Saturday, February 25, 2012

Denver church becomes a total blessing for homeless women Read more: Denver church becomes a total blessing for homeless women - The Denver Post

New Jerusalem Baptist Church, the first and only Denver church to shelter homeless women every night during the cold winter months, has inspired its Curtis Park neighbors. "What little they have, they are going to share it," said neighbor Sue Glassmacher. "It's an incredible lesson for us all."

The tiny 38-year-old church, which started taking in homeless women a few months ago, has always lived hand-to-mouth.

"We don't have any money," said the Rev. Calvin Kelly. "Any dime that comes into the church goes back out into the community."

High School Students Protest SyntheticDrugs-Ultimate Smoke Shop Gets Closed Down

11 Connects learned earlier today the business at the focus of a student protest Thursday evening will soon close its doors at its Bobby Hicks Highway location in Gray. UPDATE: We learned that the store will definitely close today.

The reason for the student protest: they want lawmakers to enact a ban on synthetic drugs.

According to Scott Buckingham, one of the owners of the shopping center where the store was located, the student protests led to the owner's decision.

"Yesterday afternoon, the young adults taking a stand helped make his (Ultimate Smoke's) decision to move out," said Buckingham.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

NBA's Jeremy Lin 'called to be a Christian ... to be different'

NEW YORK (BP) -- A lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan, Daniel Chan faced a dilemma on Feb. 10 with his team playing the hated New York Knicks and their sudden star Jeremy Lin.

Photo by Dave Saffran/MSG Photos
"Some people had asked me before the game who I'd be cheering for -- Jeremy or the Lakers," said Chan, pastor of student ministries at Redeemer Bible Fellowship in Mountain View, Calif. "I've never cheered against the Lakers. But Jeremy is a member of our church and a friend, part of our flock --– I had to root for him. It was hard, but...."

Lin has gone from unemployed NBA wannabe to household name and worldwide superstar in only a matter of days. His unexpected emergence as the starting point guard for the Knicks has sparked the struggling team and launched the "Linsanity" that has gripped both the city of New York and the broader sports world.

Lin's is a story of perseverance and persistence, of hard work and humility. But most of all, Lin's is a story of strong faith in Jesus Christ, of devotion to Bible study and prayer and of commitment to spreading the Gospel whenever he gets the opportunity.

"I'm just thankful to God for everything," Lin said in a recent post-game interview, as quoted by Religion News Service. "Like the Bible says, 'God works in all things for the good of those who love Him.'"

How good has Lin been since cracking the Knicks' lineup? New York was 8-15 before Lin scored 25 points off the bench Feb. 4. His next six games as a starter were all wins. He set an NBA record for the most points scored in the first five starts of a career.

In that game against the Lakers, Lin scored 38. On Feb. 14 against Toronto, Lin drained a three-pointer with less than a second remaining to give New York a 90-87 win. After struggling against New Orleans in an 89-85 loss on Feb. 17, Lin bounced back to score a team-high 28 points in a Feb. 19 win over Dallas.

The son of Christian Taiwanese immigrants who settled in California, Lin led his high school team to a state championship before playing college basketball for Harvard and helping the Crimson to their best record ever (21-7) in 2009-10.

Lin, who became a Christian as a freshman in high school, matured greatly in his faith during his time at the Ivy League school. He was an active member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship, one of eight InterVarsity chapters at Harvard. Lin met regularly with Adrian Tam, an InterVarsity campus staff member at the time. The two studied the Bible together and read books together, such as "Too Busy Not to Pray."

"First and foremost, he is a disciple of Christ," Tam said about Lin. "That becomes very evident from the beginning. When you meet him you don't think, 'Oh wow, this must be an important person.' He's very humble. In some ways, you might even think he downplays a lot of these things -- his intellect, his ability and all that."

Tam said Lin's goal and quiet ambition was to be "not only the best basketball player he could be, but also to be the best Christ-follower he could be."

