Free Resources For Pastors And Congregations

Here are three resources which we enjoy, and wish to share with you.
The first is “Sermon Search,” which is a great resource for Pastors.
As their heading states, they offer “Sermons, Outlines, Illustrations, & Preaching Ideas.” There is some really great content here. We get email updates from them, and we also “look around” the site often.
We think you’ll find it a great resource.
They also feature a “Pastor’s Corner.”

Here’s a direct link:

Next, here is are 2 links to “9Marks” Ministry.

The first is a direct link to “Answers For Pastors,”
where you’ll find “Common questions from pastors arranged topically.”

Here’s the Direct Link:

9Marks also features a section of their website called “Answers for Church Members,” which feature “Common questions from church members arranged topically.”
Here’s the Direct Link:

Ted and Carol


Special Video Testimony: Ivan Koloff

Ivan Koloff, who accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of his life in 1995, is now an ordained minister, and active in the ministry, traveling to share his testimony across the United States.
When we shared the Lex Luger testimony recently, we shared how wonderful Jesus is, to take “bad guys”-like us, love them, save them, and deliver them. After all, we were all “bad guys” at one time. Funny how we forget that, sometimes …  
I just finished a story about someone at the end of their rope-and hope, calling out to Jesus, who answered their call, saved them … delivered them … and then, they answered His call …
When I wrote the story, I thought about Ivan Koloff. How just listening to him, looking at him speak of Jesus, blessed me, and encouraged me so much.

I must be honest: I still sneak a peek at the old Wrestling Videos on Youtube … the old videos … it was such a part of my life for so long … I loved to watch the Ivan Koloff interviews, especially. Anyway, late one night, months ago, there was a video interview of Ivan Koloff, filmed at one of those “legend” events, I supposed. It wasn’t the interview that grabbed my attention … it was the T-Shirt he was wearing. It said, “I Love Jesus.” WOW!
I checked it out, and, I am so proud of Ivan Koloff! And, proud to share a couple of videos with you.

First, here is Ivan Koloff’s personal testimony. I’ve seen it many times, and it still blesses me, still encourages me. That’s exactly why we want to share this with you. He is able to reach many people that others can’t, and I hope this touches … blesses … encourages … and reaches you:

I wanted to also share this this video clip with you. There is just something about seeing Ivan Koloff in a suit and tie … in a church … that really blesses me! This was a short video taken after Ivan Koloff had spoken at the church. He talks about his book, answers a couple of questions, and, issues an invitation to all … Enjoy!

Finally, I’ve included this link to the Ivan Koloff website, to his personal testimony page, which begins, “I am overjoyed that I am alive and so grateful that I have a Savior, who loves me so much that he died for me.  My Savior, “Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God” was patient with me and still is today.  Thank You Jesus!”



Guest Post: So What is “Church Growth” Anyway? | Life Reference

“It is my view that a church cannot grow numerically until it’s leaders and congregation grow enough spiritually to do the things that cause church growth.”

As a follow-up to our “Success Guaranteed” posts, we share this article from Don Merritt, over at his “Life Reference” Blog.
Enjoy, grow, and be blessed!

So What is “Church Growth” Anyway? | Life Reference.



Success: Guaranteed! Five Words Down To One

Earlier, we shared the five-word statement that will guarantee success as a Christian, applying both as a person, and success as a church. A five word statement that, if acted upon, will guarantee success, both personally and corporately.
Remember? It was exactly what the leaders of the early church did.

Remember the five words?
Know Him.
Make Him known.

I guess it’s no secret what the one word is, the most important word of all … not just in this “principle,” but the most important word in the whole human language.

So, I thought I’d just jot down some principles, taking the Five Words down to One.
Please keep in mind that, while there is no question about the one word which we’ll end up with, all of us can come up with our own list of four, three, and two words. And, I encourage you to please do so.
So, here is a “start list” of some
“Success in ___ Words” I began with:

One more time:
Guaranteed Christian Success in 5 Words:
Know Him.
Make Him known.
(Can you tell I really love this one?)

