Monday, September 21, 2009

The Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage

As someone who loves to read, I had the opportunity to review this book by Rick Burgess and Bill Bussey. I was not sure what to expect, but I must add I was not disappointed. The book, Rick and Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage is a silly light hearted read. Expect to see yourself within this book. I must admit I never heard of these guys before, yet they take a humorous and light-hearted look at marriage and on the journey they disect some very real issues faced by couples today.

No couple is immune from the slippery slope that leads them away from emotional intimacy. By allowing us, the reader, to laugh with them, the authors, at some of their embarrassing matrimonial mistakes, provide glimpses into some of the do's and dont's every couple should know. If this book was only a book of comedy, it would still be a book worth reading.

However, the book goes beyond comedy and is sprinkled with many profound sections. The authors write, "show us a good marriage and we'll show you a union of two forgivers." That's a nugget most every couple can take with them. Especially the final chapters are worth the book. They get serious and instead of poking fun at themselves, give some good thoughts for couples of all ages. This would be a great book for couples to read together to laugh and share their own stories, or give it as a gift or anniversary present.

You can purchase this book through Thomas Nelson Publishers at

http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=1401603998&title=Rick-and-Bubba%27s-Guide-to-the-Almost-Nearly-Perfect-Marriage&authors=Rick-Burgess-and-Bill-Bussey



YOU WERE BORN FOR THIS

If you are a fan of Bruce Wilkinson, you will find this book beneficial as you seek to better discover what your purpose is. Bruce's thesis for this book is that miracles are still occurring and should be occurring in abundance. However, he states most people either do not believe in miracles, or miracles are only performed by a select few, whom God has chosen.

Bruce writes about 7 Keys for each person to attain a life in which predictable miracles occur. In other words, you are the messenger of the miracle God performs through you. It's a challenging book, easy to read, and one which I believe will cause you to really consider whether miracles are real and can occur today, even through you, or is it only a select group who can perform miracles.

Bruce writes, anyone can do a good deed, but some good works can only happen by a direct intervention from God. Around the world these acts are called miracles—not that even religious people expect to see one any time soon. But what would happen if millions of ordinary people walked out each morning expecting God to deliver a miracle through them to a person in need? You Were Born for This starts with the dramatic premise that everyone at all times is in need of a miracle, and God is ready to meet those needs supernaturally through ordinary people who are willing to learn the “protocol of heaven.”

Wilkinson describes how anyone can be a “Delivery person” from heaven in such universally significant arenas of life as finances, practical help, relationships, purpose, and spiritual growth. You Were Born for This will change how you see the world, and what you expect God can do through you and others to meet real needs. He offers 7 tools of service, hoping you will conclude and proclaim, “I want to deliver a supernatural gift from God to someone in need today—and I expect to!”

A video link of Bruce introducing this book is below.

http://bit.ly/wGT7l

You can purchase You Were Born for This by clicking on one of the links below . . .

Amazon.com or

Christianbook.com


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Healthy Pastors - Part 3

Healthy Pastors: Pastors Do Get Depressed

John Catanzaro

N.M.D. - Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Healthy Pastors Series [Part 3 of 3]: Click | View Series

On the eve of October 19, 1856, Spurgeon commenced services at the Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall, a popular amusement hall that Spurgeon's congregation rented when they had outgrown their building and had not completed a new one.

During the morning service he preached at New Park Street Chapel on Malachi 3:10: "Prove me now." With chillingly prophetic voice he declared, "I may be called to stand where the thunderclouds brew, where the lightnings play, and tempestuous winds are howling on the mountain top. Well, then, I am born to prove the power and majesty of our God; amidst dangers he will inspire me with courage; amidst toils he will make me strong... We shall be gathered together tonight where an unprecedented mass of people will assemble, perhaps from idle curiosity, to hear God's Word; and the voice cries in my ears, 'Prove me now.' ...See what God can do, just when a cloud is falling on the head of him whom God has raised up to preach to you..."

Reason Shattered, Distressed, Ministry Flourished

The evening service was held at Surrey Hall, which seated up to twelve thousand and was overflowing with an additional ten thousand people in the gardens. While the evening service was underway, during Spurgeon's prayer, several malicious people shouted, "Fire! The galleries are giving way!"

