Tag Archives: christian news headlines

Christian songstress gets personal on forthcoming release

Published by:

By Donald Lee
Special to Inside The Pew

Two minutes, 6 seconds.

That is the climactic point in the song “Even Me” by up-and-coming Gospel sensation Anita Jarrell-Robertson. Though virtue springs forth from the very beginning of the song, the second minute and sixth second of that track sets the tone for a soon-to-be-released album that is certain to command rave reviews.

Jarrell-Robertson said what the listener hears at that point in the song is her pouring out her soul before the Lord. The intensity of that moment was birthed from her deliverance from a dark place in her heart.

“That’s the part where I accepted His healing and deliverance,” said Jarrell-Robertson, who is a Dallas native but now lives in Baton Rouge, La., with her family.

“I was literally sitting in my closet; that’s where I pray. I was in my master bedroom walk-in closet. I don’t want anybody to freak out about that,” a tickled Jarrell-Robertson said about her prayer closet being as much literal as it is metaphoric. “It is a walk-in closet, and I had my Bible, my journal, a pen and my ‘Steps’ book, a book that walks you through reconciliation with Christ.”

What Jarrell-Robertson said next is quite revealing.

“I was wrestling with a decision to cheat on my husband, and I wasn’t quite sure how to pull it off,” she said as she explains further how “Even Me” came about.

“I just wanted to make him mad. It wasn’t that he was cheating or anything. It was trivial things,” she said, adding that she had those thoughts even though there was never another man in the picture. “He didn’t wash the dishes enough; he didn’t help me enough with the kids; he didn’t date me enough; he didn’t talk to me the way that I wanted him to talk to me all the time. But he’s actually the most faithful man I’ve ever been with.

“So, out of anger and hatred, I was going to cheat,” Jarrell-Robertson said. “What slowed my progress was I thought about my children and I didn’t know how to look them in the eye and tell them that I had cheated on their father. I really didn’t have a good reason. I knew that if I’d have made that choice to do that, I knew that I could potentially damage their destiny. I grew up with that kind of dysfunction as a preacher’s kid: Hearing one thing said and seeing something else done.”

At that point, Jarrell-Robertson began to see that her inner-being had become as a land ravaged by drought. What was going on within her was much bigger than the “little things” that she didn’t like about her husband, Jesse.

“After about 20 minutes or so of just weeping in despair, just frustrated about the condition of my soul, I just asked God to help me,” she said. “And He gave me this song. I believe His answer to my prayer was this song. This was the first time that I really internalized the message of the cross for myself verses making sure that everyone else on the planet got the Gospel, literally.”

Jarrell-Robertson said she was so inspired by Isaiah 44:3 that the passage of scripture became a verse in “Even Me.”

The scripture, as does a stanza in the song, said, For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring …

“I was just done; I was broken; I was finished,” a humbled Jarrell-Robertson said. “That was the best thing that could ever happen to me. Little did I know, the song would end up on a CD somewhere.”

And “Even Me” is by no means the only song on the Maxi single worth listening to. There are three other tracks, including “Future Generations,” “Never Forget Your Maker” and “On My Way,” that are phenomenal.

Jarrell-Robertson wrote, arranged, and performed every song on the project.

“Future Generations” and “Never Forget Your Maker” were written when the couple’s daughter Jessica, 6, was undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. She is now healed.

“On My Way” was written when Jarrell-Robertson’s father was dying in the hospital. The Lord Jesus let her know her father was on his way to heaven.

The album, which is also titled “Even Me,” will be released in September, and will include six additional tracks.

Donald Lee is an author and freelance journalist. He can be reached at donaldj_lee@yahoo.com. To book Anita Jarrell-Robertson, call (866) 486-5810 or visit her website at http://www.anitaworships.com.

Second death confirmed in Colorado Springs wildfire

Published by:

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Reuters reported June 29 authorities have found a body in the debris of a burned-out home in Colorado Springs, marking the second fatality from a fierce wildfire that ranks as Colorado’s most destructive on record after incinerating 347 homes, police said.

