Studies show one in four adults in America will be affected by a mental illness at some point in their lives. On Friday, October 10, 2014 (World Mental Health Day), Rick and Kay Warren will host “24 Hours of Hope,” a free global online event designed to encourage individuals living with a mental illness, educate and support their families, and equip church leaders for compassionate and effective mental health ministry.
The “24 Hours of Hope” broadcast features messages from the historic Gathering on Mental Health and the Church (including additional new interviews and messages) from over 30 speakers. These messages are designed to offer hope as well as practical tools to those living with depression, Bipolar Disorder, eating disorders, addictions, anxiety, and Borderline Personality Disorder. Topics include removing stigma, suicide-risk reduction, church counseling, support groups, crisis management, and holistic care.
SON OF MAN, CAN THESE BONES LIVE?
“Life from the dead could be describing a time nearly upon us, when the body of Messiah will be utterly captivated by the beauty and holiness of Yeshua; when the church will be given a revived spirit to love God with all her heart, soul and strength; when intimacy with God will be the believer’s crown, and purity and power will be the jewels; when compassion and kindness, healing and humility will characterize Messianic believers. Will this end-time revival be catalyzed by a mighty army of on-fire Jewish prophets and evangelists, spiritual shock-troops preaching the holiness and compassion of God to men and women across this planet?”
Avner Boskey : Israel – The Key to World Revival
A couple weeks ago I talked about Reader’s Digest Christianity, and how it reduced the Christian faith to pithy, easily-achievable goals that ensure our personal improvement. Here, I have a different (though depressingly similar) target: “LiveStrong”Christianity. LiveStrong bracelets are today even more popular than the infamous WWJD bracelets were 10 years ago, despite the public fall from grace of their namesake, Lance Armstrong.
In the minds of many people inside the church, “Livestrong” is the essence and goal of Christianity. You hear this obsession in our lingo: We talk about someone having “strong faith,” about someone being a “strong Christian,” a “prayer warrior,” or a “mighty man/woman of God.” We want to believe that we can do it all, handle it all. We desperately want to think that we are competent and capable— we’ve concluded that our life and our witness depend on our strength. No one wants to declare deficiency. We even turn the commands that seem to have nothing to do with strength (“Blessed are the meek” or “Turn the other cheek”) into opportunities to showcase our spiritual might. I saw a church billboard the other day that said, “Think being meek is weak? Try being meek for a week!”
We like our Christianity to be muscular, triumphant. We’ve come to believe that the Christian life is a progression from weakness to strength—“Started from the bottom, now we’re here” (Drake) seems to be the victory chant of modern Christianity. We are all by nature, in the terminology of Martin Luther, theologians of glory—not God’s glory, but our own.
But is the progression from weakness to strength the pattern we see throughout the Bible? Continue reading →