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Posted 7/6/15 at 2:00 PM | Barry Bowen
Some pastors greet their congregations with deceptive smiles. Instead of joy the smile hides deep sadness.
According to a recent LifeWay Research survey, 55 percent of Protestant pastors report being lonely and discouraged. Loneliness is most common in younger pastors and pastors of large churches.
Pastor Ron Edmondson offers an explanation: “Pastors seldom know who we can trust... Most senior pastors have been burned by someone they once trusted.”
The new Christian movie Beyond the Farthest Star delves into this topic by telling the story of Pastor Adam Wells and his wife Maureen who keep secrets from their teenage daughter Anne. Family secrets alienate the family. FULL POST
Posted 6/1/15 at 9:25 AM | Barry Bowen
I grew up in a minister's home. My dad occasionally performed weddings and funerals so in my childhood I saw people at their happiest and saddest. Now the role has changed and today I attend my mom's memorial service in the church she attended as a teenager.
Last year my dad died during the night as I slept. On Thursday Mom died as my sister and I stood beside her in the nursing home where she received hospice care.
Mom was struggling to breathe when the chaplain entered her room and prayed with us. As the chaplain finished his prayer, Mom's eyes opened and she took her final breath.
The preceeding days had been painful to observe. I felt so powerless watching my mom die. Maybe that is how God the Father felt when Jesus was on the cross "and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit" (John 19:30).
But the story doesn't end with Jesus' death because he was resurrected. That is the power of God. God wants to reconcile everyone to Himself.
Because of the unique timing, today's memorial service for my mom occurs on her anniversary. My parents were married on June 1, 1963. If I had a time machine, I would love to travel back in time to observe this moment. FULL POST
Posted 2/17/15 at 10:34 AM | Barry Bowen
If you want to watch the documentary A Cry from Iran or the movie Cutback, don’t search for them on Netflix. You won’t find them. Instead they can be viewed at Parables, one of the new Netflix competitors specializing in Christian and family friendly films.
The Christian film industry and religious television are in a state of transition as consumers shift to online video viewing.
The recent growth in new religious TV networks may also come to a halt as “chord cutters” cancel cable TV subscriptions. Dish Network recently announced Sling TV, an Internet-based TV subscription, that includes 14 TV channels for $20 and access to video on demand titles. No religious networks are included in the programming bundle.
If large numbers of Americans subscribe to Sling TV and the internet TV packages to be offered from Apple and Sony, there will be fewer viewers of religious TV. FULL POST
Posted 2/6/15 at 10:12 PM | Barry Bowen
The new movie A Matter of Faith opened in 50 theaters today. During the movie a college professor and Christian parent debate the origins of the earth. The following exchange is shown in the movie trailer which is embedded below.
Professor Kaman: "Wasn't the Bible written by man?"
Stephen Whitaker: "Yes it was."
Professor Kaman: "Then how does that make it the word of God?"
Can you answer that question?
Professor Kaman isn't the only person to ask this question. According to Got Answers, "There are both internal and external evidences that the Bible is truly God’s Word. The internal evidences are those things within the Bible that testify of its divine origin." FULL POST
Posted 2/5/15 at 1:22 PM | Barry Bowen
This Friday the Christian movie A Matter of Faith opens in about 50 theaters. The story is about college student Rachel Whitaker's Christian worldview being challenged by her biology teacher's promotion of naturalistic evolution.
Professor Kaman tells his class, "Ladies and gentlemen, today we are going to answer the age old question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"
So let's take a look at the Christian films about evolution and the science about the development of the egg. FULL POST
Posted 1/29/15 at 11:05 AM | Barry Bowen
During the first 50 years of the Christian film industry, most films were produced for church use. These films often lasted less than an hour so they could be shown during Sunday school classes or evening services.
This film review focuses on a couple of short films on the topic of spiritual harvest.
End of the Harvest
Rich Christiano’s film End of the Harvest was released in 1998 and is 54 minutes long. The story is about Scott Lawrence, an immature Christian college student, that decides to give a speech to a philosophy club on when the world might end.
The film is about the need for people to be ready for when Jesus returns. Unlike most Christian films that explore the topic of the end times, this movie doesn’t show the rapture.
The cast includes actors David White, Kevin Downes and Brad Heller. All three have appeared in numerous Christian films.
The Harvest FULL POST
Posted 1/21/15 at 2:16 PM | Barry Bowen
Today is National Hugging Day. Seriously!
The event's website reports, "Hugs let someone know you care without having to say a word!"
So I got curious. Does the Bible say anything about hugs? BibleStudytools.com allows us to search different Bible translations. So here are the results ...
The word "hug" doesn't appear in the King James Version (KJV) or the English Standard Version (ESV) and only once (Job 24:8) in the New International Version (NIV) which says, "They are drenched by mountain rains and hug the rocks for lack of shelter."
Bible translations generally use the word "embrace" rather than "hug". The word "embrace" appears 7 times in the ESV, 8 times in the KJV and 6 times in the NIV.
The ideal example of "embrace" in the Bible is Song of Solomon 2:6. FULL POST
Posted 1/9/15 at 11:43 AM | Barry Bowen
Last year a Nielsen TV ratings report revealed that the average TV household in America watches 141 hours of TV each month.
Daily TV viewing is a habit for millions of Christians. TV could become a platform for discipleship and missions if more Christians intentionally viewed Christ-honoring movies, documentaries and TV shows — and shared them with their friends.
Recently I started a new project: the 2015 Christian Entertainment Challenge. The objective is to challenge Christians to watch at least one Christian movie, or spiritually challenging documentary or TV show each month.
Throughout the year I will be posting reviews of Christian movies as well as TV shows and documentaries that will help Christians to grow in our faith and equip us for ministry. The reviews will be available here at the Christian Post and at Storyflix.
Posted 12/10/14 at 5:30 PM | Barry Bowen
Anniversaries sometimes challenge us to re-evaluate our lives and examine our priorities.
Twenty-one years ago on this day (December 10, 1993) I graduated from college. My parents were there to witness the occasion when I received my diploma.
Twenty-one years ago!! Where did the time go?
During that time 7,670 days have passed and I could have started a family, pursued a different career path, taken on different hobbies, or participated in mission trips.
Instead my life was marked by numerous failures as I often made poor decisions through trial and error.
If I found a time machine and could travel back in time to give my younger self some wisdom, it would be this: (1) Your habits shape your life. Do whatever it takes to end bad habits by replacing them with good habits. (2) Make friends and be accountable to them.
One of the challenges of being a single is that it is easy to become self absorbed. FULL POST
Posted 11/21/14 at 6:20 PM | Barry Bowen
Facebook is good for sharing cat pictures, jokes, interesting videos, spiritual truths and more cat photos.
So while I'm in a joking mood, here's one of my favorite Facebook jokes:
I'm going to create a Facebook Account with the name "Nobody"
So when somebody posts something stupid I can say "Nobody Likes This!"
On a more serious note, the Christian Post Blog section now has a Facebook page. You can like the page and follow the new posts being shared there.
* So you might be wondering why I put "Cat-Free" in the title of this story. Simple Answer: It makes the headline less boring. FULL POST