Displaying items by tag: Praise
A Hungarian children's book promoting minority rights drew criticism last year. Now Hungary's ruling nationalist party has submitted legislation to ban content which it sees as promoting homosexuality and gender change to minors. The draft law would ban LGBT literature for under-18s, including educational material, and advertisements deemed to be promoting gay rights. Several human rights groups denounced it, saying it was similar to Russian restrictions on LGBT activities. Hungary's constitution states that marriage is for heterosexual couples and proposes a same-sex adoption ban.
A Jesus Film team begin their day by praying, ‘Holy Spirit, where should we go today?’ One day as they walked and prayed, they heard children’s voices. Following the sound, they entered a compound of 672 children and began talking to them about Jesus. The team had no idea the risk they were taking. The police heard about them and arrested them. Before being hauled away a team member turned on a NewLifeBox in his backpack and left it behind. The police beat them and then let them go. The team returned to the compound to retrieve the backpack. To their amazement hundreds of children were quiet, sitting in groups, eyes fixed on their smartphones, watching the Jesus Film. The battery-powered NewLifeBox they left behind creates a Wi-Fi hotspot, inviting anyone looking for a hotspot, and within 150 feet, to watch a film about Jesus. The children asked them questions about what they had watched and heard, saying ‘Can you help us tell our parents about Jesus?’
11-year-old Chan-Rey always wondered who created the whole world. Her mother didn’t know, so she kept searching for an answer. One Sunday a girl invited her to church. The Sunday school class was watching the Superbook episode ‘In the beginning’, about the creation of the world. ‘The story was AMAZING!’ she declared. ‘I saw the Spirit of God flying around. He said, “Let there be light”, and there was light! Then He made the world. It looked so beautiful. Then He created a man from dust and let them take care of everything!’ After watching the episode, Chan-Rey prayed with the teacher to become a Christian. She couldn’t wait to tell her family about what happened. ‘I shared the gospel with my parents and sisters. Then I brought them to church. Now they believe in Jesus too!’
The Queen was ‘delighted’ after Harry and Meghan announced the birth of their second child, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. Lilibet is a very intimate name that the Queen has used since she was very little and her sister could not pronounce her name properly. Many believe this is a diplomatic olive branch offered to the royal family after what has been a fractious year between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the royals. Lilibet was born in a California hospital, weighing 7 lbs 11oz.
Israel: God’s chosen people in Scripture, the very bloodline of Jesus Christ: yet most Jews in Israel still wait for the Messiah, not realising or recognising that Jesus already came to save them. But the Holy Spirit is moving. A growing number of Jews are recognising Jesus as their Saviour, and Arabs in Israel are also turning to Christ. In fact, following the recent violence, Arab and Jewish Christians gathered at the Gaza fence to pray together!
Seth Mahiga, the former secretary of a society called Atheists In Kenya, has resigned from his role after becoming a Christian. A video has emerged showing Seth accepting Jesus in church. He said he had been experiencing ‘difficulties in life’ prior to his resignation. A pastor in the video can be heard saying ‘Amen’ at the end of Mr Mahiga's words, and he then added, ‘Can we give the Lord some praise in this house. Hallelujah!’ Atheists in Kenya posted the footage on its Twitter page, describing the conversion as ‘surreal’.
In June, hay meadows burst forth in a glorious blaze of colour. For centuries, flower-rich hay meadows were a defining feature of our countryside, providing hay for livestock through the winter and essential habitats for many different flora, fauna and fungi. In the 20th century, however, most hay meadows gave way to more intensively managed grassland. But they can be restored by ‘impoverishing’ the soil (withholding grazing, cutting hay later in the season, and sowing a semi-parasitic plant called hay rattle). Likewise, the Lord uses discipline to refine us; then, in time, we blossom and bear fruit to His praise and glory. Give thanks for the beauty of our meadows and for the way they reflect the glory of their Creator. Give thanks to the One who sends the rain to water the meadows and whose coming was, is, and will be, ‘like rain upon the meadows’.
‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’ (Acts 1.8, ESV) Believers today have the same gift of the Holy Spirit that was given in Acts 2, and no matter how stony the ground might appear to be, we have the power to witness to others about ‘the mighty works of God’. This is a gift we have as individuals and as a body of believers, the Church. Pentecost is often described as the birthday of the Church. This year, via the internet, over 46,000 Christians united from different church traditions, different languages and races, standing together as God's people to celebrate Pentecost and asking for a fresh outpouring of His Spirit upon the church, our families, our communities and Nations. The event was saved on YouTube; click the ‘More’ button to view and engage with what God is doing today.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, as nations entered into the uncertainty of lockdown, we saw an outpouring of neighbourliness. Unable to venture away from our homes, we reached out, perhaps for the first time, to the people who lived around us. This was a beautiful thing. Wonderful stories emerged of people helping each other in a time of need – a poignant demonstration of why community is so vital. Churches responded to local needs by supporting the bereaved and lonely, increasing foodbank provision, and helping out in whatever ways they could. Surely this was a perfect example of what Jesus meant when he told us that the greatest commandment, in addition to loving God, was to love our neighbours.
‘Hope for the Coming Harvest’ is the title of a series of global prayer, worship and missional events between April and August. On Pentecost Sunday, 23 May, a 60-minute programme will be viewed across the world online, on GOD TV and many other networks. It will be a clarion call for the Body of Christ to unite and pray earnestly for the coming harvest. This celebration of diversity includes key voices from around the world, and opportunities to pray united prayers for justice, healing, restoration, reconciliation, and hope for the nations, with a special emphasis on the next generation and families. The programme has been available early for churches and networks to download, prepare for broadcast across their networks, translate, and play as appropriate. See the video: For details of other events, click here