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Brain tumor dissolved through prayer, hole left behind
Stan Lander stared blankly at his wife when she asked a question. It was the second time some sort of brain fog prevented him from articulating, even thinking.
The doctor’s scan revealed an inoperable, probably cancerous mass in the middle of his brain.
“It was a death sentence, the Edmonds, Washington, man remembered on a CBN video.
The second scan only confirmed their worst fears.
“Is this my life?” Stan asked in disbelief.
But Stan and Aleta were Christian believers. So, in time of trial, they gathered their courage and prayed. Their church joined them in prayer.
The doctor’s prognosis was grim: the rare CNS Lymphoma spelled three to six months to live.
“Even in the midst of that dire prognosis, we knew that God was still for us and had a plan for our life,” Stan says.
Their neurosurgeon, Dr. Lau, told them, “I say from a neurosurgical point of view, we cannot do anything much.”
An MRI was scheduled.
Meanwhile, Stan and Aleta were watching the 700 Club one week before the second MRI and the woman praying, Terry Meeuwsen, made a startling statement:
“You’ve been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and there is no question whether you have it or not, it’s there and you question whether God can heal such a thing,” Meeuwsen said. “Today God is setting you free, he’s totally healing that tumor; it’ll just disappear.”
Stan and his wife were startled. It seemed the woman on TV was describing him.
“That’s for me!” Stan exclaimed.
When Dr. Lau saw the MRI results, he was taken aback. Where there had been a white image of the tumor, now there was only black, indicating there was a hole.
“There’s a hole in the brain!” he shouted. “There’s a hole in the brain!”
A miracle had occurred, and the Landers were overcome with astonishment and joy.
“When you see the picture, your jaw drops,” Dr. Lau says. “You saw the white stuff… Read the rest: Cure for a brain tumor.
Posted in Bible prayers, brain tumor, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, divine healing, faith, God, God's healing, God's plan, God's work, Gods promises, healing, How do I pray?, how to pray?, inoperable tumor, Miracle, miraculous healing, power of prayer, prayer, real issues Christianity, tumors
Dreamless Korean kid becomes famous Christian rapper
Lee Byung-Yoon was an uncommon Korean child; he had no dreams for his future.
Then, to the chagrin of his parents, he wanted to be a hip hop artist.
“I had a dream in my first year of high school, and it was to make music,” he says on a YouTube video in Korean.
Eventually his parents supported his dream. Then BewhY (a simplification of his name that he uses as a stage name) won the prestigious Gaon Chart Awards in 2020. And every song he does is based on a Bible verse.
“I praise the Lord of my fathers today,” he raps in “On that Day.” “Even if many walls of oppression block me, I wait for the Lord only. Oh, the day of glory. Oh, God, please accept my heart.”
Of the South Korean population, 28% identify as Christian, so having Christian artists is not uncommon. What’s unique is that BewhY – noted for his sincerity and the fervor of his convictions – would win the secular “discovery” award when all his lyrics are Biblical and his testimony squeaky clean.
At the time he launched, other “Christian” rappers weren’t so Christian.
“When foreign rappers listened to K-pop or hip hop at that time, ‘idol culture’ was a bit of a bad… Read the rest: BewhY Christian Korean rapper
Posted in Christ, Christian, christian artist, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian hip hop, Christian living, Christian marriage, christian music, Christian news, Christian rap, Christian testimony, Christian upbringing, Christianity, christianity in asia, hip hop, Jesus, korea, koreans, rap, South Korea
Tagged BewhY, Gaon Chart Awards 2020, Kpop, lee byung yoon, on that day, waltz
A black pastor in Japan
Blacks aren’t generally accepted in Japan. Even Japan’s 2015 Miss Universe candidate Ariana Miyamoto, being half black, was widely rejected on social media as not being truly Japanese.
So how does Marcel Jonte Gadsden – and a handful of other black pastors – lead churches and evangelize in Japan?
“No matter what you do, no matter how you treat me, I respond with a deeper love, an unconditional love, agape love,” Marcel says on The Black Experience Japan YouTube channel. “The Bible tells us to love our enemies. How can you love your enemy? You can’t do it. That’s why the L of love is written from the top down. You must receive love vertically from the Father, down to you and then you can give it out.”
Marcel arrived in Japan as a military brat in 1999.
“I thought coming here there’d be samurais everywhere with swords,” he says. “I was scared to come to Japan. I thought we’d be the only black people in Japan. All I knew was Ramen noodles and samurais.”
When he got out among the people, he was smitten with compassion – so many hordes without hope, without Jesus.
“If what I believe is true about God, what is the hope for these people?” Marcel remembers. “The passion began to rise.”
Motivated to reach the people, Marcel threw himself into learning Japanese and when he had memorized some verses, went out as an adolescent to street-preach in Japanese in the Shinjuku neighborhood.
Japan has virtually no context for understanding street preachers. While there are street performers, they make a poor reference point. Some stared at him as if he were crazy, others ignored him.
While the initial response wasn’t exactly warm, Marcel was warmed by the fires of the love of God.
“Some people were listening and others were like who is this guy?” he remembers. “I began to learn about Japanese people and how they’re not expressive like we are.”
He took a job at 7Eleven to immerse himself in the culture and get to know the people. When he started a church in his living room, many of his first visitors had met him at 7Eleven.
“It was a training ground. I learned so much. It turned a lot of heads when they saw me at the counter. To see the reactions in people’s faces, they look and look again like, he works here?”
When Marcel met and married a Japanese girl from church, he had to overcome the resistance of his father-in-law, who shared the typical entrenched racism of Japan. Every day his future father-in-law would drop his girlfriend off at church, he would pop up to the car, open the door for Chiaki and warmly greet her dad.
“I think he had this image of me being a gangster and trying to steal his daughter,” Marcel relates. “He totally ignored me. And this continued until finally one day, he slightly looked like he slightly acknowledged me. He gave an inch of a nod. I was really convinced that love could destroy his prejudice.”
After Marcel and Chiaki were married, the formation of a relationship with his father-in-law began… Read the rest: black pastors in Japan
Posted in asia, Asian lifestyle, Asians, chrisitanity in japan, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian living, Christian love, Christian ministry, Christian news, Christianity, Christianity and racism, Christianity in action, christianity in asia, japan, Jesus, Jesus in the marriage
Tagged army, army brat, black experience japan, homelessness in japan, marcel jonte, marcel jonte gadsden, miltary, racism in japan, ramen noodles, samurai
Scrape with death led rebel to God – Father Stu
When Stuart Long crashed his motorcycle into a car, he was launched into oncoming traffic and hit the windshield of an oncoming car headfirst. Witnesses say he then rolled on the street and got run over by another car.
“And here I am” still alive, he remarked later.
Out of the death-defying experience, Stuart turned to God and became a priest, known as Father Stu. He’s the subject of a new biopic starring Mel Gibson and Mark Wahlberg, who were inspired by the story and decided to make the movie.
The movie “Father Stu” will be released on Good Friday by Sony. Wahlberg has pursued this project for six years. His own father died of cancer, so when Wahlberg heard two priests talk over dinner with him about Stuart Long, it resonated with him.
Born in Seattle on July 26, 1963, Stuart Long was adventurous and ambitious as a young rascal he explains, according to the Daily Mail. After graduating high school in 1981, he arrived at Carroll College, a private Catholic university. His focus was completely on sports, primarily football and soon, boxing, which became his sole passion.
“I wasn’t Catholic. I always felt like kind of an outsider,” Long revealed while thinking about attending mass with the football team.
Long admitted to constantly questioning his college professors. When he discovered boxing, he found his calling.
“The individual sport fit with my personality better than the team sport,” Long said in a 2011 interview with the Diocese of Helena. Read the rest: Father Stu
Posted in Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian living, Christian love, Christian movie, christian movies, Christian news, Christian service, Christian testimony, Christianity, motorcycle, movie stars, movies
Tagged Carroll College, Diocese of Helena, Father STu, God, Good Friday, Jesus, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, Seattle, Stuart Long
How Joey Kelly overcame survivor’s guilt
The horror of seeing his uncle slash and kill his aunt and cousin metamorphosed into survivor’s guilt that tormented Joey Kelly throughout his life.
“Looking into his eyes, it was just pure evil,” Joey said, describing his uncle on the evening of the murders. At 12-years-old, he was at a sleepover with his 9-year-old cousin when it happened. “He was just completely determined to kill that night, and he was on a killing spree at this point.”
Uncle John was blind with rage. His wife, Joey’s aunt, was divorcing him and had obtained a court order to kick John out of the house. John showed up at 3:00 a.m. hell-bent on vengeance.
For his killing rampage, John is today in Huntsville Prison, and Joey suffers from survivor’s guilt, a post-traumatic stress disorder that stems from the fact that he survived and others did not.
Joey’s beginnings were idyllic enough. He accepted Jesus at age 7 when his older sister sat him on her lap and explained the Gospel.
“I remembered it clicking that God loved me so much and there’s nothing I can do to earn God’s love,” Joey recalls on an I am Second video. “It’s what he did for me.”
Mikey was not only his cousin; he was Joey’s best friend, and sleepovers were common for the Texas tykes.
The fateful night when he was 12 ended the innocence and delight of childhood. It also ended his faith in God.
Uncle John broke through the window and invaded the home. First he went upstairs where he hacked his ex-wife, Phyllis, mercilessly with a butcher’s knife. Mikey woke up Joey and begged him to help. Mikey, who was 9, watched helplessly as his father murdered his mother.
In his hellish altered state, the father turned on his own son. He tackled and stabbed him multiple times, slitting his throat – right in front of Joey.
Lastly, John came after Joey.
“He slams me against the wall,” remembers Joey, who raised his arms to protect his chest. “My uncle John tries to stab me in the chest. He actually ends up stabbing me through my arm. The tip of the blade just scratches my chest.”
Joey has scars to this day from the incident.
But then a miracle occurred. Joey blinked and suddenly he was 10 feet away from his uncle.
“It’s like God got him off of me just for a quick second and pushed me out of the way or something,” he says.
He looked at his arm and saw raw muscle hanging out of the slit. He pushed it back into his arm. There was no time to think. He ran from his uncle, who chased him.
“John, please stop,” he pleaded. “You don’t have to do this. Please stop.”
The little kid was able to elude the uncle. The next thing he knew, his uncle stopped stalking him and returned upstairs. Joey ran outside to the neighbor’s house and rang the doorbell 40 times.
It was 3:00 a.m. When the neighbor eventually opened the door, she screamed.
“Oh, my God! The house is on fire.”
Uncle John set the house ablaze, burning half of his own face in the process.
Uncle John survived and “looks the monster he is,” Joey says.
“I survived that night,” he says. “This feeling of survivor’s guilt is intense and has been with me for a long time now. It’s a real crappy feeling to know you’re the only one to live and others didn’t. I didn’t feel like I was a good kid or special kid. I didn’t do anything to deserve that. If anything, Mikey was a way better kid than me.
“It never made sense.”
Joey was furious at God. He would go into his backyard to curse God.
“F___ you, God!” he screamed. “What the F are you thinking? How could you let evil win in such a big way?”
He hoped to anger God. Maybe God would strike him down for his blasphemy. Then his inner anguish would cease.
Therapy did not draw out a favorable response from Joey, who growing up decided he deserved to act up.
“If anyone had the right to go crazy, it was me,” he remembers. “I got into partying, alcohol, and smoking. I was struggling from everything from depression, to post traumatic stress, to survivor’s guilt.”
Most of the time, he wore the facade of a happy-go-lucky guy. At least he could compartmentalize the torment.
At Texas A&M University, he randomly popped into a church service. Read the rest: how to get over survivor’s guilt
Posted in Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian living, Christian love, Christian testimony, God, Texas
Tagged joey kelly, murder, survivor's guilt
Children fare better with a mom and a dad
In a study that riled LBGT advocates in 2012, Professor Mark Regnerus found that kids raised by a married man and woman fared better generally than those raised in homes where they had two male parents or two female parents. Has there been any change in outcomes during the intervening years?
Surveying 15,000 Americans between 18 and 39, the study measured 40 outcome categories and found, for example, that kids of homosexual parents were more likely to be on welfare support, have depression and succumb to drug abuse than their counterparts raised in intact biological homes, according to the 2012 study, reported by CBS.
Naturally, the gay political agenda fired off rounds at the study conducted by the University of Texas at Austin sociologist. The study, they said, proved that instability at home, not homosexuality, was a problem. They maintained it was biased by the sociologist’s Catholic faith. It contradicted other, better studies, they said.
His own university department chair disavowed his study and LBGT demographer Gary Gates formed a group of 200 social scientists to attack Social Science Research, the journal which published his study. Cancel culture was in full swing.
Defending himself, Regnerus says his study was the most thorough so far and challenged opponents to conduct their own studies based on statistically significant data and prove him wrong, not just yell. Why haven’t the studies which supported raising kids in same-sex parent households not subjected to the same scrutiny as his? He asked.
“Most conclusions about same-sex parenting have been drawn from small, convenience samples, not larger, random ones,” Regnerus said. “The results of that approach have often led family scholars to conclude that there are no differences between children raised in same-sex households and those raised in other types of families. But those earlier studies have inadvertently masked real diversity among gay and lesbian parenting experiences in America.”
Since 2012, Regnerus has continued to study questions of sexuality and the family. He has attacked the “pornographization of daily life,” which erodes Christian marriage and normalizes aberrant sexual practices.
According to his most recent book in 2020, The Future of Christian Marriage, fewer Christians are getting married. What God established as the foundation of society is meeting some measure of indifference from Christians, who seemed to be influenced by cultural trends.
Regnerus stands behind his original conclusions that kids tend to do better in traditional homes. Kids need a dad for what only a dad can provide, and they need a mom for what only a mom can provide.
Of his respondents, 69% of children of lesbian mothers… Read the rest: Children fare better with a mom and a dad.
Posted in children, children of same sex parents, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian living, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christianity, homosexuality, raising children, same-sex parents
Tagged Catholic, Christian marriage, mark regnerus, sociology
Prolific punting couldn’t earn paternal praise
Steve Weatherford — whose punting pinned the Patriots back deep in their zone to help the Giants win Superbowl XLVI — says all his heroics were a vain attempt to get the approval of his father.
“I was trying to get the attention of my dad,” Weatherford says on a 7 Figure Squad video. “During a lot of those amazing achievements, I didn’t really enjoy them because the reason I was achieving them was I needed some affirmation from the most important person: dad.”
