Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Is it REALLY possible?

As I was sitting with the ladies on Q Block tonight discussing our lesson on obedience one lady stopped me and said she had a question. She looked me straight in the eye, her eyes were filled with tears and she asked me point blank, "Is it really possible?" I assumed she was talking about obedience to the word of God so I started to answer her along those lines but she stopped me and asked again but this time with more detail. By this time she had tears streaming down her face when she asked, "Tomi, is it really possible that I can change?" Of course after this question our discussion took a dramatic turn. She explained that this was her 5th time in jail and that she knew Jesus as her savior (she even completed the Winning Track during her last incarceration) but each time she got out she would do good for awhile and then fall away from the things of God. There were many things I wanted to share with her but the examples of the power of God to change someones life that I am most comfortable sharing are my own life experiences. So I shared with her and the rest of the ladies my story of change. I told them that they were looking at a real life example that change is most definitely possible. The most important thing about allowing God to change you is that you never do it alone! I opened up to them about my former self and the life of drug addiction, alcohol abuse and promiscuity that I used to lead. They had a hard time believing me at first but I eventually convinced them that I used to be that person (pretty cool when God transforms you so much that people almost refuse to believe how bad you used to be, huh). Most of our discussion ended up focusing on the importance of having a support team, or Winning Group to keep them on track. All of the ladies already have a relationship with God - now they need a good church home and some one to hold them accountable. We talked the rest of the evening about Winning Groups. I told them about all the different ones we now have at Summit and how I can remember most of the people that were at the first Touch Group I ever attended (Eric, Tomeka, Koby, Danielle, Secily, Cannan, Tabby, and it was at Shelton and Nina Stevens' house). I shared with them that when I got my DUI (six months after I received salvation) Tiffany Shannon picked me up and made sure that I got to church. And when I found out I was pregnant (1 year after I received salvation) it was Pastor that told me I would be a great mom. I would not be where I am today if it weren't for other believers helping me stay on track. So at the end of class I looked at the lady who asked the question and said to her, "Yes you can change! Put God first in your life and surround yourself with people who encourage you to love God more not less (I got that one from you Pastor, thanks) and in no time you will have to convince others of the person you used to be!" There was much much more to our discussion but I think this gives you a decent summary. :-)

Thank you Summit family!!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Perspective on Impossible

Last week I shared a little nugget with the ladies @ the jail that I had been meditating on for the last few weeks and something PA said today at church reminded me of it. Not too long ago I watched Mission Impossible 2 on TV. There was a part in that movie that has stuck with me every since and I still receive comfort and encouragement from it. Well here goes: Tom Cruise's character, Ethan Hunt had just received the details of his mission from Anthony Hopkins' character (can't remember his name - but it's not really important). Anyway, after Tom received the information his boss asked him what he thought of the assignment and if he chose to accept it. His answer was that it was going to be very difficult and the response of his boss is the part that still ministers to me. His response was "this is mission impossible, Mr. Hunt, not mission difficult. Difficult should be a walk in the park." I know that sometimes the challenges we face seem impossible but most of the time they just seem really difficult - but what we need to remember is that both are no problem for God! He is the God of the impossible...difficult is a walk in the park for Him!!! When tests and trials rise up against you this week remember saints, with men it may seem impossible but with God all things are possible! And difficult should be a walk in the park! :-)

Be Blessed, Tomi

Friday, March 23, 2007

PA Video Teaching @ Jail this week!

This week I was given the opportunity to show the video teaching Pastor Al did on Success Secrets from the Life of Joseph at the Substance Abuse and Recovery Class (or better known as Drug Class) at the Allen County Jail (ACJ). There are about 40 ladies in this class and I can say with confidence that nearly every single one of them really enjoyed the video. Only a few of them had ever seen the Word taught like that. By that I mean, in a funny and real-life/up-to-date manner. They laughed and agreed and some were even brought to tears but mostly they praised God for His Word. Many of the ladies were excited to come visit Summit (when the opportunity presents itself) and see the teaching of Pastor Al in person. They were encouraged by the teaching and believe me - in a place like that there is not much encouragement going on. I can't wait to introduce these women to the members of Summit and in-turn introduce them to their new life in Christ!

Be expecting, Saints!!!!

Getting Started

This is my first foray into the world of blogging...and I must say I'm kinda excited. And a bit overwhelmed. I have to continually remind myself to take a deep breath and give all the information time to sink in. I see this blog as an excellent tool to enhance the effectiveness of our Winning Group.

Let the fun begin....