Happy new year. From my corner I want to sincerely wish you a good music year.
As usual it will be of interest to share my thoughts as we usher in a new year in all its enthusiasm. What plans do you have to further put your music out there?
To start with, every year comes with its trend. Unfortunately no artiste has the monopoly of the industry. Churches go for who is popular at the time and so it beckons on you to work hard, build a solid team, sign up with companies that can make you achieve a milestone in this new year.
Go beyond the social media noise to making tangible impact.
Let’s take snapshot back, in the year that just ended most gospel artistes became motivational speakers instead of cooking good music. Instead of researching and working on personal development, many waited for what song will trend and the copy-cat follows. It doesn’t end here, dependence on one producer who produced a hit to produce you will box you into a corner. This does not mean you should not work with such persons, but while doing so be yourself because the trend will only be to replicate what has been done in a slightly different way.
Have a check on your actual performance online, downloads, purchases and interactions. Viability is not just the number of likes, how many people bought your song or downloaded for free, how many real fans are you are able to gather? Beyond the church do you have enough crowd to host a sold out show?
Moving on, while working with anyone, please don’t be greedy. It’s the team’s responsibility for you all to make money and when it happens to become the boss overnight.
In this new year many artistes will emerge with great sound and massive acceptability, if the old sit tight without re-inventing they will fizzle out. Your market value drops as new acts emerge.
In this year, don’t just work towards an album, host events, tour and grow your followership across board. Seize all opportunities to build a lasting brand. For every song you release build new innovative ways to promote and push to the next level.
It’s a new year, it’s not just about doing new things, it’s about self-discovery, new method of doing things, building teams, and creating content that will last. It’s a time to build synergy and grow. Don’t wait to loose market value before you wake up. Raise new talents and re-invent yourself.
As you embark on this journey, it will be rough and sweet, it will cost you money and time. Find a means to fund your music until it starts paying off. Don’t box yourself into a location, get your content out you don’t know who is waiting just to hear your song in another location and that could be your starting point to stardom.
In 2018 on a personal note, I’d like to see more unity amongst gospel folks, not just copying and secretly not being in support of the progress of one another . It’s time to move forward not just alone but with everyone in the mini-dustry. Finally, pay for services those offering the service have bills to take care. Take your brand serious and grow it.
Unachi Sunday (Freshboii) is music blogger, radio show host and lead partner at 7Pro Media Communications a music distribution, artiste management, promotion, product development and event management company based in Abuja Nigeria. Ff on twitter/IG @iamfreshboii @iamfreshboii_ #DearARTISTE series on FB. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jesus made a profound statement concerning one who has been well instructed in the things of the kingdom of heaven. He will be seen to be one who brings out of his treasure things both new and old.
Matthew 13:52 “Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.”
The amplified version makes very clear the thoughts being communicated here.
“Therefore every teacher and interpreter of the Sacred Writings who has been instructed about and trained for the kingdom of heaven and has become a disciple is like a householder who brings forth out of his storehouse treasure that is new and [treasure that is] old [the fresh as well as the familiar]”
A proper interpretation of the Sacred writings will amount to bringing out things both fresh and familiar. A combination of the old and new. A demonstration of the authenticity of the origin of the Book through its consistency. Showing clearly that what we see and teach today was spoken of somewhere almost 2,000 years ago. Such a powerful witness that God is not an author of confusion and that the origin of all scripture is consistent.
How can the same person be behind a book and it all appears disjointed with no real connection. How did Paul come about his revelation of God and the mystery of redemption? It was through the scriptures and we must understand that the only known scriptures at the time he told Timothy “all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God” was a reference to what we term old testament.
He attested to the field where he found the treasure when he said in Romans 16:25-27.
“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”
The gospel was made manifest (clear) to Paul by the scriptures of the prophets. Peter also said that “no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation for prophecy came not of old by the will of man but men spoke as moved by the Holy Spirit”. Paul said also that the righteousness of God without the law is now made manifest but it was witnessed by the law and the prophets.
Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
We don’t need to keep the letter of the law to obtain this righteousness but even the law witnesses to the fact that there will be righteousness without it. In order words, if you understood the intent of the books referred to as the law you will see they spoke about this righteousness we have obtained by faith in Christ only.
Paul as a wise scribe in teaching the new covenant used the old to establish it. Scripture says the law was the shadow of the things to come. “The things to come” The law was simply its shadow. In order words, the law was a dark outlined image of the new covenant. It wasn’t the substance but the outline. The features of the covenant could not be seen in detail but the outline was there.
