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Showing posts from 2015

Decorations (video)

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Did you know Americans will spend over $6 billion in Christmas decorations this year?  Everywhere you go we create the perfect Christmas scenes, but did you know that the first Christmas was far from the decorations?  Christ did not come to decorate, Jesus came to redeem.  But redemption is hard work.  It requires a difficult choice and a submissive life.  Covering up is much easier than opening up. Decorations (Christmess Series) from Liberty Baptist Church on Vimeo .

Charles Finney

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When God is pleased with a leader's life, his divine presence is unmistakable.  Charles G. Finney was a nineteenth-century evangelist whose life demonstrated the obvious presence of God. During a visit to New York Mills in 1826, he visited a cotton manufacturing plant where his brother-in-law was superintendent.  As Finney passed through a spacious room in which many women were working at looms and spinning jennies, he noticed several young women watching him and speaking among themselves. As Finney approached them, they became more agitated.  When Finney was about ten feet away, one woman sank to the ground and burst into tears.  Soon others were sobbing, overcome with conviction of their sin.  This outpouring of the Spirit spread rapidly throughout the building until the entire factory was singularly aware of God's presence. The owner, an unbeliever, realized God was at work and temporarily closed the plant.  He asked Finney to preach to his employees and tell them how

Still in Like?

You know you are supposed to love your spouse, but do you like them?  Annoyances turn into arguments.  Arguments turn into avoidances and before long instead of building a protecting wall around your marriage you have built a separating wall in between.  How do we overcome the dislikes that distance us in marriage and reclaim genuine love? (P.S. - proof I am still alive!  Sorry I have not written in quite some time). Still In Like (Still His Still Hers Series) from Liberty Baptist Church on Vimeo . Dalton Campus 10-11-15

6 - RECALCULATE TEMPTATIONS

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For us to see the opportunity in adversity we must recalculate our expectations.   What is God doing in prayer?   What do expect Him to do?   Perhaps what you expect of God in the trial is not what He expects of you. We must also recalculate our situation.  Our situation may change, but God never changes.  The good and the bad of my life circumstances is not indicator for the way God feels about me.  Don’t misinterpret your lack of health or lack of finances as a lack of God’s love.  It doesn’t equate. Finally, to see the opportunity of adversity we recalculate temptation.     Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceive

5 - Recalculate Your Situation

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Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.  (James 1:9-11 ESV) To help us see the opportunity of adversity we must not only recalculate our expectation (namely for how God answers prayer), but we must also recalculate our situation. A lot of times we gauge God’s opinion of us based on the stuff we have in our lives.   I am healthy.  I am blessed. I am sick.  I am cursed. I was promoted at work.  God loves me. I lost my job.  God hates me. A situational faith is fickle. James chooses wealth to expose our miscalculation of the situation.  The wealthy person believes that he or she must be doing something right because they have so much.  A false pride and sense of security develops.   The poor person belie

4 - The Opportunity of Adversity - Recalculated Expectations

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If we know God is working even when the situation is unwelcome, and we know that we are most changed when we are most challenged, then we must conclude that adversity is not a drudgery; adversity is an opportunity.   This is why James calls for us to “count it all joy (1:2).” Easier said than done, right?  Why can’t we count it all joy?  Why is it so hard to see the opportunity of adversity?   MISCALCULATION The reason we can’t see the opportunity of adversity is because we “can’t count” we miscalculate. From 1:5-18 James calls for us to make some recalculations.  We need to recalculate three aspects of adversity: expectations, situations, and temptations . Recalculate Expectations One thing I can say with a fair amount of certainty, when times get tough, people pray.  When we pray, we do so with a fair amount of expectations.  Those expectations, unmet, often lead to frustration. Why isn’t God answering my prayer?   Expectations go unmet.  We feel as if faith has

