POWERFUL TESTIMONY BY DENZEL WASHINGTON

Actor Denzel Washington does not mince words when it comes to his faith in God. And in a recent interview with the New York Times, Washington reiterated that he is a “God-fearing man” while also warning people to not become too self-focused. 

“This is spiritual warfare. So, I’m not looking at it from an earthly perspective,” he said in the interview. “If you don’t have a spiritual anchor you’ll be easily blown by the wind and you’ll be led to depression.”

As CBN News has reported, Washington gave his life to God early on, but it took a few years for him to understand the weight of that decision. 

“Three times…I think we all go through that. I was filled with the Holy Ghost and it scared me,” he said. “I didn’t want to go this deep…I want to party. It was a supernatural, once in this lifetime experience that I couldn’t completely understand at the time.”

Now, the 64-year-old actor lives out his tenets of faith daily. 

“I’m a God-fearing man,” he told NYT. “I try not to worry. Fear is contaminated faith.”

Washington goes out of his way to help others and encourage them.

Actor Corey Hawkins, who plays opposite of Denzel in “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” told the New York Times the actor prays with him. “Sometimes we get talking and you see the preacher in him,” he said. “He’s just a natural-born charismatic leader who is not afraid to talk about his own faults or misgivings or shortcomings.”

Washington has become more outspoken about the pitfalls of social media. “The least we can do is consider what we have done and think about the young people,” the two-time Academy Award-winning actor said. He also recently shared scripture encouraging people not to get too focused on social media. 

“The Bible says in the last days — I don’t know if it’s the last days, it’s not my place to know — but it says we’ll be lovers of ourselves,” he said. “The No. 1 photograph today is a selfie, ‘Oh, me at the protest.’ ‘Me with the fire.’ ‘Follow me.’ ‘Listen to me.’”

“We’re living in a time where people are willing to do anything to get followed. What is the long or short-term effect of too much information? It’s going fast and it can be manipulated obviously in a myriad of ways. And people are led like sheep to the slaughter,” Washington added.

His focus has become more heaven-bound. 

“There are going to be two lines, the long line, and the short line, and I’m interested in being in the short line.”

During his American Film Institute Life Achievement Award acceptance speech, he was outspoken about His faith in God. Hopefully, it impacted some of the Hollywood stars present. He also warned against the “twitter-tweet meme-mean world that we’ve created for our children.” Be encouraged and challenged.

PRINCE PHILIP’S FINEST HOUR

Prince Philip planned every aspect of his funeral service. The choice of every piece of music played, by the bands before the funeral service and the hymns during the service. He chose the Bible readings and the order of service. He even designed the Land Rover on which he would make his final journey. It was to be simple and humble.

Prince Philip wanted the service to be a testimony to His Triune God. There was no eulogy. He wanted the total focus to be on His God and on all three persons of the Trinity. He also wanted all to know, particularly his family and friends, that he had total confidence his eternity was in the hands of the God he wanted to be made known through the funeral service he had planned.

Note: In the early part of the service Prince Philip puts the focus on our Heavenly Father and His awesome, powerful, wonderful, beautiful creation that proves His existence. He then moves on to Jesus and the Father’s goodness in sending His Son to earth to die in our place, to pay our SIN debt, and provide the only hope for mankind to attain eternal Life. As with most Anglican services there is not enough focus on the role of the Holy Spirit but He is given a mention in the Jubilate and particularly in the Commendation at the end. “Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul, In the name of God the Father Almighty who created thee; In the name of Jesus Christ who suffered for thee; In the name of the Holy Spirit who strengthened thee.”

I was so impressed that I felt I had to include the content of the service in my post but I would suggest you go and watch it yourself. You will be moved, even to tears, I was. The four singers contribute powerfully to the service as do the bands.

Prince Philip you have done a great job of providing a powerful witness of your Triune God to the world. Thank you.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with his personal standard, is carried to a custom Land Rover hearse during his funeral at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021.
“Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor,” Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II‘s husband of more than 70 years, reportedly quipped about his funeral arrangements.

