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Good News Press

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April/May 2011

Plan of Salvation:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

The Significance of Easter for Christians The biggest celebration within Christianity may be Christmas, but the most important celebration is Easter. The entire basis for the Christian faith is based on the events that occurred on the first Easter weekend. While Christmas is about how Jesus came to earth as a baby, Easter is about the reason he came. Christians believe the whole reason he came was to die and to rise again.

watch over the tomb. On the third day, the tomb was found to be empty. His body could not be found, nor could the Roman or Jewish authorities explain what had happened to it. Over the next forty days, his disciples plus hundreds of other people claimed to have seen Jesus, spoken with him, eaten with him, and listened to his teachings. These disciples (and others) went to their deaths—some through torture— maintaining that their claims of seeing a resurrected Jesus were true.

Most historians agree on these facts, which are the foundational events of Christianity:   Jesus Christ was executed by crucifixion on the Friday during the Jewish Passover.  He was buried in a tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea.  Guards were posted to keep Those are the historical facts. The significance is found in the interpreta-

tion of those facts. Christians maintain that the tomb was empty and that there were post-crucifixion sightings of Jesus because Jesus had physically risen from the dead. This, combined with the apparent fulfillment of centuries-old prophecies contained in the Jewish Scriptures, firmly established the belief that Jesus was God in the flesh and that he had power and authority over life and death. This belief in the resurrection of Jesus spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire and it continues to spread today. For nearly 2000 years, Christians have placed their faith in this resurrected Jesus, believing his promise that he will someday return to take his followers to be with him throughout eternity.

VICSTAR Productions: Proudly Presents

Sister Victoria Stith & God’s Anointed Children Where: 37th Street Missionary Baptist church 915 37th Street, Oakland, CA 94608 When: Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 5pm

Special Guest include:

Oakland’s own Gospel Voices, The dynamic Galloway Sisters Gospel Keyboardist: Brother Joseph Richards The sweet sounds of: Angels of Mercy The heavenly Sound of Sister Beatrice Hutson and more: A special presentation to Bishop W.C. McClinton, Sr. Pastor of the 37th Street MBC Come on out to Praise the Lord, clap your hands, and stomp your feet. There will be refreshments: For more info contact Sister Victoria Stith at 510-754-7077.

Good News Press Page 2 $120 Million to the American Red Cross Public Donates Over $120 Million to American Red Cross to Assist Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Survivors


In addition to the funds provided to support work by the JapaMoney will go to assist nese Red Cross, the Japanese Red Cross and American Red other relief and recovery Cross has given $500,000 to the efforts United Nation's WASHINGTON -- The World Food ProAmerican Red Cross today gramme for logistics announced that the public has support for the generously donated $120.5 delivery and storage million to help the people of of relief items for Japan following the March 11 survivors. The earthquake and tsunami. The American Red announcement was made Cross also has been Tuesday at a press conference assisting in the volat the Japanese embassy with untary evacuations Japan's Ambassador to the of military families United States Ichiro Fujisaki from Japan. and American Red Cross "Almost Chairman Bonnie McElveenthree weeks after one of the Hunter. most devastating earthquakes The money will go in history, we are immensely to the Japan earthquake and grateful to the American pubPacific tsunami response, spe- lic for their continued genercifically the Japanese Red osity," said David Meltzer, Cross, which is providing senior vice president of interdirect emergency relief, medi- national services with the cal services and emotional American Red Cross. "As part counseling to affected commu- of the world's largest humaninities. The American Red tarian organization, the Cross committed an initial American Red Cross is eager $10 million in the early days to support our counterparts after the disaster and will in the Japanese Red Cross, provide the Japanese Red whose staff and volunteers are Cross with another $50 milworking tirelessly to meet the lion in the next few days. The immense needs of their peoremainder of the funds will be ple." made available as they come

Church Takes Opportunity on Easter to Pay Light Bills For Visitors JACKSONVILLE, Fla., -- For the second year in a row, The Bridge Church of Jacksonville is taking a bold step this Easter season. The church has launched its campaign to reach the community of Jacksonville, FL. The campaign's message...come hear the message of hope this Easter and get your light bill paid!

"The American public and we at the American Red Cross have not forgotten the generosity of the Japanese people when we suffered tremendous loss after the 9/11 attacks and, more recently, after Hurricane Katrina," said Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross. "Collectively, the Japanese Red Cross sent us contributions of close to $30 million. Now it is our opportunity – and our duty – to do what we can to help you." Cont’d Pg. 7

years. The campaign even received mention on the nationally televised "Today Show" with Matt Lauer. This year, the church is planning to double the number of people selected. Additionally, this year's campaign is being done in partnership with other local agencies and business community. The church is planning to offer energy conservation education and many Leading up to Easter Sunof the light bill sponsorships day, the church will take will be paid for by local registrations of families that companies. desire to come and experience worship on Easter. At "We were amazed by last the end of service, they will year's outselect up to eight families reach and are excited to do from the registered atten- it again and give back to dees and pay their light bill our city," says Pastor Charfor the month of April. Last lie Campbell, "We know year's campaign saw over that as we expand the cam50 registrations and was paign this year through the described by many media efforts of other local outlets that covered the groups and businesses, that story as one of the most ultimately our community creative outreach ideas in will be blessed and the

