Rev. Ike
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New York religious life has lost one of its most colorful characters this summer. Rev. Ike (Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, the son of an African American and a Dutch Indonesian) is dead at 74.   Rev. Ike was born in South Carolina and started his first church there. He moved to Boston and gained some fame as a faith healer and preacher, but it was in Harlem, on 175th & Broadway in Manhattan, that he achieved his greatest fame. He and... Read More
That They May Be One
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It is a given among many Christians that the splintering of the outward form of the church into many pieces is a disaster. Many millions of believers have prayed that the divisions of doctrine and practice would be healed and everyone could be part of the same organization once again. When they read Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17, they are thinking outward unity, i.e. the end of different denominations.   Maybe I’m just a contrarian at heart, but I’d... Read More
Mr. McNair
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I just can’t get Steve McNair out of my mind. McNair is a legend in Tennessee. He led the Titans all the way to the Super Bowl in 2000 with his great passing and running, falling one yard short of a miracle comeback in the title game as time expired. He is Nashville’s biggest sports hero. Was. He was found with four bullets in him on a couch in the condo he shared with his mistress, a waitress from Nashville’s... Read More
Soulmate
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In the military they call it “friendly fire.” It means that your wounds (or death) were caused by ammo from your own comrades.   This has been a grim season for the GOP. The party has been knocked back not only by the Obama tidal wave, but has suffered damage inflicted by its own leaders. The Republican Party for many years has tried to portray itself as the party of family values, based on Christian principles. Generally Republicans oppose abortion, gay... Read More
What Freedom Gives
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Here in my community and communities throughout America, we’ve just celebrated our nation’s independence – the 4th of July. Communities across the country have joined together with parades, fireworks, patriotic flags and family cookouts to celebrate the freedom we as Americans have.     The word ‘freedom’ has a sweet ring to it, doesn’t it? Those who spend their lives guarding it deserve our gratitude. Being Americans means that we can worship, study, and evangelize in peace. This 4th of July, let’s... Read More
Farrah, Jacko, and Ed
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Three of the most well-known people on television in the 1980s all passed away within days of each other this week. Ed McMahon was Johnny Carson’s sidekick on the tonight show, bellering “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” at the start of each show, chuckling on cue to Johnny’s jokes, and serving as his comic foil. Farrah Fawcett starred in the first season of “Charlie’s Angels.” Her massive pile of layered blonde hair is one of the main reasons why so many brides in... Read More
Fatherhood
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OK, class, pay attention. When did Father’s Day officially become a national day of recognition? Post Civil War? 1890’s? First World War era? Wrong to all of the above. Not until 1972 was the legislation signed officially by President Richard Nixon. I guess I’m not surprised. I don’t think Americans really value enough the critical role that fathering plays in youth development.   Here are a few stats to spoil your day: ·         71% of high-school dropouts have no dad at... Read More
Endowments
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Every business and individual in America has been hurt in some way by our sagging economy. People have lost jobs. Many who kept theirs lost pay raises or suffered benefit or salary cuts.   Unfortunately, thrifty savers got pounded. It gave me great pain to tell my teenagers that the money that they had carefully been saving for college was now worth 35% less. There was hardly any place to stash your money that wasn’t severely dented. Stocks, bonds, mutuals, real... Read More
Cussing
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Perhaps you’ve heard of Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill church in Seattle. A prolific author and speaker, he has a considerable national reputation. Some of his detractors, including equally famous Southern California pastor John McArthur,  recently ignited some hoo-ha when they criticized his occasionally salty pulpit language as inappropriate “cussing.” McArthur even called for Driscoll to step down as Mars Hill pastor.   Apparently Driscoll has been heard to say “Damn” not in its Biblical sense but in the more... Read More
Tiller
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Dr. George Tiller was reviled by pro-life advocates in America. He was one of only a very few doctors in America who would perform late-term abortions any more (i.e. after the 21st week). His clinic in Wichita functions only with heavy security. His most vocal critics mocked him as “Tiller the Killer.”   George Tiller was shot and killed on May 31 while serving as an usher in his church, Reformation Lutheran in Wichita. Kansas police have a man in custody,... Read More