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3 Considerations When Choosing Your Child's Education Ready or not, it's that time again. August means the start of another school year is right around the corner. This time of year always raises questions in the hearts and minds of many; including, how should I educate my child? Unfortunately, there is not a blanket answer to this question.School Choice Is a Personal MatterGod doesn't give children to a church, He gives children to their parents. He also holds parents accountable for choices made involving their children, including how they educate them. In our church, many parents choose to utilize the services of our church-operated Christian school. This requires great sacrifice on the part of the parents because tuition isn't cheap. Parents willingly make those sacrifices because they believe they are worth it.About fifteen of our families have formed a homeschool group which consists of families that belong to Fellowship Baptist Church. This group consists of some who homeschool because of a conviction to do so, and some who do so because they cannot afford to enroll their kids in a Christian school. These are some of our best families who have their children very involved in other ministries of our church.Fellowship Baptist Church has many children who attend public schools. For some, it is a choice that is made because they do not think they can afford an alternative. For others, they choose the public school because they believe it is the best option for their children.It is important that we understand that school choice is a personal matter between parents and their Lord. If a parent believes the Christian school is the best option for his child, he should respect the choices that are made by other parents. There would be no need for parents who homeschool to criticize or question other parents who choose the Christian school or the public school for their children, or vice versa. As a matter of fact, there would never be a need for parents to even discuss options that are chosen by other families. To do so is very obviously judging outside of one's area and is wrong.School Choice Is a Pastoral MatterDifferent pastors choose different educational ministries for their churches. I know of some churches that assist the families of their church with homeschooling. The pastor may form a group for the church's homeschool families, that functions as a ministry of the church. Some churches avoid any educational ministries altogether, and many churches have chosen to establish a Christian school.I remember the day when God very specifically spoke to my heart about the founding of Fellowship Baptist Academy. I knew at that moment, if I failed to do so, I would be disobedient to the leading of the Spirit of God. Every pastor should be in tune with the Holy Spirit, and every church member should trust the leadership of their pastor when it comes to what their church does in regards to education. If God doesn't lead a pastor to start a Christian school, he is a fool to do so. If the Lord prompts the pastor to organize and assist the homeschool families in his church, then that is exactly what he should do. The leadership of God is the key to this, and all other choices in the life of the man of God. We should remember that just because God leads His man in a specific direction, does not mean that man is necessarily against the other options.School Choice Is a Prayerful MatterNot only should pastors and parents pray about school choice, we should all pray for our children, regardless of where they go to school. There are no perfect places or situations. What works for some doesn't work for others. To try and fit every child and every family into a particular mold is unfair and unwise.For too long, some proponents of one educational choice have condemned all others. Our homeschool children need the prayers of families that have chosen the Christian school as their option. Christian school parents should pray earnestly for children who are homeschooled and those who attend public schools. If I am certain that I have obeyed The Lord, why would I not give others the right to obey Him as well, without my criticism?The onslaught of Satan's attacks upon our children is obvious. There are no perfect Christian schools, there are some public schools that are worse than others, and there are some families who do not do a very good job homeschooling their children.Each of us should prayerfully seek the Lord's mind as to how we should educate our children, and then we should pray earnestly that God would use that tool in their lives. Every family has the right to choose without feeling pressured by others who have already made their choice. For all of our children, I pray it will be a productive year.
