Jana Alcorn talks about dealing with the calamities of life, and the pain of losing loved ones, as she joins my friend Frank Shelton on this episode of his show By Faith.
Watch as my friend Frank Shelton interviews Ayiesha Woods on the latest episode of his show By Faith. Intermingled in the interview Ayiesha shares three of her latest songs. By Faith airs to over 15 million people every week on SkyAngel, Dish Network, and CTN 10.
We will also be posting as many episodes as possible right here at FaithInspires.Org !
Reach Beyond, American Idol Finalist Phil Stacey Releases Powerful Song Encouraging Christians to Share Faith in Jesus
The song is currently available on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/us/album/reach-beyond-single/id944122831) and other digital music services, including Spotify, Amazon, Google and several more.
Stacey was a top five finalist on American Idol in season six and has recorded three top 40 Christian and country music hits. “Reach Beyond” was written by Ty Stakes, executive director of the Asia Pacific Region for Reach Beyond, and composed, arranged and produced by Dove Award winner Chris August (www.chrisaugustmusic.com). The song’s message encourages Christians to recognize the price Jesus paid and the responsibility believers have to model Jesus and “reach beyond” to others.
“I was thrilled when Reach Beyond approached me about recording this song,” said Stacey. “My heart has always been in tune with global missions, and I hope the personal and potent message of this song inspires people to tell others about Jesus — whether it’s in their immediate communities or in a country thousands of miles from home.”
The lyrics challenge listeners to move beyond their comfort zones, remembering what Jesus has done in their own lives to bring them to Him:
No turning back now, I offer my life.
Help me follow Your example and be a living sacrifice.
Use my voice, Lord, oh, use my hands, speak the truth,
Touch the hurting, let the broken understand…
That because of Your love, You would reach out to me.
No one You’ve created is beyond Your reach!
“I’ve been privileged to devote my life’s work to reaching the lost with the gospel,” said Stakes. “The lyrics to ‘Reach Beyond’ are a personal reflection of what I’ve experienced and the importance of never giving up in our efforts to reach the lost. My prayer is that the words will remind people that our work is not done once we become Christians. In fact, it’s only beginning.”
One listener on iTunes, who gave the song five stars — the highest rating — said, “Loved it! An anointed song of mercy and love!”
To download “Reach Beyond” on iTunes, visit itunes.apple.com/us/album/reach-beyond-single/id944122831.
Additional information about Reach Beyond and its efforts to plant radio stations around the world is available at www.reachbeyond.org.
For 83 years the passion of Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global) (www.reachbeyond.org) has been to make disciples of Christ. Using mass media, healthcare and education and working with partners around the world, Reach Beyond has ministries in more than 100 countries. The gospel is aired in more than 120 languages and dialects. Thousands of healthcare patients are meeting Jesus. Local believers are being trained as missionaries, pastors, broadcasters and healthcare providers.
ELGIN, Ill., Nov. 12, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The city of Elgin continues a lawsuit against ex-Latin King members preventing them from telling current Latin-King gang members about Jesus. Elgin claims that Street Gang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act allows them to silence the evangelists.
In September 2010, Elgin filed the lawsuit against a group of alleged gang members to obtain a court order prohibiting them from all interactions with current members of the Latin Kings. Defendants Elias Juarez, Saul Juarez, Oscar Sanchez, and Ruben Sanchez are represented by Mauck & Baker, LLC, and refused to submit to a settlement offer where they agreed not to talk to the Latin-Kings. Elias Juarez, Oscar Sanchez, and Ruben Sanchez had left the gang prior to the lawsuit, and Saul Juarez was never a member of the Latin Kings. The four men had been sharing their faith with gang members and speaking to high school students about avoiding gang life when Elgin filed the complaint.
Four years later the lawsuit continues against the ex-Latin King members and Saul even though Elgin has failed to produce any evidence that the Juarez or Sanchez brothers were in the gang when Elgin filed the lawsuit.