The panic produced rushes of people. Seven people were trampled to death and twenty-eight were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Near the Furnace of Insanity

Spurgeon (only 22 years old), was carried from the pulpit and taken to a friend's house where he remained for several days in deep depression. He was so distressed he was unable to preach for several weeks and later said the experience was "sufficient to shatter my reason" and might have meant his ministry "was silenced for ever." He remarked, "Perhaps never a soul went so near the burning furnace of insanity, and yet came away unharmed." A friend and biographer commented that his early death may have been the result of this tragedy, "I cannot but think, from what I saw, that his comparatively early death might be in some measure due the furnace of mental suffering he endured on and after that fearful night."

Spurgeon later recounted the agony he went through: "Standing in this pulpit, this morning, I recall to myself that evening of sorrow when I saw my people scattered, like sheep without a shepherd, trodden upon, injured, and many of them killed. Do you recollect how you cried for your minister, that he might be restored to a reason that was then tottering? Can you recollect how you prayed that, out of evil, God would bring forth good, that all the curses of the wicked might be rolled back upon themselves, and that God would yet fill this place with His glory? And do you remember how long ago that is, and how God has been with us ever since, and how many of those, who were injured that night, are now members of our church, and are praising God that they ever entered this hall? Oh! shall we not love the Lord? There is not a church in London that has had such answers to prayer as we have had; there has not been a church that has had such cause to pray. We have had special work, special trial, special deliverance, and we ought preeminently to be a church, loving God, and spending and being spent in His service."

Not Erased From My Memory

"I cannot speak, as a grey-headed man, of the storms and troubles which many of you have endured; but I have had more joys and more sorrows, in the last few years, than any man in this place, for my life has been compressed as with a Bramah press—a vast mass of emotion into one year. I have gone to the very bottoms of the mountains, as some of you know, in a night that never can be erased from my memory—a night connected with this place."

Spurgeon's ministry was vast and people all over the world loved him, but I believe he would have lived longer if his sheep only cared more deeply for his total wellness!

Your Pastor-Shepherd Feels Deeply

Your pastors may be built as tough as a Dodge, but I tell you they weep, ache, sweat, agonize, intensely labor and lose sleep over their tribe. They weep over those who are living separate from Christ and labor to keep sheep in healthy pastures away from harmful predators. They sweat to provide nurturing food. They ache and agonize to provide a better way for you and for me. Give them the best of your prayers, service and work—your sacrifices and action of faith will be the aroma of Christ.

Learn to appreciate the work of your pastors, and when they don't seem to meet the mark don't just throw them in the trash compactor with the hopes that they will see things your way after the battering is done. Give way to grace, for we all have our down days and it's good to have a friend in our corner to give us the light of reason when we need it most!

Lift up your pastors!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

David Robinson - part 2

In order to access the video, just click on the previous RIGHT HERE

There was an access problem on the last blog.

Thanks,

David Robinson

I watched Michael Jordan's 23 minute NBA hall of fame speech. He spoke of what made him more competitive, what added logs to his fire. At times he was funny, at times he seemed a little arrogant or rude.

Then I watched David Robinson's speech, it was far different, you see David is a Christian who lives according to Christ like values. His speech is below. Watch it, especially the last 1 minute, what a great testimony.

Click HERE or below:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stray Affections

Stray AffectionsIn Stray Affections, the last thing that Cassandra expects out of her Sunday is to be mesmerized at a collectors’ convention by a snowglobe. She’s enjoying some shopping time, with husband Ken at home tending their brood of four young boys, when she’s utterly charmed by the one-of-a kind globe containing figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own. She can’t resist taking the unique globe home—even if means wrestling another shopper for it!

The beautiful snowglobe sparks long-dormant memories for Cassie, of her beloved Grandpa Wonky, the stray she rescued as a child, and the painful roots of her combative relationship with her mother, “Bad Betty” Kamrowski. Life in Wanonishaw , Minnesota is never dull, though, and Cassie keeps the recollections at bay, busy balancing her boys, her home daycare operation, and being a good friend to best pal Margret. But after a strange—flurrious, as Cassie deems it—moment happens with the remarkable snowglobe, Cassie and the people she loves are swirled into a tumultuous, yet grace-filled, and life-changing journey.

“As a believer, I know the power of forgiveness and new beginnings, and of a God, and family and friends, who love me the way I am,” Charlene Ann Baumbich says. “The heartbeat of change flows through those wonderful gifts.”

With the quirky, close-knit Midwestern small-town feel that made Charlene Ann Baumbich’s acclaimed Dearest Dorothy novels so popular, Stray Affections invites readers to experience the laughter and the healing of second chances.