Today, Weatherford has found peace, approval and acceptance from Jesus, leaving behind the inner turmoil that led him to drugs and porn despite his outward appearance of success and manliness.
Born in Indiana, Steve Weatherford was raised in Baton Rouge. From an early age, he showed inclination for sports, playing football, soccer, basketball and track in high school. He didn’t enjoy the greatest relationship with his stoical, old school-style father.
The foray into sports began as a means to win his father’s approval. He worked out in the gym incessantly. As a result of his impressive physique, rumors circulated around town that he had bulked up thanks to “the juice.” One day, his dad even called him at school and told him to come over to the office.
“Oh crap, what did I do?” he wondered as he drove over to Dad’s. “Oh my God, I’m really in trouble.”
“There’s rumors around town that you’ve been taking steroids,” Dad said. “I’m not mad at you, but I want to get you help.”
“Initially I was really offended. I wanted to lash back,” Steve remembers. “But then I sat back into my chair and I thought to myself, ‘My dad thinks that I’ve done something with myself that is impossible to do without cheating.’”
“Dad, you might not believe me but I’ve done this 100% the right way,” he responded. “I’ll take a test right now.”
It was the closest thing to a compliment that he ever got from his dad.
Weatherford proceeded to the University of Illinois as a kicker and punter. He also played track and was named Sports Illustrated’s most underrated athlete in the Big Ten in 2004. He walked on to the New Orleans Saints and played for four teams before landing with the New York Giants.
Punters are usually wimps, by NFL standards. All they have to do is kick well. But Weatherford had the build of a lineman as a punter. He maintained a maniacal workout and diet regimen that got him featured in bodybuilding magazines.
On the outside, he was achieving his wildest dreams. But on the inside, he was losing battles. He watched porn and started taking percocet.
“I worked so hard to get into the NFL. I worked so hard to become the fittest man in the NFL twice. I worked so hard to (win the) Walter Peyton man of the year community service award. I worked so hard to become a Superbowl champion,” Weatherford says. “Looking back on my life, those were all predicated on getting my dad’s attention.”
Superbowl XLVI was a dream. The Giants were playing against Tom Brady’s Patriots.
Weatherford punted four times with such distance and precision that the Patriots found themselves in their own 10 and five yards — a marathon distance to touchdown. When the Giants came out on top, some observers called Weatherford the MVP.
A punter MVP?
Weatherford basked in the glory of his achievements. He looked over to Dad. He wanted so desperately for his father to clap him on the back, give him a bear hug and lavish patriarchal praise. Read the rest: Steve Weatherford Christian
Posted in Christ, Christian, christian athletics, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian health, christian humility, Christian leadership, Christian living, Christian love, Christian ministry, Christian service, christian sports, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, Christianity in Athletics, football, professional football, sports
Tagged NFL, ny giants, patriots, punters, steve weatherford, superbowl xlvi, tom brady
Chris Singleton forgives the white supremacist who killed his mother
While she was praying at church, Chris Singleton’s mom was shot eight times by white supremacist Dylann Roof in 2015.
Then only 18, Chris Singleton had to assume the role of parent for his younger siblings.
“It was being thrown into the fire for me,” Chris says on a 100 Huntley Street video. “Something like that, I call it the unthinkable because you never think in a million years that something like that will happen to you. It was tough then, it’s tough now. It made me grow up a lot quicker than a lot of people. I had to take care of two teenagers when I wasn’t even 21 yet.”
Incredibly, Chris chose to forgive the racist mass murderer who snuffed out nine lives at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. When Sharonda Coleman-Singleton died, Chris wasn’t exactly strong in his Christian faith.
“I think anybody that loses a loved one, there’s two ways you could go with your faith,” Chris says. “You could say number one, there’s no way God is real. Or you could say, two, God, I don’t know how this happened or why this happened, but I need you to get me through it.”
Chris, who became a minor league baseball player for the Chicago Cubs, drew on his athletics training to develop resilience.
“I didn’t have my mom anymore and I didn’t have my dad, so Jesus became the rock that I would lean on,” he says. “That was comforting for me, it was therapeutic for me.”
Meanwhile, Dylann Roof has been sentenced to nine consecutive life sentences in prison. His hateful website, The Last Rhodesian, showed pictures of him with neo-Nazi symbols. Rhodesia was the white-ruled state that is now Zimbabwe. Read the rest: Chris Singleton forgives the white supremacist who killed his mom.
Posted in bible, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian forgiveness, Christian living, Christian love, Christian ministry, Christian testimony, Christianity, forgiveness, God, God's plan, Jesus, Racism, real Christianity, real issues Christianity, unforgiveness, white supremacy
Tagged Charleston, chris singleton, dylann roof, Emanuel Baptist African Methodist Episcopal Church, massacre, Nazi, neo nazi, rhodesia, south carolina, Zimbabwe
Of course, Christian Surfers International calls Jesus the “Original Water Walker.”
Originally, they were just a support group of like-minded surfers who felt a little marginalized by the church, but as they grew, they realized they had a greater responsibility to win the entire surfing world to Christ.
They want to be even more salty while paddling ocean waves and reflect the light of Jesus on sun-drenched beaches.
Today, Christian Surfers International has affiliates in 35 countries with about 175 local missions, each of those acting like a tiny church plant to the surf community, says Casey Cruciano, operations manager of CSI.
They also do community development projects around the world through their organization Groundswell Aid. Some of the best surf breaks also have some of the poorest communities in the world. Hardcore surfers have always traveled to out-of-reach spots for the perfect wave. But CSI surfers don’t just ride the wave; they help alleviate poverty, restore the environment and provide disaster relief.
“We believe in the power of the global surfing community to make powerful, long-term changes to beach communities around the world,” a narrator on a Groundswell video explains. “Using surfing as a platform to connect, Groundswell exists to meet the needs of under-resourced communities and offer tangible hope.”
They even teach Third World youngsters to surf or learn water polo, offering scholarships to those who do well in school and encourage school dropouts to return.
On the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, they help build housing and school facilities for the locals. Read the rest: Christian surfers Intl.
Posted in Christ, christian athletics, Christian attitude, Christian living, Christian love, Christian ministry, Christian news, Christian service, Christian surfers, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, Christianity in Athletics, Jesus, real Christianity, surf, surfer, surfing
Tagged Casey Cruciano, Christian Surfers International, Christian Surfers Intl., CSI, global surfing community, Groundswell, Mauritius, poverty, Third World
Gunslingers at volleyball in Santa Monica
Suddenly, the volleyball court disappeared and the scene of a hot and dusty Wild West town emerged.
As a tumbleweed rolled lazily along in the scorching breeze and innocent bystanders scampered for cover, Allie Scribner, hands readied for her quickest draw, squinted sternly at her rival, Westmark’s Katherine Abraham.
When the ref blew the whistle, the gunslinger Allie fired, a blistering serve… straight at the person best able to return it, Katherine.
“I wanted to ace their best player,” Allie explained afterward. “I wanted to make them feel pain.”
It might seem that to liquidate the game efficiently, it was in Lighthouse Christian Academy’s interest to target easy victims with the deadly gunfire.
But when the spirit of posse justice possesses her, Allie turns into a merciless marksman.
“Number 1 had really good serves and overall played really well with the girls,” admitted Katherine, who herself was a powerful player and struck fear into the Santa Monica private school’s heart. Read the rest: Christian private school near Venice, CA – volleyball
Posted in Christ, Christian, christian athletics, Christian attitude, Christian high school, Christian high school Los Angeles, christian high school santa monica, Christian living, Christian news, Christian school, Christian school Los Angeles, Christian schools, christian sports, Christianity, Christianity in Athletics, girls volleyball, high school volleyball, lighthouse christian academy, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Christian school, sports, varsity sports, volleyball, West Los Angeles Christian school
Tagged allie scribner, Encino, Lighthouse Christian Academy, Los Angeles, Westmark School
Homage to the Queen
Every ball she hit was for her mother.
Her mother passed away just months ago.
“My hardest hardship was my grieving. My loss,” Dahlia Gonzalez says. “It makes me want to play better… for my mom.”
Mom inspired Dahlia, and the whole Lighthouse Christian Academy team, to victory Tuesday in three sets against Ojai Valley School.
“Dahlia did pretty well this game. She did have an injured finger, but it didn’t seem to hold her back this game,” says Coach Jessica Young. “They were all good. She’s a natural athlete. Some of her passes looked like collegiate level to me. They were beautiful like in a magazine. She made some last-minute saves on the sideline. She can hit ambidextrously.”
Ray Dalio may be the master of the market, but la reina Dahlia is the queen of the court.
She has overcome a lot. The loss of her mother was on top of all the difficulties of Covid and not being around friends and not practicing sports (her preferred is softball).
The Saints dispensed the Spuds (Yes, they call themselves the Spuds. No, potatoes are not a big crop from Ojai) empty-handed.
Playing on grass in the private school’s bucolic Ojai property, LCA team members had to adjust. Hits were affected by breezes. Jumps were harder without the hardwood base. Diving would not displace the fall with a slide of smooth wood surface. Read the rest: Santa Monica Christian school sports volleyball
Posted in Christ, Christian, christian athletics, Christian attitude, Christian high school Los Angeles, christian high school santa monica, Christian living, Christian love, Christian news, Christian school, Christian school Los Angeles, Christian schools, Christian testimony, Christianity, death, girls volleyball, grief, grieving, high school volleyball, real Christianity, real issues Christianity, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Christian school, volleyball
Tagged Lighthouse Christian Academy, lighthouse christian academy santa monica
Developmentally disabled couple wants kids
Chloe fell in love with and married Jason Ivey. It’s a heart-warming and romantic story. There’s just one notable piece of information to add. Both spouses are developmentally disabled.
Chloe has Down Syndrome. Jason has autism, ADD and bipolar disorder.
“People with autism want to feel important; they want to feel needed. Honestly, it’s magical. That’s how I actually feel,” Jason said in an interview with Special Books for Special Kids, a YouTube channel that promotes understanding of people with disabilities. “Yeah, there’s ups and downs. But I’m telling you Chloe is such a perfect wife. And even when I’m down she lifts me right back up and makes me so happy.”
To see Chloe and Jason talk about marriage and how God brought them together is a moving reminder that God has not made anyone inferior. People with special needs have much to teach others about happiness and simplicity in a world that seems overly complicated to many.
“I feel like I’m hit with a love bug. Sometimes I would say, ‘Thank You, God, for everything, all the positive things,” Chloe says. “I feel like I want to cry. I feel like I’m on top of the world.”
The love oozes from the video. “She is like drop-dead gorgeous,” Jason says. “I was worried, like, ‘Lord, I am way marrying out of my league.’ My goodness! Look at this beauty!”
But their fairytale story also raises unsettling questions the video doesn’t address: Would they have children? Would their offspring be more prone to being born with a disability? Who would care for the children?
“Sometimes I think in my mind ‘I want a baby so bad,’” Chloe says. She has a realistic doll that she treats as her baby. “This is Giselle. She represents what we want for the future.”
Both Chloe and Jason recognize their limitations. They say they are 80% independent, which means that 20% of their adult responsibilities are handled by care-givers, often family members.
In a world where abortion is pressed on parents when an ultrasound reveals a potential disability, in a world where government imposes decisions on private citizens in the name of the common good, some questions linger:
Who decides if they have kids? Should society try to prevent a child being born into a world where foster care is a strong possibility? Find out more: Should developmentally disabled couples have kids?
Posted in Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian living, Christian love, Christian marriage, Christian ministry, Christian news, developmental disabilities, developmentally disabled parents, Financial Talk, love, Marriage, parenting
Tagged chloe ivey, jason ivey, joni & friends, martie kwansy
Lost his legs and arms, didn’t lose his spirit
A year after he lost his legs and arms to septic shock, Gary Miracle ran a 1.4-mile race on running blades.
“My doctor tells me all the time, ‘no feet, no excuses,’” Gary told The Epoch Times.
Although Gary had many reasons to sulk, he continues to live his life to the fullest.
Forty-year-old Gary Miracle did ministry for 12 years when he contracted a rare blood infection he thought was the flu but it progressed to septic shock. He spent 10 days in a coma at an Orlando hospital.
“I think they gave me a 1 to 7 percent chance to live through this,” Gary says.
On New Year’s Day his heart failed, and medical personnel took eight minutes to revive him. Gary was placed on an oxygenation machine, and the cardiovascular surgeon saved his life by diverting blood to his brain and torso at the expense of his limbs, which necrotized.
“My arms and legs were so cold,” Gary says. “They told me that I looked like a mummy; my hands and legs were pitch black. Then my muscles and my tendons started kind of falling out of my legs. I had no feeling down there.”
Gary is a husband and father of four kids. His wife, Kelly, posted scriptures all around his hospital room.
“My family just stepped up in a huge way, I was never left alone,” he says. “People were praying for me constantly.”
After 117 days in the hospital, Gary was discharged in April 2020. His lifeless limbs had been amputated. He is a quadruple amputee.
“When you go through something like that, there’s a line drawn in the sand: Am I gonna sit on the couch and throw a pity party?” he says. “Or am I going to choose to live and be alive and live for Christ and be a dad with my kids?” Read the rest: Gary Miracle lost his arms and legs but not hope.
Posted in Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian living, Christian love, Christian marriage, Christian news, Christianity, disabilities, real Christianity, real issues Christianity, soccer, wheelchair pastor, wheelchairs
Tagged amputee, kelly miracle, necrotism, Orlando, quadrapalegic pastor, septic shock
Double homicide revenge
In response to a stepdad throwing boiling beans on his kids, Billy hunted down the suspect and murdered him and his uncle.
“I was so out of my mind,” Billy says on a Tony Evans video, “My kids were my life. I wasn’t thinking rationally and reasonably. All I was thinking about was revenge.”
A year later, he was arrested and began a long sentence.
Billy’s parents split when he was only six years old. He was left to his dad’s care but wanted desperately to find his mom. He would walk down the highway looking for his mom. Eventually, he found her. She was a functional alcoholic.
As an adolescent, Billy met a girl and got her pregnant. He was happy to be having a boy, “even though I was just a boy myself,” he says. But the child was stillborn.
He had two daughters with the young lady, but he didn’t know how to be a father or a husband, and she left him for another man.
The new man abused his daughters and got arrested, along with his former partner (who was taken into custody for child endangerment).
