Archive for October, 2011

Making Visitation Work

By Rev. Rick Robinson


Mark 16:15
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

IS IT WORTH IT?

How effective is home visitation? Some say visitation is not effective in the modern church culture. Try explaining that to the cult members who are growing by proselytizing 70 to 80 percent of their membership out of our churches. Only 3 out of 10 Protestant churches have an organized visitation program and most of those have their sights on the church visitor. Churches with effective outreach should be touching the lives in five people groups. These include members, guest, the hospitalized, the homebound, and the unchurched. Each one of these people groups will require a different strategy, and you may have people with a passion for each one of those categories to help. If not, get organized, God will send them.

So how effective is home visitation? The most influential component of your church growth mix is the friendship factor. The effectiveness of visitation is cut in half when a paid staff member does it, because the perception is the staff is being paid to make visits. When ordinary members of the church make those visits, it is an act of wanting to be friends. When we look at the growth mix of your church, we use church growth ratios to determine the strengths and weaknesses you have. We can determine how your assimilation strategy is working by looking at the visitor retention ratios. Ratios from first time visitors are as follows:

  • Declining churches will see 12% or less of their first time guest join the church.
  • Slightly growing churches may see around 16% of first time guest join the church.
  • Growing, healthy churches will see 25% or more of their guest join the church.

If your strategy for growth includes only visitation, you have no strategy. Effective assimilation will require a detailed follow-up strategy, and until you are retaining at least one out of four first time visitors, it is not working. We can help you with assimilating your guest, but this lesson is going to help you get your visitation started, or organized first. You will see how it all comes together.

GETTING STARTED

Mark 7:6
Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two …

Let’s begin here with the visitation team itself. Some Christians prefer visiting alone. This can limit your opportunity for ministry and invite a potential uncomfortable situation under certain circumstances. Having a second person on the team has advantages. Each will have different gifts and perspectives that will make a successful team. This will also increase the safety of the visit. A husband and wife team would be ideal. I do not believe a man and woman should visit alone on the team when they are married, but not to each other. The next logical choice would be a third person team. As with the two-person ministry team, there will be more opportunity for witness and ministry with the variety of gifts, testimonies, and perspectives. There is not a right or wrong number of people to use on the team for basic visitation purposes. There is a common sense number, don’t storm the house with a bus load of people.

RECRUITING WOKERS

Luke 10:2
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

When we do the Thoughts & Perceptions surveys in a church, it always reveals there are people who are willing to be trained in outreach. Most churches already have people that are ready and willing to work in outreach ministry. Pray for God to guide you as you begin this ministry in your church. I would encourage you to start by building a leadership base that you personally recruit, one on one. These are the people you can trust, that love the church, and love you. Make sure outreach is kept in the forefront of the church. Utilize the free help that is available to you in our library at MyChurchGrowth.com as a guideline. As your ministry grows, God will continue to supply the workers you need.

WE DON’T HAVE ANY PROSPECTS

John 4:35
Do you not say, „Four months more and then the harvest‟? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

Unless you got this message out of a bottle that floated up on the deserted island you live on, you have plenty of prospects. Let’s take a look at where we can go visiting. Any evangelism or outreach ministry will be more effective with understanding the fields to be harvested. We must develop meaningful relationships through meeting needs both in the community and the church. So, what types of prospective new members are out there? The simple church growth principle of. No visitors, no growth, really comes into focus here. Our iCONSULTATION can help you with this part of your church growth mix, but here are some basic thoughts.

THE CHURCH GUEST

Matthew 22:9-10
Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.‟ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

The church guest is one of the best prospective members we have. Remember the contact should be made within 36 hours after their visit if possible. This is because 60% of first time visitors will return if the contact is made within 36 hours, while 15% will return if you wait until the end of the week.

INACTIVE MEMBERS

James 5:19-20
My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

Inactive Sunday School and church members are another resource for visitation. Don’t get discouraged when dealing with inactives. You should be aware that it is likely to require six to ten hours of visitation to move into ministry with the inactive. You can get detailed help with ministry to inactive church members in our library on our web site at MyChurchGrowth.com. Everything in the library is free.

