Monday, October 12, 2015

E-book Deals Include a Commentary on Corinthians, A Great Deal on the Four Gospels, Getting to the Heart of Worldviews and Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse in Your Church

1 Corinthians by Warren Wiersbe
is free for a limited time

Also available for free on Google Play, iBooks, BookShout, Barnes and Noble

Also available on Google Play, iBooks, and Barnes and Noble

Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey for $5.99

Nancy Pearcey, bestselling and critically acclaimed author, offers fresh tools to break free from presumed certainties and test them against reality. In Finding Truth, she explains five powerful principles that penetrate to the core of any worldview—secular or religious—to uncover its deepest motivations and weigh its claims. A former agnostic, Pearcey demonstrates that a robust Christian worldview matches reality—that it is not only true but attractive, granting higher dignity to the human person than any alternative. Finding Truth displays Pearcey’s well-earned reputation for clear and cogent writing. She brings themes to life with personal stories and real-world examples. And the study guide in Finding Truth was shaped by questions from readers like you, from teens to college professors, and is ideal for individual or group study.

In On Guard, Deepak Reju examines why child predators target churches and offers eleven straightforward strategies to protect children from abuse and to help young victims recover if it does happen. While On Guard does provide practical help for building a child protection policy, it provides much more. Full of pastoral wisdom, On Guard recognizes that the church’s response to abuse must be more comprehensive—in line with her calling—than a simple legal policy or clinical analysis. On Guard moves church staff and leaders beyond fearful awareness to prayerful preparedness with an actionable plan.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Free Kindle Christian Titles; Pastor Saeed's Wife on Billy Graham Radio; Third of Americans Would Not Help Jews if They Lived During the Holocaust; Return to the Hiding Place; ISIS Executes Boy, Father and Women and God's Work in the Midst of the Horror

Leroy Eims' book is free for a limited time

"Many of you have asked how I became a Christian, how Saeed became a Christian, and how we met. This recent interview that I did with Billy Graham Radio will give you a glimpse into our journey including a time when we were threatened to be imprisoned and killed if we said that we were Christians. While every fiber of my being told me to not to say the word, God gave me the Grace and strength to proclaim that I was a Christian. You can listen to this interview and learn how God touched and changed the heart of our persecutor." -- Naghmeh Abedini

“You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Matthew 10:18-20 NKJV

October 1, 2015
At several steps on their path to death by beheading and crucifixion last month, 11 indigenous Christian workers near Aleppo, Syria had the option to leave the area and live. The 12-year-old son of a ministry team leader also could have spared his life by denying Christ.

"I asked them to leave, but I gave them the freedom to choose," said the ministry director, his voice tremulous as he recalled their horrific deaths.

The relatives said ISIS militants on Aug. 7 captured the Christian workers in a village whose name is withheld for security reasons. On Aug. 28, the militants asked if they had renounced Islam for Christianity. When the Christians said that they had, the rebels asked if they wanted to return to Islam. The Christians said they would never renounce Christ.

The 41-year-old team leader, his young son and two ministry members in their 20s were questioned at one village site where ISIS militants had summoned a crowd. The team leader presided over nine house churches he had helped to establish. His son was two months away from his 13th birthday.

In front of the team leader and relatives in the crowd, the Islamic extremists cut off the fingertips of the boy and severely beat him, telling his father they would stop the torture only if he, the father, returned to Islam. When the team leader refused, relatives said, the ISIS militants also tortured and beat him and the two other ministry workers. The three men and the boy then met their deaths in crucifixion.

"All were badly brutalized and then crucified," the ministry leader said. "They were left on their crosses for two days. No one was allowed to remove them."

Eight other ministry team members, including two women, were taken to another site in the village that day (Aug. 28) and were asked the same questions before a crowd. The women, ages 29 and 33, tried to tell the ISIS militants they were only sharing the peace and love of Christ and asked what they had done wrong to deserve the abuse. The Islamic extremists then publicly raped the women, who continued to pray during the ordeal, leading the ISIS militants to beat them all the more furiously.

As the two women and the six men knelt before they were beheaded, they were all praying.

