Reporter and section editor for The Christian Post.
Posted 9/29/15 at 11:54 PM | Alex Murashko
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
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
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
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: harvest.org
Posted 8/20/15 at 1:28 PM | Alex Murashko
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
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
By KEITH GILES
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
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 livinglifewithoutlimbs.org. “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 lifewithoutlimbs.tv. FULL POST
Posted 6/9/15 at 3:30 PM | Alex Murashko
Ted is shown a little extra grace when his language becomes a bit too salty.
After all, the Vietnam vet shows up without fault every Sunday morning to help setup and participate in our ministry that cooks and serves breakfast and “does church” inside the carport of a low-rent motel.
Ministry leaders simply roll their eyes with an occasional and loving: “Now, Ted!”
It’s been two years since I’ve met Ted at the Santa Ana, California, motel that’s on the city’s police watch list for drug selling, prostitution, and theft. Ted sees a lot as a resident of the motel since 2001 and he’s not shy about sharing “what’s really going on.” He loves to talk.
There’s grace shown there, too.
I was surprised to learn one recent Sunday that when I asked Ted if I could interview him on camera, he not only whole heartedly agreed, but showed how serious he was about serving in the ministry. FULL POST
Posted 6/3/15 at 12:07 PM | Alex Murashko
LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Pastor Rick Warren ended his 11-week sermon series, “Daring Faith,” by announcing over the weekend that members of his Southern California-based megachurch had pledged $70 million towards a fundraising campaign by the same name.
“I have said this over and over, and you need to believe me,” said Warren during a Saturday evening worship service at the 20,000-member church in Lake Forest, California. “There is no more generous church than Saddleback Church. This is the most unselfish giving church on the planet earth. Nobody gives more to help the poor. Nobody gives more to care for the sick, to reach the lost than this church.”
The announcement was made by Warren as large “light cubes” representing $1 million each were stacked on top of each other to help illustrate the magnitude of the financial giving. FULL POST