PHILADELPHIA – A Boyertown Area High School student and his parents have sued the school district for intentionally violating his right to bodily privacy after he was exposed involuntarily to an undressed student of the opposite sex while changing in his school’s locker room. Without any notice to students or parents, the school district secretly opened its schools’ sex-specific restrooms and locker rooms to students of the opposite sex. The male student brought a complaint to school officials, who told him that they now allow students who identify themselves as the opposite sex to choose whichever locker room they wish to use. The male student asked officials to protect his privacy, but they instead told him twice that he must “tolerate” it and make changing with students of the opposite sex as “natural” as he can. Independence Law Center Chief Counsel Randall Wenger is representing the student and his family. The lawsuit claims sexual harassment under Title IX, a federal law; violation of the fundamental right to bodily privacy under the U.S. Constitution; and violation of a state privacy law. You can read the lawsuit by CLICKING HERE.
Pastor Greg Laurie participated in the National Prayer Service in Washington DC over the weekend. The event took place on the 21st, the day after President Trumps inauguration. Prior to the Prayer service Pastor Laurie posted: I view this honor as a sacred responsibility. This service alone demonstrates that the United States remains a country ‘under God’ and a country that prioritizes prayer.
Dr. David Jeremiah was selected to read scripture at the Inaugural Prayer Service over the weekend. Dr. Jeremiah posted:
Please pray God’s Word will have an impact on all who watch and attend.
Man Walking Ten Hours for Work Receives a Sweet Surprise
Getting to work was not so difficult for Ruby Tuesday’s cook Kevan Finley. That is, until the restaurant he worked in, which was just one mile from his home, shut down. Kevan wasn’t able to find another job near his home, so he continued in his role at another Ruby Tuesday’s branch nine miles away. However, since Kevan did not have a car, he had to walk ten miles a day for a roundtrip 18-mile journey, six days a week.
Additionally, Kevan’s new co-workers at the restaurant in Mentor, Ohio, did not find out about his grueling trek until about three months after he had started working there. Kevan never complained about his circumstances, so the staff decided to secretly plot behind the scenes on his behalf. His co-workers started driving him home, while secretly raising money to buy the 30-year old cook a car. In just 17 days, the restaurant raised over $8,000 for the dedicated man.
Kevan has passed the state driving exam, but he still needs to take the road test to get his license. Then, he plans to buy a truck for his own transportation.
Is there someone around you today that has a special need that you can help meet? It takes us getting outside of ourselves and our own lives, and getting involved in the lives of others, to hear about their struggles. If you ask God to make you a blessing today, that is a prayer He will surely answer.
And what about Kevan? He never complained. He did not feel sorry for himself. He simply did whatever he had to do to get his job done. Sometimes we want special treatment for “going the extra mile,” as we sometimes see it. But Jesus sees things very differently:
“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'” (Luke 17:7-10, ESV)
Feeding Homeless Students in Berks County
Believe it or not, there are multitudes of homeless school students right in Berks County.
“In Berks County, we have more than 1,600 homeless students,” said Kristen Hoffa, the Regional Coordination for Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness.
The National non-profit, Feed the Children, partnered with Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness and dropped off food, 1,000 backpacks and 3,000 books at the Berks County Intermediate Unit.
The 90-day faith-based program Family Promise, in Reading, helps families get back on their feet. Other agencies in Berks, York and Philadelphia counties picked up supplies with the help of Reading School District students. The backpacks supplied were filled with school supplies and hygiene products. RSD students went through boxes, organized books and helped load cars.
“I feel nice. I like helping people,” said 10-grade volunteer, Marques Adamson.
It’s more than giving out books; it’s giving hope.
It was a doubles exhibition tennis match of world champions, but that didn’t stop Rafael Nadal from putting the brakes on when he saw a distressed mother in the crowd.
Nadal was about to serve in to Carlos Moya and John McEnroe during their game in Manacor, Mallorca when he saw a crying woman gesturing to a steward up in the stands.
When heads started to turn, the arena realized that she was a mother looking for her lost child who had wandered away during the match.
The audience searched the seats until they found little Clara crying a ways away from her mother.
When the woman scooped up her weeping daughter, the crowd rose to tumultuous applause and play resumed.
