The new, seven-days-a-week paper will be known as the Los Angeles Register, Freedom Communications CEO Aaron Kushner told The Associated Press on Thursday night, a few hours after announcing the move to his staff in the Orange County Register’s newsroom.
Kushner didn’t give many specifics about plans for the paper but said it will be launched “quickly” and be widely distributed in print in Los Angeles County. The Register’s story on the launch said it would come early next year.
Kushner said the paper will share Orange County Register content in sports and other areas with regional relevance, but he emphasized it will be a distinct entity with a Los Angeles office and a staff made up of existing Register employees and new hires.
“It will be the LA Register, not the Orange County Register,” Kushner said in a phone interview. “We’re not a national paper, we are a local community-building paper, so that means having local people in the community they’re covering.”
Shortly after the announcement, Orange County Register staffers received an email asking about their interest in covering Los Angeles.
The move represents the first time in years that a newspaper has sought to challenge the area’s dominant daily, the Los Angeles Times.
The Times’ last citywide daily competitor, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, folded in 1989, and plans for startups have been frequently proposed since, but all have faltered. Los Angeles County’s other newspapers have largely chosen to focus on their on their local area instead of the region.
Kushner said he believes there is a place for a paper with a different emphasis and perspective.
“We think the LA Times is a great national newspaper. We are a very different kind of newspaper,” Kushner said. “Obviously, we have a very different political perspective. We’re not liberal and we’re not reactionary. We believe in free markets.”
Asked to respond, Times spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan said in an email, “Our first and foremost mission is serving Southern California, as we have for 132 years.”
That acquisition combined with a new Long Beach daily and the move into Los Angeles means Freedom’s papers will have vast reach in a heavily populated region.
But it means an increasingly large gamble that the millions of potential readers will turn into lots of actual customers at a time when the newspaper business is generally shrinking.
Ken Doctor, a newspaper industry analyst with Outsell Inc., said the move may be an attempt to find new revenue to cover the Freedom’s fast-growing costs, but it’s bold nonetheless.
“Aaron Kushner and Freedom Communications are making the most contrarian play in American newspapers,” Doctor said. “While newspapers overall are receding and retracting and cutting, he is in expansionist mode.”
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Hebrews 9:27
From Paul Walker’s Facebook page: It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences. –#TeamPW
On that sunny afternoon, as my husband and I took a fitness walk along a row of car dealerships, I never dreamed we would be cruising home in a brand-new red Saab convertible. The car just seemed to fit the day. After all, this was Southern California, where sunshine and fancy cars abound.
It is also a place where many judge you by what you drive. Of course, we already owned a prestigious foreign convertible, but it had become a real headache with its never-ending expensive repair bills.
As we negotiated with the Saab salesman to purchase the car, we abandoned the idea of a trade-in because of the tremendous loss we would have had to take on the market value. Besides, we had driven my husband’s car that day, and the problem car was at home. We would just have to sell it on our own.
After several hours of waiting while the salesman repeatedly checked “with the manager in the back,” we drove off into the sunset basking in the exhilaration of having purchased a new toy.
It took only a few days for us to face the sobering reality that we now had three cars to insure and maintain. Plus, the monthly note was so huge that it rivaled the note on a rental property investment!
It took us much longer to sell the headache car than we had anticipated. We finally admitted that we had made an emotional purchase. We had bought the Saab out of frustration with the old car plus a desire to maintain a certain image.
I take no pleasure in sharing this story. In fact, I experienced a great deal of guilt over the transaction because I am a certified public accountant and am assumed by most people to be frugal with myfunds.
My husband is also an astute financial manager. Even though we have never made a purchase we could not afford, emotional transactions simply do not reflect good stewardship of the moneyGod entrusts to us.
After a year, we sold the car and invested in a single-family home, which ultimately yielded a handsome return. God graciously redeemed our mistake.
Unfortunately, the Saab was not the last of our emotional spending.
The problem with an emotional purchase is that it doesn’t eliminate the emotion that motivated it, nor will it bring any lasting satisfaction. Isaiah the prophet asked, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?” (Is. 55:2, NIV).
