Monday, October 29, 2012

The 3 - October 28, 2012

This week's edition of "The 3", my week-in-review feature highlighting 3 stories of relevance to the Christian community, includes court decisions on tax dollars being used to fund abortion, a controversy surrounding a Senate candidate's views on life, and a major online conference strengthening thousands of church leaders.

3 - Circuit courts issue decisions on Planned Parenthood funding

There were a couple of decisions on the Federal circuit court level this past week regarding then funding of the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.  One of the decisions, out of the 7th Circuit, ruled that an Indiana law that prevented the state from funding Planned Parenthood was unconstitutional.   Meanwhile, in the 5th Circuit, that court refused to strike down a Texas law that restricted the state from funding the abortion seller.

Here are the stories, from
In the Indiana case, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld a lower court judge’s ruling that the state of Indiana cannot defund Planned Parenthood via the state Medicaid program.

The ruling, from a three-judge panel, indicated that Indiana can’t enforce a state law signed by Governor Mitch Daniels disqualifying Planned Parenthood from participating in family planing program because it does abortions.

In May of 2011, Indiana became the first state of several to remove the abortion business out of its program in May 2011. A provision of the law would prevent Medicaid patients from obtaining services at Planned Parenthood and other facilities that provide abortions, with the exception of hospitals and ambulatory care centers. The law prohibits state agencies from providing state or federal funds to “any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.”

In response to the law, the appeals court wrote, "Although Indiana has broad authority to exclude unqualified providers from its Medicaid program, the State does not have plenary authority to exclude a class of providers for any reason—more particularly, for a reason unrelated to provider qualifications.”

Indiana had argued that Planned Parenthood makes no effort to separate the services funded by Medicaid from the other streams of its business, including abortions.

And, unfortunately, there is this false notion that Planned Parenthood provides unique forms of women's medical care that cannot be obtained elsewhere.   There is also the erroneous information circulating that the abortion seller provides mammograms, which has been repeatedly disproven.

Conversely, the 5th Circuit came to a different sort of conclusion regarding the Texas state law that prevents taxpayer funds from being sent by the state to Planned Parenthood.   The court refused to grant an additional hearing to the abortion provider regarding the state's legislation to end taxpayer funding of abortion companies.  The decision apparently effectively ends the legal controversy surrounding the law and affirms Texas’ right to stop taxpayer dollars from flowing to abortion providers.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry applauded the decision, saying, “Today’s ruling affirms yet again that in Texas the Women’s Health Program has no obligation to fund Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform or promote abortion. In Texas we choose life, and we will immediately begin defunding all abortion affiliates to honor and uphold that choice.”

The bottom line is that the majority of Americans, in poll after poll, identify themselves as pro-life.   But, pro-abortion lawmakers who receive thousands from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers and supporters are obligated to these high-powered donors, so they ignore the will of the majority in order to protect their friends who promote abortion.   But, the aggressive manner in which Planned Parenthood sells abortions has received a greater amount of attention, and I expect no shortage of bills that will continue to attempt to guarantee that taxpayer funds do not go toward the termination of human life.

2 - Indiana Senate candidate affirms that all life is a gift of God

There has been much debate about the significance of the so-called "social issues" on the campaign trail.  It is interesting to me that the issue of abortion, under the guise of "women's rights", continues to be a major factor.   And, the nuances among candidates in the Republican party have been highlighted by Democratic opponents.

Take, for instance, the issue of abortion in cases of rape.  Even politicians who do not support legalized abortion have typically supported exceptions in those instances, as well as incest and danger to the mother's life.   And, the small number of children conceived in the brutal circumstance of a rape have been placed in the spotlight, as opponents of Mitt Romney have attempted to highlight the legislative differences between the candidate and his running mate on that issue.  And, indeed, people of the same political stripe can disagree on a variety of issues while still remaining akin politically.

Abortion and birth control have been exploited so much in the current campaign season, as if to say that the only things that women care about are reproductive in nature.   Which leads us to an issue that became big news, temporarily, in the campaign this past week...

Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock, after defeating veteran Senator Richard Lugar in the Indiana Republican primary, is facing Joe Donnelly, an avowed "pro-life Democrat", who joined Bart Stupak in voting for the health care law after opposing it because of its inclusion of taxpayer funding of abortion.  In a debate the other night, Mourdock used these now-famous words, in response to a debate question on whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest:

"I struggled with in myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God.  And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Politicians and pundits jumped on those words, attempting to tie Mourdock to Romney and to paint the Senate candidate as insensitive to women.   Mourdock reiterated afterward that he was saying that all life is a gift from God.

And, ultimately, Mourdock gained defenders from left and right.   The Christian Post quotes Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America:
"I think the entire issue has been blown out of proportion...The bottom line is that life begins at conception and babies in the womb are completely innocent."
And, Dr. Al Mohler quotes liberal columnists who may have disagreed with Mourdock, but thought that the reaction against him was overblown.

Amy Sullivan of The New Republic:
Take a look again at Mourdock’s words: “I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And…even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” The key word here is “it.” I think it’s pretty clear that Mourdock is referring to a life that is conceived by a rape. He is not arguing that rape is the something that God intended to happen.”
According to Mohler, Amy Sullivan also acknowledged that Mourdock’s position is “a fairly common theological belief.”   Mohler illustrates that is also a point made by Kevin Drum, writing in Mother Jones, who registered his disagreement with Mourdock’s argument, be he was bold to ask the obvious — “can’t we all acknowledge that this is just conventional Christian theology?” He added, “What I find occasionally odd is that so many conventional bits of theology like this are so controversial if someone actually mentions them in public.”

Using the horrific incident of rape in order to score political points is offensive.   And, in a tight Presidential race, as well as the battle for the U.S. Senate, anything and everything can be used to influence a voter.   Those who are pro-choice believe that the support of abortion, as well as birth control, are winning issues, even to the extent of excoriating those who have deeply held religious convictions on those topics.

1 - "The Nines" instructs, inspires Christian leaders

This past Thursday and Friday, Leadership Network presented another installment of "The Nines" conference, which was an online event expected to attract some 40,000 church leaders.   There were more than 99 speakers who were scheduled to present 5-minute segments on a variety of what were called, "hot-button" topics. 

Speakers for this year's event included Pastor Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle; Pastor Craig Groeschel from; author and speaker Francis Chan; and Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback Church in California.

"Leadership Network is excited to support the local church and assist churches with implementing their ideas to have a greater impact in their community," said Todd Rhoades, producer of The Nines. "The Nines allows church leaders all over the world to gain new insight that can help them greatly enhance their ministries and outreach programs."

The talks by the various speakers were streamed online and there were study materials that were available, as well, to coincide with the various speakers.  

At one point, the hashtag #thenines was one of the trending topics on Twitter.  

Speaking of Francis Chan, he and David Platt, of Birmingham's Church at Brook Hills, have teamed up for a simulcast event, called, "Multiply" - available November 9th and 10th for 3 hours either evening.  It's intended to help believers in Christ be involved in making disciples, and for more information, you can go to

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The 3 - October 21, 2012

You could say that 2 out of the 3 stories in this week's edition of "The 3" are centered around one topic - religious freedom - and that topic is involved in the top story of the week, as well.   The lineup for this week includes rallies dealing with religious freedom that were held across America on Saturday, as well as the challenge to the religious freedom rights of some Texas high school cheerleaders and a court victory this week that has propelled them further into the national spotlight.  And, the top story involves America's most well-known Christian figure and his campaign to encourage voting according to Biblical values - and that includes a defense of religious freedoms. 

3 - Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rallies scheduled across America 

This past Saturday, "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" rallies were taking place in cities all across America - from Des Moines, Iowa to Huntsville, Alabama, from Kalamazoo, Michigan to a large gathering in Chicago, people took to the streets again to pray for our nation and to stand in solidarity against efforts to restrict religious liberties in America.   The linchpin of the rallies: the mandate that employers, including religious entities, provide free contraception and abortion-inducing drugs through their health insurance plans.

You can read reports at the website.  These rallies were a follow-up to similar events held last summer.

