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Choosing the Right Path

Christian Post - Living - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 12:02pm
The Father has opened a way for sinners to be forgiven and set on the path of righteousness—namely, through faith in His Son. Trusting in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior makes us members of God's family and takes us immediately onto the narrow road, which is only for His followers.
Categories: Christian Post

(Interview) Francis and Lisa Chan: We're Not Perfect Christians; Every Day We Fight for an Ounce of Holiness

Christian Post - Living - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 11:09am
You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity co-authors Francis Chan and his wife, Lisa, insist that they wrestle with fear and selfishness just like everyone else despite the public putting them on a pedestal after they left the stability, comfort and spotlight of leading a California megachurch in 2010 to surrender to God and let Him call them anywhere in the world and do anything He wants.
Categories: Christian Post

Francis Chan: Church Wastes Too Much Time Waiting on God's Voice; Christians Getting Too Fat on the Word

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 9:57am
The Church wastes too much time waiting for a word from God, says New York Times bestselling author and popular pastor Francis Chan. Christians should instead be more active in translating the knowledge they have into action rather than languishing in fear and indecision.
Categories: Christian Post

Christ's Call to Courage

Christian Post - Living - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 9:26am
Courage seems to be in short supply these days. And what is courage? Courage has been defined as bravery. It also has been defined as fear that has said its prayers. Being courageous is overcoming something. It was Mark Twain who said, "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
Categories: Christian Post

The Narrow Road

Christian Post - Living - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 8:36am
Like many people today, the Israelites in Jesus' time believed they were destined for heaven. They mistakenly thought that to join God's family, good works and an intellectual faith were all that He required.
Categories: Christian Post

ISIS attacks, scores of Christians held hostage

Mission Network News - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 5:00am

(Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Syria (MNN) -- The Assyrian Human Rights Network says the Islamic State terror group is sweeping through villages in Syria and taking more Christians hostage. As of noon on Thursday (EST), ISIS was holding 262 Assyrians, but a report an hour later indicated another village was attacked and scores more Christians kidnapped, bringing the estimate to 350 and counting.

(Video screen shot AINA)

Todd Nettleton, spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA, says the numbers won't always agree from story to story because it's fluid situation. "Some of that, I think, is just the chaos that [happens] after a village was ransacked: 'Who's missing? Who fled? Who's hiding?'" Numbers aside, the next question is, "What's going to happen now? There's been speculation that [ISIS] will look to trade them back for ISIS fighters who are being held prisoner, but I think after Libya [with] 21 Christians being beheaded, you've got to wonder if widespread killing is now going to be the thing that they're shooting for." That seems to fit with a report from an E3 Partners prayer vigil group on Facebook going by the name 8thirty8: "In addition, some heartbreaking news Amir told us today: one of the godly men he does ministry with, his wife's family were amongst the 150 that were kidnapped. Would you pray for Ali, his wife, and his family? *Lord, use this horrible situation for Your good, renew their strength, comfort their grieving families, we ask!*" Nettleton says this shift in tactics raises more questions than answers. "The big question in my mind is: 'What's the plan here for ISIS?' This hasn't been their typical mode of operation. They have allowed Christians to stay, or they have allowed to Christians to leave the villages safely."   The rules of the game have changed. "For the Christians there, some had stayed and lived even under ISIS control. Some had paid the jizya tax, but they were still remaining in areas where ISIS held heavy sway. What I think this situation shows it that those Christians, for their own safety: they have to leave." The other question this raises is whether or not ISIS makes a distinction between cultural Christians and "people of the Cross." Some ministries have indicated there isn't a difference. Nettleton demurs on that point. "It's important to understand that ISIS treats those two groups of Christians, whether you grew up in a Christian family or whether you converted from Islam: that's a totally different thing to them. Those that convert would be apostates. They would be executed immediately." To what end? The Islamic State is following the prophecy and example of Mohammed as they force new territory under its influence. It's a group that has a careful methodology of sweeping in, securing banking, government, judicial and educational systems. They're vision is long-term caliphate: an Islamic government led by a caliph, the successor to Mohammed. In that vision, there is no room for dissent. No room for Muslims who don't adhere to the same ideology. No room for non-Muslims, and zero place for the people of the Cross. It almost seems ludicrous to wonder about how the Gospel comes into play in this scenario.

