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‎2012 is a time to move forward Январь 4, 2012

Posted by Alyosha Kolodiy in Blogs, Трибуна братства - The brotherhood tribune, Цитаты Великих - Great Quotes, eMagazines, Inspirational.
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‎2012 is a time to move forward with our plans to take the Truth to the next level. This cannot happen if we don’t leave behind the old self which is a viper fill with hypocritical behaviors. If you must fast to do so ;then fast or if you must pray to do so then pray for your change. It is better to be an outright enemy then a snake in the grass which calls itself a friend. We must unite in our ef…forts to bring back the original Gospel ,decency, salvation,forgiveness and repentance. Let’s help make positive changes in the lives of other Christians. That said I am asking all of you who have already started your fast and prayers for 2012 to reexamine yourselves ,your values or purpose for been called a Christian or identifying with the Kingdom of God. Edit your life and delete the mess within it. God and dirt don’t miss up ,for the presence of God is cleanness and purity.
Bishop S. Liberty Sr.

Bishop S. Liberty Sr.

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God does not want theatricals Декабрь 30, 2011

Posted by Alyosha Kolodiy in Blogs, Цитаты Великих - Great Quotes, eMagazines, Today's Devotional.
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Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke

Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke

Power does not come by working up emotion. We may shout, sweat, get excited, and thump the pulpit when we have the anointing of God. But without that anointing, we are actors, and the platform is a mere stage. God does not want theatricals. Get God’s love into your heart and true emotions flow. Anything else is emotionalism, imitation feeling. It reminds me of a silly man trying to speak from one city to another by shouting when the telephone line is dead. If the line is live, and there is power in it, his voice will reach the other city easily. If the gospel is live, it will reach the hearts of hearers. God bless you.

REINHARD BONNKE

«Если все люди раскаются, явится Мессия» Декабрь 30, 2011

Posted by Alyosha Kolodiy in Blogs, Актуальная проблема -problem of today, Цитаты Великих - Great Quotes.
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читайте ТАКИ ДА! в сети Facebook

Общество/Культура

ДОЛЯ ПРАВДЫ. Рабби Шмелке рассказывал: «Руководствуясь талмудическим изречением «Если все люди раскаются, явится Мессия», я решил что-нибудь для этого сделать. В успехе я не сомневался. Но с чего начать? Мир так огромен. И я решил начать с моей страны, которую я знаю всё-таки лучше. Но страна моя тоже слишком велика. Начну-ка я с моего города. Но мой город такой большой. Самое лучшее начать с моей улицы, нет, с моего дома, нет, с семьи. Пожалуй, начну-ка я лучше с самого себя». Хасидская история

Перевод песни Praise You In This Storm Февраль 2, 2011

Posted by Alyosha Kolodiy in Blogs, Цитаты Великих - Great Quotes, Relevant songs, Today's Devotional.
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Я восславлю тебя в этой буре.

Я был уверен, что сейчас
Ты уже здесь, на земле
И вытер наши слезы.
Насыщая и храня текущее.
Но еще раз говорю: «Аминь»
Ведь всё ещё непогода…

Через окружающий гром
Я едва слышу Тебя… Шепот сквозь ливень:
«Я с тобой»
И, едва отдаляясь от Твоей милости
Я поднимаю руки и славлю Бога
Кто дает и забирает.

Я восхвалю Тебя в этой буре
И я протяну руки
К Тебе, какой Ты есть.
Где бы я ни был…
Каждая моя выплаканная слеза
Попала на твои ладонь,
Ведь Ты никогда не оставлял меня.
И как бы моё сердце не разрывалось,
Я восхвалю тебя в этой буре.

Я помню, когда
Ветер свалил меня.
Ты услышал мои плач, Ты поднял меня снова.
Силы почти оставили меня
Как мне продолжать двигаться,
Если я не могу найти Тебя?

Через окружающий гром
Я едва слышу, как Ты шепчешь мне сквозь
ливень:
«Я с тобой»
И, едва отдаляясь от Твоей милости,
Я поднимаю руки и славлю Бога,
Кто дает и забирает.

Я восхвалю Тебя в этой буре
И я протяну руки
К Тебе, какой Ты есть.
Где бы я ни был…
Каждая моя выплаканная слеза
Попала на твои ладонь,
Ведь Ты никогда не оставлял меня.
Как бы моё сердце не разрывалось,
Я восхвалю тебя в этой буре.

Я поднимаю взгляд над холмами…
Откуда придёт моя помощь?
Моя помощь приходит от Господа
Создателя Неба и Земли .

