Google released a viral 2013 year-in-review video about the year's top searches and main events last week, featuring a mash-up of top searches across the globe. Google's video, titled "Google Zeitgeist: Here's to 2013," has garnered over 10 million hits since last Tuesday.
"In 2013, the world searched for… new beginnings," the video opens, with "new beginnings" typed into the Google search engine. As the music for Jetta's "Feels Like Coming Home" plays in the background, a joyous Kate Middleton stands holding baby Prince George, right next to her husband Prince William. The "royal baby" ranked number 7 in global search trends on Google for 2013.
The "new beginnings" theme continued with more controversial scenes. Following the royal baby, the video turned to a gay couple celebrating a "wedding" with their large, celebrating extended families. Then, as if to give the religious response, Pope Francis kisses a diseased man in St. Peter's Square. Time Magazine's Person of the Year had the worldwide search rank of 81st for "new pope." more >>
Although his physical appearance denied that he once played in the NFL, Pastor Ken Hutcherson, reduced by the ravages of the cancer he fought for more than a decade, looked at me as I entered the room for his men's discipleship meeting on a Monday night in early November with the eyes of his former linebacker self – he read me like he was gauging a quarterback about to take a snap.
"Hutch," sitting at the table with about two dozen men, was disarmingly gentle in his demeanor. However, one thing was certain, the leader of Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, Wash., had the cutting edge sharpness of a sword when it came time to studying and diving deep into the word of God with his men.
Without doubt, the mightiest thought the mind can entertain is the thought of God, and the weightiest word in any language is its word for God. Thought and speech are God's gifts to creatures made in His image; these are intimately associated with Him and impossible apart from Him. It is highly significant that the first word was the Word: "And the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We may speak because God spoke. In Him word and idea are indivisible. more >>
We all know God hates divorce – mainly because of the pain that ripples out of it. Still it's inevitable. People cheat, steal, hurt others, treat spouses unfairly or just walk away (with half of everything). Even the most amicable divorce is never good. Divorce stains, leaving a lasting impression on the spouses, children, families, friends and co-workers.
Regardless of the reason, divorce is common. It's become a cultural norm, despite its nasty repercussions. In some ways, divorce is harder to deal with than a death in the family. At least the death provides closure. Divorce, on the other hand, never goes away. It is the end of a marriage, but the relationship with the spouse and children never ends. more >>
A civil court has found a California church financially liable for over $100,000 after the church recommended an employee for a daycare job where he molested children, after he had been let go by the church three previous times for inappropriate behavior with youth.
Church on the Hill in San Jose, Calif., was ordered to pay three girls $185,762 or 17.5 percent of the total $1,061,500 award on Dec. 18, after jurors found the imprisoned former counselor, Keith Woodhouse, 27, and the daycare, Child Development Inc., financially liable for Woodhouse's abuse of three girls, reports The San Jose Mercury News.
Robert Allard, who represented the girls, alleged that Woodhouse, who was employed by the church in 2004, 2007 and 2009, had been fired three times by the church for acting inappropriately around children and that the church had never reported his behavior to police. more >>
Harvest Crusades evangelist Pastor Greg Laurie joined a growing number of Christian leaders speaking out against the suspension of Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson from the popular A&E show for expressing traditional views – albeit in his blunt style – about homosexuality that were published in an interview story with GQ.
"It seems to me that some people who talk the most about tolerance are the most intolerant toward anyone who dares to disagree with their views," Laurie, who also pastors Harvest churches in Southern California's Riverside and Orange counties, stated in a blog posted on Thursday. "As Christians, we are not wanting to force our views on anyone. The fact is, we are, as a whole, tolerant of other people's choices, even if we don't agree with them. But what is being asked of us is not tolerance, but acceptance and endorsement of sin. We cannot do that."
Phil Robertson, who mentioned homosexual behavior among a list of other sins, said Christians cannot judge whether someone is going to heaven or hell, and argued Christians should love those with same-sex attraction. more >>
A pastor who officiated his son's gay marriage ceremony has been defrocked by The United Methodist Church over refusing to comply with the denomination's rules on homosexuality.
Frank Schaefer of Pennsylvania had his position as a minister terminated by UMC officials after he met with the Board of Ordained Ministry and refused to turn over his clergy credentials.
John Coleman, spokesman for the UMC, told media that Schaefer was told he had to voluntarily surrender his credentials if he could not comply with the denomination's ban on clergy officiating same-sex weddings. more >>