The choir sings these Scriptures

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. John 11. 25–26

I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another. Job 19. 25–27

We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. William Croft (1678–1727) 1 Timothy 6. 7, Job 1. 21

The Dean of Windsor gives The Bidding – the reason why they are all there today. All sit and the choir then sings

Eternal Father, strong to save, whose arm doth bind the restless wave, who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea. O Saviour, whose almighty word the winds and waves submissive heard, Who walkedst on the foaming deep, and calm amid its rage didst sleep: O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea. O sacred Spirit, who didst brood upon the chaos dark and rude, Who bad’st its angry tumult cease, and gavest light and life and peace: O hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea. O Trinity of love and power, Our brethren shield in danger’s hour; From rock and tempest, fire and foe, protect them whereso’er they go: And ever let there rise to thee Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Britain Prince Philip
The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with his personal standard, is carried to a custom Land Rover hearse during his funeral at Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021.

The first reading is taken from Ecclesiasticus 43. 11–26 Look at the rainbow and praise its Maker; it shines with a supreme beauty, rounding the sky with its gleaming arc, a bow bent by the hands of the Most High. His command speeds the snow storm and sends the swift lightning to execute his sentence. To that end the storehouses are opened, and the clouds fly out like birds. By his mighty power the clouds are piled up and the hailstones broken small. The crash of his thunder makes the earth writhe, and, when he appears, an earthquake shakes the hills. At his will the south wind blows, the squall from the north and the hurricane. He scatters the snow-flakes like birds alighting; they settle like a swarm of locusts. The eye is dazzled by their beautiful whiteness, and as they fall the mind is entranced. He spreads frost on the earth like salt, and icicles form like pointed stakes. A cold blast from the north, and ice grows hard on the water, settling on every pool, as though the water were putting on a breastplate. He consumes the hills, scorches the wilderness, and withers the grass like fire. Cloudy weather quickly puts all to rights, and dew brings welcome relief after heat. By the power of his thought he tamed the deep and planted it with islands. Those who sail the sea tell stories of its dangers, which astonish all who hear them; in it are strange and wonderful creatures, all kinds of living things and huge sea-monsters. By his own action he achieves his end, and by his word all things are held together.

THE CHOIR SINGS THE JUBILATE

O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands: serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song. Be ye sure that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name. For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting: and his truth endureth from generation to generation. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

THE SECOND LESSON John 11. 21–27

Read by the Archbishop of Canterbury

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”

PSALM 104

The Duke of Edinburgh requested that Psalm 104 should be set to music by William Lovelady.

Originally composed as a cantata in three movements, it was first sung in honour of His Royal Highness’s 75th Birthday.

My soul give praise unto the Lord of heaven, In majesty and honour clothed; The earth he made will not be moved, The seas he made to be its robe. Give praise. The waters rise above the highest mountain, And flow down to the vales and leas; At springs, wild asses quench their thirst, And birds make nest amid the trees. The trees the Lord has made are full of vigour, The fir tree is a home for storks; Wild goats find refuge in the hills, From foes the conies shelter in the rocks. My soul give praise unto the Lord of heaven, In majesty and honour clothed; The earth he made will not be moved, The seas he made to be its robe. Give praise. O Lord, how manifold is your creation, All things in wisdom you provide; You give your riches to the earth, And to the sea so great and wide. You take your creatures breath and life is ended, Your breath goes forth and life begins; Your hand renews the face of earth, Your praise my whole life I will sing. My soul give praise unto the Lord of heaven, In majesty and honour clothed; The earth he made will not be moved, The seas he made to be its robe. Give praise.

PRAYERS including The Lords Prayer

THE COLLECT

The Dean of Windsor shall say

O Merciful God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life; in whom whosoever believeth shall live, though he die; and whosoever liveth, and believeth in him, shall not die eternally; who also hath taught us by his Holy Apostle Saint Paul, not to be sorry, as men without hope, for them that sleep in him: We meekly beseech thee, O Father that, when we shall depart this life, we may rest in him, as our hope is this our brother doth; and that, at the general resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in thy sight; and receive that blessing, which thy well-beloved Son shall then pronounce to all that love and fear thee, saying, Come ye blessed children of my Father; receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. Grant this we beseech thee, O merciful Father through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer. Amen.

