Church & Ministry

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Posted 4/10/17 at 6:13 PM | Mark Ellis

Broadcaster Norm Nelson of Compassion Radio passes to his reward

Norm Nelson

By Mark Ellis

Pioneering radio broadcaster Norm Nelson, whose huge heart took him to some of the most troubled places on earth, passed to his reward on the morning of April 10th, due to complications of dementia.

His beloved wife, Cher, posted the sad news on Facebook immediately after his home going: “And another warrior is welcomed home. At 9:31 PDT our Savior opened his loving arms and took The Rev. Dr. Norman Clark Nelson from his broken body and tortured mind to be forever in the presence of his Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Norm’s resonant voice, as host of Compassion Radio’s distinctive boots-on-the-ground activist ministry, was heard daily across the United States, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Their humanitarian projects have been carried out in 30 countries.

Norm followed another pioneering radio broadcaster, his father, Dr. Wilbur E. Nelson, who founded the Morning Chapel Hour in 1944, “a daily program of songs and thoughts that lift the heart.” FULL POST

Posted 4/5/17 at 3:44 PM | Mark Ellis

Quran stolen from NC Airport Chapel, angry note left behind

Charlotte Observer
airport chapel

By Mark Ellis

A Christian is believed to have stolen two copies of the Quran on March 28th from the interfaith chapel at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. He left behind a scathing handwritten note directed at a female chaplain who oversees the prayerful space, accusing her of being a lesbian and a heretic.

The airport chapel customarily provides a Bible, a Torah (the Jewish Bible) and the Quran on its pulpit, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Rev. Alice White, co-director of the chapel, noticed the missing Qurans during her service there on the 28th. Apparently, this wasn’t the only incident sparked by the presence of the Islamic holy book.

“Six months ago, somebody got so outraged that they put a hole in the wall, because the Quran was up on the pulpit,” she told The Observer.

Rev. White said a man in his 30s was in the chapel at around 1:30 p.m. on the day of the theft. He greeted her without referring to her as “reverend.” He noticed her nametag and said, “Hello, Alice White.” FULL POST

Posted 4/4/17 at 6:44 PM | Mark Ellis

Pakistan: Christian killed because he refused to work on Sunday

Morning Star News
Noman's mother, Khalida, with her other children

By Mark Ellis

A young Christian sanitation worker was gunned down on March 20th because he rejected a prominent Muslim’s order to clean his outhouse on Sunday, his day off, according to Morning Star News.

Noman Masih, 20, of Sheikhupura in Punjab Province, was the sole breadwinner of his family following the death of his father two years ago, his mother Khalida told Morning Star News.

Masih, who worked for the city sanitation department in place of his deceased father, had shown up for work early in the morning and then headed to a work site. “Suddenly two motorcyclists arrived there. One of them whipped out a pistol and opened fire on Noman, killing him instantly,” his mother said.

The assailants fled on their motorcycle after the attack, leaving two other men standing near Noman unharmed. FULL POST

Posted 4/3/17 at 2:47 PM | Marvin Thompson

Evangelicals Are Aiding and Abetting the Deconstruction of Morality

The LA Times Editorial on April 2, 2017, described Trump and his tactics during the presidential primaries and election as “…a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters.” This is not merely the judgement of a disappointed liberal media unable to come to terms with a devastating election loss, and is now inveighing against the President with unwarranted charges and innuendos. If the Church, and especially evangelical churches, take that view and ignore the many conservative voices, including many within the evangelical community and other Christians not self-identified as evangelicals, then our problems run much deeper that we think.

No, the LA Times’ conclusion is a commentary on the degradation of evangelical morality. Notice, the worst in American voters. Now, pause and let that sink in.

Do you get it? Do you see the gravity of the situation for a community that professes to stand on the infallible truth of the Gospel and on immutable biblical principles? No? Then consider that it is the evangelical vote that carried Trump through the primaries and over the top in the election. Do you see it now? FULL POST

Posted 3/29/17 at 9:26 PM | Yvonne Perkins

Psalm 51 A Study In Repentance

Psalm 51 is a study of repentance. David, King of Israel broke three of God's commandments. Thou shall not covenant your neighbor wife, thou shall not commit adultery, and thou shall not kill(Exodus 20). David fully understood that he had broken these commandments. However, he was comfortable in his sin.

God sends Nathan to David and Nathan tells David a parable about a rich man who has everything and takes from a poor man who has very little, something that he values very much. David rises up in anger and self-righteousness 2 Samuel 12:5 And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die. We are quick to pass judgment on others while dismissing our own flaws and mistakes.

2 Samuel 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. The truth of Nathan's words must have hit David like a sledgehammer. Thou are the man. David covet his neighbor's wife, committed adultery with her and put a hit out on the life of her husband. He betrayed someone that was fiercely loyal to him. He gave Uriah the Hittite a death warrant and had him deliver it to the person that would carry it out. Wow. That is heartless and the ultimate betrayal. FULL POST

Posted 3/23/17 at 3:20 PM | George Sarris

It's NOT a Sin!

