Prayer News | Where Christians Pray Through the News

Prayer List: US Jet Possibly Shot Down, Could Escalate Tensions With Iran

If press accounts from Iran and Russia are correct, a CIA officer was killed in Afghanistan when an American jet crashed on a mysterious mission. Althought the cause of the crash has not yet been determined, some speculate the jet was shot down.

The American Herald Tribune reports, “The White House and Agency have neither confirmed nor denied that the C.I.A. Chief of the Iran Mission Center Michael D’Andrea is still alive.”

The names of two deceased servicemen have been disclosed: Lt. Col. Paul Voss and Capt. Ryan Phaneuf.

If it is determined the jet was shot down by Iran in retaliation for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, America make respond with additional military strikes.

Prayer List

  • Pray for peace in the middle east.
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to comfort the families of the deceased servicemen.
  • Pray for God to give wisdom to diplomats communicating during this crisis.

Religious News Websites

Assemblies of God News

Baptist Press

  • newSenate prepares to act on two pro-life bills
    Pro-life advocates in the U.S. Senate will try again Feb. 24 to gain passage of protections for unborn babies late in their mothers' pregnancies and newborns who survive abortions – something they have been unable to do the last two years. Read more...
    - 18 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 8:46pm -
  • newAnnual George Liele day headed to SBC messengers
    Pastor Marshal Ausberry uses a basketball analogy to describe the late missionary George Liele, whom the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee recognized Tuesday (Feb. 18) as worthy of inclusion on the official SBC calendar of events. Read more...
    - 18 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 8:39pm -
  • newFROM THE SEMINARIES: Stetzer at SWBTS, Bingham at SBTS
    Stetzer advises SWBTS students to see through 'Gospel lenses'; 'Leadership is character,' Bingham says at SBTS Julius B. Gay lectures Read more...
    - 18 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 8:33pm -
  • newFIRST-PERSON: My trip to Africa and the priority of prayer
    Pastor and IMB trustee Joel Williams recalls how an impromptu gathering after a worship service on a remote African island reminded him of the priority of prayer. Read more...
    - 21 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 5:44pm -
  • EC WRAP-UP: Pastors' conference, sex abuse, ERLC top agenda
    A polarizing 2020 Pastors' Conference program, a Texas church led by a registered sex offender and questions regarding the work of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission drew decisive action from the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee at its Feb. 17-18 meeting in Nashville. Read more...
    - 2 days ago 19 Feb 20, 12:06am -

Bible Gateway

  • newHow to Live the Bible — Set Apart for God’s Purposes
    This is the ninety-third lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here. See Mel Lawrenz’s book, How […]The post How to Live the Bible — Set Apart for God’s Purposes appeared first on Bible Gateway Blog.
    - 20 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 6:01pm -
  • My Words Matter
    By Melanie Shankle Here’s the thing about me—and I tell you this because you’re my friend and I’m comfortable with this personal character assassination of myself. I say a lot of dumb stuff. I’d like to pretend that my impulse to lie to a cashier at Target® about what kind of dogs I own is […]The post My Words Matter appeared first on Bible Gateway Blog.
    - 2 days ago 18 Feb 20, 7:37pm -
  • Build Your Character and You Won’t Have to Worry About Your Reputation: An Interview with James Merritt
    According to a Gallup poll, 72% of Americans believe the state of moral values in the USA is getting worse. In a world of social media snapshots and sound bites, unseen personal character seems to take a back seat to glamorized material success, no matter what it takes to achieve it. Bible Gateway interviewed James […]The post Build Your Character and You Won’t Have to Worry About Your Reputation: An Interview with James Merritt appeared first on Bible Gateway Blog.
    - 2 days ago 18 Feb 20, 1:16pm -
  • Sneak Peek: Don’t Ignore Your God-Sized Dream
    The following is a Bible Gateway exclusive Sneak Peek and First Listen of It’s Not Over: Leaving Behind Disappointment and Learning to Dream Again (Thomas Nelson, 2020) by Joshua Gagnon (@joshgagnon). Order the book and unabridged audiobook on CD in the Bible Gateway Store. By Joshua Gagnon While God-sized dreams often begin with our response […]The post Sneak Peek: Don’t Ignore Your God-Sized Dream appeared first on Bible Gateway Blog.
    - 3 days ago 17 Feb 20, 3:49pm -
  • God’s Instructions to a New Nation
    By Robert Morgan I now make it my earnest prayer that God . . . would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion […]The post God’s Instructions to a New Nation appeared first on Bible Gateway Blog.
    - 3 days ago 17 Feb 20, 6:55am -

Christian Headlines

Christian Newswire

  • newBeware Lay Clericalism
    NEWS PROVIDED BYCatholic LeagueFeb. 19, 2020 NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ -- Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a controversy that has embroiled a Catholic school in Washington state: Two teachers at Kennedy Catholic High School, located in the Seattle area, recently resigned, and although neither school authorities, the Archdiocese of Seattle nor the teachers are speaking to the media, it is understood that both teachers, a man and a woman, we Source: Catholic League
    - 13 hours ago 20 Feb 20, 1:19am -
  • newUPS Punishes Drivers for Prayer Meetings
    NEWS PROVIDED BY Liberty Counsel Feb. 19, 2020 MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., Feb. 19, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ -- United Parcel Services (UPS) has discriminated against employees' religious freedom for voluntarily praying together before work. Several drivers also have been fired.Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to UPS stating that drivers' prayer meetings must be allowed again, and the drivers who have been fired must be reinstated. In July 2019, approximately 40 UPS driver Source: Liberty Counsel
    - 17 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 9:46pm -
  • newSignificant Study on Growth of Spirit-empowered Christianity Released at ORU
    NEWS PROVIDED BYOral Roberts UniversityFeb. 19, 2020TULSA, Okla., Feb. 19, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ -- As the higher education leader in Spirit-empowered Christianity, Oral Roberts University is excited to host an event Monday, February 24, 2020, to release new data on the phenomenal growth of the Spirit-empowered community around the globe. World-renowned author and researcher Dr. Todd Johnson has spent the last three years studying the growth of Spirit-empowered Christianity and will Source: Oral Roberts University
    - 22 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 4:18pm -
  • Judge from NY Rules Vimeo Can Discriminate Against Pastor's Sexual Orientation and Religion - California Law Firm Files Appeal on his Behalf
    NEWS PROVIDED BYAdvocates for Faith & FreedomFeb. 19, 2020ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Feb. 19, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ -- Southern California Christian pastor has appealed a NY federal judge's decision to dismiss his sexual orientation and religious discrimination case against Vimeo. Tyler & Bursch, LLP has filed the appeal today on behalf of Pastor Jim Domen, a "former" homosexual, and Church United, the religious non-profit organization founded by Domen. "Th Source: Advocates for Faith & Freedom
    - 1 day ago 19 Feb 20, 2:00pm -
  • Gospel for Asia Highlights Lent Season, Calls Christians to Pray for Coronavirus Crisis
    Mission agency unveils new website to refocus Christians on Christ and his heart for the hurting through Lent season of prayer, fastingCALL TO LENTEN PRAYER: Mission agency Gospel for Asia (GFA) today called for Christians to pray and fast during the upcoming Lent season for God's mercy on those who are suffering, especially those who are affected by the coronavirus outbreak. GFA has unveiled a new devotional website for Lent 2020, https://www.gfa.org/press/lent/.NEWS PROVIDED BY Gospel for Asi Source: InChrist Communications
    - 2 days ago 18 Feb 20, 8:40pm -

Christian Post

Christian Research Network

  • newThe Letter Kills but the Spirit Gives Life
    25 For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not … Continue reading →
    - 9 hours ago 20 Feb 20, 5:02am -
  • newShould Christians be Praying for Wolves?
    “False teachers are not our brethren who have sinned against us, as referenced in Matthew 18. Heck, I do not even expect Joel Osteen to answer any charges I might bring to him. He doesn’t even know me. But the … Continue reading →
    - 17 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 9:17pm -
  • newLatest SBC Fiasco Is What Happens When Leaders Ignore Discernment Ministries
    “This giant mess of a problem caused by Uth’s speaker’s lineup was 100% avoidable and 100% predictable if only SBC leaders had listened to discernment ministries like Pulpit & Pen and Justin Peters (who wrote a detailed series on the … Continue reading →
    - 20 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 6:29pm -
  • newMayor and Councilman lied to public about Drag Queen background checks
    “Parents are irate because…two Drag Queens in Texas had been convicted of child molestation, and another one was a convicted prostitute. Moreover, the Drag Queens invariably have a history of activities steeped in lurid homosexual and transgender perversion – as … Continue reading →
    - 21 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 4:58pm -
  • newUnderstanding Why Religious Conservatives Would Vote for Trump
    Some religious conservatives may see the world in moral terms — right and wrong; black and white. But there’s a long moral tradition, as far back as Augustine, that sees our world in shades of gray. The City of God … Continue reading →
    - 22 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 3:57pm -