Now a shadow isn’t very clear but you cannot see the shadow of a dog and someone brings out a rabbit as the thing casting the shadow and you will agree. Even though the shadow doesn’t give the colour of the dog etc but it is not that you now pull out a rabbit. In the new covenant, the veil is removed and we can now see the very image of those things.
Hebrews 10:1 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”
“For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”
2 Corinthians 3:13-14
“And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
4:17: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Rapture is the most vital topic and the most anticipated [but fear to most] event every Christian crave for.
It’s the moment when the likes of Christ stays side by side with Him, when the real labourers gets rewarded magnificently and set at rest.
It’s also the moment when the sheep [True Believers will be parted from the goat [unbelievers and fake Christians] according to Matthew 25.
When the topic or eulogized experience of rapture is shared, some people gets scared, most gets more deafening while some will arise to more consciousness to it.
But the questions remains, when will rapture take place?
Well according to the scriptures, no one but only the Father knows when rapture will take place, even the head of the church Jesus Christ our Lord is in exception of the time of rapture but proclaimed that only the Father knows.
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” – Matthew 24:36
Since no one is in any wise having the knowledge of the time, the priority about always being in its awareness gets more important.
Once a time is set as at what time calamity will strike, then less casualty will be recorded since the consciousness of it will keep ringing in our minds before the time.
But in a situation when no time is set, the certainty of being at the safe side is at less percentage because no alertness will be on preview.
So if rapture’s date was set to be announced, many people will get to do all sought of evil, transgressions and abominations awaiting repentance before that great event takes place but this time revise is the case, what then will be your attitude?
Rapture’s date not being announced is a preamble that Christians should be as in godly nature as where they are craving to go – Heaven.
Christians are going to a home where the standard is different to that of this earth (devil’s domain).
So if you have to be a citizen of that kingdom, your transformation starts here, thereby God’s words says: …Be ye holy; for I am holy. – 1 Peter 1:16.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: – Hebrews 12:14.”
Therefore if we have to be in the favor of that world, our charisma has to imitate it’s values now that we are still here.
That’s why we aren’t told of it – God knows the kind of creature He created!
What if rapture takes place as you are reading this blog, how prepared are you?
How will you feel when your friends you used to do the things of God together disappear in tin air without trace?
Peradventure it occurs at a time you dim too tired and try to relax or take a break in the race, are you sure it will meet you at the right stand?
What if it meets you at a joint or night club? What of at a brothel? What of at the bribe stand or that Herbalist?
That’s why scripture said “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. – Luke 9:62″
The kingdom we are ascribing for is not lingered on a part-time principle but a consistent and constant reminder of its status, that’s the criteria hence the scripture “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. – Luke 9:23″.
We are called into a life where obedience is the center priority to getting it’s benefits, Christ said, If you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). That’s just the efficacy to a raptureable standard.
So standing at alert and thinking about that great event will be to your fullest profit. Our attention should be at everything seeking to live our lives to the principal calling we are been enlightened to.
Your legitimacy to that kingdom starts from your salvation. Salvation is the cord that connects one to his Maker thereby getting the certificate of meeting Him in eternity.
If you aren’t saved, you aren’t ready for rapture.
But what about if death occurs?
Death is just another part of rapture, when it happens to anyone, that person’s rapture has taken place.
FACT: Don’t delay your salvation date, remember death signs no appointment date before coming. It is inevitable and likewise unavoidable when it alarms. Where will you be?
Remember: We are seeking for a kingdom which it’s principles differs from this earth and before getting there, we are to transform our lives to its standards and live by its precepts daily in our lives.
Don’t be a wounded soldier forever to be doomed, there’s still grace to return to the battalion and fight with the fold.
Take this word with you “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. – 2 Timothy 2:4”
Rapture is so imminent, it’s closeness is described by the day’s happenings.
Don’t miss it because you can’t tell the aftermath if you do!
Revelation 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
22:12: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Meet you up there when the roll is call up yonder beloved.
Shalom!!! – Innocent Josh.
Conservative Christian leaders have President Trump’s ear, but they are certainly not the first evangelicals to counsel the leader of the free world. The most famous evangelist of the 20th century, Billy Graham, advised many an American president, though differently than Trump’s faith advisors approach the job.
