Tom’s Corner July – August 2017

My name is Tom Blubaugh and in March 1998, at the age of 56, I found myself homeless.  God saved my life by leading me to a Christian shelter.  It was a safe place where I was a resident for five months.  At that time I joined the staff and was there over five years.  During that time I turned men away nearly every day because there was no vacancy, they had problems we could not deal with (medical or mental), they did not meet certain requirements, could not give up employment, could not deal with the structure, or for other reasons, could not enter the program.  It hurt me to see these men walk out the door and return to what they were hoping they could leave or change.

 

A vision started developing within me to start an outside support program for men like these where they could get a large share of the benefits of a full-time rehab program.  God opened doors for me to leave my employment and devote the necessary time to the development of this program and it was born.

This is the beginning of this vision.  Through this website, The Genesis Project has a world wide presence that is available to those seeking support regardless of their location.  Although it is a virtual location, as opposed to a brick and mortar building, it, nonetheless, is a safe place where one can go to find help, support, and a sense of belonging.  God is the Author and Finisher of this vision.

 

The Genesis Project means the beginning of a planned undertaking.  That undertaking is the start of a new or different life.  No one can change their past but they can, by the grace of God, change their future.

Tom Blubaugh and The Genesis Project

417-812-6110
Listen to Tom’s Story: http://www.genesisproject.biz/mission

The Genesis Project Website http://www.genesisproject.biz/contact-us

Tom’s Author’s Community http://commonsensemarketingstrategies.com

Tom’s website http://tomblubaugh.net
Email Tom Tom@TomBlubaugh.net


Tom’s Corner May – June 2017

Life After Death

Tom Blubaugh

I took an unusual tree picture several years ago where the entire tree but it was dead except for three small limbs. The thought that came to mind was “only God can bring life after death.” God said, “Study the tree Tom. Study the tree and learn.”

As I observed the trees, I thought about the tree’s root system. I have read there is as much of the tree underground as there is above ground. I thought of the incredible root structure and source providing nutrients, growth, development, and stability. Every tree has a trunk that develops to support the tremendous weight of the tree including the vast outreach of the limbs. The trunk has to support the weight and, at the same time, has to be flexible for when the winds of storm come against it. It always amazes me to see how trees bend and sway in the wind.

I remember climbing in a tree in the front yard of my childhood home. I would climb up as far as I could until the limbs could not support me without dramatically bending. I remember hanging on as the wind blew swinging me back and forth while on the ground it seemed as if there was no wind. The tree top experiences seem like a different world with a different perspective on life.

As I continued studying the trees, I noticed hundreds of limbs jutting in every direction. I reflected on my life with every limb representing a relationship, opportunity, job, path, ministry, idea, or attempt at something. Some of the limbs were broken off; some dead; some large; some small; some looked half alive as were the avenues of my life leaving a trail of broken relationships; half finished projects; failed opportunities on the one hand and on the other business successes; good relationships and accomplished goals.

The tree and I were firmly grounded in the source and showing its age with scars. No doubt, if I could climb to the top I would see new growth stretching toward the heavens with mixed seasoned and stout limbs from battling the storms. The tree still supported life helping birds, squirrels and other life forms providing a place and adding to the biodiversity’s of the animal world. The tree continued providing oxygen and beauty to the place where it was placed in creation offering shade and music. Ah! Yes, music. I love to sit on the swing in my back yard and listen to the wind blowing through the trees that relaxes the mind and body.

Two things I did not realize in my studies:
I did not see the tree fearful of how tall it was growing nor did I see it looking down at the broken limbs. I only saw it stretch skyward as if giving praise and thanks to its Creator.

Tom Blubaugh and The Genesis Project

417-812-6110
Listen to Tom’s Story: http://www.genesisproject.biz/mission

The Genesis Project Website http://www.genesisproject.biz/contact-us

Tom’s Author’s Community http://commonsensemarketingstrategies.com

Tom’s website http://tomblubaugh.net
Email Tom Tom@TomBlubaugh.net


Tom’s Corner March – April 2017

Managing My Time

Tom Blubaugh

One of the problems I have always had is managing my time and choosing what is most important. I’ve read books and tried several different methods. Although I may have had some success, I did not persist. I always seemed to get off track and get involved in less important things. Being a workaholic, I felt a constant urgency to get everything done right now. This robbed me of my peace of mind and prevented me from relaxing.

