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Posts tagged ‘IPhone’

Biometric Technology Will Make Huge Advances In 2014.


RELATED STORY: The Mark of the Beast and the Implantable RFID Chip

The onslaught of technological coolness is dazzling, mind-boggling even. Everywhere you look there are apps and wearable devices that sync up to the cloud, and everyone is adopting them like crazy. George Orwell, in all his 1984 glory, could not have envisioned the One World Government curve ball that this would engender.

We no longer have to worry about the government creating a file on us, we are making our own with every post, pic and #hashtag we launch out into the cybersphere. And when the Mark of the Beast arrives, people will jump to adopt that one as well.

Good thing that we won’t be here for that!

CS Monitor: Apple’s new iPhone 5S comes with the company’s first fingerprint scanner. A simple stamp of your thumb can now unlock the phone or confirm online purchases. No passwords are required.

While Apple fans have long awaited this big update, so has another group: the biometrics industry. Sensor companies have been wishing for a major player to swoop in, show how far the technology has advanced, and persuade shoppers that biometrics can be cool.

nymi-electrocardiogram-bracelet-human-tagging-biometric-technology-mark-of-the-beast

With each passing day, we are being monitored, tagged and branded like cattle in the stockyard.

“Many think that the iPhone 5S is a tipping point for consumers,” says Adam Vrankulj, editor of the industry news outlet Biometric Update. After Apple purchased fingerprint-sensor company AuthenTec for $350 million in 2012, the stock price of several similar firms more than doubled.

Fingerprint sensors have come a long way since 2002, when researchers found a way to trick high-end scanners with fake gelatin fingers. Today’s technology not only reads the tiny ridge patterns, but some can also look at blood flow and vein patterns underneath the skin.

Plus, we now know that fingerprints and irises are not people’s only unique features. Scientists have devised ways to identify humans by the shape of their ears, kneecaps, and even their bottoms. A team at the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology in Tokyo designed its rump sensor as an anti-theft measure for cars. The group claims that these prototype seats can recognize the owner’s posterior with 98 percent accuracy.

Canadian firm Bionym listens to people’s heart rhythms. While a human heart pounds at different tempos throughout the day, each person has a unique overall pattern, one based on the size and position of the heart within the body. The company’s Nymi bracelet uses electrocardiogram technology to read this heart rhythm and confirm the wearer’s identity.

Of course, biometric scanners are still far from perfect. The iPhone reportedly stumbles when it comes to wet or sweaty fingers. Mr. Vrankulj says the facial recognition software in his Android phone has a hard time with glasses and his newly grown beard – not to mention the false positives from simply holding up an image of the owner’s face.

Some have also voiced concerns about government agencies demanding the fingerprints of certain customers. Apple says such seizures would be impossible. The encrypted data stays locked up within the device, not on any of Apple’s servers. source – CS Monitor.

by NTEB News Desk

2014 Will See The Rise Of The ‘Always On’ Smarthome.


“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17

For years now, we have been telling you that the there is coming a One World System which, under the rule of the Antichrist, will be controlled by what the bible calls the Mark Of The Beast. If you refuse this mark, you will be locked out of everything. You won’t be able to buy anything, sell anything, and now it looks like even your own home will be used against you.

The RFID Microchip, in all its various forms and evolutions, is more and more becoming the gateway as well as the gatekeeper to every aspect of our daily lives. The world system that it runs is the world system we now live under.

Prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes, the future has arrived. Can you see it?

Telegraph UK: This was the year that tablets and smartphones truly matured; 2014 should be the year when our homes finally start to get as smart as our phones.

The past 12 months have witnessed some remarkable innovations. Samsung introduced eye-tracking technology that — although imperfect — knows when to scroll up on a screen, and Apple crammed eye-watering computing power into its iPad Air. Yet consumers admit to already being impatient for the next big thing. The honeymoon period for a new gadget is four months, with users confessing that boredom sets in beyond that.

smart-home-device-tablet-mark-of-the-beast-666-technology-mashable-now-end-begins

Everything will be controlled digitally through the Internet. A one world system that regulates everything we do in or out of our homes.

But never mind four months, according to mobile operator O2 a quarter of consumers claimed they were bored within just four weeks, eager to upgrade as their friends and colleagues got newer phones.

Indeed, the greatest challenge facing gadget manufacturers is ever-diminishing profit margins, coupled with the need to invest and maintain excitement. Our gadget of the year is the Motorola Moto G — not because it is the most extraordinary phone, but because it is an amazing purchase for £135. As chief executive Dennis Woodside remarked, prior to the launch: “You can buy five for the cost of an iPhone”. The trend, overall, was for amazing smartphones and tablets fighting against the oncoming juggernaut of commoditisation.

