Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

March Newsletter – “The Season”

I’m sure some of you know what season we’re in and some of you may not, so I’d like to share some things with you that help identify what season we’re in as the body of Christ. Once we know what season we’re in, then we can have the right behavior in that season to produce a harvest in its season. For example, in spring farmers begin to plant certain seeds, which is the behavior that will produce a harvest for them.

You know that it’s the year 2012 and if you turn on the TV, listen to the radio or even just listen to people talk, you can tell that our world isn’t in the best shape. But I’d like us to look at things from God’s perspective and not everyone else’s. He always has the answer, and as long as we stay focused on our relationship with Him, we’re going to be full of hope, faith and confidence because we know that He is in control of our lives as we continue to surrender and give Him control. So right now at this time, if you haven’t given God control of your life, I want to encourage you to do that right at this moment!

That’s one of the things that the number 12 represents – that God’s in control and He wants us to trust Him. The number 12 shows us that God is in control and that He is actively ruling over us as King. When God wanted to show us that He was ruling and that there was a perfect plan, He would use the number 12. Twelve represents divine authority, divine appointments, perfection, completeness and fulfillment.

The number 12 also represents governmental foundation. For example, Jacob had 12 sons, Israel had 12 tribes, there were 12 kings anointed to serve the nation of Israel, 12 judges, Solomon appointed 12 officers, and Jesus had 12 disciples. In Revelations 21, we learn that the New Jerusalem will have 12 gates of pearls with 12 angels there and the name of the 12 tribes written over these gates. Revelations 22 tells us that the “tree of life” in the New Creation will bear 12 kinds of fruit. Once again, the thing that I want to highlight is that when God wanted His people to know that there was a perfect plan and that He was in control, He would use the number 12… and here we are in the year 2012.

Let’s look at a few of these stories. Remember in Matthew 26: 47-56, when Judas betrays Jesus, the soldiers come to take Jesus and Peter cuts off one of their ears? Then Jesus looks at Peter and tells him to put his sword away. Jesus tells Peter that if He needed help, He could ask the Heavenly Father for 12 legions of angels to come and help Him. In other words, He was letting them know that there was a perfect plan here and that God was in control, so trust Him!

How about in Luke 2:41-50, where it’s the first recorded words of Jesus… and guess how old He was? That’s right, 12. In this account, Jesus and His family had gone to Jerusalem to the Passover Feast. When it was over, this big caravan of people headed back toward home and about a day into the trip, Mary and Joseph started looking for Jesus but couldn’t find Him. Can you imagine losing the son of God? This brings losing your keys into perspective, doesn’t it?

Anyway, they go back to Jerusalem and look for Jesus for another two days until they finally find Him in the temple listening and asking questions of the teachers. Mary and Joseph were so upset that Jesus would do this… but notice what He told them in verse 49 –  “Why did you seek Me?  Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”  In other words, “Mom and Dad, don’t you realize that there is a perfect plan here and God is in control? So trust Him!”

I could keep going with other stories, but I believe you get what I’m trying to say. This is what God is saying to us in this season – “There is a perfect plan here and I’m in control, so trust me.” No matter what you’ve gone through in the past or what you’re facing in the present or what you will face, you need to know that there is a perfect plan and God is in control as you trust Him.

Jeremiah 17:7 says “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.” I want to encourage you to trust the Lord like never before in your life. Spend time with Him and allow your trust to increase. It can be just like good friends that you trust – the more you spend time with them and know they’re going to do what they say, the more you trust them. That’s one of the ways that you develop your trust in the Lord. It’s by spending time with Him, in His word and knowing that He will do what He says. Remember, in 2012 there is a perfect plan, God is in control, so trust Him!

Trey Johnson

Friday, December 30th, 2011

December Newsletter

Dear Partner,

With the holidays looming and the carols playing on the radio, you could say that things are looking a lot like Christmas! Throughout the season of the birthday of the Savior, Jesus Christ, giving is a huge deal. We give gifts because we love people and we receive gifts because it is an expression of someones love toward us. Its a reflection of the Fathers love toward us.

