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Thomas E. McDaniels


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.




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.

Take What is Yours!

In this short clip Pastor Tom shares a story about His son that displays the heart of GOD! 

Be the Bridge

In this short clip Pastor Tom shares an insightful teaching of how we can Be a Bridge of life to others!


The Giving Revolution


A revolution is defined as a complete or marked change in something, a sudden shift or distinct adjustment in ideas or methods.  If the church needs a revolution certainly financial stewardship and giving would qualify for one of the needed areas.


As we know giving to churches and donations to non-profits are less in this decade than former decades. We are certainly seeing a shift in the wrong direction regarding the support of religious organizations.  We are also experiencing a needed shift in the methods of how to properly approach the area of raising funds.


In the older days the preacher would just guilt the church for lack of support or condemn them for their lack of faith to donate consistently.  They bible calls this “a tithe.’ Tithe means a “tenth.”  And the Old Testament saints were demanded to bring their tithe to God’s house or else they were cursed with a curse.


Today. we resist the thought that believers or Christians are cursed if they fail to bring their 10% to the church. We have a biblical reason.  The reason is the scripture says that every curse was nailed to the cross.


I do not believe that God curses those who fail to tithe, but I do believe that those who fail to give God His portion are missing the highest measure of God’s blessings!


Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”, (Galatians 3:13).   You see the curse of the law was broken at the cross.  The curse that results from the lack of giving is no longer a principle of God in the New Testament.


So does that mean we are exempt from giving?  No of course not.


Let’s first reason a little. If giving in the New Testament is not for today then why did God and the Holy Spirit write so many verses on giving, stewardship, and generosity?  God quantifies the importance of money by the number of references placed in New Testament.  If this was not a conversation God wanted to have, he would have not added it in scripture.  Remember, it is His book.

Generosity and giving have always been God’s idea.




The Old Testament tithe is fulfilled in the New Testament saint being a giver.  The amount is not a number it is described with words such as cheerful giver and generosity.


The tithe is a good guideline but not compulsory by God because in the New Testament we are not commanded to give by the law but by the leading of the Holy Spirit and our hearts.  It is best described as the believer displaying a generous heart.


The generous person does not give more because they have more, they have more because they give more. 


God’s word gives us a myriad of promises for financial gain and increase equal to other areas of life and living.  God promises to return to us a portion of our contributions.  I am also of the thought that these rewards return through several ways and not just money.  Although I believe that God can also reward us with funds.


Luke 6:38

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”


We must get past the tithe and dive deeply into developing a heart of generosity.  One of the greatest tensions we must remove is fear.  Our worst enemy is the lack of faith. Our greatest test is knowing that God will re-source our giving. We must learn to trust God at all costs and learn that we only steward our money and not control it.


The truth remains if we think we own and we control it, it most likely controls us. 


And God so knows our hearts and tells us that we do not have the means to love God and love money simultaneously.  So if we love money more than God our hearts are in trouble, and that is the root of all evil in the human heart. The truth is there are not many Americans possessed by demons but there are many possessed by possessions.


Let’s grab a few keys from I Kings 17:8-15


Elijah and the Widow

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”


12 So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”


13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’”


15 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days.


Can you believe you are reading this? Can u believe the audacity of this prophet to demand that he be fed first? 


Why would God allow or demand this?


trustBecause God knows that the key to her future is not what she keeps but what she gives.


This story sounds unreal but it’s surreal. It truly depicts the way that God works. He works through sowing and reaping and He will not be mocked by it.


A few points to embellish our thoughts:


1. We have an incredible opportunity

We know that money is simply a tool.  But it is a tool of strength and great value.  Money provides large options and grand opportunities.  Therefore we must learn that our giving is as necessary as it was in the Old Covenant.  Our giving creates opportunity for us to increase and meets others needs.  


2. We have a vast obligation

Deuteronomy 8:18 declares that God gives us wealth to establish His covenant on the earth.  That means that our wealth and how we manage it is a contributor to God’s ways and means being released in the earth.  This is not a demand it is an obligation to use our money God’s way. 


OK, I am done. This topic always stirs up the readers.


Now it’s your turn.  Your comments are solicited and appreciated.


This message was posted first at ThomasMcDaniels.com


You can catch the audio of this message here

Be Patient in Patience!

In this short clip Pastor Tom offers great insight and foresight in the area of patience and waiting on the Lord! 


Is Some “Self” OK in Leadership?

leadersBloggers and authors are enjoying the topic of leadership.  The topic is vast and the content seems inexhaustible. The topic of servant leadership is certainly a hot topic and many posts include the contrast of the selfish leader. 

So, does this mean there is no room for some self in great leaders?

We know we have a “selfie phenomenon” happening daily. It is a widely known fact that we are taking over 1 million “selfies” every day around the world.

I have found that all great leaders must have some level of “self qualities”  that define their greatness.  Firstly, they had to be self-driven to get to levels that created opportunity for their greatness to be discovered. 

Self-driven leaders are passionate, and possess personal qualities to accomplish on high levels and eventually become high-achievers.

A few more self qualities that fuel greatness.

