The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

I don’t go to church to live longer or to be happier. I go because I am commanded to go by the Bible (Hebrews 10:25). But study after study shows that those who actively go to church generally do live longer and happier lives.

I go to church because 2,000 years ago, the Founder of the Church walked out of His own tomb. He was dead on Friday, and then He became alive on Sunday morning. If you have an open mind, you can even see that He left a virtual photograph behind.

Furthermore, the followers of Jesus were crushed and demoralized by His very public death. They cowered in fear, and then they became bold and unstoppable and went to the ends of the earth proclaiming His death for the salvation of those who believe. What changed them? His resurrection from the dead.

Every Sunday morning is a weekly reminder throughout much of the whole world of His historical resurrection from the dead.

That is why people from every continent, nation, race, and tongue gather together then to worship Him the world over. Continue reading

Endangered humboldt penguins on exhibit at the Oregon Zoo. (C) Oregon Zoo / photo by Michael Durham

Keeper talks, activities help bring attention to issues facing wild penguins

Penguin lovers, take note: The Oregon Zoo will host a Penguin Awareness Day Saturday, Jan. 18, with activities aimed at connecting visitors with one of the most popular species at the zoo.

At 12:45 and 2:15 p.m., visitors can stop by the zoo’s Penguinarium for keeper talks and a chance to watch the zoo’s Humboldt penguin colony enjoy enrichment treats or participate in training sessions.

“Humboldt penguins live in a region that’s greatly affected by human activity,” said Travis Koons, who oversees the zoo’s bird population. “They need healthy ocean habitats to thrive, and we can help make a difference.” Continue reading

In the mid-nineties I purchased as a Christmas gift for my preschool-aged daughter the popular battery-operated game Lucky Ducks. I’ve kept the game, along with many other vintage toys and games, in my basement all these long years. So, it made sense to bring the game out for granddaughter Olivia on one of her early visits to my house. Unbelievably, the original batteries still worked.

Olivia, then aged 18 months, was drawn to the game, until we turned it on. Lucky Ducks features a revolving base upon which twelve plastic ducks go around in circles squawking loudly. Four players receive color-coded cards, and then start claiming random ducks with color-coded stickers that can’t be seen while the ducks are circling in the “pond.” If the selected duck doesn’t match the player’s card, they must put the duck back. The first player to claim three same-colored ducks wins. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

Homelessness is reaching epidemic proportions in America. On a single night in January 2018, there were 552,830 people experiencing homelessness in the United States. Slightly more than 1/3 of them – 35% – were unsheltered individuals.

Government policies clearly have something to do with the problem. According to HUD, California has more than half of all the unsheltered homeless people in the country (108,432), with nine times as many unsheltered homeless as Florida, even though its population is only twice that of Florida.

The states and jurisdictions with the highest rates of homelessness have all been governed for decades by Democrats: New York, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, and Washington, D.C., which has a homeless rate of six times the national average.

Los Angeles is awash in 50,000 homeless folks. San Francisco is being overrun with people who sleep in doorways and attack strangers with no provocation. The City by the Bay just lost a $64 million high-tech conference because conferees don’t want to have to navigate piles of human waste on their way to dinner. Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington are likewise up to their earlobes in the problem. Continue reading

This week a group of Christian leaders working in the Middle East have gathered together to express their thanks and offered their prayers following the announcement by President Trump last week which has led to the de-escalation of the conflict with Iran for one simple reason: No war means more Churches can continue to be planted inside of Iran.

“Iran is home to one of the fastest growing Christian churches in the world and the decision for peace means that the rapidly growing church will continue to grow.” said Justin Murff, Executive Director of The MENA Collective, a ministry dedicated to supporting Christian communities throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

One Iranian church leader commented that “We need every Christian to pray for the Church in Iran, now more than ever. The protests are showing us that the Iranian people are crying out for justice and peace and that a vale of darkness is being lifted from the people.” In an effort to better equip and mobilize Christians to pray and support this growing church movement, The MENA Collective has released a special prayer guide, available for free on their website, www.themenacollective.org. The Iran prayer guide features amazing stories of lives being transformed and reached by Christian ministries. One testimony includes a former executioner for the Taliban who has since become a Christian.

The Iran prayer guide is available for free at themenacollective.org.

About The MENA Collective
The MENA Collective is global, giving community that is motivated by God’s love for others to support more than 150 Christian organizations serving Christian communities and sharing the gospel in 22 countries of the Middle East and North Africa.

