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Rev. Franklin Graham
FRANKLIN GRAHAM FIRED UP OVER ATTACKS ON CHRISTIAN FAITH

The latest target of politically correct bullying against Bible-believing Christians is Atlanta’s former fire chief Kelvin Cochran. That’s right, I said “former.” Cochran was fired Tuesday because of a small passage—less than half a page—in a book he wrote for his church’s Bible study group.

The book on biblical morality simply restates God’s position put forth in His Word, the Bible. From Cochran’s book: “Uncleanness—whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.”

I personally know Chief Cochran. He served as chairman of my Crusade in Shreveport in 2005. He is a fearless man of great faith.

Because Cochran expressed his biblical belief on sexual purity in general—not only on homosexuality—an openly gay city council member went on a rampage to discredit this upstanding servant of the community. Cochran didn’t discriminate against anyone, he didn’t persecute anyone for homosexuality or create a hostile work environment. Instead he was persecuted and denied his career because of his privately held religious beliefs. This is true discrimination.

The LGBT community wants us to be afraid of expressing our Christian beliefs. They want us to cower in the face of their threats to the livelihoods of believers. But we shouldn’t back down! Cochran said, “I’m not discouraged and I’m not downtrodden,” he said. “This is a God thing and He’s going to do great things and He will vindicate me publicly.”

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markdriscoll

PASTOR MARK DRISCOLL

Pastor Mark Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill Church on Oct. 15th. (Facebook)
Mars Hill announced last week that it would dissolve the multisite network of 13 churches across the Northwest that took root under pastor Mark Driscoll, who stepped down in October after supporters lost confidence in a high-wattage leadership style that was criticized as bullying, hyper-macho and intolerant.

For many megachurches, a pastor can become larger than the church itself—particularly for multisite churches where the pastor’s sermon is the only thing binding disparate congregations connected by little more than a satellite feed. Before his resignation, the name “Mark Driscoll” was more widely known than “Mars Hill.” The dueling brands sometimes clashed along the way; some say Driscoll once told staff “I am the brand.”
Driscoll’s edgy personality built up a congregation of an estimated 14,000 people at 15 locations across five states. Weekly attendance is now reportedly about 7,600. In August, the church saw a budget gap of nearly $650,000 as expenses exceeded revenues.
According to Mars Hill leaders, by the start of 2015 locations within the Mars Hill network will either become independent, self-governing churches, merge with another church or disband completely.

Mars Hill’s existing church properties will either be sold or the loans on the individual properties will be assumed by the newly independent churches. Central staff in Seattle will be laid off as the formal Mars Hill organization dissolves.

Megachurches across the country have faced similar dips in attendance once their popular pastor left, a problem that can plague any church but one that can be exacerbated in a megabrand context. If the CEO of McDonald’s left, for instance, the company would face fewer questions about its survival than The Colbert Report will when its star leaves.
“It’s not uncommon for CEOs to say the first agenda item is to talk about ‘What happens when I’m not here anymore?'” said William Vanderbloemen, coauthor of the recent book Next: Pastoral Succession That Works. “The key is to have an emergency succession plan.”

After former megachurch pastor Rob Bell’s controversial book Love Wins raised debates over whether hell exists, his Grand Rapids, Michigan-based church experienced a loss. Current pastor Kent Dobson said the church lost about 1,000 people during the controversy and now has about 3,000 attendees.

Every megachurch pastor wrestles with challenges of brand and leadership, said Mark DeMoss, who handled some public relations for Mars Hill before Driscoll resigned.

“If the pastor is the best communicator and preacher and pastor in that local context, I think you can make a good case for that’s who ought to be up there,” he said. “The dangers are sometimes in succession.”

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Rev. Frank Graham

Franklin Graham Takes Hard Stand Against This Muslim Prayer

Franklin Graham slammed the National Cathedral in Washington for allowing a Muslim prayer service in the Christian house of worship. (CharismaNews file)

Franklin Graham, who is widely respected as the heir-apparent to his father, iconic evangelist Billy Graham, isn’t shy about speaking out for God’s truth. So when he saw Christians compromise their principles to reach out to false religions in the name of ecumenism, it was no surprise that it drew a harsh response.

Graham this week slammed the National Cathedral in Washington for allowing Muslims to hold their first prayer service there last Friday.

“It’s sad to see a church open its doors to the worship of anything other than the One True God of the Bible who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth to save us from our sins,” said Graham, head of the Samaritan’s Purse humanitarian aid ministry.

