Dave Gass — formerly the Lead Pastor at Grace Family Fellowship, Church Planter at Journey the Way, Pastor at First Covenant Church, Pastor at Cedar Point Community Church — has taken to social media to renounce his faith.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
“After 40 years of being a devout follower, 20 of those being an evangelical pastor, I am walking away from faith,” Gass says, “Even though this has been a massive bomb drop in my life, it has been decades in the making.”
Citing Greek mythology books he read as a high school kid, he says it dawned on him how much the “deity” of the Bible sounded like what he’d read, and that “seed of doubt never went away.” Interestingly, though he claims he never truly had a saving faith, he chose to spend his life teaching Scripture, preaching the Word of God, and proclaiming that which he says he does not believe in.
A man who has led many churches, many congregations throughout his entire ministry has now announced that he has found Christianity elsewhere — in godless people. He says on Twitter,
During this time I also found something amazing: I found a handful of people who were more Christian than any Christian I had ever met – and they weren’t Christian. I found love in places where love wasn’t supposed to exist. I found acceptance among people who were godless.
Gass explained that his marriage was a wreck and despite all the marriage counseling, it was never what it was “promised to be,” and that in all 40 years of his entire ministry, he never witnessed anything “supernatural.” Supposedly, his parents who were “devoutly Christian” were abusive. The bottom line, he explains,
…my marriage was a sham, prayer was never answered, miracles were never performed. People died, children rebelled, marriages failed, addictions occurred – all at the same rate as non believers. The system just doesn’t work.
Essentially, Christianity didn’t revolve around him and didn’t deliver what he wanted it to deliver, therefore, according to him, it can’t be true.
Update: Gass’ Twitter and Instagram accounts have been made private, but the above screenshots can be found below:
I have this post that I have been trying to get around and post for a while. When I try and start writing the damn thing I find that I don’t have the strength to do it. Maybe it’s because I am a man and as men were so used to being to deep within ourselves and not letting our feelings show, maybe it’s why you don’t see us openly weeping in public on a testimony video or at the loss of a loved one. Either way I’m going to try and get through this thing as best as I can, and By the way, this one’s for you Great.
Last Thursday while at work I happened to have some free time available to just chill, take a breather, and catch up on friend news on Facebook and I happened to scroll through my timeline and I noticed a post from my dear friend from back home which caused me much shock and sorrow within my heart.
For those of you who don’t know let me introduce my friend to you. Her name is Greta, and we go as far back as high school when she moved to the small little town where I spent 20 years of my life growing up in, Vinton, LA. Greta and I was never really tight in our life’s humbled beginnings. I have to admit I was a 100% typical asshole to her and most folks around Vinton. I had my own personal issues and demons I had to deal with. I’d pick and make fun of her when she got in trouble by a teacher at school for interrupting the class, and Karma would always come back to bite me in the ass one way or some form of the other. It was about I’d say close to twenty years and some change later that the healing for Greta and I came through the divine intervention of The Most High which had started years earlier with forgiving myself of the shit that I had done to others and to myself back in the day. The day I reconnected with Greta in Social Media I apologized to her for all of the shit that input her through and asked her to forgive me for my sins and atrocities that I committed to her in my silliness and teenage immaturity years in high school. There were tears of joy and love that came from this healing process. I said that it feels beautiful for the healing.
Fast forward to 2019. My beautiful friend is dying on cancer and my heart is broken. Even as I write this post sitting down in a McDonalds at Crystal City my eyes are starting to well up. I really personally don’t want anyone around me in a public place seeing me crying and as men we try not to show our feelings unless it’s someone close to us like our wives or significant other.
This is not my first time hearing about Greta’s illness and her figh with cancer. I remember when she was first diagnosed with the dreadful fucking disease years earlier, I liked and supported almost every post and update that she put on her Facebook page. I’ve watched her ups and downs. I’ve kept up with the joys and pains of life, and did I mention that she also has a beautiful and talented 10-year old daughter by the name of Clara Jane who is enjoying every ounce and minute and second of time she has with her mother.
I’ve had heard people say that when a person passes away that you should always give them their flowers in life and not when they are gone. Greta’s words hurt my soul…..Why??? Because I don’t want Greta to leave us. She has so much to do, so much more to give to this crazy messed up world. As a Hebrew Israelite I know where a righteous person will go when they pass away – Abraham’s bosom. And I ask Ahayah that Greta be found worthy to be there as well as our loved ones who have gone on before us like my mother-in-law and father-in-law.
