Baseball legend Darryl Strawberry uses ministry to reach others battling addiction

After a very public fall from grace, a Major League Baseball legend, has dedicated his life to preaching the Gospel and sharing a message of redemption. Darryl Strawberry became one of the biggest stars in baseball in the 1980s and 1990s, until his career was derailed by drugs.

Drafted by the New York Mets, Strawberry was the 1983 National League Rookie of the Year. With a powerful swing, he hit 26 home runs and propelled himself into the national spotlight.

“That lifestyle is not real. It’s so many trap holds for you,” Strawberry said. “So many things that are out there. You say as a young player, ‘Well, I’ll never get into it.’ Well, if you don’t have any discipline (and) you don’t have any integrity and character, you will get into it.”

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Sewing Hope: The extraordinary woman called the ‘Mother Theresa of Africa’

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Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe shared how she took on the Lord’s Resistance Army in northern Uganda. (Photo source: Leah Jackson/ NSU Information Services)

Wednesday, I had the opportunity to spend time with an extraordinary woman who has changed the lives of thousands of young girls, who otherwise would remain on the fringes of society.

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe is gaining worldwide attention for her humanitarian work to rescue children from a notorious rebel army in Africa. She’s helping mend those broken lives by teaching girls to sew hope with a needle and thread.

I moderated a lecture with Sister Rosemary, then interviewed the notable nun for my Power of Prayer series on KLTV.
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Pastor’s spiritual walk leads him from orphanage to Capitol Hill

As guest chaplain, Rev. Milton delivered the invocation before a session of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.

As guest chaplain, Rev. Milton delivered the invocation before a session of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.

As a coach, pastor, and foster parent, Reverend Jerome R. Milton has touched the lives of hundreds of East Texans.

On December 12, 2012, his devotion to spreading the word of God earned him an invitation to lead the U.S. House of Representatives in prayer as guest chaplain. After an introduction by East Texas congressman Louie Gohmert and then-Speaker of the House John Boehner, Milton began the session by praying that lawmakers would find common ground to work for the common good of the nation.

He prepared for that experience through deep reflection. “God said to my heart and my spirit, ‘I’m with you and when you go there. They will hear my words through you. They will hear my through you.'”

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Actor Kirk Cameron shares his spiritual walk from atheist to evangelist

Actor Kirk Cameron shares his spiritual walk from athiest to evangelist

Actor Kirk Cameron is no stranger to talking about his faith. He’s become one of the most prominent Christian voices in Hollywood.

Actor Kirk Cameron became a pop culture idol as the star of the 1980s hit TV comedy ‘Growing Pains.’ Raised in a family without God, he found his faith while portraying teenager Mike Seaver on the ABC sitcom.

Now, as one of the most prominent Christian voices in Hollywood, Cameron is inspiring others by sharing his spiritual walk.

“As a recovering atheist, I look back and I see how God used a friend who invited me to church even though I didn’t have any interest in God, to hear the message of the Gospel, at a time that I was thinking about what life was really all about and what happens after you die and how did we get here in the first place,” Cameron said.

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Ministers patrolling E. Texas streets through community policing program

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30 Titus County ministers of various denominations are enlisted in the Clergy And Police Alliance, or C.A.P.A., riding with Mouth Pleasant police officers on patrol.

Rockie Simpler is not a peace officer, but a man of the cloth. Still, his ministry puts him alongside Mount Pleasant police officers — armed only with the word of God.

“This patrol car is my church,” Simpler said. “I use it as a tool to go out and help people with the Lord. I use it to help somebody who has a problem and a need.”

Simpler is among the 30 Titus County ministers of various denominations who are enlisted in the Clergy And Police Alliance, or C.A.P.A. They participate in regular patrols and volunteer for an on-call rotation after completing a six-week training course. Ministers are given an inside look at the duties of law enforcement officers and an overview of the criminal justice system. Continue reading

Theology on Tap serves up Bible study with a twist

The Tyler-area men’s group ‘Theology on Tap’ is catching on with East Texas, drawing as many as 70 attendees each month.

A Christian men’s group in Tyler is reaching out the faithful in an unlikely way, through Bible study with a twist. Theology on Tap provides fellowship and conversations about faith and spirituality in a casual setting.

Rev. Justin Braun, a priest with the Catholic Diocese of Tyler, helped start the group in 2012. “We’re East Texas men. We like beer. You know, and we like to talk about Jesus. So, we can do those things together.”

Once a month, the group meets at various restaurants in the Tyler area, with as many as 70 men participating. Organizer Nathan Ihrig said the idea was to create a relaxed environment, while offering meaningful discussion. “Guys are more willing to come and enjoy a beer or two and eat and listen and ask questions.” Continue reading

E. Texas priest awaits ordination as bishop of Tyler diocese

Bishop-elect Joseph Strickland with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.

In the two months since the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI had chosen a local priest to become the fourth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler, Reverend Monsignor Joseph E. Strickland has kept a whirlwind schedule.

Through his blog, “Run Father Run,” Bishop-elect Strickland has provided an inside look at his latest spiritual journey that began with his appointment on September 29. Frequent posts have detailed trips across the country for meetings with other Church leaders, guiding the spiritual growth of East Texans through retreats and services, and even dedicating a new church. Continue reading

Are we losing faith in America?

The number of Christians in the U.S. has decreased by 10 percent over the last decade, according to the American Religious Identification Survey. Protestants accounted for the biggest segment of the membership drop. Roman Catholicism, the other segment of Christians, saw a shift in geographic location.

The majority of the denomination’s members is now centered in the Southwest, rather than New England. Many attribute this shift to the growing number of Latinos in America. The survey reported the number of atheists has doubled from 2001.

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