Church & Ministry

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Posted 10/24/17 at 7:40 PM | Mark Ellis

Nigeria: Four British missionaries kidnapped

Shirley Donovan ministering in Nigeria

By Mark Ellis

Four Britons serving as medical missionaries in southern Nigeria have been kidnapped by a militant group.

A former general practitioner from Cambridge, David Donovan, and his wife Shirley, were taken from their home in a rural area of Delta State on October 13th, according to The Times.

The two other victims were identified by police only by their first names: “Alana” and “Tyan”.

The doctor and his wife, both 57, work with New Foundations, a Christian medical mission that provides help to remote villages in the Niger Delta.

They have served as missionaries for 14 years. In 2003 they launched a boat clinic serving isolated villages. Four years later they set up a health clinic in one of those villages where child mortality was high, according to The Times.

In the last two years they conducted 500 cataract operations, treated 16,000 patients, vaccinated 4,000 children and set up rain-harvesting systems in eight villages. They have also been providing Bible training. FULL POST

Posted 10/24/17 at 6:50 PM | Karen Farris

Give More, Christians

Where did we get the idea that it’s the government’s job to take care of the poor?

Not from the Bible: “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

“She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20

And from the Apostle Paul: “Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” Galatians 2:10

Perhaps the War on Poverty, launched during President Johnson’s term, made it easier for Christians to trust the government to help the poor. FULL POST

Posted 10/22/17 at 8:37 PM | Boris Dzhingarov

How to Help Your Child Truly Understand Baptism

Baptism is something that nobody – a young child or an adult – should take lightly. Age isn’t an issue in God’s eyes and parents should make sure their children truly understand baptism before taking part in this important Christian tradition and expression of faith. Do you know what to tell your kids?

Helping Kids Understand Baptism

The first thing you need to understand is that baptism is confusing for children. They see baptism ceremonies in church services or hear about their friends getting baptized, but fail to see the semblance behind it. In their minds, all they see is someone getting dunked in a pool of water in front of an audience. It might be interesting to them, but it’s also a bit strange.

When children ask why people get baptized, adults often answer by saying something like, “She’s getting baptized because she loves Jesus.” And while that may seem like an innocent answer, it can actually cause some confusion. The child thinks, “I love Jesus. Why can’t I be baptized too?” Many parents wonder the same thing, and then let their children get baptized prematurely – before they really understand the depth of their sin, separation from God, and gift of grace through faith in Jesus. FULL POST

Posted 10/20/17 at 5:24 AM | olabode ososami

Chosen and Gifted. The Wedding - Part 2

The Church, the Bride of Christ, was chosen from before the foundations of the earth and from the time of her engagement after Calvary she was lavishly gifted to help all her preparations. The gifts given to a Bride come from the home of the Bridegroom and never from earth, where the Bride resides. Christ sends the Holy Spirit and many gifts from Heaven. The gifts also give assurance to the Bride that there will be a marriage in future and are a foretaste of a greater glory ahead.

 James 1 [17] Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

The gifts from Heaven are spiritual. They are good and perfect and were freely given nor will they be taken. In Christianity, spiritual gifts (or charismata) are endowments given by the Holy Spirit, supernatural abilities which individual Christians need - to fulfil the destiny of a redeemed people who serve God. The gifts could be both "natural" and more "miraculous" abilities, but all spiritual gifts are from Heaven and empowered by the Holy Spirit. There are also spiritual gifts that help the sanctification of the bride who must be kept apart from the world for the Bridegroom. The Bride can not make it without the help of the Holy Spirit. Too much is against her. FULL POST

Posted 10/19/17 at 1:55 AM | olabode ososami

Worship is not just singing

Many have asked what is Worship? Who is a Worshipper? Worship is important not just because God is seeking Worshippers (and He is), but also because in Eternity, our Worship in Spirit continues while virtually everything else ceases. Worship is not just singing and making music, indeed our Worship (if true) must extend to the home, the Market Place even in our Politics. God responds with extraordinary action, when we worship Him in Spirit. So what is Worship in Spirit?

Worship is an act of obedience, deep respect, devotion, adoration, bowing oneself down in full prostration before God thus seting God apart as above all in one’s life.

