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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
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Beloved, you do not ultimately answer to me for who you are. I am not your judge and if I try to be, I stand the chance of being wrong. I cannot even judge my judges. I cannot know your motives. I cannot know theirs. We have all been victims of unfair judgment and we have all dished it out. If you ask me about you, you are giving me more information and seeking my accountability. We need to be accountable. It is healthy. I will prayerfully and tentatively give you a reflection of what I see. When I must... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Dream Factory
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Peace and Justice are not two sides of the same coin. They are both on the same side of the same coin. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Dream Factory
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We are here today, standing on a rolling ball, trying to maintain our balance yet balanced by an unseen hand. We are suspended between the ground beneath and the sky above and somehow unimpressed. We are ever bumping into one another and looking the other way with muttered apologies for living. We see through and around and over and under with the illusion of our own invisibility. We are witnesses to what we are and what we know and who we know and choose to live in anonymity. And we live on, day after day, moment after moment in the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Dream Factory
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That being said, here are some random observations from an imperfect interpreter of scripture and life: My take-away lesson from Jeremiah is that some suffering is necessary. Jesus taught this too and embodied it and, when encouraged to avoid the suffering, He put the "plan" ahead of His own interests and well-being. But ... nevertheless ... and more of the most .... the words"rise again" were there all along. "And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed,... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Dream Factory
A pastoral theologian must sometimes be prophetic. A prophet must sometimes be pastoral. A disciple must always follow and invite, "Will you come along with me?" Pastoral or prophetic strength goes to personality and gifting. Discipleship is more about our common calling. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Dream Factory
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I write, therefore I think. I think, therefore I write. I get it out, look at it, and evaluate if it rings true. I stink, therefore, I am. If it smells like me, it might be me, Be patient. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Dream Factory
"It is in dying that we are born to eternal life." - Prayer of St. Francis So, let me die today and die daily. There is nothing in my instincts to pray such a prayer. But then, there is nothing in my instinctual drive to cling ... ... to extinct-ual or ... extinguishable "living" that lives beyond the moment. I pray to resist that drive, that urge, that urgency to survive that extinguishes life. Some day, that will mean laying down my body, but, today it means ... laying down this body of sin, of self, of sensual necessity that... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Dream Factory
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Photo by Jordan on Unsplash Bob was late and Jan was really very tired. She for fate, and he, for fear of being fired, Compressed the metal to the waiting floor, Confessed within to driving sixty-four, And let it loose midst stress to play the happy fool. Not in the least obtuse, and yet, they're both in traffic school. And by their sides are Mary, Sally, John, and even Jim, Anticipating scary films and lectures dull, and bleak, and grim, Lost to opportunity today in commerce and in study, Cost in dank impunity, fear the teacher is a fuddy duddy.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Dream Factory
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Jesus speaks up to teach us that everything big was once small, The Kingdom of God, at its essence, within us and within the world, can be as tiny as a mustard seed. That which begins small, has great potential.God's in no hurry, but He will make haste to deliver us ... only to teach us to trustfully wait for the accomplishment of His purposes. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Dream Factory
I set urgent goals, make urgent plans, play urgent roles, Pray urgent prayers, seek urgent interventions for my urgent cares. God quietly, silently, patiently hears my cries, my fears, my sobbing tears. God speaks and cage-rattles as silently and patiently to my rage- battles. And urgency gives way to intentionality .... And rush to order ... And I step into a different time-line where all that was slow Is fast And all that was fast Is slow And everything Is right on time. "Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me,... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Dream Factory
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Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Dream Factory
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Mutual communication with God is going on far beneath the surface of our lives. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Dream Factory
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“And the woman left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, ’Come, see a man, who told me all the things that I ever did. Is this not the Christ?’” – John 4:28-29 Are we too attached to our water pots to carry the call of Jesus to our cities? Are we so fixated on our trivial tasks that we cannot leave them to bear witness to His power, grace, and truth? Here was a woman with the worst reputation in the village and she went to the very people with whom she... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at The Dream Factory