By God’s Grace You Can Overcome Февраль 1, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Blogs, Цитаты Великих - Great Quotes, Today's Devotional.
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»…If God is for us, who can be against us?» Romans 8:31

Some of the world’s greatest people have faced the world’s greatest challenges, but have overcome them. Cripple a man, and you have Sir Walter Scott. Lock a man in prison, and you have John Bunyan. Raise a man in abject poverty, and you have Abraham Lincoln. Subject a man to bitter religious prejudice, and you have Benjamin Disraeli. Strike a man down with paralysis, and you have Franklin Roosevelt. Have someone born black in a society filled with racial discrimination, and you have Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, Marian Anderson and George Washington Carver. Make a man the first child to survive in an impoverished Italian family of 18, and you have Enrico Caruso. Have a man born to parents who survived a Nazi concentration camp, paralyse him from the waist down when he’s four years old, and you have the incomparable violinist Itzhak Perlman. Call a man a slow learner and mentally challenged, write him off as beyond education, and you have Albert Einstein. Helen Keller was born blind and deaf, yet she graduated from college with highest honours and impacted the world. Margaret Thatcher, England’s first and only woman Prime Minister, lived upstairs over her father’s grocery store. For a while her childhood home had no running water and no indoor plumbing. Golda Meir, Israel’s first and only woman Prime Minister, was a divorced grandmother from Milwaukee. What do these people teach us? That success doesn’t depend on our circumstances, but on overcoming our circumstances. And with God on our side we can do it! Paul, one of the world’s great overcomers, wrote, ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’

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Beware of Self-Righteousness Январь 28, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Blogs, Актуальная проблема -problem of today, Библейские уроки-Bible lessons, Цитаты Великих - Great Quotes, eMagazines, Today's Devotional, Uncategorized.
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‘…you who judge others do these very same things.’ Romans 2:1

A woman looked out of her window every morning and commented on the dirty laundry on her neighbour’s line. One day she noticed it was sparkling clean: ‘Maybe she’s using a new detergent,’ she remarked. ‘No,’ said her husband. ‘I got up early and cleaned our windows.’ Hello! When Paul talks about ‘…greed, hate, envy, murder, quarrelling, deception…gossip’ (Romans 1:29 NLT), it’s tempting to think it doesn’t apply to you. Then he says, ‘You are just as bad…you…do these very same things.’ Maybe you’ve never embezzled money, but have you ever short-changed somebody? Or taken an ‘iffy’ tax deduction? How about when you’re stuck in traffic, or you overhear some juicy gossip? Phil Yancey says: ‘Murder and adultery differ from hatred and lust only by degree…Paul reserves his most scathing comments for self-righteous people…A Pharisee of Pharisees, he knew the pattern…the danger that accompanies a feeling of moral superiority. Just as denial keeps you from seeing a doctor about a lump or lesion…denial of sin leads to worse consequences…I accepted a speaking engagement from some Christians involved in Twelve-Step Programmes…As I pondered what to say…it occurred to me that what recovering alcoholics confess daily-personal failure and the need for grace…represent high hurdles for those of us who take pride in independence and self-sufficiency. Romans 3:10 NKJV says, ‘…»There is none righteous…’ and God’s grace is the only solution. It comes free of charge, apart from the law and…human efforts towards self-improvement…we need only hold out open, needy hands-the most difficult gesture for a self-righteous person.’

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Опасность пропаганды гомосексуализма в обществе. Октябрь 11, 2010

Posted by Alyosha Kolodiy in Актуальная проблема -problem of today, Библия говорит - Bible Speaks, Новости - News, Трибуна братства - The brotherhood tribune, Цитаты Великих - Great Quotes, eMagazines, PSYCHOLOGIE-ПСИХОЛОГИЯ.
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Эксклюзивное интервью с экспертом, юристом, адвокатом Алексом Спаком

Сегодня серьёзную опасность в нашем обществе представляет пропаганда гомосексуализма. Большинство жителей Латвии занимает однозначную и непоколебимую позицию отказа от этого аморального явления, которое стараются всяческими путями навязать нашему обществу.

Ежегодные пикеты, сбор подписей латвийского народа, поправка в законе о том, что семьёй является брак исключительно между мужчиной и женщиной, – всё это свидетельствует о принципиальной позиции населения нашей страны. Латвия – это христианская страна и основа её базируется на христианском мировоззрении, морали и  нравственных законах. Почему же, несмотря на решительный протест общества против однополой любви, так навязчиво и неотступно продолжается пропаганда гомосексуализма? И в чём опасность этого?

