Written by R. Todd Mangum Tuesday, 31 March 2015 09:46

I understand that sometimes a person seeking to be faithful to the end has to “endure suffering” – put up with it; patiently accept it; close your eyes, suck it up, and wait for it – pray for it – to be over. Scripture sometimes talks about suffering just that way (e.g., 1 Pet 2:20).

Christ Suffered

But there’s another strand of biblical teaching on suffering, too, often overlooked, and rarely emphasized, especially in our day and in our culture. Several of us on the faculty were confronted with this oft-neglected strand recently when we went over to the Coptic church in our area, and met with and prayed with the leaders there in the wake of the martyrdom of 21 Coptic Christian men in Syria.

 

Written by Susan Disston Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:13

Sitting in a pew at Rosemont College in suburban Philadelphia, a young woman student looked up and around at the stained glass windows that rose high above the sanctuary floor. She saw saints who burned at the stake, who kneeled to clean Jesus’ brow, or who suffered the indignity of prison for their faith.

Woman Ministry Matter

As she looked more closely she was startled to discover that the saints were all women — St. Barbara, St. Cecilia, St. Ursula, St. Joan of Arc, St. Veronica, and St. Rosa of Lima.

Inspired by what she saw, then senior Laura Bunyard joined up with several other students to record the story of the windows and why they depicted twenty women saints instead of the disciples or other men. The students found out that the women were chosen by nuns in the late 1930’s and relate to Rosemont’s educational and religious mission. The nuns chose martyrs, mothers, royalty, and a woman who went on to become the first Native American saint.

   

Written by Philip Monroe Tuesday, 24 March 2015 09:04

From time to time, I get asked about good resources for individuals and families struggling with sexual addictions. So, here is a short annotated bibliography of my go-to print resources:

Sexual Addiction
  1. Hide or Seek: When Men Get Real with God About Sex, by John Freeman
  2. John’s book is just published but brings together a number of talks he has done over the last several decades representing www.harvestusa.org. This book is written to men who are struggling and hopeless. John writes to men who are hopeless and afraid of feeling even more shame after reading about their sexual struggles. This book oozes truth AND compassion. It is the place to start even if you are ambivalent about change.

  3. Sexual Sanity for Women (Ellen Dykas), and Sexual Sanity for Men (David White)
  4. Also employed at HarvestUSA, Ellen and David have developed devotional/workbook type books that are excellent resources for church-based accountability groups to read together. Both have short chapters, opportunities to reflect on questions and passages that relate to the topic being discussed. Again, you get the sense of hope and action without being overly focused on presenting the sure-fire 3 steps to ending an addiction (something that doesn’t work!).

   

Written by Charles Zimmerman Wednesday, 11 March 2015 16:03

Leaders in Further Training

It’s Presidents’ Day weekend and I am at Camp of the Woods high in the Adirondacks where there is over 4 feet of snow on the ground, the present temperature is minus 6 degrees and the wind-chill is minus 35 degrees. I hate the cold and if I never have to trudge through snow again, I will be just fine. What in the world am I doing here?

I am here for two reasons: for the past few years, I have taught at LIFT and spoken at the Presidents’ Day weekend conference.

   

Written by Bryan Maier Friday, 27 February 2015 00:00

In light of recent terrorist atrocities, Americans (particularly Christians) have been challenged to recognize and remember that all religions have their violent strains. Therefore, no religion (particularly Christianity) should view itself as any more morally advanced than any other.

Moral Equivalence

One common example cited was the Crusades of the Middle Ages. Were the Crusaders really the moral equivalent of ISIS? Historians will have to answer that question, but to claim that two religions are both guilty of violence in the name of their god (and thus should be slow to criticize each other) is the moral equivalence view.

It is one thing to debate the fine points of medieval history and theology, but in counseling, the moral equivalence view has more immediate consequences, especially if you are dealing with cases like sexual trauma, rape and domestic violence (or the new term, intimate partner violence). Whenever I counsel someone who is guilty of such actions, it is almost guaranteed that they will rationalize their behavior as a normal counterbalance to whatever sin was committed by their victim.

Sadly, society often does too.

   

Written by Chang Hoon Oh Wednesday, 25 February 2015 00:00

We may think that teaching English is simply teaching English wherever we are teaching it. But there are fundamental differences between EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classrooms and ESL (English as a Second Language) classrooms. An EFL classroom is in a country where English is not the dominant language.

Missional Education

Outside of the classroom, students have very few opportunities to use English and have limited exposure to English-speaking culture. On the other hand, an ESL classroom is in a country where English is the dominant language. Outside the classroom, students have extensive daily exposure to English-speaking culture. An ESL classroom is far more likely to have students from many different countries, all with different native languages; whereas an EFL classroom is not.

In an ESL classroom, students gain a sense of confidence when they talk about something about which they are authorities, such as their own country and culture. Therefore, effective lesson planning must take into account the student’s language learning environment.

   

Written by Dr. Larry Anderson Friday, 20 February 2015 12:45

When we look at Revelation 2:1-7 we see the Church at Ephesus fits this description perfectly. Our Lord told this church that He knew them well and He was aware of all that they had been through. He commended them for their appreciation for sound doctrine and godly behavior. So this was a church that worked hard, that knew the Scriptures, that called sin ‘sin’ and that would not let anybody preach who had not been called to do so. Sounds like a pretty stable church, right?

Church of Ephesus

The Ephesus Syndrome

However, in verse four our Lord says, "I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first love." (KJV), or "You have forsaken your first love," (NIV) There is a drastic switch in the conversation from complementing to convicting. Forsaken means to give up – Jesus used to be first in our lives but we have removed Him from that position, and He wants us to know that He is aware of the switch. Somewhere along our journey we have put the business of church, the battle for doctrinal purity, and the pursuit of church growth ahead of our passion for God’s presence.

However, Jesus does not dismiss the Church at Ephesus without giving them clear instructions on how to turn this ship around.

   

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