Thursday, December 23, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Sometimes in ministry, you have to make a "home field advantage.' No one gives it to you. Usually this means two things: building leaders and encouraging members. No ministry runs on "auto pilot". Every month if not every week, you need to contact every leader and make sure they will be there. No matter what their responsibility is, they have to show up. If it is to make coffee in the classroom, hang out with students or check families in at the preschool. We have to get good at showing up. Showing up can be as important as breathing: inhale... exhale. Inhale information, exhale people skills. But we have to be there!
How should we encourage members? Encouragement is spelled T-I-M-E. We have to invest time. At times, it requires us to invite people into our lives. We don't have time, do we? But, we do shop. We go places. We eat and drink coffee. We do errands. There's our time. If we want home field advantage in ministry, we take someone with us. Jesus seemed to always have three and usually 12 guys hanging around Him. These guys saw Jesus do everything. They saw the drama. They felt the pain. They experienced the struggles. They did life together.
In short: you don't have to plan a program. Just invite people into your life. That's home field advantage!
Monday, September 20, 2010
We are in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. There is a water fall there, but it is grander in the spring during the spring snow melt. Our B & B was wonderful. On older house with gracious hosts. We were greeted with hot tea and cookies when we arrived. There wasn't a great selection for supper, so we tried some "pub grub." "Try the potatoes" we were advised. This land is also known for potato production. We had hoped to locate a church for Sunday worship, but the English speaking Baptist church in town had closed down. We tried in other towns to located a worship service, but we settled for our daily Bible reading along the way.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
WOW! Even though the rain has dampened the day, this place is certainly worth the trip. We've enjoyed eating apples, PEI jellies and jams and some great food. Our daughter Karen told us to take along another suitcase for collectables. We collected lots of rocks from NB and now we're in the hunt for garage sale stuff. Did I mention apples! I've never seen and tasted so many great varieties of apples. Many of these varieties don't make it to the Texas market because of shipping characteristics of some apples.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
We made it to Canada! We're celebrating 31 wonderful years as married, Best Friends. It is so much fun doing something with someone you enjoy.New Brunswick is a neat place. We found a really classic place.
Monday, September 13, 2010
The Lord is so good to give us a church family who allows us some time to recharge. We're on our way north and it is so good to have some wonderful parts of the US & Canada to visit. We weren't long in to Maine before we had to stop for some fresh baked bred and blueberry jam. We made stops at L.L. Bean and the Village Candle factory. Two places Jan and I had wanted to visit.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
- Asking Good Questions
- Parable or object lessons
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I recently read an article by Thom Rainer of LifeWay, in which he discussed the generation from form 1980-1991- The Millennials. As America's largest generation, this generation represents also the greatest lostness in relationship to a personal faith in Jesus. Of the 80 million in this generation, only 15 percent have a relationship with the Savior, Jesus Christ.(Romans 10:9-11).
We serve a mighty God and His Word is true and sure. The 68 million who are opportunities for witnessing, should first bring us to our knees and then to our feet. Our generation must confess the sin of silence and begin sharing Jesus without fear. They won't know unless we tell.
Our next Share Jesus Without Fear classes begin August 22 & 25, 2010. You can register by clicking here. Join the 30+ others at Anderson Mill who recently completed the last Share Jesus Without Fear class. Don't wait. Millions are waiting to hear.
Monday, July 12, 2010
We've been learning how to share Jesus with people we meet. Today I met a couple of people in a business. I wondered how the conversation might flow as I prayed for an opportunity to share Jesus with them. The person who helped me was willing to share about their weekend and I didn't see how to make an opening for spiritual conversation. The other person, however, was the key. I suppose this person was the manager. "We get a lot of churches on Monday," they said. I saw the door open and I asked the question, "Where do you go to church when you get a Sunday off?" "I go the church of golf," the one said. "I guess the 'Green Family" needs religion too," I countered. The other person didn't go at all to church and didn't seem interested in continuing this conversation.
I'm sure I'll have other opportunities to share with the one and certainly pray for the other. The "golfer" did say they had been to AMBC a few times for special community events.