“Police Chief Peter Carey released no further details about the victim, who becomes the sixth person killed this year in a Colorado wildfire season described by the governor as the worst in the state’s history. The discovery came on the same day that President Barack Obama visited the affected area,” said the Reuters story.

Meanwhile, ANS correspondent, Kenneth D. MacHarg, has forwarded a message to us about a missionary couple, Brad and Jeannette Hillman, who have lost their home in the Colorado Springs fire, after just returning to the United States to work with the Navigators.

A friend of the couple wrote, “I just talked with Brad and Jeanette and they’re sad to have lost all the family memorabilia. They had just moved in three weeks ago and started unpacking their stored boxes, including family photos. The stuff from [overseas] had not yet arrived. They ask for prayer to grieve well and for opportunities to minister amidst of this. Several ‘Nav’ staff [have also] lost homes, including the president.”

According to the Navigators website, “Dozens of Navigator staff have been evacuated from their homes and some have had their homes consumed by the fire. Please pray for them to know God’s loving care.”

The statement went on to say, “In the midst of this tragedy, there is hopeful news about Glen Eyrie [their property]. Initial reports indicate that no buildings have been lost. We will update you with official word as it becomes available. The unpredictability of this fire reminds us that we are not out of danger, only that we’ve made it through one more day.

“All Glen Eyrie conferences and activities have been cancelled through July 5. Please check the Glen Eyrie website for updates on future events. All Navigator personnel, including staff, guests, and participants in the Global Student Program (GSP) were safely evacuated from the area long before the fire approached. The GSP students are being housed in private homes.

“We have not heard any more news about the Eagle Lake Camps property, other than the loss of one small cabin. However, all remaining camps have been cancelled and the summer staff has returned home. It is hoped that Eagle Lake Day Camp will resume, based on the availability of Glen Eyrie.”

It added, “A group of about 40 staff from USHQ, IO, Glen Eyrie, and Eagle Lake Camps, have taken up temporary offices at Focus on the Family. Scores more staff members are working from home, conducting business with amazing effectiveness.

“Your prayers mean a great deal to us. Thank you for your concern. Continue to remember the Colorado Springs community, as more than 30,000 people have been displaced.”

Rick Wood, editor of Mission Frontiers, and his wife, Lorena, have updated the situation and asked for prayer for the many thousands affected by the wildfires. In a message to friends, he said, “The official count right now is that 346 homes were lost and one person has been found dead in one of those homes. This is the first casualty of the fire. This is officially the most destructive fire in Colorado history.

“The city as a whole is beginning to return to more normal operation and the TV stations are not covering this event 24 hours day as they had been on Tuesday, thru Thursday.

“Continue to pray for soaking rain and calm winds. The calm winds, which I asked you to pray for a couple days ago, have made a huge difference in the progress the firefighters have made.”

Among the many groups helping with the situation, is Springs Rescue Mission, located at 5 W Las Vegas St., Colorado Springs. It has been is opening its warehouse to help the victims. Needed items include Gatorade, blankets, food, clothing and household items. Collection hours are 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday. Donated items will be dispersed to agencies directly engaged with those affected by the Waldo Canyon fire. Call 719-632-1822.

Suicide bombing hits another church in Jos, Nigeria

Published by:

By Dan Wooding, who was born in Nigeria
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

JOS, NIGERIA (ANS) — Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that an Islamic extremist ran a car full of explosives at a Pentecostal church in this Plateau state city Sunday, killing at least two Christians and injuring more than 40 others, military and police officials said.

CDN said that in Borno state also Sunday, gunmen reportedly killed at least two Christians during church worship.

“The Boko Haram Islamic sect reportedly took responsibility for both assaults,” said the CDN story. “The attack in Jos on Christ’s Chosen Church of God was the second suicide bombing of a church in two Sundays and the third church bombing in Jos in six months.

“The explosion, which hit after a service had ended and church leaders and some children remained in the building, collapsed the roof of the sanctuary, witnesses said.”

