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Showing posts from May, 2016

Intentional Exposure

What if we re-wrote Philippians 4:8?

"Finally, brethren, whatever is untrue, whatever is ignoble, whatever is wrong, whatever is impure, whatever is unlovely, whatever is unadmirable- if there is anything shoddy or unworthy of praise- do not think or meditate on these things."

The Apostle Paul is emphasizing the importance of being careful of what you put in your mind.

It takes courage to refuse the streaming input of godless culture, and the expected misunderstanding and resentment of those who are surprised that you do not conform.

Stand firm and choose selectivity over an aimless and drifting mind.

Be very intentional about what you expose yourself to. Given the wide-ranging content on TV, the internet, in music, and everywhere else- always be mindful of sinful, lustful toxins to the heart and mind. Distractions that remove you from intimacy with God.

Intentional exposure has a significant impact on our minds, which is the gateway to the rest of our being. Live to please C…

29 Years in Ministry

Here is a huge congratulations to my dad, Dr. Stephen A. Thomas!

Sunday, May 29th, he celebrated his 29th pastoral anniversary at Community Fellowship Church in Dalton, GA. Additionally, May 29th was also his birthday.

That couldn't have been timed better.

May was filled with special guests preaching and encouraging Daddy and the congregation. Last Sunday, May 22nd, he was re-affirmed as a Bishop.

Sunday, May 29th, we celebrated with a service full of music-- sending praise to the Lord for His splendor, protection, salvation, and for His provision of an incredible overseer and pastor in Daddy.

I am very blessed and fortunate to have the father that I do.

Most of what I know about relationships, money, stewardship, business, leadership, fashion, theology, politics, sports, and money comes from my dad.

I have never had to look outside of the house to find a hero.

Pastoring is a 24/7 vocation. I have seen Daddy visit hospitals, jails, prisons, drama-filled homes, and eulogized and ma…

The Heart of Gospel. The Art of Jazz. Part 6

Over the past month I have dived deeply back into jazz.

A good deal of the deep dive was aroused by my mentor Jason Smith's recent video playing "Four" by Miles Davis. But, most of the cause for the deeper study came from the Holy Spirit telling me to be a better steward of the gift of music that He's given me.

Do you have a God-given gift that you know you are not maximizing to it's full potential? Are you sitting on incredible ideas that only God could give you? Wait no more, take this post as confirmation: Practice, cultivate, and "study to show yourself approved..." (2 Timothy 2:15).

These conversations with God are what resulted in my very first video playing piano on YouTube.

I felt that even with all of my music training through college, I was only limiting the gift to Sunday mornings and songs that did not require nearly as extensive thought as the jazz tunes Jason would have me play during lessons. I was not pushing and challenging myself like …

You Are The One

This one is for my fellow men and brothers.

The world needs Kingdom Men. A kingdom man is a man who visibly demonstrates the comprehensive rule of God underneath the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life.

You have a battle to fight. An enemy to conquer. A realm to deliver.
You Are The One.
The choice is totally yours. You can either choose to operate in the power and authority given to you by the blood of Jesus Christ- and function in your call to greatness. Or you can hide in fear, avoid issues, and make excuses.
You Are The One.
You are the one to make difference in your destiny, your family, your church, your work, your community, our nation, and this world. No one else can decide that for you.
No one will force you to step up to fulfill your calling. It is your choice. A choice you have to make that will determine whether or not you live this life in mediocrity and settle for the ordinary- or you can choose to engage your God-given authority designated through God's W…

Step Out the Boat!

" And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus." Matthew 14:28-29
It is easy to be so afraid of making a mistake that you never step out on faith.

Yes, you could fail. Yes, you could do it wrong. No, you may not get your intended result.

But, don't worry. God can take care of any mistake you make.

Just like Peter when he stepped out of the boat, Jesus will never let you down.

Notice that Peter did not hold a prayer meeting or go on a four-week fast. There is nothing wrong with those, but at this specific opportunity, Peter had to take action. And he did. He took faith-based action.

Sometimes you have to the dare of stepping out the boat- a place of safety and comfort- and into the unpredictable, daring waters of risk.

Here is some advice, as long as you seek God first, He rules your heart, and all of your m…

Entrepreneurship vs. Innovation

I am currently reading The Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton.

So far, its been an eye-opening, thought-provoking, and data-rich book filled with why (substantiated with abounding statistics) the war for good jobs is the next great global war.

In the very beginning of the book Clifton writes "The global war for jobs determines the leader of the free world (pg. 4)." I find this to be a potent and very relevant statement given our current domestic and global events such as the upcoming Presidential Election, the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Paris Climate Agreement, and Brexit.

Clifton highlights many of the challenges and solutions our nation, and world, faces in the race to lead the way in job creation.

Chapter seven is titled "Entrepreneurship vs. Innovation" and I will leave with these paragraphs that jumped off the pages when I first read them...

... the country should focus first and disproportionately on world-class entrepreneurship because that's what creates jobs. L…

Music Spotlight Tuesday: I Am They- I Am They

Well, after quite a brief hiatus, I am back with Music Spotlight Tuesday.

The break was due to a number of factors, but chiefly because my church Praise Team and Choir now rehearses on Tuesdays- so writing time became rehearsal time.

But, MST is back! Why not start off with a bang?

I Am They is a six-member band hailing from Carson City, Nevada. I want to call them pop, but their sound is not all pop. I want to call them folk, but their sound is not all folk. I want to call them straight ahead praise and worship, but that's not quite their sound either.

I Am They's uniqueness cannot be put into the cubbyhole box of a genre. Their musical versatility embodies elements of several genres. I Am They's debut self-titled album is not your average 10-track project.

The "genre" thing is tough to answer, but there is one truth that cannot be denied: their music is an offering that gives glory to God.

All 10 songs unquestionably celebrate the power and majesty of God.

The f…

#DreamSmallBiz

How many times have you heard that "small businesses are the backbone of the American economy"?

The phrase has become cliche and abused many times over, but it's nonetheless very true and very real.

Small and medium-sized businesses are responsible for most of the job creation in the U.S.

In fact, America's dependency on job creation, tax base expansion, GDP growth, and economic expansion relies heavily on the innovation and creativity of small businesses.

Big businesses are an important part of our economy, too, but believe it or not, small businesses are oftentimes vendors to big businesses. Big, medium, and small businesses are strongly intertwined.

Just think about it, every big business you know was once small. The Coca-Cola's, Apple's, Facebook's, and Google's of the world were once start-ups and small businesses.

I would also add that starting and running a small business, of any kind, is not easy. It is risky, tiring, and very uncertain and ye…