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Week 19, One Year Bible Challenge: “The King”

By Tom Truex Christ the Rock Community Church, Saturday Morning Men’s Bible Study This week’s reading May 7-131 Hannah presenting her son Samuel to the priest Eli, by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (1621-1674) 1 Samuel 1:1 – 14:52John 5:1 – 7:53Psalm 105:37 – 109:31Proverbs 14:28 – 15:7 Next Week’s Reading May 14-201 Samuel 15:1 – 28:25John 8:1 – 11:54Psalm 110:1 – 117:2Proverbs 15:8 – 15:23 Discussion Questions:Old Testament Why did the Philistines return the Ark to the Israelites after it had been captured and held for 7 months? 1 Samuel, Chapters 5 and 6. Why did the Israelites ask Samuel to appoint a King to rule over them? Why did Samuel oblige them? 1 Samuel 8:1-9. New Testament Why did the man at the pool at Bethesda suffer so long (38 years)? What can we learn from Christ’s healing of this man? John 5:1-18. What did Jesus mean when he talked about eating his flesh, and drinking his blood? <a target=_blank href="http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?go=Go&q=John+6%3A53-58" title="ESV …read more Source: K_Line Christian Online (ReadTheWholeBible.com)     ...
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Father Arrested While Objecting to Porn Novel on School’s Required Reading List

By Heather Clark GILFORD, N.H. – A father of a high school student in New Hampshire was recently arrested as he spoke out at a board meeting against a pornographic novel assigned to his daughter without his knowledge. William Baer was escorted out of the room and placed in handcuffs on Monday when he continued to object to the assignment, which he said contains content so sexually graphic that he considered it to be pornography. “I was shocked when I read the passage and not much shocks me anymore,” he told EAG News prior to the meeting. “My wife was stunned by the increasingly graphic nature of the sexual content of the scene and the imagery it evoked.” The book at issue is Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, a fictional tale about a school shooting that includes a sex scene between its two main characters. According to reports, the book has been a part of the English curriculum at Gilford High School since 2005. However, when Baer’s daughter was assigned to read the book last week, parents were given no notice, neither any warning about the sexually explicit content in one of its chapters. He stated that he only learned of the material when his 14-year-old daughter …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Twitter's Social Innovator: All In for God

By Claire Diaz-Ortiz What happened the second time he flooded my life. A city most famous for its leftist political history and hippie youth movement, Berkeley, California, doesn’t always appear brimming with committed Christians. They’re there, of course, but they’re sometimes hard to spot. Born, baptized, and raised in this town I love, I spent my early years trying to find folks who walked and talked like me. Our small Presbyterian church was of little help. It seemed to lose members every Sunday, and my parents often shook their heads at the ever-emptying pews. My younger brother once returned from Sunday school telling our mother he never wanted to go back. “Why?” she asked, concerned. “Because I’m the only one there.” My youth group bore an equally small population. Don’t get me started on Vacation Bible School. But I had camp. Every summer for the 11 years before I departed for college, my parents shipped me off to Westminster Woods among the redwoods of Northern California. Those weeks of music, fellowship, and requisite felt hats (don’t ask) were one of the highlights of my year, and kept me grounded in a faith that sometimes felt like it took a backseat in Berkeley. For several years at camp, I had learned …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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HGTV Axes House-Flipping Reality Show After Liberals Decry Host for Christian Beliefs

By Heather Clark CONCORD, N.C. – The popular Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) axed an upcoming house-flipping reality show on Wednesday following the release of an article from a liberal organization that decried one of the hosts for his outspoken Christian beliefs and activism. David and Jason Benham, twin brothers from North Carolina, were set to air their benevolent remodeling show Flip It Forward this fall on the network. The Benhams, both former major league baseball players turned business entrepreneurs, focused their broadcast on making dreams come true for those who thought they could never afford a home. “After a decade of flipping houses for profit, brothers David Benham and Jason Benham now help families buy the homes they never thought they could afford,” a synopsis of the broadcast read, as published last month by HGTV. “In each episode, the guys help a deserving family find a fixer-upper and transform it into their forever home—with a healthy dose of sibling rivalry between the brothers along the way.” But on Tuesday, Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, released an article decrying David Benham as an “anti-gay, anti-choice extremist.” It noted that the Benham brothers are the sons of Flip Benham, the …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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The Fifth Chapter: The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love

