Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

What is joy? Is there joy in deliverance?

What is joy? Is there joy in deliverance?

Today I choose joy

I want the joy of the Lord. I want to be more than happy. I want to celebrate God’s victory in my life. I want to show the goodness of God. God promises, through the power of the Holy Spirit, it will grow like fruit. Now that is some good news.

The “fruit of the Spirit” is what happens when the Holy Spirit indwells us. The “fruit” is the product of the Holy Spirit’s cultivation of character in our heart. Galatians 5:22-23 describes what that fruit looks like; the second characteristic listed is joy.

Does God show favoritism?

Image result for favoritism"

Here is a guest article from Mandy Sweigart-Quinn. Mandy is known as the Blue Collar Theologian (www.bluecollartheologian.blog)! She loves Jesus, His Word and encouraging His people! In May 2019 she graduated from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a MA in Biblical Studies and is now pursuing a PhD in Biblical Studies from Capital.

Does God show favoritism?

One of the greatest lies the enemy loves to heave at me is that I am not doing enough, I am not good enough and that God likes/loves everyone more than me. I know that is a lie and yet I allow it to render me completely ineffective and useless. It steals my joy, it paralyzes my walk with God and leads me to fear being replaced. I know that God is no respecter of persons, meaning he does not show partiality or favoritism but what exactly does that mean?!

Can a healthy tree bear bad fruit?

Radical Sayings of Jesus
Radical Sayings of Jesus

Jesus is beginning to wrap up His manifesto (Matthew 5 – 7). Jesus changed his brief metaphor from sheep and wolves to trees and their fruit, from the sheep’s clothing which a wolf may wear to the fruit which a tree must bear.

In so doing he moved from the risk of non-recognition to the means of recognition.

What does it mean that God is good?

God is good — We see it in his work of creation

Image result for god is good

We have good news. God is God and perfect. God is good and in a good mood. Everything He made is good. Nothing is to be rejected by us. God didn’t make any mistakes.

In fact, God, at creation, declared it all was very good!

Most excellent! Stunning! Amazing!

How one pastor and church were bad at prayer and now can’t stop praying

Brandon Showalter is a reporter with The Christian Post. He enjoys exploring the intersection of faith and public life, and has reported on a wide range of theological, political and ethical themes and topics.

He was first inspired to break into a career in writing/journalism while mopping floors and scrubbing toilets as a church custodian in April 2015.

He earned a B.A. from Bridgewater College of Virginia, is a fellow of the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society, & Law, and graduated from a three-year program at Bethel School of Ministry in Redding, California.

His most favorite thing to do in life is to sing.

Prayer sounds simple enough but many Christians often complicate it or hardly engage in it at all. Pete Grieg, author of How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People, explains how he and his church went from “bad at praying” to starting a 24-7 global prayer movement — where prayer hasn’t stopped in the last 20 years.

Listen to  the Podcast: How one pastor and church were bad at prayer and now can’t stop praying – The Christian Post

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

What is peace? Do we have it through Jesus?

The peace of Jesus

The Apostle Paul alerts us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. He says that against such things there is no law. | Galatians 5:22

  • God’s ultimate provision of peace is discovered in the person and work of Jesus the Messiah. It is only through the Messiah that peace with God can be achieved and maintained.
  • There are times we am clearly not at peace. We are not at peace with ourselves and we are not at peace with God or Jesus. Something is wrong. We may or may not know it but it becomes evident in our anxiety and worry. We am not convinced, at that point in time, that God is good and has our best interest at heart.
  • It starts with faith. We need to get clear with our faith in Jesus. When peace leaves us, we need to get back to the real issue. We don’t have faith, We don’t believe who Jesus is and what He accomplished. Lack of peace comes from ignoring the core issue of unbelief. God is good. God sent His son to make us right with God. God did it out of love for us. Now that is some good news!

Where does Jesus’ authority come from?

What gives Jesus the right to speak and act on his Father’s behalf in forgiving sin, pronouncing judgment and promising eternal life to those who believe in him? We need to understand this.

What does it mean to be slow to anger?

