Vision Is A Gift From God

Hey Friends,
I found this word the Lord spoke to me a few years before I became a pastor, I thought it might help you today:

Vision is a gift from God.

It becomes an authority that you submit to.

At this time submit to the vision of those in authority over you.
At the proper time you will be assigned a vision. You will be the bearer, the steward of that vision. But for now be a steward of the vision I have given to those in authority over you.

Your faithfulness will prove your trustworthiness.
When you are faithful it proves to me safety for my vision that I will impart.

When you hand your baby to someone they must be trustworthy or you will not release care of your baby, even for a moment for them to hold it. So it is with you; I will not release care of my vision to you until I see your maturity; until I see you caring for what I’ve assigned you for now.
I hope that word helped you, it did me.
God bless you Friends,
Joe
30041

The Best Story On Leadership I’ve Ever Heard

Hey Friends,

I’ve been teaching on Leadership at our church’s leader’s meetings. 
Check this out:
   When my sister, Connie, was in high school, one day the teacher walks in and says,
     “Today, we are going to talk about leadership. But first, I want everyone in this room
     who thinks they are a follower to get up and stand on the left side of the room.
     Everyone who thinks they are a leader, get up and stand on the right side of the room.”

   So all of the kids, trying to be humble or something,
     got up and stood on the follower side of the room. 

   Nobody stood on the leader’s side.

   My sister, standing in that follower line looked around and said, “Well, I guess I’m a leader.”
   and she walked over to the leader’s side of the room. 

   After she did this….. 

              everyone followed her!
Remember my friends:
To be a leader, 
  • you have to be going somewhere
  • you have to provide enough influence for them to leave their status quo

People want a better life and won’t follow you unless you can better their position.

Lead On My Friends
Blessings,
Joe
29885

Will He Come Through?

Hello Friends,
Are you ready to walk by faith?

God loves it when His children live by faith. But that often can leave us in an uncomfortable position where our natural eyes don’t see what our heart sees. That can be tense. But if we go with what’s in our heart rather than what’s in our mind then we are choosing to walk by faith. This, my friend, is very pleasing to God.

Hebrews 11:6
 And without faith
it is impossible to please God…
 
Romans 14:23
  …everything that does not come from faith
is sin. 
When God has spoken to  your heart and you believed what He said, then faith has come into you. From then on you make the decision to believe it or not.
Romans 10:17
  So then faith comes by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God. 
So make a decision to believe and stand in faith because it will be richly rewarded.
Hebrews 10:35
  So do not throw away your confidence;
it will be richly rewarded. 
My friend, I’ve seen God come through over and over again. Sometimes at the last minute, but God is faithful, your faith will bring that answer in for a landing right there for you. Don’t give up. Wait for the Lord to fulfill the promise.
When that tension comes, your mind will have a natural tendency to try to make up a “safe” way for you to get what you need. Abraham did this with his wife’s maid and ended up giving birth to Ishmael. Ishmael was man’s answer, but Isaac was God’s answer; and Ishmael has never been a blessing.
Be patient my friend, wait on the Lord.
He will make a way for you.
God bless
Joe
29568

Show Them The Picture Not The Negative

Hey Friends,

So we’re trying to raise our kids. We look and see them doing something, something wrong and our first inclination is to stop them from doing what they’re doing. Granted that’s often a good idea unless it’s your only method of correcting wrong behavior. When the child is about to do something that could be harmful to him or someone else stopping them is the best thing.
But, if all your child hears is “don’t do this”, “don’t do that” then all they’re being given as a picture of right behavior is a negative. 
Do you know what a negative looks like? Some people who have only been around digital photography might not know what a negative looks like. It’s the exact opposite of a picture. It’s what’s left of the ink after the picture has taken the ink it needs. It’s a reverse image. No matter how you explain it a negative is not easy to comprehend. It’s difficult to look at a negative image and get an idea of what was really being shot.
To show your child the actual type of behavior they should try to go after you need to show them a positive. What does that mean? Tell them what to do more than you tell them what not to do. Paint a verbal picture for them that is desirable, something they want to do.
I was giving my two little girls some instructions this morning. We were on our way to meet with an old college friend I hadn’t seen in over a decade. When I set the appointment Nancy was going to be able to watch the girls, but that changed. She had to work. So here I go with my two little pretties in tow. 
“Now, Oli & Jules(Olivia & JuliAnna) how should you act when we’re at the lunch?” 
“Good.” they responded.
“If you sit quietly at the table, that will be a blessing, so I can talk to my friend.”
“Do you know that if you do something bad that could be embarassing to you or to Dad?”
“Also, if you do something bad they might think Barlows are bad. You don’t want that do you?”
“No.”
“Also, if you do something mean they might think Christians are mean. You don’t want that do you?”
“We represent God, our family and ourselves. Especially God. Let’s show other people how good God is.”
Now granted there was some negative in that talk, but I was trying to win her heart toward what I was saying. These things did minister to Olivia, 5, more than Jules, 2. Their behavior during lunch was really wonderful and my buddy and I had a great time catching up with each other as the girls sat quietly and listened.
There are ways to paint the picture positive and win their hearts and help them desire good rather than to just shun evil.
I hope this helps.
Blessings,
Joe
29377

Do You Speak In Tongues?

