Author Topic: Christian family - family and home topics  (Read 437709 times)

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[Cfamily]Stop Carrying Mom Shame
« Reply #136 on: April 30, 2016, 07:21:26 AM »

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Stop Carrying Mom Shame

Stop Carrying Mom Shame


Slapping a Krispy Kreme jelly donut and stick of beef jerky on my child’s plate is pretty much the same breakfast as the freshly baked zucchini-kale muffin, juicy cantaloupe, and nonfat Tofurkey bacon that these overachieving moms are serving their kids.

Or that’s what I told myself when I was gripped by “mom shame.”

Now that my kids are in their mid-teens and making their own breakfasts, I don’t spend quite as much time wallowing in that pit o’ shame. But I remember what it was like in there. If you’re a mom, there’s always something you can feel bad about.

A Cacophony of Guilt

When my kids went to a groovy public charter school during their elementary years, I felt bad around “regular” public school moms because my kids had stumbled into this great, almost elite, free opportunity. And I felt bad around private school moms because, while the posters in their kids’ classrooms said “Obey authority,” the posters at my kids’ school said “Question authority.”

I felt bad around privileged moms who shopped for overpriced groceries at Whole Foods because my kids didn’t light up with joy when they saw celery on the counter as a snack. (They didn’t see that, but if they had, I promise you they would not have enjoyed it.) I felt bad around lower-income moms because my kids actually did have access to all the fruits and vegetables I could force them to eat.

As a married work-at-home mom, I felt bad around single moms whose work schedules prohibited them from dragging their kids to endless sports practices and games. And I felt bad around moms who drove all over the state transporting their little athletes to tournaments because I wasn’t willing to pay the big bucks and drive the long miles for my kids to have those fancy opportunities.

And though school, food, and sports accounted for a good deal of my mom humiliation, there was an endless array of other opportunities to wallow in shame: fashion, faith, domesticity, fitness, you name it.

So basically, I always felt bad.

My Light-Bulb Moment

The light bulb turned on when I was busy feeling shame because another mom in my small group had a spotless home. The illusion of both her perfection and my inadequacy was shattered when Clean Mom admitted that she envied the colorful parade of creations bursting forth from my home: cards, videos, books, beads, magnets. She felt shame, she admitted, when she looked at my messy, creative life.

Source: Stop Carrying Mom Shame

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[Cfamily]News: China Reveals What It Wants to Do with Christianity
« Reply #137 on: May 01, 2016, 07:01:35 AM »
News: China Reveals What It Wants to Do with Christianity

The widely reported death by suffocation of Ding Cuimei, the wife of a pastor in China’s Henan province, has shocked Christians worldwide. Ding and her husband were buried as they attempted to prevent their church from being bulldozed by developers.

Ding’s husband managed to crawl to safety, but she did not. Their case highlights again the lack of legal protection for China’s Christians.

In Beijing, meanwhile, a less noticed but more significant event provides insight into how China’s atheistic regime plans to deal with the country’s growing Christian population, projected to become the world’s largest within the next couple decades.

At a long-awaited national conference on religion, held April 22-23 in Beijing, China’s president Xi Jinping called on leaders to take the initiative in reasserting Communist Party of China (CPC) control over religion.

Xi’s speech, his first specifically on religion since coming to power in 2012, delineates a clear hierarchy in which religion is subordinate to state interests. According to Xi, uniting all believers under CPC leadership is necessary to preserve internal harmony while warding off hostile foreign forces that may use religion to destabilize the regime.

X’s insistence is not new, nor is it simply a function of China’s Communist rule. Since imperial times, state power has been seen as ultimate. It is, and has always been, the prerogative of the Chinese state to define orthodox belief and to set the boundaries for religious groups whose doctrines fall outside official limits.

In an environment in which the CPC is moving aggressively to rein in all expressions of civil society Xi’s message on religion comes as no surprise. His vision for reasserting control over religion—an area the CPC finds particularly difficult due to the diversity and complex history of China’s various religious communities—combines legal means with tightened supervision over religious doctrine and organizations.

Under the banner “rule by law,” Xi Jinping has overseen the drafting of new legislation and regulations governing nearly every sphere of life, from recreational dancing to national security. Curiously absent has been legislation dealing with religion.

