Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bill's Top 10 Christmas Funnies...

That long and time-honored American Christmas tradition of...
 Breakfast with Satan?

Bill's Top 10 Christmas Funnies...
Best. Christmas. Music. Videos. Ever.
* Stressed-out Santa and the little angel
* How NOT to tell your kids about Santa
* It's a wonderful life IF you take this pill
* The four stages of Santa life
* Seven really bad Christmas gifts
* A Christmas message for men only
* How the real Santa punched a guy
* How I decide what to buy for Christmas
* I'm getting the original iPad for all my kids

Bonus: Real Meaning of Christmas Stuff...
* Why we all need Christmas
* Christmas is just a part of the story
* The truth about Christmas

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Laugh with us... or at us... your choice

A wise person once said, "If you learn to laugh at yourself, you'll never cease to be amused." Let's just say we are often amused. This post is your invitation to laugh with us... or at us. Your choice. Enjoy. And Merry Christmas from our family to you and yours.

Click any image to enlarge for reading or go here.
If you'd be willing to pray for us 1-2x a month, contact us!

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, December 03, 2017

YOU Make our Day! Here's why...

The fact that you're reading this right now makes our day! THANK YOU!  As you read the stats and stories below, please take a moment to thank God with us. (You can click on an image below to enlarge for reading or just go here.)
Would you please pray for us? About 1-2 times a month, I'd like to send you a short email with details about how you can say a quick prayer for us. If you are willing to be on our email prayer team, please email me and put "prayer team" in the subject line. We'd be glad to pray for you too.
Can you help us? We couldn't take any of part of this disciplemaking adventure without people like you who love us, pray for us, and give $ to Cadre. Every expression of partnership breathes life into our souls… and enables us to do the same for many others! For more information about how you can partner with God, the Allisons, and Cadre Missionaries, go here.  Cadre Missionaries is a recognized 501(c)3 ministry and donations are tax deductible.
For up-to-date ways you can pray for us, go here.

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, November 26, 2017

Why Invest in Disciplemaking?

Disciplemaking.

It's the last thing Jesus told us to live and do.

It's the gigantic "E" on the eye examination chart.

But when you're straining your eyes to read the smaller letters on the eye chart, you can end up missing the gigantic "E."

Could it be that we are missing the gigantic "E" on Jesus' eye chart?

(Or perhaps Jesus' eye chart has a gigantic "D" at the top for "Disciplemkaing" :)

In other words:
Are we busy doing every good thing except the very thing Jesus told us to do—disciplemaking?

As Cadre missionaries our passion is proliferating Jesus-like disciplemaking.
* It's what we aspire to live and do.
* With everyone.
* Everyday.
* Everywhere.

And we need your help. 
Would you prayerfully consider blessing a disciplemaking missionary?

Go here to give securely online

(For other ways to give, go here.)

Trust us when we say that no $ gift is too small and any gift will be deeply appreciated.

From our hearts to yours, thank you for investing in disciplemaking—and changing the world forever.

p.s. Are you willing to pray for us about 1-2 times a month? If so, please email me.

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, November 19, 2017

The sound of crickets...

Here's an email I got from a pastor...
"We are looking for an associate pastor whose passion is equipping others for ministry. We want this staff person to work more with adult volunteers, developing and equipping them, so they can work with students. Do you know anyone who might fit that bill? We have posted this opening at a few Bible colleges and seminaries, and I have talked with our denominational leaders and various other ministry leaders who are well-connected. We aren’t getting many resumes."

Here’s my email response...
"You're looking for a Jesus-like Ephesians 4:11-12 equipper/mobilizer of volunteers to do ministry… and those types of pastors are as rare as the 8-track tape these days. Most of us are “professionals” who do ministry. We're not equippers, developers and mobilizers of volunteers for ministry. For all our formal training, we don’t get something as simple and practical and biblical as how to find, develop, and deploy disciplemakers for ministry… the very thing Jesus, Paul, etc, did. No wonder you aren't getting much of a response."

When a ministry/church starts looking to hire an equipper/mobilizer, that sound you'll hear is the sound of crickets.

I contend that we can begin to change this—and we must begin to change this.

But how?

Here's a good place to start—if you dare.


Would you please share this post with someone?

Related Posts...
* Rethinking the American approach to ministry
Equipping volunteers for ministry
* If you want to learn how to train volunteers for ministry
* The biggest lie about volunteers
* True Story: Volunteer who actually does real ministry
* Why I champion ministry volunteers

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.
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, 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... 
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, 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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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, October 15, 2017

Making Disciples—Who Make Disciples—Who Make More Disciples

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... 
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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