Indeed music elevates the soul and Martin Luther once wrote that God created man to extol Him in song …singing the psalms and hymns have always been part of what we can call worship, but we cannot limit worship to that which happens when we sing or are inspired by music. The hymns are a powerful teaching tool, and much gladness and healing for the soul of saints have come through music, and this is excellent …but true worship is directed to God and has less to do with human feelings. Worship is more than singing. Nothing wrong in being a professional musician … but this is not to be confused with Worship. FULL POST

Posted 10/17/17 at 12:03 PM | João Mordomo

Timeless Tips on Missions from the Apostle Paul

7 Missions Tips

Marcy Hill is my guest blogger today. As one of my master's degree students, she recently wrote a discussion board post that nicely complements my last post called Timeless Tips on Evangelism from the Apostle Paul. Here are some of Marcy's brief insights into Paul's missionary methods offered to us with a bit of didactic flare:

In reviewing the course material for week two, seven characteristics of Paul’s missionary methods can be discussed.

1. Prepare: Paul was passionate and obedient when it came to his missionary work. His journeys required planning, which he was an active participant in. Consider Moreau, Corwin, and McGee’s assessment of Paul, “Occasionally he depended on the hospitality of God’s saints…or the contributions of various churches…, but most typically he generated his own income by making tents…”[1] Not only did Paul accept and obey God’s purpose for his life, he also personally contributed to the actualization of the missionary determinations.

2. People: Paul understood the importance of Christian community and fellowship. In each of Paul’s three major missionary journeys, he had traveling and ministerial companions. During his first mission, he traveled with Barnabas and John Mark.[2] His second mission Paul traveled with Silas, Timothy, Priscilla, Aquilla, and Luke.[3] Hence, Timothy and Luke were Paul’s travel companions during his third missionary journey. FULL POST

Posted 10/15/17 at 6:01 PM | olabode ososami

The Wedding - Part 1 :The Coming Of Christ

Over the years, we have seen much written about the second coming of Christ, with many predictions passing unfulfilled. Indeed, scripture has said we can not know the exact day of His coming, but that has not stopped many seeking to set dates. The Bible however teaches us that we are not in darkness that the day should catch us as a thief in the night. These articles seeks to throw light into the obscurity that this theme has been overcast with, and to establish some clarity out of much confusion.

With all my heart I sense that a most important theme for mankind, particularly with recent signs and developments, is the return of Jesus Christ. I believe I am being led to summarise the contents of a book on this theme, which I published in 2011, in a seven-part video series (30 minutes each) called “THE WEDDING” . The first episode is an introductory teaching while future episodes will look at topics like what it means to be chosen, the gifts of the Bride, the Victories of the bride, the Money of the Bride, Signs of His Coming and the Bride's Heavenly Home. FULL POST

Posted 10/10/17 at 1:12 PM | Karen Farris

Dividing God’s Army

Most Sunday school kids learned to sing, “I’m in the Lord’s Army.”  We loved the hand motions, the marching feet, and saluting as we sang together. We truly were fighting together.

But somewhere along the line, we decided to break rank and use our weapons of words against one another. It’s been said that Christians are more likely to "kill" their own.

That’s a sad commentary on our faith journey and conflicts with our true mission here—to serve and glorify Christ.

Modern Christian battle lines are drawn on opposing sides of homosexual relationships, abortion, sex outside of marriage, and co-habitation. Christians argue about the inerrancy of the Bible. Does it really mean what it says? Or does it change with changing cultural norms?

While most Christians are united in helping the poor and working towards eliminating racial injustice, our arguments about doctrine on right and wrong further divides us. Oh, our enemy Satan revels in the disharmony. He celebrates when churches divide, or even better dissolve. At no other time does our nation need Christ’s love and God’s wisdom. Let’s remember that when Jesus-loving people are divided, we can’t help heal our broken nation.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. Matthew 12:25

Posted 10/6/17 at 12:08 PM | Audra Jennings

Biblical literacy and mentorship are important to Christian walk

Part 2 of an interview with Donna Gaines,
Author of Choose Wisely, Live Fully

Abingdon Press
Choose Wisely, Live Fully by Donna Gaines

The Book of Proverbs is a gold mine of divine wisdom. Author and speaker Donna Gaines applies that wisdom in very practical ways to the issues women face. Choose Wisely, Live Fully (Abingdon Press) examines the blessings and curses associated with the choices made by the two women in Proverbs: Wisdom and Folly.

