The Father War!

In today’s society, there is a war to redefine a father’s role, a father’s identity and so much more. When I think of my own life, one of the greatest responsibilities that I have is to be a Father to Mason and Elizabeth. It is a role that is met with great fear and understanding that they will forever be influenced by the influence of their father. While this is an absolute truth, I also understand that every father on this earth must reflect the attributes of our Heavenly Father in this life. Fathers, you have one shot to make an impact. Only ONE! Your influence, positive or negative speaks in resounding tones through those that call you father or dad. By the way, mere biologics do not a father make. There is more than just siring a life, that is the easy part for too many, the real matter resides in the care, love, compassion, provision and so much more which a father provides.  My dad taught me so much and he continues to teach me to this day. He taught me loyalty, respect, hard work, strong work ethics, generosity, humor and so much more. In my eyes, my dad is just as strong today as he was when I was acting a fool as a kid. Dad, I love you and I am thankful for you and all you have done to care for me and your family. More than words can express, we are so grateful! Now to all the sons and daughters in the house…. Cherish your fathers, you may have several in your life and their influence goes well beyond their own time. A biological father, a step-father, an adopted father, a spiritual father, surrogate father and more, cherish those relationships and make meaningful moments together. Fathers, no matter your level of a title, make a difference, YES be strong but never stupid, YES be courageous but never reckless, YES be kind and compassionate but never condemning. YES, be constructive but never critical. There is too much riding on your influence, and you choose which kind you will be. 

Protect the Peace!

If the enemy can steal your peace, he will kill it and if he can kill it, he will destroy it. Our ancient enemy is always looking for things to steal from you. Your peace, your joy, your vision and mission, your calling, your hope, your help, your healing, your unity, your focus, your EVERYTHING! You and I must work diligently to guard against the foolish wiles of the enemy that comes to take and tear away from the people of God. No matter what in this life, guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. The Lord has done great things and He continues to do great things. You and I must stay focused upon Him. Distractions will come! Detractors will come and, in the midst, we must look above them, through them or around them and see Him, the Lord guiding us, leading us and working in us His good and perfect will. Oh, the journey that the Lord has allowed us to navigate and the best is yet to come. The heart and head are the main places of all the enemy’s tactics of deceit, discouragement, and despair. Stay alert! We love you all! 

Stressed and Strained?

Stress, strain and the pull of life is immensely painful at times. Many find themselves each day longing for an escape, a way to get out from under the pressure of it all. Ever been there? When everything seems crazy? Yet, in these moments we can find the gentle reminders from our Lord of just how much we really need Him and the more we run to Him the less the stressors have a chance of derailing the destiny and calling that the Lord has on your life. The Lord is near to all that call to Him. He also keeps us in perfect peace when our mind has stayed upon Him. If our mind does not stay upon Him then we find our minds straying from Him. We must find rest in Him. Some may say, “I’ve prayed, read the Word, worshipped and the storm is still there!” The purpose of your connection to the Lord is not for the storms to cease. Jesus said in this life, you WILL have trouble. The difference is that when we stay connected to Him, even in the crazy and tumultuous times of life, that He gives power to the lighthouse of our life and our connection becomes a beacon of hope, help, and healing to others wondering where is the harbor and safety in the storm. Lift your heads, look to Jesus, love Him, worship Him, for more is dependent on your connection than just you. May the Lord grant each of you the power and strength for the journey ahead! We love you all!!!

Impssible?​….NEVER!

There is nothing that is impossible with our Lord. Have you ever thought something in this life was impossible? Did something ever seem like it was never ending? In moments like this when our faith seems to be shaken, the reality is that our faith is really being strengthened. We must not fail in our faith. It is within our darkest moments that we have the opportunity to shine the brightest that we ever have. How many times do we look back after a trial or difficult season and see just how faithful the Lord was while we went through it? Those are faith building moments for you and for me. The record of God’s faithfulness etched in our soul gives us strength and resiliency to stand again. We can be encouraged by the faithfulness of our Lord that has already been proven to us. His faithfulness from your yesterday should shape your mood, speech and behavior today. Look, listen and learn from God’s track record in your life and let the peace that God provides hold your heart and cause you not to faint. God is always working.  “27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:27 – 31

