Saturday, May 20, 2017

Allison #5 Graduates from High School...

My favorite 4th daughter, Libby, is graduating from high school.

I love her. I'm proud of her. I thank God for her. 

And now I'm gonna sing Butterfly Kisses and cry.

If video doesn't appear, go here.



Finally, if you're celebrating a graduate, you might want to share this:
What a formal education CAN'T do for you.

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Thursday, May 11, 2017

On Honoring Your Mother...

I'm an aspiring follower of Jesus today because of the love, prayers, and example of my mom. 

Here's how she did it.

Thank you God for my mom.

What are three things YOU love about your mom?

Why not tell her right now?

More Mother's Day Fun...
* Every honest father knows this is real...
* What moms REALLY want for Mother's Day...
* My mom's story...
* This can be your story...
* The one thing you must do for you mom... 

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
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2. Go to your email and click the Feedburner confirmation link.
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Sunday, May 07, 2017

Start Your Summer Ministry Off Right!

You and the volunteers and key students who serve in ministry with you need encouragement and equipping to make the most of this summer for the Kingdom of God.

Here's how you can start your summer ministry 2017 off right...

What?
Cadre’s Ministry Is Relationships (MIR) training experience!
Note:  Complete details on the content of the training here
You'll need to get the WORD out to others ASAP! Here's a WORD doc that you can tweak the details on and then use as a bulletin stuffer

When and Where?
Saturday AM, June 10, 2017
8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
CrossPoint Community Church, Eureka, IL
Doors will open at 8 AM.
Note: I encourage you to seriously consider doing a light working lunch together from 12:30-1:30 PM in your respective churches and ministries—and using that time for processing and applying as a group. 

Who?
Anyone junior high through senior citizen.
Note: The MIR training experience is even better if you get people who volunteer in ministries together to experience the training with each other… i.e., youth ministry, children’s ministry, women’s ministry, Sunday school teachers, small group leaders, elders, worship team, etc. These volunteers can experience and process the training for their lives AND ministry this way.

Cost?
$15 per person for training materials.
Please make checks out to Cadre Missionaries.
Note: We're also asking each ministry/church that attends to prayerfully consider a love offering of any size for Cadre Missionaries. This is NOT required in any way shape or form. That's why we call is a "love" offering.

RSVP?
Please RSVP and get the number of people attending to Bill ASAP.


You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
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You can unsubscribe at any time with no questions asked simply by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email you receive from Cup O' Joe with Bill. Honest. You got nothing to lose. Try it.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

How to Raise Your Children

by Charlie Shedd

"How to Raise Your Children." 
This was the title of one of my finest efforts. Like all good speeches it had unity, order, movement. It electrified, edified, specified! It grabbed them quick and held them fast with humor, pathos, drama! All over the Midwest I gave it. They paid me a handsome fee and they were glad to get me. "This guy will wow you!" That's what they said, and the people came. With high hopes, they came for "How to Raise Your Children."

Then we had a child!

That sound you just heard was the great elocutionist falling flat on his face. My majestic speech (honest, it was great) had been totaled. Those brilliant ideas had such a droll sound at 2:00 a.m. with the baby in full cry!

In my defense I want you to know this—I kept on trying. I changed my title to "Some Suggestions to Parents," and charged bravely on. Then we had two more children and I altered it again. This time it came out "Feeble Hints to Fellow Strugglers."

From there it was all downhill. The appeal was out of it. My drawing power moved to zero. (I forgot to tell you the honoraria went down with each revision.) But for another thing, I couldn't stand to hear me.

So today I seldom speak on parenthood. And whenever I do, after one or two old jokes, you'd catch this uncertain sound… "Anyone here got a few words of wisdom?"

So what is YOUR take-away from this funny, poignant, and insightful story?

Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear your take-away.

* Note: The above story was take from this book.


You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
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2. Go to your email and click the Feedburner confirmation link.
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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Happy birthday William

As a former English teacher, I've always liked the fact that I share the same birthday as William Shakespeare—April 23rd.

