Amy Grant: The Journey Continues…..

Amy Lee Grant is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and author in the Christian music industry who became a crossover pop success in the 1980s and 1990s.

Amy Grant was born on November 25, 1960 in Augusta, Georgia. Her first album was released in 1977 on Christian label, Word Music and Grant left college to pursue her career. Her second album won a Grammy for its blend of gospel and pop. Her crossover was complete with the 1991 album Heart in Motion which reached number one on the Billboard pop chart. Grant is married to country star Vince Gill.

Upcoming concerts

Purchase Ticket via Songclick.com

Sunday 10 February 2019
Cincinnati Music Hall, Cincinnati, OH, US

Friday 22 February 2019
Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ, US

Saturday 23 February 2019
Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino, Mescalero, NM, US

Thursday 28 February 2019
Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis, MD, US

Friday 01 March 2019
Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park Hard Rock Live, Northfield, OH, US

Tuesday 30 April 2019
Amy Grant with Jordin Sparks, MercyMe, and 27 others
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN, US

Thursday 02 May 2019
Victory Theatre, Evansville, IN, US

Wednesday 19 June 2019
Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis, MD, US

Thursday 20 June 2019
Birchmere, Alexandria, VA, US

Background information

Birth name Amy Lee Grant
Born November 25, 1960
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
Origin Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Contemporary Christian, pop rock, soft rock
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, musician, author, media personality
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1976–present
Labels Myrrh, A&M, Word, Sparrow
Associated acts Vince Gill, Gary Chapman, Michael W. Smith
Website amygrant.com

Early Life

Singer, songwriter. Born on November 25, 1960, in Augusta, Georgia. Grant helped revolutionize contemporary Christian music. She grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, in a close-knit, religious family. It was in church that Grant was exposed to the hymns and Christian stories that would influence her work.

As a teenager, Grant taught herself how to play guitar and worked part-time at a recording studio. She made a tape of her music for her parents, which had been discovered by a producer with Word Records, a Christian music label. This led to a recording contract, and her first album was released in 1977. The self-titled album was a big success in the world of Christian music. With her unique style, Grant charted new territory. She fused elements of existing genres of gospel, hymns, and Jesus music—which used rock music to convey Christian teachings—to create a fresh, new sound, not heard before. Her songs are often deeply personal as well as reflecting her spiritual faith.

Grant continued recording and performing throughout high school and college. After a couple of years at Furman University, she transferred but eventually dropped out of Vanderbilt University to pursue her career full-time. Grant met songwriter Gary Chapman while making My Father’s Eyes (1979) and he joined her on tour as her opening act for the album Never Alone (1980). The couple married in 1982. That same year, she released Age to Age, which received numerous critical accolades. It won a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance—Grant’s first. She also earned several Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association (GMA), including for Performer of the Year.

Crossover Stardom

With the 1985 album Unguarded, Grant’s sound began changing. Much of her music had a soft rock element to it, but this release sounded even more like a mainstream pop record. In fact, Grant had her first crossover success on the pop charts with the track “Find a Way.” She even had a music video for the song playing on MTV. But not everyone appreciated her new success. The lyrics on the album had few directly religious references, which upset some in the Christian music community.

Grant found more mainstream success with the album Heart in Motion (1991), which featured the song “Baby, Baby.” It reached number one on the Billboard’s pop chart. Grant found inspiration for the song in the birth of her first daughter, but the video for the song portrayed it as a romantic tune. The video and the album created a stir with some of Grant’s gospel fans and critics. They claimed that she was again abandoning her gospel roots for pop stardom.On her next release, House of Love (1994), Grant sang some love songs as well as songs reflecting her devotion to God. The album featured a duet with Vince Gill, a top country music performer, on the title track, which scored on the pop and adult contemporary charts. A cover of the Joni Mitchell song “Big Yellow Taxi” and her composition “Lucky One” also found chart success.

Discography

  • Amy Grant (1977)
  • My Father’s Eyes (1979)
  • Never Alone (1980)
  • Age to Age (1982)
  • A Christmas Album (1983)
  • Straight Ahead (1984)
  • Unguarded (1985)
  • The Animals’ Christmas with Art Garfunkel (1986)
  • Lead Me On (1988)
  • Heart in Motion (1991)
  • Home for Christmas (1992)
  • House of Love (1994)
  • Behind the Eyes (1997)
  • A Christmas to Remember (1999)
  • Christmas Moments with Amy Grant & Friends (1999)
  • Legacy… Hymns and Faith (2002)
  • Simple Things (2003)
  • Rock of Ages… Hymns and Faith (2005)
  • Somewhere Down the Road (2010)
  • How Mercy Looks from Here (2013)
  • Tennessee Christmas (2016)

Personal life

On June 19, 1982, Grant married fellow Christian musician Gary Chapman. Their marriage produced three children. In March 1999, she filed for divorce from Chapman, citing “irreconcilable differences”, and the divorce was finalized three months later.

On March 10, 2000, Grant married country singer-songwriter Vince Gill, who had been previously married to country singer Janis Oliver of Sweethearts of the Rodeo. Grant and Gill have one daughter together, Corrina Grant Gill, born March 12, 2001.

In the November 1999 CCM Magazine, Grant explained why she left Chapman and married Gill:

I didn’t get a divorce because ‘I had a great marriage and then along came Vince Gill.’ Gary and I had a rocky road from day one. I think what was so hard—and this is (what) one of our counselors said—sometimes an innocent party can come into a situation, and they’re like a big spotlight. What they do is reveal, by comparison, the painful dynamics that are already in existence.

Later Career

Grant went through a time of personal upheaval in the late 1990s. Her pain was apparent on 1997’s Behind the Eyes. The usually upbeat Grant seemed more maudlin this time around on such tracks as “Cry a River,” “Missing You,” and “The Feeling I Had.” Not long after this album, news of Grant’s impending divorce from her husband of 16 years broke.

Grant ended the 1990s by branching out professionally, acting in the 1999 television, A Song from the Heart, in which she played a blind music teacher. She also made other changes in her life around this time. She married Vince Gill in 2000, and a year later, the couple had a daughter together named Corrina Grant Gill. Corrina is Grant’s fourth child; she has three children from her first marriage: Matthew Garrison, Gloria Mills “Millie,” and Sarah Cannon. Since marrying, Grant and Gill have continued to work together on a number of projects. Gill acted as a producer on her 2002 Legacy . . . Hymns & Faith album and the couple sang a duet entitled “Beautiful” on 2003’s Simple Things.

During her long career, Grant has won numerous awards, including 6 Grammy Awards and more than 20 Dove Awards. Her most recent Grammy win was for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album for Rock of Ages . . . Hymns & Faith (2005). This same recording won the Dove Award for Inspirational Album of the Year in 2006.

In a February 2007 web chat on her web site, Grant discussed a book she was working on titled Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far, saying, “It’s not an autobiography, but more a collection of memories, song lyrics, poetry and a few pictures.” The book was released on October 16, 2007. In November, it debuted at No. 35 on the New York Times Best Seller list.[20] In the same web chat, Grant noted that she is “anxious to get back in the studio after the book is finished, and reinvent myself as an almost-50 performing woman”.

