April 2013 Church Press Newsletter
Sermons for Special Occasions

20 sermons: 7 funeral sermons, 6 wedding addresses, plus 7 sermons for other occasions by Dr. Arthur Graf (LCMS). 151 pages. #181. $9.95. To order email us or go to our website.

Mother's Day Outreach

Make plans now for a Mother's Day Outreach for May 12th. This day is filled with possibilities for outreach to your community.

Slip an attractively wrapped tea bag in each invitation. Be sure that every woman in the congregation is invited. Ask each of them to invite two non-members to the tea. Ladies without a daughter can "adopt one" for this special occasion.

At the tea be sure that everyone is invited to the special worship service on Mother's Day. At this service give a rose to every mother or perhaps a carnation to every woman at the service.

For Pastor's
Eyes Only

God - The Evidence, the reconciliation of faith and reason in a post secular world by Patrick Glynn. 216 pages. New. Retails for $16.00. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

Being A More Effective Pastor

After leaving seminary for my first church, I honestly felt I was a fairly well educated and competent young preacher. A few years later, however, it  became abundantly clear that that was not the case. It was a rude awakening.

I heard about an LCMS pastor in Michigan who was gifted and knew what to do with his gifts. I called him up, explained my short comings, and my desire to learn from him. Could I "pick his brain" for two days? He said yes. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

On Sunday morning I worshiped with his people (85% of soul membership worshiped every Sunday). I attended adult Bible class which he taught (85% of adults in worship attended - on this Sunday nearly 300 people were in his class), met with church officers in the afternoon, sat in his adult class that evening.

On Monday I spent time with staff people, asked for copies of all the printed material they used, and spent the rest of the day with him asking questions and receiving direction.

His goal setting was impressive for each day, for the week, and for the year. Just a few: Speak to at least one person about Jesus each day. Personally bring one person to worship the following Sunday and one person each week to his adult Bible class. He went after his Godly goals with a passion. In all this he wanted to please Jesus without being boastful. He was humble.

In speaking to some of the members I noticed that many them had their pastor's love for people. One of the benefits of this was very large adult membership classes.

I learned more from him in two days than I had learned in reading numerous books on the subject.

Can you become a more effective pastor in ministry for Jesus and people? Chances are, you can. And maybe there is a special mentor some where out there just for you.

Thanks for letting me share. Hoping and praying that you are or will be the best preacher you can be.

God bless! - Don

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

Life's Interruptions - God's Opportunities, by Larry Jones. Lessons from the Good Samaritan. 127 pages. New. Hard cover. $14.99. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

Loving Each Other
By Leo Buscaglia

She was looking down, rather sadly, at her purse when she said, plaintively, "I know my husband can be affectionate and tender. He's that way with the dog!". . . .

After birth, so essential is the continuance of security that a child left untouched and uncuddled, will form a bonding relationship with anything present. . . . If all human tactile experiences are denied, the child will die.

A simple caress has the potential of changing a whole life. The warm embrace, withheld at the vital moment when it is most desperately needed, can easily be the act, or rather the non-act, that finally destroys a relationship, or even a nation! (Loving Each Other, pp. 136,137, Leo Buscaglia)

The Most Overlooked Key to a Growing Church
By Rick Warren

I believe the most overlooked key to a growing church is this: We must love unbelievers the way Jesus did. Without His passion for the lost, we will be unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to reach them.

Jesus loved lost people. He loved spending time with them. . . . He was called the "friend of sinners." (Luke 7:34) How many people would call your church that? [complete article]


Have a friend who would benefit from this Newsletter? Just click Forward this email below.

"I Know That My Redeemer Lives:
what joy that blest assurance gives." Here is one of the most comforting presentations of this moving hymn. Scriptures interspersed throughout. We hope you'll take a few minutes to watch and listen. Just click assurance. Easter peace to you!
The Faithful Believer Must Also Die
Sermon by Pastor Don Ginkel on Genesis 25:7-10

Let's pray: Our gracious and loving God, we thank You for Your Holy Word. Our thinking concerning death needs some assistance. Too often we view death as the final end. Help us move toward Your view of our impending departure from this world. Give us grace to see death, not as the end, but as the beginning of a new life with You in heaven. Grant that each of us may be touched by Your Word. We await Your guidance. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Abraham is the man of the hour. He is the great patriarch of the Old Testament. He is our father in the faith. It is to Abraham that the honor of being first in faithfulness can be given. The crown of glory is upon his head. The victor's wreath has been given him. The hallways of heaven had a glorious day when Abraham reached 175 years of age, and God called him home. . . . 


