14 07, 2017

I’m mad as hell, and…

2017-07-14T08:51:05-05:00July 14th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service. A PERSONAL PRAYER God of love, Sometimes you just expect too much. Prohibiting murder seems sensible enough. But Jesus tells us we can’t be angry at our sisters or brothers? Seriously? And we can’t call them fools? And I am supposed to reconcile with my enemies? What you are asking for seems beyond the reach of possibility. I can’t do it. And yet, the words of Scripture echo in my mind. “If you can? echoed Jesus. “All things are possible to him [...]

30 06, 2017

Stop for a day and trust God

2017-06-30T08:38:05-05:00June 30th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYERGod,Who do I think I am? Some days, I must think I am in charge of everything, and if I don’t do it, the world will fall apart. Forgive me, God, for forgetting that you created the world without me, and it can go on without me. I can’t seem to stop and trust you. Some days, I am a slave to my calendar and my task list, to the lifestyle I have chosen. I determine my self-worth based on how much I get done. Forgive me, God, for returning to slavery when you have set me free. Some days, I [...]

23 06, 2017

God’s Name in Vain

2017-06-23T09:04:30-05:00June 23rd, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYER God, I pray that I do not use your name in vain. May I not use your name to make a bigger church that makes us look more successful and relevant, but instead use your name only for your agenda of gathering all of your children to you, and being an instrument of your kingdom. May I not use your name to promote religion, but rather faith and a relationship with you. May I not use your name to grow my business so I will be richer, or get my candidate elected, or promote the interests of my [...]

16 06, 2017

Being a Dad

2017-06-16T09:07:09-05:00June 16th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYER God, I try to be a good dad. You know that. I am so grateful that I have such wonderful children. Thank you so much for that gift and that privilege. You know that fatherhood has been such an important part of my identity, of my sense of mission. It is the one thing that absolutely nobody else could do for me. Once you’re in, you can’t quit. So I do the best I can. And sometimes, it seems like enough. And sometimes, I know I fall short. Way short.  I see why you chose parenting as the image you chose for the relationship [...]

9 06, 2017

I Saved You!

2017-06-09T10:20:56-05:00June 9th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYER God, I am not all that good at “obedience.” I prefer “alignment” or “collaboration” or “negotiation,” or some other word that allows me to feel like I am in charge. But sometimes, it helps me to know what you expect of me as your follower.  God, in your love and grace, you saved the people of Israel from bondage in Egypt, you set them apart as your covenant people, special to you, not like any other people. They were set apart to be a blessing to the world. And the way they would demonstrate that special status [...]

2 06, 2017

Power!

2017-06-02T09:53:42-05:00June 2nd, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYERHoly Spirit,Wow, you were so present in that worship service this week at our United Methodist Annual Conference. I could feel you warm my soul and lift my heart. I felt connected to those around me. A packed house full of brothers and sisters in Christ, singing loudly and enthusiastically the hymns of the church. Great preaching, challenging us to be servants. I was motivated. Is that who you are, Holy Spirit? A really strong motivational force in our lives? A good feeling all over, convincing me of your presence? I confess that sometimes I reduce you to something as simple as a strong [...]

26 05, 2017

The Whole Enchilada

2017-05-26T08:45:36-05:00May 26th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYER Gracious God, “Sometimes I’m up; sometimes I’m down.  Oh, yes, Lord.  Sometimes you know…almost to the ground.  Oh, yes, Lord.”  The old spiritual is a pretty good prayer, God.  How can I say “yes” to the ups and the downs of life?  How can I not wish away a single moment, missing whatever opportunities and challenges you have for me in each minute?  I want to embrace with gratitude the whole enchilada, the good parts and the bad parts, the tears and the laughter.   Looking back, God, I can say thank you for so [...]

19 05, 2017

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It’s off to work I go

2017-05-19T08:48:24-05:00May 19th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYER God of work and play, of labor and rest, I am so blessed to have a job I love. I get up every morning, ok most mornings, and look forward to going to work. I am thinking about the challenges of the day, the opportunities in front of me, the tasks to get completed. I have the joy of a job with such varied opportunities – the creative enterprise of teaching and preaching, the relational joys of pastoral care, the fun of working with others to lead an amazing organization in a direction, and dream [...]

12 05, 2017

Loving on a Mom (and others)

2017-05-12T08:54:05-05:00May 12th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYER Loving and Gracious God, Last week, I was going through my closet and found that photo album from 1982 given to me when I left the church in Duncanville. There were pictures of all the kids in the youth group being silly, signed with their names at the back of the album… The memories rush through me… I loved those kids and their families. It was such a special gift to spend that time with them.  You know, I can’t remember any of the Sunday School lessons I taught them, and only one or two of [...]

5 05, 2017

Do You Care?

2017-05-05T10:11:11-05:00May 5th, 2017|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

A PERSONAL PRAYER God, I saw a T-shirt last week, while in line to go onto the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It said “Attempting To Care.” It struck me at first as somewhat cynical, but then I realized it probably summed up a lot of us. God, I confess my own compassion fatigue. I grow weary of the procession of people I see on TV affected by international crises, weather catastrophes, and personal misfortune. I drive by the homeless man on the street, and want to look away. I have enough trouble carrying my own burdens… I can’t carry the pain of the whole [...]