Author Archives: grelanmuse

Atlanta pastor, family killed in Fla. pile-up

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By Michael Ireland
ASSIST News Service

A pastor, his wife, and teenage daughter were among the 10 people killed in a massive highway pileup in Florida, now deemed as the deadliest crash on an American highway in 20 years.

According to CBN News, pastor Jose Carmo, Jr. and his family from the International Church of the Restoration in Atlanta were returning from a religious conference when their vans collided with several cars, six tractor-trailers, and a motor home on Interstate 75 near Gainesville on Sunday.

CBN News footage from accident

Senior pastor Arao Amazona told CBN News  he had opted to delay his departure until the next morning. Amazona said Carmo had wanted to be back in time for the suburban-Atlanta church’s Sunday morning service.

“We couldn’t have imagined such tragedy would come to us,” Amazonas said.

The crash took place after the Florida Highway Patrol reopened the interstate following an earlier serious accident. The broadcast outlets said the highway had earlier been closed due to thick smoke from a fire alongside the road which hampered visibility for drivers, according to broadcast reports.

“We went through the area. We made an assessment. We came to the conclusion that the road was safe to travel and that is when we opened the road up,” said highway patrol spokesman Lt. Patrick Riordan during a news conference.

“Drivers have to recognize that the environment changes,” he said. “They have to be prepared to make good judgments.”

The crash’s 18 survivors were hospitalized. Some are still in critical condition.

Texas Wesleyan men back in win column

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Special to The Pew

Four starters on the Texas Wesleyan University men’s basketball scored in double figures, as the Rams best Wiley, 103-95, on Jan. 30 at the Sid Richardson Center in Fort Worth.

The Rams, (16-4, 11-3) opened the game on a 22-5 run and never looked back.  The Wildcats (11-8, 7-7) did not break double figures until a three-pointer from Dominic Jones pushed the score to 28-10 with 10:44 showing on the clock. Texas Wesleyan shot 55.6 percent from the field and hit a blistering 7-of-10 from long range on their way to a 51-31 advantage at the break.

A layup from Eric Frederick early in the second half gave the Rams their largest lead at 61-35.  The margin remained at 20 points until an 8-1 Wiley run cut the lead to 12 (88-76) with 6:02 on the clock.  The Rams pushed back ahead 95-78, but the Wildcats never gave in. A 10-1 run actually made it a two-possession ballgame at 101-95 with 16 seconds to play, but it was too little too late for Wiley. Frederick knocked down a pair of free throws to ice the game at 103-95 on the Rams’ next possession.

“I thought we made a statement in the first half,” commented head coach Terry Waldrop.  “To Wiley’s credit, they never quit.  They are well coached, and they played hard.  We got back in the win column with a good effort, and now we have to get ready to go into Jarvis on Saturday.”

Frederick picked up his eighth double-double of the year with 29 points and 10 rebounds.  Ronnie Moss also finished with 29 points to go with nine assists and six rebounds.  Brian Talley added 19 points, and Oscar Griffin posted 10 in the win.  Stephane Mudiay came off the bench to score eight points and grab five rebounds.

Vanderis Chrisie led the Wildcats by going 7-for-11 from distance and finishing with 28 points.  Kenny LaGuerre posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.  Freddie Haynes, Richard Simon, and Dominic Jones finished with 14, 13, and 11 points respectively.

OLLU ends win streak with loss to LSU-Shreveport

Robert Martinez and Josh Orta scored 17 points each, but it wasn’t enough to shut down LSU-Shreveport on Jan. 30, as the Saints fell 83-74 to the Pilots.

The Saints played characteristically aggressive on defense, as OLLU forced LSUS to turn the ball over 28 times. The Pilots were equally rugged, forcing the Saints to turn the ball over 20 times. OLLU played most of the game without their head coach.

Greg Shyne led the Pilots with 26 points, while Aubin Young tossed in 16, Derrick Parker 12 and Cody Walker 11.

While the Saints (12-3, 14-6) ended its winning streak, the Pilots (10-3, 15-4) extended their streak to six straight.

UAB gospel choir honors church bombing victims

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Special to The Pew

The University of Alabama-Birmingham Gospel Choir is celebrating Black History Month in a special way this year, with a song that honors the memory of the four little girls who lost their lives in the 16th Street church bombing in 1963.