Lord will be honored." The church has been able to share this successful outreach model with other churches and expects a great Easter season for all involved. Families who want a chance to have their bill paid are required to register online at They must be present at The Bridge Church's worship service on Sunday April 24, 2011 at 10:25am at 8050 Lone Star Road. Certain rules apply that are listed on the campaign's website. About The Bridge Church The Bridge is a youthful, diverse congregation looking to meet the needs of Jacksonville, FL. Located in the Arlington/Southside, the church is led by Charlie and Marissa Campbell.

Celebrating Mother’s Day

A child of any age can celebrate Mother's Day in ways ranging from the buying of carnations, the giving of a box of candy, or the writing of a simple card. Honoring a mother may include the gift of a lunch at a popular to lemon pepper to honey restaurant or a loving visit barbecue. Their ―Ooh to the cemetery. Wee‖ sauce is a secret Whatever way you chose recipe and local success. to honor your mother, be The café also offers sides assured that the honoring like crispy french fries, of mothers has been a brown sugar baked beans, practice of the ages. fresh cole slaw and healthy Early Mother's Day celebrasalads. tions are said to have ocFor more information curred in ancient Greece about Wing Town Café’s when ceremonies honored community involvement, or Rhea, the mother of the for more information about gods. their wings and catering services, call them at (510) In the 1600's, England began celebrating "Mothering 842-3510, visit their webSunday." It began as a day site at: http://www.wingtowncafe.c when servants, who lived om, or stop by 1462 High and worked in the great mansions, were allowed to Street in Oakland. return home and spend time with their mothers.

Oakland Wing Town Café Sponsors Fremont High School Basketball Uniforms The Oakland wing leader is working to make Oakland an even better place to live Oakland, CA — Wing Town Café, an Oakland restaurant that specializes in chicken wings in Oakland, is sponsoring Fremont High School’s new uniforms for their basketball team. The team will be sporting new green and gold Game Time Sports gear this basketball season, courtesy of Wing Town Café.

nity, so they had the uniforms made by Game Town Sports Gear and presented them to coach Scott Alexander.

―We pride ourselves for being local business owners who contribute to making Oakland a great place to live,‖ said Andrews. ―We care about our local customers and want those who do business with Wing Town Café to have a part in bettering the community.‖ Oakland’s Wing Town Café is a popular stop for hot Socially responsible owners chicken wings and chicken Calvin and Lamont Anstrips. The gourmet chicken drews expressed the desire menu features chicken in to give back to the commu- various flavors from spicy

In the United States, Mother's Day was suggested early on by Julia Ward Howe. She would hold Mother's Day meetings in Boston with the day dedicated to peace. In 1907, Anna Jarvis began her bid to establish a national Mother's Day to honor her mother who had worked to improve health conditions in Appalachia. She persuaded the members of her deceased mother's church in West Virginia to celebrate

Mother's Day on the anniversary of her mother's death. It was the second Sunday of May. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official proclamation that Mother's Day was to be a national holiday to be held each year on the second Sunday of May. This year, Mother's Day falls on May 8. Let us all use that day to honor our mothers living or the memories of our mothers deceased.

Good News Press Page 3 View a Church Service and Sermon Online Before Attending at Invites Churches to Post Video Sermons Online Higher Power Media Corporation, based in Roanoke, Virginia is pleased to announce the highly anticipated launch of, a website designed to assist churches of all sizes and denominations share God's Word with a worldwide congregation. Churches and pastors everywhere are encouraged to take a video of the Sunday sermon and upload it to Imagine the impact of sharing God's Word and the teachings of Jesus Christ with the world. Churches are no longer limited to the Sunday service. The President of Higher Power Media Corporation, David Rakes, believes there are so many churches with dynamic pastors, ministers, preachers, and priests who deliver so much hope, de-

veloping the website would help share the positive message online to an unlimited audience. Because of an aging population, seasonal and transportation issues, and many other factors, many church numbers are decreasing and collection plates are showing a drop in weekly gifts. can accept donations and gifts to each member church by allowing viewers to donate online.

Many church leaders know the importance of attracting new members to their congregations, but feel that pro-actively marketing the church to others in the community and elsewhere is costly and time prohibitive. makes it easy for any member of the church or a dedicated crew to take a video of the Sunday Sermon, Christian music groups or programs, or any message of faith or outreach. Churches and can Pastors may sign up now assist anyone moving out for a FREE one year subof town or with an interest scription. Share God's in attending a church serWord and the teachings of vice while on vacation. Jesus Christ on AmericanImagine the opportunity to watch a Video Sermon and read information about a church and pastor before was developed in 2010 to stepping foot in the actual assist Churches of all sizes church. Americanto share God's Word and will help the the lessons of Jesus Christ online viewer make a deci- with the world and deliver sion about where to attend hope to anyone in need of and the church attract new a positive message members. 24/7/365.