About the author:

Charlene Ann Baumbich is a popular author and speaker and an award-winning journalist. In addition to her Dearest Dorothy series of novels, she has written seven nonfiction books of humor and inspiration. A bungee-jumping, once motorcycle-owning grandma and unabashed dog lover, Charlene lives with her husband and rescued dog Kornflake in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. (Right near where Debbie and I used to live) Charlene loves telling stories, laughing whenever possible, and considers herself a Wild Child of God.

Also included is a video link of Charlene introducing the book. The video is available on facebook and/or YouTube.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/video/video.php?v=101927788491

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWwya52SkjU

You can purchase the book at . . . (click on the links)

AMAZON.COM

or

This also includes a video from Charlene CHRISTIANBOOKS.COM


Healthy Pastors - Part 1

I read this at a blog by John Catanzaro, N.M.D. - Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

http://theresurgence.com/how-to-help-your-pastor

I thought it was well written. So, here you go, in fact pass it on to your friends, not just at FBC, but for others who attend different churches, so they may support their pastors as well . . .

This is Part 1 . . .

He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

I have the privilege of being a pastor to the pastors in coaching and praying for their wellness. The expectations parishioners place upon pastors in this church age are both complex and demanding. For the last two decades I have observed the continual decline in the heath of pastors in the Pacific Northwest. It is both distressing and grievous when pastors share some of the pressures of the ministry and the criticisms and burdens they carry. I believe the best place to begin is to clarify the pastor’s responsibility list.

Unhealthy Expectations

  • They are not substitute parents
  • They are not shrinks
  • They are not janitors, plumbers, or construction workers
  • They are not crisis managers
  • They are not perfect problem-solvers
  • They are not corporate executives
  • They do not have wireless access to the Holy Spirit concerning your problems
  • They are not responsible for your sin
  • They are not constructed for long-term bashing
  • They are not required to shoulder repeated harsh criticisms
  • They are not celebrities
  • They have families with real problems too
  • They are not always available and tireless
  • They are not God in human form
  • They can burn out

Healthy Expectations

  • They serve
  • They teach
  • They lead
  • They inspire
  • They pray
  • They cry
  • They get tired
  • They are human
  • They need family time
  • They must be renewed

To be continued.

Healthy Pastors - Part 2

I read this at a blog by John Catanzaro, N.M.D. - Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

http://theresurgence.com/how-to-help-your-pastor

I thought it was well written. So, here you go, in fact pass it on to your friends, not just at FBC, but for others who attend different churches, so they may support their pastors as well . . .

This is Part 2 . . .

Pastor, how can I help? Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the greatest revivalist preacher of the 19th century, was asked this by many parishioners. His response to this question was to establish a serving and prayerful church. His ministry became the largest prayer-based evangelical work in the Christian church since the days of the apostolic era.

How to Help Your Pastor

  • Understand. The first way to help your pastor is to develop understanding and sensitivity to the stress and demands of a pastor's work.
  • Pray. Secondly, pray for your pastor. A very active prayer ministry to support the pastors in their evangelical work is fundamental to the health of pastors and the church at large.
  • Grow. Thirdly, mature in the faith. Grow and work to preserve the work of God in your sphere. Do not contribute to confusion, gossip and bitter attitudes. Get involved in action, service, and financial contribution, which are all vital to the health of the Christian mission of proclaiming Christ in your community and the world.
  • Lead. Finally, faith in action is serving others above what you want in support of the ministry of the church. Don't just get involved in ministry; actively work with the leadership to provide healthy momentum in ministry and to become a personal preacher of the ways of Christ!

Preachers Are Human

Your pastors can become physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. Again, C.H. Spurgeon shares his afflictions and trials throughout his ministry to demonstrate that it was in his weakness that Christ's strength within him was magnified.

Spurgeon was afflicted with spiritual agonies, slander and scorn, the weight of preaching, emotional trials of depression, ministry burden, and physical illnesses of gout, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.

Saved From Much, Called To Much

His journey began with the foundation of suffering and by his own words he gives a clear picture of his agony before his conversion. "The justice of God, like a ploughshare, tore my spirit," he recalled. "I was condemned, undone, destroyed--lost, helpless, hopeless--I thought hell was before me... I prayed, but found no answer of peace. It was long with me thus." Thus, he clarifies through his life that the present suffering he encountered in ministry was no match for the devastating bitterness of soul he experienced before living for Jesus. This taught him to pursue the holiness of God and to loathe sinful living.

