Fires Leave Dozens Dead Over The Weekend

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“There is no such thing as comfortable Christianity.”
-Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president NHCLC

WHAT IS MINISTRY MONDAY?
A dose of news and information and—most of all—encouragement to start your week right…brought to you by Ministry.com and our partner, Glo Bible.

HERE’S WHAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT

An article published by Buzzfeed mischaracterizing HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” stars, Chip and Joanna Gaines, as intolerant toward the LGBT community caused a media firestorm last week. The author constructed this theory based on the Gaines’ attendance at a church whose pastor has taught a Biblical, traditional view of marriage. Shortly after the article was published, the Benham Brothers, who also had a HGTV show before being cancelled for their traditional views on marriage, and even a prominent gay activist came to the Gaines’ defense.

The article, which was meant to be a hit piece, seems to have backfired, as at the end of the week HGTV tweeted a picture of the Gaines with the caption, “Chip and Jo, Congratulations on your record-breaking premiere! We can’t wait for the rest of the season!”

In politics, President-elect Donald Trump announced he has picked retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis for Secretary of Defense. Mattis, who was in the Marine Corps for more than four decades, has had a long, decorated career in the military and has been known for his strong stance against international terrorism.

As anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise on college campuses and Jewish leaders have expressed their concern for the same growing threat in Europe, a Christian Zionist museum is seeking to promote support for Israel by reaching Evangelical millennials through social media. Located in Jerusalem, Friends of Zion Museum is an innovative, immersive experience that retells the stories of Christian Zionists who have historically fought for and supported the state of Israel. Under the umbrella of the Friends of Zion Heritage Center and through its new Ambassador Institute, the museum is working toward its audacious goal of reaching 100 million people in 5 years.

In entertainment, Jonathan Cain, keyboardist and guitarist for the rock band Journey and co-author of the best-selling song, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” has released a new solo Christian album. Inspired by his faith journey from his Catholic upbringing to his leading worship at his wife’s church, What God Wants to Hear captures the spiritual longing Cain has felt through his life. You can watch the music video of “Deeper Than Deep,” a single from the new album, here.

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PRAY

A warehouse fire in the late hours of Friday evening has left at least 24 dead and several dozen unaccounted for in Oakland, Ca. This latest fire-related tragedy comes after wildfires swept through Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, killing, so far, 13 people and leaving hundreds more homeless.

Pray for the people affected by these tragedies—especially those who have lost loved ones. Pray also for the first responders who are always risking their lives to help, and for those who lost their homes and businesses. In times like these, all that we have left to do is pray.

HERE’S THE GOOD YOU CAN DO TODAY

As you walk into the grocery or shopping stores these next days, you might begin to hear the familiar chiming of the Salvation Army’s bells. This sound reminds us that while we might enjoy a warm home and plenty of food this winter, there are many who are in need. The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development estimates there are more than half-a-million homeless people in the U.S—roughly a quarter of these are children.

Next time you go to the grocery store, think about dropping a few quarters into the Salvation Army’s buckets. You can also participate in your home church’s outreach activities for homeless people, or you can get a group of believers together to bless the homeless and those in need if your church doesn’t have these opportunities. This season, perhaps more than any other, bids us to remember Jesus’ words: “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” –Matthew 25:40 ESV

Till next Monday,

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