Author Archives: Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield
Founder of nation’s leading depression clinic explains why depression spikes during the holidays
SEATTLE, Dec. 10, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ – The World Health Organization says Depression will be the number one disease in the World by 2020. Depression and the holidays often go hand-in-hand. Cold, dark months give way to eating binges and a nagging sense that our relationships or finances are not all that we’d like them to be.
The winter holidays are a grim reminder of what is, or what could have been, or of our disconnection from family. While holiday advertisements show happy families eating around ornately decorated tables the truth for millions of people is just the opposite; a lonely stressful time when the darkness of depression envelopes them like a blanket.
Dr. Gregg Jantz is a therapist who specializes in both depressive and eating disorders – twin culprits that are often closely linked. He is the author of Turning Your Down into Up: A Realistic Plan for Healing from Depression (www.aplaceofhope.com). He says depression boils down to a lack of hope. The triggers can be anything from broken relationships to
financial struggles, lack of work, shorter days, or lack of exercise.
“Depression interferes with the ability to make decisions, concentrate, focus, or remember things,” explains Jantz. Further, it shows up as sadness or anxiety and often promotes feelings of guilt, shame, and hopelessness. For Christians, depression can feel like a weakness or lack of trust in God. Women also suffer from depression at higher rates than do men but for both sexes depression is on the rise.
Like any other illness, depression unhinges families, steals joy, and otherwise keeps us from enjoying the positive aspects of life. “Purpose gives you the drive to keep going,” explains Jantz. “You need to create a purpose, plan, and mission for your life.” The holidays are simply a catalyst for what’s beneath the surface, a lingering sense that things are not as we’d like them to be.
To break the patterns of depression and live a life of hope, Jantz suggests we remember this simple truth: “A lack of purpose causes a lack of passion. Passion is what energizes your spirit, and purpose gives you personal meaning.”
- 8 holiday mood-boosting foods (alternativedepressiontreatments.wordpress.com)
- Slowdown of emotional recovery could be a warning sign for depression (medicalxpress.com)
- How You Can Beat the Holiday Blues This Season (naturalhealthyconcepts.com)
- Generations program tackles depression in older adults (kvue.com)
New York University, Jerome Cohen and ChinaAid, Bob Fu Release Joint Statement Regarding the Spyware Controversy
MIDLAND, Texas, Dec. 9, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — JOINT
SETTLEMENT STATEMENT regarding the Spyware Controversy.
Signed by Rev. Bob Xiqiu Fu, Heidi Bochun Cai, ChinaAid and Professor Jerome Cohen, New York University.
China Aid and its President, Reverend Bob Fu, Professor Jerome Cohen and New York University are all pleased to announce that they have resolved a misunderstanding related to their successful efforts to bring the blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng to the United States in May 2012.
Professor Cohen and NYU have confirmed that, contrary to media reports, an iPad and iPhone given to Mr. Chen by China Aid contained no software designed to monitor communications or spy on Mr. Chen. Professor Cohen and NYU regret that media reports may have had any negative impact on Bob Fu, his wife Heidi Cai, or China Aid. Reverend Fu and China Aid recognize the important contributions of Professor Cohen to the cause of human rights in China and believe that his and NYU’s statements in connection with this matter were made in good faith based on a misunderstanding of technology.
All of the parties reaffirm their common support for the human rights of the Chinese people.
Rev. Bob Xiqiu Fu
China Aid Association
Professor Jerome Cohen
New York University
- The Chen Guangheng/NYU affair (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- How a Chinese dissident walked into America’s culture wars (trust.org)
- Persecution in China: One Man’s Story Bob Fu; An Interview by Colette Moran (ruthfullyyours.com)
- Bob Fu Is Alive and Thriving (christianitytoday.com)
ATLANTA, Dec. 5, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ – The good news
of Christmas is not about decorations, deals or midnight mall madness,
it’s the miracle of the birth of Christ and two teenagers who had the
courage to do God’s will. Flock TV, the online Christian television
network, presents the Christmas Story Special – a program that depicts
Mary and Joseph’s journey leading to the divine birth of Jesus Christ.
