Benign tumors growing on his larynx require surgeries every three months leaving his voice so weak that his low voice drops off into a whisper constantly. Called Whispering Danny, he’s also a popular tattoo artist in Kansas City, Missouri.
Danny Kobzantsev was a hard-living immigrant from Latvia who hailed from Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. But when his good friend Shane crashed drunk on his motorcycle and very nearly died, he found himself praying to Jesus for a simple reason:
“It seemed like the thing to do,” he says on an I Am Second video.
Danny Kobzantev came to America with his mother in 1975 to seek better options for treatment of his unusual medical condition. As the plane circled the Statue of Liberty, people were hugging and kissing.
“I didn’t know who or what the Statue of Liberty was, but she was the symbol of America and freedom,” he says.
Danny and his mother set up shop in Kansas City, MO. In high school, he was drawn to tattooing. The more ink he got on his arm, the more he realized he wanted to become a tattoo artist.
“I lived a lifestyle that was pretty self-destructive in many ways and I was okay with it,” Danny says. “I pretty much had completely abandoned anything pertaining to God, and I just pursued my own interests.”
At Exile Tattoo shop, his drinking buddy Shane Kampe roared up on his motorcycle Sept. 4, 2001. He was drunk and had no business riding that day. So when Shane tried to drive off, Danny attempted to dissuade him.
“I watched him try to get on his motorcycle and I immediately saw him drop the bike cuz he was so drunk,” he says. “I begged him, ‘Please Shane don’t do this.’”
A couple hours later, Danny inexplicably felt compelled to go for a drive. He had nowhere to go but he arrived exactly where God wanted him: at the accident scene of his friend.
Shane was lying facedown in a pool of his own blood, his skull fractured open.
“His head was busted wide open,” Danny recalls. “He was laying in a pool of dark, dark blood.”
Shane bent down next to his buddy, even getting his own face bloody, and whispered, “Shane, you’re going to be ok.”
Matt Sinkhorn was seven when his mom slammed the door in the face of a woman witnessing about Jesus.
“If my parents don’t need Him, I don’t need Him,” he concluded, a rejection that stayed with him for two decades.
Matt Sinkhorn was always a good student because his dad was a teacher at the same school where he and his twin brother attended. His cumulative high school GPA was 3.6.
He went to college to study anthropology because looking at bones purportedly millions of years old fascinated him. He believed in evolution. “I didn’t care if you believed in God,” he says. “I just knew that I was on my own.”
But when he got on his own — at college, he couldn’t handle the freedom. While his dad had been present at the school, there was accountability, with less peer pressure to try alcohol or drugs.
“I was a teacher’s son. They thought I was going to narc on them,” Matt says. “They pushed me aside.”
But at college he tried weed later dropped acid. Soon he was skipping classes. After two years, he had lost weight and flunked out of college and was forced to return home. His twin, attending another college, did the same.
“When there were no parents around, it was like, ‘Wow this is amazing. We can do whatever we want,’” he says.
Getting kicked out of college was a shocker. “I had never not been good at school,” he admits. “My mom freaked out.”
But he didn’t mend his ways. Instead, he got a job as a busboy earning minimum wage and continued drinking.
Eventually, both boys figured they were too much of a burden to their parents and so they joined the Air Force, where they continued partying unabated. Matt cycled through a failed marriage in New Jersey before shipping out to Korea, where the hedonism knew no bounds.
By age 28, he was in England hanging out with airmen almost half his age. His life had become monotonous.
That’s when Mark Stoneburner, an older gentleman from Navigator’s, showed up in the Air Force dorms. Matt somehow knew the book in his hand was a Bible, but what took him aback was the visitor’s appearance.
“When I saw him, I actually saw that he was glowing,” Matt says. “There was this light that was inside of him. I said to my friend Elena, ‘Do you see him glowing?’”
Matt walked up to him and asked, “Why are you glowing right now? What’s going on?”
Mark chuckled, chatted and asked, “What’s your purpose in life?”
On an unexceptional Tuesday in 2012, Katy Faust finally snapped and could no longer stay silent. Then-president Obama announced the “evolution” in his thinking to support gay marriage and the media immediately branded anyone with contrary concerns as “bigoted.”
She launched an anonymous blog facetiously called “Ask the Bigot.”
Katy’s parents split when she was 10. Her father dated and remarried and her mother partnered with another woman. Being raised with a foot in both of their resulting households gave her a love for the LGBT community but also an understanding of the fallout for children when family breaks down. While she remained connected to her father, some children with lesbian parents were not so fortunate, such as her friend Brandi Walton:
“I yearned for the affection that my friends received from their dads. As far as I was concerned, I already had one mother; I did not need another. My grandfathers and uncles did the best they could when it came to spending time with me and doing all the daddy-daughter stuff, but it was not the same as having a full-time father, and I knew it. It always felt secondhand.”
After being “outed” from her anonymous blog by a gay activist, Katy Faust decided to stand up to cancel culture and co-wrote a book under her own name, Them Before Us: Why We Need a Global Children’s Rights Movement. Kids are getting the short stick in the political football of catering to adults’ whims, it says. (Them meaning “children” before us “adults.”)
The activist who “outed” her from her anonymous blog actually emboldened her to find her voice and speak out unafraid.
In all the hype of “marriage equality” with its mantra that kids only need two supportive parents regardless of their gender, no one is asking kids what they think. Decades of data from sociological research tell us what kids need, but in the rush to embrace “forward thinking,” true social science is being ignored and kids will suffer, Katy says.
Many LBGTQ couples claim they have a right to children and a right to parenthood, even if forming their families violate the right of children to be known and loved by their own mother and father. We’re catering to adults’ desires and forgetting about children’s needs, Faust says.
As a child of divorced parents, neither of whom were particularly religious, Katy Faust did not grow up in a Christian world.
But then Katy got saved in high school and married a pastor. After working in youth ministry with kids who suffered from mother and father loss, and recording the stories of children of divorce, those with same-sex parents, and children created through reproductive technologies, she realized that:
Biology matters. Gender is not a social construct. Marriage is a safe space for children and should not be redefined. Same-sex couples don’t and can’t attend to every need of their kids.
