Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy Saturday & Sunday

Mistaken Identity by Karen Ehman

"He who belongs to God hears what God says." John 8:47a (NIV 1984)

I poured a cup of coffee and logged on to my laptop to peek at a friend's Facebook page.

When I tried hopping over to see her latest pictures, I couldn't get her name to appear in the search bar. I was puzzled. This had always worked before. Glancing at the top of the screen, I realized I wasn't logged in to my own account. My son had forgotten to sign off when he'd been on earlier so I was actually logged in as him instead.

I couldn't get where I wanted to go because I had mistaken my identity.

With a quick click of a mouse I switched accounts and used Facebook as "me." Under the right identity I was free to view pages, leave comments with ease, and get where I wanted to go.
Sometimes in life we encounter the same issue—we don't realize we have mistaken our identity. We log into our day and encounter wrong thinking that makes us forget who we really are. This may happen when a voice from our past or our own negative self-talk urges us to forget our identity in Christ. When we do, we're blocked by doubt and can't get where God is calling us to go: to a life lived with our security and value rooted deep in His thoughts toward us.

Instead we hear:
"You can't do that. You aren't good enough."

"You'll never change."

"Why can't you be more like your sister?"

"If only you were more ____________ instead of so ___________."

When statements of self-doubt seem to scream and discouragement sets in, we need to log out of the lies we believe and log into God's truth. It's the only way we will know and live in our true identity so that we can navigate our lives according to God's Word.

Here are some truths we can tell ourselves to remember our who we are:
I am the daughter of the Most High God.
I am loved, redeemed and renewed.
I am chosen, blameless and holy.
I was bought at a great price.
God knows me thoroughly and yet loves me completely.
He has plans for my future that include hope, not harm; blessings, not banishment.
I belong to Him.

John 8:47a tells us, "He who belongs to God hears what God says." We need to listen to His Word, let it take root in our minds, and allow it to eradicate any untrue, destructive thought patterns. Replacing the negative chatter with assuring scriptures will gently, but firmly, remind us who we are as children of God.

Yes, if we "belong to God" we will hear what He says. As we log into His truths daily, no longer will we mistake our identity. We will know the confident reality of who we are in Christ.

Dear Lord, when I am tempted to think of myself in a way that is neither healthy nor true, remind me both of who I am and to Whom I belong. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Daily Smile:
A Sunday School teacher had just concluded her lesson and wanted to make sure she had made her point. She said, “Can anyone tell me what you must do before you can obtain forgiveness of sin?” 

There was a short pause and then, from the back of the room, a small boy spoke up. "Sin," he said. 

Kid's Joke:
How much does it cost a pirate to get a piercing? 

A Buck An Ear!
- submitted by Sara

In The News:

Photo via
Catholic-run business asks Obama to respect its faith

A spokesman for a Catholic family-owned business in Colorado is asking President Obama to respect his family’s faith after the president reaffirmed his support for the controversial contraception mandate during a recent campaign swing through the state, reports Catholic News Agency.

“Instead of rewarding political special interests and punishing family businesses, the president should instead be true to the oath he swore to uphold and defend the Constitution and religious freedom,” Andy Newland, Vice President of Hercules Industries, told CNA Aug. 13.

“At Hercules we offer generous compensation and benefits to all ouremployees, including for women's health, pregnancy and wellness. We are only asking that the government not force our family to violate its faith in order to earn a living and create jobs.”

Hercules Industries manufactures heating, ventilation and air conditioning units and has locations in several U.S. states. Its owners, William Newland, Paul Newland, James Newland, and Christine Ketterhagen, all identify as practicing Catholics.

On July 27 a federal judge in Denver granted the Newlands and their business a legal injunction against a Department of Health and Human Services mandate they say forces them to violate their Catholic beliefs.

The HHS mandate requires most employers to provide no co-pay insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception, including some early abortion-causing drugs. The mandate’s narrow religious exemption would not apply to many Catholic charities, health care systems, and universities. It lacks any protections for secular businesses run by Catholics and others who object to providing the coverage.

Employers who refuse to provide the coverage face possible fines of $100 dollars per employee per day. Hercules Industries employs 300 people.

The Obama administration has said it will work to provide an accommodation for religious institutions. However, it has also advocated against broad exemptions.

President Obama reaffirmed his support for the mandate in a campaign rally on Denver’s Auraria Campus last week.

He criticized his opponent, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, for favoring legislation the president said would “allow any employer to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees.”

“It would be up to the employer to decide. Your boss, telling you what’s best for your health, your safety,” the president said Aug. 8.

Andy Newland questioned why the law’s many other exemptions would not apply to the HHS mandate.

“The federal government cannot pick and choose what faith is and who can practice faith, and then target people of faith for punishment while exempting nearly 200 million other people from this mandate for purely political reasons,” Newland said.

Ultimate Grilled Cheese

Recipe courtesy Ina Garten for Food Network Magazine
Prep Time: 15 min
Inactive Prep Time: --
Cook Time:  30 min
Serves: 6 servings


  • 12 slices thick-cut bacon, such as Nodine's applewood smoked
  • 1 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 white pullman loaf or sourdough bread, sliced 1/2 inch thick (12 slices)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces aged gruyere or comte cheese
  • 6 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, such as Cabot or Shelburne Farms


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the bacon on a baking rack set over a sheet pan in a single layer and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and cut into 1-inch pieces. 

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, parmesan, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Lay 12 slices of bread on a board and spread each one lightly with butter. Flip the slices and spread each one generously with the mayonnaise mixture. Don't neglect the corners! 

Grate the cheeses in a food processor fitted with the largest grating disk and combine. Distribute the bacon evenly on half of the slices of bread. Pile 1/3 cup grated cheese evenly on top of the bacon and top with the remaining bread slices, sauce-side down. 

