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Weekly Briefing

Weekly briefing: Kobe Bryant's death shocks, Super Bowl ads, Willow Creek apology

Staples Center LA Lakers
Workers paste Kobe Bryant decals on the side of Staples Center on the last day of Kobe's 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, in Los Angeles, California, United States, April 13, 2016. |

We've compiled the top stories of the week. Here's what you need to know:

Kobe Bryant’s death shocks fans; Christian leaders respond

The shock from NBA star Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash Sunday continues to reverberate this week, with many reflecting not only on the legacy that he left but also on the brevity of life.

“Every day is a gift. Every single heartbeat and every breath you take is a blessing. Don’t take it for granted. And don’t take your health or your family for granted either.” — Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship

All nine people who were aboard the helicopter on their way to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks, California, were killed, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The helicopter was flying through foggy conditions.

Several people reported seeing Bryant at Mass Sunday morning before the crash.

Super Bowl: Fox rejects abortion survivors ad, green lights drag queens ad

Tens of thousands of people have signed onto petitions, calling on Fox Sports to play a pro-life commercial featuring survivors of abortion during Super Bowl LIV this Sunday.

Faces of Choice said their 30-second ad was rejected. Meanwhile, Fox has reportedly approved a commercial for Sabra hummus that will include two drag queen stars.

Read 4 Super Bowl LIV players who are devout Christians

Mom of 7-y-o boy who wants him to be girl loses again in court

A Texas mother, who has been trying to transition her 7-year-old son, James Younger, into a girl, lost again in court this week.

Dallas judge Mary Brown ruled against Anne Georgulas, who was hoping for sole conservatorship of her son to continue transitioning him into “Luna.”

The father, Jeffrey Younger, has maintained that James shows "no signs of wanting to be a girl when given the choice." 

Willow Creek apologizes for allowing Bill Hybels’ mentor to teach despite abuse allegation

Elders of Willow Creek Community Church issued an apology this week after a longtime church member revealed that she was abused by founding pastor Bill Hybels’ mentor, Gilbert Bilezikian.

Ann Lindberg accused Bilezikian of kissing, fondling and pressuring her to have sex.

While Bilezikian was not employed at Willow Creek, he was allowed to teach and serve at the megachurch.

“We are heartbroken for what this congregant experienced and are deeply sorry for the pain this has caused her and her family,” the elders said.

Listen to CP’s podcast: 2020 revival? Young people are joining the call to fast in droves

Read CP’s interview with biblical scholar N.T. Wright on the early Christians, biblical illiteracy

Pray for

4 aid workers from a French Christian NGO who went missing in Baghdad

Families of over a dozen Christians who were killed in Nigeria this month

New releases

we are messengers

Albums:

Hymns Anew by Sammy Ward (Jan. 31)

Power by We Are Messengers (Jan. 31)

Books:

Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen (Jan. 28)

Living for God: A Short Introduction to the Christian Faith by Mark Jones (Jan. 22)

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