By TomTruex The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à KempisBOOK THREE: INTERNAL CONSOLATIONThe Fifth Chapter: The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love The Disciple I BLESS You, O heavenly Father, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, for having condescended to remember me, a poor creature. Thanks to You, O Father of mercies, God of all consolation, Who with Your comfort sometimes refresh me, who am not worthy of it. I bless You always and glorify You with Your only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, forever and ever. Ah, Lord God, my holy Lover, when You come into my heart, all that is within me will rejoice. You are my glory and the exultation of my heart. You are my hope and refuge in the day of my tribulation. But because my love is as yet weak and my virtue imperfect, I must be strengthened and comforted by You. Visit me often, therefore, and teach me Your holy discipline. Free me from evil passions and cleanse my heart of …read more Source: Imitate Christ     ...
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More Thoughts on Multicultural Church: 3 Things to Consider About Multiculturalism

By Ed Stetzer A diversity of cultures within the local church is a gift because it reflects the family of God. Even though we weren’t aiming for it, my first church was a multicultural church. It wasn’t necessarily intentional—we just reached our poor neighborhood and that’s who lived there. My church today would not fit the definition of multicultural. It’s not because we don’t want to be, but it is impacted by the location where we meet, which is 93% Anglo. However, having just recently opened a campus in a more diverse area, we are excited about the opportunity to seek to become a more multicultural church. But our excitement should not blind us to the issues that are involved in developing a multicultural church. While the results are worthwhile, it takes work. Previously, I shared a few thoughts on multicultural church after attending a related conference. Here are three more thoughts to consider in moving toward having your church better represent the diversity in your neighborhood. Multiculturalism reflects the Kingdom of God. The church is called to be both a sign and an instrument of the kingdom of God. It’s an instrument in the kingdom of God, and it’s God’s agent in the world showing and …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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4 Free Resources for New Church Planters

By Ed Stetzer Church planters could always use free resources. Check out these four from LifeWay. I love church planters—and so does LifeWay. Our primary goal at LifeWay is to provide biblical solutions for life. As a result, we at LifeWay want to help new church planters by providing them with four key resources: some curriculum, a website, leadership development tools, and free printed LifeWay materials. Church planters who have planted churches within the last two years, regardless of denomination, may receive the following four resources: 1. Bible Study Groups (6 months of digital curriculum for all ages) Bible study curriculum is one of the foundational parts of ministry for many churches, and LifeWay wants to give church planters a head start by providing six months of free digital curriculum for all age levels. 2. Free Church Website Design and 1 Year of Hosting Having a website designed from scratch can cost a lot of money. Most church planters don’t have enough money to hire out a web designer to whip up a fancy website. LifeWay values the online presence of the church and wants to provide new church planters with a free website and a year of hosting. I have planted a number of churches over the …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Lighten Up, Christians: God Loves a Good Time

By N.D. Wilson Challenging ourselves to embrace the sense of fun infused in this world. We Christians are the speakers of light. We are the proclaimers of joy. Wherever we go, we are the mascots of the gospel, the imagers of the infinitely creative Father, and the younger brothers and sisters of the humbled and triumphant Word. We speak in this world on behalf of the One who made up lightning and snowflakes and eggs. Or so we say. Saying things is easy. Meaning them—in the realm of will and emotions—is harder. Knowing what they actually mean is more difficult still. Living out who we know we are and whom we follow with total consistency is, well . . . have you ever ridden a white whale by the light of a blue moon in a leap year? We say we want to be like God, and we feel we mean it. But we don’t. Not to be harsh, but if we did really mean it, we would be having a lot more fun than we are. We aim for safety and cultural respectability instead of following our stated first principles: that we are made in God’s image and should strive to imitate him. A dolphin flipping through …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Canadian Christian Law School Sues to Obtain Recognition for Grads

