Wednesday, October 7, 2015

10 Creative Ways to Honor Your Pastor

#1 Pastor VS Food
Pastors love to eat.  Take one entire week and bless your Pastor and his family with dinner every night!

#2 Extreme Home Makeover
Some Pastors are skilled tradesman, others are not!  Plan to help your Pastor with that project he has been putting off, with that deck he has always dreamed of building, or that landscaping that has desperately been needed.
#3 Prosper My Ride
Everyone loves a clean, detailed vehicle!  Take Pastors ride to the next level and top off the gas tank while you're at it!

#4 Extreme OFFICE Makeover
Plan an extreme makeover of yours Pastors office! What is that new piece of furniture that your Pastor would absolutely love? How about some fresh paint? A new coffee maker?



#5 Get Out of Church Free
Give Pastor an extra weekend off!  Encourage him to go visit friends, family or just flat get out of town!

#6 Honey I Blessed the KIDS
Want a great way to make your Pastor feel incredible?  Bless his/her kids!  Go over the top to do something special for their children.  Take them out.  Purchase them a gift.  Slide them some extra cash, etc. etc.

#7 Mail Blitz
Absolutely FLOOD your Pastors mailbox with cards and letters of appreciation for a solid week!

#8 Send Your Pastor PACKING
on VACATION of course!! What is that unique trip your Pastor would absolutely love? Is it a fishing trip? Golf excursion?  Quiet bed & breakfast?  Find out what it is and send them a packing!





#9 Money Tree
Money doesn't grow on trees. BUT why not let that happen during the month of OCTOBER!  Bless your Pastor with a tree full of money!

#10 31 Days of Madness Gladness
A day in the life of a Pastor can be interesting to say the least. Make the entire month an unforgettable one for your Pastor by scheduling one thing a day to bless your Pastor!

Monday, August 24, 2015

So Long My Friend...

Have you ever had those moments in life that leave you absolutely speechless at the beauty and wonder of our maker? These experiences or encounters in life are ones that you can’t explain, decipher, or comprehend. They leave you in awe, standing in amazement at the genius of God. They give us a brief glimpse of what the Lord meant when he said to Isaiah, “my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Sometimes these encounters come in the form of a person.

Matthew was that person for me and for countless others.

Mathew Thielman was born on July 31, 1972, in Bloomer, Wisconsin. Matthew was born with with down syndrome, and my Grandparents took him into their home at the age of 5, where he spent the rest of his life until he passed away on Friday night August 21, 2015.

To measure the impact of Matthews life would be virtually impossible.

I learned of Matthew’s passing at 4:50 AM on Saturday morning as I was catching an early morning flight back home to DFW. The entire flight I couldn’t help but think of Matthews life & the great impact it had on me. In his famous sermon on the mount, Jesus exhorted believers to, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Allow me for a moment to glorify God as I honor the life that Matthew lived.

1. Matthew loved GOD FIRST.

When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment, he responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37). In essence your love for God must come before anything else in your life.

Matthew was the epitome of this verse.

You could not spend 5-minutes in the room with Matthew without knowing that he had a deep love for God. God was first in his life. I remember as a young child at my Grandparents house when he would get so upset at bedtime, because he so desperately wanted to stay up late with the grandkids…and all for a very specific reason. He would stand at the bottom of the steps with his oxygen tank in one hand, CD-Player loaded with worship songs in the other and contest with “Mom” as to why he needed to stay up & worship and read scriptures with his nieces & nephews.

Some of my fondest memories of Matthew include sitting around my Grandmothers massive dining room table as a young child and listening to him read the scriptures out loud to me.

He loved the Word of God.

Matthews life, reminds us all of the simplicity of the Gospel. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, fearing that their minds were being corrupted from the “simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3). The Gospel is simple, life is simple. Jesus is the answer. When He’s first everything is right, not perfect but right…when He’s not first, we are broken.

Matthew understood this and God was first in his life. He got it right.

2. Matthew was UNASHAMED.

Matthew was a preacher.

He, like the Apostle Paul was unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was always looking for an opportunity or a person to share the good news of the Gospel with.

I remember countless times listening to his impromptu sermons. At various family events, we would all be gathered around outside and he would absolutely insist that we needed to have a “service”. We needed to have a time of worship and then he would preach the sermon. He was relentless about this.

On one such occasion, a few of us agreed to his request and went inside the house to have a “service”.  We gathered around Grandmothers piano & worshiped and then turned it over to Matthew to preach. At the time I was in my late teenage years & felt the call of God to preach myself, and as I sat there listening to him, I began to weep. I wept because Matthews love for God was so pure. It was authentic and real.

