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Jarrid Wilson, California church leader, author, and mental health advocate, dies by suicide [#JarridWilson #ChurchLeader #DeathBySuicide]

Jarrid Wilson, a California church leader, author, and mental health advocate, died by suicide Monday evening at age 30.

Jarrid Wilson, known as a passionate preacher, most recently was an associate pastor at megachurch Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. A co-founder of the mental health nonprofit Anthem of Hope, Wilson was open about his own depression, often posting on his social media accounts about his battles with the mental illness.

His wife, Julianne Wilson, posted a photo tribute of her husband on Instagram. The photo slideshow shows him fishing “in his happy place.”

According to Julianne Wilson, her husband was “loving, giving, kind-hearted, encouraging, handsome, hilarious.”

No more pain, my jerry, no more struggle. You are made complete and you are finally free. Suicide doesn’t get the last word. I won’t let it. You always said ‘Hope Gets the last word. Jesus does.’

– Julianne Wilson

In addition to his wife, Wilson is survived by two sons, Finch and Denham; and his mother, father, and siblings.

Pastor and Mental Health Advocate Jarrid Wilson Dies by Suicide:
ChristianityToday.com

Ethiopian Christians take to streets in mass protest against burning of churches and attacks on worshipers [#EthiopiaChristians #EthiopiaPersecution #ChristianPersecution]

Ethiopian Christians took to the streets Sunday, September 22, 2019 in a mass protest against the burning of churches and attacks on worshipers around the country.

Since July 2018, 30 churches have been attacked, while almost 100 worshipers have been killed.

Ethiopian Orthodox church leaders met with government officials earlier September 2019 to discuss how Christians could be better secured against an uptick in ethnic and political violence.

The protests this week followed a slate of protests that took place in several cities Sunday, September 15, 2019 in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Christians march to protest church burnings:
Washington Examiner

Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club Transformed to Ozaukee Christian School in Trenton, Wisconsin [#SpearmintRhino #OzaukeeChristianSchool #TrentonWisconsin]

The site of a shuttered strip club in Wisconsin is being transformed into “a place of life and light and hope and joy” as it eventually becomes a Christian school, part of which will be opened later September 2019.

The former Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club, located in a strip mall in Trenton, Wisconsin roughly 40 miles north of Milwaukee, will soon open as the Ozaukee Christian School.

Officials purchased the strip mall in 2019 and plan to make what used to be a strip club into a place for education — in “a story only God could write.”

Ozaukee Christian School is thrilled to announce it is moving to a new building, taking over a former strip club in the Town of Trenton. We reached an agreement to purchase the property from California-based Spearmint Rhino and hope to occupy the building in time for the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

The unusual building conversion is an answer to prayer that ends a years-long search for a building to call our own.

OCS — a non-denominational Christian school founded in 1990 — has leased several locations over the years. We’ve partnered with Portview Christian Church in Port Washington, Friedens Church in Port Washington, and most recently with St. John XXIII in Saukville for the last 19 years.

“We have felt God leading us to a building of our own that will allow us to grow, to expand our ability to work with special needs children and to reach more families in Washington County, all the while maintaining strong ties with our families in Ozaukee County,” said Kris Austin, OCS Administrator.
The property will allow us to do all this and more. We are purchasing a strip mall that includes the former Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club that we will renovate into classrooms, offices, a cafeteria and a multi-purpose room. This initial phase will allow us to serve 125 students, double our current enrollment. Future additions will include a gym with stage and locker rooms, and a new classroom wing, allowing growth up to 250 students.

“God has given the leadership of OCS a big vision for growth while providing us what we need for each step of this project,” said Dave Swartz, OCS Board President.
We are trusting God to provide the funds for this project, just as He cleared the way for us to buy this building. We have raised $425,000 so far and are seeking a total of $2.2 million to complete the purchase and initial renovation of the property.

How It Came to Be

After looking at over 80 different properties, several school leaders became independently aware the property in January 2017, and after visiting the site we felt it could be a great fit. We reached out to Spearmint but were initially told they weren’t interested in selling. In July 2017, however, the company reached out and offered to sell the building. We began meeting with architects and contractors to determine how this property could fit the school’s needs. After completing preliminary plans, we launched an initial fundraising drive in April 2018 to gain support for this project. In the meantime, we have done prayer walks at the property with staff, parents and alumni. Students regularly gathered to pray for the process along with a group of 140 “email prayer warriors” doing the same.

After months of phone conversations, emails and the abundant prayers of God’s people, we were blessed with a signed purchase offer. We have enjoyed getting to know Mr. Peter Garrell (attorney for Spearmint) and Ms. Joann Castillo (senior executive assistant) over these many months — and praying with them as well. It is a journey unlike anything we could have imagined. It is a story that only God could write.

