Thursday, June 15, 2017

You've Got What It Takes - Part 1

Satan wants your view of life to be one of - "I'm not worthy. I'm not good enough. I'm undeserving. I can't. God wouldn't." I don't care how many times we preach this message of OVERCOMING, or being BLESSED or VICTORY, we always end up falling back into the trap of feeling "I'm not good enough; I'm not deserving or God is not pleased with me." But God has made it clear on how we are to view life. We are overcomers! We are more than conquerors! We are blessed! We are above and not beneath! We are the head and not the tail! In the Genesis account, the first thing God did after He created Adam and Eve was He blessed them. Now, that's significant because the law of Genesis - the law of first mention, means that whatever God has once done for us, He will continue to do for us. Confess this,"God wants to bless me because He loves me!" The word blessed means "to be happy to the point where others are envious."

Let me show you the difference between the blessed life of a believer and the life of an unbeliever, or maybe I should describe it this way - someone who has a relationship with God as opposed to someone who does not have a relationship with God. Psalm 1:1-6 reads, "Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are life chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction." This is a picture of two different lifestyles. It's a contrasting Psalm where it compares two things side by side, and here it's comparing the righteous and the unrighteous. Notice there are only two groups and not three. There is not the righteous and the unrighteous and then the "sometimes righteous", the "kinda sorta righteous" or the "mostly righteous."

There are some things that you need to NOT DO in order to be blessed. Don't walk in the counsel of the wicked (wicked is just a harsh word for an unbeliever). Don't listen to the world - listen to God. Don't be unequally yoked with unbelievers (you are known by the company you keep) and don't stand in the way of sinners. When you stand in the way of sinners, you begin to accept their lifestyle. You even begin to defend them by saying things like "be open minded; it's not that bad or it's no big deal." CHOOSE - PICK - COMMIT. Don't sit in the seat of the mockers. When you sit in someone's seat, you take their place; you become the substitute and now you're one of them. So here is the point behind that whole don't walk, stand or sit teaching - "BE A PERSON GOD CAN BLESS."


John 3:7 says, "You should not be surprised at my saying, you must be born again." What does it mean to be born again? The literal phrase is "to be born from above" meaning there has been a spiritual transformation. Going to church is NOT being born again. Calling yourself a Christian is not being born again. Growing up with Christian parents is not being born again. BORN AGAIN is a defining moment in your life where you give everything over to God and He makes you a new creation from the inside out. If you've never had this "born again" experience, I really encourage you to do it now!

God said the basis of being blessed is a relationship with Him. Revelation 2:17 says, "He that has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says…to him that overcomes will I give a white stone and in the stone a new name written which no man knows except God." What's the meaning of the WHITE STONE - It was something that a citizen of Rome was very familiar with. It was given to the winning Gladiator and basically gave them a free pass. It was given to an accused person who had been found not guilty (meaning justified) and he could show it to everyone as proof of innocence. Often times the Caesar would throw out to the crowds white stones that were marked or engraved with words like - grain, clothes or crops - and could be exchanged accordingly. In this life, God is saying "on this white stone is your blessed life, your healing, your prosperity, your good fortune, your victory and your righteousness." In the life to come, Christ has a specialized blessing, place or assignment just for you!


1) CHOOSING TO OVERCOME - You choose to overcome every obstacle in life, every difficult situation and every obstacle to live by faith. I John 5:4, "and this is the victory that overcomes the world even our faith." The problems we have in life won't just go away, but wouldn't that be nice if they did???? You don't just get a better life; you create a better life, and you get that life when you begin to live by faith. What is Faith? Faith is expecting the best. You will never overcome without faith. Faith is the currency of heaven. Faith is the language of Heaven. Faith is what sets us apart from ordinary. Faith is the only way to live a life that pleases God.

2) YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE A POSITIVE CONFESSION - Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Whosoever shall say to this mountain be though removed and not doubt in his heart but believe what he says will come to pass then he will have whatever he says. When David faced Goliath, he said "you come to me with a sword and a shield, but I come to you in the name of the Lord our God; this day I will cut off your head." He said it. He believed it. He did it. Proverbs 18:21- Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Luke 6:45 - out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

3) CHOOSE TO HAVE A BIGGER VISION - Go ahead and see a better life for yourself and for your family. Go ahead and get a vision for a better future. We serve a BIG God who wants to do big things and He needs you to think big with Him! How many of us are guilty of thinking too small? Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." The Message Bible says "If people cannot see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves, but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed." The word picture here of a person without a vision is a "ship without a sail," and this describes so many peoples lives. They are just drifting through life, hoping things will get better, but they don't know when, where or how. Life doesn't just get better by accident. We have to chart a course, make a plan and get a vision! Concerning life - "it is what it is until you decide to change it."

4) CHOOSE TO LET GO OF YOUR NEGATIVE PAST - The excess baggage in your life - people, hurts, memories and labels. Phil. 3:13 says, "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead." Let go of the past by looking forward to God and believing that He will bring good out of bad. All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Either you believe it, or you don't. If you DO believe it, then start ACTING like you believe it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Creatures of Habit Part 1 by Ron McKey

We are all creatures of habit. We all have habits in our lives that take us in a particular direction - good or bad. Good habits can make us successful, and bad habits can destroy our lives. In this series, Pastor Ron McKey teaches how to build successful habits and break those habits that are taking us in the wrong direction.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Is There Any Word From The Lord?

Jeremiah 37:17 - "Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the Lord? And Jeremiah said, There is..."

