Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Pastor Marquis Arrue and his daughter perform Hey Christo at Sunday night's Music Concert. Marquis is the Pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista de Rahway, which worships every Sunday at 12PM.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Kim does little of everything in El Salvador. Right now Kim has been working with several delegations that have come to visit the Baptist Federation from partner organizations around the world. In a normal week Kim does a mix of institutional development with how the Federation can be more effective in serving and partnering with local churches around the country. Kim also works with project based ministry, things like agricultural development, bakery coops for women, charity schools run by churches, working with national leaders and partners to make those projects functional, help with fund raising strategies, and just spending time with them. It´s a lot of fun and a lot of work.
At the regional level, Kim has been invited by partners in Latin America and the Caribbean to serve as coordinator of a regional assessment of theological education. She expects to ultimately organize a regional gathering for theological educators where they will have the opportunity to discuss the trends of the assessment and explore strategic directions for their unique education contexts.
From 2002 until 2004, Kim served as a volunteer missionary with a holistic community health and development organization which prepared local farmers to provide primary health care services in rural Nicaragua. She helped train promoters and coordinated over 40 short-term mission teams who came to partner with rural communities in building health clinics and digging wells. In 2005, Kim spent four months working with short-term groups who were partnering with Deborah House in Tijuana.
From August 2006 until April 2008, Kim worked with the Volunteers in Global Mission team at International Ministries providing administrative and program support. She then spent four months in Chile, volunteering with a local church preparing women and youth to plan and develop church-based social outreach ministries.
She works with Federation churches in the areas of leadership and empowerment projects with women and youth, as well as informal theological training in the local churches. Kim also supports short-term teams and individuals partnering in El Salvador.
Please pray for unity and direction in the new generation of young leaders in the church in Miramar; also for continued growth of the new Baptist Women in Ministry group. Thank you!
For more information about Kim Kushner; http://www.internationalministries.org/missionaries/kim_kushner
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopa) is native to North America and was a staple in the Native American diet. It was imported to Europe in the early part of the 16th century by the Spaniards via Turkey (the country.) It was confused in those early times with the Guinea fowl which also arrived via Turkey, and both birds were called turkeys in those days. When it was assigned its latin name in the 18th century, the name turkey still stuck. Native Americans called it peru with no reference to the country of the same name.
Turkey was introduced to the early Pilgrim settlers by the Native American Wampanoag tribe after the Pilgrims arrived in 1620. The first year for the settlers was bleak, with many dying from the journey. Their seeds, aside from barley, did not produce any usable crops. The Indians assisted the settlers, introducing them to native foods such as corn and squash and showed them how to hunt and fish. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 at the behest of Governor William Bradford, and the Native Americans were invited guests of honor.
Thanksgiving became an official holiday in the United States on October 3, 1863 via proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln. This was largely due to the lobbying efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godey's Lady's Magazine who had lobbied for 17 years for the holiday. The proclamation declared the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
By 1916, Thanksgiving was referred to in writings as Turkey Day due to the popularity of the bird at the traditional feast.
Interestingly enough, in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to move the official Thanksgiving date to earlier in November in order encourage a longer Christmas shopping season as a Depression recovery strategy. His idea was shut down by Congress, and the official date was declared permanently as the fourth Thursday in November via Public Law #379.
The popularity of wild turkeys nearly wiped them out. The federal government stepped in with protection in 1991, and they are now found in 49 states.
Turkey was most-associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas, making winter the prime season for turkey farmers. In 1935, the per capita consumption of turkey was only 1.7 pounds.
Today, turkey has been recognized as a lean substitute for red meat. Aggressive marketing by turkey farmers by advertising and availability of parts rather than the necessity of cooking a whole bird has increased consumption to 20 pounds per person per year, with 74 percent of the consumption being in sliced turkey sandwiches.
And, of course, who can resist drying the wishbone from the breast of the turkey to make a wish?
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Good news friends. Paralyzed Rutgers Football player Eric LeGrand was upgraded from a complete spinal cord injury to an incomplete injury. This gives him a better chance at a recovery. Keep praying for Eric to walk again. God does miracles all of the time!
Here is the NJ.Com story. http://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2010/11/change_in_rutgers_football_pla.html
And here is a link to the Eric LeGrand Believe Fund webpage. You can help Eric out by donating to the fund and/or buying Believe clothing. http://www.scarletknights.com/believe/
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Loneliness ate away at Scott that made him so miserable. If YOU are lonely, take the time to hear what Scott has to share. A Christian Video Testimony about God's Grace!
Monday, November 22, 2010
- Ed & Miriam Noyes
- Lusekele Agricultural Development Center, Vanga, Bandundu Province, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Partners with the Baptist Community of Congo and the Lusekele Agricultural Development Center. Helping the Church to improve food security and livelihoods for semi-subsistence farmers through practical ag innovation, extension services, and market development. Equipping local congregations to serve their neighbors through literacy classes. Developing stronger lay leaders for more effective ministry and mission.