 Алекс Спак, аналитик правовой политики, адвокат Христианского юридического центра и правозащитной организации CCFON, любезно согласился поделиться своими соображениями на этот счёт с корреспондентом пресс-центра «Новое поколение» Алёной Кампане.
Корр.: В чём опасность пропаганды гомосексуализма в обществе?
Алекс Спак:
Во-первых, пропаганда гомосексуального образа жизни посылает сигнал
обществу, что это здоровый и приемлемый образ жизни, в то время как он является аморальным и разрушительным. 

Давайте не будем вдаваться в риторику и сразу перейдём к фактам.
В сентябре этого года Американский Центр по Контролю и Предупреждению Болезней (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), который является частью государственной структуры и подчиняется Министерству Здоровья США, расположенный в Атланте, выдал официальную статистику (http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/FastFacts-MSM-FINAL508COMP.pdf) в отношении положения здоровья гомосексуалистов в США. Несмотря на то, что только 4% мужского населения в США входят в гомосексуальный контакт, они составляют более 50% больных СПИДом среди всего населения США. Это говорит о том, что гомосексуалисты имеют больший шанс получить СПИД.  Учтите ещё, что многие другие просто не знают, что они больны этой болезнью. Это просто трагедия!

 В этом же месяце авторитетное печатное агенство Ройтерс (Reuters) напечатало (http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE6875VE20100908?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0), что эпидемия СПИДа среди гомосексуалистов во Франции выходит из-под контроля и система здравоохранения не знает, что делать. Французский Институт Национального Здоровья (French National Institute for Public Health Surveillance) отметил, что мужчины, живущие гомосексуальным образом жизни, подвергаются в 200 (!) раз большему риску заболеть СПИДом и преждевременно
умереть ужасной смертью. Эти цифры приходят из официальной государственной статистики и, представьте себе, речь идёт о странах, где система здравоохранения считается из самых наилучших в мире!

 Во-вторых, успешная пропаганда очень часто ведёт к легализации. Не думаю, что политик, который любит свою страну и желает ей лучшего, имел бы желание вдохновлять пропаганду такого разрушительного образа жизни у себя дома. Западная практика показывает, что легализация какого-либо аспекта гомосексуального образа жизни очень быстро приводит к «захвату» средств массовой информации и правительственных учреждений, в которых тут же начинают, как грибы, расти судебные иски по дискриминации на почве «сексуальной ориентации». Такие иски помогают гомосексуальным активистам разрекламировать свои действия и приводят к созданию разных подозрительных комиссий по каким-то непонятным правам человека для «решения проблемы». Миллионы денег тратятся на пустые проекты и дискуссии.  Интересно, что тактика гомосексуальных активистов не меняется. Когда входит предложение о борьбе с дискриминацией, то всегда речь идёт как-бы о дискриминации в целом (женщины, меньшинства, расы и религия). Но когда предложение становится более весомым документом и подходит к концу процесса, то вдруг появляется вставочка, включающая «сексуальную ориентацию». Как результат, те, кто работал над документом, находятся под давлением желания не показаться, как поддерживающими дискриминацию в обществе, и сбавляют оппозицию гомосексуальным активистам.

 В-третьих, как показывает печальная практика Западных стран, гомосексуальные общества категорически не переносят никакую здоровую критику, приемлемую в нормальном демократическом обществе. Примеров тысячи. Приведу пример недавней борьбы в Британском Парламенте за сохранение вставки в законе, обуславливающей сохранение свободы слова по отношению к обсуждению сексуальной этики. Когда в 2009 году внесли новый закон о запрете «угроз или разжигания ненависти», лорд Ваддингтон (Lord Waddington) внёс вставку в закон. Которая поясняла, что «обсуждение или критика сексуального поведения или сексуальной практики, или убеждение собеседника удержаться или изменить такое поведение или практику не должно само по себе считаться угрозой или намерением разжигания ненависти». Гомосексуальное общество вело ярую борьбу против этой вставки, потому что она рушила все их возможности затыкать христианам рот новым законом. Они хотели, чтобы любой вызов, брошенный их образу жизни, был разрушен через суды и поэтому эта вставка сидела у них, как кость в горле, так как она сохраняла свободу слова. Слава Богу, здравый смысл победил! Даже неверующие люди стали на нашу сторону, так как было явно, что свобода слова в демократической стране начала попираться. Комик Рован Аткинсон, известный как Мистер Бин, также стал на нашу сторону, так как без этой вставки он даже не смог бы шутить о гомосексуалистах без страха попадания в суд.

