hurricane

Haiti hurricane devastation slows WEI online evangelism

(BNC) — World English Institute administrator Lee Allen posted a notice to the ministry’s teachers on the website about the devastation Hurricane Matthew caused in Haiti and its impact on the hundreds of online students there.

“Haiti has been devastated by Hurricane Matthew. Lives have been lost. Please pray fervently with your families for this special country of God’s people. We have many brothers and sisters in Christ there,” he wrote. Continue reading “Haiti hurricane devastation slows WEI online evangelism”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us
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Facebook censors biblical posts against homosexuality

PALO ALTO, Calif. (BNC) — In two separate incidents in recent days, the social medium facebook.com, has removed posts by brothers in Christ who spoke against homosexuality. Continue reading “Facebook censors biblical posts against homosexuality”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us
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30% of World English Institute students via Internet are Muslim

GRESHAM, Ore. (BNC) — An email letter sent today from the World English Institute to its teachers stated that 30% of WEI’s internet students claim Islam as their religion. Continue reading “30% of World English Institute students via Internet are Muslim”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us
thewayfellow

The WayFellow relaunches as church ‘infostream’

MCCRORY, Ark. (BNC) — One of the strengths of the internet is the multitude of information sources available at one’s fingertips. That same strength, however, can be a weakness when you are overloaded by irrelevant material as you search for information that matters to you. Continue reading “The WayFellow relaunches as church ‘infostream’”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us
christian-blogging

Texas writer celebrates 15 years of blogging, surveys challenges

Mike Riley, Christian blogger
Blogger Mike Riley

EL PASO, Tex. (BNC) — Gospel writer Mike Riley celebrated 15 years of blogging on the Internet yesterday, May 20.

Mike is a prolific writer of short biblical and spiritual articles full of links and good suggestions. He usually posts several times a day. Continue reading “Texas writer celebrates 15 years of blogging, surveys challenges”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

‘WEI students in every nation except Vatican’: Founder gives overview

WEI founder Dick Ady
WEI founder Dick Ady

SEARCY, Ark. (BNc) — Dick Ady is founder of World English Institute and author of the course lessons. Yesterday, Jan Towell published an overview that Dick gave of that work at a WEI reception at Harding University lectureship in Sept., 2011. We share Dick’s words that our readers might gain a greater appreciation of what the Lord has accomplished through WEI. Continue reading “‘WEI students in every nation except Vatican’: Founder gives overview”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

New social media site connects churches of Christ, offers scholarships

thewayfellow
MCCRORY, Ark. (BNc)
— There can be no doubt that the internet is dominated by the social media world. It seems that everyone is Facebooking, Tweeting, and Pinning items of interest. And while the abundance of social media options offers some advantages, it can also cause some things–such as peaceful, loving church relations–to get lost in the mix.

That is why TheWayfellow.com was created. The website is a social news network for members of the church of Christ, according to Matt Clifton, who also publishes Bulletin Digest and Sermon Tree.

“We really envision a website where members of the church can gather to discuss, fellowship, and share news and announcements, joy and sadness, and generally experience a greater sense of connectedness,” Clifton said. “We are also working on a scholarship program that goes along with the site, so members will be able to tap into some educational help as well.”

Users of the new site can “friend” other users, “like” articles, post photos, and join groups based on their specific interests.

thewayfellow-iconFor instance, each state has a group to keep up with area news, and there are already groups for preachers, men, ladies, teens, and many others. Or users can create their own groups according to their interests. Additionally, they can post articles and announcements that appear on the front page of the site.

With Facebook-like features, one might wonder why such a website is needed. Clifton believes it is a worthwhile venture because the social media landscape is becoming more and more hostile toward Christians.

“In one sense, we certainly need to be making our presence as Christians felt in the world. But there is also the need for Christians to build one another up and strengthen one another, and that is sometimes hard to do on some social media sites,” he said. “Frequently we are overrun by posts that have an anti-Christian message, or posts that are simply immoral and unsavory. TheWayfellow.com will be a safe haven for brothers and sisters in Christ to relax and enjoy like-minded fellowship one with another.”

Plus, users will not be inundated with advertisements on their timeline. “We will be seeking sponsorships and advertisements in the future to help support the site and fund scholarships, but advertisements will not be forced into posts, and any ads will be from brotherhood-related businesses, schools, and events,” Clifton said.

