Churchie Talk…

If what I say about my relationship with Jesus is what I believe about Him…
I don’t have to use “over spiritual” words to describe it…

Jesus is my Daddy… We hang out together, when He is with me I am fearless… When He is with me I have peace… When we are apart, I feel that, it sucks but I know He didn’t leave, I was to busy or to stubborn to spend time with my Daddy… He gives me little reminders throughout my day that He wants to connect, reconnecting with Dad is the best:-) I never want to leave His side…

Even if i don’t feel it right now, I am incredibly loved by my Dad…

It is my desire to be more real, more authentic, in how I describe my relationship with Jesus this year… After all “churchie words” are not the end result of a relationship with Jesus…

The end result of a relationship with Jesus is: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, self control, kindness, goodness and faithfulness…

I want to have a relationship with Jesus people can notice and I can describe without needing a Christianity 101 class… I want to live loved…

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Reality Check for the Most Important Relationship of Your Life!

New Year Prayer Guide

1. Adoration: Praising God for who He is

Read & Reflect:
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:1, 2, 4, 5, 8 NLT)

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalms 46:1 NLT)

Pray that God would give you a greater understanding of His Word.
Pray for God to place a desire in your heart to know Him and be known by Him
Pray that you may better realize how much God loves you and what He has done for you.

2. Confession: Releasing to God your sins
Read & Reflect:

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. (1 John 1:8-10 NLT)

People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 NLT)

Talk to God about the sins you have knowingly committed this weekend.
Talk to God about any sins you find yourself repeating.
Talk to God about any relationships that have been broken because of sin… (Gossip, lies, unforgiveness)

3. Thanksgiving: Thank God for all He has done.
Reflect on these verses:

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. (Hebrews 12:28 NLT)

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6, 7 NLT)

List 10 blessings in your life, pray and thank God for them.
Pray that Jesus would help you to have a more thankful heart in 2014 than 2013.
Pray and Thank God for His Son and life we have because of His Life, Death & Resurrection.

4. Supplication: Asking, making requests to God

Read & Reflect:
Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you your heart’s desires. (Psalms 37:4 NLT)

Give your burdens to the Lord , and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. (Psalms 55:22 NLT)

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

Pray for boldness to have great conversations with God this year, talking to Him like a best friend.
Pray for any requests you may have.
Pray for Jesus give you hope for the new year and a glimpse of how He wants to grow in you and move through you!

Write a Letter To God:
Hide the Letter and find it in July. (We gather the letters and mail them out in July)

Step #1: Write about your current relationship with God. Think about God as a friend, Would you say you are close friends or distant? Write about why you think that.

Step #2: Write about the relationship with God you want to have. Are there areas you need to grow in? Are there areas of your life you have not fully surrendered to Him? Write about how you want the relationship to be at the end of 2014.

Step #3: Write out a few easy action steps that will help you move in the direction of where you want your relationship with God to be. Write out an action plan.

*If you are brave, write out on a separate sheet of paper & share your action plan with a trusted friend and pray for them throughout this year!

Wrestling with Dad…

The other day Joel, our three year old, wanted to wrestle.
This is pretty normal he loves it… He can’t get enough… There is one problem…

He always looses…

Every time…
I win ALL wrestling matches ever….

But the other day I realized something, I might win every time….

That does not stop him from wrestling just as hard the next time….
No matter how quickly he lost, he gets up thinking “this could be the time that I win”…
He doesn’t look at his past failures, his miserable losses, he thinks he can win… Every time we face off..

Wrestling with dad is teaching Joel endurance and the courage to get up and try again…

What if we all lived like that, so stubborn, so naive to our past, so excited about the future… So quick to jump back in give it another chance.

As his dad I know, with every wrestling match, he gets stronger… It really is only a matter or time before he beats me…

Because…. He did not give up when he lost…

To be encouraged by Gods Word,
Check out: Luke 18:1-8

Pastor Appreciation Month Request:

October is pastor appreciation month…

Normally I would just pretend like it’s another month and not bring any attention to the whole pastor appreciation thing…

To be honest… This is kinda awkward…
It’s easier and requires more pride not to make the request…
My Pride says: Ignore this opportunity and just play it cool…

The Bible says pride is terrible… So here goes…

I only have one request… It’s really easy…

All I ask is this….

Please pray for me…

I can do nothing effective if God is not doing it…

But on behalf of pastors everywhere…

Pray for us:-) We are human too…
We are Husbands, Dads, Friends…
Unless your a female pastor then your a Wife & Mom 🙂
We hurt and some even cry…
We walk with people through the highest joys and some of the lowest lows…
We need prayer support…

If your not sure what to pray I was reading this passage today, it seems like a pretty good guide…

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 NLT)

Thank you for your partnership in His ministry as you pray for me and the pastors who are preaching Jesus!!!

Lies… (Exposing the truth from the relationship lies of our culture) #Part 1

Hey Parents!

