The Los Angeles City Council is considering a ban on the feeding of homeless people in public spaces even as the city's homeless population has dramatically defied a national decline.
The county's homeless population stands at 57,737, a 15 percent increase from 2011 to 2013, reports the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As the population moves into areas like West Hollywood, Venice and Brentwood, it has frustrated homeowners and led two city council members, Tom LaBonge and Mitch O'Farrell, to introduce a resolution that would ban outdoor feeding.
But even while the rest of the city grapples with the influx of homeless people, the majority of them are still concentrated in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Skid Row. Back in the 1970s, the city decided to intentionally concentrate homeless and drug addiction services like missions, shelters and recovery centers in the neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. more >>
If we are going to impact future cultures, we will need young people who have a vision for what can happen when they enter into their destinies with a motive to solve problems and be used of God. Many of today's next generation operate from no moral absolutes. George Barna defined those born between 1984 and 2002 as the Mosaic Generation, because they're "very mosaic in every aspect of their life. . . . There's [no attribute] that really dominates like you might have seen with prior generations." They are comprised of nonlinear thinkers who cut and paste their beliefs and values from a variety of sources.
In a 2009 Barna Group survey, Barna describes the next generation like this: "Mosaics and Busters have come to expect experiences that appear unscripted and interactive, that allow them to be open and honest with their questions, that are technologically stimulating, that are done alongside peers and within trusted relationships, and that give them the chance to be creative and visual." He believes that connecting with young people has always been a challenge, but today that struggle is at a much deeper level.
"It's a completely different set of values based upon a very varied interpretation of the meaning of life and how to achieve success or significance in one's life," said Barna in an interview. "They want spirituality; they want faith experiences; they want a taste of religion; but they don't want to have to go through all of the stuff that they see the adults doing at the typical church. But, because the Internet fits with their schedule-it's a 24/7 opportunity-they're using it to explore things they might not have access to otherwise." more >>
Trinity Broadcasting Network aired a 3-hour tribute Sunday evening to its founding visionary, Paul F. Crouch, that included a fascinating documentary-style history of the media organization and short testimonials from many well-known Christian leaders. Wife and ministry partner, Jan Crouch, also spoke briefly about her husband, who died on Nov. 30, following a decade-long battle with degenerative heart disease.
"God called us on the same day to TBN," said Jan Crouch, relating an evening more than 40 years ago, when both realized at the same moment that they needed to start a TV station, "and I just always dreamed we would go home the same day. I never dreamed I would be left without his wisdom and his saying 'no' as only he could say," she explained, while momentarily giggling through her tears, "so lovingly, so lovingly sometimes. I never dreamed that one day TBN would be here and Paul wouldn't … Right now we just need your prayers and your love like never before."
The Rev. Franklin Graham, CEO and president of Samaritan's Purse, said during the television special, "TBN Remembers Paul F. Crouch 1934-2013," that he could not say or think about Paul Crouch without also thinking about his wife. more >>
More than 40 groups have signed on to sponsor an event geared toward combating pornography in the United States.
The National Day of Prayer Against Pornography will take place next Tuesday. The anti-pornography observance is chiefly sponsored by the group Morality in Media (MIM), which is dedicated to combating pornography usage via education and the law.
Patrick Trueman, president and CEO of MIM, told The Christian Post that his group intends to make this an annual event. more >>
An evangelical financial organization has released on Wednesday the findings of its fourth annual "State of Giving" report, which notes that giving to member groups has increased over the past two years.
Among their findings, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability found that annual monetary giving to ECFA-accredited organizations increased 6.4 percent between 2011 and 2012.
ECFA also found a 1.7 percent overall increase in contributions to ECFA member groups from 2010 to 2011, as well as a 5.8 percent overall increase from 2011 to 2012. more >>
The United Methodist Church had its largest amount of funds donated online in a single-day during the #GivingTuesday observance, the denomination's leaders report.
About $6.5 million was donated to UMC missions on the Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the UMC General Board of Global Ministries. The idea of putting a focus on "giving" rather than "shopping" on the day after Cyber Monday and three days after Black Friday appears to have gained momentum this year thanks to social media.