Monday, November 5, 2012

Young Girl's Inspirational Message after her Best Friend Commits Suicide

America's First Great Awakening - a Period of Religious Revival in History

Please Pray for All the Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Being a Pastor Is More Than Preaching, It's About ...

Life in this fallen world is hard. Preparation is hard. Change is hard. It's easy to get discouraged. It's easy to feel overwhelmed. Even in ministry, it's easy to remain or revert to being self-absorbed. It's easy as a pastor to feel alone. It's easy to think that no one understands what you are going through. It's tempting to think like Moses that God must have gotten the wrong address, that this trial couldn't have been intended for your doorstep. It's easy to give in to wondering if the hardships of ministry are worth the trouble. It's easy to look over the fence and yield to debilitating envy. It's easy to let go of good and godly personal spiritual habits. It's easy, at the end of a long day of ministry, to try to numb or distract yourself by whatever temporary pleasure lies within reach. It's easy to deceive yourself about the need to change, to grow in godliness. It's easy in ministry to lose your way and give up. But it's important for you to remember that life and ministry in the fallen world are hard, not only for you, but also for everyone in your care.

That's why God has designed us to live with others in a community of love. When I read 1 Peter 1, I'm always struck by how God has placed a call to love at the end of a discussion of hardship. As Peter summarizes what God is doing here and now, he uses three words: "suffer, grief, and trial." None of us wants these things! But Peter reminds us that they're tools of refinement in the hands of a loving Redeemer intent on completing in us what he's begun. Then Peter begins to lay out how to live productively in the middle of these hardships.
Listen to his final directive: "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart" (1 Peter 1:22). Peter is saying something very powerful here. God hasn't simply called us to endure the refining fires of sanctification. He's ordained us to incarnate his love through the community he's placed around us. This community of love, for pastor and congregation alike, gives us hope and strength. But it also encourages us with the reminder that the One who tests and trains is the One who loves.

Hurricane Sandy: Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Chaplains Deployed Into Multiple Disaster Areas

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 30, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains have been deployed to multiple disaster sites along the East Coast of the United States after the hybrid Hurricane Sandy "superstorm" caused unprecedented damage. According to the recent news reports, more than 30 people are believed to have been killed in seven states and some 8 million people are without power. It is estimated that damage from the storm could exceed$20 billion.
Chaplains trained in crisis-response deployed this morning from Charlotte with three mobile office units, and are tentatively headed for northern New Jersey, southern New Jersey, and Philadelphia. After an initial assessment, additional chaplains will arrive from across the United States later this week.
"We all watched this unique 'superstorm' coming from far off, and could see the potentially devastating course," said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. "Sadly, it seems that the worst fears were realized and millions of people are now hurting as a result of Hurricane Sandy. I'm not sure that there are words that can adequately describe the enormity of this massive disaster. We'll do all we can in the face of this catastrophe to offer emotional and spiritual care and the hope and compassion of Jesus Christ."
MEDIA NOTE: B-Roll and sound bites from this morning's deployment of the chaplains is available for download at
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team recently concluded its deployments to three areas in Louisiana following the impact of Hurricane Isaac in late August. Chaplain teams spent several weeks in LaPlace, LaCombe and Plaquemines Parish, La. Thus far in 2012, chaplains have deployed to 22 disaster areas in 14 states.
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is a nationwide network of Christian chaplains across 48 states that are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. Since the ministry was launched in 2002, it has responded to more than 145 natural and man-made disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and shootings.
For more information on the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, For videos, photos and news articles from recent Billy Graham Rapid Response Team deployments, visit Ministry updates and photo galleries are posted at
About the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world by every effective means available through a wide range of domestic and international Christian evangelism ministries. Visit Get news updates on Twitter at
Christian Newswire Launched for Churches to Post and Respond to Needs

BOSTON, Oct. 31, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Families affected by Hurricane Sandy can post their needs and service opportunities online The website was launched by TechMission, a Christian nonprofit organization based in Boston, which also runs one of the largest online volunteer matching websites, 

The goal of is to match needs of families with resources of church members.
  1. Individuals can post requests for assistance on the website in areas such as tree removal, neighborhood cleanup, and home repair.