But there is very much a next big thing coming. That smartphone or tablet is no longer merely a portable window on the web, it’s increasingly the gateway to an internet of things, whereby your coffee machine, washing machine, heating, even your garden, are all connected to the internet.

What may sound like a futuristic set-up is approaching faster than anyone anticipated. Sky’s Now TV box offers almost all the television available from a satellite dish over the internet. Sonos’s music players give you all the world’s music at your fingertips. Nest offers a web connection for your smoke alarm so you can see where the fire is (and turn the alarm off from your phone when you realise it’s only the toast that you’ve burnt). And your yucca can even inform you, via an app, when it needs watering.

Some of these new ideas may feel gimmicky. Philips’ Hue light bulbs, for example, can be any colour you want, instantly controlled from your phone again. But the question is not who needs red light bulbs in their home, it’s what does the house of the future look like when it has one single remote control for light, heat, television and security?

The HomeMonitor camera, for instance, is now a mainstream object that uses the web and a smartphone screen to show you what’s going on, rather than recording its CCTV footage to tape. Meanwhile, companies such as Honeywell and British Gas are keen to emphasise their smart credentials with connected heating and cooling systems.

All this may not herald a Jetsons-style world of flying cars and jet packs, but there’s no disputing the web will be everywhere in 2014. In the not-too-distant future, Google’s driverless cars will be simply another example of connected objects, whisking you from place to place, with the dashboard located on your phone. source – Telegraph UK.

by NTEB News Desk

What’s God’s Purpose for You in 2014?.


What are your life goals for the New Year?
What are your life goals for the New Year? (IStock photo)

New Year’s Day is a good time to do something most of us never do—set some goals. Most of the time we call them “New Year’s Resolutions” and we abandon them within a few weeks. Yet I believe God wants us to do more than that. We must determine God’s purpose for our life and for this New Year.

I’ve done this for nearly four decades by setting long-range and short-range goals. Maybe you can learn from my experience in writing goals and letting God use that to set priorities and to accomplish more than you would without them.

Most people spend more time planning their annual vacations than they do planning their lives. My observation is that even most believers drift along in life with no clear direction. It’s been documented that the people who actually write down and work on the goals they set are the most successful in life. I believe they are usually the happiest too, because they have a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Myles Munroe believes that God wants us to become people who have plans. He believes that plans are documented imagination. If we can document an imagination, we’ve developed a plan for action.

“If you are having real problems in your life, you probably don’t have a piece of paper on which you have documented your plans for the next five years,” he says. “You’re just living from day to day in the absence of a concrete, documented plan. You’ve been dealing with the same issues and habits and struggles for years. You slide forward a little only to slide backward again. Whenever things get hard, you start reminiscing about ‘the good old days’ and fall back into habits you had conquered. Progress requires a plan of action. Ideas must be put down if they are to influence the way you live.”

It’s important to know how to set goals.

Are your goals written down? Do other people know about them? Does your spouse? Do your friends?

Begin with general goals. I set written goals every week. In the “notes” portion of my iPhone, I have goals for the year—spiritual, family, physical, professional.

Break your general goals down into specific daily tasks. Mine are written in my iPhone so that I have them with me wherever I go. Each month I make the general goals specific and break them down to daily tasks. I probably only finish 80 percent of them because as I complete them, I set more.

The times I get away from fulfilling my goals are the times when I drift. Goals give me a sense of direction, boundaries and priorities.

Set some life goals. I like to talk with people about theirs. One of my favorite ways to relax is to get a bite to eat with a friend and ask them about their goals. I might ask how much money they want to make in five years, or what career path they want to take. I’ll ask what they want people to say in their obituary.

Most people have an opinion about these things, but few actually have a plan.

Establish a personal mission statement. Many people go through a difficult mid-life period, which may rob them of goals or make them feel as if what they have achieved is ephemeral. Patrick Morley, author ofThe Man in the Mirror, says that midlife is like a lake.

“Early in our lives we run swift like a river, but shallow. As we put years behind us, though, we deepen. Then one day, we enter the opened jaws of midlife,” Morley says.  “Where once we felt direction and velocity, suddenly we find ourselves swirling about, sometimes aimlessly, or so it seems. Each of us, like individual droplets of water, will take a different path through this part of the journey. For some of us it will only be a slowdown. Others will feel forgotten and abandoned by the father of the river. Some, unable to see where the waters converge and on again grow strong, will despair.”

Morley’s crisis started at 36. He says that it can occur well into your mid-50s.  (Remember, in our diverse culture there is no singular mid-life experience anymore).  “You come to a point that you feel somehow imbalanced—like something is missing,” he says, “like it’s not enough. All the years of pressure deadlines have taken a toll. You have discovered a vacuum in your soul for meaning, beauty, and quiet.”

