Thursday, June 30, 2016

Russia Proposes Law to Ban Evangelism in the Nation - RUTH KRAMER/MNN CHARISMA NEWS

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia Proposes Law to Ban Evangelism in the Nation

Russian President Vladimir Putin ( REUTERS/Ivan Sekretarev/Pool)

Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.

"Preaching to the choir" is an idiom which means you are trying to make believers out of people who already believe, or convince people who are already convinced. For the most part, it's another phrasing for ineffective messaging.
When the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, approved a package of anti-terror bills this week, that is what could become the reality for gospel work in Russia.
Seems innocuous until you realize how much snuck through without public comment, and how much it could change gospel work in Russia.
Slavic Gospel Association's Joel Griffith says, "From what we're able to understand from all the sources, if the bill is signed and it stands as is without change, it looks like missionary activity would be off-limits to anybody but representatives of the registered organizations or groups, or individuals who have entered into formal agreements with such bodies."
Plus, the new anti-terror legislation cracks down on anything that is interpreted as a violation of public security and order—extremist actions, coercion into ruining families, and encroachments on the freedom of the person and the rights and freedoms of citizens.
One way that could be read, explains Griffith, is "they're saying every missionary has to carry documents with specific information proving their connection to a registered religious group, and it looks like they're wanting to try to ban any missionary activity in residential areas except for certain things like prayer services or ceremonies."
A ban is also imposed on missionary activities aimed at inducing suicide, at creating obstructions to getting compulsory education, and at persuasion of individuals to refuse to perform their legally binding civic duties. How it could be enforced: "Foreign missionaries would only be able to operate where their inviting organizations are registered."
The broad strokes being used to curb extremism often have a chilling effect on other groups, like SGA, too. Christian leaders haven't been taking it silently.
President Alexei Smirnov, of the Russian Baptist Union, wrote a formal letter to President Putin to express his disagreement and concern over the bill in its current form.
"President Smirnov, in his letter says, 'The draft law is anti-constitutional, as it violates the basic rights of its citizens and does not coincide with the current Constitution of the Russian Federation,'" says Griffith, noting Smirnov's other concern that "the bill was not discussed with the Duma Committee on Public and Religious Organizations. There was no public discussion of the draft law. In such a way, religious organizations lacked even the opportunity to express their opinion."
The package has landed on President Vladimir Putin's desk for his signature. SGA is praying that, "Mr. Putin will heed the concerns, not only of the churches, but also those in Parliament who are concerned about freedom of religion, that this law would not be signed, ultimately."
Yet, even if the bill gets signed into law, there's still hope.  
The churches SGA has served over in Russia, in the whole Commonwealth of Independent States, the former Soviet Union, have operated under very difficult conditions before. "They've survived atheistic Communism and the persecution they endured there. So, they know what it's like to pay a price for their faith.  They're going to continue on with their ministry, regardless of what happens."
To that end, their purpose remains unchanged. The Great Commission, says Griffith, has not been rescinded. "Our desire, as their helpers at Slavic Gospel Association, we exist to serve the churches. Our prayer is that we'll continue to have an open door to serve them in what they need." 
This article originally appeared on Mission Network News. 
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Why Your Kids Rebel Against God - STEVE MURRELL CHARISMA MAGAZINE

This is the reason children become self-righteous or rebel.

Why Your Kids Rebel Against God



This is the reason children become self-righteous or rebel. (Flickr | vanessa_hutd)

