So you consider yourself to be a multitasker do you? Well try this on for size. God has millions of prayers coming before Him at any given moment. How in the world does He hear each one and answer them all? It is a mind-boggling concept.
Christmas can be a very stressful time. It is a frenzied season full of expectations and obligations. Decorations need to be put up, baking has to be done, presents have to be purchased and relatives must be visited. It is quite possible that in a season where you should experience peace and joy you may miss out on all of it. Here are ten steps you can take to manage your stress this Christmas season.
In early 1984, I began serving as a pastor for the first time. I would ultimately serve four churches as a pastor and nine churches as an interim pastor. In 1984 I was a young 28-year-old pastor without a clue. Today I am 58-years-old, and I'm still not sure I have a clue. So much has changed. So much has changed in pastoring in just thirty years. Let's look at major ways the pastorate has changed in that time.
You'd think that Christians would be completely safe in the land of Gandhi. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong. If I asked you to name the country that has witnessed the single greatest outburst of anti-Christian violence in recent years, you'd probably guess somewhere like North Korea or an Islamic country such as Egypt.
When our government is not in charge of something, it inserts itself into the enterprise, as is the case with the FDA's recent attempt to halt the sale of 23andMe DNA tests. Our government looked around the value-added business of personal genetic diagnostics and decided one thing was missing: government did not have a say-so.
We're at war. Or at least, war is being waged on our brothers and sisters in Christ across the globe. Sometime in November, the North Korean regime publicly executed eighty people in seven cities across the country. In each instance, a crowd was forced to watch as ten people, their heads covered with white bags, were tied to stakes and machine gunned to death.
As pastors and members we easily confuse the measure of greatness in the local church. We all know and admire the heavyweights whose numbers are the size of small cities. But one thing my senior pastor has taught me is not to elevate numbers beyond other dimensions of measurement God considers more important.
When we enter into a relationship with God, we experience a divine exchange where He takes our sin and gives us His righteousness. He also puts the seed of the Fruit of the Spirit in us (see Galatians 5:22-23). But in order for this fruit to grow in our lives, we have to study the Word and spend time with God so He can do this work in our soul.
Should a clergy's prayers be subject to censorship if given to solemnize a public meeting? A powerful atheist group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU), thinks so, and has convinced a federal appellate court to enforce this sort of oversight. But the question is now squarely before the U.S. Supreme Court, having heard oral arguments earlier this month.
Priscilla Shirer, popular Bible teacher, author and conference speaker, recently spoke with The Christian Post about her new book, God Is Able, in which she unpacks Ephesians 3:20-21 to explain how Christians can personally apply the Scripture's proclamation that God can "do exceeding abundantly above and beyond anything that you can ask or think." The married mother of three also shared her views on women in ministry and why Christians need to get out of the pews and onto the pavement.
This season of Advent, beginning the first day of December, is full of the JOY of the Lord! What could be more wonderful than the Good News that the Savior is born, that God himself has come to Earth as the Messiah? The great prophesies are fulfilled, including these profound and awesome words of Isaiah:
Humor is a great tool to use when communicating God's Word to teeenagers (or anyone for that matter.) It breaks down barriers, captures attention and gets the audience's adrenalin kicked into high gear. As a result, teenagers are more ready to receive what you are seeking to teach them from God's Word.
We tend to idealize holidays, but human depravity doesn't go into hibernation between Thanksgiving and New Year's. One thing that will hit most Christians, sooner or later, are tensions within extended families at holiday time. Some of you will be visiting family members who are contemptuous of the Christian faith and downright hostile to the whole thing.
Todd Burpo, whose book Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back is set to become a full-length motion picture next year, calls the parts of the film he has seen "accurate" and well-made. Both book and movie narrate the near-death experience that reportedly brought his 3-year-old son, Colton Burpo, face-to-face with Jesus Christ.
Two recent polls suggest that President Barack Obama is losing support among some of his most reliable constituencies – young adults, Latinos, women and labor union households.
An Illinois pastor who was grieving the death of his wife, whom he buried last December, reportedly fatally shot himself inside his Matteson home Saturday in front of his mother and son who begged him not to do it, after lamenting that he was hearing her voice and footsteps.
The Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," is here to stay, some liberal columnists recently argued in what may be a coordinated effort with the White House after an off-the-record meeting two weeks ago.