He recommends writing a life mission statement that includes four elements:

1.  A life purpose: Why you exist

2.  A calling: What you do

3.  A vision or mental picture of what you want to happen

4.  A mission:  How you will go about it

Morley takes us full cycle through the birth of one vision, the implementing of that vision, the setting of goals to attain it, the commitment to a personal mission statement and on to the birth of a new vision that is greater than the first.

“A new vision must spring up from a foundation of gratitude for what God has already done to use us and make us useful,” Morley says. “The motivation cannot merely be wanderlust; not more for the sake of more. Rather, one chapter has closed and another beckons to be opened. A vision is a goal—a big one. Visions are not the work of today or tomorrow or even next month. Rather, a vision has a longer term.”

He reminds us that visions rarely turn out exactly as planned. The apostle Paul had the vision of going to Jerusalem and then to Rome. He didn’t consider that he would make those visits as a prisoner, but that’s how it came about. Often, God must delay the fulfilling of a vision or desire until He has prepared us to be people who can handle it with grace and humility. It is not God’s nature to give us greater visions and accomplishments if they work to our destruction. Instead, God allows us to be hammered into the shape of a vessel that can gracefully contain the vision.

What God-inspired goals do you have for your life? Are you a scientist or doctor who can set a goal of finding a cure for a disease? Are you an entrepreneur who can pledge to give several million dollars to a credible missions organization? Are you a board member or pastor who can start a program for the poor in your city, or network churches to meet the need?

What would do you if there were no boundaries on your imagination or budget?

If you haven’t had big goals and dreams before now, I pray you will learn to set goals for 2014 and give them deadlines. Keep in mind that when you stand before the Lord, He will hold you accountable for the talents, resources and dreams He bestowed upon you. You stand to lose nothing by going for God’s highest plan for you. On the day when He says to you, “Well done, you good and faithful servant,” you will know that you attempted and accomplished much for your Savior.

Please leave your comments. Do you agree with me? Did I motivate you to set some goals? What is a goal you achieved because you wrote it down? What are the biggest things you hope to accomplish in 2014?.

Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or Facebook(stephenestrang).

Privacy Advocate Exposes High-Tech NSA Spy Gadgets.


A well-known privacy advocate has given the public an unusually explicit peek into the intelligence world’s tool box, pulling back the curtain on the National Security Agency’s arsenal of high-tech spy gear.

Independent journalist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum on Monday told a hacker conference in Germany that the NSA could turn iPhones into eavesdropping tools and use radar wave devices to harvest electronic information from computer even if they weren’t online.

Appelbaum told hundreds of computer experts gathered at Hamburg’s Chaos Communications Conference that his revelations about the NSA’s capabilities “are even worse than your worst nightmares.”

“What I am going to show you today is wrist-slittingly depressing,” he said.

Even though in the past six months there have been an unprecedented level of public scrutiny of the NSA and its methods, Appelbaum’s claims — supported by what appeared to be internal NSA slideshows — still caused a stir.

One of the slides described how the NSA can plant malicious software onto Apple Inc.’s iPhone, giving American intelligence agents the ability to turn the popular smartphone into a pocket-sized spy.

Another slide showcased a futuristic-sounding device described as a “portable continuous wave generator,” a remote controlled device which — when paired with tiny electronic implants — can bounce invisible waves of energy off keyboards and monitors to see what is being typed even if the target device isn’t connected to the Internet.

A third slide showcased a piece of equipment called NIGHTSTAND, which can tamper with wireless Internet connections from up to 8 miles away.

An NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said that she wasn’t aware of Appelbaum’s presentation, but that in general should would not comment on “alleged foreign intelligence activities.”

“As we’ve said before: NSA’s focus is on targeting the communications of valid foreign intelligence targets — not on collecting and exploiting a class of communications or services that would sweep up communications that are not of bona fide foreign intelligence interest to the U.S. government.”

The documents included in Appelbaum’s presentation were first published by German magazine Der Spiegel Sunday and Monday.

Appelbaum and Der Spiegel have both played an important role in the disclosures of NSA leaker Edward Snowden, but neither has clarified whether the most recent set of slides came from Snowden.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

How Social Media Can Steal Your Joy.


Social media
Does reviewing friends’ posts on social media make you envious? (Stock Free Images)

‘Tis the season to wrap gifts, build snowmen (snow people?) and Food Network-worthy gingerbread houses, sip egg nog, and, if you’re really in a Christmas mood, roast chestnuts by an open fire. For some, it’s even the season to daily locate that enchanting Elf on the Shelf who seems to get a little creepier by the year.

