Monday, June 30, 2014

J R Woodward Endorses Purple Fish!

"Mark Wilson takes you on a memorable fishing trip and treasure hunt that will motivate you to reengage in God's mission with a new sense of vigor.  This book is witty, engaging, down to earth and transformative!"
--  J R Woodward, Natual Director, The V3 Church Planting Movement, author of Creating a Missional Culture.

Purple Fish Releases July 1

Amazon Link


Friday, June 27, 2014

Dave Drury Endorses Purple Fish

"Most authors make you smile or make you think. Mark Wilson does both, even at the same time. Purple Fish inspires me to share my faith without shaming the sinner or stressing me out. Mark is what's needed today, a folk-theologian, a personalized pastor, an everyman's evangelist. Meaning: you can actually understand what he’s saying in Purple Fish, and it matters. It might matter more than anything else.”

-David Drury, author of Being Dad and other books
Chief of Staff, The Wesleyan Church Headquarters

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Leonard Sweet Endorses Purple Fish

You will never read a more fun or helpful book on evangelism than Purple Fish.   The most reprinted book in English after the King James Bible is a fishing manual entitled The Compleat Angler (1653). This little classic on another kind of "fishing" deserves a similar future.

----Leonard Sweet, best-selling author, professor (Drew University, George Fox University), and chief contributor to sermons.com


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Before You Erput

Mauna Loa, earth's largest volcano on Hawaii's Big Island, has been steaming lately. Pundits wonder when a full eruption will occur. 

That reminds me of some human relationships -- steam, steam, steam -- and "Thar She Blows!" 

Some people have a low frustration tolerance. At the slightest annoyance, they over-react with tantrums. 

A sticker on a box I saw a while back made me smile. It said, "Warning: contents may explode under pressure." 

Wouldn't it be great if people wore stickers like that? 

"Warning: if you bother me right now, I'm going to snap your head off!" 

Sometimes, we're tempted to stuff our stress and pressures down into our souls. Instead of resolving issues, we shove them down and try to ignore them. 

Unfortunately, an unresolved issue is like a dead skunk. You won't get rid of it by shoving it under the bed. Ignoring it just makes everything smell worse! 

For the times you are all stressed out and "likely to explode at any moment" - -consider the following: 

1.When things go wrong, ask yourself, "What is going right?" 

One bad situation can siphon off all of our positive energy, making us forget that there are 1000 good things happening too. 

2. Remind yourself, "This too shall pass." 

Even the worst situation is not forever. It's going to get better. 

3. Do something "de-stressing." 

Prayer, reading the Bible, visiting with a good friend, a hike in the woods, listening to your favorite music, going on a drive, or vigorous exercise are all ways to lower your emotional stress level. 

4. Pause before you spout. 

Is this really what you want to say? Is this the way you want to say it? 

It's far better to bite your tongue than to say hurtful things you'll regret later.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Call for Fishing Buddies

My book, Purple Fish: A Heart for Sharing Jesus,  releases next month.  Wesleyan Publishing House is offering a great opportunity for a limited number of people to participate in the Purple Fish Book Launch Team.  You get a free electronic preview copy of the book in exchange for some help getting the good word out to others.  The invitation is limited to 50 bloggers/social media users -- so if you're interested, apply asap.  Here's the Link:  Purple Fish Book Club Application

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Radiating the Joy of God's Glory

“[W]e cannot overlook the fact that God is glorious in such a way that He radiates joy, so that He is all He is with and not without beauty. Otherwise His glory might well be joyless. And if a different view of His glory is taken and taught, then even with the best will in the world, and even with the greatest seriousness and zeal, the proclamation of His glory will always have in a slight or dangerous degree something joyless, without sparkle or humour, not to say tedious and there finally neither persuasive nor convincing.” -- Karth Barth

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Whatever Your Lot in Life, Plant a Garden

We cannot always choose our setting, situation or circumstance. Our plans and ideas don't always go the way we had hoped.  The only thing we can choose is our response.

