All posts filed under: Arts

Andrea Logan White Credit: Andrealoganwhite.com

Did a Word of Knowledge turn Hollywood actress Andrea Logan White’s life around?

In an article on PureFlix, Hollywood actress Andrea Logan White, 40, recently shared the unique encounter she had with with God during a very difficult time. White has starred in several movies including Mom’s Day Out, Marriage Retreat and Do You Believe. She and her husband Dave are co-owners of PureFlix, a Christian equivalent of Netflix. Born in Chicago, she had moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career, but was struggling. She was 22 and acting jobs were difficult to find. Andrea was also behind in her rent and had thrown herself into the Hollywood partying scene. She was coming to the end of herself and tells the story of the time she was in her car on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard, when she cried out to God: “God if you’re real I need You to show me who you are, because I don’t know why I’m here and I don’t want to live anymore.” She had just prayed this, when a man in the convertible beside her hit his horn and pointed at his …

Lauren Daigle singing at Winter Jam in Columbus, Ohio in 2016 Credit: Caleb Cook/Flickr/Creative

Lauren Daigle, a story of God’s calling and anointing?

I was reading an interesting article on the sudden rise of Christian singer Lauren Daigle, 27. If you have watched American Idol over the past few years, you may already have heard of her as she was a participant. Today she has a successful career as a Gospel singer. But in September 2018, Lauren caught many by surprise when her song “Look Up Child” suddenly took off coming in third on the Billboard 200, a secular chart. This put her behind Paul McCartney and Eminem, but ahead of superstars Niki Minaji, Drake and Ariana Grande. Of course her song dominated the Christian Billboard charts, but coming in near the top on a secular chart suggested her Christian-themed music was spilling over into the secular market. In an interview with the Associated Press (AP), Lauren said that one of the goals of her music team has been to “extend the tent pegs.” This is a reference to a verse out of Isaiah, where the prophet gave a word to the barren women to start singing with …

Avril Lavigne in Brasilia, Brazil in May, 2014 Credit: Breno Galtier/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Canadian punk rocker Avril Lavigne surprises with a worship song?

Canadian rock star Avril Lavigne, 34, has surprised everyone with the recent release of a song that some describe as a worship song. Called Head Above Water, this was her first song after taking a five-year break from public life due to her battle with Lyme disease, an infectious debilitating disease commonly spread by ticks. In 2015, she released information that she had been battling Lyme disease since 2014. The disease kept her bed ridden for months. On her website, Avril described how her struggle with the disease led to her most recent hit: “One night, I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die. My mom laid with me in bed and held me,” she said. “I felt like I was drowning. Under my breath, I prayed ‘God, please help to keep my head above the water.’ In that moment, the song writing of this album began. It was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.” …

Television in abandoned home in Detroit, Michigan Credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr/Creative Commons

Emmy host insults Christians

Hollywood is so out of touch with real life that they can’t even figure out how to build a successful business. But maybe it is just me who is out of touch, but I have never thought it was a successful business model to insult your customers. Take this year’s Emmy Awards, the Oscars for TV equivalent. One of the co-hosts, Michael Che, took the opportunity to seemingly slag Christians and Republicans. According to reports, Che is also a co-host of Saturday Night Live. During one of his Emmy rants, Che said: “My mother is not watching. She said she doesn’t watch white award shows because you guys don’t thank Jesus enough. That’s true. The only white people that thank Jesus are Republicans and ex-crackheads.” The only good thing about this lame excuse for a joke is that there was only a smattering of laughter and applause. Che set this joke up by commenting on the free fall in viewership for the Emmy Awards. There are a number of methods to measure viewership of a …

Katie Lee Gifford Credit: United States Department of Interior/Wikipedia and Howard Stern Credit: Bill Norton/Wikipedia

