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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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African American clergy respond to pandemic with unique considerations of culture, history, and faith values.When deciding to close the doors of black churches, congregational leaders across the US wrestle with unique considerations. Paul J. James, pastor of CareView Community Church in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, noted in an interview with The Undefeated how closing is “counterintuitive to most churches, especially the black church… where we’re just glad to get together because of how hard life has been historically for us here in America. Church has been a safe place for us. It’s been a safe harbor. Now here we are faced with the inability to come together.”Last week, the federal government strongly urged Americans not to gather in groups of more than 10 and restrictions keep coming. We suspect that many churches will close in the near future, but the decision will not been easy.In St. Louis, the mayor hosted a teleconference with 300 clergy, including many of black churches, to urge them not to hold services. While some chose to stop meetings and modify their ministries, others struggled to make the change.In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer banned gatherings of more than 50 but then exempted churches from penalties. This will give some churches more options, though many are choosing to modify in some way. Triumph Church, which has seven locations in the Detroit area, will continue to gather in person, for now, though it expanded the number of services to reduce congregation size and is asking members to register ahead of time so it can maintain at least six feet between worshippers. It is also providing an online service and a drive-in service.A lot of things inform these responses to the coronavirus outbreak: culture, histories of discrimination and marginalization, as well as faith-based values. ...Continue reading...
BoatWhen was the last time that you did something really dopey? A few weeks ago I heard an audio clip of a 911 call made by a woman in Florida who was beginning to panic because her car battery was dead and she had locked herself inside the car. With a tinge of hysteria she begged for help because the power windows were disabled by the dead battery, it was getting very hot in the car, and she wasn't feeling well. However, she handled it with great aplomb when the operator told her to pull up on the knob for the door lock and then open the door. As the clip comes to an end, one can actually hear the dear lady becoming aware of her dullness. She plainly apologizes and bids the operator a good day. However simple minded she was, something must be said of her humility. In the very same week, a few thousand miles away, President Obama accomplished a first among American presidents. He performed perhaps the greatest breach of etiquette of any American president, living or dead. In England, upon meeting a member of the royal family, rather than the customary handshake, he bowed, bending deeply at the waist. One might initially think, being in the United Kingdom, that he bowed to her majesty the Queen. Sorry, try again. Our president didn't choose to bow to the jolly Queen. Barack Hussein Obama showed deep appreciation and humble devotion to the murderous enslaver, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Instead of reciprocating the bow, denoting equality and mutual respect, the King waited for the act of adoration to be complete and then shook Obama's hand. If you ask me, it was a pretty dopey thing to do for a man holding the highest office of the world's only superpower and leader of the free world. I would say very dopey, if I were to put it bluntly. Our president - however humble he tried to be, something must be said of his dimness. Although, unlike the security challenged lady in Florida who recognized her hilarious error, those surrounding our president refuse even to acknowledge the obvious. Therefore, the obstinacy continues to abound with a presidential aide denying that the bow was even a bow at all. According to Ben Smith of Politico, an Obama aide defended, "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hands with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah." The ridiculous denial of an obvious act of fealty sounds like something out of the "my dad can beat up your dad" school of playground insults. Hint to the White House - admit it, move on, and don't make the same mistake again. Americans should not bow to anyone other than Jesus Christ. They should worship none other than God Almighty. We are a free nation, and our ancestors fought long and hard to ensure our liberty. Hence, the sight alone of seeing the Commander-in-Chief self-deprecate before arguably one of the five worst dictators in the world makes my blood boil. But for everyone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to deny it, compounds the problem ten-fold. Learn this Mr. and Mrs. White House Aide, the American people are not idiots, but they are forgiving. We are not helpless, but we are trusting. Don't treat us like kids. Try treating us like adults, and maybe the same respect will be returned, with a firm handshake, instead of groveling genuflection. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael Andrzejewski Bro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist Church in Milledgeville, TN. For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
Steve’s parents wanted to do something special for our famiy, so they took us to see the play, In The Beginning, at Sight And Sound in Pennsylvania.  While waiting to go into the auditorium a little girl became interested in our grandaughter, Addison.  The little girl was precious and we allowed her to hold Addy [...]
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