The act of giving that we see throughout Jesus’ whole earthly ministry just scratches the surface of his generosity, from the giving of his time to heal a paralytic that everyone else passed up to the giving of his ear to hear a woman that was caught in the act of adultery. He always gives and it’s not in small measure; it’s always the very best gifts! Actually, we can’t mention Jesus without talking about his ultimate gift – the giving of His life on the cross for a world full of sinners.

Notice what Jesus says in John16:7 NKJ “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”

The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father for us. He is the comforter or, as Jesus calls Him,  our “Helper.” He (the Holy Spirit) is our ever-present in time of need. Jesus made it clear to us in John 14: 25-27 that once He was lifted up from the earth, He would send the Helper (the Holy Spirit) to us. The Holy Spirit is there to teach us all things, and bring to our remembrance all things that Jesus has spoken to us. Now that’s what I call a gift

Let me end by sharing with you what the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart one night in late October. I had been praying and communing with God and after a bit, I just got quiet. Quiet because I wanted to hear from the Spirit of God. I’ve heard before that if you have two ears and one mouth you should listen twice as much as you talk, so I was just being quiet and focusing on the Holy Spirit. And this is what I heard:  “During this time of year, you look at newspaper ads or at retail advertisements and see lots of lists labeled, ‘Must-Haves of the Season.’ Tell them I am the wisdom, the answer, the courage, the influence, and the force they must have for success. I am the must-have item for the entire season of Life.”

What an amazing gift Jesus sent us – a Helper that would take us into greater degrees of wisdom, understanding and success! I love Verse 27 of John 14:  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let your heart not be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The gift in the form of the Helper isn’t like most must-have items that are only available on Black Friday if you get in line at midnight to do battle with thousands of other shoppers. It’s available at all times! We just have to get ourselves in position to receive it!

We are thankful for your prayers and support during the year of 2011! We pray that you have a Very Merry Christmas!

Bless You!

Cody Sikes- Forever Cowboys Pastor

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

It’s a Big Deal!

Coming out of the season of Thanksgiving and into the season of Christmas we have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate.  If you look around and think about it, God has done some great things in all of our lives.  From the family and friends we have, to the clothes, finances, gifts, talents and the list could go on and on.  The bottom line is that what God has done in our lives is a big deal.

Sometimes we discount all of the things that God has done and forget that even the small things are big deals to the Lord and at one time they probably were big deals to us as well.  Remember that time God answered that prayer.  That is a big deal!  Remember that time He healed your body.  That is a big deal!  How about that time that you might have died in that car wreck but you didn’t.  That’s a big deal!  God loves us so much and wants to do even greater things in our lives than we’ve ever seen before but one of the key things is not forgetting where you came from and what God has done because what He’s done in your life is a big deal!  The little things in our lives are a big deal to God and should be a big deal to us.

Remember the story in Matthew 14:13-21 where Jesus wanted the disciples to feed the crowd that they had been ministering to, which was around 15,000 people but all they had were 5 loaves and 2 fish.  To the disciples what they had seemed small and insignificant but to God it was a big deal.  They brought the fish and bread to Jesus and the bible says that He looked up to heaven and blessed, and thanked God, then divided the fish and bread up to feed the people and had 12 baskets left over.  Now think about this with me.  Do you think that all those people were glad that the disciples brought what they thought was small and insignificant to the Lord?  I do.  I think they were thankful that someone was willing to bring something that seemed small to them, to the Lord, because the Lord took the small thing and made it a big deal.  Maybe there are some things in your life that seem small that are a big deal to the Lord and to other people if you would just be willing to bring it to Him.  That idea that seems so small is a big deal.  That dream that’s on the inside of you is a big deal.  That plan or strategy to turn your business around is a big deal.  Better than that, is the fact that you may feel small and insignificant but you are a big deal to God.  Such a big deal that God sent his one and only son, Jesus to die on the cross for your sins and mine.

