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Posts tagged ‘Philippines’

Kerry: China Willing to Pressure NKorea on Nukes.


Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday China is willing to exert more pressure to get North Korea to give up its nuclear program.

He told reporters in Beijing he was pleased that China “could not have more forcefully reiterated its commitment” to the goal of denuclearizing North Korea.

The reclusive Asian state has defied international warnings not to build atomic bombs and long-range missiles. It is believed to have enough fissile material to build up to 10 nuclear bombs, but most intelligence analysts say it has yet to master the technology to deploy such weapons.

“I encouraged the Chinese to use every tool at their disposal, all of the means of persuasion that they have, building on the depths of their long and historic and cultural and common history (with North Korea),” he said.

“They made it very clear that if the North doesn’t comply and come to the table and be serious about talks and stop its program … they are prepared to take additional steps in order to make sure their policy is implemented,” Kerry said, adding the United States and China were now discussing “the specifics of how you do that”.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Kerry China would work with all parties concerned, including the United States, to play a constructive role for the region’s peace and stability.

“China will never allow chaos or war on the Korean Peninsula,” Wang said, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

North Korea was raised during Kerry’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Foreign Ministry said, with Xi “setting forth China’s stance”. It gave no other details.

The East and South China Seas featured prominently on Kerry’s agenda too, with him calling for a “more rule of law based, less confrontational regime”.

The United States is uneasy about what it sees as China’s effort to gain creeping control over waters in the Asia-Pacific region, including its Nov. 23 declaration of an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) in an area of the East China Sea that includes islands at the centre of a dispute with Japan.

China claims about 90 percent of the 3.5 million square km (1.35 million square mile) South China Sea, depicting what it sees as its area on maps with a so-called nine-dash line, looping far out over the sea from south China.

China and the Association of South East Asian Nations have been discussing a code of conduct for the South China Sea, and Kerry said he believed China was ready to achieve that goal.

“That would help reduce tensions that stem from the territorial and maritime disputes and, in the meantime, it’s very important that everybody build crisis management tools and refrain from coercive or unilateral measures to assert whatever claims any country in the region may have,” he said.

Wang said China was committed to a peaceful resolution for both the East and South China Seas disputes, but urged the United States not take sides and said China had an “unshakable resolve” to protect its sovereignty.

The United States should “respect historical facts and China’s sovereign interests, adhere to an objective and impartial stance and take tangible actions to promote mutual trust in the region so as to safeguard regional peace and stability”, Wang said.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims over the South China Sea, or parts of it.

Kerry said he told China it would be a bad idea to establish an air defence identification zone in the South China Sea, similar to the one it set up over the East China Sea late last year, which prompted protests from Washington, Tokyo and Seoul.

“We have made it very clear that a unilateral, unannounced, unprocessed initiative like that can be very challenging to certain people in the region, and therefore to regional stability,” he said.

Wang said China was confident it could maintain peace in the South China Sea by working with ASEAN, and denounced efforts by “certain people internationally” to hype up tensions and “spread untruths”. “China is resolutely opposed to this,” Wang said, without elaborating.

Climate change was also on the agenda of Kerry’s talks.

“We need to see if working together we could identify any further steps that we may be able to take, specifically with respect to arrival at meaningful targets with respect to the 2015 climate change conference that will take place in Paris in December of next year,” Kerry said.

 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Kerry: Israeli-Palestinian Deal Possible by End of April.


TEL AVIV, Israel — Shrugging off gloomy predictions of failure, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Israelis and Palestinians remained committed to peace talks and were on course to wrap up a full deal by April.

Speaking at the end of his second visit to the region in just a week, Kerry said the two sides were discussing a framework for a final-status accord to resolve the core issues at the heart of the decades-old conflict.

“Both parties remain committed to fulfilling their obligations to stay at the table and negotiate hard during the nine-month period that we set for that,” Kerry told reporters after separate talks with Palestinian and Israeli leaders.

“We’re not talking at this point about any shifts [in the schedule],” he said, dismissing bleak assessments from both sides on progress in the U.S.-brokered negotiations, which resumed in July after a three-year pause.

The U.S. top diplomat wants the two camps to accept a so-called framework accord that will touch on all the main issues, such as security, the future of Jerusalem and the fate of refugees, and serve as a broad outline for the final deal.

Palestinians fear such a preliminary agreement could serve to delay once again their hopes of establishing an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — land the Israelis seized in the 1967 war.

Kerry said his talks over the past two days, played out against a backdrop of fierce winter snow storms, had focused on security, with retired U.S. General John Allen joining him for the discussions with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

GUARANTEES

Palestinian sources said Allen, a former commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, had drawn up plans to allow a continued Israeli military presence for the next 10 years in the Jordan Valley — along the eastern border of any new Palestinian state.