The last time I heard Matthew preach was at Special Touch Camp (his favorite place on planet earth). Matthew was given an opportunity to speak in a morning chapel (you would have thought someone had offered him the world!). At that time in his life, due to his health he was very difficult to understand when he spoke. However, when he began to preach it was amazing to see & hear God’s anointing come on his life & speech. As he quoted his favorite verse, John 3:16, his speech was crystal clear. There was not a dry eye in the room that day.

It was a moment that I will never forget as long as I live.

Matthew was unashamed.

3. Matthew defied the ODDS.

Not only did Matthew live longer than anyone ever expected, he defied every odd that society placed on him.

Let’s be honest, with his “disability”, society placed absolutely no expectation on Matthew. ZERO. ZILCH. NADDA. However, only in eternity will we be able to truly measure the impact that his life had on this world. He defied the low expectations that society (and even the Church) placed on him.

Even though Matthew physically passed from this earth on Friday, his legacy and impact will live on for years and years to come. And much like his life on earth lasted much longer than anyone imagined, his impact will do the same.


Matt, thanks for the memories. You will be loved & missed. Save a place for us my dear friend…and get ready for one great “service” that will be way beyond everything we could ever imagine!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Outside the Box OUTREACH!!


I must admit, I got a little emotional at the faith night at Power Balance Pavilion (formerly Arco Arena). I stood there in a crowd of, I don't know how many, (maybe 6000-7000) and I watched Lincoln Brewster lead all of us in worship as if we were in a church building. In my view were the 3 chairs right next to the court where Mike (from the Kings), myself and Pastor Chuck Ferguson had sat. We had sat there as I shared a dream of having this very moment... 2 YEARS AGO!!! It was just like this: bands before the game, Lincoln Brewster after the game... and here we were... and look what God did! It might take a few minutes for me to share this amazing story!!!!



Two years ago it was just an idea, and we thought it could happen but it was cancelled... blaming the NBA. Last year, we tried again and had the date set... but again it was cancelled. Real quick, it was then we talked to the Sacramento Rivercats (AAA for Oakland A's) about having a faith night, which went great in 2010. Now, the Sacramento Mountain Lions (UFL Football want us to host and plan their 2011 faith night - with almost 20,000 fans at every game).

From the success of our 2010 Raley field event, we were asked by the Kings about possibility of trying it again. I met with VP of Kings, then I met with the NBA and we got the go ahead. Amazingly, the Kings canceled the night 6 weeks ago, because they would only allow Lincoln Brewster to play acoustic, with just a small setting, because of the logistics of setting up sound, stage, etc. I emailed the NBA immediately, offered our sound, stage, etc... told them we could be set up in ½ hour, but don't give up on this idea. Lincoln Brewster had already committed to this evening. Next thing you know, we were back on... and 3 weeks before the faith night, Lincoln Brewster offered his sound equipment.

Results?

Biggest special event "by far" of the year... and can't remember a bigger one in recent years. It all happened on Friday March 18th at the Power Balance Pavilion (formerly Arco Arena) They expected only 3-4 sections to be used for the post game concert with Lincoln Brewster, but instead 14 SECTIONS WERE PACKED FULL OF PEOPLE!!! We had our equipment set up and we had 5 bands playing before game. We had amazing worship led by Giovanna Cox before the game and at halftime too!!! So many King's Fans came drifting up and many joined in for worship! Amazing, amazing, amazing, plus souls were saved!!!!!

Yeah, as I stood there among the thousands, looking at the 3 chairs that we sat in with this little idea that we presented to the Sacramento Kings...I was also thinking about how 6 weeks ago, all of this was cancelled. I just stood there in a sea of people amazed at what God had done. I thought about the idea, the work, the struggle to see it happen, and... yeah, seeing what God did with a little idea, I got a little emotional!

THANK YOU JESUS!!!!

Don Cox (NCA DYD)



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Impact Montana




A cultural experience is waiting for you without even leaving the country. Most of us have had to take a history course that taught us about Native Americans or have seen an old western with a poor depiction of what took place in the establishment of our country; but no matter which side you fall on in relationship to this subject we cannot deny the needs of a nation of people.



This is our inaugural trip to two communities on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in southeastern Montana. We will be ministering to the kids and teens of Lame Deer and Busby through VBS-style outreach and sports. What a great adventure it will be to have the opportunity to reach past cultural barriers and generational wounds to reconcile and minister the love of Jesus to a hurting reservation.

Join us as we GO to the Northern Cheyenne!

July 23rd – July31 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Impact Wisconsin



One reason that I recommend ANYONE for going on a Mission trip is one simple word: PERSPECTIVE. This PERSPECTIVE rocked my world the first time I served at a Special Needs camp as a young teenager. My life has never been the same. Year after year I found myself returning, again and again and again, to serve people that I had intended to “help” but in all reality THEY had “helped me”.

