Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

This Means War!! In Christianity, we’re daily engaged in a fight. Not a fight with gun but a war for the souls of men. Yes, we preach, teach and reach out in love; but when it comes to ensuring that one soul is translated from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light, the Kingdom of God’s Dear Son, we don’t play cool.

We take it by force! #ThisMeansWar is for all Christendom.

Follow the link, download, listen and ensure every Christian around you hears this message.

God bless you. ARM

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  • Phylicia Masonheimer

The Problem with "Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner"Social media has brought out a dark side of Christianity. Torrents of hate spill into Facebook comments. Names are called. Insults are hurled. And somehow, we’re expected to win people to Christ through all of this. It’s this dark side of faith that the world reacts against so violently; their scapegoat for subjective morality. If Christian love looks like this – who would want it?

Hate the sin but love the sinner.

We use the phrase liberally, but are we liberal with the love?

There are plenty of Christian leaders who see this hatred and say, “No more!” But with the same breath that claims the love of Christ they write off the law that made Him necessary. Blurring the created lines of right and wrong, they “love the sinner” – and lie about the sin. Thus we end up right where we began: Striving for the ever-evasive balance of love and truth.

Our faith is like walking a tightrope. With each step, we are in danger of a wild swing into legalism or compromise. We walk the thin line – this narrow path – only by keeping our eyes fixed on the perfect balance of love and justice: God Himself. For if God did not define these things for us, we would have no measure of right versus wrong. We would be unable to give grace because there would be no reason to give it – without sin, there is no cause for mercy.

I’m the first person to call us to a higher standard of holiness. But as we navigate this sharply divided world, both online and in real life, we need to ask ourselves the following questions:

DO WE ACTUALLY HATE SIN, OR DO WE SIMPLY LOVE JUDGMENT?

Using “hate the sin” as a license for cruelty defeats the purpose of proclaiming truth. The gospel needs no help causing division; it is foolishness to those who reject it (1 Cor. 1:22-24). Because the gospel will divide based on its exclusive nature, our job is not to further that division but to simply love the Lord our God with all our hearts (emotions), souls (being), minds (thoughts), and strength (effort). Our second directive is to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves.  (Matt. 22:37-40)

God hates sin because He is holy. Sin is contrary to His nature and prevents humanity from approaching Him. But because God is also loving, He desires a relationship with humanity. Jesus was the solution to the problem of sin, atoning for our unholiness and making possible what would otherwise be an impossible relationship with God.

Thus, God doesn’t hate sin arbitrarily. He doesn’t take joy in condemnation (2 Pet. 3:9). He judges because He is holy and sin must be judged. Yet it is by God’s mercy that any of us are able to claim the name of Jesus today. We are called to discern right from wrong in the world, but we are not called make judgment our hobby. To hate sin doesn’t mean we point it out at every opportunity, finding satisfaction in the failures of others. Our hatred for sin should be a direct result of our love for gospel hope. We only hate sin because it prevents a relationship with God. God is the judge; we are just the messengers, and we would do well to remember that.

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways to Protect Your Marriage on Social Media

DO WE HATE SIN IN THE LIFE OF OUR NEIGHBOR BUT IGNORE IT IN OUR OWN LIVES?

This question convicts my heart whenever I scroll through social media. Rife with animosity, Christians go to battle against even more malicious commenters in a never-ending debate about homosexuality, abortion, alcohol, and politics.

Yes, we should stand for what is true. But if we really hate sin, we will hate all sin, starting with the sin in our very own lives.

It’s really easy to point fingers at people who live a lifestyle devoid of God. It’s not so easy to see the sin in ourselves. Modern Christians, we are a speck-picking bunch. In the name of “truth” we seek out sin and we point at it like an over-eager hunting dog, waiting for God to pat us on the back. We are not called to seek out sin but to seek out those who need the gospel (Matt. 28:20). In the process of presenting the gospel, sin must be addressed. But hating sin is not our Christian day job.

The best way to understand, recognize, and address sin is to hate it in our own lives first. That means knowing the Word of God – really knowing it. Really studying it, not just proof-texting passages for Facebook debates, yanking phrases out of context to prove a point. We hate sin best when we love God most, because only His hatred for it is a direct result of His love for mankind.

SEE ALSO: How Sin Kills the Pro-Life Mission

DO WE ARGUE OVER THE DEMISE OF SOCIAL MORALITY WHILE IGNORING OUR OWN LACK OF HOLY LIVING?