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In the minds of many people in our society, legalism and Christian parenting are synonymous. Simply add the adjective "Christian" when talking about "parenting" and people assume this inevitably results in more rules, steeper consequences, less freedom for the child, lame music and outdated clothes. While it's true that legalism plagues many Christian families, I believe that legalism is antithetical to biblical parenting. It totally misses the heart of parenting and undermines our work as builders, watchmen and providers—or simply as parents. What does legalism look like? It's tempting to simply list a bunch of stereotypical examples.
• The parents who won't let their children watch any movies that are PG-13—even if the film is Mark Burnett's Son of God.
• The parents who only let their children listen to "Christian" music—regardless of the actual message of the songs or the lifestyle of the singers.
• The parents who won't let their son grow long hair—even though we all know (from the movies) that Jesus had long hair and the first mention of a haircut in the Bible caused God's power and presence to depart from Samson.
But in reality, legalism is less about the quantity or absurdity of the rules that parents set for their children and more about the importance parents place on the rules themselves. The purpose of setting rules and boundaries is to protect children from things that will harm them, to teach them self-governance and to develop self-control. But well-intentioned boundary-setting can quickly turn to legalism if we forget that rules are about protecting and teaching, and begin treating them as a measure of acceptance and a means of control.
We've all witnessed it before: Two sets of parents adopt identical behavioral guidelines for their children with completely opposite results. Why? Because one family was loving and gracious and the other family was mired in legalism. The quantity or severity of the rules is not the primary issue. The real difference between legalism and grace in parenting is the purpose behind the rules. As soon as your children see rule-keeping as a means of gaining your acceptance rather than a means of protection, you've crossed the line into legalism. And as soon as rule-setting becomes more about controlling external behavior than teaching internal self governance, you're slipping into legalism.
The Unintended Results of Legalism
What does legalism do to a family? If parents consistently place an undue emphasis on rule-keeping and make children feel like parental love and acceptance hinges on their ability to keep rules, then we'll produce either arrogant Pharisees or angry rebels. Legalistic parenting produces Pharisees when children make great efforts to earn their parents' acceptance by strictly following all of the rules. These children may look really good from the outside, and often make their parents look good too, but behind the spotless record and impressive accomplishments, we often find individuals who are prideful, insecure and judgmental.
Legalistic parenting also produces rebels. This happens when children finally reject the legalistic game—often after repeated failure to measure up to their parents' standards—and decide that it's not worth the trouble to earn their parents' acceptance. So rather than striving to keep every legalistic rule like a Pharisee, the rebel will often intentionally break as many rules as possible.
While many parents would rather have a Pharisee who is on the honor roll than a rebel who's flunking school, both conditions are equally deadly. And both conditions result from legalism in the home. With the Pharisee, we have a kid who believes the only way to earn Mom and Dad's acceptance, and ultimately God's acceptance, is by working really hard. With the rebel, we have someone who finally decides that having a relationship with parents, and ultimately with God, is just not worth the trouble. So how do we avoid legalism as parents? How do we guard our hearts against this destructive condition? Three ways.
First, as parents, we need a deep revelation of the gospel. We need to understand that our relationship with God is not based on our religious performance, but on Jesus' vicarious sacrifice. We're not accepted because of what we do for God, but because of what God did for us. Our relationship is not based on our commitment to Him, but on His commitment to us.
Second, we can take a simple cue from Paul in Colossians 3:21 when he says, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." Harsh, legalistic parenting that emphasizes rule-keeping over relationship will certainly embitter and discourage our children. What's worse, it will deeply affect the way they relate with their heavenly Father.
 Finally, we must understand that our children need to know that we love and accept them regardless of their performance. So though we do need to celebrate good grades and excellence in sports and music, we especially need to express our love and acceptance to our children when they fail. Bad grades. Missed free throws. Painful piano recitals. Do your kids know in those moments of failure that you love and accept them anyway?
Excerpt from My First, Second & Third Attempts at Parenting by Steve MurrellSteve is co-founder and current president of Every Nation. He is also the founding pastor of Victory in Manila, Philippines, one church that meets in 15 locations across Metro Manila. He is the author of several books including 100 Years From Now, WikiChurch, and is coauthor of The Purple Book— Every Nation's foundational Bible study with over one million copies in print. To learn more about Steve, visit stevemurrell.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @smurrell and Instagram at @wsmurrell. 
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Ongoing North Carolina Revival Is Making a Worldwide Impact - CBN News Mark Martin


Ongoing North Carolina Revival Is Making a Worldwide Impact
06-29-2016
CBN News Mark Martin

The number of people accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior continues to climb at the Burlington Revival in North Carolina.

D.R. Harrison, marketing director for the revival, told CBN News around 500 people have accepted Christ so far in the last eight weeks.
D.R. Harrison talks about how his daughter prayed for his wife and him to accept Christ. Watch his powerful testimony here.

