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Missionary in a Muslim land — a reflection

September 30, 2011 --

By Colum Cille
The Institute for the Theology of Culture:
New Wine, New Wineskins
Oregon ministry

In a few weeks I will be flying overseas and beginning a new season of life. This new season will bring with it many challenges: learning a new language, performing a job that I’m not exactly ready for, and the predictably unpredictable minefield that is adapting to a new culture. New surrounding religion, new social mores, new foods, new holidays, new customs – even giving “the finger,” if I was so inclined, would require different fingers than which I am accustomed.

In addition, the country is predominantly Muslim (in order to protect my identity I will be referring to the country as Dunya in this blog, the Turkish-Persian-Arabic word for “world”). As someone who follows Christ, it has felt awkward telling others this part. “Muslims don’t like Americans,” or so I’ve been told by countless, well-meaning people (enough times that I have to wonder whether that’s Americanese for “Americans don’t like Muslims”). Or, from the more churchly, “God bless you, they really need Jesus.” And we don’t?

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Courageous becomes first faith blockbuster series

September 29, 2011 --

Courageous becoming first faith blockbuster series
Guest Opinion

Sherwood Film’s Courageous opens in theaters this weekend to a near blockbuster proportions. Unliek otehr Christian films this one comes with its own high level red carpet party, it’s own T-shirt line of clothing, and Bible study guide. Courageous is among the first and few blockbuster series because it is riding high from previous success from the same acting and film company. The previous film, Fireproof, grossed more than $30 million and made more money than any other film that was shown on less than 1000 screens. The following is huge, the films are seriously devoted in subject and this weekend will determine their success of their next debut.

more video below.

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More reasons against Pat Robertson's Alzhiemer-Divorce comment

September 28, 2011 --

More on Robertson versus Robertson and Why We Should Speak Up
By Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministry, Sandy Oregon
EPM Blob

Robert and Muriel McQuilkinIn last Friday’s post, I contrasted Robertson McQuilkin’s dedication to care for his wife Muriel, stricken with Alzheimer’s, to Pat Robertson’s cruel answer to a question regarding a man having an affair that if he’s going to do anything, he should divorce his wife who has Alzheimer’s. When asked by his co-host about marriage vows till death do us part, Pat Robertson said that essentially, since she already had Alzheimer’s, the wife was already dead.

I remember listening years ago to McQuilkin’s announcement of his retirement from being president of Columbia Bible College, to care for his wife. Here’s the audio with some pictures. I find it very touching and Christ-honoring, and it is a refreshing contrast to the ugliness reflected in Pat Robertson’s statement.

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Oregonian on No Fly List makes national headlines

September 27, 2011 --

Oregon Faith News Note

A local Oregonian has made national news for being on the no fly list.  Michael Migliore just wanted to go to Italy. But the FBI wouldn’t let him. He was acquainted with Mohamed Mohamud, the man who tried to bomb the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland last year. In the investigation of Mohamud, Migliore proved uncooperative. So the FBI put him on the no-fly list.

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Arizona's Abortion Consent Act upheld

September 26, 2011 --

Georgene Rice interviews Deborah Sheasby, legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, regarding a recent decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals.  The court found Arizona’s Abortion Consent Act constitutional and lifted a judge’s order that had stalled its implementation after Planned Parenthood filed suit.  ADF had joined with others in appealing the judge’s order that tied up the new law which was passed to protect the health and safety of pregnant women and their preborn babies.

Georgene: First, tell us what the bill attempted to do and Planned Parenthood challenged.

Deborah: It was a very common sense bill with four main provisions. First, making sure that woman who are considering abortion are given full and accurate information, have an opportunity to have an in-person consultation with a physician, and then are given at least 24 hours to consider that information.  It was consistent with the consultations that take place with any medical procedure you may have.

