‘Praise God’: Teen Thanks God after He Is Able to Rescue a Drowning Toddler

A 16-year-old lifeguard is praising God after he was able to rescue a two-year-old who nearly drowned.

According to CBS 6 News, 16-year-old Michael Wood was lifeguarding at the Westwood Club swimming pool in Henrico, Virginia when he was alerted to a drowning two-year-old.

Wood told ABC 8 News that he initially believed that the boy was playing a game. He said, “I thought he was actually playing and holding his breath underwater.”

But according to CBS 6, once Wood saw the child brush up against another swimmer without any reaction, he knew “something was wrong.”

“I knew what I had to do,” the teenager said before recalling that he immediately jumped into action.

“I jumped in, grabbed the kid out, and, sure enough, he was completely passed out and he was not breathing,” Wood told ABC 8.

Wood described the two-year-old as being “pale blue-grey” in color when he pulled him out of the water. The teen administered CPR on the toddler and after four rescue breaths, the color began to return to the child’s face. “His cheeks turned bright red, and color returned to his face,” Wood told CBS 6. “It was scary, but I said, ‘praise God.’ He started crying and I just started crying too,” he added.

“This whole thing could have gone south but quick actions from everyone made this kid be able to take another breath and walk on this earth again,” Wood told ABC 8.

Wood also recalled that the boy’s father ran over to him following the rescue and hugged and thanked him for saving his son.

ABC 8 reports that Henrico County police are investigating the incident but do not suspect foul play or negligence. The boy was doing well when police arrived but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

According to CBS 6, this is the second time Wood has had to rescue a child while lifeguarding. Reportedly, last year, Wood pulled an eight-year-old child out of the deep end of a pool.

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‘My God Is Bigger’: Heart Transplant Recipient, Who Nearly Died as an Infant, Starts College

When Cedarville University welcomed its record-breaking freshman and transfer student class this fall, no one was more thankful to begin her college experience than Lauryn Gibson. Gibson nearly died when she was six weeks old and received a heart transplant three days before her first birthday, WFMJ reports.

When she was six weeks old, Lauryn’s mother Heather noticed that she was struggling to breathe and took her to the pediatrician. The pediatrician told Heather that Lauryn was dying of congestive heart failure and told her to transport her to Clinton Memorial Hospital where an emergency helicopter would take them to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

“While we were in the helicopter, Lauryn’s heart stopped beating,” Heather recalled. “The pilot turned off the intercom so I couldn’t hear the medical staff talking, and then he began talking with me about what we’d experience when we landed, the sea of people who would be waiting for us, and to try and remain calm. He was phenomenal, “Heather said about what had happened on the flight to the hospital.

According to CBN News, the team revived Lauryn, but her family received the devastating news that her heart function was only at 8%. They were also told that she would not be able to leave the hospital unless she received a heart transplant. Heather refused to believe that she had to go home without her daughter and told the doctor, “My God is bigger.”

They placed Lauryn on the transplant list and when her heart function increased to 18%, the doctors allowed her to wait for her new heart at home. She finally received her new heart almost a year later.

Lauryn’s difficulties have not held her back. She was a cheerleader in high school and took enough dual-enrollment classes to enter Cedarville as a junior. She hopes to get a degree in a field close to her heart–pharmacy.

Lauryn takes autoimmune drugs to prevent her body from rejecting her new heart. The drugs weaken her immune system, making her susceptible to other illnesses. To help her ward off the dangers she could face living in a college dormitory, she will stay at home and commute to school.

She believes her experiences will make her a compassionate and sympathetic pharmacist. She said, “I began thinking that I wanted to help people like me that have to take medication twice a day for the rest of my life. I just wanted to be in a field that can ease the complications of taking medication every day for my patients, particularly pediatric patients. Because I understand how hard it is to take the medications.”

Lauryn also recognizes the blessings she has received and hopes to live her life to the fullest. “I just try to do as many once-in-a-lifetime experiences as I can. I’m really grateful for this second chance.”

