Food for the Soul

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Posted 3/19/09 at 3:41 PM | Religion Ethics

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly - March 19

A Production of Thirteen/WNET New York

This week's edition of the PBS newsmagazine program RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY (distributed Friday, March 20 at 5 p.m., check local listings) will include the following reports: FULL POST

Posted 3/10/09 at 5:00 PM | Audra Jennings

Association of Biblical Counselors announces 2009 conference

Association of Biblical Counselors Invites You on a Quest for More
2009 conference features first-ever meeting of the minds

Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX-We live in a broken world. The evidence is everywhere-broken marriages, broken families, broken hearts, broken people. In response, more and more people in the Christian community are exploring biblical counseling. Yet this growing interest brings new questions and fresh discussions about what biblical counseling really looks like. The landscape of biblical counseling is changing, thanks in part to the work of organizations like the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC). For anyone interested in these exciting new developments, ABC is pleased to announce the 2009 conference to be held May 14-16 in Fort Worth, Texas. The theme of this year's event is "A Quest for More," based on the book by keynote speaker Paul Tripp, one of the most dynamic speakers in biblical counseling today.

"I am overwhelmed with excitement over this year's conference for several reasons," says ABC President Jeremy Lelek. "On opening night, we are going to have four of the top scholars from various counseling ‘camps,' including the American Association of Christian Counselors, Christian Counseling Educational Foundation, and the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors, who will discuss emerging trends in biblical counseling as well as distinctions between the various schools of thought. This is a truly groundbreaking event!" Residents of Dallas/Ft. Worth who are not attending the conference may purchase tickets to this exciting Thursday night-only event. The weekend will also include a tribute to special guest Elisabeth Elliot for her pioneering work in South America and across the world.

Lelek emphasizes that this event is not just for licensed counselors. These sessions are for counselors, pastors, and laity. Hurting people and those struggling to overcome certain issues in their lives are encouraged to attend. The conference features over twenty-five elective sessions with topics ranging from marriage and sexual addiction to spiritual warfare and crisis intervention. A sampling of titles includes:

• Living a Pure Life in a Sexualized Culture: Overcoming Lust, Understanding Your Enemy, and Living a Life of Repentance
• Soul Care: Starting a Biblical Counseling Ministry in Your Local Church
• Learning to Think Like a Christian
• The God Empowered Wife (for women only)
• Biblical Counseling with Adult Victims of Childhood Trauma
• When Suffering People Need to Know "Why?"

In addition, conference attendees will encounter opportunities to discover reliable referral services, network with like-minded believers, receive nationally approved Continuing Education Units, and be encouraged in their own lives and counseling ministries.

With new chapters opening around the country, ABC's influence in the Christian counseling community continues to grow. Recently, the organization, together with its sister ministry, Metroplex Counseling, has acquired new office space which will allow them to build a state of the art, high quality biblical counseling center right in the heart of Dallas/Ft.Worth.

"Through the gracious efforts of John Meador, senior pastor of First Baptist Euless, the Lord has provided us with an amazing facility, capable of housing a team of counselors, where we will be able to provide competent and biblical care for hurting souls in the Metroplex area," Lelek says. "We're going to kick off our official opening with a pastors and ministry luncheon (at FBC Euless) featuring the dynamic speaker and lead pastor of The Village, Matt Chandler."

ABC is also excited to announce the publication of a new biblical counseling training curriculum, Equipped to Counsel, written by Dr. John Henderson of Denton Bible Church. These materials will provide pastors, counselors, and laity with a wonderful foundation on which to build their ministries of soul care. Positive reviews of the curriculum are already rolling in from leaders like Matt Chandler and Mars Hill Church's Mark Driscoll who described the materials as "...a very useful, gospel-centered, Bible-saturated, and Jesus-exalting help to the care of our people at Mars Hill Church."

With an ever-multiplying membership, a groundbreaking conference, a brand new counseling facility, and curriculum endorsed by some of America's leading pastors, ABC is making great strides toward accomplishing their mission of encouraging, equipping, and empowering all believers everywhere to live and counsel the Word. For more information about the conference and the many training opportunities offered through ABC, visit

Posted 3/5/09 at 2:36 PM | Religion Ethics

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly - March 5

MARCH 5, 2009

This Week on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly

Following is a brief outline of the stories Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly will be covering this week. SPECIAL NOTE: Because the show may be pre-empted in several markets due to special PBS Pledge programming scheduled through March 15, the following reports listed are being rebroadcast and are already available on our Web site.


Posted 2/27/09 at 10:27 AM | Audra Jennings

Is the Recession Inflating Your Waistline?

You can maintain a healthy lifestyle in a tough economy

The current economic woes will force many of us to make some difficult decisions. When faced with the task of trimming the fat from the family budget, costly gym memberships and pre-packaged weight-loss food plans are often the first items on the chopping block. At the same time, the effort to get the most out of every grocery dollar often results in an increase in our consumption of cheap convenience foods (remember all those ramen noodles you ate as a starving college student?) that offer little by way of actual nutrition. Unfortunately, unhealthy habits bring an entirely new set of woes. These short-term fixes will often cost us more in the long run.

