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Churches Sign Up for “.Church” Domains
The Christian Examiner
The ".Church" domain has been successfully  adopted by congregations across the United States.  "I saw this as an opportunity to take  advantage of important geographic branding  opportunities domains that immediately and easily  identify my church," said Wesley Sanders, pastor at Brookhaven United Methodist Church of  Brookhaven, Georgia.  He added, "I had been planning on doing a  redesign of our church's website for a while, and  the release of the new dot church domain names  gave me a good opportunity to implement a new  online 
By Danette Crawford  l  The Church Guide
CHRISTIAN ENCOURAGEMENT Total Turn Around in Your Finances
ENJOYING EVERYDAY LIFE - Getting Ready for All God Has for You A Season of Preparation By Joyce Meyer  l  The Church Guide
CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW Is Federal ‘Leviathan’ Pushing This ‘Mark of the Beast’ on Christians?
By Bryan Fischer    l    Charisma News
"And it causes all, both small and great, both  rich and poor, both free and slave, to be  marked on the right hand or the forehead, so  that no one can buy or sell unless he has the  mark" (Rev. 13:16-17, ESV).  A baker in Oregon is fined $150,000, told  he needs "rehabilitation," and put out of business  for declining to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding.  A baker in Colorado is fined, ordered to bake a  cake in violation of his own conscience, and sent  to re-education camp for the same offense. A  florist in Washington is pursued by the state  attorney general for politely declining to make a  floral arrangement for a same-sex wedding. A  photographer in New Mexico is fined $6,700 for  declining to do a photo shoot for a lesbian  wedding.  A T-shirt company is ordered to produce T-  shirts to promote a message it finds morally  objectionable. Jennifer Keeton and Julea Ward  are kicked out of graduate school counseling  programs because of their moral objections to  homosexual conduct.
CHRISTIAN INSPIRATION Embracing Resistance By Gene Markland   l   The Church Guide
It is becoming alarmingly clear that few people, including  believers, have a solid handle on the love of God. While I agree  that many hunger for God, and sincerely desire to see the  promises of God manifest in their lives, few people understand  the correlation of the love of God and victorious living.  This is  because there is a difference between head knowledge and  heart knowledge.    When unexpected challenges occur in our                   lives, it is the unconditional and unrelenting love of                       God that is present to get us through these challenges.                   However, if God’s surpassing love is perceived only                               through head knowledge, defeat is likely because                             you will not always “feel” the love or presence of                          God.  And this is a common problem among                              believers.  When believers don’t "feel" God, then a                     plethora of thoughts relating to “works” surface,                            such as:  maybe I don’t deserve God’s help; what do                         I need to do to get God’s attention; ...
By Eric Metaxas    l    Break Point
Before his death on July 4, 1826, Thomas  Jefferson left explicit instructions on what the  epitaph on his tombstone should read: “Here was  buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the  Declaration of American Independence, of the  Statute of Virginia for religious freedom, & Father  of the University of Virginia.”  Yet within a few years after his death, his  beloved University of Virginia was in deep trouble,  and what would wind up saving it would have  been a shock to its founder. As Carlos Santos and Rex Bowman tell us  in their book, “Rot, Riot and Rebellion: Mr.  Jefferson’s Struggle to Save the University That  Changed America,” Jefferson’s vision for UVA was  that of an “academical village” and a “forward-  looking community with no religious affiliation.” It  was to be a place where “Virginia’s best minds  could go to study with the world’s best scholars.” But within a few years after its founding,  UVA was none of these things. As Santos told  Public Radio’s “Backstory,” the level of violence at  UVA during its first decades is difficult for the  modern mind to fathom. The young men attending  school in Charlottesville had “hair-trigger tempers”  ....
