Words to Inspire
 

Running Your Race

We’re so glad you’ve decided to spend part of your day with us at Living Water Church. We pray that the message will inspire and encourage you to be all you can for Christ.
Today, as we are continuing our new fall series – Journey To A Better You – Pastors George & Carolyn will be talking about Running Your Race, with the emphasis on YOUR race, not someone else’s race.
 
Running Your Race
Sunday, October 22, 2017 – Pastors George & Carolyn Dupree
 
Everybody has a unique and personal purpose for their lives. It’s a shame when we try to live our lives based on the expectations of other people. We’ve got to be who God created us to be. We’ll never be happy if we try to live as people pleasers. That doesn’t mean we should be mean or nasty, inconsiderate of other people. It doesn’t mean we can’t learn from other people. What that means is that we’ve got to be God pleasers and nothing will please God more than you and I living our lives to the fullest and living in the purpose of God for our life.
 
Acts 13:36 For David served God’s purposes in his own time, and then he died, was buried with his ancestors, and his body rotted in the grave.
 
We’ve got to stay in our own lane and run the race that is set before us.
 
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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DID YOU KNOW?

Jesus said, “in this life you will have trouble but be happy, I have overcome.” So, are you overcoming? Are you prevailing? Are you winning? Are you thriving? If not, who’s fault is it? You are brought down or built up by “yourself.” You can construct a wall of strength, joy, and peace, or you can forge the weapons of thought that will bring about your own destruction.
 
Did you know you actually determine the course of your own life by what you think? You are where you are right now because of your best thinking. Think about that? In order to progress, grow, develop and become successful in this world, you need to become a better version of yourself This means your thinking has to change. Your past thinking that got you to where you are now will not take you to where you want to go.
 
Do you know that you are the master of your own thoughts? Do you believe that you define your own character? Your character really is the sum total of your thoughts over a period of times. When you look at yourself, what character attributes are dominant in your life? Do you quit when it gets tough? Do you give up easily? Do you complain? Do you get frustrated easily? Are you disciplined and consistent to follow through in tasks that will make you a good soldier in the army of God?
 
Did you know that you and no one else is responsible for your destiny? God has prepared and pre-ordained you for a future and a hope. He has plans for you but you need to begin the journey. You are the one that needs to ask, seek and knock on the door of your future and create the life that you want or were destined for.
 
God has equipped you, outfitted you and deposited in you a wealth of ability and talent for you to develop; the reason, to add value to others. Many people are waiting for their circumstances to improve their lives. This way, they can do great things for God once things change around them. The opposite is true. In order to improve your circumstances, YOU need to improve your life.
 
Once you grasp the understanding that you can rejuvenate your life by taking conscious control of your thinking, you will be steering your life in a positive and successful direction.
When you are serious enough to take this challenge; watch, control, and change your thoughts and observe the results. You just might be surprised.

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I REFUSE TO WORRY

How many people remember the Rambo movies? I recall a line that Rambo told his Commander officer, “the mind was the greatest weapon.” When you think about it, how true it is. God has giving us something unique. When you see how God created all the animals, each has its own giftings or strengths; the horse with its great strength to carry people, pull carriages, etc. The lion who has great strength and is king of the jungle. The rabbit who is quick and nimble, the eagle who can soar through the skies and reach altitudes higher than any other bird species.
 
So, what is your unique strength? God gave us weapons of warfare which all originate in the mind. He gave us the power of “choice.” He has giving us the ability to choose what we think, ponder and ruminate on. The power of our will is the most strategic weapon of all. One primary weapon that we have been using incorrectly is our minds, ( i.e. worrying, being anxious and stressed.)
 
When we encounter problems, we worry about what might happen. We ruminate on all the negative aspects of life. We stress about things we cannot change. God does not want us worrying, being anxious nor to be stressed about life. He has given us the ability to choose whether we “ worry” or have a sense of certainty, calmness and a confidence in trusting God for a favorable outcome. Do you see all of these qualities and actions to take has a common denominator. All is a choice that we make at one time or another.
 
When you worry, it is like being in a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but it does not get you anywhere. God’s desire for us is this; not worry about anything. He tells us that “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
 
Can it be made any more simplistic? Yet we choose to “ worry,” we choose to have fear, we choose to be anxious. Notice, the verb, “CHOOSE.” We are the ones using our minds in the wrong manner. Since it is an arsenal of weapons we can draw from, why not use the power of choice “in everything we give thanks,” your choice. When you are down and depressed, “put on a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, ” you decide.
 
When you are faced with uncertainty, “call on me and I will show you great and mighty things that you do not know,” you choose. When you are drowning in problems to the point of despair, remember what God has promised, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me,” your decision.
 
