July 2016
Church Press Newsletter
Getting Closer
to God

The Bible tells us how. Here is a twenty lesson course by Pastor Don on the basic truths of Scripture for junior confirmands, Christian Day Schools, and adults. A catechetical layout.

Passages are printed out with summary thoughts, suggested passages for memorization, closing hymn, prayer, Bible reading schedule for the week, and challenging worksheet questions. Graphics and humor pique the interest. 

#145 $9.50. For July there is free shipping and we'll include a free Leader's Guide. Just email us and ask for #145. 

Dear Amy 

Last year my parents celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. They still sit together with their arms around each other when watching TV.

When asked what their secret is, my Dad responded that they've never viewed their marriage as a 50-50 relationship, but rather 75-25.

Each of them gives the other 75 percent of their love and energy. I have often thought how wonderful this world would be if this philosophy could be carried over into everyday life! - Mike

Timothy Beckton,

age 10, was charged as an adult with armed kidnapping and assault on a sheriff's deputy in Lakeland, FL.

He allegedly aimed a shotgun at the deputy from a distance of 10 feet while using his 3-year-old niece as a shield and remained in a standoff for several minutes.

Sheriff's deputies had gone to the boy's home to inquire about his truancies when he reportedly pulled the gun and said, "I'd sooner shoot you than have to go to school."

As bad as that was, you kinda have to like his determination. 

A Note From Brennan Manning

"Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever."

101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Remarried
By respected Christian counselor H. Norman Wright

Whether divorced or widowed, people who marry again face unique challenges. Helps couples work through problem areas before they become issues.
5 1/2" x 8 1/2", 144 pages. #306. $9.99. Just email us to place your order.

A 30 Year Old Woman Visits a Church 

What was it like when you entered the building?
Church staff warmly greeted me. When the greeter heard this was my first visit to the church, she invited me to sit with her family. She introduced me to many others.

Overall, how friendly would you say the church was to you during your visit?
The church was extremely friendly! I was welcomed into a giant family with open arms. I felt wanted, love and part of something amazing.
Outreach Magazine 

For Pastor's Eyes  Only

For the first pastor who asks for it, we'll send a free copy of I Have Good News For You Leader's Guide by Pastor Ginkel. An extensive guide, verse by verse commentary and numerous illustrations. Retails for $16.95. Spiral binding. Just email us. We'll send it free including free shipping.

For Church Secretary's
Eyes Only

The Daily Bible. Has an outstanding commentary. 365 convenient daily readings guide you through all of God's Word in one year. New. Sells for $44.99. We'll send it free (including shipping) to the first secretary (or office administrator) who emails us.

A Church Website Worth Looking At

Bethlehem Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Sun Prairie, WI, has a great website. Rev. Charlie Brandt is senior Pastor. Rev. Steve Vera is assisting. 

The Home Page is extremely attractive and is well organized. It lists seven columns: Home, About Us, Staff, Worship, MInistries, Get Connected, and News.

We hope you'll spend some time here. Click Bethlehem to start your study. You'll get ideas for ministries for your church and your website. Try to actually implement some of the ideas you like. Have a pad handy to make notes.
Burning Passion

St. Paul had a burden for people. He cared. It burned inside him. "I speak the truth in Christ - I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit - I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race" (Romans 9:1-3).

Dear God, please give me such a passion for people. Amen.

The Facts on Islam 

What role does Muhammad play? What does the Qur'an, the Muslim "Bible," say and how do its teachings affect Muslims' lives? What does Islam teach about Jesus Christ? Is Allah the same "person" as the God of the Bible? 4 1/4" x 7", 80 pages #367 $5.99. Just email us. 

Welcome! Please come in. The song is The Star Spangled Banner.  Francis Scott Key wrote it as a poem when he was captured during the War of 1812. The American flag - the most beautiful flag in the world! View the video, listen to or sing the words. Go full screen.

How Marvelous! How Wonderful!
By Pastor Don Ginkel 

Isaiah 40:1-2   "Comfort, comfort (An emphatic, strong command, not only for Israel in Babylonian captivity, but for all people who are in bondage to sin today, including you and me). My people (possessive), says your God (Elohim, the God of grace). Speak tenderly to Jerusalem (God earnestly wants His people to be comforted)."

