The Wire

  • Maddox against constitutional amendment ‘acknowledging the sanctity of unborn life’


    Democratic nominee for governor and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, in a Monday interview on the “Matt & Aunie Show,” said that he will vote against the pro-life “Amendment Two” on the November 6 General Election ballot.

    Per the Alabama Policy Institute (API), the proposed amendment “would add language to the state constitution acknowledging the sanctity of unborn life and stipulating that the state constitution provides no right to abortion.” It will place Alabama in prime position to further limit or ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is eventually rolled back or overturned.

    “I can’t vote in favor of that because, again, it is not going to provide that exemption, if I understand it correctly, that we need,” Maddox said, referring to exceptions (exemptions) he supports in the cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother. To be clear, Alabama law does allow abortions in these cases and the constitutional amendment does not alter this.

  • Listen: Dem gubernatorial hopeful Walt Maddox, Talk 99.5’s Matt Murphy spar over Alabama Medicaid expansion


    In an appearance Monday on Birmingham’s Talk 99.5 “Matt & Aunie Show,” Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walt Maddox fielded questions from co-host Matt Murphy about the merits of expanding Medicaid in Alabama, a favorite policy position of many of the state’s Democratic elected officials.

    “I think Medicaid is working in Alabama,” he said.

    “It serves mostly our children and those that are disabled,” Maddox explained. “Those very few people that meet those criteria are on Medicaid. Nearly a million people are on it, by the way. But let me tell you why Medicaid expansion is important because we certainly have talked about it. This is where we are in Alabama 89 percent of our rural hospitals are in the red today. More than 50 percent of our urban hospitals are in the red today, places like Alex City where we were last week.”

    “So what happened?” he continued. “What flipped in the health care dynamic? When the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, passed in 2010, it was challenged in the Supreme Court. And one of the rulings that came out of that challenge was that states had the option to expand Medicaid because initially, states had no choice.”

  • Byrne introduces legislation to enhance school safety


    Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) announced on Monday his bill to provide school officials with better information regarding students concerning school safety.

    The Make Schools Safer Act ensures that the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences includes studies and resources surrounding school safety and mental health in the What Works Clearinghouse, which educators, counselors and principals have access to.

    “School safety should be a priority for every level of government. While I do not want the federal government to mandate how schools protect their students, I believe it is appropriate for the federal government to provide high-quality research and information to schools about the best practices for keeping students safe, coordinating with law enforcement, and identifying at-risk students. My bill offers a simple yet profound step toward making our schools safer,” Byrne, who serves as a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, said in news release.

1 day ago

Cullman County to display ‘In God We Trust’ motto in schools

(WVTM 13 News/YouTube)

All of Cullman County’s schools will display “In God We Trust,” the national motto, after a unanimous vote by the local school board on Thursday.

This came after the state legislature this March voted to allow the motto’s use in Alabama schools, courthouses and other public property. Cullman County becomes the second county after Blount County, which has been called the “guinea pig” for the law, to make the move to display the motto in public schools.

While liberal organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have criticized the law, supporters have said it is a way to show national pride.

“I think it’s important for students to know the history and how this came about in our nation’s early years,” Cullman County Superintendent Shane Barnette told the Cullman Times.


He added, “Some people may disagree with it, but the legislature voted to allow it.”

On the other hand, Brock Boone, an attorney for the ACLU in Alabama, said, “I think it is unfortunate the county school board wants to make people who disagree, or may not be religious, or of a different faith feel alienated. If someone wants to attend a private religious school, then that’s fine to post it.”

The motto, which does not reference a specific faith or god, has been official since 1956, as declared by a joint resolution of Congress. As you can read more about here, “In God We Trust” has also appeared on U.S.-minted coins since 1864.

A similar phrase, “In God is our Trust,” appears in “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which was adopted as the national anthem in 1931. Written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812, the fourth stanza includes the phrase, “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our Trust.’”

State Rep. David Standridge (R-Hayden), who sponsored the legislation and said that the idea came in part out of recent debate about school safety, also views displaying the national motto as a way to bring added comfort to students, teachers and staff while they are at school.

“It’s a simple message, but I believe it’s a powerful message,” Standridge said in a recent appearance on “Fox and Friends First.”

Blount County School System Superintendent Rodney Green echoed Standridge, advising, “I think having a basic, fundamental national motto in ‘In God We Trust’ gives our students a level of comfort that our national motto supports a recognition of a higher authority and we can depend on that higher authority for protection.”

The sentiments expressed by Standridge and Green are shared by a Cullman County resident and mom interviewed by NBC 13.

“I think now, more than ever, we need God,” Terri Peppers said.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 days ago

WATCH: Former Alabama football star Dre Kirkpatrick dances with elderly woman at nursing home


Cincinnati Bengals cornerback and former University of Alabama star Dre Kirkpatrick hosted a tailgate party at a local nursing home before playing the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football, and the six-year NFL veteran participated in a dance battle with an elderly woman.

Kirkpatrick, who is a native of Gadsden, played for the Crimson Tide from 2009-2012, winning two national championships.

However, in the video posted by Brandon Saho of WLWT, Kirkpatrick was not the star.



Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 week ago

HOAX: Viral tweet showing massive Muslim prayer rally in Alabama isn’t real

(AP Archives/YouTube)

A tweet that went viral on Sunday depicting a massive Muslim prayer in “Birmingham, Alabama” is #FakeNews.

A simple Google Image check reveals that the prayer occurred in the capital city of Tirana, Albania in 2015 in celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan.


Embed from Getty Images

Just remember…

1 week ago

What a drag: Alabama parents force their kids to see men-dressed-as-women at ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ in Mobile

(NBC 15/Facebook)

“Drag Queen Story Hour,” the controversial event scheduled at the public Ben May Library in Mobile that has been talked about for weeks across the state and the country, has finally happened – at least for the first time.

The initial test-run, of what is set to become a regular occurrence, drew hundreds of people, per NBC 15. Besides the expected protesters and counter-protesters who stayed outside, a large number of Alabama parents brought their children – ranging from ages three to eight – to the ironic spectacle that featured men dressed as women reading fictional stories.

The event was sponsored by the LBGTQ+ nonprofit Rainbow Mobile and ultimately filled two rooms at the library. Protesters included local clergymen and concerned citizens, while counter-protesters were members of the LBGTQ+ community as well as allies.

NBC 15 reported that protesters were ‘largely’ peaceful, however views of the story hour – which featured books such as “Rainbow Fish” – were radically different. 


“The issue that brings us out here today is what is appropriate for children and protecting the children,” Tea Party activist Pete Riehm said. “What it comes down to is what is appropriate for 3-to-8 year olds and should a public institution be doing that.”

Stacy Mitchell added that men pretending to be women could confuse children.

“God said in the bible that if he made you a boy you’re a boy. If he made you a girl you’re a girl. If you try to change that you can’t,” Mitchell outlined.

But one of the drag queens, Ambrosia Starling, said their agenda was well-intentioned.

“We are going to make Alabama beautiful, we just have to learn to treat each other that way first,” Starling said.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 weeks ago

Watch: Tua Tagovailoa’s parents pray for their son in reaction to the Bama QB starting on Saturday

(C. Chambers WBRC/Facebook)

After coach Nick Saban sent Tua Tagovailoa onto the field as Alabama’s starting quarterback against Louisville, WBRC’s Christina Chambers captured Tagovailoa’s parents in the stands praying – heads bowed and eyes closed – with the emotion of the moment evident in their faces.

“Diane and Galu started praying as soon as they saw their son trot on the field! I think it’s safe to say they didn’t know who would start either,” Chambers said. “I loved capturing this sweet moment.”



This explains where Tua got his humility and faith from; remember, he credited his “Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” in post-game interviews after leading the Crimson Tide to the National Championship in January.

“First and foremost, I’d just like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With him, all things are possible. That’s what happened tonight,” Tua told an ESPN reporter in January.

He continued, “All glory goes to God. I can’t describe what He’s done for me and my family. Who would have ever thought I would have been here, right now in this moment. So, you know, thank God for that, and I’d just like to thank my teammates and coach Saban for giving me the opportunity.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 weeks ago

Four-star Army general: Birmingham ‘embraces its veterans’


U.S. Army General Gus Perna last week told a group of Birmingham business and civic leaders that the Army needs their support and partnership “to ensure it remains the greatest, strongest, smartest and most professional all-volunteer force in the world,” per a spokesperson for the Army Materiel Command.

