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Same-Sex Marriage Facebook Comments Get Teacher Suspended

A former "Teacher of the Year" at Mount Dora High School has been suspended from the classroom for a comment he made on his own personal Facebook page.

In the Facebook comment, Jerry Buell expressed his disapproval of legalized same-sex marriage in New York. The Florida educator said homosexuality is a sin and that seeing two "grooms" kissing on a news story revolted him.

School officials received a complaint about Buell's comment on Tuesday from a 2002 Mount Dora graduate, who was never even in the teacher's class. The Lake County School District responded by taking away his teaching privileges and reassigning him to administrative duties. read more

ap_Zachery_Tims_New_Destiny_photog-John_Raoux

Megachurch Will Not Stream Zachery Tims Funeral Service


AP Iamges/John Raoux

After early plans to stream megachurch Pastor Zachery Tims' funeral service online, New Destiny Christian Center has decided to keep the event private. The service will not stream online or be open to media.

Tims, 42, was found dead in a New York City hotel room on Aug. 12. The cause of death has not yet been determined. About 2,000 people attended NDCC on Monday night to grieve Tims' death.

Speakers have not been announced for the funeral, though Orlando, Fla., news station WESH-TV is reporting that Bishop T.D. Jakes may be present. On Thursday afternoon, Jakes tweeted that he was traveling to Orlando to be with Tims' family. read more

The Shack, William P. Young

'The Shack' Lawsuit Dismissed

Author William P. Young’s contract dispute regarding his runaway best-seller, The Shack, has been settled out of court.

Court documents show that a jury trial was scheduled for late September in Ventura, Calif., but on Aug. 12 the case was dismissed without prejudice.

Young filed suit in November 2009 against Brad Cummings and Wayne Jacobsen. Windblown Media countersued for $5 million in federal court and made a claim over the authorship of the book. Cummings and Jacobsen collaborated with Young in writing what became a No. 1 New York Times best-selling novel and founded Windblown Media to publish it after it was rejected by multiple publishers. Cummings did not respond to queries for comment.

Hachette Book Group, which in 2008 began to distribute The Shack, also filed suit against Young and Windblown Media to determine where royalties should be paid and to protect itself from future lawsuits. In the wake of the dismissal, Hachette’s statement to Christian Retailing on the case was: “We’re very pleased that the parties have resolved their differences and we can move forward.” read more

VIDEO: 20 Years of 'Redeeming Love'

Over 1 million copies of the love story have been sold. Since its debut, now 20 years ago, Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love has inspired readers through a "life-changing story of God's unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love." Rivers invites you to share your redeeming love story for a chance to win a trip for two to San Francisco. Watch today's daily interest video to join Charisma in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the biblical retelling of the book of Hosea. 

{youtube width="500"}DmTBB0Y7oUs{/youtube} read more

ap_gas_prices_shipping_costs_photog-Gary_Kazanjian

High Shipping Prices Hinder Spread of Gospel


AP Images/Gary Kazanjian

Gas prices are finally starting to slowly climb back down in the U.S., and the costs are expected to continue their decline. Over the past few months oil prices have gone down, and yet shipping costs—which rose with the rise in oil costs over the last few years—remain high.

Oil prices are still higher than they were a year ago, which is part of the reason that shipping costs have remained higher as well. Even as oil prices go down, some shipping companies are playing catch-up.

Increased shipping costs have presented a significant dilemma for ministries attempting to send large amounts of aid or resources to far-away nations. Global Aid Network (GAiN), for example, has millions of meals prepared to send to East Africa where severe drought has thrown millions into levels of starvation. However, GAiN has had difficulty procuring the funds to actually send the food to Africa. read more

ap_economy_crisis_Dow_Jones_trader_photog-Richard_Drew

Fears of Double-Dip Recession Heighten


AP Images/Richard Drew

Asian stocks dropped Friday over growing concerns of a possible U.S. recession and the growing debt crisis in Europe.

This news followed Thursday's rough tumble on Wall Street where new jobs numbers spurred another sell-off.

Nearly 408,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week, up 9,000 from the week before. read more

GFA film showing

Family of Demon-Possessed Girl Struggles to Accept Christ

When Pathik Sharma showed a movie about Jesus to a people staunchly devoted to ancestor worship, Bishakha Gupta came to watch—and so did the demon that possessed her body.

As the movie ended, Bishakha's breathing became erratic. Her parents noticed her distress and decided to take her to a doctor the next day. But Pathik, a Gospel for Asia-supported missionary, asked if he could pray for the young girl instead.

When Pathik stepped toward Bishakha, the girl pushed him away and would not let the missionary touch her. She became violent. The people around her held her hands and feet so Pathik could pray. read more

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OpEd: What We Must Learn From the Zachery Tims Tragedy

God has something sobering to say to us through the death of this popular preacher.

Zachery Tims’ story had a great beginning. As a young man he met Jesus and was saved from a life of crime and drugs. He and his wife, Riva, moved from Baltimore to Orlando, Fla., in 1996 to launch a church that aimed to restore families and pull teens out of trouble. New Destiny Christian Center grew fast, mostly because of Tims’ passionate preaching. He was soon a regular on Christian television.

But things unraveled in 2009 when Tims was caught carrying on a yearlong affair with a stripper he met in France. He admitted to an “indiscretion” and got a few weeks of counseling, but he didn’t take serious time off for rehabilitation. Riva divorced him for his infidelity. The billboards that once featured photos of the happy couple were changed. By 2011 the roadside ads featured a shot of Tims by himself, with this slogan: “A Family Church Meeting Family Needs.” read more

Nepal Churches Live Under Constant Threat


AP Images/Gemunu Amarasinghe

Defying pouring rain and flooded streets, over two dozen people have gathered faithfully at the Putalisadak Church in the heart of capital city Kathmandu for the regular Thursday evening Bible study class, bringing a smile of satisfaction on the face of Pastor Dev Kumar Chetri.

The smile fades, however, when he talks about the problems that Nepal’s second-oldest church has faced due to government discrimination. Hundreds of other churches scattered through the former Hindu kingdom have faced the same problem. read more

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Christian Worshippers Brutally Beaten in Vietnam

A violent attack against indigenous minority Christians in the central highlands of Vietnam has left 16 men and women severely injured and one man still under arrest; his welfare remains unknown to date, according to a report from International Christian Concern.

To be sure, the systematic persecution of Degar Montagnard Christians continues, with this brutal attack as proof of the regime’s purposeful policing, harassment, and aggressive oppression of this indigenous people and minority religious group.

On July 7, at approximately 8 p.m., Vietnamese security forces and police descended upon a worship service in the village of Buon Kret Krot (H’Ra commune, Mang Yang district, Plei Ku city, in Gai Lai province), and began kicking and beating the attendees. Security forces threatened the villagers, stating: If anyone worships like this way, we will return to arrest you all and put you in prison for five years.” read more

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