Lifestyles of sin are celebrated in cultures worldwide. It seems to be all the rage. Morals are relative. Everyone does what is right in his own eyes. Society is indeed descending into moral chaos. But before lamenting the rapid descent, we should check our own moral thermometer. Are we ignoring the same heart attitudes that have been our culture’s demise?

Pride. Selfishness. Anger. Materialism. Envy. Lust: “…after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:15) Our world is dying because of the idolatry of desire. Where self replaces God, there is no room for abundant life. The eternal is replaced with the material, and separation from God is the inevitable result.

We bewail politicians and feminism and Common Core but the harsh reality is that this society is the way it is because of human hearts just like ours. We cannot expect a transformed culture when we have not transformed our very own minds. We cannot expect society’s sins to be conquered when we refuse to acknowledge our own transgressions.

So before arguing about abortion online, shut off the sexually promiscuous TV show.

Before bewailing the demise of the family, respect your husband. Love your wife.

And before burning sinners on a verbal stake in the name of “hating sin”, ask yourself: Does this action reflect the holiness of God? Am I really presenting the truth in love, or have I lost my love in zeal for truth?

I’m preaching to myself here. Instead of repeating, “Hate the sin, love the sinner”, I’m telling myself something else:

“Hate my own sin, love the way God does.”

Mercy is what draws us to repentance; it is the hope of our gospel. It’s the most lasting, loving way to truly hate sin.

This article originally appeared on phyliciadelta.com. Used with permission. 

Phylicia Masonheimer blogs at Phylicia Delta, where she teaches women how to preach the gospel with their lives: proclaiming Jesus in work, love and home. Her eBook Christian Cosmo launches March 1st, 2017

Read >Psalms 31 – 35

Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave (Ps. 31:17).

Those who belong to Christ have no reason to be ashamed. There is nothing greater that can happen to an individual than to have the redemptive power of Jesus Christ touch their life. Nothing could be better or more positive than knowing you have been saved by the grace of the Son of God. There is no better feeling than knowing your eternal home has been bought and paid for by the blood of the Lamb. Praise God! 

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb. 9:14).

That may all sound a bit like preaching. As believers in Christ, we should find it hard not to want to tell it to the entire world. We are truly the most blessed people in the world. Why shouldn’t we say that?

What condition does today’s verse set for not being ashamed? Those who have called on the name of the Lord. That includes all of us who have had our sins erased by the forgiveness of Jesus.

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful Witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood (Rev. 1:5).

The wondrous miracle of having our sins forgiven can only come from God. There is no other way to have our past mistakes erased. With Jesus, we get a fresh start and a new life.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us (Ps. 103:12).

Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).

Read 2 Chronicles 4

Highlights:

It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord (II Chr. 5:13).

This looks to have been an exciting praise and worship service to the Lord. There was much reason to celebrate. Their enemies were all but gone. The Temple was complete. The Ark was being brought up to be placed in the Temple. It would seem all of Israel had come out for this celebration. There were plenty of reasons for this to happen. 

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in His Tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord (Ps. 27:6).

We see in this verse the results of this tremendous session of praise. A great cloud came in and filled the Temple. The priests themselves became overwhelmed. This cloud was the glory of the Lord.

But Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel (Ps. 22:3).

This scripture shows us very clearly that when we surrender ourselves in praise to God, He will show up. The nation of Israel put aside all their differences and came together for one purpose; to offer praise, worship and thanksgiving to God. Their praises brought the Spirit of God to the scene.

The same thing can and will happen today. You might say that you have been in some pretty good church services and you never saw a cloud fill the place up. That is probably true for most of us. That does not mean that we have not been in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

*A New Metal is added to Chemistry:*
Name: WIFE

Symbol: Wf

Atomic mass: Light when first found… tends to get heavier over the years with time.
*Physical Properties :*

– Boils at any time

– Can freeze at any time

– Melts if treated with love

– Very Bitter if Mishandled
*Chemical Properties :*

– Very Reactive

– Highly Unstable

– Possesses Strong Affinity towards Gold, Silver, Diamond, Platinum, Credit cards, Debit cards & Cheque books

– Money Reducing Agent
*Occurrence :*

-Mostly found in front of the Mirror.

-It’s highly flammable when mixed with in-laws.

-It has mixed properties when seated with parents. 

-Woe unto you if she sees you with any element similar to itself!
Please circulate to all scientists.

Highlights:

For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger (I Kings 14:15).

There is always a cost for being disobedient to God. Sin definitely has it’s price. It separates us from God. It’s final results, unless one repents, end in death and hell. 

