Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Job Didn't Have Much on Me

First, I write today’s piece with a little laughter and a smile, really! You may not think so when you read it, but I really am, it is not a complaint piece, but a reality piece. In fact, it had my wife and I talking and laughing yesterday, telling the Devil, “We ain’t coming down so leave us alone.”

Do you remember the old television show, He-Haw? It had Roy Clark, Buck Owens and a number of other country stars. There are a lot of long stories I can tell about my association with that show, but I’ll leave those for another time. One of the funny things I loved on that particular show was the tribute song recognizing a small community, and what I came to know of as the hard luck or fart song. You have maybe heard it or are familiar with it, it had a line that went like this, “If it weren’t for hard luck I’d have no luck at all, gloom despair, and agony on me.”

One might call that the Job song, named after the character Job in the Bible who lost everything, as a form of temptation from the Devil in trying to get him to deny God. With a lot of things that has gone on in our lives over the years, my wife and I are beginning to wonder if we aren’t in many ways like Job.

Here are the hard core facts. My wife comes from a family of 5 siblings, while I come from a family of only 2 which is kind of deceiving because my grandparents did what raising there was in my family, and there were 9 in that family, 11 counting my sister and I. Now among all of those children, parents, grandparents, nieces, nephews and others, to our knowledge, my wife and I are the only couple where both the husband and wife have a college degree, even our daughter is working on her masters, and have both had “professional” careers. My wife as a teacher now for around 30 years, and me prior to what I am doing now, as a Mental Health Executive. I have to tell you, a teacher, at least not in our experience, really makes that much money. There was a time that I was making pretty good money with a pretty good career. Our daughter, who is now married, and lives outside of the home is making more money with her and her husbands’ income than her mother and I ever have, with the possible exception of a few years. Yet, since we decided to get back into ministry, if looking at finance and that type of thing, things have gone way down hill. Of course that is if you look at those things and those things only. Otherwise, despite having college degrees, my wife and I make less money than any of our families.

If looking at my life based just on income and that type of thing, it has been horrible. Let me digress to illustrate my point.

In 2001 I had enough money and investments to volunteer at a church after I left my job for a faith restriction that in my opinion was illegally and inappropriately placed on me by my former employer. I have never been one to actively try to convert people. I believe in building relationships, and if someone asks, fine. If not in a church setting I have issues for me to do this, note I said for me, not others. I had money put back to live on, then September 11, 2001 hit. That should be a date most of us remember. I will never forget, I was on a phone interview regarding unemployment, (I was trying to let the company I worked for and resigned from know they couldn’t tell people what to do with their faith on their own time,) when the tragic events of 9/11 hit. I didn’t know the impact of the day until some weeks later when my financial reserves went from being enough to live on for about a year and a half to being enough to live on for about 6 months.

I was volunteering at a church, a church where the pastor wanted to eventually bring me on full-time as an evangelism and outreach pastor, some things ended up happening where that pastor ended up leaving and taking another pastor job in another state. My hopes for the future, just vanished when this happened.

I ended up taking a job as a pastor in Kansas where things went well for about 3 years. Not to say there weren’t problems, with the type of church it was, there was certainly going to be problems. Anyone who has seen the movie Second Chances with Michael W. Smith produced by Steve Taylor can see a perfect example of what was going on. One of the unique things I possess is an ability to see things, specifically as related to urban life styles and urban needs. Many have stated that I am a visionary and I can accept that. I am gifted in this area, but I realize a part of that is from growing up in the environment I did. From early on, I requested help and assistance in not only finance for the church, but also mature believers to help. Two organizations refused to listen and along the way, yes; I a new pastor who had never done this, but was seeking some help, made some mistakes. I will assure you, if I had it all to do over again, I would do some things much differently, including the appointment of some in positions where they didn’t understand the needs of the church, and in one situation, another I could have been much stricter on, and been there much more for. That said, it would have also been nice to have had the support from some on the Elder board who knew of some of the things going on, but wouldn’t provide appropriate supervision. Long story made short, this whole scenario was the beginning of the end for the church.

Along the way, we had 2 different sets of “Christian” renters in our house in Oklahoma, one doing about $3000 worth of damage to the house, and owing us 3 months of rent. We tried to recoup some of these costs, in various ways before taking legal action. After taking action we had some within the church that were critical of us taking these actions. Some from a church where I made $15,000 a year, and no reimbursement, and lived in a parsonage where our utility bills were on average $400 a month. I am not complaining, just stating facts and illustrating of how tough it was. We had even donated thousands of dollars worth of items, whether food or mileage forms because I knew the church couldn’t afford it. I struggled long and hard with it, but went through various things to try and do what we felt was Biblical. Needless to say, we never recouped our losses.

Then another Christian decided to skip out owing us 2 ½ months rent. Why? So they could go on a mission’s trip. In all, we were out $5,000 in damages to the house, plus 5 ½ months rent for a total of another $5,000. Simply put; we couldn’t afford to catch up the mortgage, and as a result, even though we finally had good renters, that house sold short for $30,000 less than we had invested in it last Friday. The response of the Christians in the house when they knew this was going to happen? “That’s not our problem!” Even though they had caused the problem, this was the attitude we experienced, once again, from Christians.

Now back to the church, there were all kinds of actions being taken by some prior to the closing of the church. I will say openly and honestly, before God, I know I did nothing wrong in this process. Although some will say that airing dirty laundry about the church is wrong. I disagree; I say it is honest, especially when Christians are at part a cause for much of the dishonesty, and falsehoods that were stated and the hardships caused by that dishonesty. I could get into a lot of detail here, but won’t other than to say, thankfully, there are several Christian friends who know the truth because they were there. That said, there are those who have taken actions whom will ultimately have to answer to Christ. I can still hold my head high, and know I have maintained my integrity. I’ll be honest; it hurt with a passion to see that church close because I know God had a purpose for it. I refuse to say God controls all situations all of the time. To say that is to deny and ignore the premise of free-will. The truth is people have a free choice to do stupid things, whether that is an abortion, driving a car while drunk that kills someone, lying about a situation in a church, or even pretending that they are following the directives of God as outlined in Scripture.

Eventually we had to move from the parsonage after the church closed, no big deal, things were going well, when I started experiencing a level of pain I couldn’t take any more. As a result, emergency surgery had to be done, the week the move was supposed to take place. Bottom line, I couldn’t help, but we had to move, after all we had received a one week notice that the property was being auctioned. It would have been nice to have had more of a notice, but looking back I don’t know why it shouldn’t have been expected.

