Senin, 26 September 2016

Ghirath (Hindu traditions) in India

Ghirath (Hindu traditions) in India
The name Ghirath refers to the traditional occupation of agriculture and animal husbandry, for which this community is well known. Marriage rituals are performed by a Brahmin according to Vedic rites, and the bride and groom circle the sacred fire or a pomegranate or fig tree.
Ministry Obstacles
The Ghirath community speaks a number of languages, as most castes do. Separate church planting projects may be needed for each language group.
Outreach Ideas
Workers are needed to minister to these people using oral means as well as with the written Word.
Pray for the followers of Christ
Pray for the followers of Christ that the Lord will soon bring forth from the Ghirath community, that they will understand clearly how to know and follow Christ, and be faithful in his service.
Pray for the entire people group
Pray the Ghirath community will be able to care properly for their families, for peace with their neighbors, and for good schools for their children.
Scripture Focus
"All nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name." Psalm 86:9

 

People Name: Ghirath (Hindu traditions)
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 292,000
World Population: 292,000
Language: Kangri
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Bible: None
Audio NT (FCBH): No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
Christ Followers: Few, less than 2%
Status: Unreached
Progress Level:

Let the Lord Renew Your Strength

Let the Lord Renew Your Strength (Writer's Opinion)

By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
GROVE, OK (ANS - September 25, 2016) --  “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” — Isaiah 40:31 (ESV).
In the past, I led an active lifestyle, running and exercising to stay fit. Next month, I’m facing knee replacement surgery.
Mount up like eaglesI can’t experience the thrill of a runner’s high anymore. When my running days were over, I was forced to race walk. Now, I walk with a sturdy stick to help me navigate through my neighborhood. Osteoarthritis has set in because of the breakdown of joint cartilage, limiting my movements and causing pain.
When you’re used to being physically active and can no longer enjoy those things you have in the past, you have to adapt. There are days when I climb stiffly out of bed. I find the aging of my temporal body hard to accept.
One recent morning, I felt sorry for myself, silently lamenting my limitations. Then, I opened the shades covering the back door to my deck where I spied four squirrels chasing each other on the railing. Watching their playful antics, I was filled with joy. After a good laugh, I realized how blessed I am.
Other than bad knees, I’m in good health. Although I can’t run anymore, God renews my strength each day. In 2 Corinthians 4:16, Paul reminds us not to lose heart. “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
Pastor George Sweeting once said, “Experts in aging make a distinction between passive aging and purposeful aging. Successful, purposeful aging calls for continued involvement, relationships, discipline, and an attitude of faith.”
On a website dedicated to Sweeting’s memory, his son wrote, “Dad modeled retirement for all of us. His idea of retirement was not golfing in Florida or Arizona. In fact, I don’t think he believes in retirement. Many people these days don’t believe in heaven. So the retirement dream for them becomes a kind of secular heaven. But dad believes you don’t really retire. You keep serving the Lord and mentoring the next generation as long as you can. Not only is this a great investment, and not only does this kind of serving prolong your life, but I sense dad really believes it will be rewarded by heaven’s rest. So for him, a big fat retirement down here is not an option. And slowing down is not a happy prospect. He sometimes says, ‘Life is like water skiing, when you slow down, you go down!’”
Although an aging body does require us to modify our activities, one thing will never change. God’s promises through His Word can renew our spiritual and even physical strength, day after day, regardless of age or physical condition. After all, age is just a number.
Writing to spread the Good News, encouraging others on their journey and mentoring younger women gives me a sense of purpose since “retirement” from education. Are you making the most of the life and the strength that is yours for today?
Photo captions: 1) They shall mount up with wings like eagles. (pgcpsmess.wordpress.com). 2) Carol Round.
Carol Round use latestNote: I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to email me at carol@carolaround.com with your thoughts, at or visit my blog at www.carolaround.com.
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Words Are the Incarnation of Thought: On the Trinity

