“True Biblical orthodoxy is always full of spiritual life, full of missionary zeal, full of unfeigned helpful, compassionate love, for it is the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of His believing children.” — Rev. F.W. Herzberger

Source: Texas District Monthly Newsletter, April 2017, page 3.

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Pray for the Harvest At 10:02

The Iowa District of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod, in their monthly bulletin (April 2017, page 3), have an article in which the author encourages us to pray for the harvest every day at the same time. The author writes,

Every morning, except Sunday, at 10:02 my alarm goes off and I stop what I’m doing to pray.  …

“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

The location of that verse? Luke 10:2. Hence, my alarm set for 10:02. I stop to pray for workers, both professional and lay, to go out into the harvest field.

Before we can harvest, of course, we have to work the field, building relationships. We have to plant the seed of the Word. God does the work of bringing the growth, bringing faith.

Won’t you join me in joining Jesus on His mission?  You can start by praying every morning at 10:02.  Let’s go into the fields with Jesus!

Posted in Missional, Missional Leadership, Missionary, Prayer, Rural evangelism, Small Town Evangelism, Urban Outreach | Comments Off on Pray for the Harvest At 10:02

Church Interpreter Training Institute Equips People to Sign for Deaf People for Worship Services

More than 30 years ago, the Church Interpreter Training Institute (CITI) was established to improve the skills of interpreters in church settings in signing the Word of God to people who are Deaf in Christian congregations. As a Christian ministry, provided by the joint partnership of Concordia Theological Seminary (CTSFW), Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Lutheran Friends of the Deaf (LFD), founder of the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, CITI has equipped hundreds of church interpreters to serve the Christian Church.

In keeping with its commitment to offer regional workshops for church interpreters around the United States, LFD will offer a nine-day intensive workshop on the CTSFW campus, 6600 N. Clinton St., June 25–July 3, 2017. The cost of the program is $1,000 (US) for commuters (includes lunch only) and $1,500 (US) for residential students (includes dorm and all meals). More information and online registration is available at millneck.org/citi-2017, registrations are due by June 1. For questions, contact the CITI office on the CTSFW campus at CITI@ctsfw.edu or call 260.452.2283.

Courses will include linguistics, history of Deaf Ministry models, Deaf Missions, working with the pastor, video relay and technology, basic religious vocabulary, and interpreting liturgies, Scripture lessons, church music and sermons. Students will also have the opportunity to sign parts of worship services during the Seminary’s daily chapel. This year’s staff includes a pastor and a deaconess, who have each been involved in Deaf Ministry for more than 20 years, and two Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf nationally certified interpreters, who are also involved in Deaf Ministry.

It is estimated that approximately 95 percent of Deaf people do not attend any church. CITI exists to equip church members, professional church workers and American Sign Language interpreters through specialized instruction to assist and serve the Christian Church in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who are Deaf, both informally and in worship settings.

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Shedding Light on Assisted Suicide in America

The new pamphlet from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) – Shedding Light on Assisted Suicide in America (Shedding Light) counters the myths that assisted suicide laws are safe and without abuse. Shedding Light explains how the assisted suicide laws in Oregon and Washington state work and why they provide no effective oversight.

Some of the featured stories include:

  • Dr Charles Bentz, a doctor in Oregon, describes how his depressed patient died by assisted suicide. From personal experience, Bentz proves that the depressed people are dying by assisted suicide in Oregon.
  • Kathryn Judson, an Oregon resident, wrote that she was afraid to leave her husband alone with doctors and nurses after a doctor gave her husband a “sales pitch” for assisted suicide. Judson’s story undermines the myth that assisted suicide requests are based on a person’s “free choice.”

Order Shedding Light for $35 for 100 copies, $90 for 300 copies or $150 for 600 copies (plus shipping and taxes) by contacting the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) at: info@epcc.ca or by calling 1-877-439-3348.

Posted in Assisted suicide, End of Life Issues, Euthanasia, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Physician Assisted Suicide, Prolife | Comments Off on Shedding Light on Assisted Suicide in America

Recruiting, Developing & Empowering Leaders! — A Free Webinar

One of the greatest requests ministry leaders have is for more leaders. Where will they come from? Other churches? The seminaries? Or somewhere else? Join Rev. Scott Gress as he tackles this age old challenge.

 

May 9 @ 1PM (Eastern Time Zone): Recruiting Pre-Leaders
May 16 @ 1PM (Eastern Time Zone): Developing Leaders
May 23 @ 1PM (Eastern Time Zone): Empowering Leaders

Join us for one hour at these days and times. A 45 minute presentation will be followed by a time of questions and answers.

Register here: Empowering Leaders

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Why “The Bible Says So” Is Not Enough Anymore — by Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley writes in an article, “Why ‘The Bible Says So’ Is Not Enough Anymore” offers some interesting challenges as Christians strive to share God’s Word in today’s North American context. Stanley writes,

As I explain in Deep and Wide and Communicating for a Change, I approach a message series like a single, two- or three-hour message divided into four or five parts. I’m comfortable with tension, unanswered questions and leaving people hanging. Not everybody is.