2007 was Grant’s 30th year in music. She left Word/Warner, and contracted with EMI CMG who re-released her regular studio albums as remastered versions on August 14, 2007. Marking the start of Grant’s new contract is a career-spanning greatest hits album, with all the songs digitally remastered. The album was released as both a single-disc CD edition, and a two-disc CD/DVD Special Edition, the DVD featuring music videos and interviews.

Grant appeared with Gill on The Oprah Winfrey Show for a holiday special in December 2007. Grant has plans to appear on CMT, a Food Network special, the Gospel Music Channel, and The Hour of Power.

In February 2008, Grant joined the writing team from Compassionart as a guest vocalist at the Abbey Road studios, London, to record a song called “Highly Favoured”, which was included on the album CompassionArt.

On June 24, 2008, Grant re-released her 1988 album, Lead Me On, in honor of its 20th anniversary. The two-disc release includes the original album and a second disc with new acoustic recordings, live performances from 1989, and interviews with Amy. Grant recreated the Lead Me On tour in the fall of 2008.

On June 27, 2008, at Creation Festival Northeast she performed “Lead Me On” and a few other songs backed by Hawk Nelson. At the end of the concert, Grant returned to the stage and sang “Thy Word”. She appeared on the 2008 album Anne Murray Duets: Friends & Legends singing “Could I Have This Dance”.

Amy Grant Transformation From 1988 To 2017 Then And Now

Awards and achievement

Grammy Award

Grammy Nominations

  • 1979: Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary or Inspirational – My Father’s Eyes
  • 1980: Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary or Inspirational – Never Alone
  • 1981: Best Gospel Performance, Contemporary or Inspirational – Amy Grant in Concert
  • 1990: Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Female – “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”
  • 1992: Album of the Year – Heart in Motion
  • 1992: Song of the Year – “Baby Baby”
  • 1992: Record of the Year – “Baby Baby”
  • 1992: Pop Performance Female – “Baby Baby”
  • 1994: Children Spoken Word – Lion & the Lamb
  • 2008: Album of the Year (as featured artist) – These Days
  • 2011: Best Gospel Song – “Better Than a Hallelujah”
  • 2012: Best Country Song – “Threaten Me with Heaven”

GMA Dove Awards

  • 1983: Artist of the Year
  • 1983: Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year – Age to Age
  • 1983: Recorded Music Packaging – Age to Age
  • 1984: Recorded Music Packaging – A Christmas Album
  • 1985: Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year – Straight Ahead
  • 1986: Artist of the Year
  • 1986: Recorded Music Packaging – Unguarded
  • 1988: Short Form Music Video of the Year – “Stay For a While”
  • 1989: Artist of the Year
  • 1989: Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year – Lead Me On
  • 1989: Short Form Music Video of the Year – “Lead Me On”
  • 1990: Country Song of the Year – “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”
  • 1992: Song of the Year – “Place in This World”
  • 1992: Artist of the Year
  • 1994: Praise and Worship Album of the YearSongs from the Loft
  • 1996: Special Event Album of the Year – My Utmost for His Highest
  • 1998: Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year – Behind the Eyes
  • 2000: Special Event Album of the Year – Streams
  • 2003: Inspirational Album of the Year – Legacy…Hymns & Faith
  • 2003: Song of the Year – “The River’s Gonna Keep on Rolling”
  • 2006: Inspirational Album of the Year – Rock of Ages…Hymns & Faith
  • 2007: Long Form Music Video of the Year – Time Again… Amy Grant Live

Special awards and recognitions

  • 1992: Junior Chamber of Commerce Young Tennessean of the Year
  • 1994: St. John University Pax Christi Award
  • 1994: Nashville Symphony Harmony Award
  • 1996: Sarah Cannon Humanitarian Award – TNN Awards
  • 1996: Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award – Columbia Hospital
  • 1996: Voice of America Award – ASCAP
  • 1996: Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award
  • 1999: “An Evening with the Arts” Honor – The Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Symphony, and Tennessee Performing Arts Center
  • 1999: The Amy Grant Room for Music and Entertainment – The Target House at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
  • 2001: Easter Seals Nashvillian of the Year Award
  • 2003: Inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame
  • 2003: Summit Award – Seminar in the Rockies
  • 2006: Amy Grant Performance Platform – Nashville Schermerhorn Symphony Center
  • 2006: Hollywood Walk of Fame star unveiled
  • 2007: Charter member of Tiffany Circle – Red Cross
  • 2007: Inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame
  • 2008: Class of 1966 Friend of West Point award with Vince Gill
  • 2012: Honorary Doctorate Degree of Music and Performance – Grand Canyon University
  • 2015: No. 52 in The Top 100 Female Artists of the Rock Era (1955–2015

Bibliography

References

  1. Official website
  2. Amy Grant on IMDb
  3. Amy Grant at AllMusic
  4. Amy Grant Biography – Songwriter, Singer (1960–)
  5. Brounstein, Laura (November 2006). “In Perfect Harmony: Vince Gill & Amy Grant”. Ladies’ Home Journal. Archived from the original on July 29, 2013.
  6. Ruhlmann, William. “Amy Grant – Music Biography, Credits and Discography”. AllMusicMarch 7,2013
  7.  Jump up to: “Amy Grant Receives a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame”. Getty Images. September 19, 2006.
  8. Michael Goldberg (June 6, 1985). “Amy Grant wants to put God on the charts”(PDF). Rolling Stone. Archived from the original(PDF) on November 20, 2008.
  9. Stephen Thomas Erlewine. “Rock of Ages…Hymns & Faith – Amy Grant – Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards – AllMusic”. AllMusic.
  10. “30 Songs / 30 Days for Half the Sky”. Half the Sky Movement. August 30, 2012. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012.
  11. “Amy Grant”February 12, 2016.
  12. “Amy Grant Chart History”November 29,2017.
  13. “Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith Announce 2017 Christmas Tour Featuring Jordan Smith, Winner Of ‘The Voice,’ Full Symphony Orchestra”. August 8, 2017.
  14. “Past Winners Search”. grammy.com. The Recording Academy. Retrieved April 19, 2017.


Hope Restored to a Community!

by Rev Henry Bello, Pastor ECWA, MD USA, District Heights, Maryland | Communities in the Asso, Fadan Kagoma in Nigeria are delighted that they can receive life-saving medicines that make them self-reliant.

A dream that started around October 2017 materialized today in the scenic village of Asso in Fadan Kagoma.  A dream that got its inspiration from the suffering,  neglect and man’s hatred to another because of religious differences,  gave birth to the most sincerest imaginable to those that have almost given up on hope.

Mr. Seth Thomas in the scenic village of Asso in Fadan Kagoma, Nigeria

Mr. Seth Thomas in the scenic village of Asso in Fadan Kagoma, Nigeria

The Kpok Gwong, amidst dancing and jubilation turbaned Mr. Seth as theh gwong - meaning helper of Kagoma.

The Kpok Gwong, amidst dancing and jubilation turbaned Mr. Seth as theh gwong – meaning helper of Kagoma.

