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Alex Murashko

Reporter and section editor for The Christian Post.

Posted 11/16/15 at 6:36 PM | Alex Murashko

Former Meth-Making Addict Shares Story of Restoration, Love For Helping Men at Homes of Promise

(Photo: Alex Murashko)
Sal Perez escaped a lifestyle of addiction and drug manufacturing to serve others seeking help and restoration from bad choices, (Nov. 15, 2015)

LA VERNE, Calif. – Looking at recovery home manager Sal Perez for the first time I sense an aura around him that can only be described as love.

I tell myself that there’s no way that this 56-year-old man, born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley, could have ever had a bad bone in his body. However, Sal is living a life transformed. He’ll tell you that in the past, as a methamphetamine addict that manufactured the drug to feed his habit, he intimidated people – he wanted to be bad.

It’s a Friday night at Izzy’s Place, and almost immediately I realize there’s something more to this recovery home than men simply trying to kick alcohol and drugs. Sal is smiling ear-to-ear as he greets new people and gives nods and hugs to others. FULL POST

Posted 10/23/15 at 11:17 AM | Alex Murashko

Plans For Izzy's Place to Model Christ-Centered Recovery Homes Nationwide

LA VERNE, Calif. – Homes of Promise, a recovery home organization using Christian principles in order to help restore lives, held its first HOP Leadership Community meeting recently in order to bring people together who are interested in coming alongside the non-profit.

Bridge of hope and restoration.

Founder Ray Adamyk wants to see more churches and ministries in the U.S. support Christ-centered recovery homes, including providing a program that’s already become successful in Izzy’s Place locations in La Verne and Ontario.

“Homes of Promise is really in the restoration business,” said Adamyk, speaking to about 40 people in attendance. “We want to help restore men’s lives to what God had originally intended for them to be.”

HOP believes true recovery from problems such as drug addiction and alcohol abuse is achieved through the love of Jesus and his active presence in men’s lives. The organization provides a safe, sober and Christ-centered housing environment for those who want to live with others who have a desire to look to Jesus Christ for guidance and direction on the road to recovery. FULL POST

Posted 9/29/15 at 11:54 PM | Alex Murashko

He Battled Demonic Forces in Punk Rock Scene Then Jesus Brought Deliverance

Without hesitation, Pat “Nobody” Taylor will tell you that he is more than grateful to have escaped the infamous Orange County punk scene sprouted in the late 70s’ and early 80s’.

Raised as a Catholic in Fullerton, Taylor said he knew the difference between right and wrong at an early age.

Yet, at 14 years old, he found himself smack dab in the middle of a music-based movement that included promoting a lifestyle of chaos and rebellion against all structure.

In front of a McDonald’s across from Fullerton High School, he met and became friends with Richard Francis “Rikk” Agnew, Jr., a member of some of the most influential bands of the Orange County hardcore punk genre, as well as the “deathrock” band Christian Death. As a member of the Adolescents and as a solo artist Agnew is considered one of the best guitarists in the Southern California hardcore punk scene. FULL POST

Posted 9/21/15 at 5:30 PM | Alex Murashko

Nineteen Years Ago, I had a Moment of Clarity, Surrender, and the Beginning of a Changed Life

It was 19 years ago that it occurred to me during a flashbulb moment that my way of doing life wasn't working too well. A marriage that was short lived, a personal bankruptcy, and a third obvious problem, I was uncomfortable in my own skin.

I reasoned that I had three strikes against me, and in baseball terms, I had struck out. It was a "moment of surrender." It was at that point that I began on an amazing journey and I have never been the same.

Two years into sobriety, I still was in a lot of mental and emotional pain and turmoil. Then, I began to seek help seriously. I went to church. Out of the blue, a man behind the Celebrate Recovery info table at Saddleback Church asked me if I "knew Jesus." I said I don't know if I do or don't (I had prayed with someone over the phone previously but wasn't sure if "it took") and he asked me if I'd like to pray. I did and it was if the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I could feel the change physically as well. I knew I was headed down a new path. FULL POST

Posted 9/16/15 at 11:05 AM | Alex Murashko

Interview: ‘Captive’ True Story of How God Shows Up For Murderer and Meth Addict When Lives Intersect

The makers of Captive say the film based on the true story of the hostage situation in which the lives of murderer Brian Nichols and recovering meth addict Ashley Smith intersect in 2005 shows how “God chooses to show up” in times of crisis.


“Ashley had an addiction problem. Brian Nichols was a murderer. It’s a messy situation and it’s in the middle of that messy situation that God chooses to show up,” producer Terry Botwick told Over Time News.

