Senin, 26 Agustus 2013

HIV/AIDS Christian Activist Comments on News That an Adult Porn Star has tested positive for HIV

HIV/AIDS Christian Activist Comments on News That an Adult Porn Star has tested positive for HIV

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

LOS ANGELES, CA (ANS) -- Pastor Bruce Sonnenberg, the Founder and Executive Director of He Intends Victory, who in 1990 began this pioneering work for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, has spoken out on news that the adult film industry's trade association is calling for a moratorium on filming after a porn actress tested positive for HIV.
Cameron Bay
According to ABC News, a porn industry trade group has confirmed that adult film star Cameron Bay tested positive for HIV. It was not a false positive, as was the case in 2011 when another HIV positive test temporarily shut down the porn industry.
Bay released a statement through the Free Speech Coalition, the industry trade group that mandates regular STD testing for performers:
"As difficult as this news is for me today, I am hopeful that no other performers have been affected," she said in the statement. "I plan on doing everything possible to assist the medical professionals and my fellow performers. Following that, my long-term plan is to take care of myself and my health."
Bay's agent, Mark Schechter, said she is "obviously distraught" at the diagnosis but was cooperating with testing organizations to make sure all her partners are notified and tested.
"Cameron has been a model citizen acting responsibly at this most difficult time," Schechter said through the Free Speech Coalition. "Her courage should be lauded."

Several media outlets have also reported that Sydney Leathers, made famous for coming forward as disgraced Congressman and now New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's latest sexting partner, was exposed to HIV while making the adult movie "Weiner and Me," because her co-star filmed with Bay.
However, Leathers' representatives told that this is false.
Although Free Speech Coalition has said it is testing Bay's partners, and testing is almost complete, Leathers was not contacted, her representative said. When she reached out to Free Speech Coalition after reading the news, it told her she was not connected to Bay and did not need a new HIV test.
Still, Leathers has undergone three HIV tests since making "Weiner and Me," her representative said. They were all negative.
Bruce Sonnenberg speaking
Sonnenberg told the ASSIST News Service, "This is the third time that I know of that this has happened - a porn 'star' apparently passes an HIV infection on to another porn 'star'. "Each time the LA Health Department gets involved and promises to clean up the industry. Last year, a law was passed in California that 'requires' porn 'stars' to use condoms under penalty of law. But the porn business cannot be 'cleaned' up because it is based on sin, and a sin that is especially infectious."
He added: "When there are so many innocent people infected with HIV/AIDS around the world with AIDS widows and AIDS orphans, what a waste of life to deliberately be in an industry of smut and filth that provides HIV infection. It proves once again that that we live in a world of people who need Jesus and the love and forgiveness that only He can give."
For more information, please contact Bruce Sonnenberg at either 1-800-HIV-HOPE or via the website, 

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Sabtu, 17 Agustus 2013

How to Take Your Small Groups Deeper

How to Take Your Small Groups Deeper

How to Take Your Small Groups Deeper
As I’m planning for the fall and making sure leaders are contacting their small groups, I reflect on my own. It’s hard to believe they’ll all be seniors. It felt like yesterday that I was meeting them for the first time as scrawny little freshmen. Today, they tower over me and make sure I know it. The most rewarding aspect of my group of guys is witnessing the depth that has occurred. What started as shallow guy talk has evolved over the years to true Christian accountability.
Small groups are an essential part of your ministry; however, they aren’t as simple as grabbing a group of teenagers together and asking questions. Small groups need to be able to go deeper, even when they aren’t meeting. That means making small groups a focus of your student ministry, and it also means:
Setting Expectations: The first time you meet, and then every so often after that, you need to cast the vision that you have for the group. What do you expect out of them as participants and what should they expect out of you as a leader? Make sure your teens see this as something serious and not just an opportunity to be social.
Staying Flexible: Granted, you might have a curriculum for your groups; however, you need to be prepared for when life happens to one of your teens. Small groups are messy because they deal with life. If a teen is dealing with a breakup, parents' divorce, rough week at school, anything, you need to be able to drop the agenda and care for that teen.
Building Trust: The teens need to trust you and you need to trust them. This means being authentic and transparent with your story. It also means calling them out when they are acting beneath their potential. Keep short accounts, praise them in public and address issues one on one with each member. Build trust by communicating authenticity and God’s love.
Creating Challenging Opportunities: Small groups are safe if they never leave the designated time and place. Challenge your group to grow by serving together in a mission, or taking on a camping adventure. Create a memorable experience that forces the group to interact and work in a new way. It will be something that stays with them for a lifetime.
Praying Together and For One Another: It’s so easy to forget about praying with your small group. You take for granted that you meet in a church and the conversation is about God; therefore, who needs to pray? Prayer is what will bond and deepen the group. It will remind each member what the purpose of their relationship is, and it will remind each member that someone does care.
Stronger groups go beyond the curriculum, the allotted meeting time and space. Small groups that last are built on trust, integrity and love. Challenge your leaders to grow their group deeper and watch them take the Gospel further.
How do you help small groups go deeper?  
Chris Wesley Chris graduated from Xavier University in 2003 with a BA in Communications: Electronic Media. He moved to Baltimore in the fall of 2003 where he served as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year. During that time, he was a Case Manager at Chase Brexton, met my wife Kate and felt God's calling to Student Ministry. In the summer of 2004, heI was hired by the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as a Middle School Youth Minister. Today he oversees grades 5-12 as the Director of Student Ministry. More from Chris Wesley or visit Chris at