If I start to feel old today because it’s my birthday, I simply call to memory that it’s Shakespeare’s birthday today too.

He’s 453 today.

That makes me feel better... until I consider that Shakespeare is also dead.

Way dead.

Oh well. 

From this point on, I would like anyone who wishes me a Happy Birthday to do so in iambic pentameter.

Thank you. 

That is all.

More posts where I laugh in the face of old age...
* You know you're getting old when...
* When you're 50 and you celebrate at Chuck E. Cheese
* In your face AARP!
* On moderation and self control
* Best birthday present ever

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
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Thursday, April 13, 2017

About 700 years before Jesus died on the cross...

These words above, taken from Isaiah chapter 53, were written about 700 years before Jesus was crucified on a cross.

Below you'll find...
1. The twelve verses that make up Isaiah 53 , and
2. Just below Isaiah 53, you'll find selected passages showing that New Testament writers understood Jesus's death on the cross to be the fulfillment of the Isaiah 53 prophecy.

Happy Resurrection Day to you!

Isaiah 53 (circa 680 BC)
Jesus in the Old Testament
 Who has believed our message?
    To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
    like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
    nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected—
    a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
    He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
    it was our sorrows[h] that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
    a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
    crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
    He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
    We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
    the sins of us all.
He was oppressed and treated harshly,
    yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
    And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
    he did not open his mouth.
Unjustly condemned,
    he was led away.[i]
No one cared that he died without descendants,
    that his life was cut short in midstream.[j]
But he was struck down
    for the rebellion of my people.
He had done no wrong
    and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
    he was put in a rich man’s grave.
10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
    and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
    he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
    and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
    he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
    my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
    for he will bear all their sins.
12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
    because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
    He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

New Testament writers identified Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah 53...
That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick.17 This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said,
“He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.”

Matthew 8:16-17




36 “But now,” he said, “take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one! 37 For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: ‘He was counted among the rebels.’ Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true.”
Luke 22:36-37

37 But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. 38 This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted: 
Lord, who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?”
John 12:37-38

30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.
32 The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter.
    And as a lamb is silent before the shearers,
    he did not open his mouth.
33 He was humiliated and received no justice.
    Who can speak of his descendants?
    For his life was taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” 35 So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.
Acts 8:30-34

21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered[l] for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22  He never sinned,
    nor ever deceived anyone.
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
    nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
    who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins
    in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
    and live for what is right.
By his wounds
    you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep
    who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
    the Guardian of your souls.

1 Peter 2:21-25
You've read this far... you've earned some fun...
Related Posts
* Some of my favorite songs about the resurrection
* Batman and the Easter Bunny
* When you try to explain to Jesus how hard life is...

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, April 09, 2017

Monday Funday: If the President Was a Pastor


If video doesn't show, go here.

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, April 02, 2017

If you REALLY want to become a more loving person, try this...

I invite you to join me in the adventure of becoming a better listener starting right now.

Seriously.

Try it right now and see what happens.

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
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Sunday, March 26, 2017

What God's been up to lately...

(Click any image below to enlarge for viewing.)
I had so much fun speaking to 400 students and youth leaders at Timber-lee in East Troy, Wisconsin. Many students trusted Christ as Savior and many more students asked their youth leaders to disciple them! One female youth leader told me: "I have six girls with me and all six received Jesus Christ as their Savior this weekend! I'm going to do my best to disciple them."


We also had a ball training over 200 ministry leaders (paid staff, volunteers and students) in who serve with Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches in Central Florida. It was all part of the CMAs Next Conference which is designed especially to encourage and equip volunteers who serve as children and student ministry leaders. (If you know Cadre, you know what a perfect fit this is for us!)


I enjoyed all the various ministry leaders but this group was one of my favorite groups at the Next Conference. They came to all three of my disciplemaking training labs. I also had the honor of keynoting at the conference. Did I mention we had a lot of fun?


