Having an Impact!
October 11, 2006
Real St. Nick & Jesus
Writings since last newsletter
Supporting Lahore Pakistan Mission
What Others have said
Mental Health Article, FACING THE FEAR AND ANXIETY OF THE UNKOWN By: Stanley Popovich
Message from Curt A Soldier Leaving for Iraq this Week
Church Referrals, We Are Sending People To The Local Church!
New Photos and work on Web Site Dave Weiss
Contact and Giving Information
A lot has been going on since the last issue. A lot of that is going to be touched on in this issue of The Virtual Pew News. Again, I encourage each of you to read through and see what God is doing. You can also gather information on things we desparetly need help with, including financial and more. A lot going on, and a lot upcoming, enjoy this issue of The Virtual Pew News.
On a personal level a lot is going on. Wrestling has started and that means a busy time. Pray that God will open up doors to do Church on the Mat at various tournaments, and that God will bless this end of the ministry as he has in the past. I am involved less in time requirements, but more in regards to ministry and quality opportunities.
Last note on a personal end, is we are getting ready to move. We are of course staying in the Wichita area, and plan to continue ministry to the inner city, and to those in the SW community in Wichita where we have developed relationships with in the past. God is good and things are looking brighter. Be in prayer as well as it looks like by the time the next newsletter comes out we will have rented our house in Oklahoma. Of course we still have out of pocket expenses involved there regarding making up the difference on the mortgage, but we know as do many others, this is not the best time to becoming a home. We are hoping for some changes come the first of the year in this area.
The Real St. Nick & Jesus
As most of you know we are always looking for ways to go on the road with the ministry. This season, for the first time, I am offering to perform The Real St. Nick & Jesus. I would really appreciate individuals contacting me regarding doing this presentation at churches, youth groups, businesses and then some. The show is appropriate for all ages, and as usual I will do some shows at no cost to appropriate charities. Anyone wanting to help sponsor those types of shows please contact me. I am willing to do the show for a love offering verses minimum expenses and will assure you that any group can afford this presentation. This is a unique and quality presentation using the character of St. Nick to present the true message of Christmas. Here is a paste up of the information we are sending out.
The Real St. Nick & Jesus is a one man presentation written by Mike Furches in 2002. The play follows the story of the real Saint Nicholas as told by Saint Nicholas. It looks at historical accuracies as well as the origin of contemporary legends Many will be surprised at the historical characters uncompromising faith and service. Receiving great reviews this play has been performed for three years. This the fourth year of the production is the first year the presentation has been offered for churches and various groups.
Mike has a grasp of the real St. Nicholas Character, devoting hundreds of hours in research. He also has played the role of Santa over the years at various locations around the Midwest. Many of those locations have him return each year because of the enthusiasm he brings to the role.
Mike is now booking dates for the presentation between October 25, 2006 and January 7, 2007. Affordable rates are available for all sized groups. For more information you can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 316-258-3952. The mailing address is, The Virtual Pew, P.O. Box 17731, Wichita KS 67217
Mike Furches is pastor of The Virtual Pew, one of the first online ministries. He has been widely published on various topics and his book The Keystone Kid is under edit for future publication. Mike has been published in 3 Movie Review books, various newspapers, and magazines. His writings are read by literally millions each week. He has appeared on both local and national television and radio. He has also appeared in various documentary films. You can learn more about the ministry Mike is involved in by visiting http://www.thevirtualpew.com/, http://www.furches.org/, and www.hollywoodjesus.com . Mike has also presented at conferences all across America on various topics. Mike started acting as a young man, and loves returning to one of his loves, the theater where he has appeared in numerous plays across the country, including The Body and the Wheel, The Dracula Spectacula, To Inherit The Wind, Pinocchio, and numerous others.
The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita KS 67217
316-258-3952 or email email@example.com
The truth is, this ministry as you will read later has had a tremendous impact. For example over the last weeks I have begin discussions with Sky Lopez a former porn star regarding her new commitment to follow Christ. There is a lot to be said there, but I won’t delve more than to say, prayer is critical. I was also contacted by Rob Zombie a contemporary Horror Film Maker and Musician who has at the least been considered to be controversial. Rob contacted me to do an interview when he is in a current dead place, in other words, not doing any interviews or any media with anyone. Yet he contacted me to do an interview which I will be posting later this week. It will be available the next newsletter, or by visiting one of the web sites listed below. The contacts haven’t stopped there though, there has been counseling with numerous people ranging from financial, drug, homeless, spiritual and more issues. All of this takes time, time that requires my full attention.