At the time, that little baby seemed so small and insignificant to so many people but to our Heavenly Father, He was a big deal.  What we celebrate during this Holiday season is such a big deal.  We all receive presents during this time of year and some are big and some are small but the gift of God’s son, Jesus, is a big deal and is the best gift we could ever receive.  So take some time and celebrate the big deal that Christmas really is.  Realize that there are certain things in your life that are a big deal and one of those things that can’t be compared to anything else is Jesus.  His birth is a big deal!

Have a very blessed Christmas and realize that Jesus is a big deal to God and so are you.  We are praying for you and are thankful that you are in our lives!

Forever Cowboys – Trey Johnson

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

November Newsletter

Dear Partner,

This is such a nice time of year – the leaves are changing; the temperature is changing; even the time is changing. But it’s also the time of year that we get together with friends and family to thank the Lord for all that He has done in our lives. Really, we should take the time every day to be thankful for all that God has done and is doing in our lives.

Psalms 145:2 says, “Every day [with its new reasons] will I bless You [affectionately and gratefully praise You]; yes, I will praise your name forever and ever.”

It’s important to spend time on a daily basis giving thanks and praise to God. You can do this on your way to work; while getting dressed; during your prayer time. We all have the time to praise and thank God for His goodness!

Ephesians 5:20 says, “At all times and for everything, giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.”

Thanksgiving can be such a powerful force in our lives. No matter what you are going through, learn to give God thanks and praise. Thank Him that you are saved, alive, delivered; that your eyes, ears, mouth, and body work. Thank him that you have food to eat and clothes to wear. Thank Him for your family members, for bosses, employees, and the leaders in your life. Thank Him that He never leaves you or forsakes you. Thank Him for the fact that He is always faithful! No matter where you are in life or what you’re going through, be thankful that God is with you and that He will help you.

Psalms 34:1 says, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

David wrote this when he was on the run from King Saul. He was at a very low point in His life, but he still made the decision to praise the Lord. You might be in a difficult time right now in your life, but please make the decision to praise and be thankful for what God has done in your life. When we thank and praise God for what He has done, it causes our faith to rise up on the inside of us and it gives God something to work with.

A while back I had this phrase come up in my heart from the Lord:  “If you will remember where you’ve come from and what I’ve done in your life and be thankful, I will build upon on it and begin to turn things around.” I really believe that it’s time for things to turn around for people in the body of Christ – and one of the things the Lord is going to use is your thankfulness for what He’s already done. Be thankful!

So let’s don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day to be thankful. Let’s start today! Take a moment right now to praise and thank God for His goodness!

We are thankful for each of you! We appreciate the prayers, the love and the support that you show this organization.

Trey Johnson

Monday, October 24th, 2011

October Newsletter

Dear Partner,

We are so excited about what God is doing in people’s lives.  Paul tells us in Phillipians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  Be confident that God is doing a good work in you and He isn’t going to stop as long as we stay in relationship with Him.  Do you believe that?  Speaking of belief, how is yours?  How is your belief doing?  Do you ever stop and think about what you are believing today?  I want to encourage you to do that right now.  Think about what you believe!

See, what you think determines what you believe.  And what you believe determines what you expect.  And what you expect will affect the way that you act.  Thinking affects believing; believing affects expectation; and expectation affects behavior.  So think about what you are thinking about, what you are believing, what you are expecting, and how you are behaving.  Now back to our question – how is your belief today?

Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

In order for us to be who God has called us to be and live the life that He desires us to live, we must believe that He is!  He is what?  He is… Almighty, all knowing, all powerful, present everywhere, the giver and creator of life.  He is…  the “I Am”!  He is… our protector, provider, guider, director, healer.  Do you believe that He is?  Think on these things.  Choose to believe what the bible says about Him and watch your expectation begin to rise.  Soon you will behave like you are expecting God to do great things in your life.

