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Answers in Genesis launches faith-focused streaming service amid COVID-19 shutdown

By World NewsNo Comments
Answers.tv is a “state-of-the-art video streaming platform that initially offers over 1,000 videos and live programming, available virtually anywhere in the world.” 

Answers in Genesis, the group behind the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, launched a video streaming service to provide those waiting out the coronavirus lockdown with an on-demand media, family-friendly option.

Answers.tv features videos that tackle such topics as social issues, science, and Christian doctrine, and questions like why God allows disease and death.

“Using the help of a supporter who is at the cutting edge of video streaming, we were able to launch earlier than expected and less expensively than originally anticipated,” said Ken Ham, CEO of AiG. “In fact, the creation of the platform and the loading of 1,000 videos were done in a remarkable four weeks, during the coronavirus shutdown itself.”

The videos, which includes documentaries, were produced by a “large team of speakers that include scientists, theologians, and workshop leaders,” according to the group.

Ham noted that the timing of the release of Answers.tv enables the group “to reach many more people who are sheltered in place during the coronavirus.”

“Of course, when things return to normal, people will still be seeking answers to life’s perplexing questions and Answers.tv will be there for them,” he said. “So even as our attractions are temporarily closed, we can continue to present biblical truths and then into the future when the virus is behind us.”

Eventually, Answers.tv — which costs a little over $3 per month — will feature special livestreaming events, including concerts, lectures, wildlife programs, and current affairs programming. The “Answers News” show will be a regular feature that addresses current events from a biblical perspective.

According to Ham, the streaming service provides a safe, family-friendly alternative to platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon’s Prime Video, which he said are “often being used to push violence and social agendas that run contrary to Scripture.”

“We also have seen increasing censorship of Christian videos and teaching by social media giants. It was time for us to act,” he said. 

The shelter-in-place orders across America, combined with the closure of movie theaters across the country, have accelerated the popularity of streaming services.

A March 27-29 Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter survey found that 34 percent of adults said they have subscribed to a streaming service since Jan. 1, up from 29 percent in a March 5-7 poll. Among those respondents, 38 percent said the coronavirus pandemic was a major or minor reason they subscribed.

With Answers.tv, AiG joins the ranks of other faith-focused streaming services, such as VidAngel, PureFlix, The Dove Channel, Christian Cinema, Crossflix, Up Faith & Family, and others.

In March, VidAngel made its platform free for several weeks to ensure access to family-friendly entertainment — including the platform’s popular original series “The Chosen” — amid the pandemic.

Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel, told The Christian Post that people of faith need to have a voice and a platform — not necessarily to preach, but where they can enjoy entertainment without worrying about being exposed to negative or damaging content.

“People who value faith and values need to be able to enjoy quality entertainment,” he said. “And they should be able to enjoy it on a scale that can compete with big studios because big studios know how to make things beautiful and compelling, but they don’t represent the viewpoints of many Americans.”

New Elevation Worship album declares ‘worship over worry’ amid COVID19, frontman Chris Brown says

By Gospel Music NewsNo Comments
Grammy-nominated Elevation Worship released their 11th career project with “Graves into Gardens,” on May 1, 2020. 

In today’s atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, Grammy-nominated Elevation Worship is encouraging Christians to find hope, rest, and freedom in God’s power with their new album, Graves into Gardens.

Released Friday, the latest album from the Grammy-nominated band features the breakout single “The Blessing: Live” featuring Cody Carnes and Kari Jobe, “My Testimony,” which started at its No. 25 peak on April 18, and “Rattle,” a powerful anthem responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting period of quarantine and social distancing.

“We’re clearly in such a unique and quite unstable time for our world right now. And I think we’re all trying to figure out how we face each day, how we respond to the reports we hear every single day. But I want to remind us that God is unshaken by any of this and His plans are still good,” Elevation Worship frontman Chris Brown told The Christian Post.

“The weapons we have to fight with each day, the weapons to fight the battles in our minds or the anxiety that’s trying to creep in our spirits, those weapons we fight with are not weapons of this world. Praise is our weapon, and worship is our sword.

Coronavirus left pastor’s wife unconscious for weeks but he prayed until she woke up

By World NewsNo Comments
Claudette and Leonard Himes. 

The day Pastor Leonard Himes rushed his 63-year-old wife, Claudette, to a local hospital in mid-March, she was feverish, confused and she thought she had the flu.

Nevertheless, Himes, an associate pastor at Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia, told Fox 5: “I prayed with her and I said I loved her, and I said we’re going to trust in the Lord and Savior to heal you.”

Little did Himes know that Claudette would end up testing positive for the new coronavirus and would be hospitalized for the next three weeks with a breathing machine in Emory St. Joseph’s intensive care unit.

“He tells me the stories of how bad it was, what I went through. It was mind-blowing,” Claudette, who has no memory of the battle she fought, said. “I just thought that I had the flu.”

Claudette spent 12 and half days on a ventilator at the hospital and her husband was unable to see her in person for 18 days.

The pastor, who has been married to Claudette for eight years, recalled how challenging it was.

“In a normal circumstance, you can be by the side of your loved one and care for them and pray with them, and be there to at least know what’s going on. But through this pandemic, the severity of it, we had to be totally separate,” he said.

Things looked grim after 11 days when Claudette remained in the ICU with no obvious signs of improvement. Pastor Himes said he asked the hospital chaplain to install a baby monitor in his wife’s room so he could talk to her even though she was unconscious. He sensed though that Claudette could still hear his voice and he just kept speaking to her in faith.

“I was able to read to her, and pray for her, and just let her know it was going to be OK,” Himes said. “The nurse and the chaplain that were in the room attending to her turned the camera back at them and they were just sobbing, with tears running down their face.”

The morning following that moment, Himes would get a call that his wife finally woke up.

“Claudette was sitting up in bed, extubated, and breathing on her own,” he recalled his sister telling him.

Himes believes his wife’s revival was God’s answer to his prayer.

“What I do know is God is real and He answers prayer. And He answered this one,” he said.

And God’s blessing came just days before Claudette would celebrate her birthday.

“Can you imagine having a birthday and someone telling you that you might not have made it?” she said. “And to breathe God’s air?  Oh, my God, I’m just blessed.”

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