I Hurt People and I'm Sorry About That

"I Hurt People and I'm Sorry About That," Says Westboro Prodigal

Libby Phelps Alvarez describes what life was like growing up in the controversial Westboro Baptist Church and why she left.
"We started picketing when I was eight years old. We started at a local park once a week, then went daily, and then we started picketing churches."
How would you respond to the tactics of the Westboro protestors? 

Selasa, 06 Agustus 2013

Free Youth Series: "Reveal"

Free Youth Series: "Reveal"

Free Youth Series: "Reveal"
Download and share this four-week series with your youth ministry.

Free Youth Series 

Download and share this four-week series with your youth ministry.
This youth series package includes:
  • Title slide
  • Sermon slide
  • Web graphic 
  • Sermon audio in MP3 format

Get Download Now

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Download Instructions: To download these resources, right-click on the appropriate red Download button and choose "Save As."

How Jazz-Parenting Saved This Ministry Family

How Jazz-Parenting Saved This Ministry Family

How Jazz-Parenting Saved This Ministry Family
When you write a new song for your family's life, sometimes you make it up as you go along.
Harry Chapin’s "Cat’s In the Cradle" became a theme song for our boomer-generation. Post World War II dads loved their families by working hard. Our fathers built secure moral boundaries, but left us with an aching vacuum inside.
We wanted to write a new song with our sons, Jon and Tim. But like jazz, we made it up as we went along.

The first chord change came as an epiphany: Love is spelled T-I-M-E.

Our fathers spelled love: W-O-R-K. But how does my child translate my presence or absence?
One morning, as Mark was having his dutiful quiet time, working 80 hours a week, he heard these words: "How will you feel if you win 5,000 people to the Lord and lose your own son?"
Our schedule betrayed what we loved most. So we made peace with our calendar, writing in The Non-negotiables. Mark cancelled his late meetings before dinner to wrestle with Jon and Tim. Wrestling became a tangible symbol of his heart: I'm here, on your level, hugging, able to be touched, ready to play.
We learned how to fill our son's love tanks by reading great stories, especially the Narnia series, building tree forts or cheering on soccer sidelines, applauding at recitals. Later, we added surfing, and listening to U2 and Led Zeppelin. And now, we continue to surf, share inspiring books, laugh at ourselves and drink good coffee.
We've discovered that simply enjoying our children is perhaps the best gift we could give to not only our sons, but to the world. A child who feels loved is free to express that love to others.

A second realization followed: As we enjoy our kids, they will grasp God's enjoyment of them.

When Jon was five, he misunderstood the phrase: "We have peace with God." Turning to a young friend, he announced, "We have pizza with God!"
I really like his interpretation better.
Spirituality pursues truth in relationships; it's not just a quest to be right. Truth allows everyone to come to the table. Simply memorizing right answers can lead to pride, or the fear of getting it wrong.

When you write a new song for your family's life, sometimes you make it up as you go along.
We encouraged Jon and Tim to ask big questions about the mystery of God. They, in turn, welcomed friends into our home with differing worldviews. The dialogue was lively and loving.
When younger, we celebrated Saturday mornings with Jesus Time. We had outrageous fun singing, dancing and acting out stories. It was sort of a wrestling time with God, in the best sense. God enjoys our kids, too.
No wonder Jon told his friend about the pizza.

A third inspiration may have come from Scripture: Children need creative space.

There was only one tree that was off limits in Eden. All the rest were available and inviting. We opened our home to become a conservatory for eager toddlers. Jon and Tim could play a kitchen drum-station, with pots and wooden spoons, then transition to an easel with paint, or build with blocks, and listen to a favorite record. They built couch castles and performed magic tricks.
We did not own a television. This was a radical shift from our own family cultures, where we ate our meals on TV trays, lined robotically before a flickering screen. Yes, we can hum a new tune. Because we are all artists in the image of the consummate Artist, we can be original.

Then came a fourth surprising decision: We must become an accelerator pedal instead of a brake.

