Friday, May 27, 2011

The 3 - May 28, 2011

The most current edition of "The 3", delayed a bit by the Memorial Day weekend and the travels thereof, includes a moving demonstation of faith in the realm of pop culture, concern over new policies regarding gay behavior in the military, and a court case that could have serious implications for elementary school students who wish to speak openly about their faith.

3 - Scotty wins!

A teenage singer who appears to be on his way to country music superstardom was named Season 10's "American Idol" on Wednesday night. His first words following the announcement of his victory were consistent with the way that he has conducted himself this season, declaring, "I've got to thank the Lord first; he got me here..."

Scotty has worn a cross on a leather neckpiece throughout the season, as well as a black "I Am Second" wristband, showing support for the Christian movement that champions personal stories of faith. His remarkable resilience in the face of pop sensation Lady Gaga as she attempted to take their "mentoring" session into the gutter is one testimonial to his faith in Christ.

The Christian Post had this story on Scotty's triumph.

Scotty, as well as his friend and finale competitor Lauren Aliana, have a track record of displaying their Christian faith. In the midst of an "Idol" season that had its share of lewd moments, thanks to the likes of judge Steven Tyler and performers such as Gaga, these two teens exuded some profound displays of light. As they now move into the spotlight of pop and country music, they need our prayers. Scotty made a bold declaration at his homecoming concert that his faith had grown stronger during his time on the show, and we can hope that he and Lauren will continue to allow the Lord to express Himself through their lives.

2 - Groups, lawmakers call for clarity in repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

In the "lame-duck" session of Congress last year, lawmakers voted to repeal the military's ban on homosexuality in its ranks, which was diluted by the Clinton administration's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy. Now, in light of the Navy's authorization (since rescinded) for chaplains to perform same-sex marriages, in violation of Federal law (the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as one man and one woman), as well as concerns about the implementation of the new regulations dealing with the gay lifestyle, a number of groups who provide chaplains for the military, as well as concerned lawmakers, are speaking out.

Recently, 21 groups supplying chaplains to the U.S. military crafted a letter calling for strengthening of religious liberty protections in the process of implementing the repeal of DADT. The letter addresses the possibility that chaplains could face working in a hostile environment as they attempt to uphold the teachings of their denominations or organizations who believe that homosexual behavior is immoral. A letter from retired chaplains last year, sent before the vote on repealing DADT, warned about the negative impact on current chaplains.

And, legislation has been introduced to slow down the implementation of these new policies to replace DADT. Representatives Todd Akin and Valerie Hartzler introduced amendments to the latest Defense Authorization Bill that would reinforce the application of the Defense of Marriage Act in the armed forces - Akin's bill would outright ban "same-sex" marriages, Hartzler's legislation would make sure that DOMA is explicitly applied to the military. Those amendments passed their committee votes, as did an amendment by Representative Duncan Hunter, who called for the military chiefs to certify that repealing DADT will not negatively impact combat readiness.

This repeal would undoubtedly not pass Congress if it were to be introduced now. That is why there was such a rush to get the repeal passed before the adjournment in December. Now, as the potential effects are weighed, it's important that the effects on our troops, as well as those who counsel them, are given extreme consideration.

1 - Free speech under scrutiny in "Candy Cane Case", a major appeals case

The name of the case is rather innocuous - the "Candy Cane Case" - but its potential to impact the free speech rights of students is huge. The case is an amalgamation of several instances in the Plano (TX) Independent School District where students' religious expression was limited by school officials (according to Liberty Institute):
- An eight-year-old boy was banned from handing out candy canes at the school "winter" party because they contained a religious message;
- A girl was threatened for handing out tickets after school to a religious play;
- An entire class of students was forbidden from writing "Merry Christmas" on holiday cards to American troops serving overseas.

Oral arguments in the case were heard by the entire 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday. A three-judge panel of the Court had already ruled in favor of the students. However, due to an infrequent legal maneuver, the entire Court - 17-members - agreed to hear this case.

Liberty Institute, under the direction of Kelly Shackelford, is defending the students. Former U.S. Solicitors General Paul Clement and Kenneth Starr assisted in the case on behalf of the students, as well.