You see, God has not given you a mind to be anxious. He has not given you a mind to worry or experience stress. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. What it does is it empties today of its strength. You have been given a mind to overcome and be victorious on this earth and take dominion. When you utilize your mind the way God intended for it to be used, you begin to focus on God’s promises and what He has said about you.
 
When you realize God’s promises and what He has placed inside of you, your future begins to change. No matter how bad your situation seems to be, no matter how difficult the challenges you are facing; God wants you at rest, walking in a calm resolve and living without worry, fear or stress. All of this happens because of your power to choose. What have you been choosing lately during your difficult time?
 
 

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DON’T PANIC (I can do this)

Has someone ever done something that seemed to push you out of your comfort zone? Has anyone ever been asked to do something that seemed overwhelming at first? Considering the odds, has anyone ever been asked to do something that seemed impossible? During tough times, perhaps a close friend, an employer, or a parent required you to do something that is out of your league; too big for you to accomplish.
 
If the answer is yes, you are a candidate for success. You are in a position to release your potential. You are being stretched to maximize the talent and ability that God has given you. You may be facing such a situation right now. You are pondering, “how do I begin?”
 
King Solomon wrote, “Truth, wisdom, learning and good sense; these are worth paying for, but too valuable for you to see.” This is why personal growth is imperative in your life. Learning the truth about your capacity to become all that you were destined to involves acquiring wisdom to become the best version of yourself the world has ever seen. Jesus said, “All things are possible to them that believe.” Paul reiterated those words by modeling to them, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.”
 
The first thing you need to do is not panic, stress or say, “I can’t do this.” We are told not to be anxious or stress over ANYTHING. The original translation in the greek for the word, “ANYTHING” means “ANYTHING. It is time to realize that God allows difficult situations, challenges, turbulences and adversities to arise in our lives in order for us to grow as an individual. In another words, the only time we grow as an individual is through challenging times.
 
The next time you come across problems in your life, what is it that you see; problems in every opportunity or do you see opportunities in the problems you encounter? When you begin to see the latter that opportunities are in every problem, you will realize that all of your worries that you had in your life, most of them never happened.
 

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DESTRUCTIVE REMEMBERING

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.” (Phil. 2:13)
The other day I was thinking about complaining. No, not me complaining but the art of complaining and how so many people have mastered it. During my tenure as a Police Officer, every call I had was about a complaint. Rightfully so; whether it was an assault, burglary, harassment or a myriad of other crimes that might have been committed against them.
 
One particular complaint that stands out to me was the day of 911. Many remember that day and if I asked what you were doing around 8:30 am on Sept. 11, 2001, you would know. I was working 4-12’s that day. Everyone was waiting for the president to make a public announcement at 8:30pm est. No one knew what was happening and the country was in a state of shock. All flights were canceled and every aircraft that was flying was forced to land. Everyone was preparing to listen to the future of our country and if the attacks were over. All except one person that I know.
I received a call from a woman 20 minutes before the President’s speech that night. We are on red alert and her complaint; a barking dog. This animal belonged to her neighbor who lived behind her house. The dog was inside the house and apparently alone and barked occasionally.
 
Needless to say, I didn’t have much patience with someone complaining about the annoyance of a dog while the country is under attack, approximately 4,000 people have died and we didn’t know if it was over or where the terrorists will strike next. The country’s status; Def Con 3. The last time we were at Def Con 3 was in 1976, 1973 and in 1962 with the cuban missile crisis. This is how serious 911 was.
 
This complaining really depicts how many people are. You sit in a restaurant and will hear many conversations, much revolving around complaining about something or someone. Elderly people get together and complain about their illness’. Young people complain about relationships. Middle age people complain about morale at their workplace.
As you listen, one realizes there is a distinct pattern among conversations – complaining. Everyone complains about something. Whoa – I just realized, right now, even I am complaining about everyone complaining!
Lesson to be learned — No one wins when you complain. You get all worked up. Rather than talk about problems, why not discuss solutions? Why can’t people focus on that? Complaining is rarely welcomed by those on the listening end; unless you are in company with another complainer. Remember, birds of a feather flock together.
Complaining actually puts you on a slippery slope to deadly habits and traits such as pride, laziness, self-pity, bitterness, rage, or hard-heartedness.
 
