Saturday, January 30, 2010
3 - Christian artists "Come Together Now"
There are so many gratifying stories of people reaching out in the name of Christ to provide needed assistance to the people of Haiti. Numerous partnerships, emerging from divine appointments, have been forged with churches in that nation to provide help. Recently, I spotlighted a ministry in Central Alabama where 50 or more Haitian orphans, who lived in an orphanage destroyed by the earthquake, will be housed once arrangements are made to bring them safely to America. You can check out www.bridgesoffaith.com to learn more.
This is indicative of the type of creative ways that Christians are allowing the Holy Spirit to lead them to get involved. And, now some 50 Christian artists have recorded a song that is intended to raise money to support Haiti. Read the story here from CBN. Put together by Michael W. Smith, who co-wrote the song, the effort is a powerful instance where Christians are using their gifts and talents to serve Him and minister to others through the love of Jesus Christ.
2 - State of the Union foreshadows things to come
President Obama gave his State of the Union speech Wednesday night, and while many anticipated a shift in tone and substance as a result of the election setback in Massachusetts and polling data showing his approval ratings declining and support for health care reform floundering, nevertheless, he attempted to return to his "change" them, even stating that many feel change has not come quickly enough.
His message included a laundry list of new initiatives, including job creation, that will increase government spending and perhaps add to the deficit, despite his calls for deficit reduction.
While health care did not consume the speech, he did call on Congress to pass that type of legislation, and that has given rise to speculation this week that the Senate could try to arrange health care legislation so that it passes a number of smaller bills, then reconciles them into one package by a simple majority vote. This circumvents the possibility of a Senate filibuster, and has been described as a "nuclear" option.
The President also voiced his support for overturning the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military, which would result in open homosexual behavior in the ranks of our armed services, which could have a number of counterproductive implications for our troops. Obama also called out the Supreme Court for its decision on campaign financing, which many hailed as a victory for free speech.
Concerned Women for America had some good commentary on the Web from 2 of its principals - CEO Penny Young Nance and Senior Fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute Dr. Janice Crouse. CWA's website is www.cwfa.org.
Penny also appeared on my program to share analysis of the SOTU and the story below.
1 - Tebow's Super Bowl ad adds widespread support
Some women's groups jeered and Christians cheered as word began to spread that University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother had produced a life-affirming Super Bowl ad funded by designated gifts to Focus on the Family. You can read Focus President Jim Daly's commentary here. My blog post on the topic can be found here.
As I had previously mentioned, it is hypocritical for so-called "pro-choice" individuals to criticize Pam Tebow because she made a choice that does not match their ideology. And, furthermore, just because Tim Tebow is a star quarterback doesn't mean that his life is more valuable than anyone else - every life is valuable, created and ordained by God.
Rifqa's parents reject deal
Personhood amendments gain ground
Franklin Graham ministers in India
German homeschool family granted asylum in U.S.
Friday, January 29, 2010
This is an increase of 1 hour and 17 minutes over the past 5 years. Remarkable!!
To read a summary of the findings, you can click here.
This increase is driven by a dramatic increase in cell phone and iPod (mobile listening devices) usage. Only about 1/3 of children in that age group have parental rules regarding usage of TV, video games, or overall computer usage. TV usage has developed to the point where 2/3 of families actually watch TV during meals.
According to the summary, “The amount of time young people spend with media has grown to where it’s even more than a full-time work week,” said Drew Altman, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “When children are spending this much time doing anything, we need to understand how it’s affecting them – for good and bad.”
Media can be a tremendous source of information and direction. For the Christian families, we can be inspired by music, teaching, daily Bible reading, and devotions that we can pick up via the Internet. My own radio network is streamed live 24/7, and my radio show encompasses .mp3 downloads, podcasts, social networking, and this very blog. Computer technology can be especially helpful as students research projects and use it to assist in their studies. The Internet and cell phones can also be a powerful and enjoyable social tool. We have access to more forms of entertainment than ever before – and that’s great – in moderation!
But, the biggest concern I have about the rise in media is the lack of that moderation, and how people, especially young people, become disconnected from reality. Before the advent of so many types of communication media, face-to-face communication was the standard. Before the invention of the telephone, individuals and families gathered together and engaged in extensive visits. The phone enabled us to spend time in conversation without the inconvenience of travel – we could stay connected and build valued relationships.
The cell phone gave us the ability to connect without having to be in a stationery location. At least for me, while this can be rewarding, it can also be distracting. Now, we have transitioned from face-to-face interaction, to an electronic form of vocal communication, to…text communication.