Life has a strange way of suddenly careening out of control, and putting us in the ditch. One thing I know about the ditch - nobody ever intends to go there. It just happens. (A variation of a popular bumper sticker: "Stuff Happens")

"Bad Luck" often brings with it a sense of despair and pessimism. When problems pile high, we lose our hope, and find ourselves singing the children's jump-rope rhyme: "Same song, second verse. It ought to get better, but it's gonna get worse."

Whatever happens -- you can make the worst of it, or you can make the best of it. The choice is yours. Wherever you are in life, you can just sit there and complain, or you can start planting a garden.

If you plant, you won't see results right away. Tiny seeds need time to grow - but they will sprout, flourish and bear fruit if you keep faith alive.

Perhaps your dreams have been shattered. Maybe life has been one big disappointment for you - not at all like you had thought it was going to be.

Maybe you are facing financial pressure, poor health, relational difficulties, disappointments, failure in business, inadequacy and loss.

Here's a question to ponder. Will the situation get better by feeling bad about it? Will anything improve if you operate out of self pity? I don't think so. Anxieties, like babies, grow larger by nursing!

The only way things will get better is if you take positive action. Inaction means no change. The first thing to change is your mental attitude. Focus on what you have left, rather than what you have lost. Think about your blessings instead of your troubles. Spend your energy on what can be done rather than what can't. Reflect on the good instead of the bad.

Whatever your lot in life - plant a garden!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

1000 Names for God from the Bible

Whatever you need today is found in the name of God.

God's name displays His character and He is true to His name.  Even 1000 names are like a thimble in an ocean, when describing our Creator's majesty and care.

Here is a great list:  1000 Names for God from the Bible.  

I enourage you to prayerfully look at the list, and select one name that speaks directly to your current situation.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 15 MorningSong Order of Worship

MorningSong Worship
Father’s Day, Trinity Sunday
June 15, 2014

Minister -- Mark Wilson
Liturgists --   Tom Correll, Steve Gerich, Stacy Wilson
Worship Leader --   Ryan Wilson

GATHERING

Call to Worship

Leader:  Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
All: And with thy spirit.

Collect of the Day  
Leader:   God be with you.
All:   And also with you.
Leader:   Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true  faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever  and ever. Amen

** Hymn  Great is Thy Faithfulness p. 43
 Leader:  See what love the Father has given us,
Congregation:  that we should be called the children of God.
Leader:  You are my sons and daughters, this day I have begotten you.
Congregation:  See what love the Father has given us.
Leader:  As many as received him, to them he gave power to become the children of God.
Congregation:  See what love the Father has given us.
Leader:  Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Congregation:  See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called the children of God.  (cf 1 John 3.1)

WORD
Old Testament Reading:  Psalm 8

** Gospel Reading:  Matthew 28:16-20

** Passing of the Peace

Offering

Offertory Hymn:  This is My Father’s World  p. 58

Doxology  p. 624

Homily:  Family Re-Creation

TABLE

Confession
Leader: Let us return to the Lord our God and say to him:
All: Father,
we have sinned against heaven and against you.
We are not worthy to be called your children.
We turn to you again.
Have mercy on us,
bring us back to yourself
as those who once were dead
but now have life through Christ our Lord.  Amen.
(cf Luke 15)

Silence is kept

May the God of love bring us back to himself, forgive us our sins,
and assure us of his eternal love in Jesus Christ our Lord.
All Amen.

