Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Jesus' Cartoonist?

Note: In light of the recent story about the "alleged" finding of Jesus' casket, I thought this cartoon by Reverend Fun was perfect for today. Who says Christians never have any fun?

Youth Service Moves Back To The Church

I will be preaching the youth service tonight at First Baptist Church of Lake Butler. The youth have been meeting each week at an off-campus location, but beginning tonight, they will be back at the main church facility. This will make it more convenient for everyone. The service will begin at 6:30pm and the church is located at 195 East Main Street in Lake Butler, Florida.

Muslims enthusiastic, Christians apathetic about end times

Note: This is a VERY interesting thought. If you think about it, Christians are not even as faithful to their own church as they once were, just look at Sunday and Wednesday night attendance. A previous post from today even upholds this thought. It all boils down to "What is your priority in life?" (Mat. 6:19-21)

One News Now -- Pro-Israel ministry leader Jan Markell says she is frustrated that many Christians are apathetic about the idea of the glorious return of Jesus Christ while Muslims, for the most part, demonstrate intense passion and fervor about their belief in the imminent return of their Islamic "messiah." She believes "seeker-sensitive" churches are partly to blame.

Read more of this story on One News Now.

World's First Christian Youth Mobile Channel Launched

Unity In Values (UIV), the US-based leader in Christian mobile content, announced recently the launch of The Mobile Word Video Community, the world's first mobile channel targeted at Christian youth.

The application of The Word Video gives consumers the opportunity to use technology to stay in touch with the community and express and share their spiritual values.

Unity In Values has launched an initiative to collect video prayers for the troops, with the goal of one million video prayers by the end of June.

The Million Prayers for the Troops initiative allows Christian youth to express their creativity and support for friends and family and other American soldiers in the military.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

Support Group

Spelling Bee Phenom Refuses to Compete on Sabbath

Note: Just recently, I was involved in a discussion about school activities conflicting with church services. In our region of Florida, at one time a school function; i.e, meetings, sporting events, etc. was never scheduled on Wednesday nights or Sundays. Those were considered traditional "church nights". Now the trend seems to disregard the local worship services. I'm sure the defense is that there are so many activities and not enough time. It's sad that organized services are not held with the importance they once were, even by those professing to be Christians. Post your thoughts by clicking "comments" below.

The Christian Post -- Elliot Huck, one of the nation’s top spellers, has decided to sit out from this year’s regional spelling bee, because the event occurs on the Sabbath Day.

The 14-year-old, who placed 45th last year at the National Spelling Bee, felt that the competition would conflict with the Christian tradition to rest on Sunday.

"I always try to glorify God with what I do in the spelling bee because He is the one who gave me the talent for spelling," said the spelling phenom to the IndyStar. “Now I think I'm going to not spell and try to give glory to God in that."

In past years, there has been no problem for Huck since all the competitions were held on Saturdays. The situation has changed this year to accommodate new spellers, however.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

MissionFest 2007 to Attract Over 20,000 People

The largest mission conference in central Canada estimates that more than 20,000 people will attend the three-day event which features some of the top names in Christianity.

MissionFest Toronto 2007 will kick-off on Mar. 1 and run until Mar. 3 with the theme of “We Speak to Nations.” The annual event will include 200 exhibitors, educational seminars, concerts, and interactive family activities.

Featured speakers and performers include Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse; Grammy-award winning artist Rebecca St. James; and sought-after speaker Ravi Zacharias, whose radio program broadcasts to over 1,500 stations worldwide.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Christian News Updates

Several Christian related international news briefs are contained in this article including:

POLICE WITHDRAW FROM GAZA CHURCH

UZBEK PASTOR FACES PRISON TERM


VIETNAMESE HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER HONORED

TRAIN BOMBING HURTS CHRISTIAN WORK

Read these stories on Baptist Press.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jennifer Hudson Dedicates Oscar Glory to God

Note: I love seeing God receive glory from those in a position to offer testimony before large and small gatherings or to just one person.

Christian Today -- Former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Dreamgirls.

In her acceptance speech, Hudson said tearfully, "Oh my God! I have to just take this moment in. I can't believe this - I didn't think I was going to win. Look at what God can do!"

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

Cherokee Revival Services

Famous Honus Wagner card sells for record $2.35M

Note: I enjoy collecting baseball and football cards, so I thought I would share this story with you. My collection is very small and does not contain anything of great value, but it's fun.

LOS ANGELES -- The "Holy Grail of baseball cards," the famous 1909 Honus Wagner tobacco card once owned by hockey great Wayne Gretzky, has sold for a record-setting $2,350,000, the seller of the card said Monday.

The anonymous buyer has only been identified as a Southern California collector. SCP Auctions Inc., a company that holds sports memorabilia auctions, said it bought a small share of the card. It is scheduled to be shown at a news conference at Dodger Stadium Tuesday.

There are about 60 of the tobacco cards in existence featuring the Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop, one of the first five players to be inducted in Baseball's Hall of Fame.

The seller, Brian Seigel, paid a then-record $1,265,000 in 2000 for the prize card, which is in much better shape than the others.

Read more of this story on ESPN.


Keep Praying


READ: Luke 11:5-13

Everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. —Luke 11:10

We prayed. Quietly sometimes. Aloud other times. For more than 17 years we prayed. We prayed for our daughter Melissa’s health and direction, for her salvation, and often for her protection. Just as we prayed for our other children, we asked God to have His hand of care on her.

