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“The music encourages me as I run errands or work around the house. It lifts my spirit and helps me remember God is in control and reminds me to sing His praises and glorify Him.” (Lewistown)

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Donald Trump faces the heat

WGRC News - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 3:41pm

NBC ended its relationship with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump Monday, because of comments he made about Mexican immigrants when he announced his campaign. Mexican media giant Televisa also says it will no longer broadcast the Miss Universe Pageant or engage in any other projects with Trump. Nearly 700,000 people have signed a petition calling on Macy’s to fire Donald Trump.

Categories: Local News

Video Shows Man Being Delivered From 'Homosexual Demon' That Refused to Release Him at T.B. Joshua's Church

Christian Post - Pastors - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 1:47pm
A young Nigerian businessman who reportedly got possessed by a "homosexual demon" after going swimming with a group of men in Nairobi, Kenya, is seen on video being delivered from the "evil spirit" in a powerful swoop at The Synagogue Church of All Nations led by popular African preacher, T.B. Joshua.
Categories: Christian Post

The Decisions That Lead to Contentment

Christian Post - Living - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 8:04am
Think about a circumstance in your life you'd change if you could. Are you frustrated? Worried? Angry? To experience the freedom of contentment in the midst of it—whether a hardship or unfulfilled desire—you must accept the situation as having been allowed by God, even if He didn't cause it.
Categories: Christian Post

School opens to Iraqi refugee children

Mission Network News - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs)

Iraq (MNN) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates there are around two million Iraqi refugees forced from their homes because of the terror hailing from ISIS. About half of them are children. While fleeing from their homes, families had to leave everything behind, including school. Schools in host countries don’t have the capacity for refugee children, and many schools in Iraq aren’t in operation. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi kids haven’t been to school for about a year. They have become known as the “lost generation.” But, Voice of the Martyrs refuses to let children be lost or forgotten. Recently, a local church leader and VOM partner started dreaming of opening a Christian school near a refugee camp because they “believe education is so important to the children.” After searching for a place to hold the school, leaders found a house with a big backyard. “Though it would need many renovations before it was safe, church leaders discovered that it would accommodate four classrooms with enough space for at least 20 students in each classroom,” a VOM post said. Church leaders shared the idea with Iraqi parents in the middle of June, stating that they wanted to hit educational goals, and since it would be a Christian school, they wanted to “bring the love of God to every house through the children.” There was a starting goal of 25 kids. But, a miracle happened. The parents were so thrilled and eager with the opportunity that the school got many more student applications than they expected. “We had around 100 kids register,” a VOM partner said. “This is a big challenge, but God is good.” The school has kicked off and children are enjoying their time playing, participating in classroom activities, and learning in a safe environment. VOM hopes that the school will spark encouragement and the love of Christ with the Iraqi refugees. Pray that Iraqi refugees will to look to Jesus while they start their new lives in foreign area. Pray also that VOM will be able to establish more schools for refugee children. Click here to help VOM come alongside more Iraq refugees in tangible ways.
Categories: Mission Network News

Deaf Bible making a change to help 75% of deaf community

Mission Network News - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Deaf Bible)

International (MNN) -- There are over 400 different Sign Languages worldwide, but less than 1% have a complete translation of the Bible. Millions are part of the deaf community, and yet, more than half remain illiterate. It’s fair to say the Deaf community is one of the largest unreached people groups in the world. But, Deaf Bible Society is making a change to address nearly 80% of the community by the year 2025. Why So Many Are Illiterate In certain cultures, deaf people are looked at negatively. They are seen as slow or even demon-possessed. Parents will often times cut them off from society, keep children from school, and hide them from sight. In some cases, they will abandon the child altogether. In other cultures where deaf people are seen as equal, they still remain at a disadvantage. “Like you and [me], we were in a home; we could hear our parents speaking around us, speaking to us, about us, and we entered school with about a 5,000-word vocabulary,” explains J.R. Bucklew of Deaf Bible.

