EIGHT MILES PLAIN, QLD
Christian Adventure Series – Fantastic publications from Keystone Resources
Dr Denis Smith writes: ‘Thank you for the many good comments received on the launch of our website. Our goal is to use the website to support missionaries, churches, charities and individuals to reach their goals. This particular series has been used to assist new believers in their Christian walk and is a valuable asset to every church and minister’s ministry.’
Using all the Christian Adventure Studies, churches are investing $25 into the life of each person who makes a commitment to Christ. That’s a valuable investment on potentially eternal rewards. First Steps should be given to individuals (along with a Gospel of John or a Bible) who make their commitment to Christ and covers: (1) How to keep one’s life clean before God (2) How to relate to the family of God and (3) How to read and understand God’s word. This study guide can be completed in a group situation if there are sufficient numbers – but it should be commenced at least with their follow-up worker as soon as possible after their commitment to Jesus Christ.
Our resources – such as the series illustrated below – are included on our website http://keystoneresources.com.au.
The Eternity Series addresses real life issues with sensitivity. There is also the 400 page interactive eBook – A River is Flowing. And a free church survey that only takes about a minute to do. Keystone Resources can then send a 12-page report which will assist churches on their journey. We’re delighted that the Amazing Prophecies DVDs have gone to many countries outside of Australia.
Keystone Resources, PO Box 4390, Eight Mile Plains, Qld 4113. Orders and link: firstname.lastname@example.org / Mob 0438 004 612. See also Resources.
ASSIST NEWS SERVICE REPORTS (Link:www.assistnews.net )
Robin Williams ‘accepted Jesus Christ in one of the recovery programs’
ASSIST’s Dan Wooding reports that the Oscar winner aged 63, who made America (and the world) both laugh and cry with a remarkable range of performances, apparently took his own life according to law enforcement officials. Coroner investigators suspect ‘the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia,’ according to a Marin County, California, Sheriff’s Office statement.
‘Robin Williams had been battling severe depression of late,’ his media representative Mara Buxbaum told CNN. ‘This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.’
The actor married graphic designer Susan Schneider in Napa Valley, California, ceremony in October 2011. ‘This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken,’ she said. ‘On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.’
He had his well-publicised troubles with depression, addiction, alcoholism and heart surgery in 2009, and one person who was able to talk with him on several occasions at press junkets for movies, was Dr Ted Baehr, Movieguide® Publisher.
According to Dr. Baehr he shared Jesus Christ with Robin because ‘they both grew up with a few similar parental beliefs. Robin had, at one point, accepted Jesus Christ in one of the recovery programs, but he was always searching and never quite finding. He will be dearly missed by many and Movieguide® prays for his family and anyone else who struggles with drug addiction and depression.’
See also Focus category
ORANGE COUNTY, CA
Robert Schuller ‘happy and doing fine’
Dan Wooding also reports that Dr Robert A Schuller, only son of Dr Robert H Schuller, co-founder with his wife, Arvella, of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, where the weekly Hour of Power television began in 1970, and was seen around the world by millions of people, has issued a health update on the condition on his elderly father.
Dr Robert H Schuller
In a message posted on robertaschuller.blogspot.com, he says, ‘Many of you continue to ask about my father’s health. He is happy and doing fine. He is living in an assisted living facility and I visit him as much as possible when I am in Southern California. Our time together gives me joy and peace as I rebuild a significant father-son relationship with him. During our visits our most treasured memories are often discussed and several of my earliest memories include us fishing together. When I was very young this meant fishing on Big Bear Lake, California. As I got older we enjoyed fishing for salmon in Oregon and Canada, and for years we shared a love of deep sea fishing off the coasts of Southern California, Mexico, and even Australia.’
He went on to say, When visiting an older family member or friend, remember to always bring up the happy times together. There you will find a special blessing in remembering all that was good and meaningful. Things that contributed to who you are today.’
iSIS declares, ‘We will raise flag of Allah in the White House’
Mark Ellis, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service, reports that as ISIS continues their takeover of northern Iraq and portions of Syria and the US launches a tempered military response for strategic and humanitarian purposes, a spokesman for the radical group made a bold declaration about an ultimate conquest of the White House.
Last week, Vice News embedded a journalist with ISIS and travelled with their press officer, Abu Mosa, during their assault on the Syrian Army’s 17th division near Raqqa. A powerful and graphic video released from this excursion shows ISIS surrounding Syrian forces on four sides, defeating them, then mounting the heads of their fallen foes on the top of metal fence spikes.
Mosa made a provocative statement following that victory: ‘I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established. And we will not stop. Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.’
A Vice News journalist was also able to go inside a mosque and capture ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi‘s bold pronouncement to the faithful, mostly on their knees bowing before him like a messianic figure.
Followers bowing before ISIS leader (Vice News)
‘Indeed Allah, powerful and exalted in might and in combat with the enemies of Allah, he granted his followers success, and empowered them to fulfil their purpose. And if you desire what Allah has promised, then set out in jihad for his cause,’ al-Baghdadi said. The ISIS leader appeared to exert an almost hypnotic control over his followers. Indeed, the video captured children as young as 11-years-old swearing allegiance to al Baghdadi and the cause of jihad.
Vice News appears to be the only news organisation granted behind-the-scenes access to ISIS, which now wants to be known as The Islamic State (IS). The radical group is determined to institute an Islamic State across the Middle East and throughout the world.
