Author Topic: Christian family - family and home topics  (Read 439474 times)

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[Cfamily]Christian College Grads Care More About Helping, Less About Money
« Reply #1560 on: February 17, 2020, 12:00:09 AM »

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Christian College Grads Care More About Helping, Less About Money

Study suggests religious schools should emphasize distinctives.

Christian college graduates are different from their peers at non-religious schools. When they think about work and finding a job, they value making a difference more and making money less.

According to a new study from the Christian think tank Cardus, two-thirds of graduates from private religious colleges and universities say it is important to them to find a job that “directly helps others”—10 percentage points higher than graduates from public schools or private nonreligious schools. About 70 percent of Christian school alumni said it was important to them to have a job that pays well, but that was 6 percentage points lower than other college graduates.

Graduates from religious schools also have a strong sense of moral obligation, according to the study. About 85 percent said it was important to “take action against wrongs and injustice in life.” Almost 80 percent said they should “help people in other countries in poverty or victims of injustice.” This is slightly higher rate than reported by other graduates: About 65 percent of public school alumni and about 73 percent of private non-religious grads feel obligated to oppose foreign poverty and injustice.

Graduates from religious schools are also a little more likely than their peers to feel a moral commitment to caring for the environment. More than 90 percent said that was very important to them.

Cardus, a nonpartisan Canadian-based organization that tries to “translate the richness of the Christian faith tradition into the public square for the common good,” has long been committed to demonstrating the value of Christian schools. This study, “What Do They Deliver?,” was co-authored by Albert Cheng, a professor ...

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[Cfamily]15 Killed in Fire at Haiti Orphanage Run by US Church
« Reply #1561 on: February 18, 2020, 12:00:11 AM »
15 Killed in Fire at Haiti Orphanage Run by US Church

The controversial Church of Bible Understanding lost accreditation several years ago for unsanitary conditions at the facility.

A fire swept through a Haitian children’s home run by a Pennsylvania-based Christian nonprofit group, killing 15 children, officials said Friday.

Rose-Marie Louis, a child-care worker at the home, told The Associated Press that the fire began around 9 p.m. Thursday and firefighters took about 90 minutes to arrive. The orphanage had been using candles for light due to problems with its generator and inverter, she said.

About half of those who died were babies or toddlers and the others were roughly 10 or 11 years old, Louis said.

Late Friday afternoon, police raided another home also run by the Church of Bible Understanding and took away several dozen children in a bus over protests from employees.

The fire happened at the group’s orphanage in the Kenscoff area outside Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.

“It could have been me,” said Renadin Mondeline, a 22-year-old who lived in the home with her son, now 6, for about two years until she started making enough money as a street vendor to start renting her own place to live last year. “These little girls inside were just like my baby.”

Rescue workers arrived at the scene on motorcycles and didn’t have bottled oxygen or the ambulances needed to transport the children to the hospital, said Jean-Francois Robenty, a civil protection official.

“They could have been saved,” he said. ‘‘We didn’t have the equipment to save their lives.’’

The Associated Press has reported on a long-standing series of problems at the two children’s homes run by the Church of Bible Understanding.

“‘We are aware of the fire in the children’s home in Haiti,” said Temi J. Sacks, a spokesman for the group, ...

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[Cfamily]Real Love Requires a Command
« Reply #1562 on: February 19, 2020, 12:00:08 AM »
Real Love Requires a Command

Strangers and Enemies Don't Come Naturally

In a familiar passage from Mark’s gospel, Jesus gets asked what matters most. Embroiled in a cauldron of theological unrest over taxes and what happens after we die, Jesus impressed with agile wisdom. An Old Testament Law professor, overhearing, interjected his own question: “Of all the commandments, which is most important?” (Mark 12:28). There were over 600 commandments in Old Testament Law, the Torah, addressing practically every aspect of Jewish life. Earnest followers of God wanting to live morally had a hard time keeping track. Distill it down for us, will you?

Typically with law professors, Jesus presumed a trap. He’d answer their questions with questions or tell parables with punch lines to trap them. This time, however, at least here in Mark, Jesus perceived his inquirer to be a straight shooter. So he answered plainly: “The most important one . . . is [to] love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (vv. 29–30). Orient your entire self in worship to the Lord and everything else falls into line.

