Church & Ministry

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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

Posted 1/30/17 at 6:14 PM | Mark Ellis

Uganda: Radical Muslim mob overruns church, rapes 15 women; pastor and others missing

Service at Katira Church before attack

By Mark Ellis

A pastor in eastern Uganda and eight other Christians are unaccounted for after a Muslim mob attacked a church service, locked the congregation inside, beat several members and raped 15 women, according to Morning Star News (MSN).

An angry horde of 90 Muslims burst into the evening prayer meeting of Katira Church of Uganda at about 8:30 p.m. on January 15th and beat congregants with clubs and sticks. Previously Muslims had thrown stones at the roof of the church building to disrupt church services of the 500-member congregation.

About 80 members were in attendance at the evening service. One believer who escaped before the doors were locked heard one of the attackers shout, “Away with the pastor who is converting our Muslims to Christianity,” according to MSN.

At the time of the attack, Pastor Moses Mutasa was outside questioning some visitors. He attempted to flee, but it is unclear if he was captured or killed. FULL POST

Posted 1/29/17 at 10:55 PM | Yvonne Perkins

Jesus Died For You

Jesus came into this world, took on flesh and walk on this earth for over 30 years. He didn’t come to condemn man but came seeking to save the lost. Jesus was rejected and misunderstood. Jesus knows what it is to be lied upon, talked about, mistreated and betrayed. He knew his fate upon entering this world but he came anyway. He came to die that you may live.

Jesus came to save the morally good person, the kind person, the one who is generous to others and compassionate. He came to save the lesbian, homosexual, perverted, pimp, prostitute, murderer and child molester. He came to save the liar, drunkard, thief, adulterer and adulteress, and gambler. He came to save the gang leader, gang members, and terrorist. He came to save the uneducated, well educated, mentally ill, poor and rich. He came to save the unbeliever, the fool who says there is no God and the atheist. He came to save the witch, sorcerer, and warlock. He came to save the young and the old.

Jesus came to save all mankind. God does not put sin in different categories, stating which is greater or less. SIN: Anything that violates or goes against the word of God. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:16-21, KJV). FULL POST

Posted 1/28/17 at 2:32 PM | Sophia Mixon

A Modern Christian’s Guide to Divorce and Child Custody

Divorce was once a dirty word for Christians, and even today, many evangelical Christians lambast anybody who pursues divorce as an option. Even so, the national average divorce rate hovers around 50 percent, with fluctuations up and down every year—and some studies suggest that the divorce rate for evangelicals is even higher than the national average.

Does this mean that marriage is a less holy union than it used to be? Does it make you un-Christian to want a divorce from your spouse?

The Whys and the Hows

The acceptability of divorce is debatable, strictly speaking. There are many passages in the Bible which prohibit any kind of divorce, with marriage being described as a permanent lasting union between a man and a woman. However, we all know from experience that some marriages are too painful for any person to struggle through merely for the sake of honoring that union—for example, should the victim of spousal abuse truly be expected to maintain her marriage in God’s eyes? FULL POST

Posted 1/28/17 at 2:30 PM | Sophia Mixon

3 Reasons Why Your Church Should have a Website

Church attendance is waning in most global countries. In order to reach out to the Millennials, it is important to consider utilizing modern technology to attract their interest.

There are currently over 7 billion global internet users. In the US alone, studies show that adults spend at least six hours a day on the internet. Web sites are primarily adapted by businesses and non-profit organizations to increase their online presence; thus, allowing them to reach out to their target audience and engage with them more effectively.

It is easy to set up and maintain a website in today's world. You can either build one with third party hosting sites or contact a website company and contract them to design your website for you.

According to the new report “FACTs on Growth” from the 2005 Faith Communities Today (FACT) survey, written by Episcopal researcher Kirk Hadaway, "creating a church website is one of the most effective means of spurring church growth."

Churches use their websites to engage with their members and other visitors. They are also used to support outreaches and battle social problems such as alcoholism, domestic violence, and drug addiction. FULL POST

Posted 1/27/17 at 9:28 PM | Greg Gordon

4 Lessons Every Christian Can Learn From The Life Of George Whitfield

What can we gather from the life of the famous preacher, George Whitefield for our edification and encouragement today? Many preach- ers have been and continue to be encouraged by the life of Whitefield, and we also believe his life had many wonderful examples for us to look at as children of God and believers in Jesus Christ. This is not an exhaustive listing of lessons and truths, but only a few helpful ones that we can apply to our Christian lives today.

Lesson 1: Not Seeking the Applause of this World

The first lesson we can learn is that Whitefield fought against the desire to be accepted by the world and its ways. He was esteemed by the masses at age twenty-one and by age twenty-two hated by most. Such is the fickleness of the world we live in and that crucified our Lord. At one moment they want to make him King and at the next moment they are crying out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (Luke 23:21).

This world is at enmity with God; and when a god is shown to them that approves of the world-system and their actions, there is an embracing of this god of only benevolent love. Yet when God is shown to be the holy God that cannot stand in the presence of sin, that exposes the sins of the heart, at that moment the hatred of the world becomes utmost. It was in the height of hatred when they crucified God’s Son. FULL POST

Posted 1/23/17 at 3:45 PM | Mark Ellis

Kenya: In seventh week of doctors’ strike, mission docs need prayer as they stand in the gap

Dr. Scott Myhre operating without electricity, using a headlamp

By Mark Ellis

With doctors on strike for weeks in the government-controlled healthcare system, mission doctors are playing a crucial role amid horrific conditions that continue to deteriorate.

Since December 4th, more than 5,000 medical staff connected to 2,000 public hospitals have been on strike, protesting the government’s failure to honor a 2013 agreement for a pay increase.

Some missionary doctors, like Scott and Jennifer Myhre, are filling in the gap at public hospitals amid power outages, and other life-threatening supply shortages.

The Myhres are missionary physicians from the U.S. who joined Serge (then World Harvest Mission) in 1991, and have worked in East Africa since 1993: 17 years in Uganda; five years in Kijabe, Kenya; and now partnering with the Kenyan government hospital in Naivasha. The couple met when they were students at the University of Virginia. FULL POST

Posted 1/19/17 at 4:45 PM | Mark Ellis

Egypt: Four Christians murdered in 10 Days

Mourning the losses in Coptic Church

By Mark Ellis

Four Coptic Christians were murdered for their faith in separate incidents over a 10-day period this month in Egypt.

On January 3rd in Alexandria, a Salafi Muslim crept up behind a 45-year-old merchant, Youssef Lamaei, and slit his throat, killing him. The murderer attempted to justify his crime by stating that the Christian man owned a shop that sold alcohol, which the Salafi deemed “contrary to the shar’ia (law) and the religion [Islam],” according to the Canada Free Press.

“I told him several times not to sell the alcohol, but he did not listen to me,” he told authorities.

A few days later, a Coptic man, Gamal Sami, 62, and his wife, Nadia, 55, were found murdered in their home in Monufia, about 20 miles north of Cairo. The Christian couple’s throats were slit and their bodies had multiple stab wounds. Nothing was stolen from their apartment and it is believed they were killed because of their faith. FULL POST

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