  2. Churches can post needs for members, or upload a spreadsheet of resources, needs, and volunteer opportunities.

  3. Volunteers can search a comprehensive list of resources, needs, and volunteer opportunities related to Hurricane Sandy. These needs can also be viewed on a map. The site also pulls in feeds of volunteer opportunities from AllForGood and, in order to have a comprehensive list.
The site offers volunteer opportunities in numerous areas, including:
  • distributing food at American Red Cross food pantries

  • assessing disaster recovery needs with Red Cross Disaster Services in eastern Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania

  • supervising at shelters in New Jersey and New York State

  • helping with hurricane cleanup with Serve Rhode Island

  • providing training on emergency preparedness
In explaining the vision of the site, Andrew Sears, Executive Director of TechMission, said, "Just like the Internet can connect millions of buyers and sellers, our goal is to connect needs with resources of churches in response to Hurricane Sandy." was funded by the Cecil B. Day Foundation and is being provided by the Christian non-profit, TechMission ( Newswire

Evangelism Leaders Gather in Denver for 'Make Love Your Aim'

DENVER, Nov. 1, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- More than 300 evangelism leaders gathered in Denver this week for "Denver 2012: Make Love Your Aim." The event opened Monday with a prayer gathering focused around the "Cape Town Confession" - ten "We believe" statements from the Cape Town Commitment, which resulted from Cape Town 2010, The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. 

The Mission America Coalition (MAC), hosted Denver 2012. MAC Chairman Paul Cedar said opening with the 10 "We Believe" statements was "a call for the Church to believe in evangelism, to discuss evangelism, and to do evangelism. To give high priority to sharing Jesus Christ throughout the nation." 

More than 20 affinity consultations met in the afternoons throughout the Denver 2012 Leadership Consultation. The City Impact Roundtable (CIR) affinity consultation, with more than 70 participants, discussed cityreaching models and heard best-practice stories from representatives from Branson, Mo., Denver, and other cities. Participants shared successes and challenges in their own city contexts and had an animated discussion of racial issues and how to reach and know the diaspora peoples in U.S. cities. 

Reuben Gonzales, from Denver, said the CIR was transformational for him. "I had such a narrow view of the significance of culture," he said. "It took my blinders off and helped me reframe my approach to ministry." 

MAC's facilitator for City Community ministries, Jarvis Ward, said one theme of this CIR was on creating more diversity in age, ethnicity, and gender among "cityreachers." 

"Our impact is much stronger when we have engaged younger, browner, and female disciples," Ward said. 

Another Affinity Consultation addressed orality -- the need for a spoken, story-centered gospel for more than 70% (5.7 billion) of the world's population who prefer oral learning. 

Other affinity groups included Women in Ministry, Faith and Work, Children's Ministry, Mobilizing Churches for Global Missions, Church Planting, Denominational Leaders, Arts and Entertainment, Internet Evangelism, and more. 

Affinity consultations and plenary sessions alike encouraged and challenged participants toward a "prayer-care-share" lifestyle. 

Plenary speakers included Nick Hall, The Pulse Movement; Richard Coleman, The Mission Society; Kara Powell, The Fuller Youth Institute; Steve Moore, MissioNexus; Bryan Loritts, Fellowship Memphis, and others. 

The vision of the Mission America Coalition / U.S. Lausanne Committee, is to see "the whole Church taking the whole gospel to the whole nation and the world." Membership is free; a monthly e-newsletter of evangelism news, research, and trends is available online at
Christian Newswire

'Live' 24-Hour Prayer Meeting for Our Nation as Over 1.6 Million Vow to Vote for Jesus

ST PETERSBURG, Fla., Nov. 2, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Bill Keller, the world's leading Internet Evangelist and the founder of, with over 2.4 million subscribers worldwide reading the Daily Devotional he has written every morning for 13 years on the issues of the day from a Biblical worldview, is hosting a "live" 24-hour prayer meeting for the nation on a dedicated YouTube channel beginning Monday November 5th at Midnight through Tuesday November 6th at Midnight. 

In a recent interview, Keller stated, "The real key to this election is not who God will allow to rise to power for the next 4 years, but the fact that whoever it is, it will be a clear sign of the furtherance of God's judgment on this nation for our sins and turning our back on God and His Truth!" 

In May, Keller began a sister website, and made the case that because of the fact President Obama is the most pro-death, pro-homosexual, pro-enemy of Israel President in history, he is a true enemy of God. He also states that Republican nominee Mitt Romney is a 5th generation high priest of a cult that worships Satan and leads souls to hell with a false gospel. He calls both men "tools of Satan," and encourages Christians to write in the name of Jesus for President as a way of taking a stand for their faith. As of this release, over 1.6 million have signed up to write in the name of Jesus for President. 

Keller concluded, "This live 24-hour prayer meeting will be an opportunity for Christians to pray for their nation, since unless we turn back to God and Biblical Truth, this nation is doomed. If we are so arrogant to think that God judged the children of Israel for their apostasy and won't judge this nation, then we deserve His wrath." 

