July 2013 Church Press Newsletter
Good News for Shut-Ins

Ask someone to purchase a copy of I Have Good News For You ($6.95) for each shut-in in your congregation plus a set of the DVD's ($85.00) or CD's ($55.00). They will delight in the Good News. Email us or go to the Website.

By Charles Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude is more important than fact. It is more important than the past, than education, money or circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company - a church - a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing that we can do is play on the one string we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitude. (Lutheran Senior Services, Summer 2013)

For Pastor's Eyes Only 

Basic Theology by Charles C. Ryrie.  A handbook on theology designed  with personal application in mind. Hard cover. 653 pages. New. Retails for $30.00. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

The NIV Adventure Bible for children, ages 8-12. New. Hard cover. 201 pages. Retails for $19.95. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

Try This at the County Fair

Friendship Baptist Association in Oneonta, AL, set up an "evangelism booth" at their county fair last fall. They gave away salvation colored coffee mugs along with 1,000 2-oz. sample bags of donated coffee. The colors of the mugs gave the church volunteers the opportunity to explain God's message of hope to more than 2,500 booth visitors. (Outreach, July/August 2013, p. 95)

Home Schooling

More and more parents are choosing to home school their children or they are enrolling them in home-schooling programs. More than 2 million children are now home schooled. They are scoring higher on achievement tests than students in public schools.

Home Schooling 101 is an excellent book on how to make the process complete at every step. 294 pages, 9" x 6", #310, $14.99. Email us or click schooling to order on our website.

An Excellent Church Website

We like the attractive and informative website for Christ Lutheran Church (LCMS), Brea, CA, Rev. Richard Dannenbring, Sr. Pastor. It has excellent eye appeal and does a great job identifying the programs of the Church. Click Christ Lutheran Church for ideas. Well done!

A New Baby

At the birth of a baby, the church needs to immediately recognize it so that the parents know that the church knows and cares. It's a natural lead forward to Baptism. Scriptures inside the card address four unique blessings for the child. Put someone in charge of the program. Have pastor sign the card and add a few personal words. #408, $12.95 per dozen or $1.25 each. To order email us or go to our website.

A Better Country

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ". . . Did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance,  admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth . . . they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them" (Hebrews
11:15-16). God give us grace to long for this better country and help others to do the same.

We invite you to hear and read the words to a song, Almost Persuaded, that you may have never heard before and may never hear again. It's a sad song, much like Lamentations in the Old Testament. But like Lamenations, it's a necessary song, a song that serves as a precursor to the message below by Pastor Don. Please click Almost Persuaded.
I Have Some Bad News For You
By Pastor Don Ginkel

I shall never forget a visit I made during my vicarage year from seminary at Hobart, IN. One of the members asked that I visit her grandfather who was up in years. He had no time for God or the church, but, the member added, "He very much misses our son who died when he was six years old."

I sat down with him on the porch to his home. For two hours I tried to explain to the old gentleman God's love and his need for a Savior - to no avail. I finally asked if he missed his grandson. "Oh, yes, very much!" "Where is he now?" "He is in heaven." I said, "You're right, but I have bad news for you. You'll never enjoy him again. He was a believer in Jesus and is now in heaven. You are an unbeliever and will go to hell. In Luke 16:26 Jesus told how the rich man was in hell. He asked that Lazarus, who was in heaven, be sent back to earth to warn his five brothers about hell. The rich man in hell was told by Abraham, 'Between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' I'm sorry that you'll never see your grandson again!" With that the old man began to cry and said, "I could never stand that! Tell me more about Jesus!" I did. He came to faith that afternoon. Later he died. Now he enjoys his grandson and all the children of God.

Friend, have you ever shared the Good News of Jesus Christ one on one with another person? I hope so. But what do you do when the person doesn't want that Good News? Perhaps you should be honest enough to say, "I have some bad news for you (Mark 16:16b)." Briefly explain this. Ask what seems to stand in the way of believing in Jesus as personal Savior.

Let's share the Good News of Jesus at every opportunity, but let's also be honest and loving enough to share how the rejection of the Good News will result in very bad news. Share the Good News! Please? God bless you as you do it. God bless the people Jesus loves so much. Glory be to God!


Recharge Your Batteries
By Dr. Craig Loving

Summer is a good time to recharge our batteries. Some people recharge on the beach. Some with a book, others with a hammer. I prefer my chain saw.

The most important aspect of our lives needing continual recharging is our relationship with God. Throughout the year most of us try to take care of our spiritual lives. But summer is a good time to spend some extended time in that pursuit.

We've all spoken with Christians whose spiritual batteries have been drained by stressful situations like illnesses, life-transitions, or trauma. Others have been drained by not taking time to recharge. Even pastors and Christian leaders can get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent.


Charles Allen begins his book, God's Psychiatry, with the story of a successful, but spiritually empty man who came to him for counseling. After listening to the man's story, Allen took a pad of paper from his desk and wrote this prescription: Read Psalm 23 five times a day - carefully, meditatively, prayerfully - for seven days. [read more


Before You Lead Your Church Through Change
By Pastor Rick Warren

If your church has plateaued in its growth for a while or shows signs of being unhealthy, things may need to change, and the Pastor is the point person to produce positive change in any church's culture. Having said that, leading a church through change is difficult, and sometimes can be detrimental if you don't consider some important questions before starting the process.

