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Tom Lanning | Executive Pastor

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I remember being asked that question many times as a young boy.  Honestly, I probably answered it differently almost every time it was asked. 

A fireman. Police Officer.  Football player. Scientist. Architect. Astronaut. Pilot. The only thing I don’t remember ever answering is “Pastor.”  God has a funny sense of humor, doesn’t he?

But I do remember, even as a young kid, I wanted to BE and DO something great.  I didn’t care what it was, only that it was going to be great! Hour after hour, I practiced hitting the buzzer beater that would win game 7 of the NBA championships… I listened to the radio and imagined it was me singing Don’t Stop Believing to an adoring crowd of thousands… I would accomplish or discover or invent or create or do something so big, so important, that I would be celebrated, honored, known and revered by everyone…remembered long after I was gone.

Well, I’m all grown up now.  I’ve put away my childish fantasies of being the next Edison, Einstein, MLK, or Magic Johnson. I’ve finished one career and I’m most likely more than half-way through another. And I think most would agree, I’ve never done anything too world changing.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m a pretty ordinary guy.  So are most of you. Just trying to make it from one day to the next. Trying to be a good husband, good dad, good grandpa, good worker, good friend.  Really just hoping that a few people will have noticed and appreciated and loved me for who I am when it’s all said and done.

That’s the way I feel most days.  Not like a star in my own movie…more like an extra.

But you know what?  If I’m honest with myself…if I was really honest with you, I’d tell you that I still dream of doing something great.  Even at 52 years old, I still believe that my life was meant for something big, something important, something that will last forever. 

And I believe that yours was too.

If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “Ya right.”  My life is an endless cycle of wash, rinse, repeat, carpools, sports practices, homework and food prep.  I barely have the time and strength to get it all done, let alone find the time to do something world changing.

But here’s the thing, the Bible says that God does have a very specific and perfect plan for your life. 

Here’s how Paul put it:


For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10)


See, God knew you from the very beginning.  He saw your life. He knows your gifts, in fact, he gave them to you. He also knows your baggage, the things you struggle with, the weakness and sin you have gotten so good at hiding from everyone else.  And despite knowing everything about you, he loves you and he put together a very specific, wonderful, and eternally important plan for your life, a plan that only you can accomplish. 

The real question isn’t, “Does God have a plan for my life?” The real question is: “Will I do what it takes to discover and accomplish that plan?”  If you already feel like you’re nailing it, Great job! Keep going! But if, like the rest of us, you can barely see past the dirty diapers and dishes, let alone see this amazing plan God has prepared for you, then something needs to change.  And change can be hard, but can I encourage you with a thought?  

I believe God has already given you everything you need.  Look around…at the people, the family, the friends, the co workers, your community, your church family, your talents, your job, your stuff…  Now ask yourself, “What needs to change for me to make a difference in the lives of the people he’s put around me? How can I accomplish something that will last forever, right where I am, with the things he has given me?

Throughout 2020, we’re going to talk a lot about what it means to be a Changemaker..a person who loves deeply, lives fearlessly, and leaves a life-changing legacy that will be remembered long after we are gone. 

I believe 2020 could be the year you begin to see the important and unique role that only you can play in your story.  Even if your story has been full of mediocrity, failure, or worse, I believe God’s best for you is right around the corner. 


Isaiah 43:19 Look, I am about to do something new;

even now it is coming. Do you not see it?


Looking forward to becoming a Changemaker with you this year,



Tom Lanning

Executive Pastor

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