Saturday, December 31, 2011

Through HIM Ministry Yearly Report

2011 Through HIM Ministry Report &
2012 Through HIM Ministry Vision Summary

REPORT FOR 2011: This was a year of change for my family and I; We moved to a new town, we changed local churches & yes we even changed denominations, my wife and I became empty nesters with both our children off to college, my wife changed work schedules (for the better), and I became Men’s Ministry Director of our new local church. This does not include how awesome God was in blessing Through HIM Ministries this year.

With the help of four awesome men of God (Robert Harper, Gray Stanforth, Chuck Clevenger, and Ethan Allen) we formed a board for THM, the vision is to take the ministry to the next level of Ministry to Men over the next couple of years.  God has blessed me with some great opportunities this year; I preached for several friends of mine, hosted a Men’s conferences, spoke in breakout sessions at three men’s conferences this year, spoke at two local churches men’s retreats, spoke at three men’s breakfast/fellowships, and hosted one leadership training seminar. In addition to the speaking engagements this past year, we were also able to write an additional six workbooks/study-guides, and make regular post to our two blog sites. I was also given the privilege to assist five pastors (mentor) them in either developing or strengthening their local church Men’s Ministry.

VISION FOR 2012: I cannot wait to see what God is going to do; I was thinking this weekend, if I could have my vision or desire for THM and myself; it would be to host at least four Men’s Ministry Leadership Training Seminars this year,  to speak at least 12 churches, be a keynote speaker at least one Men’s Conferences, conduct breakout sessions for other men’s conferences, speak at men’s breakfast/fellowships and retreats throughout the year, continue to publish workbooks and study-guides that bless and encourage men, write relevant articles for our blog and other publishing outlets, and most importantly I’m asking God to give us 10 pastors/men’s leaders to encourage and assist in Ministering to their Men. We have also been asked to do an internet radio program on Men’s Issues, and related topic (this is in the planning stages now).
Please pray with us that God will use Through HIM Ministries and me and that God will use us as a tool/resource to assist pastors and men’s leaders to strengthen the men of their church to be the men of God in their family, church, and community. Pastor and friends if we can be of a blessing please let us know at don@throughhimministries.org  

Dr. Don Allen, Jr.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Men at the Manger!

                It is always fascinating to me that when we talk about the manger we focus only on two groups of men that came through the little door on that special morning - the Shepard’s and the Wise Men.  Of course we know that Mary and the baby Jesus was there.  However,  I believe that we miss some sufficient men that would influence the course of history by their presents that night. Let’s think about a few men that were around that night, or very close there upon. 

The first guy present that night was a man that had already been in the presents of God (the angel of the Lord had visited him), and he has agreed to be the step-father to King of King, Lord of Lords, and the “Great I Am.”  Now,  I don’t know about you but the thought of raising the Son of God would scare me. What if I made a mistake!,  what if I taught him the wrong thing!,  what if he could read my mind (like God can)!, what if something happens to Jesus!, what will God do to me?  Yet, Joseph sat there that night beside Mary, holding her hand, encouraging her, and takes part in the greatest miracle in history up to that time. We don’t know anything about Joseph as a father, beyond Jesus being 12 years old. The scripture is silent about the influence he had. However, I’m sure that it was significant. He held Jesus hands as he learned to walk, encouraged him to say his first word, watched over him playing in the field, helped him learn a trade, and maybe even taught him to read the scripture.  I have to say what a man, having raised two (what I believe) great children, I can only say I hope that can I do a good job.

The Second guy present that night was the Inn Keeper.   Please understand I know that the scripture does not say it was a man but provided the costumes of that time, it is a great possibility that it was. He is often criticized for his actions of not opening a room for Mary, but we don’t know all the details that happened that busy week with the census. I want to believe in my mind that throughout the night he was in and out of the manger, bringing the blankets, water, and maybe even kindling the fire. I’m not sure if there is remorse for not providing more or contentment that he had done all he could. But one thing would be clear, despite the lack of scriptural reference, his life was forever touched that night.

The third (Guys) was a group men that I view as the common man- - a group of shepherds working hard, providing for their families, and taking care of the sheep. As they were working, it says the angel of the Lord appeared and told them about Jesus’ birth.  They came running, they came to see, they came to worship!  Then they went and told everybody they could what they saw and heard that night. Can you image a group of shepherds being invited to the hospital to witness the birth of the Prince Charles or one of the Saudi Royal families? Not only was they invited, they were allowed to see Jesus up close and personal!

The Fourth (Guys) was a group of men that I view as the elite, educated, and of wealth. They traveled hundreds, if not thousands, of miles to see Christ; they came bearing gifts worthy of a king --gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  However, what is amazing to me is that God knew the need and provided the needed resources for a trip to Egypt (to escape the killing spree of Herod).  Think about these men’s arrival in Bethlehem; it would have to rival that of Kings, or even the president. Everybody was talking about these guys. Yet, the scripture says, they came and worshiped the King!

The Fifth guy never saw the baby Jesus.  However, he attempted to change the course of history.  He rejected the legitimacy of Jesus being King of Israel.  Even though, he himself sat on the throne of Israel by appointment of the Roman government, and not birth right.  He was the first person to outright reject the Messiah.  He set out on a mission to stop the Christ from fulfilling the mission that God had set in motion.  He died never seeing the Christ, but would earn a spot as one of the most treacherous men in history all because he missed understanding the significance of Christ Birth.

As I close, I have a question today especially to men, which man/group best represents you?  Is it Herod?, The Wise Men?, The Shepard’s?, The Inn Keeper, or maybe you feel like Joseph? Regardless, understanding that we may not have been at the manger the first Christmas morning, this Christmas morning with it falling on Sunday will we be worshipping him in church --reflecting on the alter (manger), or will we be at the toys’ alter worrying about the batteries or if the clothes we bought fit, or will we just claim he doesn’t exist?

Remember gentleman … Jesus is the only Reason for the Season!!!!

We missed the debate of the Century!

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) has died to today at 62 years old, the self-proclaimed atheist with a passion to challenge the religious establishment across denominational, religious, and cultural lines. He is being exalted as a free thinker, honored as a humanitarian, remembered as a radical voice for the masses. He stood his ground for the beliefs he had, he made you stop and think about why you believed what you claim to believe, and he gave the Christian community something to criticize.
I will be honest I never agreed with Mr. Hitchens while he was alive about many things, and I sure did not agree with him about his position that God was a crutch, and figment of a weak mind, and those who believe in God where responsible for all the evils of the world.  However, I enjoyed watching him debate with those that believed they were his equal in intellect, and knowledge. He had a keen grasp of history, politics, and yes even religions. And the unique ability of making even the most educated person feel uncomfortable.
With all that said … (I know it could never have happened) I think the debate of the century would have been Christopher Hitchens, and fellow Englishman C. S. Lewis. For those that have never read C. S. Lewis, take time to read his awesome writings. Then compare them to what Christopher Hitchens wrote about God, and compare them both to the Scripture, and then let me know where you stand.
Sad to say good bye to such a great mind, writer, and challenger to the faith, but even harder to realize that he made a choice for eternity that will be forever wrong!

Rev. Don Allen, Jr PhD Grace Church of the Valley School of Ministry 1709 Nowlin Ave. Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 Dear Family & Fri...