Saturday, August 27, 2005

Prayer for Those in Danger from the Hurricane
Prayer to be used in storms at sea.

O Most powerful and glorious Lord God, at whose command the winds blow, and lift up the waves of the sea, and who stillest the rage thereof; We, thy creatures, but miserable sinners, do in this our great distress cry unto thee for help; Save, Lord, or else we perish. We confess, when we have been safe, and seen all things quiet about us, we have forgotten thee our God, and refused to hearken to the still voice of thy word, and to obey thy commandments: But now we see how terrible thou art in all thy works of wonder; the great God to be feared above all: and therefore we adore thy Divine Majesty, acknowledging thy power, and imploring thy goodness. Help, Lord, and save us for thy mercy's sake, in Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord. Amen.

From the 1789 book of common prayer: source

Come Love, come Lord, and that long day
For which I languish, come away.
When this dry soul those eyes shall see
And drink the unseal'd source of Thee,
When glory's sun faith's shades shall chase,
Then for Thy veil give me Thy face.

... Richard Crashaw

Parts of La. May Evacuate As Katrina Nears
By MARY FOSTER,
Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS - Low-lying Louisiana parishes called for evacuations Saturday and Mississippi declared an emergency as Hurricane Katrina appeared to be taking aim at the region while gathering strength over the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico.

This is not a test," New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said at a news conference. He said he would probably ask people to leave at daybreak Sunday, and said the Superdome could be pressed into use as a shelter of last resort for people who do not have cars.

Louisiana and Mississippi were making all lanes northbound on Interstates 55 and 59 beginning Saturday afternoon for evacuees.

Katrina threatened to strike land again as early as Monday after ripping across southern Florida and killing seven people.
The rest--

University of Calif. Sued Over Creationism

LOS ANGELES - A group representing California religious schools has filed a lawsuit accusing the University of California system of discriminating against high schools that teach creationism and other conservative Christian viewpoints.

The Association of Christian Schools International, which represents more than 800 schools, filed a federal lawsuit Thursday claiming UC admissions officials have refused to certify high school science courses that use textbooks challenging Darwin's theory of evolution. Other rejected courses include "Christianity's Influence in American History."

The rest

But the word 'temple' took on a deeper significance when Jesus referred to His own body as 'this temple.' He thus definitely declared Himself to be the personal embodiment of the living God. Later the Apostle Paul applied this term to Christians... "Ye are God's building... Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" And again, "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and that ye are not your own?" Paul taught that it is God's people who constitute the true church of God, and wherever they have fellowship in the Gospel, God is there. Moreover, he emphasized that as members of this true church it is our privilege to be "laborers together with God." It is our privilege to build upon the one foundation, Jesus Christ, with gold, silver, precious stones -- the kind of Christian service which abides for recognition at the judgment seat of Christ. Again, it is our responsibility to be consecrated for holy living and faithful service, "for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; so we must shun evil, and, since we have been bought with a price, we must glorify God in body and spirit.

... Milford C. Olson

Lectionary Readings for August 27, 2005

Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26 or 26:1-8
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:21-27

Collect:
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Romans 12:1-8
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-- what is good and acceptable and perfect.


For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

Britain: LIVERPOOL REMEMBERS A “GODLY SON”
By Patrick Reilly
Special to ASSIST News Service
Friday, August 26, 2005

LIVERPOOL, UK (ANS) -- 3000 mourners filled Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on Thursday, August 25 for the funeral service of Anthony Walker, an 18 year old Christian youth leader who died in an appalling racist attack that was described as the “shame of Liverpool.”

Anthony was devoted to God, his family and his friends. The athletic, basketball-loving teenager had tuned down the opportunity to join a basketball club so that he could focus more of his time and energy, serving as a youth leader at the Grace family church in Aigburth.

Pastor Di Stacey described Anthony as a “very special young Man. He wasn’t a rebellious kid, he had a really sweet and good heart and all he wanted to do was to help other people.”

The attack happened on July 29th as Anthony walked his teenage girlfriend to a bus stop in the Huyton district of Merseyside. Accompanied by his cousin Marcus Binns, 17, the trio decided to move to another bus stop after Anthony was verbally abused by a group of young men taunting him with racial hatred. Taking a short cut through a local park the gang followed the group where Anthony an A level student who wanted to become a lawyer suffered a fatal blow to his head from an axe.