Christian Sentinel

Christian Today

  • We Need to Read the Bible Jesus Read
    The Old Testament is vital for understanding the New Testament. It’s also indispensable all by itself.The Old Testament has always been an easy target for critics of Christianity. On the surface, its harsh moral codes and ancient cultural norms come across today as obsolete at best, barbaric at worst. While this is hardly new, it has led recently to louder calls to downplay its significance, such as when prominent pastor Andy Stanley suggested in 2018 that Christians should “unhitch” the Old Testament from their theology. But many Bible experts disagree. This is the first in a six-part series of essays from a cross-section of leading scholars revisiting the place of the “First Testament” in contemporary Christian faith.—The EditorsAlready in the second century, the arch-heretic Marcion pressed this question and came to the conclusion that the Old Testament offered almost nothing to Christianity. He was excommunicated for his views. In the 20th century, the Nazis enacted a remarkably successful elimination of the Old Testament from Christian faith and countless “German Christians” followed suit—to horrific ends. In more recent days, preachers from micro-congregations to multi-campus megachurches struggle with what to do with the Old Testament. Many do their best, many less than that. Some see no way forward but to “unhitch” the two testaments of the Christian Bible.All of this difficulty with the Old Testament is unfortunate because every page of the New Testament depends on it—extensively, almost exclusively. The very first verse of Matthew is a case in point: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (ESV). Without the Old Testament, readers have no clue what “Christ” means, who David and Abraham ...Continue reading...
    - -
  • Evangelism Formation: Three Major Challenges to Our Evangelism Today
    As we enter into 2020, challenges to evangelism continue to rise. We need to face them to help us prioritize the spread of the gospel.As we enter 2020, we must continually confront challenges to evangelism to prioritize the spread of the gospel.The first significant challenge to evangelism relates to how we see the mission.A major shift in missions stemmed from two significant deaths in 2018: missiologist David Hesselgrave and missionary John Chau. Hesselgrave devoted his life to traditional missions. His death in 2018 at 94 years old signified a shift from traditional missions to new approaches to evangelism and mission.Missionary John Chau’s death at age 26 showed how the world’s views of the missionary enterprise have changed. I wrote numerous articles about his death, which showed the unfortunate reality that the world does not want to see the propagation of other people’s faiths. Today, our world doesn’t see the Christian desire to convert people as normal or acceptable.In the first century people were required to burn a pinch of incense to the emperor and announce Caesar as Lord. People of other religions such as Judaism could continue to practice their faith so long as they burned their incense. Christianity was radical because of their unparalleled allegiance to Jesus as Lord. Their exclusivistic view went against the norms of the time.Today, people burn a pinch of incense to a different emperor called tolerance. Tolerance has become a virtue and conviction a vice. Our conviction of Jesus as the only Savior flies in the face of tolerance.Most people think that as long as Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and people of other religions get along, each religion is tolerable and acceptable. That is, until one religion tries to convert the other. This is why Chau’s death garnered as much media outrage as it did; it was seen ...Continue reading...
    - -
  • Southern Baptists Disfellowship Church Over Abuse for the First Time
    But victim advocates say the denomination hasn’t gone far enough.The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has disfellowshipped a west Texas congregation that knowingly employs a registered sex offender as pastor, the first church to lose its ties with the denomination amid a heightened push to combat sexual abuse.The decision came Tuesday, during a meeting of the SBC Executive Committee at its headquarters in Nashville. Based on a recommendation from the convention’s repurposed credentials committee, the Executive Committee acted unanimously to declare that Ranchland Heights Baptist Church in Midland, Texas, should “no longer be considered in friendly cooperation with the Convention.” Practically, that means it will no longer be eligible to send messengers to the SBC annual meeting.Previously, churches had only been disfellowshipped from the SBC over LGBT-related issues and racism, though a Houston church voluntarily withdrew from the convention last year after the Houston Chronicle reported its pastor pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a teen girl more than two decades ago.Ranchland Heights pastor Phillip Rutledge was convicted of sexually assaulting two preteen girls in 2003. A deacon at the church told the local CBS affiliate in 2016 that “the vast majority” of members knew about Rutledge’s child sex offender status. The deacon added that the church ensures children “are never by themselves” with the pastor. Ranchland Heights’ Facebook page, which was removed following the decision, had listed its motto as “the church of second chances.”Though the church may appeal the Executive Committee’s decision to the full SBC, credentials committee chairman Stacy Bramlett said they do not anticipate an appeal. Ranchland Heights ...Continue reading...
    - -
  • Coronavirus Fears Mean We Need More Communion, Not Less
    A pastor and former CDC medical officer considers the outbreak’s real threats to churches.“Should we cancel or change the way we serve Communion?” The question arose in our weekly staff meeting. Fear from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak consumed the hearts of our pastors. Our church sits at the intersection of Chinatown and the Lower East Side in New York City. We have a thriving outreach to international Chinese students at nearby New York University. Several days earlier, these overseas students returned from China for their spring semester.To welcome them back, our church planned a significant fellowship event. Although there were no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New York City, we canceled the event for fear of contagion. Some of our pastors had experienced the effects of the 2003 SARS epidemic on their communities in China; their worries were legitimate. Due to heightened global coverage of COVID-19, many stateside Chinese Churches scratched Lunar New Year events, prayer meetings, and other ministries. Protecting their congregations and families was a top priority.Still, the returning Chinese students desired to worship, gather for fellowship, and pray. One student in particular approached me in tears: Would I pray for the health of her family, friends, and neighbors in China? As I laid hands on her and prayed, I realized the duplicity of our church’s pending decisions. How could we say we loved our neighbors yet consider shutting our doors in their time of greatest need? If we believed in a Savior who healed the sick, bestowed sight to the blind, and touched lepers, why did we doubt his power to reign over this coronavirus?I am a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention medical officer and global health professor. Now, as a pastor, I believe the church must lead in ...Continue reading...
    - -
  • Developing Leaders in a Brain Drain Community: Demographic Realities & Church Leadership Roles
    Identifying, equipping, and releasing leaders is critical to church health and growth. Every church on a mission to make disciples and represent Christ must keep leadership development as a priority. Identifying, equipping, and releasing leaders is critical to church health and growth. While this is true of every church, this doesn’t happen the same way in every context. The demographics of your community make an impact on your leadership.“Talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not.”[1] This saying is commonly applied to areas of poverty because this reality is more obvious there. It’s also true of various contexts where churches serve their communities.Every church has people capable of leadership roles. But not every church is in a place where opportunities to develop as leaders happen easily whether within the church or in the community. Let me compare two very different contexts to illustrate.Pastoring in Drained CommunitiesFirst, I planted an inner-city church in Buffalo, New York, among the urban poor. What I learned is that the demographics there work against the development of new leaders.It's not because leadership potential is absent but is because either (1) the opportunities for leaders to be trained are rarer in these communities or (2) people who have leadership ability tend to migrate away from the inner city as they develop personally.In other words, I found I couldn’t find many people ready to lead in the inner city. Yet I had to raise up and train leaders. When I did that, I also found that sometimes when I made leaders, they changed life skills and actually ended up moving away.Many friends in urban contexts tell a similar story.Redemption and LiftIn missiology, we call this redemption and lift. Donald MacGavran introduced the term in his book Understanding ...Continue reading...
    - -

Faith on Film (Video Podcast)

Forum 18 News Service

  • CRIMEA: 35 "anti-missionary" prosecutions in 2019
    Prosecutions in Russian-occupied Crimea for ill-defined "missionary activity" in 2019 were at the same rate as in 2018. Of 24 prosecutions in 2019 for sharing faith or holding worship at unapproved venues, 17 ended in punishment (fines of five days' average wages). Also, 11 communities were prosecuted for not using their full legal name outside their meeting place or in religious literature.
    - -
  • RUSSIA: Pentecostal churches facing possible closure, destruction
    Kaluga's Word of Life Church and Oryol's Resurrection Church of God are battling, in court, official attempts to destroy their places of worship. "The City Administration received an order from the FSB to shut us down by any means," Oryol Pastor Pavel Abashin insists. Bailiffs closed the building of Nizhny Novgorod's Jesus Embassy Church. A court rejected a suit to demolish Samara's Good News Church.
    - -
  • DONBAS: Donetsk: Raid, fine for unregistered worship meetings
    Security forces of the unrecognised Donetsk People's Republic raided Protestant Sunday morning worship on 19 January. They interrogated church leaders at the police station. In December 2018, a Makeyevka court fined another Protestant leader 10 days' average local wages for leading a community denied registration. "Each country has its own Religion Law," the rebels' Ombudsperson Darya Morozova claimed, wrongly.
    - -
  • RUSSIA: Will church's alleged fire safety violations be resolved?
    Bailiffs have closed the building of Jesus Embassy Church in Nizhny Novgorod due to alleged "fire safety" violations, but the changing number of violations claimed, and the apparent hostility of the FSB security service, raise doubts that the church building will be reopened soon. "Of course the FSB isn't interested in fire safety," Alexander Verkhovsky of SOVA Center commented.
    - -
  • DONBAS: Luhansk: No gas, electricity, water for unregistered communities
    The rebel Luhansk People's Republic – which denies registration to many religious communities including all Protestants – threatens to cut off gas, electricity and water to places of worship belonging to unrecognised communities. The rebel authorities have allowed the only Catholic priest to return to the territory, but have not said if he can remain permanently or only for three months.
    - -

