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The new 'HTC One A9' – A 'handsome' smartphone to be unveiled on Sept. 6.

Christian Post - Living - 9 hours 23 min ago
Reports began to surface last week about a new smartphone from the Taiwanese company, HTC. Rumoured to be named the "HTC One A9", the Taiwan-based tech company put up a teaser on its Twitter account, cryptically announcing that it is going to unveil a "handsome" smartphone on September 6.
Categories: Christian Post

Pastor With 9,000-Member Congregation Says Churches Should Stop Focusing on Numbers

Christian Post - Pastors - 10 hours 4 min ago
J.D. Greear, lead pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, has been noted for taking a 300-member church and growing the congregation to more than 9,000, making it one of the 100 fastest-growing churches in the U.S. So perhaps Greear can afford to say that pastors should stop their obsession with "gathering and counting" and instead get excited about the possible impact of "raising up and sending out" their members.
Categories: Christian Post

Pastor With 9,000-Member Congregation Says Churches Should Stop Focusing on Numbers

Christian Post - Evangelism - 10 hours 4 min ago
J.D. Greear, lead pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, has been noted for taking a 300-member church and growing the congregation to more than 9,000, making it one of the 100 fastest-growing churches in the U.S. So perhaps Greear can afford to say that pastors should stop their obsession with "gathering and counting" and instead get excited about the possible impact of "raising up and sending out" their members.
Categories: Christian Post

Pastor With 9,000-Member Congregation Says Churches Should Stop Focusing on Numbers

Christian Post - Church Growth - 10 hours 4 min ago
J.D. Greear, lead pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, has been noted for taking a 300-member church and growing the congregation to more than 9,000, making it one of the 100 fastest-growing churches in the U.S. So perhaps Greear can afford to say that pastors should stop their obsession with "gathering and counting" and instead get excited about the possible impact of "raising up and sending out" their members.
Categories: Christian Post

Pastor With 9,000-Member Congregation Says Churches Should Stop Focusing on Numbers

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - 10 hours 4 min ago
J.D. Greear, lead pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, has been noted for taking a 300-member church and growing the congregation to more than 9,000, making it one of the 100 fastest-growing churches in the U.S. So perhaps Greear can afford to say that pastors should stop their obsession with "gathering and counting" and instead get excited about the possible impact of "raising up and sending out" their members.
Categories: Christian Post

Malaysia Flight 370

WGRC News - 10 hours 16 min ago

French investigators have formally identified a washed-up piece of airplane debris found in July on a remote island in the Indian Ocean as part of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 that disappeared more than a year ago with 239 people aboard. Malaysian authorities had already declared that the wing fragment was from the missing jet, but until now French investigators couldn’t say with certitude that it was the case.The flight disappeared March 8, 2014.

Categories: Local News

Jail time for rock throwing teens

WGRC News - 10 hours 19 min ago

Jail sentences were handed down for three of four young men who threw large rocks onto Interstate 80 back in July of 2014, one of them striking a car and seriously injuring an Ohio woman. Sentencing was held in Union County Court yesterday. Dylan Lahr will get at least 4 ½ years in prison, Tyler Porter at least 1 year and 10 months and Keefer McGee at least 11 ½ months. Their victim, Sharon Budd who has made a miraculous recovery was in court yesterday and all three apologized to the woman following their sentencing. All three have much longer maximum sentences and will be on probation for many years.

