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Not For Sale

24 Dec

Imagine going to the same restaurant for years, then opening up the paper one day to discover that the friendly service you were receiving from the owners “family” was actually being provided by slaves.  What would you feel?  Shock?  Guilt?  Concern?

This is exactly what happened to David Batstone in 2007.  “This was happening in my country at a restaurant I frequented.”  The news story hit so close to home, that David was compelled to do something about it.  After researching the issue of human trafficking, he helped to co-found Not For Sale, a non-denominational non-profit designed to help “re-abolish” slavery in our time.

Visit their website to hear David share his story and learn the facts about slavery for yourself.  Read real life stories about trafficking in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America or visit the Slavery Map to hear about cases near you.  Take a look at Legal Efforts to End Sex Trafficking and then learn about the role of International Diplomacy in putting an end to the slave trade.

Finally, visit the Take Action page to develop a customized plan for you, your church, or your community.  Organize a Freedom Sunday.  Discover the story behind the clothes you wear and the chocolate you eat and learn how you can promote ethical sourcing!   Sign up to participate in the Global Forum where you’ll hear from abolitionists worldwide.  Or join the Student Abolitionist Movement or the Underground Church Network where you’ll be encouraged to live out your faith in practical ways that make a genuine difference in the lives of trafficking victims.  And don’t forget to check back for up-to-date news on the progress of global abolition!  Each one of us has the opportunity to make a difference.  The question is: will you accept the challenge?

Worldview Ministries

3 Dec

Sean McDowell (son of Josh McDowell) is a High School teacher with a passion for teens and apologetics.  A gifted writer and speaker, he recognizes that our worldview not only defines who we are, but also dictates who we will become.  His Worldview Ministries website is dedicated to helping young people both develop and defend their worldview and is just the place for teens seeking to equip themselves to answer questions about their faith and lifestyle.

Start out by reading how Sean came to question the Christian faith in which he was raised.  While the article is geared primarily towards parents, his words also reassure teens and young adults who are starting to ask the tough questions about what they believe and why.  Then check out the articles link where Sean answers questions on a range of topics from apologetics, theology, and religion to science, ethics, and youth culture“Is it okay to have doubts” about our faith?  “Is Christianity a copycat religion” composed of various elements of other world faiths?  “Aren’t all religions basically the same?”  Sean carefully addresses a wide variety of issues from the current debate on abortion and same-sex marriage to questions about pornography and smoking pot.  There’s plenty to read, so set aside some time to really explore the site!

Sean also provides a number of resources for student leaders and youth ministers.  Take a moment to visit the curriculum page where you’ll find fully prepared lessons on apologetics and youth culture complete with video clips, power point presentations, and worksheets!  Click on the media link to hear Sean address some of today’s most pressing issues or view Sean’s blog where you can read his latest thoughts or download a podcast so you can listen on the go!

Whatever resources you use, you’re sure to be blessed with a more complete understanding of the Christian life and message!  And remember: your worldview matters.  It will determine who you become.

Josh McDowell Ministry

26 Nov

As an agnostic college student, Josh McDowell was more than willing to respond to the challenge of his Christian friends to defeat their faith on an intellectual level.  After all, if Christianity were false (a worthless religion), it should be easy enough to disprove!  What Josh found, however, was entirely different.  As he investigated the claims of Christ, he discovered that the evidence was deeply in favor of the faith he sought to deny.  The discovery changed his life… and he has been sharing the story ever since.

The Josh McDowell Ministry is centered upon making a case for the Christian faith and Josh and his team have assembled a wealth of resources to help anyone who is interested in actively seeking answers to life’s difficult questions.  From agnostics (those who really just don’t know whether God exists and, if He does, whether He really cares) to confirmed believers, the Josh McDowell Ministry has a little something for everyone!

Not sure about the Christian faith?  Then Answers to Skeptic’s Questions is the link for you!  Josh addresses questions like, “Why should I believe your interpretation of the Bible?”, “Why does a good God allow evil to exist?”, “How do you explain contradictions in the resurrection story?”, and more.  From the broadly philosophical to specific questions about Biblical teaching, you’ll find some of the most common (and best) questions about the Christian faith answered right here.

More interested in practical issues?  Take a look at Answers for Teens where Josh addresses topics ranging from parents and self-image to sex and abuse.  Or, visit the resources page where you’ll find everything from books to free downloads on the subjects that matter most.  Prefer to watch and listen?  This link will give you access to recordings of Josh’s testimony, the latest ministry videos, and even a podcast you can enjoy on your way to school or work!

Resources are great, but Josh also recognizes that the message of the Gospel is one of relationship – both between God and men and between people as individuals.  To this end, he is actively involved in building positive relationships between Christians and Muslims through A Bridge to Understanding.  Take a moment to view the video “Love Thy Neighbor” and check out ways that you can become involved in sharing the Good News with those who are seeking to know God.

Want to be more involved?  Ministries like this don’t exist without the help of regular staff and dedicated volunteers.  Click on the embedded link if you’d like to explore opportunities to serve.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

19 Nov

Formed in 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is focused on providing young believers with an opportunity to develop their God-given athletic skill in an environment which encourages Christian growth and interaction.  Today, on nearly 8,000 campuses across the nation, FCA is offering High School and College students and opportunity to join together and make a difference both on and off the playing field… and you can be a part!

The website is extensive, so here are a few of my favorite links.  I recommend that you start by signing The Competitor’s Creed, then sign up for the Daily Impact Play devotional where you can explore Scripture from an athlete’s point of view!  You can even check out the FCA Magazine where you’ll find everything from news to inspiring stories about Christians in sports.

Want more?  Check out FCA’s sport-specific fellowship sites.  Pages for baseball, cheerleading, cyclists and triathletes, golf, hockey, lacrosse, motocross, skateboarding, soccer, softball, wrestling, surfing, and a variety of other outdoor sports offer more great ways to participate in a community of Christian athletes!

Looking for something to do in the “off season”?  Take a moment to check out one of FCA’s sports camps – a great place to improve your skills while enjoying Christian coaching and fellowship!  Or get your whole team involved through a team camp!

Not sure if there’s an FCA group meeting on or near your campus?  Enter your zip-code and find a fellowship near you!  There’s plenty to see, so take some time to explore the site.  You’re sure to be blessed as you improve your athletic skills, gain a deeper knowledge of Scripture, and become rooted in the Body of Christ!

Campus Crusade for Christ

15 Oct

College can be one of the most difficult times of your life, but if you keep your focus on Christ, it can also be one of the most rewarding!  That’s why in 1951, Campus Crusade for Christ began laboring to reach college students with the Gospel message and train them to become fruit-bearing disciples.  Through tracts like “The Four Spiritual Laws” and “The Spirit Filled Life”, they are reaching out to students around the world with the message that God loves them and wants them to join His family.

Online resources help college believers better engage with God through prayer and devotion, dig deeper through the discipline of Bible study, and put their faith in action by mentoring new believers while on-campus ministries provide the one-on-one training, encouragement, and fellowship necessary to live a fully fruitful Christian life.  (Click here to find a campus ministry near you.)

Want to get more involved?  Why not put your faith in action through one of Campus Crusade’s mission trips or volunteer to serve on-campus?

College is more than just academics – it’s a blessing and an opportunity from God.  Commit to using that opportunity to His glory.

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