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LGBT Activist Supports Irish Bakery's Right to Refuse to Make Gay Marriage 'Bert and Ernie' Cake

Christian Post - Missions - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 10:30am
A gay rights activist who previously favored prosecuting an Irish bakery for refusing to make a pro-gay marriage cake has changed his mind.
Categories: Christian Post

Older White So. Baptist Church Merges With Younger Black Congregation to Form Multiracial Community

Christian Post - Pastors - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 9:15am
Two Kansas congregations, one a recently created worship community and the other an older smaller congregation, merged into one church.
Categories: Christian Post

Older White So. Baptist Church Merges With Younger Black Congregation to Form Multiracial Community

Christian Post - Missions - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 9:15am
Two Kansas congregations, one a recently created worship community and the other an older smaller congregation, merged into one church.
Categories: Christian Post

Older White So. Baptist Church Merges With Younger Black Congregation to Form Multiracial Community

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 9:15am
Two Kansas congregations, one a recently created worship community and the other an older smaller congregation, merged into one church.
Categories: Christian Post

Most 'Churchless' US City Inspires Holistic Gospel Mov't Using Church Network

Christian Post - Missions - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 8:40am
The Transforming the Bay with Christ initiative hopes to usher a gospel movement into the San Francisco Bay Area to improve the quality of life for area residents.
Categories: Christian Post

Most 'Churchless' US City Inspires Holistic Gospel Mov't Using Church Network

Christian Post - Evangelism - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 8:40am
The Transforming the Bay with Christ initiative hopes to usher a gospel movement into the San Francisco Bay Area to improve the quality of life for area residents.
Categories: Christian Post

Most 'Churchless' US City Inspires Holistic Gospel Mov't Using Church Network

Christian Post - Church Growth - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 8:40am
The Transforming the Bay with Christ initiative hopes to usher a gospel movement into the San Francisco Bay Area to improve the quality of life for area residents.
Categories: Christian Post

Most 'Churchless' US City Inspires Holistic Gospel Mov't Using Church Network

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 8:40am
The Transforming the Bay with Christ initiative hopes to usher a gospel movement into the San Francisco Bay Area to improve the quality of life for area residents.
Categories: Christian Post

74% of Large Churches Training Next Generation of Leaders From Within, Study Finds

Christian Post - Pastors - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 8:28am
Seventy-four percent of large churches offer their future leaders or pastors-in-training an internship or residency, a new national study finds.
Categories: Christian Post

74% of Large Churches Training Next Generation of Leaders From Within, Study Finds

Christian Post - Living - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 8:28am
Seventy-four percent of large churches offer their future leaders or pastors-in-training an internship or residency, a new national study finds.
Categories: Christian Post

74% of Large Churches Training Next Generation of Leaders From Within, Study Finds

Christian Post - Church Growth - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 8:28am
Seventy-four percent of large churches offer their future leaders or pastors-in-training an internship or residency, a new national study finds.
Categories: Christian Post

Kong Hee Says His 'Spiritual Father' Is Pastor David Yonggi Cho of Yoido Full Gospel Church

Christian Post - Pastors - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 8:10am
Singapore's City Harvest Church pastor Kong Hee has praised Pastor David Yonggi Cho and Grace Kim Sunghae of Yoido Full Gospel Church, the largest Pentecostal Church in the world, as being "one of the most amazing couples in the history of Christendom."
Categories: Christian Post

Kong Hee Says His 'Spiritual Father' Is Pastor David Yonggi Cho of Yoido Full Gospel Church

Christian Post - Church Growth - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 8:10am
Singapore's City Harvest Church pastor Kong Hee has praised Pastor David Yonggi Cho and Grace Kim Sunghae of Yoido Full Gospel Church, the largest Pentecostal Church in the world, as being "one of the most amazing couples in the history of Christendom."
Categories: Christian Post

The freedom of half century dreams

Mission Network News - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 5:00am
International (MNN) -- In the United States, the Liberty Bell on display in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania stands as a representation of independence. It’s an iconic symbol that has become synonymous with freedom.

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

For as much as its outline is recognized, few people remember what’s inscribed on it: “PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF.” Few may recognize where the origin of these world: the Old Testament. It’s based on Leviticus 25:10, which reads: “Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan.” It’s a reminder to set apart the fiftieth year as holy. David Shibley with Global Advance says this is both a return to roots and a time to sow seeds. “Just as the Ebenezer [means] To this point, the Lord has helped us from the past, that gives me the assurance that into the uncharted territory of the future, He will indeed be our strong Helper and our Defense.” This year marks 50 years Shibley has been preaching the Gospel. In 1966, when he first began sharing the hope of Christ from a pulpit, there was turmoil. In the U.S., the late 60s were years of social revolution and unrest. At the same time, Shibley also saw the greatest sweep of God’s Spirit in the "Jesus Movement." Today, he says, there’s something of a parallel. “The world is seething in turmoil. Hostility to the Gospel is far more pronounced than it was 50 years ago, in almost every nation.” According to Open Doors USA, 2015 was the “worst year in modern history for Christian persecution.” And yet, Shibley notes, “The brilliant light of the Gospel juxtaposed against the ever greater darkness, it seems, is really brilliant.”

