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Comedian Issues Bold Proclamation, Challenges Atheist Bill Maher to Read ‘A Case For Christ’: ‘I Believe in Jesus’

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Famed comedian Bill Maher is well-known for his atheism, but a fellow performer recently appeared on his “Club Random” podcast and implored him to look a bit deeper than his skepticism typically allows.

Comedian Chris Distefano shared his own belief in Jesus with Maher and told the “Real Time” host he should take a straightforward and bold step: read Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ,” a seminal, bestselling book that has inspired millions to ponder powerful, biblical proof for Jesus.

“I believe in Jesus, by the way,” Distefano said during the Jan. 21 episode.

The comment, made during the sweepingly long conversation, led to Distefano revealing he’s been reading Strobel’s book and has found its evidence compelling.

He added, “The factual evidence that [Christ] existed is kind of overwhelming.”

Distefano said he grew up in Catholic schools and didn’t really have a deep belief until he read Strobel’s book and started to connect the dots.

Maher, unmoved by Distefano’s beliefs, said he has always found the evidence for Jesus “underwhelming.” That’s when Maher’s guest challenged the host to read Strobel’s book.

“Yeah, I will,” Maher said.

The two proceeded to go back and forth, with Maher’s signature skepticism shining through. Maher said “who cares” whether Jesus lived; the sticking point, he said, is whether Christ died and rose again, the crux of the Christian faith.

While Maher attributed the Bible to a game of telephone, Distefano countered such an assertion.

“According to ‘Case for Christ,’ independent sources who didn’t know each other who wrote about him within 20 years of his death…talked about these miracles happening as in real-time,” Distefano told Maher.
Sources:faithwire

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Viral Christian YouTubers Dude Perfect Receive $100 Million Capital Investment

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Dude Perfect — the five-man crew focused on “giving back, spreading joy, and glorifying Jesus Christ,” according to their website — just earned a whopping $100 million cash infusion.

The five dudes behind the viral YouTube account, Coby Cotton, Cory Cotton, Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones, and Tyler Toney, have garnered international attention over the years for their trick-shot videos and winsome content.

The more than $100 million investment from Highmount Capital marks Dude Perfect’s first external influx of cash, Axios reported, noting the guys, who met as roommates at Texas A&M University and began posting content to YouTube in 2009, have invested their revenue directly into their own expansion. The company stated this year, though, that total profits are expected to exceed $50 million, doubling their revenue from 2022, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Speaking to Axios, Coby Cotton said the group plans to use the money to build out a management team, expand its staff, and bring a CEO on board. Additionally, the Christian guys are planning an international tour and are looking into translating their videos into other languages.

And about a year and half ago, the Dude Perfect cofounders released a plan to build a $100 million trick-shot theme park in the Dallas-Forth Worth area.

“The mission of Dude Perfect is to serve families with the most trusted entertainment on earth,” Coby Cotton told D Magazine. “By partnering with Highmount Capital, we hope to pour gas on the fire and take the Dude Perfect fun that families have witnessed on screens these past 15 years and turn it into real life products and memory-making experiences they can actually touch and feel for themselves.”

David Hawkins, chief investment officer and general partner for Highmount Capital, said his own three sons, ages 5, 8, and 10, are “super fans” of Dude Perfect. As a father, he said he is a fan of their content, too, because he knows he can trust it is family friendly.

“The most valuable thing we’ve done these last 15 years is build trust with families and then … build trust with the brands,” Coby Cotton said.

The cofounder of Highmount Capital, Jason Illian, sees the kind of content Dude Perfect creates as the future of entertainment.

He told The Hollywood Reporter, “When you talk to teenagers and kids and people that watch the Dudes, they’re all being influenced, and three out of four kids said they want to be an influencer and a creator, so I don’t think they’re gonna call this the ‘creator economy’ in the near future, they’re just gonna call it media, because that’s really what it is, and the Dudes are at the front end of that.”

