‘I Know It’s Hard Times’: Tyler Perry’s Christmas Surprise to 1,500 Walmart Customers

At this time of the year, you often see Santa’s helpers working in department stores everywhere, taking verbal and physical Christmas lists from children and spreading holiday cheer.

Tyler Perry decided to go even a further in his hometown of Atlanta to spread some Christmas cheer among 1,500 Walmart customers.  He paid off all of the layaways at two area stores on Thursday amounting to $432,635.

A Walmart spokesman confirmed Perry’s deed to several media outlets.

“Tyler Perry’s generous donation is making an unbelievable difference for so many families, and we can’t thank him enough for his kindness,” Walmart said in a statement to NBC’s Today. “The heartfelt excitement and joy we’re seeing from our customers as a result of his holiday gift has been touching.”

Perry, 49, released a video on Twitter and Facebook announcing he had paid off the layaways.

The entertainer admitted he was trying to do it anonymously, but “as you all know nothing stays secret these days, so I decided to go ahead and tell you.”

Perry told social media users the addresses of the Atlanta-area Walmarts and if they had “something in layaway before 9:30 am on Dec. 6, “I have paid for all of your layaways for Christmas,” he said with a smile. 

“So Merry Christmas everybody,” Perry said.  “You have to go into Walmart and get your layaway and pay a penny, one penny and you get your layaway.”

Known for his family films and television series, the actor-writer-producer said “he knew it was hard times and a lot of people are struggling and I am really grateful to be able to be in a position to do this.

“So God bless you, go get your stuff and Merry Christmas,” Perry exclaimed. 

In the past weeks, Secret Santa’s have paid for all of the layaway items in four other Walmart store across the country.

Perry’s announcement came just one day after Gail Benson, the owner of the New Orleans Saints, paid off 408 layaways totaling more than $100,000 at a New Orleans-area Walmart, according to Today.

Walmart Layaway – Happy Holidays!

I was trying to do this anonymously but oh well!!!

Posted by Tyler Perry on Thursday, December 6, 2018

SOURCE: CBN

‘Focus on the Family’ Premieres New Short-Form Comedy Series on YouTube

Marking a new foray into YouTube original content, Focus on the Family has debuted a short-form comedy series on the popular social media platform. 

Created and developed by the organization’s social media strategy team, the new series is titled “The Elephant in the Room” and it uses humor to explore the often paradoxical nature of the unaddressed conflict in a variety of relational conflicts through the eyes of a diverse and quirky set of “actual” elephants.

The series is designed to be a gentle deconstruction of human nature that entertains viewers first and foremost, but that also gives them something to think about.

“Jesus was a storyteller. He always taught people through parables—always—and he was incredible at telling stories. Our goal is to follow his example and tell stories that are truly engaging at an emotional level, but that also underscore deeper truths as they do so,” the series creators Jake Roberson and Ryan Klaver said in a press release.  “We’re excited to do that using humor and comedy with ‘The Elephant in the Room.'”

The new show is a YouTube exclusive and its first episode premiered Friday. Three more episodes, to be released weekly, will round out the first season.  A second season is under development and is planned for release in February 2019.

Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. Founded by Dr. James Dobson, the organization provides help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God’s design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.

For more information, visit their website.

Watch the premiere episode of The Elephant in the Room below.

Source: CBN

Lauren Daigle Visits Children’s Hospital, Meets One Patient Who She Says Changed Her Life

Christian recording artist Lauren Daigle recently visited several young patients at the Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando.

Daigle posted about the experience on her Instagram account writing: “We started off at Florida Hospital for Children learning about music therapy and it’s importance in healing those facing health challenges.  I have always had some interest in how music affects not only the emotional part of a human but also the physical makeup.”

“It was amazing to see how these children came alive at the sounds coming from bells and wooden instruments,” the native Louisianan noted. “All the struggle melted away.  I saw eyes light up and smiles sneak in.  I learned so many things this day, but one thing I hold dear: inclusion of people always wins.”