“Whenever you see a picture of a kid with same-sex parents, you’re looking at a picture of a child missing a parent,” Katy writes. “No matter how well-heeled, educated, or exceptional at mothering or fathering the moms or dads may be, they’re incapable of providing the gender-specific parenting and biological identity exclusive to the parent missing from the picture. Read the rest: same-sex parents don’t and can’t give best outcomes to children.
The day after being exposed to pornography and being molested, 3-year-old Anne Paulk started dressing like a Tomboy.
“I was no longer interested in dolls,” she says on a CBN video. “It was everything to do with throwing off the feminine because it was unsafe.”
Anne was raised in a Christian home, but the seeds for lesbianism had been planted right there.
“I felt responsible for what an older person did to me,” she says. “I felt uncomfortable in my own body. I felt unsafe.”
When she was six, a little girl “made a pass at” her and kissed her.
“What I realized right then is I felt like I had power as opposed to being powerless in the other circumstance,” she says. “And that ignited a lesbian desire later on in life. That was really the starting point of that turning of my feelings.”
Up until college, she pretty much suppressed the lesbian inclination. But when she entered the university, a libertine environment and substance abuse created the perfect cocktail to carry out her curiosities and cloud her confusion even more.
“I found myself quickly getting involved in alcohol and drugs on campus. They were everywhere. And that also gave me room to explore my sexual desires.”
She sought counseling, but her advisor told her “the Bible and homosexuality go just fine together.”
Nevertheless, “I just sensed that there was something off about that,” she admits.
Even though she had been raised in a Christian home, Anne had only heard about God; she had never known Him personally.
She began attending gay support groups and hoped to find a partner to marry and live happily ever after.
The Holy Spirit had other things in mind. One day right in the middle of the gay support meeting, he spoke to her heart: The love that you’re seeking, you’re not going to find here.
“It felt like a ray of light from heaven hit me right in the middle of this gay meeting,” says Anne. Read the rest: Anne Paulk former lesbian.
At one time, Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett didn’t know that there was an academic degree called a PhD. Now, the outspoken Christian is leading a National Institutes of Health team developing a Covid vaccine.
“I would have never thought that I would be in this moment right now,” the viral immunologist says on Black Enterprise. She wonders if she is living in an alternate universe, one in which God is shaking the table.
Kizzmekia grew up in North Carolina and somehow caught the eye of her high school chemistry teacher who hooked her up with summer internships in a lab at the University of North Carolina after the 10th and 11th grades.
“I was in the middle of a laboratory with this world-renowned organic chemist, his name is James Morkin. And he paired me with a black grad student, Albert Russell,” said Corbett. “Beyond the love for science and the scientific process, I learned that being him was possible.”
Mentors helped her climb the heights of science, along with her Christian faith, she says.
“I am Christian. I’m black. I am Southern, I’m an empath,” she says. “I’m feisty, sassy, and fashionable. That’s kind of how I describe myself. I would say that my role as a scientist is really about my passion and purpose for the world and for giving back to the world.”
Researching on the cutting edge of science to counter the world’s deadliest disease in 100 years allows Kizzmekia to combine her faith and intellect to serve others.
“My team is responding to the world’s most devastating global pandemic in the last hundred years,” she says. “There’s something to be said about knowing who you are.”
Outgoing president Trump visited her lab and became aware of her service to the country. Read the rest: women of color in science.
Michael W. Smith played drums at age five, picking out rhythms from the radio and replicating them precisely. He wrote his first song at the same age.
He joined the choir, felt the call of God in his Baptist church and only ever wanted to pick up the guitar and worship. “My heart was really after the Lord,” he says on an I am Second video.
So how did the laser-focused Christian music prodigy become the disoriented, drug-abusing prodigal around age 17?
“All my older friends went off to college and I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to be a songwriter,” he explains. “I was playing in after-hours bars from 1:30 to 5:30, just in a bunch of trouble.
“I began to be enticed that maybe you could play with the fire and you won’t get burned.”
The first joint brought great guilt but it didn’t stop him from continuing down the slippery slope, using LSD and cocaine.
“I’m just doing this stuff and I got sucked into this thing,” he says. “For some reason, I justified it. You lose perspective. It’s almost like your compass sort of just like disappears and you enter this whole other world and you don’t really realize it’s going down. Then all of a sudden it’s too late.”
Next Michael nearly died when he snorted what he thought was cocaine and wasn’t.
“I thought I was going to die literally, but that’s when I began to pray that God would do whatever He had to do to get my attention,” he says. “I needed to be rescued.”
Rescue came in 1979 after midnight on the linoleum floor of his kitchen outside Nashville.
“I went on the floor and just began to shake,” he remembers. “I was curled up like a baby. I was just weeping, just weeping. I cried. I cried out for the God of the universe. I haven’t been the same since; it all changed.
He made key changes in his life. He got into relationship with the right people, brothers who would hold him accountable.
Eight months later, Michael landed his first songwriting contract.
Rev. Walter B. Hoye II believes the Civil Rights movement has sold out on the abortion issue.
“In the middle of the 60s, all of us knew that Planned Parenthood was just a racist dog,” he charges on LiveAction. “We’ve sold our civil rights legacy. We’ve said publicly, ‘a woman’s right to choose’ is a civil right. If you can’t get out of the womb, nothing — nothing — matters.”
In 1965, Cecil Moore, then-president of the NAACP, recognized the threat when he said, “Planned Parenthood’s plan is replete with everything to help the Negroes commit race suicide.”
So how did a movement calling for equality and respect for life degenerate?
It was coopted, Rev. Hoye contends. “The first two pro-life groups in America were Black,” Hoye says. “Even the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers were pro-life. We’ve always known what abortion is and what abortion does. Always. And what we’ve done as a people — it’s us, it’s not white folk, it’s us — we sold out.
