Church & Ministry

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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

Posted 9/27/17 at 2:48 PM | Mark Ellis

Police broke all his fingers for sharing Christ

By Mark Ellis

Jatya, a pastor in southern India, is able to document eight times he was persecuted for his faith, all memorialized in old newspaper clippings he keeps in a faded envelope.

In 1992, police ordered Jatya to stop sharing Christ with others in his village. After he refused to stop, police broke all his fingers. Three years later, he was beaten and jailed for a week. Another time, a Hindu neighbor beat Jatya with a bicycle chain, according to a report by Voice of the Martyrs (VOM).

Each time Jatya was persecuted for his faith, his response was the same: he went back to the streets with his Bible sharing the Gospel of Christ. With a boldness derived from the filling of the Spirit, he feels an urgency to declare the Good News!

More recently, Jatya shared the Gospel with a young man in his village. An angry mob of radical Hindus surrounded Jatya and beat him until he lost consciousness, according to VOM.

Jatya downplayed the severity of the beating when recounting the story to VOM. He said the most important part is the young man became a follower of Jesus!

Jatya hopes that someday soon he will be able to meet the men who beat him and share Christ with them. FULL POST

Posted 9/27/17 at 2:32 PM | Mark Ellis

Woman narrowly missed Tennessee church shooting

Grieving congregants outside Tennessee church

By Mark Ellis

Gloria Riches, 85, never misses a Sunday at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee. But on the morning when a Sudanese immigrant shot seven people and killed one woman, Gloria was uncharacteristically absent.

“I haven’t missed a Sunday in six months,” Gloria says. “But I did not feel well.”

The pew where Gloria sits would have placed her in the path of the shooter. “God took care of me yesterday,” she says. “I would have been right there.”

She got an urgent phone call at 11:15 Sunday morning from a close friend who had just witnessed the first woman shot outside the church. “She was hysterical; as she was getting in her car, she saw someone fall in front.”

Gloria knows the alleged shooter, identified as Emanuel Samson, 25. Samson is a legal U.S. resident who came from Sudan in 1996. “He hadn’t been to church in about 3 years,” she notes. FULL POST

Posted 9/12/17 at 8:58 AM | Marvin Thompson

When a Preacher’s Words and Actions Confuse the Message

An interesting moment came about during a panel discussion at the Religion News Association conference in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 9th, 2017.

Televangelist and pastor at New Destiny Christian Center in Florida, Paula White, tried to clarify what she meant by some controversial comments on the Jim Bakker show recently. On the show she said it was God who raised up Trump, and suggested that any resistance to the President is tantamount to fighting against God’s plan, and is therefore “fighting against the hand of God."

Her clarification came in response to Jack Jenkins of Think Progress who wanted to know if she “believed all leaders, including former President Barack Obama, were anointed by God,” because of her comments on Bakker’s show.

Her clarification proverbially raised more questions than it answered. She said, “I'm a preacher and I got a little fired up and I said some things invariably that I wish I wouldn't have said" and "I don't believe that just for President Trump. I would believe that for President Obama, I would believe that had Hillary been in." FULL POST

Posted 9/10/17 at 4:45 PM | João Mordomo

Timeless Tips on Evangelism from the Apostle Paul

You’ve met the type. You may BE the type. Gung-ho for missions! Ready to take the world for Christ! Willing to go “way over there” to the “ends of the earth” to proclaim the Good News! Excellent! I’ve met many who fit this bill. Unfortunately, many of them have neither the ability nor the desire to communicate the Gospel “right here,” in their own country with their own people using their own language. How then, will they effectively communicate Christ cross-culturally? Perhaps some timeless tips from the Apostle Paul are in order.

You’ve met the type. You may BE the type. Gung-ho for missions! Ready to take the world for Christ!


