Why your New Year's resolutions were a bust, and what you can do about it.

Are you sick and tired of making New Year’s resolutions you can’t keep? Here are seven we bet you can:

1.  To gain weight-at least 15 pounds.
2.  To stop exercising
3.  To read less.
4.  To watch more TV.
5.  To procrastinate more…starting tomorrow.
6.  To get further into debt.
7.  To spread out priorities beyond your ability to keep track of them.

On second thought, you may want to read the rest of this article before you make any more New Year’s resolutions…even easy ones!

A Prayer for the end of January

For the overwhelming majority of us who will make yet one more New Year’s resolution that starts on January 1st, I offer you the following prayer for the end of January:

Dear God,
I want to thank you for being close to me so far this year.  With your help, I haven’t been impatient, lost my temper, been grumpy, judgmental or envious of anyone.  But I will really need your help soon because I’m about to get out of bed.
Amen

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Resolve Doesn’t Mean Results

We make resolutions on New Year’s Day to become better people. Our hearts are often in the right place, but somehow, our resolve doesn’t quite translate into results. Research on New Year’s resolutions indicates that:

Within the first two months of the new year, 25 % of us will break our promises.

By six months, nearly 40% will have failed.

By the end of the year, approximately 82 % will be unsuccessful.

Think about your own life. Haven’t you ever made a New Year’s resolution to diet…only to gain weight? Okay, I might be projecting my issues onto you with that example, but haven’t you ever done something similar? We all start out so well, but most of us don’t finish well. As the great poet/philosopher Homer Simpson once said: “I used to rock and roll all night and party every day. Then it was every other day. Now I’m lucky if I can find a half an hour a week in which to get funky.”

Resolve Not to Make Any New Year’s Resolutions!  

While there is something in the human psyche that gravitates to new beginnings, if you really want to start this new year right, forget about making New Year’s resolutions. Don’t waste your breath huffing and puffing about how YOU are going to change yourself.  

Instead, here are 5 things that can genuinely help you make a change:

  1. Read the Bible with Cadre friends this year. You can join the community here.
  2. Get ministry leadership coaching with us.
  3. Watch this short but super helpful 3-part video series from Box of Crayons about creating rock-solid habits.
  4. Use Bill Allison’s article on Growing your SMART Plan to help you create life-changing goals.
  5. Use a podcast like Encounter to help you slow down, be still, and listen to God.
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Prince of Shalom

Here at Cadre we anchor ourselves to the simplicity of embracing a disciplemaking way-of-life – a life with Christ and sent by Christ. With Christmas moments away, I have been reminded of the incredible depth of this life.


“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders.And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”(Isaiah 9:6)


Prince of Peace – Prince of Shalom… the depth and richness of the Shalom of God is overwhelming. (Needless to say, this is a word study I am now beginning.)Here is a quick insight into the God whose withness brings Shalom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLYORLZOaZE
In 1816 a pastor, a broken church organ, a worship leader and a guitar helped a group of men in 1914 to momentarily experience the Shalom that Christ’s birth brings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=6KHoVBK2EVE&feature=emb_logo

Praying for all of you… that you and your family will know the depth of Shalom that overflows through the incarnation of our God.
mark & rachel
Cadre Disciplemaking Friendship Coaches

Cadre Missionaries: NO Small Potatoes

[Bill] Very early in our marriage, my wife went grocery shopping. Though I was employed in a full-time job, our income at that time was considered poverty level. Yes, we lived on love and a very tight budget—like lots of young couples.
When Stacy came home from the grocery store, she said, “I was able to buy everything we planned except potatoes. I wanted to stick to our budget.” 
I said, “Thanks for sticking to the budget. We can do without potatoes. We’ll be fine.”
Those words were barely out of my mouth when someone knocked at our door. It was a dear friend from our church who lived across the back alley. Holding a large bag in her arms she said, “I bought too many potatoes at the store today. Would you like some?” 
That true story is a microcosm of how God has provided—and continues to provide—for us, our larger-than-normal family, and our ministry with Cadre Missionaries to this day.