The younger Graham took to Facebook and spoke to the news media to register his extreme displeasure that a Christian cathedral—long a Washington landmark—would willingly be handed over to Muslims by the Cathedral’s Episcopalian leadership.

Muslims, in separate groups of men and women, took off their shoes, spread their prayer rugs facing east toward Mecca, turning their backs on the crucifix in front of the chapel, knelt and prayed.
“Jesus was clear when He said, ‘I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,'” (John 14:6) Graham said in a Facebook post.

Of the many comments on his post, Carol Layaog wrote, “The Lord told us these things must be, in the last days they will call evil good and good they will call evil! That doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking! ‘I came to them and they knew me not!'”

Some suggested that Christians and Muslims serve the same God. Graham disagreed strongly—as did Christine Weick, 50, from Michigan, who rose in the midst of the service and shouted, “Jesus Christ died on that cross. He is the reason we are to worship only Him. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. We have … allowed you your mosques in this country. Why don’t you worship in your mosques and leave our churches alone? We are a country founded on Christian principles.”

She was escorted from the cathedral and turned over to police, who took her outside and let her go without charges.

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Rev. E. Anderson
PRAYER VICTORY

Atheist opponents didn’t stand a chance against these prayer warriors. (Flickr)
The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday upheld the right of Colorado Governors to issue proclamations calling for state days of prayer, upholding an earlier ruling by the Colorado District Court, and overturning a subsequent ruling by the Colorado Court of Appeals.

This case began in 2008 against former Governor Bill Ritter by a small group of atheists headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. Judge Mullins of the District Court in Denver, Colorado, originally dismissed the case on Oct. 28, 2010, declaring “[T]here is nothing controversial about a restatement of a right protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. … The proclamation [does] not have the force and effect of law, and even if [it] did, the language does not support the foundation for a state religion, but only an acknowledgment of the rights of the citizenry as recognized as far back as the Declaration of Independence.”

“Public officials today should be as free to issue prayer proclamations as the founders of America and Colorado were,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and former U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado Michael J. Norton. “State and federal courts nationwide have repeatedly upheld and recognized prayer proclamations as a deeply rooted part of American history and tradition.”
Shirley Dobson, Chairman of the National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force added, “I applaud the decision by the Colorado Supreme Court. Since the days of our Founding Fathers, the government has protected and encouraged public prayer and other expressions of dependence on the Almighty. Prayer is an indispensable part of our heritage, and as citizens, we must remain faithful in our commitment to intercede for our states and nation during this pivotal and challenging time.”

In 1952, President Harry Truman signed into law a joint resolution by Congress to set aside an annual National Day of Prayer. Congress amended the law in 1988, which was signed by President Ronald Reagan, specifying that the annual event would be observed on “the first Thursday in May each year.” In April of this year, members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a resolution “affirming the vital role that prayer has played throughout the more than 200-year history of our nation, strengthening the fabric of our society, and recognizing May 1, 2014, as the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer.”

John Bornschein, vice-chairman for the National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force commented that, “This is definitely a victory for the free exercise of religion that our Founding Fathers sought to ensure, and we are thankful for the outcome. I can’t think of a time in recent memory when it has been more important to pray for wisdom and direction for our state and its leaders.

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Rev. Brian Houston

Hillsong Church Pastor Brian Houston at the Hillsong Conference USA in New York. (Facebook)
At a news conference for the Hillsong Conference in New York City Thursday, Michael Paulson of The New York Times asked Pastor Brian Houston to clarify his church’s position on same-sex marriage, RNS reported. Houston reportedly said it was “an ongoing conversation” among church leaders, and they were “on the journey with it.”

Now, Houston is clarifying those comments.

“I encourage people not to assume a media headline accurately represents what I said at a recent press conference.

“Nowhere in my answer did I diminish biblical truth or suggest that I or Hillsong Church supported gay marriage. I challenge people to read what I actually said, rather than what was reported that I said. My personal view on the subject of homosexuality would line up with most traditionally held Christian views. I believe the writings of Paul are clear on this subject.

“I was asked a question on how the church can stay relevant in the context of gay marriage being legal in the two states of the USA where we have campuses. My answer was simply an admission of reality—no more and no less. I explained that this struggle for relevance was vexing as we did not want to become ostracized by a world that needs Christ.

“I made the point that public statements condemning people will place a barrier between the church and the world (and I note that Jesus came to save and not to condemn), which is why at Hillsong, we don’t want to reduce the real issues in people’s lives to a sound bite.

