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 Pastor's Blog 
Monday, October 19 2015

Help spread the news of this encouraging ministry; I challenge you to share this encouragement with five friends today.  E-mail me at and I’ll add any interested person directly to the encouragement team!  Thanks for being a blessing to this growing ministry.

“I try to live my life going towards simplicity rather than towards complexity.”

Yvon Chouinard

Good morning, friends!  I awoke this morning to frost and chilly, chilly temps, and I loved it!  I love being a seasonal person and I’m ready for a fall season.  I hope your day has started as joyfully as mine, for sure!

Saturday I spent (or wasted, depending on one’s perspective) half an hour watching Tom Brokaw interview Yvon Chouinard back in 2007.  Technology serves well sometimes.  You can view the interview here:  Chouniard is an incredible modern man.

Despite his successes, his great wealth and his endless opportunities, Chouniard intentionally directs his life towards increasing simplicity.  He represents to me the possibility of escape from the trap of more.  Have you ever felt yourself trapped by more?  More seems to be prison we’ve created for ourselves: the desire for more stuff, more time, more relationships, more space, more money, more everything.  More is the tune that directs the treadmill of our lives.  More is the whip that cracks us into endless action.  More is everything.

But where is more getting us?  Do you feel more happy (sic)?  More at peace?  More rested?  More joyful?  The fruits of more are fear, anxiety, tiredness, brokenness, anger, and loss.  Why would anyone willingly choose the more life?  Yet isn’t that the life we have all chosen to one degree or another?  So how do we turn in the better, simpler direction?

Examine your life for the fruits of more; where are you experiencing fear, anxiety, tiredness, brokenness, anger, and loss.  Dig deep to the root of these fruit and you’ll likely find the prison of more.  Walk out of that prison.  Take one complex aspect of your life and begin to unravel the desire for more.  The desire for simplicity can create momentum, so keep at it.  The fruits of more will guide you to the areas of greatest concern.  Tackle one, then another, then keep the habit going until you have simplified your life and you realize that happiness and joy and peace and rest were to be found all along in simplicity, not complexity and more.  And won’t you be glad you started the journey!  I know you will and I pray you begin today.  The prisoner you free will be you.  Have a wonderful week.

Matthew 11:28-30

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 08:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 12 2015

“To create more positive results in your life, replace ‘if only’ with ‘next time’.”

Celestine Chua

Good morning, friends!  I know now that this e-mail reaches people in a wide geographical area, so I hope the morning is as beautiful where you are as where I am.  Gorgeous! 

I recently finished listening to a book that I cannot recommend highly enough.  “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business” by Charles Duhigg has been a NY Times best seller and for good reason.  Duhigg explains so much of life in understandable and compelling ways, and he gives inspirational information of how to change bad habits and begin good ones.  Who doesn’t need that?!

One of the most damaging sources of bad habits is our thought patterns.  Did you know your thoughts are habits?  Absolutely!  We frequently choose to not believe so, but so much of life that begins in our brains is the result of the habits we practice there.  Happiness vs. sadness.  Love vs. loneliness.  Peace vs. conflict.  Success vs. failure.  These results are more than choices or accidents; they are results of habits.

Our quote today is a habit changer.  One bad habit is to live life reactively, missing dreams poorly soothed by the “if only” salve.  How much joy have you missed by this bad habit?  We all do.  A better habit is to live proactively, taking the reality of the moment as a starting point to move effectively towards “next time.”  What disappointment have you experienced lately that you are sure to repeat unless you take effective action towards “next time”?  I have many, too.  Let’s move towards “next time” together.

I challenge you to see all the habits of your life, good and bad, and begin to supplant the bad with good and watch your life blossom with joy.  Begin small, create success, learn a system, and take control of your habits.  You can do it!  One of my best habits is to bless you as you bless me.  Have a wonderful week, blessed friends!

Ephesians 4:20-24

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 08:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 05 2015

“Noise is what separates us from ourselves.”

Sister Joan Chittister

Good morning friends.  I’m writing you today from the ark.  I got my seat secured but wouldn’t you know it, the dove came back!  In all honesty, I pray the waters recede for all persons affected by this weather and the recovery process is healing.

Friday night I had a wonderful experience.  For my birthday my wife gave me a ticket to a day of bluegrass concerts at the International Bluegrass Music Association festival.  The acts were the biggest in the genre and I had a great seat for Friday’s show.  Because I was there by myself I took a book to read (yes I know, I’m a geek that way).

The first band had a great sound and was moderately loud so I could alternately read and watch.  When the next band came on their sound was elevated to club level and it was impossible read and hard to think.  It was a tsunami of noise.  I was familiar with this tsunami; often the competing elements of my life create their own overwhelming noise factors.  What is the noise in your life keeping you from being the full you?

How long would your list be if you listed all the recurrent thoughts that encroach on your mind in a day?  I need to do this… I ought to do that… I forgot about that… Remember this… What did they say?... What needs doing?... On and on it goes, a tsunami of noise in our minds.  It’s easier said than done to separate the noise from the true self, but what would be true of you if you quieted the noise and focused on the two or three things most important to you, real about you, or helpful to you?  Ahhhhh, in the silence, when the noise abates, we begin to see clearly.

Somewhere in the noise we all have our unique sense of priorities, desires and necessities.  What good is focus when you are drowning?  What we all need is to help the waters recede in our minds by clearing our thoughts of the noise to allow the real to become self-evident.  Who is the unique you?  What is real about you?  What would become self-evident for you if the noise in your mind receded?  I encourage you to take steps to recognize the noise from the real, and to release the noise and pursue the real.  You will in fact become even greater than you already are!  I wish the best for you!  Have a great week!

Psalm 46

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 08:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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