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Have a Seat

I want to talk today about waiting. If you go to the doctor’s office or appointment, the receptionist says “Please have a seat”, what does that tell you?  That tells you it’s going to be a while. I don’t know how many of you out there are good at waiting. By nature, I’m not very patient. We all should know that life really is all about “having a seat”. It’s about waiting. I know we live in an instant society. We want everything instantaneously. We want our wifi to connect instantly. We don’t even like to stand in front of a microwave to warm our food. We just don’t like to wait. 

I came across a story from NASA on the Mars Rover called “Curiosity to the planet Mars”.  Once the rover entered the atmosphere of Mars, it landed in seven seconds. But, it had to travel millions of miles at the speed of 13,000 MPH and took eight months for it to arrive at the planet Mars. All the NASA engineers could do was to take a seat and wait. They waited eight months! But once that rover got into the atmosphere, it only took seven seconds for them to be able to witness that incredible scientific foot.

It’s kind of like our life. Sometimes life is all about waiting and waiting. I remember when I was single, I had to wait for God’s timing for the right person to marry. It seemed like it took forever. Then, once you are married, you are waiting to have kids. Then, you’re a parent and you’re going through different seasons of having to take a seat as your kids grow and go through the different stages. All of life really is about waiting. Isaiah 40:31 is one of my favorite verses about waiting. It states “ Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They’ll mount up wings like eagles, they’ll run and not grow weary, they’ll walk and not faint.”

I’m wondering what you are waiting for? Maybe you’re waiting for that breakthrough in a relationship, a prayer to be answered, or to plow through the season of education and getting through school. I can remember when I was in high school, I couldn’t wait to get out and when I was in Bible school, I couldn’t wait to get out so I could start ministry. Then, when I started ministry, I couldn’t wait to be a senior pastor. 

All of life is really broken up into segments of waiting. We have to learn to wait upon the Lord. That’s a lesson I’m still learning. I’m now a senior pastor, married, have two incredible sons but all of life is still about waiting. There’s still many things in my heart I am praying for that haven’t yet materialized and I will have to wait. 

So, what are you waiting on? Do you sometimes get impatient? There are times when we can get impatient where we can get ahead of God. That’s never a good thing. I think one of the most challenging things to learn is to learn how to wait. Another favorite verse I have is Luke 21:19 Jesus said, “In patience, possess your soul.” One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is patience. I know, living in America, and our culture, it’s hard just to wait. 

So what are you waiting on? What areas does God saying to you “Have a seat”?  

Not all waiting is inactive. Waiting can be a time of preparation. You know, the Rio Olympics just concluded and so many of our incredible American athletes displayed professionalism, character, and integrity (a few did not). The women’s track and field ladies that won the gold medal, they were such great representatives of our country. Many of them love the Lord. I think about how they had to wait for this moment. Everything was continuing to build for this one moment in order to compete at the highest level for the gold. Then it’s gone! Life is a lot like that. We have to wait, but waiting in not inactivity; waiting is preparing. 

What is God preparing in you? Wait on the Lord and as you do, He will renew your strength. I believe you will mount up with wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, and you will walk and not faint. Don’t be weary in waiting! Sometimes we can get weary in waiting. Be patient and trust in God and look to Him. 

I hope the rest of your day is successful. I hope you don’t get impatient and you don’t get ahead of God. 

God Bless!

Carl

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The Happy Majority

If we aren’t careful, we, here, in America, could think that everyone has some kind of ax to grind. So many people seem to be on a warpath in our country right now. I know I don’t live in a bubble and there are some really difficult times. You can do one of two things: you can focus on all the negative out there in the world or in our lives or we can choose to look at the good spots.  Neh 8:10 says the joy of the Lord is our strength.  The Message version states ” Don’t feel bad. The joy of God is your strength!”

I was thinking, what distinguishes you from everyone else?  If you keep a positive outlook, you keep God’s joy in your heart and say to yourself “You know what, I’m not going to let life keep getting me down.”  What distinguishes someone who wants to soar and not sink. I think what distinguishes them is that every day you live with a sense of purpose. You know that God is on your side and your life has value. You know that today is like a miniature lifetime. What we do today is what we do throughout our lifetime. This day matters and this day counts. Scripture says that this is the day the Lord hath made (Ps 118:24) We can rejoice and be glad in it.  I think that’s what sets apart the Happy Majority from the Unhappy Minority.  They live with purpose.

I read something once that said the opposite of bravery isn’t cowardice, instead, it’s conformity. It’s so easy for us to conform. With the stress of our times, it’s easy to conform to those living around us. The Bible says we are not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed (Rom 12:2). How can we be transformed? We should renew our minds every day, choosing to focus our minds on what God says, not what the world is saying.