Our mission, given to us by Jesus, is to love. That is it. That should be our day. That should be our motivation. Love should be our passionate focus.

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone… ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17-18, 20-21)

Why should we be patient, even as Jesus is patient?

We should be patient, even as Jesus is patient. Naturally, in and of myself, I am not. God’s kindness is leading us to change our mind about the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Now that is some good news.

What do I know about any of this?

Hmm … James urges us to be patient and not to complain as we wait for Jesus to return. James holds up the prophets as models of patience.

Why are religious elites accusing Jesus of being demon-possessed?

Pharisees (religious elites) opposed Jesus the Messiah during his ministry and were among those who brought about his crucifixion. Some Pharisees, however, accepted the Messiah’s teaching and believed in him.

The Pharisees (religious leaders and elites) were an influential religious sect within Judaism in the time of the Messiah and the early church.

We need to be careful. There is a slippery slope where being a religious zealot moves quietly into religious rule keeping. Has it happened to me? Yikes! I resemble that remark.

What does it mean to be fickle? Are we swayed by the next great thing?

Leadership

Are we being fickle? Do we get swayed by the next great thing spoken by the new charismatic religious leader we hear?

They have a best-selling book. Doesn’t that count for something?

They are successful with thousands attending “their church” every week. Doesn’t that count for something?

Where Does Kanye West Reference the Bible in “Jesus Is King”?

Bethany Pyle is the editor for BibleStudyTools.com and the design editor for Crosscards.com. She has a bachelor’s degree in writing from Christopher Newport University, a background in journalism and a passion for telling good stories.

The literal definition of repentance is to change direction, to do a 180. From the first words of Kanye West’s newest album “Jesus is King,” listeners can tell that the rapper has taken a definite 180 from his old work. He’s traded cursing and foul imagery for praises to God and Biblical references.

The message of his songs and albums is, as with all works of art, up to the listener. But where exactly does West reference the Bible, and what do those references mean? This article will dive in to some of the verses, hymns and Scriptural ideas of “Jesus is King,” without analyzing the message of the songs too much. The following links will give you more information about West’s faith or how his album is being received by Christians. But for now, let’s take a look at the verses and beliefs that inspired these songs.

Read the article here: Where Does Kanye West Reference the Bible in “Jesus Is King”? – Topical Studies

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Our Mission & Vision

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships

Our Vision is to see generations of leaders victoriously modeling Jesus in their families and communities.

Our Mission is training believers to live a victorious life through biblical Truth, experiential discipleship, and family relationships. 

Values

Life is:

1) Relationships

2) Personal Holiness

3) Biblical

4) Authentic

5) Relevant

Learn more here.

Summary of Joules to Jewels series.

This is a summary of the Joules to Jewels series from Larry Pons, Chief Executive of the Christian Training Center International.

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Power of God

Are we listening? Jesus wants to know.

Jesus asks a question

Jesus wants to know. Jesus has a question.

What do we make of this? Do we understand? Are we listening?

I know I want the Word of God to prosper in my heart and produce a harvest beyond my wildest dreams.

I don’t want to be the one who has no firm root in myself and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately I fall away from Jesus.

I stopped being a Christian; then God brought me back

Brian G. Chilton is the founder of BellatorChristi.com, the host of The Bellator Christi Podcast, and the author of the soon to be released book The Layman’s Manual on Christian Apologetics. He received his Master of Divinity in Theology from Liberty University (with high distinction); his Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Gardner-Webb University (with honors); and received certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Brian is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Brian has been in the ministry for nearly 20 years and serves as the Senior Pastor of Westfield Baptist Church in northwestern North Carolina.

I grew up in a Christian home with wonderful parents who taught me about Christ but allowed me to explore and learn various fields. By the time I was 7, I had already committed my life to Christ. By the time I was 16, I had already accepted the call into ministry. I pastored my first church by the time I was 21. Everything seemed to be clicking on the surface. But internally, a storm was brewing that I could not contain.