Billy boiled with rage.
“I would begin to consume enormous amounts of alcohol,” Billy recalls. “I consumed whatever it was to take my mind off of its original state to keep from having to deal with these issues.”
When a couple of friends notified him that the perpetrator had been released on bond, “my next question was, where is he?” Billy says. “I made my way over to the condominium where this uncle and he were and I murdered them.”
Billy spent five years in county jail awaiting trial, ultimately taking a plea-bargain deal that gave him 30 years, reduced to seven if behaved well in jail.
Ultimately, he didn’t “behave well” in jail.
“I had so much hate, anger, and bitterness and resentment that would just roll into my life and other people around me,” he says. “I began to express my faithfulness to rebellion so much that in fact the other gang members started to recognize me.”
He liked the recognition and respect he earned by getting into trouble.
Transferred to a prison in Amarillo, Texas, BIlly got caught up in a gang riot that left one man in critical condition. The man was air-lifted to the hospital, where he lingered between life and death.
Three inmates who were supposedly “brothers” in Billy’s gang, fingered him as the responsible man behind the brutal beating. The warden called in Billy and produced the signed accounts accusing him. If spelled the death penalty for him. His only hope was that the beaten man would somehow survive in the hospital. Read the rest: revenge and redemption in Texas
Posted in Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian living, Christian love, Christian marriage, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in jail, christianity in prisons, forgiveness, real Christianity, real issues Christianity, redemption, revenge, Texas, unforgiveness
Tagged anger, billy, child abuse, rage, step fathers, tony evans
Fiji’s rugby team celebrate gold with praise to Jesus
Some shed tears. Others dedicate their win to Mom. A few make political statement with clenched fists or whatnot.
Fiji’s seven-man rugby team broke into a song of worship when gold medals were hung around their necks at the Tokyo summer Olympics after they stunned New Zealand 27-12. It was their second, back-to-back gold, and for such a small nation in the South Pacfic, monumental. They sang:
We have overcome
We have overcome
By the blood of the Lamb
And the word of the Lord.
In a time of self-aggrandizing superstars and political propagandists, a showing of sheer joy and spontaneous rejoicing to God is refreshing. The words of their triumphal song come from Revelations 12:11 And they overcame the devil by blood of the Lamb and bthe word of their testimony.
Their victory is also a highlight to Fijians who are currently languishing under strict lockdown, being scourged by Covid.
“Last Olympics we gathered in numbers, tears flowed and bells were rung. Tonight in the middle of a pandemic and (with) Fiji under curfew, pots and pans ring, fireworks go off in yards and the cheers from every house can be heard,” tweeted Fiji Broadcasting Corporation presenter Jaquee Speight.
Due to Covid, Fiji players were called upon to practice 5 months in quarantine. That meant, they couldn’t go home and see their families, and some of the players barely stood the pressure of being away.
Captain Jerry Tuwai, who was part of the team that won five years ago, said his second gold was “more special because… Read the rest: Fiji rugby team praises Jesus at Olympics
When Morolake Akinosun Christian track star ruptured her Achilles
The end of her running — the end of her very identity — came when Olympian Morolake Akinosun hit a wall at the end of a race in 2018 and ruptured her Achilles tendon.
“The Achilles is the strongest tendon in the human body, and you need it to do literally everything: walk, jump, crawl, climb stairs, stand up, sit down,” Morolake says on an I am Second video. “I had it surgically repaired but I was being told, ‘Hey, you might never be the same runner that you were ever again. This may be a career-ending injury for you.’”
What rescued Morolake was her spiritual community.
“For the first time I realized that I was surrounded by people who believed in me and not only did they believe in me, they believed that God had a plan for my life and that He was still going to be faithful through it all,” she says.
Morolake Akinosun was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to parents who were Christian pastors. The family immigrated to America when she was two years old, and she flourished at track and field at the University of Texas at Austin, where she won consistently.
“Every training cycle is about figuring out how can I break my body,” she says. “We push ourselves to the limit, breaking your body apart and coming back the next day and doing it over and over again.”
In prelims for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, her teammates dropped the baton in between the 2nd and 3rd leg of the relay race. Morolake, who stood waiting at the 4th spot, was stunned.
“In that moment I had that thought of like, ‘Wow, I’ve trained what feels like your whole life for a moment that now seemed to be gone and stripped from me within the blink of an eye,’” she remembers.
As it turns out, the American women’s team was allowed to re-run the qualifying race. In the final competition, they took gold.
But everything she trained for her entire life was stripped away when she crashed into the wall on that fateful day in 2018.
Angry thoughts ran through her mind toward God: I thought this is what I was supposed to be doing and if this is what I’m supposed to be doing then why did You take it away from me? she questioned. My identity was built in track and field. Read the rest: Morolake Akinosun Christian track star ruptured her Achilles
Posted in bible, Christ, Christian, christian athletics, Christian attitude, Christian living, Christian love, Christian news, Christian service, christian sports, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, Christianity in Africa, church fellowship, fellowship, God, God's plan, real Christianity, sports, track
Tagged Achilles, Achilles tendon, Christians in track and field, morolake akinosun, morolake askinosun christian, run, runner, running, ruptured Achilles tendon, track and field
Voices in her head told her to take her life
Lorena Saylor would get in her car and wind up at some random place, having no idea how she got there.
Depression had taken over her life.
“I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to go outside. I didn’t want to get dressed. I just basically wanted to be alone,” Lorena says on a CBN video. “There was times I wanted to commit suicide.”
Lorena’s problems started with sexual abuse in her childhood home in Kentucky. Although she was the victim, she was punished. “I was the one that got spanked for it,” she says.
Migraines set in at the same time. She couldn’t concentrate in school and was diagnosed with dyslexia. She also suffered from anxiety and low self-esteem.
Lorena married at age 25, but her problems persisted. Her husband was enlisted in the Air Force and would frequently be sent for lengthy deployments, leaving her and the two children alone for long periods of time.
“This voice would say, ‘Ram your car into this tree. Your family would be so much better off if you’re just gone.’”
She was raised in church, but “the back-stabbing of people talking about people, just the things I had heard and seen within the church, I didn’t want anything to do with it,” she says.
At age 33, Lorena suffered a back and hip injury at work. Unfortunately, her prescription pain medication turned into an addiction. “My body just craved more and more,” she says. “I become a functioning addict.”
She felt unloved. She wanted to be alone but despaired of the loneliness. Whenever she drove, she got lost in her thoughts and direction. The voices would tell her to commit suicide.
“I wanted to die,” she says. “Many times I put pills in my hands ready to take them. This voice would say, ‘Just take it. Your family would be so much better off.’”
But another voice… Read the rest: voices in her head.
Posted in abuse, abusive relationships, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian love, Christian ministry, Christian news, Christian testimony, depression, drug addiction, drugs, healing from sexual abuse, sexual abuse
Tagged addiction, Christian, depression, Lorena Saylor, north carolina, opioids, Outside the Walls International Ministry, Tanzania, voices
Melanoma tried to tackle Kentucky defensive end Josh Paschal
Standing at 6’3” with 300 pounds of muscle, Kentucky defensive end Josh Paschal strikes fear into opponents. When he was diagnosed with cancer, the Christian player got his own chance to be afraid.
“I knew Who I was living for and why I’m here, and so I leaned on the Lord and I trusted in Him,” Paschal says on a CBN video. “No matter the outcome, I knew it was in His plan and that’s how I got through.”
From age five, the Washington D.C. native dreamed of joining the NFL.
“Even when I was little, I would go outside and get the kids in the neighborhood and we’d have a big game right in the middle of the field,” he remembers. “I would act like I was an NFL player. I had my jersey on while we were outside playing. When I would score, I would celebrate like the pros.”
His parents took him to church, but he didn’t accept Christ into his heart until he heard a chapel sermon from Fellowship of Christian Athletes chaplain Aaron Hogue during his sophomore year.
“I felt joyful. I saw what it looked like to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, not just pray to Him when times get hard,” he says. “I wanted to have a full-on relationship with Him, to trust Him and to let Him guide your life.”
Four months later, the team doctor wanted him to get a spot on his foot tested. It was malignant melanoma.
The fearsome footballer didn’t surrender to fear. He trusted in God and was concerned for his family and team.
“I really wanted to stay strong in order to keep them strong as well, for them to know that ‘I had it’ and that I was going to fight it and we were going to be okay,” Paschal says. Read the rest: Melanoma couldn’t take out Josh Paschal.
Egg-sized brain tumors didn’t kill him
The parents of Jason Ong assumed he would wind up in jail or dead because he was such a poorly behaved boy, fighting and often getting into trouble. But God had other plans and purposes for his life.
Jason met the one true living God when his dad was dying. By his father’s bedside, Jason prayed to nearly all the gods he had ever heard of and nothing happened.
But when he invoked the powerful name of Jesus, Dad opened his eyes.
“Later on, there’ll be somebody in white.” he told his dad while his eyes were open. “He will stretch out his hand, so you can just take his hand and follow him, and you’ll be safe.”
Jason didn’t know what he was saying, but his dad closed his eyes and passed peacefully. Later Jason realized he had spoken prophetically, and the Good Shepherd, Jesus, had opened heaven’s door to his father.
“Jesus, You know that You saved my dad, so I owe You my life,” he said.
Jason went to church. That’s where he met Judith, a divorced mom with a special needs daughter, Joelle.
“We somehow knew that we are supposed to be together, so we prayed about it,” Jason says.
Two years into his marriage, he began experiencing dizziness and pain in his head, so he went to the doctor. The prognosis: an extremely rare brain tumor. It was so rare that there were no drugs and no protocols for treatment.
“Suddenly everything just went to darkness,” he says.
The surgeon removed 90% of it, leaving the optic nerves and main artery with a vestige of the tumor so he could still see, eat and not die from a broken artery. It was 2004.
The doctor told Jason he had six months to live.
The news was discouraging, but Jason and Judith decided to make the best of it. They decided to dedicate 100% of their efforts towards the Lord’s service. They launched a street food vendor business, working 12 hours a day, with profits destined for orphanages around Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Myanmar and the Philippines. The proceeds from the business allowed them to contribute to the care of 600 kids.
After six months, Jason showed up to see the doctor. He was surprised to see Jason alive.
The title of Jason’s testimony video is “If Tomorrow Never Comes” on the Hope Singapore channel.
Jason outlived the six-month prognosis. In 2007, the cancer flared up again. His new doctor said it was absolutely necessary to remove all the affected areas, including the nerves to his mouth and eyes. He would be blind. He would feed through a tube. And devastatingly for Jason, he would not be able to speak.
Jason declined the surgery. He needed to speak because his life’s purpose was to preach in the orphanages to the children about the good news of Jesus. He would rather die than lose his ability to preach.
“So there wasn’t an option for me because I still have to continue in the ministry and I said, If I cannot speak, that means I cannot share the gospel, I cannot teach, I cannot preach. So what is the point?” he says.
The doctor was grim, telling him: You don’t need to come back. You’re going to die. The cancer will eventually cause your brain to explode.
He took pain medications and kept hawking food on the street. He kept visiting orphanages with his wife and preaching.
“My encouragement to all the Christians was, ‘Even though I’m going to die, I still choose to stand and say God is good. I still choose to say: Jesus is my Lord,’” he relates.
By 2013, Jason sensed he was going to die. For his “last” birthday, he asked his wife to visit the orphanage once last time.
By 2014, he was bedridden and partially paralyzed. “Jesus, I’m coming home,” he declared.
But one night, Jesus spoke to him in a dream: I’m moved by the tears of your wife. I’m going to heal you.
Days later, he called the doctor to reorder morphine for the pain, and the doctor, a Christian and a medical professor, told him to come in. He got new scans and proposed another surgery. He would save the eye nerve, the voice nerve and the artery. He believed God would help him.
“It’s so amazing that you are still able to talk and sitting in front of me because looking at the scan, it has now grown to the size of two eggs,” the doctor told him. “One in the brain and one outside the cranium. Technically, it is supposed to have pushed your brain out of the brain cavity already. Or you should just get a coma or stroke and die. The fact that you are still alive and talking to me is a miracle.”
When Jason woke up from the surgery, he felt intense pain, couldn’t see or breathe.
“After 10 years of fighting cancer, that was my lowest point,” he says. “I just felt so tired.”
“I think I’m not gonna make it,” he told Judith. “Release me. I wanna go home.” Read the rest: Healed from brain tumors.
Posted in Christian, Christian attitude, christian business, Christian family, Christian health, Christian living, Christian love, Christian marriage, Christian ministry, Christian news, Christian service, Christian testimony, Christianity, orphanages, real Christianity
Tagged brain tumors, Cancer, God, healing, jason ong, rare cancer, singapore
He killed her dad. How could she ever forgive him?
Figure skating brought moments of peace to Katherine Thacker. She needed a healthy outlet because her mind was obsessed with hateful thoughts directed toward the suspect who killed her father, a cop, while he was on duty.
“I started writing very angry letters to the man who killed my dad and expressed my hurt,” Katherine says on a 700 Club video. “But not only did I express my hurt, I also expressed what I wished could happen to him. And they were really really hateful.”
Her ever-present hatred started in 1998. That’s when three Kentucky police officers arrived at the front door of their home to break the bad news to the family.
“It was like being hit by a Mack truck,” she says. “Watching the relationships that my friends had with their dads, I definitely envied them.”
Ice skating was a moment of beauty in her life. “It was always an outlet for me,” she remembers.
Broken in spirit, she turned away from God.
“Why did God let my dad die?” she asked. “If God’s good, why did He let the man who killed my dad do this?”
Her distancing from God continued until she became a junior in high school when she went to a week-long summer Christian camp. The motivational speaker displayed a genuine joy that Katherine realized she lacked. Read the rest: Forgiveness for her dad’s murderer.
Posted in Christ, Christian, christian athletics, Christian attitude, christian humility, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, forgiveness, police, police officers, real Christianity, real issues Christianity, unforgiveness
Tagged cop killings, forgiveness, forgiving her dad's killer, katherine thucker, man down in the line of duty, murder
He lost his house, car, kept tithing
When he broke his walkie-talkie as a child, he was able to fix it himself. But when his finances were broken, God fixed it.
“I broke the walkie-talkie on my birthday, and I was like, ‘Ah, man, I can’t tell Mom I broke it,’” Dennis Dixon says on a CBN video. “So I was like, ‘I’m gonna try to fix it.’ And I didn’t know how to fix it. But I opened it up and I saw the inside and it just caught me. And I’ve always been interested with electronics since then.”