Get Religion

  • newMainstream press misses backstory of why Francis (for now) has vetoed married clergy
    Pope Francis — a week after the dust settled from his decision not to create an Amazonian rite that would have allowed married men to serve as priests and women as deacons — continues to garner news coverage as Catholic progressives and traditionalists debate what it all means.The mainstream press, often too concerned with propping up Francis’ progressive bona fides, has largely not reported on why the pope decided to go the way he did. The factors that resulted in the pope’s decision came from a variety of camps inside the church. And what about this question: Did conservatives in the Vatican hierarchy, led by Cardinal Robert Sarah (helped by the recent intervention of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), raise enough concerns to tip the decision in their favor?The Amazonian rite, however, was never only just about South America. The pope’s decision could have had global ramifications. The tug-of-war mostly involves German bishops pushing the pope to allow all clergy to marry (along with other changes in discipline and doctrine), while on the other is conservative prelates warning against doing away with the 1,000-year church tradition.Once again, much of the backstory behind Francis’ decision can be learned from reading the religious press, both Catholics on the doctrinal left and right.The mainstream press largely missed these angles, meaning readers had to delve really deep into internet news sources (with help from social media) to get analysis of how Francis reached his decision and whether the issue of married clergy/women deacons will rage on.In the end, much to the chagrin of the mainstream press, Francis decided in favor of Catholic orthodoxy and tradition. What the mainstream press saw, but failed to report, was the Francis defies typical contemporary political categories.
    - 1 hour ago 20 Feb 20, 1:00pm -
  • Washington Post says blue USA needs 'a healer': So Oprah and Michelle are in savior biz?
    Over and over, this recent Washington Post news feature proclaims “This is not a political story,” “This is not a political story,” “ This is not a political story.”Thus, the headline proclaims: “Greetings from the alternate universe where Oprah and Michelle Obama are running for president.”But, of course, the whole point is that there are many blue zip-code Americans who wish, wish, wish this was a real political story. They are looking for a savior, with a small “s.”Then again, this article — in addition to not being a political story — is not a religion story.Maybe. It depends on how one defines “religion” right now, in the giant shopping mall of self-empowerment lingo that is American public discourse. See if you can spot a clue or two in the overture: NEW YORK — It wasn’t long after Oprah Winfrey took the stage … for her 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour — equal parts Weight Watchers pitch, gospel revival and wellness fair — before she said what was on the tip of the audience’s tongues. “In the early stages of the tour, we had trouble coming up with the right title,” she said. “We did talk about ‘Oprah 2020.’ And then I thought you would get the wrong idea.” No, for the millionth time, Oprah is not running for president. And neither is her guest of honor that day, Michelle Obama, the nation’s most famous empty-nester, who told Winfrey she’s trying to figure out “how I want to spend the rest of my life.” “President!” came a shout from the audience. “White House!” yelled some others.OK, I will ask: What does “gospel” mean in this context?Anyway, that reference opens the door for a rush of semi-spiritual lingo in this piece — even though there is no attempt to reference a brand-name religion of any kind.
    - 1 day ago 19 Feb 20, 2:20pm -
  • Listen to Yogi Berra! Flashback to previous New York Times religion-beat puzzle
    It’s one of the major challenges of writing for GetReligion.What are we supposed to do when major news organizations make the same error over and over or professionals leave the same religion-shaped holes in major stories? Are we supposed to write the same posts over and over?Actually, what we usually do is write new posts about the new errors and link back to the old posts, thus, noting that what we are hearing are echoes of the old errors.Yesterday, Julia Duin wrote that kind of post — but with a major difference. She noted that a new job notice for a New York Times religion-beat reporter (hurrah for the creation of that national beat slot) contains some strange language that we have heard before (as in a 2017 Times job notice for a similar religion-news job).In other words, it’s time to quote Yogi Berra — again. In this case I would like to do something that I have never done before, which is re-up my entire post from two years ago about that earlier Times job search. By doing this — especially one day after the new Duin post — I am trying to stress how important it is that Times editors use this hire to address their national religion-news concerns in a way that reflects the symbolic role their newsroom plays in American journalism.So here we go. Back to 2017.Readers: Feel free to use our comments pages to offer your views on this journalism puzzle.
    - 2 days ago 18 Feb 20, 6:33pm -
  • National Prayer Breakfast wars: Did President Trump mean to reject words of Jesus?
    Few politicos at the National Prayer Breakfast were shocked when President Donald Trump brandished copies of The Washington Post and USA Today to celebrate their "ACQUITTED" headlines.But it was a Harvard University professor who did something even more provocative -- quoting strong words from Jesus of Nazareth -- during an event known for its meek Godtalk and vague calls for unity.America's "biggest crisis," said Arthur Brooks of the Kennedy School of Government, is a culture of contempt that is "tearing our society apart.""I want to turn to the words of the ultimate original thinker, history's greatest social entrepreneur, and as a Catholic, my personal Lord and Savior, Jesus," said Brooks, author of books such as "The Conservative Heart" and "Love Your Enemies." He is the former leader of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.The key passage for this era, he said, is found in Gospel of Saint Matthew, chapter 5, verses 43-45: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven."Brooks added: "Love your enemies! Now that is thinking differently. It changed the world starting 2,000 years ago, and it is as subversive and counterintuitive today as it was then. But the devil's in the details. How do we do it in a country and world roiled by political hatred and differences that we can't seem to bridge?"Trump declined to take part when Brooks challenged prayer-breakfast participants to raise their hand if they loved someone who disagreed with them about politics.As the next speaker, the president responded to Brook's remarks with words that unleashed a week of online debate among conservative religious believers -- early Trump supporters and reluctant Trump supporters alike -- who have debated the degree to which they can embrace his take-no-prisoners approach to national leadership.
    - 2 days ago 18 Feb 20, 2:00pm -
  • Here we go again: The New York Times can't admit it needs theologically astute writers
    Early last week, the New York Times posted an ad for a national correspondent for its religion, faith and values beat. It was part of a trifecta of hires of reporters *not* based in the Big Apple. One position is for someone to cover rural communities. Another is for someone to cover suburbs in a fast-growing place like Phoenix or Las Vegas.It’s great that they’re trying to get out of the New York-Washington echo chamber. The rural areas job is especially intriguing.These job postings are aimed at areas where the Times’ coverage is lacking. We all know the Times doesn’t get religion. Here are the quotes from executive editor Dean Baquet saying just that.Here’s the job posting for a national correspondent covering religion, faith and values: We are seeking an ambitious correspondent to explore the ways that religion and faith shape American life. This reporter, who must be a team player and expressive writer, should be relentlessly curious and offer readers fresh perspectives on belief and spirituality, and the shifting nature of faith in a country where a record number of Americans count themselves as nonreligious. You should have a record of creativity, boldness and breaking stories thanks to your deep sourcing. This correspondent won’t need to be an expert in religious doctrine but should demonstrate a willingness to understand and empathize with diverse communities in their reporting. Only applicants eager to live outside of New York and Washington and to travel extensively around the country should apply.So, what sentence there jumps out at you? How about this phrase: “This correspondent won’t need to be an expert in religious doctrine. …”Like, this writer need not understand the Nicene Creed, which forms the base of worldwide Christian belief? Or why Orthodox Christians have major differences with the filioque phrase at the end? (More basically, shouldn’t this writer know what the filioque is?)
    - 3 days ago 17 Feb 20, 6:00pm -

ID the Future (Podcast)

  • newPaul Nelson Visits the Galapagos Islands, Pt. 3
    On this episode of ID the Future, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson wraps discussion of his recent visit to the Galapagos Islands, sharing lessons he learned there. He says Darwin was right to see natural history as crucial to understanding biology; but he was wrong in making it the be-all and end-all. Nelson then limns a picture of a day when scientists frankly concede the limits of evolution and the necessity of intelligent design in the history of life, and with the ID/evolution war behind them, can explore without distraction the fertile ground of integrating the aspects of evolutionary theory that actually work into a larger design framework.
    - 17 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 9:32pm -
  • Paul Nelson Visits the Galapagos Islands, Pt. 2
    On this episode of ID the Future, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson continues his discussion with host Andrew McDiarmid about Nelson’s recent visit to the Galapagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin. Nelson explains how Darwin was right — partly. Darwin urged biologists to consider the history of a plant or animal, an idea that was much neglected in the work of his predecessors. As Darwin’s experience on the Galapagos showed, and as Nelson’s experience there echoed, history must be part of our explanation for how species and populations have become the way they are today. At the same time, there are demonstrated limits to evolutionary change, Nelson argues, and so natural history alone cannot be the entire explanation for Read More ›
    - 3 days ago 17 Feb 20, 9:18pm -
  • Michael Denton Reads the First Pages of His Book, The Wonder of Water
    In this episode of ID the Future from the vault, geneticist and biochemist Michael Denton reads the beautiful introduction to his book, The Wonder of Water. He begins at Yosemite’s Bridalveil Fall and explores how water is curiously fine-tuned for life. Indeed, thanks to a unique cluster of properties, water is able to fulfill many roles essential to our living planet. It’s thanks to some of those properties that rivers and streams can leech and carry minerals from rock to various places they’re needed in the biosphere. Water’s unusual properties also make it an ideal medium for our circulatory system. There it serves not only to transfer nutrients and oxygen but also expel carbon dioxide, excess body heat, and waste Read More ›
    - 6 days ago 14 Feb 20, 10:12pm -
  • Paul Nelson Visits Darwin’s Galapagos Islands, Pt. 1
    On this episode of ID the Future, Discovery Institute Senior Fellow and philosopher of biology Paul Nelson tells about his surprise 60th birthday gift from his wife, a trip to the “scientific Mecca,” the Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin, whose own birthday lands today, devoted a big portion of his notes and field books from his Beagle voyage to these amazing islands, where species can be found that exist nowhere else on earth, and where from Darwin’s day until now, the creatures have no fear of humans. These unusual creatures have history, Nelson reminds us, and that history needs explaining. This is the first of three podcasts; there will be more to come. /p>
    - 8 days ago 12 Feb 20, 11:22pm -
  • Michael Behe on the Design Idea That Won’t Go Away (and Shouldn’t)
    On this episode of ID the Future, Jonathan Witt caught up with Darwin’s Black Box author and biochemist Michael Behe at the 2020 Dallas Science and Faith conference, where the two discuss an idea that many wish would just go away, but hasn’t. Charles Darwin himself told us how his evolutionary theory could be overturned: identify a biological system that couldn’t possibly have evolved by “numerous success successive slight modifications.” It’s to Darwin’s credit that he put his theory in “empirical harm’s way,” to quote philosopher Del Ratzsch, but as Witt and Behe note, Darwin also cleverly placed the burden of proof on his opponents, an arguably dubious maneuver given that his proposed evolutionary mechanism has never once been observed Read More ›
    - 10 days ago 10 Feb 20, 5:05pm -

