Much of the anxiety that plagues younger Americans comes from the notion that freedom means unlimited choice. We think we are free when we keep open all possible futures. And so we get anxious when we consider the options we’ve not chosen, or we see the lives of people around us who go different paths.
We want our loves to bind us, but we also want a boundless love. We want the stability that comes from marriage, while we want the freedom to remain single and keep our options open. We want the emotional connection that comes from being parents, while we want the flexibility and ease of not being tied down. We want closeness of friends and community, while we resist any obligation that would impinge upon our personal space and time. We want happiness but without investment.
Taking the One Year Challenge may affect your career plan or path, it may mean new challenges in adjusting after a year or more of service. However, the work-world we live in is changing, different skills and perspectives are valued.
More than we can trust expert predictions about what to expect, we need to have faith that God will deliver on his promises, to provide our needs, and more importantly to deliver us from sin. There is nothing on earth worth holding onto more than this.
If you’re thinking of taking the One Year Challenge, its important to count the cost, but also the value.
28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
In this articles list of ‘9 Things You Should Know About Christianity and Communist China’, you will find inspiration, sadness, and maybe fear.
China, in regards to faith, has both sides of the coin; see these two points from the article.
7. In 2019, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) noted that as a Christian in China, your Bible may have been rewritten by the Chinese government, your church shuttered or demolished, and your pastor imprisoned. In an ongoing effort to “sinicize” religious belief (i.e., make religious belief Chinese in character), the communist Chinese government arrested more than 5,000 Christians and 1,000 church leaders. The government also continued its persecution by closing down or demolishing thousands of churches.
8. The number of Protestant Christians in China has grown from 1 million in 1949, the year the Communist Party came to power, to more than 49 million in 2010. Experts believe that number could more than triple over the next generation, and by 2030 the People’s Republic of China, which still remains officially atheist, could have more churchgoers than America does.
Top 11 Hymns of all time, voted on by one authors personal decision. But we agree, these are good ones. Some first written over a thousand years ago, still sung today. Go ahead, hum along!
Number 11. Great Is Thy Faithfulness (1923)
Thomas Chisolm spent most of his life sick, but in a rare bout of health, he went on a missions trip. While traveling, he corresponded with William Runyan, a good friend of his, and they often exchanged poems they had written. Runyan found this poem of Thomas’ so moving that he composed music to accompany it, publishing it in 1923. It wasn’t noticed until several years later by a Moody Bible Institute professor, who requested it be sung in their chapel services.
Read the full article to hear these classic hymns and read the story behind them.
To say we should dump preaching in favor or drama, video, discussion, music, or anything else is to misunderstand the nature of the church and her work. In bringing us into his church, God calls us out of ourselves. Statistics show that the average American adult spends 10 hours a day connected to media; are churches wise to accommodate that trend? Wouldn’t it be better to call us away from our smartphones and tablets for two hours each week (out of 168) to hear a word from the Lord?
Genuine Christian worship is not an experience that can be simulated (or replaced) by any manmade thing, no matter how ingenious. Yes, we’ve become a visual culture, but Christianity is a verbal faith, so we must not let the visual eat up the verbal.
If you’re thinking of taking the One Year Challenge, this article can help you to understand that God can use those who aren’t fine tuned to achieve perfection. He doesn’t require the most skilled or wise, the most educated, God’s way is not the world’s way. In this article Jeff Robinson discusses the disinterest modern people can have for the same old things, but that we can’t sacrifice God’s way for the world’s.
“[These are] Christianity’s unsurpassed offers—a meaning that suffering cannot remove, a satisfaction not based on circumstances, a freedom that does not hurt but rather enhances love, an identity that does not crush you or exclude others, a moral compass that does not turn you into an oppressor, and a hope that can face anything, even death.” (216)
Tim Keller’s ‘Making Sense of God’, this book comes as a prequel to his previous book, ‘The Reason for God’. If you’re thinking of taking the One Year Challenge, this book may help you make sense of the decision. By faith…