Local Mission Turning Hunger Into Hope Richmond, CA --Increasing numbers of people who are suffering from hunger and homelessness have prompted the Bay Area Rescue Mission to launch a special campaign this Easter season to turn hunger into hope. According to Executive Director John Anderson, more than 100,000 men, women and children in the Bay Area go to bed hungry each night. Of that number, an estimated 40,000 are also homeless. Beverly is one of those people. Addicted to meth and estranged from her husband, she and her daughter came to the Bay Area Rescue Mission. There, she found counsel-

ing and support that helped her turn her life around. She says, "Other shelters don't get into the heart of the problem of being homeless. I have a whole new family here. I am not alone."

Easter events on April 24. According to Anderson, a meal is often the first contact hungry or homeless people have with the Mission, and serves to introduce them to other lifechanging services.

"So many of our neighbors have lost hope," said Anderson. "They've lost jobs, lost homes, lost control of their lives to drugs or alcohol. They're hungry - not only for hot meals but for the hope that can nourish their hearts and souls and help them to begin new lives."

The Bay Area Rescue Mission is a nondenominational, Christian, social services organization, which has been providing critically needed goods and services to the homeless, poor and needy of the Bay Area since 1965.

During the Easter season, the Rescue Mission will begin to turn hunger into hope by serving more than 207,600 meals, including 1,500 at their special

In 2011, they expect to provide more than 1,800,000 meals and over 92,500 nights of shelter for men, women and children.

Can Promoting Easter Services Land You On The 5 O’clock News? Church Easter commercial deemed as 'too controversial' rejected by national movie theater chain and pulled from paid ad rotation. ALISO VIEJO, Calif., At a time when movie theaters across the country are featuring blockbuster hits promoting murder, drugs, sex, corruption, and the like, is there anything 'too controversial' to be shown on the big screen? Compass Bible Church, in Aliso Viejo, California, found out first-hand that indeed, promoting Easter on the big screen proved to be too controversial.

Bible Church." It wasn't the conspiracy theories, or controversy with the actual spot that threw red flags for the theaters, but the fact that religious deity was promoted and the name of Jesus Christ was used. Using completely subjective terms, since there are no official written policies about such usage, the agency for the national theater remarked that their constituents might be offended by such an advertisement.

"We were told we could promote our Easter services with a commercial The 30-second ad prothat featured the date, time duced by the church feaand place with some fun tures short one-liners bunnies and eggs thrown about what some conspir- in," said Pastor Mike Faacy theorists believe may barez, Senior Pastor, Comhave happened to Jesus pass Bible Church "But for Christ some 2,000 years us, Easter isn't about ago, and ends with "find out springtime fun, it's the most what we believe about the important day in Christian resurrection at Compass history, and we won't wa-

ter that message down. It's unfortunate that what our country was founded on has now become 'too controversial.'" Compass Bible Church was promoting their Easter At The Bren services, an annual event that hosts over 5,000 attendees at the Bren Center on the campus of UC Irvine, on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011. Compass Bible Church Easter video can be viewed at: =QTQTvLmOHtY About Compass Bible Church Compass Bible Church, founded in 2005, is located in Aliso Viejo, California. The mission of Compass Bible Church is based on the "Great Commission" of Christ recorded in Matthew 28 where Jesus calls every church, including CBC, to "make disciples."

First Ever Pacific SuperConference First Ever Pacific Homeschool SuperConference in Santa Clara, April 7-9

egy of the legal elites Alex and Brett Harris on living the teen years as God intended

Phil Downer on nourishing and healing your family relationships

dential Forum 

FREE Introduction to Homeschooling session

130 exhibit booths

Teen Convention with Alex and Brett Harris

Gail Efting on applying biblical principles to every aspect of life

Children's Convention

Special guest Sharron Angle (2010 U.S. Senate candidate) At the conference, attendees And with over 40 workshops will hear from an inspiring to choose from (including lineup of keynote and featured state-specific Oregon and speakers: Nevada sessions), attendees will receive practical encour Tim and Beverly agement from the many preLaHaye on why senters who will be at the America needs homeschooling now conference to support families in their homeschooling. more than ever  Michael Farris on the Other conference highlights: newest anti Straw Poll and Presihomeschooling strat-

An evening of family entertainment

Ultimate Giveaway with prizes

Discount tickets to Great America Park

HSLDA and the Christian Home Educators Association of California (CHEA of CA) are excited to invite parents and families to attend the first ever Pacific Homeschool SuperConference, April 7-9, 2011. This three-day event in Santa Clara, CA, will provide encouragement, resources, and expert advice for everyone from the veteran homeschooler to the parent considering homeschooling.