Not only is it important to believe in God but it’s also important to believe in your potential.  See, potential is a picture of what you can become.  Learn to look at what could be, and start moving toward it instead of looking at what is today.  That’s why it’s so important to spend quality time with God and discover how He looks at you – because He looks at you from the perspective of your potential.  He knows there is more in you.  He believes in you!  It doesn’t matter what others think of you, where you come from or what stands in front of you.  It’s about what lies within you and if you can bring it out.  That’s where belief in God, belief in your potential and also belief in yourself comes in!  Believing in yourself is so important.

Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Out of your relationship with God, you not only develop belief in Him but you will also develop belief in yourself.  It’s one thing to believe that you have potential, but it’s another thing to believe you can fulfill it.  God believes you can be the person He created you to be.  Do you?  Start today believing in God, believing in your potential and believing in yourself.  Take it one day at a time and ask yourself, “How is my belief today?”  As you connect your belief in God, your belief in your potential and your belief in yourself, you are one step closer to being who God has created you to be.

We believe in you and are praying for you.

Trey Johnson

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Prayer

It’s good to know that God cares about every area of our lives. He desires for each of us to be all that He has created us to be. Whether that’s a fireman, a school teacher, doctor, lawyer or salesman, the list could go on and on. But the truth is that you are the only one who can truly know what God has created you to be. He is your creator and there are certain things that He has designed you to do. He wants to share those things with you. One way He will share those things with you is through prayer.

Most of the time when people think of prayer, they think of it as a way to get God to change something for them. They see prayer as a way to get results, and God wants us to get results or He wouldn’t have asked us to pray. But have you ever thought that God wants results also? What I mean by that is that God designed prayer as a way to get results in us, first, and then through us. His desire is to have a relationship with us where our heart and His heart get into alignment; our desires and His desires agree; where His will becomes our will. This is what was taking place in the garden of Eden when God and Adam were walking and talking together. Adam’s heart, desires, and will were coming into alignment with God’s. From that place of relationship with God, Adam also received his assignment from God.

Genesis 2:15 “And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it.”

In Genesis 3, you see where God came walking into the Garden in the cool of the day to speak with Adam and Eve. God has always desired relationship with man. That’s one of the reasons He made us in His image and His likeness – so He could have fellowship with us. He didn’t make animals in His image, or anything else in His image. He made us in His image.

Once again, God wants prayer to bring results, but He wants it to bring results in us first and then through us after that. So when you pray, ask yourself, “How do I approach prayer?”  Do I want to live my life any way I want and then when I pray, expect results? Or do I approach prayer with the mindset that God wants results in me, then when my heart, desires and will are in alignment with His, I will get results through me. Remember the purpose of prayer.

Psalms 33:11 “The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.”

Isaiah 14:24 “The Lord Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.’”

His heartbeat and purpose for prayer has been and always will be to get results. Results in us first, then through us after that. I want to encourage each of you to keep coming to God and allow results to take place in your heart and in your life.

Keep God first in everything you do!

Trey Johnson

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

August Newsletter

Dear Partner,

You are very special to God!  God wants to show up in your life!  He wants to reveal His heart to you and do great and mighty things!  You may be going through the toughest time in your life, or it might be the greatest time in your life.  But either way God desires to reveal even more of Himself to you.  You might be asking, how?  How will God show up?  How will He reveal Himself to me?  How can I know God more?  One way is, through your Praise!

God will show up in your lift through a lifestyle of Praise! Praise is a powerful gift that God has given us to invite His presence into our life.  Remember what we talked about in the last letter we sent out?  “Through prayer and praise, comes powerful purpose”!  Prayer is a part of our relationship with God.  It is a way that God’s will, will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Praise is also something God uses to strengthen our relationship with Him. Praise attracts God’s presence!  Praise magnifies who God is compared to your circumstances!  Praise creates an environment for us to change and for us to know God!

