Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Guard Against Sexual Sin

By Jack Graham
The continuously unraveling scandal that has toppled the director of the CIA David Petraeus and has entangled the top NATO commander in Afghanistan as well as an FBI agent sounds more and more unfathomable by the minute. But, really, it’s a prime example of the severe consequences of immorality.
It only takes a small pin to burst a balloon. When trust is gone and when there is a leak in the integrity and character of a person, the explosion is quick and even startling. What has taken a lifetime of hard work to build disintegrates swiftly with an act of immorality, an act of indiscretion. You sacrifice your integrity, lose your credibility, and forfeit the right to lead.
I often speak to men about the sin of adultery and perversion because of the seemingly tolerant attitude in society toward this sexual misbehavior. And once you cross that line, once you go over the boundaries into sexual sin and engaging in immorality, it becomes easier and easier to justify it.
There are 12 points I share with men on how to maintain their moral purity.
  • Recognize your potential for moral failure. Don’t say, “It can’t happen to me.” Don’t say, “I’m immune to this” because you’re not. And if you’re not careful, if you don’t watch and pray, if you don’t develop spiritual disciplines in your life, you’re more than vulnerable.
  • Realize you don’t have to give in. Don’t say, “The living Christ is in me and yet I couldn’t help myself.” You have the power of God’s Spirit; the Spirit of the living God lives in you and will enable you and empower you.
  • Resolve to be pure; purpose in your heart not to defile yourself. And if you have fallen, you can start over again. And you can say, “From this day forward, God, make me pure and make me clean.”
  • Remove all bitterness from your life. Often, when a person becomes bitter, he’s upset about something that becomes an excuse or a rationalization to say, “Well, I deserve this pleasure.”

Sandy meal count tops 1.2M; next: church partnerships

EDISON, N.J. (BP) -- Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers deployed after Hurricane Sandy had prepared more than 1.2 million meals as of Monday (Nov. 19) in New York, New Jersey and, earlier, in West Virginia.

As more power is restored to homes in the hardest-hit areas, SBDR leaders said the need will diminish for meal preparation by SBDR units deployed from numerous states.

Volunteers also have reported 56 individuals who have made professions of faith in Christ as a result of SBDR ministry.

On the horizon: The North American Mission Board will coordinate both church-to-church partnerships in the region and the mobilization of student volunteers for long-term ministry and service in the Northeast.

"The church-to-church initiative in response to Sandy will be different in nature than that of the response to Hurricane Katrina," said Jerry Daniel, team leader for the North American Mission Board's LoveLoud emphasis.

While the church partnerships fostered in the wake of Katrina focused in large part on the physical rebuild and repair of church infrastructure, the aftermath of Sandy will see a different ministry emphasis, Daniel said.

"There was not a lot of damage to church facilities, so the church-to-church aspect of Sandy will focus on churches partnering with churches in the affected area to do work in the community," Daniel said. "This will provide the local churches a platform with their neighbors. The assistance given by partnering churches will allow for an increased bandwidth of ministry by local churches in the Northeast."

Planning and logistics also continue for mobilizing college students to assist with cleanup operations over the winter break. Details for the volunteer opportunity for students and the church-to-church initiative will be available soon, Daniel said.

In total, more than 1,200 SBDR volunteers from 34 states and Canada have responded to Sandy. Baptist convention volunteers have served from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas-Nebraska, Kentucky, Maryland/Delaware, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota/ Wisconsin, Mississippi, Missouri, New England, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania/South Jersey, Southern Baptists of Texas, Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, Baptist General Association of Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah/Idaho and West Virginia. Also responding are volunteers from North Carolina Baptist Men and Texas Baptist Men.

Terry Henderson, DR director for Texas Baptist Men, shared an email from an emergency worker who thanked SBDR volunteers for their service. The email read, in part:

"I am an EMT on deployment to help with evacuations and emergency medical operations. I have been here for two weeks now under some very stressful and less than ideal conditions. Yesterday your disaster relief team arrived while we were out on a mission. Today they were serving us breakfast. I just wanted to say thank you.

"All of us are exhausted, stressed and homesick and most of us have been living in our ambulances for the entire deployment. A nice home-cooked meal and smiling faces are a very welcomed sight. Also the hot showers and ability to do our laundry will not be overlooked either. Again I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your arrival has made a very tough mission more bearable."


