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Goliath by Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 5:00am
Labeling a band comprised of accomplished Nashville rock scene purveyors as a "new artist" seems like a misnomer. But for Steve Taylor The Perfect Foil this designation is only a technicality due to the surprising confidence and self-assurance of their debut album, Goliath. Long time friends and frequent creative collaborators, Steve Taylor The Perfect Foil (Jimmy Abegg, guitar; John Mark Painter, bass; Peter Furler, drums) is a natural assemblage of diverse talents with a common drive to rediscover the thrill of creating music unencumbered by the confines of industry limitations and reins.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Hello Someday EP (Acoustic Sessions) by Cor Captis

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 5:00am
"Surfacing in 2014, Cor Captis (Latin for "Heart Capture") has been a thrill ride for the guys in the band (from left to right Joe Keil, Bryant Urich, Brenton Miles, Tim Webb, and Dustin Langston). With their debut EP "Hello Someday" released in May of 2014, this rock band from the midwest town of Springfield, MO is making a stance against human trafficking around the world and writing music to not only inspire, but also initiate fans to actively spread awareness, and fight against the rampant pandemic of global injustices like human trafficking. Cor Captis' first radio single "Heart[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Iraqi refugees begging for money and food

Mission Network News - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 5:00am
Iraq (CAM/MNN) -- As night-time temperatures begin to drop, locally-based aid workers report that illness is deepening the gloom for many Internally Displaced People (IDPs) already discouraged at the lack of prospects for returning home. “The needs are great, and the displaced feel very disappointed,” said the director of an Iraqi ministry providing aid in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region. “They thought they would return to their homes within days, but the wait is getting longer. Now they know they will not return soon, and their condition is worsening with the onset of winter and the low level of aid.” In Erbil, Dohuk, and Zakho, where people arrived when Islamic State (ISIS) militants drove them from their homes in Mosul and other areas of Iraq, IDPs are suffering acute respiratory infections, flu, and severe cases of diarrhea, among other illnesses. They need medicines for these sicknesses, as well as antibiotics, treatment for burns, and drugs for high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. The indigenous ministry would buy the medicines locally if it had the funds to do so. “One young child had a nail penetrate her foot because she does not have shoes, causing many infections in her body, and she suffered from high temperatures,” he said. “I bought an antibiotic for her, and that’s all I could do. There are very large needs, as the number of children is huge, and the list of patients is in excess of 200 children in each compound.” Another child had an ear infection that led to swelling on the left part of her head, and it prohibited her from speaking. “And the list goes on,” he said. A United Nations spokesman said this week that illnesses, especially among children, are expected to spike when winter brings temperatures below freezing to hundreds of thousands of people in the high-altitude areas of Kurdistan. The ministry assisted by Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions, has been distributing blankets and heaters to the people who have taken refuge in concrete buildings under construction and those living in tents and other outdoor areas. Yazidis--members of a minority religion blending Christian, Islamic, and Zoroastrian rituals--along with nominal members of historic churches and Muslims are among those receiving aid and opportunities to hear the message of Christ’s sacrifice. The last few visits to the displaced Yazidis showed a long list of sick people, and most of them were kids. Their family can’t afford to take them to hospitals, and they have no medications. In Duhok, churches have provided volunteer doctors who are willing to help once they have supplies. “We have two volunteer doctors so far, and we believe there are more who want to help--even volunteer doctors from around the world who want to visit and help for a while,” he said. In Erbil, Duhok, Zakho, and surrounding villages, the ministry in the past three months has distributed about $5,000 in medications; 3,500 mattresses at a cost of about $70,000; 3,500 blankets at a cost of about $35,000; 1,000 heaters costing $30,000; 2,000 food boxes for 2,000 families at $25 each; 1,000 meals and sandwiches for $2 each; 10,000 Bibles, tracts, children’s Bibles, coloring books for $5000; 10,000 radios and Bible audio players for $5,000. More funds for heaters and blankets, foods and medications are needed. A leader for another ministry supported by Christian Aid Mission said he saw 1,000 people packed into an unfinished building in Erbil. “Living in a construction site, many suffer from sinus infections and skin and eye problems,” he said. “They have nothing. They share a tank of gas to cook their meager meals.” The streets of Erbil are lined with children begging for money and food. Displaced families are everywhere: in tents and churches and unfinished buildings. Many of the displaced people are doctors, engineers, business owners, and professionals who have lost everything to ISIS. Some of them walked for days to make it to Erbil and Duhok. The leader shared, “Our people feel very grateful and appreciative for the assistance you offer them. And while it’s difficult for us to mention our sources of assistance for many reasons, such as our work with Muslims, everyone without exception saw the love of God that appeared in the giving, which was a blessing for the salvation of many.” To donate to refugee Iraqis, click here. Pray for Iraqis to receive enough and learn the Word of God.
Categories: Mission Network News

