Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The men in your life aren't just women with big feet and beards.

Women: Discover What Men are Really Thinking
Whitney Hopler

Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Paula Rinehart's book, What's He Really Thinking?: How to Be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009).

The men in your life -- fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, employees, friends -- aren't just women with big feet and beards. They're completely different from women, and understanding them can often be a challenge. But once you get to know the male psyche, you can start enjoying mutually fulfilling relationships with them.

Here's how you can better understand the men in your life:

Recognize your influence with men. As a woman, you have significant power to inspire men to become the best people they can be. Much of what they realize about themselves comes only as they work at relationships with women. If you focus on encouraging the men in your life, it'll be like holding up a mirror to them so they can see who they are and who they can become. If you recognize men's potential, your encouragement can motivate men to claim their potential for themselves.

Understand what men do. Pray for the perspective you need to see and appreciate what each man uniquely does in the world and in your life. Get to know men's missions and how they try to live out those missions every day in their work -- both paid work through their jobs, and volunteer work through their relationships and service.

Show them respect for working hard to overcome the challenges they face in their work. Keep in mind that men often communicate that they care about you by taking action on tasks (such as mowing the lawn) than by using lots of words (such as writing an eloquent love note). Thank them for the ways they try to communicate love to you -- even when they do so in ways that aren't as meaningful to you as they are to them. Let men know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

Understand why men hurt. Men most often feel hurt when they don't think that others are respecting them. They've been wired with a deep sense of needing to affirm their adequacy. So let men know that you believe they have what it takes to face the world and do well. Be aware that men's confidence is tied to their sexuality; so if you're married, your positive responsiveness to your husband will powerfully increase his confidence level. Get to know the life stories of the men in your life to come to realize how their prior experiences (such as distant relationships with their fathers) may have contributed to the hurt they feel now.

Talk and pray with the men you're close to about their fears. Respect their particular challenges. Be patient with them without excusing bad behavior. When men are irritable or withdrawn, don't take it personally because it may not be about you. Support the men in your life, and discuss your own struggles and loses with them so they can better connect to you. Ask God to use your relationships with the hurting men in your life to help them along the healing process.

Understand how men change. It's often through their relationships with women that men connect their heads with their hearts so they can best make positive changes in their lives. When you're concerned about a particular issue, speak up about it -- without getting upset -- and discuss it rationally, holding your ground about what's important to you. Say "no" to a man in your life when: you believe that your relationship with him will suffer because you're putting up with something that's harmful to you both, or when you sense that your "no" could open a door in his growth that probably won't open if you just continue to go along.

Aim to motivate him to wrestle with an issue that could eventually bring some deep changes in his life. Help him discover that he truly has what it takes to overcome the challenges he faces and change for the better.

Live with the right expectations of men. Keep in mind that your expectations of any man must be grounded in the way God made him. Each man has his own particular mix of strengths and weaknesses. Ask God to help you accept each man in your life as he actually is rather than as you'd like him to be. Get rid of unrealistic expectations of the men in your life. Remember that all men are fallible human beings, and that only God can reliably meet all of your needs.

But just as you shouldn't expect too much from men, you shouldn't expect too little, either. Don't hesitate to ask men for the strength and perspective and support that they should give. Be aware of what you need but also open to what God brings into your life through men. Let yourself expect the best of what God has put in men, but be prepared to deal with disappointments along the way by turning to God, who will never fail you. Place all of your hopes ultimately in God.

Give men respect. Pray for the ability to see and appreciate what each man in your life has to offer in unique and valuable ways. When men know that they have a vote of confidence from a woman, that knowledge motivates them to do their very best at whatever tasks they're pursuing. Keep in mind that a man feels respect from a woman when she:

* solicits his opinion or perspective as though he might have something truly unique to offer;
* expresses her confidence in him by asking him to do the hard thing that is also the right thing;
* has sex with her husband;
* refuses to attack his character, even when he has failed her or others;
* realizes her vulnerabilities and values his protection;
* can name her own mistakes and her need of him;
* allows him to occasionally offer a solution to a problem she considers vexing, thereby exploring some possibilities she might not have otherwise; and
* believes he can come back from failure or defeat.

Let yourself need a man, even when he's failed you in the past. Let your husband or boyfriend know that what he brings to your life -- his perspective, presence, and support -- can't be replaced by anyone else. Don't try to rescue him from the pain in his life; let him experience it because God may want to use it to help him grow. Even when you don't agree with him on certain issues, keep verbalizing your respect for him as a person as he tries to grow. Invite him to look up in search of the God who made him as he reaches inside for what God has put in him.

Manage conflict with men wisely. View conflict as an extended dialogue through which you all can make gradual progress understanding each other better and solving problems while strengthening your relationships in the process. Pray for the strength to forgive the men who hurt or offend you, just as God has chosen to forgive you. Remember that forgiveness is an ongoing process, not just a one-time event. Every day, ask God to help you keep your heart open to following His command to forgive others.

When you argue, don't say harsh words or use stonewalling tactics. If you're not making progress in your discussion, call a time-out, pray and get some sleep, then revisit the issue within the next two to three days. Aim to talk about an important issue a bit longer and deeper each time you discuss it, without either one of you freaking out.

