Tag Archives: bible

For the children: Titles encourage, inspire, and connect

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By Tonya Andris
Inside The Pew

One of my favorite groups growing up was New Kids On The Block. Remember them?

During the brainstorming of my book review column, NKOTB’s song, “This One’s For The Children” came to mind. Then, I thought about all the Christian titles I havegirlsbooks received from authors over the past three months which reiterate God’s love for children. Remember, God said in Isaiah 54:13, “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.”

Parents, if you are looking for books that will nurture your child’s understand of the Almighty’s grace and love (and there are many), these titles are an ideal start.

“Perfectly Unique” by Annie F. Downs
(Zondervan; $9.99 USD)

In her debut release, Downs takes personal stories and uses them as a catalyst to teach young girls to embrace the way God made them. She affirms to young readers that God made us each as individuals and we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). I found the book to be very encouraging to young women because there are so many messages that girls and women have to change who they are to be accepted. God made you; love yourself. Downs, who is a former elementary school teacher, made the best choice to life stories to make an impact on the reader. Exercises and relevant scriptures guide readers along. Among the many endorsers of the book is Hillary Scott, lead singer of Grammy-winning country trio Lady Antebellum. “This book will touch your heart, encourage you, and challenge you to let your Heavenly Father pursue you as his daughter.”

As a side note, Downs is currently embarked on the Girls of Grace Tour where she will make stops at churches and various venues to spread the Christian message to sixth- to 12th-grade girls. Her next stop is slated for Feb. 23 at Christ Church, 15354 Old Hickory Blvd. in Nashville, Tenn. Downs also has dates set in March for Birmingham, Ala., and Augusta, Ga., and Allen, Texas, in April. Visit http://www.girlsofgrace.com/ for more information.

“Helping Man … The Beginning” by Jalen Butler (author and illustrator); co-written by Katina Butler
(Joseph’s Coat Productions, $12.95 USD)

It is wonderful to see a child writing a book to minister to children. This is exactly the purpose of 7-year-old Jalen Butler. The Denton, Texas, elementary student wroteHelping Man Book “Helping Man …” to “help people and please God.” With the Bible as his guide, Butler takes readers into the world of Helping Man, who is always on a quest to save the day. On his quest for peace, Helping Man also has to battle his nemesis, Mogular. As a parent, I appreciate the “kiddie feel” of the book, from the illustrations to the message. Butler’s book has gained attention in the Dallas area through appearances on local NBC affiliate (NBC-5) and Christian radio (KWRD 100.7 FM). He’s also gained a legion of fans at his elementary school. As for all the attention, at the end of the day, Butler can only thank God. “I’m just doing what God has blessed me to do.” Learn more at www.facebook.com/HelpingManBook.

“The Sweetest Story Bible” by Diane Stortz and Sheila Bailey; narrated by Roma Downey
(Zonderkidz, $22.99 USD)

One of the greatest way to show our children God’s love for them is to tell them the stories of the Bible. My daughters love to hear the story of their namesakes, Rebekah (Genesis 24) and Lydia (Acts 16). Authored by Diana Stortz and illustrated Sheila Bailey, the story Bible brings the characters of the Bible to life for your children. At the end of each story, Stortz lists Sweet Words and Sweet Thoughts for girls to remember. At the end of God’s Ten Rules (Exodus 19-20, 24, 31), children are reminded “God knows what is good for us.” The deluxe edition also includes an audio CD read by “Touch By An Angel” actress Roma Downey.

Tonya Andris is book editor for Inside The Pew. To suggest titles or comment on this review, email her at pewnews@aol.com.

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‘God has brought me this far’: A glance at Super Bowl warriors Kaepernick, Lewis

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By Aimee Herd
Special to ASSIST News Service

NEW ORLEANS, La. (ANS) — “God has brought me this far, He’s laid out a phenomenal path for me and I can’t do anything but thank Him.” — Colin Kaepernick

On Feb. 3, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will wrangle on the grid iron in Super Bowl XLVII.

The faith of a few members of the NFL has been increasingly highlighted in recent years, and it is certainly not lost on some of this year’s players.

Colin Kaepernick is the first. In fact, forget the eye-black-with-Scripture so significant when worn by Tim Tebow in his time as a Gator; 25-year-old Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers has plenty of it-in the form of tattoos on his arms.

