The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Nebraska Governor, Pete Ricketts

Thank you Lord for Governor Pete Ricketts and his stand for life. We pray that more Governors will stand with him and declare January 22 as a day of prayer.

Governor Pete Ricketts issued a proclamation declaring January 22, 2020 as a Statewide Day of Prayer.  January 22nd is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a U.S. Supreme Court decision which struck down Nebraska’s laws protecting unborn babies.  Governor Ricketts’ proclamation encourages Nebraskans to pray for an end to abortion and a deepening in respect for the humanity of unborn children.

“Nebraska state law states that it is ‘the will of the people of the State of Nebraska and the members of the Legislature to provide protection for the life of the unborn child whenever possible,’” reads Governor Ricketts’ proclamation.  “Nebraskans Continue reading

Thank you Lord for glimpses of heaven here on earth.

Pastor Tony Evans says something supernatural was happening during his wife Lois’ final moments on earth, and the family was there to witness it.

Lois Evans had been battling a rare form of cancer and the family had gathered around her in late December to say goodbye. At some point during their farewell moments, he says she began to speak about seeing “something outside earth’s realm”.

It seems she was catching a glimpse of family members in heaven, perhaps like the “cloud of witnesses” described in Hebrews 12:1.

During the recently held memorial service, Tony Evans, who is the senior pastor at the Oak Cliff Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas, recalled what happened during Lois’ final days. Continue reading

When you go back to the moment our first parents, Adam & Eve, disobeyed God and sinned, Genesis 3:21 records God’s gracious response. “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” Did you notice? The animal had to give up its life in order for its skin to be used as a garment for them. This was the first time an innocent animal gave its life to cover man’s sin. Later, the Mosaic Law allowed innocent animals to be substituted and sacrificed for sin in place of a human being giving their life. These were to illustrate for us that God’s Messiah, the Lord Jesus, would sacrifice His life as the innocent substitute for sinners. 1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous [Jesus] for the unrighteous [you and me], to bring you to God.”

There is complete agreement that His one sacrifice was sufficient to pay for sins. But not everyone agrees on whose sins He died for. Some pastors teach what’s called limited atonement, meaning that Jesus only intended to pay for the sins of a select group, or limited number of people. I don’t agree; neither does the Bible. 1 John 2:1-2 says, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and NOT ONLY FOR OURS but also FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD.” This clearly tells us that He died for everyone’s sins. Continue reading

Save the Storks announced today that its new interactive devotional is now live on one of the largest Bible apps available– YouVersion.

Created for churches and small groups, Reimagining Pro-Life: 30 Days with Save the Storks is a tool to help pastors and congregations approach the issue of abortion and help abortion-minded women choose life. The devotional plan also comes with videos to help guide the discussion and illustrate the topics in greater depth

“We are encouraging pastors across America to announce this new devotional and teaching resource and let church attendees know it is an innovative and compassionate way to talk about the pro-life issue in their communities,” said Joseph Schmidt, Director of Solutions for Save the Storks and project manager for the devotional. Continue reading

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

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