INTERSECT | WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY – Aug 15, 2018

In this week's Intersect, read about:


Ben Carson: The End of Veteran Homelessness is Within Reach in South Florida

“There is no more important housing issue in this country than when a person or a family has no housing at all. It is even more tragic when that person is a veteran who once served our nation,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “Homelessness makes us uncomfortable. Some are tempted to look away and surrender to the notion that it’s a problem too big to solve. That’s not true. This is a problem we can solve. Last week, I was honored to join the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust to mark giant steps toward effectively ending veteran homelessness in South Florida.” read more

THINK.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, led by Dr. Ben Carson, is part of a national effort to end homelessness. Miami-Dade County in Florida, joins 63 other communities across the country, resolved in their commitment to meet the needs of the homelessness. National estimates find that over 40,000 veterans experience homelessness and 2,800 veterans in Florida alone. These statistics remind us that there is an excellent opportunity for the body of believers to step up and meet the needs of homelessness in our communities. I’m reminded of Proverbs 19:17, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” And Luke 14:13-14, “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Dr. Carson and The Department of Housing and Urban Development along with the Department of Veteran Affairs are working to meet the needs of the homeless, but it’s critical that Christians in every community join them by doing our part to meet local needs.

PRAY.
Pray for the 40,000 veterans who are homeless in our nation. And pray for God to give you an opportunity to help meet the needs of the homeless.

ACT.
Find a local organization or church meeting the needs of the homelessness in your community and volunteer or give of your resources. Operation Homefront is a great organization working to help at-risk veterans with their Operation Homefront Transitional Housing Program.


KKK Member Who Marched in Charlottesville Baptized by Those He Once Hated

A year ago, hundreds of white nationalists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia at the Unite the Right rally, which took a violent turn. Ken Parker, an ex-KKK member, was one of the hundreds that marched around the quintessential Virginian city. But since the events occurred in Charlottesville, Ken Parker has completely turned his life around. Months after the events of Charlottesville, a group of African-Americans was having a cookout near Parker’s home. Parker and his then-girlfriend approached the group, saying they had questions for them. One of the men, William McKinnon III, a pastor at All Saints Holiness Church, sat down with the neo-Nazi couple to answer their questions. The three met up several times after their first meeting to continue their discussions and eventually, Parker agreed to attend one of McKinnon’s church services. After six years of being an active member of the KKK, Parker attended McKinnon’s Easter service. One month later, Parker stood before his new predominately African-American church and gave his testimony and asked for forgiveness. read more

THINK.
On Sunday, one year after the violent rally in Charlottesville, white nationalists planned another protest in Washington, D.C. The group had a less than stellar turnout. They expected 100 to 400 to attend, but roughly 24 arrived at a subway station where they were escorted by police to the rally site close to the White House. However, hundreds of counter-protestors took to the streets in Charlottesville on Saturday and DC on Sunday. These activists attacked police, the media, and denounced police as Klan members. Outlier contingents on both sides of the aisle have captivated the media’s attention with their hatred and violence. Antifa, on the extreme left, shuts down free speech and perpetuates acts of violence in the name of tolerance and equality. On the extreme right, white nationalists preach a message of hate and ethnic superiority. Yet despite all this, God is still at work as the story of Ken Parker reminds us.  Parker laid down his swastika and picked up his cross. Edmund Burke noted: “I must bear with infirmities until they fester into crimes.” In the land of the free, the state must act when people commit crimes, but the church must share about the One who took the eternal punishment for the crimes of a broken world (1 Peter 2:24, Titus 3:5). Such good news has the propensity of turning Sauls into Pauls.

PRAY.
God is the one who changes hearts and minds. Pray for the protesters on both sides of the aisle to come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

ACT.
Be encouraged by watching this powerful video by I am second featuring Pastor Ken Hutcherson and his story of overcoming racism. It is the love of Christ that will overcome all prejudice and all hatred in our nation.


Argentina’s Senate Rejects Bill Legalizing Abortion During the First 14 Weeks of a Pregnancy

Argentina’s upper house rejected a landmark bill that would have more broadly legalized abortion, dealing a setback to proponents of more liberal laws governing the procedure across the region. In public statements, a majority of the senators expressed some form of opposition, while 31 voiced their intention to back it. Ultimately, the bill — which would have allowed abortions during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and had passed the lower house in June after a marathon debate — was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 38 to 31, with three lawmakers either absent or abstaining. read more

THINK.
According to the New York Times, 97 percent of Latin American women live in countries that ban abortion or allow it only in rare instances. But will it stay that way? It’s estimated that nearly half of all 55.7 million abortions around the world were performed in an unsafe manner. Half are unsafe for the mother, but every abortion is deadly to the child. The total number of abortions performed in the U.S. in 2014 was 926,000, a decline from the 958,700 abortions performed in 2013. Seventy percent of women who have had an abortion indicate their religious preference is Christian. Hopefully, one-day abortion will no longer exist because our love and grace will make abortion unthinkable (Romans 2:4, Galatians 6:9).

PRAY.
Pray for God to protect and strengthen the Senators who courageously voted to uphold the sanctity of life in Argentina. And specifically, pray for the women in Argentina who are dealing with unplanned pregnancies. Pray others would come alongside them and encourage them to choose life.

ACT.
You need to be aware of what’s happening in New York. The governor has announced a public awareness campaign to promote abortion. We must pray this marketing campaign completely fails in its effort to persuade women that it is normal and acceptable to abort their babies in New York.


10 Reasons Americans Go to Church and 9 Reasons They Don’t

According to a recent Pew Survey, here are the top 10 reasons Americans attend religious services at least once a month. Survey respondents were allowed to give more than one reason. The percentage refers to people who said this was a "very important" reason for their decision: To become closer to God (81%). So their children will have a moral foundation (69%). To become a better person (68%). For comfort in times of trouble or sorrow (66%). They find the sermons valuable (59%). According to Pew, the top reason survey respondents gave for skipping regular religious services was that people practice their faith in "other ways" (37%). read more

THINK.
In the United States, Fifty-one percent of Americans (roughly 165 million) say they go to church or another worship service somewhere between once a month to multiple times per week. But good news glimmers in these numbers. Within that 165 million that go to church, over 82 million say they go more often than they used to go. These statistics remind us that we interact with people every day in our neighborhoods, our places of work, and our children’s schools that still do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. God’s grace will always exceed our excuses. We naturally run but thank God we cannot hide. (Psalm 139, 1 Timothy 1:16, 2 Corinthians 9:8

PRAY.
Pray and ask God to bring to your mind people in your life who need to hear the Gospel. Pray for their hearts to be softened towards the Lord and for God to give you an opportunity to share the good news of the Gospel.

ACT.
If someone asked you “what is the Gospel” how would you answer? Watch this helpful video, What is the Gospel, by Pastor Todd Wagner and Watermark Church to be ready to share with others the love of God.