Spending to pacify an emotion is like being given an anesthesia but never getting the required surgery; you get temporary relief, but the problem remains.
I did some honest soul-searching about the car acquisition and concluded that many of my purchases emanated from my basic personality temperament. As a hard-driving, goal-oriented person, I found that my acquisitions were a way of saying, “I’ve made it.”
I wanted to be recognized as a success without having to say a word. After all, I abhorred braggarts, egotists and others who openly exhibited pride because of their possessions.
Having counseled singles, seniors and soulmates—and having observed their spending habits—I have concluded that everyone must come to grips with their emotional view of finances before they attempt to master the mechanics of money management. I can lecture until I’m blue in the face about the importance of having an emergency cash reserve or contributing the maximum amount to the company’s matching retirement plan or getting out of debt. But despite my admonitions, a single overriding emotion can cause anybody to abandon sound financial judgment.
Here are seven emotions that may cause you to spend in an unwise manner and some ways to deal with them:
1. Stress. “You deserve a break today,” declares the popular McDonald’s fast-food slogan. If you are constantly confronted with stressful situations, you do need to find relief—but not through spending.
My husband and I purchased a 32-foot cruiser boat with the hope of finding relief from our stressful schedules. The boat show was held at the marina, so we experienced on the spot what it would be like to chill out on our own boat. Just the thought of leisurely weekends cruising around Southern California’s harbors was enough to seal the deal.
It wasn’t long before the boat itself became a source of stress. Whoever said, “The two happiest days in a boat owner’s life are the day he purchases it and the day he sells it” was right!
In my book 30 Days to Taming Your Stress, I list 30 ways to address stress, including controlling your finances, setting boundaries, exercising, releasing unrealistic expectations, delegating, saying no and a host of other actions. There are numerous choices available to you to reduce stress—other than spending money!
2. Anger. Shopping may help you work off a little steam; however, if you peel your anger onion, at the core of it you may find you are angry with yourself. Perhaps you tolerated someone’s bad behavior, failed to speak up, put yourself at risk, disappointed God or indulged in a number of other regretful acts.
Before you run to the mall, get in touch with why you are feeling the way you do and deal with the root of the issue. Repent, if necessary, or confront the people involved.
If face-to-face is not possible, then write a letter expressing how you really feel about what has happened and what changes you desire. Ask God to give you His words and His wisdom so that you can be direct, honest and godly in your approach.
3. Boredom. Television and Internet shopping companies thrive off the boredom that drives buyers to indulge their fantasies. The best way to combat boredom is to invest time in meaningful diversions that move you toward your goals or make life better for others. Here are a few suggestions:
Take a crafts class or other class of interest at your local community college. They are usually low-cost and short in duration and are a great way to meet new people with common interests.
Host or teach a class at home on a subject of interest to those in your circle of interaction.
Volunteer with a church or other charity to visit nursing homes, hospitals, orphanages or shelters. I used to get great satisfaction from just combing the hair of elderly people who never received any visitors. The staff will welcome your support, and the patrons will never forget your act of kindness.
Keep a supply of blank notecards. Send a word of encouragement to someone who needs it (for example, your minister, a college student, a mom with small children or someone who is ill). Helping others is personally rewarding and usually requires little more than your time.
Even if your expenditures seem to be minor, beware. Those frequent discounted purchases can really add up.
Anne, a receptionist, visits the 99 Cents Store when she is bored. She rationalizes that her spending is relatively harmless since the items cost so little. She doesn’t want to face the fact that her regular $5 to $10 purchases exceed a few hundred dollars during the course of a month.
Remember that boredom spending is just a temporary cure. The thrill of the purchase will fade in record time, and then you’ll need another fix. This vicious cycle is sure to keep you in a financial pit.
4. Depression. Recall the last thing you purchased with the hope that it would cheer you up? Did it? If so, for how long?
I know I’m treading on sensitive ground here, but if you are depressed, it may be because you have become the center of your world; you have focused all your attention on how things are affecting you. If you dare to step out of the spotlight and shine it on someone else, you’ll find amazing results.
See the list above for possible activities that may refocus your attention. Also, consider getting a psychological evaluation by a medical professional.
