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Tony Cooke

Pastors' Forum

How to Be Abased and How to Abound

Paul said, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound" (Philippians 4:12). To be honest, I get really uncomfortable when church finances are tight. I’m not sure I’ve learned how to be abased and also be content. Also, I'd love to get some insight as to how to handle money very wisely and strategically when it does come in abundance. Can pastors advise me on how to be a steady, proficient, and wise steward in both lean times and in times of abundance. Read the responses

See How Much the Father Has Loved Us
Lisa Cooke

Lisa CookeAs I accept this love of God toward Christ in me, I must also love in the same way my brothers and sisters in Christ. They also, no matter how imperfectly or immaturely, have Christ in them and are thus deserving of the love of God shed abroad in my heart. George Bowen says “It will be treason to Christ if you turn away because of the evil yet unsubdued in the heart of your brother.” He goes on to say, “When we love the brethren with Christ’s own love, then will it be beyond all controversy that we are Christ’s.” Read this article by Lisa Cooke

The Lesson of His Lineage
Tony Cooke

Tony CookeWe all know about Joseph and Mary, the Inn of Bethlehem, the shepherds, the star, and the wise men. They’re all part of the wonderful story we remember and tell this time of year. There’s more to the story, though. Obscure and often overlooked, buried in Matthew’s genealogy and leading up to the birth of Christ are four women. Most Christians don’t get excited about the genealogies; they are the sections of Scripture that we typically skim over. But there’s something very unique about the inclusion of these four women. Read this article by Tony Cooke

Update on Let There Be Hope and 7Song

Read the Tulsa World article. Learn the vision of 7Song.

The Tithe is Holy (An Excerpt from the Book)
Glen Johnson

But as I began to look in the Bible about tithing, I saw some things. I thought to myself, “What if we took communion the same way we’ve been receiving the offering?” If we took communion and people were talking to each other, texting on their phones, and going to the bathroom, you would say, “That’s crazy! That’s out of order! This is holy communion!” And notice: the Bible doesn’t say anywhere that communion is holy. But it does say that the tithe is holy. Read this article by Glen Johnson

Assuming the Leadership Role: The Journey from Chaplain to Pastor
Dr. Dan Beller

Assuming LeadershipIt is good for a new pastor to realize that he is dealing with basically two groups in the local church: The “pioneers,” the members who were in the church before the pastor was assigned to the church, and the “homesteaders,” those who were added to the church after the pastor was assigned. The “homesteaders” identify with the present pastor and will follow him more readily. The “pioneers” are more reserved until the present pastor “proves himself.” Read this article by Dr. Dan Beller

Tell Your Money Where to Go
Dale Marples

Tell Your Money Where to GoSeveral years ago there was a commercial on television which said, “It’s 10:00 O’clock. Do you know where your children are?” If we move that into the realm of your church finances, we could restate it this way: “It’s the end of the year. Do you know where your money went?” Money seems to have a mind of its own and will go where it wants to go unless you have a plan, tell it where to go. As we quickly approach the end of the year, it is time to be planning for next year. Read this article by Dale Marples

Church and Ministry Tax Q&A - Credit Card Rewards
Mark Helland, CPA

Earn PointsIs it okay to use air miles and points that were accumulated based on ministry-paid purchases or travel, and redeem those miles and points for personal items or trips in the future? Also, is this considered to be taxable income? Read this article by Mark Helland

Just for Christmas

Christmas Illustrations
Tips for Managing Stress
Beautiful Giving
The Gifts of the Wise Men
Have Yourself a Merry Substantive Christmas
The Lesson of His Lineage
The Geese and the Snowstorm
Great Thoughts for the New Year

Tony Cooke Quotes

Read all of our quotes by visiting our Quotes Page.

"True godliness doesn’t turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it, and excites their endeavors to mend it."
- William Penn

"If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Ministers don’t explode. You never hear of a pastor grabbing an Uzi and shooting up a congregation. Ministers implode. That is, the pressure on the outside becomes greater than the pressure on the inside and we’re crushed like an empty soda can. Ministry, however you express it, is giving yourself away. Unless we are intentional to refill our souls, we’ll soon get to the place where we have nothing to give.”
- Mike Glenn

"The surest method of arriving at a knowledge of God's eternal purposes about us is to be found in the right use of the present moment."
- F.W. Faber

“We’re going to play together as a team. We’re going to believe in each other. We’re not going to criticize each other. We’re not going to talk about each other. We’re going to encourage each other.”
- Bo Schembechler