Perna, who is a four-star general in charge of the Materiel Command located at Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal, praised Birmingham’s business community and gave them a call to action.

“We want to build support for our veterans and our soldiers,” Perna said, according to the Redstone Rocket. “That is an easy task because this community embraces its veterans. This community leads the way. We want you to truly believe that you can trust us to be ready to do our job when called to do it, to be part of your community and to teach youth about service.”


Perna’s remarks came during a keynote speech to approximately 250 leaders at the Rotary Club of Birmingham on August 22. His presentation was part of “Meet Your Army” activities in the city, which included a visit with University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) President Ray Watts, a roundtable discussion with members of the influential Birmingham Business Alliance and an address to UAB ROTC cadets.

Perna stressed the importance of a strong bilateral relationship between Birmingham and the Army.

“We are here today to connect with this city and walk through our relationship,” Perna continued. “We want your trust and confidence in us. We are more than what you perceive. We are trained and ready for war, but we are also valuable citizens in your city.”

“Meet Your Army” is an outreach initiative that sends its leaders to communities nationwide in order to “educate, excite and inspire” the American public to support and sustain the Army with resources and through recruiting. Birmingham is one of just 14 cities the Army is focusing on this year.

Perna, in the Magic City, explained the profound importance of recruiting to maintaining the Army’s might.

“In today’s communities, only one percent of the population has served or is serving,” he outlined.

The four-star general continued, “This is significant. We must continue to message and partner with each other. We need countless professionals to maintain our all-volunteer force.”

Modern times, and the disconnect between civilian and military life, is making mutually beneficial relations tougher.

“[W]e’re losing touch. People don’t know who we are and why we exist,” Perna added. “We need to be partners to enable what you do every day, and to protect and honor our Constitution. We can only do that if we embrace each other, and that’s why venues like this are so important.”

Although Birmingham is the largest metropolitan area in Alabama, there is relatively little visible military presence in the city. Yet, the military, and the Army especially, is a dominant force in the Yellowhammer State, including major installations in Huntsville (Redstone Arsenal), Anniston (Anniston Army Depot), Enterprise (Fort Rucker) and Montgomery (Maxwell Air Force Base).

There are 13 Army Reserve units in the greater Birmingham area and about 20,000 active military in the state along with 17,000 Department of Defense civilians and a massive veteran population of over 300,000 Alabamians.

Perna asked Birmingham’s business and community leaders for help with “people resource,” – both with ensuring the state’s veterans are employed and recruiting young people into the nation’s armed forces.

“First, I want to ask you to hire veterans. That is huge for us,” he emphasized.

“Veterans have selflessly served our country, and the key is they did it honorably,” Perna continued. “They are of the best character, they have highly competitive skills, and they are committed and trustworthy. You can count on them to get the job done.”

Then, there is the importance of recruiting.

“Second, I ask for your help to continue to build capability by allowing access to recruiting Reserve and National Guard,” Perna said. “And, third, I ask for anything you can do to encourage young men and women to enlist in our military so we can keep the momentum of an all-volunteer service alive.”

The general explained that recruiters in Alabama are crucial to ensuring an increased end strength and, to be successful, they need robust community support.

The Army provides those who enlist or commission with education and training in fields that easily transfer to civilian life, including medicine, computer science, cyber technology and logistics.

“Opportunities for our young people are huge,” Perna advised. “The Army provides them with capabilities to either stay in the force or to come back home and assimilate into their local community.”

Perna was introduced at the Rotary by retired Major General, and Rotarian, Lee Price, whose 38 years of exemplary service included becoming the Army’s first female Program Executive Officer as the PEO for Command Control Communications-Tactical. She was also the first female in the Army Acquisition Corps nominated to general officer and first female selected for general officer while serving in a special operations unit.

“The Army must have the ability to be equal, and the ability to look past differences and ensure diversity. We have changed significantly in this light,” Perna highlighted. “It was leaders like Lee Price who led the way. Because of her physical and moral courage, she rose through the ranks.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 weeks ago

Alabama pastor shares experiences on mental illness, suicide and spirituality

(S. Lacy/Facebook)

WHNT in Huntsville on Saturday ran a story about an Alabama pastor’s personal experiences with mental illness, suicide and spirituality.

The report opened by noting that many “Christians would say you don’t question God ever,” even when it comes to the important topic of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

Steve Lacy, a teaching pastor at the Madison campus of Willowbrook Baptist Church, argues that it should not be that way, as “the Bible is filled with examples of people who struggled through periods of darkness and despair.”

WHNT’s Clarissa McClain quoted the following scripture in her report:

The prophet Elijah cried out to God saying, “I have had enough, Lord, take my life!” – 1 Kings 19:4

Job said, “I loathe my very life!” – Job 10:1

King David asked, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me?” – Psalm 22:1


“Do you know the feeling? Loving God and not loving yourself,” McClain posited. “Being filled with the Holy Spirit and thoughts of suicide. If you’re enduring that internal tug of war, it’s isolating, exhausting and defeating.”

Lacy knows about the perceived battle between faith and illness all too well.

“When you go through something like this, you really feel like God is distant,” Lacy outlined. “You feel like he’s either not there or doesn’t care.”

He added to McClain, “Depression is always a tough thing. Many people equate that with if you’re depressed, you can’t be connected to God.”

Lacy then shared his moving experience with depression and overcoming the loss of his first wife, Felicia, to suicide.

“I have a son who has Down syndrome and I went through one of the lowest lows of my life when he was born and I saw he had Down syndrome,” he explained.

His wife suffered from depression, too.

“I remember it was April first,” Lacy detailed. “She was just having a very, very low day.”

Felicia was diagnosed with depression and borderline personality disorder, McClain noted.

He continued, “In between the worship time and my time to speak, I went to check on her and the person in the nursery said she was really having a terrible time. She was just crying so she went on home. And so I thought she’s really going through a low point again.”

After finishing the worship service, Lacy left the church to go home.

“When I came to the house, it was dark,” Lacy recalled. “I called for her and didn’t see her. And I thought, ‘I ought to check in the garage and see if the car is there or not.’ Maybe she’s taken a walk.”

However, his worst fear was realized.

“I opened the garage door and she had taken her life,” Lacy stated.

Felicia was under professional care at the time of her death. While it did not ease Lacy’s sorrow and guilt at the time, he knew he had done the right thing in getting his wife help.

“I can look back and say I didn’t try to handle it on my own,” Lacy said. “I realized it was beyond me.”

For others facing the struggles of mental illness, Lacy explained that treatment is the best course of action.

“The biggest danger that you fall into is thinking you’re a mental health professional,” he advised.

Lacey added, “Understand this is so much more pervasive than you realize. There are kids, maybe your kids, who have actually thought about it. In their mind, they have imagined what it would be like and, for a moment, thought, ‘I’d be better dead.’ You don’t need to minimize that.”

Lacy emphasized the importance of professional help.

“Unfortunately, I’ve heard pastors say that if you really love and trust God you wouldn’t need medication and, to me, that’s so untrue.”

Lacy also emphasizes that God’s love, while complex, is very real.

“God is good; life isn’t – don’t confuse the two,” Lacy said.

“At one point, I hit a key point where I realized, I could have all God’s grace and all God’s peace without all God’s answers. I think that is the point in which you can say, ‘I’ll never be able to make sense out of this and I’ll never totally understand this.’ That doesn’t mean God can’t give me hope and peace and grace. Because sometimes what you become is a hope to somebody else,” he concluded.

Pastor Lacy encouraged believers and nonbelievers alike “to be the hope and light that could guide someone out of a dark place and from making a tragic and permanent mistake.”

Resources to call, per WHNT:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line
Text ‘home’ to 741741

Watch the full report:

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

Yellowhammer presents: Living Life on Purpose with reporter Lauren Sisler

(Executive Lion)

In this episode of Executive Lion’s Living Life On Purpose, Matt Wilson and Andrew Wells sit down with Lauren Britney Sisler, an ESPN broadcaster, SEC Network commentator, contributor, and survivor.