“The problem isn’t that Margaret Sanger fooled us,” he adds. “Yeah there was a Negro Project. And yeah, she paid many of the most influential Black history figures to be part of that project. They’re listed and that’s not a secret. They were getting paid to preach birth control sermons in church.”
Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, started advocating birth control as part of her eugenicist’s beliefs (the idea of Hitler that the white race is superior and other races needed to be eliminated from the Earth). Abortion factored into the end game.
As a result of this nefarious plan, the black community is in jeopardy of declining as a population, Hoye says. Read the rest: Civil Rights abortion
As he lay on the floor from a sudden and unexplainable fall, John Hawkins shuddered, pondering the implications. There had been no obstacle to trip on. He had simply collapsed.
“it scared me to death because I didn’t trip on anything,’ the retired carpenter-turned-pastor says on a 700 Club video. “My hip just gave out. I didn’t understand why.”
John was 60. An orthopedic specialist said a tendon in his hip was gone and bone was grinding against bone, generating extreme pain. He would need surgery. But he didn’t like what he read about alloy hip replacement recalls. (Surgeons now use plastic.)
“I’m too young to be acting like I’m 89,” the retired carpenter-turned-pastor says on a 700 Club video. “I couldn’t move, and I didn’t like it.
John started using a cane and needed help from his wife, Rose, to put on his shoes and get in and out of the tub. The pain was so bad that most of the time he just wanted to stay home, feeling miserable.
“I’ve always been active, and I liked to work. I worked with my hands,” he says. “My mom was a good example of work and a lot of good work ethic in my family. Everybody worked all their life, always worked for what you want.”
Eventually, he realized he needed to pray for a healing.
Eight thousand people a month searched Google in Canada to ask about suicide and the first article at the top of the search page is: “Seven Painless Ways to Commit Suicide.”
This fact disturbed James Kelly and he resolved to do something by marrying Christianity to technology.
But the young minister in Waterloo, Ontario, didn’t know what he could do. Fortunately, he knew guys who could, techies who were Christians but didn’t know what role they could fill in the church. They didn’t want to do public speaking, and they couldn’t strum a guitar. They were nerds. What could they do for Jesus?
James gathered a bunch of them together in a coffee shop 2016 and asked how to solve the suicide search conundrum on Google. They went to work on the assignment and managed to place a website on top that offers hope and persuades despairing people to NOT take their lives.
A year later, a team member was talking about the site to a friend who suddenly seized her arm with eyes widening. What was the URL? she asked. The team member answered. The friend started misting in her eyes. Just the night before, she contemplated suicide and searched Google.
“I landed on that website and that site saved my life,” she confided.
The URL is howtokillyourself.org, which is a strategy to respond to the search terms. But inside the website there is encouragement for people struggling. There’s a video about Kevin Hines, who attempted and regretted suicide. The three tenets are: you are not alone, here’s information, here’s a phone number.
“Did anyone know where he could build a website that could literally save people’s lives?” James asks on a This Is Me TV video. “The Lord’s like, yep.”
Today, James leads FaithTech, a place where Christian technology is a thing. Since starting in Waterloo, it has grown to major cities in Canada with “hackathons,” events where techies brainstorm solutions for ministries and kingdom business. It has inspired knockoffs in the United States.
James was drawn toward trouble like many 13-year-olds. He had begun to dabble in the party scene. But his dad slapped a Bible down in front of him and asked him to meditate for a couple hours on Matthew 7:13: Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
Kelly got it. Instead of living wobbly faith, he made the convictions his own, got baptized and put on a Jesus bracelet, which he would deliberately leave on the table to witness.
His dad and siblings were all business majors in college, so he followed suit. But when he consulted a mentor, he got clarity as to what he most wanted to do in life: usher people into the Kingdom.
With his wife, he lived in South Sudan for three months to see what the rest of the world looked like. From that experience, he determined not to do “parachute ministry” — live in a rich neighborhood and land in a poor neighborhood for short-term ministry.
After venturing into the isolated Andes mountains of Colombia to reach the unreached Motilone tribe for Jesus, 19-year-old Bruce Olson was ambushed and shot in the leg with an arrow in 1961. His Yukpa guide fled as six warriors moved in and captured him, forcing him to stand and walk six miles to their tribal hut.
The Motilone indigenous peoples (they call themselves Bari) were feared by all outsiders because they killed anyone and everyone who made contact with them. Bruce says that such hostility stemmed from their fear that outsiders were cannibals, according his interview on the Strang Report podcast.
Bruce was allowed to recover, guarded in the hut. Three days after his capture, his first meal was a palm tree maggot, which he didn’t know how to eat. He was famished and when he cracked the exoskeleton with his teeth, the contents burst over his face and tasted like liquefied bacon and eggs.
When he spotted bananas hanging in the upper supports of the communal hut, his eyes pleaded with his captors to be able to eat one, which they granted. He quickly learned the word for banana and would ask often for the tasty treat. On the third occasion that he asked for a banana, they brought him an ax instead, and that’s how he discovered their language is tonal.
“I felt as a young Christian convert in Minneapolis that my place would be among the unevangelized tribal people of South America,” he says. “I felt uniquely drawn to Colombia because I liked the literature of Colombia. I bought a one-way ticket to Colombia. After one year of learning Spanish, I ventured into the jungle to make contact with the Bari people.”
Eventually, the Motilone realized that Bruce was not a hostile threat but a human being just like them. He learned their language and learned to fish and live among these primitives. He was accepted by everyone except a certain fearsome warrior who could not reconcile with the idea of a friendly outsider and threatened to kill Bruce.
On one night, the mighty warrior came to take his life. But Bruce had fallen gravely ill with jaundiced eyes, and so the warrior desisted. Tribal superstitions forbade killing sickly persons.
Bruce — or Bruchko, as they called him — was essentially “civilization’s” first contact with the tribe that killed all previous Colombian emissaries, prospectors and oil explorers. He would travel into cities to buy medicines and supplies. On one such trip, he discovered a newly-invented flea collar for pets. He bought one — for himself — and wore it around his neck.