Throughout the second half of the book of Acts Paul sets forth his case for Christianity over and against any other religion or philosophy. He does so employing trans- or supra-cultural principles that work in any culture, with any people, in any language. Acts 17:16-34 provides a particularly enlightening account of Paul's evangelistic approach. What can we learn from Paul? FULL POST

Posted 9/5/17 at 1:53 PM | Mark Ellis

God miraculously healed him of Lyme disease

Dominic Sputo

By Mark Ellis

He was a young deadbeat dad with multiple DUIs and a mountain of credit card debt. But God saw fit to save him and ultimately perform a huge medical miracle after a significant course correction on his spiritual path.

“I had a really depraved background,” confesses Dominic Sputo, the founder of Mute No More. “I had never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I had never read the Bible.”

On his last day of college, he discovered he had a three-year-old daughter. He knew the child was his, but decided to flee from his fatherly responsibilities.

He landed a decent white-collar job after graduation. At the same time, however, he nurtured a drug and alcohol problem that got more severe with time.

“After five years of running away from her my life was a train wreck,” he admits. At 28-years-old, he had multiple DUIs and the installment payments on his credit card were more than his monthly paycheck. FULL POST

Posted 8/31/17 at 3:05 PM |

First Priority of America names new President and CEO

Dr. Rick Forbus has been selected to serve as the next President and CEO of First Priority of America, a Christian non-profit organization that presently resources over 40,000 middle and high school students in 849 clubs across America. Forbus and his team are preparing to be in 1000 schools by the fall of 2018.

For the past eleven years, Dr. Forbus was the CEO of Trove, Inc. an Atlanta-based executive coaching and professional training firm. He will remain a Senior Partner for Trove, Inc., but will direct his energy and skills to grow First Priority of America.

“First Priority of America (FPoA) exists to share the hope of Christ with every student in America,” says Forbus. “We believe that America’s youth culture is facing a major spiritual problem that requires a great spiritual movement. All statistics today indicate that teenagers are the number one influence on the lives of their peers. Our strategy is designed to unite the body of Christ by networking churches, parents, and business/community leaders to support, train and resource Christian teenagers to influence their school peers with the Gospel. FPoA believes that the good news of the Gospel of Christ is the solution to the hopelessness facing today’s teenagers.” FULL POST

Posted 8/15/17 at 12:02 PM | Dylan Moran

SAN ANTONIO AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS

Among the various general personal injury conditions handled by our attorneys are auto accidents that take place on the byways and highways of San Antonio. Every year thousands of people meet with an auto accident which can result in severe injury or even death. When this happens, the direct participants are far from the only ones who suffer. The family is likely to take a heavy financial hit, and depending on the type of injuries, this can become an ongoing burden that can destroy a family’s quality of life. The right legal representation can make the difference between a subpar settlement and one that gives you everything you can legally obtain.

If you or your loved one ever meets with an accident, they should get in touch with our San Antonio Personal auto accident lawyers. With their help you can file suit to claim compensation for your medical bills, physical and emotional suffering and lost wages. FULL POST

Posted 8/2/17 at 4:22 PM | Mark Ellis

Myanmar: Pastor casts demons out of chief’s son, Buddhist village comes to Christ

Myanmar village

By Mark Ellis

Dano was raised in a Christian home by parents who formerly practiced animism. After his father died, Dano turned to God and accepted Jesus as his Savior.

As a young man, Dano enlisted in the military and had combat experience on the frontlines fighting Chinese rebels. “Our enemies ambushed us, they shot us and landmines exploded.” Dano reported in a story by Open Doors.

He narrowly escaped the ambush. “I was positioned on the frontline, there was one experienced soldier before me and another behind me. The soldiers in front of me and behind me were killed by the explosion of the landmines. I found out that 120 soldiers died.”

Dano believes his life was spared for a reason. “I believe God preserved my life from death on the battlefield for a purpose—because it is written in the Bible that God protects those whom He has chosen. I believe God has chosen me to do his work and serve his people,” he told Open Doors.

After eight years of service, Dano left the military and obtained a license to operate a timber business and began to earn his livelihood exporting timber to Thailand.

One day he had a surprising vision. “I was shown a vine full of grapes, fully ripe and waiting to be plucked. A heavenly angel asked me to pluck the grapes and eat them. If I didn’t pluck he would send someone else.” FULL POST

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