As Melissa rolled into her teenage years, we prayed even more that He would keep her from harm—that He would keep His eyes on her as she and her friends began to drive. We prayed, "God, please protect Melissa."

So what happened? Didn’t God understand how much it would hurt so many people to lose such a beautiful young woman with so much potential for service to Him and others? Didn’t God see the other car coming on that warm spring night?

We prayed. But Melissa was killed.

Now what? Do we stop praying? Do we give up on God? Do we try to make it alone?

Absolutely not! Prayer is even more vital to us now. God—our inexplicable sovereign Lord—is still in control. His commands to pray still stand. His desire to hear from us is still alive. Faith is not demanding what we want; it is trusting God’s goodness in spite of life’s tragedies.

We grieve. We pray. We keep on praying. Dave Branon

I question not God’s means or ways,
Or how He uses time or days,
To answer every call or prayer—
I know He will, somehow, somewhere. —Whitney

God may deny our request but will never disappoint our trust.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Relationships > Relating to God > Prayer
Basics Of Faith > God > Faithfullness

My Desk

I'm sure my former co-workers at New River Solid Waste Association and those that have seen my desk at home will appreciate this cartoon as an accurate representation of my work area (mine may not be this organized).

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Ten Reasons Why The Jesus Tomb Claim is Bogus

Leading Scholars Say Discovery Channel 'Documentary' Makes for Good TV, Bad History and Bad Science

Feb. 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- The claim of James Cameron and the Discovery Channel that a tomb contains the bones of Jesus is bogus, said leading Biblical and archeological scholars today.

"Unfortunately, this is a story full of holes, conjectures and problems," said Dr. Ben Witherington, author of What Have They Done With Jesus? and New Testament professor at Asbury Theological Seminary. "It will make good TV and involves a bad critical reading of history. Basically, this is old news with a new interpretation. We have known about this tomb since it was discovered in 1980. There are all sorts of reasons to see this as much ado about nothing much."

Read more of this story on Christian Newswire.

Read another related story on The Christian Post.

Eritrean Christian Dies for Refusing to Renounce Faith

An Eritrean Christian man recently died after spending four-and-a-half years in jail for his participation in a banned protestant church, reported a persecution watchdog group.

Magos Solomon Semere, 30, died of torture and chronic pneumonia in a facility near the port city of Assab in southeast Eritrea, according to Compass Direct News sources. He died on Feb. 15 after refusing to deny his faith in exchange for medical treatment.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Voice Recognition Software

Monday, February 26, 2007

Spray-On Mud


READ: 2 Timothy 3:1-9

Having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! —2 Timothy 3:5

A British company has developed a product called "Spray-On Mud" so city dwellers can give their expensive 4x4 vehicles the appearance of having been off-road for a day of hunting or fishing without ever leaving town. The mud is even filtered to remove stones and debris that might scratch the paint. According to the company, sales are going well.

There is something within each of us that values how we look on the outside more than who we are on the inside. It causes some people to pad their résumés or embellish their memoirs. But it has no place in our lives as followers of Jesus.

Paul warned Timothy about people in the church who had a form of godliness but denied its power. "They will maintain a façade of ‘religion,’ but their conduct will deny its validity. You must keep clear of people like this" (2 Tim. 3:5, Phillips). The inward reality of Christ is what counts, because it will produce the outward signs of faith.

Paul’s authority to instruct the church about spiritual authenticity came through his suffering, not by "spraying on mud." "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus," said the apostle (Gal. 6:17).

God calls us to authentic living today. David C. McCasland

We fuss over form and we put on a face,
All the while showing God disrespect,
Not seeing how pride is eclipsing God’s grace
That the light of Christ’s life should reflect. —Gustafson

If you are true to God, you won’t be false to others.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Christian Life > Character > Hypocrisy

Saved by grace

By John Revell
Baptist Press


EDITORS’ NOTE: This column about John Newton, the author of the hymn "Amazing Grace," first appeared in SBC Life in 2002. Newton (played by Albert Finney) plays a prominent role in the film "Amazing Grace," which depicts the life of abolitionist William Wilberforce and his friendship with Newton.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Roused from his sleep by the sudden jolt of waves crashing against the ship's hull and the roar of gale-force winds, and scrambling from his hammock as his cabin started to fill with seawater, he heard a shipmate on deck scream that the ship was sinking. He raced up the ladder to the deck but met the captain who shouted for him to bring a knife. As he rushed back down to retrieve it the man who had been behind him went ahead and was instantly washed overboard.

When John Newton reached the deck he found chaos as the crew raced about the vessel making frenzied repairs, bailing water and fighting to stay on board as the relentless swells swept across the deck. Several manned the pumps feverishly, but the rising water was gaining on them. Their cargo was beeswax and wood, both lighter than water, otherwise they would have been doomed.

An hour later the sun rose and the winds started to subside slightly, allowing the crew to make limited progress. All day they desperately patched leaks with their clothes and bedding. That night Newton observed, "If this will not do, the Lord have mercy on us." Instantly his own words struck him and he was overcome with panic. "What mercy can there be for me?" he wondered.

Read more of this story on Baptist Press.