Success for his efforts came with the winning of a convert, who was just about to be initiated into manhood. The ritual included a contest of chanting lengthy poems among the men. It sounded eerily demonic to Bruce, who was uninitiated as yet to the custom, but as he listened intently, he heard his young convert tell about Jesus as all the others perked up to his tale. Read the rest: Bruce Olson, Bruchko
Jeff Levitan had made millions by age 30, so he did what was expected: he retired to his beautiful home and a life of luxury funded by investments that would continue to churn out income for the rest of his life.
Two months later, he came out of retirement, finding himself bored.
Jeff realized that he needed something better than money and its trappings. He needed to find a higher purpose to animate his life.
Today, he’s back at financial advising and making money. The difference now is that he launched the All For One Foundation, which establishes orphanages around the world.
These are not your typical orphanages. He refers to them as “prosperity centers.”
If that name gave you pause, it does for a lot of people. They’re teaching the lessons of capitalism to poor little kids in countries with weak economies. Are the principles of wealth creation and wealth management the exclusive domain of developed countries? Or do they apply to the rest of the world also?
Jeff’s initiative is going to find out.
While the United Nations throws money at the world’s problems, the All For One Foundation is teaching some of the poorest orphans in the worlds how to break the cycle of poverty for future generations.
“All For One is doing more than just giving children of the world hope,” says a promotional video. “All For One is actively working towards building the systems needed not just to survive but to thrive. We’ve seen firsthand the lasting impact our projects have had around the world.”
For 20 years, these orphanages and schools in Sierra Leone, Nicaragua and 27 other nations, offer 25,000 kids (and sometimes their moms) shelter, food, health care, clothing and education — both regular academic classes and special financial courses.
Financial education – the stuff of Warren Buffett – in the developing world. Wrap your head around that.
For his first crime, Curtis Carroll was congratulated.
“It was the first time that I was told that I had potential and felt like somebody believed in me,” Curtis says on a TED Talk. “Nobody ever told me that I could be a lawyer, doctor or engineer. I mean, how was I supposed to do that? I couldn’t read, write or spell. I was illiterate. So I always thought crime was my way to go.”
Learning on the mean streets of East Oakland that crime was the way to get money led him to a 54-year-to-life sentence in San Quentin for a robbery that backfired and ended in murder.
Today, Curtis has served 24 years on that sentence, gotten saved, taught himself to read and learned about financial investment.
His success at picking stocks earned him the nickname “The Oracle of San Quentin,” but inmates call him “Wall Street” because he teaches a financial literacy class based on the idea that teaching convicts how to make and save money through legitimate modes will keep them from resorting to illegitimate means once they’re out.
Curtis Carroll was surrounded by the vicious hood devastated by the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 90s. His mother donated blood to get money to feed her kids. His uncle taught Curtis to steal quarters from arcade machines.
On one occasion a security guard spotted him stealing the quarters and Curtis ran, climbed a fence, but the weight of the quarters in his backpack caused him to fall back to the ground.
When he was released to his mother from juvenile hall, his uncle told him to be smarter next time: “You weren’t supposed to take ALL the quarters.”
Ten minutes later, they burglarized another arcade game because they needed to buy gas to get home.
At age 17, a botched robbery turned fatal, with Curtis pulling the trigger on 22-year-old Gilberto Medina Gil. Curtis turned himself in to police and was sentenced to prison for the murder of Gil.
Because he was illiterate, he would let his cellmate read the sports page to him. But one time, he accidentally grabbed the business section.
An older inmate casually asked if he traded stocks. Curtis couldn’t read, much less know about stocks, so he asked.
“That’s where white folk put their money,” the older inmate replied.
“It was the first time that I saw a glimpse of hope, a future,” Curtis says. “He gave me this brief description of what stocks were.”
Curious to learn more, Curtis, at age 20, taught himself to read.
“It was the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life. It was the most agonizing time of my life, trying to learn how to read, (facing) the ostracism from my family, from the homies,” he says. “Little did I know I was receiving the greatest gifts I had ever dreamed of: self-worth, knowledge, discipline.”
Next, he studied finance in general and the stock market in particular. He scoured the business sections of the prison newspapers and checked out books from the prison library. His role models changed from drug pushers to William Bennett and Bill Gates.
He started investing, with the help of family members on the outside of prison, in penny stocks. He used the money he got from selling unused postage stamps and selling tobacco to his fellow inmates, according to MoneyWise. As he earned small returns, he made bigger picks.
Outside prison, his money was growing. He will be well-positioned to become a tax-paying member of society contributing to the economy once he gets out — unlike so many other inmates who are expected to “make it” outside without support or money.
“A typical incarcerated person would enter the California prison system with no financial education, earn 30 cents an hour, over $800 a year, with no real expenses and save no money,” Curtis says. “Upon his parole, he will be given $200 gate money and be told, ‘Hey, good luck, stay out of trouble. Don’t come back to prison.’
“With no meaningful preparation or long-term financial plan, what does he do? Get a good job? Or go back to the very criminal behavior that led him to prison in the first place? You taxpayers, you choose.”
In response, Curtis led the charge to add financial education to prison reform. And prison staff responded, making arrangements for him to teach about finances in San Quentin’s chapel.
Curtis not only picked up financial knowledge in prison. He also picked up Jesus.
“I want to give all glory to God, because without Him I wouldn’t look or feel like this,” he says on Inside the Rift. “Real freedom is a mental state, not a physical one. I remain cheerful due to God’s grace and the gift He’s chosen to give me. I stay focused because with this gift I have been given, there is a job that needs to be done.
Dr. Ayman Srour didn’t mind if innocent Jews were killed alongside guilty ones because Jewish soldiers beheaded his grandfather in retaliation for a Jewish soldier killed at Eilabun in 1948.
“When the Israeli buses were exploding, I would say, ‘Hail, Hamas!’ and ‘Cheers to Fatah!’ I used to say, ‘You are the jihadists, you are the truth, you are the strong who defended my honor!’ I became a young man whose heart was filled with hatred.”
