Sunday, October 16, 2016

What if God Never Calls?

         Tom grew up in an religious Lutheran family, so religious they never missed a Sunday in church. If his family was out of town and not able to make it to their home church, his Mother would have them pull up in front of a Lutheran church where ever they were, and have one of the kids run into the church and pick up a church bulletin. She would then turn it into the church office when they returned home, allowing Tom and his sister to receive an 18-year perfect church attendance pin when they turned 18. After graduating from high school Tom wanted nothing to do with that hypocrisy.

         When he left home, Tom ran far away from church and toward everything the world had to offer. After he married and had children, a man he met led him to accept Christ as his savior.  He went to the man’s church and felt good about himself for a few months. After a while, he thought the church was too weird and he stopped going.

         Tom vacillated in and out of church for years. He landed in an inner city church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and there he learned what it was like to have a mentor pour into him. He re-accepted Christ and was baptized, for the third time. Even though he was involved in church, he was pompous and arrogant about his Christianity. He told everyone all he knew, but he wasn’t living the Christian life at all.

         His career flourished and he became CEO of a large fitness company. He and his best friend were in business together. It wasn’t enough for Tom to be successful at his career. He was recognized as an expert in his field and traveled around the world and spoke and lectured. Life was good.

         In 2012, his life began to unravel. He was separated from his wife and remembers feeling depressed and alone, when he heard God speak to him in his spirit, “I want more from you.” Tom thought, “Wow. God is going to bless me even more.”

         Six weeks later he was fired from his CEO job, and accused of embezzling by his best friend. The friend slandered him and falsely accused him, writing articles in fitness magazines, against him. Tom lost his job, his credibility, his clients,  and his income. The only job he could find was as a landscaper. He pushed a wheel barrow filled with mulch up hills all day long. He went from earning six figures to $11 an hour. It was a humbling experience and he turned to God as his only hope.

         God restored his marriage and he was offered a job as a fitness center manager in Albuquerque. He accepted the job and he and his wife moved. He knew as soon as they arrived, he needed to find a church and a group of Christian friends. He joined Sagebrush Community Church and found a caring small group, leaned in and took classes, and soon was asked to teach a class. He had to fly back and forth to Lancaster for the embezzlement hearings. He prayed God would rescue him and after several stress filled years, he was cleared of all charges.

         As God was clearing Tom’s finances, He was also purging him of his pride and self-sufficiency. Tom was grateful to God for all He had done in his life. A few years later Tom was given a promotion and offered a job as a regional manager. At the same time, his church saw his love and commitment to Christ, and offered him a job as a Campus Pastor. He had a decision to make. Should he take the promotion which would increase his salary or take the Pastor position which would cut his salary? He loved God and wanted to follow Him, but the increase in salary was very tempting. For years Tom pursued wealth, recognition and self. In discussing his options with his wife, she said the fitness company would never hire him back and would not call him again to work there even as a trainer. Tom said,

“What if God never calls me again?”

He knew he had to answer the call from God.

         Today Tom is a great fit as a Campus Pastor in a rural community. He loves horses, the outdoors and the people he serves. He says he still looks in the mirror everyday and asks God how He could use a guy like him. He is humbled and honored that God called him and is using him. God continues to bring people into Tom’s life who he can share the love of Christ with.

         Tom is a different man than he was years ago. The love of God, His forgiveness and grace changed him forever.

Pastor Tom

Have you ever missed it when God called you to do something? We have to make the choice everyday whether we will follow God or not. How do you determine what is God's call and what is your own preference?

This is Day 16 in the 31 Days of Change series. Click the links below to read the other days. If you would like to read previous year's series, click here to read about Our Adoption Adventure.  Click here to read about Hearing God. If you would like to read other blogs and different topics you can go to
Day 1:   He Did What?!
Day 9:   Depression to Joy
Day 12:  Holding His Hand
Day 13:  Changed
Day 16:  What if God Never Calls?
Day 17:  Never the Same
Day 18:  The C Word
Day 19:  Punk to Pastor
Day 21:
Day 22:
Day 23:
Day 24:
Day 25:
Day 26:
Day 27:
Day 27:
Day 28:
Day 29:
Day 30:
Day 31:


  1. I can so relate to Tom's story! Not that i have ever been a 6-figure CEO, but I ran from the hypocrisy of church I experienced as a child and have struggled with it as an adult. To say God was "refining" me over the last two years might be an understatement, but its amazing the growth that comes when things are at their worst.

    1. I always wonder if it is easier for a person raised in a non-believing home to become a sold out follower of Christ, because unfortunately, I think some are permanently turned off by the hypocrisy. --I'm glad God has been refining you. Would love to hear your story Melissa.

  2. Great post! Love stories of hope-filled redemption. God uses every experience for HIS glory. Keep up the good work.

  3. Ah yes! I love this so much! The power of our testimony! Such a great story --and truth!

    1. The enemy is defeated by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony!

  4. What an amazing testimony. I have never heard of a church doing a perfect attendance badge. It made me laugh out loud to think of his mom collecting bulletins while out of town. That is really cool though what God has brought him through and done in his life. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thanks Natalie. I know very funny about his perfect attendance pin, as if that is what make a person a Christian or gets points with God.