Author: Tom Wright

Living Stones

Living Stones

1 Peter 2: 1-5

“Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.  And coming to Him as to a Living Stone which has been rejected by men… but is choice and precious in the sight of God… you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

These words astound me.  Peter is writing to a suffering Church, and he is calling them to put aside every shred of a negative, angry, bad attitude, and grow up (He says) into salvation, because they know the kindness of the Lord.  They’ve tasted His love and His kindness.

Then he reminds them that if you’re feeling unfairly treated and rejected, so was your King!

But though He was rejected by men, He was chosen and precious in the sight of God – and so are you!  And you are being built up as a spiritual house and a holy Priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices to God through His Son.

To put this in context, consider our brothers and sisters in Sudan, in Nigeria, in Syria, or in countries where our brothers and sisters are being tortured, raped, and brutally murdered today.  These are the people that Peter was writing to.  People who have lost sons and daughters, mothers and fathers for no other reason than their faith in Jesus.  Peter speaks astounding words:

Grow up in Kindness.  Stop feeling sorry for yourselves.  Dump the maliciousness, the envy, the slander, et cetera from your mind and heart.  Peter calls them to face their hardships like citizens of another kingdom.  He is saying the same thing to us.

 You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture:  6“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”  

7This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,
         “The stone which the builders rejected,
          this became the very corner stone,”

         “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence”;

for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

Although it may feel like you are being torn down, the truth is that you are being built up into a spiritual house as a Holy Priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Be encouraged today. It’s all worth it. 

~ Tom

Growing in Resilience

Growing in Resilience

download Here are a few things that will help us grow in resilience.


We need friends. One of the best ways to meet life’s challenges, is to try NOT to face them alone. We do better in relationship, not isolating from them. When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, trusted friends can help you overcome self-defeating thoughts and irrational negativity.

But people can’t read your mind. You have to let them know you need to talk.

Managing Yourself Well

One of the most important ways to be resilient is to practice good self care.

  1. Get enough sleep
  2. Make time for Bible study and prayer
  3. Take a walk or a run…workout regularly.
  4. Eat right.
  5. Stay connected to people. Especially stay connected to people in the faith community.

Your ability to be resilient under stress requires good emotional and physical reserves. The better you care for yourself, the more equipped you are to manage stress.

Be Proactive instead of Procrastinating

Be  prayerfully intentional about your week. Think and pray through the week in front of you to anticipate possible snags before they happen. You strengthen your resiliency when you face potential problems head-on, but your good demeanor suffers when you procrastinate and ignore imminent problems.

“Those who are prudent see danger and take refuge, but the naive continue on and suffer the consequences.” ~Proverbs 27:12

You can grow in being proactive in facing uncomfortable realities head-on, and figuring out how to handle them before they arrive. And if you do, you’ll find a greater peace and resilience.

Remember the Lessons of the Past (This isn’t your first rodeo)

What has God taught you in the past? How has He led you to overcome hardship in the past? What strategies did God give you that worked well in making it through tough times, and which ones didn’t work out so well?

Remembering the lessons of the past means not repeating the mistakes of the past.

Lastly, View Adversity as a Normal Part of Life

Going through life with the expectation of a life with no problems is a prescription for depression and constant disappointment.

Have you noticed that the same event can happen to two different people –  one person snaps back in a few days, while the other person takes a decade to recover from it.

Their expectation is way off. They lack resilience.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from blows that knock the wind out of us and bring us low emotionally. Resilience is the ability to rise above negative circumstance, stay humble, FORGIVE, and keep moving forward in faith.



Remembering Jesus’ Triumphal Entry

Remembering Jesus’ Triumphal Entry

palmWhen we think of Palm Sunday,

Think of God’s redeeming purpose which SHOWS in contrast to Man’s political agenda.  Jesus knows the things that make for peace, and it is not a CHANGE of political leaders, it is freedom from sin in a CHANGED HEART.  

And when we think of Palm Sunday,

Think of Jesus’ love for ALL people – not any particular RACE – though the Jews WERE chosen for the revelation of God’s requirements for salvation.  His love is not limited, nor has it EVER BEEN LIMITED to just ONE RACE. In Jesus, He has favorites no longer.

And when we think of Palm Sunday,

Think of the Voices of Children praising Jesus in the Temple, as He heals the blind and handicapped who come to Him.  Think how He welcomed the Children’s praises and how He said that unless YOU and I BECOME like children, we will not enter the Kingdom of God.

            Weakness triumphs over power

            The praise of babies silences the mouths of God’s enemies

So, with Palm Sunday FRESH in our minds, what would be an appropriate offering to Jesus, Yeshua ha Machiach, TODAY?

Maybe Jesus told us already when He received the praises of the children THERE in the Temple:  Worship!  How about we close this morning with just a moment of heart-felt worship?

Because the kids got it right!  And that was why Jesus defended them! It was Perfect Praise from child-like hearts with no agenda.

~excerpt from Palm Sunday sermon 2017 Pastor Tom Wright

Be Careful How You Hear

Be Careful How You Hear

     This Sunday, September 11th, 2016,  is the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 – amazing…   Our nation, indeed the world has changed dramatically since this event, almost as if there is a thick black line drawn which says: “BEFORE 9/11” and “AFTER 9/11”.  We wrestle with fear greater than the cold war era, for our missile defense system has always been pretty reliable, but terrorism fosters a more irrational kind of fear – the kind of fear that makes you question the trustworthiness of the person walking on the street next to you or on the plane with you.
     Consequently, the fear that comes at us is the kind that tempts us to isolation and mistrust.  Our connectedness used to be with our geographical neighbors – the families in the neighborhood, but most Americans do not socialize or even KNOW their neighbors.  The internet has become a virtual neighborhood, but not a very reliable one, and certainly not one from which you can borrow a cup of sugar!
     Our hope as Believers in Jesus is for something better:  Community.  Connection.  Friendships.  Serving One Another.  Respect.  Love.  Calling out one another’s destiny in Christ.  Unbelievers will rarely call out your destiny in God, but a brother will.  Our unbelieving friends won’t call you to righteousness, but a sister in Christ will.  We need each other to fulfill our high calling in Christ, to keep faith vibrant and alive, to be reminded of our eternal destiny – which is not here!
     So let us open our hearts to Jesus and to one another.  When the Accuser of the Brethren comes to you,  trying to separate you from the Body of Christ by outlining the faults and flaws of brothers and sisters in Christ, why should we listen?    Why listen to the most flawed and fault-filled being in the universe?  Why? ..when we can listen to the voice of the Perfect One who created all things; Who sustains us in His love, and Who sent His Son to REDEEM what Satan had corrupted, polluted, and degraded – namely: us.   Should we not guard against offense based upon our flaws?  Of course we are flawed and faulty, but so is everyone on the planet.   That is why He gave us His power to love and forgive – a new standard higher than our faults and flaws.
     We are redeemed from sin and hell and death, so let us tune OUT the one who only seeks to bring these things back into our lives.  God grant us discernment and grace as to WHO we HEAR and WHAT we LISTEN to.
     Jesus Christ said:  “Take care what you listen to.” (Mark 4:24 NASB)   May we always seek to hear our Savior’s voice, the whisper of His Spirit, and the heart of Our Father for us, our families, His Church, our nation, and all who dwell on the earth which He made and sustains…and disregard the Accuser of the Brethren.
In Jesus name,