The highlight of Daigle’s visit was meeting Gabriel, a young boy who was a patient at the hospital.

“I met Gabriel today.  He lit up the entire hospital,” she wrote. “He would sing at the top of his lungs and laugh with joy that would shake your bones.”

The singer was touched by the passion for life that she saw in the youngster.

“I’ve never seen a human more passionate about people,” Daigle added. “If he was happy, he made sure you felt it too! Wanna know something wild?  He had half of his brain removed when he was 6 months old.  Love is a choice!  This sweet boy changed my life.  I prayed tonight, “Lord, make me more like Gabriel.” 

View this post on Instagram

Well, it is safe to say that I’ve had a day like no other! We started off at Florida Hospital for Children learning about music therapy and it’s importance in healing for those facing health challenges. I have always had some interest in how music affects not only the emotional part of a human but also the physical body and it’s physiological makeup. It was amazing to see how these children came alive at the sounds coming from bells and wooden instruments. All the struggle melted away. I saw eyes light up and smiles sneak in. I learned so many things this day, but one thing I hold dear: inclusion of people always wins. I met Gabriel today. He lit up the entire hospital. He would sing at the top of his lungs and laugh with a joy that would shake your bones. He wanted to know each person’s name that entered his room. When I said goodbye, I gave him a hug, hugged all of his nurses and family, and because he joyously insisted, we all had to come around him for one big group hug. He refused to leave anyone out and craved for everyone to experience life with same level of zeal in which he did. I’ve never seen a human more passionate about people. If he was happy, he made sure you felt it too! Wanna know something wild? He had half of his brain removed when he was 6 months old. Love is a choice! This sweet boy changed my life. I prayed tonight, “Lord, make me more like Gabriel.”

A post shared by Lauren Daigle (@lauren_daigle) on

Several of Daigle’s followers responded. One identified as kiyana_ma wrote: “I need the Christian world to see the sincerity of Lauren’s Christ-like heart when she’s with these sick babies and their families. She is doing something with clean hands and a pure heart that most of us wouldn’t have the innocence to do correctly.”

Another follower monniewrites responded: “Wow! Lauren, this is so beautiful.  I know we shouldn’t just watch things like this on our Instagram’s feed, but we should actually be doing the same.  This literally made me cry and I’m not exaggerating.  I cry because you go to places where not so many would dare to go (prisons, hospitals) and I see the genuine heart you have for people.”  

“Gabriel was this happy because he could see your genuine heart for him,” the user continued. “Love your heart, Lauren.  This is the real heart of Jesus and I crave to have it too!” 

Source: CBN

Hundreds Respond to the Gospel Message at Franklin Graham’s Revival in Mexico

In recent Facebook posts, evangelist Franklin Graham shared the news of the response to the gospel message of Jesus Christ at a revival held over the weekend in Monterrey, Mexico.

Graham posted photos of a packed auditorium of 16,000 who came to hear the gospel.

“We praise God that hundreds of people responded to the invitation to turn from their sins and trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord tonight in Monterrey, Mexico. I told the full house at Arena Monterrey that there was nothing more valuable than a soul. Your soul lives inside your body and when your body dies, your soul will live forever in one of two places—Heaven or Hell. Your soul’s destination depends on whether you accept or reject Jesus Christ during this life. It’s the most important decision you will ever make. The Bible tells us, ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ (Mark 8:36). I’m thankful for the power of the Gospel and that many souls were saved this evening,” the evangelist wrote.

“Over 500 churches prayed and participated in the Festival de Esperanza—we appreciate each one of them, and I’m looking forward to coming back to Mexico,” Graham continued.

