God’s strength

A Person of Prayer

“Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” – Daniel 6:10 There’s no doubt that my favorite Old Testament book is Daniel. There are many things about this passionate prophet’s life that inspire me, but perhaps none as much as the fact that although his circumstances were nothing like he thought they would be, he never wavered in his faith. He was a great, great, great, great grandson of King David, and before his exile to Babylon, he was set apart to do big things in Judaism. Considered an earl among Hebrews, he was extremely gifted — and the Babylonians knew it — so when they captured him, they took him to the palace to serve their king, Nebuchadnezzar. Suddenly thrust from a place of safety and familiarity into a pagan world, Daniel was presented

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Vision Crystalizes in Crisis

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 When it comes to assessing how we’re doing as we lead ourselves and others, one of the most important things to consider is how we respond to a crisis. When we’ve built a personal and organizational culture of safety and stability, unexpected circumstances can actually serve to make us stronger. I remember hearing an older gentleman say years ago that the reason he retired from the Navy after the war is because there wasn’t a whole lot to do in peacetime. So tightly and cohesively did the sailors work together in conflict that when there were no daily struggles, the pace grew to a crawl. Likewise, though not a physical war, some might say that the uncertain waters of the COVID-19 crisis created an uphill battle for individuals,

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Move Forward

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13,14 One Sunday, when I first started in a pastoral role at Hour of Power, I gave a message on moving forward. After I finished preaching, I quickly changed out of my suit and into a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops and headed to downtown Orange, California, where I was pastoring another church. I started my 1999 Toyota Camry, which had over 200,000 miles and a ceiling that was beginning to sag, and as I was pulling out of the parking lot of the Crystal Cathedral, a horrible sound came from my car. Unfortunately, my transmission had gone

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Live Life Extraordinarily

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” – 1 Corinthians 1:27 God is not looking for remarkable people, but simply for those who are willing to surrender so He can do extraordinary things through them. While it’s difficult to fathom that the Creator of the Universe wants to use us to accomplish great and powerful feats for His Kingdom, it’s a fact! The Lord delights in employing the foolish and weak things of the world to confound the wise, and no matter how unqualified or ill-equipped we feel, if He calls us to do it, He will see us through it. I think about Moses, who was full of excuses when God chose him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He swore that he wasn’t eloquent enough, but his Heavenly Father

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Waiting vs. Grinding

“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” – James 5:7 My dad taught me to surf when I was a teenager, and though I don’t do it very often and I’m not terribly good at it, I really enjoy it when I go. Interestingly, something a lot of people don’t know about surfing is that it requires a good deal of patience, because there are extended periods of waiting involved. When you first get in the water, you paddle like crazy to get out far enough to catch a set (which is a series of waves), and then you kind of just hang around and keep your eyes on the horizon until they swell. Once they gain momentum, you stand up and you either wipe out

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A Peace that Overcomes

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 We’re down to the last two days of 2020, and while there are a few clear hallmarks of this year, I would say that fear has been an ongoing theme. This unfortunate fact has arisen out of many different circumstances — a pandemic, an unknown virus, and political unrest to name a few — but it’s been heightened and intensified by a constant stream of negative messages. Never in the history of our world have we been inundated with information like we are today, and while having instant access to the most up-to-date headlines can be a blessing, it also has some major drawbacks. A barrage of bad news preys upon the fear that inherently lurks in human

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