Are You Thinking Of Getting A Hearing Aid

You will not recover from hearing loss until you actually invest in getting a hearing aid.  It is highly recommended to get your hearing aids before you seek help from a professional.

You’ll need to decide what’s most crucial for you in a hearing-aid. Some aids have sophisticated functions which will make them easier to to use and more adaptable to different hearing surroundings, but these functions may cost more or need a help to be cosmetically less attractive.

Hearing-aidsIt’s essential to verify in writing how lengthy you can demo out any support you buy using a correct to reunite it, what fees, if any, you are going to need certainly to pay in the event you reunite it, and whether the check period is likely to be extended in the event the dispenser indicates attempting to make changes so the aid will match you better. For one product, we discovered that costs among neighborhood dispensers ranged from $1,999 to $2,999. And that is for the same design! For another one, costs ranged from $1,455 to $3,900. This demonstrably shows the range of help costs that may be found.

It’s true that an aid will not completely make up for hearing reduction in the same feeling of 20/20 vision that can be restored by eyeglasses. A hearing-aid can amplify sound and voices but can not give you the specific designs of pitch and quantity that you’d have have seen without a hearing reduction. People having a hearing reduction usually say, “I can hear you-but I can not comprehend you.” Despite the assist of a hearing-aid, you could have had this encounter.

Despite their inability to provide “typical” hearing, aids have enhanced the lives of millions of folks, enabling them to enjoy their senses more and also to talk better with the others. Many first time hearing-aid wearers are surprised in the quality in their lives. Modern electronic hearing aids can do significantly to fulfill the complicated as well as the wants of these wearers and various acoustic surroundings they experience. They may be also easier and less obtrusive to use as hearing aids are becoming smaller and more technologically-advanced. Today, for those who have a hearing reduction, it is possible to choose from hundreds of hearing aids with different levels of of sophistication and dimension, but certain to go shopping for for the finest hearing-aid cost.

The possession and use of hearing aids is expanding, although the pace is very slow. Some of the factors are high hearing-aid costs, open info about hearing, and fitting is not proceeded with by most. This is unfortunate as today contemporary hearing aids supply outstanding hearing for all those ranging from losses that are extremely moderate to extreme.

Hearing clinics, like Hear Again – Oklahoma’s Hearing Aids Company, offers a cost-effective entry to the great planet of hearing aids, and advertise access to high-end, premium electronic hearing gadgets that could be from the reach of the majority of people.

How Should Christians Respond to Christchurch Mosque Massacre?

Eleven evangelical experts weigh in as death toll of New Zealand Muslims hits 50.

Last Friday, Muslim worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, suffered a terrorist attack at the hands of an avowed white supremacist. 50 people were killed, with another 50 injured.

Prior to the attack, the citizen of Australia posted a lengthy manifesto to social media, filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim themes. He then proceeded to livestream the shooting. Some victims originally hailed from Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Given recent attacks on Christians in their places of worship, including many in Muslim nations, CT invited evangelical leaders to weigh in: How should Christians respond to Christchurch?

Richard Shumack, director of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology, Australia:

The thing that came to mind immediately is Jesus’ beatitudes. How should Christians react to Christchurch? With mourning, a hunger for justice, and peacemaking. Christians must mourn with their Muslim brothers and sisters, thirst for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be brought to justice, and put every possible effort into brokering peace in an age of furious tribalism.

I also embrace wholeheartedly the poignant wisdom of Dostoevsky quoted by the Anglican bishop of Wellington, New Zealand: At some ideas you stand perplexed, especially at the sight of human sins, uncertain whether to combat it by force or by humble love. Always decide, “I will combat it with humble love.” If you make up your mind about that once and for all, you can conquer the whole world. Loving humility is a terrible force; it is the strongest of all things and there is nothing like it.

Continue reading…

Should We Rethink the 30-minute Sermon Lecture?

Our message should encompass both Scripture and our congregants questions.

Recently, a group of pastors asked me this question: “Should we rethink the 30-minute sermon lecture in light of the many different ways classroom teaching is currently conducted?” They are part of a year-long initiative by the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Seminary to strengthen the quality of preaching. In an effort to answer this question, the group of pastors asked me to lead a preaching workshop centered on what we know about adult learning.