The Christmas Story Special airs during the month of December on www.flocktv.org.
Christmas Story Special is directed by Nate Bernard (SkyRocket Studio)
and stars JuliAnna Briscoe (Mary) and Nathan Hudson (Joseph). It
intertwines biblical scripture, historical context and insightful
commentary from Fuller Theological Seminary, Luther Seminary and Seton Hall University professors to make the nativity story relatable to everyone.
“It is very important to remind people of the real reason we celebrate Christmas: that God loves us so much that He gave us the ultimate gift –
His son, Jesus Christ,” explained Seth Longtin, executive producer and
founder of Flock TV. “We want to be a positive influence in the
entertainment industry and create programming that touches the heart of
every person who tunes in to one of our programs.”
Flock TV was
launched in June 2013 and is already gaining traction. The network
reaches nearly two million viewers, and its episodes have an average
audience of 300,000.
The Flock TV Christmas Story Special was
produced in association with SkyRocket Studio. The network extends a
special thank you to Dr. Joel Green, Fuller Theological Seminary
Associate Dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies and
Professor of New Testament Interpretation; Dr. Sarah Henrich, Luther
Seminary Professor, New Testament; Dr. Daniel Kirk, Fuller Theological
Seminary Associate Professor of New Testament; and Dr. Dianne Traflet,
Seton Hall University Associate Dean, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, Founder and Co-Director of the Institute for Christian Spirituality.
About Flock TV
TV brings Christian beliefs and ideals to the world through relevant,
entertaining and scripturally-sound Christian television programs,
documentaries, movies and videos. The network features original
programming the entire family can enjoy. To view Flock TV programs and for more information, please visit www.flocktv.org.
- Movie review: “Black Nativity” takes long time to reach goal (sfgate.com)
- The Nativity Story (ourthotfulspot.wordpress.com)
RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 4, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — Prison chaplains, correctional officers, prison ministry
volunteers, current inmates, former inmates, and relatives of inmates
will gather at correctional facilities across the country at 10 a.m. on
Saturday morning, December 7th to sing Christmas carols and pray for
revival in America’s prisons.
An eclectic mix of prayer warriors will lift up the needs of inmates, victims of crime,
and prison staff for one hour at various locations in Christian Library
International‘s second Prayer at the Prison Gate event.
year in Bryan, TX, Mary Lou Nettles organized a diverse group of 20
prayer warriors, including the facility’s chaplain and several
correctional officers, to pray outside Brazos County Detention Center.
Nettles said that she could feel a strong presence of the Lord’s Spirit
during the hour of prayer.
“We prayed that God would have the
mercy to rehabilitate these inmates so that they would lead productive
lives on the outside,” said Nettles, administrative assistant for
Restorative Justice Ministries of Brazos Valley. “Salvation is the most
important part. If you have salvation, that changes your heart and you
want to be a more productive person.”
CLI volunteer Diane’s 24-year-old son was incarcerated at Morrison Correctional Institution
in Hoffman, NC. She and her husband, Frank, felt that Satan was
desperately trying to prevent them from praying at their son’s facility
that morning. Still, they did not let the spiritual attacks prevail. “I
prayed that the aroma of Christ would really be sensed there,” Diane
said. “We asked that everyone designated to be brought into His Kingdom
would be saved this year.”
The sites praying last December were:
Brazos County Detention Center, Bryan, TX
Caledonia Correctional Center, Tillery, NC
Central Prison, Raleigh, NC
Cibola Country Correctional Center, Milan, NM
Eastern Correctional Institute, Westover, MD
John E. Polk Correctional Facility, Sanford, FL
Lee Correctional Institution, Bishopville, SC
Lincoln Correctional Center, Lincoln, Nebraska
Los Angeles County Jail, Los Angeles, CA
MillCreek Youth Center, Ogden, UT
Mississippi State Penitentiary, Parchman, MS
Morrison Correctional Institute, Hoffman, NC
Mt. Sterling Correctional, Mt. Sterling, IL
NC Prison for Women, Raleigh, NC
Nebraska Correctional, Omaha, NE
Northeast Regional Correctional Center, Saginaw, MN
Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, Nashville TN
Salinas Valley State Prison, Soledad, CA
Scotland Correctional, Laurinburg, NC
Tallahatchie County Facility, Tutwiler, MS
Wake County Jail, Raleigh, NC
mission of CLI is to advance Christ’s light in prisons. Since its
founding in 1996, CLI has helped thousands of incarcerated men and women
find new hope in the healing powers of Jesus Christ. We do this by
collecting and distributing used Christian books and Bibles to over 1,100 prisons in all 50 states.