For those that don’t know, The Virtual Pew has become a full-time ministry. I can’t believe how God has blessed it, and how spiritual needs across the globe are being met. It all comes at a cost though and the truth is, few have contributed to the ministry. The www.furches.org web site is under construction and making progress, but with that, is cost. There is also time requirements involved. One of the things many have noticed is my willingness to actually spend time with them, talking, via phone, in person, and over the internet. For those skeptical of a ministry like this, come spend the day with me, it won’t take long to see the impact The Virtual Pew is having.
Here is the current status of The Virtual Pew. We have had at a maximum $15,000 in our account. We now currently have right at $3,000 as of this writing. There are currently expected costs of $1,000 for web site services and other areas of ministry that we will incur within the next month. This ministry costs, and is going to require funds to continue. We need the help of various organizations, whether from speaking engagements, or donations. See the information at the conclusion of this page regarding how to give. We have made a point to mention our financial needs each month, but only once a month or so will we go into some detail as we have here. You won't see us begging for money, but you will see us mentioning our needs as we have here.
Writings since the last newsletter:
This includes the blogs and reviews that are read by millions each month. This month was uniquely different because of the doors of ministry that God opened up. This actually includes less than half of the comments. There has been unexpected ministry to those involved in the Porn Industry, Horror Industry, and much more. There is actually some discussion with several individuals who are contemplating moving to Wichita to become a more active part of The Virtual Pew. I have been involved in about ever ministry imaginable from counseling to those who are new to the faith, have strayed from their faith, to those asking questions about Jesus Christ. The ministry is broad and wide, and continues to be beyond anything we could have ever imagined; presently thousands are being affected by the ministry of The Virtual Pew. The following will give a small taste of the work that God is doing. Click on the links below to see the writings.
9/1/06 Ephesians Part 2 Chapter 1 – I got a great deal
9/2/06 Wrestling with Flesh and Blood Video
9/6/06 Where Have You Been
My Space: (Not at Hollywood Jesus and have to check the archives.)
9/8/06 High School Football, Bluegrass and Chili
9/11/06 Bluegrass, Americana, and Camping for Jesus
My Space: (Check the archives)
9/19/06 Are You Like That Ol’ Nasty Fish The Carp (Videos included)
9/21/06 To Hell With The Poor (Note this blog created a great deal of controversy and almost 1000 responses, and over 100 replies via personal email and on blog and group postings. Don’t let the title fool you, check out the blog.)
9/26/06 Ephesians Chapter 2, Now This is Something Most People Could Get Into (Includes Video)
My Space: (Will have to check the archives.)
9/27/06 Jackass # 2 Movie Review
9/30/06 Bands Top Friends
My Space: (Will have to check the archives)
10/2/06 Am I Going to Hell Because I Love Rob Zombie and Sky Lopez? (This blog actually caused me to start having some interaction with both Sky Lopez, a former Porn Star, and Rob Zombie. It was as well very controversial but has led to a great opportunity to share the Gospel with various people involved in the worlds of Porn, The Occult, Horror and Rock N Roll. It was after seeing this article that Rob Zombie contacted me to request an exclusive interview with me. A dream come true, and as a result the building of a hopeful on going relationship with Rob.)
10/3/06 School of Scoundrels Movie Review
10/3/06 The Devil’s Rejects Review Review (Movie Review includes video clips)
10/6/06 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre The Beginning (Movie Review with video clips)
10/7/06 The Grudge Review Review (Movie Review with video clips)
Supporting Lahore Pakistan Mission
We want to continue to support our foreign mission effort in Lahore Pakistan. We have sent $130 since the last publication and want to continue to support this ministry that is having a dramatic impact on Muslims in this Islamic Country. At The Virtual Pew we recognize the value of giving, it is why we have committed to tithing 14% of all donations to the Lahore Pakistan Church. We will also continue to send 100% of designated gifts to this ministry to pay for Bibles in their language, and to help provide ministry assistance to orphans and widows. Please consider an additional gift to support this ministry.