(Photo Frontline Shepherd courtesy Global Advance)

The way you get through change is by anchoring to something unchanging. It’s such an important concept that Shibley jotted down his thoughts in his newest book, Entrusted: Anchoring Your Life in the Gospel.  Really, he says, he’s a lifelong student of the Gospel, and that gives him perspective when you look at the current events challenging the Church. More and more, believers are asking for Global Advance to come train them. And that's exactly what they're doing. There are Frontline Shepherds conferences, Marketplace Missions, the Esther Initiative, Next Gen Engagement, and Alpha Relief. These are answers to things like anti-conversion laws, blasphemy laws, the Islamic State, the refugee crisis, disaster, war, and more. Shibley says the compassion approach doesn’t preclude the evangelism approach or vice versa. It’s not either/or. It’s both/and. ”In the middle of that, we’re going to see massive human need everywhere. We represent Jesus in the midst of that need. We go in His name to meet those needs and to bring light and to bring life by the Gospel.” After half a century of seeing that nothing is new under the sun, how do you keep the edge sharp? Rather than becoming more calloused to need, Shibley believes he has more sensitivity to human need than ever before. He often considers the following: "'Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.'" In addition, "It’s a painful prayer. The answer to that prayer will affect our lives….but it’s a great prayer." In the end says Shibley, "This isn’t first a job. It isn’t first a task. It’s a response of love."

(Photo Frontline Relief courtesy of Global Advance)

A response, a decision to finish well, a willingness to weep with those who weep. These are all components of the way Global Advance will strategize what they’re doing in the next 50 years. "We’re going to equip leaders all over the world to take that message into a very dark situation: that Jesus Christ is still Lord, and the Great Commission is still in effect." Shibley has spent his life talking about freedom. Reflecting on that, he sums up the "what" behind Global Advance: "Same Jesus, same Gospel, same Great Commission." It is only ever the "how" that is subject to change.
Categories: Mission Network News

Smile for LIFE

Mission Network News - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 5:00am
Bolivia (MNN) -- In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, the Center for Life, also known as Centro de Vida, will tell you a simple smile goes a long way in making a positive difference.

'I Smile for Life' gathering in Bolivia (photo courtesy LIFE Int'l)

Young people partnering with the pregnancy care center recently took colorful, vibrant signs and placards to the main street corners of the city, signs with a very simple message, “I smile for life.” Response to the center’s ambassadors was positively overwhelming. But that’s not all that’s taking place at Centro de Vida. Late last year, LIFE International was invited by 22 young counselors and people working with the center to come and train them. The training provided took participants through a three-step process of abortion recovery. Melinda Delahoyde, Vice President of Mission Advancement for LIFE International, says the first step is helping women understand the grief and what has happened to them. The second step is to convey the message of hope found in Jesus Christ, that He paid the price for what has ever happened to them. And the third step is an invitation to praise the Lord for the healing He alone will provide. Delahoyde goes on to say that when this message seeps into the hearts of counselors receiving the training offered by LIFE International, there’s an overwhelming joy that pervades. What’s even more inspiring is to know this is an example of the kind of training that is happening in more than 65 countries around the world as a result of God’s work through LIFE International. Says Delahoyde, “Nowhere do you see a greater application of love and healing of Jesus Christ than when a woman’s heart and mind and soul is healed from that abortion, and Bolivia’s one example of that.” Click here for stories about what God is doing around the world through LIFE International.    
Categories: Mission Network News

Locust invasion overtakes Argentina as outreach efforts intensify

Mission Network News - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 5:00am
Argentina (WMP/MNN) -- Argentina is facing its worst locust attack in over 50 years, and experts say it's not going to end any time soon.

A locust can eat its entire body weight in vegetation. (Wikimedia Commons)

It all began with the arrival of a few locusts last July and has grown to an epidemic affecting approximately 1.7 million acres of land. According to National Geographic, each locust can eat its body weight in vegetation. Locusts travel in swarms, which can reach up to 460 square miles in size. With the help of World Missionary Press, Christians are pressing through the plague to make Christ known. World Missionary Press shared the following update on its Facebook page and in a recent newsletter: In spite of political, economic, and social crisis in Argentina, WMP volunteer coordinator and EHC director Rino B. saw house-to-house distribution and special ministries more than double during the past year. New strategies were used to increase the number and skills of volunteers, improve the ministry’s social media presence, and expand into neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay. He soon “discovered a serious problem!” The expansion depleted materials and greatly increased the need for “at least 3 million pieces of literature to cover the year 2016.”

(Graphic courtesy WMP)

Rino shared the touching story of Walter, now 42 years old, who has devoted his life to volunteer ministry with EHC. Walter was 8 years old when his beloved grandmother died. In her belongings he saw an old, well-worn WMP booklet, "Help From Above," which he began to read repeatedly. Through his reading, he discovered that he could know Jesus as his personal Savior. He was 14 when he began to attend the church his grandmother had attended, was baptized, and committed to deliver literature received by the EHC office in Argentina. “During 28 years I’ve distributed thousands of tracts, and I have the privilege to guide the feet of Christ to hundreds or thousands peoples. So I am very happy.” WMP is preparing a fresh 40-foot container of Gospel literature to fuel Rino’s incredibly fruitful ministry.

