Monday, December 31, 2012

How Worship Transforms You by Shane Idleman

Incredible Story About a Girl with Half a Brain and Still Able to Function

When Cameron Mott was three years old, she contracted a rare and deadly brain disorder; Rasmussen's Encephalitis. The disease was eating away at her brain and she was plagued by fits. Her parents were desperate and opted for the only available cure, a radical high-risk operation to remove the diseased half of her brain.

Urbana 2012: Social Media Engagement Future of Christian Conferences?

ST. LOUIS – How do you make sure 16,000 students attending a five-day missions conference have the best opportunity to engage in what God has planned for them? You "overlay" the event with social media, more specifically with Twitter, says Adam Jeske, who is leading a 14-member social media team during Urbana '12.

While perhaps breaking new ground with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's triennial Student Missions Conference held through New Year's Eve, Jeske and his "squad," as they like to be called, do more than tweet announcements or post photos on Facebook or Instagram. They engage in real-time dialogue about matters of faith. Additionally, groups of similar interest and focus can connect with each other by simply following specific Twitter feeds. The conference hashtag (#u12) is just the beginning.
"We want to be a conduit for participants to connect with one another, with the program content, and with exhibitors more than they've ever been able to before," said Jeske, who is InterVarsity's director of New Media. "Social media overlays all of the conference programming. For example, if I'm interested in church planting in India, they can tweet to that affect hashtag U12 conference (#u12), hashtag India (#India), and hashtag church planting (#churchplanting) and you can connect with people around areas of interest and areas of calling at a much more focused level than has ever been possible before."
Jeske leads the team primarily from two long tables side-by-side inside one of the conference rooms adjacent to the arena where Urbana is being held. A poster card at one end reads:
"May the words of our mouths, the meditations of our hearts, and the tweets of our fingers be glorifying in your sight, O Lord."
With laptops and smart phones in hand, members of the social media team listen as he imparts strategy and commands on such things as areas of the conference that need to be broadcast via Twitter.

One Million Red Ribbons for Life Launched in Philippines

Pro-life advocates in the Philippines are tying red ribbons all across the country in a show of opposition to the anti-life Reproductive Health (RH) Bill recently passed by Congress, and signed into lawon December 21.

“The RH bill may have passed both houses but the fight for truth and life continues,” said a post on the Pro-Life Philippines Foundation’s website. “We invite each and every pro-lifer to participate in Pro Life’s 1 Million Red Ribbon Campaign. This calls for tying red ribbons every where we can in order to promote awareness on this fight against the RH bill as well as to rally our troops and to remind our our valiant soldiers that our war against the anti-life forces is not yet over – not by a long shot!”


Urbana 12 participants 'Join-In' an historic event

USA (MNN) ― More than 16,000 young people did something historic. They put their hands and feet together to make a tangible difference in the lives of the poor and hurting in Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Volunteers who work with AIDS victims in Swaziland and other African countries will receive Caregiver Kits assembled by 16,000 attendees at Urbana 12. Urbana 12 is InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's triennial Student Missions Conference, which is being held at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri, December 27-31, 2012.
The kits include medical and hygiene items for the compassionate care of AIDS victims in a part of the world that has borne the brunt of what has been called the largest humanitarian crisis of all time, and where access to basic health care is greatly limited. "The Caregiver Kits provide practical materials which bring dignity and comfort to those living with AIDS," said Steve Haas, Vice President of World Vision, which is partnering with InterVarsity on this project.
Over the past year, World Vision saw 40,000 kits assembled. During this one Saturday night at Urbana 12, another 32,000 kits will be added to that total. Each Urbana attendee will pack two kits and enclose notes of encouragement and blessing for the kit recipient.


Students at Urbana Assemble 32,000 AIDS Caregiver Kits Ready for African Countries

ST. LOUIS — An emotionally charged evening at Urbana 12 that included the appearance of Shortie Khumalo, an AIDS victim caregiver from Swaziland, concluded with students in attendance assembling 32,000 caregiver kits ready to be shipped to Africa in about two hours.