Remember that anger is always a secondary emotion; it's caused by another emotion that lies behind it. Figure out what's behind your anger and the anger expressed by the men in your life. Avoid contempt (which often shows up through critical remarks, smirks, and eye-rolling), because it will prevent any progress in your discussions and seriously damage your relationships.

Get through to men. Create emotional safety in your relationship with men that allows you to talk about challenging or hot-button topics effectively. Give each other plenty of kind words and affection. Remember that you always have more to learn about any man, no matter how long you've been in a relationship with him. Be humble and willing to explore new angles to issues and new potential solutions to problems.

Instead of trying to read a man's mind, ask him to explain what he means. Validate a man's thoughts and feelings even when you don't agree with him; so he'll feel respected enough to continue to explore new possibilities in his relationship with you. When having a difficult conversation, structure it like this: First, share something you value or appreciate about the man, or express empathy with him. Second, make a specific request or deliver some news. Third, try to return to something more positive to wrap up your conversation.

Build intimacy with a man. Rather than focusing on what should be or could be in your relationship with a man, focus on what actually is right now and aim to enjoy it as fully as possible. Savor the simple moments you share, like a laugh over something amusing or a delicious meal together. Accept and figure out how to accommodate the differences between you and your man, so that you can complement each other well. Just as Jesus has accepted and welcomed you despite your flaws, aim to do the same with your man. When you do, God's glory can shine through your relationship.

Rather than expecting your man to somehow make you happy -- which he can't do -- realize that you can be as happy as you choose to be. Pray for the right attitudes and the ability to make the right choices that will lead to your own happiness. Keep in mind that the relationship between you and your man isn't just about your comfort or ease; God is using it to accomplish greater purposes. Ask God to help you see the big picture of what He's doing with your relationship so you can fully treasure the moments you have together.

Posted June 23, 2009

Adapted from What's He Really Thinking?: How to Be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life, copyright 2009 by Paula Rinehart. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com.

Paula Rinehart has touched women's lives through writing, speaking, and ministry for more than 20 years. Her private counseling practice includes clients who are men and couples with a focus on personal growth and intimacy with Christ. Paula and her husband Stacy have two grown children.

Michael Jackson a Christian?



Los Angeles, California, (Bully! Pulpit News)---Facing a grueling concert schedule, Michael Jackson, the self-proclaimed King of Pop reached out to two old friends-legendary Gospel singer Andrae Crouch and his twin sister, singer and minister, Sandra, desperately seeking inspiration for a tour he was ill-prepared for, a few weeks before his tragic death.

But news of the meeting spiraled out of control as a series of blogs and emails raced around the world proclaiming that Jackson had converted to Christianity at the end of one of their meetings, raising hopes, especially among Jackson’s African-American fans that Jackson, a onetime member of the Jehovah’s Witness sect, who had reportedly converted to Islam in 2008, had become a Christian.

The news was first widely circulated on her website by Erica Campbell, a member of the Grammy-award winning duo Mary-Mary who, under the banner headline “Good News-RIP Michael Jackson,” wrote: “Last night we received some good news from Terri McFaddin-Solomon who is good friends with Sandra Crouch. Three weeks ago Sandra and Andrae spent some time with their close friend, Michael Jackson. Michael asked Andrae to play, "It Won't Be Long And We'll Be Leaving Here." Michael then prayed with Sandra and Andre and accepted Christ into his heart. Now he's singing in the heavenly choir! Our hearts rejoice!”

But according to Sandra Crouch, that may not quite be the full story. On a posting on her Facebook page Crouch wrote: “Not sure where that came from. We loved and respected Michael and will continue to pray for his family. All the extra is not from us.”

For his part, through a spokesman, Andrae Crouch attempted to further clarify the story:

“Andrae and Sandra did in fact visit with Michael Jackson two times, once at the recording studio, and once at his home in the last two months, as recently as three weeks ago, asking for prayer concerning the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and how he could make his music more ‘spiritual,’" noted Crouch’s Facebook administrator. “So Andrae and Sandra explained to him about the anointing and about Jesus. He wanted to know what makes your hands go up, and makes you ‘come out of yourself,’ and what gives a ‘spirituality’ to the music? He then requested to hear his favorite song that he loves and wanted then to sing to him, so they...joined hands and sang together, and he said, ‘it was beautiful.’ He first heard it in New York, and loved it and wanted it on tape. He had the engineer tape the song sang to him by Andrae and Sandra. He definitely had an encounter with them.”

As to whether or not the legendary singer had prayed to receive Christ, through his spokesman Crouch responded: “He did NOT reject Jesus or the prayer when (we) prayed, and gladly joined in prayer.”

“He usually doesn’t touch anybody, but he touched them, and held their hands in a circle as they sang and prayed,” continued Andrae Crouch’s spokesman. “There was NO actual ‘sinners prayer’ however, but they did talk and pray about Jesus and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. They also told him, ‘Michael, we consider you as our son,’ and he said, “yes, yes, yes” and gave him his latest music on a CD, and he told him, ‘Andrae I trust you with this,’ and gave him CD’s of 2 songs......unpublished, beautiful music.”

The Crouch’s reported one peculiarity about Jackson’s rented home: forbidden as a child from celebrating Christmas because of his Jehovah’s Witness faith which precludes such celebration, Jackson was still celebrating Christmas in June: “

“He still had his Christmas decorations up at home,” noted Crouch’s spokesman.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Princess Anastasia Version (PAV)

Princess Anastasia Version (PAV) as opposed to King James Version!