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Source: https://www.christianheadlines.com

After Killing of Clergyman, Priest Narrowly Escapes Death in Southeastern Nigeria

Top headlined across the world…

After Killing of Clergyman, Priest Narrowly Escapes Death in Southeastern Nigeria

JOS, Nigeria, August 19, 2019 (Morning Star News) – After the killing of a Roman Catholic priest and a parishioner in southeastern Nigeria earlier this month, another clergyman on Thursday (Aug. 15) narrowly escaped an attack by Muslim Fulani herdsmen about 40 miles away, sources said.

Armed Fulani herdsmen on Aug. 1 killed the Rev. Paul Offu in Awgu town, south of Enugu city in Enugu state, as he was returning to his church site after a visit to other congregations he was overseeing, according to Enugu Diocese officials. The herdsmen shot his car as he drove along Ihe-Agbudu Road, forcing it to a halt, and then dragged him out and shot him to death, diocese spokesman Emmanuel Nkemjika Igwesihi said in a press statement.

The herdsmen took parishioner Kenneth Igwe in the ambush. Police found his corpse on Aug. 5, according to Igwesihi.

“The Rev. Fr. Paul Offu was shot dead by some Fulani herdsmen who took him into the bush around 2 p.m.,” the Rev. Ben Achi, director of communications for the diocese told Morning Star News by phone. “He was accosted by the herdsmen and was shot dead.”

About 69 kilometers (42 miles) north, herdsmen on Thursday (Aug. 15) ambushed another Roman Catholic priest, the Rev. Chimezie Ani, near Caritas University, a Catholic university in Amorji-Nike, as he drove toward Ugwuomu, the priest told Morning Star News.

Source: christianheadlines.com

Florida Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Abortion Law Requiring 24-Hour Waiting Period

A Florida court has overturned a circuit judge’s ruling that women should not be expected to adhere to a waiting period before obtaining an abortion.

In a victory for pro-lifers, the First District Court of Appeal effectively re-legitimized a 2015 law requiring women to wait 24 hours before making a final decision to undergo a termination procedure. The case will now be passed back to the Leon County circuit court for reconsideration.

Writing the majority opinion alongside Judge Harvey Jay, Judge Timothy Osterhaus argued that, as per state guidelines, a 24-hour waiting period is needed to ensure “informed consent” from the woman seeking an abortion.

“Rather than singling out and burdening abortion procedures with arbitrary requirements, the state’s evidence indicates that the 24-hour law brings abortion procedures in Florida into compliance with medical informed consent standards and tangibly improves health outcomes for women,” Osterhaus added, according to the Miami Herald.

In January, the now-retired Leon County Circuit Judge, Terry Lewis, argued that the waiting period law was unconstitutional, violated privacy rights and acted as an unnecessary hold-up for women seeking to abort their baby. Lewis also issued a summary judgment without holding a full trial – something the appeals court deemed unfair.

The appeals court majority argued that because a “disputed genuine issues of material fact remain, appellees [the law’s opponents] are not entitled to final summary judgment.” It added that “further consideration of appellees’ constitutional challenge,” must now take place.

“Women claiming particular harms from the 24-hour law based on their specific circumstances may challenge the law’s application to them. But those would be as-applied constitutional challenges. No such challenge has been made here,” Osterhaus noted. “For this facial challenge, the correct legal test is not whether the 24-hour law violates the constitutional rights of some women in some circumstances, but whether it violates the rights of all women in all circumstances.”

Former Florida governor, Republican Rick Scott, signed the waiting period measure into law back in 2015.

At the time, Republican state Representative Jennifer Sullivan, who sponsored the legislation, said that the law “means women will be empowered to make fully informed decisions,” according to Reuters.

“It’s just common courtesy to have a face-to-face conversation with your doctor about such an important decision, she added, “especially for such an irreversible procedure as an abortion.”

Source:
https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/will-maule/florida-appeals-court-rules-in-favor-of-abortion-law-requiring-24-hour-waiting-period.html

Pastor-Turned-Saddleback Leather CEO Shares Inspiring Rags-To-Riches Story, Biblical Advice for Young Entrepreneurs

For Dave Munson, founder and owner of Saddleback Leather, furthering the Kingdom of Heaven isn’t just a pleasant catchphrase — it’s a belief he applies to all areas of life.

