Welcome to Christian Impact Ministries' SaltBlog ...

    During the sixteen years of ministry of Christian Impact Ministries (CIM), we have seen many changes occur within this God-birthed evangelistic ministry. We try to utilize every means available to us to deliver our ministry resources in a timely, efficient and most cost-effective manner. This SaltBlog prayerfully assists us in our God-given role "to help evangelistically equip believers to be informed on the spiritual and moral issues of our day and to be equipped with the Biblical tools and opportunities for responding in faith by Christ-centered action." (1 Chronicles 12:32) In the God-assigned role, we serve as His Spiritual "Watchman on the Wall" just as Isaiah 21:6-7 declares, "Put a watchman on the city wall. Let him shout out what he sees ... let the watchman be fully alert!"
     We have recently redesigned the layout of this ministry BlogSite (which replaces our former e-Salt Alerts) and updated it with unique news stories and alerts from today's spiritual and cultural war fronts. Please be in prayer for us as we continue the journey of this challenging and timely prophetic ministry work of CIM "for such a time as this." (Esther 4:14) Thank you for praying for our family and for helping us continue this ministry by financially supporting the critical mission work of CIM for today's family and God's church ... your obedience to God's leading will help sustain the operational expenses associated with continuing this timely prophetic ministry work!

    Please direct all correspondences, to include scheduling inquiries for revivals / guest preaching / speaking engagements along with your generous donations / gifts of support, to:
Christian Impact Ministries
Post Office Box 3349
Concord, North Carolina 28026
e-mail: cim@carolina.rr.com
(Newly designed / updated ministry resume with references available upon request)

Special Note ... The Lord has blessed me with the calling to serve as a Church Planter / Lead Pastor for nearly 8 years with two great church plants and 3 years as as Associate Pastor; this in addition to nearly +17 years of serving as an Evangelist-Revivalist with CIM. Our family is currently seeking the Lord's Will for His direction for my next mission assignment in the area of Pastoring / Shepherding (Jeremiah 3:15). If you know of a church that is seeking a Lead (Senior) Pastor or a Church Planter, please feel free to pass that notice along to us at the contact address listed above. In addition, I am currently available for guest/supply preaching / revivalist engagements / interim pastorate considerations as the Lord leads. We are eagerly awaiting to see God's newest "journey" for our family in 2012! Thank you so very much for your prayers and faithful support of our family's kingdom calling and of the special continuing ministry work of Christian Impact Ministries! ...Selah! 

NY Senate Challenging NYC Anti-Church Policy

A New York State Senate committee recently passed a bill as the first step toward overriding a New York City policy banning churches from holding weekend worship services in rented public schools. The city’s Department of Education gave churches their eviction notice in late December 2011, after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to rule on a 16-year-old viewpoint-discrimination case of a church in the Bronx that was kicked out of a public school. The city has given some 60-odd churches serving primarily poor neighborhoods until February 12, 2012 to find other facilities to call home. “I salute the New York State Senate Education Committee on taking bold and decisive action on this important issue,” said New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera, who has urged state legislators to take up the churches’ cause.  “I am confident the Assembly will follow suit, and urge Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo to sign the legislation when it reaches his desk.” If the bill does not pass, New York City apparently would be the first major city nationwide to ban churches from meeting in public schools. Several peaceful demonstrations protesting the policy have already taken place; Cabrera, who is also a pastor, was one of several people arrested for a show of civil disobedience earlier this month. - CitizenLink.com, 1.25.2012

