This Week’s Audio Sermon

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Archives

Social Media

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On YoutubeCheck Our Feed

Don’t Fear Big, Fear Small

I think far too many times we aren’t fearing the big things but we fear the small things. In other words, we need to go big with our lives. Too many people fear greatness when in reality, we should fear mediocrity. We should fear playing it small in life. We shouldn’t fear big but fear small.      

In the Bible, there were individuals that prayed big audacious prayers.  Joshua prayed that the sun would stand still so that he could continue to defeat God’s enemies. That’s a big prayer. He didn’t go small, he went big.    

Think of this, what is the greatest life you could imagine for yourself? In the process of embracing that great life, you’re able to glorify God and you’re able to be a good steward of these gifts God has given you. What would that life be? This would be your greatest life, that in the process of achieving it, you can glorify God and tap into his potential that He’s placed inside of you.  Once you’ve discovered it, you need to seize it and go after it! You need to set aside all fears and all excuses and begin to move towards it.  

So many people in life sell themselves short. They settle for second best and mediocrity.  I heard once, there are two types of people in the world that the world will reject. One is those who succeed and the other is those who fail. But if you’re mediocre, like the rest of the people in the world, then they will applaud and accept you.    

If we aren’t guilty of thinking too big, then we are guilty of thinking too small. I want to challenge you – Are you thinking small about your future? You know God is anything but small right? God is big! He’s glorious, he’s all powerful. So don’t fear big, fear mediocrity. Fear falling short of the grace of God for your life. Fear of going to the grave one day with the wind still left in your sails or never reaching your full potential.  

The Apostle Paul said, ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” What a statement! You know that is more than a cute memory verse and more than just a verse we commit to memory; we should commit that verse to life and to living it.  If Paul said he could do all things through Christ who strengthens him, where are you falling short of that promise in your life? Do your prayers reflect that you can do all things through Christ? Does your planning reflect that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you?  What about your To-Do list? Do you have a Life To-Do- List – by the time your life ends, you will have accomplished this list of things for the glory of God? You can do all of those things according to His power that is at work within you.    

So, if you knew, you couldn’t fail at anything, what would you attempt for the glory of God? This is if you knew that failure wasn’t an option. I want to challenge you today – Get busy doing it! Don’t fear big, fear small. Fear going far too small in regards to what you’ve been placed on this planet to do.

Each of us has been given an assignment. Let’s get busy and let’s do it! Let’s do big things. William Carey stated, “Expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.”  I try to live my life that way and I hope you’re busy doing the same.

God Bless!

Carl 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Blogger PostDiggDeliciousEmailPrintShare

Success or Perfection

In life, we have to make a decision sometimes – Do you want to be successful or do you want to be perfect? Do you want to pursue success in your life – your relationships, your marriage, your career or your walk with the Lord? Some people commit themselves to the pursuit of perfection and then they miss being successful. Some people over-invest in a project, a task or a goal and do it wanting it to be perfect. They work on it until it is perfect and they end up forfeiting a successful outcome due to their perfectionist tendencies. We all want to be successful and to be successful means that we don’t always have to be perfect.   The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when they fill out a job application. Sometimes it makes the employer wonder why they are even applying for the job they are applying for. So, in life, there really is no such thing as perfection.   How many perfect spouses are out there today? How many perfect parents? There are no perfect Christians. There’s this false concept that in order for it to be blessed by God it has to be perfect. Now, granted, there are some things in life that you are striving for perfection whether you’re designing a car or performing a surgical procedure or you’re on a military mission. These are situations when people’s lives are depending on things being flawless. But, in all true successes, there is a measure of perfection.  The opera singer has to hit every note perfectly. If you’re a gymnast, you want to get close to a 10 as possible. In life, we want to get to 10, the best of our ability, who wants to be a one or a two? I love what A. J. Gordon said, ” I would rather aim at perfection and fall short of it than aim at imperfection.” We are striving to be the very best we can be at home, at work, at church, and in life. Remember, God calls us to be faithful more than he calls us to be successful.  If you are faithful, ultimately in God’s eyes and in time, you will be successful.   John Hayward said, ” He who is faultless is lifeless.” When I read scripture I find that real people are talked about in the Bible. These are real people that had real lives with real challenges and they made real mistakes. The truly successful ones in the Bible weren’t people who never made mistakes. Moses killed an innocent man. David killed an innocent man. Paul, when he was Saul, was responsible for the deaths of Christian men, women, and children.  These are some of the most respected men in the Bible and they committed some horrible sins. Yet, their faith and lack of perfection didn’t stop them, it propelled them later when they realized what they had done and repented of it. They became powerhouses for God. He who is faultless is lifeless. If you are going to strive to be your best in life, you are goin to come up short from time to time. You will experience failure and setbacks. What separates the winners from the losers is that the losers never try again but the winners pick themselves back up, with God’s help, and go at it again until they get it done. I was watching tv and saw someone say, “You’re living but you’re not alive.” That’s a powerful thought.  So many people are living but they’re not alive. I hope you are not simply existing but you are “alive”! That you are alive to the hopes, dreams, and the vision God has for your life and you are alive to all the opportunities you have in life when we are seeking His kingdom and righteousness. Go out and have a great week! You are God’s best!  Carl

