Church & Ministry

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Posted 2/28/17 at 3:33 PM | Mark Ellis

Pastor cried out to Jesus, found protection during massive quake

Houses turned to rubble by Gujarat earthquake

By Mark Ellis

It was one of the deadliest earthquakes in India’s history, with some villages near the epicenter disappearing completely. One pastor and his team were beginning a mission conference in a five-story hotel only a short distance away. He believes his heartfelt cry to Jesus brought protection for him and his team.

“Around 20,000 people died,” Pastor John recalls of the Gujarat earthquake that hit at 8:46 in the morning on January 26, 2001. Pastor John ministers with Bibles4Mideast.

More than 170,000 were injured and a million left homeless. Many historical buildings were flattened by the 7.7 temblor.

Some structures fell like playing cards, and property damage totaled nearly $8 billion.

“We were about to begin a three-day missionary conference in a hotel in Ghandhidham,” he notes. “Thirty-five pastors had travelled from different parts of India to take part, and had rooms on several floors of the five-story hotel.” FULL POST

Posted 2/27/17 at 6:46 PM | Mark Ellis

No news on YWAM missionary kidnapped in Africa

Jeffrey Woodke

By Mark Ellis

Four months ago, longtime YWAM missionary Jeffery Woodke, was kidnapped by armed terrorists in the West African nation of Niger.

On October 14, kidnappers rode up to his home in Abalak on motorbikes, shot his bodyguard and housekeeper and took Woodke captive. Before they departed, Woodke was forced to strip down to his underwear.

The terrorist group who abducted him is thought to be the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), an Al-Qaida linked group.

Jeff Woodke’s home church is Arcata First Baptist Church (AFBC), which stands next to Humboldt State University in northern California, where Woodke gave his life to Christ as a student.

“Jeff’s passion in providing humanitarian aid to those who are amongst the poorest in the world, coupled with his desire to see God’s Kingdom advanced in a largely Muslim world has played a large part in the life and ministry of AFBC,” the church stated on their website. FULL POST

Posted 2/27/17 at 3:38 PM | Mark Ellis

What Paul can teach us about facing persecution

Berkeley riot

By Mark Ellis

Earlier this month, a polarizing and provocative Jewish conservative was due to speak at UC Berkeley, but a peaceful protest turned into a riot, with bricks, rocks, and fireworks thrown, fires set, stores looted, and police barricades used as battering rams to breach the venue where this man was about to speak.

Under police escort, this controversial speaker had to be evacuated from the scene for his own protection, or he might have been torn apart by the mob.

That description is not much different from what happened to another polarizing and provocative Jewish speaker, the Apostle Paul, who seemed to stir up riots in many of the places he spoke some two thousand years ago.

What could have been so controversial? Why were people so riled up?

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he gave us a mission: to make disciples among every nation and people group throughout the world, to baptize them, and teach them to observe his commands. FULL POST

Posted 2/22/17 at 6:23 PM | Mark Ellis

The rise of the religious ‘nones’ and why they may never return to church

Reason rally in Washington D.C.

By Mark Ellis

Since the early 90s, millions have left the church and they may not be returning, according to a disturbing report by Dr. Anthony Horvath, the director of Athanatos Christian Ministries.

“Numerous studies show that around 1990, the number of ‘religious nones’ increased from roughly 8% of the adult population to 25%, today,” Horvath notes. “Tens of millions of people left Christianity in just two decades. Clearly, something isn’t right.”

‘Nones’ are people who tell pollsters that they have no religious affiliation.

Horvath recently released a report titled, “Faith and Family Under Fire: Why Apologetics is Failing in the 21st Century.”

In the early phase of this trend, those who left the church said they had not lost interest in spirituality.

But in the last decade the ‘nones’ seem to have completely jettisoned spirituality. “There is a new dynamic and it does not bode well,” Horvath notes. “In the last 10 years they have turned against Christianity and are increasingly hardened toward religion in general.” FULL POST

Posted 2/15/17 at 1:55 PM |

New ministry project to benefit women and children in 2nd poorest country in the world

In her book, “Six Pairs of Sandals: Yesterday’s Footsteps and Today’s Women’s Ministry,” author and speaker Dr. Deborah Waterbury highlights six women in the bible who personified the qualities of leadership. She also addresses specific areas of need for women to minister to other women within every local church, something she feels has been greatly lacking.

“In the last 10 years of working with women, particularly women in local churches, it has been sad to see how many churches are abdicating the ministry of women within their confines,” says Dr. Waterbury, who founded Love Everlasting Ministries in 2007. “Often it’s a matter of methodology, but just as often it is a matter of scarcity. Too many women either feel they are spiritually inadequate or that they simply lack the gifts necessary to minister to one another in their own home churches. I designed the book so that the reader can read a biblical example of each of the six broad categories of women ministering to women (teaching, prayer, mentoring, service, ministry leader, and small group leader), surmise which of those women she is most like, and then give her a list of practical ways she can step out and begin ministering to the women in her church in that way.” FULL POST

Posted 2/14/17 at 12:08 AM | Yvonne Perkins

Seize The Gates

Dictionary.com defines gate as a movable barrier, usually on hinges, closing an opening in a fence, wall, or other enclosure.
2.an opening permitting passage through an enclosure.
3.a tower, architectural setting, etc., for defending or adorning such an opening or for providing a monumental entrance to a street, park, etc.:
the gates of the walled city; the palace gate.4.any means of access or entrance

THE Bible Dictionary
(https://bible.gen.nz/amos/archaeology/gate.htm)describes the meaning of “gates”
the "market",
the "law court" (either formally in criminal cases or less formally as the place where family business or disputes were settled),
the public forum where community business was discussed and gossip exchanged or
the administrative center - the "Town Hall".