CDN went on to say that the death toll was expected to increase as injuries were severe. It marked the second consecutive Sunday that an extremist from the Boko Haram Islamist sect has been able to get through check-points to bomb a church, and reports followed of rioting by aggrieved youths that left further casualties.

Esther Solomon, a 31-year-old university student whose family’s house sits directly opposite the church building, told Compass that a pastor, church elders and some children remained in the sanctuary at the time moment the bomb was detonated. She said she was in her family living room at the time.

“The impacts of the explosion forcefully opened the front door of our house and threw me into one of the bedrooms,” Solomon said. “I just found myself in the bedroom, and when I rushed out, I found out that a suicide bomber had crashed into the church across the road.”

For more information, please go to: www.compassdirect.org

Eclipse of 2012: Should it remind us of Jesus’ crucifixion?

Published by:

By Brian Nixon
Special to ASSIST News Service

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – I, like millions of other people-particularly here in New Mexico, had an amazing opportunity to

see the Eclipse of 2012.

As it turned out, Albuquerque, New Mexico was in the direct path for observation of a total eclipse. We weren’t disappointed. Literally thousands flocked the mountains, museums, and mesas to see the amazing natural event.

Throughout history an eclipse has been an event of astronomical fascination-and even fear. At times the Ancients interpreted eclipses as omens and signs.

Even the Bible gives record of events that describe eclipse-type occurrences, connecting it to looming danger or judgment (Amos 8:9).

Many scholars even connect the crucifixion of Jesus to an eclipse-type event.

According to one online site, scientists, Colin Humphreys and W.G Waddington of Oxford University, “reconstructed the Jewish calendar in the first century AD and arrived at the conclusion that Friday April 3 33AD was the date of the Crucifixion. Humphreys and Waddington went further and also reconstructed the scenario for a lunar eclipse on that day.”

In their article, “Dating the Crucifixion,” (Nature 306, December 22/29, 1983, pp. 743-46), they conclude, “This eclipse was visible from Jerusalem at moonrise. …. The start of the eclipse was invisible from Jerusalem, being below the horizon. The eclipse began at 3:40pm and reached a maximum at 5:15pm, with 60% of the moon eclipsed. This was also below the horizon from Jerusalem. The moon rose above the horizon, and was first visible from Jerusalem at about 6:20pm (the start of the Jewish Sabbath and also the start of Passover day in A.D. 33) with about 20% of its disc in the umbra of the earth’s shadow and the remainder in the penumbra. The eclipse finished some thirty minutes later at 6:50pm.”

Fascinating. True, a very “naturalistic” perspective of the event, but still intriguing in that it does correspond to the traditional timeframe attributed to Christ’s death and resurrection.

For my part, I used the Eclipse of 2012 as an opportunity to reflect on Christ’s death and resurrection and thank God for His marvelous creation.

After trying to get in to the Albuquerque Balloon Museum Park with my family (where the line was over ½ mile long-and a two hour entrance wait), we decided to separate: my kids heading to the Bear Canyon in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, and my wife, Melanie, and I heading towards Petropglyps National Monument (ancient art carved on volcanic rock) on Albuquerque’s West Mesa.

For fun, I brought along a Native American flute made by Marvin Toya; Melanie brought her camera. Together, we walked up the hill toward Boca Negra Canyon.

As the eclipse began around 6:28, I started to play the flute, using it as means of prayer. I created notes mimicking the syllable nuances of the Lord’s Prayer.

Folks next to us were using the opportunity as a photographic session, taking pictures in differing clothes. They were kind enough to give us protective sheets of tint so we could view the whole eclipse without burning a hole in our retina.

All around the Mesa cars stopped to view the marvelous experience. People made observation apparatus out of cardboard and tubes; other folks had telescopes and fancy pinhole cameras.

Overall, the encounter was grand affair, bringing people together for a God-given light show. So cool, I thought.

Earlier in the day, I attended a lecture by prominent New Mexico art historian, Dr. Joseph Traugott. Traugott spoke on New Mexico Art Through Time, the title of his newest book and exhibition at the New Mexico Museum of Art and History.

