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  ANiC Newsletter: 26 August, 2015 ... pdf version

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ANiC news

ANiC and ACNA events calendar
Aug 21 – Sept 3 – Mission trip to Thailand, organized by AMMiC and Good Shepherd
Sept 2-4 – Vancouver Youth Leadership Conference, 189 W 11 Ave, Vancouver, BC
Sept 27, 5pm - AMMiC will hold its 215 fundraising dinner at Good Shepherd (Vancouver)
Sept 29, 7pm - Ordination of David Pennylegion to the diaconate at Grace Church, Edgewater, PA
Oct 3 & 5 – New Song (Port Perry, ON) hosts workshops on healing
Oct 4, 4pm - Installation service for the Rev Keith Ganzerat Christ The King (Toronto, ON)
Oct 15-17 – Anglican Family Symposium 2015 at Christ Church, Plano
Oct 16-17 – AMMiC-led conference on North American Asian inter-generational issues - Vancouver
Oct 20 – Clergy Day in Vancouver at Good Shepherd
Oct 21-23 – ANiC synod and workshops in Vancouver at Good Shepherd
Jan 21-22 – Anglicans for Life holds Summit and US March for Life
April 7-10 – New Wineskins for Global Mission 2016 conference, Ridgecrest, NC
May 12 – 2016 March for Life
June 21-22 – ACNA Provincial Council at St Andrews Church, Mt Pleasant, SC

Welcome… Kingston, ON!
We joyfully welcome the Rev Christopher and Kathy Doering who are planting an ANiC congregation in Kingston, ON. The first service of Living Waters Anglican Fellowship was held on August 2 with about 40 in attendance. Please uphold this developing work in your prayers, knowing that they are going through the joys and struggles we also experienced in those early days after we left our former denomination to join ANiC. If you live in the area do check it out! Or if you know someone in Kingston, please be sure to pass the word along. Chris+ writes, “Everyone is welcome to join us and share in this new thing that God is doing in the heart of Kingston…” Learn more about this forming church.

ANiC synod registration is open!
You can now register online for synod, clergy day and the workshop day. Those registering for the day of workshops will receive an email prior to synod with instructions explaining how to sign up for your choice of workshops.

David Pennylegion is to be ordained by Bishop Charlie Masters to the diaconate at Grace Church, 325 Church Lane, Edgewater, PA on September 29, 7pm. Archbishop Bob Duncan (bishop of ANiC’s Diocese of Pittsburgh and founding primate of ACNA) will both preach at the ordination and license David to serve as a deacon in Grace Church while he continues his theological studies at nearby Trinity School for Ministry.

We’re all a-Twitter
Yes, for all you Twitter-ers, ANiC has finally joined your ranks. You’ll find us on the Twitter site @AnglicanNetwork. If you wish to reference ANiC in your tweets, please use the hashtag #AnglicanNetwork. And, by the way, if you haven’t yet “liked” ANiC on Facebook, you’ll find us here.

ACNA Provincial Assembly kudos… continued
The last edition of the newsletter failed to mention the many ANiC members working behind the scenes to make the ACNA Assembly in June the great success that it was. Archdeacon Darrell Critch played the keyboard and led the music; Father Jared Driscoll provided support where ever needed; and Canon Paul Donison, ANiC’s Canon for Diocesan Events, devoted hundreds of hours working with ACNA staff to plan the event and make sure everything ran without a hitch. In addition many, many people from Good Shepherd Vancouver – and other local ANiC churches – worked hard to prepare a sumptuous dinner reception and stellar Eucharist service for delegates. Thank you everyone! You did us proud!

Multiplication Tables
For The Table (Victoria, BC) growth is resulting in multiplication. Effective September 20, it will double into two regional campuses. In addition, Cross Roads Peninsula Church has voted to become a Table community in Brentwood Bay. The Rev Josh Wilton likens The Table’s structure to the pomegranate, one piece of fruit containing multiple clusters. So The Table will soon comprise several “clusters” around the Victoria area:
Table North (Saanich) will be pastored by the Rev Andy Withrow,
Table South (downtown Victoria) will be pastored by the Rev Josh Wilton, and
Table Peninsula Project in Brentwood Bay will be pastored by the Rev Jonathan Ellis – who has been ministering with
Bishop Ron Ferris at Church of the Ascension in Langley, BC.

