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You don't have to do anything to drift dangerously!

Two American sociologists surveyed the religious opinions of 3,290 youths in the USA by phone, and followed up with 267 in-depth interviews. 'Soul Searching' was published as a paper in 2005 by Christian Smith with Melinda Lundquist Denton (the book of the same name was published in 2009).

On the first Easter Sunday evening, Jesus appeared to the disciples.  He proved His physical presence by inviting them to inspect His wounds and eating fish with them.  Then He explained the reason for His death and resurrection.

Luke 24:46-48 says, "He told them, ‘This is what is written: the Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.'"

Easter, without a physically living Jesus, would be a fantasy. Central to the Christian's faith is that Jesus did rise from the dead in a real, recognisable and functional body. Jesus' resurrection body could be touched, and could eat a meal - even though it had the additional ability to appear in a locked room and disappear after a conversation. In His body Jesus ascended into heaven, and one day He will come again in the same body (Acts 1:11).

What do we do when we are at our wits end? One privilege of serving Christians who live under persecution is to see how they stay with the people they love, in their communities wherever possible, and entrust their future to the Lord.

We have now enjoyed 78.5 years of peace in Western Europe and the USA since the end of World War 2.

Another year has started with many uncertainties. But two scriptures have taken my attention.

The first is practical, advising us to invest what God has given us in a variety of ventures being brave in going forward despite difficulty - because we never know which part of our work will yield the best results.  

The world is becoming a different place. Even though there are serious conflicts in Myanmar, West Africa, North Africa, The Horn of Africa, Yemen and Syria ... these are not seen as 'our problems' by most in the West.

However, the wars in Ukraine and the Holy Land are much closer to our national consciousness. The media explodes them onto our screens. The raw anguish of people's suffering is in our faces and we all know that something is wrong.

The church is always only one generation from extinction! But because it is Jesus' church, it is still growing in each generation. But not everywhere or at the same rate.

Persecution has decimated the church in many places, particularly in the Middle East, and the church has become insecure wherever it has lost confidence in the gospel, which is especially true in the once-Christian West.

BeaconLight runs the 'Sharing Jesus Course' to equip believers to lead others to Christ.

The Sharing Jesus Course (SJC) is a mixture of "What is the Biblical gospel narrative?" and "How can you lead people through the narrative to receive Christ?" But it is prefaced by "What is the need for the gospel?" and "Why should every Christian be able to articulate the message ... as opposed to leaving it to the 'professionals'"?

Are hard-copy books redundant in our increasingly online Christian world?

Bibles and Christian literature have been critically important in evangelism and discipleship since the invention of the printing press in the 15thC. Now, despite so much information available online, and people worldwide being glued to their smartphones, paper-based learning is still a priority for most serious learners.