Messages & Messengers

And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

– 1 Thessalonians 2:13


I’m acting as a County Conference Assistant this week at the 4-H Exploration Days at MSU. (Inward cringe at being held in Spartan world for three days). There are a lot of great programs here for the kids, and I am actually happy to be able to help our county office by being here to cover the guys.

I’m working with a group of young guys I barely know. It is interesting to see their different personalities, their maturity levels, and communication skills. One big thing I have noticed is that there is one that struggles with rules.

When the rules were given before we even arrived, he began questioning them. I admit that I was really struggling with how I would work with him. COULD I work with him?

I decided to try a new tack when we got here. I got all of the guys together and discussed the rules. The first thing I said is that I had no rules for them. That got everybody excited! I then reminded them that the county 4-H club had rules, and they needed to be followed. MSU has rules, and they need to be followed. I have no reason to give them rules. Well, I had one rule, and that was to not be obnoxious with me about the rules!

It’s hard when people assign their displeasure about something to the messenger. The poor guy delivering the message usually takes the heat when they don’t like what they hear. That was what I was getting from this kid before we got here, but once he had a better understanding of the situation, he could believe that I was not here to keep him down, but to give him guidance that would allow him to avoid a penalty that he would not like.

I appreciated it when he got it. I wonder if Paul felt the same way in this verse. I can almost here him saying, “They got it! The message comes from God! They understand that I am just a mouthpiece for Him!” I know it takes the pressure off me when I know that somebody “gets it” because then I am able to engage them differently since I don’t need to be worried about the other stuff.

I really like to blog, but lately I have not felt the joy of it. I’m not sure, but I think I might be giving some stuff too much thought. Not because I want to overanalyze things, but because I want to help people understand that a lot of what I talk about here is stuff I am getting from reading God’s Word. That stress to make sure I am not putting out false truths or giving my opinion as TRUTH has made it hard to keep going sometimes. I’m gonna be working on that. I want the joy of writing again.

Relentless Growth is not a comfortable life. It is a life of action, moving ever forward toward the goal. It is time for a recommitment toward that ideal in my life. I want to be a good example of what it means to follow Christ. I want to be a good husband, father, friend, and employee. If I am going to do that, I need to be more like Christ. Show His compassion, His love, His grace, and display more of His wisdom. Show so much of Him at work in my life that the people who read this blog or talk to me at work have no doubt where the message is coming from or what the motivation is behind them.

How about you? Are you ready to do the same? Let me know. I would love to pray for you as we grow together.

Relentless Growth -> Grow Deep -> Grow Strong


Author: Tom Tanner

I'm a follower of Christ, husband, and father. Over the last few years I have been learning how to dig deeper into God's Word and letting it influence more of my life. As I learn, try, fail, and repeat in this process I am seeing God's hand more and more in my life and that of my family as well. This journey is long, hard, and at times a little lonely, but living a Relentless life for Christ has rewards that reach beyond me and my family. My prayer is that it brings God glory and leaves a legacy that will show His influence in my life.

I would love to hear your comments here or e-mail them privately to

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