Meanwhile, heat an electric panini press. When the press is hot, cook the sandwiches for 3 to 5 minutes in batches until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Allow to cool for 2 minutes. Cut in half and serve warm.
Photograph by Quentin Bacon 


General Election: November 6, 2012
Last day to register in person October 9, 2012
Early Voting Begins October 23, 2012
Early Voting Ends October 30, 2012
Deadline to Request a Mail Ballot from Registrar (other than Military and Overseas)November 2, 2012
Deadline for Registrar to Receive Voted Mail Ballot (other than Military and Overseas)November 5, 2012
UOCAVA citizens - Request absentee ballot byNovember 5, 2012
UOCAVA citizens - Return ballot byNovember 6, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Friday

True Change  By Greg Laurie
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

During a visit to the Pacific Northwest a few years ago, I met a man who told me he had been heavily into alcohol and drugs. His marriage, in his own words, was hanging by a thread.

One day, he took a gun, loaded it, and was planning to kill himself, when, he turned on the TV. There on the screen was a Harvest Crusade, where I was sharing a message called, "How to Get Right with God."

He said, "God began to speak to me. When you led those people in prayer, I prayed and asked Jesus Christ to come into my life."

After he found Christ, he realized he needed to reconcile with his father. So he rode his motorcycle across the country to see his dad. That is a long ride on a motorcycle, but that sounds like a conversion to me. That sounds like a man who had met God, because there was a change in his life.

When God healed Naaman of his leprosy, he wanted to show his gratitude with a gift. Saul, at his conversion, said to the Lord, "What would You have me to do?" The Philippian jailer, after becoming a believer, washed the backs of those he had previously whipped. And Zacchaeus, after he became a believer, wanted to restore what he had stolen from others.

If you have truly found a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, you will change. That doesn't mean you need to change your life before you can come to Christ. But it does mean that when you come to Christ, you will change and your priorities will change. 

Daily Smile:
What did the astronaut see in his frying pan?
A Unidentified Frying Object!
In The News:
See You at the Pole draws prayerful teenagers
By Erin Roach
Sep 26, 2012

Students at Kingfisher High School, northwest of Oklahoma City, gathered Wednesday morning (Sept.26) for the 22nd annual See You at the Pole global day of student prayer. Students shared photos, including this one, on Facebook and Twitter.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- About a million teenagers at schools across the nation and the world gathered Sept. 26 for the 22nd annual See You at the Pole global day of student prayer.

This year students used Twitter and Facebook to communicate about their involvement, with student Claire Fridey tweeting "One of my favorite days of the school year is #seeyouatthepole! Prayer is powerful!" and a user named Israel tweeting "#seeyouatthepole was a nice way to kick off the day."

See You at the Pole, which began in 1990 among a small group of teenagers in Burleson, Texas, "is simply a prayer rally where students meet at the school flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, school and nation to God," according to the event's website, SYATP is student-initiated, student-organized and student-led.

"SYATP helps launch teenagers and college students -- in unity -- to minister to their peers," said Daryl Nuss, executive director of the National Network of Youth Ministries, which coordinates promotion of the event.

"See You at the Pole empowers students in prayer at the beginning of the school year to take leadership at their schools. What better way is there to begin a semester than to pray for their friends, community and nation?" Nuss added.

Norman Flowers, student evangelism and mobilization specialist at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, told Baptist Press that See You at the Pole is going strong in his state.

"We're seeing a continued movement of God among our students as they're gathering at their flagpoles this morning," Flowers said. "From a handful of students in some of our small towns to hundreds of students at other schools, we're seeing an amazing movement of students gathering to pray that God would move on their campus."

Churches across the nation hold rallies during their Wednesday night services on the day of See You at the Pole, which is every year on the fourth Wednesday of September.

"We know of 41 evangelistic rallies that will be taking place this evening," Flowers said of BGCO churches. "Last year we had over 10,000 students at these rallies with over 1,000 decisions for Christ."

About three years ago, the convention knew of 25 such SYATP evening rallies, Flowers said, so the practice is growing.

Doug Clark of the National Network of Youth Ministers told Baptist Press it is difficult to count the number of See You at the Pole participants because the event is so widespread, but by midday he had heard from people in Australia, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Guatemala and Puerto Rico -- besides countless reports across the United States.

Clark said he would be inclined to estimate that a million or more students took part in See You at the Pole this year. Some groups planned to meet Sept. 27 because their schools were closed Wednesday for Yom Kippur.

This year's See You at the Pole theme was "Awaken" based on Ephesians 3:14-21, the passage in which the Apostle Paul urges believers to "grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ."

"Pray for an unusual outpouring of the Spirit of God to awaken the hearts of students on campuses throughout your community ... and the world!" a prayer guide on the See You at the Pole website said.

At the same time, SYATP participants aren't immune from the hard realities confronting today's youth. A group of students at Stillwater Junior High School in Oklahoma witnessed a tragedy immediately after they gathered for prayer around their flagpole Wednesday morning. An eighth-grade student died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the school's common area just before classes started, News 9 in Oklahoma City reported.
Erin Roach is assistant editor of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook ( ) and in your email ( 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy Thursday

Just A Closer Walk With Thee Hymn

I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.


Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.


When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.


The greatest verse: to be used by God
by sumner wemp

Obey, thyself Luke 5:5
"He said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken another; nevertheless at thy word, I will let down the net" Luke 5:5. By obeying, Peter caught the biggest catch of his life. You will too!

The greatest verse
"At thy word, I will." What a way to live. Obey God! Too many walk by feeling. They live on, "When I get the urge, I will." Their songs are , "Stir me O God" or "Give me a passion for souls dear Lord." Don't say, At thy urge I will but at Thy word I will. "To obey is better than sacrifice" 1 Sam 15:22.

