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Copyright 2014 by The Church Guide
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CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE Do Christians Actually Live Up to Their Christian Identity on Twitter?
By Morgan Lee l Christian Post
An ugly and public Twitter war broke out last week between two Christians over allegations that one, a popular Christian writer, had inaccurately interpreted the other person's tweets. For a medium that attracts passionate and opinionated comments, the argument only exemplified the obvious: not all Christians think alike. In a blog post titled "Setting the Record Straight on Jesus, 'the Friend of Sinners,'" Jonathan Merritt explained that after he tweeted in January "about Christian singer Natalie Grant walking out of The Grammys, Joe Carter, prominent Calvinist and director of communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission rhetorically asked , 'Didn't [Jesus] only welcome those seeking forgiveness?' He went on to agree with another that, "The sinners Jesus partied with were already followers." "Theological sirens blared inside my head .....
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CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE Reclaiming Modesty in the Church
By Ryan Duncan l Crosswalk
Dannah Gresh had an unpleasant surprise waiting for her when she returned home one evening. After a weekend of traveling, she asked her husband how Church had been that Sunday, probably expecting to hear about the day’s lesson. What she got instead was completely different. Her husband confessed that a woman had come to visit their congregation, and her outfit had left the men feeling…agitated. “The funny thing is, none of them could quite remember her face.” Wrote Gresh    on    CharismaNews , “But they all remembered her skin-tight leather pants with the lace-up fly.” For Gresh and her husband, this experience was a wake-up call: women need to be more conscious about how they dress in church. After all, Sunday mornings were supposed to be a time when Christians should feel safe from temptation, not worrying whether it will sit next to them. Gresh continued by pointing out that there’s more damage in immodest clothing then one might imagine.
EXPECTING? The Crisis of Faith You Don’t Expect When You’re Expecting
By John Upchurch l Crosswalk
In the crazy seasons of my life, I’ve often fled to the psalms. Those (mostly) short but piquant songs get right to the grit. Nothing can brush aside my need to “warm up” my Bible reading muscles faster than a trek into David’s valley of death . Nothing can sweep me into praise more quickly than following the pilgrims as they ascend to Jerusalem . They’re raw, beautiful, and cut right to the quick of our faith . And as far as crazy seasons go, none have been more frenetic and fantastic than having a new child. Those were days for the psalms—not 119 in its loquacious praise, but Psalm 1 in it’s punchy honesty.
Cat Brown, 35, sat patiently in Sid’s Tattoo Parlor in Santa Ana, Calif., legs crossed under a poofy vintage skirt and numbing cream slathered over her back. A high school guidance counselor, Brown had flown from Tempe, Ariz., to Santa Ana, Calif., to see Sid Stankovits, her favorite tattoo artist and owner of the tiny shop in a strip mall. This was Brown’s tenth appointment with Stankovits, and she was getting the biggest tattoo she’d ever had: a giant eagle stretching across her upper back, etched with the phrases “God is my anchor, I’m under the shadow of his wings”—words inspired by the Psalms. “After this, I’m done,” Brown said: “I’ve always wanted a tattoo on my back, so this is the final one.” Brown is one of many who profess Christ and literally embody their faith with needle and ink. Although tattooing is a thousands-year-old practice, only in the last two decades has it punctured mainstream culture .....
Once the Domain of Gangs and Outcasts, Tattoos Have Gone Mainstream Permanent Marker By Sophia Lee l Christian Examiner
STATISTICS SHOW 72% in U.S. Are Still Married to Their First Spouse
We've all heard the depressing statistics concerning the endurance of marriages in the US, and even in the Church, some have stated that about 50 percent of them end in divorce. Not so fast… A new 8-year investigative study by best- selling author and researcher Shaunti Feldhahn reveals a much different picture. Feldhahn disclosed her findings in a new book called, "The Good News About Marriage." That 'good news' includes Census Bureau findings such as "72 percent of people are still married to their first spouse–and the 28% who aren't, includes people who were married for years until a spouse died!" Feldhahn notes that this information can actually help marriages to survive because it offers hope. "The most important big-picture truth: contrary to popular opinion, most marriages are strong and happy for a lifetime. That doesn't mean most marriages are perfect; there are still plenty of legitimate concerns out there. But for our culture as a whole, the marriages that are unhappy, the ones that don't make it, are the exception rather than the rule."
CHRISTIAN FAITH and MARRIAGE Purposes of Marriage: Same- Sex ‘Marriage’ Strikes Out
By Bryan Fischer l My Christian Daily
We stand as a culture at a critical point in our understanding and definition of marriage. With out-of-control tyrants wearing black robes substituting their fevered imaginations for the express will of the people in state after state, our nation is being engulfed with a tsunami of wrong- headed and societally fatal decisions regarding marriage. We cannot even begin to evaluate the public policy implications of same-sex “marriage” until we first understand the purpose and design of marriage as an institution. According to the laws of nature and nature’s God, there are three purposes for marriage: companionship, sex and procreation. Same-sex “marriage” does not, indeed cannot, fulfill even a single one of these three purposes. When God created Adam, according to Genesis 2:18, he said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.” That would be Eve, someone who completed him and complemented him and met his need for a companion, someone to relieve his loneliness and be his mate for life. So marriage is not first of all about sex or children, it is about God’s design for male and female to be in paired married relationships where they may know the joys of intimate relationship. Husband and wives are friends first, lovers second and parents third.