I’ve gotta head back to work now. I’ve done typed too long on this phone. But for Greta I’m giving you my flowers to you while you are still here in the land of the living amongst us. I love you, and if there is anything that I can do for you or Clara Jane just reach out to me. I’ll leave my number in your inbox. The Most High sent you in my life as a blessing in everything you do and I’m greatful for that.
Boy with inoperable brain tumor makes request for Christmas cards
VINTON — When asked what he wanted for Christmas, 8-year-old Drake
Quibodeaux’s requests were simple. He told his mother, Danielle, that he
wanted to spend time with his family and receive Christmas cards.
“That’s all he wants,” she told the American Press Thursday.
and residents from across the state have made it their purpose to send
as many cards as possible to Drake, who was diagnosed this year with
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).
According to defeatdipg.org, DIPG is a “brain tumor found in a part of the brain stem called the pons. The pons controls essential bodily functions such as heartbeat, breathing, swallowing, eye movement, eyesight and balance.”
“In January,” Danielle said, “we noticed that when he smiled, the right side of his face didn’t raise.”
they took him to the pediatrician, the diagnosis was cerebral palsy.
Danielle, having worked in the medical field in the past, didn’t agree
with the diagnosis.
Drake then had eight more doctor visits.
March 11, Drake was driving our boat,” Danielle said. “He came home,
took a nap, woke up, had two seizures and was paralyzed. We took him to
Cal-Cam (hospital). The ER doctor was from Fort Polk. She did every test
under the sun and couldn’t find anything.”
Drake was then life-flighted to a children’s hospital in New Orleans, where they received the diagnosis.
told us to take him home and make memories,” Danielle said. “They said
they could radiate him, but it wouldn’t do anything.”
The Quibodeauxs then took their son to Texas Children’s Hospital, where he was admitted.
couldn’t swallow or lift his head up,” Danielle said. “They started
radiation and he fully regained all of his abilities in a month.”
Drake started chemotherapy in August.
Danielle said Drake’s tumor is at the base of his brain.
“It spiderwebs and wraps around his healthy tissue,” she said. “There’s no way to remove it.”
said he is still mentally intact, but that DIPG will take away all of
his other functions, including walking, talking, swallowing and sight.
As for now, Danielle said Drake has no symptoms and is “doing
Danielle and her husband, Chris, have two other sons, 16 and 4.
has traumatized us,” she said. “My husband and I … there’s nights
when we just cry. It’s one thing when you have a sick child who can
heal, but it’s another thing when there’s nothing that can be done.”
said a benefit in July helped pay for medical bills, but that the
family faces a $6,500 deductible in January. After that amount is met,
the Quibodeauxs will continue to pay a 20 percent co-pay for Drake’s
Danielle said a benefit in July helped pay for medical bills, but that the family faces a $6,500 deductible in January. After that amount is met, the Quibodeauxs will continue to pay a 20 percent co-pay for Drake’s medical treatment.
The family has to return to Houston every 28 days to requalify for a chemotherapy trial. If his absolute neutrophil count levels aren’t at least 1,000, Drake cannot continue with the chemotherapy and will be disqualified from the trial. According to cancer.org, absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is a measure of the number of a certain type of white blood cells that fights against infection.
“Every 56 days, we have to add an MRI into that mix,” Danielle said.
Drake is taking a chemo pill at home.
“This chemo that he’s on,” Danielle explained, “most adults do 20
(milligrams) four times a month. Drake is doing 25 mg six times a
She said that chemo doesn’t normally cross the blood-brain
barrier, “so we’re praying that it will prevent anymore cancer cells.
The problem with this tumor is that it normally spreads to the spine.”
According to defeatdipg.org,
“DIPG affects children almost exclusively. Approximately 200-400
children in the United States are diagnosed with DIPG each year. These
children are typically between the ages of 4 and 11. DIPG accounts for
roughly 10-15 percent of all brain tumors in children.”
said statistics show that only 5 percent of patients with DIPG survive
12 months past diagnosis, and only 1 percent survive two years past
She wants people to be aware that only 4 cents of every
dollar donated to a cancer research cause is used for child cancer
As for Drake, he is a typical boy, Danielle said. His
favorite clothes include jeans and cowboy boots, and he’ll tell you his
favorite color is “camo.”
“He loves to hunt and fish,” she said. “He plays XBox one. He loves this Farming Simulator game. He loves Popeye’s.”
He is also a big fan of Louisiana State University and recently met team members and LSU Head Football Coach Ed Orgeron.
When the family stays overnight in Houston for appointments or treatment, Danielle said they play board games together.
“We go to Bass Pro Shop. He loves it there,” she said. “They know him by name.”