Dr. Ayman no longer rejoices over such atrocities because he started thinking about his sister in Haifa. There was a terrorist attack in Israel’s third largest city and a lot of orthodox Jews were killed. What if his sister had been close to the explosion and been killed? Would he celebrate?
Should the innocent die along with the guilty?
The question began to unnerve him more and more and ultimately overturned his political worldview.
Dr. Ayman’s journey from Jew-hater to Jew-lover is a story of hope for the strife-plagued Middle East.
His story and the conflicts in his heart started in Eilabun, a tiny Arab town in Israel’s territory 11 miles west of the Sea of Galilee. The Arabs there are Christians, not Muslims, so getting embroiled in the Muslim-Jewish conflagration surrounding may have been unintended but inevitable.
In 1948, joint Arab Muslim forces moved in to “liberate Palestine” from the United Nations-decreed formation of the Jewish state of Israel. Israel was formed after the world saw the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. The recently formed U.N. voted to officially recognize a homeland for the Jews.
Palestine had been under colonial rule as part of the British Empire. But the post-World War II zeitgeist was to grant independence to former colonies, and jurisdictional authority was awarded to the Jewish people.
The Palestinians were outraged, and so was the Muslim Arab world, who mustered forces and formed armies to wipe Israel off the map. Fawzi al-Qawuqji occupied Eilabun with his Arab Liberation Army. His forces killed two Israeli soldiers. The head of one of the soldiers was used as a soccer ball in town.
The barbarism was designed to manifest scorn for the hated “Israeli occupiers.” It enraged Israeli soldiers, who shortly thereafter captured the town.
“The people who cut off his head were not from Eilabun. They were the so-called Liberation Army that arrived from Arab countries to save Palestine from the so-called (Jewish) enemy,” Dr. Ayman says. “But the villagers mourned the death of the man. Eilabun’s people did not instill hatred and resentment into their hearts. Instead, they followed the basic human principles: Love your neighbor, Respect, do not scorn the other.”
Israel’s soldiers, which soundly routed the Arab armies on all fronts, came to Eilabun wanting to avenge their fallen comrades. They didn’t have the time to bother with the finer points of difference between the Arab Christians and the Arab Muslims. Though villagers waved white flags upon the advance of the Jews on the town, the Israeli soldiers decided to make an example of their superior power.
Without any trial or deliberation, they executed 14 men in what is known as the Eilabun Massacre.
One of those men was Dr. Ayman’s grandfather.
“He was killed in cold blood,” Dr. Ayman says. “My heart was full of anger. Very deep anger.”
As a child, Dr. Ayman accepted Jesus into his heart upon watching the JESUS film, put out by Campus Crusade for Christ. But his childish enthusiasm for a true relationship with Jesus got smothered by the hate growing in his heart for the loss of his grandfather. Read the rest: Dr. Ayman Srour
Amazon, which once prided itself for offering a “diversity of ideas” in its books, dumped Christian books about homosexuality in July, including a carefully worded account of Anne Paulk about leaving lesbianism, according to Stream.
“These are perilous times for free speech and religious expression in America,” Paulk says. “But Restored Hope Network remains committed to speaking the truth in love to the culture about God’s design for sexuality. Among many in this current generation, there is no longer room for a diversity of belief systems.”
The move by Amazon to silence those who offer hope for people who want to leave homosexuality is part of a broader movement in technology in recent months to censor and “cancel” Bible-adhering Christianity. Silicon Valley, which by and large adopts values from nearby free-wheeling San Francisco, became the force, in the view of some tech observers, that threw the election to transgender-promoting Joseph Biden.
At the center of the Amazon censorship is Anne Paulk, no stranger to secular furor. Her husband, John Paulk, went from being ex-gay to ex-Christian and found himself heralded as a hero by the media. John walked out on Anne and their three children after tripping in temptation.
“My husband [began] stumbling instead of fighting well with his sin struggle,” Anne says on Ministry Watch. “He’d cover it up and hide. So at that point it became multiple situations like that. We had already moved back to Portland, Oregon, where we have family, and he eventually was no longer repentant. Our marriage broke up in 2013, which has been a point of grief. I never, of course, envisioned divorce as a possibility. So it’s a difficult process of grief to walk through.”
Gay exit psychologist Joseph Nicolosi Sr. and counselor Joe Dallas were also deplatformed by the monolithic online sales platform.
“Our mission is to restore hope to those broken by sexual and relational sin, particularly those impacted by homosexuality,” Anne Paulk says. +We do that through the Christian faith — the life-changing power and incredible love of Jesus Christ. It’s not about shaming, coercion, or anything else. It’s about joy and peace and resolution of things that have troubled people.
“My book titled Restoring Sexual Identity is designed to help women who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction and want to leave homosexuality,” she says. “When I wrote it several years ago, I took exceptional care for the tone to be understanding and compassionate.”
Paulk founded Restored Hope Network on the heels of the shutdown of Exodus International, a ministry to help gay people that folded in 2012 when the president decided that gay people couldn’t or shouldn’t try to overcome their temptations. At that time, the media ballyhooed the closing of Exodus International and featured stories about a slew of leaders who fell back into sin.
But if the symphony of secularism schemed for the demise of the ex-gay movement, they must have been dismayed to see a phoenix rise from the ashes. It turns out that a lot of leaders from Exodus just moved over to Restored Hope.
Restored Hope now comprises about 60 affiliates all across the United States which vary widely from “small groups to quite large ones” and minister to thousands of people each year. More than 4,000 teens have gone through an on-line program, Paulk says.
“We have a very strong board of directors. They’re active. We have monthly meetings. They’re about an hour and a half long. It’s a very active board,” Paulk says. “We have two retreats in person. So the oversight is very strong. We are very connected to the local ministries. In fact, they’re the ones who put a name out for the board of directors. The board of directors has all authority to remove the executive—that’s me—from the position. We don’t want to do, minimally, what [Exodus] got wrong, which was little to no oversight of the board of directors.”
If her ministry was born under fire, her desire to help others found its impetus in her personal experience.