Are you ready when the opportunity comes? Others are counting on it.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
LifeWay Resources is offering free online training on Sunday, July 11, 2010 from 3-5 pm (CST). You can register directly with LifeWay at http://www.lifeway.com/event/359/
There are great resources you can download including speaker notes, bios on presenters and more. Invite a group to join you on a Sunday afternoon for some special encouragement. Get more information from our area LifeWay rep, Pat Ford on his blog.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Not every Christian will be willing to share their story with another person Some have said than fewer that 1 in 10 will ever share their story with someone. If you would like to be one of those who want to share their story with another person, but may be fearful of something, there's hope. There may be many reasons why we don't talk to someone but, if there was hope of overcoming those fears, would you take the next step? Beginning Sunday, June 27, 2010, Tom Stoner will be starting a 4-week class for anyone who would be willing to take that next step and learn how to "Share Jesus Without Fear." You can register on the resource page of our website (www.ambcaustin.org) or by clicking on this link: Share Jesus Without Fear
I hope you will take a break for 4 weeks and gain the confidence you need to know that the story you share will have lasting benefits in the life of a friend or relative.
Friday, May 21, 2010
About 20 years ago, hotels began offering "adult movies", according to Phil Burress of the Cincinnati based Citizens for Community Values. According to www.cleanhotels.com, about 40% of hotels in America offer hard-core pornography in their rooms through pay-per-view services.
Don't let the bed bugs bite and be aware of other dangers to your vacation. Enjoy the summer!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Sometimes we find ourselves having to look for a new church family. Hopefully, this happens when we move out of town from our present church. How do I find a new place of worship and service? This is often the hardest challenge for a family. Here are some things to consider when looking for a potential church.
- Is the church true to God's Word?
- Are people being saved there?
- Is there evidence of changed lives?
- Are members excited about asking their friends to join them at church?
- Do I feel welcome?
- How do they assimilate new members into the life of the church?
- Are people building quality friendships within the church?
- How does the church develop new leaders?
Some aspects of finding a new church family may be on your "non-negotiable" list. These are things your can't compromise or ignore. These 8 questions are important if you're looking to make a difference in your family, community and the world. Notice that I haven't included anything about convenience. Do you homework. Spend time praying and asking God to show you the DNA of the church. Once you call it "Home" serve and worship with all your strength.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I heard this on a radio gardening show years ago. Dewey Compton was the friend of every farmer, gardener and landscaper in the Houston area. Last night I returned home from a meeting and had just enough light to go outside and pull some weeds in my neighbor's yard. They are out of town and I have been looking after their place. I was about finished when I heard a voice behind me. He called to me again and this time I turned and see a high school student walking toward me with earbuds, and MP3 player in tow. He asked what I was doing and wondered if he could help. "Sure," I said. (I had just gotten to the hard part- the crab grass.) He sat down and began to pull weeds. He said he was bored and was walking so he could pass the time. We dropped handles and bio stuff about our families.
The pile of pulled weeds was growing larger and the conversation was coming around to the future (he would graduate next year.) "Not good enough for big college but too good for community college," were his words. I asked him about church attendance and for the next few minutes we waded through some fast moving, but shallow water about God, religion, his beliefs and my testimony. The weeds were almost gone as was the light. My friend stood up and offered me a hand. We left the door open for future encounters in the yard and parted ways.'One year's weeds, seven year's seeds." I pray that the seeds that were planted that night would produce a harvest- not of weeds, but of the soul. I am praying that as we all do work, that we will be tuned in to hearing when someone calls our name. Be ready at any hour of the day or night.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Be sure to attend each of the 8 Sunday during our "Life's Healing Choices" study. Don't forget to invite a friend. They'll be glad you did.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I finished reading the final newsletter from Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family. What a wonderful God we serve. Since 1977, Dr. Dobson has lead the way for the family. He has stood firm on the values in God's Word which have paved the way for this man and his family to be an example of what God will do through someone who is wholly committed to God and His word. Jan & I visited the Focus on the Family headquarters last September (for the second time) and were once again reminded how much God loves the family.
Others will take up the banner for the family as Dr. and Shirley Dobson close this chapter in their life. I know our family has been greatly impacted by the ministry of Focus on the Family. Thanks for the memories. Now, may our dreams be bigger than our memories.
