Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Disciplemaking Women...

Because we do this with our friends every year, we find some great gems like this—click image below to enlarge for viewing.
Above: That's 2 Timothy 1:5 NLT

Let's start calling mothering and grandmothering what it really is.... disciplemaking!

And here are a couple more disciplemaking women I'm particularly fond of and thank God for.

But this woman is my favorite disciplemaker.

Have YOU thanked a disciplemaking woman in your life lately? 

I challenge you to share this post with her and to write her a short note of thanks.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Monday Funday—Coffee with Jesus: The American Idol

Click image below to enlarge for viewing and reading...
Used by permission from radiofreebabylon.com


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

That Strange Intersection of Anger and Caring

“Anger is often the first indication that we care. The tragedy is that we’re not angered, not shocked enough. The never angered person is morally deficient.” 
—Dr. Paul Copan, Philosopher, Theologian, and Apologist, from the book, Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God


Now, if you're not a sports fan, you have my full permission to exit this post now to ponder the above rich and thought-provoking quote.

However, if you are a sports fan—especially if you're a Bears fan—you may want to keep reading. 

After last Sunday's very poorly played game, Da Bears had a "come to Jesus" meeting in the locker room. You may have heard about it.

As you read the following short but thoughtful article, consider why Da Bears’ meltdown in the locker room after the game is a fitting and appropriate response.


And of course, the main point of this post is way bigger than any sport... isn't it?

Carefully consider the intersection of anger and caring in your life and those around you.
Oh by the way, did I mention that my 22-year-old son's Father's Day gift to me this year was to take me to Da Bear's game last Sunday? So. Much. Fun.

That's right. We were at the game where the wheels fell off. So. Painful.

Somehow the game was still a huge win for us :  ) But judging by our anger, we really care about our favorite football team, Da Bears : ) We often console ourselves with this fact: One of the best things about being Bears fans is that we're not Packer fans!


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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Prayer: The original—and still the best—wireless connection

You pray. God Answers. Imagine that.

Check out this true story...

Hi Bill,

You just spoke at our church and did training—and I wanted to share a story with you that I can only believe has everything to do with the message spoken through you that Sunday day.

I work in an office environment where my coworkers all know I'm a Christian, yet very few life-changing or faith-related conversations have come up ... Sad to say, it's easier to stick to the work and hope your faith shows by your actions and attitude rather than coming out and saying what you know people need to hear.

Anyway, last night and this morning I prayed The Disciplemaker's Prayer and asked God to show me people and situations that were ripe for inserting His word. So as "luck" would have it, I accidentally put my lunch in my desk drawer when I got in this morning, instead of the refrigerator. So when I went to the lunch room, I joked with my coworkers that I was going to eat it anyway because even if it was rancid and I keeled over and died, I knew I was going to heaven anyway. One lady (Cindy) replied, "Well, you'll be in a better place." And another lady (Janelle) asked, "How do you KNOW?" I wasn't sure if she was asking me or Cindy, but Cindy quickly replied, "Because anywhere is better than here."

I'm telling you, I felt the nudge from God... I really think the other lady was implying one can't possibly KNOW if you are going to heaven. But I let the opportunity slip away and for the next few minutes I mentally kicked myself for not responding to the opportunity I had prayed for. I was barely even present in the conversation the next few minutes as my coworkers chatted away, and I just prayed, knowing that I had to redeem this. So at the next lull in the conversation, I said, "Janelle, you know before how you asked how you can know if you're going to heaven? And Cindy, you know how you said anywhere is better than here? I just have to tell you guys, you really CAN know... Do you want to know what the Bible has to say about that?"

And shocker of all shockers, they said, "Sure" (with genuine interest—no eye-rolling I swear)! Now I'm telling you, I'm not exactly beaming about how I fumbled through my explanation, but they listened and Cindy even told me I should start a lunch-time Bible study at our work. 


So even though I botched up the timing, it was definitely Spirit-led prayer that helped me recognize the opporunity in front of me and definitely the encouragement from the weekend training that helped me realize the importance of stepping into the opportunity. Who knows where that conversation will lead if anywhere in the future, but you just never know when a seed has been planted.

Thanks again for your dedication to the ministry and equipping believers to share God's love!

Sincerely,

Beth

Here—below—is The Disciplemaker's Prayer and here's where you can print one for yourself and others.


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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Monday Funday: Breaking News

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs has now been updated for the 21st century...

It's funny because it's true.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Rethinking Radical—Part 2

Redefining Radical—How the Popular Call to Change the World for Christ Can Do More Harm than Good... by Skye Jethani

(If video doesn't appear, go here.)

I put this on Cup O' Joe with Bill because I think it's worthy of wrestling together.

For Rethinking Radical—Part 1, go here.


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Let me encourage you and make you think 2-3x a week with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Go here and submit your email. Then check your email inbox and click the Feedburner confirmation link. Note: You can unsubscribe anytime simply by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of any email that comes from Cup O' Joe with Bill.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Monday Funday: Support the Starving Artists

We have two artists in the family (so far). My son, Bill, 22, plays and sings in a ska band and my daughter, Emily, 23, is a spoken word poet.

Both are starving artists.

Sort of. At least they're artists.

Both have recently provided me with opportunities to support them as starving artists, and I thought I'd offer the same opportunities to you—with absolutely no pressure whatsoever to respond. 