But no matter what your family’s holiday traditions are, ‘tis the season to view a plethora of festive photos and read many a Yuletide update as we plug into the various social media we use to record, journal, and share the merriment of our Christmas season.

And ‘tis almost the season to make a 2014 resolution or two. For me personally, I’m resolving to show a little more self-control when it comes to the beeping and buzzing notifications that constantly beckon from my stupid Smartphone. (That’s an oxymoron, I know, but you know what I mean.) I’m resolving to spend more time looking up at the sky, around at God’s beautiful creation, or into the eyes of complete strangers instead of peering down at my mobile device whenever a precious kernel of unfilled time slides through the hourglass of my day.

Beyond my desire to engage more with the real world and less with the virtual ones, I want to protect and improve my emotional and physical health. In this article, I’m going to share two of the primary dangers social media pose and let you decide whether your involvement on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. could be dialed back a bit.

1. It Can Cause You to Feel Bad About Yourself. Those photos of your friends ice skating at Rockefeller Center or celebrating a Secret Santa party can make you feel like the Grinch. Researchers from two German universities studied 600 people who logged time on Facebook and discovered that one in three felt worse after visiting the site, especially if they viewed vacation photos. Facebook frequenters who spent time on the site without posting their own content were also more likely to feel dissatisfied.

“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,” said study author Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University. “From our observations, some of these people will then leave Facebook, or at least reduce their use of the site.”

Why, in a social network that is supposed to provide warm, fuzzy feelings of connectedness and interaction, are we sometimes stricken with sensations of jealousy, loneliness, and even depression? In the German studies, the most common cause of Facebook frustration stemmed from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was “lack of attention” from having fewer comments, likes, and general feedback compared to friends. A UK study found that 50 percent of social media users evaluated their participation in social networking as having an overall negative effect on their lives. Specifically, they cited the blow to their self-esteem that comes as a byproduct of comparing themselves to peers as the biggest downfall.

Reducing your time spent on social media will provide more time for you to focus on making your own memories, pursuing your own passions, and spending time with your own family. You’ll be too busy being who the God of the universe made you to be—a unique and magnificent one in billions of people created throughout time—to worry about how you compare to your friends and role models you follow in silly cyberspace.

2. It can distract you from real life.Almost a quarter of Americans say they’ve missed out on important life moments as they’ve sought to share them with their eagerly awaiting friends and followers. (Slight sarcasm there. But if you think about it, your Facebook friends and fans can surely wait untilafter your birthday party or son’s football game is over to hear and see all about it.)

In a society that constantly bombards us with technology, and the message that more of it is better, we start believing that the digital world is where we must be in order to keep up with everything from news, weather, and politics to what kind of cookies our neighbor is baking for next Friday’s neighborhood Christmas pot luck. And, what time does it start again?

I like this quote from the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Eighteen years before Facebook and 21 years before the iPhone was released, folks like Ferris thought life was fast even without an information superhighway. Today, with dozens of social media platforms vying for our attention, it’s never been more important for us to fight to remain devoted to those who need our attention most.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Diana Anderson-Tyler is the author of Creation House’s Fit for Faith: A Christian Woman’s Guide to Total Fitness. Her popular website can be found at dianafit.com, and she is the owner and a coach at CrossFit 925. Diana can be reached on Twitter

For the original article, visit dianafit.com.

Why a Chinese Pastor Follows the God of Israel.


Chinese Christians
Chinese Christians know how to sing and dance, and they do it with all their hearts. (Maoz Israel)

Pastor Paul is one of a multitude of Chinese Christian leaders who has a burning desire to see his nation converted and brought into abundant life in this world and everlasting life in the world to come.

He founded a church in 2003 and then sent his young leaders out to start more churches, and today he has 40 growing churches bringing the gospel to his people—the Chinese!

He also has connected with many other pastors in his area, understanding from God’s Word that our Lord loves unity.

Most of all, he understands that the first and foremost act of obedience to bring forth a harvest in his land is a strong network of prayer.

One day a fellow pastor urged him to go to the All Nations Prayer Convocation in Jerusalem, led by Tom Hess. At first Paul thought, Why go to Jerusalem? I’m working in the harvest field in China, and that’s where my heart is.

But he attended the conference in 2008, and his heart was stirred. However, when he felt God prompting him to come to Jerusalem every year, he said he felt shocked. “I will obey,” he said, “but I don’t know why.”

The Jewish Connection to China

After attending the conference for the next two years, Pastor Paul began to understand that Israel is very important in God’s plan and, indeed, for the salvation of China.

He began to read everything he could find on Israel in the Chinese language. Books like Don Finto’s Your People Shall Be My People: How Israel, the Jews and the Christian Church Will Come together in the Last Days began to open up before him a huge horizon. (You can order Don’s book here.)

