In this short clip Pastor Tom encourages the church to stand up! This clip was taken from the Turbulence Series found here
In this short clip Pastor Tom encourages the church to stand up! This clip was taken from the Turbulence Series found here
In this short clip Pastor Tom focuses in on racism and shows how the church cannot judge and love at the same time!
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about how life flows. I come to the realization that life flows in pieces. Practically everything comes and flows in pieces or parts.
Children are formed in a womb in trimesters…pieces. Relationships are built in pieces. A day is broken up into pieces. Projects are formed and broken down into pieces. I think you get the point.
A piece is defined as a limited or separate portion of a whole, a portion of something that when put together creates the completion of a thing. Each of us are a piece to many different and vital parts of life. I am a vital piece of my wife’s life and sje mine.
My thoughts have caused me to look at how I perceive life. I have come to realize that I focus more on what I need that what I provide. In other words I see my wife as a part of what I need but I failed to see myself as a part of what she needed. And I have come to realize that we are so focused on our weaknesses that we fail to discover and realize our strengths and value.
We know our missing pieces and our short comings. But God knows that your piece matters and without your piece the whole is unfinished. This quote by Richard Rohr is so appropriate here; “You know after any truly initiating experience that you are a part of the whole. Life is not about you henceforth, but you are about life.”
We know that when the right pieces are in the right place amazing things happen. We also know that every piece matters no matter the size or the shape. And in the whole every piece has it’s place and when interconnection is vital every piece has irreplaceable importance.
We recently chose to put together a Lego project. We chose a team of people to put together 4295 pieces. We worked 75 plus man hours on the project. In this project we realized that every piece matters and every piece has a specific place.
We also discovered that every piece is intricate but the pieces alone did not resemble the whole. The whole took on it’s purpose and meaning when we assembled the right pieces in the exact place.
So the take-a-way is obvious you are the piece that matters and when positioned properly amazing things happen. I pray you know that you are designed by God and fearfully made for His use.
Let’s remember to stop looking for the pieces that are missing and become the missing piece!
Love to hear from you. Please leave a comment!
Like most of us I must admit I was once privately enamored with the idea of success. I am not talking about success as the world gives but I would slot my definition as “biblical success.” Even though that was my definition it certainly does not mean the motive was right.
Of course like most Christians I reasoned as to what real success looked like for me. Probably something like several thousand members in my church, a thriving CD & DVD ministry, some trans-local travel, a National spot on TBN, and an above average middle class social rating. Sounds real good and many would say, why not?
Well of course the questions is; is this biblical success? And of course the answer is no.
My intention is not to define biblical success because it will vacillate from one person to another.
However, my intention is to share my success to significance transformation.
My first challenge was to realize that God had called me to be a success in ministry but not in the way I had it defined. My success was to be faithful to Him and to the people He had called me to Pastor. My success was never in numbers but a number. My number was to be faithful to the 1. Each one. One at a time.
It was not because my church was small. Even though 700 is not large it is significant and it is considered a large congregation in our town of 75,000. Even though this was a nice accomplishment I had to face reality that I was not designed or intended to hit the national scene with my awesome sermons.
Many Christians hide their desire for success and others feel like it’s just evil to want more. I do not feel that way. I do believe that success was more about me than about God. In other words success can be laced in wrong desire, wrong motive, and me focused and I am not saying that all success is ungodly or wrong.
The way I approached my day a few years ago was more me focused because I was looking for success when actually I already had it. I learned the filter establishes my daily approach. In my desire for success my daily prayers were often self consumed and centered on me. I was seeking God for open doors and for favor that brought the right people into my life. My daily activity included improving myself, self discovery, and working hard to gain the attention of the right people.
In the last few years God has opened my eyes to what is most important and that is not because I do not have any success. I have experienced so many great opportunities that a major percentage of Pastors would be envious. Our ministry is debt free and owns over 3 million in property and another million in assets. We have planted 3 churches with another plant coming in 2017. So we have success on many fronts and a variety of levels.
But the Lord has shifted my thoughts from success to significance. For me, significance means a major shift in the approach of ministry and the preparation for the day. I am now ready to give myself away on many levels.
The levels include:
The mentoring level is more about relationship than activity or style. In simple terms it can be topic focused or just hanging out together and doing life. This level is more caught than taught so it is very personal and relationship driven.
