Ancient Monastery Found In Israel

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A 1,500-year-old Byzantine monastery has been discovered in Israel according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The monastery is described as having been a place of Christian worship during the 6th century.  The structure was found as part of an excavation before construction of a new highway through the Negev Desert.

The IAA said the structure was 65 feet wide by 115 feet long.  Four rooms were found including a prayer room and a dining room.  The mosaics on the floor were found to be typical of Christian mosaics of the time.

The mosaics also contained discretely placed crosses that obeyed an order from leaders of the time to not have crosses on the floor where someone could step on them.

In addition to the mosaic floors, the excavators discovered pottery, coins and glass that are believed to have been used as part of the worship of the time.

The discovered items are going to be removed from the site and moved to an agricultural and tourism project area.

Federal Appeals Court Endorses Religious Discrimination

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A pair of federal judges is endorsing discrimination against groups because of their faith in a ruling against churches meeting in New York City schools.

In a 2-1 ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the court said that New York City school officials could deny Christian groups the same right to rent space inside their buildings that are offered to other groups.  The liberal judges ruled that the Free Exercise Clause did not require government to finance exercise of religion.

However, the dissenting justice pointed out the majority’s endorsement of discrimination.

“Allowing an entity to use public school space open to all others on equal terms is hardly the financing of that entity,” Judge John Waller wrote. “However, shutting the door to religious worship services in such a setting when every other activity is permitted strikes at the Clause’s core.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom, who is representing the church involved with the case, is working on an appeal of the ruling.

New York Pastor Trying To Turn Strip Club Into Church

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A New York City pastor attempting to shine the light of Christ in one of the seediest parts of the city is attempting to raise the funds to turn the area’s last strip club into the church’s new home.

Pastor Reggie Stutzman of Real Life Church told the Christian Post that a witnessing opportunity outside the club was a sign that God is going to bring “revival” into the city.

“I had an extraordinary conversation with this man who used to be a patron there. He said his life is just a wreck,” the pastor said.  He was speaking with a driver outside the Platinum Pleasures club in Hunts Point.  The church’s members have been meeting in front of the church every Tuesday for prayer since that day.

Now, the club has a for sale banner hanging across their front.

“God is bringing the prodigals home and He’s going to use this club and Real Life Church to be a part of the big picture, that revival is coming to NYC. It’s exciting,” said Stutzman.

Hunts Point is known as one of most dangerous areas in the city with a heavy prostitution program.

Bible Found In Church Rubble Hailed As Miracle

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In the wake of the devastating explosion that destroyed two buildings in Harlem, the discovery of a Bible is being called a miracle by not only members of the Spanish Christian Church that was destroyed in the blast but firefighters and emergency personnel.

On the third day of their recovery efforts, rescue workers found a waterlogged Bible under the debris of the church.  The Bible was not singed by fire at all and the water damage was minimal.

Members of the church hailed it as a miracle because the Bible was the one placed on the church’s altar because it was the used for the founding of the church 80 years ago.

The church’s pastor, Rev. Thomas Perez, became so overwhelmed at the sight of the Bible being brought out intact from the rubble that he had to be hospitalized for observation.

Attendees told reporters the Spanish-language Bible belonged to the founding couple of the church.

Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano said the discovery of the Bible means a lot because now the church will have a remnant as they rebuild.

Joel Osteen’s Church Robbed Of $600,000

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The 8th Commandment clearly meant little to whoever broke into the safe at Lakewood Church and stole over $600,000 in donations Sunday night.

The Houston, Texas church, home of internationally known pastor Joel Osteen, reported Monday morning that someone had broken into their safe and taken away all the donations received during the weekend’s services.

Cash, checks and credit card information was stolen.  The church says that the funds were insured, so the church will not lose revenue, but that there was no way to assure someone would not try to use the stolen account numbers for other kinds of fraud.

Donors were encouraged to check their accounts for fraudulent activity and to take steps to protect their accounts.

Church officials say $200,000 of the theft was in cash.

Houston police are investigating the theft.  The police are reviewing surveillance video from inside the church but have not named any suspects.

