It's been almost 35 years since that fateful day on Dec. 8, 1980 ,when Mark David Chapman fired shots that echoed around the globe as they killed one of the world's most beloved singer-songwriters in ex-Beatle, John Lennon. But in Chapman's eighth parole board hearing this Wednesday, he told the New York state parole board that although he took Lennon's life in search of self-fame and notoriety, his life is no longer controlled by selfish demons and is now solely focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. Despite that claim, Chapman was again denied parole.
Chapman, who read a book on the Beatles when he was a child that had inspired him to become "somebody important or better," was lulled into a stark drunken depression in his life, unfulfilled as a security guard working in Hawaii. Upset because his childhood dreams of fame hadn't panned out, he stumbled across a picture of John Lennon and wondered "what would happen if I kill him?"
What happened was Chapman, now 59 years old, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years to life in a New York prison about 25 miles west of Buffalo and nearly 5,000 miles away from his wife. Having been denied parole eight times now, it is looking like Chapman may be there for life. Although Chapman has been able to sit and think about the heinousness of the premeditated murder he committed, that time has also allowed him to apparently come to Christ. more >>
A New York town whose unofficial prayer policy was successfully defended before the U.S. Supreme Court has adopted a formal invocation policy for its monthly board meetings.
Town of Greece voted last week to adopt the formal policy, having had an informal policy wherein people could pray sectarian invocations before the beginning of the board's public meeting.
Brian Marianetti, attorney for Town of Greece, told The Christian Post that the invocation policy was approved by the board on Aug. 19 in response to the increased attention Greece got due to the controversy over its prayers. more >>
Fierce battles over whether classic hymns or contemporary tunes should be the linchpins of Christian worship may have subsided, but the arena is still messy, according to worship pastor and recording artist Lincoln Brewster. Some Christians are more excited about turning up for a concert than they are about getting to worship on time, he says from experience. Others have placed facilitating genuine God-connections on the back burner for the sake of being "cool."
Brewster, in his 40s, was such a maestro on the guitar as a youth that by the age of 19, he was considering a major recording contract. But he passed on the golden opportunity for what he believed was a more sure-fire deal — serving at his local church. He has since released seven albums in partnership with Integrity Music, and has produced for the label such worship anthems as "Everlasting God" and "God You Reign."
Bayside Church in Granite Bay, California, where Brewster has served as the worship arts pastor for the last 14 years, describes him on its website as "a multi-talented guitarist, singer and songwriter" who "speaks to the hearts of people who are hungry for non-traditional, passionate worship." His accolades surely attest to his skills, but Brewster, a married father, is reluctant to take on the "rock star" title. more >>
New York Jets Linebacker Demario Davis says he has a premonition that the 2014 NFL season will be his team's best year because he believes his intuition is coming directly from God.
Davis is a devout Christian who made a similar bold statement last year during a time when the Jets were under scrutiny. But this year he is taking a similar approach as another Christian football player did in believing that nothing is impossible.
"… Everybody says that this is their year. Everybody says it from all 32 teams, but who really believes it? [Seattle quarterback] Russell Wilson last year said, 'Why not us?' It's so much about believing. You're going to have so many doubters, so many believers. You have to go out there and believe that this is our time," Davis said to Metro news outlet. more >>
NEW YORK — The American Bible Society's' stated mission is to engage people "with the life-changing message of God's Word," and the 200-year-old Christian nonprofit appears to be pulling out all the stops to stick to that mission. Its latest form of outreach is a new interactive "immersive experience" — a 3D game, dubbed "Dive In" that is supposed to turn players' minds to the condition of their heart.
Dive In was unveiled less than a month ago outside of the American Bible Society's New York City headquarters, not far from the heavily-trafficked Christopher Columbus Circle.
The game uses a 3D camera that incorporates gesture tracking. Once a player steps up to bat, their body movements are tracked and they can then control their avatar's movements by leaning left or right, flapping their arms or waving as they swim through an imaginary water world. more >>
Lecrae, outspoken Christian and award-winning recording artist, has taken to his social networks to speak out on the frustration he feels in light of responses to the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. The rapper also has received pushback for suggesting that hip-hop artists lose credibility by rapping about "lawlessness" and then demanding "equality and justice."
"Regardless of your view on #Ferguson. If [you] have zero compassion for that community you are not loving your neighbor as yourself. These are my cousins, aunts, nieces, uncles, nephews, and our ethnic bond is strong," Lecrae wrote on Instagram Friday. "It does not supersede my bond of faith but at times it feels like my eternal family could care less about my earthly family."
He added, "I feel I'm only accepted if I perform well and don't act like my 'cousins.' I am the same as them but the grace of God has granted me opportunities they didn't get." more >>