Pre-registration for the Pacific Homeschool SuperConference ends on Friday, March 11, with online registration extending to April 5. Visit for more information and to register. For more information, contact Jeremiah Lorrig at (540) 3385600.

Good News Press Page 4 April/May Events GriefShare -- 6:45-8:45 p.m. Thursdays, through April 7. Information and support for those grieving the death of someone close. Sponsored by Valley Bible Church. 1477 Willow Ave., Room 102, Hercules. 510-799-3171, 510-427-2204,

April 23 -- Easter Children's Fair. Family Fun: Hop on over to experience family fun for the whole community. Enjoy free crafts and games, visits with the Easter Bunny, Jubilee Jumps and much more. Call for more information. Petaluma Village Premium Outlets, 2200 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma, CA 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. Easter Eggstravaganza Antioch Church on The Rock’s (707) 778.9300 x 0 Annual "Easter Eggstravaganza" Saturday, April 23, 10 a.m. held April 24, 6 a.m.-- Easter Sunrise Service. Historic: The pubat 50 Walton Lane. Event includes an egg hunt with candy lic is invited to the annual and prizes, petting zoo, games, Easter Sunrise Service, held at the amphitheater in the Plaza food, bounce houses, crafts, face painting and more. This is of Sonoma. (707)996.2736 a free event geared toward April 24 -- Hunt for the Hare children, pre-school through Easter Celebration at Safari elementary school, and their West . Family Fun: Looking for families. For more info call 925.757.4359 or visit our Web hare-raising adventure this Easter? Join the animals of site: Antioch Church on The Rock Safari West (and their human companions) for our annual 50 Walton Ln., Antioch, CA Hunt for the Hare, an egg94509. (925) 757-4359 straordinary Easter celebration and brunch. 3115 Porter True Fellowship Baptist Creek Road, Santa Rosa Ca Church Anniversary -- 3 p.m. April 10. True Fellowship Bap- $65 for adults; $30 for children tist Church celebrates its sev- (ages 4-12). Morning & Afternoon packages available.(707) enth year anniversary. 1213 Filbert St., Richmond. Richard 579.2551 Wadley, 510-410-4114, Annual Lakeshore Easter Parade & Derby Decorating Contest & Spring ChilEaster Outreach Saturday, dren’s Fair Saturday, Apr 23 Apr 16, 9 am Partner with us 10 am to 1:30 pm at Lakeshore as we serve those in need. Ave Baptist Church, Oakland, 1,000 meals 300 bags of groCA Kids from toddler to 12 ceries Easter egg hunt, live can get their plastic derbies music, jump houses, carnival from Lakeshore merchants, games, Easter egg hunt, and 200 Easter baskets for the kids. decorate them with stuff from Sit down meal at the San Fran- home, then meet at the church to parade down Lakeshore cisco Rescue Mission Registration at 9 a.m. at Boed- Ave. led by the Easter Bunny. The judges will award exciting deker Park, corner of Eddy prizes, Easter baskets from Street and Jones Street, San Lakeshore merchants, to kids Francisco, CA 94102. For more information or group in various age categories. registration of 10 or more Annual "Ladies Choice" Felpeople contact: lowship Program -- 5 p.m. Michelle Huang michelleApril 9. Theme: "Vessels For The Master's Use." Keynote 415.292.1770 All Proceeds Directly Benefit San Francisco speaker: Genea Brice. ProviCity Impact And Are Tax De- dence Baptist Church, 314 South 12th St., Richmond. 510ductible (Tax Id No. 90234-1162, provi0332259) San Francisco City Impact, 230 Jones St., San Fran- cisco, CA 94102. Ladies Lectureship -- "In Perilous Times Such as These "..." EASTER SUNDAY. Bring your family and friends to cele- April 16. 9-9:45 a.m. free registration and continental breakbrate the risen Savior!!! Sunfast, 10 a.m.-1:45 p.m. program, day, April 24, 2011 Service followed by lunch. Keynote begins at11am. iExpect Minisspeaker: Brenda Joyce Thomas. tries, 5221 Central Avenue, Suite 100 Richmond, CA 94806 Guest speakers: Cassandra (El Cerrito Area) 510.525.0500 Lumsey and Torri Sharpe; High School Girls' Workshop with

Rene Johnson and Adia Gipson; Middle School Girls' Workshop with Alicia Jones and Robyn Smith. Southside Church of Christ, 1501 Florida Ave., Richmond. 510-620-0175. Palm Sunday Concert -- 7 p.m. April 17. The Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir will perform the Faure Requiem, conducted by Nathaniel Shockey. Free. 1801 Lacassie Ave., Walnut Creek. 925-935-1574. Southside Church of Christ, 1501 Florida Ave., Richmond. 510620-0175.