Story

Casey in heaven 'calls Bush idiot'
Cindy quotes slain son in afterlife, says 'tens of thousands of angels' back her
Posted: August 25, 200510:57 p.m. Eastern
By Joe Kovacs© 2005
WorldNetDaily.com

Anti-war activist
Cindy Sheehan is now purportedly "channeling" her slain son, Casey, from heaven, suggesting he's calling President Bush "an idiot," and she claims to have "tens of thousands of angels" supporting her cause to bring home immediately American troops serving in Iraq.

"When I get up [to heaven], he's gonna say, 'Good job, mom,'" the California woman said in a
speech last night upon her return to Crawford, Texas. "He's not going to say, 'Why'd you make me spin in my grave?' you know. And I can just hear him saying, 'George Bush, you are really an idiot. You didn't know what you were doing when you killed me. You didn't know what you were getting into.'"

She publicly thanked her son and others who died in the Iraq War, and claimed to have the backing of Casey and his fellow fallen soldiers in the afterlife.

Article

China pilgrims reflect Vatican-Beijing thaw
By Roland Flamini
UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
August 26, 2005

A single delegation of Chinese pilgrims attending the Catholic Church's World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, last week marked the latest breakthrough in relations between the Vatican and Beijing.

The delegation included both "underground" Catholics long persecuted by communist authorities, as well as the official Chinese "patriotic" church that pledges loyalty to the Communist Party instead of Rome.

Both the Vatican and Beijing have said little publicly about their differences. Instead, they have let a series of high-profile public events since Pope Benedict XVI began his pontificate in April signal tacit approval of a rapprochement.

Story

Despite Study's Claims, Expert Insists Unborn Babies Do Feel Pain-- Pediatrician Suspects JAMA Article of Promoting Pro-Abortion Agenda
By Mary Rettig
August 26, 2005

(AgapePress) - Dr. Jean Wright, M.D., a Christian pediatrician and expert on fetal development, disputes the conclusions of a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that claims unborn babies feel no pain. She says that finding is wrong, and she suspects the authors of the study have an agenda.

After completing their research, the investigators came to the conclusion that laws requiring discussion of fetal pain before a second trimester abortion should not be passed. Wright says they drew that conclusion because they are convinced babies in the womb do not feel pain until they are at least 28 weeks old. But Wright, who serves as Vice President over Women and Children at Memorial Health Center in Savanna, Georgia, says her professional experience has repeatedly negated that notion.

"Every day that I stand in our neonatal intensive care unit and see an infant that's 25, 26, or 28 weeks gestation, I don't have to have any of these fancy studies to say [whether these infants] feel pain," she contends, "because here's the same baby that, inside, you would be measuring and referring to as a fetus, that I'm seeing outside and calling him a premie baby. And that data is overwhelming."

The rest

Friday, August 26, 2005

My God, how endless is Thy love!
Thy gifts are every evening new,
And morning mercies from above
Gently distill like early dew.

Thou spread'st the curtains of the night,
Great guardian of my sleeping hours;
Thy sov'reign word restores the light,
And quickens all my drowsy powers.

I yield my powers to Thy command,
To Thee I consecrate my days;
Perpetual blessings from Thine hand
Demand perpetual songs of praise.

... Isaac Watts

America's Least Free: Pastors and Churches
Minister will fight for freedom in churches by running for U.S. Senate.

AgapePress) A black conservative pastor believes the least free place in America today is the church and the pulpit.He says that is one reason why he wants to be Michigan's next U.S. senator. Keith Butler pastors the 21,000-member Word of Faith International Christian Center in Southfield, Mich.

The former Detroit City Council member says incumbent Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow opposes legislation that would reverse a 1954 law prohibiting places of worship from engaging in the political process. Butler says churches should have the same rights as any union hall or non-profit group. "I certainly support ... giving churches their legal First Amendment rights," the pastor says.

here

Apologetics Conference for Teens Answers Toughest Questions of Christian Faith
Friday, Aug. 26, 2005

Tonight marks the beginning of a one-night, one-day event that organizers are calling the nation’s “strongest” apologetics conference.

Nearly 1,500 teens, parents, and church leaders have registered in advance for the sold-out event aimed to help teens to understand and defend the Christian worldview in a secular society, while more than 500 had to be turned away.

