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 Pastor's Blog 
Monday, March 26 2018

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 09:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 19 2018

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 09:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 12 2018

“The committee sent a message to me that it's going to get tougher for everybody at our level to get an at-large with this new system.  You've got to be perfect. We only have a few chances, and they are usually either on the road or on a neutral court…”

Kermit Davis, Middle Tennessee University basketball coach


Good morning, friends!  I hope you are someplace warm; I woke up today to heavy, wet snow.  Yuck!  But that’s not our issue, so let’s get to it.


Last night was a near holiday night for a large portion of our culture.  The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket was announced with great fanfare.  Last night and this morning all over America and beyond brackets are being printed, pools are being formed and bets are being placed.  This tournament is huge business.  But quickly lost in the glitz and glamor are the teams, particularly those from small and mid-sized schools, who did not make the tournament.  Accusations and recriminations are flying fast and loose today, in some cases warranted and in other cases not so much.  But my question in all cases is, “Why?”


Have you ever been, in your estimation, unfairly treated, left out, passed over, or ignored?  We all have, and statistically it’s about as many times as when we’ve been overly well treated, unlikely included, warmly picked up and remarkably recognized. Life is like that: we consider the slights to be outrageously undeserved and the blessings to be fair compensation.  The reality is somewhere in the middle.  In the bracket of your life you’ll win as often as you lose as long as you keep playing.


And there’s the issue; you only have control of yourself.  Waiting for someone else to change is a fool’s game.  The other driver, the other leader, the other “chooser”, the other neighbor…all beyond our control and barely within our influence.  What we control and influence is ourselves. 


·         What is a focus you can bring back to yourself?

·         What is a control you can return to you?

·         What can help you play the game of your life well, letting the bracket take care of itself?


There have been and continue to be plenty of areas of my life I “wish” turned out differently.  Sometimes I’ve even blamed someone else for my outcomes.  I was the fool.  Good choices, hard work, and efficient efforts will usually pan out.  And that’s about all we can control.  Can you do it?  Absolutely!  So get to it.  And have a wonderful week.


John 5:1-9

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 09:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 05 2018

“Auggie can't change how he looks. Maybe we should change how we see.”

R.J. Palacio (via Mr. Tushman)

Good morning, friends!  I hope you’re not fooled by this faux-spring weather.  Something in my spirit suggests we have another cold spell coming.  But that’s not our business today.  Let’s get to it!

In honor of last night’s Oscars I reflect on this quote from the best (and one of the few) movie I saw last year, “Wonder”.  It’s about a boy born with incredible appearance deformities and his first year of middle school when his parents first integrate him into mainstream school.  Talk about a nightmare!  But the movie was excellent and the messages, while mostly simplistic, were still yet powerful.  Consider today’s quote.

My faith challenges me to refrain from judgement but judgement is exactly what I seem destined to do.  Very often it seems to be that for which my eyes were created.  To paraphrase Voltaire, “I look, therefore I judge.”  Yet the paradox is that I despise to be judged.  When judged I think, “Do they know what I’m going through?  Do they know what my life’s been like?”  Why is it so hard to connect the ease of outward judgement with the repulsion of received judgement?  Perhaps because the process requires change.

One thing I’ve struggled to understand is why it is so hard to release unnecessary judgement.  Confrontive experiences, sure, it’s easy to hold on to those judgements even if they are unhelpful.  But passive experiences?  Are we really better or improved when we passively label?  Perhaps labels are the sugar in our lives, a habit that’s very hard to break.

*  What simple step can you take today to reduce your negative labeling of persons?

*  What positive swap can you make when a negative label appears out of nowhere?

*  What consistent negative labels can you begin to address?

Change is hard; that much we know.  But shutting off the faucet that spews poison into our own world seems a change worth attempting.  Will you join me in this venture?  Can we together affect our little spaces with less judgement and labeling?  I think we can, so let’s do it!  Have a wonderful week.

1 John 3:11-15

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 09:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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