Matt and Darsy Clifton
Matt and Darsy Clifton

Clifton also said TheWayfellow.com is not trying to replace other social media offerings, but rather supplement a specific need. In fact, users can sign up using their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

“We do insist on security, so please forgive us for the questions we ask upon signup,” he said. “The purpose for the questions is to ensure that each member is a Christian, and we think it will pay off in a peaceful and useful site in the long run.”

Because the website is tied to the creation of a scholarship program, and because it is difficult to verify identity of international users, currently the site is only available to citizens of the United States.

“Facebook is very useful for international connections, so we encourage international Christians to continue using that platform. We hope in the future we may be able to overcome some of the challenges of international membership, but for now we have to stay within the United States,” Clifton said.

Eligible candidates can sign up for free at TheWayfellow.com.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

‘I was one’: Online Bible teachers search for receptive students

Bob and Jan Towell, WEI coordinators
Bob and Jan Towell, WEI coordinators

ROUND ROCK, Tex. (BNc) — In her daily email to World English Institute teachers, coordinator Jan Towell shares updates and motivates them to find that one student who will finish the course and respond to the gospel.

On Wednesday, she included a piece from Katheryn Haddad, who has taught more than 3,600 students, and recalled a conversation with a Ghanian in her own home.

“Willie Gley from Ghana had stayed with us overnight and, over breakfast, we were discussing the drop-out rate in all ministries,” she recalled. “He said, ‘Ah, but the one — and I was a one.’ He told how 30 years before, he had seen a paper in a mud puddle, picked it up, took it home, washed it off, and — he laughed as he said it — ‘I even ironed it.’ He wrote to the contact and in time went on to teach in a Bible school and take the gospel into Togo and other surrounding countries.”

Katheryn’s reminder applies to all Christians who share the gospel. We reproduce it below, with permission.

WEI teacher Katheryn Haddad
WEI teacher Katheryn Haddad

Do you think Paul quit teaching because he preached to a crowd of 1000 and no one became a Christian? No, he went to another crowd of 1000 and preached to them. And if no one responded there, he moved on to yet another crowd. He spent 35 years doing this, never dropping out.

Students do the introductory lesson for a lot of different reasons.

Some do it because it’s like a puzzle or a challenge and they just want to know how they would do. Others do it because they want to learn, but realize they don’t have the time required. Others realize they cannot afford the money to go to the internet cafe enough times to graduate. Others use their work computer because they don’t own one themselves, and are told they can’t use it for personal things. Others want to learn, but the electricity in their country is so unreliable, they finally get discouraged and drop out. Others find out the lessons are based on the Bible and are not interested in religion or the Bible, and drop out. Others just aren’t self-disciplined.

But there is the one! The one who has the time and resources and money to stick with the lessons. The one who truly wants to know what is in the Bible because they think they’d like to please the God of the Bible. This is the one you are seeking.

Jesus went out to “seek and save” the lost. We are fishers of men. There are thousands of fish in the sea, but we are looking for the one who is drawn to the bait — the Bible taught in English.

Keep fishing! Keep teaching! Don’t worry about the dropouts; God will take care of them. Keep seeking the one! The one out of a thousand who wants Jesus and doesn’t know it yet! Keep teaching! And keep teaching! And keep teaching! Never give up! Never, never, never give up! Keep teaching! For the one.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Preachers email discussion group celebrates 14 years amid challenges

Preacher and GospelPreachers list owner John Gaines
Preacher and GospelPreachers list owner John Gaines

BURLINGTON, Wash. (BNc) — Email groups like the GospelPreachers Yahoo list face challenges of declining participation even as this long-lived group celebrates 14 years of operation.

The first post was made Oct. 21, 1999.

“That is ancient in the world of cyberspace. We started with a website called onelist.com. That changed to egroups.com and eventually yahoogroups.com, which of course, is part of the much larger Yahoo conglomeration of websites,” list owner John Gaines wrote yesterday to the group.

John preaches with the Skagit Valley congregation in Burlington, Wash.

Membership steady, but fewer posts

gospelpreachers-groupBut the email group of 324 members faces declining participation, fewer posts.