“I believe in doing ministry wherever God puts you,” he told The Gospel Herald in an exclusive interview. “Study the Bible, and get to know God, seek after Him. And then, whichever ministry He puts you in, whether it’s in a church or bank or accounting office, just be obedient, and He will bless that.”

A former youth pastor and YoungLife leader-turned-CEO of one of the top leather goods company in the country, Munson’s story is anything but ordinary — in fact, it all began in the back of a beat-up pickup truck.

After attending a Bible college in 1999, the Texas native decided to move to Juarez, Mexico to work as a volunteer English teacher at a Christian school.

“You could say it was pretty rough living,” he chuckled. “My dog Blue and I lived in a $100-a-month apartment with no hot water for three years.”

It was there that he discovered a need for the perfect bag: A durable, weather-resistant one that could withstand even the toughest Mexico summer. As Munson put it, “something like Indiana Jones would carry, something that would last forever.”

After sketching his ideal bag, Munson hired a local leather craftsman to bring his vision to life. Once he received it, he knew he’d created something special.

“I took my bag to the U.S. and everyone wanted one. Every day, someone asked me where I got my bag,” he recalled. “So, I went back down to Mexico and had 8 more bags made and just sold them in the back of my Land Cruiser. I just kept getting more and more requests. People were crazy for them.”

For Munson, the goal in selling bags was simple: “I figured, ‘if these bags are popular enough, they could support my ministry.’ That was the mentality behind all of it,” he said. “I really didn’t think it would be so successful. The purpose for designing bags was so that I could do ministry, because I didn’t want to waste my life.”

Munson’s bags began to sell at a rapid rate — and the rest is history. Today, Saddleback Leather — a company with the tongue-in-cheek motto, “They’ll fight over it when you’re dead” — is a wildly successful company. Their bags, wallets, and other leather products have an 100-year warranty, a guarantee reflected in their overwhelmingly positive online reviews. Saddleback Leather has also been highlighted in Forbes, Fox Business, and a slew of other magazines.

Although headquartered in Texas, the company’s Mexico factory employs 260 workers, all of whom have access to English classes, daycare, and other opportunities.

“We’ve had at least 125 people get saved there at the factory,” Munson shared. “You have to love them with two hands; one, with acts of compassion, and one with the Word of God. We try to impact our employees by showing them God’s love. So, daycare is free for our employees. Their children are learning English, learning about the power of God in creation, learning about Jesus and how much He loves them.”

Munson and his wife Suzette, alongside Saddleback Leather, launched a second company a few years ago called Love 41 Opens a New Window — a company dedicated to fighting genocide and poverty in Africa. All of the proceeds from the online store’s sales go to support the work of Africa New Life Ministries as well as JDRF, Mercy Ships, Africa New Life Women’s Center Vocational School, and other organizations.

“If Saddleback wasn’t ministering to people, if the Kingdom of God wasn’t growing through it, if people weren’t being blessed, I would get rid of it,” Munson told GH. “My life’s goal is the Great Commission; it’s to lead people to the Lord and for God to use me. Everything we do at our company is in His name.”

When asked what advice he’d offer young entrepreneurs seeking to start a business in a way that honors God, Munson’s advice was simple.

“If that desire is on your heart, then just start a business,” he said. “God is most glorified when we’re working in the areas where we reflect Him more. Find your strengths and use them. Work is not the result of the fall; we were made and designed to work, so God is glorified when we work.”

He added, “It doesn’t have to be paid by a church or working for a Christian thing for it to be a ministry. Wherever God puts you, whatever that may be, is your ministry.”

Source:
https://www.gospelherald.com

5 Facts from Christian Leaders to Prove that Jesus’s Resurrection is Real

The crucifixion of Jesus is one of the most well-known stories around the world. With a slew of historical evidence, there’s little doubt — even among critics — His brutal death actually occurred. However, the question then arises: “Did Jesus actually resurrect from the dead, as documented in the Scriptures? Or did something else happen with his body?

