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Bishop T.D. Jakes Aims to Help Others Find Their Purpose in Life by Revealing His Life Experiences in New Book, 'Destiny'

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 7:47am
Bishop T.D. Jakes, the head of The Potter's House megachurch in Dallas, will release a new book titled Destiny next month in which he shares his personal experiences in an effort to help others to find their purpose in life.
Categories: Christian Post

A Part of Everything

Christian Post - Living - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 7:46am
When Jesus laid out for His disciples what it really meant to follow Him, many of His so-called disciples left. Then Jesus turned to Peter and the others and said, "Are you also going to leave?" (John 6:67).
Categories: Christian Post

​'In Vain They Worship Me'-How Can We Avoid Vain Worship?

Christian Post - Pastors - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 7:05am
Sadly, many confuse false worship with genuine worship. According to numerous theological resources, false worship is when an entity, person, or object is worshiped instead of God—our passion for "something" outweighs our passion for Him; it draws us away.
Categories: Christian Post

Ken Ham Says America's 20-Somethings Are Leading Country Into Downward Spiral, Blames Belief in Evolution

Christian Post - Bible - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 7:00am
Answers in Genesis CEO and President Ken Ham has said America is heading into a downward spiral, after taking a look at recent surveys pointing out the beliefs of the 20-somethings age group. The creationist blamed the belief in evolution for undermining the Bible.
Categories: Christian Post

UN cuts to IDP food rations arriving soon

Mission Network News - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Partners Relief and Development)

Myanmar (MNN) -- Southeast Asia is battling an ISIS insurgency. In Myanmar, militants are reportedly wooing Muslim ethnic minorities like the Rohingya. “They’re reaching out to families, not just fighters, and they’re offering them a new narrative on what’s happening in the world," Steve Gumaer of Partners Relief and Development told MNN last month. In a few days, the Islamic State's siren song might sound even better to displaced and at-risk families. According to The Diplomat, UN cuts to its food assistance program in Myanmar are expected to begin in August. Rice will be cut by 10%, while other basic food items such as flour and oil will be reduced by 20%. These reductions are part of wider UN cuts to food aid programs worldwide. In the first half of 2015, less than a quarter of their global projects have been funded, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator reports. It's the lowest mid-year percentage in the UN's 70-year history. "Reduction of food rations will take place for all IDPs [internally displaced persons] in Kachin, northern Shan, and Rakhine states," an e-mail from the UN's World Food Program (WFP) to The Diplomat reads in part. Thankfully, Partners has been operating Emergency Relief programs in these same areas for the past few years. So far, they've been able to distribute nearly 50,000 emergency relief supplies to people in need.

Partners gave these Rohingya refugees their only shelter from the elements: green tarpaulins.
(Photo credit Partners)

Their help includes immediate essentials like rice, vegetables, clothing, and shelter, but Partners is also investing in long-term solutions. Because the crises are ongoing, ministry workers are helping IDPs start small but sustainable farming projects. Learn more about their work here. As they journey with Myanmar's vulnerable IDPs, Partners workers are sharing the hope and love of Christ in word AND deed. "We’re inspired by our faith to do more than just talk about God’s love. We demonstrate it through practical response: caring for the whole person by working to improve their spiritual, physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being," a portion of Partners' Web site reads. The UN may be turning its back on Myanmar's vulnerable populations, but Partners is committed to walking with them daily. They'll need your help, though, as the needs of IDPs build. Click here to learn how you can get involved and help Partners make an eternal difference in the lives of Myanmar's forgotten people.
Categories: Mission Network News

ISIS is losing members

Mission Network News - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 5:00am
Middle East (MNN) -- While ISIS continues to recruit new members around the world, some members are actually leaving the group. Perhaps the Islamic State is not all it's cracked up to be? Tom Doyle, Vice President and Middle East expert with E3 Partners, just returned from the Middle East. He tells MNN what he's been hearing about ISIS member trickling out the back door. "There are some who are displeased. For them, it's about identity. They got involved, it's not exactly what they thought it would be. We have leaders who are talking to former ISIS people who have left. They are very careful about their background. But, they're searching for meaning." The news this week seems to support this. According to reports, "Jihadi John" has left the terrorist group. He's the English-speaking member seen in photos and videos of torture and beheadings. It's not clear if he left because he's fearful of attacks from the West, or if he has given up terrorism. Doyle says ISIS has actually been good for outreach to the Muslim world. "We are seeing that it is also repelling people from the religion of Islam because the majority of the Muslims in that region didn't really grow up with this aggressive kind of Islam. Many people are giving some serious push-back."

Tom Doyle is E3 Partner's Vice President and Middle East expert.