Worthily Magnify: Liturgy explained
Sojourn Church has now completed and posted all 13 short videos in its series exploring various aspects of liturgy. This series, called Worthily Magnify, is available on YouTube.

Healing seminars
New Song (Port Perry, ON) is hosting a unique series of workshops led by the Rev Dr Russell Parker from England, a highly qualified author and speaker on the topic of Christian healing, and a renowned expert in the field of reconciliation. The workshops – held at New Song, (14460 Simcoe St, Port Perry) – will explore both healing and how God continues to speak through dreams.
On Saturday, October 3, Dr Parker will speak and teach on the topic of “Healing Dreams”.
On Monday, October 5, his focus will be on “Healing Wounded Churches and Leaders”.

For more information and registration, see the New Song website and their news release.

AMMiC co-sponsored leadership conference, October 16-17 in Vancouver
AMMiC is co-sponsoring a third conference focused on relational issues between first and second generation Asians in North American churches. Past conferences have been very well received by Asian Canadian church leaders from a range of denominations. The 2015 conference theme is "Equipping Leaders for Two Generations Ministry in the Chinese Canadian Churches”. This conference will be held at Regent College, October 16-17. Conference and registration details will be available soon on the AMMiC website.

AMMiC conference proceedings now published
Over the past few years, Asian and Multicultural Ministries in Canada (AMMiC) has co-sponsored two conferences explored inter-generational relations within Asian churches in North America. These conferences, which were both held at Regent College in Vancouver, drew subject matter experts and theologians from across the continent. Now proceedings of both conferences have been published. Audio recordings of the conference are also available.

AMMiC’s annual fundraising dinner is set for September 27
AMMiC will hold its 2015 fundraising dinner on September 27 at Good Shepherd (Vancouver). The reception starts at 5pm. If you would like to attend this worthwhile event, please RSVP by email.

Parish and regional news
Christ the King (Edmonton, AB) reports on a wonderful second-annual VBS/mission outreach held in Deschambault Lake, SK: “The children were glad to see us again… 40-55 children attended the VBS each day of the week-long program. The Friday evening community supper was well attended with at least 150 plates served! The Wednesday garage sale was also successful. The community looked forward to it and it resulted in some new children coming to VBS for the last two days. In the evenings, we spent time at the church praying for those who stopped by and for the community in general. We also played outside the school with the younger children and held youth meetings for the older children.
“The area is a beautiful part of the Canadian shield: cranes flying over, a wonderful swimming lake. Best of all are the beautiful people of Deschambault Lake. The children steal our hearts each year. Many people who live there have daily struggles which create an urgency for prayer to our Heavenly Father. We praise God for His love and grace for all His children and the wonderful privilege and blessing to spend time serving and encouraging His people at Deschambault Lake.”

Christ The King
(Toronto, ON) – Installation service for the Rev Keith Ganzer is set for Sunday, October 4, at 4pm. All are welcome. And even if you are unable to be present, please remember to pray for this strategic church plant ministry near the heart of Toronto.

Got parish news? Let the rest of us know about it! Email Marilyn.

Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) news

ACNA and Anglican Mission leaders begin to address wrongs and seek forgiveness
Recently, ACNA and Anglican Mission (formerly AMiA) leaders met and anticipate further meetings. Their statement reads in part: “In our conversations at this meeting, we experienced many requests for forgiveness for past actions and words. With surprising and encouraging depth, forgiveness was extended in both directions for many things. We agreed to continue conversations to develop godly relationships that fully honor Christ. We are committed to comprehensively addressing the offenses of the past in a similar fashion to the way that we addressed the first issues dealt with today.” ANiC’s Bishop Trevor Walters, a certified mediator, served in that capacity for this meeting.

Primate on official visit to Patriarch of Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow
Earlier this week, at the invitation of Patriarch Kirill, our Primate Archbishop Foley Beach led a delegation from the ACNA to Moscow for formal ecumenical meetings with the Russian Orthodox Church. While in Moscow, they also met with Metorpolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations. Read more on the ACNA website and in Anglican Ink.

