While starting to use the 40 Days book, I realized I don’t reflect or mediate or just spend time with God each day. Do you?
Therese says, “Daily, I will respond when Jesus says, “Come.””
WOW, powerful! I think I usually say something like hold on a minute, I just need to finish XYZ. Today I will stop when He calls.
May 15, 2011 has been marked as Internet Evangelism Day, which is an annual worldwide focus day for digital evangelism. The entire month of May is also designated as Digital Evangelism Month.
The Internet is a powerful tool for reaching people all over the world. It may seem very obvious how people all over the world have the ability to access the Internet and as such, the Internet can be used to bring people to a personal relationship with Jesus. One site having amazing results all over the globe, including many countries where the Gospel is not easy to preach via traditional avenues, is Global Media Outreach. They minister to people in an important 3-step process.
1. Lead them to the Savior
2. Nurture them in Faith
3. Connect them to Church
Many ways exist to share your faith digitally: Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites; blogs or message board posts; email and text messaging (just to name a few).
The website blog.ourchurch.com has some amazing ideas for how to share your faith online in its article 20 Ways to Share Your Faith Online.
Internet Evangelism is such a multi-faceted concept. Sure, there are websites you can either direct people to, or that they find on their own. But, Internet Evangelism is transacted every day through many avenues.
Take Celebrate Your Faith, for example. We are an online retailer of Christian gifts. These gifts are purchased by people for the purpose of encouraging believers or sowing a seed into an unbeliever’s life in hopes of introducing them to Jesus as their Savior. In this gift giving process, the Internet was used as an evangelism tool.
In addition, CYF is steadfastly dedicated to promoting the preaching of the Gospel through direct monetary support of missions and humanitarian efforts. So, all the gifts that are purchased (for the purpose of evangelism) are also funding missionaries that travel all over the world to tell people about Jesus and His saving love. Again, the Internet is being used as an evangelism tool.
Another example could be sending a text message to a friend, confirming with them a time and place to meet up for dinner. That night, they decide to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. That interaction was also facilitated by digital media.
God is so creative with how He reaches people. He created the ideas for all the technology we have at our fingertips today. We as Christians need to harness its power and use it to point people back to Him.
Join us on Sunday, May 15 in using the Internet to reach out to a lost and dying world.
Since 1941, National Bible Week has been celebrated from Sunday to Sunday during the week surrounding Thanksgiving (Nov. 21-28, 2010). The National Bible Association’s signature event is meant to “raise awareness of the Bible’s importance and relevance to our nation as a whole, as well as in the lives of individuals.”
As Christians, we can use this week as an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to spending time with God by communing with Him through the reading and study of His Word. John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Bible says that Jesus is the “Logos”, the very written Word of God.
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17 KJV) Because Jesus brought the gospel of grace and truth to this world, and because Jesus and the Word are One, we can look to the Word of God to minister grace and truth to us in our everyday lives. It is vital that we spend time in the Word so that we can be refreshed and renewed, and receive direction from God regarding every decision we make.
God wants to speak to us, and one of the most common ways He does that is through illumination of His written Word by the Holy Spirit as we spend time meditating on His Word. Just look at some examples of what the Bible says about itself:
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Joshua 1:8 NKJV
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Psalm 119:105 KJV
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 NIV
At this time of year when our nation celebrates Thanksgiving, we should be thankful for the religious freedom we have in America. The freedom to openly own and actively study the Bible is not a freedom enjoyed by everyone around the world. Many people in other nations go to great lengths to even possess a Bible. It is a privilege we often take for granted as our Bibles gather dust on our shelves as we busy ourselves with the demands of modern life. But, God’s Word is eternal, always relevant, and will instruct us and encourage us.
In recognition of National Bible Week, CelebrateYourFaith.com is unveiling our new Bible Boutique. Celebrate with us by pulling your old Bible off the shelf, or purchasing your very first one! Buy, borrow or use the internet to access a different translation and see the Word come alive in a new way. Give one as a gift to a friend, a young child, or a loved one who is struggling and needs a touch from God. Use a devotional Bible or study Bible to help you commit to spending more time in the Word.
