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August 20, 2014
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Sturgis volunteers move into ‘devil’s playground’

August 18, 2014 by Karen L. Willoughby, Baptist Press
Sturgis The Dakota Baptist Convention-led outreach  gave 120 volunteers opportunities to share three-minute testimonies, leading to professions of faith by 513 people.
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The Bibles are back in Navy lodges

August 18, 2014 by Cathy Lynn Grossman, Religion News Service
Navy
In June, the U.S. Navy ordered housekeepers at thousands of Navy-owned guest lodges to remove Bibles and other “religious materials” from their rooms, but on Aug. 15 the decision was reversed.
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Ferguson cleaned up by church planters

August 18, 2014 by Tobin Perry, NAMB/Baptist Press
Ferguson
A church planter and his colleagues mobilized 100-200 people to clean up embattled Ferguson before participating in a prayer service at First Baptist Church of Ferguson.
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N. Korea detainee's family pleads for release

August 19, 2014 by Rachel Lynn Aldrich, WNS/Baptist Press
NKorea
The family of an American man detained in North Korea for “anti-state” crimes has apologized to the country and pleaded with officials to show mercy and release him.

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Michael McEwen
Michael G. McEwen
BR Content Editor
 

Donning a different kind of armor

The editor is taking a few days off and asked me to share a few thoughts in today’s column.

The news this week has been largely focused on blood, violence, war and persecution. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continues to terrorize and kill religious minorities in Iraq. Since ISIS’s siege of Mosul in early June, media sources have noted the slow restraint of these extremists. On Aug. 18, Kurdish fighters aided by American air support recaptured Mosul Dam, a crucial source for electricity in Mosul. Read about another Islamist group in Libya here.

Ferguson, Mo., has also been a place of violence. Looting and vandalism has risen from protesters since the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old shot by police officer Darren Wilson. Southern Baptist church planters in metro St. Louis mobilized 100-200 people to clean up embattled Ferguson before participating in a prayer service at First Baptist Church of Ferguson. Read the story here.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has been a stereotypical scene known for the week’s lewd activities. Yet from Aug. 4-10, the "devil’s playground" witnessed 513 professions of faith, tripling those recorded in 2013.

In the midst of persecution, chaotic riots and rough-and-tough lifestyles, timely words are to be heard from Paul: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

Our first response may be to hate the ISIS extremists coercing the Iraqi people; we may also express our disgust of the violent events in Ferguson; and we may even withdraw from “those people” who need Jesus most.

But our first response should be prayer. For “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood” but against domineering, yet already defeated spiritual powers. Brothers and sisters, let us don a different kind of armor this week.

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