“In fact, Elgin has only found at every turn confirmation of the new life trust in the Messiah can bring to everyone,” said attorney John Mauck. “Our plaintiffs are completely different people after finding faith and have left the gang lifestyle behind.”
“Elgin continues to effectively prohibit Elias, Saul, Oscar, and Ruben from their Constitutional right to speak to gang members encouraging them to leave their criminal lifestyle and follow Jesus,” said Andy Norman, of counsel to Mauck & Baker. “This lawsuit has been going on for far too long against our clients, causing unnecessary stress for them and their families while wasting tax payer dollars. Most importantly Elgin continues to impede the very people most qualified to help Latin-King gang members turn from a path of violence to a path of peace.”
Survey: Majority of Americans — Even Those Who Don’t Attend Church — Say Nation Would Be Better if More Americans Were Religious
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 1, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — According to a Gallup poll released in May, a whopping 75 percent of Americans think the USA would be a better place to live if more people were religious — even though many of those surveyed reported they don’t attend church themselves.
One suggestion being offered to help? Come back to church.
A growing national movement is inviting all of America to come to church on Sunday, September 15, for National Back to Church Sunday®.
As of July 31, more than 16,000 churches across all 50 states had already signed up to invite their communities to church on Sept. 15.
The online tally upticks continuously at www.backtochurch.com as churches discover the free project and commit to promote the day in their congregation and their community, moving toward this year’s goal of 20,000 churches across all denominations who are all reaching out to the nation with special services on the same day.
The initiative, the largest nationwide effort at church outreach, draws on research indicating that although approximately 80 percent of Americans consider themselves Christians, only about 20 percent attend church. Yet about two-thirds of Americans would go to church if someone they knew asked them, according to a study by LifeWay Research and the North American Mission Board.
“It’s been revealing to us that Americans greatly value the role of religion in our society, and to realize how many people would be open to trying church again if a friend or family member made it easy by inviting them,” said Eric Abel, Vice President of Outreach, Inc., the nation’s leading provider of church communications resources that helped launch National Back to Church Sunday.
“Part of the idea for National Back to Church Sunday,” he added, “is that by making this a day when entire church communities make a special effort to be welcoming, it is an easy time for someone to come back to church, or come to church for the very first time.”
More than 95 percent of churches who participated in 2012 indicated they would do so again, citing a 38 percent increase in attendance on National Back to Church Sunday and ongoing benefits of increased participation and enthusiasm.
“I really encourage pastors to do this next year,” reported Pastor Eric Evans, Walnut Grove Baptist Church, Hollister, North Carolina, in survey comments. “Not only was it a great way to get visitors in, but it also forces you to examine your church to see how ready you are for them.”
There is no charge to participate, and the website at backtochurch.com offers a searchable roster of participating churches along with free publicity materials, tips for using social media, and information about using the Back to Church Facebook page and YouTube channel.
In addition, banners, printed invitations and other timesaving publicity helps are available, as well as a richly-resourced Back to Church kit. The kit includes a planning guide, videos, posters, e-book, sermons, children’s curriculum, samples of other printed resources, and more than 60 digital resources, such as e-vites, web banners, PowerPoint presentations, logos and childen’s resources. The videos, for use on Sunday mornings and on church websites, include three new videos as well as the now-viral, innovative and light-hearted Pastor Rap video.
National Back to Church Sunday is the largest annual community-based church outreach effort in the nation, when thousands of churches share the simple message and mission of inviting everyone in America Back to Church. The campaign empowers churches and church members with the tools they need to welcome their neighbors, friends and loved ones back to church, while providing an easy way for everyone in the community to find a welcoming church.
Vatican City, 18 May 2013 (VIS) – Today and yesterday, events for ecclesial movements of new lay communities and associations to reflect on the theme “I Believe! Increase our Faith!” were held in Rome as part of the Year of Faith. Over 120,000 people were gathered in St. Peter’s Square this afternoon when the Pope arrived at 5:30pm and, after greeting the pilgrims, initiated the Pentecost Vigil.
