Current Events

Solitude and Silence

If solitude were primarily an escape from a busy job, and silence primarily an escape from a noisy milieu, they could easily become very self-centered...solitude and silence are for prayer. The Desert Fathers did not think of solitude as being alone, but as being with God. They did not think of silence as not speaking, but as listening to God. Solitude and silence are the context within which prayer is practiced.
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> -Henri Nouwen, from The Way of the Heart, Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry.

True Purpose

What is the true purpose in a Christian’s life?

Che Ahn defined the purpose: rather than works, duties or accomplishments, the true purpose is love God and loving others.*

* Excerpt from a book review by Chris Maxwell from Fire Evangelism, written by Che Ahn - published in MinistryToday March/April 2007 magazine.

NACBA 2007

Grapevine Texas is hosting the 51st conference for the National Association of Church Business Administration. Record attendance of over 1,000 individuals representing churches, ministries and industry providers are expected.

Sandy Siegfried and I are representing Stanfield & O'Dell, P.C., as exhibitors, and we are meeting church leaders from across the U.S.

Improving Your Serve is the theme for the conference and Thursday - Sunday includes a variety of guest speakers on topics affecting churches and ministries of all sizes.

Go to the NACBA website for more information.

FREEDOM

As we celebrate Freedom on July 4, 2007, please enjoy the following words from Jesus and the Apostle Paul:

I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:34 etal...(NIV)

When Church is Boring

I read a number of articles and books by Christian authors and periodically I run across writings that peek my interest. I am launching a new category called “my favorites”. I hope you will find these excerpts interesting.

Recently, I read an article in MinistryToday which included an interview with Mark Beeson, senior pastor for Granger Community Church. I really like one of his responses on how the Granger church is innovative in reaching new members…

Harvest 2007

This past weekend over 200 churches sponsored Harvest 2007, at the RBC in Raleigh, North Carolina. This event was co-sponsored by Harvest Christian Fellowship and featured Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest.

At the invitation of several churches, I attended the youth night on Saturday night and I watched thousands of young people worship together, led by 3 great bands, including Toby Mac. I know that our society continues to talk about a generation gap. I understand that there are several "gaps" but I saw unity of believers worshipping together, without a "gap".

Stewardship

Today we are introducing a new category to the blog...Ministry Terminology.

Stewardship (ie, personal intellect/education) – is to manage, direct and influence the resources of the earth to manifest the will of God. *

* - as defined by Bishop Harold Ray, a Florida pastor, in an article written by Ken Walker, for MinistryToday, The Business of Ministry.

What do you think about stewardship? Is this a fair consideration?

Let's further define this important term used by many, as it relates to ministry.

theministryblog.com - Wins AAM Award

Straight off the press...

Stanfield & O'Dell, P.C.'s Blog Intergral Part of Niche-Building Campaign

Stanfield & O’Dell’s Christian ministry blog was honored by the Association of Accounting Marketing (AAM) with an award for a “Niche-Building Campaign.” At the recommendation and consultation of Golden Marketing, Stanfield & O’Dell became the first multi-partner CPA firm to launch an industry-specific blog (theministryblog.com).

IRS warns taxpayers about phony e-mails - (1 of 2)

The IRS is warning taxpayers about Internet scams and fraudulent e-mails that appear to be from the IRS. The e-mails direct the taxpayer to a Web link that looks like the genuine IRS site and requests information such as the individual’s social security number and bank account or credit card numbers. This information is then used by the scammers to steal from the victim’s bank account and run up charges on his or her credit card.

What do these scams look like? See post #2 on the fraud series.

What's New: Recent Scams Target Debit Cards

According to the Federal Reserve, debit card use has now surpassed credit card use. Unfortunately, debit card fraud has also grown, reaching $662 million in 2005, a 21% increase from the previous year.

Though debit cards are convenient to use, they put churches/ministries at greater financial risk for two reasons: (1) the cards directly access a church's bank account, so your money can be withdrawn by scam artists, and (2) debit cards don’t provide the same legal protection against fraud that comes with credit cards.