Guaranteed Christian Success in Four Words:
Know Him.
Show Him.

Know it.
Show it.

Show Him to others.

Do what He did.

Be found in Him.

Much prayer.
Much power.

Not mine, but Yours.
(After all, it is a question of will!)

Think right.
Do right.
(This isn’t a part of the list, but it’s four words, and it’s an original!)

This is a good start for your own list!

Guaranteed Christian Success in 3 Words:

Know, Grow, Show.

I surrender all.

To win, submit.

Abide in Him.

Christ in me.

Trust and obey.

Listen and learn.

Make Him Lord.

Listen to Him.

Learn from Him.

Guaranteed Christian Success in 2 Words:

Jesus Christ.

Christ Jesus.

Trust Him.

Obey Him.

Guaranteed Christian Success in One Word:


Period! That’s it!

Colossians 2:3: “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
1 Corinthians 1:24: “… Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”

Know Jesus.
Make Jesus known.

I’ll close with one of my originals, a “formula” I have used in classes and teaching for years:

Pray more.
Study more.
= Be More … Like Jesus



Rare Videos and Mickey Mantle: “I’ve Accepted Christ As My Savior”

Mickey Mantle.
To a kid growing up in the 60’s, Mickey Mantle, was …  well … Mickey Mantle. To 4 country boys growing up, every available minute playing baseball, Mickey Mantle was … well, Mickey Mantle. I never heard of “The Mick” or “The Commerce Comet” until well after I was grown. He was … well, Mickey Mantle. He was on a short list that, years later, we could say, “People today just don’t realize how popular he really was.” How the greatest treasure we could imagine holding in our hands was his baseball card. Only in dreams we held his Rookie Card. 

Writing totally from memory, today, 45 YEARS after he retired, I still remember: .298 lifetime average, 536 home runs, 1506 RBIs, 18-times All-Star. And, it is just a coincidence, but he wore my favorite number … 7.
I remember the look on my father’s face, the way he talked, the way he showed us his hand … after he had met, and shaken hands with, Mickey Mantle.  

Much has been written about his final days. His honesty, his repentant heart, his heroism, and example touched a nation. Bob Costas, delivering the eulogy at Mickey Mantle’s funeral, said, “Our last memories of Mickey Mantle are as heroic as the first … Then, in the end, something remarkable happened … all of America watched in admiration … ”

We now share with you this rare interview with Bobby Richardson, from … What I have heard for so many years, and many of you have heard, and many may already know, that, on his deathbed, Mickey Mantle accepted Christ as his personal Savior. Here is Bobby Richardson’s testimony about those days. Bobby Richardson, who played for the Yankees from 1955-1966, continued to be Mickey Mantle’s friend, and as Bobby Richardson says in this interview, “I wanted to be bold, because I wanted him to spend eternity with me in Heaven …”
You’ll hear Bobby Richardson’s memory of rushing to Baylor Medical Center, when Mickey Mantle told him, “I’ve accepted Christ as my Savior.”
This is such a rare video, that does not allow certain pictures to be shown … so, as you watch, please stay with it … as the interview will continue, and the pictures will come back … Mickey Mantle. Thank you Bobby Richardson, and thank you, Jesus … for not giving up … on Mickey Mantle … Enjoy the interview:

Remember this quote from Casey Stengel?: “That boy hits baseballs over buildings. He runs as fast as Ty Cobb.”
Here’s a rare video interview of Mickey Mantle, which was featured on “The George Michael Sports Machine.” Enjoy:

Here now is the rare video of Bob Costa, delivering the eulogy, at Mickey Mantle’s funeral service. Many will be viewing this for the first time, and we have it just as it was televised live. After this remarkable, and most poignant eulogy, Roy Clark sings, as Mickey Mantle had requested, “Yesterday When I Was Young”:

