Allen Palmeri

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Marvin wears gold for Team Jesus Christ

SOCHI, Russia (BP) -- Gigi Marvin was among the heartbroken Team USA players as a 2-0 lead vanished against Canada in women's hockey Feb. 20 along with hopes for a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.

Hockey player goes for gold, focuses on ‘Audience of One’

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (BP) -- Anne Schleper, a defenseman on the United States women's Olympic hockey team, is an Olympian with a plan. Schleper, 24, said she approaches her team's quest for a gold medal in Sochi, Russia, as a Christ follower who invites Him onto the ice with her. The U.S. will play Thursday (Feb. 20) in the finals. "I'm a Christian and nothing happens in my life that isn't filtered through God's hands first," she wrote Feb. 6 on her Twitter account. Hockey players who compete internationally, as Schleper has been doing since 2008, can struggle at times with trying to impress teammates, coaches, family and friends, she said. More than anything her walk with Christ helps her to overcome pressures that may come on the Olympic stage. The United States and Canada have owned the medal platform in women's hockey, winning all four of the gold medals, three silvers and a bronze since it became an Olympic sport in 1998. Now with the U.S. advancing today (Feb. 17) to the finals after defeating Sweden 6-1, they could come away with gold. But "it's not about that," said Schleper, talking about the pressure of playing in the big game. "It's all about my Audience of One and playing only for God." She learned how to do that at an Athletes in Action training camp that "absolutely changed [her] life." She was raised in church but had missed out on having a personal, daily time with Him. The Holy Spirit moving through the athletes at the camp helped her put it all together. "That was kind of my game-changing moment," Schleper said. "That's when I really got to know the Lord. I developed that personal relationship with Him which I was missing all along growing up." Born in St. Cloud, Minn., Schleper said she was a typical Minnesotan in that "you pretty much learn how to skate before you learn to walk." She won numerous honors with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers including: All-America; Big Ten Medal of Honor; all-conference all-academic team (three times); ...

Life Chain continues to pray across U.S. to end abortion

YUBA CITY, Calif. (BP) -- The urgent need to rescue preborn babies is at the heart of another Life Chain observance Oct. 6. For 26 years, people have been peacefully holding signs along streets in cities and towns while praying for the end of abortion. Upwards of a million participants in the United States and Canada were mobilized until organizers stopped counting in the early 1990s to make prayer the sole focus. The event occurs on the first Sunday in October, along with similar Life Chains at different times in other countries. "Abortions remain numerous" while too many churches remain apathetic, said Royce Dunn, founder and director of Life Chain (www.lifechain.net) and a Baptist layman from Yuba City, Calif. "That's why we do this. We aim to rescue a nation, too. The church must discover and discern the holocaust." Life Chain launched in California with thousands of participants from Sacramento to San Diego and went national in 1991 with 373 locations and 771,000 participants across the country. In 1992 the total swelled to more than 800 U.S. venues and 975,000 participants along with 97 chains and 80,000 people in Canada, although current numbers are considerably lower. "The Life Chain is a call to the church through pastoral leadership," Dunn noted. "It's church-oriented and pastor-focused. Pastors are urged to prepare their people and lead them to the chain. Participants are to just isolate themselves with God for 90 minutes. If they do that with their pastor, it will be a very, very meaningful experience." Joe Goodson, a Southern Baptist minister in Texas, has seen the Life Chain work well in the state, having participated as a seminarian, youth pastor and pastor over the years. This year he will be with the Temple/Belton Life Chain. The battle at the Texas statehouse in Austin in recent months over a bill to restrict abortions is a special motivation to Goodson for this year's Life Chain. "It was an intense conflict between light and darkness, and the spiritual blindness and darkness upon our nation and culture was almost palpable at times," Goodson said. "The attempt to protect unborn children was slandered as evil with all sorts of obscene signs, chants and bitterness." The legislature passed a bill with various abortion restrictions and Gov. Rick Perry subsequently signed it. "After witnessing this, I am exponentially more eager to spread the word about the Life Chain all across Texas and beyond ... to provide that essential voice for the voiceless unborn," Goodson said. Dunn said today's worship often shuns the cries of Jeremiah, Isaiah and Jonah. Instead, the American church largely is ineffectual against "a calamity much larger than the German Holocaust. While 56 million chiefly surgical abortions have been reported in America and 3 million in Canada, the actual numbers are much higher, and hidden deaths from the abortive chemicals in birth controls may exceed the surgical deaths." Commenting on the silence of many pastors on the issue, Dunn said, "As long as they refuse to discern and communicate what the children are enduring they will continue to die. ...

Mo. voters OK amend. protecting public prayer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP) -- The passage of Missouri Amendment 2 -- which guarantees the right to pray and worship on public property and to choose any or no religion -- was cheered by Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) leaders who worked hard for its passage.

Mo. voters OK amend. protecting public prayer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP) -- The passage of Missouri Amendment 2 -- which guarantees the right to pray and worship on public property and to choose any or no religion -- was cheered by Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) leaders who worked hard for its passage.

SBU men’s basketball faces sanctions

BOLVAR, Mo. (BP) — Hundreds of impermissible text messages have resulted in NCAA probation sanctions against Southwest Baptist University’s men’s basketball team. SBU President C. Pat Taylor said the long-term future of the program and its head coach, Jeff Guiot, would not be impacted, but the short-term sanctions would be substantial. The NCAA released a […]

Pastor in flooded Mo.: Don’t forget about us

BREWER LAKE, Mo. (BP)--Brandy Crisel stares into the slowly receding waters of the New Madrid Floodway, trying to see her childhood home. It might be one-quarter of a mile away.

Joplin: With 116 dead, Mo. Baptists to help ‘in every way we can’

JOPLIN, Mo. (BP)--"We are praying and will be sending help in every way we can," the president of the Missouri Baptist Convention said in the aftermath of the tornado in Joplin that killed 116 or more people May 22 in a state already heavy leaden with Mississippi River flooding.

Mo. Baptists swing into relief mode

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP)--A one-two punch of tornadoes and floods in the waning days of April rocked Missouri even as Missouri Baptist relief workers rolled into action.

Rural church welcomes Frank Page’s visit

BUCKLIN, Mo. (BP)--Frank Page, standing in the foyer of rural Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, was visiting one of Southern Baptists' most important sites.