Slander and Scorn Go With the Territory

During the early years of his ministry he encountered intense slander and scorn, and his response to this was, "If I am able to say in very truth, 'I was buried with Christ thirty years ago,' I must surely be dead. Certainly the world thought so, for not long after my burial with Jesus I began to preach his name, and by that time the world thought me very far gone, and said, 'He stinketh.' They began to say all manner of evil against the preacher; but the more I stank in their nostrils the better I liked it, for the surer I was that I was really dead to the world."

The Crushing Blow of Scorn

Spurgeon's again on his deepest emotions regarding the scorn and slander he faced: "Down on my knees have I often fallen, with the hot sweat rising from my brow under some fresh slander poured upon me; in an agony of grief my heart has been well-nigh broken; ...This thing I hope I can say from my heart: If to be made as the mire of the streets again, if to be the laughing stock of fools and the song of the drunkard once more will make me more serviceable to my Master, and more useful to his cause, I will prefer it to all this multitude, or to all the applause that man could give."

Don't contribute to the sufferings of your pastors by gossiping, backbiting, or scorning. Instead, get in the trenches with them!

To be continued.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shame on Joe Wilson

I didn't watch Obama's speech about health care last night, but watched pieces of it, including Joe Wilson's proclamation "you lie!"

Whether I agree with Obama or not, he is the president, not only that, he is another person, Wilson just set back his cause decades. His 2 simple words, whether true or not will be remembered and his causes for his state will be ignored. He has done incredible damage to the health care cause, which now has Obama opponents rallying to his side.

Sometimes, it's best to keep our mouths shut, think it, pray over it, then resolve our disputes in private, never in public.

Remember the words of Mark Twain, "never argue with a fool in public, because the public will not know who the real fool is." Not that I'm calling Obama a fool, but I think you get the gist of it. When feeling anger, check it out, and keep it in check. In the words of James 1, "19 ... Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." A great prescription for each of us.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

09-09-09

Here is some fun facts about the number 9.

As the final numeral, the number nine holds special rank. It is associated with forgiveness, compassion and success on the positive side as well as arrogance and self-righteousness on the negative.

FUN FACTS

The sum of the two-digits resulting from nine multiplied by any other single-digit number will equal nine. 9x3=27, and 2+7=9; 8x9=72, and 7+2=9, etc.

Here is a fun one to always help your child check their math problems when multiplying with the number 9. Multiply nine by any two, three or four-digit number and the sums of those will also break down to nine.

For example: 9x62 = 558; 5+5+8=18; 1+8=9.

Again, 9x597(any 3 digit number)=5373; 5+3+7+3=18 or 1+8=9

9x7,064(any4 digit number)=63,576; 6+3+5+7+6=27 or 2+7=9

A final example 9x9,999=89,991; 8+9+9+9+1=36 or 3+6=9

COOL stuff to teach your kids/grandkids, to then teach the teachers in a fun classroom project.

Lastly, September 9 also happens to be the 252nd day of the year 2 + 5 +2=9

Enjoy the day . . . be a blessing to others.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Long Week

Well, somehow the first draft of this blog was deleted by the computer, ugh! It was a long week for us regarding 6th grade football in Alexandria. I was the 6th grade coach and as of last Monday we only had 13 boys, which was not enough to field a team safely, so Debbie and I decided it was in Joshua's best interests to go to Frankton, where two other boys had gone (because of numbers).

As a result, Joshua was called 'quitter,' among other things. Not a fun week for Joshua as he took abuse he should not have had to deal with. That is 11 year old mentality. Amazingly, they still have a team since 5 new kids of migrant workers came out for football and there is a new coach. My greatest concern was for the safety of all of the boys and keeping a team in Alexandria, yet in the end, I felt 13 boys would not suffice for safety reasons, Joshua included.

Joshua is now playing football in Frankton and enjoys the kids on the team. They have 17 boys, a good number to have. I help coach the offense, and everyone seems to be very nice to us. It was a long week with lots of 11 year old football drama. So, there's a short version of a long story and week. Hopefully the football season will be smoother than this.

Thought for the Day

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

How rare it is that we follow this advice. We take the safe road, and leave the road less traveled to those willing to risk in the name of adventure and mystery. Who knows what we will find on the other side, until of course, we venture into the unknown.

Sometimes the path with a trail is safe, and there are times we need to journey on that path, but there are those moments when we are called by God to move into the unknown so that we may trust the God who called us, will never, never abandon us, but goes before us.

Advent Devotional!

The Wonder of Advent Devotional: Experiencing the Love and Glory of the Christmas Season , by Chris Tiegreen is one of many books and devo...