Tag Archives: california

Truli Media Group allows all to seek, find, and share

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By Janey DeMeo
Special to ASSIST News Service

BEVERLY HILLS, CA (ANS) — Michael Jay Solomon, creator of www.truli.net, is a genius with a global vision to further God’s Kingdom. Truly!

Solomon, co-founder of Telepictures Corp., the largest U.S. television syndication company and one of the largest international distribution companies, has used his five decades of experience to create www.truli.net — a unique and powerful product that can change lives all over the world.

truli is a safe cyberspace community providing family-friendly entertainment, spiritual education and personal growth programming — an online hub for Christians to interact with like-minded people and share wholesome, faith-based content. And it is free.

truli is unique. It is the only Christian social community of its kind inasmuch as it provides a jam-packed media library containing wholesome entertainment, inspirational input and spiritual education — all topically categorized-and all just a click away. truli provides the Christian community easy access to sermons, music, concerts, movies, comedy and IPTV [Internet Protocol Television] programs with assurance that the content is wholesome.

When I asked Solomon how www.truli.net came about, he replied, “I’ve been a content distributor all my life, providing the largest distribution of TV product-content for over 40 years . . .” (President of Lorimar Telepictures Corp., President of Warner Bros. International Television, founder of Solomon Entertainment Enterprises, are among his many achievements.)

He went on to say, “I wanted to take advantage of 21st Century technology — especially because, as the world gets more difficult, people are turning to spirituality. There are 6-7 million evangelicals and I wanted to focus on the evangelical community. So I created technology that could provide content that is spiritually satisfying.”

When asked how truli works, Solomon responded, “Church sermons and education material will be stored on truli.net under categories and topics, optimizing search engine results.”

He explained how, for example, kids are often touched by a motivational message they hear at camp. But years later the power of the message has worn off and they backslide. “Eighty percent of kids who grow up in a Christian environment fall away in adulthood,” he explained. “If they could relocate that same message online, it might help reignite the spark.”

www.truli.net is not only a free service. It is also user-friendly sign-in, log on etc. — and opens endless opportunities for those bringing a message of truth to gain exposure – whether their product is in sermon form, music, video, written material, or whatever. www.truli.net users can upload their content and share it with the entire truli community. Imagine the possibilities for blossoming garage bands!

But that’s not all. Solomon, who is a pioneer and master in USA media product and content placement, explains that truli.net “will also focus on overseas.”

Imagine the global impact! People from all over the world will be able to access sermons and other Christian content in their own language. And people with wholesome content to offer will be able to share it in their own language for others to benefit. Sounds a bit like Acts 2 all over again — only reaching everywhere at one time.

One of truli’s many cool features is the “Amen” button (instead of “like” as in Facebook). Another facet is that ministries can have their own “donate” button on the site (with a small contribution taken for admin), which helps with fundraising and support. “This gives them a larger opportunity,” says Solomon.

With all of Solomon’s years of expertise and wealth of knowledge (hmm, sounds like the Bible again), what does he take away from truli?

“It’s about doing something good,” he said. “Something satisfying. www.truli.net is a product the whole family can enjoy.”

And the whole world can profit.

Snyder: Recovering post-Christian Christians

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Editor’s note: The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not reflect the thoughts of Inside The Pew staff.

By John Snyder
Special to Inside The Pew

In the United States, many people are praying fervently and trying with all their might to recover a “Christian America,” and they’re convinced it can happen with just the right political candidate. “With our person in the White House we can go back to what we used to be!”

But even if we could elect St. Paul or St. Augustine as our new president, what impact would that have on a very un-Christian, post-Christian population without some massive spiritual awakening taking place first? It’s been said that no leader can be worse than the people who elected him/her.

It’s one thing for Christians to be living in a post-modern, post-Christian society, but it’s quite another for our churches to be packed with “post-Christian Christians.” What I mean is that unless and until we as Christians finally commit ourselves to live our lives as Jesus intended, it really won’t matter who occupies the White House or the seats of Congress, or sits in the Parliament of any other nation in the world.

Even if we can’t generate a predominantly Christian nation here in the USA, we can create a great number of Christian societies in the midst of it through our churches. But the church would have to be very different from what we see right now. By “different” I don’t mean in terms of the usual religious externals—clothing, appearance, religious language, and all of that—but in the way we act, what we value, and particularly how we treat one another.