The second deals with parental consent. Arizona already has a statute requiring parental consent for a minor having an abortion, but there was no safeguard to assure that the parent’s signature wasn’t forged. This Act requires that signature be notarized to be sure that it was not falsified in any way. Third was for the patient’s safety to be sure that nondoctors would not be performing surgical abortions.

The final provision was for protecting the right of conscience—the religious freedom of health care professionals—so they don’t have to choose between their jobs and doing something they feel is morally wrong or against their religious beliefs.

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Nun helping immigrants wins national award

September 25, 2011 --

California Sister Assisting Immigrants is Named Winner of National Lumen Christi Award
– Sister Gabriella Williams, O.P. and Diocese of San Bernardino to Receive Two $25,000 Grants from Catholic Extension for their Ministries

CHICAGO—Catholic Extension today announced that Sister Gabriella Williams, O.P. of the Diocese of San Bernardino, Calif., has been named the winner of the 34th Annual Lumen Christi (“Light of Christ”) Award. The Lumen Christi Award was established by Catholic Extension to highlight an outstanding individual who has shown a special dedication to serving people in his or her under-resourced diocese.

A special Mass and award reception will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Indio, Calif. The Mass, with Bishop Gerald R. Barnes presiding, will begin at 5:30 p.m. PDT. Mass will be concelebrated by Catholic Extension President Father Jack Wall. A reception will follow, in which Fr. Wall will present Sr. Gabi with the Lumen Christi Award. All are welcome to attend.

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God and the Common Good debate

September 24, 2011 --

by Stephen Schneider
Grace Memorial Episcopal Church
Portland, Oregon

I am now reading a powerful book by Yale professor Miroslav Volf with the inviting title, A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good. This term, “the Common Good,” is finding its way into the vocabulary of many of us. It becomes a way of talking in language that unites those of many different persuasions and traditions into a sense of shared purpose.

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Petition to legalize marijuana in Bend gathers signatures

September 23, 2011 --

Petition to legalize marijuana in Bend gathers signatures
Oregon Faith News Note:

KTVZ reports, a former Bend city council candidate, Ron Boozell, is starting a city wide petition in Bend to legalize marijuana and possession in the city. The Measure prevents the City from using its resource to “to restrict or punish, in any manner, any person in Bend or resident of Bend, adult or child, for possession or transporting cannabis, also known as marijuana and hemp, in any form or quantity.”

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37 Islamic centers & mosques facing community resistance

September 22, 2011 --

Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Excerpts from Press Release.

This map shows the locations of 37 proposed mosques and Islamic centers that have encountered community resistance in the last three years…. In many cases, the opposition has centered on neighbors’ concerns about traffic, noise, parking and property values – the same objections that often greet churches and other houses of worship as well as commercial construction projects. In some communities, however, opponents of mosques also have cited fears about Islam, sharia law and terrorism.

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Playboy Club flops on TV: Parents Council cheers

September 21, 2011 --

Playboy Club flops on TV: Parents Council cheers
Guest Opinion,

The pilot episode for NBC’s risk taking Playboy Club proved to be a ratings disaster. After a huge advertising campaign it brought in only 5 million viewers in a critical September roll-out. The pilot ratings are comparable to other soon cancelled shows like “Chase” and “Crusoe”.   Critics are now citing Playboy Club as a one season show. New York Magazine said, “It’s unlikely The Playboy Club will ever make it out of the sixties.”

The Parents Television Council has been protesting this series from the beginning. Upon release the PTC even encouraged a boycott of their advertisers which included Chrysler, P.F. Chang’s and Home Menu. PTC even suggested making one’s comments personal with advertisers by making a visit into a Chrysler dealership to complain. One NBC station in Utah station did refuse to air the show.  PTC President Tim Winter said, “The ratings for ‘The Playboy Club’ speak for themselves. Clearly, Americans aren’t interested in tuning in to a show that amounts to little more than a chauvinistic advertisement for the Playboy brand. Advertisers should take a cue from viewers and find something else to support”.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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