October 2015
Church Press Newsletter
Dream A Dream!

Close your eyes. Now dream a dream. Go ahead. Close them and make a dream. After you've done that, make some tentative plans right now to make your dream come true - God willing. Go ahead. Do it - whatever it may be.

Someone Missing

Two Sundays ago Elder Don Loptien of Ascension Lutheran Church (LCMS) in LIttleton, CO, spoke briefly at the end of both services. His words were timely and important. He asked, "Is someone missing in your pew?" A few of his thoughts:

"If you are like me, you find yourself sitting in or near the same church pew every Sunday. There seem to be some 'empty' spots during summer months. Sadly, some spots don't fill up as members continue their 'summer' attendance patterns. Often the summer attendance pattern lasts until Christmas or even Easter.

"As we get into the swing of things this fall, I encourage you to check out those 'empty' spots. If the folks do not show up, check out the Church Directory for a phone number or address and make a phone call or jot a note letting those people know you miss seeing them."

Note: When you haven't seen someone you know for a few Sundays, give them a phone call just to make sure that everything is okay.

When was the 

... last time you carefully read two of the greatest books of the Old Testament - Isaiah and Jeremiah? Hmmmmm. Suggestion: Make it a goal to read both by October 31st, Reformation Day. Yes! 

4 Reasons Why Women May Be Leaving Your Church
By Thom Ranier

I want to understand the motivations for women who leave the church. I reviewed thousands of comments on my blog. Many times I read a comment where a woman told me she had given up on a church. Here are the four most common themes:

Overworked. "I had trouble saying no when I was asked to do something in the church. They piled so much on me that the only way I could get relief was to leave the church."

Relationally hurt. "There was a group of ladies in our church that did everything together. When I tried to join them, they paid no attention to me. I don't want to be in a church of cliques."

Lack of quality childcare. "The preaching was great and the people were friendly, but the childcare was a mess. It was both unclean and unsafe. I'm not taking my child there."

Husband does not attend. "It's tough coming to church without my husband. I am totally responsible to get our three kids to church. And I really feel out of place because the church has groups for married adults and single adults. I don't know where I fit in."
For Pastor's Eyes  Only

I Have Good News for You Leader's Guide by Pastor Don Ginkel. An extensive Guide - a wealth of material - with verse by verse commentary and numerous illustrations make this a valuable teaching tool. Student text is enclosed with questions, answers, and ideas for starting and ending the course successfully. 7" x 10" with spiral binding, 238 pages. New. #102 $16.95 ($25.00 value). Free (including shipping) to the first pastor who emails us.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

The 365 Day Devotional Commentary by Lawrence O. Richards. Deepens your walk with God. Applications for life. Covers entire Bible. Hard cover. New. 1215 pages. Retails for $24.99. Free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

Excellent Church

Immanuel Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Crystal Lake, IL has an exceptional website. Dr. Larry Tieman is lead pastor assisted by Rev. Erik Neider.

Great eye appeal. Some of the stand-out features: First Visit, MInistries, Sermons and Note Taking, and Lifetree Cafe.

Easy to navigate. Click Immanuel
to start your study. You'll get ideas for ministries for your church and your website. Have a pad handy to make notes.
Which Fast Food Chains Serve Meat on Drugs?
By Trisha Calvo, 9/15/15, Consumer Reports

Several fast food chains have made headlines recently announcing that they'll stop serving meat raised with antibiotics, but a new report from Consumer Reports and five other consumer organizations finds that 20 of the 25 top restaurant chains have made no commitment to limit antibiotic use. 

The routine use of antibiotics in raising cattle, chicken, and other animals contributes to the problem of antibiotic resistance - where bacteria evolve to become immune to life-saving drugs. 

Find out how your favorite restaurants fare. You may be shocked. Just click meat on drugs.

Welcome! Please come in. "No More Night, No More Pain" was written by Walter Hurrah. Verse 1:

The timeless theme, Earth and heaven will pass away.
It's not a dream, God will make all things new that day.
Gone is the curse from which I stumbled and fell.
Evil is banished to eternal hell.