“How they love one another!” and “With what great joy they live!” were things the pagan world said of the earliest Christians. Who says that about the church today? Virtually every poll that has come out in the last few decades has simply confirmed the continuous dismal slide of the church toward a complete conformity to the culture. We’re no longer distinguishable in any way from the secular world.

OK, so most of us have heard this before. Continuing to wring our hands about it won’t make any difference. Here’s what we can do about it. We can humble ourselves, turn from our own sin and selfishness, and give ourselves to prayer—real prayer, fervent prayer—continuing to ask, seek, and knock until God hears from heaven, forgives our sin, and heals our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

For churches to have any impact on society, change has to begin in us and our families first. We need to clean up our act, ensure that our family is centered on Christ, and then become healthy, active members of a real, God-honoring church.

It’s been said of nations at one time influenced by Christian faith (but no longer) that their social problems are primarily the fault of the church. In other words, when the church really is the church—when the word “Christian” means a person in whom the Spirit of Christ dwells—things happen. The medicine of the Gospel works only when taken full strength. And history has demonstrated that the Gospel has the power to revolutionize society even when a minority are believers.

Few doubt that the world is at one of its most critical points in all its history. We can’t make a mistake here. We’re faced with a full-blown call to arms, not with the weapons of the world, but with unrelenting prayer and the power of the Spirit, manifest in sacrificial love and steadfast obedience to whatever God calls each one of us to do.

This just isn’t the time for Christians to be pursuing along with the world more and more luxury, ease, entertainment, property, toys, and all the rest. The church may have been lulled to sleep by bread and circuses as the rest of the culture, but we don’t have to remain so. Listen to the call of the Spirit. It isn’t too late…yet.

Let’s ask ourselves, what can we do personally to resist the slide toward total cultural absorption of the church?

John Snyder (@jisnyder)is a pastor, author, and conference speaker. He has taught New Testament Studies at New College Berkeley, California, and has pastored and planted churches in California, New York, Switzerland, and Hawaii. Snyder received his Bachelor of Arts from Vanguard University (Costa Mesa, Calif.); his Master of Theology and Master of Divinity degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary; and his Doctor of Theology from the University of Basel, Switzerland. Snyder’s new book, “Your 100 Day Prayer: The Transforming Power of Actively Waiting on God”, is now available from Thomas Nelson Publishers on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, and other major retailers. He is also the founder of Community 321, an online faith community, and Basel Community, an information and relocation service to expats in the greater Basel, Switzerland, area. Contact Snyder via email john@community321.com.

Harbaugh finds gratification helping others in Peru

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By Tonya Whitaker
Inside the Pew

During the 2011 NFL season, San Francisco 49er fans saw miraculously how first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh turned an off track 49er team into a squad that was one step away from representing the NFC in Super Bowl XLVI.

But, on-the-field successes cannot compare to the work one can do in His name. According to the Catholic News Agency (CNA), the former NFL quarterback was one of a several volunteers who traveled to Piura, Peru, on an eight-day mission trip to assist Most Blessed Sacrament Parish. The parish’s outreach, according to CNA, a women’s shelter, an orphanage, a drug rehabilitation center, a hospice facility and, most recently, tuition-free Catholic school for kindergarten through 11th graders.

According to Harbaugh, the Catholic school was opened in 2011, and has approximately 600 students in attendance.

“Every desk was full,” he said. “Three years ago when we came down here, the school was just an idea.”

The coach told news agency reporters volunteers helped build 20 homes and packaged and delivered rice and beans to supplement meals to 1,400 families.

Harbaugh, who recently completed his third trip to the impoverished town, said he learned about the trip through acquaintances at his parish in Menlo Park, Calif.

“It’s incredible the amount of work they do and they joy that they do it with,” the 48-year-old coach told the news agency.

An aspect of the trip that brought the reigning NFL Coach of the Year pride is the steady growth of the parish, headed by Father Joe Uhen since 1993. Harbaugh noted the abundance of individuals who participate in Mass.

“I’ve always been struck by the attendance and the joy they have for Mass,” Harbaugh said. “You can only describe that as the fruit of the Holy Spirit.”

Outreach to the residents of Piura doesn’t end with the trip. According to the report, Harbaugh said the Santisimo Sacramento helps American families and those in Peru connect through an “adoption.” The program – which Harbaugh is a participant – allows American families to supply scholarships, food, and basic housing items to needy Peruvian families.

Harbaugh said the mission trips are gratifying and allows him to put grow as a believer.