Phil 4:13 I can do all things ....

Daddy, Mummy and Ana can do all things thru Christ who strengthen us!!!!

(Amazingly, she actually understands English grammar!!!!)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Man shall not live by chicken skin alone!

Ana is improvising on her scripture memory verses.

Man shall not live by bread alone ... has become

Man shall not live by chicken skin alone! and
Man shall not live by Oreo cookies alone!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission

I will be teaching on Contextualization in August 2009.
This is a good covenant to remind us of our responsibilities.
Written in 1974! that is 35 years ago!
I am revising the Indonesian version as i think it requires some improvement.

The Lausanne Covenant


We, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, from more than 150 nations, participants in the International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne, praise God for his great salvation and rejoice in the fellowship he has given us with himself and with each other. We are deeply stirred by what God is doing in our day, moved to penitence by our failures and challenged by the unfinished task of evangelization. We believe the Gospel is God's good news for the whole world, and we are determined by his grace to obey Christ's commission to proclaim it to all mankind and to make disciples of every nation. We desire, therefore, to affirm our faith and our resolve, and to make public our covenant.


We affirm our belief in the one-eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ's body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. Yet we rejoice that even when borne by earthen vessels the gospel is still a precious treasure. To the task of making that treasure known in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire to dedicate ourselves anew.

(Isa. 40:28; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 1:11; Acts 15:14; John 17:6, 18; Eph 4:12; 1 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 12:2; II Cor. 4:7)


We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God's word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God's revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God's people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God.

(II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; John 10:35; Isa. 55:11; 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16, Matt. 5:17,18; Jude 3; Eph. 1:17,18; 3:10,18)

We affirm that there is only one Saviour and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognise that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. We also reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of syncretism and dialogue which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as "the Saviour of the world" is not to affirm that all people are either automatically or ultimately saved, still less to affirm that all religions offer salvation in Christ. Rather it is to proclaim God's love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Saviour and Lord in the wholehearted personal commitment of repentance and faith. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord.

(Gal. 1:6-9;Rom. 1:18-32; I Tim. 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; II Pet. 3:9; II Thess. 1:7-9;John 4:42; Matt. 11:28; Eph. 1:20,21; Phil. 2:9-11)

To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and so is that kind of dialogue whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Saviour and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world.

(I Cor. 15:3,4; Acts 2: 32-39; John 20:21; I Cor. 1:23; II Cor. 4:5; 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10:43-45)

We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all men. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.

(Acts 17:26,31; Gen. 18:25; Isa. 1:17; Psa. 45:7; Gen. 1:26,27; Jas. 3:9; Lev. 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; Jas. 2:14-26; Joh. 3:3,5; Matt. 5:20; 6:33; II Cor. 3:18; Jas. 2:20)

We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. In the Church's mission of sacrificial service evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world. The Church is at the very centre of God's cosmic purpose and is his appointed means of spreading the gospel. But a church which preaches the cross must itself be marked by the cross. It becomes a stumbling block to evangelism when it betrays the gospel or lacks a living faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The church is the community of God's people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology.

(John 17:18; 20:21; Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 20:27; Eph. 1:9,10; 3:9-11; Gal. 6:14,17; II Cor. 6:3,4; II Tim. 2:19-21; Phil. 1:27)

We affirm that the Church's visible unity in truth is God's purpose. Evangelism also summons us to unity, because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation. We recognize, however, that organisational unity may take many forms and does not necessarily forward evangelism. Yet we who share the same biblical faith should be closely united in fellowship, work and witness. We confess that our testimony has sometimes been marred by a sinful individualism and needless duplication. We pledge ourselves to seek a deeper unity in truth, worship, holiness and mission. We urge the development of regional and functional cooperation for the furtherance of the Church's mission, for strategic planning, for mutual encouragement, and for the sharing of resources and experience.

(John 17:21,23; Eph. 4:3,4; John 13:35; Phil. 1:27; John 17:11-23)

We rejoice that a new missionary era has dawned. The dominant role of western missions is fast disappearing. God is raising up from the younger churches a great new resource for world evangelization, and is thus demonstrating that the responsibility to evangelise belongs to the whole body of Christ. All churches should therefore be asking God and themselves what they should be doing both to reach their own area and to send missionaries to other parts of the world. A reevaluation of our missionary responsibility and role should be continuous. Thus a growing partnership of churches will develop and the universal character of Christ's Church will be more clearly exhibited. We also thank God for agencies which labor in Bible translation, theological education, the mass media, Christian literature, evangelism, missions, church renewal and other specialist fields. They too should engage in constant self-examination to evaluate their effectiveness as part of the Church's mission.

(Rom. 1:8; Phil. 1:5; 4:15; Acts 13:1-3, I Thess. 1:6-8)

More than 2,700 million people, which is more than two-thirds of all humanity, have yet to be evangelised. We are ashamed that so many have been neglected; it is a standing rebuke to us and to the whole Church. There is now, however, in many parts of the world an unprecedented receptivity to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are convinced that this is the time for churches and para-church agencies to pray earnestly for the salvation of the unreached and to launch new efforts to achieve world evangelization. A reduction of foreign missionaries and money in an evangelised country may sometimes be necessary to facilitate the national church's growth in self-reliance and to release resources for unevangelised areas. Missionaries should flow ever more freely from and to all six continents in a spirit of humble service. The goal should be, by all available means and at the earliest possible time, that every person will have the opportunity to hear, understand, and to receive the good news. We cannot hope to attain this goal without sacrifice. All of us are shocked by the poverty of millions and disturbed by the injustices which cause it. Those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple life-style in order to contribute more generously to both relief and evangelism.