California Photographer Looking to Bring 'Emoticon Bible' to the World

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 4:38pm
A photographer based in California has sought to translate the Holy Bible into quite possibly the newest language known to mankind: emoticons.
Categories: Christian Post

$11 million manhunt

WGRC News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 2:57pm

The final numbers are in for the manhunt of the alleged cop killer Eric Frein. Pennsylvania State police say they spend $11 million dollars on subsequent manhunt for Frein which finally ended on October 30th at an abandoned airplane hangar in the Poconos. Thousands of law enforcement officers from numerous state and federal agencies took part in the 48 day manhunt for the man. Costs include police overtime and resources used during the manhunt.

Categories: Local News

Northumberland County Bank Robbery

WGRC News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 2:55pm

State police continue to investigate a bank robbery in Northumberland County last Friday. The robbery happened around 5pm as a man walked into the Muncy Bank and Trust branch on Route 44 in Dewart, displayed a weapon and demanded money from the teller. He then got an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene in a white sedan. Anyone with information is asked to call the State police.

Categories: Local News

Falling Into Heaven

Christian Post - Living - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 10:03am
It's a funny thing how we find sleep more and more appealing as we get older. When I was a kid, I hated to go to sleep. I still remember kindergarten, with the lukewarm milk in little cartons and having to lie down and take naps in the middle of the day. Interestingly, the Bible describes death for a believer as sleep.
Categories: Christian Post

Preparing for the Islamic State means when, not if

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs Australia)

Middle East (MNN) -- The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) and al-Qaeda are teaming up in Syria, and more Middle East groups are pledging allegiance to the caliphate. Late last week, reports surfaced of the terrorist groups agreeing to work together in Syria instead of fighting each other. Al-Qaeda initially distanced itself from the Islamic State, but as ISIS has grown in resources and size, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda has vowed to fight with Islamic State instead of against it. In addition, an audio clip reportedly featuring ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi acknowledged the allegiance of Muslim radicals in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Algeria. Meanwhile, Islamic State growth in Pakistan is going virtually unnoticed. "More than 400 Islamic State leaders are in Pakistan. They are operating in Syria and Iraq from Pakistan," shares *Nehemiah, the national director of Forgotten Missionaries International's work in Pakistan.

Osama bin Laden was found and killed in Pakistan.
(Screenshot from FBI.gov)

"90% [of the] leadership [is in] Pakistan, not in Afghanistan," he adds, recalling the U.S. hunt for al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden. In 2011, Bin Laden was found and killed in his Pakistani compound by U.S. Navy Seals. Although Taliban leaders swore allegiance to the Islamic State last month, FMI's Bruce Allen says the Pakistani government denies an ISIS presence in their country. "They're saying this while they're removing the banners, the stickers, and the posters that are announcing Islamic State is here," Allen says. "They're acting like ostriches with their heads buried in the sand." Preparing Pakistani Christians Based on Islamic State activity they're seeing on-the-ground, Allen says Pakistan will soon join Iraq and Syria in the headlines.

