">Great, But No Good from Brian Branam on Vimeo. What if you, or even your church, did a lot of great things, but in the end, they did no good? Compromise and cowardice will not take you far. Yes, there may be a few shining moments of success, but they will eventually dull like old trophies in a case. The story of Gideon should challenge us to make our impact last. We must be responsive, courageous, and dedicated to the challenge God sets before us or else we may just be forgotten. What good is that?
I took the ALS challenge from Joel J Dison, but I want to add a twist. My friend ChrIs Jones has been trying to move his family to sLOVEnia to be missionaries for the 2.5 years that I have known him. He has sold his business and his stateside stuff, his kids are enrolled in school in Slovenia, he is ready to go. They need to be there by Sept. 1. They are $2500 per month away from their goal. I issue a new challenge for every follower of Christ watching this video. Share this with your friends. I need 50 for 50! 50 people to pledge $50 per month for a year so the Jones family can get on mission in Slovenia. Let's send them!!!! Donate here: http://www.send.org/info/jones/
In January of this year, car owner Randall Hill of Hill Motorsports was in my home asking for prayer for a rival driver, the Bad Boy of Dalton, Craig Reece. In mid-July Craig found new life in Christ and came walking into the church I serve. After the service two of the great teams in dirt track racing stood together in reconciliation through the power of the gospel. A few weeks later these men allowed me to interview them about their story. I could not have preached a better sermon about the power of sharing your story than these men demonstrated that day. If you are a racing fan, this is an interview you will not want to miss. If you are a Christian, this is a powerful demonstration of the importance of sharing your story. You may not know a lot of theology, but you know what Christ has done for you. Share your story, people are dying to know.
Satan has a real agenda to pervert truth and steal, kill, and destroy life.
Media choices may not condemn us, but they will desensitize us to the truths of the gospel that are supposed to impact our life.
Parents are given the responsibility to disciple their children and to be the guardians of the home.
Kids don’t think like adults. There is less of a discernible line in their minds between fact and fiction. They need parental guidance.
Even though there are no Bible verses that speak directly about our modern day movie rating system, video games, or apps - there are plenty of principles the Bible teaches that should govern our approach to media.
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.
Use Discernment: (by Kris Roberts, http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/mind-over-media-kris-roberts-sermon-on-entertainment-67516.asp)
M – Message – What is the message and how is it coming across?
E – Effect – What effect does this have on me?
D – Damage – Will I suffer damage from this? (ex. unhealthy fantasies)
I – Instead – What could I be doing instead? (ex. productive, constructive)
A – Ask God – Does this glorify God, -
Our discernment usually begins with one question - will I enjoy it or do my kids like it? Personal happiness, displeasure, or personal taste is not the standard. We should be more concerned that our media choices reflect obedience to God - John 14:15.
9 Facts About Social Media You Should Know - Joe Carter (http://thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-social-media/)
6. Women account for most users of social media. The male vs. female ratio of social media users: Facebook - 60% female/40% male; Twitter - 60% female/40% male; Pinterest - 79% female/21% male; Google Plus - 29% female/71% male; LinkedIn - 55% female/45% male.
7. Older users account for the recent growth of social media platforms. On Twitter the 55-64 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic with 79% growth rate since 2012. The fastest growing demographic on Facebook's and Google Plus' networks are the 45 to 54 year age bracket at 46% and 56% respectively.
8. We interact with our mobile devices 40 to 80 times a day. 91% of mobile Internet access is for social activities. 73% of smartphone owners access social networks through apps at least once per day. 50% of smart phones connect to Facebook every hour of every day.
9. 45 percent of church staff use Facebook every day. 51 percent of churches said that at least one of their senior staff regularly blogs or updates social media. 56 percent allowed or encouraged staff members to update their personal social media pages while at work. 46 percent of churches say that social media is their most effective outreach method.