(Photo courtesy Flickr/CC/19melissa68)

Yet, Nettleton recalls the last moments of the 21 Egyptian Christians who were beheaded in Libya. Many of them died with the name of Jesus on their lips. "Pray that these Christians will also call on the name of the Lord as they go through this time of trial, that they will know His presence, and know the reality of His love for them. Also I think we can pray that somehow they'll be a witness." A witness to whom? Nettleton clarifies, "That they'll have opportunities to speak a word of encouragement, to speak something that that will plant a seed in the hearts of these killers, that they, too, will come to know Christ."
Categories: Mission Network News

Believers hungry for Bibles in closed country

Mission Network News - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo by Vision Beyond Borders)

Southeast Asia (MNN) -- It seems that persecution often goes hand-in-hand with the growth of the Christian Church. This is how it is for a closed country in Southeast Asia. So exponential is the growth that there aren't enough Bibles to keep up with the number of new believers. Vision Beyond Borders plans to send 30,000 Bibles into the country. Patrick Klein of Vision Beyond Borders says that people are abandoning Buddhism and animism to follow Christ in pursuit of truth: "We're seeing incredible growth among the Church. Even though there is persecution in the country, we are seeing the Church is growing and people are asking for Bibles." VBB is sending them across the border in vehicles or carrying them on their backs. They want more, and more, and more… to what end? So, why is it so important for believers to have a copy of the Bible? Klein says, "Without God's Word, how do we know what God requires of us? How do we get to know what God is like if we don't have His Word?" In order for these believers to be able to construct their life in a way that pleases God, Klein says they have to be grounded in the absolute truth of the Bible. "I think it's really important that we get the Word in and be able to help disciple these people in the Word of God." Without the Bible and without knowledge of God, Klein explains, people tend to do what's right in their own eyes. Confiscation and risks in closed country If VBB gets caught bringing Bibles into the country, the Word could very well be confiscated. This is especially true in remote villages where the general attitude toward the Gospel is more hostile. In big cities, authorities often ignore Bible distribution because of a heavier foreign presence. Over the last five years, many remote villages have progressed from having no believers to having church plants full of believers. Klein has been going to this country for the last 20 years, and over time, the government has backed off in some ways. There's more openness to the Gospel. Underground churches in the cities are now meeting openly, though often under the observation of government spies. By providing Bibles for new believers, VBB has high hopes. Klein says, "We're hoping to see the Church grow stronger and stronger, and we're seeing more and more of these tribal people becoming Christians. Even the majority peoples are also coming to faith, and it's really exciting because when they turn from their religions, when they get grounded in the Word of God and see the truth and have assurance of salvation, it just completely changes them." It's your turn To print each Bible costs about $4. Just think: every $4 you spend is a Bible for a new believer, or perhaps even a whole family. If you'd like to help with that, click here. Klein says, "As you consider helping us print Bibles, please also just take a minute and pray for this [undisclosed] country. Pray for the Christians, especially the tribal ones: they're really watched by the government. These people, once they come to know the truth of Jesus Christ and find forgiveness for their sins, they're so grateful for what God has done and they go out and tell many other people." Here's a word from Patrick Klein himself. Use password: vbb.
Categories: Mission Network News

The power of a changed life

Mission Network News - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo Courtesy to The Missions Blog)