That’s right – now we have learned to e-mail one another (and I have to admit, I would rather exchange e-mails than play phone tag in my occupation). Many have become proficient in text messaging. The Kaiser study didn’t even include the amount of time text messaging in its media usage calculations, but stated that 7th-12th graders report spending an average of 1:35 a day sending or receiving texts. Almost 75% of that age group has a social networking profile, and spend over 20 minutes a day on sites such as Facebook. I fear that we have moved from a society where we enjoyed the interaction with real people in real time in real ways to a society where we have virtual relationships with words on a screen. I think of the image of students in the same room that would rather text one another than interact in person. We have become accustomed to that, and I believe the virtual world could diminish our capability for real, nurturing relationships. I think children who spend too much time playing video games have to constantly transition themselves into the real world, and have to adjust from the passive world of video entertainment into the active world of human interaction.
Plus, in the student world, about half of those surveyed who considered themselves “heavy” media users reported making grades of “C” or lower, as compared with just under ¼ of “light” users.
So, while media presents a world of opportunity, these forms of media also provide a challenge for parents. We must be aware of what our kids are interacting with, and I believe that setting parameters is especially helpful, lest they become addicted to these various forms of media and disconnected from the world around them. And, as adults, we must be mindful of the potential harmful effects, as well…
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The backstory here is enthralling - Pam Tebow, pregnant with Tim, was advised by doctors to have an abortion, due to the fear that an illness she had contracted would result in Tim being born with some sort of special need or needs. Nevertheless, the Tebows chose life, -and look at how Tim Tebow has excelled not only on the football field, but at life. This story is expected to be a key element of the 30-second Super Bowl presentation, the script of which has been approved by CBS. However, so-called "women's groups" have protested the airing of the ad, and you can read the report from the New York Daily News here.
In response to that torrent of communication, CBS has announced that it stands by its decision to air the ad.
What is notable about some of the rhetoric is the hypocrisy that is present. Here are the words of Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women’s Media Center, quoted in the article above:
An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year - an event designed to bring Americans together..."
That same group made a statement blasting Focus on the Family, which is paying for the ad using designated funds from private donors:
By offering one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year to an anti-equality, anti-choice, homophobic organization, CBS is aligning itself with a political stance that will damage its reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers..."
Those words are quite "unifying", aren't they? Apparently these groups don't want the American public to be exposed to opinions with which they disagree.
Ponder this: In sports, and in broadcasting in general, we are exposed to products and practices that violate our values…for instance, how many beer ads will air during the Super Bowl? What about those historically offensive ads for a certain internet service provider? I would prefer that the networks don’t air the ads, but they are a free market enterprise, and as long as the ads don’t violate FCC decency standards, they are free to air those ads. So, if these passionate pro-choice, er...pro-abortion advocates don’t like the message, they can change the channel or go get a snack when the ad comes on.
If they were really as they say, "pro-choice", wouldn’t they applaud Pam Tebow’s decision to save the life of her son, Tim? After all, Pam exercised her "right to choose". And, furthermore, wouldn’t they applaud their own mother’s choice to give birth to…them?
And for another thing, I think I’m glad that CBS has the game this year – if NBC was broadcasting the Super Bowl, you can be assured that ultra-liberal commentator Keith Olbermann, who co-hosts that network's football studio show, would be jumping up and down with unabashed vitriol. ABC and ESPN might be less prone to show the ad, either.
So, I hope CBS will continue hold the line – and not bow into pressure. Tim Tebow certainly doesn't mind the pressure - he has continued to winsomely justify his views, as recently as this week, when he was quoted in USA Today as saying:
"I know some people won't agree with it, but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe ... I've always been very convicted of it (his views on abortion) because that's the reason I'm here, because my mom was a very courageous woman. So any way that I could help, I would do it."
Tim Tebow's first endorsement - LIFE! What an inspiring choice.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
3 - Brown victory in Massachusetts has opponents seeing red
Scott Brown, up until just a few weeks ago a little-known state senator from Massachusetts, took on the odds-on favorite to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in the state, Attorney General Martha Coakley. Brown received support from many conservatives across America, while Coakley attempted to leverage of Presidential visit in the campaign's final days to propel her across the finish line.
