Evangelical Leaders Campaign for National Hope: ‘Make Church Great Again'(tm)

DENVER, Aug. 23, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — In just a few days, churches across the nation will attempt to inject hope into this election season by participating in a campaign of congregational renewal and extraordinary prayer. Pastor, author and conference speaker Daniel Henderson is spearheading this effort because he is convinced that too many Christians are feeling an unprecedented hopelessness about the current state of affairs in our nation. This campaign aims to instill new optimism and deeper faith in God’s ability to transform our society.

Henderson says, “We have overestimated the role national government serves in actually bringing real change to our nation. Our history proves that America has been more prosperous during times of spiritual revival. Our nation will never be great again until the church is great – according to God’s terms.” Henderson is convinced that the single greatest need in our nation today is Jesus Christ living through a revived church. The campaign will culminate with a live national webcast on October 22 (also called “Make CHURCH Great Again!”) with churches all across North America participating.

Daniel Henderson served as the pastor of several mega-churches over a period of 25 years and is now the leader of a national renewal movement, Strategic Renewal International. He speaks regularly in leadership conferences, local churches and is the author of 10 books.

The “Make Church Great Again” campaign will feature a four-week study designed for congregations, Sunday School classes and small groups. Each week will feature a 10-minute video lesson, interactive discussion guide and a dynamic participatory prayer tool. The four themes are:

  • Part One: The Picture of a Great Church
  • Part Two: The Portrait of a Great Christian
  • Part Three: The Priorities of a Great Leader
  • Part Four: The Possibility of a Great Future
Accompanying this study will be an optional resource, Henderson’s newest book, Old Paths, New Power – Awakening Your Church through Prayer and the Ministry of the Word.

Family Research Council Statement on NBA All-Star Game Re-Locating to New Orleans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the NBA announced it will move the 2017 NBA All-Star Game to New Orleans, Louisiana. The game was originally scheduled to be hosted in Charlotte, North Carolina, but the NBA moved the game out of Charlotte in protest over passage of North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which provides common sense protections for bathroom privacy and against government overreach.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

“I commend North Carolina Governor McCrory for his political courage and moral clarity in not caving in to the NBA’s threats to move the All-Star game. He stared down the giant of the NBA and stood strong against government discrimination of private entities and for the principles of protecting privacy and safety in government buildings.

“My home state of Louisiana, like North Carolina, is one of 32 states in the U.S. that does not force private businesses to allow men in women’s showers, locker rooms, and restrooms. On the other hand, in New Orleans—the same as in Charlotte—the NBA will be free to divide the restrooms at its own event on the basis of self-professed ‘gender identity’ instead of objective biological sex, if it wishes to do so. Only politics—not the well-being of transgender persons or anyone else—motivated this disruptive and punitive move.

“The hypocrisy of the NBA over North Carolina’s HB 2 law is utterly stunning. The NBA is willing to turn a blind eye and play games in countries, like the People’s Republic of China, that regularly oppress their own citizens.

“The NBA should focus on basketball, not on redefining what it means to be male or female,” concluded Perkins.

Allyson Felix Goes for Gold Tonight!

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—After running strong races in the 400-meter heats and semifinals this weekend, world class sprinter Allyson Felix will go for gold once more tonight at 9:45 p.m. ET. If victorious, she will add to her impressive total of six Olympic medals—three golds from the 2012 London Olympics alone.

But she knows that none of these medals—nor any of her accomplishments on the international sports stage—are for her glory. The glory goes to the One who created her to do amazing things in front of millions of people.

Felix is featured on the cover of the July/August issue of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) Magazine, and also in a new, exclusive FCA video, where she says that her work with FCA allows her to leave her mark beyond track and field.

“It’s always been really great to be able to have an impact on young people’s lives, and sport has done so much for my life, and I think it goes hand-in-hand with your faith,” she says in the video. “I would love to leave a legacy—a feeling like I accomplished a lot on the track, but that I was someone who you could look at and say that they do have faith and that I tried to live my life for Christ. To me that’s important—that effort to try to follow His will.”