Lauren talks with us about her success in broadcasting and the interesting conversations she has been able to have, as well as how she had to overcome adversity with the loss of both of her parents in the same day due to overdose. Her goal is to turn her pain into purpose.



Three takeaways:

1) What the enemy means for harm can be used by God for good. Lauren had a choice to make when she lost her parents. She could hide the story and suffer alone, or she could use her struggles to help someone walk out of the shadows. She has chosen to shed light on addiction and those left behind in order to encourage and strengthen others.

2) Life does not always go according to our plan but we can still walk forward in truth and fulfill our purpose in spite of facing trials. Lauren could have shut down and given up after she experienced such an awful tragedy. Instead, she picked herself up and now she is doing the same for others facing similar issues.

3) Success is relative. You can have all the fame and fortune in the world but if you aren’t making a difference in people’s lives, it will be unfulfilling. Helping others gives you a sense of purpose that you can’t find if you are only focused on yourself.

4 weeks ago

‘Rick & Bubba Show’ to be simulcast on CRTV


Alabama’s famed radio duo Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey are bringing their unique brand of conservative commentary and comedy to CRTV – the Conservative Review’s media company.

CRTV announced in a press release that “The Rick & Bubba Show” will be simulcast through its online video subscription service. Current subscribers to the show will also receive access to all of CRTV’s additional offerings.

Rick and Bubba expressed their enthusiasm for this new way for viewers to connect with the show.

“We are honored to join the CRTV lineup!” Burgess said. “This is a win for our current audience, and it will expose our show to an entirely new audience. CRTV gives us the technology and the freedom to access any audience that wants to see our show without some programming ‘genius’ standing in the way.”

Bussey added, “We are excited to join the CRTV lineup! This is a great step forward in our ability to grow our national footprint and move to the latest cutting-edge delivery system.  We are looking forward to sharing the stage with some of the top thinkers, patriots, and broadcasters in the business!”

Rick and Bubba have been “broadcasting the truth about God, guns, family and food” for more than 20 years. They can currently be heard on over 65 radio stations nationwide, reaching over 1.2 million Americans.


“When it comes to morning shows, Rick and Bubba broke the mold,” CRTV president Gaston Mooney said. “CRTV is thrilled to have Rick and Bubba kick off our programming each day.”

CRTV calls themselves “the boldest media company around.” They offer a video subscription service, podcasts, and distributed publishing and create content “where people are free to be themselves without filters.” The growing media company prides itself on being a conservative, common sense organization where there “are no liberal advertisers controlling the message, no PC mobs calling the shots, and no progressive media agendas.”

“The Rick & Bubba Show” joins CRTV’s lineup of offerings, including Mark Levin, Phil Robertson, Steven Crowder, Michelle Malkin, Eric Bolling, Gavin McInnes, Andrew Wilkow and Steve Deace.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 weeks ago

WATCH: Auburn awards scholarship to walk-on quarterback who thanks God for his success

(Auburn Football/Twitter)

In a video posted Sunday by Auburn’s football program, head coach Gus Malzahn announced walk-on quarterback Devin Adams from Mobile has been awarded a scholarship for his senior year.

Malzahn, while addressing the team in the video, praised the scout team quarterback for his unselfishness.

“He never complained one time. He’ll just do whatever he can to help the team,” Malzahn emphasized.

He continued, “The guy that’s getting the scholarship tonight, I gave him a nickname and it’s well deserved. He doesn’t need much practice. He’ll go out there and just perform.”


“He’s ‘The Natural.’ It’s Devin Adams,” Malzahn announced, revealing the scholarship winner.

In an Instagram post of himself signing the paperwork, Adams gave the glory to God.

“God has been too real in my life … [Auburn Football] I appreciate everything!! Couldn’t thank you enough,” he said.


Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 month ago

How an incoming freshman overcame inner-city Chicago to get to Alabama State University – ‘This is the start of a new life’

(ABC 7 Chicago/YouTube)

Ivry Hall has a tale to tell – one that is too unbelievable and too tragic to be anything but real. But it is who life’s challenges have made him, and where Hall is going from here, that he wants to be his life’s story.

Chicago born-and-raised, Hall just turned 18 last month.

“I grew up on the South Side. Englewood, 64th and Laflin,”  he told WLS-TV. “My mom did a lot of moving, but that’s where I spent most of my childhood.”

His upbringing, like that of most in this infamous part of the Windy City, was filled with serious trouble.

“Gang banging,” Hall admitted. “I used to smoke when I was little.”

He also dropped out of school, saying that is what was expected of children like him in that urban neighborhood.

Hall said, “I did a lot of stuff. That’s just from the image I was seeing so I wanted to do it, too.”

And that was all before his mom, who was raising him as a single mother, got cancer when Hall was only 12.


“When my mom passed away, I was so hurt,” he reflected. “And I just wanted to do better.”

This tragedy inspired Hall to go back to school, and after some time, attend Tilden High School.

While in a positive frame of mind again, his life did not necessarily get easier when he went back to get his education. Hall was living with a cousin who moved nearly two hours from where he went to class.

“I had to get on three buses and one train,” Hall explained.

However, through hard work and the right attitude, he always kept going.

“I don’t believe in giving up, and I think that failure is not an option,” said Hall.

Not only did his mom pass away when he was 12, but when he was a senior in high school, Hall’s dad died of lung failure.

“Of course, I lost my mom. I lost my dad,” he told WLS-TV in Chicago. “I wish they were still here to see what I’ve accomplished now, but they’re not. Everything is not going to come as you want it.”

Hall’s faith in Jesus Christ, sports and a local boxing gym got him through the hard times. He also had mentors at his church who never stopped encouraging him.

Hall said, “They are like, ‘Ivry, you’re going to be something. You’re so smart.’ And that stuff encouraged me to do good.”

“No pity party,” explained Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church, where Hall attends. “No ‘poor me.’ He was just a young brother who wanted the best for himself and others.”

Hall set a goal for himself when his mother died, and he never took his eye off achieving it.

“I always wish that I could graduate valedictorian, and look, I did,” he recounted. “I was beyond happy.”

Now, Hall is beginning his freshman year at Alabama State University in Montgomery, a triumph made possible in part by a $10,000 scholarship from his church.

The teen from the South Side of Chicago is just getting started on writing his life’s story, but he has a good plan for what comes next.

“Major in business, so I can open up my own business,” Hall forecasted.

He added, “I’m not for sure what I want to open up, but I want to help people.”

Hall now has his sights set on a new goal, and he is determined to succeed.

“I’m going to go to college and graduate, so I’m going to find a way to study,” Hall said. “I’m going to find a way to do everything without giving up.”

“If I give up, I will be just like everybody that I know,” he continued.

The young man also shared his key to overcoming the challenges life has thrown at him again and again.

“You have to give 100 percent in everything you do,” Hall emphasized. “Once you give up, you’ll only be used to giving up. At least try. If you can’t do it, continue to try.”

He has been through a lot in his short time on earth, but to him, a blank canvas awaits.

“This is the start of a new life,” Hall concluded.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

Living Life on Purpose with entrepreneur and Wifeology’s Dr. Kre Johnson

(Executive Lion/YouTube)

In this episode of Executive Lion’s Living Life On Purpose, Andrew Wells and Matt Wilson sit down with Dr. KT Johnson, an entrepreneur, family physician, mother, wife, author and follower of Christ.

Dr. Kre shares her story about juggling family, business and faith and how others can do the same.



Three Takeaways:
1) The power of prayer should never be underestimated. Prayer has the ability to open doors and move situations forward that could not be done otherwise.
2) Priorities are so important. What you put first in life will determine the results you achieve. Putting God first will allow everything else to fall in the proper order.
3) Having 2 entrepreneurs in the family can be motivating, challenging, and stressful. It is important that you remain connected with your spouse regardless of your hectic schedules. You must be intentional in how you spend time with one another and your children

1 month ago

Alabama CEO gives daughter’s teacher a new car, gives God the credit

(USA Today/YouTube)

A teacher in Alabama cried tears of joy after receiving a brand new car from one of her student’s parents.

When Courtney Adeleye, CEO and founder of The Mane Choice, learned her daughter’s teacher at Huntsville Christian Academy took multiple buses just to get to and from work every day, she knew she had to do something.

The teacher has taught both of Adeleye’s girls and “is the sweetest person you would ever want to meet,” the business leader said in an Instagram post.