Over 16,000 people came to hear the Gospel last night in Monterrey, Mexico. It was a packed house! I thank God for all…

Posted by Franklin Graham on Sunday, October 7, 2018

We praise God that hundreds of people responded to the invitation to turn from their sins and trust Jesus Christ as…

Posted by Franklin Graham on Sunday, October 7, 2018

Source: CBN

Indonesian Pilot Says Holy Spirit Moved Him to Speed Up Takeoff Before Quake and Tsunami Hit Palu

A Christian airline pilot says the Holy Spirit moved him to hurry up the departure of his Batik Air flight from Palu carrying 140 passengers, perhaps saving many lives as the disaster unfolded around them, according to the website God Reports.

Captain Icoze Mafella spoke about the experience at a Jakarta church on Sunday, Sept. 30.

Mafella, a devout Christian, said he felt uneasy and began to sing worship songs in the cockpit on the inbound flight from Ujung Pandang to Palu on Friday, Sept. 28.

“Usually I only hummed, but that day I wanted to praise the Lord as best I could,” he recalled.

“I think you should make a CD of worship songs,” his Muslim co-pilot told him, jokingly.

Mafella told the congregation that when they were about to land at the Palu Airport, the wind was unusually strong and he “heard a voice in his heart” directing him to circle again before landing.

Mafella said he reminded himself to be extra careful with the landing and recited the 23rd Psalm.

After the plane landed, Mafella said the Holy Spirit prompted him once more that he needed to hurry while on the ground.  He instructed the airplane’s crew to just take a short break before the plane took off for Ujung Pandang with their final destination being Jakarta.

“I didn’t even leave the cockpit and requested permission from the control tower to depart three minutes ahead of schedule,” he recalled.

Receiving the OK from Air Controller Anthonius Agung, the captain, and his crew prepared for departure.  He said he felt such an urgency that he broke with standard flight procedures and took over some of his co-pilot’s duties in order to speed up their leave time.

The time for their departure came and the Mafella’s plane shot down the runway.

“I don’t know why but my hand kept pushing the lever causing the plane to speed up as it took off,” he said.

As the plane sped down the runway, the massive earthquake began to strike Palu.  Both pilots felt the plane shift from the left to the right, according to God Reports.

“If I had taken off three minutes later, I would not have been able to save the 140 passengers, because the asphalt on the landing strip was moving up and down like a curtain blowing in the wind,” he said.

Mafella said he attempted to talk to the control tower, but there was no response on the radio.

After the plane landed in Ujung Pandang, he found out about the earthquake and tsunami in Palu.  He later learned that Agung, the air traffic controller, made sure their plane had taken off safely before he jumped from the control tower as it was being brought down by the quake.  Angug later died of his injuries.

“In this difficult time, during the split seconds of decisions, he waited for me until I was safe before he jumped,” Mafella said. “That’s why I call him my guardian angel.”

The captain also reminded the church members that it’s important we hear the voice of God.

“And whatever happens we must be calm, not in a panic so that we can clearly hear the voice of God coming to us by the Holy Spirit,” he said.

Source: CBN

‘Porn is the Spiritual ISIS of America’: Shining Light Into a Dark Industry

A Christian ministry’s display is the last thing you’d expect to see at an international adult film conference in Las Vegas, but for Victor Marx it’s the perfect place to reach those trapped in one of the darkest industries.

Marx founded All Things Possible Ministries (ATP), which helps broken, troubled, and trafficked youth around the world. He’s even rescued children in ISIS-torn Iraq and Syria.

“We decided to buy a booth here and present our organization as a trauma-based organization helping kids who were affected by ISIS,” he told CBN News. “But we found out here, many of the actors and people in this is industry, many young gals have been sexually abused,” Marx said.

The team gave away the ministry’s movies, books, and powerful stories of redemption for free.

“There’s been no shortage of people who, not only come here, but end up taking pictures with us. We’re talking key people in the industry from producers, to actors and actresses, to their fan base. It’s been pretty amazing,” he said.

“There’s one gal who stopped by our booth and she’s a cam artist where she, you know, uses the web cam. She told me this…the thing she struggles with the most is rejection,” he explained. “We’ve been able to reach her.”

The team was at the convention for three days and used everything from movies to a dog to attract those who are hurting and broken.