7 dangerous Apps that parents need to know about, A look into the some of the scariest Apps for your kids
by Kristin Peaks (http://www.checkupnewsroom.com/7-dangerous-apps-that-parents-need-to-know-about/)
I work in public relations at Cook Children's. It's my job to be on social networking sites, peruse the internet and keep up with the latest Apps offered on smartphones. It's a great job and I love what I do, but over the last couple years, I have learned so much about the dangers of Smart Phone Apps. It's downright scary.
Technology, especially if you're a little behind the times, can be very deceptive. Your kids may be downloading Apps that you think are innocent and just a simple way for them to keep in contact with their buddies, but unfortunately, this isn't always the case.
To keep your children safe, it's best that you monitor their phone. Look through their apps, texts and pictures. They may feel that you're invading their privacy, but let's be honest... You're paying the phone bill, so you can do whatever you want! So, as you monitor your kid's phone, keep an eye out for these 7 apps you may not be aware of, that in my opinion are very dangerous:
•Yik Yak - This App is one of the newest and one of the most dangerous. It allows users to post text-only Yaks of up to 200 characters. The messages can be viewed by the 500 Yakkers who are closest to the person who wrote the Yak, as determined by GPS tracking. Users are exposed to - and contributing -sexually explicit content, abusive language and personal attacks so severe that schools are starting to block the App on their Wi-Fi. Although the posts are anonymous, kids start revealing personal information as they get more comfortable with other users.
•SnapChat - This App allows users to send photos that will disappear after 10 seconds. Once the recipient opens the picture, the timer starts. Then it's gone. From both the sender's phone and the recipient's phone. However, the recipient can take a screen shot of the photo and have it to share with others. This App enables kids to feel more comfortable "sexting" with peers.
•KiK Messenger - This is a private messenger app and is coveted by those under 18 for a number of reasons. The App allows kids to send private messages that their parents can't see. There is very little you can do to verify the identity of someone on Kik, which obviously poses the risk of sexual predators chatting with your child. And again, this is an easy tool for sexting.
•Poof -The Poof App allows users to make Apps disappear on their phone with one touch. Kids can hide every app they don't want you to see on their phone. All they have to do is open the App and select the ones they don't want you to see. Very scary! The good news about this App is it is no longer available, which isn't uncommon for these types of Apps. But, if it was downloaded before it was deleted from the App store, your child may still have it. Keep in mind that Apps like this are created and then terminated pretty quickly by Android and Apple stores, but there are similar ones being created constantly. Some other names include: Hidden Apps, App Lock and Hide It Pro.
•Omegle - This App has been around since 2008, with video chat added in 2009. When you use Omegle you do not identify yourself through the service - chat participants are only identified as "You" and "Stranger". You don't have to register for the App. However, you can connect Omegle to your Facebook account to find chat partners with similar interests. When choosing this feature, an Omegle Facebook App will receive your Facebook "likes" and try to match you with a stranger with similar likes. This is not okay for children. There is a high risk of sexual predators and you don't want your kids giving out their personal information, much less even talking to strangers.
•Whisper - This is a meeting App that encourages users to post secrets. You post anonymously, but it displays the area you are posting from. You can search for users posting within a mile from you. A quick look at the App and you can see that online relationships are forming constantly on this App, but you never know the person behind the computer or phone. One man in Washington was convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl he met on this App just last year.
•Down - This application, which used to be called "Bang with Friends," is connected to Facebook. Users can categorize their Facebook friends in one of two ways: they can indicate whether or not a friend is someone they'd like to hang with or someone they are "down" to hook up with. The slogan for the App: "The anonymous, simple, fun way to find friends who are down for the night." If that alone doesn't scare you, I don't know what will!
