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Oklahoma City Pastor Preaches A Candid Sermon About Racism and The Gospel

Religion is Dead: The Gospel & Racism from Frontline Church on Vimeo.

Oklahoma City Pastor Josh Kouri (Frontline Church) speaks very candidly about race, racial IQ, the system, justice, peace, racism and The Gospel.

Real Talk… Definitely worth your while.

Man Dies In Church and Pastor E. Dewey Smith and Church Members Pray Him Back To Life In Jesus Name

Seriously, this is a must watch video from this past Sunday at House Of Hope in Atlanta. Pastor E. Dewey Smith is an awesome man of God and I love his example of faith in this video and always. I know him, he’s a friend, this is the real deal and  this is how he rolls in Jesus’ Name. I’d like to warn you if you are watching this in a quiet place or public place (like work or Starbucks) you may find yourself taking a praise break out and start shouting.

A couple of highlight moments and statements:

  • They can perform CPR, but only God can give breath.
  • Church Nurse: “He’s Gone… He was gone!”
  • IV stands for I’m Victorious
  • I’ve been telling y’all God is Real

Enjoy!

The History of Father’s Day and 5 Father’s Day Scriptures

fathers dayThe Inspiration For Father’s Day Came From a Sermon

Anna Jarvis is recognized as the founder, campaigner and promoter of Mother’s Day in the US. Due to its success, some wanted to create similar holidays for other family members, and Father’s Day was the choice most likely to succeed.

There were a number of people in the US who independently thought of “Father’s Day”; however the credit for the modern holiday is often given to one young lady, who was the driving force behind its establishment. Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington, at the YMCA in 1910 by Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Sonora’s father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there. After hearing a sermon about Jarvis’ Mother’s Day in 1909, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.

A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. US President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus “singling out just one of our two parents”. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

5 Father’s Day Scriptures

A Father’s Direction

3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. 4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. Deuteronomy 6:3-13 ESV

Pursuit Of Happiness

13-14 Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won’t kill them. A good spanking, in fact, might save them from something worse than death. 15-16 Dear child, if you become wise, I’ll be one happy parent. My heart will dance and sing to the tuneful truth you’ll speak. Proverbs 23:13-16 MSG

Children Should Obey and Fathers Should Not Provoke

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4 ESV

Get In Touch With Reality

1-3 God’s Message to Joel son of Pethuel: Attention, elder statesmen! Listen closely, everyone, whoever and wherever you are! Have you ever heard of anything like this? Has anything like this ever happened before—ever? Make sure you tell your children, and your children tell their children, And their children their children. Don’t let this message die out. 4 What the chewing locust left, the gobbling locust ate; What the gobbling locust left, the munching locust ate; What the munching locust left, the chomping locust ate. Joel 1:1-4 MSG

Rules For Christian Homes

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.19Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Colossians 3:18-21

Your Name Brings Healing To Me – Planetshakers Pastor Sam Evans

Here is a short iPhone shot of Planetshakers Pastor Sam Evans (@planetshakersam) leading “Your Name Brings Healing To Me” at the opening night of the 1st ever @Planetshakers USA Conference. #Limitless

It was a great night seeing people worship, awesome word by @PastorChrisHill and the overall environment was rich as people were clearly having an encounter with God. Check out their new #Limitless CD that just released.

Thanksgiving Is All About “Stressed” Flipped Backwards

Dessert is defined as: A sweet course, treat or dish; served after the main course.

As I was thinking about the holiday season and all of the desserts so many of us are going to consume; I was reminded of how dessert applies to our lives.  It’s the sweet course or treat after life’s main courses. e.g.

  • Main Course- Attending College  Dessert-  Obtaining Degree.
  • Main Course- Becoming A Leader  Dessert- Lessons Learned/Taught & Leaders Developed
  • Main Course- Tithe and give generously  Dessert- The floodgates of blessings
  • Main Course- Struggles of life, darkness, insecurity, sin…  Dessert-  Truth, life, grace and forgiveness through Christ.

