The Rushmore Report: Chick-fil-A Hosts Displaced Church in Virginia

Chick-fil-A is opening up a Virginia branch of their restaurant to host a church congregation that has been displaced. The White Oak Community Church recently arrived at their usual place of worship to be informed that the hotel could not host their weekly gatherings due to “building issues.” So, Chick-fil-A stepped in. The family friendly company has once again solidified its standing within the faith community.

A church member phoned her friend who managed the restaurant premises, when the need arose. “They are NOT open for business,” the church clarified in a subsequent Facebook post. “They have simply agreed to let us use their space for worship this week.”

Lead Pastor Dave Wilde, a veteran of the Marine Corp., also shared his appreciation for Chick-fil-A and its manager, sending a “huge thank you to Greg Williams and Chick-fil-A for graciously agreeing to host us next Sunday,” according to Fox News.

“If you’re a current or future attender, and you always wanted to worship in a restaurant setting, this is your lucky day.”

About the Author

Will Maule is a writer and editor of HelloChristian.com.

The Rushmore Report: Actors You Didn’t Know Were Religious

In the glitzy world of Hollywood, it’s easy to get caught up in all things worldly. From competing for the best dressed title on the red carpet to going for plastic surgery every other month, actors tend to be self-serving and self-aware. Many live compromised lives, filled with controversy. Few have time for faith. But there are some exceptions. Here are ten Hollywood actors whose faith is central to their lives.

1. Katherine Heigl

Fans of Grey’s Anatomy know Heigl as Dr. Izzie Stevens. She is an active Mormon who lives according to her faith. As such, Heigl did not live with her future husband, as most stars would. She considers marriage a sacred bond before God.

2. Steven Colbert

A Roman Catholic, despite his active schedule, the late-night comedian remains determined to continue practicing his faith and instilling it in his children. He is a regular church attender and sometimes even teaches Sunday School classes.

3. Steven Seagal

The action star and martial arts expert has always stood out in Hollywood because of his distinctive looks. While his parents are Jewish, he has Mongolian ancestry. Seagal is a practicing Buddhist.

4. Stephen Baldwin

The Baldwin brothers are an integral part of Hollywood, as the band of brothers are composed of four well-known actors. But unlike his brothers, Stephen is an active evangelical Christian.

5. Angela Bassett

Best known for her role as Tina Turner in the film What’s Love Got to Do with It, Bassett received critical acclaim for her performance. Avoiding the limelight, Bassett is a committed Christian.

6. Mario Lopez

A Roman Catholic, Lopez is fairly private about his faith. He attends church every week, often going by himself. He says church provides close communion with God.

7. Natalie Portman

A converted Jew, the famous actress is raising her son according to her faith. As she considers having more children, she is on record as saying they will all be raised Jewish.

8. Angus T. Jones

Playing many diverse roles, the young actor is one of the few actors who is a practicing Seventh Day Adventist. Not much more is known about Jones’ faith.

9. Alice Cooper

Yes, I said Alice Cooper. He is the ultimate example of why we must not judge a person by his looks. Cooper credits his born-again faith with helping him to overcome alcohol addiction.

10. Mark Wahlberg

As a rapper in his younger years, Wahlberg had multiple run-ins with the law. He has battled drug addiction, and once ended up in jail. It was then that he returned to the faith of his childhood. Now a devout Catholic, Wahlberg takes his wife and four kids to church with him every Sunday.

British Pilot Breaks Sound Barrier on Land

It happened 20 years ago today – on October 13, 1997. Andy Green, a Royal Air Force fighter pilot, broke the sound barrier on land. The Thrust SuperSonic car’s jet-powered engine propelled Green across the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to the speed of 764.168 miles per hour, 1.007 percent above the speed of sound. He made a second run an hour later to establish the record officially.

Green’s achievement came almost exactly fifty years after American pilot Chuck Yeager’s historic supersonic flight in 1947. Green, who graduated with first-class honors in mathematics from Worcester College, Oxford, in 1983, is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

What Andy Green did in 1997, man has been trying to do since creation. He likes to go fast. Not prone to slow down, we live microwaved lives.

