Can't get enough of my ramblings here on the web site?  Well, here are some other places where my thoughts and research have been published and, in the case of my books, information on how you can obtain copies for yourself or a friend (even if they speak Korean, Portuguese, German, or Chinese!  Seriously!  Several of my books have been translated and are available in these languages!  See below for details.)





Page last updated 11-08-2011. 



Books for Growing Christians


Did God Really Say THAT?


Did God Really Say THAT? 12 Tips on How To Read, Understand, and Apply the Bible


(Includes discussion questions for individual or group use.)


 (For more information, click on the book!)





 Wrestling With God: 
A No-Holds-Barred Approach 
To Knowing God 


"Me - wrestle with God?"

If you've ever prayed long and hard over a certain request,

or questioned God because of the way he answered,

or doubted your faith, or struggled through a time of spiritual dryness, 

or puzzled over the discrepancies between what you've heard at church

 and how your life really is ...then you've wrestled with God, 

whether or not you were aware of it at the time.


Wrestling With God is part how-to manual, part Bible study, and part exercise in theology, written in a fun and interesting manner with the goal of opening your eyes to God's desire for a vital and real relationship with you. 

You'll see how wrestling with God ensures that you develop that relationship, holding back nothing, keeping no secrets, and strengthening your faith. 

Learn how to hold onto God through troubling circumstances
and difficult questions. 

Discover how to find answers to your prayers and questions - and what to do when God simply pins you to the mat, totally flooring you by his power and mysterious grace.

Like Jacob who wrestled with God and was blessed, you are part of God's wrestling team - and he wants to bless you.  Wrestling With God is a trustworthy guide to the rules and rewards of this spiritual "contact sport."

(Includes discussion questions for individual or group use.)


“Wrestling” is also available

in Portuguese!



Pastoral Helps

Help For The Small-Church Pastor

over 11,430 copies of this CLASSIC have been sold!

Look on for some nice reviews!



Finally...a practical handbook for small-church leaders.

Churches of less than 150 remain the rule rather than the exception in American Christianity. However, seminaries don't equip their students in every way that's necessary to effectively lead smaller congregations - despite the fact that most seminary graduates will become small-church pastors.

Help For The Small-Church Pastor offers pastors of small churches the guidance and encouragement they need. In this common sense book, Steve Bierly draws from his years in ministry to show what makes smaller congregations tick.

Help For The Small-Church Pastor provides practical insights on uniquely "small-church" issues, such as -

  • The characteristics of small churches
  • How to work effectively as an "insider" within the small church
  • How God is at work in powerful ways in smaller assemblies
  • How to motivate your church toward positive change and true growth
  • How to invest your own time and energy in the right directions
  • How your church can reach out to the community in ways that are practical and productive

"There are many ways for even the smallest congregation to be true to the church's calling," says Steve Bierly. Help For The Small-Church Pastor  will steer you through the strengths and weaknesses of your small church to unearth its true riches.


Help For The Small Church Pastor
is also available in the Korean language!

(Check with Zondervan Publishing)





How To Thrive As A Small-Church Pastor

Over 9,410 copies of this TIMELESS book have been sold!

Look on for some nice reviews!


 (Click on book cover or title to order from



Pastoring a small church is no small job. It can be physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting. Read this book for a relief...and a turning point.

Steve R. Bierly offers the seasoned reassurance of one who has been in the trenches of small-church pastors. He understands your unique needs and problems not just as a pastor, but as a person. And he shows that, by God's grace, you can fulfill your calling and thrive in the face of its challenges.

With humor and fatherly wisdom, Bierly helps you reframe your perspectives on:

  • God
  • Your ministry
  • Your relationships
  • Your personal needs...and more

Drawing on years of experience, he offers assurance that you're not alone, a fresh outlook on the successes of your ministry, and an upbeat, practical approach to spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.

How To Thrive As A Small-Church Pastor  will help you face realistically the rigors of your vocation...and reclaim your first love of ministry.


How To Thrive As A Small-Church Pastor is also available in German through the Kirche Mit Vision publishing company in German as a joint effort between Steve and co-author Johannes Stockmayer. The German title is "Hilfe, ich bin Pastor einer kleinen Gemeinde." 





Check with Zondervan to order!



How To Thrive As A Small Church Pastor is also available in Korean.




Check with Zondervan to order!




NEW IN 2011!! How To Thrive As A Small Church Pastor is also available in Chinese!