The parsonage was 1/3 the size of our old house in Oklahoma that we lost last week. The new house is 1/3 the size of the parsonage. It is in Derby, a bedroom community of Wichita, where our son goes to school, where we promised him he could finish from. The house does costs more than a larger house in Wichita but we are only renting at this point in time. We were reminded yesterday that our son is learning the value of keeping a promise. One can’t place a dollar amount on that lesson. We were at the point we couldn’t pay the difference in the mortgage in Oklahoma, plus pay rent, and catch up on the $10,000 we were behind. Now you know how we lost the house in Oklahoma, at least it sold short though, meaning we didn’t have to go into foreclosure or file bankruptcy.

In the year we have been in Derby, many know of the mistake our son made at the Garden City Wrestling tournament, of course blown way out of proportion, and being called out on public internet message boards, where many exaggerations and lies stated. You may also know of the struggle we went through where he was given a gift in my presence when it was later discovered, unknown to me and my son that the gift was stolen. Nate went to return it after he found out, but it was too late. Long story made short, another event happened, and we begin to see some serious issues where we needed to get medical help. That has been better, but I will tell you, as a dad, it sucks to see someone make an example of your son for something he didn’t do. I know this as I was present when the said actions took place. To say the least, the struggle of this, and the medical issues was something which we didn’t know if we could bare. Our son eventually had to have surgery due to a part of the pressure he was feeling from the psychological perspective, which was enhanced by the teasing and peer pressure at school that involved racial slanders, and sexual comments. Believe me, you want to know the damage teasing can do, ask me, we almost lost our son.

Things didn’t end there, financially it has remained tough, God provides, but I know we have taken a vow of poverty, (unknowingly) when we decided to enter ministry. We don’t have much, don’t get to eat out much, don’t get to go to movies much, but as long as we have beans and rice, we will eat. I am staying busy as usual, as you can tell from each of these crazy things I write, but I also see more ministry than ever, from all walks of life, in the lives of real, breathing people.

Things still aren’t easy, yesterday we went in for an IRS audit. Guess what? The church, the denomination, the people who were supposed to do certain things, never did the appropriate paperwork with the state or federal government. Important paperwork like showing I am exempt from paying Social Security Tax, registration with the state, filing my W2 forms which they gave me, took out taxes on, but, never filed. Of course, I have made calls, sent emails and other things to the powers that be. See my comment last week about trying to make things right with some folks. Of course they haven’t responded, in fact I haven’t heard from a single pastor from within my denomination, the denomination other than once or twice in the last year and a half, but nothing regarding the promise of follow up on things they were going to do for me, neither have I heard from another organization which helped plant the church in this time. Not a word, even after making numerous efforts, making personal visits, sending numerous emails, and so forth, not a single response in over a year now, and then I get the wonderful news from the IRS yesterday, that just like in the past, I am paying for the mistakes, and inappropriate actions from guess who? Christians!

I’ll be honest, with a week faith; I can understand why people blame God. I want to be clear though, I don’t, my wife doesn’t nor does my family blame God for the inappropriate actions of Christians. Truth is I know everyone makes mistakes, it is when the mistakes carry on to the point that peoples lives are affected, and some who say they are Christians, who are commanded to love, choose to ignore. That is exactly how we feel, those we have made the efforts to see, visit, and solicit appropriate action from, has chosen to ignore as opposed to love.

On the above point, what is my responsibility? I think it is really quite simple; I am to love my Lord and my God with all of my mind, heart, strength, and soul, and love my neighbor (fellow human being) as myself. Truth is I don’t blame God; I blame an enemy who seeks to tear down and destroy.

Now I don’t want any sympathy emails or anything like that, that isn’t what this is about. Today is a day that I can say; “Yea let me tell you how I also know life sucks!” I can say, “I know God is good and loving, and nothing will turn me from my love of God.” I can say this, because I haven’t forgotten where God has brought me from. I have never forgotten who I was before Christ, and who I am after Christ. That is part of the problem for some who continue to ignore. They have been in church, with Christ, with other Christians so long, and so much, they don’t really know what it is like when they ignore, or they don’t really know the impact of their actions or lack thereof. It is a challenge I make to some of who will read this, some may get upset, and share with others that “Mike is singling us out.” To those I say; “You know wrong has been done, do what you need to see that what is right is done.” Of course I shared that message for years and few chose to listen. I guess those are the same ones that try to do ministry, without having ever taken seriously the totality of the call Christ makes on our lives when he told us to Love Him, Love Them! Maybe one day they will realize this is why they aren’t effective in “ministry.”

To those who struggle today, I really do sit here with a smile, and a love for God I can’t explain, despite all of the crap that has happened, and continues to happen in my life, and the life of my family, when we have done no wrong. Believe me; I have only shared a small portion of it. I don’t need the Job haters placing the blame on us, we know the story, and we know where you fit in. We continue to praise God, live for him, and serve him by loving and serving others. My challenge is to learn from that, learn from Job, learn that God is good, not based on what has happened to us, but based on who he is. I have said for years, Christ is our example, guess what? He still is.

Despite what some may think today, I think life kind of depends on how you look at it. That being said, double click on the video if it appears, if it don't just click the following link. You may be surprised to see how this is a wonderful song for me today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xryMJD9TKZQ


Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information, all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives.

You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.

Here is our contact information
The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rebellion of Thought Post-Modernism, The Church And The Struggle for Authentic Faith, Interview On The Virtual Pew Live

The Virtual Pew Live radio program would like to announce special guests for this week’s program, Brad and Kent Williamson. These two are the producers of the new and upcoming documentary, Rebellion of Thought, Post-Modernism, The Church and the Struggle for Authentic Faith. This highly anticipated, likely controversial new documentary is to be released by Exploration Films. To learn more about this film you can visit the web site http://www.paladinpictures.com/RebellionofThought.html

This highly charged documentary and interview is sure to challenge most followers of Jesus. The recent movement away from Church in Christianity is among the topics discussed and shared in the film. The relevance of church is not only an integral part of the movie, it will be an integral part of the conversation at The Virtual Pew Live.

This highly anticipated documentary received the praise of Academy Award Nominee Paul Wagner who stated that Rebellion of Thought was; “Visually and intellectually rich… Exciting and provocative… it will make big waves in the world of faith and spirituality!” Not only does the film look at the origins of post-modern thought, it takes an intellectual perspective on the way this thought has become so prevalent, and the failures of religion at addressing the needs of balancing faith, and methodology of how to reach post-modern individuals.

This is one of the most important, thought provoking documentaries to come about in years. It should shake the very foundation of Christianity and the Church as to the direction society is taking, and the direction of how we reach that society.

