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CBN NewsWatch: November 24, 2017

On CBN Newswatch, Nov. 24th: This is supposed to be a joyful time of the year, but many struggle with depression during the season, how to beat the holiday blues; Jesus commanded his disciples to "feed my sheep." A Texas man takes that passage ... Read Transcript

Thank you so much for joining us for "CBN News Watch."

I'm Efrem Graham.

Thanksgiving is over and holiday season is in full swing.

This is supposed to be a joyful time of year,

but many struggle with depression around this time.

Lorie Johnson shows us what to do about the holiday blues

before they get worse.

LORIE JOHNSON: Like millions of Americans,

Karen McGrath dreads the holidays.

Leading up to it, you just think

it's going to be too painful.

You can't handle it.

LORIE JOHNSON: Her son Chandon died three years ago

in a diving accident, and both of her parents

died a short time after that.

Then came a divorce, which means her kids will spend much

of the holidays with their dad.

There's a hole, there's an emptiness.

There's a longing that you want to be with them instead

of being left here.

LORIE JOHNSON: And it's not just the absence of family

that contributes to the holiday blues.

These holiday times, a lot of times, are tense.

And there's a lot of angst regarding family members.

If your family has been problematic all year long,

most likely when they show up at your house,

things are going to be problematic.

LORIE JOHNSON: In addition to relationship problems,

another source of sadness during the holidays

is the belief that happiness is based

on how much money we spend.

And this year there may be lots of folks

who are feeling inadequate.

Here are some ways to help beat the holiday blues.

Plan ahead.

Make a budget for gifts, travel, food, and donations.

Schedule tasks like holiday baking and shopping

so they're less stressful.

Reach out, because focusing on someone else

tends to lift your spirit and theirs.

Churches, hospitals, and nursing homes

all need volunteers this time of year.

And bury the hatchet.

Even though, that person is difficult

and maybe even mean at times, you be the person of Christ

to that person.

You exercise grace, you exercise forgiveness,

you give them the benefit of the doubt,

and you do what Jesus said.

You bless those who curse you, you love your enemies.

You act like Jesus to that person.

And you would be surprised at how far that

can go in the long run.

LORIE JOHNSON: Arrange get togethers well in advance

so you won't be caught alone.

Isolation can lead to depression.

If you can't be around loved ones,

find new ways to celebrate together

such as sharing pictures, emails, or videos.

And don't forget to exercise.

People who think exercise only benefits the body are really

only seeing half the picture.

The truth is, exercise is a powerful mood booster,

a natural way to feel happy.

That's because during exercise, the body releases endorphins,

neurotransmitters that have euphoric and pain relieving

properties similar to morphine.

If there's a day I'm having a bad day,

you know, I'm stressed out, I'm tired,

sometimes working out reverses all of that.

So I come into the gym, I forget about my problems,

I concentrate on what I'm actually doing physically,

and it helps me mentally.

LORIE JOHNSON: Unfortunately, exercise

is one of the first things skipped during the holidays.

Some gyms offer incentives to keep members

moving during the holidays.

The YMCA is giving shirts to each member who works out

at least three times a week.

And the social interaction is an added bonus.

If somebody knows your name, it just feels good.

Feels good to see somebody that you know.

And with that the small groups and small communities

that we form here, people really have that sense of community.

LORIE JOHNSON: Eat healthy, because overindulgence

leads to feelings of guilt. Get plenty of rest

so you're strong enough to meet the emotional demands


NARRATOR: And one rat.

Oh, I am not a rat.

I'm a pygmy jerboa.

NARRATOR: Are teaming up.

We're finally doing something important.

To To save the first Christmas.

Looks like it's up to me.

Too big, too big.

NARRATOR: "The Star, the Story of the First Christmas".

Rated PG.


C.S. Lewis once described history as a story written

by the finger of God.

That is certainly true.

When it comes to religious freedom,

Wendy Griffith brings us this look

at the life of one Christian leader

and one church in American history.

WENDY GRIFFITH: Kara Schmidt and Vince Oliveri

are getting married on a perfect June

day in a most unusual place.

Under this striking structure is the foundation

of an 18th century church with an astonishing history.

For over 45 years, the only clue of its existence

was this marker.

Then, in 1975, it caught the attention

of a local Presbyterian minister.

I began to read and find out how significant a place it was.

And the Loaded that came to my mind

was, your task is to shine the light on the man I really

want to honor.

WENDY GRIFFITH: That man is Samuel Davies,

the first minister at Polgreen Church

and a key figure in the religious movement known

as the first Great Awakening.

JOSHUA MCMULLEN: We see it in almost every colony.

We see Great Awakening evangelists, we see revivals,

we see these massive meetings, large scale conversions.

It really changes the face of America.

WENDY GRIFFITH: But there was plenty of resistance.

Before the American Revolution, British law

required membership in the Church of England.

Failure to comply could result in fines and even imprisonment.

