- Created on 08 November 2013
Do you ever feel haunted by a past failure or a guilty conscience?
King Herod, the most powerful and wealthy man in Judea, had everything he wanted, except a clear conscience and peace with God.
Matthew 14: 1-12
Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
and said to his servants, "This man is John the Baptist.
He has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him."
Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison
on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
for John had said to him,
"It is not lawful for you to have her."
Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people,
for they regarded him as a prophet.
But at a birthday celebration for Herod,
the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests
and delighted Herod so much
that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said,
"Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
The king was distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests who were present,
he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison.
His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl,
who took it to her mother.
His disciples came and took away the corpse
and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
Herod had respected and feared John the Baptist as a great prophet and servant of God. John, however did not fear to rebuke Herod for his adulterous relationship with his brother's wife. He ended up in prison because of Herodias' jealousy. Unfortunately for Herod, he could not rid himself of sin by ridding himself of the man who confronted him with his sin. Herod's power and influence was badly flawed. He could take a strong stand on the wrong things when he knew the right. Such a stand, however, was a sign of weakness and cowardice. Where do you get the strength of will and heart to choose what is right and to reject what is bad?
The Lord gives grace and help to the humble, to those who acknowledge their weaknesses and their sinfulness, and who look to God for his mercy and pardon, wisdom and strength. His grace and pardon not only frees us from a guilty conscience, it enables us to pursue holiness in every area of our lives, in our thoughts and intentions as well as our words and actions.
- Created on 07 November 2013
Minnesota resident Edward Nathaniel III (pictured), a pastor of two churches who moonlighted as a school bus driver, was allegedly fired last week, after leading children in Christian prayer while driving, according to CBS Minnesota.
The 49-year-old minister worked for the Burnsville School District for two years as a driver and argues that he never force fed his praying ritual to his captive audience of elementary and junior high school students. Instead, he gave them a choice, "I ask[ed] the students would they like to pray, and if they like to pray, then they can lead prayer themselves and then I will pray," he said. "[On] a couple of routes, I had children that chose not to pray and that was fine."
Nathaniel's spiritual routine would last about seven minutes after the last child boarded the bus, "We start out with a song," he told Gawker. "Then each person will pray if they want to pray. If they don't want to pray, they don't have to pray. Then I will pray and ask them if they want to join me in prayer. Just give them something constructive and positive to go to school with."
Unfortunately for the pastor, his firing allegedly stemmed from the complaints the district received; Nathaniel's bus route is primarily made up of Muslim families.
Apparently, Nathaniel was previously warned about his evangelizing ways by the district. "The company gave me a written warning that you cannot pray on the bus," he said. "No parent complained to me, personally, so I just heard it from the district."
The district warning fell on deaf ears, though, because Nathaniel still felt compelled to pray with his students. "They are trying to take away every right the Christian has to express our Christian belief in this supposed-to-have-been Christian nation," he contends.
Does Nathaniel have a right to lead public prayer on a school bus?
According to ACLU legal director Teresa Nelson, who spoke to CBS Minnesota, the minister is in violation of the First Amendment and should absolutely not have led the children in prayer. "The school bus is a captive audience," said Nelson. "When he is driving the bus he is acting like a school official and he does not have the right to proselytize or promote religion in that context."
Meanwhile, Nathaniel is not taking his firing sitting down; he plans on continuing to fight the good fight by enlisting other clergy members to join in his prayer on school buses crusade.
Click here to watch video.
- Created on 06 November 2013
As you embrace adulthood, you come to realize what your parents mean. You look at their lives and study the ways they taught you. You find yourself copying their actions and motions.
As they age, become ill and die we are left knowing that part of them loves on in us. It may be in the way we walk or laugh. It may be in the way we cook or think. One can only hope that you learned something for their lives. Of course Parents are not perfect. Some of us may have never even known our parents. We still have a hand in our lives that gave us support, or guidance. This prayer is for them too.
"Lord, I surrender to you my family. Lord Jesus, I pray for my parents. Though you blessed them abundantly, today they are in need of your help. Give my parents joy and strength. Fill them with your strengthening presence. Lord, give them real thirst and hunger for the Holy Spirit and for the Word of God. Give them health in spirit, soul and body.
Even though they may feel that all the trouble they took for their children are being wasted, help them to see the great reward waiting for them in Heaven. Help my parents to forgive themselves and forgive everyone else.
- Created on 04 November 2013
In an appearance on ‘The Arsenio Hall Show,’ the controversial ‘Preachers of L.A.’ addressed criticism of the show and their “haters.”
“Anytime you’re moving into space that is uncharted you’re gonna have haters. Jesus had haters,” said Bishop Clarence McClendon. “I teach our people that the kingdom of God is a kingdom of relational influence. And anybody you refuse to relate to, you’ve also refused to influence.”
“When you start influencing people you’re going to get their opinions. And so, opinions come, opinions go, but I believe that we’re moving into an area where others are going to follow.”
As previously reported by NewsOne, the show follows Bishop Noel Jones, Deitrick Haddon, Bishop McClendon, Pastor Wayne Chaney, Bishop Ron Gibson and Pastor Jay Haizlip as they navigate roads of riches, redemption and ridiculousness.