Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Are you only living to make a living?

I ran into him at an office store. As soon as I saw him, my heart lifted. I know him as a friend and one of the best handymen in the business. He's been to my house many times to make up for my lack of domestic handyman competence... and he always makes sure I don't pay too much. I love this guy. I've broken bread with him in his home. We put a roof on my house together with a few other crazy friends. He's special to me. "Hey man, it's great to see you!" I said as I hugged this bearded 50-something year-old manly man right in front of the store clerk. "What are you doing?"

"Trying to get organized," he said, smiling holding up a calendar for the upcoming year.

"Me too! Though I'm not too confident about getting my life organized anytime very soon," I said with a smile on my face... joking... but not really. "I just talked to Stacy about having you help me with my current honey-do list," I said hopefully.

He said, "I'd be glad to help you with that list. But check this out. I'm not going to do the handyman thing much longer. I just don't have enough time and energy to do all that needs to be done to do the business side of it by myself."

"So what are you going to do?" I asked, starting to feel slightly alarmed at the possibility of not having his help with my honey-do list.

"Well, you know I'm friends with [names a prominent and respected Christian man in the business]. He offered to hire me at a very wonderful salary... and I could do what I'm basically doing right now without all the headaches of the business side of things."

I said, "Hey, that's great. So that's what you're going to do then?"

"Well, no. I prayed about it and I sensed God wanted me to join a couple of others guys. These two guys are real close to beginning a relationship with God... but they're not quite there yet."

I gently slapped him on the left arm and said, "Wow, I can't think of a better guy to help them on their journey. Are you getting a similar deal with these guys?"

"Yes and no. Yes to doing what I do best without having the headaches of the business stuff. No to the really wonderful salary part." Then he paused, looked me square in the eyes and said, "I just think this is something God wants me to do... and we both know this whole journey isn't about money."

Wow. Here I am in an office store minding my own business, and God shows up. I knew the words were coming from my friend, but my spirit sensed I was hearing directly from the very heart of God (Luke 15). This guy is not just some highly skilled handyman who is at the beck and call of the highest bidder. He's a man on a mission... a mission from God.

He's a disciplemaker disguised as a handyman.

I called him by name and said, "I will be praying for you and your ministry." He thanked me and we parted.

Now, what about you? Yes, I’m talking to YOU.

Are you living to make a living... or are you living to make disciples?

How would you complete the following sentence? "I'm a disciplemaker disguised as a __________________________." (Insert whatever you do in the blank.)


If this post resonates with you, check out these links...
* It's a way of living, not a program.
* A guide for your disciplemaking.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Funday: The secret to growing your ministry…

As important as coffee is, there are better ways to improve the quality of your Sunday school/small group ministry.


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Friday, March 23, 2012

On wine and other obsessions...

A woman was sipping a glass of wine while sitting on the patio with her husband. She said, "I love you so much, I don't know how I could ever live without you."

Her husband asked, "Is that you, or the wine talking?"

She replied, "It's me... and I'm talking to the wine."


What is it that you can't live without? 

What is your great obsession?

The only obsession you can have that won't hurt you is… to continue reading go here.


Get blog posts from Cup O' Joe in your email inbox! You'll hear from me about 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. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On being an activist for a trendy cause...




"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
—Leo Tolstoy






If you really want to change the world, why not do what Jesus did?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ridiculously cool stuff God is doing...

Bill,
I wanted to drop you a note and say thanks for how you have invested in Youth for Christ in Peoria over many years and for how you have invested in our National movement in the last year plus. It is very fun to see how “equipping the saints” and “making disciples through community” have become important learning places for YFC once again. This process has felt very natural and organic but intentional. God is stirring and I believe many are listening. You have been an important influence around these biblical principles and I am so thankful for your work behind the scenes. I hope to find ways to connect more in the future—it is great for my soul. Thanks brother!
—Dave Ramseyer
National Campus Life Director
Youth for Christ USA

Click image below to enlarge for viewing and reading…
Hi Bill, your ministry is a blessing. One of my mentors gave me Cadre resources which have really helped me. I am in full-time sports ministry. God bless you. 
—Grant Sheppard, England

Some Ministry Highlights from 2012...
  • About 60 students indicated they trusted Jesus Christ as Savior at Timber-lee Camp in WI in January!
  • Training and coaching some of the 3,800 students and youth leaders in Green Bay, WI.
  • Training, equipping, and encouraging youth leaders who serve with Youth for Christ (YFC) who converged in Denver, CO, for their Midwinter Conference.
  • Stacy and I (and Ivy) had the honor of encouraging youth pastors and their wives for three days in WI.
  • We are currently facilitating three Disciplemaking Learning Communities (DLCs) in the Central IL area.
  • About 40 ministry leaders and wives took part in The Peoria Area Leadership Community Ongoing (PALCO) where we took the day to explore “Parenting As Disciplemaking.”
We couldn't do Cadre without people like you who love us, pray for us, and give to Cadre. You make our ministry powerful and possible. 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. Thanks for letting God use you to put a smile on our faces.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Monday Funday: Eat what is good for you?