Note: Jan & I listen to "Adventures in Odyssey" every night before we go to bed.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Anderson Mill is preparing for our 8-week study on Life's Healing Choices. This is one of Saddleback Community Church's campaignes designed to help people have freedom from their hurts, hang-ups and habits. I have the "3 H's" and I am in need of recovery. The reality of my 3 H's is that I make choices to make room for these in my life. I'm not perfect and as I learned in the first session of the preview, I have to quit playing God.
Talk about reality. I am confronted by several realities related to the 3 H's:
- I can no longer pretend that I can control things, especially people.
- I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.
- I have to get freedom for my pain.
- I can't change the past.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I took a break from the usual on Friday and did the unusual. I rode the Austin MetroRail as a test commuter. What fun! Back and forth during the day, almost 100 volunteers and Metro staff rode the rail and buses to test the system. Metro fed us barbecue as we debriefed our experiences and recommendations. People from all over the area and from various walks of life shared in the wonderful day.
The route goes form Leander to downtown in about 50 minutes. With 8 stops, the rail is a great way to travel. They have connector buses to get you from the stops to your final destination. Overall, it was a good experience. Hopefully I can get Jan to go with me the first week of operation (beginning March 22, 2010) when it is free. There's a Starbucks one block from the end of the line. Take your computer because there is Wi-Fi available on the rail.
Thanks Jan, for giving me the day to do this.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Someone said that humans are the only species that let their young return home. It is a landmark when our students prepare to graduate, leave home and start their own lives, following their own values. Whether it is public, private or home school, our students graduate and make this next landmark.
When our oldest graduated from homeschooling, we gathered all those important people in his life and had a celebration. We gave him a diploma, a class ring and he went to work. He stayed for a while until me found a place to live and has never looked back.
When our youngest graduated from homeschooling, we had his set of influential people over for a celebration. We gathered under the magnolia tree in our yard which bore yearly carvings of dates as the he climbed that tree and made his mark growing up. Then he was off to college.
Before they left, we spoke blessing into their lives. They had life skills, money sense, a love for God's Word and a strong support group.
Jan & I hoped we had given enough of the right stuff to each so they could be responsible on their own. Jan had poured scripture into their hearts and taught them where to find answers in God's Word. In preparing them to leave home, we took them with us rather than sending them alone on mission trips, retreats and special events. We wanted them to know we were their peer group. Sure, they had friends, but our design was to have them trust in God who was with them at all times, especially when they left home.
No one raises perfect children. That's why we pray for them at all times. That never stops no matter where they are or how old they get.
Monday, March 1, 2010
- A lover of self to a lover of God.
- Doing childish things to doing mature things.
- Being served to serving.
There will be more on this when a parent shares his experience in celebrating this time of transition for his sons.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Friends. What friendships do I need to encourage in the life of my student? Remember, our goal is purity. If our student doesn't have any good friends, that's where I start. Be creative in the way you inquire about friends. Get involved at whatever level you are allowed and work from there. If you vote your stock too soon by saying "because I'm your father", we'll suffer a set back. Ask questions. Don't preach sermons.
Dating and courtship. One comment: Treat your spouse in a way your student will want to treat their opposite sex friends. For the student, purity is modeled in the life of the parent.
Boundaries. Yes. And lots of them. Let students watch you build the fences. Talk to them so they know why we observe limitations. Many of our boundaries deal with issue of time. "When can I...?" Even as students grow up, talk about how important right timing is in every process of life
Celebrate Find one thing to remind students about purity. Every time they see that special object, hear a certain code word, or recall a person, they associate this image with a vow to purity. For some, it may be a ring or an annual event or a personal gift. I'll never forget a conversation with my father in the area of purity and faithfulness. When I wondered one time how he was able to remain faithful to my Mom. he responded, "Wasn't that what I was supposed to do?" Someone modeled purity for him and so I was able to model purity for my sons. Can it be this simple? Yes! Note: I didn't say is was easy.
Show me your friends and I'll show you your future.