Lin didn't get picked in the 2010 NBA draft but signed with his hometown Golden State Warriors in July of that year. He saw little playing time with the team in his first season, however, and the Warriors waived him in December before the 2011-12 NBA season.

The Rockets claimed Lin off waivers, but then waived him again a couple weeks later. On Dec. 27, the Knicks claimed him to be a backup. Lin soon changed those plans and has become the NBA season's biggest news. According to a USA Today story Feb. 17, Lin had the top-selling jersey at from Feb. 4-12, with merchandise being shipped to 22 countries.

In the midst of his sudden fame, Lin's pastor said his desire is to use it to glorify the Lord.

"He wants to be careful with it," said Stephen Chen, pastor of Redeemer Bible Fellowship. "I think he wants to be able to enjoy what he can enjoy in the things that would honor God, and at the same time be cautious about how he lives his life. He wants to be the same person."

In a 2010 interview with, Lin explained how his faith in Christ affects who he is and what he does on the basketball court.

"Not just in basketball, but I think in life, when you're called to be a Christian, you're automatically called to be different from everyone else. In today's world of basketball, it makes you really different, because the things that society values aren't necessarily in line with what God values.

"Much of it comes down to humility," Lin said. "We as Christians are called to be humble. And if we really understand the Gospel, we will be humble. We should be humble, and understand that everything that is good comes from God."
Tim Ellsworth is editor of BPSports ( and director of news and media relations for Union University in Jackson, Tenn.

In 200-year tradition, most Christian missionaries are American

SALEM, Massachusetts (Reuters) - At a church on the New England coast 200 years ago, five young men became ordained as Congregational missionaries and set off on cargo ships to India as the first organized group of American missionaries to travel overseas.

Their departure signaled the start of the U.S. missionary movement, and today the United States sends more Christian missionaries abroad than any other country, experts say.

The United States sent out 127,000 of the world's estimated 400,000 missionaries abroad in 2010, according to Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts.

In distant second place is Brazil, which sent 34,000 missionaries abroad in 2010, he said.

The United States receives the most missionaries as well, with 32,400 in 2010, he said. Many are Brazilians - Catholic, Protestants and Pentecostals - who largely work in Brazilian communities in the Northeast, Johnson said.


Church Takes on Mental Illness


Avon Lake United Church of Christ will offer 5-week class exploring mental illness for loved ones.

Last summer, Rev. Kelly Brill of Avon Lake United Church of Christ officiated at funerals of five suicide victims.

“The common denominator in many of those cases was mental illness and substance abuse, which frequently go hand in hand,” Brill said.

So she decided to team with the National Alliance of Mental Illness of Greater Cleveland to offer a free, five-week class for friends and family members of people experiencing a mental illness. The classes, led by three NAMI members, will teach students about mental illness and how to be supportive to their loved one.

“This is my attempt to offer something to our local community because I’ve found in work and personal life that there is…a lack of opportunity for those with loved ones suffering from mental illness to talk to each other and feel like they’re not alone,” Brill said.

Brill is no stranger to the classes – she was once a student in a 12-week NAMI program.

“I have a brother who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about nine years ago,” Brill said. “Going to these classes helped me understand what he was going through.”

And Brill sees the chance to help others understand what their loved ones are going through as a unique opportunity for the religious community.

“One of the roles of the church is to provide a community for one another and to help each other through difficult moments in life,” she said. “This is a unique way for churches to bring a little hope into people’s lives.”

The hour-long classes will be held every Wednesday at 7 p.m. beginning Feb. 29. Registration is required by calling or emailing the church no later than Monday, Feb. 27.

Congress Bans Access to Welfare Cash From ATMs Within Liquor Stores, Stripclubs and Casinos

A ban on EBT card withdrawals from ATMs in casinos, liquor stores, and stripclubs was included in the Payroll Tax Cut Bill which passed in House and is waiting for President Obama’s signature. NBC New York notes that the measure of the bill regarding EBT card withdrawals was opposed by some Democrats.

“What stops people from going to Whole Foods and using their EBT card there and then going to the casino?” said Rep. Gwen Moore during Congressional debate before the bill’s passing.