So, if it’s not good for us, why do we complain so much? The answer, as usual, is that we don’t like discomfort and pain. It is uncomfortable for us to feel inferior to others. So we try to make ourselves look better. By picking at issues and putting others down, we rank ourselves above others.
Another reason for complaining is prideful thinking. We assume we know exactly how situations should go. Then when events don’t turn out as planned, we complain about the alternative reality that God has given us. Other discomforts like not getting our way, lacking control, or discontent with what we have will get us complaining in order to pump ourselves up.
 
Examining the past and learning from it is an important part of growing in maturity. But we need to look at the past with the goal of bringing hope to what the future holds. Complaining is not constructive remembering, it is destructive remembering. When processing negative events, (and I am certainly advocating that we need to process and understand negative events), we have to be careful about our real motives. The intention needs to be one of personal growth for others and ourselves. Looking at past events should lead us towards a more Godly and fulfilling future.
Today, if you feel like complaining, STOP! Have pause and reflection in your life. Talking it out with God will temper your thoughts, soothe your feelings, and help you to see things from His perspective. If you are complaining or listening to complaints, stop and take time to check your motives. Remember, we are not perfect and don’t forget that there are people with complaints about you, too.
 
“Do not complain, brethren, against one another”…….. (James 5:9)
 

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I CHOOSE

Remember, the last article I had written about the path to happiness. Now you know this path does not exist. It is not there; because it is an illusion. It is not a route among many. Why? Because happiness IS the path that you decide to take. The most simplistic and beneficial way of deriving happiness is to add value to people. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote to the Phillippian Church, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
 
There is a truth here at work. Happiness is not the absence of problems, difficulties and challenges; but the ability to deal with and resolve each of them the best way we can. Understand that you cannot change people, you cannot change attitudes. you cannot change the way they think about you. There are many things in this life that we cannot change. But the one thing in life you can change is the way you respond.
 
When you finally settle down at the end of the day, you realize happiness has nothing to do with your life’s circumstances. It is all based on your ability to accept the things you are experiencing.
 
Whatever you are doing in life, remember; do not let the past affect your today because the past is gone. You cannot change it, you cannot alter it, you cannot relive it. Like time, it is gone forever so do not live in the memories of the past. The other side of the coin is not letting your future disturb you because it has not come yet.
 
Finally, happiness is not about getting what you want all the time. It is about loving what you have and being grateful for it. It would be wise to listen to the wisdom written by the Apostle Paul over 2,000 years ago, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Phil. 4:11)
 

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ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

I came across an ad that stated, “10 ways to be happier in 2 minutes or less.” Wow! What a deal! Imagine that! I would be just a click away. Would you have been tempted to click on that link? Be honest with yourself!
 
Why is true lasting happiness, regardless of circumstances, so hard to “find?” Moreover, when we do find happiness, why does it seem to elude us so quickly? We are simply humans. Our nature is “me” and “now” oriented. We pursue quick fixes to soothe ourselves. We focus on our discomforts and what we lack rather than what we have.
 
What is it that we are filling ourselves with? What is it that we are ruminating on constantly? What is it that we are doing to deal with the problems and challenges that come our way? How are we responding to the winds of adversities that blow us off course? Life seems to deplete us of our energy, momentum and desire to move forward in life. We are emptied so quickly. God designed us to be filled with His grace and mercy on a daily basis.
 
His desire is to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. He desires for you to know what is the confident expectation that you have about yourself. He desires for you to develop the gifts and talent that He has deposited in you. More importantly, He desires for you to know the exceeding greatness of His power that is working towards you on His behalf.
 
So, here are some questions to ponder. Where do you go to recharge? What are you thinking to do in order to cope with the difficult challenges that lie ahead? What is it that you are doing to develop your God given talent? What is it that you believe will make you happy?
 
Happiness starts with YOU. It is a choice you make before you get out of bed. It is not a result of joyful occurrences. It is not in relationships, it is not in your job, it is not in financial freedom, it is not with your children and it doesn’t even start with your friends.
 
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” Thehard core truth is that it starts with YOU. Until you choose to be happy, you will constantly be in a state of want. Remember, there is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path that you decide to travel.

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God Loves Imperfect People

God Loves Imperfect People

Sunday, October 1, 2017 – Pastor George M. Dupree

                                                                                      

Luke 19:1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” 8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

                           

Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God

demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

                 

God Demonstrates His Own LOVE To Us – God Is LOVE – He can’t be anything but Love

2Timothy 2:13 If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful. Christ cannot deny who he is.

 

Jesus Is A FRIEND Of IMPERFECT People

 

The religious leaders of the day weren’t comfortable with Jesus.

Luke 15:1 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such despicable people—even eating with them!

In response to their being uncomfortable with His actions Jesus tells three stories back-to-back-to-back. They were stories about something that was lost.