The strange case of Kathie Lee Gifford and Howard Stern

In Matthew 5: 38-43, Jesus taught us how to deal with our enemies. It was strange advice. Christ said if a man hits you on the cheek, let him hit the other cheek and if a man takes your shirt then offer him your coat. It was the exact opposite of how we would want to react in these type of situations. So what was the purpose of this? I believe one of the things that Jesus was telling us is that we need to take the initiative, be proactive, in situations where we could be offended. God is calling us to make the peace. And this is exactly the situation that Kathie Lee Gifford found herself in with Howard Stern. Kathie, 64, is a singer, song writer, actress and co-host of NBC’s Today show. She is also an outspoken Christian. Howard Stern, 64, is a radio and television personality and is best known for the Howard Stern Show and has earned the reputation as a “shock jock.” On an episode of the Today show earlier …

Dennis Quaid singing Credit: allenmock/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dennis Quaid says renewing his faith in Christ includes forgiving himself

Dennis Quaid, 64, has been another of my favorite Hollywood actors. I didn’t know he was a Christian and was surprised to see him in the Christian movie, I Can Only Imagine where he plays the role of Arthur Millard, the abusive father of Bart Millard, the lead singer for the Gospel group Mercy Me. Millard is best known for the Christian hit song “I Can Only Imagine” that was birthed in the difficult reconciliation that took place between Bart and his father. The movie has been a tremendous success with a budget of only $7 million it has earned over $84 million since its release. Quaid has starred in several movies including the Parent Trap, The Rookie and the Soul Surfer. He is playing Ronald Reagan in the upcoming biopic on the famed US president. Quaid is also a musician and is actually the lead singer in a band call the Sharks. And when asked to join the movie, I Can Only Imagine, Quaid told them about a Gospel song he had started writing …

Katy Perry in her 2018 Witness tour Credit: Giorgio Erriquez/Flickr/Creative Commons

In an interview with ‘Vogue Australia’ Katy Perry says she never left God

In a recent cover interview with Vogue Australia, pop sensation Katy Perry had more to say about her Christian faith. Katy’s parents, Keith and Mary Hudson, are both Pentecostal evangelists, and as their talented daughter became involved in music, Katy sang gospel and even released a gospel album. However, as she moved into secular music, Katy seemed to walk away from her faith. She admitted in the interview that her mother was praying that her daughter would come back to God. In response Katy said that she never “left Him, I was just a little bit secular. I was more materialistic and more career driven.” Now in her 30s, Katy said there are changes taking place in her life stating “it’s more about spirituality and heart wholeness.” And we have seen hints of this spirituality popping through on social media as Katy shared Christian messages on Instagram Over Easter, she shared an Instagram post of a rainbow over her Jesus tattoo with the words: ”My brokeness + God’s Divinity = My wholeness” written beneath the image. …

Chris Pratt at the San Diego Comic Con in 2016 Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/Creative Commons

Chris Pratt’s nine rules for life?

At this year’s MTV Movie and TV Awards held on Monday, June 18, 2018, actor Chris Pratt won the “Generations” award handed out to actors who have displayed their unique personality in a variety of roles. Pratt, 38, has starred in several major hit movies including the Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic Park and its sequels. While receiving this year’s award, Pratt took the opportunity to present his nine rules for life ranging from how to properly use the bathroom facilities while at a friend’s place to feeding  a dog medicine (hide it in a piece of hamburger.) But scattered within these nine pieces of wisdom, Pratt provided some spiritual advice to the next generation as the MTV crowd is typically millennials and younger. In earlier interviews, Pratt recounted when he became a Christian a man gave Chris a prophetic word that he would become famous. A short time later while working as a waiter in a Hawaii restaurant, Pratt served a movie director and in a matter of days was flying to California …

Redcliffe City Church worship service at the beach Credit: Leonard J Matthews/Flickr/Creative Commons

Restoring the Tabernacle of David worship in the Church

I have written articles in the past about the Tabernacle that David set up in Jerusalem to house the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 16:17). This tabernacle or tent existed for less than 40 years and was taken down shortly after the Ark of the covenant was transferred from David’s tabernacle to Solomon’s temple. 31 Now these are those whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of the Lord, after the ark rested there. 32 They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem; and they [a]served in their office according to their order. (1 Chronicles 6: 31-32 NASV) It needs to be pointed out that God did not want David or his son to build a temple, God preferred to stay in the Tabernacle of David. But because of its brief existence, it seems that David’s Tabernacle played a minor role in Israel’s religious life. But that isn’t true. The Book of Psalms, one of the most …

Credit: Joe Bustillos/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is God beginning to move in the music industry?