As Graham celebrates his 99th birthday on Tuesday (Nov. 7), in what his son Franklin described as “stable” health, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is kicking off a yearlong celebration of the preacher’s past. Franklin Graham, who heads the association, said it will highlight the elder Graham’s “impact on worldwide evangelism and personal testimonies of people whose lives were forever changed at one of my father’s crusades.”
It’s safe to say that Billy Graham’s politics won’t be a central focus of the commemoration. But when he was an up-and-coming preacher wearing hand-painted ties, and later, when he was America’s leading Christian evangelist in the heart of the Cold War, everyone knew where he stood on politics.
Graham railed against communism and anti-war demonstrators. He helped presidential candidates and gave them advice once they made it to the White House.
Over the years, Graham spoke to an estimated 84 million people at his crusades around the world, his wide reach increasing to 210 million when it includes live audiences that watched him via satellite. His success, religious historians say, was a precursor to the political rise of evangelicals and set the stage for recent faith-based public discourse on abortion, gay marriage and other issues.
As other conservative religious figures like the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson and others gained sway in the political arena, Graham, deliberately withdrew from it, at least in public. His focus was on the gospel, not politics, when he visited Flushing Meadows Corona Park in June 2005. “If I get up and talk about some political issue, it divides the audience,” Graham said at a press conference preceding the New York crusade. “What I want is a united audience to hear only the gospel. Many times (in the past) … I went too far in (dividing people on) such issues, and I think this time I want to stick only to the gospel.”
The substance of Graham’s crusades changed little, aside from the addition of Christian rock and hip-hop music, said William Martin, author of “A Prophet With Honor,” a biography of Graham. They still involved singing by George Beverly Shea, who became part of Graham’s inner circle in the 1940s, and ended with Graham speaking for 20 to 30 minutes and asking people to respond to his “invitation” to convert. (Shea died in 2013 at the age of 104.)
Graham’s son Franklin has spoken publicly against Islam in recent years, garnering the type of publicity his father studiously avoided since the 1970s after his association with President Richard Nixon hurt his reputation. Since then, as evangelicals have increasingly linked themselves to the Republican Party, Graham cautioned religious leaders not to align too closely with any political program.
“Billy Graham … has been unwilling to draw lines that would alienate other people or rule them out of his circle,” Martin said. “Many of the other conservative Christians who are involved in politics are not only willing to do that; they seem bent on doing that.” Graham gained White House access in his 30s and advised Presidents Eisenhower, Johnson and Nixon on politics.
After his stature grew in the 1940s and 1950s with well-publicized crusades in Los Angeles, Washington, New York and Britain, presidents found it in their interest to meet and be seen with him. Graham used the access to offer political advice that belied a professed desire to avoid taking sides, Martin wrote in his book.
While Graham rarely endorsed candidates, from the 1950s to the 1970s “he was more partisan than he let out,” said Mark Noll, a professor of history at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. “He did keep politics out of his public messages, but he wanted to take a part in public life, and the engines of publicity were there for somebody who was charismatic and could keep out of scandal like Graham.”
Graham had a close association with Nixon, and the president’s downfall shocked Graham in many ways, not the least of which was the profanity that Oval Office tapes showed Nixon freely used, according to Martin. The release of other tapes almost 30 years later dealt an embarrassing blow because they showed Graham speaking with Nixon negatively about Jewish news media figures in ways many Jews found offensive. Graham apologized repeatedly for the comments about Jews and for becoming too close to power.
His humility earned praise for his character, said Leo Sandon, professor emeritus of religion and American studies at the University of Chicago Divinity School.
“At times when Billy Graham, I thought, was showing the worst judgment, which in my opinion would be … with Nixon, even then, no one ever doubted his integrity, his honesty,” Sandon said. “His greatest problem was a lot of celebrity and publicity. He loved to be in that White House.”
It helped Graham’s recovery, Martin said, that he had since led global conferences — including two in the Netherlands in the 1980s — to bring Christians of various denominations together and help ministers preach. Graham’s willingness to associate with liberal mainline Protestants led to a break with Christian fundamentalists.
Through the years, his views became less conservative on many issues social conservatives care about most. According to “A Prophet With Honor,” Graham remained generally conservative but believed administration of the death penalty is biased against poor people. He regarded homosexuality as sinful “but no more so than adultery,” and said, “There are worse sins.”
At a time when many conservative Christian leaders were trying to focus public concern on secularism and gay marriage, Graham stressed poverty as the most pressing social issue.
