Monthly Archives: October 2013

Cillie shares her gift of showing others how to thrift

Published by:

LaCheryl Callie

By LaCheryl B. Cillie
Special to Inside The Pew

Editor’s note: LaCheryl B. Cillie is founder of Thrift Style Living. She teaches people how to live fabulous yet thrift. Collie conducts a LaCheryl Calliewebtalk radio show where she interview celebrities who thrift to fashion editor from Paris about thrifting and how to get the best for less. Cillie is also a licensed auctioneer who does estate sales, benefit auctions, also an author.

“We try to teach people how to be good steward of their money, spending less for the best, and how to recognize things of value from fashion to collectibles to general household and everything in between,” Collie said.

Why did you create your business?

“I created my business to help people get the best for less, in a response to the tight economy which we live. Also to help families with practical mandates to help restore and appreciate family heirlooms thus being good stewards of things which have been entrusted to them.”

What is the one scripture (or two) that you draw strength from?

“There are several scriptures which I draw great strength from, the two most notable being: First, in 1 Corinthians 12:7, the apostle Paul says that gifts are given for the common good, thus we are to use them to help others. I have the gift of being able to recognize things of value, great aesthetics, and being able to communicate with a warm spirit with others. This gift is for me to help others get the best for less, recognize valuable collectibles, and antiques as well as being good stewards of the things God has given to them or placed in their path. Being able to find something someone needs at a price they can afford is a great thing. Also helping people to sell things and get great prices when they did not even realize they had anything worthwhile to sell is a gift God has given me for that purpose.

“The scripture about having the faith of a mustard seed, speaks to me daily, during periods of uncertainly in this journey I am on. When I do not know where the next open door is, but I trust God for the unseen doors, God ideas, and great favor among great men. It is in Hebrews, faith is the things hoped for yet unseen.”

Share the best advice you can share with an entrepreneur?

“My best advice is to get a great set of knee pads, you will need them. Look only to God which is your strength, who is divine and ever knowing in his purpose for your life. Pray not for good ideas, but the God ideas, and know where your help comes from. It comes from God who uses men to carry out his wishes. Be in prayer and be thankful always.”

Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?

“The best can cost less. Do not buy mediocre. Quality counts. Quality counts. Let me show you how to get anything you need and most of what you want at considerable savings. Along the way show you how to invest in personal property which will hold its value and appreciate in value. Another way to build a nest egg.”

Learn more about thrift style living from LaCheryl Cillie. Visit her website, www.thriftstyleliving.com. Also, listen to her web show, “Thrift Style Living with LaCheryl B. Cillie,” at www.webtalkradio.net 

 

 

Bialek: Watching or obsessing?

Published by:

Pastor Jeremy Bialek

By Jeremy Bialek
Special to Inside The Pew

The food is on the table, everyone is seated, and it’s time to eat…but first we bow heads and close eyes to thank God for providingPastor Jeremy Bialek another meal. My kids will occasionally open their eyes or peak through fingers during this offering of appreciation. After the “amen,” my son will announce, in an accusing tone, that his sibling(s) opened their eyes during the prayer, thus immediately indicting himself.

In a Sept. 19 article published on Thinking Faith, Pope Francis said that the church shouldn’t be “obsessed” with preaching about abortion, homosexuality, and contraception. While church leaders have set their collective sights on particular social issues, at times to the detriment of preaching the Gospel, doesn’t the media’s highlighting of this one statement taken from an immense interview covering countless subjects, amount to crying, “They opened their eyes during the prayer!” Church leadership is guilty in that our only obsession as believers ought to be Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith upon whom the Bible commands we fix our eyes (Hebrews 12:2), and sharing His beautiful declaration – a Gospel of grace. The church’s failure to do so properly has left generations without a proper understanding of what Christ did and promised to do for us. Still, who started this fire?

Often the church is reacting instead of leading, but (while at risk of sounding defensive) can you blame church leadership for reacting to the obsession of culture with these same issues? Each of the issues Pope Francis mentions has been argued before the Supreme Court, is backed financially by our government (to the point of even lobbying for these “rights” overseas), and receives millions of dollars in promotion from the television & movie entertainment industry plus the news media. Yes, those who oversee the church should be as concerned about murder, heterosexual immorality, and materialism (sins that likewise share in the windfall of lavish media promotion). Yet, it is reported that our country is one of only four nations in the world to legalize abortions after viability and threatens to withdraw funding from states or countries unless they remove restrictions on those who perform abortions. So, who is more obsessive about the subject – those for it or those against it?

A pastor is a shepherd. The Word is clear that shepherds are supposed to feed and protect the flock. Too often our pulpits have spent so much time in protection mode that the sheep have forgotten what the bread of life & living water taste like. That said, to only feed the sheep and not warn them when the world sends more and more wolves, lions, and bears to devour the truth about sin, its consequences, and impending judgment, is, in fact, to close our eyes when we were charged with being watchmen. I agree with Pope Francis that balance is needed. It’s just that the world’s view of balance welcomes changing what we believe and silencing our voices.