Mary Southerland writes in Hope in the Midst of Depression, "I love the story of the little girl who was sitting on Santa's lap, giving him her list of very expensive toys she wanted. When her list was completed, without one word of appreciation, she jumped off Santa's lap and ran toward her embarrassed mother standing in the crowd. 'Honey, haven't you forgotten something?' the mother asked. The little girl thought for a moment and then said, 'Oh, yes,' Turning back to Santa, she shouted, 'Charge it!'"

That's what God did. He looked at His Son and said, "Charge it!" We don't pay. Jesus paid. 2 Corinthians 5:21, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." Now we are comforted. Now we can say with Charles H. Gabriel:

I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean. How marvelous!
How wonderful! And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful
Is my Savior's love for me!

What Would Happen If Your Church Did This?

Last month we carried this paragraph:

LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE CROSS, Kent, WA, Rev. Kirk Hulvey, Pastor. 95 average church attendance. Pastor Kirk just ordered 40 copies of I Have Good News For You. He said that he used it in high school. Both he and the Elders have been praying that God would open up the flood gates to non-members and members. They are placing GOOD NEWS Flyers (we provide them free) in the bulletins and asking members to attend and bring a friend along to their Sunday morning Adult Bible Class. 

Two weeks ago Pastor Hulvey ordered 20 more copies. This means that 60 of the 95 people in worship are now studying the important basics of NT Christianity.

What would happen if two thirds of your worshipers went through this best selling Bible study? And if they would invite a friend to join them?We've seen amazing results when congregations do this. Pastor, why not lay this before your Board of Elders or Church Council? The results are always predictable - an outpouring of blessings upon Pastor and people from the Holy Spirit.

To place an order, click website or email us. #101 $6.95. Spiral binding $7.95. We'll also send free Good News Flyers to help with promotion.

Church Bulletin Bloopers
  • The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.
  • Thursday night - potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.
  • The senior choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.
  • Today - Christian Youth Fellowship Sexuality Course, 8 p.m. Please park in the rear parking lot for this activity.
  • The Rev. Adams spoke briefly, much to the delight of his audience.
  • The church is glad to have with us today as our guest minister Rev. Ralph Green who has Mrs. Green with him. After the service we request that all remain in the sanctuary for the Hanging of the Greens.
Five Questions Prospective Pastors Rarely Ask Search Committees (But Should) 
By Thom Rainer

"This church is nothing like the search committee described. They said they were ready for change. They are, as long as it doesn't affect them!"

That sentence is a direct quote from a pastor. And many other pastors have expressed similar sentiments. Of course, not all prospective pastors deal with pastor search committees. Still, the pastors inevitably have someone who interviews them.

It is critical that prospective pastors ask questions about the church. There are five questions, however, which are rarely asked. These questions could be key toward avoiding some of the unpleasant surprises many pastors encounter. [read more

Stack of Stuff

The Army psychiatrist...
wanted to be sure that the new Army recruit was normal. Suspiciously he said, "What do you do for your social life?" "Oh," said the recruit, "I just sit around mostly." "Hmmm - never go out with girls?" "Nope!" "Don't you even want to?" Well, sort of." "Then why don't you?" "My wife won't let me."

Dr. Kent Hunter
"A key in our secular society is to engage the culture. The Great Commission says 'go' makes disciples. Don't require them to come to you."

The Denver Broncos
have offered outside linebacker Von Miller $114.5 million dollars for a 6-year contract. He has turned it down - not enough. What could possibly be "enough"? Miller needs an update on what God says about the love of money, but, for that matter, so do most people. "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Timothy 6:10). 

Guests at worship should know they matter to us before they hear how much they matter to God.

A man said to his wife one day, "I don't know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time." The wife responded, "Allow me to explain. God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me; God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!"