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:23).

Israel had fallen prey to the same sin many times. It seemed they had lack of trust in the One True God which they could not see. Consequently, they found it easy to turn their backs on God and turn to false gods for which they could construct idols in which to visibly worship.

The worship of false gods is strictly forbidden throughout the Word of God. In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel had heard this from God through Moses. 

Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (Ex. 20:3-4).

 In the New Testament, Paul lists the worship of idols with works of the flesh that separate anyone from God. 

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21).

Therefore, Israel knew that what they were doing was sin, but they continued on in their ways. The price they were to pay would be a high one. It would destroy them as a nation.

The consequences of their sin would be the downfall of these people as a country. They would be separated and scattered all over the world. This separation would last for nearly 1900 years. It began after Christ and His apostles died and lasted until 1948. That is the year Israel was established again as a nation.

One thing about the ongoing Big Brother Naija reality TV show is the fact that whether you watch it or not, it’s in your face. As such, the concern of many over it’s value to the Nigerian society cannot be pushed aside. Unfortunately, the show has thrived on catering to the naughty or vice instincts in most people, with rated and raunchy scenes being the order of the house. Not surprisingly, many had called for a government action against broadcasting such content to a Nigerian audience in the future. Expectedly, that threw up mixed reactions from the Nigerian populace. While some find the entertainment exciting, other more serious folk are concerned about how the content affects values. Either way, the show has continued.
But perhaps more compelling in the argument against the continued airing of the show is one of the housemates, Tboss’ inability to recite the Nigerian National anthem in a routine truth or dare game. Since then, social media Nigeria cannot seem to recover from the shock that a potential winner of a show which is purportedly meant to be won by representing Nigerian values cannot recite something as basic as the national anthem. Shame!
More annoying to many is the fact that rather than own up to the goof and find a more intelligent way to placate her fans, the said housemate, Tboss, went on a tirade against her fellow contestant, Debbie-Rise, who posed the harmless kindergarten question to her, blaming her for the negative blowback her failure would do her chances of winning the show! Unbelievable. But then, nature has its own ways of shaming misfits. As it is, Tboss’ goof clearly, barring any miracle or organisers scam, makes the coast clear for other show favourites Efe or Bisola, who those following the show say are more deserving.
But much more than expose Tboss’ detachment from her country’s ideals, her national anthem disaster does also expose an aspect of our general failure as a people without deeper values for what is truly important. The national anthem of any country is the soundtrack of national existence. Footballers cry out of passion for their countries when singing before a game. Soldiers too. Great political leaders world over do too. The anthem is the soul of the country. But obviously not here in Nigeria. Only last year, two ambassadorial nominees, Alhaji Ibrahim Bida from Niger State and Mrs Vivian Okeke from Anambra State couldn’t recite the anthem at a Senate screening. Still, they were screened. The message is clear, it doesn’t matter whether you are passionate about the country or not, once you’re connected you have your way!
At the end of the day, beyond all the fuss about Tboss’ national anthem fiasco, Bisola’ blowjob on Thin Tall Tony, Kemen’s violation of Tboss’ womanhood, the free kissing sessions, the boobs baring moments and all the bad drama that Nigeria has been made to see on the road to creating a Big Brother model, we must all ask ourselves Olamide’s poser: who did the show epp? Apart from the organiser making loads of money off subscribers and voters, what else? Thin Tall Tony says he can make the prize money in three months on his own, meaning he or the others don’t necessarily need the show to make it!
As a final word to Tboss and all those who are privately guilty of this crime of passion for country, go on YouTube and find American singer Beyonce to teach you how to sing the Nigerian national anthem
Comment

For weeks now we have been following Worship Songs that are capable of transforming one into the celestial realms and I must confess it has been really revealing while being relieving. We have found a couple of Minstrels that are not after their own glory, but whose sole aim of doing music is to serve as a guiding light towards the Splendour of the Heavenly Places.

Our Friend and Brother, David Dam is one of those Heavenly Minstrels.

His exploration into the mysteries of the Kingdom has bathed several Holy Spirit inspired Songs. Today we are blessed to have one of his works as a part of the Worship Unplugged Series. Here is Hail Yahweh

Hail Yahweh (Acoustic Version) composed by David Dams is a song of alleigence and worship to Yahweh. In this song, he describes the true picture of the body of Christ.. and make it clear that in all we do.. wherever we are.. we will always.. Hail Yahweh.

Click here to DOWNLOAD

Produced by – Jakes.