Eucharist
The Lord's Prayer

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Let us pray to God, our heavenly Father. Father of all
Hear your children's prayer.
Sovereign Lord, your Son has revealed you as our heavenly Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. Father of all
Hear your children's prayer.
You have made your Church a spiritual family, a household of faith. We are reborn as brothers and sisters in  Christ.  Deepen our unity and fellowship in him. Father of all
Hear your children's prayer.
You sent your Son to give his life as a ransom for the whole human family.
Give justice, peace and harmony to the world he died to save. Father of all
hear your children's prayer.
You gave your Son a share in the life of a family in Nazareth. Help us to value our families, to be thankful for them, and to live sensitively within them. Father of all
Hear your children's prayer.
Your Son drew around him a company of friends. Bring love and joy to all who are alone. Help us all to find in the brothers and sisters of Christ a loving family. Father of all
Hear your children's prayer.
You are the God of the dead as well as of the living. In confidence we remember those of the household of faith who have gone before us. Bring us with them to the joy of your home in heaven. Father of all
Hear your children's prayer.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Blessed are you Lord our God, creator and redeemer of all; to you be glory and praise for ever.
Blessed be God for ever.
You father us from all eternity giving life to creation and pouring your love into all you have made.
Blessed be God for ever.
From the beginning we have known you as 'Father', and all our families have their origin in you.
Blessed be God for ever.
Through the love of earthly fathers you give us a glimpse of your everlasting love. Their guidance and wisdom reveal to us the eternal life of heaven.
Blessed be God for ever.
In following their example we become more like you, growing into the people your heart longs for us to be.
Blessed be God for ever.
May the love of our fathers draw us ever nearer to you and perfect in us the image of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever
  
Heavenly Father, you entrusted your Son Jesus, the child of Mary, to the care of Joseph, an earthly father. Bless all fathers as they care for their families.
Give them strength and wisdom, tenderness and patience; support them in the work they have to do, protecting those who look to them, as we look to you for love and salvation, through Jesus Christ our rock and defender.
Amen.  

SENDING


Benediction:

In darkness and in light, in trouble and in joy, help us, heavenly Father, to trust your love,
to serve your purpose, and to praise your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lord God almighty is our Father:
All: He loves us and tenderly cares for us.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour:
All: He has redeemed us and will defend us to the end.
The Lord, the Holy Spirit is among us:
All: He will lead us in God's holy way.
To God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
All: Be praise and glory today and for ever. Amen.

Postlude

Friday, June 13, 2014

Jim Dunn's Purple Fish Endorsement

Purple Fish is an adventure-filled read that helps alleviate the fears and misgivings about what it means for a follower of Jesus to tell someone else about Jesus.  As a personal friend, I can almost hear Mark Wilson pronouncing the Wisconsin lake and river names as they appear in the fishing scenes of the book.  Purple Fish is a refreshing reminder, with practical witnessing tools, that Jesus saves and our privilege is to come alongside others to do what Jesus commands:  to Make Disciples of all Nations!

Dr. Jim Dunn
Executive Director
Church Multiplication and Discipleship Division
The Wesleyan Church World Headquarters

Thursday, June 12, 2014

MorningSong Order of Worship

A few friends have inquired about the order of worship for our new early MorningSong service -- a fresh expression of ancient tradition.  Here is the liturgy we used last Sunday, June 8 (Pentecost.)

GATHERING

  Call To Worship

To a world dry and thirsty
God has poured out Living Water;
To a world fainting and breathless
God has stirred a mighty wind;
To a world cold and dark
God has ignited the flame  of the Spirit;
Let us worship -- for the Holy Spirit has come
The Spirit has come – hallelujah!

** Hymn: "O Worship the King" p. 10

WORD

Old Testament Reading:  Psalm 512:1-13

Reading from the Epistles: Acts 2:1-21

** Gospel Reading:   Luke 11: 9-13  

** Passing the Peace

Offering  (Please pass attendance notebooks in each row)

Offertory: "Pentecost is Coming"

Homily:  A Re-Creation Community

TABLE

Prayer
Eucharist

Communion Song  “The Old Rugged Cross”  p. 186

Affirmation of Faith

Leader:  We believe in God:
Congregation: Creator of all that has been made.  The Father of all creation.
Leader:  We believe in God:
Congregation:  Savior of all that has fallen.  The Restorer of our broken world.
Leader:  We believe in God:
Congregation:  The Life of all that lives.  The Love that binds all things together in the family of God.
Amen.

