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Marlon Furtado

Before I became a pastor, I was a chiropractor for eight years. I’ve always been fascinated with the human body and chiropractic training fed that interest. Three years before starting my chiropractic training, I had come to know Christ as my Savior, becoming one of His followers. As I learned more about the human body, it was obvious to me that God designed it and created it, rather than it being assembled haphazardly by evolution’s accidental mutations.

One example is the eye. In order for it to work it must have a smooth socket in which to move. There are seven bones that make up this socket. This could not have been formed over long periods of time because without all seven of them having their particular shape, there would have been no place for the eye to sit. Continue reading

Despite Twitter Ban, Paid Media Blackout and R Rating, Abortion Biopic Earns RARE A+ CinemaScore and Highest Per Screen Average of Any Indie-Wide Release Film; Expands in 2nd Week

The controversial abortion biopic UNPLANNED overperformed its pre-release projections to become the #5 movie at the box office this weekend. The film took in an estimated $6,110,000 or a cumulative per-screen average of $5,770 on only 1,059 locations across the country. The film received a rare A+ CinemaScore.
Industry projections underestimated the film’s performance, predicting $2 million to $3 million. Despite a widespread paid media blackout across mainstream and some faith-based outlets and a Saturday morning Twitter ban that was quickly lifted after online outrage, the film’s strong word-of-mouth propelled audiences to fill theaters across the country. Next week the film’s distributor plans to add an additional 600 screens for a count of 1,700 screens.

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Marlon Furtado

Ever wonder what it must have been like to be asked by Jesus Himself to be one of His disciples, to become one of His closest friends. Out of the throngs of people who flocked to Him, He singled you out and chose you to be one of only twelve, to be His closest companions. Day after day, multitudes gathered around Him, listening to His words or seeking His healing touch. Yet, when the crowds dispersed at the end of the day, you were privileged to have personal time with Him. In our day, it might be like traveling with a well-known musician. At his or her concerts, thousands sing along as faithful fans. But when the show is over and the crowds are gone, you get to sit down with the musician for a quiet cup of coffee.

I’m sure I’d be no different, but it baffles me to read how the disciples would argue among themselves which of them was greatest. Really? In the presence of Continue reading

Photo: Christian educators who attended the Global Christian Schools Leadership Summit (GCSLS) are optimistic about the future of private Christian schools. They cite enrollment, cultural relevance, and diversity as their top three priorities in 2019.

Poll by Global Christian School Leadership Summit (GCSLS) Cites Enrollment, Cultural Relevance and Diversity as Educators’ Top Priorities

Three out of every four Christian school leaders report they are more optimistic about the future of Christian education after a landmark summit to address challenges in an era of “seismic” cultural change, according to survey results released today.

A poll of participants at the 2019 Global Christian School Leadership Summit (GCSLS, www.gcsls.org) in San Antonio, Texas, surveyed more than 700 Christian school administrators and teachers from dozens of countries – and produced eye-opening results.

While 73 percent of respondents reported being “more encouraged” about the future of the Christian school movement, education leaders from around the world highlighted key issues they say private Christian schools must tackle if they’re to remain relevant and continue to attract students.

Citing enrollment, cultural relevance, and diversity as the top three priorities facing Christian schools in 2019, leaders at the summit voiced their resolve to ensure Christian schools continue to focus on providing a distinctive, faith-based education in an increasingly pluralistic and post-religious culture.

“This summit has been a tremendous encouragement for all of us in the private Christian school movement, helping Christian educators focus on our shared mission to educate and raise a generation of young people with a passion for God,” GCSLS chairperson Lynn Swaner, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at ACSI, said. “With seismic shifts taking place in their communities and across the world, Christian educators are willing to confront the difficult issues and engage the culture, believing the most influential days of Christian education are yet to come.”

According to the GCSLS survey, current issues of greatest importance for Christian schools are:

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Marlon Furtado

In 2 Timothy 2:3-7 of our Bibles, Christ-followers are encouraged to develop qualities found in three groups of people. “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.” Here are some of my thoughts.