International Missions Board

  • Pastor’s trip to Africa emphasizes priority of prayer
    Ten years ago, on a beautiful Sunday morning near the shore of Lake Victoria, I was reminded again of the priority of prayer. I was visiting IMB missionaries who focus on planting churches and training church leaders on the many African islands stretching across the north end of Lake Victoria. That morning, the missionaries brought us to a church plant in a small fishing community at one end of the long, narrow island. The building where the church met was made of sticks and mud. Hardened floors and walls were made of dried manure. The pastor of this fellowship gave...The post Pastor’s trip to Africa emphasizes priority of prayer appeared first on International Mission Board.
    - 2 days ago 18 Feb 20, 4:26pm -
  • Congolese leaders learn from the stories of King David
    Most people have two main concerns when it comes to sharing the gospel: not knowing what to say and being rejected. IMB missionary Jay Shafto addresses these concerns as he equips believers in the Congo Basin to share the gospel confidently and continually. Jay and his wife, Kathy, have served in this region for the past four years. The couple does not focus on a specific people group, but a territory. The territory where the majority of their work takes place is about one-third of the country’s size and is home to 400 language groups. Working with existing churches and...The post Congolese leaders learn from the stories of King David appeared first on International Mission Board.
    - 3 days ago 17 Feb 20, 1:00pm -
  • Missionaries encourage Christ-centered marriages
    Faith doesn’t always lead directly to changes in family life, missionaries notice. Sometimes it takes a new believer years to understand how Jesus should influence their marriage and parenting and what the Bible says about these intimate topics. The spiritual growth takes time, but missionaries want to encourage national believers to reflect their love for Christ to each other. They encourage others, as they work to keep their own marriages strong in circumstances that might test the strongest unions. Winfield and Lori Scott* work among Central Asian peoples and recognize how marriages are suffering, even among believers. Last fall, the...The post Missionaries encourage Christ-centered marriages appeared first on International Mission Board.
    - 7 days ago 13 Feb 20, 6:00pm -
  • Response to gospel evident in the Balkans, despite challenges
    Before she met Jesus, Gryta* had a very low self-esteem. Her past holds experiences of abuse, neglect and health issues. A few years ago, she met Amy Williams, an IMB missionary, at an ESL class. Amy befriended Gryta and told her about the boundless love of the Savior. Gryta then went to a Bible study where she received more kindness and acceptance from other Christian women. Unfortunately, her patterns of destructive behavior continued. Gryta lives in Macedonia, officially the Republic of North Macedonia. It is one of the ten countries that compose an area of Europe known as the Balkans....The post Response to gospel evident in the Balkans, despite challenges appeared first on International Mission Board.
    - 8 days ago 12 Feb 20, 1:00pm -
  • Olympic ministry plans underway in Tokyo
    If you share the gospel with a Japanese person, there is a 99% chance this would be the first time they’ve ever heard the message. With that statistic, Japanese people can be classified as an unreached people group. This might come as a surprise for those who think of “unreached people groups” with images of men and women living in jungles or remote desert dwellings. Instead, Japan’s unreached are often businessmen working in skyscrapers and young adults with unparalleled digital connectedness. IMB missionaries say in this era of Japan’s history, they see an unprecedented opportunity to reach the Japanese with...The post Olympic ministry plans underway in Tokyo appeared first on International Mission Board.
    - 10 days ago 10 Feb 20, 1:00pm -

Julie Roys

  • Matt Chandler Responds to Questions: “I Don’t Want You to Think That Five Employees Complained About Abuse, and We Fired Them Because of It.”
    In an email to Acts 29 members over the weekend, embattled president, Matt Chandler, responded to questions stemming from the 2015 removal of five Acts 29 staff who complained about abuse by former Acts 29 CEO Steve Timmis. “I don’t want you to think that five employees complained about abuse, and we fired them because … Matt Chandler Responds to Questions: “I Don’t Want You to Think That Five Employees Complained About Abuse, and We Fired Them Because of It.” Read More »The post Matt Chandler Responds to Questions: “I Don’t Want You to Think That Five Employees Complained About Abuse, and We Fired Them Because of It.” appeared first on Julie Roys.
    - 3 days ago 17 Feb 20, 5:32pm -
  • Acts 29 President Matt Chandler Under Fire for Removing Staff Alleging Abuse & Changing Story About Removal of CEO
    Five years ago, the U.S. staff of the church planting network, Acts 29, approached Acts 29 President Matt Chandler with a letter outlining concerns about “bullying” and “misuse of power and authority” by the group’s CEO, Steve Timmis. The staff expected to have their concerns heard and considered. Instead they were fired, forced to sign … Acts 29 President Matt Chandler Under Fire for Removing Staff Alleging Abuse & Changing Story About Removal of CEO Read More »The post Acts 29 President Matt Chandler Under Fire for Removing Staff Alleging Abuse & Changing Story About Removal of CEO appeared first on Julie Roys.
    - 7 days ago 13 Feb 20, 5:34pm -
  • He? She? They?—How Should Christian Media Handle Transgender Issue?
    How should Christian media refer to people who identify as transgender? Should we refer to someone who’s biologically female, but identifies as male, as a man? And which pronouns should we use when referring to a trans man or woman? He? She? They? This issue recently surfaced when multiple Christian news outlets and I reported … He? She? They?—How Should Christian Media Handle Transgender Issue? Read More »The post He? She? They?—How Should Christian Media Handle Transgender Issue? appeared first on Julie Roys.
    - 13 days ago 7 Feb 20, 2:47pm -
  • James MacDonald Launches New Ministry & Home Church Network
    About a year after being fired from Harvest Bible Chapel for conduct “harmful to the best interests of the church,” disgraced former pastor, James MacDonald, has launched a new online ministry and Home Church Network. MacDonald’s new website features dozens of video sermons recorded during MacDonald’s more than 30-year tenure at Harvest Bible Chapel. More … James MacDonald Launches New Ministry & Home Church Network Read More »The post James MacDonald Launches New Ministry & Home Church Network appeared first on Julie Roys.
    - 15 days ago 5 Feb 20, 10:43pm -
  • Wheaton College Coeds Say Bilezikian Sexually Harassed Them; College Accused of Mishandling Reports
    In the mid-1980s, Ellen Maxwell (now Ellie Cowan) was a young and trusting student at the evangelical flagship, Wheaton College. So, when her professor, a well-respected author and near celebrity at the school, invited her to his office to collaborate on a writing project, she was flattered and unsuspecting. What happened next shocked and deeply … Wheaton College Coeds Say Bilezikian Sexually Harassed Them; College Accused of Mishandling Reports Read More »The post Wheaton College Coeds Say Bilezikian Sexually Harassed Them; College Accused of Mishandling Reports appeared first on Julie Roys.
    - 16 days ago 4 Feb 20, 4:44pm -

Life News

  • newHundreds of Aborted Babies Thrown Away in Septic Tank, Some of Them Already Had Hair
    Authorities discovered fetal remains from an illegal abortion clinic stashed away in a Jakarta, Indonesia, septic tank, a police spokesman said Tuesday. Discovery of the fetal remains came after Jakarta police raided an illegal central Jakarta abortion clinic out of a rented home on Jalan Paseban Raya, Senen, the Jakarta Globe reported Tuesday. Police say […]
    - 14 hours ago 20 Feb 20, 12:07am -
  • newMSNBC: Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar Struggling in Polls Because Americans are Sexist
    Andrea Mitchell took her MSNBC show on the road to Las Vegas on Wednesday to preview the night’s Democratic debate. Mitchell and former Hillary Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri asserted that the downfall of Elizabeth Warren and the lack of early support for Amy Klobuchar is because of their gender. Mitchell began by asking about how Bernie […]
    - 14 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 11:55pm -
  • newWest Virginia Legislature Passes Bill to Stop Infanticide, Care for Babies Born Alive After Abortions
    A bill to protect babies who survive abortions from infanticide is very close to becoming law in West Virginia now that the West Virginia legislature has given its final approval on it and Republican Gov. Jim Justice will sign it into law soon. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (HB 4007/SB 231) has passed every […]
    - 15 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 11:45pm -
  • newTexas City Approves Resolution Declaring Human Life Begins at Conception
    The city of Lindale, Texas approved a resolution Tuesday declaring that human life begins at conception and Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Tyler Morning Telegraph reports the Lindale City Council passed the resolution after local residents urged them to pass a stronger pro-life ordinance declaring their city to be a sanctuary for the unborn. […]
    - 15 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 11:20pm -
  • newAlabama Sen. Doug Jones Laughs at Babies Dying in Late-Term Abortions: “What a Stupid Question”
    An Alabama senator laughed off a question about protecting unborn babies from late-term abortions this week in an exchange caught on video. U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, an Alabama Democrat, laughed and called the question “stupid” when asked how he would vote on the upcoming Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, according to the Susan B. Anthony […]
    - 17 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 9:20pm -