Jeremy Bialek lives in Indianapolis, where he has served as the Pastor/Senior Elder of Indianapolis Christian Fellowship since 2008. Jeremy has a Bachelor of Science from Butler University & a Master of Science from Syracuse University. He is married and has seven children. Follow him on Twitter @pastorbialek. Learn more about ICF at www.icfonline.us

The Mission Continues in Houston: Post-9/11 veterans train to serve local communities

Published by:

Bravo Service Project participants

Special to Inside The Pew

Veterans from across the country are reporting for duty in Houston to begin the next chapter of serving their country: leading theirBravo Service Project participants communities at home. More than 80, post-9/11 veterans will gather in Houston Oct. 25-27, for a weekend of leadership training and community service as part of orientation with The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to serve their country in new ways.

These latest recruits will join more than 700 other post-9/11 veterans who have worked with The Mission Continues to navigate the transition to post-military life by reconnecting to their communities and their sense of purpose through volunteerism.

Houston residents may join The Mission Continues in action volunteering at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston on Oct. 26 and also witness all 80-plus veterans pledging an oath of service to the community before each returns home to spend the next six months volunteering with local nonprofits.

“Each veteran who volunteers with The Mission Continues is driven to serve others,” said Spencer Kympton, U.S. Army veteran and president of The Mission Continues. “With the support of engaged communities like Houston, we can empower veterans to have a positive impact here at home.”

As part of Delta Orientation, the new veteran recruits and Houston-area alumni of the program will team up with volunteers from Shell and Boeing, as well as project sponsor Benjamin Moore Paints to transform the campus of Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School. The volunteers will rebuild the school’s bleachers, plant new gardens and landscape grounds, and remove an outdated performance stage. The site improvements will support the school in its mission to empower students of all backgrounds to reach their full potential.

“The Mission Continues’ veterans are living examples for our students that leadership, determination, and service to others offer a path to empowerment and success,” said Dan Walsh, interim president, Cristo Rey Jesuit. “We’re excited and truly honored to welcome The Mission Continues to the Houston community.”

Through their service experience in Houston and throughout their six-month fellowships at home, veterans learn to translate military abilities into civilian skills, gaining valuable work experience and pursuing a defined post-fellowship goal: full-time employment, pursuit of higher education or a full-time position of community service.

Additionally, The Mission Continues is launching a Houston-based veterans’ service platoon led by fellowship alumnus Brian Wilson. Wilson, a former U.S. Army medic, spent his fellowship volunteering with the Lone Star Veterans Association as the Communications Director and has since enrolled as a full-time student pursuing a degree in communications. As Houston platoon leader, he’ll recruit local veterans to support a mission addressing community challenges in the Houston area through monthly organized service events.

“My fellowship helped me reconnect to that same fire and passion that I felt while serving my country and I want to make sure other veterans have a chance to experience that – even if just for a weekend,” Wilson said. “We’re excited to start recruiting and identifying a long-term mission that will make a difference to people in Houston.”

GodSpeaks movement reveals billboard messages ‘signed’ by God

Published by:

By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

Ministry on billboards is making a comeback.

GodSpeaks, a cross-denominational non-profit organization, is posting new messages “signed” by the God of the Bible on billboardGodSpeakss and other media throughout Ft. Lauderdale and beyond. Messages such as “I’ve been here all along. – God” or “Let’s pick up where we left off. – God” will give daily commuters and digital followers something to ponder outside of their busy lives.

After more than a decade of silence, GodSpeaks is making a comeback, a move influenced by current cultural trends. “Everywhere around us, people are searching for meaning and purpose in life,” shares Bradley Burck, director of GodSpeaks. “For many, God has never been an option.” According to a 2011 Lifeway Research Survey, statistics show that 46 percent of Americans never think about whether they’re going to heaven or not and almost 70 percent of Americans don’t read the Bible or any other religious texts on a regular basis.

“Our culture is in trouble. People are hurting, and GodSpeaks seeks to be a resource of hope and compassion,” Burck said. “Families suffer the effects of alcoholism; violent crime is rising in our cities; children are sexually exploited,” he continues. “GodSpeaks interrupts the hopelessness, through powerful and positive media, and offers God as the answer—because He is the One who changes lives.”

The original billboard campaign, developed in 1998 by anonymous donors, attracted the attention of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and was featured as the OAAA’s national service campaign in 1999. As a result, 10,000 GodSpeaks billboards were posted in 200 cities across America—no small feat for a project that started as a citywide campaign with a handful of billboards and a limited budget. The campaign garnered local, regional and national media attention from CBS, “Good Morning America,” and the “Today” show.