Three aspects of change you should evaluate before shaking things up are: [read more]

Stack of Stuff

If you did not read the lead article in the June Church Press Newsletter, we are carrying it again. It's must reading. We begin with the opening paragraph:

FLGA District Lutheran Hour Ministries Outreach Initiative
Since 1998 the LCMS has experienced significant losses every year. The LCMS holds the dubious distinction of being the US denomination with conservative theology that has lost the most members. The percentage loss (13%) was also the highest for evangelical protestant denominations. . . . Around half of the congregations confirmed no adults. A significant number of the rest confirmed small numbers. [read more]

After the baptism
of his baby brother in church, little Johnny sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, "That minister said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I want to stay with you guys!"

Please, Lord,
teach us to laugh again, but God, don't ever let us forget that we cried. 

To hear a recent sermon preached by Pastor Don on the subject: "What's Your Problem?" hit sermon. It was delivered at Ascension Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Littleton, CO.

Should your Board of Elders and Church Council be receiving this Newsletter? You can hit forward at the bottom. Go ahead and do it. Surprise them.

According to a recent study
Americans are lonelier, more isolated than 20 years ago. In 1985 the average American and three people in whom they could confide matters important to them. By 2004 that number dropped to two, and 25 percent of those surveyed had no close confidants at all. Be a friend to somebody every day.

The greatest joy on earth is the clear prospect of heaven!

Mike Huckabee recently wrote: A tip of the hat to Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg who came up with what has to be the question of the day. He said he asked himself, would he rather have his phone records scrutinized by the NSA or his private parts scrutinized by the TSA? The answer, of course, is: why choose? In America today, you can have both.

Very, very, very important: Always strive to maintain good eye contact with people you are speaking to and who are speaking to you. Keep working on this until it's comes automatically.

Less time spent in the church office and more time ringing the doorbells of members and prospects pays huge dividends.

A Reminder for Our People 

1 Corinthians 10:21, "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons."

Heathen temples had large eating areas for their feasts. Here food and drink were consumed. This food had been offered to some idol. A misguided or weak Christian might think it harmless to go the Table of the Lord Jesus to eat and drink His body and blood and then attend an idol feast. Paul does not say that such a Christian will immediately lose his Christian faith. However, one cannot continually and willfully eat at both tables. Paul calls the two the Lord's table and the table of demons. We cannot continually and willfully serve the Lord and Satan at the same time. A man cannot have two masters.

Now the question comes to mind: What should I do if we have Communion next Sunday and I have sinned against my Lord. Should I partake of the Lord's Supper? Yes, because this Meal is for sinners. Now let's assume that I have been living in willful sin and just don't care. The "don't care" part is the key thought here. "I just don't give a care! It doesn't bother me in the least." Should I go to the Lord's Supper? No. I cannot say, "O Lord, I love you," and then turn right around and say to the Devil, "I love you, too!" That we sin is nothing new. We will do that. But to sin and be impenitent, not to care at all, will really kill you. Can we attend the Lord's Supper if we have sinned? Yes, if we are sorry and trust in Christ alone to forgive us our sin. (I Have Good News For You Leader's Guide, p.132, by Don Ginkel)

Run for Your Life!
Your instinct to run away from it all just might transform you.
By Steve Wiens

Some of you are in a season of life where ministry is rewarding, fruitful, and fun. The staff is gelling, the difficult decisions you made last year were the right ones, and you have a renewed sense of passion and focus. Even your spouse likes your sermons lately. If that's you, I'm thrilled for you. Ride that wave. I hope it lasts a very long time.

But this piece is not for you . . . This piece is for those of you who woke up Monday morning to an email that ruined the rest of your day, and it has a good shot of ruining the rest of your week . . . It's for those of you who feel hyper-criticized, under-appreciated, over-worked, and inefficient. It's for those of you who feel dangerously close to doing something stupid. It's for those of you who have already done something stupid. [read more]

The Art of Worship Planning
By Amy Kopecky

I don't know about you, but when I walk into a worship service I can always tell when the music minister/director/leader has put time and effort into planning. One, we feel personally connected - in awe at God's forgiveness and excited about what He will do in our lives. Two, we feel connected as a community. When a church worships together, we've entered the revelation of Christ together.

So what kind of planning is involved? [read more]

When Bad Sermons Happen to Good Preachers
It's never fun but sometimes fruitful.
By John Ortberg

As long as there are sermons, there will be bad sermons. And I hate a bad sermon.

I hate it because preaching is such a vulnerable activity. If I lead a meeting poorly or have a bad counseling session, it's known only by a limited number of people. A bad sermon is like a car wreck - everyone slows down to see what happened. You don't want to seem callous, but it's irresistible.

I hate it because there's no one and no thing to blame. If a tennis player hits a bad shot, he always looks at his racquet, as if it's the racquet's fault, as if the string tension had suddenly and mysteriously changed. If I preach a bad sermon, what am I going to look at - the Bible?

I hate it because of what's at stake. When preaching is done right, it can change lives. When it's done badly, my failure goes beyond the merely human . . . As a rule, bad sermons tend to help people less than good sermons. And yet they keep coming.

Bad sermons don't stop coming. But I think of them differently now than I did when I first started preaching. There are a few good things that can come when bad sermons happen. [read more]

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