Categories: Local News

Deflategate

WGRC News - 10 hours 19 min ago

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady can suit up for his team’s season opener after a judge erased his four-game suspension for “Deflategate.” The surprise ruling came today after more than one month of failed settlement talks between the NFL and its players’ union. The Judge said, the NFL didn’t give Brady proper notice that he might be suspended and also didn’t provide him with a chance to investigate thoroughly the league’s accusations that he probably knew footballs had been inflated below league-mandated levels. The NFL can appeal the ruling to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Categories: Local News

Russell Moore Speaks Out on Ashley Madison, Says Christians Who Imbibe in Sexual Sin 'Are Never Anonymous to God'

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - 10 hours 59 min ago
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, says the anonymity Ashley Madison claimed to provide its clients allowed Christian "cultural warriors" to speak out against an immoral secular culture while many secretly imbibed in it.
Categories: Christian Post

Oklahoma Attorney General Battles Atheists to Keep Ten Commandments on Capitol Grounds

Christian Post - Bible - 12 hours 20 min ago
Oklahoma's attorney general has decided to continue the effort to keep a Ten Commandments display on state capitol grounds. In a brief filed Thursday, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt argued that a recent state Supreme Court decision against the display creates a climate of anti-religious hostility.
Categories: Christian Post

Hindu Extremists Threaten to 'Cut Christians Into Pieces' If They Continue to Worship Christ

Christian Post - Pastors - 13 hours 47 min ago
Hindu radicals in India have intensified their threats, forced conversions and persecution of Christians, saying they would cut them "into pieces" if they continue to worship Christ. Such threats have already forced at least 10 Christian families in a northwest province to flee from their homes and villages.
Categories: Christian Post

Persecution and you: making the connection

Mission Network News - 18 hours 41 min ago

(Photo courtesy Open Doors)

Middle East (MNN) -- It’s been noted multiple times by multiple sources: the persecution of Christians is rising. Just last week, Pope Francis called attention to persecution while speaking to crowds in Rome. “There are more martyrs [now] than in the first centuries,” he said, referring to the Age of Martyrs: during the Church’s first 300 years of existence, Jewish leaders and Roman emperors called for widespread slaughter of Christ-followers. Of all religious groups, Christians do face the most persecution, acknowledges Jonathan Fox in a recent blog for the U.S. Council on Foreign Affairs. Fox heads up the Religion and State Project, which has studied worldwide religious freedom since 1990. Furthermore, “Of the 30 specific types of limitations tracked by the Religion and State Project,” Fox writes, “28 are now more common than in 1990.”

(Pinterest via Lucy DeRossette)

Referencing a July debate in the UK about religious freedom, The Guardian quotes former chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks: “”Religious freedom is about our common humanity, and we must fight for it if we are not to lose it. “This, I believe, is the issue of our time.” Does this widely-available knowledge about increasing persecution require action? If so, from whom? “If we are being shaped to be more conformed to the image of Christ, number one: we care for our brothers and sisters in the Lord--whether they’re sitting in the pews next to us on a Sunday service, or they’re on the other side of the planet,” declares Bruce Allen of Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI). “We are one body.” What can we do about persecution?

(Photo courtesy Gospel for Asia)

Firstly, and most importantly, pray.
  • Ask the Lord to strengthen and encourage His followers who are facing persecution.
  • Pray that the global Body of Christ will mobilize to help their brothers and sisters in need.
  • Pray for wisdom for FMI leaders as they assess needs and allocate resources to the pastors and church leaders they help.
Ministries like Open Doors USA, Voice of the Martyrs USA, and VOM Canada focus exclusively on tangibly helping the world’s Persecuted Church. But that doesn’t mean smaller ministries like FMI are excluded from the ramifications of persecution. Right now, thousands of ISIS-supporters are rallying in one of Pakistan’s provinces, ready to wage jihad for the caliphate. Though the ISIS threat is growing, it’s not detracting indigenous pastors from their mission. “Our leaders’ focus--while they have to be watching what’s happening in the world around them--is to say, ‘How can we be light in such a dark place?’” shares Allen. FMI supports indigenous pastors and church planters through thick and thin. That means FMI is standing united with believers when they face persecution in Muslim-majority communities.