Building on past successes, the present GodSpeaks movement promises to be more far-reaching than the first campaign. In addition to billboards, every available type of media will be utilized to spread the messages, including real-time digital responses to natural disasters, social breakdowns and international events. Messages will be positive, relevant and timely, and, with today’s media capabilities, will speak to situations at the points of impact.

Since the 90s debut of the campaign, thousands have responded with heartfelt emails and testimonies of God’s working in their lives. Burck remains hopeful that the new messages, particularly given the viral nature of digital and social content, will make a difference worldwide.

“We believe if we stop people, for even a split second, to remind them that the God of the universe is real and that He loves them, values them and wants a relationship with them,” Burck shares, “That moment has the potential to help change their lives forever—the ultimate goal for GodSpeaks.”

The origin of each published message can be discovered in specific promises or truths from the Bible. The newly redesigned GodSpeaks.com website offers visitors a closer look at how the Bible verses and messages tie together. It also features short devotionals and lengthier blog posts that further explore message topics. The website directs visitors to partner websites and contacts who are prepared to answer questions about God.

Marschall: We CAN go home again

Published by:

By Rick Marschall
Special to ASSIST News Service

SWARTZ CREEK, MI (ANS)Many popular sayings that are regarded as embodying folk wisdom are, in fact, as crumbly as the fortuneRick Marschall cookies where they should stay. I have always been struck by how almost every handy, traditional capsule of folk wisdom is cancelled by another such time-honored saying. “Look before you leap”? But… “He who hesitates is lost.”

You can “roll with the punches” OR “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” And so forth.

I recently thought the oft-quoted Thomas Wolfe aphorism, “You can’t go home again” when I did in fact visit the home in New York City where I was born, and the address in the New Jersey suburbs where I was reared. I drove from the Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference with my friend Shawn Kuhn, who was born in a different neighborhood of Queens. We were each a little surprised that our neighborhoods were clean, appeared safe, and had not fallen prey to real or clichéd urban blight: just the opposite.

Later in the week, with my sister Barbara, we visited the address of our adolescent years — I call it such because it was recently razed and replaced with what regretful “natives” like me are calling “McMansions,” ridiculous mini-estates on half acres. Most of the new owners likely suffer from the affliction common to parvenus, the Edifice Complex.

It was sad to see my home no longer there; our Village School boarded up; the town’s Swim Club closed and overgrown; an d the church of our youth condemned, doors chained closed, neglected.

However. Paging Thomas Wolfe: “You CAN go home again.” I understand that I am supposed to understand that the past is past, a rose is a rose, and all those other syllogisms. The more important facts relate not to whether our parents have died, or our homes have been demolished, but what value they had in our development. The important corners of our memories. Then, the question is not whether we can “go home,” but whether those “homes,” our foundational values, can, or should, ever leave us.

I will call someone else, George Santayana, into the discussion, and mangle his own famous aphorism: “Those who forget the past are not only in danger of repeating it, but of having no past at all.”

I recently quoted Theodore Roosevelt in this space: “Both life and death are parts of the same great adventure.” And we should be reminded that Wolfe’s adage refers to the emotions and our intellectual growth, as much as nostalgic real-estate tours. My childhood is not a house; it was spent in a home that stood there. What I am, or have achieved, as a man is no less real because my parents died after my formative years. The chapel of my affectionate memories is gone, all the more bitter because it stands as a skeleton; but my faith was not diminished because the doors are chained shut.

Indeed, the pasts we miss and the futures we distrust are seldom pieces of real estate or schoolrooms or, say, battlefields. They are of the mind, the intellect, of life-choices, emotions… in fact, the spiritual realm.

Even when we know this fact, whether we are filled with joy or anxiety, it is easy to forget: a most human part of our humanity. My heart currently grieves for the director of the writer’s conference Shawn and I attended, because she is beset by personal problems, health trials facing herself and family members, business challenges galore… (Please look for the website of Write His Answer Ministries and see the wonderful things Marlene Bagnull has done and is doing)

Christians know the Author all good things, and know who the enemy of our souls is, and who comes to seek, and kill, and destroy. Words are cheap (if I can cite another old cliché) but, being a frequent victim of discouragement myself, I feel qualified to remind anyone who will listen that there is a Larger Story. We cannot always see it. But we need to remember it.

“I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee,” Joshua 1: 5.

We call to our memories: we should summon the best of them. They call to us. And, whether our children live near or far, we should always be in the mode of calling them home too. Just as our Heavenly Father does to us.

Rick Marschall is the author of 65 books and hundreds of magazine articles in many fields, from popular culture (Bostonia Magazine called him “perhaps America’s foremost authority on popular culture”) to history and criticism; country music, television history, biography and children’s books. He is a former political cartoonist, editor of Marvel Comics, and writer for Disney comics. Email Rick at RickMarschall@gmail.com.