In the video, Felix also talks about growing up in a Christian home; her father is a pastor and her mom, a third-grade teacher. The close-knit family also includes her brother, Wes, who serves as her agent. Felix says her faith became her own while in college, when she had to decide whether she would live it out or not.

“My faith definitely helps me to stop being so results-driven,” she says. “You always want to look at a race and say, if I didn’t win, it wasn’t a success. But I think there’s so much more to it than that. The Lord has constantly revealed Himself to me throughout my career, ever since the beginning, ever since even coming into track.”

Last night, Felix was featured on NBC “Nightly News,” where she talked with Lester Holt about her road to the Olympics and her faith—and the segment was repeated on this morning’s NBC “Today Show” coverage in Rio. Holt reported that Felix’s “close and deeply spiritual family keeps her grounded.” Mother Marlean also recounted how she and her daughter have a tradition of praying together over the phone before races, if Mom can’t be there. That prayer, Felix told Holt, reminds her: “It’s bigger than track.”

Felix also told FCA that the road to the Olympics is always the most difficult part of the journey.

“The competing is the easy part,” says Felix. “Putting in the work—those hours on the track all year long—that’s where those medals are won. I’ve always enjoyed winning, and track and field is always something where, right away, you could tell who’s the best.”

After several months of adversity, including an ankle injury and the death of her grandfather, Felix keeps returning to the track with passion, saying that she’s always been “super competitive, no matter what it was.”

“Track is her life, but it’s not boring to hear her talk about it,” Wes told FCA for the magazine feature on his sister. “She’s got her priorities together. She has accomplished great things, but she doesn’t feel like she has to announce it or promote it, and that comes back to Christ being the center of her life.”

FCA has partnered with the YouVersion Bible reading app for the five-day “Road to Gold” devotional. Those interested can open YouVersion and search for “FCA” to find each day’s passages and follow along. Olympic standouts Tamika Catchings, Jordan Burroughs, Tobin Heath, David Boudia and Allyson Felix all contributed to the devotional.

Additionally, FCA has designed a 31-day “Road to Gold” prayer guide, available at www.fca.org/pray, which points the faithful to specific ways they can pray for coaches, athletes, chaplains and the games overall throughout the month of August. For example, for today, Day 15, “Pray for the officiating teams of each sport to have strength, alertness and courage to make the best calls.”

For more information about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visit FCA’s web site at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.

 

High School Football Coach Files Lawsuit Against School District That Fired Him For Praying

BREMERTON, Wash., Aug. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —  Today, former high school football coach Joe Kennedy filed a lawsuit against Bremerton School District (BSD) after the school district terminated him for offering a brief, quiet prayer at the fifty-yard line after high school football games.

Read the lawsuit at CoachKennedyFacts.com.

In the lawsuit, Coach Kennedy’s attorneys said, “Bremerton School District’s actions violate Coach Kennedy’s First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise, as well as his rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion.” In the complaint, Coach Kennedy declined to seek monetary damages and instead simply requested that the school reinstate him so he can continue coaching the kids.

“When the school district fired me, I was devastated,” Coach Kennedy says. “I really hope that the school district will give me my job back so I can get back to doing what I love most: coaching my players.”

Coach Kennedy is represented by the national non-profit law firm First Liberty Institute, as well as Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Oldfield & Helsdon, PLLC, and attorney Anthony J. Ferate.

“Citizens who work for government are not banned from praying. That’s not the law. That’s religious hostility and discrimination,” Mike Berry, Senior Counsel at First Liberty Institute, says. “All we are asking is for Coach Kennedy to be reinstated and for the school to allow him to continue to pray alone at the fifty-yard line after the game.”

“The First Amendment guarantees Coach Kennedy’s rights to free speech and free exercise of his religion,” Rebekah Ricketts, attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, says. “We fully expect those constitutional rights to be vindicated when Coach Kennedy gets his day in court.”