Do what?
"Follow me and I will make you fishers of men" Matt 4:19. "We are no longer fishers of men but keepers of aquariums" in most churches today. "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me" Acts 1:8. "Most are not witnesses, they are judges." "The early church gathered to worship and scattered to witness." They obeyed God and turned the world upside down. Acts 17:6. "Preach the gospel to every creature" Mk 16:15. When was the last time you preached, shared, the gospel with someone out in the world?

The world is going to hell
What are you doing about it? "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46. Read the Word of God. 1 Peter 2:2. "Men ought always to pray" Luke 18:1. "Preach the gospel to every creature" Mk 16:15. "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together" Heb 10:25. "Encourage one another daily" Heb 3:13. "Honor the Lord with thy substance" Prov 3:8. Be Balanced, Brother, Be Balanced.

Dear people, make this you motto,"At Thy word, I WILL." This is, by far, the most important verse for Christians to live by. It is transforming.

Father, Thou art God. There is no other God. What a sin not to obey You. May it be our desire and determination that at thy word I will. In Jesus name.

Daily Smile:

Too Many Hypocrites

Preacher: “How come I never see you in church anymore, Morris?”

Morris: “There are too many hypocrites there, Reverend.”

Preacher: “Don't worry, Morris; there's always room for one more.”

In The News:

Extremist Hindus Rout Christians from Rural Indian Village
Hindus twice assaulted a Christian community in a rural India village early this month, beating believers, forcing them into Hindu worship rituals and damaging their homes, Open Doors News reports. The Sunday worship meeting was underway Sept. 2 in the home of a new Christian, Daminbai Sahu, in Bhanpuri, a village in the Balod district of India's state of Chhattisgarh. Witnesses said a group of villagers stormed into the house and beat several of the people attending the meeting, including a visiting pastor identified only as Dada. The attackers accused Dada of forcefully converting Hindus to Christianity and dragged him out of the house. As hundreds gathered around the commotion, the extremists ordered Dada out of the village and threatened to kill him if he returned, then forced believers to renounce their faith in Christ late in the night. The following night at 11 p.m., about 600 Hindu extremists stormed the houses of five Christian families, calling them "pagans" and accusing them of trying to forcefully convert Hindus to Christianity. They broke doors, damaged the houses and household items, witnesses said. Believers fled to the village of Balod, where they found refuge with other Christians. They filed a complaint with police, but police refused to register a formal report of the incident.

Report: Restrictions on Religious Freedom Increasing Worldwide
Religious believers throughout the world face a rising tide of restrictions, according to a new study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released Sept. 20, the Religion News Service reports. Pew tracked religious freedoms denied by governments and cultural authorities, and found that in the one-year period ending in mid-2010, 75 percent of the world's population lived in a nation with high or very high restrictions on religious beliefs or practices. A previous Pew study on the subject found that 70 percent of the world lived under religious restrictions. The researchers found increasing intolerance in every region of the world; government and social restrictions on religious freedom particularly tightened in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and sub-Sarahan Africa. Globally, restrictions increased not only in countries that already afforded few protections for religious freedom, such as Nigeria and Indonesia, but also in countries where citizens have generally enjoyed a high degree of religious liberty, such as Switzerland and the U.S.

Are Your Registered To Vote???

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Wednesday

Looking to God, Our Provider

Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.

BIBLE MEDITATION: “For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” Psalm 50:10

Do you remember when it was rare to hear of someone whose job was either threatened, or actually lost, due to changes or cutbacks? Well, that’s hardly news anymore. 

These days it seems that almost everyone is struggling with financial problems related to job security.

You may be struggling and asking, “What good can possibly come from my financial problems?” They are wonderful opportunities to trust your Heavenly Father for your daily bread. I’ve always said that it’s better to have a Father who owns a bakery than to have a warehouse full of bread!

Are you having financial woes? Do you know someone who is? Share with them the Good News of God’s provision and faithfulness.

The Old Rugged Cross

Text: George Bennard, 1873-1958
Music: George Bennard, 1873-1958
Tune: ---, Meter: Irr. with Refrain

1. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
 the emblem of suffering and shame;
 and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
 for a world of lost sinners was slain.
 So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
 till my trophies at last I lay down;
 I will cling to the old rugged cross,
 and exchange it some day for a crown.

2. O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
 has a wondrous attraction for me;
 for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
 to bear it to dark Calvary.

3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
 a wondrous beauty I see,
 for 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
 to pardon and sanctify me.

4. To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
 its shame and reproach gladly bear;
 then he'll call me some day to my home far away,
 where his glory forever I'll share.

Daily Smile:

Money For College

A kid called up his mom from his college and asked her for some money, because he ran out of it. 

Mom said, "'Sure, sweetie. I'll send you some money. You also left your calculus book here when you visited 2 weeks ago. Do you want me to send that up too?" 

"Uh, oh yeah, OK," responded the kid. 

So Mom wrapped the book along with the checks up in a package, kissed Dad goodbye, and went to the post office to mail the money and the book. 

When she gets back, Dad asked, "Well how much did you give the boy this time?" 

Mom said, "Oh, I wrote 2 checks, one for $20, and the other for $1000'" 

"That's $1020!!!" yelled Dad, "Are you crazy???" 

"Don't worry hon," Mom said, as she kissed Dad on the on top of his bald head, "I taped the $20 check to the cover of his book, but I put the $1000 one somewhere between the pages in Chapter 19!"

In The News:

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Writes Letter of Gratitude After Release
Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani wrote a letter to all those who supported him and his stand for Christ, "the cause that I defend," following his release after nearly three years of illegal imprisonment for his faith, the American Center for Law and Justice reports. The day he was freed from prison, Nadarkhani wrote: "I glorify and give grace to the Lord with all my heart. ... I want to express my gratitude to all of those who have supported me, openly or in complete secrecy. ... Indeed I have been put to the test, the test of faith which is, according to the Scriptures, 'more precious than perishable gold.' But I have never felt loneliness, I was all the time aware of the fact that it wasn't a solitary battle, for I have felt all the energy and support of those who obeyed their conscience and fought for the promotion of the justice and the rights of all human beings. Thanks to these efforts, I have now the enormous joy to be by my wonderful wife and my children. ... The Lord has wonderfully provided through the trial, allowing me to face the challenges that were in front of me." The entirety of Nadarkhani's letter can be read here.

