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 Pastor's Blog 
Monday, May 29 2017

“Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.”

Arthur Miller
 

Good morning, friends!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  I turned 4 gallons of fresh strawberries into preserved jam.  I’m ready for Monday!  Let’s get to it!

For some strange reason most of us were taught as children that regrets are something bad.  It’s worth remembering what “regret” means: a sadness or disappointment over something in the past, such as something that happened or was done or an opportunity missed or lost.  Now be honest, who cannot relate to that definition?  We all can.  The challenge the quote affords us is to be intentional about the regrets we create.

The key word there is “intentional”.  Most lives that I see (including my own) are lived accidentally or lackadaisically, anything but intentionally.  To live intentionally is to boldly risk wonderful regrets!  For example, would you rather go through the rest of this year plodding along in the status quo, gladly accepting mediocrity at every turn, and living an average life in most ways?  Or can you imagine taking a risk, being bold in two or three areas if your life, creating a new path, developing a new habit, or anything else that requires new sustained energy?  Sure, you risk regret but the ride would be exciting and the gains undeniable regardless of the outcome.

In the end I suppose it does come down to intentionality.  We’re all going to have regrets this year, only some of us will have the sad regrets for what we didn’t try, didn’t risk, didn’t dream or act upon as we accept the slow death of mediocrity.  But others of us will regret the achievement we didn’t reach but sure tried or the opportunity we did take but sad for the old left behind.  It appears some regrets reflect life and others reflect death.  What will your regrets reflect?  Be intentional and let your regrets reflect life and achievement.  That’s the life you want to live.  So do it!  And have a great week.

John 5:1-9a

Posted by: Pastor THomas AT 07:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 22 2017

“Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.”

Arthur Miller
 

Good morning, friends!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  I turned 4 gallons of fresh strawberries into preserved jam.  I’m ready for Monday!  Let’s get to it!

For some strange reason most of us were taught as children that regrets are something bad.  It’s worth remembering what “regret” means: a sadness or disappointment over something in the past, such as something that happened or was done or an opportunity missed or lost.  Now be honest, who cannot relate to that definition?  We all can.  The challenge the quote affords us is to be intentional about the regrets we create.

The key word there is “intentional”.  Most lives that I see (including my own) are lived accidentally or lackadaisically, anything but intentionally.  To live intentionally is to boldly risk wonderful regrets!  For example, would you rather go through the rest of this year plodding along in the status quo, gladly accepting mediocrity at every turn, and living an average life in most ways?  Or can you imagine taking a risk, being bold in two or three areas if your life, creating a new path, developing a new habit, or anything else that requires new sustained energy?  Sure, you risk regret but the ride would be exciting and the gains undeniable regardless of the outcome.

In the end I suppose it does come down to intentionality.  We’re all going to have regrets this year, only some of us will have the sad regrets for what we didn’t try, didn’t risk, didn’t dream or act upon as we accept the slow death of mediocrity.  But others of us will regret the achievement we didn’t reach but sure tried or the opportunity we did take but sad for the old left behind.  It appears some regrets reflect life and others reflect death.  What will your regrets reflect?  Be intentional and let your regrets reflect life and achievement.  That’s the life you want to live.  So do it!  And have a great week.

John 5:1-9a

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 07:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 15 2017

“If you weren't afraid of change, what could you learn?”

Seth Godin

Good morning, friends, and happy Mother’s Day to any mothers out there.  But also my prayers are for mom’s who were or aren’t.  I hope you all made something good of the day.  Let’s do that now and get to it!

Yesterday was obviously Mother’s Day and if I may extend today’s thought to all parents then one big reality of parenting is that change is not an option.  From the day a child is born into your life change is a constant, both for the child and for you.  The child is in the process of “becoming” and so is the parent.  No parent can escape this process and as such all parents are forced to learn much in the process.

Unfortunately we all tend to avoid change in all other areas of life when we can.  And I get it; change is hard, discomforting, frustrating and sometimes painful.  But change is the only process, the only one, by which we learn and grow.  The distance between you and your dream is change.  The difference between you and your goal is change.  Any carrot of life requires change yet we tend to prefer the stick of safety.

Psychologically this is explainable.  The carrot is “out there” and therefore hard to visualize; we live for the moment.  But what if you decided, in this moment, that you want to be a learning person, a growing person, a becoming person?  What if you changed the measure of this moment, and eliminated your fear of change, to embrace learning, growing and reaching?  Most of us want something different in 100 different ways but the change scares us.  Forget the distance and embrace the moment by learning, growing and reaching.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised where that life will take you.  Send me a postcard!  And have a great week.