This is about inspiring others and can include everything from prayer to conversation. The end result is that the person you are with is empowered to do life with greater passion and solutions.
Imparting to others is about catching the heart and spirit of the mentor. This is not about behavior, it is about learning how the mentor thinks and being able to apply that thinking to every situation.
Now it’s your turn.
What does significance look like to you?
In this short clip Pastor Tom reveals to us that life comes at us in pieces. God reveals Himself precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little there a little!
In this short clip Pastor Tom talks about how we as people know and realize we have missing pieces in our life. He goes on to talk about how we need to become THE MISSING PIECE in others lives.
I recently received a call from an individual that was in the middle of an intense spiritual battle. The warfare was an assignment from the enemy specifically designated to draw this individual back into old behavior and renewed temptation.
This can occur to any and all of us at any given time. The enemy is relentless to attack and or distract. Spiritual warfare is real and the enemy loves to distract us through these arenas.
We all know that the battle is in the mind. This post is focused on that topic.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Most of us understand that God does not think like us. Most of us also understand that God has a greater grasp on life that we humans. His ways are higher. Higher is defined as lofty, high up, soaring. These words indicate that God wants to give us thoughts that cause us to live higher, to soar and to “live up” to the purpose that he has for our lives.
This is just the beginning of our journey. Many of us have found several intersections in our journey of walking with God.
These intersections include:
Let’s break these four words down in our study.
The greatest transformation (change) is when the unbeliever becomes a believer. The Bible calls this regeneration. This is the moment we become born again and God deposits the Holy Spirit in our spirit.
II Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
When we receive Christ we receive a new way of seeing life. All things become new because we now have a new way to understand. Old ways are passed away and ALL things become new! This is amazing all by itself!
Jesus told Nicodemus that he could not see the Kingdom without being born again. So being born again imparts to us the ability to see things from God’s perspective.
This is the beginning place of us grasping a portion of the way God thinks. The Apostle Paul said I have the mind of Christ. There are distinct subjects in your life where God can impart to you His actual thought concerning a matter.
We can know God’s thoughts two ways….
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Transformed is a fascinating word. It is broken down into 2 Greek words.
-Trans means Meta and Meta means change
-Form means morph and morph means form
When we put the 2 words together it means to “change form.” God ultimately desires us to change. He changes us by His word and by His Spirit and a multiplicity of other ways. But no matter how we break it down it ultimately goes back to our thinking.
The Bible tells us that we are the sum total of what we think…as a man thinks, so is he (Proverbs 18:21). So we are what we think we are. This is precisely the epic reason God wants us to change our thoughts.
A few verses…
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Separation is a necessary concept when journeying with Christ. One of the primary acts we must allow is the willingness to separate from everyway we used to think and the way we used to live.
Separating the way you used to think will be necessary to journey with God. We may face the need to unlearn more than to learn. The transformation occurs as our minds are renewed. The word renewed is defined as renovated. God begins a total renovation when we become a child of God. This is certainly a war and a war you must win. It will be encountered on a daily level in the mind.
The Apostle Paul said he recognized a war in his members and the battleground was in his thought life. God often has to remove or destroy our old thoughts before He can give us new ones.
The separation includes God removing and destroying your strengths and your most gifted areas. We often want to hold onto the areas that we are good at but God wants to take those so He can make it great. God knows that when we are weak we are strong. This is more separation.
This means exchanging our ways for God ways and includes putting off our ways and putting on the ways of Jesus.
When we fail to separate ourselves we end up walking in only partial truth. The scripture says that the truth is in Jesus. The end result is that partial truth is equal to total bondage!
Association is far more powerful than we imagine. God designed us to be influenced by people, places, and things. This is the way that life works through association. The struggle is that the negative is transposed just like the positive and eventually input equals output. In other words what comes in, comes out.
This is why God says to write His word on our hearts. He is saying associate with me through my word and when you do My word will penetrate your mind and invade your life.
Blessed is the man, who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalms 1:1-4
Notice the words “in His law he meditates day and night.” Meditates is a word of association….with the WORD. Notice what happens. He becomes strong like a tree. He begins to yield fruit, never dry up, and begin to prosper. The word prosperity is not just talking about finances but prospering in life.
Now, it’s your turn.
Love to hear your thoughts and comments!
Pastor Tom reveals that we each have gifts and everyone has the gift and ability to contribute to OTHERS!