Mennonite Central Committee

  • Water from stone
    With a series of quick, practiced strokes, Aïchatou Hamidou clears the area around a newly built latrine with a long broom made from dry grass.
    - 2 days ago 18 Feb 20, 5:00am -
  • Education support in Syria | Video
    These children receive education and access to trauma counseling at private schools with MECC covering a portion of their tuition fees.
    - 3 days ago 17 Feb 20, 5:00am -
  • Open letter: A call to offer welcome and refuge
    Open letter: A call to offer welcome and refuge
    - 9 days ago 11 Feb 20, 5:00am -
  • Assisting returnees in Cambodia | Video
    Returnees are Cambodians living as permanent residents in the U.S. who were returned to Cambodia because they committed a felony. KVAO helps as they adjust to life in Cambodia.
    - 10 days ago 10 Feb 20, 5:00am -
  • Washington E-Memo
    Senate passes resolution on global malnutrition 
    - 17 days ago 3 Feb 20, 5:00am -

MinistryWatch

  • newTwo Plead Guilty in Fraud Scheme Involving Christian Post and Olivet University
    On Valentine's Day, former executives from two Jang- affiliated enterprises pleaded guilty to a $35 million money laundering and fraud scheme after long denying any guilt and claiming that their companies were not connected to each other or to Jang. 
    - 22 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 4:08pm -
  • newRussell Moore, ERLC, to Face Scrutiny By SBC Executive Committee
    The Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee will launch a task force to examine the activities of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the convention’s public policy organization headed by the theologian and author Russell Moore. 
    - 23 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 3:33pm -
  • Redemption Ink: Change that’s More than Skin Deep
    In 2017, he heard about Redemption Ink, a nonprofit that has created a national network of tattoo parlors that are helping desperate people like Michael afford the long painful process of altering or covering tattoos that promote racial hatred, gang violence, and sexual trafficking.  
    - 2 days ago 18 Feb 20, 3:32pm -
  • Boy Scouts File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
    The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection early today. The long-anticipated move is the latest in a long series of legal and financial troubles for the youth organization.  The Chapter 11 filing took place in Delaware Bankruptcy Court overnight. In 2010, the Boy Scouts lost a $20-million child sexual abuse case, and that […]
    - 2 days ago 18 Feb 20, 1:34pm -
  • For Now, Southern Baptists Stick by Hosanna Wong, Spoken Word Artist and Pastor
    Organizers of a major Southern Baptist pastors conference are standing by their choice to feature a spoken word artist and pastor named Hosanna Wong despite a growing controversy over whether Wong's presence contradicts the Southern Baptist Convention's doctrine on women pastors. 
    - 3 days ago 17 Feb 20, 5:40pm -

Religion News Service

  • newPlay about first African American priest in the US highlights current issues
    PASADENA, Calif. (RNS) — Churches in the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles hosted performances of the play, 'Tolton: From Slave to Priest' during Black History Month.The post Play about first African American priest in the US highlights current issues appeared first on Religion News Service.
    - 14 hours ago 20 Feb 20, 12:25am -
  • newDemocrats lost white Christians. Can they win them back?
    “Race matters more than religion right now,” said Ryan Burge, political science professor at Eastern Illinois University.The post Democrats lost white Christians. Can they win them back? appeared first on Religion News Service.
    - 14 hours ago 20 Feb 20, 12:21am -
  • newNetflix’s 'Messiah' is not my Jesus
    (RNS) — Netflix’s 'Messiah' is intriguing, but in the end, good television makes for bad theology.The post Netflix’s 'Messiah' is not my Jesus appeared first on Religion News Service.
    - 15 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 11:53pm -
  • newRNS Updated Budget — Wednesday, February 19, 2020
    NEWS STORY RNS-Black-Priest: Play about first African American priest in US highlights current issues PASADENA, Calif. (RNS) — The Archdiocese of Los Angeles hosted the play, "Tolton: From Slave to ...The post RNS Updated Budget — Wednesday, February 19, 2020 appeared first on Religion News Service.
    - 17 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 9:52pm -
  • newNew LDS Handbook softens some stances on sexuality, doubles down on transgender members
    The new LDS Handbook has good news for families that have used surrogacy to have children. It’s a mixed bag for members who are transgender.The post New LDS Handbook softens some stances on sexuality, doubles down on transgender members appeared first on Religion News Service.
    - 17 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 9:39pm -

Trinity Foundation

  • MinistryWatch Publishes List of Highly Paid Ministry Leaders
    MinistryWatch, one of our allies in the battle for financial transparency in ministries, has compiled a list of highly paid ministry leaders. Not surprising to us, executives at The Inspiration […]
    - 27 days ago 24 Jan 20, 2:18pm -
  • Church and Ministry Leaders to Steal $53 Billion in 2020
    Continuing a 36-year tradition, the annual January issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research quickly summarizes the state of global Christianity with fascinating statistics. Quick Highlights for 2020 Churches’ […]
    - 27 days ago 24 Jan 20, 2:14pm -
  • Becoming a Millionaire on a Pastor’s Salary
    Through best-selling books and excessive compensation, a growing number of pastors are becoming millionaires. Let’s take a look at one of them. Thirty-one years ago James MacDonald and a small […]
    - 76 days ago 6 Dec 19, 11:40am -
  • Pilgrimages to Israel Are Profitable Business for Ministries
    The annual National Religious Broadcasters convention attracts thousands of Christians involved in media and vendors looking for new business. On the exhibition floor the Israel Ministry of Tourism and Noseworthy […]
    - 98 days ago 14 Nov 19, 11:43am -
  • Paula White-Cain to work at White House? Heaven help us!!
    Last week, the White House announced televangelist/prosperity preacher/life-coach Paula White-Cain would head the Faith and Opportunity Initiative as an unpaid advisor. In 2018, President Trump issued an executive order creating […]
    - 6 Nov 19, 11:15am -

United Methodist News Service

  • newDaily Digest - February 19, 2020
    Liberians want changes in separation plan; Think tank to look at GC2020 possibilities; Loss always comes with separation, divorce
    - 17 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 9:20pm -
  • newThink tank to look at GC2020 possibilities
    The commission that plans General Conference has named a group to look at how delegates can process legislation “the best way possible.”
    - 18 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 8:47pm -
  • newLiberians want changes in separation plan
    An African conference’s resolution calls for major amendments to a plan to let traditionalist groups leave The United Methodist Church to form a new denomination.
    - 19 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 7:40pm -
  • newLoss always comes with separation, divorce
    North Carolina pastor prays that separating parties in The United Methodist Church can find renewal and peace in division.
    - 23 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 3:45pm -
  • new교단 헌금 최악은 면해
    2019년 선교분담금 헌금액 비율은 최근에 비해 낮았지만, 하락 폭은 당초 예상만큼 심각하지 않았다.
    - 23 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 3:22pm -

