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The Power To Choose PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kim Tabor   

I’m sitting at my desk right now thinking about the many decisions we, as human beings, have to make each day. Sometimes I want the power to choose and sometimes I don’t. There are certain decisions in life that are really tough and in those moments I just wish God would send me an email with explicit instructions about what to do. I want to live in His Will. I don’t want to make mistakes. Life would be so much easier if He would just tell me every move to make.

Just as my mind wanders down this path, I’m suddenly halted by another realization. The ability to choose is a GIFT from my Creator. There are times when I get stuck in the details of life and I want to know how specific issues are going to work out, but if I can look at the bigger picture and look at my BIG God, then all of the details fall into place. He gives me the gift of choice. I can choose to walk around in bondage being weighed down by worry, fear and regret or I can choose to walk in His freedom.

God didn’t want His people to be robots programmed to love and trust. No. He wants us, as His creation, to WANT to love Him and trust Him. That’s real love. He wants us to choose to walk in His freedom. He doesn’t want us to simply be programmed for it.

I’m surprised by how many times I think so little of God.  I have such low expectations of Him.  My small mind forgets that He is all-powerful and He wants what is best for me.  If I choose God and His freedom then He will make the path clear before me.  I will know what to do in the details because I’ve already made the right choice in one of the foundational issues of life: choosing freedom in Him over bondage. Choosing your God-ordained freedom ultimately means choosing to let go and give Him control.

Choosing to turn your back on worry and despair and live in certainty and hope.  We are certain that God is able and we have hope because of His deep love for us.  We don’t need an email from Him because He writes to us on the tablets of our hearts through His Holy Spirit.  When we keep our eyes on the bigger picture and on our big God, He makes all of the details clear.

Choose freedom, my friends!  You won’t be disappointed!

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Gratitude PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Tabor   
Monday, November 22, 2010

We are heading into my favorite season of the year. Actually, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I have always loved it. I know what you are thinking….”Brian, you write about food all the time. Of course Thanksgiving is your favorite holiday!”

That’s true. I do write about food a lot. But, the food is only a small part of what I love about Thanksgiving. I love many things about this great holiday. I love the meaning….the tradition. I love that this holiday makes us pause and reflect.

Thanksgiving. Thankful. Grateful. Gratitude.

These are words that carry weight. They are words that we do not use lightly.

I find myself thinking a lot about Gratitude these days. I have so much to be grateful for. So, here is a list of the things I am giving thanks for this year.

  • I am grateful for my precious wife, Kim. I see God working in our home, marriage & ministry and it humbles me. She inspires & encourages me in my faith every single day and spurs me on in my relationship with the Lord.
  • I am grateful for my family. I love every single one of you. My parents, siblings, in-laws, nieces & nephews….all of you are such a blessing in my life.
  • I am grateful for the chance to serve this incredible church and to work with Chris Philbeck. It is such an honor to serve with him. His love for God’s Word is making such an impact on me.
  • I am grateful for the chance to serve with Kim through Tabor Ministries. We have had some amazing adventures and seen miracles happen with our own eyes. God is so good!!
  • I am grateful for my friends. God has blessed me with people I love to spend time with who sharpen me, encourage me & challenge me.
  • I am grateful for my co-workers at MPCC, including the Worship Department and the amazingly gifted staff team I have the honor of working with every single week.
  • I am grateful for God’s provision in my life.
  • I am grateful for good health.
  • I am grateful for the incredible mentors that God has given me throughout my life.
  • I am grateful for the opportunity I have to use my gifts to bring honor to the Lord, which is my sincere prayer.
  • I am grateful for music.
  • I am grateful for the chance to share a great meal with my wife or a trusted friend.
  • Most importantly, I am so humbled and grateful for Jesus Christ who continues to change my life every single day, in ways that I do not deserve.

It’s possible and even probable that this list is simply a therapeutic exercise for me. I do hope that it will also inspire you to reach out in gratitude to those around you.

Be Blessed this Thanksgiving.

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Celebrating Freedom - 7.2.10 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kim Tabor   
Friday, July 02, 2010

We are getting ready to celebrate the birthday of our great country this weekend and because of that, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about freedom and liberty recently.  I truly love this country and I take great pride in the fact that I’m an American.  When I stop to think about the generations before us and all they went through to secure our freedom, it’s overwhelming.  I only hope if I had been living back then, that I would have been willing to make the same sacrifices they made for us.  I’m so thankful to live in a country that places such a high value on freedom.

While I’m grateful for the freedom this country offers me, I’m even more grateful and overwhelmed by the freedom my Savior offers me.  There are many people walking the streets of this free country, bound.  There are also many people roaming the hallways of the churches in this free country, bound.  Most don’t even know they have chains binding them.  They’re bound by addiction, depression, guilt, money, a feeling of worthlessness and the list goes on and on.  While our country offers certain freedoms and rights for us as human beings on this earth, Christ offers true freedom for our minds, hearts and souls that will not only be experienced here on earth, but for all of eternity.  One of my favorite scriptures is Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  I want to live in all of the freedom Christ has for me and I want to encourage my neighbors and friends to do the same.  God has so much more for all of us and I want to do my part in helping others attain all that God has for them.

Let’s remember to be thankful for our freedom and be conscious of doing what we can to help spread that freedom.  ”For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela

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Making All Things New PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kim   
Thursday, April 01, 2010

It’s Holy Week and I find myself feeling a bit overwhelmed at all this week represents.  Where would we be without Christ’s great act of love and mercy on the cross?

