November 2013
Church Press Newsletter
"Killing Jesus"

Written by Bill O'Reilly and historian Martin Dugard - an historical account of Jesus' life and death. The historical and cultural background is well written. You will not want to put this book down. The reader is left with no doubt that Jesus' whole life was leading to a cross and that Jesus knew He would end up there.

You can go to Amazon and order the hard cover for $16.80 or the Kindle edition for $10.99. To read a free excerpt from the opening of the book click Killing Jesus.


Why Me, Why Now?

Estate planning is only for old, rich people. Estate planning is scary. Estate planning is so easy you can do it yourself.

Wrong. Wrong. And, so wrong, unless you want your family duking it out in front of Judge Judy.

Simply put: An estate plan is a set of legal documents that allows you to leave instructions regarding your care if you can't speak for yourself and distribution of your assets if you die. That might include a will, trust, living will, health care proxy, even guardianship of children or pets or funeral instructions.

Estate planning starts with a frank discussion between client and planner. Finding a good attorney is no different than finding a reputable plumber. Ask friends, family and co-workers for suggestions. - Laura Daily, The Denver Post

Excellent Orders of Service for You to View

Ascension Lutheran Church (LCMS), Littleton, CO, does a great job in providing orders of service each Sunday - both traditional and praise. Stephen Pruitt, Director of Program Ministries, Music, and Youth, prepares the content for the bulletins.

All the worship bulletins are on their website. Go to and and then to the "Resources" tab. We suggest first looking at the 10:30 Praise Service for October 20. Run off a hard copy. Then do the same for the Traditional 8:00 Service.

New from CPH

The 1986 version of Luther's Small Catechism is free. It's easy to read, navigate, and study on your computer, smart phone or tablet. Just click Catechism. Take a look. It's pretty neat.

Thank God For Little Things

Thank God for little things that often come our way -

The things we take for granted but don't mention when we pray -

The unexpected courtesy, the thoughtful, kindly deed -

A hand reached out to help us in the time of sudden need.

Oh, make us more aware, dear Lord, of little daily graces

That come to us with 'sweet surprise' from never dreamed of places.

    - Helen Steiner Rice

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

God's Word Translation. A very readable Bible. Hard cover in black leather and gold edging. Give to someone who would use it. New. Retails for $25.00. Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

Chicken Soup for the Soul, finding my faith. 101 inspirational stories about life, belief, and spiritual renewal.  New. Retails for $14.95. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

Mountain Top or the Valley

The height of the mountaintop (experience) is measured by the dismal drudgery of the valley, but it is in the valley that we have to live for the glory of God. We see His glory on the mountain, but we never live for His glory there. It is in the place of humiliation that we find our true worth to God - that is where our faithfulness is revealed.

Most of us can do things if we are always at some heroic level of intensity . . . But God wants us to be at the drab everyday level . . . Peter thought it would be a wonderful thing for them to remain on the mountain, but Jesus Christ took the disciples down from the mountain and into the valley. - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

A Good Church Website

We like the informative website for St. Paul Lutheran Church (LCMS), Bay City, MI, Rev. Paul Theiss, pastor. Covers all the programs and activities of the church. Click St Paul Lutheran Church for ideas. Well done.

Be an Atheist?

"I never behold the stars that I do not feel I am looking into the face of God. I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God." - Abraham Lincoln at the age of 19

Welcome! Come on in. We invite you to take a moment to hear the music and read the words to a neat hymn and prayer: "Make me a servant, humble and meek. Lord, let me lift up those who are weak." It's a lead in to the message below. Click
Make Me A Servant - Maranatha Singers 
Make Me A Servant - Maranatha Singers
Encouragement Desperately Needed!
Sermon by Pastor Don Ginkel

1 Thessalonians 5:11, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."


Everyone will experience discouragement in their lives. The dictionary defines discouragement as: "A feeling of despair in the face of obstacles, a state of distraught and loss of sense of enthusiasm, drive, or courage, the weakening of confidence, dejection." First, let's see where this all started.


Satan's first attack on mankind was to bring discouragement into the lives of Adam and Eve. He said to Eve: "Do you really think that God wants to keep you away from that tree? Don't you understand, Eve, that God is narrow in His thinking? He is mean and miserable and wants your life to be restricted without any real joy. So, Eve, go ahead and take a bite and enjoy life!" This was DIScouraging, to find out that she was missing out on so much. She didn't want to be restricted by God, so she took a bite. She believed a lie, and that is how it began.


The great lie of Satan is supported by an advertising program using the tool of discouragement. Satan gets many believers to come before the camera and say, "Once I was an unbeliever and now I'm a Christian - you can tell by my long face. As you can see, I am miserable. I am carrying the weight of the world around on my shoulders. The corners of my mouth are perpetually turned down. I moan and complain a lot." [read more]  



From Why Men Hate Going to Church
By David Murrow, (pp. 208-209)

Create Men-Only Roles, Opportunities, and Events

One time I coordinated a men-only workday at our church. A woman came to me and complained that she wanted to volunteer and felt discriminated against. I took a deep breath, and the Holy Spirit spoke through me: "Nora, our church has dozens of women-only opportunities, but this is the men's one chance to do something on their own. Will you allow the men to serve you?" Nora relented. The event remained men-only, and it attracted more than fifty guys. What was more remarkable, several of the volunteers were the nonreligious husbands of church going wives! Unchurched men will minister more readily in a men-only environment.