Adeleye, who has been featured in Forbes for building her company from a $500 personal investment into an empire with over $25 million in annual sales, set an example for people everywhere with her definition of success.

“When you ask me to define success….this is my response! (Give to those without expectations),” Adeleye said.

She concluded, “All glory to GOD!”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 months ago

Kendra Scott and Yellowhammer team up to support the Auxiliary of Big Oak Ranch

Check out what happened when Yellowhammer Multimedia partnered with Kendra Scott to benefit the Auxiliary of Big Oak Ranch.

Located at the Summit in Birmingham, the jewelry design company opened its doors for the girls and house mothers of Big Oak to create something special for themselves. Additionally, Kendra Scott donated 20 percent of all purchases to the organization.


The Auxiliary of Big Oak Ranch works to ensure the needs of the children served by the organization are continually met. From housing to prayer and everything in between, the Auxiliary functions as a fundraising and volunteer service group. Formed in 2006 by Phyllis DePiano and Joann Bashinsky (affectionately known as Mama B), they aim to promote and further the Ranch’s desire to meet the needs of abused, neglected and abandoned children by giving them a solid, Christian home and a chance to realize and fulfill God’s plan for their lives.

For more information on the Auxiliary, visit them at

WATCH: Legacy Pastor Lee Domingue talks focusing on the big picture instead of dwelling on poor circumstances

In this episode of Executive Lion’s “Living Life On Purpose,” Matt Wilson and Andrew Wells sit down with Lee Domingue, a successful entrepreneur turned legacy pastor, to discuss overcoming challenges and focusing on the big picture instead of dwelling in circumstances.

Lee Domingue is a successful businessman who answered the call to ministry and has chosen to use his gifts and talents to advance the Kingdom of God. Lee is an entrepreneur, international speaker, best-selling author, a family man, husband, and most importantly, a visionary man of God. Lee was very successful at an early age and lost everything. Then he started another business and became even more successful. This time, he followed God’s call and sold the business. Now, he helps lead a team of business leaders at Church of the Highlands to accelerate the vision of the church and allow it to accomplish all that God has in store.



3 Takeaways:

1) We must be very careful in determining our motives. If we are trying to build our own Kingdom, it will be short lived and meaningless in the end. If we try to build God’s Kingdom, we can have success for His glory, and we will have purpose.

2) Sometimes God asks us to do things that do not make sense to those around us. If God calls us to it, it makes sense to Him and that is all we need to know. If we are obedient, God honors that and He can make it make sense in the long run for eternity.

3) The things of this world are nice to own, but we can’t let them own us. Lee had exotic cars, planes, and all the wealth he could want in his 20’s. It was hollow. Success is fleeting and if that is what we measure ourselves by, we will never be fulfilled. We must live a life of significance, which comes from serving others, to find true joy and the ultimate gratification.

Dr. Harry Reeder: The sexual revolution an ‘all-out assault’ on our culture


During the Friday broadcast of “In Perspective,” Tom Lamprecht and Harry Reeder discussed the recent Arizona court case involving Brush & Nib Studio owned by two openly Christian calligraphers, Breanna Koske and Joanna Duka.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Karen Mullins ruled these two women could be compelled by the government to use their artistic ability to service same-sex weddings. Although the judge acknowledged that they undoubtedly engaged in a form of speech, she ruled against them since they did not engage in expressive speech. The government defined the types of speech that could be compelled and not compelled.


According to Dr. Reeder, we should look at what is happening in terms of the First Amendment with a Christian world and life view.

First, the judge decided that the founding fathers did not mean the free practice of speech, they meant the free practice of expressive speech, and what these calligraphers were doing was not expressive.

Reeder responds to that, saying, “That’s a nonsensical statement. All speech is expressive.”

Second, Reeder states that we are seeing the First Amendment “attacked by the sexual revolution.”

He adds, “You are not going to be able to hide, whether you are calligraphers or cake bakers, or whether you work as a salesperson, this sexual revolution takes no prisoners. You are not going to be able to hide. The churches are going to have to identify their sexual ethics and how they hold to it, compassionately but with conviction. You are going to have to do it in the workplace, you are going to have to do it in your home, you are going to be faced in the school system.”

As further evidence, Reeder mentions a recent Planned Parenthood of New York advertising campaign that was so vile that the details of it could not be discussed on his program.

“Planned Parenthood, has made it very clear. We exist to promote this sexual revolution of sexual anarchy, sexual deviancy; both verbally and visually,” Reeder states. “This is an all-out assault on the culture in the promotion of pagan sexual promiscuity and perversion. Anarchy in the name of liberty, and the removal of any ethical considerations and any ethical boundaries is incessant and insistent.”

WATCH: Real estate investor Brian Trippe discusses overcoming lethargy to reach full potential

In this episode of Executive Lion’s Living Life On Purpose, Andrew Wells and Matt Wilson sit down with Brian Trippe to discuss life, business and overcoming lethargy to reach your full potential.

Brian Trippe is a successful real estate investor, author, family man, servant-hearted leader, and a follower of Christ. Brian has a passion for helping people learn and grow in life and in business through Alareia.



3 Takeaways

1) Brian was at a point where he did not want to work or grow. He had to break through that malaise and now he is seeing the fruits of his labor. We all have to overcome the laziness and push through whether we feel like moving forward or not. Breakthrough is on the other side of that.

2) Sometimes, we have early experiences that we can draw from that will help us in the future. Brian was a coach and now he loves to coach people in business to reach all they are capable of achieving. Try to figure out what experiences you have that you can draw from and teach others from your own trial and error.

3) Purpose is a driver in Brian’s life. When you have purpose, the daily grind becomes less difficult. You know why you are doing something versus simply focusing on what you are doing. Discover your purpose and life becomes fun!

British government resignations signal problems


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TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, World Magazine is reporting that British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, who served as the key campaigner for Brexit, Britain’s departure from the European Union, resigned last Monday. His resignation is the latest move threatening Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and comes after Brexit secretary David Davis resigned on Sunday night. Steve Baker, a minister in Britain’s Brexit Department followed with his resignation almost immediately.

Harry, it was about two years ago that the citizens of Great Britain voted to leave the EU. It appears that Theresa May might be slow-walking that process and she’s running into some roadblocks.

DR. REEDER: Yeah, it’s really been interesting to watch this implementation of the popular vote in Britain to exit the European Union, the EU, and to watch its implementation under the administration of Prime Minister Theresa May.


And, of course, the sideshow — and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way — has also been the relationship between Prime Minister Theresa May and our own President Trump, which all coincides, by the way, because while all of this is happening, President Trump is on his way to Britain and the reports were that Prime Minister May — it may have contributed to this — had given strict directives that he was not to meet with Brexit supporters, even those that reside within her administration.


As you and I were considering this and I was doing some research, it seems to be pretty undeniable, for whatever reason, that the prime minister is not fully supportive of the vote of the British people to exit the European Union. On the one hand, she’s tapping the brakes — she’s pumping the brakes — to slow everything down as much as possible and perhaps, in a year to two years, maybe see if a movement to reverse the vote could take place. Now within her own administration are those who campaigned for and are supportive of Brexit and they’re calling attention to it by their resignation, which has put her entire government in a precarious position and a possible vote of no confidence may just be right around the corner.

Let’s look at the overall issue of Brexit — that is, Britain exiting the European Union — and why. Tom, as you know, in the last century, we had two world wars that originated in Europe and originated out of national conflict so there were a couple of efforts to try to put in place an organization that would forestall any future conflict — a way to settle issues without the entire world being embroiled in a way.


First was the League of Nations after World War I and it didn’t work. Then came the United Nations and, while it’s not been as effective as many would like and has become an instrument in which people are using it to advance their own national interest instead of being a place to settle national issues, the greater fear always is that it becomes a world government and, by so becoming a world government, then national sovereignty is lost.

That looming specter out of the United Nations has an even compelling emotional response in Europe because what has developed in the last 25 years is the European Union and, what was meant to be an alliance of cooperation, well, it has become almost a settled fact that the European Union and its directives supersede national directives. And that’s what happened in Britain — “We don’t want the European Union telling us what kind of light bulbs we can use, how we recycle our trash,” all of the things that the European Union was now giving directives to nations, and they said, “No, we want our national sovereignty back,” which is understandable.