(John 9:4; Matt. 9:35-38; Rom. 9:1-3; I Cor. 9:19-23; Mark 16:15; Isa. 58:6,7; Jas. 1:27; 2:1-9; Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 2:44,45; 4:34,35)

The development of strategies for world evangelization calls for imaginative pioneering methods. Under God, the result will be the rise of churches deeply rooted in Christ and closely related to their culture. Culture must always be tested and judged by Scripture. Because men and women are God's creatures, some of their culture is rich in beauty and goodness. Because they are fallen, all of it is tainted with sin and some of it is demonic. The gospel does not presuppose the superiority of any culture to another, but evaluates all cultures according to its own criteria of truth and righteousness, and insists on moral absolutes in every culture. Missions have all too frequently exported with the gospel an alien culture and churches have sometimes been in bondage to culture rather than to Scripture. Christ's evangelists must humbly seek to empty themselves of all but their personal authenticity in order to become the servants of others, and churches must seek to transform and enrich culture, all for the glory of God.

(Mark 7:8,9,13; Gen. 4:21,22; I Cor. 9:19-23; Phil. 2:5-7; II Cor. 4:5)

We confess that we have sometimes pursued church growth at the expense of church depth, and divorced evangelism from Christian nurture. We also acknowledge that some of our missions have been too slow to equip and encourage national leaders to assume their rightful responsibilities. Yet we are committed to indigenous principles, and long that every church will have national leaders who manifest a Christian style of leadership in terms not of domination but of service. We recognise that there is a great need to improve theological education, especially for church leaders. In every nation and culture there should be an effective training programme for pastors and laity in doctrine, discipleship, evangelism, nurture and service. Such training programmes should not rely on any stereotyped methodology but should be developed by creative local initiatives according to biblical standards.

(Col. I:27,28; Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5,9; Mark 10:42-45; Eph. 4:11,12)

We believe that we are engaged in constant spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil, who are seeking to overthrow the Church and frustrate its task of world evangelization. We know our need to equip ourselves with God's armour and to fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of truth and prayer. For we detect the activity of our enemy, not only in false ideologies outside the Church, but also inside it in false gospels which twist Scripture and put people in the place of God. We need both watchfulness and discernment to safeguard the biblical gospel. We acknowledge that we ourselves are not immune to worldliness of thoughts and action, that is, to a surrender to secularism. For example, although careful studies of church growth, both numerical and spiritual, are right and valuable, we have sometimes neglected them. At other times, desirous to ensure a response to the gospel, we have compromised our message, manipulated our hearers through pressure techniques, and become unduly preoccupied with statistics or even dishonest in our use of them. All this is worldly. The Church must be in the world; the world must not be in the Church.

(Eph. 6:12; II Cor. 4:3,4; Eph. 6:11,13-18; II Cor. 10:3-5; I John 2:18-26; 4:1-3; Gal. 1:6-9; II Cor. 2:17; 4:2; John 17:15)

It is the God-appointed duty of every government to secure conditions of peace, justice and liberty in which the Church may obey God, serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and preach the gospel without interference. We therefore pray for the leaders of nations and call upon them to guarantee freedom of thought and conscience, and freedom to practise and propagate religion in accordance with the will of God and as set forth in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also express our deep concern for all who have been unjustly imprisoned, and especially for those who are suffering for their testimony to the Lord Jesus. We promise to pray and work for their freedom. At the same time we refuse to be intimidated by their fate. God helping us, we too will seek to stand against injustice and to remain faithful to the gospel, whatever the cost. We do not forget the warnings of Jesus that persecution is inevitable.

(I Tim. 1:1-4, Acts 4:19; 5:29; Col. 3:24; Heb. 13:1-3; Luke 4:18; Gal. 5:11; 6:12; Matt. 5:10-12; John 15:18-21)

We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son; without his witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit; thus evangelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit-filled church. A church that is not a missionary church is contradicting itself and quenching the Spirit. Worldwide evangelization will become a realistic possibility only when the Spirit renews the Church in truth and wisdom, faith, holiness, love and power. We therefore call upon all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the sovereign Spirit of God that all his fruit may appear in all his people and that all his gifts may enrich the body of Christ. Only then will the whole church become a fit instrument in his hands, that the whole earth may hear his voice.

(I Cor. 2:4; John 15:26;27; 16:8-11; I Cor. 12:3; John 3:6-8; II Cor. 3:18; John 7:37-39; I Thess. 5:19; Acts 1:8; Psa. 85:4-7; 67:1-3; Gal. 5:22,23; I Cor. 12:4-31; Rom. 12:3-8)

We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment. This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We believe that the interim period between Christ's ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God, who have no liberty to stop before the end. We also remember his warning that false Christs and false prophets will arise as precursors of the final Antichrist. We therefore reject as a proud, self-confident dream the notion that people can ever build a utopia on earth. Our Christian confidence is that God will perfect his kingdom, and we look forward with eager anticipation to that day, and to the new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell and God will reign forever. Meanwhile, we rededicate ourselves to the service of Christ and of people in joyful submission to his authority over the whole of our lives.

