Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kentucky Congregation Turns Former Bar into Church and Worship Center

Click to read full story from WLWT News 5


A local congregation that holds services at a motel and another church has decided to settle down and find a bar to worship in.

MISSION of God Church, which stands for "Mobilizing Ignited Selfless Servants In Obedience Now," is converting the former TJ's Sports Bar Café into a worship space after months of moving around.

Video: Go Inside Bar, Place Of Worship

The congregation had been holding services at Quality Inn in Florence and renting space at Open Door Church in Erlanger, but now they are clearing out the pool tables and barstools at the one-time Tanners Lane watering hole.

"The stripper's pole was over here, we had to take that down," said Pastor Wayne Guilliams. "A couple members did not want that to stay."

Two congregants who now counsel young people at the church recalled their own wild times at TJ's, before they found God.

"Lots of times you'd leave here and think, how did I make it home?" said Scott Lowe. "I mean, why am I not dead? I've lost a younger brother to a drunk driver and two weeks later my father-in-law the same way."

His longtime friend, Matt Morgan, described the path that led them away from the bar, to church – and then back again.

"Me and him both (realized), talking to one another, going, wow, you know, this can't be all there is, just wasting our lives in bars and doing stuff like that," Morgan said. "You know, where do we go? So here we are now turning the bar into a church."

The church still hasn't obtained all the necessary permits to turn the bar into a sanctuary, but they have a lease on the property.

"We're slowly building our finances up, too, but the Lord's providing," Guilliams said. "We're thankful for this."

While the location may be unusual, the building's past just might serve as a drawing card for potential congregants, the pastor's wife said.


JMC Ministries Response

This is just a prime example of taking a place that Satan used and make into a place that is now used to Worship our Lord and Savior and also Help the Community. Instead of Lives being destroyed in this place that people went to drink, party and drown their sorrows. Now can be used to help save lives and restore them.

We can only pray that more Christians stand up and start taking their communities back like this church is. One bar at a time.

Church Reinstates Gay Pastor

Click to Read Full Article From 11

ATLANTA -- St. John's Lutheran Church has been celebrating the reinstatement of its pastor, Bradley Schmeling -- who endured a struggle dating back to 2006.  That's when he told his congregation he was gay -- contrary to the laws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The church removed Schmeling from its roster of pastors in 2007.  It also removed Schmeling's partner, Darin Easler, another Lutheran pastor.  But church members like Barbara Arne stuck by Schmeling and his partner.

"I think we were always hopeful we would come to this day, where the ELCA would say 'we want to accept and include everyone who has been called to God's ministry," said Arne. 

Although the ELCA decided to remove pastor Schmeling in 2007, he never really went anywhere.  That's because the church congregation voted to keep him around, making him a pastor without portfolio for nearly three years.

"It was always surreal because on a day to day basis, my life in the ministry didn't change. But there were always people, not in this congregation but in the rest of the church, who didn't think of me as a pastor in the church," said Schmeling.

That doubt is now gone.  The Lutheran church not only reinstated Schmeling, it also reinstated Easler.

"It feels good to have them included." said Arne. "We also know there's a lot of pain for some people who may now feel the ELCA is not their church.  We're sensitive to that and want to support them and walk with them on this journey together."


JMC Ministries Response

How can a church say that it is ok and even support their pastor who is committing the sin of Homosexuality and also adultery by sleeping with a person that he is not married to?

Why are people today justifying what the bible calls sexual immorality as something that is ok and they even support in their own church?

The bible says you cannot serve two master for you will love the one and hate the other.  You can not be a leader of the church and commit sin openly.

It seem so many people today are being lead astray by the lies that Satan is feeding them and saying they can justify their sins and God will still love and not turn them away. 

The bible says that God cannot even look upon sin, that is why Jesus came and paid the ultimate price so we can have the chance to come to him and ask for forgiveness of our sins and past transgressions. Not so we can justify sin and say well Jesus loves everyone and knows we aren’t perfect. Yes in a since that is true but when you know what the scriptures say and know that it is a sin and that God says that it is an abomination and you still do not turn away from it you are still sinning and not one of God’s Children. No matter how many times you may say that Jesus still loves you and won’t turn you away.

No we can’t turn this pastor out and not be kind to him but there is a line that we have to draw when it come to those who are leaders in the church and are openly sinning and not asking forgiveness of it and turning away from the sin. We must pray for this man and the church that see that what they are allowing to go on in the church is not Godly and pray that their eyes be open to the truth before it is too late.

