I Am Not Afraid: Demon Possession And Spiritual Warfare

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While Africa and Madagascar seem like strange and faraway places, the world in which we now live has become much smaller than many of us could ever have imagined. Moreover, even our neighbors visit the local fortuneteller, read the horoscope page in the newspaper, and attend séances that seek to reach departed friends, lovers, and family members. Consequently, as we begin a journey into faraway places, we may soon find they are not as far away as we may have expected.

From Chapter 3

I Am Not Afraid is Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett s fascinating first-hand account of the spiritual warfare found within the Lutheran Church of Madagascar. Is spiritual warfare something new to the Church? Bennett reviews what the Bible, Church Fathers, and contemporary Lutheran leaders have to say.

Part One includes recent conversations dealing with spiritual warfare, an introduction into the Malagasy Lutheran Church, and the traditional Malagasy worldview. These are the stories of those who have been rescued from the darkness of sin and brought into the light of the Gospel.

Part Two looks to the Bible and the Church for explanation and historical perspective on the spiritual warfare found in the Malagasy Lutheran Church. Is it something only found in the time of Jesus and the apostles? What has the Church said in the past about such activities? Bennett explores the views of Martin Luther and other Lutheran leaders, and finally provides some helpful contemporary material and resources for dealing with spiritual warfare in today s context.

Includes a glossary of key terms, transcripts of personal interviews, bibliography, Scripture index, and subject index.

The Author

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Dr. Robert H Bennett is the Executive Director of Luther Academy. Before accepting the position to Luther Academy, Bennett served as the Administrative Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church and School of Reese, Michigan (2009-2014) and Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church of Benzonia, Michigan (2001-2009).

He enjoys teaching in the areas of The Lutheran Confessions, and Pastoral Theology. Bennett also serves as an International Mission Specialist and Guest Professor of Missions at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Dr. Bennett holds the degrees of B.A. from Concordia University, Ann Arbor (Human Resource Management), M.Div. (Exegetical Studies), S.T.M (Exegetical Studies) and PhD (Missiology) from Concordia

Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne Indiana. His PhD research focused on the growth of the Lutheran Church of Madagascar (F.L.M.). Dr. Bennett’s research led to the publishing of his first book on the subject Malagasy Lutheranism, titled, I Am Not Afraid: Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare. Bennett is also the author of Afraid: Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare in America and numerous journal articles and book reviews.

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WHAT JOURNALISM SKILLS CAN BE USED DIRECTLY IN CONTENT MARKETING?

Journalism 2Original article published in The Authentic Storytelling Project by Christoph Trappe

Some journalism skills can be transferred directly to the content marketing world. Let’s take them one by one.

Meeting deadlines

Journalists are constantly faced with deadlines in a near 24/7 news cycle. A deadline is a deadline. If it’s missed, the TV newscast might be short a story or the newspaper article didn’t get edited. Deadlines mean something and are met. When they aren’t, chances are the journalism career won’t last long. In content marketing, deadlines are also important and when they are met it can set teams apart from those who see deadlines as suggestions.

Continue reading: http://authenticstorytelling.net/what-journalism-skills-can-be-used-directly-in-content-marketing/

Great Men Knocked Down By Women: Will It Ever Come To An End?

Place 2Great men in sex scandals: Top, from left to right, Bill Clinton, John Profumo , Kobe Bryant and below, from left to right, Mike Tyson, Tiger Woods and Jeffery Archer.

Newspapers often come out with stories of great people, including politicians and celebrities in sex scandals, turning their lives upside down. Because they weren’t strong enough to control their sexual desire or too weak to resist the charm and power of attractive ladies. From Biblical times, there are stories of infidelity and adultery, putting many great men in the worst positions.

One of such stories recorded in the scriptures is that of King David, a composer, the author of book of Psalms. He couldn’t control his desire after seeing Uriah’s wife through his window taking her bath. After failing to persuade Uriah to sleep with his wife, to concede his sin and pregnancy of Bathsheba, David sent Uriah to the hottest part of a battle field to get him killed. God severely punished David for his sinful act and the child died after birth.

Giving examples of Biblical records of great men involved in sex scandals wouldn’t be intriguing, so let’s shift to our past and present generation. On June 5, 1963, British Secretary of War John Profumo resigns his post after confessing that he had lied to the House of Commons about his sexual affair with Christine Keeler, an alleged prostitute. The scandal didn’t affect him alone but threatened to topple Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s government.