'Thou Shalt Laugh' Airs on Network TV

Thou Shalt Laugh, the biggest-selling Christian comedy DVD of all time, made its network television debut in the US Saturday on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

From the producer of the enormously popular Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie, Thou Shalt Laugh features seven comedians in a ‘hilarious’ stand-up comedy concert whose stars, producers and director are all Christians.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

Positive Reinforcement

Take Your Best Shot


What kind of a marksman are you? Take your best shot on this shooting range.

Jesus' Grave Stories

Here are three more stories about the alleged finding of Jesus' grave and remains. I noted on a previous post that the story could not be true based on the authority of the Bible. The Bible says, "He is risen!" (Mat. 28:6-7, Mark 16:5-7)

TV Special on Jesus' Grave -- Another Hoax

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- National Clergy Council president, the Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) issued this statement following a press conference that announced a new documentary claiming proof against the Resurrection of Jesus Christ:

"Today, Hollywood director James Cameron, whose claim to fame is a fictionalized account of the sinking of the Titanic, unveiled a documentary claiming a coffin found in Jerusalem 27 years ago once contained the remains of Jesus Christ. Cameron employed archaeologists and DNA experts to bolster his assertion Jesus was buried along with his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene and a supposed son, Judah.

Read more of this story on Christian Newswire.


James Cameron, Jewish Archaeologist Claim Discovery of Remains of Jesus, Jesus’ 'Son'

Oscar-winning film director James Cameron and credited Jewish archaeologist and documentarian Simcha Jacobovici have claimed one of histories’ greatest discoveries: the remains of the Jesus Christ.

A new documentary called “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” premiering on Sunday, Mar. 4, on the Discovery Channel, has asserted that it has credible evidence of the remains of Christ and his descendants, including a supposed son, Judah, who Jesus had with Mary Magdalene.

The film has already roused up debate among Christians, who base their faith on the resurrection of Jesus Christ; the existence of Jesus’ remains would negate his ascension.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Holy Land Scholars Slam Jesus Tomb Claims

JERUSALEM (AP) — Archaeologists and clergymen in the Holy Land derided claims in a new documentary produced by the Oscar-winning director James Cameron that contradict major Christian tenets.

In 1996, when the British Broadcasting Corporation aired a short documentary on the same subject, archaeologists challenged the claims. Amos Kloner, the first archaeologist to examine the site, said the idea fails to hold up by archaeological standards but makes for profitable television.

Stephen Pfann, a biblical scholar at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem who was interviewed in the documentary, said the film's hypothesis holds little weight.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Narnia Sequel Prince Caspian Takes Action in New Zealand

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, the second motion picture adaptation of CS Lewis’ beloved series of literary classics, recently began principal photography on location in Auckland, New Zealand.

The film, which is the Christian parable and sequel to 2005's hit The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, will premiere in the summer of 2008.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

Art Exhibition on Christian Persecution Opens in Oxford

Christian Today --The ‘Art of Persecution’, a new exhibition of art work examining the phenomenon of Christian persecution opens this week in Oxford and is set to lift the lid on the widespread persecution faced by Christians around the world.


Organised by Open Doors, an international charity which supports Christians facing persecution, the exhibition contains over 50 pieces of art by artists ranging from professionals, to complete amateurs and even children.

The collection emanated from a challenge made by Open Doors for artists to explore “the cost of belief in Christ paid by many present day Christians, who share your faith but not your freedom”.

The exhibition including paintings, collages, sculptures, poetry and songs is on display at St Aldates Church, between 28 February and 4 March.

Selected pieces from the exhibition can also be viewed at www.theartofpersecution.com.

Art works will be available for the public to buy at an auction on Saturday 10 March. For more information please contact Open Doors: www.opendoorsuk.org.uk.

Source: Christian Today.

Plague Day

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Beyond the Oscars: The end draweth nigh

By Phil Boatwright
Baptist Press


KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP)--Where some examine the stars or world history to foretell the future, I scrutinize the movies. Therefore, I’m issuing the following alert: If certain people in the artistic community have their way, Christians and Christianity will at some point be outlawed.

And maybe sooner than later.

“Oh, that can’t happen here!” That’s what many throughout history have said as, slowly, their cultures crumbled into the hands of tyrants. Heed the following:

Read more of this editorial on Baptist Press.

Celebration Of Creation


READ: Job 38:1-7

By Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth. —Colossians 1:16

In The Magician’s Nephew, one of the books in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles, Digory and Polly use special rings to go into other universes. In one instance, they are transported to a place where they witness the creation of a new world. In the darkness, a beautiful voice sings stars into existence, followed by a newly created sunrise. In the morning light, they see that a mysterious lion is the singer. In response to his voice, grass spreads out like carpet, and trees grow in moments. Then animals begin to form out of the ground. When Narnia’s creation is complete, Aslan, its creator, gives the gift of speech to animals and celebrates with his creatures.

Lewis’ skillful use of Christian symbolism provides a fresh perspective on the wonder of our own world’s beginning. There was a time when our universe did not exist. There was no matter, no energy, and no time. Then the Son of God spoke into being what we now see (John 1:1-3). In response, angelic worship resounded from the heavenly places. The book of Job tells us that at the foundations of the earth "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:4,7).

On a starry night, worship that began with angels should resonate in our own hearts to God’s glory. Dennis Fisher

The God who made the firmament,
Who made the deepest sea,
The God who put the stars in place
Is the God who cares for me. —Berg

God’s work of creating is done; our work of praising has only begun.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Basics Of Faith > God > Creator

Are You On My List(s)?