In this episode, Pastor Ron McKey shares what he feels God is speaking to the church right now.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Choices Part 4


Every good story has three things: a beginning, a middle, and an ending. In fact, the story has to have all three of these in order to be a story. Every decision has to have a beginning. That's the part where you actually CHOOSE (where you move out of just thinking about it and doing it). Every decision has to have a middle. That's what you do after your decision (where you "walk it out"). And, every story has to have an end - where it all comes to pass. So many people never make it to the end of their story or see the end results of their decision because they don't follow through, and they quit too soon. Deciding is important and making the choice is the starting point. However, it doesn't do any good to choose if you're not going to follow through.



Habakkuk 2:2-3, "And the Lord answered me and said, write the vision and make it plain upon the tablets, that he may run that reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie." Taylor's translation says, "if it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue." If we don't write it down chances are it may not come to pass because we tend to forget it and we become distracted. If it's important to you, write it down! Do you know that God wrote down the entire plan of salvation with His own hand?

Writing down your prayer, your decision or your goal is a proclamation of your faith. Here are some examples:
  • BELSHAZZAR and the hand writing on the wall; "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin" "you have been weighed in the balances or scales and found wanting."

  • JESUS kneeling and writing in the sand a message of forgiveness.

There is POWER when you put something in writing. Remember the part of the verse that said "if it seems slow, don't despair because it will come to pass." When I write it down, it keeps my eyes on the prize. When I write it down, I don't forget and I don't lose focus.

Each year, we have a special service at Cornerstone Church called "Stake Your Claim". Every person in attendance takes a wooden stake for themselves and for other family members. We encourage them to "write down" on their stakes what they are believing God for. The moment you write it down, FEAR shows up to taunt you and tell you "there is no way," "that's too big," you're setting yourself up for disappointment," or "why don't you just keep doing what you're doing." Let me answer that for you - the reason we don't keep doing what we're doing is because if you do what you've always done, then you will get what you've always had. The reason we are "writing it down" is because we want more! More answered prayers. More of God. More joy and more peace. The way to more in our lives is by seeing to it that we follow through.


I John 5 says, "This is the victory that overcomes the world even our faith." Without faith you won't accomplish anything for God. You will never pray bigger prayers until you grow bigger faith. Would you like to know how to have greater faith? Then you have to know what faith is. Many people think they know and they think they are standing in faith, but they are not. Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge." The people of God aren't defeated in life because the devil hasn't been conquered or because their circumstances are so bad, or because their storms are so severe. They are destroyed because of their lack of knowledge and they don't know how to deal with the storm. They don't know how to use their faith. I encourage you to become a student of FAITH. Choose to live every day by faith and start every day in faith. Psalm 118:24 says, "This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it." The Psalmist said "I WILL rejoice." I choose to be happy. If people get tired of me saying "Happiness is a choice", well good! That means it's starting to sink in!

Abraham Lincoln said, "I have determined that people are as happy as they choose to be." Here are a few reasons I believe people are unhappy in their lives:
  1. Guilt - They haven't dealt with their past, such as past mistakes or past sin.

  2. Anger - You can't be bitter and ever hope to get better.

  3. Selfishness - You will never be truly happy until you put others in front of yourself, and live for a greater cause than just yourself.

  4. Fatigue - You cannot burn the candle at both ends and have it never catch up with you.

Here's some great advice - keep faith filled people in your life and don't take advice from the ungodly. The ungodly are not just the psychics, drug dealers, liars, cheaters or child molesters - the ungodly are those who keep God out of their lives. The book of James talks about and compares earthly wisdom and Godly wisdom. Earthly wisdom looks and sounds like this: "Here is what I would do, I would say, I would tell them AND their life is already more messed up than yours." Earthly wisdom reflects the moral atmosphere of the current culture. Choose faith - walk by faith - talk faith - live by faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith is believing when I don't see it, obeying when I don't understand, giving when I don't have it, persisting when I don't feel like it and choosing to trust when it doesn't go the way I thought it should. How many of you know "all things do work together for my good?"


The Bible says that in the last days people's hearts will fail because of fear. Fear is a great paralyzer. Because of fear, people never reach their full potential. Fear robs you of God's best and robs you of what you have to offer others. Some of you need to believe in yourself and go ahead and be the blessing that God created you to be! Many people don't make decisions because of fear, more specifically, the fear of change. Ronald Reagen said "status quo is Latin for the mess we're in." Life is about choices and life is about change. I recently attended a conference where one thing we were assured of was this, there will be more changes happening in the churches in America in the next ten years than there have ever been. The older we get the greater the temptation to stay the same. We take fewer risks. We get comfortable in our little boxes. Boxes rob us of our lives; they limit us. They aren't what we live in. Boxes are what they bury us in.  II Timothy 1:7 tells us, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind." LOVE - perfect love casts out fear. POWER - spiritual authority. SOUND MIND - a mind that thinks in line with God's word.


We grow through our struggles. James 1:3 says, "The testing of our faith develops perseverance so that you may be mature and complete." I Peter 4:12 "Think it not strange when you face the fiery trial as though some strange thing has happened to you." Many people quit when they face a trial. They quit worshipping, they quit walking by faith, they quit going to church and they quit trusting God. But God's formula for success has always been - carry your cross then get your crown; fight your battle then win your victory, and go through the storm then enjoy the rainbow. Remember this: while we are waiting, God is working. Right now, behind the scenes, God is working on your behalf. This is why we walk by faith and not by sight. Some problems don't always go away easily. Moses had to bring all ten plagues before Pharaoh ever let one Israelite go. The widow woman with an unjust judge got what she wanted only because she would not give up. Let me remind you "no weapon formed against you can prosper," "hell can't defeat you" and "God is your Father." Be confident about yourself, be passionate about your choices and remember that there are no short cuts. Don't give up! If you've tried and failed - try again. If you've given up - try again. If you're frustrated - try again. You're not the only one going through a storm. On every single row of chairs in a church, there is someone fighting a battle bigger than the battle you're fighting. Everyone goes through trials, and everyone faces tests. Difficult times don't mean you made a wrong choice.


