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Will Hobby Lobby destroy ObamaCare?

Hobby Lobby store front at night in Stow, Ohio (Credit: user DangApricot via Lobby continues to make headlines that have nothing to do with the Christmas shopping season.  Its founders are contesting the Affordable Care Act's requirement that they cover abortion-causing drugs in their employees' insurance.  The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, with a ruling expected next June. The Denison Forum is interested in the outcome of this case because it could impact all ministries, including our own.

Supporters of the ACA say Hobby Lobby's case could destroy the legislation.  If an employer can decide which procedures to cover and which to exclude based on personal religious beliefs, the whole concept of requiring minimum medical coverage falls apart.  Hobby Lobby supporters counter that all citizens, not just churches, have a First Amendment right to freedom of religion.  If corporations such as Starbucks and Google can advance gay rights, companies like Hobby Lobby can act according to their religious convictions.

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Amazon's 'next big thing' is revolutionary

Amazon Prime Air octocopter drone preparing for takeoff from an Amazon warehouse for demostration of new delivery service (Credit: Amazon) It's Christmas season and you dread the crowded malls.  What do you do?  Place your order on Amazon's website, wait 30 minutes, and go outside.  A drone will have delivered your package to your doorstep.

Founder Jeff Bezos showed his "octocopters" to CBS's 60 Minutes last Sunday.  The company plans to begin service as soon as the FAA allows such flights, perhaps in 2015.  The current unmanned drones have a range of 10 miles and can deliver products under five pounds (nearly 90 percent of everything Amazon sells).

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What 500K Christmas lights on one house looks like

Some of the over 500,000 Christmas lights displayed at the home of the Richards family of Canberra, Australia, claiming a new Guiness World Record for Christmas lights displayed (Credit: Guiness World Records)A man in Australia wanted to set a Guinness World Record for the most Christmas lights on a single house.  He took a week off work in October to start the project and has worked on it every weekend since.  Now it's been unveiled—502,165 lights powered by more than 30 miles of wire.

To make an impact this holiday season, you need to be extravagant—a lesson retailers are learning.  Consider the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California, complete with a VIP lounge for frequent shoppers, a meditation room, and (my favorite) a "gentleman's room" with a TV showing sports all the time.  High-end malls are thriving while run-of-the-mill malls are in trouble.

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How to be thankful when you're disappointed by God

Disappointed with God, a young man sits on his bed with his head in his hands (Credit: rosental via Fotolia)Thanksgiving is the only American holiday commanded by Scripture: "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  "Give thanks" is a present tense imperative, a command to be obeyed continually, not just one day a year.

Why is Thanksgiving more a food-and-football holiday than a meaningful holy day for many?  Here's one reason: it's difficult to be grateful to God when he disappoints us.

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Thanksgiving: the holiday God requires

A family gathers around the Thanksgiving dinner table for prayer (Credit: Pearl via Lightstock)What is your favorite holiday?  According to all the surveys, Christmas is America's first choice.  Yet it may surprise you to learn that it was not celebrated until 336 A.D. and did not become popular in America until the 1860s.  And no one is sure when Jesus' birth actually occurred.  It is observed on December 25 because early Christian leaders wanted to replace Saturnalia, a popular pagan holiday observed on that day.

It is a glorious and wonderful thing to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  We should do so every day.  But thanksgiving is the one American observance which is commanded by our Lord, absolutely mandated by Scripture: "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  Thanksgiving is the will of God.

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