Sunday, February 19, 2017

When your family THINKS they are funnier than you...

When your young teenage daughter thinks she's funnier...

When your wife thinks she's funnier...

When your kids find a pee limit sign...

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...
1. Go here and submit your email.
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, February 12, 2017

Missionaries Need Your Prayers & Encouragement!

We couldn't be disciplemaking missionaries with Cadre without folks like you who pray for us and our disciplemaking mission.

Would YOU please join our prayer team?
* To pray for us 4x a year via mail, email me your mailing address
* To join our email prayer team 2x a month, email me
* For a look at how God is using our prayer partners, go here.
* For how you can pray for us this week, go here.

Are YOU really crazy about Jesus, disciplemaking, and Team Allison? If yes...
* To $ partner with God, the Allisons, and Cadre, go 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...
1. Go here and submit your email.
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, February 05, 2017

Fake News, Biased News, and Good News

You may have noticed that it's a crazy world out there. And it only seems to be getting crazier, doesn't it?

While it is entertaining to a degree, it's also very disturbing on many levels.

There are a lot of voices shouting on all sides. AND I MEAN SHOUTING!

Frankly, I'm not a real big fan of all the shouting—especially online via social media where the driving motivation is simply to get clicks and/or to "trend."

With all the talk about fake news (which I don't believe is new), it's got me wondering...

When it comes to finding trustworthy news, what is one to do?

All news—yes, even your favorite source of news—is biased. (Of course, that's just my biased opinion. Is that a smile I see on your face?)

That's why it's important to know exactly what that bias is. For only then will you have a grid to filter what you hear/read/see. Then you'll be able to start thinking for yourself—rather than just lapping up whatever is served be it drivel or truth or something in-between.

All this has prompted me to seek out alternative sources of news. By alternative, I don't mean unbiased. Again, there is no source of news that is unbiased. I simply mean ones that honestly state what their bias is up front.

Wouldn't that be refreshing in this day and age of slight of hand news?

After gentle and persistent prodding from a close friend whom I respect greatly (thanks Jeremy), I decided to start listening to The World and Everything In It. It's a 30 minute Monday-Friday podcast—which makes it very easy to access in the busyness of life. And get this, their bias is "News from a Biblical Worldview Perpective." As such, they've been known to not cater to the left or right—for that isn't their goal.

After a month of listening almost daily,  I can honestly say that in almost every episode I hear segments of news that no other news sources take the time to explore. Why? Because not many daily news organizations are looking through the lens of a biblical worldview. Frankly, I find that lens new, fascinating, and relevant.



So if you're so inclined to take a listen right now, all you have to do is go here. If you're more of a podcast listener, go here. It's America, so you don't have to do anything.



FYI: It did take me a number of listens before I started listening regularly, so it wasn't really love at first listen for me. And I'm not saying this is my only source of news. (For one example, I'm also fond of the both-sides-are-fair-game takes and irreverent humor on the news of the day as exhibited on the Markley and Van Camp radio show.) I'm simply saying I am finding this particular source of news, The World and Everything In It, to be a breath of fresh air in a news atmosphere that currently seems to be rife with excessive shouting, purposeful deception, and "alternative facts" (whatever those are).

I think it's worth a listen. That's the only reason I'm sharing it with you on Cup O' Joe with Bill right now. Whether you listen or not, thank you for reading all the way to the end.

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...
1. Go here and submit your email.
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, January 29, 2017

What does it look like to follow Jesus together as a family?

After years of being single—and only after a few years of being married, Martin Luther said, “Marriage is a far better school of character than any monastery.” (Can I get an “amen” from the married people?)

And if marriage isn’t challenging enough, try parenting.

Before we were married, my wife and I had seven keys to raising kids. Now we have seven kids—and no keys.

Following Jesus Together at Home
But make no mistake about it: Your first Disciplemaking Learning Community (DLC) is your home. Let’s call marriage, parenting, and grandparenting what they really are—disciplemaking. And while we’re keeping things real, let’s also admit that our homes are often the last place that feels like a DLC. 

God wants this to change.