Being adept with electronics came in handy. First, he repaired some friends’ devices, and they told others. At the encouragement of his father, he placed an ad as an adolescent, and the calls for help flooded in.
As money came in for his services, his father encouraged Dennis to honor God with the tithe.
“Tithing is you trusting God with what He’s given you and honoring Him, you know, 10% of the 100% that He gives us every day,” says Dennis. “Setting aside money for God, for His kingdom and for His purpose and learning how to trust God with everything you have including finances.”
He got a work at a large electronic store, but the company went bankrupt. Dennis lost his job at the same time his mother was laid off. Then they lost their car and their house.
How could he, under duress, stay faithful with his tithe? Read the rest: tithing
Good Sam got blessed 3 years later by the very person he helped
After dropping his family off at church, Chris Wright circled back to pick up a lady walking down the side of the road with a gas can that he had seen on his way to Sunday morning service.
“She was down on her luck,” Chris said on the Today Show. “She had only $ 5 in a purse and was worried about feeding her child. I filled her gas can and drove the woman back to her car. As I started to leave, I felt a nudge to give her what I had in my wallet $40.”
The act of kindness toward TunDe Hector came at her neediest moment, and tears welled up in her eyes.
Three years later, Chris’s mom suffered a life-threatening disease and was hospitalized. After days, she was released but needed a nurse’s aide to monitor her at home.
The nurse’s aide turned out to be the same woman he helped at the side of the road – TunDe. At first, Chris didn’t recognize her and TunDe didn’t recognize Chris because the day he popped by he was wearing sweatpants and a cap on backwards.
But they did get to talking, and TunDe found out that Chris attended Cornerstone Church in Athens, Georgia. That’s when she brightened and recounted the story of how “a young man” from that church had performed an act of kindness to her three years earlier.
“My jaw dropped,” Chris says.” I couldn’t believe it. I saw myself three years earlier being tugged to help a stranger.” Read the rest: What it means to be Christian?
Posted in blessings, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian living, Christian love, Christian service, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, God, Jesus, real Christianity
Tagged chris wright, Cornerstone church Athens Georgia, good samaritan, tunde hector
She called it her ‘revenge body’
Vivian Herrera worked out intensely. She wanted her ex to feel sorry for cheating on her. She called the results her “revenge body.”
She uploaded 10,000 sexy shots to Instagram, attended raves and did drugs every other weekend when her ex had custody of their baby. She also fought with him every chance she could.
Vivian didn’t really know God through her church upbringing. By 18, she picked up on the “law of attraction,” the New Age idea that positive thoughts bring positive results, and she was making good money as a saleswoman at LA Fitness in La Habra, CA.
“I was attracting all this stuff, but I was still empty,” she says on her Faith with Vivian channel.
As she grew more self-centered in the quest for money and adulation from boys, she lost all her friends from high school. “All I cared about was money and working out,” she admits. “They wanted nothing to do with me because I was so selfish.”
She fell in love, moved in with her boyfriend and had a child by him, but when he cheated on her, she reacted with volcanic anger.
“I got so mad guys. I went to his job, and I keyed his car,” she admits. “I threw all his stuff. I cursed him. I told him he deserves to go to hell.”
The purpose of her life was to make him regret his infidelity. She trained hard to get a sexy body for a bikini competition that would make him eat his heart out.
“I was getting my revenge body,” she says.
In her headlong plunge into sin she slept around, did drugs, and traveled to Las Vegas as often as possible to party. Instead of worrying about her baby daughter, she danced the night away at raves whenever her ex had their daughter.
“I was literally doing anything to numb the pain,” she says. “Living for money, weed, alcohol partying, concerts, it was pretty empty. My life really had no meaning at this point. I was literally just trying to forget the pain that I was in. I knew what I was doing was wrong.”
She had started going to church, but instead of “leaning in” on God in her time of crisis, she walked away from Him.
The rampage was unstoppable, until Covid struck. Read the rest: Covid saved reckless girl hellbent on revenge.
Posted in Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian family, christian humility, Christian living, Christian love, Christian news, Christian service, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, forgiveness, real Christianity, revenge, unforgiveness
Tagged boyfriend, drugs, emptiness, ex, exercise, gym, Hell, Instagram, instagram girl, la fitness, la habra, raves, revenge body, single mom, vivian herrera, workout
The beginnings of Sean Feucht in Christianity and worship
After days of thanking the medical clinic doctors with canoes full of flowers or fish, the Manaos tribal leaders dressed in white sang praises to God in their native tongue to celebrate Sean Feucht’s baptism in the Amazon River.
“Dad put me under the water, and when I surfaced, I felt a profound sense of destiny and calling on my life,” Sean writes in the autobiographical Brazen: Be a Voice, not an Echo. “The presence of God fell heavily upon me in that moment. I had become new and everything changed.”
Worship has marked Sean’s life, ever since that moment at age 10 when he dedicated his life to Christ’s service deep in the Amazon jungle, in the hinterlands of Jim Elliot. He’s played his guitar to bring healing around the world and in the Oval Office.
Sean Feucht loved the outdoors in his birth state of Montana. His dad, a doctor, accepted a 75% reduction of salary to lead missions with Christian Broadcasting Network and the family moved to Virginia. Sean despised the balmy suburbia of his new town and felt disillusioned with the loss of the Rockies until he was taken to the rainforests.
It was Sean’s job to fish for the medical team’s meals as the boat tooled up and down the Amazon River. They ate rainbow bass and large black piranhas. His dad and the medical professionals applied the science of medicine to heal natives, and when science came up short, they prayed and witnessed miraculous healings.
His father’s “brazen” faith became a legacy for Sean.
At first, Sean’s heart was to be a quarterback in football and a guard in basketball. Being a worship leader was not on his radar. But when a worship leader cancelled for his dad’s home Bible study, Sean was called upon to fill the gap after only owning a guitar for three weeks and knowing only three chords and three songs.
“The night was an absolute train wreck. I continually broke out in a nervous sweat, strained my voice and broke not just one but two guitar strings,” he complains. “I was embarrassed and ashamed in front of 15 of my peers. I remember running to my room afterward, vowing that I would never lead worship in public again.”
Oh, the irony.
He got called on again and again to direct praise in front of people as the Bible study grew to 70 people. Fairly rapidly, he moved into leading youth group worship and then took over church worship. He led youth group and challenged his peers to pray for people in the local hospital’s ICU.
Also in high school, he met Kate, who became his wife. He attended a worship rally in Washington D.C. and won a state football championship.
Despite sport successes, what really pulsed through his heart was the lost. He compiled a list of the least-reached peoples on the globe: Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The opportunity to visit Afghanistan came first. It was right after the terrorists had downed the Twin Towers in New York City, and Americans were fighting the Taliban in the mountains of Afghanistan, right where Sean, just out of high school, wanted to go with his father’s trusted missionary associate.
The U.S. State Department warned Americans not to go there. And the Afghan Embassy refused to grant him — or any American — a visa, “under any circumstances,” Sean writes.
But the team leader was used to obstacles and encouraged Sean to believe more in God than the gloom and doom of so many detractors. “God will make a way, brother!” he told Sean confidently.
Sean was learning to not be deterred. He visited the Afghan Embassy in person and got an interview.
What could go wrong with a blond-haired, blue-eyed 18-year-old leading worships in the mountains owned by the America-kidnapping Taliban? he asked.
The Afghan official couldn’t disguise his astonishment at the visa request.
“Are you truly willing to give your life right now because there’s a high chance of that if you go?” the official said.
Astonishingly, Sean declared he would not leave the embassy until the visa was granted.
Flouting conventional wisdom and doing the contrary of what everyone expects has been Sean’s trademark ever since.
In the isolated mountain villages, the team ministered to peaceful people in the Farsi dialect. Sean discovered that music was a universal language to bridge divides. “My guitar broke down all our walls and misconceptions about one another,” he writes.
The team had been sternly warned: Don’t spend a night in the village. Stay on the move. The Taliban would love to abduct an American and demand a ransom from the American government.
“But after spending all day building relationship, sharing stories, laughing and eating together, it was so hard for us to leave,” he writes. “Many nights, we were invited to stay at the home of tribal leaders.”
Sleeping on the roof to beat the heat, Sean would look at the stars and think of Abraham, to whom God promised to multiply his descendants to be as countless as the stars overhead.
God had done amazing things, and Sean expected to continue with God’s blessing as he carted off to Oral Roberts University. He had seen God move through his guitar in Virginia and Afghanistan, so he offered his services to the worship team at college.
No, was the reply.
It was not the only discouragement. He tried to get involved in missions. No was the answer.
In the dorm, his roommate, despite being at a Christian college, mocked Christianity and blasted explicit hip hop to drown out any praises Sean tried to strum.
“Nothing seemed to work out,” Sean says, and he mothballed his guitar under his bed. Read the rest: Sean Feucht Burn 24/7
Posted in baptism, bible, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian living, Christian love, Christian marriage, Christian ministry, christian music, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christian upbringing, Christianity, Christianity in action, God, Jesus, real Christianity
Tagged Afghanistan, Amazon River, bethel music, Brazil, Christian, christian worship, football, Iran, Iraq, kate feucht, medical mission, montana, New York City, North Korea, oral roberts univesity, piranhas, praise, praise and worship, praise rallies, rainbow bass, saudi arabia, sean feucht, Taliban, Virginia, worship
Career-ending injury brought Inky Johnson his dream life
The dream from age 7 was coming true. Inky Johnson was in his junior year in college with all the paperwork signed for the NFL draft. He was among the top 30 and was guaranteed to make millions doing what he loved.
All he had to do was play 10 more games and his future would be set, but when he went to make a regular tackle against an Air Force player in 2006 — a tackle “I could make with my eyes closed” — the cornerback ruptured his subclavian artery and could not get up.
“I never thought about a career-ending injury,” Inky says in an Above Inspiration video. “I woke up from that surgery and the thing I placed my identity in was now gone.”
His right arm was paralyzed. Every day he lives with pain. But he rose above the crushed spirit and now delivers motivational speeches, encouraging people to serve Jesus and trust Him with their destiny.
Inquoris Johnson was raised in a 14-member household crammed in a two-bedroom home on Atlanta’s poor and violent side. His mom pulled double shifts to put food on the table, and Inky says he wanted to pull the whole family out of poverty.
Every day was dedicated to training to fulfill the dream. He drilled, worked out and practiced. His family attended church, and he asked God to bless his dream.
When he joined the Volunteers at the University of Tennessee, he became their starting cornerback and was on the trajectory to success; the commitment and effort was paying off.
Then he woke up on the fateful day and followed his usual routine: run two miles to the fire station and two miles back to warm up. Throw the football at the ceiling to practice catches at all angles by surprise. Visualize himself performing to perfection.
“Two minutes left in the game, and I go to make a tackle – that I can make with my eyes closed And I hit this guy and as soon as I hit him, I knew it was a problem, but I didn’t think it would be this type of problem. When I hit him every breath from my body left, my body goes completely limp. I fall to the ground.”
Inky blacked out. His teammates came over to him and told him to get up. “Let’s rock man,” they said. Read the rest: When bad things happen to good people: Inky Johnson’s career-ending injury.
Posted in black Christians, Christian African Americans,, Christ, Christian, christian athletics, Christian attitude, Christian living, Christian ministry, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, God, God's plan, God's work, Jesus, real Christianity
Tagged atlanta, career ending injury, church, football, inky johnsonj, NFL, NFL draft, poverty, surgery, trusting God, university of tennessee, violence, vols, volunteers, when bad things happen to good people
Dying of AIDS, man comes back to Christ because of a family’s love
On the very night Jerry Arterburn accepted Jesus at a church camp, the 5-year-old was also molested by the pastor’s son.
“When that molestation occurred, it ignited something in him that he didn’t think other guys had to struggle with,” his brother Stephen says on a Pure Passion Media video. “It produced an uneasiness with relationships with women.”
Jerry died of AIDS on June 13, 1988, at a time when the epidemic was raging largely unchecked and medical science was trying to figure out how to tame it.
“When my brother and I moved to Laguna (Beach, California) at the same time, there was another person who moved to Laguna. He was identified as Patient 0,” Stephen says. “This was a flight attendant who flew around the world and slept with about 2,000 different people. He infected so many people in that town that the AIDS virus was extremely virulent in there. I watched business after business close because there was such a high per capita gay population there. They were dying right and left.”
Before Jerry’s death, Stephen began to formulate the best way to encourage his brother to come back to Christ.
“I loved him. But I knew that what he was doing was wrong,” he says. “I wasn’t trying to convince him that he was wrong. I just tried to find a way to have a relationship with him that I could love him with.”
There were three Arterburn boys who grew up with a mom who bitterly hid her father’s suicide and a dad who was “redneck, disconnected,” Stephen says. All three sons went prodigal from their otherwise “strong Christian household” in Texas.
Stephen — who now is an author, a radio host and the founder of New Life Ministries — thought he was the worst rebel of the lot because he forced his girlfriend (attending Bible college) to get an abortion.
Jerry, who loved design and became an architect, didn’t immediately show how he was getting off course.
Stephen describes his brother as “the moral one” who owned up to his mistake, while Stephen was actually the immoral one who had slept with many young women.
“I hadn’t slept with a man. I killed my own baby,” Stephen confesses.
Jerry was about to get married, but it was called off. Both had frequent fights. Still, no one really knew why the wedding was called off.
When Jerry, at age 26, was appointed to a city planning post in Easley, South Carolina, he met a man who took him to a gay bar. He had never had sex before, but that night, “my brother felt like he was at home,” Stephen says.
“He felt total acceptance, freedom — all this stuff that he had never known: all of this love, affection, connection,” Stephen says.
From then on, it was relationship after relationship. When Jerry and Stephen both, by chance, moved to Laguna Beach, they started reconnecting. Sometimes in their talks they would debate. One topic that came up was whether homosexuality was right or wrong.
Stephen, who had come back to the Lord by now, stuck to his guns — until he realized the reason why his brother was arguing the aberrant position. His brother was gay.
As soon as Stephen found out, the arguments were over. A new phase in their relationship started, one of reaching out to Jerry with love and acceptance, though not approval of his sin.