For all places of worship--whether indoors or outdoors, Christians remove their shoes to indicate the space is holy ground. Typically, men sit on one side of the meeting area (or the front), and women sit on the opposite side (or the back).
(Photo, caption courtesy FMI)

"What we anticipate in just the next few weeks or months: there will be an attack here in Pakistan," he states. A Muslim doctor recently called Nehemiah and expressed concern about an Islamic State base being constructed near her home. "She was very worried; she called me and told me [what was going on]. So, I told her, 'Nothing to worry [about]. They are going to kill Christians first,'" Nehemiah shares. FMI is helping national pastors prepare for challenges yet still share wisely about Christ and His salvation. A seminar they held in February--before there was any mention of Islamic State expansion into Pakistan--taught evangelical leaders how to identify and manage risks that come with sharing Christ. Learn more about FMI's work in Pakistan here. Allen says he's grateful for God's timing, because as he visits with Pakistani leaders now, he is able to remind them of principles covered during the February seminar. "We specifically mentioned that verse from John where Jesus says, 'In the world you're going to have trouble, but still be of good cheer.' Don't panic; don't despair, because 'I have overcome the world.' So, whatever evil we encounter--and we will encounter it, Jesus is infinitely greater," Allen notes. "There is this hope, there is His purpose, His liberation, and that's what needs to buoy us as we move forward."

(Photo credit FMI)

Your prayers are needed, too. Pray that the forces of radical Islam are driven back, and that they would take no further territory. Pray that shelter and resources will be provided for families taking refuge throughout the Middle East. Ask God to open the eyes of Pakistan's indigenous Christian leaders so they can prepare their congregations for challenges and encourage them in the hope of Christ.
Categories: Mission Network News

Rohingya face two terrible choices, ministry looking for a better option

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 5:00am

(Picture courtesy of Partners Relief and Development)

Burma (MNN) -- Already this year, over 100,000 Rohingya have willingly gotten onboard boats they know might lead them to their death or to a life of slavery. Why? Because the government of their homeland is starving them to death. This group of Muslims lives in West Burma. Steve Gumaer of Partners Relief and Development says, "These people, since 2012, have been marginalized." That's the year their houses were burned down. Gumaer continues, "They either live in refugee camps or in isolated areas and islands around the city of Sittwe. These people don't get the provisions they need--and I mean the  most basic things like food, shelter, water and such." Partners tries to meet the physical needs of these oppressed people since the occasional distribution of food is far too little to keep them alive. "Because they're in a state of a slow kind of genocide, and a slow policy of starvation by the government, many of them end up getting into boats," Gumaer explains. Last year 50,000 Rohingya, desperate to escape the hard life of their homeland, paid brokers to get them to Malaysia. Most of them never made it. Gumaer says, "The larger number of that 50,000 ended up either dead when they set sail on these boats--dead from starvation and dehydration because the conditions on those boats is terrible--or captured and interned, tortured, and abused." The lucky ones buy their freedom. Some of the brokers take advantage of them in their desperation. They are captured and taken to camps in jungles, on islands or peninsulas in Thailand. What happens next is a joint effort of Thai authorities and traffickers. Everything is taken from them. "Once the extortion is complete--once they feel they've gotten everything they can get out of these people, they pass them on to traffickers who, out of Malaysia, end up placing them for sale all over the world," Gumaer says. And then they disappear, whether killed or delivered into international human trafficking. Gumaer says this tragic situation is not slowing down. "Between 900 and 1,000 Rohingya per day are making this perilous journey. They're giving up on the possibility of ever having a future in their homeland in Burma, and ever having citizenship there. "And despite the risk that they know they're taking--even knowing that many of them will die, will be abused, raped, tortured and then trafficked if not killed, they still pay this $300 fee to get into a boat with a broker and try to make it." Already this year, 100,000 have done this. Partners longs to stop this deadly cycle by providing other options. So far, their work has consisted of keeping death at bay. But they want to help people decide to stay. Gumaer says honestly, "We're kinda out of ideas." With limited resources, Partners has established intermediate development programs to help these desperate people provide for themselves. Partners hopes these projects will generate dignity, hope, and self-sustenance even amid the extreme poverty. But it's hard to move forward when you're just trying to deal with the basics. Partners has been stuck in state of relief and crisis management since June of 2012. Gumaer says, "I know that one of the things that gives them hope is that we continue to go there." When Partners first arrived, many of the Rohingya assumed they were there to convert them to Christianity. This was the stereotype they had of missionaries. But, Gumaer says, "Over time they've understood that we've gone there because we love them and because they bear the image of God, and that we, as members of this human family and as servants of God, have this moral obligation to reach out to them and care for their children as our neighbors, just as we would want our children cared for if the roles were reversed." That practice of unconditional love opens doors to talk about where unconditional love comes from: Jesus. "When they ask us what our secret is, we have the opportunity to describe that secret, and that is that the hope of glory is alive in us," says Gumaer. "Jesus, when He said to love Him with our whole heart and love our neighbor as ourselves, we take that very seriously." Gumaer says when the Rohingya know someone is standing up for them and being their voice, they have a reason to hope for their future, and a reason to keep trying--a reason to stay. Ask God to continue providing for Partners so they can minister to this marginalized group. Ask Him to soften their hearts and open their eyes to the hope that is in Christ Jesus.