After the opening welcome by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, the image of the Virgin Mary Salus Populi Romani was brought in a procession to the centre of the square and then enthroned. After a series of readings, songs, and testimonials, Pope Francis answered four questions asked by representatives of the movements. Following are the questions with a summary of the Holy Father’s answers.
Q: “How were you able to achieve certainty of faith in your life, and what path can you indicate to us so that each one of us can overcome our fragility of faith?”
A: “I have had the good fortune to grow up in a family where the faith was lived in a simple and concrete manner … The first proclamation is in the home, within the family, right? And this makes me think of the love of so many mothers and so many grandmothers in the transmission of the faith. … We do not find our faith in the abstract, no! It is always a person who preaches it to us, who tells us who Jesus is, who gives us the faith, who gives us the first announcement. … But there is a very important day for me: September 21, 1953. I was almost 17. It was the ‘Students’ Day’…. Before going to the festival, I went to my parish and met a priest I did not know, but I felt the need to confess. … After confession I felt that something had changed. I was not the same. I felt a voice call me: I was convinced that I had to become a priest. This experience of faith is important. We say that we must seek God, go to him to ask for forgiveness … but when we go, He is already waiting for us. He is the first one there! … And this creates wonder in the hearts of those who do not believe, and this is how faith grows! With an encounter with a Person, with an encounter with the Lord.”
Regarding fragility: “Fragility’s biggest enemy curiously enough, is fear. But do not be afraid! We are weak, we know it but He is stronger! If you are with him, then there is no problem! A child is fragile—I see many today—but they are with their fathers and their mothers so they are safe! We too are safe with the Lord; we are secure. Faith grows with the Lord, out of the very hands of the Lord.”
Q: The second question concerned the challenge of evangelization and what the movements should do to put the task have been called to into practice.
A: “I will say just three words. First: Jesus. … If we move forward with planning and other things, beautiful things indeed, but without Jesus, then something is wrong. Jesus is the most important thing. … The second word is prayer. Look at the face of God, but above all … know that you are being looked at in return. … And third, ‘witness’. … the faith can only be communicated through witness and that is through love. Not with our ideas, but by living the Gospel in our own lives, which the Holy Spirit brings to life within us. … Not so much speaking, but speaking through the way you live: the consistency of your life … which means living Christianity as an encounter with Jesus that leads me towards others and not as a social fact. Socially this how we are. Are we Christians? Wrapped up in ourselves? No, not that. Witness!”
Q: The third question was how to live as “a poor Church, for the poor”.
A: “First of all, the main contribution we can make is to live the Gospel. The Church is not a political movement or a well-organized structure: That is not her. … The Church is the ‘salt of the earth, the light of the world’. She is called to make the leaven of the Kingdom of God present in society and do it first by witness, her witness of fraternal love, solidarity … When you hear some say that solidarity is not a value, that it’s a ‘basic attitude’ that needs to disappear … this is wrong! … Moments of crisis, such as the one we are experiencing … are not only an economic crisis, not a cultural crisis. It is a crisis of humanity: it is humanity that is in crisis. And what can be destroyed is mankind! But mankind is the image of God!”
“In this time of crisis we can’t just worry about ourselves, can’t get wrapped up in loneliness or discouragement … Please do not get locked away in yourselves! That is a danger: locking ourselves away inside our parish, among our friends, in our movement, with people who think the same way we do … But you know what is happening? When the Church becomes closed up in itself it gets sick. ,,, The Church must go out from herself. Where? Towards the boundaries of existence, whatever those might be, but get out. Faith is an encounter with Jesus and we must do the same as Jesus, meet others. .… We have to bring about encounter. We have to make our faith a ‘culture of encounter’ and of friendship, a culture wherein we find brothers and sisters, where we can talk even with those who do not think like us, even with those with which have a different faith … Everyone has something in common with us: they are made in the image of God! … We must go out to meet with everyone without negotiating about the faith we belong to.”
