Monday, December 14, 2009
Thank you God for giving us Jesus Christ to be our Lord, Saviour and Messiah.
Jesus Christ is the Answer to our daily prayer.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
I'm afraid the ezine is a day or two late this week, but I made an executive decision early in the week to devote most of my spare hours to writing this article on anti-Semitism.
It wasn't an easy decision to make actually, as it involved me in criticising Aussie Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd (who is a man I deeply admire) for his attack on Iranian President, Mahmoud Admadinejad - a man I seriously dislike.
You'll remember that only a few weeks ago I interviewed Mr Khatami - the former President of Iran and Admadinejad's sworn enemy - and I really wasn't looking for opportunities to support the current regime. Even so, Mr Rudd's statement that Admadinejad's government was 'anti-Semitic' really bothered me, and in the end I had to write something. Anyway, the article on anti-Semitism has been published and I'd be grateful for your comments, and even more grateful if you don't label me as anti-Semitic on the basis of the article.
Apart from spending an inordinate amount of time this week writing (articles and sermons) I had a wedding, a baptism and a funeral, and did numerous rounds in the ring.
What was your week like? If you'd like to tell me in person, join me this coming Sunday in the Fighting Fathers Web Chat Room.
The time to meet on Sunday is 10pm, Sydney time. If you want to check how that translates into your timezone, check the Fighting Fathers Calendar for a comprehensive lists of times and places.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
"There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid."1
"It's not my problem. It's my wife/husband who needs help!"
How many times have you heard this defensive type of statement? Having worked in the area of divorce recovery for the past decade or more, I have heard it repeatedly. One person recently said to me, "How do I make my husband understand that he is the one who needs help. He needs to know that he is wrong so he can get counseling."
"And why did you marry this person? What attracted you to him/her in the first place?" I ask. Rarely do I get an honest answer.
This is not true in all cultures but, at least where we make our own choice about whom we marry, there are always underlying reasons why we are attracted and drawn to a particular person of the opposite sex.
At least one single man I know was facing reality when he said that he could walk into a room full of women and would automatically be attracted to the sickest (emotionally sickest) woman in the room! He knew it was because of his own emotional sickness. There's hope for this man.
No matter what your wife/husband has done, the reality is you can't change them. If you try to, it just makes them angry or angrier. As I've said many times, the only one we can ever change is our self, and as we change, those around us are almost forced to change in one way or another. However, this is not always for the best because some people don't want us to change and get angry when we do. Change upsets the games they are playing!
I'm not saying that we should put up with someone else's abusive behavior. Not at all. But we need to remember that we are the only person we can ever change. And while we pray for the other person, we need to first ask God to change us—and to confront us with the truth about ourselves so we can see any character flaws we have that we need to work on and resolve.
And we can always ask God to help us to be as Jesus to our husband/wife so that they, seeing Jesus in us, will want him for themselves. That may be the only hope for encouraging others to change.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to quit playing the blame-game and always accept responsibility for whatever I am contributing in any conflicting situation in which I find myself. Help me to keep on changing and growing to become the person you want me to be. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Proverbs 30:18-19 (NIV).
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
"'King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.' Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?' Paul replied, 'Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.'"1
Phil Parrino, a Daily Encounter reader, tells the story how in "World War I there was a young American ambulance driver who personally witnessed all kinds of death and suffering. After the war he wrote dark brooding novels and finally committed suicide. His name was Earnest Hemmingway.
"But there was another American Ambulance driver even younger than the first. The dead and dying he witnessed were mostly from the great influenza epidemic that swept Europe at the end of World War I. After the war he drew cartoons and made people laugh. When he died he was loved by millions. His name was Walt Disney.
"As you have said, it's not only what happens to us, but how we react to it. Our personality predisposes us to a certain extent, but in the end we make the choice."
Life is a series of choices. I am today where I am because of choices I made years ago. I will be where I am tomorrow based on choices I make today. And I will spend eternity based on the choice I make about accepting or rejecting God's great gift of salvation.
As Paul challenged King Agrippa to become a Christian, he challenges you and me today to make that choice and not to be an almost-persuaded. For help be sure to read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/articles.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to see that my life has been shaped in so many ways because of choices I made in the past. Help me to make choices today for where I want to be tomorrow. And above all, help me to make the right choice about eternity by making sure I have accepted Jesus as my Savior and am a true follower of him. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Acts 26:27-29 (NIV).