Expectation is probably one of the most underrated words in the English language. There is power in expectation. If you have it, you can soar with the eagles and climb to the top of mountains. But if you don't have it, you will stay grounded and common. Zechariah 9:12 says, "Turn to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope; even today, I declare that I will restore double to you."

My hope and my expectations are in God, NOT my ability, but the potential He placed in me. Be a dealer of hope and help people see a brighter future!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Choices Pt 3 - You Choose

You choose a life of blessing and reward OR a life of mediocrity and defeat. We all know that a life of blessing and reward don't just happen automatically or by chance. There is no such thing as an auto pilot switch for your life. It all happens by CHOICE. One of the greatest mistakes anyone can ever make is when they fail to CHOOSE! Choosing to not choose is a bad choice. Many people assume that life just happens to them - randomly or haphazardly. They want a better life and they are just waiting for life to get better. They have this belief (which, by the way, is a wrong belief) that they have no power over their own lives. You don't get a better life; you create a better life by the choices you make. And then there are those who are just "comfortable" in believing that fate, chance or luck are what are controlling their lives. And then there are other who think/believe that "if God wants them to have something, then they will have it." In other words, "Let's just put the monkey on God's back for how my life turns out." Let me repeat, "The will of God is not automatic; you have to pray; you have to have faith; and you have to choose." The BLESSED life happens by CHOICE! The greatest power you have is your power to choose. The Bible says you can choose life or death, blessing or cursing, to be happy or sad. God DOES NOT make our choices for us. We do! We choose and we decide.

As I mentioned in PART TWO of this study on CHOICES - You have already made a good choice by being in church, but you don't stop there! You have to keep making good decisions. Good decisions create momentum for your life. Follow up good decisions with more good decisions. Here are some examples for choosing your level of participation in church:

WORSHIP - How am I going to worship today? With my whole heart or just half heartedly?

PRAYER - Are my prayers going to be ritualistic (meaning without passion) or faith filled? Are my prayers going to be powerful and anointed?

GIVING - I can choose to be an extravagant and cheerful giver. Is my giving going to be an act of worship or just another bill to pay?

HEARING - Jesus said, "It's important the amount of emphasis you place on mixing faith with the word you are hearing." In other words, am I just sitting through another church service OR am I allowing the word of God to change me and equip me?

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING - Into whose life can I be a blessing today? How can I let God use me to be a blessing?

Making good choices begins with your non-negotiable reality. Here's an example of Joseph: He was sold by his brothers into slavery (he had no choice). He was betrayed over and over (he had no choice). He was falsely accused (he had no choice), and he was falsely imprisoned (again, he had no choice). But, giving up or giving in were not options for Joseph. Even with all these things, Joseph still CHOSE his perspective, his attitude and his responses. And his CHOICES affected his outcome.

Victor Frankl, a prisoner/survivor of Nazi concentration camps, lost everything he had or had everything taken away. His wife died in a concentration camp. His mother and his brother died in a concentration camp. He himself was imprisoned in Auschwitz - one of the worst. But he had decided he was still in control of his attitude and he refused to be a victim or to submit to defeat. After being liberated, he continued his career as a successful psychiatrist, educator, author and teacher. His most famous book was "Saying Yes To Life In Spite of Everything." Here are a couple of quotes from this book: "Between stimulus and response, there is a space and in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." The point here is that circumstances cannot take away your power to choose! You can CHOOSE today to not be afraid. You can choose today to deal with the guilt that has consumed your life. You can choose today to not be lonely. You can choose today to not be angry. And you can choose today to not worry.

So many people struggle with worry. Let me remind you that worry is doubting God. You can choose to worry, or your can choose to live by faith. When you come to know Christ, and I mean REALLY know Christ, then that whiny attitude of yours becomes a thing of the past! When you walk by faith, it means you are not a crisis Christian and that you are not controlled by your crisis. Instead, you take the name of Jesus, the authority of that name, and you attack the crisis! I Peter 5:7 says, "Casting all your cares (anxiety) onto the Lord because He cares for you." How many cares? All of them. Not some and not just the small ones, but ALL of them! The big ones, the scary ones and the mean ones. The Bible says, "But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Here's the point behind this verse - God has given you the victory - it's already yours!

VICTORY is a gift from God, just like salvation is a gift from God. Did you have to work for your salvation? NO - you just believed and received it. We need to CHOOSE victory over defeat every time. All good choices begin with right thinking. You can choose "stinking thinking" or "Jesus thinking." Thomas had stinking thinking - "I'll have to see it before I believe it, or touch it with my own hands." Now Paul on the other hand, was snake bitten, criticized, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked and imprisoned and here is what he said, "These are all but light affliction." WHAT?????? So you can see that one had "stinking thinking" and the other had "Jesus thinking."  You might ask "what is Jesus thinking?" Jesus thinking is when you choose to have the mind of Christ. To have the mind of Christ means to have the same outlook on life that Jesus had. An outlook towards God and not blaming Him, but believing Him; not doubting Him, but trusting Him. An outlook towards man - to seek, save and restore. An outlook on life - no doom, gloom or pitiful me, but always focused on doing God's will.


RE-SURRENDER YOUR LIFE - Paul said to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. That means that every day we are to re-submit ourselves to God and re-align our thinking with His thinking. It's a daily decision to follow Christ and a daily decision to make Jesus the Lord of your life. DAILY DECISIONS DETERMINE DIRECTION.

REJOICE - Philippians 4:4 says, "rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice." You can complain and remain or praise and be raised! It's a joy to serve God, not a burden. Delight yourself in the Lord. Love being a Christian and don't ever feel sorry for being a Christ follower.