Christ’s resurrection is proclaimed throughout the Bible: The Gospel of Luke records in chapter 24 verses 2 and 3, “And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 says, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

The Apostle Paul also tells us that if Christ has not been raised, our faith is useless. But Jesus has been resurrected. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is they victory? They have been swallowed up in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Here are five facts from notable Christian leaders to prove Christ’s resurrection is real.

  1. Jesus’ Execution

Lee Strobel, best-selling author of numerous books including The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith, previously explained that the well-documented execution of Jesus is evidence of His resurrection.

“We have no record of anyone surviving a full Roman crucifixion. The evidence for the execution is so strong historically because not only do we have multiple sources in the New Testament, we have five ancient sources outside the New Testament that confirm and corroborate His execution,” he explained. “I found that there is no dispute among scholars that Jesus was dead after being crucified.”

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical experts analyzed the crucifixion and concluded, “Modern medical interpretation of the historical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead when taken down from the cross.”

  1. Early Acceptance of Christianity

Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, said that the early acceptance of Christianity — and especially the resurrection — argues for the validity of the message.

“Unlike what liberal scholars used to tell us, that the Bible was written, especially the Gospel, many decades after the events of Christ, even the most liberal scholars will tell you now that the Gospels were written within a few years of the events that they purport to tell,” he explained.

“So, the fact that the resurrection account came right after Jesus’ life and was widely embraced by people I think argues to its authenticity. As experts tell us, a fictitious event, has to be reported maybe several hundred years after an event before it can gain credibility and corrupt the original source. People in the beginning were willing to die for this truth that Jesus was raised from the dead.”

  1. The Empty Tomb

Jeffress said a key piece of evidence outside the Bible for the truth of the resurrection is the empty tomb itself.

“People will say, ‘Well that’s in the Bible.’ No, it’s actually outside of the Bible as well,” he said. “We know from external, extra biblical sources that Jesus actually lived; we know that one of the early claims of Christianity was that He was raised from the dead, and the fact is, for 2,000 years, nobody has been able to produce the body.”

The pastor contended that because Christ’s body has never been found, the question arises: What happened to the body if it wasn’t resurrected?

“Some people say it was stolen; well who stole it? The Romans and Jewish leaders had no motivation to steal it, they wanted to stamp out Christianity before it even started,” he said. “The apostles lacked the courage to steal it, they all deserted Christ before his death. Peter, the most courageous apostle, denied the Lord three times before His crucifixion.”

“If it wasn’t the apostles, if it wasn’t the Roman or Jewish leaders, the question is, who moved the stone?” he continued. “I think these are two extra biblical arguments that argue for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.”

  1. Eyewitness accounts

Strobel said that eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection are the most convincing proofs that point to the resurrection.

“We’re lucky in the ancient world if we have one or two sources to confirm a fact,” he said. “But for the conviction of the disciples that they had encountered the resurrected Christ, we have no fewer than nine ancient sources from inside and outside the New Testament, confirming and corroborating His appearances. The resurrection really confirms His identity of being the Son of God.”

He later argued: “Reports that come so quickly, you can’t just write them off as being a legend. We have one report of the resurrection, including named eye-witnesses, that has been dated back by scholars to within months of the resurrection of Jesus. That is historical gold.”

  1. The Establishment and Growth of the Christian Church

Blogger and DesiringGod.com contributor Matt Perman says that the existence of the Christian church is strong proof for the resurrection.

“[Even] the most skeptical NT scholars admit that the disciples at least believed that Jesus was raised from the grave,” he writes. “First century Judaism had no conception of a single individual rising from the dead in the middle of history. Their concept was always that everybody would be raised together at the end of time. So the idea of one individual rising in the middle of history was foreign to them. Thus, Judaism of that day could have never produced the resurrection hypothesis.”

