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The Danger of Discussions

The wrong discussions have the ability to damage or, often times, stop the work of God.

What conversations have you had lately that seemed harmless at the time, but have had repercussions that you never saw coming? What conversations were you a part of that you should have stopped? How many times have you talked/complained about someone or something that you didn’t like or agree with?

We must be wary of our discussions.  Too many voices speaking into our head can drown out the one voice, the voice of Jesus, that should speak the loudest to us.

Who are you talking to?

What are you talking about?

Are you speaking life into others?

Are they speaking life into you?

When the discussion is over, do you feel better or worse about your life, church, job, spouse, children, etc…?

We must be very mindful of the damage that can be caused by just a discussion.

Proverbs reminds us:

A gossip betrays a confidence, so avoid anyone who talks too much.
-Proverbs 20:19

And Paul reminds us:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
-Ephesians 4:29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Road


Have you ever felt like life dealt you a bad hand?

Ever felt like your mistakes took you off course?

Have bad decisions disrupted your path of life? 



Take a few moments to listen to practical ways to get back on track and back on the road!
Listen Here: The Road

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Don’t Let Your “IF” Destroy Your “IT”

FullSizeRenderWhat if I had gone to college? What if I had married that person instead of this person? What if I had moved there instead of here? What if I had driven down that road instead of this road? What if I could pick up the pieces and fix what’s broken?

Do any of these “what if” questions flood your mind on a daily basis? Does your life seem so off course that you’re ready to “throw in the towel?” Do you feel like your life is broken beyond repair? Is it causing you to be stressed and frustrated, constantly regretting one decision after another? The devil’s goal is to steal, kill, and destroy; he wants to keep you stuck in the past, in bondage of your past decisions. I’ve got good news! The freedom of the Lord can deliver you from all that! God is able to break every chain from your past and allow you to walk in your calling in life! Your destiny is not in your past details but in your present faith!
Don’t let your “IF” destroy your “IT”!
If we are not careful, those “if” questions can detour our future and ultimately cause spiritual oppression. They will cause us to abandon our potential dreams for the sake of re-living our past nightmares. We need to quit second-guessing our past and realize that God’s plans for us are greater than anything we could ever imagine, and in order to get to the present “IT,” we must strip away the “IFs” in our lives! Don’t let “IF” rob you of your turnaround in life!

The Danger of the Question 

 
Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What would my life be like….?”

…if you never married him/her?

…if you’d never been fired from that job?

…if you’d had a better childhood?

…if you had more money?

…if you hadn’t had children so early?

…if you’d finished school?

Reflecting on life and posing questions to enhance our future can be beneficial but if we’re not careful, we can become consumed by second-guessing every decision, every mistake, every failure, and every uncontrollable circumstance of our lives. 
Living in the question is dangerous.
The enemy will do everything in his power to keep our minds occupied. His tactics could be keeping us from our purpose, our family, from forgiveness, from repentance, or from experiencing abundant life. 

He distracts us by causing us to misinterpret, misread, misperceive, misdiagnose, and misunderstand.

Satan is a master at keeping you second-guessing and keeps you stuck in the past! But Jesus is the answer!

I encourage you today: Turn your eyes on Jesus. Allow the light of the Holy Spirit to shine on your soul. 

Don’t live life in a state of discouragement because of yesterday’s decisions.

Make a commitment to yourself not to live another moment in the question. Allow God to give you peace. And through His remarkable grace and mercy, let Him be your answer!

The Power of Roots | Jason Isaacs

My good friend, Pastor Jason Isaacs, shared a thought this morning entitled, The Power of Roots.  This is so good!

The Power of Roots

2 Kings 19:29-30
“This year you will eat only what grows up by itself, and next year you will eat what springs up from that. But in the third year you will plant crops and harvest them; you will tend vineyards and eat their fruit. And you who are left in Judah, who have escaped the ravages of the siege, will put roots down in your own soil and will grow up and flourish.”

It’s always dangerous to take prophecies from the Bible that were intended for a specific people and time and apply them to our lives, so don’t read what I am writing today as a prophecy for your life or church, but I do want to use the words spoken by Isaiah to encourage pastors to “put down roots and flourish.”