Some of the disturbing arguments involve the contention made by attorneys for the school district attorneys that elementary school students are too young to have constitutional rights, and declarations in court that school officials are not responsible for knowing which types of speech or activities that they can prohibit.

Liberty Institute estimates that millions of public school elementary school students could be adversely affected by this ruling. That is why prayer - that students' rights to express themselves are not curtailed - is necessary.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The 3 - May 21, 2011

What a week! A major foreign policy address from President Obama, developments in the race to take his place, graduation location controversies grabbing headlines, and the rapture, well - NOT! But, nevertheless, we have plenty to discuss in this edition of "The 3" here goes:

3 (tie) - Obama delivers major speech on Middle East

This week, President Obama delivered a major speech on the Middle East. In addition to addressing the unrest present in a number of countries in the region, including Syria, where the most recent turmoil has emerged, the President stated what he claims has been U.S. policy for quite some time. He called on Israel to revert to its pre-1967 borders, which would essentially leave the regions of the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the control of someone else, presumably the Palestinians.

This suggestion was met with outright rejection by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who described those borders as "indefensible". And, Christian leaders who have voiced support for the nation of Israel in the past were unified in expressing concern over the President's declaration.

A full-page ad that was run in the Jerusalem Post today featured a letter of support signed by a number of high-profile Christians, including James Dobson, Tim Wildmon, Mike Huckabee, Lou Sheldon, General Jerry Boykin, and many others. Here is a background story from World Net Daily. The corresponding website address is

Check out analysis from Jimmy DeYoung of "Prophecy Today" at this link:

The Bible instructs us to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem", and it's an important principle of Scripture to stand with Israel and the Jewish people. Even as Palestinian groups were making a unity declaration this week that carries with it a denunciation of Israel's right to exist, Christians who recognize that God has a plan for the nation of Israel regard support for that nation an important Biblical concept.

3 (tie) - Huck & Daniels exit, Cain & Pawlenty move ahead

Recent announcements were made by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, considered a frontrunner for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, whose pro-life credentials had undergone scrutiny in light of his call for a "truce" on social issues. These two leaders made public that they would not seek the nomination this time around.

Evangelicals are continuing to search for a candidate around whom they can unite. Throw in Donald Trump, too, who announced this week he would not seek the Presidency - he had declared himself to be pro-life, sort of, since past statements did not put him in that category. Nevertheless, he had turned a few heads in the evangelical community.

Two candidates who might be considered to be attractive to evangelicals, even though polling data still puts them in the relative unknown category, include former Godfather's Pizza CEO and ordained minister Herman Cain, formerly an Atlanta talk-show host who fared rather well in a South Carolina debate that was minus a number of the frontrunners, such as Palin and Romney. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is also generating some talk as a formidable candidate who can attract evangelical support. Cain announced his intentions to seek the Presidency this week, Pawlenty is expected to declare his desire to move forward in the coming week.

Mix in another Minnesotan - Representative Michele Bachmann - along with Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich, who are attempting to appeal to religious, even evangelical voters, and you have a wide-open race with some challenging choices for Christians, who can be a powerful force at the ballot box - if they can unite behind a candidate or two.

2 - High school graduation controversies center on content, location

One of the noticeable trends regarding graduation ceremonies and religious freedom in the past years has been the emergence of restrictions that some school officials had placed on graduation speakers regarding the religious content of their messages. These attempts to limit the free speech rights of these students have led to intervention by Christian legal advocacy organizations and lawsuits in some instances.

That element of graduation controversy continues to proliferate across America, and now, a new area concerning graduation has developed - attempts to keep graduation ceremonies out of church buildings. One high-profile case gained quite a bit of coverage last year in Enfield, Connecticut, where a large church had been hosting graduations for a number of years. A Federal judge had, in fact, issued a injunction against the ceremony being held there.

Just this week, the Irving, Texas school district said that it would no longer use the facilities of The Potter's House church, pastored by Bishop T.D. Jakes, for its graduation ceremonies. In Lufkin, Texas, the practice of allowing certain school functions to take place in a church has been challenged. A Colorado Springs school that wanted to hold this past week's scheduled graduation in the large New Life Church facility had to suddenly relocate.