In 1689, the British parliament passed the Act of Toleration,

allowing some Protestant denominations limited freedom.

Samuel Davies became the first so-called dissenter

licensed in Virginia.

Despite frequent bouts with tuberculosis,

he was asked to lead four meetinghouses in Hanover

and Henrico counties with Polgreen as his base.

(VOICEOVER): Being fully convinced that Hanover

stood in greater need of a minister than any place I knew,

I accepted their call to settle there.

WENDY GRIFFITH: This is Samuel Davies' Bible, where

centuries of family events are recorded,

including his wedding to Sarah Kirkpatrick in October 1746.

Less than a year later, he wrote this"

"Separated from her by death and bereaved of an abortive son."

Because of that tragedy and because of his own sickness,

he really thought that his life would be short.

It motivated him.

I mean, he really thought, if I only have so much time on Earth

to work for the Lord, I've got to make that count.

WENDY GRIFFITH: From the beginning,

Davies drew large crowds, including slaves.

(VOICEOVER): Never have I been so much struck

with the appearance of an assembly

as when I have glanced my eyes to so many black countenances,

whom their masters generally neglect,

as though immortality was not the privilege of their souls,

nor the religion of Jesus their concern.

WENDY GRIFFITH: Not everyone in Hanover County

was pleased with Davies' ministry,

especially at this Anglican church, led by the Reverend

Patrick Henry, uncle of the famous Patriots

with the same name.

If you were the Anglican minister--

and that was the official religion of the colony--

if you see the explosive growth of Baptist and Presbyterian

churches, it, in many ways, is a threat.

WENDY GRIFFITH: Reverend Henry fought back

with a series of letters to authorities

in the Church of England.

(VOICEOVER): I think it my duty to acquaint you

with this man's behavior.

I need not inform you of the present distracted condition

of my parish, nor of the future disturbances

I justly apprehend.

WENDY GRIFFITH: His nephew, the younger Patrick Henry,

was 11 when Davies arrived.

He attended Polgreen regularly with his mother,

later attributing his own success as an orator

to Davies' example.

On July 1, 1759, after 11 years in Hanover County,

Samuel Davies delivered his final sermon at Polgreen.

More than 5,000 people attended.

100 years later, Polgreen Church still

thrived, as shown in these drawings by a Union soldier

in 1862, the only images of the church that survive.

On June 1, 1864, Union forces tried

to break through Confederate lines near the Totopotomoy


Polgreen Church, caught in the crossfire,

burned to the ground.

This is the original four acres

we started with, right here.

WENDY GRIFFITH: The church was never

rebuilt until Robert Bluford came across the marker.

Since then, he's been consumed with bringing the church back

to life.

One day, while with an archaeological team,

he felt something under his foot.

Scraped the dirt aside and there was this brick hole,

complete brick.

Within an hour we had uncovered the complete footing of this--

You're kidding.

This building.

CARLTON ABBOTT: This is the first house to come down.

WENDY GRIFFITH: Renowned architect Carlton Abbott

also caught the vision.

He urged Bluford to purchase adjoining land,

removing houses to restore the area

to the way it was in the 1700s.

Then came the question of rebuilding the church.

CARLTON ABBOTT: We thought about doing an image or a ghost

structure, if you will.

And I think what this church does

is bring a simpler feel for how you can approach your religion.

Jesus commands his disciples to feed my sheep.

A Dallas, Texas man takes that passage literally, and in

doing so, has made a name for himself

among the city's homeless, as Caitlin Burke shows us.

David Timothy is known simply as the Soup Man.

CAITLIN BURKE: 365 days a year, rain or shine,

hot or cold, you can find David Timothy right here,

feeding the homeless in Dallas.

As a child, I grew up in a household

where food was scarce.

I was never homeless but experienced hunger firsthand

on a regular basis, going to bed many nights

with a stomach that was not full.

So that experience had always stuck with me.

CAITLIN BURKE: In 2003, Timothy quit his job

as a pension consultant to start the Soupmobile.

DAVID TIMOTHY: We had nothing.

We started with zero.

We didn't have any money.

We didn't have any donors.

We didn't have any church support.

We had nothing.

We just started because of three words.

Feed my sheep.

CAITLIN BURKE: That first year, Timothy and his volunteers

served 5,000 meals.

Now they serve more than 200,000.

While the food is important and very welcome,

the folks at the Soupmobile see it more as a doorway

into the lives of the homeless community.

DAVID TIMOTHY: We want to feed them every day

because they need to be fed.

But we want them to get out of homelessness.

That's our ultimate goal.

We'd love to be out of business someday.

We'd love them to get their own homes,

get their own jobs where they can

be members of the community that are productive.

CAITLIN BURKE: Timothy works to build a personal relationship

with each person he meets.

Then, with the help of Jesus Christ,

he says he's able to start helping

them turn their lives around.

David believed in me.

