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Welcome

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

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Holy Ghost Mom’s

In this hilarious clip Pastor Tom is revealing a thought about the Holy Spirit!

Serving displays true greatness

In this clip Pastor Tom reveals what defines those who are considered great!

Authority Drift

authority

 

We live in a generation that has failed to teach important values to those following in our footsteps.  One of those values is the respect for those in authority over us.

 

We are also suffering from both men and women knowing their identities, roles, and responsibilities.  Many adults in this generation have lost sight of values that once played such a vital role in our culture and society.  We have also failed to teach them effectively.

 

I am not saying that the good ole days are better, nor am I stuck in a former generational rut of an old order.  I am saying our family, cultural, and societal values are in decline.

 

One of these values is the respect for authority on all levels.  When respect for authority is lost the immediate effect is seen in a lack of honor.  We see this in the home as well as on the job. Some college graduates and young leaders seem to grab entitlement over hard work, proper respect, and simple honor.

 

Let me say we believe in the up and coming leader and we love young leaders to be seated at our table. But, we have found that many of them have never been taught to respect and honor those over them.

Honor is the proof that you are subject to the authority over you.

 

There are certain tests that occur for every young leader and those they serve.

 

1. The Less Talent test

 

It is not hard to realize that most young leaders are more talented than those over them.  This is always a test for both the leader and follower.  It is truly a test to be under a leader that has less talent than you. We must realize leading is never about talent alone and always about character.

 

2. The More Knowledge Test

 

Young leaders are most often closer to the most recent information and learning on any given topic. Young leaders are also more passionate about learning than most senior leaders.  Having more knowledge is never an indication or a gauge of a better leader.  If a young leader knows more but has less experience in leadership they are most often not ready to lead in a senior role capacity.

It is proven that people who willingly subject themselves to healthy authority learn more, grow more, and discover more, than those who think they know more!

 

3.  The Follow Testfollow

 

Many young leaders do not realize that following properly is a positive seed to their future leadership role. Sowing good seed and learning to follow even a bad leader is vital to leadership development.  If you never learn to follow, you truly never learn to lead.

 

Young leaders often compare the wrong metrics. They compare talent, knowledge, energy, and production. They tend to leave out tenure, emotional IQ, and just good ole experience.

 

A lack of following authority properly often distracts good leaders from becoming great leaders. This also creates a lack of buy-in for the young leader, thus creating a lower level of execution and an outstanding end product.

 

Young leaders must also learn that opinion is not a winning tool.  Yes, young leader your opinion matters.  But, the old adage is “opinion alone always weighs over to those making the final decision.”

Learning to follow may be the most simple, yet profound advice of all.

 

I would love to hear from you.

 

Young Leaders: What authority tests have you suffered in your field or ministry?

 

Nothing Great Happens Until Someone Serves

In this short clip Pastor Tom shares the power of serving and how serving others can open their heart to the Gospel.

Fuel Your Marriage

marriagetoday As many of you know Charlotte and I attended the XO Marriage Simulcast this weekend.

Pastor Jimmy Evans was the primary speaker at this event. The XO Simulcast was an outstanding event and the best Simulcast we have ever attended.

We attended the event at LifeBridge Christian Center in Longview, Texas and were the leaders of the simulcast campus.

In this post I will share a few suggestions from Pastor Evans.
 
Pastor Evans discussed ways to fuel your marriage. In all relationships there are things that empower us and there are also things that dis-empower us.

We certainly want to discover those things that fuel and “power up” our relationship with our spouse.

Fuel Sources
 
1. God Fuel – God fuel is the empowerment that comes from me and you being a child of God and fueling our life with His word and His Spirit. Jimmy added; marriage is the safest relationship on earth when you do it God’s way.
 
2. Prayer Fuel – Prayer is certainly a fuel for me.  When I spend time with God I find that my attitude and mindset is in a better place. It’s true; the family that prays together, stays together.
 
3. Connect Fuel – Giving time to each other is definitely adds fuel to your relationship. When we spend time together it gives us the opportunity to connect emotionally and in other arenas.  Time is a definite fuel for my wife and “quality time” is one of the Five Love Languages of women.
 
4. Friend Fuel – Every couple needs good friends.  Spending quality times with friends fuels you emotionally and other ways. It is true; we can predict your future by looking at your friends!
 
I hope you will take the time to discover what fuels you as a couple and put together a plan to fuel your marriage!
 
Which one of these can you add to improve your marriage?

 

Consumer or Contributor?

consumeIt is clear that in every church we have 2 types of attenders; the consumers and the contributors.  The definition of a contributor is not limited to those who give a financial gift.

The definition of a consumer is simple.  The consumer does nothing but consume.  They consume the music, message, and more and because they are purely consumers they rarely give it away or share the experience with others.  The reason they don’t share it is because they are simply consumers.

Then there are the contributors.