     1. Self Awareness

Self awareness has been described as the most attractive quality of today’s leaders. Self awareness means the leader is aware of behaviors, strengths, weaknesses, and environments.   The self aware leader possesses supreme qualities to exercise wisdom and make excellent decisions.

The self aware leader becomes very valuable when he or she has the ability to discern environments and act accordingly.

     2. Self Developed

Self development is another attribute that makes the leader so distinct and supremely valuable. College alone can never fully prepare for the turns and tide of the 21st century.  Finding excellent resources and high level mentors and coaches are keys to successful self development. This is a key to maximizing your leadership efforts and success.

We need savvy and spunk, wisdom and knowledge to become a master of our fields.

    3.  Self Led

Great leaders lead themselves.  Self-led was and is a big part of the day to day in leadership.  Self-led means making the simplest decisions that create profound results.  Self led includes being self-led to get out of bed on time.  Self-led to eat a healthy diet and to arrive at the office on time.  Self-led in connecting to teammates and appreciating others.  Self-led in a variety of means and ways that create and maintain continued growth and success.

    4. Self Respectrespect

Self respect shows itself in a variety of ways.  The primary reflection is seen in how we handle ourselves and how we handle others.  Leaders that fail to respect others have experienced the supreme failure of respecting themselves. Self respect displays  it’s characteristics through the clothes we wear, the words we speak, and the honor we show to others.

Self respect is also seen in the way we add value to others.

All these areas are not all inclusive for ultimate success.  We know that self-anything is necessary but never enough.  No one is self made, and any one of us can never do alone what we can accomplish together.

The old adage is so true…

“If You Want To Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want To Go Far, Go Together”

Also, allow me to add a spiritual value. Self is just that. Actually by our self we are just that…limited. When we reach beyond ourselves we often find more. There is more. When we give our-self to the God of the Bible we find another good “self.”  Self fulfillment that comes from serving God and giving our-self away.


OK.  So now it’s your turn.


What other areas of self are needed or allowed in great leaders?

Happiness Should Never be about What’s Happening

In this post Pastor Tom gives a hilarious illustration about happy moments that result in happiness.  But the reality is that there is a joy that’s big enough to handle every trial of life! 

Trial or Consequence?

In this post Pastor Tom explains the difference in a trial and consequence.

Fruit or Root?

In this short clip Pastor Tom reveals how many people treat their symptoms and never get to the cause!

What to do When Dealing With Busy People

busyMany of us have little or no experience in working with people that are legitimately busy.  I am not talking about just busy work.  I am referring to people that have a daily demand on their schedule. 


One of the biggest mistakes we tend to make is to seek an immediate conversation rather than seek a good time to talk.


Many of us are busy with some level of demand but life gets hectic for everyone when we add in family, hobbies, and the unexpected. 


Well that means most of us are in a similar category or thus we think. 


It is true we have the sure tendency to view the world through our own life…including our schedules. 


I consider myself to be a busy person. I am sure there are many at levels of busy-ness that I cannot even imagine. My schedule often demands that I push new appointments out about 2-3 weeks.  Now while that is not extreme it is significant, and it sure has the tendency to ruffle lots of feathers…especially in little East Texas. 


I want to share a few tips for those of you who desire to meet with a busy person.


1. Do not drop by

First of all this is a setup for sure rejection.  Busy people are scheduled and most often work by appointment only.  It certainly does not mean that they never take a drop by, but it does mean that catching them at the perfect time is very rare. 


This is also places a strain on your relationship.  Think about someone dropping by your house and expecting you to immediately engage in a meaningful conversation.  Overall this is a perfect setup for relationship stress and strain.


2. Always make an appointment

An appointment guarantees that the host is ready and that both parties are prepared to engage one another in a focused meaningful conversation.




3. Set a reasonable time frame

Busy people live by their schedule and always honor the time of others.  So many need to learn this.  If you stay too long it may turn out to your detriment in the future.


4. Write out your questions

Busy people are often people of accomplishment.  When you gain access to their presence be fully prepared to gain the wisdom and knowledge you need.  Good questions with an end in mind will get you the results you seek.  Too often we have the tendency to try and impress busy people with our talk rather than gain their wisdom by listening. 


Do not make the mistake of being present with great people and fail to ask several key questions.


5. Listen intently

In the presence of busy people we also have the tendency to hurry.  This is a big mistake.  This also makes you talk too fast and listen too little. Simply pace the time you have to accomplish the goal of why you are there. Listening is an awesome tool.  The listener is actually the one in control because he gains the most benefit from the conversation. A great tip is to listen more than you talk.  


6. Take great notesnotes

Write out the most important parts of the conversation.  You may think you will remember but when emotions are high our recall of the conversation is low. Taking notes is never obnoxious.  Busy people most often require their team to take notes in their presence.  Why?  Because they are too busy to repeat the meeting or waste meaningful time.


7.  Do a double thank you.

Before leaving be sure and give a big thank you and after you leave send them a personal thank you note.  People who give their time are worthy of a heart felt appreciation.


Well I hope that helps. These are a few things that I have learned through the years.


So now it’s your turn.  I am sure you have some good ideas.


Share your comments below.

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