I have four e-mail subscription services for my ministry:

PLEASE NOTE: Each notification is a different list, so to receive all four you must sign-up for each one.

Enter your email address to be notified each time a new edition of the

Walking with the Giant podcast is released (monthly):

Delivered by FeedBurner



Enter your email address be notified each day that a post is added to this

Ministry Blog (daily):

Delivered by FeedBurner



Enter your email address to be notified of a new addition to my ministry schedule:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Tyler Man Spreads Inspirational Messages With "Jesus Truck"

He's been a preacher for 60 years, spreading the word of the Lord since his early 20s. But Fred Harris decided to go a step further to convey his message. The 84-year-old turned his truck into an advertisement of his faith.

It's a truck you can't help but notice. "That's my Jesus truck," said Fred Harris. He bought a 1961 GMC truck from a junk yard for $2,000. He added a cross and painted on 35 different inspirational sayings from the likes of writer Henry David Thoreau, minister Andrew Wommack and the Apostles Paul and Peter.

"Anybody that looks at this truck and see that cross with the crown on it has got to think about Jesus for a minute," said Harris.

Read more of this story on KLTV News.

Quick Exodus

The Devil's Future

"Resist the devil and he will flee from you."1

A friend shared with me her way of handling the deceiver-tempter: "When Satan comes to remind me about my past, I remind him about his future."

Read more of this devotion on The Christian Post.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Conservative Christian Group Responds to Film Claiming Proof Against Jesus' Resurrection

Note: This is in reference to the story in the previous post. I stated in that post that the story could not be true based on the authority of the Bible.

Contact: Rob Schenck, Faith and Action, 202-546-8329, ext 106

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- A liberal website out of Jerusalem, Israel is reporting that a documentary film to be aired this week will prove the actual burial site for Jesus Christ and his family has been found. The filmmakers, including James Cameron of Titanic fame, claim they will display the coffins of Jesus and his mother Mary at a New York news conference on Monday.

The implications are clear: According the filmmakers, Jesus did not rise from the grave.

In response to the announced news conference, National Clergy Council president, the Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) said:

“This kind of sensationalism has been tried before. Only five years ago no less of a prestigious organization than Biblical Archeological Review Journal claimed it had the coffin of James, the brother of Jesus. It was later determined to be a hoax.

Read more of this story on Christian Newswire.

Film claims Jesus' burial site found

Note: I know this story cannot be true. The Bible says, "He is risen!" (Mat. 28:6-7, Mark 16:5-7)

New film documents discovery of Jerusalem cave containing ten caskets believed to hold remains of Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdalene and others

The cave in which Jesus Christ was buried has been found in Jerusalem, claim the makers of a new documentary film.

If it proves true, the discovery, which will be revealed at a press conference in New York Monday, could shake up the Christian world as one of the most significant archeological finds in history.

The coffins which, according to the filmmakers held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene will be displayed for the first timeon Monday in New York.

Read more of this story on YNet News.

Dial 9 For Worship


READ: Psalm 9:1-14

I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart. —Psalm 9:1

You’re in the dentist’s office and it’s taking longer than expected. You’re late for another appointment, so you ask to use the phone. You dial the number twice and nothing happens. "How do I dial out?" you ask in frustration. "I’m sorry," says the receptionist, "you need to dial 9 first."

You’ve come to church to worship God. You’re singing. You’re praying along with the pastor and following the Bible passages as they are read. But nothing’s happening inside. You want to worship the Lord, but you’re just going through the motions. What can you do?

Here’s a suggestion: Dial 9. Open your Bible to Psalm 9 and follow David’s prompts as he expresses his heartfelt praise to the Lord.

  • Open your heart (v.1). Let praise roll forth!
  • Review all the things He has done for you (v.1).
  • Rejoice! Be glad! Sing! (v.2)
  • Acknowledge that He defends you (vv.3-5).
  • Go to Him for refuge (v.9).
  • Talk about what He’s done for you (v.11).
  • Receive His mercy and rejoice in His salvation (vv.13-14).

Try following David’s example. You’ll reconnect with God in your worship and praise. David C. Egner

You alone are worthy, Lord,
To be worshiped and adored;
We to You our tribute bring
As our hearts rejoice and sing. —Hess

At the heart of worship is worship from the heart.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Basics Of Faith > Worship > God

Rare Official Copy of Declaration of Independence Purchased for $2.48

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (FOX News) — A rare, 184-year-old copy of the Declaration of Independence found by a bargain hunter at a Nashville thrift shop is being valued by experts at about 100,000 times the $2.48 purchase price.

Michael Sparks, a music equipment technician, is selling the document in an auction March 22nd at Raynors' Historical Collectible Auctions in Burlington, North Carolina. The opening bid is $125,000 and appraisers have estimated it could sell for nearly twice that.

Sparks found his bargain last March while browsing at Music City Thrift Shop in Nashville. When he asked the price on a yellowed, shellacked, rolled-up document, the clerk marked it at $2.48.

It turned out to be an "official copy" of the Declaration of Independence — one of 200 commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1820.

He didn't know he had such a valuable piece until doing some online research and then having appraisers at Raynors' offer an opinion.

Source: Fox News.

Promiscuous Young Girls and the Media's Influence

Internationally renowned author and life coach Paula White appeared on The Tyra Banks Show on Thursday and told a number of young women who are leading promiscuous lifestyles and are proud of it that promiscuity is a serious issue.