I read a stat recently that 82% of megachurch pastors are over the age of 50 and have served at their church for longer than 20 years. Coincidence? I doubt it. Mark Batterson said in his book The Circle Maker, “we tend to overestimate what God can do through us in 2 years and underestimate what God can do through us in 10 years.”

Isaiah’s declaration of the future is similar to the story of most pastor’s I know who are currently seeing exponential results and fruit in their ministry. They went through years of eating “only what grey up by itself,” but after all the people left who were going to leave, and enough seed was planted in the ground, and after roots were planted deep down in the soil, the church began to grow up and flourish.

There’s no telling what God might do if you decide to stay in one place 30 years and “put down roots.” You will have to weather some storms, and pass on other opportunities that appear better than your current situation, but faithful obedience over an extended period will produce a harvest greater than you can imagine.

Jeremiah 17:8-9
“But blessed are those who trust in the lord and have made the lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”

About the Author

Jason Isaacs is the lead pastor of River City Worship Center in Louisville KY. He has served as the lead pastor for 6 years, after serving as a staff pastor for 4 years.

Dreams That Die

  

Imagine being pulled in a tug-of-war between your God-given dreams and a personal dilemma. A constant struggle. Back and forth. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I believe we’ve all been there at some point.

Our desire could simply be wanting to overcome the dilemma of past hurts, anger, bitterness, offense, doubt, or a negative mindset with the hope of embracing a God-filled, love-flowing, positive, and peaceful life. But when it seems the personal dilemma tugs us back and always wins us over, it can be disheartening. 

In our always-connected culture of social media and texting, it’s so easy for others to quickly be privy to the status of our dreams. And once we’ve had our dream smashed to pieces so many times, it’s easy to ditch the dream and lose hope. Many times, we’ll try to get away from everything, everyone and their opinions just to hide and feel safe.

How amazing that even in the hidden corners and secret places to which we run, God’s love can still find us.

I believe Jesus knows how to find you and me regardless of where we are, what we’re dealing with, or what we’re facing. And when He comes, He doesn’t come to destroy us but to love us, help us, and heal us.

Jesus cares about the little things. He cares about the dreams that He’s placed in us and the things that concern us. And in spite of our failures and mistakes, He still refuses to give up on us. 

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” – Jeremiah 29:11

Be encouraged: Your best days are ahead of you! Your dreams can live again. You can hope again. God’s plan for your life is good! 

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Brick By Brick 

  

I am convinced that life moves at the speed of relationships. Relationships can be hurtful or loving, harmful or healing, controlling or liberating, binding or catapulting. Therefore, it only makes sense that we would be concerned with who we grace with our time and energy.

Who are we surrounded by the most often? In general, we are in the company of our family, friends, or co-workers. And while we may be unable to choose our biological families or handpick our co-workers, we can definitely impact how each area’s relationships are built.

So, here are 8 ways to build relationships of success at home, at play, or at work:

• Lay a firm foundation by building honor into your family.

• Build generosity into your family. “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.” (Proverbs 11:24)

• Institute prayer into your family. Emphasize the importance of prayer and pray together regularly.

• Build friends around you that can handle your fall and will lend you their faith when yours is gone!

• Build friends around you who refuse to let you quit on yourself just so you can live a life of regret & remorse.

• Surround yourself with friends who can and will celebrate your success. 

• Build the confidence for yourself by seeing your company’s vision, valuing the vision, and taking action to complete the vision.

• Develop the confidence of your company by praying about your work-related problems.

• Establish the confidence for your team that “it” can be done! Whatever “it” is! One of your greatest attributes will be your ability to see success. 

As we grow, we focus less on the amount of relationships we have and more on the kind of relationships. It’s less about quantity and more about quality. So, one by one and brick by brick, be a quality builder. Be a confidence builder. Be a success builder.

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5 Ways To Live UP

  

1.  Live UP in your Feelings 

Although it’s easier said than done, we should intentionally control our emotions and guard against constant anger, self-criticism, bitterness, and negativity…just to name a few. 

