Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Article in Christian Standard Nov. 2015.

Was asked to submit my favorite sermon and give a recap. The story behind it was at the old National Youth Leaders' Convention in Joplin, Mo on the Campus of Ozark Christian. This event done by CIY (Christ in Youth) at the time ... had EV Hill and Jeff Walling speak. Ben and I (Ben Dahmer) were discouraged and hurting. EV Hill's message spoke volumes. Still remember it.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Top 10 Things for Minister Appreciation month

Top 10 Things you can give for Minister  Appreciation Month

By Gerrard R. Fess

October is Minister  Appreciation Month. The following are some suggestions to help show your leadership that you care. As a fellow minister  some of these suggestions were given to me and helped encourage and show that I was valued as a member of the church body.

1. Gift cards – cards from local grocery store, home value places,, I-tunes etc. Be creative. 

2. Groceries. Get what their grocery list is or what they usually buy. Some churches in the South I’m told do what is called a “Pounding” and basically what a pounding is a challenge to fill the cupboards and fridge to the brim with stocks of food. Imagine saving $$$ on groceries. Very practical idea.

3. Free babysitting and complimentary funds for a date night.

4. Money – always works. Sometimes you don’t know what the family’s bills, struggles or what they need – it might be they need more clothes for the kids but the budget is tight so some extra funds come in handy.

5. A hand written card. Nothing says Thank You like getting the personal touch of someone saying thanks. Even an e-card would do too.

6. Subscription services to magazines (Leadership, Rev, Journal of Student Ministries, Group), online services and websites, podcasts. There are some online services like that have a subscription and might help with their ministry. Maybe get a wish list here of magazines or online services they’d dream of subscribing to.

7. Gadgets. Help the leadership maybe update their software, laptops, PDAs, cell phones. Maybe even have several families go in to help purchase some of this higher dollar items. This not only shows love but an investment in their ministry. It is only a matter of time that some leaders have to quit using Windows 2000 and eventually go MAC. even having an E-reader like a kindle or nook.

8. Books – get a wish list of books you church leader has (note the favorite authors) or would like to buy. A good leader is a lifelong learner and always could use more reading resources and books. E-books too!

9. Extra Vacation days. Help organize more time off or see that they can get renewed by having their own personal retreat. Perhaps there is someone in your congregation who has a vacation home to offer, or see what your local camp ministry offers or other resources.

10.  Help send them to that seminar or convention that they always wanted to go to. Conventions can be expensive. Making sure they get there, have all the funds and don’t have to worry about how this affects their own personal budget or the church’s – set them at ease. There are many ministers, pastor, youth leader, marriage, conventions out there.

Honorable Mention:
-Do any of the above and more on any other day other than Minister Appreciation Month will go a long ways too.

-Specifically pray for your church leaders. Ask them for prayer requests. Send them a note telling them that you are praying for them.

-Have a special ceremony to recognize them in front of the church body.
-Celebrate those holidays, birthdays, anniversaries. Recognize the anniversary of the number of years that they been at the church. Promote and celebrate longevity.

-Take them out. Treat them to dinner, lunch, a fun activity. Sometimes it is the little things that say a lot. Be creative and have fun with showing love.

Some resources:

What is minister appreciation month?

Difference you can make!

Genuine Ministers – Marshall Leggett
Becoming Your Favorite Church – HB London, Neil Wiseman.

The Holiday Debate

Every year it comes and goes.

Xmas Versus Christmas.

Easter Versus Resurrection Lord's Day.

The Evils of Halloween.

So what is a Christian to do? What is the Church's position? And how are we, as Christians, to act?

Here is the Big Deal in a nutshell: Basically it is "Christians majoring in minors." So what people call it XMAS or Holidays rather than "Christmas." Are we so surprised that sinners do what sinners do? The bigger question is how are you promoting Jesus everyday? Not just on Sundays or Holidays to suit your traditions.

So what that some holidays have their roots in evil? Shouldn't we redeem them, and make things Christ-like?