Psalms 76:1 says “In Judah God is known”

The word Judah comes from the Hebrew word “Yadah” which means to revere or worship with extended hands; to make confession; to praise; or to give thanks, thankful, thanksgiving.

So you could say in Psalms 76:1 “In Praise, God is known”.  If you want to know God more than you do right now start to live a lifestyle of Praise.  You might not think that you have anything to praise God for, but in reality you do.  Look around and begin to praise and thank God for your health, your clothes, your house, your friends, your money, that you are still breathing, that you’re going to heaven and not hell if you have a personal relationship with Jesus!  We all have something to praise God for, don’t we?  “In your Praise God is Known”!

Psalms 114:2 says “Judah became His sanctuary”…

The word sanctuary means a sacred place or thing, consecrated, dedicated, Holy.  Psalms 114:2 could read “Your praise becomes His sanctuary”!  Wow!  In your praise, God hangs out.  Your praise attracts God and when He shows up that place is sacred, consecrated, dedicated and Holy.  When you began to praise God for who He is, and thank Him for what you do have instead of looking at what you don’t have, things begin to change.

That’s another thing that praise does.  It helps you Focus!  It helps you focus on the answer and not the problem.  It helps you focus on God’s ability and not your own.  In the Old testament the Israelites were going to battle and they asked the Lord who should go first “and the Lord said, Judah shall go first” or “your Praises should go first” (Judges 20:18).  Did you see that?  Your praises should go first!  Whatever you are facing today, I want to encourage you to send your praises first.

Instead of focusing on the problem, praise God for the answer.  Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, praise Him for what you do have.  Instead of focusing on the part of your body that is hurting, praise Him for the parts of your body that work correctly.  Instead of focusing on the things that have gone wrong in your life, praise Him for what has gone right in your life.  Praise is life changing.  A person of praise can’t be stopped.  A person of praise will know God, and will come out of whatever mess they are in. They will overcome, advance, grow and become the person God has created them to be!  Why is this so?  Because through your praise God is known, God show’s up, we are changed and our focus is corrected!

We are thankful for each of you, we know God is doing great things in you. Keep praising!

Trey Johnson

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Powerful Purpose

For several months now I’ve been hearing the Lord say “through Prayer and Praise comes powerful Purpose.” God wants each of us to fulfill His purpose for our lives.  He is a good God and desires for us to be who He has created us to be.  I know that you are like me and deep down inside you want God’s will for your life.  You want to be all you are supposed to be; you want to live with that sense of fulfillment, knowing that you are achieving God’s plan for your life and being all that you are supposed to be.  Well, God is saying “through Prayer and Praise comes powerful Purpose.”  Our part is prayer and praise, with which we will live with powerful purpose.

You might be saying, “Why do I have to pray and praise for God’s will to come to pass in my life?  Can’t God do whatever He wants?  Why does He need me to do these things (He’s God, after all)?  To answer these questions, let’s look at God’s relationship with man from the beginning.

Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”`

Right here, God lets us know that His relationship with man and through man is how He is going to affect the earth.  He made man as a spirit being, just like He is, so he could fellowship with Him.  Then He gave him a physical body so he could operate here on the earth.  God’s desire was that He would rule heaven and that His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven, through man.  That man, from a place of relationship with Him, would get His heart, His mind, His will and then carry it out on earth.  “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion…”  God wants to show up in all of our lives but we must remember that the way He set up the structure is through our cooperation and agreement with His will.  You are the connection between God and His will being done on earth as it is in heaven.  Man has to cooperate with God in order for us to experience  God’s will for our lives!  Lets look at some of these scriptures that make the connection between God, us and His will being done on the earth.