FRC Releases Letter Signed By 2,500 Religious Leaders Opposing Contraceptive Mandate

BELOW IS THE LETTER to sign click here

Sign the Letter to President Obama on the Contraceptive Mandate

Dear President Obama:

The undersigned pastors and Christian leaders all write to raise serious concerns over what some have called the "contraception mandate" stemming from the action of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on August 1st, 2011 to mandate that all health insurance plans in the individual and group market cover all FDA approved "contraceptive methods and sterilization procedures," including abortifacient drugs and other devices that can destroy life in its early stages.

This mandate was not necessary, nor warranted under the provision of "preventive care services for women" contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Worse still is the fact that the mandate essentially ignores the conscience rights of many Catholic and Protestant Americans. Our country was founded on certain freedoms, the first of which is the freedom of religion. The ability of a religious person to follow their conscience without fearing government intervention has long been a protected right for Americans. It is unfathomable to picture a country that would deny religious freedoms.

On August 1, 2011, your Administration granted a narrow exemption that only covers houses of worship. However, the fact remains that the vast majority of religious organizations will be required to choose either to violate their consciences or drop their health coverage for employees. This mandate is all the more egregious for including drugs and devices that are known and scientifically shown to function in ways that can cause abortions, including varieties of the morning-after-pill, both before and after implantation. The conscience rights of those who object to such drugs, let alone object to being forced to cover such drugs, is clearly violated by the Administration action.

Due to significant opposition to this mandate, many people of faith hoped that the Administration would chose to protect the conscience rights of all people who have moral or religious objections to covering contraceptives and sterilization procedures and accordingly submitted comments to your Administration totaling over 200,000. In the face of this outcry, your Administration issued a press release on January 20, 2012 that offers groups only a one year reprieve on being forced to violate the tenants of their faith. Worse still, the decision includes a new requirement that all such religious organizations will be required to refer for that which they find objectionable in the first place.

The contraceptive mandate with the requirement that there will be no co-pay to the patient means millions of Americans will incur the additional cost for these drugs and devices. Forcing religious entities to do the same, despite objections of good conscience, is a severe blow to our religious liberty. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom in 1779, which passed in 1786, and set the stage for the First Amendment. In it, Jefferson states: "to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical." Consequently, we ask that you would reverse this decision and protect the conscience rights of those who have biblically-based opposition to funding or providing contraceptives and abortifacients.


Victoria’s Secret Model Who Quit Over Faith Tells Beck: ‘There’s No Happiness‘ in Getting ’Half-Naked’

“My faith is more important and I want to honor God,” she said. “I don’t feel like I am honoring him when I am half-naked.”

Why modern life left polygamy at the altar

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UC DAVIS (US) — Compared to monogamous societies, polygamous cultures see more rape, kidnapping, murder, child abuse, and other crimes, a new study suggests.

When men take multiple wives, the competition for fewer available women results in greater levels of strife, the researchers hypothesize.

The findings may explain the global rise of monogamy as the dominant marriage institution in recent centuries, replacing polygamy, which was once practiced by 85 percent of the world’s societies, says Peter Richerson, environmental science professor at University of California, Davis. [1].

“We wanted to understand both why monogamous societies have been economically more successful in the last few centuries and why monogamy has spread to many formerly polygamous societies in the course of modernization,” adds Richerson.

Straight from the Source

Read the original study [2]

DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0290

Criminological data suggest unmarried men, particularly unmarried men of lower social status with lesser prospects of attracting wives, are disproportionately responsible for violent and other seriously disruptive behavior, he says.

Polygamy continues to be practiced in parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America.

“The emergence of monogamous marriage is also puzzling because multiple marriage is mostly practiced by the economic and political elite who should be in a position to defend the practice,” Richerson says. “South African President Jacob Zuma, for example, is proud of having several wives.”

But, Richerson points out, what seems good for the man who has many wives does not work out as well for the rest of society.

“Our findings suggest that institutionalized monogamous marriage provides greater net benefits for society at large by reducing social problems that are inherent in polygamous societies.”