“This, like many other issues, is a conversation the church needs to have, and we are all on a journey as we grapple with the question of merging biblical truth with a changing world”.

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Peter Nicolle

VIEWPOINT

 

Dear Friends of OM Ships, 

We live in times of constant change and unlimited opportunities to bring positive change and transformation to individuals and communities. Unfortunately there is the downside that because of the increased complexity and changes in shipping and the world around us, by the time you receive this something will probably have changed in what I write.

Nevertheless we must be diligent in ministry and we continue to be amazed and encouraged as God chooses to touch so many people’s lives through the ministry of the ship and literature. During the recent dry dock we have experienced fruitful ministry as teams from the ship have served and ministered alongside churches and OM fields in a number of countries. We look forward to visiting the Arabian Gulf again later this year.

We were grateful for the opportunity to have Logos Hope in Bangkok at the same time as OM’s International Leaders Meetings. The ship community did an amazing job of hosting so many OM partners while serving the 81,546 visitors coming up the gangway. We have had positive feed back from many leaders who, having seen the ministry for themselves for the first time, are more excited than ever about the impact of ship-based ministry.

Recently one of the 400+ daily internet orders we are processing from the OM Ships base in Florence, USA, was an order for a Bible from a man on death row in Mississippi! We realise again the potential impact of each aspect of our ministry.

We presently find ourselves in a place where the future of the Ship Ministry is threatened on several fronts. Most people have little idea of all it takes to keep this ministry going, but without the operational support, there can be no fruitful or ongoing ministry.

We have submitted an application to Transport Malta, where the ship is registered, asking for exemption from some new regulations coming into effect in August 2013. These involve the payment and working and accommodation requirements for professional seafarers. There is a significant amount we are compliant with, but we are financially and structurally unable to comply with all the commercial requirements. This exemption is critical to the future of OM Ships.

Q In the past months we have been addressing and strengthening the marine engineering capacity, competency and structure, and beginning the implementation of an overdue IT software and hardware development plan. We also need key personnel and further warehouse space for the literature ministry. Having the right people, infrastructure and equipment is critical to the sustainability of the ministry.

Q We are facing an urgent financial shortfall of approximately £385,000 within the next month. We have had to do the compulsory dry dock and surveys and have not been seeing the income and finances for the ongoing operational costs. Fewer and fewer people are willing to give for operational costs, preferring to give to specific projects instead.

Please pray with us for these three critical needs. Please pass this information on to people you meet or know who might want to partner with us in any way. Pray with us for God’s provision and consider how you can get involved, perhaps with a special one-off gift or regular monthly donations.

Thank you for the opportunity to pass on not just the wonderful things God is doing but also the real needs we are experiencing.

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ARAB MAN

ARAB YOUNG MAN

FOCUS ON ARABIC MINISTRIES

THE WAY COMPANION – WW.RAFEEK.NET

Young men in the Arab World are suffering not only from the economical and political situation, but also lack of understanding from family and friends. There is a lot of pressure from Arab society – they are men and men should not be weak and vulnerable!

TWR Arabic Ministries understands the stress that a young man is going through and that the internet gives him some breathing space. So there is a website specially for him which speaks to his needs and emotions while connecting him back to the One who originally created his being- God!

Through the various programmes available on http://www.rafeek.net a young man can address and learn to deal with his own fears. It is also a safe place where he can share his thoughts and ideas with others. The website encourages young men to tackle their deep needs by openly sharing; they will find someone at the other end who listens and understands.

The programmes talk about physical, emotional, spiritual and other types of issues that a young man faces throughout his day. Issues that he cannot share with others – like being homosexual, in love, unable to hear the voice of God, unsure about what is next in life, and much more.

Men are interacting and pleased to find a place where they can breathe out their shame and worries!

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ARABLADY

 

 

 

 

 

ARAB YOUNG WOMAN

FOCUS ON ARABIC MINISTRIES

ARABIC WOMEN OF HOPE

Women in Arabic-speaking countries face many challenges while being considered second-level humans, and that’s the case no matter how modern life is integrating in her life! The Arab woman always fears the unknown – becoming acquainted with an unknown husband, facing the unknown (yet planned) future from her father, or being manipulated by her brother or uncle.

The woman of hope Arabic programme has taken the initiative to create a website for this woman who is modernized yet choked with uncertainty. The goal is to communicate with her and touch the needs of her heart soul and body.