5. Insecurity. When you are unsure of your inherent worth as an individual, you may buy things you think will impress others. One of my counselees, Lucy (not her real name), drives a pricey BMW but cannot afford to go out for Sunday dinner even at an inexpensive restaurant.
“I want a car that’s a good investment,” she lies to me and to herself. The truth is that her entire self-worth is wrapped up in sporting the car around and being admired for owning it. It is her only asset besides her clothes.
If you are like Lucy, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the courage to stop living a lie and to begin spending at your affordability level. Value the intangible assets that you bring to the table such as a sense of humor, integrity, dependability, perseverance and so forth. Don’t be like Haman, the insecure Persian official who needed the king’s horse, the king’s robe and association with a noble prince to feel honored (Esth. 6:7-9).
Rather, adopt the mindset of the Proverbs 31 woman: “She perceives that her merchandise is good” (v. 18, NKJV). This woman was not dependent on outside validation; she knew inwardly that her merchandise (what she brought to the table) was good.
6. Frustration. Thwarted plans, unmet expectations or other unfulfilled desires can send you running for mall therapy—unless you have totally embraced the truth of Isaiah 14:27: “For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart Him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” (NIV).
The Day Melissa Died
Page was alone at home when he received the call that would change his life. It was the day after Thanksgiving 2009, and his oldest daughter, 32-year-old Melissa, had just ended her life. Although she had struggled for years, Page knew something had changed that week.
During an interview with CBN News in his Nashville home, he explained, “Two days before she died I said, ‘Melissa, no one loves you like your Daddy and nobody knows you like your Daddy and I know something’s wrong, bad wrong, baby. Please … ‘—and she was getting ready to go talk to her mental health professional—’You tell him that your Daddy thinks you need to be hospitalized.'”
As the top leader for the Southern Baptists, Page sets the direction for the denomination’s 15.9 million members. He’s also served as a successful megachurch pastor.
But Page calls parenting Melissa one of his most daunting challenges. It’s why he wrote the book—to encourage others on a similar journey and challenge the church to reach out.
Page and his wife, Dayle, explained that although Melissa accepted Christ as a child, her life was not easy.
“We worried about her constantly, wanted to be able to help her,” Dayle told CBN News.
Frank explained, “She struggled with addictive issues, behavioral issues, rebellion issues. She struggled in many ways relationally. She was gifted beyond words and struggled beyond words.”
In her 20s, Melissa reached a period of stability. She married and seemed headed on a smoother path. But then a bout with cancer led to a prescription pill addiction, and she spiraled downward once again. The Pages say she never mentioned suicide, leaving them in shock the day she died.
For the first year, they remember feeling numb.
“People say, ‘She committed suicide in November. What was it like that first Christmas?’ I don’t remember,” Frank told CBN News. “Now the second Christmas, I well remember. Then the grief was even worse for me.”
After more than three years, the Pages describe their grief like waves, continually rolling in but varying in frequency and intensity.
Suicide and Salvation
Their great comfort now is in knowing that Melissa is at peace in heaven. It’s a biblical truth they say our culture has undermined.
“You’ve got some people who say, ‘If you commit suicide, you’re going to hell,'” Frank explained. It’s a belief the Pages want the church to challenge.
“I think you have to get to the point where if you belong to Christ, you are His child and nothing can separate you,” Dayle said.
Frank added, “It’s a family thing, and family never changes. Sometimes we act like we’re not a part of the family, but the truth is when you’re born and you’re born again—it’s forever.”
Moving forward, the Pages hope to build on the growing national awareness of mental health issues. It started with last December’s Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown, Conn., and continued in April with the suicide of Warren’s son.
“I think the timing is fascinating,” Frank said, “that indeed all these things have happened in a very short period of time, and I think God is going to use all these bad things to bring forth a movement among God’s people.”
At the Southern Baptist annual convention in Houston this year, the denomination promoted awareness of mental health issues. Page is hoping to begin to remove some of the stigma and encourage churches to more proactively minister to those who are suffering.
“These are legitimate, serious issues that people struggle with,” he said. “And the church needs to be the place where we say, ‘We understand.'”
