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Monthly Archives: February 2012

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I’m In Hot Pursuit!

The Lord detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue godliness. Proverbs 15:9

The most successful people understand that pursuit without purpose is a mere waste of time and an exercise in futility.  For many people, its the pursuit of something that drives us every day. No matter if it is the pursuit of money, fame, love, or even the pursuit of happiness it is what inspires many to go about their daily lives. What we decide to pursue says a lot about who we are and what we hope to become. The things that we pursue will often govern most of the choices we make in life. What we pursue defines where we live and if we are willing to move. What we pursue defines where we work and how much we are willing to work for it. What we pursue defines who we are connected to and who we want to be connected to. This internal wiring for chasing something has an impact that is far greater on our lives than many of us truly realize.

The truth of the matter is what we pursue is far less important than why we are pursuing it. All pursuits have this in common, they are work. None of us work hard without motivation. No matter if that motivation comes from a paycheck or some sort of inward satisfaction most of us have a no pay no work philosophy. That is why what we pursue becomes that much more important. When the work becomes too hard, but the desire for the goal remains the same many times people will take short cuts to try to still get what they want, without the required effort to succeed. When we begin to take shortcuts we may drift into paths that are not healthy or productive to finish the chase.

Next time you start pursuing something take a moment to ask yourself why. Are you chasing something for godly reasons or are you chasing for wicked selfishness? When we chase things for godly reasons God smiles on us and makes our pursuit easier to live with. When we begin to chase the wicked or chase for wicked reasons God is not pleased and the way becomes more difficult. When God is smiling on our pursuits the work becomes easier, and when He is not pleased it certainly is more difficult. So before you pursue your next great adventure ask yourself, is God going to be pleased and if not is it worth the effort?

In Hot Pursuit,
Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Guard Your Heart

There is a scripture in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Many of us protect everything that we have of value. We have alarms and remote monitoring on our homes. We have sirens, and lo-jack on our vehicles. We have safe deposit boxes for important papers and jewelry. And if we are honest some of us have even wondered just what a body-guard would cost, just in case we ever really got famous and needed one. We take great care in protecting the things that we value most, but sometimes forget to protect what is of the most value.

Material possessions can be replaced, but your heart can’t. The Bible describes the heart as the repository for all that we are. The heart is the place where we keep our hope, our wishes, and our dreams. The heart is our soul, the very essence of who we are. It governs all that we do. So much so that we can’t do anything well that does not emanate from the heart. We have all seen what happens when someone’s heart is no longer in something.

Guard you heart.  Take the opportunity to put some protection around what is most important, your heart. Your heart is what allows you access to your hopes, dreams, and most importantly to the Lord. So make sure that you have put the protection around it that it needs. Don’t let the wrong people have access to it and make sure you always treasure it, because it is your true treasure.

Praying for You,
Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

What’s On Your List??

 

I am so excited about the series, I’m teaching at our church!  If you’re in the Raleigh area, join us this weekend!  Since we are talking about “Love, Sex, & Relationships” I thought it would be fitting to blog about something on those lines today.  In Proverbs 31:15 it states, “She brings him good and not harm all the days of her life.”

 

It has become increasingly difficult for people who are single, divorced, or widowed to move on and find that right person.  Many people have the dream of their perfect spouse. Last Sunday, we talked about how many people have their check lists of what they want in a mate.  We have imagined everything there is to know about the person that we want to spend the rest of our lives with. We know what we want them to look like. We know what we want their personality to be like. We know the types of values we want them to have. The more we think about this future person the more we come up with the specifications of our perfect spouse. For some this eventually becomes the list of what they are looking for.

 

While it is good to know what you are looking for in a mate it is even more important to know who you are as a potential mate. While we all know what we want a less examined question is what do we bring to the table? Who we are is a critical factor in determining who or what we get. You are more likely to get mate who is a person of faith if you are a person of faith. You are more likely to find a kind mate if you are kind. You are more likely to find a mate who is what you are, not just what is on your list. So the list of what they bring to the table is secondary to what you bring to the table.