Rafael Nadal stops match against John McEnroe so …
The clay-court legend was playing an exhibition match against the American on his home island of Majorca when he showed his softer side Rafael Nadal dramatically …
Jesus told a parable in Luke 15:1-7 to judgmental scribes and Pharisees about a man who has one hundred sheep, yet is willing to leave ninety-nine of them to pursue the one that leaves the fold. Just as Rafael Nadal stopped play and the whole crowd turned it’s interest away from the match to help find a missing girl, God and all of heaven has is more concerned with the salvation of sinners. The Lord and His angels find more joy in one of His creation coming to repentance and saving faith in Him than in anyone who already knows Him.
Are there any lost sheep around you today that the Lord might want to use you to help bring back into the fold, just as He once did with you?
Police say they responded to an overnight shooting in Allentown on Saturday, October 1st. They say a 17-year old was shot in the lower leg at an underage drinking party at a vacant residence. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Police say the victim told them a fight broke out at the party, and he was shot, but doesn’t know who shot him.
According to police, when officers arrived at the scene, teenagers were running everywhere. Officers tried to stop and question them, but they all said they knew nothing.
Anyone with information should contact the Allentown Police Department at 610-437-7721.
High School Teacher Honored Days Before His Death
A Nashville high school teacher knew that his days were numbered here on Earth. But he never could have imagined the loving surprise he would receive just days before his death.
After a long battle with esophageal cancer, Ben Ellis stopped his chemotherapy sessions. Ellis had continued teaching Latin and Bible study even though he was undergoing cancer treatments. When the cancer spread to his lungs, however, Ben concluded his chemo and became resigned to his fate.
That’s why 400 teens from Nashville’s Christ Presbyterian Academy gathered outside Ellis’s window to sing for him.
The school staff heard of the news of his pending death, and organized a sing along tribute at the teacher’s home. Ellis passed away a few days later.
“It was a place where the veil between heaven and Earth felt very thin,’” Christ Presbyterian headmaster Nate Morrow told TODAY. Ben told the students he loved them and that they “need to continue to love each other as well.”
Parents in Daniel Boone Concerned After a Boy is Left on School Bus
Five-year old Prince Oquendo thought Tuesday, September 6th would be his first day of kindergarten. However, the young boy never made it to the classroom that day. Instead, he was left on his school bus for four hours as the bus sat parked in a lot.
Some concerned parents were given the opportunity to express their concerns and ask questions on Thursday, September 8th according to the Daniel Boone Area School District’s website, in a meeting with the school’s staff.
The boy was eventually found on the bus at 1 p.m., before the boy’s mother took him to the hospital, where he was treated for dehydration. The official temperature in Berks County at 1 p.m. was 85 degrees.
New Rhoads Transportation, the district’s transportation provider, said its driver failed to follow the company’s protocol by not checking the bus before he departed. The driver was terminated.
How important details and thoroughness are in our lives. Simple neglect of a seemingly unnecessary, routine task on the job forced a young child into exchanging his first day of school for a hospital visit, and also cost someone his employment. In a parable about honesty and money, Jesus said, “One who is faithful in a very little also is faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” (Luke 16:10, ESV)
Although the immediate reference to Jesus’ words has to do with money, the application extends much further than that. If we are not faithful in what appears to be the small, insignificant tasks of life, 1) we cannot and should not expect God to promote us, and 2) the results can be dire in our own lives, as well as the lives of others. Do we complete every task on the job? Do we show up on time? Are we honest with our spouse?
When no one else is watching, God is watching.
Young Lady Wins Year’s Worth of Free Pizza; Donates it all to Homeless Shelter
19-year-old Hannah Spooner of Detroit won a year’s worth of free pizza from Little Caesar’s, and donated every slice to the less fortunate.
Spooner said from the moment the pizza chain called to inform her that she had won the drawing for $500 of free pizza for a year, she knew she wanted to give it to a worthy cause. Spooner then connected with a few non-benefit organizations locally, before settling on Covenant House, an office for destitute youth.
Carolyn Millard, the development manager of the shelter, said they serve three meals a day for any youth in need. And their favorite food?
Jesus said it best: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
He also promised us that if we give, it will be given unto us, in abundance. (Luke 6:38) The question is, do we really believe that? When we withhold what God is asking us to give, particularly if we withhold something that we do not need, we are simply walking in unbelief, and betraying the greed that is in our heart.
What is God asking you to give today, that someone else needs more than you?
Prison ministry and discipleship work. I stand here today because someone volunteered their time to come and visit me.
I was incarcerated in 1997 and 1998. My life was in ruins. Addicted to drugs and alcohol for almost 20 years, I needed to find a better way to live.