(Photo courtesy Deaf Bible)

“This deaf child never hears a thing. They don’t hear you speaking to them, about them, for them, around them. And, they pick up very few gestures. You might create some home signs, but they enter into school with about a 50-word vocabulary.” Bucklew says in the US, 65% of deaf Americans are illiterate. Hearing people don’t understand that Sign Language is a separate language. “People misunderstand and assume that it’s just a hand motion or a gesture for every English word, and you do it in the same order: kind of like we’re doing...charades or something,” Bucklew says. “And it’s not that at all. American Sign Language is it’s own language. It has its own syntax, so grammar structures, language rules, everything, is completely different from English.” Deaf Bible Reborn Several years back, a Faith Comes By Hearing Regional Manager went to visit a listening group, ironically, at a deaf school. “All of the sudden, that night, about 20 deaf children showed up at this gathering and were insisting that they were told what that box was telling the people.” Bucklew says they were able to find an interpreter for the 20 children, but “this manager realized, ‘We were talking about getting God’s Word to every person and we’ve completely forgotten about the deaf.’”

(Photo Courtesy Deaf Bible)

Since Faith Comes By Hearing creates audio Bibles, it seemed there was no way to reach out to the deaf community. But, they found a solution by launching a Deaf Bible App in 2012. “The Deaf Bible App, today, has about 16 languages in it, over 500,000 users worldwide--just tremendous distribution,” Bucklew says. In 2013, Deaf Bible was born as a part of Faith Comes By Hearing. Since the deaf community was in such desperate need of help and interpretation, the division grew rapidly. “Through that process we began to realize that one of our biggest complications in engaging deaf communities with the Scripture was going to be the fact that there were very few amounts of translation projects going on. There wasn’t enough content to engage deaf communities around the world,” Bucklew explains. “Faith Comes By Hearing is not involved in Bible translations, but we’re seeing an increasing need for us to be involved in translation when it comes to Sign Language.” That’s why Deaf Bible is now separating from Faith Comes By Hearing and becoming it’s own ministry. They’re partnering with ministries like DOOR International, Deaf Mission, Asia Pacific, Sign Language Development Association, and Wycliffe Bible Translators for help with the translation. “We figure any support we can give them, the better--whether that’s fundraising, promoting, building awareness, and making the reality of the deaf community known among our hearing brothers and sisters,” Bucklew says.

(Photo courtesy Deaf Bible)

Deaf Bible is also working on educating the hearing church. “We’re taking the role for the Bible translation organizations to say, ‘We will do four things. We will work on deaf awareness, education, access, and funding – so D.E.A.F.’” They want to have translation projects for 75% of the Deaf population by 2025. “Right now we see about 34 sign language projects going on in the world. And we’ve identified 10 languages that if we could start projects in those 10 people groups, these 44 languages...could represent about 80% of the world’s deaf population.” As this dream is turning into a reality, Deaf Bible could use your help. Pray for the projects to reach millions and give them hope in Jesus. Also, you can become a financial partner to sponsor projects around the globe.
Categories: Mission Network News

Collaboration needed to save lives worldwide

Mission Network News - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 5:00am

Missionary Lori Smith operates ultrasound machine
on a new mom in Papua New Guinea.
(Photo, caption courtesy LMW)

International (MNN) -- There's more than one way to save a life. But according to Life Matters Worldwide, saving lives on a global scale requires collaboration. That's why they're connecting pregnancy care centers (PCCs) in the U.S. with their peers overseas. "Sometimes, they're the 'lone ranger:' they're the only center in that country, and they don't have anyone to turn to," says Life Matters' Tom Lothamer of foreign PCCs. Collaboration in context Preventing abortion isn't always a popular topic. And, pregnancy care isn't always a familiar concept, especially in the developing world. Life Matters tackles both through their PCC support ministry. While they focus on both national and international centers, PCCs located overseas usually need a bit more help. "They don't have any of the resources we have right here locally, or around this country," Lothamer explains.