Mr. Seth Thomas,  then 17 years only, accompanied his father, Mr. Mervyn Thomas, the  CEO, CSW UK and Rev. Yunusa Nmadu,  CEO,  CSWN to Asso after the deadly Fulani attack on the village that took the lives of 12 young people.

Mr. Seth saw a young boy walking around with a bullet still lodged in his legs and the wound badly infected.  He asked why and was told that the nearest hospital is dozens of kilometers away.  That 17yr old asked the cost of a standard clinic with doctors quarters and was told it’s 50,000  pounds. He went back to England and decided to raise the money.  He wrote letters,  spoke to people,  pleaded and a lot more, and through the grace of God and encouragement from Luke 18;27 he persevered and was able to raise the money.

Today,  that standard clinic with doctors quarters was dedicated and handed over to Rev Nmadu of CSWN who handed it to the ECWA president,  who in turn handed the clinic to the community of Asso, Nigeria.

A clinic with doctors quarters was dedicated and handed over to Rev Nmadu of CSWN who handed it to the ECWA president.

A clinic with doctors quarters was dedicated and handed over to Rev Nmadu of CSWN who handed it to the ECWA president.

In appreciation,  the Kpok Gwong, amidst dancing and jubilation turbaned Mr. Seth as theh gwong – meaning helper of Kagoma.
A dream materialized in the scenic village of Asso in Fadan Kagoma, Nigeria

A dream materialized in the scenic village of Asso in Fadan Kagoma, Nigeria



‘The Masked Singer’: Who Was the Third Celebrity Eliminated?

‘The Masked Singer’ (Michael Becker/FOX)

by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya | Another celebrity was unmasked at the end of the night. FOX’s ‘The Masked Singer’ – Season One. THE MASKED SINGER: Deer in the ‘Mask On Face Off’ series premiere of THE MASKED SINGER airing Wednesday, Jan 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

The Masked Singer continued on Fox on Wednesday night, with five of the remaining 10 undercover singers returning to the stage to sing once more in front of a studio audience and celebrity panelists Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke. This week, the celebrity panelists were joined by special guest Joel McHale. Nick Cannon returned as host. The lion, deer, peacock, unicorn and monster all gave performances and dropped additional clues about who they might be.

The lion, who was suspected last week of being in a girl group, went first. New clues hinted that she’s involved in political activism, with footage of protests playing during her new clip package. “Now I feel like I can be a frontrunner,” she said, adding that she likes the anonymity of the mask. “Using my voice to help others has always been very important,” she said.

For her performance, the lion sang “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone and, as with her first performance on the show, she proved that she has some singing training. “I just love how you’re always so poised onstage,” Scherzinger said, commending her presence. “Your grace, power, control are unbelievable,” McCarthy added. “You’re way more talented than Ken Jeong,” McHale joked. McCarthy guessed that it was Kelly Rowland again. Scherzinger guessed Hailey Baldwin, McHale guessed Emily Blunt. McCarthy asked the lion if she currently has a platinum album, and she replied, “I have nothing gold or platinum on my walls yet.

The deer was up next, and his next clue package referenced the fact that he was in the bottom after his first performance. “Being in the bottom ain’t my style,” he said. “I used to be able to sell salt to a slug,” implying that he has done car commercials before. “I know how to throw,” he also said before throwing a bunch of objects around.

He sang “Get Your Shine On” by Florida Georgia Line and didn’t do many dance moves. He had a Southern twang, and the panelists picked up on the fact that he might be on the older side. “I can tell you’re not a professional singer, but I can tell that you’re definitely game,” Jeong said. The general consensus was that he is an athlete. McHale guessed Brett Favre, Thicke guessed Ben Roethlisberger, and Scherzinger guessed Terry Bradshaw. “I have multiple world titles,” the deer said. “I started in track and field then went to horses.” McHale posited that it could be a player from the Denver Broncos or the Indianapolis Colts.

“When I stepped on that stage for the first time, I loved being able to perform without anyone knowing who I was,” the peacock said in his next clip package. “Everyone thinks they know me.” He said that he started as a teenybopper and also mentioned a fear of heights. “But there’s more than meets the eye,” he said.

The peacock sang “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic and put on another fun show. “I think you’re a professional singer,” Jeong said. “I thought it was another electrifying performance,” Scherzinger added, calling him a natural-born performer. McHale guessed Neil Patrick Harris. Thicke floated the names David Copperfield and Criss Angel, still thinking he could be a magician. “I have performed in Las Vegas,” the peacock hinted. Thicke guessed Tom Jones.

In the unicorn’s second clip package, she once again referenced the fact that she lacks confidence. “I came here to conquer my fear of singing and of being judged, and I did it,” she said. “This week, I’m going to exude model behavior.” Three baby unicorns also appeared in the video.

She sang “Oops!… I Did It Again” by Britney Spears, and the performance was autotuned, but McCarthy praised her vulnerability. “You have such a sweet, kind, gentle voice,” Thicke said. Scherzinger guessed Denise Richards, but also wondered if she could be a gymnast because she had said she was going for gold in her clip package. Thicke guessed Gabby Douglas, and McCarthy guessed Mary Lou Retton. Kayla Maroney was also one of the guesses. The panelists asked her if she was known for being a gymnast, and she replied: “in the bedroom.”

The monster closed things out ahead of the reveal. “When I was given a second chance, I realized I had to do a little reset and move forward,” he said in reference to almost being eliminated. “From behind this mask, I can finally show the world my true self.” He said he’s back in the swing of things, and it was implied that he has traveled around a lot.

He sang “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw. His vocals were strong, and he even hit a really high note at the end. “After watching you perform, I’m, like, this is the weirdest show on television,” McHale said. Thicke called it his favorite performance, particularly praising that high note. Scherzinger said that he must have sung before. Thicke guessed Nelly. “I like to keep my head in the game,” the monster said. Thicke then guessed Derek Jeter, and Cannon threw out Kevin Hart.

The studio audience and panelists voted between the singers, and the bottom artist was the deer. The panelists made their final guesses as to who could be under the mask. Scherzinger guessed Terry Bradshaw again, and Thicke and McHale agreed. McCarthy used the horses clue to guess Peyton Manning, formerly of the Colts and Broncos. Jeong guessed John Elway. The deer struggled to get his mask off, but finally revealed himself to be two-time Super Bowl MVP Terry Bradshaw.

kayla kumari upadhyaya  @KaylaKumari

staff writer / writes about tv / reporter / co-creator , a gay webseries u should watch



Pray for Democratic Elections, Standards & Monitoring in Nigeria on February 16th and March 2nd

by Joanna  Bogunjoko | As you may know, Leah, Alice and many others are still in Boko Haram’s captivity. Please continue to pray for their release. Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam has done a lot to raise prayers on their behalf and to reach out to the government to do more in getting them released. President Muhammadu Buhari [Photo: The News (Nigeria)]

Happy New Year! I trust that you had a wonderful Christmas and a restful holiday season with family and friends. May we have a joy, peace, mercy and grace filled year 2019 and many more.

I would like to thank you all for your prayers for Nigeria, your guidance on who I need to connect with to see that justice is done and to see that the upcoming elections are monitored. God bless you all!