Upon the urgings of my cellmate to attend a church service, I was moved by what happened that night. I heard the Gospel of Christ for the very first time. I learned that God loved me with an unconditional love. And I responded to the invitation that night to receive Jesus and my life has never been the same. That’s an understatement!
Today I stand as director of Christian Life Prison Ministry because of God’s grace and the power of His Word.
If you would like to learn more about our ministry, whether you are a believer who would like to be involved in some way or support our work, or if you, or someone you know, is in the prison system, please contact me.
Louisiana has experienced the worst natural disaster on American soil since Hurricane Sandy struck the northeast nearly four years ago, according to the Red Cross. By the numbers, the aftermath is almost mind-boggling: 60,000 homes damaged, nearly seven trillion (yes, trillion) gallons of rain (including over 31 inches in one day), 13 deaths, 20,000 people rescued and an estimated cost of $30 million.
“Thousands of people in Louisiana have lost everything they own and need our help now,” said Brad Kieserman, the Red Cross’ vice president of disaster services operations and logistics.
Through Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse national relief organization, you can do just that. Samaritan’s Purse hit the ground in Louisiana almost immediately after the disaster, where volunteers have been cleaning out debris, removing wet floors and walls and spraying for mold, in hopes of salvaging the homes of countless thousands of people, many of whom do not have flood insurance. Fox News’ Sean Hannity was on the ground at a local church on Monday, August 22, where Samaritan’s Purse volunteers are currently headquartered. His one-hour TV special gave a graphic look into the devastation of local neighborhoods and the tremendous need of the citizens.
Fox News’ Sean Hannity Live in Greenwell Springs, LA (Aug. 22)
You can be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to the multitudes affected in Louisiana. Are you able to give a few days of your time, or even longer, to labor on the ground? What about a financial gift to assist those whose lives have been turned upside down? Visit Samaritan’s Purse’s website by clicking on the link below and prayerfully ask the Lord how you might be able to bring His love and grace to the many in need, right here on our on soil.
Samaritan’s Purse Taking Volunteers and Donations
Serving as Christ’s Hands and Feet in flooded Louisiana/
Micronesia Mission Report (Rota)
Greetings this month from Pennsylvania, after spending exactly two months in the little-known-to-many area of our planet called Micronesia. This journey included seven islands, two countries, one U.S. commonwealth and one U.S. territory. That’s not counting Honolulu, Hawaii, where I spent my first night of this mission sleeping very uncomfortably in the airport (in transit to the Marshallese capital of Majuro), and had my sunglasses stolen in the morning before being denied the opportunity to fly standby to Majuro because the United Airlines flight was full. It was a disappointing start for sure, but the Lord had other plans as I rerouted to the U.S. territory of Guam, which completely changed the complexion of the whole trip. Looking back, His hand was in every detail and step of this journey, probably the most challenging and also most important long-term mission I’ve ever undertaken, as the Lord taught me many things I could never learn in a classroom and stretched my faith in a way almost like never before. I have one more report from Micronesia to share later, but for now, I hope this update from one uniquely small and relatively unknown island encourages and stirs your heart for the lost souls of men and women as we move into ever darker days, and look for the return of Jesus Christ.
There is a place in the Northern Mariana Islands called Rota, the self-proclaimed “Friendly Island.” I wanted to see just how friendly it was, so I prayerfully flew there from Guam on a Saturday afternoon with no prior connections, nowhere to stay and no specific plan at all; but with big expectations of what the Lord would do. No plan, except to listen to the Holy Spirit as best as possible and allow Him to provide a roof over my head and doors for the gospel that I could not open on my own. The Lord aligned things from the beginning, as I met an American girl on my flight who was traveling for her job with the local law enforcement from the island of Saipan. Once we arrived in Rota, she offered me a ride to a hotel in town so I could check the rates. This fortunately meant I did not have to pay an exorbitant amount for a rental car. I checked the rates at two hotels – both reasonably priced, one with an ocean view – but was determined that the Lord was going to provide somewhere for me to stay. So, I put my duffel bag over my shoulder and started walking down a typically quiet street for this island, asking the Lord to lead my steps and provide a “man of peace.” Not five minutes later, a pickup truck pulled up next to me. A middle-aged local man asked, “What are you doing? Do you need a ride?” I told him I was a missionary who had come alone and was hoping someone would take me in, because I did not want to pay for a room. He thought for a moment, then told me to get in the truck, before driving me to a man’s house nearby, to whom he explained the situation. Who was I being introduced to? None other than an evangelical pastor named Tony Reyes (pronounced ree-gis), one of the only evangelical pastors on this tiny island of just 3,000 people, which has just one or two small Protestant churches and very few born again Christians.
