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Pastor Tom Sims
Clovis, California
Pastor-Coach-Encourager-Writer-Friend
Interests: Faith, Mission, Health, Networking, People-Building, Community Transformation, Life
Recent Activity
And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? - Luke 3:10 John got the response that he must have hoped for. It was the right response. It was the only logical response from a people who had been touched and pierced by the penetrating Word of God: “What shall we do?” It is a word of hope and desperation. It is a word that reflects sincerity and contrition. It agrees with The messenger of God that all is not right and needs to be made so. What shall we do when we look at our lives and... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at The Dream Factory
Live Simply and Share He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. - Luke 3:11 Sometimes we are ready for a really complicated answer to the big questions and all we get is something like this. It’s like Fulghum’s book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Live simply and share what you have. We’d really like it to be more complicated than that – and in some ways it is. But this was a start. It... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at The Dream Factory
I am glad that God does that for me. Of course, it is completely unfair .... I do the wrong and He atones for it. That means, He bears the brunt and makes it right. What kind of wonderful craziness is this? Grace and mercy. "Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again." - Psalm 78:38-39 (ESV) Continue reading
Posted 5 hours ago at The Dream Factory
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Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash Are you feeling "stuck" in work you feel is insignificant and at the lowest place on the chain of importance? Are you doing menial work when you feel you have a greater calling? Look at David. His entire schooling was doing what kids do in a family like his - chasing ewes, shepherding sheep. Yet David, apparently, grasped the parallels. He realized that the lowest work was really at the heart of the greatest work. To serve, to lead, to protect a great people was really just a larger context of what he had... Continue reading
Posted 5 hours ago at The Dream Factory
Oh the wonders He has done! And we, with race, yet to be run, Run on and share with daughter, son, The wonders done and to be done. Give ear, incline, and hear this word. As on you run, be thus assured: The glorious deeds which once occurred Are grace bestowed and undeterred. " Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Dream Factory
The world needs non-violent witnesses of Jesus to walk unarmed, vulnerable, and faithfully bold, trembling, but walking on among the clamoring, posturing, outbursts of angry violence and ignorant hate to stand for love, justice, and peace. These shall neither relent nor retaliate. They shall neither defend nor disperse. They shall not excuse nor accuse. That shall bear witness. For some it will be in public places and for others, spaces like this. All sides will accuse them of being on the wrong side but there is only one side and few stand on its ground. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Dream Factory
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Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash "If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." - James 1:26-27 (ESV) Worthless religion? That connotes that our religion ought to be worth something to someone other than ourselves. It is not just our eternal life insurance policy. It is to have value to other people, to our communities., to our fellow believers,... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Dream Factory
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And they said, “Believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” -Acts 16:31 Here is an acronym for what it means to have saving faith: B- Be convinced that God loves you and that Jesus died for your sins, rising again to give you eternal life. This is the gospel E– Examine your life honestly in the light of God’s Word and admit your need of a Savior as a result of sin. The Holy Spirit will guide you through this process of conviction if you are open. L– Let go of your sinful resistance and self-centered... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Dream Factory
Laughing jester, unknown Early Netherlandish artist (possibly Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen), circa 1500 "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you." - Proverbs 1:24-27 First, it is important to distinguish that, while God is the author of wisdom and is all wise,... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Dream Factory
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Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash What is God's role in natural disasters? Naturally, after making a good system, God expected us to learn, respect, and follow the laws of nature. He often helps us when we clash with nature and gives us peace in the midst of storms. We can also learn the important lessons of environmental stewardship as we reassess our life styles. We live and learn as we respect the truths of divinely ordained science and natural processes of well designed world. Above that, God reveals Himself primarily in the prayers, deeds,and compassionate gifts of people who... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2018 at The Dream Factory
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Plumb Worn Out Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash Weary is the soul that has labored Beyond the labors of the hands. Weary is the mind that has expanded to greater understanding So that no one understands. Weary is the voice that cries In a wilderness of people And no one hears. Weary is the one who knows but struggles Who knows enough to know that not all can be known And not all can be certain. Weary is her mind and body. Weary are his hands and feet. That souls longs for respite and fulfillment. Yet, that soul cannot... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2018 at The Dream Factory
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Photo by Eddy Lackmann on Unsplash One Word! How is it that a small word or two of encouragement can make all the difference in a person's day? One compliment can turn the tide for another person's day or week. One blessing softly and sincerely spoken can lift a downtrodden spirit. A brief prayer can evoke the release of a flood tide of emotion cleansing the soul of a broken life. One "You can do it" can be heard and acted upon to catalyze change in an entire community or world. One hand placed gently and firmly on a shoulder... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2018 at The Dream Factory
Tiptoes Standing on tiptoe in expectancy. Living breathless in the wind. Waiting with expectation among the voices of boredom. Living above the storm ... Hopeful ... Hope. Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2018 at The Dream Factory