Contribution is BIG.  It is in the Top 3 basic needs of humans.

There is a variety of ways to contribute to the church and to the worship service.

You can contribute to the service by making a contribution to the worship.  That includes joining in by signing aloud and uniting your heart in the worship of the Lord. Even this is contagious.

You can also contribute by being an attentive listener.  This would include keeping your eyes fixed on the speaker and only using your phone for note taking and not for scanning the internet or the latest twitter posts.

You can also contribute by tweeting the sermon notes, or posting a facebook or Pinterest pic after church.

Another effective way to contribute is to make a financial contribution to your church.

While all this is meaningful contribution there is still a more and an even greater ways to make a meaningful contribution.

You can also contribute by serving.  This would include you becoming a volunteer and joining a volunteer team. It is remarkable what can happen when people decide to get involved and make a contribution through serving others.

Contribution has a trick effect.  It actually serves us back as we serve.

Contribution is defined as a vital factor in; helping or causing others to succeed. Something happens to us when we realize and experience the reality that we have served and helped others.

Here are some contributing effects of contribution.

 

1. Contribution builds confidence

Bernard Meltzer said; there is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and helping others.  We often fail to realize the power of making a meaningful contribution.

 

2. Contribution releases a sense of significancedifference

We often look for significance in what we accomplish, what we wear, or the things we have purchased.  True significance is most realized when we make a meaningful contribution that includes sacrifice.

Waldo Emerson said; no one can sincerely help others without helping themselves.

Contribution also needs to cost us. If it’s financial we should be extremely generous.  In other words; we should feel the cost.  If it’s serving, it should be sacrificial to our own time.  I am not sure it’s a meaningful contribution if it easily fits into our own schedule or our own budget.

My point here is that when it’s costly and sacrificial it creates the significance factor that satisfies the body, soul, and Spirit.  (Please know I am not pushing us to act out from guilt or to earn God’s favor). 

 

3. Contribution releases a sense of belonging

Belonging is another top 3 need of human beings.  We want to belong.  When we choose to contribute by serving we put ourselves in places where consumers never go. As we serve alongside of others we ALL experience the joy of success and the pleasure of jointly making a difference.

We also put ourselves in position to build meaningful relationships and to find lifetime friends. Consumers miss these opportunities.

We were never meant to go through life as consumers.  Everything God designed was made to  give to others and we are no exception.

So this blog post requires some thinking and some response.

God designed you and me to be contributors.  On the other side of the decision to contribute are a few surprises. Confidence rises.  Significance soars. Belonging erupts!

Now it’s your turn.  Think about it.

Where and how can you become a contributor?

A Different Way to Live

giving

 

Have you ever noticed that everything that God made is generous.  The shine generously gives off heat.  The moon generously gives off it’s light.  The clouds most often generously give us rain.  The stars generously reveal their beauty and the soil generously gives nutrients to the crops.  Of course this point could go on and on and on.

Have you ever considered ways you could increase you’re generosity.  Not only you’re  financial giving but the giving of yourself  to others.

I am not sure that we realize how much of a resource God has made us.

 Each of us possess a unique potential to be what no one can be…YOU!

Both you and me were created to be a resource to others.  That means that we possess the ability to inspire and encourage others through simple tangible means that carry life-changing power. Such as the sharing of a smile, or the giving of needed advice.  There is also providing a helping hand to the stranger that needs a door opened, or a financial gift that meets a necessary need.

 

Here are a few ideas for ways to expand our opportunities:

 

1. Generous people are less consumed with themselves.

Isn’t it true that most of our thinking can be about ourselves and our own life.  I think that is the way most of us are put together. I am not here to to say that this is necessarily all bad.  I am suggesting that I would rather refocus my priorities on more important matters.

I have used this illustration before and I think it bears repeating because I our dog rarely thinks about herself.

We have a dog named Daisy. Daisy has taught me multiple lessons on friendship, attitude, and true love.  It is true that a dog is man’s best friend and Daisy resembles that.   You see, Daisy always has something to give.

Every morning when I let Daisy out into the yard she stands at the door and hops on her back feet and eventually leaps out the door. I marvel at her desire to run into life and leap into her day.Daisy wakes up everyday ready to give her life and energy to others.

Daisy never gets consumed with herself! I wonder what life would yield to us if we lived every day like Daisy!

 

2. Generous people realize it’s never about how much you havegiving1.

Generosity is never about how much you have, but about how you live. Generous people have learned that what they have is to used for what they need.  God just blesses those who give.  The law of sowing and reaping works in every aspect of life and including your financial giving.

The law of nothing also applies.  When you sow nothing in your fields it does not mean you get nothing.  As you notice by your lawn when you sow nothing you get weeds.

When you sow nothing into your relationships they grow weeds.  Nothing is a seed that also grows.  You get nothing plus weeds in the fields of your mind, body, and spirit.

