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Showing posts from 2009

New Year's Resolutions

How about committing the Lord Is My Shepherd [Psalm 23] to memory for New Year's Resolution? Here we go: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Thanks be to God for His Indescribable Gift!

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor , Mighty God , Everlasting Father , Prince of Peace . Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? "He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.' Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost be

When the Kindness and Love of God our Savior Appeared

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink,

Jesus Savior Christ the Lord

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that

Price of Peace

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. And

What Does Christmas Mean To You?

"WHAT CHRISTMAS MEANS TO ME" from GOD IN THE DOCK -- by CS Lewis. Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here. The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn't go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business to have a 'view' on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It ishighly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone's business. I mean of course the commercial racket. The interchang

A Day to Thank the LORD

Bless the Lord, my soul; all my being, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, my soul; do not forget all the gifts of God, who pardons all your sins, heals all your ills, delivers your life from the pit, surrounds you with love and compassion, fills your days with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle's. The Lord does righteous deeds, brings justice to all the oppressed. His ways were revealed to Moses, mighty deeds to the people of Israel. Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger, abounding in kindness. God does not always rebuke, nurses no lasting anger, has not dealt with us as our sins merit, nor requited us as our deeds deserve. As the heavens tower over the earth, so God's love towers over the faithful. As far as the east is from the west, so far have our sins been removed from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on the faithful. For he knows how we are formed, remembers that we are dust. Our days are like the grass

Cold or Overheated Religion

Churches in the developed world are becoming more and more market-oriented, private, personality-driven and democratic. There is an attempt to practice spirituality without the Holy Spirit, without the Bible as the final authority, and without submitting to the lordship of the resurrected and living Jesus Christ. This is a recipe for cold religion. By contrast, are churches in the Global South 'over-heated'? Are they indiscriminately adopting marketized religion? What should happen to remain faithful to the life and teachings of Jesus and His church? And what are the consequences of not being faithful? Here is a case from Germany. Ed. Germany's 'Cold Religion' A Berlin-based journalist says that Martin Luther would have driven most of Germany's bishops from their pulpits. Source: CT Bon Jovi, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Hillary Clinton will appear at the $7.4 million bash recognizing the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down, but Berlin-based journalist Ma

Billy Graham Shares a Word of Wisdom With Ministers

Billy Graham on his 91st birthday shares wisdom Source: The Tennessean/November 7, 2009 Q : There are many preachers who burn out early, because they've got to work two jobs in order to make ends meet, or who labor for years with little results, or who would rather start a new church than pastor an older small church. What advice do you have for preachers who are just starting out or who have reached the burnout point? A : Some churches, I'm afraid, don't realize just how stressful a pastor's job can be. We need to pray for our pastors, and congregational leaders especially need to be alert to the problems their pastors face and do what they can to help them and encourage them. The first thing I often tell a new pastor or missionary is to stay close to Christ. God called them into the ministry, and He alone can give them the wisdom and strength they'll need, by His Holy Spirit. It's easy to get so busy in the ministry that we fail to spend time alone with God

We Piped, You Did Not Dance

Ethiopian flute "To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another, `We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.' For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, `He has a demon.' The Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, `Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by all her children." [ Parable of Jesus, Gospel of Luke 7:31-35]

Christians and Politics

Christians and Politics Amare Tabor  The idea of Christians engaging in politics has never been a popular or a noncontroversial one. There were times when the church got too involved in politics and lost her prophetic voice or withdrew altogether from engaging in issues of social justice. Ethiopian evangelicals have always looked on politics with wary eyes. Interestingly, those outside the Christian community never fail to censure Christians for participating in politics - except when they need them on their side! So where is the balance? How does Jesus' instruction that Christians are 'in' the world but not 'of' the world translate in practical terms? How could Christians play a role in the political process without compromising their witness? Or to state positively, How could Christians bring to bear their faith values on social policy issues? We believe those and similar questions could be tackled intelligently and with grace. We appreciate brother Amare Tabor f

The Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas.&quo

The Gospel: Antidote for Spiritual Toxic Waste

Pope says African church must oppose 'toxic waste' of materialism Source: By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service Africans must tap into the strengths of their cultural and religious values to promote reconciliation on the continent and to resist the "spiritual toxic waste" spread by the West, Pope Benedict XVI said.Presiding Oct. 4 over the opening Mass for the special Synod of Bishops for Africa, Pope Benedict said the vocation of the Catholic Church on the continent is to work for peace and to promote the holiness that will lead to justice, strong families and care for the weakest members of African societies.Although there was a sprinkling of the languages spoken most in Africa, the major part of the Mass in St. Peter's Basilica was in Latin or Italian, including the pope's homily. The Mass booklets used by the congregation and concelebrants were illustrated with sacred art from Congo, Togo, Burundi and Ethiopia . Accompanied by guitars and drums, a