The significance of the victory for people of faith was that it changed the direction of the health care reform debate. Now the Republicans can block passage of the anticipated conference bill, which many had speculated would include taxpayer funding of abortion, which is a key issue for many Christians. The size of government, the potential for rationing, and conscience protection were just some of the many issues causing concern. In fact, conscience protection became an issue late in the campaign, when Coakley said that people that object to certain procedures due to conscience concerns might not have a place in the emergency room.
CitizenLink, from Focus on the Family Action, had coverage of the special election.
2 - Haiti relief efforts continue amidst aftershocks
While news of aftershocks continued to emerge from the nation of Haiti, relief continued to pour into the areas inside and around the capital of Port-au-Prince. The opening of air accessibility helped in getting needed supplies into the country, and a host of missions organizations continued to minister inside the nation.
And, this past Sunday, people sought solace in the power of faith. I thought this was an interesting report from the New York Times.
The Meeting House featured numerous reports about the crisis, including my first report from inside Haiti, from where Brett Bundy, Field Director for Haiti for One Mission Society (formerly OMS International) joined me.
For additional information, you can visit www.onemissionsociety.org.
Also, Randy Strash from World Vision updated listeners on the relief efforts for that organization.
Learn more by visiting www.worldvision.org.
1 - Pro-life activities commemorate Sanctity of Life Week
The week of the landmark Supreme Court ruling, Roe vs. Wade, leading to legalized abortion in America, is set aside for special observances of the importance of life and the rights of unborn children. Hundreds of thousands took part in the annual March for Life in Washington on the annual anniversary date, and over 75,000 people, including former governors Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, as well as members of Congress and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, signed up for Americans United for Life's virtual march. Pro-life individuals and organizations, energized by the current Administration's effort to expand the availability of abortion at home and abroad, including taxpayer funding, expressed their solidarity with the pre-born and compassion for women and families affected by abortion by taking part in the DC event, as well as events in communities across the nation. Here is The Christian Post's account.
The "March for Life" is one of many opportunities that pro-life people had to get involved in speaking out. There are so many ways to be used of God to stand up for the lives of the unborn, including praying diligently for the protection of unborn children, for abortion-minded women to change their hearts toward aborting their children, for the work of pro-life ministries to go forward, and for the Church as a whole to repent from its complacency on the topic and become more passionately involved. You can take action, such as attending gatherings and special events that affirm life, volunteering with a local pregnancy resource center, contacting legislators about bills that protect life, or even showing up at local abortion clinics to share Biblical truth with the women who are entering there.
Tebow family to present life-affirming message in Super Bowl ad
"To Save a Life" energizes moviegoers nationwide
Proposition 8 trial continues in California
Rifqa Bary does not have to return to parents' home
Thursday, January 21, 2010
A man is given a mission from the Almighty to preserve a holy book during a journey through a post-apocolyptic world...
A teenager is rocked by the suicide of a friend and challenges his fellow students to intervene in the lives of people with whom they might not normally associate...
These are the brief summaries of films that are either currently or soon to be in theaters: "The Blind Side", "The Book of Eli", and "To Save a Life". The films, while rather diverse in their approach to the selected subject matter, have a strong moral and faith element, and while TSAL is not in theaters yet, the early response from Christian leaders seems to be that the film has the potential to move teens to look beyond themselves, and hopefully, to look to Christ as the answer and the alternative to the immoral, non-redemptive practices in which they are engaging. I spoke with screenwriter Jim Britts on The Meeting House recently, who shared some of the background and motivation for the film.
This film, which is scheduled to debut on probably 400-500 theaters January 22nd, joins 2 other top 10 films that present a strong faith message. "The Blind Side" continues its remarkable run in theaters, placing at #7 at the box office for Monday, the 18th - the MLK holiday. Furthermore, Sandra Bullock won a Golden Globe award for her role as Lee Anne Tuohy, the wealthy lady from Memphis who basically took in the homeless teen, now-NFL rookie Michael Oher, and made a positive impact on his life. In real life, the Tuohys are evangelical Christians, active in their local church, and exemplified the unconditional love of Christ by reaching out beyond themselves and seeking to make a lasting deposit in a young man's life, which led to some rather difficult situations that are depicted in the film.
The film has been lauded for a number of elements. Dr. Marc Newman of Movie Ministry was struck by the way John Lee Hancock portrayed a Christian family in an authentic manner. Included in this conversation are some of his thoughts about the film:
Media organization Positive Media conducted an online call-in show with Hancock, and you can listen to it here:
Finally, someone who has been recognized as one of the most influential Christians in Hollywood, Denzel Washington, is the star of the new movie, "The Book of Eli", which placed 2 at the box office during its opening weekend. This film, about a spiritual journey that the main character takes in order to preserve a holy book, presumably the Bible, could be considered a symbolic depiction of the type of spiritual warfare that we as believes face on a consistent basis. With blatant faith elements, this is a movie that does not shy away from dealing with not only spiritual themes, but themes consistent with a Judeo-Christian worldview.