If we’re not careful, we could end up having a Goldfish Mentality. Goldfish have a three-second memory span. That’s it! Three seconds! That’s why a Goldfish is happy to swim around in a fish bowl all day long. They think they are in “Fish Heaven” because they have a three-second memory span. We don’t want to have this mentality. We don’t want to have the latest images or news coming our way having that kind of influence over us. We want to conform to what scripture says. That allows us to go through life not being pulled down by others but allowing us to pull others up. It is said that it’s easier to go through life cursing the darkness instead of lighting the candle. The best thing we can do is not to curse the darkness around us but light a candle instead.  

So how are you going to go out today and lift someone up? How are you going to make someone’s world brighter today? Maybe paying someone a compliment, an act of service, or you don’t allow someone annoying you to get under your skin or don’t retaliate when provoked and instead respond in love. Each of us can make the world brighter each and every day.  Life is too short and God is too good to go through life letting things around us pull us down.  

I’m challenging everyone today! Let’s all be a part of the Happy Majority. I believe that happiness is an inside job. It’s God’s joy inside of us and not based on the circumstances around us. It’s based on that relationship we each have with the Lord. 

I hope you have an incredible rest of your day! Keep your spirits up and don’t let anything or anyone rob you of that joy.

God Bless!

Carl

If you missed me LIVE you can click here!

The Good Fight

I hope you are doing well today. On Sunday, our air conditioner went out. It has been 100 degrees so that wasn’t good. Someone can’t come until the following workday because you’re not going to pay an arm and a leg.  It just shows you how much we are dependent on air conditioning! It’s still not fixed but will be hopefully later today. Goes to show you how thankful we should be for the little things.  

I want to talk today about Fighting the Good Fight.  The Bible says we are to fight the good fight of faith.  What makes a fight, a good fight? I have never wanted to be in a fight. What makes a fight a good one? Apostle Paul was talking about faith- living out a life of faith. We’re to fight out the good fight of faith. This is meaning that life is a full combat sport. Not sure if any of you have competed in a sport such as wrestling or karate but when I was young, I was involved in it. Many of you know what it takes to be at the highest level.  Every day you have to make choices and decisions that determine whether you will be at your best. If you think about life, it is like a full contact sport because we’re always fighting something. Of course, we are on the winning side. For example, you have to fight certain impulses every day. Maybe an impulse like hating someone, being prejudice toward someone, looking down on someone because they don’t look like you or think like you.  This is the carnal nature that wants to get the best of us. I stated in my sermon over the weekend that you can choose to live on sunshine street or on dark shadow street. This made me think a lot about this. What I meant by this was that those that choose to live on dark shadow street, they never get any sunshine. As a result, nothing grows. My house is surrounded by grass except on one side where the sun does not shine. Because of this, the grass simply won’t grow. If the sunlight doesn’t shine down on us daily, there are areas in our life that are muted and aren’t growing. We want to continue to grow. Growing isn’t automatic. It is something we have to be intentional about. We have to put in the time and effort to grow.

I stated in my sermon over the weekend that you can choose to live on Sunshine Street or on Dark Shadow Street. This made me think a lot about this. What I meant by this was that those that choose to live on Dark Shadow Street, they never get any sunshine. As a result, nothing grows. My house is surrounded by grass except on one side where the sun does not shine. Because of this, the grass simply won’t grow. If the sunlight doesn’t shine down on us daily, there are areas in our life that are muted and aren’t growing. We want to continue to grow. Growing isn’t automatic. It is something we have to be intentional about. We have to put in the time and effort to grow.

I was reading a book called Real Leadership by John Addison. He speaks about the Hawthorne Effect. Have you ever heard of this?  Back in the 1900’s the Hawthorne Works in Chicago commissioned a study to see if it could make its workers more productive.  The researchers divided the workers into two different groups. They told one group they were going to participate in a study about productivity. All the researchers did was turn up the lighting in the factory a slight bit. That’s all. The workers productivity increased. They concluded that higher productivity was caused, not by the brighter light but because they thought they were being studied rather than the other group. They felt they were special and what they were doing actually mattered. What I found through this Hawthorne Effect study is that it really doesn’t matter how much brighter the light may be in your workplace but if you believe what you are doing matters and others are watching, that can cause your productivity to increase.

So, if we can turn the light up just a little bit in our lives – the light of God’s presence, His promises, and scripture, I am betting our spiritual productivity would go up.  I hope you are a part of a good church. I believe when we go to church and are around other Christians that’s when we are able to turn the light up just a little bit in people’s lives. I hope you are a part of a regular Bible study, listening to Christian music and worshiping God on a regular basis. When you do, the light is going up just a little bit brighter.

The amazing thing about the end of the Hawthorne Effect study in the 1900’s, once the workers realized they were no longer being studied for this “research” , their productivity went down to normal standards.