Pastor Paul devoured the Bible, now seeing the Jewish connection that runs from Genesis to Revelation. He also heard about Christians in the West giving donations to nonbelieving Jewish organizations, some of whom actually fight against the Messianic Jewish believers. Instead, he felt stirred to help the local body fulfill its purpose in the land.

Pastor Paul explains the spiritual journey he underwent:

“I thought deeply about the new awakening concerning Israel that I saw happening around me among my Chinese fellow Christians.

“I developed a profound desire to go deeper with my understanding of God’s plan for Israel. Most of all, I wanted to connect with the local believers. In 2011, I and my tour were in an Arab hotel in Jerusalem praying and struggling to understand what God was saying to us.

How Can I Bless Israel?

“I knew that I wanted to do something that would enable China to bless Israel. This verse shouted its message to me:

“‘Go through, go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway! Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples!’ (Is. 62:10).

“I felt God was telling me to host a conference in Jerusalem between Chinese pastors and local Israeli Messianic Jewish leaders. I was shocked. Absolutely shocked.

“I said, ‘But Lord, I am an unknown pastor. I am not famous or rich. I don’t even know any Messianic Jews in Israel! God, you could use someone from Hong Kong or from Taiwan—some famous father in the faith.’

“But then I said, ‘Lord, I have faith. I will obey, and I know you will open the door.’

“The very next day, I met a Messianic Jewish couple, Noam and Debra, who worked for the believing tour company, Sar El. A further shock—without Debra knowing my struggle with the directive from the Lord, she simply said to me, ‘God will use you to organize a conference here in Jerusalem.’

“I left to catch my plane and entered the airport heading towards my airline check-in counter. As I walked, I happened to glance at a man sitting by the side, looking at his iPhone messages. I recognized him although I didn’t know his name. But I remembered I had met him for two minutes at a prayer meeting some time before in Tel Aviv, hosted by Tom Hess.

“Something leaped in my spirit. I went over and introduced myself, reminding him where we had met. He was Ari Sorko-Ram. He began to tell me his vision for the local body of Messiah. He told me how he had begun studying Chinese a year before.

“I had brought with me an offering of about $2,000 from my churches but hadn’t known what to do with it, because until that day I hadn’t met any Israeli spiritual leaders. I had been feeling sad that I would be taking the offering back to China!

“Now I felt that I was to give Ari that offering. Of course, he was very surprised! As we talked, I told him, ‘I want to organize a conference next year between Chinese pastors and Israeli Messianic leaders.’

‘I Can Help You’

“Ari looked straight at me and said, ‘I can help you. You have met the right person! In fact, I will adopt you! I feel like the Lord has said to me to adopt you.’

“I didn’t know what the word adopt meant, and perplexed, I stopped to look it up in my Chinese-English dictionary!

“Ari continued, ‘I know the Israeli leaders here in the country. I can help you organize a conference.’

“Back in China, I shared with my elders the story. We prayed, and God gave me this plan—to create an alliance of Chinese Christians who will pray for Israel, who will love Israel, who will build a bridge between Christians in China and Israel’s Messianic body, and who will help Israel and China realize their destiny.

“We held three conferences in China last year to bring the knowledge of God’s plan for Israel to our people. I also visited Israel several times and found the Messianic leaders I met excited about such a conference.

“In 2012, some 100 Chinese and I came during Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), and at our first conference we met with a number of Israeli pastors.

“This year, 150 Chinese leaders interfaced with 80 Messianic Jewish leaders. We prayed, worshipped and gave Israelis opportunity in small groups to share their vision and their work in the land. I was amazed at the connections being made—even though it was through translators!

“Next year, we are planning for somewhere around 100 Israelis and 200 to 300 Chinese pastors and leaders to meet, again during the Sukkot holiday.

“Yes, I am amazed what God has done with an unknown pastor like myself. Through divinely directed encounters, God has begun to build a bridge between the Christians in China and the Messianic Jewish leaders of the land of Israel.”

For the original article, visit maozisrael.org.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ STANDING WITH ISRAEL.

Why a Chinese Pastor Follows the God of Israel.


Chinese Christians
Chinese Christians know how to sing and dance, and they do it with all their hearts. (Maoz Israel)

Pastor Paul is one of a multitude of Chinese Christian leaders who has a burning desire to see his nation converted and brought into abundant life in this world and everlasting life in the world to come.

He founded a church in 2003 and then sent his young leaders out to start more churches, and today he has 40 growing churches bringing the gospel to his people—the Chinese!

He also has connected with many other pastors in his area, understanding from God’s Word that our Lord loves unity.