New Wineskins’ 2016 mission conference is open for registration
Registration is now open for the New Wineskins’ 2016 conference, April 7-10 at Ridgecrest, North Carolina. These annual conferences are highlights for global mission-minded Anglicans. Speakers include both global and North American Anglican leaders. A parallel youth-oriented missions conference is also planned. For more information and registration, see the New Wineskins website. With ANiC’s ministry priorities including “On Mission”, this conference might help fuel our passion and open our eyes to what God is doing in our world and how we can join our Lord in His mission.

Forward in Faith elects new president
With Bishop Keith Ackerman stepping down, Forward in Faith North America has elected the Rev Canon Lawrence Bausch as its new president.

Permanent home for St James Anglican (formerly of Newport Beach, CA)
A local newspaper reports that ACNA’s St James is renovating and moving into a building in Costa Mesa. The congregation was forced by a court decision to leave its long time building in Newport Beach in 2013. Ironically, the congregation that subsequently used the Newport Beach building was locked out by the Bishop of Los Angeles in May of this year as he attempts to sell the property to developers.

Are you missing out?
You can sign up for our Province’s quarterly magazine, The Apostles, on the ACNA website.

The battle for the family
Canon David Roseberry discusses the centrality of family to God’s Story and why it is to be nurtured and cherished, especially now that it is under siege as never before. An Anglican Family Symposium is planned for October 16-17 at Christ Church (Plano, TX).

ACNA members join the protests against abortion mills’ traffic in baby parts
In response to the continuing series of horrific videos exposing Planned Parenthoods abortion and selling of body parts of those aborted babies, an estimated 40,000 people across the US joined the protest on August 22. Among them were about 850 ACNA members in the Washington, DC area, led by Bishop John Guernsey. Jeff Walton gives more details.

Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and Anglican Communion news

GAFCon Chairman’s pastoral letter
In his July-August pastoral letter, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala (Kenya) condemns the US Episcopal Church while praising the ACNA for its initiatives to minister to the poor as well as develop theological resources related to marriage, family and singleness. He writes: “…parts of the Church are becoming increasingly bold in speaking what they have learned from listening to the world rather than listening to the Scriptures and the witness of the Church through two millennia. The problem TEC in particular continues to pose for the rest of the Communion was highlighted by another but less reported resolution from its 2015 General Convention, A051, ‘Support LGBT African Advocacy’ which mandates that Church to spread its ideas to Africa. In the light of this resolution it is increasingly difficult to see what purpose the dialogue of Continuing Indaba and associated projects… can serve except as a means, even if unintentional, by which TEC can promote further confusion and division around the Communion.”

GAFCon Primates take on fight against corruption in Africa
Anglican Ink reports that members of the GAFCon Primates Council are leading the fight against corruption in their own countries – including GAFCon chairman Archbishop Eliud Wabukala (Kenya) and the deputy chairman, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh (Nigeria).

International news in brief

Trinity Western University is in court once again, beginning on August 24, defending its right to establish a law school. The proposal has run in opposition due to the Christian ethic that informs the school’s community covenant, specifically the prohibition on sex outside of traditional marriage. LifeSiteNews has more background. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada blog provides suggestions on how we can pray. Please do pray!

The Government of Canada appointed an expert panel to examine the Supreme Court of Canada’s assisted suicide decision, consult with Canadians, and make recommendations to the government. Learn more about how you can make your voice heard. The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian Medical Association is preparing an “…intensive two-day course for physicians who are willing to help a patient die” and are now meeting with doctors in the Netherlands for guidance. · The Government of Quebec has begun hearings on a proposed “hate speech” bill which some fear could suppress politically incorrect, Biblical views on matters like sexual ethics and abortion.

Bishop David Parsons, of the Anglican Church of Canada’s (ACoC) Diocese of the Arctic, reports that “31 of our 48 communities do not have clergy even though we are blessed to have faithful, dedicated lay leaders, who lead and care for their congregations.” He adds, “We hope to soon have the Arthur Turner Training College back into operation to ensure that our children and communities have Godly mentors to lead them into the future.”