TobyMac Continues Whirlwind Year with First Ever American Music Award

t’s been quite a year for five-time GRAMMY® Award winner TobyMac with his new album EYE ON IT hitting No. 1 on the overall Billboard Top 200, multiple national television appearances including Fox & Friends, Good Morning America and The View and featured media spotlights in Billboard Magazine, Los Angeles Times, People Magazine and, among others. Now, to add to his whirlwind year, TobyMac has garnered his first career American Music Award. The multi-platinum selling artist received the award for Favorite Artist in the Contemporary/Inspirational category last night at the 40th annual American Music Awards. The annual award show was broadcasted live from the NOKIA Theatre L.A. and for the sixth year, fans determined the winners by voting online.

When learning he had won the award before his Winter Jam set in Fresno, TobyMac said, “This is my first AMA! I still can't believe it. It is so meaningful to me because the people I'm thinking about when I'm writing these songs are the ones who vote. Thank YOU guys from the bottom of my heart!


It’s About Fulfilling Your Destiny: Founder of ‘Life Without Limbs’ Tells Beck His Inspiring Life Story

Church, restaurant join forces to serve Thankgiving dinner to needy

With the help of local donations, an East Dundee restaurateur is teaming up with an Elgin church to bring free Thanksgiving meals to the northern Fox Valley.
Beverardo Sanchez, the owner of the Family Buffet, is working with the Elgin Evangelical Covenant Church to provide 1,000 dinners on Thanksgiving to families who have no place else to go or cannot afford to buy their own holiday meal.
“We have so much to be thankful for,” said Henoch Fuentes, one of the organizers. “We have our freedom to be thankful for. We have our friends to be thankful for and our families to be thankful for. This is a celebration for everyone.”
It also is a project that needs the community’s help. In order for it to be a success, hams, turkeys and other food donations are needed along with volunteers to help cook and serve the diners who want to eat at the Route 25 restaurant or take the cooked food home.
“We’ll need about 100 turkeys, 50 hams and 50 chickens,” Fuentes said. “We’ll also need cans of vegetables, potatoes and rolls.”
Church members will donate some of the items. Organizers are hoping local residents will donate the rest.
“We’ll start cooking the turkeys, hams and chickens, a day or two before Thanksgiving (Nov. 22).” Sanchez said. “The turkeys should be boneless because they will take less time to cook. A full turkey takes about 3½ hours to cook. A boneless turkey will take about an hour and a half to cook.”

Atheist-Inspired Ban on Santa Monica Nativity Displays to Be Challenged in CA Court Today

LOS ANGELES (TheBlaze/AP) — Damon Vix didn’t have to go to court to push Christmas out of the city of Santa Monica. He just joined the festivities.
The atheist’s anti-God message alongside a life-sized nativity display in a park overlooking the beach ignited a debate that burned brighter than any Christmas candle.
Santa Monica officials snuffed the city’s holiday tradition this year rather than referee the religious rumble, prompting churches that have set up a 14-scene Christian diorama for decades to sue over freedom of speech violations. Their attorney will ask a federal judge Monday to resurrect the depiction of Jesus’ birth, while the city aims to eject the case (for TheBlaze’s past analysis of this case, read here).

Search Begins for the Longest Married Couple in Canada

CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island, Nov. 19, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted by the Canadian Board of Worldwide Marriage Encounter, North American Secretariat:
The search for the longest married couple in Canada was announced today by James and Connie McNeill and Fr. John Juhl, the Canadian Ecclesial Team for Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the original faith-based marriage enrichment program.
"We are pleased that our marriage enrichment ministry can take this opportunity to celebrate husbands and wives that been married for many, many years," said Mr. and Mrs. McNeill and Fr. Juhl. "In addition to recognizing the longest married couple in the country, we want to honour the longest married couple from each province and territory."
National winners will be recognized during the week of Valentine's Day in 2013. This coincides with World Marriage Day, which is held on the second Sunday of February each year. This is the first year that the highly acclaimed project will be held in Canada. The project is entering its third year in the United States.
Nominations are open to husbands and wives regardless of religious affiliation, and may be submitted by a friend, family member or the couple themselves by email, regular mail or phone. To nominate a couple, simply submit the names of the husband and wife, their wedding date and where they currently reside, as well as a contact number or email address of the person nominating the couple. Nominations can be sent as follows: email; regular mail to WWME Canada, 15 Centennial Drive, Charlottetown, PE, C1A 6C6 or phone (902) 367-2061 . Nominations must be received by January 10th, 2013.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend enrichment experiences for more than 44 years and is considered the original faith-based marriage enrichment program. The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society, and include evening and half-day programs presented in parish halls and other facilities in additional to the popular weekend program.
WWME has a presence in nearly 100 countries, which makes it the largest pro-marriage movement in the world. In Canada, WWME programs are presented in English, French, Spanish, and Korean.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter offers married couples the opportunity to spend time together away from the busyness of the world to focus on each other. It offers tools for building and maintaining a strong, Christian marriage in today’s world. To learn more about Worldwide Marriage Encounter email, or go to
Media inquiries should be directed to:
James & Connie McNeill 