FRANKLIN GRAHAM True Followers of Jesus Cannot Endorse Same-Sex Marriage
By Michael W. Chapman l CNS News
Rev. Franklin Graham, son of world- renowned evangelist Billy Graham, said that “true followers” of Jesus “cannot endorse same-sex marriage” regardless of what President Barack Obama, the Congress, the Supreme Court, or the media say about the issue, adding that marriage was “settled by God Himself” and cannot be modified by man. “True followers of Jesus Christ, whose salvation is based entirely upon God’s Word, cannot endorse same-sex marriage, regardless of what our President, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the media or the latest Gallup poll says about the matter,” said Rev. Graham. “This moral issue has been settled by God Himself and is not subject to man-made revisions or modifications,” he said. “In the end, I would rather be on the wrong side of public opinion than on the wrong side of Almighty God who established the standard of living for the world He created. Marriage is a biblically moral issue, not a political or theological one.” Rev. Graham made those remarks after first discussing how “pressure from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community” ....
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CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE In Search of Authentic Friendship
By Sarah Abell l Christian Today
True friendship is an amazing gift but for some people making and maintaining friendships isn't easy. I know that has been true at various points in my own life and I'm not alone. I surveyed 1,000 people and discovered that: - 64 per cent don't think they give enough time to their close friendships - 33 per cent often feel lonely - 63 per cent agree that they regularly feel stressed and/or tired - 44 per cent only see their best friend once a month or less So, what is going wrong? Why when advances in technology mean we can connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime are some of us struggling to have the type of friendships that we really want? Could it be that we have become so busy connecting gadget-to- gadget that we have sacrificed the quality of our face-to-face encounters?
The Deadly Deception of Sexual Atheism in the Church
By Kenny Luck l Charisma Magazine
The guy sitting across from me is a professing and practicing Christian. He drops by my office unannounced today to talk to me about his new online-dating life. Specifically, he wants to talk about the overwillingness of Christian women he has encountered on several of his dates who want to jump right from a very public conversation and vanilla latte at Starbucks to very private whispers and physical exchanges between the sheets back at his place. Usually this gender scenario is reversed, but the sex, love and dating landscape continues to move in a progressively liberal direction among Christians without any solid indicators that it will change anytime soon. Both genders today, across all ages and Christian demographics, are prone to compartmentalize their faith away from their sexual life.
Pushing the Boundaries: How to Lovingly Enforce Discipline at Home
Somedays, it feels like parents are in a wrestling match of wills with children. The Enforcer, commonly referred to as the parent, has a cunning opponent - The Child. The child has mastered gut-wrenching moves that have manifested into a discipline nightmare. Parents struggle as a tag team of screaming and kicking behaviors try to take down all their control. The good news, however, is that managing behavior doesn't need to include drama or escalating tirades. It is possible to lovingly enforcing discipline at home and skip all of the fireworks. It's in a child's nature to push boundaries in their environment as they mature. Children are constantly testing limits, looking to see what society views acceptable. This hard wiring makes children incredibly adept at pushing buttons from their arsenal of methods they pick and choose from. On any given day, kids may be biting, throwing tantrums, hitting, talking back, and slamming doors to lash out at their caregivers. With such a barrage of undesirable behaviors, it can be difficult for parents to stay consistent with discipline. Discipline is the action of teaching a child about authority and respect. Of course, that is much easier said than done. .....
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PRAISE HIM By Lorna Rivera
There is always time to praise Him for who He is and what benefits He gave me. I'm not letting the sun go down on me when life is falling apart. I can let the light in me shine. Praising Him more even when disappointments or darkness tries to steal my joy in Him.. In Jesus, I'm moved by His spirit. In Jesus, I have lot to be blessed. No matter how problems get piled up like the water gets deep to my neck I'm not drowning because I'm holding onto the Savior. He told me do not be afraid when strong winds come because He will hold my hand leading me to the promise land. There are days when no one is around and I'm home devoting my time to the One who gave me life. From the bottom of the water I was buried and dead and as I rise up from the water I became alive in Him. Sin get out of my heart because you no longer dwell there. Jesus took my sin and nailed it the cross by His blood. I praise Him and puts a smile in my soul knowing heaven awaits me on the other side where I meet and live with Jesus forever. I praise Him when its quite or loud in my life. I praise Him when its up or down. I praise Him for who He is even in my sinful times, for I learn to repent and forgive myself. I will praise Him, for He is blessed.