What Others Have Said:
Please remember on this, it is but a portion of the interactions I have had. In some situations edits have taken place to protect the confidentiality of the individual. The purpose of this is to let those supporting The Virtual Pew in both financial and prayer support know that the fruit of this ministry is partially yours. Of course God is the ultimate worker, but I am blessed to have the level of involvement I have from month to month and know of the phone calls, emails, and personal contacts. I can say without a doubt, this ministry is meeting a need and God is blessing our Spiritual Fruit abundantly. A note to some, these interactions use the language many responding use. To some, some of that language may be offensive, but know this, God is working. In some situations where the individual has publicly posted their name, I will use their name in the comment section here.
You know, you have a gift for organizing your thoughts that I noticed back when you wrote an article for Hollywood Jesus on HO1C's. It's just like "WOW!-EXACTLY!!" Except I could of never said it so beautifully, completely, and right on.
I've kept my eye on you over the years, so that maybe some of your skill would rub off on me;)~ and because there is nothing I would love more than to finally be able to read that interview between you and R. Zombie. I've been viewing a lot of horror lately for graphic arts purposes, and when people ask me my opinion, I stutter stumble,
I know what feel and I know exactly what rocked and what didn't for me, but I just can't explain, and I think...where's Furches' brain when I need it.;)~ LOL Thanks for staying true, and doing what you do!
Was thinking exactly what prayer accomplishes for the believer and non believer = the lip service Christian if you will and I read somewhere someone wisely said, "Satan laughs at our toiling, mocks our wisdom, but trembles when he sees the weakest saint on his knees." Prayer is God's appointed way of doing God's work. I also understand it meets a hearts needs and in a way brings peace but that all seems part of it so I was wondering if any of my fellow Christians with perhaps better understanding, could share their thoughts?
What is the purpose of prayer?
Any insight or clarity is welcome, thanks!
Hello. My name is Krysta. I just joined today. Currently, I am a stay at home mom of two kids; a two year old girl, and a 4 month old son. I am really working on trying to get closer to God. He has done so much for my life and I am excited for what he has in store for me next. I am looking forward to meeting some new people and growing in the Spirit. Have a great day!
I just wanted to thank you for sharing with us from the festival! It was amazing to see the thousands of people who attend such an event.
I also wanted to thank you for the messages you shared on your blogs. It was nice to hear them shared in a real-life manner. It wasn’t preachy....thank you!
Enjoy the rest off your time there my friend!
I appreciate your blog and efforts! I only got to be there for last weekend and it sure helps to get a taste of the happenings!
OMG!!!!! (That stands for "Oh My Goodness!" by the way -- don't want to offend anyone). What a terrific blog!
I just read your "To Hell with the Poor". Those are things that I try to say, but you stated them so much better than I could. Living in Atlanta, GA, I see a lot of homeless folks. And most of the time, people walk by them without a second glance. Or they walk past looking disgusted. I am embarrased. These are people -- they are God's children too. They are our brothers and sisters!
There was a song out a few years ago by Everlast called "What it's Like". I would argue that that song offers a message that Jesus tried to get us to understand. That song says a lot of what you said in your blog.
Thank you for sharing that!!!!
I just got through reading your blog on the poor. It is unfortunate that so many have the wrong attitude towards this group of people. I really had no idea about this particular group of people until I got to experience it first hand in Nashville. Actually that trip was more of an outsider looking in, because due to our time constraints we pretty much just showed up and sang and then had to leave for a recording session that my friend Jerry Bennett had scheduled. After reading the following information from some of their materials and also found on their website at www.thebridgeministryinc.com, I was rather intrigued by what I read.
I read your letter on the poor and im kind of new to my space and all that, but it touched my heart you’re absolutely right. We are to help, pray, comfort the poor, as Christians we are the light of the world the salt of the earth...if we don't care who will? I just want to encourage you to keep up the faith and I will do my part as well.....drawing closer to the Lord ….
The video touched my heart in a powerful and dramatic way. I loved it! I first heard the Song Amazing Grace done to the tune of "The House of the Rising Sun" in the late 1970s at Church one day. It touched my heart so powerfully back then, and still today, especially to those who have lived that radically rebellious lifestyle steeped in Racism, Perversion, and the depths of darkness; Thank GOD for the vastness of HIS GRACE and MERCY; and the fact that HE places our sins in a sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered again! Hallelujah, Thank you JESUS; Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and ALL that is within me, and forget not, none of His Benefits! Psalms 103:1-5
Me and my father used to watch jackass on mtv, we loved that show. Mom hated it but we watched it anyways. Women can be dumb I tell you, sometimes. I basically leave for Iraq in 2 and a half weeks. Things have really been looking up and I am looking forward to what the future holds, though I have to admit I am slightly nervous, but not as freaked as I was before. Gods grace is sufficient.