Since we stamp every book with our address, CLI receives thousands of letters and enrollments in the CLI Leadership Bible Study. This 15 lesson study is designed to lead inmates to Christ and enrich their prayer life and Christian walk.
For additional information about praying in your community, contact Jeremy Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-212-8122.
’14 Jewels of Dynamic Leadership’ — New Book by Amazon #1 Best Selling Author, Dr. Mary M. Gillam, Col (Ret), USAF
LORTON, Va., Dec. 3, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ – Do you like diamonds? If so, you are going to enjoy this easy-to-read, understand, and apply inspirational and God-inspired leadership book by #1 Amazon best selling author, Dr. Mary M. Gillam, Col (Ret), USAF. Since Diamonds are known for their longevity and durability, Dr. Gillam chose to use diamonds as the jewel to portray these dynamic leadership principles.
Combining over 30+ years of leadership experience in various leadership positions in the military, government, and industry, Dr. Gillam has documented 14 battle-tested and proven leadership principles that produce results. Using the bible as her foundation, she reminds the reader to allow God’s wisdom to “seal the deal.” Follow his direction, and you will never go wrong. Whether you are a seasoned leadership executive or novice, this book will offer a measure of wisdom that can be successfully applied in your leadership journey.
This dynamic and inspiring book is now available on Amazon, Create Space, Barnes & Noble, and other book distribution sites. Get your copy today!
Lawsuit filed after school tears down, prohibits fliers promoting ‘See You at the Pole’ event
Monday, December 02, 2013
A school counselor confronted the student at a school dance in front of her friends and informed her that the fliers were “illegal” because of the Bible verses and could not be posted or distributed at school. A districtwide policy bans the distribution of “religious materials…on school grounds or in any attendance facility before, during, or after the school day or a school activity.”
School officials took down and destroyed the fliers. Because of the threat of punishment from the school counselor, the student could only secretly distribute a few informational fliers with the time and place of the event to other students out of sight of teachers. As a result, very few students attended the event.
- NJ school district withdraws ban on religious Christmas carols (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
- STARNES: Teacher who prayed for sick student sued (foxnews.com)
- SC school lifts ban on religious Christmas carols (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
- Calif. school district: choirs can’t perform at best acoustic venues if they’re churches (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
Passing of TBN Founder Dr. Paul Crouch
Paul Crouch, founder and President of the Trinity Broadcasting Network
(TBN), the world’s largest Christian television network, died November
30th at the age 79. His passing followed a decade-long battle with
degenerative heart disease.
Dr. Crouch’s passion throughout life
was to spread the gospel, a passion that in 1973 led him and his wife
Jan to found TBN with one small low-power station in Southern
California. Under Dr. Crouch’s leadership of over forty years, TBN has
grown into 26 distinct global networks and affiliates, reaching every
inhabited continent with life-changing Christian programming.
that time Dr. Crouch also empowered scores of ministries to expand
their reach and influence through television, and through those
partnerships Dr. Crouch and TBN took an active role in helping to lead
tens of millions of individuals to faith in Christ. Throughout his life
Dr. Crouch pointed to that eternal harvest as his most important
While acknowledged throughout the broadcast industry as
the foremost leader in Christian television, Dr. Crouch maintained a
characteristic modesty concerning his role, preferring to emphasize the
countless friends and partners who stepped alongside him and Mrs.
Crouch to make TBN a successful outreach. Above all, in reflecting on
his crucial role in TBN’s continued impact, Dr. Crouch inevitably
pointed to the importance of an undying faith in God, which he
characterized as “walking to the edge of all the light you have … and
taking one more step.”