REMEMBER - You and I are better with God than without Him. Remember everything God has done for you. Remember His word and what He has said. Remember His power and willingness to answer your prayers. Ask the Holy Spirit to quicken you and remind you every time you start to slip - this will keep you from slipping back into self-destructive patterns.

REPLACE - Replace old worn out thoughts with new and better thoughts. You have to stop thinking one way and start thinking a new way. STOP thinking about your old boyfriend/girlfriend. STOP thinking about how your Ex treated you. STOP thinking about people who have made your life miserable. STOP thinking about all the times you were mistreated. STOP thinking about and digging up all those hurtful emotions.

How many of you need to CHOOSE between life and death? How many of you need to go from good to great? Let's all be ready to create the life we desire.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Choices Pt 2

Making Good Choices

Deuteronomy 30:19 - "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."

Take a look at the first two words in this verse -"this day." This is your day to make good decisions. This is your day to create change. It starts today and it starts now! Did you know that good decisions move you forward? And bad decisions move you backwards? No decision keeps you where you are. Today is Sunday. To those of you who have chosen to attend church today - you've already made a good choice. Now you can choose your level of participation. Choose your level of worship. Choose how to listen. Choose how you're going to receive the message. Choose how you're going to give in the offering. Choose how you're going to respond to God. Choose to make new friends.

Say these good confessions today:
  • Today I choose to live a blessed life!

  • Today I choose to have a successful marriage!

  • Today I choose to be happy and to be a blessing!

  • Today I choose to put God in first place in my life!

  • Today I choose to be a tither (Like how I snuck that one in there?)

  • Today I choose to be quick to forgive others and myself.

  • Today I choose wisdom in every situation.


Here are some SIMPLE decision making steps:

S - SUBMIT - Submit to God's will. Submit to the Bible. Ask yourself this question, "The decision I'm about to make - does it violate the Bible?". One might be thinking, "I'm about to have an affair; I'm about to rob a bank; I'm about to punch someone in the face". Well we all know - these are all BAD choices! Another question to ask is this: "Will my decision honor God?" "Will this decision cause another Christian to stumble?". Remember to submit your decision to God, to your spouse, to your parents or to anyone who is in authority over you.

I - INTELLIGENCE - God gave you a brain - use it! Walking by faith does not mean checking your brain in at the door. If there are areas or subjects that the Bible does not cover, remember that God gave you a brain, and you can rely on the leadership of the Holy Spirit. This is why it's important to keep your mind renewed to the Word of God. When my mind is renewed to God's Word, then I have supernatural wisdom. Wisdom is God thinking through you. Proverbs 1:9 says, "For wisdom shall be an ornament of grace to your head and chains about your neck." Wisdom is like a chain around your neck; not a ball and chain and not like a dog collar, but like a very expensive piece of jewelry. Romans 12:2 says that we are to "renew our minds." When you renew your mind to God's word, you are creating a new normal for yourself.

M - MERCY - When you make decisions, do everything you can to fall on the side of MERCY. In other words, be a person of mercy.

P - PRAY - You can't make good decisions without prayer. Time after time in the New Testament, we see Jesus spending significant time in prayer before He makes decisions. How often do you pray about the decisions or choices in your life? God wants you to include Him in the decision making process.

L - LOOK FORWARD - "Whoever puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God." Once you make a decision - act on it. No looking back and no regrets.

E - EXPERIENCE PEACE - Philippians 4:7 says, "And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." When you have taken these steps, you can experience the "Peace of God" for your situation. Inner peace overrides outward problems. In making choices, sometimes our circumstances cause our imaginations to run wild. John 14:27 says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled and neither let it be afraid."


CHOOSE CHRIST - "If a man gains the whole world but looses his own soul, what was the purpose of his life?" Real success must come first in the spirit. It's time to start living in the light of eternity - this simply means we need to let eternity shape our thinking and our choices.

CHOOSE YOUR RACE - If you don't have a purpose and a reason for being, then you will waste your life choosing things that will never matter or make a difference. Ephesians 5:15 says, "Live life purposefully, worthily and accurately. Not as the unwise and witless, but as sensible and intelligent people." Choose to be doing things that make a difference in peoples lives.

CHOOSE TO BE AN OVERCOMER - Giving up and giving in are two of the worst decisions you could ever make. Proverbs 24:16 says "For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes." I personally love this statement because it's so "right on" for everyone: The Devil is fighting you not because of where you are, but because of where you are going. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, "We are troubled on every side, yet we don't stress out, we are puzzled and perplexed but we won't despair, persecuted but not abandoned, cast down, but not destroyed."

CHOOSE WORDS - Proverbs 18:21 says, "The power of life and death are in the tongue." If you want to win in life, you have to stop whining. You can continue to talk about how bad your situation is, about how many problems you have and how no one has it as bad as you, OR you can begin to declare that today is a new beginning! Here are a few Bible principles that have the potential to change your life forever:
  • You will never grow beyond your confession.

  • Your future is in your mouth.

  • Your mouth is the steering wheel of your life.


Start talking about where you want to go in life, what you want to be and what you want to do!

CHOOSE RIGHT PEOPLE - There is no such thing as a self-made man or woman in life. No one succeeds unless others are involved in your life. We need to learn to recognize the power of partners.
  • If any two of you shall agree in prayer.

  • A 3 strand cord is not easily broken.

  • If 1 can put 1,000 to flight, then 2 can put 10,000 to flight!