The Anglican Journal reports that the ACoC’s Indigenous bishops have submitted a statement to the ACoC commission charged with changing the marriage canon. This statement acknowledges “…disagreement among elders as to what the response should be if the church were to change its canons”. It can be read here. You can learn more about the commission’s work related to the marriage canon here.

The ACoC is moving to establish a fifth internal province for its indigenous adherents.

The ACoC’s Bishop Dennis Drainville (Diocese of Quebec) announced his intention to retire in 2017. A coadjutor bishop is to be elected at the diocesan synod November 26-29.

The Guardian reports that “North Korea has released footage of a Canadian pastor confessing before a Pyongyang church congregation that he had committed crimes against the state. Hyeon Soo Lim, of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, travelled to North Korea in January on a routine humanitarian visit. He has been detained since February.”

United States
David Virtue documents and comments on how leading evangelicals within the US Episcopal Church are “caving” on doctrines and practices relates same-sex unions.

It is reported that “Approximately 887 places of worship have been placed on the critical list due to their need of repairs and a dramatic decline in church attendance.”

In an interview, the Rev Nicky Gumbel discusses Holy Trinity Brompton’s (HTB) vision for “the evangelization of the nations, the revitalization of the Church and the transformation of society… 5,000 people attend one of the church’s ten services across four locations every weekend”. Also, “HTB has been in the business of breathing fresh life into Anglican churches that are on the brink of closure... Currently, 27 church plants and partnerships are listed on HTB’s website.” In one church plant, “a congregation exceeding 500 has grown up from scratch within six months” – some of which are outside the UK. The Rev Gumbel’s primary focus is on raising and releasing leaders. St Mellitus, HTB’s training college has grown to 170 ordinands and is based on a model of training within churches rather than in academic institutions.

Anglican Ink reports that “More than 10 million people visited Cathedrals in England in 2014… Research shows that the highest motivating factors for Cathedral attendance were peace and contemplation, worship and music and friendly atmosphere. In 2014 the average number of adults and children attending Cathedral services each week was 36,000. This has increased by more than a fifth in the last decade.”

The Anglican chaplaincy of Greater Athens is active in caring for hundreds of Afghan refugees literally camped in Athens. See the photos here.

Syria and Iraq
The UN has confirmed that the Islamic State has gone so far as to create a standardized price list for women and girls they have enslaved based on the age of the sex slave. The younger the girl, the more money is demanded. The Islamic State is reported to have executed 19 enslaved women in Mosul in early August for their refusal to have sex with jihadi fighters.

International Christian Concern reports that the Islamic State kidnapped at least 230 more civilians – many of them Christians – after capturing a town in the central Syrian province of Homs following heavy fighting with the Syrian army. The Islamic State seems to be targeting communities where Christians are concentrated.

Canon Andrew White’s work – helping refugees in Jordan by providing food, accommodation, health care and education – is featured in a 30-minute video.

Amnesty International reports that Iran has executed nearly 700 prisoners since the beginning of 2015 – many from religious minorities, for the crime of “enmity against God”.

Archbishop Mouneer Anis has written a laudatory – and interesting – news release praising the just completed one-year massive expansion of the Suez Canal – funded entirely by the eager investments of Egyptian citizens. The project, a source of great pride to Egyptians – doubles the capacity of the canal and allows two-way transit of ships. He concludes with a request: “Please pray for Egypt at this time when they work with one hand and fight terrorism with the other hand.”

The BBC reports that Boko Haram militants attacked a village in the northeast just as villagers were preparing to attend evening prayers. At least 60 were killed, many of them children. The report states that “Close to 1,000 people have been killed by Boko Haram since President Muhammadu Buhari took over in May.”

Anglican Mainstream carries an encouraging first person account by Paul and Christine Perkin of their recent visit to Nigeria where they witnessed the reality of violence against Christians. They write, “…the attacks on Christians and churches, for all the misleading spin in some of our Western media… are decisively anti-Christian and instigated by militant extremists in the name of Islam.” However, they add, the Christians’ zeal and joy are palpable.

