March 10, 2011 Print Edition

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GuideStone Minister Tax Guide available

DALLAS (BP)—Ministers can find additional help in preparing their 2010 federal income tax returns with the annual Tax Return Preparation and Federal Reporting Guide from GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The 2011 guide details recent changes to tax laws and their effect on ministers. The guide includes important tax law changes signed into law by President Obama in December.

Bunkley hopes for ‘productive’ legislative session

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—With an entirely new slate of legislative leaders, as well as a new governor and other members of the Florida Cabinet, Florida Baptist legislative consultant Bill Bunkley is hopeful for a “productive year” as the Florida Legislature convened March 8 for its annual 60-day session.

In his 16th year representing the Florida Baptist Convention in Tallahassee, the 2011 session could be Bunkley’s last as his contract has been eliminated, effective Sept. 1, as part of budget-cutting efforts (see related story).

Editorial: Towards an ethnically diverse SBC leadership

“Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

The nursery song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” is a simple, yet profound summary of biblical truth about God’s love for all the peoples of the world, regardless of race and ethnicity.

Point of View: Pastor, don’t ignore your family

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)—A young lady approached me with a solemn, somber expression in her brown eyes, trying to hold back the tears, as I left the church auditorium’s platform after extending the invitation.

Point of View: A milestone in the betrayal of marriage

Attorney General Eric Holder informed Congress yesterday that President Obama had ordered the Department of Justice to cease all efforts to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts. The announcement came without public warning, even as the administration was dealing with an international crisis in Libya and a political showdown over unions in Wisconsin.

Point of View: Scalia was right—Incest and Lawrence v. Texas

In its 2003 Lawrence decision, the Supreme Court overturned Texas’s ban on sodomy. Critics, I among them, warned that this precedent would open the floodgates to gay marriage, polygamy, incest, and a whole host of horribles. Justice Antonin Scalia issued a blistering dissent, charging that Lawrence “effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation.”

Point of View: Dave Says

Dave Says is a column featuring the financial advice of nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey, the Dave Says column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual calls on Ramsey's radio program, The Dave Ramsey Show.

Miami church prays teenager through battle with ‘Goliath’ of cancer

MIAMI (FBW)—A Miami teenager’s year-long struggle with cancer, with some big victories along the way, has reminded his parents of David’s winning battle against Goliath.

Michael Vile Sr. said the story of his son’s treatment for a brain tumor is “a story of the faithfulness of God and the faithfulness of the believers at Wayside Baptist Church.”

Pro-family appointment to local board angers homosexual rights group

BRANDON (FBW)—The recent appointment of a pro-family, Christian community leader to the Hillsborough County Human Relations Board angered members of the homosexual community, who spearheaded a letter-writing campaign aimed at county commissioners, demanding his removal from the position.

In a 5-2 vote, with one of the dissenting votes being from an openly homosexual commissioner, the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners awarded the vacant board position to Terry Kemple, president of the Christian-based Community Issues Council (CIC) and a 25-year member of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon.

Bell Shoals Baptist top Annie giver 2009

BRANDON (BP)—Bell Shoals Baptist Church is more than a building where about 3,200 people join in worship each week. “Giving to missions, praying for missions and going on mission are at the heart of who we are as a church,” said Stephen Rummage, pastor of the 50-year-old congregation in Brandon.

“We’re working as hard as we can to reach our own community and city with the Gospel, and we’re committed to partnering with other Southern Baptists to reach our nation and our world for Christ.”

‘La Santa Muerte’ death cult makes inroads across US border

LAREDO—They call her “La Santa Muerte,” the Saint of Death, and her followers have multiplied rapidly over the last decade as violence has gripped Mexico and spilled across the border, say missionaries who have witnessed the death cult’s growing influence.

From Mexico City to border towns such as Laredo, and lately in large American cities such as Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago, her cloaked, skeletal icon, usually depicted gripping the Grim Reaper’s scythe, is often seen hanging from the windows, entryways and sometimes on the tattoos of her disciples.

Florida pro-family leaders condemn Obama decision on DOMA

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—President Barack Obama’s Feb. 23 order to the U.S. Department of Justice to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act brought strong denunciations from pro-family leaders in Florida who warn the action may have ominous implications for the state of marriage in America.

Obama’s decision is a reversal of course for his administration, which has previously defended DOMA in federal courts.

1 Peter 4:1-2, 7-19: March 27—Stay the course

Students often enter college full of excitement and anticipation. God led them to take that step. However, repeated failures to make the quality of grades they expected can crush their spirits. More than one has sought out their college counselor expressing doubt about being in God’s will. They interpret poor grades as a sign God wants them to leave college and return home. The advice President Jimmy Southerland gave was, “Stay one more day!” Taking time to reflect a little longer often resulted in a new resolution to stay the course. When facing difficult times, taking life in smaller pieces, one day at a time, allows the Lord to work things out. Let’s look at four strategies for staying the course.

Future of Florida Baptist Tallahassee legislative work in doubt

TALLHASSEE (FBW)—The 2011 Florida legislative session will be the last for Bill Bunkley as legislative consultant for the Florida Baptist Convention.

AAEO: Planting churches across the Mexican border in Texas ‘colonias’

LAREDO, Texas (NAMB)—Among all the hundreds of places North American Mission Board church planting missionaries work and minister across the United States and Canada, none is more dangerous than Laredo in south Texas, where Chuy and Maria Avila live and serve.

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