Другой пример – изгнание Филипа Ларднера (Philip Lardner) из кандидатов в депутаты Британской Консервативной Партии. В апреле 2010 года, во время предвыборной кампании, консерватор Филип Ларднер баллотировался на депутатское кресло.  Консервативная Партия хотела набрать максимальное количество мест в Парламенте и поэтому держала всех своих членов в сильном напряжении, как обычно и происходит на выборах. Господин Ларднер написал на своём сайте, что он «всегда готов поддерживать права гомосексуалистов так, чтобы они имели равенство и уважение в государстве. И чтобы они имели возможность выбирать для себя образ жизни и что делать в укромных местах, но я», – он продолжил, – «никогда не приму, что это нормальный образ жизни и что дети должны быть вдохновлены жить этим образом жизни. Я согласен с правительством Маргарет Тетчер, которое запретило пропаганду гомосексуализма в школа». В течении нескольких часов (!) Филип Ларднер был изгнан из кандидатов в депутаты, чтобы партия не потеряла голоса со стороны гомосексуалистов. Зная настроения гомосексуального общества, партия решила двинуться молниеносно, чтобы не допустить ухода голосов гомосексуалистов к другим партиям. Лидер партии Дэвид Камерон (сегодняшний премьер министр) даже вышел на телевидение, чтобы похвастаться, как быстро Партия отреагировала на «такое поведение». Это явно показывает чрезмерную чувствительность гомосексуалистов к любой критике. Даже к такой мягкой. А как же насчёт элементарной свободы слова? И представьте себе – речь идёт о Консервативной Партии!  Либералы и социалисты уже давно не могут ничего сказать. (далее…)

ARE YOU CONFUSE ABOUT NOT RECEIVING ANSWERS TO YOUR PRAYERS? CHRIST FORMULA IS THE BEST FOR 2010 Декабрь 29, 2009

Posted by Alyosha Kolodiy in Актуальная проблема -problem of today, Библия говорит - Bible Speaks, Брощюры, Трибуна братства - The brotherhood tribune, Цитаты Великих - Great Quotes, Today's Devotional.
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Bishop Liberty

HOW DID YOU PRAY IN 2009? WHO DID YOU PRAY TO? WERE YOUR PRAYERS
ANSWERED???????
WHAT WILL YOUR RESOLUTION BE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR 2010?
2009 is fading out and a brand new year is coming in. At the beginning of each year millions of people around the world make resolutions about how they wish life will be for them in the New Year. For many these are vain words or a meaningless ritual utter because others are doing the same. But the true meaning of a resolution goes beyond vain utterance. It is a prayer to God for how we want Him to lead us during the year; usually putting before Him a goal or project we intent to accomplish. Now if you treat it as a prayer and direct it to the right place it actually works. However the sad fact is that many people are not even sure of their prayers these days. They rather go and pay money to one pastor or occultist to pray for them. Well I got some news for you, if you are confuse about how to pray and get answers for yourself. I want you to know that, gone are the days when one should pay for prayers or seek prayers from those claiming to be closer to God than you. Jesus Christ of Nazareth broke that rule and open up the mystery that explains how to pray, who to pray to, what to pray for, and where to direct our prayers. If you are really serious about getting answers to your prayers in 2010; get answers to your first prayer using a formula provided by the Master Himself. Live to see your prayers answer as heaven open up for you releasing blessings that is rightfully yours; but were unclaimed because you did not know your birthright.

I know that there are times when we get confuse about the way we pray to God and many questions come to mind. Questions like: am I really saying the right words that will move God to answer my prayers? Do I have the right attitude? How should I address God in order for Him to answer me? It is written: “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him. Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near”. (Psa. 91:15; Isa. 55:6) These promises of assurance are in the Bible; but what makes me different? I want you to know today that you are not the first person to experience this kind of feeling; the disciples had the same problems when they first met Jesus Christ. They walk with Jesus everyday and saw Him pray and great things happened, the blind saw, the lame walk, the sick were heal ;regardless of their illness, the demon possess were release from captivity and the dead rose again. What kind of man is this; they asked each other, does He have a special formula for praying? Why is it when we pray these things do not happen as He does even if we use the very same words He did? That is why one day Christ decided to answer their concerns with a message deeper than what people think, when they view it on the surface; but if they dig deeper they will discover the keys to the mystery of prayers directed to Heaven or lost because it was misdirected. If you understand His teaching, believe Him and applied His formula, you will definitely have the answers you seek to your many questions about your prayers life; and like the Disciples of Christ; apply them everyday, and make as much difference in all you do and get the very same results they got. God wants us to walk very close to Him; seeking Him at all times and finding Him. He wants to be there for us; always preparing tables for us in the very presence of our physical and spiritual enemies; but we must draw near to Him; understanding His desires and purpose for our lives and destinies; then He will open up our knowledge to Heavenly wisdom that will instruct us in many mysteries that are ours by birthright, but we can’t comprehend them because of our blindness from sin, that plant mistrust and doubt in our lives. One of our rights as a creation of God is to be able to communicate with the Creator at any hour day and night and get a response. But…. (далее…)

