Thursday, April 25, 2013

Freed Pastors Story One of Faith and Determination

The story of one pastor's 21 months in jail is one of perseverance and divine intervention. CBN News has learned new information about what led to the release of an imprisoned Iraqi pastor known as Pastor Jamal. He's free now thanks in part to a bold step taken by a U.S. Ministry and a U.S. Lawmaker.
Terry Law, Founder and President of World Compassion Terry Law Ministries of Tulsa, Oklahoma spoke to CBN News about how he and a U.S. Senator, with God's help, gained this pastor's freedom.
Law said Pastor Jamal had received treatment for a brain tumor before his imprisonment, but he continued to suffer headaches in prison. That led Law to make a personal visit to northern Iraq with a letter from U.S. Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla., asking for Jamal's release. The Senator had sent it prior to Law's trip but Iraqi official never saw it.

Suffering Servants

For at least a decade, the evangelical world knew of a woman who went simply by "Joni." Sixteen years after the diving accident that left her paralyzed, however, she married a high-school teacher, becoming Joni Eareckson Tada. As she faced a breast-cancer diagnosis and chronic pain on top of quadriplegia, her husband of over 30 years, Ken Tada, battled depression. Joni spoke with Sarah Pulliam Bailey, managing editor of Odyssey Networks, about the Tadas' book, Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story (Zondervan), which details how the "in sickness" part of Ken and Joni's vows has remained crucial in their marriage.
In the book, you write that "marriage only magnifies suffering." What do you mean by that?
Any marriage is going to have problems, but when you throw in a disability, it's like enlarging the problems tenfold. Disability forces problems to the surface. Suffering squeezes you like a lemon, and what comes out might be pretty bitter.
Marriage is a matter of making a sacrificial commitment. God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his own son because God wanted Abraham to see what real commitment looked like. I think that's why God tests us in marriage. Christians often imagine they have a solid marriage, but when our love is put to the test, our commitment becomes real. We're faced with the question, Am I going to love this man or woman for better or for worse? I don't know that our challenges are greater than they are for another couple. The sacrifices might be greater. But with sacrifice comes a great reward of a deepened faith and trust in each other.

Study: What Leadership Quality Is Most Important to Christians?

By Jeff Schapiro , Christian Post Reporter
April 20, 2013|11:39 am

A new study has found that Christian adults primarily believe integrity, not "passion for God," is the most important quality in a leader.

The study, conducted by Ventura, Calif.-based Barna Group, found that 64 percent of Christians believe integrity to be one of the most important leadership qualities, while other important traits include authenticity (40 percent), discipline (38 percent) and "passion for God" (31 percent). Among evangelicals, however, the percentage of those who believe passion for God is an important leadership quality is significantly higher (83 percent).