Sunday, August 31, 2014

Reflection of the message today from the life of Rebekah

It was so great to be able to preach today!  The message has been marinating in my soul for over 3 weeks. I have been praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the words I speak today!  I hope and pray this message greatly encouraged someone today on their spiritual journey through life. 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.       Hebrews 12:1

Today we ask Rebekah to join us in the race of life to give us insight about our life with God. Rebekah would say to us “Little did I realize how a simple act of generosity would change my life and the lives of so many other people.  Little did I know that my actions were the answer to a servant’s prayer and the plan of my sovereign God. All I did was what I felt I should do. You must do the same: Give generously to others.”

For when people ask for your help…

Then he prayed, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I'll water your camels too’--let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder.   Genesis 24:12-15


1. You can’t be generous and LEAGALISTIC at the same time.          

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.                         2 Corinthians 9:7              

2. You can’t walk the SECOND   MILE until you’ve walked the first

It’s easy for people to talk about the great and generous things they intend to do in the future. But if they’re not being generous with what they have now, then it is unlikely that they will suddenly change in the future. 

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.                   Luke 16:10

3. You can’t TAKE IT WITH YOU , but you can send it on ahead.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.             Matthew 6:19-20

4. You can’t wait for the FEELING,  It will follow.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.            Matthew 6:21


 “Even the SMALLEST   ACTS of generosity make a difference.”
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.        Matthew 10:42

Rebekah - An act of drawing water:  10 Camels @ 20 gallons each = 200 gallons Drawn at 5 gallon jar – 40 trips @ 4 minutes each = 2 ½ Hours.

 “When you give, the IMPACT of your generosity often outlives you.”

I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.                  John 4:38

“… with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”   Matthew 7:2

In the moment of giving, you cannot image how your actions might impact the lives of others in the future. Imagine what the world would be like if:
·       Michelangelo had said ‘I don’t do ceiling.’
·       Noah had said, ‘I don’t do boats’
·       Moses had said, ‘I don’t do rivers’
·       Mary had said, ‘I don’t do virgin births’
·       John the Baptist had said, ‘I don’t do baptisms.’
·       Peter had said, ‘I don’t do Gentile discipleship.’
·       Paul had said, “I don’t do letter.’
·       Jesus had said, “I don’t so crosses!

Rebekah became the great (37) grandmother of the Jesus Christ – the Messiah!
A lifestyle of generous giving will outlive you here on earth and in eternity!

 “When you give, you GIVE TO THE LORD!”
I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.                                                              Matthew 25:40

Rebekah’s prayer for us:  Lord, I ask that you would give my friends the eyes to see opportunities in the everyday events of life, the hands to reach out and give more than what is required or expected, and the hearts to do so much with motives that are pure and not self-seeking. Help us to be generous as Jesus was generous. Give us opportunity to put others before us and may we seek opportunities to give generously in the here and now. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Preparing for Worship on August 31, 2014

I expect our attendance may be low tomorrow during the holiday weekend, but my heart is filled with praise to the Lord for the message that He is stirring in my heart and soul.  This is the perfect Sunday to invite someone to join you for a life changing message.  The message this Sunday is from the life of Rebekah:

Today we ask Rebekah to join us in the race of life to give us insight about our life with God. Rebekah would say to us:

 “Little did I realize how a simple act of generosity would change my life and the lives of so many other people.  Little did I know that my actions were the answer to a servant’s prayer and the plan of my sovereign God. All I did was what I felt I should do. You must do the same: Give generously to others.”

 We begin with a welcome and call to prayer!  We continue to stand in  the presence of the Lord as we sing heart felt songs of worship:

A new version we premier this weekend that I believe will become a favorite of our church family to sing often:

We plan to greet one another and then join our hearts in prayer....

We sing of God's unfailing love toward us...

We share about the opportunities to serve the Lord and to fellowship together.
With hearts of gratitude we bring our financial gifts to the Lord in worship.

