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ISIS solution: prayer?

Mission Network News - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 5:00am

A photo posted on internet on April 7, 2015 shows ISIS or Daesh (Daech) or "Islamic State" group militants posing in Yarmouk (Yarmuk) Palestinian camp, located in a suburb of Damascus, Syria, that is partially now under their control.
(Photo by Balkis Press/Sipa USA, obtained via PrayForISIS.com)

Middle East (MNN) -- The world is looking for an ISIS solution. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) declared its caliphate -- along with its intent to take over the world -- last summer, introducing the world to a new age of brutality and terror. Despite months of U.S.-led airstrikes and coalition fighting, the Islamic State continues to grow. On Monday, the Pentagon announced it would begin training and paying Syrian volunteers to fight ISIS. "I think we need a more radical solution to our problem," says Bob Blincoe, president of Frontiers. How to stop ISIS Along with taking more territory, ISIS is securing its future in the Middle East through indoctrination, strategic alliances, and continuous global recruitment.

(Image Wikipedia)

Opposition fighters have scored a few victories along the way, like the Kurdish capture of a Syrian military base once held by radicals yesterday. However, a permanent ISIS solution has yet to be found. "We have to start with the Scriptures and with Christ," says Blincoe. "If we start with Islam, we will all be afraid and we will look for solutions that are worldly." Jesus offers a pretty radical solution in the Gospel, Blincoe observes, when He asks His followers to forgive their enemies and pray for their persecutors. "The way out of these problems is love and respect for all people, and to take the way of Jesus Christ to the peoples of the world." Why prayer works Can the best ISIS solution really be something as simple as prayer? Jesus said it was.

(Photo courtesy Leland Francisco via Flickr)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven," Christ said in His Sermon on the Mount. Frontiers' new website -- PrayForISIS.com -- echoes Christ's command in Matthew 5. "It follows the person of Saul, who became Paul," explains Blincoe. "The verses from Acts 9 really do help a Christian identify with ISIS today." PrayforISIS.com is a 30-day Frontiers campaign designed to "corporately embrace God’s heart for the Muslim world, asking Him to bring members of ISIS into the knowledge of His love and grace." It purposefully premiers right in the midst of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month. "Ramadan is a special month for Muslims -- a special month of fasting and praying -- and we want to be especially praying as well…to the Lord God Jesus Christ on behalf of Muslims," Blincoe says.

(Photo courtesy Frontiers)

"Jesus said, 'I have other sheep that are not of this fold. They too must hear My voice and be gathered in.' So we [believe] in the promises of God, and we have some early victories." Frontiers USA focuses on reaching Muslims for Christ. Around the world, they're sharing the Gospel with followers of Islam and helping Muslim-background believers plant churches. Learn more about their work here. "At FrontiersUSA[dot-org], our listeners can get involved with Frontiers [and] take a step in the right direction toward bringing about God's love and hope to Muslim peoples everywhere," Blincoe says.
Categories: Mission Network News

Audio Bibles bring God’s Word to diverse audience

Mission Network News - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 5:00am

The audio Bible by Faith Comes by Hearing: The BibleStick
(Photo by FCBH)

International (MNN) -- As technology advances, so does the way people seek information. People are constantly searching for more efficient ways to work, learn, and connect with others. The ability to have endless information at one’s fingertips has made people much more distracted and seemingly less patient. This may seem to present challenges for studying Scripture and sharing God’s Word, but for Faith Comes By Hearing, these roadblocks can lead to a powerful form of ministry. FCBH’s goal is to record God's Word in every language. Its work consists primarily of audio Bibles, as well as a sign language Bible smartphone application for the deaf. Audio Scriptures are available through a variety of channels, including podcasts, smartphone applications, the Internet, and download. These formats give listeners God’s Word at their disposal, helping them spend more time with the Lord in the midst of their hectic schedules. They are especially useful for the younger generation. “Technology and other things have given me access to carry God’s Word around with me on my phone. That’s really what’s going to get these other generations into God’s Word,” says Bill Lohr with FCBH. “They’re not going to want to go out and have to carry a Bible with them, or run home to grab that print Bible. They want to have things with them immediately. “Wherever they are, it doesn’t matter which platform, which social media network, we want it to be so ubiquitous, that God’s Word simply is there. It’s available for them. All they have to do is think about it almost, and it’s there. They can read, they can listen, they can watch. All of these things can happen now with digital technology.” FCBH has Scripture recordings in nearly 900 languages. Social media is one of its key ministry tools, which helps connect with such a diverse target audience. “If Facebook were a country, it would be the second-largest country in the world,” Lohr says. “There are over 1.2 billion people on Facebook, and that continues to grow. So the sheer number of people on there: we want to make sure we can interact with them on God’s Word. “By being able to put God’s Word available in every single platform, It doesn’t matter if you’re on Facebook, it doesn’t matter if you’re on Twitter, it doesn’t matter if you’re on Instagram. There are people on those networks who are sharing God’s Word. We want to make it so that with one click of a button, they can share something, and that takes them directly to somewhere where they can read more, or they can listen more.”