Send children Christmas gifts this year.
(Photo by Partners Relief)

Share some Christmas joy with the children in Burma. Click here for more info. Read previous news on the Rohingya here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Loving the unloved

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy ReachGlobal Crisis Response)

International (MNN) -- Imagine loving a prostitute who is addicted to drugs but still trying to support her family. Imagine loving a 19-year-old girl with scars up and down her arms and chest. EFCA ReachGlobal’s TREK7 is doing just that. They are ministering to and loving the unloved and invisible people of this world. Teams focus on building relationships with people no matter where they are in their life. For seven weeks, teams of college-age young adults travel to various destinations around the globe. Journeys can be anywhere from Zambia to Minneapolis. Leandra, who traveled to Berlin, said, “These women aren’t usually touched with love. So I got to hold their hand and I got to look into their eyes and I got to clean the dirt under their fingernails.” In the city of Berlin, only 1% of the population is Christian. Another TREK7 team member, Janelle, described going to Bangkok and working with prostitutes. “Once she trusts you enough, she’ll tell you the truth, which is: 'I’m not happy here. I feel like I have to be here. I’m so sad when I go out with customers.'" After talking with a prostitute, Janelle and her team helped bring her to Christ. These trips change the lives of people being ministered to and the lives of volunteers. There are thirteen different mission trips available; the next set of trips starts June 21 and goes to August 7. For more information or to sign up for a trip, click here. Pray for the invisible and unloved people in this world to be touched by God's love through His people. Pray that God's people will respond to the TREK7 opportunities.
Categories: Mission Network News

Biblica and the constancy of change

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Biblica)

Africa (MNN) -- First, a wee bit of history on Biblica, a 200-year-old group committed to providing God's Word around the world. Specifically, we'll look at one arm of the group, Biblica Africa, because the new CEO of Biblica, Dr. Carl Moeller, just wrapped up a week in Nairobi, Kenya. The ministry was first registered in Kenya on 9 September 1976 as Living Bibles. By 1983/84, the organization had begun its maiden work of Bible Translation in Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and Democratic Republic of Congo. Currently, Biblica Africa distributes a wide variety of Bibles across Africa through partners and through the 12 National Offices in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. The distribution arm has grown to become the main source of income for the ministry’s operations. Since the 70s, governments throughout Africa have risen, some have fallen. Drought, famine, and war have plagued different parts of the continent. Still, with the advent of the Arab Spring, something shifted permanently. What does ministry like this look like in the day and age of groups like Boko Haram, the Islamic State, al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda, and Ansar al-Sharia? From what Moeller observed of the Biblica team, "We're praising God for increased distribution and Bible engagement in places like Nigeria. In places like Somalia, it's still very difficult to actually get large-scale Bibles involved. But our teams here in East Africa are engaged with working with Somali refugees in Kenya, Ethiopia, and in other places."

Biblica CEO Carl Moeller (Photo courtesy Biblica)

Moeller draws on the years of work with Open Doors USA to explain the level of commitment shared by Biblica Africa partners. "I've had years of experience in working parts of the world where Christianity is persecuted and Christians are harassed, and in some cases--in Nigeria and Somalia, Christians have been put to death because of their faith." That's especially true in the parts of North Africa that border the Middle East, where the Islamic State terror group has established a caliphate. Their success has been attractive to groups sharing similar ideologies. Nigeria's Boko Haram took a leaf from their playbook and established a caliphate of their own. Oddly, Moeller says he's told that when pressure increases, so does the search for Truth. That means that despite increasing risk, "We're still capable, at Biblica, of distributing hundreds of thousands of Bibles in vernacular languages, into areas where Christians are persecuted, and we're still seeing the Bible readership in these areas go up."