Jan's first cell phone broadcast this innocuous message: "Be safe. Be courteous."
How easily that slogan can become ours as parents. Put simply, we want our kids to be good—not naughty, but nice. We become brakes.
But is aiming for protection really safe? We realized our most effective strategy was leaning into this fallen creation with the hope that our children could be agents of change. We push the accelerator.

When you write a new song for your family's life, sometimes you make it up as you go along.
We intentionally exposed our children to the common good: museums, plays, great literature, science and the arts. Through these experiences, Jon and Tim developed good taste, and became more discerning consumers of culture.
We kept our sons in public schools, whenever feasible, and encouraged friendships with kids who were wholesome, but not necessarily holy. We trusted them to talk about difficult issues, and tried to just listen without judgment. We made our home available, with free snacks.
Jon was born days before Halloween. Soon after birth, we cradled him through a costumed crowd of goblins, werewolves and witches for his first photos. We wanted desperately to shelter our innocent son from those hideous masks. In retrospect, we realize this was an illustration of his calling, to enter the dark corners of this world, and shine redemptive light. It is the calling of all God’s children.
We wanted our children to love all God’s world. Their mission, as God's kids, is to influence culture, not escape it. They have done a better job than we. Now they are writing their own unique songs. And we are singing along.  
Mark Foreman Mark Foreman is a simple man who is learning to follow Jesus wholly. He is the husband of Jan and father of Jon and Tim of the band Switchfoot. He is the lead pastor of North Coast Calvary Chapel—a “church without walls”—which has built its reputation by erasing the barriers of the church.

3 Action Steps Toward Developing Student Leaders

3 Action Steps Toward Developing Student Leaders

3 Action Steps Toward Developing Student Leaders
I prefer for the adult leaders to minimize their role and allow the students to “step-up.”
I just returned from our third and final Student Leadership Conference, and I’m spending some time today debriefing all that we learned and what I’d like to see different for next year.
As I was doing this, I saw a tweet that my buddy Jonathan McKee wrote about some things I taught during our adult leaders’ meeting (prior to our opening session with student leaders). As always, Jonathan did a good job capturing the heart of what I shared.
Here’s the context: At our Student Leadership Conference, I prefer for the adult leaders to minimize their role and allow the students to “step-up.” To help them with this, I share three actions that adult leaders can do to help develop young leaders. Here are those three actions (as captured by Jonathan):
1. Your kids will often only absorb what you debrief. Don’t expect everything they just heard and experienced to sink in. Stimulate them to process it by debriefing with them. This doesn’t mean preach to them—chances are they already heard plenty of preaching at a conference. Debriefing is most successful when you ask questions. Ask them:
▪   What hit you the most in that talk?
▪   What is a way you can apply that this week, this month, this year?
▪   What did you learn from that exercise with the rest of the team?
▪   How can you apply that this week, this month, this year?
Use questions to help your kids process what they just learned, and help them think about how they can specifically take it home with them and live it out.
2. Affirm them constantly and specifically. Catch them doing something right:
▪   It was fun watching you work with the rest of the team on that project—you work really well with others.
▪   I loved your idea about how to make others feel welcome.
▪   You’re really good at …
Young people often hear more criticism than affirmation. Don’t neglect this unique opportunity to affirm them in their giftedness.
3. Get out of their way. Today’s parents and adult leaders often struggle with letting their kids solve problems on their own. We tend to swoop down and “save them.” In actuality, we’re hurting them.
One of the best ways to develop young leaders is to let them experience problem solving skills on their own. When we see them struggling … let them figure it out. It’s OK if they choke or fall. Those are often some of the greatest lessons learned. Then come alongside them afterward and debrief:
▪   What went wrong?
▪   What might have been a good way to fix it?
▪   What is a bad way to fix it?
▪   What did you learn from this situation?
Then affirm them in what you saw them do right, and if they didn’t figure out the answer on their own, offer a few humble suggestions and let them try it again. They’ll be more eager to listen to your counsel after they came up empty time and time again.
As you begin to move from summer thinking to fall planning, be thinking about these three questions:
1. “What is it that adults are doing in our ministry that teenagers could be doing?”
2. “Are we creating an environment where teens are sitting and being entertained, or are we creating environments where they can serve and lead?”
3. “When these teenagers graduate from our ministry, will they have had the opportunities to develop the skills to lead in a post-high school ministry setting? What opportunities are now available?”
If you’re not currently developing young leaders, I’d love to help you. In addition to our summer conferences, we’re putting together monthly resources for student leaders as part of our membership program.  
Doug Fields Doug Fields has been in youth ministry since 1979 and former pastor to students at Saddleback Church in Southern California. He's the author of 50+ books, including the best-selling Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry & Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry. He's also the founder of Simply Youth Ministry, an instructor at Azusa Pacific University/HomeWord, and on the leadership team with Youth Specialties. More from Doug Fields or visit/subscribe to Doug's blog at More from Doug Fields or visit Doug at