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Catching up with Khatami
Certainly the highlight of my week was catching up with Seyed Khatami - the former President of Iran.
The point of connection was my friend Sheikh Mansour. Not only are they both Iranian but Mr Khatami is a fellow sheikh, and so Mansour managed to organise a meeting between the three of us.
Mr Khatami had been invited to Australia by the Australian National University in Canberra to share his vision of a 'dialogue between civilisations', where Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and people of all faiths and cultures can sit down and share and learn from one another.
Mr Khatami's visit was not without controversy. In an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Colin Rubenstein claimed that Khatami was both anti-semitic and a supporter of terrorism. Certainly, as you'll see from the video below, Mr Khatami disagrees on both points.
My goal in interviewing Mr Khatami was both to hear of his vision for peace between peoples of all faiths and nations and to hear how he responded to the charges made against him in the Herald by Mr Rubenstein.
The video you see here is only about half of the first of the two sessions Mr Khatami gave me.
The unabridged audio versions of both interviews have been uploaded to the Fighting Father members area if you want to hear the rest. Just click here.
And if you want to keep up-to-date with my videos on YouTube, click here.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Pastor (Mrs.) Delight Chikezie is the woman of God from the East who has been called to minister and bring divine deliverance to the poor and needy widows in Eastern Nigeria and other places and to heal the sick and comfort the broken hearted.
She is happily married with five children who are glad and grateful to the Almighty God Jehovah for what He is doing in their family and for using their mother for His awesome miracles with signs and wonders following her wherever God has led her.
She was in Lagos to ask her cousin Hope who is the publisher of Supple magazine in Nigeria to produce 3, 000 copies of the poster of her forthcoming deliverance crusade in Umuahia, Abia state and she shared the divine rhema of her ministry with me. I told her that obedience to the command of God is better than sacrifice and recalled how God gave me the grace to preach on public transport buses in Lagos city for 11 years, working as a project secretary in the office of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and how I also enjoyed the company of fellow Christians in preaching the good news and planting churches on Bonny Island in Rivers state. She told me about the horrible and terrible human sacrifice made by the politicians in their cult in their desperation for power and wealth.
“Many virgins were murdered in their human sacrifice and in fact a young man was burnt alive in one of their cultic rituals,” she said.
I was shocked that such demonic rituals were done in my state of origin.
She disclosed the identity of the great harlot holding the political leaders captive in Abia state. Her harlotry and sorcery have been used to rule and ruin Abia since her son became the governor. She is the High Priestess of a goddess worshipped by her devotees and the politicians in her cult. The woman of God from the East said that God is already exposing the occultists and destroying their evils to deliver Abia state.
Hope had to delay other printing jobs to respond to the urgent order of the woman of God from the East and within 16 hours, his Art Director produced the camera ready artwork of the poster and Hope printed the 3, 000 copies of the poster, because he cannot delay the work of God for the benefit of our Abia state and the rest of Nigeria. The printer worked from afternoon to 9.30 pm and we had to carry the copies of the poster and the woman of God from the East to the branch of her church near the NNPC depot in Ejigbo, Lagos. She told us that she had forgotten her bag in our production office in Shomolu. We got to Ejigbo at 10.30 pm and after dropping the woman of God from the East, we left for our residence in Ifako, Lagos and got there at about 11.25 pm. I was glad and grateful to the Almighty God for granting Hope the grace to do this divine assignment to support Pastor (Mrs.) Delight Chikezie. She came to our office the following day to collect her bag and prayed for us.
Pastor (Mrs.) Delight Chikezie needs more support to comfort poor and needy widows in Abia state. She can be contacted on telephone numbers, 08038185523 and 08032222697.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
From: Faith-Space.com (email@example.com)
Sent: Fri 3/20/09 10:28 AM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com)
A message to all members of Faith-Space.com A message to all members of Faith-Space.com ( Bruce was one of our first members and friend to many here at FS our prayers go out to his family) Bruce went into the hospital Wednesday morning and was admitted for kidney issues and Congestive heart failure. He fought a long and hard fight but today around 4pm the Lord said it's time to come home and rest. All of you were on his mind even as he was saying goodbye to this wold. One of the last things he did was have his nephew send a message to you to pray. He loved his friends and thought of you as family. Please remember me as I try to deal with the days ahead. When you think of him sing a song, play your music loud, tell a joke, love with all your heart and above all reach out to those who are lost. These are things that Bruce held closest to his heart. We will all miss him but he is waiting for us in heaven saving a seat for us in that heavenly choir.
