Author Topic: Christian family - family and home topics  (Read 435767 times)

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[Cfamily]The Stories We Hope You Didn't Miss
« Reply #760 on: January 03, 2018, 12:01:00 AM »

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The Stories We Hope You Didn't Miss

The female pastors bringing hope to Middle East churches, talking about race with your kids, and how immigrants are reshaping American missions.

Thirty pieces from 2017 that Christianity Today’s editors hope you didn’t miss.

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[Cfamily]One-on-One with Christine Caine on Her New Devotional
« Reply #761 on: January 04, 2018, 12:01:05 AM »
One-on-One with Christine Caine on Her New Devotional

"Unshakeable" joins "Unashamed," "Unstoppable," and "Undaunted."

Ed: First, tell us a little about your background.

Christine Caine: I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, the daughter of Greek immigrants. If you have seen the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” then you will know my Big Fat Greek Life.

At age 33, I found out I was adopted and it was shocking to discover I was not who I thought I was. My faith in Jesus is what sustained me during those tumultuous days, as it did dealing with the sexual abuse I had encountered when I was younger. I truly know that even when your very foundations are rattled, an unshakeable faith in Christ can and will sustain you.

Today, my husband Nick and I have two daughters, Catherine and Sophia. I write books, travel the world telling people about Jesus, and have the honor of bringing the gospel to the globe through my Equip and Empower program on TBN. Nick and I oversee A21, a global anti-trafficking organization we founded almost 10 years ago. We also started Propel Women, an organization designed to activate the passion, purpose, and potential of every woman for the purposes of God.

Ed: You have a new devotional out called Unshakeable. How do you personally define the term “unshakeable”? And why do you think it’s important for others to have an unshakeable faith?

Christine: Faith that is unshakeable is faith that is impossible to change, shake, or beat down. It is the kind of faith that rests on the confidence of knowing that Jesus, our rock and mighty fortress, has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

Having that kind of unshakeable faith is important in the turbulent times we are living in. God wants you and I living on mission. On point. Fulfilling all that he has called us to do. In order to fulfill our destiny ...

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Source: One-on-One with Christine Caine on Her New Devotional

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[Cfamily]Biggest Mennonite Conference Leaves Denomination
« Reply #762 on: January 05, 2018, 12:00:23 AM »
Biggest Mennonite Conference Leaves Denomination

In another same-sex marriage split, Mennonite Church USA loses a sixth of its members.

Two years after deciding to leave the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) related to disagreements over same-sex marriage, a conservative-leaning group of nearly 180 churches made their split official at the start of 2018.

The biggest of MC USA’s 25 conferences, the Lancaster Mennonite Conference has rallied support following its decision to end its 46-year affiliation with America’s top Anabaptist denomination.

Since 2015, 29 congregations have joined the Lancaster conference; about of half of them came from the nearby Franklin Conference, which also voted to split from MC USA, according to Mennonite World Review.

Based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, most of the conference’s congregations are located in the Northeast, but the group is expanding geographically. Conference moderator L. Keith Weaver toldLancaster Online that in the coming months, 14 Mennonite congregations in the Dominican Republic are also expected to join.

Eight congregations that formerly belonged to the Lancaster group ultimately wanted to stay in the main denomination. They joined the Atlantic Coast Conference, which remains a part of MC USA, prior to the January 1 split, Lancaster Online reported.

The Lancaster conference’s departure cuts overall MC USA membership by about a sixth, according to 2016 figures reported by Mennonite World Review. At the time, the denomination included about 79,000 members—nearly 14,000 of which belonged to Lancaster congregations.

Though MC USA continues to define marriage as “a covenant between one man and one woman for life” in its confession of faith, some opponents to same-sex marriage fear its stance is loosening.

The denomination has voted down a proposal to affirm same-sex marriage, but adopted ...

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[Cfamily]The Unlikely Crackup of Evangelicalism
« Reply #763 on: January 06, 2018, 12:00:29 AM »
The Unlikely Crackup of Evangelicalism

The problems are real—but exaggerated.

As a supplement to the ongoing series on evangelical distinctives, we’re including other voices in the conversation on what it means to be an evangelical Christian today. This contribution comes from Richard Mouw, former president of Fuller Theological Seminary.

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has written recently about what he sees as a possible “crackup” that may be coming in the evangelical community. He sees a quiet version of that split already happening among the younger generation, many of whom seem to be moving in other directions: mainline Protestantism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy.

The more dramatic gap, as Douthat sees it, is between, on the one hand, the elites—“evangelical intellectuals and writers, and their friends in other Christian traditions,”—and those millions of folks, on the other hand, who worship in evangelical churches. It may be, he says, that these elites “have overestimated how much a serious theology has ever mattered to evangelicalism’s sociological success.” It could be that the views and attitudes on display in the recent support for rightist causes have really been there all along, without much of an interest in the kinds of intellectual-theological matters that have preoccupied the elites. If so, then the elites will eventually go off on their own, leaving behind an evangelicalism that is “less intellectual, more partisan, more racially segregated”—a movement that is in reality “not all that greatly changed” from what it has actually been in the past.

Douthat hopes he is wrong about this, and I think that he is. But his scenario has some support by increasing voices in the evangelical academy ...