The Virtual Pew Live will have the Williamson Brothers, producers of this documentary on a special program, Wednesday, August 29, at a special time of 3:00 PM EST, 2:00 PM CST, 1:00 PM MT, and 12:00 PM PST. This is a departure from the regularly scheduled times, on Wednesday, but normally at 5.4,3, and 2 PM in their respective time zones.

You won’t want to miss this highly charged interview and calls will be welcome. If wanting to call the program, you can call in at (646) 716-8587.

Questions to ponder:

Where does Post-Modern Thought come from?
What is the role of Post-Modern thought in today’s world?
Are there absolutes such as good and evil?
How can Christianity reach those in the Post-Modern World?
Is there a compromise of faith in today’s efforts to reach those in society?
What direction is the church going in today’s Western World?
Is there a difference between authentic faith, and church attendance?
Is the church, the Church we see in the Bible?
How do we get the Church to be the Church Christ wants?
What is the Revolution that so many Christians seem to be afraid of?
How can we effectively reach our Post-Modern world?


To see a video of a song featured in the documentary Rebellion of Thought by Inner Surge, double click on the video below, if the video does not appear, click on the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqQ0BPjumOc



Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information, all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives.

You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.

Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita, KS 67214

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew


The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew Blog
Personal Furches Web Site
Hollywood Jesus
Reviews With Mike
The Virtual Pew Sermons
The Virtual Pew News



To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed



Phone Number to Call during the Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

blog radio

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Time to Forgive, Time to be Healed

I have come to a conclusion about myself lately, I need to be healed of some things, some things I am certain others also need some level of healing from.

Over the years I found myself on occasion harboring an attitude where I need to move on and let certain things go. Harboring some level of anger and hurt no matter how small continued to build up. Simply put, I know there have been many who have hurt me, and many I need to forgive. I have found myself at the place where I think or have thought I have forgiven people, and for the most part, I have forgiven many who have done me or others I love wrong. Unfortunately, in the process of forgiveness, I have at times I harbored small attitudes of anger and hurt that have continued to build. It is time to experience all God has for me, and let it go!

Don’t get me wrong, I am certain that while there are many I need to forgive, there are others where I need to ask them to forgive me. When thinking about this concept of forgiveness, I will freely admit, at times I have struggled at who, why, and when to forgive, or ask forgiveness from. I can’t help it but I haven’t been able to get a particular passage of scripture off my mind. That passage out of the Sermon on the Mount reads.

If you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, your Father in heaven will forgive you. But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Luke 6: 14, 15

I just had a great conversation with a good friend on the radio show yesterday. A part of our conversation, one which I happen to promote and believe in, is that Jesus meant exactly what he said in the Bible. As I look at the Bible I see a reoccurring theme on forgiveness, some of those include:

Have pity on others, just as your Father has pity on you.
Jesus said: Don't judge others, and God won't judge you. Don't be hard on others, and God won't be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you. If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated. Luke 6: 36-38


Give us each day the food we need. Forgive our sins, as we forgive everyone who has done wrong to us. And keep us from being tempted.' “Luke 11: 3, 4

… would be better off thrown into the ocean with a heavy stone tied around their neck. So be careful what you do. Correct any followers of mine who sin, and forgive the ones who say they are sorry. Even if one of them mistreats you seven times in one day and says, "I am sorry," you should still forgive that person. Luke 17: 2-4

God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together. Colossians 3: 12-14

These passages, and many others, are rather clear, forgiveness of the things we have done wrong, are somewhat contingent on our ability to forgive others where they have done us wrong, and in part our willingness to seek forgiveness where we have done others wrong. This is where I have found myself not experiencing all God has for me. It is something I have of recent begun to address and take charge of.

Today I began a journey to healing. Truth is I have been aware in my life of issues I needed to address for some time. With small doses of anger, mixed in with what has seemed like a ton of hurt, there are issues I needed to start to get some resolve, at least know in my heart I had taken the necessary steps of initiating love and forgiveness, not just towards individuals but organizations. I won’t go into any detail regarding those organizations, nor those individuals, it is between them and I, but what I will say, is today I started that process.

Do I expect total healing will come immediately regarding the hurt and despair of my heart? I can honestly say the answer to that question is no, but, I can say I know it has already started. I know that while I have waited on others to do their part, it hasn’t occurred so I had to be the one that initiated the action. I sought after Gods totality of love, including his forgiveness, and my willingness to go to others, and let them know that I forgive them for the wrong they have done me, and am asking them to forgive me for areas where I may have done them wrong. Part of my prayer is that those who need to see this, need to know this.

This process isn’t easy, truth is, I know the truth as I know the truth. What I mean is that while at points and time I was angry and hurt, I was angry and hurt for the actions of others as I perceived them towards me, my family, and others I loved and served. I can honestly say before individuals reading this, some of those involved in the issues of my life, and before God, I don’t know where or what I did wrong. I know specifics of where others lied and did not share truth. I have always tried to maintain the character and integrity God intends for all of us to have, and can honestly say that in some situations, I have spoken nothing but absolute truth and honesty, yet others stated and shared lies, that quite possibly, friends, and some agencies believed. It is unfortunate because there were many and ample witnesses to verify truth, but to my knowledge that truth was ever sought out.

Why do I share this? The reasoning is quite simple, over the last few days and weeks, God has been dealing with me on the importance of us seeking forgiveness, even in areas where we don’t know we did wrong, and especially in offering forgiveness, when we know others have done us wrong but have not sought forgiveness. That is what I am trying to do. I firmly believe God will have this message resonate with someone who reads this. Who that is? Why that is? I don’t know the answers to those questions, I just know it is!

There are other areas God is working on me with regarding this concept. For those that know the story of Anthony you know my story. There are enough places with a little bit of work where you can find that story, even links on this page. That said, I have been praying about God opening up the doors for me to go spend about a month with my mother. For those who know my story, you know now how serious this concept of forgiveness is I am contemplating. I know God wants me to forgive my mother in full, I am finally at the point where I want to do that, and show and provide love to my mother. The specifics of how I do that I frankly don’t know. I was recently blessed and went from $125 in my ministry and personal accounts, to the place I now have $400. That isn’t much though; God needs to provide the finances if this is going to happen. I would like to spend a month with my mother, which would mean a month away from my family so healing could take place in a miraculous way between the two of us. I still pray for, hope for, long for, my mother coming to know Christ in a personal way, and following him in a real way. I haven’t given up hope for that. Maybe God could open up doors for ministry in the Tri City or surrounding area of Tennessee to help finance the trip, I don’t know. I know God knows my heart, God knows your heart, He has ways of touching us, and providing for us in ways we can’t understand.