“You Don’t Know What I Could Have Been” is an original song penned by choir director Kevin P. Turner. The song was written and performed for the choir’s most recent theatrical concert, “Gospel Anthology II: The Church and the Civil Rights Movement.”

The track is available for download at iTunes,, and Myspace Music. Local, national and satellite radio stations, secular and gospel, will all have copies for radio play, Turner said. Comedian, radio host, and Birmingham native Rickey Smiley will debut the song to his national audience, as well.

“This is perfect timing as we celebrate the service, sacrifices and achievements of the Civil Rights Movement, including those of the Foot Soldiers, the Freedom Riders and the children who died during this time in American history,” Turner said. “This song gives voice to the children who did not survive attacks during the Civil Rights Movement.” The timing of the release coincides with Black History Month and national observations of historic anniversaries and events, including the opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders.

2011 was a banner year for the choir, with its first overseas tour to London and Birmingham, England and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, two CD releases, an East Coast tour, a live performance on NBC’s “Today” with Al Roker on the campus of UAB to 5.5 million viewers, and the special recognition they gave to local heroes of the Civil Rights Movement who recently passed away by presenting the “Gospel Anthology II” concert. Turner also was honored by the Carlton Reese Memorial Unity Choir, the original Civil Rights mass movement choir.

Lee: Book has reinforced ‘humility, patience’ in me

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By Donald Lee
Special to The Pew

In an interview I did with my former employer, “The Advocate” newspaper in Baton Rouge, about the future best-selling book my friend and prayer partner Bre Eaton and I just released, columnist and pal Terry Robinson asked me an awesome question.

He asked me whether our book, “Married to Commitment,” ministered to me in any way. And if so, what was the one thing that I learned from the book.

My response: “More humility and patience.” The book is about being humble, recognizing that it is God who gives promotions (whether in the workplace or in relationships). And it’s about being patient.

Many divorces occur or many marriages are strained because of a lack of patience on the part of at least one of the two persons. We,

Pastor Donald Lee

generally speaking, get tired of waiting on God to send us our Ruth or our Esther or our Boaz or our Isaac, to the point where we succumb to the pressures of impatience (like Abraham and Sarah did) and we (not God) produce Ishmaels in our lives rather than waiting on God to present us our Isaacs.

Some of the biggest, most recognized, most influential pastors out there today often say: “Most divorces occur over money.” I’ve always contended that “money” was not (and perhaps never was) the reason for so many failed marriages.

I contend that those marriages fail because of “selfishness,” “self-centeredness,” “pride.” This — a selfish, haughty spirit — is the root cause of divorce. The money factor, I argue, is the fruit of the divorce. But the root of the divorce is the self-centeredness factor.

In other words, money, if you will, is (how can I say it?) “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” That one straw, alone, couldn’t do it. But it’s placed on top of all the other stuff.

Successful, new marriages or relationships are birthed from honest, self-evaluations concerning what went wrong in previous ones.

Donald Lee is founder-pastor of nondenominational, multi-ethnic Kingdom Living Christian Center in Dallas. He co-authors “Married to Commitment,” (Xulon Press, $14.99) a powerful book on relationships and commitment. To obtain your copy of the book, visit or call toll-free (866) 909-2665. Lee can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @donaldj_lee. To hear Lee’s sermons “LIVE” via teleconference, call (218) 862-4590 (conference code: 279498#) at 10 a.m. (Central Standard Time) on Sundays and 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

In God’s eyes, underdogs always have their day

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By Pastor Grelan Muse
Founder, Inside The Pew

BATON ROUGE, La. – Another great weekend of NFL playoff action has come and gone. The San Francisco 49ers shocked my New Orleans Saints on Jan. 14 to advance to the AFC Championship Game against the New York Giants on Jan. 22. And, I cannot go without mentioning the Jan. 8 heroics of one Tim Tebow, who led the Denver Broncos to an overtime victory against the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers.

Many felt the underdog 49ers would collapse to the offensive onslaught the Saints orchestrated during the season. In the end, the underdogs had different plans. Forty-niners coach Jim Harbaugh gave his players the greatest words of inspiration before the game. He told his men the team they were not supposed to be in the playoffs. Essentially, the 49ers were cast off. Excuse after excuse was given by naysayers, including the 49ers early dominance of their division, the NFC West.

