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Proving Creationism ... Under Water

Have you ever stood seaside and quietly watched the elegant waves and the majestic aquatic life? What you see, smell and hear can all be evidence of God as the creator. That’s the philosophy of Christian dive professional Tec Clark, who founded a Christian snorkel and dive ministry in 2008. He uses the ocean’s symbiotic landscape to prove creationism.

Since starting Reef Ministries, he’s led hundreds of amateur and professional snorkel and dive tours on a glass-bottom boat into the deep blue sea. At the beginning of every excursion, he uses Scripture and science to enlighten visitors about the case for creationism. Despite traditional aquatic academics, which espouse evolution, Clark explains that a Creator could be the only source of the synergy found among ocean beings. He then presents charts, graphs and other research to support his bold assertions.

The common assertion in marine biology is that it’s taken millions of years for coral reefs to grow; but Clark says that there are areas of the world, such as Bikini Atoll, where reefs have grown six inches per year. He surmises they might not be growing as fast in other areas due to environmental factors such as global warming and acid rain. He admits no one knows all the answers, including evolutionists, and that it’s a matter of ideology. 

The 30-year dive professional has held prominent positions in the industry as the Director of the University of Florida advanced diving program and the head of the National Diving YMCA scuba program. All of his education and experience could never explain the intricacies found among the fish, reefs and sea particles. It wasn’t until he found Christ that the splendor of the ocean made sense to him.

“I realized there’s got to be a difference here; there needs to be a voice championing a Creator,” Clark says. 

Clark seeks to show his dive participants what he’s discovered, and people often tell him they’ve never felt closer to God than when they are underwater.

“Seeing the beauty, the diversity, the color, the splendor, the balance, the design—all of that is truly the thumbprint of our Creator,” Clark says. read more

A ShipWrecked Testimony

This month marks the one-year anniversary of Abby Sunderland’s failure. The teenager was unable to travel the world by boat in record time and beat her older brother’s record as the youngest person to do so.

After Sunderland’s dreams were dashed by high winds and 50-foot waves that caused her boat to capsize, she wasn’t sure what the future would hold for her. But looking back at the aftermath of her attempt, Sunderland says she now sees God’s hand at work in her disappointment.

“My trip being wrecked has given me a bigger platform than I would have had had everything gone according to plan,” says Sunderland of her newfound fame. “I hope it makes people think a little about God, and maybe there is something bigger out there.”

Last June Sunderland was stranded by a storm in the Indian Ocean nearly 2,000 miles east of Madagascar. For a while the plucky girl lost contact with her parents and was feared lost. She says many sailors have stories of pushing past their limits and coming to a place where they had to call on God, which happened several times for her: “God came through for me in such an amazing way that my faith is definitely stronger than when I left in February 2010.”

A homeschool student who recently completed high school, Sunderland plans to take a year off for traveling before going to college to study psychology. She’s also likely to do more speaking about her faith and her adventures as told in her book, Unsinkable. read more

Will Work for Kids

Will Work for Kids

Atlanta-based pastor Shaun King has made a promise to speak or consult with any organization of any size, anywhere in the world at no charge. His only requirement: the ministry using his services must sponsor a child at the Miriam Center for disabled orphans in Saint-Louis-du-Nord, Haiti.

The Courageous Church pastor is part of a group helping to rebuild this dilapidated orphanage, which King says is Haiti’s only school and home for orphans with severe disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, deafness and blindness. Many of the children are unwanted by their parents because some Haitians view handicaps as a curse, while others simply can’t afford the hefty bill that comes with caring for a disabled child.

“Many of the children were simply dropped off at the doorstep of the Miriam Center,” King says. “The director there has picked random birthdays on the calendar for most of the children.” read more

Not My Life

Hollywood Vs. Holywood

 Today many Christians are fed up with the immorally charged films being produced in Hollywood. And some are heeding the old adage, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Numerous churches and Christian organizations are starting to make movies and/or back films more closely aligned with their moral leanings. Check out the flicks coming to a screen near you.