“As a student at Bremerton High School, I was taught the importance of Constitutional Rights; the school district, by act, has specifically devalued Coach Kennedy’s,” attorney and Bremerton High School alumni Anthony J. Ferate added. “It’s time for Coach to be allowed to get back to serving as a positive role model to students in Bremerton.”

Coach Kennedy filed a charge of religious discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Bremerton School District in December. On June 27, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a right-to-sue letter to Coach Kennedy.

Read more and view legal documents at CoachKennedyFacts.com

About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine to address Progressive National Baptist Convention during annual session in New Orleans

 

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NEW ORLEANS — The Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. (PNBC) will celebrate its Emerald Anniversary during the 55th Annual Session in New Orleans at the Hyatt Regency hotel from Monday, August 8 to Friday, August 12, 2016. PNBC President Dr. James C. Perkins will lead over 5,000 attendees representing approximately 2,000 churches with weeklong events that focus on voter engagement and policing tactics. On August 11, 2016, PNBC will host special guest, Senator Tim Kaine, the Democratic Candidate for Vice President of the United States.

Elected in 2012, Tim Kaine is a Democratic Senator from the State of Virginia. In the Senate, he serves on the Armed Services, Budget, Foreign Relations and Aging Committees. His service includes work as a missionary, civil rights lawyer, teacher, and elected official. He is one of only 30 people in American history to have served as a Mayor, Governor and United States Senator.

Tim was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city council member and then Mayor of Richmond. He became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2002 and was inaugurated as Virginia’s 70th Governor in 2006. Tim is a founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, which focuses on improving access to CTE programs to ensure that students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century.

Tim grew up working in his father’s iron working shop in Kansas City. He was educated at the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School and started his public service career by taking a year off from Harvard to run a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. After law school, he practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in the representation of people who had been denied housing due to their race or disability. He also began teaching part-time at the University of Richmond in 1987.

A man of deep faith, Senator Kaine and his wife Ann have been a member of the same congregation – St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia – for more than thirty years.

WHEN:          Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., Celestin Rooms A-D

WHERE:        Hyatt Regency Hotel, 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70113

About PNBC
PNBC was founded in 1961 to give full voice, sterling leadership, and active support to the American and world fight for human freedom. PNBC membership consists of approximately 1.5 million people in the United States. Visit www.pnbc.org.

World Premiere of Society of St. Vincent de Paul Special on EWTN

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Society of St. Vincent de Paul will be featured on a special on Eternal Word Television Network titled, “Our Faith in Action: Today’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul” on Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

The program will follow SVdP members on their spiritual growth journey through service to people and families in need. From the Society’s traditional home visits, food pantries and assistance with rent and utilities, to innovative health care, financial and mentoring programs, the Society’s members, known as Vincentians, see the face of Christ in the people they encounter. In this special presentation, Vincentians will be making a home visit with a family in need, helping the homeless in a downtown shelter and working with returning citizens through a prison ministry.

“The TV show is great for promoting the Society’s name, brand and some of our special works,” said SVdP National CEO Dave Barringer. “We hope that television viewers who see ‘Our Faith in Action’ will feel we have answered their need for how they can put their own faith into action and then join the Society in their communities.”

Two unique aspects of the Society are the spiritual growth of members and visits with people in poverty in their homes. The Society is composed of women and men who seek their personal holiness through works of charity. In this way, the Society differs from other charitable associations or agencies whose principal objective is not the spiritual advancement of their members, but the doing of good for someone else. SVdP helps members grow spiritually.

“EWTN is pleased to premiere this special program highlighting the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s corporal works of mercy in this Year of Mercy,” said EWTN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. “As the Society’s members reach out to the homeless, returning citizens and a family in need, they are changed spiritually. By providing a global audience for this program, I hope that EWTN’s viewers will also find themselves spiritually uplifted and challenged to live the Works of Mercy in even more fruitful ways.”

