I love the song written by Israel Houghton called Love Rev. Throughout the song, highlights and contrasts are made between the silly wants and problems of American Christians against the very real problems of the less fortunate throughout the world. (You can listen to Love Rev on Spotify by clicking here.)
Some of the aspects common throughout American Christianity highlighted throughout the song are as inept internet, bland food, the common cold, and poorly performing fundraisers for a church activity.These complains and expectations often turn into points of focus in prayer and expectation from God. In contrast, people throughout the world are having common problems such as:
Spoiled water killing people by the thousands
HIV killing babies in droves
No food found for miles everyday
Mosquito bites resulting in death by the hundreds
Indeed, all those who want to live in a godly manner in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
While American Christians tend to complain about trivial matters, other Christians throughout the world are not enjoying the same comfort and general security as Americans. As we complain about Obamacare and gay marriage attacking Christian ideals, death and physical persecution attacks other followers of Christ throughout the world.
Many of my thoughts originate from intersecting the Bible with everyday life. Bible Gateway is a great resource to help you read the Bible in a translation you can understand. They also have a nice mobile app which will help you study the Bible and gain further insight to the Scriptures.
Editors Note: This is a guest post by HisNameHigh (HNH) Ministries. HNH Ministries exists to further the gospel of Christ using a three-fold approach being motivated by the very Person of Love. They say “the only story worth telling, the only song worth singing, and the only life worth living is the one that is lifting His Name High.” You can connect with HNH ministries on Facebook.
In the beginning, HisNameHigh started as a group of young, passionate, teenaged Jesus followers who heard the call to compose and lead worship in the early 2000s. Following several years of touring, weekend services, steep learning curves, recording a debut album, and following up with a live church worship album, the band re-formed and refocused their identity.
In 2013 the worship band HisNameHigh expanded into what is now called HNH (HisNameHigh) Ministries. HNH now includes the following three arms of ministry: Music, Evangelism, and Teaching. Their primary focus is on training and giving young people opportunities in hands-on ministry. The group felt it was time to expand through deliberate efforts towards evangelism and teaching in addition to composing worship music.
The Song Writing Process
Song writing took top priority as the band set out to record album number 2, “Genesis of Grace” in 2013. Song writing is an interesting endeavor; especially worship song writing. Melody lines and lyrical content are key elements in the process.
Melody provides a flow, capturing the essence of the lyrics along with accompanying emotions. A musical transition into a chorus or bridge or changes in dynamics guides the heart down a path leading to a specific destination of awareness, attitude or focus.
Besides poor grammar, “don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good” communicates that thinking about heaven and living in anticipation of arriving at heaven is a negative thing. As with any group of words, the context in which these words are given help determine the actual meaning.
In the recent years, the popularity of online dating websites has risen to a high level. Even for Christians, there are online websites dedicated to helping you find the right match, assisting you in finding God’s partner for your life. Among these websites are Christian Mingle and eHarmony.
However, there seems to be another website where supposed believers of Christ seem to frequent. The website is called Ashley Madison. Unfortunately, Ashley Madison is not helping Christians find their God ordained match for life. Tragically, Ashley Madison is committed to helping people experience extramarital affairs, otherwise known as adulterous relationships.
The tagline for Ashley Madison reads, “Life is short. Have an affair.”
Two 12-year-old girls plotted to kill one of their friends for several months. They invited her to a sleepover and planned to kill her the next morning at a public park. These two girls thought through the fact that the bathroom in the park had a drain. This would provide them a way to clean up the blood, they reasoned together.
By divine providence, the murder didn’t unfold as planned, but unfortunately, the victim of this sinister plot was stabbed 19 times with a five-inch blade. Fortunately, as nothing short than miraculous protection from God, the victim is alive and in stable condition. She is now reported to be recovering at home.
Once questioned about motives, one of the girls said she wanted to kill her friend in order to meet “Slender Man.” She believed in order to get on Slender Man’s good side, you had to kill someone. This means she understood that if she gave herself over to Slender Man, he would be performing this action through her.
Jesus was talking to his disciples over dinner. These people have spent the past three years with Jesus. They’ve seen him do some amazing things, like raise people from the dead, heal paralyzed people, see people healed of leprosy, and see five loaves of bread and a couple fish multiply itself to feed thousands of people. Consequently, when Jesus spoke, these people listened.
So Jesus starts to tell them one of the most radical thoughts he has had yet. Jesus explains that he is going to die, then he is going to rise up from the dead three days later. Shock fills the room… So Jesus says,
The release of the movieHeaven is for Real has gained much traction from both Christian and non-Christian audiences. While Noah did not gain popular attention from the mainstream Christian crowd, Heaven is for Real proved to be something the main Christian populace could endorse. The movie wasn’t endorsed for any over-the-top acting, theatrics, or visual effects, but it was endorsed because the message is one the Christian audience agrees with: Heaven is for real.
I recently went to see Heaven is for Real with a group of students. Following the movie, we had quite the discussion. I asked them, “What do you know about heaven? What do you expect to see?”
“Animals. All kinds of loving animals.”
“Snowflakes, pretty as the ones we see on earth, but not cold.”
“Family members, friends, and people of faith from the ages past.”
While the range of answers were fun to imagine, we needed to answer another question: Is heaven as great as it seemed from Colton’s vision? This was one of the tensions presented throughout the movie.