 Agape International Missions, dedicated to ending child sexual slavery in Cambodia, helped produce the documentary Not My Life. Releasing next month, the film depicts the disturbing yet inspiring testimonies of survivors of the modern-day global sex-trafficking industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 Jumping the BroomT.D. Jakes, the megachurch pastor of The Potter’s House, releases his third film, Jumping the Broom, on May 6. The movie, which stars Hollywood elites such Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine, chronicles two families from different socioeconomic backgrounds who are being joined by marriage. 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Potential InsideOn DVD, former semi-pro racer Scotty Curlee stars as a veteran cyclist in The Potential Inside. Reeling from grief after a family tragedy, he is given an opportunity he doesn’t want—to train a rookie cycling prodigy. The movie’s message is “about the potential we have inside of us, in Christ, to reach our best.” read more

Dragons’ Delivering Power

Dragons’ Delivering Power

It’s not often that one walks away from a film literally transformed. But that’s exactly what happened to actor Wes Bentley after starring in There Be Dragons, which releases in theaters May 6. 

Derived from true events, There Be Dragons follows two young men who find themselves on opposite sides of the Spanish Civil War. Josemaria Escriva, a Catholic priest (played by Charlie Cox), and Manolo Torres, a bitter soldier (played by Bentley), showcase the extreme positions one can take when faced with dire circumstances. 

Escriva was named a saint in the Catholic church in 2002, and the film showcases his life of faith and forgiveness, while Bentley’s character is deceitful and selfish.  read more

How to Change the World From Your Bed

How to Change the World From Your Bed

 Dick Woodward can’t move anything below his neck. But that hasn’t prevented him from training and mentoring pastors around the world.

Despite a degenerative spinal disorder that slowly robbed him of the use of his arms and legs, the veteran pastor provides audio Bible studies and ministry-training materials through the Mini Bible College (MBC) he founded in 1974. The college offers nearly 800 programs, which have been translated into more than 25 languages and are being used in 50 nations, including India, China, Sudan and Haiti.

Strange as it may seem, Woodward, 80, believes the MBC may never have been more than an idea had he not gradually lost mobility. He was a busy pastor. He founded Virginia Beach Community Chapel—which he led for 23 years before planting Williamsburg Community Chapel—hosted a TV and a radio program, and taught weekly Bible studies. Because of his hectic schedule, he never found time to record the Bible training materials he’d been sensing God wanted him to produce since he was in seminary in the 1950s. read more

The Praises in the Persecution

The Praises in the Persecution

Though we know there is a great deal of persecution currently affecting Christians around the world, we also know that historically the church has grown—usually at a rapid rate— as a result of added pressure. 

In 1900 only 2.5 percent of the world’s population were practicing Christians. Seventy years later that number doubled to 5 percent. In 2010 the number had more than doubled and reached 12 percent in only 40 years. Talk about off-the-chart growth! read more

The Praises in the Persecution

Modeling Faith Through Cerebral Palsy

Modeling Faith Through Cerebral Palsy

Her words slur when she speaks. She has a hard time opening her hands, and the 23-year-old is only now starting to dress herself without assistance. But Megan Haught is also a model and an aspiring actress who says God is healing her of cerebral palsy, and she is determined not to allow her illness to deter her dreams.

Haught says she’s been visiting a chiropractor, but she attributes her ongoing healing to prayers she and her family have made at her church and the healing rooms she has visited.

“I’m seeing a lot of improvement and my doctors are seeing the improvement,” Haught says. Her mother, Susan Haught, clarified her speech as she continued. “I have always known about God and that He could do miracles, but I’m seeing it more now and I have more of a relationship with Him now.” read more

Hope in a box

Hope in a Box

Immediately following Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, Samaritan’s Purse, along with many other Christian organizations, were on the ground in freezing temperatures to help those with little food and clean water and no electricity. The humanitarian group has already distributed more than 93 tons of emergency supplies, including 10,000 hygiene kits.

