Saturday, August 29, 2015
Tribute to a friend gone to soon: On Thursday August 27, 2015 a Friend, Mentor, and Editor of mine passed away. JOHN (OR AS I KNEW HIM CHARLEY) SROUFE, he was a friend from the day I first met him at Summit Behavioral Healthcare, in November 2004 and that friendship continued from that day until a phone call just days before his passing. He was that great friend that you would love to run out for lunch and sit at a local park in the old Bronco or truck, and eat, plus my wife was even given the privilege of joining his family for his retirement party from SBH. As a mentor he was there to help with questions about being a substance abuse counselor, or challenge you for that next big project. However, most would not think of his greatest impact was as an awesome editor, of the current 67 workbooks published by Through HIM Ministries Charley edited over 35 of them, this is not including dozens of blogpost, articles, and other projects that came to my mind.
Charley my friend, mentor and editor although we didn’t see eye to eye on politics and religion, but we did agree on encouraging each other to be a great father, an awesome counselor, and challenges each to accomplish the goals that we set. Thank you my friend for the awesome friendship!
Monday, August 17, 2015
For those that have been around me for more than a couple of days, and especially if you have gone to a restaurant to eat with me, you know I LOVE Breakfast. There is just something about ordering two eggs over medium, biscuits and gravy, hotcakes, or French toast. Then of course you add the bacon, sausage, I know some even like steak or chicken with their breakfast, and of course don’t forget the hash browns.
To me, breakfast is the food that can be consumed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and never gets old. As I sit here today I was thinking about my life, and what else have I enjoyed every day as much as Breakfast and honestly I can think of only three things.
- First is the relationship I have with my family. The time we spend sitting talking, reflecting on the past, and looking forward to the future. The time we share dreams and even heartache. Family is like the comfort food of breakfast; you just know that it going to be alright.
- The second being the place I choose to worship HIM. For me a lot of the joy of breakfast is preparing the plate so that I can enjoy it. Getting those eggs just right on top of the French toast, with just the right amount of butter and syrup. Praise and worship is the same way, it is getting everything ready, getting my heart, my mind, and attitude ready to enjoy the celebration that is about to take place as I enjoy his presence.
- The last is my own personal relationship with Jesus Christ; it can’t be like the leftovers in the refrigerator or fast-food sausage biscuit driving 60 miles an hour down the road. It has to be personal quality time sitting and enjoying my time reading HIS word, meditating on HIS thoughts, reflecting on HIS love, and knowing that this is the next best thing to being in Heaven with HIM.
I realize that I have to be selective if I want breakfast all day, every day, not every restaurant serves breakfast 24 hours a day (Although in my mind they should), and even worse some don’t serve it at all. However, the reality of my life with Christ is the same, not everyone in my family enjoys breakfast just like I do, and not everyone enjoys talking about my friend and savior Jesus Christ. Not every church is interested in serving up a daily dose of Jesus; they are more interested in serving what is popular this week that the world wants to digest, and they miss so much from that daily celebration. Of course none of this is possible if I don’t really enjoy sitting down and patiently waiting for it all to come together. When I go to the restaurant I have to be willing to read the menu, place my order, wait for it to come, fellowship with those around me, and pray for God’s blessing. However, when all that is done it is time to eat. As Christians we need to focus not on the earthly breakfast, but on the heavenly supper of the Lamb which is coming soon. Have you accepted the invitation to dinner (or in my mind breakfast … I bet God makes some awesome Biscuit and Gravy)
Friends, enjoy your breakfast. However, more importantly enjoy your relationship with Christ and your family daily.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
I recently pulled out an old box in the garage that has been in storage way too long. It is a chess set and board that my parents made me over 25 years ago. Mom hand painted the ceramic pieces and Dad made the chess board. It seemed like every time we moved I had good intentions to pull it out and display it. However, there always seem to be things standing in the way, either there was no room in the apartment, too many kids running around, or just didn’t fit with the décor of the house at the time.