(Mark 14:62; Heb. 9:28; Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8-11; Matt. 28:20; Mark 13:21-23; John 2:18; 4:1-3; Luke 12:32; Rev. 21:1-5; II Pet. 3:13; Matt. 28:18)

Therefore, in the light of this our faith and our resolve, we enter into a solemn covenant with God and with each other, to pray, to plan and to work together for the evangelization of the whole world. We call upon others to join us. May God help us by his grace and for his glory to be faithful to this our covenant! Amen, Alleluia!

Men have a reputation for having a 'stiff upper lip'

Men's 'stiff upper lip' may explain cancer death rate hea

AFP - Tuesday, June 16LONDON (AFP) - - British men may be literally dying as a result of their reluctance to see the doctor, researchers said on Monday with a new study showing they are nearly 40 percent more likely to die from any form of cancer than women.


The findings were taken from a study conducted by Cancer Research UK, the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) and the Men's Health Forum.

They said the disparity could also be down to many men having a less healthy lifestyle than women.

"After taking out the effect of age, men were significantly more likely than women to die from every one of the specific types of cancer considered," said Professor David Forman of the NCIN.

"There's no known biological reason why men should be at a greater risk than women, so we were surprised to see such consistent differences."

But he added: "Men have a reputation for having a 'stiff upper lip' and not being as health-conscious as women. What we see from this report could be a reflection of this attitude."

The study, based on cancer rates and deaths from the disease in 2006 and 2007, showed that men are 16 percent more likely to develop any type of cancer, but 60 percent more likely to develop cancers that can affect both sexes.

Its authors said men needed to be made more aware of the link between a healthy lifestyle and the risk of cancer.

"We know that around half of all cancers could be prevented by changes to lifestyle and it's worrying that this message could be falling on deaf ears for men," said Sara Hiom of Cancer Research UK.

Alan White of the Men's Health Forum said men "are generally not aware that, as well as smoking, carrying excess weight around the waist, having a high alcohol intake and a poor diet and their family history all contribute to their increased risk of developing and dying prematurely from cancer.

"This report clearly demonstrates that a concerted effort needs to be made into getting the public, the health professionals and the policy makers aware of the risks men are facing," he said.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What are u proclaiming?

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on..

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say.... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say.... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!

God created the swimming pool???

i have been getting Ana to memorize scriptures for the past few months.

She is able to quote with 99% accuracy the following 4 verses.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God, created the heavens and the earth

John 14:6 Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father, except through me.

Matt 4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

A few nights ago while reviewing the verses with her, she mischievously said

In the beginning God created the heavens and the .... swimming pool!

We all burst out laughing!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Lord's heart is to shine through the married lives of His people

Strengthening Marriages in Your Church
Ted Bichsel Ministry Life - Married

An alarming number of Christian marriages end in divorce. What can the church do to reverse this trend?

I had just started my new position as an associate pastor back in 1983. There I was at a barbecue for the adult Christian singles. The majority of those attending were divorced. With each hurting conversation and each prayer of restoration, my burden grew for these singles.

Later that year, I sat in a small support group for divorced men and women, hoping to find how to best minister to them. One of the singles, perhaps sensing my dilemma, blurted out: "The best way you can minister to the divorced is to minister to marriages." It was then that I realized that the greatest ministry I could have to the divorced single was to build strong marriages.

Many of us in ministry have seen marriage ministry as developing a series of events, banquets and seminars filled with behavioral challenges to "fix" marriages. In the 1950s, ministering to a married couple or to the family meant simply opening the doors on a Sunday. Add a bean supper and a church picnic, and you were set. That worked back then. But that is no longer the case.

In the new millennium and beyond, many church leaders are realizing that a dual-income, working couple is far less available for and interested in the covered-dish dinners of the past. The need level goes beyond the annual church picnic. Information and its application for first-generation Christians only scratch the surface of a truly effective marriage ministry.


With the latest Barna study indicating a 50 percent divorce rate for those outside the church as well as those inside the church, the ministry for Christian marriages needs to stretch beyond methods alone.

This generation of Christian marriages needs a heartfelt vision--a vision to teach couples how to live out their marriage covenant every day. The vision must respond to the same Barna study that reported only 1 out of every 1,150 marriages of born-again Christian couples who have regular prayer together ends in divorce.

God put Adam in the garden with vision for him that included the bone of his bone and the flesh of his flesh, Eve. He declared that the two should no longer be two but one. Jesus said, " 'What God has joined together let not man separate'" (Matt. 19:6, NKJV). Yet what I call the "separating dynamic" is found in much of the normal structure of our churches.

When building a marriage ministry, the questions should not be about the location or the event. The questions should be: Do we have a vision for marriage in our church? Do we know what the Lord wants the marriages and the families of our church to look like over the course of the next year? In five years?

I know that may sound presumptuous. Is it any more presumptuous than assuming that we need a Sunday school marriage class, a Valentine's dinner or a family night simply because families and marriages exist in our churches?

