PODCAST: Kanye West to Attend Service at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church (UCNN 11.11.19)

According to The Houston Chronicle, Kanye West will attend service at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church on Sunday, Donald Iloff, Jr., a representative for the church confirmed. West is scheduled to have a 15-to-20-minute conversation with Osteen at the 11 a.m. service. “Joel is still putting his questions together, but he will talk about Kanye’s journey to his faith,” Iloff said. Kanye will take to the pulpit a second time Sunday to perform with his choir at the 7 p.m. service. The idea for West’s visit came about over the weekend, while the rapper was in town to perform at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival, Iloff said. “Kanye and Joel are friends. He’s been wanting to come out for some time and it just worked out for this weekend.”

According to Baptist Press, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., received a record $5.1 million in a single day for Great Commission causes, collected to honor outgoing senior pastor Bryant Wright and his wife Anne for 38 years of service. Receipts will be divided among the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board and the church’s ministry budget, said Clay Smith, Johnson Ferry’s incoming senior pastor. “I am speechless,” Smith said of the $5,104,848.09 offering received Nov. 3. “I’m a younger pastor, and we are new to the church. We have never participated in anything quite like this.” The church voted Aug. 4 to call Smith to succeed Wright, who is the founding pastor of the nearly 40-year-old church in an Atlanta suburb. Smith preached his first sermon Sept. 1 as incoming senior pastor. “This is giving with very little strings attached,” Smith said. “It isn’t tied to a building campaign or a specific capital project. It is giving as an act of worship to reach people around the world with the Gospel.” Not only will the offering be used to further the Great Commission around the world, Smith and Wright also hope it will motivate churches to set similar record-setting goals for their mission offerings this year. J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, thanked Johnson Ferry for its leadership and the example it has set for fellow Southern Baptists. “D.L. Moody famously said that the world had yet to see what God could do through one man fully surrendered to Him,” Greear said. “I believe the world has yet to see what God can do through one congregation fully submitted to Him, too. While the amount of money the people of Johnson Ferry gave is inspiring, what it represents about the surrender of their hearts to the Great Commission is even more so. I am grateful for their leadership and pray that many more of us will follow in their footsteps of putting the mission of Jesus first in our hearts,” Greear said.

According to Charisma News, Former pastor James MacDonald issued a lengthy public apology recently titled “My Repentance” and announced his new position as preacher/teacher at a Chicago megachurch. In his Facebook statement signed by him and his wife, Kathy, MacDonald confessed to a “regression into sinful patterns of fleshly anger and self pity that wounded co-workers and others.” He also says he was and still is “very sorry for the careless and hurtful words that were illegally recorded and publicized.” The former pastor of megachurch Harvest Bible Chapel was fired earlier this year after vulgar comments he made were recorded and aired on a radio show. Chicago radio personality Mancow Muller played clips of a man who sounded like MacDonald discussing putting child pornography on the computer of Christianity Today CEO Harold Smith. The comments also included claims that Christianity Today Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli was having an affair with reporter Julie Roys. In May, MacDonald filed for arbitration with the church through Institute for Christian Conciliation over his firing and ownership of the church’s ministry Walk in the Word. In a statement released Sunday, Nov. 3, Harvest Bible Chapel elders publicly declared that MacDonald was no longer fit for ministry. Elders said he tried to profit from the church and had a “pattern of improperly exercising positional and spiritual authority over others to his own advantage.”

According to the Daily Mail, McDonald’s chief executive officer has been ousted following the revelation that he’d engaged in a sexual relationship with an employee. In a statement Sunday evening, the fast food giant said former president and CEO Steve Easterbrook had demonstrated poor judgment in violating a company policy that forbids managers from having romantic relationships with direct or indirect subordinates. Easterbrook acknowledged he had a relationship with an unnamed employee in an email to staff, calling it a ‘mistake’. ‘Given the values of the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on,’ he wrote. McDonald’s board of directors voted for Easterbrook’s departure on Friday after conducting a thorough review. Details about his relationship have not been disclosed. Easterbrook, a divorcé and father-of-three from Watford, United Kingdom, joined the company in 1993 and has been chief executive since March 2015. Under his leadership the company’s shares nearly doubled in value while sales at its US locations stagnated. Details of Easterbrook’s severance package will be released Monday in a federal filing, according to a company spokesperson.

According to the Associated Press, President Donald Trump’s former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, alleges in her upcoming memoir that two administration officials who were ultimately pushed out by Trump once tried to get her to join them in opposing some of his policies. In “With All Due Respect,” Haley said then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and then-White House chief of staff John Kelly told her that they were trying to “save the country.” Haley writes that she was “shocked” by the request, made during a closed-door meeting, and thought they were only trying to put their own imprint on his policies. “Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country,” Haley wrote. “It was their decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interests of America, they said. The president didn’t know what he was doing. … Tillerson went on to tell me the reason he resisted the president’s decisions was because, if he didn’t, people would die.” The former South Carolina governor said the meeting lasted more than an hour and that they never raised the issue to her again. “Instead of saying that to me, they should’ve been saying that to the president, not asking me to join them on their sidebar plan,” Haley wrote. “It should’ve been, ‘Go tell the president what your differences are, and quit if you don’t like what he’s doing.’ But to undermine a president is really a very dangerous thing. And it goes against the Constitution, and it goes against what the American people want. And it was offensive.” Haley’s book comes out Tuesday.

According to Reuters, Walt Disney Co’s long-awaited debut in the streaming media wars on Tuesday was hit with technical glitches that the company said were caused by higher-than-expected demand as it takes on rival Netflix Inc. It was unclear how many people successfully signed up and how many had difficulty accessing the $7-a-month Disney+, which features roughly 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes from the company’s deep family entertainment catalog as well as new programming. “The consumer demand for Disney+ has exceeded our highest expectations. … we are aware of the current user issues and are working to swiftly resolve them,” Disney said in a statement. Some people who tried to access the service were greeted by an image of Mickey Mouse on a blue screen, with a message asking them to exit the app and try again. Many others had trouble finding the Disney+ app in Apple’s App Store. “While it’s easy to focus on the temporary problems, there’s no doubt that this also shows an enormous demand for Disney’s services,” said Clement Thibault, an analyst at financial markets platform Investing.com. “Big launches often have their hiccups when consumers are fighting to be the first to have a given service.”

According to Yahoo News, Singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding is threatening to cancel her halftime appearance at the Cowboys-Bills game on Thanksgiving Day over her newfound concerns about the Salvation Army. The halftime show annually kicks off the charitable organization’s Red Kettle Campaign, and this year’s performance is scheduled to air nationally on CBS. The Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game often ranks as the NFL’s most-viewed regular-season game. An Instagram post made by Goulding on Tuesday morning, showing her helping at a Salvation Army center in New York, prompted critics of the Salvation Army to respond. While the post has almost 67,000 likes six hours later, some questioned Goulding’s support of the Salvation Army, which they accused of trans and homophobia. Goulding, announced as the performer last Thursday, then made a demand of the Salvation Army. “Upon researching this, I have reached out to The Salvation Army and said that I would have no choice but to pull out unless they very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community,” she wrote on social media, via the Dallas Morning News. “I am a committed philanthropist as you probably know, and my heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do. Thank you for drawing my attention to this.” The Cowboys have hosted the Red Kettle Kickoff show since 1997, with the campaign raising more than $2.4 billion, according to the team’s media guide. The funds support Christmas toys for children in need as well as social service programs throughout the year.

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “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 so much for listening and may God bless your day!