The talk show brought in a panel of five young women who drink, party and engage in sexual acts with random people and who were not afraid to talk about their exploits.

Some confessed that they could not even keep track of the names of the men they have been with. One girl said hooking up with guys gave her a sense of power. But “do men really like promiscuous girls?” talk show host Banks asked.

A second panel of five men said that a man cannot take someone leading a promiscuous lifestyle home to meet the family. They agreed that such women were not respected, only used, and that it would be difficult to trust a girl with knowledge of her promiscuous past.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

'Amazing Grace,' a film Christians should see

By James A. Smith Sr.
Baptist Press


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)--It's not very often that Hollywood positively portrays evangelical Christians, but such is the case in "Amazing Grace," a major motion picture about William Wilberforce's extraordinary leadership in the abolition of slavery. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the slave trade's demise in Great Britain, "Amazing Grace" opens in theaters this weekend nationwide.

Although the film is at times a bit vague about the extent and details of Wilberforce's Christian faith, "Amazing Grace" is a movie every Christian should see -- both because of its inspiring portrayal of the crusade to end the great moral evil of its day, and because of the relevance Wilberforce's campaign for societal change teaches us about the great moral struggles of our day.

Read more of this editorial on Baptist Press.

Southern Baptist missionary wounded in Tanzania

MOSHI, Tanzania (BP)--Southern Baptist missionary Kay Garvin, 56, was shot in the chest by robbers Feb. 23 near Moshi, Tanzania. After being taken to a local clinic to be treated, she was being airlifted to a hospital in Kenya late in the evening.

Her wound was not thought to be life-threatening, according to reports.

Garvin’s husband Carl, 60, also was injured in the attack, but his condition is not serious. A trained nurse, he has emergency medical training and was able to aid his wife immediately following the shooting, according to an initial report. Kay Garvin was conscious, breathing and talking after the shooting.

Read more of this story on Baptist Press.

Volume Discount

Friday, February 23, 2007

Poll: More Americans Prefer Focus on Personal Faith Over Changing Society

The results of this poll saddens me in that Christians do not see a need to share their faith. This contradicts the Bible telling us we should share the Gospel. Here are a few examples:

Matthew 28:18-20 (The Great Commission)

Matthew 5:14-16

1 Peter 3:15

2 Timothy 4:1-5

Romans 10:14-17

Highly religious Americans are almost evenly split on whether it is best to live the best possible personally religious life or it is also necessary to spread their beliefs, a recent Gallup Poll found.

Polls conducted last fall found that the largest percentage of Americans label themselves as "somewhat religious" (39 percent). Those who classify themselves as "extremely" or "very religious" constituted 37 percent of polled Americans. And 23 percent say they are "not too religious" or "not religious at all."

Among the highly religious people, 48 percent say it is sufficient to live the best possible personal life based on their religious beliefs and principles without having to spread their faith. An earlier study by the Barna Research Group had found similar figures with 46 percent of those who claim to be evangelicals being less likely to say they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs with others.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Ghana President Praises Mercy Ship as 'Vessel of God'

The president of the west African nation of Ghana praised a faith-based charity group on Thursday as a “vessel of God” for helping medically and economically thousands of Ghanaians over the course of nine months.

President John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana delivered a speech on Mercy Ship Anastasis in the Port of Tema to thank the crew of volunteers for their service to the people of Ghana.

“I am convinced you are a vessel of God,” said President Kufuor, according to Texas-based Mercy Ships, “and I’m praying that you will continue to do this work. Ghana is grateful for the work you have done.”

According to Dr. Gary Parker, Mercy Ships’ chief of medicine, the charity’s hospital ship provided thousands of free medical procedures, including: 639 general, reconstructive and gynecological surgeries; more than 19,000 eye consultations resulting in 1,364 eye surgeries; and 10,211 dental procedures for 5,435 patients over the course of nine months.
Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

BiblePro Web Version Bible Software

If you enjoy doing Bible study on your computer, there is a sight you certainly need to check out. The site is called BiblePro Web Version Bible Software and it has a lot of features for FREE! It includes multiple Bible translations, commentaries, dictionaries and more.

One-of-a-Kind Church Tailors to the Deaf

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (AP) - Brian Sims was sitting in traffic when a car with a booming stereo pulled up next to him.

Feeling vibrations from the pulsating vehicle, the Baptist pastor who ministers to the deaf got an idea: creating a one-of-a-kind church exclusively for deaf people.

Today, the Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church has more than 30 speakers beneath the floor so congregants can feel the vibration of the music.

Many churches provide sign language for deaf and partially deaf worshippers, but this church in a Nashville suburb is unique because it was built specifically with a deaf ministry in mind.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Mohler, atheist debate faith’s contribution to society

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--Though the Christian church has evidenced shortcomings in every era of its history, Christians have done much more good than harm in Western society, R. Albert Mohler Jr. said Feb. 20 in the first online panelist chat on a faith-oriented website sponsored by The Washington Post and Newsweek magazine.

“The modern concerns for human rights, the rights of women, and the protection of the vulnerable have been driven by Christian concerns and the belief that every individual, male or female, is created in God’s image,” said Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “This is a far more substantial basis for human rights than secular theory.”