By Editor The largest Christian university in Canada on Tuesday announced it will pursue legal action to secure two provincial recognitions for its future law school graduates. Trinity Western University (TWU) is planning to open Canada’s first Christian law school in fall 2016, but gay activists have vehemently opposed the proposal because TWU requires employees and students to sign a community covenant pledging to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” Unlike in the United States, where law schools open and then gain accreditation, Canadian schools must submit proposals for accreditation beforehand. In December, the British Columbia Minister of Advanced Education and the Canadian Federation of Law Societies issued back-to-back approvals for TWU’s law school. Since then, provincial law societies—which essentially hold veto power over the federation’s decisions—in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island have followed suit. this story >> …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Christian Girl Raped in Pakistan Kept from Medical Care for Two Days

By Editor LAHORE, Pakistan (Morning Star News) – Threats by the Muslim family of a villager in Punjab Province who raped a 7-year-old Christian girl prevented her from receiving hospital care for two days, sources said. Targeted under the assumption of impunity for Muslims who attack Christians, the young daughter of a farmhand in Malhe Ki village in the Daska area had gone out on April 20 to a neighborhood shop when Fakhar-e-Alam Nagra, known as Phool, and another man attacked her from behind, relatives of the girl said. The two men blindfolded her and took her to an abandoned outhouse, where Phool raped her, according to the relatives. The girl’s brothers, Shahbaz and Emmanuel Masih, set out to search for their sister, whose name is withheld, when she did not return home that afternoon, according to the First Information Report (FIR No. 152/14) filed on April 22 at Daska Saddar Police Station. this story >> …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Egyptian Christian Teacher in Exile Awaiting Appeal of Blasphemy Case

By Editor ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – One year after Muslim extremists in Egypt accused her of committing blasphemy during class, a Christian teacher who suspected she would not get a fair trial remains trapped in exile. Demyana Abd Al-Nour, 25, a first-year social studies teacher at Sheikh Sultan Primary School in a village in Upper Egypt, fled the country last May, before she was formally charged with violating Article 98f of the Egyptian Criminal Code. Although human rights organizations across Egypt roundly condemned the allegations against her as false and a violation of human rights, prosecutors brought charges against Al-Nour, and the court refused to dismiss the case. Human rights groups also condemned the charges because they came at a time of widespread hostility toward Christians, with blasphemy accusations increasingly used to persecute Copts. Al-Nour’s decision to flee Egypt and seek protection in France appeared to be justified when the court later refused to admit witnesses and reports demonstrating her innocence. On June 11, 2013 she was convicted and fined an exorbitant amount, 100,000 Egyptian pounds (US$14,270), far beyond her low-income family’s ability to pay. this story >> Photo: Yasser Nazmi …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Family Planning Through a Global Lens

By Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D – guest writer The developing world requires us to look at contraception as a pro-life cause. As Hobby Lobby and others fight for exemptions from the Obama administration’s health care mandate, there has been much discussion about the array of contraceptives available to women in the United States, which we should use, which our employers should cover. But here in the U.S., we have the luxury to even have this debate at all. In the developing world, access to tools for healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies can be a matter of life or death, for both the mother and the child. To women in these countries, the debates we have here would seem like a privilege. There are 220 million women around the world who say they wish to avoid pregnancies but lack access to any effective contraceptives, counseling, or services. Reaching just 120 million of these women in the next decade could save millions of lives – including preventing an estimated 51 million abortions. While some Americans may associate the widespread use of birth control with the sexual revolution, sex outside of marriage, and today’s hookup culture, the developing world has a different reality. In many cases, the women who want to prevent pregnancies are married—very …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Morning Roundup 5/7/14