Women of Faith

  • A Covenant To Have and to Hold
    A Covenant To Have and to HoldTime, effort, and meticulous planning go into the wedding and what about the marriage? Maybe you’re cynical about marriage because of the failed marriages you see around you. Maybe your own marriage has deflated and your hope of ever having a fulfilling marriage relationship has disappeared.The Keys for Living will help you come to appreciate marriage as the purposeful covenant relationship God intends for it to be. Learn how to find your identity in Christ—not in your mate, discuss tangible ways to improve your marriage, and discover how male and female differences bring balance to the marriage relationship.What Is God’s Pattern for Marriage?“A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”  Genesis 2:24-25What Are God’s Purposes for Marriage?God has a unique purpose for the marriage covenant. The marital relationship affords you the awesome opportunity to showcase Christ’s relationship to His bride (the church). In the same way that Christ sacrificially gave Himself to the church, you and your mate should be willing to sacrifice your individual desires for the sake of your marriage covenant.“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”Proverbs 18:22Partnership – (Amos 3:3)God has given you and your mate to one another as partners for life. True companionship grows within the marriage relationship when there is emotional, spiritual and physical unity.Pleasure – (Proverbs 5:18)The marriage relationship and your mate are God’s special gifts to you. True enjoyment of your mate will grow out of self-control and a servant’s heart.Parenting – (Genesis 1:28)God’s first command in Scripture was for Adam and Eve to be “fruitful and multiply.” God desires that the earth be filled with godly offspring.Perfecting – (Romans 8:29)In the intimate relationship of marriage, you become well aware of your partner’s shortcomings. Your partner is also well aware of your shortcomings! God uses both your weaknesses and strengths to sharpen and conform you and your partner to the image of Christ.To learn more on building a thriving marriage or simply considering marriage, here are several resources available:CONSIDERING MARRIAGEMARRIAGEINTENTIONAL MARRIAGE COURSEBlessings,Bryan & Stephanie Bryan Vignery is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Stephanie is a NASM Certified Lifestyle Accountability Coach.Bryan has a thriving private counseling practice in the Kansas City area and is a founder of The Intentional Journey and The Intentional Marriage workshops. These workshops center around directing people toward a more authentic relationship with Christ. Many Pastors refer individuals and couples to Bryan for counseling and they also seek guidance from him on multiple occasions. He has directly impacted thousands of people’s lives over the past 20+ years.Stephanie’s passion is to help people transform and shape their body, their mindset and ultimately helping people grow in their relationship with Christ. She is the author of “On A Fast Track With God”, a 40-day devotional. She also coaches women and co-facilitates multiple workshops with Bryan.Together, Bryan and Stephanie have been called on a mission to restore hope in people’s lives by influencing, inspiring and impacting marriages! Their latest product is the popular online course, Building Marriages to Last. Since the day they met, they have known they were called to ministry. On their first date they shared childhood dreams of impacting marriages. Little did they know that years later the dream of The Intentional Marriage would become a reality. Women of Faith is a global ministry, providing digital media, resources and events to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Initiatives and programs allow women to be reached with the Word of God. Various media and events are utilized in delivering the message.  Women of Faith's Foundational Voice is Alita Reynolds.
    - 6 days ago 14 Feb 20, 6:00am -
  • The Vows We Make Before The Marriage Vows
    A Vow Is A promise or oath.  These vows may seem very similar to the vows that you exchanged on your wedding day. “I, take thee, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you.”There is a lot of rich content in the typical Christian Marriage Vows including implied sacrifices that may stretch the average human to the brink of questioning what they have gotten themselves into. It can seem that we commit to these vows without really acknowledging how they actually play out during the course of marriage. This is very reminiscent of the vows that we made during our growing up years.To learn more on building a thriving marriage or simply considering marriage, here are several resources available:CONSIDERING MARRIAGEMARRIAGEINTENTIONAL MARRIAGE COURSEBlessings,Bryan & Stephanie Bryan Vignery is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Stephanie is a NASM Certified Lifestyle Accountability Coach.Bryan has a thriving private counseling practice in the Kansas City area and is a founder of The Intentional Journey and The Intentional Marriage workshops. These workshops center around directing people toward a more authentic relationship with Christ. Many Pastors refer individuals and couples to Bryan for counseling and they also seek guidance from him on multiple occasions. He has directly impacted thousands of people’s lives over the past 20+ years.Stephanie’s passion is to help people transform and shape their body, their mindset and ultimately helping people grow in their relationship with Christ. She is the author of “On A Fast Track With God”, a 40-day devotional. She also coaches women and co-facilitates multiple workshops with Bryan.Together, Bryan and Stephanie have been called on a mission to restore hope in people’s lives by influencing, inspiring and impacting marriages! Their latest product is the popular online course, Building Marriages to Last. Since the day they met, they have known they were called to ministry. On their first date they shared childhood dreams of impacting marriages. Little did they know that years later the dream of The Intentional Marriage would become a reality. Women of Faith is a global ministry, providing digital media, resources and events to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Initiatives and programs allow women to be reached with the Word of God. Various media and events are utilized in delivering the message.  Women of Faith's Foundational Voice is Alita Reynolds.
    - 8 days ago 12 Feb 20, 6:00am -
  • Confronting the Heart of a Critic
    Confronting the Heart of a CriticIs someone in your life overly critical of you or unusually harsh with you? Maybe it’s someone close—a spouse, a boss, a friend, a parent. If you’ve been at the receiving end of caustic words and attitudes, or if you recognize having the heart of a critic yourself, God’s Word offers practical solutions to such critical clamor.The phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones and words can never hurt me!” couldn’t be further from the truth. Words can be catastrophic, tearing through your heart like a tornado roaring down a residential street. While there may not be any visible destruction, the damage to your spirit can be just as devastating as a row of demolished homes.Although the initial sting of harsh words is evident, you may be unaware of the lingering effects. Overly critical words leave you with hurt feelings and a poor self-image. Being wounded by someone with a critical spirit often changes how you see yourself. God holds us all accountable for how we use our words – especially the ones that hurt. Critical words don’t come from a wise heart, nor do they reflect God’s heart. Only He can heal your spirit and teach you how to respond to criticism. He’s waiting to enrich your heart with encouragement, both for your good and for the good of others.“Curse God and die!”The words spew out of the mouth of an embittered wife who isstunned and stymied by tragedy. Gone … destroyed … are all their possessions and all their children as a result of God’s allowing Satan to test her godly husband in order to prove his faith.Job mourns their losses but doesn’t malign the goodness of God. Instead he submits himself to the sovereignty of God by declaring, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”  - Job 1:21“Curse God and die!” is her retort, especially after seeing her husband suddenly stricken—afflicted from head to toe with painful sores. She observes this once respected man—so revered in the community—now scorned and reduced to sitting in a pile of ashes scraping his sores with a jagged piece of pottery.Job’s noble stance before the Lord is absolute nonsense to her. She doesn’t want to hear one more word of devotion from her disease-ridden husband.A critical spirit consumes the wife of the one whom God calls “… the greatest man among all the people…” (Job 1:3). However, she’s had enough, and she wants Job … and God … to know it! “Are you still maintaining your integrity?” she pounds, unleashing her toxic tongue: “Curse God and die!”  -Job 2:9Everything is fine … until they open their mouths.They are aghast at the sight before them … their once highly respected friend is now horrifically humbled. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar (Eli, Bill, and Zo for short) have set out from their homes to pour out comforting words upon their troubled friend, but now they find themselves speechless. For seven days and seven nights they sit on the ground and commiserate, and “No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was” (Job 2:13).Soon their sympathetic presence morphs into a barrage of stinging rebuke that further crushes the spirit of poor Job. He responds in deep emotional pain.…  “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” - Job 6:14Like Job’s friends, has someone in your life assumed the role of your personal heavenly sandpaper … a self-appointed expert at finding fault and continually focusing on your faults in an attempt to “refine” you? The abrasive words are not helpful, but hurtful, and qualify as verbal and emotional abuse. Such criticism grates against the grain of your soul … wearing you down … stripping you of your worth.God holds all of us accountable for how we use our words, especially words that wound. Harsh, critical words don’t pour out of the hearts of godly people. Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” - Matthew 12:34–35The Keys for Living will show you how to respond to harsh criticism, confront someone with a critical spirit, accept constructive criticism, and triumph over negative criticism with truth.  Check out the Critical Spirit Keys for Living here:  https://www.womenoffaith.com/keys-for-living-critical-spirit  Women of Faith is a global ministry, providing digital media, resources and events to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Initiatives and programs allow women to be reached with the Word of God. Various media and events are utilized in delivering the message.  Women of Faith's Foundational Voice is Alita Reynolds.
    - 9 days ago 11 Feb 20, 6:00am -
  • LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS OF ANGER
    Looking through the Lens of Anger"In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:26–27)Anger is a God-given emotion, yet many believe anger is always negative, always a sin. We stuff it, hide it, avoid it, and deny it. Hidden anger only fuels the fire inside. These Keys for Living will help you identify the four sources of anger and learn how to apply the quick answer to anger. You will also find biblical solutions for resolving past anger and practical tools to identify triggers, handle angry people, and act rather than react in volatile situations.Anger is appropriate at certain times.Anger must be resolved, or it becomes sinful.Anger can be curtailed.Anger, if not stopped, can be used by Satan.Anger, if prolonged, gives ground to Satan.“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”(Ephesians 4:29–30)Anger can lead to unwholesome talk.Anger can grieve the Holy Spirit.Anger can be totally cancelled.Anger becomes sin when it results in bitterness.Anger must be eradicated before it turns to rage.Anger must be let go before it leads to fighting.Anger must be overcome before it leads to slander.Anger must be mastered before it becomes malicious.Anger can be conquered through kindness and compassion.Anger can be fought and defeated through forgiveness.“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”(Ephesians 4:31–32)Facing the Internal FireIs your commute plagued by road rage?Do you battle difficult people every time you step into the grocery store?How often have you sat alone after an argument, regretting your harsh words?Do you try to control your emotions and find yourself at the mercy of unpredictable anger?Anger can make you feel like a powder keg, vulnerable to even the smallest spark. When you lose control, the flames can be explosive, singeing your relationships, charring your work and burning your health. In truth, anger is a positive emotion, designed by God as a warning signal to alert you to a problem. But if left unchecked, anger grows into deep destructive bitterness.God can help you uncover the source of your anger whether injustice, hurt, fear or frustration. He is ready and able to heal your heart and help you control your anger before it controls you!To learn more about working through anger, check out our resources on ANGERAND... you are able to check out all of our resources here: RESOURCES   Women of Faith is a global ministry, providing digital media, resources and events to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Initiatives and programs allow women to be reached with the Word of God. Various media and events are utilized in delivering the message.  Women of Faith's Foundational Voice is Alita Reynolds.
    - 14 days ago 6 Feb 20, 5:21pm -
  • ARE YOU READY TO BE EQUIPPED TO FULLY TELL YOUR STORY...
    ARE YOU READY TO BE EQUIPPED TO FULLY TELL YOUR STORY...WITH IMPACT?ALL FOR GOD'S GLORY!Did you know your personal faith story is able to be used powerfully by God?Your story is the most powerful story you will ever tell.Let's Tell Your Story...We thank you for your interest in either sharing your story or in participating in the Story Workshop.  Many of you have shared how you desire to share your story and you have no idea where to begin.  Then there are those of you who have a story and are afraid to share it because of past hurts. With our available resources and the Story Workshop, we are able to walk with you step by step, in crafting your story and in overcoming any fear or shame with your story or in sharing it with others.  We are a community and we are able to walk arm in arm, each step of the way, so in the end you are encouraged and equipped and are able to share your story with confidence and to achieve impact. All for God’s glory!   We are to live out the Great Commission together. We feel so strongly about living out our purpose of building God’s kingdom, that this course was birthed from both this commandment and also our passion to bring others to Christ. We call this movement the Each One. Reach One. Movement. STORY WORKSHOP ONLINE COURSEAs Women of Faith, we want to equip you to share your faith and fulfill the words of Christ to “make disciples of all the nations.”The Story Workshop Equips You To Deliver Your StoryLearn how to put your testimony together in a compelling way by participating in the Story Workshop!Learn How To Share Your Story In A Compelling Way...This workshop will empower you to do this without fear or embarrassment and will enable you to be on the lookout for opportunities to Be the Light for Jesus.Be equipped to deliver your story.  After completing this workshop, you will be equipped to share your story in a way to bring others to Christ. Your story is the most powerful story you will ever tell... Allow us to help you tell yours!  Learn to structure and deliver your story of how God has worked in your life.  And deliver it with confidence.  Be confident in sharing your story... to anyone.  Who needs to hear your story?  People have a deep desire to relate to others. Did you know your personal faith story can be used powerfully by God.  We use personal stories to encourage women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus, and to plant the seed.  Starting with yours.God uses unusual situations and difficult circumstances to fulfill His purposes.  One of those purposes is to bring glory to Him—for you to tell your story so others can share your experience and find hope in Jesus for themselves.What lessons has God taught you through trying times?What event in your past has had the greatest impact on you?What made Jesus the most important person in your life?The answers to these questions will prepare and further equip you to share the Good News of Jesus. Christ.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15NOW IS THE TIME TO TELL YOUR STORYWhere ever we are at in our journey, We experience life together.  It’s time. Time for Sisters in Christ to lock arms and support one another.Together we are friends.Together we are stronger.Together we rise up.Together we are Women of Faith. https://www.womenoffaith.com/the-story-workshop    Women of Faith is a global ministry, providing digital media, resources and events to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Initiatives and programs allow women to be reached with the Word of God. Various media and events are utilized in delivering the message.  Women of Faith's Foundational Voice is Alita Reynolds.
    - 22 days ago 29 Jan 20, 4:00pm -