But more recently, Graham’s messages on social issues waded into the political fray, leading some observers to speculate that his outspoken son played a role in his father’s political participation.
That same year, as voters on North Carolina considered an amendment to the state constitution stipulating that marriage was between a man and a woman, a full-page ad taken out in several papers quoted Billy Graham saying:
“At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage. The Bible is clear — God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment.”
CREDIT: Religion News Service
The story of the two sons one which we today refer to as the story of the prodigal son is a very powerful illustration of the forgiveness of the Father and His compassion. We should, however, be conscious of certain things that are also pertinent in the account.
First of all the fact that the son who was received and celebrated first repented. He came to a realization of what it meant to live outside His father’s presence. The Bible recalls he came to himself and said even the hired servants in my father’s house have enough bread having to spare that I feed with swines here. He walked back to his Father having realized the consequence of sin and a life of disobedience, saying I have sinned against my father and heaven.
It wasn’t that the father was angry at his son and sent agents to punish him for leaving him, it is that a life in sin does have consequences. Apostle James said sin when it is finished bringeth forth death. It was sin and not God that rendered man naked in the garden.
The Father who never stopped loving his son and whose heart was obviously always with his son never once sent substance to the son to try to help him. The father understood his son needed to go through the process to come to know what being in fellowship with him meant. The father always loved the boy through the process but it took the boy coming to himself and then going back to experience fellowship.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
The boy only experienced the party when he came back to his father even though the father always loved him. Allowing the son to go through the process of knowing what it meant to live outside his presence in a life of disobedience was part of the father’s love for his son. I seriously doubt if that boy will have ever again entertained the idea of walking away from his father.
His love wasn’t just shown through the party but even in restraining himself from going to look for him even when the father knew this boy must be suffering out there. I mean we all agree the father always loved the son, why didn’t he seem to check up on him? Was he a control freak who only showed compassion when you came under his roof? To say the father only loved when the boy returned is to describe a conditional love.
Those who will preach true fellowship with the Father must also teach that repentance must precede it where one actually realizes the true privilege of being in fellowship with God and having the priceless treasure of receiving direction daily from Him.
Poju Oyemade is the senior Pastor of Christian Centre, Lagos. Find out more on www.pojuoyemade.org
In 1995, Thomas Cahill came out with the provocatively titled book How the Irish Saved Civilization. “Ireland,” contended Cahill,
“had one moment of unblemished glory… as the Roman Empire fell, as all through Europe matted, unwashed barbarians descended on the Roman cities, looting artifacts and burning books, the Irish, who were just learning to read and write, took up the great labor of copying all of Western literature.”
Then missionary-minded Irish monks brought what had been preserved on their isolated island back to the continent, refounding European civilization.
And that, Cahill concludes, is how the Irish saved civilization.
But there is more at hand in Cahill’s study than meets the eye. Beyond the loss of Latin literature and the development of the great national European literatures that an illiterate Europe would not have established, Cahill notes that something else would have perished in the West: “the habits of the mind that encourage thought.”
Why would this matter?
Cahill continues his assessment, “And when Islam began its medieval expansion, it would have encountered scant resistance to its plans—just scattered tribes of animists, ready for a new identity.” Without a robust mind to engage the onslaught – and a Christian one at that – the West would have been under the crescent instead of the cross.
Never before have the “habits of the mind” mattered more. As Winston Churchill presciently stated in his address to Harvard University in 1943, “The empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” Oxford theologian Alister McGrath, reflecting on Churchill’s address, notes that Churchill’s point was that a great transition was taking place in Western culture, with immense implications for all who live in it. The powers of the new world would not be nation-states, as with empires past, but ideologies. It would now be ideas, not nations, that would captivate and conquer in the future. The starting point for the conquest of the world would now be the human mind.
But this time we may need more than the Irish to save us.
“We may talk of ‘conquering’ the world for Christ. But what sort of ‘conquest’ do we mean?” writes John Stott. “Not a victory by force of arms…This is a battle of ideas.” Yet there are surprisingly few warriors. Those who follow Christ have too often retreated into personal piety and good works or, as one BBC commentator I heard said, Christians have too often offered mere “feelings” and “philanthropy.” Speaking specifically to the challenge from Islam, he added that what is needed is more “hard thinking” applied to the issues of the day.