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Only when we take God seriously, can we take ourselves seriously - or anything else for that matter. Paul says that without the cornerstone of acknowledgement of God as God, man became and we become futile thinkers and vain engineers of imagination. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at The Dream Factory
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God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— Romans 1:9-11 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at The Dream Factory
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For David, beholding the beauty of God was a step toward inquiring of Him. He knew that he could gaze upon God in whatever way He disclosed Himself as a means of meditating upon His truth.In doing so, David could meet God and so can we. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Dream Factory
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History, whether Heilsgeschichte (Salvation history), political history, social, or any other sort of history, is the story of learning, remembering, forgetting, cycling over and over, making some progress, taking some steps back, but always leaving markers along the trail of human experience. The meaning emerges from the reflective insights that bubble forth in scriptural interpretation and contemplative prayer focused upon the key questions we ask and are asked by God and our fellow travelers. Joseph died. His brothers died. His whole generation died. At some point, all that will be left us us on earth will be the elements of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2019 at The Dream Factory
My tribe has a checkered history with forced conversions, violent power-grabbing, and militaristic exercise of religious dominance. To deny that is to deny history. To not care is to ignore scripture. We are flawed in our common humanity and sin with a lust for power that we are willing to exercise with violence and coercion. Our religions, no matter how legitimate or illegitimate can be illegitimately co-opted as an excuse for that power-lust and every evil methodology we can muster to acquire what we want and think we deserve. At the moment, the world is experiencing an extreme and frightening... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2019 at The Dream Factory
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A sure way to invoke the wrath of those who are for war is to be for peace. It will take all of your prayer and strength not to break with your resolve, not to lash out, and not to wish ill upon your tormentors for their anger can be strong and their condemnation can be chilling. But you have your marching orders from a higher commander and you are declared to be blessed by the Prince of Peace. " Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar! Too long have I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2019 at The Dream Factory
We are compulsive arrangers ... at least those of us who labor under the dysfunctions of our own control issues. We want to organize, fix, and manipulate things so that they will work the way we want them and never challenge our comforts, preferences, or aversion to chaos. What follows from Paul is not a call to chaos or a condemnation of organization. Rather it is a reminder that the great arranger is not some composite of us. Whatever we can do is not greater than what God is doing. Behind the scenes, beneath the surface, and above our heads,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2019 at The Dream Factory
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Don't report the final score before the whistle blows and don't assume that set backs predict loss. Furthermore, don't pursue that which is easy, popular, or compatible with the dominant narrative of any generation at the cost of the soul-searching, soul-wrenching, upside-down message of sacrifice, service, and radical discipleship. The depth, reality, and long-term character of the call is seldom what would seem most expeditious in a meeting of our own minds for the purpose of securing short-term gains. Mark 8:27-9:1: Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2019 at The Dream Factory
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Grace Has Brought Me Safe Thus Far "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." - Psalm 40:2 I tread cautiously on the subject of safety. I have to deal with it daily. As an employer, a pastor, and a program leader, I am responsible for the safety of people under my care and I take it seriously. I also value the lives of people who are murdered and victimized by evil forces in the world. Yet, for myself and others who... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2019 at The Dream Factory
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Photo by Mario Gogh on Unsplash “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever beleiveth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16 It is the first verse we learned as children and the one that remains dearest to our hearts. It is the gospel in a verse. It is so familiar that it is tempting to treat it as trite. It is a glimpse into the very heart of God and it deeply informs our understanding of His purposes and ways. God paints a world of people in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2019 at The Dream Factory
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Don't get me started on π . You'll never hear the end of it. Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2019 at The Dream Factory
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God's anger is what we experience when we resist the fierceness of unrelenting love. We are in a storm and we can ride the storm or wage war against the storm, but we cannot ignore the storm. Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2019 at The Dream Factory