Never let the excitement of higher attendance or the discouragement of lower attendance divert you from your church's primary goal.On any given Sunday, even the smallest, simplest church service juggles an amazing array of complex issues. Set-up to tear-down Relationships to administration Spiritual to emotional Planned events to unplanned interruptions and more.But too often we reduce the value of this beautiful, multi-layered gathering of believers, seekers, skeptics and hypocrites to one overly-simplistic metric. Namely, how many people showed up?More Than NumbersCertainly, almost every pastor and church is grateful when church attendance is on the rise – myself included. And appropriately so.It’s not that attendance figures don’t matter, it’s that too many of us have made those numbers the primary, sometimes exclusive focus of our attention.This is misguided at best, idolatrous at worst.We’re Not Selling WidgetsIt reminds me of a complaint I often hear from fellow authors and artists about their publisher or promoter. Sometimes they feel like no one who works with them is concerned about the quality of their work, just how many units they’re selling.Certainly authors, musicians and other artists care about reaching a bigger audience, too. But the size of the audience doesn’t matter if the work is shabby.Unfortunately, a lot of church leaders are guilty of falling into the same trap – expressing more concern about the numbers than about the quality of the experience.10 Better QuestionsSo how can we gauge the value of a church service? If we pay less attention to attendance, what should we pay more attention to?My answer to that is “almost everything.” Yes, almost everything else happening in a worship service is more important than how many people are in the room.For now, here’s a quick ...Continue reading...
Syrian Kurdish Military Official Calls On Israel To Take Action Against Turkey An official in the Syrian Democratic Forces called on Israel Monday (21st) to take action against Turkey's military ... Read MoreThe post News Digest — 10/21/19 appeared first on The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.
Storms Flatten Trees And Sukkahs, Causing Blackouts And Concert Cancellations An early season storm rattled Israel on Tuesday (15th), causing sporadic power outages, a bridge collapse, beaches to shut down ... Read MoreThe post News Digest — 10/16/19 appeared first on The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.
Sukkot: Fire Breaks Out Near Jerusalem, Rains And Unstable Weather For Most Of Week A natural fire broke out on Monday (14th) the first day of Sukkot, in the Itamar ... Read MoreThe post News Digest — 10/15/19 appeared first on The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.
Today's category: Church SignsChurch Bloopers 5 1) The eighth graders will be presenting Shakespeare's "Hamlet": in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy. 2) The 1991 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11. 3) Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary. 4) Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan in preparing for the girth of their first child. 5) Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. 6) The associate minister unveiled the church's new giving campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge--Up Yours." 7) The cost for attending the Prayer and Fasting conference includes meals. 8) The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict. 9) Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days. 10) Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person(s) you want remembered. 11) Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch. 12) Mrs. Johnson will be entering the hospital this week for testes.View hundreds more jokes online.Email this joke to a friend
A high court in India granted a request Monday to allow a viable, late-term unborn baby to be aborted past the country’s abortion limit. The case involves an 11-year-old rape victim who is 27-weeks pregnant with her unborn baby, NDTV reports. India prohibits abortions after 20 weeks, but, the past several years, high courts frequently […]
The South Carolina Senate moved forward with a bill Tuesday to protect unborn babies from abortion once their heartbeats are detectable. WRDW News 12 reports a state Senate committee approved an amended version of the bill in a 4-3 vote, moving it forward to the full Senate Medical Affairs Committee. State House Bill 3020 would […]
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has issued a proclamation declaring today a voluntary “Day of Prayer, Humility, and Fasting.” He explained: “We know that prayer accomplishes much. Prayer strengthens our families and it strengthens our communities. It strengthens our relationship with our neighbors. It strengthens our relationship with God himself.”
New leaders at prestigious Christian institutions weigh the cost of progress.The first step in passing on a mantle is to make sure it’s going into the right hands. Historic Christian institutions have seen an influx of new leadership, with boards calling on both experienced professionals and industry newcomers to steer their organizations. For many of the incoming presidents and CEOs, with the desire to effect lasting change comes measured optimism and an eagerness to implement fresh practices, all while balancing a commitment to the institution’s founding principles and stakeholder expectations.For some leaders, these appointments were the culmination of a dozen deliberate steps, each one taking them closer to the top tier. For others, it was a divine appointment, a position they never expected but now find themselves thriving in.The latter was certainly the case for Timothy Dalrymple, who assumed the role of president and CEO of Christianity Today in May. While no formal training could have prepared him for this role, he notes that his past experiences—including founding creative agency Polymath Innovations and serving as an editor and vice president of business development at Patheos—have provided an unlikely but providential education.“At every major intersection, it’s been the case that the next professional calling from God wove together the earliest parts of my life that are unexpected and somehow perfect,” Dalrymple said. “As I come to Christianity Today, it feels as though it draws on all the major threads of my life and produces something really surprising and beautiful. It’s as though all of your yesterdays were research for today.”Some prepare for their leadership roles in unconventional ways. For Dalrymple, a former NCAA athlete, ...Continue reading...