Students are looking in a lot of places for their identity and values. Often they leave home with one set of values (Dan & Mom's), usually good ones, only to jettison them along the way as they develop their own "new" set of values. Every day our students wrestle with surroundings of inferiority, conformity, independence and for sure, questions about love. How can we be pure in a impure world?
One word: FRIENDS! Andy Stanley said, "Show me your friends and I will tell you your future." What kind of friends do my son or daughter have? Do they support the pure values of God's Word? This not only refers to real friends, but made up friends also. TV, video and movie friends. Do you find it alarming that we will invite some people into our living rooms through a TV program that we would never allow through our front door? What kind of friends have I exposed my self and my family to?
Now that the TV is off, how can I help my student develop healthy friendships? Or, how can I help my child loosen the grip of wrong friends?
More in part 2.
Friday, February 19, 2010
- Peer Groups
During this time, nothing lasts like scripture. The Bible is our best ally when it comes to preparation. There is more hope for understanding God's Word than there is understanding hormone changes, growth spurts, and increased appetites. A student's desire to belong gels during this time and the budget takes a huge hit if students wake up and decide they want to try and keep up with the latest fashion. During this time, be sure your student knows the value of God's Word, especially memorizing and owning it. If they know what God wants them to do, they'll think twice before doing what the wrong crowd is doing.
Peer groups are very influential. Try this: Change their peer group. Parents would do better if students looked up to their parents rather that friends who stand and fall at the least wind. This comes when parents spend time with their students. Please, don't give me the come back "I spend quality time (vs. Quantity time) with them." Any time spent with students is quality time. Be different and spend lots of time with them. The wrong peer group will do this if you don't want to do it. If you don't know what your students are doing, you're not spending time with them. Learn their likes, hangouts, tastes, and favorite music, books and videos. Be courageous if some of their desires need stern course corrections.
The last thing concerns time. Take time to help them see their value and worth. Take time to show them what is really important in life. Be sure, though, that our actions as parents back up our words. This is the greatest thing we can offer at this stage of life: consistency. Allow them time to be independent. This is a time of "firsts" for our students. First love (or crush). First time on their own (trip to mall with friends). First test of values, morals and trusts.
Help students interpret some of these changes even before they face them. Without judging people, take them to places to watch people and discuss actions, values and consequences. Perhaps select a place farther away from home so that the student can learn with a crowd they might not have contact with again. Help them to uncover the deceit in advertising, store front images and movies they might watch. There is no better use of time than these adolescent years.
Try the resource below for extend talks with your students on these issues:
ʺPreparing for Adolescenceʺ (Dr. James Dobson) • 738304 • 8 CD Album (includes 6 CDs for teen/pre‐teens, and 2 leadership CDs for parents)
Dr. Dobson brings the conversational warmth straight to you and your adolescent. Among the many topics
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I tell people to invite all their friends, family, unbelievers they know so everyone can see the commitment which has already been made to receive Jesus as Savior. Baptism is a celebration for everyone. It is the best opportunity a new believer has to tell a lot of people about their new life in Christ (Rom. 6:5) The word baptize means "to dip". People who were baptized in the New Testament "came up out of the water" following their "dipping."
37And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."]
38And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.
39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
There are 3 things to concentrate on during this Milestone:
- We need to teach them what they need to know
- We need to be diligent (consistent & intentional) in teaching them what to do
- We need to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit
John 3:16 covers the first two:
- God Loved
- God Gave
- We believe
- We receive
As you get closer to this milestone, you will discover more about these two in the Parent Summit that will be planned later in the year.
What about the Holy Spirit in the part of salvation? God is always moving. As parents, our challenge is to pray (our greatest ally in Milestones) and watch (sometimes the hardest thing to do.)
Our prayers are to be centered on God's activity in our child's life. Is my child asking questions about spiritual things? Do I see them mimicking my activities (reading the Bible, praying, singing, etc.)? Do I see pieces of their spiritual journey coming together? This may be the activity of God's Spirit. Take every occasion to talk to your children when you see them showing interest or asking questions about things they see in church and worship.
Remember this: A child can believe what a child can believe. Their level of processing information is at a child's level of thinking. Don't expect them to think mature, adult thoughts about God. Frankly, their child-like thoughts are probably closer to God's ideals that our point of view.
