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Friday, April 20, 2012

Free Kindle Books

The free kindle books, at the moment anyway!

3.  The Case of the Mystery Mark - This is a good book for a teenage/daughter or granddaughter!
Author, Angela Hunt used to work at Old Time Gospel Hour in Lynchburg and has become quite the novelist.

4.  365 Days of Thanking God: Cultivating a Heart of Everyday Thanks.

5.  Breaking Pride, Tearing Down Walls, Walking in His Grace.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


As I study prophecy and read from good authors and helpful commentaries I still find myself in a tangle of opinions and suppositions.  

Below I've suggested some books to read ranging from beginners overviews, intermediate, and finally, more advanced!

Tim LaHaye: Charting the End Times - [1 - Easy and helpful due to the graphics and content.

J. Dwight Pentecost: Things to Come - [1/2 - Classic in this field.

Dr. Randall Price: Rose Guide to the Temple - [1/2 - Brand new visual of the Temple(s). Best on the market! Can't complement this enough.

Dr. Randall Price: The Temple and Bible Prophecy - [2 - Price does a good job of focusing on prophecy via a view of the centrality of the temple.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum: Israelology, The Missing Link in Theology - [3 - Deep, but can't go wrong. Best on the market!

Some of these were books I had to read or reference while working on my M.A.R.  For most, LaHaye's Charting the End Times is sufficient for a good nut shell overview for Prophecy.

Sent from my Kindle Fire

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What About Childcare for Small Groups?

Question: What do you do about childcare for small groups?

When it comes to small groups, you should stay out of the childcare business, no matter how much pressure you get to take on the responsibility. Believe me when I tell you that, if you don’t make this decision on the front end, childcare will become a growth barrier and logistical nightmare as your number of small groups grow.

The best solution is to empower each small group to be responsible for its own childcare needs. If you struggle with this issue, here are some creative and workable options:
1 – Have everyone in the group who has children pitch in financially to hire a baby sitter or two every week. When all of the parents give a little the cost is surprisingly minimal.
2 – Set up a rotation where a different couple in the group baby sits the children each week. Make sure no one has to baby sit more that once or twice during the semester.
3 – Challenge every couple with children to find a solution before coming to group (baby sitter, relative, etc.). After all, they have to find childcare when they go out on a date or have a work function. Most parents have several childcare options.
4 – Create a child-friendly group where parents are encouraged to bring their children. This works best with moms’ groups who meet during the day and plan their group around activities for the children.

These are just a few of the many options available to you. The big point is: Don’t get roped into providing the childcare solutions for your groups or for the group you HOST. Let the group attenders come up with creative solutions themselves, with some helpful input from you.

Take a few minutes to brainstorm other potential childcare options. What have you seen work? What would you like to try? Get some other people involved in this conversation and see where it leads.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friend Friday

This weeks super-cool person of the week is Brandt Elwell!

Born- Washington D.C.
Married - 15 years
Favorite Movies - Forrest Gump, Usual Suspects
Music - Anything that is not rap music
Hobby - Camping & hiking
If I had a billion dollars - pay off all bills (friends & family too) and run around performing random acts of kindness.
Job - Shooting Range Designer
Currently live in - Boise, ID

I met Brandt back in Idaho where we attended church together.  Brandt is a Shooting Range Designer, don't you know you've got to live in Idaho!  Brandt is a great guy with a wonderful family and I wish we'd got to know them more before we moved to Colorado.  I sure wish they lived in Denver!  Thanks for being such a great friend Brandt!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Doing Small Groups in Semesters

Question: I like the idea of semester-based small groups that meet for 10-12 weeks and then end. But doesn’t that keep deep and meaningful relationships from forming? Doesn’t the group end just as people are really getting to know each other?

This is one of the most common questions about the semester-based small group system. But it is based on fundamentally flawed information. Here’s the deal:
Most church leaders assume that, if involved in a “standard” 18-24 month small group system, 10-12 people will sign up, love being together and become intimate friends. But that’s not what really happens

In reality, some people will click and others won’t. If the group extends beyond 12 weeks, those who haven’t really clicked start looking for ways to get out. Their attendance gets spotty. And even those who do form strong friendships begin to get bored before that year and a half to two years is up.

The goal of the semester-based group is not to encourage intimate relationships, but to create a safe, healthy environment through which basic friendships can form. Those meaningful relationships that start during the semester will continue to grow naturally outside the group after it ends.  At The Orchard Church, Small Groups are "Relate" in our "Reach, Relate, Reproduce" process.  For us, Small Groups are not "grow", "disciple", etc...

We would all be much better off if we stopped promising (and then trying to force) intimate relationships within our small groups. It’s a promise we can’t deliver on. What we can and should deliver is a safe, healthy social environment where people can meet other like-minded people so that relationships can develop naturally.

This truth takes a lot of pressure off of small group leaders. Too often, leaders feel like failures when the people in their groups don’t become great friends.
One side note – if you are like us, you are constantly trying to get unchurched men to sign up for small groups. Realize that these guys aren’t consciously looking for “intimate” relationships, but they would like to have a place where they can meet some other cool people, learn something new and explore what it means to know God more deeply. If you stop talking about the amazing, intimate relationships that will form in small groups, you just might stop scaring them off!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Son and War

My son was born after 9/11.  He has an interesting view of War.  Since old enough to understand, he's heard about "The War on Terror", The War in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc...  He knows somewhat of what happened on 9/11 and the fall of the Twin Towers.  

Because of this, he has a view that war is normal and happening in many places.  Tonight he asked me "if the war for the Twin Towers was still going on"?  

I'm a child of the "Cold War" so it is interesting to hear him talk about the world through his lens.  He would not be shocked at all if you told him that there was a war going on somewhere in Colorado.  To him, its just a part of his world.  

He's most concerned about the war for Cybertron, and at the moment he seems very peaceful, he's drumming a pencil to the beat of a Joe Bonamassa concert on TV.  :-)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friend Friday

This weeks super-cool person of the week is Michael Chapton!
City/state Born- Orange, California
Married- 13 years
Favorite Movie- The Jerk
Music- 80's Pop
Hobby- Hiking, photography
If I had had a Billion dollars I'd- We'd donate most of it, join the mission field and do what we could to prepare people to accept Christ. 
Job - Husband, father and during the day I'm a network engineer.
Currently living in what city/state - Clifton Park, New York

I met Michael or Captain Mike at Bridgepoint Church in Boise, ID.  Michael is a true friend!  Back in the days of living in Idaho, Michael got me into geocaching, which got me using a Garmin GPS.  He's a computer whiz in my book.  He's even helped me with my network in Colorado!  Michael is a man of faith and has a great family as well.  I sure wish he lived in Denver instead of New York.  Oh well.  Thanks for being such a great friend Michael!  We miss you all!