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Thank God for His provision of your hands, feet and voices willing to speak His truth throughout our region - what a blessing you continue to be.  (State College)

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Mormons to Remain With Boy Scouts Despite Split on Gay Leaders

Christian Post - Missions - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 3:32pm
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has decided to remain affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, despite objections to the youth organization's recent decision to allow openly gay scout leaders.
Categories: Christian Post

Administration looks to close Gitmo

WGRC News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 1:58pm

The Pentagon aims to close the terror detention facility at Guantanamo Bay as soon as possible. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told a briefing that Defense Secretary Ash Carter wants to get it done on President Obama’s watch and not leave it to the next President. Pentagon officials are currently assessing alternative military sites to transfer some of the remaining prisoners from the Gitmo facility. Plans are being worked out to transfer some other prisoners overseas. There are only a little more than 100 detainees remaining at Gitmo.

Categories: Local News

Hunter license fee increase

WGRC News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 1:57pm

Hunters could see their first license fee increase in nearly two decades. A plan unveiled by the Pennsylvania Game Commission would boost the cost of an adult hunting license by 20-dollars over five years. The current 19-dollar fee would be increased by 10-dollars the first year, and by 5-dollars in years three and five. The fee hike still requires legislative approval.

Categories: Local News

Budget stalemate continues

WGRC News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 1:55pm

The budget stalemate presses on stronger than ever in Pennsylvania. An attempt to override Governor Tom Wolf’s budget veto failed in the House. Members defeated more than a dozen proposals under an unprecedented line-item override of the budget bill. Wolf had vetoed the entire bill but didn’t exercise his line-item veto power. Democrats argued the procedure violated the state’s constitution, but majority Republicans claim they’re in the right.

Categories: Local News

Tullian Tchividjian Files for Divorce Following Extramarital Affair, Resignation From Church

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 12:50pm
After admitting to having an extramarital affair and resigning from the Florida megachurch he pastored, Tullian Tchividjian has filed for divorce.
Categories: Christian Post

Ted Cruz: Planned Parenthood Officials Committed 'Multiple Felonies,' Worthy of '10-Year Jail Time'

Christian Post - Pastors - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 12:02pm
Republican presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz argued on Tuesday that the recent series of undercover videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress explicitly show Planned Parenthood officials committing multiple federal felonies, one of which carries a 10-year jail sentence.
Categories: Christian Post

Like King David, 'Comfort' Can Lead Christians 'to Destruction,' Says Rapper Andy Mineo in Talk on New Album

Christian Post - Bible - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 10:14am
Rapper and Christian Andy Mineo made an appearance on the Sirius XM Shade 45 radio show "Sway in the Morning" last week where he discussed his upcoming album "Uncomfortable" and how having too much comfort in life can lead to people's destruction.
Categories: Christian Post

Pope Francis Asked to Clarify 'Widespread Confusion' on Catholic Stance on Gay Marriage

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 7:57am
Pope Francis has been urged in a major petition signed by over half a million people, including five cardinals, to clear up the "widespread confusion" in society over the Roman Catholic stance on issues such as gay marriage and divorce.
Categories: Christian Post

Suicide rates climb among Indian farmers

Mission Network News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 5:00am
India (MNN) -- Across India’s caste system, one group of people stands out as the most desperate and hopeless. These people are the low-caste, many of them subsistence farmers, stuck in a system designed to leave them disenfranchised and impoverished. There has been a dramatic increase in the suicide rate for these Indian farmers over the past few years, and Lindsay Ackerman, a spokeswoman for Grand Rapids, Michigan–based Mission India, says there’s not likely to change soon. So what’s behind these tragic rates? Ackerman says the sobering numbers are “not because of emotional problems necessarily, but because the farming community is facing so many challenges.” There are a few problems, says Ackerman, but there are two main challenges that make it especially difficult for farmers to make a decent living.

(Photo courtesy Mission India)

“These challenges could be weather related: India’s weather is so extreme that there may be a drought one year and very heavy rains the next that cause flooding,” she explains. But not all problems find their roots in nature. Because of failing crops, farmers struggle financially, too. “In order to get seeds, they have to borrow money in order to even plant,” says Ackerman, adding that “they’re not able to harvest enough to pay back the debts that they’ve taken.” For many, the problem doesn’t stop there. ”They’re renting their land, [and] the rates are just astronomical.” Many farmers see suicide as the only way to end the vicious cycle that’s plunging them deeper into poverty. How bad is it? In 2013 alone, it was reported that almost 12,000 farmers took their own lives across India. But the number is probably much higher because of the great shame associated with the topic. Almost 9% of all deaths in India are attributed to suicide. That means someone commits suicide in India every 45 minutes. With the increasing suicide rates, it’s easy to see why Mission India formed a plan. They’re using three on-the-ground programs to reach the local hurting communities and give them hope. The first is the Church-Planting Program. Volunteers from around the community invest in teaching the local people about the everlasting love of God. “They’re able to bring hope into a community where it’s complete hopelessness.” Next is the Children’s Bible Clubs. In this program, local volunteers are “leading children’s Bible clubs and opening their doors to children of farmers, or just anybody in the community.”