Doyle also says some have left ISIS because of bombings: "[In] some areas they've hit some leaders. and I think it's brought some discouragement to ISIS. [Some have left]...and as far as we know, Jihad John has left." The number of women traveling to the region to find husbands is also declining. "They get there and find out they're a sex slave, or they end up dead. Some of them are leaving. They're seeing what it really is. It's about hatred, control, and domination. It's really controlled by Satan himself." Today there are millions of people from Muslim backgrounds who are displaced and have become refugees. E3 Partners is partnering with churches to provide help and hope. "People are damaged emotionally," says Doyle. "The church is there to rescue people because of the compassion that Jesus has for them. The church is there for them." One man told Doyle, "The only people that treat us nice are the Christians. People in my own religion don't treat us nice." Doyle adds, "We know...that if we love them and we reach out in Jesus' name with no strings attached, they're open to the Gospel." Follow E3's prayer requests on Facebook, or donate here to support E3's work in the Middle East.
Categories: Mission Network News

Orphan Outreach hires new executive director

Mission Network News - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 5:00am

New Orphan Outreach executive director Rey Diaz and his family
(Photo courtesy of Orphan Outreach)

USA (MNN) -- [EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an article posted directly from Orphan Outreach. Click here to learn more about this organization's work.] The first thing you notice about Rey Diaz is his ever-present smile. No matter where the journey takes him, from impoverished communities in Kenya where family preservation and education is the priority, to orphanages in Central America where Orphan Outreach ministry teams are ensuring vulnerable children are given hope through safe, secure, Christ-centered care, Rey's smile offers comfort and encouragement to everyone he meets. And when you sit down to talk, it’s clear why the smile exists. For seventeen years, Rey has been working to meet the holistic needs of children trapped in poverty. He’s seen what happens when the Church is mobilized to respond to the needs of orphans around the world. And as the new Executive Director of Orphan Outreach, Rey brings both expertise and passion to the leadership of church partnerships and program development. “Rey is going to be a great addition to our team. Orphan Outreach has continued to grow during our eight years of ministry, and Rey will assist me with the increased administration demands of the ministry," says Michael Douris, President of Orphan Outreach. "He will also be a great asset to assist in working with our church partners coming from the pastorate of a great church in Seattle.” Rey recounts his first conversations with Orphan Outreach President Mike Douris. “Every once in a while you connect with like-minded people whose hearts burn for the same passions, who step into ministry with the same strategy, and those moments burn bright.” From ministry programs to countries served, he felt God was hand-crafting a place for his family to fully invest their time and resources. "As my wife and I have looked back over the course of our lives, it has become increasingly clear that God has been preparing us for this great work at Orphan Outreach. God has been orchestrating for such a time as this." Rey studied at Fuller Theological Seminary, earning his Doctorate in Intercultural Studies with a focus on Missiology and Children at Risk. He then moved to Honduras where he worked with nationals on a project to serve the needs of children from a local garbage dump. Rey then returned to the United States to serve as the Lead Pastor of Washington Cathedral in Redmond, Washington, where he encouraged his congregation to serve both domestically and internationally. Rey enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. The smile appears again when he talks about his hobbies. “I love to read, and I love playing sports--when I’m not injured from playing sports.” As he begins his journey with Orphan Outreach, Rey gives thanks for what he knows is an answer to his heart’s prayer: “To be joining a team of passionate followers of Jesus, dedicated to serving the least of these is a dream come true."
Categories: Mission Network News

Academy in Swaziland raises spiritual leaders

Mission Network News - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy of Children's HopeChest)

Swaziland (MNN) -- Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. Children’s HopeChest is one organization that understands the truth of that concept. Through the Swaziland Leadership Academy, which provides educational training and spiritual discipleship, young people are being equipped to effectively lead their fellow citizens. “The Swaziland Leadership Academy was designed as a 3-year program to provide hands-on leadership training and in-depth, intensive spiritual leadership development,” says Laura Fisher with Children’s HopeChest. “It’s one year essentially of training and intensive development, and then it’s two years of service back at the individual’s CarePoints where they grew up. “It’s made such an incredible difference. Greater stability is there. There’s a vision for the future, and there truly is hope for sufficiency and dignity as God intended.” The Leadership Academy, now in its fourth year of classes, was started because of what its CarePoints couldn’t provide. Children receive an education at the CarePoints, but it’s not enough to make them fully independent. “Scott Borg, who works with our partner in Swaziland, which is Adventures in Missions, really conceived the idea,” says Fisher. “And then it’s been fully led by Swazi leaders now that have been trained and are on board and are running the program on the ground. “The Swazi Leadership Academy has been so successful. We really believe we have an opportunity there to transform the entire nation in a grassroots movement sort of way, equipping young people to truly be leaders and to step up and take responsibility and have that vision for futures of not just themselves, but their community and nation as a whole.” Children’s HopeChest has a new, similar program in Uganda. It’s not identical to the one in Swaziland--each program must be tailor-fit to the country’s cultural needs, but it possesses the same goal.