That is my sharing in a personal way with you today. I know deep within my heart and soul, that today, God wanted me to share this because there are others reading it that need to take the steps that lead towards real forgiveness and real healing. I can’t do it for you, I can only do it for myself. In that regard I started the process, I have walked the aisle, I have done what God required. Now it is up to you to do what God wants you to do. I have peace, and that peace is the start of healing.

The following is a song by Rebecca St. James called Forgive Me. If you see the video just double click, otherwise, click on the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j5A8ERFF84


Here is another video with numerous quotes. While from a different approach, I appreciate the thoughts expressed here. Provided below are the link and video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D4VMZb8wLY


Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information, all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives.

You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.

Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew Blog
Personal Furches Web Site
Mike Furches MySpace Page
Mike Furches MySpace Blog
Hollywood Jesus
Reviews With Mike
The Virtual Pew Sermons
The Virtual Pew News
MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group
MySpace The Virtual Pew Group
The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page
To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During the Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

Listen Live

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Virtual Pew Live Hits The Air Waves

Press Release:
For Immediate Release:
The Virtual Pew Live Hits The Air Waves.
Contact: Mike Furches (316) 788-1961 or mike@thevirtualpew.com

The Virtual Pew Live will be officially kicking off its broadcasts on Wednesday August 22, 2007. The live internet radio program will be aired at 5:00 PM Eastern, 4:00 Central, 3:00 Mountain, and 2:00 Pacific. The program will have as a topic for the first show, What is the Church and How is The Virtual Pew Different, with special guest Pastor Jesse Moore.

Many know Jesse from his blogs and involvement at MySpace. The blogs are among the top viewed and read blogs on a regular basis and include teachings and a weekly worship blog that incorporates music and teaching. Pastor Jesse Moore is the pastor of 2 churches in Sioux Falls South Dakota and has a unique understanding of the church.

Pastor Mike Furches with The Virtual Pew is the programs host and looks forward to the kick off of the program. After going through several tests programs the show is ready to hit the air for the weekly 1 hour program. The Virtual Pew Live program in the future will have various concepts and guests with topics ranging from Being A Christian Vs. Being a Christ Follower, to Learning from an Atheists where the program will have 2 Atheists as a guest whom will talk about their views of Christianity. Other guests have also been booked for future programs, from Compassion Dave an individual committed to speaking at churches and sharing about Compassion International Ministries to Benny Logos of Benny Logos and the Verses band. This band uses takes Scripture and puts it to contemporary music. Creston Mapes, a top selling author has also been booked among others.

The opening show will have as a theme, looking at The Virtual Pew and ministry that has developed into an international ministry reaching not only those who are followers of Christ and not involved in a church, but also those seeking answers about religion, and Christianity in particular. The concept which was tested first at MySpace has developed its own web site and ministry out reach that reaches an estimated 60,000 persons each week, and the reviews and articles written by Mike Furches are read by millions on a weekly basis through the involvement at MySpace, The Virtual Pew, and Hollywood Jesus among others.

To listen to the program, individuals with internet access can tune in at the above mentioned times at www.blogtalkradio/thevirtualpew The can also call into the program at (646) 716-8587

The outline and basic information for the first program follows:

What is the Church & How is The Virtual Pew Different, Special Guest Pastor Jesse Moore

Obviously with this being our first “official” program we will be talking some about The Virtual Pew, what we do, how we came to be, a little about our web page, our history and what our intent is. Hopefully we will receive phone calls from some who have been associated with The Virtual Pew in the past as they can share their stories and benefits of this ministry.

We also have as mentioned earlier special guest Pastor Jesse Moore. Jesse has become instrumental in his ability to minister to me. From his weekly worship blogs at myspace to his teachings as is often used on the weekly worship blogs that are included via audio files. Pastor Jesse Moore has a unique approach that mirrors and follows many of the same concepts and beliefs used and practiced by The Virtual Pew.

One of the exciting things that we will be able to promote in a venue where the same ol’ Christian traditions are being presented is that we will be able to show a different side and opinion as to the person of Jesus and his teachings. In fact we hope that we will draw in many who are seeking spiritual truths, whether a follower of Christ who is need of refreshing, or a follower of Jesus who is not actively involved in a church, or even those who are searching for spiritual truths that are not followers of any religious group.

In the process of discussing how we are different we will talk about the views of the “Traditional Church” and how that church compares to the church we see in the Bible. Among this discussion we could include some of the recent findings of researcher George Barna as outlined in his book Revolution. If forecasts in that book are accurate, it is possible that within the next 10 years 75% of all people going to church now will no longer be attending church as we know it.

Regarding the church we expect to have conversation on what is and is not the church, how is the church and Christians viewed by those who are not Christian or don’t go to church, what is the pastors role in the church, what is the role and responsibility of those who attend church or are followers of Jesus, how is the church changing, and much more.

Hopefully the program will be of benefit to those listening in either live or via the program archives. Part of the desire of The Virtual Pew is to teach and help those who are either searching, uncertain, dissatisfied, or simply looking for another venue where they can learn Biblical truths and Biblical application in their own lives. Not in a “traditional” non effective way, but in a way that catches the attention of those outside the traditional roles we have come to know all so well.

The program, again, airs every Wednesday at 5:00 PM Pacific, 4:00 PM Central, 3:00 PM Mountain, and 2:00 PM Pacific. The program runs for one hour and does take listener calls at (646) 716-8587. If unable to listen live, the program is archived and can be accessed by visiting www.blogtalkradio.com/thevirtualpew

To see the video of how The Virtual Pew came to be double click on the following video, if the video don't appear, just click on the link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK5cPi5-Rkw




Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information, all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives.

You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.

Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew Blog
Personal Furches Web Site
Mike Furches MySpace Page
Mike Furches MySpace Blog
Hollywood Jesus
Reviews With Mike
The Virtual Pew Sermons
The Virtual Pew News
MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group
MySpace The Virtual Pew Group
The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page
To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During the Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

Listen Live

Gotta Get Something Off Your Chest?


Monday, August 20, 2007

A Mothers Day Message for a Funeral

I have been rather busy over the last few weeks spending time with this family. I had the honor of doing the funeral for Judi this last weekend. I did something a little different than normal in that I wrote out the funeral service. I did this because it was such an emotional funeral for me that I knew that if I didn’t do this I wouldn’t be able to get through the funeral. I decided to share this today with my readers as a reminder of the importance of family, and the importance of Godly and caring mothers.

Judi Harrington
The Profile of a Godly Mother


Skip, Margaret, Eddie, Cindy, Jeff and family, thank you for giving me the honor of sharing in this all important event. I want you to know I am grateful and will forever be so. Judi was more than an acquaintance to my family; she was a part of my family, just as she was a part of the wrestling family a part of the family involving the Derby Schools and community. I want you to know I am certain Judi left an impact that will be remembered.

