Alex Wire

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Posted 7/13/12 at 10:45 AM | Alex Murashko

When Good News Makes the Front Page

Sure there's yesterday's Joe Paterno slash Jerry Sandusky story. There's also your usual scandal, political jockeying, and crime infestation fare tailor-made to fill your every readable device.

But that's not the only news "fit to print" from media outlets throughout the world – there's good news, too.

Take for example my story published Friday about a small church in Mississippi that decided to give 100% of their tithes and offerings for a year to the less fortunate. They were able to help those who not only needed a hand out to get them through a tough season, but a hand up.

Traceway Baptist Church in Clinton knew who really needed help – they prayed and consulted each other. They walked with them. However, Pastor John Richardson told me that not every act of generosity was met with a walk in grace. There were disappointments.

Still, we may never fully see the full picture of the church's one-year project (planned to be done again every 7 years) until much later, if ever. FULL POST

Posted 7/10/12 at 10:44 AM | Alex Murashko

Jesus as a Write-In and Military Censorship

Two important stories out today.

While it may seem more of a joke to some, an Internet evangelist is serious about his campaign to have Christians write-in the name of Jesus this coming election for president. Be sure to read for the reaction by a political science college professor advocating that Christians elevate the political dialogue. (full story)

It is my absolute pleasure any time I talk to Chaplain (Col. USAR retired) Ron Crews, executive director for the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, for a story. Find out his thoughts on how things have been with the military since the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) less than a year ago. Is the U.S. Department of Defense censoring those opposed to the new gay policies? (full story) FULL POST

Posted 7/5/12 at 2:15 PM | Alex Murashko

'Hope for America' by Harvest Worship Band (MUSIC VIDEO)

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. - 2 Chroncicles 7:14

This from Greg Laurie and Harvest America: The much-anticipated music video from the Harvest Worship Band is finally here. Watch the "Hope for America" video now. You can also download it for your own audio library, and send it to others. Visit http://harvestamerica.com/resources/hope-for-america-mp3-download.html for more information.

YouTube video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_PDndoPECQ

Posted 7/4/12 at 10:12 AM | Alex Murashko

The Greatest Freedom

The disciples were astounded. "Then who in the world can be saved?" they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible." - Matthew 19:25,26

I love America. I love the freedom we are offered here. However, where do I believe my greatest freedom comes from?

It comes from my relationship with the Lord.

I stopped inside my local AM-PM store for coffee this 4th of July morning and as I prepared to pay, my cashier friend said, "No beer, no party?"

I answered, "No beer, but I will party!"

i.e., Party as in a joyful celebration of life knowing God is in control and I have freedom in Him! No mind altering substances needed.

Someone standing next to the clerk was listening in and looking at me, and I said, "I haven't had a drink in 17-plus years." And I left it at that, but should have added, "But for the grace of God go I!"

Because of His grace, I'm not in bondage to alcohol and so many other problems...big and small. And if I find myself caught in sin, I can give it up to Him. I surrender not to the sin, but to the One who died for our sins.

Is it always easy? No. We live in a fallen world with plenty of temptations. Our fleshly desires can be, at times, a seemingly constant battle. But there is one who can save you now! FULL POST

Posted 7/2/12 at 9:11 PM | Alex Murashko

Colorado Firefighters: When Duty Calls (PHOTO)

imgur

It seems a firefighter's life isn't always as romantic as often portrayed in the movies. Thank you to all the firefighters in the U.S. for fighting the fight!

Posted 7/1/12 at 2:00 PM | Alex Murashko

Colorado Springs, SCOTUS, and LA's Homeless

(Photo: On a Wing and a Prayer Ministry)

I'm struck by how rich Los Angeles is... and how poor.

An estimated 51,000 in LA County are without a home and sleeping in a park, an abandoned building, on a sidewalk, or if they are fortunate, a shelter.

I talked to Brenda Wilson this week about the shelter she runs, New Image. It's LA's largest emergency overnight homeless shelter.

I could hear the emotion in Brenda's voice as she talked about the hundreds and thousands of women in LA who suffer out on the streets unimaginable horrors. Her shelter can't hold them all, but if it was at all possible, she would wrap her loving arms around all of them.

