Author Archives: Tom Rand

About Tom Rand

Tom Rand is an apprentice of Jesus, a biblical scholar and storyteller who is passionate about worship, teaching and formation into the Christ-like living. He lives in Toledo, Ohio and serves as the pastor of Sylvania First United Methodist Church.

Three Days

One week into recovery from open heart surgery and I am celebrating a New Year. It is a new year when I actually do get to turn 50, after all. And in just two days, I get to celebrate my … Continue reading

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Christmas Miracles

25 December 2017 Some of you are aware that I am to have open heart surgery tomorrow.  This is the first part of the story about how I have come to count this as a Christmas miracle. But first, in … Continue reading

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Dancing with Delight!

Trinity Sunday, 2016 Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31 On the night before I preached this sermon, I saw on Facebook this post from Episcopal Memes: Thank you Lady Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham.  I will risk it. I am not a good … Continue reading

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Bound Together in Christ

John 17:1-23 As our United Methodist General Conference is convening, I find myself thinking a lot about unity and our oneness in Christ.  I’ve spent a lot of time with Jesus in the last week, letting his prayer that we … Continue reading

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I Do Not Know the Man

Matthew 26:69-75 Powerless.  That’s how I feel every time a bomb goes off in an airport or subway station, every time gunmen attack the innocent whether it be on a beach, in a nightclub or school, an office building or … Continue reading

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How the World Changes

As the horror of Friday night unfolded in Paris, I felt a profound sorrow, a quiver under my feet as the earth shook once again under such heinous violence.  I had flashbacks to 9/11 and to the terrifying moments of … Continue reading

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Living with Gratitude for Those Who Have Gone Before

All Saints Day 2015 John 11:38-44 “Nnn–yello” That’s how my friend Julie’s mom used to always answer the phone.  “Hi, Tom, how are you?” she would ask, honestly, openly, truly interested, really wanting to know.  After several minutes of warm-up … Continue reading

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Come as You Are, Become as God Made You

The kingdom of God is a grand “come as you are” party in which nothing is ever the same for those who dare to show up. What I’ve discovered is that Jesus does not reject any part of me, but takes it, blesses it, breaks it and gives it back again, changed, transformed, consecrated for God’s purposes. I’ve also discovered that no one can become who God made them to be unless we know that who we are is not only acceptable, but also beloved. And because we are beloved, God wants so much more for us than what is. Continue reading

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Come and See

John 1:29-42 My friend Gary Moon tells a story of going to a country baseball game in Georgia one Saturday afternoon and watching a high school J-V matchup between cross-county rivals. Now, you may have a favorite pro team, but … Continue reading

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Gifts for the Christ Child

Matthew 2:1-12 A few years ago, my wife, Elizabeth, received a Christmas card from a family friend that hung on our refrigerator for all the years that our children were young. It said, “After the wise men left, the Holy … Continue reading

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