I had a major heart attack in April, ’04, and I am now disabled. I was partially retired before the attack. I was working part-time for a mail contractor. Suddenly I found myself with more time available then I’ve had since I was a kid. You’d think that having all of this time would be wonderful and it is, but adjusting to it without knowing exactly what I am able to do physically has been a challenge.

One Sunday afternoon I had a session with the Lord about this. I was really frustrated and I finally asked Him for help after attempting to go it alone for all these years. What’s wrong with this picture? It seems I didn’t go to Him with my problems in the beginning of most endeavors. I always gave it my best shot first. Only when difficulties arose would I ask for His help. He told me to write down all the things I was concerned about doing.

The list looked like this:
· Internet business – eBay, garage sale, drop ship company search, computer work · The Genesis Project web site
· Photography
· Book studies
· Chores
· Recreation
· Exercise
· Reading

He then told me to put them in priority order. I noticed right away I left two things out, God and Barbara my soul mate. We both laughed about that. He then told me to separate what was work from the rest. (I have had an Internet business since 1998 which I consider work). The business turned out to be the smallest thing on the list. So He said, “Looks like work should take the shortest part of your day.” I agreed.

After I added the two omissions, He told me to put them in priority order again. This is where I had a major problem. It was very difficult because I considered them all important. This is when something truly amazing happened! He told me I was dealing with the activities rather than the main issues. The three main issues are God, Barbara and me. He said I need to change how I look at things. He then told me to write down all the activities that are involved in these three areas. It looks something like this:

· God – time, devotion, The Genesis Project website, book studies, writing. · My wife – time, relaxation, recreation, family, chores.
· Me exercise, relaxation, recreation, family, Grampa Tom’s business.

Then He dropped the bomb! He said, ”You’re trying to put me in a compartment when I am involved in everything you do“. I had never realized this, at least not in this area of my life. So, I took Him out of the box and put everything else in it.

I am consciously aware He is involved in every breath I take, every thought, every attitude, every action. I’m not sure I can explain this but I will do my best. If you are ready to receive it, He will see that you do.

All my life, at least as long as I can remember, I have been a performer. As Brennan Manning says in his book The Ragamuffin Gospel, I have seen God as a bookkeeper keeping track of my activities.

Although I have been teaching for years that God is involved in every part of my life, I was putting Him in a category like everything else. God lives outside boxes. The Holy Spirit lives in me and is a part of everything I do. There is no such thing as time to God. He lives outside of it. A day is as a thousand years to Him.

So I began to understand that I’m the one who is hung up on spending time with God. He is with me all the time. The specific time with God is for me, not for Him. The writing I do in my sessions with God is for me, not for Him. The Truth of the Bible is for me, not for Him. I remember trying to read the Bible through in a year because my pastor recommended it.

Now, I believe God wants me to read His word slowly … pondering … reasoning … applying … letting it change my life. I remember the Word says to do everything as unto the Lord. Love my neighbor as myself. Help people. This is how I praise God. This is how I bring Him glory. It was an intense session and the results were amazing.

Then He told me I’m beginning to understand. That we will keep working on it. That we will go deeper with it. I can’t wait!

The Genesis Project

Tom Blubaugh 417-812-6110

http://tomblubaugh.net


Tom’s Corner January – February 2017

The Genesis Project

Tom Blubaugh

I’m Tom Blubaugh, the author of The Genesis website. I’m seventy plus years old. I feel like I’ve experienced enough for two lifetimes. I have had a lot of pain in my life–emotional pain–as a child and as an adult. I’ve spent most of my life hiding the real me–pretending I was someone else to try to earn admiration, respect and most of all–love. I was a performer.

Eventually, my life caught up with me in the form of severe depression. At the age of fifty-six, I ended up broke and homeless. The only thing left was my relationship with God. In March 1998, at the age of 56, I found myself homeless. God saved my life by leading me to a Christian shelter. It was a safe place where I was a resident for five months. At that time I joined the staff and was there over five years. During that time I turned men away nearly every day because there was no vacancy, they had problems we could not deal with (medical or mental), they did not meet certain requirements, could not give up employment, could not deal with the structure, or for other reasons, could not enter the program. It hurt me to see these men walk out the door and return to what they were hoping they could leave or change.