Hmmmn, I honestly don’t know what to tell you about the ministry stuff, its not my expertise. The enemy does have ways of discouraging us though. The last blog I have is written about this topic, read it if you want. I got told I should send it in to get published by a friend. I don’t think so though.
Offending the religious is something I enjoy! Hope it's as fun for You! Go Mike! Reach the lost and offend the religious.
And Rise up against Satan!
And thus Mike that is why I cannot stand "Christians". It makes me sick that people base there eternity off of these people and not Christ.
Alafia y Bendicion, Mike
I have a few of your blog, including the most recent one ( To hell with the Poor)
I found it beautifully written and very down to earth. So much that I am reminded that there are, in fact, good people in the world. But enough complements, lest your head get big lol.. heh.
The part where you write about how some churches are not reaching out of there 'comfort zone' was great. I mean, preaching is good, but after a while, you are preaching to the choir, and no one in progressing. Leaving them ( the church patrons) isolated. Religious leaders influence or help influence the minds of their listeners. If we could get more to discuss things that are important to each area's surrounding problems.
I mean, We have a high crime rate in Louisiana. Yet we have a lot of churches.. I just don’t like the picture of a beautiful bright white painted church surrounded by gunshots, debris, and poverty. Shouldn’t Churches be like seeds?
I should think more about think this, and I will.
Keep doing what you do, people really do appreciate it.
Ire y peace, Abure
Sorry I lost internet for a while !!!
I think that’s the whole point to get past your issues to help others, Thank you for the encouragement it’s awesome...
I was listening to Joyce Meyer the other day and she said have ever thought that maybe you wouldn’t have as many problems if you'd stop focusing on yourself and focus on Jesus, But that doesn't make sense to the mind if I'm going to fix myself I need to focus on myself but then she said, Jesus asked peter 3 times "Do you love me" Peter said yes lord I love you, "Then feed my sheep" Joyce then said so get off your butt feed his sheep and focus on Jesus and he will fix u we have all been sent to love and help someone to Jesus...
I'll stop preaching now, I love you brother take care...
Thanks for your most recent blog posting. I have forwarded it to our pastor to read. Our church has recently been struggling with these issues as we address "growth" issues of the church. Many of us have said that this means that we have to be ready to accept people that don't look like us, act like use, etc. etc. etc. You have said what we have been trying to say very eloquently. Thanks again for your posting.
No matter what we do, according to some people we are all going to hell. You can't win with these people. It's wasn't a determining factor but definitely helped my situation along as to why I decided to just not be a Christian anymore. You can't win for losing!!! Believe me, I'm much happier now I've shed that skin.
People today, especially "church" people need to do a self assessment of their beliefs and faith and take another look at scripture and especially the life our Savior lived and whom He CHOSE to hang with!!! Rock on Bro,
Mike, please don’t think I’m some "whoa is me" kind of kid. because I’m not. I hate bitching or thinking I sound like I’m bitching but after a while some stuff just starts to wear on you a bit and you need to vent.
I read a lot of your blogs and you seem like a really cool down to earth type of guy. My faith is a big part of my life (I’m roman catholic ) and since your also a wrestling guy I felt like I could talk to you. If you have any advice for me even if it’s "suck it up life’s tough-get a helmet" it'd be appreciated.
Sky referred me to your latest blog. I could not agree with you more. I believe that there is finally a generation that is breaking free of religion and will be able to effectively witness to the world. I get hit up as well for having Sky listed as a friend. Whatever, as she matures in her relationship with Christ, things of the past will drop off her. She needs encouragement from brothers and sisters in Christ, not condemnation. I am really excited about what is going on in the real world of true believers who actually do follow Christ. I appreciate your witness and would like to have you listed as a friend on my profile. I believe many people will be helped by your words and deeds.