CONNECT WITH HIM
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/DaveWorship
Instagram- @dayviddam
Twitter- @David_Dam321

When it comes limits, I’m one of those people my friend Nicole Unice would describe as having a “dessert-sized plate”—I can only add so much to my schedule, my ‘plate,’ before anxiety sets in and overwhelm begins.

This is hard for me because I live with and find community with a lot of ‘big plate’ people – the type who fill their time with amazing ministry endeavors and projects and events, all with a certain amount of adrenaline fuelling them—they find life in full schedule. Like my friend Cara, for instance, who admits she’s not only comfortable with a high amount of chaos; she actually thrives in it. Thrive and chaos are never used in the same sentence in my world.

So right on the outset, this isn’t intended for everyone. If you’re like my friend Cara and thrive when your big plate is filled to the brim, this isn’t necessarily going to resonate. But if you’re wondering if maybe you’re stretching yourself past the God-given limits of your personality and phase of life, read on, dear friend.

Here are a few sure signs you’re living outside your limits:

1. The relationships closest to you are suffering. Who are you closest with (husband, children, best friend, mom)? Write your top 5 people down if you need to. Now, think about your relationship with each one. How are they fairing? Are you finding the time and emotional energy to care for these people, or are they getting the dregs of your time and love? When our plates are too full, the people we love most are usually the first to suffer. Committed, intentional time with your loved ones is crucial for your flourishing. (Nicole touches on this in a Q&A I did with her on knowing your limits—I’d encourage you to check it out!)

SEE ALSO: How Taking Care of Your Body is an Act of Worship

2. You no longer make time for the things that bring you life. Think about the things that bring you joy and refresh your spirit. My list would include taking walks in sunny weather, gardening, reading a good book, sitting down to a home cooked meal with my husband, and one-on-one time with a good friend. For you, it might look like going to see a movie, listening to music, taking a car trip to a new place, etc.

When we’re living outside our limits, often the first things to go are the things that refresh us and bring us joy. For example, I’ll skip a walk at lunch because I feel pressure to reply to all the email in my various inboxes. But when we don’t take the time to refresh ourselves, we become overwhelmed and our zest for life runs low.

Related, we might be tempted to think that God would rather us give all our free time to service projects or nightly bible studies or work or whatever good ministry opportunities crop up. But when things, even good things, overwhelm our schedule to the point where we no longer have the time or energy to enjoy what God has uniquely created us to enjoy—that’s a problem.

I’ve found some of my most worshipful times are when I’m immersed in an activity that brings me joy. Whether I’m out in nature or after a conversation with a good friend – I’m just overwhelmed with thankfulness and often pray prayers of gratitude to God for those sweet times of restoration. But those moments wouldn’t happen if I was so busy that I didn’t have time for the things my soul delights in.

SEE ALSO: When God Won’t Take Away Your Anxiety

3. Things that should be effortless become taxing. Think about the things you’re naturally gifted in – this can include spiritual gifts, natural talents, or skills you’ve honed over the years through hard work and study. For me, these things include writing, ministering to other women through my gifts of listening and good question asking, and strategic/creative idea curation at work.

When you’re at your best and living inside your limits, these giftings flow freely out of you. My friend Tabitha calls this getting into “flow” – when you’re in the “flow zone,” all other thoughts, distractions and anxieties are gone and you’re delighting in and completely focused on whatever the thing is you’re doing.

But when we’re living outside our limits, these natural gifts stall out. For example, I know I’m outside my limits when I find myself sitting across from a friend and have no capacity to ask good questions or listen thoughtfully to what’s going on in her life. It might not just be that I’m tired; I might be thinking about the dozens of other things I have going on that week. I might be feeling more anxious or insecure than I normally would, more self-focused and not friend-focused. What is usually a natural skill for me becomes totally nonexistent when I’m past my limits.

These are just a few key indicators that you’re living outside of your limits. If some of what I’m saying resonates with you and you think you might be trying to stuff too much on your plate, I hope you see how much might be gained by reassessing your schedule and learning to say no. When you live within the natural limits God has set for you, the relationships that are most important to you have a chance of thriving, you can better utilize the gifts you were born with, and you’ll have more time for the things that God created you to find joy and life in.

SEE ALSO: 3 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Missing Out

How do you know when you’re past your limits? How do you reclaim time for the things that matter most? Share in the comments section!

Kelly Givens is the editor of iBelieve.com.