Two cautions: Even though we may not see changes in our child's attitude toward spiritual things, they may still be picking up some ideas about God. Also, don't be tempted to force a decision on your child they are not ready to make. They may be able to give lots of examples of sin in general, but if they can't see their personal sin, the time may not be right. Let God continue to work.
More about celebration of Milestone 2 and baptism next time.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Prior to the celebration comes one of the first equipping sessions with Pastor Rod as he guides the parents down the path to maturity. Yes, this is mandatory because the Bible is very serious about training this new generation according to Deut. 6:4-7. The vision begins to clarify and parents are challenged to provide spiritually for their child. New parents feel a sense of urgency when the first child comes. They want the very best they can supply.
The walk down the Legacy path takes on meaning. In this first Milestone, parents learn about Faith Talks, God Moments and Celebrating Milestones. As God's special gifts to parents, children need parents, not friends or caretakers, to be the "hands on" people in their life. This is why children are dedicated to the Lord and By His Word during this special day.
You're on the way!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Since then, our call center has answered 1,765 calls and helped share the gospel so that 657 people could pray to ask Christ to be their Savior. Our center helped train and start two other centers in Austin at sister churches during the past 5 years. Volunteers from area churches are partnered with Anderson Mill each time the call center opens.
Thank you, Anderson Mill, for making it possible to so many to be a part of this nation-wide network of call centers each month. Pray about joining this exciting ministry in 2010 and you too can answer the phones with us, “Hello. This is the Billy Graham Telephone Center. My name is Al. Did you call to receive Christ as your personal Savior?”
Contact Al Magness: firstname.lastname@example.org 512-258-5843 X 104 or go to http://www.ambcaustin.org/ for more information.
Friday, February 12, 2010
"Leaders who refuse to listen, will soon find themselves surrounded by those who have nothing important to say."
Thursday, February 11, 2010
How do we remained focused in uncertain times? These past few months many of us have experienced uncertain times. Lost jobs, lost health, lost relationships and a shaky outlook for tomorrow. Lord, You got me into this. Sometimes we get into a situation that seems to have no way out. Can't move forward, to the right or to the left. We're stuck! "I thought I had a plan."
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
"9 out of 10 isn't bad." When we share the good news with other people, the gospel offers hope not odds. It is 100% sure that with Jesus as Savior, a person will go to heaven. Period. That's the best news we can share with people. 100% of the time. 100% of the people who accept Jesus as Savior go to heaven. How would you like to live a life that has based it's future hope on , "Well, I hope I go to heaven"?
We can know with certainty, today, right NOW!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Think. What would you consider a priority for your day, today- right now? Work, school, chores, health, or something else we say is important to us? When our priorities are challenged, what do we do? We put a "price" on the priority and hope that some other person, event, or urgency doesn't exceed the price of our priority. In other words, can our priorities be "bought off" even though we might have said that we'd never allow the priority to fall from our top shelf.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Jan & I were coming home last week after grocery shopping and it was getting dark. We noticed a man at the end of our sidewalk. I parked in the garage and went to the rear of the car and began asking what he needed. He was "selling magazine subscriptions" in an effort to turn his life around. After a few moments of listening, I dismissed him and started into the garage. The man (who said his name was "Julius Caesar") asked one final question: "Do you believe in second chances?" Well, I did just then as I asked my Heavenly Father what I was to say next. Mr. Caesar asked if I could give him some advice on how to be successful.
Mark 10:45 came to mind as I told him to "learn to serve other people." He wanted to know where I had learned this and I told how it was from the Bible. I had a second chance to tell him more about Jesus. Often we can serve people the best by telling them about Jesus. One person said that there are more people waiting to hear about Jesus than there are people willing to tell others about Jesus.
Take a moment and discover "How to Be Successful" and read Mark 10:45. Someone will be glad you did.
I'm told that the government taxes property in Colorado
based on the vista it has. (Ridgeway, CO)
Friday, January 22, 2010
NOTE: Lorne Sanny of the Navigaotors, wrote a fine article on this subject, How to Spend A Day in Prayer.