The Aftermath…

Often pieces and parts of the resurrection day of our Lord are often overlooked or simply seen but not seen. I know, where is he going with this? The Emmaus road experience with Jesus happened on the day of resurrection. The same day Mary recognizes Him, two followers didn’t. One hearing His voice and acknowledging Him while two other hear but cannot recognize. This is a true picture of the church. Many recognize Him by His voice or Word, while others remain oblivious to Him until He performs something for them to see. The day is coming and now is when two types of “believers” will arise, those that know His voice/Word and those who cannot see Him unless something is being done in their seeing. I submit that deceptions lay in waiting for those that need to see and have lost the ability to hear. Faith still comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Jesus dealt with generations that wanted to “see” something or “experience” something. Seeing is not believing but believing is seeing. Don’t let your own personal disappointments cause you to not see Him when He really is near. We love you all!!

Jesus?… Really?

Jesus? Really? The answer is YES…. REALLY!!!!! Today hundreds of thousands are gathering to worship. Perhaps some worship a Savior they do not know, perhaps many gather today as they did in the streets of Jerusalem then, participating and yet quite unaware of the significance of the moment and the sovereignty of the Savior that was walking right in front of them. Perhaps we would have done the same? One cannot know that, but what I do know is that we are all impacted by this Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Although His Name is the target of much hate, targeted as false or a fairy tale at best, we know that at The Name of Jesus lives are still set free, delivered, restored and healed. We know that He opened blind eyes, made the lame walk, caused the mute to talk and did far exceeding above anything we could even imagine. He has worked in your life also. Oh, I know that today is marred with mess and filled with tragedy and life happens all around us YET, He who sustains us has not changed. You mean Jesus? Really? Yes…. REALLY! He is the one that paid it all, provided it all and propelled peace to all. He is who we serve, He is who we worship, He is and forever will be enough! As you reflect today, no matter what your life’s steps have wrought about in your life, you can find Him, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, our Savior and our King. Look to Him today, if you have ever wondered if He really is…. Try Him and see that the Lord is good… May the Lord bless and keep each of you our wonderful friends, family and partners in this community and surrounding areas.    

Feelings?…..Overrated!

Have you ever felt that you did not fully understand something in your life? Have you ever prayed and still felt as if you had no answer? Have you ever believed and trusted in the Word of God and felt that nothing was changing? Have you ever felt that you were under a microscope? Have you ever felt that someone was judging you incorrectly or harshly? If you have answered YES to any of these and perhaps other things that we “feel” in this life, then you are in good company, because everyone at some point “feels” stuff. The problem is not with the stuff, the issue has been and always will be our “feelings” which are directly tied to our emotions. Feelings will trick you on many levels. 2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us that we “walk by faith and not by sight” right? Well, sight is one of our sensors or “feelers” in life. Paul is making a point that we walk by faith and not by our feelers. Could you imagine where all of mankind would be if our Savior had been directed by “feelers”? At the first slap, stripe upon His back, nail in His hands and feet, He would have reacted differently had feeling been put into it. Yet, the scriptures tell us that “for the joy set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame” Hebrews 12:2. Many believers today would be best served in all aspects of life by switching the “feelers” off and keeping our faith alive. Blessings to you all!!

Ministry?

What is ministry? Who does ministry? Why do ministry? These are really great questions! Ministry is the agency whereby something is accomplished in the lives of people through the empowerment from another world. This simply put is Ministry is the Lord working through people to reach people. Who does ministry? Well, ministry is a partnership of sorts. The primary partnership is with the Lord and people or individuals. The secondary pieces of this are people partnering together as they have walked with the Lord and been empowered by Him and together the do ministry thus having an impact in peoples lives. Why do ministry? Well, I think of my own life that would be lost had someone not realized the “why” of ministry. The why is answer in two parts. First, ministry is done to please the Lord and to honor His name, His plan and His purpose. Secondly, people are a reason of why. The lost and found all need ministry. This is what is done as one reaches another, gets involved and in their involvement the Lord works through them and great things can be seen. So often in today’s time many desire to be “ministered” to, yet fall short in the area of doing ministry. The Lord does not want you and I to be a dead sea kind of people. What is that? Well, a dead sea people are a people that constantly “get” ministered to or that recieve the input of the flow of ministry and yet never pour out into others nor get involved in ministry. The Dead Sea is dead because the Sea has no outflow so everything that reaches it dies as the salt content is so high life cannot be sustained in it. So are believers, church goers and ministry receivers that never pour out or get involved. Are you Salty??? If so you may need to get involved and allow the Lord to use your life in an area of ministry within your local church. Look around today, walk and pray and watch to see what the Lord will say to you today. May the Lord bless you all!  

