He prayed a crazy prayer. God answered.

God moves mountains and U.S. Navy ships, just ask Rocky Colona.

Growing up in St. Louis under remarried parents, Rocky, half Sicilian, had one half-brother and three half-sisters. Because his dad was excommunicated from the Catholic church for his divorce, Rocky attended church sporadically.

He was a straight-A student who got into a lot of trouble in the public school (he started drinking at 13), so his parents moved him to an expensive private Catholic school, a strategy that didn’t help much. He graduated early because of some shameful things he told a teacher with cancer.

“They passed me a year early because I was so bad,” Rocky says on the Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. “I said some things to her that I was just in a bad state in life.”

At the University of Missouri-St Louis, he drank his way to failing grades and decided to drop out and join the Navy, at the urging of a fellow sporty friend, with the aim of becoming a SEAL.

He never became a SEAL because he fell in love and married a woman named Ingrid in the Presidential Honor Guard. He viewed the Honor Guard as a stepping stone to his goal. Ultimately, he abandoned the SEAL dream at the warning of his friend.

“All these (SEALs) guys are divorced,” Joe told him. “I don’t know if this is going to be good for you.”

As a secondary plan, Rocky wanted to work his way into the CIA, FBI, or Secret Service. At the top of his class in A school, he got his pick of ships and opted for the Kearsarge, which wasn’t to deploy for 1 ½ years — after he planned to leave the Navy.

But when he reported for duty Jan. 6, 2002, he was hit with shocking news. They would leave on an unscheduled deployment in three days. At the time, President Bush was accusing Iraq of secretly building weapons of mass destruction, and the Navy was getting into position for possible action. His wife was stationed on the USS Eisenhower, so they were apart.

“We literally didn’t see land for the entire 6 ½ months except for two days,” Rocky remembers. “I got really depressed. Eating habits went away. I stopped working out.”

So, he did something he never had done. He prayed a non-ritualistic prayer, a sincere heartfelt plea: “God, if you can get me home for the 4th of July, I’ll quit drinking, I’ll quit smoking, I’ll live like a priest,” he implored. “That’s what I thought God wanted.”

The next day, the amphibious assault ship’s chief petty officer announced over the public address system: “Somebody else took our spot, and we’re going to head home. We’re going to be home on the 3rd of July.”

Rocky went up to the deck, threw his cigarettes and chewing tobacco overboard and marveled how God had moved an entire ship due to his tiny prayer. He didn’t know the scripture about the mustard seed of faith yet.

He promised to nix his vices, a pledge he wasn’t able to keep.

He was ecstatic to see his wife.

“We were happy to be back together. It was like… Read the rest: Moving mountains and Navy ships through prayer.

Bold Christian witness from Christian Pulisic, other players at World Cup 2022

In a strict Muslim nation? No worries. If you are a Christian player in the World Cup in Qatar, you can raise your hands and praise Jesus, despite the host nation’s law punishing evangelism with five years in prison.

This is what Ecuadorians did when they defeated the Qatari team in the opening match. They formed a circle and lifted up praises to God, an offense that would have landed them in a cold jail cell had they not been the country’s special guests.

“Today begins a new story and who guides our steps is God, without you nothing we can do, we give you all the glory and honor,” wrote Ecuadorian midfielder Carlos Gruezo in the Instagram post before the inaugural game.

When sports figures acclaim Jesus in the United States, T.V. cameras cut away and pundits frown. Muslim nations could potentially unleash a more severe crackdown. But because these “closed” nations are projecting a more welcoming and open image, they are likely to cast a blind eye.

That’s good news for the U.S. team. Two players flaunt their faith, midfielder Christian Pulisic and central defender Walker Zimmerman.

Pulisic is the driving force behind the U.S. attack. He’s the most dangerous and most defended player. The 24-year-old Pennsylvania native plays on club for Chelsea, a prominent English outfit. But on that high-profile team, he’s struggled for goals and playing time, and the struggle has brought him closer to God.

“I’ve had to continue to prove myself over and over again,” Pulisic told CBS in 2021. “But, as always, I reach out to God to give me strength. With that behind me, nothing can stop me, really.”

“[With God] I feel like I always have someone who’s with me,” Pulisic added to GQ. “I don’t know how I’d do any of this without feeling that He’s watching over me and there’s a reason why I’m here.”

While Pulisic commands the attack, fellow Christian Walker Zimmer leads the defense. The son of a pastor, Zimmerman has put in a solid performance shutting down some of the world’s most elite attackers. He was part of the force limiting soccer powerhouse England to a tie in the U.S.’s most recent group matchup.

He’s been unafraid to employ his… Read the rest: Christian Pulisic bold Christian at World Cup 2022.

Brooks Buser and Bible translation for the YembiYembi

After years of learning the language, developing an alphabet, teaching literacy, missionary Brooks Buser and team gave the YembiYembi tribe in Papua New Guinea copies of the Bible five years ago.

“It has been a long time, almost 2,000 years, that we the YembiYembi church have waited for this translation of the Bible into our own language,” says a tribe leader on a Radius International video.

Waving palm-like branches (or feathers) and dancing, about 100 tribe members received the printed and bound Bibles – the labor of nine years delivered by small prop plane – with fanfare, preaching and jubilation.

The YembiYembi live in the Lower-Sepik Swamp of remote Papua New Guinea. With an estimated 5,000 members, the tribe with only three villages is so small that it’s not even in Wikipedia. You can reach it by plane or paddling 270 miles upriver. Their language is Bises.

Once the translation was finished, Radius International missionaries sleft trained local pastors to take charge of the church. From the video, it appears the majority of the tribe accepted Jesus, but a “vocal minority” remains in opposition to abandoning the customs of its elders.

“The Bible is important,” preached Brooks, 37, in Bises, which the video translates into English through subtitles. “But what’s more important is what you do with it as the church, the body of Christ. The Bible is here to help believers grow. I will visit you, but this Bible will guide you now.”

Brooks was a missionary child who grew up in Papua New Guinea evangelizing another remote tribe in the lush jungle. “The seeds of missions were planted in my mind,” says the man who counted San Diego as his American hometown.

As a child, Brooks spent half his time in the mud of the jungle with native friends and half his time at the missionary school, playing basketball and learning a traditional Western education.

“I remember getting on the plane here at 9 o’clock in the morning and flying to school and playing a basketball tournament that night in the gymnasium, looking down at my leg and I still have a little bit of mud on my leg from the tribe,” he remembers. “It wasn’t a normal upbringing. The blending of these two worlds was a unique way to grow up.”

Armed with an accounting degree from San Diego Christian College, he married Nina and pursued a career counting numbers. He became finance manager and even traveled to Paris, “on track for the American Dream,” he says.

But on a visit to his parents in Papua New Guinea, the newly married couple’s hearts were stirred. “She got to see where I grew up,” he explains. “God began to lay on our hearts the nation. We felt an incredible level of comfort leaving the American Dream behind and coming back here as missionaries.”

In 2001 with their newborn Bo, they began training with New Tribes Mission where they learned how to set up solar panels and build airfields. “There’s no power, there’s no stores” in these isolated areas where they reach tribes, Brooks says.

“During the class there was a lot of things that brought us out of our comfort zone,” Lynn says. “There was a class on animal butchering which was not my favorite.”

They learned phonetics and grammar to learn and codify the language. They launched into Third World life in Papua New Guinea in 2003. The Busers began surveying and exploring land to find an ideal unreached tribe to work with. Tribes actually write letters requesting missionaries be sent, probably because they have heard of the benefits of civilization and medicine that missionaries bring.

Because the airstrip was flooded at their first choice on the day of their launching into the mission field, the Busers went to their second choice, the YembiYembi. They flew to the nearest airfield, traveled by canoe and then hiked – a five-hour journey – to arrive.

The tribe was so excited and received the missionaries with a welcoming ceremony. “In 2004, we started building our houses,” he says. They had a team of fellow linguist missionaries. They had batteries for their laptops and a two-way radio to communicate with their base.

They began building an airstrip with the help of 1,000 Yembis, removing stumps with power tools. After days of intense labor, the mission group sent a barge with a tractor to finish clearing the field.

“That gave us our lifeline back to base,” Brooks says.

Simultaneously, they learned about their language and culture, hunting in the jungle late at night.

“The callouses on our feet got a lot thicker,” he says. “We learned how to throw a spear and hunt pigs, basically live like a Yembi in their environment.”

Missionaries are routinely criticized by secular intellectuals for altering native people’s customs and “Westernizing” them. The Yembi were animists.

But Brooks… Read the rest: YembiYembi tribe in Papua New Guinea

New Kempsville church pastor loved heavy metal

His dad was The Lawrence Welk Show classical jazz pianist, his mom a concert pianist, but David Smale (rhymes with snail) wanted to play heavy metal.

“Wouldn’t you just love for your daughter to date the singer of ‘Cranial Abortion’?” Dave jokes on the Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. They played backyard parties, prompting cops to come and shut it down, until they debuted at a club along with Incubus.

With rock ‘n’ roll, came drugs and sex. He smoked cigarettes at 13, smoked weed at 14 and dropped acid by 15.

In the Los Angeles Unified School system, Dave attended middle and high school with Latinos and African Americans who were bused into the San Fernando Valley as part of integration policies.

“We got bullied a lot. We were just these little heavy metal-loving white kids,” he says. “One time this guy said he was going to do a drive-by shooting on us the next day. Because of that, I noticed in my house it was ok for me to express racist things. My dad and my brother would say the N-word and other racial slurs.”

Later he joined a punk rock band “Uneducated,” until his party girl got pregnant and he took up delivering fast food and telemarketing as a high school dropout to put food on the table for his baby and the girl whom he married at 18.