Two Killed in Nigerian Suicide Bomb Attack on Catholic Church
A suicide car bomber attacked a Catholic church in the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi on Sunday morning, killing two people and wounding another 45, The Guardian reports. According to police, the bomber was stopped at the gate of St. John's church, where he detonated the explosives packed inside his car. Bauchi has seen a number of bombings and shootings blamed on the Islamist group Boko Haram, and though no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, suspicion immediately fell on Boko Haram. The group, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege" in the Hausa language of Nigeria's north, has been waging an increasingly bloody fight on religious minorities and the weak central government in its aim to implement sharia law across the country.

Update: Judge Allows Texas Cheerleaders to Use Bible Banners
Cheerleaders at Kountze High School in Texas can continue to use banners with Bible verses after a court granted them a temporary restraining order against their school district, the Religion News Service reports. Kountze Independent School District superintendent Kevin Weldon, after consulting with a legal adviser when an anonymous complaint was made, had stopped the use of the large paper banners the cheerleaders created for the football players to run though at the start of games. Parents filed suit on behalf of the cheerleaders, and on Sept. 20 a Hardin County judge ordered the school district to "cease and desist" from preventing the cheerleaders from displaying the banners. A hearing on the case has been set for October 4. The Liberty Institute, which is representing the cheerleaders and parents in the case, hailed the judge's decision. "We are excited that the cheerleaders for the Kountze High School Lions can again do what they do best -- cheer on their football team without government censorship," said Mike Johnson, Liberty Institute senior counsel.

Tim Tebow's 'Wife With a Servant's Heart' Remarks Misunderstood?
Tim Tebow's comments in the latest edition of Vogue magazine about his ideal wife -- someone with a "servant's heart" -- have stirred discussion online, with some concluding that he wants a "hot slave," as put it, the Christian Post reports. When Vogue asked Tebow what he was looking for in a woman, he answered: "I've been blessed to have an amazing mom and two amazing sisters -- so they set a very high standard. Obviously looks play a big part. Being attracted to someone plays a big part, but there's also so much more than that for me. It's about finding someone sweet and kind -- and that has a servant's heart. It's about finding a girl who likes me for me, and not because of what I do or who I am or the name." That sound bite has been picked up by many publications, with the New York Post reporting, "Tebow in market for 'servant' woman" and stating, "Tim Tebow Tells Vogue His Perfect Woman is Hot, Kind, and Servile." One Christian leader, Russell D. Moore of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, came to the New York Jets quarterback's defense, saying, "In Christianity, a 'servant' isn't a slur." Tebow has clarified what he meant with his comments: "It's someone that can put others first, someone that doesn't always have to be the center of attention and someone that's a helper. Someone that puts their family first, is loving, is caring, all those things, that's what I mean by servant."

Are Your Registered To Vote???

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy Tuesday


I Am The Bread Of Life From Senior Living Devotional

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread of heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."  --John 6:32-35

I love to sit down at the dinner table with my family. While it doesn't happen as often as it used to, there's nothing better than time spent with my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren over a good meal. And there's almost nothing better than Virginia's cooking. It's the best around! With every bite, you can almost feel the warmth take over your body and soul.

What's interesting is that this scenario is completely opposite from what takes place when a human being goes for days or months without food. The body goes into starvation mode breaking down fat and muscles for energy. Diseases are more apt to take over and other symptoms begin to take effect: irritation, fatigue, pain, depression, personality changes, hysteria, and eventually death.

I think it says something that Jesus called Himself the bread of life and the living water (see John 4:1-26) numerous times in Scripture.

He said, "Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (John 6:49-51).

Yes, Jesus is our salvation. He does provide eternal life when we enter into a personal relationship with Him. But we are also to fellowship with Him in prayer, His Word, and community with other believers in order to nourish and sustain our spiritual lives.

Challenge yourself to spend time in God's Word each day. Take in one bite at a time and enjoy the consistency and flavor of it. Drink in the presence of Jesus during your prayer time and fellowship with other believers at His table.

PRAYER CHALLENGE: Jesus, nourish my soul with Your Word. Fill my cup with Your presence. Give me sweet fellowship and communion with You and other members of God's family.

Daily Smile:

Mom's Time Out

My Parents had not been out together in quite some time. One Saturday, as Mom was finishing the dinner dishes, my father stepped up behind her. "Would you like to go out, girl?" he asked.

Not even turning around, my mother quickly replied, "Oh, yes, I'd love to!"

They had a wonderful evening, and it wasn't until the end of it that Dad confessed. 

His question had actually been directed to the family dog, lying near Mom's feet on the kitchen floor.

In The News:

Chick-fil-A's Dan Cathy: We Have Made No Concessions
Following reports that Chick-fil-A had agreed to stop funding certain traditional family groups in order to get approval for a new Chicago restaurant, company president Dan Cathy said Friday the restaurant had made no concessions and that it remained "true to who we are," Baptist Press reports. Cathy's statement, posted on Mike Huckabee's website, came one day after the company released its own statement saying its corporate giving had been "mischaracterized" for many months and that it would continue to fund programs that "strengthen and enrich marriages." Cathy said: "There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago. That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been." Focus on the Family president Jim Daly -- whose organization supposedly had been de-funded by Chick-fil-A -- has also spoken up for the company.

