Here’s a fun activity for the Thanksgiving season that your church group, kids, and adults, as well as the whole family can take part in! All you need is some cut-up colored contraction paper, a large clear jar, and colored pens. Or just pens and paper and a basket.
Dedicate an empty jar to be your “Gratitude Jar” for Thanksgiving. Decorate the jar as you like, or you can even print out this post and use the picture below as your label.
Keep small note sheets and a pen next to your Gratitude Jar. From now until Thanksgiving, have your kids, friends, and family write down what they are grateful for, and keep all their notes in the jar. BTW, this can be a year-long activity too!
On Thanksgiving Day, you can read the notes together and share your stories.
As always, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to serve you.
As many of you know, I wear three hats; I pastor, I teach, and I do financial consulting. This does not include raising the cub, being a Boy Scout leader, and wounding if I still have ADD. So, during the pandemic I was crazy busy, keeping churches open in new ways, and helping businesses not go bankrupt while teaching all online for almost two years. This is what I learned:
Besides a hinge or a fulcrum, pivot means to “undergo a fundamental change in strategy.” This involves a change in direction in life, business, or church while still keeping the same vision and mission. Changing the way we do things to adapt our demographics, setting, and environment.
Churches and business that survived and even prospered during COVID, learned to pivot.
Churches and Businesses that learned to pivot changed the way they do business or worship to connect and keep their people. A case in point is two restaurants I worked with, I explained to them how to pivot, that is to create a drive-up takeout service along with online ordering, incorporate the delivery services like Grubhub, and use incentives like coupons and text and email alerts. One did this and bloomed, in fact, they were busier than before the pandemic. They did not like the delivery service’s surcharges, but the drive-up takeout system was a winner and kept them open and even thriving. The other, well, he just did not want to try anything new. He said, “my customers love me; they know where I am…” All he did was throw out his expensive rotting supplies and permanently lay off his people. I tried and tried to help him; he just did not want to make any changes. Now his restaurant is closed. Ironically, his food was far better than the one that stayed open.
The key that made the difference was service over quality. Well, do not sacrifice quality for service. People come for an easier more convenient experience.
And now the post-COVID church is seeing a decline with in-person attendees. They still, the majority that is, 50-75% of them, are at home in their pajamas, holding their coffee watching it all on YouTube or Facebook Live. And, as I write this, it does sound appealing. You do not have to wake up early, get the family ready, sometimes a herculean challenge, hunt for parking, and so forth. Staying at home is so much easier. Even as a pastor, I missed the in-person very much, but I saved money on gas, got some more sleep and I did not have to wear pants.
The key point that churches who are successful are doing something simple; they learned to pivot and adapt to a new paradigm. They found a way to connect and keep people engaged even while they were at home.
The pastors and leaders in these churches that thrived, fought for the community to continue. In so doing, the question was asked, what can we do to connect with the people on Zoom, Facebook, and such who are at home for the greatest fruit and the Gory of God. They had distance in-person gatherings and online special gatherings, and everyone was called and listened to at least once a month. They also kept the discipleship and Bible studies going, online and continuing. And, they did not stop developing leaders or forsake their mission and vision. And they are still doing this even when over half of the people are still at home. Thus, what is the mission of your church is continual, because thus far it does not look like we are going back to the way things were.
What is happening now? Successful churches are encouraging everyone to come at least once a month in person. And have a special time of prayer and worship. It all came down to this idea, fight for community and teach that we all need one another, even us introverts. If you do this along with Biblical preaching, discipleship, surrendered prayer, and devotion to Christ, then we are doing our jobs right!
Fermented foods! Fermentation is basically what happens when micro-organisms like yeast convert carbs or sugars into either alcohol or an acid. Yeast creates alcohol – as with beer, wine and cider. While bacteria creates lactic acid, which creates the medium for the friendly bacterial to thrive. So, they can fight the bad bacteria.
1. Focus on quality whole foods like broccoli, sweet potatoes, cucumbers (with skin), butternut squash, garbanzo beans. Also, fiber like Brown rice, lentils, and quinoa. Fruit, like Blueberries, avocados, and tomatoes. Good grains like oatmeal, and stay away from processed food.
2. Eat more live cultured food like cultured milk and yogurt (cashew yogurt w/o sugar is best), fresh dill pickles (not canned), and, kimchi / sauerkraut.