Now, here is where, from a Christian world and life view, we recognize that God has ordained the ethos — that is, the nations of the world — and, as these nations exist, should their sovereignty be superseded by imperial movements of one nation or by imperial structures that dominate the nations and I think that’s what the pushback was in Britain.

As I listened to the debate in England, it seemed as if everyone was saying, “We’re fine with defense alliances and trade alliances such as NATO. We are not fine with losing our national sovereignty to the European Union.”

What readily raises its head in a fallen world are two dynamics concerning nations. One is nationalism. As you know, the populist presidency that we are now under in President Trump has tapped into this notion of “America First.” Now, President Trump has said, “I am not saying America First and only. What I am saying is what I think every nation should do — whenever you make a decision, it’s not in disregard to other nations, but it is in regard to we’ve got to do what’s best for our own nation. I was elected to be president of this nation and then the well-being of this nation will position us to be of benefit to other nations.”


I compare it to that emotionally jarring moment where, every time I get on an airplane and come those words, “In the unlikely event of an emergency, your oxygen mask will come down. Please secure your own mask before you assist someone else.” Well, you know, in my heart, that jars me emotionally because what I want to do is assist the other person in the virtue of sacrifice and helping them but, when you stop and think about it, that kind of emergency where you’re losing oxygen, you can’t help the other person without having oxygen.

That’s why, in the law of God, it says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” In light of God’s love for you and your love for the Lord, you need to secure that intimacy with the Lord and that’s what enables you to love your neighbor thoughtfully, Biblically and effectively.

You understand, in a true approach to this, we have to handle our nation’s well-being first but you can’t let it slip into nationalism because, if you have nationalism, then you’re going to have imperialism, which is the robbing and domination of other nations in order to take from them what is theirs and add to your own coffers. National sovereignty cannot become an occasion for nationalism. On the other hand, national sovereignty is crucial for nations to be in position to rightly help other nations.


From a Christian world and life view, my ancestry comes from there — I’m one-fourth Scot, one-fourth Irish, one-fourth Scots-Irish, and one-fourth English — so I look to that nation with some interest and I would hope and pray, for the well-being of England politically and economically, that she would carry out the vote of the people and do it in such a way that nationalism doesn’t come to the forefront which would lead to another imperialistic movement or to an isolationist position. Nations, like people, need to hear the commandment of the Lord — we want to be in the world but not of the world.

And then, finally, what I would say for this is I am the beneficiary of a great Gospel awakening in our nation. It didn’t start in our nation; it started in England. I long for the day when, like the Oxford 12 — men like Charles Wesley, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Daniel Rowland, Ronald Sennick, and others — I am praying for God to raise up a Gospel awakening within England. It is in desperate need of the gospel to move forward. The answer is not found in nationalism, the answer is not found in isolationism and the answer is not found in imperialism. The answer is found in the movement of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the population and may the Lord raise up great gospel preachers in England.

I look with interest in this political conundrum that Prime Minister Theresa May faces. I look with interest in how it’s going to affect the NATO summit and the side discussions that she and her government were having with Donald Trump concerning a trade alliance between England and America and how that’s going to affect that discussion.

While I look for all of that, I look to the heavens and pray, God, open the heavens up and pour down a gospel-saturating movement upon England and upon my own nation and may it go to the whole world. I pray may the grace of God cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

Leadership crucial in the church, life


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TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, today, I’d like to talk about leadership. I’d like to take you to a blog written by Chris Bollinger. Chris is a military air defense professional, retired Marine and he’s also a screenplay writer. He makes the point that Marines have a certain qualification that perhaps is unique with just Marines.

DR. REEDER: He brings this phenomenon — many of us have noted it — that this particular administration under President Trump has had a penchant to reach into the military for leadership to bring those leaders from military into the positions of civil leadership or governmental leadership.



Immediately, there’s concern, “Well, is that the military taking over?” I think it’s something else that’s happening and that’s this. We all know that leadership is crucial. If you look at the Word of God from a Christian world and life view, whenever God says to do something, He first raises up a leader. He frames the leader, forms the leader, develops the leader and then the leader is used. The leader is always imperfect and, almost always, the Lord surrounds him with another leader because of the plurality of leadership which is crucial in and of itself.

In the church, where there are elders — plural — if you see, we call them the elders, presbyters — plural — of the church because, with every man’s strength, you get his weaknesses, which it means you need a plurality of leaders.

But you need leadership and so here is our present president reaching into the military in general, but by the way into the Marine Corps very specifically, which is what this article highlights. You’ve got General Maddox who’s the Secretary of Defense, you’ve got General Dunford, the head of the joint chiefs of staff, you’ve got General Kelly who is the chief of staff in the White House and they’re all Marines.

And then you look at in society where someone recently did an article about how many corporations now look to the military where they try to find these junior officers that are retiring at 20 years of service and bring them into their corporation and groom them for leadership.


I think there’s a couple of reasons why. One is how the military in general and, by the way, the Marine Corps in particular… I remember the day I went down to fill out the papers to volunteer in February of 1969. I remember my dad’s stories of being in the Marine Corps.

Tom, there’s always been something about the Marine Corps experience, not only how they develop their Marines but also how they develop their leaders. I think it is also comparable in the other branches of the service, as well, which is why the military has become this fishing pool for leadership in our society.

Other places don’t develop leaders. I don’t look into the world of academics and I don’t find leaders there. In fact, I find very frightening people, recently, and you and I are thinking about doing a program on this. Alan Dershowitz, when the academic elite get together at Martha’s Vineyard, they won’t have him there because he had made an argument from the Constitution — which is what he is, a Constitutional lawyer, and he had made an argument that defended President Trump’s actions while making it clear he wasn’t defending President Trump but he was arguing about the Constitution. Well, now he’s not allowed because they just can’t handle that around him.

Anybody that can’t handle someone who makes a defense of the Constitution that I can’t answer tells me that person’s not much of a person. First, they can’t learn and, secondly, they can’t handle somebody that can persuade them or someone that instructs them.


Therefore, I don’t look to the academic world for leadership and I don’t look to the media for leadership so where do you look for leadership? Well, if you’ll go to the colleges, they have jettisoned ethics in the MBA programs. The corporate world doesn’t go to the place where they ought to be getting their corporate leaders from the MBA program because they’re not turning out leaders with any principles.

Where do they go? They go to the military.

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, is it safe to say the opposite end of a strong Biblical leader is someone who says, “I’m a victim”?

DR. REEDER: One of the things you’re looking for is, without arrogance or self-importance, you’re looking for someone who is not a victim in life but who knows how to lead others to victory in life. And I think that’s why we’re seeing this phenomenon is the military is the place where that’s happening and, the Marine Corps, they do some very pointed things. As this guy points out, you never see a Marine, when he goes into a hotel, having his bags carried by anybody — he carries his own bags and, by the way, he’ll carry the bags for other people. He also notes that they always eat last — they never eat first but they always eat last.


Are there Biblical principles here that Jesus, in his leadership training, used when he told his disciples in regard to being first when they wanted to know, “Do we get the seat of honor?” he said, “Listen, if you want to be first, you’re last. If you want to be the leader of all, then you are the servant of all.”

By the way, here’s something else: who trains leaders in the Marine Corps? Go to Quantico and look at the sergeants training the future leaders. Tom, I even had an experience in that as I did a commissioning ceremony for a second lieutenant in our church and there with him was a gunny sergeant. And I took the liberty, even though I was there to give a Biblical perspective and to pray for his installation, I said, “If you don’t mind, just a little personal word here, I’m looking forward to how the Lord is going to use your leadership. And I’ll tell you, one of the first things the Lord would have me to tell you is you get fastened to that gunny sergeant over there and listen to him. He’s one of the most important people in your life.” And that’s what Marines do — they develop a relationship from their own training forward with enlisted men and the enlisted men are engaged in their training.

And the other thing is this: they are expected to learn that you don’t just learn from people who have ranks higher than you but you learn from people who have ranks lower than you. That’s part of what it means to be trained — you’re a learner and you learn 360 degrees.