UK laws imposed overnight after local lawmakers were absent for 1,000 days.Abortion and gay marriage have become legal in Northern Ireland for the first time, rallying Christians against dramatic policy changes put in place without their consent.Northern Ireland’s longstanding opposition to abortion has made it a pro-life holdout in the United Kingdom, with a local ban against the procedure in all cases except if a mother’s health is in danger. Yet, these abortion restrictions were overturned after lawmakers failed to assemble on Monday to block laws passed on its behalf by the United Kingdom.The UK directive went into effect midnight last night, meaning women can no longer be prosecuted for obtaining an abortion. Hospitals will not provide abortions in Northern Ireland until April 2020.“The changes will mean Northern Ireland moves from having the most protective environment for the unborn to having some of the most liberal abortion laws in Europe,” said Peter Lynas, Northern Ireland director of the Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom, which co-founded the pro-life, pro-woman campaign Both Lives Matter to oppose reforms.“They were imposed without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland and will fundamentally shift our culture. There has been a significant mobilization, particularly on the issue of abortion. The issues have also united churches and seen evangelical and Catholics working closely together.”Northern Ireland, whose Protestant population is now roughly equal to its Catholic population, has resisted efforts to legalize abortion for decades. Research by Both Lives Matter indicates that 100,000 lives have been spared from abortion in the region since the rest of Great Britain adopted the 1967 Abortion Act allowing the procedure.The UK government ...Continue reading...
Today's category: MarriageThe Wrong Wish A married couple, both 60 years old, were celebrating their 35th anniversary. During their party, a fairy appeared to congratulate them and grant them each one wish. The wife wanted to travel around the world. The fairy waved her wand and poof - the wife had tickets in her hand for a world cruise. Next, the fairy asked the husband what he wanted. He said; "I wish I had a wife 30 years younger than me." So the the fairy picked up her wand and poof - the husband was 90.View hundreds more jokes online.Email this joke to a friend
Kanye West will release an IMAX-only Gospel-themed film titled “Jesus is King,” based off of the Sunday services that the famed rapper has been overseeing this year.
At least for us. But for God, nothing is impossible.Knowing God is maybe the most central thing in the Christian life. Also, possibly the hardest.The other day I was talking to a student, relatively new to a life of discipleship, who confided just how frustrating it is that he’s taking so much time to grow. He lamented how much he struggles to trust God when others seem to do so with ease.As I struggled to think of how to encourage him, I remembered one of the most curious prayer requests in all of Scripture, found in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, which I had just been working through.Towards the end of chapter three, Paul asks “out of his glorious riches may [God] strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all God’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:16-19).We’re tempted to glance over this and think, “Okay, great, Paul prays that they understand God’s love. Typical Paul prayer. What’s the big deal?”I was stopped short, though, when I realized Paul is asking that they be strengthened, that they have “power” to be able to know this love that surpasses all knowledge.Now perhaps it’s because I’m a grad student who happens to study the doctrine of God, but if I were writing Ephesians, I might have rendered the relationship differently. I might have said that coming to know God takes weakness (and not just because you spend all your time in the library and not ...Continue reading...