Santa Monica Church Plant Targeted By Neighbors

Neighbors say church makes too much noise

The church isn’t violating any rules with the school that hosts their services.  They have taken steps to try and accommodate neighbors of the school who are complaining about the traffic in the area on Sundays. 

Still, the neighbors of City of God church meeting at Santa Monica elementary school continue to complain and harass the members and leadership of the church.  They openly say they don’t want a Christian church in their neighborhood.

“I don’t want anything happening here on Sundays,” said Azin Ehsan, who moved into the neighborhood in 2001. “We have so much noise during the week, we just want it to be quiet. They should find a better venue.”

Azin Ehsan has rebuffed the church’s efforts to work with her and two other neighbors.  They met with school officials to complain about the church’s being allowed in their neighborhood and use of the school.

Another neighbor thinks the reason of the people are complaining is that they have an issue with Christians.

“Nobody complains when John Adams [Middle School] has football games. I don’t hear about people writing letters about what a nuisance that is but suddenly, the church for an hour makes a different noise and the community is in an uproar?” Sidonie Smith asked. “We can’t have a double standard about noise in the community.”

Is Your Church Prepared?

I personally believe every church in America needs to prepare.  In times of crisis or disaster, people turn to leaders for help.  Even those who don’t belong to your church or congregation will come to you – and that’s a good thing!  We want to share the Gospel in the Last Days!  That’s what we were born for! That’s the reason God chose us to be living at this time in the history of the world!  We were born for “such a time as this.”

While some may think that they’re obligation is more spiritual than practical in times of crisis, I assure you that until people’s physical needs are met, they’re not going to listen to your Gospel!  There’s a verse in the Bible that talks about those who do nothing but pray and bless.  This verse is usually quoted in the context of faith, but I want you to read it again in the context of practical preparations for others in need:

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:14-17 ESV) Continue reading

Buffalo Struck With “Mass Mobs”

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The city of Buffalo, New York is being hit with “Mass Mobs”.

However, this new breed of flash mob is actually blessing those they target.

The “Mass Mob” votes online for a specific older Catholic church in the area for Sunday worship.  The mob then swarms that church in the morning, worshipping with regular attenders, admiring the architecture of the old cathedrals and providing the churches with a much needed boost in support.

Many of the churches have fallen over the last century from thousands in attendance each week to in some cases less than 50.  The founder of the “mob” says the idea is to expose area Catholics to new congregations and churches in a hope of sparking a revival.

“I call these churches faith enhancers,” Christopher Byrd told the Associated Press.  “You can’t help but walk in and feel closer to a higher power.”

Byrd hopes that churches that “fall off the radar screen of people” will again be seen as viable houses of worship.

Ancient Church Discovered In Israel

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A major archaeological find has been discovered in southern Israel.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a Byzantine-era structure that they said likely “served as a center of Christian worship for neighboring communities.”

The discovery was made during a routine salvage operation in preparation for a new neighborhood in the area of the discovery site.

The building is about 72 feet long and 40 feet wide.  It contains a central hall with two side aisles divided by marble pillars.  A courtyard area features a white mosaic floor and a cistern.

Also found were five inscriptions including references to Mary and Jesus.

The IAA also recovered glass vessels, oil lamps, cooking pots and bowls.  They estimate the church and items to be at least 1,500 years old.

My Heart for My Generation

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We really are living in such a prophetic time!  This is a time like never before or ever again.  It’s such a worldly time and there’s hardly anything on television worth watching.  Jim and I have become news junkies because of this fact!

It breaks my heart to see some of the things the kids are now subjected to on television, and they’re watching it because that’s all there is!  What troubles me is that we are losing all of our values, not just in this nation but in the world!  This isn’t just a cliché – it’s a fact – a fact that anyone who loves God should be alarmed about.

For my generation, even in the crazy times we didn’t lose our values.  We still knew right from wrong but now, there isn’t any such thing!  It’s considered hateful now to even voice your opinion of what is right and wrong.  Everybody is doing what they think is right in their own eyes!  The Bible talks about that!  (Judges 17:6, 21:25, Proverbs 14:12) Continue reading