Church & Ministry

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Posted 9/16/14 at 5:43 PM | Prayer Concerns

Prayer List: Nigerian Church Collapses and Kills 67 South Africans

Map: World Factbook
Nigeria

Last week 67 South Africans were killed when a building in Nigeria belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed. South African President Jacob Zuma announced, "Not in the recent history of our country have we had this large number of our people die in one incident outside the country."

National Emergency Management Agency spokesman Ibrahim Farinloye told Reuters that there are 131 survivors from the building collapse.

Synagogue Church of All Nations is lead by televangelist T.B. Joshua. His ministry is popular throughout Africa and has 1,330,766 likes on Facebook. Yesterday T.B. Joshua Ministries posted on Facebook, "The purpose of life is to glorify God in both good and hard times alike."

Prayer List

  1. Pray for the Holy Spirit to comfort the families and friends of the deceased.
  2. Pray for healing for the injured.
  3. Pray for God to be glorified in this time of suffering.

Posted 9/16/14 at 4:50 PM | Mark Ellis

Middle East Woman Overcame Poverty After her 'Adoption,' Then God Called Her

Norma Nashed

By Mark Ellis

Born in Ramallah, she was taken as an infant to Amman, Jordan, where her parents raised her and her six siblings in very modest circumstances.

In fact, nine of them lived in a one-room house without electricity. Their bathroom and makeshift kitchen was outdoors. Even though her father had a decent job with Singer Sewing Machine, he wouldn’t buy a sewing machine for her mother. He frittered his money away on wine, other women, and nightlife.

“We were hungry and he wouldn’t give money to mom,” recalls Norma Nashed, the founder and president of Restore a Child.

Norma describes her mother, a Christian, as a living saint. She awakened at four o’clock in the morning to bake bread for the family. After the children went to sleep at night, she sewed until midnight to earn extra money.

The children shared one towel between them. Norma walked three miles to get to school. Beginning at the age of 10, she and her sister stayed to clean the school after everyone left, so they would not have to pay tuition. FULL POST

Posted 9/16/14 at 11:01 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

1 Corinthinans 13 … Remixed For Today

couple kisses with sunset in background
Photo: Pixabay - Public Domain

By Stephen Altrogge

If I status update with such insight, hilarity, godliness, or profundity, that I get a thousand retweets and likes, yet have not love, I’m a cellphone that won’t stop ringing, or a car alarm at 2 AM.

If I understand every nuance of every complicated doctrine, including eschatology and predestination, and am a constant defender of orthodoxy, and if I am renowned for my ability to communicate truth with passion, but have not love, I’m nothing more than a first grader in the kingdom of God.

If I am a fantastic worship leader, able to lead hundreds of people in passionate worship of God, yet have not love, my skills are worth jack.

If I am a blog warrior, constantly on the attack against those who would distort the faith, yet have not love, I’m that yippy dog next door who won’t stop barking…even at 3 AM. FULL POST

Posted 9/15/14 at 5:45 PM | Barry Bowen

Not a Typo: Jesus Wore Scandals

Photo: Pixabay - Public Domain
Jesus wore both sandals and scandals.

God is glorified in our imperfections ... and spelling mistakes.

In a recent blog post about church dress codes I accidentally wrote, "The Bible doesn't say much about how people dressed during Jesus' earthly ministry. Jesus wore scandals (Matthew 3:11) and a tunic (John 19:23)."

My spelling error was still truthful. Jesus not only wore sandals, He wore our scandals too.

1 Peter 2:24 NLT says, "He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed."

More than 400 years before Peter wrote that verse, another Bible author foretold this amazing event.

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." - Isaiah 53:6 NIV FULL POST

Posted 9/15/14 at 12:48 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

What to do When Your Church Changes

Photo: Pixabay - Public Domain

By Joe Mckeever

These days in my retirement ministry, most of the churches where I’m invited to preach have these things in common….

–Almost no man wears a necktie or suit.

–On the platform you find all kinds of musical instruments.

–Huge screens are mounted on the front walls, where the words of songs and scripture are projected.

–Many people in the congregation read Scripture from their phones.

–Worship leaders are often wearing jeans and sneakers.

–In the announcements, you hear of mission trips to foreign countries, regardless of the size of the church.

–Fewer and fewer hymns are being sung, and when the old ones are brought out, they’re given new treatments. Mostly, though, what’s being sung in worship was written in the past 10 or 12 years.