We have goals for church growth. We have extensive stewardship plans. Outreach opportunities abound, and the ministry to children and youth seem up-front in many churches today.

Do we have a similar vision for each marriage? Do we have a biblical vision that reflects the growth and maturing of each marriage as couples begin to reflect the Lord's heart? Do we realize the truth in the saying, "As the marriages go, so goes the church?"

We want to see couples become stable and fruitful--but is that enough? I found that our vision for marriage was too small, too limited and even too self-serving. The determining question remains: Are we equipping couples to seek out the vision the Lord has for their marriages? Or are we simply raising up people with no deference to their marital state to simply take care of the "work of the kingdom?"

I have found that the desire of the Lord's heart is to shine through the married lives of His people. We are called in our oneness to reflect His glory. We are those earthen vessels to an unsaved world. In fact, the greatest opportunity for every healthy marriage to be used by the Lord is their ability to walk through the trials, the communication problems, the financial crises, the teen-ager problems and the rest of what life has for them.

A marriage ministry is not birthed out of helping problem marriages. A ministry to marriages should be based on a vision for each couple to hear the Lord's voice and then to see where the Lord is calling them into obedience.


There is nothing wrong with having a marriage class, seminar or retreat. We have them all. But a healthy marriage ministry will focus on strengthening marriages, not just fixing marriage problems.

I began to teach a weekly "couples class." The title alone immediately attracted singles and the divorced. We found that the classic marriage class is designed to fix the problem marriages. I wanted more than that. So we send struggling marriages to the marriage class in hopes that they will get better, graduate and then get back to work for the church.

The very title "marriage class," along with the predictable subject matter, often defines "healthy marriages" according to a series of dos and don'ts, steps and conditions and understanding one another's differences. After that, there is just getting through life with a new set of tools.

I changed the traditional "marriage class" Sunday school curriculum title to "couples class." The next goal was to stretch beyond a standard behavioral focus. Roles, communication, conflict resolution, parenting 101 and the like, although part of the class, no longer were taught as a means to an end. The new focus was to identify and teach the steps in understanding and setting a vision for covenant marriage. Little by little, the class unfolded.

The foundation for a marriage vision is established upon our salvation in Christ. This seems so obvious, but to build a biblical vision of marriage beyond the behavioral changes, Christ has to be the center of both husband and wife if they are to grow in a Christ-centered vision. By knowing who we are as His chosen people, we realize that both our individual callings and our callings as couples are unique, determined and desired by God.

The classes grew each week as couples realized that this was a class for growth and envisioning, and not just repair. The sessions touched each of the traditional subjects with a new principle of growing a godly vision for one's home and marriage. Communication basics now grew out of learning how a husband and wife see a vision differently. Discussions on security and significance grew from building a team effort for serving and honoring the Lord.


A study through the fruit of the Spirit allowed endless lessons on growing one's marriage through resolving conflict, changing attitudes and learning to respect one another. The biblical principles for marriage were no longer limited to passages such as Ephesians chapter 5. I found marriage-envisioning principles everywhere. Nehemiah's prayer in Nehemiah 1:5-10 set a new understanding of covenant in a marriage.

Each lesson was taught in light of the vision the Lord was growing in each couple. The goal of simply being happy was not big enough. One by one, each couple realized that all the individual growth they could experience was equally limited until it was seen through the vision of the marriage relationship.

Couples began to move as one into the ministries of the church. One couple has successfully relocated into full-time missions work. Others have grown in a vision to reach out to their neighbors. Still others have begun to help as volunteers with other Christian organizations.

As couples grow in their marriages, their prayer life increases and the interest is no longer on survival or simply growing. The couples' energy levels have been transformed into understanding and carrying out the vision for their families.

Husbands now have a goal, a tangible direction in which to direct their families. Wives see the bigger picture as they come alongside their husbands. Together, they learn about their unique callings. The fact is that our marriage ministry has grown well beyond the confines of a class. The growth is flowing over into many areas.

Now couples are praying together at the altar when prayer needs are shared. Husbands are encouraged by our leadership to pray in agreement with the pastoral staff as their wives come up for prayer. Couples now want tools to realize the vision before them. The traditional seminars and behavioral teachings are now passed through the "vision filter" so couples can better realize the greater calling and purpose for their marriages and for their families.

After four years of setting this vision for couples--and with the senior pastor setting it into the leadership marriages--the ministries of the church, the outreaches and the missions are all experiencing good "couples" fruit. Our vision for marriages is no longer limited to the crisis marriages. We now see the potential of envisioned marriages growing for the Lord as each one takes its place in His kingdom.

Making Marriage Ministry Work Outside the Classroom

Here are some simple but effective steps you can take to strengthen your church's ministry to marriages without increasing your staff or budget.

**Remember that a married individual is not alone--he or she is part of a couple.

In our effort to accomplish so many things in our churches, we often overlook the fact that a married individual needs to volunteer in light of his or her marriage, not in spite of it.

**Learn the names of the spouses and children of your leadership.

The more we as pastors show an interest in the marriages and families of our leaders, the more they will see their service in light of their families as well.

**Encourage couples to pray together. Invite spouses to pray with you as you pray.

One effective way to do this is to simply instruct a reluctant spouse how to pray, or in some cases, to invite them to pray in repetition after you. This models the importance of marriage and family prayer.