Words Are the Incarnation of Thought: On the Trinity

By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
Saint AugustineALBUQUERUQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS - September 25, 2016) -- I remember when I came to the realization that words matter. I was sitting in a college English class in Fremont, California. The class was reading and discussing T.S. Eliot’s poem, Journey of the Magi. And for some reason I had an epiphany while contemplating the 43-line poem. True, the poem is an amazing piece of verse. But it wasn’t necessarily the exclusiveness of the poem that prompted the feeling. Rather, Journey of the Magi acted as a final destination for my own journey with language, a metaphor for the wonder of words.
After reading the Eliot poem that day something clicked; I came to see that words are the incarnation of thought. And because words can represent things seen (car, house, etc.) and unseen (feelings and ideas) they are worthy of due attention. I became an aficionado of words and the written language, wanting to understand how words provide meaning as vehicles for ideas.
It wasn’t until later that I read St. Augustine’s observation on words and how words act as an illustration for ideas, and ultimately, the Trinity. For Augustine, words are “signs” rooted in reality, what he called “things.” Augustine categorized signs into “natural” and “conventional” [1]. Natural signs are those things that don’t necessary “lead to a greater knowledge of something else.” A commonly used illustration for “natural” signs is how smoke indicates a fire.
A conventional sign is connected to ideas and meaning. For Augustine, conventional signs are those things “which living beings mutually exchange for the purpose of showing, as well as they can, the feelings of their minds, or their perceptions, or their thoughts.'' Augustine saw conventional signs as having two levels: a literal sense and a figurative sense. One can use an eagle as an example of the two signs: an eagle is a bird (literal meaning) and can be a symbol of freedom (figurative meaning).
Norman GeislerI won’t go further into Augustine’s ideas on signs. Many philosophers and linguists have unpacked his work. My point is that Augustine connected thought to speech to words.
Rather, I’d like to briefly comment on how words help us understand the Trinity. In my theology proper class at Veritas Evangelical Seminary, Professor Norman Geisler pointed out “poor” and “better” illustrations to use when discussing the Trinity, particularly with people that are having a difficult time apprehending the truth (as Geisler liked to say, “no one can completely comprehend the Trinity, but we can apprehend it”).
Geisler first pointed out the poor illustrations often used by Christians. These include: three states of water (solid, liquid, and gas), three links in a chain, and the human body (body, soul and spirit) [2].
Geisler then moved on to the better illustrations. These included: a triangle (three different sides, one object), mathematics (1x1x1=1), love (a lover, a beloved, and the spirit of love), and mind, ideas, and words. Geisler said he got a couple of these comparisons from Augustine, which brings me full circle.
In Augustine’s On the Trinity, the relationship of love’s trifold nature and the mind/word/idea concept is at its clearest. Augustine’s thought went something like this: If, indeed, Jesus is the word then there must be speech (the Spirit) and a speaker (the Father). This word-speech-speaker analogy correlates easily, then, to the word (Jesus), ideas (Spirit), and mind (Father) illustration.
Mind Idea SpeechIt may take a few moments to let this sink in. But Augustine’s point is that the mind/ideas/words concept is a unique way to think about the interrelationship within the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, co-equal and consubstantial. And though all analogies fall short, some illustrations help bring clarity for an intellectually stirring truth. I think this is one of the stronger illustrations, particularly as it relates to the Biblical phrase, “And the Word became flesh” (John 1: 14).
So the next time you’re reading a great poem -- or any piece of literature for that matter -- thank God that a mind produced the thought, and that the idea was communicated through the word. For in this process we find a glimpse of the Godhead.
For more information on Augustine and the Trinity, click here: https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo/On_The_Trinity 
2) To learn the reasons behind this, read Geisler’s Systematic Theology: Volume 2: God and Creation, pages 293-295.
Photo captions: 1) St. Augustine. 2) Norman Geisler. 3) Mind-Idea-Speech illustration. 4) Brian Nixon.
Brian NixonAbout the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He's a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon.
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Balinese in Indonesia

Balinese in Indonesia
The Bali people are those who live on or originated from the island of Bali. Most Balinese live in very close-knit villages with strong family, social, religious and economic interrelationships. The Balinese are known throughout the world for their artistic abilities. Hinduism is the primary religion of the Balinese. Even though Hinduism has greatly affected the culture, the Balinese have managed to maintain their original culture, so that Balinese Hinduism differs from Indian Hinduism.
Ministry Obstacles
Close-knit societies make it especially difficult for any one member to follow a different religion.
Outreach Ideas
Perhaps Indonesian Christians from other people groups will be burdened to carry the good news of Jesus to the people of Bali, using varying methods of communication.
Pray for the followers of Christ
Pray for the followers of Christ among the people of Bali to grow in their love for the Lord and for each other. Pray they will have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
Pray for the entire people group
A great need in Bali is a government plan for tourism development. Well-conceived and well-executed laws could preserve the beauty and culture of Bali as well as promote its tourist trade for many years to come.
Scripture Focus
"All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before You." Psalm 22:27