Let Your Men Make a Meaningful Contribution
Often times all a man needs for a spiritual awakening is a chance to use his gifts for God. Thom Rainer tells the story of Steve, an unchurched husband who showed up for a church work party. After a day of hard labor and hanging out with followers of Jesus, Steve asked how he, too, might become a Christian. Another pastor tells of a computer expert who met the Lord after being asked to help set up the church's network. He saw something special in the lives of the church staff. These men came to Christ without attending a worship service and without hearing a formal presentation of the gospel. They served Christ and, through that service heard His call.

The lesson is clear: if we want to win more men to Christ, ask them to deploy their gifts to the church, even if they are not yet in Christ. Of course, not every role is appropriate for an unchcurched man. But bear this in mind: men are sometimes changed through service instead of sermons.

To order this church growth book email us and ask for #301, $15.99, or go to our website.

How to Lead (and Preach) Through Your Weaknesses
By Pastor Rick Warren

Most modern books on leadership, whether Christian or secular, give the same advice - be confident, never admit fear, maintain control and be composed, be convincing and never show weakness. But Jesus had a different style altogether. Instead of leading from a position of strength (lording authority over people), Jesus led from a position of weakness, becoming a servant.


Let me define what I'm talking about when I use the word weakness. I'm not talking about a character flaw that can and should be changed. A weakness is any limitation in my life I inherited or can't change. How do you lead through weaknesses you didn't ask for and don't have the ability to change? [read more]

Stack of Stuff

With the holidays
coming, you need to reach out to the non-attending members of your church. Our "We Miss You" card, No. 406, will help. Inside message and Scriptures remind them that their pastor and fellow members want them back. Email us and we'll send you a sample card free.

"When I get a little money I buy books,
and if any is left I buy food and clothes." Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536). Hey - make time to read!

Pastors: Before and after weddings and funerals make it a point to chat with all non-members. If they live in the area and do not have a church, jot their name down with a few details on a little card you will keep in your shirt pocket. The next day hunt that name down and place the info on a prospect card or prospect list. One very important important key to growing a church is to have this list grow.

According to one source, 50% of all LCMS congregations do not have a single adult membership class over the period of one year. That's relatively easy to remedy. Schedule a class and lay it on the heart of each member to bring one person to the class. Pastor friend - you can do that. And, praise God, your people can do it, too.

Dr. Eugene Schneider (LCMS), pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Lawton, OK, will receive 11 new members next Sunday from a recently finished membership class. He currently teaches 7 people in a class on Sunday afternoon, a "special" couple after that, and another couple on Friday evenings. He has been using I Have Good News For You for over thiirty years, including 20 years in the military.

Veterans Day is November 11. At worship services on the 10th ask all people who have served in the military to stand. Give them a thank you and a hand of applause. They more than deserve it.

The UCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ) is an association of congregations. In just twelve years it has exponential growth with over 500 U.S. congregations.

Take a shine to apples as a health and immunity powerhouse. A medium-size apple has only 80 calories, and they are fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free and full of fiber.

"Where There is No Vision, the People Perish"
By Dr. Craig L. Loving

There are at least two ways that we fail to fulfill God's vision: Complacency and substituting someone else's agenda for God's vision


God warned Israel against being "stagnant in spirit" (Zeph. 1:12 NAS). Solomon, too, saw the danger of complacency (Prov. 1:32). Yet, tragically in his later years, he himself succumbed to it (1 Kings 11:4). His complacency resulted in the division of the kingdom and the opening of the door to engulf the northern kingdom. The legacy of his spiritual complacency was passed to his own descendants, ultimately resulting in the loss of the southern kingdom as well. [read more]
6 Traits of Effective Interim Pastors
By Lavern Brown, Leadership, September 27, 2013

You lean into conflict.
When you're in a small boat you've got to turn into the weather. Those big waves will crash against the bow, making the hull shudder. If you try to ignore the storm you're liable to take a roll over and capsize.
  • Interim pastors, perhaps even more so than settled pastors, must be at ease in the midst of conflict.
  • You neither fear nor internalize congregational conflict.
  • You view conflict as an opportunity to resolve personal and organizational problems.
  • You facilitate dialog and resolution by responding to the issues, not the attacks. [read more
"How To Be A Good Giver and Love It"

A stewardship program by Pastor Ginkel. It's is a Biblical view on giving that every Christian can understand. Offers a positive and joyful approach to giving rather than a guilt trip. The 14-page "Good Giver Folder" has 31 Scripture verses with contemporary illustrations and can be used with ease in different venues: 1. Every Member Visit. 2. Congregational Dinner. 3. Cottage Meetings. 4. Pulpit. The seven steps are easy to follow:


For more information click Good Giver on our website

Famous Quotes

"We're going to turn this team around 360 degrees." - Jason Kidd upon his drafting to the Dallas Mavericks.

"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it." - Congressional candidate in Texas

"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves." - John Wayne

"Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas." Keppel Enderbery

"The loss of life will be irreplaceable." - Dan Quayle

Our Problem Is Our Church Secretary

Note: The following is not intended to be ungrateful for church secretaries who have served their Lord and church for a long time. They are appreciated and very highly valued. The following simply identifies a really bad situation.

Dear Theo,

I'm writing for your advice. Our church has just called a new pastor. Our problem is our church secretary. She has been a member all of her life, as were her parents and grandparents.

Her skills are pretty rusty, she doesn't do e-mail and she types the bulletin and newsletter on a typewriter. When she cuts and pastes, she actually cuts and pastes.

Her overriding problem is her sense of entitlement. She has been our secretary since God was a child, and she acts like she owns the place.
She seems to set her own hours, and she seems to choose her own projects. Above all, she claims to be so busy and so overburdened with the work.

So, can the church fire a member? Should it happen before the new pastor starts, or should we let him figure it out for himself?

Hiding Under the Sink

(To find out who Theo is and how he answered this letter just click Theo)

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