D.R. Harrison and his wife accepted Christ at the Burlington Revival.
Another spokesperson said a lot of older people are giving their hearts to Jesus, people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s.
Harrison, who also accepted Christ under the ministry of C.T. Townsend, the evangelist at the revival, said people are traveling to Burlington from around the country, including from Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, and up and down the East Coast.
In addition, people are already planning to attend the revival next week, its ninth. 
"We're receiving messages from Oklahoma, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York -- people that are booking plane tickets and making plans to attend the revival next week," Harrison said.
"All I can say is it's just God. God is doing something in this day, in this hour that no man can take credit for, and no man can possibly fathom what God is doing in this day," he continued. "And it's a real move of revival that God is sending to us in the last days right before Jesus comes." 
Harrison said there has been a big increase in the amount of people watching the services online, including social media.
"It's obviously spreading all over the country and even around the world... people tuning in from Africa and Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico; people watching through Facebook, on our Facebook live feed every night, feeling the presence of God, begging God that He would send revival to their countries," Harrison shared with CBN News.
"We want to make sure we stay out of the way and just let God do exactly what He wants to do," he said.
The revival meetings have been extended through July 8. The tent sits directly off the highway at 3860 Danbrook Road in Burlington, NC -- just off Exit 140 from I-40.
Watch here: NC Revival

Graham Draws Largest Crowd to Washington State Rally - CBN News

grahamrallycapitolap
Graham Draws Largest Crowd to Washington State RallyCBN News 06-30-2016

Franklin Graham drew 5,000 Christians to his rally in Olympia, Washington, on Wednesday, his largest to date. 
"Our nation is in trouble, and like many people, we are fed up," he said.
During his 31st stop on his 50-state Decision America Tour, Graham urged Americans to vote in this year's election. 
"In Olympia we saw the gay pride flag flying over the mayor's office - what would happen if it were the Christian flag?" he tweeted. 
Graham told the crowd he wasn't there to tell them who to vote for, but to choose a candidate who stands for biblical principles. 
He also encouraged pastors to speak out on political issues. Graham says churches today care more about political correctness than God's righteousness. 
State officials said it was one of the largest rallies at Washington's Capitol in recent years.
His next stop is Juneau, Alaska.

1 Popular Hebrew Word, 3 Cool Meanings ✡ "Peace in the Land" - ISRAEL365

And I will give peace in the land,
and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land,
neither shall the sword go through your land.

וְנָתַתִּי שָׁלוֹם בָּאָרֶץ וּשְׁכַבְתֶּם וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי חַיָּה רָעָה מִן הָאָרֶץ וְחֶרֶב לֹא תַעֲבֹר בְּאַרְצְכֶם

ויקרא כו:ו

v’-na-ta-tee sha-lom ba-a-retz u-sh’-khav-tem v’-ayn ma-kha-reed v’-hish-ba-tee kha-ya ra-ah min ha-a-retz v’-khe-rev lo ta-a-vor b’-ar-tz’-khem

Today's Israel Inspiration

The first Hebrew word most people learn is “Shalom” שלום - which has three meanings: Hello, Goodbye and Peace. The root of the word is very significant in Hebrew as it describes someone or something that is complete or perfect. When we say goodbye to someone in Hebrew we bless them, “Lech Le-shalom“-לך לְשָׁלוֹם – literally “go in peace.”  There are many ways to speak about God and one of them is, “the One who makes peace in the heavens”- or as we say in prayer, “oseh shalom bi-meromav” - עוֹשֶׁה שָׁלוֹם במרומיו. - He who makes peace in high places. Bring a blessing of peace into your home with a beautiful 'blessing for the home'  from Meir Panim.

Under the Prayer Shawl, in Star Trek

This great video reveals the secret of prayer. Get ready for some fascinating cultural references, such as the appearance of the Jewish Priestly Blessings in Star Trek!

Learn 15 Hebrew Words Today!

One of the many miracles associated with the Land of Israel is the revival of the Hebrew language. Come learn a few Hebrew words and feel closer to Israel and the Hebrew Bible.

Today's Israel Photo

Ilan Rosen captured this gorgeous photograph of a grape vineyard in the Upper Galilee. Look again and see the rainbow!

Thank You

Today's Scenes and Inspiration is sponsored by Harley Branitz of New York. Todah rabah!

“Thank You for All the News and Beauty of Israel”

It’s great to hear from so many of you - stay in touch and let us know where in the world you are enjoying Israel365!