But to recap, yes, I believe the Bible is without error in everything it affirms. Yes, my approach to preaching is not traditional. Yes, my approach at times leaves those outside our local congregations wondering if I’m still an evangelical. So in light of all that, along with the fact that here I am once again having to explain myself, shouldn’t I consider changing my approach?

No.

Actually, I would like you to consider changing yours.

Here’s why.

The world has changed.

The approach most of us inherited doesn’t work anymore. Actually, it’s never worked all that well. In a culture that had high regard for the Bible, the traditional approach held its own. Those days are over. They’ve been over for a long time. If you think I’m using culture as an excuse to maintain a flawed hermeneutical approach, consider this.

To read Stanley’s article in its entirety, click on: “Not Enough Anymore.”

Posted in Bible, Christian Apologetics, Discipleship, Evangelism, Missionary, Preaching, Witness, Word of God | Comments Off on Why “The Bible Says So” Is Not Enough Anymore — by Andy Stanley

Mission Training Center: Training Laity for Service in Jesus’ Mission and Ministry

Mission Training Center develops people for God’s mission through training opportunities centered in the Bible and taught through the lenses of God’s mission. Participants confidently and competently reach into the community with appropriate and contextual proclamation and disciple-making ministry, as well as train and develop other apostolic disciples for God’s mission. So, if . . . .

  • You want to be better prepared to join God in His mission by serving more intentionally in your congregation or community, or
  • Your congregation is in need of well-trained missional leaders, or
  • You are interested in serving in organizations which require or expect a level of missional Biblical competency & knowledge, or
  • Your organization is interested in trained deacons for ministry, or
  • You are on a track to enter a seminary program or another organization in order to take further steps toward trained and/or professional ministry . . . .

How are courses offered?

MTC offers three ways to access the learning:

  1. Online courses are taught using GoToMeeting, a voice-to-voice, live, synchronous method on evenings during the week or Saturday mornings. Courses are offered continuously throughout the year.
  2. One-on-one courses are taught locally, face-to-face. Courses are offered as scheduled by the participant with a local instructor (normally a local pastor).
  3. Field MTC courses are taught locally, face-to-face, at a local geographic site in a classroom setting to a group of people. Courses are offered as scheduled by the field site. Check with the MTC Administrator to identify Field MTC locations.

To check out the course offerings, visit: Courses.

NOTE: The Mission Training Center is affiliated with the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod and serves many LCMS Districts in equipping a certified lay deaconate.

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THRED Ministry Launches: It’s Time for Dialogue About Faith and Life — Not a Shouting Match

THRED is Lutheran Hour Ministry’s new digital outreach project. THRED is a place to go for open, honest conversation about life and faith — and Jesus. Blog-style posts and in-depth articles cover an array of topics (e.g. marriage, God, Faith, etc.). Visitors are encouraged to join conversations that begin in thought-pieces whose titles include, “What’s My Convenience Worth?” “Making Peace with a Violent World,” “The Day I Accidently Rejected Christ.”

THRED is more than conversation. Participants will be able to join online interest groups to explore ideas at greater depth with THRED volunteers who interact from a Christian viewpoint.

THRED also has a number of videos in which people with a variety of viewpoints discuss Jesus.  These videos can serve as a great discussion starter in your church Bible study group, especially, if you are tired of hearing “canned” answers and you are genuinely interested in sharing your Christian faith with others.

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International Lutheran Hour Ministries Volunteer Trips

Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM), through the International Ministries Partnership program, offers unique short-term volunteer team opportunities for groups such as a congregation, district, school, youth group, Lutheran organization, or even a group of friends. Teams work alongside local LHM staff and volunteers in projects such as outreach events, ministry to children, construction, healthcare training, skills transfer, etc.

LHM oversees all logistical details and manages the project in the host country. LHM also provide high quality DVD based short-term team volunteer training prior to the trip.

To discover what current volunteer trips are available, visit: Mission Trips.

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CTV Reports that 744 People have been killed by Euthanasia in Canada since June 17, 2016

According to the February edition of the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) National News, “CTV reported that 744 people have been killed by euthanasia in Canada since it was legalized on June 17, 2016.  That was in six months, and doesn’t include those who received permission from a court to be killed by a medical professional before euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide were legalized. About 40% of the deaths were in Quebec.”

The CLC article quotes University of Toronto law professor, Trudo Lemmens as saying, “There is a concern that people who are vulnerable or who find themselves in a situation of vulnerability may be pressured consciously or unconsciously to opt for medical assistance in dying either because of financial circumstances or because the medical help that they need is not necessarily available.”

What are your thoughts on medically-assisted suicide? What is morally and ethically wrong with the practice? What does God have to say on the subject? Here are some resources you may want to read:

Posted in Assisted suicide, End of Life Issues, Euthanasia, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Lutherans for Life, Lutherans for Life -- Canada, March for Life, Physician Assisted Suicide, Prolife | Comments Off on CTV Reports that 744 People have been killed by Euthanasia in Canada since June 17, 2016