The Truth for The Day (7 December 2009) Декабрь 7, 2009

Posted by Alyosha Kolodiy in Трибуна братства - The brotherhood tribune, Цитаты Великих - Great Quotes, eMagazines, Relevant songs, Today's Devotional.
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Rabih Khreizat

The meditation is after the verse
التامل بعد الآيات

اُنْظُرُوا أَنْ لاَ يَكُونَ أَحَدٌ يَسْبِيكُمْ بِالْفَلْسَفَةِ وَبِغُرُورٍ بَاطِل، حَسَبَ تَقْلِيدِ النَّاسِ، حَسَبَ أَرْكَانِ الْعَالَمِ، وَلَيْسَ حَسَبَ الْمَسِيحِ. فَإِنَّهُ فِيهِ يَحِلُّ كُلُّ مِلْءِ اللاَّهُوتِ جَسَدِيًّا. وَأَنْتُمْ مَمْلُوؤُونَ فِيهِ، الَّذِي هُوَ رَأْسُ كُلِّ رِيَاسَةٍ وَسُلْطَانٍ.
كولوسي 2: 8-10

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
Colossians 2: 8-10 (NKJV)

Prenez garde que personne ne fasse de vous sa proie par la philosophie et par une vaine tromperie, s’appuyant sur la tradition des hommes, sur les rudiments du monde, et non sur Christ. Car en lui habite corporellement toute la plénitude de la divinité. Vous avez tout pleinement en lui, qui est le chef de toute domination et de toute autorité.
Colossiens 2: 8-10

Meditation التأمل

There are people in the world and some TV programs talks about the psychic nature of human beings and the way of living and how to do that, and most of them uses religious ideas from India, China or Japan and some ancient or secret religions to find a way to solve people programs. And there are these actors and influenced people in the society and around the world declare their new religion by going to buddhism or new age or other religions and weird fraternalisms that shows as if it have genuine and historic roots.

And these things spread fast because it speaks to people emotions and because it is new for them. For the normal human being had problems with Christianity as in religion and rituals because they couldn’t understand the Spirit in it and only looked at the problems, the divisions and laws which evolved through generations and became either suffocating. And I don’t blame them, because the law came to a place bounding people to care for deeds, rituals and pleasing the church, rather than focusing their hearts to God’s purpose for their lives and work with it.

Dear, Christianity is not one of the religions, or a man or group of people put its laws. Christianity is The Truth that no one can mess with. Notice with me here, all the religions and cults of the world is fighting the cross, resurrection and the Devine nature of Jesus Christ, and if they approved one they will dismiss the others and doubt it. And all this for one thing, the number one enemy of human beings is the devil and nothing can destroy his plans and traps accept the blood and salvation of Jesus Christ. So do not be taken by the philosophy and empty deceit of the world whatever the person’s value and scientific level, for all who speaks against the crucifixion and salvation of the living God Jesus Christ, is a liar and a puppet in the hand of the devil the father of all liars.

هناك أناس في العالم وبعض البرامج التلفزيونية تتكلم عن نفسية الإنسان وطريقة عيشه وما يجب عمله، ومعظمهم يستعين بأفكار دينية من الهند والصين واليابان والأديان القديمة والسرية لكي يجدوا حلول لمعالجة مشاكل البشر. وهناك ممثلين ومسئولين كبار في المجتمع وحول العالم يعلنون عن دينهم الجديد من بوذية والجيل الجديد (نيو آج) وأديان وأخويات غريبة تُظهر وكأن لها جذور تاريخية وأصلية.

وهذه الأشياء تنتشر بسرعة لأنها تحاكي مشاعر الإنسان ونفسيته ولأنها جديدة بالنسبة لهم. فالإنسان العادي تعقد من المسيحية كدين وكطقوس لأنهم لم يفهموا الروح التي فيها ونظروا إلى المشاكل والانقسامات والقوانين والتي تطورت عبر الأجيال فأصبحت خانقة. وأنا هنا لا ألومهم لأن القوانين وصلت لمراحل تقيّد الإنسان بأن يهتم بالأعمال والطقوس وإرضاء الكنيسة، من أن يكون قلبه متجه نحو قصد الرب لحياته والعمل به.