I was blessed to get to spend time with Judi over the years and in the last weeks of her life. I was blessed to speak to her about life and death, and more importantly her relationship with God, and her desires regarding the message she wanted me to share with her family, and those who knew her.


With certainty, the message she wanted me to express today, is one I know the family values as I have seen them live, breathe and be everything their wife, and mother wanted. Judi wanted to leave a message not just for them though; she wanted to leave it for her grandchildren, extended family, and those who knew her. It is in hearing her message, and living it that Judi and her spirit will be remembered for many years to come.

As you can likely tell, I am not originally from Kansas. While I lived here for a little over 7 years in the late 1970’s and mid 1980’s my family returned to take a ministry position in 2002. It was shortly after my return to Kansas that I came to know the Harrington’s. It was while looking for a wresting team to become involved with that I first came to know Skip and Judi. We had tried several teams and were impressed with 2 things about the Derby Club. First was the fact they had a hard work ethic and didn’t treat my son any differently than the other kids. They made him work in practice just as hard as anyone. He was sweating and exhausted after that first practice. The kicker though, the one I will forever be grateful for was Skip Harrington was also in the room.

As Randy Hinderliter from the USAWKS Wrestling boards stated in a post on those message boards, “Skip is a living legend in Kansas Wrestling.” I noticed and observed that Skip was what one might call an old school wrestler and coach.

It wasn’t long after being involved with the Derby Wrestling club that I come to know Judi. I’ll never forget her willingness to introduce herself, telling me that she was Jeff’s and Cindy’s mother, and Skip’s Wife. We had a good laugh about her and Skip but it was obvious from the out set, she loved her family and would often also speak of her other daughter Margaret and son Eddie. She would share about her grandchildren and was obviously pleased with the way each of them had matured and become parents in their own right.

I was blessed that Judi and Skip adopted my family into theirs. She knew we didn’t have family that lived close. Her willingness to love us makes this particular funeral difficult. I can honestly say, I believe my son has lost what is more like a grandmother to him than anyone he has ever known. I can also say my wife and I will miss sitting with Judi at wrestling tournaments and other events as we spent a lot of time with her.

I was blessed that while a pastor of a little inner city church in Wichita Skip and Judi would on occasion visit. Skip offering to work at the church on the basement, and Judi offering to help out in other ways if we needed it. They seemed to like our little, multi racial, inner city church. From sitting and eating at a pot luck at church, to their ability to fit in someplace a little different, Skip and Judi, were willing to share in their life. In many ways, some never realize how they showed their love in subtle ways, ways we can look back on and know that in fact, they loved us.

There are two important moments I had with Judi in the last weeks. On one occasion I specifically asked her about her relationship with God and if she was ready to meet him. We had a good discussion and I am confident that today, Judi is with God. She was certain of her relationship with Christ, even though she was also certain that she hadn’t always lived the way she should. It was that need for a better relationship with God that she wanted me to share. While I understand what she meant, I have to say, that in a world where people wear their religion on their sleeve, it was wonderful to see Judi living it out in action, especially in regards to the love of her family. We also spoke about what she wanted me to speak on at her funeral.

In her last days and weeks, Judi quickly digressed in health, but at the point we discussed this, she was doing quite well, laughing, kidding and talking to everyone who came into the room. I was glad I got to speak to Judi about these things while she was in this condition. I knew she was okay when she kidded me and my son about the need for a haircut. It was also obvious that Judi was Judi when she would desire for someone to just hold her hand, or get a kiss from her husband. We sat one day and held hands for such a long time, I knew she didn’t want to let go. I think that was how she was with many in the family, and friends. She cherished every last moment she had.

When I asked her what she wanted me to share about today, she was quick, to the point, and direct. “Family and the importance of the love of family.” It was the only time I saw her overcome with emotion. It was clear this was important to this dear lady. I will share now the message I believe Judi wanted me to share.

In 1928 a man named W. L. Caldwell wrote an article that said in part:

… may we pause to pay honor to her who after Jesus Christ is God’s best gift to men, mother….. In her arms was the garner of our food and the soft couch for our repose. There we nestled in the hour of pain; there was the playground of our infant glee.
Those same arms later became our refuge and stronghold. It was she who taught our baby feet to go and lifted us up over the rough places. Her blessed hands plied the needle by day and by night to make our clothes. She put the book under our arm and started us off for school.

Caldwell went on to say, “The pride of America is its mothers.”

Judi knew what it meant to be a mother. She was a mother to Margaret, Eddie, Cindy, and Jeff, but she was also a grandmother to all of her grandchildren, and an adoptive mother to the many wrestlers she come to know over the years. I believe that when it comes to Kansas wrestling, Judi was in fact the mother or grandmother for all Kansas Wrestlers who had the honor of knowing her. They know of her devotion to them, and her willingness to share in their lives.
While mothers are looked on in such a favorable light, one has to ask if the concepts expressed by W.L. Caldwell are true today, the concept that mothers are among the most loving of all of God’s creation?

For many who are older, they will tell you that the concept of loving and caring for children is a concept that seems to be lost. We can look at the news and see a mother beating her child in the Wal-Mart, or a mother who will let her child go hungry. I can say these are concepts that were totally foreign to Judi. Judi was in fact, a reminder of what being a mother is all about, she was a reminder of a tradition that we should all remember. A tradition that goes through 47 years of marriage, even when there is difficulty, a marriage that supports a child when a parent realizes that child is not perfect. In fact, Judi exemplified for many what being a mother is all about.

I appreciate the following quote from John Macarthur which I think exemplifies Judi; “For better or worse, mothers are the makers of men; they are the architects of the next generation. That’s why the goal of becoming a godly mother is the highest and most noble pursuit of womanhood. God has specially equipped women for that very purpose, and in Christ, women can experience profound satisfaction in that divinely ordained pursuit. They can be who God created them to be.”

There are a great many in today’s world that are trying to find happiness and satisfaction through their careers. While that is admirable, Judi understood that her first priority was to her husband, and to her children. She understood that there is no greater gift than the gift of being a loving wife, and a loving mother. For the women here today, the love Judi had for others, including her family, was important because she understood this concept. Her gift as a mother wasn’t to receive what her children or husband had to offer, her gift of a mother was to give unconditionally to those she loved.

In the Bible there is a wonderful example of a wonderful mother. We read about this Hannah in the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel. There are many attributes of motherhood that I believe fits not only Hannah in the Bible story, but for those who knew her, they also fit Judi.