El Cerrito's Annual Egg Hunt Saturday, Apr 23 10am At Arlington Park, El Cerrito, CA Join the City of El Cerrito for some wholesome family fun at the Annual Egg Hunt. This traditional Egg Hunt is over quickly, so please come early and don’t miss out on the tasty treats and eggs. A certain holiday bunny will also join the fun. Contact the Recreation Department at (510) 559-7000 for more information. (510) 559-7000 Spring Egg Hunt 2011 Saturday, Apr 16 9 am -12 pm at Moraga Commons Park, Moraga, CA Children, aged one through six, are guaranteed to find some

Gospel Promoters, Managers, Radio & TV Personalities 13th Annual Conference and Black-Tie Gala will be held at the Hilton Atlanta Airport Hotel, 1031 Virginia Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30354. For showcase opportunities, registration and more details, call Minister Barbara McLaughlin (NAGPM President & Founder) at 267-9802079 or visit July 21st - 23rd, 2011: CeCe Winans presents her annual youth conference, Always Sisters Forever Brothers" in Nashville, TN at Belmont University. For registration and hotel details, visit www.alwayssistersforeverbr or Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards April 20th, 2011: The 42nd Annual Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards will be held at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. For details as they become available, visit April 1-30, National African American Women's Fitness Month. Focus on promoting an active lifestyle.PO Box 2733, Washington, DC.

Motivational Monday Prayer and Bible Study -- 7 p.m. Mondays. Greater Purpose Church, Courtyard Marietta Hotel, 3150 Garrote Way, Richmond. Free. 510-224-7361, www.greaterpurposechurch.or g. New Life in Christ Recovery - 7 p.m. Saturdays. Faith-based 12-step recovery program. New Life Christian Center, 4333 Appian Way, El Sobrante. George Mares, 707-384-1512 April 2 - 3 -- Santa Rosa Bible Church 75 Anniversary Celebration April 2nd and April 3rd, 2011 Saturday, April 2 - Open House from 1-4PM Night of "Worship Thru the Years" from 7-9PM with dessert and coffee social Sunday, April 3 - Church and luncheon 8:30 & 10:30AM - Church services Speaker - Dr. Gordon Kirk. Lunch is $6 per person. Kindly RSVP. (707) 538.2385

April 9, Winston Churchill Day, Churchill was made an honorary citizen of the United States in 1963. April 10-16, National Volunteer Week. Observed since 1974. Points of Light Institute, 600 Means St. NW, Ste 210, Atlanta, GA 30318. April 11, Barbershop Quartet Day. By the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America. April 13, Thomas Jefferson Day. Honoring the birth of our nation's third president. By Presidential Proclamation in 1938. April 14, National D.A.R.E. Day. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program was founded in 1948. Today, about 75 percent of schools offer D.A.R.E. training. April 15, Income Tax Payday. Taxpayers pay their share of the cost of supporting the government. April 17-23, Palm Sunday. First day of Holy Week. Christian observance of the days leading up to Easter Sunday. April 18, Boston Marathon, 115th Running. Includes about 26,000 athletes and 500,000 viewers.

April 1-30, National Humor Month. Humor reduces stress, improves work, learn- April 19-26, Passover. An eight-day celebration of the ing, health and peace. Web: delivery of the Israelites from treats and toys on the slavery in Egypt. raga Commons' "Egg Hill"! Bring a basket! Games open April 1-30, National OccuApril 23, Easter Even. The from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Two pational Therapy Month. Saturday before Easter. Last egg hunts are scheduled: one Recognizing therapists and beginning at 10:00 a.m. and benefits of occupational ther- day of Holy Week and last day of Lent. the other at 11:00 a.m. Pur- apy. For information: chase wristbands at April 24-30, Administrative or in Professionals Week. To recperson at the Parks and Rec- April 1-30, Prevention of ognize the roles of business, reation Department located Animal Cruelty Month. industry, education and govat Hacienda de las Flores, Theme: "Go Orange for 2100 Donald Dr. Moraga, Animals." By the ASPCA, 520 ernment. Includes AdminisCa. ADVANCE PURCHASE 8th Ave., 7th Fl. New York, trative Professionals Day on Wednesday, April 27. ONLY! Purchase price inNY 10011. cludes unlimited games and bounce houses. April 2 and 4, NCAA Division 1 Basketball Champion- April 24, Easter Sunday. Most joyous event of the May 6, 2011, 7 pm ship. "Final Four" games Bishop Charles E. Blake the played at Stadium, Houston, Christian year, also celebrated today as a secular Presiding Bishop of the TX. holiday with Easter baskets Churches of God in Christ and bunnies. will be celebrating our 27th April 4-10, The Masters, Anniversary with us. Acts played at the Augusta NaApril 25, White House 1034 66th Avenue Oakland, tional Golf Club, Augusta, Easter Egg Roll. Traditionally CA. GA. For the Green Jacket, first awarded in 1937 to Sam held on the south lawn on Easter Monday. Held 1810 to April 28th - May 1st, 2011: Snead. 1870s at Capital grounds. The National Association of