It's a beautiful song of victory in Heaven because of our Savior King. It's sung by Glen Campbell (he has Alzheimer's). View the video, listen to or sing the words. It's time to look ahead!

No More Night, No More Pain
"No More Night, No More Pain"

Our Home Is Just On the Other Side
By Pastor Don Ginkel

There was a little girl whose home was near a cemetery. She had to follow a path through the cemetery to get to the store. She never seemed afraid even when she returned home after dark. When asked, "Are you afraid?" she replied, "Oh, no, I'm not afraid because my home is on the other side." Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and is proclaiming that our Home is on the other side.


When Dr. W. E. Sangster, England's great Methodist preacher lay dying, he wrote a letter to a friend. He said, "All my life I have preached that Jesus Christ is adequate for every crises. I have but a few days to live and, oh, Christ is indeed adequate in the hour of death. Tell everyone that it is true. Tell them for me that God is wonderfully near His children when they come to the end of life's road."


Mrs. Thomas Edison told of the night when Thomas Edison, that scientific genius, was at death's door and suddenly it was evident that he wanted to say something. She and the doctor bent closely over him and the great scientist, with a smile on his face, said quietly, "It's very beautiful over there."


Finally, Jesus, our dear Savior, says, "My Father's House has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you (John 14:2)? And it is so. Our Father's House is just on the other side. No need to fear. We join Isaac Watts -


   Come, we that love the Lord, And let our joys be known;

   Join in a song with sweet accord. Join in a song with sweet accord

   And thus surround the throne, And thus surround the throne.

   We're marching to Zion, Beautiful, beautiful Zion;

   We're marching upward to Zion, The beautiful city of God.


Hallelujah! Hallelujah!


First Visit Information
Consider the following for your worship bulletin
  • We're glad you're here today, and we welcome you as our guest.
  • Please complete the information on the Welcome To Our Worship pad when it is passed to you.
  • If this is your first visit, please do not feel obligated to participate in the offering. Today's service is our gift to you.
  • If you have children, our nursery provides a loving, safe atmosphere for children, infant through 2 years, while you attend the worship service.
  • If you are new to our Church and would like to meet our Pastor, please join him after the service just outside the Sanctuary doors.
Q: Who is More Important Than Your First-Time Visitors? A: Your Second-Time Visitors!

By Charles Arn

Ten years ago my family and I moved into a new home and neighborhood, and used the summer to search for a new church home. In 8 of the 10 churches we visited, I filled out a visitor card or signed a guest register. Two churches had no way for visitors to identify themselves. Of the churches visited, 6 of 8 sent a "Thank you for visiting" letter, and 2 had a representative phone us the following week. 

My family especially enjoyed three of the churches and decided to go back for another visit. I again completed the visitor information. That week nothing. No card. No call. No contact. We returned to the same three churches for a third visit in our search for a church home. Received any follow-up contacts that week? None.

My questions: Do you have a way to let your first-time guests know that you are glad they came? Hopefully so. But what about your second-time guests; the ones who like the experience enough to come back? By their presence, they are telling you: "We're interested in your church."


And, what about those who visit your church a third time? They are telling you, "I'm, really, really interested in your church!" So, 1) Do you even know who your second-time guests are? and 2) Do you do anything about it? [read more]


Stack of Stuff

From Ann Spangler
When God hears Sarah laughing at the outlandish promise He makes - that she will bear a child in her old age - He poses a question we must all answer: "Is anything too hard for God?" What's your answer?

From Ann Vosskamp
The only life worth living is the scandalous one: scandalous love, offensive mercy, and foolish faith.

From Dr. Kent Hunter
When it comes to populating heaven, God uses this scheme: Be fruitful and multiply - make disciples. The genius of this is that discipling is equipping, training. You do it with a few, not many. But, in time, it multiplies.

Proven advice when facing financial difficulties
Do the best you can to minimize your losses. Keep your credit card debt low. Save instead of spend and, when needed, turn to trusted counsel.

Are pastors no longer expected to visit prospective members in their homes? Doctors no longer do it. Should shepherds?

In Some nice way
tell your members to never, never, never ask someone they do not know at worship: "Are you a member?" Better by far: "I don't believe I know your name. I'm Joe Thurman."

