Tag Archives: Christians

Equipping Ministries

We hope you will find great encouragement, wisdom, and support from the following web sites.  If you have any suggestions for others sites that should be listed here, please email us.

 

hanegraaff

CRI – The Bible Answer Man

 

Hank Hannagraff is the host of the nationally syndicated Bible Answer Man radio broadcast, heard daily across the U.S. and Canada or online at www.equip.org. Visit the CRI site to catch up on broadcasts were he answers questions to equip Christians to be so familiar with truth that when approached by counterfeits, they recognize them instantaneously. You can call in your questions at 1-800-ASK-HANK and listen for thoughtful, biblically sound response.

 

ravi_zachariasRZIM

Visit Ravi Zacharias at RZIM as he and his team work tirelessly to reach and challenge those who shape the ideas of a culture with the credibility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Distinctive in its strong evangelistic and apologetic foundation, the ministry of RZIM is intended to touch both the heart and the intellect of the thinkers and influencers of society through the support of the visionary leadership of Ravi Zacharias.

 

 

The Way of the Master

According the their website, 150,000 people die every 24 hours—most without the Savior. Statistics show that as few as 5% of Christians reach out to the lost because many don’t feel equipped. Their ministry’s sole purpose is to inspire and equip Christians—to teach them how to share the gospel simply, effectively, biblically . . . the way Jesus did.

 

 

pluggedinFocus On The Family’s PluggedIn online is a great family, friendly site to get the latest on movie, tv shows, song, and game reviews. These reviews will help you decide what movies, programs, music, and entertainment are right for you & your family. Check out their site and download the app to your mobile device and always be equipped!

 

Visit them now and get equipped!

 

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Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) – Chris Tomlin

God is looking for imperfect men and women who have learned to walk in moment-by-moment dependence on the Holy Spirit. Christians who have come to terms with their inadequacies, fears, and failures. Believers who have become discontent with ‘surviving’ and have taken the time to investigate everything God has to offer in this life. – Charles Stanley

 

Desperate Days

My soft-hearted receptionist came back to tell me there was a lady in real need in our reception area and she didn’t want to just send her away empty handed.

I met with Nancy.  It’s hard to know how best to help at times. Is this person just begging for a living or is this a real need?  It’s sad, but I have to deal with these questions and make difficult choices at times.

Nancy had a very sad story.  No place to live, no money, mental illness and a 16 year old daughter. The only way I can imagine it worse is if she had cancer!  She was desperate for help of some kind.  This is happening more often than we want to admit.  These are desperate days.

In case you’re wondering, yes I helped Nancy and her daughter.  It’s what we do as Christ followers, isn’t it?  It’s why people come to us for help because they know that Christians are supposed to help and we are, we should, we must.  In desperate times like these there is nothing more important than showing the love God extends us by extending it to others.

This spirit of caring comes because God has cared for us.  It’s a response to God’s love for us that makes us reach out to others.  Some are selling their homes, moving into smaller homes and using the extra money to help others.  Others are looking for different ways to help those in need. The love of Christ is motivating them to share what God has given them with those in need.

This is how Jesus fed the multitudes.  He gave the bread and fish to the disciples who then gave it to the crowds.  He made them “middle men” for his provision.  He does the same with us in our day.  We are his “middle men and women” sharing what God has given us with those in need, both spiritually and physically.  
In desperate days like these the love of Christ in us is revealed most clearly as we help those who have nowhere else to go.  The love of God moves us to action just as it did God when he gave to us,  “For God so loved the world he gave….”

Giving out of love is the very nature of our Father.  As his children we have this same heart, a heart of love that gives.  Pray for an opportunity to share the love of God with those in need around you.   Desperate days give us opportunities to show how glorious the love of God is for those in need of both food and faith.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Ministries On A Mission

 

Not A Fan

Join the hundreds of people who have made the commitment to be more than just a fan…

People who are completely, committed, followers of Jesus not just admirers. When we decide to follow Him, He calls for a complete commitment and total surrender. Join those who say, “I am not a fan of Jesus”.

 

 

I Am Second

I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others whether your a celebrity or the girl/guy-next door. You can chat, call, or email 24/7.

 

 

Doctors Without Borders

These dedicated men and women work in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation.

 

International Justice Mission

The International Justice Mission is a human rights agency with a vision to rescue victims of slavery, protect the vulnerable from sexual exploitation, and provide protection for victims of other forms of violent oppression.