A vision started to develop within for an outside support program for men like these where they could get a large share of the benefits of a full-time rehab program. God opened doors for me to leave my employment and devote the necessary time to the development of this program and it was born.

This was the beginning of this vision. The Genesis Project has a world wide presence that is available to those seeking support regardless of their location. Although it is a virtual location, as opposed to a brick and mortar building, it, nonetheless, is a safe place where one can go to find help, support, and a sense of belonging. God is the author and finisher of this vision.

The Genesis Project means the beginning of a planned undertaking. That undertaking is the start of a new or different life. No one can change their past but they can, by the grace of God, change their future.

Who can participate in The Genesis Project program?
It is open to anyone who is trying to improve their life whether addicted or not. Statistics tell us that 85% of our country’s population is either addicted or somehow affected by someone who is.

Let go and let God. Eph. 3:20, 21

The Genesis Project

Tom Blubaugh 417-812-6110

The Genesis Project Website

www.genesisproject.biz/contact-us

For more information visit Tom’s website

Email Tom at Tom@TomBlubaugh.net


Tom’s Corner November-December 2016

Look Who’s Talking

Several months ago I started writing to the Lord. In the past, I would write a letter to the Lord when I was going through a tough time. Writing seemed to be the only way I could really get my deepest thoughts out. I have to admit that when I just talked to the Lord, at times, it seemed I was just talking and not communicating. You probably know what I mean. It has always been hard for me to keep my thoughts focused in prayer, but when I write it is different. Does it make a difference how we communicate to Him? I don’t think it does to Him. Or where? Again I don’t think it does to Him. We have sunrise services, candle light services, retreats, campfires and lots of different ways we try to make it more spiritual. More meaningful for us.
For me, sitting at the kitchen table in the quiet of the morning is my prayer closet. When I first started writing it was pretty much a one way thing. On the third day, while I was asking Him a question, the answer starting coming before I had finished. This started a two way conversation that has been going ever since. I never know what the topic of our conversation is going to be. Sometimes I have something on my mind. Sometimes He starts it after we say good morning (or good afternoon) to each other. (He has reminded me He does not live in time. It is all present to Him.) Sometimes He asks me if there is something on my mind. It is really quite interesting how it progresses. Maybe you have experienced all of this. If you haven’t, I heartily recommend you try it. It is a trip.

There is something I am to share with you from this morning’s session. This is very personal but I am willing to share it with you as He has told me to do. I have no idea who will read this or who He is speaking to other than me. First, I need to give you some background so you will understand the context and then I will simply quote the conversation. Several months ago, The Lord told me to get out into the community and meet people on the streets.

The method, I understood, was to ride on the city bus. I am to use it for running errands and get to know people in the process for the purpose of witnessing. I have done this a few times but my heart has not been in it. My last eNewsletter, TOAD, dealt with my lack of desire to do this.

This morning I was thinking of all my blessings and comparing my life now with how it was seven years ago when I found myself homeless and depressed. It is as different as night and day. I had just told Him how grateful I am. As I write, He responds to my thoughts. I do not always write my thoughts down as I am concentrating on what He is saying. What He says is far more important than what I am thinking.

“You are very blessed Tom and you are very welcome. It is time to give back son. I will give through you to many in many ways. You do not need to know who or how. You will know in eternity. For now it is not important for you to know. I know you were very perplexed yesterday. It is difficult for you to see you fulfilling your purpose, but I assure you that you are. Again, you do not need to know son. Just be yourself and listen to me. You glorify me through being yourself and all that you do. It is not all a matter of ministry. It is also about relationship. Your relationship with me. So many perform yet do not have a relationship with me. You have been one of those at times. That has changed. You keep thinking about warm weather. You will ride the bus then. This is okay although any weather is acceptable. You have psyched yourself about cold weather. This can be changed if you want. Think about it son. Life goes on in spite of the weather. Comfort is not everything. There are different levels of warmth. Not just physical. My love is unconditional Tom. No need to fear. Ever.”

“Thank you Lord. I am apparently unaware of my fear.”