An Ocean City, New Jersey school planned its graduation ceremony in a church that has a 20-foot cross affixed to its exterior. The school district had come under fire there, even to the extent of the ACLU demanding that the cross on the front of the building be covered.

These and other instances are examples of a misinterpretation of the Constitutional concept of "establishment of religion". Just because an event sponsored by a governmental entity takes place in a building used for worship, that does not violate the so-called "separation of church and state". These are, unfortunately, baseless attempts to try to reduce the awareness of God from the consciousness of society.

1 - "Rapture Fail" raises questions

The better-known-than-it-should-be prediction of Harold Camping, the head of an organization of radio stations known as Family Radio, has now been proven false, and it is unknown what implications this might have for a multi-million-dollar broadcast network that has been seriously discredited by the failure of Camping's prediction of the "end of the world".

There are a few considerations that we can take away from this incident:

The willingness of media to concentrate on extreme religious views. By no means could Camping and his lot be considered to be mainstream Christians. But, because of the enormous amount of media attention, highly regarded Christian leaders were being asked to go on the record to share their views. The good news is that this coverage did give added exposure to traditional, Scriptural Christian thought. Camping had predicted the return of the Lord back in 1994, but I don't recall the amount of coverage then - but now, with the Internet and the huge variety of media sources, there was a groundswell of interest in the story, and Camping became repackaged as someone worthy of media attention. The story was met with skepticism and even mockery in some circles, but, if the broad brush is applied too broadly, the perception can be that Christians, in general, are a bit off-base, and could diminish the credibility of the true gospel message. I am thankful for the Biblical rebuttal that was reported in the midst of the proliferation of attention on the story.

The second coming of Christ became a discussion topic and could be an evangelism tool
. So, as we return to our workplaces, schools, and places of influence this week, we do have an opportunity to discuss the truth of God's Word. The Rapture, Second Coming of Christ, Judgment Day, End of the World, whatever it was supposed to be - did not come, but that does not and should not divert attention from the last-days scenario that is laid out in the Scriptures. We are told that Christ will come again, and while no one knows the day or the hour, we can read the signs - and as Jesus laid out in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew chapter 24, we can see occurrences on the earth that are setting the stage for these predictions to be fulfilled. Judgment is coming, before a true and righteous Judge, and we can ask the question - when Christ returns for His own, can we stand before Him knowing that we belong to Him? The only way to know is to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior.

What if we could would that affect our lives? Another interesting element is the self-evaluation that can take place in our lives. If we believe that Jesus will return, and that the church will be taken up into heaven 7 years prior to that time in the rapture, then how does that affect our lives? If we think that occasion is imminent, then how should that affect us? Would we be living with a sense of urgency?

And...if we were to know the day or the hour, if we knew we only had a few days to live - how would that change the way we live our lives? And shouldn't that be the way we live all of the time?

There was no shortage of coverage and commentary about this prediction. The Christian Post, not unexpectedly, had extensive coverage, including this sampling of evangelical leaders in advance of the May 21 date.

Noted Christian author and media observer Phil Cooke had these comments.

Blogger Timothy Dalrymple has attracted quite a bit of attention with this post.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The 3 - May 14, 2011

This week's edition of "The 3" includes a number of high-profile stories, including a tie for second place. You'll read some good news about the health of a well-known Christian leader, the future of government funding of Planned Parenthood in Indiana, court arguments regarding health care, and the ordination of gay clergy in a major denomination.

3 - Billy Graham hospitalized with pneumonia, released

On the same day that one giant of the faith was honored in a memorial service, another came home from a 5-day hospital stay. David Wilkerson's memorial service was held at the church he founded, the Times Square Church in New York City, on Sunday. Wilkerson had lost his life in an automobile accident in Texas on April 27...his wife remains in the hospital, but her condition is improving.

Meanwhile, many across America were no doubt praying for Dr. Billy Graham as he endured a 5-day hospital stay, returning home on Sunday. He was hospitalized as the result of pneumonia. The 92-year-old evangelist reportedly responded well to treatment, and carried out a fairly normal routine, meeting for prayer and Bible study with his pastor, and visiting with family members.