The good news is that you need not be a perfect spouse, parent, or grandparent to make your home feel like a DLC. The moment you begin to try to live Deuteronomy 6:5-9 in your home you are on your way to following Jesus together as a family:
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, and when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

For our family right now, trying to apply Deuteronomy 6:5-9 means reading the Scriptures together and praying with our high school kids before they go off to school. (Note: Not every day and it takes less that 5 minutes. Sometimes my teenagers roll their eyes at me even while I'm praying for/with them. Just keeping it real here.)
  • It means taking time around our dinner table to engage a short passage of Scripture and to pray together (less than 10 minutes usually and again, not every day).
  • It means confessing and repenting of our sins against each other when one of us loses our temper or is less than loving.
  • It means having enough humility to laugh at our own idiosyncrasies—and not mind if others laugh along with us.
  • It means driving to church together and trying to not being out of fellowship with God and each other by the time we arrive.
  • It means learning to sincerely say, “I love you,” “Will you forgive me?” and “I forgive you.”
  • It means sitting on the deck at night enjoying a sunset and together as a family literally applauding God for his handiwork.
  • It means inviting our teenagers to consider God and his Word when they ask us to go see a movie that we’re not quite sure about.
We've got a long way to go in our family DLC and things are more often than not very messy. (Did I mention that we have seven kids?) But maybe stumbling forward is what a family that tries to follow Jesus together is supposed to look and feel like. It's just a thought.

If you're wondering where to start with your family—maybe try asking this question the next time you're all together...

What does a it look like for us to follow Jesus together as a family?

You'll probably get silence the first time you ask this question. Or you might get, "I don't have a clue." (Seven kids. I get it.) This could be where you take out a Bible and simply read Deuteronomy 6:5-9 and then ask the question above again. Keep digging deeper gently until some specifics are mentioned. But don't force it. If it totally bombs, try again another day. Have fun, keep it real, and laugh at yourselves. Then do something—any little step forward—like start praying this prayer together with your kids before they go to school everyday.

I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I've seen gentle persistence reap big benefits. And it seems to me that Deuteronomy 6:5-9 is all about gentle persistence.

Need more help?




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, January 22, 2017

On Perspective, Endurance, and Encouragement

That's the perspective part above.

Here's the endurance part... 
"Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin." 
—Hebrews 12:1-4

This is the encouragement part...
If you've ever felt like giving up or quitting, this is for you.


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...
1. Go here and submit your email.
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, January 15, 2017

What God did at Districts in Green Bay, WI

(Click any image on this page to enlarge for viewing.)

For over a decade now, we, as disciplemaking missionaries with Cadre Ministries, have had the honor of being a part of the Forrest Lakes District Youth Conference in Green Bay, WI. Each of these ten plus years, we've faithfully brought Cadre's disciplemaking training labs to equip and encourage students and youth leaders. In 2010 and this year, 2017, it was my honor to also be the conference speaker. All glory to God for doing only that which God can do! Like this note I got from a student: "Hey loved hearing you this weekend, you really put things in perspective to me. This weekend I felt God in my heart so much and I thought of things I've never thought before and decided to make Jesus my one and only savior and I had lots of 'WOW' moments this whole weekend so I just wanted to say thank you and God is good."

What drives a missionary to go places they'd not normally go? The love of Jesus. It was so cold in Wisconsin that the politicians were putting their hands in their own pockets. There are no truer words that can describe how cold it was than this poem

On Friday morning, January 6, 2017, we loaded the car and The Three Amigos headed to the frozen tundra in the far north for a grand God adventure with 4,000+ students and youth leaders!

Our best friends and favorite Cadre missionaries, Dave and Rennie Garda, invested the entire weekend in praying, training, coaching, and encouraging students and youth leaders from all over Wisconsin.

In one way or another, I've invested my entire adult life so far in making disciplemakers with the next generations—and those who lead them. I'm not going to lie. It's way more fun than working with normal adults—even though at times it gets a little squirrelly. 

It's our honor to share God's Word and the Gospel with students! This young lady hugged me and with tears in her eyes told me, "I trusted Christ as my Savior this weekend!" She was one of many! Another student wrote, "I was at Districts 2017 this weekend. I just wanted to say thank you for coming and speaking to us. God has such a huge impact on me. I gave my life to Christ for the first time this weekend and I am so excited to see what God has in store for me. I also ask if you could keep me in prayers, just to stand my ground and not give into the world around me and give in to my old ways."