               

First there’s a lost sheep – Second, there’s a lost coin – Third, there’s a lost son. The last story probably infuriated the religious leaders.

 

It just bothered these people that Jesus acted the way He did. This was not how they thought a godly person should behave. They thought a godly person should reject anyone who didn’t line up with their understanding of a good Jewish person.

 

Now, Zacchaeus and Jesus walk to this gangsters house where there are more just like him! And with every step the religious leaders get more furious.

 

We don’t know what happened there. We don’t know what Jesus said but whatever it was it changed this gangsters heart.

 

Something happened between verses 7 & 8

Luke 19:7 But the crowds were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood there and said to the

Lord, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have overcharged people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

 

What the law couldn’t do an encounter with the Man did, it changed Zacchaeus’ heart. Love did that.

Romans 8:3 The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.

 

If God could have been mad at anyone that day it would have been Zacchaeus, but the story doesn’t read that way. Zacchaeus wasn’t perfect, you’re not perfect but God loves you and He sent His Son to find you


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Seeing Yourself as a Masterpiece

Seeing Yourself As A Masterpiece

Sunday, September 24, 2017 – Pastor George M. Dupree

 

Today we’re bringing home the point that you are a masterpiece. That ‘s a foreign thought for too many people. So many people don’t really see themselves, in a healthy way, as a masterpiece but that’s exactly what God says about you and I.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece…

 

You have to live by what God says about you.

Psalms 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

 

We Should Be Developing A Healthy Self-Image Based Upon What God Says About Us – Self-image is how you see yourself

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What is the difference between self-mage and self-esteem? Self-image is how you see yourself. Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself.

Belief’s Bring Behaviors – what you believe about yourself is going to determine the way you behave. What do you believe about yourself?

 

Can you see yourself as a masterpiece?

 

When we are born again we take on the name of Christ, that’s how we are identified. We are a child of God, we carry His name.

 

The only way we can know how God sees us and how He feels about us is to know Him and His Ways. So dig into the Word and spend some time with God.

 

In the Bible we read about a man named Gideon. Gideon was an Israelite and his nation was being oppressed by the Midianites and Amalekites; Gideon had a very poor self-image and low self-esteem.

  • Judges 6:11 Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!”13 Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” 14 Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” 15 So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 16 And the LORD said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.

 

Gideon didn’t see himself as a success. He saw himself and all his people as failures and defeated. But God saw things differently.


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Couples Night

Join us tonight, September 23rd, for our Fall Upon Love Couples Night at 7PM – It’s gonna be a great night of some fun, some snacks, a game or two and some inspiration for your marriage –
 
A successful marriage requires
falling in love many times,
always with the same person.
_________________________________
Love never gives up
never loses faith
is always hopeful
and endures
through every circumstance

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This Week @LWC

Fall Bible Studies have begun on Monday Night at 7:30 and Wednesday Morning at 10:00
The New ConeXion format begins on September 20th at 7:00pm with Worship – Men’s & Women’s groups
Couples Night is on Saturday, September 23rd at 7:00pm
Journey to A Better You – a new Sunday Morning Series begins on Sunday, September 24th at 8:45am & 10:15am

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Faulty Belief Systems

Sunday, September 17, 2017 – Pastor George Dupree
 
Life has a way of challenging what we believe, sometimes the distractions, disappointments, hardships and worries of life can overwhelm us and we are left wondering what do we believe.

God NEVER wanted us to have a BELIEF SYSTEM

He has ALWAYS wanted us to KNOW Him.

The children of Israel knew about God but Moses knew Him

Psalm 103:7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.

I need FAITH that works even when I don’t know the answers

I need is a COMPLETE confidence in my relationship with God.

Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as dung, that I may gain Christ … 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death

Paul knew the CHARACTER of God, he knew Him. When your circumstances say one thing and God’s character says another you need more than a belief system.

Instead of interpreting God’s character through your circumstances you need to interpret your circumstances through God’s character. Paul could do that because he was, as he said, persuaded.

2Timothy 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

When he was in prison he told Timothy not to be afraid or worried for him because his faith was firm. Paul really walked by faith, not by sight.

He said I know WHOM I believed not what I believed. He was talking about KNOWING Him.
 
Paul said that he was persuaded that He, God, was able to keep what he committed to Him. His confidence wasn’t in a belief system or his circumstances; it was in knowing Christ

Faith doesn’t mean I can figure it out. Faith means I can trust Him even when I can’t figure it out.

If you have to know everything that God is doing before you can trust Him you’re really not in faith.

So, what do you? You commit it all to Him and you put your trust in Him being persuaded that He is able to keep what you commit to Him.


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