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Thomas E. McDaniels


Prepare Your Future Before it Arrives

In this clip Pastor Tom makes the important point of preparing for your future before it arrives.

Interview – Defining Moments

Defining MomentsI was recently interviewed by David J Miller of Life Notes Cafe. 

The interview was concerning the  release of my new book “Defining Moments.”  I have posted the interview below.  I hope you enjoy the exchange.

1) You first delivered “Defining Moments” as a sermon series . . how did God speak to your heart about your own spiritual walk with Him during that time?

Defining Moments have always been a part of my own life.  I have always entered environments, places and especially anointed services with an expectation for God to do something remarkable in me.  God often left a deposit in me as I reached for God in these environments.  These were defining moments.  I think we often fail to allow our experiences to be developed into experience. Much like the book and depicted from the Life of David, my own struggles, and difficulties are what has shaped my life and left indelible defining moments in me! 


2) What is your favorite chapter in the new book? Why? My favorite Chapter is Chapter 7….David’s Dedication. The reason I like this chapter is the symbolism of Christ’s commitment to us. We are all like Mephibosheth. We are all lost. All cast-a-ways. All broken and all lame. David keeps his covenant with Jonathon just like Christ kept His covenant with His Father. And we All have the privilege of coming to the table and eat with the King. 

3) In the book you state that God allows battles/enemies to rise up in our lives, not to crush us, but to fan the flames of passion for freedom in Christ? Might a great spiritual mentor or advisor spare us from unnecessary battle?

Yes absolutely.  But I am of the premise that somethings cannot be passed on.  I strongly believe that the Holy Spirit is the primary teacher and He certainly uses mentors and teachers but there is something significant about personal exposure to pain, pressure and struggle.  Jesus was our frontrunner on this.  He learned obedience by the things He suffered.  If a mentor could pass this one certainly Jesus had the pass code to this. 

4) How do you keep your “faith” at 100% during the greatest battles of your life? You know, an overcomer mindset?

Staying in the word.  Renewing your mind.  Never allow your own mind to think it’s own thoughts.  I know this sounds super spiritual or even impossible.  But, recognizing your own mind and the true mind of Christ is key. If you allow your mind to think it’s own thoughts and walk in the flesh, it will.  If you discipline your mind, replace your thoughts with His and not allow your mind to wander through complaining, gossip, self destruction, you will win battles.  I have never lost a battle that I submitted to God’s word. 

5) We discover in your book that bringing God glory requires a heart that is prepared for change on any scale (“Commitment is signing a blank piece of paper and allowing God to fill in His will”)

Is our culture not full of “Christians” who have yet to realize it is about Him not us, Christians who have added Jesus to their life, but have not made Him their sole desire? What needs to happen?

The pulpit must be reserved for spiritual truth.  We have too much teaching toward the soul. We have limited the call to Christ as answering a phone call or altar call and not a lifestyle. We are not called to simply answer the call we are called to follow the call.  We have failed to make the call to Christ about discipleship.  We have made it about conversion.  I certainly want to do better here myself.

6) David knew failure – how do we help the church not sideline it’s leaders who have failed?

Firstly, We must first die to our self-righteousness. Most of us are hard on others in the areas we are strong. We also must look for genuine repentance in the leader and have a clear plan to restore the leader.  Accountability is key here.  We start with confession to all necessary parties, apply grace, follow up regularly and offer strong accountability.

7) Pastors often make poor Dads (like David) – what needs to change?

Obedience to scripture is a must.  If the church Fathers (elders, deacons or…) must make sure their Pastor is engaged in his family. The scripture clearly says if they are not handling their family, they certainly cannot handle the church.  So we start there.  If the church is the Pastor’s mistress that is clearly adultery.  The problem becomes that most Pastors make the church tick, and we place that priority over the Word.  We are paying the price for this mistake!!

8) How can our readers get their own copy of “Defining Moments”? It will be available as an ebook at Amazon.com soon and print copies are available at www.thomasmcdaniels.com.   We are also planning on releasing a small group study in January 2015

The Command of Purpose Pt. 2

purposeThe title depicts a reality that the person who discovers their purpose has a command on life. A command that few of us often never find.

Allow me to first make clear that our ultimate purpose is revealed by the God that designed us.  Finding our ultimate purpose is uniquely connected to finding the God that created us.  Many people make the mistake of trying to find their purpose without finding their creator.

Everything created is created with a purpose and only the creator can define the purpose of the created!

There is a truth to the fact that a discovered purpose places us in a commanding position. The position to command the field we will work in.  The position to command the what I will not do. Yes, it’s true, knowing your purpose is certainly the position of having an upper hand.  It certainly places you in the better position since 94% of Americans have not discovered their primary purpose.

Yes, it is also true that not knowing your purpose will create an identity crisis.

If we do not know our purpose we cannot determine our choices. One way that personal identity crisis occurs is where we focus more on function than our ultimate purpose.  In other words; this is the place we focus more on what we do rather than who we are.

Life’s greatest discovery is who we are.  The trouble is that most of us settle for surviving rather than thriving.  We thrive when our life is synced with our purpose and the reason we were born. This positions us to connect our gifts and talents to our ultimate purpose. When we connect gifts and purpose we then unlock our passions.  The people who have connected passion, gifts, and purpose are thriving in life.

These same people thrive with purpose and their passion gives them an added edge. I call this living by design. The design of God that detours default living. Those living by default subject themselves to making a living rather than making a life.

I love to say; never substitute what you can do for what you were called to do.

Many fall into this because they use the wrong filter to discern their purpose. Many use talent as the talentplumb line.  Talent alone is never the main source of determining your purpose.

I have come to realize that undiscovered purpose is much more important than discovered talent.

Talent and gifts often steal ultimate purpose.  Many of us have natural gifts that are never the final determination of discovered purpose.  Many Pastors have a gift to do business and to do it well.  This natural talent of leadership in business does not indicate the purpose of God over their lives.

I know talented Pastors who can make a living a several different fields.  This does not mean that their talent is the ultimate measuring rod of where they should work.

Here are a few suggestions for discovering your ultimate purpose.

1.  Discover beyond yourself

Many make the mistake of trying to discover their purpose by only looking inward.

2.  Discover the God of the Bible

God created you for a purpose. Your purpose was created before you were formed in the womb.

3. Discover the difference you want to make

Think and give thought to what, where, and how you want to make a difference. This is a bigger clue than discovering your gifts.  This is the bigger picture to your life and calling.

4.  Discover your “from God gifts

Not only your natural gifts although they have value.  Your God-given gifts indicate the higher purpose of your design and purpose.

5.  Discover your desires/passions

If you are born again then your heart desires must link to God’s desires for you.  Your greatest passion is not living our your passions, but seeking to know God’s passions for your life.

You see; the discovery of your purpose may be life’s most important discovery.

Let’s consider it vital!

Hope this helps. Would love to hear from you.


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