Christian Newswire

Kingman church group will try the homeless life

Church group will gather donations - and also try out life on the street

An outreach group made up of adults, teenagers and kids from St. John's United Methodist Church will have a makeshift cardboard box camp set up in the parking lot of the Stockton Hill Road Taco Bell Saturday.

They'll be showing solidarity with the homeless, holding up signs to raise awareness and collecting toiletries to give to the people staying at the Cornerstone Mission and Diana's Faith House as part of Hunger and Homeless Awareness month.

"This is the first time we're doing something like this," said Linda Chevalier, the chair for the church's mission's team. "It'll be a big awakening."

Whether you can spare a couple bottles of shampoo and conditioner or several tubes of toothpaste makes no difference because all types of hygiene products will be accepted, Chevalier said.

The group will be in the parking lot from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. From there, they'll head to the Cornerstone Mission, where they plan to stand in line for a meal and eat dinner with the residents, she said.

Then they'll head back to the church, where they'll sleep outside in the cardboard boxes they used at Taco Bell for the hygiene drive.

"Hopefully we can make it through the night," Chevalier said.


Two-time Cancer Survivor Shares Inspiring Personal Reflections in New Motivational Book

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 19, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- People facing cancer and other life challenges can find hope from Susan M. Culey's newly released book "Overflow with Confident Hope...because you can." Written in a quirky, non-conventional style and filled with positive insights to dealing with overwhelming odds, "Overflow with Confident Hope" promotes an upbeat, faith-filled attitude.

Ms. Culey is no stranger to success and catastrophe. An award-winning hair stylist and successful business owner for many years, she seemed to hold the world in her hands. But, in a very short time, she lost everything after enduring two battles with breast cancer and other personal tragedies. But, rather than giving in and growing bitter, she fought through her fatigue and fears, believing that God had a great plan for her life.

"I had religion crammed down my throat when I was a kid," says Ms. Culey. "I knew about God, but I didn't know Him as my Friend until my personal struggles with cancer. I wanted to share my journey with people because it was about much more than just cancer. The battles literally brought me face-to-face with my past perspectives about God, and my great need for a compassionate, forgiving and healing Creator. I want the world to know that a person can find hope during and in spite of their trials. And more than that, they can overflow with confident hope every day."

"Susan was in the hospital when she began writing some of the pages in this book," stated Chris Lang, film producer and family friend. "I remember the pieces of handwritten paper that she read to me as I visited her there. I've since been inspired by Susan's courage to pursue a positive perspective even while she deals with so many obstacles."

Through powerful personal stories and inspiring Bible passages, "Overflow with Confident Hope" presents a practical approach to perceiving life circumstances. Faith-filled anecdotes provide dynamic insights on how to overcome fears, insecurities, helplessness and desperation. The themes touch on complications, uncertainties and anxieties of the mind to help the reader understand how to live with confident hope.

For more information about the book or to schedule Ms. Culey for an interview or speaking engagement, visit

Christian Newswire

1,300 Volunteers Deployed to Staten Island for #SandyThanksgiving Disaster Relief Efforts by Liquid Church of NJ

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Nov. 19, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Having already "mucked out" (cleaned and gutted) almost 200 homes in three tri-state area regions over the last two weeks, Liquid Church of NJ is now directing its 1,300+ volunteers to Staten Island during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Hundreds more damaged homes will be gutted and tons of critical need supplies, water and meals will be distributed this Thanksgiving weekend.