Then he prayed, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 

May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I'll water your camels too’--let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” 

Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder.                                                                                                    Genesis 24:12-15

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Funnies: Downton Abbey - ahead of it's time - sorta!

Do you notice anything out of place in this picture?

Fans of the hit British television show, Downton Abbey, noticed the new promotional poster for the show wasn't exactly in line with the times.

The show, which is often hailed as a fairly accurate depiction of England in the years leading up to World War I, features a wealthy family and their servants.

But while photographing promotional materials for the new season, someone forgot to remove one very important item.

Can you spot it?

A very modern water bottle was left on the mantle of the fireplace.

Oops, someone’s getting fired for that!

Were you able to spot the error? 

Tell us in the comments below.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Women in Ministry: You can't be what you can't see

I have recently been reading blog post about women in ministry and felt it time I posted about this.  Here is an article by Jo Saxton:

“Where are the women leaders? I wish there were more out there…”

“I just wish there more coming through, but there don’t seem to be any anywhere”

“What’s happening?”

Ever been part of a conversation like this? It’s a conversation that I’ve had with men and women across the US, around Europe, across the generations. It happens over coffee, online, on a conference call, in a hangout and in print. Sometimes the conversation is tinged with angst and longing, sometimes hurt, something incredulity, like something simply doesn’t add up.

It’s not that women in the church have disappeared (at least not yet!). In reality women are shaping and influencing their world in a broad range of ways. They’re engaging with the imbalances & injustices of the world, advocating, fundraising, adopting, fostering, making dresses for children who go without, knitting quilts for women in shelters, writing letters to troops and sponsoring children. Some are investing their gifts and talents and as they establish their homes and raise their children. Their gifts are predominantly expressed at the school gate, on the PTA, with girl scouts and sports teams, in the local neighborhood. It’s a high calling, being salt and light in the local community – world changing in fact. 

Some women are leading and loving it in the workplace; they’ve been equipped, empowered and their leadership gifts have come alive. It’s an incredible opportunity. Like Esther they’re called for such a time as this, like Joseph and Daniel this is where their ministry unfolds. Other women are realizing their potential as they support others – their bosses, their spouse, their friends, their teams. Its not a subjugation thing, nor a lack of confidence. These women know who they are and where they are called to be, and they thrive.

Perhaps on one level, our definition of leadership and influence has been too narrow, too one dimensional. These stories are different from the ones we often hear; maybe they seem a little ordinary. But in the hands of an extraordinary God, these women do amazing things.  Their stories in all their glorious diversity should be told and heard, seen and valued. They help us see what we can be. They must be invested in and equipped in order to realize their potential in the place God’s already placed them.

Still there is another group of women, different ages, life stages, colors and cultures. Same conversation.

“Where are the women leaders?”

"I wish there were more out there…”

“I just wish there more coming through, but there don’t seem to be any anywhere”

“What’s happening?”

Like their sisters they feel called to serve, but as leaders within the church. To lead churches, to exegete the Scriptures, to lead teams, to preach, to lead worship, to train leaders, to lead prayer movements, to share strategic insights, to pioneer ministries, plant churches, to pursue missional frontiers. Sometimes it’s like a quiet persistent hum in the background, sometimes it’s like a raging fire in their bones. There’s a conviction, a passion, a calling.  They’re just not sure what this calling looks like beyond their passions and their dreams…

“Where are the women leaders?”

They’re asking because they can’t be what they can’t see. They’re asking because they need to see whom they could be.  There’s been so much controversy, so much debate, that at times its cut deep into their sense of identity and relationship with God.  They’ve questioned repeatedly whether they are just too proud, just ambitious, not feminine enough. They’ve prayed, wept and walked away, only to find that the restless nagging sense of call won’t leave them alone. Oh, they’ve tried to not be called, because that would be so much easier, far less costly.  But they’ve flown away on the wings of the morning, settled on the far side of the sea, dug themselves into the dark shadows - and He was there. Loving, affirming, but still commissioning. Calling.  And when they’ve dared to respond, dared to whisper yes… they felt alive.