As Traugott made connections between art and nature, I couldn’t help but reflect-later in the day during the Eclipse of 2012-that this incident was a masterwork of divine origin: God’s artwork displayed through nature for the world to sit in awe.

And sat in awe, I did.

Former Pew intern honored for influence in social media

Published by:

By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Three years ago, Alejandra Suarez was a recent graduate of the University of North Texas waiting for her break as a public relations and marketing professional.

Now, Suarez, who served as Inside The Pew’s first summer intern in 2009, is being recognized as one of the most influential Latinas in the blogging and social media arenas.

From May 20 to May 22, Suarez will take part in the Top Latina Blog Retreat at Hotel Helix in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Latinos in Social Media (LATISM). She is one of 70 Latina bloggers who received an invitation to attend the event.

“We knew Alejandra would go on to bigger and better things,” Grelan Muse Sr., founder of Inside The Pew, said. “She always worked hard to generate stories for us in a short period of time, and was instrumental in helping to develop The Pew En Español. She was committed to helping spread the gospel in English and her native language of Spanish.”

The Dallas resident and native of Mexico City, Mexico, earned a B.A. in public relations and a minor in marketing from the UNT.

After completing her internship with Inside The Pew, Suarez continued to work as a freelance writer until she landed a position with iNSPIRE!, a Dallas advertising agency which markets to the Hispanic consumer. As part of her duties with iNSPIRE!, Suarez oversees Brand LaTeen (www.brandlateen.com), a blog which addresses marketing trends among Latino teenagers.

Suarez said she envisioned delivering Christian news through social media and the Internet.

“In personal account, I learned to focus more in details while interviewing, writing and reporting. I was able to polish my writing skills while interning at The Pew,” Suarez said after completing her internship. “These small accomplishments are steps that get me closer to my long-term career goals.

“I really value the site and its motives as well as the very passionate people who I’ve had the opportunity to interview that are making a difference in their communities and around the world.”

A selection committee included the leaders of the top Latina blogger communities, including Latina Bloggers Connect, Las Blogueras, Blogs de Mamas, and New Latina. The committee was in charge of reviewing the bloggers’ applications based on influence, traffic, and quality of content.

The bloggers will take part in sessions ranging from blog and business best practices, leadership skills, and social good. They will also be paired up with mentors including top executives from industries, companies and causes that match their core interests.

According to the LATISM website, the 501(c) 4 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization is dedicated to advancing the social, civic and economic status of the Latino community. The organization also helps to raise awareness among corporate brands, NGOs and government entities about using social media to reach Latinos. To learn more about the Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) organization, visit http://latism.org

Kathy Burrell to host women’s conference in Port Arthur

Published by:

By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

For years, Inside The Pew has collected church and nonprofit event announcements to run on the website. At the request of frequent visitors, we have decided to return the listing to it rightful place. If you have announcements that pertain to church or nonprofit events, workshops, or concerts and plays, send them to us at pewnews@aol.com. The list will also run on our Twitter and Facebook accounts as well.

In Port Arthur, Texas: The Woman Be Thou Empowered Conference is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on May 17 and May 18 at Solid Rock Baptist Church, 1337 E. Fifth St. in Port Arthur. Gospel singer and songwriter Kathy Burrell, sister of gospel sensation Kim Burrell, is the host of the event. Burrell will feature some of her own music and wonderful messages from various speakers each night. The cost for the conference is $20 for both nights. The vision of the conference is to awaken the soul of every woman in the Golden Triangle and surrounding areas. Both men and women are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Email iwasbornblessed@yahoo.com or call 409-454-6779. Time is running out so register ASAP to ensure a spot.

In Frisco, Texas: The International Network for the Professional Development of Women (INPDW), a group which supports female Christian entrepreneurs, will hold a yearlong program called Impact Mastermind Group will beginning in July.  Open enrollment for the group ends June 15. The program is slated to begin July 1. This group is designed to help women grow their businesses to the level they desire. Branding, marketing, client attraction, systems, social media, outsourcing are some of the training topics. Only 20 women are allowed to participate. The cost is $67 per month. Visit http://www.inpdw.com/mastermind.html for more information.