Israel says its troops have to remain there to prevent arms and militants from entering the West Bank and launching attacks. Abbas has rejected the idea, but said he would accept seeing U.S. troops deployed along the border.

“We are working on an approach that both guarantees Israel’s security and fully respects Palestinian sovereignty,” Kerry said, without giving further details.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said after Kerry’s visit “we want to achieve a peace based on Israel’s withdrawal from lands occupied in 1967.”

“We won’t accept limiting Palestinian sovereignty over our land,” Erekat added, in comments to al Arabiya television.

Palestinians also question whether Israel will press ahead with the third tranche of a planned release of Palestinian prisoners.

Seen as a vital confidence-building measure, Israel has so far freed about half the 104 prisoners it had pledged to let out of its jails under a deal secured by Washington in July. Kerry said the third tranche would go ahead on Dec. 29.

Kerry has made nine visits to the region since taking office in February in a relentless campaign to gain momentum and bridge a vast gulf of mutual mistrust.

“We remain hopeful that we can achieve that final-status agreement. Why? Because we are absolutely confident . . . that for both sides, and the region at large, peace can bring enormous benefits,” Kerry said.

He left Israel later on Friday, bound for Vietnam and the Philippines.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Pastor Who Lost His Kids: ‘God Will Not Forsake Us’.


 

Typhoon Haiyan
Two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan struck, villagers are still struggling to survive. (Operation Blessing, Facebook)

Aid is still urgently needed several weeks after super Typhoon Haiyan battered the central Philippines.

Survivors are trying to cope with the loss of loved ones, homes and possessions. Two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan struck villagers are still struggling to survive.

People living in the interior communities are finding it difficult to go where they can get medical aid and relief goods because they must trudge through filthy debris.

But some are still unselfishly helping others, like one pastor who lost half of his family in the disaster.

The stinky piles of garbage are everywhere. And dead bodies are still being discovered, like the granddaughter of Rico Villalino, who shared his heartache with CBN News.

“That is my granddaughter along the road. We just found her this morning. The other one is still missing. We also lost our house. Everything is gone,” he said.

One female pastor, who accompanied CBN News, prayed for Villalino and invited him to attend church.

Many like Villalino have turned to God because of the tragedy. But even the most faithful church workers have also experienced hardship and loss.

All three of Pastor Dante Lingo’s children were swept away by the surging waters.

“We were holding on to the beam of our ceiling when the big waves collapsed our house and we were swallowed by the big waves,” Pastor Lingo, from Hope in Christ Christian Fellowship, told CBN News.

Only one son survived. When the waters subsided they found the bodies of their sons aged 13 and 7 clutching each other, while the body of their 5-year-old daughter was found the next day.

“We will miss them so much. We worked so hard for their future,” Dolor Lingo, the children’s mother, said.

“They helped us in our feeding ministry. We feed the children but all that is gone. We don’t know where to start but we believe God will not forsake us. He has a purpose why we are still alive,” she said.

Dolor is also grieving over the death of her mother and 13 other family members.

The news team noticed a wound on Dolor’s foot. They took her and surviving family members to a CBN Disaster Relief medical clinic.

A doctor examined and cleaned Dolor’s wound. She was also given tetanus shot, vitamins and medicines for her family.

The family also spend time with a CBN counselor who listened to them and prayed for their needs.

“We did not expect that people like you will come here to help us. Your smiles make our hearts smile as well. Especially with what happened to our family, you have comforted and encouraged us,” Pastor Lingo said.

“The Lord said in the Bible, ‘Whoever wants to follow me should carry his cross everyday,'” he continued.

“What happened to our life is like what happened to Job. He lost his children and his possessions. This is a very difficult time for us but we shall cling to the Lord because He alone gives us strength. And we will cling to His Word because His Word alone will sustain us,” he added.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

LUCILLE TALUSAN/CBN NEWS

Pope Prays for Philippines Victims During Saint Ceremony.


Image: Pope Prays for Philippines Victims During Saint Ceremony

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis prayed Thursday for the victims of the typhoon-ravaged Philippines at a ceremony to mark the unveiling of a mosaic image of the country’s youngest saint in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The ceremony was attended by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila, who helped coordinate aid efforts after the storm, which left around 5,500 people dead or missing and 4.4 million homeless.

“I have been close to your people, I have seen how great the pain has been but also how strong the people have been,” Francis said. “Faith emerged from the ruins, it came from solidarity in the moment of hardship.

“In the moment of hardship, we ask why some things happen. In those moments of suffering, questioning prayers that do not ask for explanations but beg the Lord to accompany us are the most useful,” he added.