FRAN’s

Mark 5:19-20
… “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors are rich mission fields for ministry. I have gone to many churches that thought they had no prospects, and asked them to make a list of people they can think of that do not attend church. A small church with a handful of people can easily come up with hundreds of prospects. Try it! Make your list, start praying for the people, and ask God to present opportunity. God does not procrastinate like we do. He is more than willing to set up divine appointments for us.

HOSPITALS AND NURSING HOMES

Luke 8:41-42
Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus‟ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

Hospitals and nursing homes are full of people waiting for someone to come by and spend some time talking and praying with them. If you do not have members in the hospital or nursing home, try going from room to room, asking if anyone would like prayer. I have also asked nurses on duty if there is a certain patient that may enjoy a visit from someone. You run the risk of being asked to leave, but unless it is a small hospital, there’s more than one floor and more than one shift of nurses. You may be surprised with the results.

GOING DOOR TO DOOR

Acts 5:42
Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

Sound a little scary? Being a little frightened is only Satan trying to stop you. Before I was saved, I visited as a Mormon with no fear. Satan did not want to stop me. After I met Jesus Christ began visiting with the true gospel, I found that spirit of fear trying to stop me. Remember that we must only be willing to do it, and God will bless our efforts.

When you consider where you may want to go door to door, something else to consider is the natural traffic pattern. When the church is between the prospects home and a destination the prospect travels to on a regular basis, such as work, it is in the natural traffic pattern. These prospects will be easier to reach since they are accustomed to traveling from home in the direction of the church. It will require approximately 5 visits to get someone to attend worship when the church is in this traffic pattern. It will require about 9 visits for those who live outside that pattern. The most important question is, which field does God want you to work in, and what will the strategies be? These questions will be answered through prayer, the most important, effective part of outreach. Be sure to read the Caring & Sharing article in our library for more help on this subject.

THE BASICS

Acts 19:17
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Now we want to lay a foundation for knocking on the door and keeping a follow up strategy going. This article will assume first, that the prospect you are visiting has previously attended your church. Other articles in our library will support other types of visitation. Secondly, we will assume the reader knows little or nothing about visitation.

PRAYER

Romans 10:1
Brothers, my heart‟s desire and prayer to God … is that they may be saved.

Prayer is the most important part of the visit. Pray together before leaving the church, not in front of the prospects home. If your prospect looks out the window and sees people sitting in a car in front of their home, it can make for an uncomfortable situation. Praying inside the home silently as someone on your ministry team shares is always appropriate. I recall a visit I made a few years back with a new trainee. “All you have to do is pray as I share Christ with our prospect” I said. Well, as I began to share the gospel with our prospect, my trainee dropped to his knees and began praying loudly, “Oh God, save this wretched sinner!” I couldn’t believe this was happening. I continued as though I hadn’t noticed what my ministry partner was doing. Although our prospect received Christ that night, I explained to my new trainee that this is not be the best approach the next time.

THE APPROACH

Colossians 4:5
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

Be sure not to park your vehicle on the grass or a flower bed, and try not to block in other vehicles. You don’t want to position your vehicle so it will have to be moved if someone in the home needs to leave. If there is a woman on your team, she should be the most visible person on the team at the door. This is much less intimidating for most people. Introduce yourself and the team members and state you are from the church immediately. If no one is home, be certain you leave a door hanger with church information, and a brief note to let them know you stopped by.

INSIDE THE HOME

Colossians 4:6
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Once inside the home, you can look for visible things to build a friendly conversation with. For example: Musical instruments, trophies, pictures, etc. Begin building a relationship with the prospect by talking about the things they like. Remember to retrieve any information that may be used for follow up and ministry. Do not take notes in front of the prospects. Stay focused on ministry to the individual. Listen for feelings, attitudes, perceptions and values as well as for facts. Pay attention and avoid interrupting. Never tune people out because you don’t like them, you disagree with them, or you find them dull. This time should not be rushed although you should not overstay your welcome either. Be Spirit led and use good judgment.