Taiwan (MNN/SEND) -- How much theological training do you need to introduce someone to Christ? There is no requirement; your life speaks louder than your words. Wai Jing is preaching the gospel with her life. Gary and Mabel Meades, workers for SEND International, met Wai Jing in April of 2008 at Dongshi Baptist Church in Taiwan. She was dependent on illegal drugs and heavy prescription medications. Wai Jing started attending a regular Bible study held by Mabel and eventually gave her life to Christ. Gary and Mable asked supporters to pray for real change for Wai Jing, that she would be rescued from her addictions. By the grace of God, she is a new person. Her testimony now impacts her family and her co-workers. The grace and power of God has changed a woman who was once drug dependent to a loving follower of Jesus. Because of Wai Jing’s faith, many of her relatives have come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. The true power of Jesus has been shown in the faith of an ordinary woman. SEND workers were also apart of another young man’s testimony in Chang Hua City. When Irene went to English class, Bible study, and church, her boyfriend Louis would come along to be with her. Irene seemed to be the one most interested in spiritual things. No one would have guessed Louis would be the first to trust in Christ and be baptized. At church Louis was persistent; he asked questions and listened to the messages. SEND workers said he would often stop by their house to talk with them so he could know more about how he could follow Christ. Three months later, Louis carried through his decision of following the Lord by being baptized. Irene has yet to put her faith in Jesus, but SEND workers are praying she will soon profess her faith in Christ as well, to join Louis in serving the Lord. Chang Hua City is one of the 60 cities and villages that SEND International of Taiwan has identified as the least-reached areas. They ask for prayer for their workers and that they would continue to impact the people around them with the Gospel. SEND International is working on an outreach strategy called Vision 119. 1-1-9 is also the emergency number in Taiwan. Adopting this number as the new vision is a reminder of the urgency to reach the lost. It is an emergency call for 119 workers to help reach the lost of Taiwan by planting 60 churches in the least-reached areas. We ask you to consider giving to this ministry or going on a 119 Vision trip.
Categories: Mission Network News

Foreign funding changes concern Christians

Mission Network News - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 5:00am

Narendra Modi addressing crowd.
(Image taken from Narendra Modi's personal feed on Flickr)

India (MNN) -- Religious oppression has become so obvious in India that even Prime Minister Modi, a Hindu nationalist, is addressing it as a problem. However, indigenous Christians are telling Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions, that their biggest concern isn't persecution. Instead, foreign funding changes are "top-of-mind" for many believers. "The government might change their regulations about receiving foreign funds," explains Christian Aid's South Asia Director, Sarla Mahara. "If that happened, that might be a big turning point for the ministries if they couldn't receive help from overseas." Foreign funding changes

BJP Flag
(Image courtesy WikimediaCommons)

Right now, as long as indigenous missionaries have a SCRA license, they can receive foreign funding. However, leaders are telling Mahara that Modi's government is looking to change that area of legislation. Thankfully, "BJP does not have majority in one of the houses, and so it might be a challenge for them to [change] any kind of major amendment like that," Mahara says. But, the nationalist party isn't likely to drop this foreign funding issue. Even if they can't do anything this term, Mahara says, BJP will likely pursue it in the future. In preparation, ministry leaders are working with Christian Aid Mission to develop income-generating projects. These projects can support believers as they share the Gospel. "I think that's the direction they're going to go, even if the government amended the regulation they have right now," Mahara states. The "holy cow" story we shared with you recently is a prime example.

(Photo courtesy of Christian Aid Mission)

"This dairy project will generate at least 60% of the needed funds for this ministry," says Mahara. "While the window is open, I think this would be a good time to invest funds and resources into those kinds of programs right now." Interested? Visit Christian Aid Mission's Web site to see which projects need the most help. Highlighting potential foreign funding changes doesn't downplay the reality of persisting persecution. It just underscores the fact that indigenous missionaries see persecution from a different perspective. "No matter which government comes in, no matter how much persecution we have to face, our mandate is really from heaven," Mahara says, relaying the message of indigenous leaders. Persecution perspective Christian Aid Mission assists more than 200 ministries with diverse areas of focus: church planting, discipleship, community development, and disaster relief. Many of these groups work among lower castes and unreached tribal peoples in remote areas--places where persecution is the most intense.