How Evangelical Christianity Saved the University of Virginia
By Dr. Belinda G. Moss  l  The Church Guide
CHRISTIAN INSPIRATION Build Yourself in the Love of God
Samaritan Ministries Offers Biblical Alternative to Health Care Insurance
By Lori Arnold   l   Christian Press
Cody DeWitt sold his family home and was packing up  his household for a move to Illinois where he was about to start  a new job with Samaritan Ministries International, a nonprofit  alternative to medical insurance.  Unlike insurance in which policyholders send premiums  to their insurance companies, Samaritan Ministries’ members  send their monthly payment—called a share—directly to a co-  member dealing with a health issue.  On the eve of DeWitt’s move, though, the two-year  Samaritan Ministries member discovered just how effective the  ministry really was after coughing up blood at his parent’s  Florida home. . .
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CHRISTIAN OPINION How Should the Church Respond in Perilous Times?
By Mat Staver    l    Charisma News
The times in which we live are unprecedented in the  history of America. Every generation thinks the cultural decline  is worse than in prior times. These times are clearly  unprecedented—at least in American history. But the threats we face today are not unprecedented in Judeo-Christian history, a  point I will address later.  Let me give just two examples. For the first time in world  history, the citizens of a country are being forced to participate  in genocide. No government has ever forced its citizens to  participate in genocide until now. Yet, that is what is happening  in America with the ObamaCare law, which forces employers to  provide and/or pay for abortion-inducing drugs or devices. And  many individuals are now being required to make a monthly  payment separate from their insurance premiums to fund  abortion.  The second example is the deconstruction of marriage...  
Newly Found Document Holds Eyewitness Account of Jesus Performing a Miracle
Historian and archivist Ignazio Perrucci, was  hired by the Vatican authorities in 2012, to sort,  analyze and classify some 6,000 ancient  documents that had been uncovered in the gigantic  archive vaults. He was already very excited when  he noticed that the author of the text was the  famous Roman historian Velleius, but he was  completely stunned when he realized the nature of  the content. The text as a whole is a narrative of the  author’s return journey from Parthia to Rome that  occurred in 31 AD, recorded in a highly rhetorical  style of four sheets of parchment. He describes  many different episodes taking place during his trip,  like a a violent sandstorm in Mesopotamia and visit  to a temple in Melitta (modern day Mdina, in Malta).  The part of the text that really caught M.  Perrucci’s attention is an episode taking place in  the city of Sebaste (near modern day Nablus, in the  West Bank). The author first describes the arrival of  a great leader  in the town with a group of disciples  and followers, causing many of the lower class  people from neighbouring villages to gather around  them. According to Velleius, that great man’s name  was Iēsous de Nazarenus, a Greco-Latin  translation of Jesus’ Hebrew name, Yeshua  haNotzri 
Why Restricting Religious Freedom Endangers All Freedoms
By Eric Metaxas    l    BreakPoint
Religious freedom is the source of all of  our freedoms.  In a fantastic address at Cedarville  University in Ohio, John Stonestreet quoted the  French philosopher Luc Ferry, an atheist, who  acknowledged the West’s debt to Christianity. Ferry wrote that “Christianity was to  introduce the notion that humanity was  fundamentally identical, that men were equal in  dignity—an unprecedented idea at the time, and  one to which our world owes its entire  democratic inheritance.”  But Christianity’s contribution to our  “democratic inheritance” was not limited to its  ideas about human equality. It was Christianity  that taught the West that there are limits to the  state’s power and it made our ideas about  human freedom possible.  The story that sums up this contribution is what German historians call the “walk to  Canossa.” In 1077, the Holy Roman Emperor  Henry IV traveled from Speyer, Germany, to  Canossa Castle in Northern Italy.  The purpose of his “walk” was to ask  Pope Gregory VII to lift his decree of  excommunication against Henry.
