The sights and sounds of Christmas were on vivid display as hundreds of people gathered with fascination to watch and listen to the presentation. The music was loud and jubilant, boldly declaring the birth of Jesus. The live nativity scene – complete with adorable angels and determined wise men – was comprised of excited children helping each other adjust their elaborate costumes and stick on beards that rivaled those of Duck Dynasty.
I wasn't at a megachurch or a school play or a shopping mall. It was the Sunday before Christmas, and I was in Asia's largest red light district, the notorious streets of Kamathipura in Mumbai, India.
This Christmas season I set out to explore how some of the poorest and most vulnerable in India approach the Advent, and how Jesus' birth is presented and celebrated by believers in seemingly unlikely environments in our world. more >>
Director Steve Carr opened up about his final, awe-inspiring film chronicling famed evangelical Ed Dobson's fight against ALS, this time offering a powerful message of hope for those ravaged by today's racial tensions.
The only thing more striking than the fact that Dobson has lived with Lou Gherig's disease for the past decade is that he has done so with undeterred optimism. Previously the emeritus pastor at Calvary Church, the 64-year-old Irishman first thought his life was over in 2001 after being diagnosed with the degenerative disease also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, Dobson heard the voice of God urging him not to give up, and that hope has persisted 14 years and counting.
"Ed's Story" includes seven short films with the first "It Ain't Over" released in 2011 to the last "Healing" released just recently. The seventh and final short by Carr arrives at a pivotal time of racial unrest in American history. "Healing" takes a deeper look at Dobson's friendship with Pastor Clifton Rhodes Jr., an African-American who is also suffering from ALS. more >>
Not long ago a youth pastor of our church asked me if I could host a large group of students at our house that evening. I said yes. Great. And mentally I began to draft a to-do list for a busy day.
You know the saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." That morning the washing machine overflowed, and I had to call a repairman. As the repairman came into the house, the dogs bolted, heading down the street with me behind them.
But the washing machine and the dogs were merely prelude. Just before the kids were to show up, I realized I had no snacks. And snacks are essential given that teenagers move through a kitchen like locusts. more >>
Although hundreds of thousands of refugees are displaced from their homes in Iraq and their futures remain uncertain due to the siege of the Islamic State, The Vicar of Baghdad wrote in an online Christmas statement that Christian refugees in Iraq have not been deterred from exhibiting joy in the only thing they have left: the unconditional of Jesus.
Writing from his new temporary home in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, the Rev. Canon Andrew White, the only Anglican pastor in Iraq, said that even though ISIS has left these displaced Christian refugees with no homes, no clothes and, in some cases, no families, their faith remains strong in the "refugee child," Jesus.
"All you have got left is the love of that refugee child. That to us in the Middle East is all that matters this Christmas," White explained. more >>
Should Christian journalists expose sin and error within the Body of Christ? Or, do such reports simply discredit Christian leaders and damage the Church's witness?
I have been asked this question numerous times over my career. Many times, I suspect, believers would prefer that Christian journalists engage in public relations, not serious journalism. After all, isn't our community getting pummeled enough in the secular media? Yet, investigative journalism, which once was almost non-existent in the evangelical community, has become more prevalent in recent years. In fact, about a month ago, The New York Times printed an article highlighting the "muckraking" activities of the evangelical newsmagazine World.
As the Times noted, World's exposés have led to substantial change. For example, World's revelation that filmmaker and scholar Dinesh D'Souza attended an overnight conference with a "woman not his wife" led D'Souza to resign as president of The King's College. More recently, World reported that Mars Hill Church funds were used to promote a book by Pastor Mark Driscoll, which likely contributed to Driscoll's resignation. more >>
Reflecting on this past year, you may experience discouragement over plans that never came to pass or dreams that never materialized. Looking ahead to the new year, you may find it difficult to muster up motivation to persevere for the breakthroughs for which you've waited so long. Wouldn't it be easier to just settle for second-best?
Here's the deal: God intends you to fly and not flounder as you enter 2015. Reread the classic story of the prairie chicken and make a quality decision this will not describe you. This year is going to be different; in fact, believe that it is going to be an outstandingly fruitful year for the glory of God!
Fly Eagle Fly more >>