If video doesn't appear, go here.
If you’re more a video person, you can check out this 3 minute video (above) that let’s you get a front row seat for the conference and what God did! (FYI: If you're so inclined, here are videos of my messages: Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday night and Sunday morning.) Another student wrote to me, "Hi Bill! I wanted to email you and say how much God moved our hearts at Districts! I had a really good connection with your speaking. Me and my friends stayed up until 4 am and wrote our sins down, flushed them down the toilet. That night I also accepted God into my life, and let him take the wheel. I'm only fifteen. God got to my heart this weekend. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate what you do and what God have did for me this weekend!"

While I value the honor of preaching God's Word to the 4,000+ people, I also value disciplemaking training experiences with cadres of students and youth leaders (including all the volunteer youth leaders) just as much!

We also deeply value disciplemaking training experiences with cadres of junior high/middle school students and those who love them. Above: Our dear friend, Nate Stenholtz, youth pastor, leads a Cadre training lab! (How YOU can become a trainer with Cadre like Nate.)

And of course we deeply value disciplemaking training experiences with cadres of high school students and their youth pastors! Why? Because God does these sorts of things: "I was at Districts this weekend and you are the most amazing speaker ever! Thank you so much for being there you inspired me so much! I had a new WOW moment this weekend, it was on Saturday night when everybody was singing Lord I Need You it was so Awesome! I am now going to be discipled by my youth leader! I have been having a really hard time with my friends and I got so excited when you gave us a chance to be discipled! Thank you so much!!!"

God. Dave and Rennie. Disciplemaking. Friendship. Encouragement. Youth leaders"When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours." —Romans 1:12

In between main session, service projects, and disciplemaking training labs, we get to love, encourage, and pray for the students. So. Much. Fun. Even if they are Green Bay Packer fans. Here's what another student wrote to me, "I would really like to thank you for everything that you told us at Districts17. On Saturday night, I finally surrendered to Jesus Christ and the things that you told us made me see a lot of things in a completely different way than I did before Districts. I'm a freshman and during my junior high years I struggled with anxiety and depression. I was also bullied quite often. Before Districts, I struggled to believe that God was actually here and I had a hard time believing that he loved me and that he forgave me for all of my sins. No matter how much I prayed, no matter how much I read the Bible, I didn't believe that God could ever forgive me for any of my sins. However, after what you said throughout this weekend (see Isaiah 6:1-8), I finally believe that God forgives me and that he loves me. I've had many doubts about God's love for me; however, I've learned that if you accept God and surrender to him, he does forgive you for all of your sins because he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins. I didn't grow up in a home where my family had a relationship with God. My family was religious. I now know the difference from being religious and having a relationship with God and surrendering yourself to him. All the things you said over this weekend has made me think a lot and it has changed everything for me. So, I would like to thank you for speaking to us and helping me accept Jesus Christ as my savior and surrendering myself to him. Thank you so much."

Did I mention that we get to love, encourage, and pray for youth leaders we've invested our lives in over the yearsThank you God for disciplemaking friendships!

Speaking of disciplemaking friendships: We've been known to meet up with some of our favorite disciplemaking pastors for coffee at 5:30 AM on a frigid Saturday morning while at Districts. Yes, that cup I'm holding has four shots of expresso in it. Can you say, "GOOD MORNING!"? Cup O' Joe with Bill indeed.

We also get to hear a lot of very cool disciplemaking stories. Like this one from Robert (top picture). Robert wrote, "I had a very cool God moment this weekend at Districts 2017! Our speaker was Bill Allison, a very talented speaker who has a heart for discipleship. The significance of this was he used to mentor Kris Prescott (lower right bottom) before Kris left for Texas. Kris was the first guy to take me in after giving my life to Christ and teach me about true discipleship. I developed a heart and love for Jesus and discipleship from the beginning of my walk with God. I got to introduce myself to Bill and thank him and then I introduce Bill to Gavin (lower left bottom), the young man I am discipling, who is already talking about who he is going to disciple. What an amazing testimony of disciples, making disciples, making disciples who want to make more disciples! I praise and thank God for all the disciplemaking men he put in my life!"

