Monday, July 17, 2006

The Virtual Pew
News #3
Tuesday July 18, 2006


Welcome to The Virtual Pew News, 3rd edition. I know it has been longer than anticipated since the last newsletter, but that is how things have been lately, not lazy, just so busy that it has been difficult keeping up. The Virtual Pew continues though, and the ministry that is taking place is just as phenomenal as expected, and in many ways continues to exceed the initial expectations.

Our mail list has grown from 500 – 1,000 – 1,052 to now 1,200. Individuals continue to subscribe to The Virtual Pew and the message and talk boards continue to grow little by little, but still growing.

This last month has been at times trying, difficult, rewarding and reflectful. Thankfully the trying times seem to be over and I can move towards being more productive. Several of the hurdles that made things difficult have been overcome. I know in the future, new things will come about, but for the present, the challenges have been addressed with progress.

Some of the issues over the last month was the total redesign and revision of Hollywood Jesus that many are aware of. For a period of time during this redesign I was unable to access my blogs or reviews. David Bruce has done a tremendous work with the site over the years and it has had tremendous ministry. As tremendous and effective as the ministry has been, Hollywood Jesus does not chose to stagnate but to move forward, and flow and live. A huge part of that is experiencing growth and adapting to current trends.

I can once again access the blogs, and make input. While the transition for Hollywood Jesus continues, there are more changes ahead. The role of my ministry and The Virtual Pew with Hollywood Jesus is also in transition. I am continuing my work with this ministry I love and cherish, and have spoken to David Bruce regarding The Virtual Pew on Hollywood Jesus. I expect the Virtual Pew to remain involved, and in a different light, but still effective. Be in prayer as this transition, not just for The Virtual Pew but Hollywood Jesus continues to evolve.

Another issue finally conquered is the ability to produce quality video messages. That has been overcome in the last week, and as of this moment you can access worship songs on The Virtual Pew and my first video message via You Tube. The quality of You Tube is not as high as I would like but I finally have the equipment necessary to produce quality video that can eventually be transferred over to DVD format.

One of the contributors to The Virtual Pew has been Benny Logos. Benny has a unique story and a wonderful band. He has allowed the use of his music, Benny Logos and The Verses to be used for worship on The Virtual Pew. I currently have 3 songs up that can be viewed prior to watching a sermon and will be adding more in the future. I encourage you to visit his web site and consider purchasing a CD for yourself and your friends. One of the songs, is a remix and shows the difference from the original videos used and the new methods with the proper equipment. The sermons will go up weekly and last approximately 8 minutes. I have also captioned the songs, which shows various scenery, to make the lyrics easy to read so the individuals can sing along. One of the things I really appreciate about Benny Logos is that the songs are Scripture songs, and it is an easy way to memorize various Bible verses.

Since last time:

Blogs & Messages.

As mentioned earlier, there is now access to video worship, and video sermons with The Virtual Pew at YouTube. Those will continue to be featured and accessible to individuals around the world. They will be brief, and what I would call nuggets of truth. I will continue as time allows to post longer sermons on the web sites but as of now the effort is to maintain as much as possible personal interaction as a priority.

Postings since the last newsletter include:

MySpace:

June 9: The Virtual Pew News
June 10: Cars
June 11: Kinky Boots
June 13: Sermon, Prayer, Prelude to Revival
June 15: Bored
June 17: Nacho Libre
June 18: My Father on Father’s Day
June 19: Maybe Maybe Not
July 10: Superman Returns
July 10: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Hollywood Jesus:

Please note that at Hollywood Jesus you can also go to the main page to find reviews and articles that have been posted, and edited by the Hollywood Jesus staff.

June 10: Cars
June 11: Kinky Boots
June 13: Prayer Prelude to Revival
June 15: Bored
June 17: Nacho Libre
June 18: My Father on Father’s Day
July 10: Superman Returns
July 10: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Tid Bits:

The article Davinci, has also been published in The Christian Leader. Another interesting tid bit is that I have had, directly related to The Virtual Pew, as of this posting, 258 interactions with various individuals on various topics directly related to The Virtual Pew and it’s ministry since the last newsletter. Those discussions have been varied and engaging. Some of those include:

Various individuals within the Homosexual community continue to contact me, some via phone regarding counseling and support. I have discovered, many are quick to judge, yet slow to love. It is amazing that those seeking my counsel on this subject know my position on the sin of practicing homosexuality, yet feel okay in talking to me, and even asking me to pray for them. I am reminded that we are all sinful, on our own we are separated from God. It is only through Christ, that we are worthy to enter into the presence of God. I am as convicted today as ever, my job as a Christian is to love others, let the Holy Spirit do His job, sometimes He uses me in the process, at other times not.