As I started to prepare, I asked myself, “What is underneath their question about sermon-as-lecture?”

Well, pastors want people to grow. Instead of having our carefully crafted words go in one ear and out the other, we hope for deep transformation. We hope that our communication shapes our listeners’ understanding of God, themselves, and the world so that their way of living would more closely reflect God and His Kingdom.

However, we know that just telling people what they should do is not enough. The old model of education believed that the teacher’s job was to deposit the information into the vessel of the student’s mind for future retrieval. Paulo Freire, who first used the term “banking” to describe this approach to learning, noted that teaching this way results in the facts becoming “lifeless and petrified…detached from reality, disconnected from the totality that engendered them and could give them significance. Words are emptied of their concreteness and become a hollow, alienated, and alienating verbosity.” (Pedagogy of the Oppressed 2000, 71)

In other words, teaching that is not embodied by the teacher and experienced within the relational community is at risk of being nothing but empty …

Continue reading…

ECFA Suspends Harvest Bible Chapel’s Accreditation

Under James MacDonald, Chicago-area megachurch may have been in “serious violation” of 4 out of 7 stewardship standards, says Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Harvest Bible Chapel had its accreditation suspended this week by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), after “new information” led to concerns that spending under former senior pastor James MacDonald was in “serious violation” of 4 of the agency’s 7 standards for biblical and ethical financial stewardship.

“During the indefinite suspension, the church may not represent that they are an ECFA member or display ECFA’s membership seal,” wrote president Dan Busby in a statement released Friday afternoon. Harvest used to display ECFA’s seal prominently on its online giving page.

“The investigation has been and will remain ongoing during the suspension as we work to determine whether Harvest Bible Chapel should be terminated, advised of the steps necessary to come into full compliance,” wrote Busby, “or whether they are in fact in compliance with our standards and should, therefore, be restored to full membership.”

On Wednesday, Julie Roys—author of a months-long investigation into MacDonald’s leadership published by World magazine that contributed to his February firing—devoted a blog post to critiquing ECFA’s affirmation late last year that Harvest remained a member in good standing despite what she called “glaring improprieties.”

Roys summarized her findings on Harvest’s “extremely disconcerting, and potentially fraudulent, activity”:

For example, the church has repeatedly used money donated for one purpose to fulfill other purposes. Money given to Walk in the Word, the broadcast ministry of recently-fired Harvest founder James MacDonald, was used to develop a deer herd at Camp …

Continue reading…

The Anvil of the Evangelical Mind

Schools and scholars can help the Christ-centered movement become all the more Jesusy.

Historian Mark Noll’s prophetic call in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind launched a thousand more laments about the shallowness of evangelical scholarship and thinking.

The judgment remains accurate as far as it goes. American evangelical Christians are American Christians, and Americans have never valued the life of the mind as much as they might. But where Noll’s 1994 volume lamented the dearth of intellectual commitment among evangelicals, he now wonders if there is much evangelical thinking among the evangelicals committed to the life of the mind.

In a recent lecture, he said that institutions like Christianity Today and Wheaton College, among others, “sustain Christian seriousness about intellectual life.” He went on to say, however, that among the high level of evangelical learning on display among leading educational institutions and publications, “not much of it seems particularly ‘evangelical,’” but displays learning that draws on broadly Christian sources, like Reformed Protestantism or Roman Catholicism.

“That work is often obviously Christian, but with incredible variety, reflecting a huge mélange of influences,” he said. “For tracing broad trajectories of historical development, the word evangelical is probably still useful. But for contemporary evangelical effort, not so much.”

At the same conference at which Noll spoke, James K. A. Smith of Calvin College went on to argue that evangelical scholars should abandon the attempt to discover and explore the evangelical mind as such, but instead to draw on these broadly Christian resources to shore up their intellectual efforts.

I basically agree with Smith—that is, I believe Christian …

Continue reading…

Churches That Play Together Stay Together

Pastors report the congregational gains of letting loose as a body.

In its new Households of Faith report, Barna researchers claim that one of the many reasons “vibrant households” stand out from others is because they engage in “meaningful, fun, quality time with both their housemates and extended household members.” That includes playing games together (32%), sharing meals (63% eat breakfast as a family and 75% eat dinner as a family), and enjoying other leisure activities. “These are practicing Christians who know the meaning of play—and indeed, half call their home life ‘playful,’” according to the report.