“Our Faith in Action: Today’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul” will air on EWTN cable channels on Tuesday, August 16 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern/5:30 p.m. Central/4:30 p.m. Mountain/3:30 p.m. Pacific. Click here to find the EWTN channel in your zip code. Click here to view the program schedule.

One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (www.svdpusa.org) is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of about 800,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 150 countries on five continents. With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals nearly 100,000 in 4,400 communities.

SVdP offers a variety of programs and services, including home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, education and mentoring, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, assistance with transportation, prescription medication, and rent and utility costs. The Society also works to provide care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly. Over the past year, SVdP provided over $1.2 billion in tangible and in-kind services to those in need, made more than 1.8 million personal visits (homes, hospitals, prisons and eldercare facilities) and helped more than 23.8 million people regardless of race, religion or national origin.

Best Christian Workplaces Institute Announces 2016 Honorees

MERCER ISLAND, Wash., Aug. 2, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — 128 faith-based organizations and churches across the United States and around the globe have been named 2016 Certified Best Christian Workplaces by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI). The honor offers convincing, continued evidence that a healthy, flourishing workplace culture makes for effective organizations.

“Certified” status represents the top 51 percent of 252 organizations whose employees completed the BCWI Employee Engagement Survey from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

The anonymous, online, 58-question survey provides an objective, quantifiable measure of workplace culture based on eight essential factors of health: fantastic teams, life-giving work, outstanding talent, uplifting growth, rewarding compensation, inspirational leadership, sustainable strategy and healthy communication.

“The excellence displayed in each of these 128 Certified honorees confirms that a thriving workplace culture does in fact drive the efficiency and productivity essential to organizational effectiveness,” said BCWI President Al Lopus.

Since 2003, BCWI has served more than 800 faith-based organizations, involving more than 300,000 total employees – from executives and senior leaders, to managers and staff.

The Best Christian Workplaces Institute is an international non-profit, research-based, organizational development and human resources consulting firm, headquartered in Mercer Island, Washington. Their vision is that Christian workplaces would continue to set the standard as the best, most effective places to work in the world.

The organizations honored as 2016 Certified Best Christian Workplaces are:

CAMPS & CONFERENCE CENTERS

CRISTA Camps – Shoreline (Seattle), WA Eagle Lake – Colorado Springs, CO
Glen Eyrie – Colorado Springs, CO
Lake Ann Camp – Lake Ann, MI WinShape Retreat – Mount Berry, GA

CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS

Briarcrest Christian School – Memphis, TN
Central Christian Academy – Wichita, KS
Cherry Hills Christian School – Highlands Ranch, CO College Heights Christian School – Joplin, MO Heritage Christian Academy – Overland Park, KS Kings Schools – Shoreline (Seattle), WA
Legacy Christian Academy – Valencia, CA
Lionheart Children’s Academy – Euless, TX Northwest Christian Schools – Colbert, WA
Santa Fe Christian Schools – Solana Beach, CA Seattle Urban Academy – Seattle, WA
Southside Christian School – Simpsonville, SC Toledo Christian Schools – Toledo, OH
Valley Christian Schools – Cerritos, CA
Valor Christian High School – Highlands Ranch, CO Wheaton Academy – West Chicago, IL

