TIME faith

Why This Evangelical Pastor Wants to Bring Back Advent

Rev. Louie Giglio
lee Steffen—AP Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta

He argues it could help people struggling during the holidays

Christmas—and its ubiquitous cheer—is already everywhere. And when life is not exactly cheery, it can be hard to celebrate “Joy to the World.” That’s why pastor Louie Giglio, the founder of Passion City Church in Atlanta, is using a new book to encourage evangelicals to recover the church holiday that leads up to Christmas: Advent.

For most people, “Advent” means calendars of little chocolate treats behind paper windows, one for each December day until the Christmas morning. But Advent actually is a four-week liturgical period leading up to Christmas. It marks the start of the Christian new year, which this year started on the last Sunday in November, and is as important to church history as Lent is to Easter—it symbolizes a period of prayer and reflection before the coming holy day. Catholic, Orthodox, and mainline Protestant churches tend to follow the liturgical calendar, and so they celebrate the four Sundays of Advent—each one has a different meaning, liturgy and Bible verses that go with it. Evangelical churches tend to have fewer ties to historical church practices, so the idea of them celebrating Advent is relatively new.

This year, Giglio is encouraging both his church and the broader evangelical community to spend time celebrating Advent as a way to build trust in God when times are hard. His message is personal. He wrote his new Advent devotional, Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope, with a family going through cancer in mind, and then three months later, his father-in-law was given an incurable cancer diagnosis. “The word ‘advent’ means expectation,” Giglio explains. “It is building into our framework of Christmas the confidence that God is going to come through for us.”

Celebrating Christmas, Giglio says, is about more than just marking Jesus’ birthday; it’s also about remembering God’s presence in hard times. Jesus was born “on tax day to a couple that had the cloud of pregnancy hanging over their heads, a couple that was out of town and didn’t have money and in a cave, and was alone and afraid in the middle of the night,” he explains, recounting the narrative of Jesus’ birth. “We try to dramatize it a lot, but God really did come on the craziest day of all,” he says.

For many evangelical megachurches, where Christmas can quickly become about evangelizing, holiday performances, mission outreach, and extravagant nativity scenes, that spiritual message can fall by the wayside. But Giglio hopes that Advent can offer a new encouragement. “I don’t have a neat and tidy message of faith—it does not always work out the way we want it to work out,” Giglio says. “Christmas is a reminder that God is at work and those plans are still unfolding. … That is a miracle.”


Watch a Police Officer Stop a Michigan Man for Walking With His Hands in His Pockets

Officer tells black man that walking with his hands in his pockets was "making people nervous"

A white police officer stopped a black Michigan man on Thanksgiving just for walking with his hands in his pockets, according to a video posted on Brandon McKean’s Facebook page on Nov. 27.

The Pontiac, Michigan police officer detained Brandon McKean for “making people nervous,” after he was seen “walking by with your hands in your pockets.” McKean can be heard saying that his hands were in his pockets because it was snowing outside.

“There’s 10,000 people in Pontiac right now with their hands in their pockets,” McKean told the officer.

“You’re, right, but we do have a lot of robberies,” the officer told McKean, “So I’m just checking on you.” The officer can also be seen simultaneously recording the encounter on his phone.

“Just got stopped Walking BECAUSE MY HANDS WERE IN MY POCKETS……. POLICE STATE,” wrote McKean when he posted the video on Facebook. The video has been viewed over 212,000 times on YouTube. Tensions between communities of color and the police have come under the spotlight recently in the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision not to indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the August killing of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

Requests for comment from Pontiac Police Department were not immediately answered.

TIME photography

Prohibition’s Last Call: Inside the Speakeasies of New York in 1933

Photos shot by the great Margaret Bourke-White for FORTUNE magazine in 1933, capturing the pre-repeal atmosphere in New York's speakeasies

The Prohibition era in America, which lasted for well over a decade and—inconceivable as it might be today—effectively banned the sale and production of booze in the United States, ended with the ratification of the 21st Amendment on Dec. 5, 1933. The dozen or so years during which Prohibition imperfectly reigned, meanwhile, have endured in the national consciousness and the pop-culture pantheon as a period of unparalleled violence, gangsterism and corruption.

Here, LIFE.com offers up photos made in a number of New York speakeasies by Margaret Bourke-White. Most famous for her work as a LIFE photographer—along with Peter Stackpole, Thomas McAvoy and Alfred Eisenstaedt, she was one of the weekly’s original four staff photographers—Bourke-White was for years an editor and photographer at FORTUNE; the pictures in this gallery were shot for that storied Time Inc. monthly, three years before LIFE began publishing.

Bourke-White’s photos ran in the June 1933 issue of FORTUNE, under the simple and evocative title, “Speakeasies of New York.”