With all my Love,
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Welcome to the month of MARCH!
IT IS WELL!
My prayer for you today and always
(1) You will find favour with someone you don't expect.
(2) You will be too relevant to be ignored..
(3) You will encounter GOD and will never remain the same.
(4) The grace for completion will come on you, you shall be blessed till the blessed call you blessed.
(5) The hand that will send this message to others shall not Labour in vain.
(6) The mouth saying ''Amen'' to this prayer shall laugh forever ...Amen.
Very, Very soon and I say Very Very Very soon, GOD is going to do a miracle and lift you up for GOOD. Here is a test: if you love God and you're not ashamed of Him, send this to ten people.
God Loves U.
THIS IS MY PRAYER TO YOU ALL TODAY AND FOR EVER.
Pastor and Mrs. E.A. Adeboye
Thursday, March 05, 2009
"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."1
I have read that Bob Russell, in his book, When God Builds a Church, tells about one occasion when he went to The Pancake Factory restaurant and noted that their luncheon special for the day was a grilled chicken sandwich with spicy Mexican sauce. He "kind of" felt that they had lost their focus.
I'm sure that many businesses have lost their main focus—as have some churches which get sidetracked into doing many good things, but miss the main thing. But what concerns me today, however, is how so many Christians have lost their main focus, if in fact they ever had one.
For example, I have asked hundreds of people in various classes I have taught: "How many believe that God has a purpose for your life?" Almost every hand is raised. Then I ask, "How many of you know what your God-given life-purpose is?"
Here's the shocker—barely a hand is raised!
If we are to be true followers of Christ our focus, first of all, needs to be on him and to be committed to living in harmony with God's will according to the principles found in his Word, the Bible, so that we glorify God in all that we are and do.
Second, our purpose needs to include our personal and spiritual growth and maturity.
Third, God's purpose for us is also in how we invest our lives in living for and serving Him. Keep in mind that we serve God by serving others—using the gifts and talents that God has given to each of us.
Fourth, our purpose as Christians is also to be witnesses for Christ—not as a preacher or evangelist (although that will be true for some)—but in all that we are and do so that others seeing Jesus in us will want him for themselves, and to share our Christian faith as the opportunity arises.
It helps to clearly define your God-given life purpose—basing it on you gifts, talents, abilities and interests—by writing it down and getting it into sharp focus. Then memorize it and repeat it every day so that it is programmed into your unconscious mind. This in turn makes it a part of your deep-down belief system and helps you to live it automatically.
Don't write it in generalities. Be specific. State exactly what you are going to be and do and how you are going to do it. Remember, "Blessed is he who aims at nothing for he shall surely hit it."
Suggested prayer: "Thank you God that you have a purpose for my life. Please help me to discover what it is and get the training I need to fulfill it to the best of my ability. Please help me to so live that others will see Jesus in me and, in so doing, will want him for themselves. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Luke 19:10 (NIV).
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
1. Envy: A Poison of the Soul
"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind."1
"Aesop had a fable about two eagles, one envious of the other because the other could soar higher and more elegantly than he could. So the envious eagle would pluck his strongest feathers from his own body and shoot them as arrows, trying to wound or kill the other eagle. It was his own undoing, however. He could not hit the high flying eagle, and he was eventually grounded by his lack of feathers. Envy destroyed the eagle."2
Envy, greed, and jealousy are all related. They are not only destroyers of the soul, but also of our physical well-being. As Proverbs says, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."3
And wasn't envy the cause of Satan's downfall? He was envious of God and wanted to be God himself; and look at the unbelievable mess he has gotten us into—or rather, look at the incredible mess we've gotten ourselves into because we have followed the ways of Satan instead of the ways of God. And how many of the atrocities that are happening in today's world are caused by the envy and greed for control by certain men who claim themselves to be leaders when, in fact, they are destroyers!
Envy is a destroyer. It will destroy you and me, too, if we allow it to do so. Like all of God's instructions, it is not without good reason that his Word tells us to get rid of all envy, malice, jealousy and hatred.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, if there is any envy, malice, jealousy, or hatred in my heart, please reveal it to me, and give me the courage and good sense to face it, to resolve it, and get rid of it. And please forgive me for it. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Peter 2:1 (NIV).