عزيزي، المسيحية ليست دين من الأديان، أو وضع قوانينها إنسان أو فئة من الناس، المسيحية هي حق لا يستطيع أحد العبث فيه. فلاحظ معي هنا، جميع أديان وبدع العالم تحارب صليب وقيامة وإلوهية الرب يسوع المسيح إن وافقوا على واحدة لغوا الباقيات وشككوا فيها. وهذا لشيء واحد فقط، عدو الإنسان الأول هو إبليس ولا شيء في كل هذا العالم يستطيع أن يقضي على خططه ومكائده سوى دم وخلاص يسوع المسيح. فلا تُؤخذوا بفلسفات وغرور العالم مهما كانت قيمة الشخص ومستواه العلمي، فكل من يدعو بغير صليب وخلاص يسوع المسيح الإله الحي هو كاذب و دمية في يد إبليس أبو كل كذاب.

Prayer صلاة

Save us for the lies of this world LORD, lead us into Your knowledge and truth and protect our minds and thoughts from every false teaching and philosophy. Make us firm in Your truth, to be the light for the nations to disgrace the wisdom of the wise. In the name of Jesus Christ the living God. Amen.

نجِّنا من أكاذيب العالم يا رب، قدنا في معرفتك وحقك وأحمي أذهاننا وعقولنا من كل تعليم وفلسفة باطلة. ثبِّت حقك فينا ولنكن نور للعالم كي نخزي حكمة الحكماء. باسم يسوع المسيح الإله الحي إلى الأبد. آمين

A Song

Nothing But The Blood — Hillsong United
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wej1jHtiH-M

ترنيمة in Arabic

دم يسوع — منير حبيب
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lsIePkZuBI

Strengthening Marriages in Your Church Сентябрь 20, 2009

Posted by Alyosha Kolodiy in Актуальная проблема -problem of today, Брощюры, Трибуна братства - The brotherhood tribune, Цитаты Великих - Great Quotes, eMagazines, PSYCHOLOGIE-ПСИХОЛОГИЯ, Today's Devotional.
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by Ted Bichsel

An alarming number of Christian marriages end in divorce. What can the church do to reverse this trend?

I had just started my new position as an associate pastor back in 1983. There I was at a barbecue for the adult Christian singles. The majority of those attending were divorced. With each hurting conversation and each prayer of restoration, my burden grew for these singles.

Later that year, I sat in a small support group for divorced men and women, hoping to find how to best minister to them. One of the singles, perhaps sensing my dilemma, blurted out: «The best way you can minister to the divorced is to minister to marriages.» It was then that I realized that the greatest ministry I could have to the divorced single was to build strong marriages.

Many of us in ministry have seen marriage ministry as developing a series of events, banquets and seminars filled with behavioral challenges to «fix» marriages. In the 1950s, ministering to a married couple or to the family meant simply opening the doors on a Sunday. Add a bean supper and a church picnic, and you were set. That worked back then. But that is no longer the case.

In the new millennium and beyond, many church leaders are realizing that a dual-income, working couple is far less available for and interested in the covered-dish dinners of the past. The need level goes beyond the annual church picnic. Information and its application for first-generation Christians only scratch the surface of a truly effective marriage ministry.

CATCHING A VISION 

With the latest Barna study indicating a 50 percent divorce rate for those outside the church as well as those inside the church, the ministry for Christian marriages needs to stretch beyond methods alone.

This generation of Christian marriages needs a heartfelt vision—a vision to teach couples how to live out their marriage covenant every day. The vision must respond to the same Barna study that reported only 1 out of every 1,150 marriages of born-again Christian couples who have regular prayer together ends in divorce.

God put Adam in the garden with vision for him that included the bone of his bone and the flesh of his flesh, Eve. He declared that the two should no longer be two but one. Jesus said, » ‘What God has joined together let not man separate'» (Matt. 19:6, NKJV). Yet what I call the «separating dynamic» is found in much of the normal structure of our churches.

When building a marriage ministry, the questions should not be about the location or the event. The questions should be: Do we have a vision for marriage in our church? Do we know what the Lord wants the marriages and the families of our church to look like over the course of the next year? In five years?

I know that may sound presumptuous. Is it any more presumptuous than assuming that we need a Sunday school marriage class, a Valentine’s dinner or a family night simply because families and marriages exist in our churches?