Pedro Calungsod, a 17th-century Filipino who was martyred at 17-years-old, was made a saint by Francis’ predecessor Benedict XVI last year.

Calungsod became the second saint in the country, where between 80 percent and 90 percent of the population are Catholic.

He was killed on the island of Guam in 1672 while trying to convert the local inhabitants and is considered the patron saint of the young in the Philippines.

The mosaic of his image depicts the saint as a young man with a martyr’s palm pressed to his chest.

Francis is expected to call on pilgrims on Sunday to donate money to help rescue efforts in the storm-hit country at a ceremony to mark the end of the Vatican’s “Year of Faith.”

© AFP 2013

The 6 Ws of Men’s Discipleship.


Check out the six Ws involved in effective men's discipleship.
Check out the six Ws involved in effective men’s discipleship. (Stock Free Images)

After decades of building my weekly rhythms aroundsmall group discipleship in Manila, Philippines, the past few years of splitting time betweenNashvilleManila and Delta airlines have been quite frustrating. With a fresh resolve, I’m starting again.

And so I met with a small group of men at Starbucksfor discipleship. This was my first meeting with this group, and I went over with them the “six essential Ws” to discipling men:

1. Word. Always start with the Bible, God’s Word. Since “all Scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16, NIV), all discipleship is simply about getting men into the Word and getting the Word into men. The Word does the lion’s share of the discipleship. It teaches, rebukes, corrects and trains. If you are not a good teacher, let the Word teach. If you are too timid to rebuke, let the Word rebuke. If you do not know what to correct, let the Word correct.

2. Worship. After we establish men in the Word, we must help disciple them in a lifestyle of worship. When I say worship, I am not talking about 20 minutes of singing on Sunday morning. That is part of it, but worship is much more than singing off-key while accompanied by smoke machines and a loud amateur band.

Here’s how Paul described real worship: “In view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Rom. 12:1, emphasis added). In discipleship, we must teach men to engage corporate worship (singing at church on Sunday) as well as sacrificially giving all to God Monday through Saturday (true and proper worship).

3. Work. Since men spend much more time at work than at church, discipleship must connect with the workplace. How does a man apply God’s Word in the office? Biblical discipleship should help a man be better at his work rather than coasting at the office waiting for the weekend. Undiscipled men endure their jobs all week waiting for Friday and Saturday night when they can party. Undiscipled religious men endure work all week waiting for Sunday morning worship. Both are wrong. Real disciples see work as a calling and serve, honor and worship God through their work.

4. Women. It is impossible to disciple men without dealing with what the Bible says about sexual boundaries. Gifted men, from King David to Samson to modern preachers, have wrecked their lives by crossing biblical boundaries with women. Married men and single men are equally vulnerable and guilty. Just yesterday, I heard a sad story of a businessman who got a woman pregnant. She was not his wife. This guy was a regular church attender. But he was not involved in a discipleship group.

5. Wealth. Like sexual boundaries, it is impossible to really disciple men without dealing with the root of all evil. Referring to money, Jesus said we cannot serve two masters, but many men try anyway. Money is an emotional and personal issue because it is a heart issue. When it comes to discipling men about money, I suggest you let the Word do the teaching, rebuking, correcting and training when it comes to this area. And let your example of generosity, integrity, discipline and faith shout “Amen!” to what the Word says about wealth and money.

6. God’s will. The final of the big six is to help a man discern God’s will for his life. The best way to know God’s will is to refer back to point No. 2 above—worship. If you give your life as a living sacrifice on God’s altar, “then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2). If a man is unwilling to live a life of sacrifice, he will never fully know God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for his life. So, if you want to disciple men, boldly call them to sacrifice.

Steve and Deborah Murrell went to the Philippines in 1984 for a one-month summer mission trip that never ended. They are the founding pastors of Victory Manila, one church that meets in 14 locations in Metro Manila and has planted churches in 60 Philippine cities and 20 nations. Currently, Victory has more than 6,000 discipleship groups that meet in coffee shops, offices, dormitories and homes in Metro Manila. Steve is co-founder and president of Every Nation Churches and Ministries, a family of churches focused on church planting, campus ministry and world missions.

For the original article, visit stevemurrell.com.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

STEVE MURRELL

The 6 W’s of Men’s Discipleship.


Pastor Steve Murrell

Pastor Steve Murrell(Facebook)

After decades of building my weekly rhythms around small group discipleship in Manila, the past few years splitting time between NashvilleManila, and Delta airlines have been quite frustrating regarding small group discipleship. With a fresh resolve, I’m starting again.

I’ve met with a small group of men at Starbucks for discipleship. This was my first meeting with this group.