Thank you for all the news and beauty of Israel in your emails. I'm very blessed to receive such joy thorough your emails. I live in Colorado Springs, but am from Poland. May Hashem bless all Israel and you. Iweta

Hi! Reading God's word & enjoying the view of God's chosen place. It is beautiful! I live in Lexington, South Carolina, ISS
Shalom,
Rabbi Tuly Weisz
RabbiTuly@Israel365.com
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Restoration (Day 2) with Steve Strang on The Jim Bakker Show

Jim Bakker with Steve Strang, Charisma Magazine Publisher & Founder

Watch here: Restoration (Day 2) with Steve Strang on The Jim Bakker Show


Jim & Lori Bakker







Michael Snyder, Steve Strang
Jim Bakker Show 2016 | Show# 3027 | Aired on June 30, 2016

Abortion, Charisma magazine, PTL, PTL Club, Restoration, Restoration Celebration
Jim Bakker Show © 2016 • Morningside Studios

The Surprising Reason People Leave Their Church - CATHERINE PARKS CHARISMA MAGAZINE

A lot has been written lately about millennials leaving the church.

A lot has been written lately about millennials leaving the church. (Benjamin Faust)

Spirit-Led Woman
The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.

A lot has been written lately about millennials leaving the church. Many reasons have been suggested for this. We're told millennials are wary of anything that hints at consumerism, and then in the next breath we're given reasons for attending church that center on what we can get out of it. It's no wonder we are leaving the church—we're not even sure what it's for.
This post isn't really about millennials leaving the church. It's not about millennials at all, actually.
The consumer mentality of church members and church-goers is not unique to my generation. It can be found in nearly every demographic in almost every church. Where I most often see it, and where I am most often guilty of it myself, is in the area of service.

Using Our Gifts

My husband and I started attending our church nearly eight years ago. We were there just a few months before people were volunteering us to serve in various areas. We found ourselves part of a newly formed greeting ministry, I was working in the nursery, and we were teaching kids on Wednesday nights. It was a little overwhelming. We didn't know how to say no, so we "served" begrudgingly.
Truth be told, we were both pastors' kids, and we were unsure how to function as normal church members. It was easy to think, I'm not sure this is my gifting. Maybe I should find something that uses my talents and abilities better.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to use our gifts to serve our church family. But then again, who would say they have the spiritual gift of changing diapers? Holding doors open? Setting up chairs?
Thankfully, the Lord revealed the selfishness of my heart to me. I wasn't serving anyone, really. I was performing needed tasks, but my heart wasn't in it. It's still easy to slip back into the mentality of considering the Sundays I'm singing with the worship team as more valuable than those Sundays when I'm a substitute teacher in the preschool department.

Why Are We Serving?

When our gifts are unneeded or we go unrecognized for some God-given ability, often we decide we'll go somewhere else where we're "needed." We leave a church with a need for workers in every children's department because we just don't feel that we're being used there.
Ultimately, I think it comes down to this: Are we serving for the benefit of the body of Christ or for our own self-fulfillment?
Love for Christ is accompanied by love for His bride. My church family is just that—my family. I can't imagine saying to my husband, "I'm sorry, I just didn't change our son's diaper today because it really isn't my gifting, and I'm not sure if it would really use my talents well."
No, I love my son, and I love my husband. If the diaper needs to be changed, I change it. It's a simple way to serve in love and meet a need. This doesn't mean my gifts aren't important. What it means is that sometimes the need for a servant is greater than my need to use a specific gift.
Love for the church means a heart that desires to give. There are weeks I'm tempted to go to church, sit back and be served. Now, sometimes being served is necessary. If we're always giving, but in pride refusing to receive, that's not OK. There's reciprocal joy in allowing others the chance to serve us.
At the same time, if we refuse to serve in the nursery because Sunday is our one chance to get away from kids, we're thinking of church wrongly. The Bible speaks strongly about the church being our family, even more than our flesh and blood families. Sunday is not a chance to take a break from family—it's a chance to serve our true family.
When you're part of a body that loves and serves and gives, a beautiful bond forms. You see people serving in the background, and you praise God for them. You see the joy of service in others, and you want to follow suit. You see a need, and you long to meet it.
Serving in our local church is not meant to meet our needs for self-fulfillment or self-worth; it's about the joy found through self-denial.

