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25Jul
Ten questions to examine the real you NS

Ten questions to examine the real you

Most people come to counseling looking for behavioral change. There are things that are wrong in their personal or relational lives and they would like to see those things changed. The counselor and the counselee are in agreement--they both hope to see effectual, measurable, and observable change in the person's life. Though their end goal may be similar, their understanding and methods for accomplishing the end result are almost always different. It is rare for a counselee to see the importance of working deeper than the surface of their lives. Their desire, which is a normal one, is to remove the heat (disappointment, Read
24Jul
Why it is easier to lie than to tell the truth NS

Why it is easier to lie than to tell the truth

Most Christians are Christianized enough to not tell big bold lies. We know better. It is morally wrong to not tell the truth. To willfully alter the truth to something that is not the truth should not be part of any Christian's game. The difference between truth-telling and lying is easy to discern. If the sky is blue, we say the sky is blue. Only a fool would try to convince a person the sky is brown, when it is not. Then one may ask, "Should we rightfully assume Christians do not lie?" No, not at all. Every Christian is Read
23Jul
Watching my daughter die NS

Watching my daughter die

For the past two years, my family has been pursuing an adoption. In December of 2013, we finally brought home our first China Doll, Kya. My husband (Carlton) and I knew adoption would be tough, but we were not prepared for the roller coaster ride God had planned for us.[ref]You can read more of our adoption story by clicking Prayers4Kya.[/ref] The LORD saw fit to only let us have Kya in our lives for less than six months, where most of the time was spent in the hospital. What follows are a few thoughts from a grieving mother as I watched Read
23Jul
Four reasons to praise God for your imperfections NS

Four reasons to praise God for your imperfections

Statistically speaking... I will always labor under a predetermined ceiling of intelligence. We are all going to become old if we live long enough. None of us will be sinlessly perfected in this life. Everyone is a hypocrite to some degree. Most people will not make it to heaven. Jesus died on a cross. Our beloved Paul could not rid himself of his thorn in the flesh. If you drop your cone of ice cream, it may land upside down. My goal is not to rain on anyone’s parade, but to try to gain a better perspective about how we live in God's world, while Read
21Jul
If your friend is not changing, consider this NS

If your friend is not changing, consider this

Ryan was living in a secret sin. Ryan is a Christian. Ryan did not tell anyone about his secret sin for many months and the longer he held on to his sin, the more frustrated, distant, and hardened he became. Eventually he was found out, which was a mercy from the LORD because Ryan had no intentions of telling anyone about what he was doing. He is a modern day David, in the sense of keeping sins secret. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was Read
20Jul
Let’s free associate What kind of person do you not like NS

Let’s free associate: What kind of person do you not like?

Roll through the Rolodex in your mind, identifying the kind of person or people you do not like? Who is the hardest kind of person for you to love? Who disappoints you most often?[ref]These are my sermon notes preached from my church. Click on 07.20.14 to find and listen to the sermon.[/ref] Poor people Gay people Black people Other non-white people Rich people Democrats Non-Christians People who sin differently from you Dumb people Arrogant people Overweight people God (yes, Him too)   What if we make our list more personal? What about your spouse? Your child? A parent? How Read
19Jul
I had breakfast with a prostitute NS

I had breakfast with a prostitute

I was sitting in the back of a diner with some friends in Queens, NY in 1989. As I looked to the front of the diner I saw an emaciated woman, who appeared to be reading a pamphlet that we were handing out on the streets. Thinking more about my belly than her soul, I momentarily argued with the LORD about the wisdom in missing a meal to talk to a stranger. After relenting I went to the front of the diner and introduced myself to this woman. Her name was Pat Martinez. We chatted briefly and then I asked her if Read
18Jul
I dated a lesbian NS

I dated a lesbian

A long time ago I worked a third shift, dead end job. I was grateful to have the job, but it was a difficult place to work. There were about thirty employees, three of whom were practicing lesbians. One of the lesbians was my enemy, not because she was a lesbian, but because she was an angry woman, who seemingly hated everyone. Another of the lesbians was medicated, mostly incoherent, and insecure. The third lesbian was social, easy to like, and fun to engage. I immediately struck up a relationship with her. My goal was to get to know her so I could spend more time with Read
17Jul
There is a blessing to be found in an unconcerned wife NS

There is a blessing to be found in an unconcerned wife

Does your wife show concern about what you do? Does she check up on you? Is she mostly aware or unaware of your thoughts and activities? Which of the three categories below best describe your wife’s attention to the details of your life? Negative - She has to know what you are doing and is quick to show her displeasure. Neutral - She shows little concern about what you do, whether you are doing good or bad. Positive - She is aware of what you do, good and bad, and regularly encourages you. Perhaps you can find better descriptors for Read
17Jul
The gay guys said, I was born this way. NS

The gay guy said, “I was born this way.”

Homosexuality is one of the more sensitive issues where we Christians should guard our attitudes regarding how we respond. This was Paul’s call to us as well: Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. - Galatians 6:1 (ESV) Paul was asking us to watch ourselves when interacting with those who are caught in sin. His point is obvious: if you do not watch yourself, you will be tempted to sin in response to those who are caught in sin. Isn’t Read
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