Here are the six essential W’s to discipling men:

1. Word. Always start with the Bible, God’s Word. Since “all Scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16) all discipleship is simply about getting men into the Word and getting the Word into men. The Word does the lion’s share of the discipleship. It teaches, rebukes, corrects, and trains. If you are not a good teacher, let the Word teach. If you are too timid to rebuke, let the Word rebuke. If you do not know what to correct, let the Word correct.

2. Worship. After we establish men in the Word, we must help disciple them in a lifestyle of worship. When I say worship, I am not talking about twenty minutes of singing on Sunday morning. That is part of it, but worship is much more than singing off-key while accompanied by smoke machines and a loud amateur band. Here’s how Paul described real worship. “In view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1) In discipleship we must teach men to engage corporate worship (singing at church on Sunday) as well as sacrificially giving all to God Monday through Saturday (true & proper worship).

3. Work. Since men spend much more time at work than at church, discipleship must connect with the workplace. How does a man apply God’s Word in the office? Biblical discipleship should help a man be better at his work, rather than coasting at the office waiting for the weekend. Undiscipled men endure their jobs all week waiting for Friday and Saturday night partying. Undiscipled religious men endure work all week waiting for Sunday morning worship. Both are wrong. Real disciples see work as a calling and serve, honor, and worship God through their work.

4. Women. It is impossible to disciple men without dealing with what the Bible says about sexual boundaries. Gifted men, from King David to Samson to modern preachers, have wrecked their lives by crossing biblical boundaries with women. Married men and single men are equally vulnerable, and guilty.  Just yesterday I heard a sad story of a businessman who got woman pregnant. She was not his wife. This guy was a regular church attender. But he was not involved in a discipleship group.

5. Wealth. Like sexual boundaries, it is impossible to really disciple men without dealing with the root of all evil.  Referring to money, Jesus said we cannot serve two masters, but many men try anyway. Money is an emotional and personal issue because it is a heart issue. When it comes to discipling men about money, I suggest you let the Word do the teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training when it comes to money. And let your example of generosity, integrity, discipline, and faith shout AMEN to what the Word says about wealth and money.

6. God’s Will. The final of the big six, is to help a man discern God’s will for his life. The best way to know God’s will is to refer back to point No. 2 above. If you give your life as a living sacrifice on God’s altar, “then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” If a man is unwilling to live a life of sacrifice, he will never fully know God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for his life. So, if you want to disciple men, boldly call them to sacrifice.

Written by Steve Murrell

Steve and Deborah Murrell went to the Philippines in 1984 for a one-month summer mission trip that never ended. They are the founding pastors of Victory Manila, one church that meets in 14 locations in Metro Manila and has planted churches in 60 Philippine cities and 20 nations. Currently, Victory has more than 6,000 discipleship groups that meet in coffee shops, offices, dormitories and homes in Metro Manila. Steve is co-founder and president of Every Nation Churches and Ministries, a family of churches focused on church planting, campus ministry and world missions.

For the original article, visit stevemurrell.com.

 

Obama Grounded, Cancels Asian Trip During Shutdown.


Image: Obama Grounded, Cancels Asian Trip During Shutdown

By Elliot Jager

The sky’s the limit for Barack Obama. The U.S. government shutdown has forced the president to cancel trips to Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the PhilippinesNBC News reported.

Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to make these visits in Obama’s place, starting on Oct. 6.

With no fiscal crisis to hold him back – and no democracy to constrain his policies – Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived Wednesday in Indonesia as part of a regional tour that will assert his country’s interests as a power on the ascent. Forbes reported that bilateral trade between China and Indonesia has mushroomed to $66 billion in 2012. Beijing‘s bilateral trade with Malaysia has hit $95 billion.

Obama will miss the chance to address the Fourth Global Entrepreneurship Summit, a program launched in 2009 by the president himself to spur job creation through entrepreneurship by connecting young innovators with resources and ideas,according to  organizers.

In 2010, an earlier fiscal crisis and the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico forced Obama to cancel two foreign trips.

His most recent trip abroad was to St. Petersburg, Russia, for the G-20 summit in September. That trip, which also included a stop in Sweden, cost the president politically when his plans for military intervention in Syria lost steam. While he was away congressional opponents in both parties gained the upper hand, Politico noted.

As president, Obama has visited 40 countries making some 60 trips.

The White House website reported that the president has no public appointments scheduled Wednesday.

Over at US.gov, the Federal government‘s portal, visitors are informed: “Due to the lapse in federal government spending, this website is not available.

We sincerely regret the inconvenience.” Though, helpfully, surfers can scroll and click around to find out all the things they – like Obama – can no longer do.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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