Because of Christ

The church is the bride of a Bridegroom who emptied Himself and took "the form of a servant" (Phil. 2:7). He humbled Himself to the point of death on a cross. Our Savior did this for us—on our behalf. He freed us from trying to one-up each other. He freed us to serve in love just as He did. He freed us to rest in the knowledge that our service does not earn our salvation.
We love because we have been loved, and we serve because we have been served. Churches are looking for people to serve in a wide array of areas. Let's not wait to be asked.
How can serving in areas that might not be your "gifting" benefit others? What needs exist in your local church that you could help meet? 
Copyright © 2001-2016 Revive Our Hearts. Reprinted with permission. During nap times and between loads of laundry at her home in Nashville, TN, Catherine Parks is a writer. At other times of the day you can find her either pretending to be a cheetah wrangler with her two small kiddos, or trying to convince her husband, Erik, to become a coffee drinker. Catherine has a BA in English literature from Bryan College and has finally put the degree to work in A Christ-Centered Wedding.
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Dare to go deeper in your faith. Our "Life in the Spirit" devotional takes you on a journey to explore who the Holy Spirit is, how to interact with Him, and how He works in your life. Are you ready to go deeper?

Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Prophecy Coming to Pass Right Now - ED GARVIN CHARISMA NEWS

Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Prophecy Coming to Pass Right Now



It seems like it was only yesterday, though in many ways feels like it has been forever, since the landscape of Orlando (and America) was changed by an unspeakable act of one individual inspired by a culture of hate, filled with malice and focused on terror. Our city was shaken. Our community was devastated. Our world altered.  
Now, as I watch my city slowly begin the long road of recovery from the deep wounds inflicted through hatred and terrorism, I have a significantly greater empathy towards the people of Istanbul, who now find themselves in the tragic spotlight of terrorism's sting. I imagine that, going forward, each time a terrorist strikes I will feel a connection to those in terror's wake. The perspective on these horrific terrorist attacks is forever changed when it strikes in your community. So today, as I continue to pray for Orlando, I also intercede for Istanbul, asking God to bring peace to their chaos and comfort to their unimaginable pain.
I am compelled by the realization that we must resolve to passionately pray for our cities. We must purposefully strive to restore hope in our neighborhoods. We must remove terrorism from our nations. We must resurrect faith in our world. The big question is, how?
Often in times of crisis, we turn to God's directive to Solomon at the dedication of the temple: "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves ..." Those of us with a few miles on the Christian journey can quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 in its entirety. We declare this verse as a reminder of the power of prayer. While there is no mistaking the impact of prayer, I am convinced that the key to this promise from God lies in truly embracing the beginning of the verse that is all too often summarily passed over.
There are no shortages of prayer vigils in times of crisis. People who typically are substantially disconnected from interaction with God use phrases like, "our thoughts and prayers are with those affected." Prayer, or at least the thought of prayer, is a relatively minimal investment response to the urgent issues before us. Yet, we are reminded, "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray ... "   
Genesis 30 introduces us to Joseph, a child with a great heritage and a significant destiny. This destiny is discovered a few chapters later, along with the difficulty.
Joseph has a remarkable future, one that is placed in jeopardy due to his issue with pride. The gift of an ornamented robe from his father became the source of angst to his brothers. A dream God gives to Joseph in secret is thoughtlessly shared in public. These actions that, on the surface, can be dismissed as innocent missteps reveal a character issue that, if left unaddressed, will lead to Joseph's failure to see his destiny fulfilled. The potential far-reaching impact of his failed destiny would affect not just Joseph, but an entire nation.  
Joseph's journey to humility and eventual role in saving his people from the ravages of famine serve as a profound picture of the importance of genuine humility, and a caution to recognize how easily we can redefine God's presence in our life as an accomplishment on our part rather than the gracious gift that He faithfully gives. We are reminded of this truth in Paul's letter to the Philippians, "Let this mind be in you all, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But He emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant."
President Lincoln stated it well when, in 1863, he designated April 30 as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer:
"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, who owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by a history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. The awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has grown, but we have forgotten God."
May God grant us the wisdom and determination to embrace, "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves...!" 
Ed Garvin was born in the Midwest, the 12th of 13 children. He grew up in southwest Florida and considers himself a Floridian at heart. Pastor Ed began his ministry journey as a successful youth pastor and executive pastor. He has since served as lead pastor for churches in Florida, Illinois and Wisconsin. He has also served as Public Relations Director for North Central University. Pastor Ed has been married to his best friend, Jodi for over 30 years and is blessed with two amazing children, Lauren and Drew. Ed is an active reader, avid runner and average golfer!
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