After serving 32 years in prison for a crime her family says she did not commit, 74-year-old Mary Jones was released from the Lynwood Women's facility in California last Tuesday, and has declared that she doesn't harbor any bitterness for her incarceration.
"I don't have a reason to be bitter, God is my shepherd," said Jones, who is known as "Mother Mary" to family and friends, on her release Tuesday.
Catalyst West conference, an annual event that draws thousands of young Christian leaders, kicked off Wednesday for a three-day leadership gathering aimed to cultivate people as catalysts for change.
The conference taking place in Southern California is designed to be an immersive learning, worship and creative experience where several prominent leaders will take to the stage to share their knowledge and challenge participants to become better leaders.
"Catalyst West is a movement of influencers and world changers who love Jesus, see things differently, and feel a burden for our generation," according to a statement on CatalystConference.com. "We seek to learn, worship and create together with a momentous energy passionately pursuing God." more >>
The U.S. Coast Guard and other rescue teams continue their search Monday for a 43-year-old man who was reportedly pulled into the surf at a Central California beach while helping perform a beach baptism.
Benito Flores was reportedly helping his cousin, Pastor Maurigro Cervantes of Jesus Christ Light of the Sky Church, perform a baptism at about 10 a.m. Sunday when he was pulled into the sea by a wave at the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve in Guadalupe, Calif. The small beach town is located in Santa Barbara County, about ten miles west of Santa Maria.
Flores was swept into the sea by a tumultuous wave along with Cervantes and a young man waiting to be baptized. The other two survivors were able to make their way to shore, while Flores disappeared into the ocean. About 25 people, who are members of the Spanish-speaking church, witnessed the incident on Sunday from the beach's parking lot. more >>
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake and more than 100 aftershocks rattled southern California over the weekend, causing light scattered damage around the Los Angeles area and forcing evacuations.
The epicenter of the magnitude 5.1 quake that struck Friday night was one mile east of La Habra and four miles north of Fullerton in Orange County, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
It was at a depth of about 4.7 miles, and was felt as far as San Diego in the south and Ventura County in the north. Preceded by two smaller foreshocks, the temblor sparked rock slides, overturned cars and caused power outages to nearly 2,000 customers, according to The Associated Press. more >>
Kay Warren, wife of Pastor Rick Warren, was so overwhelmed by the thousands of supportive responses to her Facebook post under the headline, "Don't Tell Grievers to 'Move On,'" that she took nearly two weeks before responding.
"Grief is a long, arduous, slow process and it deserves to be respected and supported, not minimized and condemned," Kay Warren said in part of her Facebook message posted Thursday.
The Saddleback Church founders are approaching the one year anniversary of their son's death approached. Matthew Warren died at the age of 27 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 5, 2013. The young Warren had "lived his entire life with mental illness," Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, said last year. more >>
Nearly 50 percent of Christians believe that prayer alone is powerful enough to treat mental illness, according to a recent study. But while psychologists of faith might agree that prayer certainly helps, one expert insists that spiritual disciplines are only one part of a holistic approach to treating mental illness.
The results of that noted survey, published in September by LifeWay Research, revealed that 48 percent of "self-identified born-again, evangelical, or fundamentalist Christians" believe that Bible study and prayer alone can help overcome mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Furthermore, only 21 percent of survey respondents who attend worship services at least once a week said they believed they would be welcomed at most churches if they had a mental health issue.
How can Christians concerned that they or a loved one might be suffering from mental illness discern when it is time to rise from their knees and find a psychologist or psychiatrist? more >>