Published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, [2] the study says that by shifting male efforts from seeking wives to paternal investment, institutionalized monogamy increases long-term planning, economic productivity, financial savings, and child investment.

Monogamous marriage also results in significant improvements in child welfare, including lower rates of child neglect, abuse, accidental death, homicide, and intra-household conflict. These benefits result from greater levels of parental investment, smaller households, and increased direct “blood relatedness” in monogamous family households, the researchers say.

Joseph Henrich, a cultural anthropologist at the University of British Columbia, led the study, working with Richerson and Robert Boyd, a UCLA anthropology professor.

More news from UC Davis: [3]

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[1] University of California, Davis.:

[2] Read the original study:


There’s math hiding in the music we love

Posted By Katherine Gombay-McGill On February 21, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

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MCGILL (CAN) / STANFORD (US) — After analyzing close to 2,000 compositions, researchers have uncovered a mathematical formula governing the rhythmic patterns in music.

“One of the things that we’ve known about music for a couple of decades is that the distribution of pitches and loudness in music follow predictable mathematical patterns,” says Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist at McGill University [1] and co-author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Rhythm is even more fundamental to our enjoyment of music: it’s rhythm that infants respond to first, it’s rhythm that makes you want to get out of your chair and move, and so it’s not really a surprise to discover that rhythm, too, is governed by a similar mathematical formula.”

Levitin and Vinod Menon, a neuroscientist at Stanford University, led the team that analyzed the scores of close to 2,000 musical compositions written by more than 40 composers over the last 400 years in a large variety of Western musical genres.

They found that all the musical compositions they studied shared the same “fractal” quality, where the part is a more limited repetition of the whole. That is the larger temporal structure of well-formed musical pieces is composed of repeating motifs of their own short-term temporal structure.

At the same time, researchers also discovered that each composer had his or her own highly individual rhythmic signature.

“This was one of the most unanticipated and exciting findings of our research,” asserts Levitin. “Mozart’s notated rhythms were the least predictable, Beethoven’s were the most, and Monteverdi and Joplin had nearly identical, overlapping rhythm distributions. But they each have their own distinctive rhythmic signature that you can capture.

“Our findings also suggest that rhythm may play an even greater role than pitch in conveying a composer’s distinctive style.”

From snowflakes to fern fronds and broccoli florets, fractal patterns are to be found throughout the natural world. The discovery that four centuries of musical compositions obey this same mathematical rule strongly suggests that composers’ own brains may have incorporated certain regularities of the physical world, to recreate self-similarity in works of musical art.

Indeed, the authors suggest, building on work begun in the 1970s that our sensory and motor systems may have a fundamental propensity to both perceive and produce fractal patterns not just across the three dimensions of space, but also across time.

The research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the National Science Foundation.

More news from McGill University: [2]

Monday, February 20, 2012

'The Vow' -- The Book Behind the No. 1 Movie -- Now a New York Times No. 1 Best Seller

'The Vow' Tops Times Best-Seller List; Joins Three Other Faith-Based Books

B&H Publishing Group Scores With Four Books Among New York Times Best Sellers: 'The Vow,' 'The Resolution for Men,' 'The Resolution for Women,' 'The Love Dare'

Contact: Julie Fairchild, 214-536-0037,; Monique Sondag, 214-536-4319,

NASHVILLE, Feb. 17, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Vow, Kim and Krickitt Carpenter's amazing, true story of faith and commitment and the inspiration behind the No. 1 movie in the country, topped the New York Times non-fiction best-seller list in its first week of re-release.

From B&H Publishing Group, The Vow joins three other film-related, faith-based books as national best sellers, including The Resolution for Men, The Resolution for Women and The Love Dare, Nos. 10, 12 and 13, respectively on the Times paperback advice list.

"The phenomenal success of these books -- each dealing with the importance of faith and commitment in the family -- shows the great hunger for encouraging and inspiring messages today," said Selma Wilson, B&H Publishing Group president. "The Carpenters, Alex and Stephen Kendrick and Priscilla Shirer are sharing needed and wanted truth and doing so in a way that encourages and engages readers."

