I have been a follower of Christ for more than 30 years. During that time I have read innumerable books on Christian living, commentaries, study guides, Christian growth, and fiction. There is probably no category untouched. In addition to reading many books about the Christian life, I have poured over the Bible for both study and reading.
From all the books and commentaries I have used, though, if I were asked of a list of books followers of Jesus should read now to help them understand the Bible better, it would be these two:
Yet another phenomenon with a long paper trail in Islamic history has just taken place, even as the Western "mainstream"-little acquainted with true history or reality-dismisses it as an aberration. Asia News has the details:
Islamist rebels have kidnapped a group of nuns from the Greek Orthodox monastery of St Thecla (Mar Taqla) in Maaloula [an ancient Christian community where Christians were earlier forced to convert to Islam or die]… "Armed men burst in the monastery of St Thecla in Maaloula this afternoon [Dec. 2]. From there, they forcibly took 12 women religious," Mgr Zenari said …. Neither the nuncio nor the Greek Orthodox Church know [the] reason behind the kidnapping.
The "reason behind the kidnapping"? Sexual abuse and rape certainly should not be discounted, as these have been the lot of thousands of women abducted by U.S.-sponsored "freedom fighters" in Syria. Indeed, a new report issued by the National Reconciliation Commission in Syria states that some 37,000 women have been raped since the war started. more >>
Christian leaders have expressed their sentiments of remembrance and sorrow at the news of the death of South African human rights activist and racial pioneer Nelson Mandela.
Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary-general of the World Evangelical Alliance, said in a statement that "the world has lost a great leader."
"Nelson Mandela was a model of courage, vision and personal sacrifice. Today more than ever we need this kind of leadership," said Tunnicliffe. more >>
An evangelical financial organization has released on Wednesday the findings of its fourth annual "State of Giving" report, which notes that giving to member groups has increased over the past two years.
Among their findings, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability found that annual monetary giving to ECFA-accredited organizations increased 6.4 percent between 2011 and 2012.
ECFA also found a 1.7 percent overall increase in contributions to ECFA member groups from 2010 to 2011, as well as a 5.8 percent overall increase from 2011 to 2012. more >>
Over the last several months, liberal politicians, members of the media, hospitals and even the head of Alabama's retirement system have renewed their calls for Alabama to expand Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The left and right have quibbled over economic projections, job creation, state costs, and political motivations. Every special interest, crony business or power hungry politician with a shot at either controlling or benefitting from a short-term federal cash infusion acts as if rejecting federal money is irresponsible and harmful to the most vulnerable in our state.
First, let's get one thing straight: Any Medicaid expansion would result in more dollars entering Alabama and jobs created in the short term. When the federal government spends, new money enters the state's economy. This is not a point of debate; it is a simple fact. more >>
Surviving and even thriving in the midst of today's economic upheaval is the challenging task we all face. Many churches in addressing financial matters will focus on the area of giving the tithe, which is paramount, yet oftentimes overlook what God says about handling the other 90 percent. As a result, millions of people look to financial counselors like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman or secular forecasters for guidance and help.
Here's the deal as we close out this year: God wants to both encourage and instruct all of us (myself included)to be ever looking to Him as our ultimate Provider in addition to being better financial stewards so we can glorify Him and be channels of blessing to others in need.
This is personal for my wife and me as we find ourselves closing the year without any more partial salary from a local church, health insurance, cell phone coverage or any perks that have been part of my ministry for over 41 years. This is by divine design as God recently transitioned me from a local church involvement "because of the impending distress" (1 Cor 7:26) coming upon America to serve the wider Body of Christ in our desperate need for spiritual awakening and assurance as children of God. more >>