Again, here's Marc Newman of Movie Ministry:
Perhaps these events signal that there is certainly a market for films that present a Christian worldview perspective and deal with spiritual truth in an even-handed manner. It could be a good sign to the movie industry that it can make films that are honest in their dealing with religious matters and resonate with an audience that is seeking for spiritual truth and hope.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Pat’s history is fairly on target – the slaves who led the rebellion in Haiti in 1791 were led by a man who believed in voodoo, and a ceremony was held that swore allegiance to some being or force other than Almighty God, so you could say that over the years, Haitian so-called “religious” leaders have been practicing a form of religion that is clearly anti-Biblical, and of the enemy.
Haiti is permeated in witch doctors and voodoo, and while there is a religious element in the form of the Catholic Church, nevertheless the practice of voodoo is the predominant spiritual practice it the land.
There are a number of principles that we can take away from a careful analysis of Robertson’s comments.
I believe there is historical evidence and geographical evidence that Haiti could be considered a “cursed” land. Just look at the difference between Haiti and the relatively prosperous Dominican Republic on the same island. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, and while some would attribute that to poor leadership, that leadership has accepted and even actively pursued the voodoo practices that have enslaved so many people on that half of the island.
Because of the abject poverty that is so prevalent in Haiti, the nation was ill-equipped to deal with the severity of the earthquake.
What about God’s judgment? Well, if God was using catastrophe to judge sin, then America and each of us individually are getting off light. There is plenty of sin to go around, and it is going unjudged, at least from a catastrophic sense. However, we do live in a fallen world, and natural disasters are going to occur with some regularity. And, I believe we are living in a time when these types of calamities are going to increase – in Matthew 24, Jesus paints a picture of a fallen world racing toward judgment and His return that is being beset with all sorts of natural signs. So, while there is an element of judgment, I cannot say (nor can anyone else) that this earthquake was God’s selective punishment on the practitioners of voodoo – in fact, there has been a massive prayer effort for the nation of Haiti to break the curse on the country.
Did God allow this? Of course.
Can God use this? Imagine the possibilities. The land is now infiltrated with more Christians than ever before, who are sharing the love of Jesus, the hope of the gospel, and the truth of God’s word. This is a unique missionary opportunity, and perhaps it took this adversity to bring salvation for a huge amount of people. And Pat is definitely a player – CBN’s Operation Blessing will be used greatly of God to touch literally thousands of lives in the name of Jesus.
Was Pat Robertson right? While the tragedy did not necessarily come because of the sin or the curse on the land or the practices of the people, it does remain that Haiti has for years been a cursed nation. It now stands at the precipice of being a blessed nation, full of new believers in Jesus Christ. I believe that adversity brings opportunity, and our role is not to necessarily question why something occurred, but how God could use these circumstances for His glory. Pat’s timing was not good, but I don’t interpret his comments as saying the people brought this tragedy upon themselves, and I believe what he said was motivated by compassion for the people there.
And, one further thing - how do people get off on criticizing Pat for a statement they do not understand, calling him “stupid”, for instance, when misstatements are commonplace in public life? We are all flawed individuals – and I’m thankful we don’t get what we deserve – in the form of God’s judgment for sin. So, before we judge Pat Robertson, or the people of Haiti, may we take to heart the words of the apostle Paul, who encourages us to examine ourselves…and as we look within, perhaps we can dig deep and be involved in helping the people of Haiti.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
3 - Texas School Board debates religious references in curriculum
This week, members of the Texas Board of Education debated the social studies curriculum that will be used in the state's public schools in years to come. A principal issue that has emerged is the religious heritage of our nation, and the degree to which students will be taught about the role of religion in our history.
There are no doubt forces at work that want to remove all references to religion, especially the Judeo-Christian principles that were so prevalent in the establishment of our nation, and remain as foundational for our country. This is a contest that is influencing the development of educational policy in one of our nation's largest states. The Texas school board, while voting to keep references to Christmas and certain references to religion this week (see CitizenLink report), delayed an overall vote until next month, according to The Christian Post. The school board is under no doubt enormous pressure to support what we call "revisionist" history, and it's important that members stand strong in order to present an accurate view of our nation's history and its rich faith heritage.
