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.
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Star Goalkeeper Tim Howard Says Christ is ‘Most Important Thing’ in His Life

Americans can not stop talking about Tim Howard after the Tuesday’s World Cup match against Belgium. Despite the heartbreaking loss, the star goalkeeper kept hopes alive making a record-breaking 16 saves throughout the game. But it seems that Howard is not just a world-renown soccer player; he is also a faithful Christian. 
 
In an interview with Campus Crusade for Christ, Howard said, “The most important thing in my life is Christ. He’s more important to me than winning or losing or whether I’m playing or not. Everything else is just a bonus. All praise be to God.”
 
While Howard played for Manchester United, he assisted with a church youth group. “The best time for me is when I see a breakthrough in them. To see them get a grasp of what God and Christ really mean,” he said. 
In an article for Athletes in Action, Howard wrote of the peace his faith gives him.
 
“Today, I am blessed to be living a dream. And yet, if it all went away tomorrow, I know I would still have peace. That probably sounds crazy to most people, but that’s the kind of peace Christ gives. It is rooted in His love, and it surpasses all understanding. You can experience this same sense of love and peace, too. All you have to do is ask for it.”

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Why Kenyan Ladies End Up Single For Life

1. Many Kenyan ladies will end up singles for life because of media exposure- it is so disheartening how a lady will glue her eyes on a mobile phone from morning to night, only to raise it up to focus on television to watch another celebrity entertainment channel. Tell me, what else will dominate this lady’s mindset aside how to live a fake celebrity life being promoted on television channels?
 
2. Many Kenyan ladies now dislike cooking and home chores just because they had been totally brainwashed by movies showcasing men playing the role of women in a family, and due to excessive exposure to modern media that promotes gender-equality in a destructive way that’s aimed at destroying the unique African family setting that made our previous African marriages everlasting and envious to the westerns. Now, with this attitude, how do you expect a Kenyan man to desire to marry when he knows he is only buying more headache and trouble than helper for himself?

3.  Modern fashion and craze for gadgets is a great barrier to most ladies finding love and marriage. How do we explain a single lady whose only desire in life is to acquire the latest clothe in town, the latest mobile phone and pad to the detriment of her woman worth? How can a single lady maintain this lifestyle for long without bowing low to immoral lifestyle? How do you expect a man from a responsible family background, and who is in his right senses to propose marriage to a lady whose utmost desire and concern in life is to acquire costly electronic gadgets, clothes, jewelry, perfume, etc? Of course, majority of men would like to date such a trendy lady for fun and show-off, but wouldn’t want to propose marriage to such a lady even if she is earning the money herself because her expensive lifestyle already is a big turn off to most responsible serious-minded single men. Only men that are out to catch fun will be closely attracted to her, and her chances of getting a marriage proposal from them is as slim as a camel passing through the eye of a needle.

4.  Excessive makeup turns most decent and serious-minded men off- if you have observed, you will discover that most men dislike excessive makeup, and more don’t even like it at all; reason they often times discourage their true loved ones to do away with it cos it speaks ill of a lady even though so many men will applaud and complement you for looking like an Egyptian mummy. A slight makeup is okay; but if you are out for marriage, try always to look simple and natural, it will attract better men, decent and serious-minded, except you are still living in your high school life and not thinking towards marriage.
 
5.  Cut Down Your Participation in social network sites- if possible, close your facebook and twitter accounts because they may be doing you more harm than good, but you wouldn’t know until you hit 35yrs plus and still single and searching.  If you cannot maintain a sizeable number of vital friends and family members as friends on your facebook, twitter, etc accounts, then you need to close the account and focus with your offline life. No man would want to marry a lady who jumps from one social network site to another because it is a clear sign of an unfaithful lady or about to be unfaithful lady, yes, that’s how men view it. Who are you to have a thousand friends on facebook, same on twitter, maybe on wassap, 2go, twoo, BBM, badoo, eskimi, etc?

6.  Stop Giving Your Number Out To Every Dick & Harry! No man would want to propose marriage to a lady whose phone is always talking and laughing with unserious calls. You may not be a playgirl, but he would judge you as one, and will likely flee at the slightest chance or disagreement.

 
7.  You Don’t Bring Any Value Into The Life Of Men You Date or Are Dating- because your best friend married without contributing anything to the man that finally married her, doesn’t mean it will work for you that way. Think, work towards equipping yourself so that you can be a value and also add value to his life to convince him that you are worth committing to. Adding value to his life isn’t by giving him money, or material gifts, nope….good counsels, being his best friend, helping him attain his goals in life, lending him moral, mental and spiritual support, and by not just being a liability that only bring requests and problems to be solved.

8.  Your Friends Run Your Life- how do you expect to find a husband when you still allow your clique of friends to be dictating which man you meet is worthy of your love and which is not? When will you wake up and face the fact that those your best friends even though they cherish you, wouldn’t want you to marry before them or to marry the best man?

9.  You Move Around In Group- often times, you miss the advance of a good decent man when you move in group, be wise. Again, men don’t always fancy ladies that move around in group because most ladies can only be reasonable when you separate them from their group of friends.

