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


Gifts to Share


Pastor Tom reveals that we each have gifts and everyone has the gift and ability to contribute to OTHERS!


Shut Down to Go Up


“”Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:10-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

When serving becomes routine…

God spoke to me yesterday saying that “When serving God becomes more important than knowing God then it is time we get still and know.” Make no mistake serving is a vital part of ministry, and is critical for the life of the church and for joining God in Kingdom building. 

There is no doubt that we are to be active participants in our salvation. Paul reminded us that we are to “work out out salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Meaning we are to walk in obedience to God, but the problem arises when our obedience becomes mundane, habitual, routine, and heartless.

Service can easily become all these and still be done with good intentions and for a good cause.

But, it is crucial to know that when we simply get in the business of service it is usually because serving has become the god we serve. Serving should never replace our getting still and knowing God.

A sure WARNING SIGN happens when serving has become the God we serve.

We rarely Get still…

Psalm 46:10-11 comes from a longer section of Scripture that proclaims the power and security comes from God. David was so busy doing that he would have easily forgotten about knowing God.

As the church we often get so busy doing that it is almost as if we become robots in our service. God created us with a healthy balance of getting still and KNOWING and loving God enough to serve Him by serving others.

For many of us who are tired weary and  who keep going to the point of burnout God created you with an innate need to Be Still and KNOW because without slowing down and getting still we forget to let God kindle our relationship with  Him. Sometimes in serving, we do not adequately care for our own heart or soul.

We serve because No one else will do it…

We often get to the point in our serving that we serve simply because no one will, we think that no one else can serve in an area the way we do, or we believe we are gaining favor with God.

Serving is just a way that we show God that we love Him by loving others. It does not gain favor with God. It is not eternal life. Jesus said that “eternal life is to know God.” Not know just know who He is but know Him intimately, trust Him fully, and rely on Him only.

God can and will use someone else when it is time to be still and know. A vital part of Jesus’s example in serving was taking time to get still and spend time with His father.

So how do you know when you need to be still?
1) You’re motivation is fading.

2) You are numb in worship – you no longer feel the highs or the lows.
3) People drain you.
4). The small stuff makes you angry.
5) You struggle with hearing God.
6) Sleep and time off don’t refuel you.

Now it’s your turn and we would love to hear your comments and ideas. 

So what is the answer when your service becomes mundane or routine?


teddyThis is a guest post from Teddy Ott. He has lived in the Ore City/ Diana area for 24 years. Teddy has been married to Kelly who teaches at Ore City Elementary, and they have two grown children, Andrew and Mary Beth.  Teddy has been a teacher  and coach for over 8 years. Teddy has also been a Pastor and teacher for over 14 years. He has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Liberty University,  Masters in Educational Leadership from Lamar University, and a PhD from Newburgh Theological Seminary. Teddy is an accomplished author of over 10 books and lifetime learner who strives to make a lasting difference in every life.  You can find Teddy’s books at Tate Publishing and online at https://www.facebook.com/teddy.ott.94?fref=ts and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OttTeddy. 

Belief over Circumstances


This clip is taken from the Hope Rising series.  Pastor Tom uses an illustration from Abraham and shares with us the principle of speaking those things that are not as though they are here NOW!


The Secrets of Serving



I find that most people are generally in search of wonderful experiences and on a daily basis expect positive things to happen.  Some of us are looking for miraculous things to occur.  And still others may be looking for something spectacular.


We search for the spectacular in a variety of places. We search for it through high profile people, or people we feel have mastered certain talents. We also search for it through social media, TV, or at our places of worship.  


The most amazing thing is that we often fail to realize that we carry the ability to make a difference and even enter into greatness.  


Greatness is often not what we perceive and certainly can be distorted by both personal and corporate values.  I stand with a view defined by scripture…the greatness among us is the servant of all.  This certainly challenges our normal thinking. 


We have then tendency to believe that greatness is achieved by accomplishments, accolades, and degrees and I do not want to minimize those, however I do want to interpret them as defined through the Word of God.


Serving others defines greatness at the highest level…


Serving is defined as the desire to contribute to others by performing a duty or act of service.  Notice the word contribute.  We miss the hidden power of contributing to others.  Contribution is the 6th greatest need in the life of human beings.  God knew that we have the need to give to others and not continually receive or take.


Contribution or contributing to others may be one of the greatest secrets of emotional, spiritual and philological health.   Psychologists tell us when we serve others we receive the value of something called a “helpers high.”


“Helpers High” occurs when we step up to serve and make a contribution.  When we serve our endorphin’s are released in our bodies and these endorphin’s enhance our mood, attitude, and emotional makeup.  Psychologists compare this to a runner’s high after running 3-5 miles or more.  The point is God created us knowing our greatest need is to serve rather than being served.  I believe that contribution is the most often overlooked attribute of serving.