“With two out of three teens evacuating the church completely after they graduate from high school, we must do a better job of providing the answers teens need to make their faith their own,” explained Focus on the Family, which planned the Aug. 26 – 27 “Dare 2 Dig Deeper: Big Dig Apologetics Weekend Conference” in Colorado Springs, Colo.


the rest

ARE YOU EVER DISTURBED?
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you." John 14:27

There are times when our peace is based upon ignorance, but when we awaken to the facts of life, inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus. When Our Lord speaks peace, He makes peace, His words are ever "spirit and life." Have I ever received what Jesus speaks? "My peace I give unto you" - it is a peace which comes from looking into His face and realizing His undisturbedness.

Are you painfully disturbed just now, distracted by the waves and billows of God's providential permission, and having, as it were, turned over the boulders of your belief, are you still finding no well of peace or joy or comfort; is all barren? Then look up and receive the undisturbedness of the Lord Jesus. Reflected peace is the proof that you are right with God because you are at liberty to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. If you allow anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you, you are either disturbed or you have a false security.

Are you looking unto Jesus now, in the immediate matter that is pressing and receiving from Him peace? If so, He will be a gracious benediction of peace in and through you. But if you try to worry it out, you obliterate Him and deserve all you get. We get disturbed because we have not been considering Him. When one confers with Jesus Christ the perplexity goes, because He has no perplexity, and our only concern is to abide in Him. Lay it all out before Him, and in the face of difficulty, bereavement and sorrow, hear Him say, "Let not your heart be troubled."

Oswald Chambers

Be Ready for Questions When 'Da Vinci' Hits Screen in 2006
Phil Boatwright
Baptist Press

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Dan Brown’s staggering bestseller "The Da Vinci Code" comes to the screen in May 2006. The downside: Many nonbelievers will take the fictitious story to be truth. The upside: Some will ask Christians questions.

But, are we ready for those questions?

Story

Asian Financial Hub Warned of Possible Terror Attack
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
August 26, 2005

(CNSNews.com) - The al Qaeda terrorist network may be planning a terrorist attack in a major city in Asia as a bid to undermine investor confidence and cause serious economic damage, one of Europe's leading terrorist investigators has warned.

French anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere told Britain's Financial Times there was information indicating that Japan and other countries in the region may be targets.

the rest

Planned Parenthood Accused of Secret Deal on Contraceptive
By Randy Hall
CNSNews.com Staff Writer/Editor
August 26, 2005

(CNSNews.com) - A pro-life group is charging Planned Parenthood with having a secret deal with the manufacturer of the "morning after" pill that would enable the nation's largest abortion provider to make millions of dollars in profits selling Plan B kits.

If the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "gives a green light for over-the-counter distribution, Planned Parenthood stands to take in a minimum $100 million profit over a five-year period from sales of the Plan B 'morning-after' pill," said Jim Sedlak, executive director of American Life League's STOPP International.

"Such action from the FDA would allow Planned Parenthood to take maximum advantage of a sweetheart deal the organization arranged with Plan B's owner, Barr Pharmaceuticals," to buy the drug at below-market cost and undercut other pharmacies' retail prices, he stated.

The rest

Britain: New figures show spread of CD hospital superbug
By Sam Knight, Times Online

The full extent of how a deadly diarrhoea-inducing superbug has spread across Britain's hospital wards was revealed for the first time by the Government today.

Nearly 45,000 cases of Clostridium difficile (C difficile) infection were recorded in 2004 among patients over the age of 65 according to official figures released by the Department of Health.

The statistics are the first result of a new compulsory reporting scheme started by the DoH to track the rising infection rate. In the early 1990s there were just 1,000 cases of C difficile reported in the UK. In 2000, there were 20,000 cases.

C difficile, a tough bacteria that can cause fatal diarrhoea infections in the old and infirm, is among the most prolific and dangerous of the so-called superbugs that plague Britain's hospital wards.

the rest

For Real: Many Well-Publicized 'Hate Crimes' Were Staged
The goal is to keep homosexuality in the public eye, no matter what the cost.
8/24/2005
By Lindsey Douthit

It seems to defy logic: people committing "hate crimes" against themselves.

