The Worldwide Encounter Edition

e Edition February 3

100 Million Christians Encounter Religious-related Violence, says Author of Book Detailing Worldwide Persecution

By Paul R. Kopenkoskey

paul135Aasiya Noreen's life hangs in the balance. In November 2010, the Pakistani Christian woman, better known as Asia Bibi, was convicted of blasphemy and received a sentence of death by hanging.

Her offense was allegedly insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad. If executed, Noreen would be the first woman in Pakistan to be lawfully killed for blasphemy. Noreen has denied the charges but there's a problem: The country's sharia system considers a non-Muslim's testimony to carry half the weight of a Muslim's, which made it difficult to defend herself in court.

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First United Methodist’s Annual Celebration of the Arts Draws Spiritual Illumination



By Paul R. Kopenkoskey

Depicting the sacred and spiritual on a canvas or with a sculpture proves never to be stale to the eyes for spectators who experience First United Methodist Church's 13-day juried spiritual arts festival, Celebration of the Arts.

"Every year is different, and based on what is entered, the artists never disappoint," said Eric Strand, First United Methodist's director of music and the arts. "What the public sees is beautiful and provoking. It's the kind of art that can illuminate and inspire and make us aware."

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Terry's Picks for February


By Terry DeBoer
EVENTS2West Michigan Christian web writer Terry DeBoer surveys the landscape for the area's faith-based arts, entertainment and conference events over the coming month. Here are three highlights for February:

*Calvin College Gospel Choir – The dynamic ensemble performs

*Marriage Conference – A "weekend to remember" conference

*Choral Concert – Various vocal ensembles

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Family Christian Stores Adds Filmmaking


familychristianThe idea that turned the nation's largest Christian retail chain into a giving engine to support widows and orphans now expands to movies. Family Christian Stores' new sister company, Family Christian Entertainment (FCE), announces the Atlanta shoot, starting Jan. 26, of 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN, the 2004 New York Times best-selling book about Pastor Don Piper's near-death experience.

Finance: Dave Says....



Dear Dave,

My son is in his thirties and has been married for seven years to a girl from a wealthy family. Her parents provided them with a lot of financial support over the years, but now they're getting divorced and he has come to us for the money to make this happen. On top of all this, when we ask him why he doesn't have the money he tells us it's none of our business. We don't like his attitude, but we're not sure what to do.


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Etcetera: Important Tidbits


*WMCN is growing and looking for help. We are looking for someone who is called to the arena of social media. Contact us for details!

Final Words:


"Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian."

D.L. Moody

"You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you."

Psalm 86:5





The Gospel in Four Minutes

Catching Up:

In case you missed it last week:

Chemistry professor declares: 'The grandeur of God is in the miniscule'

The Case for Grace: Q&A with Lee Strobel

Encore - Patterns Of Evidence: The Exodus


Ottawa County votes to reinstall religious sign

No timetable to put Bible-based sign back in Hager Park

'Old Fashioned' faith-based movie, from Grand Rapids producers, to debut locally

Battered, not broken: Man recovers after being pulled through farming equipment



Farther Away:

5 lies American culture tells us that Christians shouldn't believe

Ewan McGregor pulls off a convincing Jesus in 'Last Days in the desert'

Franklin Graham explains why he is speaking out against secularism while his father did not

ISIS beheads Japanese Christian journalist in new video

Gun range owner bans Muslims, compares herself to Christian baker refusing LGBT cake order

Duck Dynasty's Jessica Robertson: The more Christians on reality TV, the better

President Obama: My faith has been questioned by people who don't know me

Religious and secular advocates urge IRS to clarify rules on political endorsements from the pulpit




Own It - Seaborn

Perhaps we need new spiritual songs, for non-believers! - Clare De Graaf

The miracle of morality - Metaxas

More evidence for the traditional family - Stonestreet


Upcoming Events:

January 13 - April 21, The Perspectives Missions Course

February 1, Lansing Symphony Chamber Series: Winds in the British Isles

February 6,Old Fashioned - opening in theaters Valentine's weekend

February 6 -18, Celebration of the Arts

February 12, 'Contrarian: The Life of Sir John Templeton'

February 21, Shipwrecked on a Great Lake

February 21,Lansing Symphony Orchestra Wicked Divas: Broadway and Beyond

February 26, The (Actual) Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism with Gene Veith

March 5,Open Door Open Hearts

March 6, Booth Brothers in Concert

March 7, Randy Wolthuis, Glenn Bulthuis and Peter Bardolf in concert

March 22, "Soul On Fire" tour

March 28, Battle of the Bands

March 28, West Michigan Missions Forum

March 28, Lecrae / Calvin College Festival of Faith and Music.

April 1, "Restoring All Things" Conference

April 9, Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times with Os Guinness

April 9, All Sons & Daughters with Jamie George and Sandra McCracken

April 10, Gold City in Concert

April 17, David Crowder and his "Neon Steeple" tour

April 18, The Great Divorce

April 18, Matt Maher

April 27, Faith-based comedian Jeff Allen

May 16, Laura Story ("Blessings")

May 16, Foreshore Adventure Race

May 30, "Things We Couldn't Say"

June 7 -12,Student Statesmanship Institute Summer Program

June 20, West Michigan MudVenture 5K

June 21 - 26, Student Statesmanship Institute Summer Program

June 25-27, Big Ticket Festival

June 28, Worship On the Waterfront: Mark Shultz

July 12,  Josh Wilson - Worship On the Waterfront

July 12 - 17, Student Statesmanship Institute Summer Program

August 5 - 8, Unity Christian Music Festival


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