Now, just for a special treat, here is a rare video of Mickey Mantle appearing on the television Game Show “Name’s The Same.” This is from May 26, 1953, only 2 years after his rookie season. Part of the show weekly show would feature a special guest, who shared with the guest panel, “Who I would like to be.” As was the case with many of those early game shows,
the panel had to guess the name of the person whom the guest would like to be. We all remember Mickey Mantle appearing on television shows over the years … I even remember an episode of “Bewitched,” in which the telephone rang, and it was Mickey Mantle, calling to ask if he could bat .600 … It made such an impression, it is evident I remember it to this day. Enjoy this rare video clip, featured on the Game Show Network (honestly, I have never watched the network, nor even remember the
show-way before my time) … but, I wanted to include this for its rarity, and a “remember when” … Enjoy, as Mickey Mantle, from 1953, shares, “Who’d I like to be:”

Hope you enjoyed the videos!
How times have changed … The money won from the “Name’s the Same” show went to the guest’s favorite charity … Did you see Mickey Mantle walking over at the end of the show to collect the checks … for 25.00 each …

To encourage you … Mickey Mantle was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1974. It received 88.2% of the vote. Somehow, that encourages me to do my best, and we won’t please everyone, will we? By the way, no one has ever been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with a unanimous vote. Which I think is the most unbelievable of any baseball stat.

I do watch one baseball game a year, the All-Star game. Have a blessed day!


Join Us: Love, Compassion, Prayer, and Support For Shaun

To our friends around the world: Here is a very special request, asking you for your prayer and support for a close friend of ours here in the United States.

A dear Brother in the Lord, in fact, one of our own “Children in the Lord,” Shaun Bingham, of Connecticut, is in need of a liver transplant.
Shaun is only 24 years old, has just recently gotten married, and even now, is in a hospital in Connecticut.

We have known Shaun for years, and are so proud of this young man. We never gave up on him during our time in Youth Ministry, and, Jesus didn’t give up on him, either. Even when “Shaun was just being Shaun.” Those of you who have served with youth know what we mean.

God can do anything. There is nothing too hard for Him. Period. We know that God uses all types of people, even doctors, to show forth His great power.

I did some checking out about what Shaun has been up to recently. I can see why he is “eligible” for coming under attack. I can remember when just making sure he went to school was a great task … and, now, in college … well, here’s what his beautiful bride wrote on the website which we will be sharing with you:
“… he has served his community by forming the Quinebaug Valley Campus Ministry where he presides as President and Campus Minister. He has lead many community events that have helped hundereds of Children in the North East Corner of Connecticut. He has served QVCC as their representative to the Connecticut Board of Regents of Higher Education where he has fought for the rights of 92,000 students in the state of Connecticut.   In his spare time he is very active in his local community and church …”

I am so glad that Jesus knew his future …

We are going to share with you two separate website addresses.
One is to a special website, set up by Shaun’s family and friends, where you can donate toward his medical expenses.

One is to his Facebook Page, where he posts about his “day-to-day,” and, really, “procedure-to-procedure” progress. We leave this address in case you’d like to let him know you are praying for him, etc. Wouldn’t you appreciate that? We have so much to be thankful for, and he’s just 24 …

Please join us in praying for Shaun … and, join us in supporting this young man in any way you can.

Here’s the direct link to the “” website, where you’ll be met by a special introduction message from Shaun’s bride. Just click on the picture:

Shaun and Bride

Now, here’s the link to Shaun’s Facebook Page, to contact him, and get the updates. Just click on the picture:
Facebook picture

We are so proud of him! Please join us!