Young men in the military, at least three serving in Iraq continue to contact me regarding prayer and other helps. Recently one of those young men posted on the message boards regarding an issue he had regarding reading his Bible and the correction from a supervisor in Iraq. I put him into communication with my uncle, who is really more like a brother Tim, a retired military officer. Tim provided some good counsel and between the interaction with Tim, myself, and God doing His part that individual has become involved in a Bible study with other military personnel in Iraq. I take pleasure in knowing that the ministry of The Virtual Pew goes further than we could have imagined.

Then there are those with various forms of mental illness. Whether counseling an individual with a severe and persistent mental illness such as schizophrenia or an individual going through depression, this is a population group I love, and I know God loves. I had the honor of spending some one on one time with a dear friend recently in the Tulsa area. I know how much The Virtual Pew could benefit this individual, but he doesn’t have a computer with internet access. It is a shame to see these beautiful and gifted people attacked by this horrible disease. I continue to pray on a regular basis for persons with mental illness. I pray the Church will someday understand them to the point she can adequately minister to them.

There is much more going on. You don’t have to look much further than the pages of MySpace or The Virtual Pew to see that. I want to be clear about something though, it is not I, nor is it you, that does the work when it comes to ministering to The Lost, The Last, The Least or the Regular folk of society. It is the Holy Spirit that work through us.

Plug for the month, Check out

Plug for the month, Check out Brad Bloom’s Faith & Fitness Newsletter and web site. I visit the site frequently and it is a great reminder that our bodies are a temple of God. While there, visit, sign up for the newsletter and let Brad know I sent you their way.

This weeks Article:

I have stated in the past, this ministry belongs to Christ, it is not mine, it is His. I have also stated that everyone needs to get involved. I got my first negative email last night, no biggie, but the bottom line is we need individuals to step up and take a part in this ministry. There is more than any single human can accomplish. This newsletter, and for several upcoming newsletters, I have had Stanley Popovich donate articles to publish. The articles, on mental illness, depression and so forth are near and dear my heart. I am so grateful that people are stepping up to the plate. We have moderators on each board now at The Virtual Pew, we have Benny Logos and The Verses donating music for worship and now Stanley Popovich is donating reading materials to help us cope with, deal with, and understand depression and mental illness. Friends, this is the church being the church.

I am posting here the first article in the series from Stanley, MANAGING YOUR PERSISTENT FEARS, DEPRESSION, AND EVERY DAY ANXIETIES. A brief bio and contact will follow the article. Make sure to visit his web site, and again, let him know that you appreciate his contribution to The Virtual Pew.

MANAGING YOUR PERSISTENT FEARS, DEPRESSION, AND EVERY DAY ANXIETIES
By: Stanley Popovich

Everybody deals with anxiety and depression, however some people have a hard time in managing it. As a result, here is a brief list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their most persistent fears and every day anxieties.

When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, the first thing you can do is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.

Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could get some fresh air, listen to some music, or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things.

A person should visualize a red stop sign in their mind when they encounter a fear provoking thought. When the negative thought comes, a person should think of a red stop sign that serves as a reminder to stop focusing on that thought and to think of something else. A person can then try to think of something positive to replace the negative thought.

Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that make you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed or frustrated, open up your small notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking.

Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. You never know when the answers you are looking for will come to your doorstep. We may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.

Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.

Dealing with our persistent fears is not easy. Remember that all you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and take things in stride. Patience, persistence, education, and being committed in trying to solve your problem will go along way in fixing your problems.

BIOGRAPHY:
Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods" - an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com/

Thanks for reading, and always remember that giving is an act of worship. We appreciate all gifts to The Virtual Pew as they help keep this ministry going. I also appreciate contacts and we are currently working on speaking dates for the Fall and Winter. God bless until next time.

To become a part of The Virtual Pew, visit, http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ To learn more about me visit http://www.furches.org/ I am also active on MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/mikefurches I have another blog at http://blog.myspace.com/mikefurches To visit the Hollywood Jesus group at MySpace with membership by numerous Hollywood Jesus reviewers visit: http://groups.myspace.com/hollywoodjesus For a more in depth weekly study and conversation you an visit: http://virtualpewsermon.blogspot.com/ where you can access deeper teaching and ultimately videos for viewing and teaching. You can contact me via email at mike@furches.org or mike@thevirtualpew.com For those interested in knowing more about my own story, contact me for a free e-copy of my book The Keystone Kid in pre-edit form.

1 comment:

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