Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For Liz,

Hello everybody! Liz asked me the name of the book that spoke about on Sunday am. The book was is by Florence Littauer called Personality Plus: How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself

From the Back Cover
Each of the following statements relates to one of the four basic personality types: Melancholy, Phlegmatic, Sanguine, and Choleric. Which of these statements do you relate to most? - Whether at home or work, I am well organized and keep everything in its proper place. - It's difficult for me to express excitement, even about something that's really important to me. - When shopping at the mall, it's not unusual for me to forget where I parked the car. - I get annoyed when my employees don't follow my instructions to the letter. In Personality Plus, Florence Littauer gives you valuable insight for appreciating your one-of-a-kind, God-given personality. She includes a Personality Profile test that reveals how your unique blend of traits affects your emotions, work performance, and relationships. Through humorous anecdotes and straightforward counsel, Personality Plus guides you to improve upon your strengths and correct your weaknesses. This engaging book also provides keys to understanding those around you. You'll learn how to accept-and even enjoy-the traits that make each of us so different. Personality Plus is the tool you need to change your life, and the lives of those you care about, for the better.

Here is an ONLINE quiz that helps you to discover your "type".


Thanks for the comment Liz!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chuck Colson Denounces Therapeutic Church Model

Here is a paragrah from an article I read today. I have GREAT respect for Chuck Colson ( who was former aide to President Richard Nixon and is the creator or the VERY helpful Prison Fellowship. Here is the quote...

"The church has fallen into a therapeutic model, says one prominent evangelical. In an interview with Time magazine, Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson denounced the "feel-good kind of Christianity" he sees being promoted in churches.

"It believes its job is to make people happy and take care of their problems," said Colson, also author of The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters.

But the church's job, he noted, is to make people holy."


This Weekend NEW STUDIES

Hello everyone!

The weather lady said that it looks like this year Sepember will have been warmer than June, July and August! Fun!

This Sunday we are trying to begin our 9:30am Family Life hour with a number of new classes (discipleship) groups. We are stil looking for more ideas. If you have a Bible study or book study that you would like to be apart of or even lead, PLEASE talk to me or Sharon or Brenda (for another week!)

Have a great Friday and COME this Sunday at 9:30am!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations

I heard about this book this summer on a Focus on the family series and I think needs to be noticed. I have read the first chapter of it and these boys have really hit on something.

Here is the link to the PDF of the first chapter of the book. PLEASE read it and tell my what you think???

ALSO here is the link for the Focus on the family radio broadcast from this summer.

HERE IS THE LINK to their BLOG... take a long look! I want to talk to you all about this...



Monday, September 14, 2009

What a Change

The way we used to look
The way we look today September 2009! Praise the Lord for His great work!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Here is the next message to our local paper in the series "A Visitor at Church"


I found out yesterday at our local ministerial meeting that no one was scheduled to take over the weekly Lodge service or submit an article to the Advisor, so Pastor Lisa took the Service and I took the article since I have been looking forward to talking to you some more about the lessons we learned while being a visitor at church. If you are not sure what I am talking about, please pick up last week’s paper from the Advisor office; Linda usually has a few extra to sell. That article was week #1 in my series and I challenged you all to remember what it was like to be a visitor at church as we can so quickly forget. Here is my second lesson; Be Friendly! Has the church become a club for its members? When did this happen that those who were new to a church family were not really welcome anymore? When did the church decide that those we don’t know, we will ignore? One of the things that really amazed me as we visited many churches was how so few people would be genuinely pleased you were at their church. Week after week we would walk in, sit down, be a part of the service and leave and the only time people would say “hello” was the part in the service where the leader would tell them to “pass the peace”. Only then they would turn, smile politely and say “hello”. I remember one time we went to a church, we participated in their entire service, (including communion in which they gave no instructions, but I will write about that another time) then walked out without anyone really, genuinely saying “welcome here”. Amazing! The funny thing is that we ended up out for lunch in the same place with most of the same people that we had just spent 1 ½ hours with in their small church. They all sat together at the same tables and acted like they had never seen us before.. haa. How sad! My friends, this should not be! Now as a pastor, my relationship with the Lord was not shaken, but if I was wondering about spiritual things, what would I have learned that day about God or His people? You see, when Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1), He gave us His Holy Spirit so that, when we receive Him as our Lord, we can then represent Him (“be his witnesses”) to people that Jesus loves but who may not know it. We get to show them Jesus’ love everyday of the week, not just on Sunday. Yet when the local family of God gets together on a Sunday, should we not be looking at how we can represent the Lord as they gather? What picture do you give people of what God is like when you gather? That He is disinterested in them? That God only loves church members? That God is only interested in visitors if they are the same as us? This, again, should not be. Jesus describes his mission on earth like this: “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10 (New Living Translation). He was accused of hanging out too much with the “wrong people”. I feel that much of the church has lost its way and we have tried to distance ourselves from those who are not like us or from people we may not feel we relate to. Jesus loved all people and when we are in our churches I suggest that we do the same, especially those who are new(er) among us. Maybe just being genuinely friendly would make such an impact for the Lord that it could change someone’s life? Maybe if we asked them who they are and what brought them to our church today, it could make all the difference in their experience. The church is the Body of Christ. Let us be His hands welcoming, let’s be His voice affirming and blessing those who are visiting. We may find a blessing in it for us also. More next time. Comments? Please check our blog at LPCHOME.blogspot.com and write away.