“We thought a significant investment made sense just because, when you look at all the things that they have in front of them, working with sports teams, and retailers, and opportunities for events, we want to make sure there’s enough capital there to do it really well,” he added.
Sources:faithwire

http://theendtimeradio.com

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Caribbean Minister’s ‘Blessings Find Me’ Song Goes Viral with 1 Billion Views: ‘I Am Grateful’

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A Caribbean minister and musician has become an overnight success after creating an inspirational anthem that has gone viral on social media as millions share the song’s message about God’s blessings.

Sherwin Gardner wanted 2024 to look different than previous years. So he decided to write a short affirmation at the end of 2023 called, “Find Me Here (Blessings Find Me),” to encourage himself that it would be a good year.

He thought of the words, “Something good gonna happen in this year. / And I am grateful that I made it here! / Yesterday’s gone and a new day has appeared / And I am grateful that I made it here!”

The worship leader at Bahamas Harvest Church in Nassau told Religion News Service a melody came to him shortly after and he sent it off to a music arranger in Kenya.

A few days later, Gardner had a recorded version uploaded to Instagram and TikTok.

The song with its Afrobeats, reggae influence, and dancehall elements became an overnight sensation.

Just a few hours after posting, Gardner was stunned to find his follower count shot from 999 to 20,000.

“The morning when I woke up, I had 20,000 followers, and the views — started at 8 o’clock, it was 14,000; by 10 o’clock it was 50,000; by 12 (noon) it was over 100,000 views,” he said.

A friend of Gardner told him, “Doctors, lawyers, gangsters, and teachers posted your song on WhatsApp.'”

On New Year’s Day, the 45-year-old returned to the studio to turn the snippet into a song and contacted Tyscot Records to release it.

Tyscot Records in conjunction with Warner Music Group Company have released the song on all major digital music platforms, Trinidad Express reports.

The song has resonated with many including other music artists such as two-time American Grammy Award-winning producer Teddy Riley, R&B singer Alicia Keys, rapper Eve Jeffers, Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams, gospel artist Yolanda Adams, and comedian-turned-pastor Kel Mitchell.

“Brother Sherwin Gardner, you’ve created this amazing [song] that I have on repeat and play to remind me that there’s nothing impossible when God got your back,” wrote Riley on TikTok.

The song been played 1,001,158,000 times on TikTok and Bill Carpenter, Gardner’s publicist, said their research indicates Gardner could be the first Black gospel artist to achieve that 1-billion-view landmark.

“This is now become or becoming the anthem for many people and their prayer throughout the whole world,” Gardner said.

The worship leader says although he was intending to bless others, God has truly blessed him.

“It has been totally unexpected and I’m so grateful for the answered prayers,” he said.
Sources:cbnnews

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Actor Ryan Phillippe ‘Craving’ Relationship With God After Movie About Christian Missionary

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Actor Ryan Phillippe said he began “craving” a relationship with God after going on a “spiritual journey” when he finished filming his latest movie, a story about a Christian missionary in the Kalahari desert.

The film, “Prey,” chronicles the lives of a young missionary couple who leave their station after being threatened with murder by an extremist militant group.

“It’s interesting because I was kind of in a darker place when we filmed this, and it was right after filming it where I went on this spiritual journey where I started going really deep inside,” Phillippe recently told Fox News of his experience after wrapping filming for “Prey.”

“I got back into reading the Bible and various other religious tomes, but I found myself drawn to this notion of spirituality,” he continued. “You get to a point in life, a certain age, and the things that you thought would bring you pleasure or make you feel satisfied — these would be success or money — and it doesn’t.”

Based on his comments, it’s not exactly clear whether Phillippe is seeking to have a relationship with the God of the Bible. It is encouraging, however, to see he is exploring spiritual matters and his comments should compel Christians to pray he finds the conviction of the Holy Spirit and comes to Christ.

“I’m so thankful for what I’ve been given and for the experiences that I’ve had and for my children and everything else,” the celebrity said. “But I wanted to have a relationship and understanding with God, and I was craving that.”

He added, “And I’ve got to tell you, since I started that journey, I have not been more at peace. My depression is gone. I shedded addictions so I’m a big proponent for people going inward and trying to understand those aspects of life.”
Sources:faithwire

http://theendtimeradio.com

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