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Welcome

to the online home of pastor, author, teacher, and speaker
Thomas E. McDaniels

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Developing Your Dream

In this passage Pastor Tom explains how God allows us to taste our dream and then takes us into dream development.

 

The Huddle Principal

In this short clip Pastor Tom uses an NFL illustration to reveal how a huddle with God can prepare you for the next down.

 

 

Don’t Ignore Your War

In this short clip Pastor Tom encourages believers to make sure they are fighting the right things! 

 

Reach Your Dreams in 2016

Dream3The discovery of your personal dream is the most vital happening in all of life.  I am using the word dream as in finding the reason you were born, and what is that 1 thing God has called you to live. 

 

It is said that only 2% of us find and live the ultimate dream that we believe is for us.

 

It is also sad that most Americans report that they are disgruntled, dissatisfied, or unhappy in their day to day job.  This means that many people are suffering from loss of passion, as well as a loss of happiness, and a loss of a sense of significance.

 

It has been said that the poorest person in the world is a person without a dream. I resonate with that in so many ways.

 

Those who live without a dream often fall prey to what I call living the unintentional life. Intentional living means you have set a plan for your life and you are working your plan. We often fear the future because we have failed to design it. I have written another post on this topic here.

 

The person without a dream lives tomorrow like today!

 

I have defined dream as imagining the possible and impossible things derived from thought, or Spirit. It is also the invisible picture of God’s plan and purpose for your life. 

 

Always keep your dream

 

Here is a story I recently read.  It is my paraphrase and shortened somewhat. 

 

There was a young boy who was asked by a school teacher to write out his dream as an assignment. His dream was to own a 200 acre horse farm and to train and breeding high level stock.  In the assignment  he describes the stable, the land, the employees, the large house, and his wife and kids. The teacher returns the paper with a large RED F and says I gave you an F because this is unrealistic. You are too poor and possess no ability to accomplish this dream. She adds if you will redo the paper and I will redo the grade. 2 weeks passes and the boy turns in the paper to the teacher and says; you keep your grade and I’ll keep my dream!

 

Dreams - PTWe must all remember that the challenge of every dream is that every dream will have a challenge.  Most likely, more than just one.   

 

With the discovery of our dream we also discover the passion and the plans to pursue it.  Pursuit of a dream is proof of desire. 

 

We must never allow the challenge of our dream stop us you from the pursuit of it.  Josie Bissett said it right when she coined the phrase; “Dreams always come one size too big.”  

 

I will continue part 2 next week.

 

Now it’s your turn.

 

Why is holding onto your dreams important?

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Hard Reset

In this short clip Pastor Tom shares how God has the ability to give us a RESET that gets us back on track.

 

How to Reset Your Life for a New Year

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Well we are here again.  Entering another New Year with a variety of thoughts, dreams and introspection.  This is the season we take a look at the past 12 months and begin making goals for the coming year.

I recommend establishing goals but goals must be accompanied by a strategy to making them a reality.

I enjoy this time of year because it forces me to take a deep look at my personal life, the team I lead, and my leadership. I often search for the RESET needed to make my life more effective for God, my family, and others.

 

I think many of us could use a reset.  The word reset is defined as to set again, to clear, or to restore to the original settings.

 

Most of could use a little clearing of the clutter. All of us need to clear out the things that clutter our mind and clog our heart. A heart and head reset is just what most of us need to get to experience a deeper focus and a greater clarity.

 

I have an Electrolux vacuum cleaner. It is a supreme machine with lots of durability and power.  Sometimes the vacuum cleaner (under my poor decision) will grab a hold of something that it cannot handle. This will cause the motor to clog up and shut down.  Oftentimes this  also happens with us. Now when this happens we immediately turn off the machine and unclog the material but something else occurs.  The vacuum cleaner will not restart without finding the RESET button.

Reset is vital…

You see next to the power button the reset button is the second most important button on the vacuum cleaner.  It is the same for you and me.  We need a way to RESET our lives and not just every New Year but every so often.

 

So I have created an acronym to help us RESET our life this coming year.

 

 

RESET

 

So let’s break these down a little and let them order our lives and assist us in preparation of a great New Year.