Good News Press Page 5

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Bay Area Churches Acts Full Gospel 1034 66th Avenue Oakland, CA 94621 8:00 am & 11:30 am

Covenant Worship Center 2622 San Pablo Avenue Berkeley, CA 94702 11:30 am

sionary Baptist Church 1909 Market Street Oakland, CA 94607 10:30 am

Allen Temple Baptist Church 8501 International Boulevard Oakland, CA 94621 11:00 am

Easter Hill United Methodist Church 3911 Cutting Boulevard Richmond, CA 94804 10:30 am

Mills Grove Christian Center 5410 Fleming Avenue Oakland, CA 94619 10:30 am

Antioch Church Family 55 East 18th Street Antioch, CA 94509 10:30 am

Family Bible Fellowship 37620 Filbert Newark, CA 94569 10:30 am

Palma Ceia Baptist Church 28605 Ruus Road Hayward, CA 94544 10:00 am

Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church 684 Erlandson Street Richmond, CA 94804 11:00 am

First Baptist Church 204 Odessa Avenue Pittsburg, CA 94565 10:45 am

Providence Church of God 1860 Tyler Street San Pablo, CA 94806 10:30 am

Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ 27689 Tyrrell Avenue Hayward, CA 94544 8:00 am & 11:30 am

Restoration For Life Ministries 610 N. Hunter Street Stockton, CA 95202 11:00 am

Grace Bible Fellowship of Antioch 913 Sunset Drive Antioch, CA 94509 8:00 am, 10:00 am &11:30 am

Revival Center Ministries 910 Tennessee Street Vallejo, CA 94590 9:00 am

Center of Hope Community Church 8411 MacArthur Boulevard Oakland, CA 94605 11:00 am Cosmopolitan Baptist Church 988 85th Avenue Oakland, CA 94621 10:15 am

Greater Saint John Mis-

Good News Press Page 6 Is God the Author of Evil (A Christian Perspective) by Softwords Is God the author of evil? Did he sit back and devise evil plans for his creation in order to bring suffering upon them? These questions and many others like them are echoed in the minds of those wanting to know the truth about God's nature, and God's omniscient involvement in creation. If God is not the author of evil, then why is there so much suffering, pain, disease, and famine, in the world? Why does he allow such things to continue? Many in their attempts to understand God, or explain him, claim that yes he is the author of evil and can do as he pleases with creation. Others, such as skeptics, say he is a cruel God, rejoicing in making people suffer, playing with mankind as pawns in a chess game. But are these explanations and accusations true? Is there any evidence in the Bible that refutes these claims and that sheds light on some of the answers to these desperate questions? What are some of the verses that people use to proclaim, ―See, He is the author of evil!‖? Let's begin by explaining God's character, his nature, and the attributes which make him God that are revealed throughout the scriptures.

about the fall? First, He is a holy God, who cannot dwell in the presence of sin. He is full of love, compassion, mercy, understanding, and yet, also a righteous God who judges according to his holy standards. Yet, this explanation alone is not sufficient to calm the minds of the skeptic. Questions continue to arise such as, ―But if he is such a God of love, how did the fall happen? How did his creation turn from him and choose to sin? Did any of this happen without him knowing and did it take him by surprise?‖ Since God is all knowing, we can say with the utmost certainty that ―no,‖ nothing happens in all creation that he is not aware of. So why put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden? First, before I answer this question, I want to share this nugget of truth about the greatest act of love. According to the Scriptures, the ultimate act of love is that one would lay down his life for his friends. We see this throughout the scriptures in passages such as John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” If this is true, can you think of a better way in which God could prove to his God is omniscient [allcreation the extent of his knowing (1 John 3:20)], omnipresent [present eve- love for them, if not laying rywhere simultaneously (1 down his life for them on the cross? If mankind had Kings 8:27)], and omnipono choice but to serve him tent [all-powerful (Rev. 19:6)]. These are attributes with robotic responses, that make him alone God. would that have been 'love'? How would mankind No other creature in all show their love to him in creation has these attribreturn, if all their responses utes. They are preserved only for him. If this is true, were programmed? Yet, and he is all-knowing, how God in his infinite wisdom saw beforehand what Adam do we explain the fall, the and Eve would choose and tree of the knowledge of planned a way to reverse good and evil in the midst the effects of the fall. As he of the garden of Eden, or other events God allowed knew they would fall, he also decided before the to happen which brought foundation of the world (1

Peter 1:20-21) that he would be the solution to restore what was lost. He chose that he alone would take the penalty for our sin upon himself, so that we might have life eternal with him if we accept his payment. He chose to die for us, to restore us to a right relationship with him. This act of 'laying down his life for us' demonstrated his ultimate love for mankind. The purpose of putting the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden was to give man a choice. Choose life, or choose death. When Adam and Eve sinned, they died a

