Editor's note: This article is tied to a report on Yazidi immigrant Murad Ismael and NYC Pastor William Devlin's humanitarian trip to Erbil, Iraq. Read that report here: US Pastor Who Supported Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan Heads to Iraq With Yazidi Activist; Says Christians Can Pray, Give Money But Should Put Their Bodies on the Line. Also, read Ismael's account of the atrocities unfolding in Iraq under the Islamic State here: US Yazidi Returning to Iraq Amid ISIS Persecution Calls for People of All Faiths to Act.
NEW YORK — A New York City pastor traveling with a U.S. Yazidi leader to offer humanitarian assistance to religious minorities targeted by the Islamic State in Iraq believes Christians in America should do more to encourage believers living in some of the world's most persecuted countries.
The Rev. William Devlin, co-pastor of Infinity Bible Church in the Bronx borough of New York City and a former politician, is as much of an activist as he is a missionary. When the City of New York banned churches and other religious groups in 2011 from renting public schools for worship gatherings, Devlin embarked on a 42-day fast, was arrested in an act of civil disobedience, and publicly confronted then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg during an interfaith breakfast about the city's decision (which the current mayor has vowed to reverse). more >>
Billy Graham is still focused on spreading the good news found in the Bible, says his daughter Anne Graham Lotz. "He is 96, he has not yet lost his focus on the gospel, reaching people for Christ," she described in a recent interview.
Reflecting on his ministry as a world famous evangelist and pastor to presidents, Lotz said there were many temptations that could have diverted Graham's attention from his ministry. Instead, he remained faithful to his Bible calling.
The secret to Graham's continued focus, Lotz explained, is his humility. more >>
Just over a week ago at a celebration of his 60th birthday, Pastor Gordon A. Humphrey Jr. of United Ministries bellowed melodiously from the pulpit that "the Lord is good to me…You healed my body, You brought me back from death" as a choir harmoniously affirmed his lilting declarations.
On Sunday, the preacher who loved to sing was at it again.
Shortly before he began preaching a Christmas-themed message about "hope in the manger" at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago he sauntered through the lyrics of rapper Pharrell Williams' runaway hit song "Happy". more >>
Pastor John Piper told a young Christian wondering if her relationship with the Heavenly Father is healthy that God wants her to feel rest assured that she belongs to Him. Good deeds, he stressed, won't lead to acceptance from God.
Piper told young podcast listener Mara, "God wants you to be confident that you belong to Him. He doesn't want you Mara to worry about your relationship."
Quoting 1 John 5:13, he continued, "He wants us, He want you to enjoy confidence, enjoy assurance, He wants you to be sure that you're OK with God so when you go to bed at night, you don't have to be afraid of anything. You can have a real peaceful night's sleep and even if you died in the middle of the night, you'd be OK, you'd be safe with Jesus." more >>
A Christmas-themed music video posted on YouTube featuring the Guinness World Record holder for largest living nativity has garnered over 1.7 million views in less than a week.
Posted by The Piano Guys on Friday, the music video features the living Nativity scene held earlier this month at Provo, Utah, that had over 1,000 participants.
Featuring a hymn fusing the two carols "Angels from the Realms of Glory" and "Angels We Have Heard On High," the video has garnered more than 1.7 million views, over 56,000 likes, and more than 3,200 comments as of Tuesday morning. more >>
MANEADERO, Mexico – Just under a two-hour drive south of the Tijuana, Mexico border, Christmas gifts and a strong message that Jesus came to serve the poor, were delivered by a group of Christians on a recent weekend missions trip that included washing the feet of Oaxacan migrant farm workers living in sparse homes inside a colonia.
In the missionary center known as Aqua Viva (Living Water) located on farmland on the outskirts of the town of Maneadero and adjacent to the community of Oaxacan people, members of the group scrambled to gather designated bags of goodies, including backpacks, first aid kits, clothes, and shoes, with quantities determined by a list of family members living in each house. Then, they broke up into clusters of two and three people and went door-to-door, walking on the roads of wet and dried mud with gifts in hand and a servant's heart.
The message of the five ministry groups, including Genesis Diez, Strong Tower, Transformacion Mundial, and Horizonte Rosarito, was more than simply blessing the poor families with material gifts; they came to illustrate the serving heart that Jesus displayed on the night he washed the feet of the disciples. more >>