But God has a better plan. “Be still and know that I am God,” he says. It is in slowing down that we get to know God – and ourselves. Speed is fun. But sometimes slow is better.

The Rushmore Report: ‘I Pray for President Trump Every Night’

Former Florida governor and Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has stated that while he is deeply troubled by President Donald Trump’s actions, he still prays for him daily. In a recent question-and-answer segment held at OZY Fest, Bush explained that the presidency can be an unpredictable environment. But one thing is constant. Trump’s former rival prays for him every day. Here’s the story.

Bush said of Trump, “There’s no way to know what’s going to happen. Just look at the last few months. No one envisioned any of this stuff happening the way it played out. I would have thought that other countries would have provoked us to challenge the president. In reality, most of the problems and the crises have been his own doing.”

Bush went on to note that it was still important for Americans to support and pray for President Trump, even if they do not agree with his policies or rhetoric.

“I find him deeply troubling in a lot of ways, but I pray for him every night and I pray for our country every night,” he said. “I want him to succeed because if he doesn’t . . . I mean who cares what happens to him? I care about you all, I care about my grandkids. This is a really important job and we want him to succeed.”

Bush was one of several candidates in the crowded Republican nomination contests. During the debates, he and Trump were known to have heated exchanges.

About the Author

Michael Gryboski is a writer for The Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report: Foster Mom, Walmart Cashier, and Voice of God

The Walmart shoppers were growing impatient. It was late on a Friday night in Newcastle, Oklahoma. Many of the customers were grumbling about the lady at the front of the line. A foster parent, the lady had signed up for a federal program that would pay for her groceries. But the debit card wasn’t working. Suddenly, cashier Nicholas Tate stepped in. And what he did next blew everyone’s mind.

The 20-year-old cashier said, “I felt like God was calling for me to pay for her bill. It was without a doubt – God was saying, ‘Pay for this.'”

And that is what he did. He swiped his own card to pay for the groceries – a $60 bill. And the customer broke into tears.

Nicholas is a Christian, attending Austin Bible Institute, in hopes of becoming a missionary to Honduras. He said, “When God tells me to do something, I do it. God told me, ‘I put you in this place at the right time and I knew you were ready for this – to pay for this.’ So, without hesitation, I pulled my card out and swiped it.”

The news quickly spread. Looking back, Nicholas says, “I was just trying to bless someone and make their day and it turned into something incredible.”

He told the local news station, “It’s not what I did. It’s what God did through me. He took something so small and he glorified his name with it.”

The world needs more young men like Nicholas Tate. It is through random acts of kindness that we best proclaim the gospel. What Nicholas Tate did in a small town in Oklahoma, we each can do every day.

Who’s next?

The Rushmore Report: Twitter Bans Promotion of ‘One Man One Woman’ Book, Calls it ‘Hate’

On July 2, 56-year-old pastor Craig Stellpflug paid for Twitter ads to promote a tweet he posted about his new book titled One Man One Woman: God’s Original Design for Marriage. Stellpflug, a retired medical professional with a pastoral career, told The Christian Post that he received an email response from Twitter telling him his book could not be promoted on Twitter, as it “promotes hate.”

The tweet the author sought to post read, “One Man One Woman is about God’s original design for marriage carried from Adam and Eve in the garden to this day.”

Specifically, the ad was blocked because Twitter prohibits “hate content.”

Stellpflug said his book is “definitely not an anti-gay book” and that it is “not about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transexual movement.” He continued, “I suppose if I named my book One Man and Another Man Together in Marriage, it would soar past the critics and actually garner praise as some clarion call for peace and unity.”

He continued, “My book is not hate! It highlights conservative Christian marriage values – therefore it is ‘hate.’ Have we stooped so low in our country that my freedom of speech is squelched because I promote my Christian beliefs? I’ll tell you where the hate is. It is flaunted against the morality by the few as a tool to promote liberal agendas.”

