VIDEO: GLORIOUS GOD – ELIJAH OYELADE

Off the project ‘Show us your glory’, Here is the video for “Glorious God” by Elijah Oyelade. Finally, every one can enjoy the the  visual  for “Glorious God” the hit worship track. His worship lifestyle and songs is impacting and inspiring many around the world.

Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life – Eric Metaxas

 

One of the least-understood and, thus, overused words in American culture is “miracle.” We use it when describing events that are unexpected or surprising, such as the “Miracle on Ice,” referring to the 1980 U.S. triumph over the USSR in ice hockey. Or, closer to my heart, “The Miracle Mets,” who won the 1969 World Series.
Then there’s Marianne Williamson’s “Course of Miracles,” which is little more than magical new-age thinking—and of course its Christian counterpart, the “name-it-and-claim-it” theology.
These misuses of the word “miracle” have cheapened its value and made it increasingly difficult to recognize the genuine articles and, more importantly, to understand their significance in our lives and the lives of others.
Now, the flip-side of this glib use of the word is the categorical rejection of the idea of miracles. This rejection was neatly summed up by Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker in an article about faith and belief in which he wrote, “We know that . . . in the billions of years of the universe’s existence, there is no evidence of a single miraculous intercession [sic] with the laws of nature.”
This extraordinary statement was as much as statement of faith as the Apostles Creed. It is made possible by a worldview that dismisses outright any likelihood of anything beyond the material world of time and space.
Well, my latest book, “Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life,” represents my attempt to correct both these errors—and, let’s be plain, that’s what they are—and to help Christians and non-Christians alike to understand what Christians mean—or at least should mean—when they use the world “miracle.”
For me, a miracle is when something outside time and space—which is to say outside the material, natural world—enters time and space, whether just to wink at us or to poke at us briefly, or to come in and dwell among us for three decades.
Think of the Gospel of John, which refers to Jesus’ miracles—turning water into wine, feeding the 5,000, and the raising of Lazarus from the dead—as “signs.” They are called “signs”—sémeion in Greek—because they point, like all signs, to something beyond themselves.  In this case to a larger, unseen, reality.  They don’t compel faith. Instead, they are reminders that the world as we perceive it and wish it to be is not all there is.
A case in point is our very existence. As I discuss in the book, the more you know how fine-tuned the universe is, the more utterly miraculous our very existence seems. The minutest variations in the force of gravity, in the strong and weak nuclear forces, would render our existence impossible.
But of course, not all miracles are on a cosmic scale—which is what the first half of the book is about. In the second half I tell stories of miraculous interventions in the lives of people I know personally. I hope you are as awestruck and thrilled by reading what God has done in their lives as I was learning and then writing about their stories.
Folks, there is more to, well, everything, than we perceive—and dismissing this idea requires just as much faith as embracing it. My prayer is that the book will not only encourage and fortify believers, but that it will open—even ever so slightly—the eyes and minds of skeptics to the possibility of the miraculous.
My new book, Miracles, does not release until next week. But we do have the book available for pre-order at BreakPoint.org today. And my colleagues at BreakPoint will send an autographed copy to the first 100 folks to respond. So please go to the website for details.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children’s books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

5 Ways Churches Can Help Stop the Ebola Hysteria – Tom Ehrich

5 Ways Churches Can Help Stop the Ebola Hysteria

 

Once the first person in America died from Ebola, the usual bigots and ideologues blamed it on President Obama, whom they loathe. Some suggested Obama deliberately allowed the virus into the U.S. for nefarious purposes.

“He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too. That’s his attitude,” said Phyllis Schlafly, the matriarch of America’s religious right.

Every misstep will be laid at the president’s doorstep, as if he personally ordered a Dallas hospital to screw up.

Such nonsense plays well in an election year, at least with a certain portion of the electorate. But the question remains: How are we as a society to deal with a potential contagion that could impact our lives?

Our worst instincts, as always, will be to blame whatever we don’t like, to imagine barriers and travel bans that would protect us, and to turn against each other. Schlafly, for one, blames Obama personally for  “letting these diseased people into this country to infect our own people.”

Similar instincts served us poorly after 9/11, during various Red Scares and during our many wars. They are like a child’s instinct to hide under a bed: We crouch in fear without thinking first.

Our current legislative leaders, unfortunately, have little instinct for leadership. They are most likely to harvest votes among the fearful by stoking their fears. All but the most responsible media will join them in making hay from havoc.

Let’s imagine a better scenario, perhaps even one that faithful people could help to bring about.

First, no cheap blaming. God isn’t causing this virus to spread through western Africa as some sort of punishment for the people there, or to come to these shores as some punishment of us. Diseases happen, and they spread through a combination of bad luck, human error and ignorance.

Second, people need to be helped back from the edge of hysteria. Not through unrealistic predictions, as we seem to be hearing now, but through confidence in those tackling the virus and our ability, through common sense and bravery, to deal with it.

Third, we need to take personal responsibility for getting informed and staying informed, so we can provide useful guidance to children and the vulnerable and take appropriate precautions within our sphere of care and influence.

Fourth, we need to look outside our walls to see who needs help. Beyond family, beyond church, beyond our community — where is help needed, and can we provide it?

Fifth, we need to muster our personal and spiritual resources and find the courage to face something largely beyond our control. If the Ebola virus breaks out of current containment measures and spreads into the general population, our communities will require people with mature judgment and the courage to stand against the legions of fear.

This is a lot to ask. Little in our faith formation has prepared us to deal with such things. Faith communities need to be preparing now, not later. Teaching good theology, for example, in the area of disease causes. Forming emergency response teams. Preparing safe places in case hysteria gets out of hand. Checking in with constituents to counter isolation.

It could well be that none of these steps is necessary to deal with Ebola. But the effort won’t be wasted, for these are fearful times. Ideologues are in full assault, and people are too isolated for their own good. Getting ready for Ebola will get us ready for other crises, as well.

Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the president of Morning Walk Media and publisher of Fresh Day online magazine. His website is http://www.morningwalkmedia.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @tomehrich.

Why You Don’t Need to Fear the News – John Stonestreet

 

On a recent broadcast, Shepard Smith of Fox News took to task what he called the “hysterical voices” that are spreading fear and panic over Ebola in the United States.
After telling viewers that “You should have no concerns about Ebola at all. None. I promise,” he added, “Fear not. Do not listen to the hysterical voices on the radio and the television or read the fear-provoking words online. The people who say and write hysterical things are being very irresponsible.”
“Fear not.” Now whether he was aware that he was quoting scripture or not, that’s what he was doing. God and His messengers uttered those words to God’s people at least eighty times in the Bible. In fact, by some estimates, “fear not” and variations such as “be not afraid” are the most often-repeated commands in all of Scripture.
That’s fitting because it also might be the most transgressed-against command, especially in modern life.
We all know the expression “sex sells.” But it’s also true that fear sells, especially among the middle-aged and the elderly. If you can stand it, try watching an afternoon worth of commercials and take note of how many of them appeal to fear and anxiety that we have over, well, everything: our health, our family’s future, our finances, and, especially in the run-up to the November elections, our national security, special interest groups and our very way of life.
And it isn’t only the ads: The reason for what Smith called the “hysterical voices” is that television networks and other media outlets know that fear and panic are good for business.
Now I’m not saying that there aren’t things in the world today to be concerned about—of course there are. Besides Ebola, we’ve got ISIS and the collapse of order in the Middle East, home-grown terrorism, the decay of decency, growing restrictions on religious liberty—and for some, simply putting food on the table.
But make no mistake, the media know that a frightened audience is one that will stay tuned-in for every scrap or morsel of news, no matter how fragmentary or out-of-context it might be.
I wish I could say that Christians are immune to this kind of fear and are innocent of the sin of fear-mongering. But we’re not. In fact, let me be honest with you: While we would never intentionally stoke fear among our listeners, one of the hardest things we do at BreakPoint is attempt to strike a balance between telling folks the unvarnished truth about the challenges that Christians face and avoiding giving them a reason to be fearful and to despair.
And on behalf of Eric and all of our team, at any of those times that we’ve failed to strike that balance, we apologize to you and we repent before God.
As Christians, we ought to know better than to fear, because we know how the story of the world—and our story—ends. It’s an ending beautifully summed up by Thomas Howard in his book, “Christ the Tiger.” In which he reminds us that our Lord announces that he “[makes] all things new” and does “what cannot be done.”
Here’s a passage from Howard’s book:
God “[restores] the years that the locusts and worms have eaten . . . the years you have drooped away upon your crutches and in your wheel-chair . . .  the symphonies and operas which your deaf ears have never heard, and the snowy massif your blind eyes have never seen, and the freedom lost to you through plunder and the identity lost to you because of calumny and the failure of justice. . .”
And, in an awe-inspiring act of grace, God restores “the good which [our] own foolish mistakes have cheated [us] of.”
How do we know this is true? Because He raised his only-begotten Son from the dead. He destroyed sin and death, and in so doing, demonstrated, to quote Howard again, “the Love of which all other loves speak, the Love which is joy and beauty, and which you have sought in a thousand streets and for which you have wept and clawed your pillow.”
This is the Good News that not only overcomes fear, but for those who have heard it, it renders fear absurd.
One of the greatest gifts we can offer an increasingly-fearful world is to be hopeful, to proclaim the good news, and more importantly, to live as if it were true.
So, brothers and sisters, fear not. He has risen. Indeed.