Women and children marvel at
a life-sized fetal model in India.
(Photo, caption courtesy Life Matters Worldwide)

"So, this is where we can come in and partner with them as fellow servants to help them get started, and then help them keep going." He points to a Life Matters Worldwide partner in Chile as an example. They're starting the country's first PCC with help from Life Matters. "We were able to send over a grant to them, to assist in getting their computer, their desk--all those kinds of things--to start getting their office [together]," says Lothamer. "We're also [helping with] training. Last year, we had 10 of their people in Lima, Peru, at our conference, and they'll be coming again this next January in Lima for additional training." What PCC collaboration involves Life Matters can't assist every PCC in-need, and that's why they need U.S. centers to collaborate with them.

Missionary Evelyn Stone trains volunteers for a new pregnancy center in Chile.
(Photo, caption courtesy Life Matters Worldwide)

Here's a brief look at what PCC partnerships typically involve:
  • Learning
  • Praying
  • Mentoring
  • Visiting
  • Project support
The partnerships are multifaceted, but a single purpose runs through each of them. "The real bottom-line is the Gospel," states Lothamer. "It's about offering a service to women--and men and families--in this area of pregnancy, but also letting them know that their greatest need is spiritual." What you can do to help

(Photo courtesy Life Matters Worldwide)

If you're praying for unborn lives, there's a place for you on this team. Become a Life Matters Worldwide prayer partner here. "We have certain centers we're praying for overseas [and] certain centers we're praying for right here in the United States," Lothamer says. Or, you could get your church involved. Host a "Baby Bottle Boomerang" or talk with your pastor about coming alongside a local pregnancy care center. Connect with Life Matters directly for more information.
Categories: Mission Network News

Nepal: IMF rejects debt relief request

Mission Network News - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Asian Access)

Nepal (ANA/MNN) -- Nepal won't be getting debt relief from the International Monetary Fund, after all. Why? According to the IMF, the April 25 earthquake killed more than 8,600 people and destroyed over 500,000 homes. However, the IMF determined that the damage to the infrastructure did not cause enough economic damage for Nepal to be eligible for funding from the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. Their rules state that the disaster must impact at least one-third of the country's population and either destroy 25% of the nation's productive capacity or cause damage equal to the size of the country's economy. Nepal met the first condition, but apparently, according to the IMF, not the second. Aid groups are in disbelief, given the scope of devastation in the country, especially in the rural areas. About two-thirds of the $6.7 billion that was estimated to rebuild came in aid pledges from around the world. Asian Access president Joe Handley says he's seen firsthand the destruction of Hurricane Katrina and Japan's triple disaster. By comparison, "I’ve never seen such devastation as when visiting the countryside of Nepal this June. The pictures that I and others have shared don’t begin to capture the extent of the catastrophe." He says there's good news too. "In spite of all of the challenges, the work of Christ is alive and well."

(Photo courtesy Asian Access)

Asian Access Nepal leaders say they've reached 13 earthquake-devastated districts, reached out to 6500 people, and built two schools. The ministry plans to provide long-term help for partners in Nepal. Right now, they're focused on the assembly and distribution of Family Rebuilding Packages. You have an opportunity to provide basic assistance, encouragement, and most importantly, the love of Christ to the people of Nepal. For just $130 per package, Asian Access colleagues can provide the following to help a family of 6 get back on their feet:
  • Tin sheets and bamboo poles to construct a simple shelter
  • A supply of rice, lentils, cooking oil, and salt
  • Bowls, plates, utensils, etc.
  • Towels
  • Soaps - for personal washing and for clothes washing
  • Blankets to provide flooring and bedrolls
  • Mosquito nets
  • Candy for the kids
If you’d like to help provide Family Rebuilding Packages, you can give here. Just click the Nepal Earthquake Relief designation.
Categories: Mission Network News