This first command is known among Jews as the Shema, from the Hebrew word meaning listen. The Shema hangs on observant Jews’ doorposts, is recited twice every day, and is sought to be the last words spoken at one’s death. I knew a sweet Christian saint who sang the Shema three times a day with his wife. He said he sang it so often because he didn’t want to forget to do it, since, as we all know, loving God is one of those things that if not done deliberately never happens by itself.

Jesus proceeded to add a second commandment, which he equated with the first: “‘You shall love your ...

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[Cfamily]Latest Burkina Faso Church Attack Kills 24, Including Pastor
« Reply #1563 on: February 20, 2020, 12:00:08 AM »
Latest Burkina Faso Church Attack Kills 24, Including Pastor

Sunday’s raid left 18 more wounded and burned down the town church.

Gunmen killed 24 civilians, including a church pastor, and kidnapped three others on Sunday in Burkina Faso, an official said. It was the latest attack against a religious leader in the increasingly unstable West African nation.

The mayor of Boundore commune, Sihanri Osangola Brigadie, said the attack occurred in the town of Pansi in Yagha province. The roughly 20 attackers separated men from women close to a Protestant church. At least 18 other people were injured.

“It hurt me when I saw the people,” Brigadie said after visiting some of the victims in the hospital in Dori town, 180 kilometers (110 miles) from the attack. The gunmen looted oil and rice from shops and forced the three youth they kidnapped to help transport it on their motorbikes, he said.

Both Christians and Muslims were killed before the church was set on fire, said a government security official in Dori who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to the media.

Attacks have targeted religious leaders in the area in the past. Last week, also in Yagha province, a retired pastor was killed and another pastor was abducted by gunmen, according to an internal security report for aid workers seen by The Associated Press.

Extremist violence has dramatically escalated in once-peaceful Burkina Faso.

More than dozen people were killed at an evangelical church in last December, and back-to-back attacks targeted Protestant and Catholic gatherings last spring.

Analysts are concerned that attacks against civilians, including against Christians, are increasing “at an alarming rate,” said Corinne Dufka, West Africa director for Human Rights Watch. “Perpetrators use victims’ links to government or their faith ...

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[Cfamily]On Earth as It Is in Flight
« Reply #1564 on: February 21, 2020, 12:00:07 AM »
On Earth as It Is in Flight

Travel reminds us of our God-ordained dependence on others.

There’s a call button above every seat on commercial airplanes. In all my travels, I don’t think I’ve ever used it. I’m not sure if that is due to shyness or to pride, as there have certainly been times when I acutely needed help while seated.

While traveling recently, for example, I endured some delays and was thirsty. Yet I waited to ask for anything until the plane reached 10,000 feet, when the flight attendants came row by row to grant our drink requests. I didn’t press the call button. It always seems more courteous to wait.

Travel can be an exercise in rediscovering our dependence on others. I don’t mind helping others, but I don’t particularly like having to ask for help. I’ve learned some helpful insights from all the “codependent no more” writings that were popular a few decades ago. But the reality is that we wouldn’t survive without each other. Humans are fundamentally interdependent.

I notice my need for others especially when I’m sick or when I am traveling with small children. I notice it when I’m in a new city, when I’m reading a map—especially if I’m in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language.

In his 33 years on this earth, Jesus boldly trusted his Father God to meet his daily needs. He practiced this, asking his Father for provision. And he knew what it meant to be thirsty, just like us.

As Jesus hung on the cross, one of the last phrases he spoke out loud was “I am thirsty” (John 19:28). This three-word inclusion in the Gospels is a subtle yet significant acknowledgment of Jesus’ human need. His thirst dignifies our humanity. He offered up this holy complaint, a declaration of his ...

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[Cfamily]Evangelism Formation: Three Major Challenges to Our Evangelism Today
« Reply #1565 on: February 22, 2020, 12:00:10 AM »
Evangelism Formation: Three Major Challenges to Our Evangelism Today

As we enter into 2020, challenges to evangelism continue to rise. We need to face them to help us prioritize the spread of the gospel.

As we enter 2020, we must continually confront challenges to evangelism to prioritize the spread of the gospel.

The first significant challenge to evangelism relates to how we see the mission.

A major shift in missions stemmed from two significant deaths in 2018: missiologist David Hesselgrave and missionary John Chau. Hesselgrave devoted his life to traditional missions. His death in 2018 at 94 years old signified a shift from traditional missions to new approaches to evangelism and mission.