A couple of different stories caught my attention this past week, though unrelated, they both have a God connection. The first involved an article on Christian Post (CP) about this year’s American Idol where the final five performers in the singing competition are all Christians. And they are anointed as well and this is not just my opinion, but that of the American Idol judges. Though Michael Woodward did not move on to the final three, his song “Still I Arise” very much affected the judges. Pop superstar Katy Perry who was in tears before Woodward’s song was finished said, “I mean, you’re anointed. I thought I had my emotions removed. It’s so beautiful what I just saw between you and your mother.” Fellow judge Lionel Ritchie echoed the comments added, “You are anointed, my friend.” Woodward comes from a Christian home where his grandmother and mother both impacted him spiritually. According to CP, his mother, Wanda, has a Christian program that she broadcasts weekly live on Facebook.  And his grandmother raised Michael on Gospel …

Freshwind Band at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in March 2008 where the Toronto Revival broke out. Source: andrewgazaneo artwork by Sarah M Gazeno/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Justin Bieber’s mom Pattie Mallette ‘Travailing in the Spirit’?

Pattie Mallette may not be a familiar name to most of us, but her pop star son, Justin Bieber, is a household name in many parts of the world. In earlier articles, I have written about the remarkable spiritual transformation taking place in Justin’s life. Dale Hurd writing for Christ for All Nations tells the story about Pattie’s spiritual journey. Incredibly, it started at the Toronto revival, also called the Toronto Blessing, that broke out in a Vineyard Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in January 1994. The church originally called Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship has since been renamed Catch the Fire Toronto and is pastored by John and Carol Arnott. Pattie shared her journey to faith at the 2018 Light the Fire Again conference held at the same building, the Attwell Center, where the Toronto revival broke out. In the early 1990s, Pattie became a Christian in a hospital room shortly after a failed suicide attempt. She was led to the Lord and mentored by a couple who attended the Vineyard church where the revival …

Chinese Christian tourists displaying the Israeli flag on the Temple Mount on April 11, 2018

Israeli flag displayed on the Temple Mount for the first time in over 50 years

It hasn’t happened for over 50 years, but an Israeli flag was proudly displayed on the Temple Mount on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. The only significant difference is that it wasn’t Jews holding the flag, but a group of Chinese Christian tourists. Though, the Temple Mount is the former home of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and is located in Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, the Muslims basically control the Temple Mount that features the Muslim Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They even have their own Jordanian Islamic security that works with Israeli police to enforce order on the Mount. For the most part, the Muslims have successfully prevented Jews from praying on the Temple Mount and even displaying symbols of the Jewish religion or Israeli nationalism such as the Israeli flag. The last time an Israeli flag appeared on the Temple Mount was shortly after the 1967 six-day war, when Israel captured East Jerusalem where the Temple Mount is located. The Israelis flew their flag …

Justin Bieber in concert at the Telenor Arena in Oslo, Norway in 2013. Credit: NRK P3/Flickr/Creative Commons

Sources say Justin Bieber planning to release faith-inspired album in 2019

It has been an interesting April on the celebrity front. On Easter Sunday, pop star Katy Perry posted the following message to her 69 million Instagram followers: “My brokenness + God’s Divinity = My wholeness.” Then earlier this week, Monday, April 9, 2018, Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber spontaneously sang a Christian worship song for his 98 million Instagram followers. It was a song called “Reckless Love” written by Bethel music leader Corey Asbury: “Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights till I’m found” At the latest count, Justin has 98.5 million Instagram followers putting him on the list of the ten most followed people on the popular social media site. Leading the pack is another celebrity believer, Selena Gomez, with 133 million followers. And when I visited Justin’s Instagram page, there was a message to check out this song on YouTube: But recent reports are suggesting that Justin is planning to become even more vocal about how Jesus transformed the pop star’s life. The British newspaper The …

Katy Perry Credit: ONU Brazil/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is Katy Perry’s heart softening towards God?