“It is not always an emotional fear son. Sometimes it is just hesitation. Not wanting to do or be. Reluctant. No desire. It is all a form of fear. As Barbara said, procrastination is brought about by fear on some level.”
“You have to show me Lord. You just let me get a glimpse of it regarding the bus didn’t you?”
“Yes. You know it is there son. This is why you are putting it off till warm weather. When warm weather gets here it will be no different. You do not see yourself as knowing what to do or what to say?”

“Exactly Lord. I get on the bus and I just sit and watch. There may be a hello that slips out or a nod, but basically no eye contact or conversation. No one is there for any purpose but to get on the bus to get some where else. I see myself in warm weather getting off at different stops and waiting with people for the next bus or something like that.” “This is you trying to make something happen Tom. Your ways are not the same as mine. I just need you to be willing and available. I will bring them to you. I will give you the thoughts and the words. Trust me. I can do this. This makes you laugh?”

“Yes Lord. It seems funny to me when I write that you can do something. I think it is because I know you can do anything. The thought of you making a donkey talk just went through my mind. Am I that stubborn?”
“Yes Tom. (smiling). Sometimes. The donkey didn’t really talk. I used it as a vessel. I was the one speaking. There is a difference. With you, I give you the thoughts. You have a choice to voice them or ignore them. You have a free will. The donkey didn’t.”

“This is something to share isn’t it?”

“Yes son. Share it. Genesis.”

 

For more information visit Tom’s website email Tom at Tom@TomBlubaugh.net

Perhaps you’ve written a book, your first or even your tenth, and you’re not sure how to strategize with all the changes that are happening at breakneck speed across the ever-evolving literary marketplace. Tom Blubaugh has faced each of these questions and many more. Through strategic relationships with experts, patience, perseverance, and action, Tom has discovered and now applies and shares these all-essential literary skills and competencies.


Tom’s Corner September – October 2016

Difficult things have happened in my life that hindered my ability to trust the Lord. One day, I was discussing trust with my pastor, my Paul, and mentor Lawrence Thompson. He told me a story about his experience during World War II that helped me tremendously.

Pastor Lawrence was in the Navy and stationed on a destroyer. One day Kamikaze planes and hit attacked the ship. He was blown into the water. At first he panicked and fought to stay afloat but became exhausted and knew the situation was impossible. He remembered the teaching he received from shipboard training and began to relax with his life preserver holding him until the rescue. While in the water for several hours, he followed the instructions from training preserving his strength with sleep and resting in Jesus.

Pastor Lawrence told me Jesus was the life preserver, which made sense and applied it to my life. I continue to struggle when in a tough situation. Though eventually when exhaustion sets in, I remember my life preserver and let Him hold me up until the situation passes or was resolved.

Tom

www.Springfieldveterans.org


Tom’s Corner July – August

Tests are a part of life. We all know this. We have grown up with them. Tests are beneficial no matter how hard they are. The purpose of tests in school is multiple.

I have learned something about tests over the years. Probably the main thing is that if I am studying strictly to pass a test, once I have regurgitated the information I lose most of it in the process. The downside? If I flunk the test and try to retake it, most of the knowledge is gone. So, I tell myself when I am learning something that I never want to forget it. Makes a big difference.

There are some tests for which I can’t study. These are the tests of life. Let me rephrase – I can study for them but I cannot cram. We do that in school and it works to a degree but it doesn’t really work in life. For example, a farmer can’t play all summer and then cram the seed in the ground right before harvest time. Just doesn’t work. I really don’t want my cardiologist cramming for an angioplasty the night before he’s scheduled to do it on me. No thanks!

School is interesting. We study the material; learn the lesson and then we are tested on it. Life has its own school – the school of hard knocks. In this school you are tested first and then you learn the lesson. The latter seems to be the most affective.

Then there is God’s testing method. Does He need to find out whether His method is too tough or too easy? Don’t think so. Does He need to test us to see how much we have learned? Nope. He knows exactly what we know or don’t know. So then, what is the purpose of His testing? I think I have figured it out. At least for myself, the testing is for me to understand if I’m applying what I know.