Missionary John Chau’s death at age 26 showed how the world’s views of the missionary enterprise have changed. I wrote numerous articles about his death, which showed the unfortunate reality that the world does not want to see the propagation of other people’s faiths. Today, our world doesn’t see the Christian desire to convert people as normal or acceptable.

In the first century people were required to burn a pinch of incense to the emperor and announce Caesar as Lord. People of other religions such as Judaism could continue to practice their faith so long as they burned their incense. Christianity was radical because of their unparalleled allegiance to Jesus as Lord. Their exclusivistic view went against the norms of the time.

Today, people burn a pinch of incense to a different emperor called tolerance. Tolerance has become a virtue and conviction a vice. Our conviction of Jesus as the only Savior flies in the face of tolerance.

Most people think that as long as Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and people of other religions get along, each religion is tolerable and acceptable. That is, until one religion tries to convert the other. This is why Chau’s death garnered as much media outrage as it did; it was seen ...

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[Cfamily]Why the Current Loneliness Epidemic Is a Historical Gospel Opportunity
« Reply #1566 on: February 23, 2020, 12:00:08 AM »
Why the Current Loneliness Epidemic Is a Historical Gospel Opportunity

At the center of the universe is a community. It is out and for that relationship you and I were created and redeemed. It turns out that community is the trinity.

In 2018, a national survey exploring the impact of loneliness revealed that this condition is now at epidemic levels in the United States and poses a severe health risk to the general population.

Survey results were released by Cigna, a global health service company, based on the UCLA loneliness scale, an instrument that measures and assesses subjective feelings of loneliness, as well as social isolation, by using a 20-item questionnaire.

Four significant patterns related to feelings of loneliness and social isolation emerged from the survey of more than 20,000 U.S. adults, age 18 years and older:

Nearly half of the respondents reported feeling alone, occasionally or continuously (46 percent), or left out (47 percent). One in four rarely or never feel as if there are people who truly understand them. Two in five feel that their relationships are inconsequential (43 percent) and that they are isolated from others (43 percent). One in five report they rarely or never feel close to other people (20 percent) or that there is anyone they can talk to (18 percent).

Bob Dylan once said that New York is the only place where you can freeze to death on a busy street and no one will even notice. Although urban centers are incredibly dense and swarming with people, the density only seems to compound the loneliness.

Thus, the confluence of urbanization and globalization is creating an expanding mission field for the church, given most of the global population continues to migrate steadily into urban centers. What then can we do?

First, loneliness is a signpost to something deeper.

The psalmist writes in Psalm 4:27 that “deep calls unto deep.” Many confuse this deep longing with a form of chronic anxiety, or something that has gone ...

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[Cfamily]Want Your Kids to Stay Christian? Double Down on Home Discipleship
« Reply #1567 on: February 24, 2020, 12:00:10 AM »
Want Your Kids to Stay Christian? Double Down on Home Discipleship

Data suggests that what you do with your free time affects your family’s long-term spiritual formation.

The novel coronavirus now dubbed COVID-19 has struck fear around Asia and the world. As many as 760 million people in China have been quarantined, and perhaps 110 million are barred from even exiting their apartment, all as part of China’s effort to prevent a pandemic.

In Hong Kong, where my wife and I serve as missionaries in the Lutheran Church-Hong Kong Synod, school has been cancelled since late January. Kids began doing online classes last week, and they will not return to school until mid March at the earliest. Restrictions on public activities and gatherings have spread throughout much of Asia, as individuals seek to reduce their risk of infection. Unsurprisingly, church attendance, especially among families with children, has plummeted.

However, the quarantines and cancellations associated with COVID-19 offer a remarkable opportunity. Families are stuck indoors for weeks on end. Employers are telling employees to work from home and giving more flexible arrangements. Kids finish their homework in just a few hours, leaving the day open for activities. Although it’s a terrible situation, nonetheless it opens a door for Christian families to step into a regular practice of home discipleship.

Although Christians in China are facing a special tribulation today, the same principles apply to those living in the States and elsewhere. In times of both severe crisis (think Hurricane Katrina victims stuck in the Superdome) and also mundane inconvenience (think of the odd snow day or sick day), we can seize the opportunity for the most important education of all, more essential than literacy, more useful than math, more formative than history: catechesis!

What the Numbers Tell Us

Research on the effectiveness of childhood ...

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Source: Want Your Kids to Stay Christian? Double Down on Home Discipleship

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