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Wheelchair Bound Christian Leader, Joni Eareckson Tada, Says What’s Up, Pat Robertson?

In National News on September 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm
Joni Eareckson Tada - Park Street Church

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On Thursday, Joni Eareckson Tada, founder and chief executive officer of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, a Christian-based organization based in Agoura Hills, Calif., issued a statement condemning Robertson’s remarks.
Tada was “dismayed,” she said, that the host of CBN’s most popular program suggested “Alzheimer’s disease is a kind of death” that makes it morally acceptable to dispose of an afflicted husband or wife. “When a Christian leader views marriage on a sliding scale, what does this say to the millions of couples who must deal daily with catastrophic injuries and illnesses?” Tada asked.
Robertson’s latest controversial remark came in response to a viewer who related that a friend whose wife has Alzheimer’s was “bitter at God” and seeing another woman. “The 700 Club” host told the viewer that his friend “should divorce and start over,” while arranging adequately for his deposed wife.
“I certainly wouldn’t put a guilt trip on you if you decided that you had to have companionship,” Robertson said. “You’re lonely.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Joseph Perkins
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Herman Cain Wins Denver Straw Poll, Rick Perry Second

In National News, Politics on August 2, 2011 at 1:19 am
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Gov. Rick Perry placed a distant second in the Denver Straw Poll this weekend, a contest that GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain easily won after a rousing speech and a direct plea for support Sunday.
“Didn’t I tell you that the people were going to select the next nominee?” Cain said after the results were announced. “You all have really made me feel good today … We’re not done yet!”
Perry didn’t ask that his name be put into the non-binding straw poll, which serves as a test of strength among western Republicans. But organizers of the Western Conservative Summit put both declared and undeclared candidates into the mix. Cain, the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, won with 48 percent of the conference participants, far ahead of the others.
Perry got 13 percent, polling higher than declared candidate Rick Santorum, who got 10 percent. The former Pennsylvania senator had sharply criticized the Texas governor‘s stand on gay marriage during the conference.
Perry, who drew a huge crowd at a book-signing event before he spoke on Friday, also outperformed both former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, considered the frontrunner in the Republican presidential contest so far, and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who has emerged as a strong contender in her native Iowa.
Romney tied Santorum at 10 percent, while Bachmann received 9 percent.
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Church Board Says Crystal Cathedral Is No Longer for Sale by UCN

In National News on August 2, 2011 at 1:03 am
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The Crystal Cathedral‘s new board has decided to raise $50 million in four months instead of selling the 40-acre campus.
The Crystal Cathedral, Orange County’s iconic megachurch built by Robert H. Schuller, is not for sale, Sheila Schuller Coleman, senior pastor of the cathedral and Schuller’s oldest daughter, announced during church services Sunday morning.
There are at least four known offers for the financially ailing megachurch – one from Newport Beach developer, Greenlaw Partners LLC. and another from Chapman University, both for $46 million – and $50 million offers from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and Norco-based My Father’s House Church International.
A court hearing to discuss the status of the offers is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday in bankruptcy court. The church is expected to ask the court for permission to submit a plan that will involve raising $50 million in the next 120 days.
Coleman, who is a non-voting member of the board, said during Sunday’s services that the board feels an overwhelming need to preserve the 40-acre campus and its core buildings.
“The board feels its great responsibility toward all of our vendors and other creditors, to pay them 100 percent of what is owed as soon as possible,” Coleman said, “but also a responsibility to the local members and viewers of our nationally and internationally televised ‘Hour of Power‘ to retain the ministry’s Orange County headquarters intact.”
Sunday’s announcement, which was referred to by Coleman as a “faith-based decision,” was jointly made by Coleman and Walt Kallestad, senior pastor of the Church of Joy in Glendale, Ariz., who joined the board recently.
Last week, Crystal Cathedral Ministries announced a shakeup of its international board, which included the reinstatement of Robert H. Schuller as a voting board member. Schuller was voted off the board last month by members Gwyn Myers and Rick Mysse, who are no longer on the board.
Coleman said the English, Spanish and Arabic ministries at the Crystal Cathedral will come together to “seek God’s blessing of a $50 million dollar miracle.”
That miracle, the senior pastor said, could be as simple as collecting $500 from 100,000 members and “Hour of Power” viewers worldwide.
Robert H. Schuller, who started this ministry 55 years ago on the roof of the Orange drive-in’s snack shack, released a statement Sunday expressing his appreciation for several interested buyers who contacted him personally before submitting their offers.
“I have been deeply moved by their care even though the campus is not mine to sell – it belongs to the church and the ministries.”
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U. S. Leaders Reach Deal to Raise Debt Ceiling

In National News, Politics on August 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

 

