Friday, December 7, 2012

Teen Mania Founder's Marathon Run Encourages Prayer for America's Youth

Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania Ministries, says the feeling he had during the final four miles of a half marathon he ran a few years ago "was the most excruciating pain of my life." So why is he planning to run twice as far during this weekend's MetroPCS Dallas Marathon?

It's all about the numbers. For the last 26 years, Luce has invested his life into trying to reach out to teenagers nationwide. There are currently about 26 million teens in the U.S., but only about 10 percent of them are Christians. A marathon is 26.2 miles in length, so on Dec. 9, at the age of 51, Luce will attempt to complete his first marathon with the goal of encouraging people everywhere to pray for America's youth.
"I think it's a chance for us to get together as the body of Christ and say, 'We're going to run harder for this generation,'" Luce told The Christian Post on Thursday.
One disturbing statistic he says is a reason for his participation in the race is the approximately 4,000 teenagers who commit suicide each year.
"There's a lot more brokenness around us than what we realize," he said. "The 4,000 are those that end up completing the suicide; there's hundreds of thousands that are depressed, that are cutting, that attempt suicide and don't complete it. And I think we've become experts in our American culture at masquerading as people of happiness when there's brokenness on the inside."
Through the Run For 26 initiative, Luce hopes to prevent tragedies like the one that happened to Amanda Todd – the Canadian teenager who committed suicide after being bullied – from happening again.

See These People Fail Miserably at a Basic Christmas Quiz: ‘Where Was Jesus Born?’

Nativity Controversy: Beyond The Farthest Star

[NATIVITY CONTROVERSY!] In the film, Beyond The Farthest Star, a national debate explodes on the sleepy town of Leonard, Texas when a U.S. Senator burns down the town's nativity. This year, there are several battles waging across our country regarding Nativity displays. Watch writer & director, Andrew Librizzi discuss why it's in the story.

Salvation Army Seeing Record Number Of Families In Need

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Officials with the Salvation Army say they’re seeing a record number of families asking for help this holiday season.

Nearly 18,000 families have registered for Christmas assistance in the last month. That number has grown by 2,500 since last year, breaking the 2009 record.


Wycliffe Reports 'Dramatic Increase' in Bible Translations Around the World

Wycliffe Bible Translators, an organization with the mission to translate the Scriptures into every language by 2025, has said that it has dramatically increased its efforts and that the organization is very much on course for reaching its goal.

"These statistics are very important in showing progress toward our goal of seeing a Bible translation in progress in every language community needing it by 2025," said Bob Creson, president of Wycliffe USA, in a statement shared with The Christian Post. "They demonstrate, not only to ourselves, but to those who invest in us, and those we invite to join us, that what we are doing is making a difference in the pursuit of our God-given mission."
Wycliffe noted that along with affiliated organizations like The Seed Company and SIL International, the organization has managed to translate the Bible into 2,075 different languages around the world. While that still leaves another 1,967 others to be translated, the vast majority of the human population now has access to the Scriptures in their own languages.
The recent statistics showed that for the first time ever, the number of languages with a Bible translation outnumber those without. This accounts for an estimated 5.4 billion around the world, while the remaining 1,967 languages, many of them dialects with minor variations from larger groups, are spoken by an estimated 209 million people.
"Every generation before us has seen the numbers increasing as more and more languages were discovered, and more translation needs were verified," Creson added. "Now that trend has been reversed."
What has helped in recent years with translation projects are new technologies and strategies that directly reach out to local communities and figure out creative solutions about how to translate the Bible using the most accurate means available. Wycliffe noted that it has been using new computer and satellite technology to assist with translation efficiency.

Why don't people come to church?

A Texas pastor asked them

Ask any group in your church: "Why do people not come to worship? What keeps people away from church?" You might hear:

• "We need a better youth program."

• "We have to have a different style of worship service."

• "We need to advertise."

• "If only we had a nursery for young children."

The rallying cries will begin. Usually they center around programs. If the church could just provide better programs, or more programs, people would begin to come back to church. Occasionally you will hear about preferences — about the time or worship style. Then there is the question of staff: those who think that if the right person were pastor, director of Christian education or worship director, people would come flooding through the doors.

These are the answers that church people give when they try to figure out why people don't go to church. Friends, we could not be more wrong.

I recently spent a week using social media to "listen" to people who do not go to church — listening to their explanations for why they stay away. I didn't argue with them. I didn't defend the church. I just listened. And what I heard broke my heart.

The No. 1 thing that keeps people away from the church is the people who are in the church.

Outside of our doors, there is a multitude of people who have been hurt by people in the church. They have been judged for not looking the way we wanted them to look. They have been judged for making mistakes and for choosing to live lives that look different from ours. They have heard the people who worship on Sunday say hateful things on Monday. They have witnessed the followers of the Prince of Peace spreading malicious gossip against their "brothers and sisters."


