Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fear not! Hear's why...

A University of Michigan study about fear shows:

* 60 percent of our fears are totally unwarranted—they never come to pass.

* 20 percent of our fears are focused on our past—which is completely out of our control.

* 10 percent of our fears are based on things so petty that they make no difference in our lives.

* Of the remaining 10 percent, only 4-5 percent could be considered justifiable.

So, what are you afraid of?  Is your fear legit—or are you hiding behind excuses?

What's worse than being afraid to die? Being afraid to live.

Don't be afraid to live.

This post is brought to you by Jesus, the one who died so that you can live life to its fullest. "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." —Jesus in John 10:10


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Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Funday: Punctuation saves lives


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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The next time you read Leviticus...

I'm loving reading through the Bible with my wife and some friends again this year. (It's not too late to join us—and here's why you should.) We're currently in Leviticus.

Leviticus is so... levitical.

It's no secret: People in our day who aspire to read the Bible often get stuck—and stop reading altogether—when they get to Leviticus.

Yet...

When the New Testament speaks about the Old Testament, it says interesting stuff like, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness..." (2 Timothy 3:13).

That's right, ALL Scripture is God breathed... including the book of Leviticus.

Evidently, we're missing something when we read Leviticus, eh?

Consider this for a moment. The best commentary on the Bible is... the Bible. And the greatest Bible commentator ever is Jesus.

So, what does Jesus say about the book of Leviticus?

Check this out:
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:36-40, NLT, bold mine)

Did you get that? According to Jesus, "The entire law," which includes the book of Leviticus, is about loving God and loving people.

If you miss that Leviticus is about learning to love God with everything you are and then letting God's love overflow from your life to others, then, according to Jesus, you will miss the the whole point of Leviticus.

Think about that for a moment.
Instead of reading Leviticus like it's a bunch of irrelevant, outdated, archaic laws for Jews of antiquity, perhaps we should read it (and the rest of the Old Testament) through Jesus' lens of loving God and loving people.



I double dog dare you to let Jesus inform the way you read the book of Leviticus.

As you read, mark every place you see in Leviticus that is about loving God and loving people.

Then, as you go about all aspects of your life, seek to love God and love people.

With such a way of living, you could end up making disciplemakers and changing the world—like Jesus did.

Again, I double dog dare you.


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Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Funday: Real men play tea party...

Real men play tea party... in their pajamas... while hugging a purple teddy bear.

Here's a little known fathering fact: Tea parties, PJ pants, and purple teddy bears all scream, "Secure in our masculinity."

That's just how we roll.

Mostly because our daughters have us tightly wrapped around their little fingers.

And we like it that way.

It's called fathering.


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Friday, February 15, 2013

Fun pictures that tell stories of adventure...

Click any image below to enlarge for reading and viewing. To view as a two page PDF go here.
Because of God AND the prayer and financial partnership with God’s people like YOU, we are able to take Jesus-like disciplemaking, equipping, and encouragement to thousands of people in hundreds of churches and ministries each year! That's what Cadre Ministries has been about for over ten years now. God is at work and we love being along for this, crazy, fun, and fruitful ride.

But make no mistake about it: We couldn't do Cadre without friends like YOU.

Would you prayerfully consider joining our financial partnership team on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis starting now?

From our hearts to yours, thank you for prayerfully considering our request.

Bill, Stacy, Emily, Bill, Aubrey, Josey, Libby, Sadey, and Ivy

FYI:
Go here for some of the stats and stories of 2012.
To give securely online now go here.
Cadre Ministries is a recognized 501(c)3 not-for-profit ministry and all donations are tax deductible.


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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why You Should Give Up Your Christianity


If you ask someone who goes to church if he/she is a Christian, you’ll most likely get a “Yes.”  However, if you ask the same person if he/she is a Christ-follower, you’ll probably get hesitation before any answer. 

When did being a Christian become a separate thing from following Christ?

What would happen if you quit being a “Christian,” and started following Jesus in every nook and cranny of your life?

I’m talking to YOU.

Think about it.   As a follower of Jesus, you’d simply endeavor to live your life like... Jesus.

And how did Jesus live?

Jesus made disciples... who made disciples... who made more disciples.

Jesus loved God and the people in his sphere of influence.

Jesus invested time in relationships with people.

And Jesus changed the world.

How crazy (and exciting) would it be for you to live like Jesus?

As a follower of Jesus...

Your daily mission is to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).

Your daily strategy is to love God and love people (Mark 12:30-31.)

Your ministry model is relationships... a life following Jesus together with a cadre of disciples  (John 3:22).

And Jesus would change the world—one life at a time—through you and your cadre of Christ-followers... as you love God, love people, and share God's story with them.

The fact is that you can’t really separate being a Christian from following Jesus. 

They are the same. 

So, if you think of yourself as a Christian, but your daily life doesn’t resemble the passion and pursuits of Jesus (the founder of authentic Christianity), I encourage you to give up your “Christianity” and take the adventure of learning to follow Jesus with a few others.

Don't know where to start? Start here.
Want more practical help?  Go here.


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Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Funday: A text from God to you...

Yeah, I know.