About the Author

Samuel Smith is a writer for The Christian Post.

Heart Transplant

A man who was having trouble went to the doctor to see what his options were. The doctor recommended a heart transplant. The man reluctantly agreed, and asked if there were any hearts immediately available, considering that money was no object.

“I do have three hearts,” said the doctor. “The first is from an 18-year-old kid, non-smoker, athletic, swimmer, with a great diet. He hit his head on the swimming pool and died. It’s $100,000.”

The man asked about the second heart.

“It’s from a marathon runner, 24 years old. Great condition, very strong. He got hit by a bus. It’s $150,000.”

“And what about the third heart?” asked the patient.

“The third heart is from a heavy drinker, cigar smoker, and steak-lover. Man was grossly overweight. This heart is $500,000.”

The patient asked, “Hey, why is that heart so expensive? He lived a terrible life!”

The doctor explained. “It’s true the man lived a hard life. But he was a lawyer, so his heart has never been used.”

Okay, that’s a bad joke! But here’s the point. It doesn’t matter how we live our lives unless we live them from the heart. If we make all our choices and plan all our futures only from the brain, we will miss the best part of life. Jesus said it is what comes from the heart that really matters (Mark 7).

So learn the lesson now. An unused heart is a terrible thing to waste.

How to Get to Heaven

A teacher asked the children in her Sunday School class, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get to heaven?”

“No!” the children all screamed.

“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into heaven?”

Again, the answer was “No!”

“Well,” she continued, then how can I get into heaven?”

In the back of the room, a five-year-old boy shouted out, “You gotta be dead!”

Indeed, that is a requirement for getting into heaven. You have to be dead. But that’s only half the answer. You must be dead to get into heaven, but first, you have to be alive. And that happens through faith in Christ.

The Bible says it is appointed to man to die – and then comes the judgement. We will all meet the “you gotta be dead” requirement, eventually. The real question is, are you yet alive?

Janis Joplin Dies – 47 Years Ago

It doesn’t seem possible. On October 4, 1970, rock singer Janis Joplin died of an accidental heroin overdose. That’s 47 years ago today.

Joplin’s raw vocalizations, uninhibited performances, and fringe lifestyle characterized the hippie generation of the Woodstock era. The native of southeastern Texas dropped out of college in 1963 to sing fold music in Texas clubs. Her hard-rock, bluesy vocals landed her a gig as lead singer of the band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Big Brother’s first album for Columbia Records was Cheap Thrills. In 1968, when the album went to number one, Joplin had completed her transformation to a strong-willed, sexually aggressive rock icon. In 1969, she performed at Woodstock with her own group, the Kozmic Blues Band, and contributed to rock history by continuing to break conventions and cross barriers as a high-intensity female performer. Joplin was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

Posthumously. That means what she accomplished was not fully recognized until after her death.

On a much bigger scale, a man did something else 2,000 years ago that won him the greatest “posthumously” recognition of all time. Jesus, after his death, did something even more significant than anything he ever did in life. He was resurrected the third day. And that changed everything.

Jesus was the greatest man who ever lived – and died – and rose again. Janis Joplin is worthy of our recognition. But only Jesus Christ is worthy of our praise.

Fireman’s Dog

A Sunday School helper was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children began discussing the dog’s duties.

“They use him to keep crowds back,” said one youngster.

“No,” said another, “he’s just for good luck.”

A third child brought the argument to a close. “They use the dogs,” she said firmly, “to find the fire hydrant.”

Not that’s interesting insight. The fact is, these dogs are now really just mascots, reminders of the past, when dogs were used alongside firefighters in horse-drawn carriages. The dogs served to keep the carriages on track and to dissuade attackers and other animals.

But the girl had a point. Most of us do need help with directions. We know where we want to go, but are not always sure as to how to get there.

Nowhere is this more important than in the spiritual realm. We want to get to heaven. Who doesn’t? But what is the right way? I suggest Jesus had it right when he said, “I am the way.” So let’s follow him. The one who has already been to heaven is our only hope to get there ourselves some day.