You can help too. Here’s how:

PRAY:

  • That God would provide supernatural comfort, peace and provision to those suffering. 
  • For wisdom and strength for volunteers and church partners.

GIVE:

  • Via Charisma’s nonprofit partner,  Christian Life Missions, where 100 percent of your donation goes to ministries  helping those on the ground. Call 407-333-0600 or visit christianlifemissions.com for more info.

GO:

Peace In the Middle East

Peace In the Middle East

A documentary that follows a Palestinian Muslim, a Palestinian Christian and an Israeli Jew’s journey to bring peace in the West Bank, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem won this year’s Reel Rose Award for Best Documentary at the John Paul II International Film Festival. 

In Little Town of Bethlehem, three men born into violence are determined to risk everything to bring peace between their respective religions. 

Director Jim Hanon says his documentary doesn’t land on one religious side but instead highlights the need for peace among religions and the biblical model of loving your enemies. 

Still, producer Mart Green, whose film company has backed other award-winners, hopes the film prompts audiences to at least ask this question: “Might love be the greatest weapon of all?” read more

Channeling Christ

Try this: Turn on your television and flip through the channels. You’re more likely to see sex, drugs and violence than you are positive images. 

“The media has helped to shape the young minds with some negative/false images of what is acceptable for a teen to feel valued in society,” says Stacey Spencer, founder of youth-oriented ministry Teen Tyme. read more

Revival Hits a Restaurant

Revival Hits a Restaurant

The Holy Spirit is on the move in the small town of Brooksville, Fla., observers say.

With the local economy in shambles—including a 17 percent unemployment rate—even the ever-popular Starbucks restaurant closed its doors. Yet the Rising Sun Café, owned by John and Lisa Callea, continues to buck the trend. 

Within a year of his conversion John arrived in Florida in 2005. He was penniless and divorced, but he remembered a message the Lord gave him in 2001: “The church is broken. It’s become a business and has forgotten Me. I will build My church in the marketplace.”  read more

Inspire-Measuring-Obama

Measuring The Culture

The Obama administration has revised portions of the “conscience clause,” which protected health care workers from being forced to perform procedures that conflict with their faith. The new regulations still protect medical workers’ rights not to perform abortions, but professionals can no longer refuse to provide contraception or to give in-vitro fertilization to lesbians or single women.

Inspire-Measuring-SurveyA new survey found that 61 percent of young people would like to be virgins when they get married. Another 63 percent said they would regain their virginity if it were possible, cites a OneHope survey of 5,108 teens between the ages of 13 and 18.

Inspire-Measuring-BieberSixteen-year-old pop superstar Justin Bieber (below) was outspoken about his pro-life views when featured on the cover of Rolling Stone. Dubbed the “Tween evangelist” by USA Today, Bieber says he is a Christian and released a single titled “Pray” last year. His mother, Pattie Mallette, says Bieber recognizes his singing is “a gift—and a ministry.” read more

Economy down, Food Pantries up

Economy Down, Food Pantries Up

2011 began bleak. With 13 million Americans unemployed, many middle-class families had to turn to an unfamiliar source to put food on the table: the church.  

Many ministries such as Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida have recorded a 100 percent increase in the number of soup kitchens and pantries that they start to collect and distribute donated food. read more

Healing on the High Seas

Healing on the High Seas

Don and Deyon Stephens know how to dream big. In 1978 they imagined launching a ship that would provide medical care to the poor in undeveloped nations. Thirty-three years later, Mercy Ships, the ministry the couple founded, has expanded that vision to include the world’s largest charity hospital ship. 

“Jesus clearly, in the New Testament, gave us the great commandment and the Great Commission, so those are the bookends of Mercy Ships,” Don says. “Those are the two compass points that have helped me develop Mercy Ships.” read more

Filming a wave of Faith

Filming a Wave of Faith

When Bethany Hamilton decided to hit the waves on Oct. 31, 2003, she had no idea one ride would forever change her life. Attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark, the then-13-year-old surfer lost her left arm and 60 percent of her blood. But according to Hamilton, she also gained an understanding of her purpose.

