HOUSTON, TEXAS., October 28, 2014 — On Sunday, November 2, Family Research Council (FRC) will host a nationwide, live simulcast event from Grace Community Church in Houston, Texas. Called “I Stand Sunday,” the simulcast will reach into over 2,500 churches and home groups nationwide. “I Stand Sunday” will provide churches across the nation the opportunity to stand with the pastors and churches in Houston, Texas who have been targeted and harassed by the city’s Mayor because they publicly challenged her efforts to advance policies that are in direct conflict with biblical morality.
FRC President Tony Perkins will serve as host for the simulcast which will also feature former Governor Mike Huckabee, Duck Dynasty’s Phil and Al Robertson, the five Houston pastors who have been targeted by the Mayor’s subpoenas, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, who serves as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, along with many other national and local Christian leaders.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments regarding the Mayor’s announcement today and Sunday’s “I Stand Sunday” simulcast:
“Standing together across the nation, Christians have sent a strong message to Mayor Parker. While we are encouraged by this evidence that the Mayor is responding to pressure and withdrawing her unconstitutional subpoenas, this is about far more than subpoenas. As we have stated since the beginning of this intrusion into the private affairs of Houston churches; this is not about subpoenas, this is not about sermons, it is not even about biblical teaching on sexual immorality, it is about political intimidation and the bullying by Mayor Parker that continues.
“Despite the fact that the citizens of Houston gathered over 50,000 signed petitions in 30 days, which is 30,000 more than required by the city charter, the Mayor has refused to allow the people of Houston to vote on her unfair special rights ordinance that discriminates against religious freedom within the city and endangers citizens by declaring that public bathrooms can no longer be limited on the basis of a person’s actual biological sex.
“The citizens of Houston have a right to vote, and Mayor Parker has denied them that right. America must see the totalitarianism that accompanies the redefinition of marriage and human sexuality, which results in citizens being denied their most fundamental rights.
“This Sunday night, thousands of Christians from across the nation will join ‘I Stand Sunday’ to support the pastors and Christians in Houston, Texas and their fundamental rights of religious freedom, freedom of speech and the right to petition their government,” concluded Perkins
Prior to the simulcast, FRC President Tony Perkins, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Pastor Steve Riggle, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, and local church leaders will hold a 4:00 p.m. CT news conference at Grace Community Church where they will offer a preview of the event.
Former Governor Mike Huckabee
Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty
Alan Robertson, Duck Dynasty
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
Steve Riggle, Founding Senior Pastor, Grace Community Church, Houston, TX
Khanh Huynh, Senior Pastor, Vietnamese Baptist Church, Houston, TX
Dave Welch, Executive Director, Houston Pastors Council
Hernan Castano, Pastor, Iglesia Rios de Aceite, Houston, TX
Magda Hermida, Founder, Magda Hermida Ministries, Houston, TX
Willie Davis, Senior Pastor, MacGregor Palm Community Baptist Church in Houston, TX
Dr. Ed Young, Pastor, Second Baptist Church Houston, TX
Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President, Southern Baptist Convention
Todd Starnes, Host, Fox News and Commentary; Contributor, FOX & Friends; Author
Dr. Rick Scarborough, Founder and President, Vision America
David and Jason Benham, Benham Brothers Companies
Erik Stanley, Director of the Church Project and Pulpit Initiative, Alliance Defending Freedom
WHAT: News conference and simulcast event: “I Stand Sunday”
WHERE: Grace Community Church
14505 Gulf Freeway Houston, TX 77034
WHEN: Sunday, November 2, 2014
News Conference: 4:00 p.m. CT
Simulcast: 6:00 p.m. CT
NAGUABO, Puerto Rico, Oct. 28, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Crossroad Bible Institute (CBI) is thrilled to announce the launch of a new satellite campus in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (USA). This fast-growing campus has already enrolled ninety-two students and trained over forty Instructors under the direction of long-time prison chaplain Madeline Garcia.
CBI has served Puerto Rican students for many years, due largely to Garcia’s efforts to personally distribute and collect lessons throughout the island’s prisons. However, without indigenous support, these lessons had to be processed through CBI headquarters in the United States, which nearly doubled lesson turnaround rates. Garcia eventually realized that establishing a self-sufficient satellite campus would be the best solution to streamline lesson processing.
