Dear Church, We need….

Holy Spirit we need you to invade.

We need you to invade the church.

We need you to draw us with your strong strength.

We need you to soften that which has become hardened.

We need you to heal hearts.

We need you to strengthen marriages.

We need you to break bondages.

We need to be taught.

We need to remember whose we are.

We need to magnify Jesus.

We need to magnify in prayer.

We need to magnify in our speech.

We need to magnify in opportunities.

We need freedom.

We need your Word to explode into the core of our being.

We need barriers removed.

We need chains broken.

We need honesty.

We need transparency.

We need healing.

We need not desire to just do church.

We need to be Your church, Your body.

We need to bring you glory, praise and honor.

Please begin go draw us with your strong strength.

Right now.

May this time be Yours and Your alone.

Don’t Get Distracted.

As you read this only read what starts on the left margin. If it is right margin, don’t read it!!

You are easily distracted.

A wide receiver misses a game winning catch because his mind is diverted to scoring before he catches the ball. He can catch a football all day unless he quits thinking about catching the ball.

You are easily distracted.

“I tried reading my Bible, but my mind drifted away. I don’t even remember what I was reading. I can’t find my place to start back because I don’t know where I stopped.” Ever been there?

You are easily distracted.

“I sat down to send them a letter, but I got busy paying bills and forgot.” Ever been there?

You are easily distracted.

“I was not going to eat the fruit of that tree, but I got distracted and I did.” Eve’s been there.

You are easily distracted.

“I should have been at war, but I stayed home, walked on my roof, saw a beautiful woman, had sex, conceived a baby and had a man killed.” King David has been there.

You are easily distracted.

When you are doing a good work, a God work, the weapon of choice against you is often distraction.

You are easily distracted.

When you are doing Kingdom work, you will be distracted by folly (a foolish act or behavior), something lesser.

You are easily distracted.

“I was follow Jesus so closely and would have died for Him, until I was confronted with death.” Peter’s been there.

You are easily distracted.

When some really great things are happening in your life, watch and pray. You will be tempted with distraction. You might continue the good work, but distraction takes your mind off the ball and you are not at your best.

You are easily distracted.

The things that distract you might be good things, important things, personal things, but they are not the best things, the most important things, or Jesus things.

You are easily distracted.

I have seen people sin, families fail, churches split, friendships end, marriages divorce, children hurt, jobs lost, businesses bankrupt, people suffer, words kill, gossip divide, people die and on, and on, and on.

You are easily distracted.

All because someone got distracted.

You are easily distracted.

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (ESV)

A 30 Year Marriage

Dan & Mary Anne 2013 Beach Trip

Today, Mary Anne and I have been married 30 years. That don’t even sound right. I have been thinking about what has made it work. What has kept us together? What has made it last? I thought of two consistent aspects of our marriage that has not changed and I think have been strategic to our 30 great years (or maybe 27 great years). I think this might help some of you, if not trash it and move on to the next thing to read. The two main things that have made it work are faith and family. read the rest

Avoid a Disaster

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Fifty years of life has also produced 27 years of working with God and His relationship with people. I began by working with youth then transitioned to the pastorate after 2 years. I have seen much over those 27 years. Here is a lesson I have learned.

Lesson 12

Inattention results in disaster. 

A husband is inattentive to his wife and she is confused of his love. A wife is inattentive to her husband and he finds attention somewhere else. A dad is inattentive to his children so they find ways to scream out for his attention. A mom is inattentive to her children (this rarely happens) and they feel rejected. But these are all symptoms to a greater problem with greater consequences.

A Christian is inattentive to God and their world falls apart. Sometimes the disaster is so slow it is unnoticed for a while while at other times it comes like a bandit. Christian families are falling apart. Christian dads are aloof. Christian moms are overwhelmed. Christian young adults are bombarded. Christian children are growing up with a wrong picture of what Christian really means.

As a Christian what are you willing to sacrifice your family for? What is it that is more important? If you die today, your employer will hire someone else to take your place. If I die today, someone else will preach Sunday. If you have money in the bank but no love at home is it worth it? Are you willing to watch the generation that follows you to abandon God and truth for a lie? Quit making excuses!

Wake up! Pay attention! Get off your butt and do something with Jesus! Today is the day! Don’t wait! Don’t procrastinate this decision! Don’t wait until Sunday! Your family is waiting! Your God is wanting you back!