A couple of years ago, it was revealed that former president of the USA, Bill Clinton, is involved in an affair with a former staff of the White House, Monica Lewinski. I watched as people argued that the story couldn’t be true. Is Clinton different from other great men women had brought to their knees? To make matters worse, after Clinton’s denial of not having any relationship with Monica, he later admitted to having sexual intercourse with Monica Lewinski.

What about the boxer Mike Tyson? He was convicted and jailed for raping Desire Washington. According to the story, Tyson invited her to his hotel room. To do what behind closed doors?  Later Mike Tyson was convicted of rape.  Many believe that Desire lied of being raped by Tyson, unfortunately not everyone believe that. Mike Tyson served his prison sentence but never became the iron Mike he used to be.  In one of his fights, after coming from prison, frustrated Tyson bit the ear of Evander Holyfield. They say the downfall of a man is not the end of his life, but at times some events and situations can be destructive.

Some years back in Britain, the famous British novelist Jeffery Archer, won a libel suit against the Sun newspaper for an article about him sleeping with a prostitute. According to Mr. Jeffery Archer, the story was untrue and it damaged his reputation. The author of ‘Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less’ was finally exposed. He admitted to having asked a friend to lie on his behalf to conceal the truth. So he did really slept with a prostitute. The startling new revelation affected Jeffery Archer such that he stepped down from contesting the seat as the mayor of London. Oh, what a shame?

On September 1, 2004 the criminal sexual assault case against Kobe Bryant, the NBA star, was dropped by the prosecutors because the accuser no longer wanted to participate in the court process.   This was after Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman in a Colorado hotel where she worked. The question is “why is it that the mighty keeps falling from the hands of women?” Is it lust, lack of control or temptation which is causing these problems? I can’t really unfold the mystery behind this.

One of such news about men involved in sex scandals, which shocked the world, was the case of the successful golfer, Tiger Woods. With such a  great career, leading him to all the corners of the world and wining great tournaments, the married man lost focus and hit the golf ball into the under wear  of porno stars, severely damaging his reputation and career.  I am a man, therefore I know the comfort and satisfaction at that place which belongs to a woman, but I am aware of the dangers and temptation, especially if you are a married man.

According to the scriptures, God places people in situations where He tests their faith and commitment.  Why God does tests us when He knew man will fail? Is man trying to get back the rib God used to create the Eve-woman, while the woman fights hard to keep it? If God really tests man, then man should pass the trial by not falling into temptations, because He also gave man power to resist temptation. In this case man shouldn’t blame God or woman for his failure.

Another question worth to bring on the table is: Can these bitter stories serve as a lesson to other men? Time will tell, but I don’t think so. Men will always drift into danger, since the body is weak to resist temptation, moreover Satan is like a hungry lion, lurking around the corner, looking for its next victim to devour, but we mustn’t allow him to catch us.

Vlaamse Journalisten Vereniging (Flemish Journalists Association) Celebrates Golden Jubilee

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The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, delivering his speech yesterday. Standing close is the Chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter van den Branden. Photo copyright @ Joel Savage.

It’s an exciting time for the Vlaamse Journalisten Veregniging, as the association holds its end of year press conference on Saturday, December 5, 2015,  at the District House, the main official building of the mayor of Antwerp, Mr. Bart De Wever.  

The association, which continue to grow, remain always adaptable, motivated and responsive, end of year’s press conference coincided with the celebration of the association’s golden jubilee.

At 12.00 pm, the chairman of the Flemish Journalists Association, Mr. Walter Van Den Branden, welcome all the members of the association into the office. After a quick refreshment, Bart De Wever was received by the chairman.

After giving his speech, he gave the platform to the mayor. Like always he shows his experience as a powerful and motivational speaker. He sheds light on his work as a politician, that many are displeased which caused a little laughter.

Like every formidable association, the Flemish Journalists Association, in the past fifty years, works and maintains close relationship with its members, in the fields of freelancing, media entrepreneurs, cartoonists, newspapers and radio journalists.

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Members of the Flemish Journalists Association. Photo Copyright@ Joel Savage.