American pop star Katy Perry posted an interesting Christian message to her 69 million Instagram followers on Easter Sunday. She also works as a judge on the new American Idol show. She not only highlighted her Jesus tattoo, that she has had for years, with special lighting, Katy also added the words: “My brokenness + God’s Divinity = My wholeness.” As some may know, Katy has a Christian background. Her parents, Maurice and Mary (née Perry) Hudson, are Pentecostal pastors. Katy’s birth name was Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson. As a girl, she even spoke in tongues after being filled with the Holy Spirit and with her natural singing ability Katy sang gospel in church.  She hoped to move full-time into gospel music but that ultimately transformed into secular. Below is a Gospel song that Katy Perry (then Katy Hudson), sang on the Christian broadcast network, TBN, in 2002: The relationship with her parents has been strained as she rejected her parent’s faith. In 2008, she wrote a song, I Kissed a Girl, that topped the pop chart …

Alice Cooper performing at Alexandra Palace in London, England 2011 Credit: Kimon Froussios/Flickr/Creative Commons

Alice Cooper, ‘shock’ rock star and Christian

If there was anyone who I thought would never become a Christian, rock star Alice Cooper, 70, would have been on that list. Yet 40 years ago Cooper got a wake-up call when after bingeing on alcohol he started throwing up blood. During his heyday that featured such mega hits as “Schools out,” he was known as the “Godfather of Shock Rock.” His stage shows took on horror show themes including fake blood, guillotines, electric chairs, snakes and tortured baby dolls. But today Cooper publicly states he has embraced Christ and is preparing to play the role of Herod in NBC’s live version of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. In an interview with New York Daily’s Confidential, Cooper recalled his decision to become a Christian. He came from a Christian background, his grandfather was an evangelist and his dad a pastor and after leaving home, Cooper fled Christianity. But he was drinking buddies with other famous rock stars of the day such as Jimmy Hendrix and Jim Morrison of the Doors both who died at …

Chris Pratt along with other Guardians of the Galaxy film answering questions at Comic Con in San Diego in 2013. Credit: Ronald Woan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Chris Pratt attacked on Twitter for praying, but…

In late February, actor Chris Pratt came under fire for a tweet he sent out stating he was praying for filmmaker Kevin Smith. Pratt is a popular Hollywood actor having starred in Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy. Smith, 47, filmmaker and comedian, was in Glendale California doing a comedy show, when he started to feel ill. With two shows scheduled for that night, he cancelled the second one and took an ambulance to the hospital and was diagnosed with a heart attack. Doctors discovered that his LAD artery, also called the widow maker, was 100% blocked. If he hadn’t gone to the hospital when he did, Smith would probably be dead. So having heard what happened, Chris Tweeted: Kevin we don’t know each other too good, but I have loved you since Clerks and I’m praying my ass off for you cause I believe in the healing power of prayer. Can you please pray with me people? https;//t.co/syB7BIQaoY – chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) February 26, 2018. Clerks was Smith’s first film, a low-budget affair …

Letitia Wright with Forest Whitaker at 2017 Comic Con International in San Diego Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/Creative Commons

‘Black Panther’s’ Letitia Wright: ‘I went on a journey to discover God and I became a Christian’

Black Panther has become the shocking hit of 2018. Many though it would do well but nobody expected it to be the second highest grossing film in history during it first four days. Made up of a largely black cast some says it provides an overview of America’s current racial and political climate with the intent of finding a middle ground in a country that is splitting apart over the issue. One of the breakout stars in the movie is British actress Letitia Wright, 24, who plays, Shuri, the younger sister of the King T’Challa. People are raving about her performance around the world with Vanity Fair titling its article about her sudden rise as Black Panther Star Letitia Wright Might Be the Next Leonardo DiCaprio But for God, it may not have happened. In an interview on Feb.9, 2018 with This Morning, a British talk show, Letitia explains what happened: “I was going through a lot, a very difficult time in my life and I just needed to take a break from acting because …

Taylor James from "Samson" YouTube Capture

Is the Nazirite vow for today?