Now that the dust has cleared, the underdog 49ers is still in the game. Just like the 49ers had their doubters, there are so many people in our society who have been pushed aside. But, God has not. The Almighty will never doubt our abilities. God’s children are not powerless, for it is He who is with us always. In Romans 8:31, it is declared that He is for us, therefore who can be against us. I am sure we all can relate to the story of an individual who overcame obstacles in life despite a sub par start to life. God’s unwavering love is what allows the underdog to keep going.

It is no mystery as to why God finds favor in the underdog. There are endless examples of how God used those who were not expected to push forward to do so. He took care of the Israelites in their despair, made Abraham the leader of nations, allowed Moses to part the Red Sea, used Joseph to save Israel’s sons from starvation, and chose David to be king.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:28-29, “God has chosen what is low and despised in the world, things that are not to reduce to nothing the things that are, so that no person might boast before God.”

Tarry on underdogs! Harsh life circumstances and critics who favor worldly thoughts will never dictate your story. God always has the final say.

Pastor Grelan Muse Sr. is founder of Emanuel and The Mainline Ministries Inc. (, a Baton Rouge, La., 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, and Inside The Pew. Connect with us @PewTalk on Twitter and @Inside The Pew on Facebook.

Copyright © 2012 Inside The Pew. All rights reserved.

Church planter, church leaders kidnapped in India

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By Michael Ireland
ASSIST News Service

LACANADA, CA (ANS) — A staff-member and two church leaders from a California-based church planting ministry have been captured in western India.

Over this past weekend an Empart church planter and two church leaders were taken by force on their way to an evangelistic outreach event. The name of the kidnapper is withheld for security reasons.

Empart ( transforms communities by training local people to start local churches in the local community. The ministry is focused on empowering the local believers to take up the work of reaching their own people. The ministry says this is the most effective and efficient use of training, time and money.

According to the ministry, the kidnapping occurred in the Udaipur Region, Rajasthan, India in an area dominated by militant Naxalites – a Maoist party considered to be the most dangerous terrorist organization in India. Many people suspect that the Naxalites were responsible for the abductions.

“At this stage, we do not know who took them or what their demands are. Local witnesses were unable to identify the perpetrators as their faces were covered,” said Jeff Cannon, US director if Empart USA.

“While this is a serious situation, we serve a mighty God who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:19-21), ” Cannon said in an e-mail to ANS.

Cannon added: “This is the first time any of our workers have been kidnapped. Please also pray for God’s divine wisdom and direction for Jossy Chacko and the Indian leaders.”

Cannon asked that concerned believers join the ministry in prayer for their safety, protection and for God’s comfort, and peace to rest with their terrified families until their safe return.

Perspective on Tebow

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Author releases eBook centered on quarterback’s influence

By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Can he play?

Should he pray?

What’s his future?

If you think Tebow mania is history because the Broncos will not play in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, guess again.

"Tebow: Throwing Stones" is now available on Amazon.

NFL Network plastered Tebow’s image in its promotion of the station’s upcoming NFL Draft coverage. Then, on Jan. 27, NBC announced programming that coincides with the 18-plus hours of Super Bowl coverage planned to run on all of its networks. The Broncos quarterback is scheduled to appear on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on Feb. 1.

For Tebow enthusiasts and NFL faithful, a new eBook on Tim Tebow picks up where the hype leaves off.

He’s not going away, and the draft – where the Broncos will either build a team around Tebow or trade him – is right around the corner.

“Tebow: Throwing Stones” takes this moment to take a fresh look at the patron saint of the NFL.

Paul Hughes, author of the eBook, reviews Tebow’s playing and praying, and tries his hand at prognosticating the young quarterback’s future.

Available exclusively as a Kindle eBook, “Tebow: Throwing Stones” is available for sale now. Readers with a Kindle device and Amazon Prime Membership can borrow the book for free.

Hughes said the book is short – less than 50 pages – and can easily be read in the run-up to the big game on Feb. 5.

“It’s ‘conversational and accessible,’ as the kids say, with a tone that balances edge with respect,” Hughes said.