Monday, March 20, 2017

The Choices You Make - Make You

If you want to move from where you are to where God wants you to be, then you are going to have to LEARN how to make good choices. Notice the word "LEARN" is capitalized. You have to learn how to make good choices or good decisions, because we don't always make good decisions naturally. Sometimes we make decisions based upon emotions, or knee jerk reactions or bad advice. However, we can LEARN how to take good counsel, know what wisdom looks like and sounds like, and we can surround ourselves with wise people. One decision can change the entire direction or course of your life as well as the lives of others. One decision can have enormous affect, either positive or negative.

The Roman Emperor, Constantine, chose to become a follower of Christ, and his decision affected countless millions of people. Constantine ruled Rome from 306 AD to 337 AD. Christianity became the religion of Rome, and the Roman Empire was able to spread the message as far north as England and as far east as Turkey. One man's decision spread the gospel to the known world.

NASA knew the Challenger had "O" ring problems, but decided to launch the Space Shuttle anyway, killing everyone on board. Their decision sent a nation into mourning and set back the space program. Sometimes one single decision can bring failure or success into our lives. We know this one thing for certain - every decision we make affects our life and the lives of others. Your life is a photo album so to speak or a "mosaic" of the choices you have made.

Have you ever looked through an old family photo album or clicked through a thumb drive to look at all the different places you have visited, seen all the different people in your lives and even the major events that have shaped your life, and realize that those were your decisions and choices that created those moments and albums? When it comes right down to it, we must realize that everything is a choice. Every situation is a choice. Whether you have a good day or a bad day - it's a choice. It's true that you can't determine what's going to happen to you - you can only choose how you will respond. Your health - it's a choice. To be angry or not - it's a choice. Every day you and I make choice. Some are big and some are small. Some are important and some are not so important. Some are consequential and some are in-consequential. One thing is for certain - the choices you make will determine the course of your life.

Here are some other thoughts about choices. Your choices either have REWARDS or CONSEQUENCES. They either move you forward in life or backwards in life. They either set you up for failure, or they set you up for success. Not only do we need to learn how to make good choices, but we have to also become "Students of Consequences." What does it even mean to be "Students of Consequences?" It means to learn from your mistakes. If you don't learn from your mistakes, what happens? You are doomed to repeat them again, and you have to re-learn the lesson. Choices have rewards and consequences. We are free to make any choice we want to make, but once we make that choice, we become slaves to its consequences or beneficiaries to its success. 

Here's a great article that might interest you:

Early childhood specialist, Prue Walsh, noticed that more and more children between the ages of 2-7 were sustaining a greater number of injuries on the playground (based on the data collected). She said "the playground Nazi's have gone so far overboard designing the playgrounds that children were no longer able to assess risks."

Sometimes you have to learn there are consequences to what you do and hopefully once you have learned that lesson, you won't repeat it!

Lot, from the Old Testament, chose to relocate his family in Sodom and Gomorrah, the original "Sin City" (bad decision) and the results were, he lost his wife and his two daughters. The other two daughters sinned so greatly, that it affected the rest of all of their lives. King David decided to have an affair with Bathsheba and because of his decision, many other lives were affected as well.


1)  GOD IS IN CONTROL - I believe that, and I believe that ultimately, God is in control. Don't misinterpret that as "God approves of everything that happens," because He certainly does not. Nor does it mean that everything that happens is pre-ordained by God, because it isn't.  God is in control when we make bad choices or bad decisions, and He can take our messes and turn them into blessings, right? Let's break this down a little. If God were in complete control, then why would He allow there to be rapes, wars, murders or any other horrible atrocities? There is something else that needs to be added into the equation.

2)  SATAN IS IN CONTROL - The other side of the coin is that Satan is the god of this world and he is in control. To a degree, I can see that. Satan is the god of this world, he has legal ownership of it for now, but if he were in complete control, why would he even allow us to be here today? Why wouldn't he have killed us before we got here to worship God and to serve, to be sharpened by the word, or to see people get saved?

3)  OUR CHOICES AFFECT THE OUTCOMES WE SEE IN OUR LIVES - God partners with us to shape the world we live in. Whoa, now that changes everything! God will help you make good decisions. He wants you to make good decisions and good choices. That's why He has given us a book filled with wisdom, examples and promises - The Bible!

Everything happens for a reason and all things work together for the good. But there is another side to this saying that is just as true: Everything happens for a reason, and the reason is you're stupid and you make poor choices. We have to be careful that we don't confuse our disobedience as "the devil made me do it." I wonder sometimes, is the devil really attacking me, or have I lowered my guard, dropped my standards or given in to the flesh? 361 times in the Bible it says that if I do [this], then [this] will be the outcome. My doing something, my choosing, my decisions and my actions create the direction and outcome of my life.

The choices that you and I make allow us to be a candidate for a different future. If I don't like my marriage, my job, my finances or myself, then I can choose to be different. The most powerful force in our lives is the power of choice! When change is necessary (and it always is), then to not change is destructive. When it becomes necessary to change the way I eat, and I don't, then that's destructive. Change the way I spend money, and I don't, that's destructive. To change the way I treat others, and I don't, that's destructive.

In Deuteronomy 30:19, Joshua says, "This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live." Joshua basically says, "Here are the choices, and I'm going to go ahead and give you the answer to this quiz."


Here's a great tool to put in your tool box concerning decision making: Always choose the things that bring life. Exodus 20:5 says, "You shall not worship them and serve them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers on the children on the third and fourth generations of them that hate me." Now, let me clarify this verse; this is not teaching generational curses. Jesus redeemed you from the curse. God is not putting curses on people. In fact, the word "visiting" basically means IMPACTING. It means the decisions we make not only affect us, but they affect our children and our grandchildren as well. That is why it's so important that we make good decisions; because decisions can be far reaching. The best decisions are made when we see the big picture, or take the long time perspective.