3. Probiotic drinks, like Yakult, Kiefer (raw kefir is best), and raw apple cider vinegar. Also, Boza, Sima, and Kombucha (great soda replacement) … Probiotic pills are a waste of $; they are dead and your body can’t process them!
4. Increase your anti-inflammatory fats, such as fresh and raw green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards.
5. Eat good raw nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts (stay away from peanuts).
6. Increase your fatty fish intake like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. Also, especially for vegans, flax and chia seeds.
7. Eliminate the foods that feeds the bad bugs like processed white sugar, corn syrup, any processed high fructose…
8. Stay away from soda, especially diet soda and sugary drinks! Vitamin water is just soda without the carbonation and has no vitamins in it.
9. Exercise regularly.
10. Sleep better; do the above and you will.
(c) Dr. Krejcir (the “Dr” does have a purpose, although it is a Ph.D.)
“Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into the thing that has them… They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very center of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry.” C.S. Lewis
Live with Vision in the Dash of Life!
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
On tombstones there is the date the person was born and the date they passed away. In between then there is a — dash. That is what they did in their life. What are you doing? How is your dash? Because, the three most important dates in your life are the day you are born, when you are saved, and the day you find out why you were born and saved! When we know that we can live out our dash and build a better “why”. It is never too late to become what you could have done earlier in your life.
Then we can venture into the realms that may cause fear that require discipline, be guided by truth and dreams and requires our fortitude. So, do not be afraid to find your gifts for this life, recognize your opportunities, then develop them, engage them, and give them away! You will find greater happiness when you are learning and growing. You will become greater in your life and faith. If not, you will stagnate; then, you will only find yourself in a rut of despair.
Here are Four Key Questions to Build your Life and Faith:
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
One:What are you about, what do you stand for?
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8
That is, what is your prime purpose? After to know Christ and enjoy Him? If you do not stand for anything you will fall for anything and everything! Never be comfortable with who and where you are in life! We all must be growing in our faith and our goals. If you want real happiness, get moving in a positive direction. Face your setbacks, learn from them and then move on.
Two:What do you care about?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
What convictions do you have? Where is your passion? If you do not have conviction and passion, then you will not have anything good coming back to you! If you know you can be better and do better, then do it. Be better!
Three: What will you be working on in your life in this new year?
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
You must have faith, real working confidence in Christ. Then you need to have dreams, then make a personal vision, then create goals; then, implement a plan to carry them out. If you are waiting for a change in your circumstances; stop waiting. Instead, be the change you want to happen. Thinking through how you can stretch and set goals to accomplish your aspirations in faith and life. Solution: Grow your faith and your Mindset!
Four: What do you really want out of your life more than anything else?
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23
That is, what is effectual and brings glory to God and helps yourself and family. This is your “why” that builds your vision, that sets your goals and becomes your dash.What do you need and want out of this life? This is your why.
Here are some thoughts to prevent stagnation:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Consider that nothing in nature is truly stagnant; either it is growing, moving or dying. Such as stars, they are moving through time and space and the same time they are dying by giving off their gasses for nuclear fusion. Then, green plants are growing, giving life and fruit, as is the Fruit of the Spirit in you. The same as with all things in us. You are either growing or dying; stagnation does not exist in nature or in The Kingdom of God. Real happiness is learning, building, growing, and becoming better; it should not be in decay.
So, ask yourself, are you growing or are you stagnant? With your Faith? Vocation? Family? Dreams? Goals?
“This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,…” Isaiah 43:16, 18-19
• Successful Christians are those who are mature, and growing in their faith have character and operate in the Fruit of the Spirit. They are also infused with gratitude and are forgiving. All because they are energized by the precepts from Biblical truths. Then they invest them into all aspects of their life. How is that going-growing for you?
• Unsuccessful Christians will operate in gossip, they love to ridicule, and live in the world of drama, anger, bitterness. They are infused with unforgiveness and are critical of others; especially those who do well. They get caught up in their fears and emotions, create problems, are rude, and seek to pull others down with them. Hopefully, you are not here. If so, pray and repent; embrace our Lord who forgives and restores, then rebuild your faith and life!
• The mature are grounded in faith and have composure and a growth attitude; because they trust Who is greater than themselves; Christ the LORD. They have the attitude that gives them skills, so they can problem solve without those fears and emotion. Then they can conquer their challenges, one problem at a time. The unsuccessful cannot do that; they will spend their energy to complain and criticize those who are successful.