Participating in the chat with Mohler was author and atheist Susan Jacoby, whose latest book is “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism.” The chat occurred in conjunction with “On Faith,” a website where 60-plus panelists -- including Mohler and Jacoby -- post responses to religious questions at least once a week. The website is hosted by Newsweek managing editor Jon Meacham and Washington Post writer Sally Quinn.

Read the entire story on Baptist Press.

'Amazing Grace' Film can Start Anti-Slavery Movement, World Vision Expert Says

World Vision's expert on human trafficking and exploitation issues says the film, Amazing Grace, has the potential to catalyse a movement to stop slavery that still exists today.

The film may have the power to encourage similar efforts today, according to Joe Mettimano, World Vision's director of public policy and a leading advocate on child exploitation issues. Mettimano notes that, first, people must become aware that the trade in human lives continues, and that ordinary citizens can work to put an end to it.

Amazing Grace traces the decades-long struggle of abolitionist William Wilberforce to end the African slave trade in the British Empire.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

Invoice Please

Calif. Supreme Court refuses to hear Mt. Soledad cross case

SAN DIEGO (BP)--In another victory for supporters of the Mt. Soledad cross war memorial in San Diego, the California Supreme Court said Feb. 21 that it will not hear an appeal on Proposition A, a ballot measure approved by voters in 2005 that transferred the land beneath the cross to the federal government.

A California appeals court had ruled unanimously in November that the measure was legal, after a Superior Court judge had ruled in October 2005 that the measure was unconstitutional because it violated the ban on government preference or aid to religion.

Lawyers for Philip Paulson -- the atheist who sued 17 years ago to have the cross removed -- asked the state Supreme Court to review the appeals court ruling, but the justices refused.

Read more of this story on the Baptist Press.

Hollywood Prayer Event

Christian Today --An international prayer event will take place in Hollywood for Christians involved in the entertainment industry.

Led by London members of Artisan Initiatives and a team from the Hollywood Prayer Network, the event will encourage people to pray for the industry, all the Oscar nominees and for Hollywood itself.

The prayer event will be held during the Oscars weekend Saturday 24 February at the Hollywood Presbyterian Church from 6pm-9pm (PST).

Recently, Hollywood star Jennifer Hudson raised the bar of Christianity in Hollywood as she celebrated her success in the week leading up to the Academy Awards at her family’s church.

The Oscar-nominated Dreamgirls’ actress said: “I’m not having no club party; I better have a praise party.”

Hudson, 25, headlined a gospel concert, “An Evening of Praise With Jennifer Hudson”, accompanied by the acclaimed Soul Children of Chicago.

Source: Christian Today.

Your Age On Other Worlds

This is a fun and educational calculator that reveals your age on other worlds.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Franklin Graham Kicks Off 2007 Festivals in Panama

Evangelist Franklin Graham kicks off an ambitious preaching schedule this year with a three-day festival in Panama today.

This is the first time Graham will be holding his world-renowned evangelistic festival in the Central American country and so far, the weather is treating the Graham team well. The days are hot and the evenings are like spring-time weather, according to Graham's spokesperson Jeremy Blume.

With the support of 747 area churches, Graham, 54, is scheduled to preach the gospel for the next three nights at Estadio Nacional de Panama (National Stadium in Panama), which seats nearly 30,000 people. He will be accompanied by musical artists Marcos Witt, Marcos Vidal and Crystal Lewis.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Outsourcing

Lawsuit: School Banned Jesus Costume, OK'd Devil

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Christian legal group has sued a school district on behalf of a 10-year-old boy who claims his rights to religion and free speech were violated when he was not allowed to wear a Jesus costume during Halloween activities.

The complaint, filed in federal court Tuesday by the Alliance Defense Fund, says officials at Willow Hill Elementary School in suburban Glenside told the boy Oct. 31 that he could not wear his faux crown of thorns or tell others he was dressed as Jesus.

The principal, Patricia Whitmire, told the boy's mother that the costume violated a policy prohibiting the promotion of religion, according to the lawsuit. Whitmire suggested that the fourth-grader, whose costume included a robe, identify himself as a Roman emperor, the suit states.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Common Cents

Take a look, and see if you can choose the right penny. No cheating, don't look at a real penny first, just check out "Common Cents".

I admit it, I got it wrong. Which did you choose?

Rick Warren's Controversial North Korea Trip Postponed

Megapastor Rick Warren's controversial trip to North Korea next month has been postponed.

Originally scheduled for March when Warren was expected to preach to some 15,000 people at the first ever outdoor Christian event in the country, the evangelical pastor plans to pursue a later date possibly in the summer when the weather is warmer, according to his public relations team, A. Larry Ross Communications.

Details have not been laid out on the reason for the delay, but the communications team says the trip to North Korea is still on.

Read the entire story on The Christian Post.

Happiness And Holiness


READ: 1 Peter 1:13-21

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. —Hebrews 12:14

Text sizeIncrease fontDecrease font

At Harvard University, you can take a course in happiness. This popular class helps students discover, as the professor states, "How to get happy."

That’s not a bad idea. In fact, the Bible even suggests on several occasions the importance of being happy or joyful. Solomon tells us that God grants happiness to us as a privilege (Eccl. 3:12; 7:14; 11:9).

Sometimes, though, we take the search for earthly happiness too far. We see it as the most important pursuit, and even believe that our happiness is God’s highest goal for us. That’s when our thinking gets confused.