“I identified as a lesbian in my college days,” Paulk says. “I had struggled for years. I had been molested as a 4-year-old multiple times by a teen boy. What I did as a result of that was reject the danger of being a woman. That was just my story. It isn’t everybody’s story, but it is very common that people who end up dealing with homosexuality have been molested. So in my teen years, I struggled with homosexuality starting at about 12 on up through 19, where I embraced it.”
A headlong hurtling into homosexuality failed to heal the hurt. And, Paulk says, she knew inwardly that what she was doing was wrong. Ironically, it was a gay support group that the Holy Spirit spoke to her and encouraged her to find true healing in Jesus. Read the rest: Amazon censors Christians
On 24-hour shifts, rifle-ready Lee Yih peered across the border into East Germany, guarding against Soviet troops that never came. On his days off, the U.S. Army soldier fought with his wife and got stoned.
“I was real alienated,” Lee says on an “I Am Second” video. “I was just a loser, just not functioning in life.”
Before he lost his way in life, Lee Yih says he was born with great ambitions to be rich — a stark contrast to growing up as the offspring of a date rape in a single parent home. Being Asian, he felt like an outcast among all-white classmates in Mount Joy, Iowa.
“I hated to be Chinese. I told my mom I wanted to be white. In the town where I grew, there were no other Chinese people and I wanted so much to fit in. Basically, I had no identity.”
His mother bristled at his rebellious rejection of Asian culture, so she shipped him off to Taiwan to learn Chinese when he was 15 years old.
“Now I got worse problems because where once I felt so Chinese in Iowa and so foreign and not fitting in, now I’m really not fitting in because I am in China, and I am so American,” he recounts.
Then a friend invited him to a Christian camp. “I got snookered into going to a Baptist youth camp,” he remembers.
At the camp, he heard about Jesus, and, feeling lonely and unloved, he asked the Savior into his heart.
Unfortunately, when he returned to America, he forgot about Jesus. In college he joined a fraternity at UCLA. When some of his peers accepted Jesus through Hal Lindsey’s ministry, the rest of the guys jeered them. Lee pretended he didn’t know Jesus and joined the band of mockers.
He prolonged his four-year degree into five, ran afoul of the draft and found himself in the U.S. Army, stationed at Giessen, West Germany, guarding one of the most sensitive borders of the Cold War.
But as he peered across the Iron Curtain day after day on redeye shifts and no communist soldiers advanced, the nervousness eventually gave way to tedium.
“I had no meaning to my life,” he says.
Like so many other U.S. soldiers facing the noxious mix of tension/boredom guarding the border with East Germany, he fell into drugs.
“All the guys in Germany were back from Vietnam,” he recalls. “Here they are talking about killing gooks (the derogatory term used for North Vietnamese soldiers). And I’m looking in the mirror, saying, ‘Wait a minute. I think I’m a gook to these guys.’”
He also started a family — and promptly it faltered. His wife, Miltinnie, threatened to leave him. Read the rest: Lee Yih Christian
The free house and salary in Nashville offered to allow Drew Worsham to kickstart his career as a magician were tempting.
But the man who had traveled across the country in his car performing magic tricks — with a presentation of the gospel — for a meal, well, he wanted to go to the State of Washington because it was the most unchurched state at the time.
He wanted to minister to college and high school kids using magic, even though he had no financial guarantees.
“I was walking away from this sweet deal of becoming a national performer,” Drew says on a This is Me TV video. “Moving to Washington felt like moving to Africa. It was the farthest point away from where I lived in the continental USA.”
But he was drawn to the overwhelming need. Of 35,000 college students in Washington, only 200 or 300 of them attended church, he says.
So he put aside his dream for a big career in magic and said hello to a life of ministry.
“I decided to kill the dream and plant a church,” Drew says. “Then this phone call comes through. This guy says, ‘I would love for you to come and be a part of this event.’ It was a pretty large event in Texas, one that I’d actually been to as a student. That opened up the door for all of these platforms.”
Drew’s love for magic started with a Disney Mickey Mouse book of magic. Along with telling jokes, magic was a way to delight people, and every time Drew saw a new magic trick in a store, he wanted to buy it.
He wasn’t really interested in the Gospel (when invited to a youth group, he said he would attend, but didn’t show up) until an older man started hanging out with him and showing him what Christianity was without pressuring him.
The strategy of saying less and showing more worked like a magic trick. Drew disappeared from the devil’s hand and wound up in God’s strong grip.
In college, he continued performing while studying psychology. He wanted to be a marriage and family counselor. In psychology, he learned about mentalism, a special area of magic that gets people to say the word you want by subtle suggestions, as if you could read their minds. It causes a sensation in crowds.
Always, Drew incorporated the message of salvation with his magic (which many call illusions since there is no actual magic involved). For example, he’ll make a sponge ball disappear from a person’s hand and show up in his hand.
Then he will talk about how it’s impossible for man to cross the gap between a holy God and sinful man, but God provided a way through the cross of Christ.
Before graduating college during a 3:00 a.m. cram study session, he asked his buddy what he planned to do after college.
For seven years, Julie Mellor left the red New Testament on the top shelf untouched. When the Gideon’s dropped it off in her classroom, Julie was hostile.
“I was an atheist; I didn’t have any time or need for God,” she says on a Jesus Peeps video. “I thought the Gideons were taking up my class time and I thought spreading fairy tales amongst the kids”
Julie, a native of Melbourne, Australia, was a highly educated schoolteacher. She got her Master’s degree from Cambridge University in England.
While she didn’t believe in God, she did explore the New Age Movement.
But then trouble came into her life.
“I went through a traumatic period in my life, and I thought my life was ruined and beyond repair,” she says. “I was actually considering suicide. God I’m going to believe and pray to you for a month, and you got to show me the goods.” Read the rest: Atheist until she read the Gideons Bible.
Matt Cline’s agent gave him certainty: “You will be drafted” in a Canadian Western Hockey League.
But then Matt went inexplicably into a scoring dry spell.