In his recent speech, Xi made several references to regulating religion through law. Now that the first national conference on religion under Xi has been concluded, it is likely that a new law on religion is not far off.

For China’s Christians, such legislation could be a two-edged sword.

In the case of Ding Cuimei, police did arrest the perpetrators, and the local government has since ruled that the disputed piece of land does indeed belong to the church. In the future, local abuses such as this one and the well-publicized cross demolitions in the eastern city of Wenzhou could be effectively addressed by laws that put some teeth into China’s constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.

On the other hand, in the current atmosphere of social tightening, new laws could be used to further restrict the activities of Chinese believers.

The CPC’s control over religion is to be exerted not only through law, but also by reconciling religious doctrine with the party’s socialist values. While “religion serving socialism” has been in the CPC lexicon for some time, direct intervention in the beliefs and practices of individual religions—including calls for the “Sinification” of Christian theology—have become more common under Xi.

Source: News: China Reveals What It Wants to Do with Christianity

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After Pastor's Wife Buried Alive, Chinese Church Wins Land Battle

Nearly two weeks after a Chinese pastor and his wife were buried alive defending their church from destruction, local authorities have ruled in favor of the Protestant house church’s claim to its land.

After a local business wanted to take over the property that Beitou Church in Zhumadian sat on, a government-backed demolition crew was sent to destroy the church. And when the pastor, Li Jiangong, and his wife, Ding Cuimei, stepped in front of a bulldozer, it didn’t stop.

“Bury them alive for me,” a member of the demolition team said, according to China Aid which reported both the tragic incident and the ensuing legal victory. “I will be responsible for their lives.”

Ding's son stands next to where her body is being stored.

Ding's son stands next to where her body is being stored.

The couple were shoved into a pit and covered with dirt, according to China Aid.

Li manage to free himself. But before he could dig his wife out, Ding suffocated.

The demolition crew is being detained while their actions are being investigated, the local police station told China Aid.

While criminal charges are still pending, a government investigation has concluded that the land belongs to the church.

“This is a definite legal victory for the church,” stated China Aid. “The task force concluded the investigation [by] stating … that pastor Li Jiangong's church has the sole authority for the usage of the land as a religious site and should belong to the church for use. It rules no individual or other organization should claim the land from the church.”

"While we are glad to see and commend the local authorities under international pressure acted swiftly and fairly to resolve the church's land with this right decision, we are still deeply concerned about the justice for this family of martyr which is still not done," stated Bob Fu, China Aid’s president.

The incident took place in Henan province, which has one of the largest Christian populations in East Asia. The province is west of Zhejiang province, where authorities have removed hundreds of crosses from church buildings, jailed a megachurch pastor for protesting those removals, and jailed (and then released) one of the leading legal defenders of those churches.

Also this week, Chinese president Xi Jinping gave a long-awaited speech on what China wants to do with Christianity.

Source: After Pastor's Wife Buried Alive, Chinese Church Wins Land Battle

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[Cfamily]Evangelism or “Elevator Pitch”?
« Reply #139 on: May 03, 2016, 07:07:07 AM »
Evangelism or “Elevator Pitch”?

What's the distinction between evangelism and an elevator pitch? If you look at how we actually do evangelism, can you see a real difference in practice?

Is it true most methods of evangelism are little more than elevator pitches? Do you recoil at the suggestion? Most people I know would object. Why?

Elevator pitches are typically associated with business marketers. Perhaps, you think of smarmy salespersons who simply want to sell you a pile of goods with no genuine interest in your well being. What if we project the same impression when sharing the gospel? Regardless of intention, we should be alarmed by this possibility.

The Purpose of Pitching

We know this is a normal expectation because nearly every training or resource used by evangelistic ministries focuses on getting the pitch right at the expense of the biblically faithful and culturally meaningful gospel. Anything requiring more than 2–5 minutes is deemed impractical, wordy, or too theological.

As long as people say something like “God loves you. Jesus died for you. Believe and be saved”, they assume they've preached the gospel in a way that is actually meaningful to the people listening to them.