“The doors that God will open for you by the people you meet or by the circumstances you’re in (allow) your character to be shaped and your spirit to grow,” he said. “Those kinds of doors are opened for (me) here.

Wallace: Easter is time to examine nature of Jesus

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By J. Warner Wallace
Special to ASSIST News Service

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. – It’s Easter Season once again, and it’s definitely the time of year when people are curious about the life and nature of Jesus of Nazareth. Have you ever thought about what separates Jesus from otherwise religious men from history? Have you ever been challenged to defend the Divinity of Jesus?

Jesus claimed to be God and he demonstrated his Divinity in several important ways. When people think about the nature of God (even those who doubt God’s existence) they typically think of God as all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving. The gospel eyewitnesses described Jesus as having all three of these Divine characteristics:

Jesus is All-Knowing?

Jesus demonstrated His “omniscience” to the woman at the well. “Leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?‘” (John 4:16-19, 28-30). In addition, the Gospels tell us repeatedly that Jesus knew the thoughts of people around Him (Luke 6:8 and 11:17, for example) and He also knew who would betray Him (John 6:70). More importantly, Jesus knows the very nature of our hearts (John 2:24-25)

Jesus is All-Powerful?

J. Warner Wallace

Jesus repeatedly demonstrated his “omnipotence” as he performed dozens of miracles. These miracles confirmed His power over nature (Matt 8:23; Mark 4:37; Luke 8:22), His power over disease (Matt 8:2; Mark 1:40; Luke 5:12), His power over need (Matt 14:15; Mark 6:30; Luke 9:10; John 6:1-14), and His power over death (John 11:38-44). But the Bible describes Jesus as far more than a miracle worker. The Bible attributes all of God’s power to Jesus:

The Power (Ability) to Create?

Jesus is not simply our Savior. According the Bible, Jesus is also our creator (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16)

The Power (Authority) to Forgive ?

Jesus repeatedly demonstrated His Divine authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:1-8)

The Power (Ability) to Grant Eternal Life?

Jesus demonstrated the ability to provide eternal (spiritual) life in the next world (John 10:28, John 11:25-26)

The Power (Right) to Judge?

Jesus, as the author of our lives, demonstrated His right to evaluate how we have lived as His creation (Matthew 25:31-33)

Jesus is All-Loving?

Jesus repeatedly demonstrated His “omni-benevolence.” He gave His life as the supreme demonstration of His love (John 15:9-14), even though we are seldom, if ever, worthy of His affection (Romans 5:6-8). Jesus loves and desires that ALL should come to know Him (John 3:16-18). Jesus’ omni-benevolence is demonstrated not only by the broad group that He loves, but also by the extent to which He is willing to demonstrate that love.

This Easter, as our friends and family begin to once again consider the nature and person of Jesus of Nazareth, let’s take the time to help them see that the Biblical eyewitnesses described Jesus as much more than a good teacher or a wise man. They clearly and repeatedly testified that Jesus possessed the very nature, power, wisdom and essence of God Himself. Perhaps this is why Jesus told His disciples, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

J. Warner Wallace is a cold case homicide detective, a missions’ leader and a church planter. He earned a Master’s Degree in Architecture (UCLA) and a Master’s Degree in Theology from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. J Warner is the director of Please Convince Me Ministries and hosts the www.PleaseConvinceMe.com website, blog and podcast.

Jeremy Lin and his spiritual journey

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By Mark Ellis
ASSIST News Service

This faith-filled son of Taiwanese immigrants was given little chance in the NBA. Only weeks ago, he was sleeping on other people’s couches as he struggled to make his start in New York. But after shutting down the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and leading the New York Knicks to six straight victories, many of his doubters now believe.

“This is a miracle from God,” Lin says, about his improbable rise in basketball. “I don’t think anybody expected this to happen.”

On Feb. 14, the undefeated point guard had the greatest moment of his career by hitting a three-pointer with one second left as the Knicks overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat the Toronto Raptors, 90-87.

Much of Lin’s meteoric rise is about the Lord’s providence.

“Anytime something like this happens, a lot of stuff has to be put into place, and a lot of it is out of my control,” Lin said before the Toronto game. “If you look back at my story, it doesn’t matter where you look, but God’s fingerprints are all over the place.”

“There have been a lot of things that had to happen that I couldn’t control,” he continued. “You can try to call it coincidence, but at the

Jeremy Lin

end of the day, there are 20, 30 things when you combine them all that had to happen at the right time in order for me to be here. That’s why I call it a miracle.”