“And another important point: we must go out to meet the poor. … Today, imagine, all the children who don’t have something to eat is not news. This is serious. We cannot stay calm! We cannot become starch-pressed Christians, those Christians who are too highly educated, who speak of theological issues over tea, calmly. No! We must become courageous Christians and go out in search of those who are the flesh of Christ. … Poverty, for us Christians, is not a sociological or philosophical or cultural category. No. It is a theological category. I would say, perhaps, the first category, because God, the Son of God, humbled himself, became poor to walk along the road with us. This is our poverty: the poverty of the flesh of Christ; the poverty that has brought us the Son of God with his Incarnation.”
Q: The fourth question was: How can we help our brothers and sisters if there is little we can do to change the socio-political climate they are living under?
A: “Two virtues are needed to proclaim the Gospel: courage and patience. They are in the Church of patience. They suffer and there are more martyrs today than in the early centuries of the Church. … It should be noted that many times these conflicts do not have a religious origin. Often there are other causes of a social and political nature and unfortunately, religious affiliations are used like fuel to the fire. A Christian must always know how to respond to evil with good, although it is often difficult. We must try to make them feel—these brothers and sisters of ours—that we are deeply united … to their situation, that we know that they are Christians who have ‘entered a state of patience’. … they experience the limits, the very limits, between life and death. And for us, this experience should lead us to promote religious freedom for all: for everyone! Every man and woman should be free in their religious confession, whatever it may be. Why? Because that man and that woman are children of God.“
The vigil ended with the profession of faith, prayer intentions, and the singing of the Regina Coeli.
In this short video Roma Downey and Mark Burnett discuss the History Channel miniseries THE BIBLE which they produced. This miniseries premieres tomorrow night on the History Channel and continues for 5 Sundays.
SANTA ANA, Calif., Oct. 25, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — A Christian leader in Egypt is calling for prayers for a huge four-day evangelistic festival starting today in the desert north of Cairo. The unique event is expected to draw 50,000 people from all over Egypt. Hundreds of buses will transport the crowds every day from major cities to the site.
The event will be televised and covered by several Christian satellite channels. Television coverage is expected to attract 5 to 6 million viewers.
The main theme behind all the activities is how Jesus can change lives, according to the Christian leader. At the end of each day, there will be a worship service and a direct evangelistic message to call attendees to give their lives to Jesus.
“There is no doubt that God is moving in Egypt and showing Himself in mighty ways to many of His children, and to many who are seeking to know Him,” says the Christian contact. “The hunger to know about Jesus and to get to know more about the Christian faith is phenomenal.
“These are, indeed, difficult times we live in today. With all the political, social, economic and religious challenges we have faced here in the last few months, all Egyptians are left with many uncertainties and concerns about the present and future.
“But we Christians of Egypt are realizing more and more every day that God is visiting our country with a powerful divine presence, and that the things He is going to do in our country are beyond imagination. This is what we pray for and this is what we are waiting in faith to see happening.”
The leader is calling for prayers for safety for people traveling to the festival, and for many to come to faith in Jesus Christ.
“Of course, the evangelistic festival is certainly an event that the enemy doesn’t want to see happening. He will try to do whatever it takes to stop it, or at least distort the attention of people away from listening to the Good News.
“We call on our brothers and sisters worldwide to join us in prayer, and to watch with us as we see thousands, and maybe millions of Egyptians, coming to Jesus.”
Earlier in the month a youth festival in the desert drew 10,000 young people from all over Egypt.
Egyptians Christians have faced increased persecution since the election of a Muslim Brotherhood president four months ago. Egypt is ranked No. 15 on the Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians.
Jerry Dykstra, Media Relations Director for Open Doors USA, states: “What is happening in Egypt this month is truly awesome. In the midst of increased persecution, turmoil and uncertainty, Christians are reaching out to others and fervently praying ‘in such a time as this.’ Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ during this weekend event.”
An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world’s most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
- 10,000 Young Egyptians Gather in Desert to Worship the Lord (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
- Censoring Jesus in Egypt (bikyamasr.com)