Un-Holiness in the Holy Land

According to the head of a Messianic Jewish ministry, a major city in the Holy Land has become a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah. The Associated Press has reported that Tel Aviv, Israel has been crowned the "unofficial gay capital of the world." American Airlines named it the best "gay" city of 2011, as it devotes more than a third of its international marketing budget to attracting homosexual visitors from around the world. Yehuda Levin is an orthodox Jewish rabbi in New York City and a spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He says wherever there is holiness, there is also a spiritual degradation and impurity. "It's really an exaggeration to say that Tel Aviv is more of a homosexual mecca than a place like San Francisco," he contends. "Nevertheless, there is a definite promotion of homosexuality in parts of the Holy Land, and we have to condemn this in the strongest terms and understand that this is the flipside of holiness." Jan Markell, founder of  Olive Tree Ministries in Minnesota, points out that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of this kind of behavior (Genesis 19). "Here we have the very same thing taking place," she decides. "I just shudder to think at what kind of judgment that little land can come against because of this." But as Markell reports, homosexuality has even been present in the holy city of Jerusalem, which has hosted a number of "gay pride" parades. - OneNewsNow.com, 2.1.2012

State-Supported University Intolerant of Christianity

CRITICAL Legal Case Pending ...
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a trial at the district level for a graduate level counseling student who was dismissed from her program for asking that a client with “gay” issues be referred to another counselor because as a Christian she could not affirm that lifestyle choice. Officials at Eastern Michigan University took that action against Julea Ward, a student approaching the end of her degree program with a 3.91 grade point average, even though, as the appeals judges noted, the school’s own practices in fact permitted such referrals. The result is that a jury needs to make a determination on whether officials at the school attacked Ward because of her Christian beliefs or not, the ruling said. “What exactly did Ward do wrong in make the referral request? If one thing is clear after three years of classes, it is that Ward is acutely aware of her own values. The point of the referral request was to avoid imposing her values on gay and lesbian clients. And the referral request not only respected the diversity of practicum clients, but it also conveyed her willingness to counsel gay and lesbian clients about other issues – all but relationship issues – an attitude confirmed by her equivalent concern about counseling heterosexual clients about extra-marital sex and adultery in a values-affirming way,” said the opinion, written by Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton. The opinion said the evidence suggests “Ward was willing to work with all clients and to respect the school’s affirmation directives in doing so. That is why she asked to refer gay and lesbian clients (and some heterosexual clients) if the conversation required her to affirm their sexual practices. What more could the rule require?” the judge said. “Surely, for example, the ban on discrimination against clients based on their religion (1) does not require a Muslim counselor tell a Jewish client that his religious beliefs are correct if the conversation takes a turn in that direction and (2) does not require an atheist counselor to tell a person of faith that there is a God if the client is wrestling with faith-based issues.” The judges said, “Tolerance is a two-way street. Otherwise, the rule mandates orthodoxy, not anti-discrimination.” “Public universities shouldn’t force students to violate their religious beliefs to get a degree. The court rightly understood this and ruled appropriately,” said Alliance Defense Fund Counsel Jeremy Tedesco, who argued before the court in October of last year. “Rather than allow Julea to refer a potential client to another qualified counselor – a common, professional practice to best serve clients – EMU attacked and questioned Julea’s religious beliefs and ultimately expelled her from the program because of them.” He noted that the judges determined, “A university cannot compel a student to alter or violate her belief systems based on a phantom policy as the price for obtaining a degree…. Why treat Ward differently? That her conflict arose from religious convictions is not a good answer; that her conflict arose from religious convictions for which the department at times showed little tolerance is a worse answer.” The school launched its disciplinary attack on Ward shortly after she enrolled in a “practicum” in the counseling school in 2009. She was assigned a potential client regarding assistance with a same-sex sexual relationship. Ward recognized the potential issue and asked her supervisor how to handle the matter. She was told to reassign the client to a different counselor. Then, however, Ward was ordered to undergo “remediation” to “see the error of her ways” and change her “belief system” or be dismissed. EMU faculty members then “denigrated” Ward’s Christian beliefs, including a taunt about whether her “brand” of Christianity was superior to that of other Christians. In fact, the appeals court noted, even the textbooks used by EMU affirmed that a sound counseling practice is to allow values-based referrals. One said, “If the client selects goals that severely conflict with the helper’s values … the helper may decide to refer the client.” Even the school’s own expert was conflicted, the opinion said, stating that while refusing to counsel on issues related to sexual orientation is a violation of ethics, he also confirmed many counselors do, in fact, refer homosexuals to others. “A reasonable jury could conclude that practicum students were required to follow the written code of ethics, not an unwritten (yet-to-be-enforced) no-referrals policy. The epitome of a pretextual explanation for a student’s expulsion is a reason never expressed or invoked before.” The judges said, “A reasonable jury also could find evidence of religious-speech discrimination from the formal review. … Many of the participants’ comments and questions focused on Ward’s beliefs and her religious objection to affirming same-sex relationships.” Such statements, the court said, “permit the inference that Ward’s religious beliefs motivated their actions.” "A reasonable jury could find that the university dismissed Ward from its counseling program because of her faith-based speech, not because of any legitimate pedagogical objective.” WND.com earlier reported that lawmakers in Michigan raised objections to the school’s actions, with members of the Michigan Senate working on legislation including a provision calling on university counseling programs to evaluate and affirm how they can accommodate the religious beliefs of students.  State Rep. Tom McMillin told WND.com at the time the case was “extremely alarming,” and there was growing support for an effort to penalize universities that don’t accommodate religious beliefs. “This is a state-taxpayer-supported university,” he said. “She’s got a court case. Hopefully that will be resolved.” - WorldNetDaily.com, 1.29.2012