“I remember times stumbling around drunk and high, and all of a sudden, the baby starts crying,” says he, and thought: “I don’t know if I can change his diaper right now. I might put it on his head.”

“It was just awful,” he says. “I was partying and my baby was right there. It was not good.”

Five weeks after his first baby was born by C-section, his wife got pregnant, and the nurse at urged her to abort: “You’re going to die,” she said.

Leaving the women’s health care center, Dave and his wife felt an eerie sensation. “Did you feel like we just murdered somebody?” she asked. “Yeah, I do,” he responded.

Unable to make ends meet, he eventually decided to join the Navy with hopes of learning a trade. “That was my only way forward,” he says. “I was going nowhere. I was lost in dead-end stuff.”

At 20, Dave looked for a new beginning in the Navy, but the same old addictions and racism didn’t let him get that new start.

“I could wear a uniform, I could stand up taller, I could march in a straight line,” he says. “But I was still fighting addiction.”

Stationed a Point Mugu, California, Dave and his wife got invited to a Baptist church. She was gung-ho, he was blasé.

Dave went anyhow, and the sermon made sense. So, he accepted Jesus into his heart on April 1, 1999 and was born again.

“When I raised my head, everything was different,” he says. “My entire perspective changed in a moment. There was no going back. The cursing went away immediately, the addictions were all gone, the racism was gone. I didn’t hate all the guys in the Navy from different races and ethnicities. I loved these guys who didn’t look like me, but I saw them as God saw me. It blew my mind.”

His wife was pregnant with twins when he got deployed for six months. He kept pursuing Jesus the whole time, but when he came home, he realized his wife had given up on God and church.

“The laundry was piled to the ceiling. Checks had bounced,” he says. “There was no food in the house.”

He coaxed her to return to church with him, but she persisted in the party life.

For months, he tried to win her over, but she left him when he got orders to Virginia Beach.

Stung by the abandonment, Dave decided to backslide. He went straight to the oceanfront and ogled every girl in a bikini.

“At that point, I was so mad, so bitter, so upset, I completely decided to backslide,” he acknowledges. “I was on the warpath to find me a girl and do something that I would have totally regretted.”

But every time he leered with lust… Read the rest: Church in Kempsville

Ex Vampire evangelizes Muslims

As an immature Christian, Nathaniel Buzolic got a big bite of international fame as Kol Mikaelson on The Vampire Diaries. But now that he’s committed more deeply to Christ, Nate preaches regularly to his 2.4M Instagram followers and many have gotten saved.

A lot of those saved are Muslims behind the “Islamic veil,” a set of borders where strict Muslim beliefs are enforced and evangelizing is punishable by death.

“I won’t name the countries that they’re in for their protection, but I’ve got Muslim people who have converted to Christianity because of my social media,” Nate says on a 700 Club Interactive video. “I interact pretty boldly with the Muslim community on my social media.

“I don’t think God goes, ‘Hey, I’m all for vampire shows,’ but he goes, ‘I’m going to use them for my glory.’ Look how God can use what the world tries to push, a demonic thing and witchcraft, for himself.”

The son of poor immigrants in Australia, Nate dreamed of acting and moved to Los Angeles when he was 24. He first heard the gospel and responded when he was 27 at a Passion Conference in Atlanta but wasn’t strongly impacted until six years later.

“It made me ask what’s my life really all about it in an Ecclesiastes sort of way,” he says. “It made all the things I was pursuing like acting and fame really sort of meaningless. I thought there has to be something more.”

At the time, he was working on The Vampire Diaries, the internationally famous CW teen series that launched him to fame as he played the sympathetic villain Kol Mikaelson.

Regarding Christ, he was convinced but not so committed. He had a French Muslim girlfriend and gloated that he didn’t judge anyone. But when she broke his heart by cheating on him, Nate was so shattered he wanted to die at 33.

“I was at rock bottom,” he admits. “I was in a very dark place. I’d be on an airplane, and I’d say, ‘God bring it down. I want it to all be over.’ I wanted to be numbed. I didn’t want to feel anymore.”

At the time, ISIS was raging and… Read the rest: Nathaniel Buzolic Christian.

Native missionaries go the extra mile in Liberia

To get to some of the most remote Liberian villages, a native missionary walks seven hours through the jungle.

“Sometimes we encounter mosquitoes, snakes or lions, among other animals,” the unnamed missionary told Christian Aid Mission (CAM). “We get sick. Idol worshippers sometimes threaten us, saying that if we don’t leave their village, they will kill us.

“We have to contend with all of that relying on God, the author and finisher of our faith.”

His willingness to endure hardship to bring the gospel to the unreached shows the value of “native missionaries” – locals who carry out the Great Commission to their nation. As a general rule, they are willing to suffer more than foreign missionaries and have the capacity to reach more people.

“In some places we go, there is nowhere to sleep; we just lie on the dirt floor,” says the unnamed ministry leader. “There may be no good, safe drinking water or light. When the battery in the flashlight I carry is finished, there’s nowhere to get additional light at all. There are no shops or stores in the jungle.”

In Liberia, 43% of the population follows an ethnic religion. About 40% are Christian, 12% of which is evangelical. Islam holds 12%.

But the labors of native missionaries are improving those statistics. Within a recent six-month period, the missionary and team led 270 people to confess their belief in Christ, the report says.

One recent convert formerly had lived like a prodigal. As a young girl, she wasted most of her life abusing drugs, alcohol and smoking.

“When I shared the gospel with her, I told her the story of the two sons in Luke 15, then I told her, if you will only believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to forgive you, He will. Without hesitation, she immediately accepted the Lord Jesus, and she was baptized and is serving in the church as an usher, doing it with joy.”

How do the local missionaries make inroads into remote villages that are resistant to the Gospel? Sometimes, by farming… Read the rest: Missions in Liberia.

Crippling anxiety even as a child

For Mia Dinoto, the crippling anxiety attacks started when she was 8.

“I was diagnosed with OCD and anxiety. I got really, really depressed,” Mia says on her YouTube channel. “I got panic attacks 24/7 every single day. I would not leave my house. I was terrified to leave my house. I felt stuck inside myself. I was trapped inside myself.”

Raised in Christian home, Mia didn’t know Jesus and, trying to pray, found it difficult and neglected it for years at a time.

“Is my life going to be like this?” she asked her parents, who signed her up with a therapist three times a week.

“I got put on medication,” she says.

She wavered between being able to function “like a normal person” and relapsing, she says.

In her teens, Mia was diagnosed with anorexia. “It consumed my life,” she says. “I no longer cared about anything other than what I ate, what I looked like, working out. All my goals, priorities and values got thrown away. I didn’t care about anything else. I would do anything to get skinny and have the perfect body.”

Mia argued with her family members and treated them rudely, she says. “I got in fights with them every day,” she says. “I pushed all my friends away.”

“I got to a really unhealthy point where I was starving myself. I was malnourished,” she says. “I still looked into the mirror and thought I was fat. It consumed my thoughts. My anxiety and depression came back worse this time.”

Under the crushing weight of depression, she was fatigued and slept 16 hours every night. Living in California at the time, she would be outside in 90-degree weather with a jacket and comforter because her malnourished body felt cold; it didn’t have the nutrients to produce heat to warm itself.

Her regular menstrual cycle stopped for a year. “My body was shutting down,” she admits. “I didn’t care about my health. I just wanted to be skinny.”

“Saying it seems so stupid. Anorexia isn’t just a health problem; it is a mental health problem,” she now realizes. “It consumed me.”

Her parents enrolled her in a strict, in-house treatment center, but it didn’t work. Hearing a podcast about overcoming anxiety through chakra meditation and manifesting, she fell into New Age practices trying to get more balanced and “control her destiny.”

Then she stumbled across a video that challenged chakra ideas from the Christian perspective. She considered herself a Christian and was startled to hear, for the first time, that chakra was anti-Christian. She found out she was drifting ever farther from God.

“I didn’t want to do anything against Christianity,” she says. “I watched a lot of videos, and I realized I was being pulled away from God because I was depending on myself to fix things and not the Lord.”

Her brother started reading the Bible and this prompted Mia to do the same.

“I had never… Read the rest: crippling anxiety even as a child

Thrift your way rich

Very simply: If you can’t control your expenditures, you will never get rich. But being frugal gives you the capability to the hit the highs, though it may take 10 years.

It’s your choice, but please don’t envy others who tightened the belt for years.

Under the influence, he called himself ‘a child of Satan’

The first time Nick Thimmig glimpsed the undeniable reality of evil in the world was when “Crazy Robert” — screaming expletives and growling at a party — randomly punched a taller dude and left him bleeding on the ground before running off into the woods howling.

“That’s when I knew there was evil in the world. I just saw evil manifest right in front of my eyes for no apparent reason,” Nick says on a Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. “Why did he do this? Because he was from Humble (Texas). People from Huffman didn’t like people from Humble. Well, I was from Humble, so I got the heck out of there.”

Nick Thimmig was born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan, but went to Texas for his senior year of high school because his mom didn’t pay attention to his comings and goings, and he could “live it up” with parties and drugs.

He missed applying for college and instead got a job to fund his trips to different colleges on weekends to party. That’s when he started the heavier drugs: ecstasy, acid, cocaine. Under the effects of acid, he would see demonic manifestations and thought to himself, “I am a child of Satan.”

At 19, he smoked so much marijuana in one week that he coughed up blood. That Friday he was drunk and high (on ecstasy and acid), and he got pulled over by cops on suspicion of trafficking. Nick shoved as much marijuana as he could in his underpants but missed one bag.

“They put me up the hood of the car. They found the bag of marijuana and said, ‘Look what we found. You’re going to jail. Is there anything else we should know about,’” Nick remembers.