As you may know, Leah, Alice and many others are still in Boko Haram’s captivity. Please continue to pray for their release. Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam has done a lot to raise prayers on their behalf and to reach out to the government to do more in getting them released.

May I beseech you to please pray fervently for the upcoming Nigerian elections (Presidential on February 16th and Governorship on March 2nd). May He in His infinite mercies guide and direct the electorate so that they could cast their ballots rightly in order to elect a credible candidate.

See below a list of election monitoring agencies sent to me that you can implore to go and monitor the elections. I believe that as God used King Artaxerxes of Persia to help Nehemiah rebuild Israel and its walls, He can also use anyone to rebuild Nigeria.

May the Lord bless you all and meet your every need according to His riches in glory. Thank you very much for your support.


Election Monitoring Agents

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems
https://www.ifes.org/
IFES 2011 Crystal Drive 10th Floor,
Arlington, VA 22202
TEL 202.350.6700
FAX 202.350.6701

Democratic Elections and Standards, Monitoring Elections Carter Center https://www.cartercenter.org/peace/democracy/index.html
The Carter Center
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30307
Phone (404)420-5100 or (800)550-3560

National Democratic Institute (NDI)
https://www.ndi.org/what-we-do/elections
National Democratic Institute
455 Massachusetts Ave, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20001-2621
Phone: 202-728-5500
Fax: 888-875-2887

Westminster Foundation for Democracy
https://www.wfd.org/elections/
House, 11/19 Artillery Row
London SW1P 1RT
T +44 (0) 20 7799 1311

Christian Association of Nigeria
https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/287734-2019-can-to-deploy-300-electoral-observers.html
National Christian Centre Central Area Abuja
P.M.B. 260 Garki
Abuja Nigeria
Email: info@canng.org
Phone: +234-806-081-6172
Mobile: +234-806-081-6172

African Union
https://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2018/10/26/2019-au-to-deploy-election-observers-to-nigeria/
African Union Headquarters
P.O. Box 3243 | Roosvelt Street (Old Airport Area) | W21K19 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00 | Fax:(251) 11 551 78 44 | Webmaster: webmaster@africa-union.org

European Commission
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI)
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments
1049 Brussels.  Telephone: +32 2 584 11 11

Joshua and Joanna Bogunjoko

Joshua & Joanna Bogunjoko

Joanna Bogunjoko is the SIM’s Special Assistant to the International Director and Archives Assistant under the umbrella of SIM International Leadership and Services. She have served at three mission hospitals in West Africa and became full members of SIM in 2001.

 



Constantine and the Edict of Milan (313 AD)

Jesus Christ Savior | Five centers of Christianity within the Roman Empire – Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Byzantium, and Rome – evolved into Patriarchates after Constantine recognized Christianity in the Edict of Milan in 313 (image: Remains of the Imperial palace of Mediolanum (Milan). The imperial palace (mainly built by Maximianus, colleague of Diocletian) was a large complex with several buildings, gardens, courtyards, for Emperor’s private and public life, for his court, family and imperial bureaucracy by Lorenzo Fratti).

Christians were severely persecuted through three centuries of the Roman Empire, especially at the hands of Nero (64 AD), Trajan (98-117), right up to Diocletian (284-305). But their powerful witness through martyrdom only served to spread Christianity!

Constantine became Emperor of the West in 306. As he was in Gaul at the time, he still had to capture Rome where Maxentius held sway. Prior to battle, he had a dream or vision of Christ on the Cross, a cross of light, and was instructed to ornament the shields of his soldiers with the Savior’s monogram – the Greek letters Χ (chi) and Ρ (rho). He defeated Maxentius at the Battle at Milvian Bridge over the River Tiber and became the sole Roman Emperor in 312, attributing his victory to the Christian God.

Welcome relief from Christian martyrdom came with the Edict of Milan in 313, through which Constantine and Licinius, the Emperor of the East, granted Christianity complete religious tolerance. His defeat of Licinius in 324 made him sole Emperor of the entire Roman Empire, and he moved the seat of the Empire to Byzantium in 330 and renamed it Constantinople.

Constantine considered himself Christian and did much to protect and support Christianity. Sunday as the Lord’s Day was made a day of rest, and December 25 was celebrated as the birthday of Jesus. He restored property that once belonged to Christians. After his mother Helena discovered the True Cross, Constantine built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at the site of the crucifixion, burial, and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. He also built the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Church of St. Peter in Rome.

Five centers of Christianity within the Roman Empire – Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Byzantium, and Rome – evolved into Patriarchates after Constantine recognized Christianity in the Edict of Milan in 313.

Christianity remain undivided until mankind sought to define the hidden nature of God and the mystery of Christ. A dispute concerning the relation of the Father and the Son arose in Egypt known as the Arian controversy. Constantine called the First Ecumenical Council in 325, known as the Council of Nicaea. The Council declared that the Son was of the same substance – ὁμοούσιος – homoousios – with the Father, and formed the initial Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed was expanded and finalized at the Council of Constantinople in 381 to include homoousios for the Holy Spirit as well, by quoting John 15:26, “the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father,” to form the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (still called the Nicene Creed). The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds are important to the Tradition of the Church.

Constantine considered himself both head of state and father of the Christian Churches. The alliance of Church and State in the Roman Empire first seen under Constantine was the beginning of Christendom. 1, 17-22.

Our anonymous author is a physician and a Masters graduate in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio. He teaches Sunday Bible Class at St. James Catholic Church and serves both Pastoral Care and the Medical Staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Who is the God of this World?

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Rev. 11:15b

Gen. 1:1, John 1:3 and Col. 1:16 confirm that God, through Jesus Christ created the world and everything in it – the angels, Satan, demons, human beings, etc. Every creature does God’s will – yes, even Satan. At creation, God gave Adam and Eve the responsibility to rule over the earth and everything in it. Satan mischievously deceived Eve and brought Adam and Eve under his control thereby assuming the rulership of this world.

In Luke 4:6 Satan asked Jesus to worship him and he will give him the whole world since it has been given to him. Jesus did not call him out as a liar. Three times in John 12:31, 14:30 and 16:11 Jesus affirmed that Satan is the ruler of this world. Paul declared same in 2 Corinthian. 4:4. God owns the world, but Satan is the ruler currently as evidenced by the prevalence of sin. One encouraging note is that Satan cannot do anything outside what God allows him to do. God has boundaries for him as Job’s story confirms. We do not need to lose faith due to Satan’s misrule. The world is waiting for the day when it will be finally declared: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Rev. 11:15b. Why not start the celebration now?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.

 

On the Go Fun and Easy Workout

by Malia Frey | Reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD | You don’t have to kill yourself at the gym every day to slim down. There are easy exercises to lose weight that you can do at home or on the go. In fact, sometimes easy workouts work better (Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels).

Before you try CrossFit, join a hardcore boot camp class, or sign up for heavy duty HIIT program, find out how fast weight loss exercises can speed up weight loss and then incorporate one of these workout routines into your schedule.

