Rafael Ramos was one of the two NYPD officers murdered on Saturday, and he's remembered for his commitment to his church as well as his passion for ministry.
Ramos and his partner, Wenjian Liu, were executed by a lone gunman who later took his own life. Ramos, 40, dreamed of being a chaplain and was hours away from graduating from the New York State Chaplain Task Force when he was killed. The pastor of Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens, New York, where Ramos was a member, issued a statement remembering the fallen officer's service.
"Ralph Ramos was a long-standing member of 14 years at Christ Tabernacle. When he was not working, he was highly involved in our church. He served as an usher, was part of our marriage ministry and life group ministry. He and his family are well loved throughout the congregation," said Rev. Adam Durso who serves as executive pastor at Christ Tabernacle Church. more >>
Editor's note: This article is tied to a report on Yazidi immigrant Murad Ismael and NYC Pastor William Devlin's humanitarian trip to Erbil, Iraq. Read that report here: US Pastor Who Supported Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan Heads to Iraq With Yazidi Activist; Says Christians Can Pray, Give Money But Should Put Their Bodies on the Line. Also, read Ismael's account of the atrocities unfolding in Iraq under the Islamic State here: US Yazidi Returning to Iraq Amid ISIS Persecution Calls for People of All Faiths to Act.
NEW YORK — A New York City pastor traveling with a U.S. Yazidi leader to offer humanitarian assistance to religious minorities targeted by the Islamic State in Iraq believes Christians in America should do more to encourage believers living in some of the world's most persecuted countries.
The Rev. William Devlin, co-pastor of Infinity Bible Church in the Bronx borough of New York City and a former politician, is as much of an activist as he is a missionary. When the City of New York banned churches and other religious groups in 2011 from renting public schools for worship gatherings, Devlin embarked on a 42-day fast, was arrested in an act of civil disobedience, and publicly confronted then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg during an interfaith breakfast about the city's decision (which the current mayor has vowed to reverse). more >>
Billy Graham is still focused on spreading the good news found in the Bible, says his daughter Anne Graham Lotz. "He is 96, he has not yet lost his focus on the gospel, reaching people for Christ," she described in a recent interview.
Reflecting on his ministry as a world famous evangelist and pastor to presidents, Lotz said there were many temptations that could have diverted Graham's attention from his ministry. Instead, he remained faithful to his Bible calling.
The secret to Graham's continued focus, Lotz explained, is his humility. more >>
Just over a week ago at a celebration of his 60th birthday, Pastor Gordon A. Humphrey Jr. of United Ministries bellowed melodiously from the pulpit that "the Lord is good to me…You healed my body, You brought me back from death" as a choir harmoniously affirmed his lilting declarations.
On Sunday, the preacher who loved to sing was at it again.
Shortly before he began preaching a Christmas-themed message about "hope in the manger" at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago he sauntered through the lyrics of rapper Pharrell Williams' runaway hit song "Happy". more >>
Pastor John Piper told a young Christian wondering if her relationship with the Heavenly Father is healthy that God wants her to feel rest assured that she belongs to Him. Good deeds, he stressed, won't lead to acceptance from God.
Piper told young podcast listener Mara, "God wants you to be confident that you belong to Him. He doesn't want you Mara to worry about your relationship."
Quoting 1 John 5:13, he continued, "He wants us, He want you to enjoy confidence, enjoy assurance, He wants you to be sure that you're OK with God so when you go to bed at night, you don't have to be afraid of anything. You can have a real peaceful night's sleep and even if you died in the middle of the night, you'd be OK, you'd be safe with Jesus." more >>
A Christmas-themed music video posted on YouTube featuring the Guinness World Record holder for largest living nativity has garnered over 1.7 million views in less than a week.
Posted by The Piano Guys on Friday, the music video features the living Nativity scene held earlier this month at Provo, Utah, that had over 1,000 participants.
Featuring a hymn fusing the two carols "Angels from the Realms of Glory" and "Angels We Have Heard On High," the video has garnered more than 1.7 million views, over 56,000 likes, and more than 3,200 comments as of Tuesday morning. more >>