Make no mistake. We need your help.

September 2019 marks the 17th birthday/anniversary of Cadre Missionaries!

For 17 years, God and YOU have made it possible for us, as Cadre Missionaries, to multiply Jesus-like disciplemaking friendships here and around the world.

“Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.” – 3 John 1:5-8

From our hearts to yours, thank you for doing your part of 3 John 1:5-8!  And make no mistake: We still need your help.

> In honor of our 17th birthday, would you please prayerfully consider donating a special gift of $17 or more?

Those of you who know us know that we don’t often ask for financial support like this. However, on our 17th anniversary as a ministry, we need your $ help, so we’re asking God’s people—like you—to join us in this disciplemaking adventure.

We’d love to see 300 of our friends respond with a special gift of $17. That would bless Cadre with $5,100 much needed dollars for our disciplemaking mission.

> Will YOU be one of our 300 friends?

To donate $17 securely and immediately onlinego here.

* Mail a check: Cadre Missionaries, PO Box 278, Sycamore, IL 60178

Other giving options…

* To give more than $17 securely and immediately online, go here.

To support a Cadre missionary on a monthly basis, go here.

And of course you can ship potatoes, coffee beans, or practical missionary hugs to: Cadre Missionaries, 916 Foxpointe Dr, Sycamore, IL 60178

* For questions and more info, please call Rennie at 815.501.3132.

Note: Cadre Missionaries is a recognized 501(c)3 not-for-profit ministry and all gifts are tax deductible.

If you’ve never financially supported Cadre Missionaries before, this would be a great first step. If you’re already a $ partner with God and Cadre, then please prayerfully consider an additional $17. In a ministry like ours, every dollar makes a huge difference. Each gift—no matter the size—is a huge encouragement, much needed, and greatly appreciated.

Because Cadre seeks to make disciplemakers, only Heaven will reveal the full impact of your partnership.

We are your Cadre Missionaries. You are God’s wind in our Cadre sails. Thank you for celebrating 17 years of Jesus-like disciplemaking with us and to God be the glory!

Bill Allison, Executive Director, for the Cadre team.
Bill & Stacy Allison, Dave & Rennie Garda, Mark & Rachel O’Brien, Laura & Craig Slezak

What are you doing THIS FALL to encourage and equip volunteers and students in your ministry?

What are you doing THIS FALL to encourage and equip volunteers and students in your ministry?Note: I didn’t ask if you are organizing volunteers. I asked what exactly you’re doing to encourage and equip volunteers (including students). 
If you’re like most ministry leaders, you’re probably not doing very much in the encouraging and equipping departments. 

No wonder your church/ministry is having such a difficult time with finding and keeping great volunteers.
Consider the DANGER of not encouraging & equipping volunteers.
Consider the HIGH COST of not encouraging & equipping volunteers.
Here’s the good news: We’d love to help you!Right now is the best time to schedule Cadre for a time of encouragement and equipping for the volunteers and students who serve in ministry!We’d love to bring one of Cadre’s disciplemaking training experiences to the volunteer leaders and students who serve in ministry. Carefully consider the following…
Ministry Is Relationships!
Evangelism Is Relationships!
Disciplemaking Is Relationships!
Your Next Steps…
1. Click each of the links above and carefully read about three of the core disciplemaking training experiences we can bring to those in your ministry.

2. Share this post with those who serve in ministry with you. 

3. For complete details or more information, email us.

So you’re still not sure the volunteers and students at your church or ministry need encouragement and equipping?
Think again!

Copyright © 2019 Cadre Missionaries, All rights reserved. 

EQUIPped for Gospel Reflection

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Billy Graham Library. While I have know the name Billy Graham and have heard many stories from his life, I was amazed at his heart and desire for people to know God and to walk with Him. His passion for the gospel and genuine love for people often put him in the position to bring the light of Christ into previously thought dark and impenetrable areas.