To lose weight, you need to create a specific calorie deficit. For example, you might want to reach a 500-calorie deficit each day to lose one pound per week. Or you might set a goal to reach a 1000-calorie daily deficit to lose 2 pounds per week. Either way, you need to control the number of calories you eat and burn more calories with movement to reach your target.

Many dieters start an intense workout plan to slim down. But, sometimes it’s better to do easy exercises to lose weight fast. There are four ways that easy exercise can help you to slim down:

  • Improve daily non-exercise movement. Easy workouts are designed to increase your heart rate to burn calories, but they shouldn’t wear you down. So you don’t feel the need to take a nap or lay on the couch all day after doing a workout. This helps you to stay active throughout the day and boost the number of calories you burn from NEAT.
  • Exercise every day. When you do easy workouts, you can exercise every day. Hard exercise, on the other hand, requires a recovery day following the session. When you work out daily (instead of 2-3 days per week) you may be able to burn more calories from exercise.
  • Maintain a consistent exercise program. Even though intense exercise is effective for weight loss, hard workouts put your body at a higher risk for injury and burnout. And you’re not likely to burn enough calories for weight loss while you’re recovering on the couch. Easy workouts are usually safer for your body and may allow you to be more consistent, week to week and month to month.
  • Keep hunger levels steady. Hard workouts often increase hunger levels. And sometimes they even increase your sense of entitlement to food. For example, you might feel that you deserve a high-calorie meal or treat after hard exercise because you earned it with your effort. But easy workouts are less likely to leave you starving. The result is that you may eat less with an easy fitness program.

If you are healthy enough for vigorous activity, hard workouts are good for your body. High-intensity exercise helps to build muscle and burn fat. But easy workouts can speed up weight loss, too.

The Easy Workouts

There are two easy workout routines listed below. Choose a fitness plan based on your current level of fitness and health.

1. Easy Exercise Routine for Beginners

This plan works well for people who don’t exercise at all. The easy exercises will jolt your metabolism out of lazy mode and get it moving again. But to make this plan work, you need to keep your workouts short and manageable. That way, you never have an excuse to skip a session.

For this plan, you’ll exercise 1-3 times each day, but each workout won’t last long. You don’t need to change clothes, you probably won’t get too sweaty and you don’t need any extra equipment.

Easy beginner workout:

  • 7 minutes fast walk
  • 7 minutes of easy lunges and easy push ups
  • 7 minutes fast walk

You can do this workout at a local park, at your office, or in your home.Set reminders on your smartphone to remind yourself to complete your sessions. Or better yet, recruit a friend to hold you accountable.

Need more of a challenge? Swap brisk stair climbing for walking. If you are at work, climb the office stairs, do lunges on the landing and push-ups against the wall.

Why this easy fitness plan works: The duration of the workout makes it easier to tolerate and more likely that you’ll stick to the plan. And even though the workouts are short, you are still burning substantial calories in a short period of time. Done properly three times per day, you can burn up to 300 – 500 calories. If you do this easy workout around mealtime, you’ll probably also shorten the amount of time you spend eating which will help you to decrease the amount of food you want to consume.

2. Easy Exercise Routine for Regular Exercisers

This plan works for people who already exercise. The purpose of this plan is to bump your body out of its regular routine for faster weight loss. You’ll do this by adding more activity to your day, but you’ll keep the extra sessions easy so that your body and brain don’t get burned out.

Your easy workout will consist of adding 30-45 minutes of easy enjoyable activity at the opposite end of your day as your normal workout:

  • If you work out in the morning, add a brisk evening walk to your schedule.
  • If you exercise in the evening, consider biking or walking to work in the morning.

Why this easy fitness plan works: It’s common for people who exercise regularly to do the same routine week after week. If you do the same exercises at the same intensity all the time you’ll get the same results. Your body hits a plateau. This plan increases your activity level without added stress or strain to your joints. So you burn more calories without taxing your body.

Boost Your Easy Exercise Routine for Faster Weight Loss

Your new easy exercise routine will help you burn more calories. But you can lose weight faster by adding these challenges:

  • Skip dessert for a week. Grab a small serving of berries instead
  • Skip the drinks that cause weight gain and drink water instead. Not a fan of water? Learn to make flavored water to curb your cravings.
  • Dump starch. Instead of eating empty calorie white foods like bread, white rice or pasta, fill up on a variety of lean protein and good carbs.

Turn Fast Weight Loss into Long-Term Success

If you stick to your easy workout routine, you should see some change in the scale or in the way your clothes fit after a week or two. Then ask yourself this question: was it worth it?

If the answer is yes, then keep your easy fitness plan going. You may even want to make it more challenging by adding moderate exercise and high intensity sessions. Then start tracking your diet to make sure you eat the right amount of protein to lose weight and maintain muscle.

If the answer is no, don’t worry. Even an easy exercise plan requires a big commitment. You may not have been ready for the investment. But don’t give up entirely. Choose a few parts of the plan that seem manageable and try to incorporate them into your schedule. Your weight loss will happen more slowly, but at least it will happen.

Malia FreyMalia Frey is a certified weight management specialist, certified health coach, certified personal trainer, and certified fitness nutrition specialist. Malia has been helping people reach their fitness and weight loss goals for over 25 years. She has taught health, exercise, and wellness classes in colleges, universities, hospitals and fitness centers around the country. She is the weight loss expert at Verywell and provides expert diet and exercise advice to both print and online sources including About.com, Muscle & Fitness, Zliving, GetHealthyU, Examiner.com, Worldlifestyle.com, Diet.com, North Memorial Medical Center and many more.. Her passion for good health inspires her to stay active, eat well (most of the time) and encourage others to do the same. Connect with Malia on Facebook, Google, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter, or visit her website The Daily Diet Tip for more weight loss support and tips.



Preparing yourself for Careers of the Future

You don’t have to be at the top of your class to prepare yourself for careers of the future. However, you have to be well rounded in most disciplines and be dedicated to your studies and open to suggestions from your teacher or your professor. Today’s school administrators also need to rework their curriculum to include both technical and soft skills that will challenge and enable students to succeed in the future world of automation.

It doesn’t matter what your current career path is; you use skills in arts, science, technology, engineering, or math in one form or another every day. More knowledge in these areas of studies will no doubt help you in the careers of the future. And believe me, no one knows what careers of the future holds. What we do know is that as a High School student or College student, it’s imperative you force yourself to be proficient in arts, math, science, and technology. In the future world of automation, it will be very hard (but not impossible) to get by without some knowledge of arts, math, science, and technology.

Academics

You can start preparing yourself for careers of the future through academic courses. Here are some of the core courses to get you started while you’re still in high school or college.