We have goals for church growth. We have extensive stewardship plans. Outreach opportunities abound, and the ministry to children and youth seem up-front in many churches today.

Do we have a similar vision for each marriage? Do we have a biblical vision that reflects the growth and maturing of each marriage as couples begin to reflect the Lord’s heart? Do we realize the truth in the saying, «As the marriages go, so goes the church?»

We want to see couples become stable and fruitful—but is that enough? I found that our vision for marriage was too small, too limited and even too self-serving. The determining question remains: Are we equipping couples to seek out the vision the Lord has for their marriages? Or are we simply raising up people with no deference to their marital state to simply take care of the «work of the kingdom?»

I have found that the desire of the Lord’s heart is to shine through the married lives of His people. We are called in our oneness to reflect His glory. We are those earthen vessels to an unsaved world. In fact, the greatest opportunity for every healthy marriage to be used by the Lord is their ability to walk through the trials, the communication problems, the financial crises, the teen-ager problems and the rest of what life has for them.

A marriage ministry is not birthed out of helping problem marriages. A ministry to marriages should be based on a vision for each couple to hear the Lord’s voice and then to see where the Lord is calling them into obedience.

FRUITFUL MARRIAGE MINISTRY 

There is nothing wrong with having a marriage class, seminar or retreat. We have them all. But a healthy marriage ministry will focus on strengthening marriages, not just fixing marriage problems.

I began to teach a weekly «couples class.» The title alone immediately attracted singles and the divorced. We found that the classic marriage class is designed to fix the problem marriages. I wanted more than that. So we send struggling marriages to the marriage class in hopes that they will get better, graduate and then get back to work for the church.

The very title «marriage class,» along with the predictable subject matter, often defines «healthy marriages» according to a series of dos and don’ts, steps and conditions and understanding one another’s differences. After that, there is just getting through life with a new set of tools.

I changed the traditional «marriage class» Sunday school curriculum title to «couples class.» The next goal was to stretch beyond a standard behavioral focus. Roles, communication, conflict resolution, parenting 101 and the like, although part of the class, no longer were taught as a means to an end. The new focus was to identify and teach the steps in understanding and setting a vision for covenant marriage. Little by little, the class unfolded.

The foundation for a marriage vision is established upon our salvation in Christ. This seems so obvious, but to build a biblical vision of marriage beyond the behavioral changes, Christ has to be the center of both husband and wife if they are to grow in a Christ-centered vision. By knowing who we are as His chosen people, we realize that both our individual callings and our callings as couples are unique, determined and desired by God.

The classes grew each week as couples realized that this was a class for growth and envisioning, and not just repair. The sessions touched each of the traditional subjects with a new principle of growing a godly vision for one’s home and marriage. Communication basics now grew out of learning how a husband and wife see a vision differently. Discussions on security and significance grew from building a team effort for serving and honoring the Lord.

GROWING SPIRITUALLY 

A study through the fruit of the Spirit allowed endless lessons on growing one’s marriage through resolving conflict, changing attitudes and learning to respect one another. The biblical principles for marriage were no longer limited to passages such as Ephesians chapter 5. I found marriage-envisioning principles everywhere. Nehemiah’s prayer in Nehemiah 1:5-10 set a new understanding of covenant in a marriage.

Each lesson was taught in light of the vision the Lord was growing in each couple. The goal of simply being happy was not big enough. One by one, each couple realized that all the individual growth they could experience was equally limited until it was seen through the vision of the marriage relationship.

Couples began to move as one into the ministries of the church. One couple has successfully relocated into full-time missions work. Others have grown in a vision to reach out to their neighbors. Still others have begun to help as volunteers with other Christian organizations.

As couples grow in their marriages, their prayer life increases and the interest is no longer on survival or simply growing. The couples’ energy levels have been transformed into understanding and carrying out the vision for their families.

Husbands now have a goal, a tangible direction in which to direct their families. Wives see the bigger picture as they come alongside their husbands. Together, they learn about their unique callings. The fact is that our marriage ministry has grown well beyond the confines of a class. The growth is flowing over into many areas.

Now couples are praying together at the altar when prayer needs are shared. Husbands are encouraged by our leadership to pray in agreement with the pastoral staff as their wives come up for prayer. Couples now want tools to realize the vision before them. The traditional seminars and behavioral teachings are now passed through the «vision filter» so couples can better realize the greater calling and purpose for their marriages and for their families.