• It is similar with successful people in other areas, like business and relationships. Such as champion athletes, great entrepreneurs, and stage performers engage a growth mindset that helps them conquer a problem with a logical solution or a find a workable approach to attack them. They do not get tangled up in emotions or get driven off the path by fear; rather, they grounded in a routine of effective problem solving and hone a champion mindset.
The last thing that grows on most fruit trees is the fruit. The roots, trunk and branches have to build, develop and be strong and quipped to produce the fruit. The same as it is with faith, life, owning a business, and working stewardship. We have to build a healthy growth mindset, the maturity, and a stewardship plan for life and faith.
Keep in mind; we came from nothing; we have nothing outside what Christ gave us. This is a good perspective to have. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is our faith and mindset and what we can do with it. We always have more than we think and can do more than we think we can. We are greater than we think we can become.
Let your faith move you to engage your dash where you need to be! Spend some time in prayer and in Scripture, then make 2021 awesome! The choice is yours as is your attitude.
Rev. Richard Krejcir, Ph.D., is a pastor and a with over thirty years of experience. He also is a licensed and experienced Financial Consultant and has worked for major banks, insurance companies, nonprofits, and families too. He is also an author, Special Ed Teacher, and holds a doctorate in Stewardship.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
As we have come to the close of 2020, we are in true indebtedness and humbleness to what the Lord has done. Our Lord and Savior has accomplished a seemly impossible work, at a time when all is shut down in the world. No travels, no workshops, no conferences, and our main supporters unable to contribute this year; our little ministry has endured. What we do in the brick-and-mortar world of ministry may have been turned off, without notice or thought; yet, what we have built online has flourished beyond what we could have ever hoped for. Because of your prayers and support, thank-you!
We got through the year! Yes, this awful, weird, upside-down world of a global pandemic; we found ourselves busier than ever. In the center of being the bearer of precious discipleship resources for countless churches that were not available or viable elsewhere. And, they received them for free; because, that is the Way of our Lord.
What I been been doing during the Global Pandemic:
I have been overclocked consulting with scores of churches to help them through these dark times. I have been teaching Exceptional students at IEA and doing Special Ed with other Pasadena area centers. As well as, not to be bored or lazy, conducting pastoral duties, taking care of our precious son, and working the Financial Planning business.
What I have been doing at the ministry:
We had over eleven million unique users and millions of more page hits, who came to our websites, not including our bogs in 2020!
We had over forty thousand unique visitors to our websites and blogs each day.
We have over two million connections in social media through our ‘open’ as well as ‘secret’ Facebook groups and pages! Where we inspire and equip.
Our resources are also used by other ministries that we cannot tally.
We continue to operate some of the top websites like churchleadership.org with quality content.
We have over twenty-six thousand pastors and church leaders on our Ezine Newsletter that we send out!
We provided the essential training materials to over one hundred thousand pastors worldwide through other partnered ministries!
Our Director and many of our people have been conducting Facebooklive and Zoom Bible studies.
Our online ministry is in the top ten Christian ministries in the world!
We continued our partnerships with dozens of ministries, like Bible Gateway, Olive Tree, iDiciple, Trochia and Discipleship Tools, and many others, helping them with devotions, Bible reading guides, research, curriculum, sermons, and discipleship materials.
Although, we were not able to publish this year, we continued to research post-doctoral level studies on church trends with the Schaeffer Institute.
We equipped, beyond our count, Bible students and pastors with our resources.
We are training over 20,000 pastors in over 80 countries and enabled us to help them to plant hundreds of churches.
We are big on a real impacting ministry, small in administration.
Please keep us in prayer as we seek His face and do our best to respond to His call. We are always looking for prayer partners and supporters for ‘Into Thy Word Ministries.’
Please consider a yearend gift for us to continue into 2021:
Because of you, we can continue a real impacting ministry. Thus, with your involvement we can continue to do the Lord’s work! So, every life-changing resource we make available to you, and thousands of others, is made possible by your prayers and gifts.
This is a very polarizing election of two worldviews in conflict. There is also a huge problem with deceptive ads; many that I have seen are outright lies. All you have to do is read the measures and view any ad… Anyway, pray, read the facts, and choose wisely. And as a reminder, this is an opinion, do your own research and remember values.
This is not an endorsement of any company, school or nonprofit that I am a board member of.