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Statistics
  • Computational Biology
  • Molecular Biology as a Computational Science
  • Geography
  • Immunology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Programming
  • Web Programming
  • Data Programming
  • Computer Science Principles
  • Computer Assisted Art
  • Research Methods
  • Introduction to Algorithms
  • Identities: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Probabilistic Robotics
  • Probability and Mathematical Statistics
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Electronics
  • Environmental Science
  • Political science
  • Technical writing
  • Creative writing

Work Experience & Hobbies
Other ways to prepare yourself for careers of the future is through work experience and engaging is various hobbies. Some of these activities include but not limited to:

  • Fundraising event or other project involving budgeting and math skills.
  • Participate in a lobbying and census project to gain experience conducting interviews, analyzing data, and writing report of the project.
  • Volunteer at a math or science camp or after-school program.
  • Participate in a team programming class to develop software of interest in a team environment.
  • Before you recycle your old laptop or desktop computer, Google how to take them apart and put them back together.
  • Ask people close to you to hook you up for a summer intern at a place you really love to work at. The experience is what you’re shooting for, but it will be great if you can talk to the administrators into covering your transportation and lunch money for the duration of your intern.
  • Be a contributing member of your school club, especially robotics, math or science clubs.
    Push yourself to the limit on a project for a science fair.

There is no better way to prepare yourself for careers of the future than to be well rounded. A balance of exercise or sporting activities combined with a rigorous art project, coding competition with friends in modern computer languages such as JavaScript, Python, Java, SQL, Ruby, C#, C++, PHP are highly recommended.



Are We Born With Knowledge?

by Will Lyon while at the Boston University Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience | One thing I have always struggled with in reading philosophy is the doctrine of Innatism, which holds that the human mind is born with ideas or knowledge. This belief, put forth most notably by Plato as his Theory of Forms and later by Descartes in his Meditations, is currently gaining neuroscientific evidence that could validate the belief that we are born with innate knowledge of our world (Left to right: Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Buddha, Confucius, Averroes).

The predominant belief and assumption about human learning and memory is that we are born as a “blank slate,” and we gain our knowledge and ideas through new experiences and our memory of them. This belief is known as Empiricism and, although dates back to Aristotle, has been supported by many famous philosophers such as John Locke and Francis Bacon. However, a study published in last March’s Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences (PNAS) may, to an extent, discredit this main theory of knowledge collection. The research, conducted by the Blue Brain Group in Switzerland, explored the remarkable similarities in the neuronal circuitry in the neocortices of all brains. The study, summarized in this article in PNAS, essentially “discovered a synaptic organizing principle that groups neurons in a manner that is common across animals and hence, independent of individual experiences.” This discovery may have huge implications on our understanding of learning, memory, and development. The groups of neurons, or cell assemblies, appear consistently in the Neocortices of animals and are essentially cellular “building blocks”.

In many animals then, it may hold true that learning, perception, and memory are a result of putting these pieces together rather than forming new cell assemblies. According to Dr. Markram, “This could explain why we all share similar perceptions of physical reality, while our memories reflect our individual experience.” This is a remarkable example of the ways in which neuroscience and its research is revolutionizing our understanding of the ways in which we come to know and perceive our universe, while simultaneously answering major philosophical questions. While these findings may go against the incredibly popular empirical view of knowledge, they lend themselves very well to the notion of innate ideas. Plato and Descartes used this general theory to explain human reasoning. Plato believed that the human soul exists eternally, and exists in a “world of forms (or ideas)” before life; all learning is the process of remembering “shadows” of these forms here on Earth. While this idea is still a little out there for me at least (and it may take a little more scientific evidence to support that claim), Descartes’ claims seem very consistent with the Blue Brain Group’s findings.

Descartes proposed that the inborn ideas that we possess are those of geometric truths and all of our intelligence can be accessed through reason. Discussing ideas in his fifth meditation, he states “We come to know them by the power of our own native intelligence, without any sensory experience. All geometrical truths are of this sort — not just the most obvious ones, but all the others, however abstruse they may appear.” Another study supporting this notion is the result of research on “intuitive physics,” or the seeming understanding we possess of the physical behavior of objects in our universe without even thinking about it. In an article summarizing the study, Janese Silvey provides the example that “if a glass of milk falls off a table, a person will try to catch the cup but not the liquid spilling out. That person is reacting rather than consciously thinking about what to do.” The report on the actual experiment, by Susan Hespos and Kristy vanMarle, showed that infants possess expectations that, for example, objects still exist when they are hidden, and are surprised when these expectations are not met (surprise was indicated in the study by a longer looking time). Other experiments were conducted to demonstrate the understanding that infants from 2-5 months old have of cohesive properties, solidity of materials, and other basic physical characteristics of objects. The full report of the findings can be found here.

For me, the best news that comes out of this is that these new findings compromise both the philosophical doctrines of innatism and empiricism, opening up new discussions of exactly what knowledge and learning mean.

Markram’s Study on Synaptic Organization-PNAS

Physics for Infants-WIREs Cognitive Science

Descartes’ Theories of Innate Ideas-Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Plato’s Theory of Forms and Thoughts on Innate Ideas-Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Infants Understand More Than Thought-Columbia Daily Tribune

New Evidence for Innate Ideas-Blue Brain Group



The Faith of Our Fathers

by James Cardinal Gibbons | The Church is misrepresented in so-called Histories like Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. It is true that he has been successfully refuted by Lingard and Gairdner. But, how many have read the fictitious narratives of Foxe, who have never perused a page of Lingard or Gairdner?

Paperback, 392 pages
Release Date: December 7, 2008 [Ebook 27435] (first published 1876)
Original Title: The Faith of Our Fathers: A Plain Exposition and Vindication of the Church Founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ
Author: James Cardinal Gibbons
Edition Language: English

This great reading is brought to you by the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. You may download a copy from the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Please don’t forget to make a donation to the project on their website.

The Faith of Our Fathers explains the basic tenets of the Catholic Faith and why we hold them. Delves into the historical background of virtually everything people find hard to understand about our Religion, such as priestly celibacy, sacred images, the Church and the Bible, the primacy of Peter, Communion under one kind, invocation of the Saints, etc. First published in 1876, when there was much anti-Catholic sentiment in the U.S., it sold 1.4 million copies in 40 years and has been reprinted many times and in several languages since.

Faith of our Fathers Catholic hymn, written in 1849 by Frederick William Faber in memory of the Catholic martyrs from the time of the establishment of the Church of England by Henry VIII and Elizabeth. Faber wrote two versions of the hymn: with seven stanzas for Ireland and with four for England (St Catherine).



A Brief History of Women’s Rights Movements

Scholastic | In the United States the first definitive position on women’s rights—hitherto intermingled with antislavery issues—was taken in 1848 under the leadership of Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, N.Y. (Gettyimage).

This account of women’s history started since 1776 and even before the Colonial era when the roles of women were ignored not only in textbooks but in all popular documented histories at the time. Women’s rights movements are primarily concerned with making the political, social, and economic status of women equal to that of men and with establishing legislative safeguards against discrimination on the basis of gender. Women’s rights movements have worked in support of these aims for more than two centuries. They date to at least the first feminist publication, in 1792, entitled A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, by British writer Mary Wollstonecraft.

Militant political action among women began in Britain in 1903 with the formation of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) for the right to vote. The organization was led by Emmeline Pankhurst. Women of all ages and classes demonstrated on a massive scale; the demonstrators were jailed, locked out of their meeting places, and thrown down the steps of Parliament. National divisiveness ended in a truce at the outbreak of World War I (1914) with the WSPU’s decision to support the war effort. The ensuing mobilization by the WSPU of thousands of its members for voluntary participation in the war industries and support services was a highly influential factor in overcoming government resistance to WSPU aims. The right to vote was granted in 1918; it was confined to women age 30 and above. In 1928 the voting age was lowered to 21.