3 - It’s All in What You Know - You Are Changing

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Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.   (James 1:2-4 ESV) Yesterday we said that we can count it all joy in the trail because we know that God is working even when a situation is unwelcome.  According to James 1:2-4, there is also joy in knowing a second truth in the trial. We are most changed when we are most challenged. If you have ever worked out in a public gym, scenes such as these should be familiar. The problem is that most of the people who become the hilarious spectacle known as the epic gym failure are usually wearing the nicest gym clothes.  They look the part - often a little “too much.”  They speak the language.  They drink the shakes.  They have mastered “the grunt.” They sit on all of the equipment, but they have no idea how to use it. What ensues is

2 - It’s All in What You Know - God is Working

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Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  (James 1:2-4 ESV) Count it all joy?  Seriously? When life drops it is hard to see the joy. You’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, joy? The pressure at your work is difficult to bear, joy? You and your spouse hardly talk, joy? There is too much month at the end of the money, joy? 1st century Jews of the dispersion who have fled for your life from intense persecution, are you having fun yet? Joy? According to James, it’s all in what you know. According to these verses, we know two things in the trial We know that even when the situation is unwelcome, God is working. The verse refers to “trials of various kinds.”  The trial is an unwelcome situation.  Money issue.  Physical issue.  In the case of the first readers of James,

1 - Lifedrops

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Whether you are a smartphone lover or a hater who only has one out of necessity, we all share a common fear, THE DROP.  In an instant your $600 window to the world becomes a useless piece of shattered glass.   The company Lifeproof has created a successful business by manufacturing what has become a necessary accessory to the smartphone - protection.  Lifeproof makes no technological contribution to your device; instead Lifeproof helps your phone do the one thing your phone does not do well - LIFE. The people at Lifeproof know what is coming at your phone - YOU.  Drops.  Toilets.  Kids.  Sweat.  Dogs.  A lonely, lost overnight stay in the last place you set it down - in the rain.  There is no app for that. James writes a letter to a group of Jewish Christians in the 1st century who started well.  If you heard them speak the language of faith, you would detect no issues with the lingo.  But they are suffering a serious life drop.  Dispersion.  They are being persecuted.  They

Get #TheWalk for Father's Day Weekend - $1.99

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$1.99 FATHER'S DAY WEEKEND SPECIAL ON #THEWALK KINDLE EDITION. (SATURDAY AND SUNDAY) Click HERE: ... Posted by The Walk on Friday, June 19, 2015

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 9 (Replay)

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When we spend so much time in a verbally negative culture, how can we be affected but not infected? Originally shared via Periscope.   Subscribe in a reader

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 9 (Replay)

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When we spend so much time in a verbally negative culture, how can we be affected but not infected? Originally shared via Periscope.

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 6

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Psalm 6 is our prayer after a sleepless, tear filled night.  It is the petition from our pain that seeks an answer from God of why life is so unfair and how long He will allow it to go on.   Join me each morning for Back Porch Psalms live on Periscope .       Subscribe in a reader

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 6

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Psalm 6 is our prayer after a sleepless, tear filled night.  It is the petition from our pain that seeks an answer from God of why life is so unfair and how long He will allow it to go on.   Join me each morning for Back Porch Psalms live on Periscope .    

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 5

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Prayer is to be honest, but not careless; spontaneous but not thoughtless.  A day well prepared in prayer helps one to remain in the presence of God even in times of deep distress.  Join me each morning on Periscope for Back Porch Psalms.    Subscribe in a reader

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 5

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Prayer is to be honest, but not careless; spontaneous but not thoughtless.  A day well prepared in prayer helps one to remain in the presence of God even in times of deep distress.  Join me each morning on Periscope for Back Porch Psalms. 

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 4

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How do we pray in times of distress?  Our prayers in distress are important, but so are our actions.  How do we respond in times of distress?  Learn how as we take some time to meditate and pray through Psalm 4. If you want to be notified when Back Porch Psalms go live, follow me on Periscope .   Subscribe in a reader

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 4

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How do we pray in times of distress?  Our prayers in distress are important, but so are our actions.  How do we respond in times of distress?  Learn how as we take some time to meditate and pray through Psalm 4. If you want to be notified when Back Porch Psalms go live, follow me on Periscope .