Christians protest on Dec. 2 after the burning of the interior of St. Sebastian’s Church in New Delhi on Dec. 1.
(Photo, caption courtesy of Morningstar News via Christian Aid Mission)

"The Church is strong, and the ministries are pretty committed," Mahara says. When Modi came into office last year and the BJP rose to power, indigenous missionaries could see the writing on the wall. "They knew that [the BJP] would have a much more 'radical' stance, as far as the Christians were concerned," explains Mahara. But from each ministry leader, Mahara heard the same response. "They may slow us down, they may make it a little bit harder for us to preach the Gospel, to go forward, but we're not going to stop." Can you help these Christians stand firm in their faith? "It is an every-day challenge for them; it's like a battlefield," notes Mahara. "People need to be praying for these believers to be strong in their faith. We definitely need to pray for protection."
Categories: Mission Network News

Flannel February helps young women

Mission Network News - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Global Aid Network USA)

International (MNN) -- Awkward situations call for creative solutions. Global Aid Network (GAiN) reports that many girls in third world countries have to drop out of school when they hit puberty because of inadequate water, sanitation, hygiene, and harsh taboos. These young girls are discriminated against and are losing dignity. In response, GAiN volunteers are creating feminine product patterns out of flannel, declaring this month as “Flannel February.” Dana C., one of the pattern creators, told GAiN, “When you meet a young girl or woman at such a basic point of need, doors open and relationships are formed that allow us to minister to them in a way that is simply amazing. From women here to women there, we can relate to their dilemma. We are simply drawn to reach out to them because of this need.” This outreach is opening doors to share the Gospel as the love of Christ is demonstrated in a very practical way. GAiN is in need of more flannel bed sheets so they can continue this ministry. Though February is almost over, you can still make a difference. Click here to help.
Categories: Mission Network News

of Beauty and Rage by RED

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 5:00am
The concept for of Beauty and Rage is the dichotomy of good and evil and finding beauty out of things that people suffer within their own lives. RED has always tried to challenge listeners to be real with themselves and confront their struggles head on. Even in the darkest parts of our lives there is room for hope; it's up to each individual to fill those parts so that he/she can continue to push forward in dark times and be thankful in brighter days.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Just Kids by Mat Kearney

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 5:00am
Mat says "One morning last spring I jumped out of bed at 5 AM feeling surprisingly rested and inspired. Usually I end up going to bed fairly late, high on the adrenaline that follows a show or working on a new song, but that morning I had the feeling a song was waiting for me and headed to my home studio. I programmed a simple beat and wrote a few chords on the black keys of my piano. All of the lyrics for the song "Just Kids" came as quickly as I could write them down. I instantly knew[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Faith & Family by Jon Micah Sumrall

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 5:00am
Jon Micah Sumrall is the lead singer of the gold-selling Christian rock band Kutless. For the past 16 years, Jon Micah has toured all around the world with Kutless, having released the radio smash hits "What Faith Can Do," "Strong Tower," "Sea of Faces," "Carry Me to the Cross," along with many others. Jon Micah will be releasing his first solo record Faith Family on Feburary 24th, 2015. The album features both worship songs and love songs, written with his marriage in mind. Fans of Kutless's Christ-centered worship songs will particularly enjoy Faith Family.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

From Heaven's Point of View - The Single by The Lighthouse Boys

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 5:00am
The Lighthouse Boys came out of 2014 celebrating their 40th year. They are known to their fans for their own brand of Southern Gospel Music, placing their own signature on Southern Gospel classics as well as their own original songs. Now in 2015, From Heaven's Point of View is The first new single released by The Lighthouse Boys in over a decade. They once again blend their signature sound with a Southern Gospel classic. [...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Outsiders by 21:03

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 5:00am
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Categories: Christian Music News

Renegades Never Die by Skrip

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 5:00am
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Categories: Christian Music News

Like No Other by Christ Fellowship Worship

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 5:00am
Original worship music recorded live in South Florida, at Christ Fellowship Church. Produced by Dove award winner Michael Neale, this album includes tracks such as "Favorite Word" "See You Again" and national hit "Mercy Tree." Inspired by modern rock and pop, this album is full of powerful anthems and emotional ballads that are inspired by and declare the attributes of the Savior of the world; Jesus! You can also hear these songs played live every weekend at Christ Fellowship at multiple locations in Florida: Gardens, Royal Palm, Boynton, City Place, Stuart, Okeechobee and New York City, New York.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Only Your Love EP by Davis the Band

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 5:00am
A new husband and wife worship duo provides a fresh sound on vertical praise to our Creator.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News