 

 

Living Waters // The Way of The Master

Their mission is to equip Christians in fulfilling the Great Commission using very effective media. Matt 28:16-20

 

Open Doors

Their mission to help those living or facing restriction and persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ, and to encourage their involvement in world evangelism through Bible distribution and education.

 

Voice Of The Martyrs

Helping Christians persecuted for their involvement in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ by providing medical assistance, food, clothing, and other forms of aid.

 

Samaritans Purse

Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.

 

World Vision

This Christian humanitarian organization is dedicated to serving children and families in nearly 100 countries providing assistance and  serving as advocates for justice.

woundedwarrior Wounded Warrior Project
Consider giving to this dedicated organization raising awareness for the needs of injured service members returning home; to help those injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

 

cultivateCultivate Leadership

Cultivate Leadership is focused on growing leaders for global impact.  Their hope is to equip future leaders to make positive contributions in the lives of others.

 

He Knows The Hairs On Our Head

Below is an amazing video by Yale scientist, Alexander Tsiaras, who is part artist, part technologist whose work explores the unseen human body, developing scientific visualization software to enable him to “paint” the human anatomy.

In his own words, “Even though I am a mathematician, I look at [fetal development] with marvel: How do these instruction sets not make mistakes as they build what is us?” and “The magic of the mechanisms inside each genetic structure saying exactly where that nerve cell should go — the complexity of these mathematical models is beyond human comprehension.”

But we, as Christians, know that answer to that marvel! We know that it is our God, Creator all who is at the center of all this complexity, all that is ‘beyond human comprehension’. Just makes me smile!! 🙂

Contemplate on Psalm 139:13-16 as you watch this amazing video!

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

But even the hairs of your head are all numbered! Do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. ~Luke 12:7

The Solution To Everything

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;  and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”  -Ephesians 5:1-2

Christians are often criticized for being critical….and we are.

Christians are called judgmental…and too often we are.

Christians can come across “better than thou” at times….but we aren’t.

There is much to criticize about the community called Christian, but the solution to all of it is in two simple verses in Ephesians.

Honestly, we were never called to be fruit inspectors judging the deeds of those in the world.  We were never asked to set the rules for everyone to follow.  Jesus never admonished us to be the morality police for the communities we live in.  He only asked us to do one thing….love one another.

That is the solution to everything!  If the Christian world would simply live by these two simple verses and not try to fix the world with our code of ethics we would in fact fix the world with the love of Christ.

How do we so easily miss this?  We miss it because it’s hard.  People are messy, dirty, mean, unkind…they don’t do things the way we want them to.  People are hard to love, but that’s our primary task.  If the Christian world would simply love those around them it would be the solution to everything.

No more signs in front of abortion clinics, instead we would be loving and helping the young girls in our communities so the abortion clinic would never be an option.

No more focus on changing laws,  instead we would love those around us and as they trust Christ because of that love the community around us changes.

There are a hundred more I could mention and they are all easier than loving the unlovely, but our task is to love….just as Christ loved us.

If we lived by these two simple verses it would be the solution to everything.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

The Fragrance of Life

2 Cor. 2:15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16  to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?

“We are a fragrance of Christ.”  What an amazing thought.  God has scented us as Christians to be a fragrance of Christ in the world around us.  You don’t have to tell anyone you are a Christian, they can “smell” it.  We have an aroma.  It’s the presence of God, of live in us that gives off a scent to everyone we meet.

I have often been with someone who didn’t know I was a Christian and shortly in the visit they will ask, “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?”  They can “smell” us!  But what is it they smell?  What is the fragrance we give off?  It’s the fragrance of life.  It’s a scent that isn’t common on our planet where everything dies.  The only smell we know is the stench of death, but when the perfume of life shows up it’s a smell everyone knows.  It’s a smell that reveals something the world is missing.

For the Christian, as they “smell” the presence of another believer, they smell the sweet fragrance of life.  Another person who has life living in them, the presence of God. It’s a sweet fragrance and a wonderful reminder of the life we share.

For the world, as they “smell” the presence of a Christian, it highlights the reality to them that they don’t have life, they live in death.  It’s a fearful awaking for their senses.  It’s a smell they don’t like, a realization of their lack.  Often it’s the reason those in the world disdain Christians….we remind them of the truth that they do not have life, but simply await the final death.

Without a word the presence of a Christian communicates that life is available, that we have something the world lacks.  Without a word the world “smells” the presence of life in us.  This witness of the fragrance of life calls us to a Godly lifestyle because the world is watching, their noses know who we are, it’s critical we live to the glory of God because we can’t hide who we are.  The world around us, by the fragrance of life that comes from our very presence, knows we are Christians.