Ted and Carol



Guest Post: My Trip to the Philippines | THE CRUNCHY CHRISTIAN

“This trip was hard for a number of reasons but I’ve never felt so encouraged and uplifted in all my life. It’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world … Our God is a missionary and so we are missionaries… there are still whole people groups that have never heard of Jesus; of the Lord who has died for them. But the good news is that we can have a part. We must either go or send. We must be either goers or senders. It takes both to successfully spread the gospel into new frontiers …”

We’d like to share this post from Pastor Thailer, from “THE CRUNCHY CHRISTIAN,” one of our favorite blogs, writing about his missionary trip to the Phillipines.
We always encourage you to pray-every day-for Pastors, Missionaries, and  Evangelists around the world. For God to give them safety, protection, wisdom and understanding, and boldness. And, please pray for those who support them! As I read his words, I am again reminded of how fortunate and blessed we are here in the United States. And, let’s face it: So many of us just don’t realize how blessed we are, and how different … how so very different it is in so many ways, in other countries around the globe …

Here’s a direct link to Pastor Thailer



Guest Posts: July 4th From Israel: Daughter and Father

From Yael Eckstein

Yael“.. during the week leading up to July 4th, I take some time to reflect on how special America is and to thank God for this glorious country that has served as a beacon of light and democracy for hundreds of years. I was born in Chicago and lived in America for the first 17 years of my life …

Here’s the link to Yael’s  message:

From Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
“This July 4, let us remember all the men and women whose service and sacrifice have made our country great. And, as we look up once again at the fireworks displays in the heavens, may we also lift our prayers of gratitude to God for the blessings of living in a free nation, and for the long and enduring friendship between the United States and Israel.”
Here’s the link to IFCJ Website:


Guest Post: Hymn History: Thomas Dorsey, “The Father of Gospel Music” From Lights 4 God Blog

Monday, July 1st, marks the birthday of Thomas Dorsey, who wrote “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” and “Peace in the Valley.” Our friends over at the Lights4God blog shared the biography of Thomas Dorsey with us, and we’d like to share it with you. It is a remarkable story, with great words of comfort arising from great sorrow, and how God’s call remains, even while we are chasing worldly pursuits … I’m also reminded, again, of how important being raised in a Godly home is …

Thomas Dorsey was born in Villa Rica, GA, (Yeah Villa Rica!!! We’ll return there next month!). I was there at the ceremony, when they dedicated the Historical Marker in Thomas Dorsey’s honor, in Villa Rica, back in 1994.
Here are the words on the Historical Marker, taken from Wikipedia:

Marker text
Thomas A. Dorsey historical marker


Father of Gospel

Thomas Andrew Dorsey, composer of over 400 blues and gospel songs, lived here following his birth in Villa Rica on July 1, 1899. At Mt. Prospect Baptist Church he was exposed to shape-note singing and at home learned to play a used pump organ, experiences he said “sprang” his career. The young blues pianist moved to Chicago in 1919 in the Great Migration.

Dorsey wrote the world’s most popular gospel-blues song after his wife and newborn son died unexpectedly on August 26 and 27, 1932. That song, Take My Hand, Precious Lord has been translated into 32 languages. Aretha Franklin recorded Take My Hand, Precious Lord in 1956, the same year Tennessee Governor Frank Clement recited it. It became the anthem of Fannie Lou Hamer’s Mississippi Summer. Dorsey’s friend, Mahalia Jackson, sang it at Martin Luther King, Jr’s funeral. Elvis Presley’s recording of Dorsey’s second-most-popular gospel song, Peace in the Valley, sold millions of copies.

For a while, any new gospel-blues song, regardless of who wrote it, was called a “Dorsey” until Dorsey himself coined the name “gospel”. Dorsey died in Chicago on January 23, 1993.

Historical information

This historical marker sits alongside U.S. Hwy 78 because the actual house Dorsey was born in has been gone a long time. Dorsey’s home was approximately 1/4 mile NNW of the marker’s location. The Mt. Prospect Baptist Church building Dorsey learned music in has also been gone a long time although the church itself is still an active part of the Villa Rica community.

Now, please enjoy the guest post from the Lights4God blog. Here’s a direct link:
THOMAS DORSEY | Lights 4 God.