God’s Word tells us that true happiness comes by keeping God’s law (Ps. 1:1-2; Prov. 16:20; 29:18). God demands holiness and has called us to live a holy life—one that exemplifies His moral character (1 Thess. 4:7; 2 Peter 3:11). In Peter’s first letter we read, "As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’" (1 Peter 1:15-16).

When we face decisions about the way we should act or how we should live, we must keep in mind that God’s command is not "Be happy," but "Be holy." True joy will come from a holy, God-honoring life. Dave Branon

In all I think and say and do,
I long, O God, to honor You;
But may my highest motive be
To love the Christ who died for me. —D. De Haan

There is no true happiness apart from holiness and no holiness apart from Christ.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Christian Life > Emotions > Happiness/Joy
Christian Life > Character > Christlikeness

Cell Phone Vs. Bible

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phones?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it as we traveled?

What if we used it in case of an emergency?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we never have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill!

And no dropped calls!

Makes you stop and think "where are my priorities?"

Supreme Court Won't Review Public School Nativity Policy

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided not to review a New York City policy that bans public school displays of nativity scenes but allows Santa Claus, reindeers, Christmas trees and symbols of Jewish and Islamic holidays.

Read the entire story on The Christian Post.

GOD TV to Air Evangelistic Crusade Live from West Africa

Christian Today -- Christ for All Nations evangelist Reinhard Bonke’s latest mass crusade will be screened live from West Africa this month by GOD TV.

This is the first time that an evangelistic broadcast of this magnitude has been attempted, which involves beaming a signal from Oshogbo, Nigeria, to GOD TV’s broadcast HQ in Jerusalem, Israel and from there onto 15 satellites to reach the world.

The broadcasts can be watched daily on SKY channel 760 or via webstreaming at www.god.tv from Thursday 22 February to Sunday 25 February at 7pm. They will also be available on GOD TV’s other six regional channels worldwide.

The GOD Channel, flagship channel of global Christian broadcaster GOD TV, is available on 15 different satellites in more than 200 nations and territories, reaching a potential viewing audience of 387 million people.

Founded in the United Kingdom in 1995 by Rory and Wendy Alec, it was originally known as The Christian Channel Europe and his sister channel, GOD 2 was renamed GOD UK in late 2006. In the UK, GOD TV is operated via 'The Angel Foundation', a charity primarily focused on Christian broadcasting but with other charitable outreaches in Africa and Asia.

Source: Christian Today.

Asset Transfer

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

'Dreamgirl' Celebrates Success at Church

CHICAGO (AP) - For Oscar nominee Jennifer Hudson, there was no question where she'd celebrate her success in the week leading up to the Academy Awards - at her family's church.

"I don't do clubs. I don't drink. I don't smoke," Hudson told a boisterous crowd at Progressive Baptist Church on the city's South Side on Monday night. "I'm not having no club party; I better have a praise party."

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

GMA Dove Awards Nominations Announced

Nominations were announced yesterday for the 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards by the Gospel Music Association (GMA).

While newcomers led the field alongside established artists, several producers and songwriters also earned multiple nominations.

The Dove Awards is Christian/Gospel music’s biggest night of the year, where top artists from every style of gospel music come together for a night of music and celebration as the GMA bestows the industry’s highest honour- the Dove Award.

This year’s nominations were announced at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel by Flow Records’ Juanita Bynum, Reunion Records’ Brian Littrell and comedian Thor Ramsey. Dove awards will be handed out on 25 April, 2007 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

For additional information visit the Dove Awards website and the Gospel Music Association.

Orlando Magic V.P. Urges Christians to Unleash 'The Warrior Within'

ORLANDO, Fla. – A top executive for the Orlando Magic pro-basketball team put aside his more than 40 years of professional sports experience on Monday to speak to a hungry Christian audience about the qualities that men need in their life.

Pat Williams, the senior vice president for the Orlando Magic and one of America’s top motivational, inspirational, and humorous speakers, cited the biblical life of Ashar from the book of I Chronicles to express the ideals that men should achieve to be successful. In the story, Ashar and all his descendants were described to have choice qualities that were passed down by the father.

“They had 26,000 without a dud in the bunch. And nobody knows of this guy,” explained the NBA executive at a recent session during the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) National Convention, the largest recognized event for Christian communications nationally and internationally. “My next thought was, ‘We got to get him known.’”

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

U.S. Attorney General unveils 'First Freedom Project'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales met with Southern Baptist leaders Feb. 20 to unveil a new Department of Justice initiative aimed at educating Americans about their religious liberties and to ask for the Southern Baptist Convention’s help in identifying and reporting abuses of those liberties.

Gonzales, in an address to SBC Executive Committee members during their Tuesday afternoon session, noted that he is charged by the president with “protecting and preserving not only the safety and security of all Americans, but also their rights, liberties and freedoms.”

“One of our most cherished freedoms, one we’ve sacrificed greatly to defend, is our religious liberty,” the attorney general said at the SBC Building in Nashville, Tenn. “Nothing defines us more as a nation and differentiates us more from the extremists who are our enemies than our respect for religious freedom. Our great country was founded on these principles, and many of us today believe it continues to thrive because of, not despite, them.”

Read the entire story on Baptist Press.

Anti-Conversion Bill Becomes Law in North India State

On 19 February, the governor of Himachal Pradesh state, Shri Justice Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje, gave his assent to the anti-conversion law passed by the state legislature on 29 December 2006. The bill has now passed into law.