“I was able to develop a close relationship with him, and then he got sick. I’m so glad I did because he needed me. I’m so glad he felt safe with me, that I could be there with him when he needed a lot of help — just getting up and going to the bathroom. He lost 100 pounds. It was horrible. He looked like something out of a concentration camp.”
Devastated by the news that not only their son was gay but also had AIDS, the “redneck ” father visited Jerry in the hospital and said, “You’re coming home with us. We’re going to help you through this.”
The Southern Baptist Church of his parents, instead of ostracizing Jerry, were loving and inclusive. (The Southern Baptists were conservative on social acceptance at a time when much of America was unmoved by the AIDS crisis.)
“We loved him when he was (younger). We’re going to love him through this,” a deacon said, according to Stephen. “Here’s what we’re going to do: We’re going to go over to his house and we’re going to lay hands on him and pray for him to be healed… Whatever his insurance doesn’t cover for his treatment of AIDS, this church is going to pay for. Whenever his brothers want to come in and see him, we’ll pay their air fare.” Read the rest: How to treat LBGTQ family members if you’re Christian
Posted in bible, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian family, christian household, christian humility, Christian leadership, Christian living, Christian love, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, Christianity in Africa, God, God's plan, God's work, Jesus, real Christianity, real issues Christianity
Tagged Christian families with gay family member, gay, how to deal with gay family member, lbgtq, ostracism, stephen arterburn
First Deny. the war dog. Now Thomas Locke own faces death.
Thomas Locke, the Texas attorney who adopts retired military dogs, needs to be rescued himself.
The Christian Harley rider who can be seen with a cigar in his mouth and his wife on the back of the bike announced in August he’s battling cancer.
“I’m not scared at all, not even a little bit, not even nervous,” he says, shirt off showing a still-chiseled frame at 59 in a video uploaded to his Facebook account. “I have strong faith, so death has never scared me. It doesn’t even annoy me.”
The military veteran went viral on TikTok in May of this year when he had to put down his constant companion, Deny, a military dog that had been classified as “unadoptable” after eight years of hard service sniffing out bombs in Kuwait. Thomas found him for Christmas 2018 in the 21-acre ranch of Mission K9 which tries to finds homes for military assets.
The bond between man and dog challenged the notion of mere earthly affection. Often, Thomas would sleep with the German shepherd, who followed at his heals everywhere around the house. But when his back legs stopped working, Deny had to be put down, and Thomas carried out the painful task Texas style: after a last meal of brisket and sausage.
“I’m ready to turn in my man card,” Thomas said, holding back tears, as he fed Deny from a plate. “This wasn’t supposed to be a cry fest.”
This time, Thomas is NOT crying.
“Cancer affects babies, children and women. It’s a coward disease. I say ‘F you, cancer.’ I’m glad you came and picked on somebody your own size because I’m ready for you.” Read the rest: Animal rescue needs to be rescued.
Posted in bible, Cancer, cancer and christianity, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian love, Christianity, God, God's plan, real Christianity, real issues Christianity
Tagged bomb dogs, deny, lawyers, military, military animals, Psalm 23, Texas, thomas locke, war dogs
‘From hoe to housewife’: How God helped one women break out of the strip club and get into financial services
Theirs was a marriage made in Heav…
Well, maybe not.
Theirs was a marriage made in a strip club.
The first time Kris-Lynn saw Justin Williams, he was wending his way through the crowd at After Hours in Tampa, FL, offering molly, X, weed and cocaine. She saw he was popular and handsome.
The next night, they were consuming drugs together, and from that moment on, they were inseparable.
But the fast life of money, drugs, pimps and stripping eventually slowed down. It had to. After all, she was a wayward pastor’s kid whom the Good Shepherd went seeking.
And Justin got let off a 15-year prison sentence with just one year of house arrest. When the miracle of the lighter sentence occurred, he told Kris-Lynn her days of dancing were over.
Kris-Lynn was a bright child, good with the books. Being raised as a pastor’s child in Florida didn’t mean she knew God. She went to all the retreats, heard about Moses and Daniel and constantly attended church, as was expected.
But when she saw church members doing ungodly things, she secretly wondered if there was any authenticity behind the religion.
“I didn’t like the things that I saw in the church that I knew weren’t God. Sometimes humans can pervert who He is,” she says. “I had a tainted view of what Christianity was.”
When she returned pregnant to her hometown from high school in Gainesville, she faced harsh rejection from the Christians who ought to have had compassion. She was kicked out of homes and wound up on the floor of a local Salvation Army in 2006.
“I was church hurt,” she remembers. “Wow, the people in the church are turning me away when I’m pregnant? If this is the Lord, then I want nothing to do with it.”
Actually, she wanted more than just to disassociate herself from the church. She wanted to disassociate herself from her emotional pain.
“I never wanted to feel like that again,” she says. “So I determined in my mind not to feel anything at all. And to get money.”
Dancing in the clubs was a quick way to make big bucks. And it provided her with access to drugs to numb the internal pain.
Then she saw Justin and was smitten in 2013. She plied her trade, he, his. Together they lived the high life of hustlers. Read the rest: From hoe to a housewife: How Christ helped one woman break out of the strip club and get into financial advising.
Posted in Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian living, Christian love, Christian marriage, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christian upbringing, Christianity, real issues Christianity
Tagged church hurt, clubs, drug dealing, florida, justin williams, kris lynn Williams, legalism, pusher, stripper, stripping, trafficking
After murder and hurricane destruction, she found hope in a hug
Cassenda Nelson often spent the day crying in her truck because she didn’t want to be reminded of the brutal murder of her mom and aunt in her home.
In August 2017, Cassa’s mother, Frances Nelson, and her aunt, Mamie Childs, were murdered in an alleged domestic violence dispute.
“My mom and my aunt were murdered in front of my children at her home,” Cassa reports. “My mom was someone I could go and talk to about anything. It felt like something was ripped out of me. How do you bounce back from being in that place of so much despair?”
Life became unbearable.
“I lost all hope. I didn’t want to get up in the morning. I didn’t want to see sunlight,” Cassa recounts on a Billy Graham video. “My plan was to take a whole bunch of pills to commit suicide.”
Then barely over a year later on Oct. 9, 2018, Hurricane Michael swept through her town with blockbuster Category 5 ferocity and tore up houses, knocked over trees and left the town a shambles.
Cassa’s home was also damaged.
“I’m standing here at the door watching this storm, and I’m saying, ‘Oh my God. When am I going to get a break?’” Cassa remembers. “I lost the most important people that would have been right here with me.” Read the rest: Hope in a hug for Cassenda Nelson
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Tagged albany, cassenda nelson, georgia, hurricane michael
Church after Covid: many will not return
By the time your church re-opens following the Covid crisis, as many as one in five members won’t return, according to one analyst.
Church dynamics expert Thom Rainer told Baptist Press that the recent global pandemic is revealing the true colors of church members.
That means a church of 200 will be a church of 160 after restrictions lift.
Many churches went online when health officials banned large gatherings as hot points for contagion. They resorted to Zoom Bible studies and live-streaming their worship services on YouTube, Instagram, FaceBook and the like.
While online has the advantage of convenience (no drive to church, and if you want you can wear your jammies), it lacks the human touch of a handshake, hug or affirmation that is also an important part of the service.
While introverts probably liked avoiding the social demands, there are others who may also find it easier to drop out.
Rainer describes several categories of believers who will probably not return to church:
The declining-attendance Christian: If their faithfulness to regular services was already waning, Covid only hastened their demise. Now completely overtaken by inertia, they won’t likely return Sunday mornings unless some drastic jumpstart revives them.
The loosely-connected member: The person who didn’t want to get involved in a small group and develop lasting bonds of friendship and was only a Sunday apparition is likely to continue their stay-at-home habits.
Conversely, the person who has strong friendships developed in community will want to be with his or her friends and will show up as soon as the doors open.
The just-another-activity Christian: The soccer mom whose calendar is chock full of commitments might find the relief from Sunday morning obligations a welcome change.
The critical attendee: The person who was constantly carping, finding fault, and complaining will probably not be returning to services. Read the rest: Church after Covid.
Pastor with LBGT parents re-calibrates church’s message to increasingly worldly world
The ugliest thing Caleb Kaltenbach saw through a childhood of being taken to gay pride marches and wild parties was…. Christians holding up signs saying “God hates you.”
“I don’t want to have anything to do with that,” he said at the time. But Caleb came to Christ in high school, became a pastor afterwards and started a church that doesn’t compromise on truth while still extending love to those with “messy” lives.
His incredible journey from Christian-hater to loving Christian is more than just one man’s testimony. It is a shining light on the path for the church re-calibrating its message, as the world grows more worldly, to wooing sinners instead of saying “Woe!” to sinners.
When Caleb was only two years old, both his mom and dad divorced and “came out of the closet at the same time,” he says on an Outreach video. “My whole life I was raised by two lesbians and a gay man.”
His dad was professor of philosophy, law and rhetoric at the University of Missouri, Columbia, while his mom was a professor of English at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.
“My whole life I was raised in the gay and lesbian community,” he says. “My parents didn’t want to get baby sitters, so they basically took me to parties when I was 4, 6, 7 years old. I went to camp outs, clubs and gay pride parades.
“I hated Christians,” he remembers. “I didn’t want to have anything to do with Christians.”
At the end of a gay pride parade, he was met by Christians with placards that said “God hates you” and “Turn or burn.”
They were spraying water and urine on everybody.
Caleb, who was a young and impressionable 9 years old, turned to Mom and asked why they were doing this.
“Well, Caleb, they’re Christians,” she replied. “And Christians hate gay people. Christians don’t like people who are different from them.”
“I don’t want to have anything to do with that,” he replied.
His next memory was when he was a teen, accompanying Mom to her parties. His custom was to find a room to play video games, Duck Hunt or Kung Fu (in the days of primitive video games — Atari, etc).
Louis, a well-built 30-year-old, befriended him at these parties.
Years later at the doctor, Caleb saw Louis, who had was emaciated and had strange markings on his forehead. Caleb asked what was wrong.
“Caleb, I have AIDS, and I’m getting read to die,” Louis responded.
Visiting him “a shell of the man he used to be” in the hospital just days before Louis died, Caleb witnessed a “horrifying sight.” As Louis shivered uncontrollably cold under nine blankets, his family watched unfeelingly from across the room.
“Plastered against the wall with their big ol’ KJV bibles out and looking like they expected a firing squad to come at them” was the compassionless immediate family. When he asked for water, they made sure to give him some without touching him.
“Why are they acting like that?” he asked his mom.
“Well, Caleb, they’re Christians,” she responded. “And Christians hate gay people. Christians don’t like people who are different from them.”
“I don’t want to have anything to do with that,” Caleb said again. Read the rest: Pastor with LBGT parents re-calibrates church’s message to increasingly worldly world.
Posted in Christian, Christian attitude, Christian calling, Christian family, christian humility, Christian living, Christian marriage, Christian ministry, Christian news, Christianity, Christianity in action, church, gay, homosexuality, Jesus, judgementalism, lbgt, lesbian, real Christianity, real issues Christianity
Tagged Caleb Kaltenbach, California, Columbia, gay pride parade, homophobia, how the church should treat LBGT, Kansas City, loving gays, Simi Valley, Texas, University of Missouri
Fear of God clothing brand founder really does fear God
Jerry Lorenzo was supposed to give his $100 sneakers to 100 influencers around the nation to promote the brand in October 2016, but instead he decided hand them out to the homeless on Skid Row in Los Angeles.
“I work in Downtown LA and we pass the homeless people sleeping in tents and sleeping bags as we come into work every day,” Jerry says on Fast Company. “We were in a position to give and were ignoring these people that are around us. I just told my staff, ‘We’re going to pack up all these shoes and clothing and give it to people who need it.’ If I’m in a position to give, how dare I give it to someone that doesn’t need it?”
Jerry’s charity that day totaled more than $10,000. But Jerry is a born-again Christian and understands that high-end fashion and fame are ephemeral; only what’s done for Jesus is eternal.
“I’m a Christian, and I love God with all my heart,” he says.
His brand — Fear of God, which he says is cool, not corny, because it counters a lot of dark, empty religious symbolism in fashion — produces street luxury garments that have caught the eye of Kanye West, Rihanna, Kendall Jenner, Justin Bieber and Travis Scott. His Desert Storm-inspired tennies sold for $1,100.
“The idea for my brand came one day when I was reading a devotion that talked about clouds and darkness around the Kingdom of God. It talked about the layers to Him. For the first time in my mind, God was really cool. He was a dark image in my mind, not in a demonic way, just dark in terms of the layers and depth to him — the kind of figure that is beyond our understanding.
“When you’re at peace with God, there’s a fear of God that’s a reverence. On the flip side, when you don’t know God, there’s a literal fear. I wanted my brand’s name to play on these two different meanings. If people dig deeper with this brand, they can find truth.”
Jerry Lorenzo came to Los Angeles to finish grad school. Being out from under his parents’ covering, he embarked on a journey of self-discovery, ditched his Christian upbringing and sampled the party life in Hollywood. He made lots of friends and supplemented his own income by staging his own parties. At the time, there were either black/ hip hop scenes or white/techno. Jerry fused the two and created his own space.
“It was through the night life that I really began to understand the power of my own influence here in Los Angeles,” he says on a “Now with Natalie” video on the Hillsong YouTube channel. “I had the ability to get people out of their homes five nights a week. I had the ability to influence fashion trends. I saw that I would wear something and people would start to dress like me.”
After eight years in the party scene, he realized he could launch a successful fashion brand.
“I enjoyed the partying. It was fun,” Jerry admits. “Yes, I had my own battles with my convictions, but we are as much human as we are spirit. But as my faith started to grow, I realized that I was not only in the wrong circles but that I was the creator of this platform. I was bringing the alcohol sponsor and the women. It was a heavy realization.
“Being from a Christian home, you think you know what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “I thought I was doing a good job juggling the two. But it got to the point where God said, ‘That’s enough. I have something for you to do and you either do this or you live this other life.’”
His party scene was THE place to be seen in L.A. and have significance.
“But as I grew in Christ and grew spiritually, I realized how insignificant this platform was that we had made,” Jerry admits. “I was fearful that my personal significance would be tied up with something as empty to that.”
He was coming to the end of himself, squandering his resources in his own plan to the exclusion of God.