Within the book, Gaines also harnesses her two passions—discipleship and literacy—to challenge women of all ages to become “biblically literate.” Biblical illiteracy makes us vulnerable to influences that do not represent biblical truth. This book is a discipleship tool that will help equip readers to: discern the voice of God and follow His path (the path of Wisdom instead of the path of Folly); experience the joy of wholehearted obedience; and let God help them mentor the lives around them in remarkable ways.

Q: What is Biblical literacy, and how do you address modern Christians’ lack of it in Choose Wisely, Live Fully?

Bible literacy is the ability to understand the grand narrative of God’s Word and apply its truths to life. We must read and study that we might “rightly divide the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Then, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are able to choose to bring our lives into conformity to God’s Word.

Biblical illiteracy (the lack of knowing what the Bible says) is rampant. Most of us honestly don’t know what God has said in the first place. Many church attendees profess Christ yet deny Him by their behavior . . . so what are we to do?

I encourage people to read the Bible annually. Reading what someone else says about the Bible is no substitute for reading it yourself. When I disciple women, my goal is for them to become self-feeders. I want them to feed spiritually on the Word of God on a daily basis. If we knew God’s Word we would not be so easily discouraged or led into false teaching.

Q: How does the general lack of Bible literacy in today’s world create havoc in everyday life? What are some examples of hot-button issues further complicated by Christians not personally knowing what God has to say on the subject?

We all must be cautious not to lean on our own understanding but instead to ask, “What does God’s Word say about this?” It is easy for us to be influenced by our emotions, friends, media or what current culture dictates.

Many Christians only know what other people say about God, which leaves the door wide open to individual interpretation, personal agendas and propaganda to make a point. People in the church have been as impacted by media and culture as those outside the church.

The only way to be wise and live the life of spiritual blessing is to immerse ourselves in God’s Word and obey it. God is not just an idea or a concept. He is the Creator, Savior and King. When we come to Him through Christ, He becomes the reality around whom all the rest of our life conforms. Then it doesn’t matter what the issue may be: marriage, divorce, immorality, lying, or caring for the least of these — we choose to line up with God’s Word.

Q: Why is mentoring younger women in discipleship important to you? Should every older woman actively aspire to be a mentor?

In Titus 2, every older woman is commanded by scripture to teach the younger women. We are also commanded by Christ to make disciples and teach them all they need to know (Matthew 28:19–20). This call is for all believers. I find as the mentor and teacher, I always get the most out of it. That is why it is important for those we disciple to disciple others themselves later. The truths of scripture really become our own when we can articulate them to someone else.

Donna Gaines, author of Choose Wisely, Live Fully

Q: Is it ok for a younger woman to search for a mentor instead of an older woman seeking her out? What should a younger woman look for in a mentor?

It is absolutely fine for a younger woman to seek out a mentor. She should look for a woman who walks in wisdom, peace and Christian love. She needs to be a woman of the Word and prayer. I have had several women in the churches where my husband served as pastor I approached and asked to spend time with. It was not a formal mentoring or discipleship relationship, but I learned and was challenged spiritually by time spent with them.

Q: Where can readers find your free downloadable resource on how to start a mentoring program?

By visiting www.AbingdonPress.com/DonnaGaines, readers can download a free resource giving them a schedule for a year-long discipleship program. This schedule is designed for a two-hour weekly study. The mentor guide also includes suggestions for books to study in addition to reading through the Bible. There are also scriptures to memorize.

Learn more about Choose Wisely, Live Fully at http://donnagaines.org and follow Donna Gaines on Twitter (@donnadgaines).

Posted 10/1/17 at 8:06 PM | Edward Ridenour

Does a Spritual Union Exist In A Biblical Marriage?

Is there a spiritual union when two people are married? Is it spiritual in nature?

Well, first, accurately defining how marriage originated and proceeded till now according to the teaching of Scripture will provide a very clear answer to this question.

FULL POST

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