In the United States the first definitive position on women’s rights—hitherto intermingled with antislavery issues—was taken in 1848 under the leadership of Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, N.Y. (see Seneca Falls Convention). In 1850 the National Women’s Rights Convention was held, led by Lucy Stone, an early activist. Both groups coalesced in the formation (1863) of the Women’s National Loyal League, under Susan B. Anthony. Anthony wrote and submitted in 1878 a proposed right-to-vote amendment to the Constitution.

In 1890, Wyoming became the first state with women’s suffrage. The movement was accelerated by the formation (1890) of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association and the election (1900) of Carrie Chapman Catt as president. The ensuing campaign attracted many educated, wealthy, and influential women to the cause, with resultant political professionalism, increased funding, and the development of massive parades and demonstrations in the major cities. The Anthony amendment, as written in 1878, was ratified as the 19th Amendment and became law in 1920.

From 1920 to 1960, militancy on behalf of a single issue diffused into a number of women’s political groups, such as the League of Women Voters (1920) and the National Council of Negro Women (1935). Such groups supported various types of liberal reforms related to the rights of both men and women. An equal rights amendment drafted in 1923 by the National Women’s party (founded 1913) remained dormant for another 50 years.

At the international level, however, the women’s rights movement made progress. The preamble to the United Nations (UN) Charter (1945) referred to equal rights for women; in 1948 the UN Commission on the Status of Women was established; in 1952 the UN General Assembly held a convention on the political rights of women. The United Nations Decade for Women (1976–85) emphasized the international scope of the women’s rights movement. Three related conferences—in Mexico City (1975); Copenhagen (1980); and Nairobi, Kenya (1985)—did the same. Beijing was host to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. That conference endorsed a nonbinding “Platform for Action.” The platform would serve as a blueprint for promoting women’s rights in the 21st century. In September 2010, UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon appointed former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to the new UN position of undersecretary-general for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

During the 1960s a militant feminist trend emerged in the United States. It was encouraged by significant feminist studies, such as The Second Sex (1953) by Simone de Beauvoir and The Feminine Mystique (1963) by Betty Friedan; it was also aided by a general legislative climate favorable to minority rights and antidiscrimination movements. Militant women’s groups were formed. The Women’s Liberation Movement, which was social rather than political and was manifested in literature and demonstrations by radical feminists, may have raised the awareness of the nation to the prevalence of discriminatory beliefs and attitudes.

More significantly, feminist political organizations arose that developed into a full feminist movement by the 1970s. These included the National Organization for Women (NOW), formed in 1966 under the leadership of Betty Friedan; the National Women’s Political Caucus (1971), composed of such nationally known feminists as Bella Abzug, Shirley Chisholm, and Gloria Steinem; the Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Council (1973); and the Coalition of Labor Union Women (1973).

The force of the women’s rights movement, spearheaded by NOW, was brought to bear on the major issue of the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution. The ERA was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1971 and by the Senate in 1972. On June 30, 1982, however, ratification of the ERA fell three states short of the 38 needed by that deadline. Later congressional efforts to reintroduce the measure have failed, although a number of states have added equal-rights clauses to their constitutions.

Since the 1980s the women’s movement has focused on diverse issues. These include reproductive rights, that is, preserving a woman’s right of choice to have an abortion against the fervent pro-life movement; sexual harassment; and the “glass ceiling” that impedes women in corporate advancement.
Women continue to make advances in the political field. In 2008, Sen. Hillary Clinton made a historic bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Although she was defeated in the primaries by Sen. Barack Obama, she won some 18 million votes in those polls. In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was the first female Democrat to be nominated for the vice-presidency. Sarah Palin followed her as the first female Republican nominee for that office in 2008.

Women have made considerable gains in the other political arenas. In 1991, there were 2 women serving in the U.S. Senate and 28 in the U.S. House of Representatives. Following the 2010 elections 17 female senators and 75 female representatives were serving, including 3 nonvoting delegates. In January 2007, Rep. Nancy Pelosi became the first woman selected Speaker of the House. She was chosen House minority leader after the Republican party won control of the House in 2010. Also, 6 women were governors in 2011. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed the first woman, Sandra Day O’Connor, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg followed her to the nation’s highest bench in 1993. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Sonia Sotomayor as the third woman and the first Hispanic American Supreme Court justice. Elena Kagan became the fourth woman to join the high court in 2010. Madeleine Albright was the first woman to serve as secretary of state (1997–2001); Condoleezza Rice held that post during the George W. Bushadministration. In January 2009, Hillary Clinton succeeded Rice as secretary of state.

  1. H. Roy Merrens and George D. Terry, “Dying in Paradise: Malaria, Mortality, and the Perceptual Environment in Colonial SouthCarolina,” Journal of Southern History (1984) 50: 533–50,
  2. “The Virginia Dare Story”. Virginia Dare. Archived from the original on April 23, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  3. “Claiming Their Citizenship: African American Women From 1624–2009”. Nwhm.org. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  4. Martha Saxton, Being Good Women’s Moral Values in Early America (2003), pp. 82-86.
  5. “Women’s Rights Movements.” Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Grolier Online, 2014. Web. 1 July 2014. (use the date you accessed the page).
  6. Alan Brinkley (1998). Liberalism and Its Discontents. Harvard University Press. p. 34. ISBN 9780674530171.
  7. “Women’s Rights Movements.” Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Grolier Online http://gme.grolier.com/article?assetid=0314735-0 (accessed July 1, 2014). (use the date you accessed the page).
  8. “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on February 23, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2009.
  9. Women’s Rights Movements. (2014). Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 1, 2014, (use the date you accessed the page) from Grolier Online http://gme.grolier.com/article?assetid=0314735-0.
  10. “Women Airforce Service Pilots; Becoming a WASP”. www.kcdawnpatrol.org. Retrieved January 7, 2013.


The Eastern Christian Churches

Jesus Christ Savior | Eastern Christians share many cultural traditions but not the same religious traditions, Christianity divided itself in the East during its early centuries both within and outside of the Roman Empire in disputes about Christology and fundamental theology, as well as national divisions (Roman, Persian, etc.). (Images of the Holy Sepulchre, detail of the dome over the Katholikon, Jerusalem by Berthold Werner).

Christianity spread throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa. The Eastern Christian Churches are characterized by a rich heritage with Apostolic origin, and are treasured by the universal Church, for the East was the home of Jesus Christ our Redeemer!

Jerusalem is the birthplace to all of Christianity throughout the world. The Levant, the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, served as the cradle of Christianity. Antioch, Syria became an early center for Christianity, especially following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Indeed, followers of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26). They also became known as Nazarenes (Acts 24:5), particularly in the East. St. Mark the Evangelist founded the Church of Alexandria, Egypt. Philip the Deacon introduced Christianity to a minister of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians, on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza in Acts 8:27.