What remains to be seen is whether there will be any hard thinkers to do it. The peril of our day is that when a Christian mind is most needed, Christians express little need for the mind and, as a result, even less resolve to develop it. There is even a sense that an undeveloped mind is more virtuous than one prepared for battle. Richard Hofstadter, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, identified “the evangelical spirit” as one of the prime sources of American anti-intellectualism. Hofstadter points out that for many Christians, humble ignorance is a far more noble human quality than a cultivated mind.
Such devaluation of the intellect is a recent development within the annals of Christian history. While Christians have long struggled with the role and place of reason, that the mind itself mattered has been without question.
Even the early church father Tertullian (c. A.D. 160- c. 220), who had little use for philosophy and was famed for his statement “What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” never questioned the importance of the mind. Tertullian’s conviction was that Greek philosophy had little to offer in terms of informing the contours of Christian thought, akin to the apostle Paul’s quip to the Corinthian church that the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men (I Corinthians 1:25). But Tertullian, as well as Paul, would have held any anti-intellectualism that celebrated an undeveloped mind in complete disdain.
Deep within the worldview of the biblical authors and equally within the minds of the earliest church fathers, was the understanding that to be fully human is to think. To this day we call ourselves a race of Homo sapiens, which means “thinking beings.” This is not simply a scientific classification; it is a spiritualone. We were made in God’s image, and one of the most precious and noble dynamics within that image is the ability to think. It is simply one of the most sacred reflections of the divine image we were created in. It is also foundational to our interaction with God. As God Himself implored through the prophet Isaiah, “Come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18).
This was certainly the conviction of Jesus, who made it clear that our minds are integral to life lived in relationship with God. When summarizing human devotion to God as involving heart, soul and strength, Jesus added “and mind” to the original wording of Deuteronomy, as if He wanted there to be no doubt that when contemplating the comprehensive nature of commitment and relationship with God that our intellect would not be overlooked. The apostle Paul contended that our very transformation as Christians would be dependent on whether our minds were engaged in an ongoing process of renewal in light of Christ (Romans 12:2-3).
All the more reason to be stunned by the words of Harry Blamires, a student of C.S. Lewis’ at Oxford, who claimed that “there is no longer a Christian mind.” A Christian ethic, a Christian practice, a Christian spirituality, yes—but not a Christian mind. More recently, historian Mark Noll concurred, suggesting that the scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind. “If evangelicals do not take seriously the larger world of the intellect, we say, in effect, that we want our minds to be shaped by the conventions of our modern universities and the assumptions of Madison Avenue, instead of by God and the servants of God.”
And even if we do not lose our own minds, we will certainly lose the minds of others. This is the double-edged threat of our day, apart from a Christian mind: Either we will be taken captive by the myriad of worldviews contending for our attention, or we will fail to make the Christian voice heard and considered above the din.
Either way, we either begin to think, or lose the fight.
Written by: Dr. James Emery White
Adapted from the introduction to James Emery White’s A Mind for God (InterVarsity Press), available here.
Research and studies are showing that more Americans are interested in spirituality, but are less interested in organized religion. This trend is especially true for millennials.
According to a report from MarketWatch.com, interest in spirituality, astrology, and witchcraft is soaring among millennials. One study has even shown that over half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science. The psychic services industry, which involves things such as tarot card reading, palm reading, mediums, and astrology has also grown by two percent in the four years between 2011 and 2016 to be a $2 billion industry.
Melissa Jayne, the owner of Catland, a “metaphysical boutique” in Brooklyn, New York, said she has seen interest in this types of spirituality increase recently, particularly among millennials. To cater to this uptick in interest, Catland now offers classes such as “Witchcraft 101,” “Astrology 101,” and “Spirit Seance.”
Jayne pinpoints why so many young people are showing an increased interest in this type of connection with the supernatural.
“Whether it be spell-casting, tarot, astrology, meditation and trance, or herbalism, these traditions offer tangible ways for people to enact change in their lives,” she said. “For a generation that grew up in a world of big industry, environmental destruction, large and oppressive governments, and toxic social structures, all of which seem too big to change, this can be incredibly attractive.”
Danielle Ayoka, another individual whose business profits from the trend in witchcraft, astrology, and similar interests, adds that these things have become increasingly mainstream:
“When I started my journey in 2010, I was the weirdo. Now it is becoming more and more normalized, and I believe it is because more people are looking to heal. Millennials are much more open-minded,” she said.
Written By: Veronica Neffinger