New Image is in a financial crunch and needs money now.

Before writing the story of New Image, I talked to another person who's compassion I could hear through their voice. Scott Evans, president of Outreach, Inc., moved his family and business to Colorado Springs the same week the most devastating wildfire in Colorado history hit the area. FULL POST

Posted 6/28/12 at 9:24 PM | Alex Murashko

Obamacare: When Steve McQueen Took a Back Seat

There we were in the middle of our daily editorial newsroom teleconference chat when somehow, someway movie legend Steve McQueen's name came up.

Nevermind that we were in the middle of news lead analysis or that SCOTUS was about to render a decision on Obamacare... we were talkin' Steve McQueen.

"Who knows who Steve McQueen is?" ... the question was asked, aimed primarily at the millennials among us.

I waited a few seconds, but had to say it, "The Great Escape!" That's where every good conversation about McQueen should start ... a movie with one of the most memorable scenes ever. Paled in comparison to the "stunts" of today, but the bike-over-the-barbed-wire-fence scene was of epic, ground-breaking thrills at the time (btw I'm not a millennial).

We talked a few more moments about Steve as I Googled to find the bike he used in the movie and a YouTube clip of "the scene"... and then, all of a sudden, the announcement was made... Obamacare was upheld by SCOTUS. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, we were off and running. FULL POST

Posted 6/27/12 at 11:11 AM | Alex Murashko

Colorado Springs: Waldo Canyon Fire Turns Monster Overnight, Christians Respond

(Photo: AP/The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)

Last night on Twitter, my friend and apologetics expert Lee Strobel asked for prayer for his community – a huge chunk of the Colorado Springs area was in a firestorm of epic proportions.

I began to follow the Waldo Canyon Fire (#waldocanyonfire) not only on Twitter, but at The Gazette and live local TV news feeds.

Twitter was soon lit up with prayer requests from residents of the area and from loved ones around the world.

The Gazette wrote this morning under its live blog:

Residents of Colorado Springs are waking up – if they slept at all – to a new city Wednesday. And it’s not a pretty sight. FULL POST

Posted 6/24/12 at 1:55 PM | Alex Murashko

Mustard Seed Faith: 'Sail On Sailor' at Chuck Smith Tribute [VIDEO]

I had the opportunity to catch one of the concerts from the "Jesus Lead On" concert series at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa on Saturday night. Performers included the group Mustard Seed Faith and the Altar Billies. Also, Kendra Martin and Michael Sewell performed.

Several Christian artists and bands whose music played a key role during the Jesus Movement in the U.S. in the '60s and '70s are honoring Pastor Chuck Smith by performing the concert series at churches in Southern California this month.

It was truly a blessing to be there and soak it in. Also, great to meet Mustard Seed Faith worship band member Oden Fong in person after previously interviewing him on the phone.

Read the full story about the concert series here.

YouTube video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxQUTm7Sdx0

Posted 6/24/12 at 10:52 AM | Alex Murashko

Sobering Thoughts on Jerry Sandusky Story

(Photo: Reuters/Pat Little)

Can we afford to turn a blind eye towards evil?

We need look no further than this weekend’s headlines to find the answer.

Jerry Sandusky on suicide watch after being found guilty of child sex abuse

Sandusky Son With Troubled Past Went From Ally to Accuser

Jerry Sandusky case raised awareness of child sexual abuse

It was extremely sobering for me to hear on Friday evening that the former Penn State football assistant had been found guilty on 45 of the 48 counts against him involving sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period.

I had pushed this story to the back of my mind, maybe even out of my mind since it began sometime before Sandusky’s arrest last November. I don’t know exactly why, other than maybe I simply didn't want to process something so gruesome. However, the news of the guilty verdicts pushed some thoughts about the story to the forefront of my mind.

It’s not always easy to recognize evil. I’m not defending or accusing anyone – just astonished at how much damage the devil can do when given a foothold in someone’s life, in someone’s family, in someone’s friends, in someone’s place of employment… in someone’s community.

FULL POST

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