Listen to the testimony of Julia Ward (in below video from 2009) and how her Christian faith
was visciously attacked and demeaned by the elite academia at Eastern Michigan University
who espouse a policy of "tolerance." Please pray for Julia Ward and Allied Defense Fund who will be legally representing her in the upcoming trial. Pray for the academia of Eastern Michigan University to have hearts that are open to allowing counseling graduates to have their own faith and convictions and who, like Julia Ward, will exercise their gifts and talents in counseling with compassion and understanding, yet not be made to compromise their personal faith convictions for the sake of today's "political correctness."  

God's Word reminds us not to be surprised when our Christian faith comes under attack! Jesus speaking...
"You will be hated by everyone because of Me ..." Matthew 10:22a
"Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you." John 15:20 (ESV)

Fast Facts & Trends ...

Un-Churched Population Growing in America ...
A new study by the Christian-based research company, Barna Group indicates that 28% of the adult population (over age 25) have not attended any church or church related activities in the last six months. Nearly four out of 10 of these adults said that though they believe in God, they have opted out of religious activity because of negative experiences with church in the past.
- Barna.org (2010) and On Mission magazine, Winter 2011 edition

Church Attendance Varies State by State ...
In a recent survey, Mississippi was named the state with the best regular church attendance. 63 % of the state’s population attends regular worship services, followed by Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Utah. On the other side of the scale, Vermont ranked first in states with the lowest church attendance, with only 23% committing to regular attendance. Nine out of the top 10 states with the most church attendance come from the Southern region of the U.S. while six of the 10 states with the least church attendance come from the New England area.
- Gallup.com (2.17.2010) and On Mission magazine, Winter 2011 edition

Marked Drop in Giving ...
In the last year, 69% of American adults reduced their giving to church, religious centers and other nonprofits. Of those who giving changed, 24% stopped giving entirely and 17% cut their giving by at least half. The impact of these giving reductions can be seen in many ministries / churches having to make cuts in their ministries and staff, with some even having to end their ministry season due to the lack of sufficient operating funds.
- Outreach magazine (9-10/2011) and On Mission magazine, Winter 2012 edition

Church Planting Challenges ...
A new study conducted by LifeWay Research revealed the top seven issues most church planters face in their ministry.
1. Leadership development
2. Financial self-sufficiency
3. Mobilizing launch teams and volunteers
4. Systems, processes and cultures
5. Casting vision
6. Evangelism and discipleship
7. Spiritual, physical and mental health of the church planter and his familyAs you pray about how you and yuour church might work to support church planters, consider how you might come alongside them to specifically help them combat these common issues they face on today's mission field.        - On Mission magazine, Winter 2012 edition