A Practical Suggestion from the Pew
"Let's ensure that no person who attends leaves feeling alone or unwanted. If that's the goal, we need to ask what we can do before, during, and after their visit to make that a reality - practical things like having neighborhood church members deliver fresh-baked goodies to every visitor's home." - Dan Riddings

Suggestions for Greeters
  • Dress neatly in what is appropriate for your church
  • Don't be too informal as visitors will partly form their first impression
  • Handshakes, yes, but be sensitive to close postures
  • Greet children too
  • Smile
  • Don't lavish too much attention on first time visitors

From Ann Vosskamp - These Are Gems

To love your life, do nothing with rush or resentment, but do everything as if you love it.

Genius is only one percent cleverness and ninety-nine percent a very long endurance. Keep going and never, ever give up.

Change your habits and you can change anything into a possibility.

I light a candle every day at the prayer table. Write a bit in my journal, not words of mine, but Words of His, copied out, like writing them with my hand can shape my hand, can shape a life.

Every little day just has to be a little bit better: Small things done consistently, consistently make the biggest change.

A pail with a pinhole loses as much as the pail pushed right over. A whole life can be lost in minutes wasted... in the small moments missed. 

3 Things that Must be Clear Before Your Sermon Is Ready to Preach
By Lane Sebring

As preachers who want to communicate well, clarity must be a top priority. But it's easy, and sometimes necessary, to focus most of your prep time on your content and not your listeners. This makes it so crucial to think how your listeners will receive and use your message. I want to give you three simple tests that will help you ensure that your sermon is ready to go in terms of its impact on your listeners and their ability to apply it. [read more

Nine Suprises in Worship Services That Made Guests Return 
By Thom Rainer

In a recent Twitter survey, I asked respondents to share with me a singular event that impressed them in a church worship service. In fact, most of the respondents said they were "delighted" or "surprised," and that that one event made them desire to return to the church. A pattern developed around nine factors. Here are some representative quotes around each of the issues: [read more] 

3 Simple Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong
By Rick Warren

I received this letter from a lady who was struggling in her marriage. She wrote: "Dear Pastor Rick. When I first fell in love with my husband I was sure, absolutely sure that he was the right person for me. But over the years as we've lived together through a lot of messy situations, I've seen many sides of my husband I don't like. My feelings toward him have turned from respect and attraction to disappointment and sometimes even disgust. I now feel like maybe I married the wrong person. Why do I feel this way and what can I do about it? Something has to change."

Having mentored and trained thousands of pastors, I can say it's all too common among ministry marriages. And one of the reasons why we read about so many moral failures among ministry leaders today is that we've failed to keep our marriages strong and to make them the priority over ministry. Success at home is way more important than success in professional or ministry leadership. Here are three practices for keeping your marriage strong. [read more

The Wish

A man was walking along a California beach and stumbled across an old lamp. He picked it up and rubbed it and out popped a genie. The genie said, "Ok, Ok. You released me from the lamb, blah blah blah. This is the fourth time this month and I'm getting a little sick of these wishes so you can forget about three. You only get one wish!"

The man said and thought for a while and said, "I've always wanted to go to Hawaii, but I'm afraid to fly, and I get very seasick. So could you build me a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over there to visit?"

The genie laughed and said, "That's impossible. Think of the logistics of that. How would the supports ever reach the bottom of the Pacific? Think of how much concrete, how much steel!! No, think of another wish."

The man said OK and tried to think of a really good wish. Finally he said, "I've been married and divorced four times. My wives always said I don't care and that I'm insensitive. I wish that I could understand women, know what they are thinking when they give me the silent treatment, know why they are crying, know what they want when they say 'nothing'... Can you help me understand women?

The genie said, "You want that bridge two lanes or four?"

An Adult Coloring Book for Your Soul

Two years ago one million coloring books were sold. Last year fifteen million coloring books were sold. 

Color Your Blessings
Reflect on your blessings while you add color to these creative, inspiring line drawings. You become artist and designer as you take up crayons, colored pencils, water colors, or markers to color as you wish - anyway you can dream up. 

Because the artwork is printed on just one side of the paper, you will find it easy to clip the finished page from the book, frame it, and put it on display. 80 pages, 8.5" x 11", #701 $9.99. Click email to order.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must - but don't you quit!

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