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London, Pittsburgh, Seattle: different but the same
By Jack Graham | January 1, 2017
We’re back home following a whirlwind trip to London, where we had a terrific time with PowerPoint media partners who are taking God’s Word to this corner of a hurting world – all thanks to your support!
My meeting with General André Cox – who leads The Salvation Army from a modern headquarters in the business core of London – was a personal highlight. I also talked with Richard Fleming of TBNUK, which broadcasts PowerPoint at 10:05 a.m. each Sunday. I was also a guest on Premier Christian Radio, PowerPoint’s U.K. radio partner, where we air at 6:30 p.m. every weekday.
Our few days passed in a blur! But our time there affirmed how critical it is that we have a Gospel presence in the U.K. Not long ago, if you’d asked about religious beliefs in Britain, people might have said they were Baptist, Catholic, or Lutheran, or maybe Jewish or Hindu. Ask now and many Brits will answer, “None.” Their numbers are incredible and growing!
In Wales, 60% of the population has no religious affiliation. In Scotland, it’s 52%. Forty percent of the people in London have no connection with organized religion; and if not for the thriving immigrant population, that number would be much higher. There are plenty of “Nones” in the United States too.
Thanks to your support, PowerPoint recently began broadcasting in Pittsburgh and Seattle – two very different places in most people’s minds. When you think of Pittsburgh, the Steelers might come to mind, and then the steel workers who helped forge the city’s image. They came from across the world and brought their faith with them. So it might surprise you that in a 2015 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute, 20% of...
What Christmas is all about
By | December 13, 2016
In the busyness of the holiday season, it’s easy to be swept up in all the things that have come to define Christmas – the frantic final days of shopping, the decorating, the travel plans, the big meal with the family.
But often lost in the rush is the true miracle of Christmas. Jesus came in the form of an infant to bridge the gulf of sin between God and mankind – and that means you and me and every other believer!
It reminds me of old Charlie Brown, the harried director of a neighborhood holiday pageant who yells out in frustration, “Can’t anyone tell me what Christmas is all about?”
Then, in a remarkable TV moment, Charlie’s blanket-toting buddy Linus steps to center stage, asks for a spotlight, and recites Luke 2 8-14 in the elegant formality of the King James translation of the Bible:
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.’
“That's what Christmas is...
By | November 11, 2016
As the days shorten and the weather cools, we can’t help but sense another year passing, another harvest taken in, and another opportunity to offer thanksgiving to God.
Could this be the most important element of a believer’s life?
By PowerPoint Ministries | November 1, 2016
With the leaves turning red and gold right now, it seems that all of nature has paused to worship the Creator. And that’s exactly as it should be. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, the apostle Paul summarizes the Christian’s obligation to give thanks in 22 powerful words:
5 ways your storms can make you stronger
By Jack Graham | November 1, 2016
Life doesn’t always work out the way you expect it to, does it? You can be walking along singing “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” and then – Bam! Out of nowhere, you find yourself in the middle of a trial, a test, or a storm.
How to power up when you feel like giving up
By Jack Graham | October 1, 2016
There’s something in our human spirit that never wants to give up. Each of us is like that little train engine in the children’s book, bravely chanting, “I think I can!” to conquer the mountains in our lives.
But most of us will eventually meet a set of circumstances that seems hell-bent on taking us down. And that’s when we can begin to think, “Can I really get over this hill?”
If ever there was a “Can I?” sort of person, Gideon was that guy. We read in Judges chapter 6 that Gideon was hiding away from his enemies… threshing wheat in a winepress… when an angel sent from God turned up and called Gideon a “mighty man of valor” (v. 12). He also said Gideon was going to spearhead God’s plan to free Israel from Midianite oppression.
Looking at the odds against him, Gideon replied, “How can I save Israel?” (v. 15). What he didn’t know was that the Spirit of the Lord was about to clothe him. This forlorn farmer was going to wear God like a suit. Judges 6:33-34 says:
“Now all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East came together…. But the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites [Gideon’s family] were called out to follow him.”
Just when things had taken a turn for the very worst, God wrapped Himself around His chosen man. And He’ll do the same for you.