Added note - Having the honor to have served as a Church Planter/Pastor in two church plantings to-date, I can affirm the concerns shared above by this study. But allow me to add one vital issue that faces every church planter most intensely - that of spiritual warfare. Church planters and their ministry team leader must be well versed in the Bible's teachings of this warfare domain and they must be alert at all times to the tactics by which the enemy uses in his effort to "steal, kill and destroy" (John 10:10) any new "planting of the Lord."(Isaiah 61:3) Intercessory prayer in this area for the church planter and his family is crucial for the new mission's continuance as a vital work of the Lord. - Rev. David Haltom

American Decling?
A recent nationwide survey found a large majority to be pessimistic about the nation’s future. When asked, “Is the United States in decline?” 69% said yes. The results were reported in The Hill, a congressional newspaper that commissioned the survey. It was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, an independent polling firm. “Additionally, 83% of voters indicated they’re either very or somewhat worried about the future of the nation, with 49% saying they’re ‘very worried,’” according to The Hill’s Mike Lillis.
The negative view of America’s future was also apparent when people were asked about the nation’s status in the world. Around 57% said they believe the U.S. is the most powerful nation on earth, but only 19% said that would be true 20 years from now.
- AFA Journal (January 2012) and TheHill.com (10.24.2011)

HOPE for Ending HUNGER ... 
In so many ways, the United States is a land of plenty today. Yet for 49 million Americans, HUNGER is a daily reality. At least 1 in 6 Americans, including 1 in 4 children, don't have enough / suffiicient food and for them - hunger is a REALity! Many of these families facing hunger are forced to choose between buying food or paying their mortage / rent each month. - On Mission magazine, Winter 2011 edition

Make a Kingdom Difference ... Look around YOUR community - are there families / individuals who may be facing these true hunger? Get engaged in the business of feeding their bodies with good food and their souls with the Good News of Jesus Christ! Recall the anointed words from God's Holy Word ...
1 John 3:18 declares, "Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." (NLT)
Matthew 25:35-40 declares, "For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’... ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ ... ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!’" (excerpted)

Fed Mandates Unconditional Acceptance of LBGT Couples / Individuals into HUD Housing

The federal government will soon publish regulations requiring all religious groups involved in government-assisted housing facilities to accept homosexual couples and transgender individuals - a change effected in part by including homosexual couples in the rule’s definition of the word “family.” The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently proposed a new rule that defines “family” as at least two people living together “regardless of marital status, or actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” in addition to the surviving partners of AIDS victims who had previously been housed under HUD’s AIDS housing program. “HUD’s proposed rule clarifies that families, otherwise eligible for HUD programs, may not be excluded because one or more members of the family may be an LGBT individual, have an LGBT relationship, or be perceived to be such an individual or in such relationship,” stated federal officials in a releaseaccompanying the proposed rule last year. The rule also specified that borrowers cannot be denied FHA-insured mortgage financing based on their “sexual orientation or gender identity,” and that owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing are disallowed from inquiring about such characteristics. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) celebrated the fact that the new rules will require Christian groups involved in HUD housing to comply with the mores against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Catholic and Christian churches are often involved in building the low-income housing as a ministry, or in distributing section 8 vouchers. “Of critical importance, the rule will require all organizations that operate HUD-assisted or HUD-insured housing facilities to serve LGBT Americans looking for shelter and housing—including religious organizations,” wrote the ACLU’s Ian Thompson. “As a coalition of more than 30 civil rights organizations (including the ACLU) wrote to HUD last year, once a religious organization chooses to provide housing services or programs with the aid of federal funds and benefits from HUD, it cannot shield itself from traditional safeguards that protect civil rights in the provision of those services.” According to the ACLU, the rule will go into effect in March 2012. Interestingly, the progressive-based  Huffington Post noted that the proposal is of a piece with the preferred method of gay lobbyists, who hope to bypass the democratic process by harnessing the executive power of the sympathetic Obama administration. “The HUD proposal marks the latest in a string of Obama administration attempts to enhance gay rights through federal regulation, which may offer a way forward for advocates who worry that legislative efforts have little hope of success this year,” wrote the Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel.
- LifeSiteNews.com, 1.31.2012