The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when they fill out a job application. Sometimes it makes the employer wonder why they are even applying for the job they are applying for. So, in life, there really is no such thing as perfection.  

How many perfect spouses are out there today? How many perfect parents? There are no perfect Christians. There’s this false concept that in order for it to be blessed by God it has to be perfect. Now, granted, there are some things in life that you are striving for perfection whether you’re designing a car or performing a surgical procedure or you’re on a military mission. These are situations when people’s lives are depending on things being flawless. But, in all true successes, there is a measure of perfection.  The opera singer has to hit every note perfectly. If you’re a gymnast, you want to get close to a 10 as possible. In life, we want to get to 10, the best of our ability, I mean, who wants to be a one or a two?

I love what A. J. Gordon said, ” I would rather aim at perfection and fall short of it than aim at imperfection.” We are striving to be the very best we can be at home, at work, at church, and in life. Remember, God calls us to be faithful more than he calls us to be successful.  If you are faithful, ultimately, in God’s eyes and in time, you will be successful. John Hayward said, “He who is faultless is lifeless.”

When I read scripture I find that real people are talked about in the Bible. These are real people that had real lives with real challenges and they made real mistakes. The truly successful ones in the Bible weren’t people who never made mistakes. Moses killed an innocent man. David killed an innocent man. Paul, when he was Saul, was responsible for the deaths of Christian men, women, and children.  These are some of the most respected men in the Bible and they committed some horrible sins. Yet, their faith and lack of perfection didn’t stop them, it propelled them later when they realized what they had done and repented of it. They became powerhouses for God.

He who is faultless is lifeless. If you are going to strive to be your best in life, you are going to come up short from time to time. You will experience failure and setbacks. What separates the winners from the losers are that the losers never try again but the winners pick themselves back up, with God’s help, and go at it again until they get it done.

I was watching tv and saw someone say, “You’re living but you’re not alive.” That’s a powerful thought.  So many people are living but they’re not alive. I hope you are not simply existing but you are “alive”! That you are alive to the hopes, dreams, and the vision God has for your life and you are alive to all the opportunities you have in life when seeking His kingdom and righteousness.

Go out and have a great week!

You are God’s best!  

Carl

Almost Isn’t Good Enough

I want to talk to you today about when “Almost Isn’t Good Enough.”  When I use the word, “almost”, what does that word do for you?  The word itself means – very nearly.  Ex: In this last Super Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons almost won. But, almost isn’t good enough.  

Here’s what’s interesting; this word, almost, only appears 11 times in the Bible.  In 4000+ years of biblical history, the word “almost” only appears 11 times.  It’s not a word that is used a lot by God’s people.

I think “Almost isn’t good enough” is one of the most important phrases in our life. I think too many people live in the “almost syndrome”. That’s what I call it. It causes us to fall short of our achievements and acquiring our very best in life. How many people say, “I almost applied for that promotion but then I talked myself out of it.”?  How many people have said, “I almost finished my degree but then life just happened.”? How many have said, ” I almost landed that perfect job”? Or, “I almost got married.”? God wants us to go all the way! Almost isn’t good enough in achieving God’s best for our lives. It’s the tyranny of almost.