(Photo credit FMI)

“How does an injured body take care of itself?” Allen asks. “If a human body has an injured knee, the healthy hand that is on that body still takes care of that knee. “That’s what we do in the Body of Christ: we come alongside of our brothers and sisters in other places and care for them in physical, spiritual, emotional ways.” For example, in Pakistan, FMI operates a safe house ministry that shelters persecuted believers. “What we try to do is provide a good environment for [the] new believer to be nurtured and discipled,” said Allen when describing the safe house ministry in July. “Just because a government or society is closed to the Gospel, we should never believe the people are closed." Visit FMI’s Web site to find out how your partnership can help Kingdom workers in Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.
Categories: Mission Network News

Violence in Nigeria deprives children of school

Mission Network News - 18 hours 41 min ago
Nigeria (CAM) -- Many school children in Nigeria are returning to school next week, but not the hundreds of thousands of children displaced by terrorist violence in Nigeria. A native ministry is taking a step in faith to find education at least for some. Islamic extremist rebel group Boko Haram stepped up attacks on civilians after Muhammadu Buhari took office as president of Nigeria on May 29, casting a shadow over the government's recovery of territory earlier this year and adding to the more than 1.5 million internally displaced people (IDPs). About half of Nigeria's displaced people are children, and an indigenous ministry is focusing on their needs. "School children have been out of school now for many months or even years," said the director of the ministry based in the capital, Abuja. "Can we allow these children in the IDP camps to be without schools, when we Christians have the opportunity to show the love of Christ and empower them by giving them schooling?"

(Photo courtesy Christian Aid Mission)

The government has invited the ministry to help the displaced. The ministry, unnamed for security reasons, plans to send up to 200 children to rural schools in safe areas of Adamawa and Niger states. A sense of urgency permeated the request of the ministry director as he said just $5,000 would be enough to get started with the task of enabling children to go to school. "If we have resources, we could pick up 200 at once; but where will 200 children stay after schools close?" the director asked. "We are trusting God for their uniforms, bedding, bathing materials, feeding, and other items as the next week approaches. We ask for your prayers for these children." The ministry ultimately will need $7,900 (1.6 million Naira) to resettle the children and $14,900 (3 million Naira) to build and equip lodging for them, said the ministry director, adding that total costs for providing education to the children will come to more than $25,000. "We want to start developing a hostel for them," he said. "This is more or less a kind of orphanage, as we will care for them as a complete child until they have grown to be on their own." Frustrated that more churches in Nigeria are not doing more to help the displaced, the director said the time to rebuild what has been destroyed is now. Families have lost relatives and all they ever owned, widows abound in the thousands, and daily Christian workers see a seemingly unending number of orphans. "We all must help get them on track again," the director said. "As long as these ones are not within reach of both their needs and the gospel, we owe them a great duty. We need urgent help: we need clothing, food, and mattresses. We are also doing this by faith. We only trust that God's people will provide when they see His hands on this." The government has invited the ministry to be part of a trauma healing program and to help develop "post-IDP communities," where people will be equipped to get jobs and become self-sustaining contributors to society again.

Photo Courtesy Christian Aid Mission

Most of the displaced people are in the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC). Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency has also registered people who have fled violence in Plateau, Nasarawa, Kano, and Kaduna states, as well as Abuja (Federal Capital Territory). Of all IDPs, 94% fled because of Boko Haram attacks, rather than "inter-communal clashes" and natural disasters like flooding. While most were displaced in 2014, up to a third fled violence in the first four months of 2015 alone, according to IDMC. The ministry that Christian Aid Mission has assisted for 28 years has long worked in the predominantly-Muslim, northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, which have been under a state of emergency since May 2013. No more than 10% of those who are internally displaced in Nigeria end up in IDP camps, with most crowding in with family and friends, according to UNICEF, and the ministry continues to work also among such villagers. Boko Haram has carried out most of its attacks in the northeastern areas in its drive to impose sharia (Islamic law) on the country. Though it has been designated as a terrorist group by the United States and has allied with the Islamic State (ISIS), many of the ministry's evangelistic workers in the northeast refuse to leave in spite of the dangers. They are committed to serving the villagers they are discipling, the ministry director said. "Our missionaries are ready," he said. "Although there are still thousands of IDPs all over the northeastern states, we are trusting that despite bombings, the issue of Boko Haram will soon end in some areas, as the military has overcome their capturing of cities." In the IDP camps, indigenous workers who know the language and culture of the displaced are bringing relief items as well as Bibles and the message of Christ's salvation. The ministry seeks to build a temporary camp in which to station its missionaries, and it seeks $10,000 to transport displaced people and relief items such as clothes, soap, and medicines to those who have left their homes behind. "We will plant churches out of these deadly acts of Boko Haram," the director said. "You can pray for the following as we move in a more serious manner now that the government has invited us to help: that God should give us favor in the heart of Muslim victims who will hear the gospel; funding for targeting Muslims and non-believers in camps and for the missionaries there; money to build a temporary camp; and for thousands of children that need adoption and support. We intend to take as many as God will provide into our schools in other communities." (Story courtesy Christian Aid Mission. Click here for the original article.)
Categories: Mission Network News