Brian and I have a tradition.  Every year around Good Friday we watch “The Passion of the Christ” movie.  It has proven to be such a great reminder of what Christ endured for us and it jolts us out of our complacency.  As ridiculous as it sounds there are times when the Passion story has become way too familiar to me and I’m dangerously close to becoming numb to it.  This movie cuts right to my heart and causes me to feel again.  And make no mistake, when it comes to Christ’s act on the cross; we all NEED to feel something about it.

So much of the movie stirs my heart, but perhaps the scene that has impacted me the most is when Christ is carrying His cross through the streets and his mother, Mary, is trying to catch-up to her son to see him face to face one more time.  She finally reaches Him as he is struggling with the cross and He falls to the ground.  He is bloody from the brutal torture He has already experienced.  Their faces meet and He looks into His mother’s tear-stained eyes and says, “See mother, I make all things new.”  In my opinion it’s one of the most powerful moments in the entire movie.  I weep every time I see it.  I am overwhelmed when I think about what it took to make me new.  Jesus experienced such brutality for me…in my place.  That’s what it took to make me new.  Oh, the price He paid.  It brings me to my knees with a strange mixture of sorrow and gratitude.

I recorded a song a few years ago written by Janet Paschal called, THE BODY AND BLOOD.  Part of the lyric says:

This is my body broken for you.
For all you’ve been and all you’ve been through.
This is my blood and when you’ve reached the end
I offer you again the body and blood.

For all you’ve been and all you’ve been through...I’ve sung that line hundreds of times and I still get choked up.  This song helps to remind me of just how serious my sinful nature is.  Christ died not just because of the things I’ve done, but also because of everything I’ve been…a sinful human being.  Oh how He loves us!

I hope you will take some time during the next few days to really contemplate what Christ did for you on that cross more than 2,000 years ago.  When you spend time at the foot of the cross, it makes the celebration of Easter so much sweeter.  Thank God the story doesn’t end at the cross.  It ends with an empty tomb and our risen Savior who is alive and well and sitting at the right hand of the Father!  Wow!  Thank you, Jesus, for doing whatever it took to make us new!

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Why He Came PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kim Tabor   
Monday, December 07, 2009

It's hard to believe Christmas is almost here and we will be saying goodbye to 2009.  I must admit Christmas is my favorite season of the year.  As my time, money and mind are all pulled in many different directions during this magical month, I must also admit that I need to make a concerted effort to keep my focus on the only thing that really matters.  Christmas is so much more than just a season of celebrating and gift giving.  Christmas....Christ coming to earth.....changed EVERYTHING!

Why did He come?  I know that question sounds pretty elementary to any of us that have grown up in the church.  We feel we already know the answer to that question.  It's second nature to us.  He came to die so that we might be saved.  Hallelujah!  I am forever grateful, humbled and overwhelmed by that fact.  I would have no hope without Christ coming to earth, putting on flesh, taking my place on the cross and rising after 3 days conquering sin and death.  That kind of love pushes me to my knees with gratitude.  Wow!  What He did for you and for me is almost more than I can comprehend.

At times I find myself tempted to stop right there when answering the question of "Why He Came?"  It's very easy to say that is the end of it. But God has been teaching me something as I've been going into churches of all denominations all across the country these last 8 years.  If I stop there, I'm only partially answering that question.

Isaiah 61:1 says, "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners."  Isaiah is prophesying about Christ in this verse.  Yes, Christ's death and resurrection sets us free from sin and death, but that's only part of the story.  He came to set us free from the things that continue to bind us even after we have accepted His salvation!

If there is one thing I've been learning, it's that Christians can be some of the most bound people walking the face of the earth.  I know what I'm talking about.  I, myself, lived a very bound life for many years and didn't even know it.  I can still remember the moment when I realized I was not living in the freedom God had for me. Christ NEVER meant for His children to live a bound life.  He came so that we would have life and have it to the full and that doesn't just mean after we leave this world.  That promise is for us here and now!

Even though we are in the midst of decorating, buying gifts, receiving gifts, attending parties, working on Christmas church productions and mailing out Christmas cards declaring this "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," many of us are walking around bound.  Oh sure, we'll tell everyone we're fine because that is what we as human beings do, especially around the holidays.

The truth is many of us are feeling deep loneliness, sadness and despair.  Some are wondering how they're going to pay for everything this year when they've lost their jobs, while others are wondering how they'll make it through the holidays for the first time without precious loved ones who have already been called to Heaven.  Still others are trying to figure out how they'll be able to stand in the same room with a family member who hurt them deeply this past year.

This is a messy, painful world, but Christ came to bind up our broken hearts and to set us free! He came to show us how to forgive.  He came to heal the wounds of our hearts.  He came as a tangible way of proving that He can be trusted in ALL circumstances, even when we have no idea what is happening around us.  He came to give us the power to turn away from addictions, fear, bitterness, worry, anxiety, pride, doubt and despair while we're walking on this earth.  This freedom is ours for the taking right now.

We don't have to wait for it.  It's our choice to either take advantage of that freedom or to continue to walk around being weighed down by heavy chains we were never meant to carry.  Galatians 5:1 says, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yolk of slavery."  We are not victims, we are victors through Christ and it all started by Him coming to earth as a baby!

My prayer for all of you this Christmas is that you will be able to focus on what really matters.  If your heart is hurting, allow Christ to put His healing balm on your wounds.  If you are struggling to forgive, allow Him to teach you, once again, how to forgive as He has forgiven each of us.  If your mind is consumed with worry and doubt allow His peace to wash over you.  Whatever your chains, release them and turn them over to that precious Baby in the manger who came to make ALL things new and to set the captives free!

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