Starbucks Officially Supports 'Gay Marriage’

In news that will come as a heavy blow to many coffee lovers, Starbucks has officially backed homosexual ‘marriage.’ In a January 24 letter to U.S. partners, Kalen Holmes, Starbucks executive vice president, expresses support for the homosexual “marriage” legislation in Washington State. The “important legislation,” says Holmes “is core to who we are and what we value as a company.” The legislation has been decried by pro-family advocates as a major threat to freedom, since it would force religious institutions to open the doors of their facilities for homosexual “marriages.” The letter, which boasts of the company’s LGBT activism begins, “Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples.” The letter concludes: “We look forward to seeing this legislation enacted into law.”
- LifeSiteNews.com, 1.30.2012

Intercessory Prayer Target ...
May God intervene and move upon the hearts of lawmakers in Washington State, and across America, and lead them to vote to define His instution of marriage as between "one man and one woman." May families throughout Washington state both pray and encourage their legislators / community leaders to support the sanctity of the traditional family cornerstone of our society. May God's people show those of the LBGT (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender) community the true compassion, love and respect of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and may bridges of communication be built instead of being torn down, or 'exploded' through unChristlike speech or actions of a minority within the Christian community. May Christians lovingly stand firm upon the teachings of Christ and the overwheming historicity of the traditional family unit throughout time amidst a culture today that is determined to undermine that foundation of stability which the traditional family provides to our society, our nation and our world. Amen!
In addition, Study God's Word - Psalms 11:3, Ezekiel 33:1-9, Ephesians 6:10-18, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, Romans 1:20-27, Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 

Latest Christian Film - 'Courageous' on DVD - Released both Nationally and Internationally

The lead actor and director of the faith-based film Courageous says he hopes the recent release of the DVD will continue the impact the movie has been having on people around the world. This is the fourth movie produced by Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. Stories of kingdom impact are flooding in, according to Alex Kendrick, the star and director of the film. God is using Courageous to soften hearts and draw people back together and back to Himself. The DVD release follows a successful run in theaters, and Kendrick hopes the success of the film will stir a movement that will encourage men to grab hold of their God-given responsibilities to their families. "We make such a big deal about weddings. We have these official ceremonies, people come, [and] we dress up. But when a man becomes a father, we don't do anything," the director notes. "And so we're thinking that is just as important because he's now in charge of protecting and molding a life as a the spiritual leader of this home, pointing this child to God, teaching and training him." Kendrick's team is already praying about the direction of the next movie, and he says several ideas are currently on the table. - OneNewsNow.com, 1.19.2012

Story Update ...  Our family had the honor to hear Alex Kendrick share His (God's) story behind the incredible ministry platform of Christian films during Sanctity of Life Sunday (1.22.2012) at West Cabarrus Church in Concord, N.C. Alex shared his personal testimony of how God gave him that first unique vision for producing a Christian film with the help of the members of his local church, Sherwood Baptist Church, where he was called to serve as Associate Pastor in 1999. From the first film entitled "Flywheel," to the next film, "Facing the Giants," followed by "Fireproof," to the latest "Courageous," Alex shared the many instances of God transforming the 'impossible" into the "possible" (Luke 18:27) as each film was produced along with some unique stories of God-created miracles that took place during their filming. Alex also shared the challenges / spiritual attacks that come with being fully obedient to a "God-size vision" and the necessity for keeping the Lord as the focus for every decision you make in life - from your personal life, to your family life, to your work life and beyond. Kendrick noted that there is a 'season of prayer' that preceeds each of the films that his company and Sherwood Baptist Church produce. During that crucial time, the Lord's heart and will for every element of the film is sought through fervent prayer followed by a 'season of waiting' until the Lord reveals His heart and releases them to start production. Kendrick shared it is in this divine season of prayer that he believes that each of the films have been set apart and blessed of the Lord with His favor - the result of which is seen by the scores of testimonies of changed hearts and lives through those viewing the films and utilizing their ministry resources. Having seen each of these incredible four films with my family, it is without question an unique platform of ministry which God has so powerfully raised up "for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14). I strongly encourage you to rent, and if possible, purchase these films for your own family and as evangelistic gifts for other families as well. May God continue to show His favor upon Alex and his family, Sherwood Pictures and Sherwood Baptist Church for a Christ-centered, Spirit-led ministry that has now reached millions in over 75 countries with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ!