'spiritual death' as well as the beginning of physical death. All creation was cursed and Adam and Eve were left to labor and suffer under the weight of this affect. God warned this would happen in Genesis 2, 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. We are all made in the image of our parents, and Adam and Eve were the

first parents. Everyone born after is created in their likeness, with a sin nature. With the decay of creation, and sin entering the world, suffering, disease, famines, etc. are the result. We will not be delivered from this world of sin until God creates a new heaven, and a new earth, as described in 2 Peter 3, 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. And as for those of us who have put our faith in Christ, we will remain in these corruptible bodies which are decaying with each day that passes, until we receive our glorified bodies. Until then, suffering, disease, pain, etc. are and will

continue to be the consequences of the fall. With this brief introduction to the fall, it's effects, and God's great love for mankind, what can we say about God being the author of evil? Are there any scriptures that point to the contrary? Let's examine a few passages about the state of creation before the fall and about the nature of God. Genesis 1 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

James 1 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 1 John 1 5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 Corinthians 14 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. These passages declare that creation (including mankind) was initially created ―good‖, in other words perfect without sin. They further declare that God cannot be tempted with evil nor does he tempt any man. He is light, and in him is no darkness at all, and he is not the author of confusion. If this is true, then God truly cannot in any way be the 'author' of evil. To help us understand a little more, let's define what 'evil' is. According to the scriptures, evil is basically ―the absence of God's righteousness.‖ It is not something that is created nor does it stand alone. It is the want of moral perfection in God's creation. However, there are various passages one might use to declare that God is the author of evil. Let’s examine a few of them: Isaiah 45 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. This one is used probably more than any others to prove that God is the author of evil. But, unfortunately, this is a poor translation of the Hebrew word for evil, which is 'rah.' It can also be translated 'calamity' or 'destruction,' and is used this way in many other passages. Since we know that God cannot be the 'author' of evil based on the passages above, we know that the better rendering for this word would

be 'calamity or destruction.' God indeed allows calamity or destruction to befall a city or people who have chosen to purposefully rebel against Him, and who try to destroy His people, and His work. We can read about many examples of this in the Old Testament. Even though God is not the author of evil, he does allow calamity to come, in whatever form it takes, as a form of punishment. Another example would be Amos 3,6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? This passage is another one used to prove that God is the author of evil. However, upon reading it in its entirety, we find that God allowed ―calamity‖ and distress to come upon this people as a form of judgment, not any sort of ―moral evil.‖ Reading on, verse 11 declares that God allowed them to be overtaken because of their sinful lives, knowing to do good yet not doing it. They instead chose to store up wrath for themselves, with no regard for God. Again, this is another example of a poor rendering for the Hebrew word ―rah.‖ I would venture to say that there is nothing more that the enemy of God, Satan himself, would want more than to cause God's creation to think that he, God, is the author of evil: responsible for tempting Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. But Scripture shows us otherwise. The Devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy anything that would lead us into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. As he cunningly deceived Eve in the garden, he continues to try and deceive all mankind, to lead them away from God. But what the devil intends for evil, God has turned around for good.

Good News Press Page 7 An Easter Tradition: Hot Cross Buns 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar 1 egg 5 tablespoons soft unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 2 to 4 tablespoons dried cherry bits, citron, or raisins 2 tablespoons lemon or orange zest Easter is a time of rebirth and rejoicing, a time to feast on symbolic and traditional food fare. What better than to accent a breakfast buffet or light Easter meal than a plate of steaming hot cross buns?

Wash egg white beaten 3 tablespoons granulated sugar Icing

The American Red Cross expects these funds will be used to fund immediate relief activities such as providing supplies and medical care. Over time, it is likely that some of the contributions will be used for longer-term recovery. The American Red Cross has been in close contact with its partners in the Asia Pacific region since the earthquake to offer its support. The Japanese Red Cross has expressed its gratitude for the support of the American people and the American Red Cross. The Japanese Red Cross is a highly experienced disaster relief organization with 2 million registered volunteers, many of whom have responded to help their neighbors affected by the earthquake, tsunami and evolving nuclear emergency. Red Cross volunteers and staff in Japan continue to provide health care, emotional support activities and relief items to people affected. The Japanese Red

John the Baptist was a bit eccentric. He might have even been put in a padded room today. John lived out in the middle of nowhere, his diet consisted of locusts, and he wore animal skin clothing. Then to complete his image, he traveled around shouting at people, ―Repent, for the kingdom of God is near.‖ At first glance, John the Baptist came across as rather strange. Still, people started to recognize that there was something special about him. They discovered he had some interesting things to say. It was as if he was some kind of a prophet—a prophet from God.