**Examine your divorce policy. Is it clear, and does it ultimately support marriage over divorce?

This is difficult but critical to ascertain, both for the married and divorced alike. People want to know where you stand.

**Offer a divorce recovery and educational track for those who have gone through divorce.

Perhaps your church can join with other churches and use some of the excellent material that is available, such as DivorceCare, for example.

**Develop a complete premarriage, pre-covenant policy.

The church should lay the foundation long before a marriage takes place. By establishing solid, vision-based marriage preparation, you communicate the high value your church places on marriages.

Consider requiring a couple to complete premarital counseling before even putting the date on the calendar. This will mean reeducating the church in some cases, but it is worth it.

**Encourage couples to serve together on various committees or in certain ministries that will help them to grow in their unified vision.

**Before placing a married person in any type of leadership, meet with the spouse as well. You may find that the very nature of serving may put additional stress on the marriage.

**For one month, listen to the "single" messages and the "marriage" messages you are sending out to the congregation. Do you apply all Scripture to the individual only, or do you make application to the oneness found in a marriage?

**Celebrate anniversaries. Announce them and even give out anniversary certificates. Always be open to the opportunity for the renewal of vows.

**Keep your own marriage growing. The growth in your marriage will spur you on to encourage others to do the same.

Resources for Developing a Healthy Marriage

The following books can provide you, your leaders and the couples in your church with invaluable insight in strengthening marriage bonds.

**Divorce Proofing Your Marriage: 10 lies that lead to divorce, 10 truths that prevent it by Linda S. Mintle, Ph.D. A licensed clinical social worker, Mintle helps couples have a healthy marriage. She confronts the lies that couples believe about marriage (marriage is a contract, or marriage isn't about the mate's family). The truths deal with such topics as resolving conflicts, understanding covenant, repentance and coping with an affair. This book is an excellent resource for couples, marriage ministries and small groups.

**Intimacy: A 100-Day Guide to Lasting Relationships by Douglas Weiss, Ph.D. Executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Centers in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Weiss explores finding sexual agreement, consistency in marriage, coping with money matters, dealing with the anger enemy and many other marriage topics. There is a 100-day log for couples as well as exercises for sharing feelings.

**Heal Your Past and Change Your Marriage by Paul and Kristina McGuire. Paul hosts a daily radio talk show in Southern California. The book leads with exploring the marriage covenant, followed by how to fight for your marriage in the Spirit. An excellent guide to taking steps to emotional healing follows, with teaching on sex and romance. This is an excellent resource for couples who want to grow spiritually through pain and hurt.

**Better Sex for You by Helen Pensanti, M.D. Host of the popular Trinity Broadcasting Network show Doctor to Doctor, Pensanti uses humor and frankness to help couples understand and discuss sexual issues in their marriage. This book was written to help couples maintain a long, healthy sexual relationship.

**Lord, I Wish My Husband Would Pray With Me by Larry Keefauver, D.Min. Larry and Judi Keefauver conduct marriage and parenting seminars in churches worldwide based on this popular book, which helps couples pray through and tear down walls of such things as unresolved anger, unfulfilled expectations, unhealed hurts, unkept promises and undignified communication. This is an excellent resource for classes and small groups.

**Can Stepfamilies Be Done Right? by Joann and Seth Webster. This stepmother/stepson team writes a very practical guide for blended families. This superb resource explores discipline, the role of a stepparent, dealing with the past and living through the three cycles of a stepfamily. It is a helpful and practical guide for blended families struggling through the many adjustments of living together.
Ted Bichsel is pastor of Smithtown Tabernacle in Long Island, New York.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The godly man does indeed impact his generation

The Man of God
By Gary Kantola

The Word is quite clear in declaring that the godly man does indeed impact his generation. Solomon simply stated, "When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding" (Prov. 28:12, TNIV).

Think with me about this idea. How many men does it take to make a difference in a life lived? Probably not too many. I can count on one hand the number of men who have had an influence on me that determined the direction and character of my life. And that transference of godliness is a model that Jesus used in taking just 12 men under His spiritual guidance and with them He has changed the world. Jesus knew the power of the difference of one. One man of God can do the impossible as he cooperates with the God of power and authority.

Here are a few qualities a man of God possesses that are key ingredients in making it possible for the world to be changed—for His will to be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven:

1. Great Vision
While most are debating whether the glass is half full or half empty, the man of God oozes vision. He sees things that God has planned way before it is apparent to the masses. One man can turn the tide for God. Gideon was a powerful example of the difference one man can make on an entire region. How many men did God appear to when He needed to free His people from their intolerable bondage of a despotic ruler? Only one.

Before Gideon had accomplished a thing, the Lord processed a vision in him. And before too long, in spite of Gideon's timidity and small beginnings, he was leading the charge with 300 men that changed the course of history. God's people again enjoyed the blessings of God's promises as the enemy was completely destroyed.

Andy Stanley writes in his book Visioneering: "When we embrace a vision in its infancy, before anything has really 'happened,' we are making a statement about our confidence in the person and character of God. Pursuing a divine vision is really an act of worship. It is a declaration of our confidence in God. It is a proclamation of how important we believe His agenda to be. And God is honored."

2. Good Gifts
We live in a world that is obsessed with stuff. Yet a man of God doesn't live to gather stuff—he lives to give stuff away. James said it like this, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures" (James 1:17-18, NKJV).