–Churches announce on their outside signs “blended” services, “contemporary” services, and/or “traditional” services. FULL POST

Posted 9/15/14 at 9:17 AM | Tim Challies

A Failure of Worship

Photo: Pixabay - Public Domain

I find addiction, and the bondage of addiction, to be very difficult to understand. It seems like overcoming addiction should be so simple, and especially for the Christian: Instead of doing that thing, how about next time you just don’t do that thing? Instead of opening that bottle, keep it closed. Instead of buying those pills, buy some groceries. Instead of typing in that web site, type in a different web site. Instead of walking through the doors of the casino, choose not to even go near the casino. If only it was so simple.

To treat addiction so simply is to misunderstand its very nature. I said recently that Kent Dunnington’s Addiction and Virtue is easily one of the most fascinating books I have read recently, and in that book he tells us why addiction is far more than making bad choices instead of good choices. Addicts are not simply satisfying a need or following habits, though they are doing those things as well. Addicts are actually seeking the good life, and are convinced it can be found in and through the addiction. Dunnington says it this way: FULL POST

Posted 9/15/14 at 7:40 AM | Phil Cooke

The Sweet Spot of Sharing the Christian Message

Photo: Flickr/Eran Sandler - Creative Commons

We’re seeing a lot of criticism recently of pastors, writers, speakers, filmmakers as well as others about how they share the Christian message with the outside culture. Some are criticized for making it too easy – they lead with the “grace” message, and are hesitant to talk about tough issues like sin, hell, or punishment. On the other side, those who preach a more serious message about tough subjects are labelled as “out of date,” “insensitive” and “hard core.” I know the debate well because over the years, I’ve had friends and clients on both sides of the argument. But here’s the problem: It’s the wrong argument, and here’s why:

Today we live in the most distracted culture in the history of the world. There’s more competition for people’s time and attention than ever. Which means that if you have an important message, your FIRST priority is to get that message heard.  I’ve said many times on this blog that no matter how great your message, if no one’s listening, you’ve failed. Getting a person to walk in the door of a church, turn on a radio or TV program, buy a book, or find you online is absolutely critical. Without that, there’s no impact, and no transformation. FULL POST

Posted 9/14/14 at 11:17 PM | Shaunti Feldhahn

Marriage Monday From Shaunti Feldhahn: Encourage Your Wife to Resolve Her Worries

Image credit: "Waiting" by Anna Gutermuth is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


Marriage Month Tip Of The Day from Shaunti Feldhahn


A tip for men: Next time something keeps bothering or worrying your wife, realize that due to her brain wiring, she probably can’t “not think about it” – and she will feel loved if you encourage her to take some action to resolve it instead of making her feel a bit foolish for wanting to do so.

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Welcome to Marriage Mondays! Each Monday, join us here in the Book Corner as I share my top findings on the little, eye-opening things that make a big difference in creating great marriages and relationships. Today’s post is one of a series on the surprising truths that men and women tend not to know about each other–and which change everything once we do. 
 FULL POST

Posted 9/14/14 at 9:43 AM | Tim Challies

Faith Hacking: Preaching the Gospel to Yourself

I love to find and share practical methods or techniques for living the Christian life—ways other Christians live out their Christian faith day-by-day. As I speak with people, as I read books, as I listen to sermons, I am always looking for these tips which I call “faith hacks.” I am going to share another one with you today. It comes from Jerry Bridges and deals with the important disciplines of preaching the gospel to yourself.

Bridges has written in several of his books about the importance of the daily practice of preaching the gospel to yourself. In The Discipline of Grace he writes, “When you set yourself to seriously pursue holiness, you will begin to realize what an awful sinner you are. And if you are not firmly rooted in the gospel and have not learned to preach it to yourself every day, you will soon become discouraged and will slack off in your pursuit of holiness.” He also gives an overview of the practice: “To preach the gospel to yourself, then, means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life. It means that you appropriate, again by faith, the fact that Jesus fully satisfied the law of God, that He is your propitiation, and that God’s holy wrath is no longer directed toward you.” FULL POST

Posted 9/12/14 at 1:55 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

21 Reasons God May Allow More Than You Can Bear

Photo: Pixabay - Public Domain

By Ron Edmondson

I’ve written some of my most read posts about a myth. A lie. A misquoted and misapplied Bible verse.

As with most lies the enemy uses, it originates from a misapplied truth in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that talks about temptation and how when we are tempted, God always allows us a way to resist that temptation. We can’t be tempted beyond what He’s equipped us to bear. (But, even that is misapplied if it’s done on our own strength.)

So using that truth, people often stretch it to say to hurting people, “God will not put more on you than you can bear.”

Yea — right!

Tell that to me. Or my friends. Or yourself.

Ever feel defeated? Like you can’t handle what you’ve been asked to “bear”?

Imagine telling a mother of two young children after she suddenly loses her husband and fears being able to raise the children, provide for them, and keep the home in which they live, “Remember, God will not put more on you than you can bear.” FULL POST

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