But cases keep arising of homosexuals staging hate crimes and then portraying themselves as victims of narrow-minded bigots. Often, the cases occur while a pro-homosexual measure is under consideration, such as a "hate crimes" law or the addition of "sexual orientation" to a statute or campus policy.

Homosexuals who commit faked hate crimes often admit to police that they did it either for attention or to express anger over the slowness of social "reform." In either case, the initial publicity creates the impression of an urgent need for the public to do something.

Story

Alpha, Bisto and Omega
Date Added: Friday 26th August 2005

The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Rt Revd Andrew Burnham, is a ‘flying bishop’, created to look after parishes which do not accept women clergy. He looks after several such parishes in the Oxford Diocese. Below, he writes about his ‘conversion’ to Alpha.

THERE has been some surprise that, just before the summer, I launched an Alpha initiative. ‘Isn’t that stuff a bit too evangelical?’ ‘a bit cheesy?’ I was asked. ‘Isn’t it a bit weak on the sacraments?’ (Mind you, what could be more sacramental than meeting together to learn about Jesus over supper?)

I myself was surprised when I first discovered that it is in Catholic countries that Alpha is spreading fastest and doing some of its most valuable work. I was no less surprised by the enthusiasm of the Roman Catholic authorities, from the Pope down. Alpha, as the name suggests, is just a beginning. It is pre-evangelism or, at any rate, pre-catechesis. You become intrigued and infatuated with someone before you genuinely fall in love and get to know someone. Sometimes infatuations blaze for a while and burn out. Sometimes they lead to a real encounter and a real relationship. So it is with our relationship with Jesus.

The rest

Mass Depositions in Recif
08/25/2005

Thirty-two priests and deacons of the diocese of Recife were deposed on Aug. 23, charged with abandoning the Communion [por abandono de Comunhão] of the Episcopal-Anglican Church of Brazil [IEAB] for pledging their continued loyalty to the Bishop of Recife, the Rt. Rev. Robinson Cavalcanti.

In announcing the depositions, the Rt. Rev. Filadelfo Oliveira, Bishop suffragan of Recife, said “dialogue had been exhausted” with the “uncompromising and rebellious” Recife clergy. Acting on behalf of the Primate of Brazil, he deposed without trial the clergy, who minister to approximately 90 percent of the diocese’s communicants, under Article 3.5.4 of the IEAB’s canons on the abandonment of Communion.

the rest

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded. God will never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself; it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others.

Oswald Chambers

Pornographer Sues Bush over Anti-Prostitution Measure

WASHINGTON, August 25, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - US porn king, Philip D. Harvey, is suing the Bush administration over its anti-prostitution policies saying that the restriction on USAID funding is an "unconstitutional infringement of speech." Harvey, the founder and chief executive of one of the world's largest mail-order pornography and sex merchandise businesses is also the founder and president of DKT International which promotes condoms and abortion in the developing world and is a major player in the population control movement.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Bush administration says that U.S. and foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) receiving USAID funding must adopt a policy "explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking."

The rest

Come, Lord Jesus—But Not Too Soon
Why it's hard to be heavenly minded.
by John Koessler
posted 08/25/2005 09:30 a.m.

Jesus came back on a Saturday night. Mike and I were sitting in his car after the prayer meeting, discussing the return of Christ, and had just observed that it could happen that very night. The remark had not been prompted by any singular event or sign. We said the same thing every Saturday night.

Story

Anglican court tries bishop in Zimbabwe
By Peta Thornycroft
LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH
August 25, 2005

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- An Anglican bishop who is a vocal supporter of President Robert Mugabe is being tried by an ecclesiastical court in Harare after an investigation into a range of charges, including incitement to murder.

The Anglican Church of Central Africa took the unprecedented step of convening a trial under canon law, at which Bishop Nolbert Kunonga became the first Anglican priest on the continent in more than 100 years to face prosecution by his peers.

As well as the most serious charge of incitement to murder, he is accused of sinning against the church, its officials and its flock. He rejects the charges.

If found guilty, the priest could be expelled from the church, and may even face civil charges if reports of missing church funds are proved.

The rest

Churches confront an 'elephant in the pews'
By
Jane Lampman
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

On a blustery day early this year, 13,000 people showed up at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., for what became known as "Porn Sunday." Two young California pastors with a website called XXXchurch.com - "the No. 1 Christian porn site" - were in town with a silence-breaking message.