Hannah and Judi Were Devoted to Their Husband

I know some will take issue with this, I am not trying to create discourse, but as I have stated to the family. Judi’s relationship with Skip is in some ways of the most value. She dedicated her life to him some 47 years ago. For 47 years of marriage, and beyond, they dedicated themselves to each other. While I am certain there was conflict, their love was greater than any conflict. Judi honored her husband and it was obvious Skip loved her.

The most touching thing I have seen over the last weeks is the undying, unconditional love these two had for each other. I would have never imagined Skip in this light, but I saw him kiss his wife so many times in the last week, that most of us as men should be ashamed for not showing our wife that we love them. I found myself asking, numerous times, “Is Skip always this loving towards Judi?” Every time the answer from children and grandchildren was, “yes.” Judi never turned away that love, never denied it, in fact, it was obvious she cherished it. There is no greater love than the love between a husband and wife, and these two were in love so much.

As a reminder of that love that these two had to each other, turn to someone next to you now, simply tell them, “I love you.”

This act was not unusual in the life of Skip and Judi. I was so blessed to observe it and it is something I will learn from.

One of the fun things over the weeks was hearing about some of the times between these two lovers. There is one in particular story that sticks out.

Apparently Skip and Judi loved to dance. In fact, it is my understanding that they used to attend dance competitions and often times win those competitions. I don’t recall if it was at a wedding or where, but Judi loved dancing so much that she wouldn’t let anything distract her from having a good time when dancing with Skip. One such story had her literally dancing out of her skirt, ……, and bloomers….. at the dismay of Skip. While Skipper was in shock at the sight of her slip and underwear on the floor, Judi just keep dancing away. Apparently the look on Skips face is the type of thing legends are made of.

There are many lessons we can all learn from Judi and Skip’s undying love and devotion to each other. We can learn self-sacrifice, love, integrity, virtue, sympathy, compassion, understanding, forgiveness and much more.

In the Bible we see this type of love was evident between Elkanah and Hannah. They were dedicated to God (1st Samuel 1:3), and they were dedicated to loving one another (1st Samuel 1:4-8). While they had difficulties, they used those difficulties to grow more in love with each other.

At a low point in Hannah’s life, she was hungry and depressed; Elkanah comforted her with these words: "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?" (1st Samuel 1:8). This may not seem like a tremendous comfort, but her husband was appealing to the love of their marriage. After Elkanah said this to her, Hannah started to eat again, she came out of the depression, and the words had meaning to a wife who understood where love came from.

A Godly mother is dedicated to this kind of marriage; she loves God, loves her husband, and loves her children. Judi exemplified this type of love.

As mentioned earlier, I had good conversations with Judi regarding her relationship with God. There is a great quote by St. Francis of Assisi that states, “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words.” As I have given it thought over the last weeks, there is no doubt that Judi was a person of faith. A primary difference between her and others though is that she didn’t wear her faith on her sleeve, she wore her faith in her heart. She chose to practice living her beliefs and that was evident in the way she provided for and cared for her family, and others.

One of the most agreed upon concepts about Judi among her children was their observation and complete agreement that Judi was a “care giver.” She cared for and gave to others, without question, and without condition. She recognized the best way she could serve God, was to serve first her husband, and then her children. And man oh man, did she serve her children.

Life wasn’t always easy for Judi but then again, it never is for any of us, but like Hannah in the Bible, Judi wanted to be the best mother and grandmother she could. She seldom complained about her circumstance, she just lived and lived to serve, just like Hannah in 1st Samuel.

We Can Also See That Judi and Hannah Were Devoted to Their Home

Judi loved her children and grandchildren so much. So much that she wanted to be buried with items that belonged to each of them. I think Judi knew this would be as much of a gift to the family as it was something for her. It is another indication of how much she loved her family and wanted them to know that she loved them.

There are other instances of her love for others.

There are the times she would take each of the children to a different practice on the same night, finding ways to go to wrestling practice, volleyball practice, and maybe a baseball practice. Always getting the kids there on time, and picking them up on time.

Judi was there to stand up for the kids. You could likely ask Curt Heinicker about this. There was a time when in a baseball game that Curt beamed Jeff in the head with a baseball when pitching to him. Curt likely recalls Judi being held back as she charged the field to get at the boy who had just hit her son with a baseball. When going to bed tonight he could probably still thank God that this loving mother didn’t get her hands on him.

In the Bible, Hannah was a mother who was also committed to raising and training her children. She had important work to do—nursing, loving cherishing, instructing. Hannah understood how vital those early years are, when 90 percent of personality is formed. Judi also understood this, and was always there to give to her children, grandchildren and others. Many of us got glimpses of this as she was willing to help out in so many ways, whether at a wrestling tournament, sports banquet, or wherever she could give and assist others.

For those who are mothers, think about Hannah, think about Judi. Be devoted to your husband; be devoted to God; and be devoted to your home. That’s your high calling and your greatest joy.
Judi valued family, but she also valued friendship. There are so many here today, that she wanted so much to see before her departure from her body. She was so glad to see Coach Knox visit her. I understand she shed tears of joy when seeing Coach Knox. There were others though, and for each of us, we were the ones that were truly blessed. That says something about friendship.

There is a closing area this morning I also want to comment on. It is an area I think Judi understands today.

The frame that carried Judi, the body, is not really Judi. I know the family realizes this. The spirit and soul that made Judi who she was still lives. She shared with me that she wanted to be reunited with her family in Heaven. She knew Heaven was what awaited her. As we spoke about this, she also understood, as she indicated to me, that she knew the only way to Heaven was through Jesus Christ.

Today would not be complete without sharing this with you. While many do not always show the evidence that they follow Jesus, it is important to understand that Jesus clearly stated, “no one will see the Father in Heaven, or experience Heaven unless they go in through him.” In the book of John is clear; “God loves us all so much that he gave his only son, Jesus, so that whoever believes in him will not die but will live with Christ in Heaven forever. Judi acknowledged to me that this was a decision she had made.

We must realize as we consider the departure or Judi’s Spirit to Heaven, that belief is more than just knowing who Jesus is. It also knows he loved us enough to have died for us, and he wants us to seek forgiveness for the things we have done wrong. We must then allow him to be the leader of our life. The Bible is clear; it is only after doing this that we can experience Heaven. After speaking with Judi, she understood this, she had accepted Christ as a young girl, and while not being religious, she did spend time with God and valued her faith.

Today, if you haven’t done come to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, I would challenge you to do that, either in the privacy of your home, or in prayer before you leave today. If you need advice or direction on how to do this I am open to sharing with you, at any time. When coming to know God, we can be assured, for those that loved Judi, you can see her again, spend an eternity with her without the suffering, difficulty and heartache.