It’s essential for us to always be mindful and thankful that even though the “main courses in life” may not always taste great or be our favorite dish, there is always opportunity for dessert. Remember you also have the freedom of choice as it pertains to what you consume, nonetheless always be thankful.  “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” ~Harry Ironside

Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t be stressed; instead take stressed and flip it backwards.

The Desserts of Life.

For those that still may not understand the title of this post…  spell stressed backwards. 🙂

Thanksgiving is really not only about the dessert; however it’s sure a nice finality to the time with food, family and friends.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

What’s your favorite dessert?

First World Problems ((Video))

This video explains the types of First World Problems that exist. If you don’t believe me just glance through your twitter stream, better yet simply glance through your tweets. 🙂

I know the folks that lead the organization that put this video together and they are truly making a difference and bringing clean water and hope to those that desperately need it.

Then God Showed Up…

Day Four, Day 4, Fourth Day, The Day After Three… Compassion Bloggers Tanzania

If you are wondering why I’m using all of these different variations of Day 4, it’s for no other reason than I’ve started most of my posts with something like “Day 2 in Tanzania.” I actually like change; change is good, so change often.

Now back to the Day after the 3rd day in Tanzania. We kicked off the day a little early because we had a lot to do prior to catching an early afternoon flight from Mwanza to Arusha. We started off by visiting the African Church Ilemela (AICT) TZ 955.

The AICT Project has been around about 4 years and has 279, and only 9 of which are currently not being sponsored. This center has a library/computer lab that was just recently completed. It was really cool to see and know that this computer lab existed. The Project staff were extremely proud of it and was in the process of building some bookshelves in this new library/computer lab.

We got to hang out with Famous Amos today. Not the cookie guy but 7-year-old Amos who is a student at the AICT Project. Those little Famous Amos Cookies would be good right about now. Speaking of right now, at this moment I’m in a bus with the compassion bloggers in route from the Kilimanjaro airport to the Compassion Local Country Office.

Our journey to Amos’ house consisted of climbing the longest, winding, rocky, hilly, mountain-like trail up to his home. It was like an intense stair climber, elliptical workout. About halfway up the hill, we paused to catch our breath take some pictures of the amazing view.

Once we arrived at the top of the hill, we were welcomed into Amos’ home by his mother Leonia. She was very friendly, gracious and really happy to see us. She stated that we were the first visitors ever to her home from outside of their community. There were 3 other children at the home and the father worked as a day laborer in the community.

As we were talking and hearing Leonia tell her story about a rough season in their lives we witnessed one of those “Then God Showed Up” moments. The phrase “Then God Showed Up” seems to always be preceded by some troubles or a bleak situation… “Then God Showed Up.” I understand the context behind the phrase; however it’s one of those phrases that in my opinion reduces the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth to a merely situational God. I like to remember the “3GO’s of God”:

  • God’s Omniscience– God knows everything.
  • God’s Omnipresence- God is everywhere.
  • God’s Omnipotence- God is almighty, all-powerful and can do anything.

Then God Showed Up! Not so much, “God was already there!”

God knows everything, God is everywhere and God can do anything, we have to acknowledge that fact. Some situations it may appear too difficult to acknowledge the “3-GO’s.” The harsh reality is no situation is too difficult or too great to recognize that God was already there.

Now let’s get back to Amos’ mother Leonia’s story. She explained how they were having rough times and she decided to start a business with the help of some funding from some ladies in the church. Her business consisted of selling fish and it was started with the equivalent of maybe $20 in the U.S. She would get fish from the people at the lake and then sell them at market.

Once Leonia’s modest business got up and rolling she trusted a local guy in the community to go and sell her fish; unfortunately one day the guy never returned. At this time in her life, her situation appeared bleak and then something happened… many would say “Then God Showed Up!” Leonia says it this way, “I lost my business, my income and I knew God was there and would take care of me.” That’s exactly what God did, the next week she found out that Amos had received a Compassion Sponsor. (insert applause, ahh’s, halleluja’s and amens)

The support that Leonia received for Amos via the Compassion Sponsor was just enough to compensate for her lost business. God continues to bless their family and she now has a little business of selling little buckets of coal in which people use for cooking. I love Leonia’s spirit and I love the fact that she doesn’t embrace the mentality of “Then God Showed Up!” but rather acknowledges that He was already there.

