World Vision Corrects Course

world-vision-01

I was so grateful to see World Vision’s announcement yesterday afternoon that its U.S. board had decided to clearly affirm the organization’s support of the biblical definition of marriage and reverse its recent policy change regarding same-sex marriage. You can read Christianity Today’s full … Continue reading

Wise Words Regarding World Vision

world-vision-01

Update: Two days after changing its policy regarding employees in same-sex marriages, World Vision announced that it had chosen to reverse the decision and to once again affirm its support of the biblical definition of marriage.   If you haven’t … Continue reading

Reaching Women around the World

“And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

Revelation 5:9

While Joseph and I were in Addis Ababa to meet Evangelle about a month ago, we had a chance to spend the Lord’s Day with a missionary our local church has supported for several years. He took us to a church service that was conducted completely in the Amharic language. Although I couldn’t understand anything said in either the singing or preaching that morning, I was moved by the obvious passion for Christ displayed by the Ethiopian people as they enthusiastically offered Him their praise. It was wonderful to think of how believers of every tribe, tongue, and nation will one day be gathered together to worship our great God for all eternity.

Here in America, I so often think of Christianity mainly in terms of what takes place in this country, but the American church makes up only a tiny fraction of the body of Christ. Our visit to Ethiopia impressed me with the importance of praying more faithfully on a global scale, asking that God’s kingdom would be advanced not only in my country, but around the world.

For that reason, I was especially excited to hear what God has been doing for women in the Dominican Republic through the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. In the following video, Nancy Leigh DeMoss shares how the Lord worked this past weekend through the very first Revive Our Hearts international conference in Santo Domingo…

Will you pray that God will continue to reach women around the world through the work of Revive Our Hearts?

Photo: Flavio Takemoto

Giving Them a Reason to Smile

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will repay him for his deed.”

Proverbs 19:17

Samaritan’s Purse does so much more than distribute Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes around the world. 

Here’s one more reason why I love this incredible ministry… 

You can learn more about the life-changing work of Samaritan’s Purse and give to support their efforts HERE.
Photo: Samaritan’s Purse

The Great Lengths of a Simple Gift

Ok, ladies, I know we can’t all adopt 14 Ugandan girls like Katie Davis, but we can impact the life of at least one little boy or girl through the ministry of Operation Christmas Child. In less than a month, National Collection Week will begin (Nov. 14-21), and I personally think that every one of us needs to get involved!

Matthew West shares my opinion… 

I already have two shoeboxes set aside especially for this important event. Do you have yours? :)

Find out everything you need to know about packing and dropping off a shoebox HERE.

Photo: Samaritan’s Purse

Kisses from Katie

“And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time,
and in the age to come eternal life.”

Luke 18:29-30

I want to love Jesus like Katie Davis does.

Last night, the book Kisses from Katie was waiting for me on my doorstep when I arrived home, and after reading only the back cover I was immediately captivated by Katie’s overflowing passion for Christ and love for those in need.

Take a look at her story and you’ll see what I mean… 

In this excerpt from her book Katie explains more about why she has chosen this life in spite of the ongoing hardship:

I loved my new life. It was wonderful in so many ways, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the comforts and the people of my old one desperately. My human flesh still sometimes wanted to go to the mall and spend a ridiculous amount of money on a cute pair of shoes. Sometimes I wanted to sit on my mom’s kitchen counter chatting with my friends and eating brownies…Most days, I wished I could wake up under my down comforter in a house with my loving family, not all by myself. Sometimes I just wished I could hang out with my little brother and his buddies, eating junk food and laughing late into the night…I wanted to be a normal teenager living in America, sometimes.

But I wanted other things more. All the time. I wanted to be spiritually and emotionally filled every day of my life. I wanted to be loved and cuddled by a hundred children and never go a day without laughing. I wanted to wake up to a rooster’s crow and open my eyes to see lush green trees that seemed to pulse with life against a piercing blue sky and the rusty red soil of Uganda. I wanted to be challenged endlessly; I wanted to be learning and growing every minute. I wanted to be taught by those I teach, and I wanted to share God’s love with people who otherwise might not know it. I wanted to work so hard that I ended every day filthy and too tired to move. I wanted to feel needed, important, and used by the Lord. I wanted to make some kind of difference, no matter how small, and I wanted to follow the calling God had placed on my heart. I wanted to give my life away to serve the Lord with each breath, each second. At the end of the day, no matter how hard, I wanted to be right here in Uganda.

Opportunitites to make someone else’s life better were so much more attractive to me than the thought of the comforts I once knew. The longer I stayed, the more I realized that deep fulfillment had begun to swallow my every frustration. No matter how many contradictions I struggled with, how difficult certain situations were, no matter how lonely I got, no matter how many tears I cried, one truth remained firmly grounded in my heart: I was in the center of God’s will; I was doing what I was created to do.