The Soup Man believed in me, and he gave me

a chance at the Soupmobile.

CAITLIN BURKE: When friends sent Katrina to the Soupmobile,

she told us she had no chances left.

A drug addict for most of her life,

she'd been in and out of jail.

Katrina had attempted to make a change before,

but nothing had worked.

We were giving her a second chance for sure.

But the odds of her succeeding with us

based on her previous history were pretty slim.

But the beauty of that is that Christ, he

doesn't go by the odds.

CAITLIN BURKE: Katrina started out

at the Soupmobile thrift store.

After six months, she was promoted to assistant manager

and trusted with the store keys.

She's now been the thrift store's manager for four years.

Katrina says experiencing the love of Christ

made all the difference for her, so she works to pass it on.

There's a lot of homeless people out there.

And when I'm able to give them a clean shirt,

they're so grateful for that clean shirt

or a clean pair of pants.

There's not a lot of food over at the thrift store.

It's clothes.

But if I have food, I feed them, too.

CAITLIN BURKE: The thrift store isn't the only extension

of the Soupmobile.

Timothy also started what he calls the home church

for the homeless in Dallas.

In addition to giving the homeless a place to worship,

the church offers services like job placement, counseling,

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For many people, this isn't just

a season for gifts under a tree or counting down

to the new year.

It is the perfect time to get into the Good Book.

Paul Strand takes a look at the numbers to bring us this story.

PAUL STRAND: Bible reading suddenly

spikes around this time of year every year.

It doesn't surprise Bobby Gruenewald,

the pastor behind the popular YouVersion app,

where many go these days for the word of God.

BOBBY GRUENEWALD: It's really natural at Christmas time

and New Years for people to begin to think about God,

sometimes for the very first time.

PAUL STRAND: All over the world, no matter what

translation they're using, more people during this holiday

season are picking up the Bible, or listening

to an audio version of it, than during any other time

of the year.

The folks here at Wycliffe Bible Translators

are certainly aware of that as they

go about their business of helping to translate

the Word into the thousands of native languages

that still don't have their own version of the Bible yet.

If your audience can think of a world

where there is no Bible, and all of a sudden you

have that good news--

I mean, here we are at Christmas time,

we're talking about the Prince of Peace,

and it's all about reconciliation and hope--

and you've never heard that story in your mother tongue

before, it's very, very powerful.

PAUL STRAND: And at the headquarters

of the YouVersion app in Edmond, Oklahoma,

they actually document the annual sudden surge

in Bible use among those who do have access already.

BOBBY GRUENEWALD: We'll see as much

as a 50% increase in the amount of people

that are reading the Bible from December to January just

with the influx of the holiday season.

PAUL STRAND: People are reading the Christmas story,

and many are making New Year's resolutions

about getting into the Word or all the way through it.

But sadly, it seems almost as many people break

as make those resolutions.

BOBBY GRUENEWALD: A lot of times,

when they get into February, middle of February,

if they haven't really formed a really solid habit,

it really does begin to drop off.

PAUL STRAND: Grunewald says, though,

if you'll stick with the Word, it'll

pay not just good, but divine dividends.

BOBBY GRUENEWALD: I believe that the Bible

is a lamp onto our feet and a light into our path.

And so if we engage daily with God's word,

it's a way for Him to illuminate His direction in our lives.

PAUL STRAND: And who doesn't need that?

Paul Strand, CBN News.

Christmas is just around the corner,

and one ministry is making sure poor children in Haiti

don't go empty handed.

Cross Catholic Outreach delivers thousands of these shoe boxes

each year to children in Haiti and

other impoverished countries.

The boxes are packed by children and families in the US

and filled with everything from toys to candy to toothpaste.

Cross Catholic says for many children,

it is the first real present they have ever received.

STEVE BOSTIAN: You know, Haiti has

taking so many hits over so many years.

Between the earthquake in 2010 and a hurricane

that seems to hit every couple of years,

it's always the kids that suffer.

And so we want kids just to know that they're loved

and they're cared for, and just to enjoy being a kid.

And you can find more information about a gift

for these children at

Right now it is time for your Friday Faithful,

and here's a thought to consider.

As you get started with all that holiday shopping, in all that

you do, know that you have all that you need.

Jesus is and always will be the greatest gift of all.

He is the reason for the season.

He was born to die so that we may live.

With that word, make this a fabulous Friday.

And that is going to do it for this edition of "CBN News


Remember, you can find more of our exclusive coverage

of the issues you care most about always at

And of course, we love to hear from you.

Let us know what you think about the stories

you've seen here today.

You can do that by e-mailing us at

And of course, you can always reach out and touch us

on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

We'd love to get your feedback and share that with others

as well.

Certainly hope you are enjoying the start of this holiday

season and hope you will join us again right here next time.

Make this a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend.

We'll see you all right back here come Monday.

Goodbye, everybody, and God bless.



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