Thursday, December 24, 2015

A new perspective

This past week I received a support update from a friend of mine currently serving on the mission field in Thailand. The update included what I thought was a very thought provoking and refreshing perspective of Christmas. I trust you will also find it to be enlightening:

This year has proved to be the year that I most understand what Christmas is really about. If the primary reason for Christmas were about the presents or about being able to be with the people you care about the most, my Christmas would be pathetic. With no family here, and the friends I'd typically choose to spend Christmas with gone, I've been stripped to the core of what Christmas is about. I am reminded that Christmas really isn't about me. It's about God the Father, bringing His Son to this Earth, demonstrating His Love for All of His Creation. And we can celebrate and acknowledge that in many ways. Whether it be with our most loved friends and family or in the company of strangers. Whether it be a season where we have plenty to give, or a season where it seems we hardly have enough for ourselves. There is no circumstance that should hinder us from glorifying and praising God for what He has done. Coming to understand this doesn't mean I won't shed a tear this Christmas season. But it certainly has taken the focus off of myself and my understanding of having a "merry Christmas". 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Not too late!

It's not too late to get a copy of Footprints of the Unnamed sent to you for Christmas - if you want a copy, let me know and I'll send you one! Only $15

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Christmas book



Footprints of the Unnamed took over a year to write and edit, but it is finished. You can see a stack of my rough drafts next to the completed book.
If you are looking to get a book for someone for Christmas, I would love to sell you a copy for $15. I have 130 books in my closet to sell, so feel free to order more than one!
#FOTU

Friday, October 23, 2015

Right where you are supposed to be

Over the past few weeks I have gone out for a run on Friday afternoon that in my own words seems to be "soul refreshing." As I come to the end of a busy, stressful, and exhausting week, I lace up my running shoes and just go. More often than not, I don't wear a watch (which is odd for me) as it allows me to feel free. Free from grading, free from lesson planning, free from work. During these runs I allow myself to process the week which sometimes turns into a great pity-party. Last week my pity-party took the form of complaining to God and arguing that life was tough and that He should make everything easier for me. Below is the way our conversation seemed to go, and after reading I hope you can see why these runs have been refreshing for my soul.

God, I feel like trying to do what you have called me to, but it's hard.
Good. 
Good? God, I'm not quite understanding, this job is hard.
I know. I never meant for it to be easy. 
But, I'm exhausted, tired, stressed.
Yes, but I have told you to come to me, and I will carry all your burdens. 
Yes. You do give me rest, but sometimes that doesn't mean it's not hard.
Do you want to be shaped more into the image of my Son?
Yes - that's what I'm going for here.
Then I have you right where I want you. It may be hard, but know I will not leave you by yourself. I have you right where I want you. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Three kids, thousands of lives.

I really cannot call them "kids" anymore because they are technically adults. But, a part of me will always refer to them in a way as my kids. This past week I received emails from three different former BFA students. That in itself brought joy to my heart but it wasn't so much the emails I received, but the content of the emails.
These three individuals were sending out blogs and updates from their experiences on the mission field. They have all graduated from college (giving further credit to my inability to still call them kids) and rather than pursuing careers that will provide them financial security, proximity to friends, or a life of familiarity, they have all chosen to offer their lives as a service to others with the hope of bringing the love of Christ with them.
One is in Uganda. One is in Thailand. One is in Southern Sudan. All are ambassadors of the good news of Jesus Christ. It seriously made me so excited and proud to see them following God's call in this way. Having kept in touch with them since their days at BFA, I know their decision to go was not one that was made on a whim, but one out of obedience for the call God had placed on their heart. I know they are not living lives of ease and nothing but 'feel-good-stories.' They have struggles. They have hard days. They have moments where they question whether or not their efforts will produce any fruit. Yet, they all have the Spirit of God with them, living in them, and working through them. As a result they are impacting an untold number of lives.

Three kids, impacting thousands of lives.
Well done. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Why I write

The past two weeks have been very encouraging and exciting as family and friends have shown great support and interest in Footprints of the Unnamed. I feel as though the workers at the local post office are quite familiar with my face, as I go in every few days to send off a few more books. Through the busyness of trying to self-promote and ensure I send books off as quickly as possible, I haven't had much time to slow down and process all that is happening. The other day I received an email from a friend who had ordered a book. I had thanked him for his support and he responded by saying, "I'm so happy to be your friend and to see you pursuing your dreams by writing another book." 
It was humbling and touching to read his heart-felt words. It also brought me a beautiful reminder, I write because I love to write. I write because I feel as though I have something worth saying, and I want that message to be heard. I write with the hope that the words may impact somebody's life. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Footprints Of The Unnamed... available now!

It is with great excitement that I can announce my newest book, Footprints Of The Unnamed, is officially published and available! If you are interested in ordering a copy the easiest way is to email me: bressontw1@gmail.com and I can send you a copy.

$15.00 for one book, including shipping.
$6.00 for an e-book (I can mail you a business card that has the downloading code and instructions on it)

Thank you for your encouragement, love, and support of Footprints Of The Unnamed. Feel free to share with friends and help spread the message. I have been using the hasthtag #FOTU whenever posting on Facebook or Twitter regarding the book.