“Psychologists will tell you that hallucinations cannot contain anything new–that is, they cannot contain any idea that isn’t already somehow in your mind. Since the early disciples were Jews, they had no conception of the messiah rising from the dead in the middle of history. Thus, they would have never hallucinated about a resurrection of Christ. At best, they would have hallucinated that he had been transported directly to heaven, as Elijah had been in the OT, but they would have never hallucinated a resurrection…So we see that if the resurrection did not happen, there is no plausible way to account for the origin of the Christian faith.”

Why is the resurrection of Christ important? Best-selling author Josh McDowell says that for Christians, the resurrection of Jesus is the “cornerstone to a worldview that provides the perspective to all of life.”

“No matter how devastating our struggles, disappointments, and troubles are, they are only temporary,” he explains. “No matter what happens to you, no matter the depth of tragedy or pain you face, no matter how death stalks you and your loved ones, the resurrection promises you a future of immeasurable good.”

Source:
https://www.gospelherald.com/articles/71791/20180406/5-best-facts-prove-jesus-s-resurrection-real.htm

Millennials and the Bible: ‘Not What You Think’

There’s so much talk these days about so-called “Millennials.” Millennials are the generation born between 1980 and 2000. They are “digital natives,” and the defining events of their lives include the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, the War on Terror, Harry Potter, the Great Recession, and the birth of social media. Oh, and by the way, they love avocado toast.

They are also the “biggest” generation: Some 78 million strong. In the next five or six years, they will comprise 75 percent of the American workforce.

On the whole, Millennials tend to be skeptical of absolutes, and anyone or anything claiming to be the authority on life and the world. Thus, they tend to be skeptical about the Bible. Only 9 percent of Millennials claim to read the Bible on a daily basis, and only 30 percent believe that the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God.

All of this leads to an acute challenge for many in older generations: How to pass on the faith to their children and grandchildren. I’m happy to tell you there’s a new book that can really help.

Two Millennial Christian thought leaders, Michael and Lauren Green McAfee, seeking to overcome the skepticism of their peers about the Bible, have written a new and engaging book, “Not What You Think: Why the Bible Might Be Nothing We Expected but Everything We Need.”

Michael is director of community initiatives at the Museum of the Bible. His wife Lauren, who now works at the Hobby Lobby corporate offices, helped get the museum up and running. So they both have a deep, sincere passion to share their love for the Bible.

The first part of “Not What You Think” is devoted to explaining exactly who Millennials are: their demographics, aspirations, preferences, etc. One of the key characteristics we must understand is that Millennials came of age at a time when the very notion of truth was, well, fuzzy at best.

“Our era is one in which truth has moved from objective reality to personal response,” they write. “Our generation generally hesitates to accept truth outside of personal experience and opinion.”

This is the first huge obstacle for approaching Millennials with traditional Christian apologetics, which depends on the absolute and objective Truth claims revealed in the Bible. And yet, this is where these millennial authors succeed as they invite their fellow Millennials to engage Scripture. While being upfront and honest about the truth claims of the Bible, they make the case that the Old and New Testaments, unlike other religious holy books and texts, are not primarily a set of rules. Instead, they present a grand Story woven together by God through various authors over a millennium and a half. It’s a story that God invites us all to join.

Throughout their book, the McAfees argue convincingly—and in detail—that both Testaments, from Genesis through Revelation, point to the God-Man, Jesus. Thus, the Bible not only invites us into God’s cosmic drama, it invites us into a relationship with the Creator of the universe.

“What if,” they write, “truth is not just a point of view . . . not just a list of rules—yours, ours, or anyone else’s? What if truth is not the ever-changing consensus of the crowd but instead is a person whom you get to know and who knows you. This person’s story is told in the Bible. His name is Jesus.”

This is exactly the kind of book that will not only help you communicate the importance of Scripture to younger generations, it’s a book you can actually give to younger generations. And, it’s a great resource for Sunday School classes and small groups to learn more about the “biggest” generation, while also learning about how to better reach them.

Source:
https://www.christianheadlines.com/columnists/breakpoint/millennials-and-the-bible-not-what-you-think.html