You can join this "live" 24-hour prayer meeting on your computer or any handheld device at: 

About Live Prayer: In 1999 Bill Keller launched It has gone on to become the most successful online Christian ministry in the history of the internet. Each morning, Bill Keller's Daily Devotional that he has written every morning for over 13 years is emailed to over 2.4 million subscribers worldwide. Information on Liveprayer is available at:
Christian Newswire

Massive Christian Rally in Egyptian Desert Brings Estimated 25,000 to Christ

SANTA ANA, Calif., Nov. 2, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Revival is spreading throughout Egypt...a revival of faith in Jesus Christ. 

During the first weekend in October, 10,000 young people gathered in the desert 60 miles north of Cairo to sing, pray and worship the Lord. 

The youth gathering was followed up with an even larger event at the same location -- an October 25-28 "Count It Right" Christian rally which drew 45,000 people. Hundreds of buses brought in people of all ages to the conference grounds, which also hosted artistic and sports activities. 

But the focus of the event was to present the message of salvation and call people to give their lives to Jesus at a time in Egypt when Christians are being persecuted even more since the June election of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi. 

Included in the numbers reported by a Christian leader are:
  • 45,000 - the number of attendees

  • 25,000 - estimated number of people who gave their lives to Jesus

  • 8,000 - cards filled out by people who requested follow-up visits by churches

  • 2-3 million - estimated number of people who followed the rally on two Christian satellite channels for six and a half hours of airing time broadcasted live each day to North America, Australia and the Middle East

  • 1,000 - children participating in a special program prepared for them

  • 5,000 - people attending a one-day parallel festival on Oct. 25 in the Coptic Orthodox Cave Church, located in Cairo's garbage dump

  • 6,000 - people attending another similar gathering from different churches on Oct. 28 in Assiut, a city located six hours south of Cairo
The Christian leader blogs:
"Big numbers, but most important of all, great harvest! The view of thousands of people, standing up each of the four nights, proclaiming their desire to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior is hard to describe in words. This is when I could not hold my tears. 

"Most of the attendees were from the Coptic Orthodox Church, and one of the nights a Coptic Orthodox priest was the main speaker for the meeting. Have I seen an Orthodox priest preaching from an evangelical pulpit to such a big crowd of people before? Never. 

"In the evening services, attendees were challenged to put their cigarettes, drugs, magic charms and any other material objects that represented sin in their lives, or write on pieces of paper specific sins they were repenting of, and put everything into large baskets that were passed around throughout the entire stadium. 

"On the first night alone, 12 large wicker baskets were filled with these items. I think Jesus was present in a similar multitude scene before. This was a powerful symbol of a sincere decision they have all made to follow Christ." 

The Christian leader explains: "We do not have an accurate count or a clear indication of how many people accepted Christ. Most of the days, more than half of the people in the stadium stood up to pray and repent in response to the altar call. It was impossible for the ushers and evangelism team to pray with all the people and fill out cards with each one. With this in mind, the estimated number was 25,000 people who prayed to receive Christ during the festival. The Holy Spirit is the only One Who has the exact count, though." 

The Christian blogger adds that Egyptian Christians "want to thank all our Christian brothers and sisters worldwide who have faithfully been praying with us and for us as we stood back and watched what mighty things God has done in the lives of many people. We are grateful to Him for His great work among us and for you as our partners in the Kingdom of God. 

"We are so thankful to God for His protection over this large event and the large number of people who attended. Grateful for the smooth administration of so many logistics and for the spirit and attitude between all the believers who worked together to make it possible. We are overwhelmed by His goodness and His heart of mercy towards Egypt, and are expecting more and more signs of revival in the coming days." 

A link of the gathering from You Tube can be found at Pictures of the rally are available from Open Doors USA. 

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (            888-524-2535      ) or go 

(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Jerry Dykstra at            616-915-4117       or email
Christian Newswire

World Vision Distribution Teams Reach Out to Survivors in Superstorm Sandy's Aftermath

You're the First People to Help Us'

Relief Teams Challenged by Gas Shortage, Heavy Snow but Still Distributing Food, Flood and Hygiene Kits
NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- As millions recovering in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy are still without power, World Vision relief workers are hard at work distributing much needed relief supplies with more on the way. World Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization, has sent out distribution teams to regions across the eastern United States hard-hit by the storm. 