“When Madeline approached us about starting this campus, we were excited to see how this move could help grow the ministry,” said Sandra Chang Raak, CBI’s international coordinator. “We believe training local Instructors is the best way to empower Puerto Rican church leaders in the area of prison ministry.”
Statistics suggest that there is a great need for the long-term discipling of prisoners in Puerto Rico. The territory has an incarceration rate of about 332 per 100,000 people and cocaine trafficking has nearly quadrupled in the last seven years, leaving a devastating trail of corruption, violence and addiction in its wake.
Garcia has worked passionately for many years to address these problems and bring rehabilitative programs to Puerto Rico’s prison population. CBI Puerto Rico will serve as a key piece in this mission, specifically at the two rehabilitation centers Garcia founded for newly released prisoners. Garcia is already incorporating CBI’s discipleship program into each person’s treatment plan and facilitating weekly sessions in which students can complete lessons together in a classroom setting.
“CBI Puerto Rico truly embodies the vision for holistic healing that lies at Crossroad’s core,” remarked CBI president Dr. David Schuringa. “Our growing international program—with twenty established and seven emerging campuses—reminds us that the need for long-term discipleship and reentry support in America is also present in prisons all around the world.”
CBI is a nonprofit prison ministry with 45,000 active students studying through satellite campuses on six continents. The program is provided at no cost to prisoners and their families. Visit www.cbi.tv for more information.
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield
Short of salvation itself perhaps the greatest gift God ever gave us was each other. The reason I say this is because God put us all here so we could serve each other. Not serve in the sense of being slaves to each other, but rather to reinforce and empower each other. We are all interconnected and for very good reasons. Look at what the Bible says about our connectedness “so that there won’t be divisions in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. You are the body of Christ and parts of each other.” 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 (CEB) Notice what it says about how we are to suffer together, and celebrate together. We are not meant to be separate but part of one mutually supporting whole.
Not not any one of us can solve every problem for every person. This is why there is more than a few of us. So that each of us will have the help we need at hand when we need it. Of course we sometimes are blind to the help that is right at our fingertips ! God often makes provision for our needs through the people around us.
What is interesting is we are being called to selflessness, but in many ways service is as much about us as it is about those we serve. Service to others can bring about a great feeling of happiness, and satisfaction ! Albert Schweitzer certainly knew about service. He served others as both a physician and a minister. He had this to say on the topic of service, and happiness “ I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” I find it interesting that he makes a point of saying your destiny does not change the fact that true happiness comes only from serving others.
Serving others is our way of bringing God’s love into the daily lives of those around us. Now I’m not saying you have to be a medical missionary to Africa like Dr. Schweitzer. For many of us God looks only for us to serve our families, and those immediately around us. Some are called to greater things, some to smaller, but they are all equally important ! We are all uniquely suited to the service God has called us to. Look to what people God has placed in your lives. Look to the talents he has made you a master at. These are your clues to when, where, and how God has chosen you to serve.
Service is not a once or twice a lifetime thing. It should be an ongoing part of our lives as Christians and who we are. Ponder what Charles Wesley had to say about the importance of service and its role in our lives, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. “ So promise God and yourself from this day forward to make service a part of all that you do.
BURLINGTON, Vt., Oct. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF) began deliberations today in Burlington, Vermont in advance of issuing a report to President Obama and Congress on a national strategy to eliminate child abuse and neglect fatalities. The meeting took place one day after the Commission heard from local, state and tribal stakeholders from the Burlington, Vermont region.
The Commissioners met as a body for the first time to begin deliberating on key questions related to how federal, state, and local governments define and count child abuse fatalities. Some of the key questions they reviewed include:
- What are the purposes of counting child abuse and neglect fatalities?
- What data on child abuse and neglect fatalities are currently collected?
- What are the limitations and economic impact of our current data collection efforts?
- What strategies could be implemented to improve the counting of child abuse and neglect fatalities?
- Does defining child abuse and neglect fatalities need to be standardized?