Bearing witness to our past and present reveals a relentless love in the face of evil. In The New York Times’ 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones writes, “Black Americans have been, and continue to be, foundational to the idea of American freedom.” On the 400th anniversary of Africans arriving to this land as slaves, she makes the case that “It is we who have been the perfecters of this democracy,” that black Americans have pushed toward the country’s ideals in spite of their circumstances.I’ve heard it said that history is a “dangerous” memory. It never lets us go until we attest to the wounds and commit to healing. It presses upon us that piercing but powerful word: love, love, love.Still, it is hard to see how society might change, how such healing might finally come about. Rarely does the one who injures another have the moral imagination to do right unless forced to. Even spiritual awakening, religious education, and visionary declarations have often bore bad fruit. Plenty of promises of peace and freedom only brought on further oppression.Even if we don’t have all the answers now, we must bear witness. And we must prophesy hope.The black church in America offers a rich legacy of faith that—like the crucifixion itself—exists at the intersection of chaos and pain and love. Its stories shine through to our present day and remind us that history without hope is indeed a history without help.The Chaos of DarknessWhat greater tribute could be paid to religious faith in general and to their [slaves] religious faith in particular than this: It taught a people how to ride high to life, to look squarely in the face of those facts that argue most dramatically against all hope and to use those facts as raw material out of which they fashioned ...Continue reading...
Incarcerated Christians have heard the sermon about the Prodigal Son. Now they need church.Leon Leonard was a Christian, but he didn’t go to church.There were a few reasons. One, he hadn’t been in a long time. Two, he’d done some things he wasn’t proud of and was afraid of being judged. And then there was the third reason: Leonard was in prison, serving a nine-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter.In the hallway of Lebanon Correctional Institution in Ohio, though, he noticed a poster for a megachurch that was starting its newest campus right there in the maximum security prison.He signed up. Days later, the 24-year-old was sitting in a prison classroom with 22 other inmates and a married couple in their 20s, who played them recorded worship music and last week’s sermon on an old TV. The newest site of Crossroads Church wasn’t much, but it was what Leonard needed.“It rekindled my relationship with God,” Leonard recalled. “I became more steady in my walk.”Crossroads is one of a handful of multisite churches across the country that have launched campuses in state penitentiaries—maximizing the benefits of the replicate-ready multisite model to develop prison ministries that go beyond evangelism alone to focus on community and discipleship. Church By the Glades has sites in prisons in Florida; Church of the Highlands in Alabama; The Summit Church and New Hope Church in North Carolina; Gateway Church in Texas; First Capital Christian Church and Emmanuel Church in Indiana; and The Father’s House and EastLake Church in California.At Lebanon, the church started in 2011 with Grant and Kyla Doepel burning a DVD of the service at Crossroads’ main location and bringing it into the prison each week. The inmates, including Leonard, would help ...Continue reading...
It's time to remember the qualifications of biblical leadership.Something doesn’t smell right in Lynchburg, Virginia, home of Liberty University and its controversial president, Jerry Falwell Jr. According to a September report in Politico:“Everybody is scared for their life. Everybody walks around in fear,” said a current university employee who agreed to speak for this article only after purchasing a burner phone, fearing that Falwell was monitoring their communications…. “Fear is probably his most powerful weapon,” a former senior university official said.Politico also reported that many Falwell confidants are concerned that tuition money is going “into university-funded construction and real estate projects that enrich the Falwell family and their friends,” going on to detail a number of examples.Days later, further glimpses of Falwell’s leadership character emerged when Reuters quoted leaked emails in which he called some students “social misfits,” called the school’s police chief a “half-wit and easy to manipulate,” and said students trying to avoid Liberty parking fees were egg-sucking “dogs.”There is plenty in the reports for Falwell and defenders to argue with. Many accusations were based on anonymous sources, and allegations of financial misconduct, to the degree there is any, of course must be borne out by impartial investigations and credible evidence.Still there is an odor in the air. Falwell doesn’t emphasize that he is innocent but that, “In the end, they [his accusers] are going to look like fools.” He believes the entire affair is about power. He told CNN: “I think it’s all a political-based attack by people who wanted to run the school for themselves.” ...Continue reading...