 

People Name: Balinese
Country: Indonesia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 3,973,000
World Population: 3,979,000
Language: Bali
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Bible: Complete
Audio NT (FCBH): Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
Christ Followers: Few, less than 2%
Status: Unreached
Progress Level:

Minggu, 25 September 2016

Sistine Chapel frescoes are coming to Dallas

Sistine Chapel frescoes are coming to Dallas
Dr. Jim Denison
September 22, 2016
 
 
 
 
I'll never forget the first time I saw Michelangelo's frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. They are more stunning than any movie or photograph can depict. Soon, however, you won't have to go to Rome to view them. You will be able to see them in Dallas instead.

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition makes its first stop in the US at the State Fair of Texas, which opens in Dallas on September 30. The works will be displayed in their original size, reproduced as thirty-four photographs displayed on sixteen-foot panels.

In a way, it's surprising that Michelangelo's masterpiece will be displayed at this city-sponsored event. The frescoes are overtly religious, depicting God's creation of Adam and Eve as well as a variety of biblical prophets and heroes. Given the rising tide against religious freedom, we can envision a day when such depictions will be allowed only inside church buildings.

Consider the frightening US Commission on Civil Rights report making headlines today. It states clearly that if someone alleges discrimination relative to their sexual orientation or gender identity, their claim takes precedence over religious freedom. The Commission's chairman summarized the report: "The phrases 'religious liberty' and 'religious freedom' will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance" (my emphasis).

Here's my question: If the Commission's report becomes reality, will Christians be unable to engage in any public faith expression that someone considers intolerant? What would an atheist say about the Sistine Chapel display at the State Fair of Texas? What would a same-sex couple say about my refusal to perform their wedding?

The more our culture turns from God, the more it will turn against his people. Jesus warned us: "If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you" (John 15:18).

That's why it's so important that Christians know how to stand for biblical truth in our post-Christian culture. Each day I write the Cultural Commentary, I thank God for the support of our readers. Without you, our ministry would not be possible. Since we give away everything we produce online, we depend entirely on your financial contributions.

Today is North Texas Giving Day. I am writing to ask for your help, so we can continue to share God's word with our world. A very generous donor has provided matching funds up to $100,000. In addition, every donation over $25 given through northtexasgivingday.org between 6 AM and midnight will receive a portion of bonus funds. And we are eligible to win several prizes, which can be seen on the North Texas Giving Day website.

God is expanding our ministry as we respond to the challenges of our day. Today's Cultural Commentary will reach more than 112,000 subscribers in 203 countries. Over the year, the Cultural Commentary will be read 7.8 million times.

Your support makes this ministry possible. Please click here to give a gift between 6 AM and midnight today. And know that I am personally grateful to God for your help. Together we will proclaim God's word "with all boldness" (Acts 28:31) until the earth is "filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14).

To God be the glory.

 
 
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Hani in China

Hani in China
The Hani are a needy and poverty-stricken people. The central government ranked them lowest of China's official minorities in a quality of life index. They have three major religious clergymen. The Zuima directs all religious activities. The Beima perform magic rites and exorcisms. Male and female Nima make predictions and administer medicinal herbs. The Hani have been one of the most Gospel-neglected of China's minorities. The few efforts to evangelize them have been met with resistance.
Ministry Obstacles
There are few resources (Scripture, Gospel films, etc.) available to help communicate the good news of Christ to the Hani people.
Outreach Ideas
Christians can minister to the physical and material needs of the Hani, while also recounting stories from Scripture.
Pray for the followers of Christ
There are a few followers of Christ among the Hani people. Pray they will be accurately taught the truths of Scripture, and will be zealous to grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Pray they will be without any kind of impurity, or greed.
Pray for the entire people group
Pray for the needy Hani people to be able to improve their living conditions, for employment and for schooling for the children.
Scripture Focus
"He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy He will save." Psalm 72:13
 

People Name: Hani
Country: China
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 739,000
World Population: 762,000
Language: Hani
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Bible: None
Audio NT (FCBH): No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
Christ Followers: Few, less than 2%
Status: Unreached
Progress Level:

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