Several years ago, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood had a hit song talking about how significant others saw a couple who were tempted as better than they really are. There are many ways that we are impacted by how other’s see us and how we see them. Sometimes it’s in a positive way where someone can speak into our lives something they see encouraging us when we are down on ourselves. Sometimes, it not very positive at all.

What is on my heart today is on the negative side. I believe it’s something we all deal with from children to adults and often times, don’t realize it. It’s when we see another person in a negative light, not because they did anything wrong to us but because someone we are close to doesn’t like them. Our friend tells us gossip, complaints, and negative things about someone and now, you are starting to see them “through another’s eyes”.

I caught myself doing this before. Once upon a time, I was deeply involved in camping ministry. A friend of mine was also on staff and he did not like his boss. He would tell me things the boss would say, do and how he would undercut ministry from happening.

Up to that point, I thought his boss was a decent guy and had a heart for ministry. However, as I heard these things he said and did, I pulled away from him and was really disappointed in him.

Years later, I had seen enough trends to know my friend tended to be critical towards people and often time to cover his own shortcomings. I realized there was a chance he was trashing his boss to cover up for his own struggles. When I looked at the boss’ legacy of ministry, I could not see one thing negative except for things told to me by one person. I had wrongly judged a man due to seeing him through another’s eyes.

I invited that boss to lunch even though I had not seen him for over a decade. He was very suspicious because he could tell I was distant from him and had a bad view of him back in the day. However, when I apologized to him for believing what I was told, not coming to him to get his side of things, and being distant from him for years, he was truly moved. The scales fell off both of our eyes about one another and we had a great conversation for almost two hours about life, ministry and more.

As we talked, I realized I had chosen poorly and lost years of having this mentor in my life.

That said, I also see this in my life where I am the person being seen through another’s eyes. Being a pastor, I enjoy many loving and caring relationships that we are blessed by. At the same time, it puts you in a role where you become the victim of this trend at times.

There has been more than once that it becomes evident that someone pulls away from you. It could be because they are upset with someone I did, it could be their own insecurity (like above), or it could be one of a thousand different reasons.

When someone slips into that mode where they start to pull away, the next thing I usually notice is the people closest to them start to pull away as well. Not because they have an issue but because they start to see me through another’s eyes.

I believe all of us have been on the receiving and giving end of this trend. It’s very easy to fall into. However, often times we find that we are judging or being judged not fairly but because of gossip, complaining, or misrepresentation.

So, what do we do?

What I do know is that I wish I went to the “boss” much earlier and just had a conversation with him about what I was hearing. Not in a way that sold out my friend at the time but in a way I could hear his side. I bet additional communication would have made a big difference to the situation.

If you find yourself reading this and realize that there is someone in your life who you were friends with, was a mentor, or a family member that you have pulled away from only because of what others have told you …. maybe it’s time to take a pause. Maybe it’s time to talk to them and see what you find. You might reunite with a brother or sister through your own eyes instead of blinding yourself with someone else’s vision.

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” Proverbs 18: 17




As we continue our study in the letters that Jesus dictated to seven different churches in Revelation 2 and 3, we now come to my (Pastor Tom) favorite one! This week we will dig into the church of Philadelphia!

So far, we have covered five churches dealing with issues we still struggle with today in the church and as Christians. In this letter, we will see what it looks like when we are doing it right!

What do we judge churches by? Their size, resources, and popularity?

What do we judge successful people by? Their jobs, their money, and if they look like they nailed the American dream?

Jesus is looking for something completely different and does big things when we lean into His ways. Come and learn what He has to say about what matters, what opportunities lay before you, and what happens when you keep in step with Him!

“They who have an ear, let them hear what the Spirit says….”


Is it possible to be a megachurch that looks on fire but is actually dead? Is it possible to be a Christian with a great reputation but be spiritual dead? Is it possible to be a small church or an introverted Christian and be on fire for the Lord?

As we continue our look to the letters Jesus dictated to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, we come across his strong concern when it comes to being a dead church or a dead Christian.

While we may have impressions of what that would look like, in this study we find that dead spirituality according to Jesus is more common than we think. He believes passive Christianity is dead Christianity. We hope you join us in this study to learn how we avoid a major pitfall in our lives and our churches to have freedom, passion, and purpose!


7: Spiritual Purity

It doesn’t take much to find churches or Christians who stumble due to sin, hypocrisy, and watered down living. Many times, it’s not too hard to find it in our own lives as we sometimes struggle as well.

As we continue to look at issues like these in Revelation 2 and 3, we talk about what Jesus has to say about the seriousness of double living as well as the encouragement He has for us! We see His words on how we can gain freedom from these “giants” and His promises for those who do!


As we continue our study through the letters that Jesus dictated to the seven churches in Revelation, we come across the letter to the church of Pergamum. Through this letter we will learn about the danger of watering down God’s Word and embracing half truths. Jesus has some very straight forward warnings, thoughts, and challenges that relevant to our lives in the church today.


Feeling overwhelmed, challenged, or that life just won’t give you a break?

As we continue our study through the letters that Jesus dictated to the seven churches in Revelation, we come across the letter to the church of Smyrna. Through this letter we will see how to excel in the midst of hardship and persecution as Christians. From day to day challenges to the persecuted church around the world, Jesus has much to say to give us His heart, perspective, and passionate perseverance.

Join us as we start a new study series exploring the seven letters Jesus dictated to the seven different churches in the book of Revelation.

Each church were dealing with different struggles that we still deal with in our lives and in the church today. Hear Jesus speak to each of these directly with how to overcome!

We start with the letter to the church of Ephesus. This was a church Paul started. loved and fought for. Jesus has many positive things to say about their ministry but also a few concerns.

We can do all the right things but lose our entire foundation if we lose the passion of our love with Christ and one another. Join us as we see what Jesus has to say about being a person or church that does all the right things but lost their love (and how to get it back).