Accordingly, people confuse the biblical gospel with a mere elevator pitch.

Pitching a Product or a Person?

What if a businessperson only relies on elevator pitches and forgets the real purpose of pitching (i.e. getting a longer, second conversation)? He'd get really frustrated. Also, he likely will mainly sell to the following types of people:

  • those who are already extremely familiar with the product

  • those who are gullible

  • those who buy your product for wrong reasons (to get you to leave them alone, to people-please or win approval, etc.).

What’s more, when evangelism gets confused with pitching, presenters open themselves up to serious temptation. Ask anyone who has ever done cold-calling or commission-only sales. Early on, you’ll face a threat to your character. Before long, the push to get someone–– anyone–– to accept our message results in becoming impatient and angry due to constant rejection.

When we primarily evangelize through pitching, it is increasingly likely our presentations will not show a proper concern for the person. Instead, one begins to intensify focus on his or her own performance and the results it yields.

Slick illustrations and alliteration attempt to hasten the process. This dependency on shortcuts however reveals a lack of respect for both the decision we ask people to make as well as the message we share.

Problems arise when “elevator pitches” become more than mere tools among others; instead, they become the primary means for multiplying the number of people who make “professions.” The possible motives for depending so heavily on “elevator pitches” can vary. But that must wait for another post.

As with the salesperson so with the evangelist who pitches the gospel. A cycle emerges of distrust by listeners and despair by presenters.

Christians should not pitch a product. We present a person to people.

Do You Pitch or Persuade?

When presenting the gospel, our goal should be to persuade not pitch.

Someone might reply that Paul’s evangelistic messages in Acts seem rather concise. Might this be justification for an elevator pitch approach? No. Luke gives us edited summaries, not exhaustive sermons. Consider two examples from Acts.

“And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks” (Acts 18:4; cf. 18:13). According to v. 11, Paul “stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”

“Then he entered the synagogue and spoke boldly over a period of three months, engaging in discussion and trying to persuade them about the things of the kingdom of God” (Acts 19:8; cf. 19:26).

True persuasion (as opposed to manipulation) seeks to ensure people come to a genuine conviction that produces a life commitment to Jesus as King. This takes time.

The goal of Christian evangelism is not communicating as fast as possible but being as clear as possible.

The difference between pitching and persuading is one of speed versus significance. An elevator pitch is concerned with speed measured in minutes. Evangelistic persuasion is concerned with significance understood in terms of meaning.

Here’s the bottom line: an “elevator pitch” is meant only to open an ongoing conversation.

This raises some questions. Are we equipped to say more than a 2 or 3-minute summary? Are you willing to spend the necessary time to engage people beyond an elevator pitch?

Source: Evangelism or “Elevator Pitch”?

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #140 on: May 03, 2016, 07:43:31 AM »
Good article.


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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #141 on: May 04, 2016, 01:22:15 AM »
Aye but when God's Holy Spirit of revival meets evangelism then you have new creations

The two must meet together in communion


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Will Ben Carson's Bible Advice to Donald Trump Work? Here’s What Americans Think

Starting Sunday, the entire Bible will be read aloud in 90 hours on Capitol Hill. Hundreds will make their way to the 27th annual reading at the US Capitol, where 100 English and foreign language versions of the Bible will be available.

Former presidential candidate Ben Carson recently told reporter Rita Cosby that his advice to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump on handling his temper was to “read the Bible and pray and learn how to put yourself in other peoples’ shoes.” (Trump recently said his favorite Bible verse is “an eye for an eye.”)

But not even regular Bible reading could make Trump and other presidential contenders more civil, believe 44 percent of Americans.

That’s an increase from 40 percent last year, according to the 2016 State of the Bible report from the American Bible Society (ABS), conducted by Barna Group.

Only 51 percent of Americans said politics would be more civil if politicians read the Bible regularly, down from 56 percent last year.

The number of Americans who believed that reading the Bible regularly would make politicians more effective fell from 58 percent in 2015 to 53 percent in 2016. Those who thought Bible reading would not make a difference rose from 40 percent in 2015 to 43 percent in 2016.

