Monday, March 30, 2009
According to today’s American Express Market Brief, almost half of consumers go to Starbucks (29 percent), Dunkin’ Donuts (11 percent) or McDonald’s (nine percent) for their jolt of java. Other coffee venues are other chain coffee shops (four percent), convenience stores (three percent) and independent coffee shops (two percent).
Where do you get your Coffee?
Friday, March 27, 2009
There is a legend which recounts the return of Jesus to glory after His time on earth. Even in heaven He bore the marks of His earthly pilgrimage with its cruel cross and shameful death. The angel Gabriel approached Him and said ‘Master, you must have suffered terribly for men down there.’ ‘I did,’ He said. Gabriel continued, ‘Do they know all about how you loved them and what you did for them?’ ‘Oh no, not yet, right now only a handful of people know,’ Jesus replied. Gabriel was perplexed, ‘Then what have you done to let everyone know about your love for them?'
Jesus said ‘I’ve asked Peter, James, John and a few more friends to tell other people about me. Those who are told will in turn tell other people, and my story will be spread to the farthest reaches of the globe. Ultimately, all mankind will have heard about my life and what I have done.’
Gabriel frowned and looked rather skeptical. He knew well what poor stuff men were made of. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘but what if Peter and James and John grow weary? What if the people who come after them forget? Haven’t you made any other plans?’
Jesus responded, ‘I have no other plans. I’m counting on them.’
His early disciples adopted His priorities and devoted themselves to reaching their world. Christ counted on them, and they delivered. Have we done it as well?
We at The Vine Fellowship are serious about His priority- we support 15 missionary families around the globe. We do take seriously the top priority for Christ's church!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Click here for preview. And then pray!
Monday, March 23, 2009
According to several confirmed sources across denominational lines:
-Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.
-Four thousand new churches begin each year, but over seven thousand churches close.
-Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
-Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
-Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
-Ninety percent said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people.
-Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses feel their spouse is overworked.
-Eighty percent of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
-The majority of pastor’s wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.
-Fifty percent of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.
-Eighty percent of adult children of pastors surveyed have had to seek professional help for depression.
(These statistics came from across denomination lines, and have been gleaned from various reliable sources such as Pastor to Pastor, Focus on the Family, Ministries Today, Charisma Magazine, TNT Ministries, Campus Crusade for Christ and the Global Pastors Network.)
I just got off the phone with a dear Pastor friend (a son in the faith that I mentored). His heart was broken as an elder had died. This elder was a close friend and confidant. It was unforeseen and sudden. The pastor was trying to help the family with the funeral details, help his church deal with the grief, and doing all the right things. He is a great pastor- but he too was hurting! I have been there too so I knew how to encourage him and pray for him.
As Pastors, we juggle a lot of emotions- our own and those of others. We need one another when walking through those tough times!
Pastors, can you find a second and third?
Friday, March 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
A line from the movie Oh, God!, with George Burns as the deity and John Denver as the grocery store manager reluctantly recruited to spread The Word:
''I don't even go to church,'' says the manager.
And God says, "Neither do I.''
And neither are a lot of other people!
This is a revisit of an earlier post on the recent surveys about the attitude of people in US to religion, church affiliation. Read Leonard Pitts article.
Leonard Pitts Miami Herald article.
Pastors, we have our work cut out for us!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
The Sermon I think this Mom will never forget...this particular Sunday sermon...
'Dear Lord,' the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face... 'Without you, we are but dust...'
He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four year old girl voice, 'Mom, what is butt dust?'
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
David Wilkerson’s current prophecy.
John Piper’s response.
2 more reports that are cause for concern for the future:
More Americans say they have no religion.
The coming evangelical collapse.
Love this quote by Bern Williams - "Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."
Is 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Man's human spirit regenerated, renewed and dependant on God shall prevail in the day of calamity!
God, keep us trusting in You, yearning for You, passionate for You, and desperate for You!
Monday, March 09, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Mary-Kathryn – I’m working on a soaking album. Soaking music is music that is very contemplative. It puts you in a place that tunes out the world and brings you to a peaceful place. I’ve got three songs that are basically just scratch vocals and ideas. I hope to eventually have eight or ten songs to put on the album.
Looking forward to it also!