NOTE: This is a real newspaper report...

Top Doc Backs Picking Your Nose and Eating It
Picking your nose and eating it is one of the best ways to stay healthy, according to a top Austrian doctor.

Innsbruck-based lung specialist Prof Dr Friedrich Bischinger said people who pick their noses with their fingers were healthy, happier and probably better in tune with their bodies.

He says society should adopt a new approach to nose-picking and encourage children to take it up.

Dr Bischinger said: "With the finger you can get to places you just can't reach with a handkerchief, keeping your nose far cleaner.

"And eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body's immune system.

"Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do. In terms of the immune system the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria are collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine.

"Modern medicine is constantly trying to do the same thing through far more complicated methods, people who pick their nose and eat it get a natural boost to their immune system for free."

He pointed out that children happily pick their noses, yet by the time they have become adults they have stopped under pressure from a society that has branded it disgusting and anti social.

He said: "I would recommend a new approach where children are encouraged to pick their nose. It is a completely natural response and medically a good idea as well."

And he pointed out that if anyone was really worried about what their neighbour was thinking, they could still enjoy picking their nose in private if they still wanted to get the benefits it offered.

This article was originally published at www.ananova.com and reprinted at
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1105527/posts

Thursday, March 08, 2012

On Rock Star Preachers...

If you're more excited about the person preaching the message than the God the message is about, then you're missing the point.




Sunday, March 04, 2012

Monday Funday: How reading almost ruined my life… a true story

One Friday night, my wife Stacy and I dropped all the kids off at mom and dad’s house, and then proceeded to a speaking engagement I had in Geneva, IL.  When my speaking duties were finished, we used the rest of the evening to enjoy a short date—some time together talking and drinking coffee at a bookstore.  After a few minutes, I sensed nature’s call and dismissed myself to the restroom facilities.  Being a voracious reader and person who loves to maximize time, I noticed—right before I entered the restroom—that the bookstore provided a wide variety of reading materials for those headed into the restroom.  I stopped for moment, carefully chose my reading material, and began reading as I walked into the restroom.

I proceeded to situate myself in a bathroom stall and started to enjoy the reading until I heard the voice of a chattering little boy as he walked into the restroom.  He jabbered a minute or so before I heard the voice of his MOTHER in the restroom with him!  Now, I'm a parent of seven kids, so I totally understand the need to assist kids in their restroom endeavors.  However, I was a little shaken by the fact that a woman was in the men’s restroom…with me…a Christian speaker who just finished sharing the Lord with a bunch of junior high students in Geneva, IL.  I didn't mind her helping her little boy, but I thought that she should have known that it would have been much better for her to take her little boy to the women’s restroom—instead of her coming into the men’s restroom with him.  (The nerve of some people.)

By now I had finished my business (and reading) and was waiting for the woman and the little boy to leave before I stepped out of the bathroom stall to wash my hands.  What can I say?  I’m modest when it comes to being in a public restroom facility with a woman.  While I was waiting for the woman and the little boy to leave, someone else entered the stall next to mine.  In a matter of a minute (the brevity itself I found to be strange for a man using a bathroom stall), the person in the next stall finished and walked right passed the boy and the woman and out of the bathroom—seeming to have no problem with the fact that a woman was in the men’s restroom.

Finally, I peeked my head above my bathroom stall and saw that in addition to the sink and mirror, this bathroom had all stalls—and NO urinals!  It was at this point I had an epiphany. I, Bill Allison, father of seven, Executive Director of Cadre Ministries, was in the women’s restroom. YIKES!  Now I had to go to the bathroom again.  I literally began to shake.  It seemed like an eternity until the woman and her little boy finally left.  Then I was paralyzed for a moment.  Should I run out of this bathroom stall now?  What if a woman came out of another bathroom stall and noticed me?  What if another woman came in when I was going out?  With all of these legitimate fears surging through my heart and mind, I quickly unlocked the bathroom stall, ran to the bathroom exit, and ran across to the men’s room where I casually proceeded to wash and dry my hands.

Soon I was reunited with my date.  Stacy took one look at me and said, "What's wrong?" I said, "We should probably get on the road… now."

Once I was convinced the police weren't following us, I told her about my little adventure. She laughed all the rest of the way home… at me… not with me. And I was sure not to stop for any bathroom breaks on the rest of the way home.

I wished this wasn't a true story… but it is.