Wisconsin Christian school to open at site of former strip club:
Fox News

Jesus: “Will You Also Leave Me?” [#WillYouAlsoLeaveMe #WillYouAlsoLeaveJesus #ChristianViews]

The truth of all of Christianity is that there are sometimes very hard things we have to walk through which we do not understand.

If we choose to press in and allow God to grant us His strength and peace, then He will bring us to the other side of the hard place. If we choose to not press in to Him, it is a grave mistake, because that is where most people get bitter and choose to “walk with Him no more!”

Here is the difference between a friend and a buddy.

A buddy says things like: “Hey dude go ahead and smoke that weed, or drink that alcohol, it is not going to hurt you!” Or go ahead and have premarital sex, you won’t get pregnant! Party party; have a blast, if it feels good do it, everyone else is!

But a friend is different.

A true friend says, “No, don’t do those things! They can hurt you, you can be killed in a car accident, or your girlfriend can get pregnant.” A true friend stands up for what is right and cares about you as an individual.

Jesus never made any of the disciples, or anyone else, His buddy!

This is where many fall away from the faith. For many, it possibly will be the hinge that turns the door for them on their way out of the Christianity they once professed!

One of the most subtle yet convincing false teachings that has risen its ugly head in the past several decades, coming in several flavors, is the teaching that Jesus wants to be your buddy!

He is the false Jesus that winks at sin. He is the false Jesus that allows you to do whatever you want to; you just need to ask for His blessing on it! He is the Jesus that causes many people to fall away when their formulas that they have come up do not work!

Incorporating this false Jesus persona does not produce some concocted miracle during any given crisis of life.

It morphs from the sincere “Why God did you allow this?” question of a solid Christian with a true Biblical relationship with the living Christ, to a “Jesus my buddy, I just lost everything while trusting You to bless my ‘not ordained of God’ plans. You must be a false god, so I am leaving You” scenario.

When we as believers finally stop thinking of Jesus as if He is some kind of “buddy” He will be able to teach us about the hard lessons of Biblical Christianity. Jesus was clearly teaching those disciples, about the hard things they would have to go through as believers.

Oh that many of those today in places of great influence would stop promoting and believing that Jesus is their buddy and start seeing Him as a true friend, a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

A friend who will reveal in prayer what the Father is doing eventually during a severe trial if we will just pray through on it.

He is a friend who would ask all of us today, “Will you also leave Me?”

Then may we be like Peter who responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life. You are our only hope!” (John 6:68)

Will you also leave Jesus?
Christian Post

Marty Sampson, worship music writer, singer, and active member of Hillsong denounces his faith [#MartySampson #HillSong #ChristianNewsAndViews]

Marty Sampson, a worship music writer, singer, and active member of Hillsong has publicly denounced his faith on social media.

His announcement comes just weeks after well-known Christian author Joshua Harris announced his departure from Christianity, both sharing their news over Instagram.

Sampson, who has notably written songs for Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United, Delirious and Young & Free, shared a now-deleted post to Instagram, explaining how he is “losing” his faith.

The following is a transcript of the post from Relevant Magazine:

Time for some real talk. I’m genuinely losing my faith, and it doesn’t bother me. Like, what bothers me now is nothing. I am so happy now, so at peace with the world. It’s crazy.

This is a soapbox moment so here I go … How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it. Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet—they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people. But it’s not for me.

I am not in any more. I want genuine truth. Not the “I just believe it” kind of truth. Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion. Lots of things help people change their lives, not just one version of God. Got so much more to say, but for me, I keeping it real. Unfollow if you want, I’ve never been about living my life for others.

All I know is what’s true to me right now, and Christianity just seems to me like another religion at this point. I could go on, but I won’t. Love and forgive absolutely. Be kind absolutely. Be generous and do good to others absolutely. Some things are good no matter what you believe. Let the rain fall, the sun will come up tomorrow.

instagram / @martysamps

Sampson has spent the last 20 years producing worship music for the Hillsong music groups including Hillsong United, Hillsong Worship, and Hillsong Young & Free.

He has both written and sang worship songs with various Hillsong legends from Darlene Zschech to Joel Houston to Brooke Ligertwood.

Some of his most recent popular songs include: “Forever,” and “Came to My Rescue.”

Some of Sampson’s reasons for leaving the faith include failing to talk about the church failing to address controversies, the devastation of eternal damnation, and contradictions found in the Bible.

I’m Genuinely Losing My Faith’: Hillsong Worship Leader Rejects Christian Beliefs
CBN News