God's Ungrateful Guest

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See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.   (1 John 3:1 ESV) How often do I respond to God’s grace as if I am an ungrateful guest rather than His son? The language of the gospel offers the invitation for me to abide in Him, enjoy communion with Him, to be guided and guarded by Him, to be loved.  God says I am His child. Yet I only want to leave.  I do not want a place to dwell, I only want a place to stay.  In His grace He opens to me His home, yet I use it like a cheap hotel room.  I have no intent to connect with Him, I just need the password to the wifi.  I have no intent to commune.  I am staying here because I can get a free breakfast.  And then I’ll be on my way. The gospel calls me to be a citizen of Heaven.  I go through the day more like someone staying at Hampton Inn. Hey God, when I need you, I’ll call you.  I’ll make a reservation along the way - what’s the rate?  It’s all on my terms, in my time

Happy Birthday to My Bride

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We fell in love in college.  You were finishing your freshman year.  I was finishing my college career.  We dated for two months before we spent the next 22 hardly ever within five hours of one another.  I was in seminary, then an interim youth pastor, then a pastor.  The snippets of time we salvaged together were usually late on a Friday night or a shortened Saturday afternoon.  Why?  I have always been crazy about you.  I would drive every hour of the distance to spend what seemed like just five minutes with you, but you always understood why I had to end every date early - Sunday’s coming. You never saw it as a chore.  You were always proud that this was us.   Youth lock-in. Valentine banquet. Visitation. Worship service that morning, a meeting that afternoon, worship again that night. Some people had steak, we had casserole.  Who needs to go out to eat so much when you have potluck?  Even though it should have been your night, you sat there with me at a napkin-paper

How To Make Millions

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From God’s Word I am going to show you not only how to plug the drain, but to turn on the faucet.  We need to stop the drain, but we also need to make some gain. If you could, would you not only be willing to stop the drain, but would you be willing to make millions?  What I am about to say may shock you, but if you follow Jesus you should not want less, but more - millions! How to Make Millions from Brian Branam on Vimeo . Are you making an investment with God's resources or simply holding on and just trying to plug the drain. Learn how to not only stop the drain in your finances, but how to turn on the faucet to true wealth. Brian Branam is the Lead Pastor of  Liberty Baptist Church in Dalton, GA  and the author of  #TheWalk , now on Kindle for just $3.49.

Jesus Just Stops (An Excerpt from #TheWalk)

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God is the prime mover, but He is not a fast mover.  As prime mover, God set all things in motion.  As a general mover, God is frustratingly slow.  Two stories serve to demonstrate. The pace of Luke 8 seems fast and furious.  Jesus is healing.  He is teaching.  His family is looking for Him.  He is caught in a turbulent storm that He calms while crossing the sea.  He casts demons out of a maniac man who lives in a graveyard.  There is a lot happening.  The more He does, the more attention He draws and the crowd grows. When it seems like the stories have reached fever pitch, Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue falls at Jesus‘ feet and asks Jesus to accompany him to his house.  His twelve-year-old daughter is sick and dying.  Jairus is desperate for Jesus to heal her.  Jairus thinks he needs Jesus to move fast.  Jesus is more interested in helping Jairus go far.  As much as Jesus has going on, He complies and begins the walk toward Jairus‘ home.  The next part of the verse sets the s

How to Help When Mother's Day Hurts (Part 2)

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I have a great mother who is involved in my life.  I have been married to the same wonderful woman since Feb. 1, 1997 and she is the mother of both of my daughters.   Mother’s Day is a joyous, easy fit holiday for our family.   Sometimes life is not made for holidays.  Hallmark has yet to create a card that explains every situation.  Under certain circumstances, the perceptions of Mother’s Day may range from an annual reminder of loss to an empty celebration of a relationship someone never had.  Yet, in our perfection and dysfunction, we all sit together in church.  In comes Mother’s Day, once a year, with a glossary of stereotypes, categorical assumptions, and ignorance of the caveats of life that may make celebrating motherhood at bit uneasy. What do we do when Mother’s Day hurts? How do we avoid, amongst the people of God, emotional separation in a day of celebration? How can we do Mother’s Day in a way that is not insensitive but at the same time remains sincere?   In