I read an interesting interview with actor Taylor James, a Christian, who plays the role of Samson in the full-feature movie “Samson” released earlier this month. In an interview with “Pure Talk,” Taylor talked about a vision he had a few years earlier that actually prepared him for the lead role in the movie. Taylor said: “I had a vision as an actor and a person a few years ago to grow my hair and to maintain a certain physical appearance. It was my guiding light.” After this vision, another Christian provided further revelation on what lay ahead for Taylor.  The person added that at some point Taylor would be returning home to South Africa and leading “his people.” Taylor had actually been born in South Africa and lived there for six years. When the role of Samson came up, Taylor auditioned for the lead role and was surprised when reading the script that much of the movie would be shot in South Africa. Then, when he noticed the movie’s subtitle “A man who leads …

Casas colgadas de Cuenca, Spain Credit: Jose Luis Mieza/Flickr/Creative Commons

Spain’s song at Eurovision written by two Evangelical Christians

Eurovision is an international singing contest held annually in Europe. It started in 1973 and features winners from participating European countries who hold national competitions to select their representative. It differs from North American singing competitions like The Voice in that participants must sing an original song. But it doesn’t have to be written by the people singing it. In fact, the major emphasis seems to be the song over the performers, though obviously they need to be talented as well. With a growing Evangelical population, Spain will be represented at this year’s competition with a song written by two Evangelical Christians, Sylvia Santoro and her nephew Raul Gomez. Sylvia wrote the words and Raul supplied the music. The love song entitled, Tu Canción, won the Spanish leg of the event with 43% of the vote, beating out eight competitors. It was sung by a group called Almaia, composed of two singers Amaia and Alfred. So far the song has over 750,000 views on YouTube. Married with two children, Sylvia is a popular gospel singer among …

Andrea Bocelli singing at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in 2015 Credit: World Economic Forum/Flickr/Creative Commons

Singing sensation Andrea Bocelli nearly aborted

The Grammy Awards are held annually by The Recording Academy to honor singing achievements primarily in the English-speaking world. This year’s awards were held in New York’s Madison Square Gardens on January 28th and some described it as more political than musical. This may explain why its ratings are down 24% over the last year. Aside from the singing awards, one of the highlights of these type of events are the dresses and suits worn by celebrities. This year was no different. But the one that seems to have gained the spot light, was an anti-abortion dress worn by American singer and song writer Joy Villa. On her dress she painted an image of a baby in the womb and her handbag had the word “choose life” written on it. In an interview with Foxnews, Villa said she was honoring her decision to give up a child for adoption when she was 21, during a crisis pregnancy. Villa added that the image was “a painting of my daughter when I was eight months pregnant.” When …

Justin Bieber at Telenor Arena in Bærum, Norway in 2016 Credit: NRK P3/Flickr/Creative Commons

Justin Bieber’s faith-inspired Instagram post received over 2.2-million likes

Canadian pop star Justin Bieber has 95-million followers on Instagram and recently he shared a message with them on his personal faith in Christ. The 23-year-old pop star took a photo of a white erase board on which he wrote a message with a black marker: “Do you feel you have exausted all options? Do you feel like you’re never good enough? What if I told you that there is a god that’s willing to meet you WHEREVER you’re at! What if I told you that he could take away your pain, shame, guit, and fears #Jesus.” The photo caption read simply “Jesus is changing me from the inside out every day! AND I MISSPELLED GUILT and exhausted.” Despite the typos and as someone pointed out maybe “god” should be capitalized, it was a heartfelt message. I loved the way it was hand written including even the typos because this showed it was real. Over 2.2 million, mostly young people, liked the post and 52 thousand commented. Not all the comments were positive, but the majority …