Check with Zondervan to order!



Building Church Leaders:

Your Complete Guide To Leadership Training

(Steve Bierly, contributor), (Leadership Journal, Christianity Today, Inc., 1998).

Building Church Leaders will help you develop a dynamic team of leaders who can think strategically and biblically about the mission of your church. This resource is an innovative approach to leadership training: Just select the training handout you feel meets the needs of your leaders, photocopy it, and then lead a 20-minute discussion at the beginning of your board or committee meeting. Or use several handouts for a longer session at a retreat.

Selections include those written by Bill Hybels, Lyle E. Schaller, W. Charles Arn, Steve Bierly, Fred Smith, Sr., Craig Brian Larson, Herb Miller, Gary Fenton, and Ken Warren.

Order at: 1-800-806-7798, mention product code LNSET.





Popeye Books and Contributions





By Steve R. Bierly




Until now, the Famous Studios Popeye cartoons have never really been given a fair treatment by animation writers and historians. Authors have concentrated on the earliest Popeye cartoons from Fleischer Studios because those films broke new ground in technique and humor, and on the made-for-TV cartoons of the 1960s because many of them are so awful. The Famous Studios cartoons are often just mentioned in passing.


But from 1942-1957, Famous Studios, a division of Paramount Pictures, produced Popeye cartoons that have a fan-following to this day. These cartoons were shown on TV during the Baby Boomers' formative years and continue to be shown on cable and satellite channels today. In fact, they are the longest running cartoons in television syndication.


Many of the kids through the years who grew up watching the Famous Studios films have found that the films grew up with them because these cartoons were originally made to entertain adult movie-going audiences, before they were sold to TV and broadcast as kiddie fare. So, they contain adult themes, humor that uses verbal and visual double entendres, and mature sensibilities. They also, of course, are full of slapstick and are just plain fun. So, unlike some childhood joys that are left behind, the pleasure of the Famous Studios Popeye cartoons gets even stronger the older one gets.


The Secret Appeal of the Famous Studios Popeye Cartoons explores the reasons for that. It sets Famous Studios in historical context and explains why the creators working there made the films they did. Then the changes the creators made to the three main characters - Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Bluto are examined, along with Famous Studios' emphasis on sex and romance, tension and suspense and violence, and moral confusion - it's often hard to know who to root for in the cartoons, Popeye or Bluto! Amid the puns and the slapstick, there was a lot more going on. And it's the "more" which makes the films endlessly fascinating.


Eleven cartoons are explained in depth, and then all the Famous Studios cartoons are scanned to uncover the magic elements they each contain. The The Secret Appeal of the Famous Studios Popeye Cartoons ends by exploring the ways the films could have influenced other cartoons, comic books, and even feature length movies.


The Secret Appeal of the Famous Studios Popeye Cartoons is a must read for anyone who has ever enjoyed Popeye cartoons and/or is interested in the character's history. And, perhaps even more importantly, it's a lot of fun, too!


Published by:



Available at


Pre-release comments include:


   “an interesting read”


    “lots of fun”


    “sexy, nostalgic, funny, and even shocking at times”


    “reminds me of the days when Popeye cartoons were beamed

into our living rooms as we were growing up and the ways they

used to make us feel”


     “great pictures!”







Contributed “The Friendly Voice Of Popeye”, pgs. 7-13 to:

He Am What He Am! 

Jack Mercer: The Voice Of Popeye

 by Fred M. Grandinetti

Fred introduces my section of his book with the following comment:

Steve R. Bierly has a unique relationship with Popeye the Sailor.  As a pastor he often uses references to Popeye cartoons in his sermons and teachings with students.  He grew up in Upstate New York, went to a seminary in New England and now pastors a church in Hull, Iowa.  This book would not be complete without hearing from one of Popeye’s fans and how Jack Mercer’s vocal characterization of the mighty mariner made an impact on his childhood.

Thanks, Fred!