Only practicing Protestants (those who identify as Protestant, attend church at least once a month, and say their faith is very important to them) thought the Bible was especially needed this year: 86 percent said politicians would be more civil if they read their Bible regularly, up from 81 percent in 2015.

Less likely to think regular Bible reading would make politicians more civil were practicing Catholics (63%, down from 70% last year) and non-practicing Christians (43%, down from 54%).

Most practicing Protestants (86%) also said regular Bible reading would make America’s politicians more effective, up slightly from 84 percent last year.

Overall, fewer people believe the Bible should have more influence in US society. In 2011, more than half (54%) thought the Bible should have a greater role in society; in 2016, it dropped under half (46%).

“[T]his seems to just be a shift towards those who think the influence is just right or who are unsure; the proportion of those who think the Bible has too much influence remains unchanged (at 19%)” from last year, the ABS report stated.

Nearly three-quarters of practicing Protestants (72%) said the Bible should have a larger impact on society, down from 74 percent last year.

Just under a third of Americans (30%) and about a quarter of practicing Protestants (24%) believe the Bible has just the right amount of influence in public society.

CT covered the highlights of the 2015 State of the Bible report, as well as the rise of Bible skeptics in the 2014 ABS report and which Bible translation is the most popular. (Hint: It isn’t the NIV.)

ABS and Barna also partner on picking America's most Bible-minded cities. CT examined how ABS's study compares to other rankings.

Source: Will Ben Carson's Bible Advice to Donald Trump Work? Here’s What Americans Think

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[Cfamily]Why We Want to Return to Stars Hollow
« Reply #143 on: May 05, 2016, 07:03:19 AM »
Why We Want to Return to Stars Hollow

How I made it so far into adulthood without having watched Gilmore Girls, I'm not quite sure. But with October's announcement that the fast-talking mother-daughter dramedy would reboot for a mini-revival, I knew: It was now or never. As Logan would teach me later, sometimes you just have to jump, and so, jump I did. In good November fashion, I feasted.

Netflix-binged, actually. All seven seasons.

How the scales fell from my eyes. For the first time, I finally understood the key plot points and show references my friends had been bringing up all these years: The young mom and daughter friendship smack at the show's center. The Bermuda Triangle of boyfriends. Diner owner Luke’s cranky likeability. Gilmore was sweeping; it had something for everyone. Over Thanksgiving, when a friend told me she felt as fidgety as Dean at a Friday Night Dinner, I nodded knowingly. The show had done what great shows do: It offered us shorthand.

But Gilmore was always so much more than just these core characters and their choppy relational waters. It built up a whole town of supporting roles: the sassy dance teacher Miss Patty; raspy, big-hearted Babette; ever-entrepreneurial Kirk. It was a bigger townie cast than an audience could possibly care about, and yet, somehow, we did. The “local color” made the fictional Connecticut hamlet exponentially more likeable. Which is why, the days after watching the series finale, and bidding Rory her rainy farewell, I actually felt a little bit homesick. I missed Stars Hollow itself.

Apparently I’m not the only one. Any good writer will tell you a setting this distinctive becomes a character itself, and that's precisely what Stars Hollow does, thanks to it knit-a-thons, hay mazes, absurd festivals, and 24-hour-dance marathons. Stars Hollow regularly appears on lists of favorite TV towns--it's rightful reward for cramming so much glorious oddity into every square inch.

No wonder fans are so excited to see that the show’s upcoming revival—four 90-minute episodes—will be filmed back on the original WB lot: the same Stars Hollow town square and gazebo, Luke’s Diner, Miss Patty’s Dance Studio. If the show picked up with Rory and Lorelai tipping back Starbucks on the streets of New York, it just wouldn’t feel quite the same, would it? Place matters, and for some reason, Stars Hollow feels like home.

But why? G.K. Chesterton once said, “The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world.” I think he meant that a town’s cozy charm is all tied up in its earnesty, in its refusal to posture or preen. It has a habit of being nothing other that its funny little self. Small towns—or small churches, or small businesses, or small groups—have a way of forcing tight buds to bloom. And they do it by nudging us close to our neighbors, in distinct peril of each of us being found out for who we really are.

Source: Why We Want to Return to Stars Hollow

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