During my senior year of high school, I came across a book by the Jesus Seminar which claimed that less than 14 percent of the statements of Jesus in the Gospels were genuine. The other 86 percent of the statements of Jesus were either the author’s inventions or were greatly influenced by the author’s philosophy. The individuals in this seminar all held Ph.D.s, so I thought they knew what they were talking about.

I was highly disappointed when I turned to the church for answers. When I asked church leaders that I trusted how it was that I could trust the Bible considering what the Jesus Seminar was saying, I was met with scorn and shame. I was told that I should not be asking questions like that. They also gave fallacious arguments stemming from circular reasoning like, “The Bible is the Word of God because it says it’s the Word of God.” Furthermore, I was guilted into believing that such questions came from a lack of faith. With answers like that, I thought that Christianity could not offer a defense for itself. The antagonistic responses I received came because I had challenged cultural Christianity. I have no doubt that these leaders truly loved God and followed Him. However, their faith was so immersed in a cultural form of Christianity that to challenge the faith meant that I was also challenging their entire way of life and their heritage.

Read the article here: I stopped being a Christian; then God brought me back – The Christian Post

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

How do we tap into the mystery of faith?

The mystery of faith is a term that occurs in 1 Timothy 3:9.

Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

Whenever I hear the word “mystery”, my curiosity kicks in. I want to know.

Depending on the English translation, the Greek phrase τὸ μυστήριον τῆς πίστεως is translated “the mystery of faith,” “the mystery of the faith,” or “the deep truths of the faith.”

Will we be betrayed? Why will it happen?

God has a goal in mind for us. It could bring us into conflict with those we love most.

Betrayal is a gross violation of trust and can be one of the most devastating forms of pain inflicted upon us. The suffering of betrayal is often magnified by a sense of vulnerability and exposure. I’m not sure I want to go there.

Major Moral Argument Mistakes

How good is the moral argument?  A retired attorney wrote John Frank asserting that we don’t need God for objective morality.  Some of his challenges can be summarized in the following questions:

  • Does the moral argument depend on everyone agreeing on right and wrong?
  • Can human beings construct an objective moral standard independent of God? Couldn’t the majority vote do that?
  • Are God’s commands based on God’s desires?
  • Are they based on God’s authority?
  • Can’t evolution explain morality?
  • Do changing views on morality mean there is no objective morality?
  • What about moral dilemmas? Do they show morality is relative?

Without authority, is sin Unrestrained?

According to the Bible, human and governmental authority ought to be submitted to and respected. This is a hard teaching for many, myself included, as the Bible would seem to indemnify those who rule or preside over others in a cruel and unjust manner.

Justice will prevail. God will judge us all and hold us accountable. Rulers are no exception.

We can readily see why God instituted government to restrain the worst elements of society and culture. Anarchy is not desirable.

What is the scope of the authority of Jesus?

Master Jesus

Jesus rules in every case, over everything and everyone. He is the Master. PERIOD! We are His slaves. Jesus is my Master (Owner). Jesus has authority over me.

“Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.” John 17:2

Can we trust our Bibles?

Here is a great overview on the reliability of scripture. George Hawke is a grandfather who lives in Sydney, Australia. Sydney is well known for its harbor, Harbor Bridge and Opera House. George is an audit student at the Australian College of Christian Studies.

I recently read about five alleged myths and shortcomings of the Bible: the creation story, the morality of the Jews destroying the Canaanites, Noah’s flood, the virgin birth and inconsistencies between different parts of the Bible. So can we trust our Bibles or are they the unreliable product of a more primitive era? To answer this question we will look at how the Bible came to us.

The word Bible comes from biblion, the Greek word for book and the word Scripture comes from scriptura, the Latin word for something written. The Bible is a collection of 66 books from more than 40 authors. It has two main parts, the Old Testament (OT), written before Christ and the New Testament (NT), written after Christ. They were both written in the everyday language of their time. The OT was written in Hebrew, except for portions in Aramaic after the Jewish exile in Babylon, while the New Testament was written in Greek.

Source: Can we trust our Bibles? | George’s Journal

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Cal’s Creative Corner

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

We are honored that Cal Huge is selling his photos to exclusively benefit the Christian Training Center International.