(Photo courtesy Mission India)

Finally, the Adult Literacy Classes are a great way to give farmers a chance to escape the cycle of poverty. The practical skills the farmers learn are vital for making a profit. “When a farmer is able to count accurately for the first time, that brings a whole different skill set to his work where he can actually know whether he’s being cheated,” says Ackerman. Farmers can also learn what to charge for their produce at the market, how to make the correct change, and what a contract for a loan actually says about things like the rate of interest or the time frame for returning the funds. Mission India’s main focus is to spread the gospel and tell the communities about the love of Christ. How does that make a difference in eking out a living on harsh land? The goal is to help farmers understand that “there is something greater than themselves, bigger than their situation, that there’s a God that loves them and created them and wants a relationship with them and is there to strengthen them during difficult times.” Even if you have a black thumb, Ackerman says you can help. First and foremost, “We definitely need people to come alongside us through prayer and support for these ministries.” To her, the farmers' tragedy presents “a phenomenal opportunity to come alongside a community that’s struggling, that’s facing hopelessness; and as we invest into nationals, as they bring the hope of Christ, it’s just an amazing example of God’s kingdom in action.” You can support Mission India by prayer or by donating here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Isolated Christians given opportunity to worship

Mission Network News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy of SAT-7)

Algeria (SAT-7/MNN) -- For many Christians in the U.S., going to church means a 10-minute drive down the road. But for believers in North Africa, It’s not nearly that simple. At a rural Protestant church in Algeria, believers walk for miles through the rugged Atlas Mountains to make it to Sunday worship. They get up as early as 5:00 a.m. to make it to the 9:30 a.m. service, which is usually packed by 8:00 a.m. For many other believers in North Africa, public worship isn’t even an option. Thousands of rural villages have no church building or Christian gatherings. That’s why SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, started MY Church in Algeria. Now in its third year, the television program airs Sunday services from the rural Protestant church in Algeria to thousands of rural villages throughout North Africa. The program is aired in the Kabyle language, a sub-dialect of the Amazigh language, along with Arabic subtitles. SAT-7 chose Kabyle because in countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Somalia, it is often better understood than Arabic. "Before we start our cell group church in my house on Sundays, we watch My Church in Algeria because it is in Kabyle,” one viewer from Morocco says, according to an article by SAT-7. In a country where Christianity was nearly wiped out by Arab invasions in the 7th century, Christianity is growing. Out of more than 39 million people in Algeria, an estimated 75,000 are Christians, with a lot of the growth coming in the last 20 years. Can you help SAT-7 continue reaching Muslims for Christ through satellite television? For $1, you can support one SAT-7 viewer for a year. Remember also to keep Algeria, as well as the rest of North Africa, in your prayers. Pray that SAT-7 programs would continue touching hearts and that Muslims would come to Christ.
Categories: Mission Network News

Threats of war nothing new in North Korea

Mission Network News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs via Facebook)