Bless You and again Bless You!! My partner and I are running an Urban ministry here in Conway, AR and soon may be opening an urban style church/cafe. I too have porn stars on my Lighthouse World Outreach Ministries page (Jenna Jameson and Chanel St. Claire) I have heard of how Sky Lopez is making some changes. I am friends with the XXX Church and I agree we need to pray for those men and women in the industry because already inside there is a air of change sweeping through.
If we ever get the church/cafe open I would Love to have you come and speak to those who would be there.
Thanks for your time!!
In my mind, this is the best blog I have read from you -- and I think you have some good ones! I really like the way you say this:
"I also believe he has seen a side of Christianity that while Christians may hate it, is true. Unfortunately their actions of boycotting him, ridiculing him, making assumptions about him give credence to the commentary of Zombie regarding Christianity. I have heard from other Christians I don't know how many times out of the same breath, the need to condemn him while saying they love him and will be praying for him. Frankly, and don't get me wrong, I just don't understand this line of thinking. Condemnation, mixed in with love and prayer. I know many use the old cliché, hate the sin, love the sinner, but in reality, and in practice, there is a fine line there that the overwhelming majority of Christians seem to cross. I say love the person, and let the Holy Spirit convict the person of the sin."
I agree -- how can we say "hate the sin, but love the sinner"? I would rather say, "Because we are all God's children, and therefore related, I love everyone." I may not agree with everyone, but God loves them, so how can I do any less? I know that sounds corny, but that's what I feel that God is saying to me.
Anyway, not to get off on a rant -- but great job!
Hey mike ....just a real quick im praying for you and your ministry ...especially leading the poor and sick to Christ ...keep up the hard work ...even though we may disagree on some things I do believe you are my brother in Christ ...and in that Brotherly way love you take care man God speed
I notice you where a pastor. I just started going back to church. I want to study and learn the bible and maybe one day be some kind of pastor to teach the word to others. I was wondering, since you were a pastor and probably know the bible good. If I could use your help on my quest. Help me understand the bible as I read and study it. I go to church but I could use more help. Different kind of point of views.
I just started going to a house of god church, but I always been and grew up in a Baptist like background. I ma noticing the differences between the two. This church I go to now, they where speaking in tongues today. What can you tell about speaking in tongues what does it mean and is that good or evil?
Hope all is well in Wichita. I bet when you speak about the Lord...people listen! Have a great week. Blessings!
I saw your response to a blog on Sky Lopez's website and liked what you said about the Church. I am one Christian that found Jesus late in my life because of those judgmental church's out there. I now am being pressed to start an online ministry and was hoping to chat with you sometime on how to get it started.
A really ginormous Shout out to Mike for the love he spreads.
Hope all is well. (Jubee of MySpace and YouTube fame)
I am really impressed with what you are doing to reach this generation for Christ. Keep up the great work.
God bless you,
Tulsa, Oklahoma USA
Well I made it back onto Myspace.com , amazing what you'll do when you have time and nothing but time. Its good to see your still going strong and I love the topic because Ephesians is something that my church back in Okinawa could learn from .
I can't wait till the states , it will be so wonderful to get home again I haven’t set foot in the states in several years now so it will be interesting , will be back in the virtual pew as I have some down time for a couple of weeks before we get busy again , God Bless you Mike and I can't wait to share some of the amazing stories of faith and comings to Christ from the biggest sandbox in the world.
Lately I feel like I have been to hell and back :(
Time to change my travel plans eh?
Thank you for all your prayers...it has meant a lot to me...you are a good friend :)
Wow! That sounds like so much fun...ALL of it! You are going to be busy :)
I love how you always have a positive message in your blogs...
“My prayer is that each of us can find that place. That each of us can find the place we need to be at, and that each of us can work towards finding that place that brings us joy and satisfaction. It's there, if you want it.”
Thank you for that....sometimes we just need a little reminder! We get so caught up in life that we forget to slow down and enjoy the life around us...you have an awesome weekend with your family... :)
I fully agree with what you say! Now with America turning into a 'service economy’ (high tech jobs and other well-paying jobs being sent overseas, leaving either management/executive jobs or flipping burgers), I believe there will be many more poor! It's sad that I was a waitress in 1988 and making $2 and hour (plus tips) and today waitresses still make $2 an hour plus tips...... people don't tip THAT well!!!! Anyway, there needs to be training for the poor, and middle class jobs need to be brought back to the U.S. Sending them overseas is only doing one class well.... the greedy executive class!!!!! Anyway, enough of my soap box.