Rescue Mission Underway for 2,000 Christians Trapped in Sudan

A major operation by Barnabas Aid to rescue 2,000 Christian women and children trapped in Sudan got underway Sept. 19, with the first successful airlift to South Sudan, ASSIST News Service reports. After a number of practical and bureaucratic obstacles initially delayed the start of the rescue mission, the first of 12 chartered flights departed from Khartoum for Juba, with the rest scheduled for the days and weeks ahead. Church and community leaders have identified the most needy and vulnerable Christians among the hundreds of thousands of southerners trapped in Khartoum. "They will be welcomed at temporary reception facilities set up by the South Sudanese government before moving on to extended family connections around the country," a Barnabas Aid spokesperson said. "The church in South Sudan is ready to help with their practical needs." Christians of southern origin remaining in Sudan were stripped of their citizenship after South Sudan seceded, and were given a deadline to leave. President Omar al-Bashir has made it clear they are no longer welcome, repeatedly declaring his intention to make the country's next constitution 100 percent Islamic and strengthen sharia law. Many have made their own way to South Sudan, but the Sudanese government has closed the border to prevent any more traveling to South Sudan by the river Nile. The vulnerability of those still trapped has intensified over the last week as violent Islamic protests rocked Sudan, the spokesperson said. "As well as facing danger, the impoverished southern Christians have been living in dire conditions in makeshift shelters on the outskirts of the capital for many months."

Another Christian College Files Suit Against Contraceptive Mandate

The College of the Ozarks, a small Christian college in Point Lookout, Mo., has filed suit against the federal government over the mandate requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptive and abortifacient drugs, WORLD News Serivce reports. The College of the Ozarks is the 14th school to challenge the mandate in court. "The so-called Affordable Care Act is government at its worst," said school president Jerry C. Davis in a statement. "This is not a partisan issue. It is a constitutional issue, and the College wants its rights respected and enforced, instead of being trampled upon. The Constitution still matters." Although the College of the Ozarks qualifies for a one-year exemption to the mandate, which went into effect Aug. 1, the delay only postpones the inevitable, Davis said. Like other small schools, College of the Ozarks has seen insurance costs skyrocket under the health care reforms. Rising premiums might force the school to make a substantive change to its insurance plan, which would end its eligibility for the exemption, he said. According to The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a legal group representing several schools, institutions and companies fighting the mandate, 29 challenges are pending in courts around the country.

Alabama Woman Sues Planned Parenthood

A woman is suing Birmingham’s only abortion center for negligent care, misdiagnosis and for failing to hire trained and licensed employees, WORLD News Service reports. Roberta Clark went to the Planned Parenthood of Birmingham on Aug. 20, and after an ultrasound and pelvic exam, was told she was eight weeks and four days along in her pregnancy. Abortion doctor Aqua Don Emmanuel Umoren then performed an abortion. But after 25 days, Clark was still nauseous, bleeding and vomiting. She went to the Princeton Medical Center Emergency Room on Sept. 14, where she was told she had an ectopic pregnancy that was 13 weeks along -- putting her life in danger. Dana Cody, executive director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF), told CitizenLink that Planned Parenthood records showed an abortion was completed at the clinic -- despite the fact that Clark’s uterus was empty before she went to the clinic, and no fetal remains were found in the aborted tissue. LLDF is taking action to ensure the safety of women in the state. "We have submitted a request to the Alabama Department of Public Health, asking them to investigate the clinic," Cody said.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Monday

Ya Gotta Believe  by Pastor Bill

Scripture: Mark 9:23

Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes" NKJV

August 31, 1973 is a date that has major significance in Baseball. Tug McGraw was pitching for the last place New York Mets Baseball Team. He took the mound that day saying "ya gotta believe". It was a phrase with a nice sound to it but his team mates weren't exactly believing they could salvage their season with so few weeks left.

McGraw went out and pitched an extra inning win over St. Louis and "you gotta believe" took on a new focus. The Mets went from a last place team to winning their division crown just weeks later on the final day of the season.

Tug McGraw said "Ya gotta believe" when only he believed. But he said it time and time again until his whole team believed!

The Bible is very clear about "Ya gotta believe". Jesus healed and set people free because they believed. They believed in him, they believed in what he said and they believed in what he did.

You may be challenged, down and out or just plain discouraged but there is another side to the coin. Jesus can and will help but it starts with "you gotta believe".

Prayer: Father thank you that the healing starts with "Ya gotta believe". In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

FYI: Tug McGraw's phrase, "Ya Gotta Believe" was used as the inspirational tag line in the 1994 Disney film Angels in the Outfield starring Danny Glover, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd and Matthew McConaughey.

Daily Smile:

A Christian lady who lived next door to an atheist

There was a Christian lady who lived next door to an atheist. Every day, when the lady prayed, the atheist guy could hear her. He thought to himself, "She sure is crazy, praying all the time like that. Doesn't she know there isn't a God?"
Many times while she was praying, he would go to her house and harass her, saying "Lady, why do you pray all the time? Don't you know there is no God?" But she kept on praying.
One day, she ran out of groceries. As usual, she was praying to the Lord explaining her situation and thanking Him for what He was gonna do. As usual, the atheist heard her praying and thought to himself, "Humph! I'll fix her."

He went to the grocery store, bought a whole bunch of groceries, took them to her house, dropped them off on the front porch, rang the door bell and then hid in the bushes to see what she would do. When she opened the door and saw the groceries, she began to praise the Lord with all her heart, jumping, singing and shouting everywhere! The atheist then jumped out of the bushes and told her, "You ol' crazy lady, God didn't buy you those groceries, I bought those groceries!" At hearing this, she broke out and started running down the street, shouting and praising the Lord.

When he finally caught her, he asked what her problem was. She said, "I knew the Lord would provide me with some groceries, but I didn't know he was gonna make the devil pay for them!"

