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Samson

SAMSON is based on the powerful, biblical epic of a champion chosen by God to deliver Israel. His supernatural strength and impulsive decisions quickly pit him against the oppressive Philistine empire. After being betrayed by a wicked prince and a beautiful temptress, Samson is captured and blinded by his enemies. Samson calls upon his God once more for supernatural strength and turns imprisonment and blindness into final victory.

 

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Corporate Fasting

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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, the things of the Spirit. 

Romans 8:5

The Daniel Fast is a biblically-based partial fast – meaning that some foods are eaten and others are restricted. The fast is typically 21 consecutive days after the New Year and is similar to a vegan eating plan with more restrictions and only water as a beverage. This is based out of Daniel 10 in which Daniel the Prophet ate no meat, bread or wine for 21 days. The purpose is to have a quiet time with the Lord during this period so your faith and intimacy with him will grow. I was first introduced to the Daniel Fast when I briefly attended New City Church. My current church Hillsong Phoenix is doing a corporate fast as a church to start off 2018. I haven’t decided to what extent I’m going to fast but I feel this will be a good thing for me to do with my church.

On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.

Nehemiah 9:1-3 (NIV)

The Purpose Driven Life

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We are reading this book for our small group this year. It was on the best seller list for several months and I’ve personally have had a copy of it for years and never had the opportunity to read it. I have done the drivetime devotions for it and found it very inspiring. Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback church wrote The Purpose Driven Life in 2002. It has changed many lives and I’m excited to read it with my church community to start off 2018.

Three Basic Life Questions

Why Am I Here?

Does my Life Matter?

What is my Purpose?

God’s Purpose for Us

  • We were planned for God’s pleasure
    • so your first purpose is to offer real worship.
  • We were formed for God’s family
    • so your second purpose is to enjoy real fellowship.
  • We were created to become like Christ,
    • so your third purpose is to learn real discipleship.
  • We were shaped for serving God
    • so your fourth purpose is to practice real ministry.
  • We were made for a mission
    • so your fifth purpose is to live out real evangelism.

Passion 2018

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Isaiah 26:8

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Erwin McManus was the guest speaker for tonight’s worship night at Hillsong Phoenix. He just wrote a new book called the The Last Arrow after his recent bout with cancer and was promoting it. Erwin is a long-time friend of Hillsong church and gave an amazing message about living a fearless life with no regrets before you die. His message comes from 2 Kings 13:10–24 when the king doesn’t make use of all the arrows in his quiver. When you reach the end of your days, will your quiver be full of arrows because you never launched them or will it be empty because you weren’t afraid to risk it all for God? I was able to purchase the book and meet Erwin afterwards. I’m looking forward to reading the book and doing a study of it in our young professionals group next year.

And he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground with them.” And he struck three times and stopped. Then the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had made an end of it, but now you will strike down Syria only three times.”

2 Kings 13:18-19

Save Nothing For The Next Life

When you come to the end of your days, you will not measure your life based on success and failures. All of those will eventually blur together into a single memory called “life.” What will give you solace is a life with nothing left undone. One that’s been lived with relentless ambition, a heart on fire, and with no regrets. On the other hand, what will haunt you until your final breath is who you could have been but never became and what you could have done but never did.   * – from website

High School Camp

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Stories of Freedom

END MODERN SLAVERY INITIATIVE ACT

  • – from Senator Bob Corker’s website

On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, Senator Corker introduced bold, bipartisan legislation to help eliminate slavery and human trafficking around the globe. With incredible support from countless individuals, organizations and faith-based institutions, authorizing legislation for the End Modern Slavery Initiative was included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 (NDAA), which overwhelmingly passed the Senate on December 8, 2016. The legislation was signed into law by the president on December 23, 2016. Follow the conversation online using the hashtags #EndSlaveryAct and #EndItMovement.

“Today more than 27 million people, many of them women and children, suffer under forced labor and sexual servitude in over 165 countries around the world, including our own,” said Corker. “As I have seen firsthand, the stark reality of modern slavery is unconscionable, demanding the United States and civilized world make a commitment to end it for good. Despite the pervasive nature of this horrific practice, modern slavery is a crime of opportunity that thrives where enforcement is weak, so raising the risk of prosecution can achieve significant results. By providing strong U.S. leadership and leveraging our limited foreign aid dollars, this initiative will work with foreign governments and philanthropic organizations to match the funding being provided by the United States and create a coordinated effort to implement best practices to eliminate modern slavery and human trafficking around the globe.”

Background: Over 27 million people are trapped in the multi-billion dollar modern slave trade industry. Although slavery is illegal in every corner of the world, this crime of opportunity exists in more than 165 countries, including our own, and thrives most where enforcement is weak, whether due to indifference, corruption or lack of resources. While U.S. government agencies and many groups and organizations have taken significant steps toward fighting modern slavery, we need to take our efforts to the next level. The United States cannot meet this challenge alone, so Senator Corker introduced “The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act” – bold, bipartisan legislation to create a focused, sustained effort in concert with the private sector and foreign governments to eliminate sexual and labor human slavery worldwide. This model is designed to leverage limited foreign aid dollars and galvanize tremendous support and investment from the public sector, philanthropic organizations and the private sector to focus resources responsibly where this crime is most prevalent. This effort also complements other legislation focused on improving enforcement within the United States.

The End Modern Slavery Initiative: The legislation authorizes funding for a non-profit, grant-making foundation in the District of Columbia that will fund programs and projects outside the United States. These programs will:

  • Contribute to the freeing and sustainable recovery of victims of modern slavery, prevent individuals from being enslaved, and enforce laws to punish individual and corporate perpetrators of modern slavery;
  • Set clear, defined goals and outcomes that can be empirically measured; and
  • Seek to achieve a measurable 50 percent reduction of modern slavery in the areas the foundation operates.

Funding: The initiative will seek to raise $1.5 billion, more than 80 percent of which will come through matching funds from the private sector and foreign governments. Sources of funding are as follows:

  • $250 million in funds from the United States over several years ($50 million has been appropriated through fiscal year 2017)
  • $500 million from foreign governments (Double the investment of U.S. funds)
  • $750 million in private funding (Triple the investment of U.S. funds)

Monitoring and Evaluation: Progress will be tracked against baseline data with a goal of achieving a 50 percent reduction in slavery. Projects that fail to meet goals will be suspended or terminated. The foundation is required to comply with the Government Accountability Office’s mandate to conduct financial audits and program evaluations.

Arizona House Bill 2238 seeks to amend the definition of “abuse” to include child sex trafficking. This change is imperative for allowing child victims to receive the protection, care, and services of child welfare. This change also resolves a glaring contradiction in state law: under the current definition of abuse, if an adult sexually molests a child, the child would be identified as sexually abused. However, when the offender pays to molest a child or receives money for allowing the child to be molested, it would not constitute child sexual abuse.