Lin’s parents are no taller than 5 feet, 6 inches, so his 6 feet, 3 inches and 200 pounds are a marvel within the family. He received no offers for an athletic scholarship out of Palo Alto High School, even though he led his team to a state championship.

He aced the SAT test in math, which helped win him a place at Harvard, then became the first player in the history of the Ivy League to score 1,450 points.  Lin graduated with a degree in economics and a 3.1 average. No Harvard grad has played in the NBA since 1954, until now.

After he graduated, Lin went unselected in the NBA draft, but was picked up on a two-year contract by his home team, the Golden State Warriors. With the Bay Area’s large Asian-American population, he attained a large following, even though he had little playing time and averaged only 2.6 points per game in his rookie season. Part of that season was spent on the Warrior’s D-league team.

His D-league experience tested his walk with God.

“When things weren’t going well my first year, I found a way to lose hope, lose trust in God,” he said, in a testimony recorded at River of Life Church in Santa Clara, Calif., last June. “I tried to remind myself of my story and how I got there,” he said.

A scripture grabbed his heart at that crucial juncture in the D-leagues, 1st Corinthians 9: 24-25.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we are imperishable.”

Lin realized he had been playing with the wrong motives.

“The prize I was playing for at that time was a perishable wreath,” he admitted. “I was playing for great games, great stats, getting the call to the Warriors, getting the next year of my contract, living up to everyone’s expectations. I was playing for those things, for myself, and for my glory.”

During this period of reflection, Lin’s pastor urged him to spend an hour a day with God, something Lin never considered before but decided to try. As he studied the Scripture one day, Philippians 3:14 resonated: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

“The prize is the blessings and rewards we get when we get to heaven,” Lin realized, “the eternal fellowship we can have with Jesus Christ.”

Suddenly he recognized a new way to approach sports – and life. “Our true reward – something I learned I need to strive for – is in heaven, not on earth.”

The New York Knicks picked up Lin on Dec. 27 as a third-string backup after an injury to guard Iman Shumpert. Then they bounced him down to the D-league Erie BayHawks, but he surprised everyone on Jan. 20by scoring a triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in the BayHawks’ 122–113 victory over the Maine Red Claws.

Three days later, he got the call from the Knicks to rejoin the A-team. Due to an injury and the fact that the team had been playing poorly, Coach Mike D’Antoni decided to give Lin a chance. On February 4th, Lin scored 25 points, made five rebounds, and seven assists in a 99–92 Knicks win over the New Jersey Nets.

On Feb. 10, he shocked the basketball world by scoring a career-high 38 points as he led his team to a 92-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. He outscored Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who had 34 points.

“Linsanity” began to grip New York, as the Knicks hustled to sell copies of Lin’s No. 17 jerseys and t-shirts. Sales on their online store increased more than 3,000 percent,  and Lin’s jersey has been the bestseller in the NBA since February 4th.

Lin would like to be a pastor some day or head non-profit organizations, at home or overseas.

“Your talent and your ability to play basketball is a gift from God,” Lin said. “You have to use that for God’s glory.”

Church planter, church leaders kidnapped in India

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By Michael Ireland
ASSIST News Service

LACANADA, CA (ANS) — A staff-member and two church leaders from a California-based church planting ministry have been captured in western India.

Over this past weekend an Empart church planter and two church leaders were taken by force on their way to an evangelistic outreach event. The name of the kidnapper is withheld for security reasons.

Empart (www.empart.org) transforms communities by training local people to start local churches in the local community. The ministry is focused on empowering the local believers to take up the work of reaching their own people. The ministry says this is the most effective and efficient use of training, time and money.

According to the ministry, the kidnapping occurred in the Udaipur Region, Rajasthan, India in an area dominated by militant Naxalites – a Maoist party considered to be the most dangerous terrorist organization in India. Many people suspect that the Naxalites were responsible for the abductions.

“At this stage, we do not know who took them or what their demands are. Local witnesses were unable to identify the perpetrators as their faces were covered,” said Jeff Cannon, US director if Empart USA.

“While this is a serious situation, we serve a mighty God who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:19-21), ” Cannon said in an e-mail to ANS.

Cannon added: “This is the first time any of our workers have been kidnapped. Please also pray for God’s divine wisdom and direction for Jossy Chacko and the Indian leaders.”

Cannon asked that concerned believers join the ministry in prayer for their safety, protection and for God’s comfort, and peace to rest with their terrified families until their safe return.