Live your life well, your fragrance precedes you…..the world already knows who you are.  Live in a way that glorifies the one who gave you life. Know that the fragrance of life oozes from your very presence and witnesses to the life you have.  Live as a child of life that the world will be drawn to the one who gave us life.  And never forget…..the fragrance of life precedes you as walk through your days.

 

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Sowing Seed, Seeing Fruit

There is an interesting parable that Jesus told about a farmer and his field. It was really a story about the word of God and our lives. Here’s the story explained to the disciples,

Mark 4:13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.  Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Any farmer worth his pay will know that if you don’t put seed in the ground you will never see a harvest. Somehow, in our day, many Christians I meet don’t believe this is true. They have the strange idea that somehow God should just make fruit grow in their lives without any attempt on their part to, 1. put some seed in the ground or, 2. to be a field that can grow something.

The story Jesus told speaks to an interesting reality- it’s easy to get distracted and end up without any fruit in your life. There’s a lot that catches a life and makes it unproductive. If you know that you will realize how important this sowing seed thing really is.

Here’s another thing to note- all this soil, these different kinds of soil, are all in the same field….in the same life. I have times when nothing grows and other times and places in my life that are wonderfully fruitful. It’s all part of a life lived with distractions. A life lived in a fallen world.

But the key for me is this- I have to throw some seed in my field! If I don’t do that then nothing can grow. In other words I have to get into God’s word and read it! If I don’t put his word in my mind, in my heart then the world will put it’s seeds there. My life is like that field, ready to grow whatever I throw on the soil. It doesn’t care what kind of seed it is, it’s job is to produce fruit. And so, each life will see a harvest. Some rich with produce and other lives full of thorns and loss.

The key for me is this- that I get God’s word into my life, my field. If I do that then God can make something grow….there’s a harvest coming. There will be a harvest IF I plant good seed.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Blurred Vision

“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!”

These words are from Paul’s pen in 1 Corinthians 13. He’s writing to describe our vision problem. You see we all see poorly when it comes to the things of God and the reality of what is going on around us. We all find ourselves near-sighted. The things of God and the truths about our world are fuzzy at best. With our vision problems we often can only see shadows and shapes.

There is a desire to see clearly, but our vision problems will only be resolved at last when we see the Lord face to face. In the meantime we have to use glasses. We have to have help to see. In our world we all know what glasses look like. They are used to correct our vision problems.

In spiritual things most of us have no idea what “spiritual glasses” look like. The fact is that without them none of us can see clearly. The “spiritual glasses” we need to see well is God’s word, the bible. This is the correction for our near-sighted vision. God’s word is meant to give us clear vision about the things of life, reality, relationship and the future. Only his word can give us 20/20 vision.

Many continue to deny they need glasses as they look at shapes and shadows describing them in this way, “It looks like…”, “It could be….” and with great and grand words and a knowing tone they wax eloquent on things they can only see dimly, things that are at best fuzzy.

What’s sad to me is that many Christians believe the near-sighted men of the world rather than wear the glasses of God’s word. They trust those can only guess instead of looking clearly through the lens of God’s word to see what really is. Jesus once healed a man of blindness who said, “I see men, but they look like trees.” Jesus once more touched him until he could see clearly. God wants us to see clearly and that vision correction only comes through his word.

We are all near-sighted. We all live with blurred vision. We all need glasses to see clearly. The only glasses that will ever give us clarity to see the way things really are is God’s word. When you can’t see clearly go to the bible and you will find you suddenly have 20/20 vision.

 

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

What Child Is This? – Josh Groban

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Living On A Twisted Planet

One of my favorite books is a poorly written fiction by Harold Myra titled “Escape from the twisted planet.” It’s a fascinating picture of life on a twisted planet and what it might be like on planets where sin never happened. The reason I love the book is the visions it paints of what life might be like without sin’s pervasive influence and destroying impact. All around us, like fish in water, sin pervades all we know, all we experience. It would be difficult to imagine life without the destructive nature of sin in us and in the world around us.

If we eliminated all the jobs that deal with sin and its impact on the culture most of us would be out of work! We are used to it all, but just imagine what it would be like without all that sin has done- no prisons, no police, no hospitals, no doctors, no nurses, no congress to make laws, no courts to enforce them, no traffic signs, no fear, no anger, no jealousy, no hurts emotionally or physically, and on goes the list. If we were to make a complete list of what sin has done to us it would be much longer than you could possibly imagine! Living on a twisted planet is difficult, but it’s all we know.