We read in verses 7-8 of our text, "Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people." He was faithful. He made his earthly decisions based upon what God said. When God told him to move, he didn't question why or fight it; he moved. "He was gathered to his people" means that he joined other faithful believers in heaven. In Revelation 2:10 Jesus promises His children, "Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." [complete article] 


The Atheist's Dilemma
By Jordan Monge (for years an avowed atheist, then a deist)

By age 11, my atheism was so widely known in my middle school that a Christian boy threatened to come to my house and "shoot all the atheists."

As I set off in 2008 to begin my freshman year studying government at Harvard (whose motto is Veritas, "Truth"), I could never have expected the change that awaited me. . . .

A Catholic friend gave me J. Budziszewski's book Ask Me Anything, which included the Christian teaching that "love is a commitment of the will to be the true good of the other person." This theme - of love as sacrifice for the true good - struck me. The Cross no longer seemed a grotesque symbol of divine sadism, but a remarkable act of love.

At the same time, I had begun to read through the Bible and was confronted by my sin. I was painfully arrogant and prone to fits of rage. I was unforgiving and unwaveringly selfish. I passed sexual boundaries that I'd promised I wouldn't. The fact that I had failed to adhere to my own ethical standards filled me with deep regret. Yet I could do nothing to right these wrongs. The Cross no longer looked merely like a symbol of love, but like the answer to an incurable need. When I read the Crucifixion scene in the Book of John for the first time, I wept." (To read the entire article in Christianity Today, March 2013, click Jordan.)

Stack of Stuff

80% of all churches in America are plateaued or in decline. But 85% of churches that consciously work on their health are growing (February 2013 Church Smart Newsletter). Comeback Churches by Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson is an amazing book. More than 300 formerly declining churches which are now growing were surveyed. They share how their churches turned around and how yours can turn around too. Hard cover. 225 pages. #305. $17.95. Order your copy today. Website or email or call 888-772-8878.

Second Calling by Dale Bourke in the March Newsletter received an avalanche of responses. It's for grown-up women who want to make their lives count for something bigger than themselves. We have one copy left. $18.99. First person to order it gets it. Email us.

LARGE PRINT BULLETINS - are available from the ushers. Please speak to them to receive one of these bulletins for today's service.
(Place this note in your bulletins frequently)

"Allow God to have complete liberty in your life when you speak. Before God's message can liberate other people, His liberation must first be real in you. Gather your materials carefully, and then allow God to 'set your words on fire' for His glory." (March 10, My Utmost for His Highest," by Oswald Chambers)

"Obviously, I'm not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ's servant." (Galatians 1:20 NLT)

A Review and Orientation Night at the end of an adult membership course is always in place. We've put together 30 questions that deal with basic Christian doctrine. Run off a hard copy for future use. Click Review.

Just wondering: How many of your members would be able to answer the above 30 questions on basic Christian doctrine corrrectly?

"A deeper illiteracy. Like Jay Leno 'Jaywalking,' asking 'Who was Joan of Ark?' and someone answering, 'The wife of Noah.' . . . one in two adults can name only one of the four Gospels. But that's not so much what troubles many pastors. They speak of a deeper illiteracy - the loss of the biblical story of God's redemption of humanity.

"If we are to engage the Bible into culture, we must return to the story of John 3:16, 'For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son,' says Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. 'Without the story, we really have nothing to offer. With it, we have what everyone hungers for.'" (Outreach, March/April 2013, p. 60)

Suggestion: To save money on shipping, consider ordering at least a year's suppy of most items.

Anxiety Attack! What's a pastor do when he can't find the peace he's preached for years? Tommy Nelson shares his story in the 2013 Winter Edition of Leadership Journal. Click anxiety.

