(a.k.a. "Pastor Thom's
Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
A Hunger For More Column
Contact Pastor Thom by email
A very strange
thing has happened. I stumbled last weekend over the
listing of the book that I had written on
I had been told by the
publisher that it was scheduled
to be released on March 3 of this year, but I guess it got out
early for good behavior.
The Fairy Tale Parables
and was a product of
my family's fondness for "story-time". Our reading classic
fairy tales awakened on every turn countless spiritual
applications for the stories that we read. This was fun to
write, but I hope that the truth of God's Word and His love for
people everywhere will prove to be more than merely entertaining
or even heartwarming. I hope most of all that it
introduces people into new life with Jesus.
Here is the
back cover summary of the book...
Prepare to journey again to lands and times you once knew as
a child, and revisit your favorite fairy tales. It turns out
that there may be more to those stories than meets the eye.
Be prepared for the voice of God to speak into your heart
and life unexpected words of love, conviction and
encouragement. Inside this book are pearls waiting to be
unearthed by seekers of truth. Do you dare open your heart
to the Giver of truth? Do you dare not to?
At any rate,
it was a bit surreal to see it on
Barnes & Noble, and
online site). It was even on
My Author Website
is newly up and running (don't expect anything too fancy
Okay... so it's not
necessarily going to win a prize for great literature!
December 1, 2007
Well, we had
our annual shoot-out... er... I mean our annual Christmas
picture "photo op" a few days ago. What a job! Um...
I mean what a joy! Actually, we end up taking about fifty
pictures on our digital camera just to get one picture that we
can put in our Christmas cards. It's not that we're
looking for the "perfect" picture... we'll settle for eyes open
and everybody facing the general direction of the camera.
Diane and I also generally prefer fingers kept to selves (and
not poking, prodding, or picking): that way, brothers or
sister are not making strange and fearful faces for the camera.
the picture that Diane and I can agree on is taken (the standard
usually being much lower than when we began the picture
taking), we allow the children to make "funny faces" of which we
also take snapshots and upload to the computer. I offered
to post this picture also on the web, but our oldest threatened
to move to Siberia if we did (I started packing his bags, but
Diane caved in).
our annual Christmas picture. Much blood, sweat, and tears
were shed in the production of it.
reminds me a little of those moments when we'd really like to
have our act together but nothing seems to be working out.
Try as we might, our imperfections, the effects of unwise
decisions, or just difficult circumstances come waltzing our way
and mess everything up.
people reading this are human (well, I assume so anyway), I'll
take it for granted that you know what I am talking about.
You know that sometimes you say or do things you shouldn't say
or do; you also plan your life and work hard but find
hurtful things that are beyond your control still happen to you.
grace. I am not the most patient of men (to which my
children and wife heartily cry, "Amen!"). But as Diane and
I take our pictures on occasions such as these, I TRY to hold it
together, remember that they're children, and consequently,
their attention span isn't necessarily that of an adult.
If I can find
enough restraint to keep from losing my temper (my sanity being
another matter altogether), then God, Who is infinitely powerful
and wise and loving, can handle my own immaturity and tendency
to be somewhat less than "picture perfect".
to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come and redeemed
His people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in
the house of His servant David... to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember His holy covenant... to enable us to serve Him
without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our
days. Luke 1:68-69, 72, 74-75
Please... somebody shoot
September 14, 2007
If you are
even remotely paying any kind of attention to what's going on
around you, there's a ninety-five percent chance that you're
encountering people around you in your weekly experience who are
"broken" (okay, I would have said "ninety-nine point nine nine
nine nine" but I didn't want to be obnoxious).
By "broken" I
simply mean that the person(s) in question is/are suffering
somehow from inward distress due to fear/regret/pain (you name
it) coming from either past experiences or choices, present
difficulties, or future uncertainties (or undesirable
"certainties" as the case may be).
In fact, you
may be a "broken" person right now, inwardly struggling but
feeling like you've fallen off the wall and that "all the king's
horses" and "all the king's men" are just not gonna cut it
fixing your broken heart.
might be right actually. The king's horses and his men
just can't reach in deep enough to take all your pain away,
erase the past, fix the present, and guarantee the future.
They can't... but the King can. It is after all why He
"The Spirit of
the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel
to the poor, He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are
downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord" (Luke
So when He
sends out "all the King's horses and all the King's men" in
Matthew 28, He's sending them out to be vessels through whom He
continues the ministry of preaching to the poor, proclaiming
release to the captives, granting of sight to the blind, and
setting free the downtrodden.
has been given to Me in heaven and earth. Go therefore and
make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to
observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20 NAS).
business? Why are we here? It isn't to fix people
but it IS to lead them to the One Who can "put them together
And it came
about that while He was in one of the cities, behold, there was
a man full of leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his
face and implored Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You
can make me clean." And He stretched out His hand, and
touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." And
immediately the leprosy left him. Luke 5:12-13
(or What We're Doin'
take most folks very long to figure out that evil isn't always
discernable (no, let's say instead that it isn't always
obvious). Wouldn't it be nice if things that were evil
and things that were good simply wore bright neon signs that
identified them so? Or what if the good guys always wore
white and the bad guys always wore black? On the other
hand, that would simply leave us with a fashionably drab world
since everybody would have to wear black ("There is not a
righteous man on earth who does what is right and never
sins" Ecclesiastes 7:20 NIV).
is one of the qualities of evil that we should assume.