In Dallas, Texas: ManeLock Communications will hold a workshop titled, “Introduction to Memoir Writing” from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on May 19 at St. Phillips School and Community Center, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Dallas. Writing consultant Linda Jones will facilitate the program. This fun and thought-provoking workshop will help attendees turn their memories and special moments into precious family heirlooms. Learn how to become gatekeepers of unique histories and storytellers in families. The workshop fee is $45. Bring a friend and get an additional $5 discount. To RSVP, email manelock@yahoo.com.

In Dallas, Texas: ManeLock Communications will hold a workshop titled, “Writing Through Grief” from 1 to 5 p.m. on May 20 at the Center for Spiritual Living, 4801 Spring Valley Road Suite 115 in Dallas. Writing consultant and author Linda Jones will teach participants to use writing as a vehicle to work through grief cause by death and other losses. This time sensitive workshop will explore journaling techniques, mood monitoring, music meditation, affirmations, and poetic approaches. The workshop fee is $50. Bring a friend, and he or she is admitted for $40. To RSVP, email manelock@yahoo.com.

In Euless, Texas: CAREER SOLUTIONS, a nonprofit job seeker ministry, will hold a workshop “Networking on Steroids” from 8:15 to 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 19. The workshop will take place at First Baptist Church, 1000 W. Airport Freeway, in Euless. Seminar leader Mike Richards will teach career changers how to do so from a biblical perspective. Preregister online for $50 or $80 donation the day of the event. Spouses may attend the seminar FREE with your paid registration. Remember to enter your spouse’s name in the comments field when you are purchasing the seminar. Deadline to register for seminar online is May 17.

In Arlington, Texas: The Lyricist’s Café will celebrate its 10-year anniversary at 7:19 p.m. on Saturday, May 19 at the Artist’s Boot Camp, 1940 Stadium Oaks Court in Arlington. Cost is $10. Tallied as one of the hottest Christian open mics in DFW, the event will be hosted by SE7EN. Poets, rappers, singers, musicians and anyone who would like to be on the open mic should email Robert L. Wagner at robertlwagner@live.com.

 

Egyptian families alarmed by abduction of Christian girls

Published by:

By Aidan Clay of International Christian Concern
Special to ASSIST News Service

EGYPT – “We don’t know if our daughter is still alive,” Magda told ICC during a recent visit to Egypt. “We haven’t seen or

heard from her in five years. Her kidnapper called us and said she was dead and buried.”

Mary disappeared in June 2007, but to her mother, Magda, it feels like only yesterday that she was sleeping peacefully in her own bed under the loving care of her parents. For those who lose a child, as Magda had, the pain never goes away.

“There were no warning signs. There was nothing we could do, but the guilt doesn’t go away. If only we could have known [what would happen],” Magda explained while fighting back tears.

The abduction took place on an ordinary Thursday evening. After school, Mary went out with friends for pizza and a movie. While sipping cocoa at a restaurant, Mary began to feel dizzy and sick. “You go ahead and go home,” said Nahla, a Muslim girl. “The rest of us want to go to the cinema.” Nahla was new to Mary’s group of friends; they had only known her a few weeks.

Mary left the group to catch a bus home alone. This was the last time her friends would see her. No one knows what happened next, but Mary was gone.

Mary’s friends and parents believe Nahla had something to do with it; perhaps she was an accomplice to Mary’s abductors who put drugs in Mary’s drink. Although this suspicion has yet to be confirmed, after Mary’s disappearance, Nahla was nowhere to be found.

Mary’s parents stayed up throughout the night waiting anxiously for their daughter’s return. Mary’s father filed a report at the police station the next morning. He stayed at the station the entire day, determined to see that an investigation was being carried out. Late that afternoon, the police told him they had found his daughter.

