Joan Rosario: Worshiping God on the mountaintop
When Joann Rosario was writing the songs for her latest CD, Joyous Salvation, she says she wanted the project to show listeners "how to worship on the mountaintop." But the depth of her gratitude was born in the valley, when she had lost her voice and wasn't sure it would return. During that time, before the nodules on her vocal chords healed, she says she learned not to put her confidence in her gifts. "When you read about David it says he was excellent, but the Lord was with him," she says. "And I think as human beings … we strive so much to be excellent in our talent and our gift that we forget to seek that the Lord is with us. The Lord being with us is the most important thing."
Adrienne S. Gaines
Roughly 1.6 billion unevangelized people live in the 10/40 Window, a region from 10 degrees north to 40 degrees north of the equator that includes Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. This month we encourage you to join Window International Network (win1040.com) in praying that:
Terrorist groups in that region will be thrown into confusion
Laws banning conversion to Christianity will not be passed
The murders and inhumane treatment of Christians would be investigated.
To sign up for regular prayer updates from Charisma's Prayer Initiative, visit prayerinitiative.com
Bible On Film
This month the first in a series of 12 animated epic Bible stories will open in theaters. The Ten Commandments—featuring the voices of Ben Kingsley, Christian Slater, Alfred Molina and Elliott Gould—releases from Promenade Pictures Oct. 26. The 3-D production is to be followed next year by Noah's Ark: The New Beginning. "Not since my years working with Walt Disney have I been so happy to bring motion pictures to families," says Promenade Pictures CEO Frank Yablans, former president of Paramount Pictures and former CEO of MGM/UA. "I truly feel that we are helping accomplish God's work in bringing stories to film that will make a difference in the lives of people."
Though some Christians worry that the current fascination with fantasy novels may be luring people away from biblical truth, California-based author Alton Gansky sees it as a sign that individuals are longing to understand the supernatural. "We have a curiosity about such things because we are spiritual beings," says Gansky, a former pastor who has written 20 novels. "The problem is if you go into them without any [biblical] grounding, it's easy to be misled."
Gansky explores the lure of deception in his latest novel, Angel, a supernatural thriller about a miracle-working stranger who appears in a California town after an earthquake. In a time when Gansky says many churchgoers don't understand basic Christian doctrine, he hopes Angel—drawn from Galatians 1:6-8, in which the apostle Paul warns the church not to believe any other gospel than what he has preached—will entertain and provoke thought. "When they're done reading the book, I hope the reader will lean back and say, 'I wonder,' and then maybe do some self-examination."
Adrienne S. Gaines
Evangelist helps Christians witness without fear
She average Christian in America will likely die without ever having told anyone about Jesus. So says Daniel Owens, founder of Eternity Minded Ministries (EMM), who hopes to change that trend through his books and workshops on evangelism.
"For the unbeliever, we're trying to get them to think more about their eternal soul, and for the church, we're trying to get them to think more about their accountability to Christ," he says. "And that's really what moves us."
Since he founded California-based EMM nearly 10 years ago, Owens has spent most of his time leading festival-style evangelistic crusades in nations such as Burundi, Peru, India and Uganda. He says thousands have come to Christ and dozens of churches have been planted in regions that previously had little Christian witness. All around the world, he says, believers have the same anxieties about evangelizing.
Through his book Sharing Christ When You Feel You Can't and related seminars, Owens helps Christians, especially those who are introverts, find ways to share their faith. "You start with just being yourself and recognizing that the average person has seven to nine contacts with the gospel before they ever make a decision," he says.
"So when Jesus says, 'I want you to be My witnesses,' that's what He's asking us to do, and it doesn't mean you have to close the deal every time. It's just being part of the person's spiritual journey, one of their many contacts they're going to have."