Most of all, he understands that the first and foremost act of obedience to bring forth a harvest in his land is a strong network of prayer.

One day a fellow pastor urged him to go to the All Nations Prayer Convocation in Jerusalem, led by Tom Hess. At first Paul thought, Why go to Jerusalem? I’m working in the harvest field in China, and that’s where my heart is.

But he attended the conference in 2008, and his heart was stirred. However, when he felt God prompting him to come to Jerusalem every year, he said he felt shocked. “I will obey,” he said, “but I don’t know why.”

The Jewish Connection to China

After attending the conference for the next two years, Pastor Paul began to understand that Israel is very important in God’s plan and, indeed, for the salvation of China.

He began to read everything he could find on Israel in the Chinese language. Books like Don Finto’sYour People Shall Be My People: How Israel, the Jews and the Christian Church Will Come together in the Last Days began to open up before him a huge horizon. (You can order Don’s book here.)

Pastor Paul devoured the Bible, now seeing the Jewish connection that runs from Genesis to Revelation. He also heard about Christians in the West giving donations to nonbelieving Jewish organizations, some of whom actually fight against the Messianic Jewish believers. Instead, he felt stirred to help the local body fulfill its purpose in the land.

Pastor Paul explains the spiritual journey he underwent:

“I thought deeply about the new awakening concerning Israel that I saw happening around me among my Chinese fellow Christians.

“I developed a profound desire to go deeper with my understanding of God’s plan for Israel. Most of all, I wanted to connect with the local believers. In 2011, I and my tour were in an Arab hotel in Jerusalem praying and struggling to understand what God was saying to us.

How Can I Bless Israel?

“I knew that I wanted to do something that would enable China to bless Israel. This verse shouted its message to me:

“‘Go through, go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway! Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples!’ (Is. 62:10).

“I felt God was telling me to host a conference in Jerusalem between Chinese pastors and local Israeli Messianic Jewish leaders. I was shocked. Absolutely shocked.

“I said, ‘But Lord, I am an unknown pastor. I am not famous or rich. I don’t even know any Messianic Jews in Israel! God, you could use someone from Hong Kong or from Taiwan—some famous father in the faith.’

“But then I said, ‘Lord, I have faith. I will obey, and I know you will open the door.’

“The very next day, I met a Messianic Jewish couple, Noam and Debra, who worked for the believing tour company, Sar El. A further shock—without Debra knowing my struggle with the directive from the Lord, she simply said to me, ‘God will use you to organize a conference here in Jerusalem.’

“I left to catch my plane and entered the airport heading towards my airline check-in counter. As I walked, I happened to glance at a man sitting by the side, looking at his iPhone messages. I recognized him although I didn’t know his name. But I remembered I had met him for two minutes at a prayer meeting some time before in Tel Aviv, hosted by Tom Hess.

“Something leaped in my spirit. I went over and introduced myself, reminding him where we had met. He was Ari Sorko-Ram. He began to tell me his vision for the local body of Messiah. He told me how he had begun studying Chinese a year before.

“I had brought with me an offering of about $2,000 from my churches but hadn’t known what to do with it, because until that day I hadn’t met any Israeli spiritual leaders. I had been feeling sad that I would be taking the offering back to China!

“Now I felt that I was to give Ari that offering. Of course, he was very surprised! As we talked, I told him, ‘I want to organize a conference next year between Chinese pastors and Israeli Messianic leaders.’

‘I Can Help You’

“Ari looked straight at me and said, ‘I can help you. You have met the right person! In fact, I will adopt you! I feel like the Lord has said to me to adopt you.’

“I didn’t know what the word adopt meant, and perplexed, I stopped to look it up in my Chinese-English dictionary!

“Ari continued, ‘I know the Israeli leaders here in the country. I can help you organize a conference.’

“Back in China, I shared with my elders the story. We prayed, and God gave me this plan—to create an alliance of Chinese Christians who will pray for Israel, who will love Israel, who will build a bridge between Christians in China and Israel’s Messianic body, and who will help Israel and China realize their destiny.

“We held three conferences in China last year to bring the knowledge of God’s plan for Israel to our people. I also visited Israel several times and found the Messianic leaders I met excited about such a conference.

“In 2012, some 100 Chinese and I came during Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), and at our first conference we met with a number of Israeli pastors.

“This year, 150 Chinese leaders interfaced with 80 Messianic Jewish leaders. We prayed, worshipped and gave Israelis opportunity in small groups to share their vision and their work in the land. I was amazed at the connections being made—even though it was through translators!

“Next year, we are planning for somewhere around 100 Israelis and 200 to 300 Chinese pastors and leaders to meet, again during the Sukkot holiday.

