Always needing approval?

Posted: June 2, 2010 in football, Jesus Christ, worship
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 Pete Wilson’s post today….wanted to share with you as it talks about needing human approval even after we except Christ? Thoughts?

-Tom

DEFAULT MODE
 
It was Martin Luther who insightfully suggested that “religion” is the default mode of the human heart.
I’ve unfortunately found this to be quite true. Unless I tell my heart to deliberately do something different, I often drift toward using religion to reach God.
Tim Keller wrote a brilliant piece on this in The Prodigal God . He said…
“Even after you are converted by the gospel your heart will go back to operating on other principles unless you deliberately, repeatedly set it to gospel-mode.
We habitually and instinctively look to other things besides God and his grace as our justification, hope, significance, and security. We believe the gospel at one level, but at deeper levels we do not. Human approval, professional success, power and influence, family and clan identity-all those things serve as our heart’s “functional trust” rather than what Christ has done, and as a result, we continue to be driven to a great degree by fear, anger, and a lack of self-control.
This is why almost each morning I have to reset my mind. I have to intentionally set my mind on the Gospel and the grace it provides. Losing my religion is tougher than I ever thought.

Paul’s got game!

Posted: May 20, 2010 in leadership
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Many ideas flow through my mind daily about church leadership. Of course, most days I feel like a Timothy. Then I wonder what it would have been like to have Paul as your mentor?

Paul’s final words were addressed to Timothy, a pastoral candidate. Like many ministerial plebes, Timothy had questioned this strange choice of occupation. After all, his mentor had more scars than friends, more jail time than spare time. And because Paul’s battles were from both sides of the church door, Timothy must have wondered, “How can anyone shepherd unruly sheep and menacing wolves at the same time?”

The apostle didn’t leave his protégé wondering for long. Paul’s exhortation has become his famous last words:

  • Be faithful in your duties. (2im 1.8)
  • Hold on to sound doctrine. (2Tim 1.13)
  • Guard what you say and do. (2Tim 2.22-24)
  • Be willing to suffer persecution for the gospel. (2Tim 3.12)
  • Work hard at preaching the Word. (2Tim 4.1-2)

These were Paul’s non-negotiable pastoral priorities. That’s why he could say, “I’ve fought the good fight, I’ve finished the course, I’ve kept the faith…”

And, as a result, Paul – and countless others like him – heard another set of famous last words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of your master.”

Is that your goal, too?

-Tom

Among friends

Posted: May 13, 2010 in Uncategorized
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This morning, I enjoyed breakfast and a great time of conversation with Pastors from the ECC in central Kansas. Thank you God, for putting Godly leaders around me!

First of all, my heart goes out to all the folks in middle-Tennessee. If you haven’t been listening lately, those in and around Nashville have been devastated with flooding over the last week. We should all be in prayer about what God can and will do with this crisis, as well as what part can we play in their story of clean up….and would glorify Him.

The last two days in south-central Kansas have been stormy wet! The sound of rain, that usually really makes me relaxed, has been replaced by pounding thunder, winds and rain. All of this reminds me of how my daily life can be. It can be sedate and routine, cruising if you will. In those times, I feel God is giving me such peace, beyond my own understanding. These days (and nights) allow me to focus on God in a different way. In a way that is so different than the days of life’s storms. See Mark 4:17

Like most people who call themselves “Christians”, I too rely (more like lean) on God during the loud, wet and troubled days. Sometimes those days consume me and all the thing around me, including my family. But over the last year, the troubled days have been balanced, almost canceled, by God’s peace, grace and unfailing love that I’ve seen in the quiet of the “cruising” days of life.

How do you balance your days of “cruising” verses the “stormy” days?

-Tom

Great Learners

Posted: May 4, 2010 in leadership, Uncategorized
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Florida Pastor Chris Elrod expresses what “great” Leaders do………

Great leaders are also great learners.  As the pastor of a church seeking to further the Kingdom of God I will seek whatever means necessary (blogs, books, conferences, coaching networks, podcasts, magazines, seminars, etc.) to gain more wisdom.  I also seek out others with this mentality to lead at Compass Point.

The main thing I look for in a potential leader is whether they bring energy to the vision. One of the best ways they can bring energy to the vision is by constantly coming to the table with new ideas…and they do that by constantly learning.  When someone is always telling me they don’t have time to check out a blog post, listen to a podcast or read a book…they are passed over for leadership at Compass Point.  They may have good leadership skills when dealing with people, but if they fail to make time to further their education they are a limited leader at best.  At some point the people they are leading will grow past them because of their lack of fresh and developing knowledge.

At Compass Point we are looking for leaders that can run the entire marathon with us…not just sprinting for a few laps.  Those that only want to rely on what they already know and have no ambition to learn new things on a regular basis are folks that are a waste of time to invest in as leaders.  They can make great volunteers and great church attenders…but they will never make great leaders.

As a leader in a relatively new church in a small Kansas community, this broke open the flood gates……reminded me of why I (we) do what we do to reach those who are far from God. Never stop, never stop learning…….what does Chris Elrod’s invoke/excite in you?

-Tom

Lasting Change

Posted: January 1, 2010 in Jesus Christ
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“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away, behold, new things have come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Ahh…2010…another New Near. The old, 2009, has gone and the new, 2010, has come, ready or not. Most of us will admit we have character traits or habits we would like to change. Some of us even try to modify our behavior. But just changing outward behavior is like rolling back the odometer on a car. You reduce the numbers from 200,000 to 20,000, but you still have a car with 200,000 miles on it.

However, there is hope for the person who sincerely desires to change. The power to change like that means admitting we can’t do it on our own. Remember, lasting change comes from within. We need the help of the Lord.

The Bible says if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone and new has come. When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, He transforms us–changes us from the inside out. Instead of just rolling back the odometer and being the same old person inside, He gives us a spiritual heart transplant.

Now, that’s a change for the better. And a change that lasts.

-Tom

The Christmas Story

Posted: December 24, 2009 in church, God, Jesus Christ

 


 

Luke 2:1-20

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, 
that all the world should be taxed . 
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  
And all went to be taxed , every one into his own city.  
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, 
which is called Bethlehem;
(because he was of the house and lineage of David:)  
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  
And so it was , that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered .  
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes , and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country 
shepherds abiding in the field , keeping watch over their flockby night.  
And, lo , the angel of the Lord came upon them, 
and the glory of the Lord shone roundabout them: and they were sore afraid. 
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, 
behold , I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  
And this shall be a sign unto you; 
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes , lying in a manger.  
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying ,  
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  
And it came to pass , as the angels were gone away from them into heaven , the shepherds said one to another, 
Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass , which the Lord hath made known unto us. 
And they came with haste , and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.  
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  
But Mary kept all these things , and pondered them in her heart.  
And the shepherds returned , glorifying and praising God for all the things 
that they had heard and seen ,as it was told unto them.