The 16,000 youth at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's triennial student missions conference were given a chance Saturday evening to write a short letter of encouragement to a caregiver before joining others on the Edwards Jones Dome floor. Once there, students filled a World Vision bag with items such as latex gloves, soap, and water purifying tablets.
"We wanted to provide the opportunity for the Urbana delegates to make a tangible effort that would shift their perspective to identifying with those in the margins of our world," said Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Urbana's program director. Toyama-Szeto called the event "historic."
"In planning for this event, we were searching for the intersection between proclaiming the Gospel and demonstrating the Gospel. A gospel that is just proclaimed is only half the Gospel. And a gospel that is just demonstrated is only half a gospel," she said.
Volunteers who work with AIDS victims in Swaziland and other African countries will receive the caregiver kits. The kits include medical and hygiene items for the compassionate care of AIDS victims in a part of the world that has borne the brunt of what has been called the largest humanitarian crisis of all time, and where access to basic health care is greatly limited, say Urbana organizers.
"The caregiver kits provide practical materials which bring dignity and comfort to those living with AIDS," said Steve Haas, vice president of World Vision, which is partnering with InterVarsity on the project.

Close Ad Why We Celebrate New Years

The celebration of the end of one year and the beginning of another is the perfect time to focus on the very real need all Christians have to leave the past behind and press on to the future.

Christian Post Looks Back at 2012

The last 12 months were full of sorrow, shock, and fierce debates that seemed to have left the nation more divided. From battles for religious freedom both at home and abroad to questions about evil and justice, the year 2012 has forced the Christian community to examine the direction of the world and to also reflect on their own impact.

The Christian Post looked back at 2012 and highlighted some of the most significant moments below (in no particular order).

Students find healing, comfort at Urbana 12

USA (MNN) ― Do you know what gendercide is?
According to a definition on All Girls Allowed (AGA), it's "the systematic extermination of a particular gender," and it has slaughtered millions of baby girls in China and parts of India. Chinese data shows that 13 million abortions are performed every year, resulting in an average of 35,000 abortions per day.
Gendercide has roots in America, too.
Statistics from the Center for Disease Control reveal that 1 in 5 U.S. women were raped at some point in their lives. Between 2004 and 2006, an estimated 105,187 females and 6,526 males aged 10-24 received medical care as a result of nonfatal injuries sustained from a sexual assault.
A key leader in the 1989 Tiananmen Square movement, Chai Ling fought again for freedom by founding All Girls Allowed (AGA), a group seeking to rescue girls and women from the effects of gendercide. In recent days, she brought the reality home to students at Urbana 12.
"We felt God brought us a very unique message, that is, expose, rescue, and healing," Ling says, "particularly [to] address the gendercide, taking place in China under the one-child policy and also in society at large."
Ling says she and the AGA team came to Urbana 12 to bring the horrors of gendercide to light and facilitate healing through Jesus Christ. AGA counselors and ministry teams were available to speak with students after the session ended.
"God has beautiful testimonies of resurrection and healing in every single one of our lives," Ling says. "My hope and desire and prayer for Urbana is to see God's healing power continue to flow into every heart that needs to be healed."


Culture 2012: Year in Review

It was a monumental year on many fronts -- ranging from President Barack Obama's reelection, the unexpected death of well-known artist Thomas Kincaid, Superstorm Sandy's wrath in the Northeast, and the unforgettable massacre in Newton, Connecticut.

Death of Thomas Kincade
Shockwaves circulated across the country in April regarding the sudden death of the artist known as the "Painter of Light." Upon Thomas Kinkade's death from an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium, fans discovered a life filled with darkness and a journey littered with grief and brokenness.
Regardless of the shadowy elements of the painter's life, Mel Bilbo, owner of the Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery in Branson, Missouri, said the store was deluged with shoppers.
"It's a sad time for many people," he told OneNewsNow, "but at the same time, they're reflecting on how instrumental he was in making art something for … a lot of people. He touched the heartstrings of so many."


Hobby Lobby to defy Obamacare mandate

Hobby Lobby, the Christian-owned company that provides hobby, arts and crafts supplies to tens of millions of customers across America, will defy the Obamacare mandate that health insurance for its employees cover “abortion-inducing drugs.”
The confirmation is from a statement released by an attorney, Kyle Duncan, who said in a website statement that, “The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees. To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”