Look at the life of Jonah, who made bad decision after bad decision. He made his decisions out of fear, crisis, emergency and without thought of consequences. Hebrews 12:1-3 says, "Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him." He endured hardships, pain, suffering and betrayal, just so he could spend eternity with you.

I am responsible for my life.  I can blame others and that creates temporary relief from the pain in my life, but will destroy my ability to find answers or solve problems in my life. Blame always looks backwards, and responsibility always looks forward.

Ask yourself this question: What am I going to do TODAY that will make a difference in how my life will look tomorrow? I included the word TODAY because if you don't do something TODAY, then you and I both know what tomorrow will look like. You can tell what the next two years of your life will look like by looking at the last two years of your life. Faith is NOW! Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." The greatest choice you can make is to choose faith in spite of the facts. People say, "Well, facts don't lie." No, they don't, but they don't tell the whole story either. Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding." There are times that the facts of life work against us; they tell us opposite of what we want to hear. Facts will tell you, "you're too old; you're not qualified; you can't; you will never fulfill your dream; you're never going to get better; and your situation will never change." But I say - choose faith anyway!

Here is one very important fact: "God is God and He always will be God. And because He is God, He can do the impossible!" The facts may be against you, but God is for you! Here's the reality - God is not moved by facts! 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, "We walk by faith, not by sight."


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

6 Areas of Stewardship

1) THE LOVE OF GOD - Love is not an option in the life of the Believer. John 13:34-35 says, "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another." People are to identify us as Christians and not by our a) Christian bumper stickers b) fish logo c) WWJD jewelry or d) t-shirt. They should identify us because we are demonstrating LOVE. While searching for the truth, Ghandi, went to a Christian mission in India where they perceived him as just another beggar and thus sent him away. He left wounded and confused and ultimately developed his own religion. What a difference LOVE would have made in his situation.

2) A STEWARD OF THE POTENTIAL INSIDE OF YOU - Failing to be what God had intended for you to be. Can you imagine instead of hearing "Well done good and faithful servant," you would hear "You were only half done" or "you could have done so much more."

3) STEWARDS OF OUR BODIES - 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, "Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought with a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies." Yogi Berra once said "if I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of my body!" Many people live their lives in such a way that they force themselves into a health crisis. You cannot continue to pray "Lord heal my body and make me feel better" when you continue to live unhealthy.

4) STEWARDSHIP OF OUR TIME - Why is it that time and time management are such important issues? Well, I believe it's because of two reasons: #1 is - Time is more valuable than money. You can always get more money but once time is gone, it's gone. And #2 is - The main reason more people aren't involved in church, serving God and doing ministry is because they say, "I don't have time".

5) OUR ATTITUDES - The Bible says to "Count it all joy." My question is "Do you count it all joy?" Murmuring and complaining are still a sin. Do you suffer gloriously or do you suffer grotesquely?

6) STEWARDSHIP OF SOULS - Luke 14:23 says, "Then the master told his servant to go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full."

There are 5 gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and YOU!

"TAKING JESUS TO OTHERS" isn't just a slogan, it's the heart of God!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Off the Chain Part 2

Today let's begin with three short stories from The Bible to illustrate how to live a life "Unchained" or without restraint. These stories are found in Matthew 26:7 (The Alabaster Box), Luke 5:4 (Launch Out) and I Kings 17:10 (Widow and Elijah).

There were many widows in the land but Elijah was sent only to this one. I had to ask myself the question "Why?" And the best answer I could come up with was - maybe she was the only one who was radical enough that God could bless her. OR - Maybe she was willing enough to risk everything in order to see a miracle.

Do you know that sometimes you have to let go of what's NOT working so you can embrace God's plan that WILL WORK? We are often times slow to let go of what's not working. Maybe because of fear, or we just feel we don't have any options. Why keep living life at a level that you are not happy with, or that's not working? That's what we call INSANITY - doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

The widows plan was to gather sticks and die, but God's plan was to bless her beyond her wildest imagination. Our plan and God's plan are so radically different that you have to choose between the two - MY WAY or GOD'S WAY! You can keep your Alabaster box and remain unchanged OR, you can break the box and worship on a whole other level, but you can't do BOTH. You can stay on the shore, always wondering "what if," OR you can launch out into the deep and be blessed. But you can't do BOTH. You can gather sticks (stay small minded and fearful) OR you can follow God's plan and have a miracle in your finances, but you can't do BOTH.

PLAN A - Obey God and be blessed. Trust God. Prove God. 


PLAN B - Do it your way. Tithe when convenient. Tithe when you get out of debt.


Often, when talking about money, people sitting in church start looking for the EXIT signs! But I've got the courage to tell you the truth. The easiest thing in the world would be to NOT talk about money in church. To avoid the topic. To not risk criticism. But that would be wrong and cowardly. Think of it this way - would you be upset if you had a toothache, went to the dentist and your dentist didn't want to talk about how to fix your pain because it was going to make you feel uncomfortable? So instead of telling you that you need a root canal, he just wants to talk about family, how good God is and that you have a destiny. I mean, he's just chillin' when he should be drillin'!

Part of God's financial plan is TITHES and OFFERINGS. Tithe is not some super religious word and not some Christian jargon. It's a numerical term meaning "one-tenth". Some say the tithe thing is pretty much an Old Testament thing, right? I mean the New Testament is all about grace, right? The answer is NO! Giving and tithing are very much a New Testament thing. Concerning giving, the New Testament tends to teach that a tenth is the minimum I should be doing. The New Testament givers were EXTRAVAGANT GIVERS and they gave sacrificially. Jesus personally endorsed tithing. Matthew 23:23 says, "Yes, woe upon you Pharisees and you other religious leaders - hypocrites! For you tithe down to the last mint leaf in your garden, but you ignore the more important things - justice, mercy and faith." Yes, you should tithe, but you shouldn't leave the more important things undone. Jesus himself said you should tithe.