Page says the local church can help through support groups, counseling or simply awareness of what the community has to offer. It’s an enormous challenge, but with more than 36,000 people taking their own lives each year, it could meet an enormous need.
Laura Ortberg Turner, daughter of John and Nancy Ortberg, has some great thoughts on what it means to be (but not really be) known as a “pastor’s kid.” One takeaway is the framework she felt her parents placed her and her siblings into. Turner writes:
“Had we not gotten freedom from our parents to be the people we were—to grow and learn for ourselves and even occasionally embarrass our parents, as good children do (a famed family incident at a church in Southern California that involves my then-5-year-old brother lying on his back, thrusting his pelvis to a children’s worship song called ‘Jumping Bean,’ comes to mind)—we would likely have ended up feeling like our only two possibilities in life were becoming the mantle-bearer or the rebel.”
I’ve spent a lot of energy making sure people know the first names of my family members aren’t “The Pastor’s Wife” or “The Pastor’s Kids.” So much of that can be overturned by a well-meaning youth leader who isn’t conscious about unconscious behavior.
Consider how we help or hinder this in youth group circles:
Do you unconsciously think it means more if a senior or staff pastor’s kids do or don’t attend the youth group?
When a “PK” acts up, are you quick to share about it with volunteers, in staff meetings or at home?
Are you eyeballing such students for the moment when they either declare their own calling to ministry or rebel like a pop star?
How often do you make sure we mention them as the “pastor’s kid” to new youth workers who jump in?
The list of negatives can go on, so let’s brainstorm some positives:
Let them be known for who they are versus who their parents are.
Allow them the chance to share their own stories and journey versus assuming things from illustrations shared from the pulpit.
Try not to put them in positions where they’re a secretary for your or one of their parents (i.e. “Can you pass this key along to your dad?”).
Give them a safe ear to share their questions (or even disinterest) in spiritual things, even if it means moving your schedule around to meet with them in private.
(Maybe we should apply each of these to every other kid in the youth group too.)
Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty is an entertainer who looks like Moses and jokes like Bill Cosby. But having a quick wit isn’t a bad thing when the message is sin, righteousness, and judgment—a.k.a. the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“So, what happened?” Phil continues, imitating a conversation.
“Uh, that’s the year Jesus showed up.”
“Oh, no. You mean here I am, an atheist, I don’t even believe in Him and I have to be reminded of the date He showed up every time I write a check?”
More laughs. Phil then delivers the Bible’s big, offensive message with the kindness of a grandfather.
Here’s the 15-second recap:
· Why did God become human? Because He wanted you to understand that He loves you. He needed to pay the price for your sin.
· We all know we’re guilty of doing wrong. The question is what can we do about it?
· Let’s not justify ourselves and try to pretend what good people we are.
· Let’s compare ourselves with Jesus. He never violated the law.
· He died so that all of your sins could be forgiven.
· And because Christ rose from the dead, He can give you victory over death too.
(Hey, eternal healthcare that’s free. Sounds a whole lot better than Obamacare!)
Yes, it might be technically true that the gospel doesn’t get preached on the show Duck Dynasty (as some have pointed out). But we see a number of interesting people who are impacted by the gospel. Duck Dynasty is just plain old, good TV. It is entertainment, and that’s part of God’s common grace to all people (Acts 14:17). We can enjoy shows like Duck Dynasty with thanks (1 Tim. 4:4).
A lot of funny things happen in the day-to-day lives of this rare, intact family called the Robertsons. Along the way, we catch glimpses of the gospel’s footprint in people who are redeemed by Christ. And because they’re interesting people, they’ve earned a platform in pop culture that allows them to proclaim the gospel message broadly and more clearly when opportunities arise.
Phil likes to keep things simple at such opportunities.
1) I’m a guilty sinner.
2) Jesus is the sinless sacrifice, who died for me and my sins.
3) Forgive me, Jesus. I trust you.
4) Lord, remember me after Your resurrection. Take me to be with You forever.
In other words, Phil sticks to what the thief on the cross next to Jesus would have understood. Maybe it’s because that’s what anyone hoping to beat death needs to hear and believe.