Superstorm Sandy impacted almost 15% of the US population, but was particularly catastrophic for Staten Island, where New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo recently estimated losses at $33 Billion for the state. Tim Lucas, Lead Pastor at Liquid Church said, "After serving on the ground the past two weeks, we realize the people of Staten Island are still in shock and recovery mode. The physical needs are acuter than originally thought."

This past weekend, 220 volunteers from Liquid Church worked along side relief teams from the We Care, the National Guard, the American Red Cross, NYPD, and NYFD. Volunteers also participated in emergency assessment training at FEMA facilities by the relief site. Church leaders are now mobilizing hundreds more Sandy Thanksgiving volunteers each day this coming holiday weekend, including Thanksgiving Day on Staten Island.

Relief supplies collected by the NJ-based Christian church, will be distributed to families as volunteer teams clean out houses devastated by the storm. Hot meals will also be supplied for relief workers and members of the community. Recent inventory of contributions collected by Liquid Church include:

  • Water: 965 Gallons of water (over 4 TONS of clean water)

  • Canned Meat: 1,255 cans

  • Baby Food: 2,052 packs, tubes, etc.

  • Peanut Butter: 343 jars

  • Socks: 1,900 pairs of socks

  • Other Goodness: 3,400 cans, boxes, jars
Contributions from churches and organizations outside of NJ are still needed to help underwrite the large-scale relief operations being conducted. Details are available at: Church leaders can download multimedia materials such as video clips, bulletin inserts, slide graphics, and music to help conduct special offerings during November 25 services. The coalition presently includes 22 churches and organizations nationwide drawing from states including Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas are providing financial and media support.

Liquid Church is one of NJ's fastest-growing Christian churches. Founded in 2001 by Lead Pastor Tim Lucas, the church's vision is to "take church to the people" with campuses in Morristown, New Brunswick, and Nutley. Nearly 2,500 people experience Liquid's worship services each weekend in New Jersey and around the globe through Church Online. As a part of its global outreach Liquid provides clean drinking water to the poorest of the poor with dozens of completed projects in Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Haiti and El Salvador. More details are available at:

For members of the media: Online pressroom available at

Christian Newswire

Portland Rescue Mission helps struggling addict recover


International Fellowship of Christians and Jews Rushing Aid to Communities in Southern Israel

$2.7 million emergency aid package includes help for victims of destruction, emergency supplies, bomb shelters, help for first responders
CHICAGO AND JERUSALEM, Nov. 16, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) announced today increased funding of emergency aid for families in southern Israel and new security projects to assist communities in the line of fire. Rocket attacks on cities in southern Israel are continuing as the IDF launches a wide assault on terrorists and military infrastructure in Gaza Strip.

A $2.7 million emergency and security aid package includes supplies for the people in communities under fire in southern Israel, including Netivot, Sderot, Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Gat, Sdot Negev, and Eshkol. The assistance includes:
  • Basic supplies for children and families and the elderly in shelters--including food, medicine, diapers, blankets, mattresses, and generators.

  • Evacuation of families left homeless, and food and other supplies for these people.

  • Generators for emergency command centers, and food for emergency staff and volunteers.

  • Renovation of 50 bomb shelters in the southern Israel cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beer Sheva and Netivot

  • Reinforced trauma clinic in the Eshkol Regional Council

  • Equipment and training for community first responders

  • 28 emergency command centers in endangered towns and cities
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and CEO of The Fellowship: "With 20 percent of the nation's people in bomb shelters today, improving the security of the residents of the south is a vital priority for The Fellowship. The untenable situation of more than 1 million residents living under constant threat of rocket fire must top the list of concerns of every friend of Israel. We are working hand-in-hand with the Israel Ministry for Home Front Defense and the IDF, and we will continue to cooperate to ensure the security of Israel's people."

Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter told the Jerusalem Post that The Fellowship's contribution would "enable communities to be active, whether in the form of emergency teams or the provision of emergency services such as health clinics and fortified public shelters... I applaud Rabbi Eckstein's move, which will directly affect the million residents of the South."

The $2.7 million in emergency assistance is in addition to a series of projects costing $5.6 million that The Fellowship has funded during the past year to strengthen the emergency security system in Israel.

Christian Newswire