LISTEN: TD Jakes rebukes suicide spirit from John Gray; Jazmine Barnes’ death case of mistaken identity (BCNN1, 01/08/19)

According to Christian Post, Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, rebuked a spirit of suicide from fellow megachurch Pastor John Gray on Saturday, just days after Gray revealed he had been contemplating suicide. In a recording of his sermon to his church on New Year’s Eve, Gray said, “I literally thought about how I could end my life and still get to Heaven and somehow my kids would not be scarred but there was no way I could figure out how to do it. And I’m not the only person that thought about that. I’m not the only person the devil attacked in that area.”

According to CNN, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said on Sunday that the death of a 7-year-old girl in a drive-by shooting in Houston was most likely a case of “mistaken identity” involving two suspects, one of whom is in police custody. Jazmine Barnes was riding in a car with her mother and sisters on December 30 when someone in another vehicle shot her in the head. Eric Black Jr. was arrested Saturday in a traffic stop for not using his turn signal. He is accused of driving the car used in Jazmine’s death and faces a charge of capital murder. The sheriff declined to name the second person or say if the person was in police custody.

According to Christian Post, Pastor Rich Nathan of Vineyard Columbus has announced that in two years time he will hand over the leadership of the church and move on to a new position. Nathan, who leads one of Ohio’s largest megachurches with an average weekly attendance of close to 8,000 people, explained on his website that he wants to make sure people don’t mistake the announcement for any suggestion that he is retiring from ministry.

According to Christian Post, The persecution of Christians around the world is expected to increase in 2019, with a watchdog group sharing particular concern for believers in Nigeria, China, and India. Release International, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, said in a press release that 215 million believers face violence and discrimination for their faith.

According to Baptist Press, Ronnie Floyd, president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, has introduced a new quarterly magazine, PRAY. While PRAY will seek to “encourage and equip Christians in how to pray more effectively,” Floyd noted to Baptist Press that “it is also published for men and women who lead local church prayer ministries.” Floyd said the National Day of Prayer publication “is just one tool we are using to mobilize unified public prayer for America.”

According to The Sun, Michelle Obama is being hotly tipped for the 2020 Presidential race with her global book tour helping spike approval ratings. However, she has denied wanting to follow in the footsteps of her husband Barack. Her memoir Becoming has topped the bestseller list since being published in November, and her live appearances sold out in minutes. Some polls are rating the Democrat above Donald Trump in the eyes of American voters.

According to The Associated Press, a powerful winter storm unleashed mudslides in Southern California wildfire burn areas and trapped motorists on a major highway, and the northern part of the state braced for more wet weather. Saturday’s deluge loosened hillsides where a major blaze burned last year in and around Malibu, clogging the Pacific Coast Highway with mud and debris. A stretch of the scenic route northwest of Los Angeles was expected to remain closed in both directions while crews tow away stuck vehicles and clear lanes. No injuries were reported.

According to The Associated Press, Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshippers plunged into icy rivers and lakes across Bulgaria on Sunday to recover crucifixes cast by priests in ceremonies commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ. Tradition holds that the person who retrieves the wooden cross will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy throughout the year. After the cross is fished out, the priest sprinkles believers with water using a bunch of basil. Epiphany is held every year on Jan. 6 and marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas.

According to the Associated Press, The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople on Sunday presented a decree of independence to the head of the nascent Orthodox Church of Ukraine, formally severing it from the Russian Orthodox Church. In Istanbul, Patriarch Bartholomew I presented the Tomos, a scroll containing the decree, in a symbolic ceremony sanctifying the Ukrainian church’s independence. He signed the decree a day earlier. Until the decree, the Orthodox church in Ukraine that was a branch of the Russian church was considered legitimate and two others in Ukraine were regarded as schismatic. The new church unites the two formerly schismatic bodies.

According to Christian Post, The U.S. House of Representatives, now controlled by a Democratic majority, has voted to end a 181-year-old rule banning religious headwear. The House voted 234-197 on Thursday, which comes in the wake of the election of its first two female Muslim members. The newly revised rule still bans headwear of the nonreligious kind, and reads: “During the session of the House, a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not wear nonreligious headdress or a hat or remain by the Clerk’s desk during the call of the roll or the counting of ballots.”

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks for listening and may God bless your day!