A mammoth hot air balloon featuring the painting of a smiling Jesus will ascend to the skies of western New York during the Easter season.
Named "RISEN!", the hot air balloon will be 80-feet-tall and have a volume of 105,000 cubic feet, being constructed from more than 2,000 square yards of fabric.
Sky Sail Balloons, Inc., an Ashville, New York-based hot air balloon company, will create the RISEN!, with its maiden voyage slated for this Easter season. more >>
LOS ANGELES – Together L.A., a three day conference featuring close to 50 speakers primarily discussing how churches and ministries can effectively collaborate to show the love of Christ to the city, concluded with best-selling author and pastor Tim Keller speaking about individual identity before 2,000 people in attendance last Saturday.
"Christianity doesn't just give you a new identity it gives you a radical way of forming an identity," said Keller, pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York. "It gives you a unique, liberating and infinitely better identity than the one the culture is imposing on you right now."
Throughout the conference, Keller and other speakers discussed practical steps and gave examples of how the Christian community is tackling hard social issues. However, Keller's closing message was more about how Christians walking in faith can overcome skewed expectations from society. more >>
Georgia's only woman on death row was not executed Monday night due to "an abundance of caution" about the drug being used for the execution.
Kelly Gissendaner's execution at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson was temporarily postponed after the drug in question, pentobarbital, appeared cloudy. That cloudiness caused concern that it was somehow tainted or would not be effective in the procedure. The Georgia Department of Corrections did not take any questions but simply said the execution was "postponed."
In recent weeks, numerous groups, including many Christians, took up the cause of sparing Gissendaner from death. She was sentenced to death 18 years ago for conspiring with her boyfriend to kill her husband, Douglas. Her lawyers argued that Gissendaner did not actually take part in the murder and had been rehabilitated during her time in prison. However, the board denied the petition for clemency and the execution was to be carried out on Monday evening. more >>
"19 Kids & Counting" star Jessa Duggar has spoken out and ruffled feathers by telling followers that those who do not believe in hell cannot truly believe in God.
"I will speak to you a hard truth," she posted on her Facebook account. "I do not write this because I think that it will bring me popularity. It won't. But it is Truth from the Word of God: the Bible. To not tell people this is to hide the truth from them. To keep silent is to not care for their eternal destiny! I care about you, and this is why I am speaking out!"
The newlywed also wrote about the nature of judgment and why one should be aware of the reality of hell. more >>
A church in Washington state is converting a former strip club into an evangelistic facility that's serving the community seven days a week.
Bethany Community Church, a Seattle-based multi-site congregation founded in 1900, acquired the former strip club called "Sugars" and has turned it into a site for missions.
The strip club was located in the city of Shoreline, which is north of Seattle. The facility will serve as part of Bethany Community Church North. more >>
LOS ANGELES – Upon meeting Pastor Rafer Owens, who is both the dynamic leader of Faith Inspirational Missionary Baptist Church and a deputy sheriff serving in Compton in Los Angeles County, it is easy to understand why he was chosen to speak at Together LA, the three-day conference about discovering how to "love on" the metropolis, beginning this Thursday.
Owens has ministered for 17 years to not only a primarily black congregation but to a much wider audience – Compton, a city once known as a war zone for gangs.
"Our mission is to take back the city of Compton and bring the love of God and the spirit of God and overall revival to the city," he said while describing the goals of his church. "What we've done as a church is become involved in everything that the city does and everything that would help lift up the community." more >>