(Photo courtesy of Children's HopeChest)

“In Uganda, we piloted a program last year,” Fisher says. “We were looking at training young people in a variety of ways through vocational training, through formal leadership training, and then even training adult community leaders and helping them to have the skills and tools they need to have a sustainable, self-sufficient community as a whole.” In poverty-stricken countries such as Swaziland and Uganda, it may seem difficult to spark any kind of hope, let alone inspire serving others. But that’s not what Children’s HopeChest is seeing. There’s a young man by the name of Thokozani, and some time ago he was an orphan growing up in the region of Mkhombokati,” Fisher says. “But he had felt the call to serve, and he really had begun to believe that God had put something in him [and] that he will rise up in leadership of his own people. “And now, today, he not only has successfully graduated through the leadership academy, he’s serving in a sports ministry. They are bringing in just incredible stories of transformation and bringing people to Christ.” Children's HopeChest has the resources for raising new disciples, but it can't do it alone. Can you help them equip future leaders in Swaziland? Click here to give financially.
Categories: Mission Network News

ISIS combat strategy in development

Mission Network News - Tue, 07/28/2015 - 5:00am

ISIS insurgents
(Wikipedia)

Indonesia (MNN) -- Members may be leaving, but it's not stopping ISIS from expanding. Since February, ISIS or its affiliates have been revealed in a total of 16 countries spanning the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, leaders on multiple levels are meeting to discuss an ISIS combat strategy. UK Prime Minister David Cameron is meeting with leaders on the national level, and Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI) is strategizing with ministry leaders. "ISIS does have a footprint in Indonesia," says FMI's Bruce Allen. "When a group like ISIS comes in and says, 'You must believe like us or we [will] banish you from your homeland, or we kill you, or we extort money from you,' that disturbs the government very much." ISIS Combat Strategy: Governmental

UK Prime Minister David Cameron
(Wikipedia)

New political alliances are being formed between the United Kingdom and Southeast Asian nations to fight the Islamic State. According to BBC News, 50 Indonesian police officers will receive counter-terrorism training in the United Kingdom. The UK will also help Indonesia "buff up" its airport security in Bali and Jakarta. Around 500 Indonesians are fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Reuters reports. To prevent these fighters from spreading ISIS ideology to their home communities, Indonesia's government is standing guard. "They are watching [for] these individuals," Allen says, "[to see] if they do come back to Indonesia." Meanwhile, FMI is helping indigenous pastors develop their own ISIS combat strategy. ISIS Combat Strategy: Spiritual Church-planting pastors supported by FMI are waging spiritual war against Islamic State ideology and tactics. FMI supports about three dozen church planters and pastors on two of Indonesia's larger islands. By sharing the Gospel and planting churches, these believers are growing the Kingdom of God in Indonesia. "The Gospel is growing, and geopolitical boundaries [and] terrorists...do not stop the move of God's Spirit," notes Allen.

As minorities in a Muslim-dominant society, many Christian congregations in Indonesia have long encountered discrimination and persecution. but, these issues may intensify in coming months as the threat of ISIS grows across SE Asia.
(Photo, caption courtesy of FMI)

Will you help this Kingdom growth continue? "We're looking for partners here in the West who will say--whether they're a church, a family, or an individual--'Yes, we will stand alongside these individuals as they proclaim in their community,'" Allen says. "[We will] pray for them in the midst of the challenges they face. We will support them with a monthly contribution'." Through FMI, you can support Indonesian believers as they develop and manage their ISIS Combat Strategy. Learn how here. "God is calling and drawing people to Himself, and we're thrilled to be able to partner with the people who are on the front lines making that happen," concludes Allen.
Categories: Mission Network News

Pastor E. Dewey Smith Says Criticism of Church Hypocrisy on Treatment of Gays in Viral Video Taken Out of Context

Christian Post - Pastors - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 5:30pm
E. Dewey Smith Jr., senior pastor at The House of Hope Atlanta (Greater Travelers Rest) in Decatur, Georgia, has become somewhat of a hero among gay rights advocates after a clip from one of his recent sermons on the hypocritical treatment of gays by some black churches went viral during the weekend. On Monday, however, he declared that his message should not be taken as support for LGBT advocacy.
Categories: Christian Post

Pastor E. Dewey Smith Says Criticism of Church Hypocrisy on Treatment of Gays in Viral Video Taken Out of Context

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 5:30pm
E. Dewey Smith Jr., senior pastor at The House of Hope Atlanta (Greater Travelers Rest) in Decatur, Georgia, has become somewhat of a hero among gay rights advocates after a clip from one of his recent sermons on the hypocritical treatment of gays by some black churches went viral during the weekend. On Monday, however, he declared that his message should not be taken as support for LGBT advocacy.
Categories: Christian Post

