Author Topic: Christian family - family and home topics  (Read 435785 times)

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Is There a Place at the Table for Leaders with Mental Illness? I Think So.

Depression is an illness. Like diabetes.

Pastor Bill Lenz, founder and pastor of Christ the Rock Community Church, took his own life Monday afternoon. Here is what Christ the Rock CC said in a public announcement:


Bill had been suffering from depression for the last three months. He was seeing a counselor and doctor, and reaching out to friends for help in walking through this, but depression eventually claimed his life on earth.

We served together on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals, and he’s been an effective ministry leader with a passion for serving others.

And he struggled with depression.

I have written a lot about mental illness, depression, and suicide over the years, including just a few weeks back. These topics are challenging to write due to the deep impact they have on so many today. Nonetheless, like every other topic, we press into it because we must.

We recently released some new data on suicide and the church at the American Association of Christian Counselors, in partnership with LifeWay Research. With that data, I will be connecting with the AACC to do a series of conference where I will be sharing the research and how churches might respond.

Real Life People

Today, I want to introduce you to a friend who has been a pastor. He struggles with bipolar issues. He takes medication. And he works to manage both his manic experiences where he becomes super-charged with ideas, energy, and vision and his struggle with the dark side of the bipolar syndrome—suicidal thoughts and loss of self-identity.

My friend was the pastor of a multi-staffed church with educated leadership and members. Unfortunately, they never sat down with him and had a frank conversation about the ways that they could work together to accommodate for the challenges ...

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[Cfamily]How the Coming of the Son Brings Hope to the Fatherless
« Reply #737 on: December 10, 2017, 12:01:03 AM »
How the Coming of the Son Brings Hope to the Fatherless

An overlooked prophecy points to the family togetherness we crave at Christmas.

We tell two stories around Christmas. One is Christian, while the other is mostly sentimental.

The first story begins (at least in the Gospel of Luke) with an elderly priest named Zechariah serving faithfully at the temple. Luke tells us that Zechariah and Elizabeth, his wife, both loved the Lord and likely harbored some hope for Israel to be freed from Roman oppression. The angel Gabriel gives life to their hope by announcing that this barren couple would have a son who would herald the coming Messiah.

From there, the story moves to a young woman in Nazareth named Mary. The wonder of her pregnancy would surpass that of Elizabeth. Instead of being barren, Mary is a virgin. Instead of preparing the way for the king, her child would be the King himself, created within her womb by the power of the Spirit, God come to dwell among us.

We need not rehearse all that follows, save to say that shepherds and angels show up in abundance. The Lord of the universe enters the world through a virgin and spends his first night well loved in a humble manger. This is our Christmas story, rightly celebrated as the beginning of a new era in human history.

The other story that dominates the Christmas cards, songs, and movies we’ve come to love centers around a different kind of family. This is the all-American nuclear family, gathered around the tree in matching pajamas and exchanging presents as Nat King Cole croons in the background. Our image of family at Christmas—well-decorated, wealthy, happy, and intact—actually sits uneasily beside the gospel of the first.

I have no problem with churches that laud family togetherness during the holidays. Nonetheless, for children without a mother or a father, it can feel like a second Christmas ...

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[Cfamily]Welcoming the Prisoner into Your Small Group
« Reply #738 on: December 11, 2017, 12:01:02 AM »
Welcoming the Prisoner into Your Small Group

Prison Fellowship's new curriculum invites Christians to learn how their faith intersects with America's criminal justice system.

Small group topics range from the previous Sunday’s sermon to the latest Christian spiritual help book, from marriage to addiction to the Bible’s diet guidance.

Add to the list: mass incarceration.

Prison Fellowship, the nonprofit prisoner advocacy group, has created Outrageous Justice, a small-group study guide intended to transform more evangelicals into political evangelists for criminal justice reform.