Drake also enjoys visiting the Children’s Museum in Houston.
Anyone wishing to send Drake a Christmas card can mail them to 2412 Hwy. 388, Vinton, LA 70668.
Birmingham 9-year-old takes her own life; family hopes to spare others their pain
A Birmingham family is grieving the loss of
a 9-year-old girl who died Monday after she intentionally hanged
herself in her bedroom closet three days earlier.
“Maddie” Whittsett, a fourth-grader who is being remembered for her
joyful heart and love of others, was pronounced dead at Children’s of
Alabama Monday morning. Her mother, Eugenia Williams, and stepfather,
Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service Lt. Jimmie Williams, said they hope
that by speaking out about Maddie’s tragic death will spare others the
pain they have experienced since Friday.
“We don’t want this to happen to anyone else,’’ Lt. Williams said.
Maddie arrived home from school Friday afternoon and quickly learned her mom had made plans for the two of them to go to Chick-fil -A for some mommy-daughter time. “Maddie loved Chick-fil-A and she was running through the house,’’ Lt. Williams said. “Her mom called me, and we talked for a second. Then one of her friends called and they were talking.”
Maddie’s mom then yelled for Maddie to get ready,
they were going to leave shortly. She glanced outside – in the front
yard and on the deck – but didn’t see her.
Eugenia Williams went back to her daughter’s bedroom and saw the television was on. She looked in the bed and didn’t see Maddie and that’s when she noticed a crack in Maddie’s closet door. The little girl didn’t like for her closet to be open, so her mother immediately went and looked inside and that’s when she found her daughter unresponsive.
Still on the phone with her friend, she dropped the phone, got Maddie down, screamed for her friend to call 911 and then started CPR on Maddie. Maddie was taken to St. Vincent’s East to get her stabilized and a helicopter was brought in to transport her to Children’s, but the weather prevented the air flight.
Maddie was later transported to Children’s where she remained on life support until Monday.
Lt. Williams said the family is shocked by Maddie’s suicide. “It came out of left field,’’ he said.
Her mother agreed. “She was so alive, energetic, funny, loved dance,’’ she said.
had ADHD and received one-on-one help at school. There had been
incidents, Lt. Williams said, where other children had called her
“stupid” and “dumb.” It had happened last year, but Maddie’s parents met
with the principal and said it had been taken care of. “I felt like we
took care of it,’’ he said.
The family didn’t want to publicly identify the school Maddie was attending. “The school has been very supportive,’’ Lt. Williams said.
“We talked to one of her friends and Maddie had
apparently had a bad day. The friend said Maddie was bullied and she
looked sad while she was being bullied,’’ Lt. Williams said. “It must
have really worn her out that day.”
Maddie just several weeks ago started a medication with a listed side effect of possibly causing suicidal thoughts. “The bullying plus the medicine, I think, gave her the boost to do that,’’ he said.
Lt. Williams said in 20 years as a firefighter,
he’s never seen a child so young take their own life. It’s nearly
impossible for him to wrap his head around what happened. “It’s hard,’’
The Williams want others to keep a
closer eye on their own children. “Maybe you can see if anything is
going on. Look for changes in attitude. Changes in behavior,’’ he said.
“Support them and be there for them.”
want children to be aware of the dangers of bullying. Lt. Williams said
it’s important for children to know that not only should they not bully
others, but if they see someone being bullied, they need to let an adult
know. “Like they always say, ‘If you see something, say something.’’’
Birmingham City Schools released this statement Tuesday afternoon: “Our school community is deeply saddened by the recent passing of a student. Counselors and district-level support staff, trained to help students, parents and school personnel at difficult times such as this, have been on-site at the impacted school today to provide assistance to students and staff in needed of support in processing this tragedy. The death of any young person is a tragic loss that impacts the whole school community, and we send our deepest condolences to the family.”
Lt. Williams described his stepdaughter as having a
wonderful heart. “She just wanted to be your friend. She wanted to be
everybody’s friend and wanted everyone to be happy,’’ he said. “We saw
that in everything she did.”
Here are warning
signs to watch for if you fear someone is suicidal and resources that
can help those thinking of harming themselves or who fear a loved one
might harm themselves.
· Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself.
· Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means.
· Talking or writing about death, dying, ”ending the pain” or suicide.
· Feeling hopeless.
· Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities – seemingly without thinking.
· Feeling trapped – like there’s no way out.
· Increasing alcohol or drug use.
· Withdrawing from friends, family, social support and society.
· Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time.
· Experiencing significant mood changes.
· Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life.
· Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge.
HOW TO HELP
· Ask the person directly if he or she is having suicidal thoughts, has a plan to do so, and has access to lethal means.
A former porn star is responding to the recent deaths of five women in the industry.
“Honestly it’s shocking,” said Brittni De La Mora, who has filmed roughly 375 scenes in adult films.
The five women died in just the last three months, some by drug overdose, others by suicide.
Oliva Lua died on January 19 after reportedly suffering from personal challenges and months of battling drug addiction.
According to Fox News, the 23-year-old porn star was found dead at a rehab center in California.
In December, August Ames took her life by hanging. She was harassed and bullied online for refusing to tape scenes with men who had done gay porn.
De La Mora had been friends with Shyla Stylz, who passed away in November.
She says she is heartbroken over the deaths of the women, writing a blog after hearing of Ames’ passing.
“I wish I could have been there for her,” De La Mora said in the blog.
In an interview with CBN News, she shared, “Oftentimes when you go into that industry you’re already searching for something. For me, I was searching for love in all the wrong places and so you go into that industry with this false hope that whatever it is you’re looking for, you’re going to find there. And unfortunately, that’s not the case.”
“Whenever you go into an industry that’s as dark as that one, it comes with open doors and so being that I was looking for love, it was like my heart was crushed when I couldn’t find it there and the door to depression opened, which then drugs and then suicidal attempts and suicidal thoughts all came my way,” she explained.
De La Mora said she wanted out but felt trapped.
“I felt like I made my bed and now I had to lay in it. I felt like if I had left that industry that nobody would ever hire me and I wouldn’t be able to lead a normal life… and so I thought that there was no other way out than to commit suicide,” she said.
Then she started attending church with her grandparents and invited Jesus Christ into her life. But it took time to break away from her life as a porn star.
“I did start to develop a sensitivity to God’s spirit after that. I remember one time going to film a scene in Las Vegas and before I left for the airport the Holy Spirit said bring your Bible. So I grabbed my Bible and I was reading the book of Revelation… and I got to chapter two verse twenty where it was talking about this woman named Jezebel who leads God’s people to sexual immorality and how’s He’s given her time to repent and if she doesn’t repent, then He’s going to cast her and her children into a sick bed. And when I read that scripture it was like the fear of the Lord fell on me. And not only was it the fear of the Lord but the love and grace of God because I knew that He had been giving me time and time again to repent.
Not long after that experience, De La More left the sex industry and is now a minister of the Gospel. She and her husband minister to young adults.
She pointed out that Christians and churches often struggle to embrace those who have lived ‘rough’ lives like she once did.
“The Bible’s clear when it says that God’s kindness leads people to repentance,” she said.
“So we have to be the first to show God’s love and to show His kindness. But in order to truly understand the love and the grace that God has for people who are broken you have to be in His presence every single day. Because if you’re not spending time in God’s presence then you’re not feeling His love for yourself and if you haven’t fully felt His love for yourself how can you deliver His love to those who are in need,” De La Mora said.
She continued, “Jesus died on the cross for everybody. For everybody with a past like mine. For people who are prostitutes, drug addicts, all of the above so because of the fact that He was willing to give His life for those people, we need to be the first people to express His love and to not push them off in a corner. They’re worthy of God’s love.”
WASHINGTON/BEIRUT, April 14 (Reuters) – U.S., British and French forces pounded Syria with air strikes early on Saturday in response to a poison gas attack that killed dozens of people last week, in the biggest intervention by Western powers against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced the military action from the White House. As he spoke, explosions rocked Damascus.
British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron said their forces had joined in the attack.
With more than 100 missiles fired from ships and manned aircraft, the allies struck three of Syria’s main chemical weapons facilities, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford said.Mattis called the strikes a “one time shot,” but Trump raised the prospect of further strikes if Assad’s government again uses chemical weapons.
“We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,” the U.S. president said in a televised address.
The Syrian conflict pits a complex myriad of parties against each other with Russia and Iran giving Assad military and political help while fractured opposition forces have had varying levels of support at different times from the West, Arab states and Turkey.
The strikes risked raising tension in an already combustible region but appeared designed not to trigger a military response from Russia and Iran.
Nevertheless, Assad’s government and Russia both responded angrily.
“Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences,” Anatomy Anton, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, said on Twitter.
Syrian state media said the attack would fail and called it a “flagrant violation of international law.”
It was unclear if the strikes will deter Assad from again using chemical weapons.
They seemed unlikely to have much impact on the balance of power in Syria’s seven-year-old civil war, in which Assad’s government has steadily gained the upper hand against armed opponents since Russia intervened in 2015.