"You're the first people to help us. Thank you," was the reaction from one storm survivor who got help today at a distribution set up by World Vision in Far Rockaway, New York. Hundreds of food kits were distributed along with blankets and flood cleanup kits. Each flood cleanup kit for example, contains a mop, two brooms, sponges, bleach, a scrub brush, a bucket and gloves. World Vision has ordered an additional 9,000 blankets now en route. More New York distributions are scheduled for the days ahead. World Vision staff is working through the weekend. Crews are challenged by the lack of gasoline. 

In Appalachia, where power is still out at the World Vision Storehouse in Philippi, West Virginia, heavy snows still limit mobility. This is the fourth day that facility has been shut down but food kits and water are still being distributed by staff. 

Cleanup is progressing at the South Bronx World Vision Storehouse, heavily damaged Monday when the nearby East River flooded its banks destroying relief supplies. Relief supplies from World Vision's Domestic Disaster Headquarters in North Texas and International Distribution Centers in Denver and Pittsburgh are arriving at a second, newly-opened disaster relief distribution center in the South Bronx. "We're mobilizing hundreds of partners to reach thousands of people immediately," says Rick Miltimore, World Vision's National Director of Resources and Relief. 

World Vision US is using existing pre-positioned supplies to help as it restocks shelves. "In the last four days, World Vision has replenished blankets, tarps and cleanup kits," says Miltimore. "Donations are critical to replenish our supplies. We're going to help restore these communities," says Miltimore. 

In Haiti, torrential rains from Hurricane Sandy hit the capital, Port-au-Prince. More than 20 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, prompting widespread flooding, landslides and destruction of crops. More than 70 people died. World Vision has supplied tarpaulins, hygiene kits jerry-cans blankets, and sleeping mats to flood-affected Haitian families from pre-positioned supplies. 

To help: 

Media Contact:
John Yeager World Vision U.S. - Media Relations             425-765-9845 

About World Vision: World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world's poor, regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, visit
Christian Newswire

Volunteering Tops One Million Hours at Child Evangelism Fellowship Headquarters

WARRENTON, Mo., Nov. 3, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Volunteers are essential to the success of many ministries and nowhere is that more evident than at Child Evangelism Fellowship, the largest ministry to children in the world. Volunteers have topped an impressive one million hours since 1998, at CEF headquarters in Warrenton, Missouri. "Last year alone 695 volunteers gave their time at our headquarters and their service is crucial to our mission to share the gospel with children all over the world," said Mr. Steve Johnson, director of Volunteer Services for CEF. Last year, CEF reached 12.1 million children around the world.
Anyone over the age of thirteen may serve at CEF headquarters where volunteers are referred to as "volunteer missionaries" because they are giving their time in service to the gospel mission. Some serve for a day, many serve for months but most serve for one to two weeks, the typical length of most mission trips organized in the United States. The campus of CEF headquarters is well-equipped to handle its volunteers. With a lodge, an RV park and a full service cafeteria open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, CEF offers housing and meals to its volunteer missionaries who are asked to pay ten dollars per day to offset the cost.
Many church groups organize mission trips for the purpose of volunteering at CEF headquarters and many students from around the world attending the Christian Ministries Institute at CEF headquarters will stay on for a time to serve as volunteer missionaries. However, the vast majority of volunteers are retirees. Mr. Johnson explains, "Many retirees want to perform missionary work but not every ministry has work that they can do. At CEF headquarters we have volunteer work that is ideally suited to a retiree, especially in our Discipleship Center." The Discipleship Center does much of the work for the Truth Chasers Club, the popular Bible club through the mail that CEF sponsors. Last year over 539 volunteer missionaries, almost all of them retirees, performed data entry, graded lessons, and processed mail for the club. "We could not run the club without them," said Mr. Johnson.
In addition to the Discipleship Center, volunteer missionaries serve by maintaining the buildings and grounds, preparing meals in the cafeteria, supporting literature production with CEF Press, and preparing boxes of teaching materials for shipment around the world for the Boxes of Books program. From time to time, assistance is needed for projects in the IT department and the International and USA Ministries departments. "We really appreciate the people who are willing to serve CEF and we want to match them with their particular interests," said Mr. Johnson.
While serving at CEF headquarters, volunteer missionaries also enjoy spiritual renewal, rich fellowship and some good fun. They attend chapel, weekly Bible studies and have time for personal devotions. On Monday nights there is a music program; there are game nights and an activity room in the lodge.
Volunteer missionaries are welcome to serve at CEF headquarters all year round. There is a particular need in January and February, according to Mr. Johnson. Anyone who is interested in volunteering at CEF headquarters should or call             1-800-300-4033       ext.1246.
Christian Newswire