 

Today, take a moment to look at your list and become your list. Just like you have a list, the person you are looking for probably has a list as well. They are looking for someone who is bringing good and not harm to the table. They are looking for someone who is kind, generous, sweet, spiritual and good-looking just like you are. What you bring to the table many times decides which tables you will find yourself invited to. So stop looking at your list to find someone, but use the list to find yourself. Then you will be bringing something to the table and not just looking at what they bring.

 

Praying For Your Success,
Pastor Derrick Phillips

 

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Someone to Be Proud Of

A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. Proverbs 14:30

One of the things that most of us need in life is peace. No matter how excitable you may be, or how outgoing you are, there is a place of peace that we all need to retreat to. Retreating to a place of peace is not about the absence of stress, opposition, or strife, but is more about the place that makes you feel secure and strengthened. When we feel secure and strengthened we are healthier in mind, soul and body. Peace in the heart allows a person to move and operate in all the facets that God has defined for them.

What hurts people’s peace more than anything else is jealousy. When we begin to compare ourselves to what others have we begin to devalue what God has blessed us with. That seed of discontent works from the inside out. It begins to make us look dubiously at the blessings that are before us.  This drives us to the sickness of competing in unhealthy ways. What makes jealousy so insidious is that once it takes hold of you, it is almost impossible to cure. No matter how far you go or how high you climb, you will always be looking at the person that appears to have more than you.

Today, you need to pat yourself on the back, and say I’m doing great.  No matter where you are in life, you have done well.  Think of all your accomplishments, raising the children, holding down that job, going back to school, buying your car or home, taking care of an ailing parent…you have someone to be proud of…Yourself! You do not have to compete with your neighbor, your co-worker, or anyone else. What you have done is sufficient as soon as you believe that it is sufficient. So do YOUR best. Strive to get to the heights that God has called YOU to. Only then can you dwell in peace and really live your life.

I am Proud of Me
Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Love Out Loud!

Today is Valentine’s day, a day for love birds to express how much they love one another….It’s funny, according to my wife Valentine’s day is a day for lazy people!  LOL  She says if people weren’t so lazy in love relationships throughout the year, then they wouldn’t need a day in February to buy cards and candy and flowers, and cook dinner, to make up for the next 12 months of laziness.  Interesting insight!  🙂    There is a scripture in proverbs about wisdom that says, “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.” Proverbs 8:17

At our church, I just started a series entitled, “LOVE, SEX, & RELATIONSHIPS“, and it’s funny that as i’ve been studying and researching, I found that many people have never really received loved, given love, or even been confident enough to really share love.  This Sunday was the start of the series, and boy was our church LIVE!!  LOL One of the reasons why is because we don’t operate with wisdom.  Have you ever been in love with someone? Not a little puppy love, but head over heals, can’t think straight, get butterflies when you think about them, can’t stop smiling when you hear their name love. You make plans about being with them. You look forward to seeing them. You want to talk to them all day on the phone, and then go spend long evenings gazing into their eyes. You want to spend your happily ever after knowing that it would just be the two of you sitting around listening to Marvin Gaye and Al Green. The only problem is, you can’t bring yourself to tell them how you feel. You are carrying around a torch the size of the Lady Liberty’s, but you can’t bring yourself to tell the other party just how you feel.

Many times we run into this problem because we would rather love them secretly from a distance, than find out they don’t feel the same way leaving us crushed. There is nothing worse than the feeling of unrequited love. We never want to give our all to someone just to find out that they don’t love us back. The problem is you will never know love until you risk love. Unless you risk finding out if the apple of your eye feels the same way you do, you will always be left wondering.  Today make it your business to Love Out Loud!  Show someone you love them, and that God loves them too!