THE CHOIR SINGS THE ANTHEM

Give rest, O Christ, to thy servant with thy Saints: where sorrow and pain are no more; neither sighing, but life everlasting. Thou only art immortal, the Creator and Maker of man: And we are mortal, formed of the earth, and unto earth shall we return. For so thou didst ordain, when thou createdest me, saying, Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. All we go down to the dust; and, weeping, o’er the grave, we make our song: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

As the Coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault, the Dean of Windsor shall say

THE COMMENDATION

Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul, In the name of God the Father Almighty who created thee; In the name of Jesus Christ who suffered for thee; In the name of the Holy Spirit who strengtheneth thee; May thy portion this day be in peace, and thy dwelling in the heavenly Jerusalem. Amen.

TESTIMONY OF A TRANSFORMED LIFE

For me, prison ministry is a no-brainer,” he says. “I’m going to do that until the Lord calls me home. … I want to help the parole board see that people can change. … I want our senators and lawmakers to have a different mentality, and I want the people who are coming home to have the resources they need.

The above quote was made by Jon Kelly the same man who made the following quote

“I was always high every day … always in fights, always getting shot at or shooting at somebody,” Jon Kelly says. “I for sure did not think I would make it past 16.”

Growing up in north Philadelphia with a single mother and a little sister, Jon was the epitome of a disrespectful, troubled teen. He grew up in a rough neighborhood. Multiple schools—including a disciplinary school he says was “like prison, but you get to go home”—couldn’t keep him out of trouble. He dropped out by ninth grade.

Jon began selling crack cocaine when he was only 12 years old, but in his teens, he decided it was more lucrative to rob drug dealers. “I thought it was a good thing,” he says. After all, “I wasn’t bothering law-abiding citizens.”

One night, Jon and his friends went to a drug dealer’s home and robbed him. Things got out of hand, and in the process, one of the group shot and killed their victim.

Jon remembers the day he was arrested. It was a Friday—March 15, 2002—and he had just turned 19 two months before. He was arrested for his role in the murder and brought to jail, but it was overcrowded from the city’s violent crime. The only place with room for Jon was in isolation, or solitary confinement.

A couple of the corrections officers would talk to Jon from time to time. That first week in jail, Jon was so bored he asked if either of the men could bring him something to read. The officers handed him a New Testament. On the cover were the words, “There’s hope for you. Jesus cares.”

“I read God’s Word for the first time,” Jon says, “and I haven’t been the same since.”

pastor jon kelly
Jon Kelly today

Today, Jon Kelly is the pastor of Chicago West Bible Church, a 2-year-old church he helped start after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Moody Bible Institute. He is married and has two children.

“It’s been an amazing journey, and I praise God for that,” Jon says.

Only God can change lives like Jon Kelly’s and provide the people and the resources to make use of that life for the benefit of God’s Kingdom.

Only Holy Spirit led lives are both transformed by God to produce the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self-control and be available to be used by the Holy Spirit using the gifts of the Spirit – Revelation Gifts – Words of Wisdom, Words of Knowledge and Discerning of Spirits, Vocal Gifts – Prophecy, Tongues, and interpretations of Tongues, Power Gifts – Faith, Healing and Miracles.

BEARING FRUIT AFTER 44 YEARS

We are never too old to be a true disciple of Christ, i.e. a disciple who makes more disciples. Listen to the amazing testimony of this Dutch couple who are now living the Christian life and bringing others to Christ. They are excited about what God is doing and will do each day. They are energised, happy, joyful and could not go back to the old church life that they lived for 44 years. You will be challenged by their testimony and hopefully it will cause you to follow their lead and connect with the The Last Reformation (TLR).