Saturday, September 24, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
"We never know ahead of time the plans God has for us.
You and I must learn from this! We never know what a day will bring, whether good or ill. Our heavenly Father's plan unfolds apart from our awareness. Ours is a walk of faith, not sight. Trust, not touch. Leaning long and hard, not running away. No one knows ahead of time what the Father's plan includes. It's best that way. It may be a treasured blessing; it could be a test that drops us to our knees. He knows ahead of time, but He is not obligated to warn us about it or to remind us it's on the horizon. We can be certain of this: our God knows what is best."
- Charles Swindoll
Friday, September 16, 2016
On Wednesday, the Athletic Coast Conference announced it would move its December ACC Championship football game out of Charlotte, North Carolina. The move is a reaction to the HB2 law that protects women and children in bathrooms, dressing rooms and locker rooms.
Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, responded to the move, writing this letter to ACC Commissioner John D. Swofford with a copy sent to the presidents of its 15 member schools:
Dear Commissioner Swofford,
As a lifelong resident of North Carolina and current CEO and president of two organizations employing nearly 1,500 North Carolinians, I am saddened—even outraged—by the vote of the ACC Council of Presidents to move conference championships from our state in protest of legislation requiring people to use public bathrooms that correspond with their birth gender.
While I recognize this legislation—and legislation like it in other states—is complicated by society’s continued blurring of the lines of gender and sexual identity, I also recognize the profound hypocrisy of the ACC, the NCAA and other companies and organizations who are making calculated business decisions disguised as moral outrage.
For example, the football championship game your conference voted to move from Charlotte in December is called the “Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship.” Dr. Pepper and its parent company, Cadbury Schweppes and Carlyle Group, proudly sell their products in countries where homosexuality is illegal. Will the ACC drop its title sponsor? And why isn’t the LGBT community demanding you sever ties with such a “bigoted” corporate sponsor?
Read the entire letter here.
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Thursday, September 15, 2016
Keith Giles pens an article that hits the bulls-eye. Pastors are struggling in North America in epic proportions. Studies from sources such as Focus on the Family and other trustworthy ministries show frightening statistics for pastors in American churches.
One of the reasons is that for many Christians, a consumer-oriented mentality prevails. A close look at biblical texts reveals that every member of a church is to ask the questions, What are my gifts from the Spirit? What ministry should I be a part of in this particular body? How does God want me to use my gifts and resources to serve and build up this body of believers?
The emphasis in the New Testament church is How can I serve God and other people through this body of believers? In American church culture, the emphasis is often instead, How can this church meet my and my family's needs?
In the biblical concept of church, every member is a minister. And every member should be ministering.
Giles shares, "The overwhelming evidence throughout the New Testament is that every baptized believer in Christ was automatically ordained by the Holy Spirit into the ministry of Jesus. There was no separation between clergy and laity.
Were there some within the Body who were gifted to teach and to encourage and to lead? Yes, of course. But the entire life of the Church did not revolve around these few. Instead, every single believer was empowered to contribute and to speak and to use their gifting as the Holy Spirit directed.
According to the New Testament, when the Church actually becomes a real Body, and when Jesus is really the only Shepherd, the entire Body will be healthy and operate as God actually intended all along.
God does this so that everyone in the Body is necessary and so that everyone contributes and shares the burden of ministry.
If you really love your pastors, the best thing you can do for them is to encourage them to stop trying to carry all of the weight of the entire Body on their own shoulders. Pray that the Church will return to a New Testament model as God originally intended. Pray that we would affirm with Peter that God has indeed answered the prayer of Moses and the promise in Joel to pour out His Spirit on all flesh so that every member of the Body of Christ can serve and love one another in love."
Read the entire article by Keith Giles here.