Coptic Solidarity Calls for a Protest on December 8 Against Morsi's Dictatorial Grab of Power

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Egyptian Front for National Salvation and Coptic Solidarity call for a demonstration in Washington, D.C., on Saturday December 8 to condemn the power grab and other illegitimate measures taken by President Mohammad Morsi of Egypt.

Ten days before the Supreme Constitutional Court was scheduled to issue its ruling on December 2nd in lawsuits regarding the legitimacy of the Constituent Assembly, Morsi issued a new constitutional declaration in which he arrogated to himself sweeping powers, and shielding his decisions from legal challenge through the courts.

The day before the court's session, the Constituent Assembly, dominated by Islamists after the withdrawal of civil (non-Islamist) forces and Christians, rushed a new draft constitution considered to be a blue print to establish a "theocratic state" and take Egypt centuries back. President Morsi immediately called for a referendum to be held on December 15th ignoring even the mandatory delay needed to have a public discussion on the document.

On December 2nd, Morsi's Islamist thuggish supporters besieged the Supreme Constitutional Court and stopped justices from going in.

The Constitutional Court was expected by many experts to dissolve the assembly as it was established on flawed basis.

Islamists in the Constituent Assembly imposed their will throughout the drafting process, depriving women of their basic rights and seriously curtailing human rights and religious freedom.

This sequence of events sparked massive outrage in Egypt against Morsi, leading hundreds of thousands to take to the streets all over the country. The protesters demanded to revoke the latest constitutional declaration, disbanding and replacing the Constituent Assembly, and discarding the draft constitution. Some are demanding Morsi's removal from office.

Many Egyptian judges went on strike and announced they will not oversee the referendum.

A demonstration is organized from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in front of the White House in Washington, DC on Saturday December 8, 2012 demanding:

  1. Annulment of the constitutional declaration of November 22nd,

  2. Cancellation of the referendum scheduled for December 15 th, and discarding the subject Constitution Draft.

  3. Disbanding the Constituent Assembly and forming a new one which truly represents all segments of the Egyptian society.

  4. Strongly demanding a constitution in total accord with all international agreements and conventions which guarantees women rights, human rights and religious freedom to all citizens equally.
For more information please contact: Halim M. Meawad (1-240-644-5153), Mokhtar Kamel (1-703-501-1398), Ula Musharraf (1-202-304-0838)

Coptic Solidarity: Established in Virginia (Federal Ref.: EIN 27-1220227)
P.O. Box 1450 Centreville, VA 20122, U.S.A

Christian Newswire

Groups to Display Nativity Scene in Palisades Park, Santa Monica, Saturday, December 8th after City and Federal Court Banned Them

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 7, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Faith groups to set up "Live Nativity" in Palisades Park after the City of Santa Monica and a federal judge banned Nativity Displays that had been in the park for 59 consecutive years.

Photo: The Live Nativity Display in front of the Supreme Court from a past project

The groups discovered the decision of the city and federal court decision only applied to "unattended" Nativity Displays in Palisades Park. However "attended" displays are permissible.

This is a major victory for religious freedom, the First Amendment and the public display of Nativity Scenes.

Working with Santa Monica city officials, the faith coalition will have a live Nativity Display on Saturday, December 8, between 1:00 and 4:00 P.M. in Palisades Park.

There will be a news conference at 2:00 P.M. to discuss the Palisades Park Nativity Display and the issue of religious freedom.

The location of the news conference will be just south of Santa Monica Blvd. and Ocean Ave.

The Christian community as well of people of good will from all across Southern California are being encouraged to bring their own personal Nativity Scenes that they would display in their homes during the Christmas Season.

The name of the event is "The Birth of Christ. The Birth of Freedom. The Santa Monica Nativity."

This entire campaign is part of "The Nativity Project" which was launched by the Washington, D.C. based Christian Defense Coalition and Faith and Action almost 7 years ago.

This national project encourages the faith community to set up Nativity Displays in public places all across the nation.

This Wednesday the groups had a "Live Nativity Display" in front of the United States Capitol and Supreme Court as they did last year.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states,

    "We are so thankful that a Nativity Display will be seen in Palisades Park for a 60th Consecutive year. It is critical that the faith community did not allow the City of Santa Monica and the federal court to crush the First Amendment and religious freedom by banning a Nativity Display in Palisades Park.

    "Sadly, we are seeing an erosion of public expressions of faith across America. This is especially true during the Christmas Season. Therefore, it is important for the Christian community to continue to speak out with passion and courage when they see the trampling of free speech rights and religious freedom. Simply stated, the faith community will never 'go silently into the night' when these issues are at risk.

    "By finding a way to creatively address this injustice, the powerful message of Christmas and religious freedom will continue to be heard and seen in Palisades Park. We hope people from all across America take inspiration from this victory and stand up for these critical issues."
For more information or interviews call:
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at 540.538.4741

Christian Newswire