Casting Crowns Lead Singer Rebukes Fear Of Cancer Diagnosis With AMAZING New Track
Jun 29, 2017 by Will Maule
When the lead singer of Casting Crowns faced a terrifying cancer diagnosis, he found himself desperate before the Lord, crying out for answers. Mark Hall decided to process the news through song, penning the stunning “Oh My Soul.”
“Oh, my soul
Oh, how you worry
Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control
This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming,” the lyrics read.
“Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone”
What an AWESOME promise, even in the midst of darkness and pain.
Kentucky’s public schools will be able to openly teach the Bible in the classroom starting this Friday. Gov. Matt Bevin has just signed House Bill 128 which gives local school boards the power to create a Bible literacy class, according to KWQC.
The bill’s sponsor have asserted their view that students must understand the role the Bible has played in setting the foundation for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The scriptures “really did set the foundation that our founding fathers used to develop documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights,” said Rep. DJ Johnson, according to The Independent.
But the American Civil Liberties Union is concerned about the style of teaching. “We want to make sure that teachers can teach and make sure that they don’t go in to preach,” ACLU Advocacy Director Kate Miller said.
“You could be an atheist, and you would appreciate there’s a lot of wisdom in the Bible,” said Gov. Bevin.
In the evangelical Church today, there is a tendency to rely on phrases such as ‘the best is yet to come’ and ‘he might have closed this door but he’ll open a better one.’ But are these really helpful? What if God closes a door for good? Then where do we go with our lofty expectations of it all turning out wonderfully?
The thing is, even when everything comes crashing down around us, God is still good. He is still on the throne, and he still showing us grace and love. “Will Jesus be enough for us when one door closes and God doesn’t open a window?” asks Benjamin Vrbicek at Desiring God.
“When you stand up for what’s right and end up in jail (as was the case for John); when you have cancer; when you lose your job; when your house is robbed; when your parents get divorced; when you’re sick and lying on the floor and your children ask, “Daddy, are you okay?” Jesus is still Jesus. And he will be enough for you.”
God is strong when we are weak. He will uphold us by His mighty hand, even when we feel that one more bad thing in our life will completely flatten us. He will not forsake, you. “Today, if you are weak, know that Jesus is strong and he loves you dearly — even if you don’t understand your own pain and God’s plan for it,” asserts Vrbicek.
“Our afflictions are “preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Though the whole house falls down, our foundation in Christ will never crack.”
Students at a Christian school in the European nation of Sweden will no longer be able to pray over their meals following a shock new ruling. After a school inspection, the schooling authority prohibited students from saying grace at mealtimes, talking about the Bible, or saying “Amen”.
The municipality’s supervisors in charge of education asserted that the Christian activities violate Sweden’s educational policies, Swedish National Broadcaster STV reported. Britt Marie Mårtensson, the kindergarten’s manager, told the broadcaster that Sweden’s Education Act “can be interpreted in different ways” and thought saying grace at mealtimes wouldn’t constitute “education”.
“As a confessional activity, we knew we could no longer have prayer time while children are at their desks where they learn, so we thought we would add grace as a nice feature during mealtimes,” she said. “We interpreted the law differently from the municipality.”
The kids now sing a rhyme and give thanks for the sun, the rain, and the food at mealtimes.
“It’s sad because grace is a tradition, but the rhyme is also nice and it allows the kids to choose to whom and what they want to give thanks,” she added.
Six Christians taking children to a Vacation Bible School camp in Madhya Pradesh state, India, remain in custody after police detained them last month on charges of kidnapping and forcible conversion, sources said.
Also detained was a 15-year-old boy who was held in a juvenile detention center for nearly a month before he was released on Tuesday (June 20).
“I missed my home so much – I cried every day, and prayed and prayed,” Akash Gundia told Morning Star News. “Finally, the Lord heard me. I am happy to be back home.”
Akash was one of 72 children preparing to board a train in Ratlam on May 21 for a Vacation Bible School (VBS) camp in Nagpur before Ratlam Railway Police detained them and the eight adults supervising them. The children were all Christians whose parents had granted permission for them to go to the program, sources said.