Go with me for moment to a place where sin has not touched its inhabitants. It’s hard because we can’t imagine such a place, but let’s take a moment and travel to a planet that sin has not affected. The people there have no worries, no one is there to hurt them, steal from them, or reject them. There’s no fear, no pain, no jealousy, no peer pressure, none of the things that are woven into our very natures on this world. It’s hard to imagine because, like those fish, we can’t conceive of a place without water, or a world without sin’s pervasive influence.

Sin has been much more destructive to us as humans than we could possibly imagine. Even as a Christian the pull of sin in my life is still strong. I constantly battle with sin’s influence and invitation.

Paul tells us that we, as Christians, are citizens of another kingdom. A kingdom sin has not touched, a world as God designed it in the beginning…..perfect. When I use the word perfect what I mean is a place that has not been twisted by the work on sin. It’s a kingdom coming soon, a country on the horizon that promises and provides joy, peace, happiness, compassion, kindness, caring, community like you have never known. It’s a kingdom we all long for, a place apart from the twisted planet that has left us bankrupt because of sin’s work on our little broken world. It’s a kingdom I’m thrilled to be a citizen of and can’t wait to see. Soon we will escape from this twisted planet and discover what life was meant to be. I look forward to the day when this twisted planet is set right by God’s return to claim his people and his planet. As John writes at the end of the book of Revelation, “Come, Lord Jesus, Come!”

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Christian Tools

Check out BibleStudyTools.com ... one of , if not the, largest free online Bible website for Bible verse search and in-depth studies. This great site includes over 30 Bible translations with parallel comparison, an Interlinear Bible, and encyclopedia. Go ahead…take the plunge and dive deeper into His Word!!

 

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Looking to find out more about to best evaluate charities to support? Try visiting Charity Navigator, one of the largest online charity evaluators available and a truly responsible way to be a good steward of all His blessings!

 

Be sure to check out their page for important tips before giving.

Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors

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Free E-books:

GlobalChristians is a website of courses and resources dedicated to empowering churches and “mustard-seed ministries” especially in the developing world.

 

Current free e-book is The English Standard Version (ESV) Bible…an essentially literal Bible translation that combines word-for-word precision and accuracy with literary excellence, beauty, and depth of meaning.
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Visit the eChristian website to view Christian audiobooks, ebooks, videos and more.

 

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Christian Starter Kit

Link to free e-book on the

 Twelve basic studies for beginning Christians

 

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Without

The words of a commentary come to mind this morning as I start my day, “The best word to describe someone who has not trusted Christ as savior is ‘without.'” It’s part of a commentary on the book of Ephesians. As those words came to me early this morning I thought, what would be on the list of the things that someone would be without? What is the man or woman missing if they don’t trust Christ?

The world would say that if you become a Christian “you will really miss out.” The implication is that there is a lot of good sinning to be had and if you become one of those Christians you can’t “have fun.” But, I wonder, what would be on the list of the things a person without Christ would be without. Here’s a few as I think about this,

1. without hope
2. without a promise
3. without a future
4. without God
5. without peace
6. without joy
7. without direction

I’m working on the list, but those few come to mind in a moment of typing. It strikes me that if you are without Christ you are without a future, without direction, without a promise, without God in the world. Instead of “missing out on the fun” the Christian is really the most blessed of people because they are no longer “without.”

The body of Christ

Being a Christian has advantages. The big one for me is the community that happens as Christians gather. “One another” life happens. We begin to care for one another, love one another, pray for one another, help one another and on the list goes.

Community happens. Love is demonstrated. Life together happens. Caring for others becomes important. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to live a solitary life without a community to care for you, but many do. Sadly, they are missing out on one of the great blessings of the body of Christ.

As I near the last third of my life, I find that the church family, the community of faith called Christians, is vital to me. I’m part of something bigger than myself, something that bridges centuries and goes forward into eternity. I’m part of a family I get to spend eternity with.

Public vs. Private

This morning I read an article by an atheist writer. I like to read his thoughts because he makes me think. Of course I have to sort through the anger, harsh words and bitterness that comes from his past, but he has a lot to say. This morning his topic was public prayer. His arguments were compelling to argue that we should not be busy about public prayer, but pray privately. So, I began to think about the broader picture. What about me should be public? What should be private? Should all of my life be lived for the public square or should some of my life of faith be private for only God to see?

Those questions began to rumble about in me this morning after a time of rest from the long trip to Kenya and back. We all live in cultures where we become numb to the cultural nuances of our faith lived in a society. Not everything we believe is correct. Not everything we do is right, so how should I live? What about me should be private? What should the world see? Continue reading Public vs. Private