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Re: Christian family - family and home topics
« Reply #764 on: January 06, 2018, 07:26:06 AM »
I agree there has been a dumbing down in the quality of sermons and of the intellectual content of them.
All to often it is assumed that the congragtion understands or agrees with a certain biblical view and the sermon is developed from there.

Test this out yourselves, talk to your young people and ask them for their views on 'gay marriage', evolution and sex before marriage.
The number who see nothing wrong with believing in and suppoerting them is very high.

If you push for biblical reasonings few can supply an answer.


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Why Christians Refused Jakarta Governor’s Outdoor Christmas Celebration

For Indonesian believers, top court’s change to religious ID card rules was a much better gift.

A month after Anies Baswedan became Jakarta’s new governor in October 2017, he took part in an Islamist rally at the National Monument, a tower that stands as a symbol of Indonesia’s independence. Just weeks later, the governor invited the archipelago’s Christians to celebrate Christmas there.

The move was likely an attempt to soothe emotions rubbed raw by the bitter division of the Jakarta campaign: Baswedan was backed by Islamist hard-liners who charged his Christian rival, incumbent Basuki Purnama (popularly known as Ahok), with blasphemy for referencing the Qur‘an. The charges cost the popular Ahok the campaign, and later earned him two years in jail.

Having received just 58 percent of the vote, Baswedan began attempts to reach out to Ahok’s many supporters at his inauguration, saying that “Indonesia is not based on only one religion” and “unity should also be celebrated in Jakarta.”

But Jakarta’s Christians turned down his offer of using the special location for an outdoor Christmas celebration.

“We appreciated the positive initiative; however, we need to consider that not every religion celebrates their religious holidays openly,” the chair of the Jakarta chapter of the Indonesian Communion of Churches said during a press conference. “We decided to celebrate Christmas at an indoor venue instead of at the Monas [National Monument] because we didn’t want to cause a disruption at the monument, which is a neutral venue.”

So Baswedan moved the Christmas celebration to an indoor venue on January 5, about two months after Indonesian Christians welcomed a far more substantial victory.

In November, Indonesia’s top court threw out the requirement ...

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‘Do Not Be Discouraged’: YouVersion Bible App Tops 300 Million Downloads

Ten verses get shared every second on the world’s most-clicked Scripture program. Here are the most popular of 2017.

Nine years ago, YouVersion’s Bible app was one of the first 200 free apps in the brand-new Apple App Store. Within seven years, it had been downloaded 200 million times. In 2017, the Bible app reached 300 million installs.

“We believe the Bible is an enduring source of courage and strength,” stated Life.Church innovation pastor and YouVersion Bible app founder Bobby Gruenewald. “We are encouraged to see from this year’s data that people all over the world are finding hope in God’s Word.”

The app offered 1,656 versions of the Bible in 1,186 languages in 2017, up from 1,200 in 2015. Working with about 10 major Bible translation agencies—including Wycliffe Bible Translators, Pioneer Bible Translators, and the United Bible Societies—YouVersion is part of a movement to translate the Bible into 99.9 percent of the world’s languages by 2033.

That collaboration among Bible translation agencies, led by major donors, has inspired givers and revolutionized the industry.

“We are at a pivotal point in history,” Gruenewald stated. “In recent years, technology has made it possible to accelerate Bible translation like never before. There's incredible momentum around this effort that we know won't stop until every person has Scripture available in their heart language.”

The Bible app has been downloaded in every country, growing the most last year in Angola (up 733%), Mozambique (243%), Slovakia (235%), and India (228%). Downloads accelerated just as fast in areas that are friendly to Christianity (131% in Brazil) as those that are more hostile (155% in Iraq).

Last year, Bible app users shared verses 222 million times and highlighted, bookmarked, or noted ...

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Source: ‘Do Not Be Discouraged’: YouVersion Bible App Tops 300 Million Downloads

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[Cfamily]I’m a Rural Pastor! What Now?
« Reply #767 on: January 09, 2018, 12:00:22 AM »
I’m a Rural Pastor! What Now?

Do not make any changes in the first year.

I’ll never forget the sunny day that Carole and I pulled into the parking lot of the Finchford Community Bible Church in Finchford, Iowa (population: 57) with all our possessions in the back of a small moving truck. About 30 smiling, friendly, and curious (“Oh! You like to fish!”) people helped us unload and settle into the parsonage. And they were calling me “Pastor Brian!”

As we settled into our new home, surrounded by boxes, and looking with gratitude at the table piled high with groceries, I wondered, What next? I knew that preaching, visiting, and leading were needed, but how exactly should I begin?

I would have done many things differently if I had started with the 34 years of Village Missionary and Executive Director experience I have now. I could have used the experience as a parent as well. However, it just doesn’t happen that way. But if you are about to start your own wonderful adventure (and it is wonderful) as a rural pastor, let me share a few things I’ve learned.

Village Missions strongly recommends that you not make any changes in the first year. You just don’t know enough about your context and you haven’t earned enough credibility to lead through changes. Don’t make them! But what do you do?

I strongly believe that your first year, and even following years, should be summarized by the word discovery. Discovery is the “act of finding something that had not been known before.” Launch on a discovery mission during your first year. Besides the normal routine of pastoral duties, you should seek to discover three areas.

The first area you need to discover is yourself. I found that my life as a rural pastor (Village Missionary) was quite different ...

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Source: I’m a Rural Pastor! What Now?

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