I Have Good News for You CD in Spanish
Spanish edition contains the full text plus worksheet questions with answers. On CD-Rom in Adobe pdf (requires Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader - available as a free download from www.adobe.com). You may print unlimited copies of the text. #109 $49.95 (CD pdf format). Just email us.

Praying for the Sick - for Dennis and Others
By Rev. Dr. Curtis Leins, AALC Presiding Pastor, Fort Wayne, IN

Our brother, Pastor Dennis Cook, has been undergoing treatment for neuropathy for many months, but to no avail. Recently his doctors realized that he was suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease. From what I understand, there is no treatment that is able to reverse or cure the disease. The following prayer is offered by Rev. Michael Main, Intercessor. 

Oh God, we take great comfort in calling You "our Father." Knowing that You desire to give good gifts to Your children, we lift up to You our brother in Christ, Dennis Cook. Merciful Father, as he continues to struggle with ever increasing burdens to his body - having suffered for many months with painful and debilitating neuropathy in his lower extremities, and now with ALS - we entrust him again to You for an extraordinary measure of Your grace and blessing. Your ways are higher than our ways; there is so much in our lives that we cannot understand. Like Job, we are prone to call Your ways into question. yet in Christ, we remain steadfast in knowing that you are God and we are not; You are gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Grant grace according to Your divine will and purpose to our brother Dennis. Bless him in body and soul and spirit, that he may be lacking in nothing as he deals with this ongoing health crisis. In his weakness and need, show Yourself strong in him and through him. Glorify Your name in Dennis. Blessed his beloved wife, Shirley, as well. Grant her the grace to stand firm in faith beside Dennis. Give her the words to say and the attitudes and actions to convey Your care and compassion. Bless also the medical personnel who are attending Dennis, that they may do their part to accomplish what is needed, as You work through them and the medications and procedures that they administer. And use us, that by our prayers and personal communication to Dennis and Shirley, we may be an encouragement to them. To You be the glory, dear Father, with praise and thanksgiving never ceasing; in Jesus' name. Amen.

Cards and words of encouragement can be sent to: Pastor Dennis Cook, 6601 Motts Village Road, Wilmington, NC 28412. Email: revcook@msn.com.

25 Strange Things Church Members Say to Pastors and Staff
By Thom Ranier

Few people are truly aware of the constant requests, complaints, and criticisms pastors and other church leaders receive. I received the following quotes as you see them. The parenthetical words after each comment represent my off-the-cuff commentary.
  1. "You need to change your voice." (Yes ma'am. I'll try to have that done by next week.)
  2. "We need to start attracting more normal people at church." (So, you will be leaving the church, I presume?)
  3. Your wife never compliments me about my hair or dress." (There could be a reason for that.) [read more]
The Early Beginnings 

We carry ten different reproducible CD Bible studies. They include research with questions and answers. One of the most popular CD's for October is The Early Beginnings -
  1. Early Beginnings of Christianity
  2. The Church Grows
  3. The Power of the Pope
  4. Monasticism
  5. Forerunners of the Reformation
  6. Luther Discovers the Truth
Excellent for the Reformation Season. Order #256 $39.99 from our website or email us or call 303-980-8863. You may reproduce the study as many times and for as long as you wish.

How to Preach Like Jesus: Keep it Interesting and Simple 
By Rick Warren

The crowd loved to listen to Jesus. Mark 12:37 (NCV) says, "The large crowd listened to Jesus with pleasure." The NIV says they "listened with delight."

Some pastors actually think they have failed in their preaching if people enjoy a message. I've heard pastors say proudly, "We're not here to entertain." If you look up the word "entertain" in a dictionary, you'll lfind this definition: "capturing and holding the attention for an extended period of time." I don't know any preacher who doesn't want to do that! We shouldn't be afraid of being interesting. A sermon doesn't have to be dry to be spiritual. 

It never ceases to amaze me how some Bible teachers are able to take the most exciting book in the world and bore people to tears with it. I believe it is a sin to bore people with the Bible. [read more

To praise God is the exalted function of the human tongue!
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