 

Review your current season

Socrates said; the un-examined life is not worth living.  I totally resonate with that thought.  Introspection was a regular practice of God’s people in both the Old and New Testament. God’s spirit searches all things.  King David ask God to search him and try him and to see if there was anything in his life that needed a RESET.

 

Elevate Less for More

Many of us need margin in our lives. I have discovered that the desire to achieve more must begin with what I am willing to do less.  That is what others call subtraction by design.

 

It is absolutely true that less means more. 

 

A few examples:

Less social media means more personal engagement

Less TV means means more family time

Less drama means more peace

Less bad food means better health

So the BIG question is; what do I need to stop?

 

The Reset Life is most often exchanging the less urgent for the more necessary.

Seek first the Kingdom

Making life about more than us is a vital part of living a RESET life.  God plays a major role in the well being of our soul and spirit. God never ask to be a part of our lives, but the whole.

 

Edit the Past

This  is one of the biggest pieces of these principles.  As we know we cannot live our life from the past.  George Orwell said; he who rules the past, rules the present.  We all know that the greatest prediction of our present is to look at our past. 

 

past

 

The scripture so perfectly tells us to forget those things which are behind and reach for those things which are ahead. The typology is that we are unable to grasp our future if we are holding onto to our past.  We also must remember that whatever we hold also holds us. 

Hit the edit button and edit out everything that holds you hostage.

 

Take Action

This is also BIG!  Many people establish goals and never establish a plan of action to achieve them.  We must make an action plan that will cause us to take our next level.  This will require new thinking and breaking of old habits. We are definitely creatures of habit.

Stagnation is rarely lack of activity and often safe repetition.

 

We must establish our goals and a plan of action to accomplish our desires!  This will require us to live intentionally.  Goals are most reached by those who take action and live intentional lives.

 

Let’s be challenged to enter 2016 with a new level of faith and hope. God has awesome plans for all of us. Let’s not fail to plan or we will plan to fail.

 

OK, it’s your turn.  Leave a comment, suggestion or a thought that will enhance our conversation.

 

Happy New Year

 

 

Unwrapping Faith in the First Christmas

unwrappingchristmas

Most of us know we live in times of extreme crisis. We see crisis on all spheres.  There are major crisis around the world, in our cities, and in our own life.  Many of us are challenged by life. We also must realize that crisis is not new and is rarely the end of a matter.

Crisis actually works more for us than against us.

 

Crisis can become the very thing that unlocks our perseverance and our dormant faith.  Most of us need a crisis to push us over the edge of lethargy and into desperation.  This is exactly what Joseph (the father of Jesus) needed.  His faith was tested beyond his own ability to believe.

 

In unwrapping the first Christmas we see a clear battle for faith on full display especially in the life of Joseph. Joseph was fully prepared to call off the engagement with Mary.  And while Joseph was in facing an inner struggle, God sent an angel to shift his own thoughts and bring clarity to God’s intention.

 

How many of us could use that?

 

 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the       Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that     which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He       will save His people from their sins.  Matthew 1:18-21

The first Christmas reveals that miracles are messy!

 

This is truly messy on all fronts.  The battle to believe that your fiance’ is pregnant by the Holy Spirit is testing on an extremely high level.  This is challenge on steroids and scandalous in society.  The truth is that most miracles show up in the form of a challenge. 

 

Can you imagine explaining this one to mom and dad. We are certain that Joseph was challenged by family and friends to get to the bottom of this matter.

But God often expects us to believe in Him without being able to believe in the miracle we need.

 

The first step of faith may not be to fully believe in the miracle but only in the God who sent it.  There are countless references in the scripture where different ones had to trust God more than understand Him.  This was also Joseph’s situation.  Joseph obviously did not believe Mary’s story or he would not have considered breaking off the engagement and the marriage.

 

But the reality is, God drafts us for certain assignments…. 

 

Your assignment will often require that we obey God even if we do not fully understand Him.   Joseph was chosen by God to walk this through with Mary, take her as his wife, and raise Jesus as his earthly Father. 