Dan Boal (left) is the national Alliance Youth Ministry consultant (1,300 churches nation wide). And Laura Slezak (right) is part time youth pastor, part time district youth leader with CMA in FL and part-time disciplemaking missionary with Cadre. She’s also a full time mother of 3 : )


After the Next Conference, I had so much fun encouraging and challenging these men from Live Oaks Church, the Villages, FL, to finish well. Their church mission statement is: Play Hard, Pray Hard, Finish Well.


Speaking of finishing well, here's how YOU can finish well.

Once we arrived back home to frigid Central IL, we immediately engaged our disciplemaking ministries. We had a lot of fun, food, and connection with some of the guys who are currently in our Disciplemaking Learning Community affectionately knows as the Peoria Area Leadership Community!


Above: Lunch and time together being disciplemaking friends around a Jesus-like way of life best summed up here: www.disciplemakersprayer.comThese are some of the guys who are the Ongoing Peoria Area Leadership Community. Also—not joking when I say: the best wings in Peoria IL—and possibly the whole world.


A moment of connecting with God and each other via prayer at Cadre's Ministry Is Relationships training experience at Woodlands Church in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. What about the volunteers who serve with you? Do they need a morning of encouragement and equipping? Contact me.

Chris Putney, youth pastor at Woodlands Church in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, brought a room full of volunteers to be encouraged and equipped. Way to go Chris! Here's why volunteers are so critically important.

I had the honor of training the staff and elders of Central Church of Christ, Streator, IL. We drilled down on the Disciplemaker's Prayer and it's implications for leaders. We also explored leading when you feel like quitting.

We're your Cadre missionaries strategically helping the next generation of disciplemakers make disciples who make more disciples... who make more disciples. And we might also be drinking a lot of great coffee along the way too :  ) Speaking of drinking coffee...


Here’s how you can get one of these very cool Cadre coffee mugs AND bless Cadre missionaries with love and $upport at the same time.

Thank YOU for reading this far. You must really be a good friend!


You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Breaking News: Trumps Latest Executive Order...

Volunteering at church is now required by law...
(Click image above to enlarge for viewing.)

Ironic, ain't it?

Okay. This is just tongue-in-cheek fake-but-funny news :  )

But make no mistake about it.

You need help finding volunteers for ministry. 

However, you're going to need more than an "executive order" from the pulpit to get the results you're hoping for.






That's precisely why you need this.  







* Thanks to Pastor Chuck Tate of Rock Church of Peoria, IL for making my heart smile via the creativity and humor in the above picture. Used by permission.


You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, March 12, 2017

The lost arts of thinking and debating...

It’s way easier (and funner—for a while) to use ad hominem attacks and to play the provocateur than it is to become a person of substance who can actually debate issues and refute ideas with gentleness and respect.

Which kind of person do you really want to be?

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
—Eleanor Roosevelt

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." 
—F. Scott Fitzgerald

"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating...."
—Mark 12:28a

* The Secret to Change Isn't More Yelling 

And finally, just in case you feel like this post has been too serious...
If you've read this far, you might be wondering:  Which "side" is Bill hoping reads this post? Let me be very clear.  I'm aiming this post at both—and all—sides because we (including me) need it.

Like I said...
It’s way easier (and funner—for a while) to use ad hominem attacks and to play the provocateur than it is to become a person of substance who can actually debate issues and refute ideas with gentleness and respect.

Which kind of person do you really want to be?

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
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Sunday, March 05, 2017

When God does God Stuff...

Click any image below to enlarge for viewing and reading. Or click hereThank you for taking a moment to read and bask in the goodness of God—for his "name and renown are the desire of our hearts" (Isaiah 26:8).
We need your help. Details here.

We need your prayers. Details here.

“Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers…. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.”
—3 John 5-8

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think 1 stinking time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
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You can unsubscribe at any time with no questions asked simply by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email you receive from Cup O' Joe with Bill. Honest. You got nothing to lose. Try it.