God continues to use Compassion Sponsors to impact the lives of families and children in Tanzania. My question for you is this will you allow God to use you and a modest investment of $38 a month or roughly 5 quarters per day to change the life of a child and their family?

Get out a jar and start putting one quarter in it each day and make a commitment to sponsor a child. I am simply asking you to sponsor a child from Tanzania. LaKendria and I are looking forward to sitting down with our son’s and sponsoring a Tanzanian child as soon as we get home. We have been Skyping with them daily and they are looking forward to us getting home and sharing the details of our experience.

The Tanzanian Office of Compassion has been around since 1999 and to date there have been 60,869 kids sponsored from Tanzania and there are 4,550 4,449 left to be sponsored.  The cool thing about sponsorship is the fact that it doesn’t just change the sponsored kid’s life, it changes the sponsors life. I love how Shaun Groves talks about the beauty of sponsorship when he says this:

“Sponsors learn how to live more simply, so others can simply live.” ~Shaun Groves

If you sponsor a child, let me know… I’d love to give you a shout-out, pray for you and celebrate in advance with you. Blessings…  Remember you don’t have to wait until God shows up to make a move, He’s Already There!

See pics. from today’s visit below.

compassion child in window

Compassion Child looking through the window.

Amos sponsor letter

Amos sponsor letter tightly kept even with a little water damage.

View from the halfway point up the hill to Amos' house

View from the halfway point up the hill to Amos' house

Amos hanging at the door of his home.

Amos hanging at the door of his home.

Amos Mother sharing her testimony and accounts of God's goodness.

Nike Is Universal... (This made me chuckle)

Me hanging out with the kids...

Zack, LaKendria, Maggie, Shaun and Thomas walking down the hill from Amos' house.

Share your thoughts on “Then God Showed Up,” the fact that you can sponsor a child for 5 quarters a day and any other thoughts on the above pics.

The Life Of Moses and More Muslims Coming To Know Jesus

It’s day 3 of the #Compassion #Tanzania bloggers trip. Today we visited the Evangelistic Assemblies Of God Tanzania (EAGT) Project in the community of Lumula/Mwanza Tanzania. Just like every project, we were greeted with a warm welcome and the kids were especially cheerful, happy, joyful, energetic, singing and really helped us to kick the day off with big smiles on our faces. I was personally moved by the spirit and the power in the atmosphere of this project… Clearly felt God’s presence.

Today we took part in what is called, “The Day In The Life” of a Compassion Child. We visited the house of Moses and although we didn’t see a burning bush on the way to his house we did see the misery of the people in Moses’ community. I didn’t hear him say it; however I believe he was thinking “Let My People Go!” 🙂 Moses is a 10-year-old young man in the EAGT project. Moses lives with his father, mother and 3 siblings.

We spent the morning completing the exact chores that Moses and his family do on a daily basis. These chores included going to town to buy soap and water, washing dishes, preparing the meal and Moses tending his small garden and his cuckoos. Cukoo means chicken in Swahili. Moses is an awesome kid with some great talents; everything from playing soccer, running, to keeping the family tradition of his father and learning to become a seamstress. Moses and his 19-year-old brother Lousobya both sewed and were very mannerable and giving young men.

My wife and I were truly blessed by our time with Moses and his family. When I asked his mother what were her dreams for Moses, her response was simple and yet powerful, “I want Moses to be what God intends for him to be.” Isn’t that the dream for all of us, for us to put all of our chips on the table, work hard, leave it on the field, not make excuses and reach our God potential. Moses’ Compassion Sponsor is helping Moses reach his God potential. As a result of compassion, Moses has a relationship with the Lord and loves singing, playing, reading his Bible and memorizing Bible verses.

Once we left Moses’ home, we went back to the EAGT Project. I had the opportunity to spend some time with Pastor Daniel Kulola, who is the Pastor for the EAGT Project. Pastor Kulola is a gifted leader and has responsibility for over 600 churches in his region. Of the many things that stood out to me today, there is one thing in particular that I wanted to share with you. I wanted to share the impact that Pastor Kulola’s leadership partnered with the Compassion Project has had on their community and the Kingdom Of God.