LEAVING THE HOME

Ephesians 5:15-16
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, …

Do not end your visit with a reason you must leave. (i.e. We have a meeting to go to, we have more visits to make, I’ve got to get home, etc..) The prospect should feel special enough that you have designated this time just for them. Praying with the prospect is a good way to conclude the visit, but always ask permission to pray for them and never call on them to pray, some people will be very uncomfortable with that.

KEEP GOOD RECORDS FOR ASSIMILATION

Colossians 4:9
… They will tell you everything that is happening here.

In establishing a visitation ministry, report back and record keeping are very important ingredients. A report back session gives opportunity to share about our ministry time for purposes of follow-up ideas and prayer. You can serve refreshments and turn this into a special time of the outreach night. A report back time also brings the paper work or reports back to the church. How will you carry on the assimilation process without this information? It is vital the information retrieved will be useful. The biggest problem I have seen when it comes to visitation reports, is a name of the members who made the visit and “Good visit” written on the form. What strategy would you use to assimilate the prospect with the term “good visit” penciled in on a report? Strategic detailed information must be captured if we are to be effective in outreach ministry.
These are the simple basics of a visitation ministry to get you started. When I watch the weekly attendance records for the churches we work with I can tell when they are not doing the outreach, because The growth starts to level off. Visitation still works today, just as it did in the early church.

For other free articles on ministry to inactives and other evangelism and outreach training for your visitation ministry, visit our library at MyChurchGrowth.com/library.

From the library of MyChurchGrowth.com
copyright ©2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.
Where the complexity of church growth intersects with the simplicity of the gospel

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How’s Your Vision?

By Rev. Rick Robinson

How is your vision? Are you seeing things clearly? Even if you have perfect vision, there may be a whole world out there you are missing. When I was a Mormon, I met a man named Charles Roesel. This man put his arm around me and said these words I will never forget. He said, “God loves you. One day I am going to baptize you and you’re going to join my church because I am going to be praying for you to get saved. Not only that… God is going to use you in ways you can’t even think or imagine right now.” How is that for vision? Charles had a vision for me before I could have one for myself. He used to make me so angry when he said things like that to me–yet every word of his vision came true.

Does your vision come from God, or is it something you dreamed up yourself? God has a perfect plan for your life, but you can miss out on some of it if you don’t have a clear vision. Your heart is the largest factor that will determine how great your vision is. Jesus often spoke in parables to his audience. A parable is like the skin of the Florida orange that keeps the flavor protected for the diligent, but keeps its delight from the lazy. Jesus explained to the disciples when they questioned him about it.

Matthew 13:13-16
“…I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’ But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.

I know many people have vision for the future. They operate businesses, invest for the future, and make diligent plans enabled by their vision. If you have plans for the future that don’t include God’s plan for you, then you do not have eyes to see. There is a vast difference between earthly vision and godly vision.

Proverbs 2:6
For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Do you have vision for others in your life or do you just want to survive? Do you desire to prepare for the eternal future or just the temporal future? God has given us a “corrective lens” to improve our vision. The Bible is a light that gives direction for those who are willing to seek, but it is simply a distraction of life to the lazy who will not open it for the sweet delight inside.

2 Peter 1:19
So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.

http://MyChurchGrowth.com

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Who’s Hungry?

By Rev. Rick Robinson

Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the Bible story of Daniel in the lion’s den. The story takes place in a land full of hungry men and beast where all these hungers will meet. A group of wicked men were hungry to see the prophet Daniel dead. He was an outsider, being promoted above them by the king. Since these men could find no wrong with Daniel in deed or even neglect that would require him to be executed, they cooked up a scheme they thought would satisfy their appetite. The constitution of their land provided that if the king made a decree, it must be followed without compromise or exception. These men knew Daniel prayed to his God three times a day, so they convinced Darius the king to sign a decree that for the next thirty days, anyone praying to any god or man except the king would be fed to the hungry lions. Once the decree was signed, they knew Daniel’s hunger for his God would not fail. When Daniel prayed, they ran to the king and turned him in.