Take a visit to his Etsy store. A portion of the proceeds of each sale goes to the Christian Training Center International. The listings are only a small portion of the photos available and more will be added each week. If you have a specific request for scripture on any print or a particular subject that isn’t shown, email Cal through Etsy.

Learn more here.

What is respect? Does it lead to Godly living?

The apostle Peter summarizes the Bible’s teaching on respect in his first Epistle. Our mission as disciples is clear.

Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

1 Peter 2:17

This passage encompasses four major areas of our lives, teaching us that, as a follower of the Messiah, we should respect all men, the disciples, God, and governmental authorities.

Is it dangerous to get angry? How to get rid of anger?

Image result for anger

Should we renounce anger? Yes!

Jesus does not exhort us to get angry, as if  anger were a good motivator or energy for positive action. (This is the kind of thing that many Psychologists and “pop psychologists” in in our culture today teach.)

“But Some Doubted”: Studying an Intriguing Response to the Resurrection of Jesus

What does it mean that “some doubted”? Tim Chaffey offers some insight.

Matthew 28:17 includes a confusing phrase that has led to some controversy. During Christ’s post-Resurrection appearance on a hillside in Galilee, some of His disciples worshiped Him, “but some doubted.” Some critical scholars have used these three words to support their idea that the disciples were only experiencing a vision. Some Christian apologists have claimed that these three words prove it is wrong to use evidence for the Resurrection in witnessing to unbelievers, even claiming that it would be sinful to do so. Still other Christian apologists use this phrase as evidence for the authenticity of the New Testament, because they believe Matthew included an embarrassing detail about some disciples not believing in Jesus even though He was right in front of them (Geisler and Turek, pp. 276–277).

What are we to make of these claims? How could people who knew Jesus had died on the Cross possibly not believe that He had risen from the dead when He was standing right in front of them?

Read the article here: “But Some Doubted”: Studying an Intriguing Response to the Resurrection of Jesus | Tim Chaffey

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Our Mission & Vision

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships

Our Vision is to see generations of leaders victoriously modeling Jesus in their families and communities.

Our Mission is training believers to live a victorious life through biblical Truth, experiential discipleship, and family relationships. 

Values

Life is:

1) Relationships

2) Personal Holiness

3) Biblical

4) Authentic

5) Relevant

Learn more here.

Is God the Author of all healing?

Heal the blind

There is a lot to be said in the scripture about sickness and healing. Jesus heals. I know this to be true. That is some good news!

Approximately one fifth of the books of the Good News (Gospel) narrative is devoted to Jesus’ healing ministry. At the start of His ministry, Jesus “went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” (Matthew 4:23).

Are churches being turned into the “Mall of God”?

Radical Sayings of Jesus

Jesus is upset. Jesus let’s the religious elites know it.

It just isn’t right turning God’s holy temple into the “Mall of God”.

What are our religious leaders doing at church these days. Some are doing the same. You can’t get to the sanctuary without passing through the food court, the coffee shop, the book store, and the kiosks hawking religious trinkets (and the pastors latest book).

What does it mean to magnify God? Do we do it by magnifying Jesus?

Giving glory to God through worship and through upright living. God’s people are exhorted to praise him and to bring honor to his name. We need to shout it out!

There are two kinds of magnifying: microscope magnifying and telescope magnifying. The one makes a small thing look bigger than it is. The other makes a big thing begin to look as big as it really is.

What does the gentleness of Jesus the Messiah look like?

Gentle

What does the gentleness of Jesus the Messiah look like?  Jesus gave us the perfect picture of gentleness: “See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey” (Matthew 21:5), and now He offers us His gentleness as a gift.

If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be filled with fruit of gentleness.

I want that! Yes Master Jesus. Bring it on.

“Son of Man” Meaning – Why Jesus Used This Name

What does the Son of Man mean? This article is part of the Names of God Series featuring the most used names and titles of God found in the Bible.

We read that Jesus was called many names throughout the Bible, but Son of Man stands apart for several reasons. The number of times we see this name alone separates it from some of the others. Just as with a name like Lamb of God, this name has a distinct meaning that is easily defined and tied back to Scripture.