By Ed Stetzer Free J.I. Packer Book; Evangelical Prophets; Multicultural Ministry Free eBook: J.I. Packer’s “Keeping The Ten Commandments”—The Gospel Project We are giving away another e-book through The Gospel Project. Make sure you grab it. Do Evangelicals Have Room for Prophets?—Gary Burge This is a powerful story. 2 Thoughts on Multicultural Ministry—Eric Geiger Geiger continues to kill it at his blog (and he pastored a multicultural church in Miami not long ago). Andy Crouch is the executive editor of Christianity Today, a leading thinker in evangelicalism and the author of Playing God and Culture Making. In this episode, Ed and Andy discuss churches reaching their communities, social justice and Christianity Today’s “This Is Our City” effort. In this clip, Crouch talks about creating churches for our children’s children. Don’t forget to join me every Tuesday at 3:00 PM Eastern for The Exchange. … …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Virginia Christian Warns Proposed Zoning Law May Shut Down Home Bible Studies

By Heather Clark FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. – A Virginia resident who recently began a home Bible study is expressing concern over a proposed zoning ordinance that he says may make such gatherings illegal. Matthew Clark of Fairfax County recently wrote an article warning about the proposal, which he states is unnecessary and intrusive. The ordinance at issue pertains to large home gatherings that are held on a frequent basis, and limits such meetings to three times every 40 days, with a maximum of 49 attendees. “These gatherings can create parking, noise and other concerns for the neighborhood,” the county writes in an explanation on its website. “Although occasional, large gatherings—such as private parties, house concerts, religious meetings and social clubs—are expected and permissible activities at a home, gatherings that occur on a regular basis involving numerous people can detract from the residential nature of a neighborhood because most residential structures and neighborhoods are not designed to accommodate such events,” it said. But Clark says that very few complaints have been lodged over the issue, and that there are better way to handle the matter. “Because six people complained, the county is poised to violate the right to free speech, the right to religious expression, and the …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Iowa Newspaper Editor Fired for Criticizing ‘Queen James Bible’ on Personal Blog

By Heather Clark DES MOINES, Iowa – A newspaper editor in Iowa has been fired for opining on his personal blog that the Queen James Bible is an attempt by homosexuals “to make their sinful nature ‘right with God.’” Bob Eschliman has worked as the editor of the Newton Daily News since 2012, and has served as the publisher of the Clarinda Herald-Journal. But he found himself out of a job this past week when he spoke his mind about the Queen James Bible on his personal blog. “It’s pretty easy to brush off a nonsensical contrived version of the Bible, but that’s not the deceivers’ end goal,” Eschliman wrote. “No, they want all Christendom to abandon their faith. They do that by ‘proselytizing’ to church leaders to change their view on homosexuality.” “ said there would be deceivers. He said those deceivers would cause Christians who remain true to His teachings to become reviled. He said false prophets would follow to deceive even more, and that lawlessness will abound,” he continued. “If you ask me, it sounds like the Gaystapo is well on its way. We must fight back against the enemy.” However, journalist and commentator Jim Romenesko then picked up on Eschliman’s post and wrote …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Islamic Nigerian Terrorist: Allah Commands Me to Sell Kidnapped School Girls

By Heather Clark CHIBOK, Nigeria – The leader of a notorious Islamic terrorist group has threatened to sell over 200 kidnapped girls into slavery at the command of Allah, reports state. “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” Abubaker Shekau of the African militant group Boko Haram stated in a video released on Monday. “There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. … They are his property and I will carry out his instructions.” Boko Haram had stormed an all-girls secondary school in Chibok, Borno State last month, kidnapping 276 students while they were taking their final exams. Over 50 girls later escaped, but more than 200 remain missing. “They … started shouting, ‘Allahu Akhbar,’” one of the abducted teens told the Associated Press. “And we knew.” She stated that she and others escaped by jumping out of one of the vehicles carrying the students. “We ran and ran, so fast,” the girl explained. “That is how I saved myself. I had no time to be scared; I was just running.” Boko Haram, being translated, means “western education is sinful.” Shekau reiterated the group’s opposition to the West during …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Do Evangelicals Have Room for Prophets?