Thanks.
Tommy 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

#FOTU

My newest book is being released in one week, and to give you a little bit of a teaser as to what the book is all about, click on the link below to check out a quick video:

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sneak peek

We are not far away at all from the release of the book, Footprints Of The Unnamed
In an effort to raise some awareness about the release of the book I have been sporadically tweeting different quotes from the book on Twitter with the hashtag #FOTU
I wanted to toss out a few of those sneak-peaks with the hope of creating some momentum for the book:


-       There is no possible way he could have done it on his own. Impossible doesn’t even begin to describe how difficult it would have been for him to accomplish the task without the help of his friends. But that is the key: he had friends.

-       Some may be irked by how much she gave, however she was probably frustrated that she could not give more! She recognized she was sacrificing in order to give a gift to Jesus because Jesus had sacrificed himself for her.

-       John subtly throws in a hint within his first few words that this is going to be an incredible miracle because Jesus is going to give life to that which was dead.

-       By stopping and paying attention to her, Jesus not only spoke to and healed this woman, but he is speaking to all of his children. Regardless of the sins she had committed, she was significant to Jesus.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Transition? Again?

Two years ago I wrote this post as I prepared to transition from five years in Germany, to life in the States. One year ago I wrote this post as I reflected on my first year back in the States. In looking back at those posts, 2013 seemed to be one in which I was trying to prepare for the upcoming transition. My post in 2014 was more of a look back and reflection of that transition. Now, as I sit down to write in 2015, I am writing while once again on the brink of another transition. 

To be truthful, I feel as though the transition that began in 2013 took a full 18 months to work through. There was no specific day where I came home and said, "it is finally over!" It was more of a slow and general process where I finally began to feel settled. However, with a longer period of transitioning that means I have only been out of the transition phase for roughly six months. Within the past six months I have been able to evaluate what I did poorly throughout the transitional phase and what I did effectively, both of which will prove helpful with my next transition. Over the past six months I have come across a number of things where I could honestly say, "I did not do that well." Though tough to admit and be slapped in the face by my own faults and failures, I am thankful for the opportunities to recognize mistakes and hopefully correct them for the future. 

As I look back at 2013 and my emotions prior to that transition I could easily use these three words to sum up how I felt; fear, loss and nervous. As I look forward to this next transition and all that is ahead of me the three words that come to mind first are; joy, excitement, adventure. The song I quoted at the bottom of my post in 2013 could not be sung without tears in my eyes. It was sung with a heart that was mourning, fearful over the unknowns ahead, and lonely. As I prepare to transition yet again, I feel the following song by Jesus Culture called "Come Away" is an accurate portrayal of my heart's condition. It is sung with joy and excitement as I gain anticipation of the adventure that lies ahead. A portion of the lyrics I truly love: 

I have a plan for you, I have a plan.
It's going to be wild, 
it's going to be great, 
it's going to be full of me


Thursday, June 18, 2015

#FOTU

After a few months of writing and many months of editing, I have finally come to the place where the manuscript is finalized and submitted! It is certainly a relief and a weight off my shoulders to have reached this point. I am beyond grateful for those who have encouraged me and helped me edit - it is clear to me this was not an individual effort, but the work of a few people who poured in many, many hours. 

There is still some work to be done as the entire publishing process is not complete, but having the manuscript submitted is a massive step toward a finished product. There is no official release date set at this point, but I am hopeful it will be available for purchase in the next two to three months. 

Now that the manuscript is submitted and the road toward publication is more in sight, I hope to pour some energy into spreading the word about the book. As is the case with Running Through Life, I have not mastered the ability to feel comfortable self-promoting. If anyone has any insight or tips please feel free to pass those along. As mentioned in an earlier post (see here) I am going to try and use the hashtag #FOTU on Twitter to create some momentum regarding the book. 

Thanks for all of the support and encouragement. I hope you get excited for a good read coming this fall! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

It was a bad run, but a good day.


It’s not very often that you can have a run go terribly wrong, yet still enjoy the day. But, that is precisely what happened a little over three weeks ago when I ran my latest marathon in Pittsburgh.
            The race was going pretty well through thirteen miles, but then I slowly started to feel more and more tired. A few more miles at my goal pace was all I could manage, before I had to slow down a bit. I’ve never run a marathon where I haven’t hit the “oh man, this is getting hard” point, but to usher in that mentality with nine miles left, is not what you want.
            I have been back in the States for roughly 22 months now, and within that timeframe I have run seven marathons. This last one was my slowest of those seven. Granted, I had spent 24 of the previous 72 hours at track meets. Three track meets in the three days leading up to the marathon, combined with probably my busiest week of teaching for the whole school year, prevented an ideal taper. Excuses aside, it was my slowest race and if anyone knows anything about me, you know I am extremely competitive. I don’t like losing, and I don’t like it when I put up my slowest time in almost two years. It was a bad run. My legs started to get real heavy around mile 18, and by mile 20 the heat of the day left me gulping cup after cup of water at every aid station. I ran the same race last year and found it difficult, but this year the difficulty seemed to increase. I finished the race discouraged by my performance. I crossed the finish line, but was disappointed by the way I ran. It was a bad run, but it was still a good day.
            It was a good day because of the support I had on the course with me. There were those on the sideline cheering my name and encouraging me throughout the race. Around mile 14, I was joined by one of my track runners and she started to run with me. Around mile 19, another one joined in and the three of us kept going for a little bit. At one point while running I asked one of my runners, “Is this your long run for the week?” When she responded, “yes” I said, “Yeah. Me too.” The laughter sprinkled some humor on a disappointing run. When I was struggling to keep my pace, they encouraged me. When I wanted to quit, they told me to keep going. When I needed to take a quick break and walk a few steps, they slowed down with me. They turned a bad run, into a good day.