A few months ago, before my heart attack, I was driving a mail truck for a contractor. It was a diesel truck. I pulled into the service station where we always fill up but the spot I usually occupied was taken so I turned around and took another pump facing the opposite direction. I jumped out, put the nozzle in the tank, and filled it up. When the pumped shut off, I reached for the nozzle and as I was putting it back in the slot my eyes settled on a word that shocked my senses – UNLEADED. Yep. You got it. I filled the diesel fuel tank of the truck with unleaded gas.

I hated to call my boss but I had no choice. I explained to him what happened and he said, at first, “Oh my God!” and then he told me not to worry, that it was not the first time it has happened and that he would get there to help me as soon as possible. He arrived about twenty minutes later with gas cans and a siphoning hose. He said, “Since you’re the one who pumped it, you get to siphon it”. Together, we got the gas siphoned out, the diesel in and I was on the road again, although running late. The truck ran like a top.

As I thought over the situation and all that transpired, I compared it to other situations in my life. I told the Lord I greatly appreciated the fact that:

“My boss is a Christian. Therefore there was no anger, no cussing, no intimidation, finger pointing, yelling, criticism, or shaming.

“We worked together like one person to get the problem solved in the most efficient manner possible with the goal of getting me back on the road so the mail could be picked up in a timely manner.

The fly in the ointment was my asking my boss not to share the situation with guys at the rehab center where we both taught. I really don’t remember if he agreed or not but God didn’t. He told me it was important to share the incident and all the aspects with the men as a testimony re victory over my anger, cursing and other things that would have been present before I became a Christian. I shared it in detail the next day. I felt good about this test and I learned a lot about my boss and myself. It brought us closer together as friends as well as the business relationship. God already knew all of this but I had no idea how I would respond in a tough situation without experiencing it.

I experienced a testing that I completely flunked. I was on the phone with a tech support person who was helping me through an Internet connection problem. He told me we needed to reset the password and asked me to give him one to use. The words Jesus is Lord came to my mind but I could not get the words out of my mouth. I froze up. I gave him another password and we hung up.

I felt lower than a snake and I guarantee you “the snake” got on my case in rapid time to let me know what a lousy Christian I am. I asked God to forgive me for being a coward. He did but it took me a day to get over my failure. Again, God knew what the outcome would be but I was shocked by it. After all, I have been a Christian since 1970. I’ve preached, taught, and led people to the Lord, written Christian materials, songs, articles, and ad nausea. I sure identified with Paul in Romans 7 – “The things I want to do, I don’t do and the things I don’t want to do, I do” (loose translation). I ended up thanking God for the test so I could see my own weakness lest I feel I am more than I am.

 

TomBlubaugh.net is where you’ll find helpful strategies, useful advice, and expert resources to help you reach your publishing goals. Perhaps you’ve written a book, your first or even your tenth, and you’re not sure how to strategize with all the changes that are happening at breakneck speed across the ever-evolving literary marketplace. Tom Blubaugh has faced each of these questions and many more. Through strategic relationships with experts, patience, perseverance, and action, Tom has discovered and now applies and shares these all-essential literary skills and competencies.


Tom’s Corner May-June

When I was twelve years, old I was sexually abused. Not by a parent or family member, but by a member of the clergy.

It took me years to find the peace of forgiving this person because I confused forgiveness with forgetting. I heard many messages on forgiveness telling me if I hadn’t forgotten – I hadn’t forgiven. This is unrealistic, untrue, and produces
guilt. Even if I could push it out of my mind for a while it would come back with a vengeance because I was only suppressing my emotions. What complicated it even more is this person died leaving me holding the bag of unforgiveness and damaged emotions.

In my struggle to find the meaning of forgiveness, God revealed a concept that gave me great peace. Suppose I came home one night and found a burglar in my house. I would have several choices:

  1. I could assault him
  2. I could shoot and kill him
  3. I could let him go, follow him to his house and do the same thing to him
  4. I could call the police and have him arrested.

The fourth option is the key. By taking my hands off of the robber and turning him over to the proper authority I am exhibiting forgiveness. Forgiveness is the act of giving to God the right to deal with the wrong a person has committed against me.

When I sin against God and I ask him to forgive me1, what higher authority does he give the right to deal with my wrong? You’re right! There is no authority higher than Him! So He chooses to forget!1 He does forget every sin that is confessed.
1 I John 1:9
1 Psalm 103:12