While we mourn Dr. Crouch’s passing, we
are comforted with the knowledge that his influence and legacy will be
felt for many decades to come as the Trinity Broadcasting Network
continues to broadcast the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the
- Our Prayers Are With the Crouch Family and Tbn (newjerusalemcoming.wordpress.com)
- Paul Crouch, co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting (TBN) dead at 79 (examiner.com)
- Televangelist Paul Crouch, Founder Of Trinity Broadcasting Network, Dies At 79 (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
- Died: Paul Crouch, 79, Founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (christianitytoday.com)
Thomas More Society Facilitates Illinois’ Sixth Annual Display of Religion in the Public Square
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Nov. 27, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ – The State Capitol Rotunda in Springfield welcomes the 6th annual Christmas Nativity scene beginning at noon on Tuesday, December 3, 2013. This privately-funded display of religion in Illinois’ public square has been hosted by the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee and facilitated by the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based not-for-profit public interest law firm.
The Christmas crèche display will stand in the center of the Illinois State Capitol Rotunda, next to the Governor’s Holiday Tree, and will depict the newborn Christ child lying in a manger inside a handcrafted wooden stable. The official unveiling of the Nativity tableau will feature a celebration marking Christmas, the Christian holy day honoring the birth of Jesus Christ.
WHAT: Springfield Nativity Scene opening celebration
WHERE: The Illinois State Capitol Rotunda, South 2nd Street & East Capitol Avenue, Springfield, IL
WHO: open to the public, sponsored by the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee
- Rev. Bernie Lutchman, President of Business Men in Christ of Springfield will give an invocation.
- Springfield Baptist Church Official Praise Team led by Music Pastor Brian Morgan will perform Christmas carols.
- Chaplain Steve Holden of US Emergency Chaplains Corps will lay a Christmas wreath in honor and special recognition of the service and sacrifice of America’s military veterans.
• Most Rev. Thomas J. Paprocki, Bishop of the Catholic
- • Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society and Springfield
- Nativity Scene Committee legal counsel
- • Pastor Charlie Carver, South Tower Community Church of Dawson
- • Beth Rogers, Springfield Nativity Scene Committee
- • Pastor Brian Williams, Broken Chains Church
The crèche and manger represent a constitutionally protected expression by private citizens in a traditional public forum, namely the Capitol Rotunda, where political rallies are routinely held during sessions of the Illinois General Assembly and other times. This is classic free speech and citizens’ free exercise of their religious faith in the public square, where the sole role of the government is that of a viewpoint-neutral gatekeeper assuring open access for all citizens to have their “say.” Government is neither censor nor endorser of such religious speech. This display is privately funded and sponsored by the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee, bereft of any government aid or endorsement, and therefore it is clothed and armored with the full protection of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and its counterpart in the Illinois Constitution of 1970.
The Springfield Nativity Scene Committee’s primary goal is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. A secondary mission is to proclaim and demonstrate to the public and the media that such private expressions of religious belief in the public squares of the nation are not merely tolerated but fully deserving of robust legal protection.
Any individuals or groups wishing to sing near the Nativity Scene on weekdays over the noon hour are invited to contact Salli Chernis of the Illinois Secretary of State office, 217-782-8996 for a permit.
About the Thomas More Society
Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm that exists to restore respect in law for life, marriage, and religious liberty. Headquartered in Chicago, the Society fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro-bono professional legal services from local trial courts all the way to the United States Supreme Court. www.thomasmoresociety.org
- Relocation of 14 Capitol sculptures being considered (sj-r.com)
- Nativity scene to be displayed inside Florida’s Capitol (bizpacreview.com)
Thomas More Society Facilitates Tallahassee Display of Religion in the Public Square
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Nov. 27, 2013 /Christian Newswire/
– The Florida State Capitol building in Tallahassee will become home
to a Christmas Nativity scene beginning at noon on Tuesday, December 3,
2013. This privately-funded display of religion in Florida’s public
square has been hosted by the Florida Nativity Scene Committee and
facilitated by the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based not-for-profit
public interest law firm.