“We’ve also got our dog Scout who is a magnet to so many of the sex industry workers,” Marx explained. “Many of the workers wanted to pet and take pictures with Scout…that opens up our conversation.”

“We walked by booths that had very young looking women who were posing and allowing photos to be taken. One girl, (she looked like she was 12), was posing next to her life size poster.  We got her attention with Scout.  We got her away from her table for a moment so we could talk with her.  She knelt down and petted Scout. We told her briefly that Scout helps young women who have been abused and traumatized by ISIS.  She hugged Scout and looked at us like she wanted to tell us something, but couldn’t. I’m sure her handler was close by and watching his property like a hawk.  We gave her Scout’s card and showed her the website, Reachchildren.com,” Marx later said in a statement on the ministry’s website.

Surprisingly, this team of Christians didn’t face any opposition from the various sex workers who strolled by their booth. Instead, it was fellow believers who criticized them for going into the lion’s den.

However, Marx says they were just following Jesus.

“Jesus was a friend to the sinner and that’s what we’re doing here. Being a light in the darkness,” he shared. “We were very intentional in both fasting and prayer before we came here this week. We’ve got literally tens of thousands of people praying for us, and then literally on the outside of this convention center walking and praying.”

While Marx has spent his time in ISIS territory, rescuing children and fighting terrorists, his time at the porn conference made one thing clear: America is under attack.

“Pornography is the spiritual ISIS of America,” he said. “It’s able to infect, and message, and make people become extremists in depravity and loss of natural affection…Pornography is a 24/7 attack against Americans. Even Christians in the church.”

Source: CBN

Virtual Reality Porn: The Next Greatest Threat to the Church?

Ready or not, the new frontier of pornography is here.

A reporter who was invited to experience virtual reality pornography with a Samsung Gear VR headset chronicled the lifelike details of a sexual encounter. He noted “after trying out VR porn, I don’t think anyone who experiences it will be able to go back to 2D porn. It’s that realistic.”

The New York Times has even taken notice about the business of VR porn.

“While virtual-reality pornography may feel like something out of a science fiction movie, it already has a formidable, if underground, presence,” the newspaper reported. “According to one porn site, views of VR porn are up 275 percent since it debuted in the summer of 2016. Now the site is averaging about 500,000 views.”

“Is the church ready for this? No, because they are not aware of it,” Josh McDowell of the Josh McDowell Ministry said in a press release.

That’s why KingdomWorks Studios has produced a new DVD series titled ‘The Conquer Series: A Battle Plan for Purity” that can help men and churches win the battle against sexual addiction. The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic 12-disc DVD series which has already helped over 500,000 men conquer porn and walk in freedom. The series website also has resources to help churches set up Conquer groups.

According to the press release, many pastors are unfamiliar with virtual reality in general, unaware of Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Rift and the multi-billion-dollar industry around it (such as Oculus Rift being bought and developed by Facebook).

In 2016, the Barna Group, in partnership with Josh McDowell Ministry, launched a landmark study on the pervasive nature of Internet pornography and its impact on the church entitled The Porn  Phenomenon: The Explosive Growth of Pornography and How It’s Impacting Your Church, Life, and Ministry.

This 800+ page study investigated the pervasiveness of pornography, particularly among American Christians.

A few of its finding include:

  • Nearly half of young people are actively seeking pornography weekly or more frequently.
  • More than one-in-four individuals between the ages of 25 and 30 first viewed porn before hitting puberty.
  • The survey also found that 21 percent of youth pastors and 14 percent of pastors involved in the study are currently struggling with porn use.

“I would personally say from all my knowledge now that pornography’s probably the greatest threat to the cause of Christ in the history of the world,” McDowell told CBN News when the results of the study were released. “It’s that serious. While we’re out trying to win the world through Christ — pastors preaching to the community — pornography is coming right in the back door.”

McDowell said the Barna study showed the pornography epidemic is far worse than originally thought.