The Flemish Journalists Association, also maintains close contacts with local authorities, engages in training  and carry out essential qualities needed to journalists to maintain successful careers.

From the mayor’s office, further activities of the association and dinner, took place at the Hotel Ramadan in Antwerp. I have attended many end of year press conferences of the Flemish Journalists Association, but this year’s occasion was exceptional.

After dinner, some of the members retired to bed in the hotel and others left home with free parcels distributed by the association’s secretary Hilde Van Gool.

The State Of The European Union And The Impact Of Television On The Society

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Joel Savage interviews Sergi Vicente, the Director of Barcelona Televisio.

Apartheid bowed to democracy in South Africa, the Berlin wall came tumbling down and the Soviet Union collapsed. Globally things were financially, economically and politically falling apart, when the European Union was formally established on November I, 1993, to share free market and single monetary policy for over more than 300 million citizens.

Many Europeans, including Belgians, argue that things were better and life more comfortable, before the European Union was formed. For example, the past and present turmoil in other European countries, including Greece, reveal the European Union is unstable and steering into stormy waters.

My recent visit to Barcelona, I called on Mr. Sergi Vicente, the director of Barcelona Televisio, to give me his views and opinion on the present state of the European Union and the impact of the television on the society. Below are the excerpts of the interview.

Joel: There are thousands of Europeans, especially Western Europe, who aren’t satisfied over the formation of the European Union, because the pattern of lives changed, as prices of commodities escalated, affecting, the economy and the standard living of Europeans, leaving many unemployed. Let’s take Greece for example. What do you think?

Vicente: I don’t see the unification of the European Union as a failure. There are advantages and disadvantages in everything but in regard to the Union, the best has been achieved. Transparency, Communication, integration and the growth of successful free market, are some of the achievements. Besides, the EU has thrived to develop liberty, justice,  education, prosperity, peace, security, the protection of the environment and health, thus; helping to disseminate basic human values at the global level.

Joel: Lack of employment, is a situation many Europeans are facing today. What’s the employment situation in Spain?

Vicente: As you just said, it’s a crisis many Europeans are facing, yet the problem has led to the creation of new jobs in other fields to reduce the unemployment rate. Unemployment may be long or short term, but things will improve.

Joel: Journalism is rapidly losing its credibility, that’s the way many feel, because a lot of the media hide the truth and facts from the public. What’s your opinion?

Vicente: As a journalist heading an institution, we try our best to give the right information to the general public. This is the reason readers and viewers have favourite newspapers or television stations. Being transparent is one of the tools to build a good reputation. So I don’t see the reason the media should mislead people.

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Mr. Sergi Vicente, Director of Barcelona Televisio.

Joel: Barcelona used to be a city for drug addicts and peddlers. Is there any change?

Vicente: You’ve already seen that there is a dramatic change in the city, since the country is one of the most visited tourists attraction in the world. The mayor, police and other officials had worked hard and still relentlessly working hard to make the city  healthy and  safe for tourists.

Joel: Television is a great source of entertainment and education, yet many believe it’s responsible for crime and immorality which have plagued and crippled our society.

Vicente: I can’t say television is responsible for crime, even though I agree that it has both advantages and disadvantages.Children are protected and cared by adults, thus, it’s the responsibility of parents to control what children watch on the television. Controling children is part of the training and caring for children. Bad friends can also influence children. As a matter of fact, television educates more than influencing children negatively.

Joel: Mr. Vicente, thanks for the interview.

Vicente: You are welcome.

10 Reasons Never Wish To Be A Celebrity

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Actress Winona Ryder, stole over $5,000 worth of designer clothing and accessories at the Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue in 2001, despite all the fame and ‘success.’

Here comes a celebrity in glamorous dress, she wants to fly, yet she has no wings. The hungry paparazzi follow them where ever they go. Their names make the headlines in newspapers and faces appear on the television every time. That’s great isn’t it? And you wished to be one of them isn’t is? You can only taste a food before discovering how delicious or sour it tastes, because aroma or sweet scent can be deceiving.

Life is tough, so everyone wants to be successful, thus; many wish to be someone. Be careful what you wish for. If you haven’t been to someone’s farm before, you may think your farm is the biggest. No matter the weight of the problem, when hear someone’story, you’ll know that your problem is just as small as an ant or the tip of the iceberg.