Available at


Contributer to

Popeye: An Illustrated Cultural History

by Fred Grandinetti

The breadth of Grandinetti's knowledge about Popeye is truly astounding!  This is good news for readers because it means that his book covers all things Popeye.  From comic strips to animated cartoons to collectibles to live action to sound recordings to theme park appearances and more, it's all here.  Those wanting to learn about the sailor, or find answers to trivia questions, or rekindle childhood memories and finally solve mysteries like "What was the name of that cartoon where Bluto was a bullfighter?" will find what they need.  Even long-time, diehard fans like me will learn new things.  And the illustrations are wonderful!  There are sample strips from all the creators of the comics over the years, stills from the animated films, theatrical posters, sheet music, ads, model sheets and more.  Fred includes episode guides, sample scripts, colorizations gaffs, character profiles, mini-bios of the voice artists, a section on the censored Popeye cartoons, and information about The International Popeye Fanclub written by club co-founder Mike Brooks.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should also say that there are two pages about me and my views toward Popeye and the Famous Studios cartoons, but even without those pages I would recommend the book to anyone wanting an education in Popeye and those curious as to why, 75 years after his creation, people all over the world still talk about the one-eyed, pipe tooting hero.  Not everyone will agree with all of Grandinetti's opinions about the various incarnations of Popeye, but Fred tries to be fair and will get you to think.  And fans interacting with other fans' thoughts is what fandom is all about.  Bottom line: This is a good job from perhaps the number one Popeye fan in the world.

Order from McFarland & Company or

McFarland order line: 1-800-253-2187

McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers
Box 611
Jefferson, North Carolina 28640
Tel. 336-246-4460         FAX 336-246-5018




  I have contributed monthly editorials to The Sunday School Guide of the Reformed Church In America since 2004.  Articles titles include:




America, American Idol, And American Ideals

Talking to ourselves in Athens

Popeye The Role Model

Fear Factor





Reflections on The Death of Superman

Must We Try To Find The Will Of God?

Jesus the American Idol

The Purpose of Tidal Waves

Aging Hurts And That's Good

My Favorite Non-Christians

Back To Egypt

I Love This Game!

War Of The Worlds

Harry Potter And The Mesmerized Minister

My Grief Observed Part 1

The Blame Game





The Synod of Bishops Versus The World

Hello, I'm Johnny Cash

The God Who Isn't There

Do The Muslims Have Something To Teach Us?

The Gospel According to Red Green

My Grief Observed Part 2

Save Us From Our Blessings

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad DaVinci Code

On The One Hand..., On The Other Hand...

Why Sports Movies Work For Me

American Jeopardy

Give Us Now Our Daily Bread





An Exercise in Misapplying the Bible

For Or Against?

Reflections on M*A*S*H

A Study In Humanity And American Beliefs

What Does God Think of Sex?

The Problem of Pleasure

It's Time To Re-Visit Demon Possession

Out of Kansas And Into The World

Cheating - A World Of No Cover-Ups

God Is Not Silent

My Grief Observed Part 3

Reflections on a Freezer Bag Full of Dust






Kung Fu And Christ

Of Writing and the Christian Life

How Very Sad

Ethnic Religion

A Look At Eastern Orthodoxy Parts One - Four

Confused In Narnia

Pundits, Preachers, and Prophets

Comic Books Aren't Just Kids Stuff

Why I Believe, Parts One - Three






Why I Believe, Parts Four - Ten

A New Parable Of The Talents

Miss California And The Mistake

Uncivil Discourse

I’m Sorrowful About Preachers And Christian Leaders

Help My Brain And My Heart Are Going To Explode

The Jungle Book

Neglected Spiritual Gifts





Superman, The Book of Genesis, and The News

The Haunted Western World

House and a Problem for Atheists

The Been There Done That Club

Nietzsche Is a Pain In The Neck

Of Militias and the Millenial Reign of Christ

Dr. Wells and the Threat of Modernity

The Bible Through Post-Modern Glasses

I Need a (Real) Hero

In Praise of Denominations

Bishop Long: A Reflection of America

Asian Folk Tales and Timeless Truths

The Bible - Duh, What’s That?

Taste Not Touch Not






The God of Thunder and the God of the Universe, Parts 1-2

Harry Potter and the Pastor

Do You Like This Editorial?

Church Impossible

Look Into These Books For a Second Look at Faith




I also wrote a 12 week Bible Study series about Jesus and Job for the Sunday School Guide that was published in Spring of 2008.



Other published articles include:

"Evangelism in Bloom: The Evangelistic TULIP," The Church Herald, September 2004.

"A Newcomer's 'Conscience'," The Church Herald, February 2003.

"Finding Excellence in a Small Church," The Pentecostal Leader, November/December 2002.

"Guilt, Grace, And Giving," The Church Herald, November 2001.

"Discouragement In Small-Church Ministry," Enrichment,  Fall 2001.

