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Gideons Celebrate 100 Years of Bible Distribution

 
[01.08.09] Celebrating its 100-year anniversary, the Gideons International, founded by John Nicholson and Sam Hill, stributed an astounding 1.5 billion Bibles since 1908, when the group began placing Scripture in hotel rooms reports the Associated Press (AP).

“I think there’s an untold number of people that have had their lives changed as a result of reading the Gideon Bible or New Testament,” said Steve Smith, director of communications and development for the Gideons to the AP. “We’ve been blessed to learn the details of many of those and are confident there are still many more we have not yet learned about.”

Last year alone the interdenominational ministry gave out nearly 77 million Gideon Scriptures, translated into 85 languages in 187 countries around the world. “What it’s done is actually changed our culture,” Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals said to the AP. “People expect there to be a Bible in a hotel room. There’s hardly anything that’s parallel to it.”

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Inaugural Benediction

The Rev. Joseph Lowery
January 20, 2009
 
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far along the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to Thee, oh God,
True to our native land.
 
We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day. We pray now oh Lord for Your blessing upon Your servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family, and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the nation and indeed the global fiscal climate.
 
But because we know You’ve got the whole world in Your hand, we pray not only for our nation but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink though pressed by the flood of mortal ills. For we know that Lord You’re able and You’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability. Mend our brokenness. Heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor, of the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.
 
We thank You for the empowering of Thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that yes we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seed of greed, the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in the spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.
 
And now Lord in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate, on the side of inclusion, not exclusion, tolerance, not intolerance.
 
And as we leave this mountaintop help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, wherever we seek Your will.
 
Bless President Barack. First Lady Michelle. Look over our little angelic Sasha and Malia. We go now to walk together as children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know You will not leave us alone with Your hands of power and Your heart of love. Help us then now Lord to work for that day when nations will not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors. When every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine or fig tree and none shall be afraid. When justice shall roll down like water and righteousness as a mighty stream. Lord in the memory of all the satins who from their labor rest and in the joy of a new beginning. We ask You to help us to work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead man and when white will embrace what is right. Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen. Say Amen. And Amen. read more

Inaugural Opening Prayer The Rev. Joseph Lowery January 20, 2009

The Rev. Rick Warren
January 20, 2009
 
Almighty God, our Father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you. It all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory.

History is your story. The Scripture tells us, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God. The Lord is One.” And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.

Now, today, we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time. We celebrate a hingepoint of history with the inauguration of our first African-American president of the United States. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.

Give to our new President, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.
 
Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race, or religion, or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.

Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all. May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you. We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.

I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus, who taught us to pray:

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

 

Quote, December

 

·“The greatest problem for God in His redemptive mission for the world is His own people. What hurts God most is not just the sin of the world, but the failure, disobedience and rebellion of those He has redeemed.”

—Chris Wright, international director of Langham Partnership International and retiring chair of the Lausanne Theology Working Group, during the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization held in Cape Town, South Africa, in the fall. The meeting brought together 4,200 hand-picked Christian leaders to discuss missions strategies for the 21st century. read more

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