Yes, the gospel does go deeper. But Phil isn’t leading a church. He’s leading the life to which God called him, and he’s leading his family.
Phil’s life shows that the gospel leads people out of sin (Titus 2:11-14). It causes people to love God not hate Him, or (worse) ignore Him (1Cor. 16:22, 1Peter 1:8). It rescues us from self-worship and leads us to worship Christ the rightful King, joyfully submitting to Him and loving His Word (1 Peter 2:1-3).
Because Jesus loves us, we can love others—both inside the church and out. All of that starts with receiving His love, embracing His truth, and loving Him back.
As Phil would say, “What’s wrong with that?”
By Alex Crain, Alex Crain is editor of Christianity.com
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” –Matthew 5:9
You know what? I am too blessed to be angry. Life is too good to spend one moment being angry. I don’t need to be angry. I don’t need to be a victim. I am too blessed to be a victim. I am alive. God has given me so much. I’ve got my family, my friends, and my church. I live in Southern California. I don’t need to be angry.
Of course, all of us have things that we can be angry about, or cause us to feel like victims. However, my friends, I’m admonishing you. Let it go. You don’t need to be angry. You can be a peaceful person. You can smile. You can let your shoulders drop and you don’t have to worry about getting back at people.
When someone says something bad about you, say something good about him or her. If someone cuts you off, just let them go. If someone cuts in front of you in line or someone e-mails you something bitter, just let it go. Just smile. And, if you need to confront someone, if you need to deal with someone, do it, but don’t be angry. Have a peacemaker’s heart and live in the easy yoke of Jesus. Don’t worry, don’t stress out, don’t freak out, just smile and rest in Him and let the Lord be angry.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me not to be so easily offended. Help me not to be burdened with revenge or anger or bitterness. I give it all to you. Amen.
Reflection: What makes you angry? Is that something that you can release to God?
Recently, while visiting a local beach city here in Southern California, I watched a group of streetevangelists as they talked to tourists in front of a liquor store. I’ll admit that I’m not usually involved in street preaching. It’s definitely an acquired skill; some people are really good at it (Ray Comfort comes to mind immediately), but others are not so gifted. This particular group of Christians was walking back and forth on the sidewalk carrying signs displaying Bible verses and proclaiming the wrath of God toward those who won’t repent and toward those who refuse to accept Christ’s offer ofsalvation. While the messages were Biblically accurate, I couldn’t help but think that their approach was a bit “off-putting.”
Many years ago our youth group partnered with a street evangelist in Utah who took a similar approach. His efforts were often met with great resistance; his signs were brutally direct. I wondered if the message was the problem, so we tried crafting signs that were more “inviting” and less provocative. Our efforts met with the same response. We were heckled, resisted and abused. Even when our signs were worded so carefully that we nearly lost the exclusive truth of the Gospel, people still found our efforts offensive. Finally a young man on the street asked the question that illuminated the problem: “What are all you people protesting?” The question caught me off-guard. “We’re not protesting anything,” I said, re-reading our signs carefully in an attempt to understand how he could misinterpret our efforts. But his question made perfect sense.
Even though our “words” were not “words of protest”, our “actions” were “actions of protest.” Think about it for a minute. If I told you I saw a group of people walking back and forth in a limited geographic area carrying signs and talking to anyone who was willing to engage them, what would you think I was describing? A picket line? A protest event? We have a cultural context for this kind of behavior; it is the behavioral language of protest. Before I even get close enough to see what’s written on those signs, I’ve already started to interpret the behavior of the group and it’s not a favorable interpretation. Protestors are generally regarded as angry people who want an injustice to be righted. Most of us want to avoid protestors and few of us think of picket lines as the location where winsome interaction is likely to occur.
As I watched the efforts of that local Christian group of street evangelists, I couldn’t help but believe they limited their impact by using those signs. They took the time to carefully craft the language of the text on the placards without considering the language of their actions as sign holders. After my own experience using signs to proclaim a message on the streets of Utah, I’ve decided to think carefully about the perception created by this approach. While I never want to sacrifice the direct, exclusive and honest message of the Gospel, there’s no sense in adding offense. I don’t want my evangelism to look like a protest.