“I just fell on my face and realized that I can’t do anything without God and that He is the source of anything good and positive in my life,” he says. “If I needed anything, it was to seek Him and not promote myself. Once the blinders were off and I saw if for what it was, I knew that wasn’t the place for me.” Read the rest:Jerry Lorenzo Fear of God clothing Christian.
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Tagged fear of God, high end clothing, jerry lorenzo, la party scene, street fashion
Out of trauma, out of fears
Her mother was scolding Demetrius Fears because the 4th grader was STARTING homework at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Then just outside, gunfire erupted.
“Stop! No!” her Uncle Robert shouted, and then they heard a loud pop, pop, pop.
Robert staggered into the house with blood streaming down his face and body.
“When everything happened, I froze. I didn’t know what to do. Everything happened in slow motion,” says Dee, 22.
Dee’s grandma, Yvonne, wasn’t too strong in the Lord at that time. But the Holy Spirit kicked in and she began praying and prophesying that Uncle Robert would live. “She spoke life over him in the name of Jesus,” Dee says.
Their prayers were answered and Uncle Robert survived the shooting.
Dee is named after her father, who died from gunshots weeks before she was born.
After the incident, Dee decided to stay home as much as possible. Because she was always at home, everybody took advantage of her baby-sitting services. She loved babies.
In community college, Dee started attending church and also studied child development. At church, she developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and was born again.
“As I began to do what God wanted me to do and follow His plan for my life, I saw a lot of doors open for opportunities and to be in child ministry,” she says.
She got a job at Starbucks and then added a part-time position at a Christian infant care in Santa Monica.
As time went on, she wondered why she was even bothering with coffee, which she doesn’t like, and not working full-time with babies, which she loves. She offered to her boss, Anita, to go full-time at the Lighthouse Center for Infants.
“She started crying tears of joy,” Dee says. The Infant Care badly needed qualified workers. “She told me I was an answer to prayer.”
“Whoa,” Dee thought in response. “I never thought I could be somebody’s answer to prayer.”
Dee has gained new friendship and developed her classroom learning about child development in real life practice.
One day in church, a sister prophesied that she would overcome her insecurities, which stem from not having a father. During the initial stages of the Coronavirus lockdown, she began to feel unloved.
“I began feeling worthless, like I was useless in every way possible, like I wasn’t worth it, like nobody wants you here,” Dee remembers. “The thoughts were so loud that I began believing they were true.” Read the rest: overcoming trauma and fears.
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Tagged dee fears, demetrius fears, family, testimony
Incorrigible drug addict found hope in Jesus
Unattended by his career-ambitious parents, Jim Rouches discovered his older brother’s stash of pot and LSD when he was only seven.
“The first time the euphoria hit me, my first thought was, I’m going to do this the rest of my life,” Jim says on a CBN video. “This is the greatest thing I’ve ever felt.’
He very nearly carried out the vow to life-long drug abuse.
Jim was the youngest (with his twin) of five siblings. His dad was an IBM executive; his mom, an entrepreneur. He would act up to try to get their attention. They were busy, busy, busy making money.
By middle school, he was a committed pothead. His parents divorced. After misbehaving with his mom, he was moved to his dad’s, where he shaped up for a time.
But when his mother developed lung cancer, Jim lost all motivation to stay on the higher path and resorted to his earlier vices, this time adding cocaine into the mix.
“I could go through $300, $400, $500 worth of coke very quickly,” he says.
When mom died, he got mad at her, as if she had given up and wouldn’t be there for him.
“I thought that she gave up and that she could beat cancer and that if I had cancer I would definitely beat it for her, or anyone else that I loved.”
Jim figured out how to graduate yet bombed each effort his family made to get him off drugs.
“I just thought it was garbage,” he says. “At that time, I would rather be dead than have to live without being high all the time.”
A year after graduating, Jim wedded his secondary school darling. The couple had twins, a boy and a girl. But as one might expect of a marriage where the man suffers from drug addiction, the wedded bliss didn’t last.
“I was in the grips of an addiction that was just massive,” he says. “As much as I wanted to stop for my family I could not stop. And, even then I would have died for them, I just couldn’t quit doing drugs.”
For the next quarter century he was either spending time in jail, in a recovery program or running from the law.
In 2004 he was arrested for credit card fraud and an extensive list of other unlawful offenses.
At 41 years of age, he was worn out, confronting his third strike, and facing 49 years to life in prison.
“That was the first time in my life I just didn’t want to live anymore. I said, ‘God, if you’re real, if you’re real like they say you’re real, help me.’ Read the rest:freed from drugs Jim Rouches.
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Tagged coke, Jim Rouches, marijuana
‘I was shaking like a leaf’ Hispanic gangster had never felt God’s power before
Left with the baby sitter, 4-year-old Angel Frias, one of nine siblings, was approached by a blonde woman who led him in a sinner’s prayer. She looked bright, almost angelic.
“I felt so protected,” he remembers. “I felt like there was a shield around me when I was a little boy.”
But by junior high, “Angel” stopped being an angel. He followed his older brothers into a Hispanic gang in Culver City, California.
“That’s when I got into more of mess. I became a problem to society and not a solution.”
He fell into drugs, alcohol, rage and revenge.
“I had so much anger in my life that if I dropped a pen, I started kicking in doors. I started turning over tables. I started to cuss. If you looked at me the wrong way, the fight was on.”
God saved him from the worst scrapes and kept sending messengers to evangelize.
“When I had a can of beer on me or I was loaded, there was always a servant of the Lord that God would send into the Culver City projects to preach the Gospel and I would hear it,” he says. “They kept coming and they kept coming. There was one time this guy said, ‘God has a better plan for your life.’ I listened to his words, but I kept on the same road of destruction.”
He was in and out of county jail. He had guns pointed at his head, but the guns jammed.
“When my brother was there, he said, ‘That was God,’” Angel remembers. “But we were still in our mess.”
He spent three years in prison, only to return to more drugs and alcohol. He returned to prison for four years and four months. He never turned to God.
“I was the worst of the worst. I was down to 90 lbs.,” he says. “My medium shirts felt like they were extra larges on me.”
Finally, he committed an offense that could lock him up for 25 years to life.
Again, he listened to the preachers in the projects.
“God loves you so much,” the preacher said. “He doesn’t want this for your life. He has more for you.”
His sisters were praying for him. Finally he broke down.
“I fell to my knees and said, ‘Here I am, Lord. Here’s my life,’” he recalls. “I’m totally out of it. I don’t know what to do. I’ve heard about you. I need you to take over because I am out of control.”
For years he mocked people who were healed and fell under the power of the Spirit on Christian television programming.
But when he finally broke before God, he decided to go to church.
“As this preacher’s preaching, my body starts to shake. It felt like something wanted to come out it,” he says. He went up to the altar.
“I was shaking like a leaf. My eyes were blinking like 90 mph,” he says. “I was out of control. I knew God was in control. I surrendered. I opened up my arms and said, ‘Here’s my life. Do what you want with it.’ The guy was about to pray for me, but before he can touch me, I fell back and could not get up. My waist down to my legs, I could not move.” Read the rest: Culver City Hispanic gangster had never felt slain the Spirit before.
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Abused as a child, she forgave and got freed from alcohol
When Cornelia Jude came home drunk from clubbing at 5:00 a.m., she would see her husband sitting on the bed, praying, and she hated him for it.
“I would get so mad” she says on a CBN video. “ I felt like that was his way of trying to manipulate me.”
Cornelia felt like all men were manipulators ever since her mom’s boyfriend sexually abused her as a child.
“I didn’t tell my mom in the beginning because he manipulated situations,” she says. “She always believed him. She never believed me.”
Born in Germany, Cornelia was the victim of sexual abuse from 12 years old. When she grew older, she started sleeping in the park with the homeless, taking drugs and alcohol, and cutting herself as an emotional release to ease the inner torment.
At 18, she escaped home by marrying, but her young husband was also a drug addict who beat her so badly that she had to have her teeth fixed by a dentist.
“The beating was better then the sexual abuse,” she says.
After four months of marriage, she left her husband. She met and married an American and followed him to the United States. But her second attempt at happiness was also far from a fairytale.
“He was out all the time drinking,” Cornelia says. “I don’t know how many times he cheated on me during that time. I was cool with it. I was fine with it. I wasn’t being sexually abused. I wasn’t being beaten.”
Cornelia began to suffer panic attacks, nightmares and breakdowns. A therapist diagnosed her with PTSD.
“I isolated myself a lot and really really cried a lot,” she says.
After two years, she left with her two children.
“I always said there was no God because there’s no way he would allow one person to go through all of this,” she remembers with tears.
For five years, she raised her kids alone and numbed her pain with drinking.
Cornelia met a man named Lawrence and they had a daughter together.
Lawrence had some experience with God and tried to set a good example for his new wife, but Cornelia didn’t readily give up her vices.
“I was out drinking and clubbing, and Lawrence was home with the kids most of the time. Sometimes I would come home at 5:00, 6:00 in the morning and I’m still drunk and I’ll see him, he’ll sit on the bed and he’s praying.”
After years of abuse from manipulating men, Cornelia assumed her current husband was just manipulating and she resisted.
God finally moved in her life in 2015. She got the sudden urge to “check out” a little church she noticed during her commute. However, the devil would not give up without a fight and she thought: “I’m not going to go in there. Why would I go in there?”
But the inner prompting persisted. So one day she suggested to her husband that he accompany her. Read the rest of how to overcome PTSD from sexual abuse.
Posted in abuse, abusive relationships, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian living, Christian love, Christian marriage, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, Christians who divorce, Germany, Jesus, manipulation, physical abuse, real Christianity, real issues Christianity, sexual abuse
Tagged Cornelia Jude, Lawrence Jude
Abortion survivor meets biological mom
When Melissa Ohden’s mom left the abortion clinic more than 30 years ago, she thought her fetus was disposed of properly.
She was a 19-year-old college student and was told the baby in her womb would ruin her life. She was pressured to “terminate the pregnancy” quickly and “conveniently,” and she followed their advice, according to her testimonial video on Eternal Word Television Network’s YouTube channel.
But baby Melissa didn’t die from the saline infusion of toxic water that was injected into the amniotic sack to kill her. She was removed from the womb very much alive.
Melissa weighed less than three pounds. After nurses sustained her with hospital care, she was adopted into a loving home.
“God had a plan,” she says.
Today Melissa is married and an outspoken critic of abortion who has testified before Congress. She documents the trials and travails of finding out the truth of her origin in the stirring book, You Carried Me: A Daughter’s memoir.
At 14, Melissa was told about her adoption. But the news that her biological mother had tried to kill her hit like a tsunami. Negative emotions were born and took root.
Under the crushing rejection of her biological mother, Melissa spun out of control with bulimia, alcohol and sexuality — all coping mechanisms to deal with the raw pain.
“It absolutely devastated my life,” she says. “I didn’t want anyone else to know how much I was hurting.”
How did she break the cycle of self-destruction?
“It was the grace of God that saved me,” she says. “I had to be willing to wake up and say, ‘I’m not going to do that’” anymore.
As she grew, married, and had children, Melissa kept thinking about her biological mom. Who was she? Under what circumstances did she resort to such a drastic procedure? What was she like?
She embarked on a quest to find her mother.
“I loved her,” she says. “My love for her deepens year after year. Now I know the truth of how she was forced into that abortion.”
Initially through correspondence, she began to get to know her mother, and she came to understand and forgive her mom, who suffered 30 years of agonizing guilt, hiding the painful memory of killing her child.
Her journey led her embrace her mother and feel empathy for all women who feel cornered into abortion, she says. Read the rest: abortion survivor meets her mom.
Posted in abortion, abortion survivor, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian testimony, Christianity, family, Jesus, life, life choices, motherhood, pregnancy, pro life, real Christianity, real issues Christianity, unwanted pregnancy
Tagged adoption, melissa ohden, pressured into an abortion, saline abortion, terminate pregnancy
Mark of the Beast? 1984? Or something worse? Microchips implanted in hand
On the surface, microchips implanted into your hand could be — excuse the pun — really handy.
They could be a ready substitute for cash or credit card in the check-out line and can’t be stolen by thieves. They could carry critical medical information for an emergency surgery when you’re unconscious.
Companies in Sweden are hailing their microchips as the wave of the future. The size of a grain of rice, the microchip can be injected by syringe in the loose flesh between the thumb and forefinger. With just a wave the hand, doors are opened, transactions completed, printers operate and life becomes automatized.
“The biggest benefit I think is convenience,” Patrick Mesterton, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter told AP. “It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys.”
But many are not so enthusiastic. Ethicists warn that the new technology raises the specter of a dystopian, Orwellian reality in which people can be monitored by government and hacked by programmers.
Christians — who for decades have speculated that the coming 666 “mark of the Beast” in Revelation could be by a similar technological implant — want nothing to do with it.
“Microchip fears have stoked prophetic speculations for years — but many biblical scholars note that Revelation is not pointing to some inadvertently-adopted technology, but is speaking symbolically of those who cast their lot with the opponents of Christ for societal approval,” noted Jerry Newcombe in The Christian Post.
Revelations 13:16-18 says the Anti Christ “forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man.[e] That number is 666.”
But when the CEO of a Wisconsin company calls the bio-insert “the next thing that’s inevitably going to happen,” Christians can’t be faulted for seeing an uncanny similarity to what the Bible foretells.
“We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals,” said Todd Westby of Three Square Market.
Westby — who either is ignorant of biblical apocalyptic scenarios or doesn’t give a fig about them — got 50 of his 80 employees to voluntarily receive the injected microchips for their convenience.
“Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc,” he said to WKYC studio news.
As far back as 2012, Pastor John Haggee warned that microchipping would be the vehicle for the mark of the Beast. Already, governments are forcing citizens to vaccinate and snitch on each other for not obeying lockdowns. They could very easily make a minor step forward and “start forcing you to wear a chip and they start forcing you to keep laws that you don’t want to keep,” he wrote in Christian Headlines. Read the rest of microchips mark of the Beast.
Posted in Apocalypse, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian living, Christian ministry, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, end times, Financial Talk, Jesus, mark of the beast, microchipping, microchips, technology
Tagged Epicenter, John Haggee, lockdowns, Patrick Mesterton, RFID, Sweden, Three Square Market, Toddy Westby
Winning Muslims to Christ with a hug
Forget the bombs, commando squads, closed borders and anti-Sharia laws. The way to defeat Islamic threat here in America is to evangelize Muslims with love, says one expert.