However, I’ve got another proposal, Tom. It’s in my book, “Leadership Dynamic,” that’s being republished in October — “3D Leadership,” would be available — and that is simply this: the church should become a leadership factory, defining, developing and deploying leaders in every sphere of society. We would be the ones that people would look to — again, the John Newtons who would produce the William Wilberforces. The great Presbyterian pastor, Dr. Phineas Gurley and Dr. James Smith who influenced, and developed and led to Christ Abraham Lincoln.

There are so many examples of when the church has developed leaders for every sphere of society — the family, the government and the business — who operate from a Christian world and life view and bring Biblical principles to bear in all of life.

Tom, I think this article has highlighted something that’s very important. First, there will always be a need for leadership. Secondly, instinctively, society will start moving toward those institutions that produce leaders that benefit society. Third, the places where they go will be places where they teach leadership that is principled, ethically driven and that is other-concerned, not self-promoting and that shows a conduct in life that has courage married to humility, that has conviction married to compassion. That’s what we’re looking for is those two threads of strength and courage. Joshua says, “Be strong and courageous,” and the other thread, sensitivity and compassion.


Of course, the leader of all from my Christian world and life view is my Savior and I love the moment in the Book of Revelation when John is utterly in despair for there is no one who is worthy to open the seals of the book and then a voice from Heaven says, “Weep no more. There is one who is worthy.” And John looked and then he saw the lion of Judah standing as a lamb that was slain.

There’s our great king and there is the picture of leadership, lion-like in life and lamb-like in heart. There is the Lamb who had given Himself, yet He’s standing, strong and courageous, the victor over sin, death, Hell and the grave. And He can make you a victor and He can make you a leader in your home, in your marriage, in your church and in society but first fix your eyes on Him. See Him and His leadership as He goes to the cross, counting it all joy to lay down His life that we might have victory and lay down his life in victory as He comes forth from the grave — victorious, our great Savior and Lord. Come to Him and watch what He does to make you like Him.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.


How Christians should submit to the government’s law


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TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, recently, Jeff Sessions was asked to come and address the Southern Baptist Convention. When he did, he quoted the apostle Paul, Roman 13:1-7, which overall instructs Christians to submit to the government. This really opened up Pandora’s box with critics of Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions saying that is the same scripture that certain individuals used to justify things like the Nazi regime.

Harry, let me ask you a question: if you were living back in the 1700’s during the American Revolution, no doubt, there were probably times where you had certain people saying that those living in this new country of America — which was still under the king’s rule — should be submitting to the king of England and not engaging in a revolution.

DR. REEDER: We just celebrated our July the Fourth holidays. Were the Christians who participated in the Revolution — the Christian patriots — were they sinning against God? And, by the way, many of the Tories were actually believers in America that quoted this and said, “We can’t rebel against the king.”



Peter, almost verbatim, says the same thing when he’s writing in 1 Peter 2:13-17. In fact, he even goes on to say that we are to be subject to every human institution and to those in authority, as Paul does, and to those who are ruling over us, for the governing authorities are established over us by a sovereign God and they are there, called to be ministers of God.

One of the things that is being stated in this is that government is an act of God post-fall that has been given as a blessing of common grace to punish evil, restrain evil and to promote what is good and that is the role of the government. The government is not the church and, by the way, the church is not the government. The government has an intersection with the church and the church speaks to the government and its members participate in the government.


And how is it that Christians live their lives? Well, we who have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of life, we who are sojourners and exiles as we fulfill our mission to be ambassadors for Christ, we see ourselves answering to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, but that does not promote anarchy in our life — that promotes order in our life and that our call is to be in subjection to every human institution.

Are there exceptions? Absolutely, but don’t start with the qualifiers; start with the principle. The principle is, before I was a Christian, it’s all about me and I do what I want for myself. Now that I’m a Christian, it’s all about Jesus and I do what He wants and He tells me. The direction of my life is to be submissive. Churches are submissive to one another, Christians are submissive to one another, members are submissive to elders, I’m submissive to my employer, I’m submissive to the civil magistrate — that is the direction that we are called to live.


Are there qualifiers? Absolutely. Notice the text does not say that every law is just or that every governing authority is just but it simply says that it’s there by God’s sovereign appointment. My initial response is to be in submission.

Are there times in the Bible that my submission is to be forfeited because of the government’s law — the law itself? When they told John and Peter they couldn’t preach in the name of Jesus, well, now we got a conflict. King Jesus says go and preach the Gospel and they just passed a law on me that I can’t preach the Gospel. And so, what did they say? “We must obey God rather than man.” Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not bow down to the king’s image and commit idolatry, but they were still submissive — they willingly took their punishment.


Concerning the Revolution, you’ll notice it was not a collection of guerilla and it was not an act of vigilantism. They established a government in America which they were submissive to, which then informed the government that was exercising tyranny against them that this government in America would not submit to that government. In other words, the Christians were obedient to the governing authority in America which declared to the tyrannical government that was attempting to coerce and control through the mechanism of taxation without representation that they would not do it.

Therefore, it was not an act of individual revolution; they were submissive to the government that had been established in the colonies that then said to the government that would control them, “We no longer will allow you to oppress and take away people’s God-given inalienable rights.”

The same thing would be true in a Nazi Germany. Yes, did Hitler quote this text to try to control Christians? Yes, but Christians could say, “Yes, we will be in submission to the government but, when you exercise your laws, if your laws cause us to transgress the law of God, then we must obey God rather than man.”


TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I remember in the book “The Hiding Place,” Corrie Ten Boom wrote where she was challenged by a Nazi officer quoting this verse saying you are to obey the governing authorities. In that kind of situation, would it be proper for a Christian like Corrie Ten Boom to perhaps take an officer like that to Colossians 4 where it says, “Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you, too, have a Master in Heaven whom you have to answer.”

DR. REEDER: That’s moving from the civil government to the civil relationships in society but the principle would be the same. What I would say is go back to the Romans 13, “You’re a minister of God,” God called you to imprison people just because they are made in the image of God and reside in a certain ethnicity?

For Corrie Ten Boom, when they come and said, “Do you have any Jews in your house?” is it okay for her to say no? Absolutely it was okay because the whole question was, “Do you have Jews in your house that we can imprison and exterminate?” and that answer is no. She also realizes that here is a law that stands against the law of God, “You shalt not murder.”


At the moment, my country is guilty of allowing the murder of unborn infants. If they ever get to the point that they tell me, “You have to pay for it. You have to participate in it directly,” then I tell them, “No, I will not,” and I’ll have to be ready to take the punishment for it. In fact, I am called of God not to obey an unjust law. I actually have a moral duty before God to disobey that law in the context of being submissive to governing authorities.

When Sessions quotes that text, that text is rightly quoted but its right application always realizes that, if that governing authority has an unjust law, then Christians, in submission to that authority, are under obligation to the Lord, the Giver of the supremacy of the Ten Commandments and the Law of God that we cannot disobey the commandments of God within a nation. Yet we don’t do that in terms of personal rebellion; we do that under authority and, ultimately, under the authority of Christ, Who is our King, in which our citizenship ultimately lies.


When Peter wrote his text that’s parallel to Paul’s text, it’s interesting that he also adds directly, “Honor the king,” and the king at that time is a lascivious, immoral, ungodly, unconscionably evil person, Nero, who in just a few years is going to kill the man that’s writing this “Honor the king and honor the emperor,” Peter, and will also decree the death of Paul who also said the governing authorities are to be obeyed and who, in their submission, went to death for King Jesus because of their faithfulness to the call of Christ to spread the Gospel of His Kingdom throughout the world. Of course, history is full of those who have followed their steps of martyrdom.

The rule of believers is you move from the rule of self and the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Christ and now the rule of Christ in our life and it’s manifested in our submission to God-ordained authorities, always declaring the supremacy of our obedience to Christ. If those rulers take upon themselves the authority to tell us to disobey Christ, then we must obey God rather than man.


TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on tomorrow’s edition of “Today in Perspective,” I want to take you to a blog by Chris Bollinger. In this blog, he notes that there are certain members of a certain branch of our military who share a unique quality.

DR. REEDER: And are being called upon in a disproportionate measure for leadership in our country and there may be a reason why this is happening that we can explore tomorrow.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.


What we can learn from the Alabama & Georgia quarterbacks’ post-game responses







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TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, last Monday night, Alabama was heard around the world as Nick Saban won his sixth national championship. He now ties Bear Bryant.