Wanting to get out of the problem by cooperating with cops, Nick reached into his pants with the intention of removing the stashed weed. But the cops panicked because they thought he was reaching for a gun.

Fortunately for Nick, he was able to de-escalate the tense arrest and was not shot.

Nick pretended to turn informant to work his felony down to a misdemeanor. When he was released from jail, he asked the judge and was granted (miraculously) the opportunity to work off his fines and community service by joining the military.

In the Navy, he kept getting into trouble through Boot Camp and A School. During his first weekend on the ship, he joined buddies going to a club and got drunk. Upon his return, he was confronted for underage drinking.

“For the next few days, I lay in my rack and cried out to God,” he remembers. “I needed to change. I was in trouble here and trouble there. Now I just got to my duty station, and I was in trouble.”

The next day at the laundromat, he asked a random guy for the time. The guy invited him to church and asked him where he would go if he were to die. “I would hope I would go to Heaven,” Nick replied. Thinking of some way to justify himself, he said, “You can trust me to babysit your kids.”

“But do you have a relationship where you speak to God, and he speaks back to you?” the man responded.Nick says that stuck out to him because he had prayed many times before and never heard from God.

As Nick continued processing, he said, “Yeah, he (God) probably wouldn’t let me crash on his couch for eternity.”

“You can be saved,” the man responded.

“Saved? What do you mean saved?” Nick asked.

If a man wishes to save his life, he will lose it. If he loses his life for my sake and for the gospel’s, you will save it, the man quoted scripture.

“Let’s do this saved thing,” Nick responded, even though he didn’t know what that meant. He only knew he needed to change.

Nick prayed the sinner’s prayer and was became born-again at age 19.

“I had this weight of sin that was on my shoulders,” Nick recalls. “The moment I prayed that prayer, I felt the weight of sin lifted off. I felt changes. I felt delivered. God touched me in that prayer.”

The effects became immediately evident. That same night he was at Popeye’s Chicken and spotted an attractive girl when God impressed this on his heart: Don’t look at her. I’ve called you to reach out to her.

Then God convicted him about his unchristian music. This is trash, throw it out, he felt the Lord instruct.

He called his girlfriend and announced getting saved. She responded that she too was saved.

But God… Read the rest: Make a decision to serve Jesus

Former friends

The friendship is off.

University High volleyball star Naryah Burton buried Lighthouse’s shot at State playoffs. The junior exploited her intimate knowledge of the playing skills of Lighthouse’s four stars against them. She had played with them as a club teammate.

The Wildcats tore open the Saints 25-22, 25-12 and 25-20.

Hmf. What kind of friendship is treachery?

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Let’s go!
“It was very bittersweet. I played with them for a year in club,” Naryah says, feeling sorry for her friends but happy with her own performance. “I know how they play, so I kind of used that to my advantage. I didn’t want to beat them bad.”

Allie Scribner, Roxy Photenhauer, Clara Czer and Dahlia Gonzalez went home with no spoils.

Like a spy embedded deep in enemy territory, Naryah utilized espionage of her adversaries’ (former friends’) strengths, weaknesses, strategies, emotional resilence — everything.

It was a hacker’s haul, like the time when North Korea breached the Pentagon’s computers and downloaded top secret military plans of South Korea and the United States against it.

Dirty and devastating.

But as Coach Jessica Scribner points out, not all the blame can be pinned on enemy reconnaissance. As not all the blame can be assigned to notably taller players.

Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica entered the Uni High gym with saucer eyes — like country girls visiting Chicago for the first time and gazing upwards amazed at the skyscrapers. It’s been 10 years since Lighthouse has advanced to semi finals in playoffs.

“We could’ve done it,” Jessica says. “I think we could’ve at least fought harder than they did. They’re not sweating. Sure, we started a little slow. They were so wanting to do good that they didn’t actually do it. They didn’t get down and dirty. Some of them were sweating, but I didn’t see them fighting for it like they normally do. I think some of them were a little lazy.”

Not all was bad. Frida Macías played at a higher-than-normal level. Rally Allie never gave up. Her push in the third game raised the Saints from losing 17-9 to nearly come-from-behind win of 17-17.

Roxy wreaked… Read the rest: High school volleyball in Santa Monica

35 chairs in a one Honda Civic

A pastor shares his former infidelity, saves a marriage

After years of being vague about his past sins, Pastor Jason Glasscock finally spoke clearly from the pulpit about the time he cheated on his wife. His vulnerability saved a marriage.

“I would always say, ‘When I messed up.’ I would never give the details,” Jason says on a Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. “But a couple years ago, I preached at a Harvester’s (Bible conference) and said it. Right after, this couple comes up and they’re going through it. We talked about it. They’re still in the church today. It really helped them.”

Jason’s story shows how being real in church can help others who are struggling. Christian forgiveness, healing and restoration contrasts with the world’s options of having an “open marriage,” getting revenge, getting a divorce or going off the deep end with perversion.

The anatomy of adultery, for Jason, started not with physical attraction but with pride. A young female Navy sailor flattered Jason because he was good at his job. Meanwhile, he felt useless at home.

“Pride was the root,” he says. “This girl stroked my ego. My wife didn’t understand my job. When you come home and bills aren’t paid, you don’t feel significant. You feel irrelevant. The devil knows how to stroke your ego. It’s pride that led up to that.”

Forgiveness is the answer, but it doesn’t make it easy or wipe away the wounds to marital infidelity. The sequels to unfaithfulness are lingering suspicion and lack of trust. Once, his wife drove by a business with the same name as the girl, and it triggered painful memories. Jason and his wife have had to work through the issue for years.

Jason Glasscock grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, to teenage parents. Dad joined the Navy and they moved up to Norfolk, but he passed away when Jason was four years old. The other men Mom had were unfaithful to her, and none of them adopted Jason. They moved back to Florida to a small town called Lake City.

In high school, Jason liked football and sports but also “nerdy” games like Dungeons & Dragons. Due to laziness, he barely graduated high school. “Homework didn’t go in my vocabulary,” he quips. “The only reason I graduated is because the teachers gave me grace because I had signed up for the military.”

In the Navy, Jason’s first assignment was with the presidential honor guard as a colors bearer. Carrying the flag, he participated in more than 1,000 funerals and went to George Bush’s presidential inauguration.

“It was fun and interesting,” he says. “But it wasn’t the best place for a young man because it was treated like a college dorm. There was a lot of alcohol. You weren’t supposed to have it, but we did. There was a lot of underage drinking and fooling around with women.”

At age 20… Read the rest: infidelity pastor

A vision of her daughter in Heaven helped heal the regret of having an abortion

Dell made the painful decision to abort because she believed she couldn’t provide the upbringing her child deserved. But she was unprepared for the years of anguish and guilt following that decision.

“I felt like my baby would be better off not coming into this world,” Dell says on a 700 Club video. “I wasn’t any good for anybody.”

Immediately after aborting her daughter in the second trimester, Dell wanted to kill herself. She even took a razor blade and began to slit her wrist.

“I went home, and I just wanted to die,” Dell says. “I couldn’t live with what I had done.”

She kept saying over and over, “I’m sorry, Baby. I’m so sorry.”

That’s when a man from church called with a prophetic message: “The Lord told me you were in trouble. The Lord told me that if you will walk in the straight and narrow and trust in him, he will restore what the locusts have eaten and give you back tenfold what Satan has taken from you.”

Eventually, Dell got her life together and married a loving man named Cary (spelling is uncertain). They’ve been married 42 years and have two sons and two daughters.

But she never escaped the regret, depression and nightmares that stem from Post Abortion Syndrome (PAS).

“I longed to see my daughter,” she says. “I thought, how could there be no tears in heaven? When I got there, and when she saw me, what would she say: ‘Why did you do that, Mommy?’ I couldn’t forgive myself.”

In an effort to find a soothing balm to her inner wound, Dell and her husband went to some revival services preached by Pastor Rodney Howard Brown. She was disappointed, not finding the help she sought to heal her emotional wounds.

As she was leaving, she collapsed in the church foyer. While her body lay prone, apparently lifeless, she had a near death experience. Dell was transported to Heaven in a vision.

She saw Jesus – and a child.

“I saw this little girl with pigtails and a little white dress, and she was skipping and dancing and twirling around the feet of Jesus,” Dell says. “She turned and looked at me. Our eyes met, and I immediately… Read the rest: How do I heal from Post Abortion Syndrome?

The Little Philosopher

There she was, their leader, in the dark hallway adjacent to the gym as some girls cried, imparting mental strength to her team even after a semifinal defeat. The girls were listening to Coach. Then Allie Scribner took over talking.

“I know this sucks and you’re all thinking about your mistakes,” the team captain said. “But right now, you need to think about what we accomplished this season. We went really far. We’ve made people proud of us. This hasn’t happened in forever. We are literally making memories. We’ve been a team this whole season. We’ll stay a team. I love you all equally.”

The spry sophomore produced some jaw-dropping hits, sets and serves all season to befuddle opponents and lead the Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica into semifinals. The Saints lost in Game 5 to AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School in Canoga Park Saturday.

Allie has cycled through a list of nicknames highlighting her prowess. She’s been called a gunslinger for her serves. She’s been said to fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee (playing off the nearly homonymous Ali). Her performance continued to inspire Saturday: Rally Allie, Aerial Allie. She blocked AGBU three plays in a row.

There she was, their leader, in the dark hallway adjacent to the gym as some girls cried, imparting mental strength to her team even after a semifinal defeat. The girls were listening to Coach. Then Allie Scribner took over talking.