We can’t live our life on “almost”. We must tell ourselves, it’s not good enough.   Even the great Apostle Paul didn’t say, “I almost fought the good fight. I almost kept the faith. I almost finished my race.” No, he went all the way.   I think one of the saddest verses in the Bible is King Agrippa speaking to the Apostle Paul in Acts 26:28 ” You almost persuaded me to become a Christian.” Well King Agrippa, almost wasn’t good enough!  It never really is. Our spiritual heritage isn’t to be lived in such a way where we say, “well almost”.No, almost isn’t good enough.

If you are going you’re going to see your dreams come to fruition then we need to become individuals that don’t settle for almost. We need to be people who go all the way.  

What’s it going to take for you to finish your goal? Almost isn’t good enough.   So, you say, ” I almost applied for that promotion but I talked myself out of it.” Ok, so next time that opportunity comes your way, what will you do differently?  

Maybe you’re at that stage in your life where you almost finished your degree but then life started to happen. Alright, is it still a goal? Do you feel your life would feel more accomplished if you finished that degree? Then go all the way! If not and you’re satisfied where you’re at, then write it off and move on to the next goal.  

For the person that said they almost got married once; what happened? Was it on your end or theirs? Did things just not work out? Is there something in your life you feel is missing? What would you do differently next time? Do you want there to be a next time?    

Here’s what I want to encourage today; select something in your life that you almost achieved – a goal or dream you were pursuing; whatever it might be. It could be related to your health, finances, spiritual or relational. What’s the thing that you almost achieved? Now look at it and ask what 3 things could I do in my life that could help me move toward the achievement of that goal? Because almost isn’t good enough.  

I want to encourage you today to Go All The Way!  Make the adjustments that need to be made and begin to nail down the definable action steps that could move you towards accomplishing it so you can be one of those people that say, “All the way, not almost!”     Let this thought stir around in you and motivate you.  

Have a great week!

God Bless,

Carl 

An Unfair Advantage

The other day, Gloria and I were sitting down and having lunch with our youngest son.  As we were talking about a particular subject, I felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to say to him, “You have an unfair advantage in life.”  I’m going to share my thoughts concerning that but I’m wondering, “What do you consider an unfair advantage that you have in your life?”  

Sometimes we need to take inventory, not of things we don’t have in our life or are missing; but the things we do have. So, if you started to take inventory of your life, what are some of your unfair advantages? These are things that would give you a competitive advantage. Not that we are competing against others but against ourselves to be the best version of you that you can possibly be for the glory of God.    

I’ll name a few:

Not everyone has a Nutritious Diet
Good parents
Straight teeth
a good personality
a positive attitude
physically attractive
intellectually attractive
emotionally attractive
good personal hygiene
clean and professional attire.    

When I was talking to my son I said, ” You know son, God has given you a gift of leadership. You have a responsibility with the gifts that God has given you to recognize, utilize, expand them and understand that it’s a cherished gift God has given you.”    

Each of you reading this, God has given you a cherished gift. (Or two or three or more)  You have something that is not of yourself. You can’t take credit for it. It was given to you by God.  It’s called a “Grace Gift“. This is something that is unmerited. This gives you and unfair advantage if you recognize it, utilize it, expand it and if you honor it.  

Take, for example, the very fact if you were born in America; you were given an unfair advantage.  The average person lives on $2 per day. If you were born in America, half the battle has already been won for you.  That doesn’t mean we don’t have problems or challenges in this country, but if we can’t succeed here, try it somewhere else in the world. It isn’t as easy.  

I think the unfair advantage that we also have is if you are a person of faith; a follower of Christ, God says in Deut.28 “If you will harken and obey God with all your heart, He will make you the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath.” God Almighty promised that you would be blessed going and coming and that everything you set your hands to would be blessed and would prosper.  I’m sorry, but as people of faith, that gives us an unfair advantage.    

I was reflecting on the story of Daniel and how at a very young age he was kidnapped from Jerusalem and taken to Babylon and how he rose to the top. The Bible tells us that God blessed Daniel and his friends and made them ten times smarter than all of the Babylonian young men. Guess what that causes? An unfair advantage.  