Mary was escorted along with several other women into the station by four men in Islamic dress with long beards. The men were Salafis, a group that follows the strict doctrine of Wahhabi Islam from Saudi Arabia. Mary was covered head to toe in a burka. “[My husband] recognized her by her shoes,” Magda told ICC.

Two armed policemen stood by, watching the father’s every move. When he called Mary by name, a Muslim man hit her in the face. There was no answer.

Then he tried to grab his daughter, but she was quickly taken away by the police. The father yelled after her while struggling desperately to free himself from the grip of the police officers who were holding him down. It was no use. Mary was forced in the back of a van and driven away.

“I went back to the police station that night with my son,” Magda said. “They cursed us and humiliated us. They treated us very badly.”

The parents soon began receiving threatening e-mails and phone calls. “Become a Muslim and we’ll spare your life,” one caller said. “Pay a £6,000 ransom or your daughter is dead,” said another. One caller told Magda that Mary had been killed and buried.

“Look at me. I’m dying inside,” Mary’s father told BBC. “Jesus Christ gave me my daughter. He gave her to me, not to them.”

Two months later, several police officers showed up at the parents’ house. “They demanded that we sign documents that said Mary had changed her religion to Islam,” Magda said. The parents refused. Months later, however, they learned that a birth certificate had been forged stating that Mary was now a Muslim.

Still, the family would not give up. They hired a renowned Christian lawyer who demanded to see Mary. Agreeing to meet at a neutral location – Mary’s former university – Magda saw her daughter one last time. There she sat, fully covered on the sofa in the dean’s office. “My dear, are you OK?” Magda asked. There was no response. “Mary, can you hear me?”

Mary seemingly did not understand or was not coherent enough to respond. “She is a Muslim now. What right do you have to see her?” questioned the security officers, who were growing increasingly angry during the meeting. The meeting lasted ten minutes, but not a sound was uttered from Mary’s lips.

Magda’s lawyer regrettably said there was nothing more he could do. “There was no case, he said, because Mary’s birth certificate had been forged and she is Muslim now,” explained Magda.

On a dreary February afternoon, the parents sat in a Cairo office, trying to understand a world where Mary did not exist. “We don’t even know if she’s still alive,” Magda told ICC.

Abductions of Christian girls are nothing new in Egypt. Records exist of cases that were filed as early as the 1970s. However, kidnappings have increased significantly since Egypt’s revolution last year. It is often the police – the very people that are trusted to uphold the law – who are responsible.

“I have proof there are corrupt police officers,” said Coptic lawyer Karam Gabriel, who had worked months to find 15-year-old Nabila Sedky, a Christian girl who was abducted in Cairo on April 5, 2011. “I gave the investigators tips where to look, information we got through three months of hard work, and instead they were [investigating] at a Coptic [Christian] with an alibi.”

Mary is only one among hundreds of Christian girls who have been abducted, forced to convert to Islam, and forced into marriage in Egypt. These incidents are often accompanied by acts of violence, including rape, beatings, and other forms of physical and mental abuse.

When Magda looks at the bed where Mary once slept, tears cloud her eyes. She says a silent prayer for her daughter and continues on with her day, believing that someday God will reunite them.

Aidan Clay is the Middle East Regional Manager for International Christian Concern (ICC), a Washington, DC-based human rights organization that exists to support persecuted Christians worldwide by providing awareness, advocacy, and assistance (www.persecution.org). Aidan is a graduate from Biola University in Southern California. Prior to joining ICC, Aidan worked with Samaritan’s Purse in South Sudan and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Africa and Europe. He and his wife currently live in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, contact Aidan Clay at clay@persecution.org 

Don’t put your spiritual life on a diet

Published by:

By Niya Allen
Special to Inside The Pew

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Inside The Pew staff.

When was your last diet? Did it work? I have been on and off a diet since I was 13 years old. I was always “thick,” but I wanted

Niya Allen

to look like the girls of the Caucasian persuasion I watched on television and saw in magazines. Growing up I was never instructed that I needed to eat my vegetables and told sweets were only eaten after meals. If I wanted ice cream for breakfast, I had it.