In The News:

Afghanistan: Growing Number of Christians Causing Unease Among Muslim Leaders
The growth of Christianity in Afghanistan is causing unrest among Muslim clerics, leading them to call for action against believers, Mission Network News reports. According to a recent report by the Mohabat News Agency, Islamic seminary students and Muslim clerics have "warned the country's government against the spread of Christianity" and called on President Hamid Karzai to "limit the number of aid workers and Christian missionaries coming to Afghanistan" to keep Afghanis from converting to Christianity. Recent turmoil began after a Kabul-based TV station reported the conversion of several Afghans to Christianity and aired photos of them praying and being baptized. This reportedly sparked anger in the parliament, and some members asked to convict believers under sharia law -- which decrees that if someone leaves Islam and converts to another religion, he or she can be executed. The Afghan church is completely underground; the last church building was destroyed two years ago and the small number of known believers risk their lives each time they gather in small house meetings.

Cheerleaders Banned From Using Religious Banners at Texas High School
A national legal group is investigating claims that a Texas school district censored religious speech on student-made banners at football games, CBN News reports. Cheerleaders at Kountze High School were told they could not use Bible verses on signs they created for the football team to run through after an anonymous complaint was made to the school's superintendent. One banner in question read "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Phil. 4:13." The Liberty Institute, a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending religious liberties, is investigating the Kountze Independent School District's move. "We are disappointed that Kountze ISD is banning student speech on banners because it is from a religious viewpoint," said attorney David Starnes. "Such discrimination and censorship is unfortunate and illegal. Once we complete our investigation, we will take appropriate action." A Facebook page created in support of the cheerleaders and their signs already has more than 35,000 supporters, and some parents have even created T-shirts and signs to display around the area.

Pentecostal Pastor Shot Dead in Colombia
Christian Solidarity Worldwide is calling for a full investigation into the murder of pastor Henry Rodriguez, 44, who was shot dead as he exited United Pentecostal Church in Bogota, Colombia, on September 16. The reasons behind the murder are unknown, but according to local press reports, witnesses said it was carried out by what appeared to be professional hit men. Pastor Rodriguez was leaving the church after an afternoon service when he was shot multiple times by two men on a moped, a method commonly used in professional hits in Colombia. Hospital staff were unable to resuscitate him. While the assassination of a pastor is extremely unusual in Bogota, countrywide church leaders are frequently targeted by illegal armed groups. The Colombian Council of Evangelical Churches Peace Commission estimates that on average, 20 to 30 church leaders are killed each year. In general, leaders are targeted because of their refusal to cooperate or support the objectives of the illegal armed groups; however, the reasons behind the murder of Pastor Rodriguez are unclear, as he had not reported receiving any threats prior to Sunday. Rodriguez, who was on course to graduate from seminary in October, is survived by his wife and three children.

Report: Marriage Cuts Child Poverty by 80 Percent
Being raised in a married family reduces a child's probability of living in poverty by more than 80 percent, according to a recent report by The Heritage Foundation that found the chief cause of child poverty is the absence of married fathers in the home, Baptist Press reports. "Some of this difference in poverty is due to the fact that single parents tend to have less education than married couples, but even when married couples are compared to single parents with the same level of education, the married poverty rate will still be more than 75 percent lower," said Robert Rector, senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. "Marriage is a powerful weapon in fighting poverty. In fact, being married has the same effect in reducing poverty that adding five to six years to a parent's level of education has." The United States is steadily separating into a two-caste system with marriage and education as the dividing line, Rector said; on average, high school dropouts who are married have a far lower poverty rate than single parents with one or two years of college. The report noted that in 2010, only 59 percent of all births in the United States were to married couples. In 2011, federal and state governments spent more than $450 billion on welfare for low-income families with children, about three-quarters of which went to single-parent families.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Sunday

Never Happened by Pastor Bill

Scripture: John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." KJV

The prisoner spoke: "I've never peddled drugs, I've never cheated on my income tax, I've never beaten my wife, I've never ---"

"Wait a minute," the prosecutor interrupted, "Did you or did you not rob the bank?"

"Well, I give blood to the Red Cross, I've served in the army, I gave money to the flood and tornado victims, and I --- "

"Wait a minute. Did you or did you not rob the bank" 

 "Yes, but I've done so many good things!"

One day you and I will stand before a judge and we may defend ourselves with  at least 8 "I" statements:

  I never robbed anyone I never murdered anyone 

  I was a good provider for my family I helped the poor every chance 
  I got I was an upstanding citizen and voted every election 
  I may have done a few bad things, but so did everyone else 
  I went to church at least twice a month and a few Wednesdays 
  I think I'm about 3% guilty for my entire lifetime on earth and that ain't bad

And  the Judge will say as in James 2:10: "For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God's laws" NLT

When I accepted the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for my sins --- my sins were washed away by his shed blood and became as though they never happened.

Angus Buchan of "Faith Like Potatoes" fame puts it this way: "Good People don't go to heaven, BELIEVERS go to heaven!"

Prayer: Father thank you for the good news of Jesus Christ dying for my sins and making them as though they never happened. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

Editor's Note:
     No Daily Smile... 
    No In the News... 
    I Have Just One Question To Ask You Today...

If Not, JESUS is Calling You Today...

Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling

Text: Will L. Thompson
Music: Will L. Thompson
Tune: THOMPSON, Meter: 11 7.11 7 with Refrain

1. Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, 
 calling for you and for me; 
 see, on the portals he's waiting and watching, 
 watching for you and for me. 
 Come home, come home; 
 ye who are weary come home; 
 earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, 
 calling, O sinner, come home! 

2. Why should we tary when Jesus is pleading, 
 pleading for you and for me? 
 Why should we linger and heed not his mercies, 
 mercies for you and for me? 

3. Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, 
 passing from you and from me; 
 shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, 
 coming for you and for me. 