In other words, the old adage still rings true: Families that play together stay together, and more than that, exhibit signs of strong spiritual health.

The same can be said of the church family.

From softball leagues to book clubs, jazz ensembles to craft nights, churches that play together seem to stay together and grow together, too, adapting more easily to upheaval and building up the camaraderie, compassion, and collective resilience that are essential to a robust church body.

“Our congregation is experiencing some growing edges as younger families begin to assume leadership roles,” said Katie Nix, lead pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Moberly, Missouri. “Usually the generations become divided between gatekeepers and new people, but kickball helped to break down some of the walls of fear and create relationships. I believe we avoided several potential turf wars because the two groups experienced an opportunity to play together.”

Other pastors, too, report the unique gains of “letting loose” as the body of Christ.

Jackson Clelland, head of staff at Presbyterian Church of the Master in …

Continue reading…

The Disturbing Temptations of Pastoring in Obscurity

Leaving the limelight didn’t heal my pride; it only disguised it.

Gregory the Great, so tradition tells us, was a reluctant pope. Well-educated and from a wealthy family, Gregory experienced inner tension between his longing for the contemplative life and his sense of calling toward secular responsibilities. After converting to the monastic life and transforming his house into a monastery—the happiest years of his life—Gregory often was called into service of the church in public ways, including serving as Pope Pelagius II’s legate to Constantinople. When troubles gathered around Rome, Gregory was called from his monastic life to the city to help. Soon afterward, Pope Pelagius died of the plague sweeping through Rome at that time, and Gregory was elected to succeed him. Gregory tried to refuse the office, preferring his monastic life, but once elected, he accepted his duties faithfully and worked hard to serve God in his new position. The best leaders, according to the old proverb, are reluctant leaders.

Of course, as my own story shows, reluctance is not an inherently laudable trait.

My calling into pastoral ministry came when I was in high school, in a small Presbyterian church in the Mississippi River Valley of western Illinois. I hoped to be a music minister of some sort, though I wasn’t sure if churches hired people to do that. Following my internal inclinations and external affirmations toward pastoral ministry, I studied at a Christian college where my eyes were opened to some of the great ministry leaders of that time: Billy Graham, John Stott, Dallas Willard, John Piper, Elisabeth Elliott. Many of them spoke at my college. I prayed, God, use me however you want—even like these great women and men. I didn’t want to be a big deal in peoples’ …

Continue reading…

Richard Mouw Wrestles with Evangelicalism, Past and Present

Reading his book is like enjoying a cup of tea with a wise elder statesman.

Among my favorite books is Catholic activist Dorothy Day’s The Long Loneliness. When asked why, I often reply, “Because it’s like enjoying a cup of tea with a wise older woman who lived an astoundingly courageous life and led some of the most important movements of her generation.” Day’s book is conversational in tone and might mention names or historical events I don’t recognize. But I tolerate these quirks—in fact, I find them delightful—because I know she has something to teach me.

Richard Mouw’s Restless Faith: Holding Evangelical Beliefs in a World of Contested Labels has a similar appeal. The book wrestles with questions of identity: What is this ever-changing movement called “evangelicalism?” How do we deal with conflict over the meaning of this term and over the direction of the movement itself? And should we even use the “E-word” anymore? As an elder statesman of Reformed evangelicalism, Mouw engages these questions (and others) through stories and reflections from a lifetime of ministry.

He discusses topics as wide-ranging as contextualization and the doctrine of sin, church unity (and disunity), and the importance of mystery, even including a whole chapter on hymnody. But, like tea with an older saint, moments that at first seem like digressions are often where treasure is found, and they all wind back to the book’s main theme: why Mouw remains an evangelical, by name and belief—and why he is “restless” about it.

Though not a memoir, the book walks through Mouw’s own story. As a brainy kid, Mouw found in evangelicalism a nourishing tradition of Christian scholarship that rescued him from fundamentalist anti-intellectualism. …

Continue reading…

Small Town Pastors See More Than Small Wonders

Rural ministry is experiencing a resurgence in the US even as economic and demographic numbers continue their decline.