PERSPECTIVE. When does it happen? Maybe when you take someone swimming who has NEVER entered the water because of their disability. Perhaps it occurs when you take a physically disabled person rafting, rock climbing, or horseback riding, something they NEVER deemed possible. Possibly it happens as you help someone accomplish a simple task like tying a shoe that you typically take for granted every day. Or just maybe it happens when you experience (believe me it IS an experience) a service filled with special needs people worshipping with all their heart & soul. The bottom line is that after a week of serving a group of people who are often looked over by our society, your life is changed. PERSPECTIVE.

There are now 50 million Americans with disabilities, and many of those are NOT a part of any church. We have an unreached people group in our own back yard, and one thing you will learn from this trip is that while there ARE many disabled people, there are NO disabled SOULS.

Come experience an amazing week with us, serving a people group that is ready for an IMPACT!

Impact Wisconsin June 26th -July 2nd

Friday, April 1, 2011

Impact Haiti

Haiti was not even on our mission's radar until January 12, 2010. The disaster that took place in this small country affected the world and also our PCG fellowship. We have a campus in Port Au Prince. When we found out that we had 1500 people living in tents on that property we sprung into action. What our team saw upon arrival was beyond explanation. Hundreds of thousands of people living in tents with many family members buried in concrete graves. We knew our task was to be the LIGHT in the darkness and share HOPE. Over two trips last year we ministered to kids, teens, and whole families living in small tents. Every day we would wake to the chatter of kids wanting to play; so we played. I was moved by an article preparing for our trips in 2010. It stated that the kids were doing what they do best, and that was play. We took basketballs and soccer balls to provide an outlet for kids and adults. God works very simply and all He needs is our availability and effort. We cleaned debris, put tin roofs on schools, cleaned blocks for building and painted. One afternoon we set up a medical clinic to treat simple wounds, cuts and bruises. Hundreds of people lined up to have someone care for their needs. Many of their needs were beyond our expertise, but what we could give was our heart of love and take the time to pray with each one. Acts 3:6 says "Then Peter said "Silver and gold I don't have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

The Stories of need are seemingly endless and far too many have not experienced firsthand what is taking place in the poorest regions around the world, making it easy to become numb. Haiti, Africa, Central America, Asia, and the Middle East are places we hear about on the news frequently. We have become so saturated by the media that we have begun to think we can't really make a difference. One of the most amazing stories that came out of our team's first trip to Haiti is of the government liaison that told them what a huge impact is made when everyone "just does their part." I have seen firsthand the reality of what a small group of passionate hearts can do, and am here to tell that it only takes one person to change someones story. Haiti is full of people that need a smile of hope and a hand of kindness.

Who is waiting for you?

Join us on a trip to Haiti August 21st-28th or Oct 16th-23rd!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Impact Honduras


Imagine, if you will, traveling up the side of a Central America mountain in a Toyota 4runner. The only road is actually an old river bed, but that doesn’t matter because you are on the adventure of a lifetime. Upon arrival in this remote village, it doesn’t take much to realize that traffic is rare. The people run to see what the commotion is about and stand wide-eyed as the “gringos” unload. We had come to visit the site where a new church will be built, and we see the people clearing the land by hand with machetes. The pastor is an 18 year old young man who is receiving his degree at the PCG Bible Institute a couple of hours away. He is full of zeal for the Lord and passionate about leading his people to Jesus!

Now, journey with me to another village not too far away from there; where we have come to share our stories and testify to the amazing healing power of our Savior. As the service starts, the room fills with women who have suffered unimaginable acts in a culture that has stood silent on such matters. While our stories of hope begin to unfold, the Holy Spirit unravels the years of pain that has been inflicted. From young to old we are privileged to see the divine rewriting of their stories. To see firsthand the reality of Beauty for Ashes is something that has an eternal impact.

A couple of hours from these villages is a community tucked away on the side of a mountain where God is moving. The Pentecostal Church of God Bible Institute is located on a little piece of heaven. To see the stories that are being written and changed in this place that will literally reach across a nation stirs an undeniable fire. You don’t have to walk far from the campus to hear the ringing laughter of children. Our school is full of young leaders being given a unique opportunity to get a Christian-based education in an impoverished country. As in any culture, their vigor for life is contagious and a good reminder of why we were created.

Even as I sit remembering these stories and the forever IMPACT that was made in my life through them, there is a verse in Proverbs that comes to mind. King Solomon wrote in Prov. 11:25 “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” The inspiring fire that’s caught, the hope that’s brought, and the difference that’s being made all combine into an awesome opportunity to refresh and be refreshed. These stories have just skimmed the surface of what one can experience on a Mission Adventure to Honduras.

Are you ready to GO?

GO with Impact to Honduras July 31- August 8th

Visit www.impactym.com to download your application TODAY!