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President Obama spoke about a debt deal on Sunday. (Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times)
Two days before the deadline for a possible U.S. government default, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders reached agreement Sunday on a legislative package that would extend the federal debt ceiling while cutting spending and guaranteeing further deficit-reduction steps.
The proposed $3 trillion deal, which still requires congressional approval, brought some immediate relief to global markets closely watching the situation play out and a nation filled with anger and frustration over partisan political wrangling that threatened further economic harm to an already struggling recovery.
However, there was no guarantee the plan will win enough support to pass both chambers of Congress.
Democratic and Republican leaders in both the House and Senate were briefing their caucuses about the agreement on Sunday night or Monday.
Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, all announced the deal within minutes of each other on Sunday night.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-North Dakota, earlier told CNN that cuts to military spending were a final sticking point.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, told reporters that she needs to see “the final product” in writing before she can decide if she supports it.
Pelosi said she would meet with the House Democratic caucus on Monday to discuss the matter.
“I don’t know all the particulars of what the final product is in writing and what the ramifications will be,” Pelosi said, noting the measure will have an impact for a decade or more. Asked about the outcome, she warned: “We all may not be able to support it or none of us may be able to support it.”
In the face of an August 2 deadline to get new authorization to borrow money or face a possible government default, congressional leaders and the White House were trying to complete the agreement that would extend the debt limit through 2012 — a presidential election year.
Earlier, Reid’s Republican counterpart in the Senate said the two parties were “very close” to reaching a deal that would bring $3 trillion in deficit reduction.
“We had a very good day yesterday,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told CNN, adding that the two sides “made dramatic progress” in negotiations on a deal that would cut government spending and raise the federal debt ceiling.
Another Republican senator, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, later told reporters he expected a Monday vote on a compromise.
“It feels like they’re going to finish the deal today and then we’ll have the vote tomorrow,” Isakson said, adding he supports the plan under discussion.
Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration agreed that progress has been made.
“If there’s a word right here that would sum up the mood, it would be relief — relief that we won’t default,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said on CNN. “That’s not a certainty, but default is far less of a possibility now than it was even a day ago.”
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SOURCE: CNN
Alan Silverleib and Tom Cohen
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Christians, Muslims and Jews Hold Prayer Vigil for U. S. Debt Deal

In National News on July 27, 2011 at 6:26 am
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Across the street from the U.S. Capitol in the small north lawn of the United Methodist Building, Christians, Muslims and Jews will pray on Tuesday for the country’s budget, and hope to teach Republicans and Democrats a lesson in compromise.
So far, nothing else has worked, not even President Barack Obama’s cajoling or warnings from Wall Street titans that a failure to promptly raise U.S. borrowing authority would result in economic Armageddon.
As the 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 senators do battle inside the Capitol, some 100 religious faithful will try a different approach to convert debt limit doubters — a daily prayer vigil.
But it’s not just any budget deal these activists want to settle for in return for raising U.S. borrowing authority.
The vigils will be a way of lobbying against any deal that slashes too much from programs that protect the underprivileged, like nutrition programs for the poor or health care for the poor and disabled.
“I hope that it’s not only effective but a model for how Democrats and Republicans, who differ on many issues, can come together on a common issue to move the country forward,” said Rabbi David Saperstein, executive director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

SOURCE: Reuters
(Reporting by Lily Kuo; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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Is There a Future for Bookstores?

In National News on July 27, 2011 at 5:28 am
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Just this week, 14-year-old Blake Burmaster bought two paperbacks at the Borders at Baybrook Passage in Webster.

“He loves to read,” said his father, Troy Burmaster, a nurse who lives in La Porte.

Both father and son say they are sad that Borders stores will close later this year, but Troy Burmaster said he understands that “everybody’s going with the digital age.”

Still, Blake prefers physical books over e-books because he finds “staring at little tiny screens” annoying.

“We’ll still keep going to Barnes & Noble and Half Price Books,” his father said. “As long as there is something.”

Bookstore owners hope there are a lot more people like the Burmasters out there. But for many who sell physical books, the closing of the Borders chain is another sign that the industry is hurting.

Bookstore owners hope there are a lot more people like the Burmasters out there. But for many who sell physical books, the closing of the Borders chain is another sign that the industry is hurting.

On Thursday, the judge overseeing the Borders Group bankruptcy approved its deal with liquidators, the Associated Press reported, while Borders is still seeking creditor approval of an agreement to sell about 30 to 35 stores to Books-A-Million. Going-out-of-business sales will start at Borders stores as soon as today.

Analysts say the shuttering of Borders may help its chief rival, Barnes & Noble, temporarily. But in the long run, it may be hard for the big-box chain and other booksellers to withstand the sea change in the industry as e-books gain acceptance.

Barclays Capital analyst Alan Rifkin speculated in a recent client note that the 705-store Barnes & Noble chain could absorb 10 to 15 percent of Borders’ annual revenue, or $220 million to $330 million, as a result of the Borders closure.

But he also expects that the rise in e-book sales will lead to a decline in demand for big bookstores.

Officials from Barnes & Noble declined to comment.