By Gary Burge Canon Andrew White lives dangerously for God. Why we need more leaders like him. Andrew White is a favorite speaker at Wheaton College, and he was with us again last week. He is an Anglican priest whose parish is in downtown Baghdad. Yes, Iraq. He’s affectionately called the “Vicar of Baghdad,” and it’s a rough job: In the past ten years, some 1,200 of his church members have been killed. When he travels on pastoral visits, he is accompanied by a couple truckloads of armed guards. Just in case. I’ve heard Canon White address our students now three times. And in every case he ends the talk with his pastoral mantra. The students know it so well, they finish it before he can. White tells how many times people caution him while he’s in Iraq. They say “Take care.” It annoys him; taking care is the last thing he wants to do. So he thunders to all 2,600 of our students, “Don’t take care . . .” and they chime in: “Take risks.” He currently has a Wheaton graduate as his personal assistant. One of my students, Sally, may join him this summer as an intern. Imagine telling your parents that …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Interview: Andrew White: Being Jesus in the Kill Zone

By Interview by Timothy C. Morgan and Kate Tracy Amid Baghdad’s daily carnage, 2014 Wilberforce Award winner models reconciliation to Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Iraq is worse than ever. So says Andrew White, vicar of St. George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad, where he pastors the only Anglican church in Iraq. Since March, 2,100 people have died in sectarian violence. With 260,000 Christians left in the country, where 1.5 million Christians used to live, White works for reconciliation between religious and political factions in one of the world’s most volatile areas. As Beeson Divinity School’s Timothy George puts it in First Things, “If Jesus came back to the Middle East today, I think he would look a lot like the Reverend Canon Dr. Andrew White.” That’s one reason why White is the newest recipient of the William Wilberforce Award, presented by the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. The organization recognized White with the honor Saturday, May 3, in Virginia for his work and influence in the Middle East. It’s also one reason he is called a “prophet” by other supporters in the United States. White heads the High Council of Religious leaders in Iraq, where he brings together Sunni and Shia Islamic leaders. He is also the president of …read more Source: Christianity Today     ...
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Oklahoma School District Bans Baseball Coaches from Leading Student Prayers

By Heather Clark OWASSO, Okla. – Following receipt of a demand letter from a prominent atheist activist organization, an Oklahoma school district has advised that it has barred its baseball coaches—and any other district employee—from leading student prayers at school events. As previously reported, the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to Owasso Public Schools Superintendent Clark Ogilivie last week, urging the district to put an end to alleged coach-led prayers at Owasso High School. The organization specifically cited Coach Larry Turner, 56, who it accused of leading his team in prayer, as well as some of Turner’s assistant coaches. Turner was named the best high school baseball coach in the United States last year as he was dubbed the 2013 National Baseball Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations. He has won ten state championships over his 32-year tenure and averages 31 wins per season. In addition to coaching youth at Owasso High School, Turner also focuses on teaching youth to be a blessing to society. According to reports, the team has supported the Special Olympics, visited war veterans and has spent time reading to children. But FFRF states that it received a complaint …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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Florida Teacher Bars Fifth Grader from Reading Bible During ‘Free Reading’ Period

By Heather Clark LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. – A Christian legal group is demanding an apology after a fifth grade teacher in Florida recently banned a Christian student from reading his Bible during the class free reading period. Giovanni Rubeo, who attends Park Lakes Elementary School in Lauderdale Lakes, says that he was recently reading his Bible during the designated reading period when his teacher—identified as Ms. Swornia Thomas—told him to put his Bible on her desk. She then told him to call his father so she could speak to him. “Giovanni called you because I asked him to. I noticed that he has a book—a religious book—in the classroom. He’s not permitted to read those books in my classroom,” a voicemail message from Thomas stated that day. “He said, if I told him to put it away—you said not to do that. So, please give me a call; I need to have some understanding on direction to him about the book he’s reading as opposed to the curriculum for public school.” Giovanni’s father, Paul, then contacted the both Thomas and Principal Cynthia Diaz to express concern. Diaz advised that the legal department would be consulted about the matter. A week later, Rubeo called Diaz to check …read more Source: Christian News Network     ...
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