“I told the police I am a Christian by birth, and we are going to attend the VBS, but they did not listen to me and took us to the police station,” Akash said after his release from Ratlam Juvenile Detention Center. “Children as young as 6 also were in police custody, but when their parents came, the police handed them over to the parents. I was produced in court a day later, and from there was sent to a juvenile detention home.”
The children had arrived at the station from other villages, so it took two or three days before their parents learned of their detention and were able to get to Ratlam to retrieve them. From Jabua village, 60 Christian children along with adults had travelled by bus to Megh Nagar on May 21 to catch a train to Ratlam Railway Station. Another 12 Christian children accompanied by two adults from Alirajpur village churches had also arrived by train from Indore Railway Station to join them.
The combined groups were to catch a private bus arranged by a church in Ratlam to reach Nagpur.
Akash’s father, Hartesh Singh Gundia, told Morning Star News that he and other parents arrived at the Ratlam Police Station within two or three days and informed officers that they were already Christians and that there was no case of forcible or fraudulent conversion.
“But they refused to hand over my child to me,” Singh Gundia told Morning Star News. “Later, I got to know from the police station that police had not intended to file the case, but that there was pressure from RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a Hindu extremist umbrella group] and Bajrang Dal activists, because of whom my child spent 25 days in judicial custody.”
The parents customarily send their children to such camps every summer, he said.
Singh Gundia’s son was found innocent of any wrongdoing, but the Ratlam District Court and the state High Court denied bail to five adults volunteering to supervise the children. Asserting that police had yet to submit the charge sheet with the case diary, the High Court on June 12 denied bail to Ameya Jaal, 45; Alkesh Ganava, 27; Pandu Singh Vasuniya, 31; Nitin Mandod, 23; and Lalu Babore, 28, Singh Gundia said.
A sixth volunteer, 17-year-old Vijay Meda, was also denied bail and remains in custody. Determining that he was over 17 years old but less than 18, the Juvenile Justice Board rejected his bail application. On June 16 the counsel representing him filed an application to the Juvenile Justice Board to transfer his case to Ratlam Railway Court.
“We are making all efforts to get them bailed out,” Singh Gundia said.
Two women who were also supervising the children, Sharmila Damore and Savita Buria, were also detained on May 21. The Additional Sessions Court of Ratlam granted them bail on May 27.
Legal delays appear to be prolonging the case; prosecutors have told the court that the case diary is not available and therefore requested that the trial be put off. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday (June 28).
Eight Years in Prison
While police appear to be slow to submit the charge sheets to judicial authorities, they have charged the Christians under sections 3 and 4 of Madhya Pradesh’s anti-conversion law, the so-called Freedom of Religion Act prohibiting forcible conversion, attorney Anand Nagarkar told Morning Star News.
The prison term for forcible conversion is one year, he said.
The VBC volunteers were also charged with Section 353 of Indian Penal Code prohibiting kidnapping, which calls for a prison term of seven years.
“The children were travelling with tickets accompanied by the adults, and we argued it before the court,” Nagarkar said. “The charges were framed based on malice and suspicion, and on this basis there can be no conviction, but the police have been taking it slow to file the challan [charge sheet]. They are under pressure by the Bajrang Dal and RSS activists.”
The parents of the 72 children have submitted an affidavit before the court that all the children were born to Christian parents, and that the adults were volunteers in Sunday schools of the respective churches, Nagarkar said.
“My daughters also were among the children; they were going to the VBS camp,” said Dhum Singh Gundia, pastor of a church in Jabua.
Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, the hostile tone of his National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), against non-Hindus has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians, religious rights advocates say.
India ranked 15th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of the countries where Christians experience the most persecution.
The Georgia Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to a state law banning abortions after 20 weeks. Life News reports the ACLU challenged the fetal pain abortion bill in 2012, preventing the law from being enforced. After the court’s decision it will now be illegal for doctors to perform abortions after 20 weeks; violating the law will be a felony.
The fetal abortion pain bill was named because science has proven unborn babies can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.
Georgia Life Alliance executive director Camila Zolfaghari said, “This is a victory for human life and human dignity. No child should have to feel the pain of being ripped apart, limb by limb in an abortion.”
She continued, “We understand that life has triumphed today, but we still have a long way to go before every life, born and unborn, is fully valued and protected. Still we rejoice that the protection of human life grew just a little stronger today. Every single life has value.”