Their frank talk about the struggles many Christians are having with pornography has drawn huge crowds in several churches across the country, and now the Revs. Craig Gross and Mike Foster are planning National Porn Sunday for Oct. 9.

story

Evangelical Wiccans?
8/24/2005
By Janice Shaw Crouse

The enchantment with pagan goddesses is moving more mainstream.

According to the Religion Journal, youth ministers in the Southern Baptist Church are concerned about the increasing number of evangelicals who are dabbling in Wicca. This influence echoes the growing popularity of Wicca among feminists (some even call themselves witches). Over the past decade, as religious feminists have become enchanted with the pagan goddesses, Wicca has moved more mainstream.

The rest

Gender-Neutral Hymnal a Concession to the Culture, Says ELCA Pastor

'Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the God of Creation!
My heart is longing to offer up sweet adoration!'
Proposed revision to 'Praise to the Lord, the Almighty'
(Hymn 543, Lutheran Book of Worship)


By Jim Brown
August 25, 2005

(AgapePress) - A conservative minister in the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America says he and other ELCA pastors are disturbed by the denomination's approval of a new, more gender-neutral hymnal.

At its Churchwide Assembly in early August, the ELCA okayed a plan to update the 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship by
eliminating the "Father" terminology and male pronouns used in reference to God. The hymnal overhaul will include other gender-neutralizing and diversity-affirming changes to traditional Lutheran worship lyrics and liturgies as well. For example, in the Lutheran Creed, God and Jesus will now be referred to as "Holy Eternal Majesty" and "Holy Incarnate Word" instead of "Father" and "Son."

The rest

If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.

... St. Augustine

Researchers, Pro-Family Groups Scoff at Fetal Pain Study
by Pete Winn, associate editor

Top scientists question validity of report that says preborns don't experience pain until third trimester.
World-renowned scientists have joined hands with pro-family groups to call into question a study on fetal pain published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The paper, written by five researchers from the University of California-San Francisco, purports to review nearly 2,000 studies on the topic, concluding that fetal anesthesia during abortion is not justified by scientific evidence.
But Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, said the paper isn't really science at all — it's "a political exercise" obviously designed to influence legislation now pending in Congress.

The rest

Have Children Forgotten How to Play Outdoors?
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Author Richard Louv believes that America's children are now suffering from a syndrome he identifies as "nature-deficit disorder." In his new book, Last Child in the Woods, Louv suggests that the current generation of American children knows the Discovery Channel better than their own backyards--and that this loss of contact with nature leads to impoverished lives and stunted imagination.

The rest

Anti-War Protests Target Wounded at Army Hospital
Marc Morano
Senior Staff WriterWashington

(CNSNews.com) - The Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the current home of hundreds of wounded veterans from the war in Iraq, has been the target of weekly anti-war demonstrations since March. The protesters hold signs that read "Maimed for Lies" and "Enlist here and die for Halliburton.

"The anti-war demonstrators, who obtain their protest permits from the Washington, D.C., police department, position themselves directly in front of the main entrance to the Army Medical Center, which is located in northwest D.C., about five miles from the White House. Among the props used by the protesters are mock caskets, lined up on the sidewalk to represent the death toll in Iraq.

Code Pink Women for Peace, one of the groups backing anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford Texas, organizes the protests at Walter Reed as well.

Some conservative supporters of the war call the protests, which have been ignored by the establishment media, "shameless" and have taken to conducting counter-demonstrations at Walter Reed. "[The anti-war protesters] should not be demonstrating at a hospital. A hospital is not a suitable location for an anti-war demonstration," said Bill Floyd of the D.C. chapter of FreeRepublic.com, who stood across the street from the anti-war demonstrators on Aug. 19.

story

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The criterion for our intercessory prayer is not our earnestness, nor our faithfulness, nor even our faith in God, but simply God Himself. He has taken the initiative from the beginning, and has built our prayers into the structure of the universe. He then asks us to present these requests to Him that He may show His gracious hand.

... Charles H. Troutman

UK: HATE PREACHERS TARGETED

The Home Secretary has unveiled new measures to rid the country of radical Muslim clerics who could inspire attacks like the London bombings.

Charles Clarke published a list of "unacceptable behaviours" which would prompt immediate action - deportation or a ban on entry.