Last night my wife and I found a place for it in the living room, where everybody that comes in the house can see it. I’m so excited for the opportunity to talk about it, and share the story. However, as I looked around I saw my Bible sitting on the kitchen table under by datebook, phone, and keys. I realized that I was more excited about telling people about my Chess board and pieces than I was about sharing the awesome message contained within the Word of God.
I guess the question today for me and everybody else is simple, what is it that you are excited to talk about. Is it the chess board on the bookshelves, the picture on the wall, the new phone you just got, or maybe the new app you bought. I wonder what God would think is the most important thing for us to talk about. I would guess (or really I know) it is simple … HE WANTS US TO SHARE ABOUT HIM, SO THAT OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY CAN SPEND ETERNITY IN HEAVEN WITH HIM AND US.
It is time that the church gets out of the business of being a puppet of the state. As a minister I believe that if the state wants to issue marriage license for the purpose of tax status, social security, benefits, and etc., then they should be the ones’ held accountable before God.
My proposal is simple …. When a couple goes to the Court House to get their marriage license and signs all the documentation in front of the person behind the counter and swears it all to be true, they are legally married in the states eyes. Then if the individual wants religious ceremonies they should come to the church or other religious institution for the Blessing of Marriage.
I compare this to my responsibility as minister of doing funerals of church member. I do not represent the state in saying that the person is dead. My challenge is to support and encourage the family through their time of grief. The Blessing of Marriage ceremony would be the same thing. I am encouraging the family and couple in their time of celebration, with the couple being legally married by the government. However, the church is Blessing the Marriages they approve. If ministers want to bless same-sex marriages, then they like the government, will be held accountable.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
I started this blog post about three weeks ago, prior to the events that recently occurred in Charleston, South Carolina where a lone white male attends a church prayer meeting of a Black congregation, kills nine. I will wait patiently for the investigation to hear what was said as he stood to his feet and with Prejudice, Malice, and Hatred began to shoot. There is no doubt this is the worst kind of Prejudice and the worst crime when one kills out of hat for the one’s skin color, religion, or even sexual orientation, which shows that we really haven’t moved beyond the story of Cain and Able over the past 6,000 years.
Ironically, we these events and we scream, cry, and demand justice. However, prejudice behavior is going on around us every day.
Before we begin let’s define the word Prejudice from the dictionary …
” 1) An unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason. 2) Any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable. 3) an unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding an ethnic, racial, social, or religious group.”
I’m amazed today how that we throw this word “Prejudice” around, and accuse others of being prejudice. The conservatives accuse the liberals and vice versa, whites of blacks, rich of the poor, and the list will be a mile long if we continue. We allow experience, perception, and fear to dictate how we respond to individuals that look different, have a different belief system, different religion, or simply a different skin color.
We allow the events of our personal history or an attack or even a perceived attack by a group of individuals of a different ethnic group years ago, either to us personally or someone we know sets the stage for us to be prejudice against an individual or the group throughout our lives. We can be prejudiced of an individual due to their faith, because not of something the individual has done to us but because of something some else of the same faith or religious group has done. I have even begun to notice prejudice response within our own community. I recently spoke with an individual that stated conservative black Politian’s where not worthy of respect because they don’t really support the cause of Black America. An individual was recently accused of having homophobia, because she didn’t support gay marriage.
I personally grew up with prejudice tenses; I think we all have some. Throughout my teens my dad was a retired Air Force Sergeant, and had gone to work for General Motor. It was often hard to watch things happen like individuals with fewer skills are get promoted over this man that had so many skills. It was hard to accept the two list system of the 70’s where two minorities where promoted within the local police and fire department, over others that had scored much higher on the test. Or as a student watching others getting accepted to college with the same grade point average as mine, and other things in the name of Affirmative Action. Now some would immediately say he isn’t prejudice, he is a racist. However, the reality is very far from the truth, I accept and love that scripture verse found in the Holman Christian Standard Bible version that reads: There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
How do we take America and the world back to being able to accept the writing of the Apostle Paul and make prejudice or racism a distant cry in America? I think that there are four major, however, simple steps to accomplish this goal.