Until then, my challenge is to love each other, value family, and realize that through serving each other, not only do we leave a legacy for the future; we serve God in one of the most rewarding ways we could ever imagine, just like a wife, a mother, a grandmother, sister, family member and friend named Judi.

The following video is a tribute video I put together for the family. If the video appears double click on it, if it don't, just click on the following link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmBOgwloGs8


Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information, all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives.

You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.

Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew Blog
Personal Furches Web Site
Mike Furches MySpace Page
Mike Furches MySpace Blog
Hollywood Jesus
Reviews With Mike
The Virtual Pew Sermons
The Virtual Pew News
MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group
MySpace The Virtual Pew Group
The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page
To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During the Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587


Listen Live

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mike Furches & Hells Kitchen

Today I have a kind of busy day, having to get the article for the day done, (too bad it isn’t every day), have to get ready for an IRS audit next week, having to figure out if we have to take money for selling our house short, (we are actually only loosing about $30,000 here, and now they want us to bring money to pay for the closing), working on plans for 3 radio programs, have more tests for The Virtual Pew Live Radio program today in order to continue getting ready for our first broadcast on Wednesday the 22nd, prepare for a funeral I have to conduct this Saturday, do some MySpace work today, have to put a photo movie together for a funeral this weekend, put some advertising and promo spots together for the radio program, do a movie review, and on and on, and then seeing as how I work at home I have to help get supper made for tonight. Whew! Is that a long sentence or what?

I’m going to focus on the last thing mentioned above, helping get dinner ready. I know some may think one of the least important among those mentioned, and a large number not mentioned, but in some ways it is one of the most enjoyable, and believe me, when a husband has their wife ask them to do something, it becomes rather important. I will say this, cooking is one of the most enjoyable things I will do today.

Here is a little dark secret; I am a pretty good cook. In fact, some say so good that I should consider auditioning for the Hell’s Kitchen program with Chief Ramsey. I don’t think I would win as I do not have enough culinary training, but after this year, seeing my favorite, (until the last episode that is) chief being a short order cook from The Waffle House, I know I could get further along in the competition than some.

Here is my duty for today, find a nice dish to make using fresh beets. Yep, I have to prepare fresh beets, right out of the ground. Now I am aware that right off the bat, some people don’t even like beets, don’t know how anyone else can like beets, but that is part of the challenge I love to face. Finding something a lot of folks don’t like and then finding a way to prepare it in a way they will like. That is what I am doing, making something new, making something fresh, and hoping it comes out so my wife likes it, I like it, and my son at least tries it. I know children are different. Sometimes just getting them to taste a dish is reward enough, if they eat more than a bite or two, then I know I have accomplished something. There have even been times my daughter and son have said, “Papa, this is really good.” Then they not only eat everything on their dish, they ask for more. At that moment, I know that at least on that dish, I cooked something good.

So what do I do with beets? How do I make this dish unique? Today it isn’t that difficult. I am going to make a dish where I will actually mix the beets in with sweet potatoes and onions. Hopefully this gives what I call a good trinity flavor as well as a unique and beautiful color blend. You see, one of the things I have learned is if a dish looks good, more people are willing to give it a try. Sometimes in doing something new, it isn’t just making it taste good; we have to think of ways to make it look good. Then we draw people in, they have some level of curiosity and then, well then, they are willing to give this new thing a punch with a fork, then lift that fork to their mouth, and then take the ultimate plunge, chew on it and see if they like it, amazingly if done with good planning, a lot of work, and thought about the one that is going to be eating the dish, I find myself accomplishing my task more than not. For example by the time I mix in some brown sugar, some olive oil and a few other spices, I will have the dish so wonderful, that I fully expect my son to enjoy the full trinity of flavor tonight and the dish to have no left over effect.

Now some are asking, what in the world does this have to do with the types of things Mike usually talks about? It is really quite simple, are we who call ourselves Christian or follower of Jesus, making our dish, our life, so appealing with so much uniqueness and flavor that others are willing to take a taste of what we are making of our faith in the living out of our life? I hope so; I hope some will look at my relationship with Christ and say, “wow, that looks good, look at the color.” “Man O’ Man, I would sure like to give that a try, can it be as good as it looks?” “I know that I normally don’t like beets (Christians) but this one looks different than the ones I have seen in the past, this one may actually be worth while/” Maybe now you get the point as to what I am trying to say.

Hopefully, at least for you today, this has been another unique life lesson that you can learn from, and take to the place you need to take it.

Have you ever seen Hells Kitchen? If the video appears below double click, if it don't just click on the link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G8kCcz45uE


Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information, all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew. Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.

Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew Blog
Personal Furches Web Site
Mike Furches MySpace Page
Mike Furches MySpace Blog
Hollywood Jesus Reviews With Mike
The Virtual Pew Sermons
The Virtual Pew News
MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group
MySpace The Virtual Pew Group
The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page
To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During the Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

Listen Live

Media Player linking directly to The Virtual Pew Live, (if not on air, will play last broadcast program) –

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Virtual Pew News 13, Time To Step On A Few Toes and The Virtual Pew Live Radio Program

As many have noticed I have sent out regular emails regarding The Virtual Pew but it has been a while since I sent out a newsletter, with that said. Welcome to The Virtual Pew News #13.
Let me be clear right off the bat, we need your financial help. A number of individuals have promised to help, we are grateful, but we really need it. We have not received any contributions from anyone in 8 weeks. We are down to the last $125 between my checking and savings account and The Virtual Pew account. It has been tough but we are plugging along.

I am so grateful for the help we have received but some made promises and we need them to come through. Some have promised a great deal in the area of helping with this ministry, such as advocating on our behalf in church and business circles. For some, those promises occurred almost a year and a half a go, and reoccurred several times. There are even churches we have ministered and given services at that cost us a great deal in driving to and from and taking care of ourselves that never gave any reimbursement despite promising to give. I have for years given services away and will continue to do so, but if you make a promise to help, please follow through. I really believe some need to hear that when they refuse to do what they said they were going to do, at that point, you become exactly the type of church and organization that turn people away from the Gospel and message of Jesus. How can you expect others to respect you, when you do not honor your word? I have to admit, the largest contributor to this ministry in the last year is an Athiest, for those who call themselves a Christian, or follower of Christ, that should be embarrassing. This individual has indicated to me though, the only Christian ministry they give to is The Virtual Pew because they know we do what we say we will do.