Seeing helps. Seeing the lives of the women of the Scriptures –  Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Junia, Priscilla, Lydia, Mary, Phoebe, Elizabeth. Hearing their names, understanding their lives helps. Seeing Christian women through the ages helps. The martyrs of the early churches like Perpetua and Felicity.  Leaders in the Celtic Church like Hilda of Whitby. The women through the ages Susanna Wesley, Phoebe Palmer, Catherine Booth, Sojourner Truth, Mother Theresa, Jackie Pullinger.  

You cannot underestimate the power of what you can’t see. What we see (or don’t see) speaks incredibly loudly about what is possible.  Seeing inspires from afar, seeing ignites possibility.  But I believe that to equip and empower women who sense a call to leadership they’ll need some things that are much, much closer.

They need leaders who can show them how to explore and engage with their call to leadership. Leaders who will assure and reassure them it’s OK to be called, that its more than OK and though it may be difficult at times, it is possible. They need leaders who can show them through the illustration of their lives, through their testimonies, and their presence out there.

They need leaders who can tell them their stories, their whole stories, their successes and failures, their devotional lives. They need leaders who can open their time and hearts and help them understand what it means for God to work on your character. Who can share their stories of stress, suffering and struggle and also faith, hope and love.

They need to experience leaders who will train them. Who will sharpen their skills, cultivate their gifts and give them regular tangible opportunities, walking them through success but also failure. These women need people who will apprentice them. They need leaders who are secure enough to open doors for them to go through, willing to launch these women into a future that might be even greater than their own…Now obviously male leaders can and have trained female leaders. 

My hope and prayer is that more would, because we need to see healthy teams of men and women who’ve worked out before God how to work alongside one another. We’ve got to commit to the vehicles that help that process.

They also need to be in community. They need to have an extended family. Because we’re not one dimensional beings whose lives have to revolve around a job or a task.  We are also friends, sisters, daughters, mothers, aunties, wives. So we need people to do life with, because when your immersed in a community, it’s easier to be grounded. It’s easier to be normal and not take ourselves to seriously. It’s easier to find support and encouragement to keep going. It’s easier to cultivate relationships with people we can confide in or trust to ask the difficult questions.

Can a fresh generation of female leaders come through without it? Are they?

In truth they are – but it’s more difficult, it’s lonelier, and women are not realizing their potential. That’s a challenging enough thought in itself. But let’s think beyond these leaders and think of the places where God’s sending them. Think about the communities and cities, the people groups yet to be transformed by the love of Jesus Christ, yet to see the Light of the Gospel.  What potential lay unrealized there because we’ve not raised up the next generation?

This is not a clarion call for every woman to be a leader, though I hope that every Christian man and woman would have a vision for being salt and light wherever they are, and leading someone to Christ. We've all been called to make disciples, all been called to play our role in the Great Commission. But it is a call to those of us who do feel called to leadership, who have wrestled and agonized, who have run away from God’s call or toned things down to be more acceptable – to reengage with the call of God on our lives.

What do you need to see to be all that God’s called you to be?

Jo Saxton is a leader within 3DM, a movement training churches and leaders to do discipleship and mission in an increasingly post-Christian world. Originally from the United Kingdom, Saxton was college pastor at St. Thomas Church, Sheffield, England, planting missional congregations among college students and young adults. Since moving to the United States eight years ago, she has served on church teams discipling young leaders and planting missional communities in areas ranging from the suburbs to the inner city. 

She is also the author of "More than Enchanting" (released Spring 2012), exploring the subject of women in leadership. She loves running, good music, reading books, blogs and magazines and laughing loudly with family and friends over a great meal. She is married to Chris, a pastor, and they have two amazing daughters, Tia and Zoë. They live in Southern California. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Preparing for tonight's Prayer Encounter: How to fight against Spiritual warfare.

Tonight as we gather in the Fireside Room at 6:30 for our Prayer Encounter - I sense we need to call upon the LORD  and prepare for the battle! 