[Kisses from Katie, pp. 23-24]

What a testimony. What a challenge.

Learn more about changing lives in Uganda through Katie’s ministry Amazima.

Follow Katie’s blog HERE.

Photo: kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com

Letting the Word Speak for Itself

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow,
and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12

After sharing the Gospel with unbelievers, I sometimes agonize over whether or not I said exactly the right thing in the right way to effectively communicate who Christ is. This story from John MacArthur encourages me to remember that the importance of the words I speak in evangelism are nothing compared to the Word He has already spoken. No soul is beyond its reach…

Not long ago a man I had never met before walked into my office and said, “I need help. I feel strange coming to you, because I’m not even a Christian. I’m Jewish. Until a few weeks ago I had never even been in a church. But I need help from someone, so I decided to talk to you.”

I assured him I would do my best to help him. I asked him to sit down and explain what was troubling him. The conversation went something like this:

“I’ve been divorced twice,” he said, “and now I’m living with a woman who is my lover. I don’t even like her, but I haven’t got the courage to leave her and go back to my second wife.”

“I’m a medical doctor,” he continued. “Worse, I’m an abortionist. I kill babies for a living…I know I’m doomed to hell because of what I’ve done. I’m absolutely miserable and unhappy. I’m continually seeing a psychoanalyst and I’m not getting any help at all. I can’t stand the guilt of all this. I don’t know what to do about it. Can you help me?”

I said to him, “No I can’t help you.”

He looked at me, startled. Sheer desperation was evident in his face.

I let it sink in.

Then I said, “But I know Someone who can help you: Jesus Christ.”

He said sadly, “But I don’t know who He is. I’ve been taught all my life not to believe in Him.”

I said, “Would you like to know who Jesus Christ is?”

He said, “I would if He can help me.”

“Here’s what I want you to do.” I reached over and took a bible off my desk and opened it to the Gospel of John. I said, “I want you to take this book home and read this part called the Gospel of John. I want you to keep reading until you know who Jesus Christ is. Then call me again.”

…The next Friday I received a telephone call. The doctor wanted to see me again. We made an appointment. He showed up precisely on time…dropped the Bible beside him, and said, “I know who He is.”

I said, “You do?”

He said, “Yes, I do.”

“Who is He?” I asked.

“I’ll tell you one thing–He’s not just a man.”

I said, “Really? Who is He?”

“He’s God!” he said with finality…

“What convinced you?” I asked.

“Look at the words He said, and look at the things He did! No one could say and do those things unless He was God…Do you know what else He did? He rose from the dead! They buried Him, and three days later, He came back from the dead! That proves He is God, doesn’t it? God Himself came into this world!”

I asked him, “Do you know why He came?”

“Yes. He came to die for my sin…And as soon as I clean up my life I’m going to become a Christian.”

I said, “That’s the wrong approach. Receive Him as your Lord and Savior now, and let Him clean up your life.” Then I asked the man, “What would such a decision mean in your career?”

“Well,” he said, “I spent this afternoon writing my resignation letter to the abortion clinic. When I get out of here I’m going to call my second wife and bring her to church with me.” And he did.

Why would anyone question Scripture’s power to reach such a person? The fact is, nothing I could have ever said to that man would have been more effective than the Spirit-inspired truth of the Bible itself in convicting him of his sin and illuminating his need for Christ.

[Our Sufficiency in Christ, pp. 141-144]

Photo: Billy Alexander

Pray for the People of Joplin

If your Memorial Day was anything like mine, you probably spent the day with loved ones remembering all the blessings God has given. But for a large number of people in the U.S. this past weekend, the focus was not so much on what had been given as on what was taken away.

Franklin Graham reports on the relief efforts of Samaritan’s Purse in Joplin, Missouri, where the single deadliest tornado in recorded U.S. history struck on May 22…

Donate to Samaritan’s Purse relief efforts HERE.

Healing Hearts at Stella’s House

Human trafficking is a horrifying evil that destroys the lives of women and children around the world. Although many of us within the church are deeply concerned about those being victimized by modern day slavery, few of us have any idea how to make a difference. Philip & Chrissie Cameron, however, are two believers who’ve found a way to make a life-saving difference among vulnerable young women in Moldova by getting them off the streets and into a loving home. 

Take a look at the amazing work being done at Stella’s House…

Learn more about the Camerons’ ministry in Moldova at Stella’s Voice.