Rediscover your love for His Word, and in turn for Him, at this most wonderful time of the year!
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church – November 14, 2010
“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.”
2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 NLT
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) began in 1996 through the efforts of the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) in cooperation with a variety of denominations and faith-based organizations. The IDOP has since grown to be the largest prayer day event of its kind in the world.
Showing support for our fellow Christian brothers and sisters by lifting them up in prayer is an important part of our role as the Body of Christ. We must hold up the arms of those out on the front lines of the battle that is being waged for the end time harvest. Persecuted Christians often ask for prayer to help them endure. They are strengthened in ways we may never know until we reach heaven, all because we took the time to intercede on their behalf. We must pray in faith, knowing that God hears us and that circumstances are indeed changed as a result of our prayers.
“Behold, The Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor his ear heavy that it cannot hear.”
PRAYER POINTS *
Pray for God to bless converts to Christianity in nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia. Ask God to enable them to be instruments of blessing (salt), transformation (yeast), and truth (light) in their communities (Matthew 5:13-16).
Pray that in China God will give the government divine wisdom in dealing with the immensely complex issues of this large and multi-cultural nation. May there be security with justice, development with sensitivity and may religious freedom be recognized throughout the nation.
Ask God to protect Christians in Nepal and India, most of whom are vulnerable, poor and without a “voice.” Pray that they will not feel abandoned but rest in the peace and provision of their Father.
Pray that Christians in Burma will be sustained, kept safe and blessed with faith, peace, and the assurance of God’s love and presence in their lives.
Pray for believers in Colombia, Mexico and the Philippines as they risk their lives to witness for Christ in communities hostile to God and His Word. Pray that, even when rejected and pressured for their faith, they will put their hope in the Lord as the One who upholds their cause (Psalm 146).
*These “Prayer Points” are a sampling of the list taken from the IDOP website.
We request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. 1 Thess. 5:12-13a
Ministry appreciation involves more than just clergy; those who minister do so in a variety of ways. In addition to pastors, priests, and missionaries, remember the work of worship leaders, music ministers, Sunday school teachers, and prayer group and Bible study leaders.
Those serving in ministry are often “on the job” 24/7, making themselves available to their brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. We all have people in our lives who nourish us spiritually and encourage us in our Christian walk. Whether these people earn their living through ministry is less relevant than the service they give to others out of a pure heart and devotion to God.
Here are some ideas of ways to show honor and appreciation.
- Bring them a meal, or make a special treat
- Write a letter telling them what their life, example, or service has meant to you
- Give a gift you know would hold special meaning for them
- Offer an evening of free child care or some means for them to have the opportunity to relax and refresh
Appreciating those who labor in the Lord is close to our hearts at CelebrateYourFaith. See our favorite gift suggestions for these special people!
One of goldsmith Susan Howard’s most rewarding commissions was to create a beautiful double heart pendant using original wedding rings from a widow and her husband. Susan realized that not everyone would have jewelry from a lost loved one to make such a piece, but knew that many grieving people would appreciate such a memorial. The idea that was to become Comfort Wear Jewelry™ was conceived.
I poured out my heart to create Comfort Wear Jewelry™. All of my pieces are inspirational, many are designed to help bring comfort to people during the challenging times we are all faced with in life. I am no stranger to emotional heartache, and have had my share of life’s difficulties, but through my faith, I have overcome them.
Among Susan’s collection of memorial jewelry you will find pieces for the loss of a child, mother, father, spouse, and friend, as well as Sudden Loss and Military Loss. Inscribed on the back of each piece is a prayer written by Susan, inspired by her faith. On the front of each piece is beautiful artwork, as well as a place to personalize the piece with engraving.