In early 2005, Smith, a widowed mother who had lost custody of her daughter, was struggling to get past her addiction and find her purpose in life. On March 12, Nichols, an escaped convict, held her at gunpoint in her own apartment for seven hours. FULL POST

Posted 8/30/15 at 7:10 PM | Alex Murashko

Crowd of 45,000 at Harvest So Cal Saturday Includes Family Tailgating For Jesus

(Photo: Harvest Events)

Thirty members of the Canizalez family arrived early to Angel Stadium to BBQ hamburgers under a pop-up tent, enjoy each other’s company, and later settle-in to listen to the worship music and message by Greg Laurie at SoCal Harvest.

Sergio said he felt led by the Holy Spirit to invite his family. They carpooled from Chula Vista, just north of the Mexico border. Prior to the event, his excitement built as he prayed for those in his family that have not yet accepted Jesus.

Sergio, who attends Calvary Chapel San Diego, said he is excited to share the Lord with people and knows that time is short.

After a Facebook posting by Harvest of the story, a friend commented that one of the young family members recommitted his life to Jesus that night. This "good news" is just one of many from the 3-day Harvest So Cal event that ends Sunday evening.

Greg Laurie posted on social media about Saturday:

Tonight was one of the largest responses to an invitation in the history of our ministry.We had 45,000 people in attendance and we saw 4,670 people respond to the invitation to commit or recommit their lives to Jesus Christ.
What can I say, but to God be the Glory!

On the web:

Posted 8/20/15 at 1:28 PM | Alex Murashko

Megachurch Equips Leaders, Core Volunteers at First Ever Rockbridge Seminary Conference

Photo: Rockbridge Seminary
Tom Holladay speaks during Rockbridge Conference themed "Equipping Your Calling" held at Saddleback Church Irvine South on Aug. 15, 2015.

IRVINE, Calif. – Organizers of the first Rockbridge Seminary Conference say they hope other megachurches will see the benefit of hosting an event such as the one held last Saturday (August 15) aimed at equipping its core volunteers to advance into trained leadership positions. The conference featured plenary sessions and workshops which helped attendees find training to meet their specific interests.

Rockbridge Seminary partnered with Saddleback’s Irvine South location to raise awareness about the online accredited, degree-granting institution, explain the benefits of seminary education and to help show the steps towards developing servant leaders for Christian ministry. The advantage of the online seminary is that students can have learning experiences that allow them to study and practice without leaving their ministry field, according to the seminary. FULL POST

Posted 6/26/15 at 11:04 AM | Alex Murashko

US Supreme Court Redefines Marriage; BREAKING NEWS: REACTION

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Friday in Obergefell v. Hodges that prevents states from affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman in their laws:

“The Supreme Court has stripped all Americans of our freedom to debate and decide marriage policy through the democratic process,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell, director of the ADF Center for Marriage and Family. “The freedom to democratically address the most pressing social issues of the day is the heart of liberty. The court took that freedom from the people and overrode the considered judgment of tens of millions of Americans who recently reaffirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The court cast aside the understanding of marriage’s nature and purpose that diverse cultures and faiths across the globe have embraced for millennia.” FULL POST

Posted 6/19/15 at 9:10 PM | Alex Murashko

Charleston Rising: The Family That Love Built


After the horrific church shooting in Charleston, many are calling for Christians to start carrying weapons to church. One GOP Presidential candidate, pastor Mike Huckabee even said, “It sounds crass, but frankly the best way to stop a bad person with a gun is to have a good person with a weapon that is equal or superior to the one that he’s using.”

Editor's Note: Keith Giles is an author, blogger and freelance copywriter in Orange County, California. Giles writes on his blog: WHAT IS SUBVERSIVE? It’s a systematic overthrow of one system or power by those working from within. Jesus said the Kingdom of God was immediately accessible to all who follow Him. This is the Gospel message. This is subversive.

While we can applaud Huckabee’s conscience for admitting how crass his statement sounds, we must also point out how decidedly anti-Christian it is, too. FULL POST

Posted 6/12/15 at 3:12 PM | Alex Murashko

‘Limbless Evangelist’ Nick Vujicic’s West Coast ‘Stand Strong’ Tour Makes Orange County Stop

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. – “Limbless evangelist” Nick Vujicic continues giving the message he has already told millions of people throughout the world – that a life can be lived without limits despite the greatest of odds against you. He is scheduled to speak at Crossline Community Church on Saturday (June 13 at 6:30 pm).

“Think of all the people who need to hear this message,” said ministry leaders on “The student who gets taunted and pushed around because he’s different. The teenager who writes a note about why she wants to end her life. The wounded veteran who struggles to pay rent as he searches for work. The single mom who feels like she has nothing left to give.”

Vujicic is coming to the end of his West Coast tour of “Stand Strong – Living Life Without Limits” in Orange County on Saturday and Newbury Park on Sunday. The events can be seen livestreamed on the web at FULL POST

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