The Main Thing

Gardeners are amazing! They keep watch over their plants and over everything in their garden to make sure that it is in order and working right. One thing that they are very careful to watch out for is if anything is dead. They’re checking to see if there’s any brown leaves on any of their plants. If there’s brown leaves, that means something has died. When they see that something has died, they trim it off.

In your life are there any brown leaves? Are there any places that aren’t bearing fruit the way that they should be?

Proverbs 29:18a “Where there is no vision, the people perish”

This passage of scripture states clearly why there might be death in some of the things you are doing.

Let me illustrate.

I love playing guitar. I’ve written several songs and recorded a few CDs. I love playing at parties and in front of people and at church. My wife especially loves my playing. She wants me to go back out and play in the restaurants like I used to, just because she knows how much it blesses people.

But I have so much on my plate. It’s very difficult to choose what I’m supposed to keep my eyes on. I am the pastor of a church, I run Joseph Barlow Ministries, we have 7 children, we have a home group on Wednesday nights, we have healing class on Saturday morning. We are trying to manage a very busy schedule and there is a lot going on. Rest is sometimes something that you have to steal; at least it seems like that.

So what about the guitar playing? My guitar has been sitting in its case.

I haven’t played it in a little while. It feels like a brown leaf sometimes. I want to write songs I want to go back into the studio. But I’m letting too much get in the way of that.

What is happening?

I am letting the vision dissipate. I’m letting it lose its appeal in my heart. Sometimes you have to stir yourself back up. You have to stir up the vision. When you stir up the vision, the desire gets stronger. You have to imagine what it would be like if your desires were coming to pass right now. Is that something worth working for? Maybe!

You, like me, need to make some decisions. We better decide what are the visions we want to keep in place in our life that will motivate our actions and drive our plans forward. So list the things you want to do. Then list the things you have to do. How well do those two lists intersect?  It’s time to start trimming. It’s time to reestablish vision. If we don’t do the trimming then disappointment and the clock will do it for us.

Let’s make the main thing the main thing.

But, for you, what is the main thing?

What is it you were sent here for?

Are you doing it?

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A Time Machine for Decision Making!

Most of you have seen some sort of show about a time machine. So, you probably know that if you go into the past and change something it could change your current world dramatically or even affect your very existence.

But what if you or I could use a time machine to look ahead? See beyond a decision that we are about to make? What if we could go into the future and see the outcome of choosing an option A vs. option B? What would the world look like? What would it feel like? Is it desirable? Do I want the world to look like that?

If I could use a time machine for that, I would use it a lot! I could choose the best possible future.

Yesterday, a friend of mine told me to, “Swing like you can’t miss!” He’s referring to me playing baseball and being at bat, standing there ready for the pitch. With each pitch I have to make a decision. I could let that ball pass by or I could give a fair attempt at swinging; maybe an attempt that others would say “He tried.” Or I could swing at that ball at just the right time, with all the force I can muster and if I connect with the ball- it is definitely out of here.

So, which of those three possible futures do I want? Do I want the future that happens after I don’t swing? How about the future that happens after I make a feeble attempt? Or do we want the future that happens after I knock the ball clean out of the park?

So, where’s my time machine? I want to know the answer! There could be good in each of those scenarios because I don’t know all the variables. Let me take three trips in my time machine, one trip to each of those possible futures. I’ll look around a bit in each scenario, then I’ll come back and make my decision about how hard I want to swing this bat.

Well, my friend, I am happy to inform you that you already have a time machine that can do this.

Uh, Joe, either I’m crazy or you are! I don’t have a time machine!

My friend, yes you do! It is your imagination! You have the ability to look ahead. Imagine the outcome of each decision. Paint the picture in your imagination with as much detail as you can. Follow through each of those possible decisions. Spend time imagining what the world would look like if you choose option A. Take time and look around a bit in that imagination. Describe it the best you can. Do you like it? Do you love it?

Now dial your time machine back just before the decision. Imagine option B. Now follow it through. Imagine the outcome of that. Does option B create the world you want to live in?

I believe imagination works quite well as a time machine! So go for it. Look into the future. See the world you want to live in. Then make a decision and swing like you can’t miss!

Welcome to your future. The one you chose, because you were already here in your time machine.

Making decisions is going to be fun now. Use that powerful time machine you’ve been given:

Your awesome imagination.

copyright 2016 Joseph Barlow

Fresh Word

Son, be at peace.

Allow my river to flow from your heart. Allow the words to be formed in your mouth that will be life and peace. Words that will be authority and bring structure and order. Shall you not be an oracle? You shall. This is your destiny. I must have a mouth piece in the earth. The words must flow from my Spirit to your spirit to your mouth to the ears of those who must hear. Its not only humans who must hear you speak, there are spirits, angelic and demonic who must hear your words. They must hear the sound that they’ve heard for ages past. The same sound, the same authority they’ve heard in heaven. They know and have heard that voice. They recognize the sound of faith as it comes forth into the earth. They have heard it much and they know the change it brings. They respect it. They must bow to it. Son be my mouth piece. Speak what my Spirit gives you to speak. Speak. Speak. Speak!


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You Could Have That!

Hey Friends,
This clock and this calendar are never going to stop! Until you do! But the hours, minutes and days of our life are precious! They are a gift from God. Lived with Him they are fruitful, enjoyable, strengthening and exciting. But please don’t attempt to live this life without Him. His desire is that you just open up your heart to Him. Acknowledge Him. Invite Him. Welcome Him to be a part of your day; a part of your life.
I remember when I was young, my Dad encouraging me, you could have this, or you could have that and I remember thinking, “Really?” But my Dad was right there assuring me that I could have those things that I desired yet seemed beyond my reach.
Our Heavenly Father is the same way. He brings the same encouragement as we allow Him a place in our lives. He will show you great and mighty things that you haven’t yet seen.
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV)
Blessings!
Joe
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Handhelds can become parasitic

Hey Friends,

I woke up this morning with the Lord talking to me. Here’s the journal entry:
You awaken my ear like one being taught.
Regarding handhelds & other electronics:
They can become parasitic
Jeremiah 2:6
This is what the Lord says
What fault did your fathers find in me
that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols
and became worthless themselves.
  • Pay attention to what you need
  • Pay attention to what you have
  • Pay attention to what has you
  • What do you focus on?
  • What do you focus on the most?
  • Is it life to you?
  • Or does it take life from you?
Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years.
This is your life –
what will you spend it on?
Where your focus is – there your heart is.
Proverbs 17:24
A discerning man keeps wisdom in view,
But a fools eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
Proverbs 19:29
Stop listening to instruction, my son
and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
Son, I will show you what life is:
Life is when you tap into me and knowledge, wisdom, love and healing begin to flow. Being one with me, spending time listening to my voice, reading my word & preparing your heart for service. This is life.
This multiplies and brings forth my abundance to you.

So walk with Me Son.
Let me lead, guide, direct.
Let me give you focus.
Focus your eyes on Me.
Through me you can see all I would have you see.
Through me, the wisdom you need is revealed.


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