Detailed Jerusalem Holy Sepulchre

Detailed Jerusalem Holy Sepulchre

One of the earliest centers of Christianity was Edessa in the Kingdom of Osroene, located in Northern Syria and Mesopotamia across the Euphrates River. Eusebius of Caesarea in his Ecclesiastical History reported that King Abgar of Edessa was afflicted with illness and contacted Jesus in the hope of a cure. Upon his healing by St. Jude Thaddeus, King Abgar converted to Christianity.

Edessa became home to such writers as St. Ephrem of Syria (306-373 AD), a Father and Doctor of the Church. St. Ephrem wrote his beautiful hymns and religious poetry in Syriac, a dialect of the Semitic language of Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Syriac became the biblical and liturgical language of early Christian Churches in the East. The theology of Eastern Churches often developed independently, outside the sway of Roman and Byzantine thought. Syriac Christianity would expand throughout Asia, extending to Chaldea and Persia along the Silk Road all the way to India and the Far East, reaching China, Tibet, and Mongolia. The first nation to adopt Christianity as its state religion was Armenia under King Tiridates III in 301.

Eastern Christian Churches allow clerical marriage, for they accept the gift of human sexuality given by God, who said, “It is not good for the man to be alone”(Genesis 2:18). Those Eastern Churches that are in communion with Rome are known as the Eastern Catholic Churches. 8-16

Our anonymous author is a physician and a Masters graduate in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio. He teaches Sunday Bible Class at St. James Catholic Church and serves both Pastoral Care and the Medical Staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital.



Weekly Spiritual Digest: The Best New Year Resolution

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | When you have met with the Lord early, then you can go on your way all day and Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isa. 30:21.

January 8, 2019.
We all want a blessed, peaceful and prosperous New Year, but the recipe many are trying is bogus and sure to fail within the first or second month of this year. Here is a time-tested recipe from God Himself: “Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway”. Pro. 8:34. This recipe is simple: LISTEN TO THE LORD! How? Two simple steps: 1. Keep watch daily at my doors. Doors are meant to go in and out, so you must go daily to meet with the Lord. 2.  Wait at my doorway.

When you come into the presence of the Lord, don’t be in a hurry to get out until He has spoken, and you heard Him clearly. The Bible is where you will encounter God and He will speak to you as you read it reverently with an open heart to understand and obey His instructions. Jesus Christ used this recipe all the time: Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed”. Mark 1:35. When you have met with the Lord early, then you can go on your way all day and Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isa. 30:21. Blessings and success are guaranteed.

Rev. Sunday Bwanhotby Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



The Time Has Come for A New Counter-Reformation

by Duncan G. Stroik | We need an architecture today that can do the same in response to the second reformation. It must symbolize the antiquity, universality, and beauty of the Church, as Vignola’s Gesu and Palladio’s Redentore did in the sixteenth century. This will mean an employment of art and architecture that is evangelistic and catechetical. (image from Pixabay: Dresden Elbe Historic Center Along the Saxony River)

We need a new Counter-Reformation in sacred art and architecture. What was the Reformation’s effect? First, it preached iconoclasm, the rejection of the human figure in religious art. Second, it reoriented worship, so that people gathered round the pulpit rather than the altar and the baptismal font became more important than the tabernacle. At the same time, it lessened the distinction between the clergy and the laity, creating more equality and decreasing hierarchy.

Third, the Reformation taught a functionalist view of worship, rejecting anything “unnecessary.” The altar should not have anything on it, for example, and churches should be designed according to seating capacity, with sight lines like a theater. Fourth, it elevated the quotidian over the sacred. Churches are thought of more as meeting houses than sacred places. They’re designed to be intimate rather than awesome.

These churches did not, to put it another way, express the Terribilità, the awesomeness of God. What have we been living through for the past sixty years? A second reformation, only this one came from within. All four of those points characterize mainstream Catholic church building since 1960.

And what do we need in response? A second counter-reformation. One that learns from the first Counter-Reformation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries how to make a creative and serious response to the iconoclasm, functionalism, egalitarianism, and “quotidianism” of our time.

The New Counter-Reformation
And not just in our church-building and our ideas of church architecture. In the Counter-Reformation bishops were commanded to return to their dioceses and to take care of their flock, to become the chief teachers of the diocese. Priests were to celebrate mass daily, laity go to mass and receive Communion more often, and better preaching and more confession were promoted. Eucharistic adoration was emphasized through the joining of the tabernacle to the altar, as well as the forty-hours devotion. There was a new emphasis on catechesis and education, including the invention of the seminary for the training of priests.

These developments pushed the Church to renew her commitment to making her churches and her liturgies as beautiful as the Faith itself. She employed art, architecture, music, and liturgy to draw all to the church and then to uplift their minds to those things that are eternal. Elizabeth Lev brilliantly tells the story of Counter-Reformation Art in her new book, How Catholic Art Saved the Faith: The Triumph of Beauty and Truth in Counter-Reformation Art.

We need an architecture today that can do the same in response to the second reformation. It must symbolize the antiquity, universality, and beauty of the Church, as Vignola’s Gesu and Palladio’s Redentore did in the sixteenth century. This will mean an employment of art and architecture that is evangelistic and catechetical. Buildings that are icons on the outside, large and beautiful, with warm yet awe-inspiring interiors that are foci of the community. Churches must express for modern people the Terribilità.

We need a recovery of ancient principles and a restoration of what is timeless and classic. The basilica form and the baldacchino, for example, as well as altar rails, side altars and shrines, solemn confessionals, a place set aside for baptism, and saints buried beneath the altar or relics visible for veneration.

The sanctuary should be set apart, raised up to be the most beautiful part of the church. It should be the focus and the identity, liturgically and devotionally.

We need to revive the iconographic program, the creation of a narrative within the whole building. We can’t settle for the “America formula” of a crucifix above the altar, Mary on the left, and Saint Joseph on the right. Churches need to be like a good book that can be re-read, like a good symphony listened to over and over, with new things always seen or discovered.

That means the commissioning of custom art should be a priority: durable and high-quality materials shaped by highly skilled craftsman and top-quality artists and architects who can employ inventiveness in developing the tradition. No copies or regurgitation. No off the shelf statues. New paintings, sculptures, mosaics, and murals push the artists to develop new and authentic ways of expressing the timeless truths.

Not Antiquarian
This does not mean antiquarianism, employing a particular style, or trying to go back to a golden age, whether the 1950s or a Romantic notion of the Middle Ages, as wonderful as those times were. It means creating churches that are traditional yet contemporary, universal yet local, Roman yet catholic – both/and, not either/or. Churches that combine unity with diversity and learn from the local character, express modern saints, and inventively develop the tradition. Like the great artists and architects of the Counter-Reformation, we must defend the faith of the Catholic Church through beauty.

Duncan G. Stroik

Duncan G. Stroik is a professor of architecture at the University of Notre Dame where he helped implement a new curriculum in classical architecture in 1990. He played a central role in the revival of interest in sacred architecture that led to the formation of the Society for Catholic Liturgy and the journal Sacred Architecture, of which he is editor. He is the author, most recently, of The Church Building as a Sacred Place: Beauty, Transcendence, and the Eternal (2012).