If you have been blessed by any / all of these Christian films, I encourage you to take a few moments and send Alex Kendrick a quick note of encouragement with your personal testimony. He can be reached at AlexKendrick@SherwoodPictures.com .

Court Rules Kentucky Can Thank ‘Almighty God’

A three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that two state actions thanking and declaring dependence on “Almighty God” are constitutional — overturning a lower court’s decision. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, state lawmakers issued a finding saying, “the safety and security of the commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance on Almighty God.” And in passing legislation creating the state Office of Homeland Security in 2006, they required the executive director to acknowledge “dependence on Almighty God” in training manuals and on a plaque at the door of the operations center. Thirty-five of Kentucky’s 38 state senators and 96 of 100 state representatives signed friend-of-the-court briefs defending the law after 10 people challenged in court in 2008. “The legislation merely pays lip service to a commonly held belief in the puissance (power) of God,” wrote Judge Laurance B. Vanmeter. “The legislation complained of here does not seek to advance religion, nor does it have the effect of advancing religion, but instead seeks to recognize the historical reliance on God for protection.” And since the state Constitution also thanks “Almighty God” for welfare and freedom, he said, the Legislature’s actions cannot be “unconstitutional.” - CitizenLink.com, 10.31.2011

Tebow's 316 yards Leads to Internet Salvations

When outspoken Christian quarterback Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards to help Denver upset favored Pittsburgh in the recent NFL playoffs, millions flocked to the Internet to search for John 3:16 - so much so that the day after the game, that Bible verse was the No. 1 search on Google. As it turns out, some of those Google searches were of eternal significance. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) reports that more than 150 people have made a decision to accept Christ as their Savior as a result of searching for "John 3:16" in Google and then clicking on an advertisement for the BGEA's PeacewithGod.net website. BGEA can track that data because it began advertising on Google the day after the game so that people who searched for "John 3:16" saw an ad for PeacewithGod.net. All total, 8,000 people searching for the verse clicked on PeacewithGod.net. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association often uses Google ads to advertise its website. Some examples include searches for "What happens when I die?" and "Does God exist?" The website has tallied more than 1 million visitors since it launched in May 2011. "We can respond to exactly what people are searching for at that moment -- and it's often a very simple next-step to the Gospel," said John Cass, BGEA's director of Internet Evangelism. The fact that an outspoken Christian quarterback threw for 316 yards was, some said, was not coincidental. Tebow has been known to write "John 3:16" on his eye black until the NFL began prohibiting such expressions. There were other "3:16 curiosities" from the Denver vs Pittsburgh game that could not go unnoticed by sportswriters, football fans and many of the public:

-- Tebow's average for his 10 passes was 31.6 yards.
-- The overtime drew a 31.6 television rating.
-- Pittsburgh's time of possession was 31 minutes, 6 seconds.

 - BPNews.net, 1.13.2012

For a related Story ...
Click here to view a related article entitled "Football, Faith and John 3:16" posted on January 14, 2012 by George Barna by his Christian-based research firm, The Barna Group.