NF (rapper) Credit: YouTube Capture/Napster

Christian Rapper tops the US Billboard chart in October

Going by the stage name NF, Nathan John Feuerstein, 26, is a Christian rapper and hip-hop artist who topped the Billboard Chart in October. For an entire week, his album, Perception, was the top selling album in America, Christian or secular. Since his debut in 2010, Nathan has released four albums. His first entitled Moments was released in 2012 under the name Nathan Feuerstein. Since then, he has released three more albums under the stage-name NF that included Mansion in 2015. He released Therapy Session in 2016 which won a Dove Award for top hip hop album of the year. It was also the top-selling Christian Album and top US rap album in 2016 and overall it was the 12th best-selling album in the US that year. A song from the album, “Oh Lord,” (which you can hear below) won the 2017 Dove Award for top Hip Hop song. It has had quite an impact. Here is just a sampling of the YouTube comments from the song: It’s Just Kayla This song pushes me to tears …

Anne Hathaway and Denzel Washington at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize concert. Photo Harry Wad / Wikipedia

Denzel Washington and director prayed every day while shooting ‘Roman J. Israel, Esq’

Denzel Washington, 62, has won two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor in the 1989 movie Glory and Best Actor in 2001 for his role in Training Days. He has also won a Tony Award and three Gold Globes. Gospel Herald recently interviewed Denzel about his most recent movie, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Though, not overtly Christian, Denzel said the movie is filled with Biblical themes including sacrifice as a man gave up a successful career for a cause he believed in. The movie is scheduled for release on November 22, 2017. In the interview, Denzel shared a couple of things I found interesting. First, Denzel and Dan Gilroy, the producer and writer of the movie, prayed and read a Bible devotional together every day during filming. Denzel said, “Dan and I have been prayer partners during this whole collaboration.” It is tough for Christians to speak out in Hollywood, when fellow celebrities not only oppose faith in God, but blatantly mock it. Such as former Star Trek: The Next Generation star Wil Wheaton …

Credit: Caleb George/Wikipedia

Vegas and Hollywood: the truth

On the evening of October 1, 2017, a man named Stephen Paddock used a gun to kill and injure spectators at a country music concert in Las Vegas. You probably know something about the story, but have you noticed all the comments and conspiracy theories that have spun off from the incident; the story about the story? It’s interesting because Mr Paddock is such a mystery. We don’t know why he shot those people except that he made a decision. His background story gives us no clues, so we are free to make our own judgments. That’s useful for some people. Related: 2017 Las Vegas shooting A few days later, on October 5, the New York Times published an article about Harvey Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in the Hollywood movie industry. He has been accused of gross misconduct with young women who were trying to make careers in movies and television. At this time, it is fair to say the accusations have been denied, and any accusations are only alleged; but that …

(Left to Right) Chris Pratt Credit: Mingle Media TV/Wikipedia; Justin Bieber Credit: Lou Stejskal/Wikipedia; Kourteny Kardashian credit: © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com

What do Chris Pratt, Justin Bieber and Kourteny Kardashian have in common?

For many they are household names. All three have fame and money in movies, singing and TV respectively. Chris Pratt, 38, is a movie star with leading roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and one of my favorites Jurassic World that earned $1.6 billion world wide. He is also starring in the soon to be released Avengers: Infinity War Canadian born Justin Bieber, 23, is one of the most popular pop singers in the world. He has 102 million followers on Twitter, nearly 92 million followers on Instagram. and his Facebook page has close to 79 million likes. TV reality star Kourteny Kardashian, 38, stars in Keeping Up with the Kardashians — one of the longest running reality shows in the US. She and her sisters have also started successful clothing and perfume lines. And though fame is certainly one common denominator, according to the Daily Mail, they have one more thing in common, all three were recently seen attending the same church service at Hillsong in Los Angeles. Originating in Australia, Hillsong is renown …