North Korea (MNN) -- Last week, threats and several bombings were exchanged between North and South Korea. It was the highest tensions have been between the neighboring countries in years. These new pressures escalated when landmines--which North Korea refused to take responsibility for--wounded two South Korean soldiers. “The North Koreans have even, in 2010, sunk a South Korean ship. They have always refused to acknowledge that it was their fault or to apologize,” says Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). “The South Korean government, in this instance, is saying, ‘We’re not going to settle for that sort of ignoring the issue. You must apologize.’ After refusing to do so, South Korea blasted loudspeakers that had been inactive for 11 years, to spread truth about North Korea and it’s leaders. For the North Korean government, that is one of the most dangerous things to happen. “The North Korean government is very touchy about information for their citizens. Because of the nature of their regime, because of the level of control, any information from the outside world is cut off.” The information that came across the border from the loudspeakers quickly acted as a direct threat to the North Korean government. “And you can see in the level of their response that they [felt] threatened by it,” Nettleton says. Friday, Kim Jong-un declared a "quasi-state of war" on the south and ordered troops to prepare for battle. While North Korea doubled the artillery forces on it’s frontlines and 50 of the country’s submarines disappeared into unknown locations, it looked like this conflict would end up in more than a "quasi-state of war." Yet after several days of negotiations, an agreement was struck on Tuesday morning. In the agreement, South Korea said it would stop propaganda. North Korea expressed regret for the injuries of the soldiers and said they would call off the "semi war." While the world held its breath over the last few days, the people of North Korea went about their business unscathed, and not the least bit concerned, according to the Associated Press. Why? Because threats of war are nothing new to their daily lives. “The North Koreans will often make these amazing statements of ‘You’ve done this and we’re going to respond this way.' So until it goes [further] than what it’s gone now, I think it is posturing, and I think it is kind of back and forth," Nettleton says. Associated Press journalist Eric Talmadge writes, “North Koreans are accustomed to being told they are on the brink of war with their southern neighbors and U.S. troops.” Having become accustomed to rumors or threats of war, and growing worshipping their leaders, the truth of the Gospel is vital for the people. “We are involved in getting information into North Korea, getting New Testaments in, getting Gospel radio broadcasts in,” Nettleton says. “In some ways, I think the North Koreans would identify us as part of the problem because we’re part of the outside world trying to get the truth to the North Korean people.” As tensions ebb for the moment, pray that God will grant the Korean governments wisdom to find a permanent solution. Also pray for the church to stand firm during persecution. North Korea is #1 on the Open Doors World Watch List.
Categories: Mission Network News

Missionary spreads the Word throughout Egypt

Mission Network News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy of Operation Mobilization)

Egypt (MNN) -- [EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an article written by Nicole James, a freelance journalist and an intern with Operation Mobilization. Click here to find other ways OM is spreading the Gospel around the world.] “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it” (Isaiah 55:11 NLT). *Ali, a local worker, has one goal for his life: to wash Egypt with the Word of God. Before 2017, he hopes to distribute 2 million Bibles to Egyptian Muslims. He hands out Bibles by the carton-full, according to team leader *Jared. “Ali is not afraid in any situation to offer a Bible as a gift,” Jared said. Often, when one family member receives a Bible, other relatives come back to ask for their own copy. A couple of times a year, Ali and *Ibrahim, another OM worker, partner with a local ministry. In a courtyard, event volunteers set up displays of used clothing to sell. When a local leaves the event, they receive a Bible. One day, 2 girls entered the courtyard and silently perused the area. On their way out, they both accepted a Bible. Some time later, both returned to the center, having read through the Bible and come to faith. Another day, a Muslim lady wearing a full burka came into the area. One of the volunteers, standing next to the doorway, handed her the Bible as she entered. She accepted the book, hugged it tightly to herself, and said, “I don’t need anything else.” “Incredible things are happening in Egypt these days,” Ali reported. “We’re praying that the Word of God will go across [the country].” Since the Egyptian revolution in 2011, Bible distribution within the country has increased every year. There was “an incredible response to the Gospel from the backlash when the Muslim Brotherhood was running the country,” Jared explained. “[Many] people rejected that form of Islam. They’re exploring many different areas, but many are coming to Christianity.” OM workers are spreading God’s Word across Egypt’s social strata--from politicians to people off the street. However, the openness experienced by the OM team in Egypt may not last. “We don’t know what will happen in a year or two,” Jared said. Pray that OM workers in Egypt will continue to find ways to distribute Bibles across the country. Pray that many Egyptians will read God’s Word and come to faith in Jesus Christ. *Name changed for security
Categories: Mission Network News

Bangladesh flooding: crisis or opportunity?

Mission Network News - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy DFID via Flickr)

Bangladesh (MNN) -- Conditions are dire and desperate amid nonstop Bangladesh flooding. Landslides and a cyclone have intensified the effects of annual monsoon flooding, leaving at least 180,000 Bangladeshis homeless. Amid the chaos, national pastors and church planters supported by Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI) are islands of security. “Members of their congregations are looking to them for leadership in the midst of a crisis,” explains FMI’s Bruce Allen. “So, we really want to come alongside and resource them with the things that they need. Bangladesh flooding

Cyclone Komen (Photo obtained on Tumblr)

Situated among the world’s largest river delta system, Bangladesh is naturally vulnerable to cyclones and South Asia’s annual monsoon rains. This year, however, has been particularly difficult. Monsoon season typically lasts from June to September, affecting 14 nations in South and Southeast Asia. Flooding and landslides are expected results, and ministries throughout the region are adept at dealing with the aftermath of these natural disasters. What caught most by surprise was the severity of Cyclone Komen. Formed over the Bay of Bengal, Cyclone Komen swamped Bangladesh at the end of July before adding insult to injury in neighboring Myanmar and India. According to Weather.com, areas already struggling to deal with Bangladesh flooding were inundated by Cyclone Komen. Church leaders supported by FMI are among those still trying to “pick up the pieces” nearly a month later. “Many of our ministry partners, our church planters, in Bangladesh are now very sick,” shares Allen, attributing illnesses to water-borne diseases.