The Vow traces actual events from the 1990s, when Kim and Krickitt Carpenter met, fell in love and married. Just 10 weeks later, the couple survived a terrible car wreck with Krickitt awakening in the hospital married to a stranger. The accident had claimed 18 months of her memories, including all recollection of Kim.

With Kim committed to his marriage vows and Krickitt maintaining her strong Christian faith, even if recent memories were gone, the couple began the long road to a rebuilt relationship, choosing to fall in love again and capping that with a second wedding ceremony and renewal of their vows almost three years later.

Their story inspired the No. 1 movie in the country, THE VOW starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, which took in over $40 million its opening weekend. The Vow book, in addition to its No. 1 rank on the Times non-fiction best-seller list, also earned the No. 7 spot for combined non-fiction print and e-books. The book, originally released in 2000, launched again Feb. 10 with an additional chapter and photos updating the Carpenter's story.

"Krickitt and I feel very blessed that our story might give hope to others facing difficult circumstances," Kim Carpenter said, "and inspire them to stick together for better or worse, in sickness and in health."

Also from B&H Publishing Group, three more books with connection to faith films maintained best-seller status.

  • The Resolution for Men by brothers and filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick with Randy Alcorn issues a call to godly parenting, challenging fathers to resolve to be the kind of dads God means them to be and their families need them to be. The book title relates to the film COURAGEOUS, which featured four fathers publicly resolving to lead their families well.
  • The Resolution for Women, by nationally know speaker and Bible teacher Priscilla Shirer with Alex and Stephen Kendrick, offers help, hope and challenge to women desiring to find God's will and live it God's way in their lives and the lives of their families.
  • The Love Dare also is by Alex and Stephen Kendrick and now marks more than 170 weeks as a Times best seller. Reflected in the Kendricks’ hit movie FIREPROOF, The Love Dare challenges readers to offer 40 days of acts of unconditional love to spouses.

About B&H Publishing Group
B&H Publishing Group, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, is a team of more than 100 mission-minded people with a passion for taking God’s Word to the world. Among its print and digital releases for the trade, church and academic markets, recent titles include New York Times No. 1 best seller The Love Dare and the award-winning HCSB Study Bible.

To learn more, visit:

And visit for press material on:

  • The Vow
  • The Resolution for Men
  • The Resolution for Women
  • The Love Dare
For interviews, contact: Monique Sondag 214-536-4319

Ohio Churches Facing Head on in the Contraception Debate

(Updates with University of Dayton decision in 15th paragraph. For more 2012 campaign news, see ELECT.)

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- After Masses last weekend at St. Thomas More Catholic Parish in suburban Cleveland, the Reverend William Bouhall collected signatures opposing President Barack Obama’s requirement that health insurers provide contraceptives.

“As they were signing the petition, people were saying, ‘That doesn’t sound right, father,” Bouhall, pastor at the church, said in a telephone interview. The church also plans to collect signatures after Masses this weekend, he said.

The response in Ohio churches to Obama’s action has included a letter from Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon that priests read to their flocks, a blast of e-mails that St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Brunswick sent to parishioners and members of Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in suburban Akron mailing postcards to lawmakers, pastors said.

With the nation’s seventh-most-populous state poised to help decide the presidency this fall, the ecclesiastic outreach is forcing the faithful to decide whether the president’s contraceptive policy is a women’s-health issue or an intrusion on religion. Ohio is a microcosm of the nation, and the issue may shift enough votes to swing the Buckeye State, said John Green, a University of Akron professor who specializes in religion and politics.

‘Assault on Religion’

“To the extent that this is seen as a religious-liberty issue, it could present some problems for President Obama and the Democrats in Ohio because they would be on the wrong side of Catholic identity,” Green said in a telephone interview. As a public-policy issue, it may “on balance favor President Obama.”