4. O for the wonderful love he has promised, 
 promised for you and for me! 
 Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon, 
 pardon for you and for me. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Saturday

Interested In You

Read James 2:1-8

The psalmist wrote, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” - Psalm 139:14 (NRSV)

Compared to many in my new school, I was from “the wrong side of town.” I had to catch two buses to attend school, while many of my classmates arrived in luxury cars. Being on time or staying for extra activities was difficult for me if one of the buses was late. Making friends was a struggle. I felt that I was judged to be not good enough when some girls discovered where I lived, what my father did for a living, or that my mother had no career outside the home. I began to pray that God would give me a friend. In time, God did give me a new friend and later a whole group of friends.

Neither my parents nor my brother were able to finish their schooling, but they sacrificed to give me an opportunity to complete my education. Eventually, I qualified as a teacher and later as a minister. The key to my achievements was discovering that God not only listens to our prayers but accepts all of us — even me.

I am glad that God does not value us according to where we live, how educated we may or may not be, or our material wealth. God simply loves us and longs to be in loving relationship with us.

Jeanette Krige (Gauteng, South Africa)

Thought for the Day: God loves you just as you are.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your interest in each of us, regardless of who we are or where we come from. Amen.

Daily Smile:

What kind of math equation are pirates best at? 

Finding X!

In The News:

Obama Campaign Unveils New Faith Initiative

In an effort to resonate with key faith groups, the Obama campaign has released a “People of Faith for Obama” initiative, which includes a Web video and faith platform.  The initiative seeks to show how faith plays a major role in the president’s decision-making process, CNN reports. In the Web video, Obama makes specific reference to religious liberty, a hot-button political issue in this campaign cycle. “In a changing world, my commitment to religious liberty is, and always will be unwavering,” the president says. The campaign is also releasing what it’s calling a “faith platform,” broken down into three categories: economic security for families, being our brothers and sisters’ keeper, and faith in public life. The platform will be hosted on the campaign website and sent out to campaign field offices. A campaign staffer close to the initiative said they thought the program would have specific resonance with key groups the campaign has been targeting: Catholics and young evangelicals.  

Family Facing Fines for Hosting Bible Study

A Florida family is facing a $250 per day fine for hosting a Friday night prayer and Bible study in their home- an act that city officials argue violates zoning codes, Todd Starnes reports. Shane and Marlen Roessiger of Venice, Fla. host weekly prayer and study gatherings, which are attended by as many as 10 people. The family is also facing fines for putting a small sign in their front yard that reads: “Need Prayer (941) 484-4915.” “It’s difficult to understand how it is illegal to have a prayer meeting on Friday night with a half dozen people but it is alright if I invited the same group on Monday evening to watch Monday Night Football,” Roessiger said.  The Pacific Justice Institute is representing the family. “They are having a specific problem with this family solely because they are having family and friends over to read the bible and pray,” Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice, said. “That may be fine in some tyrannical parts of the world. That is not okay in the United States of America.” Pam Johnson, a spokesperson for the city of Venice, sent a statement defending their actions to Fox News. She confirmed that the two cases against the family involve a code infraction regarding the use of a sign and a zoning infraction regarding using their home as a ‘house of worship.’ The Roessigers run a small ministry called “In Him Healing Touch Ministries.” Dacus believes the city used that to build a case against the family.

Survey Shows 74 Percent Increase in U.S. Mosques in Past Decade
A survey conducted earlier this year by a coalition of religious organizations shows the number of mosques in the United States has grown by 74 percent in the past 11 years -- up from 1,209 in 2001 to 2,106 in 2011, reports. The survey by Faith Communities Today, which is affiliated with the Hartford Seminary's Hartford Institute for Religious Research, also reveals where those mosques exist, including the 10 states with the largest number of mosques: New York (257), California (246), Texas (166), Florida (118), Illinois (109), New Jersey (109), Pennsylvania (99), Michigan (77), Georgia (69) and Virginia (62). Vermont has the least number of mosques, with only one located in that state. Most mosques are located in metropolitan areas, with Greater New York City ranked No. 1 (192 mosques). Southern California (120), Greater Chicago (90), Greater Philadelphia (63) and Greater Detroit (63) rounded out the top five metropolitan areas for mosque population.

Nail Scarred Hand

Artist: Carl Smith
Album: Softly And Tenderly

Have you failed in your plan of your storm caused life
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
Are you weary and worn from its toil and strife
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
He will keep to the end he's your dearest friend
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand

Are you walking alone through the shadows dim?
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
Christ will comfort your heart put your trust in him
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
He will keep to the end he's your dearest friend
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand

Would you follow the will of the risen lord?
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
Would you live in the light of his blessed word?
Place your hand in the nail scared hand
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
He will keep to the end he's your dearest friend
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand

Is you soul burdened down with the load of sin?
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
Throw your heart open wide, let the savior in
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand
He will keep to the end he's your dearest friend
Place your hand in the nail scarred hand

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy, Happy Friday

Be Careful What You Pray For by Pastor Bill

Scripture: Nehemiah 1:11
"Lord, listen carefully to the prayer of your servant and the prayers of your servants who love to honor you" NCV

First Prayer:
At a garage sale for the youth mission trip all the "stuff" left over was placed in a large sturdy box. The box was marked with very bold letters "Free Box." The box was strategically placed at the end of the driveway so it was in the sights of every passing car. The garage sale team all gathered together and held hands as a short payer was said, "Lord please have someone take this box."

A few minutes later a pickup truck pulled up to the box --- a man stepped out of the pickup smartly dressed. He walked up to the box --- looked around while determining what to do next. He picked up the box with all the contents in it and held it waist high. All the while looking around intensely, like a hunter sure there is prey just beyond the horizon. Then suddenly he glanced down, flipped the box over and allowed all the contents to spill over the driveway. Then as quick as a young buck dashing through the woods he threw the free box into the back of his pick up --- jumped into the cab and drove away with his "Free Box".

