Sunday, November 12, 2017

Oh the Irony...

If you like irony like I like irony, this, this, and especially this is for you.

Related Post:
* Beware of Rapture Fever 

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, November 05, 2017

You're not bacon...

Hopefully, the picture above will make you smile.

And, hopefully, the words and link below will make you think.

Jesus said, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you."

Let's unpack this more here.


You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, October 29, 2017

I make a horrible Holy Spirit (and I bet you do too)

Stacy and I were slogging (slow + jogging = slogging) through our neighborhood on labor day weekend. As we turned a corner, we saw a neighbor working in the yard. As we slogged by, I smiled and playfully teased, "So you are celebrating Labor Day by... working?"

Surprised, my neighbor looked up, smiled, and said, "Yeah, unfortunately." And then he quickly added, "Hey, so sorry I missed your training at church last Saturday morning."

Without breaking stride, I smiled and waved him off, "No biggie bro. Always an invitation. Never any pressure."

Perplexed and surprised by my no-guilt response, he thought a moment. Then he yelled down the street, "Maybe you should put some some pressure on people."

I kept running and yelled back over my shoulder, "That's God's job."

And I sincerely meant it.

Here's why.

I really believe in the Holy Spirit.

Think about that statement for moment.

Some times and with good intentions, we act like we are the Holy Spirit in the lives of others.

Here's the problem: I make a horrible Holy Spirit.

And I bet you do too.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not afraid to challenge people to step up to find and follow Jesus. I do it in casual conversations and every time I preach and train.

My neighbor was in the congregation the Sunday before the training when I challenged him and the rest of the congregation to invest a few hours sharpening their hearts and hands for the sake of the Gospel. About half the congregation showed up for training the following Saturday. But alas, my neighbor was in the other half.

And now he wants me to pressure him? Really?

I refuse.

Here's why:
* "It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD...." Zechariah 4:4
* "...the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus the king...." Ezra 1:1
* "Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders...." Ezra 1:5
* "Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted...." Psalm 127:1

So let me ask you a question:
Do you really believe in the Holy Spirit?

Or worse yet, are you busy trying to be the Holy Spirit in the lives of others?

I have great news for you: There's no need to try to be the Holy Spirit in the lives of others.

Feeling any tension?

Does your need for control make what I'm talking about here scarey for you?

One last time, I dare you to answer this question honestly:
Do you really believe in the Holy Spirit?


You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, October 22, 2017

500 Years Later: Martin Luther, the Reformation, Halloween, and the Priesthood of All Believers

#FakeChurchHistory

Now for the serious part of this post...
Dr. Art Lindsley states, "The priesthood of all believers has been the most neglected central teaching of the Reformation."

Think about that.

I've seen whole conferences built around Reformation themes that didn't even hint at the priesthood of all believers—such as these:
* Sola Scriptura (by Scripture Alone)
* Sola Fide (by Faith Alone)
* Sola Clericus (by Clergy Alone—okay, this one ain't real. Or... is it? You still reading? Are you smiling?)

Here we are 500 years after the Reformation.

So many ministry leaders celebrating the Reformation. So few of us actually embracing the priesthood of all believers in our way of life and ecclesiastical practices and traditions

How sad and ironic is it that we've ignored the Reformation's emphasis on the priesthood of every believer?

This raises at least two critically important questions:
1. Why?
2. What can one do?

I dare you to consider this and then respond accordingly.

If I lost you at the word, "Reformation" or at the phrase, "priesthood of all believers," then this is for you

(You smiling?)

Related Posts...

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Making Disciples Who Make Disciples—Who Make More Disciples

1,252 Miles of Missionary Ministry in Five Days!
A report from IL, IA, MN, & WI from your disciplemaking missionaries...
ILLINOIS and IOWA
On September 27, 2017, I drove to Peru, IL, where Dave Garda and I worked on all things Cadre. Then I headed off to Carlisle, IA, where I did the Becoming the Small Group Leader God Wants You to Be training experience at Three Rivers Community Church. (True Confessions: I may have stopped at a Whitey's Ice Cream once or twice.)


MINNESOTA
I woke up early Thursday morning, September 28th, in Iowa and headed to Minneapolis, MN, where I joined Dave and Rennie Garda for two days of training trainers from MN, WI, IL, MI, NE, NC, TX, PA, IA, VA, and CA (click pic above to enlarge for viewing). We trained trainers to train Cadre's  Evangelism Is Relationships AND Disciplemaking Is Relationships. These two days are at the very heart and soul of Cadre Missionaries—making disciples—who make disciples—who make more disicples! This is a continuation of wonderful disciplemaking partnership God has given us with Shane Stacey, Director of Reach Students of the Evangelical Free Church of America and many youth pastors in the EFCA.

