Friday, September 13, 2013

All Around the Web - September 13, 2013

Fox News - Todd's American Dispatch: Feds forced churches to get baptism permits | It seems like everyday there is a new attack on religious liberty.

But now the long-cherished tradition of “taking the plunge” has been drawn into a controversy with the federal government.

The National Park Service began enforcing a policy recently that required churches to obtain special use permits in order to baptize in public waters. As part of the same permit process, the NPS also mandated that churches give the Park Service 48 hours advance notice of pending baptisms.

But as any Baptist or Pentecostal in good standing knows – that’s a problem.

“If the Holy Spirit is working on Sunday morning, you’re going to baptize Sunday afternoon,” Dennis Purcell told The Salem News. “You may not know ahead of time.”

Many Christians believe that the Bible commands new followers of Christ to be baptized immediately after their conversion. It’s a public expression and celebration of their new-found faith in Christ
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My Way - Justice Ginsburg to officiate at same-sex wedding

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will officiate at a same-sex wedding this weekend in what is believed to be a first for a member of the nation's highest court.

Ginsburg will officiate Saturday at the marriage of Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and John Roberts, a government economist.

"Michael Kaiser is a friend and someone I much admire," Ginsburg said in a written statement Friday. "That is why I am officiating at his wedding."

The private ceremony will take place at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a national memorial to President John F. Kennedy. The 80-year-old Ginsburg, an opera lover, is a frequent guest at the center
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Thom Rainer - Eight Areas Where Many Ministers Are Unprepared for Ministry
  1. Relational intelligence. I wish every minister could somehow take some type of relational intelligence inventory. I wish they could be coached on how to relate to all types of people. Many ministers crash because they have never learned how to relate well to others.
  2. Leadership skills. A minister who leads a church of 100 members is leading a relatively large organization, more than many in the secular world will ever lead. In addition, the minister is leading a large number of volunteers. Leadership is tough in any setting, but particularly this one.
  3. Dealing with critics. There is an obvious overlap with this issue and the previous two. One of the most unsettling times of a minister’s ministry is the discovery that some people don’t like him or agree with him. Some ministers never learn to deal well with critics.
  4. Family matters. The unprepared minister often lives a life of trying to please everyone. Those who often get left out of this effort are spouses and children. Many ministers fail because they failed their families.
  5. Finances. A minister is often thrust into an organization where there is an expectation of knowledge of budgets, balance sheets, and banking. Too many ministers are unprepared in both church finance and personal finance.
  6. Consumer mentality. Countless ministers have told me they entered local church ministry expecting to find members who were sacrificial and others-centered. Instead they found members who were selfish and me-centered. Ministers are too often unprepared for this congregational mindset.
  7. Uneven expectations. I recently wrote a post on how many hours a minister was expected to work each week. It created a lot of buzz, because too many ministers don’t know how to deal with these various expectations from church members.
  8. Uneven spiritual growth. I encourage you to read Sam Rainer’s article on messy churches. He reminds us that it is really positive if we have some level of immature believers in our congregations. That is an indication that we are reaching new people for Christ. Of course, we don’t want baby Christians to remain babies, but we do pray for a regular inflow of new Christians. Immature believers present their own unique challenges where many ministers are unprepared.


The Blaze - Obama’s Approval Rating Drops to Its Lowest Point

President Barack Obama’s approval rating has plummeted to its lowest point ever recorded, according to a new NBC News poll.

The president’s overall approval rating was tallied at just 44 percent. Obama’s approval rating matched that in 2011 following a debt ceiling battle with Congress, but it has never been recorded lower
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Christian Post - Interview: Duck Dynasty's Si Robertson on Life, Marriage Proposals, and His Unwavering Belief in The Creator

Silas Merritt Robertson, who's best known as "Uncle Si" on A&E's most watched reality television show "Duck Dynasty" spoke with The Christian Post about his new book, Si-Cology 1: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty's Favorite Uncle that will be available on Sept. 3.

Even though Si appears to be someone who could never run out of anecdotal stories – regardless of how exaggerated they might be – he told CP that he didn't want to write a book about his life, because he felt that with having served in the military for 25 years, he hadn't created enough memories with his family to share with his fans.

"I was in the military, so I told my wife that I was never there for the kids when they were growing up. And she said, 'oh yeah you were. Let me go get a photo album.' And she was showing me dressed as a bunny rabbit, rooster, and Santa Claus during Christmas time. Personally, I didn't feel that I was there enough," Si commented.

But with pressure mounting against him, Si finally relented and agreed to write a book about his life.


Justin Taylor - Passing on an NFL Dream to Go to Seminary

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