Preparing kids to go back to school

Mission Network News - 18 hours 42 min ago

(Logo courtesy of Keys for Kids)

USA (MNN) -- As children in the U.S. begin another school year, parents focus heavily on their child’s scholastic achievement. But what about spiritual strength? “Are Christian families really thinking about their spiritual health?” Keys for Kids Ministries Executive Director Greg Yoder asks. “When you think about it, they’re sending their [kids]--if they go to a public school--to a place where it collides with a Christian worldview. So my question is: ‘What are families doing for that?’” For families asking themselves that question, Keys for Kids has an answer. Through online and print devotionals, Keys for Kids is telling children about the Gospel and encouraging them to make right choices as they go back to school. “We really have a devotional that reaches kids, especially between the ages of 6 and 12 years old, that tells a story but then has a biblical truth and ‘How about you?’ kind of a section to really help kids as they deal with everyday issues,” Yoder says. “It’s also available in an app that you can download for free right on our Web site…and you can actually listen to it, too.” Getting across a spiritual message to children can be difficult, but these devotionals can have a powerful impact. Children may not always see the value in doing the right thing or understand the consequences of wrong choices, but Yoder says hearing a message of truth through an understandable story can encourage a child to do what’s right.

(Photo courtesy of Keys for Kids Ministries)

“We just recently got an e-mail from someone who said that they had read a story, and it was talking about a spiritual truth that they were dealing with in real life. They were actually able to live out what they had learned in their devotional. “Those kinds of stories...may not necessarily mean much to them until they’re placed in a very similar situation, where they either have to tell the truth or tell a lie. 'What are you going to do?' Well, if it’s stories reminding you about what God teaches about telling the truth, about having integrity, it’s something you’ll never forget.” Keys for Kids is a powerful influence for biblical truth, and YOU can help them continue making a difference. For $40 a month, you can share a kid-friendly biblical message with 40 children!  Says Yoder: “We’re dependent on donations from moms and dads and grandparents that really believe that this next generation is just a generation away from losing its Christian heritage.”
Categories: Mission Network News

SAT-7 program handles a skeptic

Mission Network News - 18 hours 42 min ago
Middle East (MNN/SAT-7) -- If you’ve ever talked about Christ and run into skepticism, it can be challenging. Fayez, the host of SAT-7’s program “We Will Sing,” recently demonstrated how a "soft answer turns away wrath." SAT-7 is a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa. During one TV show, a caller said he believed in God and in Jesus but expressed doubt over Christ’s resurrection. Instead of a confrontational response, the host continued the conversation with him.