Perhaps literally guilty of “wearing his heart on his sleeve” (pun intended), Kaepernick seems to back up the tatt depictions of his Christianity with a personal devotion to the God he follows.

“My faith is the basis from where my game comes from,” Colin explained in a Daily Sparks Tribune interview last year. “I’ve been very blessed to have the talent to play the game that I do and be successful at it. I think God guides me through every day and helps me take the right steps and has helped me to get to where I’m at. When I step on the field, I always say a prayer, say I am thankful to be able to wake up that morning and go out there and try to glorify the Lord with what I do on the field. I think if you go out and try to do that, no matter what you do on the field, you can be happy about what you did.”

Regarding his tattoos, Kaepernick told Reuters, “I don’t really care what people think about my tattoos. I got them for me and to show people this is what I believe in. God has brought me this far, He’s laid out a phenomenal path for me and I can’t do anything but thank Him.”

On the young quarterback’s right bicep the word “Faith” is inscribed, and “to God the glory” and a scroll with Psalm 18:39 elsewhere on the same arm.

On the other side of the field, there is equal passion for the Lord, probably most prominently displayed by the Ravens’ defensive leader and linebacker, Ray Lewis.

“I just know that when you put your trust in God, that anything is possible,” Lewis told a CSN reporter about making it to this year’s Super Bowl contest. Earlier this year, after returning from an injury, Lewis announced that he would be retiring at season’s end.

Lewis’ fiery on-field persona is balanced by a strong faith in the Lord, one that has helped lead the Ravens through the season, as Lewis reads and preaches from the Bible in the locker room, prior to games.

While Lewis’ faith has risen out of troubling circumstances and a very different scenario than that of, say, Tim Tebow-Ray is just as passionate, and has had a huge impact on his teammates, especially this year.

Orlando Magic vice president Pat Williams described Lewis’ faith this way, “He’s come from a totally different background than someone like Tim Tebow. He has come to Christ later in life but isn’t that true of so many? The Bible teaches us that not only are our sins forgiven but they are forgotten.”

What does Lewis say?

“Don’t look at my yesterday, look at my tomorrow,” explained Ray in a Fellowship of Christian Athletes interview. “I’ve said it before, God never changes. The relationship was there all along.”

92-year-old grandma stops attacker with Jesus

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By Mark Ellis
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS) – She faithfully reads her Bible every day and takes Jesus everywhere she goes. Her bold, faith-filled witness helped stop a would-be mugger in his tracks.

“Pauline Jacobi had just finished putting her groceries in her car at Wal Mart,” reported Nick Paranjape, with WMC TV in Memphis, Tenn. Only seconds after Jacobi got in her car a man jumped into the front passenger seat.

“I have a gun and I’ll shoot if you don’t give me money,” the man said.

Jacobi firmly said “no” to the man three times, and then she started to talk to him about her faith. “If you kill me, I’ll go to heaven and you’ll go to hell,” she said. “Jesus is in this car and he goes with me everywhere I go.”

Something about her words penetrated the man’s soul. As he looked away from Jacobi, tears began to form in his eyes.

“Jacobi ministered to the man for 10 minutes inside her car,” according to WMC TV.

After a few moments of introspection, the man told Jacobi, “I think I’ll go home tonight and pray.

“You can pray anytime you want to,” Jacobi replied. She reached into her purse and voluntarily gave the man everything she had left — $10.

Tears rolled down the man’s cheeks as he reached out sheepishly and took her money.

“Don’t you spend it on whisky,” she told him.

The man thanked her and quickly leaned over and kissed Jacobi on the cheek. Then he walked away.

“Police are still searching for the man who tried to rob her,” reports Nick Paranjape, with WMC TV.

Events and briefs for June 4, 2012

Published by:

By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

In Katy, Texas: The Katy Christian Women’s Connection will host prayer coffee and fellowship events from 10 to 11:30 a.m. beginning June 14 at La Madelaine’s, 23322 Mercantile Parkway in Katy. Additional 2012 Prayer Connections meeting dates are July 12. Aug. 9, Sept. 13, Oct. 11, Nov. 8, and Dec. 6. For more information about prayer connections, directions, or to RSVP, call 281-232-8338 or visit www.KatyCWC.org. Bring a friend and don’t forget to bring your Bible.