1) We need to quite attempting to rewrite history: Sadly, in my family legacy there are things I’m not proud of some of it so ancient that I’m not sure I know the whole story, and some more recent. Whatever the event or legacy that dosen’t define me. We talk about accountability. I’m only accountable for my words, actions, and opinions not what my grandfather said 50 years ago.
2) We tell the radical on all side TO SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP, this goes for the media, to actors/actress, religious extremist on all sides to. We learn to speak for ourselves, or feeling, beliefs, and desires. We don’t allow organization to define us; we share our heart, emotions, and feelings. We don’t allow extremist and activists to tell who to like or not like.
3) We quit demanding everybody believe what we believe. This includes allowing individuals to have their personal religious beliefs. Just because I don’t agree in your life style choices such as, gay marriage, and marijuana should be legal, polemic, or many other beliefs that individuals have. These don’t make me prejudice, my beliefs are based on a well thought beliefs based on my understanding of my Christian beliefs.
4) Time to sit down and have Breakfast, my best friend is Robert. Now let me explain Robert is an African American pastor here in Cincinnati that I have known for over 24 years. And it all started with having breakfast at a Perkins Restaurant all those years ago. Do we always agree? NO, do we always see things the same no. However, one thing is for certain we always talk about it.
When is prejudice going to be eradicated in America, to me it is very simple … When America is willing to sit down at the Breakfast table and talk about feeling, beliefs, and acceptance of others.
Or better yet, when we are ready to sit down at the Lord’s Table and pray, and have communion together. I learned a long time ago, I can’t be prejudice, angry or talking about someone if I’m praying for them and with them.
My heart breaks over the events in Charleston, S.C. I don’t attempt to understand the mind of the attacker, and I believe justice needs to be done. I believe the conversation has to begin, not with the extremist on both side, but at the breakfast table learning to know, love, and compare with each other.
Monday, May 25, 2015
Memorial Day is a day of remembering the fallen hero’s that have touched our lives. My father served in the United States Air Force from 1953 – 1973, and retired at the rank of Tech Sargent. He would then go on to work for General Motor for 25 years, and retire from there as well.
He would never have accepted the term hero, and in fact sadly he served during a time of our history where it was forgotten what military heroes were. The Vietnam War brought out the best in men as they served our country and the worse in reaction to the war. I remember as a kid watching the horror of war unfolding on T.V. nightly, I remember watching the protest on T.V. and even being in the store and watching men and women in uniform being disrespected by individuals and groups.
Sadly, thousands lost their lives in war after war defending our freedom. Whether we agree with the politics or not, it is essential and important that we stand side by side with our heroes. Dad is not here anymore, he has been promoted to the place in heaven with the real King. Dad wasn’t’ only my hero because of his service to our military, he was my hero because of his encouragement and support in my life.
I will always remember by hero TSgt Donald E. Allen, Sr.
Who is your hero?
Saturday, May 9, 2015
With our current web ministry which we established in 2003 we have seen God bless @ Through HIM Ministries!
We currently maintain two blogs
With over 10,500 views
With People viewing from 72 countries
We have established
Through HIM School of Ministry
with four courses currently online.
We have published
With a conservative estimate of over 67,000 download, views, and reads. (Keeping in mind that several of our sites that we have downloaded the material to do not keep records, and we have found several sites that have chosen to download our material to their sites without our permission which ironically includes Nook, which we just say thank you for helping us get the material out there.)
We have received e-mails as well as comments on Facebook and LinkedIn from pastors in United States, South America, Africa, India, Pakistan, Philippines, and other places as well thanking us for the material.
Can you please pray with us and help us expand our web presents by going to our GoFundMe account ... at