“I had 103 points in 27 games,” he says on a “This is Me” video. “But after Christmas I started struggling a bit. There was a mental block and I couldn’t produce like I did before, and I wasn’t confident making plays.”
To make matters worse, in his second season, while he was still draftable, a big defensive player skated up to him, when he hurled the puck around the backboard and “checked” him — which means he crashed into him with his whole body at high speed. Roughing up players is common in hockey and is meant to intimidate opponents and throw them off their game.
Matt’s helmet slammed the ice severely.
“My head just felt like it was 200 pounds and was just pounding,” Matt says. “It was a pain that to that point in my life I had never felt a pain before. I lay on the ice, and I remember that the crowd was silent and the place stopped and my trainer came running out. I just couldn’t figure out how to think. I couldn’t process what was going on.”
Pain related to his head injury lingered, and he was disqualified from the next game. And the next. And the next.
He missed the rest of the season.
He wanted to start his third and final draftable season but couldn’t. Finally, he left the team for good and returned home.
“I didn’t really cry early on to my injury,” he remembers. “But I cried when I left. I remember just thinking like, ‘What’s next for me? Who am I?’ From the time I was five years old, all I had ever thought about and done was hockey.
“It was the end of a dream.”
At his parents’, he was comforted by Matthew 6, which he stumbled across in an open Bible on the kitchen island: “Do not worry, for who of you by worrying will add a single hour to your life?”
Out of his schooling he started a business, but God called him to walk away from success.
For eight years, he had fallen into the trap of watching porn, and finding release from his addiction led to a ministry to help other struggling men.
When he met a girl and things seemed to get serious, he decided to share with her his besetting sin.
“I didn’t want to have a relationship with secrets, and so I went for it and I told he,” he recalls. I “It literally felt like a million pounds had been lifted off my shoulders because finally the secret was out. Every time I told someone, it became a little bit easier to confess and the shame started dwindling in my life because I realized that people are loving me when they know my secret.” Read the rest: Matt Cline Christian
The crisis of faith came for Hormoz Shariat when Iranian authorities arrested and executed his 18-year-old brother for a minor political crime. Hormoz, who was living in the United States after getting a PhD, wanted revenge.
“Then I realized, ‘Oh, God says, vengeance is mine.’ You’re not supposed to do that,” Hormoz says on a Huntley100 video. “Ok, I hate those people who killed my brother…I’m not supposed to hate. I’m supposed to even love my enemies. Ok, I’m angry…I’m not supposed to be angry in my heart. So I said, ‘God, can I at least cuss?’ No, no bad words because you worship with your mouth. Finally I asked God, ‘What can I do?’”
The loving Father impressed the following on his heart:
Those people who killed your brother are not your enemies. They are victims in the hands of your enemies. When you look at those Muslims killing others, don’t look at them as enemies. They are victims. We have to love them. We have to share the gospel.
Today, Hormoz presides over an evangelistic outreach that is part of the tsunami of salvation washing over Iran, likely the fastest growing church in the world. While Iran’s regional ambitions and nuclear program dominates the news, widespread underground revival is occurring and going mostly unseen.
It may seem ironic that Hormoz Shariat’s beginnings were very much in the anti-American, pro-Islam movement that swept the Shah of Iran from power, instituting an extremist Shiite government.
Hormoz was a naïve young man caught up in the fervor of multitudes in the streets shouting, “Death to America!” It wouldn’t take long for him to see the error of his ways. People were executed on the streets summarily for any association with the previous regime. Austere religious laws were imposed denying people freedom.
Hormoz now says he was being moved by the masses, who mostly wanted democratic change to oust a corrupt dictatorship.
When he came to America to pursue a PhD at the University of Southern California, he saw how blessed America was and changed his mind.
He was achieving the American dream. He had a well-paid career, a house and an American wife. But it seemed empty. He chafed at the grind and a lack of purpose.
So he embarked on a quest to find the truth. He would dedicate his life to serving the true religion, he decided.
Raised Muslim, he gave Islam his first attention. But after reading the Koran in a systematic and scientific way, he didn’t find God.
Next, he purposed to finish the Bible in three months. He started in Matthew.
In his ambition to become a millionaire, Jared Brock graduated college before most finish high school, and became one of the country’s youngest licensed real estate agents. Next he bought a four-plex, flipped it and made a ton of money.
He spent the money as quickly as he earned it.
“I blew it all,” Jared says on a This Is Me video. “I bought two cars. I traveled a lot.”
His ambition began with his dad’s supposed “failure” – in Jared’s eyes.
“My dad’s stated goal was to become a millionaire by the time he was 30, but in his 20s, God really gripped his heart, and he became a pastor instead,” Jared says. “As a teenager, I looked at that and said, ‘My dad has failed.’ So I decided to make it my goal, I vowed that I would become a millionaire by the time I was 30.”
Jared was well on his way to his goal when he married Michelle and honeymooned at Lake Nicaragua where there are fresh-water sharks.
The first disappointment was all the trash along the shore of the lake, which otherwise is a marvel of natural beauty.
The second disappointment was a 19-year-old boy with no legs who hobbled up on crutches to a leaky fire hydrant, pulled out a straw and began drinking.
“Daniel had no hope and it rocked me. I had never seen poverty before. I had never witnessed environmental degradation before,” he says. “And it changed me in that moment. My dream of becoming a millionaire just died there.”
Newlyweds Anthony and Jhanilka Hartzog didn’t worry too much about their $114,000 in combined debt since they both had good jobs. He worked for a New York-based IT firm and she was a licensed mental health counselor.
“I felt like we’ll pay it off whenever we pay it off,” Jhanilka says on a CBN video. “There’s no rush, just kind of like everybody else does, you have car payments, you have student loan payments, this is just part of life.
But as they attended church, they were challenged to think about giving more to help others in need and to think about creating generational wealth, what they hoped to pass along to their children one day.
“I’m going to church now. I want to be a part of it. I want to support,” Anthony says. “The same way we were budgeting for our food and for our clothes, we were budgeting for our tithing as well.”