"God's Little Acre: The Joys And Struggles Of Small-Church Membership Congregations," The Church Herald, April 2000.

"Help For The Small Church Pastor," The Five Stones, Spring 1999. (Adapted from my first book.)

3 Book Reviews For "Growing Edge," Leadership, Winter 1999.

"Finding Excellence In A Small Church," Leadership, Summer 1998.

"Four Steps To Better Health," Vital Ministry, May/June 1998. (Adapted from my second book.)

"Evangelism For The Ordinary Church," Leadership, Summer 1997.

"Sparring Over Worship," Leadership, Winter 1997.

"Navigating The Winters Of Our Discontent," Net Results, Feb. 1996.

"Lonely In A Close-Knit Church," Leadership, Spring 1995.

"Should We Tear Down The Fence?," Pioneer Christian Monthly, October 1994.

"How To Grow A Small Church Without Losing Your Mind," Net Results, March 1994. (Reprinted in Spring 1994 issue of Leadership as "Can A Pro-Growth Pastor Love A No-Growth Church?")

"Inside The Pastor's Study," The Church Herald, August, 1993.


I also regularly write brief articles for our town’s newspaper in rotation with other local pastors in the Pastor’s Column.  The following is an article from the Fall of 2009.


            I was disappointed when I read a recent book by a Christian author.  The promotional blurb had said that the book dealt with the author's attempt to re-edit his life in order to make a movie about it.  I took that to mean that he was going to re-examine his life story and look at things in a new way, deciding what was important and what to emphasize and what not to.  And the blurb led me to believe that this book would help me look at my life the same way, too.  But, instead, the book was about the author deciding right now to change his life by getting more involved in projects he deemed worthwhile.  In fact, the entire book could be summed up in one sentence: Find some good projects to be involved with.  This wasn't what I was expecting.


            So, instead, I'm challenging myself to do what I initially thought the book was going to help me do.  And I'd like to challenge you to do it, too.  Let's look back over our lives and see where the hand of God was moving, even in the little things.  Let's look at the tragedies in our lives and rejoice that God saw us through them.  Let's repent of old sins that haunt us.  Let's see that God was able to work all things for the good in our lives.  Let's thank him for people who were special to us and who taught us life's lessons.  Let's ask him to show us what things in our past are important and which we should just ditch.  And let's realize that his view may not be the same as ours.  And let's forgive those who have sinned against us instead of holding grudges.  Let's let the Lord heal past hurts with his love and acceptance.


            Let's re-edit our lives so that the story we keep telling ourselves is true.  Let's re-edit the movies of our lives that replay again and again on the screens of our minds and our hearts.  And let's make sure that God is the main editor and that we are just the assistant editors.


And I have contributed my pastoral viewpoint continuously (1999-2011) to the Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine in a column entitled

“Popeye In The Pulpit” (see below for ’99-’03).

"Time Marches Backwards! - Part 2, Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Spring 2003.

"Time Marches Backwards! - Part 1, Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Winter 2002.

"The Dark Side Of Spinach," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Fall 2002.

"I Yam Popeye The Sailor Man - Part 2," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Summer 2002.

"I Yam Popeye The Sailor Man - Part 1," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Spring 2002.

"Deck The Hulls", Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Winter 2001.

"A Child Shall Lead (And Occasionally Bleed) Him," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Fall 2001.

"Sir Popeye," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Summer 2001.

"'I Yam What I Yam' And The Great 'I Am'," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Spring 2001.

"Of Popeye, Political Correctness, Prof. Traver, And Poetic Justice," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Winter 2000.

"The Long Shadow Of Segar," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Fall 2000.

"Popeye In The Pulpit - Part 6," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Summer 2000.

"Popeye In The Pulpit - Part 5," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Spring 2000.

"Popeye In The Pulpit - Part 4," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Winter 1999.

"Popeye In The Pulpit - Part 3," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Fall 1999.

"Popeye In The Pulpit - Part 2," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Summer 1999.

"Ahoy, Members!!" Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Summer 1999.

"A Fair Assessment Of The Ocean Comic," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Summer 1999.

"Popeye In The Pulpit- Part 1," Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, Spring 1999.







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This page was created using Corel Word Perfect Suite 8 and Netscape Navigator Composer and Microsoft Word. All characters and images are legal properties of their respective companies and are used here without permission for entertainment, review, and informational purposes only. All other material is copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 by Steve R. Bierly.