Archbishop Justin Welby has formally apologized for the mistreatment of Nigerian-born Bishop Samuel Crowther, considered the father of Anglicanism in Nigeria. In the 1880s, his ministry was shamefully undermined and then systematically dismantled by racially prejudiced Caucasian Anglicans.

The Institute on Religion and Democracy blog carries first-hand accounts from survivors of Muslim attacks on churches in Northern Nigeria which portray the amazing courage of Nigerian Christians who attend church never knowing if the congregation will be attacked by Islamists or if they will survive to see another Sunday.

Nigerian church leaders who recently visited North America chastised western Christians and governments for our indifference to the suffering of Nigerians at the hands of Muslim extremists.

South Sudan
There are reports that a peace deal has been signed by the warring factions in the 20-month civil war. Pray for lasting peace so refugees can return home and rebuild their lives.

The two Christian pastors held for months on trumped up charges, and facing possible execution, have been released from prison and have returned safely home to the South Sudan. Please keep praying for the persecuted Christians in Sudan.

Reuters reports that, early in August, Boko Haram militants attacked a village in northern Cameroon near the Nigerian border, killing at least eight and kidnapping about 100. In July, the Islamists had targeting a nearby area with suicide bombings, killing dozens of people.

Anglican Ink reports that Archbishop Daniel Sarfo, primate of West Africa, is calling on clergy to “…denounce public corruption from the pulpits... By making a bold and concerted effort to shame corrupt politicians, the churches of Ghana can prevent the country’s collapse”.

Bishop Victor Atta Baffoe (Cape Coast) denounced western pressure on African governments to embrace homosexuality, a practice he called foreign and alien.

There is fear that changes to the country’s proposed constitution could result in all Christian activity in the country becoming illegal. News reports indicate that “…attempting to convert someone to another religion is already prohibited in Nepal, but the proposed amendments would mean that anything perceived as "evangelistic" could be punishable by law.”

Following torrential rains, high winds and flooding, the Church of Myanmar has been on the front lines of providing relief supplies. Archbishop Stephen Than Myint Oo has requested prayer and support.

North Korea
In order to quell growing discontent and unrest, the government has issued an order “…restricting people from ‘engaging in unnecessary chatter’ and ‘sitting in groups of three or more”.

International Christian Concern reports that every year at least 1000 women – Christian and Hindu – are kidnapped, raped and forcibly married to their Muslim captors.

Fox News reports that Pakistani Christians, fleeing persecution, are experiencing abysmal treatment in Thailand, where they have sought refuge.

The National Post reports that “Authorities in southeastern Zhejiang province are believed to be under a two-month deadline to remove crosses from the spires, vaults, roofs and wall arches of the 4,000 or so churches that dot the landscape of this economically thriving region. In a rare move, even China’s semi-official Christian associations — which are supposed to ensure the ruling Communist Party’s control over Protestant and Catholic groups — have denounced the campaign as unconstitutional and humiliating.” There is speculation that the demolitions are approved, if not directed, by the highest government levels, with Zhegiang serving as a trial run.

Hong Kong
The Provincial Secretary of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (the Anglican Church in Hong Kong) is drawing fire for his outspoken political comments which are seen to be politically motivated – pro-Beijing and anti-democracy. The Hong Kong Economic Journal writes, “…why is it that the number two in the local Anglican Church hierarchy remains silent on the Chinese government’s recent move to demolish Christian churches in Wenzhou? …Many young Anglicans feel embarrassed about the things Koon is saying in the media. They believe that the Church should fight for justice and truth, rather than follow the official line of China’s ruling Communist Party… He should speak for the persecuted Christians of China…”

Perhaps in response to this criticism, Archbishop Paul Kwong expressed his sadness in a recent diocesan publication over the removal of more than 1200 church crosses and the demolition of church buildings in Zhejiang state. Archbishop Kwong said he would write government officials registering his concern.

Anglican Ink reports that the primate of the Church of the Province of South East Asia, Archbishop Bolly Lapok is calling for prayer for the nation in response to government-sponsored persecution of Christians.

Read the short faith-building account of how God hid Bibles in plain site as a faithful Christian risked prison and torture by smuggling the forbidden Bibles to remote areas of Vietnam.