Thank you for stopping by and checking out what is being taught to your children! I hope this helps you as well as your students to defeat these lies… – Pastor Tom

1st Lie: “I Love You” – said from one middle schooler to another inside a “dating relationship”

Truth: Two Loves you can BANK ON… The Love of the God of The Bible and Love of Family … “In middle school I don’t understand love enough yet to say I Love You to another middle schooler.” What they are offering is an IMITATION of what they perceive real love to me… BUT… REAL Love is SELFLESS and often like children, all students care about in Middle School, is themselves

Understand this: Parents who set up for their children structure for dating and have open communication about parental standards, will significantly decrease the chance of their son or daughter being hurt emotionally, physically and spiritually. Our kids need parents to set up boundaries and they need us to be unmoving in our authority.

Gods Word Defining Love:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NLT)

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

GODS LOVE: 

1 John 3:16a (NLT) 

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. 

John 3:16 (NLT)

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

The I LOVE YOU test: This is a good standard for filtering out true love in relationship at any age.

* Are You Patient? (Are you trying to rush the relationship… if SO, Your not IN LOVE)
* Are you Kind? (Girls, if are not treated like a princes in a disney movie, you are not in LOVE)
* Are you Jealous? (If you are Jealous all the time because they have friends, you are not in LOVE)
* Are You Always Right? (If you control the relationship needing to be right all the time, YOUR NOT in LOVE)

A Challenge for the Boys: 

BEFORE you tell a girl you love her:

1. Tell her Dad You Love Him & You Love His Daughter.

(If you cant because you don’t know Him or because you are sacred… Your NOT ready to say “I LOVE YOU”)

2. Ask Him if He would allow you to tell her you love his daughter.

(He Loves her more than you do and has spent the hard time picking her up when she has fallen down, If he thinks you will hurt his daughter he will tell you that you are NOT ready to say “I LOVE YOU”)

3. Respect Your parents and her parents decision.

(Going behind your parents back is never safe, BUT this one is like playing with fire, if you can’t OR won’t respect what her dad says and live under the guidelines your parents have set, you are NOT ready to say “I LOVE YOU”)

Summary:

I LOVE YOU is a powerful statement and should be handled with GREAT CARE… We do not want to be tricked into believing we have the Real thing in a middle school relationship when what we really have is a cheap imitation.

Parents I hope this will help you think about how to prepare your sons and daughters for dating. There are two things you as a parent can bank on from me as their youth pastor:

1. I will always point students back to what you the parent says about dating. And 2. I will always teach that middle school relationships do not last and should not be pursued because they will always cause more drama and pain than if they had just remained friends.

If you would like to talk with me about how to set up relational boundaries I would be more than willing to sit down with you and help you. Also, our next Equipping Weekend here at the Wesleyan Church of Hamburg (March 22-23rd) We will be hosting a seminar about Helping Your Middle Schooler to Make Wise Choices. Be on the look out for more information about that!

ACTS Prayer Guide to a New Year!

A-C-T-S Prayers: This weekend we prayed through the ACTS Prayer guide, this is what we used… I Hope you are able to use it also!

 

1. Adoration: Praising God for who He is

Read & Reflect:

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:1, 2, 4, 5, 8 NLT)

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalms 46:1 NLT)

  • Pray that God would give you a greater understanding of His Word.
  • Pray for God to place a desire in your heart to know Him and be known by Him
  • Pray that you may better realize how much God loves you and what He has done for you.

 

2. Confession: Releasing to God your sins

Read & Reflect:

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. (1 John 1:8-10 NLT)

People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 NLT)

  • Talk to God about the sins you have knowingly committed this weekend.
  • Talk to God about any sins you find yourself repeating.
  • Talk to God about any relationships that have been broken because of sin… (Gossip, lies, unforgiveness)

 

3. Thanksgiving: Thank God for all He has done.

Reflect on these verses:

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. (Hebrews 12:28 NLT)

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6, 7 NLT)

  • List 10 blessings in your life you are thankful for, pray and thank God for them.
  • Pray that Jesus would help you to have a more thankful 2013 than 2012.
  • Pray and Thank God for His Son and life we have because of His Life, Death & Resurrection.

 

4. Supplication: Asking, making requests to God

Read & Reflect:

Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you your heart’s desires. (Psalms 37:4 NLT)

Give your burdens to the Lord , and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. (Psalms 55:22 NLT)

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

  • Pray for boldness to have great conversations with God this year, talking to Him like a best friend.
  • Pray for any requests you may have.
  • Pray for Jesus give you hope for the new year and a glimpse of how He wants to grow in you and move through you!

 

Finding Light In This Dark World

This was our discussion questions/passages from last weeks D-Group Guilde… Very applicable to everything that has taken place this week at NewTown, CT. I hope you take the time to look up these passages and see light in the darkness.

 

Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 What does this passage teach us about God? Make a list.

Read 2 Timothy 3:1-9 Do you see similarities to our world today? Discuss the current reality of our world.

Read Hebrews 4:14-16 What does this passage teach us about the relationship between God and man?

Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-17 What does this passage teach us about God and our current situation on earth?