The speakeasy [FORTUNE told its readers, betraying a fair bit of patrician hauteur] has flowered successfully only in New York. In San Francisco it is dull and obscure; in Chicago, tough and noisy; in the South almost nonexistent. In most cities, drinking, like eating, is done at home or in the country club. In New York alone has the speakeasy become the instrument of a civilized social life, something between a pre-prohibition restaurant and a coeducational club. There are, therefore, in New York, speakeasies for every taste and purse. . . . The pictures on these pages present a fair cross-section of the reputable ones. They are probably the first pictures ever taken of speakeasies in action. They may be the last: no one can prophesy the future of these curious by-products of the post-War age if and when prohibition is repealed. If they survive it will be as restaurants with bars; locked doors will no longer spice the drinks. It is for a future that will want to know how New Yorkers of the ’20s lived that FORTUNE presents this portfolio of Margaret Bourke-White’s pictures.

Duly acknowledging the prescience of that unknown writer’s words, we’ll just end here by noting that Bourke-White’s pictures do, in fact, provide a sense of how New Yorkers of the ’20s and ’30s lived. Judging by the photos, some of them lived pretty well, indeed.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

Follow FORTUNE @FortuneMagazine.

TIME celebrities

Chris Rock: How We Talk About Race in U.S. Is ‘Nonsense’

Chris Rock poses with his award during the Hollywood Film Awards in Hollywood
Danny Moloshok—Reuters Actor Chris Rock poses backstage during the Hollywood Film Awards in Hollywood, Calif. on Nov. 14, 2014.

“When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense.”

Chris Rock has some thoughts on race relations in America: they’re a myth.

In a wide-ranging cover interview with New York Magazine’s Frank Rich, the comedian and film director addressed race in the Obama era saying, “when we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense.”

Rock continues, “There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.”

MORE: The One Battle Michael Brown’s Family Will Win

Rock has long been an outspoken on race, and race relations in America. In the interview, he compares the relationship between blacks and whites in America to Tina Turner’s abusive marriage to Ike Turner.

So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress. There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, “Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.” It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn’t. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.

Read the whole interview at New York

Read next: From ESSENCE’s Editor: Ferguson’s Emotional Aftermath


Janay Rice Reaffirms Support for Ray Rice in Emotional Interview

Says she believes that fans will forget the video of Ray Rice beating her

Janay Rice described the emotional toll of being thrust into the public eye as a victim of domestic abuse in an emotional interview on NBC’s Today show on Monday.

“That’s been the hardest part,” she said, “is having so much of your life made public and have it all be negative.”

Janay, whose husband Ray was suspended from the NFL after videotape of him beating her unconscious was leaked to the media, became visibly upset when Matt Lauer read back a post from her Instagram account shortly after the footage surfaced, in which she called the public response “a horrible nightmare.” Wiping away tears from her eyes, Janay said, “I was so angry and hurt.”

She insisted that there had been no further instances of abuse since the footage surfaced in September, and that her husband’s judgement the night of the assault had been skewed by alcohol. “He said he was terrified. He was in such shock that this had just happened and he didn’t know how to function at that point.”

Nonetheless, she reaffirmed her support for her husband, claiming that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t tell the truth when he said Ray Rice was “ambiguous” about hitting her in an elevator.

“I know for a fact … that Ray told the honest truth that he’s been telling from February,” Janay said in the interview.

The former Baltimore Ravens running back was arrested on Feb. 15 for third-degree aggravated assault, after the release of a video showing Ray dragging his unconscious then fiancée out of an elevator. The two-game suspension was made indefinite, and he was immediately dropped from the team, after a second video was released on Sept. 8 showing him striking Janay in the face.

An arbitrator overruled Ray’s indefinite suspension on Friday, calling it “arbitrary” and an “abuse of discretion.” Four teams have since shown interest in signing Ray, including the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints, although they are not expected to pursue him.

In the Monday interview, Janay said that the league and its fans would eventually forget the images and give him another chance.

“We know it’s going to take some work,” Janay told NBC’s Matt Lauer. “So I think once he shows them who he is and they reach out to people here, and they find out the things that he’s done, then I think it’s definitely good … At the end of the day, he’s a football player and that’s what they should be really be focused on, because he’s proven himself as a football player for seven years. There’s never been a question on what he can do on the field.”

Ray Rice, who was set to earn $3.5 million this season, has filed a grievance against the Ravens.

Janay’s mother, Candy Palmer, was also present for the interview. Palmer said that while she had seen the footage, and “was kind of sick” at the thought of it, the abuse does not define her daughter. “I totally understand how people look at that and think that’s who she is,” Palmer said. “She’s not.”

The interview will continue with a second segment on Tuesday.

Read next: Don’t Expect to See the Reinstated Ray Rice Play Anytime Soon

TIME Military

The Drumsticks of War

A member of Afghan security forces arrives at the site of a Taliban attack on a foreign aid workers' guest house in the Afghan capital of Kabul
Omar Sobhani / Reuters A member of Afghanistan's security forces arrives at the site of a Taliban attack on a foreign-aid workers' guest house in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Saturday. Three South Africans perished in the attack.

While Americans enjoyed the holiday weekend, their allies in Afghanistan and Iraq grew increasingly weakened

The average American couldn’t be blamed for missing, over the long Thanksgiving weekend, the growing evidence that the deaths of the 6,841 U.S. troops in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq may have been in vain. The nation is weary of war, and holiday news media coverage—fallout in Ferguson, Mo., Black Friday gluttony and football—reflected America’s growing disinterest.