Three new missionary bishops were consecrated in Peru by Archbishop Héctor Zavala (South America) – the first indigenous Anglican bishops in the country.

According to its Primate, “The Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB) will be the next member of the Anglican Communion to amend its liturgy to make marriage gender neutral.” ‘

A good article in The Guardian documents global persecution of Christians and highlighting some of the most dangerous countries in which to be a Christian. While, a Wall Street Journal article likens the dogged indifference of western governments to the persecution – even extermination – of Middle East Christians to what happened prior to and at the beginning of the holocaust. It makes a compelling case for open our doors to these refugees.

Resources for ministry

Church music
A new book suggests three errors of musical style that can stifle local church community: 1) difficult to sing, 2) limited emotional breadth, and 3) performance-oriented.

Assessing the church
Ligonier Ministries offers five marks of a church. How does your church measure up?

Pastors, do you feel guilty praying and studying the Word on the job?
This author writes that pastors are to be like icebergs. “…whatever public ministry he engages in (that bit above the surface) needs to be built upon a lifetime of preparation, growth, character, learning, and reliance on God (the mass under the surface)… a pastor must carve out time to grow, and that is part of his job… giving yourself to the word and prayer is your job…” Unfortunately, “… most pastors will be tempted to fill up their week with a lot of work that doesn’t allow them to grow deep in God.”

How to seek out a mentor
Russell Moore provides advice for finding a mentor/discipler.

Servant leader
Matt Perman offers seven characteristics of servant leadership.

Church revitalization
This article suggests eight characteristics of churches that have been successfully revitalized. It is interesting to consider these in light of the history of many of our ANiC congregations. Is your church half way there?

30 lessons from 30 years
Canon David Roseberry reflects on what he has learned in the 30 years since founding Christ Church Plano.

Church planting
Pastor Tim Keller offers a strong Biblical rationale for planting churches.

Church websites
Here’s a great article with a list of ways your church website can more effectively serve the unchurched (with examples).

Free online Bible courses
An ANiC member has kindly recommended this site which offers a tremendous number of free online Bible courses.

Here are ideas on how to welcome – and keep welcoming – newcomers to church.

Exposing children to the gritty parts of Scripture
This article discusses the tricky question of if, how and when to expose children to the many raw, often unsavory accounts in Scripture.

Resources for Christian living

39 Articles
Canon Phil Ashey, in his continuing series of short videos, discusses Article 21 “Of the Authority of General Councils”– part 1 and part 2. Also watch Article 22, “Of Purgatory”.

A new book by Chuck Collins on Anglicanism and the history of the Anglican Communion comes highly recommended.

Bishop Bill Atwood has written an engaging article on the critical importance of intercessory prayer. He concludes with two points:

I would strongly encourage anyone who is in leadership in ministry to organize some people to pray for them… Organizing intercessory prayer for your rector, bishop, archbishop and those in leadership is a tremendously valuable thing to do. I hope you will reach out to others in your setting and if you are not organized for prayer, get started!”

This weekend in theaters (cinemas) in the USA a new Christian film is coming out. It is called “War Room.” It depicts the nerve center of prayer taking place in the heart of intercessory prayer... I’m expecting it to be great and inspiring.” War Room comes from the creators of the movies Fireproof and Courageous and is in theatres August 28 in the US and September 18 in Canada.

Biblically grounded
Are you keen to advance your Biblical literacy? Ryle Theological College in Ottawa is offering great courses this fall.

Bible translations
Check out a short humorous look at Bible translations. Do you agree?

Drawing from his own denomination’s experience, Dr Albert Mohler discusses the link between the doctrine Scriptural inerrancy and succumbing to cultural accommodation. He says, “The lesson — once a church or denomination is untethered from the inerrancy of the Bible, there is no brake on the relativizing effects of cultural pressure.”

Adam? Really?
Does it matter if there was a historical Adam? William Vandoodewaard says yes. “The teaching of God’s Word is at stake... God’s character is at stake. The gospel of Jesus Christ is at stake. Accepting an Adam with evolutionary origins immediately impacts what it means to be human, created by God in His image. It opens a Pandora’s box of theological problems…” He continues… “The underlying problem [of theological liberalism] is the capitulation to reading Scripture through the lens of this world’s culture and thought, rather than reading culture and thought through the lens of Scripture… orthodoxy is the whole counsel of God’s Word. Our job is to be committed to being conformed to Christ, to the Word, in all things. This should be our passion and joy, pursued in love for Christ, His church, and a world in desperate need of the complete gospel.” Learn more here. What do you think?