Below from a friend in the know:
If you love America and don’t want it to be “fundamentally transformed,” it is time to do three things:
1. Pray like never before that God will spare this great nation from tyranny and oppression of religious liberty. 2. Volunteer to help your candidates. 3. Vote for the candidates who will best uphold your values and convictions. Also, consider forwarding this letter to your friends, family, and others whom you might influence. May God bless America!
James Dobson Family Institute
I primarily used Craig Huey’s Election Forum as my guide for trust-worthy recommendations from a biblical standpoint.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16
What holds you back from doing good and helping others? The Christian principle is to help one another.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ Matthew 25:35-40
This is also about ethics in action. Do we do as our Lord says? Do we do as we say we will do? Most people, who claim Christ as their Lord, do little to nothing in service to Christ! He is either LORD, Lord or lord! Yet, we will rationalize that we do serve Him, even those we do not. Jesus calls us out on this! We have to realize when we are in Christ, we are called to serve others, too. This does not affect our salvation; rather, demonstrates our sincerity and heart.
Kindness and stewardship happen when we serve the Lord with what He gives us. It shows our love and unveils our possibilities and opportunities. When we ignore His call, we show our contempt and defilement.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 1 John 3:17
Thus, when you are in a position to help someone, do so, period. Do not expect a return; rather, be grateful for the privilege to serve as Christ served you. In fact, when we do help others, we are answering prayers! This is all about God working in and through you!
Remember, this guide is NOT an endorsement of any organization I am affiliated with like; LAC, ITW, CMTA, FASICLD, or the school I work at, just me as a private person. So, do your own research (see links below) and remember, even if we do not like anyone, we must do our civic duty and VOTE! Remember to vote character, values and keep in mind faith and reason…
From a friend in the know, “Greetings, California Friends!”
“We are on the heels of the big Presidential Primary election on March 3rd, and to make the process run more smoothly in making your selections, once again I’ve compiled a list of conservative recommendations.”
“For Los Angeles County residents, I‘ve copied ALL the district recommendations below. So, beneath the guide you’ll find a list that I copied off Craig Huey’s “Election Forum” website with all district candidate recommendations. Scroll down until you see the options presented for your own district.”
FOR ALL OTHER COUNTIES, click on this site to find your own office and district recommendations:
“It’s so important for our people across the nation to pray and make their voices heard at the polls! “
“As for us, our state always goes bright blue but every now and then we DO win a conservative victory. We will never give up the fight!”
“Thanks, Everyone. God’s blessings to you, and may He continue to bless our great nation.”
CONSERVATIVE VOTER GUIDE- California Primary:
(Scroll all the way past the guide for your own district recommendations.)
STATE SENATOR, 25th DISTRICT:
Unfortunately, only a progressive candidate is listed, so leave this category blank.
MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY, 41st DISTRICT: Robin A. Hvidston (4 Stars)
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE, 27th DISTRICT: Beatrice Cardenas (5 Stars)
COUNTY~ SUPERVISOR 5th DISTRICT: Kathryn Barger
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Jackie Lacey
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 17: Shannon Kathleen Cooley is uncontested.
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 42: Robert “Bob” Villa (5 Stars)
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 72: Steve Morgan (5 Stars)
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 76: Emily Cole (4 Stars)
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 80: Nick C. Rini (5 Stars)
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 97: Timothy D. Reuben (4 Stars)
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 129: Mark MacCarley (5 Stars)
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 131: Michelle Kelley is uncontested.
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 141: Lana Kim is uncontested. She’s a liberal, so don’t cast your vote for her.
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 145: Troy Slaten (5 Stars)
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 150: Manuel Alejandro Almada (5 Stars)
JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT, OFFICE No. 162: David D. Diamond (5 Stars)
COUNTY MEASURE R: NO
STATE MEASURE 13: NO. NO. NO.
The cost to pay off the bonds would be a total of 26 billion—15 billion for the Principal, plus 11 billion for the interest.
NATIONAL ELECTION / PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE: Donald J. Trump 🇺🇸
CITY OF PASADENA MAYOR: Major Williams
PASADENA AREA COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER, TRUSTEE AREA NO. 4: I researched and found out that Tammy Silver is involved with Planned Parenthood. I’m still working on finding out about Hoyt R. Hilsman.
DISTRICT AND OFFICE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE “ELECTION FORUM” WEBSITE:
HOW WE COME UP WITH A FINAL RATING
We come up with the final rating by taking the average of the candidate’s Judicial Index and Qualifications. For example, if the candidate had a Judicial Index of 8 and Qualifications of 6, their overall rating would be 7.