“I know this sucks and you’re all thinking about your mistakes,” the team captain said. “But right now, you need to think about what we accomplished this season. We went really far. We’ve made people proud of us. This hasn’t happened in forever. We are literally making memories. We’ve been a team this whole season. We’ll stay a team. I love you all equally.”

The spry sophomore produced some jaw-dropping hits, sets and serves all season to befuddle opponents and lead the Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica into semifinals. The Saints lost in Game 5 to AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School in Canoga Park Saturday.

Allie has cycled through a list of nicknames highlighting her prowess. She’s been called a gunslinger for her serves. She’s been said to fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee (playing off the nearly homonymous Ali). Her performance continued to inspire Saturday: Rally Allie, Aerial Allie. She blocked AGBU three plays in a row… Read the rest: Lighthouse Christian Academy of Santa Monica bounces out of playoffs in semifinals

Robert Borelli, former mafioso

Despite being involved with the Brooklyn mafia, drug dealing, and losing his connection with his daughter, Robert Borelli made a 180 degree turn that changed the future course of his life.

“As a young kid growing up in Brooklyn, New York, being a small guy, I had to be a little rough kid. You had to learn how to fight,” Robert told DadTalk.

Robert’s neighborhood was tough and, unbeknownst to him initially, it was run by the Gambino crime family.

“They protected the neighborhood and got all the respect from just about everybody in it, including police officers.” Robert continues. “There was mutual respect between the officers and the mafia guys.”

Robert was well-liked by the mafia affiliates, and he often attended their social clubs to run errands.

“At the age of 17 years old, I started hanging out with one of the mob guys’ sons,” Robert says. “His dad often had a big spread every Friday night where all the wise guys from the neighborhood would come meet him and give him respect.”

Robert was impressed by the influence of the men there and was drawn towards the criminal lifestyle.

“My family had a hard time making ends meet. There were financial arguments in the house over rent, and at that age, that was not something I was looking forward to having for the rest of my life.”

Robert’s gravitated towards the mafia life, drawn by the respect, money, and nice clothes offered by it.

“See the people?” a mafia man told him one day as they observed some people at a bus stop. “They are the suckers; they have to go to work, and they give half their money to the government. We’re gonna keep that money for ourselves.’”

But by age 20, he was deep into trouble with the law. He had a murder case and possession of a weapon case. Prison offered the proof that he was good for the mafia because he didn’t “rat anybody out.”

So when he was released, he was ready to operate and scale up in the lifestyle portrayed fairly accurately, he says, by the movie “Goodfellas.”

“I was getting recognition,” Robert says. “I got involved in selling drugs.”

Robert was living a fast-paced life of partying, drugs, recognition and excitement. Robert demanded respect, and he would even resort to violence to get it. He wasn’t only running drugs; drugs were running him. He became a “crackhead.”

But then something happened that would change everything.

“In 1993, a little girl was born, my daughter, Brianna, and seven weeks into having her home, I walked out of her life to get high just for that night,” Robert states. “It ended up not being just for that night, and I ended up staying out getting high.”

Mom didn’t like his newly adopted lifestyle and forced him to stay away from their daughter so she wouldn’t get corrupted.

Finally the law caught up with Robert and he was Incarcerated for a long stint. He missed his daughter, but his wife wouldn’t let him talk to her on the prison phone.

“No matter if you’re a mobster or a crackhead, to walk out of your daughter’s life… Read the rest: Robert Borelli mafioso

Little Mermaid actor saved from divorce by God

Jodi Benson, 1989 voice actor for the main character in “The Little Mermaid,” repeatedly begged her Christian husband for a divorce when the movie came out. Jodi’s career was successful, but her home life was failing.

“My personal life was plummeting,” Jodi says in an article published by the Billy Graham Association. “I had a real crisis of belief.”

Jodi wound up staying with her husband Ray. They got counseling and had two kids. Her home life is now successful, as is her career, and she credits Jesus for everything.

Raised in a single parent household in Rockford, Ill., Jodi dreamed of singing.

“This dream that I had in my mind was so far-fetched from where I was,” Jodi said. “I’m sure everybody just thought I was crazy.”

She attended Millikin University in Dacatur, Ill. In 1983, she earned her debut role in the Broadway musical Marilyn: An American Fable. The next year she met Ray Benson, became a Christian, and got married to him.

Moving to New York, Jodi landed an ensemble spot in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Two years later, she landed the starring role in Smile on Broadway.

Her biggest role, however, came when she auditioned for the part of Ariel. Out of a field of hundreds of applicants, Jodi was chosen. Ironically, she wasn’t excited with the part.

At the time, animation voice-overs were viewed as jobs for people whose careers were winding down. Voice-over actors didn’t even get mentioned in the credits. Benson, who was in her mid-20s, didn’t like the idea her career might be viewed as fading.

No one could have imagined how big “The Little Mermaid” would become. Instead of earmarking her for a dying career, it catapulted her to stardom.

But when she hit the apex of her career, her marriage was hitting its lows. She was focusing on her career, but her family was on shaky ground. She and her husband wavered between reaffirming their relationship or trashing it.

“I begged him for a divorce,” she says. “I had my foot on the pedal on a cliff in California. I was ready… Jodi Benson Christian.

What comes first? Getting or giving?

Police comandos guard missionaries in Pakistan

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the healing miracles or the massive crowds that impressed me most. It wasn’t the amazing hospitality or the open door for the gospel.

What impressed me most was the burly guys with guns. Local authorities spontaneously assigned us a security detail, 10 police commandos with AK-47s and shotguns. They controlled the perimeter, loomed ominously on the platform, and escorted us about town with sirens blaring everywhere we went.

Why did three Americans and one Aussie get such protection? Because Pakistan harbors an unknown quantity of Muslim extremists who think they are doing the will of Allah by killing Christians. In 2002, extremists threw hand grenades in the Protestant International Church in nearby Islamabad, killing five.

Authorities in Faisalabad weren’t messing around.

On a recent trip to Pakistan in October, I found relations between Muslims and Christians are mostly tolerant. Around Christmas and Easter, however, as one pastor said, “there are a lot of problems.” These historically are dates for Islamist extremists to attack churches. I personally did not sense any hostility in five days of ministering in Pakistan.

Pakistan is a complex nation. It has a secular Constitution and affords some serious protective measures not only for Christians (representing 2% of the population) but all religious minorities (Shiites also face persecution from the Sunni majority).

I’m no stranger to danger. I maintained a low profile in Guatemala as a missionary for 15-and-a-half years. We successfully remained under the radar until a bank teller tipped off his crime syndicate associates, and they cornered us at a stop light. Four guys on two bullet bikes cased us. One guy hopped off the bike, banged his handgun against the window and demanded the bags. He knew where the cash was.

They got more than they bargained for. Unluckily in that backpack were records of bank transfers that – I believed – would make them want to come back for more. I was certain they would stage a kidnapping of my children, and I was unwilling to risk further ministry in the nation I had come to love.

Ten years later, the opportunity to go to Pakistan was different. It turns out that I didn’t need to leave my wedding ring at home. Petty crime doesn’t seem to be the much of a problem (unlike Guatemala). The problem? Jihadists.

I was told NOT to publish on Facebook dates and details of our October trip beforehand. I was warned to be very circumspect when asked questions by strangers. I am a teacher visiting for purpose of tourism, I was instructed to say. Nothing more.

I blew my cover anyway. There were two guys outside the pastor’s hotel room, and I assumed they were disciples from his church and conversed breezily with them. Just hours earlier at that same spot, there were disciples, and I didn’t recognize all the faces. Pastor didn’t know the new guys.

Pastor Sarfraz had a stern talk with me: Don’t tell random people the true reason of our visit. “Not everyone is good in Pakistan,” he cautioned.

I was more embarrassed than nervous. I had prided myself on being a smart secret agent for Jesus, a sort of Jesus 007.

Once on a trip to Cuba, I picked out exactly who was a mole and how she was baiting me to criticize the Cuban government but first bad-mouthing it herself. I wasn’t caught off guard. If I were to openly criticize it, no harm would come to me – it would come to my hosts. So, I disagreed with her, praising Cuba’s health and education system. Crisis averted.

Not so in Pakistan. In my naivete, I confessed sincerely that I had come to preach the gospel. That admission, if heard by the wrong people, could be dangerous. I never saw those two guys again, and I don’t know who they were. But nothing bad came of it either.

We were surrounded by elite police at every step outdoors. They walked in front of us, behind us and to the side of us. When I needed to use the restroom, an AK-47-toting, menacing-faced. dressed-in-all-black cop preceded me. He even checked the bathroom before I could go in to see what terrorist might be lurking inside.

No extremist got me. Traveler’s diarrhea did.

The only attack I suffered was a battle waged by either amoebas or too much curry spice in my guts. ☹

The security measures were elaborate. In addition to the cops, there was a group of 20 ushers who formed a ring around us outside of the ring of police. Holding hands to form a barrier against the crowd, they ran ahead of us to clear the way.

A friend in the United States says I was being treated like a rock star. But my mind compared it more to a presidential motorcade. For a few days, I felt like a celebrity. A celebrity missionary.

It was reassuring to count on these bodyguards. Initially, I was a bit nervous about going to Pakistan, and my wife was more than a little nervous.

As the days passed, these cops with mean faces began to smile, relax and enjoy themselves more. We took pictures together and became friends. We played cricket on the last day.

They heard the gospel, maybe for the first time in their lives. Now that they are my friends, I wouldn’t want them to miss the love of Jesus.

When you go into dangerous countries, you either go low profile or high profile. Low profile means you don’t wear flashy clothes or jewelry. You don’t flaunt expensive cars. You try to blend in with the natives as much as possible… Read the rest: Police comandos protect missionaries in Pakistan.