“This is the 24,870th post to the GospelPreachers group. That averages out to 148 posts per month, or approximately five per day. Our busiest month ever was May, 2003, when we had 507 posts,” John said. “Back in those days, we actually worried about people posting too much and flooding list members’ mailboxes. Posting has slowed dramatically in the last few years. Since June, 2012, we have had only one month where we exceeded 100 posts. Our slowest month ever came this past August when we had only 20 posts.”

The group membership has hovered consistently around 310-320 for the last ten years, John said, so people really are posting less.

‘Typical across the board’

A recent GospelPreachers discussion attributed the slowdown to the growth of social media sites like Facebook and Google+. John agrees the tendency is felt in other groups.

“What happened to us is pretty much typical across the board for most email groups,” John explained.

Ken Thomas, list owner of the church-of-Christ list, also hosted on Yahoo, concurs.

“Posts have been dropping on almost all discussion lists including one that I have moderated for years. At one time there were 600-1100 messages a month. Now we are down to very few monthly posts. Other social media as Facebook and blogs have seemingly taken many of us in many directions,” he wrote.

What future?

Is there a future for such email groups or has social media spelled their death knell?

“I still believe we can serve a useful purpose. Communicating by email has some advantages. At the top of the list for me is the capability to find posts from last week, last month, last year, or 14 years ago easily. By going to the Yahoo Groups website, you can — in a matter of seconds — read any one of those 24,870 posts that our membership has emailed to the group. If there is a convenient way to do that on Facebook, I haven’t found it,” John said.

Another advantage to such email groups, John mentioned, is serving as a resource for information and research.

“I don’t know how many times over the years that I’ve had a question that I couldn’t find an answer to in my library or with an internet search. I posed the question here and got good answers. We’ve shared ideas and — especially in the early days — found the group a good place to share sermon outlines,” John said.

So he concluded his post with an appeal to group members to “think creatively” on how to re-energize the list.

Other Christian email discussion groups

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Wake up with KnowTheTruthRadio.org

Know the truthorg

by James D. Suiter

SULPHUR SPRINGS, Tex. (BNc) — Have you ever wished that we had a morning wake-up radio program in churches of Christ and encouraging programming on radio to listen to from the brotherhood throughout the day? I know I have.

Brother Luis Camacho, gospel preacher and producer at UnaSolaFe.org Radio and Managing Director at Radio40.org, has started KnowTheTruthRadio.org to fill this void!

KnowTheTruthRadio.org has a morning program, with Robert Stapleton at 6 and with Luis and Mike Long at 7-9 and other speakers through the day and evening.

There is a chat box in which listeners on the net can engage the speakers, and even have a request for folks to call in on some programming with comments or questions and prayer requests.

It was such a breath of fresh air when GBN came along. Now we have a radio station to listen to 24/7 with great a capella singing in between the lessons!

Check it out and tell others about KnowTheTruthRadio.org. This is one of five brotherhood stations all streaming on the net on radio40.org.

Luis is a graduate of the Bear Valley Institute of Denver and these stations are working in cooperation with the Brown Trail School of Preaching in Texas.

Barbara has been involved in missions for over 25 years, both in the field and in publishing.

Video: Preacher gives ‘loving response’ to church promoting ‘Whatever it takes’ to reach lost

DURHAM, N.C. (BNc) — Gospel preacher Sean O’Brien provides a “loving response” today to the news of a Ft. Worth church’s announcement that an instrumental music worship service would be implemented. The response comes from the website and video series Daily Exhoration. The effort is sponsored by the Durham congregation.

Continue reading “Video: Preacher gives ‘loving response’ to church promoting ‘Whatever it takes’ to reach lost”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

GoSpeak/Forthright launches Christendom News service

christendom-background

WINONA, Miss. (BNc) — As a religious studies resource, GoSpeak/Forthright has launched Christendom News, hosted on the Twitter microblogging service.

Already 33 news sites and services are included in the feed. Both large news organizations and smaller ones are represented. Sites such as Christianity Today, Religion News, World magazine, World Vision, and the Vatican are included.

Some denominational news services are represented as well, among them Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists; others cater to subsets such as Pentecostalism. Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox divisions also have their feeds included.

The service is informational only and does not endorse the reports or stories to which it links. This is important to note, since the service rebroadcasts headlines written by the news services themselves.

Twitter is the second source of online news in social media, after Facebook. Many major news stories have broken through its posts, or tweets, such as the Obama bin Laden raid and death. So hosting Christendom News service on Twitter makes sense.