I must admit, I am the benefactor of a phenomenal woman that loves me and i love her too!  When my days were overwhelming she was there to lighten the load.  She overlooks all of my shortcomings, my sick days (when a cold is like me being in the ice 🙂 ), and even the days when I didn’t feel like I could go on.   When I look at my wife, daily i’m reminded of the fact that God loves me!  I’m like, “Wow, God you love me this much.”    I can truly say that I am blessed and I have someone that demonstrates the way God loves me.  Today, I thank God that He loves me enough to have one of the most beautiful, courageous, and loving persons to love me on a daily basis, and for that I’m grateful!

Love Out Loud!
Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Wandering Eyes

TGIF!  I am so glad the weekend is here.  I want to invite you to come and worship with us this weekend at the Rock Church.  I am really excited about what God is doing, we are preparing to launch our children’s ministry, we are experiencing healthy spiritual growth, and I believe God to continue to bless us!  

Today I found in the book of Proverbs 17:24 a scripture that says, “A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.”  

ImageIt is quite easy in life to run into trouble because we fail to keep our eyes on the important things. For some of us it is not a lack of ability, anointing, or opportunity that is holding us from reaching our dreams. If we are honest with ourselves, we have been extremely gifted with the ability to do what we need to do to reach our dreams. We have to admit that the Lord has blessed us with the gifting and fortitude to reach our dreams, God loves us enough. We have had chances to elevate ourselves and access opportunities to reach our dreams, we have had a chance. So what is it that has up not achieving our full potential?

If we are honest, many people never rise to the levels of success that they can achieve because of the lack of focus. In the scripture it tells us that a discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.  Many times we miss our dreams because we are so consumed with looking and watching everyone and everything else that we can’t concentrate on what is right in front of us.  Trying to keep up with who is doing better, and failing to look at how well we are doing with what we have.  We are raising a family, working two jobs, or whatever we are doing to accomplish our life’s dream.

Focus allows you to see how to use your gifts, access the blessings of God, and seize the opportunities as they arise. When we are focused we are able to keep in view the ultimate goal, and not let our eyes wander anytime a distraction comes by.  We cannot allow our wandering eyes to look at what everyone else has or is doing that we don’t have or are not doing! The wise person remembers having varied interests is good, being diverse is admirable, but always have what is most important steadily in view. It will be the difference between reaching the places of God and continuing to run in circles.  Today, make a decision to focus on what you have and continue to work towards making that better!

Stay Focused!
Pastor Derrick Phillips 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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God’s Got Your Back

I am still trying to recover from the Duke victory over UNC last night (I am a UNC alum and fan for Life GO TARHEELS!)  But lately, i have been digging into the book of Proverbs, because it’s wisdom is phenomenal.  This morning, I came across this scripture in Proverbs 22:12, “The Lord preserves those with knowledge, but he ruins the plans of the treacherous.”

When I read this I thought about the message I preached this past Sunday about David and how he betrayed one of his most loyal men Uriah by putting him in the heat of the battle. There is nothing worse than the feeling of betrayal. From David to Judas, the pages of our lives have been tattered with those who seemed faithful but turned out to be treacherous. Even today many have felt at one time or another the painful sting of acts of treachery. All of us have felt it at one time or another. Those who you thought were your friends turned out to be the ones who handed you to the enemy.  Those who you though were one way, turned out to have a face that you never saw until it was too late.

While it is extremely painful to have treacherous people in your life, it is also a point of validation. What all treacherous people have in common is they are trying to take advantage of and stop someone who is significant. When you look around and find people plotting against you, it is your first sign that you are getting close to something good or you are so good at what you do that you make others look bad. There is no reason to betray or plot against someone who has no significance. Betrayal is a sign of significance. You are so valuable that the enemy has decided to actively work against you.

In the end, treachery is disappointment but there is hope. The Lord always finds a way to preserve those who are working according to his will. When you are doing what God would have you to do, he watches your back and makes sure the plans of sabotage are dismantled. That does not mean that they won’t try, or that you will not feel the sting of betrayal, but it does mean that God will find a way to make sure that you achieve the goal he set in front of you. So be strong and persevere because even though things are working against you, He’s got your back.

God’s Got Your Back,
Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Uncategorized