2 (tie) - Indiana governor signs bill to defund Planned Parenthood

Much of the debate about taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, has played out on the national level, as the U.S. House of Representatives has voted twice to not allow government subsidies for the organization. The Senate, meanwhile, in a recent vote, decided to allow taxpayer funding to stand.

But, there are state and local decisions that can be made regarding the sending of tax dollars to Planned Parenthood. The Indiana Legislature had passed a bill that would prevent the state government from funding any entity that performs abortions or allows the procedure to be performed at its facility. The bill also bans most abortions after 20 weeks and strengthens the state's informed consent law. After the Legislature passed the bill, all eyes were on Governor Mitch Daniels, who is viewed as a pro-life, pro-family Christian who had raised concern in the evangelical community over his call for a "truce" on social issues, claiming that the economic issues the nation faces should supersede such issues as life and marriage.

Daniels signed the bill, which may have raised his credibility with evangelicals who are looking for some candidate, any candidate they can support in 2012. And, with the departure of Mike Huckabee as a 2012 Presidential candidate, it's still possible that Daniels could look to evangelical Christians as a voter base. However, Daniels later this week said that he would consider Condoleezza Rice, a former Secretary of State whose position on abortion would be described as "pro-choice", a good Vice-Presidential nominee.

Will Daniels succeed in motivating evangelical voters? Who knows. And no one knows if he will run at all...

2 (tie) - Christian university appeals Federal judge's ruling in health care case

Oral arguments in the first private lawsuit filed against the Federal health care law were heard in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia this week. Liberty University had filed suit, saying that the individual and the employer mandates in the law were unconstitutional. A Federal district judge had ruled against the school, which resulted in the appeal. The same day, subsequent to the Liberty case, the Court heard arguments in a case where the Attorney General of the state of Virginia had challenged the individual mandate. The judge in that case had ruled in favor of AG Ken Cuccinelli in the state's challenge.

No matter what the Court's ruling, the cases are expected to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, along with 2 other cases, including the one filed by some 26 state attorneys general, which resulted in a Federal district judge finding the entirety of the law to be unconstitutional.

1 - Presbyterian Church USA votes to ordain homosexuals

After a lengthy process involving regional body after regional body voting to allow the ordination of gay clergy in committed relationships, the most recent of these bodies, or presbyteries, of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., voted to affirm this decision, resulting in it becoming part of the denomination's constitution.

The change to the denomination's constitution was approved by the General Assembly last summer, but 87 presbyteries had to vote to go along. The requirement for clergy to practice fidelity in a marriage relationship between a man and a woman, as well as chastity in singleness has been eliminated.

Some supporting this measure claim that society has changed, therefore the church must adapt to these cultural trends. But, the fact remains that the teaching of the Scriptures is that this behavior is sinful. Furthermore, while homosexual practice has gained greater acceptance, perhaps, a recent study shows that less than 2 percent of the adult population, or some 4 million adults, are gay. Yet, church denominations, the Federal government, state governments, and corporations are drafting policy based on a very small percentage of the population.

Gay activists, who speak with a loud voice and have drafted the mainstream media as accomplices in their exaggeration of demographic power, have sought to distort and desensitize the general population - they are not, and should not be a protected class, and their brazen attempt to legitimize unbiblical behavior has resulted in many in the church exercising excessive restraint in speaking out firmly in opposition to it. Speaking the truth - in love - is Biblical direction; it's not bullying and it's not intolerance when we point out practice that does not square with the Scriptures.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The 3 - May 7, 2011

This week's edition of "The 3" continues to maintain awareness of a story that has brought great sadness to our region, but also a great sense of hope, as people have responded in incredible ways. Also, the annual observance of the National Day of Prayer has come and gone, with a renewed emphasis on praying for our nation, our leaders, and the substantial issues we face. And, the top story: the death of a terror mastermind and the spiritual implications.

3 - Massive number of Christian workers, as well as Christian leaders, visit tornado-ravaged area

It's been a week-and-a-half since deadly tornadoes scratched deep paths of destruction across the Deep South, with hundreds dead, thousands injured, and scores of homes and businesses left as no more than piles of rubble. Governmental agencies from the Federal and State government swung into action, as we have come to expect, and the initial reviews are that they are doing an excellent job of bringing needed assistance to the victims.