Five Warning Signs of Declining Church Health

Hello Everyone for this beautiful Thursday in Sept... here is a post from Thom Rainer author of Breakout Churches, which was a very helpful book to me, has posted this article today. Can you read it and comment on what you think below? What do you think about his remarks on the pastor as chaplain?

Praying for you all today!


December 17, 2004, should have been a day of celebration.

Nellie Jo and I had been married 27 years on that date. We were in Naples, Florida, enjoying the sunshine and each other.

Then the phone call came.

We had been given a great deal of confidence that the biopsy would likely prove negative. Proceed with our anniversary celebration, we were told. In the unlikely event that the report was not good, they would let us know.

The report was not good. Nellie Jo had cancer. The next two years would prove to be some of the most challenging years of our lives and marriage.

When an Unhealthy Body Looks Healthy

Looking back, it is amazing to recall how healthy Nellie Jo looked. She showed no signs of fatigue or sickness. Had she not seen a couple of warning signs, she might have found out too late about her cancer. She might not be alive today.

I’ve seen it countless times. My team would go into a church for a consultation, and we would begin interviewing church members. We would hear from many of the congregants that their church was healthy and thriving. Then we would see the warning signs. And we would begin to fear that the apparently healthy body was not really healthy at all.

The church was sick. Some of the churches were really sick.

Five Warning Signs

What were some of the warning signs my team saw? Though the list is not exhaustive, these five issues were common. Some of the churches had a one or two on the list; some had all five.

1. The church has few outwardly focused ministries. Most of the budget dollars in the church are spent on the desires and comforts of church members. The ministry staff spends most of its time taking care of members, with little time to reach out and minister to the community the church is supposed to serve.

2. The dropout rate is increasing. Members are leaving for other churches in the community, or they are leaving the local church completely. A common exit interview theme we heard was a lack of deep biblical teaching and preaching in the church.

3. The church is experiencing conflict over issues of budgets and building. When the focus of church members becomes how the facilities and money can meet their preferences, church health is clearly on the wane.

4. Corporate prayer is minimized. If the church makes prayer a low priority, it makes God a low priority.

5. The pastor has become a chaplain. The church members view the pastor as their personal chaplain, expecting him to be on call for their needs and preferences. When he doesn’t make a visit at the expected time, or when he doesn’t show up for the Bible class fellowship, he receives criticism. In not a few cases, the pastor has lost his job at that church because he was not omnipresent for the church members.

Where Do We Go from Here?

The bad news is that few churches recover if the patterns above become normative. The church is a church in name only. It is self-gratifying rather than missional. It is more concerned about great comfort than the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

The good news is that a few churches have moved from sickness to health. The path was not easy. It first required that the congregants be brutally honest with themselves and God. It does no good to speak glowingly of a church that is unhealthy and getting worse.

Many of the turnaround churches we consulted then moved to a time of corporate confession and repentance. They confessed to God their lack of obedience and their selfish desire for their own comfort.

And still other churches made an intentional effort to shift the ministries and the money of the church to a greater outward focus. This step can be particularly painful since a number of church members often protest with vigor that their needs are no longer being met.

To Become a Healthy Church

Indeed we could focus on the reality that the great majority of sick churches do not recover. But that focus provides little value.

We should look at the admittedly few churches that have moved from sickness to health. We should learn how they turned from an inward focus to an outward focus. We should follow their examples of moving from selfish desires to radical obedience to God.

In His power the unhealthy church can become healthy.

Heed the warning signs.

It could be the difference between life and death.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Hey everyone,
Is there anyone checking in on this Blog?? Please let me know in the comments section....

Off to pray as it is Wednesday! PLEASE "Pray that I hear God’s voice every day and that I have faith and courage to obey Him." (Scott Hodge).