Now I know that is blunt and straightforward. There are several in the situation mentioned above, some churches where I saw people get saved, and others dedicate their life to Christ. There are organizations I have promoted and been a part of for years, been honest and straightforward with, yet they have turned their back on those they are called to serve. Many of those know who they are. As I spend hours upon hours, visiting with, and ministering to a family who has a dying family member, having to pay for gas, not being able to eat or feed my family who may be with me at the hospital, I am a firm believer that calling it like it is, is important. For those who have made promises, your empty words have an impact. I want to be careful here, I'm not talking about those who we have been honored to serve, I am talking about those within the church, and within church organizations who have promised help, and not followed through. Of course anyone who has been helped that can contribute and support what we do, to those I say, Thank You!

Now on the flip side, God is good, and I still know He is going to meet our needs. I know some will see this, and find it in their heart and spirit to support our ministry. A ministry still growing, and doing the things we said we would do.

God is good, and continues to provide, it is sometimes though for our family who has made sacrifice. I just found out today, we are going to be able to short sell our house in Oklahoma and a closing date has been set. What does this mean? Our house in Oklahoma, our dream house we saved and planned for, has had a cash offer made on it while it was in foreclosure and a couple has been approved for the sale. While the house is in foreclosure, we won’t owe any more money on it. Unfortunately, we lost all of the investment we had in the house, approximately $30,000 in equity. We are not complaining, we knew when we made a commitment to ministry, we gave our word to do the ministry God caled us to. We also know when losing this type of investment, when seeing your kids do without, and when having those who are Christians break their word and not be honest, it isn’t always easy.

Not being easy don’t mean it isn’t worth it, and I guess that is part of what I would like to leave today. I could be more blunt about some things and have heard a lot lately about how people shouldn’t complain. I agree with, but it is tricky ground, one has to be careful that they don't imply they don’t care. I will openly state, if you are hurting, if things aren’t right, complain to me, let me know how you feel. Why do I say this? Because I care enough about the souls we are honored to serve to want to be there to help and benefit as we can. While some may accept the everything is wonderful even though I broke my leg mentality, this is a ministry where I hope people know we are real, we are real enough to share the good times as well as the times that suck. I believe this is one of the reasons so many contact us and value what we provide. I know this ministry reaches out to those who have been hurt by the church. It has an impact and a desire to help bring people back to a right, open, and honest relationship with Christ. May we be more like Jesus, and less like the version of Christianity that drives so many away, even the organizations that pretend to take on this popular concept of being different than the traditional church.

Now as to some of the things going on. For those that don’t know, we have ventured into an internet radio program. We are testing one more time, Tuesday, August 14 at 4:00 PM Central before starting our regular programming on Wednesday August 15 at 4:00 PM Central. We will be on weekly for 1 hour and will eventually move to additional days as well as the regular 4:00 PM CTZ slot. Plans are in place to eventually start a Hollywood Jesus Program (within the month) and a regular Wrestling Talk With Mike program, within the next month and a half. These programs will have a dramatic impact and will allow us to have an even broader and more effective ministry.

We continue to hear from individuals on a daily basis, we have established additional methods of contact to provide assistance with these individuals. We can now Instant Message with MySpace members, Yahoo Instant Messenger and MSN Instant Messanger. On the Yahoo Instant Messenger we can receive phone calls into our computer, and make phone calls for 1 cent a minute. We also have a long distance service via our land line where we can make unlimited long distance calls within the United States for no additional charge.

The Virtual Pew Live is a on line radio program that individuals from around the world can listen and call into. We can have upwards of 5 people on the line at any given time. If using Skype of Yahoo services calls into the program will cost approximately 1 cent per minute. If using the chat room at The Virtual Pew Live or an IM services those contacts are free. Those services have already provided invaluable to many needing assistance from The Virtual Pew.

The Virtual Pew continues to minister to The Lost, The Last, and The Least, we continue to move forward having a dramatic impact on the lives of many often neglected and forgotten about, we continue to do this despite the financial difficulty we face. We are working to improve that situation, including doing things like this particular newsletter, and putting together a promotional packet, which costs us approximately $150, that we will take to local churches and denominational organizations to get speaking opportunities. Hopefully many doors will open and we can share our story, and the hope offered by Christ.

Regarding the talk radio program. This is a ministry which will be different. While we will play music on occasion, we want first and foremost to be a place where we can minister to those needing ministry. I have already heard from dozens of people who are grateful this program is being offered. One recently asked, how do we do more? My response is, it isn’t so much doing more, as it is doing what we do more effectively so we can minister to more who need it.

In closing, regarding the program The Virtual Pew Live, we need guests, and we need music with permission to use for bumper and programming. Copyright issues are important so beware of that. We also need better production material. I am really in need of an additional $150 for the phone which would give us a higher quality. I have downloaded some studio software but need better, we will get by with what we have for now. We need guests, and you don’t have to be famous to be a guest, although that don’t hurt. We just want guests who understand what The Virtual Pew is all about, and can share their stories. We simply want to touch people and help them understand that Christ loves them. If you can help share that in a non threatening and loving way, we would love to have you on our program. Of course being interested in the things we do whether agreeing or not would also make interesting programming. It doesn't end there though, I am going to be discussing with a few atheists friends of mine about being on the program.

Please, as a closing note, don’t take this newsletter wrong. I don’t want it to sound like a complaining, upset newsletter. But truth is, if those saying they were going to help, who are Christian, had done what they said they would do, there wouldn’t be a need for this newsletter. I continue to ask, for those that can, we need your support. For those that can’t I understand, I want people to know, this ministry is available whether you can donate or not. I really want it to be like a Pauline ministry, I am open to speaking, sharing, or whatever to get funds to help this ministry along. I thrive at and enjoy those opportunities, many have come through and it is appreciated. I firmly believe that what we do for the dollar is hardly matched by any ministry around. Then again, maybe I am just passionate about what we do, and know from talking to the people I have that we have had a positive impact on the lives of so many.

Blessings, keep in touch, and thanks for being as much like Jesus as possible. Now I have added some other valuable buttons to this that will show up regarding the programming including a button and link to the radio program. Even if you can’t listen live, you can go in and listen to the archives from the program, including the test programs that are currently up. If you want to give, the address is listed below, or you can always click on any of the photographs or donation link below to give online with a check or credit card.

Thanks again, and blessings to you.

Mike

The Great Philosopher Hank Hill comments on Church. If you see the video below, just double click on it, if it don't appear, just click on the link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtI2pa2m5cg




Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

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Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information, all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

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Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives.

You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.

Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew Blog
Personal Furches Web Site
Mike Furches MySpace Page
Mike Furches MySpace Blog
Hollywood Jesus
Reviews With Mike
The Virtual Pew Sermons
The Virtual Pew News
MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group
MySpace The Virtual Pew Group
The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page
To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

blog radio

Listen Live

Media Player linking directly to The Virtual Pew Live, (if not on air, will play last broadcast program)



Phone Number to Call During the Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587