Watch Gospel music ring out at Hurricane Harvey rescue shelter

Gospel singer Victoria White and others entertained people taking shelter from Hurricane Harvey in the Lone Star Convention and Expo Center in Conroe, Texas, north of Houston. The song was videoed by volunteer Joni Villemez-Commeaux. White works as an admission counselor at Sam Houston State University. She was ministering with Outreach Missions who was raising support for the victims of Harvey. White’s powerful voice emanated in the hall as others joined the singing. So far the video posted on Facebook has been viewed over 12 million times. The death toll for the storm is now nearing 40 and includes the rescue of 13,000 people trapped by the rapidly rising waters that hit Houston and area. Sources: Lifting spirits: Texas woman breaks out into incredible gospel performance inside Hurricane Harvey shelter: Daily Mail Watch: Spontaneous Gospel singing fills Harvey evacuation shelter: Breitbart

Credit: Markku Sandberg/Flickr/Creative Commons

Temple Incense Spices

Incense and Intercession [by Helene Rudolph] Alongside the fragrant precious anointing oil was the Temple Incense.  Incense is associated with intercession in scripture. “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; thee shall be an equal part of each.  And with it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure (and) holy.  And you shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting, where I shall meet with you; it shall be most holy to you.  And the incense which you shall make, you shall not make in the same proportions for yourselves; it shall be holy to you for the LORD”. Whoever shall make (any) like it, to use as perfume, shall be cut off from his people”. (Exodus 30:34-38) Pleasant Smells Revive the Soul The priesthood of old burned incense daily as a fragrant offering unto the LORD.  The Jewish Talmud records that women, as far …

Credit: Ram Balmur/Flickr/Creative Commons

Skillful Musicians or Musicians of Snobbery?

While there has been much discussion that  musicians must excel to be part of a worship team, one wonders if Christian leaders often revert to snobbery rather than skilfulness when selecting musical players. Biblical Pattern In the first book of Chronicles we are shown the selection pattern used in David’s tabernacle to determine those who were to have a ministry in music. “And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after that the ark had rest.  And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem: and then waited on their office according to their order.” (I Chronicles 6:31-32) The musicians selected were Levites, those separated to the work of the LORD. “And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethern to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.” (I Chronicles 15:16) …

Dennis Prager speaking at CPAC 2016 in National Harbor, Maryland Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia

Political left calls for a boycott of conservative music?

Dennis Prager is a conservative columnist, author, talk-show host (nationally syndicated) and speaker based in California. The Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra (SMSO) recently invited Prager to be a guest conductor for a benefit program to be held August 16 at the Walt Disney Concert Halls, in Santa Monica California. Many consider it one of the premium venues in the country. Prager has studied classical music for decades and has been a guest conductor for several orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Pasadena Lyric Opera. Prager, an orthodox Jew, will be conducting one composition —  Hayden’s Symphony No 51. During past performances, Prager liked to show how the music is put together and often breaks down the symphony section by section to let people see what instruments are playing. Now it is important to understand that Prager will not be speaking at the event, only conducting. Nevertheless three members of the SMSO were so appalled that a conservative person would be conducting the orchestra, that a month ago they wrote a letter calling for …

Credit: luke siemens/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Lost Art of Story Telling

For thousands of years, the Elders of a people have verbally passed true life stories down to their children.  This was a major way for history to be recorded before the time when individuals began to record events on writing materials. Today, with the invention of the printing press and the explosion of digital technology, communication is transferred, more often through electronic means than from the voice of a loving father. This makes one question, ‘Who’s voice are your children hearing?” Story Telling is an Elder’s Duty The Israelites understood it was their responsibility to pass true stories from one generation to another.  In fact, they recognized it was the way the Lord God would make His ways and acts known to the nations. Even within the Song of Moses, this reality was communicated to the congregation. “Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations.  Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you:” (Deuteronomy 32:7). Not only was the Song of Moses sung to the …

The Cassia plant source of one of the ingredients of the Holy anointing oil. Source: sylvan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Holy Anointing Oil