As long as you desire to draw near to God and to become more like him, Satan—the enemy of your soul—is working against you and against God, trying to steal, kill, and destroy every bit of goodness within and around you.

He will do everything he can to thwart your efforts. He will whisper lies to you and try to distract you with temptation and sin.

So what should you do?

You have to fight back.

You have to understand that this kind of fighting is different from anything you’ve experienced before.

2nd Corinthians 10:3-5 says it this way: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”

But are you equipped to fight off temptation and sin?

2nd Peter 1 tells us that God has given us everything we need to live a life of godliness in Him. But again, what do you fight with?

The answer is simple. Prayer. It’s the greatest spiritual weapon you have. In fact, you don’t have the strength to fight in any other way.

1. Pray God’s Word

When you’re praying, stand on the anointed Word of God. In other words, take what God says is true and actively believe Him in the way you pray.

Here’s how it works: First, write down a fear, a struggle, or a need. Then find out what God’s word says about it. Finally, pray God’s Word in faith.

Here’s an example: If I’m feeling afraid, I’ll look up a verse on why God tells us we don’t have to be afraid. Then I’ll write it down and stick it in my pocket, or memorize it, or add it in a note in my phone. And the next time I’m afraid, I’ll speak that verse out. “Perfect love casts out fear!” and I’ll say it with oomph, using God’s words in that moment to cast away the thing I’m feeling overwhelmed by.

2. Pray God’s will

1 John 5:14-15 says this: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

So what’s the key to powerful prayer? It’s praying according to God’s will.

How do we know God’s will? We pray in the Spirit.

When we pray in the Spirit, God himself is praying through us. Like Romans 8:26 says, when we don’t know what to pray, the Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans words cannot express. You can also ask God to reveal His will to you directly—to give you a word from the Bible that will give you direction and strength. And when you are given a word, you can pray it in faith, knowing God is going to answer your prayers.

3. Pray in faith

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double minded and unstable in all they do.” – James 1: 5-8

This passage is clear. You need to get a word from God and then pray it without doubting, believing that God is bigger than anything you could ever see.

You need to not let your circumstances shake you, tossing your emotions around like waves in the sea. You need to stand on His word and believe that He’ll bring it about.

Satan is hard at work against you as you look more and more like our Heavenly Father. And while you need to fight, you don’t need to fear, because in the powerful name of Jesus, you can pray and have all authority in heaven and on earth on your side.

Scott Wilson is the Senior Pastor of The Oaks Fellowship, ministering to about 3,000 people every week in Dallas, TX. He is a frequent conference speaker, and provides mentorship for dozens of pastors and church leaders through Scott Wilson Consulting. Scott is a loving husband and proud father. Scott and his wife, Jenni, have three boys: Dillon, Hunter, and Dakota.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Church Planting is a Declaration of WAR ON THE ENEMY!

As we are experiencing a season of planting churches I felt a posting about church planting would be helpful.  

What’s the best way for a church planter to measure the success of his launch?

Metrics are key to church planting, but especially to the launch phase.

Know your metrics. Jesus told us our mission: to make disciples. We have to keep that as the aim. Of course there are many ways to make disciples that a church plant needs to focus on. As the adage goes, “What gets celebrated gets done.” If you highly value being a constant presence in the community, then you need to start measuring and celebrating community impact pre-launch. If you highly value small groups, you can measure the percentage of people attending the weekend gathering versus small group involvement. If you highly value spiritual conversations with the lost, then measure intentional time your team members have in spiritual conversations.

Celebrate en mass what you are asking people to be about individually. Look for stories of life transformation to celebrate in your large gathering and email blasts. Outreach can often get bypassed for the tyranny of the urgent. There is so much required of teams post-launch that our eyes can accidentally turn to internal ministry teams, set up/tear down, children's ministry and service production. These are great things, they’re just not the only things. Keep the metrics in front of your people so they don’t become too bankrupt of energy to be missionaries and make disciples in their spheres of influence outside the church family.

