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 Pastor's Blog 
Monday, October 30 2017

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 08:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 23 2017
"It's near to impossible to make positive change in a negative environment." James Smart, paraphrase Good morning, friends! I hope your weekend was exactly as you planned and included a bit of rest. I could have used it! Still, let's get to it! Almost ten years ago was the first notion I had of turning my health life around. I was just over 40 and pushing a weight limit I never, ever thought I'd touch. It shocked me to make a change. Yet the first thing I encountered was my environment; nothing was supportive of my change. All the food we had in the pantry was food I didn't need to eat to be healthy! Every meal we planned (old, familiar meals) was patently unhealthy. And my schedule was comfortably arranged to make exercise a difficult choice. Let's just say it was a tough environment in which to make a positive change. How often have you tried to make a change without considering your environment? Consider the flip side. I'll bet this is a lesson you learned in grade school; perhaps your parents encouraged it in you. Birds of a feather flock together? Ring a bell? Positive change is much easier in a positive environment. Consider the environment "friction". A positive environment is a well-oiled machine, low friction, smooth as glass. A negative environment is ankle deep mud. These days when I think about change I think first about the environment. What do I need to change in my environment to make the real change more likely? Think about changes you've attempted and the environments that affected them. Now look to the future. What changes do you want to make and what environmental changes will make the real change more likely? The more you begin to think first about the environments that surround your desired changes the sooner you'll find your changes become realities. Now, which change will you make next?! Whatever it is, I have faith in your chances. Have a great week. John 18:15-27
Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 08:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 16 2017



Pastor Thomas' Encouraging Word for Monday, October 23, 2017


 on behalf of 

Thomas Bounds <>


Today, 11:06 AM


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October has arrived with a brrrrr!  Perhaps a little encouragement might ease the chill in someone’s life.  Share this e-mail with your friends and co-workers.  And reply to to get directly on the list.

"We want to just be able to pull up our iPhone while we're sitting on the train or at a bus stop or something, play a game for a couple minutes, and get smarter, but we can't.”

Bradley Voytek

Good morning, friends!  I hope you are off to a wonderful start for your week and ready for a week of success.  Let’s get to it!

Ah, the sweet smell of easy success.  What a siren that call is to us, and sadly our culture preys on our desire for easy success.  Commercials tout easy weight loss, easy debt repayment, easy income, easy health, easy everything!  I just don’t buy it and you shouldn’t either.  Experience in my life tells me that easy and successful are usually opposites.  Putting on weight is easy.  Taking on debt is easy.  Losing everything is easy.  If it’s easy we ought to be wary but we’re not.

There is something to envy in our desire for easy; we want what successful people have.  Success can be generated in any endeavor so no matter what we are doing we can find an image of success.  The danger comes when we undervalue the success of our examples.  If success and ease are opposites then the real partners of success are hard work, dedication, commitment, sacrifice, investment and patience.  It is understandable why the lines at that trough are short while the line at deceptive ease is long, but the easy trough is empty.

Today’s quote comes from a study of brain science and improving brain function.  Perhaps you know there are apps for memory support.  They are, in a word, selling “ease”.  Are you buying in to the deception of ease in any area of your life?  I’d love to be the prophet saying, “Easy is easy!  Get your success easily!” but I couldn’t live with myself.  No matter what you’re trying to do the difference between you and success is a lot of tough and hard.  The question is, “Do you want to succeed enough to do the tough and hard work?”

A few questions of relevance:

·          What is your clear focus of success?

·          What is your commitment to succeed?

·          What is your breaking point?

·          What do you need to overcome that breaking point?

At any age and any circumstance success is hope for everyone.  Don’t give in to the siren call of ease.  Make the commitment to bear the tough road of success.  I have much faith in you!  Have a great week.

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 08:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 09 2017



Good morning, Monday friends!  I hope you are well today and wherever you are the storms of last night didn’t harm you or your community.  Be safe today.  Let’s get to it!


Recently I was introduced to the work of Suzman, who has lived with and learned from the last tribes of hunter-gatherers on earth for the past 25 years.  As all cultures on earth move towards the Euro-American ideal of consumerism and consumption the hunter-gatherer life remains a fragile hold out.  Among the many lessons we can learn from their culture is the victory over “wants” and connection to “happiness”.


Perhaps the one word from my children that has troubled me most is “want”: I want this, I want that.  “Want” is worse than “no” at least in my mind.  As my children became aware of our culture of consumption and satisfaction they mastered the language of “want” as most children do.  Yet to be honest they learned the language from their parents, friends, teachers, leaders, society, etc.  The language of “want” is our way.  I’m not beating up on my kids; I’m using the easiest and most clear example, like a petri dish.


Yet observing their behaviors I noticed the connection between their wants and apparent happiness.  If a “want” was met once it arose then happiness ensued, if but for a moment, but if the “want” was not met unhappiness ensued.  Think about that result for a moment: in a space where a moment prior nothing at all existed, once a mental “want” arose and emotion was attached to it happiness hung in the balance.  Over nothing…  I marveled, until I noticed it in myself, and my wife, and everyone else.  Then I became a bit depressed.


As adults we may have nearly mastered our physical wants (or essentially met them), but we have developed our mental wants.  As adults we call them “expectations”.  “I want you to do or be (or the negative) this or that.”  When persons don’t live up to our expectations (mental “wants”) notice how happiness ebbs and flows.  Over nothing but an internal desire that has no connection to reality.


Many studies have been experienced that connect simplicity and happiness.  Consistently we see that the happiest people around us are those persons with simpler lives, fewer wants and precious few needs.  The pinnacle of this line is the hunter-gatherer or perhaps the monk.  None of us will approach the pinnacle but we must ask ourselves to which end of the spectrum are we headed?  In a culture nearly devoid of lasting happiness, are we seeking it in more consumption or in less desire?  The evidence is clear which way we should go and equally clear the opposite direction we are headed.


* How would your life be different with fewer wants?

* What does chasing your wants do to you?

* What would a week without a focus on wants look like for you?


We all would like more “happiness”.  Books, talks, gurus, they all want to get us “there”.  Perhaps “there” is already in you just masked by a cloud of “wants”.  Pay attention to the direction you’re headed.  Consider your experience of being a “want” chaser.  Imagine trading fewer and less “wants” with more and greater “happiness”.  It may seem paradoxical, but what has a life of chasing gotten you?  Anecdotes of temporary happiness until the next “want” arises.  You dream of better than this, and you can do it!  I have great faith in you.


Thanks for the grace of patience with me today.  I did my best to be brief and failed.  I hope you found a nugget of help and encouragement today.  Have a wonderful week!


Matthew 6:24-34

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 08:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 02 2017

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 09:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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