If you’d like to give to Stella’s House, you can make a donation through Christian Life Missions (member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Helping the Hurting in Japan

“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”

James 2:16

In the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami, many of us are greatly burdened for the people who are suffering in Japan. The Japanese certainly do need our prayers at this time, but they also need more than that. They need our generosity.

According to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, people are waiting in 5 hour lines to receive food, and the supplies are scarce. Please consider donating to ministries like Samaritan’s Purse that have people on the ground providing emergency assistance to those who are cold, hurting, and hungry.

These two videos describe how Samaritan’s Purse is making a vital difference in Japan…

Donate to Samaritan’s Purse HERE.

Photo: Samaritan’s Purse

Haiti’s Festival of Hope

It’s hard to believe that nearly one year has passed since a terrible earthquake claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Haiti. In the following video, Franklin Graham explains how he and Samaritan’s Purse are planning to mark the anniversary of that tragic day with a special event called the Festival of Hope.

Watch live streaming of Samaritan’s Purse Festival of Hope on January 9, 2011 1:30 p.m. ET HERE.

Photo: AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

Planning for a More Compassionate Christmas

“…remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Acts 20:35

Every year, I struggle with the materialistic focus that now seems almost inseparably linked with the celebration of Christmas. Although I’m certainly not against thoughtful gift-giving for family and friends, something clearly seems wrong when we spend hundreds (thousands?) of dollars buying loads of Christmas gifts for people who already possess more than they could ever need. If we’re truly going to honor Christ during this season marked for the special celebration of His birth, shouldn’t we follow His example and commands to care for the least among us?

There are probably countless ways that a family could exemplify the generous love of Christ during the Christmas season, but this is one that I think we should all consider–sponsoring a needy child through a trustworthy ministry like Compassion International. In case you think that child sponsorship won’t make much of a difference in a child’s life, watch this video testimony showing how an entire family was changed through Compassion’s ministry. 

What better way to teach your children this Christmas that it is more blessed to give than to receive?

In preparation for your Christmas celebration, you could print out a child’s photo and place it in a wrapped box under the tree. Then, as a family, you could read the child’s story together on Christmas morning and talk about how God has called you to care for others in need. You could even have a special Christmas card ready for everyone to write a message in and sign for your newly sponsored child. With a little planning, this could become one of the most meaningful moments of your entire Christmas celebration. 

To learn more about child sponsorship, visit Compassion International.

Photo: Compassion International

Healing Lives in Haiti

“I was sick, and you visited Me”

Matthew 25:36

With cases of cholera climbing to 50,000, Samaritan’s Purse volunteers are working hard to save lives in Haiti. The UN estimates that the numbers may rise as high as 400,000 before the epidemic is brought to an end. 

Franklin Graham says:

“It takes eight bags of fluid per day for three days, and you can treat cholera. The UN gives all of its resources to the Haitian Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health does not help non-government organizations like Samaritan’s Purse that are carrying the brunt of the work with cholera. The Haitian government is holding these supplies back. We’re having to charter cargo planes to bring in our own IV fluids.”

Samaritan’s Purse is making a difference, but they need help to continue their vital work in Haiti.
  • Medical professionals can learn more about volunteering HERE.
  • You can donate to Samaritan’s Purse relief work in Haiti HERE.

Photo: Samaritan’s Purse

Reaching North Korea with God’s Love

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?

Romans 10:14

Yesterday, Desiring God shared the following video of an 18 year-old North Korean student’s testimony at the recent Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. Although this young woman lost both her mother and her father, she has dedicated her life to serving her Heavenly Father and sharing His love with her fellow North Koreans. Please pray for God’s protection and power as she moves forward in His will for her life.

Healing Hearts around the World

Last week, I told you about a new web series called Lives in the Balance which highlights the work of a Samaritan’s Purse Children’s Heart Project team during a recent trip to Kurdistan. Here’s the story behind the series:

Children’s Heart Project typically brings children with heart defects to North America. CHP works with top-quality hospitals to provide surgery for children who live in countries where the required medical expertise and equipment are not available. Since 1997, CHP has arranged life-saving operations for more than 700 children from Bosnia, Kosovo, Honduras, Uganda, Mongolia, and Bolivia.

Sometimes, CHP sends medical teams into the field. That was the case in August, when a team of doctors and nurses journeyed to northern Iraq. Travel from this part of the world is nearly impossible because of politics, logistics, and expenses, so it is difficult to bring Kurdish children to America. The purpose of the trip was to repair heart defects, and to train doctors and nurses how to perform pediatric heart surgery in their own land.

For one short week, the team faced mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges as they worked to save children whose lives hung in the balance.

What an amazing ministry. Watch Episode 1 of Lives in the Balance

You can watch the rest of the series HERE.

Illustration: clix