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The tax-free housing allowance for ministers remains intact because a federal appeals court in Chicago struck down a challenge to the benefit on Nov. 13. The leaders of the Freedom from Religion Foundation who challenged the constitutionality of the allowance lacked legal standing to sue, according to the court.

People of faith can influence Ferguson for good

Posted by: Bill Webb in Untagged  on

Local crises do not necessarily attract universal interest, even among people of faith.

As time marches on, friendships endure

Posted by: Bill Webb in Untagged  on

I attended the Missouri Baptist Convention annual meeting Oct. 27-29 and ran into a number of friends. I had a chance to spend some one-on-one time with a couple of them and really appreciated catching up a little. Unfortunately, I do not see either of them more than once or twice a year.

No one knows when his time will come

Posted by: Bill Webb in Untagged  on

People who know me well realize I have been a major league baseball fan of the team in St. Louis almost since I was born an hour away in southern Illinois. Frankly, it was expected of every family member shortly after his or her birth.

Abuse by athletes finally prompts outrage

Posted by: Bill Webb in Untagged  on

It has taken generations for celebs — particularly professional athletes — to be called to account for domestic violence and sexual abuse, but the tide is steadily turning.

Journalists in war-torn regions know the risks

Posted by: Bill Webb in Untagged  on

The execution of yet another journalist, Steven Sotloff, by the terror group ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) demonstrates human behavior at its most vile. Sotloff, an Israeli citizen, and James Foley, an American beheaded two weeks ago, were innocents simply doing their jobs.

The deadly Ebola crisis in West Africa has spawned fear and anger not only in remote villages in Africa but among sophisticates in American media, government and the general population.

Many Jews, Arabs refuse to be enemies

Posted by: Bill Webb in Untagged  on

An online news service carried an interesting sidebar the other day under a story on the latest in the clash between the Israeli army and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

“Sir, I really like your nails!”

Posted by: Bill Webb in Untagged  on

My wife Susan and I picked up our two grandsons and their little sister, a 4-year-old, at their home in Illinois and brought them back to our place in Jefferson City, Mo., for four nights last week. The boys are almost 9 and nearly 12, by the way.

We like it that they become excited anticipating their visits with us. We’re not the only Missouri attractions for them. They get to spend time with their uncle, our 11-year-old Sheltie and our year-old Golden Retriever. Our Golden is still mastering commands like “sit,” “drop” (when she finds a sock or toy she’s been caught carrying around), “stay,” “place” and others. At times, two or three of the kids were shouting out different instructions at the same time.

Being a 'Greg' helps enlighten life (and soccer)

Posted by: Bill Webb in Untagged  on

I was at a Baptist meeting a couple of weeks ago, rooming with a former colleague from another state for the two nights I was in Atlanta. Greg told me he had become a fan of the World Cup soccer competition in progress, especially since the United States team was still in the running.

I must confess that I was certainly interested in how the American team fared but I also confess that I had not become much of a fan of the most popular team sport in the world.

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