I hope that today, we have been able to turn the light up a little bit in your life and your productivity goes up just a little bit! Enjoy your air conditioning if you have it!  Have a great rest of the day!

If you would like to see this message recorded live on FB, check it out here!

God Bless!

Carl

 

 

Success

I want to talk to you about success today. What is success? What’s your definition of success?  You know luck comes by chance, but it’s said that success comes by choices. So, when you and I make Godly choices, we make right choices and we make them consistently. I believe that is God’s formula for success.

Success is all about staying focused and determined towards on particular goal or outcome. When you think about God, He’s the definition of success. Just look at His creation and what He has made! He made all of this with us in mind. We were the crowning point in His creation.

I hope that you are moving towards success in your life. Remember, luck comes by chance but success comes by choices. I pray today you are making the best choices.

God Bless!

Carl

If you missed me on FB Live from Park City, UT check it out here.

Jobs, Careers, and Callings

Is there a difference between a Job, a career, and a Calling? What does the Bible have to say about that? When it comes to a Job, it’s something we have to have in order to pay our bills. A lot of times, people treat their jobs only as something like this – in order to pay their bills.  The Bible says – If you don’t work, you don’t eat (2 Thes. 3:10). So, unless you are independently wealthy and you don’t have to work, we all have to get up and go to work every day. We have to use the talents and skills God has given us to do our best and be our best. Be gainfully employed, right?! 

But, then there is what’s called a Career. This is different from a job. It is something you do in order to climb the ladder so you can get promoted and move up at your place of employment.  So, you may start at a basic job and then move into your career. 

Then there’s a Calling. A calling is entirely different than a job or a career. I hope you have found your calling. That you are entering into something you were made to do.  

We see that a job is something we do to pay the bills. In the Bible, for example, Paul was a tent maker. I want all of you to know who are at your job or in school and one day hope to graduate and get a job, that jobs are good. Even Jesus had a job. His Calling was to be the Savior of the world but what was his job? He was a carpenter until around the age of 30. All jobs, if they aren’t immoral, illegal or corrupt, have value. So be encouraged whatever your job may be. My first job was working at Pizza Hutt. Thank God for Pizza Hutt but thank God I’m no longer washing dishes and making pizzas any longer. But, When you perform your job you are to do it as if you are doing it for the Lord. (Col. 3:23)  Here’s what I want to encourage you with today; if you will treat your job as your calling, eventually your job will become your calling.  I know, that was pretty deep. You can’t just treat your current employment simply as a job. Cain had a job. He was a farmer and he didn’t like it very much. Able had a ministry. It was a calling. He did it not as a job but as a calling. I think there’s a clear distinction there. The Roman soldiers who nailed Jesus to the cross all had a job to do. In Luke 10, the priest and the Levite walked past the Samaritan who was left on the road bleeding and dying. They all had jobs they were going to and didn’t have time to help because they didn’t understand their calling. Their calling was fulfilling their purpose in life by helping and making a difference in the lives of others. Another person in the Bible who had a job was Judas. He was a treasurer. He held the money bag for the ministry of Jesus. He didn’t have a career or a calling. He could have but he didn’t. 

Maybe you are in your career right now or maybe your job is preparing you for your career. The Jews had a saying “Master a trade and God will provide.” So a career is something you have mastered. Careers are good but once again, you have to see it as a calling. You have to see it more than a job and more than a career. It’s a platform for you to fulfill your calling. 

What is our Calling?  Someone who is living out their calling truly believes they are working towards something far greater than themselves. They believe they are a part of a cause that’s bigger than themselves and they are fulfilling a purpose and making a difference in the world. I think of Joseph in the Old Testament. He had a calling. He didn’t just have a job working for Potiphar, he had a calling. I think of Ruth in the Old Testament. She didn’t just have a job working in the harvest field – she did this to provide for her and her mother-in-law, but she had a calling. Her calling was to be that woman of destiny. I also think of Lydia from Thyatira in the Book of Acts who was a merchant that traded purple fabrics. She was an entrepreneur. She had this job but felt it was a calling. She used it to help and serve others. 

So, wherever you are at in life; whether you have a job right now or you are just treating it like a job or maybe you have found your career or you’ve found the difference between a job, a career, and a calling, all of us can live out our calling. We can be everything God has called us to be no matter what your job is or if you’ve discovered your career. Do everything you do as it is unto the Lord and not unto men. Watch how God will continue to prosper and bless you! So go out there and roll up your sleeves. If you’re going to work, give it your best. Be enthusiastic. Serve the Lord with enthusiasm. If you’re in school right now that is your job for now. Make it your calling right now. 

Have an awesome rest of the day.  

God Bless, 

Carl 

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