Fresh off the successful evacuation of 149 Iraqi Christian refugees to Slovakia last week, faith leader Johnnie Moore addressed Saddleback Church Sunday with a message that put the enormity of the Middle East refugee crisis into perspective for American churches, and explained the extent to which terrorists have destroyed the cradle of Christianity.
"The world we're living in is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since WWII," Moore told the congregation of Saddleback Church. "Sixty million refugees are displaced people in our world right now — 12 million alone affected by the Syrian crisis."
Moore explained that, unlike refugees of other countries, Syrian refugees had a lot in common with Americans. "Syria was not unlike our own country. It was a middle class country. … These people were like us, they weren't poor people. … They were middle class people, they were people like you and I. … Their kids were in college, they had cars ... they had two-story houses, they had regular, every day normal lives like we have." more >>
Tyrants ancient and modern have tried to erase any sign of Jesus. It didn't work then, and it won't work now.
If you ever find yourself in Bethlehem of Judea, there's one attraction you shouldn't miss.
First, you'd need to stoop low enough to pass through the four-foot-high Door of Humility. From there, you'd make your way down a spiraling stone staircase to find a small grotto in the bedrock lined with marble and adorned with luxurious tapestries. In the center of that little cave, attached to the floor, is a 14-pointed silver star and an inscription in Latin which reads, "Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary." more >>
A San Diego megachurch this past Saturday gave away nearly 23,000 toys to underserved children in the Southern California city where 2014 data from the U.S. Census Bureau reports that more than 1 in 5 children live in poverty.
In its 19th year, the annual Toys for Joy Christmas event, organized by The Rock Church, gave away toys to some 20,000 locals who came to one of its four event locations: San Marcos High School, El Cajon Valley High School, Lincoln High School and Southwest High School, Mei Ling Nazar, public relations director at The Rock Church, told The Christian Post. The fun-filled event not only catered to kids, but to the whole family. Adults and children were able to enjoy lunch together, as well as receive clothing, groceries, haircuts, manicures and listen to live entertainment.
Founded by Miles McPherson, senior pastor of The Rock Church, Toys for Joy aims to positively impact the lives of San Diego-area children and families in an event that ministers to physical, emotional and spiritual needs. The Rock Church partners with other local churches, schools, community organizations and businesses to make the annual event possible. more >>
Pastor Greg Laurie of the California-based Harvest Christian Fellowship has called on Christians to focus on rest and reflection this Christmas season, rather than gift-giving and materialism.
Laurie, who serves as the head pastor for the Harvest megachurch in Riverside and Orange County, California, recently explained the true importance of the Christmas season in a blog post on his personal website.
Laurie encouraged Christians to turn to God this holiday season, stressing the importance of rest and meditation rather than frantically searching for the perfect gift for a loved one. more >>
The season of Advent promotes spiritual preparation and a holy focus upon things that have eternal relevance. At the other end of the spectrum, Mardi Gras promotes living for the moment by diving into any carnal desires which seem appealing. Two different ways to approach life, and two different ways to die.
One approach throws caution to the wind. The other approach involves dying to self as Christ lives in you and through you.
Does your life today look more like a Mardi Gras party in the flesh, or an Advent season of preparation in the Spirit? Do you live for the pleasures of sin, or do you look forward to the perfection of heaven? Some people immerse themselves in whatever feels good, while others "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." (Matthew 6:33) more >>
As a Christian leader, I get asked this question often during the Christmas season. "How should Christian parents approach the topic of Santa?"
Many parents decide to jump in with both feet on the Santa fun, while others give the Santa topic a complete stiff-arm.
In this article, those two most popular options will be presented with a thought or two on each one, then I'll share another option that we do with our children in our own home. In no way would I say that our option is the perfect way of doing things; after all, every family has to pray, decide, and act upon the option that works best for them. However, there are some things that we must consider in this particular topic because as Christian parents we are our children's pastors, and that is a really, really big deal. more >>