The Christmas crèche display will stand
in the center of the Capitol Rotunda and will depict the newborn Christ
child lying in a manger. The official unveiling of the Nativity tableau
will feature a celebration marking Christmas, the Christian holy day
honoring the birth of Jesus Christ.
WHAT: Florida Nativity Scene opening celebration
WHEN: Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at 12 p.m. noon to 1 p.m. (Eastern)
The exhibit will remain in the rotunda throughout the Christmas season.
WHO: Open to the public, sponsored by the Florida Nativity Scene Committee, chaired by Pam Olsen
- Bishop Joe Brown, Senior Pastor of University Ministries, will lead opening prayer.
- Father John Cayor, Rector of Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More, will offer a prayer for the troops.
- Students from Community Christian School in Tallahassee will perform Christmas carols.Speakers include…
• Scott Beigle, Founder and President of Faith Radio
• Alejandro Capote, Political and Community Coordinator of Noles4LIFE at Florida State University
After Christmas, on Friday, December 27, the holy family figures of
Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus will be joined by figures representing
the Biblical Wise Men on the rotunda’s opposite side. The secondary
display, sponsored by Reclaim Christmas for Christ, founded by Sandra
Lee Snowden, will remain at the capitol along with the original nativity
through Monday, January 6. The dual exhibits will conclude with a
public January 6 commemoration of the Epiphany at noon (Eastern). The
Epiphany, widely practiced in Hispanic and Latino cultures as Three
Kings Day, marks the visit by the “wise men from the East” to bring the
Christ child gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
scenes represent a constitutionally protected expression by private
citizens in a traditional public forum, namely the capitol rotunda. This
is classic free speech and citizens’ free exercise of their religious
faith in the public square, where the sole role of the government is
that of a viewpoint-neutral gatekeeper assuring open access for all
citizens to have their “say.” Government is neither censor nor endorser
of such religious speech. This display is privately funded and
sponsored, bereft of any government aid or endorsement, and therefore it
is clothed and armored with the full protection of the First Amendment
of the United States Constitution.
The joint primary goal of the
Florida Nativity Scene Committee and Reclaim Christmas for Christ is to
celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. A secondary
mission is to proclaim and demonstrate to the public and the media that
such private expressions of religious belief in the public squares of
the nation are not merely tolerated but fully deserving of robust legal
The Tallahassee nativity initiative was inspired by
last year’s dispute over a Christian holiday display in the Chicago
suburb of Arlington Heights. Eventually resolved with intervention by
the Thomas More Society, the conflict has prompted America Nativity
Scene, founded by Jim Finnegan, to help place privately funded manger
scenes in public squares nationwide.
- Nativity Scene Returns to Illinois Senate Capitol Rotunda for 6th Straight Year (canadafreepress.com)
- Nativity scene returns to rotunda (sj-r.com)
Alliance Defending Freedom letter informed school officials that First Amendment protects religious songs
Monday, November 25, 2013
York Preparatory Academy’s band director gave older students a choice of musical selections to perform at the school’s Dec. 19 “Winter Concert.” The students chose two songs that included the melodies from “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” After students had already begun practicing the music, the principal of the school excluded the songs and suggested that, in order for students to play traditional Christmas carols, they would need to play songs from other religions as well.
The Alliance Defending Freedom letter explained to the school that “every federal court to examine the issue has determined that including religious Christmas carols in school music programs fully complies with the First Amendment….”
“The Constitution clearly allows the inclusion of religious Christmas carols in school productions,” added Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Now that the school has removed its unnecessary ban, the students at York Preparatory Academy will be allowed to proceed with the full range of music they’ve been working on so hard.”
Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter last week to more than 13,000 school districts nationwide that explains the constitutionality of religious Christmas carols in school productions, provides legal resources on other issues that may arise regarding Christmas and public schools, and offers free assistance to schools that need help.
- School Lifts Ban on ‘Joy to the World’ (radio.foxnews.com)
- ADF to 13,000+ school districts: Christmas is constitutional (faithinspires.wordpress.com)