I pray in the silence of my soul Surrounded by the noise of the world And the calming music of sacred choirs. And yet, there is silence. I am quiet before you, Oh God. I have no words, no thoughts, no ideas Of any consequence. I must empty myself and sit in solitude For that which is my deepest need Is to hear from You, To experience You, Is to know You and present myself to You. In audacity, I call this a gift, My gift to You and Yet, it is Your gift to me. I have nothing in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2018 at The Dream Factory
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We have a choice. There is still within us the memory of blindness and sin and it holds some sort of nostalgic appeal to us. But we must remember that the misery of it all was always greater than its perverted pleasure. It was pleasurable for a season, but those seasons got shorter and shorter and less and less pleasurable. We can see now and we can choose. Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2018 at The Dream Factory
I notice that I wrote and posted the following nine years ago. The context was different, perhaps and perhaps not. The core issues are the same and the desire for places of meeting with respect and open minded dialogue are the same. ------------------------------------------------ I must confess that I dislike controversy. I can tolerate it in others, but I realize dislike being controversial. I think the reason is that I know that when I am most controversial, I stand as much chance as anyone of being wrong. I don't even agree with myself some of the time. I also know that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2018 at The Dream Factory
"She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." - John 8:11 Jesus said that wheat and tares would grow together until the end of time and that in the end, God Himself would sort them out. Until that time, we are called to live without the burden of judging others, without condemnation, and with a solemn commitment not to destroy anything of God’s planting in the futile process of sorting our evil people from good people in this life. Not everything that grows in a field is what... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2018 at The Dream Factory
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Photo by MILKOVÍ on Unsplash Words matter. How and why we use our words matters. A prayer of yesteryear resounds in our contemporary ears: Continue to store us away from the strife of tongues and may our tongues not cause strife. In a day of many wagging tongues and much strife and verbal violence, may we speak grace and filter out the graceless dissonance from our spirits, while hearing the genuine pain and heart cries of our broken and wounded neighbors. May God's abundant goodness be upon us. May all these blessings come to you, my friends. "Oh, how abundant... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2018 at The Dream Factory
In a day when we, as Christians, feel compelled to protest our losses of special privilege, criticism, insult, offense, or false characterization of our motives, we have a role model for how to handle it. After saying all there was to say, he just went silent. He was not standing there to defend himself. After speaking truth, he simply embodied it with humility, grace, confidence, determination, and non-resistance to the consequences. It was his silence that amazed Pilate. " And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2018 at The Dream Factory
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May you be blessed today, people of truth, souls of deep longing, heart walkers of grace, grace walkers of broken hearts, life livers and life givers. May you be blessed. May you be blessed, people of the edge, marginal pilgrims, shaky saints, trembling travelers, limping leapers, and lovers of humanity whose hands are extended into the darkness to those who dwell there, who enter the abyss with a light that gradually dissolves the fog of ambiguity and despair. Be blessed soul travelers, guided guides, voices of hope, fellow stragglers who stagger toward something that glimmers in the darkness and the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2018 at The Dream Factory
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There is a device at the head of my bed with which I have a love/hate relationship. It gives me a degree of comfort - the kind that comes with discipline and safety while also being an enemy to my comfort. The very name of the device evokes images of fear, terror, shock, and awe: ALARM. "Don't be alarmed," is a common way of assuring people that there is no reason to be disturbed, frightened, or unsettled. But that is what my alarm clock does to me every morning - so much so that I often wake up on my... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2018 at The Dream Factory
No one is going to come along with you until you start moving. No one is going to see it, get it, or understand it until you live it and demonstrate it. Do not wait for a vote of your peers or critics to start living a life of faith, compassion, or obedience to God. If you are going to follow Jesus, it will be a counter cultural move. Do not expect applause or ease. Do expect to be called names -- it does not matter which ones. You may be called a "liberal" by some or a "fundy" by... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2018 at The Dream Factory
Thoughts, words, emotions, and promptings converge and none localized around any one soul. Is altruism an illusive and allusive fantasy? All anger bleeds acid. Sadness breeds sorrow. There are remedies. Remedies require energy from tired brains. Love leaks leaky hearts. Hope demands engagement. It is costly. Grace provokes disgrace. But every alternative to love and grace is unacceptable. You've read the news. You've expressed shock and outrage. This is a recurring word in a recurring new world order. It is tiring and draining. So take a short break to regroup and get back to work. You did not call or... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2018 at The Dream Factory
Old woman praying by Théophile Lybaert Father, I am reporting for duty. It is a joy to do so. Just the idea of being chosen for anything thrills and humbles me. Unworthy as I am, you see something in me that you can use because you put it there Ignite it, God. Fan the flame and let it burn ... that it ... that something ... that investment you made in me by your grace. I am here. I have some things to do, but that is all I know about the agenda for the day ... dates, times, places,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2018 at The Dream Factory
Perhaps, I sometimes get into life, meaning, and theological/philosophical thinking way above my "pay grade." Do you ever over-agonize the bigger, deeper, loftier issues in the land of awe and wonder? It is not a call the shallow thinking or disengagement of our intellect, but a reminder of the limits of our consciousness. We come to the end of our capacity where we integrate, frustrate, of meditate. It is there where we can emancipate ourselves from a world of care by becoming children again, resting as with our mother, not quite an infant, but not yet big kids either, just... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2018 at The Dream Factory