 

3. Generous people know that generosity is never a guessing game.

There are posers in every area.  Even seem imposter “givers” who pose in the process. Those living a life of generosity are very intentional.  They simply step up and give and leave no room for who is leading and who is on the front line of making a difference.  The one who leaves their wallet in the car is also leading a life…one of less than God wants for them.

 

4. Generous people realize that generosity is perpetual and searches for opportunity.
Extravagant acts of generosity can amaze and startle the world.  When others see certain acts of generosity they are inspired to replicate. Generosity is no respecter of persons.  It inspires everyone to go higher, give sacrificially, and develop a lifestyle of giving.

Proverbs 22:9…He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.

Developing generosity is about looking for people, places and things to share our time, talents, and resources.

Isaiah 32:8..But a generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand. 

 

Did you notice…a generous man devises generous things.  This means that we are shrewd in discovering, planning, and sharing our wealth and energy with the world.

Let’s learn to develop a generous spirit.  Just think what a difference we can make!

I would love for you to leave a comment and/or share stories of your own generosity.

Transformation through Thought

In this short clip Pastor Tom helps us to discover how we can experience genuine change.

You will also enjoy several humorous moments!

Preparing for 2015

trailEver went hiking and just decided that the trail was boring and you needed a little more adventure?  So, you make a decision to “go off’  the trail. 

Something happens when we venture away from the normal.  I do not want to call it miraculous but it can be a step toward it.

When we leave the trail we begin to gain a greater sense of awareness.  It also demands that we pay greater attention to our surroundings. To leave the trail means leaving the path where others have already been. 

The trail called normal is normally smooth due to the number of previous travelers. Trails also serve as a comfortable guide.  So truly; there is no need to pay attention to where you are going.  Just follow the trail. The trail gives certainty.

Leaving the trail means entering into a sense of uncertainty.  Oftentimes reaching for the next level will require you to leave the trail.  To “go off” of the normal and let go of the usual. 

This is not a easy step for many.  We cling to our habits and most often stay in the familiar.

The next level is often preceded by an instruction that is uncomfortable.

In the faith realm God often gives us instructions or an awareness that will require a decision that will challenge where we are.  He is asking us to “go off” the trail.  Push away from the normal and embrace the uncomfortable.  People of faith often experience this as God makes us aware of the reality that He does not want us to keep doing it the way we have always done it.

Many of us need to be pushed into change.  In some cases we need CPR to resuscitate our adventurous side.  Most of have lost our ability to step out in faith, take risks, or step into change.  Comfortable zones are like laying in the most soothing bed in the world.  It says; come here, settle in, and I will give you constant rest!

Let’s resist the comfortable because it rarely leads us to our greatest purpose!

 

 

comfort

 

Let’s get back to CPR.  This is my acronym to push you into a “go off” season in your life.

C = Courage

Many people believe that people who do great things are those who experience less fear than others.  Actually the reverse is true.  People who do great things are those who push through their fears and just do it afraid.

I want you to “go off” your normal routine, leave the trail, and push away from the shore.

Some awesome quotes and I am not sure who to give credit to.

The courageous live forever, but the fearful hardly live.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it.

Nothing great ever happens without courage.

Courageous people have decided they’re not living afraid anymore.  Bob Goff

And one of the most recent well know quotes on courage from the movie We Bought a Zoo..”it only takes 20 seconds of insane courage for something great to happen.”

P = Perception

The way we see things is epic to the way we respond. We must see things from the eyes of faith and possibility.  We often fall prey to seeing the problem and fail to frame a doable solution.  The key to future change is how we perceive the current circumstances.

Extraordinary seasons of change are most often the result of too many seasons of ordinary.

In other words; it is often the repulsive of the ordinary that births the reaching for the extraordinary.  This most often results from seeing your current circumstances by re-framing the outcomes and possibilities.

The impossible is not filtered by what looks possible or what was ever possible.

It is a matter of belief and action!!

R = Risk

Risk is best defined as the willingness to expose oneself to the unfamiliar, the unknown, or the possibility of danger, loss, failure or injury.

The greatest rewards are never experienced in the safe places. Risk is just that…risky. It carries an automatic fear and exposes the fearful heart.  It also carries an incredible reward.

Divine risk and human safety are not compatibility.  The greatest risk takers know that the greatest risk is playing safe.  How many times have we seen great riskteams play not to lose rather than play to win the game. They often lose due to the fear of going for the win.

The truth is that we all lose when we play safe and fail to “go off” the trail. We lose the reward of change, the potential of fresh faith, and the joy of reaching the next level.

The next time you are on the walking trail just ‘go off’ into the uncomfortable and watch how alive you become!

Would love to hear from you.

Your comments are appreciated and encouraging.

 

What do you want to do for God?

Are lives are filled with challenges.  These challenges often distract or destroy our faith.  In this clip Pastor Tom challenges you to step out and do what God has called you to do.

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