The World And Everything In It (Podcast)

  • new2.20.20 International adoptions and cowboy traditions
    Anna Johansen reports on Bethany Christian Services’ recent decision to stop facilitating international adoptions; Mary Reichard talks to Steve West about a case involving immigration activists hailed as a win for religious liberty; and Sarah Schweinsberg visits a ranch in Arizona to learn why a father is so determined to teach cowboy traditions to his children. Plus: commentary from Cal Thomas, a knockoff becomes a masterpiece, and the Thursday morning news.Support The World and Everything in It today at wng.org/donate.
    - 6 hours ago 20 Feb 20, 8:15am -
  • 2.19.20 Washington Wednesday and World Tour
    On Washington Wednesday, Jamie Dean reports on President Trump’s small but growing appeal among some African American voters; Africa reporter Onize Ohikere reports on international news on World Tour; and Paul Butler remembers the contributions of education pioneer Betsey Stockton. Plus: commentary from Joel Belz, a taxi-driving hero, and the Wednesday morning news.Support The World and Everything in It today at wng.org/donate.
    - 1 day ago 19 Feb 20, 8:15am -
  • 2.18.20 Child poverty, online privacy, and The Olasky Interview
    Mary Reichard talks to Jason Thacker about using photos posted online to build a database of criminal suspects for police; Sarah Schweinsberg reports on the shrinking rate of child poverty; and Marvin Olasky interviews economist Vito Tanzi. Plus: commentary from Kim Henderson, hockey sticks in short supply, and the Tuesday morning news.Support The World and Everything in It today at wng.org/donate.
    - 2 days ago 18 Feb 20, 8:15am -
  • 2.17.20 Legal Docket, Moneybeat, and History Book
    On Legal Docket, Mary Reichard details oral arguments in a case about repeat offenders before the Supreme Court; on the Monday Moneybeat, Nick Eicher reports on the latest economic news; and on History Book, Paul Butler remembers significant incidents from the past. Plus: commentary from Les Sillars, animals helping animals, and the Monday morning news.Support The World and Everything in It today at wng.org/donate.
    - 3 days ago 17 Feb 20, 8:15am -
  • Effective Compassion, Episode 7: Compassionate Conservatism
    In 1999, George W. Bush launched his presidential campaign as a Compassionate Conservative. Many of the policies he advocated came straight out of the playbook of 19th century poverty fighters. Soon, compassion tactics from 200 years ago were shaping national politics... and drawing criticism from all sides. This episode is about 19th century compassion versus D.C. politics.  Effective Compassion is a production of WORLD. Learn more at wng.org. 
    - 5 days ago 15 Feb 20, 8:15am -