Be content with what you have. Don’t be deceived. Who feels it knows it. Many smile behind suffering and live above their means, but your comfort, success and happiness, lie in your own hands. Below are ten reasons never wish to be a celebrity.

  1. Due to the thirst for fame and the desire to do something no other celebrity has done, they end up putting on degrading clothes they called it modern fashion.
  2. Many abuse the precious dignity of women by attending functions without underwear and they called it “Women Empowerment.”
  3. Many live beyond their means, buying expensive jewels, cars, houses etc; then later cry at home when running financially dry. Those in that situation often end up in shoplifting scandals.
  4. Most celebrities live in debt. The result is restlessness and lack of sleep.
  5. Many can’t handle fame, thus; they end up as drug addicts and alcoholics and often against the law.
  6. Some celebrities end up at rehabilitation centers, hospital and many commit suicide.
  7. Some date so many men and women to the extent that, by the time they are serious to settle and get married, nobody wants them, because they have misused their bodies.
  8. When many are bored, they take naked pictures of themselves and post it on social platforms.
  9. The fear of lacking behind in something or being forgotten by fans haunts them; therefore many do stupid things to attract media attention.
  10. Only few celebrities acknowledge God’s presence, as the omnipotent and depend on the gospel for salvation. Because of fame and pride many think God don’t exist and everything he or she owns comes from their effort.

There is nothing better than aiming high, following your dreams to be successful in whatever you want to achieve, but when pursuing that career, create a good name and inspire other people to follow you, because after your departure from this world, the seed you’ve sown, is what people would talk about. Would that seed be good or a bad one?

Belgium Journalists: What Do They Write About?

 

No discipline in Belgium schools

Sven Gatz: Flemish minister for culture, Media, and youth. He has a big responsibility to instill discipline in schools

In the publishing industry, there was a time the cover of a book doesn’t matter to readers, because many agree that the content or subject of the book gives the book recognition, makes it famous or masterpiece among titles. Then suddenly everything changed. Now hundreds of readers choose their books wisely because attractive covers.

Thus; if you are a journalist and you think because you’re holding Bachelor of Arts, Masters’ Degree or whatever qualification in journalism, those qualifications, will earn you the respect you are looking for, then I’m sorry, you are in a dream land or you’re likely lost in the desert.

In this modern era that journalism or the media plays a very important role in the society, the impact of your work, articles and your daily contribution to society, are what is necessary, but not one’s qualification. Because many have those qualifications but have no experience. Give them a pen to write something essential, you will be disappointed.

As one takes a wider view on things happening in our society today, the need to ask what’s role is the media playing to make things better in our decaying society is necessary. Go to schools, you will be astonished to see the lack of discipline that has taken over. Students don’t respect teachers and say bad things to them. In the toilets, students urinate indiscriminately on the ground, because they enjoy  cleaners cleaning their mess.

Young children, as young as twelve and thirteen are smoking. Many are dropping out of school because of teenage pregnancy and juvenile crime, while a lot of children are committing suicide every day. Even though there are thousands of journalists in Belgium, it’s rare to read articles from journalists, suggesting solutions to such disturbing issues or how to arrest the situation.

When you buy any Belgium newspaper, what one reads is politics and articles about immorality. Nothing significant or educating to read. It’s sad, yet they think they are on top of the world. What Belgium journalists fear most is to write the truth about Aids and Ebola, because their country took part in the medical crime against Africa.

Efficient journalism means accuracy, fairness, compelling, presentation, timeliness and relevance. It’s hard to find these qualities in Belgium journalists. They can’t even differentiate evil from good. They have proved it. None of their journalists is brave enough to demand the removal of the statue of the murderer King Leopold II, for killing over ten million Africans, including children, when there is no statue of Adolf Hitler for killing six million Jews.

Those days that European journalists want to prove to Africa that they are the most intelligent people on earth are gone. Now that we know, we shall continue to reveal their weaknesses, incompetency and their cowardly acts to the world. Out of the blue, a Belgian journalist followed me on Twitter. He suffered attacks  from other journalists and the following day, he unfollowed. Today, one of my respected followers is Queen Mathilde of Belgium, because she is a truthful and sincere woman.