Born a Sunni, al-Baghdadi (Pictured below), is said to be a direct descendant of the prophet Muhammad. He earned a doctorate at Islamic University in Baghdad in Islamic studies and history, and was an Islamic preacher at the time of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
After the invasion, he was drawn into al-Qaeda in Iraq. Later he became the ‘emir’ of Rawa, a town near the Syrian border, where he presided over a sharia court, and gained a reputation for brutality, publicly executing anyone suspected of assisting US forces. Al-Baghdadi preached at several mosques and also led several smaller militantgroups before being promoted to a seat on a council of the mujahedeen.
In 2005, he was captured by US forces and spent the next four years as a prisoner at the Bucca Camp in southern Iraq, according to The Washington Post. Some believe the four years he was held at Camp Bucca inflamed his radicalisation. The US military began releasing 1,000 prisoners per month before it closed the facility in September, 2009. Some faced the Iraqi justice system, but the majority of those released – including al-Baghdadi – faced no
ISIS leader preaches in mosque
When al-Baghdadi was released by the US, he said, ‘I’ll see you in New York,’ according to ABC News. That cryptic response, and their new threat about the White House, shows the group’s fascination with the US – and their ultimate designs to attack it. ‘The true heir to Osama bin Laden may be ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,’ wrote The Washington Post’s David Ignatius. He is ‘more violent, more virulent, more anti-American,’ a senior US intelligence official told The Post.
Mark Ellis is founder of the acclaimed www.Godreports.com. See also his Inspirational article
‘Vicar of Baghdad’ refuses to leave despite ISIS vicious Christian persecutions
Dan Wooding writes that Canon Andrew White, known around the world as the ‘Vicar of Baghdad,’ is refusing to leave Iraq, despite the ever-worse persecution and killings by the terror-group formerly known as ISIS, and now known as Islamic State (IS).
UK-born Canon White, who bravely continues his ministry despite suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, is the leader of St George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad, Iraq, which is the country’s last Anglican Church.
Situated on Haifa Street in Baghdad’s Red Zone – St George’s Church has been damaged by five bombs in the past three years. He estimates that his flock used to number around 6,000 people, but in the last decade over 1,200 have been killed, according to CNN‘s Arwa Damon.
‘One of things that really hurt was when one of the Christians came and said, “For the first time in 1,600 years, we had no church in Nineveh,”’ Canon White told Damon. ‘Every day, we think that the crisis here cannot get worse and every day it does. Yesterday, over 1,500 people were killed. Iraq seems like old news, yet things just get worse and worse here. It is as if hell has broken out and nobody cares; that is apart from you, our supporters, who never leave us and keep supporting us in every way and to you I simply say thank you.’
Canon Andrew (left) won’t leave his flock. He added that many Christians have left or are planning to leave and has now issued a plea for prayer and support and described the disastrous situation in Iraq.
‘Even here in Baghdad, people are terrified of what is happening around us,’ he said. ‘The IS has established their hidden cells within Baghdad, and people are seriously under threat even though they are not in the areas controlled by the IS. The number of kidnappings here has soared and people simply do not know what is going to happen next.’
The atrocities allegedly committed by IS continue to stun the world. In a BBC interview, Andrew White said that people are being slaughtered. Speaking to the BBC from northern Iraq, he said that the international community needed to take seriously the needs of the Christian community in the country ‘so they are not left on the side.’
Asked if he could envisage a day when he would advise his own congregation to leave Iraq, Canon White replied: ‘I have always said to our people “I’m not going to leave you, don’t you leave me.” Now I can’t say that any longer. If I tell them not to leave I’m saying: “You’ve got to be prepared to die for your faith.”’
The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Iraq, after the largest Christian town was seized by Islamic State militants. Tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians and Yazidis have fled their homes following a warning by the militants to renounce their faiths or face death.
Though the move north should have proved safer for the Iraqi Christian family, the Islamic State made sure that it became a place of terror. ‘This town of Qaraqosh is a Christian village so they knew everybody there was part of their target group,’ said Canon White. ‘They [the Islamic State] attacked the whole of the town. They bombed it, they shot at people.’
Canon White said that Anglicans there have been working hard to provide a lot of support for the Christians who have fled Mosul and Nineveh to the north, as well as the many other minority groups targeted by the Islamic State.
‘Anglicans are literally at the forefront of bringing help in this situation and there’s no-one else,” he said adding that the church is supplying much-needed food, water, accommodation and other relief items thanks to financial contributions from supporters overseas. Dr Sarah Ahmed said, ‘We need two things: prayer and money. With those two we can do something. Without those we can do nothing.’
Those wanting to donate can do so at frrme.org. As regards prayer, Canon White said, ‘I have three P’s that I always mention which is for Protection, Provision and Perseverance. We need protection, we need to provide for those people and we need to keep going.’
GOD’S NOT DEAD
New Christian movie in cinemas a weekend surprise
Although critically panned, the film has met with significant success at the box office. In its first weekend of release, the film earned $8.6 million domestically from 780 theaters, causing Entertainment Weekly‘s Adam Markovitz to refer to it as ‘The biggest surprise of the weekend.’
How far would you go…to defend your belief in God? Josh McDowell says, ‘God’s Not Dead is a must. An incredible, believable plot that causes one to question agnosticism.’
Present-day college freshman and devout Christian, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo).
Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words ‘God Is Dead’ on pieces of paper as instructed, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future.
Josh offers a nervous refusal, provoking an irate reaction from his smug professor. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that ‘God Is Dead,’ he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God’s existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals. With almost no one in his corner, Josh wonders if he can really fight for what he believes. Can he actually prove the existence of God? Wouldn’t it just be easier just to write ‘God Is Dead’ and put the whole incident behind him?
God’s Not Dead weaves together multiple stories of faith, doubt and disbelief, culminating in a dramatic call to action. The film will educate, entertain, and inspire moviegoers to explore what they really believe about God, igniting important conversations and life-changing decisions.