Set realistic expectations. The word “launch” means something different to different planters. Planters need to give clear definitions that lead to realistic expectations for your faith family. If the planter does not set these expectations, they will default to measuring success as more butts in the seats and more bucks in the budget. Expectations born from Twitter or conferences are inflated and can lead to serious discontent. I can’t tell you how many planters I work with who are seeing great things happen, but their expectations are skewed because they have had their eyes on megachurch pastors and large urban churches.   

What unique challenges do planters face when going into a rural community as opposed to an urban or suburban one?

Resistance to change. Cultural shift takes place slowest in rural areas. This is largely due to the tried-and-true mentality that creates relational stability in rural places and creates resistance to change. By it’s very nature, a church plant is bringing new wine. At first glance there is a larger “wineskin tension” in rural areas than in urban ones when we speak of change, but the gospel is always a call to change and a call to die.

Credibility gap. There are usually tight relational circles in rural areas. This makes it harder to “get in” among the locals unless you are from the area. Credibility takes longer to earn in rural areas, and good missionary principles will have be followed as a planter enters as a foreigner. To gain credibility they will need to work hard to learn the local customs, get into the relational circles and crack codes en route to finding favor.

Resources. Relational and financial resources tend to be more scarce for rural planters. Relationally speaking, teams are less drawn to moving into rural areas. There is less of a network of gospel leaders in an area for planters to connect with and be encouraged by. There are also fewer church leaders available to coach planters. I encourage rural planters to utilize the Internet to its fullest capability to connect with like hearted planters, get coaching and receive good practical content.  Here is an example:

Financially speaking, people are less likely to give funds to support rural work. Urban work, especially church planting, is sexy right now and easier for fundraising.

Distance to network. Many of these planters have people “in their corner” who are hundreds or thousands of miles away. When planters need an encouraging coffee discussion or prayer time, they are forced to pick up the phone and reach out to someone. This can create loneliness very quickly in a planter or among a planting couple.

Which is more difficultplanting a church in an area full of churches, or one in a secular, post-Christian area with not a church in sight? Is there a greater need in one area over the other?

These are tough questions. At this moment I think it’s pretty clear that Christendom had a good run in America, but those days are over. We truly are in a post-Christian culture today. I don’t think we can say one is more difficult than the other. Every context presents unique issues, and church planting is always a declaration of war on the enemy. I also don’t think we can say churches are more needed in different areas, but that we need more churches and better churches in university, urban, suburban and rural contexts. I want to look through the lens of the different temptations in very churched or very unchurched areas.

Areas chock full of “solid churches” present the temptation to compete with other churches, outmarketing the church down the street and outdoing their programs. This can turn into a buffet of religious goods and services. The temptation here will look more like professionalism and market sharing. It can shift the focus of church planting from harvesting lost souls to relocating displaced Christians.

Areas with very few churches tend to present the temptation to go overboard in the search for relevance. The result can easily be a social club with religious leanings. The “missional” focus can slip into social action and awareness as the end of the mission instead of a means to gospel presence.   

Both roads present different temptations that can lead to the cul-de-sac of a powerless gospel. A church with a powerless gospel is a dangerous thing. Be aware of your specific temptations, acknowledge them to your team and seek the Father regularly about them.

How should planters (or the networks with which they work) identify the communities where they plant? Besides a calling from God, are there practical aspects?

There are three different processes I regularly see for this. They have seen church plants result, and none is more spiritual than the other.

Dot on the map. The dot on the map process is when a potential planter sees an area that has been identified, by them or others, as an area of great need. This could be due to churchlessness, social dynamics, growth patterns or a specific community need. The hard work of demographics and exploring the community gives a visual picture of need to a planter, and God does the confirming from there. Networks or denominations will often have a profile of a planter they are specifically looking for who can effectively engage that specific culture in that social pocket. Skinny jeans and plaid are a better fit for Portland than for Omaha.