This particular time of training trainers was especially sweet as we trained trainers to train trainers. (You might need to re-read that sentence again.) In other words, we partnered with youth pastors from the EFCA—helping them to train trainers during the two days we all worked together. It was a blast precisely because multiplying multipliers is what we do... because it's what Jesus did. : ) It was my great joy to walk alongside Jay Quick from IA as he trained trainers in Cadre's Evangelism Is Relationships training experience. Jay lives and teaches EIR so well!

On Friday night September 29, after two full non-stop days of training trainers, I was able to get dinner with my disciplemaking friend, Melvin Jones, before I would head even further north the next day.

But before I left Minneapolis on Saturday morning, September 30, I took time to enjoy some Caribou Coffee with our disciplemaking friend and partner, Shane Stacey.


WISCONSIN
After coffee with Shane on Saturday morning, September 30, I headed another three hours north to Drummond, WI. By Saturday afternoon, I was doing Cadre's The Life God Has Always Wanted You to Have training experience at The Oaks Church

On Sunday morning, October 1, I preached at The Oaks Community Church. I loved partnering with God and our good friend, Pastor Brian Cole. If you need encouragement, check out this short video about Brian's journey to Jesus. It will make your day.)

Before I headed from the 8 hour drive back to home in Central IL, Brian and I enjoyed a really sweet and relaxing motorcycle ride on the open roads of WI. But I must say, it was really great to be home with my family later that night... sleeping in my own bed.

Why did I share this disciplemaking adventure with you? Here's why: Without YOU and friends like you, there would be no Allison missionaries and no Cadre Ministries. Not joking when we say: We really are your disciplemaking missionaries serving Jesus with Cadre—and we thank God for you! Because of your prayers and $ partnership, we will multiply your investment in our lives by making disciples—who make disciples—who make more disciples—like THIS:
Only Heaven will reveal your prayer/$ support ripple effect that rings through all eternity.


You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, October 08, 2017

Rapture Fever and the Prophecy Industrial Complex

Whenever I hear of someone claiming that Jesus is coming back on a certain date or specific time frame (which is surprisingly more often than one might think), I'm like, this feels strangely familiar. Let me explain...
And...
So please pardon my incredulity. As you can see (above), I've lived through more than a few episodes of Rapture Fever within the American Christian community over the years.

I'm sticking with Jesus on this: "no one knows the day or the hour...." Matthew 24:36

Ironically, so many Christians are investing huge amounts of time and energy trying to figure out that which Jesus himself said he did not know.

Why?

Think about it.

One reason just might be the Prophecy Indu$trial Complex feeding our seemingly insatiable appetite for all things end of the world.

I guess going to prophecy conferences and approaching the Bible like it's a lock to be picked is more fun and entertaining for many us in the West.

Meanwhile, for the most part, we are not living out one of the last and clearest commands Jesus gave us: to make disciples—who make more disciples—who make even more disciples.

Disciplemaking. It's not very sensational. It doesn't sell a lot of books. You probably won't become YouTube famous.

But you might hear: "Well done thou good and faithful servant."

Chew on that for a while.

Beware of Rapture Fever.

p.s. Just in case you missed all the hubbub about the rapture happening last September 23, 2017, you didn't miss much. And guess what. The date has now been moved to "mid October" 2017. Surprised? Sadly, I'm not. Here's why. I lived through this.

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, October 01, 2017

8 Great Questions About Disciplemaking Learning Communities (DLCs)

(The 2017-18 Peoria Area Leadership Community, a Disciplemaking Learning Community)

What is a DLC?

Why are DLCs important?

How is a DLC connected to leadership development?

Did Jesus have a DLC?

* What is a good curriculum for a DLC?

Why aren't more people doing DLCs?

Where can I get DLC help?

What's a good first step for starting a DLC?

If you aspire to live a disciplemaking way of life AND you want to be encouraged and equipped to initiate a Disciplemaking Learning Community in your area, please contact Cadre so we can figure out how best to walk alongside you as a disciplemaking friend. We don't care if you're a paid ministry leader or a volunteer ministry leader. If you aspire to live and share this way of life, contact us.





Disciplemaker's Living Guides here.
That moment when someone you're discipling starts discipling another person!

If you've read this far, then you really must be interested in Disciplemaking Learning Communities. So here's more.

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pastor Appreciation: Why? What? How? Who?

Click image to enlarge for viewing.

A mother went to wake her son for church one morning. When she knocked on his door, he said, "I'm not going to church this morning."

The mother asked, "Why not?"

"I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "One, they don't like me. Two, I don't like them."

His mother replied, "I'll give you two good reasons why you should go to church today. One, you're 47 years old. Two, you're the pastor."


Don't ever doubt this:
Your pastor(s) need your encouragement.  

Why?
Because THIS.

What?
It's THIS.

How?
Like THIS.

Who?
Include THESE.

Bonus!
* Free Audio HERE.
* How to Pray for Pastors.