Iran Playing War Games In the Persian Gulf is Raising Fears of War

Click to read full article from Fox News

TEHRAN, Iran — In the second military show in less than a month, Iran will hold a new set of maneuvers in the strategic waters of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, Iranian media reported on Tuesday.
Iran regularly holds such military exercises but they are likely to heighten tensions, coming at a time of a deepening standoff between the West and Tehran over the country's controversial nuclear program.
"The massive maneuvers dubbed Velayat-89 will show (Iran's) defensive and deterrent naval power," Iranian Navy chief Adm. Habibollah Sayyari was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency. Submarine and air force units are also due to participate, he added.
Sayyari also confirmed a recent flyover by an Iranian surveillance jet and its close encounter with a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Iran "has the right to conduct routine surveillance flights," Fars quoted Sayyari as saying. He said the F-27 jet flew over the U.S. vessel and "despite their objection, we persisted on our right" to carry out the surveillance.
Sayyari did not elaborate on the time and location of the flyover.
But a U.S. military official said last week the U.S. Navy had a close encounter in international waters of the Gulf of Oman. The official said the jet buzzed the USS Eisenhower, coming within about 1,000 yards (meters) of the ship on April 21. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Iran's new war games are to start Wednesday, said IRNA. Fars said the exercise will last for eight days and cover a span of about 97,000 square miles (250,000 square kilometers) of Iranian territorial waters.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard held five-day maneuvers in late April in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz — the waterway for around 40 percent of the world's oil and gas supplies.
The exercises are intended to show off the country's military might and act as a warning, should U.S. or Israel consider a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. The West suspects Iran's nuclear programs is aimed at building an atomic bomb. Iran denies the charge, saying it's for peaceful purposes, such as power generation.

Tennessee Still Under Water after Historical Flooding

Click To read full article from Fox News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The dark waters of the Cumberland River slowly started to ebb Tuesday as residents who frantically fled the deadly flash floods returned home to find mud-caked floors and soggy furniture. Rescuers prayed they would not find more bodies as the floodwaters receded.
The river and its tributaries had flooded parts of middle Tennessee after a record-breaking weekend storm dumped more than a foot of rain in two days, rapidly spilling water into homes, roads and some of Music City's best-known attractions.
At least 28 people were killed in Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky by either floodwaters or tornadoes. Water submerged parts the Grand Ole Opry House, considered by many to be the heart of country music, and the nearby Opryland Hotel could be closed for up to six months.
The flash flooding caught many here by surprise, and efforts to warn residents to not drive on flooded streets were hampered by power outages. As the water began to recede, bodies were recovered late Monday from homes, a yard and a wooded area outside a Nashville supermarket.
By Tuesday, the flash floods were blamed in the deaths of 17 people in Tennessee alone, including nine in Nashville. Authorities initially said 10 people were killed by floods in Nashville, but on Tuesday, they said one of those people died of natural causes.

Hundreds of people had been rescued by boat and canoe from their flooded homes over the past few days. Those rescue operations were winding down in Nashville on Tuesday, though emergency management officials were checking a report of a house floating in a northern neighborhood, trying to determine if anyone was in it.
It remained unclear how many -- if any -- people were missing in Tennessee. Authorities in southcentral Kentucky searched Tuesday for a kayaker who was last seen Monday afternoon in the swollen Green River.
"Those in houses that have been flooded and some of those more remote areas, do we suspect we will find more people? Probably so," Nashville Deputy Fire Chief Kim Lawson said. "We certainly hope that it's not a large number."

Damage estimates range into the tens of millions of dollars. Gov. Phil Bredesen declared 52 of Tennessee's 95 counties disaster areas after finishing an aerial tour from Nashville to western Tennessee during which he saw flooding so extensive that treetops looked like islands. The flooding also prompted election officials to delay Nashville's local primary, which had been set for Tuesday.
The Cumberland topped out around 6 p.m. Monday at 51.9 feet, about 12 feet above flood stage -- the highest it's reached since 1937. It began to recede just in time to spare the city's only remaining water treatment plant.
The severity of the storms had caught everyone off guard. More than 13.5 inches of rainfall were recorded Saturday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, making for a new two-day record that doubled the previous mark.
The water swelled most of the area's lakes, minor rivers, creeks, streams and drainage systems far beyond capacity. It flowed with such force that bridges were washed out and thousands of homes were damaged. Much of that water then drained into the Cumberland, which snakes through Nashville.
The weekend storms also killed six people in Mississippi and four in Kentucky, including one man whose truck ran off the road and into a flooded creek. One person was killed by a tornado in western Tennessee.
About 30 National Guard troops assisted local authorities in southcentral Kentucky on Tuesday, where flooding washed out roads and bridges and shuttered post offices, schools and government buildings.
"It's serious out there still," said Mark Marraccini, spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. "These waters are very dangerous."