At the Chicago rally, for instance, speakers included Chris and Mary Anne Yep, owners of Triune Health Group, which was named the “Best Workplace for Women” by Crain’s Chicago Business earlier this year. The Yeps are among dozens of plaintiffs who have filed lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services over the contraception mandate.

Stand Up Rally Co-Chairman Eric Scheidler pointed out that the fight against the HHS Mandate is all about preventing the state from infringing on the rights of individuals to act in accord with the dictates of their conscience and their faith.

Dr. Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor of the Moody Church, spoke about the “intolerance of ‘tolerance,’” and noted how assaults on religious liberty have become increasingly common in recent years as a result of a deeply flawed understanding of the First Amendment in which “all things seem to be an ‘establishment of religion.’”

He then pointed out that the First Amendment also states that Congress shall pass no law “prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]”—but that adherents of the “new tolerance” all too often forget that.

The crowd at the Chicago rally was estimated at some 1700 people.

Some 140 or more cities were sites for rallies, indicating that religious freedom has emerged as a key political issue today - this mandate has contributed to quite a bit of emotion among Christian voters, and could be a major factor in the turnout among religiously-motivated voters, including evangelicals, on November 6th.

2 - Texas cheerleaders win in court - again

Supported by some rather high-profile leaders in the state of Texas, namely Attorney General Greg Abbott and Governor Rick Perry, the cheerleaders at Kountze High School in Hardin County, Texas have survived another legal hurdle to preserve what they see as their constitutional right to free speech - placing Scripture verses on the signs that the football team runs through before each game.  This week, according to the Houston ChronicleState District Judge Steve Thomas said that a ban imposed by the Kountze Independent School District appears to have violated the cheerleaders' rights to religious expression. The trial on the matter has been set for June 24th.

According to CitizenLink, Abbott says the banners do not violate the Constitution in any way.

“The State of Texas intervened in this case to defend the cheerleaders’ right to exercise their personal religious beliefs — and to defend the constitutionality of a state law that protects religious liberties for all Texans,” he said in a statement. “Those banners, which the cheerleaders independently produce on their own time with privately funded supplies, are perfectly constitutional.”

Liberty Institute is defending the cheerleaders, who, along with their parents, sued the Kountze Independent School District last month after the district banned the banners.  CitizenLink quotes Liberty Senior Counsel Michael Johnson as saying, on KBMT News:  "The law is very well established that so long as the speech — be it religious in nature or otherwise — as long as it is initiated by the students, led by the students, which this certainly was, then it’s fully protected under the Constitution."

The banners were challenged by the Freedom From Religion Foundation - interestingly enough, the FFRF is not directly involved in the lawsuit, even those its aims are being supported by the school district in its action against the students.  And, there's an indication of the FFRF tactics - they send letters in order to intimidate, but infrequently litigate.   In Kountze, and other cities across America, citizens who embrace religious freedom are standing strong and fighting back, hoping to receive favorable court rulings, and perhaps even reverse a trend that has resulted in the limitation of rights of students and public officials to communicate their belief in God.
1 - Graham releases new campaign to vote according to Biblical values

When you have America's top evangelist intersecting with the ongoing top news story in our nation, it automatically becomes huge news.  And, that's the case with Dr. Billy Graham, who is featured in a series of full-page newspaper ads and other material that can be downloaded for church bulletins, and to use as posters and flyers.   These ads encourage people to vote according to Biblical values, emphasizing the critical nature of the election coming up on November 6th.

According to a piece on the Baptist Press website, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said friends who support the ministry have contributed funds designated for the purchase of advertising space using Graham's image to call for the support of candidates who support biblical values.

"The number of states, papers and times the ads run will depend on the amount of funding provided and designated for this project of the BGEA," the association said. "The ads intentionally do not mention any candidate, political party, or contest, urging instead for readers to cast votes for candidates -- at all levels -- based on their support for biblical values."

The statement added that Graham "recently expressed a desire to publicly call America back to God and to prayer, and to draw attention to moral issues that are clearly addressed in the Bible and have increasingly become part of a national political dialog."