A man of God lives like His Father does—giving good gifts, perfect gifts, away to others because that is how God designed it. The greatest gifts yet to be given to humanity are locked up in the heart of a real man of God. Some of our world's greatest gifts will be given by a man who has steeled himself to finding God's perfect will in his life when no one was looking. Out of the abundance of that generous heart, fabulous and profound gifts will come that will bless generations to come. Entire nations will be impacted by the difference of one man of God that is living his life as a gift to others.

3. Singleness of Heart
Even in the church, many men have yet to settle the question "Who's in charge?" A man may say he is a Christian, but his life may exhibit less than a godly lifestyle. James tells the double-minded man to cleanse his heart. Paul told the Hebrew Christians that a double-minded man was unstable in all his ways.

A man of God has settled the sin issue. It is possible for him to sin, just not probable. He has decided to become a “slave to righteousness.” In his book When Heaven Invades Earth, Bill Johnson states this principle eloquently: "I cannot limit my values and pursuits to what makes others comfortable. Being possessed by a promise, I live without options. I will spend the rest of my life exploring what could happen through the life of one who is willing to cultivate the God-given appetite to see impossibilities bow to the name of Jesus. All my eggs are in one basket. There is no 'plan B.' And it is from this posture that I live."

4. Effective Prayer
"The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn't rain, and it didn't—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again" (James 3:17-18, The Message). The man who knows God will be more effective in prayer than the man who knows about God. One man's prayer can change the atmosphere of his home. One man's prayer can change the atmosphere in the work place. One man's prayer can change the direction of a nation. Jesus actually gave us permission to pray that His kingdom would come, and that His will would be done on earth, just as it is in heaven.

5. A Superb Eternity
The angelic hosts break out into rejoicing when just one sinner repents. Why? Because they understand that there is a profound change in what heaven will look like for eternity. While the angels sing, Jesus builds another mansion for one more of His children.

A man of God spends much of his energy on one of his most important of responsibilities—to disciple another one into the kingdom of Christ. He lives to give Jesus away. A man of God lives to make Jesus relevant to those he has been commissioned to reach with the good news.

What our world desperately needs, more than another technological advance or more wealth, is another man of God. Another man who understands the difference of just one man, committed to following the call and voice of God in his life. In The Call, Os Guinness issues this challenge: "The caller may be unseen and the destination unknown, but those who follow His call have a voice above and vision ahead that subverts every status quo and unsettles every resting place. … God's calling inspires and guarantees only those visions that are truly the result of calling."

And with just one more man, we can change our world! And Christ will be lifted up and His kingdom will be advanced. With just one more man of God. Are you that man?

Gary Kantola is the pastoral adviser for United Men of Faith in Catasauqua, Penn.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Guilty of distributing seditious or objectionable material ?

Singapore evangelists found guilty in first sedition trial
by Nathanael Ng, Christian Post
Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2009, 8:14 (BST)

A Christian couple has been found guilty of distributing seditious or objectionable material to three Muslims and being in possession of seditious publications.

The case of Ong Kian Cheong, a SingTel technical officer, and Dorothy Chan Hien Leng, a UBS associate director, marks the first time in the republic that a full trial under the Sedition Act has been heard.

In 2005, a man was jailed for a month for posting inflammatory and vicious remarks about Muslims and Malays on the internet. The following year, an accounts assistant received a stern warning for posting an offensive cartoon of Jesus Christ on his blog.

For many years, Ong and Chan had been involved in mass-mailing evangelistic tracts to members of the public. Three recipients of some of the booklets found them seditious or objectionable and lodged complaints.

They received the two evangelistic tracts titled The Little Bride or Who Is Allah? in December last year and told the court they felt angry, insulted and offended and believed a Christian group had sent them.

Ong and Chan were arrested on January 30 last year. The couple was also found to be in possession of 439 copies of 11 publications deemed sedicious at their Maplewoods Condominium.

The trial revolved around whether the couple knew or had reason to believe the publications they mailed to the three plaintiffs were seditious.

The prosecution had alleged that they were fully aware of the offensive nature of the contents and distributed those offensive publications to members of different faiths in Singapore with no regard for their feelings or sensitivities, according to the Straits Times.

Ong and Chan, however, claimed they had not read nor know what the tracts in question contained. Moreover, they added, they did not have reason to believe that the 11 tracts were seditious since they were openly sold at the Tecman bookstore in Bras Basah Complex.

District judge Roy Neighbour rejected their defence on the grounds that the two tracts received by the three plaintiffs had been “ordered regularly and in bulk for over two decades” since 1987. Underscoring that they are educated and intelligent people, the judge said they “would have known” that the publications “had a serious seditious tendency because the tracts are not only highly critical but denigrate Islam, the Roman Catholic Church and other religions”, reported Today.

He also disbelieved Chan’s claim that she had “randomly” sent them out, saying that “in a multi-racial society like Singapore, a name can reveal a person’s race and possibly religion”.

“It is plain (they) were watering down their roles in the commission of the offences,” said the judge.

The case was adjourned until Thursday for mitigation and possible sentencing.

Under the Sedition Act, anything that has a tendency to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore is considered seditious.

For distributing a seditious publication, the couple faces a fine of up to $5,000 and jail for up to three years on each of two charges.