Monday, April 27, 2009

Make the Most of Every Opportunity

We tend to lose sight of what God has brought us through at times when all we can focus on is what might be next. The Lord spoke of always being ready, not being certain of the day or the hour. Yet, we are given enough spiritual insight to know the Lord will come again one day. We should look at the Bible to understand what the Lord requires of us.

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
-Micah 6:8 (NKJV)

Look at how we treat each other in relation to how we want God to treat us. We want Him to love us and care for us, but we may not even be willing to do half of that for others. Jesus spoke of great love being the sacrifice of self for the sake of friends. In essence, what the Lord requires of us relates to the Lord's will. If we are willing to submit to the Lord's will, then we can see where the Lord is directing us. The opportunity is before us. What will we do?

****************************************************************************************
Blessings to Conscious Comedy! I was allowed to open up their show with some inspirational poetry last Friday at the Upaka Center here in San Diego. I was truly blessed to perform and let the Lord use me. Check out my poetry in print www.lulu.com/lifepath/.

Let's be real! I want to be sure that I thank those who have supported what we have started with Operation Reach Out. This has been a blessing in the making. Please continue to keep us in prayer as we prepare for a summer of challenging for change.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring Thing (Ecc. 3:1)


To everything there is a season. . .-Ecc. 3:1


You know it's spring when the Good Friday and Lent have passed with little to no incident from the church folks or the family. Do you remember those Easter suits? It always had to be something light like a khaki or funny green with a pastel shirt and some odd-looking, crooked-hanging clip-on tie with weird images or shapes on it. I'll always remember paisley-printed ties. Ugh!!


That was then, though. Now, as I reflect on spring, I recall that God gives us seasons, signs of change all around us. the wisdom of Solomon teaches us that there is a season for everything. However, look at what God does. He can have us mourning a loved one's passing and anticipating the birth of a child. He can have us laughing at a joke a friend just shared on MySpace and alarmed at what we just saw on the cable news. He has a reason for it all. We may not understand it at all. However, as I look at things today, I am reminded that God does things His way for His own reason.
___________________________________________________________________

Check out www.urbanministry.org for information and inspiration about getting things done in your local community and abroad. There certainly is a movement afoot!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

God is in the Blessing Business (Mt. 5:3-12)


Blessed are. . .
Let's face it. God is in the blessing business. He makes it His business to share His blessings that are designated for us with us. God has a plan than goes beyond what we see daily, but we are shown the majesty of His plan in our daily walk as we encounter people along the way. The blessings are found in His Word. Yet, we discover the power and potential of being blessed in the midst of ministry, actual service to others in His name.
I want to be blessed. Whether it be as a peacemaker or while I am being persecuted like one of the prophets, I want to be blessed like the Lord said on the Sermon on the Mount. If it be so, just as the Lord said, there is a "reward" beyond what we've known thus far.
___________________________________________________________________
Doing Good. . .
  • I've got to give a plug to my people at Bayview Charities for this weekly food distribution that they recently got started. Every Friday, from 10 am until 12 pm, Bayview Charities and its volunteers distribute food through Feeding America San Diego. Get in line by nine for the best of the pickings.
  • San Diego Area Congregations for Change (S.A.C.C.) is working with some key stakeholders on a series of town hall meetings on subjects vital to our communities. From public safety to health and prison reentry, these should serve as a platform for community members and congregations to hear from local civic leaders on the issues.
  • Thanks to everyone who participated in Operation Reach Out: Love Your Neighbor earlier this month. The Lemon-Aid Stand went off with a bang in spite of the rain shutting us down. Be on the lookout for something new coming this summer from Operation Reach Out. We are going to continue this Christian crusade for community change throughout the year in every way that God gives us to reach out to others.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