Tony was gracious enough to take me in, and a friendship developed between us quickly during my short stay. Tony was temporarily living alone while his wife stayed in Guam due to a medical condition. It became obvious very quickly that he loved this little island and the people of it. He gave me a chance to minister at his small house church on Sunday morning, and took me all over the island to witness to and pray for people he knew. Among those was a Muslim man from Bangladesh. It’s amazing to see the influence of Islam even in some of the world’s most remote island regions. There are some countries/commonwealths in Micronesia that have made it very clear that they are not interested in the Muslim faith at all, but the Northern Mariana Islands is not one of them. Tony had developed a relationship with this man over the years, so he was very welcoming to us. The conversation quickly turned spiritual and a tremendous discussion ensued. He even allowed us to pray for him before we left. Meeting Tony and seeing his heart for this tiny and spiritually-needy island reminded me how strategically God places His people. He truly does have a remnant of Christ-loving, evangelically-minded people all over the earth.
The greatest memory from my time in Rota started in a small Japanese restaurant on a Monday morning. I read online that the NBA Finals between Golden State and Cleveland was going to a seventh and deciding game. Sensing that this could be a classic in the NBA annals, I sought a place to watch the game, which started at 10:30 a.m. local time. During the second quarter, an American guy about my age walked in very proudly, ordered a beer and sat down next to me. We began talking about the game, America and our work. His name was Tillman, a court-appointed defense attorney with a live-in American girlfriend on the nearby island of Saipan, who had traveled alone to Rota for work, just as the girl I met on the plane. In fact, they were working together on a case with some others. As we watched the game, I could feel pride and arrogance just emanating from this guy. His language went from bad to worse, including the repeated use of God’s name in vain. My spirit was becoming deeply grieved by his language. Finally, after another blasphemy, I turned to him and said, “Why do you keep taking God’s name in vain?” He looked at me as sheepish as sheepish could be and said, “I’m sorry. It’s a bad habit.” I said, “It’s blasphemy.” He did not really respond, but was clearly embarrassed and under heavy conviction. I asked him if he believed in God, and he said not really. I then asked him if he wanted to discuss it more, to which he responded that it was a long story. I said, “I have time.” He said, “Maybe later.”
I have learned over the years, particularly through working on the streets, that there are some types of non-believers who need to be directly confronted, even exposed publicly, in their sin. It is for their own good. What types of people fall into this category? Well, let’s look at Jesus with the Pharisees. Take the story of the woman caught in adultery. Those Pharisees tried to publicly embarrass her first, then Him. What did Jesus do? He turned the tables on them by embarrassing them publicly. What was Jesus going after? Their pride and self-righteousness. My belief is that when someone is in such public blatant pride and is making a public mockery of the name of Christ, then, if the Holy Spirit is leading and the situation allows for it, this is fair grounds to turn the tables on that person in defense of our Lord and out of love for that person. Does God need us to defend Him? No. But if we love Him, why wouldn’t we? I have done this countless times in London and seen 1) the conviction of the Holy Spirit followed by 2) a softening of the heart, which leads to 3) a very productive, respectful conversation about the Lord Jesus. Is it really biblical to challenge a non-believer in his sin like this? Read what the Bible says in Proverbs.