Lessons from "Loopy Land"
By Rev. Erick W. Moore

Pastoral care has never been one of my strengths. On many occasions my wife has told me, "People think you are caring, but you are about an inch deep in empathy." I always knew that she was telling the truth, but I justified myself by thinking of the times that I had demonstrated empathy, even if it wasn't felt. After all, I made phone calls and paid hospital visits to those who were sick (though admittedly, I wasn't excited about it). I sent cards and flowers to those who were hurting (eventually). I even emailed or texted people that I didn't want to talk to when it was absolutely essential. I fulfilled my pastoral duties, all the while telling myself that the days of "old school" pastoral visitation were over. . . .

I still am not sure exactly what happened. I was preparing for my third short mission trip to Uganda. I had applied and received my visa. I had raised most of my support. I had cleared my schedule to accomodate my two weeks away. The last step I needed was a typhoid fever vaccine.

Three days after my shot, I could not eat or drink without everything coming back up. I was struck with vertigo so severe that I could not even walk two steps without falling. I was dehydrated and eventually spent 30 hours in the hospital attached to an IV. After being released from the hospital, I spent the next four weeks in the house trying to regain my balance, appetite, and visual focus. I was living in a surreal place that I have since termed "Loopy Land."

Let me tell you, Loopy Land is not a nice place to visit and it is a terrible place to live. But my time there was not a total waste. I emerged from my trip to Loopy Land with a much better understanding for the plight of the sick, and a far more understanding of what it takes to do the pastoral visitation well. Here are seven things for pastors to keep in mind to ensure that their ministry to the sick is a blessing:
  1. Not everyone should visit the sick [complete article
What's Important In Church Newsletters

A word from pastor - I have found people will read what the pastor writes before anything else. Most people want to hear what their pastor has to say. Starting your newsletter off with a brief note or article (100-200 words) from the pastor gives the whole production a personal touch. Think about it. Their pastor has taken time out of his day to jot down a short note to them, while simultaneously trying to keep them informed about their church's activities. This section does not need to be a polished sermon or even a devotional (although it could be) - just thoughts from what's on the pastor's mind and what he wants to share with his people. (A quote from Cory Miller, a communications director in Oklahoma City. He blogs at Church Communications Pro to share his experiences in communications and marketing.)

25% Discount On Reproducible Bible Studies

We carry 12 reproducible Bible studies on CD's. You can reproduce the study as many times as you wish. Lessons include Bible research by R. R. Kremer (WELS) with questions and answers. There are six lessons for each course - normally $39.99. For April $29.99 - a 25% discount. Email us to place your order at this special price. For chapter titles on each course go to our website.
  1. Evolution: Satan's Lie
  2. Faith Shakers: Common Cults
  3. The Dark Side
  4. New Age Beginnings
  5. New Age Practices
  6. The Early Beginnings of Christianity
  7. Reformation and Beyond
  8. A Bible Introduction
  9. Government - A Godly Perspective
  10. My Marvelous Body
  11. Islam: Qur'an vs. Holy Scripture
  12. The End Times 
Strength to Get Up Again
By Rev. Bob Tasler (LCMS)

There are times in life when winning is not the goal as much as just finishing. I wasn't much of an athlete in high school, and the time I got the most applause from a crowd was when I did my worst. I was running the low hurdles on a cinder track, and halfway through the race I lost my balance and fell down. I got up, cleared a couple more hurdles and fell down again. I limped across the line to a surprising amount of applause. I know it was because I finished, but they were probably relieved they wouldn't have to see me fall again.


Being a winner in life may only be getting up when you fall or keeping going when you are behind. [complete article]


School Age Children on Mothers

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
  1. His last name.
  2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer? Does he make at least $800 a year? Does he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Who's the boss at your house?

  1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but has to because dad is such a goofball.
  2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees stuff under the bed.
  3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

Is anything about your mom perfect?

  1. Her teeth are perfect, but she bought them from the dentist.
  2. Her casserole recipes. But we hate them.
  3. Just her children.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

  1. We're related.
  2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?

  1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
  2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd dye it, maybe blue.  

Monthly Newsletters from the past year are now archived. Just click NEWSLETTER on the top of our website.

Good Website

We like the large and very informative website for St. Lorenz Lutheran Church (LCMS), Frankenmuth, MI, Rev. Mark Ebert, Senior Pastor. Take a peek for ideas. Click St. Lorenz. Excellent website.

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