Trump had tough words for Assad and his suspected role in last week’s chemical weapons attack. “These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster,” he said.
‘ABSORBED THE STRIKE’
At least six loud explosions were heard in Damascus and smoke was seen rising over the city, a Reuters witness said. A second witness said the Barzah district of Damascus had been hit in the strikes. Barzah is the location of a major Syrian scientific research center.
A senior official in a regional alliance that backs Damascus told Reuters that said the Syrian government and its allies had “absorbed” the attack, and that targeted sites were evacuated days ago thanks to a warning from Russia.
State-controlled Syrian TV said Syrian air defenses shot down 13 missiles fired in the U.S.-led attack. The Russian defense ministry said none of the rockets launched had entered zones where Russian air defense systems are protecting facilities in Tartus and Hmeimim.
The combined U.S., British and French assault appeared to be more intense than a similar strike Trump ordered almost exactly a year ago against a Syrian air base in retaliation for an earlier chemical weapons attack that Washington attributed to Assad.
The targets included a Syrian center in the greater Damascus area for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological weaponry as well as a chemical weapons storage facility near the city of Homs. A third target, also near Homs, contained both a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and a command post.
At a Pentagon briefing, Dunford said the air strikes on Saturday were planned to minimize the risk of casualties among Russia’s forces in Syria.
Mattis acknowledged that the United States conducted the air strikes only with conclusive evidence that chlorine gas was used in the April 7 attack in Syria. Evidence that the nerve agent sarin also was used is inconclusive, he said.
Allegations of Assad’s chlorine use are frequent in Syria’s conflict, raising questions about whether Washington had lowered the threshold for military action in Syria by now deciding to strike after a chlorine gas attack.
Mattis, who U.S. officials said had earlier warned in internal debates that too large an attack would risk confrontation with Russia, described the strikes as a one-off to dissuade Assad from “doing this again.”
But a U.S. official familiar with the military planning said there could be more air strikes if the intelligence indicates that Assad has not stopped manufacturing, importing, storing or using chemical weapons, including weaponized chlorine.
The official acknowledged that could require a more sustained U.S. air and naval presence in the region, as well as intensified satellite and other surveillance of Syria.
TRUMP STILL WANTS TO EXIT SYRIA
Trump, however, has been leery of U.S. military involvement in the Middle East, and is eager to withdraw roughly 2,000 troops who are in Syria as part of the battle against Islamic State militants.
The air strikes, however, risk dragging the United States further into Syria’s civil war, particularly if Russia, Iran and Assad opt to retaliate.
“America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria, under no circumstances,” Trump said in his eight-minute address.
“The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons,” he said.
The U.S. president, who has tried to build good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, had sharply critical words for Russia and Iran over their support of Assad.
“To Iran and to Russia, I ask, what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?” Trump said.
May said she had authorized British armed forces “to conduct coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability.” She described it as a “limited and targeted strike” aimed at minimizing civilian casualties.
Macron said: “We cannot tolerate the employment of chemical weapons.”
Last year, the United States fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the guided missile destroyers USS Porter and the USS Ross that struck the Shayrat air base.
The targets of that strike included Syrian aircraft, aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage facilities, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems and radar. At the time, the Pentagon said that a fifth of Syria’s operational aircraft were either damaged or destroyed.
The U.S.-led attack on Syria will be seen as limited if it is now over and there is no second round of strikes, said a senior official in the regional alliance that has supported President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war.
“If it is finished, and there is no second round, it will be considered limited,” the official told Reuters.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Tom Perry Additional reporting by Phil Stewart, Tim Ahmann, Eric Beech, Lesley Wroughton, Lucia Mutikani, Idrees Ali, Patricia Zengerle, Matt Spetalnick and John Walcott in Washington; Samia Nakhoul, Tom Perry, Laila Bassam Ellen Francis in Beirut; Michael Holden and Guy Faulconbridge in London; and Jean-Baptiste Vey, Geert de Clerq and Matthias Blamont in Paris; Polina Ivanova in Moscow Writing by Yara Bayoumy and Warren Strobel Editing by Kieran Murray, Clive McKeef, Robert Birsel)
Ahora que hemos llegado al conocimiento de que los “asi llamados afroamericanos” traídos a Estados Unidos a través del comercio transatlántico de esclavos son la Tribu de Judá. Ahora tenemos que averiguar dónde están las otras Tribus Perdidas de Israel. En este estudio, el pastor Omar revela dónde están las Tribus Perdidas ahora.