Daniel 6:10-13
Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God. Then they approached and spoke before the king about the king’s injunction, “Did you not sign an injunction that any man who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be cast into the lions’ den?” The king replied, “The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.” Then they answered and spoke before the king, Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day.

The king was not happy about the whole situation. His hunger was to find a way to let Daniel off the hook. He realized how foolish his decree was now, but there was nothing he could do but to send Daniel to the hungry lions. The king recognized the hunger Daniel had for his God.

Daniel 6:16
Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions’ den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you.

Even though the king told Daniel his God would deliver him, he spent a restless night worrying about Daniel. He rushed to the lions’ den early in the morning to see if Daniel was alive.

Daniel 6:18-20
Then the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him; and his sleep fled from him. Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions’ den. When he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?”

Once Darius saw that Daniel did not even have a mark on him, he declared the God of Daniel was to be feared and recognized as the living God. There were accounts of this incident recorded in other ancient writings as well. Although it is not scripture, the famous and well-respected historian Flavius Josephus wrote the following in his account.

Now when his enemies saw that Daniel had suffered nothing which was terrible, they would not own that he was preserved by God, and by his providence; but they said, that the lions had been filled full with food, and on that account it was, as they supposed, that the lions would not touch Daniel, nor come to him; and this they alleged to the king; but the king, out of an abhorrence of their wickedness, gave order that they should throw in a great deal of flesh to the lions; and when they had filled themselves, he gave farther order that Daniel’s enemies should be cast into the den that he might learn whether the lions, now they were full, would touch them or not; and it appeared plain to Darius, after the princes had been cast to the wild beasts, that it was God who preserved Daniel, for the lions spared none of them, but tore them all to pieces, as if they had been very hungry and wanted food.  I suppose, therefore, it was not their hunger, which had been a little before satisfied with abundance of flesh, but the wickedness of these men that provoked them [to destroy the princes]: for if it so please God, that wickedness might, by even those irrational creatures, be esteemed a plain foundation for their punishment.

The Bible is clear about the clash of all these hungry men and beast, and it is clear about what our hunger should be. Are you as hungry as the lions that wanted their needs met? Are you hungry for answers to the things you worry about like the king was? Are you hungry to make things happen for yourself like the men who schemed against Daniel? Are you hungry to have fellowship with God like Daniel was? A quick self-exam of your actions will reveal where your heart is in this matter. Would the king have seen in you the evidence that your God may protect you? Would the wicked need to build a scheme to trap you, or would you hand them enough to get you in trouble just by looking at the truth? Spend time with God on a regular basis and cast all your trouble on Him. He is the one who can shut that hungry lion’s mouth.

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.
http://MyChurchGrowth.com

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Want To Lose The Wait?

By Rev. Rick Robinson

Many people would like to lose weight, but many more may want to lose “wait”, although they may not think about it in those terms. Waiting on God can be a frustrating thing. Imagine with me for a moment of a world without waiting. No smells of the fine cooking coming from the kitchen as you wait in anticipation of the flavors dancing in your mouth. No waiting in anticipation as a child waiting to open the Christmas gifts. Perhaps no one wants to wait in line to buy the anticipated gifts anyway. Don’t bother enjoying that movie night, the ending is now instant. No waiting seems like such a loss of treasured memories. You have accepted the fact that next Tuesday cannot arrive until then. All of history would need be condensed into the now without this thing called waiting.

Would all the prophecies of the Bible be erased (since there was no waiting) and be updated by telling a historic perspective? The vision came immediately and you most certainly have heard about it by this time. The promise came without delay, and if there was such a thing as waiting–but there is not, I would then look forward to the anticipation of the next thing in line for me.

When it comes to waiting on God, we think we know best about the timing of it all. If we never had to wait on something from God, would it void this thing we know as faith? Faith is not a lonely thing you use to get what you want; it is an interactive thing that is rewarded by waiting on God’s perfect time to deliver His promise.