Found In Far Away Places by August Burns Red

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 5:00am
Found in Far Away Places is the upcoming seventh studio album by American melodic metalcore band August Burns Red. "The Wake" was the first song to be released from the album. The album title was taken from a lyric in "Majoring in the Minors". In an interview with Outburn, guitarist JB Brubaker stated that the song was about touring all over the world and experiencing new things, making them the band they are today.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Shout Your Name by onething Live

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 5:00am
The live album, recorded at IHOPKC's annual Onething young adult conference last December (Dec. 28-31), features some of the most memorable songs from the event all led by members of its worship team during the conference. Each December downtown Kansas City is transformed into a global destination for thousands of fiery worshipers as IHOPKC hosts its annual Onething conference at the Kansas City Convention Center. This premier event, which draws approximately 20,000 church leaders and young people from congregations all across the world each year, featured Forerunner Music artists and IHOPKC worship leaders Misty Edwards, Jaye Thomas, Laura Hackett Park,[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Exposures by See The Rise

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 5:00am
Categories: Christian Music News

Anthology Live by Richard Smallwood

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 5:00am
Legendary maestro Richard Smallwood's career has spanned several decades, permeated contemporary culture forever changed the face of black gospel music. Singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger world-class composer, Richard Smallwood's vast talents have amassed numerous accolades including the BMI Trailblazer of Gospel Award, multiple Dove Awards, Stellar Awards, a Grammy an induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Anthology is a collection of musical works that will magnify the name of the Lord and edify the listener. Recorded live last year before a packed house in Washington, DC, his hometown, this collection features special guests Angela Winbush Dottie[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

SGA responds to growing number of Ukrainian refugees

Mission Network News - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 5:00am

The fighting in eastern Ukraine has shattered the lives of many, and has resulted in thousands of refugees. (Photo and caption courtesy of Slavic Gospel Association).

Ukraine (MNN) -- Over 900,000 Ukrainians have fled the country, according to a recent report by the UN refugee agency. Many are seeking asylum in neighboring countries, with 80% staying in Russia. The UNHCR also said that as of June 25, there were over 1,300,000 internally displaced people in Ukraine registered by the Ministry of Social Policy. Although the violence has subsided in recent months, life hasn’t gotten any easier for Ukrainians. Many lost their homes in the conflict, and the economy is in disarray. But through the help of Slavic Gospel Association, some are finding hope. SGA provides support through its Crisis Evangelism Fund, which gives pastors resources to distribute from their churches. It provides food, water, clothing, bedding, Bibles, and other Christian material to meet needs and help victims find a lasting peace. “We’ve been doing two things. One: we’ve been prioritizing taking care of church members from our partner churches,” says Bret Laird, an SGA missionary. “We work very closely with the Ukrainian Baptist Union. It has about 1,500 churches, and many of those churches in the East have really suffered as a result of the war. Some have been destroyed by direct shellfire; thousands of believers have been forced to flee, so we’ve been trying to help them get resettled. Two: “We’ve been working with local churches to reach out to the unbelieving population with the gospel, and we’re taking care of their physical needs.” SGA's connection with Ukrainian churches plays a key role in successful outreach. International organizations like the American Red Cross don’t have a local distribution network--they hire staff members to bring aid. But SGA’s relationship with Ukrainian pastors allows the organization to more effectively meet spiritual and physical needs.