CHURCHES

Bethlehem Baptist Church – Minneapolis, MN BMA America – Conway, AR
Bridgeway Community Church – Columbia, MD Central Christian Church – Mesa, AZ
Cherry Hills Community Church – Highlands Ranch, CO Christ Community Church – Elgin, IL
Christ the King – Bellingham, WA
Church of the King – Mandeville, LA
Church of the Shepherd – St. Charles, MO Community Christian Church – Naperville, IL Compass Point Bible Church – Burlington, Ontario Coquitlam Alliance Church – Coquitlam, BC, Canada Cornwall Church – Bellingham, WA
Cross Point Church – Nashville, TN
Crossroads Christian Church – Evansville, IN
Eastminster Presbyterian Church – Wichita, KS
Eastview Christian Church – Normal, IL
Experience Life Church – Lubbock, TX
Fairhaven Church – Dayton, OH
First Christian Church of Johnson City – Johnson City, TN First Free Church – Onalaska, WI
Floris United Methodist Church – Herndon, VA
Fountain Springs Church – Rapid City, SD
Gateway Church – Southlake, TX
Glen Ellyn Bible Church – Glen Ellyn, IL
Grace Bible Church – Virginia Beach, VA
Harvest Church – Billings, MT
Irving Bible Church – Irving, TX
Kentwood Community Church – Kentwood, MI
Lake Pointe Church – Rockwall, TX
Legacy Christian Church – Overland Park, KS
Mountain Christian Church – Joppa, MD
Pantano Christian Church – Tucson, AZ
Park Community Church – Chicago, IL
Pinelake Church – Brandon, MS
Pleasant Valley Baptist Church – Liberty, MO
Redeemer Lutheran Church – Fort Collins, CO
River Pointe Church – Richmond, TX
Rocky Mountain Christian Church – Niwot, CO
Rolling Hills Christian Church – El Dorado Hills, CA South Bay Church – San Jose, CA
Southeast Christian Church – Louisville, KY
Southridge Community Church – St. Catharines, ON Canada
Sparks Christian Fellowship – Sparks, NV
Syndal Baptist Church – Glen Waverley, VIC Australia The Wesleyan Church – Fishers, IN
Valley Ranch Baptist Church – Coppell, TX
Vineyard Cincinnati – Cincinnati, OH
Vineyard Columbus – Westerville, OH
Wayside Chapel – San Antonio, TX
Willow Creek Community Church – South Barrington, IL

HIGHER EDUCATION

Bethlehem College & Seminary – Minneapolis, MN College of Biblical Studies – Houston – Houston, TX Crossroads Bible College – Indianapolis, IN
Grace School of Theology – The Woodlands, TX Olivet Nazarene University – Bourbonnais, IL

MEDIA

CRISTA Media – Seattle, WA
KSBJ – Humble, TX
LightMelbourne – Vic, Australia
Precept Ministries International – Chattanooga, TN

PARACHURCH & MISSIONS

Apartment Life – Euless, TX
Care Net – Lansdowne, VA
Children’s HopeChest – Colorado Springs, CO Christian Veterinary Mission – Seattle, WA
CDF Capital – Irvine, CA
Coalition for Christian Outreach – Pittsburgh, PA Compassion Australia – Warabrook, NSW, Australia Compassion Canada – London, Ontario, Canada Corporate Chaplains of America – Wake Forest, NC CRISTA Ministries – Seattle, WA
DiscipleMakers – State College, PA
East-West Ministries – Plano, TX
English Language Institute/China – Fort Collins, CO HOPE International – Lancaster, PA
Jewish Voice Ministries International – Phoenix, AZ Jill’s House – Vienna, VA
Joni and Friends – Agoura Hills, CA
Kids Around the World – Rockford, IL
Light of Life Ministries, Inc. – Pittsburgh, PA
Miracle Hill Ministries – Greenville, SC
Novo Ministries – Oklahoma City, OK
Portland Rescue Mission – Portland, OR
Reasons to Believe – Covina, CA
Scripture Union Scotland – Glasgow, Scotland UK Seed Company – Arlington, TX
The Gideons International – Nashville, TN
The Navigators – Colorado Springs, CO
Union Gospel Mission Association of Spokane, Inc. – Spokane, WA
Upward Sports – Spartanburg, SC
Vision House – Renton, WA
Water Mission – Charleston, SC
Willow Creek Association – Barrington, IL
Willow Creek Canada – Ottawa, Ontario Canada World Concern – Seattle, WA
WorldServe Ministries (Canada) – Surrey, BC WorldVenture – Littleton, CO

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

ABHE (The Assoc. for Biblical Higher Education) – Orlando, FL
C12 Group – Greensboro, NC / Franklin, TN CapinCrouse LLP – Greenwood, IN
Christian Family Care – Phoenix, AZ
Classical Conversations – West End, NC
Dow Smith Contracting Company, Inc – Smyrna, TN Garland Heart – Plano, TX
Lead Like Jesus – Spartanburg, SC
Outreach – Colorado Springs, CO
Samaritan Ministries International – Peoria, IL
The Parable Group – San Luis Obispo, CA

For more information, visit Best Christian Workplaces Institute online: www.bcwinstitute.org. Each week, find proven insights from top Christian leaders on the BCWI Blog (blog.bcwinstitute.org) and Flourishing Culture Podcast (blog.bcwinstitute.org/podcast).