(Photo courtesy of Faith Comes By Hearing)

But the tool that has had the strongest impact, Lohr says, is a small, black, solar-powered audio player called the Proclaimer. These devices are preloaded with a recording of the Bible and are given to missionaries to distribute to rural villages where many are illiterate and lack resources for receiving God’s Word. “Entire villages are transformed because they are hearing God’s Word for themselves.... But the work that we’re doing in the field where we have Proclaimers and other devices, we have some amazing reports that come back. Drunkenness in entire villages has ceased to exist, and people who are committing crimes are coming to the Lord and realizing this is not the life they want to lead. “It doesn’t just happen because they realize they want to become a better person. It happens because they’ve had a true run-in and relationship with Jesus Christ.” Want to bring Christ to unreached groups yourself? FCBH can help. Contact FCBH (toll free: 800-545-6552; e-mail: info@faithcomesbyhearing.com) and ask for resources to bring on short-term mission trips to help share Christ. Lohr also asks that you come alongside his organization in prayer, asking God to guide, bless and strengthen its ministry. Click here for ways to help FCBH financially.
Categories: Mission Network News

Parents get involved in education in Honduras

Mission Network News - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 5:00am
Honduras (MNN) -- The Jubilee School in Honduras has a message for the parents of its students: "You are vital to your child’s educational success." The Jubilee School, or Jubilee Centers International, works in the local area of La Era, a poor community in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Established in 2010 with 80 Pre-K/Kindergarteners, the school quickly grew, adding a new grade level each year. Now there are 200 students from PreK to 5th grade, and the school thinks it will be able to someday graduate its students from high school.

(Photo Courtesy Orphan Outreach)

The idea that parents can play an important part in the education of their child is a new one for many moms and dads in the area, but they’re coming to accept the concept and even get excited about visiting Jubilee’s parent workshops. Teachers say that their goal of impacting the student’s lives with a quality education is made much easier by parents willing to roll up their sleeves and get involved in their kids’ education. Because it was not a common practice in the area, the School Principal, Claudia Velazquez, launched a parent program in 2013. The program consists of eight classes including self-esteem, conflict solution and management, forgiveness, committing to a child’s education, family violence prevention, and homework habits. The school also brings in a local Christian pastor to give a biblical perspective to education.

(Photo Courtesy Orphan Outreach)

So far, it’s working. Some of the most popular classes last year had more than 80 parents in attendance. Teachers are seeing a dramatic increase in involvement from parents, and the children’s enthusiasm, attendance, neatness, and homework are all improving quickly since the program was started. All this is more than enough incentive to continue the program into another year, but there are a few obstacles to this goal. The school needs financial support to push the program forward, funding everything from invitations to informational bulletins to coffee break supplies. Jubilee Centers International is a partner with Orphan Outreach that represents just one of many active, quality ministries that work to impact the lives of children living in impoverished areas around the world.
Categories: Mission Network News

I am Second travels with rock tour to spread the gospel

Mission Network News - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 5:00am
USA (MNN/E3) -- It’s hard to really know what brought Rachel into the tent that day. It may have been the oppressive summer heat. It could have just been curiosity. As Joe Hamm, the Promotions Coordinator at e3 Partners was setting up that day, he watched as this teenage girl browsed the I am Second merchandise. Suddenly, Rachel broke down crying. “I didn’t say a word. I just reached out and hugged her,” Joe remembers. She clung to him for several minutes, soaking his shirt in her tears. As she regained composure, Joe introduced himself. That’s when she revealed the burdens she carried. Between her painful home life and sexual abuse history, this seemingly-normal teenage girl was dealing with deep emotional pain. The scars on her arm proved it was becoming more than she could handle. That’s when Joe shared his own story and the impact Jesus has made on his life. “It was really the first time I had ever shared Christ with a stranger,” Joe remembers. “I also had a New Testament on me that I gave her.” There, in an outdoor tent at one of the nation’s largest rock festivals, God broke into Rachel’s life. What is I Am Second?