The radio programmes are being uploaded to the website listed below for easy accessibility for listeners. Women can also find articles relating to their questions and challenges, plus a devotional space to feed their souls from the Word of God. We can not forget to mention that there is the means for every woman who accesses this website to send any comment or question to specialists in women’s issues.

http://www.Lakiraja.com is a door for many women to hear, read and communicate about their challenges, fears, and burdens. It is also where women can learn about the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

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 Lord Carey

YOUNG CHRISTIANS CATCH THE VISION FOR SPEAKING OF JESUS IN PUBLIC LIFE

The Wilberforce Academy has become an annual feature of Christian Concern’s activities. More than 300 young people have caught the vision to speak of Jesus in public life through attending the Academy.

Every year we select up to 80 young, inspirational leaders from all walks of life, equipping them to be salt and light in the workplace, be it in the media, education, business, heath or legal services, politics or the Church. In March of this year, these students and young graduates met at TrinityCollege, Oxford for the fourth WilberforceAcademy. The three days were packed full of sessions led by high-level academics, lawyers, clergy and campaigners.

Lord Carey set the tone for the Academy when he addressed the group at the opening banquet. The former Archbishop of Canterbury drew a parallel with William Wilberforce, after whom the Academy is named, saying it exists “to maintain a public witness and stand just as much as Wilberforce was called upon to do in his day.” He went on to say: “You are like shock troops who are called to lead in the battle… You are here to take the fight wherever it leads.”

Delegates were equipped with a biblical and theological framework for engaging in public debate. Other sessions explored specific issues which urgently require Christian involvement and response, such as abortion, euthanasia and marriage. They heard from Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali on the triple jeopardy of aggressive secularism, radical Islamism and multiculturalism, while Roger Trigg, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick, highlighted the importance of religious freedom. Christian Legal Centre clients such as Gary McFarlane shared their stories of opposition as a means of encouraging people to take a stand for Jesus in the public square.

Attendees reacted enthusiastically to what they heard: “The one slogan I’m taking away is: ‘changed people, change culture,’ and that’s what I intend to do when I walk out of here.”

“It’s like there’s a fire been put in your bones. You have to get out and do something. You can’t just sit back or not do anything and you definitely can’t give in to fear anymore.”

Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, commented: “The WilberforceAcademy is one of the most important things we do at Christian Concern – equipping the next generation of Christian leaders in public life.

“It’s my prayer and expectation that God will raise up this next generation to speak the truth in love to a nation that desperately needs to hear it. With so many attendees from other parts of the world, the WilberforceAcademy is also set to have a global impact for God’s kingdom. We are very thankful to him for such an inspiring few days.”

Delegates are not charged to attend the Academy or for board and lodging, despite the quality of the teaching and the not inconsiderable costs associated with organising the Academy, venue hire, student accommodation, meals and speakers’ expenses. This has been Christian Concern’s policy from the outset, ensuring that cost will not be an obstacle to students’ attendance.

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 michael duncalfe

MEETING THE AMAZING HUNGER FOR GOD’S

WORD IN REMOTE COMMUNITIES IN PNG

You should have brought more Bibles,’ was the cry from people at Ambaluwa and Kol, two remote villages at the foot of PNG’s highest mountain MountWilhelm.

This was the first time Swiss pilot Michael Vogel and I had taken boxes of Bibles out with us when flying. The Bibles just went! We kept back one box for Ambaluwa, and Michael’s for Kol. We opened them up and started selling them among the people.

In PNG culture, it isn’t appropriate just to give things away – if you do, they are not valued. But we have a sliding scale so, if communities have some cash income, we won’t drop the price as much as for communities that don’t.

On that particular day, we came back to the MAP base at MountHagen, refilled our Bible boxes and then went out to Yambaitok in a completely different area. The reaction there was the same. People crowded around and the Bibles went almost as soon as we opened the box.

They were just so enthusiastic to get their own copy of the Bible.

Then, more recently, we went out to Wanakipa and Hewa in EngaProvince. They are probably a day’s walk apart, but only a few minutes by plane. Again, I sold all mine at Wanakipa and Michael sold his at Hewa.

In our Bible boxes, we carry about 14 or 16 Tok Pisin’ Bibles. I also usually carry about four English Bibles, the Good News version, and four or five audio Bibles in Tok Pisin.

People’s enthusiasm to buy them is amazing, and their sheer delight in being able to afford a Bible of their own is palpable. Everywhere we go, we are told, ‘Bring more, bring more! Next time you come, you must bring a whole box.’

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