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American Christian Connection
Week of February 20, 2017

News From Around the Country

Stop Calling Everything a Bible Study
Over time, “Bible study” has become a catchall to describe all kinds of gatherings. In the words of the esteemed linguist Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”  As we have expanded our use of the term, we have decreased the number of actual Bible studies we offer. Churches have gradually shifted away from offering basic Bible study in favor of studies that are topical or devotional, adopting formats that more closely resemble a book club discussion than a class that teaches Scripture.

The Problem With 'God Just Wants Me to Be Happy'

Full trust in God enables you to have joy. Joy is the settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope that only comes from God. It is truly an incredible gift from God, and often we miss it because we're too busy pursuing happiness. In fact, God has a whole lot to say in His Word about this gift. A form of the word, joy, appears 88 times in the Old Testament, and 57 times in the New Testament. Resting in joy is truly better than chasing after the world's happiness.  Here are three definitive truths that explain why "Joy > Happiness."

'Christianity is Growing Faster in Africa Than Anywhere Else in the World'

Christianity is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else in the world, says Reverend Fr (Dr) Lawrence Iwuamadi, Professor of Ecumenical Biblical Hermeneutics, at the Ecumenical Institute, Bossey.“  Education was the most important factor in the spread of Christianity in Africa,” Iwuamadi added.  The book also looks at the role of women in the church in Africa where they form the backbone of Christianity.

Overcoming the Storms of Our Life

By Ryan Kelly

“They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.” Luke 8:24.  The account of Jesus with the disciples on the water during a storm is not just a historical narrative, but one likely planned by Jesus to test the faith of the disciples and to show His power over the world...

Whatever is Lovely...
by Randy Newman

Philippians 4:8 admonishes us to think about things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. If you’ve ever sought to apply that kind of mindfulness, you may have emphasized (as I have tended to) so-called spiritual things. And you’d have good reason to do so. Most of the terms employed by the Apostle point in the direction of our relationship with God through the saving work of our Messiah...

Connecting the Bible with Real Life
by Michael R. Emlet

Do you find it easy or difficult to connect the Bible to people’s lives in meaningful ways? To help you answer the question, let me give you a quiz of sorts for some self-evaluation.  I will give you two sets of questions: one on Bible Passages and the other on Life Struggles. For the Bible Passages category, you must think of a contemporary life situation to which you could apply the given passage. 

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