According to Dr. David Sanders, Chairman of the Commission, “We are beginning our deliberation process with a focus on counting, because we all agree that we cannot solve a problem this complex until we agree it exists. And that begins by defining exactly what constitutes a child abuse or neglect fatality. When we understand how these deaths occur, we can develop more effective strategies to prevent them. It is not enough to agree that a death occurred. Information about the circumstances around that death shows us which risk factors were present. These risk factors can then be used, in conjunction with real-time data, to identify other children who are at increased risk of harm — and to prevent future deaths by offering timely services to their families or moving the children to a safe environment.
Commissioner Teri Covington summarized the data that the Commission has received to date on how to quantify child abuse and neglect fatalities. “It is estimated that the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), which defines cases of child abuse and neglect based on state-specific statutes, currently undercounts the number of fatalities by as much as fifty percent, according to numerous studies,” she noted. “There is little consistency in which fatalities are being counted, which affects both the validity and reliability of the current system. Our challenge is to identify ways not just to more accurately count fatalities, but to verify data through multiple sources and a multi-disciplinary approach that is standardized across states and localities.”
The Commission discussed the contention that while most instances of “physical abuse” were readily identifiable, it was the category of “neglect” deaths that was more difficult to define and classify. They also discussed the recommendation suggested by many experts and stakeholders who presented to the Commission that the development of uniform, operational definitions for child maltreatment fatalities based on a public health model would be an important step to more accurately counting those deaths. They concluded their initial day of deliberations with a focus on the issue of confidentiality and the challenges it presents to a more cohesive system of data sharing.
CECANF was established by Public Law 112-275 (112th Congress), the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012, and has spent the past six months gathering detailed information and insight related to federal policy, research, and practice associated with child abuse and neglect fatalities. To date, the Commission has hosted public meetings in San Antonio, TX; Tampa, FL; Detroit, MI; and Denver, CO. One more public meeting is planned for 2014, to take place in Burlington, VT on October 23-24, 2014.
The commission is charged with the study of:
- The use and effectiveness of federally funded child protective and child welfare services
- Best practices for and barriers to preventing child abuse and neglect fatalities
- The effectiveness of federal, state, and local data collection systems, and how to improve them
- Risk factors for child maltreatment
- How to prioritize prevention services for families with the greatest needs
The legislation mandates that the commission submit a report to the president and Congress on these issues within two years (with the potential to extend the deadline by an additional year). The report will detail specific recommendations for strategies to better track and eliminate child abuse and neglect fatalities.
About The Commission
The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities is a federal agency established by legislation to study and make recommendations on eliminating child abuse and neglect fatalities. The Commission was formed as a result of the “Protect Our Kids Act” and is made up of six Presidential appointees and six Congressional appointees. For more information, please go to http://eliminatechildabusefatalities.sites.usa.gov.
SOURCE Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities
THIS ARTICLE PROVIDES SOME INTERESTING INSIGHTS ON ISLAMIC THOUGHT GOING INTO NEXT MONTH’S ELECTIONS. NOTE THAT THE STATES POLLED ARE SIX OF OUR LARGEST ! -PASTOR CRUTCHFIELD
WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released the results of a survey indicating that 69 percent of registered Muslim voters will go to the polls on November 4 and that more than half will vote for Democratic Party candidates. Domestic issues like the economy and health care continue to top the Muslim voters’ list of priority concerns in this election. Growing Islamophobia in American ranked as the third most important issue for Muslim voters. CAIR’s poll of more than 1500 registered Muslim voters in California, New York, Illinois, Florida, Texas, and Virginia was conducted using an independent automated call survey provider and asked three questions:
- “Do you plan to vote in the November 4th midterm election?”
- “Which political party do you support in the upcoming election?”
- “What is the most important issue to you in this upcoming election?”
Survey Results: Do you plan to vote in the November 4th midterm election? Plan to Vote 69% No Plan to Vote 16% Decline to Answer 14% Which political party do you support in the upcoming election? Democrat 51% Republican 15% Libertarian 2% Green 5% Other 4% Decline to Answer 23% What is the most important issue to you in this upcoming election? Education 7% Civil Liberties 10% Islamophobia 15% Health Care 17% Economy 24% Foreign Affairs 5% Other 5% Decline to Answer 16% “American Muslims continue to play a key role in our nation’s elections, with 69 percent of registered Muslim voters planning to turn out in the midterm election – compared to the 37 percent of all voters who went to the polls in 2010,” said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw. “The more than half of Muslim voters who express support for Democratic candidates reflects that party’s greater openness to the Muslim community and its issues.” McCaw said Republican candidates and officials should take note of this data. CAIR will release survey results for each state beginning tomorrow. CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
I was checking headlines, and emails getting ready for this morning’s service when I saw a picture of the cruise ship which departs from Galveston about 50 miles from here. My first thought was “what an ugly ship !” Its outward appearance didn’t appeal to me at all. It was kind of disappointing because I love boats, and ships and such.