This list is important, but understand it will not stay current. The app marketplaces change every day. Some apps that are censored by parents, are simply redistributed with different names. It can be overwhelming to keep up with your kids and their online habits. But just remember to check their phones often, and even more importantly have real life conversations with them. Rules do not replace values. Rules may be a starting place, but teaching your kids the importance of sharing your Biblically based values is the only true guard for their heart. Discuss the dangers of the Apps and make sure they understand the need to keep personal information private.
PluggedInOnline - pluggedin.com - movie, books, and television reviews by Focus on the Family.
Covenant Eyes - covenanteyes.com - internet safety, accountability, and filtering.
Protect Your Family Online - A How To Guide for Parents - http://www.covenanteyes.com/learn-to-protect-your-family-with-this-free-how-to-guide/?utm_campaign=porn-stats
How do you reconcile a world that can be so fun with one that can be so cruel? How is it that we can live in a world of such amazing victories, but at the same time suffer sheer terror?
Join us for answers, Sunday morning, June 30 at Liberty Baptist Church of Dalton, GA (www.libertybaptistchurch.ws). 10:00 a.m. breakfast and panel discussion on terrorism. 11:00 a.m. service honoring those who help keep our communities safe.
">Sin and the Law from Brian Branam on Vimeo. The law ultimately reminds us of impending condemnation through the necessity of constant sacrifice. It also shows us the willingness of God to provide a substitute so that we may not be condemned for our sin. However, the law failed to change the human heart and eventually man lost passion for the law. One man, Adam, has ruined our lives by introducing sin. Yet, one man, Jesus, has saved our lives from the penalty of sin.
">The Land from Brian Branam on Vimeo. In this first message of a new series, we look at the theme of land in the Bible. This may seem like an odd place to start, but it is one of the Bible's paramount themes. If you don't understand the importance of land in the Bible you will not only fail to fully understand the story of the Bible but you will also fail to understand much of what you see happening in the news today.
">Define the Relationship from Brian Branam on Vimeo. Mark 3 reveals several groups and how they relate to Christ- the crowd, called, critics, common, and the chosen. It seems that the common thread in Mark 3 is about defining the relationship. We often portray Jesus as a needy lover who will take you in a relationship any way he can get you. We really believe Jesus is good with that. I don't have to go to church to be saved, and Jesus is good with that. How do you define your relationship with Jesus? Ultimately He defines the relationship and there is one measure of it - do the will of God. It is based on obedience. It is not enough to see His cause, not enough to be passionate, and fickle will never pass for being faithful. We must do the will of God.
">Discouraged but not Destroyed from Brian Branam on Vimeo. The opening Psalm sets the tone for the rest. It compares two people on two paths. The one is the blessed man who doesn't walk in the counsel of the wicked. He loves the Word of God and he is like a tree planted by a stream of water that constantly nourishes his life and in everything he does, he prospers.
The wicked man isn't like that. His wickedness gives him to ground to stand on. It fails him. He is exposed. That's the way life is supposed to work...
So what happened in the last 36 Psalms? By the time we get to Psalm 37 we are angry? "Fret not yourself because of evildoers, be not envious of wrongdoers." Two dangerous things are happening to the righteous who in Psalm 1 were to be bearing fruit. Here they are fretting themselves, which means to be angered or burned up. To add to the danger, they are actually envious of the wrongdoers. They begin to question if God is fair, listening, good, etc., if the Word really works, and if any of this is worth it. Ultimately the end result of our fretting and our envy is spelled out in v. 8, it tends to evil.
">The Return of Nehemiah from Brian Branam on Vimeo. Nehemiah was a man who caught a vision for the revival of God's people. However, this return to a homeland could not simply be a physical relocation, but also a spiritual one as well. The scope of the gospel and plan of God for the ages has to be at the forefront of our returning or else we do not know to what we must return, what it looks like, what the standard is. The gospel calls us to return to the cross, return to the commission, return to the commandments, return to our family, return to missions, return to giving, return to worship - if we simply feel sorry and want to do better, then we have failed. The point of returning is to get ourselves back in line with God's love for His people in the covenant.