The push to influence evangelical Christians comes at a confusing juncture. The campaign to ease sentencing for nonviolent crimes and to expand rehabilitation has moved forward at the state level, led by Republicans and Democrats alike. But at the federal level, such initiatives have stalled. President Trump, who has called for longer sentences, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has linked leniency to rising violent crime, have caused a slowdown on reform measures President Obama enthusiastically supported.

Heather Rice-Minus, vice president of government affairs for Prison Fellowship, concedes the current climate makes it harder to persuade Christians—81 percent of white evangelicals who voted cast ballots for Trump—to consider reducing mandatory minimum sentences, increasing prisoner education programs and reforming other areas of the criminal justice system.

“In some ways, it’s more difficult because of the law-and-order narrative that’s promoted, but at the same time, I’m hopeful,” she said.

Outrageous Justice is a six-session plan designed to be spread across six weeks. The first week, participants would discuss how they can “pursue justice that restores” in the criminal justice system. By the sixth week, they are considering whether the members are ...

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Died: ‘God’s Smuggler’ and ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’ Coauthor John Sherrill

Charismatic writer and Guideposts editor is remembered for his Spirit-filled stories.

The man who brought faithful readers some of the most influential stories in 20th-century Christianity, author and editor John Sherrill, died Saturday at age 94.

Sherrill, along with his wife, Elizabeth, cowrote the bestselling books The Cross and the Switchblade with David Wilkerson; God’s Smuggler with Brother Andrew; and The Hiding Place with Corrie ten Boom.

Over 66 years as an editor and writer for Guideposts, he helped shape the inspirational magazine and train hundreds of Christian writers.

Guideposts executive editor Rick Hamlin remembered Sherrill as “always honest, always seeking to grow in faith, always ready to tell a life-changing story, whether it was his own or someone else’s.”

A World War II veteran and son of a theologian, Sherrill was drawn to stories that showcased the powerful movement of the Holy Spirit, which he chronicled in his book about charismatic gifts, They Speak With Other Tongues.

CT’s 2006 list of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals called the Sherrills “the most influential Christian authors you know nothing about.” The pair also cofounded the publishing imprint Chosen Books, whose first release was Chuck Colson’s Born Again.

“A man of wisdom, a lover of God, a faithful husband, and a man passionate to see all Christians live the Spirit-filled life,” read a tribute from Chosen, now part of Baker Publishing Group. “We are humbled to carry on your legacy of Spirit-empowered resources and a deep love for God’s people.”

Sherrill mentored and trained fellow charismatic writers, including the late Jamie Buckingham—who authored biographies of Nicky Cruz, Pat Robertson, and Kathryn Kuhlman—as well as Steve ...

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[Cfamily]Saturday is for Seminars and Church Signs
« Reply #740 on: December 13, 2017, 12:01:04 AM »
Saturday is for Seminars and Church Signs

16 shopping days till Christmas

December and January Speaking Engagements

Here are a few places I will be the next couple of months, and then some church signs for you!

December 2017

I’m at Moody Church all Sundays, including morning and evening on Christmas Eve, except these Sundays:

December 17
Highpoint Church

Naperville, Illinois

December 31
Christ Fellowship Miami

January 2018

January 7-10
Southern Union Pastors' Conference

Orlando, Florida

January 17
Chapel at Judson University

Elgin, Illinois

January 22
Fuller Theological Seminary Church Planting

Houston, Texas

January 23-25
Evangelical Covenent Order of Presbyterians National Gathering

Houston, Texas

January 24-26
Lutheran Brethren Seminary

Fergus Falls, Minnesota

January 29-30

Georgia Baptist REACH Evangelism Conference

Warner Robins, Georgia

Please join me at one of these events, and pray for me that we make much of Jesus at all of them.

Church Signs

… and now a few church signs!

Thanks, @Blue_Bryan!

Thanks, @litlbit3!

Thanks, Jason!

Please tweet your church signs to @EdStetzer (or email to stetzerblog[@]gmail[.]com).

Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, is executive director of the Billy Graham Center, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.

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[Cfamily]The Power of the Spoken Word [Gospel Life Podcast]
« Reply #741 on: December 14, 2017, 12:01:05 AM »
The Power of the Spoken Word [Gospel Life Podcast]

Start each week with this encouragement to show and share the love of Jesus.

The Power of the Spoken Word

Colleen Cooper, development coordinator at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, talks about the power of God’s Word spoken aloud and how this simple practice can give hope to those who need it. Both in our personal quiet time, and in our outreach, speaking Scripture aloud can impact us beyond what we can imagine.

Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, is executive director of the Billy Graham Center, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.

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[Cfamily]Christianity Today’s 2018 Book of the Year
« Reply #742 on: December 15, 2017, 12:01:06 AM »
Christianity Today’s 2018 Book of the Year

The release that best embodies our pursuit of Beautiful Orthodoxy.

Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

Tish Harrison Warren (InterVarsity Press)

“Christians often find it more comfortable to embrace the goodness, truth, and beauty of God in faith principles than to transfer the principles to practice. In reality, more time is spent in the ordinary than in the extraordinary. God is present with us in surprising ways through our daily routine, pointing us to his love, grace, and mercy. This book is an invitation to worship him in spirit and truth, each moment of every day.” —Sandra Gray, president,Asbury University

“Liturgy of the Ordinary is simple without being reductionistic. It is beautiful without being excessive. It is theological without being heady. And it is orthodox without being pedantic. Walking her readers through a very ordinary day (brushing her teeth, making her bed, fighting with her husband), Warren highlights how all of life is liturgical. For a culture constantly in fear of missing out, Warren points to these sacred everyday rhythms as proof that we’re right in the middle of what is happening, if only we’ll take note.” —Lore Ferguson Wilbert, blogger at

“This is an eminently readable and enjoyable book that draws you into high concept—namely, liturgy in everyday life—through great writing and infectious charm. Warren takes you through a single ordinary day, from waking up in the morning to going to sleep at night, and manages to make connections to just about every important aspect of the Christian life. She is a gifted writer whose stories, rife with humor, teach you deeper things without ever making you feel like you’re being instructed.” —Stan Jantz, executive ...

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Source: Christianity Today’s 2018 Book of the Year

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Yes, 100 Christian Kids Are Being Raised by Muslim Families. Here’s the Actual Problem.

The real threat to foster children in the UK (and the US) lies within our own hearts.

For the past few weeks, headlines in the United Kingdom have been full of outrage over Christian foster children being placed with Muslim families, and vice versa.

It began in August, when The Times of London—one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious newspapers—ran a sensational article about a Muslim family fostering a 5-year-old Christian girl. According to the article, they deprived her of bacon, suggested she learn Arabic, and took away her crucifix necklace.

The Times reported that several of the girl’s caretakers wore a niqab or burka, inferring that “generally indicates adherence to a conservative, Salafi-influenced interpretation of Islam that is often contemptuous of liberal Western values.” The reporter blamed government social services for placing the child without considering her religion.

The story was investigated by a senior social worker and almost entirely debunked: no food had been rejected for religious reasons; English was spoken in the home; and the crucifix was so large and valuable that the foster parents had returned it to the child’s grandmother for safekeeping. The social worker concluded the girl received “warm and appropriate care” while she waited for her grandmother—who is also Muslim—to gain approval to take custody of her.

But the damage was already done. The Daily Mail tabloid followed up with a story detailing the reactive anger of members of Parliament, and The Sun tabloid reported that at least 101 Christian children have been placed with Muslim foster families, while 394 Muslim children have been placed with Christian foster families.

Right-wing extremist groups such as Britain First and the English Defence League jumped ...

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Source: Yes, 100 Christian Kids Are Being Raised by Muslim Families. Here’s the Actual Problem.

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