One afternoon while running an errand near the oceanfront  in Virginia Beach, I decided to go an extra block and take a peek  at the ocean. The air was cold, in the 40s, and cloudy, with a  slight drizzle. It was a typical off-season day. The boardwalk was  deserted, so with my pick of the benches, I sat on a choice one,  stretched out my legs, stuck my hands in my jacket pockets, and looked out over the water.  It was a little windy, as the rough waves crashed ashore  making that unmistakable sound of the sea. Looking up at the  seagulls flying, I noticed the drizzle had stopped. So I decided to  enjoy the fresh sea air for a while, and maybe even get a little  inspiration from the nature that God created.    Sitting there in the cold, my attention was drawn to a  seagull flying above the boardwalk, about 10 feet in front and  above me.  Hovering perfectly still, his wings gave a slight flutter  as he faced into the wind, which was blowing strongly. At first, I  felt sorry for him as he was getting nowhere in this wind.    But, by facing that wind, he was kept aloft by its force. For  a few moments he opened his wings, without flapping them, and  remained stationary, directly in front of me,  
Virginia Church Receives $52,000 Check in Christmas Card from Unknown Donor
A Church in Virginia recently received a  Christmas donation that was enough to pay off  the building’s mortgage; the giver of the donation  is unknown. Christian Today reports that a church  staffer of Africa Lighthouse Baptist Temple found  the anonymous $52,000 check inside a  Christmas card. Africa Lighthouse, a church in Albemarle  County, Virginia, was founded by and for African  refugees that immigrated to America.   Pastor Peter Chege moved the church to  its current property last year “with nothing but  faith and $5,000” which was used for the land’s  down payment. Church members had been  raising money to buy the property since then. The check covered the remaining cost of  the land so Africa Lighthouse now owns its  property and can move onto other ministry.   Chege said the church reaches out to  African immigrants in Virginia and owning the  land will help them in that ministry.  "Now we have a home, we have [a] base  from where we can operate and grow and  launch more into the community,” he said.
13 Gay Bakers Refuse Christian Cake Order
Theodore Shoebat, communications director  for Rescue Christians, recently completed an  experiment to determine if gay bakery owners  would fill an order for a cake that featured the  slogan “Gay Marriage is Wrong.”   Shoebat was inspired to complete the  experiment after hearing about a Christian-owned  bakery in Ireland that is facing legal action for  refusing to make a cake with a picture of Bert and  Ernie with the words “Support Gay Marriage.”    Charisma News reports that Shoebat called 13  bakeries that are owned by homosexuals and  asked them to make a “Gay Marriage is Wrong”  cake for a traditional marriage appreciation event.  All 13 bakeries refused the order and one owner  used foul language against Christians in response.    Shoebat said, "A Christian making a homosexual  cake with 'Support Gay Marriage' goes against his  faith and a homosexual putting 'Gay Marriage Is  Wrong' goes against his faith as well. Now of  course we honor their right to say no, this is not  the issue, but what about honoring the Christian  right to also say no?"
“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wonderous works.”   Psalm 26:7
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Winter is a dormant season.  It’s a time when trees  become bare and most of the grass, plants and flowers die off.   But winter is also a time of preparation—as roots and tree saps  respond to soil and temperature changes to prepare for growth  that comes in the spring.  In much the same way, you and I go through spiritually  dormant seasons.  These are the seasons when God seems  silent…when our dreams and visions for the future seem lifeless.   But although we may not see or feel anything exciting, it doesn’t  mean nothing is happening.  A lot has to happen on         the inside of us before we are ready to handle                    the future God has for us.    Just as winter prepares plants and trees for                                warmer weather, a spiritually dormant season is a                              time of preparation—when our inner character is                                  developed and strengthened. Strong character is                                  essential for withstanding storms that will come                                         during seasons of growth and harvest.  I find                                             there are a lot of people who have the gifts                                                                  and talents to take them somewhere                                                                exciting, but if they don’t have ....
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Do you find that it is easier to walk by faith in every area except for your finances? Money can be the most difficult thing to surrender to God. We all have preconceived ideas of how God’s provision will be brought about for our lives. People who have grown up in government housing may unconsciously believe that their provision comes from the government. Working-class people generally believe that their                      provision comes from their paycheck. Business owners                      and investors often have the mind-set that their                            provision comes from their investments, their                              customers, or their savings. In reality, our provision comes from the                                   Lord. Your current income source is just a                                             means through which your provision is being                                     funneled. But you should never view your                                                         source as your provider. God is your provider,                                                  and His provision for you will be manifested when                                         you are in the right place, at the right time, with                                                             the right heart motive! Obeying the Lord is a secret key to financial freedom.
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