To find out more about this mission go to http://www.noyescongo.blogspot.com/
Friday, November 19, 2010
The Harry Potter Movie is out. I want to do anything by waving a stick and saying the magic words. However, it doesn't work like that. Instead, God can do anything without all of the sillyness.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I believe that our world is searching for the right way to live. And I believe that we are slowly getting closer to the right way of treating each other. It is just taking some time.
Back in fourteenth century France, things were pretty bad compared to today. English armies were invading every few years. After the battle ended, the English King would leave behind large numbers of soldiers, not wanting to pay for their return to England. These men became roving bands of outlaws, attacking villages and travelers. Between the wars and the outlaws, there was also the black plague, which was devastating the people of Europe. In those days, when a village needed help neighboring villages did not respond to their pleas. If they were attacked, their neighbors armed themselves and hoped they too would not be attacked. If the plague struck, doors were shut and locked. If hunger assailed people, there was no help coming from nearby towns or villages. There were plenty of instances of individual compassion and help. Many individuals put their lives on the line to help others. But no general organized effort existed to help neighbors in trouble. And the thought of helping strangers who lived far away, would not have even occurred to most people at this time.
Move to the nineteenth century. The historians call it the age of volunteerism, when most of the organizations that help victims were born. In 1863 a Swiss citizen, Jean Henri Dunant spoke out for the need of an international organization to help wounded prisoners of war with improved medical care. The Red Cross, Red Crescent, and articles of the Geneva Convention came out of his efforts. Before Jean Dunant people didn’t care about prisoners of war, wounded or otherwise. Armies also attacked hospitals as if they were active fighting units. The conditions in prisoner of war camps were horrendous. The average person of the day would not care about the deaths of enemy soldiers. And yet Jean Dunant did care. And not only that, he convinced other people to care, so many that even the governments took notice and supported his efforts.
The creation of the Red Cross and the many other organizations created in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are an amazing part of world history. No where else in our history can I find large numbers of people organizing to help others from around the world. Individual acts of mercy are common throughout history. But organizations that help strangers from other countries, which speak other languages, who have strange customs and who worship gods with different names, that is a new and marvelous thing! In the last several hundred years, the number of these groups has expanded a great deal. Many of the organizations are religious and many are not. Many of the groups help people, and some are out to help animals and the environment. Even countries are joining into this wonderful development. Not only does the United States’ defense department prepare to fight a war, they also prepare to launch peace missions. In light of our war ravaged history this has been truly amazing!
The world is evolving ideas of truth and justice that are being recognized as universal. Treating all humans with love and respect was a concept that only a few held a thousand years ago. But today, many more people hold to these principles. I believe that some day, all humans will hold the same basic principles of treating each other as we would our family. And so I believe that universal principles of behavior will continue to develop over time to guide future generations.
God Bless You,
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Rights groups say Burma has one of the world's most oppressive governments. There are over 2,000 political prisoners in its jails and the military is accused of systematic forced labor, torture, rape, and murder.
Aung San Suu Kyi says she will continue to push for an end to abuses.
But Case in Hong Hong says if she is too vocally critical of the government she can be easily silenced.
Read the rest of the article from Voice of America.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Michelle Otero talks about life as a Strip Club Dancer with two children to life as child of God.
Monday, November 15, 2010
This is an inspired Christian ministry in the north of Thailand. ABC missionaries help the Akha people sell homemade clothing and other items online. It’s great because they work and can support themselves with the sales.
Now here is a chance for you to do your part. Open up your wallets and buy some of their stuff for Christmas. It’s inexpensive and really cool. So, open up that wallet, pull out that credit card and buy, buy, buy.
The Akha hilltribe people have immigrated from Burma and China over the last 100 years to the country of Thailand. They also reside in Laos and some in Vietnam. They have come seeking freedom from the conditions in Burma and China. Perhaps originally from Tibet, they are a gentle people who live off the land. They have survived by hunting, gathering, and "slash and burn" agriculture. Today, an Akha traveling to Bangkok some 500 miles from Chiang Rai to work for six months is not unusual. If an Akha person can get a Thai citizenship card, it is considered to be a great achievement within the Akha village community.
To learn more and buy some neat stuff; Akha Craft Center Internet Store
Friday, November 12, 2010
You don't want me to cook for you, unless you have good Health Insurance. However, I can do God's Work on this planet and so can everyone else. A Pastor Bill Video Message.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
How do we learn the difference between right and wrong? When I was a child, I learned right and wrong from my parents. Today my children learn the same from me. They watch how I behave and they imitate me. If I handle trouble by getting angry, they will do the same. If I settle arguments by being a peacemaker, they too will learn to become peacemakers. We learn from our parents the basics of right and wrong. We learn from each other what it means to be moral and ethical.