The church is out of touch with reality....and needs a few more titles like your blog title to shake them up a little!
A friend sent me this blog entry and I am grateful for it. I am not recognized by my church for what I do in ministry to the broken and damaged, because I have been broken and damaged myself and do not always give the perfect and consistent demeanor that church approved ministers must have. I am a tattooed, divorced single mother going to college and struggling to get by on financial aid. I used to be an addict and homeless and have had my bouts with mental illness. I get better every day because of the people that have cared for me in spite of myself. I now care for those that God sends me. I love them because they let me. I pray for the ones that are so wounded that they will not let me care for them. I believe there is always room, there is always time, there is always a place for the least of my brethren. God is good, and He has not forgotten those He has blessed with His true nature and understanding.
I'm glad to have found you.
You've given me a lot to think about. I’ve often wanted to break free of my comfort zone in terms of giving my time and efforts, but I let my own fears hold me back.
All I ask now, for myself and others, is that the Holy Spirit may guide me to where my help is needed the most.
Peace and Blessings.
Amen Mike! Your posts are always interesting, intriguing and often quite convicting. One thing I have (slight) reservation on is your quote: "I will assure you, God's kingdom, and God's Church, is one that accepts people where they are. True love of God's family will result in getting to know and accept each other, despite differences." As long as we are talking about believing Christians I would agree. Too many times I hear the "God will accept you the way you are" and have to cringe in my beliefs. If there is repentance involved I am certainly with you. I do find it strange when different cultures "accept" Christ but will not in turn reject their cultural idols. I know...it could be a long debate and in the end it all depends on being or not being Christ centered which point I believe your post brings home. Love it brother!
Excellent treatment of these verses, Mike.
I appreciate your ability to translate the Christianeze into language we all can understand.
I too, have received quite a few negative comments about who I have on my page. Over the summer, I had one of my husbands friends not only reject my request because a person on my page was a lesbian, this person completely shunned me for an entire weekend that my husband played at his "Christian Music Festival". It breaks me heart to hear people say how much they love God then totally reject his people! As I scrolled through my friends list I asked "Which one of these people does God love more?" The answer? ALL of them.
You really seem to be living Ephesians 2:10. Thanks for allowing us to sit in the virtual pew!
I have so much I want to respond with, but all I'm gonna say is Right On, Mike!! You are so right and I feel the same way! Those people you were talking about who left you friends list...They just need to open up. There are so many people who NEED Jesus!! We all do, but those who are lost need him and if we don't befriend those that don't believe, how will they ever find God's wonderful, most awesome and forgiving love? Way to go! I totally agree!
You seem very educated, and you seem to have a pretty good grasp on what Christianity is all about. We are not worthy to pass judgment on others, that is for Him alone. I've been a Christian for quite a while now. I'm far from perfect, and still have a lot of growing to do myself. People that don't agree with your choice of friends, because of what is involved in their past, still have a lot to learn about Jesus Christ and what he's done for us. Keep strong, and take it all with a grain of salt. I have Sky Lopez on my friends list as well, and while I've never had the opportunity to actually meet her, if I did, I would not only congratulate her on her decision to accept Christ, but support and encourage her as well. So Sky, if you're reading this, don't let the words of others discourage you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Wow man you said it !! 2 Big Kudos coming to ya from me! Much Love
Interesting...my Sunday school class was just discussing this very topic. I think sometimes Christians get church culture mixed up with Christianity...and have never really looked at who Jesus was or what he said or did...and very few ever answer that questions WWJD and then DO it! Thanks for expressing that LOVE is more powerful than criticism or chastisement or ostracism...and will win out every time! (But I must admit...I'd never even heard of Rob Zombie til I started reading your blog...)
My parents have brought me up with the ideal of thinking about things and forming my own opinions of people. They instilled strong beliefs in me that were Christian. Just because people diverge away from those, doesn't mean that they aren't Christian, it just means that they look for other answers in unsavory places. God said to Adam and Eve, "Don't eat from the apple tree" and they did, they introduced sin into the world by doing that. It is called free will. We can listen to music that we like, watch films that we like, and like people that we like. Those so called Christians that criticize you for liking people are unsavory don't realize that you still have Jesus in your heart when you do the things that you do. God installed into us a conscience and that made us realize what we do is either wrong or right. People just think that because of a music video, or a movie a person does, that it reflects them. I feel that is judgmental of them and that is what is sorta wrong with people these days. They are quick to judgment. Great job, Mike! :)
All I have to say is "WHERE WOULD JESUS BE?"