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

Ephesians 6:18  “Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty.  To that end, keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding on behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

Matthew 16:19 “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

These are just a few of the many scriptures that show us that there is a connection between heaven, earth and us.  God is looking for us to get into agreement with Him and allow Him to operate in our lives.  The reason I say “allow Him to operate” is because God is a God of integrity and He will not violate His word.  When He said “Let them have dominion,” He showed us the way He was going to operate on this earth and that is through us.  God has always looked for a person who would cooperate with Him.  In the flood, He needed Noah.  To create a nation, He needed Abraham.  To lead Israel, He needed Moses.  To defeat Jericho, He needed Joshua.  To save mankind, He needed Jesus!

I want to encourage you to become a person of prayer today.  Prayer is a privilege.  It is our responsibility, and it’s designed to bring great fulfillment into our lives.  Your prayers give God the legal right to show up in your life and the lives of others.  Prayer touches God’s heart and changes yours.  Remember –  “Out of Prayer and Praise comes powerful Purpose!”

Trey Johnson

Friday, April 15th, 2011

How has your focus been?

How has your focus been?  The last time we talked, it was about the importance of Focus. God is wanting to do great things in our lives, but it’s going to take Focus on our part. Here are some great things to Focus on:

  1. Identify your priorities.  Matthew 22:35-40; Matthew 6:33
  2. Identify your gifts, strengths and abilities. Romans 11:29
  3. Identify and discover the dream, plan and vision that God has for your life.  Proverbs 29:18

Today, I would like us to answer the question “How do we Focus?” Learning to focus is very important in any area of life if we’re to become all that God has called us to become. Focus in itself is not really natural for most people, so here are some things we can do to learn how to focus:

REMOVE DISTRACTIONS: This is very important because all of us have plenty of things to do and can spend a lot of time doing things that aren’t really important or don’t give us the return in life that God desires for us.

Luke 10:38-42 Amplified –  “Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching.  But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]! But the Lord replied to her by

saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.

Are you too busy and overly occupied?  Are you going a lot of different directions and not getting much accomplished?  Maybe you’re like that octopus on roller skates –  there’s a lot of motion but you’re not going anywhere!  Today I want to encourage you to be like Mary and choose to keep your focus in the right place and remove distractions.  To remove distractions, do first things first.  Not easy things first or hard things first, but first things first.  Once you locate your priorities, then keep practicing them and you will be able to see the distractions disappear.  Jesus Himself said that when we remove distractions and focus on the right things, it would be to our advantage.  Removing distractions gives you the advantage!

MAKE TIME TO FOCUS: Ephesians 5:15-17 Amplified — “Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.”

We must make time to focus.  Studies show that we can lose up to 40% efficiency jumping from one thing to the next.  If we don’t make time to focus we can spend the whole day doing things that just steal our time and our time is the currency of life.  What you do with your time will determine what you become.  To protect your time, try not returning emails or phone calls before a certain time of the day.  Don’t allow things to rob you of your time.  Learn to set up boundaries for yourself and you will be thankful for all the things you will be able to get done when you make time to focus.

LEARN TO SET GOALS: Paul shares this important truth with us in Philippians 3:13,14 — “I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.”

These are things that can change our lives if we will focus on them.  Today, make the decision to forget the bad things that have happened to you in the past because when you really think about it, you can’t change it anyway, so let it go and move forward.  Everything that God has for you is in your future, not behind you, so go forward, strain, keep stepping, and press toward the goals that will help you become who God desires you to be.  A goal simply gives you something to focus on.  A goal is not a final destination, it’s just something that gives you direction.  So even if your goals are small they will be helpful if they keep you going in the right direction.  So please learn to set goals, then focus on them.

Each of us here at Forever Cowboys wants to see you be all that God has called you to be and we want to see God show up in your life more than ever before.  Stay Focused!

 

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Don’t Lose Your Focus!

