August 25, 2011 Print Edition

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EXCLUSIVE: Ten Commandments monument sponsor says, ‘I’ve just started’

OLD TOWN (FBW) – Although he has made news across the nation for his 6-ton, granite Ten Commandments monument in Dixie County, Joe Anderson says he’s not seeking any publicity nor is he attempting to establish a legacy.

The sponsor of the display that a federal judge last month ruled unconstitutional also is not backing down from the fight and is confident he will prevail.

“I will continue putting them up. I’ve just started,” Anderson said in an Aug. 12 interview with Florida Baptist Witness – his first ever such session with the press, having turned down requests from CNN, Associated Press and many other news media outlets.

Facebook remarks on gay marriage lead to teacher’s suspension

MOUNT DORA (FBW)-A long-time social studies teacher who does not support homosexual marriage and said so on his Facebook site was removed from his classroom Aug. 15 and is being investigated for a “code of ethics” violation.

Jerry Buell, last year’s “Teacher of the Year” at Mount Dora High School, and chair of the social studies department, was reassigned to administrative duties pending an investigation of whether his posting on the social network website open only to his personal “friends” was appropriate.

Point of View: Quarterback churches lead to win

So often I speak of the “givens” of life that shape us for what God calls us to do. There is no question growing up in the coal camps in the mountains of West Virginia helped shape my life. I still love the mountains and have wonderful warm memories of home, apple pie and baseball!

Point of View: William Carey at 250

Last week, William Carey’s 250th birthday arrived. Born on August 17, 1761, he was the son of a poor school teacher in the tiny village of Paulersbury. Taught to patch shoes in a cobbler’s shop, he was converted to Christ as a teenager. Soon he was gripped with a passion for sharing the Gospel with those who had never heard the name of Christ.

Florida Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers remember New York

NEW YORK CITY (FBW)—Just weeks after two planes hit the World Trade Center, a team of trained Florida Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers landed at a commercial airport in Long Island, rented vans, and reported for duty at Ground Zero.

It was time for the 10 p.m. shift at The Salvation Army feeding operation two blocks from the north tower—and after being ushered in by New Yorkers lining the streets holding welcoming signs and waving American flags—the Florida team was ready to start cooking.

Pensacola homeless focus of multi-church ministry

PENSACOLA (FBC)—Homeless men, women and children in Escambia County are eating healthy meals, enjoying hot showers and fresh haircuts, and hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ—thanks in large part to a cooperative ministry of churches in the Pensacola Bay Baptist Association.

Birthed late last year when members of a peer learning group came together at the Drowsy Poet Coffee House, the ministry is “already transforming a community” according to Kim Johnson, director of church development for the Pensacola Association.

Christian education remains a priority for some parents

FORT MYERS (FBW)—Christian schools suffer along with everyone else in hard economic times, according to Ed Gamble, national executive director of Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools. While some students and their families are committed to stay in Christian schools, others “make the hard decision to leave when finances get tough,” he said.

National statistics show a 10-15 percent decline in enrollment in Christian schools over the past three years, he said.

Point of View: Baptist campus ministers await potential of new school year

In a short span of 21 days, students arriving on Florida’s college campus from across the world will set their agenda for the fall semester. And whatever patterns they establish during this three-week grind will impact their college years and even their lives.

Point of Vew: If God is good and powerful, why does evil and suffering exist?

The problem of the existence, intensity of evil, and suffering serves as one of the most difficult barriers to trust in God on the intellectual level. Many people affirm that an inconsistency exists in the following three affirmations of the Christian faith. First, God possesses all-power and He has the capability to do something about evil. Second, perfect good characterizes God’s nature and He would want to do something about evil. Third, great evil exists. Yet, the all-powerful and all-good God seemingly does nothing about the evil. Because of the difficulty of reconciling these three claims, critics of Christianity label this problem the logical problem of evil.

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.

Point of Vew: Or else: Doing the right thing

During the course of any given month, publishers send me dozens of books to review. I don’t get the time I’d like to even page through most of them, but the other day one caught my eye. It’s called After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.

Loyal Heart Ministries offers Bible study curriculum

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)-Loyal Heart Ministries in Jacksonville is offering Sunday School curriculum for youth and adults at no cost to churches who agree to not alter the content and to instead set aside funds they would have spent on curriculum for a student’s international missions travel.

Loyal Heart’s founder Jim Smyrl, who writes Bible study curriculum for adults and youth, entered into an agreement with Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., to develop “A Theology for the Church,” a seven-year curriculum based on the “Theology Driven Ministry” principles Smyrl has develop since beginning his non-profit, Jacksonville-based ministry in 2006.

Idlewild volunteers ‘Just Love’ inner city Tampa school

TAMPA (FBW)—Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz has begun the second year of its “Just Love” partnership with Just Elementary School in downtown Tampa. According to Community Missions Administrator Jonathan Boyette, who oversees the effort, consistency is the key to its success.

“The school staff told us at the beginning, ‘These kids don’t care what color you are as long as you keep showing up,’” Boyette told Florida Baptist Witness.

Psalm 133:1-3; 1 Corinthians 12:12-18, 21-26: September 4—Connect to community

Vital churches which live in complete harmony probably do not exist. Prior to the moment when the church came into existence at the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit and power at Pentecost, the Bible says the assembled believers “were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). That unity was shattered by the false hope for group recognition concocted by Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1, 2). Church unity, while admirable, proved to be an elusive quality. In our study today we will address some issues that impinge on the unity of believers.

2 Timothy 3:1-17: September 11—Grow in spiritual maturity

When I was a boy, my father and I used to drive down to Innerrarity Point on the Perdido River. We would rent a boat there to row across to Keys Island to hunt ‘coons and other varmints. We often stopped at a local grocery store on the way to buy coffee, hoop cheese, and crackers for food. On one such trip, the store’s owner, knowing my father, said, “Mr. Walt, we have something brand new on the market called instant coffee. Just pour some of this in boiling water, and you have ready-made coffee.” Being the adventurous kind, Paw bought the stuff. Later on the island around a fire, he put water in a can to boil. Then he removed the bucket, and dumped the whole container of instant coffee into the water. Let me tell you, we had coffee strong enough to make a Cajun envious. I shall never forget my father’s words. “Son, I don’t think this stuff will make it on the market.” How wrong he was. Now we have instant everything. Unfortunately, we desire but cannot find instant spiritual maturity.

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