"Villagers said some were praying in the name of Jesus, others said some were praying the Lord's prayer, and others said some of them lifted their heads to commend their spirits to Jesus," the ministry director said. "One of the women looked up and seemed to be almost smiling as she said, 'Jesus!'"

Hundreds of former Muslims in Syrian villages are in danger of being captured and killed by ISIS, which is fighting to establish a caliphate in which apostasy is punishable by death. The underground church in the region has mushroomed since June 2014, when ISIS began terrorizing those who do not swear allegiance to its caliphate, both non-Muslims and Muslims. Consequently, the potential for large-scale executions has grown along with the gains in ISIS-controlled territory.

Even those who leave, however, may encounter ISIS militants and other criminals in refugee camps, said the leader of another ministry that Christian Aid Mission assists. He spoke of a Muslim from northern Syria who, like all men in areas that ISIS takes over, was coerced into joining the caliphate or being killed.

Recruited into ISIS, he fled the country after his brother was killed in the fighting. Disillusioned with ISIS but still adhering to Islam and its teaching that Christians and Jews are unclean "pigs," he went to Amman, Jordan, as he had learned that relatives there were receiving aid from Christians.

The Muslim, whose name is withheld for security reasons, went to a Christian meeting with the intention of killing the aid workers gathered there. Something kept him from following through on his plan, though, and that night he saw Jesus in a dream, the ministry director said.

"The next day he came back and said, 'I came to kill you, but last night I saw Jesus, and I want to know what are you teaching – who is this One who held me up from killing you?'" the director said. "He received Christ with tears, and today he's actually helping in the church, helping out other people. We're praying for lots of such Sauls to change to Pauls."

To help indigenous missionaries meet needs, you may contribute online or call (434) 977-5650. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 414SCEF. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Just Say, "I Will.” The Church, and You, Will Benefit

I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian by Thom Rainer is the latest in a series of books by the author to help the church by helping the average church member. An Autopsy of a Deceased Church sought to take a look at common traits that lead to the decline and death of churches and encouraged believers to avoid those pitfalls. I Am a Church Member was an effort by Rainer to address the attitudes of church membership and how to be a better church member. I Will takes that a step further by addressing church members' behaviors. 

I think I Will does for the average layperson what What Is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti M. Anyabwile may do for a more intellectual layperson. In fact, that is one of the things that I have loved about Thom Rainer. One doesn’t need an advanced degree to understand what in the world he is talking about. He speaks in a language people understand, giving important data in a relevant way that they can apply in very practical ways. 

The nine “I Will” statements explored are as follows:
I Will Move from “I Am” to “I Will”
I Will Worship with Others
I Will Grow Together with Others
I Will Serve
I Will Go
I Will Give Generously
I Will Not Be a Church Dropout
I Will Avoid the Traps of Churchianity
I Will Make a Difference

The book has lots of positives. One, it is in hardcover, so it can stand up to multiple uses and even an occasional accidental abuse. The size of it can fit in a glove compartment, a briefcase, even a side pocket of a computer bag or backpack. It doesn’t take up a lot of shelf-room. In addition, its compact size of just over 100 pages, will make sure that it doesn’t take up a lot of your valuable time either. 

I recommend this series of books to any layperson. Whether the believer is not a reader, someone who loves to read or somewhere in between, this series is well worth your attention and time. The great thing is that there isn’t necessarily a particular order that is needed in devouring them. Pick one up soon and be on your way to becoming a more godly, devoted and effective church member. I Will would be a great start.

If you liked this review, tell Amazon it was helpful. My review on can be found here.

I was provided a complimentary copy of I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian by BH Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Your Name, Your Reputation: Choose Wisely

In Numbers 13, we have recorded the names of 12 men. Their names are listed there for all to see. Tasked to spy out the land of Canaan ahead of the conquests, these 12 would report back on what they found. Forever, their names are linked with their reports. The majority shrunk back in fear while a vocally strong minority wanted to trust God no matter the obstacles, claiming God's promises that the land was theirs for the taking.

You have a name and you are developing a reputation. Is it that you have trusted God or that you shrunk back in fear? Choose wisely how you develop that name and reputation, for others are watching and will follow.

Numbers 13:27-33 (NKJV)

“We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.”

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

Numbers 14:6-9 (NKJV)

But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”