THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn
The International Mission Board’s pictures of the year show “light in the darkness” around the world. In the Philippines, hard hit by a typhoon just over a year ago; in Turkey, where a Syrian family tries to escape civil war (right); and in the Dominican Republic, where church planting efforts reach across geographical and cultural divides. See them all and more at IMB.org.
Almost 9.5 million people heard the gospel through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 2014, and more than 1.6 million of those trusted Christ. “Our hearts overflow with gratitude to God for all He has done and is doing, and we are eager to keep pressing forward as He continues to open doors,” BGEA’s chief executive officer Franklin Graham wrote recently, The Christian Post reported.
Also from The Christian Post: Houston Baptist University will create a Center for American Evangelism, spearheaded in part by apologist Lee Strobel and directed by author Mark Mittelberg.
“I’ve been there, done that and I’d love to share with you a few reasons why, even though I’ve failed, I’m doing it again,” Trillia Newbill writes about her resolve to read the Bible in 2015. Read about the four step plan she chose at ERLC.com.
Most of us make and break them every year, but can New Year’s Resolutions actually be harmful? Author (and Billy Graham’s grandson) Tullian Tchividjian says yes, in this interview with Religion News Service. “When it’s up to you to go out and get the love you crave, create your own worth, or work at becoming acceptable to those you want to impress, life gets heavy,” Tchividjian told writer Jonathan Merritt. “New Year’s Resolutions are a burdening attempt to fix ourselves and make ourselves more lovable.”
The current basketball season has gone “in the opposite direction” L.A. Laker Jeremy Lin anticipated, he posted on his blog at the beginning of this year. But despite his slump, Lin—a known Christian—said he wants to live with more joy in the coming year. “…[T]hrough it all, I’ve been learning how to surrender the results to God, how to walk by faith and not by sight, how to be renewed through times of prayer/Scripture and how to fight for a life of joy in the midst of trials.”