(Photo courtesy Biblica)

Getting to know the scope of Biblica's work in Africa in just a few days is like drinking from a fire hose, Moeller adds. Biblica Africa ministry focuses on five areas: Bible and Church Engagement, Children and Youth Ministry, Scripture Outreach, Specialized Ministry Outreach, and Translation. Challenges sometimes come in the form of corruption. Many times, though, says Moeller, the problems faced by the African Church are similar to those faced by the Church in North America. "Christians aren't reading their Bibles as much as they should. We're very committed to everyone having a Bible [and] actually being able to feed deeply from it." Technology is one way to increase Bible engagement, and it's especially useful because it is mobile, especially at a time when people are facing the kind of trouble that prompts large shifts in population due to war or religious violence. Mobile technology allows them to be discreet in their Bible engagement and is small enough to be part of what survives an escape with just the clothes on their backs. What it boils down to is this: the more things change, the more things stay the same. People in distress look for hope. They find it in God's Word. Moeller urges, "Continue to pray for our translators, and pray for our Community Bible Experience so that people who have Bibles will be challenged to read them in a new way."
Categories: Mission Network News

Woman carried for two hours to hear the Gospel

Mission Network News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy New Tribes Mission)

Asia-Pacific (NTM) -- New Tribes Mission shares this story about the lengths to which people will go when they are hungry for God's Word. Finally, the time had come. The Bible lessons that Wapane longed to hear would be taught. She would be able to hear the stories about God and His Deliverer that had changed so many lives. However, the lessons would be in a village nearly two hours away by foot, and Wapane, the oldest Moi woman, was now too frail to walk the trail. Ginogui, a relative of Wapane, had heard the stories and placed his faith in Jesus. He knew he had to do something. The predicament stared him in the face. The trail to the village where they would teach was muddy, narrow, and steep. Even if he could manage to carry her, she wouldn’t be able to cling to his back for two hours. Ginogui prepared for the trip as he didn’t want miss an opportunity to hear the stories. But he couldn’t let go of Wapane. He got out his largest string bag. The speakers would start at Creation and go through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, so he would be gone a long time. He put a hammock in his bag, then stopped, and smiled. After emptying the bag, he used it to carry Wapane. For two hours he focused on the simple task of putting one foot in front of the other as he struggled to bring Wapane safely to her destination. When she arrived, Wapane said, “I’ve come because of the Creator’s Talk. I’m really excited to hear it, so I’ve come to listen.” Pray that people in hard-to-reach places will have opportunities to hear the Gospel. Pray for the Moi teachers as they disciple new believers.
Categories: Mission Network News

High School English Can Help You Get 'Reward' Out of Bible, Says Author

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 9:04am
Instead of complicating Bible study by expecting a revelation with each read, author and women's Bible studies teacher Jen Wilkin says that what we learned in our high school English class could help us receive the reward of a better understanding from God's word.
Categories: Christian Post

Fear or Faith?

Christian Post - Living - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 9:36am
Many believers will go through life missing divine opportunities because they are afraid to live as God intends. Fear can paralyze us into inaction—then our life fills with lost chances to serve, minister, or see the Lord's work up close. Consider the 11 disciples who stayed in the boat when Peter got out and walked to Jesus. How many times must each man have regretted choosing safety over the intense joy of stepping on water next to the Son of God? But Andrew, John, and the others missed their opportunity. Unfortunately, many Christians stay in the boat all their lives. At the end, these same folks probably wonder why their lives seemed empty.
Categories: Christian Post

Former Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll Selling Longtime Residence for $650,000

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 9:26am
Mark Driscoll, who resigned as the lead pastor of the Seattle-based Mars Hill last month due to a controversy surrounding his leadership style, appears to be planning to leave the city as he has listed his longtime residence for $650,000.
Categories: Christian Post