Luke 11:1-4

Posted by: Pastor THomas AT 07:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 08 2017

"Joy can be real only if people look upon their lives as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness."

Leo Tolstoy

Good morning, friends!   Was there anything special about your weekend, anything wonderful, anything meaningful?  I hope so.  Let’s get to our purpose and try to match it!

There is a paradox in life that I have found both fascinating and curious but always undeniable.  It is the connection of service of other persons to the happiness and joy of self.  To illustrate, this morning on my jog I listened to a podcast called “How I Built This”; it concerns entrepreneurs and the business they built.  Today I heard Manoj Bhargava, the entrepreneur/innovator of the 5-Hour ENERGY drink.  It’s a heck of a story.

Manoj dropped out of Princeton after one year to become a Hindu monk.  After a period of “success” in that field he came back to America and bought a bankrupt plastics company, turned it around in a few years and sold it for $25 million.  Then, not satisfied, he started 5-Hour ENERGY.  Now he owns 93% of the market and is worth an estimated $1 billion!  So what does he now do with his time (he’s still middle aged!)?  He works to serve and help the poorest people in our world.  As he spoke in the podcast I could hear his energy skyrocket as he talked about his current project to help the 1/3 population of the world without energy get control of their lives with simple, cheap energy projects.  He finds happiness serving other persons.

Think about your life as a metaphor of two jars: self and other.  We begin life by filling the “self” jar, creating and defining self.  Then early on, whether you are rich or poor, the temptation to fill the self box in search of happiness and joy becomes immense.  You can literally pour yourself in to it but all in vain.  The float in that jar never reaches happiness and joy; it only turns more desirous and self-centered.  At some point we must face the paradox and pour from the “self” into the “other” if happiness and joy is what we seek.  It’s not a game for wealthy persons; it’s the journey for all persons who seek happiness and joy.

What are you doing in service of other persons?  How are you filling the “other” jar?  Are you still seeking to fill the “self” jar that never seems to be satiated?  Forget that!  Turn your life into a happy journey; embrace the happiness paradox.  It may seem scary at first but so is so much of life.  You can do it!  And you’ll never regret it.  I have faith in you.  Have a wonderful week.

Matthew 19:16-30

Posted by: Pastor THomas AT 07:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 01 2017

“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”

Robert H. Schuller
 

Good morning, friends!  I hope your weekend was a blessing and the best is yet to come this week.  Let me not hold you up!  Let’s get to it!

I’ll bet you’ve never heard the name of Mondo Duplantis.  It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie.  But Mondo (real name: Armand) has recently been burdened by a NY Times article, “The Tiger Woods of Pole Vaulting”.  Mondo is 17 and recently vaulted 19 feet, 4 ¼ inches.  To quote NY Times, it set the US “high school record, a world junior record and the highest jump at any level of international competition so far in this outdoor season. A vault of that height at the Rio Olympics last summer would have won a bronze medal.”  He sounds like a natural, right?  Like a shoe in for success, right?

Not so fast.  The story of Mondo’s hard work is not so legendary.  His efforts to prepare rival any international pole vaulter much more his senior.  And he does all this work with knowledge that success in his field typically comes in the mid to late 20’s.  His remarkableness is not in his current achievements but in his dedication to the unrewarding work of unspectacular preparation. 

I sometimes wish success were a pill, or a purchase, or a one-off action, but then I wake up and realize that were success easy then it would not be worthy of recognition.  It would be commonplace.  It would be Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.  And there is no such thing as success.

Right this moment I can think of a number of areas in my life where I would like success.  We all can.  Yet the deeper, more relevant question is, “In which areas am I willing to commit to sustained unspectacular preparation?”  The more I think about it, that’s where success should be measured.  Luck can create the occasional good outcome, but preparation will win more often than not.  What are your areas of desired success?  Which ones are supported by sustained unspectacular preparation?  Expect the most and best from those areas.  I do for me and you!  Have a great week!

Mark 1:1-8


Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 07:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

PFAFFTOWN BAPTIST CHURCH
4336 Transou Road| Pfafftown,NC  27040 | Phone: 924-0126 | Email: pbcoffice@windstream.net | ©2014