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Grief and the Holiday’s!

         It is amazing to me how grief and the holidays seem to go hand in hand. I’m sitting here reflecting on all the things I need to finish up over the next week before I spend time with family for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Thinking about presents that I haven’t bought, those cookies I need to help my wife bake, the few more cards I need to mail and the people I need to reach out to share a Christmas greeting with.             However, the reality even in all this holiday excitement, there are feelings of grief throughout this holiday season for those individuals that are not around.   It has been 10 years since my parents passed away, and I still find myself thinking about needing to call and see what they want for Christmas, wishing I was making plans to drive to Flint, Michigan to just sit and visit with over Christmas Dinner, and driving around town looking at the lights.           Someone asked me the other day. How do you deal with the grief over the holid

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.

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 ove

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 8 th – 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. Isolation … To many pastors today are separated from people that should be giving them support and encouragement. Ov

God help me stand in your place today!

I was reading Proverbs 25: 6-7 today … what a powerful passage of scripture. When you read those words in Christian Standard Bible they jump off the page: "Don’t brag about yourself before the king, and don’t stand in the place of the great; 7 for it is better for him to say to you, "Come up here!   " than to demote you in plain view of a noble." I’m fearful that too many preachers are promoting themselves above the place that God has called them to be. I was taught humility as a young preacher and even today I still hold on to these truths. I always allow the minister where I’m preaching or teaching to give my title that will be used such as Reverend, Doctor, Pastor, Bishop or Minister. I always sit on the front row or with my wife if she is there until the pastor asks me to come to the platform. I always respect the position of authority over me (Pastor/Bishop). I’m a guest at his church and acknowledge their position, and never assume that I have s

Time for the Next Great Awakening …

Throughout the late 1800’s there was political nightmare happening in America. This nightmare eventually erupted into a Civil War. However, what is also interesting it also ushered in some of the Greatest Revivals in history. As I sit today reading the news, listening to people talk, and realize we are once again in the midst of a political nightmare. I listen to the President talk and yes even tweet (personally I wish all their tweet accounts were shut down), I hear presidential candidates, Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen, political advisors, and sadly, Pastors commenting back and forth. Realize, just as with the events of the mid-1800’s the only true survival for America is a great move of God, Yes a real National Revival, from the White House to the Farm House, from the Department of Education to the classroom, from the Pentagon to the local military base. Yes, even from the National Cathedral to the local church. It is time once again for America to seek a real soluti

Hard to believe it is the 4th of July!

          I was sitting here reflecting on tomorrow and the meaning of the4 th of July.   As I share with my family and friends it appears to mean so many different things.          To me it is a celebration of the history of the United States of America, the good, the bad, and yes even the ugly. As a nation we have endured 243 years of successes and failures. We have seen the peaceful transition of government (both the presidency and congress), and some would agree that others were totally out of control.          Historically, 13 colonies sent men with different religions, political beliefs, and yes even different views of human rights. Yet they were able to come together and form a political system that has allowed for a Nation that has accomplished so much not only here within our borders, but around the world.          We have freedoms that other countries only wish they could have because of those events 243 years ago. I personally thank God daily that I have the privile

Amazing Day!

              Yesterday was Father’s Day, for our family it wasn’t a typical Father’s Day.  Yes, it started out with me sharing a message on what it is to be a Biblical Father in chapel at the hospital. Then heading to church to hear a message by our guess speaker.               However, that was the end of similarity to previous Father’s Day. Understand that this is not a complaint, in fact it is the opposite, it is a tribute to my amazing wife, and my son, daughter-in-law, and my daughter. Because they didn’t make it about me, they made it about family! See one year ago yesterday (June 16, 2018) an amazing lady passed away, my mother-in-law took her final breather here on earth.   Our relationship was unique we didn’t always see eye to eye, and we both had our moments of being stubborn. However, there was one thing we both agreed on is we loved the same people. So, at 3:00 p.m. on Father’s Day we stood at the Graveside of this amazing lady with all her children, daughte

The challenge of education!

            I recently have been talking with individuals about their personal educational goal and objectives. What do you want to learn? Also focusing on how are you going to accomplish this?             It is amazing to me how many people don’t have an educational goal or the desire to achieve beyond where they are currently in their life. Now understand I’m not talking about necessarily going back and doing another degree. However, I’m talking about learning something new that is going to move you forward in your career or within the church structure, or in your personal Christian walk.             Most people know that I have multiplied doctorates (yes, I know all that and $5.00 will get me a cup of coffee at Starbuck, maybe). However, what most folks don’t realize how disorganize my thinking is when I’m attempting to study on my own. So, I have used my college education, as well as the studying for Certificates, and my Licensures to help me focus on learning things that

What is a Ministry Challenge?