“Islam is a spiritual enemy. It’s not physical. It’s not people. The only way to encounter is prayer and outreach,” says Daniel Ted, head of the Christian Islamic Dialogue. “Without preaching the gospel, there is no ability to change people’s minds and hearts. That’s the only hope.
“If we address spiritual problems with physical means like politically, economically, it’s not going to work,” he tells God Reports. “We appreciate everybody’s job — like our troops — but they’re not going to solve the problem because the problem is spiritual in origin.”
Daniel Ted was born into the Orthodox Church in a Northern African nation but came to real faith in Jesus in an evangelical church when he was 17. He began the dangerous task of reaching out to Muslims and helped launch 15 churches. If only one Muslim had turned him over to authorities, Daniel would have been thrown into prison and tortured.
After several years, he took a break/vacation to the U.S. and ultimately decided to stay. He started reaching out to Muslims in their communities, outside their mosques and over the internet, a ministry he has led for 10 years.
His technique is simple: no fancy arguments or disputation of any kind. Talk about Jesus and points of the Koran that mention personages in the Bible. Then after the discussion, no matter how heated it may have become, he hugs the man with whom he’s held the discussion.
“The main key to reach out to Muslims is to love them. That’s why after strong discussions, when I give them a hug, they melt down. I’ve seen this many times. And in some cases, I’ve seen tears in their eyes,” Daniel says. “If you start with apologetics or polemics, you lose the friendship. We start with Jesus, and when they accept Jesus in their hearts, they will be open to other things.”
Many, many Muslims have converted, he says. He doesn’t like to provide numbers because his work is only the seed. Only God knows the true number of Muslims who complete the journey to Christ, he says.
Pastor Adrian Rodriguez, who has four ex-Muslims in his church outside Hartford, Connecticut, has gone with Daniel on outreaches. Around the neighborhood is a community of refugees from the Middle East.
“He just starts talking with them about the Koran and the Bible. He goes and witnesses to Muslims. That’s all he does,” Adrian says. “He knows the root of Arabic. He’s a very intelligent guy. He meets with imams. He witnesses to them.”
Traveling around 11 states where Muslim communities are, Daniel leads teams to evangelize their Islamic neighbors with the love of Christ. Not much chalkboard learning, just walking the streets and striking up conversations.
“Jesus taught his disciples how to do outreach practically and then after that theoretically,” Daniel explains. “Many Christians want to learn without doing it practically. I encourage them that without doing it practically there is no way to do it.” Read the rest: Winning Muslims to Christ with love.
Posted in Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian living, Christian love, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, church, church planting, evangelism, internet evangelism, Islam, muslim, muslim converts to Christianity, North Africa, real Christianity, real issues Christianity, shariah
Tagged Christian Islamic Dialogue, daniel ted
Could he forgive the death of his brother? Bryann Trejo punches the devil and doesn’t retaliate against the killers
Bryann Trejo was a cold-blooded killer* who’d already spent half his adult life in jail. So when gangsters gunned down his twin brother, Bryann T was tempted to exact a brutal and immediate revenge.
“Even after he was saved, he was murdered,” Bryann says about his brother to Rapzilla. “I came to know Christ as well. I forgave his enemies and murderers and God wrote a new song in my heart.”
Bryann’s twin, named Ryan, is a frequent subject in the hip hop of Bryann Trejo, who is leader of the Kingdom Music Family based in Abilene, Texas. The gangster-turned-pastor’s music, which recently catapulted to the highest levels in CHH, communicates an urgency and passion to get lost souls out of the unforgiving streets and into Jesus’ eternal forgiveness.
Bryann was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, but his family moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he was 13. There, he fell into armed robberies and selling narcotics. The juvenile delinquent system and then later adult jail, had a “revolving door” for Bryann, he admits on his website.
“I was thugging, out whiling, a Mexican with a cohete (Spanish slang for a gun) with the love the streets,” Bryann says on a Frontline Ministries Braden Hall YouTube video. “That type of love landed me in shootouts, prison, depression and suicide attempts.”
Because FIRST TIME gangsters attempted to kill his brother, Bryann unleashed a furious retaliation that landed him 30 years in jail for two attempted murders. Eventually the charges were lowered with a plea bargain.
Bryann got out of jail at age 27. His brother had gotten saved and Bryann determined to straighten up with God too.
“I’m a knucklehead. I had an identical twin, and we were mixed up in all kinds of bad stuff,” Bryann told Rapzilla. “But he came to know Christ. We started rapping together. But even after he was saved, he was murdered. I came to know Christ as well.”
The SECOND ATTEMPT on Ryan’s life was a case of mistaken identity on May 28, 2013 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Ryan was trying to disciple a young hoodlum, whom the gangsters were looking for in reprisal for a murder days earlier. The killers showered him with bullets.
Bryann was enraged and broken beyond belief. But he was committed to not relapsing into the old life. Even though he knew who the killers were and could have easily tracked them down, he decided to walk in Christian forgiveness.
“The anger came. God, how could you let my brother get murdered? He served You. I wanted to question Him,” Bryann says on a CUTV video. “I wanted revenge. I’d been in prison before for attempted murder, so when he died it’s already in me to retaliate, especially since he was innocent. I wanted them to pay.”
Bryann came to a crossroads. He faced a momentous decision: either relapse into ravenous revenge or make an audacious stand of forgiveness.
He cried out to God: “Lord, I’m about to go cuckoo. I’m about to lose everything. I got six kids; he got six kids. They’re going to lose daddy and uncle. I knew right then and there, I had to forgive.
“I argued with God, ‘But my brother was innocent,’” he continues. “And the Holy Spirit was like, ‘Jesus was innocent.’ Then I was like, ‘But he didn’t deserve this.’ And the Holy Spirit was like, ‘Jesus didn’t deserve it.’”
It wasn’t by any means easy, but Bryann struggled to truly forgive. He still struggles with “bitterness and poison” in his heart. Every day he’s reminded about his brother’s death every day.
“I see his face in the mirror. We’re identical twins,” Bryann says. “His case is still open. The so-called friends didn’t want to be snitches, so they didn’t say nothing. Everything I thought was real in the streets was fake. So now I have this passion to expose Satan and tell people that he is a liar.”
When he returns to the neighborhood, his former friends still provoke him to take revenge.
“The people ridicule me,” he says. “Homeboys be like, ‘You ain’t going to retaliate? That’s your brother. What kind of brother are you?’” he says. Those words stir up the old street pride.
“What, you don’t think I will?” he counters. But then he remembers he’s living in forgiveness.
“I’m not that man. I don’t fight the way I used to fight,” he says. “I trust through Christ that His way of fighting is better than my way of fighting. I’m really punching Satan every time I forgive. I just didn’t know that was the way to fight back because it didn’t make no sense in the physical. We all want to fight the enemy.” Read the rest: Bryann Trejo rapper no revenge
Posted in CHH, Christ, Christian, christian artist, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian hip hop, christian humility, Christian living, Christian love, Christian ministry, Christian models, christian music, Christian news, Christian rap, Christian service, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, forgiveness, gang warfare, gangs, real Christianity, real issues Christianity, revenge, unforgiveness, violence
Tagged bryann trejo
Handi-capable man McLeod’s Coffee House
First he staged a prom for special needs people at his church. Now, he’s opened a coffee shop staffed by special needs employees.
Retired Pastor Brewster McLeod of Lexington, Kentucky, opened McLeod’s Coffee House in 2019. The coffee shop is a non profit with 50 employees who happen to have autism and developmental disabilities.
“They got joy, they got heart, they want to work,” McLeod said.
The purpose for the special coffee house is twofold: to give an income to people who might find it hard to get another job, AND to sensitize regular folk to their needs.
“If Down syndrome or special needs make you nervous,” McLeod says, “you probably need to come in here and relax and just treat them like anyone else.”
Megan Gaines, 29, works the cash register. She was born with spina bifida, which paralyzes her from the waist down.
“I’m exactly like anybody else. I can do the same things you can do. I just may do things differently,” Megan says. “We still want to have friends, we still want to do things, we still want to go out and hang out with our friends, and just do normal stuff.”
Working at McLeod’s Coffee has brought joy and safety to the 50 employees, whom McLeod calls “VIPs.” They wear super hero T-shirts to work as part of their uniform. McLeod says they’re “handi-capable.” Some are greeters, others baristas, others work the cash register.
McLeod was pastor of the Southland Christian Church in Lexington for 40 years. Since 2000, he’s ministered specifically to people with special needs. He held a “Jesus prom” for people with special needs because they felt excluded from regular Cinderella-like events. Read the rest: special needs employees coffee shop.
Posted in Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, christian business, Christian calling, Christian living, Christian love, Christian ministry, Christian news, Christian service, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, coffee, real Christianity, special needs
Tagged brewster mcleod, Down Syndrome, Kentucky, lexington kentucky, mcleods coffee house, megan gaines, spina bifida
Crushed by stress and hate, cops have nowhere to turn except Jesus
Gruesome crimes that cannot be “unseen” sometimes weigh down on and break the heart of police officers who got into law enforcement with enthusiasm and idealism.
Without a “Biblical mindset,” the men and women in blue turn to anger, alcohol and divorce at higher frequencies than almost any other group in society, says Paul Lee, executive director of the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers (FCPO).
Police have a divorce rate of 75 percent and a domestic abuse rate of 40 percent, the FCPO website says.
“If you have the scriptures behind you and you have a firm foundation, then you know that lost people are acting like lost people,” Lee says. “Today we have lost people and lost cops out on the streets clashing and acting like lost people while Satan claps his hands together with glee.”
The FCPO’s 250 local chapters reach out to the nation’s 1.1 million local, state and national enforcement officers with the Gospel from a perspective that cops can understand.
Lee accepted Jesus into his heart in 1995 — after 17 years of handling the stress of police work in his own strength. He immediately joined the Chattanooga chapter of FCPO and was hooked to their Bible studies and discipleship support group.
“Once I realized I had this whole new family that loved me, I was sold,” Lee says. “We began to read scriptures and learn to apply the scripture on the streets, which was a challenge. If you’re not reading the Bible, you don’t know what to do.”
Many officers don’t have the advantage of growing up in a Christian home, Lee says.
Raised in church, Lee left God and began working in law enforcement. After years of apprehending criminals and witnessing unimaginable monstrosities on the cruel streets, Lee descended into an abyss of anger, distrustful cynicism and heavy drinking.
He divorced his wife.
“Being a police officer and seeing all the evil and trying to deal with that evil in my own strength, I had become calloused,” he remembers. “I felt nothing. I hated everybody. Nobody told you the truth.”
When his mother died, he thought over his life. In the shower before her funeral, Lee remembered her dedication to Christ and reflected on his own prodigality.
“I knew the life I was living was totally wrong. I had faulted God for 20 years. But the death of my mother totally broke me and brought me to the lowest point in my life.” Lee says. “My life was passing before my eyes like a bad B-movie. I was crying uncontrollably.”
In the shower, Lee said three things to the Lord: “I give up. I surrender. and continue reading about Police PSTD and Jesus.
Posted in Christ, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian leadership, Christian living, Christian love, Christian ministry, Christian news, christian police, Christian service, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, cops, Jesus, men in blue, police, police officers, police stress, ptsd, real Christianity, real issues Christianity
Tagged Chattanooga, divorce rates for police, domestic abuse for police, Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers, Paul Lee, police ptsd
Mahomes, hot arm, cool character, Christian QB
QB Patrick Mahomes, whose confident leadership and hot arm provided the edge for the Kansas City Chiefs first Super Bowl win in 50 years, is very open about his convictions.
“Faith has always been big with me,” the Super Bowl MVP told Fox News. “I’m glorifying Him every single time I’m out there. I understand that He’s given me a lot of blessings in my life, and I’m trying to maximize them and glorify Him.”
The young QB kept his poise under pressure as the Chiefs were squelched for three quarters and appeared ready to lose their first Super Bowl appearance in half a century. But in the last seven minutes of the game, trailing 20-10 to the San Francisco 49ers, the 24-year-old reignited his precision passing and overturned the score.
Mahomes made his decision to accept and follow Jesus in the seventh grade when his parents got divorced. He wanted to be a man of the church, attended youth group, raised his hands to worship God, declined invitations to hang out so he could do more chores and watch over his siblings at home, according to Belief Net.
His dad, Pat Mahomes, was a Major League Baseball pitcher, and Mahomes almost followed in his father’s footsteps, pitching a no hitter with 16 strikeouts his senior year at Whitehouse High School in Whitehouse Texas.
He also played basketball, but football intrigued him with the vast amount of plays and strategies to learn. During his senior year, Mahomes threw 4,619 passing yards and 50 passing touchdowns. He rushed 948 yards, including 15 touchdowns.
Being a two-prong attacking quarterback proved critical during the Super Bowl. One of the Chiefs’ touchdowns was by Mahomes, who ran the ball in.
Mahomes was a top prospect for MLB draft in 2014, but he committed to Texas Tech University with a football scholarship. As a junior, Mahomes led the country in yards per game (421), passing yards (5,052), total offense (5,312), points responsible for (318) and total touchdowns (53).
He opted out of his senior year to go pro and was drafted by the Chiefs in 2017. He became the starting quarterback the next year and cultivated a great rapport with the team. “He was always about the team, always about his teammates, always about the other person,” one coach told the Christian Post.
His Christianity played out in humility. “There would be a play where he’d make an incredible throw or he’d scramble around and make a big run for a touchdown and he’d come off the field saying to his teammates, ‘great catch’ or ‘great block,’” said Brad Cook, who was Whitehouse’s offensive coordinator Mahomes’ senior season, in Yahoo Sports. Read the rest: Patrick Mahomes Christian.
Posted in Christ, Christian, christian athletics, Christian attitude, Christian leadership, Christian love, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, Christianity in Athletics, football, Jesus, NFL, professional football, real Christianity
Tagged Chiefs, Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes, Super Bowl
Once he let go of bridge rail, he regretted it
By Hannah Hughes —
Wrenched by depression, John Kevin Hines, 19, followed through on his plans to plunge from the Golden Gate Bridge to snuff out his life.
“In the millisecond after my hands left the rail, I said to myself, ‘What have I just done? I don’t want to die. God, please save me!’” he remembers. “I felt instant regret for my actions.”
Unlike 57 other bodies fished out by a Coast Guard crew in recent years, Kevin survived.