Former Ethiopian Prime Minister

credit: Once a communist guerilla fighter and now a staunch Christian, Tamrat Layne, the former prime minister of Ethiopia, visited and spoke with administrative and missions officials at the Grand Rapids office of the Christian Reformed Church on Friday. The visit was social and was a time for Layne, who spent 12 years in prison on charges of corruption, to learn more about the ministries of the CRC, especially in Africa. Layne lives in Denver, Colo., where he bases a ministry called Global Healing in Love & Unity Ministries. He has spent several days speaking to groups on the campus of Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary about the conversion he experienced while serving 12 years of an 18-year sentence in an Ethiopian prison. He was just released late last year and then came to this country to be with his wife and children. "I fought as an atheist communist in the mountains of Ethiopia and used to offer freedom through the barrel of a gun and

Graham: Separating God From His People?

A Graham Slam Source: Newsweek Anne Graham Lotz, the second of Billy and Ruth Graham's five children, says it's all right: as long as you have a personal relationship with Jesus, church doesn't really matter. Neither does denomination. "Religion is an impediment to knowing God," says Lotz, who is promoting a new book, The Magnificent Obsession. "Procedures, rituals, creeds: how in the world can they help you connect with God? … If you're sprinkled when you're baptized or dunked when you're baptized, it doesn't matter as far as your salvation goes." Given her maiden name, you would think that Lotz, an evangelist who travels around the world urging people to come to Jesus, would embody old-fashioned, conservative evangelism. Her father has always strongly advised Christians to attend church; the Billy Graham Evangelistic Asso-ciation Web site tells new Christians to make church a regular part of their lives: "Whatever it meant to you

Ethiopian Children Exploited by US Adoption Agencies

Andrew Geogheghan reported this story on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 07:22:00 Listen to MP3 of this story ( minutes); Alternate WMA version MP3 download This transcript is a record of the Radio National broadcast. It will be replaced by the updated local radio broadcast at 10am. TONY EASTLEY: In Australia, international adoptions are handled by the Government and are highly regulated, but that's not the case elsewhere in the world. In the United States international adoptions are a big business, where a large number of private international adoption agencies are paid on average $30,000 a time to find a child for hopeful parents. The number of Americans adopting Ethiopian children has quadrupled, especially since American celebrities adopted African children. A Foreign Correspondent team has been investigating American adoption agencies operating in Ethiopia and has uncovered some alarming practices. Africa correspondent Andrew Geoghegan reports. ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: Famine, disease a

To See The Voice

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. “I am the

Silver or Gold I Do Not Have, But What I Have I Give You

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beauti

Report on Churches in North America

We are venturing on an approach to reporting that we hope will reflect the state of churches in North American and at the same time provide useful information to Ethiopian evangelical leaders. Here are some of the headlines. Sad: Declining Lutheran Denomination Liberalizes Sex Teachings Black, White Churches Merge To Save Money Parish rift forms at prominent Florida megachurch Megachurches have become one-stop centers, with food courts, sports leagues, and automotive repair shops alongside concert-caliber praise bands and strong preachers. Next up: seminaries. Church's radical act: Sell building, use money for outreach Episcopals to meet about direction Southern Baptist missions chief's job reviewed; 'cronyism' a concern Southern Baptists spend per capita 33 times more for missions in relatively gospel-saturated North America than they do for the comparatively unreached rest of the world, a recent analysis asserts. The primary reason for this “alarming” distortion in mi

To Be Born Again?

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are y

If You Knew the Gift of God

If You Knew the Gift of God     Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

The Steadfast Translator

  The Steadfast Translator Interview by Mitiku Adisu  Recently, Ethiopianchurch Blog caught up with Dr. Loren Bliese who retired in 2006 after 44 years of serving in Ethiopia as Bible translation consultant and trainer of translation workers. Dr. Bliese now resides in the State of Oregon and continues to work on a part-time basis on checking the Afar Old Testament and speak about his work in Ethiopia. The significance of his long service is that it spanned three governments beginning with Emperor Haileselassie. He also had the unique privilege of observing the nation undergo a generational shift from the imperial days to the tumultous 1970s and 1980s right up to the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a multi-centered environment. Dr. Bliese holds a Ph.D in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin.     EthC: Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview for Ethiopianchurch Blog. Why is Bible translation important at all? Why is the Bible so important that it de