Hamilton not only returned to the surfboard but won several championships. She now travels the country telling others how her faith in Christ helped her overcome her challenging circumstance.  read more

How Little Tubes Fill Big Wells

How Little Tubes Fill Big Wells

Every 15 seconds a child dies from a water-related sickness. The Passion movement is doing something about that. In April, the ministry will host its second Do Something Now event of 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas, with one goal: to marry worship and justice. 

Passion conferences draw thousands of young people every year to pray, worship, and give time and money to causes such as funding wells in India or clothing the homeless. To illustrate the amount of wells being built in India, students are encouraged to pour water into tubes to represent what they give monetarily. At Passion’s January event in Atlanta, students gave more than $75,000 to purchase 24 wells. Overall, the conference brought in more than $1.1 million for charities. Passion leaders are hoping to provide even more wells next month. read more

InspireMarkDriscoll

Both Sides of the Coin

“It seems to me that if the primary view of sanctification comes through simplicity, poverty, suffering, [then] if you don’t get those things it’s almost like when God blesses it’s hard to be sanctified because you don’t know what to do with it. What if God wants to sanctify you through not poverty but generosity, not suffering but blessing; and what if it’s not through simplicity but complexity?”


Mark Driscoll, who questioned Francis Chan’s decision to leave his megachurch and give away everything last year. Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church, suggested Chan might be following the “theology of poverty,” a belief that he says is just as detrimental as the prosperity gospel.

 

 

 

Inspire-FrancisChan“I believe it’s motivated by love and a desire to be Christ-like; I don’t want to suffer needlessly or just to suffer. To me, the core issue here has to be love. I think in times of prosperity, for me, I look at Scripture and go: ‘Wow, this is awesome. Look at this great-selling book, all this money. What do I want to do? I want to give it to the people who need it.’ I get excited about that.” 

 
Francis Chan, who says he did not needlessly give away his money or step down from his church but was striving to be like Christ read more

Inspire-RickWarren

Inspiration From the Twittersphere

Rick Warren If a ministry is God-anointed, it doesn’t matter who criticizes it. If it’s not anointed, it doesn’t matter who praises it. 

 

 

 

Inspire-JoyceMeyerJoyce Meyer The Word is like medicine, but it is most effective when applied properly. If I have a headache, I don’t put a Band-Aid on my head.

 

 

 

Inspire-BrianHoustonBrian Houston Serving sacrifices self, because self doesn’t want to serve. LIVE to serve. DIE to self!

 

 

 

Inspire-CindyTrimmCindy Trimm Did you know that procrastination is a sign of fear?

 

 

 

Inspire-RobertMorrisRobert Morris A little faith will bring our soul to heaven. Great faith will bring heaven to our soul.

 

 

 


News By Numbers

 

3% of teenagers from age 13 to 17 say that Jesus Christ is their role model

Barna Group

 

49% of Americans say the lack of civility in American politics is a 
“very serious problem” 

 PRRI/RNS Religion News Survey

  read more

Extreme Makeover: Missionary Edition

Extreme Makeover: Missionary Edition

Joe Hurston and his family know about giving. Hurston has given his life to missionary work in Haiti since 1978, living in the poorest conditions. But this year the tables turned and the longtime missionary family is learning how to receive.

Last year, while the family was away on a missions trip, a plumbing problem caused pipes to burst and flood their Florida home. For almost a year, Hurston and his wife, Cindy, and their three youngest children—Joliet, 17, Peter, 12, and Dieunika, 4—lived in an RV camper. 

Hurston was recently working on his mission plane at Tico Airport in Titusville, Fla., when another small aircraft landed on the runway. Inside was Ty Pennington, designer and host of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, who gave him the news that his family had been selected to receive a new home.   read more

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