(Photo courtesy of SGA)

“When aid is given through us, it goes to those who are most in need, and it’s distributed in a very targeted fashion,” Laird says. “We have lists of families with how much medicine they need, how much coal they need, how much food they need. “We believe it doesn’t do a whole lot of good to make people’s earthly life a little better if we don’t do anything about their eternal destiny,” Laird says. “So distributing through the local church is the only way to ensure that people are getting spiritual bread as well as physical.” Laird hopes that as the Ukraine crisis has become less prevalent in the news, people don’t diminish the urgency of the situation. Victims are still suffering, and the need is still great. “What we would really like people to understand is that it’s not always immediately after the major battles are fought that the real needs come to bear,” Laird says. “A lot of the people who have been displaced: their homes are destroyed, the economy is completely a wreck. These needs are going to be ongoing, and so we really hope people will take the long view.” Laird asks for prayer support. The conflict is seemingly winding down, so pray that the decline would continue. Pray also for safety and wisdom for missionaries in Ukraine, and that war victims would come to know the true peace found in Christ. You can also support SGA financially. Click here to donate to SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund.
Categories: Mission Network News

Six Men Arrested for Heckling Pastor Joel Osteen During Service; Lakewood Church to Press Charges

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 4:40pm
Six men who called senior pastor of Lakewood church, Joel Osteen, "a liar" during a bizarre outburst which scared several members into leaving a service at the Houston, Texas, megachurch prematurely on Sunday morning were removed from the church then slapped with charges of criminal trespassing.
Categories: Christian Post

Tennessee Lawmakers Drafting Bill to Protect Pastors Who Object to Marrying Same-Sex Couples After Supreme Court Ruling

Christian Post - Pastors - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 4:28pm
Tennessee lawmakers are drafting a new bill expected to protect pastors who refuse to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies for religious reasons.
Categories: Christian Post

Franklin Graham Warns Christians to 'Be Prepared' for Persecution Following Supreme Court Marriage Ruling; 'It's Coming' and So Is 'God's Judgement Upon America'

Christian Post - Pastors - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 3:51pm
Leading Evangelist Franklin Graham is warning Christians nationwide that they should be ready to face persecution if they wish to stand by the biblical definition of marriage following last Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States.
Categories: Christian Post

Franklin Graham Warns Christians to 'Be Prepared' for Persecution Following Supreme Court Marriage Ruling; 'It's Coming' and So Is 'God's Judgement Upon America'

Christian Post - Bible - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 3:51pm
Leading Evangelist Franklin Graham is warning Christians nationwide that they should be ready to face persecution if they wish to stand by the biblical definition of marriage following last Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States.
Categories: Christian Post

Pastor, Worshipers Beaten After 200 Hindu Radicals Storm and Devastate Protestant Church in India

Christian Post - Pastors - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 3:10pm
The Evangelical Fellowship of India has reported a violent attack against Christians in the country that was committed earlier this month when over 200 Hindu radicals stormed a Protestant church in the town of Attingal, Kerela, beating up the pastor and some of the worshipers, and breaking the altar.
Categories: Christian Post

State Budget woes

WGRC News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 2:53pm

With just two days left until the deadline to have a state budget in place, the battle lines have been drawn in Harrisburg, and the spending plan may end up being late. The Republican controlled house passed its own spending plan of $30 billion dollars over the weekend. The plan does not contain a tax increase, and though republican leaders say it contains more money for education, the Governor and democrats say it’s not enough. The governor who had threatened a veto of the plan also wants to raise taxes in Pennsylvania. The plan is expected to go to the state senate today for their consideration.

Categories: Local News

Why Homosexuality Is Not Like Other Sins, DesiringGod Writer Explains

Christian Post - Bible - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 2:08pm
Homosexuality is one of the nine sins mentioned in 1 Corinthians with reference to the unrighteous who will not inherit the kingdom of God, but it is different from all the rest, writes an author on the desiringGod blog, explaining why this difference is even more pronounced today.
Categories: Christian Post

7 Bible Verses to Look Over When You Are Having Trouble Sleeping

Christian Post - Bible - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 1:49pm
After a long day of work, whether it be stressful or not, it is important we all sleep and recharge our batteries. For some it is very easy to fall right asleep, and for others it can be very stressful. Sleeplessness, insomnia, and stress may cause us to stay awake longer than expected. We sometimes have trouble finding a relaxed state of mind. So we look up to God, and He helps put our minds to rest.
Categories: Christian Post