SENDING

**Dismissal Hymn:  “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love”  p. 284
**Benediction
Leader:  Thank You, Lord Jesus,  For this meal of remembrance; And for coming to us,  in the Spirit's power,  as we have shared it.
Congregation:  May the love we find at this table  be reflected in our lives;
May the power we receive at this table  make us peacemakers and healers;
And may the Spirit who fills us again at this table lead us to be those who proclaim God's Kingdom  in every word we speak  and in everything we do.  For Jesus' Sake. Amen.

Postlude

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Swatting Mosquitoes and Little Irritations

I sat in the woods one day, with pen in hand, and open journal, pondering deep spiritual matters, reflecting on the meaning of life and hoping for a burst of inspiration.

Instead, I got a mosquito.

The pesky little critter buzzed in my ears and bit me!

Frustrated, I sputtered, swatted and swung, but the illusive insect must have taken flying lessons from the Red Baron. He dodged me every time.

Arrrgh!

My tranquility evaporated. How could I possibly contemplate life's deepest meanings, when bombarded by such nuisance?

About seven bites later, I finally triumphed. The weary warrior paused for a moment to catch his breath and rest his wings. Giant fighting is hard work, you know.

The unfortunate bug came in for a landing right on my open journal.

THWACKK!!

I slammed the pages together -- and the pesky mosquito was dispatched. I'm sure his relatives would be glad to know he didn't suffer. The little fellow didn't even know what hit him.

He started in my ears and ended in my journal!

Curious, I opened the notebook again, and found the bug squashed like a pancake and surrounded by a Type O positive red splotch.

I circled the carnage with my pen, and scrawled "rest in peace" as a memorial.  At that moment, we both were resting in peace.

Contemplation is difficult when we are swatting mosquitoes.  The same thing holds true with annoyances.

Deep, soulful reflection rarely occurs for those who are busy battling little irritations.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

You Can't Insult a Person Living in Holy Love

Uncle Buddy Robinson, the great Nazarene evangelist from the early 20th Century, was a man who walked in holy love.  Once, according to Robinson's friend C H Jack Linn, an angry man attacked him terribly for something he said in a sermon:

"When the man was finished with his cursing and swearing and abuse, Bud said, 'Will you go home to dinner with me?'  'What?' the man cried, 'would you invite a man who has insulted you home to dinner?'  'Oh, did you insult me?' Bud replied.

Uncle Buddy was practicing what he preached.   "A sanctified man has a shining face, an easy conscience, and a light heart, and is as bold as a lion, as patient as an ox, as swift as an eagle, as wise as a serpent, as harmless as a dove, as gentle as a lamb, and as sweet as honey.  If you were to slap his jaw you would get honey all over your hand, and as you walked away you will feel something sticky on your hand.  Lick it off and get under conviction, and come back to see what ailed him, and find out it was perfect love."

Monday, June 09, 2014

A Prayer for Guidance

Father, no glimpse of light can we see on our future path; but our hands are in Thy strong hand; and Thou canst see.

Therefore, fearless and unafraid, we will march through the darkness, upheld and guarded and led by Thy love, well knowing that every step of the way shall prove Thee more faithful and tender, more wholly enough for all we need.

O Father, our hearts and our lives, with deep and secret delight, we render to Thee; and forward we press, on our great adventure on this day Thou has given, to discover still wider and fairer realms of Thy great love, and to labor for Thee.  Amen.

--  John S. Hoyland, 1887-1957

Friday, June 06, 2014

A Prayer of Thanks

For each new morning with its light, for rest and shelter of the night, for health and food, for love and friends, for everything Thy goodness sends."  - Ralph Waldo Emerson