Technically, you're in a 7 billion way tie for first.

But that's okay because he is God... and by definition, nothing is impossible for him.

Do you feel like God's favorite child? Why or Why not?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Friday, February 08, 2013

The Bible Movie

UPDATED (3/28/13)
* Breaking News: The Bible TV miniseries has been assembled into a book and it includes all the deleted scenes!
* The Bible TV miniseries is popular, but what does it mean?
* Hollywood elites underestimated the Bible miniseries.

Original post below...

I don't know what you're going to do on Sunday nights in March, but we're going to be gathering with family and friends to watch the five part series called The Bible that will be airing on the History Channel. Check out the trailer below...

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

How closely will this series follow the Biblical narrative? I don't know for sure. But I'm still going to watch. Why? Two reasons: 1) I have it from a reliable source that this won't be a typical History Channel offering. I've been told this is an honest attempt at telling the story of God starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation. 2) Because it's going to create great discussion and interaction about who I'm most passionate about—Jesus! Who knows, we might have to actually open our Bibles and engage God and each other  :  ) And that could be life-changing for everyone.

What are you waiting for? You will be given five Sunday nights in March to invite friends who are at various levels of spiritual interest to join you for fun, food, and a conversation starter on God and the Bible. Why not take a page out of the Old Testament and make a party of it? (Okay, it can't be a week long party like many of the Old Testament festivals... or can it? :  ) Whatever you do, don't squander this golden opportunity by watching this series alone.

Friends don't let friends watch this series alone.

Wouldn't it be crazy if after this five part series on the History Channel, people actually began to read the Bible together—discovering God and His story along the way?

More information and details about this five part series on the History Channel here.


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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Stuff God Did at Timber-Lee's Winter Xtreme 2013

"Thank you for this weekend! You made me rethink things and want to grow even closer to God then I already am! This weekend was a great experience for our whole group. One of our friends trusted Jesus as her savior. This brought us all together and it was awesome to experience that with her! She is excited to read the Bible. She got her first Bible today. She is so excited!! Thanks again!"—from a high school student via Facebook.

video
We just got back from a weekend at Timber-lee with 450 high school students and youth leaders. The above video will give you a 3 minute taste of our time there. Enjoy. (If video doesn't appear, go here.)

[Click any pictures to enlarge for viewing.] Our family has had a long, fun, and spiritually significant relationship with Camp Timber-lee. The picture above was taken about 10 years ago in 2003. 

This year (2013), at Sadey's request, we all lined up for he picture above like we in 2003. So now you can compare the two pictures and see how the Allison kids have grown up and how I have grown older and how Stacy never never seems to age at all. (I still think that's because I'm a low stress marriage partner.)

This year I had the honor of speaking to about 450 high school students and their youth leaders. I've never experienced a year where a significant number of students didn't respond by receiving Christ as Savior or re-engaging their relationship with God. And this year we saw lots of both. One reason for our long history with Timber-lee is simply because it's such a spiritually fruitful partnership. Don't get me wrong. We know it's God doing the work. We just like partnering together for His ride.

"Thanks for an amazing weekend at Timber-Lee! The message was powerful and I know the students enjoyed it as well! God bless!!!"—from a youth leader via Facebook

Tubing, tobogganing, broom ball, outstanding food (did I mention the bacon and eggs for breakfast?) and much more—combined with the general fun and craziness of students and youth leaders—combined with a powerful opportunity to encounter God in a fresh way makes this a life-changing time together.

"Thanks for sharing the Gospel at Timber-lee this past weekend! The best part was seeing a student tell his mom he accepted Jesus. —from a youth leader via Twitter

It was a blast to partner with my friends, Hello Industry, the worship band for the weekend—who are also from Central IL!

"I want to thank you for the awesome weekend and bringing a message that allows God to move in students lives and bring them to Christ."—youth leader via Twitter

In between all the fun stuff and large group gatherings, there's lots of time for connecting one-on-one and in small groups.

"I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful weekend at timberlee. It was great, myself and two other friends welcomed Jesus as a savior. We have almost everybody who went with us already doing the 21 day challenge (reading 1 chapter of the Gospel of John for the next 21 days). It's just amazing. Thank you again, so much." —a student via Facebook

On Saturday night and Sunday morning, my favorite spoken word poet, Emily Joy—who also happens to be my oldest daughter—did her spoken word poetry thing.

"I brought a couple of friends with me. I was fairly concerned coming into it just that they would feel out of place as someone who didn't believe or as someone who just starting to consider Jesus. One friend was an agnostic/borderline atheist, and I remember several times you saying something to the effect of "No matter where you are in your journey with God, I'm very glad you're here." I know for that specific friend, it was just what he needed to hear, so thank you." —a student via Facebook

The students LOVED it. So did I. Find out for yourself why we all loved it so much. Download Emily Joy's brand new spoken word album here for whatever you can afford... even if it's nothing.


If you were a part of this Winter Xtreme experience, I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.

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Monday, February 04, 2013

Monday Funday: Ice Ice Justin

Is it just me or is Justin Bieber growing up to be Vanilla Ice?

"History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now." 
—Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:9-11

You feeling old now?


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