Seriously, how fun is all that? Thank you Jesus! This is that great intersection of disciplemaking as a way of life AND a large District Youth Conference event that works to create disciplemaking momentum during AND long after the event!  Thank you Jesus. We know it's all you... and that's exactly what we want.

"Now that I am old and gray.... Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me."
—Psalm 71:18

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...
1. Go here and submit your email.
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, January 08, 2017

Ministry isn't just for ministers: Why YOU are in the ministry. (Yes, I'm talking to YOU.)

I dare you to...
1. Listen to this FREE audio
2. Read this true story
3. Pray this prayer for 21 days in a row

I'd love to hear what God does in your life!

Who else in your life needs to hear this?

Why not share it with them right now?

I dare you.

p.s. Want to help the "volunteers" who serve with you to embrace their biblical identity as ministers? Then this is for you.

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...
1. Go here and submit your email.
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, January 01, 2017

To succeed at the wrong things is to fail

"If we as a church succeed in every area, but fail to make disciples who can spiritually multiply, then ultimately we have failed. Yet if we fail in every other area, but succeed in spiritual multiplication, then ultimately we have succeeded."
—Pastor Tommy Nelson, Denton Bible Church, Denton, TX

“I’m not afraid of failure, I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
—William Carey

“God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
—Jesus, Matthew 28:18-20, The Message

More on this 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...
1. Go here and submit your email.
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, December 25, 2016

The 2017 Read-the-Bible-Together Adventure

Would you like a better, stronger relationship with God in 2017?

By far the single most important thing I did in 2016 that helped my relationship with God was reading through the Bible—with some friends.

News Flash: 
A better, stronger relationship with God will not happen accidentally.

This is your invitation to invite your friends and family to take a life-changing AND guilt-free Bible reading adventure together in 2017.

1. Here’s WHY you probably won't do this. (Just keeping it real.)
4. Here's a story about what God can do if you dare to try in 2017.
5. Here's our Bible reading plan for 2017...   
   * January 2017
   * February 2017
   * March 2017
   * April 2017
   * May 2017
   * June 2017
   * July 2017
   * August 2017
   * October 2017
   * November 2017
   * December 2017

So, are you in?

If yes, then invite your friends to join you in this guilt-free Bible reading adventure starting the first day of each month in 2017. That's right. We have 12 on ramps—one for each month—where your friends can choose to join you in reading the Bible together!

This begs the question:
WHO needs to do this with you this year?

Share this post with them right now.

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...
1. Go here and submit your email.
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, December 18, 2016

Shhh! Don't tell my kids...

When my kids asked me for an iPad for Christmas, I said, "Okay."
I can't wait to see the looks on their faces.

Best. Christmas. 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...
1. Go here and submit your email.
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, December 11, 2016

Thank God and YOU for making Cadre possible...

You pray to God for us.

You $ partner with God and us. 

Thank you!

We want you to know what God is doing in response to your prayers and $ partnership! 

Read on. (Click any image to enlarge for reading or go here.)


Here are some 2016 STATS...

Here are some 2016 STORIES...
To God and God alone be all the glory!

Make no mistake about it. We thank God for you. It's not an overstatement to say that without God and you, we couldn't be Cadre missionaries. We need your continued prayer and $ partnership.
* To get our email prayer updates about 2x a month, contact us.
* To give a special year-end $ gift, go here.
* To becoming a monthly $ partner, go here.
* To contact Bill about speaking or training, go here.

Again, from our hearts to yours, THANK YOU!


You, Me, and Coffee Monday... 
Let me encourage you and and make you think one stinking time a week (usually Monday morning) with a virtual Cup O' Joe with Bill in your email inbox. Two Simple Steps...
1. Go here and submit your email.
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, December 04, 2016

The Ivy and Friends 2016 Christmas Letter

Everything has a beginning, middle, and an end. When it comes to our family Christmas letter, this year marks an end of sorts... that becomes a new beginning. Read on and find out why. (Click any image to enlarge for reading or 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...
1. Go here and submit your email.
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.