But for anyone paying attention, the news over the weekend was decidedly bleak.

Suicide attacks have been averaging one a day in the Afghan capital of Kabul over the past two weeks. On Saturday, the Taliban attacked a guesthouse, killing a South African father and his two teenage children. After detailing the carnage Sunday, Kabul’s police chief quit in despair. The same day, President Ashraf Ghani, unable to form a new government, fired most of the ministers he inherited. The Taliban overran what used to be the biggest British army base in southern Afghanistan, a month after the Brits had turned it over to Afghan security forces. (Later, Afghan forces took it back.)

About 1,400 miles away, in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Sunday that his government has been paying the salaries of at least 50,000 “ghost soldiers.” It’s not like Iraq can afford to pay non-existent troops: al-Abadi also said he has had to toss out his proposed 2015 budget because it was based on selling Iraqi oil at $70 a barrel (it fell to $64 last week, he noted—a cut of nearly 10%). And an Iraqi military helicopter, trying to hit targets belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, killed an innocent pair of brothers Saturday in the town of Yathrib. A second airstrike killed 15 people who were headed to the brothers’ funerals.

Such problems are common in war. They’re just not common after more than a decade of U.S. sacrifice, and repeated pledges by those in charge that such sacrifices will not have been made in vain.

Unfortunately, there’s now no one in charge at the Pentagon. The White House had the temerity to oust Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last Monday—while praising him effusively—without having a candidate to take his place. In the military, that’s called dereliction of duty. During wartime—for those in uniform—it’s punishable by death. For everybody else, it’s just politics.

TIME Crime

Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson Resigned After Hearing ‘Credible Threats’

Wilson was told of "credible threats" to the Ferguson police department and officers

Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, resigned from the Ferguson Police Department Saturday because he was told of “credible threats” to the department and officers — and the city has now “severed ties” with him.

Wilson’s attorney, Neil Bruntrager, told NBC News that Wilson submitted his resignation “two minutes after” Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told him of the threats.

“The chief thought that if he resigned it would alleviate those threats,” Bruntrager said, and “that was all [Wilson] needed to hear.”

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Ferguson

Ferguson Mayor: No Severance Package for Darren Wilson

The police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown had been on administrative leave since the shooting

The police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown did not receive a severance package for resigning, the mayor of Ferguson, Mo., announced Sunday.

According to Mayor James Knowles, 28-year-old Darren Wilson will not receive benefits or further pay following his Saturday resignation, the Associated Press reports.

Wilson’s lawyer, Neil Bruntrager, said Wilson resigned following threats against the police department of the St. Louis suburb.

Last Monday, a grand jury announced its decision to not indict Wilson for killing unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown during an Aug. 9 incident that sparked days of protests across the U.S. Wilson had been on administrative leave since then.

Brown’s family said Wilson’s resignation was not surprising.

“It was always believed that the police officer would do what was in his best interest, both personally and professionally,” said Benjamin Crump, an attorney speaking for Brown’s family. “We didn’t believe that he would be able to be effective for the Ferguson community nor the Ferguson Police Department because of the tragic circumstances that claimed the life of Michael Brown Jr.”

[Huffington Post]

TIME New York

Couple Says ‘I Do’ on New York Subway Car

nyc subway
Sami Suni—Getty Images

"A lot of the good times have taken place on the train"

Subways riders in New York City are used to being interrupted with announcements, but they’re rarely as romantic as what happened on the N train Friday.

Tatyana Sandler, 25, and Hector Irakliotis, 26, tied the knot as the N train crossed the Manhattan Bridge, the New York Daily News reports.

Irakliotis boarded the train first with his groomsmen, inviting other passengers to stay but to please move to the other side of the car. His groomsmen decorated the seats and poles with ribbons before Sandler, in a white wedding dress, boarded the train with her maid of honor.

While the best man played John Mayer’s “City Love” from an iPhone, Sandler walked down “the aisle.” The couple chose the unconventional location because, like many New York residents, they spent so much time traveling on it during their relationship.

“We’ve been through a lot. Good times, bad times, and a lot of the good times have taken place on the train,” Irakliotis said. “Confessions of love, reconciliations, goofy, ridiculous conversations — the whole spectrum. In New York, you spend so much time on the train, we thought why not?”

[NY Daily News]

TIME Crime

Boy Discovered Behind Fake Wall 4 Years After Reported Missing

The 13-year-old used text messages to contact his mom

A 13-year-old Georgia boy reported missing four years ago was reunited with his mother after police found him in a hidden garage compartment in his father’s home, police said.

The boy used a secret smartphone app to contact his mother via text, ABC News reports. Police visited the home and interviewed its occupants but left empty-handed until the boy sent a second message describing his exact location. He was discovered in an insulation area above the garage, behind a fake wall concealed by a linen closet.

“We opened the compartment where he was,” Clayton County Police Sgt. Joanna Southerland said. “I saw him and asked him to come forward, and he was horrified. He was frozen with fear.”

The boy was reported missing four years ago after visiting with his father, Gregory Jean. Jean and his girlfriend, Samantha Davis, and three other juveniles were arrested after police found the boy on Saturday.


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