2 - Proposition 8 trial attempts to determine constitutionality of vote
In November of 2008, voters in California went to the polls and affirmed that marriage in that state is defined as one man for one woman. But, instead of being the end of the conflict, it turned out to be just the beginning of another round of controversy regarding gay marriage and the threat to the homosexual agenda that vote represented. Supporters of the amendment, known as Proposition 8, were chastised by the opponents of it, and a round of legal skirmishes has now opened up.
The latest is a challenge to the very constitutionality of this measure, which was approved by a significant margin by a vote of the people. The case is now in court in San Francisco, and some legal experts believe it could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Alliance Defense Fund is involved in the defense of the case, standing for the protection of traditional marriage in the state and our nation, and has a daily update on its website.
1 - Christian organizations step up to aid Haiti
In the midst of the turmoil following the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti this past Tuesday, Christian organizations are a significant part of the fabric of the relief efforts. Despite the enormous challenges, with access to many areas severely impeded or outright blocked, so many organizations are working diligently to provide needed supplies and services to the victims of the earthquake. You can check out my Thursday blog post for information on contacting various Christian relief organizations.
Religious Freedom Day commemorated on Jan. 16th
Thursday, January 14, 2010
This is a great opportunity for Christian organizations to step up and attempt to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the Haitian people. I spoke Wednesday with a representative of the OMS International organization, which has 2 facilities in the capital and bases its operation in Cap-Haitien, which experience a minimal amount of damage - this is where 4VEH Radio is located - pray they would be a light in communicating the gospel during this dark time. The website for the ministry is http://www.omsinternational.org/.
As you may be aware, a number of Christian groups are involved in the nation, and there has been concern about the safety and even whereabouts of various missionaries within the nation. Groups that are on the ground in Haiti are potentially equipped to partner with other organizations to provide needed assistance. For instance, Baptist Haiti Mission is partnering with Samaritan's Purse to identify and address areas of need. You can find out more by going to http://www.samaritanspurse.org/.
We have long spotlighted the work of World Vision (http://www.worldvision.org/) and Compassion International (http://www.compassion.com/), two organizations who have been driven by Christ's love and equipped to reach out in disasterous times.
Here is an .mp3 audio file from an interview with a representative of Compassion:
Numerous organizations are making special requests for assistance. Through its ServantMatch program, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability is providing a list of its member organizations who are offering ways for people to get involved in meeting the tremendous needs in Haiti. Their website is http://www.ecfa.org/, and I trust you will find the list helpful.
Continue to be in prayer for the people of Haiti, and even in this time of unspeakable destruction, that the gospel would be shared effectively and people would be reached in a powerful way with the love of Christ.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
3 - Church bombings intensify in Malaysia
Churches in Malaysia are facing increasing danger in the wake of a court ruling allowing non-Muslim publications to use the word, "Allah". The 3-year ban on the use of the word was struck down by the Kuala Lumpur court, and the government has apparently offered tepid condemnation of the violence. The electorate is 60% Muslim, so the leaders are in a difficult position.
But not nearly as difficult as Christian churches. A Lutheran church is the most recent. Here is a report, published in the Sydney Morning Herald. BBC News had this excellent background story of the violence.
Only about 10 percent of Malaysians are Christians, primarily Catholics.
2 - Brit reaches out, Colt stands firm
People use the media every day to state their opinions and express their worldviews. That's freedom of the press, freedom of expression, right. That's a basic First Amendment right in America. However, as we've seen in the controversy over the so-called Fairness Doctrine, there are those that do not want a broad spectrum of views to be allowed. And, when a Christian shares his strong belief on a Fox News show, it gives those who disagree, in their minds, a reason to go ballistic.
And, that's what has happened in the case of Fox commentator and former anchor Brit Hume. You see, Christ has made a real difference in his life since his salvation experience shortly after the suicide of his son. As he was asked to comment on the Tiger Woods situation, Brit Hume made a statement:
"My message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.'" Here is the CitizenLink story.
Here is the piece from Fox News Sunday:
Here is a respected journalist using the platform that God has given him to express his personal faith, offering sound Biblical advice based on the work the Lord has done in his life. And amidst cries of proselytizing and charges that he was denigrating Buddhism (which, in fact, does not offer the type of redemption that Christianity offers), Brit Hume affirmed his comments on The O'Reilly Factor:
Brit has received words of affirmation from Christians and Christian leaders, and indeed he should be commended for using this platform to bring honor to God.