Soldiers are a critical asset to any national defense. I wasn’t in the military so I asked my brother-in-law for insight. He has protected our nation as a Marine and protected our communities as a police officer throughout his adult life. He shared that soldiers undergo regular intense repetitive training sessions. Continue reading

On March 23, 1775, 244 years ago, Patrick Henry delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history. While some of his words are still familiar today, many Americans are unaware of the turbulent times preceding his celebrated address.

In the 1760s, Parliament passed numerous laws directly violating the rights of the colonists, including the Sugar Act (1764), the Stamp Act (1765), and many others. Patrick Henry, a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, was one of many who objected. When the Stamp Act was repealed in 1766, the joy was so widespread that a Boston minister preached a notable sermon celebrating the event! Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Was there an underlying lesson I was to learn from the nursery rhyme, “Three Blind Mice?” Was there a significant message other than learning that mice scare farmers’ wives and get their tails cut off with butchers’ knives? I don’t know, but it did make me think of three men in the Bible who were “blind” to the temptations before them.

The first “blind mouse” was David. He was the most spiritual man alive. God, Himself, calls David “a man after My own heart.” Over one hundred of his songs are recorded in the Old Testament book of Psalms. We are told in 2 Samuel 11:1 that David sent his army out, but instead of going with them, he stayed home in Jerusalem. From his palace balcony he saw Bathsheba showering. Instead of looking away, he lusted after her and eventually committed adultery with her. David’s blind pursuit into sin led to tragic consequences for his family. Continue reading

Paula Olson, The Northwest Connection

It’s March and the 17th will be Saint Patrick’s Day. This is a day most kids associate with wearing green, so that they do not get pinched by relentless siblings or scheming peers, cutting out shamrocks and four-leaf clovers, and drawing leprechauns with rainbows and pots of gold. Like many once-religious holidays, it is often in the United States viewed as an opportunity to party, a holiday for a few good pints of Guinness, and a dinner of shepherd’s pie or corned beef hash. But why do we celebrate this Irish holiday in our country?

Maybe it is time to look into the historic reasons behind our holidays. For instance, do any of us really know much about who Cupid is besides a cherubic-looking being with a quiver and arrows, most often seen on Victorian-styled Valentine cards and old ladies’ bathroom wallpaper? In February, you might have looked into the myth of how Cupid was the son of Roman goddess Venus and god Mars. He was sent on a mission by his mother to do a little evil matchmaking on princess Psyche. The events, in good mythological fashion, took an ironic turn and Cupid fell in love with Psyche. The story goes on but the point is one of our Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Greed, unrestrained ambition, arrogance, pride, revenge, rage, and ruthlessness. Sounds like the evening news. I found them in the Bible’s short book of Esther. An orphaned Jewish girl raised by her cousin Mordecai [more-dah-kie], Esther becomes queen of Persia about five centuries before Christ.

Haman is the villain of the story. He is a narcissistic man who craves the honor of others. When Mordecai doesn’t express honor or fear, Haman is outraged. Learning that Mordecai is a Jew, he hatches a plot to annihilate every Jew throughout the Persian empire. (Haman was the Hitler of his time.)

Mordecai encourages Esther to ask the king to rescue her people. He reminds her that God placed her in the position of queen for just “such a time as this.” Esther knows that approaching the king without being invited can result in death, so she calls for every Jew in the city to fast for three days and Continue reading

Jim Kight, The Northwest Connection

Shea and her kids

There was a large expanse of green, well maintained lawn, recently mowed. In the background was a building three stories high that almost covered the width of the property. It had all the architectural features of a building that was constructed in the 30’s. As it turned out it was built in 1938 as a home for the elderly. Attractive and inviting even for a large building.

I grabbed the front door knob but it was locked. To the left was a door bell. I looked through a metal grill protecting a glass enclosure and rang the bell. They spotted me and let me in. Security is important.

After brief introductions I was escorted to a conference room upstairs. As I passed several rooms I noticed an odd device on the floor—beige in color, about the size of a small round soup pan with a wire coming out the back and going under the door. Some doors had two or more on the floor. Curiosity sparked my interest. What are these things? Turns out they are noise devices so you can’t listen into conversations on the other side of the door. Confidentiality is very important. Continue reading

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