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Sky Links, 2-24-18

Photo: Spacebridge by longobord CC 2.0

If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.
-Esther 4:14

Who Does God Want To Train Our Children?
-Suzi Ciliberti

I was encouraged, by a dear friend, to read the article, “Five Reasons Why the Children’s Minister Is the Staff Position in Greatest Demand.” Here is the link to the article: http://thomrainer.com/2018/02/five-reasons-childrens-minister-staff-position-greatest-demand/

Most of the comments were from people concerned about who they thought should be teaching our children about God. I was left with the question in my own heart: Just who is God holding responsible to teach our children and what does it mean to meet that responsibility?


What Is “Progressive Christianity” and Why Should You Beware of It?
-Roger Olson

First of all, do not assume anything! I will define what I mean by “progressive Christianity” here. It is, of course, an indexical phrase which means it cannot be defined except within a particular context. And, of course, different people mean different things by it. And yet, it is being used within churches and denominations and Christian organizations and cannot just be ignored. Generally speaking, at least outside of very conservative Christian circles, it tends to have a positive “ring” and many especially educated Christians are attracted to it. Sometimes, however, it is an insidious and pernicious code phrase for liberal theology being introduced into moderate Christian circles. Many people do not seem to see what is happening in such situations; I believe I do see it and I want to sound an alarm so that others may begin to ask questions they might not think of asking.

My notes from the article and comments:  You can be a 'progressive evangelical', which is hard to understand, if progressive (like liberal) is a bad word, in your mind.


Billy Graham focused on unity among Christians, not on divisions
-Steve Simms

Many Christian evangelists have worked within one Christian denomination or doctrinal system. However Billy Graham crossed lines and courageously worked together with Christians of various backgrounds, doctrines, races, and churches. (In the racially segregated South, he even broke local laws and made his crusades open for anyone to sit wherever they wanted.)

Billy Graham Crusades were an amazing thing to see: tens of thousands of people of various backgrounds and persuasions coming together to hear a humble and unassuming man talk about Jesus and His love for all people. Billy Graham cut through the sectarianism and divisions among Christians and brought them together to reach their city for Christ.

Billy Graham Crusades were amazing demonstrations of the power of unity in the body of Christ. Every one of them was a cooperative effort of many local Christians and churches (of various doctrines & denominations) who set aside their differences and worked together for many months to share the good news about the living Jesus. They were held in more than 250 cities around the world.



-Amanda DeWitt

A wiser woman once told me that, much like the children of Israel, God sometimes leads us in circles. We learn and relearn life’s lessons as we walk through similar circumstances again and again.

If you look at the geography, there wasn’t much room for the children of Israel to wander in the wilderness. Instead they trod the same paths over and over again for forty years. And amidst those circular trails, they learned dependence, obedience, and trust.



My Email Exchange with Eric Metaxas
-Jon Ward

hi Eric, I’m a journalist in Washington D.C. for Yahoo News. I’m writing a profile about you. I read your Bonhoeffer book when it came out. I grew up in an evangelical church. My family and I attend an evangelical church now.

I’ve wanted to write about your support for Trump for a while. In a sense, the mere fact of your support for Trump is now old news. But I’ve tried to come up with questions that get at some of the more substantive questions and issues that I think led some religious conservatives such as yourself to support Trump, while others who feel just as strongly as you do about abortion and religious liberty came to very different conclusions about supporting Trump.

Eric:

I’ll respond to each question you’ve asked, but first let me say:

I think one of the saddest things about the period in history through which are living is that we’ve come to a place where graciousness and empathy and trying to see the other side’s point of view has fallen by the wayside, and in many cases has been forcibly hurled away, most grievously by self-described Christians. It seems that some people have come to the view that Trump is simply so irredeemably bad that all the previous rules must be flung from the window, that anyone who would support him — whether in a more full-throated way like Robert Jeffress or Jerry Falwell, Jr., both of whom I respect greatly, or in a more measured and let us say “tepid” way, in which group I would put myself — must be demonized in no uncertain terms, must be scorned as someone who has no principles and who can only be doing what he is doing because he has made a naked calculation for his own self-interest. This is not only not true in most cases of those I know who support Trump, but is also simply a dramatically uncharitable interpretation. It represents an unprecedented scorched-earth policy toward anyone who hasn’t expressed utter contempt for the current president, as though contempt can be the only reasonable and acceptable response in civilized circles.



Eric Metaxas interviews Jack Deere about his coming book (podcast):

Jack Deere shares his powerful journey through the pain of loss and tragedy with insights from his soon-to-be-released memoir, “Even in Our Darkness: A Story of Beauty in a Broken Life.”

Even In Our Darkness, by Jack Deere at Amazon

Benny Hinn and Mark Chironna prophesy about Billy Graham's passing:




7 tough lessons people often learn too late in life

-Nicolas Cole

1. IF YOU WANT TO ‘DO WHAT YOU LOVE,’ YOU HAVE TO WORK THREE TIMES AS HARD AS EVERYONE ELSE

2. BENEATH ANGER IS ALWAYS FEAR

3. OUR EVERYDAY HABITS FORM OUR FUTURE SELVES

4. YOUR EMOTIONS TAKE PRACTICE

5. EVERYONE HAS HIS OR HER OWN AGENDA

6. ACHIEVEMENT WILL NEVER BE AS FULFILLING AS THE JOURNEY

7. WORKING HARD AND LAUGHTER ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE



What I Would Have Done Differently, Billy Graham's regrets, in his own words
-COMPILED BY COLLIN HANSEN

For all of Billy Graham's remarkable accomplishments, he made his share of mistakes. These mistakes might have harmed his ministry if not for Graham's willingness to confess them and learn from them.


God Hears Our Prayers and Wants to Heal Our Land
-James Robison (video)

The Stream‘s founder James Robison posted today on Facebook that God hears our prayers and answers them. In his timely message, James points out that God wants to make our land well and bless His people. “There is great hope for America,” he said. “Christ is the hope.”

“God is answering the prayers of His children,” James said. “He is seeking to lead our nation, for whatever reason, out of the darkness, out of the ditch.”

“God is answering the prayers of praying people.”



The other Billy Graham rule 

In recent months, the so-called “Billy Graham rule” reappeared in the American lexicon with stories about how Vice President Mike Pence followed Graham’s example of not being alone with any woman who wasn’t his wife.

As I’ve read obits and tributes, another rule Graham tried to follow seems worthy of mentioning as well:

Be willing to use your influence, but wield it humbly.

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