With subtlety, evil can woo the unwary, win over the worried,
and wile the wayward. Then, once its thorny vines have
intertwined about its victims' lives, the thorns sprout, and the
vine constricts, suffocating spiritual life, hope, and potential
for everlasting fruit.
In some cases,
the evil fruits ripen and burst open with horrible results (as
with Cho at Virginia Tech). In all cases, however, it
brings death... spiritual death at the least. What hope is
there then for the world? The hope found in Christ Jesus.
"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). "In
cases," I said, and "in all cases," I mean. But "if Christ
is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is
alive because of righteousness" (Romans 8:10). So, if I am
in Jesus (having placed my faith in Him alone to save me from
the power and penalty of sin), death has already been counted to
me (or rather, my sin) and I am no longer bound to the destiny
that once was mine, being free now to really live life... life
in His Spirit.
then. Seek to know Him through His Word (the Bible),
through prayer, and through fellowship with God's people in a
local, Bible-based church. Seek to know the face of all
that is good and holy so that you won't be taken in by evil's
self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
The Face of Evil
You, My Pretty; and Your Little Dog, Too!)
March 30, 2007
cautious about posting or writing specifically about members of
my family (and this is no exception) but I would like to mention that first, the Lord
has blessed me with a wonderful family! And not only am I
personally blessed, our work here
with Pathway could not be nearly as fruitful as it has been
(not to mention that it wouldn't also be nearly as rewarding)
without them. Secondly, given that God greatly esteems the institution
of family (identifying Himself as THE Father), I simply want to
say here that the purpose and mission of Pathway is, in part, to
help shore the foundations of the Christian family for the glory
of God and for the health and wholeness of each family member.
After all, it would not
be incorrect to say that the family, as instituted by God, is
the first and foremost means by
which God exerts His influence over the social ebbs and flow of
our communities, government, and the world (not to mention our
churches themselves). The mission of the Church, then, is
NOT to replace the spiritual impact that moms and dads should be
having on their children (being the divinely-ordained primary
sources of godly counsel and spiritual instruction), but should
be coming alongside the family to support and strengthen it in
its mission to raise up a generation who will fulfill the destiny
for which they've been created.
There are a
lot of bad things going on in the world today... even in
America. Perhaps the greatest evil taking place is that
the family, more often than not, is not walking with God as it
family is struggling, riddled with relational difficulties,
health issues, and financial woes. Start surrendering your
family to God's care. Maybe you've neglected your
role as father, mother, son, or daughter... still, change your
direction now and find out how God's power and influence through
a life that is really surrendered to His lordship can be a
powerful tool in turning the tide of the lives of our loved
ones. And be a part of a church, like Pathway, which will
support you in your role as a family member and leader!
Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD
your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all
your strength. These commandments that I give you today
are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the
road, when you lie down and when you get up.
A Family Affair...
March 20, 2007
Spiritual life and
significance can be measured by neither levels of activity nor by
our emotions. In fact, emotional charges we get when we
attend highly-charged meetings can encourage us, but are in some
ways a bit like coffee.
Now don't get me wrong!
I like coffee! A bit too much (which is why I frequently
will "fast" from it).... ;-)
Nevertheless, emotional highs
from "super spiritual" experiences (e.g., a Christian music
concert with an incredible speaker) can affect us a bit like coffee
in the morning. Of course, the caffeine in coffee doesn't
generate any real energy in your system... it just speeds up
your metabolism giving you the sensation and temporary effect of
a surge of energy. In a similar way, things that
excite us spiritually, while pleasant and often helpful, can be no more than
the metaphysical equivalents of caffeine!
So if we're not careful, we
can get confused about our own spiritual condition (maybe assuming
that we're way off track because the positive feelings have
cooled off a bit). Or we can assume the opposite, that
we're right on track when we're feeling "high" with enthusiasm.
The fact is, though, that unless we're
carefully nurturing an intimate relationship with God through
Jesus Christ, we're going to reach some really wrong conclusions
and likely make some really bad decisions. Make sure then
that you're getting more than just spiritual coffee in your
I am the vine; you are the
branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will
bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.
Okay, but only one cup!
March 8, 2007
In doing what I do in my
"other" job, as the director of career services at the local
university, my office and I had the privilege of hosting a
career fair in which over forty employers could meet nearly 170
As each of these students meet
and visit with prospective employers, the question arises for
the Christian student, "What is God's direction for me?".
Some perhaps found a career path at the event. Some may
not have discovered theirs yet, but hopefully received more
information to consider as they seek God's will.
REAL question to ask for them and for each of us is whatever the
path that God has in store for us, will we do our utmost for His
Whatever you do,
whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him....
Whatever you do, work
at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,
since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the
Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:17, 22-23
My Utmost For his Highest
March 1, 2007
All right! We're giving
the ol' weblog another go! The former blog service, which
was provided by the company who hosts our web page , is no
longer in operation so I'm obliged to try to keep this modest
little weblog going via regular web page design although it's a little harder
to do. I don't know that I'll try to archive things, but at
least this won't be at the mercy of the changing dynamics
of our web host - as wonderful as our web host is... No really!
I'm not being facetious.
Anyway, if you're interested,
I write the weekly column
A Hunger For More
our local newspaper.
The primary passion for my
life is to see God's people fall in love with their Creator all
over again and to come into the full experience of the Christian
life intended them by God.
I will praise you, O LORD,
with all my heart... the LORD will fulfill His purpose for me;
Your love, O LORD, endures forever.... Psalm 138:1, 8
Here we go again!
A Hunger For More