The book of Hebrews in our Bibles is a remarkable letter, written in the first century by an unknown author to Jewish Christians. As such, they faced persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. Knowing that the pressure was great to abandon Christ and return to their friends and family in Judaism, the author encourages them to stay true to Jesus. To walk away from Him, exchanging Him for the traditions of the Jewish faith, would be like viewing the city of New York from the sidewalk after seeing it from the top of the Empire State Building. Once you’ve tasted a cherry pie, your cravings will never be satisfied with just looking at photos of cherry pies.

The key verse for the entire letter is 2:1, “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” We don’t wake up one day and decide that we are going to abandon Christ. It happens little by little, a compromise here, a compromise there. In most cases, the abandonment looks more like they just “drifted” away.

I encourage you to read chapters 9 and 10 of this letter. See if you can spot these 7 reasons that life in Jesus is so much better than anything these original readers had experienced before. I’ve provided some clues at the end of each of the seven. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

Ecofascists have been unable to contain themselves in the wake of the catastrophic wildfires that seemed to be burning up the entire country of Australia. At least 27 people have been killed and 2000 homes have been destroyed as bushfires have burned more than 25 million acres, an area larger than South Korea. Substantial rainfall is not likely for months.

Remember all the agitation over the fires in Brazil? Australia’s wildfires have dwarfed them, with its burnt terrain more than twice the extent of the terrain ravaged this year by fires in Brazil, California and Indonesia combined.

As I write, there are more than 130 fires burning in New South Wales, with more than 50 of those not under control. In Victoria, 240,000 Australians have been told to leave their homes, even though they have no place to go. Losses are estimated at $3.4 billion.

And without exception, global warming is blamed as the culprit.

“Make no mistake. The tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based,” said eminent climate scientologist Russell Crowe.

“Australia is committing climate suicide,” blared a headline in the New York Times.

“When one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster,” bleated Cate Blanchett at the Golden Globes on Sunday. Continue reading

Alyssa Ahlgren

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo credit: Zimbio

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood in front of the Bundestag , recently, to disparage the freedoms of speech and expression on the grounds of lost dignity and hatred. Merkel attempted to outline an inverse relation between a free society and freedom itself.

Merkel stated, “Expressing an opinion does not come at zero cost. But freedom of expression has its limits. Those limits begin where hatred is spread. They begin where dignity of other people is violated.”

In her misguided passion the Chancellor makes freedom the enemy; however, her objection is not simply with freedom but the consequences that inevitably come with it. One vital mistake of her many is the statement, “Expressing an opinion does not come at zero cost.” This is correct, but it’s not required to. Nothing comes at zero cost. No exercise of liberty is uniformly a cost benefit. Someone will always do or say something that doesn’t align with another’s self-interests.

Another problem with this phrase is that it’s arbitrary. A cost to me isn’t necessarily a cost to someone else, and what I view as a cost isn’t what someone else could view as a cost — collective costs included. Continue reading

But that’s just not so. Instead, what we’re actually speaking on is the Rapture of God’s Church…His Church of Believers on Christ…Believers that Christ is the Son of God Who died for our sins and rose again. And this does not involve the end of the world. The Rapture, in reality, is followed by a seven-year Tribulation period – which is then followed by 1,000 years of ‘Peace on Earth,’ with Jesus Christ ruling this world.

So how close are we to this blessed Rapture event? Well, those of us who have been following Bible Prophecy find ourselves simply saturated in the sights, sounds, and smells of it. Yes, we are drenched in what some may call the ‘pre-Rapture’ showdown. If this were a blockbuster movie, we’d perhaps assemble these pre-Rapture events into one heck of a gloriously breathtaking ‘movie trailer.’ Continue reading

Do we really have to tolerate local, state, national or UN officials telling us what we may eat?

The average American ate some 220 pounds of red meat and poultry in 2018, according to the US Department of Agriculture, surpassing a record set in 2004. But some politicians have joined anti-meat and climate change activists in a massive effort to restructure the American diet – and to ensure … and mandate … that the rest of the world will be stuck with a mostly plant-based diet.

Last March, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio shocked America’s meat producers by announcing the expansion of “meatless Mondays” to all New York City public schools. The reason? “To keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come.” So now they claim eating meat also threatens the planet. Continue reading

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