Himachal Pradesh is a mostly mountainous state in northern India.

Minority groups had expressed grave concern that the ‘Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2006’ was passed by the secular Congress Party, after similar laws were passed and strengthened in states ruled by the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last year. CSW partner organisation, the All India Christian Council (AICC) is considering a legal challenge to the law at the Supreme Court.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) previously reported that Christians faced a fresh wave of harassment by Hindu extremist groups after the bill was passed. Further attacks have subsequently taken place.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

Video Added To YouTube

A second video has been added to the JCEA ministry YouTube channel. This news report originally aired in Jacksonville, Florida in 2006.



IRS changes require better records for cash donations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Churchgoers still in the habit of placing cash in offering plates will need to change the way they give if they plan to receive a deduction for the contribution in next year’s taxes, according to tax law changes approved by Congress last summer that are now in effect.

“To deduct any charitable donation of money, a taxpayer must have a bank record or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution,” an Internal Revenue Service news release said. “A bank record includes canceled checks, bank or credit union statements and credit card statements.”

Read more of this story on Baptist Press.

Mass Murder

New Miss America Relies on Christian Faith

Newly crowned Miss America Lauren Nelson has only worn the winning sash for two weeks and looks toward traveling some 20,000 miles a month as America's role model. And what keeps her going is her faith.

"I grew up in church," Nelson told the United Methodist Service. "I was baptized in the Methodist Church and have gone since I was a baby."

Nelson, 20, grew up in Lawton, Okla., and is a member of Centenary United Methodist Church. She has competed in pageant since she was 16, mainly aspiring to become a Broadway performer. After winning her local city pageant and the state pageant to become Miss Teen Oklahoma, Nelson generated scholarship money for college and went on to the Miss America competition.

"I watched Miss America as a little girl and never thought that I could be one of the contestants in Miss America, much less Miss America herself," she said, according to UMNS.

Nelson, who has taken one year off from school at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond to compete, has won a $50,000 scholarship and is now taking another year off, traveling 20,000 miles this month and the following months.

In the midst of the busy schedule she is anticipating, Nelson said, "sometimes I am going to doubt myself, but I have to realize that God would not have put me in this position if He did not know that I could handle it."

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Is a Film Christian if There is No Christ?

ORLANDO, Fla. – What exactly makes a Christian film?

That was one of the questions addressed during two seminars at the National Religious Broadcasters’ (NRB) National Convention, the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications.

The two seminars at this weekend’s annual event also discussed how film is involved in Christianity and how films are supposed to impact society.

The speakers at each of the sessions had fairly opposite takes on what needs to be in a Christian film and whether a film is Christian if it does not talk specifically about Christ.

“I became a Christian, because I heard about Jesus Christ,” explained Dave Christiano, producer of the first ever primetime Christian drama series. “It’s not a Christian film if you don’t have Christ.”

The point of the first seminar speakers - which included Christian filmmakers and twin brothers Dave and Rich Christiano and Facing the Giants director Alex Kendrick - is that movie makers are creating media that is taking out Jesus Christ and replacing him for good morals. It is not good morals that save people, however, but Jesus’ name.

Read the entire story on The Christian Post.

Youth Service In Lake Butler Tonight

I will be speaking during the youth service of First Baptist Church of Lake Butler tonight at 6:30pm. The service is held at the Fire Escape located at 102 SW 11th Street in Lake Butler, Florida. For more info call the church office at (386) 496-3704.

The Blame Game


READ: Genesis 3:1-13

The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” —Genesis 3:12

A city employee in Lodi, California, is suing the city for damages after he backed a dump truck into his own parked car. The 51-year-old man argues that because the "city’s vehicle damaged my private vehicle," the city owes him $3,600. As ridiculous as this sounds, blaming others has been a basic human trait since the beginning.

When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, their eyes were opened and they lost their innocence. God asked the man a simple, yet penetrating question: "Where are you?" (Gen. 3:9). In the past, Adam had intimate fellowship with God, but now he responded in fear and hid himself.

God’s follow-up question was more convicting than the first: "Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" (v.11). Then the blame game started: "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate" (v.12). The man blamed God and the woman for his sin. The woman blamed the serpent rather than herself. Ever since that day in the Garden of Eden, we tend to blame others rather than ourselves for our sinful choices.

When we sin, we should take responsibility. Let’s pray like David: "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden" (Ps. 32:5). Marvin Williams

Lord, help me not excuse my sin
And blame another person;
For if I don’t admit my wrong,
My sin will only worsen. —Sper

The first step in repenting from sin is to admit that you are to blame.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Basics Of Faith > Sin > Repentance

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Record Numbers Flock to World's Largest Christian Communications Conference

ORLANDO, Fla. – Thousands of Christians are attending the world’s largest Christian communications event where top faith media professionals and Christian leaders have convened to strategize on how to harness the power of media to spread the Gospel.

A wide range of participants – from A-list Hollywood producers to award-winning talk show hosts to small-town pastors – are in attendance at the 2007 National Religious Broadcasters’ (NRB) Convention & Exposition. The exhibition, one of the highlights of the Feb. 17-20 convention, opened on Sunday.

According to the NRB vice president of conventions, David Keith, a record growth in attendance was seen this year.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Split Time

What single event in human history had the power to Spit Time?