We are so excited about what God has in store for you this year!  God wants to reveal Himself to you more than ever before.  Coming into this year, the Lord kept bringing Isaiah 41:10 up in my heart and this is what it says:

“Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.”  (Isaiah 41:10 amplified)

No matter where you are in life or what you’re going through, God wants to help you.  The verse above is good all the way through, but the part that keeps jumping out at me is where it says “do not look around you in terror and be dismayed.”  One of the things He’s saying right there is, “Do Not Lose Focus!”

For God to do His part of strengthening us, helping us, and holding us up with His victorious right hand, we must do our part.  Which is to “Not Lose Focus!”

As you’re reading this you might be saying to yourself, “That’s nice, but you don’t have any idea how many things I have going on in my life right now.”  Or maybe you’re asking the question, “What do I focus on?”  Well, first know that we all have a lot going on in our lives and we always will.  But in order for God to show up and for us to know Him more than ever before, we must learn to Focus.

Focus can lift every area of your life to new heights.  It can bring energy and power to almost anything you do.  It can help us develop within our relationship with God, with people, in sports, business, family, school, financially and the list could go on and on.  But let me ask you this question:  “Does everything you’re involved in deserve your focus?”  The answer, of course, is NO! We must choose carefully the target of our focus. Let me share some things that can help you decide what to focus on.

IDENTIFY YOUR PRIORITIES

The bible lets us know who and what should be our first priorities.

“… You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).” This is the great (and most important) first commandment.  And a second like it is:  “You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39, Amplified)

Our first place of focus should be on loving God and loving people!  From this place of relationship with God and with the correct people, we can determine the other places that deserve our focus.  We want to focus on the areas that give us the greatest return and our relationship with God and the right people will always give us the greatest return.

Remember:  God wants to strengthen us, to help us, and to hold us up with His victorious right hand, but it will take focus on our part!

DISCOVER YOUR GIFTS AND STRENGTHS

“For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call].” (Romans 11:29, Amplified)

From your relationship with God, discover your gifts, strengths, abilities and talents and then focus to develop them.  If you don’t know these things in your life, first of all ask God but also ask the people that are closest to you; people who love you and have watched your life for some period of time.  Another thing you can do is take a personality test.  There are several out there online to help you with this.  Also, look back at the areas where you have shined or succeeded in the past.  Once you begin to locate some of these, then begin to focus your energies in these areas.

Once again, remember:  God wants to show up and reveal Himself in every area of our life but it will take focus!

DISCOVER AND DEVELOP YOUR DREAM

Once your relationship with God is your number-one priority and you begin to discover the gifts and abilities that God Himself has placed in you, then start to focus on the dream and vision that He has for you.

“Where there is no vision, people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18)

God has a dream and a plan for your life and He wants you to discover it. How do you do this? First, of course, is to focus on the one who created you and knows the plan, vision and dream He has for you — God!  While you are spending time with God or even just living life and your mind continues to return to a certain area, then that might be part of God’s dream for you.  Another principle is to help other people fulfill the vision that they have received from God, which can set you up to receive the vision that God has for you, too.  But once again, this will take focus on your part.

Today I want to encourage you to make a decision to focus.  Focus on your relationship with God and the right people.  Take time to focus on discovering your gifts, strengths and abilities and as you are focusing on these things, I believe that God’s vision for your life will start to unfold for you!

Let’s focus like we never have before and let’s watch God do things in our lives and in the lives of others like we’ve never seen before!  Let’s Focus!

We want you to know that we love each and every one of you.  We believe in you and want to be a part of helping you be the best you that you can be!  Not only have we been a part of your life but you’ve also been a part of ours and we know together we can accomplish God’s will on Earth.  We appreciate the part you play in helping us fulfill God’s plan, whether it’s by being a friend to those in your sphere of influence, through prayer, by financial support or by helping us at some of the upcoming events.  You are important to us and we appreciate you very much.  We are praying for you and are expecting great things for your life!