One day as John was out preaching, Jesus happened to wander in his direction. John saw Him coming and Place buns on the told his audience, ―Look! greased baking pan 1 1/2 inches apart. Allow to rise until dou- The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the ble in size, about 45 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for about world‖ (John 1:29, New 12 minutes. Remove and cool Living Translation)! What did John mean, ―the Lamb for 10 minutes. of God?‖ The answer lies in the religious rituals of Continued from Page 2 the Old Testament.

1 cup confectioners sugar 2 tablespoons soft unsalted Hot cross buns with dried fruit butter Dough 1 tablespoon heavy cream 1/2 cup warmed milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 package yeast (7 gram) For the dough, 1/4 cup granulated sugar stir together the milk, yeast and half teaspoon of granulated 2 cups all-purpose flour

American Red Cross

sugar. Set aside until foamy. In another large bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, remaining sugar and spices. Add half of this flour mixture to the milk mixture. Beat until combined. Add the butter and egg and stir until smooth. Add the remainder of the flour and mix until the dough forms. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured bread board, knead in the zest and fruit bits. Roll the dough into a 12-inch log and cut into one-inch slices. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand 10 minutes. For the wash: In a small bowl, thoroughly beat the egg white and add 3 tablespoons of sugar. Brush on buns.

Why Was Jesus Called the Lamb of God? By Greg Hanson

Cross has dozens of medical teams operating in Red Cross hospitals and mobile clinics treating those affected by the disasters. Immediately after the earthquake and tsunami, the Red Cross dispatched relief items from stocks to assist those affected, and has provided 125,500 blankets and 25,000 emergency kits. The Red Cross is increasing its relief operations for survivors in evacuation centers and is planning to provide supplies for 100,000 people. It is also working with local authorities on ways to help people still living in evacuation centers. Overall, the conditions for survivors appear to be improving: the number of people in shelters in Japan has dropped to 244,000 from what had been the high of nearly half a million. More supplies and fuel are also reaching affected areas. However, the needs are still overwhelming and uncertainty around several Japanese

nuclear reactors and associated health risks remains a major concern. The American Red Cross also has been assisting in the voluntary evacuations of military families from Japan. Over the past week, American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces staff stationed at military installations in the Far East assisted with the voluntary departures of military families from Japan. The Red Cross helped register departees, escorted people and assisted in military sheltering operations. American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces staff also provided a range of support including: canteen services; registering passengers; helping people find out where to secure all the required military clearances; and assisting people to the aircraft. Once the families reached the U.S., Red Cross staff was also on hand to provide families food, snacks and comfort items.

someone’s property or cheated someone (including God), and there were sin offerings seeking forgiveness.

pointed to Jesus as, ―The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,‖ the listeners would have immediately known what John meant. They would Depending on your circum- have been quite familiar stances and which kind of with the sacrificial system. sacrifice you were offering, To their ears, this declarayou would need to sacrifice tion by John was one of the something different. You most profound statements might sacrifice a sheep, a ever uttered. It was powgoat, a dove, a pigeon, a erful! cow, or a ram. Your sacrifice might involve some John the Baptist identified wheat, flour, oil, or unleav- Jesus not just as ―a‖ lamb; ened bread. The specific He was ―the‖ Lamb. He requirements for each kind was not going to cover up of sacrifice were defined by sin only for one year the Mosaic Law. (requiring another sacrifice the following year); He This sacrificial system was a would take away the sin of way of life for the firstthe world for all of time. century Jews. They rouThe writer of the biblical tinely brought their sacribook of Hebrews reinfices to the Temple and forced this when he wrote, they were offered there to ―For God’s will was for us God. (The sacrificial system to be made holy by the continued for the Jews sacrifice of the body of until the year AD 70 when Jesus Christ, once for all the Romans destroyed the time‖ (Hebrews 10:10, Temple in Jerusalem. At NLT). that time, the Jewish community switched to offering The Bible states that we prayer as a sacrifice inhave all sinned and fallen stead.) far short of God’s standard for our lives. Like a huge While each family was re- chasm, this sinfulness sepasponsible to provide their rates us from God. But the own sacrifice, the High cross of Christ bridges that Priest of Israel was respon- chasm. It was on the cross sible to choose the Passthat Jesus offered to take over lamb. Every year he all of our sinfulness upon was to select one perfect, Himself, paying the penalty spotless lamb and then for our sinfulness and ofoffer it as a sacrifice on fering us forgiveness in its behalf of all Israel. That place. As the ―Lamb of lamb would be known as God,‖ Jesus became the ―the lamb of God.‖ sacrifice for all of humanity.

In the Old Testament, there were a lot of ritual sacrifices offered for a variety of reasons. There were grain offerings meant primarily for worship, there were peace offerings asking for God’s blessing, there were burnt offerings for giving thanks to God, there were guilt offerings for when you had destroyed When John the Baptist

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Good News Press is a Christian Newspaper featuring Christian News, Articles, Church & Gospel Events, & Information. It proclaims the Love of...

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