When Enough is Truly Enough

So they all ate and were filled.- Luke 6:42 (NKJV)
Five loaves of bread and two fish were enough. Jesus was the ultimate master of the teachable moment. In fact, the Master went so far as to demonstrate that God has already supplied what we need. He used what resources were available to Him and His disciples, took them and looked up to heaven, blessing and breaking the bread. Then, He did the same with the fish. In the end, it was truly enough for five thousand people to be fed (with fragments left over to fill twelve baskets).
What has Jesus provided for you? Isn't it enough? It probably is more than enough for what He wants you to do. Are you willing to look up to heaven and give thanks for what He has given to you? Are you willing to break it up and share it with others who are in need? Look at what Jesus did with the available resources. He did not wait for Ceasar's stimulus plan. He did not hold out and hold on to see if the government would change policies. He used what He had and made it work for those who were in need of it.
We can learn a real lesson from this simple act of Jesus. Beyond the miracle itself is a simple message of truth. God will provide exactly what we need to get the job done. We have to get on board and be willing to do the work. He has called us. He has supplied us. What are we waiting on?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Leading with Love


People don't care how much you know until they know that you care.- John C. Maxwell
Many may have heard this quote from John Maxwell in a variety of forms over the years at seminars or trainings, even conferences, whether Christian or secular. It has graced PowerPoint slides and even handouts, whether in quotes or italics. Yet, it speaks volumes. It says something to someone who works with other people. People won't open up and share their needs until they can trust that person offering to help really cares.
Mark 10:21 says: Jesus looked on the man and loved him. Jesus showed compassion for the man. He offered the man a simple solution, but He first offered Him something from the heart. He showed the man that He cared about him. He did the same with the multitudes that looked as though they were sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36).
Have we shared our compassion with someone? How do people really know if we care? Do we let people know that we care by what we say or how we look? We should consider whether we can really care for others before we try to lead them. We may have alot to offer, but we should offer our hearts and compassion before we share our thoughts and our vision.
Lead with love today. Let love lead you to your passion. Let yourself be led by the motivation that transcends circumstances and situations. Prioritize love as a top thing on your agenda with your fellow man. It can take you a long way.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Love Letters (Messages of Love)

Letters of

L-O-V-E


The Bible is often called a love letter from God to His people. It is God's love expressed towards mankind throughout the ages, culminating with His love expressed through the sacrifice He made through Jesus Christ.

Write a letter today. Want a good idea of a letter that shares about God's love? Read 1 John in its entirety. That's a letter that shares about the love we should have since meeting Jesus. Not good at letters? Try writing an e-card. Dayspring and Crosscards have plenty of e-card templates that will help you share a simple expression of Christian love with family and friends, even co-workers. Got MySpace or Facebook? Share a special message with your "friends" online. Create a free blog and share expressions on how Christ shows us how to love one another.

The point is to send the Word forth. Let others know that what Jesus did was based on love, but what we need to do is share that same love with others. After all, it's what He has called us to do.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Love Your Neighbor (As Yourself)


Operation Reach Out: Love Your Neighbor (as Yourself)
"...but you shall love your neighbor as yourself..." - Leviticus 19:18 (NKJV)
Loving your neighbor may sound like a simple strategy if we were just talking about brotherly love. You know, the kind of love that does not require us to get out of our comfort zone or even move beyond the norm from our daily routine. However, the biblical mandate laid out in the Law speaks of loving your neighbor as yourself. Whoa! That means we have to put this type of love in perspective. Otherwise, we run the risk of not following the Law.
Oh, but wait a minute! We have grace. Jesus died for our sins, so we are no longer under the Law. Whew! That was a close one. What we need to do is go by what Jesus said as our Lord and Savior.
"You have heard it said,'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you."- Matthew 6:43-44 (NKJV)
The difference and distinction that Jesus makes with these words is simple. Loving someone will require something of you and something out of you. You won't be able to maintain some of your same old hang-ups if you follow what Jesus said. You will find it hard to keep your enemies at a distance is you are called to love them. You won't be able to easily hide behind the subtlety of "classism", sexism or even racism if you are to do good to those who hate you. You probably won't even be able to keep that burning hatred in your heart when the Lord calls upon you to pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. Good grief! What's a person to do?
Simply do as He has said. Jesus teaches that loving those who love us is merely hypocritical. He challenges us to be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 6:48). We can meet the challenge prayerfully and powerfully.
  • Prayerfully:
    • We go to the Lord in prayer, seeking for Him to stand in our stead and speak in our stead. We must plead to be led by His Spirit, not our old nature.
    • We must continue without ceasing in prayer (1 Thes. 5:17). Our dependence must be upon Jesus as the Rock of our salvation.
    • As we pray, we will find it difficult to hold grudges and gripes against our brothers and others.
  • Powerfully:
    • The victory is not by our own power. It comes about by the power of Jesus Christ.
    • God is also known as the "Almighty" and as a "strong tower" in the Scriptures.
    • We operate by God's Holy Spirit's power, so whatever fuels us will have to be faith.