[by Helene Rudolph] Exodus 30:23-33 sets forth the instructions given by God to Moses concerning the making of the Holy Anointing Oil, which is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Vessels were set apart unto God for sacred purposes, by anointing them with oil. With the mixture mentioned in this passage, Priests, Prophets and Kings were also consecrated for service to God, during the Old Covenant days.  (See I Sam. 10: 1- 6). “Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.” (I Sam. 16:13) The Recipe There were four fragrant ingredients added to the extra virgin olive oil namely myrrh, cinnamon, sweet cane (calamus) and cassia, to compound this oil.  Each of these fragrances carries a unique symbolic. Put together this oil carries a powerful message in and of itself.  The Holy anointing oil’s message speaks of sacrificial living, about walking righteously and upright according to God’s righteous standards and about judgments in humility. A Warning “And you …

Credit: Amber Orenstein/Flickr/Creative Commons

Liberated Artisans

In a previous article on “Craftsmen in Captivity ” we discussed the many ways in which artists and musicians are taken into captivity. Today, we want to “declare liberty to those  who are bound”. By open acknowledgment and repentance from sin and idols of the heart, one can set forth on a path of freedom for their spirit, soul and body. The Psalmist recognized the one LORD God, Elohim, as the great deliverer who could literally cause the freed captives to dream and sing. “When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion We were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue within singing. Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, Whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.” (Psalm 126:1- 4) When Jesus Christ read a scroll written by the prophet Isaiah, he recognized the anointing of the Spirit of the LORD. God gave …

Credit: schmuu/Flickr/Creative Commons

Craftsmen in Captivity

Coveting Works for Gain History records that craftsmen, artists and musicians have been consistently targeted by their enemies.  They are often taken into captivity since those who carry a Babylonian spirit desire to make merchandise of their creative gifts. Multiple stories of coveting works for gain are documented repeatedly throughout the Bible. “Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house, That he may set his nest on high, That he may be delivered from the power of disaster!” (Habakkuk 2:9) They Only Want to Worship Moses was called to bring deliverance to his people the Israelites, who were slaves to Pharaoh (Exodus 5).  Pharaoh became furious when he discovered the Israelites wanted to go into the desert and sacrifice to the most High God.  Ever consider that it was a Jewish workforce who helped build the Egyptian Pyramids? Today that Egyptian spirit still runs rampant. Have you wondered why anointed musicians and artists who only want to exalt the most high God are targeted in our modern age?  It all has to do …

Jacob's sons show their father Joseph's cloak telling their father Joseph was killed by a wild animal Credit: Wikipedia Painting by Diego Velazquez (1599-1660)

Coat of Many Colors

We live in a world that often obsesses about the latest fashion trend.  Models and actors display top designers’ latest creations in magazines, fashion shows, movies, television and other multi-media venues. A culture of image-making has emerged causing a mass identity crisis for youth and adults alike. How tragic it is when an individual is shunned because of the clothes they are wearing, yet this happens multiple times a day.

While most of our garments are bought on a rack at a local shop, the mass production of clothing is a more recent phenomena.  At one time, all clothing was made by hand and tailored to fit an individual’s frame. Sewing and designing clothes was a skill passed down from generation to generation. Mothers were concerned that their children wore garments suited to their local climate and lovingly designed clothes which fit the environment. Proverbs 31 gives a detailed description of a virtuous woman who is known by her many good deeds and creative works.  This includes making garments for her household and her community. Her …

Credit: Alan Cleaver/Flickr/Creative Commons

It All Begins with a Story

The Bible is a collection of 66 Books containing hundreds of stories.  It starts with, “In the Beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth” (Genesis 1:1), and ends with John’s vision of Jesus declaring, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13). These biblical stories record the history of mankind from Adam to Abraham and the birth of the nation of Israel.  It gives a chronicle of Israel from generation to generation.  It tells us of the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, unto the early years of the church age. The Bible contains prophesies, some fulfilled within the context of the entire Bible, some fulfilled the past 2,000 years since the New testament writings.  Still others of these Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled today and some will be fulfilled in the future. More copies of the Bible has been sold or freely distributed than any other book in the world.  It is recognized world-wise as the greatest Book ever written.  It …