Claramente

To keep from panicking in tense games, Clara Czer says a keyword to herself when she goes to hit or serve. Usually, the word derives from her personal faith.

“I was really nervous,” the junior says. “The only thing on my mind was Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

Lighthouse Christian Academy fended off a public high school 73 times larger Wednesday to advance into semi-finals, but it drew down a cardiac Game 5 in which they were trailing 6-11.

Chaffey High School from Ontario, with 3,300 students, was within four points to win. Lighthouse, population 45, needed to surmount nine points.

“We had to really struggle in the last set,” says Roxy Photenhauer. “All of us agreed it was God. We came back from that time out, and we did not let a ball drop. We really, really, really fought hard because we owed it to ourselves and the rest of our teammates.”

At the end of the day, Game 5 went 18-16. (Game 5 goes to 15, but you have to win by two points.)

It was a scrappy win that saw the Saints lose some of the former fine form. LCA’s main hatchet-bearer Dahlia Gonzalez struggled with long hits. Squandering opportunities, serves went long. Players played through injury and sickness.

It was an agonizing game.

In Game 1, Lighthouse relapsed into a habitual poor form. Throughout the season, the Saints don’t seem to hit the ground running but take a full first game to find their form. Down for the whole game, they lost 17-25.

In Game 2, after both teams staying neck-and-neck, Lighthouse pulled away to seal off a 25-21 victory.

In Game 3, Lighthouse went down 5-11 receiving Chaffey’s strong serves like mortar shells.

But the girls kept their mental strength and rallied to level at 12-12. Elizabeth Foreman, LCA’s tall center, was slicing up the opposition with hits that cut like a warm knife through a cheesecake.

Having come from behind, Lighthouse finished off 25-18.

Momentum was on the Saints’ side.

But the Tigers pounced on their opportunities in Game 4 and pulled ahead in the middle of the game, while Lighthouse committed errors. The set ended 20-25.

Both teams were even with two wins, but Chaffey were riding high in confidence.

In Game 5, the Tigers continued to wreak havoc with its strong serves, pulling ahead 6-11 — a mere four points from victory. But in the time out, a flush Clara rallied the troops: “There were so many times that we were all so defeated. But I was like no, it’s not 15 yet.”

Suddenly, Dahlia, in the serving position, rediscovered her inner HIMARS. As 200 Saints fans shouted “Do it again, Dahlia!” the sophomore aimed and took fire. The Ukrainians take out Russian tanks, Dahlia hunted Tigers.

It became 13-11.

With hearts leaping out of chests on both sides, went 14-13 and then 16-16.

Either side needed two points.

With Chaffey serving, the girls played for 27 seconds back and forth, with both sides being cautious to not make a mistake, until Chaffey hit the ball into the night and Lighthouse got the point and the serve.

Roxie served a sinking ball that forced the Tigers into a dive on the floor. The return for the Saints was easy but instead of smashing the ball, sophomore Allie Scribner played it safe and lobbed the ball over.

When Chaffey returned it, Allie set… Read the rest: Santa Monica Christian school volleyball.

Schizophrenia and salvation

Three voices screamed at Stacy’s Mom all the time. Sometimes, she screamed back.

“She heard these voices for over 40 years,” Stacy says on a Christian Reads and Classics YouTube video. “These voices were horrible they said the worst things to her; they would cuss at her; they would call her names.”

That made for two sufferers: Stacy’s mom and Stacy. Mom was in and out of psychiatric hospitals, so Stacy was left alone, fearful and resentful.

Stacy was born in Baltimore in 1977. Mom wasn’t diagnosed with schizophrenia until six months after Stacy’s birth, and Dad was a functional alcoholic who spent all evenings at the bar. “A lot of my childhood I spent completely alone,” she says.

“They were in no position to have a kid,” she says. “But they did, and here I am.”

Try as she might, Mom never got the upper hand over the voices and the breakdowns.

“She would make me breakfast, get me off to school, and then I would come home from school and she would be gone,” Stacy says. “I knew she was in the hospital. I blamed the loneliness and a lot of bad things on my mom because as I kid, I thought it was her choice to leave.”

They never went to church, but Mom played Christian music, wrote down scriptures and called herself born-again — things that Stacy didn’t understand.

“We had a very strained relationship,” Stacy admits.

“The voices would scream at her. They would cuss at her. They would call her names,” Stacy says. “My mom would hear this all the time. She was literally being tortured.”

Part of the reason Dad stayed at the bar was to not have to be around Mom, due to her unstable condition.

In high school, Stacy got drunk and high to escape her life. At age 18, she moved in with her boyfriend, not so much because she loved him as because he was the easiest excuse to move away from Mom. That didn’t last.

Eventually, she started dating the man who became her husband, a Marine with whom she moved for a time to England. It was he who suggested they start attending church. But the type of church they attended left much to be desired. When she shared about her fruitless search to help her mom, they glibly responded that she “didn’t have enough faith” in prayer.

Frustrated with longstanding unanswered prayer, Stacy “walked away” from God; they stopped attending church.

Because of her psychosis, Mom complained of “phantom”… Read the rest: Schizophrenia and salvation

The Wrath of Dahlia in volleyball

One poor Packinghouse player wore the face of shell shock.

Dahlia Gonzalez sledge-hammered a ball down so hard and at such an acute angle that it landed in the first row.

Her opponent, who had no chance to return it, stood in astonishment for a moment as if the gods had decreed by oracle an evil future.

Welcome to Dolly’s woods.

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There’s no other way to say it. Dahlia — called Dolly by her closest friends — LEVITATED.

She was on a totally other level Saturday evening at Memorial Park in Santa Monica when Lighthouse Christian Academy sent Packinghouse packing in three straight sets to advance to round 3 of playoffs.

“Dahlia hit her best and served her best ever today,” remarks Coach Jessica Young.

LCA, student population 45, who slinked into playoffs on a wildcard win, is now a victory march to (dare we dream?) the unthinkable.

With two losses in its regular season, how can this be happening?

The girls, mostly sophomores and juniors, have been to go; I was done. And God impressed on her heart: I’m not done with you yet. I love you and I’m not done with you… Read the rest: The Wrath of Dahlia in volleyball.

I’m in Pakistan. Some reflections on conquering fears.

Want to be rich? Be rich in good works.

In Instanbul International Airport, some reflections about Christians getting rich

Re-invest, don’t spend

She flies like a butterfly and stings like a bee

But she’s not Ali, as in Mohammad. She’s Allie, as in Scribner. She just led LCA girls volleyball to first round playoff win in 10 years.

She’s from a different time and a different sport, but she’s a champion just like her fellow top fighter, nearly honomymously named Muhammad Ali.

Oh, she’s a heavyweight, for sure.

Allie Scribner believed in herself and believed in her team to play an almost perfect game against Eisenhauer High School Thursday evening in Rialto.

The sophomore team captain aced serves, chased balls, launched perfect sets from anywhere on the court. She hit with power and blocked with ferocity. She took flight like a butterfly and stung her opponents like a swarm.

And when it came down to the last set and all Lighthouse Christian Academy needed was three serves to win its first second round playoff game in a decade, Allie with ice in her veins didn’t waver.

She aced one, slammed another and crushed a third.

“Allie’s a beast,” said Coach Jessica Young. “I feel like she’s got a lot of testosterone. She never gives up. Allie just made one mistake. She touches the ball every play. She plays smart. She’s looking for holes constantly. She’s encouraging to the team. She gives great set after great set.”

Fellow heavywieght Dahlia Gonzalez made the last block of the game, and the tiny school from Santa Monica beat the high school with 2,200 students. Lighthouse with just 45 students has a talent pool 50 times smaller to draw from.

The girls burst into tears. They slumped over onto the court. They hugged each other in disbelief.

As if culminating a season of practice and games, Lighthouse played its best game ever in Game 4, edging the Eagles 27-25. In Game 5, they nearly lost it on the final stretch, falling a couple points behind until they sealed the victory 15-13.

But the Saints started weakly, losing 11-25.

Thir spikes went long. Their serves were poor. The girls didn’t click. Meanwhile, Eisenhauer played smartly with precious few mistakes.

“We started out really weak. We were missing our starter, Elizabeth (Foreman),” said Coach Jessica. “All the odds were against us today. Roxy’s wrist today, Allie’s wrist, Clara’s foot, now Dahlia did something to her thigh. But we just claim that with God all things are possible.”

By Game 2, Lighthouse started to find its form. The irony is that the winning streak of points was struck by senior Ireland Daniel. She serves underhanded. At times, it appears her lobs barely make it over the net. Opponents snickered and sneered.

Yet they struggled against Ireland, perhaps because they had no practice against the beginner’s method of serving. Ireland sparked the turnaround run to victory.

“Nobody is serving underhanded right now, and maybe… Read the rest: She flies like a butterfly and stings like a bee.

Treat people right. Get rich.

Miraculous volleyball in Santa Monica

It was a game the Lighthouse Christian Academy wanted desperately to win. Not only were they fighting for second place, they were avenging their wounds from last year when Beacon Hill executed a stinging shutdown of Saints prowess.

So when two key players got injured, everyone was biting their lip worriedly.

Allie “Everything” Scribner sprained her wrist, and Clara “Fireball” Czer sprained her ankle. Allie got injured when Dahlia Gonzalez smashed the ball too hard at her hand during practice, and Clara got injured when a boy crossed the lie during a pickup game and landed on foot.

A few voices on the sidelines fumed: What were you thinking?!? Shouldn’t you have taken care of yourself better??? Can’t the boys…

But then something weird — miraculous — happened. Pastor Charlie Foreman, who loves to pray for the sick and injured — prayed. It wasn’t illegal sports doping. But it was, people say, outside of the normal purview of natural events.