Pro-LGBT Methodist Group May Reach Settlement With Ex-Employee Suing for 'Gender Identity Discrimination,' Unlawful Firing

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 4:50pm
A major LGBT Methodist organization may reach a settlement with an ex-employee who's filing a complaint against them over allegations of "gender identity discrimination" and unlawful firing.
Categories: Christian Post

Rapper Hopsin Explains Why He Quit Christianity; Says He Would Dedicate Life to Christ '100 Percent' If God Proves He's Real

Christian Post - Bible - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 3:21pm
He says he's not an atheist, but former born-again California rapper, actor, director and record producer Hopsin, whose real name is Marcus Jamal Hopson — who caused a stir last summer when he revealed he had lost his faith via the lyrics of his angst-filled song "Ill Mind of Hopsin 7" — says God is yet to prove to him that He exists.
Categories: Christian Post

Lysa TerKeurst's 'First 5' Bible App Encouraging Christians to Give God the First 5 Minutes of Their Day Goes Viral

Christian Post - Bible - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 3:05pm
Lysa TerKeurst, bestselling author and Proverbs 31 Ministries president, wants her First 5 app to get Christians into the habit of reaching for the Word before giving the world their full attention — and it seems many women are eager to do just that.
Categories: Christian Post

Lysa TerKeurst's 'First 5' Bible App Encouraging Christians to Give God the First 5 Minutes of Their Day Goes Viral

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 3:05pm
Lysa TerKeurst, bestselling author and Proverbs 31 Ministries president, wants her First 5 app to get Christians into the habit of reaching for the Word before giving the world their full attention — and it seems many women are eager to do just that.
Categories: Christian Post

PA State Politics

WGRC News - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 3:03pm

Lawmakers are calling on Governor Tom Wolf to arm troops at National Guard bases in the state. More than 100 legislators signed a letter sent to the governor last week, calling for him to sign an executive order that allows guardsmen to carry firearms on a daily basis. The calls come on the heels of a shooting Chattanooga, Tennessee that left four Marines and a sailor dead. In a statement, Wolf says he understand the concerns and plans to meet with military advisers on the issue.

In nine months, Democrats can expect to decide a primary contest to determine who will challenge Republican Senator Pat Toomey for his seat. Democrat Joe Sestak will return for a rematch, but it looks like he’ll have to beat Governor Tom Wolf’s ex-chief of Staff Katie McGinty who resigned her position last week amid speculation she’ll run for the Senate seat. The seat is expected to be critical to determining control of the Senate.

Categories: Local News

Governor Jindal warns protesters

WGRC News - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 3:03pm

Louisiana’s governor is warning protesters to stay away from today’s funerals of victims from last week’s mass shooting at a movie theater. Governor Jindal has threatened to take members of the Westboro Baptist Church into custody. The church responded to Jindal’s threats on Twitter, calling them illegal. It also invited him to join them in picketing. The gunman who killed two people praised the Westboro Baptist Church on social media.

Categories: Local News

Covered: Alive In Asia by Israel Houghton & New Breed

New Release Tuesday - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 1:00pm
Now a multiple Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award winning gospel recording artist, Israel Houghton teams up, for the first time, with gospel powerhouse Yolanda Adams on his new single, "How Awesome Is Our God." A powerful declaration rejoicing in God's love, "How Awesome Is Our God' is the second single from Israel NewBreed's upcoming new album Covered: Alive In Asia. The recent BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music award recipient, returns with a live worship experience captured in an expansive tour of Asia. Covered: Alive In Asia is Israel NewBreed's latest installment in their critically acclaimed "Alive in..." series. The[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Halfway by 3for3

New Release Tuesday - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 1:00pm
MAXX Recordings new group 3for3 is taking their talent on the road for the Air 1 Positive Hits Tour on the heels of their July 24th debut EP release 3for3 featuring the single "Halfway." The guys of 3for3 may be newcomers to the music scene, but Spencer Lloyd, Benji Schuler and Josh Davis prove that success can come at any age. Equipped with bounding energy, strong storytelling and an inspiring message, the guys are creating a sound that is all their own. Hailing from Arkansas, Spencer Lloyd is an American Idol alum and worship leader. Benji Shuler is a[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Depth EP by Aryn Michelle

New Release Tuesday - Mon, 07/27/2015 - 1:00pm
DEPTH will be releasing through a unique management and label partnership with industry veteran Chris Erlanson's 168 Management and distribution through STL Distribution. Aryn's journey to music began as so many artists do: singing in church. This love of music and her natural talent opened the door to attend the prestigious Berklee School of Music where she studied songwriting. Upon receiving her degree, Aryn struggled to find her place, writing songs that reflected her life, but not necessarily her passion for sharing the deeper elements of her faith. "I've been a follower of Jesus Christ since I was 8 years[...]
Categories: Christian Music News