QUESTION:

I am in my early 30s. I would very much like to be married. I find, unfortunately, that I am rarely in a situation where I am interested in someone, and on an even rarer occasion that he would be interested in me. Recently I met someone that I am interested in. He is godly, we have similar interests, and a great conversationalist – things I really appreciate. Unfortunately, we don’t spend a lot of time together and aren’t in the same circle of friends. We occasionally see other at church, but asides from that we do not hang out, nor do we know each other well enough to be communicating on social media / texts.

I have been praying about this situation and asking God to lead – to show me where he wants me to trust, and where he wants me to take a step of faith as well.  To what extent is it a good idea to initiate? Should I start texting him and inviting him to group events? It would be a bit out of the blue. Should I ask him for coffee? Would it be appropriate if I just directly told him how I felt? I almost feel it’s a bit dishonest otherwise.

I know that God has created relationships where men lead. I’m also conscious that it is a rare situation I am so interested in a guy, and would like to know what would the wise next step.

HE SAID:

I fully believe and agree a guy should be the leader (especially spiritually) of a family and relationship. However, there are times at the outset when we (speaking of guys) just don’t realize when someone may be interested us, and sometimes we need a little inspiration (or kick in the pants) to open our eyes.

Whatever the situation, we should always try to be deliberate in our actions; taking advantage of every scenario open to us.

Too often we bury our chances (or gifts) before we even start for fear of what may happen or in consideration of “what if.” Opportunities are short-lived and we shouldn’t allow them to get away without at least trying. 

Although texting and private messaging has become more of the norm, I suggest you ask directly if he would like to join you for coffee, a concert, a group activity or whatever. Otherwise it becomes too easy to misread a response, non-response or delayed response.

The next time God gives you an opportunity to run into your “interest” (and if it’s of God, He will), just ask if he’d like to get together….and schedule a time. Don’t let it be left open-ended.

You mention you have similar interests, look for a chance to share in one of those activities with him. If it’s music, see if there’s something happening in your area. If it’s getting out athletically, see if he wants to join you. 

At some point during your time together you can share your feelings and see if he feels the same. With the informality communication and “hanging out” has taken, it becomes easier to press the issue without leading him on.

Several years ago a female acquaintance asked me if I ran, and even though I didn’t do it regularly it made me take notice of her. We scheduled a time and it soon began a dating relationship.

So what’s the worst thing that can happen to you?

Live without regrets.

SHE SAID:

I can totally relate to you and your circumstances. When you’re really young, you are attracted to a lot of people. It may be something as simple as their smile or that they paid attention to you. However, as you get older and wiser you really want it to be someone you like for spiritual reasons. Someone that God would have you date/marry. Someone that you are attracted to beyond physical reasons.

First, I want you to realize that God did reveal that there are men out there that you can be attracted to for the right reasons. And at any time God can bring them to you or you to them. So it’s not a matter of who is out there but what direction to take when you do meet someone you like. Because your circles are not the same, I would investigate where he is hanging out so that you could get to know him better. I would find out what ministries he is serving in, what Sunday school or small group he attends. Now I am not saying be a stalker but am simply encouraging you to find out more information about him. You could also ask people you know who might know him, folks who can tell you more about him. 

Now regarding whether you should pursue or chase as a woman, here is one woman’s advice. I personally prefer the man to lead/chase. However, I know the Bible speaks of women, specifically Ruth who did the initial pursuing of Boaz. We know that Boaz was interested in Ruth but due to their age difference, he felt she was more suited for a younger relative (so he didn’t initiate). But Ruth was interested and pursued Boaz. This chase doesn’t mean that Boaz was not the leader of his home, it simply means God gives women permission to let men know we are interested. The key though would be how much we initiate and for how long. While some men invite women to chase, others might find it too aggressive and be turned off. So what should you do?

Well, because this guy may not know you exist, you do need to find ways to be together so you can learn more about each other. But please do not manipulate; instead, through prayer, allow God to line up opportunities. I also encourage women to ask open-ended questions to men so they can learn more about them. In some cases, you can take it a step farther and say something like, “you are an interesting person, I’d love to get a cup of coffee with you sometime.” Or subtler, “Hey, there’s a few of us going to dinner this Friday, if you want to join us…”

Life is short so if there is someone you like, go for it. Keep each step in prayer, trusting the Lord for His will. Worse case, if he is not the one— you may end up with a great friend. And well, we can never have enough great friends.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.

SHE is … Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of four books.

DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We’re just average folk who understand what it’s like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life’s questions, and it’s where we’ll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it’s important to note that we write our answers separately.