Kentucky Pastor Opens Legislative Session with Bold Prayer Against Gambling

A Kentucky pastor recently invited to open a budget address shocked everyone by praying fervently — and specifically — against a gambling expansion bill just moments before Gov. Steven Beshear took the podium to tell legislators why they need to pass it. As more of the states surrounding Kentucky authorize casinos, the governor is worried about seeing residents’ dollars flowing out of state — and believes a gambling-expansion bill will stop the fiscal bleeding. “We might as well be backing trucks filled with cash up to the Ohio River and dumping that money into the water,” Beshear said in a January 4th, 2012 speech. But that’s not how Hershael York, a pastor at Frankfort’s Buck Run Baptist Church, and a professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, sees the situation. After asking God to bless all the legislators and the governor with wisdom, he prayed, “May they never resort to leveraging vice and avarice to pay our bills. Help us to admit we cannot truly love our neighbor has ourselves and then scheme to get his money by enticing him with vain hope. May they not lead this state to share profits from an industry that preys on greed or desperation. Help us to foster salaries, not slot machines, to build cars and enable jobs, not license casinos and seduce the simple into losing what they have. May our greatest concern not be that we get our share of a family’s losses, but that we foster a sense of hope and justice that creates opportunity and leads to success. May the decisions they make and the judgments they render be consistent with Your eternal character and truth.”
- CitizenLink, 1.20.2012

Related Story Link ...
If you would like to listen / watch Pastor York's bold prayer, click here.

Military Stops USAF Academy Longtime Support of Operation Christmas Child

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation has stopped the U.S. Air Force Academy from supporting a charity that provides Christmas presents for underprivileged children around the world. Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the religious freedom group, accused Academy commanders of crossing the line by promoting Operation Christmas Child, an annual charity of Samaritan's Purse, because an evangelical Christian message is included in the gift boxes. The school apologized after it was accused of religious intolerance for promoting the drive, but Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council (FRC) argues that officials were wrong to reverse their position in the face of Weinstein's threats. "Making the opportunity available for cadets to voluntarily participate in a Christmas charity does not come anywhere close to being an establishment of religion that would violate the Constitution," he contends. Sprigg points out that anti-Christian organizations like Weinstein's always issue such threats as the holidays approach, and he deems this case representative of what he calls "four walls freedom." "You have religious freedom only within the four walls of your church, or within the four walls of your home, but once you set foot outside of either of those locations, you have no religious freedom," the FRC spokesman explains. Brig. Gen. Richard Clark, the commandant of cadets, has stated that under orders from Air Force headquarters, only the Chaplain Corps is to be responsible for advertising faith-based programs, so the well-intentioned program should have started with the Chaplains, not the Cadet Wing. However, he assures that cadets can still participate in the toy drive through the Cadet Chaplain Corps. Operation Christmas Child expected to send more than eight million gift-filled shoe boxes to children in 100 countries in 2011. - OneNewsNow.com, 11.9.2011

Walter Reed Hospital Rescinds Religious Ban

The Walter Reed military hospital says it has rescinded a ban on Bibles or other religious materials being used or given away during visits to wounded troops. The ban was issued in September 2011 but only recently came to public light. The ban read, "No religious items, i.e. Bibles, reading material and/or artifacts are allowed to be given away or used during a visit." Once the ban became public, Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) tells OneNewsNow he wanted some answers from the Walter Reed military hospital - so Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) joined him in a meeting with two admirals overseeing the facility during which the two lawmakers were told the memo was worded improperly, that it will be rescinded, and a new memo will be drafted. The memo has "caused damage," says King. "And whatever kind of militant atheist-ism [sic] might bring about a rule like this, it isn't good enough just to stop the rule. It's also important that we move back into the affirmative. We go on offense and take something back from the people who come after the things that we believe," said King. During a recent appearance on American Family Radio, Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Virginia) also stated that it is not enough that just the policy is being rescinded and rewritten. "We want to find out everything that was driving this policy to be written in the first place [and] the individual who wrote it because what they will always use is the excuse du jour [that] somebody complained because someone was proselytizing them," said Forbes. The Virginia congressman says it should be left up to the patient to decide who and what should be allowed in the hospital room. - OneNewsNow.com, 12.9.2011