Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Announcement!




We are so excited to announce the release of my new book
Grief: Helping Christians Coping with the STORM of Loss Paperback



“Grief: Helping Christians Coping with the STORM of Loss”

Throughout this short book I provide professional insight from over 40 years of pastoral experience, combined with personal stories of struggles of coping with Grief.

Please download your Kindle e-book copy today @ Kindle Edition ....
You can order your Paperback copy today @  Paperback edition
You can check out our other books and workbooks @















































































Thursday, October 24, 2019

My top 5 books …


I thank God every day for my Amazon Kindle account, Google Books, and other apps that allow me to carry hundreds of books with me everywhere I go. Then of course there is the dozen of paperback and hardback books sitting on my desk in my office, on the bookcase at home, and stand beside my chair in the living room.

Yes, the reality is I love to read, I think it can be traced back to my Grandma Argue, when we lived with her while my dad was overseas with the Air Force, she would have me sit and read for a half-hour to her before anything else got started. Of course, she set the example by reading one to two books a day.

Today, I average around a book a week in addition to reading portions of other books as I study various topics, in addition there are the dozen of articles I read to help prepare sermons, teaching outlines, etc.

However, there are 5 books that have been my favorite over the years, and in my opinion a must read for everybody.
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
The Jesus Letters: Seven Secrets That Can Change You and Your Church by David Ravenhill
The Preacher and His Models by James Stalker by James Stalker
Breaking the Spirit of Poverty by Mark W. Pfeifer
Failing Forward, Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John Maxwell

Ok there is one more and it will surprise most people it is not an individual book, but a collection. Honestly, I’m even shocked myself that I’m adding it to this list. Since High school nearly 40 years ago I have read maybe one or two fiction stories. However, recently I downloaded to my Kindle (what I thought at the time was a biography) a book entitled One Night in Tehran: A Titus Ray Thriller by Luana Ehrlich, the author has gone on to write a half dozen books in this series about a CIA operative that finds Christ, and his life is turned upside down, I can’t wait for the next story to be released.

Ladies and Gentlemen everybody has their favorite authors, and books. This list is simply mine. However, for me, it’s not that you read my favorites it’s simply that you READ and LEARN

Monday, October 21, 2019

A Prayer request ….

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have an amazing opportunity to speak on Veterans Day (November 11, 2019). However, it is not what most of you are thinking. I’m not speaking at the memorial event or a Veterans Day celebration.
            I have been asked to present a two-hour lecture on Pastoral Theology via Zoom (isn’t technology amazing) to a group of over 80 pastors in Kenya. I will be teaching from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time), and it will be from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. there in Kenya. 
            I will be sharing with these pastors’ tools to develop a Biblical View of what it is to serve in the local church as a Pastor, Minister, Elder, and Deacon. I will be providing an overview of the various topics included within the Academic Study of Pastoral Theology: Homiletics, Ethics, Pastoral Care/Counseling, Church Leadership, Sacraments/Church Ordinances and one that has become accustom to adding in my teaching on the topic Personal Evangelism.
            Can you please pray with us for four things?
1.      That each pastor’s life is touched through what I share …
2.      That each pastor can take something back to his local congregation that will change the lives of individuals within his/her church.
3.      That nations throughout Africa are changed by what I share.
4.      That God gives me the wisdom to share HIS truth, clear and without error.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Update from GCOTV School of Ministry


Wow! That is really all we can say when we look at how God has blessed over the past six months. On March 29th, 2019 Grace Church of the Valley School of Ministry e-mailed out the first “Study in the Life of Christ and the Gospels” free of charge to pastors and college presidents to help them educate their ministers, and members.
Six months later we have seen God do so much with this study (Life of Christ):

  • Currently being used in 43 Countries
    • 114 ministries/churches 
    • 30 college/Bible Institute and Seminaries.  
    •  With 19 students completing the study and receiving their certificate of completion in four countries.
  • August 19th, 2019 we also made available the “Study in the Book of Genesis.” However, this study we are unable to provide a certificate for, it available free of charge as well.   
God has expanded our vision, over the past six months God has allowed me personally to use my talents and education to help colleges throughout Africa and India to train their pastors and ministers. We have written a facilitator and student manuals that are available to Bible colleges, seminaries, Bible institute, and school of ministries.  Allowing your local instructors to teach courses on “Christian Counseling” (This study is currently already being used by 22 schools in 13 countries). In addition, a course on “Addictions.” should be released within the next month.

What does God have planned? Besides are continuing work here at Grace Church of the Valley School of Ministry local campus, which we are seeing some amazing things happen with our students.  We our currently working on several projects for our students internationally. Some educational resources to watch for:

  • A Study in the Book of Acts, this will be designed like the Life of Christ Study and the Book of Genesis study (no certificate will be offered).
  • A Facilitator and Student guide are being developed for:
    • Excellence in Leadership
    •  Pastoral Theology
Friends, if you’re interested in any of these studies please e-mail me at gcotv.schoolofministry@gmail.com …. Please share what study you are interested in as well as your name, where you are from, and name of your ministry or school.

Another exciting announcement is that in the Spring of 2020 I will be traveling with my dear friend Dr. Charles Travis to Uganda to speak both at local churches, but to educate minister to pastors and church leadership in Pastoral Theology. More details coming on this soon. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Reflecting on Generals of Faith!

Sitting here at my desk reflecting on the upcoming weekend, as my son (Rev. Ethan Allen) and I prepare to host the Logos Global Network – Greater Cincinnati Regional Fellowship and how that I’m going to be allowed once again to spend time with one of the Generals of the Faith (Dr. Charles Travis).

I have been blessed to have known Dr. Travis for just over 17 years, and I personally consider him one of my pastors, friend, and mentor. We have stood and cried together at Ground Zero, we have prayed together at the many alters, and we have shared stories of success and yes even some failures.

