Wednesday, December 28, 2011

No More New Year Resolutions

If you've ever intended to…

* read a self-help book… but didn’t help yourself enough to crack it open

* read through Bible through in a year… but didn’t make it through the second week of January

* create and stick to a budget… but ran up more credit card debt 

* lose weight… and then set a personal record in chocolate eating

* have a better marriage… and then actually argued with your spouse about how (Okay, that could be just me on that one) 

* be a more patient parent… and then yelled at your kids more than ever

* exercise regularly… and then used your treadmill as a clothes hanger

This is for you!

Note: Be sure to read all the way to the end.




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Monday, December 19, 2011

15 Minutes a Day that Will Change Your life Forever

By far the single most important thing I did in 2013 that helped my relationship with God was reading through the Bible—with some friends.

In the words of Nacho Libre, "It's fantastic."

I'd like you join me in creating your own study group (face-to-face and/or online) to read through the Bible—together—this year.

But first, let's talk about your big BUT.

I know. You've tried to read the Bible in a year before, BUT about the time you got to Leviticus you ran out of gas. (Pun intended.) Then you felt guilty about it. (I feel your pain.) You felt like such loser! (I may be projecting my own feelings onto you now.) Well, let me help you get over your big BUT by introducing you to…
Did you get that? This year is the guilt free—not the guil-ty—read through the Bible.

So what happens when you miss a day? A few days? A week? A month? Three months? Six months? A year? (Again, I might be projecting my own past failed experiences in reading through the Bible in a year onto you… sorry.) If you miss a day, week, or month or whatever, I invite you to simply start reading the Bible—not where you left off—but on whatever day it is that day. No Bible-reading mafia types will show up at your house to confiscate your Bible and break your legs. Seriously. No guilt. Say those words slowly right now out loud: "No. Guilt."

Why this approach? I suspect if you take this no guilt approach, you will actually read the Bible more this year than any other year in your life.  Next year, we can work on reading the WHOLEly Bible :  )

Here's the kicker: Reading through the Bible in a year takes only about 15 minutes a day, but it's 15 minutes a day that will change your life forever.

I dirty-double-dog-dare-you to try to read the Bible for 15 minutes day… and regularly share with some friends how God is changing your lives.

Following Jesus Together...
The best way to take this Bible reading adventure is to invite some friends you see and interact with often to take it with you. It was my wife who got me to do this in back in 2011. So I encourage you to invite your face-to-face friends to join you on this adventure.  You could use the "study and share method" (not to be confused with the Sonny and Cher method): Each person studies the daily readings at home, and then you gather weekly, twice a month, or whatever—to share what you're learning with each other. I know of one church that decided to read through the Bible together in a year—so they actually started a study-and-share Sunday school class that met weekly. The whole class was simply sharing with each other what God was stirring and teaching in the previous seven days of readings.

BUT Who?
Not sure who you can invite to take this adventure with you? What about your spouse? Your mom or dad? Your kids? Friends from church? Small group? Neighbors? Coworkers? (I hope you're getting the idea that it's the people all around you everyday.)

While I prefer face-to-face gatherings for study and share, I also enjoy the study and share that happens via Skype, texting, and Facebook. You could start a no-guilt-read-through-the-Bible-together Facebook group right now. Such a group will make it possible for you to leave comments and share what your learning with each other. Most important, it will enable you to share how God is working in our lives as you read and apply his Word. 

Why all this reading the Bible together with friends? Friends don't let friends read the Bible alone. To quote Barney: "Everything is better with a friend."

So, are you in? 
If yes, then here are your next steps in starting a group right now...

Download the two-page PDF plan for reading the Bible through in 2014. Please pass the PDF on to your friends and invite them to join you in this guilt-free adventure!

Here's the exact same plan as found in the PDF above as found on Youversion. Youversion makes it possible to not only read the Bible online via your smart phone, iPad, or computer, but you also can read it in whatever translation you choose. Another bonus is that you can also listen to an audio of each day's readings for FREE!

Is your big BUT still getting in your way?
If yes, then watch this video.



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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Today is my best friend's birthday!

Today (December 18) is Stacy's 44th birthday!
Many years ago, I married Stacy.  I loved her with all my heart then, but somehow 7 kids and all these years later, I love her more now. I'm married to my best friend, partner, and lover (Song of Solomon 5:16). All these years later, when Stacy walks into a room, God gives me these words: "Ooo-la-la."  :  )  I want to grow old with this woman on the back of my motorcycle :  )  Thank you God for giving me Stacy.  And thank you friends for celebrating God's goodness with us.




















For 12 things I LOVE about Stacy, go here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The 2011 Keeping-It-Real Allison Family Christmas Letter

Here's your invitation to laugh with us... or at us... whichever you prefer. Hey, we're laughing at ourselves... with or without you... so you might as well join us. Click on the images below to enlarge for reading. 
We'd love for you to let us into your email inbox! You'll hear from me 1-2x a week. Email addresses are never shared with anyone and you can unsubscribe at anytime. Subscribe to Cup O' Joe with Bill by Email. Thanks for letting us keep in touch with you. 

CHRISTMAS BONUS:
After the wild commercial success of my first hit song, I've decided to branch out… into singing Christmas songs. (Hey, if Elvis can do it, so can I.) Then I thought, why just go with music? It's time for my first Christmas music VIDEO.  Then I pondered, "Who could I get to be in the video?" So I got Santa himself to dance for the video… while I do the singing.  What can I say?  I've got connections. To sum up the experience you're about to have in one word: QUALITY.  Enjoy the video and the song:  )
video
We can't do Cadre without friends like you who love, pray, and give. For more information about how you can partner with God, the Allisons, and Cadre Ministries, go here. To make a secure online tax-deductible donation, go here.  Cadre Ministries is a recognized 501(c)3 ministry.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A holiday music train wreck for the sick and twisted...

If you have any sense of propriety when it comes to fine music, do NOT listen to this. I repeat: Do NOT listen to this. You have been warned.  This is only for those who are musically sick and twisted. This is for people who enjoy listening to musical train wrecks. You'll love this.

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Monday, December 05, 2011

What God Did in 2011: Stats & Stories!

Celebrate with God, the Allisons, and Cadre Ministries! Click on any of the images below to enlarge for viewing and reading. To view as a two page PDF, go here.

Here are the stats… click image to enlarge for reading.
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Here are some stories… click image to enlarge for reading.
We can't do Cadre without friends like you who love, pray, and give. For more information about how you can partner with God, the Allisons, and Cadre Ministries, go here. To make a secure online tax-deductible donation, go here.  Cadre Ministries is a recognized 501(c)3 ministry.

Friday, December 02, 2011

The DIsciplemaking of Baby Ivy continues… (2 short videos)

EXHIBIT A: Ivy's First Words
For months I've been saying these words over and over to Ivy. Finally, Ivy said the words. Can you guess what they are?
video
For all the killjoys out there who like to point out that she's not actually recognizing who I am but simply just imitating what I'm saying, to you I say: It still thrills my heart to hear my girl say it! So there.


EXHIBIT B: Ivy's Reaction to Music
Yep. Soon as I saw Ivy's response to music, I knew that she was being discipled by our entire family.
video
Who knew London Bridges was such a rockin' song, right? Now you know.

Thanks for stopping by for a Cup O' Joe and a smile.

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