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Friday, October 31 2014 @ 10:07 AM EDT
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Welcome. Here's What You Need To Know

Thanks for visiting our website, www.thomasterry.com. Before you browse the site, please click here to read more about our ministry with Cru and how you can help us use media to reach the world for Christ.

I’ve been in Christian media since 1983 working in radio, television, and the Internet in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Turkey, and Mongolia. Now the Lord is giving us a ministry with the Jesus Film Project that will have us involved in showing the Jesus Film on television stations worldwide.

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Editing Jesus

I recently had a sobering experience. As part of my role with JESUS Film Project I was tasked to select editing points for the creation of a version of JESUS for commercial television. JESUS has not been seen on commercial television in the US for more than 15 years, in fact, much longer than that. That's a tragedy since no film has changed more lives or introduced more people to Christ than JESUS. More than 200 million people have professed faith in Christ because of JESUS.

 

My challenge last week was to choose deletions and edits in the film to get it down from just over two hours to just under 90 minutes. Think about that for a moment. If you have to choose something to leave out of the story about Jesus, what will you choose? My challenge was to choose things that were critical to tell the story and remove things that though important, didn't necessarily damage the story of Jesus through their removal.

 

There were some hard choices to make.

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When Good Decisions Turn Bad

I was on my way home to Orlando. I left Tucson in the morning to catch a flight to Las Vegas where I would board my connecting flight to Orlando. I sat in my middle seat, my insides trembling. I’ve never been a good flyer. For as long as I can remember, flying has always been scary to me. Only when a flight is completely smooth do my nerves calm down—but I’m always waiting for the next bump. The Tucson to Vegas flight was only an hour, but to me it was an hour of terror. I became so panicked that I turned to my wife sitting next to me and said, “I’m not getting on the next plane. I don’t care how much it costs, we’re renting a car and driving home.” My poor wife, seeing the condition I was in, readily agreed.

After getting the car and beginning our drive the tension began to ease. But it was a good hour or two before I started to relax, yet something else began to eat away inside of me. The rental car cost over $500 for the trip. That’s the cost of a four-hour flight home, but my drive would take me four days. I was beginning to kick myself in the rear. I had made a decision that I thought was good, that I thought was good for my mental health. But it was beginning to backfire, and in a huge way. You see, the airline could not give us our luggage, so it went ahead of us to Orlando. Meanwhile, I would not have my medicines for my bipolar disorder. Within just over a day I started going through withdrawal. As we drove out of the hotel in Amarillo, Texas I pulled up at a stop light and suddenly, without any warning, I had the urge to vomit. Instantly, I became light headed. My chest began to hurt. At first I thought I ate something bad at the hotel breakfast. It didn’t occur to me that I might be suffering withdrawal. But sure enough, that’s what it was. For the next four days I sat in the passenger seat while my wife drove us across the country. I felt so terrible I wanted to die. At the same time, without my meds to control mania, my thoughts began swirling around my decision to abandon the flight home. Inside I was raging with anger; the kind of anger I haven’t experienced since I began taking medication over six years ago. I treated my poor wife like dirt. We were racking up hotel bills, food, gas. I knew by the time it was over I’d have around $1,500 of debt I didn’t want and all because I couldn’t control my fear. I had a lot of apologizing to do.

One decision. That’s all it took. What I thought would be a decision that would protect my mental state and my emotions turned into a five day nightmare and my wife, my will, and my wallet suffering for it. 

Just one decision.

Have you ever made a decision like that? You know the type. It’s the decision to do something that you think will be good or benefit you in some way and it quickly turns into a disaster. The decision, at first, may seem sound, but it can turn on you in an instant. My situation did just that, and it reminded me of a recent study I did on the life of Lot.

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The Garden Of Eden Wasn’t Perfect

Do you think of Heaven as a perfect place? What does it mean for a place to be perfect? Many Christians think that Eden was a perfect place because it was a place without sin. Yet, will it surprise you to learn that Eden was not a perfect place? And what about Heaven? What is meant when we think of Heaven as a perfect place? To understand the idea of perfection as the Bible seems to present it, we must first look at the character and nature of God.

Nothing can be added to God's nature to improve upon himself. We cannot add to his complexity or simplicity or his moral attributes or his power. Everything about God and God's nature is already perfect without any addition. With God, there is no room for improvement.

Many times people think that the Garden Of Eden was a perfect place. We think of perfection as having no flaw or imperfections or any need for improvement. But the Garden Of Eden did not fit such a definition. The Garden Of Eden was a good place, though not a perfect place. And rather than offering just a challenge to our theology, I think this notion of the Garden Of Eden not being perfect is actually a comfort and creates in me some anticipation for what the Lord has in store for us in Heaven (which is also not perfect). 

Now, before you stone me, drop your rocks for a minute while I explain.

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Six 24-hour Days Or Millions Of Years? It’s The Wrong Question

What do you believe about the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2? Would you describe yourself as a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) or an Old Earth Creationist (OEC)? Perhaps you’re one of those who is struggling in this area of biblical thought?

