Bryan Ganey is celebrating. "I lost 400 pounds in four years without any surgery or diet program!" he says. He also was $60,000 in debt and paid that off too, exclaiming, "American Express-I finally left home without it!"
Overeating and overspending, this Christian finally came to the place where he realized time was running out and it was time for change. Are we approaching this same place in the church today?
Today I spoke with a man who is being installed as the pastor of a historic church in our area. After 164 years operating one way, he challenged them to change their bylaws to align with Scripture. They followed his courageous lead to "trim the fat" in a time of civilizational crisis. more >>
My parents taught me that education was one of the most important factors for my future. In fact, my father told me that he was giving me my inheritance early by paying my way to a fine institution like prestigious Williams College. And I have continued his legacy with my own daughters.
I have made no secret about my belief that educational opportunities are essential to help people lift themselves out of poverty. And there is no question that not all schools are created equal. For example, in 2011, Montgomery County Public Schools here in Maryland had a graduation rate of 85.7 percent. Detroit Public Schools, by comparison, graduated just 62 percent of their seniors. All of us know anecdotally that students from top performing public schools are taking AP classes, while students at failing public schools are sitting in chaotic classrooms where the teachers may have to spend more time on discipline issues than the lesson plan. Upon finishing high school, the former group is prepared to enter top colleges, while the latter may not even be prepared for an entry level job.
This disparity is one of the reasons that the new Common Core State Standards Initiative had many education reformers excited. According to its website, "The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers." more >>
(A New Take on Paul Harvey's "If I Were the Devil" Commentary)
If I were the devil, I would not rest until I had undermined the foundation of -- and extinguished freedom's flame from -- America, the nation referred to as the world's last great hope – that shining city on a hill to which other nations of the world aspire.
I would accomplish my goal slowly using a government that offered New Deals and newer deals by way of handouts rather than hand-ups until the citizens willingly gave up their independence in favor of government dependence. more >>
You've heard it said, "We are all God's children." This rings flowery and nice. It's an insidious lie.
Indeed, God both created and loves – in a way most unfathomable – everyone who ever lived. He wove us together in our mother's womb and numbered our every hair. But God the Father has only one begotten Son. The rest of us, in order to become one of God's children, must be adopted – in, by and through – the One Who is the Son: Jesus Christ. Those who are not adopted are not children of God. Christ and Christ alone is "the way, the truth and the life."
Indeed, to become a child of God, we must ask God – through Christ – to adopt us. We mustn't just believe upon Him – for "Even the demons believe that" (see James 2:19) – but, rather, we must also accept Him. We must follow Jesus, the one true God, as our only God. "But to all who believed him and accepted him (Jesus), he gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:12) more >>
Tony Dungy, history-making NFL coach and bestselling author, has penned with wife Lauren Dungy a new book titled Uncommon Marriage: Learning about Lasting Love and Overcoming Life's Obstacles Together that gives an intimate look at how the evangelical Christian couple has managed to keep their relationship thriving for 31 years.
"We've learned there's no secret formula to a happy marriage," says Mr. Dungy in a preview video of the book. "We've walked together hand-in-hand to meet life's challenges head-on."
"We don't feel like experts, but we do have a story to share and principles we've learned that we hope can connect with issues you're experiencing in your marriage," says Mrs. Dungy. more >>
SOAR International Ministries, an Alaska-based organization dedicated to missions and outreach in Russia, has partnered with local Russian churches during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games to spread the Gospel to tourists and communities converging on the event.
The ministry sent 40 volunteers to Russia to establish a number of "fun zone" hospitality centers in local church buildings. They will also go out into parks and other public venues to invite others to partake in their activities.
"The team will assist the local church in introducing the community to Christ and who they are in Him," said Greg Mangione of SOAR, according to Mission News Network. "They'll do that through Gospel magic shows, somebody making balloon animals and face paintings, and just a variety of activities and entertainment. The primary goal is to reach out to the people. We pray it'll be a beginning of a long-term relationship with the local churches." more >>