Go beyond yourself and get busy sharing the love of Christ with others. Today is the best time time get busy.


Starting Point:
Take today as a new opportunity to extend the love of Christ to someone in ways that you have never imagined. The change in you will be come apparent by what you do.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Launching Operation Reach Out

"...and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
-Acts 1:8 (NIV)

Jesus shared a special plan with His disciples. He was open, honest and talked straight up with His people. He intended for them to carry on with a mission that was to continue beyond His own earthly ministry. Jesus' intention was for these individuals to serve as "witnesses" who could testify about Him and His mighty works. The modern-day church has the same calling, to serve as witnesses "to the ends of the earth." As such witnesses, we are called to demonstrate and disseminate the Word. It is our livelihood that shares with others and speaks volumes to people.

B
y launching Operation Reach Out, I sought to challenge fellow Christians to live out their faith by reaching out in faith. Operation Reach Out is a Christian crusade for community change, a change of heart for changing lives. Love Your Neighbor serves as the initial "crusade" for this challenge, a week-long venture leading into Easter for 2009. As the body of Christ, the church is the collective assembly of witnesses of Christ and His miraculous power. Through Life Path Ministries & Services, this effort extends the love of Christ beyond our mere circle of friends.
Bold
We don't have to go far to discover what we need to do for our fellow man. Can we pray for someone else, interceding on their behalf? Is it too much for us to share what we have with those who are needy? Will we be available to help those who cannot help themselves? Search volunteer opportunities on the internet. Find how you can help local ministries, youth mentoring programs, or even missionaries. Give back to the Lord by reaching out to the Lord's people.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Beyond Just Another Day (Psalm 118:24)

This is the day which the Lord hath made
-Ps. 118:24 (KJV)

Every single day is made by the Lord. True believers cannot deny that. The Creator is the creative force that creates all things. John shared such a view about Him when he wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn't make. (John 1:3, NLT) Let's just settle on this today. God made the day and it's up to Him what He provides for us day by day.

Our obligation to the Lord is simply a two-part strategy:
  • We will rejoice...
We will rejoice. We will celebrate and express to the extreme that God has made this day. We express our joy by what we say and what we do to share it with others. Yet, when we rejoice, we go back to the source of our joy, to the point where our joy was provided for us. For believers, we have to take into consideration Calvary and, of course, an empty tomb where the stone had been rolled away. We have to go back to the source of our joy in order to rejoice!!
  • ...and be glad in it
Not only will we rejoice but we will be glad. We have returned to the source of our joy, but we also have to get to the point where we can celebrate continually. The believer has to learn to rely upon and trust in the Lord. We have our joy and gladness because of the same God who loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son for the redemption of the world. Just with that in mind, we ought to be glad!

One Day, One Aim...Feed Those in Need!
Lemon-Aid Stand
April 11, 2009
8 am- 12 pm
Join the Team!


 
Amen Me!