Second Prayer:
A Local TV News photographer was fairly new on the job and wanted to cover a big story to move his career along. He prayed diligently daily for his big break. Then it happened --- a wild fire was burning in a wilderness. He said a quick prayer and called his boss and asked, "May I cover the wild fire in a valley a few hundred miles away. His request approved and his prayer answered, the Local TV News photographer quickly used a cell phone to call the local airport. He chartered an immediate flight and was told a twin-engine plane would be waiting for him at the airport. 

Arriving at the airport, the Local TV News Photographer spotted a twin-engine plane warming
up outside the hanger. The photographer jumped into the plane with his bag of video and still cameras, slammed the door shut, and shouted over the whine of the motors, "Let's go, we must leave immediately or we'll be grounded."

The pilot taxied out on to the runway --- swung the plane into the wind
--- pushed the throttle down and quickly took off.

Once in the air, the photographer instructed the
pilot, "Fly over the valley and make several low passes while I take pictures for the news tonight. I'd like to get some great pictures of the fires burning out in the wilderness".

"Why?" asked the pilot.

"Because I'm a Local TV News photographer,"
he responded, "And I need to get some really good close up shots to enhance our news report this evening."

The pilot was strangely silent for a few moments.
Then with a look of horror on his face finally stammers, "So, what you're telling me, is --- You're NOT my flight instructor?"

Be careful what you pray for and be specific. As the youth mission team above found out when the box was removed without the contents. And the TV News photographer found that he was on the way to cover his big story to further his career with an unqualified pilot!

Prayer: Father thank you for revealing what in my life needs prayer so I can understand what to pray for and how. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

Daily Smile:

A Second Wife

When our second child was on the way, my wife and I attended a pre-birth class aimed at couples who had already had at least one child.

The instructor raised the issue of breaking the news to the older child.

It went like this:
"Some parents," she said, "tell the older child, 'We love you so much we decided to bring another child into this family.' But think about that. Ladies, what if your husband came home one day and said, 'Honey, I love you so much I decided to bring home another wife.'"

One of the women spoke up immediately. "Does she cook???"

In The News:

The Gospel of Jesus' Wife': Ancient Fragment Stirs Debate
Karen King, a historian from Harvard Divinity School, revealed on Tuesday what she claims to be a fourth-century fragment of papyrus containing the phrase, in Coptic, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife ... '" According to King, the text, referred to as the Gospel of Jesus' Wife, suggests some early Christians might have held the view that Jesus was married, but she stressed that it could not prove Jesus had a wife. Darrell L. Bock, senior research professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, said if this papyrus was authentic, it would be the only text among many to suggest that Jesus had a wife. It represents "a very small minority in a much later period than original Christianity," Bock said. "It is a fourth-century text in a fringe gnostic group that is not representative of the larger groups that are [part of] Christianity." Dr. Joel B. Green, professor of New Testament interpretation at Fuller Seminary, echoed Bock: "We have no evidence at all of any debate among the earliest followers of Jesus regarding Jesus' martial status. This debate surfaced later. It's important to put this in context. Popular literature (say, from the third and fourth centuries) made all sorts of claims about Jesus ... These claims really don't tell us anything about Jesus of Nazareth, the historical person who lived in the first third of the first century. They do tell us about how some people in later centuries worked out their own beliefs and practices." Green also expressed concern over the "hype" often surrounding such discoveries, adding that "any claims that might be put forward about what it means will be guesses." Nothing is known about the circumstances of the fragment's discovery; King believes it may have been excavated from an area in Upper Egypt.

Pastors Sue Kenyan Government Over Lack of Protection
Protestant churches in Kenya are suing the country's federal government, alleging a lack of help and protection following recent attacks by Islamic extremists, Christianity Today reports. The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), which filed suit after Muslim riots in Mombasa in August destroyed four local churches, is claiming the violence was politically and religiously motivated, led by the Somalia-based al Shabaab extremist group. "The government bears full responsibility for the violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the victims who are under its care," said Peter Karanja, general secretary of the NCCK. The NCCK is also seeking response from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Kazakhstan Jails Pastor, Considers Extradition to Uzbekistan
A former Uzbek house church pastor is in prison in Kazakhstan, awaiting a ruling whether he will be returned to his native country, Open Doors News reports.  Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court considers whether to declare him a refugee in the face of almost-certain persecution. Makset Djabbarbergenov was arrested Sept. 5 in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s financial center. He was detained by authorities who have frowned on his leadership in unregistered Christian communities. Djabbarbergenov was at one point an active church leader in Nukus, the capital of Karakalpakstan, the autonomous republic of Uzbekistan. At present, Protestant churches in Karakalpakstan are illegal. After appearing before court six different times, Djabbarbergenov and his family fled to Kazakhstan in 2007, where they are considered refugees by the United Nations, although the Kazakh government disagrees. Uzbekistan now wants him back to face charges that he practiced religion outside state regulation. He faces two charges; each carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison. Uzbekistan is ranked No. 7 on the World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Netanyahu: U.S. Voters Should Consider 'Red Line' with Iran
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to American voters on Sunday, urging them to elect a president willing to draw a line on when Iran would face military attack over its nuclear weapons program, Fox News reports. After Obama refused to set specific boundaries on Iran last week, the Israeli leader took to CNN’s “State of the Union” and NBC’s “Meet the Press” to express his frustration. He compared Tehran’s nuclear program to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh to appeal to his American audience. “It’s like Timothy McVeigh walking into a shop in Oklahoma City and saying, 'I’d like to tend my garden. I’d like to buy some fertilizer.' … Come on. We know that they’re working on a weapon,” Netanyahu said. Obama’s Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, has said he is willing to take a tougher stance than Obama against Iran, although his campaign has declined to provide specifics. Meanwhile, Obama continues to insist that the U.S. will not allow Iran to produce a nuclear weapon.