But, as we saw in Katrina and as we have seen in other disasters, the Christian community has become a potent force in bringing relief to the multiple affected areas. Churches and church organizations, some with armies of trained volunteers, have brought the requested assistance that has been so greatly needed. In fact, there are instances where some areas had an overabundance of volunteers to help clean up debris. Social media has been a powerful tool in providing information about locations in need, and people appear more than willing to provide.

Christian musicians are calling attention to the devastation and have brought hope to the affected areas. Last Sunday night in Cullman, Alabama, Casting Crowns performed before a gathering of some 15,000 people. Michael W. Smith was in Tuscaloosa on Monday to work with Samaritan's Purse, which has a strong presence in the area. And, Mac Powell of Third Day and evangelist David Nasser, who teamed up for the "Glory Revealed" project, announced that they would be involved in a Tornado Relief concert in Birmingham on May 15th. The website is

2 - National Day of Prayer unites thousands of Christian believers nationwide

This year, estimated millions of Christians gathered across the nation for the observance of the National Day of Prayer. In 1952, during the Truman administration, Congress issued a directive for a National Day of Prayer to be proclaimed annually by the President, and this was done this year by President Obama. The Freedom from Religion Foundation had sued to have this directive declared unconstitutional, and a Federal court judge had actually found this Congressional action to be a violation of the "Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment. That ruling was overturned by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just weeks ago.

Here is a National Day of Prayer report from CitizenLink.

In 1988, the National Day of Prayer was established as the first Thursday of May, and this year, it was observed in the nation's capital in the Cannon House Office Building, with Honorary Chairperson of this year's observance, Joni Eareckson Tada, on hand, along with a number of faith leaders from the Christian community, as well as members of Congress and more. The event was broadcast live on the Internet.

Across the nation, many churches held special services, including prayer breakfasts and evening prayer gatherings. County courthouses and other municipal locations were sites for special meetings across the county, as civic leaders joined with local ministers and citizens to call upon the Lord on behalf of our nation and a variety of topic areas, including government, military, media, business, media, education, church, and family.

1 - Death of bin Laden brings evaluation of proper Christian response

Late last Sunday night, President Obama announced that al-Qaeda leader and 9-11 mastermind Osama bin Laden had been killed by a group of highly trained U.S. special forces who carried out a carefully-planned, strategic operation that had been in the works for months. Almost instantly, Americans took to the streets in celebration - at the White House, at Times Square, and there was a sense of jubilation across the land.

For Christians and Christian leaders, the death of bin Laden does arouse some questions...Should we celebrate the death of another person, even someone who had wrought so much evil, who even did it in the name of religion, exploiting the teachings of Islam to incite death and destruction? Osama bin Laden had not professed faith in Christ, so it is to be assumed that he will spend eternity in hell, apart from God. So, I don't think we, as Christians, should necessarily rejoice in his death.

But, we can be grateful that justice was done. It was pointed out by
Mindy Belz, Editor of WORLD Magazine, in an interview that I recorded several days ago, that our jubilation over bin Laden's death can be compared to past celebrations such as V-E Day or V-J Day, celebrating not the death of enemies but the triumph of America and the fulfillment of justice. Mindy has written an excellent article for WORLD on the next steps in dealing with terror. The interview is scheduled to air on The Meeting House on Tuesday, May 10th.

The fact is, al-Qaeda is still alive and well, and it's important that the U.S. government recognizes the threat and the intricacies of the worldwide organization which has set itself in opposition against America. It is important that we recognize the spiritual dynamics of the struggle, and see that those involved in Islamic jihad, or holy war, against America and its allies, most notably Israel, are operating under the false belief that their treacherous actions will please Allah and result in eternal rewards. Christians recognize that Allah is not the God of the Bible, and following the teachings of the Koran can place someone in direct conflict with the principles of Scripture. To ignore or downplay the threat of Islamic fundamentalism in the name of tolerance or to not to see it as a spiritual conflict places our nation in peril - it must be recognized, confronted, and defended against.