Keep on lovin them into the Kingdom!!!
A truly wonderful message.
Excellent blog Mike. Keep shining, my friend - keep shining!
Wow! I love it! I was raised in a strict Primitive Baptist home. My parents obviously despise my art. They made my 17 yr old brother delete his myspace account when my sister called my profile to their attention. I've had a very poor relationship with them since I left home 10 years ago because of...many things. I also constantly struggle with God and the religion I was force-feed. I honestly cannot Biblically defend my work, but it's nice to see someone responding to "Christians" with the spirit in which you do. "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves." I don't know the reference. I applaud you. While you're praying for Skyy, say one for me too. I need it.
I just want to thank you for everything that you do and for everything that you say. Thanks for being an example of what we as Christians are supposed to be and what we are to do.. I know all to well the condemnation and pointing fingers we get when we step outside the box of the "Christian bubble".... keep doing it.... keep loving God and loving others... love them into loving Christ...
You are so right in what you are saying....it made me think back to when you and I first started to correspond to each other and I shared with you my favorite scripture....Romans Chapter 14...which is also a very fitting scripture for your blog as well....and it is often this scripture that I try to follow in my life...Jesus dwells in us all and some of us may not walk with him but for those who do walk with him...should always welcome those who may be weak in faith for you never know how your walk may lift someone up. Never should we judge and cause one to stumble...we as Christians are simply called to be like Jesus. Not one sin holds more weight than the other...so to assume as Christian we are better than those that aren't is ridiculous....we are all sinners. I'm sorry people give you a hard time...but you keep doing your thing...because there are a lot of us out there that you touch and reach out to .... You are a good honest Christian man....I am proud to be myspace friends with you.... :) just my 2 red pennies :)
Facing the Fear and Anxiety of the Unkown
By: Stanley Popovich
All most everybody worries about what will happen in the future. The prospect of not knowing if something good or bad will happen to you in the near future can produce a lot of fear and anxiety. As a result, here is a list of techniques and suggestions on how to manage this fear of dealing with the unknown.
Remember is that no one can predict the future with one hundred percent certainty. Even if the thing that you feared does happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. For instance, let’s say at your place of work that you miss the deadline for a project you have been working on for the last few months. Everything you feared is coming true. Suddenly, your boss comes to your office and tells you that the deadline is extended and that he forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes everything. Remember: we may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.
Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming month, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. When the time comes, hopefully you will have learned the skills to deal with your situation.
Sometimes, we can get anxious over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship volleyball game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that you’re playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation and increase your self-confidence.
Remember take a deep breath and try to find something to do to get your mind off of you anxieties and stresses. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper, watch TV, play on the computer or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This will distract you from your current worries.
A lot of times, our worrying can make the problem even worse. All the worrying in the world will not change anything. All you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and when something does happen, take it in stride. If you still have trouble managing your anxiety of the future, then talking to a counselor or clergyman can be of great help. There are ways to help manage your fear and all it takes is some effort to find those answers.
Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods" - an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/
A Message from Curt A Soldier on His Way to Iraq / Discouragement
Curt is a real friend I have developed a friendship with at MySpace. We have spoken several times on the phone and interact back and forth via email on a regular basis. Curt recently published this in one of his blogs and I decided, with his permission to post the blog. Be in prayer for Curt in that as you read this, he is being shipped out to Iraq October 18, 2006.
One of the biggest tools that the enemy of those that belong to King of Kings is discouragement; This is one of the tools the enemy uses on me the most. Cause things to happen that many times are beyond my control, and slowly keep grinding away on me slowly and before I know it, it feels like hope is lost. I see others in their walk with the Lord and it seems like things are going good, but they are not actively fighting in the cause and untargeted by the enemy. I watch others who are actively in the fight, and the same war is being fought on them until they are taken out of the fight. Stay in the fight, and the fight will come to you. Take yourself out of the fight, stop seeking the Lords guidance, and life will probably be a hell of a lot easier. Which one are you going to pick? What path?
