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 Pastor's Blog 
Monday, April 30 2018

“Believe in yourself!  Have faith in your abilities!  Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.

Norman Vincent Peale


Good morning, friends!  I hope you are well today.  I’ve had as good a start to a week as reasonably possible this morning, so let’s keep it going!


Dreams of achievement dominate the minds of youth.  We all have, or had, this image of “what we want to be” when we were still in the process of “becoming”, or at least when we had a lot of “becoming” time left.  And though rare is the youth who can summarize their dreams so simply, most all fall into the two categories of success and happiness.  So often are these two desires connected that very often we think they are one in the same.  They are not, but we’ll save that thought for another day.  Today the matter is the desire for success and happiness and a key building block: faith in yourself.


In practically all endeavors of life (sporting, academic, professional, etc.) winners have one thing in common: a strong faith in self.  Where talents and preparations are roughly equal it is faith in self that often makes the winning difference.  What made Michael Phelps dominate meets and win races by fractions of seconds against equally talented rivals?  As much as anything else, it was his faith in himself.  Same thing for professionals, and students, and, well, everybody.  If you don’t believe in yourself it will show in your performance and your outcomes.


·  In your times of life success, what was your confidence in self level?

·  In your times of life struggle, what was your confidence in self level?

·  What if the confidence dictated the success or struggle, not the other way around?  How would that change your approach?


Peter Drucker, a management guru of the previous generation, is attributed to have said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”  Or something like that.  Whoever said that or anything like it was on to something.  So what is the culture of you?  If you don’t believe in yourself, reasonably and supremely, success and happiness are unlikely to be your companions.  So believe in you!  I sure do!  And have a wonderful week.


Matthew 5:13-16

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 09:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 23 2018

"I think anybody could've did what I did if they're just pushed in that kind of cage and you have to either react or you're going to, you know, fold."

James Shaw, Jr.

Good morning, friends!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was work, work, and some more work, but that’s life.  This is a new week so let’s get to it.

Perhaps you heard the terrible news from the weekend, of the deranged young man who killed four people at a Waffle House in Nashville, TN.  For the record, I’m way past tired of such news.  But the news that greeted me this morning was a bit more encouraging.  It was the story of James Shaw, Jr., an AT&T technician who happened to be in that Waffle House with a friend when the tragedy began.  Naturally leaping at first into a bathroom to save his life, Mr. Smith recognized a moment in the melee to challenge the shooter, take his gun and end the nightmare.  And this morning he insists that he is no hero, that his action was a selfish one to save his own life.  Perhaps.  Whatever.  Regardless, he saved many lives by acting in the critical moment.

You and I will never, ever face such a life and death moment in our lives.  We’re statistically more likely to be killed in a stampede or be struck by lightning.  But we will certainly have many critical moments in life when powerful opposites will hang in the balance.  To help or not help when needed.  To support or not support.  To encourage or not encourage.  To continue or quit.  To try or run away.  On and on the list goes of critical moments we will certainly face.  You may very well face one today. What will you do?

*  What does courage look like in your own life?

*  How can you exercise the muscle of courage to build it up?

*  What’s an act of courage you can face well today?

History has shown that most people will fold in such critical moments.  The inertia of conserving energy is powerful but life should not be ebbed away or fade away via atrophy of courage.  The moments of courage are life itself.  Open your eyes to the critical moments in your life each day and begin to manage the muscle of courage.  Who knows what hero you can be today for yourself or someone else?  I know you are!  Have a great week.

Mark 4:13-20

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 09:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 16 2018

"But never did the thought occur to me, 'Well, I better sit, or quit, or take a ride, or bail.' That never even occurred to me, actually."

Dennis Rainear

Good morning, friends.  I hope you had a wonderful week and were safe in the big storm that crossed much of the country.  Many people were harmed and much property damaged so I’m praying and I ask you to join me.  Now, let’s get to the business at hand.

Running a marathon is tough, even in the best conditions.  Most Americans can’t jog one mile, much less 26.  Imagine completing the final 16 miles of a marathon after being shot in the head while jogging.  Sound incredible?  Sure, but it’s true.  Rainear was running the Grand Valley Marathon in 1978, his fourth, when he was hit hard in the head with something that staggered him.  He felt for the spot and found only a goose egg knot so he kept running.  Dizziness increased, as did a headache and blurry vision, but still he ran.  He had a goal to finish in 3 hours so he ran.  Sometimes he wobbled, sometimes he walked, but still he kept going. 

When he finished the race, in 3 hours and 9 minutes he was disappointed; the time did not qualify him for the Boston Marathon.  He checked in with the race doctor; the diagnosis was inconclusive so he sent him to a hospital.  There it was confirmed he’d been shot in the head with a .22 caliber bullet, certainly by accident in the rural area.  As remarkable as being shot in a marathon is, finishing the race in great time is incredible.  It truly brings perspective to our commitment to our own goals, doesn’t it?

*  How many times have you surrendered a goal right when the challenge appeared?

*  What is your response when the pain of progress becomes intense?

*  How many miles of work will you put in when every step is a struggle?

You may call Mr. Rainear foolish but let’s remember that no blood appeared.  The bullet didn’t pierce his skull but lodged and flattened in the thickest part of the skull.  He thought he’d been hit in the head with a heavy object, such as a rock or a piece of brick.  His story is powerful because he ran to the finish and he never thought about quitting.  What is your commitment to your own goals?  What keeps you from your own finish lines?  Why not finish it regardless of whatever happens to you?  For sure you won’t get shot in the head!  Be thankful, and have a great week.

Luke 9:18-24

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 09:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 09 2018

Posted by: Pastor Thomas AT 09:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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