Anger does not help you live the way God wants.” – James 1:20
You can’t live UP looking DOWN!” – Pastor Kevin Gerald

2.  Live UP in your Family 

One hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much was in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like but the world may be a little bit better because I was important in the life of a child.”  – Dr. Forest E. Witcraft

Stay-at-home parents don’t produce go-to-church kids.” – Troy Maxwell 


3.  Live UP in your Finances 

The wicked borrow money and never pay it back. But good people are kind and generous.” – Psalm 37:21

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.” – Proverbs 11:24

Tithes. Taxes. Tips. They matter.


4.  Live UP in your Forgiveness 

Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.” – Ephesians 4: 31-32
Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.” – C.S. Lewis


5.  Live UP in your Faith (Future)

But you, dear friends, must “build up” your lives ever more strongly upon the foundation of our holy faith, learning to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.” – Jude 1:20

The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had left him, ‘Raise your eyes and look from where you are to the north and south and east and west. For I will give all the land that you see to you and to your children and to your children’s children forever.‘”- Genesis 13:14-15


Your life will often be defined by how you ‘lift up and look’ after you’ve been letdown.  Don’t miss the miracle in the middle of your letdown!

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THEY PREY


Have you ever thought, “What would THEY say if I made this move?…What would THEY think if I made that choice?…How would THEY react if I took that chance?”
If we’re honest, the fear of THEY has a tendency to haunt us and influence our decisions in life.  This presence has been around for sometime.  
Even Moses struggled with THEY.  
In fact, in Exodus 4:1 during a debate with God regarding an assignment, Moses says, “…What if they do not believe me or listen to me….?” 
In this instance, the THEYs of Moses’ life caused him to question his own qualifications. Sound familiar? I’m pretty sure it does! 
We have all fallen prey to THEY at some point in our lives and experienced the fear of public perception.

Who is your THEY? 
Is it someone who knows your past, someone from a broken relationship, someone from your childhood who knows what you’ve done?
In the bible, Abel had Cain, Elijah had Jezebel, David had Saul, etc.

But what if what THEY say, their opinion, their perception doesn’t even matter?

After Moses poses his question, God responds to HIM, not to THEM. God doesn’t give Moses reactionary responses on how to deal with THEM. Instead, He gives Moses direct attention regarding himself.

I believe God wants to know how you view yourself.  What are you saying to yourself about yourself? Do you question your worth? Your abilities? Your significance?

I challenge you to dismiss the disqualifications and exemptions that hinder you from God’s plan for your life. Your destiny is determined, many times, not by what THEY say, but by what you say to yourself. Practice speaking great things about yourself! Choose to speak health! Speak peace! Speak life! You are capable! You are qualified! You are smart! You are worthy! You matter! You are enough! 
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The Heart of the Matter

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I love my dad, Mike Pelkey. He recently underwent a quintuple heart bypass surgery. By the time the need for surgery had arisen, he’d already had four heart attacks. Just prior to his fourth attack, he had been out riding his motorcycle with mom and moving a shed…just having a normal day. All the while, his arteries were fluctuating between 80% and 98% blocked.

My dad admits his illness wasn’t solely the enemy attacking his body. He knew he didn’t take the best care of his health.

That leads me to think about the spiritual heart.

How is our blood flow?

Perhaps our spiritual arteries are blocked with anger, bitterness, grudges, pride or maybe un-forgiveness.

Have we become so accustomed to living with spiritual blockage that we’ve accepted it as normal?

Could we be living a better life with a healthy heart?

Maybe we could all press pause for a few moments today to read God’s Word and ask Him to look at our heart. Should we consistently re-visit the health of our heart? The Word can cut “between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (Hebrews 4:12 NLT)

I’m so thankful for my dad’s successful surgery and the medical teams that took a risk on his heart! Most heart transformations will be aided by those special people who take a risk and believe in our better heart!

Could your heart be better? Don’t let the hurts of life hinder the health of your heart.

If we allow God’s Word to operate on our heart, our overall quality of life will increase. We won’t have to live the lesser life any longer. Though it may cause some personal discomfort and a period of adjusting, we can trust the results of being in contact with the Great Physician, The Heart Healer.

CitiChurch

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