All of the resources seen here
were destroyed by recent flooding.
(Photo courtesy FMI)

Water-borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, and polio are common during monsoon season because flood waters often contaminate sources of drinking water. “Our National Director lost his home,” Allen adds. Inside the home were volumes upon volumes of the director’s Christian resources. Can you help FMI empower struggling believers in Bangladesh? Empowering local responders Allen says FMI wants to replace the National Director’s resources claimed by floodwaters. “If we could get him a digital library on, let’s say a Kindle or Nexus, that would be a God-send for him,” he explains. But, they’re not stopping there. “We’re trying to educate people in how to build smarter, use better materials: concrete block, or brick, mortar, that is not going to dissolve in water,” says Allen.

Traditional bamboo hut building: the "weaved" walls
are attached to the framework, and
corrugated iron is used to make the roofs.
(Photo, caption obtained via Wikipedia)

Bangladesh flooding is “a tragic cycle repeated year after year in certain areas of the country, and they just keep going back and using those [same] materials, but then they have to rebuild every year," says Allen. “If we can help them with better building materials, that makes a large difference.” Visit FMI’s Web site here and select “Tangible Resources” to help Bangladeshi believers transform their communities. “We’re looking for people to come alongside [and] say, ‘We stand beside you. We want to see you be a beacon of hope and a message of Jesus’ Truth and forgiveness.’” More stories from Bangladesh here. Is there a quote or Bible verse that motivates you to help people in need? We’d love to hear it! Please share in the Comments section below.
Categories: Mission Network News

Protect Nun's 'Dignity' in Birth Control Mandate Case: 20 States Recall Gay Marriage Reasoning in Supreme Court Brief

Christian Post - Missions - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 3:35pm
Mirroring the Supreme Court reasoning used to implement nationwide gay marriage, 20 states filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the Obama administration is infringing upon the "dignity" of the Little Sisters of the Poor in forcing the nuns to either violate their religious beliefs or pay crippling fines.
Categories: Christian Post

Continued budget talks

WGRC News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 3:12pm

The sides continue to spar over the budget issue in Pennsylvania. Governor Wolf yesterday blasted a Republican plan to vote to override his budget bill veto piece by piece as unconstitutional. Republican leaders plan to start taking those votes today and Wolf says not only do they not follow the state constitution but that they would also cause even longer delays in trying to get a budget done. Budget talks are scheduled to get underway between the Wolf administration and Republican leaders as they continue to spar over planned tax increases and other issues.

Categories: Local News

Hillary Clinton looking for Conservative operatives

WGRC News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 3:11pm

Hillary Clinton’s campaign continues looking for undercover conservative stings. Time says the campaign worries that conservative operatives may try to infiltrate the campaign in an attempt to uncover illegal or improper activities. This follows three volunteers asking questions about skirting campaign finance laws. Clinton continues dealing with questions over how she used her email during her time at the State Department.

Categories: Local News

PA AG Kathleen Kane heads to trial

WGRC News - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 3:08pm

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane will head to trial on charges she leaked secret grand jury information and lied about it under oath. The ruling came Monday after a hearing where Kane’s lawyer tried to get some charges dropped. Kane has been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. She’s denied any involvement and has, so far, refused to step down.

Categories: Local News

Retired Bishop Says Pope John Paul II 'Couldn't Deal' With Child Sex Abuse Scandal, Criticizes Pope Francis' Leadership

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 2:40pm
Geoffrey Robinson, a retired senior bishop in Sydney, Australia, has told the Royal Commission looking into institutional responses to child sexual abuse that Pope John Paul II failed to show leadership and could not deal with the child sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church for decades. Robinson claimed that Pope Francis has also failed to demonstrate the needed leadership.
Categories: Christian Post

Quiz: A Crooked Businessman, A Stripper and Caitlyn Jenner

Christian Post - Pastors - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 7:39am
No one would have questioned whether Jesus loved sinners. Watching how he treated people caught in sin, they might have questioned whether he hated sin, but they never would have questioned if he loved sinners. Today, no one questions whether Christians hate sin, but just about everyone questions whether we love sinners.
Categories: Christian Post