The Macedonian call. This process unfolds when God unmistakably puts a city or specific community heavy on someone’s heart. They are burdened for a place they honestly don’t know very well. With little or no exploration they have have a “I must go” feeling that propels them into planting.

Embedding. This is the process by which people plant a church to reach those among whom they are already embedded. Often people will return to their home town to re-embed in that community as they plant. The time away has given them clarity about the need for a gospel-centered church. Others will plant among the people they are already in close relationships with. They see friends who aren’t engaged in a church who have begun to see them as their pastor or spiritual guide. This second form of embedding is truly the “accidental church plant.”

What’s the most helpful advice you like to share with church planters?

There are three things I am continually saying to planters:

1. It’s Jesus’ church. It doesn’t depend on you, so be faithful, and be you.

2. Don’t plant a church in your head; plant it among real people in a real community.

3. Don’t try to do everything right now; plan ahead, but just do the next right thing.

Alan Briggs is the director of Frontline Church Planting and the multiplying pastor at Vanguard Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. He and his wife Julie have four kids, two adopted and two biological. Alan is passionate about developing multiplying leaders and churches. He prays for a God movement in Colorado and beyond. He and his wife write and speak on adoption and orphan care, and he loves climbing, camping, grilling out and connecting with his neighbors. this articles first appeared in Outreach Magazine    By  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Jim Caviezel - Inspirational video You need to see this!

Jim Caviezal speaks with Dave Cooper – The Pastor of Rock Church. The Rock is San Diego's largest church with over 12,500 people attending the Rock's five Sunday service. It was started in 2000, by Pastor Miles McPherson, a former NFL player.

Jim Caviezal shares about his experience to portray Jesus Christ in the film: The Passion of Christ.   This is a moving and powerful testimony you need to hear.  Listen and then call a friend to hear these words to encouragement. 

I have never heard Jim's experience before when he made this movie. He had a dislocated shoulder, pneumonia, a 14"laceration, and he was struck by lightning. He took his part in this movie very seriously. He recommends that we take our Christianity seriously too, following Christ no matter what.

If this message had spoken to your heart – God may be drawing you near to Him. 

If you desire more information about how to know Jesus as your Savior please comment
 and leave me your phone number and I will call you as soon as possible. 

Your comment will NOT be made public but it will be sent to me as an email message. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Reflections of my message today at NRN - August 24 2014

This morning I was thrilled to return to the current Teaching Series with a message from the life of Joseph.  Today we ask Joseph to join us in the race of life to give us insight about our life with God. Joseph would say to us “Dreams are conceived long before they are achieved. The period of time between the birth of a dream and its realization is always a process. This period is filled with doubts, adversity, changes and surprise. Frequently you will be faced with a dilemma:   Do I give up or go on?” Today we discover Joseph’s answer to us.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.                                 Hebrews 12:1

Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons. Joseph had been born to him when he was old. Israel made him a beautiful robe. Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them. So they hated Joseph. They couldn’t even speak one kind word to him.                                                                                           Genesis 37:3-4

For when life isn’t turning out the way you planned…

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” “Here comes that dreamer!" they said to each other. “Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams.”                           Genesis 37:5-7, 19-20 


1. Even if you didn’t START OFF WELL.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.                                                                                                                                     1 Timothy 1:12-13

2. Even if THOSE CLOSEST  don’t support you. 

“Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters herewith us?" And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor."                                                                                   Mark 6:3-4

3. Even if your journey is full of SURPRISES .

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.                                    Romans 8:28 

4. Even if it takes A LONG TIME  to realize it.

 “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!”                                                                                                                                           Habakkuk 2:3 LB


  Ø “Focus on what happens IN   YOU   not to you.”

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.                                                                                                       James 1:2-3 

  Ø “Your response to OFFENSE  determines your future.”

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…”                                                                                                                             Genesis 50:20-21

  Ø “Every dream has TOUGH   TIMES, but remember God is always with you.”

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me; your right hand will hold me fast.                                                                                                                                                                                      Psalm 139:8-10