“He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” him the people will curse; nations will abhor him. But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.” (Prov. 24:24-25)
From this point forward, everything changed between Tillman and I. He went on to tell me that in his line of work, people always talk like this. He said it’s not an excuse, but just a bad habit. He then told me about the very liberal college that he attended in Washington state which had no grading system. None of this surprised me, but what did surprise me a bit was how humble he became. His language and behavior became much more respectful. We watched the rest of the game together enjoyably, talking basketball and even laughing at times. Since moving to Micronesia, he had become an avid snorkeler. When the hard-fought and memorable game ended so emotionally with LeBron James in tears, hoisting the championship trophy for his hometown team (Come on, admit it, you were at least somewhat happy for the guy. I don’t really even like LeBron, and I was almost in tears.), a bond had really formed between Tillman and I. We both had the rest of the day free, so he invited me snorkeling with him. I had never before snorkeled in my life, but had secretly always wanted to. It turned out to be one of the most amazing recreational experiences of my life. He took me to a remote, private area which is not even know to the public, way out in the beautiful blue-green water. I stood (or swam) in awe of God’s creation underwater (multi-colored fish, rocks and coral), while marveling at His power, which is what brought this whole situation about in the first place. After about an hour of tiring swimming and exploring the Pacific Ocean, Tillman and I found some shade from the blazing sun and spent one more hour finally talking about things that really matter. I shared the gospel message and my testimony with him, including my time at ESPN and being led out of that world to pursue the Lord’s work overseas. He told me his life story, including the resistance that he has always had to organization and authority (hence his choosing that college in Washington state), and the reason for his unbelief. He said many things that I will remember, but probably what will stick with me the most was his telling me that he appreciated my rebuking him for taking God’s name in vain, that he did not have a problem with it. Even if he did, it would not have mattered to me, but it was a welcomed assurance that God’s Spirit is able to convict through very few and simple words and that the law of God, which Tillman had broken so many times as a sinner (as have you and I), is just as powerful today as it has always been. (Remember, the guy is a lawyer, so he’s very familiar with the ins and outs of the natural law.) Read Paul the apostle’s words from the Book of Romans.
“What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.” (Romans 7:7, 12)
After our conversation, Tillman drove me around the island, as we continued to talk about God, life and the beauty of Micronesia. He showed me things I would have never seen were it not for his rental car. That evening, we had dinner together before finally saying goodbye. Truly, a “good blessing” had “come upon” me, as that above verse from Prov. 24 promised. I will probably never see Tillman again, but there are very few evangelical encounters I’ve ever had in my life that I will remember like this one. After all, it basically lasted all day. And what was the catalyst for the whole spiritual discussion? The law of God (a simple defense of one of the Ten Commandments), one of the most misunderstood and seldom preached topics today in modern evangelical Christianity. Sadly, even the mere mention of the law of God has become almost unequivocally associated with legalism in some of today’s most prominent evangelical circles. What would two of the greatest revivalists of all-time think? John Wesley once told a young lay preacher to “preach 90 percent law and 10 percent grace,” while Charles Finney often held two outdoor evangelical meetings in one day. In the early meeting, he would preach nothing but the law. Then, once the people came under heavy conviction, he would tell them to come back later if they would like to hear about grace. It’s been reported that the retention rate of those saved under Finney’s preaching was about 80 percent. In other words, only about 20 percent of those who made professions of faith ever walked away.
Friends, let’s not forget that God is unchanging, that His Word is as powerful today as it has always been, and that, in spite of all the man-made methodologies and carnal ideas that are lining the shelves of our Christian bookstores and filling up our TV airwaves and large conference venues in the name of evangelism today, the use of God’s Law to bring sinners to the mirror of who they really are is often the most biblical and wisest method to pave the way for the gospel of grace and salvation to be presented. Especially for those without Christ who DO NOT SEE THEIR NEED FOR GOD! In an era in history where so many hearts are hardened, so many have their own view of God, people are told that everything is relative, they’re not really sinners, they’re just born this way, be whoever you want to be, etc., etc., remember that God, who gave the Law, did not give up on the barbarous Saul of Tarsus, the most unlikely to ever follow the Lord and write these words one day under grace as the great apostle Paul:
“But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” (Gal. 3:23-25)
In other words, first the law, then faith. Not grace, grace, grace; faith, faith, faith, with no law.
Brothers and sisters, let’s preach the word, the WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD, with wisdom and power, to our friends, our families, our neighbors and our co-workers, and NOT BE ASHAMED to do it! God will empower you. You are not alone. Will some people like it? Of course they won’t. But so what? They didn’t like Jesus for it either. He is our model, not the “American dream” or “your best life now.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve just about had enough of this 21st century plastic, fake, man-controlled, watered-down foolishness. Much of what we hear and read today in modern evangelical preaching, books and conferences you will find absolutely zero biblical backing for, especially in the Book of Acts. These are the ideas and precepts of carnal men, many of whom are driven by love of their own names, ministries, denominations and buildings, and most of all, by money. The hour is too late for us NOT to follow God’s ways of doing things. America is headed for hell faster than any of us realize, and without a love for the truth, we are on an unavoidable one-way road there with no possibility of turning around. God will reward you richly on that great day for upholding His Word and His great Name, even as you do it “with persecutions” (Mark 10:30).
Living only by His grace,