December 4, 2003 Print Edition

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Offering spreads Gospel from China to Beruit

RICHMOND, Va. (IMB)—Gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering place Southern Baptists in strategic positions worldwide.

Pageant's ‘Jesus’ calls role challenging, humbling

FORT LAUDERDALE (FBW)—Portraying Jesus can be a huge responsibility.

Both on and off stage, 37-year-old Les Chevelydayoff knows the routine. Being watched in the grocery store, at the movies, or while he’s getting gas – is all part of the experience of playing "Jesus" in the annual Christmas Pageant at First Baptist Church Fort Lauderdale.

Saudi government exporting hateful form of Islam, panel told

WASHINGTON (BP)–Saudi Arabia exports an intolerant, violence-producing form of Islam to other countries, including the United States, witnesses told the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Point-of-View

WASHINGTON (BP)–It is not as if the ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court permitting the "marriage" of same-sex couples came as a surprise. If Massachusetts doesn’t care about the sexual practices of some of its politicians, why should it care about what some of its lesser citizens do?

Point-of-View

Whatever happened to Christmas?

You may think the above question is unusual? "Christmas is still here," someone might say. "I received in the mail advertisements for Christmas sales. I have seen TV commercials for upcoming Christmas specials. On the radio, they are playing Christmas music. At work, we will be having our annual Christmas party. And everywhere I walk or shop I see Christmas decorations. So how can you ask, ‘Whatever happened to Christmas?"

Point-of-View

Early one morning, several years ago, I was praying in a church sanctuary with a missionary when he began to cry.

We had been interceding for the few believers – and millions of lost souls – among the people group the missionary serves in Central Asia. Suddenly he was quietly weeping, pleading with God for the salvation of this people. I opened one eye and saw the tears on his cheeks. They glinted in the dawn light filtering through the sanctuary windows.

Point-of-View

Forty years ago, November 22, 1963, a paralyzed world watched the horror of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, a dark day in American history many of us remember. That same day two other notable personalities quietly breathed their last and exited the world almost without notice.

Bibliocipher

Have fun with cryptography and exercise your Bible knowledge. A King James Version verse is encoded by letter substitution. The same letter is substituted throughout the puzzle. Solve by trial and error.

Iraq chaplain says ‘God is here with us’

TIKRIT, Iraq (FBW)-A Florida Baptist Army National Guard chaplain was honored Nov. 10 by Florida chaplains at their annual conference in Tampa. Assigned to the 64th Corps Support Group, 13th Corps Support Command, Major Jerald Jacobs was deployed to Iraq in March 2003.

Lawyers continue to battle over Terri’s right to live

CLEARWATER (FBW)—In two actions a Florida attorney calls an attempt to "short circuit the judicial process," a lawyer for Michael Schiavo asked a judge Nov. 25 to prevent Gov. Jeb Bush from deposing witnesses in the case and to by-pass court procedure in order to rule on the case himself.

Oviedo church assists with cross-cultural party at Staten Island, New York, church

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (BP)–The "crossroads of the world," as pastor Ray Parascando describes New York City, is "a great place to do cross-cultural evangelism."

Parascando is pastor of Crossroads Church, one of only three Southern Baptist churches on Staten Island, which accounts for half a million people amid a metro region of more than 21 million.

IMB trustees evaluate strategy, respond to criticism

LEXINGTON, Ky. (BP)–A 1997 shift in missions strategy has more than doubled the number of people groups hearing the Gospel and jump-started explosive church growth in as many as 49 places around the world, trustees of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board learned during a Nov. 10-12 meeting in Lexington, Ky.

The trustees also responded to recent criticism of board leadership and strategy; adopted a trimmed-back $258.9 million basic budget for 2004; and elected a new executive vice president.

Florida Focus

A one-time announcement of special events is a free service provided by the Witness to Florida Baptist churches. Please send materials at least three weeks before the date of the event, to Florida Baptist Witness, 1230 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207, fax 904-346-0696 or submitted using our online form. Items received after deadline may appear in our exclusive on-line version.

Hussein prison interrogation didn’t deter Iraqi pastor

BAGHDAD, Iraq (BP)–It would be hard to imagine a time that Maher hasn’t smiled. Though short in stature, the Madian-born Iraqi lights up a room, whether it’s at the hospital where he helps translate for Iraqi patients, or in his church which has now held services for 10 weeks in a row.

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