The gates were constructed like a fortress and meant to defend the city and keep the enemy out. http://www.crystalinks.com/jerusalemgates.html.Jesus Christ was crucified outside of the gate, Hebrews 13:12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. The prophets proclaim the word of God at the gates.Jeremiah 17:19-27. Nehemiah talks about gates of Jerusalem. http://jesusplusnothing.com/studies/online/nehem3.htm. Jesus declared “ I am the gate for the sheep” John 10:7-10, enter through the narrow gate Matt 7:13-14, gates of hell shall not prevail Matt 16:18. Lift up your heads, o ye gates Psalms 24:7-10. FULL POST

Posted 2/11/17 at 1:16 PM | Marvin Thompson

To Redeem Evangelical Brand, Call Out Evangelicalists

Yes, Evangelicalists.

Many evangelicals are worried that the word evangelical has forever lost its meaning, and is now quite ineffective as a tool for presenting the good news of the Gospel. It’s not quite there, but is on life support. This is not trivial because fundamental to the word is that salvation is through Christ alone. Evangelicals, therefore, are those who bring this good news to a world in need. But more than being messengers of the good news, evangelicals were meant to adorn certain uncompromising biblical ethos and mores that distinguish them as true ambassadors of Christ.

The Church is now beginning to recognize that it has an internal problem, with a section of the community of faith being assailed by teachings that are contrary to scriptures. These teaching are spreading at a rate that threatens to render the evangelical brand completely irredeemable. But what the church is failing to do, is to confront these heretic teachings and those who propagate them, in a meaningful way. There has to be a public renunciation and denunciation of these teachings so that the world is not confused as to where the Church stands. Church history advises that this must be done early and decisively. Otherwise, pernicious teachings and doctrines will take root, divide and weaken the Church, and destroy a generation of evangelicals. FULL POST

Posted 2/10/17 at 2:18 PM | Dale Fletcher

Holy Spirit is Not a Real Force. Really?

According to research by the Barna Group, 58% of Christians do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a living force.

Are you one of them?

Scripture is really clear on this. Jesus told his followers....

"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you." John 16:7

When Jesus mentions the Helper, He is referring to the Holy Spirit.

Here is a great list of scriptures that mention the Holy Spirit and His role in the life of the believer.

On my website, I have written numerous blog posts on the significance of the Holy Spirit in terms of the connection between the Christian Faith and personal health and wellbeing. FULL POST

Posted 2/9/17 at 5:58 PM | Mark Ellis

Vietnam: Hospital worker leads 50 to Christ in two days

Ho Chi Minh hospital oncology ward

Girl born with bent feet healed by Jesus

By Mark Ellis

Born with bent feet, at two-years-old, Mai could not even stand. Doctors in Ho Chi Minh City had been unable to help the baby.

Despairing over her condition, the parents decided to receive prayer from a Christian pastor, along with five other Hmong pastors who were attending a training, according to a report by Christian Aid Mission (CAM).

“The next day, while the husband, his wife and their daughter were at a children’s hospital waiting for their appointment, for the first time in Mai’s life she was able to walk about one meter with the help of her parents,” the pastor reported.

The parents were so elated at this first glimpse of hope that they cancelled the doctor’s appointment and carried little Mai back to the pastor and asked for more prayer. FULL POST

Posted 1/31/17 at 10:18 AM | Marvin Thompson

Evangelicals, You Rejected God, Now Own This

In 1 Samuel 8, Israel wanted a king like the other nations around them. They were not satisfied with God’s plan for how they should be governed. But what they were really saying is that God was not enough for them; they wanted a strong man – just like the other nations have. So God gave them Saul. In giving them what they whined for, God warned them that this king would treat them badly. They wanted him anyway.

Evangelicals celebrated the election of Trump as God’s answer to their prayers. They wanted a strong man, not a namby-pamby like his predecessor, but a strong man, admired much in the same light as the strong dictators the world has known. They were not satisfied with how they were being governed; they wanted a no nonsense man, a strong man that speaks his mind without fear of God or man. So God gave them Trump? They saw the signs and were warned about what this strong man would do, but they wanted him anyway.

Now evangelicals own this. Sometimes you have to get what you want to learn that is not what you need.

Not all answers to prayers are blessings (even though in this case it is more likely not an answer to prayer, but an example of the consequent will of God). Just because God may allow something doesn’t mean that he approves. Jesus said that divorce was allowed because of the hardness of the people’s hearts. The stubbornness of evangelicals demonstrated by discarding all moral restraints in reversing their demand that a leader must have a moral character) and embracing Trump, is an example of heart hardening. FULL POST

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