In Dublin, Ohio: Texas Wesleyan University’s Nathan Anderson has received the 2012 Jack Nicklaus Award as the Golf Coaches Association of America’s NAIA Men’s Golf Player of the Year.  Anderson received the award from Nicklaus at the Memorial on Sunday.

The Nicklaus Award recognizes the top players at the NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA levels.  Since 1988, the award for the GCAA Collegiate Players of the Year has been named after Jack Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University. Nicklaus annually recognizes the recipients during the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, just outside of his hometown of Columbus.

Anderson, a junior out of Burleson, Texas, impressed in his first season with the Rams after spending two PING All-American seasons at McClennan College.  He was a 1st-team NAIA All-American selection after finishing as the individual runner-up, one shot off the lead, at the 61st annual NAIA National Championship.  Anderson also finished tied for first at the Dallas Baptist Patriot Invitational before falling in a playoff this season.  In total, he notched four top-five and five top-10 finishes in nine events, while setting a Texas Wesleyan record for single-season scoring average at 72.08.

With orality, faith comes by hearing

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By Jerry Wiles
Special to ASSIST News Service

HOUSTON – The Word of God has great power to transform lives. Romans 10:17 says, “… faith comes by hearing, and

hearing by the Word of God.” So often we think of the Word of God as the Bible. And, it’s true that the Bible is God’s Word written. However, throughout the Bible, when reference is made to the Word of God or the Word of the Lord, in most cases it’s not referring to a written document. The written Word of God, when mentioned in the Bible, is usually referred to as “the Scriptures.”

Actually, the Word of God was around in oral form long before it was ever in written form. So, when we think of the importance of hearing the Word of God, orality often takes on a whole new meaning for many.

Throughout history most people have come to faith in Jesus by hearing the Word of God and the stories of Jesus.

What we are learning in our orality training experiences is that people come alive with new excitement and enthusiasm as they hear, retell and discuss the stories of Jesus.

Storytelling and orality methods seem to level the playing field, so that everyone can participate in God’s redemptive activity. We find that, regardless of socio-economic or educational levels, almost everyone can learn and retell stories.

In many countries, women and children are not involved in church life. However, in the orality training workshops, they become fully engaged and excited to learn and retell the stories and participate in the discussions. Children as young as age six have learned and told the stories.

In the countries where Living Water International works, it’s estimated that 80% or more are oral learners, by necessity or by preference.

In the Orality Movement people are discovering that almost anyone can share their faith, about any time and any place. When people are equipped with appropriate oral communication skills, they just go with what’s in their heads and hearts, that can be reproduced in other people’s heads and hearts.

Everywhere we conduct our orality training, we emphasize that it’s not intended to take the place of any other methods or strategies that are effective and producing the desired results. Orality is intended to be an addition to one’s mission/ministry resource toolbox. However, in so many places, pastors and church/mission leaders, after experiencing the training and observing the results, tell us that oral methods are more effective than anything else they have been using.

One pastor in Africa said, “This (orality training) is just what we need. This will bring revival to our country.” Another pastor in Central America realized that with orality methods, he can equip, train and mobilize story telling evangelists at every level, with all those in his congregation.

Orality is, in part, just getting back to how Jesus lived, related, lead, communicated and made disciples. There is a great need to recognize that it is the reproducing life of Jesus Christ in and through each of His children, His followers. That makes sharing Him and advancing His Kingdom an exciting adventure. That realization should put joy, passion and motivation in each of us to want others to have a relationship with the Most High God.

Many of those who have attended Living Water’s orality training workshops go away, not only with new skills, but new passion, joy and desire to be contagious and share His life and stories with others.

In a recent conversation about orality with a lady who is a mission trip leader in Central America, I asked her what had been the highlight of leading mission trips. She said, “The last 20 minutes that have changed my life and the way I’ll do missions from now on.”

To gain a broader perspective of what orality really is, just consider all the ways that people have learned and communicated for thousands of years. Consider all the methods that do not depend on print-based media or written instructions. Many people, when hearing about orality, still think that it refers just to those who can’t read or write.

The depth and breadth of orality is amazing and includes a wide variety of expressions. In addition to the many different streams of storying, there is the use of drama, song, dance, poems, proverbs and parables to name a few. There are also the many technological resources such as radio, TV, the internet, cell phones, recording devices and other audio and visual resources and strategies.

God is willing and able to give each of us His wisdom and discernment, if we only ask and trust Him.