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Poll: Fewer blame God for earthquakes, floods and other disasters

March 31, 2011 --

New Survey: Few Americans see earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters a sign from God
By Public Religion Research Institute

WASHINGTON, DC—Most Americans believe in a personal God who is in control of everything that happens in the world, but a new national poll finds few believe that God sometimes punishes nations for the sins of some of its citizens or that earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters are a sign from God.

The new PRRI/RNS Religion News Survey was conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service following the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  “Americans have more natural than supernatural views of disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. “Americans overall resist drawing a straight line from theological beliefs about a personal God to God’s direct role or judgment in particular natural disasters.”

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Heaven expert speaks on Rob Bell hell controversy

March 30, 2011 --

By Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministries
Sandy Oregon

There has been a lot of online response to Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins. The controversy began with this video, which I’ve posted here so you can hear Pastor Bell’s own words:

I think the doctrine of hell may be the single biggest test of whether the Bible is our authority, or we and our culture are our own authority.

Of course, we can always say the Bible is our authority while reinterpreting its plain, straightforward meaning into something that we believe or want to believe. But if we do this, no matter what we say, it is not the Bible we are believing—it is ourselves. It’s what we want to believe and/or what our culture believes.

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Fighting human trafficking. How it began

March 29, 2011 --

Local Perspective: Anti-Trafficking Organization Compassion First Turns Numbers Into Names.
By Courtney Brown,
Oregon writer

Mike Mercer came home one night to his wife Kymra watching Oprah. The episode was about human trafficking. “I think you’re supposed to do something about this,” she said. After that, the former pastor in charge of missions at Beaverton Foursquare Church in Beaverton, Oregon, had what he calls, “an increase of compassion;” his eyes were now open and he was motivated.

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Resolutions address the free expression clause of the Oregon Constitution

March 28, 2011 --

Georgene Rice interviews Representative Andy Olson, a sponsor of SJR28. The Resolution would amend the Constitution to allow local governments to exclude zoning regulations from the “free expression” clause when businesses or organizations offer services by a person in the “state of undress”. Local governments can define what nudity is, and gives them the right to zone where those kinds of facilities will be located.

Georgene: Why is this type of legislation necessary?

Andy: One of the key issues we need to focus on is that it makes sense not to allow nude dancing establishments to be co-located near a residential area or a school.

Georgene: There have been prior efforts to require that type of zoning and it has gone down in defeat. This would permit cities and counties to determine, for example, a safe distance between a school and a nude dancing establishment, or other establishment that they would define as inappropriate.

Andy: That is correct. I look at it as the “do not’s”, what SJR 28 does not do. It does not affect businesses offering books or other printed material or businesses offering movies. It applies only to services performed in person. It does not permit government to ban nude dancing or restrict nude dancing. It only allows them to establish rules where those businesses can operate.

Georgene: This requires an amendment to Oregon’s Constitution, which will ultimately require a vote of the people. What specifically are we changing?

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Palau draws 110,000 in Arizona

March 27, 2011 --

Luis Palau Festival Draws 110,000+ to Valley of the Sun
Luis Palau Association,

PHOENIX/TEMPE, Ariz., March 23, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — The skies of the Valley of the Sun were filled with flying motorcycles, live music, and words of hope through faith in Jesus Christ on March 19 & 20 at Arizona CityFest with Luis Palau. The free, family-friendly festival drew an estimated 110,000+ over two days to Tempe Town Lake.”This was an unforgettable campaign,” said world evangelist and author Luis Palau. “More than 550 churches, dozens of businesses and thousands of volunteers worked tirelessly to make this happen.”

CityFest and the surrounding Season of Service initiative were endorsed by nine Valley mayors, with business leader Jerry Colangelo and NFL superstar Kurt Warner serving as honorary co-chairs.

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Family-Faith Film Review: Wimpy Kid Diary- Rodrick Rules

March 25, 2011 --

Family-Faith Film Review: Diary Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
By Catholic Office of Film and Broadcasting

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules: Gently humorous, and more family-friendly, sequel about the tensions between a hapless seventh grader (Zachary Gordon) and his teenage older brother (Devon Bostick). When their advice columnist mother (Rachael Harris) tries to get these constantly quarreling siblings to bond, big bro goes from bullying persecutor to mildly bad influence, leading to some good-natured high jinks that eventually involve the younger lad’s best friend (Robert Capron). Director David Bowers’ follow-up to the 2010 comedy “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” — adapted, like its predecessor, from one of Jeff Kinney’s best-selling cartoon novels — sends its protagonist through another series of embarrassing situations and useful learning moments, during which he picks up lessons about honesty and self-confidence. This time, though, the only possible red flag for parents is raised by a few instances of childish scatological humor, one of which can be seen as vaguely irreverent. A-I — general patronage. (PG) 2011

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Humane Society honors Christianity Today

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Christianity Today Honored at The Humane Society of the United States’ 25th Anniversary Genesis Awards
– First William Wilberforce Award given for magazine feature on factory-farming issues

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—The Humane Society of the United States is proud to announce that Christianity Today won the first Genesis Outstanding Written Word Award dedicated to journalistic excellence on animal protection issues in faith-based publications. The award was given during the 25th Anniversary Genesis Awards weekend celebration.

Christianity Today’s November 2010 cover story, “A Feast Fit for the King,” by Leslie Leyland Fields, won the Genesis Award in the Outstanding Written Word—William Wilberforce Award category.

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They call him the American Pope

March 24, 2011 --

60 Minutes ran a very intriguing interview with Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York. Timothy Dolan is being described as the “American Pope” and the new face Catholicism. Those are big words, yet after viewing this interview you will see that Timothy Dolan has become a powerful communicator for the Catholic faith.

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Youth pastor crime week in the NW

March 23, 2011 --

In the past few days a few youth pastor crime stories have made the headlines. In Albany a 24-year old youth pastor has been indicted for sending sexually explicit text messages a minor. The minor was a 14-year old member of the youth group. Read more about the Albany youth pastor here. Also, recently in the news was the charging of a Vancouver youth pastor for sexually abusing two minors under his care. Hopefully other churches can investigate these stories and learn from them for future prevention efforts.

Please note: The video gets somewhat graphical in the sex abuse.

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Gresham missionary in Japan retells disaster

March 22, 2011 --

East Hill Church Blog
East Hill is located in Gresham, Oregon

The terrible earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear power plant dangers in Japan during the last week have been devastating for that country…  East Hill has a long-term missionary living in the Tokyo area. Pray for Andy Meeko and his family as they minister to the mental and spiritual wellbeing of volunteer relief workers.Andy has been updating people via his Facebook page, and in case you’re not friends with him, you can read those updates here, in order.

Friday, March 11, 12:28 a.m. (Oregon time), shortly after the quake
We are fine after some serious shaking. No damage. Kids stranded at school. Trains down. Cell phones down. Roads jammed but driveable. We are thankful to have power (we went solar) 4.5 million Tokyo homes without power.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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