Colossians 2:16 says "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration, or a Sabbath day."

Seems I don't see too many New Moon holidays (unless you count that book/ movie series).

So what is one to do? Well Phil. 4:8 says "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

All parents need to decide what is best for their children - as to what holidays they celebrate and what ones they will not and which honors Christ. We, as a Church, to help make suggestions.

Then comes the "But ..." But doesn't celebrating promote "Satanism?" That is why we, as Christians, need to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus. Be in the world, not of it. We can celebrate - have fun - even have halloween alternatives, trunk or treats, goto parades, or even practice dress up. (My family hosted local kids and took them trick or treating in our neighborhood - with friendly customes etc. No demons etc.)

What about Christmas and Easter? We celebrate the focus of Jesus. That is the main point. Now, personally, I celebrate Jesus coming EVERYDAY - don't you? I'm thankful for His Grace given to me.

Every year this debate comes up. In fact someone just this week called celebrating "Halloween" - "the Festival of Death.".  We, as Christians, need to recognize there are several things that make up we as people. The first is genetics. (I was born ugly - probably going to stay ugly LOL). The second is the environment (Music, peers, computer, TV, parents have an influence on a person). Otherwise why would they pay for millions of dollars for a 30 second AD? (Just 30 seconds influences people - especially during the Super Bowl). And Finally - there is the Will. We choose to sin or not sin. Most people like to blame their parents, or environment or something else (Isn't that why Oprah exists? or Dr. Phil?) Ultimately though people don't just say - Oh, I didn't get that Big Wheel when I was 5, so I killed 10 people. No, you killed 10 people because you choose to. (Idiots)

So, as Christians, we need to be salt and light. (Matthew 5:13-16) If you are celebrating any holiday - do it responsibly that Jesus might be glorified. Sometimes I wonder why we major in minors. We get upset over things like holidays, meanwhile our neighbors are going to hell. Lost souls aren't learning about Jesus. I'm more concerned over my neighbor than I am over someone calling a thing "Christmas" or Xmas. In the scope of eternity - it is mere semantics. We shouldn't be surprised that unbelievers do what unbelievers do. We need to be Jesus in all things.

So with that in mind; am I celebrating Easter, Christmas, Halloween? No. I'm celebrating God's GRACE given to me everyday. I just partake in the festivals to help point people, to well, Jesus.

How about you?

Tired of the debates?

Here is some food for thought:

1. Should Christians celebrate Easter, Christmas?

II. How about Halloween?

III. How are you pointing people to Jesus?

IV. What do you think of the debates over XMAS versus Christmas?

V. What about the Easter Bunny and Santa?

In all things may God be glorified. (1 Peter 2:12)

Friday, October 09, 2015

Books I'm currently reading.

In the midst of Jimmy Dodd's book. So what are you reading?


Why go to the International Conference on Missions in Richmond at the end of this month? Oct 29 - November 1?

Here are some suggestions:

I. To learn more about missions of course.

II. To recognize that the Kingdom of God is bigger than any of us.

III. The Worship. There is nothing like it.

IV. The students' passion to learn.

V. To be encouraged to "Go ..." fulfill the Great Commission.

VI. Opportunity to Pray. Pray for other missions and organizations and Christians around the World.

VII. Opportunity to Give. Give of your time, talents and treasure to the Kingdom.

VIII. To meet and make new friends. There is nothing like knowing the Church is united and working together.

IX. The Encouragement. Examples and joy of others being Jesus' hands and feet.

X. Knowing you're not alone in ministry/ church work/ making disciples that making a difference. It helps in fulfilling the Great Commission with the Greatest commandment.

Won't you join me this year at ICOM 2015?

For more information goto or Blog:

See you there.

I love My Church: Sermon Series

This month we are teaching on why we love the church and how to love her. Last week was the introduction to the series. the next few weeks we will look at how to love by Community, serving, giving and sharing.

How are you loving your church. I love my church.