Habakkuk 2:3
For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

We should be able to be at peace with the wait, since it is God himself that is delivering us through the situation. The battles you face are won or lost in the wait time first, long before they become part of our physical world.

Isaiah 40:31
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

When our expectations and desires are counted all lost, it is most often because we failed to manage the wait. Inspiration to wait on God is the spiritual truth that has not yet been experienced in the natural–nevertheless it is just as real. Do you really want to lose wait? Can you see what an impossible thing that is and how interactive waiting on God is meant to be? Enjoy the anticipation of what God will do next as you wait—knowing it will be in His time–the way you wait on the natural events in your life.

James 5:7
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.

http://MyChurchGrowth.com

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Aerocar 1906-1908

Alexander Malcomson formed the Aerocar Company in Detroit, Mich., in 1905, with production beginning with the 1906 model. Malcomson had previously been the largest investor in the incorporation of the Ford Motor Company in 1903 and had the most to lose if Ford failed as it did previously. Ford had a vision to build affordable cars for the masses but was persuaded by his main investor to build the Larger Model K shown below.

Malcomson started the Aerocar Company as a hedge to his investments in the new automobile industry. Since his large car was direct competition to the Model K, at the insistence of the other shareholders Malcomson sold his holdings to Henry Ford in 1906.

Malcomson built an 80,000 square foot building and began assembling the Aerocar Model D with air-cooled engines. French and German cars were having great success with expensive air-cooled vehicles, so Malcomson thought it would be the most profitable for his car too. By 1907 the Aerocar Model F fitted with a four-cylinder 45 hp water-cooled engine was introduced. The Automobile Journal reported there were three I907 Aerocar Models, C, D and F, using the same steering gear, the same type front and rear axles, the same change gear. They also shared the same propeller fitted with the well-known (at that time) Blood Brothers dust-proof and sell-lubricating universal joints, which were of high price but very reliable under early travel conditions. According to the Automobile Journal, the 1907 Aerocar Model “C” Touring Runabout had a Wheel base of 104 inches, weight of 1800 pounds and was ready for the road liclndlng horn, tools, and 5 lamps with a $2000 price tag. The 1907 Aerocar Model F touring car had a wheelbase of 151 inches, weighed 2500 pounds, and sold for $2750, including mats, horn, tools and 5 lamps. As a $150.00 option a cape top could be purchased. The advertisment below mentions an Aerocar Model A, which is not mentioned in the Automobile Journal or the 1907 edition of Directory of Domestic and Foreign Motor-Cars.

Malcomson returned to the coal business in 1908 after the Aerocar venture did not produce a return on his investments. Another Aerocar (not a related company) was also built from 1948 to present. It is a small four-passenger car that can be converted to a small airplane in about five minutes. Not many of these flying cars have been built. Neither company is related to the sixty-inch wheelbase “Aero Car” prototype flying car of 1921.

http://www.mychurchgrowth.com/blog/category/1929-pontiac/

http://www.mychurchgrowth.com/blog/category/1929-pontiac/1929-vehicles/

http://www.mychurchgrowth.com/blog/category/1929-pontiac/1929-orphan-vehicles/

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Ace 1920-1922

The Apex Motor Corporation was formed in October of 1919 and produced the Ace Automobile in Ypsilanti Michigan from 1920 to 1922. O.W. Heinz was President and Fred M. Guy was chief engineer and Vice President. The new car company was started to meet the need of a car shortage in the western U.S. according to the Michigan manufacturer & financial record of 1920. The Ace featured an innovative motor with overhead valves driven by a gear instead of a camshaft. The following is a quote from August 1920 Automobile Journal.