My second thought was ” I bet its absolutely beautiful on the inside.” The ship’s designers were likely thinking more about capacity, than beauty. It was then that I was reminded that too often we do the same with people. If we cannot look past outward appearance, we will miss many, many people who are absolutely beautiful on the inside. The loss would be ours, not theirs. Think about it, would you rather marry someone drop dead gorgeous that treated you like garbage, or someone plainer who treated you like a king or queen ? Outer beauty fades, inner beauty can sustain you for a lifetime ! How many people who could help us have a happier, more prosperous life are we missing out of through this mistake ?Even worse, how many times EVERY day are we doing this ?
We must not forget, we are all made in God’s image. Maybe the person you are looking at had a rough night, or a rough life. Either way they could have more to teach us than we realize ! Maybe their designer (God) had other things on his mind than how “cute” he could make them.
In our world we place a lot of emphasis on making a good first impression, and we intend to expect the same from others. As Christians we stand to loose out on a lot if we fall into that trap !
Message of the Synod Assembly on the pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation
Twitter Blocks New Faith Driven Consumer Campaign Supporting Subpoenaed Houston Pastors Minutes After Launch
After famously blocking Faith Driven Consumer’s #IStandWithPhil campaign earlier this year, Twitter is back at it again – blocking the group’s new petition drive #HoustonWeHaveAProblem at HoustonProblem.com minutes after launch this afternoon
RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 15, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Faith Driven Consumer™, the group that emerged on the national stage last year with its #IStandWithPhil campaign that played a leading role in Phil Robertson’s return to Duck Dynasty, continues to serve as an advocate for more than 41 million consumers who spend $2 trillion annually.
Today, the group launched a major petition campaign,#HoustonWeHaveAProblem, using the website HoustonProblem.com – demanding that the City of Houston immediately “cease and desist all bullying and other offensive actions” against a group of pastors who are victims of an aggressive harassment effort at the hands of the city government. The city is demanding that a group of pastors turn over any sermons – including personal correspondence such as emails – “dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor” as reported by Fox News.
Minutes after its launch, Twitter blocked the campaign—meaning that supporters cannot Tweet the petition.
“There is a deeply troubling pattern of censorship with social media companies when people of faith speak out. From Kirk Cameron, to Mike Huckabee, to our own #iStandWithPhil campaign earlier this year, faith voices have curiously been blocked during critical times as they seek to be heard. We are asking Twitter to immediately unblock thousands of people who have already flocked to our petition and want to spread the word from coast to coast,” said Chris Stone, Founder of Faith Driven Consumer.
Faith Driven Consumer’s new #HoustonWeHaveAProblem petition campaign reminds everyone that “pastors have been at the very center of American society since even before our founding as a nation, and they remain an integral part of the lives of untold of millions of Americans today,” that “our First Amendment protects freedom of speech and religion” and that “we…live in a society that values equality, including the notion that everyone has the right to publicly express deeply held beliefs without fear of persecution or reprisal.” Signers at HoustonProblem.com desire that “the City of Houston, in their quest to provide protection for LGBT citizens, to equally and explicitly acknowledge and ensure the equal rights of people of faith to live and express openly their deeply held religious beliefs.”
Read the full petition at HoustonProblem.com.
About Faith Driven Consumer
Faith Driven Consumer™ leads a movement of more than 41 million Americans, 17% of the adult population, who spend $2 trillion dollars annually. The group educates, equips and motivates Faith Driven Consumers to action in the marketplace of goods, services and ideas—offering resources for making more faith-conscious decisions, including reviews of companies and entertainment products. Recognized for its #IStandWithPhil, #OpenZilla, #FlipThisDecision, #IStandwithHobbyLobby and #NoahMovie campaigns, the organization continues to serve as an advocate for people whose faith informs their daily decisions in the marketplace. For more information go to: www.faithdrivenconsumer.com.