What is the significance and the implications of Christ being the Son of Man? Just like other names of God, this name has rich meaning. Let’s explore this powerful name.

Read the article here: “Son of Man” Meaning – Why Jesus Used This Name

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About the Christian Training Center

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

The Christian Training Center International was founded in the early 1970’s as The Inn of the Last Resort. It is now known throughout the world for its outreach to families, Christian leaders, and young people. Our focus is to enable individuals – especially young men and women – to face and overcome the mounting issues and pressures in their daily lives. Learn more here.

The most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. In complete immersion, students spend all their time hearing and speaking a new language in a sequential and cumulative format. The goal is to become not only a proficient speaker, but to acquire an appreciation and understanding of a new culture. This approach describes the training process at CTCI.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Learn more here.

What does it mean to be pure in heart?

Is my heart pure? That is an essential issue to address. Jesus lays it out in His manifesto (Matthew 5 — 7).

Am we clean, blameless, unstained from guilt? Not on our own but we have been declared innocent because of the work of Jesus and we are being sanctified by His refining fire and His pruning.

Now that is some good news! Jesus gives us clean hands. Jesus gives us a pure heart. Jesus promises we will see God.

What is the the Holiness of God? Why is it important?

Holy

The holiness of God is the most difficult of all God’s attributes to explain, partly because it is one of His essential attributes that is not shared, inherently, by any of us.

We know we are created in God’s image, and can share many of His attributes, to a much lesser extent, of course — love, mercy, faithfulness, etc. These are the gifts of God to us and grow in us as fruit of His Holy Spirit.

Bible Prophecy – 13 Popular Fulfilled Prophecies Signs

What are some fulfilled prophetic signs about Jesus?

There are many ways to verify the reliability of Scripture from both internal evidences of transmission and agreement, to external confirmation through archeology and science. But perhaps the most persuasive argument can be found in the area of prophecy. If a book accurately and repeatedly predicts the future, it can safely be said that something special is going on, perhaps even something supernatural. And there are so many prophecies in the Scriptures that it should be easy to take a look and decide if the Bible is supernatural.

There are so many fulfilled prophecies! In fact, there are so many fulfilled prophecies in the Bible that it is hard to know where to begin! A simple search on the internet will provide you with literally hundreds of sites listing a multitude of fulfilled prophecies in both the Old and New Testaments. It’s difficult to know where to begin here in our limited discussion of the issue, so we’ll focus narrowly on some of the biggest and best known of prophecies!

Read the article here: Bible Prophecy – 13 Popular Fulfilled Prophecies Signs

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Monthly Giving

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Monthly giving is an important way to support our mission. The most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. In complete immersion, students spend all their time hearing and speaking a new language in a sequential and cumulative format. The goal is to become not only a proficient speaker, but to acquire an appreciation and understanding of a new culture. This approach describes the training process at the Christian Training Center. Make your gift here.

How will your monthly gift make an impact?

  • Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Your gift will help bring healing and restoration to families all around the world.
  • Your gift will help impact college students during Heroes Semester is a 10-week semester program. This program is focused on personal and spiritual development for young adults. While immersed in a way of life that emphasizes the Word of God, prayer, relationships, family, servanthood and personal discipline, you will be renewed, trained, and challenged to walk with God in a deeper way.
  • Your gift will help impact teens through Heroes of Today Week long summer program Teens learn new life skills and they will discover more about their identity in Christ and what it means to live as one of God’s Heroes of today.
  • Your gift will give a college age student (summer) a residential position. It is open to Christian candidates who want to deepen and develop their faith while experiencing the demands of day-to-day ministry. These individuals help serve and mentor during our summer programs.

Make your gift here.

What is humility? What role does grace play in it?

Grace is a gift. God gives us grace when we are humble. There is no peace if we are proud and haughty. Humility is the name of the game. Jesus challenges us to be humble. We have some good news.

Jesus wants us to inherit the earth. That was the original plan. King Jesus has restored it for all of us who follow Him.