10. You Give Everything Out During Dating- As a single lady who has not been taken to the altar, you need to reserve some things for your husband to be, especially your body, respect it and preserve it at all cost. In the past, men rushed to marry to get certain things or privileges they had been constantly denied while being single. Such privileges include and not limited to: constant sex and companionship, good food and tidied home, etc. But today, a single man gets even the best and of course more of constant sex, good food and excellent home-keeping more than his married counterparts, so tell me how the hell you want him to desire to marry you when you have given him virtually everything he desires from a wife while being his girlfriend? And the most painful part of it all is that he knows that you are prepared to cut down on sex supply, cooking, home-keeping, etc once he marries you, so why would he not want you to remain his girlfriend for life?

For instance, everywhere you go today, you hear majority of single ladies crying that they won’t be a cook for their husbands, that their husband must know how to cook and must be participating equally in cooking and home-keeping, that they cannot marry a man who cannot cook or keep the home clean and all of that, but these single ladies are doing these things happily for their boyfriends and perceived fiancés without complain, but they keep complaining that they won’t do it when they finally marry, and the single men are hearing all these.

Now, a particular single man has three to four girlfriends who comes and cook, clean the house for him happily, and they also supply him with constant sex even when he doesn’t ask, and he is aware that once he marries any of them, she would stop or reduce the rate at which she cooks for him and would want him to be participating in the cooking, say; 60-40% of the time, and he knows too that if he marries any of them, she would start to deny him sex whenever she deems fit in the name of ‘I’m not in the mood’ or ‘I’m exhausted at work or business’ etc, but she was never tired to do any of the aforementioned things while dating the man, so tell me sincerely, how do we expect single men of today to still desire to marry like their fathers and forefathers desired to marry, with all these shabby scenarios surrounding our today ladies?

11. You Package Yourself Wrongly- in your attempt to look sexy, adorable and maybe appealing to guys, you have derailed from appealing to appalling. In fact you look more whorish than modest; more distractive than attractive, and more disgusting than adorable. Your dressing style determines who gets attracted to you most times. If you dress high school, only high school-thinking guys will be attracted to you, and if you dress excessively sexy and provocative, only randy men will come to you for urgent satisfaction of their immediate sex urge, so don’t be fooled by media hyping of certain kinds of dressing, they are meant for certain set of ladies you wouldn’t like to be associated with, be careful. Remember, not all clothes that look sexy are good for a seriously searching for a soul mate single lady.

12. You Lack Manner, Character, Wisdom and Good Home Upbringing- definitely, your ‘hot girl’, ‘pretty girl’, ‘sexy girl’ looks will win you so many men; both the good, and the bad, but your inner beauty, your character and manner are the things that will determine whether any of those men would stay or run after accomplishing their evil missions. In order words, do away with nagging, being possessive, challenging with men in negative ways, the mentality of ‘what a man can do a woman can do better’, a lie devil has used to deceive and destroy so many ladies today, please do away with it.

13. You Are A Liability- in as much as we know that the present economy of Kenya and the world in general is harsh, men and society in general careless about how you react to this situation, how do I mean? Read on.

You are from a poor family background, and you have no job or you are earning below $1000 a month but you want to wear designer clothes, shoes, jewelry, perfume and also carry Prada and Gucci hand bags. You want to use the most expensive gadgets- mobile phones, pads, etc. you are from a poor family background, or average family, etc is not a justifiable reason for you to be depending on men for virtually everything you need in life. Show yourself some respect. And don’t think you can split your exorbitant expenses amongst different men, by dating different men so that you won’t be demanding from that one you truly love amongst them, so that he will be convinced that you are a good girl who doesn’t demand, fallacy! A man knows when his woman is sleeping around with other men to meet her needs, most men only decide to keep mute for reasons, don’t get it twisted, but hardly will they marry you- that’s why you see a lot of pretty ladies complain; “after giving him my love, my body, my heart, and did everything for him, etc, he paid me back with heartbreak, God will punish him, blah, blah, blah” says who? Of course you don’t expect a man in his rightful senses to marry an unrepentant whore, do you? Would you welcome your own brother bringing home a playgirl as his would-be wife, be honest please?

There are zillions of decent and honorable things you can do as a single lady to at least meet your own financial needs without sleeping around with men or depending on one man to supply all your needs. Finally, cut your skirt according to your length. You are from a poor family, your parents earn below $3000 a month, but you want to look like Rihanna, wear the same clothe she wears, you want to live a similar life Beyonce, Genevieve and Tiwa Savage lives, and you want to dine in the costliest hotels and restaurants, and you are jobless or earning below $2000 a month. Now tell me sincerely, how is it possible to achieve this foolish goal without patronizing immoral lifestyle to meet the insatiable demands?

14.  Your Role Models Are Totally Strange And Bad! If you want to be a great woman tomorrow, start now to emulate great women- study their foot parts, their lifestyle, their ways and try to inculcate their lifestyle into yours. Stop looking up to music stars and fake celebrity ladies, etc as your only role model in life. What happened to looking up to women like- Ngozi Okonjoiweala, Oby Ezekwesili, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sen. Dabiri, Sang Suu Kyi, Hilary Clinton, Michele Obama, etc? Stop glueing your eyes on fashion TV, Fashion One, Big Brother TV Show, E! etc, and start now to build interest in economy issues, current affairs, economy and business news, watch more of CNN, National Geographic channel, Channels TV, ESPN, Discovery World, Animal Planet, Aljazeera TV, Super Sports, etc, these are what men love to see women do cos only a handful of women show interest in these, and those few women are those ones that end up being great women in future. Movie Magic, Africa Magic will only inculcate bad habit, poor manner and laziness in you, please wake up before you end up single for life, which I pray not.

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