(Photo courtesy SAT-7)

As the discussion continued, the caller revealed that he had read the Bible and believed that Jesus was God. He shared a favorite passage and told Fayez that he loved the songs on the program. The caller ended up requesting one of the songs containing the lyrics, “I choose You to be first, because You are the Life and the Truth.” Finally, he asked for prayer for his career. Fayez prayed for the caller, his work, and his family. The next Tuesday, a praise band called The Good News Team dedicated a song to the man. Hopefully SAT-7's display of love and kindness will help turn this man’s doubts into a lifestyle of following Jesus just as it did for Nathanael, Peter, and Thomas in the New Testament. Your support makes these divine appointments possible over the air. Just click here to donate to SAT-7’s ministry. Please pray for the viewers who are experiencing doubts. Pray also that God will use SAT-7 to demonstrate truth and grace.  
Categories: Mission Network News

Storytelling and Bible engagement

Mission Network News - 18 hours 42 min ago

(Photo courtesy Every Child Ministries)

Ghana (MNN) -- Storytelling is one of the world’s oldest art forms. A storyteller conveys the important concepts in words and sound, often by engaging the participant. That’s a really dry way to say "a storyteller shares an idea that sticks" by using music or getting people to jump in on the telling. Lorella Rouster with Every Child Ministries just wrapped up a training seminar with the Ghana staff using this method. The idea, she said, was that “by involving the students in active methods, we find that they listen better to the Bible story, and they also remember longer.” The theory is that music connects to multiple parts of the brain and accesses deeper pathways between neurons. That means a certain set of words or notes set to a recognized pattern (rhythm) connects quickly to stored knowledge (memory). Simply put: the rhythm of music and poetry increases recall, which makes it a great tool for learning Scripture and Bible stories. When the kids engaged, they owned the information they were learning. The other benefit, added Rouster, is that they’ll never run out of material. "We’re teaching a method by which the teachers can teach directly from the Bible itself in an interesting way, even though lessons might not be available to them." Sometimes, you just can’t be shy when you’re teaching a Bible story. Rouster explains, “A lot of them involve different forms of acting, and also, involving a lot of rhythm, both singing-type rhythm and speaking-type rhythm.”

(Screen capture courtesy Every Child Ministries)

The teachers and staff loved the new methods and put them to use immediately. The group surprised Rouster with a song they came up with for Romans 10:13 -- "For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." She says, "Those songs have been going through my mind ever since they created them. I’ll wake up thinking about those songs and having it go through my mind, so I think they were very successful."

(Photo courtesy Every Child Ministries)

Mission accomplished. It’s bittersweet. Rouster knows it’s time to hand off the baton of leadership. She asks prayer for the transition. But also, ”I think our main this prayer for our teachers that they will continue to be very actively involved in teaching children and that these new methods will help them reach out in new ways.”
Categories: Mission Network News

Willow Creek Church Says No Rules Were Broken in Hiring Tullian Tchividjian

Christian Post - Pastors - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 2:57pm
Responding to public criticism concerning his hiring of Billy Graham's grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor of Willow Creek Church in Winter Springs, Florida, Kevin Labby, said Wednesday that no church rules were broken in hiring Tchividjian who was deposed by the Presbyterian Church last month.
Categories: Christian Post

Willow Creek Church Says No Rules Were Broken in Hiring Tullian Tchividjian

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 2:57pm
Responding to public criticism concerning his hiring of Billy Graham's grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor of Willow Creek Church in Winter Springs, Florida, Kevin Labby, said Wednesday that no church rules were broken in hiring Tchividjian who was deposed by the Presbyterian Church last month.
Categories: Christian Post

Oklahoma Wesleyan University Now 2nd Christian College to Leave CCCU Over Hiring of Gay Professors

Christian Post - Bible - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 2:28pm
Oklahoma Wesleyan University announced this week that the institution is dropping out of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities because of the council's inaction against two member schools that announced earlier this summer that they'll hire professors who are married to a same-sex partner.
Categories: Christian Post

Jailed for Jesus: Kentucky Clerk Sent to the Slammer for Refusing to Issue Marriage Licenses to Gay Couples

Christian Post - Bible - Thu, 09/03/2015 - 1:52pm
A county clerk in Kentucky has been found guilty of contempt and sent to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples due to her own religious objections.
Categories: Christian Post