After falling 25 stories in four seconds, he broke the frigid San Francisco Bay waters in the perfect feat first, the optimal position to cheat death. Only some vertebrae were shattered. An eyewitness phoned the Coast Guard, who rescued him, bobbing in the water, minutes later.
For Kevin, the makings of bipolar disorder started early. Born to poor, troubled parents, Kevin was left abandoned in a flophouse as a baby and taken by Child Protective Services, according to SFGate news
When his parents got their act together, he returned home at nine months. His father, Pat, started work as a banker and thrived. His mother adopted two other kids, and they had a home in the Twin Peaks neighborhood of San Francisco. Everything was turning ideal.
Then at age 10, Kevin experience an epileptic seizure and was prescribed Tegretol.
Overcoming these early difficulties, Kevin progresssed through his education and got into acting and athletics. Despite having asthma, he played on Riordan High School’s wrestling team and its football team.
At age 16, his parents initiated a divorce.
Since Kevin hadn’t experienced a seizure in so many years, he was taken off Tegretol, which no one knew at the time had a secondary benefit of suppressing the violent mood swings typical of bipolar disorder.
After going off the meds, immediately “Kevin went down Alice’s hole,” Pat recalls.
He experienced a breakdown on stage during a school play. He fought with his mom and moved in with dad only to butt heads. He was irritable and spiraled cyclically in despair, usually bottoming out on Thursdays and Fridays.
When his drama teacher commited suicide, he was deeply affected, marked by the memory of the harrowing event.
He was struggling emotionally. But Kevin was in denial about his own need to seek help. He shored up his facade reminding himself of his triumphs in sports.
Other people were failures, needy, unstable — not him, he kept saying to himself.
“I was so much denial and that denial ruled the day until I crashed hard,” he says in a YouTube video.
On Sept. 22, 2000, his girlfriend broke up with him.
That weekend, he experienced hallucinations and heard voices.
“I don’t want to be here anymore,” he told his dad.
“You have an obligation to be here,” Pat responded. “We love you.”
Despite the exchange of words, his dad didn’t really know the full extent of Kevin’s inner anguish. And Kevin didn’t really feel loved.
“I thought I was my family’s burden,” he explains.
After six attempts at writing a suicide note, he left the seventh version in his room.
“I sat at my desk and I penned that note mom: Dad,brother, sister, girlfriend, best friend, love you but I gotta go,” he says.
On Sunday morning Sept 24, he went to Walgreens of a “breakfast” of skittles and starburst. Then Kevin boarded a bus bound for the iconic bridge that links San Francisco with the northern peninsula that’s the inlet to the San Francisco Bay.
It is a postcard picturesque place — and a notorious choice for suicide.
As the bus drove, he mulled his determination. There were conflicting emotions. He actually felt relief that all the pain would be over. The voices kept telling him: “You must die! You can’t go back! You are a burden to those who love you!”
When he got off the Golden Gate Bridge, he was crying.
If anyone stopped to ask him what was wrong, he thought, he wouldn’t jump. He walked down the bridge. Joggers passed without apparently noticing the tears on his face. A German tourist came up to him. He thought this was his chance. But no, she ignored his tears and only asked for him to take her picture.
Police officers on a bike, whose job it is to stop suicide attempts, also passed by him and ignored him.
So he jumped.
He plummeted the 200 feet. The voices telling him he had to die stopped talking, and his rationale returned. He cried out to God, as reported by Lifezette.
Kevin broke the surface of the water feet first. This gave him the best chance to survive. The impact shattered vertebrae and very nearly severed his spinal cord completely. But it didn’t kill him.
The momentum of the fall carried him into the depths of the bay. As he speed wore off with the friction and pressure of the waters, he slowed, stopped and began to rise. A survival instinct took over and he struggled to swim to the surface, through which he popped shortly.
The felt excruciating pain in his back. He tried to tread water, but he began to sink.
He felt something underneath him seem to push him again. He thought it was some sea creature, maybe even a shark or a sea lion.
He heard a boat motor and seconds later hands were pulling him out before he went into shock from hypothermia.
The Coast Guard crew put a neck brace on him. One member leaned over him and addressed him.
“Kid, do you know how many people we pull out of this water who are already gone?” he recalls on a Power 106 YouTube video. “This unit has pulled out 57 dead bodies out of this water — and one live one.”
At the hospital, Kevin’s dad was the first to arrive.
“I looked up at my dad, and I said, ‘Dad, I’m sorry,’” he says. “And he looked at me and said with great conviction, ‘No, Kevin, I’M sorry.’ And waterfalls flew from his eyes. He put his hand on my forehead and said words I have never forgotten: ‘Kevin, you are going to be ok, I promise.’”
His recovery from suicidal thoughts and bipolar disorder has not been seamless. Kevin has been admitted to psych wards seven times in the 10 years after his suicide attempt. The first three admittances were against his will.
It eventually became beneficial for Kevin to acknowledge his struggles as mental illness and to attack it with the help of medical professionals as a sickness. God has helped him make it through.
“Every night that I spent in psych wards — and I’ve been an inpatient seven times for suicidal crisis — I prayed,” Kevin says. “Every night I spent in a halfway home for the mentally ill, I have prayed. I have prayed through dangerous and scary situations.”
Today he is happily married and lives in Atlanta. He’s a motivational speaker and an advocate for suicide prevention.
“I pray every day. I feel human beings take so many little things for granted,” Kevin says. “But after what happened to me, I tend not to. I do my very best in life to not take every person I get the privilege of meeting — every place I get the honor of going to, and everything I get the grace of doing — for granted. I walk into a hotel, for example, and I’m appreciative of the people who came before me who made that hotel. I appreciate the people who set up the coffee machine.”
Hannah Hughes is my student at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica.
Posted in Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian high school, Christian high school Los Angeles, christian high school santa monica, Christian school, Christian school Los Angeles, Christian schools, Christianity, Christianity in action, depression, high school, mental health, mental illness, private school, private schools, san francisco, Santa Monica Christian school, small schools, suicide, West Los Angeles Christian school
Tagged Golden Gate Bridge, kevin hines
Chained in basement 11 years, she now offers hope to victims of abuse
Michelle Knight was held hostage, chained and raped for almost 11 years by a macabre man. She also endured starvation, lack of sunlight and extreme thirst.
“Almost every day he did beat, rape, and do horrible, unimaginable things to me,” Michelle said on the Today Show. “I just thought of myself as a punching bag because that’s all he did to me.”
Since her ordeal, Michelle has gathered her courage — with God’s help — to forgive her tormentor, Ariel Castro, who hanged himself with bed sheets in his prison cell one month into a sentence of life plus 1,000 years.
“He had a disease,” Michelle told Christian Today. “I was able to forgive him. God put us on earth for one reason, to do his work. The situation (he) put me in didn’t define me. I choose to live a meaningful life.”
On May 6, 2013, fellow captive Amanda Berry escaped and fled to police, who rescued Michelle and another girl, Gina de Jesus. Shortly after that, they arrested Castro. Since then, Michelle has married and moved on from the trauma. As part of her new life, she legally renamed herself Lily Rose because she wants to disassociate herself from the ugly past.
Raised in a troubled home, Michelle, 20, was living under a bridge in 2002, upset over losing custody of her 2-year-old son. On August 23rd of that year, she left her cousin’s house in Cleveland and accepted a ride from Ariel Castro, the father of a friend. He took her to his Tremont home, where he chained her in the basement.
Amanda Berry was abducted the following year, and they were joined by Gina DeJesus in 2004.
Castro first starved his victims for days to break their will to resist. Then he beat them and raped them. Michelle got pregnant from Castro at least four times, and the beast beat her with his fists and even dumbbells, sometimes slamming her against the wall to induce miscarriage.
Amanda somehow gave birth to a child in 2006.
Neighbors say they reported to police suspicious activity at the home on Cleveland’s rough west side, but police found nothing unusual, even though parts of the home were locked and inaccessible.
In 2013, Amanda managed to escape, catalyzing the subsequent rescue of her co-captives and arrest of Castro. Michelle was only 80 pounds when she was found and taken to the hospital. She had lost the will to live.
“They told me I only had two days to live, I was dying of a bacterial infection. I just wanted to let go.” Michelle recounted. “The first time that I tried to let go (and die), the first thought that came to my mind was my son. I don’t want my son to see me as a person that took the easy way out. That’s the real reason why I didn’t commit suicide.” Read the rest of the harrowing story with a happy ending of Michelle Knight Christian.
Posted in abuse, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian love, Christian marriage, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christianity, Cleveland, forgiveness, hope, kidnapping, physical abuse, rape, real Christianity, real issues Christianity, sexual abuse, suicide
Tagged amanda berry, ariel castro, gina de jesus, gina dejesus, lily rose, michelle knight
Rockstar JT, one of the sincerest Christian rappers, appeals to the church to use compassion with homosexual members
When his sin was exposed in 2017, Jaterrius Johnson felt church leaders over-reacted in their approach to church discipline.
“I’ve been scarred by the church,” the Christian rapper says on a DJ Wade-O video.
His sin was homosexuality. He believes it if it had been fornication with a girlfriend, treatment would have been gentler.
Jaterrius, who is better known by his hip hop handle Rockstar JT, survived the discipline and stands today as a shining example of repentance, forgiveness and restoration. And he is openly asking the church to treat sin as sin, without stigmatization or discrimination.
“A lot of Christians, we struggling,” he says. “A lot of Christians, we depressed. On social media we all pretending it’s all good, when it’s not. My philosophy on that is that it’s ok to not be ok.”\
Jaterrius was raised by a single mom in Birmingham, Alabama. In poverty and without a dad, Jatterius fell into fighting and the streets. He broke into homes, used guns and became violent with his own family.
“I was doing so much things that I know did not glorify God,” he says on Jam the Hype. “I punched my sister in the face my eight-grade year.
Mom was worried about the direction her son was headed, so she enlisted the help of Kevin King, who runs a Christian non-profit called Common Ground that reaches out to wayward youth.
Kevin began visiting and ministering to the young Jaterrius, who described himself at the time as “lukewarm.”
Kevin “wouldn’t let me go. He said, ‘JT, you gonna be mine.’” he recalls. “Kevin, that’s my dog. He wouldn’t let me go. He said, ‘I know you aint saved but you still not going nowhere. Just loving on me, not preaching to me every time, but hanging around me, taking me to concerts and taking me to different conferences.”
At 16, Jaterrius converted to Christ at a 2015 Impact Conference. His mentor, Kevin, urged him to use his obvious talent for rap in the kingdom.
“You gonna need something to do. You know you’re a talented rapper. You need to use your gifts for the Lord,” Kevin told him.
Jaterrius saw no compelling reason to change his stage name, so he remains “Rockstar JT.”
He broke through ceilings with “Getcha weight up,” which in addition to being catching was picked up by HBO’s Euphoria.
When he first started rapping he wouldn’t even listen to worldly music because he was nurturing his relationship with Christ. As he felt more solid in his faith, he allowed himself to take a peak at his secular counterparts and decided he needed to update his style to keep abreast of trends.
He also decided to write music for the streets, not for the church sanctuary. His intention was outreach, not inreach.
“I’m finally being who God wanted me to be and that is a trapper,” he says on Rapzilla. “They dope dealing but I’m hope dealing.” Read the rest: Rockstar JT and compassion for same-sex attracted Christians
Posted in Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian family, Christian hip hop, christian humility, Christian leadership, Christian living, Christian love, christian music, Christian news, Christian rap, Christian service, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, depression, homosexuality, Jesus, real Christianity, sin
Tagged Alabama, Birmingham, Jaterrius Johnson, Rockstar JT
Leader of L.A. Rescue Mission lost leg in fight against homelessness, willing to sacrifice the other if it would make a difference
Andy Bales’ leg was amputated in 2016 after he contracted an infection related to homeless people defecating on LA’s Skid Row.
“I’d give my other leg if they would actually do something” to get people off the streets, he declares.
While politicians dicker about who’s to blame for the city’s acute homelessness crisis, Andy, CEO of Union Rescue Mission, believes they have the answer that manifests Christ’s love in a pragmatic way. It’s called a Sprung Structure, a cheap and durable fabric tent that can house 120 people.
“The answer is IMMEDIATELY getting people off the streets so they are not continuing to be devastated,” he says. “The longer we leave so many people on the streets, the worse it gets for them and for all of us.”
In 2014, Andy participated in a triathlon and scraped open a sore on his foot. He was wearing a “wound boot” when he walked around with staff handing out bottled water and invited people to take advantage of Union Rescue Mission’s services.
“I got an infection from human waste outside on the sidewalk on Skid Row,” he says.
Right now, there are only nine public toilets to service 2,800 people on Skid Row. The numbers don’t add up and actually fall short of toilets available for refugee camps in Syria (the refugees have it better). He calculates 184 toilets would be needed to keep the homeless from defecating and urinating on the sidewalk.
He describes a dangerous situation with grave infections happening to people all the time. Aside from cleaning the street every two weeks, the City hasn’t done much, he says.
Los Angeles’ homeless crisis is worse than New York’s or San Francisco’s. Last year, there were 41,000 on the streets. This year, there are 44,000, Andy says.
Andy, 61, is no Ivory Tower theorist. He’s a man of the trenches.
To remind himself and draw attention to the plight of the homeless, Andy spends New Year’s Eve on the streets every year. He denies himself his bed, his warm room, his shower, his bathroom, and his dinner. He spends the entire night outside, with whoever volunteers to help him, on the streets.
The first time he did it many years ago, he did it alone. Throughout the night, he broke up fights and fought off rapists — five physical altercations in total, he says. Never again would he brave the streets alone. Sometimes he’s accompanied by Bible college students, sometimes by staff.
So he experiences firsthand the horrors of homelessness. When the news reports of violence and even murder perpetrated by the homeless, Andy knows what goes wrong.
“I don’t know how anyone continues to sleep on the streets night after night without beginning to think in a wrong way,” he says. “I’m still recovering two days later. You can see I have a shake in my hands. And that was just one night. I can’t survive one night on the streets. How can I survive two. Or how could I survive weeks or months or decades on the streets?” Read the rest: Homelessness Los Angeles.
Posted in bible, Christ, Christian, Christian attitude, Christian calling, Christian love, Christian ministry, Christian news, Christian testimony, Christianity, Christianity in action, God, God's plan, God's work, homelessness, Jesus, life in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, real Christianity, real issues Christianity
Tagged Andy Bales, skid row, Union Rescue Mission