World Magazine

  • newGloves come off at Nevada debate
    The top Democratic presidential candidates battled each other and latecomer Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday night in Las Vegas over the question of electability. Recent rule changes by the Democratic National Committee allowed Bloomberg into the debate for the first time this campaign season ahead of the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22.Which candidates clashed? They all piled on Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg took aim at Bloomberg’s past controversial comments and policies about race and his alleged instances of sexual harassment. Warren said Democrats “take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.”Bloomberg, meanwhile, argued President Donald Trump would defeat any Democratic opponent who favored abolishing private health insurance. He and the other candidates sparred over healthcare, socialism, climate change, and other topics. Near the end, one moderator asked whether the candidate with the most delegates by the time of the Democratic convention this summer should earn the nomination, even if they did not have a majority. None of the candidates except Sanders endorsed the idea.Dig deeper: Read my report in The Stew about how the Democratic field has narrowed in the past week.Image: Category: ElectionsArticle Title: Gloves come off at Nevada debateKeywords: PoliticsCampaign 2020DemocratsDemocratic PartyDemocratic Presidential PrimaryElectionAuthor: Harvest Prude
    - 59 mins ago 20 Feb 20, 1:25pm -
  • newCaring—and paying—for needy patients
    The Sacred Heart Community Clinic in Round Rock, Texas, had 6,300 visits last year, all of them from low-income, uninsured patients. Liz Burton-Garcia started the clinic nearly 10 years ago on the campus of St. William Catholic Church, where she is a member. Her sales background helped her drum up local support: Doctors donated their time, construction companies donated materials, and many others offered money and prayer.The clinic now has five full-time staff members and 150 volunteers. To get care, patients cannot have health insurance and must demonstrate their financial need.“Some of them lost their jobs,” said Wendi Baird, the clinic’s development director. “Some of them have fallen through the cracks and maybe work two or three part-time jobs and don’t have a full-time job with benefits.”Sacred Heart does not accept any federal funding. That allows it to avoid onerous paperwork and wait times to get pre-approval to see new patients. Baird said the clinic relies on local grants and donors to stay in business: “Whenever we get a big donation, we’re always grateful for it, but we always go, ‘Oh boy, this means that there’s going to be a big need coming down the road!’ It’s like God always knows, before we do, what’s needed.”Clinics that are willing to jump through government hoops can get funding to help care for the poor. The federal Community Health Center Program started more than 50 years ago to help medically underserved areas. Participating clinics must use a sliding fee scale, offer certain services, serve a particular patient population, and meet other operational requirements. The National Association of Community Health Centers reported last year that the centers served more than 29 million patients, including 14 million people in poverty and 1.4 million people experiencing homeless. Most patients were uninsured or insured through Medicaid. In fiscal year 2019, the federal government spent $5.6 billion on more than 1,400 community health centers.Some community health centers are explicitly Christian. Hope Christian Health Center in Las Vegas received $693,021 in fiscal year 2019 to carry out its stated mission “to glorify God as we demonstrate Christ’s love to the Las Vegas community by providing excellent, affordable care to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.” Beacon Christian Community Health Center in New York got about $2.2 million from the government last year. Beacon CEO David Kim previously told WORLD that despite the red tape, his clinic has a calling “from God to be a ‘faithful presence’ in that world, even as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in theirs.” Associated Press/Photo by Michael A. McCoy Attorney General William Barr Sanctuary battlesThe U.S. Department of Justice last week filed a lawsuit against some local policies that hinder immigration officers from arresting illegal migrants. The “sanctuary” policies put law enforcement officers “in harm’s way” and violate federal law, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said.New Jersey prohibits state and local law enforcement officials from sharing information about whether inmates are in the country illegally. King County, Wash., home to Seattle, passed a policy blocking the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from using the city’s airport to deport illegal immigrants.Other state and local governments are tussling with the Trump administration over immigration enforcement. After New York passed a law allowing illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses, the Trump administration expelled the state from the “trusted traveler” program that allows some travelers to avoid long lines when entering the country. The state sued the administration to get back in. New York also limits information-sharing with immigration officials. The Justice Department has subpoenaed both New York City and Denver regarding illegal immigrants the cities were about to release from prison. The administration sued California over a sanctuary law in 2018. —Rachel Lynn Aldrich Associated Press/Photo by Patrick Semansky Tony Rankins (front left) with Ivanka Trump (front center) and Jared Kushner (right) at the State of the Union address on Feb. 4 Not quite rightThe “opportunity zone” success story at this year’s State of the Union address wasn’t as straightforward as it seemed.President Donald Trump honored Army veteran Tony Rankins during his speech to Congress on Feb. 4. He said Rankins, formerly homeless and addicted to drugs, turned his life around after getting a job at a Nashville, Tenn., construction company that took advantage of the tax breaks offered through the administration’s opportunity zones program to help economically distressed areas.Though Rankins credits the opportunity zones program for his success, he doesn’t work at a site within one of the designated areas. The company he works for, R Investments, has hired hundreds of homeless people to work at its buildings and takes advantage of various tax breaks, according to CEO Travis Steffens. But only one of its buildings is in an opportunity zone. It functions as a storage site, and the company hasn’t yet taken advantage of the associated tax breaks. Rankins plans to start working at the company’s Cincinnati location next month.He said he felt honored by the invitation to attend the State of the Union address. —R.L.A.Facebook-enabled policing?A homeless man is suing the city of Los Angeles for using social media against him. City residents sometimes use dedicated Facebook pages to talk about and post photos of homeless encampments, the Los Angeles Times reported. Rex Schellenberg, 81, who is homeless, and his attorney claim that police a few years ago harassed him based on some of the posts. The city later ended up telling its police officers to stay off the Facebook pages. —R.L.A. Image: Deck: Examining two approaches to Christian healthcare for the poorCategory: Effective CompassionKeywords: Effective CompassionCompassionHealthcareMedicinePovertyCharityImmigrationJustice DepartmentHomelessnessSocial MediaTechnologyState of the UnionSlug: CompassionArticle Title: Caring—and paying—for needy patientsAuthor: Charissa KohDigital Branding: CompassionHide from Archive?: 0
    - 18 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 8:21pm -
  • newInterviewing a criminal
    Interviewing a criminalNew YorkPrisonsCrimeCultureSometimes reporters don’t have all the details they want when writing a profileCrimeEmily BelzA New York moment: I recently went to a maximum security prison north of the city to interview serial killer David Berkowitz, who now describes himself as a Messianic Jew. At the same time, I happened to be working on a piece on the rise of anti-Semitism, and Berkowitz mentioned after our interview that he has been following that trend as well, and praying for the Jewish community. I had some follow-up questions for him after our interview, mainly about whether he has community in and out of the prison walls, or if he feels lonely. Since I can’t pop into a maximum security prison or give him a phone call, I wrote him a letter. At the end of January, he wrote back, using his prison-approved typewriter. He hadn’t yet seen the now-published article about him.To answer my question on community he said, “Yes, as a whole, many who are now members of the body of Christ and remain incarcerated, do sense varying degrees of loneliness and detachment from the body of Christ. I thank God for those who are involved in jail and prison ministries. The Lord uses such to bring prisoners much needed encouragement and hope. But prison ministry is not for everyone.” He insisted that he is "not lonely for fellowship” and has “a number of dear and faithful friends.” He said he has received a “fair amount of acceptance from the Christian community as a whole,” but added, “Of course, there will always be a certain amount of skeptics.” This is a nice answer, but doesn’t provide much specificity. That’s not necessarily Berkowitz’s fault, but rather the journalist must draw specificity out of a subject. If we were talking more in person, I could press him. Who do you talk with most regularly inside prison? Who do you talk to most outside of prison? How much time in the day are you by yourself? We had two hours to talk face-to-face in prison, but I had to decide in the moment what to prioritize in that short time. He insists he isn’t lonely; I came away with a different impression, that of someone who has sporadic visitors and has no contact with his family.Sometimes you have to draw a portrait of a subject without as much interview time as you would like, with a limited window into someone’s life, with only a sketch of his psychology, and you pray that what you gathered is fair and true. Worth your time:  Writer George Packer gave a wonderful speech on the purpose of writing, which I think can apply to any endeavor in these polarized times. I’ll be going back to this piece regularly. He seems to be on the same page as Alan Jacobs in his wonderful book, How to Think, which emphasizes the importance of empathy in our arguments over important issues.Packer says the current mentality in much writing is needing “a community behind you, vouching for you, cheering you on, mobbing your adversaries and slaying them.” But he counters: "Writers are individuals whose job is to find language that can cross the unfathomable gap separating us from one another.”This week I learned: The new order blocking immigration from Nigeria (among other restrictions on other countries) affects many people around me in New York, including people in my church, who have family back in Nigeria. This segment on WNYC helped explain, mostly in an informative and balanced way, the details of what the order means.  A court case you might not know about: A New York appellate court has upheld a lower court ruling that fantasy sports bets are illegal gambling.Culture I am consuming: Kirk Douglas died on Feb. 5 at 103, which brought to mind a great film Douglas starred in, Ace in the Hole, from writer/director Billy Wilder. Nearly seventy years after its release, it still feels like a relevant look into the media environment. Based on real events, the story follows an ethically challenged journalist looking for his big break so he can leave a small town paper and head to the glittery newspapers of New York. It’s a dark film, unlike most of Wilder’s work, but it is one of the great take-downs of journalists’ hubris, which I think is needed alongside the movies like Spotlight or All the President’s Men. Email me with tips, story ideas, and feedback. ebelz@wng.org New YorkMetro Minute
    - 19 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 7:24pm -
  • newUnforgivable debts
    As Democratic Party presidential candidates promise to cancel Americans’ $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, President Donald Trump wants to end the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and eliminate subsidized federal loans.The president has proposed dropping the loan forgiveness program in every budget he’s submitted, including the 2021 fiscal year proposal released last week. Congress has not acted on his recommendation.Created in 2007, the program forgives student debts once participants complete 10 years of monthly payments while employed full time as teachers, nurses, police officers, or as nonprofit or government workers. The first eligible borrowers started claiming their benefits in the last three years.But those claims have not gone smoothly for many who say they made their 10 years or 120 payments only to learn they did not meet the program’s complex eligibility rules.Librarian Lynn Wallace has student loan debt and complained in the Tulsa World about the program’s complex regulations: “Fraudulent information about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness has left me with five extra years in repayment status.” Only 62 of her 118 payments counted toward the required 120, she said.Trump and other critics of the program say it unfairly favors some careers over others. This year’s budget proposal, like those in previous years, recommends closing the program to new applicants while keeping it open for current participants like Wallace.The president’s proposed budget also calls for the elimination of federally subsidized loans, in which the government pays the loan’s interest while students with financial need attend school or qualify for grace periods. The changes would end complicated formulas that determine which type and amount of loan qualify for subsidies, but the burden for repaying the interest would shift completely to the student.Other proposed changes would reward faithful repayment and protect students and parents from overborrowing in the first place. These changes would cut the U.S. Department of Education’s budget by 8 percent.Borrowers shouldn’t plan for these reforms anytime soon. The president’s proposed budget is merely the first step in a lengthy process governed by competing ideologies. Associated Press/U.S. Attorney’s Office Lawrence Ray ‘Unspeakable abuse’Police last week arrested the father of a former Sarah Lawrence College student and charged him with starting a sex cult in his daughter’s dorm. The charges include nine counts of sex trafficking, extortion, forced labor, and money laundering.Prosecutors described how 60-year-old ex-convict Lawrence “Larry” Ray convinced his sophomore-year daughter and her friends to allow him to stay in their campus housing upon his release from prison in late 2010. Ray forged relationships with the young women, allegedly taking on a “father figure” role and conducting “therapy” sessions with them.Ray reportedly groomed and exploited five students at the private liberal arts college in Yonkers, N.Y. He allegedly abused them physically, sexually, and psychologically and claimed they owed him money. Prosecutors said Ray directed his victims to drain their parents’ bank accounts and work for no pay at his family’s property in North Carolina. He also reportedly forced one into prostitution.“Ray subjected his victims to almost unspeakable abuse,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said, citing a time Ray reportedly tied one young woman to a chair and placed a plastic bag over her head, nearly suffocating her. —L.E. Associated Press/Photo by David Zalubowski (file) A vigil for victims of the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch Guilty as chargedThe younger of the two teens charged in the May 2019 deadly shooting at a suburban Denver high school pleaded guilty earlier this month to 17 felonies, including a first-degree murder charge. The attackers at STEM School Highlands Ranch wounded eight people and killed 18-year-old student Kendrick Castillo as he rushed shooters Maya “Alec” McKinney, 16, and Devon Erickson, 19. Under Colorado juvenile sentencing rules, McKinney could be eligible for parole after 25 years.Erickson has pleaded not guilty to the same charges. His lawyers have characterized McKinney, a girl who identifies as a boy, as the ringleader and claim the younger student pressured Erickson to participate in the deadly attack.Castillo received wide praise for his heroic actions. Officials said he kept the assault from becoming a larger tragedy. —L.E. Image: Deck: White House considers canceling loan cancellationCategory: EducationKeywords: EducationFinanceDebtHigher EducationSexual AbuseCrimeColorado ShootingCourtsSlug: EducationArticle Title: Unforgivable debtsAuthor: Laura EdghillDigital Branding: SchooledHide from Archive?: 0
    - 19 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 7:02pm -
  • newUtah considers decriminalizing polygamy
    The Utah state Senate unanimously voted Tuesday to ease the penalties for polygamy. The bill would treat the practice as an infraction similar to a parking ticket with punishment limited to a maximum $750 fine and community service hours. The bill now moves to Utah’s House of Representatives.Why allow polygamy? Supporters of the bill say it would permit people in plural marriages to report abuse without fear of punishment. Opponents of the bill say it would normalize the practice and won’t help underage victims. Current law considers polygamy a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.Dig deeper: Read Kiley Crossland’s report in Relations about groups seeking to normalize polyamory.Image: Category: MarriageArticle Title: Utah considers decriminalizing polygamyKeywords: FamilyLegislationMarriageState GovernmentPolygamySocietyAuthor: Harvest Prude
    - 21 hours ago 19 Feb 20, 5:36pm -