Monthly Archives: August 2011

Mobilizing Men For One on One Ministry

I recently read this book by Steve Sonderman and would like to recommend it to anyone that is trying to develop or enhance their men’s ministry.  Over the past two decades reaching and keeping men in church has become increasingly difficult. I enjoyed Sonderman’s book for several reasons.  First, it focuses on discipleship.  It is not just about getting men into your church building the focus is all about discipling men which should be the end goal of all ministries in the church. Secondly, I also enjoyed the book because it was an easy read.  I read it on my Kindle and it took me around 4 or 5 hours of reading time.  I tend to make lots of notes and highlights and I am a below average reader when it comes to speed.  His writing style however is easy to follow and understand. The third reason I liked the book comes from his willingness to share solutions.  Each chapter contains many different approaches or solutions to the problems discussed.  He not only tells you what to dom but also deals with how to do it. If you are trying to start, grow, or enhance your church’s men’s ministry, or if you just want to read a book that is full of good advice and ideas, I would recommend this one.  After you read it be sure to come back here and let me know what you thought about it. Below is a link to the book in Amazon if you want to pick it up. Mobilizing Men for One-on-One Ministry: The Transforming Power of Authentic Friendship and Discipleship by Steve Sonderman

Update me…

Like most, my life is consumed by technology.  I have become so dependent on the internet, email, my iPhone, iPad, and computer that rarely does a day go by when I don’t utilize them all.  But the one thing that really annoys me is all of the updates.  The other day I was using my iPhone and I noticed that small red circle on the app store app indicating I needed to update some apps.  When I opened it up I found that 22 of my 24 apps needed an update.  My computer checks for updates each week and most weeks there are several new updates there as well.  At least twice a month my internet browser prompts me to update.  The Bible program I use requires more and more updates as well, generally two a month.  I can remember a time when these updates where few and far between.  I bought my first cell phone in 1998 and used it well into 2000 and it required zero updates.  In college my computer and the programs on it required updating once or maybe twice a year but those days seem to be long gone. In a world that is dominated by the constant and overwhelming need for updates I am thankful that the main program in my life requires no update at all.  God’s program works as wonderfully today as it did generations ago.  His Holy Word is as true and valid for my life as it was for my ancestors. There is no need to update the Gospel, or God’s unending grace.  God’s forgiveness, peace, and mercy have no need for updates either.

Will you serve?

I love reading the greetings of the New Testament epistles. My love for these often overlooked verses of the Bible shed a great deal of light on how these men lived and where known to others.  One of the most common words you will find in these greetings is “servant.”  Here are a few from Paul’s letters… Philippians 1:1 NIV  Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,  To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Titus 1:1 NIV Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness — Romans 1:1 NIV   Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God — Paul however is not the only New Testament writer to be introduced as a servant of Christ. For example we see that James, Peter, and Jude are as well. James 1:1 NIV James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,  To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:  Greetings. 2 Peter 1:1 NIV Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,  To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Jude 1:1 NIV  Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,  To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: I really like this introduction here in Jude because he is described first as a servant of Christ and second as the brother of James.  Many times when I am introduced […]

Be Still…

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10 NIV My daughter who just turned 1 has finally started letting daddy hold her around bedtime. The other night as I sat in her room and rocked her to sleep I could not help but think about my heavenly father. As a the father of my daughter it felt so good to just hold her in my arms and rock her back and forth. To look into her hazel eyes, rub her back, and whisper prayers over her young life, culminated into one of many unforgettable fatherly experiences I have had the privilege of knowing. Just moments before however, she had been squirming, crying, throwing her body every which way trying to avoid the dreaded bedtime. This made me think about the time I spend with my heavenly father. Many times those moments are full of tension from a hard day, pleading for guidance over tough decisions that must be made, whining and complaining over the difficulties of life, and perhaps a hurried thank you for one blessing or another I have received. It is a far too rare occasion that I just crawl up in my father’s arms and rest in stillness. Over the past few days I have started implementing this lesson my daughter taught me. My time with the Lord each day begins and ends with stillness. I attempt to start and end each day in my father’s arms sitting in stillness. I enjoy gazing into His Heavenly eyes, and hearing His sweet, small, tender voice as He holds me close and reminds me of His love. It […]

Career vs. Calling

In a recent sermon I was trying to help every believer in our congregation understand that God has more than a career in mind for their lives.  I firmly believe that each believer has a calling from God.  I believe that God places each of us on the mission field for the purpose of making disciples, expanding His Kingdom, and making Him famous in all the earth.  When we stop viewing our jobs as a common career, and instead, see it as God does everything changes.  Proverbs 16:26 (NIV) says The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on. Many are unhappy at work and dread the prospect of each new day because they have fallen prey to the devil’s lie’s about work.  He wants you to believe that your job is not important, that it does not matter, and that it is just another career.  If we are honest, most people go to work each week for far lesser things then the things of God. We work for things like money, our mortgage, car payments, retirement, the kids college fund, power, and many other things.  As a result, over time as we work for these things, we lose sight of the fact that God has a plan for us where we work.  Most of us will spend over 1/3 of our lives at work.  It is foolish to think that God does not have a plan for 1/3 of our life.  God not only has a plan, He has a calling on your life.  You are called to be a disciple in the work place.  You are called to make more disciples in that work place as well.  During my message I […]