DR. REEDER: Yeah, it was quite an event. It is an event in the midst of the city I serve, Birmingham, and my congregation, which is about 55/60 percent Auburn, 40 percent Alabama. I had to make a commitment and I said, “My commitment is this: I am not going to choose,” so I have the great joy of being able to pull for both Alabama and Auburn. A guy actually wrote me an email afterward and said, “I bet you’re an Alabama fan now.” Well, what I told my congregation when I came is, “Go Pirates.” People may not know this, but you live in Greenville, North Carolina and I went to East Carolina, my basic statement is always, “Since I’ve been here, I’ve loved Alabama and Auburn football, but it’s obvious that they’re scared of East Carolina because they refuse to schedule them each year.”

I will tell you this: I am a Tua fan and I am a Jake fan and I’m referring, of course, to the two true freshmen quarterbacks who performed in such a stellar fashion Monday night but, more than that, the way their perspective that was revealed in the post-game interview.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, it was encouraging how both quarterbacks, in the post-game show, their comments gave glory to God.

Tua Tagovailoa: “First and foremost, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With him, all things are possible. That’s what happened tonight. All glory goes to God. I can’t describe what He has done for me and my family.”

DR. REEDER: And after that he was actually asked a number of questions and he kept coming back to a God-centered world and life view. It was really encouraging. He actually apologized to his parents that he couldn’t say them first – he wanted to honor the Lord first. This young man from Hawaii is quite the talent, with a brother, Bo, coaching move was brought in and, with his courage, was able to follow through.

And, by the way, Jalen Hurts, the existing quarterback, his response was admirable in how he exhibited a team player attitude and was his No. 1 encourager in his route of success last night, even though he had replaced him.

However, what I wanted to really point out was his ability to do that and, not only that, the Jake Fromm response, too.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Indeed. Jake Fromm, who was the quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs, said in a post-game tweet, “God is good all the time and all the time God is good. So thankful for an incredible season with all these seniors who have given so much to this university. They’ve set the standard for University of Georgia football. We will be back. Love my teammates and go Dawgs.”

DR. REEDER: Unlike many fans that I meet – football becomes a religion – but these two young men, one in victory and one in defeat, handled this so absolutely with equilibrium and with clarity and did what I love to see and that is when people are blessed of the Lord to be successful or blessed of the Lord with the adversity of defeat and failure, are able to keep their eyes on the Lord and exalt the Lord and use it as a platform to honor the Lord. I am a Tua and a Jake fan.


I’m a fan of both of these young men and pray that the coming years of their success, they will continue to manifest not only the desire to honor Christ in every opportunity, both of them then immediately moved to their teammates and their coaches to honor them and then they kept avoiding personal promotion.

I’m just praying that they will continue to do that and to set a standard for our kids that are watching the athletes in the world today and to see that. I am hoping that opens up the hearts of a lot of young men and women who have athletic aspirations to see what happens when you have a heart-embraced world and life view that comes through in victory and defeat.


TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, in our closing minutes, I’d like to switch gears. Coming up in just a couple of weeks is Sanctity of Life Sunday. We’ll also be noting on the calendar the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision – how many millions of lives have been taken as a result – but there’s actually some good news on the horizon.

Let me give you a couple of headlines. One, President Donald Trump has been recognized as Pro-Life Person of the Year for 2017. One of the most prominent pro-life groups in America has given its award to Trump, declaring him Pro-Life Person of the Year. That, according to Operation Rescue.

Another important headline, Harry, out of The Daily Wire, “Pro-life win on horizon: first state to be abortion clinic-free, the State of Kentucky.”

DR. REEDER: First of all, congratulations to President Trump. If you look at his actions since president in his first year, he has actually advanced the pro-life cause further, I believe, than any president. Now, we’ve had a number of presidents who affirmed their pro-life position, but he has advanced it with his Appeals Court and Supreme Court appointments, with his removal of the abortion mandate funding of the Obamacare, with other executive orders, and the Justice Department now doing its investigation of Planned Parenthood. That is rightly awarded to him and I’m grateful for what he’s done.


I’m also grateful for your second headline, to see a state become abortion clinic-free – in other words, to remove another genocidal business – Kentucky is about to take its place along with, I believe, it’s seven other states. And by the way, in Alabama, we are getting close, also. We’re close to removing all abortion clinics in Birmingham.

And, if you don’t mind, let me go ahead and say this: Saturday at 10:45 will be our gathering at Brother Brian Park, the legendary pastor of Third Presbyterian Church, the park that’s named for him who used to walk the streets to pray for the city. I love the full-orbed approach in Birmingham of adoption of ministry and of mercy to women in crisis, the picketing of the abortion clinics and now we’re closing them down – I think we’re down to one – the organizations that are speaking for the pro-life and moving forth legislation in local and state government. It’s been absolutely wonderful, Tom, to see all of that take place.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, if you go back to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, many people prayed and hoped that we would get a Supreme Court decision, some sort of federal mandate/guidance/directive that would stop abortion. God has chosen a different path: one by one, we see these abortion clinics shutting down.


DR. REEDER: And babies being saved one by one, as well, and women in crisis pregnancy being ministered to one by one, and the fathers who are certainly responsible for this, who have fathered these children. And the fact that the secular elite were absolutely convinced, once they got the judicial case established that this issue would disappear – the death industry upon unborn children would become a part of our culture.

Well, the fact is, it hasn’t and now, these many years later, and in the terrible, terrible, grievous statistic of 60+ million children who have lost their lives because they “were inconvenient,” the mistakes of the sexual revolution that had to be eliminated and then the whole notion that no one is worth living unless somebody wants them instead of the reality that life is sacred and every life is sacred because every life comes with the stamp of the image of God upon it. And I am grateful for what’s happening in Kentucky.

That’s where we are and we will continue to speak to these matters with public policy, all under the mission of the church with the focus of the mission of the church to actually win abortion doctors, win women, win men and win the children that are saved with the Gospel of Jesus Christ – that we love life because we have the gift of eternal life and we can tell you about the one who can give you the salvation from your sins and grant you eternal life. And not only forgive us of our sins, but transform our lives by embracing a new life for Christ that honors life.


Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.


What does academic intolerance of real debate mean for free speech?






Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:


TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, today I’d like to take you to an op-ed piece written by George Will. It has to do with a situation that took place back in 2014 at Marquette University, which is a Jesuit school in Milwaukee. On October 28th of that year, an undergraduate course that Cheryl Abbate was teaching on ethics, when the subject of same-sex marriage arose, there was no debate because the students said the graduate student teacher insisted that there could be no defensible opposition to same-sex marriage.

This particular situation was recorded by this student and it was elevated to a gentleman named John McAdams, who was head over the department.  He encouraged that there be debate on this issue. Although he, himself, took no particular position, his comments were then labeled as “hate speech” and then he was told he would be suspended for two semesters without pay.


DR. REEDER: He went to the court system. First of all, his contract on academic freedom which, by the way, included a statement by the university that no professor could have their constitutional rights abridged which is, by the way, freedom of speech and the free practice of religion.

The appeals court punted because they said, “Well, this is a private school so an academic institution can determine its own interpretation of its contract.” Well, certainly, elements of that are true, but you cannot abandon a contract and that’s why the court system is there to see have they abandoned their contract, not can they interpret it so that it becomes meaningless. And so they then deferred any consideration of the case.

Well, George Will did an editorial on it, Tom, and he made the point, “This was not judicial deference; this was judicial dereliction of duty.” That this is the kind of thing the court exists to do and his appeal was that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will not let this go unaddressed and that the appeal to the Supreme Court will be heard.


What we want to do, of course, is take a look at this news event from a Christian world and life view which, first of all, this graduate student tells this tenured professor that he is a right-wing homophobe because he believes the issue of same-sex marriage ought to be debated. Basically, what you’re saying is anyone who has held to traditional marriage – which, by the way, for thousands of years, is what western civilization has built its entire civilization upon, a monogamous, covenantal, heterosexual marital foundation from which families are established and from which culture is upheld and culture is nurtured from generation to generation – so her position is that’s thousands of years of right-wing homophobic bigotry. That’s her position.

