Seminary Dean, Airplane Enthusiast, Evangelist

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary academic dean Jim Cogdill is finding new ways to share Christ in the school's community – even if it means relating propeller-driven aircraft to the message of the incarnation. A pilot with more than 1,000 flying hours, Cogdill spoke of God's redemptive plan at a Christmas meeting of propeller airplane enthusiasts in the Kansas City, Mo., area.

"You don't want a pilot who just comes close to the runway. You want a pilot who is very precise," Cogdill told fellow enthusiasts. "God was very precise on that first Christmas day. When He came into the world, He knew exactly what He was doing. He had an exact plan and He followed it. That's why we can trust God with our lives."

The guest speaker at the December meeting, Cogdill recounted his own experience as a pilot, when he and his wife, Debbie, also a pilot, used their Cessna 150 to fly to Simpson, Ill., from Louisville, Ky., when he was a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. An airstrip belonging to the U.S. Forest Service, located directly beside Simpson Baptist Church, became a weekly target for the young pastor and his wife.



Turn Off TV!

Morality in Media's eighth annual "Turn Off TV Day" is scheduled for Sunday, February 14 – Valentine's Day. Each year, supporters find alternatives to television viewing for twenty-four hours to protest TV's promotion of "… blatant sex, foul language, blood, and mayhem."

This year, MIM is urging concerned citizens to contact their congressional leaders and encourage them to extend the ban on broadcast indecency from 10 p.m. to midnight. Currently, the ban is from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Congressional leaders have the ability to extend the ban, which would help protect our young people from unnecessary exposure.

For more information, call 212-870-3222.



Signs for the Times

Billboards seen along Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., roadways:

o Let's Meet At My House Sunday Before the Game. – God

o C'mon Over And Bring The Kids. – God

o What Part of "Thou Shalt Not …" Didn't You Understand? – God

o We Need To Talk. – God

o Keep Using My Name in Vain And I'll Make Rush Hour Longer. – God

o Loved The Wedding, Invite Me To The Marriage. – God

o That "Love Thy Neighbor" Thing, I Meant It. – God

o I Love You … I Love You …I Love You … – God

o Will The Road You're On Get You To My Place? – God

o Follow Me. – God

o Big Bang Theory, You've Got To Be Kidding. – God

o My Way Is The Highway. – God

o Need Directions? – God

o You Think It's Hot Here? – God

o Tell The Kids I Love Them. – God

o Need a Marriage Counselor? I'm Available. – God

o Have You Read My #1 Best Seller? There Will Be A Test. – God



Internet Insanity

A federal judge ruled in November that the public library in Louden County, Va., could not utilize Internet filtering software on its public-use computer terminals. In his ruling, he said if a public library decides to provide Internet access, it must make all websites available.

Washington Post, Nov. 24, 1998



When Right is Wrong

The American Psychiatric Association's board of trustees unanimously adopted a position statement during their December meeting which opposes counseling techniques designed to correct a homosexual's sexual orientation.

Dr. Rodrigo Munoz, president of APA, said, "There is no scientific evidence that reparative or conversion therapy is effective in changing a person's sexual orientation. There is, however, evidence that this type of therapy can be destructive."

The APA's statement said that such therapy could harm patients by causing anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior.

Religion News Service, Dec.16, 1998



Hope for Kazakhstan
by Jenny Rogers

Two weeks after a gas explosion destroyed an apartment building in Saran, Kazakhstan, claiming eighteen lives, residents of the city responded warmly to outreach efforts sponsored by Baptists in Saran.

The explosion, coupled with mounting despair over poverty, unemployment, and no heat for the coming winter, set the stage for "Jesus Christ: The Hope for Kazakhstan," an evangelism emphasis of Saran Baptist Church held two weeks after the disaster.

During a Sunday morning service, forty-five people came forward to accept Christ, with more making commitments later.

Overflow space had to be set up to accommodate the crowd.

"In communist days, [the church] was granted rights to build a church building on the edge of the city," said Paul Babb, Baptist representative to Kazakhstan. "Now the city comes to the church for help with clothes, food, counseling, and words of encouragement."

In God's providence, Illinois Baptists had sent $10,000 to help with human needs that volunteers had seen in the country this past summer, Babb said. The money arrived in Saran on Monday after the explosion.

The church responded to victims of the explosion with immediate help of food, clothes and counseling.

Kazakhstan, geographically located as far north as Canada, will be forced to cope with a winter without heat for the second year in a row.

"They will need to fend for themselves," Babb said, "so they will do what they did before to keep themselves warm – gut the massive five- to ten-story apartment buildings that stretch for city blocks for anything that will burn."



Single Fathers on the Increase

The number of single fathers has grown 25 percent in the past three years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Experts said the trend could be attributed to an increasing tendency of men to seek and get custody and the greater willingness of adoption agencies to consider single people – both heterosexual and homosexual – as parents.

In the last three years, the total of single-parent families headed by fathers has grown from 1.7 million to 2.1 million. Currently, there are 9.8 million single mothers.

According to the report, single-parent families account for 27 percent of all families with children.

Researchers say children raised by single parents – male or female – have a greater risk of suffering emotional problems, dropping out of school, or getting into legal trouble.

Religion News Service, Dec. 11, 1998

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