By budgeting, they reigned in their expenses. The couple took another step; they supplemented their income with side hustles. Anthony signed up his new car for peer-to-peer rental. Jhanilka started a dog sitting business. Anthony worked at a gym on weekends. The industrious couple also started a cleaning business.
Within two years, they had paid off their student loans and credit card debt.
“As we were raising our income, we were tithing,” Anthony confides. “The money we were tithing was never ‘felt’ because we were always getting it back.” Read the rest: Get debt free in God.
Just when doctors asked her family members if they could take her off life support and let the “lost cause” die, Lisa Martin woke up from a 40-day coma induced by Covid.
“God had other plans,” a Dec. 31 hospital statement says. “On the 11th day, Lisa broke out of the sedatives and began following Jeff with her eyes and she even moved her hand.”
Now Lisa, a 49-year-old mother of four, is being called a “miracle patient.” In all, she spent 59 days on a ventilator at Memorial Satillo Health in Georgia, including the induced coma. She suffered a frontal lobe stroke during the health ordeal.
When Lisa didn’t come out of the coma (her eyes were fixed), hospital staff approached the family October 20th and asked them to make the hardest decision of their lives: take Lisa off life support.
They held a family conference. Her youngest son was the last to speak and said, “We are not pulling that plug. I’m not ready to be without my mama.”
“They decided to give it 11 days before making a decision. That would have been the end of one month on the vent. Earlier in September, Lisa had created a living will with a ‘do not resuscitate.’”
But when the family was pressed for a decision, Lisa woke up. Today, she’s re-learning how to walk, talk, swallow and eat.
He smoked a “death bowl” — an overpowering mix of marijuana laced with cocaine, heroin and PCP — and true to its name, he suffered a near-death experience.
“I stayed up for 10 straight days, and on the last day, actually had an encounter with, I believe, Satan. At the time, I thought it was my Buddhist god,” Steve Kang recounts on a video on his YouTube channel.
Satan growled at him: I know you’re having a hard time. It’s time for you to take your own life. Cut your neck; cut your stomach, and I’ll spare you from Hell.
Steve Kang immigrated from Seoul, South Korea, when he was nine. He was among a tiny minority of Asian kids living in the outskirts of Boston in the 1980s and ‘90s and hated standing out like a sore thumb.
“I wanted to be white,” he says. “Everyone was Caucasian or Puerto Rican or African American back then. So Asians were like the minority of minorities. Depression or sadness or anger is a sign of not having something you want, right?”
The confusion, he says, led to anger and rebellion. In college, he started smoking weed with his buddies, and they moved drugs for sale in duffle bags. That made him also a drug dealer.
When the overdose fully kicked in, Steve obeyed his Buddhist god, otherwise known as Satan. He went to the kitchen and got the biggest knife he could find and gashed his neck and stomach. His mom, who was home, came in, saw him and called 911. Police came within a few minutes and wrestled the knife from him.
He passed out and was taken to the hospital. In all, he lost 90% of his blood, he recounts.
While he was unconscious from the overdose, he went to Hell.
“I’m sinking and it feels like an elevator just falling down and after five minutes of just this horrific feeling of being abandoned and fear multiplied by 100,” he says. “I land and I look around and it’s Hell. How do I know it’s Hell? Instinctively, supernaturally, I just knew.”
Demons and people were piled high.
“I feel pain and I knew I was a sinner and I will never leave this place,” he says. “It’s like hopelessness, the spirit of loneliness. There is no quenching of fire and there’s no stopping of the gnashing of teeth and I did feel heat. I did feel darkness.” Read the rest: a visit to Hell.
To combat her painful fibromyalgia, Nancy Johnson tried meditation techniques from Eastern mysticism. It distracted her for a time from the skeletal-muscular pain but provided no lasting relief.
“I wаs оn this seаrсh,” Nancy told CBN. “What am I going tо dо?’ There’s sоmething emрty inside оf me. There’s а seаrсh fоr, Whо аm I? What am I? Аnd hоw соuld anybody love me? because I felt like such а failure аnd sо weak.”
At age 24 after delivering her first child, Nancy developed the mysterious disease, whose causes continue to elude medical science.
By age 40 after delivering their fourth child, Nancy essentially became a shut-in who, befuddled by exhaustion, couldn’t keep house or raise her kids.
“I felt so much shame about that,” she says. “I couldn’t be perfect for my kids or my husband.”
“Оne оf the dосtоrs sent me away with, ‘It’s all in your head,'” says Nancy. “And that was just devastating.” She felt hорeless, facing the grim reality she would have to live with her condition.
At the same time, she developed food allergies that depleted her body. At age 49, she had dwindled down to 82 pounds and was admitted to a trauma center with a temperature of 83 degrees, a hair’s distance from her organs shutting down.
“I very neаrly lоst her,” her husband Riсh told CBN. “Her bоdy hаd just deрleted. She was literally hours аwаy frоm her internal organs shutting down if we can’t get her stаbilized. I did some real soul searching that week.” Read the rest: healing from fibromyalgia.
Despite owing a combined $250,000 in student loan and credit card debt, newlyweds Dwight and Ashley Sanders committed to paying the tithe, 10% of their income to their church.
“Money in God’s kingdom is the opposite of what we think it should be,” Dwight says on a CBN video. “You tithe first, even though it doesn’t make sense, even though you can’t make ends meet, and God will let you make your ends meet.”
Their faith didn’t flounder when three years later Ashley gave birth to Levi, a baby needing expensive bone marrow transplants, and Dwight lost his engineering job and health insurance.
Against all odds and against logic, the couple tithed his severance pay.
Every day was a stressful myriad of calls from medical staff and insurance people. Ashley, a nurse, feared the compounding interest on their debt.
“I looked at Dwight and I said, ‘I have no idea how we are going to pay this off,’” Ashley says. “I just laid my hands on the stack (of bills), and I said, ‘God, I don’t know how it’s going to happen but You do. You are our provider, and we trust in You.’” Read the rest: Does tithing work?