Is church optional?
With many marginalizing the church, this author explains why we need more church, not less.

Kids in church
A Mother writes a blog post that attacks the idea that churches need to entertain kids. Do you agree?

How to encourage your pastor
Kevin DeYoung says the best way to encourage our pastors is to tell them how their sermons are helping you grow in your walk with the Lord.

Family devotions
Tim Challies shares his experience of keeping it simple, short and sweet.

Sleep and revival
Learn what sleep and revival have in common.

Me? An idol?
Don’t think you have an idol? Think again.

Giants of the faith
Reading biographies of Christian heroes is a marvelous way to build our faith. Here’s a short article on Hudson Taylor.

How you can know you are a Christian?
Bedeviled by doubt? This short article will help.

How do we become like Christ? By gazing on Him in Scripture. Learn more.

Reflecting on providence
Learn how and why to reflect on God’s providence in our lives.

Tips for sharing your faith
Through a series of blog posts, Come to Reason Ministries provides eight tips for sharing your faith.

Are you weak enough for God to use?
Why is it that when God wants to use us, he often begins by weakening us? This article, based on the Bible’s account of Gideon, helps us see setbacks in light of God’s desire for us to be fully dependent upon Him.

2 billion Bibles!
The Gideons International has distributing more than 2 billion Bibles and New Testaments. The organization, which was founded in 1908, took 93 years to distribute the first 1 billion and only 14 years to give out the 2nd billion. Let's praise God for The Gideons and for what God is accomplishing in transforming hearts and lives through the reading of His Word.

Is your testimony boring?
If you were raised in a Christian home and came to faith as a child, you might think your testimony is boring. However, consider God’s providence in bringing you into a godly home. Consider His work in bringing your parents – and perhaps their parents – to faith. Your testimony to God’s grace and providence goes back before you were born, perhaps a long way back. Know your family history. Mark God’s goodness at every branch of your family tree. And make sure your children and their children know their family story and also have “boring” testimonies with deep roots and sturdy trunks. Read more here.

Loving our neighbours in our apartment buildings

Here are some great ideas for intentionally building relationships and loving our neighbours, especially for apartment dwellers.

The worth of children
This article examines the historic view of children and how the advent of Christianity elevated their status and gave them worth. As we move into a post-Christian culture, we are seeing this worth diminished and children increasingly being viewed in a utilitarian fashion. Abortion is justified based on our convenience, child pornography is pervasive, acceptance of pedophilia is growing in some circles, and some are even advocating infanticide.

More gut-wrenching abortion exposé videos have been released. The latest exposes the harvesting of body parts from fetuses whose hearts are still beating. Australian Anglican blogger Steven Kryger writes, “Never before has the evil of abortion been so unavoidably visible to so many people. And this is a good thing.” His Communicate Jesus blog provides links to 5 other important videos on abortion, including an outstanding sermon clip from Pastor Matt Chandler. Justin Taylor on the Gospel Coalition website has compiled links as well, first to the abortion sting videos, but also to resources to help us take action, as well as help for those needing healing from abortion.

Who’s the bigot?
See Adam Ford’s web comic on Christians being called bigots for their stand for Biblical sexual morality. And a second comic applying the Gospel to the debate.

Tim Challies poignantly reflects on “keeping up with the Jones” vs radical generosity.

It is no secret
Have you heard the song, “It is no secret what God can do”? Eric Metaxas tells how Billy Graham, John Wayne, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley all played a part in the genesis of this song – the first to reach top spot on each of the Gospel, Country and Pop charts.

Soul food

The true convert does not receive the gospel as an addition to his previous life, but in exchange for it. ~Paul Washer
Holiness is not freedom from temptation, but power to overcome temptation. ~G Campbell Morgan
Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones. ~Phillips Brooks

And now a Word from our Sponsor
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:5b-11 ESV

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