On Jan. 20, the administration said it would enforce a requirement of the 2010 health-care overhaul that employers offer contraceptives as part of their health insurance, including hospitals and universities with religious affiliations. After complaints from some church leaders that they would have to violate their tenets, Obama said Feb. 10 that insurance companies must offer birth control directly and pay for it, removing the institutions from the equation.

Republicans, including presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, have all criticized the rule. Romney has said Obama was waging “an assault on religion,” and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, has said the House would pass legislation to overturn it.

‘Common-Sense Issue’

In Boehner’s state, Obama’s policy angered many members of the Catholic church, which opposes contraception and abortion. Some, however, said that decision would have little effect, because so many of the faithful use birth control. About 98 percent of Catholic women with sexual experience use contraceptives at some point in their lives, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a New York research organization that compiles reproductive health data.

“The typical woman spends five years pregnant or trying to get pregnant and 30 years trying not to get pregnant, so it’s a common-sense issue for women,” Beth Zaworski, a Catholic nurse from Lorain, said in a Feb. 13 conference call with reporters hosted by groups including NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

The issue may be more telling in the Midwest, which has more traditional Catholics than other parts of the U.S. because ethnic groups from Eastern and Central Europe settled there, Green said. Catholics composed 18 percent of Ohio’s population in 2010, according to the state’s Catholic Conference.

Losing the Flock

While Obama won the state in 2008 with 51.5 percent of the vote, according to the secretary of state, exit polls showed he lost among Catholics by 47 percent to 52 percent.

A national poll by the Pew Research Center conducted Feb. 8-12 among 1,501 adults found that 48 percent support an exemption to the rule for religious-affiliated institutions and 44 percent said they should be required to cover contraceptives. Among Catholics who have heard at least a little about the issue, 55 percent favor giving an exemption and 39 percent oppose it, the survey found.

“It’s a basic attack on our rights for freedom of religion,” said Trish Shaw, 48, a member of St. Ambrose Church in Brunswick. It’s the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland’s largest parish, with 14,000 members.


WARNING: How Planned Parenthood hooks kids on sex

STAFFORD, VA, February 13, 2012 ( - As Planned Parenthood kicks off National Condom Week tomorrow, it will also be actively engaged in selling sex to children as young as those in grade school with graphic videos and books.

The American Life League has compiled a video exposing some of Planned Parenthood’s disturbing materials that are presented to school-age children across the country.

“Any parent that sees the video of Planned Parenthood’s material for school children will be horrified,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of the American Life League. “Planned Parenthood’s business model is aimed at making money from people who are engaged in sexual activity. Those are the women who will have abortions, which made up 51% of Planned Parenthood’s clinic revenue in 2010.”

In one section the video, “Hooking Kids on Sex,” talks about a book for 10-year-olds with graphic images about how to masturbate, put on a condom and have sexual intercourse.

“If a dirty old man showed this book to kids in a park, he’d be arrested,” said Sedlak. “Why does Planned Parenthood, a taxpayer-funded organization, get to distribute these books to our children and get more government money?’



WARNING: MTV's 'I Just Want My Pants Back' Causes Stir with Parents Television Council

A conservative media watchdog group is going after MTV for airing a television program with inappropriate content that targets children as young as 12.

Parents Television Council accuses the cable channel of taking HBO-style content and marketing it to a Nickelodeon-age audience. Dan Isett is director of public policy for the PTC.

"MTV has a new show called 'I Just Want My Pants Back' -- and as you might imagine it's a show that's absolutely replete with both sexual content and sexual dialogue," he says. "And it's one that's been mis-appropriately rated as appropriate for a 14-year-old child -- and MTV is on the record as having targeted a demographic beginning with children as young as 12."


Limbless Nick Vujicic got Married

Following news of his engagement with his fiancé last August, Nick Vujicic, limbless Australian motivational speaker, got married with with Kanae Miyahara on February 10th in California.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

JMC Live Interview: Provoke Ministries

Clint Haley founder & Director of Provoke Ministries

Address: P.O Box 88, Detroit Lakes, MN 56502