2. Brett Blair, Sermon Illustrations, 1999.
3. Proverbs 14:30 (NIV).
Saturday, February 07, 2009
1. Politically Incorrect
"And He [Jesus] said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' And Peter answered and said, 'The Christ [Messiah] of God.'"1
Amidst all the hoopla of political correct nonsense is the claim of those who deny that the holocaust ever happened, and the claim that some of the violent acts of recent times were not by Islamist terrorists.
As Chuck Colson pointed out a few short years ago in BreakPoint, some are claiming that, "'We have no idea who flew those jets into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon.' 'I thought the videotape of Osama bin Laden and his cohorts celebrating their success was evidence enough,' said Colson, 'you know, the tape where they say that the attacks on America went even better than they'd expected.'"
There is also the denial of reality regarding the Islamic Faith.
Colson continues: "Then there's the program put together by scholars at my alma mater Brown University that will be taught at more than one thousand high schools. It's called 'Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy.' Student readings emphasize that Islam 'is a religion that values family and tolerance,' and that 'throughout much of history, Muslims have lived peacefully with followers of other religions.' They did—but only after they conquered the Middle East, North Africa, and much of Europe in holy wars.
"The 'Islam is peaceful' message was recently reinforced at the University of North Carolina, when freshmen were assigned selections of the Qur'an—peaceful selections, that is. The parts about how it is the duty of Muslims to kill Jews, Christians, and other 'infidels'—the parts about holy wars that are of vital importance in light of September 11—were somehow left out."2
According to FoxNews.com last year copies of the Qur'án were placed on the doorsteps of 30,000 homes in southwest Houston. Could you imagine if an organization placed copies of the Bible on the door steps of 30,000 homes in a Muslim country?
True, not all Muslims by any means are terrorists or adhere to all that the Qur'an teaches regarding the killing of Jews and Christians. At the same time school kids and others are being led to believe that there is little difference between Islam and Christianity which is also a denial of reality. Yes, there are some similarities but at the core of both faiths they are worlds apart.
For instance, is the God of Christians and the Bible the same as Allah is to Muslims?
The Bible (as did Jesus) clearly teaches that God is a holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, Islam states that Allah is a unity, when in fact, to them he is a single unit. Thus Muslims emphatically deny the triune nature of God.
The Bible teaches: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. . . The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."3 The "Word" refers to Jesus—the Word or "Expression of God" in the flesh.
The Qur'án teaches: "Far be it from Him [Allah] that He should have a son" (4:171). Thus Islam totally denies the deity of Jesus Christ.
"Others (Muslims included) are equally adamant in affirming that the Allah of Islam is NOT the God of the Bible."
Jesus Christ, according to all true Christians is the Christ, Son of the Living God—our Lord, our God, and our Savior. To Muslims, while he is highly esteemed as a prophet of God, he is not the Son of God, is not part of the Triune God, and is not the Savior of the World.
According to Arab World Ministries, "Islam offers a conversion experience and the opportunity to get one's life in order, without needing to confess one's sin and need of salvation. In fact, Islam makes quite a point of denying these truths. It tells people they do not need salvation; all they need is to follow the 'guidance' of God's [Allah's] law, and they will make it to heaven."4
The important issue at stake is that people need to understand the true teachings of both Christianity and Islam, not to criticize or condemn, but to be sure that they personally are on the path of truth and be sure of their eternal salvation. As Jesus said about himself, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father [God the Father] except through me."5 If this is not true, then Jesus is not a great Prophet of God but a liar and a deceiver of mankind.
Tragically, politically correct nonsense that denies truth and reality will send people to hell.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in a world where there is a constant battle between good and evil, truth and lies, please help me to see the truth of who you are, who Jesus is, and your way of salvation. Give me the courage to always stand for Truth regardless of whether it is politically correct or not. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Luke 9:20 (NIV).
2. Breakpoint, August 23, 2002. See http://www.breakpoint.org.
3. John 1:1-3,14 (NIV).
4. For answers "About Islam" go to Arab World Ministries at:
Saturday, January 10, 2009
'The Biblical Dinner': A Documentary Film That Thrills Viewers by the Remarkable Historical Events and Truth of the Bible - A Must See!
'The Biblical Dinner': A Documentary Film That Thrills Viewers by the Remarkable Historical Events and Truth of the Bible - A Must See!
Experience a thought-provoking meal with customs dating back to Abraham, and relevance stretching far into eternity
GARDEN VALLEY, Calif., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- DVD Studio (http://www.dvdstudio.us/) releases "The Biblical Dinner," a 60-minute video that transforms you back in time ... IMAGINE yourself transported to a time before electricity, before upright seating or silverware -- to a place illuminated by ancient oil lamps, warmed by the laughter of friends who are prepared to give their lives for your safety. Imagine yourself reclining at a table where each bite or sip taken holds both ancient relevance and soul-level significance.
