#PrayforKesha

It takes courage to speak, especially when speaking means evoking chaos. I don’t know Kesha personally, of course, but I respect her decision to speak out on the tragedy of being a sexually assaulted victim.

According to an article by The New York Times, Kesha recently filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke, her music producer. Although Dr. Luke has rejected all claims against him and responded to Kesha’s actions as a means to make money, there are plenty of stars and fans joining ranks with this beloved pop-star.

Fellow female artists like Arianna Grande, Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson, and Lady Gaga have been voicing, via social media, their concerns, support, and encouragement. Taylor Swift even donated a large sum of money to help Kesha in her legal battle. The hashtag “Free Kesha” has also been trending.

Demi Lovato stated in a tweet supporting Kesha that “Women empowerment is speaking up for other women even when it’s something uncomfortable to speak up about.” Demi continued saying, “Women empowerment is taking action now, not when it’s convenient.”

What strikes a nerve for so many women is not merely that it is Kesha, a celebrity, but that it is a female—a human being—who is has been taken advantage of in more ways than one. While none of us can know the full story behind what’s happening, I believe that it is important for us to lift up Kesha in prayer and ask for God to provide the justice that is deserved, wherever that may be.

Most of us can’t imagine what it would be like to have our personal, private struggles and shames announced to an entire nation. So instead of using harsh words, passing judgement, or jumping to any conclusions about the situation, let’s remember that Kesha is first and foremost a person as well as a child of God.

-Ruthie F.

Television, the Nightly News, and Fear: How Christians Should Respond

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I recently heard a sermon titled “The Kingdom of God and the Culture of Fear” (check it out here). In this sermon, the preacher talks about “peddlers of fear,” people and organizations that actually make a profit on producing fear. This is not the type of fear that a haunted house sells. This fear is the type that we might feel when we hear of natural disasters, violent protests, or random shooting rampages. In fact, just this weekend in Kalamazoo, MI six people were killed by an Uber driver who went on a random shooting rampage. See the news footage – Kalamazoo Shooting Suspect Charged. It is a tragedy that should have never happened. It should break our hearts that these things happen in the world, but it does not mean that we should lock ourselves inside for fear of something like this happening to us.

It is a good thing to be informed. We need to know about what is happening in the world and to be aware of the social issues going on around us. As Christians, however, we are free from being paralyzed by fear when watching the nightly news. As emphasized in the sermon, we have a hope to cling to that conquers all fear – Jesus Christ. Isaiah 41:10 tells us that we are not to be afraid because God is with us. Romans 8:38-39 says that nothing can separate us from the love of God – even random shootings cannot break God’s love for us.

The first ten minutes of most newscasts focus on the stories that elicit fear. I want to challenge you to actively combat this culture of fear. Here are three key points to keep in mind when engaging with current news media:

  1. Pray for protection from fear.
  2. Pray for those dealing with the tragedy or suffering.
  3. Trust and believe that God is sovereign and that will never leave us nor forsake us.