Friday, May 28, 2010

An Encouraging Word From a Contact Church Member

Kayla Bilby is a student at Oklahoma Christian University and one of our summer interns at the Contact Church. If you would like to be encouraged, check out her blog post from last night at

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Saddleback Civil Forum on Orphans and Adoption

A couple of weeks ago, southern California's Saddleback Church hosted the Civil Forum on Orphans and Adoption. The video is available at

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Black Keys and the Negro Spirituals

Did you know that the Negro spirituals can be played using only the black keys of the piano? In this video, Wintley Phipps explains the history behind that fact. He also explains why Amazing Grace, a song which gets its melody from West African slaves, can also be played using only the black keys of the piano. Then he sings it.

(I found this video on Thabiti Anyabwile's blog.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to Change Your World with Kindness

Sometimes the world's problems seem too overwhelming for us to handle. We see a nearly endless list of problems faced by us and the people around us. Sometimes it feels like we can't possibly make a difference.

During those times, we are wrong.

Consider the words from this article:

"Doing good deeds, or just being kind, is contagious--and the behavior of a few can influence many, a new study suggests.

"Participants played a 'public-goods' game in which one person gives money to others. Players didn't know each other before the game and never played it more than once with the same person. Yet researchers found that generosity in the first round was tripled by others, who were directly or indirectly influenced to give more.

"When people benefit from kindness, they 'pay it forward,' which creates greater cooperation that influences others in a social network, say researchers Nicholas Christakis, a physician and sociologist at Harvard University, and James Fowler, a social scientist at the University of California-San Diego. Findings were published in March in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (Sharon Jayson, "Paying it forward pays off," USA Weekend, May 14-16, 2010, page 4).

A little kindness can go a long way in changing the world around us. And as Jesus said to his followers, "You are the salt of the earth...You are the light of the world...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:13-16). Spread the salt and shine the light for God's sake. It will make a difference.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Suicidal Thoughts and the Longing for Something Better

Recovery from depression can be an incredibly difficult and long process. Your body is worn out. Your emotions are frayed. You know that something is wrong, but you may not be able to describe it adequately.

Sometimes depression leads to thoughts about death; sometimes to thoughts about suicide. Something is wrong, and you want to escape. You know that you are not right, but you feel like so many things are wrong that you cannot possibly make things right again.

If you are in such a situation, please seek wise counsel. You may want to seek medical advice, too. Don't deal with it alone.

Also, please take a little time to think about the spiritual implications of your condition. It could be a turning point in your spirituality. It could be a time to grow closer to God for comfort and strength. If you are not living in a good relationship with God, it could also be an opportunity to reassess your life. It could be a time to put an end to a life without Christ in order to embrace a life of hope in following the Lord. It could be a time to fulfill that longing in your heart for something better...for Someone better.

Consider the words of Romans 6:3-11. "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus."

Christ offers a new life to those of us who have grown tired of our lives of sin, guilt, and regret. Please consider his offer. It could be the beginning of something great.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Unnoticed Saints Among Us

I appreciate the unnoticed saints among us...the men, women, boys, and girls who serve quietly and humbly in the name of Christ, but who never seem to be noticed by others. I recently read about such a saint named Nathan Barlow in Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This is his story:

"A medical doctor who chose to utilize his skills in Ethiopia for more than sixty years, Nathan dedicated his life to helping people with mossy foot. Mossy foot is a debilitating condition primarily found in rural districts, on people who work in soil of volcanic origin. It causes swelling and ulcers in the feet and lower legs. The subsequent deformity, swelling, repeated ulcerations, and secondary infections make people with mossy foot social outcasts equivalent to lepers.

"I met Nathan shortly before he died. His daughter, Sharon Daly, attends my church and brought him to her home from Ethiopia when his health started to fail. After only a few weeks, he couldn't handle being in the States. The people he loved were still in Ethiopia, so his daughter flew him back home so he could spend his last days there.

"Once, Nathan got a toothache, the pain of which was so intense that he had to fly away from the mission field to get medical attention. Nathan told the dentist that he didn't ever want to leave the mission field for the sake of his teeth again, so he had the dentist pull out all of his teeth and give him false ones so he wouldn't slow God's work in Ethiopia.

"This amazing man was the first to help these outcasts, and he spent his life doing it. Yet he died quietly, without a lot of attention; no one really knew about him.

"It surprised me that such a man of God would faithfully serve for so many years, despite minimal recognition. It is a beautiful thing to witness. The work Nathan started continues through his Web site," (pages 150-151).

Sunday, May 09, 2010

How to Make Your Wife Feel Secure in Your Love

In this video, Robertson McQuilken explains why he resigned as president of Columbia Bible College and Seminary after his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It's the story of a man who made it his priority to help his wife feel secure in his love.

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church..." (Ephesians 5:25).

Monday, May 03, 2010

Abortion and Forgiveness

In this video, a woman describes the circumstances of her abortion, her remorse, her forgiveness, and her healing. If you are responsible for an abortion, you can be forgiven. God would love to welcome you into his forgiven family.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Gulf of Mexico and the Care of Creation

This is a link to an excellent post from Dr. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky:

The Gulf of Mexico and the Care of Creation

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