Pastor Aaron sent but I pointed out that one sentence for a reason.  The following Sunday morning I walked into the church we attend (Jeanie and I currently serve as Associate Pastors at a great church in Port Neches, TX. called Freedom Christian Fellowship) and just as I entered the auditorium I noticed a very sweet lady named Daisy walking up to me with a huge smile on her face.  She walked directly to me and without any greeting said,  "God gave me one word for you last night."  Of course my reply was....okay!  She said, "that one word is qualified! God wants you to know you're qualified."

When she said that to me I had what I like to call a "sandy sea shore moment!"  In a previous blog I talked about one of Jesus disciples named Peter.  I specifically pointed out John 21 where Peter had gone fishing with some other friends.  After fishing all night catching nothing Jesus shows up on the "sandy sea shore" and from there has an encounter with Peter which confirms to Peter that Jesus still had a plan for his life. Even after Peter had denied Christ three times!

What catches my attention in this story is that Jesus showed up where they were at.  I know we're supposed to pursue God but I love those moments when God lets me know He's pursuing me and still has a plan for my life.  And that's exactly what I experienced that Saturday night and Sunday morning.

I had recently returned from serving on a team conducting a Pastors conference in Muhorro, Uganda.  Pastor Aaron didn't know that during the conference, while I was speaking to hundreds of pastors and church leaders, God spoke to my heart that I had quit the church plant in Pueblo West, CO.  It was a total God moment because I was talking about running a race and used 1Corinthians 9:24 as part of my text.  I then had to stop teaching and confess to those pastors that I had "quit" the race God had called me to run at that time.  In other words I didn't persevere.

Here's the point.  I had to put on my big boy pants and confess, I quit, I didn't persevere!  But can I tell you our God is faithful!  He's not the God of a second chance, He's the God of ANOTHER chance!   He'll show up in your life and let you know He still has a great plan for you.

Let me remind you of Romans 8:28. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."  Even in those moments that you failed God, if you allow Him, God can work them out for your good!

My friends that's good news because with that in mind you can DREAM.......AGAIN!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

When you've experienced failure there comes a time when you have to put on your big boy pants and take responsibility for your own actions.  This may not always be easy but I can promise you this, when you do you're on the road to healing and closer to to a new beginning then you might think.

There's something very special that happens when you make a decision to not blame others but forgive others that have hurt you and take responsibility for yourself!  You step right in the middle of God's mercy and grace and experience His unfailing love and faithfulness!  My friends that's a great place to be, right in the middle of a fresh start! 

We all have the tendency to want to play the blame game when things don't go right in our lives.  In a more psychological term it's called "displaced responsibility."  And this has been a problem since Adam and Eve committed sin in the Garden of Eden when Adam told God in Genesis 3:12 "It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it."  Read closely what Adam said here.  He blamed both God and Eve.

In the Bible we read about two Kings named Saul and David who both sinned while on the throne of the kingdom.  Saul was removed from his place of leadership while David remained King.  Have you ever wondered why?  Saul disobeyed God by not fully following through with God's instructions and David committed adultery and murder.  Yet David remains King and Saul is removed.

It's my speculation but I think in part it's because David took full responsibility for his sin but Saul wanted to blame the people for his sin.  In 1Samuel 15 we find Saul confessing he sinned but he say's it's because of the people I disobeyed God.  In Psalm 51 you read David's prayer of repentance after his sin.  Read closely because in his prayer he never even mentions Bathsheba, the woman he committed adultery with after he saw  her taking a bath.

David had to put on his big boy pants and say "God, against You and You only have I  sinned."  Don't you know it would have been easy for David to make excuses saying something like this, "Well if she hadn't been taking a bath where I could see her this would have never happened."  In other words it's her fault.

But I'm so thankful David didn't do that because you talk about restoration!  Bathsheba became David's wife and they had a son and his name was Solomon.  If you'll read Matthew chapter 1 you'll find the lineage of Jesus Christ.  In verse 6 is the following, "Jesse was the Father of King David.  David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah.) In the lineage of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is a relationship that started out in adultery.   Wow, our God is good!

We'll talk more about this in my next blog but it's time to be honest.  Stop and ask yourself, "Have I been blaming everyone else for my problems, for my failures?"  I know there are times that people do hurt us but that's where forgiveness comes in.  It just might be time for YOU to put on your big boy pants and take responsibility for yourself.

I'm not saying this to be harsh or mean.  I want you to experience God's healing and love and get on the road to a new beginning!  Because my friend, it's time to Dream.......Again!  

An addition to this blog is coming soon.