 

Inspiring New Autobiography Proves The Power Of Faith Through The Author’s Story Of Finding God When She Needed Him The Most

Sharon J. Davis’s new book, God And Me – A Personal Journey to Intimacy With God, ($12.99, paperback, 9781498476959), is a captivating memoir of triumph and renewal – the inspirational story of the author’s action when up against seemingly insurmountable challenges. Faced with a scary, unexpected medical condition, bills piling up, and a son to care for on her own, Sharon felt totally alone.

A believer from childhood, she had always known God, but recently had lost focus on Him. She prayed without listening for His answer. She worshipped without looking for signs of His hands in her life. Angry with God, she stopped praying. She was convinced that she was being punished for her every bad decision, every thoughtless action. As her condition worsened, Sharon felt her body was failing because she failed God. Faced with this reflection of mortality, Sharon turned to prayer. God took over from there, showing her that He had been listening and present with her all along. This honest, heartfelt testament will inspire those who have watched their faith slip from their fingers to reach out and grab it once again.

“For Christian readers, I pray they will develop a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” states the author. “If not Christian, my hope is that they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and submit their lives to Him.”

Sharon J. Davis has studied God’s Word in several classes. She has been a faithful member of one Bible-Believing church for the last 24 years where she learned much about Jesus Christ and how to apply His Word. And during her times of adversity, she received a Masters of Education in Human Resource Development, with emphasis on adult learning. As a consultant and mentor, she has helped many adults – young and old – and she has witnessed troubled people that need God in their lives.

Xulon Press, a division of Salem Media Group, is the world’s largest Christian self-publisher, with more than 15,000 titles published to date. Retailers may order God And Me – A Personal Journey to Intimacy With God through Ingram Book Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors. The book is available online through xulonpress.com/bookstore, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com.

The Day Christ Cleared the Lights for Me.

By Rev. Robert A.Crutchfield, Founder & Editor FaithInsipres.Org

In many cities modern traffic lights have what is called preemption equipment installed. Fire Engines, Police Cars, Ambulances etc. have transmitters on them that trip this equipment. The point is to turn all the lights green for the first responders so they can get where they need to be as quickly and as safely as possible. They “ Clear the lights.” The obstacles presented by traffic and red lights are kept from their path.

On Tuesday, July 12th 2016 I had an experience that showed me all too clearly that my savior Jesus Christ is like having my own set of preemption equipment. I had a heart attack. Shortly after waking up, I felt pain in my chest. I had suffered indigestion, bronchitis etc. so it wasn’t the first time my chest had bothered me. But Jesus spoke to me and made me understand this time it was different. From this point on many things could have gone wrong,many obstacles could have gotten in my way.

The type of heart attack I had kills one in four people in minutes. If I had blown it off as some weird case of indigestion, or waited to “see how it goes,” I would be dead now. But I didn’t, Christ Cleared the Lights ! I might not have had the presence of mind to call 911. Christ Cleared the Lights ! The ambulances could have been on other calls,but they weren’t. Christ Cleared the Lights ! The Hospital ER bays could have been full, the Cath Lab could have been busy, The doctors and nurses already tending to some other urgent case. Obstacle after obstacle between me and what I needed fell away. Christ Cleared the Lights ! Like the first responders and their preemption equipment, I was sped along. Christ cleared all the lights !