If you have picked the easy route, and you are not facing any spiritual battles, a few or if any circumstances that put pressure on you. You’re not in the fight. Satan has you where he wants you, happy and content in your own little world. By all means, keep taking the easy road, having a chill life and not doing a damn bit of difference for the kingdom. You might have a good life but it will not be interesting, you will have very few stories that will be of any interest to listen to, something called battle stories. Of engagements fought with enemies of the cause of Christ, or being able to play a part in seeing someone’s heart being changed before your eyes by him.
If you are in the fight, the people that give you the most trouble and hardest time are not the problem, they are just pawns in the enemies game to grind you down, and take you out or back down and be silent when it requires you to speak up. Worse will be the attacks when it requires action.
Take heart if you are facing attacks one after another, physically and spiritually. It means you are still in the fight. When circumstances put pressure on you to back down, fight tooth and nail to not become discouraged. Seek his face and he will strengthen you, to be able to face the boss who is giving you a hard time, or someone who disappoints you, to be able to forgive and still be there for them, no matter what. God requires us men especially, to fight for our sisters in Christ, pray for them that they may resist his attacks, actively intervene for them. Encourage one another, especially those you know who are in the fight, stories of attacks can be shared, "war stories" and in that itself can be enough, to know you are not alone. Me and a Lieutenant who is saved share stories a lot, of difficult times. And it helps a lot.
Thoughts from the day; I have dealt with one thing after another this week and today was doing some thinking and it just clicked. I was able to finally see the big picture for this week. Love days where I get to see the battlefield from afar.
Our salvation is our insurance policy...so fear not. Join the fight. The easy road is just that, easy and uninteresting.
If you don’t know Jesus and are not in the fight...you’re missing out. It’s not easy but fun at times, painful at others, and worth the stories.
Church Referrals, We Are Sending People To The Local Church!
One of the common misconceptions is that we are building a online church and not supporting the local church. How wrong could that assumption be. We recognize and accept the fact that less than 50% of Christians actually attend a local body. We also recognize and accept the fact, that unless things drastically change in the near future, that in less than 10 years it is projected that less than 25% of all Christians will be involved in the local church. We also recognize that many, for whatever reason have been turned away from the church, both Christians and non Christians. It is the hope of The Virtual Pew to meet the spiritual needs of individuals who are not in church, with the hope of plugging them back into local churches when possible. Not a month goes by where we don’t have this opportunity. Since the last newsletter we have referred three individuals to specific local bodies in their communities. In each of those we contact the local church, with the contact information and something about the individual. We also continue to see The Virtual Pew grow in numbers as we expected. While three people since the last newsletter may not sound like much, to the kingdom of God, it is a big deal. It is safe to say, God is using The Virtual Pew to help His Kingdom, and, His Church.
New Photos and work on Web Site Dave Weiss
I have been asked many times who it is that does my cartoons. Well that friend has just joined MySpace and after getting his approval now have permission to share his information. His name is Dave Weiss and you can click on his name to go to his MySpace page. You will see how new he is in that I am his first friend and his page is plain and I am sure Dave will have it up and going in no time.
Dave is a great artist, who does a lot of great cartoon work. I first came to know Dave when we wrote for a web site called Crosshome. Over the years I have become involved, although limited in a group he has called AMOK. You can find all kinds of information about Dave by visiting the AMOK link above. You can also see a lot of his work and web site by visiting his web site.
Now here is what you do, get to know Dave, request him as a friend. I would even encourage you to get with him regarding his work. I'm sure he could use a few extra bucks and would consider doing some work for you. I hope I'm not speaking out of line here. I'll also say none of that is to be done until he is done with my work.
Sooooo, now you have it. A great artist, with a great gift, a friend I couldn't recommend more.
Contact and Giving Information
Oh Yea, here is that contact information again.
The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217
Or you van give on line via Pay Pal at: http://www.furches.org/donations/index.html
To become a part of The Virtual Pew, visit, http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ To learn more about me visit http://www.furches.org/ I am also active on MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/mikefurches I have another blog at http://blog.myspace.com/mikefurches To visit the Hollywood Jesus group at MySpace with membership by numerous Hollywood Jesus reviewers visit: http://groups.myspace.com/hollywoodjesus For a more in depth weekly study and conversation you an visit: http://virtualpewsermon.blogspot.com/ where you can access deeper teaching and ultimately videos for viewing and teaching. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com For those interested in knowing more about my own story, contact me for a free e-copy of my book The Keystone Kid in pre-edit form.