RickThomas.net 
2Jul
NL Gays need more than our rebuke; they need our Gospel

Gays need more than our rebuke; they need our Gospel

Last week’s Supreme Court’s decision that legalized same-sex marriage has been a sobering wake-up call for many Christians. Lines were clearly drawn by the highest court in our country. You are either for or against gay marriages. My concern is whether these lines will turn into barriers that could have a stifling impact on the Gospel. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become Read
29Jun
NL I dated a lesbian

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 her. Read
28Jun
NL The most powerful way to help someone to change

The most powerful way to help someone to change

[box type="shadow" ]You can now listen to Rick read this article as it is written (above) or you can listen to a sermon that he preached from this content (below).[/box] Your friend needs to change. How do you help him/her to change? Maybe your husband is stuck in a bad habit and you want him to change. How do you go about it? What is your change process? Perhaps your wife is nagging and criticizing you to death. How are you helping her to model a more gentle and caring spirit? There are several ways to get a person to change. Here are a few approaches Read
25Jun
NL Storyboarding Marriage - from dysfunction to restoration

Storyboarding Marriage – from dysfunction to restoration

Clarice is married to an angry man. The dream she dreamed during their dating relationship quickly turned into a decade long nightmare. Bob is nothing like who he presented himself to be when they first met. Clarice is now wondering if he was ever a good guy. Though she knew he had anger problems during their dating relationship, she had no idea how it would evolve into abusive rage. It definitely never occurred to her that he would turn his anger on her. At her wit's end, disconnected from her local church, and afraid of what he may do, Clarice made Read
23Jun
NL South Carolina, racism, and that irritating flag

South Carolina, racism, and that flag

If eating meat caused your community to stumble, would you continue to eat meat? How far would you go to remove the barriers between you and your community so you would be better positioned to export the message of Christ to your community? Dylann Roof’s murderous rampage last week has given another opportunity for the anti-racist community, which I am a part of, to go after the problem of racism from a behavioral modification world view. The argument has turned from what he did, to an opportunity to address personal agendas. Last week Read
21Jun
NL How can I be more honest with my spouse

How can I be more honest with my spouse?

How honest can you be with your spouse? Is your marriage vulnerable and safe? Are you free from critique and condemnation? A good way to think about how these things can be in your marriage is to think about the kind of relationship you have with God. I suspect most of you are completely open, honest, and transparent with the LORD. You freely talk to Him (prayer) and He freely talks to you (Bible). He knows you through and through, and your relationship is maturing. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken Read
19Jun
NL Why Dylann Roof murdered

The reason Dylann Roof murdered

The body of Christ is grieving again. Nine of our brothers and sisters were senselessly slain on Wednesday (June 17, 2015) while at a church meeting in Charleston, SC. Each time this happens we collectively grieve for the victims, their families, the community, and even the assailant. There are no words that can fill the gaping hole that was ripped into this community of friends. For me it is more personal because I have experienced the murder of two of my brothers--ten years apart. The pain and finality of what just happened to them will never go away. Only our Read
18Jun
NL Radical marriage conflict resolution tip

Radical marriage conflict resolution tip

A few years ago I was counseling a couple who were angry with each other. Imagine that. There was a low-grade anger running underneath the surface of their lives that would spike every few weeks into full-blown arguments. During our counseling I asked the wife what was wrong with the marriage. Without hesitation or skipping a beat, she gave me a long, clear, and detailed list of all the things that were wrong with her husband. Amazing. There was no question about it: he was a failure. Because I like to play fair, I then turned to the husband and Read
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