What is your ministry challenge?           Please understand I feel that there is a difference between ministry challenge and ministry desires. I have come to believe over the past 40 years that my ministry challenges (what God had me doing at that moment in time for him) was not always my desire. However, it was my calling for that moment.           The Apostle Paul puts it best in Acts 16 where Paul desire to go certain places an preach, and the Holy Spirit said No. Was the desire wrong, I don’t personally believe so. A statement that is used around our church is “Is it Good or God” there can be some Good ministry opportunities, but it is not in God’s plan for you.           Within the first 10 years of ministry I attempted to pastor 4 churches. Honestly none of them were what any of us would call successes. However, also within that time I served as Associate Pastor of some churches with what many would call successful. Now having been in ministry for 40 years I have r

To excited

Too excited ….               The past year has been an amazing time in my life, as I have just turned 59 years old and pushing that BIG 6-0, and have just celebrated 33 years of marriage to my Best Friend.   I’m seeing God move in my life like no other time.   Now don’t get me wrong we have seen God move and had lots of great ministry opportunities over the years.               However, now just seems like that TIME of Great Opportunities …               In June of 2018 I was given the privilege to become the Chaplain at Summit Behavioral Healthcare (State of Ohio Dept of Mental Health Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio) a full-time position ministering to both the patients and staff.               Four years ago, the Lord directed my wife Lee and I to Grace Church of the Valley an awesome church with some of the most amazing people. Shortly, after starting at GCOTV Pastor Roger Webb asked me to be President of GCOTV School of Ministry ( https://gcotv.com/connect/school-of-mini

Reflecting on God’s calling!

As I was reading my devotional "Time with God" this morning I was intrigued by the call of Matthew/Levi the Tax Collector. The story plays out in three separate passages of scriptures (Matthew 9:9 and Mark 2:14; and Luke 5:27) in two of the verses the name is Levi in the other it is Matthew, so why the difference? The answer is simple Matthew the name Greek form with the meaning "gift of Jehovah" and Levi is Hebrew with the meaning "Gift of Yahweh." So, what makes this individual unique in his calling? We must understand the term Tax Collector, this is a Jew that works for the Roman government collecting taxes for the Roman’s to finance their wars and lavish lifestyles, basically it was believed that he was stealing from the poor to finance the rich. Matthew/Levi lifestyle was funded by any additional money he could extort from people beyond what they owed and what the government paid him as a salary. We know for fact he was an employee of the Roman’

Not a time for silence!

              For decades I have sat on the sidelines of the abortion issue, knowing in my heart it was wrong and arguing privately with people that it was. However, not writing or publicly taking a major stand.               With the resent vote of 44 United States Senators including all the current Democratic Presidential candidates and the recent signing into law of the authorization (law) to allow abortion up to the moment prior to birth is a disgrace.   In 1973 the decision of Roe vs Wade shocked most of America stating that a women has the right to choose if her unborn baby lives or dies, and then ask a doctor to perform the abortion. This goes against the very foundation of American history and our values as Judeo-Christians that we have claimed for two centuries.   Science has been ignored, there is no logical conclusion that life doesn’t begin at conception. However, a group of people thought they know more than God, Science, and due to their own selfish choice to al

What is the greatest threat to the church today?

            Is radical Islam the greatest threat to the church today? Is the socialist agenda that is being pushed today the greatest threat? Without reservation I will say NO! Within the political climate of our day we see the Socialist, Islamic extremist, and liberal bias flooding the news, the social media, and sadly even the pulpits of America. Church leaders opening the doors to individuals that have a radical different belief to that of Christianity in order to promote Social Justice, Tolerance, and yes even harmony. I heard it several years ago and have realized how true it is today with our current environment, “if you’re living for God people aren’t going to like it!” I have concluded in my own personal life, and I believe it based on the foundational truths of the scripture.   The greatest threat to the church today is “ Casual Christian’s” … What do I mean by that statement: Just like Casual dads/mom they have a relationship with their children, but they are

Open Letter to Pastors and Friends:

  Dear Friends:             As many of you know that in 2002 my family and I moved to New York City to develop a post 9/11 ministry. Despite some challenges and eventually moving back to Cincinnati in early 2003 God did allow some awesome relationships to come from the NYC experience.             The number one relationship that came from the trip was a friendship with Dr. Charles Travis Founder/President of Logos Global Network and at the time was Chancellor of Logos University in Jacksonville, Florida. Over the years we have prayed together, laughed, and encouraged each other in ministry (honestly, I would have to say he has done most of the encouraging).   A few years ago, as the Lord lead Dr. Travis and several others to launch a new Christian University he called and asked if I would join the faculty and serve on the Board of Regents. I was so honored by the call and without hesitation the answer was YES.             We are now into our second year and I have the privil

What is my role within the church?

What is my role within the church?               For the past several weeks I have been teaching a course at Grace Church of the Valley School of Ministry on the Five-fold Ministry, using text Ephesians 4: 11 in the KJV it reads … “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” and the   Amplified Bible (AMP): “11 And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct] ,” I found the past few years very interesting as I have spent time preparing and studying material and lectures for this course at GCOTV School of Ministry.     I look at scripture within the context it is written and the historical perspective of the church that much of what I was taught