As you read the rest of Gideon’s story, you see miraculous evidence of God’s intervening clout. After Gideon laid down his fears – and kept believing that even though he couldn’t, God could – he sounded the...
PowerPoint Returns to the UK!
By Jack Graham | September 1, 2016
After much prayer and deliberation, PowerPoint has returned to the United Kingdom, bringing God’s message of hope to the hurting and spiritually hungry at this critical time. We are on Premier Radio every weekday at 18:30 (BST).
As I consider circumstances across Britain – the threat of terrorism, the economic and political uncertainties from the Brexit vote – I’m convinced there’s no better time for PowerPoint to proclaim the message of Christ.
I’m also reminded of Britain’s giants of the faith – William Tynedale, Charles Spurgeon and John Bunyan among them, and of course C.S. Lewis. Lewis, a brilliant academic and writer who abandoned his faith as a teen, accepted God’s existence in his early 30s and gave his life to Jesus two years later after a long talk about Christianity with J.R.R. Tolkien and others.
“I gave in, and admitted that God was God,” Lewis said.
Our prayer is that all of Britain will respond the same way.
The need is enormous. A recent report shows church membership plunging across the UK, from 10.6 million in 1930 to just 5.5 million in 2010. If that trend continues, experts predict only 4.3 percent of the people in England will be church members by 2025.
C.S. Lewis wouldn’t be surprised.
“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next,” Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity. “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
Things are so bad that the Church of England could disappear by 2033 at the current rate of decline.
How to take your life from ordinary to extraordinary
By Jack Graham | September 1, 2016
As believers, we should desire a life that’s beyond average. But too often we settle for a life that’s “just okay” instead of extraordinary.
We shouldn’t settle for a good marriage when we could have a great marriage. You see, we can settle for mediocrity with mundane jobs and minimal ministries – or we can take action to escape apathy and live life in ways that are beyond our wildest imaginations.
So how do we become more active, passionate, and joyful followers of Jesus Christ? You’ll find three virtues highlighted in the book of Proverbs that will help you move your life beyond average to awesome:
1. Choose to be obedient: put God’s Word into action.
Remember what Jesus said? “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Obedience to God and His Word will move you from apathy to action!
We’re commanded to be witnesses, faithful worshipers, and prayer warriors; to give generously to the work of Christ; and to love God’s Word. We’re commanded to live holy lives for Christ (not just happy, but holy). Are you living in obedience to God’s instructions?
God has put you where you are to be a witness for Him. When you’re obedient to God in everything you do, He’ll use you in powerful, meaningful ways for His Kingdom.
2. Choose to be diligent: serve God wholeheartedly.
Romans 12:11 says, “Be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” Your strong work ethic will give you credibility at your office with your coworkers and at school with your classmates. The Christian ought to do more than the average. God has not called us to do just the minimum required. No, we’re to exceed...
How to Unlock the Secret Of Your Strength
By | August 4, 2016
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Even by the apostle Paul’s standards, that’s a particularly bold claim. But Paul understood that with God, all things are possible!
How to keep your dreams alive when you’re stuck in a pit
By Jack Graham | August 1, 2016
The fact of the matter is, you’re going to hit speed bumps when you chase your dreams. I’m talking about the wonderful, God-given dreams that bring a smile to your face and fill your soul with joy. Dreams for your family, your ministry, your career, and your future. These are the dreams that make up your destiny – God’s good plan for your life.
But as we learn from Joseph in the Old Testament, sometimes our dreams can take a beating. And just like him, you might find yourself stuck in the bottom of a pit with your dreams on life support (see Genesis 37).
The question is, will your dreams die in the pit? Or like Joseph experienced, will they roar to life in amazing ways you never imagined?
Here are four lessons about how to keep your dreams alive when it feels like you’re stuck in a pit:
Remember God is in control. He says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Just because you don’t understand, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense.
Remain faithful no matter the cost. You can tell the size of a Christian by what it takes to stop them. When Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold as a slave, he refused to allow his circumstances to keep him from living for the Lord. The question isn’t whether or not life will challenge your dreams. It’s whether or not you’ll remain faithful when it does.
Reject bitterness. People who’ve experienced heartache often become...