  • Some people don’t have a clue about what this is.
  • Others have heard of it and wonder.
  • Some think people who do this are looney.
  • Others think it’s totally normal.
I confess to you that I fall into the last category. Speaking in tongues is an enormously helpful part of my prayer life. You’ve heard the commercial, “Don’t leave home without it!” That’s how I feel about this. It is vital, even  essential to my being an effective Christian. 
What is Speaking In Tongues?
Well it is a supernatural gifting of the Holy Spirit to speak fluently in a language you’ve never learned, yet still without understanding what you’re saying.
Why Would I Ever Want To Do That?
#1 Because Jesus said so! 
  • Mar 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 
    Mar 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 
    Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 
  • If Jesus said that as a believer, I would speak in new tongues then He must have had a reason. I have found that He did…
#2 Speaking in Tongues let’s me deliver a message from God to the church which is then interpreted by someone for the church’s encouragement or to build them up. (See 1 Corinthians 12 & 14) This has happened to me a few times. It was awesome. Plus I’ve heard this many times in our church and others.
#3 Speaking in Tongues let’s me deliver a message from God to someone of a different tongue who hasn’t heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (See Acts 2) This has happened a few times to me. People of another language have informed me that something I said in tongues was something they understood.
#4 Speaking in Tongues helps me to pray effectively for myself and others. This is the way I use it most.
  • Rom 8:26  In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27  and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 
  • So, here the Holy Spirit is praying God’s perfect will through me. I have seen so many miracles happen because of this kind of prayer it is amazing. I’ll share more on this later.
#5 Speaking in Tongues builds up my faith (See Jude 20)
#6 Speaking in Tongues helps me to get wisdom from God. I pray with my spirit then I pray that I might interpret what was said. (See I Corinthians 14) When I interpret it I often get great wisdom from God. Oral Roberts testifies that this is how he found out from God how to build a University.
#7 Speaking in Tongues was and usually is the first evidence of someone being filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2, and many other places in the Book of Acts.
If you’d like to learn more about this, you can listen to my message on it at:
I also recommend Andrew Wommack’s teaching on this topic at:
God bless you
Joe
29015

Time With Family or What?

Hey Friends,

Who’re you spending time with? 
Obviously right now you’re on the computer. But who do you spend most of your time with?
  • Your cell phone? 
  • Your iPh0ne? 
  • Your computer? 
  • Your TV? 
  • Your HDTV? 
  • Your friends?
  • Your kids? 
  • Your spouse? 
All of us have relationships that we must manage, maintain & cultivate. But I found that if I have an unpleasant conversation with one of my relatives(spouse included) that in comparison, time with my computer can be more pleasant. My computer doesn’t argue with me; it doesn’t challenge me. Now human nature is such that, like electricity, it wants to take the path of least resistance. 
But that’s not always good. If I end up spending all my time with inanimate things rather than real humans, then I don’t grow. I don’t become stronger. Think of human relationships as if you were a boxer. If you only box with those who are weaker than you, you’ll never improve. If you never have conversations with people that challenge you deeply you’ll never grow.
Studies prove that money does not bring lasting happiness, relationships do.
Before my parents got married in the late 1940’s they went around and asked people what brought true happiness. The answer from all the couples they interviewed was the same: “having children.”
This shows from voices of experience that learning to relate to others is the shortest path to happiness. So I encourage you: is there someone you should call right now? Or email? Or visit? Maybe it’s somebody right there in the room with you or in the next room? Try it out. Go invest in a relationship. Happiness is waiting.
Blessings
Joe
28918

Are You Generous?

Hey Friends,

If you’re a Christian and you’ve been taught that you “have to” give or you “have to” tithe, I have a question for you:
What if there was no expectation on you to give? 
What if you were never taught to give?
Would you give?
Would you be generous?
God Himself is a giver. Since you’ve become a believer have you let His nature rise up on the inside of you?
Commune with God. Let His desires rise up on the inside of you. He’ll put a desire in you that He wants you to follow through on. If it’s to give something somewhere; be encouraged: DO IT! You’ll be so glad to have followed that desire. 
But make sure you give what you really desire to give, this will be so rewarding to you.
My wife, Nancy, is a real giver. She has it so strong in her heart to give. Earlier today there was a lady who stopped by. Nancy just couldn’t let her leave without giving her something. She looked around and all she could find was a big package of paper towels. So that’s what she gave her. The woman was blessed. So was Nancy. I believe God was blessed too, because someone trusted Him. They trusted that His provision would continue to come and they gave, which is very close to His heart.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world 
that he gave 
his one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in him shall not perish 
but have eternal life.
Blessings
Joe
28901