Christendom News seeks to fulfill at least two objectives:

  1. It serves as a good resource for religion news in general and allows researchers to get a good feel for news that interests those religions that style themselves Christian and for tendencies among them.
  2. The service also includes the BNc feed in its tweets and displays a link to Forthright Press in the profile, providing an introduction to many in the religious world who might not otherwise have knowledge of the restoration plea.

labarumChristendom News pulls RSS feeds from the religion sites automatically and republishes them through its Twitter account.

The news service uses the Chi Rho (right), an ancient symbol used to indicate Christianity. The two Greek letters are imposed upon each other to form a monogram. They are the first letters for the word “Christ.”

An alternative to following the Twitter account is through access to GoSpeak’s Christian Hub site, located in the lower right. The RSS feed and the Facebook page (the latter still in progress) are also options, although both are subject to the constantly changing whims of the sponsoring services.

GoSpeak is the ministry effort that published BNc, Forthright Magazine, The Fellowship Room, and a host of other websites. Forthright Press is the publishing arm of GoSpeak.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Fla. preacher takes argument for baptism to local Baptist Church in open letter

scott-shifferd-jrJACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BNc) — Evangelist Scott Shifferd, Jr., of the Dean Road church, believes in getting people’s attention in order to consider what the Bible teaches about salvation.

To do that, he wrote an open letter today to the First Baptist Church in his community. In his preface to the letter, Scott wrote: Continue reading “Fla. preacher takes argument for baptism to local Baptist Church in open letter”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

WVBS Video: Kyle Butt talks about problem of suffering

(BNc) — Whenever news of horrific events like Newtown, Conn., happen, people ask why God lets such things occur. This half-hour program, hosted by Kyle Butt, can help those searching for answers. If you are one of them, you need to see this video. Kyle Butt guides the viewer in understanding answers to these questions and more. For more information see the video website.

http://vimeo.com/wvbs/evilpainandsuffering

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

‘Hangin’ out’ with the Jenkins Institute: 2nd edition with BNc editor Randal Matheny

(BNc) — Yesterday, brothers Dale and Jeff Jenkins, of the Jenkins Institute, hosted their second hang-out in the social network Google Plus with BNc editor Randal Matheny. They talked about the Forthright/GoSpeak ministry, especially Forthright Magazine and BrotherhoodNews.com.

The video series focuses on Christian ministry in an informal three-way chat.

 

 

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

30 years after Mt. Saint Helens

Brad Harrub and his son Will go to Mt. Saint Helens to talk about geologic ages on which the theory of evolution is based.

Enter the blast zone with the Harrubs as they discover the Truth regarding these geological processes and the age of the earth.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Ill. elder meets church-error charges head-on

church of christ errorsSULLIVAN, Ill. (BNc) — A preacher and elder has taken up the gauntlet of a challenge by a website criticizing the Lord’s church and plying it with questions.

Ron Thomas works with the congregation in Sullivan, Ill. He set about answering the website’s questions about supposed errors in the church of Christ.

So far, Ron has made 20 extensive posts on the website The Fellowship Room, a group weblog where he is a “Fellow,” or participating blogger.

BNc asked Ron why he took up this task of responding to the website’s charges. Continue reading “Ill. elder meets church-error charges head-on”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Preacher develops free brotherhood Bible resources for e-Sword

Bible resourcesDOVER, Ark. (BNc) — A gospel preacher has set about to provide free brotherhood resources for the most popular Bible study program for computers.

The most popular free Bible study program for the PC is called e-Sword. The Mac version, which uses the same resource files, is Eloquent.  Across the Internet, thousands of Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, and books are available for it—the vast majority of them for free.

So what could be the problem? Bradley Cobb, a preacher from Oklahoma explained. Continue reading “Preacher develops free brotherhood Bible resources for e-Sword”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

108-year-old Christian Worker magazine goes online

by Kevin Cauley

AUSTIN, Tex. (BNc) — The Christian Worker monthly periodical launched its website yesterday, putting its content online for free.

Since 1903 the Christian Worker has been published by faithful brethren who seek the old paths. It is one of the oldest, least-known periodicals in the brotherhood.

Originating in Panama, Neb., the periodical was published under the editorship of men such as Rue Porter, Bill Freeze, Jr., and Bill Jackson. Continue reading “108-year-old Christian Worker magazine goes online”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us