JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (ANS - March 23, 2017) -- Standing in a lovely one-story Ottoman period home, overlooking the picturesque valley of the Yemenites, in one of the most enviable locations in Israel, it is hard to imagine that when the original residents of this community came to their homes nearly 70 years ago, the area was an abandoned village without electricity or water, situated in an undesirable area isolated from population centers, grocery stores and other services.
I need to make a confession right up front. I've never smoked marijuana. I've never been drunk with alcohol. In fact, I've never used an illicit drug of any sort. I mention this because I'm quite sure that some will object to what I say in this article by insisting that I have no right to speak about an experience in which I've never personally indulged. I think that's ridiculous. Whether or not I've ever been "high" (and again, no, I haven't), is irrelevant to the question of whether or not Chr
Early this morning the Sun passed directly over the equator on its journey towards the Tropic of Cancer. Most of us did not stop to think or be thankful for this particular demonstration of God's care. The reality is that he will be faithful whether he is asked to be or not. Because God is who he is, he can't be anything but faithful to his promise he made to Noah thousands of years ago and to all of his promises.
Is the weather personal? But before you answer that here are some more basic questions. Is your everyday world controlled by a personal God who has a purpose for all that you encounter? Or is life on earth just a matter of random chance? Or is your life governed by impersonal forces that take no account of the moral decisions that you make each day? If you decide for either random chance or an impersonal force then you must conclude that God is silent.
I love church planters. When I moved into church revitalization part of the concern I had in doing so was I might not have a foot into church planting. That would be tough for me. After two successful plants and having worked with literally hundreds of planters, I think it's in my blood. (Interestingly, I learned a few years after my first plant that my mom served on the core of a church plant during her years before marriage. It's truly in my blood.)
It takes an intentional effort to improve as a leader. I think the best leaders expand their influence and leadership potential by continuing to learn and grow in experience. You can read books, follow blogs and Tweets, attend conferences, and hang out with other leaders. These are all good practices to improve as a leader.
I have a theory of pastoring successfully today.
To be a kingdom building pastor you MUST be a community building pastor.
I admit "must" is a strong word - and there are few things I'm emphatic about unless they are Biblical, but I do believe in order for us to reach people today we have to get outside the walls of our church buildings. And, this means we MUST do something intentional to make it happen. The community has to know - and believe - we really do care for them.
GROVE, OK (ANS - March 19, 2017) -- "To all who mourn in Israel he will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory" -- Isaiah 61:3 (TLB)
CARBONDALE, CO (ANS - March 18, 2017) -- He walked away from the faith of his childhood and became a drug addict and alcoholic amidst the rollicking party scene at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.
But years later, God's love drew him out of the darkness and he became a drug interventionist and counselor for Pete Carroll's Trojan and Seahawks football teams.
"I grew up with a very good, solid relationship with Christ," says Dirk Eldredge, now the CEO of Jaywalker