(Photo Courtesy I am Second)

I am Second uses the testimonies of actors, neighbors, musicians, drug addicts, athletes, business leaders, and everyone in between to address hot topics such as forgiveness, self-esteem, substance abuse, and more. The inspiring stories all focus on how putting anyone other than Jesus first leads to a life of chaos and and a path of destruction. Every story points to the only source of eternal peace; being second. Intersecting with Alternative Culture With 41 stops and nearly 90 musical artists. the Vans Warped Tour is the premier alternative rock festival in the United States. With over 15,000 guests expected at each stop, the tour will draw over half a million fans, many of whom are teenagers and college students. At each stop, I am Second will be there to interact with musical artists and concert-goers from across the country. In addition to selling merchandise, Joe and his team are hosting a lounge where guests can rest, charge their phones, and escape the hot summer heat. Joe explains, “It’s all a public service to attract people so we can engage them in conversation. It’s all about planting seeds.” His encounter at last year’s stop in Ohio with Rachel represents one of the many reasons I am Second is present. Many attendees are outcasts in their schools. Some actively experiment with casual sex and drug use. Events like the Vans Warped Tour are a gathering place for these fans who find community in their shared love of music.

(Photo Courtesy e3 Partners)

“We’re all finding satisfaction in things that aren’t fruitful,” Joe remarked. “The youth of today like to rebel, and a man handing out Bibles on a street corner won’t likely resonate with them.” I am Second’s presence provides an opportunity for these fans to engage in spiritual conversations in their own environment. It’s also a chance for the team to tangibly demonstrate Jesus’ love. Joe explains, “They’re used to constantly being told that they’re wrong. They think Christianity is about pointing the finger, and it’s not. That’s not what Christ’s love is all about. The fact we’re in that environment with them is just huge.” Over the last year, Joe and his wife, Renee, have kindled a special friendship with Rachel on social media. They touch base every few months. In the time since their encounter, her life has gone in a completely new direction. She has relief from the burdens of her past and has even found a local church. This year’s tour began on Thursday, June 19, in Pomona, CA, and will continue into August. Joe and the I am Second team will be there at each stop, hanging out with fans and engaging in spiritual conversations along the way. Learn more about I AM SECOND here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Reborn by Finding Favour

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 5:00am
Gotee Record's Finding Favour, is scheduled to release their first full album, Reborn, June 23, 2015. Produced by Casey Brown (Love the Outcome, All Things New), the new project shows the maturity and growth of Finding Favour since they first signed with Gotee Records in 2012. Reborn features 10 new songs that were co-written by the group, along with a reprise of their Top 25 National Christian Audience chart hit, "Say Amen." The first radio single from the album is the anthem ballad, "Cast My Cares," that is currently going for adds at AC and Hot AC/CHR radio, but[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Anxiety by NYVES

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 5:00am
Dark, pulsing soundscapes are woven together by Clark's instantly identifiable vocals; resonate layers are balanced by Torres's crystal clear and expert production; and high levels of experimentation are outweighed only by melodic sensibility and sonic accessibility.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

My Own Worst Enemy by Tragic Hero

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 5:00am
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Categories: Christian Music News

Caves by Caves

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 5:00am
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Categories: Christian Music News

Adonai: The Power Of Worship From Israel by Various Artists

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 5:00am
ADONAI, the internationally acclaimed Messianic worship classic now presents a new sonic experience with a spectacular remastered edition. Blending English and Hebrew, ADONAI weaves modern world music with the history and the culture of Israel, taking you on a journey of powerful worship. ADONAI was the first album ever recorded by believers in the Land of Israel with a 160-nation distribution and features Paul Wilbur, Karen Davis, Barry Batya Segal and many others.Recorded on the first Year of Jubilee celebrated in over 2000 years, ADONAI is literally the Word of the Lord going forth from Zion in the form[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Elohim by Various Artists

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 5:00am
ELOHIM, pronounced EL-O-HEEM is the Hebrew name for GOD. The One and Only True GOD. The GOD of the Bible. The all Powerful GOD of the Universe. Who is the same yesterday, today and forever!Experience Worship from the Heart of Israel with the Remnant of GOD'S people who live in the Promised Land.Join the Spiritual and Physical Levites as they Worship the LORD in Spirit and in Truth, in Hebrew and in English, in their Culture and in their History. Together, let us Praise the Holy One of Israel. May this music cause you to love and worship ELOHIM.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

AsOne by AsOne

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 5:00am
AsOne is both excited and humbled to be releasing their initial album in 2015. The unique melodies they offer to the world will surely make a lasting impact in music, as they work to make a difference together, as one![...]
Categories: Christian Music News

Crystal Clear (Deluxe Edition) by David Dunn

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 5:00am
David Dunn will be releasing his full-length album Crystal Clear LP on June 23, 2015. The hugely successful radio single "Today Is Beautiful" landed the artist on the map in 2014.[...]
Categories: Christian Music News