I have several friends named Ken and Bonnie, who have shown me what it means to live a good moral life. Over the years they have taken people into their home that had nowhere to go. This had happened so often that their kids didn’t even ask who was coming. They just started moving their stuff into another bedroom. Then my wife and I invited a family into our house to stay. And we looked at each other and said; we’re becoming like Ken and Bonnie! These two people taught my wife and I selfless living just by being themselves.
Not only have I seen a truth filled life in other people, but I have lived it myself. I have had many opportunities to help people in trouble. Recently several people asked me for used furniture. They were too poor to buy furniture on their own. Unfortunately I don’t have any furniture stored anywhere, but I started asked around. Soon several people were donating furniture, and a friend with a truck was transporting it. It felt so good to help out people in need. Surely I experienced truth when I helped these people.
I believe that many simple truths of how to live a good life are all around us. We learn these truths from our families. We learn these truths from our neighbors and friends. We learn these truths through everyday life. Developing caring relationships is the best teacher of right and wrong. Because we know how we want to be treated, we know how other people want to be treated. Because we wish to be loved and respected, we instinctively know that everyone else wishes the same thing.
* By the way. This article was written a while ago. Recently, Betsy and I have opened our home up again to an 18 year old boy who had some problems at home. I guess the lessons we learned from Ken and Bonnie are still alive and well in the Whitehead household. I am thankful I had the opportunity to learn from two wonderful people.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- At least three people were killed and 25 wounded Wednesday morning in continuing attacks on Christians in Iraq, an interior ministry official said.
The roadside bombs and mortar fire targeted Christian homes in several Baghdad neighborhoods, the official said.
On Tuesday evening, three people were wounded in western Baghdad when bombs exploded outside Christian homes there, the ministry said.
It was not clear if the injured were Christian residents or others on the street.
A group called the Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for the gruesome October 31 siege of the Sayidat al-Nejat cathedral that left 70 people dead and 75 wounded. The umbrella group includes a number of Sunni extremist organizations and has ties to al Qaeda in Iraq.
On Sunday, a Syriac Orthodox archbishop in Britain called for all Christians in Iraq to leave the country and slammed the Baghdad government for not doing enough to protect the rights of minorities.
Read More; Attacks on Christians Continue
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
After a dramatic vision, a Jewish man studied the Bible for many years as great literature, then finally accepted that Yeshua (Jesus) really is the Messiah of Israel. He became a new and better person, but then realized that his Jewish identity is still very important to God!
Glenn Blank is now a professor of Comoputer Science as well as the Messianic Rabbi of Beit Simcha (www.beitsimcha.org) in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The clip is from a TV show, The Living Truth, hosted by Pastor Larry Burd, on WBPH 60 in Bethlehem, PA.
Monday, November 8, 2010
A Network of churches and community organizations are helping refugees from Myanmar (Burma) make a new life in the USA. Here is a common story from one of the girls who now live in Rochester NY.
I am from one of the Christian families from Myanmar that have been brought to the United States. I was born on October 15, 1991 in Chin State Matupi Town. When I was six years of age my father died suddenly of an unknown illness. Seven years later I lost my mother, again to an unknown illness. At the age of thirteen I had lost both my parents and went to live with my Uncle, who was very good to me.
I was taken from Thailand to Malaysia at which time we were living in the refugee camp. We were very fearful of the soldiers. They would stop us all the time and want to see our Citizen Card which we did not have because we had fled the country of Burma I was very sad because I had lost my parents, I had to flee my country and now I could not go to school. One day my Uncle was stopped by the police and they demanded his Citizen Card which he did not have at this time. He was arrested and sent to jail. I was sad and lonely but the people in our villages took care of me. I was very grateful.
When my Uncle was released from jail we began to apply to the UN so we could come to the United States. It took us two years to finally be able to leave Malaysia. During that two years we lived in fear of being put in jail. There was a lot of red tape to go through but on November 19, 2008, my Uncle and I arrived in Rochester, New York. Even though I am happy to be here I will always miss my country. I am studying very hard in hope that I may go to college to become a doctor and someday return to my country to help my own people.
I want to take the time to thanks everyone for everything they have done for me. Thank you and God bless America.
If you wish to learn more on Christian Refugee Mission.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I hike quite a bit, and so in the woods I have often found the remains of unbelievable human behavior. The skeletal remains of cars, stripped of everything including the engines, left to rot miles from the nearest road. Junk tires, foam insulation, plastic sheets, dumped deep in the evergreens. The remains of buildings, most likely ghost towns, spray painted or just smashed to bits. This behavior has caused me to wonder why people do crazy things in the woods. Why go to all of the trouble of traveling miles from home just to get drunk around a camp fire and smash beer bottles on the ground? The answer that I have come up with is that people feel free in the woods. With no one else around they feel released from the restrictions that society places on them and they think that they can do anything. And by anything that includes destroying property that doesn’t belong to them and/or permanently damaging natural habitat that belongs in the public trust. And so my question to you is; is this what freedom looks like?