What is faith? Where does it come from?

Where does faith come from? Faith is not something we conjure up on our own, nor is it something we are born with. Faith is not a result of diligence in study or pursuit of the spiritual. Faith doesn’t come from “good theology”. The religious elites can’t give it to us.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. | Ephesians 2:8-9

Quick Shot Responses to “There is No Evidence for God’s Existence”

Check this out from J. Warner Wallace. Great apologetic overview.

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner offers a number of brief, rhetorically powerful responses to the objection: “There is No Evidence for God’s Existence.” How can we possibly make an affirmative case for the existence of God? Can we use an evidential approach, and if so, how would we approach this task?

These Quick Shot responses are designed to help you remove intellectual obstacles when talking about God with your friends and family members. They are also available on the Cold-Case Christianity Phone App so you can access them as you are interacting with others.

Read the article here: Quick Shot Responses to “There is No Evidence for God’s Existence” (Cold-Case Christianity S5E23) | | Cold Case Christianity

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

What are good works? Why does Jesus call us to do them?

Jesus clearly calls us to do good works! The purpose of our good works is to glorify the amazing and beautiful God. If it doesn’t do that, we’ve got the wrong motives and then we have the wrong outcomes.

Now that is a good word. Please receive it.

Goodness and good works are acts designed specifically to help others, which are characteristic of God. We can be good because God is good. And He is in a good mood.

Good works are not a “bad thing”. They won’t save me but that isn’t the point.

What is authority? Why is Jesus’ authority questioned?

Authority of God

The authority of Jesus is questioned by others: Are we questioning that Jesus has the authority from God? We need to consider that issue in our hearts.

Is Jesus our Master? Are we His slaves? Does Jesus own us?

Now in thinking about the authority of the Messiah, perhaps it’s helpful to consider two words. The first is the word dunamis which the Bible translates “power.” The second is the word exousia which the Bible translates “power” or “authority” and is best understood as “authority,” and there is a difference. Dunamis or power is the ability to do something. Exousia or authority is the right to do it.

The Antichrist – Who He Is & What He Will Do

Here is a great article on the anti-christ.

To better understand the person of the antichrist, you can begin by reading Revelation 13:1-4. As you read, ask God to help you understand His Word (Psalms 119:73).

In this Scripture passage, we witness the rise of the antichrist, who will come into great power during the tribulation period. With your Bible still accessible, consider the following insights on the biblical text, verse by verse. The below points about the antichrist will help us understand what he is, what he will do, signs and events around his rise to power, and ultimately his goal.

Read the article here: The Antichrist – Who He Is & What He Will Do

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What We Believe

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships. Learn more here.

We are an inter-denominational ministry, and our desire is for transformation: a genuine change of heart and lifestyle that flows out of an intimate relationship with Jesus.

We believe:

  • Jesus is Lord. We exalt the One True God who made us and gave us the Lord Jesus Christ as our salvation. Our goal is to be a people with a heart for obedience to Christ in all things. His work made it possible for us to live – eternally and now – as children of God. Jesus made it possible for us to be rightly related to the Father and to one another. His desire is for us to succeed. We believe a right relationship with Him is the first and most important step.
  • The Bible is True. God’s Word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12-13), which we take into our minds and spirits and live out through the flesh. When Jesus asked what the greatest commandment was, He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31). The basis for everything we teach is “Life is Relationships.”
  • Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit. We desire to walk in and by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit (available to all believers) empowers Christians for living witness and dedicated service.

Learn more here.

What is love? How is God’s love different?

Love isn’t about me. Love is about God and Jesus. I don’t know the first thing about love. Anything I do that even gets close to love is a result of the Holy Spirit in me. It is growing like a fruit but it is all about God and nothing about me.

Where does love come from? Love comes from the Holy Spirit. It is a gift. It is fruit that grows in us. Left to our own devices, we stink at it.

Jesus is our standard. We fall way short of the goal (aka sin).

Is It Biblical to Have an Evidential Faith?

Luke Nix provides some great insight about faith and evidence. Luke holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and works as a Desktop Support Manager for a local precious metal exchange company in Oklahoma.