And the book is cleverly priced at $3.16. The book is available for purchase at

Cooper leads OLLU past Wiley College

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By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Our Lady of the Lake men’s basketball team forced 27 turnovers en route to its 15 consecutive victory, as the Saints edged Wiley in Marshall, 96-88, on Jan. 28.

Marco Cooper scored 23 points for the surging Saints (14-0, 17-3). AJ Govan and Mike Brown added 12 points. Josh Orta added 7 assists and four steals.

The Saints, ranked seventh in the NAIA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 poll, are three games ahead of second place LSU-Shreveport (11-3, 13-6) and three-and-a-half games ahead of Texas Wesleyan University (10-3, 15-4).

Freddie Haynes led the Wildcats (7-6, 11-7) in scoring with 21 points, followed by Michael Evans and Richard Simon, who both finished the game with 13.

OLL will next head to Shreveport to face LSU-Shreveport on Jan. 30. Tip-off against the Pilots is slated for 7:30 p.m.

In women’s hoops action, the Lady Wildcats silenced the Lady Saints, 74-73. Shakendra Moore led Wiley’s charge with 20 points, followed by Alieshia Carruthers with 12. Carruthers, Latika Smith, and Kyniddia Purdy each net five assists. Smith led Wiley in steals with five.

High scorers for OLLU were Jasmine Fuller with 20 points, Chelsea Kellogg and Nashae Owens each scored 12 points, while Kellogg added four steals and Owens added four assists.

World-famous flying tightrope team perform at The Woodlands church

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Dramatic high-wire balancing act to help pastor illustrate sermon

By Michael Ireland
ASSIST News Service

HoustonPastor Kerry Shook of Woodlands Church in Texas continued his sermon series EXTRAORDINARY with a special message called Extraordinary Faith.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

As pastors usually do, Shook will have a visual illustration to help the congregation understand the message he will preach.

But this will not be just any ordinary means of helping attendees to visualize his teaching points.

“Not only will you hear the message,” said Pastor Shook, “but you will also see extraordinary faith in action as you watch the amazing high-wire performance of Tino Wallenda, his two daughters, Alida and Aurelia and his 10-year-old granddaughter, Ysabella.”

After their incredible high-wire performance, Pastor Shook interviewed Tino Wallenda, his two daughters, Alida, Aurelia and his 10- year-old granddaughter, Ysabella.

Tino Wallenda was one of the original members of the 1998 7-Person Pyramid on the high-wire. On Feb. 20, 2001, the Wallendas once

Wallendas recently made appearance during Woodlands Church sermon.

again accomplished a feat never before attempted. For the cameras of Fox TV’s Guinness Records Primetime, the Wallendas assembled an 8-Person, 3-Level Pyramid. To secure their record, they added 2 more family members to form the first and only 10-Person Pyramid.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Kerry Shook is one of today’s most gifted communicators offering a clear, contemporary and creative teaching style. He is the senior pastor of Fellowship of The Woodlands, one of the fastest-growing churches in America.

Kerry and his wife, Chris, founded Fellowship of The Woodlands in 1993; and since then, the church has grown to 17,000 in average attendance each weekend. Fellowship of The Woodlands, now Woodlands Church, is one church in three locations with its Fellowship campus in The Woodlands outside of Houston; a satellite campus in the Humble/Kingwood/Atascocita area; and its newest location in the Tomball area. Future satellites are in the planning stages.

Pastor Shook believes that church should be engaging and fun, calling it “The Best Hour of Your Week.” He strives to eliminate the barriers of boredom, unfriendliness and fear that keep people from experiencing not just religion but a relationship with Jesus Christ. His messages are relevant, and his illustrations memorable.

Chris Shook is the director of Missions and Women’s Ministry at Woodlands Church. Her missions work has touched thousands of under-resourced people locally and in numerous countries around the world. Her Women’s Ministry is one of the largest in the country, providing fellowship, worship and Bible study opportunities to hundreds of women each week.

Kerry Shook Ministries is a worldwide television ministry that broadcasts to a local, national and international audience. Pastor Kerry and Chris can now be seen by millions in 50 states and more than 200 countries worldwide.

The church meets at 1 Fellowship Drive, in The Woodlands. Service times are Saturday 6 p.m., Sunday 9:30, 10:30 a.m., and Sunday evening at 6 p.m.

For more information, please visit or call 281-367-1900.

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