“Yes, I am amazed what God has done with an unknown pastor like myself. Through divinely directed encounters, God has begun to build a bridge between the Christians in China and the Messianic Jewish leaders of the land of Israel.”

For the original article, visit maozisrael.org.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

SHIRA SORKO-RAM AND PASTOR PAUL

God’s Grace for the Struggling Single Mom.


single mom with daughter
(http://www.stockfreeimages.com)

Sometimes it’s easier to apply God’s truths to my life than to the lives of my children. I don’t know why that is. Maybe I feel like I should be able to fix things for them because I’m their mom.

If I just love them enough, they won’t feel the void their Dad’s departure left. Nope—not possible. Only God can.

If I just spend enough time with them, they won’t miss their father so much. Nope—not possible. Only God can.

If I just do enough for them, they’ll know that they are valuable and loved. Nope—not possible. Only God can.

If I make life easier for them, the pain won’t be as acute. Nope—not possible. Only God can.

What I’ve done in my feverish attempt to fill the hole left by their father is become completely exhausted and a bit ineffective as a parent. It might have served a purpose to a degree at the beginning, but now I have children who are selfish about my time, demanding of my resources, thoughtless of the dynamics of our family and a bit entitled in their mentality.

Lest it sound like I have the rottenest kids on the East Coast, let me say they are all wonderful. They all have lovely, sweet moments and kind words often. My teenage daughter still calls me “Mommy” sometimes, which absolutely melts my heart. My tweenage son still enjoys reading with me each night while we snuggle. My 6-year-old loves to draw pictures to encourage me. And at the most surprising and sweetest times, my 5-year-old will flash me the sign for “I love you.” They all bless me; they just don’t really help me!

I’ve noticed recently that they don’t seem to be getting some pretty obvious house rules. You know, the knock-before-entering thing. The don’t-help-yourself-to-mom’s-things-without-asking thing. The pick-up-after-yourself thing. The whole obey thing.

I’ve made myself entirely too available for them, so now they expect me to always be available for them. I’ve allowed them to enter my space freely and, boy, am I paying for that now! There are always people in my room messing with my stuff, making a mess.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ SPIRITLED WOMAN.

Online Sales, Thanksgiving Openings Eat Into Black Friday Shopping.


Thanksgiving Day store openings and online sales ate heavily into Black Friday shopping this year.

Shoppers spent $9.74 billion at stores in the U.S. on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that’s typically the busiest shopping day of the year. That’s a 13.2 percent drop from a year ago, according to data released Saturday afternoon by retail research firm ShopperTrak. However, combined spending over Thanksgiving and Black Friday rose 2.3 percent.

A few retailers opened stores on Thanksgiving for the last few years. This year, at least a dozen major retailers did so, with some opening earlier in the day. That led some analysts to question whether the Thanksgiving openings would take away sales on Black Friday.

Online sales on Thanksgiving Day also rose, climbing 19.7 percent compared with a year ago, according to IBM Benchmark data.

And estimates showed that Americans’ online shopping for Black Friday deals soared to $3 billion during a two-day period beginning on Thanksgiving, with tablets and cell phones used for nearly a quarter of sales.

Online purchases reached $1.93 billion on Friday itself, the unofficial start of the retail sector’s holiday season.

That marked a 39 percent increase over 2012, according to software maker Adobe, which analyzed 400 million visits on some 2,000 American shopping websites.

Early Black Friday sales, which began on Thanksgiving, reached $1.06 billion, up 18 percent from last year, according to Adobe.

Technology giant IBM also found similar numbers for overall online sales as it looked at 800 merchant websites.

It said online sales jumped 19.7 percent on Thanksgiving and 19 percent on Black Friday, with orders averaging $135.27, a 2.2 percent increase compared to last year.

Online shoppers may have been wise to avoid stores, with reports of fistfights, a stabbing and a shooting as people elbowed their way through crowded shopping floors to snatch heavily discounted items.

Sales from mobile devices accounted for 24.2 percent of the total, according to Adobe, with purchases from tablets representing 15.6 percent of those sales and purchases from smartphones representing 8.6 percent.

Similarly IBM found that mobile devices accounted for 21.8 percent of sales.

According to Adobe, of the $3 billion in total online sales over the two days, $417 million was done on iPads and $126 million was done on iPhones, while Android phones were used to buy $106 million in purchases and Android tablets accounted for $42 million.

IBM said tablets were used for 14.4 percent of online sales, against 7.2 percent on smartphones. On average, tablet users each spent $132.75 and smartphone users spent $115.63.

The company also found that iPad and iPhone users spent more, shelling out an average of $127.92, compared to $105.20 for users of Google’s Android system.

Adobe agreed that Apple users spent more than people using Android devices.