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Genesis and reading creation websites that hold to these views. Many of the articles I read on either side of the issue are very compelling. But it has occurred to me that the leaders in the YEC and OEC camps have missed something very important: the main thrust of Genesis 1.

Did God create the universe in six 24-hour periods or did he create everything in six unspecified ages taking millions of years? I’d like to suggest that the timing of God’s creative act actually misses the main point of Genesis 1. By asking this question we may actually be asking the wrong question, or at least a question that is not the central focus of Genesis. Allow me to elaborate.

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Diversity In Nature?

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16 Leadership Lessons I Learned In Mongolia

I recently posted this list on Facebook about 16 lessons I learned about leadership during my time as President of Eagle Broadcasting Company in Mongolia. A few people suggested I expand on this list by telling a few stories about where these lessons come from. So, here you go.

Enjoy!

  1. If you love people, they will do anything for you
  2. Manage Loosely
  3. It's not about what you say or how you say it. It's about what the hearer understands
  4. Everything is personal
  5. You can never lose your integrity, you can only give it away
  6. You can never make a good deal with a bad person and you can never make a bad deal with a good person
  7. You don't have to win every battle to win the war
  8. As a leader you are a source of pride for your people. Don't disappoint them by acting common
  9. Stand for your principles and be willing to take a loss
  10. Embrace cooperation but never kiss it
  11. If you are a hired manager then keep this in mind, you are entrust with someone else's dreams
  12. Don't take credit, give credit away
  13. Build community amongst your staff. You are working for something bigger than yourselves. Let that vision unite you
  14. If you treat people badly they will behave badly. Treat people well and they will rise to the challenge
  15. If you want to know a person's true character, give him power. Grant high authority slowly, don't lavish it on someone all at once
  16. If you lead from behind it will come back to bite you in the butt
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Have You Answered The Ultimate Question?

No matter who we are we must find an answer to the ultimate question of life: "Who is Jesus?"

Why is this the ultimate question? Because Jesus made some extravagant claims about himself which, if true, can have a life-changing impact. And not just for individuals, but for nations, as history has shown.

When asked who Jesus is I come up with three answers that seem to me to be most important. If these things are true about Jesus then we must wrestle with what that means in our lives. Discovering who Jesus is is not simply an academic exercise. It is much more. So, allow me to give you my three answers and then three ways we must examine the claims of Christ if we want to see a radical change in our lives.

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How To Become A One Mina Man

Hello. My name is Tom Terry. Perhaps you’ve heard of me. I’m that guy in Luke 19. You know, the servant who hid away the mina that his master entrusted him with—the one mina man. Okay, so I’m not “that” guy. But I’ve felt like it quite often and I’m sure that you have too. If you’re a Christian then you’ve probably had the experience of feeling like you are not doing enough to build the kingdom of God on earth. In some cases what we feel is true and in some cases it is false. We worry and say, “I could never do that.” Or, “I’m scared of doing that,” to whatever it is that we might be asked to do with church, a ministry, or missionary. In fact, of all of the excuses I’ve ever heard or said about not doing a particular thing the biggest one, and the biggest lie is, “I could never do that.”

Instead of venturing out to take a risk in our service to God we plant our butts firmly on the couch, TV remote in hand, and use our excuse to entertain ourselves believing that since we’re “already in” when it comes to Heaven, so we don’t have to do much more. But, oh my friend, how wrong we are.

So allow me to help you become all that you can be when it comes to being a failure in God’s kingdom. I can do this because I’ve been down that road more than once. In fact, I’m down the road too often, even now. I’m an expert in this and I want to help you become the one mina man you were meant to be. First, take a look at the story of the one mina man in Luke 19:12-27, then I’ll give you seven sure-fire ways you can also become a one mina man.

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The All-Powerful God Of Limitations

Have you ever heard this one: Can God create a rock so heavy that even he could not lift it? Did you know that there is a biblical answer to that question? The answer is rather simple. Jesus collapsed under the weight of his own cross. The theological answer is that God could create such a thing when he submits himself to his own rules of creation as when he became a man, lived as a man, and died as a man for our sake.

When I first heard this question as a young Christians I was a bit perplexed. Does God have limitations? I always thought of God as being so powerful that he could do anything and that he had no limitations. But as I’ve grown in Christ I’ve learned that God does indeed have some limitations. And these limitations are remarkable in that they don’t take anything away from who he is. Rather, they encourage me that I’m involved with a God who is so utterly dependable because he is a god who does not, in fact, cannot change (Hebrews 13:8).

God is all powerful and all knowing and ever present. But he is not a God without limits. In fact, God has a few limitations. And these limitations should encourage us that we serve the real and true and living God. Let me give you five limitations of God.

  1. God is limited by his character
  2. God is limited by his power
  3. God is limited by his nature
  4. God is limited by his love
  5. God is limited by his words

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