Honest.
Many of you have already heard Emily's first spoken word poetry EP. (If not, you can listen to her first spoken word poetry CD here for FREE—and purchase it if you so desire.) On October 1, 2014, Emily just launched a Kickstarter Campaign to fund her next full-length spoken word poetry album. She's off to a great start with over 50% of her $ goal already pledged! She has until October 31, 2014, to fund this project. Can you please help her toward the finish line of her goal?

Bill's ska band, Must Build Jacuzzi, just came out with a 4 song EP and you can listen to it for FREE and—if you like—pay $2 for it here. Can you spare $2 to help out a band of great young men?

Either way, thanks for praying for Emily and Bill. And for those of you who choose to give out the generosity of your heart—thanks for helping them tangibly.

I am an eternally grateful father.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Rethinking What It Means to Be a Healthy Church

Perhaps one of the marks of a healthy church isn't simply how many people attend—but, rather, that people leave the service with the conviction that they are being sent out by Jesus to live an infectious disciplemaking way of life, together.

* Such a church would require a different kind of leadership.

* Such a church would be filled with people who aspire to live like Jesus.

* Such a church might start by praying this prayer together every day.

* Here's the kicker: Even just a few people who dared to live like this together could change the world.

Don't think so?

Well, it's been done before and it's still changing the world.




Want More?
Bring the Disciplemaking Is Relationships training experience to your ministry or church by contacting us.






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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What God Did in MN

This is the true story of our recent disciplemaking ministry adventure to the land of 10,000 lakes, aka, Minnesota, aka "God's country."
We left the high taxing land of IL on a day with a 97 degree heat index thanking God for the inventions of air conditioning and the automobile. We arrived in frigid MN wondering where our jackets were—hoping to get a glimpse of Al Franken.

Our destination was Bridge Community Church in Sauk Rapids, MN (associated with the Christian, Missionary, and Alliance). After all, we are your disciplemaking missionaries serving with Cadre Ministries.

We invested Friday night and Saturday walking through Cadre's Evangelism Is Relationships training experience. Did the training, encouragement and equipping start to take root? Fair question. Here's a Facebook post from the lead pastor about 4 days after the training time.
"Bill Allison from Cadre Ministries blessed Bridge Community Church people this week by leading and challenging us through an equipping event called Evangelism is Relationships. The training seems to be taking root: two people from Bridge this week have given gift cards to homeless people, sharing that Christ's love compelled them to help. Another member spoke to then gave a homeless man a hot dog and bottle of water. The church was able to provide a family in crisis who met a church member in the community with a large box of personal and hygiene items and a tank of gas. A Bridge member in the ER waiting room gave two dollars to a hurting mother after overhearing her say on the phone she had no money to buy her son a drink. Football is being used as a bridge to connect with people new to our church and in people's neighborhoods! Awesome stuff Bridge family! Keep at it!” —Kirk Knudsen, Lead Pastor of Bridge Community Church, Sauk Prairie, MN
Thank God with me!

After the training, I had the honor of investing in the elders and pastors of Bridge Community Church. We wrestled what a Jesus-like disciplemaking way of life looks in a 21st century Western world. We also explored the role of leadership in creating a culture of disciplemaking in a ministry/church.

I had the honor of speaking at the church on Sunday morning. However, it was the first day of NFL football and instead of having the church leaders take us out dinner after church, I totally encouraged them to lean into their friends who may not have a relationship with God by inviting them to watch the Vikings together—just like we explored in our training. One of the leaders sent me this message: "Today while watching the Vikings with my friend Todd, he asked me how he could know if he had a real relationship with Jesus? Do you think he has gone from reluctant to ready? I shared the gospel with him. We are planning to get together this week to talk some more. God is so at work—and we are joining Him. God is using your training to encourage a lot of people to make disciples. Pray for us brother!” Meanwhile, I drove our family to the nearest Buffalo Wild Wings and promptly sat down to eat wings and watch Da Bears on one of the TVs—all the while lost in a sea of Viking purple. In the words of Sadey, my 12-year-old, "This is the happiest I've ever been." Agreed. (I think she was referring to the wings. I was referring to the football game.) Did I mention that Bridge Community Church has the best Sunday School Ever?

We promptly got into the car and drove over to Farmington, MN, where we connected with Roger and Kerry Thelen. Kerry and I went to Bible college together so it was great to reconnect and meet each other's spouses and family.

On Monday morning, we enjoyed a breakfast with the Shane and Heather Stacey family—who also happen to live in MN. The Stacey's are dear disciplemaking friends and ministry partners. It's always a fun and rich time when we get together. Okay, the truth in advertising demands that I confess that the above picture was actually taken "a number of years ago," but since it makes all of us look younger and I forgot to get a picture this time, I think I will be forgiven. I hope.

Thank you for reading all the way to the end and praying for us! You are truly a friend!


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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Monday Funday: The Best. Sunday. School. Ever.

Here's what my three-year-old daughter learned in Sunday school recently: "Elijah said, 'Touch down Bears!'"
I'd like to nominate Jim Bogle and the children's ministry at Bridge Community Church in Sauk Rapids, MN, for the...
Best.
Sunday.
School.
Ever.

Note that the fire is a perfect snot colored yellow and green. I just have to believe there are a bunch of Packer's jersey's in there!