There were plenty of comments from Christian leaders about bin Laden's death. Here is a sampling:

Michael Horton of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals from Christianity Today

Christopher Morgan had these thoughts on The Gospel Coalition blog

The Christian Post had this analysis

And, for a variety of perspectives, check out this piece from Charisma magazine

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The 3 - May 1, 2011

This week, with so many in the listening area of The Meeting House and Faith Radio praying and attempting to help the victims of the storms that struck the Northern and Central sections of Alabama on Wednesday, there is no doubt that is the top story affecting the Christian community - and in times like these, yes, we can count on the Christian community reaching out with the compassion of Christ. Also, this week, the death of a iconic Christian leader, and the strong stand by an attorney for the legal definition of marriage.

3 - Times Square Church, Teen Challenge founder David Wilkerson killed in car accident

This week, Christians mourned the death of David Wilkerson, who swerved into the path of an 18-wheeler while driving in Texas. He was 79 years old. Wilkerson left a legacy of sharing the love and power of Christ with people trapped in situations threatening their very existence. In his book, "The Cross and the Switchblade", he wrote about life among gang members in New York City. The organization he founded, Teen Challenge, has a remarkable track record in reaching out to people with life-controlling addictions, including substance abuse.

Here is a synopsis of the life and ministry of Wilkerson from The Christian Post.

Wilkerson is the founder of Times Square Church in New York City, which was established in 1986 and is now housed in a theater on Broadway. He had turned over the reins of the pastorate to Carter Conlon, who had recently brought a ministry team from the church to Alabama. Wilkerson was recognized for his no-nonsense, passionate approach to sharing the gospel, and his work with the destitute was a true mark of this ministry.

2 - Defense of Marriage Act attorney leaves firm; continues defense

It was a topsy-turvy week regarding the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed overwhelmingly by Congress in 1996 and signed by then-President Bill Clinton. In light of pending court challenges to the Act, establishing marriage as one-man, one-women, effective defense counsel had to be put in place. The Obama Administration abdicated its duty to defend DOMA, and the House of Representatives had stepped in to name the law firm of King and Spalding, specifically attorney Paul Clement, a former Solicitor General (that's the lead attorney arguing cases on behalf of the U.S. Government), as the lead counsel to defend the law...

...but under pressure from the Human Rights Campaign and apparently other pro-homosexual groups, King and Spalding announced it would no longer defend DOMA. No problem - Clement resigned from the firm and has announced his intention to carry on the defense.

Here is a report from CitizenLink.

And, this move has cost King and Spalding some business - Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has announced the end of his office's two-year relationship with the firm, specifically due to its action on DOMA. King and Spalding has also come under fire because of its dropping of the case after agreeing to take it, which demonstrates questionable legal ethics.

1 - Deadly tornadoes ravage South; churches and Christian organizations spring in to action

The second deadliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history caused extensive, even catastrophic damage to sections of a number of Southern states. The death toll at this time is approaching 350 people, and many communities are still trying to address the incredible needs that have arisen from this tragedy. Over 250 are dead in Alabama, and the expectations are that the toll will continue to rise. Governor Robert Bentley declared Sunday, May 1st, as a Day of Prayer, as we remember the victims of the storms of April 27th, their families, and the overall relief efforts.

President Obama visited the state on Friday, and promised Federal aid for individuals and families in need through FEMA. State emergency officials are also working to help provide needed assistance to those experiencing loss. As we have seen in past disasters, a vast number of churches and Christian ministries are highly involved in providing not only physical assistance but also spiritual encouragement in this time of difficulty.

Churches across Alabama and throughout the nation have devoted time and effort to collecting monetary donations and supplies to send to the victims. Churches in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and other Southern cities are acting as staging areas and partnering with other churches outside the affected regions to address the needs of those who have experienced damage and displacement.
Denominational organizations, such as the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, United Methodist Committe of Relief (UMCOR), and other, have been active in providing needed support.

And, national organizations such as Samaritan's Purse, working with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, as well as the Salvation Army, Convoy of Hope, and others are working with local churches and organizations to provide needed services and resources.

Governor Bentley's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives will administer the Governor's Emergency Relief Fund, which will operate on an ongoing basis to help Alabamians who have exhausted all other avenues of disaster relief. You can go to for additional information.

And, of course, the American Red Cross and local EMA officials have been extremely involved in helping the suffering.

Faith Radio has established a link for area churches that have notified us of special opportunities. It is found at