Now, when an athlete mentions God or his faith, the contrarian chant does not seem to be as great, and I thought Colt McCoy's declaration in a postgame interview on ABC the other night was not your average faith-speak in a postgame moment. Here's the story from The Bleacher Report.
Here is a young man whose Christian faith is fairly well-known. He was injured during arguably the biggest game of his entire life, the national championship. The depth of this young man's comments, in the heat of the moment, offer some great life principles for us. Check out the video:
Indeed, Colt McCoy, while finishing in the Top 5 for the Heisman Trophy 3 consecutive years and narrowly missing last year's national championship game, missed out on leading his team to a possible victory in the game Thursday night, but he certainly has his head and heart in the right place. When told he could not play the second half, he became the Longhorns' biggest cheerleader, providing encouragement and enthusiasm. God always has His purposes, and I believe he will continue to use Colt McCoy, as well as Brit Hume, in the days to come. I am grateful that they were willing to share their faith on national television.
1 - Thousands gather to ignite "Passion"
The Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta were centers of contagious Christianity earlier this week during the Passion 2010 Conference. Founded by Louie Giglio, the Passion movement has not only given us some great worship music, but is intended to encourage college students and young adults to pursue a deeper walk with Christ.
This year, speakers included Giglio, as well as John Piper, Andy Stanley, and Beth Moore, as well as worship leaders Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Hillsong United and more.
On the final day, it was notable that a special offering was taken to fund initiatives in the "Do Something Now" campaign, representing taking responsible social action in the name of Christ in response to what He did in their hearts. An amazing amount was raised, which was matched by one particular couple. Here is The Christian Post account.
As the passion ignited in the hearts of these students motivates them to share what God has done in their lives, the impact of this gathering can be strong. Over 20 thousand young people were in attendance for the 4-day event.
Open Doors' "World Watch List" released, no change at the top
Saturday, January 02, 2010
This week's edition of "The 3" includes a new chapter in the highly effective ministry of Dr. James Dobson, the motivation and mobilization of Christian students to fulfill the Great Commission, and a year-end call to be involved financially in the work of the Kingdom of God.
3 - Dobson to begin new radio program with son
I could hardly believe it when I found out - just a few weeks after Dr. James Dobson announced he was stepping away from the "Focus on the Family" radio program, the word came that Dr. Dobson was starting a new program with his son, Ryan. Here is a letter from the Focus founder and former chairman that details the new effort.
So far, the response from the Focus camp has been positive. Here is the word from the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Certainly, Dr. Dobson has made a tremendous impact not only regarding issues of concern to the family, but also in his attempts to apply a Christian worldview in issues of public policy. And, he has turned the reins of Focus on the Family to qualified people such as new President Jim Daly. Now, we in Christian radio await the new format for the Focus radio program, as well as the release of the new Dobson program. Some stations could perhaps clear air time for both stations, while others may have to make a choice...it will be interesting to see what develops in the next few months.2 - Thousands commit to missions at large Urbana conference
This past week, thousands of young people renewed their commitment to spreading the gospel by attending InterVarsity's student conference, called Urbana '09. The conference was started in Urbana, Illinois, and meets every 3 years - this year's event was held in St. Louis. Here is The Christian Post's report.
The holiday season has definitely become a great time for student conferences - in addition to InterVarsity's event, the annual student conference in Pigeon Forge, TN, attracts a significant number of young people, and college students and young adults are currently gathering in Atlanta for the Passion conference.
1 - Churches close out year with focus on funds, face new year with fresh outlook
It has been a challenging year for many ministries, and churches, as well as other ministry organizations, customarily look to year's end to raise a notable amount of funds. Former guest on The Meeting House, Dr. Wes Willmer of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability offered some year-end thoughts in a recent column for Charisma magazine. As I have mentioned on my radio show, in times of economic crisis, that is not the time to reduce giving - as needs increase due to financial difficulties, there are more opportunities for Christians to be involved in meeting the needs of people.
Rick Warren received some attention recently as he announced a massive 2-day year-end giving emphasis for Saddleback Church, which he pastors. The campaign was apparently a success, according to this report in The Christian Post. So often, I have found that God's people will respond to needs as they are made aware of what is needed. Giving is an activity that Christians are called to participate in, and in addition to tithes to the local church, offerings to ministries and special projects help further the work of the Kingdom and give us a sense of partnering with God in what He desires to do.Tebow closes out college career on high note