At thirteen, I lost my first 10 pounds by working out daily, but soon burnt myself out and gained it back within weeks. Let the yo-yo begin! All I had to show for those daily workouts was my grandmother’s overused step VHS tape and stretch marks!

Diets don’t work. We all know this, but we go on them anyway. The diet industry is a billion dollar business because we love quick fixes to counteract our years of poor eating. We deprive ourselves temporarily to see immediate results and when we don’t see them as quick as we like, we revert back to our old ways.

If I could add up all the pounds lost, I would’ve been in that bikini a long time ago. If only I had just kept at it and not gave up.  Sadly, food diets spill over into other parts of our lives especially where spiritual growth is concerned.

Most of us are from are a microwave generation! We want it now, now, now with the least amount of work or effort. Have you ever prayed for something immediate and said, “…God, if you get me out of this, I promise….” Then once the crisis is over, you don’t keep our end of the bargain? I know I have! The secret to losing weight and keeping it off is getting off the diet roller coaster and realizing that it’s not temporary, but a lifestyle.

It’s time to get off the spiritual diet roller coaster! We don’t want the experience of God’s blessings to be temporary so our dedication to the Christian lifestyle can’t be temporary either. One week we’re “sold out” for the Lord and promise to get our life together and then by the next, it’s a distant memory. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing expecting different results.

Try this: Exchange one counter-productive habit with a new habit that goes along with your spiritual goals and watch God put his super on your natural! He will meet you where you are and push you through the rest of the journey. And an apple for a candy bar isn’t a bad exchange either!

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)

Niya Allen is a SPIRITpreneur, actress, writer, and editor in chief of faith-based Zoe Life Magazine, a thriving online publication dedicated to providing rich content for the faith crowds. Originally from California, Niya Allen, made the trip to New York with a scholarship to further her theater education at Marymount Manhattan College, and refused to leave. Her plan is to save the world, one blog at a time. Visit www.zoelifemagazine.com.

Watergate figure, Christian leader Chuck Colson dies

Published by:

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

LANDSDOWNE, Va.Evangelical Christianity has lost one of its most eloquent and influential voices with the death of

Charles W. “Chuck” Colson. The Prison Fellowship and Colson Center for Christian Worldview founder died April 21 from complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage. Colson was 80.

According to a statement on the Prison Fellowship website, Colson was a “Watergate figure who emerged from the country’s worst political scandal, a vocal Christian leader and a champion for prison ministry.”

Colson spent the last years of his life in the dual role of leading Prison Fellowship, the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families, and the Colson Center, a teaching and training center focused on Christian worldview thought and application.

Colson was speaking at a Colson Center conference when he was overcome by dizziness. Quickly surrounded by friends and staff, Colson was sent to the Fairfax Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia. On March 31, he underwent two hours of surgery to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain.

At times, Chuck showed encouraging indicators of a possible recovery, but his health took a decided turn, and he went to be with the Lord.

“His wife, Patty, and the family were with him in the last moments before he entered eternity,” said the Prison Fellowship statement.

Revered by his friends and supporters, Colson won the respect of those who disagreed with his religious and political views thanks to his tireless work on behalf of prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families. Colson maintained that the greatest joy in life for him was to see those “living monuments” to God’s grace: Prisoners transformed by the love of Jesus Christ.

And thanks to the work of Colson and Prison Fellowship volunteers across the country, there are thousands of those living monuments among us today.

Colson’s autobiography, “Born Again,” first published in 1976, sold millions of copies over the years and in 1978 was later made into a movie starring Dean Jones as Colson.

In 1993, he was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize, worth more than $1 million, which is given each year to the person who has done the most to advance the cause of religion.

The Colson family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Charles Colson Legacy Fund. Condolence cards may be sent to Prison Fellowship Ministries, 44180 Riverside Parkway, Lansdowne, VA 20176.

For more information, and to offer thoughts and condolences to the Colson family, please visit www.chuckcolson.org.