 

 

joseph

This is both challenging and a privilege. Just remember, when it gets hard and doubt is forcing the issue, God will send support. For Joseph it came in the form of an angel.  I would say that is a high profile messenger from God.  Obviously Joseph needed the support on this level.  Sometimes faith battles are taxing and more challenging than our ability to comprehend.

In your battle always remember that God will support you with what he has called you to do!

 

Faith sometimes requires that we willingly choose something from God that we would never choose for ourselves. Obviously Joseph never chose this for himself but he did choose to surrender his own choices to God’s will.  This is the proof of true faith.  That we are willing to live our life outside of our own will and to choose to walk in God’s will.

 

True biblical faith will always challenge us to embrace respond-ability beyond our own ability!

 

Are you tested beyond your own ability in this Christmas season?

 

Have you ever had to trust more for specific areas that you truly did not have faith to believe?

 

Declaring for you in this Christmas season that you are filled with faith that births the miracle that you need. 

 

Would love to hear from you.  Please consider leaving a comment! 

Steps to Overcome a Bad Day

happyI recently received an early morning phone call.  On the the other end of that call was what I would normally call a positive person. My interpretation of that is not a person who never has a problem, but a person who has learned how to properly handle their problems. 

 

As you know many people believe that the people that are happy are problem free. That of course is certainly not true.

 

The call continued and the caller begin to share a number of trying situations that had entered his life in a very short time frame. As many of you know this is always a possibility.  These type situations have the ability to punch us in the gut, knock us off center, and try our faith.

 

So the major question is what do we do when we get challenged with tests and trials?

 

1.  Share your struggle

My caller did the right thing.  He called a friend and began to share his deep seated feelings and how his faith was being tested. He was emotional.  He was challenged and off centered to what normally stabilized him.

 

2. Find Encouragement

It is imperative that you know where to find encouragement when you need it. Mentors and close friends are vital. We were never designed to go through life alone. There are few people that have the self dominance to go through life without having someone in their corner.

 

3. Renew your mind

Negativity is a force to be resisted.  When life over-challenges us then negativity tries to take us hostage.  We must constantly re-frame situations and shift them from stumbling blocks to stepping stones.  We must practice the discipline of renewing our mind by remembering how we overcame the similar challenges in previous seasons.

victory

 

4. Remember former seasons of victory

I reminded my caller of an incredible moment in their live.  A moment where I saw a great display of courage.  A moment where they performed an awesome athletic feat that looked impossible. 

 

I encouraged him to remember that day and draw inner strength that comes from God and His Spirit.

 

Life throws curve balls and fast balls.  Certain days require more faith than others.  We can remember we are not alone.  If God is for us, who can be against us? 

 

Let’s close this one with a powerful scripture from the Book of Proverbs.

 

Proverbs 24:16a…For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again

 

Now it’s your turn.  Add to my list of how to overcome a bad day…

Church or Kingdom?

In this short clip Pastor Tom brings a clear message on how the Kingdom of God works with the church.

 

Maybe We Should Call it Thanks-Living

gviethanksThanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. 

 

It touches many of the things that Americans love most. Such as; time off work, hanging out with family, watching endless football, and eating delicious food.

 

These things must touch the top 5 greatest joys of our American lives.

 

I must say, that the Thanksgiving Holidays are some of the best days of the year for my family.

 

We value waking up together, sharing a late breakfast, tuning in the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade, and heading off to the in-laws household for a great turkey meal with all the trimmings.

dominoes

 

 

We follow the meal with a “family feud” that we call dominoes.

The competition begins mild and intensifies as the game continues. The slurs also increase with time. If your not playing it’s quite entertaining to just listen in. 

 

If the weather is conducive the young kids and middle aged men throw around the football and team off for a 50 yard backyard game. Each year reminds me that I have few years remaining for this activity.

 

All of it is a part of the holiday we call Thanksgiving. But the greatest thing about Thanksgiving is; it reminds us to give thanks to a God who gives us all these pleasures and family fun.

 

As I reflect on the joy of this day I am sure we should do this more than just one day a year.  Maybe we should also practice “giving thanks” more often?

 

If we were to practice “giving thanks” every day, maybe we could call it “Thanks-Living” rather than Thanksgiving!

 

Let’s remember to give thanks to God for His undeniable blessings, and live a life of giving thanks.

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