PODCAST: John Gray and Relentless Church Are Served Eviction Notice (BCNN1 12.06.19)

According to sources, It is barely almost two years to the exact day that John Gray publicly announced he was leaving his role as associate pastor of Lakewood Church to take over as pastor of the popular Redemption Church in Greenville, South Carolina, at the request of its founding pastor Ron Carpenter Jr, in December 2017, and it already appears the church’s future is uncertain with him at the helm. According to a new report by Larry Reid of Larry Reid Live, John Gray and Redemption Church, which Gray renamed Relentless Church upon becoming senior pastor, have been issued a notice of eviction from their place of worship for non-payment of a lease agreement. After recapping the unfortunate drama, sin, mistakes and missteps that have taken over the headlines since Gray’s appointment, Reid stated the following: “Now this is what has happened: They have not paid the $26,000 per month. As of November 26th, 2019, John Gray and the Relentless Church have been evicted. I’ll repeat it: John Gray and the Relentless Church have been evicted for non-payment of a lease agreement and running the church’s reputation and the money into a hole. This happened November 27th. They must be out of the church by December 31st. This is [absolutely] ridiculous.” A pastoral succession situation that started out with much promise and blessing is slowly turning out to be what some perceive to be a disaster. Pray for the pastors and congregation involved.

According to NBC News, Fifty years isn’t long enough to keep the tears from welling up in Melvin Hamilton’s eyes, eventually spilling onto his face and rolling down his cheeks. He’s usually a cheerful guy. But the peaceful sunroom inside his quiet Lake City home can’t offset the Charleston native’s emotions when he reflects on the hateful words he heard that fateful day in October 1969 as a member of the University of Wyoming football team. That was the day Lloyd Eaton, the head coach at Wyoming, stereotyped Hamilton as an underprivileged black kid who should have been thankful he could attend a white college. Eaton’s words were aimed at Hamilton and the 13 other black players on the team. “He just berated us,” said Hamilton, shaking his head. “He made us feel worthless. Like we were nothing.” Eaton’s furious rant came the day before a big game against Brigham Young University, a Mormon-based institution that incorporated some racist practices into its religious philosophy at the time. The 14 players wanted to protest during the game but were derailed and kicked off the team by Eaton, a powerful coach whose success on the field gave him influence over the town of Laramie and the entire state, including Wyoming Gov. Stanley Hathaway. In September, as the 50-year anniversary of the incident neared, the players, now known as the Black 14, received an official apology from the University of Wyoming. It offered some closure. But it doesn’t erase Eaton’s tongue-lashing or the school’s lack of action during the Civil Rights movement.

According to The Christian Post, The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration gave its 2019 Ethical Courage Award to 18-year-old Brandt Jean Tuesday for publicly forgiving and hugging former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger who killed his older brother, Botham Jean, inside his own apartment in 2018. “I am honored to accept it on behalf of my brother, Botham Shem Jean, who was an example of ethical leadership,” Brandt Jean told an institute gathering in Plano, Texas, according to NBC News. In October, a Dallas County jury convicted Guyger, 31, of fatally shooting Botham Jean, 26, in his apartment in 2018. She said that she mistook his apartment for her own and thought Jean was a burglar. Guyger was the first Dallas officer convicted of murder since the 1970s, The Dallas Morning News said. At Guyger’s sentencing hearing, Brandt Jean told Guyger that she should give her life to God and ask Him for forgiveness as he forgave her as well. In accepting the award, Brandt explained: “I never intended for the statement I made to the person that murdered my brother to receive such international recognition. To be honest, I struggled with it for a long time as I struggled with accepting this award from this agency. I am grateful for this award for the same reason I was grateful for the opportunity to embrace her after she was convicted of murder in her trial. After being found guilty by a jury of her peers, sentenced under the law, Ms. Guyger needed to be forgiven, and I needed to be free from the burden of unforgiveness.” Gregory Smith, director of the institute, noted in a statement that Brandt represents the “best in us.” “Each year, we present the Ethical Courage Award to recognize an individual or organization for outstanding ethics and integrity. Brandt Jean represents the best in us. Despite an unimaginable loss, he saw the humanity in the person responsible for his brother’s death. He saw her pain and regret, and had the ability to show empathy, caring and forgiveness. I can’t think of an act that was more courageous. That one act did much to help the Dallas community heal.” Brandt Jean further urged officers present at the ceremony to be more careful in how they use force against black males: “I want you all to know that I am not a threat — that young black males are not inherently dangerous or criminal. I implore you to champion the causes and procedures that amplify the value of all lives,” he said.