The benefits of serving:


1. Serving others is God’s secret weapon of discovering your purpose

Serving is like eating your personal vegetables it is laced with hidden power and awesome unseen benefits.  Bernard Melzer wisely said; there is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and helping others.


2. What looks menial is often monumental

Serving is rarely convenient and often seems minimal.  God calls it entering the zone with the greatest.  Jesus looked menial but certainly was more.  A little boys lunch seemed menial yet fed over 5,000 people. Your serving seems menial but brings magnanimous results. 


3. Serving others opens the door to newness

When we choose to serve we position ourselves for change and newness. Becoming a new volunteer in a church or organization shifts your schedule, and your relationships.  You also break the habit of your normal routine.  These alone are great contributors to a new season. 


There are people that you are supposed to know and serve with.  These new relationships are keys to your next level and your next season of life. Stepping up to serve is one way to discover these people.  And there are specific people that are assigned to be in your life and serving opens up these possibilities. 


And there’s more.  There are people that can never be reached for Christ without being served and you are that agent of assignment.  One of my favorite quotes is; serving requires no degrees, no accolades and no definable skills, only a willing heart.




This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.


There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.


Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.


Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.


Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that

Everybody wouldn’t do it.


It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did

what Anybody could have done. 


Let’s decide we are that “somebody” who answers the call to SERVE! 


Now it’s your turn. 


Leave a comment of how serving or being served has changed your life.







God’s Promise is Not Our Timing

In this short clip Pastor Tom describes the struggle of getting out in front of God’s promise.


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall


James 1:22-25

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”


This passage describes us as a people that have the tendency to forget what kind a person we can be. This is often due to the daily struggles of life. This is why the scripture challenges us to look into the word consistently and often. We are also promised blessing when we comply. We are not blessed for doing it. We become blessed from doing it!


The practical application of looking in the mirror certainly applies.  Most of us look into a mirror every day.  The mirror is a powerful tool to show us our reflection and the areas of our lives that need attention.  The mirror reflects the imperfections and assists us in making necessary changes.


“When we look into the mirror we must let the mirror talk back and tell us what to fix”


The mirror also reflects our image. These images may include what needs brushed, adjusted, washed and changed. The mirror also reflects what should be set aside or what needs to be added.   It also reveals what is missing such as jewelry, watches and other accessories.


Again, this can be associated with the Word of God.  The Word reveals what needs to be washed, changed, set aside or added.  The Word has the ability to reveal what is missing in our lives. 


I have listed below a few reasons it is vital to look into the Word.  


1).  Looking into the Mirror Regularly

When we develop the habit of regularly reading the word we also develop a deep sense of who we are in Christ. We often forget who we are because our Christ image is underdeveloped or morphed. We find and resource our image through what we hear and understand from God’s word. People who regularly look into the mirror understand the mirror has a voice. It speaks back to us!


2)  Living out the Changes the Mirror Reveals

The Mirror or the Word is to be an active part of our daily life. In other words, there must be a point in our life where the Word of God is applied to every area of our life and walk. God’s Word is a light unto our feet and a lamp unto our path (Psalm 119:105). It is meant to be our guide.


“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).”


3)  Using the Mirror as a Source for Seeing

As we have stated a mirror reflects. In the natural a mirror serves us to help us see what others are seeing. It helps us to arrange our hair, clothing, etc. In the Spirit it is identical. The scripture reflects our hearts and minds and reveals to us the changes we need to adjust to reach our spiritual potential.


“The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account

(Hebrews 4:12-13).”


The word is living and powerful. The word living means active and is defined as energy. It means to operate and to work. God’s word has an inherent power. This means when God speaks, what he speaks carries the power to fulfill what he said. This is the way God’s word saves, heals and delivers. God’s word also pierces our soul and challenges our minds.


This means that His word penetrates our soul and breaks down the strongholds and the dark places. The word clearly shows the ability of God’s word to divide the soul from Spirit. This means it reaches into the soul and apportions truth to the dark places and enlightens our heart to turn toward Him.


4) Mirror Gawking mirror

We often make fun of the ladies or people who spend a more than average time in front of a mirror. But the truth is that mirror gawking has its advantages. In the natural it is proven that when you know how you look, it instills a personal self-confidence. It also gives you a boost in knowing that everything about you is in order. Here, is where we need to grab the symbolism of how the Word of God produces the same results for our Spirit Man.


So here are a few powerful points about mirror gawking.


When you mirror gawk you will….


Remind yourself of who you are


Remember how awesome God is


Rehearse God’s promises


Resist the devil


Reject all lies and deception


Revive your soul and feed your Spirit


Now it’s your turn.  Share in the comments section how the Word of God has served as a mirror for your life!


I’ll Keep Dreaming

In this short clip Pastor Tom tells a life-changing story about a young man who decided to keep dreaming!


God Restores

In this short clip Pastor Tom describes how most of us need to unlearn before we need to learn something new!


Lies or Truth

In this clip Pastor Tom discloses the must need to find and replace lies with truth!

Developing Your Dream

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


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