I certainly hope not. If freedom means that I can do anything that I want to do, including hurting others, then the free life is not a life worth living. So if I reject this common notion of freedom, then what is the alternative? There must be limits that we place on our behavior. If not then we take away the freedom of others. We must restrict our actions in order to live together in a supportive way.
Society must have rules. There must be a code of conduct by which we operate. But the limits of our rules are being pushed by our individualistic society. The Internet is an amazing creation that gives all of us many ways to express ourselves. I looked for advice on building a telescope. And I was pleased to find many people who build telescopes as a hobby. And they are happy to publish instructions on how to do this. This is a great example of the positive impact the Internet has had. But the Internet also can have a destructive impact. I remember the story of a local politician whose home phone number was placed on the Internet as an ad for sex. It was like saying, for a good time call… This man and his family were harassed day and night until they changed their phone number. The story expresses the need for some restrictions on self-expression. Unrestrained expression means that innocent people are going to get hurt.
There are issues here that affect our greater society. Did you know that anyone could learn to make a bomb on the Internet? This type of information has been available for a long time in obscure books. But those books were hard to come by. Now this information is easy to obtain. Many people can learn to make bombs out of materials purchased at hardware stores. I’m not sure whether the second amendment protects the publication of this material or not, but surely there must be a way for our society to protect itself against people who spread information for the purpose of hurting others.
Ethical living requires limits on our actions. The unrestricted exercising of rights can take away rights from others. For example, I have seen some ugly fences in beautiful neighborhoods. If you live in a lovely neighborhood with open yards and someone puts up a cyclone fence that doesn’t fit the area, do you have a right to complain? In the Sonoma, California there are many housing developments with strong homeowners associations. They tell the owners what type of fence to put up, what colors to paint them, and what plants can be placed in front of the fences. This makes the development orderly and beautiful. But doesn’t this take basic rights from the individuals who live there? Yet people see the wisdom of giving up some personal freedoms in order to receive something they value in return.
Our right to buy and discard things creates massive landfills that pollute land and water. Our right to go to work for industry also pollutes the environment and causes many to develop health problems. Our right to drive cars that pollute the air causes some people to live indoors because they can’t breath. How does the old saying go? One hand giveth the other taketh away.
We are not free to do whatever we want in the world. I am not free to kill someone just because I feel like it. I am not free to take someone else’s rights away from them.
There must be limits placed on our actions. In order for a fair and just system to exist on our world, some of our personal freedoms must be limited. Our purpose for living is not to impose our selfish wishes onto others and therefore deprive them of important freedoms. We were not placed here on this earth to grab all we can and leave nothing left for others. We were created to care for and love other people as well as ourselves. No one can live in a vacuum. We need each other, and therefore we must learn to limit our actions.
God Bless You,
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Please Pray for our Church and Yours! We are struggling financiall, but God is good and we are hanging on. However, I know of two local churches that are in real trouble. Here is an article from USA Today on the struggles of the Christian Church.
Recession pain has hit widely and deeply among U.S. churches — driving down contributions and limiting budgets, according to surveys from two groups specializing in Christian research. Meanwhile, pleas for assistance rose sharply in 2009.
Although pastor Rick Warren, a best-selling author, raised $2.5 million with a New Year's Eve appeal when the budget for his Saddleback Church came up $900,000 short, few pastors have his fame or his affluent Southern California base.
A national survey of 1,002 Protestant pastors in November by Nashville-based LifeWay Research found:
•28% reported raising less money than in 2008.
•57% said the poor economy was hurting their church.
•70% reported increased requests from people outside their congregation for assistance.
•43% budgeted more money to help more needy people.
•3% were considering closing down their churches.
"Churches have not yet entered the recovery," says LifeWay director Ed Stetzer. "Historically, they tend to recover financially when unemployment decreases, usually after the economy as a whole" recovers.
"Still, we have a mandate to help, even when giving is down," says Brady Boyd, senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, where 10,000 people attend weekend worship.
New Life dealt with a 13% drop in offerings in 2009 by cutting 25 staff positions through layoffs and attrition, ramping up use of volunteers, and relying on special appeals such as a Christmas collection to help struggling military families nearby to buy food.
"I'm proud that our people rallied and we do as much or more in ministry than we did before," Boyd says.
Read the rest of the article here:
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Deepak Matani, a succcessful ethnic Indian management consultant based in London describes the events which led him to question the meaning of life and finally yield his life to the Lord Jesus Christ