Avoid the disaster!

Listen to the song “Cats in the Cradle” and read the book Choosing To Cheat by Andy Stanley

Tolerance and Excess – 50 @ 50 – Quote #4

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“What one generation tolerates the next will do in excess.” 

John Wesley said it like this, “What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.” So the quote that I have heard and used must find its source in Wesley. This is a principle not a truth. A truth never changes while a principle generally applies. The only way this does not become a truth is for someone to break the chain. I am only 50 years old but this world has drastically changed over the past 50 years. It is extremely clear our nation has succumbed to this principle. However, our nation is only a reflection of our homes.

Parents Please Wake Up

It is within your power to be the exception, to break the chain. Don’t pass on a weaker faith, weaker home, weaker marriage, weaker leadership, weaker authority, weaker belief, weaker work ethic, weaker example to the next generation. The next generation is at stake.

Do you have the courage to make the Word

of God your basis for life and family?

Also read 50 @ 50

Life Lessons

Lesson #1     Lesson #2     Lesson #3     Lesson #4     Lesson #5

Quotes

Quote #1     Quote #2     Quote #3 

Pick Your Crosses – 50 Lessons In 50 Years – #3

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The first pastor I served under was a gentlemen by the name of Brannon Pinion, better known as Brother Pinion. He is probably the reason many people call me Brother Dan. He gave me a couple of lessons that have stuck with me for over 25. We were talking about some issue of which I do not remember and he said,

“You can’t die on every cross so make sure you pick your crosses.”

Here is the lesson. Everything is not worth dying for. Everything is not worth fighting for. You do not have to win every battle. Now, if you know me, you know I am very competitive. I do not like to lose, so this has helped me greatly over the years when I remembered to uses this bit of wisdom.

Think about these few situations.

Have you had an argument with your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend over something that really did not matter? Then it escalates because of the tone of voice one of you takes with the other. Then you begin to argue about or get your feelings hurt about what is not the original discussion but how the original discussion was handled.

Is every battle you fight with your children really necessary? Is it worth a fight to get them to eat all their food? Is it critical that they clean their room every day?

The examples could go on and on. Here are some example of people dying on the wrong cross.

  • Lance Armstrong dying on the cross that he did not dope. 
  • Bill Clinton dying on the cross that he did not have sex with that woman.
  • Barry Bonds dying on the cross that he did not take banned substances.

Here are examples of crosses worth dying on.

  • A husband dying on the cross for his wife. 
  • A parent dying on the cross of being the spiritual leader of his home.
  • A friend dying on the cross that they will not reject their friend because they are not perfect.
  • A parent dying on the cross that church is important and the family will attend.
  • A person dying on the cross that their finances will be under the authority of God.
  • A believer dying to self so that Christ can live through them.

What crosses are you dying on?

PICK YOUR CROSSES

Lesson #1 – Jesus Is A Big Deal

Lesson #2 – Hold Your Rabbit

Own Your Failures Early

own it

One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones,

and then passed the vineyard of a lout;

They were overgrown with weeds,

thick with thistles, all the fences broken down.

I took a long look and pondered what I saw;

the fields preached me a sermon and I listened:

“A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,

sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?

Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,

with poverty as your permanent houseguest!”

(Proverb 24:30-34, MSG)

Everything you think is a failure is not a failure (the focus of yesterday’s blog). However, failure is part of life. Everyone fails at something. The only people who do not fail are those who never try anything, especially anything new. It is a series of little failures that cause things to fall apart. It’s a “nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back take it easy” life that brings terrible results. It when you say the wrong thing over and over that hurts a child. It when you don’t do what you should do over and over that kills a marriage. It is being late to work day after day that gets you fired. It is an accumulation of a bunch of weak or bad spiritual decisions that lead to major consequences. So, own your failures.

Own Them Early

I meet with many people with problems. I don’t have many people come in my office or contact me to tell me how wonderful their life is going. Usually, something is falling apart. The greatest problem I face in helping people put the pieces back together is that they wait until pieces of their life are falling off like an old swing set. If you check the nuts often and tighten what needs to be tightened then the lifespan will be huge. We have got to own our failures. Most importantly we must own them early. I could not tell you how many people will own their failures after all the screws of their swing set of life are loose or gone. It does not have to be this way.  It’s the little failures we must own.

Possible Little Failures Continue reading