This year was the end for the last remaining national chain and the longtime trade association, but the industry is still pushing forward with stubborn faith.Fifteen minutes before the store opens, the staff of the Greatest Gift and Scripture Supply gathers to pray. They open the small box they keep at the front of the store for customers to leave prayer requests. Some days there are 10. Some days, 15. Today the box is empty.“We’ll just pray for all the unspoken prayers,” says Heather Trost, owner of the Pueblo, Colorado, bookstore. The staff close their eyes. Some of them are wearing buttons that say, May I pray for you? For a moment, the store is quiet.Trost has an unspoken prayer. Today, she’d like to sell more Bibles.It’s been a hard year for the Greatest Gift. Running a Christian bookstore can seem like a business of hard years. It’s no secret the whole industry is struggling.In the last two decades, more than 5,200 evangelical bookstores have gone out of business. Trost knows how easily one hard year—a tough Christmas season, an economic downturn, a personal health issue—can be the last.The Greatest Gift started in 1949, part of a boom of new commercial activity after World War II. The evangelical book industry flourished in the 1950s, organized by a new group called the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) to serve the growing number of Americans who identified with the Christianity of Billy Graham.There were about 300 evangelical retail stores in 1950. That grew to about 700 in 1965, about 1,850 in 1975, then more than 3,000 in 1985. By the mid-1990s, there were more than 7,000 such bookstores across the country, and Christian retail was a $3 billion business.In the midst of those successes, though, there were hints of darker days to come. Walmart and Sam’s Club started selling evangelical books like Left Behind, ...Continue reading...
“Jesus bears studying, for his movement has been...among the most powerful movements for social good in all of human history.” 1. “Wherever there is a powerful story, there are powerful people who want to suppress the truth” (Page 15).2. “When it comes to Christianity, this 10-year investigation has convinced me that my generation of Americans—those born in the 1980’s and younger—have been largely denied the truth about Christianity’s influence and record on social justice” (Page 15, 16).3. “On average, Christians make up 75% of the populations in the nations that lead the world with the best women’s rights, including matters like equal pay, the right to vote, the right to not be sold into marriage and a striving toward equal rights in all areas. Turns out that Christianity has had significant cultural influence in every one of these best cultures for women. Now, note the absence of Christianity in the nations where women are most oppressed and devalued today” (Page 21, 22).4. “What was unique about the Scientific Revolution—what was a first in the known history of humanity—was its way of looking at the universe” (Page 27).5. “…these great scientists who unlocked the Scientific Revolution, they were not incidentally Christian. They were not accidentally Christian. They did not happen to be Christian. Their whole way of seeing the world and the universe was through the lens of Jesus as God, a real being who they firmly believed in. They believed Jesus to be a God who is good and who works with order and predictability” (Page 29).6. “Unless I wanted to claim to be smarter than Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal, I needed to stop suggesting that faith in Jesus is anti-intellectual” (Page 37).7. “If we simplified all the people ...Continue reading...
‘Rage of Evil' documentary recounts would-be school shooter's road to redemptionOn November 10, 1982, more than 15 years before the landmark Columbine High School massacre, 18-year-old James Quentin Stevens entered Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Va. intending to kill others and then himself. He began shooting erratically—into an office, down the hall, out the window—but hit no one.“By the time I arrived at that school, I didn’t see human beings,” Stevens, who prefers to go by T. J., told Christianity Today. “I saw prey. The crazy thing is, when I shot, I shot above their heads. I don’t know why.”He took 10 hostages, firing at the ceiling to prove that this wasn’t a drill. Police arrived, and a harrowing 21 hours of negotiations ensued.Stevens’s story from troubled childhood to almost-shooter is recounted in a new documentary short, The Rage of Evil: Thoughts from a Former School Shooter, directed by Carolyn McCulley of Citygate Films. The 16-minute film is currently making its rounds on the festival circuit, including the 2019 Austin Film Festival & Conference on October 29.The night before the shooting, Stevens had nearly attempted suicide in his home. He said he had been interrupted by voices—not audible voices, more like thoughts that seemed to originate outside himself. The voices told him that to find peace, he must drive to the school to kill others first. Stevens felt that to banish the evil invading his mind he either had to carry out the murders or kill himself.At the school, hostages looked on as Stevens placed the barrel of a Mossberg hunting rifle in his mouth. Stevens recounts in the documentary that one of the hostages, a woman, “fell down to her face screaming and crying. I jerked my head over with the ...Continue reading...
