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"Where there is despair, [Southern Baptists] provide hope, and you
help those who need love find love."
President George W. Bush addressing Southern Baptists
at the annual Southern Baptist Convention, June 21, 2005
"I came here willing to die if I have to, so that I can help our
Marines and sailors see their need for a personal relationship with God. I hope
to show my commitment and concern for their spiritual well-being by being here
every day that I can. I plan on helping with their hurts and supporting their
Lt. Cmdr. Phillip Endel Lee, a Navy chaplain serving
at Camp Fallujah in Iraq. When Lee is finished with his service in Iraq, he
will return to teaching at Leavell College of New Orleans Baptist Theological
"The Cooperative Program is the best way for churches to prove that
you can't outgive God. Although our gifts to CP Missions have been more than $1
million each of the last three years, God has blessed us with an amazing budget
surplus every year. I believe if churches would give away more, they would see
their total offerings increase. I believe the Cooperative Program was born in
the heart and mind of God. We see it as the best way to promote missions and
evangelism throughout God's world. Every church that claims to be a
mission-minded church should be a strong CP Missions supporter."
David Dykes, pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church,
"I was taught moral principles from childhood and tried to win God's
approval by good works, but I was motivated by guilt. I finally came to realize
that if anyone is trying to impress God, it is not of Him. Then in 1995 as a
result of the Braves chapel services I came to understand my need to have a
personal relationship with Christ."
Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz
Source: Baptist Press
No religious book (other than the Bible) has generated more attention-or
sales-than Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life. A recent Barna
Research poll asked Americans what they perceive their purpose in life to be.
Nearly half (44%) said their top priority is having a satisfying family life,
18% listed understanding and carrying out the principles of their faith as
their chief purpose in life, and 10% said having good friends is most
Other priorities included earning a comfortable living (8%), consistently
having significant influence on other people's lives (7%), achieving success
(6%) and enjoying leisure experiences (2%).
Evangelicals were the only faith segment to place personal consistency with
their faith principles as their highest priority with 59% doing so, hence just
19 percent of evangelicals rated family highest.
"It's wonderful that family and faith were the top-ranked priorities listed
by Americans," George Barna said. "The survey results raise some questions,
however, about the faith commitment of many church-going and born again adults.
One must wonder if the struggles evident in so many marriages and parent-child
relationships are connected to the fact that people are generally more
interested in pursuing a fulfilling family life than in understanding the
principles for meaningful living that may help shape such a family
Source: Barna Update, May 17, 2005
U.S. Parents described the most important outcomes they want for their
children and are devoted to helping their children experience in a study by The
Source: The Barna Update, February 28, 2005
As many as 73 million Americans will patronize one of the nation's more than
1,200 casinos, card rooms or bingo parlors this year. In 2005 gamblers will
lose more than $80 billion on everything from horse racing's Triple Crown to
the flop of a card.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, May 23,
8 hours 33 minutes
Average amount of media content U.S. children ages 8 to 18 are exposed to each
day, up from 7 hours 29 minutes in 2000
1 hour 2 minutes
Average amount of time kids spend each day on computers (not counting
homework), up from 27 minutes in 2000
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation and Time, March 21,
Teenage girls have begun using steroids to build the lean, muscular
physiques of models and movie stars. About 5% of high school girls and 7% of
middle school girls, some as young as 9, admit to having tried anabolic
steroids at least once. While some of them are trying to improve athletic
performance, many are looking for a quick way to get a better body.
Source: The Week, May 13, 2005
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers last year
prepared more than 3.5 million meals, repaired more than 2,600 buildings and
completed nearly 11,000 cleanup and recovery projects.
More than 15,000 of the 30,000 trained Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
volunteers gave their time, talents and energies in response to 193 natural
disasters that included hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and ice
One of the most widespread and persistent stereotypes about U.S. teenagers
is that they are alienated from established or organized religion and that this
alienation is increasing. However, data suggests that most U.S. 12th graders
are not alienated from organized religion. Only about 15% appear to be
alienated from religion and another 15% are neither warm nor cold toward
Two-thirds of 12th graders closely agree with the religious ideas of their
parents. One-half believe churches and religious organizations are doing a good
job for the country. Among 12th graders, seven in 10 would like to see religion
exert the same, more or much more influence in society.
Sixty percent of protestant teens say that religious faith is very or
extremely important in shaping their daily lives, 59% report having a prayer
answered by God, 62% recall having had a powerful experience of worship, and
69% say they have committed to live their life for God.
Source: National Study of Youth and Religion
Christian parents have wonderful opportunities to reach out to public and
private school teachers. This fall when your child heads back to school, let
the teacher know that you want to be a partner with him or her in your child's
education and development. Convey your respect for the teacher's skills and
authority. That respect will find its way back to your child. When possible,
volunteer to help in the classroom or with school activities, and build
relationships with the teachers and other parents. These relationships are a
great way to bring Christ into the classroom.
Source: The 2004 MetLife Survey of the American
Teacher and Time, February 21, 2005
We hear about the need for reaching non-Christian Asians or Africans or
other populations in their countries of origin or in their new homeland, the
United States of America. But what about Western Europeans, whose heritage many
Americans share? Their countries once were cradles of great faith-birthplaces
of Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley and followers who settled and populated what
became the USA. Here's a sampling of beliefs and worship attendance, comparing
religion by country.
Sources: U.S. News & World Report, May 30, 2005;
"Sacred and Secular," Cambridge University Press, 2004; and Barna Research
Group, 1999-2000 European Values Study.
Is Hollywood finally hearing the outcry for more family-friendly films?
Maybe so. 2004 was the first year in the last two decades that PG films
outgrossed R-rated flicks-$2.3 billion to $2.1 billion-according to the
Hollywood trade newspaper Variety. And 45% of last year's films involved
positive Christian or family content, said Dr. Ted Baehr, founder of the
Christian Film & Television Commission. "We've seen a tremendous growth in
the number of films with Christian and positive contents," says Baehr. Studio
execs have noticed the declining financial returns on R-rated films and have
responded by making fewer. Even theater owners are asking studios to send them
Source: Citizen, June 2005
Hispanic population leads growthThe
nation's foreign-born population grew 2.3 percent to 34.2 million in 2004,
accounting for 12 percent of the total U.S. population. Within the foreign-born
population, 53 percent were born in Latin America.
Source: Hispanic Trends, March/April 2005
Billy Graham sets recordQuestion: How many
people has Billy Graham preached in person to in his long career? Answer: At
86, the evangelist says he has preached to more than 210 million people in at
least 185 countries and territories more than anyone else in history.
Source: Parade magazine, May 8, 2005
Married men live longer
Married people, particularly married men, enjoy healthier and longer lives than
their unmarried counterparts. A recent study found that married adults were
healthier than unmarried adults within every population group (including age,
sex, race or ethnic groups) and within groups with similar health indicators
(whether they were smokers, disabled, or physically inactive, for example). The
only negative health indicator for which married adults had a higher prevalence
was being overweight.
Source: Population Bulletin, Population Reference
Bureau, March 2005
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