Many would say that it was just a string of happy coincidences. Others that it always happens so well. Sadly for others it doesn’t always turn out so well, and that’s an awful lot of coincidences. Some would think because I give Jesus Christ so much credit I must be ungrateful to the doctors, nurses, medics, clergy, and family members who united around me to make sure I was so well cared for. Nothing could be more ridiculous ! I have thanked God for each one of them many times in my prayers over the past week, and I do so again here, now. However I am left with the sense that Jesus Christ is the one who made sure they were all where I needed them when I needed them. And it was he who Cleared the Lights to get us all where we needed to be.

Chances are you are not having a heart attack so what does this mean to you ? Easy, we are all facing challenges in our lives. We all have obstacles between us and where we need to be. More importantly as Christians, we all if we choose to call on him have our own sort of “preemption equipment” to move the obstacles of this world aside. We have a comforter, and healer when we need one. Like 911 that Tuesday,he’s waiting on us to call to spring into action. He is Jesus Christ ! He is waiting to Clear the Lights for you just like he did for me !

Katy Pastor Reacts to This Week’s Tragedies

The following Commentary on this week’s tragedies is authored by Pastor Jeremiah Hill. Hill is pastor of Journey Church here in Katy. He, his family, and church have been loyal supporters of this ministry for some time. His remarks, are published here with his permission.

By Jeremiah Hill, Pastor Journey Church Katy, Texas USA

This week our country has been gripped by several unnecessary, and unacceptable tragedies. It should go without saying that we should always be moved to finding positive solutions for problems… but it seems with each passing major incident our countries resolve is paralyzed. I have watched this week as the events have broken relationships and created wedges between friends, families and sadly even churches.

I have been blessed since becoming Pastor of Journey Church to see our congregation grow multicultural, as well as our staff and leadership teams. Black, Hispanic and white all united for one goal… to be the body of Christ… and to show the world what the body of Christ should look like. So it should go without saying that we love everyone at Journey Church.

As I thought more about the recent events the following came to mind:

When God formed the first man, Adam, I have this picture of God kneeling over the dirt that He just created. And as He knelt, he pressed His hands into the dirt and began to form Adam… and He said that He created Adam in His image and that it was good. In Psalm’s it tell us that God formed all of us in our mother’s wombs, down to knitting our inner parts together. That means the same hands of God that reached into the ground to form Adam… are the same hands that made each and every one of us.

What we see on display today is NOT God’s image.
Abuse of power is not the character of God.
Rejection of authority is not the character of God.
Hatred is not the character of God.
Racism is not the character of God.

From the moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden… sin came rushing onto this earth. And it’s one job was to take captive every person that is not willing to take the very thought of sin captive. Every single one of those characteristics I just mentioned are a direct reflection of our sin nature… the very nature that is a polar opposite of the very image God created us in.

We pray for peace on this earth. We pray for wars to end. We pray for racism to end. But peace will NEVER happen in our lives, when sin is the ruler. And in this world, it is much of the same. What we have witnessed displayed over the course of this week is a reflection of the display of sin on this earth that has been building for 1000’s of years.

This display of sin comes in many forms. But as of late the primary display has been a hatred in our hearts for our neighbors… and we have used things like race, sex, gender and class to promote further hatred.

Scriptures are also clear, you can not love God who you have not seen… and hate your brother who you can see. We have departed from the very basic of moral standard that God laid out… “love your neighbor as yourself.”

There is no greater commandment than that!

We were all formed in Gods image… and if you chose to follow Him, obey His Word and keep His standards… you will remain in His image. But to remain in His image… takes work. Scriptures say that we are to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling.” That means on a daily basis. The last time hatred or disgust rose up in your heart for another person, did it make you tremble in fear… because you had departed from God’s standard?

We need to take a step back and realize that what we see on display today is a direct form of Godlessness. Scriptures are clear in the end days there will be more of this. But if we truly want peace… it begins with us turning back to the very one…God… who created us.

Every person who will read this post has at least one thing in their life right now, big or small, that is in direct conflict what who God created you to be. Turn back to God and to His standard… and watch how quickly grace can cover a multitude of sins.

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