A full-page ad featuring Graham has already appeared in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.  Ads will be placed in reportedly as many as a dozen states.   As I have said on my radio show, it's important that we allow the Bible to shape our perspective on all the issues of life, and that includes our political views.   As we embrace Biblical truth, then we can evaluate the actions and stated positions of candidates to determine whether or not they line up with our deeply-held beliefs. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The 3 - October 14, 2012

In this week's edition of my week-in-review feature, "The 3", an official at a D.C. university has been suspended because she signed a petition to rescind the law passed by the Maryland Legislature legalizing same-sex marriage.   Also, the blasphemy law in Pakistan is taking its toll on children and their families - a young man and his family are now in hiding as a result of charges brought under the law.   And, the most impactful news story involves pastors across America, going into pulpits on October 7th to preach sermons about political issues and candidates.

3 - D.C. university official suspended for support of MD gay marriage repeal

The voters of Maryland will be going to the polls to attempt to undo what was done by the state legislature when they legalized same-sex marriage.   There were some 160,000 signatures gathered on a petition to place a measure on the ballot to repeal that law, and one of the people who signed has been suspended by her employer as she exercised her free speech rights.

According to the Christian Examiner, the President of Gallaudet University, which caters to hearing-impaired students, has placed the school's Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Angela McCaskill, on paid administrative leave.

Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz wrote on the university's Facebook page that, "It recently came to my attention that Dr. McCaskill has participated in a legislative initiative some feel is inappropriate for an individual serving as Chief Diversity Officer."

Senior Counsel at the American Freedom Law Center Robert Muise said all Americans have the right to sign petitions.

“This is just a microcosm of a really larger problem that I’m seeing across the country — Christians who want to engage in  their religious belief and express their views are being punished,” Muise told CitizenLink.
Hurwitz stated he would use this time to determine the next his steps regarding McCaskill.

McCaskill is the first deaf African-American woman to earn a doctorate from Gallaudet University..

So, the message here - it's OK to be diverse as long as you hold to one specific position.   Can't Dr. McCaskill still embrace "diversity" and express her own political views?   Isn't it interesting that those who espouse diversity or tolerance seem to be intolerant of other points of view, and do not allow others to express their positions on issues?   Sounds rather non-diverse to me.

2 - Children charged under Pakistan blasphemy law

A 16-year-old Pakistani boy is in hiding, accused of sending text messages denigrating the prophet Muhammed to friends and neighbors in the city of Karachi.   The Christian Post reports that
Ryan Stanten has been charged under the nation's controversial blasphemy law.  He and his family have been in hiding since Tuesday night, when the cleric of the local mosque, Maulvi Ghulam Qadir, spoke to them about the text messages, according to a report in The Express Tribune.   His mother was suspended from work on Wednesday, the day a complaint was lodged at the local police station.  The same day, protesters broke into their house, threw the furniture and electric appliances on the road outside the colony, and set fire to them.  No arrests have been made.

According to the Post, an unnamed Christian activist was quoted as saying that the boy's friends had taken away his cell phone and sent the messages, saying: "Ryan had no idea who the messages were sent to and what kind of messages they were."

And, the story of a mentally challenged minor girl in the country, Rimsha Masih, continues - she was initially charged under the blasphemy laws, then it was alleged that she was framed by a local imam.  Witness have reportedly decided not to testify on her behalf, saying they had been tortured by police into recording their statements against the imam.  

According to Compass Direct News, she is due to appear in an Islamabad juvenile court this Tuesday.  Originally charged in regular court where the potential penalty is life imprisonment, the girl’s case was transferred to the juvenile court after her age was certified and evidence surfaced that she was framed by a local imam.

“We will ask the judge to quash the charges against her,” attorney Tahir Naveed told Open Doors News.

And then, he said, the girl’s family will try to settle back into something resembling a normal life.

“The family will live in Pakistan and they have already voiced their intention publicly,” Naveed said. “For now it’s certain that the family of Mizrek Masih will not seek asylum outside Pakistan. We will relocate them and also help in arranging employment for the father.”
Meanwhile, it is tense in Rimsha's neighborhood, according to Compass Direct.  Other Christians who fled Islamabad’s Meherabadi neighborhood to avoid Muslim anger over Rimsha’s alleged offense have tried to return home, too. Naveed, who is a member Punjab state Legislative Assembly, said his All Pakistan Minorities Alliance party is looking after the needs of returning Christians and that relations with Muslims are calm.