Excuses for falling asleep at work

If you ever find yourself dozing off at your desk after lunch you might want to commit a few of these excuses to memory.  I am not sure that they would work, but they are funny!  I’m not sure where they came from but a friend sent them to me in an email forward last week.  What would you add to the list?  Leave your additions in the comment section… 10 excuses to use if you fall asleep at your desk and get caught by the boss: 1)   They told me at the blood bank this might happen. 2)   This is just a 15 minute power nap like they raved about in that time management course you sent me to. 3)   Whew! Guess I left the top off the whiteout.  You got here just in time! 4)   I wasn’t sleep I was meditating on the mission statement you shared with me and envisioning a new paradigm for our company. 5)   I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance. 6)   I was just doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work related stress.  Are you discriminatory toward people who practice Yoga? 7)   Man! Why did you interrupt me? I almost figured out a solution to our company’s biggest problem… 8)   The coffee machine is broken… 9)   Someone must have put decaf in the wrong pot. 10)         …In Jesus name Amen!

Who Are You? Part 4

Over the past few days I have been sharing some things that God showed me years ago as I faced some very difficult and trying days.  These things were all revealed to me as a result of a question I asked God, “Who Are You…”  He reminded me of four things that I already knew but had lost sight of during my trial. Those things were (1) My peace passes all understanding, (2) my wisdom is unsearchable, (3) my love can’t be fathomed, and finally, my gift is indescribable! Have you ever received a gift you did not deserve? Something that left you speechless and stunned? The earthly experience of such a moment is impossible to forget and will bless your soul for a lifetime.  Even if you have not received such a gift here on earth all of humanity has been given an unspeakable eternal gift in Christ Jesus our savior. Paul said this of Christ in 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NIV) Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!   On difficult days I frequently think about the indescribable gifts people I love have blessed me with over the years.  Sometimes I go as far as to pick up and hold such a gift in my hands, or close my eyes and remember the feelings I felt on the day I received the gift.  I have learned to do the same with God’s indescribable eternal gift as well.  When trials strike and difficulty comes my way I am quick to recall His wonderful gift of grace that was brought into my life through Jesus Christ my Lord.  I pause and take time to remember how  wonderful I felt the night I called on Christ […]

By |August 25th, 2011|God|0 Comments

Who Are You Part 3

In some of my most difficult days of life to date God reminded me that His peace surpassed all understanding, and that His wisdom was unsearchable.  The next thing he told me was “My love for you can not be fathomed!”  During this time I sincerely appreciated God reminding me of how much He personally loved me.  I knew my family loved me, my friends loved me, and the members of our church loved me.  During this time they showed their love in numerous ways.  I had, however, failed to notice that through those people and countless other things, God had revealed how much He loved me as well. I can’t understand the kind of love He feels for me.  Love that caused Him to send His son to endure the cross is unimaginable for me.  During these difficult days I thought about two passages of scripture in particular.  Perhaps taking some time to ponder them will bless your soul as well. 1 John 4:8-10 (NIV)8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Eph 2:1-5 (NIV) 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, […]

By |August 24th, 2011|God|0 Comments

Who Are You Part 2

In yesterday’s post I explained that years ago during a string of difficult days I was spiritually reduced to asking God the question, Who are you?  In the days that followed that initial question God reminded me of exactly who He was and it really helped me through that time in my life.  If you are in such a time right now these blogs might help you as well. The second thing God told me was that His wisdom was unsearchable. God is far beyond humanity in every way. In Isiah 55 God says my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.  God goes on to say my ways and thoughts are higher than your thoughts!  Humanity has come to believe that we are smart, educated, and well rounded individuals capable of handling anything that might come our way.  However there are times in life, that we are forced to face things that make no earthly sense no matter how you examine it.  These things only make sense in the scope of eternity and simply can’t be understood here on earth. God’s wisdom is far greater than our own and can be compared to nothing we have or will ever know on this side of heaven. Scripture says as much:  Romans 11:33-36 (NIV)33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Job 26:6-14 […]

By |August 23rd, 2011|God|0 Comments

Who Are You? Part 1

Have you ever had a really horrible week or maybe even month?  Like everyone else, hard times have befallen upon my life periodically over the years as well.  Several years ago I went through a difficult time that really caused me to ask God some hard questions.  The loss of several close friends, a building project at the church, the resignation of a trusted staff member, and several other things all came to pass in the course of a month.  I really did not know what to do other than hit my knees in humble honesty and ask God the question “Who are you?” Over the next few days God revealed several things to my heart that helped me through this trying time of life.  You might be hurting, questioning, and wondering today as well.  My prayer is that God’s word would speak to you as well.  Over the next few days I will share from my journal the things God said when I asked Him who He was… The first thing I heard him say was “I am the God who’s peace passes all understanding!” I have tried to explain and understand the peace of God over the years and found it an impossible task. The fact still remains our God is one of peace even during the most stressful, difficult, and confusing days of our lives.  His peace is still so great that it transcends all understanding.Below is a small sample of what scripture has to say as it concerns God’s peace for His beloved children. Psalms 29:11 (NIV)11 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.  John 14:27 (NIV)27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give […]

By |August 22nd, 2011|God|0 Comments
Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonTwitter Icontwitter follow button