It was another kind of PT. Not Physical Therapy. It was Prayer Therapy.

Allie recovered. On Monday against Panorama High School she actually was flinging herself all over the court diving for balls as if she needed to prove her body with a thorough thrashing. She played unrestrainedly and unaffected.

Meanwhile, Clara was sidelined on Monday. But she got prayer on Tuesday just before the big game. The pain… Read the rest: Miracles in Santa Monica volleyball

Marijuana risks psychosis, study finds

As the numbers of cases of psychosis and addiction explode, medical researchers are warning about the dangers of cannabis based on a new study.

“Overall, use of higher potency cannabis, relative to lower potency cannabis, was associated with an increased risk of psychosis and cannabis use disorder,” according to the article published by epidemiologists in The Lancet.

Epidemiologists Lindsey Hindes and Gemma Taylor, psychologist Tom Freeman and the paper’s three additional authors called it “the first systematic review of the association of cannabis potency with mental health and addiction.”

Marijuana has been on a legalization steamroll in recent years in the U.S., with 37 states allowing the restricted medical use of cannabis and 19 states allowing recreational use, as reported by Faithwire. President Joe Biden is using his sway to decriminalize it on the national level.

But a number of studies associate marijuana use with paranoia, schizophrenia and other psychotic episodes. However, they noted no conclusive evidence associated with depression and anxiety, which some users also experience.

The active ingredient in marijuana that alters mental states is THC, which is showing up in higher concentrations.

“In the USA and Europe, the concentration of THC has more than doubled over the past 10 years, and new legal markets have facilitated the rapid development of cannabis products with higher potencies than earlier products, such as concentrated extracts,” the researchers noted.

The authors also explained people who used cannabis with high THC levels were more likely to have a “psychotic episode.” One study even found that people who use the highly potent marijuana on a daily basis were five times more likely to be diagnosed with psychosis compared to those who never use the drug,” Faithwire reported.

For years, marijuana was portrayed as a “gateway drug,” a mild narcotic that was a starting point for drug abusers to get into psychedelics, stimulants or other more dangerous recreational drugs. But a pushback against that depiction arose in the last two decades, with some researchers saying it was alarmist.

Separately, the criminal justice system was asking if it was worthwhile to arrest, prosecute and jail people over marijuana use, with a consensus emerging that marijuana didn’t merit the waste of public resources.

Pushed by his left-leaning base, Biden jumped onboard. “I don’t think anyone should be in prison for the use of marijuana,” he said July 16. “We’re working on the crime bill now.”

Some Christian leaders are… Read the rest: A Christian perspective on marijuana

Report from the brick fields of Pakistan

FAISALABAD, Pakistan — Kids as young as 2 years old are working in the brick-making fields of Pakistan. One man with a free school wants to change that.

Sarfraz Anwar’s father and brother started in the brick fields. To make bricks, they squat and grab a ball of moist clay-rich earth. They form it into a loaf, cover it with dry dust, and plop it into a mould. It is turned over and dropped onto the ground in long rows to bake under the blistering sun.

It’s a grueling job, and most who fall into this line of work never get out. Some get indebted to their employees when they borrow for their weddings (Pakistanis love 3-day ceremonies with much expenses). They spend the next decades of their life trying to pay off that debt, much like a student loan in America — only they become almost like slaves.

But Dad and Umar escaped the fields. They had a vision to work as Christian laborers. First Dad took at a double shift in security to raise money to launch a school for children that could be free. With whatever free time, he pedaled his bike to the brick fields and sprend the message of hope. Read the rest:

Read the rest: Brick fields in Pakistan.

The Russian mafia didn’t carry out the killing

Vitalii Glopina may never know what the three Russian gangsters sent to kill him saw as one raised the knife to stab Vitalii.

“They turned white. They were shaking,” he says on a Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. “He threw the knife down. They ran out of there. In that moment, I knew there was a God.”

Well, of course. He had just prayed that if there were a God, to rescue him.

That was the end of atheism for Vitalii, who blamed God for the death of his sister and played out his anger against the injustice done to his family by getting into drugs, alcohol, and easy money.

With his sister growing up in Ukraine, Vitalii had a peculiar hobby, looking for mushrooms. On one occasion, he asked his sister to get out of work early so they could get a headstart on their mushroom enthusiasm. “I felt responsible for her death,” Vitalii says.

On that fateful night, his sister was kidnapped. They found her injured and took her to a hospital where she lingered between life and death for two days. Young Vitalii pleaded with God for her life, and when she died, he vowed to become an atheist.

From 18 years, he pour his life into substance abuse and crime. He joined a Russian mafia gang and made good money as the key man; he was the one who broke into cars and got them started.

He was a brainiac for technology. He got straight A’s in school, but he also had keyed all the rooms and could break in at will to classrooms and offices.

When he graduated high school, he got a scholarship to Romania, where he would learn cybernetics.

He vowed that in the new place, he would turn over a new leaf. His vow to be sober and make good lasted only three days, within which time he found a dealer and the mafia and fell back into his old habits.

Vitalii would show up and get into the BMW7 series vehicles. Sometimes they would steal the car outright, sometimes they would just steal the parts. When the insurance paid for new parts, his team could fill the order through a front company and rebuild the car they themselves had disassembled.

It was lucrative work, but every night Vitalii was hobbled by crippling guilt.

“I had to be stoned to death to be able to sleep,” he admits.

His penchant for heavy substance abuse caused him to wind up with overdoses: three times on drugs, twice on alcohol. A triple dosage brought him to the hospital on Christmas Eve, where he confessed to hospital staff where the drugs were.

The cops raided, and he lost $5,000 worth of merchandise.

All of sudden, Vitalii was indebted to the mafia, and they weren’t… Read the rest: Vitalli Glopina, pastor in Ukraine

The role of hardship on the course to success

Stakeholders — how to get the best out of your team

How the poor stay poor

Saving is not enough. You must also…

I’m going on full-on attack mode

Scary, scary, scary ways to waste $$$

She’s Pho real

Some like it hot.

Lighthouse fans were savoring the Pho on a hot streak on Monday.

After a lackluster Game 1, Lighthouse Christian Academy gave Junior Roxy Photehauer the ball and told her to serve up some spicy noodles. The next five serves were too hot to handle for the Panorama High School Pythons.

“Roxy’s serving was great. Her digs were also good,” says sophomore Frida Macias. “This was one of her best games. She was ready every single time.”


LCA pulled away and cruised to a comfortable three straight wins thereafter.

Roxy typically plays libero. But since LCA was missing a key player due to injury, Coach Jessica Young thought to put her in the normal rotation. It didn’t seem to work as well.

After Game 1, Roxy confided to Coach: “I just want to dive for a ball.”

She changed jerseys and came out with some graceful lunges that looked like Tarzan swinging through the jungle. Panorama had a hard time finding the floor. “We won everything with her as libero,” says Coach Jessica. “She was hungry to get the hard balls.”

Then she came up for serves and fired off some sizzling hot serves.

It was LCA’s first game against a public school since anyone could remember, and maybe the girls were intimidated by the a gym bigger than they’ve seen full of Panorama students cheering their team. The gym — honoring their mascot, the python — bears the words: “Welcome to the snake pit.”

“I think they were slightly intimidated,” says Coach Jessica. “Everybody was… Read the rest: Santa Monica private school volleyball season 2022

How TikTok star Cristina Baker found Christ

From Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Christina Baker’s stepdad sent her with a one-way ticket to Maui, where reportedly her biological dad lived.

After waiting six hours to be picked up at the airport, Dad finally showed up.

“This is crazy that you’re here,” he told her as they drove from the airport. “I need to tell you something. I’m homeless and I’m living in a tent on the beach.”

That is how Christina’s life flowed into uncharted waters.

The bedlam began when her parents divorced. Mom flew straight to Bolivia. To the ache of not having her father, add the confusion of culture shock and language barriers.

“When my parents divorced, it really set me over the edge,” Christina said on a 100 Huntley Street video interview. “I was just drawn to the darkness because I felt that way inside.”

Christina took refuge in the Goth lifestyle with its emo depression.

“My life was totally spinning out of control,” she says. “He basically told me that I needed to leave his home.”

Underage drinking and clubbing caused her to run afoul of her stepdad, who sent her to Hawaii. Maybe he thought she would do better with her biological father, but he was in no place to help his daughter. He had been an oil executive, but drugs drove him to homelessness.

Christina lived with Dad homeless on the beach for some time.

Then she went from house to house sleeping on the couches of friends. She got in touch with her brother, who hooked her up with a local church.

That’s when she landed in the foster care system with Sharon Hess, who gave her a warm welcome and a warm bed at her home in 2001,

“We have two rules. Your curfew is 11:00 p.m. and you need to go to church with us,” Foster Mom told her.

“I just wanted a warm bed to sleep in at that point,” Christina remembers. “I looked around. I’m like, ‘I’m an atheist; I don’t believe in God.’ But I knew that if I wanted that warm bed and somewhere to stay that I needed to go to church with them.”

Sharon and the rest of the family didn’t judge her Goth clothes and makeup. They even let her wear all black to church. Little by little, the Word of God was planted in her heart, after three years in foster care.

“This woman loved me just the way I was,” Christina recalls. “She wasn’t trying to change the way I looked.”

After those three years, she moved to Houston, Texas, where she relapsed into drugs and soon found herself pregnant. She planned on an abortion when her drug dealer’s girlfriend showed her a report that the abortion doctor was being sued by the State of Texas because a 15-year-old patient died in his abortion chair.

“She pulled me and she said, ‘I know you don’t believe in God, but I’m begging you not to kill this child,” Christina remembers.