One of the recipients of [Susan's] “Sudden Loss” pendant was a woman whose son had taken his life. The woman’s best friend gave her the pendant as a gift to celebrate her son’s life on the anniversary of his death. Her friend considered giving flowers but gave the woman a bracelet with the pendant from the Memorial Jewelry Collection line because she knew it would be for a lifetime, Howard said. The woman was deeply moved when she received the bracelet because Howard had engraved it with her son’s name, she said. The inscription reads, “Taken in such a sudden way, so many things I didn’t get to say. Until we are together in heaven and we never part, please Lord heal my broken heart.”
(from the Herald News)
Susan donates 10% of her royalties to the Jewelers for Children organization, which benefits causes such as Autism Speaks, Make-A-Wish Foundation, St Jude’s and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics’ and AIDs Foundation.
The Quinceañera (keen-say-ah-NYAIR-ah), is a important celebration of faith and culture. The celebration of Quinceañera, also known as the Quince and meaning “fifteen years” in Spanish, marks a girl’s fifteenth birthday. Quinceañeras are celebrated in many Latin American countries, as well as by families of Latino origin in the United States, and is usually a very formal event.
Originating in Mexico around 500 B.C., the Quinceañera was a recognition of a girl’s transition to womanhood among the Aztec people and announced her availability for marriage. When the Catholic Spaniards conquered the Aztecs in 1521 A.D., a fusion of cultural and religious practices took place. As Catholicism spread in the New World, the practice of Quinceañera went with it across Central and South America.
Today, Quinceañeras are celebrated in many different ways, but there are a few traditions which appear consistently. First, the girl, her family, godparents and friends attend a Mass called the “misa de acción de gracias,” or the Mass of Thanksgiving, in which a candle is lighted to symbolize the girl’s affirmation of the baptismal vows her parents made fifteen years ago. A symbol of faith, such as a cross, Bible, or rosary is often given to the girl by her godparents at the end of the Mass as well.
Following the Mass the party moves to a reception where there is food and dancing, beginning with the father-daughter dance and followed with the daughter’s dance with her chamberlain, or date. Next, the father will present a pair of heeled shoes to his daughter who has worn flats throughout the ceremony. This replacement of traditional girl’s shoes for lady’s heels is yet another symbol of the girl’s coming of age.
Other presents are then given, each having a symbolic meaning, such as earrings as a reminder to listen to God’s word, or a bracelet or ring to symbolize the circular nature of life and change. Lastly, the girl, now a woman, may give a younger sister a porcelain doll which symbolizes a giving up of the toys of childhood in order to take on the burden of adult life.
We’re continually adding new and special gifts to our Quinceañera section. Please let us know if you have other ideas of gifts you’d like to see us add.
Although the ancient Greeks and Romans had celebrations honoring mother goddesses, the roots of Mother’s Day as a celebration honoring earthly mothers has its roots in Christianity. It is known that at least from medieval times there was a tradition called “Mothering Sunday”; this was a day for Christians to honor their “mother church”, the church in which they were baptized. In the 17th century a clerical decree in England broadened this celebration to include earthly mothers, and it became known as Mothering Day.
In the American colonies, observation of Mothering Sunday fell out of favor. But after the War Between the States, a movement of mothers developed to protest against the futility of sons killing the sons of other mothers. Over time, this movement evolved and changed, eventually becoming formalized into Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day as we know it now is primarily a 20th-century phenomenon, and is celebrated in over 40 countries around the world (though not all on the same date).
At CelebrateYourFaith.com, we believe it’s important to recognize mothers, and we’re happy that there is a day dedicated to showing them honor. Gifts don’t have to cost anything; what mother hasn’t been thrilled when her 3-year-old presents her with a dandelion bouquet? But for those who would prefer something slightly more formal, you may like this assortment of Mother’s Day gifts from CelebrateYourFaith.com.
To all the mothers out there, we wish you a happy and blessed Mother’s Day on May 9.
The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad! (Ps. 97:1)
From the earliest times of the Christian church, God as Creator has been honored. The ancient Apostles’ Creed begins,
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
In celebration of Earth Day tomorrow, let us remember to respect and care for the creation, and worship its Creator.
In that spirit, we offer a selection of nature-themed artisan works at CelebrateYourFaith.com.