Part of the First Place 4 Health line of products
Part of the First Place 4 Health line of products

The great news is that healthy living doesn't have to be expensive. With more than half a million members, First Place 4 Health is a reliable, proven method of weight loss and healthy living. Members have achieved real, lasting change-all without spending a dime on pre-packaged foods or pricey workout programs-by bringing the four areas of life (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) into a healthy balance. Formerly known as First Place, this revised program uses everyday foods, includes a support and accountability component, and focuses on biblical health and disease prevention.

First Place 4 Health's new and improved brand lineup includes resources that tackle everything from determining correct serving sizes to starting an exercise routine to memorizing Scripture. Members will appreciate the simple, sensible new food plan based on the USDA food pyramid and new exercise guidelines.

According to First Place 4 Health Registered Dietitian Erin DuBroc, rising food costs have played a major role in more Americans choosing to dine in rather than dine out. "Some other reasons include the high price of gas and restaurant food being too high in calories-the recognition of which is music to this dietitian's ears," DuBroc states. This migration back to the family kitchen presents the perfect opportunity for America, as a whole, to rethink the way we eat. Now is the time to learn new habits that will set us on the course to healthy living.

New for 2009, First Place 4 Health is also introducing a brand new fitness kit that includes everything you need to customize your own exercise plan, at a fraction of the cost of a gym membership. The contents of the kit include the First Place 4 Health 30-Minute Fitness DVD, which combines cardio, strength, and stretching exercises for all fitness levels from beginner to advanced and a handy pedometer for keeping track of every step toward your fitness goal. The reusable eight-ounce water bottle slashes the cost of bottled water and makes proper hydration a snap. The kit also contains a flexible exercise band that will maximize resistance for every movement in a workout and an official First Place 4 Health towel to use when the work is done.

First Place 4 Health has achieved miraculous results in the lives of members-all at a much lower cost than many other programs. Standing on 27 years of personal success stories, the First Place 4 Health program proves that, with an alteration in mindset from mere weight loss to pursuing God's design for total wellness, lasting change is possible. It's never too late to find the balanced life and the wholeness that is offered only through a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ.

First Place 4 Health Resources
Regal Books or

Posted 2/25/09 at 12:31 PM | Audra Jennings

David Cowan comments on economic stimulus plan

In the Market for Some Peace of Mind?

That'll be 787 billion dollars. Cash, check, or credit?

David Cowan
David Cowan

In the few days that have passed since President Obama signed the economic stimulus bill into law, many Americans have begun to wonder how this massive government spending will benefit their own lives. Not much, according to economic expert David Cowan. In fact, though some speculate that the price tag is high enough to finance 13 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the end result of the bill can be nothing more than a temporary (and very expensive) feeling of relief. FULL POST

Posted 2/25/09 at 12:15 PM | Audra Jennings

The Return of Hope to the Middle East

Can Anything Good Come Out of the Middle East?
How God's love is combating terrorism and militant Islam

Every night on the evening news, we see images from the Middle East of war, terrorism, bold threats, and a hatred that has been smoldering for centuries. The lead news story of the day often emanates from this volatile region-and rightfully so, because of its instability. The Middle East is the place where history, religion, and politics collide head-on. The future of the region appears hopeless...until you discover that there is more to the story.

"Jesus is reaching out to the people of the Middle East in a powerful way, and the people are responding in record numbers. Millions have given their lives to Jesus Christ in the last ten years. That's right-millions!" author and Middle East expert Tom Doyle points out. "This story is more important than the latest suicide bombing or the latest threat of war. And Christians need to hear it."

In his new book, Breakthrough, author Tom Doyle gives Christians a glimpse of what is really going on in the Middle East-and this is an angle that you won't get from the mainstream media. For the last seven years, Doyle has served as the Middle East director for e3 Partners, a dynamic global church planting ministry. Breakthrough tells the stories of vibrant churches who are growing-even thriving-in the midst of constant danger and unimaginable persecution.

Breakthrough includes the testimonies of both Jews and Muslims who have come to faith in Christ, people who are constantly watched and often persecuted, who understand that this day might be their last. Yet they often state, "We pray for believers in the West every day." Among the many testimonies featured in the book are the conversion stories of former terrorists, Muslim missionaries to America, a Palestinian guard led to Christ by an Israeli believer, and even a Muslim Imam, all of whom have become committed Christian leaders.

With media attention increasingly focused on the global threat of militant Islam, it's easy to assume that the majority of the Muslim world supports jihad. Not so, says Doyle. "In extensive interviews throughout the Middle East, we continually hear that over half of Muslims worldwide are not practicing their faith whatsoever. I have learned that even the vast majority of practicing Muslims are peaceful and not into jihad," he says. "From Egypt to Iran, the Muslims we talk to are sick of the Islamic fundamentalism that isolates them from the world and makes them all out to be bloodthirsty killers. We must reach out and love these people with the love of Jesus."

Breakthrough takes readers to the streets of Gaza, a secret pre-dawn gathering of believers in Iran, and an underground Bible college for former Muslims offering a course entitled "What to Do When You Are Arrested for Your Faith." The book includes a brief history of Islam and the resurgence of fundamental Islam and helpful strategies for Christians who want to reach out to the Muslims in their lives. An entire chapter is devoted to the specific prayer needs of the Middle East.

"The most dangerous places to serve Christ are usually the places where he is moving the most," Doyle states. "There is a new day in the Middle East. Muslims are coming to Jesus, and the church is blessed to have them."

Breakthrough by Tom Doyle
Authentic - February 2009
ISBN 978-1-934068-63-2/207 pages/softcover/$17.99

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