“During 28 years I’ve distributed thousands of tracts, and I have the privilege to guide the feet of Christ to hundreds or thousands peoples. So I am very happy.” --Walter
(Photo, quote courtesy WMP)

World Missionary Press produces approximately 7,000,000 Scripture booklets each month to send out free of charge. As explained here, a single roll of paper can produce 80,000 Scripture booklets at a cost of $1,080. Every donated dollar on average can reach more than 20 people anywhere in the world with the life-saving, life-changing Gospel. Click here to help underwrite WMP's printing and shipping costs.
Categories: Mission Network News

Blockade continues, crisis worsens

Mission Network News - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 5:00am
Nepal (MNN) -- Conditions created by India's September blockade are worsening, according to Vision Beyond Borders.

(Photo credit VBB)

The people of Nepal can barely get any fuel, food, or medicine. "They've gone from over 300 fuel trucks a day coming across the border to less than five," says Dyann Romeijn with Vision Beyond Borders. "The UN is warning that this could affect about three million children: they could starve as a result of this blockade, if there isn't a resolution soon." Blockade back-story India began its blockade of Nepal soon after the former Hindu kingdom adopted a secular constitution. "The Hindus were very upset about that," Romeijn explains.

Line of gas cylinder at Kathmandu
(Wikipedia)

"India has been putting a lot of pressure on Nepal to become a Hindu nation again." Click here to learn why India is blockading Nepal. India's blockade quickly began hindering Nepali life and hasn't let up since. A number of smaller border crossing points have eased blockade restrictions, The Kathmandu Post reports. However, at the largest crossing point,  where 60% of goods and supplies enter Nepal from India, barriers remain. Ministry continues, despite blockade woes Vision Beyond Borders' children's ministry and safe house are still going, thanks to God's timing and provision. According to Romeijn, the partner who oversees these ministries recently visited the U.S. While there, he was able to obtain electric skillets and bring them back to Nepal.

(Photo courtesy VBB)

"They typically don't use that. They cook outside [using] wood and fuel," says Romeijn. However, the extreme fuel shortage resulting from India's blockade has forced everyone to cut back on traditional cooking methods. Thanks to Nepal's rolling blackouts, "There are periods of time where they're without electricity. But, then [there are times when] they'll have electricity, and they're able to use these cooktops for [preparing] food." The blockade is also providing a chance to talk with neighbors about Christ. "It's an opportunity for Christians to respond to that crisis and to show the love and compassion of Jesus," Romeijn says. Visitors are still able to travel to Nepal, but the blockade is making it hard for Nepali citizens to host and support guests. Right now, "going" and "giving" may not be the best ways to help VBB and their partners in Nepal.

(Photo courtesy VBB)

Prayer is always the best option, and Romeijn says they really need your prayers right now--both for physical safety and spiritual victories. "The Gospel needs to be proclaimed. People need to know Jesus, because when that happens, situations are changed. Hearts are changed, lives are changed, and circumstances are also changed."
Categories: Mission Network News

Bethany committed to protecting refugees

Mission Network News - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 5:00am
USA (Bethany) -- Bethany Christian Services, a global nonprofit organization committed to bringing and keeping families together, today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI).

Bethany Christian Services does some work directly in Guatemala, and they are helping refugees from Guatemala and nearby countries. (Photo courtesy of Bethany Christian Services)

Bethany will provide assistance under the Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (TVAP) that comprises international victims of trafficking. “It is our mission to provide quality social services in Christ’s name,” said Dona Abbott, director of Bethany’s refugee resettlement services. “We are both honored and privileged to have this opportunity to demonstrate His love and compassion through helping these survivors find hope and a future.” Case management assistance will include aiding victims in achieving Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) certification, enrolling them in federal and state benefit programs to the same extent as a refugee, and obtaining employment. Bethany will ensure comprehensive, culturally- and linguistically-appropriate services to qualified clients which will include preventative health services. Bethany is experienced in working with torture survivors through its Healing Center for Torture Trauma. “The primary goal is to help them feel safe,” said Corrie Sjoblom, Healing Center supervisor at Bethany. “Only when they start to feel secure can we help them become self-sufficient and active members in our community.”
Categories: Mission Network News

Texas Megachurch to Pay PC(USA) $1.525 Million to Leave Denomination

Christian Post - Pastors - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 4:58pm
A Texas megachurch that voted to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) over theological differences agreed to pay its former regional body approximately $1.5 million to maintain control of its church property.
Categories: Christian Post

Texas Megachurch to Pay PC(USA) $1.525 Million to Leave Denomination

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 4:58pm
A Texas megachurch that voted to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) over theological differences agreed to pay its former regional body approximately $1.5 million to maintain control of its church property.
Categories: Christian Post