If you share this post via email, text, and social media—only God will know exactly how much encouragement you generate for pastors everywhere.

I dare you to do it.

BONUS VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Pastor—which is exactly why you should put into practice what the Bible says about encouraging your pastor.

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, September 17, 2017

The Intersection of Micah 6:8 and More Cowbell

He hath shown thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. —Micah 6:8
Video: And more cowbell?


Bonus Video: If cowbells aren't your thing, maybe you'd like a little more triangle...


Why this nonsense?

Because sometimes you just need a smile from your Cup O' Joe with Bill.

Love ya.

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, September 10, 2017

I can't say it better than the Bible...

“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

Click any image to enlarge for viewing and reading or click here.
We can't do this without YOU. Details here.
We need your prayers. Details here.
To partner with the Cadre and the Allisons right now safely online,
go here.

We thank God for you!

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, September 03, 2017

Video: Helping People Find and Follow Jesus...


If video doesn't appear, go here.

When you help Cadre missionaries, God multiplies your investment many times over.


Thank you—and to God be all the glory!

"Not to us, O'Lord, not to us. But to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness." —Psalms 115:1

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Seldom Resist the Urge to Be Generous. It's Probably Not the Devil.

When I was about 20-years-old and in Bible college, I took a rare weekend to head home to visit family and friends. Most weekends for me at this time were given over to my job. I paid my own way through Bible college by working every hour I could. And when I wasn't working, I was studying. Unlike my high school years, I was determined to put forth my best academic effort.

Being home that weekend with my mom and my friends from church was a joy and a much-needed encouragement to my soul.

On Sunday at church, as the offering plate was being passed around the congregation, I got a clear prompting from God to give. As a poor college kid, I often let myself off the hook on giving. But this time—in response to the nudging—I looked into my wallet.

I saw one very lonely $5 bill.

And I was well aware of the fact that I needed that $5 for gas to get back to school.

What to do?

As the offering plate made its way around the congregation toward me, my struggle intensified. I tried to logic my way out of God's nudging. (You ever do that?) And just when I assured myself that God would want me to keep that $5—the offering plate passed by and I did something crazy: I tossed that $5 into the plate.

I was filled with exhilaration... and fear.

Sure, I did what I sensed God wanted me to do. But now I had another problem. And that was all I could actually think about during the rest of the church service.

When the church serviced ended, I was approached by a gentle giant of a man with short pure white hair and a warm smile on his bright wrinkled face. He was at least 50 years my senior. It was my friend, Alfred Huggins. He put out his huge hand to shake mine. When I shook his hand, he stealthily put something into my hand without anyone else noticing. Al winked at me.

I looked down into my hand, and there was a $5 bill.

This true story is a perfect picture of what our lives have been like for the last 15 years as disciplemaking missionaries with Cadre.

This September 2017 marks the 15th birthday/anniversary of Cadre Missionaries!

For 15 years, God and YOU have made it possible for us, as Cadre missionaries, to multiply Jesus-like disciplemaking here and around the world.

From our hearts to yours, thank you!

If you love Cadre missionaries and our disciplemaking mission, we invite you to be God's wind in our sails.


In honor of our 15th birthday, would you please prayerfully consider donating a special gift of $15?



Those of you who know us know that we don't often ask for financial support like this. However, on our 15th anniversary as a ministry, we need your $ help, so we're asking God's people—like you—to join us in this disciplemaking adventure. Each gift is a huge encouragement, much needed, and greatly appreciated. Because Cadre seeks to make disciplemakers, only Heaven will reveal the full impact of your partnership.

BONUS: The first 100 people to give $15 (or more) will have their gift matched AND receive a special edition Cadre Missionaries Prayer Coaster (see picture at the very top).

We'd love to see 500 of our closest friends respond with a special gift. That would bless Cadre with $9,000 much-needed dollars ($7,500 plus $1,500 matching gift).

Will YOU be one of our 500 friends?

If you've never financially supported Cadre Missionaries before, this would be a great first step. If you're already a $ partner with God and Cadre, then please prayerfully consider an additional $15 this month.

In a ministry like ours, every dollar makes a huge difference. Each gift—no matter the size—is a huge encouragement, much needed, and greatly appreciated.

Because Cadre seeks to make disciplemakers, only Heaven will reveal the full impact of your partnership.


We are your Cadre missionaries. Thank you for celebrating 15 years of Jesus-like disciplemaking with us and to God be the glory!

Bill Allison
Executive Director
Cadre Missionaries

To donate $15 securely online now, go here.
* Mail a check: Cadre Missionaries, PO Box 278, Sycamore, IL 60178

Other giving options...
To give more than $15 securely online now, go here.
To support a Cadre missionary on a monthly basis, go here.
* For questions and more info, please call Rennie at 815.501.3132.

Cadre Missionaries is a recognized 501(c)3 not-for-profit ministry and all gifts are tax deductible.