Welcome to THE BIBLICAL DINNER ...
Pastor Jay McCarl (Calvary Chapel on the Georgetown Divide, CA) hosts an intimate, thought-provoking meal with customs dating back to the time of Abraham, and relevance stretching far into eternity. Pastor Jay explores a variety of subjects including:
-- The remarkable historical events surrounding the Last Supper
-- Ancient table manners including Gifts of Hospitality
-- The Spiritual ramifications of a single piece of bread
-- The unexpected significance of the seating arrangements of the Last Supper
"I've been a Christian for over 20 years, a pastor for over 10 years, and I've never seen anything like this. Pastor Jay's 'Biblical Dinner' was an incredibly wonderful experience. A definite must ...." --Pastor Todd Gold, Calvary Chapel of Auburn, California
"Attending 'The Biblical Dinner' opened my eyes to the cultural significance of many of the Scriptures I had only casually passed by. It was a night of true spiritual ground breaking!" --Pastor Rick Hardesy
Produced By: DVD Studio
Author/Host: Jay McCarl
Directed By: Greg Bueghly
Wholesale Contact Information:
7060 Prospect Lane
Garden Valley, CA 95633
Retail Sales at http://www.dvdstudio.us/ and most Fine Christian Book Stores.
Watch The Trailer
This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com/.
Source: DVD Studio
CONTACT: DVD Studio, +1-530-333-1087, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: http://www.dvdstudio.us/
Friday, January 02, 2009
Wishing all Daily Encounter readers a very Happy New Year
"For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die. For to me, living is for Christ."1
I read about a group of nuns who were given a vacation trip through the Rocky Mountains where they had never been before. They were filled with awe as they marveled at the wonder of the many miles of majestic mountains. However, every time they stopped to enjoy the view, one particular nun would slip away by herself. So on one occasion the other nuns decided they would follow her to see what she was up to. "They watched her as she walked into the gully. She bent down and reached under a sizable rock, and then turned the rock upside down. She brushed her hands and turned around to walk back up the trail. When she looked up, the entire Order of nuns was watching her.
"Margaret, what are you doing?" they asked.
"I'm turning over a rock," she replied.
"Why?" they asked. "Do you do that every time?"
She answered, "Yes."
"Why do you do that?"
She replied: "Because I will never pass this way again, and it's my intent to have made a difference while I was here. So I turn some rocks over so that this place is different because I passed here."2
A little amusing perhaps, but seriously, I want to make a difference—for time and eternity—as I pass through the journey of life! I don't think any of us want to have lived in vain. The best and ultimate way I know to make a difference is to make myself available for God to use every day of my life.
We are not all called to be homemakers, doctors, bakers, dressmakers, preachers, communicators, or whatever—but we are all called to be faithful and when we make ourselves available to God every day, be assured, he will use us to make a big difference in the lives of the people he brings across our path.
As William Penn so eloquently put it: "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, at this the beginning of another New Year, I commit and trust my life to you and am available for your service. Please use me this year to be as Christ to every life I touch and in so doing make a difference in the world in which I live. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Philippians 1:20-21 (NLT).
2. Rev. Douglass M. Bailey, Sermon: "Hard Truth for Advent."
3. Attributed to William Penn, British religious leader (1644-1718).
1. A Chance to Change the World
"And then he [Jesus] told them, 'Go into all the world and preach [communicate] the Good News to everyone, everywhere.'"1
Donald William Dotterer wrote, "Steven Jobs is the man who founded the enormously successful company called Apple Computer. Jobs decided that Mr. John Sculley was the man he needed to help him fulfill his dream of building a completely different kind of computer company, one which [Jobs dreamed] would make computers available to every person in the world. However, Mr. Sculley was comfortably and safely entrenched as president of the Pepsico Corporation, the makers of the soft drink Pepsi.
"In this position, John Sculley had achieved everything that a man could want: power, prestige, public recognition, an enormous salary and a secure future. The thought of a career change requiring a move to the West Coast frightened him. He was concerned about losing pensions and deferred compensation and the adjustment to living in California, in other words, 'the pragmatic stuff that preoccupies the middle-aged.'