After four years of setting this vision for couples—and with the senior pastor setting it into the leadership marriages—the ministries of the church, the outreaches and the missions are all experiencing good «couples» fruit. Our vision for marriages is no longer limited to the crisis marriages. We now see the potential of envisioned marriages growing for the Lord as each one takes its place in His kingdom.

 

Making Marriage Ministry Work Outside the Classroom 

 

Here are some simple but effective steps you can take to strengthen your church’s ministry to marriages without increasing your staff or budget.

**Remember that a married individual is not alone—he or she is part of a couple.

In our effort to accomplish so many things in our churches, we often overlook the fact that a married individual needs to volunteer in light of his or her marriage, not in spite of it.

**Learn the names of the spouses and children of your leadership.

The more we as pastors show an interest in the marriages and families of our leaders, the more they will see their service in light of their families as well.

**Encourage couples to pray together. Invite spouses to pray with you as you pray.

One effective way to do this is to simply instruct a reluctant spouse how to pray, or in some cases, to invite them to pray in repetition after you. This models the importance of marriage and family prayer.

**Examine your divorce policy. Is it clear, and does it ultimately support marriage over divorce?

This is difficult but critical to ascertain, both for the married and divorced alike. People want to know where you stand.

**Offer a divorce recovery and educational track for those who have gone through divorce.

Perhaps your church can join with other churches and use some of the excellent material that is available, such as DivorceCare, for example.

**Develop a complete premarriage, pre-covenant policy.

The church should lay the foundation long before a marriage takes place. By establishing solid, vision-based marriage preparation, you communicate the high value your church places on marriages.

Consider requiring a couple to complete premarital counseling before even putting the date on the calendar. This will mean reeducating the church in some cases, but it is worth it.

**Encourage couples to serve together on various committees or in certain ministries that will help them to grow in their unified vision.

**Before placing a married person in any type of leadership, meet with the spouse as well. You may find that the very nature of serving may put additional stress on the marriage.

**For one month, listen to the «single» messages and the «marriage» messages you are sending out to the congregation. Do you apply all Scripture to the individual only, or do you make application to the oneness found in a marriage?

**Celebrate anniversaries. Announce them and even give out anniversary certificates. Always be open to the opportunity for the renewal of vows.

**Keep your own marriage growing. The growth in your marriage will spur you on to encourage others to do the same.

 

Resources for Developing a Healthy Marriage

The following books can provide you, your leaders and the couples in your church with invaluable insight in strengthening marriage bonds.

**Divorce Proofing Your Marriage: 10 lies that lead to divorce, 10 truths that prevent it by Linda S. Mintle, Ph.D. A licensed clinical social worker, Mintle helps couples have a healthy marriage. She confronts the lies that couples believe about marriage (marriage is a contract, or marriage isn’t about the mate’s family). The truths deal with such topics as resolving conflicts, understanding covenant, repentance and coping with an affair. This book is an excellent resource for couples, marriage ministries and small groups.

**Intimacy: A 100-Day Guide to Lasting Relationships by Douglas Weiss, Ph.D. Executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Centers in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Weiss explores finding sexual agreement, consistency in marriage, coping with money matters, dealing with the anger enemy and many other marriage topics. There is a 100-day log for couples as well as exercises for sharing feelings.

**Heal Your Past and Change Your Marriage by Paul and Kristina McGuire. Paul hosts a daily radio talk show in Southern California. The book leads with exploring the marriage covenant, followed by how to fight for your marriage in the Spirit. An excellent guide to taking steps to emotional healing follows, with teaching on sex and romance. This is an excellent resource for couples who want to grow spiritually through pain and hurt.

**Better Sex for You by Helen Pensanti, M.D. Host of the popular Trinity Broadcasting Network show Doctor to Doctor, Pensanti uses humor and frankness to help couples understand and discuss sexual issues in their marriage. This book was written to help couples maintain a long, healthy sexual relationship.

**Lord, I Wish My Husband Would Pray With Me by Larry Keefauver, D.Min. Larry and Judi Keefauver conduct marriage and parenting seminars in churches worldwide based on this popular book, which helps couples pray through and tear down walls of such things as unresolved anger, unfulfilled expectations, unhealed hurts, unkept promises and undignified communication. This is an excellent resource for classes and small groups.

**Can Stepfamilies Be Done Right? by Joann and Seth Webster. This stepmother/stepson team writes a very practical guide for blended families. This superb resource explores discipline, the role of a stepparent, dealing with the past and living through the three cycles of a stepfamily. It is a helpful and practical guide for blended families struggling through the many adjustments of living together.


Ted Bichsel is pastor of Smithtown Tabernacle in Long Island, New York.

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