Making sense of Jesus' humanity in light of fleshly temptations.According to the writer to the Hebrews, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin” (Heb. 4:15). The implications of this statement for Christian theology down through the centuries have been profound. Even today, many a sermon begins by reassuring the congregation that Jesus knows what it is like to undergo temptations as we do because he was like us in every way, sin excepted.But how are we understand this claim? The Gospels only record temptations that are hard for many of us to relate to: an appeal for Jesus to jump off a building, for instance, or a prayer to avoid the cross. Seemingly absent are the more pedestrian temptations Christians undergo daily, temptations toward cheating, overindulgence, pride, corrupt sexuality, and the like. How should the assurance from Hebrews be of help to Christians today?The Jesus of the New Testament Gospels was certainly a human being. Human beings are tempted. So he was tempted. That much is like us. Yet Christ is not merely human as we are. For the traditional Christian claim is that he is God incarnate. As Charles Wesley’s Christmas carol puts it, “veiled in flesh the Godhead see! Hail the incarnate Deity!”But here is the rub: Scripture also says God cannot be tempted. “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone” (James 1:13). So we have a dilemma. On the one hand, Jesus is like us in every way, being tempted as we are yet without sin. On the other hand, God is incapable of being tempted. Yet Jesus is both fully divine and fully human. ...Continue reading...
From gift books to Bibles, we've got you covered.Books are the ideal gift because they let you share a new idea or riveting story with other people, inviting them into the words and pages you can’t seem to forget.Most of my favorite books have an inscription: “Merry Christmas! Love, Mom and Dad 1997” “This book made me think of you, I hope you love it as much as I did.” “Praying for you as you go through this hard time. We’re here with you.”I don’t cherish these only for the beautiful words from the author and giver, but they remind me of people I love. My family and friends were thinking of me when they picked out that specific book. I can see how they were cheering me on or walking with me through a devastating loss.If you’re looking for books for the special people in your life, we’ve made it easy for you. In the next few pages, you’ll find great reads for this holiday season–just be sure to add your own note!- Caitlin EdwardsLight of the WorldBy Amy-Jill LevineIn Light of the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Advent, author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine shows how the Gospel narratives connect to the Old Testament; highlights the role of women in first-century Jewish culture; and emphasizes the importance of Mary’s visitation, the census, the stable, the star of Bethlehem, and the flight to Egypt.Almost ChristmasA Wesleyan Advent ExperienceIn John Wesley’s famous sermon, “The Almost Christian,” he encouraged people to follow Christ wholeheartedly. In Almost Christmas: A Wesleyan Advent Experience, readers will explore how we can make the same commitment to Christ during Advent, and connect our Wesleyan heritage with the traditional Advent themes of ...Continue reading...
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sign up for a free subscription to Todd's weekly newsletter: a must read for Conservatives and people of faith! Click here. More often than not the newspapers are filled with stories about teenagers behaving badly. But today – I want to tell you about some teenagers who are doing something good. Sam Hice […]The post Alabama Students Raise Money to Buy Janitor a New Truck appeared first on Todd Starnes.
A bunch of leftwing tree huggers invaded an In-N-Out hamburger restaurant in Long Beach, California the other day. But they did not count on staffers fighting back. Employees of the burger chain took matters into their own hands when the leftists began harassing customers. One staff member put one of the protesters into a bear […]The post WATCH: Leftwing Tree Hugger Physically Removed From In-N-Out Burger Joint appeared first on Todd Starnes.
Sunday morning started just like any other morning. We got to the church, and I had the privilege of preaching out of Job. God blessed us with visitors from several different places, and I was asking God to save and change people. Sunday afternoon I had no idea that the church was planning a Pastor […]

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