“The new Ace car, manufactured by the Apex Motor Corporation, Ypsilanti, Mich., equipped with the new Guy disc valve engine, is creating much interest among motorists as the engine in this cars is equipped with a rotary type valve for which the manufacturer makes many claims. It is stated that this engine is the result of 10 years experimental work on the part of Fred M. Guy, vice president and chief engineer of the company. Eighteen months ago the first engine, a four, had been brought to a state of perfection which proved quite conclusively that this type of engine might mark a revolutionary advancement in valve construction. Since that time the entire engineering force has been concentrating on the development of a new six which at the present lime is stated to be ready for production on a large scale. The Ace engine valves are a series of discs, one in the combustion chamber of each cylinder. These discs are geared together in chain from a master gear driven from the crankshaft by worm. Each disc operates at one-eighth engine crankshaft speed and contains four slots cut in the form of a V from the periphery to the hub of the disc. These V shaped slots, in the process of the rotation of the disc, pass over ports which enter into the intake and exhaust manifolds of the engine. On the intake stroke of the engine four slots in the discs register with four ports in the cylinder, allowing the gas to enter the intake manifold. Several advantages are claimed for this method, chief among which is that scavenging of the cylinder is accomplished perfectly at any speed. Also, due to the perfect manner of handling the gases coming into and leaving the cylinders, a very high torque is obtained at low speeds which gives the engine unusual pulling power.”

The 1921 ad shown below touted the Ace’s advanced style and mechanical refinements. Four models were available, touring, roadster, brougham and sedan. At the top is the 1921 Ace coupe sedan and in the photos above you can see the Ace touring model along with the roadster. Early illustrations of a modern 12,000 to 15,000 square foot factory were used in advertising brochures, although the only real factory was the single building located on South River Street in Ypsilanti. Engineers Fred M. Guy and O. W. Heinz left the company to start the Heinz Motor Company project in April of 1921. The new President at Apex Motor Corporation, HT Hanover, could not make a go of the already financially troubled company. Creditors were asked for an additional year for repayment after re-organization and overhead cuts, but the company was sold to the American Motor Truck Company, maker of Ace passenger buses. The following quote was published in the 1922 edition of Bus Transportation.

“American Motor Truck Company. Newark. Ohio, reports that these vehicles are selling so rapidly that the company’s production facilities for the next ninety days have been doubled. The company is planning to exhibit at the botlv show to be held in New York in Janurarv and believes that afterward it will be necessary again to increase its production schedule.”

I have found no official report as to what they did with the factory; perhaps the new 25-passenger bus was built there? Feel free to post any reliable official references to this subject. Opinions or theories are welcome also, but state them for what they are.

http://www.mychurchgrowth.com/blog/category/1929-pontiac/

http://www.mychurchgrowth.com/blog/category/1929-pontiac/1929-vehicles/

http://www.mychurchgrowth.com/blog/category/1929-pontiac/1929-orphan-vehicles/

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Are Looks Everything?

By Rev. Rick Robinson

Many people would say that looks are not important. Most people spend more time evaluating looks than they might think, but is it important? Have you ever wondered how a certain guy ended up with a certain beautiful woman? On the other hand, companies spend millions of dollars each year to research how to make packaging for their products more attractive. So are looks really important, or not? Before you judge your looks, not including grooming and hygiene, let me say God created you just as you look, unless you didn’t like His taste and changed something. I want to give you three ways God says you can change the way you look.

1. Look Forward
Change the way you look forward. Are you worried about something in the future? Do you have anything to look forward to? When you have lost hope it may seem useless to look forward. God has wonderful plans for you even when you don’t have them for yourself.

Jeremiah 29:11
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
NASB

Proverbs 23:18
Surely there is a future, And your hope will not be cut off.
NASB

Proverbs 23:17-18
Don’t envy evil men but continue to reverence the Lord all the time, for surely you have a wonderful future ahead of you. There is hope for you yet!
TLB

When the past seems irreparable, the future does not appear irresistible. The sense of failure seems always to corrupt perception of the future. If allowed, the past will constrain your actions until failure repeats itself.

2. Look Back
For this reason it is important to change the way we look back. Some may think if only things were the way they used to be, if only I could go back. Things are not generally as great as we romanticize them. The people of Israel wanted to go back to the past, and it was foolish.