During the Conquer Series, Dr. Ted Roberts presents two areas to help men defend and recover from sexual addiction. Roberts advises if you’ve tried to stop viewing pornography on your own and continue to struggle, get help.

The Conquer Series website provides a free online Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST) to help determine if sex addiction is a problem. You can also confidentially contact someone through the website.

Watch the trailer for the Conquer Series.

Source: CBN

The World’s Largest Porn Company is Targeting Your Children Through Video Games

Porn is tightening its grip on America’s youth through two major areas – online gaming and virtual reality.

As recently as five years ago, the number of video games containing pornographic sexual violence was minimal, according to Ben Miller, digital strategies coordinator for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). But now, the center reports the numbers of these games are skyrocketing.

Last year, one popular video game website hosted 780 games with nudity. This year, the same website hosts more than 1,600 of these games.

Now, a company that owns a large number of top porn studios and websites has started a distribution platform for online pornographic games.

“Porn games don’t simply contain sex and nudity. Rather, they are much more graphic,” Miller said in a press release. “Some of these games promote sexual harassment and assault. Despite being cartoons, the graphic content in these games is far from harmless. Animated porn fuels sexual addiction and shapes sexual palettes just as regular porn does.”

The distributor provides free-to-play games in addition to their purchased products. This free option will allow young children easier access to the content, bypassing paywalls intended to block young people’s ability to play the games.

Watch Your Brain on Porn with Dr. Lawrence Tucker

NCOSE noted that the provider’s website traffic has exploded from 50 million to 115 million visits between April and August 2018, ranking it in the top 500 websites in the world.

Parents need to be aware of the impact the increase in pornographic online gaming may have on their children.

“Parents need to understand how intricately linked the gaming industry and pornography industry are,” Marriage and Family Therapist Dr. Jill Manning told Internet Security 101. “More and more games have pornography embedded in them. If kids play online, that is a pornographer’s heyday for marketing, grooming and hooking young consumers.”

Virtual Reality (VR) is also a booming business.

Another major adult gaming portal announced last May that it is expanding into virtual reality with two new VR products. Through the use of a headset such as the Oculus Rift (owned by Facebook), a viewer is able to enter a totally manufactured environment and tune out the reality of their actual situation.

Fortune Magazine stated, “By 2025, adult virtual reality content is forecast to be a $1 billion business, the third biggest sector behind video games and NFL-related content, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Travis Jakel.”

Todd Glider, CEO of VR adult entertainment company BaDoink, said: “VR will become the standard in the industry for today’s younger male consumers.”

“I see it through a generational lens. VR porn will not have a pronounced effect on the demographic born before 1980,” he continued. “However, for the generations born after, the ones that reach adulthood in a world where 24/7 access to adult content is just a mouse click away, that’s the audience for VR porn, and it will be huge.”

Watch “How Men Get Addicted to Pornography” with Nancy Houston

Here are some steps you can take to protect your children.

  • Keep the gaming device or computer in a high-traffic area, not in the child’s room, even if you already have an internet filter service.
  • Remove the headphones and make them use the computer’s speakers so you can hear any online chatting.
  • Set up all of your children’s game accounts and console controls. You decide who has access to their gaming profile and who your child can talk to. Learn how to use the parental controls that are built into the console.
  • Read reviews and understand the industry rating system. Make sure the game is age-appropriate.
  • Talk to your children. Teach them basic internet safety roles and to notify you if they encounter anything unusual or unsettling while they are playing. Build a non-shaming relationship with your child so that if they do come across adult content, they can approach you and talk about it.

Christian apologist and evangelist, Josh McDowell, is featured in the Conquer Series, a 12-part DVD course that helps families deal with pornography.

The powerful video segments, compelling testimonies, and strong Biblical teaching will equip you with valuable information about the porn battle that’s rising against your family. You can find out more at ConquerSeries.com.