These days, living in small-town America often means living with less.

2018 marked another year of decline in many rural and small towns: economies suffering; local residents aging or moving away; and many struggling with addiction, disillusionment, or depression.

But just as the nation declares a crisis in small communities, the church has seen new momentum around rural ministry. Proud pastors from blue-collar outskirts, flyover country farmlands, and cozy mountain towns proclaim that in God’s kingdom, less is more.

In new books, blogs, networks, and conferences, these leaders resist popular narratives about rural America to instead embrace the gospel lessons they encounter when doing ministry on a small scale.

“One of the things that the rural church reminds the global church of is God’s commitment to be with people everywhere. We as the people of God have been sent to the ends of the earth and sometimes rural is one of those ends,” said Brad Roth, pastor of West Zion Mennonite Church in Moundridge, Kansas.

“Not every place is going to have the same potential for that growth metric. But every place is still beloved by God and worthy of our best and most thoughtful ministry as the church.”

While plenty of materials are geared toward church growth in bigger congregations, more resources are emerging for leaders in smaller contexts. America’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, dedicated its annual pastors’ conference—long the domain of megachurch pastors—to small-church pastors in 2017.

“Despite rapid global urbanization, many millions around the world continue to live in small towns and rural areas. God is calling some of us to live …

Continue reading…

Are We the Ultraviolet Light of the World? Or the X-Rays?

An astronomer ponders one of Jesus’ most memorable sayings.

When Jesus defined himself as “the light of the world,” listeners probably associated those words with common objects well known to them: the hot sun of Judea, the stars twinkling in the sky, the moon shining during the night, torches they carried on the roads, small oil lamps used in their houses, or bonfires lit when camping on a long trip.

In our current age, we associate the light with many other things: the screen of a smartphone, a laptop we use for work, the traffic lights on the streets, fireworks on New Year’s Eve, a television, a laser pointer, car lights, or a child’s toy.

As an astronomer, the majority of my work is based on light. I study astronomical observations of celestial bodies, obtained through telescopes, in order to understand the physical processes behind them. From astronomy, I know there are many kinds of light, so I wondered how that can teach me more about the expression “the light of the world.”

To start with, what is light? Light is electromagnetic radiation that can manifest itself in different ways depending on the range of energy in which we observe it. For example, we have visible light, x-rays, radio waves, ultraviolet light, or microwaves, to name a few. The interesting thing is that, although they manifest themselves in different ways, all these types of light are part of the same physical phenomena. Another fascinating property of the light is that, although they have different energies, all electromagnetic radiation travels at the same speed: 300,000 km/s, a universal constant called the speed of light.

The fact that light manifests itself in different ways is very useful in astronomical research because by observing a celestial object through different …

Continue reading…

One-on-One with Charles Stone on ‘Holy Noticing’

A conversation about Christian mindfulness.

Ed: What led you to discover mindfulness?

Charles: My youngest daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 1. Through the first 25 years of her life she had a dozen brain surgeries, two devices implanted into and taken out of her body, and had part of her brain removed. [She is doing well now and studying to be a chaplain.]

I saw the effects of something wrong with the human brain. Although I had been a Christian for decades, I still greatly struggled with anxiety and worry. Even though I consistently practiced many spiritual disciplines, I still struggled. I wondered if something was wrong with my brain.

And because of my struggle and the fact that we lived in this neuro-psychology world for so long, I began reading about the brain. I enrolled in an executive master’s program in the neuroscience of leadership and wrote my master’s thesis on mindfulness for the Christian leader, which led me into a deep dive on mindfulness.

I began to practice it with great positive effect on my personal anxiety and my walk with Christ.

Ed: How do you define mindfulness?

Charles: I define mindfulness as holy noticing—the art of noticing, with a holy purpose, God and his handiwork, our relationships, and our inner world of thoughts and feelings.

Ed: Why should Christians reclaim mindfulness? What are the benefits?

From the Old Testament to the New Testament to the early desert contemplatives, practices like mindfulness have been a part of our faith for centuries. I believe that Christians can greatly benefit by reclaiming this practice, especially as we see the benefits neuroscience is discovering that it brings.

1. It helps us avoid spiritual forgetting. Our tendency to spiritually forget God, by interrupting our thought …

Continue reading…