According to USA Today, In a move that will knock hundreds of thousands of people off the federal food stamp rolls, the Trump administration on Wednesday formally tightened work requirements for the program that helps feed more than 36 million Americans. Eligibility for food stamps, known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is based on a formula that takes into consideration family size, citizenship status, household income and certain expenses. It can apply to individuals as well as families. The new rule, which was finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, restricts states from exempting certain “work-eligible adults” without dependents from the steady employment requirement in order to receive SNAP benefits. The change, which takes effect on April 1, 2020, does not apply to children and their parents, those over 50 (including the elderly), those with a disability or pregnant women. When the rule change was first proposed in February, the USDA estimated that as many as 750,000 people would be dropped from the program. It revised that figure on Wednesday to 688,000. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in an opinion column published by the Arizona Daily Star on Wednesday that the food stamp program “was never intended to be a way of life. Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch. Government can be a powerful force for good, but government dependency has never been the American dream. We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand.”

According to E! Online, Justin Bieber is owning his past mistakes. In an emotionally honest Instagram posted on Tuesday night, the singer owned the fact that he made racist comments when he was younger. And now, he’s trying to make up for those actions by using his platform for good. Sharing a photo that reads “STAND AGAINST RACISM” in bold grey lettering, the star wrote in his caption, “When I was young I was uneducated and found myself saying really hurtful things not knowing the power of my words. Racism Is still very prevalent and I want to use my voice to remind we are all human being and all of EQUAL VALUE BEFORE GOD!” And that wasn’t his only post about the matter. Bieber prepared his followers for his “STAND AGAINST RACISM” post by talking about his “shortcomings” in another. Sharing a photo of a Drew-themed Christmas tree illustration, the 25-year-old said, “I’m determined this holiday season to take ownership of all my shortcomings and work on them for myself and the ones I love! What is your goal?” While he did not cite which specific moment from his past he was referencing, it’s possible the singer was referring to his use of the N-word in videos from his early teen years.

According to CBS Sports, Fans have been waiting all season for the New England Patriots to figure things out offensively, but it didn’t happen in Sunday night’s matchup with the Texans, as Houston built a big lead early and hung on to win, 28-22. The Pats are still 10-2 and they appear to be on their way to a first-round bye in the playoffs. But they don’t look invincible, or anything near that right now. The Texans may not be better than the Patriots overall, but they sure looked like they were on Sunday night. This was a commanding performance from a team that was firing on all cylinders, bouncing back from a tough first drive on both sides of the ball to completely control the rest of the game. Deshaun Watson sparkled all night long, completing 18 of 25 passes for 234 yards and three scores. He added a receiving score for good measure, on a spectacularly-designed option play that saw three different Texans touch the ball before Watson ended up in the end zone. (A play that was apparently designed by Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, and Duke Johnson.) He was calm and measured in the pocket, taking the checkdowns available to him and trusting his teammates to make hay after the catch, and then hitting deep balls over the top once the defense dropped down into the box. It was about as good a quarterbacking performance against an elite defense as you will see all season — nearly on par with what Lamar Jackson did against the Pats a few weeks ago. It’s difficult to imagine the night having gone much better for Houston, in a game that was not quite as close as the 28-22 final score.

According to CNN, Lewis Hamilton celebrated his championship-winning season in style with a commanding victory in the last race of the Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi. The Briton had already claimed his sixth career title but demonstrated one last time how dominant both he and Mercedes have been this year. Hamilton led from the start and was comfortable throughout the race with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen coming a distant second, 17 seconds behind. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc crossed the line in third but is under investigation by stewards due to fuel irregularities identified ahead of the race and may yet lose his podium place. Despite the glitz and glamour of the Abu Dhabi circuit, it was a largely uneventful race with Hamilton so far ahead of the field. He was free to record the fastest lap of the race whilst his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas produced the other standout performance, battling from the back of the grid to finish fourth behind Leclerc. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel failed to challenge the top order but held onto fifth place, with Red Bull’s Alexander Albon finishing in sixth. An illuminating firework display greeted Hamilton as he met the chequered flag with the Briton dedicating his 11th win of the season to his team and fans. Hamilton told Sky Sports after the race: “I’m proud but just super-grateful for this incredible team and all at Mercedes who have continued to push this year. Even though we had the championship won we wanted to keep our head down and see if we could extract more from this beautiful car.” Hamilton now moves onto 84 career wins and is just seven behind Michael Schumacher’s record of 91. He is also just one title away from matching Schumacher’s haul of seven world titles.

You can read these stories and more at BlackChristianNews.com

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!