“His grace met me in my darkest moment. His grace met me in a moment where I didn’t believe.”

Christina became a functional drug addict. She worked and took care of Ethan, her newborn, and did drugs when nobody was watching. That worked for some time, until she got pulled over by police.

While she was awaiting trial on bail, a co-worker invited her to a Bible study. At the meeting, a man named Hillroy gave her a “word of knowledge,” a supernatural revelation about her present state of mind.

“What he didn’t know and what stunned me at that moment was that he didn’t know I was contemplating how to take my life that night,” Christina remembered. She still didn’t believe in God but couldn’t account for the supernatural knowledge of her inner thoughts.

So Christina went to the breakroom Bible study. When she entered, they were praying, which surprised her.

“If there is a God,” she thought, “These people have come face to face with him. It was so personal; it was so intimate; it was so passionate, something I had never in my life experienced or encountered.”

Hillroy read to her from Jeremiah: “This is a matter of life or death,” he told her.

Immediately, a mental picture of a car accident flashed through her mind, something that is a common reality for those who abuse alcohol.

“I was driving home drunk every day, Monday through Monday, from the bars,” she admits… Read the rest: How TikTok star Cristina Baker found Christ

A Bible left on the table saved Deon Howard from drugs

When half his friends carted off to college on sports scholarships, Deon Howard was stuck with the other half, the “knuckleheads,” who hung out at his father’s house taking drugs, breaking crystal tables, punching holes in the wall, and otherwise “disrespecting” his divorced father’s house while he was at work.

“It was so easy for me to have no motivation, no drive because everything was given to me,” Deon says on the Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. “If you’re not moving in life, things will stack up on you and you’ll be in a desperate place.”

As an only child of a military family in Augusta, Georgia, “I was spoiled,” Deon says. “I was always on the receiving end of giving, giving. Because of that, I really struggled with being a giver.”

When he was 12, he got 84 gifts for Christmas. That’s right. Eighty-four.

About half of them he opened with his cousins. When he got home, some burglars had broken into their home and stole the TVs. What was Deon worried about? His gifts. None of them were touched.

While half his friends were bound for the NBA and NFL, Deon was bound to get into trouble. He was ineligible to play sports because of grades and poor behavior. He got kicked out of the 11th grade and had to go to a private school, which he called “bootleg,” founded by a PhD guy from Trinidad that “sold” high school degrees.

When Deon was 21, his parents got divorced. He never knew why his mom, a very private person, simply wrote a letter saying she would never come back. Always self-absorbed, Deon assumed she would come back and by the time he figured out she was never coming back, he was too lost in drugs, drinking and partying to worry anymore.

“It was a mess. Things got really crazy,” Deon says. “My house, if you didn’t know any better, you would’ve thought my house was a club. My dad wanted me to have some respect for his house, which I didn’t. Hangout spot was an understatement. I was disrespecting my father’s house.”

On any given day, upwards of 40 different cars were parked outside to gather, use drugs and gamble inside. Horse play broke the expensive glass table. “My dad would come to see holes in the walls,” Deon says. They would try to clean before Dad got home from work.

From age 20 to 24, that was Deon’s routine. At the clubs, he loved to dance.

“I loved my mom and dad, but I was out there,” he admits. “We grew up good kids. I had a good, middle-class home. I had no reason. I just had no business about myself. We were bums, these spoiled kids living in their parents’ homes. It’s not that I was missing meals; that wasn’t the case. I was just spoiled. It made me not have an urgency about life.”

He neither sold nor bought drugs; his friends just offered them for free. His occasionally used ecstasy.

The lifestyle began to wear on him. When he turned 24, a friend called and offered him a job in the Navy’s Shipyard in Newport News. The friend said he would “rig” a resume for him, enroll him in a sheet metal class, and he would be making $24 per hour – good money at the time.

Despite failing the sheet metal class, Deon’s connections got him the certificate and the job – at which he lasted 15 minutes before getting fired. He didn’t know the first thing about being a sheet metal mechanic.

“He gives me this paper, and I don’t know what I’m doing. I barely passed high school,” Deon says. “I don’t remember 5/16ths of an inch. So I’m going to fake it until I make it. But I’m about to sink this ship.

“He comes back and looks at it. He takes the badge off me and says, ‘This job is not for you,’” Deon remembers. “Twenty-four dollars an hour! I lasted only five minutes on the job.”

Deon wanted nothing more than to smoke marijuana and return to Georgia, but his friend encouraged him to stay. So did his dad, who pointed out that Deon was 24 – plenty old enough to grow up and take responsibility.

Deon got a job at Danny’s Deli making $6/hour.

The roommates moved out with baby mommas, and Deon didn’t have enough money to pay the electricity bill.

One day when he came home exhausted from work, sitting in the dark, he saw a friend’s Bible sitting on the table. The friend read it randomly from time to time, usually while smoking marijuana. That day Deon was discouraged as he contemplated the Bible and remembered his grandmother who honored and cherished the Bible.

Out of the blue, God spoke “as clear as day.”

Son, look, no matter what you try to accomplish, no matter what you do, no matter what the situation is… Read the rest: A Bible on the table at a drug house saved Deon Howard.

Insistent, annoying roommate kept talking about Jesus

Tom Payne’s roommate annoyed the Hell out of him.

Quite literally.

“Just shut up!” he said in his mind, frustrated that Jeff would argue with Louie, who had gotten saved, and that he had to listen to it in their one-bedroom apartment.

Tom, then 19, had come from New York to Prescott, Arizona, because it was famous as a college party town. “Getting saved wasn’t part of the plan. We were in a prolonged adolescence with the feigned attempt at getting an education,” Tom says on a Don’t Sell the Farm podcast.”

So when Louie got cornered by a Christian and acceded to go with him to church one day, Tom offered to provide the alibi when the Christian accompanied him to service.

“Just hide in the bathroom, and we’ll tell him you’re not in,” Tom told him.

But Louie was a nominal Catholic and used to showing up every so often to Mass, so he stayed true to his word.

That night, when Tom and Jeff stumbled out of the bar and walked home, Tom remarked sarcastically: “What if Louie got saved.”

They found him in his bed reading his Bible. Suddenly, their fears, however they were treated in jest, now became reality.

Louie told them he had gotten saved and invited them to church. Jeff started to argue with him. Tom rolled his eyes.

For the next days and weeks, the litany was unending. Louie invited them to church, Jeff argued, Tom fumed. “He was in our faces telling us about Jesus,” Tom told him. “Fine, we’ll go to Hell all by ourselves. But just shut up. I don’t want to hear it.”

Jeff was arguing with him nonstop. Louie was just devouring his Bible and was answering him. I couldn’t escape it.”

One evening as he lay on the bed trying to not hear the other two argue in the other room, Tom asked God if he was real. “I was laying on the bed with my hands behind my head, and I said, ‘God, I’m not going to do this just because Louie did this. But if you’re real, I’ll serve you.”

The “presence of the Holy God of the Universe came into that room,” he says. “I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t believe anybody had heard that prayer or would answer that prayer.”

Awestruck, he told God: “Ok, just don’t kill me.”

Tom attended a new convert’s class with Louie. He accepted Jesus. “I had already been confronted by the Holy Spirit,” he says. He was delivered from drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. The next day, he started looking for a job.

Finding a job was no easy matter in Prescott, then a town of 20,000. There weren’t many jobs to be had. He wanted to stay with the Prescott Potter’s House, a booming church. His first job to support himself and continue learning about Jesus as a “disciple” was to water plants at the community college. His last job was working on a trash truck.

Tom and his buddies were used to staying up to 4:00 a.m. partying, so when church let out at 10:00 p.m., he didn’t know what to do with his time. Fortunately, some of the brethren went out for coffee and fellowshipped after service.

He came home buzzed on caffeine, and he and his buddies went home afterward and wrote letters to all their friends back in New York that they were going to Hell and needed to get saved. “We bombarded them with letters,” he recalls… Read the rest: Roommate annoyed the Hell out of him.

Chetra the Buddhist monk from Cambodia

At 16, Chetra became a Buddhist monk in Cambodia. “It was my pride to become a monk,” he says.

But just five years later in 2011, he abandoned the monkhood because “I felt so empty inside. I wondered what my life was for,” he says on a Christ Church of Ewell video. “I felt so lost in my heart.”

In 2021, he got a job in a language school that taught Cambodian to foreigners, most of them missionaries. On his first day at the school, he had to sit through a Bible study.

“I didn’t really know what Christianity was,” he says. “I only thought I can’t believe in Jesus because Buddhism was precious to me. I thought Jesus wasn’t God.”

He stayed in the school for six years, attending Christian Bible studies but never believing. He had lots of Christian friends, all of whom were praying for him.

In 2017, a certain girl named Julia was more insistent. On Sunday, he said, he liked to sleep late, waking up at noon, well after the morning service was over.

She invited him to an evening fellowship. “I didn’t have an excuse,” he says. “I didn’t go to sleep so early.”

He sat as far away from the group as possible – in the kitchen. Then slowly he moved closer, to the kitchen door. Still, he was resistant. “Buddhism was my pride, so I couldn’t lose my pride,” he says.

But something happened in 2018 during the Pchum Ben, a 15-day festival in Cambodia that honors the previous seven generations of ancestors which are believed to be released to roam the Earth.

On these Holy Days, everybody has vacation. On Saturday during incense burning and chantings, Chetra started viewing his practices strangely. “Wow,” he observed. “What are these things?” Read the rest: Chetra the Buddhist monk from Cambodia

Freed from porn, formerly atheist hears God: ‘Those are my daughters’

Ironically, his dad, a devout Buddhist, left the family so that everybody “could be happier.”