This professor is simply saying, “Wait just a minute. This is worthy of debate. Free speech ought to debate these things in a free society where sexual ethics are now being revolutionized to allow what would once have been unthinkable and declare it not only thinkable, but doable and normal, acceptable, and affirmed.

And now, anyone who opposes it can no longer be tolerated in the public square and so that certainly ought to be a matter of debate. And the court did not address the freedoms that would support that debate within this institution.

Now, let me first of all just say that this is a private institution. If they do not want anyone in their institution who represents traditional marriage, that’s their business.

I would only point out to people that Marquette is a Jesuit school which historically, by the way, was the most conservative order among the Roman Catholic priests and that the Jesuit school, by the dogma of the church, affirms marriage as one man, one woman for one life.

Therefore, it’s simply a university in which a professor is at least asking for a debate concerning the opposition to the Church’s position so you have both the freedom of speech and the free practice of religion at stake in this situation.

What we need to see is the sexual revolution is not going to take any prisoners. Even in a “religious” institution, they are demanding that anyone who holds to the historic Christian view of marriage – that is, again, covenantal, monogamous, heterosexual, conjugal relationship –  is now not to be tolerated. Their view, it’s not that it is destroyed in debate – it is it can’t be a part of the debate.


Now what does that reveal? Well, that reveals that, folks, you’re not going to be able to hide in this sexual revolution – nobody is – and you’re going to have to make a determination if you are going to have a world and life view imposed upon you that is irrational and nonsensical or will you call for at least the debate of this sexual revolution in the public square and insist on the debate in the public square?

And the alternative is that we will return to the anarchy of pagan sexuality, which is what the same-sex marriage proposal is built upon and that is a society that recognizes no God-ordained distinctions in the society of male and female that is accommodated and embraced in the very definition of marriage.


TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, yesterday, we talked about the need for the federal government to bring together a Blue-Ribbon Panel to make wise financial decisions. What does this situation say about the Catholic Church and Marquette University hiring people to lead classes on ethics that totally go against the foundational mandates of the Catholic Church?

DR. REEDER: Should Marquette University, if they embrace the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church concerning marriage, should they hire people that support that or should they hire people that do not support that? Well, it’s clear that they ought to be hiring people that support that.

Can they have forums to debate their position? Yes. Can they invite people to debate it? Yes. But they ought to hire according to the framework of their world and life view.

Do you think Green Peace is going to hire people who believe that climate change is a hoax? Of course they’re not. Green Peace is not going to hire people who believe that climate change is a hoax – they’re going to hire people that believe climate change is a reality and that’s part of what we’re laboring for.

Well, part of Marquette, if it’s a Roman Catholic institution, should be to affirm its position on marriage. For instance, the PCA has a college, Covenant College, and I would expect them to hire people in that college that support our confessional standards.

And I also expect them to have people in to debate those things, but I would expect our faculty and administration to be able to uphold it in the debate and, of course, hire toward those standards. I would not expect us to hire an atheist. I would not expect us to hire a Mormon. I would expect us to hire within our standards that we have established the university to uphold and to propagate. That’s where Marquette is: They have hired outside of their standards and now they’re paying the price.

However, the point is the government ought to uphold the Constitutional standards that would protect this professor who is attempting, with freedom of speech and freedom of religion, to uphold the very standards of the university where he teaches.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

8 months ago

WATCH: Pride, humility and the best and worst about social media




On a recent trip to Sacramento, from my home base in the LA area, I flew Southwest Airlines. In an idle moment, I reached for the magazine in the seatback pocket and commenced to leaf through it. I came across an article by a woman named Sarah Menkedick entitled “Unfiltered:  How Motherhood Interrupted My Relationship with Social Media.” The piece was not only wittily and engagingly written; it also spoke to some pretty profound truths about our cultural situation today and the generation that has come of age under the influence of the Internet.

She argues that to have swum in the sea of Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube from the time that one was a child was to live one’s life perpetually in front of an audience. Most millenials never simply had experiences; they were conditioned to record, preserve, and present those experiences to a following who were invited to like what they saw, to comment on it, to respond to it. To be sure, she acknowledges, the social media, at their best, are powerful means of communication and connection, but at their worst, they produce this odd distantiation from life and a preoccupation with the self. Here is how Menkendick puts it: “I’ve come of age as a writer at a time when it is no longer enough just to write. A writer must also promote her work and in the process promote herself as a person of interest…I learned the snarky, casually intellectual voice of feminist and pop culture bloggers, the easy outrage, the clubby camaraderie.”

But then something extraordinary happened to the author:  she became a mother. On the front porch of her home, nursing her baby, she discovered that she had a visceral aversion to snark and absolutely no desire to share her experience with an audience or curry favor from it. She didn’t want to cultivate any ironic distance from motherhood; rather, she wanted to believe in it with all her heart, to let it wash over her. “Before I had a child, I took it for granted that no intellectual writer-type could ever be taken seriously were she to cave into conventional sentiment. As a mother, I was swept away by these huge, ancient, universal emotions I’d previously dismissed as uncomplicated.” Her baby, in a word, broke through the carapace of her self-regard and let in some real light. Again, granting all that is truly good about social media (which I use massively in my own ministry), they can easily produce the conviction that we are the stars of our own little dramas, always playing for an eager audience. Authentic spirituality always gives rise to the opposite conviction: your life is not about you.

To grasp this distinction more completely, let me propose two scenarios to you. In the first, you are engaged in conversation with someone that you desperately want (or need) to impress, say, a prospective employer or a popular figure whose friendship you crave. In this context, you are indeed speaking, listening, laughing, looking pensive, etc., but more importantly, you are watching yourself perform these moves, and you are exquisitely attentive to the reaction of your interlocutor. Is she laughing at your jokes? Does she look bored? Did your witticism land effectively in her consciousness? The point is that you are not really experiencing reality directly, but rather through a sort of veil. It is as though you are looking at a beautiful landscape, but through a foggy window. Now a second scenario: you are in lively conversation with a friend, and there is no ulterior motive, no egotistic preoccupation. You become quickly lost in the discussion, following the argument where it leads, laughing when you are truly amused, watching your partner, but not in order to see how she’s reacting to you, but just because she’s interesting. In this case, you are immersed in reality; you are looking at the landscape through a clear pane of glass, taking in its colors and textures in all of their vividness.

Now, to use the language of the classical moral and spiritual tradition, the first situation I described is marked, through and through, by pride, and the second by humility. Don’t think of pride, first and foremost, as self-exaltation, which is, in fact, but a face or consequence of pride. In its most proper nature, pride is seeing the world through the distorting lens of the ego and its needs. On the other hand, humility, from the Latin humus (earth), is getting in touch with reality directly, being close to the ground, seeing things as they are. This is why Thomas Aquinas famously says “humilitas est veritas” (humility is truth). What makes the first scenario so painful and cringe-worthy is that it is out of step with the truth of things. What makes the second scenario so exhilarating, so fun, is that it is full of reality.

What Sarah Menkedick intuited was the manner in which the social media environment can be a breeding ground for the unique type of spiritual distortion and dislocation that we traditionally call pride. What made all the difference for her was the arrival of her baby, in all of his densely-textured reality—a reality that she could appropriate only through humility.

Bishop Robert Barron is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

First published May 2017

8 months ago

97-year-old Alabama woman has 80 years of teaching Sunday school

Screenshot / WHNT
Screenshot / WHNT


On Sunday, Huntsville CBS affiliate WHNT featured Scottsboro’s 97-year-old Velma Sebring in its “The Story with Jerry Hayes” segment.

What makes Sebring’s story particularly interesting is that she has been teaching Sunday school for 80 years, 75 of those years at the Center Point Baptist Church.

“I started when I was 17,” Sebring said to WHNT’s Hayes, adding that she thought it was a hundred years ago while laughing.

She first started teaching at nearby Randall’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Scottsboro.

“We sat out there on a log, and I had ten girls,” she explained.

Five years later after marrying, she moved to the nearby Baptist church, adding, “When I learned better.”

Sebring says her only plans to stop teaching are when she dies.

She has been recognized by many elected officials, including by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), who recognized Sebring in the Congressional Record for “outstanding mentorship” last summer.

“I think the biggest thing in my life that touches me more than anything is when you can help other people,” she said. “Always do what’s right.”

Jeff Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and works as the editor of Breitbart TV. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_poor.