The New Testament Christians were tithers. Hebrews 7:8 says that "men who die receive tithes; but there [that is, in Heaven] He receives them of whom it is witnessed that He liveth." One translation reads "tithes are received by mortal men." Malachi 3:10 says, "Bring all the tithe into the storehouse that there may be meat in my house and prove me now says the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open the windows of Heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there should not be room enough to receive it."

Let's do the BREAKDOWN:

BRING your tithe. Why "bring" it? Because it is to be a part of your worship. You don't pay your tithe like paying a bill. It is an act of worship. Just like singing, lifting your hands, praying or listening.

WHOLE TITHE - 10%. Don't divide your tithe.

THE STOREHOUSE - that's the Church. Let's look at it this way: You are giving to the Church - God's franchise on earth. What we do is more important than any other business, company or organization. Because we deal with lives and eternity. Jesus believed in a literal place called Heaven and a literal place called hell. So much so that He sacrificed himself in order to help people get to Heaven and avoid hell. He gave all He had because of this reality. I worship God in my giving so that not one man, woman, boy or girl misses Heaven because of a dollar.

MEAT IN MY HOUSE - This is referring to ministry. We are called to be stewards, meaning I don't own it, I just oversee it. Let me give you another word here - you and I are "money missionaries." We are called to the ministry of "Reconciliation," and that means "Taking Jesus To Others."

PROVE ME - The only place where God says "Put me to the test."

POUR YOU OUT A BLESSING - The tithe puts you in the ZONE or the BLESSED place. What is a zone? It's an area distinguished from surrounding areas. Such as a work zone, a school zone or a speed zone. In sports terms, being "in the zone" means your game is in the sweet spot. When you are in the zone with God, it means that place where you qualify for His blessings. He wants you ZONED IN and not ZONED OUT! No one is born a natural giver, but we are all born as natural takers.

Let's purpose to be IN THE ZONE and be EXTRAVAGANT GIVERS!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Off the Chain

When it comes to finances, most people get into some form of money trouble. Most people have a money problem and that money problem is called debt! So they end up in CHAINS. Chained to debt. Enslaved to creditors. Shackled with depression. And strapped to stress.

Being CHAINED to debt creates a chain reaction: Debt causes stress, stress makes you feel bad (makes you unhappy); my feeling bad affects my family and makes them unhappy; my unhappy family struggles through life and my quality of life decreases. Being CHAINED can cause a domino affect - one affects the other and then the other and then the other and this ripples throughout your life.

Hebrews 13:5 reads "Let your conversations be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have: for He has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you". Basically, this is saying, be content with what you have. The first principle is to understand the Law of Contentment - if you don't get this, nothing else you read here is going to work.

You'll never have enough "stuff" because we are living in a world dominated by discontentment and greed. Jesus is the only thing that satisfies. Period. See, you have all these people trying to fill this Christ-shaped void in their lives with stuff. Even as a believer, if your relationship with Christ isn't where it should be (if it's not a priority), then you will try to fill that gap with "stuff". Some have a mentality of "more, more, more". To covet means "to want, to wish for, or to be greedy". Covetousness is not about what you have, but how you crave what you don't have. Most of the time, this is how we acquire debt - by having what we can't afford.

DEBT IS A TRAP. Take for example a mouse trap. We know it's deadly. But the mouse - all he thinks about and focuses on, is the cheese. He's going for the "Stuff" in the middle. He pays no attention to what his senses say and he forgets the fact that it may be dangerous. That mouse is going to go for the STUFF in the middle no matter what!

Let's break down the word S-T-U-F-F.
S - SENSUAL - appealing to the senses. The eye-gate - This is what got Adam and Eve into trouble, the fruit was appealing to them. They had everything, but they wanted one more thing.

T - TEMPORARY - It doesn't last. The shine wears off (and it always does). That new car smell won't last. That new car depreciates about $10,000 in the first year.

U - URGENT - NOW! Before it's too late, don't hesitate. If you're ever pressured to buy anything, don't do it!

F - FULFILLMENT - This will make me happy. This is the thing missing from my life. This is the missing link.

F - FRICTION - Friction because I went into debt to get it.

Here are two fundamental truths to keep in mind to "Ease The Squeeze" and go OFF THE CHAIN:

1) Everything I have belongs to God. But you might say "Wait a minute! I have worked for everything I have!" Remember this - God gives you the air in your lungs. God gives you the health and strength to do your job. God gives you the intellect to figure things out. And God gives you favor to keep your job and get promoted! What you think you OWN, is just on LOAN. We are stewards - meaning, we manage God's stuff while we're here.

2) God will audit you for how you use His finances. Money is the test of faith - Why? Because it's the thing we have the hardest time with! Luke 16:10 says "The man that is faithful in the little things will be faithful in the big things, and the man who cheats in the little things will cheat in the big things, too." So, if you are not fit to be trusted with the wicked wealth of this world, who will trust you with true riches?

Money in this life is like Monopoly Money - it's good while you're playing the game, but when it's Game Over, it's not good! I Timothy 6:10 says, "For the love of money is the root of all evil." It doesn't say that money is evil - it says the love of money. The wrong pursuit of money. When money is used as God intended, it's a blessing, but when you take it out of the boundaries, it creates pain. Money is not good or evil. Money is a magnifier - it simply magnifies what you already are. If you were a selfish, greedy person when you had no money, then you will be a selfish, greedy person after you get money. If you were a generous person when you had no money, then you will be a generous person after you get money. Bible finance is all about putting your money in its place.