Ahn Le felt anything but happy. “I felt panicked,” Ahn says on a Fishers of Men Halifax video. “It didn’t make me happy. It broke everything I knew.” He even cried out to the supernatural he never knew: “If there’s a God, please stop this now.”

That’s the day Ahn became an atheist.

“In my mind I said, look at these religious folks. Not even the religious folks can get it together.” His mom was a nominal Catholic.

Meanwhile at school, Ahn learned about the survival of the fittest, a tenet of evolution. “I liked this idea,” he remembers. “I realized there’s no god because you call out to him and he doesn’t answer. You just got to get by. That message resonated with me: I’m going to be so tough, I’ll never be in this position again where I’m being left, where it’s going to break.”

He vowed to find his happiness, to make money and buy the things he wanted.

Soon he discovered pornography, first in magazines and then with the advent of the Internet online in the 1990s. “When I found these magazines, it was like a drug,” he says. “When I got ahold of my first Hustler magazine, I was like ‘Wow.’”

He dove in unabated. But while he desired a beautiful woman, he was too shy to approach beautiful women. “They were like goddesses to me,” he says. “I couldn’t talk around them. I was gazing from afar with just a lust for them. But deep inside I was l like, ‘Why would that girl ever like me?’ I had a low self-confidence.”

The pornography imbued shame in him and brought his self-confidence even lower, he says.

While he had a secret addiction, he projected an image of being a good guy.

In college, he overcame his shyness and began approaching girls, even to the point that he moved in with a girl. “That lust in me destroyed that girl,” he surmises. “She was a Christian. I convinced her not to listen to her mother. I convinced her to move away from her church. She was such a sweet girl, and I just took her and demoralized her.”

Then, because pornography makes you always look at the next and the next and the next, he dumped her after deflowering her. “I took everything pure from her, chewed it up and spit it out,” he admits. “I used her. I broke her heart heartlessly.”

He ignored the promise ring he had given her. “For me, she wasn’t enough,” he acknowledges. “My lust needed more.”

Ahn got into clubbing and one-night stands. “It was never enough,” he says. “It led to depression. I was feeling depression, but I didn’t link it to my addictions.”

Ahn reenacts his reaction when God told him: ‘Those are my daughters.’

Strangely, the girls who most attracted him were Christian girls, whom he would pretend to listen to about God but would be “little by little be grooming them away from the church,” he explains.

“How do you know if there’s a God?” he would say to them. “How do you know if God’s real? What if God was just a man-made idea? What if there was something better we could do for ourselves? What if God helps those who help themselves?”

Systematically, he turned them away from their faith and got them into extra-marital sex. Eventually, he realized that atheism meant there was no need to project an image of being a good person. “I make my own beliefs,” he says. “In college you’re taught, What is truth? There is no truth. It’s all perspective. It’s all relative. There is no true good, no true bad.” Read the rest: Ahn Le, podcaster, ex atheist, freed from porn.

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Will Graham, grandson to Billy Graham

The world may know the name of the late beloved evangelist, Billy Graham, and his son Rev. Franklin Graham, but many may not know about another evangelist in the family, William Franklin Graham IV.

“I was born Billy Graham’s grandson; I will die one day as Billy Graham’s grandson,” the evangelist said on a YouTube video.

William, the son of Franklin Graham, has known nothing other than being the son and grandson of two renowned evangelists. “Not everyone has a famous grandfather or father, but for me, it was normal.”

William, 47, spent his childhood on a farm in Western North Carolina surrounded by cows, horses, dogs, cats, and, at one point, a potbelly pig.

On Jan. 11, 1981, he gave his life to Jesus when he was five at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church his family attended in Boone, North Carolina, after a communion service. His father told him he could not participate until he let Jesus into his heart.

“I believed that Jesus existed, but I never applied him into my heart,” he said. “So that’s when I gave my life to Christ.”

William went to public school in North Carolina growing up, but it wasn’t until he attended college at Liberty University that he not only fell in love with God’s word but got to see how impactful his grandfather was.

“I’d been to his crusades. I knew he was one of the most famous people in America,” he said. “But something hit me at Liberty.”

It changed for Will one day when he was in his dorm room and a man he didn’t know knocked on his door looking for Billy Graham’s grandson.

“What do you want?” William asked him.

“I’m just looking at your room. I wanna see what Billy Graham’s grandson’s room looks like,” he responded. Read the rest: Will Graham, grandson of Billy Graham

Darren Munzone, Australian rugby player and pastor

Darren Munzone reacted to his wife’s newfound faith in Jesus and belief in the rapture by sneering: “Oh, you’re still here? The UFOs haven’t gotten you yet?”

He could tolerate the fact that she had gambled away their savings of $10,000. But he couldn’t stand the fact that afterwards she became a born-again Christian. “To me it was like she had become a nun or something. I was just not happy.”

He lashed out at her: “If I would have wanted to marry a Christian, I would have gone to church, But I met you in a pub. This is a rip off.”

Born to an Italian immigrant father, Darren always identified as an Aussie because of discrimination against immigrants, he says on a Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. He had basically no background in Christianity.

Admittedly, he was the bully of the classroom and got into scrapes frequently. When his mother divorced and remarried, he took out his frustrations by fighting with the neighborhood boys. His penchant for violence went right along with his dream to be a rugby player.

“I got into lots of trouble because of fights as a teenager,” he says. “I rebelled against my mom and my stepdad.” He didn’t talk much to his stepdad except two to three times a year.

For rugby league, he practiced very hard but wasn’t big enough and wasn’t gifted in the sport. Ultimately, a series of injuries sidelined him when was semi-professional, so instead, he turned to coaching, where he excelled.

“I’ve broken all my fingers,” he recounts. “I literally had my ear ripped off the side of my head and had to have it sewn back on. My AC joint in my shoulder – serious shoulder problems. I’ve had two knee reconstructions.

“I was far more successful as a semi-professional coach.”

The woman who became his wife was a nurse, and together they made enough money to qualify for a home loan. But when the broker informed them the term would be 30 years, Darren and Joanne looked at each other and walked out.

Instead of tying themselves down for 30 years, they decided to travel to England and Europe for two years for a work-cation. “I was running away from the broken dreams of becoming a professional sportsman,” Darren says. He played cricket in England.

After one year of living in England, Joanne had a miscarriage, and the subsequent sadness deprived her of all desire to keep vacationing. “She was devastated by that,” Darren says.

They returned to Australia, where Joanne’s depression deepened and widened even though they finally married.

“She blamed herself that we’d come back from our overseas trip a year earlier than expected,” Darren says. “She thought I was angry that we’d cut our holiday. To escape the depression, she started gambling.”

She played poker machines at the local bars. “This went on for some time until she had gambled all our money away,” Darren says.

The depleted savings was not just bad – she sought Jesus because of it after a co-worker invited her to church.

She broke the news about her secret gambling addiction and subsequent losses to Darren, who despite being hooked on money didn’t get too upset. “I was annoyed but I thought we’ll recover from that.” Read the rest: Darren Munzone rugby coach Australia now pastor

Adrien Lamont, CHH star, heard voices

Never mind that driving him towards suicide were demonic voices, schizophrenic episodes, and the opposition of his family. What bothered Adrien Lamont in the Bible conference – where he had gone seeking deliverance – was that there was only one other black person.

Fortunately, she came straight over to Adrien with a prophetic word: “God sees what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been chasing after him, and he’s so proud of you and he loves you and all the people that have done you wrong and called you crazy are gonna see what God is doing in your life in the direction that he’s taking you and they’re all gonna apologize.”

Adrien stayed and received intensive prayer. The deliverance was decisive. Today Adrien is a rising star in Christian Hip Hop, though his music is oriented more to the street than the pew, a rough-edged message of salvation, not cleared for Sunday School.

Adrien Lamont’s father abused heroin and died when he was young, so Mom did her best to raise him. Grandma was the driving force behind church attendance, but Adrien never developed a personal relationship with Jesus.

He was drawn to music and wanted to make it big. As he searched for his identity, he began drinking, smoking weed and using other drugs. He also liked to wear a brand of clothing with occult symbols. Today he says those symbols opened him up to demonic interference.

“I was really involved in satanic imagery and satanic clothing,” he says on Testimony Stories, a YouTube channel that focuses on Christian rappers. “It got to a point where all these things I was surrounding myself, started to affect my spirit. I realize now in hindsight that a lot of those garments and things I was wearing actually had demonic forces on them.”

He had a ring that every time he took it off and put it back on, he felt like a different person.

Connected with the producer, he began his path to stardom in secular rap.

“I remember just getting very high and drunk one day and I remember him telling me about all these satanic rituals and blood sacrifice and sacrificing his daughter,” Adrien says. “Under the laptop we were recording on, there was a Ouija board. I felt like I was demon possessed and that demons were speaking out of me into the microphone.”

On that day, he says he felt Satan’s presence. Words were impressed into his mind.

“He asked me if I wanted to sell my soul to Satan,” Adrien relates.

“Yes, okay,” he spoke out.

The rest of the night, he felt a darkness he had never experienced.

Hours later, he was listening to his recording when his computer “glitched.” Up popped another musician who shared his testimony about how demons came out of him and how he ran to his mother, who had a shotgun in her hand. He was saved from evil.

Adrien couldn’t explain the sudden, mysterious site change on his screen. He knew he needed to leave Hollywood immediately and return to his mom, who was living in Long Beach. Early next morning, he wandered around Hollywood asking for a phone to call Mom. Eventually, he got an Uber home.

Immediately, he… Read the rest: Formerly hearing voices, Adrien Lamont now with CHH

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We lived rich. We lived in abject poverty. Here’s what we learned…