The Family

The most precious resource that you and I have been given to care for is one another. Have you ever looked around and missed someone? Have you ever had someone come across your heart while in prayer or cross your mind while thinking or going through your day? Did you act on those moments of realization? Recognizing, realizing and reaching out to your brother and sister in the Lord, The family of God, has a powerful return on investment. Care is a commodity that is truly priceless. There is a word in Hebrew, mish’pohhah, The word “mishpahhah,” means family, and comes from the root word”shaphahh,” meaning “to join.” The family is a group joined together where each role in the family serves a specific function to keep the family joined together. Notice the intensity of the latter part of the definition, “to keep the family joined together. We have a part to play in our “togetherness”. The enemy works to pull this intentional divinely inspired design apart. There is power in the family of the Lord and our connection to one another. Look around regularly, pay good attention to one another and see the care extended through your touch and tones bring triumph to the lives of those around you and remember you will reap where you have sown. We love you all! Make the mish’pohhah a priority in your life today. 

A Message From the Past

The below email was originally written exactly one month before the car accident that changed my life in 2012. Thank you to Barbara Stevens for sending it back to me. It was a powerful reminder for me. Please take a moment and read it below: Originally written on August 15, 2012…

Thank the Lord for His goodness and mercy that has been extended to all of us. I am excited about our future together in partnership at HWWC, ARE YOU? I sure hope so. So many times I find myself dreaming of what I believe we can, could and should be as a church to our community, surrounding area and also to each other. I know that God has greater things for us to be a part of. Have you ever said or heard someone say…..”could you imagine if”….We say this a lot as it relates to the Kingdom of God, COULD YOU IMAGINE IF or WHEN, and it becomes in many circles the talking point of future potential. I submit that this is a good thing to dream and consider however, I also believe that there must come a time when the CAN YOU IMAGINE, becomes a NOW reality in our lives. I will give you some key examples below of things I have heard in the Kingdom of God and I pray you grasp the power behind this email today……

Could you imagine what would happen if everyone would come together and pray……….

Could you imagine what would happen if everyone came to service ready to worship and went after God……

Could you imagine what would happen if every leader was as committed as they talk about…..

Could you imagine what would happen if everyone got involved somewhere……

Could you imagine what would happen if everyone tithed and gave according to God’s Word….

Could you imagine what would happen if everyone witnessed to others and stood for righteousness at all times….

Could you imagine what would happen if everyone invited someone to church and followed through with such invitations…..

Could you imagine what would happen if everyone read their bible and lived it in the earth…..

Could you imagine what would happen if husbands and wives lived as the scriptures declared for them to live towards each other…

Could you imagine what would happen if our children were admonished according to scripture and not the “political” ways in which many have fallen….

Could you imagine what would happen if the church spoke up in society instead of cowering behind their four walls….

Could you imagine what would happen if everyone layed aside excuses for behavior and decisions and were accountable…

Could you imagine what would happen if everyone understood the power of their life and testimony and then shared the same…..

Could you imagine what would happen if everyone in the Kingdom had church attendance as a higher priority than it is right now….

There are many others that I could write and no doubt you have thought of others as you have read this, but I want to leave you with one more that I pray speaks to each of us…

ARE YOU READY FOR IT?
Could you imagine what would happen if WE as believers stopped “imagining” and started becoming all these things and more…..NOW THAT IS A WOW MOMENT, time is ticking…LET US AT HWWC ARISE AND BECOME!!!

I love you all and count it an honor to stand with you!