This got me thinking… How well do I really know the gospel? Does an overflowing gratefulness for the gospel of Christ overflow from my life? How about our students?

Shortly after visiting the Billy Graham Library, I was with a group of middle school students for Cadre’s Equip for Middle School Disciplemakers. Among other things, we spent time together writing out our story, looking at the five parts of the gospel, and sharing the gospel with each other.

What about the upcoming school year? How do we build times for gospel reflection throughout the year? What if we peppered into the rhythm of youth group – Gospel Nights. Three or four nights in the upcoming school year to creatively and actively remind each other of the gospel of Jesus Christ. To celebrate the gospel together.

First, we let’s start with the gospel itself. There are a variety of ways and resources to explain / communicate the gospel. I personally like the five parts that we use in Equip. Here they are:

  1. God loves me and wants me to live with him forever. (John 3:16)
  2. My sin separates me from a relationship with God. (Romans 3:23)
  3. I can’t fix my sin problem. Being good can’t save me. (Titus 3:5)
  4. God fixed my sin problem through Jesus’ death on the cross. (Romans 5:8)
  5. God invites me to believe and receive his gift of forgiveness. (John 3:16 | John 10:10)

Through Jesus, I can experience love, joy and peace in my life now and forever.

There are many other ways to communicate the gospel. Dare2Share uses 6-words: God. Our. Sins. Paying. Everyone. Life. Others use 4-words: Creation, Fall. Redemption. Restoration. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association uses four steps: God’s plan – peace and life, Our Problem – separation from God, God’s remedy – the cross, Our response – receive Christ.

You can also use one verse and some stick figure art: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Yup, do you remember the bridge illustration? 

Now get creative. What experiences can you come up with that will help your students engage and articulate their story and the story of the gospel?

  1. Key Word and Scripture Search. Split the gospel into each of its parts, and then have students search key words to find verses from the Bible that explain or relate to that part of the gospel.
  2. Linking the character of God to the gospel. Ask the question: what does each part of the gospel tell us about the character of God? Then have the students come up with the answers.
  3. Gospel scavenger hunt. Have students search for images or take photos for each part of the gospel. Have them share with each other the images and how or why it reminds them of the gospel. 
  4. What is God’s heart for people who do not know him? Read Luke 15 together or other intersection moments from the Gospels – moments when Jesus interacts with someone who does not know God. What is God’s heart for people who do not know him (Hint: John 3:16)?
  5. Share your intersection stories. How has your life intersected with the story of the gospel? Walk through each part of the gospel and ask each other questions:
  • Have you ever come to a point where you know God loves you? Tell me about that. What has made it hard to believe God loves you?
  • What do you think about the statement that, “my sin separates me from God”? Is that hard to believe? Have you ever felt a longing or distance from God – or something?
  • “I can’t fix my sin problem.” Is this true? Are we able to handle the consequences of life on our own or do we need God to step in? Have you had a moment in life where you’ve experienced this?
  • “God fixed my sin problem through Jesus’ death on the cross.” What does this mean? Do you believe this? If you do, tell me the story of how or why you believe this. If not, what prevents you from believing this?
  • What does receiving God’s forgiveness look like? What does it look like to walk through life with Jesus?

When it comes to the gospel, we often think about it in a confrontational context – a weapon to defend our view of life or to win an argument with someone who doesn’t believe the same thing that we do. No wonder talking about the gospel – even among fellow christians – stirs anxiety and causes our hearts to race.

This should not be. Let’s help the gospel to be the good news that it really is. Let’s celebrate it together. Find times to share the stories of how the gospel of Christ is intersecting our lives. The more we personally and our students know the gospel and celebrate the intersecting of Christ and our lives, the more we will see evangelism accidentally happening out of the overflow of our hearts. Use these ideas to get you started in being friends who celebrate the gospel of Jesus and its impact on our lives.