1) Everything Starts With A Seed. Its the law of Genesis. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed." The book of Zephaniah says, "despise not the days of small beginnings."

2) Nothing Happens Until You Plant The Seed. You can't reap a harvest you have not sown. Think of it like this: You have an entire garden with more than enough to feed many families, but the seed does me no good until I put it into the ground. Imagine a farmer spending his life savings on seed and then saying, "I don't know if I should plant this or not." The farmer just doesn't get it and neither do people who don't trust God or obey God with their finances. You can't pray in finances - you have to plant a seed. You are not waiting on God, but He is waiting on you.

3) Whatever I Sow Is What I Reap. Apples make apples. Oranges make oranges. Galatians 6:7 says, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows that shall he also reap." If I sow generously, I will reap generously!

4) There Is A Season Between When I Sow And When I Reap. There is no such thing as instant success. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us, "There is a time and season for everything." There is always a delay. You don't play God like a slot machine. You don't give to God like you are buying a winning lottery ticket. You follow principles that begin to work for you!

5) Plant Now. Ecclesiastes 11 tells us, "Those who wait for perfect weather will never plant seeds and those who look at every cloud will never reap a harvest." There will never be a perfect time or a perfect economy to start trusting God. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, "God loves a cheerful giver." The word cheerful actually means hilarious!


Friday, March 3, 2017

The Power of Communion

Communion is more than a ritual. Communion is supernatural. In this episode Pastor Ron McKey takes a deeper look at the power in the act of communion.

Listen to this Episode - The Power of Communion by Ron McKey

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Built to Last

There is a leadership principle that goes like this, “Begin With The End in Mind.” This means – what do you want the end result to be? When it's all said and done – what do you want it to look like? Some of you may feel beat down as you are reading this. You may be bound with fear, full of worry, full of questions, the weight of the world on your shoulders - because you have a very real enemy that is working against you - satan.

But I've got good news for you! God is on your side. He is the bondage-breaker. He is the miracle-worker, the anointed one, the healer, provider, way-maker, mountain-mover, the One Who's name is above every other name!

1 Peter 4:12 reads, “Think it not strange when you face a fiery trial as though some strange thing has happened to you." The Bible tells us that when we face a storm, and we will face storms, that we are not to quit, but we are to buckle down.

Here is a great motto for life: Put God FIRST. In every area of your life - put God FIRST.
  • F - Financial trials - put God first.
    • Proverbs 3:9-10, "Honor the Lord your God by giving Him the first part of all your income; and He will fill your barns to overflowing."
    • Deuteronomy 14:23 teaches us that the purpose of the tithe is to teach you to put God first in your life.
  • I - Impossible situations - put God first.
  • R - Relationship trials - put God first.
  • S - Self-imposed trials - put God first
    • If what you are going through is a result of your own bad choices, bad decisions, or bad actions, then put God first in your decision making process.
  • T - Trouble - put God first.
    • Psalm 50:15 - "Call upon me in your day of trouble and I WILL deliver you and you will honor me."
    • Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding."
If you are worrying, you are not trusting. Worry is the warning light that your are not trusting God. It is the opposite of faith. You cannot be in two places at the same time. You will either be in worry, or you will be in faith. You will be either with God or with the devil because faith is from God, but worry is from the devil. Here is the conflict: your MIND is telling you one thing while your FAITH is telling you something different. Your mind/body are in the present, but your faith/spirit are in the future. Your spirit already knows something about your future that your mind simply does not know yet.

1 Cor. 2:9-10, "Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the hearts of men, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him. BUT GOD has revealed them unto us by His Spirit."

Your spirit has already stepped into the future! So let me share with you some scriptures to get you through whatever it is your going through.
  • Psalm 150:6, “Let everything that has breath Praise the Lord.”
    • You may say, “I don't feel like praising God right now.” The psalmist did not say you had to feel like it. He just said that if you had breath praise the Lord.
  • Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
  • Exodus 14:13-14, "And Moses said unto the people, Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."
Let's break this last one down a little more.


It's hard NOT to be afraid when the enemy is breathing down your neck. It's hard NOT to be afraid when the doctors give you a bad report, when bills are due, or your marriage is falling apart. The first thing satan does when a problem arises is he tries to get you in fear. He knows that fear stops the hand of God because the moment fear moves in, faith moves out. So Moses told the people to FEAR NOT.


I have often said – as long there is a button to push, a lever to pull, a knob to turn or a switch to flip or a bell to ring ...God will let you EXHAUST all your effort... until you are ready to give it to Him. The battle is the Lord's. Stand in faith. Stand on the promises of God.


In other words, don't talk. The reason they were not allowed to talk is because, if they had, the would have talked about how impossible the situation was. We need to learn to keep our mouths shut if we can't talk positive. The Bible is very clear concerning the power of our words...

Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."

Proverbs 6:2, "Thou are snared with the words of thy mouth and you are taken with the words of your mouth."


Forward is always God's direction for your life. Someone once said - the only time God let's you back up is to get a running start." Here is one last scripture that will help you move forward.

Matthew 11:12, "And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force."

You need to get a fighting spirit. I've often said that the only thing the devil understands is violence. Nowhere in the Bible are we ever told to argue with the devil. We are only told to REBUKE the devil. To resist him. To bind him or cast him out. If you are tired of the devil stealing from you, get a fighting spirit and say enough is enough! Jesus did not suffer all that He suffered, endure all that He endured, just so you and I could suffer along just barely getting by.

Here is where I think we have missed it. We miss it in how we view the cross. It is a before and after picture. Before the cross we had gloom, doom, despair and agony on me. We have the before part down. It's the after picture that we need to grasp. Jesus wants us to see the cross as a declaration. On the cross, Jesus delared, "It is finished." A flag has been planted - it is a symbol of VICTORY.