The Shack movie, much like the book that preceded it ten years ago, has stirred up a hornet’s nest among a small but loud group of evangelical Christians for the sins it’s committed – sins so grievous that they’re calling it “HERESY.”

One sin in particular has been brought up in several of the reviews and treated as if it were a dirty word.

According to some critics, the simple mention of this word should make any Bible believing Christian feel ashamed of even thinking that it could be true. So dangerous and potentially destructive to one’s faith is this “heresy,” one commentator equated it with a complete failure to understand the Gospel of Christ.

What is this sin? It’s the “sin” of universalism.

True universalism is not the misinformed belief that any and all roads lead to heaven. It’s the Christian idea that the all-powerful, all-loving, all-wise God of the Bible will ultimately get each person He created in His image into heaven! The idea that through His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ actually succeeded in His mission to seek and save the lost. FULL POST

Posted 3/21/17 at 8:48 PM | Mark Ellis

Christian pastor found $60 million diamond, gave it away

Minister of Mines Ahaji Mansaray holds diamond found by pastor

By Mark Ellis

A Sierra Leone pastor who supplements his income by working in the mines found one of the largest diamonds ever pulled from the earth, then gave it away.

Pastor Emmanuel Momoh found the gargantuan 706-carat stone in the Kono region. Experts said the stone could be worth as much as $62 million, depending on the quality. It was the largest diamond discovery since 1972, according to Africa Today.

Industry analysts said it is the 13th largest uncut diamond ever extracted.

Pastor Momoh presented the diamond to the president of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, with instructions that the gem be used for the betterment of the poor in Sierra Leone.

“I believe the government can do more,” Momoh told Africa Today, “especially at a time when the country is undergoing some economic challenges.” The pastor said he would like to see improved access to electricity and transportation for the poor. FULL POST

Posted 3/17/17 at 8:24 PM | Mark Ellis

Child receives shoebox gift, mom finds ‘a kind of love that doesn’t exist in Islam’

Samaritan's Purse
Clinton and his mother, Mary, in front of church

By Mark Ellis

God began to draw the child’s heart away from Islam even before he received his shoebox gift. As he learned that Jesus was more than a prophet, his mother became intrigued by what he shared, and a powerful love she had never known.

“We moved from my hometown to Meru and all the people in our neighborhood were Muslim, so we became Muslim,” Mary told Samaritan’s Purse. As a single mom, she moved there seeking a community that would help her and her son Clinton. After the move, a surprising series of events began to unfold.

In Kenya, Islam has been making gains along the coast and the northern border with Somalia, a Muslim stronghold. Meru, five hours north of Nairobi, is a major hub and common destination for transplanted Somalis.

At the nearby mosque Clinton attended with his mother, the instructors caned his legs when he mispronounced the Koran’s Arabic verses. FULL POST

Posted 3/14/17 at 7:15 PM | Mark Ellis

Christianity ‘exploding’ in Bangladesh, despite persecution

Believers in Bangladesh

By Mark Ellis

Sandwiched between India and Myanmar, Bangladesh is the third largest Muslim-majority country in the world. Often beset by floods, cyclones and tornadoes roaring through the Bengal Delta, it also has the sad distinction of ranking number one in the world for children suffering malnutrition.

Bangladesh is 89% Muslim and nearly 10% Hindu, according to the Joshua Project, with Christians numbering less than one percent.

One ministry leader, who recently completed a fact-finding trip to the country, believes Christians are being undercounted. “Christianity is much larger and growing, especially in the rural areas,” says Jim Jacobson, president of Christian Freedom International (CFI).

On his trip, Jacobson interviewed scores of indigenous Christian pastors, street evangelists, missionaries and converts to Christianity. “According to them, Christianity is on the increase and the growth is a cause of concern for the Muslim majority,” he notes. FULL POST

Posted 3/9/17 at 11:28 AM | David Fournier

Grow With Grace: How Consultants Can Help Your Church

As Christians, we look to the next world while doing our work in this one, but is your church working as effectively as it could be? According to many Christian leaders – such as Dr. Tim Keller – the church today is stuck.

We get caught on binary expectations – huge growth or loss of faith communities, assimilation or rigid communities of belief – when we should be seeking missionary encounters. But how do we change? And should we?

Change is necessary for the church to survive, but it needs to come from a place of experience and from people with fresh eyes. That means combining an understanding of the world of the church with outsiders from your community.

Consultants may be the answer.

Why Consultants?

There are about as many kinds of consultants out in the world as there are traditional jobs – if you can take on a role from within a business or organization, you can do it as an outsider, sharing expertise. That’s why you’ll find consultants that offer green business trainings, work-life balance courses, and far more unusual offerings. There are even consultants who teach people how to become consultants! FULL POST

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