"Large = legitimate? That inhibits us"

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Visitor At Church

Here is my article for our local paper...

Please read it and tell me what you think?


This past summer my family was away from our church family for about 11 weeks. My church was agreeable (I greatly thank them for that) to giving me this leave of absence, in which we all have just returned. Being people of faith, we did not want to take the whole summer away from gathering with others for worship, and to hear the Word of God read and spoken. Not having our own church to be apart of though, we made several decisions about how we were going to approach Sundays. One, was we were going to go to church on the weekends. It is an important thing to stay connected with the family of Christian faith. We discovered that not all churches meet on Sunday morning. Some meet Saturday mornings and some have a Sat. evening service. We decided that no matter where we were, we would get to a church family sometime over the weekend. We also decided, to try to attend churches that were different than what we are used to in the expression (or in tradition) of our Christian faith. So, for this summer we became visitors. To make it fun, we found a worship service evaluation form on the internet so each family member, could answer questions ranging from how we were received as visitors, to how the church used it’s “worship space”. Armed with evaluation sheets, we set out like “secret shoppers” that stores hire to come into their stores to tell them what their experience was like. What a fascinating time we had! We went to 8 different churches all over western Canada. Some of the church families we visited were Presbyterian, Evangelical Free, Baptist, Anglican, as well as, several other well known faith traditions. One Sunday, we stayed at home and joined an increasing tread in Canada to not go to a church building on a Sunday but watch Christian ministry on TV in our pajamas! That Sunday the “how did people treat you as a visitor” question was not answered on our evaluation sheets. Over the next several times I get to write in this paper, (thanks again Linda for giving this space to communicate to your readership) I want to talk to you about our observations on being a “visitor to church”. I hope you will read them all. I also plan to post them on our blog at lpchome.blogspot.com after they are in the paper. I do want to cover one observation for this addition, and that is, how we forget. One of the problems that we as people who attend church regularly, or if we visit elsewhere and go only to a familiar church tradition, is that we forget what is it like to be a stone cold visitor. I wish I could say that it got easier to go to different churches week after week over the summer, but it didn’t. Often if was hard to find out what churches were in the town or city we were visiting, as most do not have any signage, anywhere. If we did find out what churches were there, we always had to have a “dry run” to find it before Sunday and sometimes it took a long time to find. We forget what it is like to not know anyone or what is going to happen in the service. We felt significant stress as we walked towards an unknown building filled with people, as close to the start of the service as possible. If we were too late, all the back pews or chairs were filled with the regular people and we would have to sit closer to the front. Walking to the front with the feeling like everyone was staring at you (which they were) was not a great feeling. Now here I am. A pastor of a church. I have gone to a church for most of my life. I am used to going to church and yet week after week I felt anxious. I had forgotten what it was like to be the new person, and so had most of the churches. Friends, I question a lot of what takes place on Sunday in our churches in Canada and wonder if it is really the best way for us to communicate the Good news of the Gospel. That being said, I do not foresee a big change in how we gather as church families in the new future. If we could just put ourselves into the emotions of those whom we hope will walk through our doors, and make some, any changes, to make it less difficult, that would be a GREAT start. To those who do not go to church, I am sorry that church going people have forgotten what it is like to try to go. This summer reminded me how hard it is. I ask you to please, give it another try. I’m sure you will find the people there, as wonderful as we found many of them to be. We need you to help us remember, what’s it like to be new. God sent Jesus to seek out people (Luke19:10) and He is still doing so by His Spirit. Let us do our part as His family to help, not hinder the work of God. More next time…

Reaching People

Are we still concerned for those who have not meet Jesus in a relationship as their LORD? Are we still praying for and seeking God for people that Jesus deeply Loves?

Here is yet another example of someone creatively trying to reach people for Jesus. It is a short Video Movie called "JUST Stop and THINK" . You can find it here

Watch it or, better yet, share it.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Pick One

Hello all,
Read this following post from Brad Abare from June 10th
What do you think??? Is he right?

Pick One

You can't be the urban church and the rural church.
You can't be the men-friendly church and the women-friendly church.
You can't be the advocate and the antagonist.
You can't be the funny preacher and the serious preacher.
You can't be the one-site church and the many-locations church.
You can't be the Lutheran church and the Baptist church.
You can't be the hipster church and the church for people who need hips.

Well, you could attempt to be all these things at once, but it won't work.

Pick one. And be the best in your community at it.

You can do other things too, but they must support your primary cause, not compete with it.

Pick one.

Posted by Brad Abare at June 10, 2009 7:03 AM


Comments???? Post them below!