Purchases made from Apple devices accounted for 18.1 percent of total online sales, against 3.5 percent for Android devices.

IBM and Adobe did not examine purchases made in stores.

An estimate of total Thanksgiving weekend sales — including both online and in stores — is expected Sunday.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Newsmax Wires

10 Guest-Preaching Tips So They Will Invite You Back.


Have you ever been invited back as a guest preacher?

Have you ever been invited back as a guest preacher? (Lightstock)

Have you been invited to be a guest preacher?

I have had the opportunity to do a bit of guest preaching lately. I have also dealt with my fair share of good and bad guest preachers.

Here are some tips to help make you a better guest preacher—one they will actually want to invite back.

1. Honor the senior pastor. Most pastors do not get nearly enough appreciation for the extremely hard work they do for their churches. They will never stand up on stage and toot their own horn. So as the guest preacher, you should toot it for them.

Let the people know why you love their pastor. Create an opportunity for everyone to clap for him. Give the man some honor and recognition (1 Tim. 5:17).

2. Respect the time limit. Ask how long you are scheduled to preach—and stick with it! Do not go longer than the time you are given. You are a guest. Don’t overstay your welcome!

Not all churches have a clock visible from stage, so I personally use the Presentation Clock app on my iPhone. I set the time I have to preach, and it counts down for me. The timer turns yellow when I have 10 minutes left, red when I have 5 minutes, and inverts colors and starts counting up every second that I have gone over. It is a simple app but immensely helpful.

3. Arrive early. Be there before you have to be. Get to know the sound guys and other volunteers who arrive early. Talk to people in the audience before the service, and participate in the worship service.

Don’t freak everyone out because the service is about to start and they don’t know where their guest speaker is. I had this happen to me once.

4. Stay late. Don’t preach and run. Again, talk to people. Stick around and hear their stories. Pray with them.

Hanging around until the place clears out benefits everyone. They want to talk to the guest speaker. They will encourage you. They will feel important because you listened to them. And you will always learn something.

5. Know your audience. Tailor your application to who you are speaking to. If you are preaching to teenagers, your application needs to be different than if you are preaching to senior citizens. Preaching to inmates in prison should be different than stay-at-home moms.

Know who you are speaking to and what they are going through. And if you don’t know, ask.

6. Honor the topic, text or series you are given. I don’t care if you don’t like it or would rather preach on something else. Follow instructions. Do your absolute best to honor the direction and intention the church sets for you. It is not about you. Help the church win.

7. Know the stage transitions. Know when you are supposed to walk on stage. Know how it will be handed off to you. Also know how you are supposed to hand it off when you are done. Are you supposed to pray, lead into Communion, introduce a song or close out the service? The transitions are important.

I went to an event once where the guest speaker was always clueless on when his cue was to come on stage. As a result, there were many awkward transitions that distracted from the message.

8. Say thank you. Make sure you say thank you to the pastor who invited you to preach. Thank any of the staff who helped you. Thank the video and sound people. Thank the worship leader. Don’t act like a rock star. Show your gratitude.

9. Learn how to accept a compliment. People will inevitably compliment you. Even if you don’t preach well, some people will still say “Good job” out of sympathy. It’s weird but true.

Do not be arrogant and boast about yourself: “God has given me a tremendous gift!” Also, don’t be so humble that you brush aside their compliment: “It has nothing to do with me, sir. All glory to God.”

Repeat after me: “Thank you.” That is it. That is all you need to say. A sincere thank you.

10. Come prepared. Take your invitation to preach seriously. Be professional. Know your material. Provide notes, slides, Scripture, videos or outlines in advance. Communicate with the person in charge of the service so you know what to expect.

You also need to be prepared for anything. If you have slides or videos on a computer or DVD, always have a backup just in case one fails. If you preach with an iPad, have backup notes.

11. Bonus tip: Ask for feedback. After you preach, send a follow-up email. Thank them for the opportunity to speak. Let them know you enjoyed your time with them. And most importantly, ask for feedback.

You could ask them to take a brief survey or just ask if they have any tips on how you could do better next time. This shows that you care and also that you are eager to learn and get better.

The feedback you get from this will be gold. Don’t get offended. Take it seriously. Never stop learning and working to get better.

In the end, you still have to deliver a great message. Bring your “A game.” But add these tips on top of a great message and you will be the kind of guest preacher people will want to invite back.

Written by Brandon Hilgemann

Brandon Hilgemann has been on a nine-year journey to become the best preacher he can possibly be. During this time, he has worked in churches of all sizes, from a church plant to some of the largest and fastest growing churches in the United States. Brandon blogs his thoughts and ideas from his journey at ProPreacher.com.

For the original article, visit pastors.com.

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