Not everyone sees it that way. “Some members of Rimsha’s congregation, who gathered last Sunday for worship at the church in the affected area, were stopped from playing the harmonium and tablas when they were singing hymns,” said a Christian pastor identified as Ahsraf, who said he provided shelter to several Christians fleeing from Meherabadi at his church in Islamabad’s Sector G-8. “The tension is pretty much out there.”

Ashraf said about 450 Christians took shelter in the 66 Quarters area of Awami Colony in the suburbs of the Islamabad.
So the conflict continues surrounding this law, which is largely regarded as an affront to the freedom of speech and freedom of religion in that country.

1 -  Record number of pastors participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday

Last Sunday, some 1,600 pastors in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico registered to participate in what is known as "Pulpit Freedom Sunday", which has been promoted by the Alliance Defending Freedom.  This number represents more than twice as many as took part last year.

Participating pastors committed to preach sermons that present biblical perspectives on the positions of electoral candidates. ADF states that by doing this, they will exercise their constitutionally protected freedom to engage in religious expression from the pulpit despite an Internal Revenue Service rule known as the Johnson Amendment that activist groups often use to silence churches by threatening their tax-exempt status. The Johnson Amendment was passed by Congress in 1954 as an amendment to section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. The Amendment states that entities who are exempt from federal income tax cannot "Participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office."

Under the Amendment, churches or ministries that speak out Biblically on the positions of political candidates could risk the loss of their tax-exempt status. 

ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley is quoted as saying that, “Pastors should decide what they preach from the pulpit, not the IRS...It’s outrageous for pastors and churches to be threatened or punished by the government for applying biblical teachings to all areas of life, including candidates and elections. The question is, ‘Who should decide the content of sermons: pastors or the IRS?’”

Alliance Defending Freedom hopes to eventually go to court to have the Johnson Amendment struck down as unconstitutional for its regulation of sermons, which ADF believes are protected by the First Amendment.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

The 3 - October 7, 2012

In the past week, the next steps proceeded after the California legislature passed a ban on any therapy that is designed to help people change their sexual orientation from gay to straight and lawsuits that have been filed to overturn the legislation.    Also, another lawsuit was filed challenging the mandate for employers to provide free contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, this time from a Christian book publisher.   And, a major conference in Atlanta could have a strong impact as leaders take the knowledge they gained and apply it in their churches and communities.

3 - California governor signs bill banning therapy for gay teens who wish to change sexual orientation; lawsuits filed

Early last week, California Governor Jerry Brown announced he had signed legislation that would ban therapy for gay teens who desire to change their sexual orientation.   According to coverage in the Christian Examiner, the law states that "being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming" and that "sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people."

"Under no circumstances shall a mental health provider engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a patient under 18 years of age," the law states.  Any mental health providers who attempt such counseling could lose their licenses.

Brown was quoted by CNN as saying such therapy "will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery."

Here is the coverage from the Christian Examiner.

Saying that the law violates religious liberty, two Christian legal advocacy groups almost immediately promised to file lawsuits, and followed through this week.  Brad Dacus, President of Pacific Justice Institute said, "This outrageous bill makes no exceptions for young victims of sexual abuse who are plagued with unwanted same-sex attraction, nor does it respect the consciences of mental health professionals who work in a church. We are filing suit to defend families, children, and religious freedom. This unprecedented bill is outrageously unconstitutional."

Mat Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel said, "The California governor and legislature are putting their own preconceived notions and political ideology ahead of children and their rights to get access to counseling that meets their needs...A number of minors who have struggled with same-sex attraction have been able to reduce or eliminate the stress and conflicts in their lives by receiving counseling of their choice which best meets their needs and religious convictions..."