"John Sculley knew that he was safe at Pepsico. But he also knew that he had grown to dislike the competitive nature of the business. He also knew how bored he was. Steven Jobs at Apple Computer sensed this. And so he finally confronted his new friend with this pointed question. He said to John, 'Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?' That question penetrated deep into the heart and mind of John Sculley. It changed the course of his life. He therefore went to Apple Computer and helped it to grow into one of the most successful corporations in the world. Mr. Sculley's life was changed because he took the risk and decided to invest. Was it a risk? Yes. But without it, there would be no reward."2
I'm not suggesting that you should change your job (though some of you may need to), but I am asking, "Do you want to spend the rest of your life doing only what you are doing now, or do you want to help to truly change the world—one person at a time?"
You can. Here are a few of many simple ways you can do this:
First, make yourself available to God every day and ask him to use you to be as Jesus to every life you touch and that people seeing Jesus in you will want him for themselves.
Second, become involved in serving others through your local church or a fine voluntary organization and help make a difference in your local community.
Third, you can send copies of suitable Daily Encounters to friends and loved ones and share with them these non-preachy Christian messages that speak directly to their personal needs. Hundreds of people are being reached with the gospel and Christian message in this way and it, too, is helping to change the world—one person at a time.
Fourth, besides financially supporting your local church, help support faith organizations that are making a difference and those that are spreading the gospel. There are many such organizations that are dependent on the support of concerned Christians for their operation. And in your giving, please consider becoming a partner with ACTS International (publisher of Daily and Weekend Encounter) through your prayer and financial support and therein be a part of a work that is sending the gospel around the world via E-mail and the Internet every day of the year.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for Jesus, the Savior, the hope of lost mankind, and the only one who has the power to truly change the world. I am available—please guide me in how I can best invest my time, talents, and money in your work, and use me today and every day to be as Christ to every life I touch and therein help change the world in which I live—one person at a time. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Mark 16:15 (TLB-NLT).
2. Donald William Dotterer, "Living the Easter Faith," CSS Publishing Company, 1994. Cited on www.eSermons.com, 2002.
Pope Bebedict XVI spoke out recently against homosexual behavior, calling it a violation of the natural order. In an address to the Vatican hierarchy, the pope called for an "ecology of man" to protect man from "the destruction of himself."
He added, "The rain forests deserve our protection, but man as a creature indeed deserves no less." The Vatican, in keeping with Bible teaching, opposes same-sex marriage and considers homosexual acts sinful.
Pope Benedict said saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.
The Church "should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed," the pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration.
"The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less."
The Catholic Church teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are. It opposes "gay marriage". In October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality "a deviation [that needs straightening out], an irregularity, a wound [that needs healing]."
The pope said humanity needed to "listen to the language of creation" to understand the intended roles of man and woman. He compared behavior beyond traditional heterosexual relations as "a destruction of God's work."
"The Church is contrary to legislation that criminalises homosexuality," Holy See (Vatican) spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said as debate raged over the Vatican statement.
Fr Lombardi said the Catholic Church is clearly against considering homosexuality a crime, but is wary of international declarations that use the issue to promote a political agenda based on sexual orientation.
In early December, Vatican nuncio to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore drew criticism from "gay" rights groups when he said the Vatican opposed a proposed UN declaration to endorse the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality.
Archbishop Migliore said such a declaration might be used to put pressure on or discriminate against countries that do not recognise same-sex marriage.
Fr Lombardi, in his latest comments to reporters, said the Vatican was not conducting a battle against the United Nations or weakening its opposition to discrimination against homosexuals, which is clearly stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
"There is no question that the Church is contrary to legislation that criminalises homosexuality," Fr Lombardi said.
The Church's position stems from its respect for the rights and dignity of every person and explicitly excludes "any unjust discrimination on the basis of homosexuality," he said.
He noted that Archbishop Migliore's comments were made in response to a question about a draft declaration that had yet to be presented at the United Nations or in any public forum.
He said Archbishop Migliore's point was that it's one thing to argue against discrimination and criminalisation regarding homosexuality, but another to contend that anyone who makes a distinction based on sexual orientation is considered an adversary of human rights.
Specifically, Archbishop Migliore expressed the fear that the draft declaration could lead to a situation in which "states that do not recognise same sex unions as 'marriage' will be pilloried and put under pressure" to do so.
By Adeleke Adeyemi
"The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them" (Barry Lopez)
What's Your Story - Nexus Or Excuse?
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Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima