Displaying items by tag: witness
Ian Cole, founder of World Prayer Centre, will be celebrating his 80th birthday by embarking on an eight-mile sponsored "Walk of Blessing" across parts of South Birmingham. The walk, taking place on 30 September, aims to pray blessings on every church and school along the route. Ian has set a sponsorship target of £80,000 (£1,000 for each year of his life) and is asking for support based on the number 8 (£8, £18, £80, £800, £8,000...). So far, £22,773 has been raised. He was recently given the ‘all clear’ after being diagnosed with prostate and bladder cancer in 2020. The money raised from the challenge will benefit three charities: World Prayer Centre, Love Your Neighbour (based in inner-city Birmingham), and Advantage Africa (working among the poorest in Kenya and Uganda). World Prayer Centre operates locally, nationally, and globally. The WPC team and Ian's family will join him on the walk, and they are thrilled for any sponsorship support as Ian celebrates his milestone birthday and his service for God and the body of Christ.
Christians in Media is a UK network and community that supports, encourages and inspires Christians who work in, and with, the media - producers, journalists, photographers, editors, content creators, social media managers, press officers, and war correspondents. Through local meet-ups and a flourishing online network, they seek to help Christians better understand how their faith and work interact, and to encourage and inspire each other to be disciples whilst meeting the demands of the industry. Pray for more Christians to apply for media jobs, and for churches to engage positively with the media. Pray for Christians working in broadcasting and culture to be more visible as they boldly stand up for Christian values when planning programmes, inviting guests for interviews, and organising reviews of the news. Pray that what we read, listen to or watch will help us to go deeper in our faith.
Build up your faith by reading how God works in other people’s lives, regardless of the pandemic. On 4 January Matthew said, ‘After years of praying, God has come through and helped me relocate and provided for me financially in an incredible way as I navigate life’. Akish said, ‘It is only by His grace that we are able to say thus far we have come. In a year where uncertainty dominated our lives, it is a blessing to be alive today. Thank you, God, for everything. We remain hopeful that 2021 will carry blessings for our family; we trust that all will be well. Amen.’ Elle wrote, ‘Thank you God for Your healing powers, protection, breakthrough, and deliverance. Thank You for the Holy Spirit and abundance of financial blessings.’ Judy said, ‘We are so grateful that the chemo is lowering the cancer cells for my husband. While he still has cancer, there is improvement.’
14-year-old Mohammed, a Muslim street child without parental supervision, attended a local Sunday school for the entertainment and free food. Then he was challenged to receive Jesus. He said, ‘I waited until I got home, then at 3:00 am I said, “Lord Jesus, please help me. I am desperate, helpless, hopeless. I cannot take it any more. I need you.” Then within half an hour I slept, and I woke up in the morning excited. I took one of the many New Testaments from Sunday school and put it in my school bag and went to school and started telling people about my experience.’ He was thrilled that he had found the answers to his troubling questions, not where he expected in Islam, but in Christianity, and he boldly told everyone about Jesus. This turned more than a few heads. God had a plan for his life; to read his wonderful story, click the ‘More’ button.
Katy Perry went back to her Christian roots for her performance at the American Music Awards. The pop star was joined by country music star Darius Rucker to sing their duet ‘Only love’, but she began the performance with a short version of the hymn ‘As the deer’ that is based on Psalm 42:1: ‘As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.’ Perry’s parents are pastors and started their daughter’s career as Christian artists. She got her big break in 2008 with a secular song. Then in 2018 she said, ‘My mum has prayed for me my entire life, hoping I'd come back to God. I never left him, I was just a little bit secular, I was more materialistic and more career-driven. But now it's more about spirituality and heart wholeness.’
With Boris Johnson becoming prime minister, the likelihood of an election this autumn has increased. If this happens, many believe that more Christians should engage in politics and consider how their faith influences the way they vote. Although Christians in good conscience will support a variety of different options, how should they re-assess these options ahead of an election? We are called to be salt and light in our world - salt both to preserve what is good and to add flavour and distinctiveness, light to shine in a world that is too often too dark for goodness to be seen. Regardless of the context, this command holds firm. The more challenging the context, the more important is Christian witness. This does not disregard the problems Christians in politics are likely to face, but focuses on what they can bring. In the weeks ahead, may one person’s salt as seasoning not be another’s salt in the wound.
Hollywood might seem like a spiritual wasteland, but faith is not absent from Tinseltown. Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington lends his voice to ‘The Bible Experience,’ an audio Bible featuring top African-American stars. Tyler Perry, Hollywood's current golden boy writer and actor, is against filmmakers who keep their faith ‘in the closet’. Patricia Heaton, a winner of two Emmys, is not shy about making her faith or her opinions heard, including advocating on behalf of an anti-abortion group. Mel Gibson’s film ‘Passion of the Christ’ changed Hollywood attitudes, waking up producers to the box-office potential of Christian audiences. Multibillionaire oilman Philip Anschutz bankrolls some of the most critically-acclaimed and financially successful Christian ethos films of recent years, including ‘Ray’ and ‘The Chronicles of Narnia'.
Trafalgar Square will be transformed into a joyful family festival and service. The day is packed with festivities; live performances from acts including worship leader and Grammy award winner Matt Redman and The Kingdom Choir, made famous around the world for a memorable performance of Stand By Me at the wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle last May. There will be something for everyone, from uplifting live music, spoken word, dance, prayer workshops and crafts – to family fun and activities to keep the kids entertained. The Pentecost service will be between 4-6pm with praise, worship, witness, word and prayers. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby will be at this Pentecost celebration and is inviting all in London to take part of a joy filled celebration thanking God for the water of life and committing to be those through whom that water flows into a thirsty world.
Christians across the Middle East are now experiencing or preparing for Holy Week (those churches that follow the Eastern Christian calendar being a week behind the West). Streets and squares overflow with believers celebrating Palm Sunday in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Iraqi Christian towns in the Nineveh Plain, along with believers in Lebanon and the Holy Land. Thus they demonstrate the deep faith of the region’s Christians as they worship a Saviour who showed strength through love, service and sacrifice.
Leading the Way ministry has reported that a ‘prince of IS’ has turned from terrorism to Jesus Christ. Mohammed asked ministry worker Peter to meet him, wanting to kill him. Despite the danger, Peter believed God wanted him to go, and boldly spoke the Word of Jesus to the IS leader. After the meeting Mohammed struggled to grasp what he’d heard about who God really is. He met him again, and told him he’d dreamt of a fragrant envelope dripping blood. Peter said God was telling him, ‘Blood had to be shed for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is sending you a message and you need to give your life to Him.' At that moment Mohammed surrendered his life to Jesus.