Click Here to Continue Reading…

Source: David Kaplan, The Houston Chronicle

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Borders Liquidation Opens Up Opportunities for Some

In National News on July 20, 2011 at 1:32 am


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Borders Group, which had closed six metro Atlanta book stores, will shut down its remaining seven locations as part of a company-wide liquidation announced Monday.
Two liquidation firms, Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Group, will dissolve the company. The move came after a bid fell through from private equity firm Najafi Cos.; creditors and landlords said liquidation was a better deal.
While Borders prepared to disappear, local experts said the metro Atlanta retail market that has seen the addition of few big-box locations could embrace the new space, and area bookstores and publishers said they were prepared for Borders’ demise.
Ruth Coan, a partner at The Shopping Center Group who leased Borders spaces, said most of the stores could draw retailers new to the market or those that want to upgrade their space.
“They are excellent sites with good visibility and signage,” Coan said. “I believe there are going to be a lot of retailers that are going to be grateful to have some new opportunities.”
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution | Arielle Kass

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Hotel Tycoon, Steve Wynn, Goes Off on Obama, saying that ‘He Is Responsible for the Fear in the Business Community of America because he Is Not Providing Leadership’

In National News, Politics on July 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm
Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

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Who doesn’t love a good rant?
We certainly do, and as usual, Steve Wynn, the CEO of casino company Wynn Resorts, delivered on his company’s quarterly conference call today.


Via Seeking Alpha, here’s the crux of it:
I believe in Las Vegas. I think its best days are ahead of it. But I’m afraid to do anything in the current political environment in the United States. You watch television and see what’s going on on this debt ceiling issue.

And what I consider to be a total lack of leadership from the President and nothing’s going to get fixed until the President himself steps up and wrangles both parties in Congress. But everybody is so political, so focused on holding their job for the next year that the discussion in Washington is nauseating.

And I’m saying it bluntly, that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime.

And I can prove it and I could spend the next 3 hours giving you examples of all of us in this market place that are frightened to death about all the new regulations, our healthcare costs escalate, regulations coming from left and right. A President that seems, that keeps using that word redistribution. Well, my customers and the companies that provide the vitality for the hospitality and restaurant industry, in the United States of America, they are frightened of this administration. And it makes you slow down and not invest your money. Everybody complains about how much money is on the side in America.

You bet and until we change the tempo and the conversation from Washington, it’s not going to change. And those of us who have business opportunities and the capital to do it are going to sit in fear of the President. And a lot of people don’t want to say that. They’ll say, God, don’t be attacking Obama. Well, this is Obama’s deal and it’s Obama that’s responsible for this fear in America.
Source: BusinessInsider.com | Joe Weisenthal
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New Mexico School Suspends Students for Sharing Bible Verses

In National News on July 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm
jelly-donuts.jpgRelentless. That’s how some might describe the Roswell Independent School District. That’s because the New Mexico system appears to be on a mission to squash the Word of God on its campuses, according to a lawsuit Liberty Counselfiled. The suit alleges the Roswell Independent School District retaliated against a Christian group called Relentless, punishing and suspending its members for buying and giving fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts with Bible verses to each of their teachers. The students went to great lengths to share the Word of God. The closest Krispy Kreme shop was in Texas. Some members of the group drove almost six hours round trip, stayed overnight, got up at 3 a.m., filled their car’s back seat with fresh doughnuts and got back to school on time to deliver the doughnuts. When they handed out the doughnuts, a Scripture verse was included. One student was immediately sent home and two others were forced to spend a Saturday morning sitting alone in the classroom for four hours as a punishment. “Some teachers are worried about their students giving them bullets, and this school suspends students over a Bible verse! These students are living their Christian beliefs by showing kindness,” says Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law. “It is outrageous that the Roswell school officials are mean to these students solely because they are hostile to their Christian faith.” Click here to read more Source: Charisma Magazine

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Richard Land Rebukes Herman Cain for Islamic Remark

In National News, Politics on July 19, 2011 at 4:25 am
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 17:  Former Godfather's...

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herman-cain-land-rebuke-852.jpgSouthern Baptist leader Richard Land chided presidential candidate Herman Cain for disregarding the constitutional rights of U.S. Muslims during a Monday C-SPAN interview. He reminded Cain that as a Christian and an African American, he should have a special interest in the enforcement of the constitution in all communities, not just approving ones.

 

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Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, addressed the businessman turned presidential candidate in a Monday broadcast saying, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath, Mr. Cain.”

Last week, Cain told reporters that the plan to build the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tenn., is “an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion.” He sided with community members who have protested the center saying the center is “another way to gradually sneak Sharia law into our laws.”

Cain, an associate pastor at Antioch Baptist Church North and a GOP presidential hopeful, argued last week that the ICM is not an “innocent mosque” and warned of the threat of Sharia (Islamic law) to American laws. He asserted in a Sunday Fox News interview that the Murfreesboro community has the right to ban the center’s construction.

Land said he agrees that allowing Sharia law in the courts is unconstitutional, as it also violates the rights of women. He agreed that it should not be enforced in America’s legal system or government, but reminded the public that that the First Amendment allows for religious freedom.

“I think the First Amendment is one of those amendments that is too important and protects rights that are too central to our guaranteed rights in this country to be left with a local option,” he asserted.

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Source: Christian Post | Stephanie Samuel

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