Janette Smith Manderson posted a call to prayer on Facebook Saturday for her father, who is 84. She asked that supporters engage in what she called a “spiritual battle.”
“It is time to put on your armor and fight in the spiritual arena. Dad’s doctors just upgraded his lung cancer from Stage 3 to Stage 4, due to the fluid in his lung. This fluid contains cancer cells,” she said.
Though the fluid has already been removed for a second time, Manderson said her father will enter the hospital on July 1 for continual draining.
Doctors should be able to detect whether his lung is expanding after the fluid removal and a CAT scan. The process will take about two days, she said.
“If his lung does not expand, he will have to have a catheter installed in the lung area to help him to empty the fluid at home,” she explained. “They will put talc into his lung to keep the fluid from forming. The talc procedure is simpler and preferable for various reasons.”
Smith first announced his diagnosis to his church New Years day 2012.
“I wanted them to hear it from me and know the confidence that I have in the Lord,” he told journalist Dan Wooding then.
In May, doctors advised him against surgery. The family publicly asked for prayer that God would give them wisdom in choosing an alternative treatment.
With her father’s latest setback, Manderson requested that those praying join her in asking the Lord, “for His perfect plan for Dad to be accomplished.”
“We trust our Heavenly Father to know best. Thank you eternally for praying,” she said on behalf of the family.
Pastor Smith is well-known for fathering the Jesus People Revolution in Southern California. He’s also founded Calvary Chapel, which has grown from 25 to 10,000 members.
In an era of reality television, audiences can watch almost anything—from real-life housewives to young New Jersey partygoers to a high-stakes weight-loss competition. Now pastors are joining in on the action.
Oxygen Media has recently given the green light for a new show with the working title Pastors of L.A., an “authentic docu-series” set to premiere this fall.
The series will feature Bishop Noel Jones, Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Clarence McClendon, pastor Wayne Chaney, Bishop Ron Gibson and pastor Jay Haizlip.
“Pastors of L.A. documents these larger-than-life characters who are rock stars in their communities with a fresh, unique perspective that will resonate with our young audience,” explains Rod Aissa, Oxygen Media’s senior vice president of original programming and development.
A press release says the show “will give viewers a candid and revealing look at six boldly different and world-renowned mega-pastors in Southern California, who are willing to share diverse aspects of their lives—from their work in the community and with their parishioners to the very large and sometimes provocative lives they lead away from the pulpit.”
The television network has teamed up with Lemuel Plummer, the creator and executive producer ofVindicated and producer of The Sheards, and Holly Carter, creator and executive producer of 106 & Gospel and executive producer of The Sheards, for the new series.
“We are delighted to work with Oxygen to develop this groundbreaking series on the extraordinary lives of some of the most prominent pastors in America,” Plummer says. “I come to this project with a respect and understanding of their world, having grown up as the son of a pastor and religious broadcasters. We intend to portray the human side of these pastors and the real world in which they live and work.”
Carter, an industry veteran in faith and inspirational development and programming who holds a doctorate in divinity and is the daughter of a pastor, adds: “This show documents a journey of transparency from one man to the next as they endeavor to lead others to their own truth and self-discovery. It’s a dose of reality and a pound of redemption coming from a creative team reared in the church.”
Jones, the brother of famed actress and singer Grace Jones, is the lead pastor of Refuge Church in Gardena, Calif. His 17,000-member megachurch is said to be home to several celebrities. The 63-year-old pastor is headed toward retirement and looking for a successor.
Haddon—a singer, songwriter, producer and former pastor—was shunned by Kingdom Culture Church in Detroit when he divorced from his wife, Damita, in 2011. He surprised fans when he revealed this year that he fathered a child out of wedlock and was engaged to be married.
“She did get pregnant before my divorce was final, as my divorce carried on for over a year,” Haddon wrote on his Facebook page, saying they both repented of their sins and have submitted to spiritual leadership. “I have not preached on any platform in any church for one year!! I’ve paid my penalty for my sin!!” he said.