Numbers 14:1-5
Then all the people began weeping aloud, and they carried on all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of complaint against Moses and Aaron. We wish we had died in Egypt,” they wailed, “or even here in the wilderness, rather than be taken into this country ahead of us. Jehovah will kill us there, and our wives and little ones will become slaves. Let’s get out of here and return to Egypt!” The idea swept the camp. “Let’s elect a leader to take us back to Egypt!” they shouted.
TLB

The Bible is full of contrasting stories about how people looked at the past. There are also stories where people gained encouragement from looking to the past. Isaiah wrote that we should remember all the good things God has done in the past and not doubt Him for the future.

Isaiah 46:9-10
Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.
TLB

3. Look up
The only way we can keep the future and the past in proper perspective is to look up. Looking around at the things in this earth will never bring lasting peace. We have to keep our focus on Jesus Christ who is our fortress and our deliverer.

John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

When it comes to finding peace in troubled times, looks are everything. Where are you looking for this peace?

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.
http://MyChurchGrowth.com

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Getting the “I’M” out of Impossible

By Rev. Rick Robinson

I don’t discount the value in hard work and strategic planning but there comes a time when no matter how hard you try, some things still seem impossible. You wonder if a thing will ever be complete to your satisfaction. Will God ever help me to accomplish this or that, or is it impossible for me? The “im” in impossible stands for I’m—or “I am” in the way of what God can do. We must learn to be partners with God instead of working against Him.

Matthew 19:26
And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Luke 1:37
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Satan wants to steal from you and keep the “im” on the front of possible. It is only through Jesus Christ that you will be able to get the im out of impossible.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I am going to show you four ways that are effective in Satan’s mission to steal from you. The methods used to steal kill and destroy are usually subtle enough to go un-noticed or even seem attractive to us.

1. Ignorance

The lie is the first method ever used to steal from man. It was effective then, and it is equally dangerous today. The lie is used to keep you ignorant of God’s will and direction for your life. Even when you get a clear directive from God, it is the lie that is used to steal it from you and keep you in ignorance.

Genesis 3:1-6
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

2. Impatience

You may be thinking God needs a little help delivering his promise or expects you to figure it out on your own. Satan wants to keep the im in front of possible by making you impatient with God. (Get the im out of impatient too!) We can see a great example of this when Abram was promised a son and then he and Sarai decided God could use some help.

Genesis 16:1-2
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

The weapon of suffering is also used to keep you impatient with God. Your suffering may be real, like pain in your body, or it may not be as bad as all that, but you are convinced how bad you must suffer while others live carefree.

1 Peter 5:10
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

3. Independence

Pride is a tool Satan will use to keep the im in impossible. When you are filled with pride you become independent of God. You don’t care if He says you must forgive, or anything else for that matter, because your circumstances justify your actions. You are independent of His will and pride has shown you a way to elevate yourself from victim to judge. You have come up with a brilliant strategy to hold the door open for Satan while he steals from you.

Proverbs 16:18-19
Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

4. Indictment

The last weapon I will remind you about is the indictment Satan brings against you. Satan will accuse you and tell how much trouble you are in. This directly opposes faith, by causing you to focus on yourself. Why would God give you a miracle when you are so not worth it? The Holy Spirit will convict you of sin and compel you to get things right. He does not want you to live in guilt. You need to focus on God and the power He gives you to walk in freedom from the sin that binds. This story is a great example of Satan bringing accusations while God brings hope.

Zechariah 3:1-4
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.”

If you have accepted the work of Jesus to forgive you of your sin, then you too have festal robes as opposed to filthy garments.

If you are living in ignorance because you believed a lie, then study God’s word.

If you are impatient with God while you’re waiting on answers or results then accept God’s grace and peace.

If you are living independent of God, trusting in yourself (or anyone else) for anything, then turn your life and emotions over to God for restoration.

If you feel accused about your sin and failures in the past, Make certain you are trusting in Christ alone for your salvation. If Jesus Christ is your Lord then remember there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Copyright 2011 Church Growth Associates, Inc.
http://www.MyChurchGrowth.com

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