Source: CBN

Lighthouse Church Smashed by Michael, but Survivors Come First: ‘Make Sure Everyone Is Taken Care of and Loved’

Churches are some of the first responders in the aftermath of disasters like Hurricane Michael. Pastor Cole Bailey of Lighthouse Church in Panama City Beach says that once the winds dropped on Wednesday, teams from his church began going out to check on those who rode out the storm – and the homes of those who evacuated.

Hurricane Michael destroyed Lighthouse Church. It ripped the roof off the main campus worship center, collapsed the walls and flooded the sanctuary. But Bailey says the church is more concerned about its people right now.

He told CBN News, “Buildings are very important of course. We love to have a place to congregate and worship, but what all of our staff and myself are doing right now – we’ve got teams going out and we’re checking on everyone’s homes. We’re checking on them because you can rebuild buildings but we’re in this thing to make sure that everyone is taken care of and loved.”

Bailey said that multiple churches outside of the area have reached out to him and will help to coordinate meals for people in Bay County.

“Everyone’s still in shock, to be honest. Most people have never lived through anything like this and with this amount of damage. I think, really, people – we’re used to having air conditioning, power, push a button and do whatever you need to do. Most people have never been through anything like this,” he said.

Bailey doesn’t expect those who evacuated to return right away. “I don’t think a lot of people are coming back right now because there’s not a lot to come back to.”

Thursday morning, Bailey went out to try and inspect his home. “It will probably be a three quarter mile walk to see my house because power lines are so down. It’s just a mess,” he said.

Friends of Lighthouse Church have started a Gofundme page to raise $1 million to rebuild the church.

Source: CBN

Witches Launching a ‘Ritual to Hex Brett Kavanaugh’, Still Working to #BindTrump

Justice Brett Kavanaugh officially joined the Supreme Court this week amid high political tensions. A throng of real-life witches are fighting back by hosting a spell-casting ritual against Kavanaugh in New York.

The event is set for Oct. 20th in Brooklyn, NY – and it’s already sold out.

“Please join us for a public hex on Brett Kavanaugh, upon all rapists and the patriarchy at large which emboldens, rewards and protects them. We are embracing witchcraft’s true roots as the magik of the poor, the downtrodden and disenfranchised and it’s history as often the only weapon, the only means of exacting justice available to those of us who have been wronged by men just like him,” the Facebook event page reads.

More than 10,000 people have “liked” the “Ritual to Hex Brett Kavanaugh” page, while some 900 others say they plan on attending.

Kavanaugh will be the “focal point, but by no means the only target,” the page says.

“There will also be a second ritual afterward – ‘The Rites of the Scorned One’ which seeks to validate, affirm, uphold and support those of us who have been wronged and who refuse to be silent any longer,” it continues.

Part of the event proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood.

Many people have turned to witchcraft to fight for progressive values in the run up to the midterm elections.

The #Witchthevote campaign on social media is instructing people on how to use occultic powers sway the vote in their favor.

Some die-hard Trump-haters are still doing it:

“We can’t do this alone: We need witches and progressive communities from all over the US to get involved. Send us your favorite progressive candidates and let’s raise awareness for ballot questions that can change people’s lives,” reads a post on the Witch the Vote Instagram page.\

One of the witches even taught #Witchthevote Instagram followers how to cast a “Gratitude Spell” for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, thanking her for accusing Justice Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than 36 years ago. At the end of the spell’s instructions, they encourage followers to go out and vote.

Witches have been increasing their political involvement since Trump was elected, casting spells to “Bind Trump” – last year, 13,000 member Facebook group was casting regular spells on Donald Trump.

 

Witchcraft has been steadily on the rise since the 1990s.

Trinity College in Connecticut tracked witchcraft’s prevalence for some 18 years. Researchers found that in 1990, there were an estimated 8,000 Wiccans in the US That number grew to 340,000 in 2008.

The Pew Research Center later discovered in 2014 that 0.4% of Americans, or about 1 to 1.5 million people, identify as Wicca or Pagan.

Source: CBN