Honestly, I have not met many men or women that I would personally call Generals of the Faith, because when I look at the General’s of the Faith the list starts in Hebrews 11, and then moves to include men like Apostle Paul, Apostle John, then through out history men like Spurgeon, Wesley, and Finney. Men that stood the test of time to reflect the values of Christ in their life. As I reflect over the past 40 years of ministry, I have had few Generals of the Faith in my life. I personally think of Dr. Lougheed, Dr. Rawlings, Dr. Webb, and others. However, I have many more "Fellow Soldiers" and I will forever be thankful for both.

As I reflect on the legacy of the few Generals of the Faith that I have encountered I have noticed three key traits … (I pray as men and women think of me, they will see these same traits, not as a General of the Faith but as a faithful pastor)\

  • You can tell that they have been in the presence of Christ today and have a direct connection with Him.
  • They understand the Word of God and know how to make it alive to everyone they encounter.
  • They love Jesus and it shows in everything they say and do.

As I spend time this weekend, I will not only spend it with Dr. Charles Travis, I will also spend it with the gentleman I currently call pastor who will argue that he doesn’t fall into the ranking of General of the Faith. However, I will argue that, for me Dr. Roger Webb, Pastor of Grace Church of the Valley and Chancellor of our School of Ministry is in the same category with Dr. Travis and other men of faith.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

New book ...


Ladies and Gentlemen, I have just republished “Christian in Recovery: “A Supplemental Workbook for Individual Counseling Sessions” this workbook was originally published in 2002 and we are now offering on Amazon Kindle for only $.99 … The workbook is designed to help Pastors, Counselors, and other professionals successfully help individuals dealing with addiction.  Providing activities, suggestions, and resources. Please download your copy today 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The tragedies of Suicide keep coming:


 The news was released today of Megachurch pastor Jarrid Wilson, known for his mental health advocacy, dies by suicide. (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/megachurch-pastor-jarrid-wilson-known-his-mental-health-advocacy-dies-n1052301)
This heart-breaking story coming as we are in the mist of National Suicide Prevention week (September 8th – 14th, 2019).

I’m always amazed how many people believe that pastors don’t struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. The reality is that pastors, their wives, and children are more likely to struggle than the average church member (that is not based on any scientific research, simply my observation).

I believe that there are three key reason pastors, and their families struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, and that suicide becomes a means to cope with the pain.

  1. Isolation … To many pastors today are separated from people that should be giving them support and encouragement. Over the years I have watched pastors who claim to have best friends. However, have never shared with them their personal struggles of depression, anxiety, and other personal issues due to the fact they did not want to look weak in their faith, or fearful of being judged as not faithful enough to do their job.
  2. Ego … (Get over it) Yes, I’m talking to pastors, I have been in pastoral ministry for 40 years and I’m guilty of this as well. I can’t share with the congregation what is happening in my life because I need to be strong for them. I was recently with a pastor that had been going through a crisis in his personal life (his brother had recently passed), outside of a Facebook post to the church about the funeral he never shared anything with his church about the events leading up to the death, in which his brother had been in hospice for 5 weeks. Ironically, this same pastor had recently got on a church member for not calling him when the individual’s mom was in the hospital. 
  3. Failure to get into God’s word … When I was in Bible college a dear professor shared (not sure if this a director quote, but close) "You will never be able to take on the challenges of life, if this book (Bible) is simply a Text Book, and not your Life-Giving Book." I have found myself too many times looking for a sermon, an outline for a class, or reading for the next assignment and not reflecting on the passage that is helping me personally deal with life issues in front of me.

So how do we change this …

  1. We find a minimum of 5 people that we can talk to about what is going on in our lives and we get honest. (Bold statement here … Only one of these should be a pastor). Individuals (we should also limit the amount of people on this that are family), that will not only pray with us but will go with us to get help if we need it, will stand with us when there seems to be no hope. Yes, even will go to the medical professional and hold us accountable for the medication that is prescribed.
  2. We learn about our illness and how its effects our thinking … When I was diagnosis with Attention Deficit Disorder at age 47, (yes we all knew something was going on long before that) I spent a lot of time attempting to understand how my thinking was different from others, and what I could do to off-set the rapid thoughts that got me in so much trouble way too many times, or inability to sit still and focus. I learned to work with my wife, children, best-friend, and pastor to find skills that allow me to accomplish the task assigned as well as not getting caught up in the negative thinking that often comes. In learning about ADD/ADHD I was able to better understand how it was treated and skills to cope.

Number Three is for the Church … Get off your high horse and come down to reality. If we prayed for, encouraged people, walked with people, and supported people with mental illness the same way we did someone with cancer, heart disease, knee pain, etc. We would not see the crisis that we are currently seeing. I know individuals that are scared to death to mention they have depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, or another mental health illness because of being judged as weak, having lack of faith, or in some cases even being demon possessed. Please stop the madness and provide the support to help people heal and recover from these illnesses and be an active productive member of our churches.

Friends, I don’t know what Pastor Jarrid Wilson was thinking the day he chooses to step in to eternity. However, God knows the pain that he was feeling emotionally that drove him to this decision, and where his relationship was at with HIM (God) at the time. The question I have is who else knew and who is accountable within the church for failing to be the friend, pastor, and prayer warrior that should have provided a safe place to talk and find help.

The reality is with over 45,000 suicides nationwide, this is happening way too much, and it’s time for the church to step up and help focus as a non-judgmental place of support, encouragement, prayer, and friendship.



 
 

Announcement!

We are so excited to announce the release of my new book “Grief: Helping Christians Coping with the STORM of Loss” Throughou...