Pastor Kulola can say it better than I can, so watch this short 3 min. video below and afterwards read my closing comments and pictures of the day at the bottom.

This scripture below sums up what Pastor Kulola said in the video, many people from the community are coming to church and coming to know Jesus first because they hear the stories, see the acts of love and compassion, see people being the hands and feet of Christ for those that they don’t know. Secondly, they see and experience the Good News for themselves and come to know Jesus.

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world. John 4:39-42

My friends, there is power in your testimony, power in your story and power in living out your faith. Muslims are coming to know Jesus because of what they see in the lives of their children and the generosity of strangers. As a matter of fact one of Moses’ compassion teachers Jackobo converted from Islam to Christianity and his story is helping to reach others.

Being a Compassion Sponsor isn’t simply about feeding, educating and making a difference in the lives of the sponsored child… being a sponsor is a compass that’s helping to change people’s life-direction for an eternity. If you want to sponsor one of the kids from the EAGT Project that we visited today Click Here. If you would like to sponsor a child from anywhere in Tanzania Click here.

Share your thoughts on Pastor Kulola’s comments in the video above. What do you think about their amazing growth in less than 2 years?

My prayer for my children, your children, the children of this region, my family and the family of everyone reading this post is, “That you may reach your God Potential!”

Pics. of the day!

Lakendria & Kelli Going To Get Water

Moses paying to get some water

Moses paying to get some soap.

Moses and I washing dishes (learned you can use a little dirt to create a scouring pad)

 

Moses breaking out the sewing machine (showing a little foot-pedal and hand coordination skills)

 

Moses and his soccer team getting ready for a little competition. (He's got skills & shirts vs skins is universal)

Moses, His Brother & Mother

Me and Pastor Kulola having a conversation (not sure what I was saying, but it appears to be animated)

Pic that LaKendria had taken of the Chalkboard in one of the classrooms prior to our departure.

Share any thoughts from the video or post in general. Do you have any questions or comments for me? Thinking about sponsoring a child from Tanzania? Don’t just think about it, do it for the price of a cup of coffee a day you can change a kids life. Click Here, to sponsor a child right now!

Christmas Devotional ebook “Christmas Reboot”

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving with friends, family or even by yourself.  It’s time to close the Thanksgiving Chapter and move on towards Christmas.  If you want a great way to help your family or small group to put a purposed focus on the Christmas Season, you should check out Christmas Reboot.
Christmas Reboot is an eBook by my friend Alan Danielson.  It has 25 devotionals that help people and families see Christmas in a different way. The ebook is a great value at $8.99 and this Christmas Season 50% of each purchase goes directly to missions in Guatemala.  That’s a 3-in-1 type of deal: 1. no black Friday lines, 2. great book of devotionals, 3. Make a difference in Guatemala.
Most people will use the book, devotional, conversation starters and other activities on a daily basis with their families in December.   Click here to read a sample chapter and purchase Christmas Reboot.
You can even purchase a distribution license that allows your organization the legal right to distribute free copies!  You can use the distribution license for appreciation gifts to volunteers in your church, to your company’s staff members, or even as a free gift to people in the community.  Click here to purchase a bulk distribution license and give Christmas Reboot to people you want to influence.
Check out Christmas Reboot and let the Christmas Season officially begin.

10 Spiritual Tonics

10 SPIRITUAL TONICS by ~Abraham Feinberg

  • 1.  Stop worrying. Worry kills life.
  • 2.  Begin each day with a prayer. It will arm your soul.
  • 3.  Control appetite. Over-indulgence clogs body and mind.
  • 4.  Accept your limitations. All of us can’t be great.
  • 5. Don’t envy. It wastes time and energy.
  • 6. Have faith in people. Cynicism sours the disposition.
  • 7. Find a hobby. It will relax your nerves.
  • 8. Read a book a week to stimulate imagination and broaden your view.
  • 9. Spend some time alone, for the peace of solitude and silence.
  • 10. Try to want what you have, instead of spending your strength trying to get what you want.

Which of these 10 Tonics resonate most with you?

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