*Megachurch pastor Wiley Jackson has been charged with six counts of violating Georgia securities laws, says CBS Atlanta.
A DeKalb County grand jury handed down the indictment against Jackson and his brother, Rodney Jackson, for an investment scheme that began a decade ago.
According to DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James, the leader of Gospel Tabernacle Church recruited members to buy shares in an unregistered company called Genesis, LLC. James said neither brother was licensed by the state to sell securities.
“Some people lost a lot of money,” said James.
CBS Atlanta News first reported on the alleged investment scheme in 2010, when two investors accused their former pastor of taking thousands of dollars.
According to the indictment, Abbey Shanks of Locust Grove lost $10,000 when she invested in Genesis in 2002.
Read the full story at CBS Atlanta.
*Stuff Christians Say” obviously struck a nerve; it has racked up tens of thousands of views on YouTube and hundreds of thousands on GodTube, says CP blogger Tim Challies.
Two guys hop between various locations while offering a long list of “stuff Christians say,” those words and phrases distinct to Christianity. “God thing,” “secular music,” “my testimony,” “traveling mercies”—they are all here. It’s appropriate satire because it rings true. As Christians we can become oblivious to the fact that we have developed a lexicon all our own.
“Stuff Christians Say” got me thinking about not only the little words we use, but the big ones, the theological descriptors. I have often encountered articles telling us that we should avoid using big and unusual words to describe what we believe. The “-ologies” should be avoided—soteriology, eschatology and Christology. So too should the words that are used almost exclusively by Christians—propitiation, sanctification, hermeneutics. After all, what could be more seeker-unfriendly than inviting a person to church and then using words that have no meaning to him? Won’t this make that visitor feel like an outsider?
It seems to me that there are at least two varieties of words in the Christian lexicon, those that are trite and those that are specific. “God thing” is a trite phrase that has no objective meaning and there is not much to lose if we never use it again. “Propitiation” is a very precise term that has a distinct meaning. It is this second category that I believe we need to hold on to and we need to hold on to such words without shame. We impoverish ourselves when we lose these words. We impoverish ourselves if we never learn and teach these words.
Check out the full post here at the Christian Post.
*Could you forgive someone who took a loved one from you?
How could you even begin to go about forgiving them for what they have done? After forgiveness, could you be friends with this person? One New York man has done just that.
Anthony Colon lost his older brother tragically. He received the news that his brother had been shot to death in East Harlem, which was tragic for him, since he loved his older brother so much. He was angry. He remained angry for years. It took control of his life and wore him down. His brother had been unarmed when three men fired 13 rounds into his body.
Colon said that the hate and anger he felt made him hate everything. He said he hated life and everyone in it. It turned him into a monster, a shell of the person he once was. He missed his brother who had stood up for him and stood by him no matter what.
As the years went on, the anger finally wore down and Colon began to reclaim his life. He ended up getting married and having two children. He turned to religion for solace. He began to have a strong feeling that he needed to reconcile with his brother’s killer, he just wanted everything to be okay again.
Read/learn more at KCTV5.
*Ray Lewis is a legendary linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League, says Black Christian News. He is considered to be one of the best linebackers of his era.
Lewis is also a follower of Jesus Christ, and his commitment to his faith was featured in a Sports Illustrated cover story in 2006. During an interview with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he said:
“God is always God. It is only us that waver and go down wrong roads and do foolish things. And there are somethings in life that you have to deal with, and you have to go through some things to get to God.”
He believes that Christians should be about sharing faith, hope and love in every arena of life, and says that his faith inspires him to pray, read the Bible with, and give advice and encouragement to younger players so that they won’t make the same mistakes he made.
During a recent game, he reminded his teammates that “No weapon formed against them shall prosper and that no man can stop what God can already destined.” His favorite scripture is Psalm 91 because it reminds him that “God is everything you need.” His love for God is evidenced in his charitable work providing personal and economic assistance to disadvantaged youth. He says, “to love God completes you as a man.
Read the full story at Black Christian News.
Steffanie Rivers and her mother, Gwen Rivers
*Miraculously, and by the grace of God if you’re reading this, we’ve made it to yet another year.
Despite the fact that to many, 2012 brought illness, death, heart break, heart ache, loneliness, insecurities, disappointments of unfilled dreams and/or expectations; and the realization of the little known fact that some individuals really do come into our lives only to serve a particular purpose. When their designated assignment is completed, oddly enough, continued ongoing interaction with these individuals eventually drops off the radar and all too soon they ease their way out of our lives and move on.
It seems like only yesterday that we were introduced to the year 2000 and then suddenly and without warning, it was 2010, 2011, and then we got used to saying “2012”. Sadly, many of our loved ones and friends made it right up to the New Year and suddenly (for some) and expected (for others) those that they cared for were gone leaving only memories behind. We showed our human-ism when we prayed and asked God for His mercy to allow them to stay a while longer. . . no matter their medical condition or quality of life expectation. We showed our human side when we sat by their bedsides day in and day out and witnessed their pain, the countless pain-killing drugs they were given, and even the occasional periods of hallucination when they did not even recognize those of us holding vigilance at their bedside. Finally, we showed our humanity when we no longer wanted them to continue to suffer or lay there near comatose hour after hour with no hope of improvement. Although torn between desperately wanting them to stay with us and not willing to let them go, somewhere between wanting and willing, reluctantly, we gave in to the will of The Almighty. Yes, even in death there is dignity and each in our own way, we’ve given the sick in body and those pain-wracked souls permission to, mercifully, cross over.
So here we are at the onset of the year 2013. The future is here, it is ours, and so are the choices we make. We can make this year the absolute best ever as we make an effort to interact with our fellowmen in only positive ways; as we respect each other and in turn gain respect; and as we extend love and compassion to all and not think of either as a given. Still I wonder, where on earth did the time go?
Guest columnist Gwen Rivers is a published book author living in Knoxville, TN. For questions or comments email her at email@example.com