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The Incredible Testimony of a Former Gang Member Turned Street Gospel Preacher

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America’s urban communities are ravaged daily by violent street gangs, but stories like that of former gang leader and mixed martial arts fighter Rene “Level” Martinez remind us that nothing, and no one, is bigger than our heart-changing God.
The streets Martinez once terrorized as a gang member he now walks a peaceful man, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Like too many of America’s young people, Martinez grew up without a father, and his mother was “in the streets,” he said in an interview with CBN News.

For Martinez, life started out hard not just socially, but spiritually. “My mom was into Santería,” he added, “which is like a form of witchcraft, sacrificing animals all over me as a kid, and I started seeing demons. They haunted me my whole life.”

Before even entering high school, Martinez had already embarked on a life of crime, and by 1990, he’d been initiated into Florida’s gang scene.

“We had almost like 300 members and feds were investigating us,” he said of the gang he started in 1990, known as the Latin Syndicate. “Half of my homies are in prison. Half of them are dead.”

Still, God wasn’t done allowing Level to experience the depths of depravity gang life can offer. His life would be threatened and miraculously spared several times over.

“I remember the time the gun jammed in my face,” he shared. “I remember the time the bullet grazed my head. The other time the bullet whistled by my ear. The times I was running through the backyard and they were shooting at me. All the times I got shot at. All the times I was half-dead, but I was still alive.”

Later on in life, and after starting a family, Level traded a life of criminal violence for a career in professional violence as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.

“I was always good at fighting,” Martinez explained. “I started fighting bare-knuckle with Kimbo Slice. I was beating everybody bare-knuckle; we’re betting money in the backyards, bare-knuckle, I’m winning.”

“My name got so big that Telemundo came and they offered me a pro contract,” he added. “I went to Nicaragua beat the three-time world champion, Ricardo Mayorga.”

Even though Level had abandoned the criminal life, he was still a spiritually-dead man walking: “I had the money. I had the fame. I was doing the gangster music. But I was empty inside.”

But, like so many sons, he was reached by the power of his mother’s prayers after she herself became a Christian.
Finally, in 2016, Level had a radical encounter with God that literally brought him to his knees. “It’s like he showed me my whole life in a matter of like five seconds,” he said.

“I just got on my knees. I started crying out to God. And when He spoke to me, I knew that if I didn’t surrender, I felt like I was going to die.”

Now, just over two years later, Level is back on the streets, but not as a thug spreading violence and fear. Now, he’s “giving them life…”

“Now I’m giving them Jesus,” he said. “I tell them ‘repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost’, Acts 2:38. That’s what I preach.”

Level’s incredible ministry, which has a heavy focus on reaching criminals and gang members with the saving power of the gospel of Jesus, has already begun to bear fruit: “A lot of people come to Christ cause of my testimony and I’m just honored to be used by God.”

“It’s a privilege and honor to be used by him. He could have chosen anybody else,” he said. “I could have been one of the people that died early. But I’m still here and I’m grateful.”
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Faith

SCOTUS Sides With Religious Schools And Hospitals In Employment Discrimination Case

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The Supreme Court, in its second religious freedom decision, decided to side with religious employers, which includes schools, hospitals, and social services organizations, stating they are exempt from certain aspects of the employment discrimination law when that law conflicts with closely held religious beliefs. If you listen closely, you can hear the screams of the angry LGBTQ+ mob ripping through America as it dawns on them they have no right to force their beliefs upon those who disagree with their lifestyle choices. Here’s more from The Daily Wire: The 7-2 decision had the same breakdown as the Supreme Court’s contraception mandate decision; Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court’s conservatives, as did Justices Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. The case before the court involved two Catholic schools, St. James Catholic School and Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School, that dismissed employees who later sued. Religious institutions typically have a so-called “ministerial exemption” allowing them more leeway in hiring and firing and certain protection from employment discrimination suits, but the case before the Supreme Court ultimately tested whether there was a specific limit to that “ministerial exemption,” particularly where the fired employees were not technically members of the church’s ministry. Employers have the right to decide who they want to hire and not hire, to terminate employment or not. It’s their business. They should be able to do what they want. Especially when it comes to actual religious institutions. This is a hard pill to swallow for the left who seems to think that employers themselves, by starting a business, have no rights, or give those up the moment they create a company. If a business owner doesn’t want someone to work at their business, they have the right to say…

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Instead Of Abolishing Police, How About Abolishing Abortion And Planned Parenthood? OPINION

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Over the last several weeks, we’ve all witnessed our nation being further destroyed and torn apart by individuals who claim to be fighting against racism and police brutality. We’ve watched as these same folks burn businesses to the ground in the name of peace, a message stuffed to the gills with oxymoronic irony that appears to be lost on folks who are trying to justify this behavior on the grounds of the cause we now know as “black lives matter.” That’s a phrase we’ve heard a lot lately. And you know what? It’s true. Black lives really do matter. Black lives are image bearers of God, which means they have intrinsic value and worth. Black lives are no different than lives of any other color or ethnicity. Adam and Eve are our first parents. Our blood is the same shade of red. Our ancestry is the exact same when you trace it back to the beginning. We all suffer from the same fallen nature, the same sinful disposition, that has earned us a place under the wrath of God, with our only hope being Jesus Christ and the work He accomplished through His life, death, and resurrection. Since black lives really do matter, instead of abolishing police departments, we should all be united in a fight against the ultimate destroyer of the black community: Abortion. Yes, instead of tossing out police departments, we ought to be giving Planned Parenthood the boot. More black lives have been taken at abortion clinics than have ever been killed by evil, twisted police officers. And that’s not to make light of police brutality. It’s a real thing. It exists. Perhaps we as conservatives have been so gung-ho in the past about blindly supporting police that we’ve ignored that reality. Well, it’s hard to ignore…

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