I believe people of faith can be smarter, stronger, happier, more fulfilled and that gives us an unfair advantage.  Think of how as a Christ follower, we have a different work ethic. We don’t work as unto the paycheck, the boss or unto the company; we work as unto the Lord. We dedicate for God’s glory which gives you an unfair advantage.  You come to work with a better attitude, you work harder, do more and the result will be that you’ll continue to move up in life. Upward mobility is going to be in your favor because you have an unfair advantage.    

If we live Godly lives and obey God’s commands, deal with stress in a Godly way; that gives us an unfair advantage because you’re healthier, happier, you have a better outlook and a better perspective on life. Once again, it continues to put you over the top.    

I hope today, you’ll take inventory and thank God with a humble heart for the blessings He has blessed your life with. You’ll begin to take advantage, utilize, recognize those unfair advantages. Not to be better than others but to be the best you can be to hopefully inspire others around you to follow Christ and to take inventory of the unfair advantages that God has given them as well.  

I pray God’s best over you.

God Bless!  

Carl

 

 

Owners Mentality

Wishing all of you a happy Holy Week! This is an important time for millions of Christians around the world. For those of you that may not know, from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday is called Holy Week. The most significant events of mankind occurred during this time period 2000 years ago. This was the final week of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ leading up to Good Friday and then Resurrection Sunday this Easter Sunday.  I am so excited for this weekend. Hopefully, you are in a good church. If not, we invite you to be apart of Trinity Church this weekend.      

So, Today I want to talk to you about the difference between ownership and renting or what I call –  an ownership mentality.  The other day I was driving through my neighborhood and saw a sign in front of someone’s home that read “For Rent”.  The Holy Spirit impressed in my heart, making me think about someone who owns a home vs someone who rents a home.  A person that owns a home has a huge buy in. They have a 15-30yr mortgage. A person that is a renter has a 6 month to 1-year lease. So in 6 months or a year, they can be gone. They don’t have any ties or commitment to that home any longer.  It got me to thinking that many people go through life with a renters mentality instead of an owners mentality.  See, when you have an owners mentality, you approach life differently. You tend to treat things differently. Someone who owns their home will treat that abode differently than someone renting a home.  We all should know that if you ever buy a pre-owned automobile – never purchase a car that was a rental! Reason being,  people beat up rental cars because they will be turning them back into the rental business in a day or two.  

So, in life, we want to make sure we have an owners mentality.  When people don’t show up to work because they have a job but instead, they have a calling; they don’t show up with a renter’s mentality. No, they have a sense of ownership and feel empowered. When we have a sense of ownership, we have a higher level of buy-in.  Gallup did some research and found that only 13% of employees are actually engaged in their work show a sense of accountability and are highly motivated. How are we getting anything done in America?  

Those that are highly engaged have a sense of ownership. You can notice someone who walks around a campus or a church that has a sense of ownership, they don’t do just enough to get by. These people treat that place as if they had part ownership in it. We know that ultimately God is the owner of everything and yet we are stewards and God has entrusted ownership to us.  As Christ followers, we live with that sense of mission and purpose.

So here is the difference between Owners and Renters:

Owners prepare and prevent; Renters repair and repent.
Owners mentality accepts responsibility and is accountable for their results; Renters just give excuses.
Owners come with solutions; Renters only give suggestions.
Renters have a job but owners have a mission and a passion.    

An owner gets to open up two gifts every morning; their two eyes!  They wake up and approach life with a sense of mission and excitement.    

As a pastor, I appreciate church members who have a sense of ownership and not a renters mentality. You can’t build a great work that’s influencing the community and winning people to Jesus if you have a staff and a membership of renters. Do you see what I am saying? See, a renter will be in a church for 6 months to a year and then they’re looking for greener pastures. But, someone who has an owners mentality is there for decades. Their family becomes a generational family in that church. They are the ones that continue to push vision and mission forward.    

I want to encourage each of you out there today to have an ownership mentality. When you enter into your marriage relationship, you aren’t a renter who is there for 6 months or a 3-year lease, it’s for eternity! Enter into your friendships with an owners mentality.  I hope you have an ownership mentality throughout life.  

Go out and win! You are God’s Best,

Carl