Is biblical faith blind or reasonable? This is one of the most hotly debated questions between believers and unbelievers. While most who say that faith is blind are unbelievers, I have also heard many Christians claim this as well. The claim is that faith and reason are at odds with one another and that the more evidence or reason that you have to believe something, the less faith that you need.

Read the article here: Is It Biblical to Have an Evidential Faith?

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Heroes Internship

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Be a part of an internship that won’t just challenge you – it will change you! Learn more here.

Our Internship Program calls forth young adults ages 18-26 who have a passion to serve Christ and a desire to be trained practically for life, leadership, and future ministry through intense, life-on-life discipleship. During these fast-paced weeks, interns will discover more about who they are and what it means to be a fully committed follower of Jesus.

 “The extra mile challenge was one of the craziest things I have ever done! Sleeping in a cave 2 miles into the earth was something I will never forget. The course was tough but really lead me closer to the Lord and built some maturity into my life.”

2016 Internship Participant

Interns live on the premises and help staff the summer’s programs, conferences, and events. Daily duties can include anything from helping the staff take care of the grounds, gardens, and facilities to preparing meals and helping put together activities for youth and teens.  In between times of service, interns will also get to enjoy activities designed to build character through spiritual, mental, emotional and physical challenges. The relationships and rewards of the summer internship last for a lifetime.

Room, board, and the Extra Mile Challenge are all included free of cost – so all you have to do is get here and be ready to give your all!

Learn more here.

What is religious fraud all about? What does Jesus say?

Religious Fraud is not OK
Religious Fraud is not OK

Jesus spends special time with religious people. He is direct always. Are we frauds?

It is a question to ask ourselves. In this situation, it was a statement not a question.

The Pharisees, along with some religion scholars who had come from Jerusalem, gathered around him. They noticed that some of his disciples weren’t being careful with ritual washings before meals.

Seriously, this is all they had to think about. The Pharisees — Jews in general, during that time — would never eat a meal without going through the motions of a ritual hand-washing, with an especially vigorous scrubbing if they had just come from the market (to say nothing of the scouring they’d give jugs and pots and pans).

Of course, we have our religious ceremonies now. We pray before meals, even when we eat out. We go to church. We tell people we will pray for them when they are sick or someone in their family dies.

So, on this occasion, the  religion scholars asked, “Why do your disciples flout the rules, showing up at meals without washing their hands?”

Jesus has questions for us.  Are we more concerned with saying the right thing than doing what God wants right at that minute? Is our heart not in it? Do we just pretend to worship God? Do we use Jesus? Do we ditch God’s commands? Do we only care about the latest religious trend or fad?

Jesus looks us in the eye and asks us these questions. He isn’t cruel. He just confronts us. God has a goal in mind for us. He wants us to love Him and worship Him.

May our love for God and what He wants in our life rule every day. May we fulfill His goal for our life. May we do what He wants.

Jesus has an answer, “Isaiah was right about frauds like you, hit the bull’s-eye in fact: These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it. They act like they are worshiping me, but they don’t mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy, Ditching God’s command and taking up the latest fads.” | Mark 7 (The Message)

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About the Christian Training Center

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

The Christian Training Center International was founded in the early 1970’s as The Inn of the Last Resort. It is now known throughout the world for its outreach to families, Christian leaders, and young people. Our focus is to enable individuals – especially young men and women – to face and overcome the mounting issues and pressures in their daily lives. Learn more here.

The most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. In complete immersion, students spend all their time hearing and speaking a new language in a sequential and cumulative format. The goal is to become not only a proficient speaker, but to acquire an appreciation and understanding of a new culture. This approach describes the training process at CTCI.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Learn more here.

What does Jesus think of being a “servant leader”? Hint: Can you say “Argle Bargle”?

There is a lot being said, by “leaders”, about being servant leaders. I have a friend that has written a book on it. He runs a truly great company. It seems to work for him. The premise is you can be a leader as long as you are a servant.