The governor signed two other bills this week that were pushed by the gay rights community, according to CitizenLink.   He signed a law allowing clergy to opt out of performing same-sex wedding ceremonies without being punished by the state.  Under the legislation, championed by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), churches won’t lose their tax-exempt status if they don’t perform same-sex ceremonies.

Brown also signed into law last Sunday a bill requiring foster parents and other caregivers to undergo training focused on sensitivity and cultural competency for kids struggling with same-sex attractions and gender identity.

2 - Christian Bible and book publisher latest to sue government due to contraception mandate

The Alliance Defending Freedom reports that its attorneys, representing Tyndale House Publishers, have filed a federal lawsuit against the Health and Human Services mandate that employers, even religious entities, provide free contraception and abortion pills through their health insurance plans.  Tyndale House is one of the world’s largest privately held Christian publishers of books, Bibles, and digital media, but it is a for-profit corporation, and therefore considered to be "non-religious".   It is owned by a non-profit foundation that  provides grants to help meet the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world.

“Bible publishers should be free to do business according to the book that they publish,” said Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “To say that a Bible publisher is not religious is patently absurd. Tyndale House is a prime example of how ridiculous and arbitrary the Obama administration’s mandate is. Americans today clearly agree with America’s founders: the federal government’s bureaucrats are not qualified to decide what faith is, who the faithful are, and where and how that faith may be lived out.”

On July 27, ADF attorneys obtained the first court order against the mandate on behalf of Colorado’s Hercules Industries and the Catholic family that owns it. That order temporarily suspends the mandate only against Hercules Industries while its lawsuit goes forward in court.  

1 - Catalyst conference attracts thousands of church leaders to Atlanta

This past Wednesday through Friday, thousands gathered in the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Atlanta to hear from a stellar lineup of speakers, emphasizing the importance of leadership consistent with Biblical truth, energizing and equipping attendees to implement strategies that can impact their churches and communities.  A crowd estimated at almost 13,000 filled the arena with energy and anticipation.

Catalyst has become an annual destination for many church leaders from throughout the country, and a destination for an impressive cadre of speakers.   Here is some of the coverage from the website,   This is just a synopsis of the 2nd day of conference: 

Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor of North Point Ministries, opened the day with three highlights of what makes a leader: unexpected opportunity, unavoidable adversity and unquestionable calling.  He explained that we have no control over any of these things except for one critical piece - they way we respond to them. 

Susan Cain spoke on the power of introverts in an extrovert-dominated world.  Patrick Lencioni of The Table Group, Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, Mary Frances Bowley from Wellspring Living and the White Umbrella Campaign were just some of the speakers throughout the day.

Perry Noble, Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church, impacted attendees by addressing the frustrated leaders...He called us to, "Stop screaming at the world, ‘Discover me!' and start screaming at God, ‘Develop me!'"

Mark Burnett, Executive Producer of The Voice, Survivor, and The Apprentice and his wife, Roma Downey, previewed the new ten-hour docudrama series on The Bible:
After audience members were amazed by the clips shown at Catalyst, Mark inspired us by explaining his heart behind the series: to drive masses of people into the church so that the church can help them untie the knots.
Christine Caine, Founder of the A21 Campaign, brought attendees a powerful message by explaining to the crowd that they were made to run the race of faith and that it is not about who is the biggest, best or fastest, but rather it is about all of the people who are running in the same lane.  She shared that it is better to be marked by God than marked by man.  She called us to fix our eyes on Jesus and focus on faith.

During the final session of the day, leaders learned about the impact that Charity:Water is making on countries throughout the world by providing clean water and joined in celebrating the adoption process for one family with a donation of $5,000 and the potential for so much more through interaction from the audience.

Francis Chan, closed the day with a convicting message reminding those attending that in order to successfully make disciples, leaders must act more like Jesus.

And that's just day two...

Day one featured Mark Batterson, Michael Hyatt, and Jon Acuff, among others.   The theme for the event was "Make" - in other words, to attempt to "make" something of their experience, of their lives and of what God has called them to do, according to the Catalyst Space blog.

This really reminds us God is providing opportunities for us to make an impact - it's so important that we are obedient to Him and reliant on His equipping to fulfill His call.