The sector of hospice and home care may be subject to the hardest hits from the forthcoming implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as "ObamaCare." The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) estimated that by 2017, nearly three-quarters of these specialized care centers will be operating at a loss.
A town in Kansas has installed "prayer phone booths" throughout its city to encourage residents to take time to kneel and pray throughout their day. The booths come equipped with a lowering kneel bar and instructions so passerby may use the device properly, and one local media outlet has noted that the booths' presence in inner city areas is proportional to the decrease in crime rate.
Arkansas and Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor has released a new re-election ad of him holding a Bible and discussing the esteem to which he gives it.
The internet is in an uproar over a recent viral photo of what appears to be a third grade science quiz from a private, religious school in Florida that says "gravity was designed by God."
Domonique Scott, one of five Atlanta preachers' wives featured in the TLC reality show "The Sisterhood" and a self-described entrepreneur and evangelist, has been charged with fraud and making false statements in a case involving her supposed tutoring of low-income students.
New surveillance footage reveals that a man who ran into a Maryland church's food pantry on fire, setting the building on fire and killing its pastor, doused himself in gasoline prior to entering the church.
"Preachers of L.A.," the faith-based Oxygen network reality show that Christians seem to love to hate but apparently like to watch in record numbers, has led to online discussions about various hot-button issues. One topic in particular featured in the docu-series that elicited strong responses is "shacking up," or the state of an unmarried couple living together as if they are husband and wife. The situation suggests that a shacking couple is a couple having sex, or facing the temptation to have sex. But is "shacking" even mentioned in the Bible?
A Texas-based non-profit organization hosted a baby shower for 52 teenage girls to honor them for embracing their pregnancies and their decision to not undergo abortion procedures.
T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House has revealed the speakers lineup for his 2014 International Pastors and Leadership Conference organized under the theme of "Branching Out." Among the keynote speakers are Hillsong Church founder Brian C. Houston and Church of God in Christ Bishop Charles E. Blake, with the list of general session speakers including Bishop Jakes' wife, Serita Jakes and Bishop Vashti McKenzie of of the American Methodist Episcopal Church.
Strip Church Network, an organization that first aimed at reaching out to women working primarily in Las Vegas strip clubs for the last five years, has taken their ministry efforts nationwide, spreading hope to strippers in other cities where the sex industry also exists, say its leaders.
LifeWay Christian Resource will relaunch their "True Love Waits" program later this month in honor of its 20th anniversary along with a revamped curriculum for its international campaign designed to challenge young adults to make a commitment to sexual abstinence until marriage.
The former NFL quarterback and currently unemployed player Tim Tebow may have several job offers - in the broadcasting world - starting in 2014.
For anyone who has found themselves mulling over or emulating particular character traits of film, comic and book protagonists, Kristen Parrish's new devotional book, "No Cape Required," offers readers an opportunity to reflect on the lives and decisions of 52 heroes, drawing out a particularly noteworthy quality in each.
Disney's new musical, "Frozen," may have done well at the box office, but it failed to convince all Christian reviewers. While some hailed the film as a masterpiece of sacrificial love, others attacked it as a lower quality cartoon.
Trinity Broadcasting Network is set to air a TV special to honor the life of its co-founder, Dr. Paul Crouch, who died on Saturday, but there will be no public memorial service, as per his wishes.
A Christ-centered network of microfinance institutions is helping to provide life-changing mobile banking services in greatly impoverished communities in Rwanda so that people could find more security in life.
A Christian missions organization believes that a seven-year-old Indian Christian boy who was drowned and tortured earlier this month was killed because of his religion.
The Vatican Library and Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University have collaborated on a major digitization project to bring some of the world's oldest and rarest biblical texts online for people around the world to see.
Assem Abdel Magid, a member of the Islamic party Gamaah Islamiya, has renewed his threats against the Coptic Church and its leaders, who he accused again of supporting what he called a "coup."
A recently published study by Chinese researchers may provide definitive evidence for the pro-life claim that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer.
Croatians voted against same-sex marriage in a national referendum Sunday, breaking the recent trend of European countries moving away from traditional marriage, and going against the views of their president and prime minister.
A nonprofit organization that works to connect Christian consumers with faith-compatible companies has ranked some of the nation's most recognizable brands in its annual Christmas shopping guide.
The American Family Association is calling for a limited one-month boycott of Radio Shack, accusing the company of censoring the word "Christmas" from its holiday promotions and advertising.