What does Jesus think? Can you say “Argle Bargle”? Argle Bargle is meaningless talk. It is hokum. Jesus isn’t enamored with my being a leader who serves. Jesus calls on me to be a servant or a slave. Jesus thinks it is Argle Bargle to be called a leader.

Please take a minute to read what Jesus says about this.

How to Pray for Your Daily Bread

Jesus teaches us how to pray. Here is a great article on praying for our daily bread.

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:9-11).

As we read this prayer our Lord gave, remember it is the model prayer. The Lord did not say “Pray this prayer,” but “Pray in this manner.” He taught us something wonderful about prayer: it’s not the length of our prayer, the logic of our prayer, or the language of our prayer, but the faith, the focus, and the force of our prayer that causes it to be heard in heaven.

“Bread” in this prayer is really symbolic of any need you have. Do you have a need today? God delights to meet your need.

Here are four important steps to follow when praying for “daily bread.”

Read the article here: How to Pray for Your Daily Bread – Topical Studies

Is the Bible is a dangerous book to read, and is the church a dangerous society to join?

Jesus challenges us

Jesus is about to wrap His Manifesto (Matthew 5-7). There is one final parable to lay it all out. There is a contrast in the previous paragraph which was between ‘saying’ and ‘doing’. The contrast now is between ‘hearing’ and ‘doing’.

On the one hand, Jesus says, there is the person who hears these words of mine and does them (24), and on the other the person who hears these words of mine and does not do them (26).

May I be a person who hears and acts. May I be obedient. Jesus is commanding me to love. Will I?

What is discipleship? What does it cost us? Does it involve self-denial?

Jesus was quite explicit about the cost of following Him. Discipleship requires a totally committed life: “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). We must give up everything to follow Jesus. EVERYTHING!

Jesus is negotiating. I think maybe I can give up a few things (I really don’t want anyway). NOPE! That won’t work.

Sacrifice is expected.

“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

Jesus is our Master. We are His slaves. That is the demand of discipleship. We don’t own ourselves. Jesus is our owner. What Jesus wants is all that matters.

What does “Yahweh” really mean?

What does YHWH mean? Here is some insight from Jenna Martin. She is a youth ministry worker and freelance writer who specializes in Bible, health, and tourism topics. In her free time you’ll probably find her writing, lifting, or doting on her handsome cat. For more info, you can check out her blog here.

God has no shortage of names–He is called by almost 1,000 different ones in the Bible.

But one of these names stands alone, and that name is Yahweh.

Before we get into what the name “Yahweh” actually means, let’s go back to its origin story in Exodus 3. In this story, God is speaking to Moses through the burning bush and giving him the mission to end all missions: freeing the Israelite people from Egyptian captivity.

Understandably, Moses has some concerns, the main one being how he will convince his fellow Israelites that this really is a mission from (and blessed by) God.

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”  God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” – Exodus 3:13-15

Read the article here: What “Yahweh” Really Means – God’s Name in the Bible

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Susan Pons Book – “And There Was Evening and There Was Morning…”

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Have you read Susan Corbett Pons book “And There was Evening and There was Morning”? It will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. Check out Susan’s book here.

Susan Pons grew up in Valdese, North Carolina. Prior to her marriage, she performed professionally on stage and dinner theaters. The mother of four and grandmother of six, she and her husband, Larry, direct Christian Training Center, International, a ministry dedicated to the restoration of families. She has loved her life.

Check out Susan’s book here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Learn more here.

What is mercy? How can we show it?

Jesus challenges us. Are we “sinless”?

If so, we get to throw the first stone.

Jesus challenged the elite religious leaders. They were right about “the law”. They were wrong about mercy.

None of them qualified to throw the first stone. They all knew it. They all walked away. Only Jesus is left.

What is God’s glory? Is that our highest motivation?

Because the human heart is very deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), we can easily fool ourselves about our own motives. We can pretend that we are choosing certain actions for God or the benefit of others, when in reality we have selfish reasons. God is not fooled by our selfishness and is “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

The Bible has a lot to say about my motives. A motive is the underlying reason for any action. Proverbs 16:2 says,

“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the MASTER.”

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