It follows a period of consultation which started earlier this month.
The type of conduct to be outlawed includes inflammatory preaching and publishing views which foster hatred or foment terrorism.

Here

Radio Host Fired Over Muslim Comments Returning to Air
By Randy Hall

CNSNews.com
Staff Writer/EditorAugust 24, 2005

(CNSNews.com) - A talk show host who was fired by a Washington, D.C., radio station after saying that "Islam is a terrorist organization" is returning to the air with a one-hour weekday webcast after doing a fill-in show for a Los Angeles station.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 29, Michael Graham -- who had hosted a mid-morning talk show on WMAL until he was suspended without pay on July 29 and later fired by the station -- will begin a new program called "Michael Graham, Unleashed!" that will air at 12 noon on the
Rightalk.com website.

the rest

Vatican to Begin U.S. Seminary Investigation
The problem of accepting homosexuals into the priesthood has become so common that it is now widely and openly considered a "gay profession."

LifeSiteNews.com) Catholic News Service has announced that Rome is set to start its long-awaited "apostolic visitation," or systematic investigation and evaluation of the formation offered to prospective priests in seminaries.

With many bishops studiously ignoring what has become the ecclesiastical equivalent of the elephant in the drawing room, Rome may be planning to force the issue at last.

The last Vatican-led visitation was seven years in duration beginning in 1981. The report given to Pope John Paul II, according to some observers, amounted to a whitewash in which the theological and moral dissent being taught was deliberately ignored or hidden.

the rest

Russian Demographic Situation Worsening – Abortions Outstrip Births

MOSCOW, August 24, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Financial pressures are pushing Russian women to abortion at a much higher rate than was previously thought. For the first time, Russian abortions have exceeded births and the rate shows no sign of slowing in the perennially unstable Russian economy.

The economic situation for most in Russia is dire, and, says Vladimir Kulakov, vice president of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, the birth of a first child can push young couples into poverty. With a population half the size of the US, in 2004, Russian women had 24% more abortions than their American counterparts.

About 1.6 million women had an abortion last year, a fifth of them under the age of 18, and only about 1.5 gave birth, according to Kulakov.

Story

Abortion Fetal Pain Study Authored by Abortion Rights Activists

SAN FRANCISCO, August 24, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The mainstream media are today reporting on a "study" (actually, an interpretation of existing medical literature) published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The authors argue that there is no good evidence that unborn humans feel pain before the third trimester (after 29 weeks gestational age).

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) points out that "Most of these stories have failed to report important information on the origins of this 'study.' The lead author, Susan J. Lee, is a medical student and former NARAL employee."

The connection to pro-abortion activism doesn't end there. The Knight Ridder news service reveals that one of the physician authors, Eleanor Drey, is the director of an abortion clinic in San Francisco. Dr. Drey is also on the staff of the Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy, a pro-abortion advocacy center at the University of California-San Francisco.

JAMA editor-in-chief Catherine D. DeAngelis told Knight Ridder she was unaware of the authors' connections, and acknowledged it might create an appearance of bias that could hurt the journal's credibility. "This is the first I've heard about it," she said. "We ask them to reveal any conflict of interest. I would have published" the disclosure if it had been made.

The rest(scroll down)

Church in frenzy: A long tradition
August 24 '05
By Dave Shiflett
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 10:25 AM EDT

A wise old European gent once told me he had "no problem with God. It's his ground crew you have to watch out for." Wariness of religious organizations and factions has a long history and in our day it has taken on renewed vigor since some holy fellows took up the devotional act of hijacking airplanes.

In America, however, the stories tend to concern turmoil and disintegration within historic denominations. And while the headlines often suggest this is something new, the slide into chaos, incoherence and perhaps oblivion seen in some denominations - especially in the Protestant mainline - has been long and not without its amusements.

While reporting for a new book, I enjoyed looking back at the long slide of that train wreck known as the Episcopal Church, which is by now a mere postage stamp of a religion, claiming allegiance, by one estimate, of a walloping 0.78 percent of the American public. Despite its micro-membership, the Episcopal Church is often in the headlines.

The most recent glut of stories has concerned the aftermath of the ordination of Eugene Robinson, a homosexual, as bishop in New Hampshire. A group of traditionalist Episcopalians has responded to this act of gay ordination by establishing a network of dissenting churches. By my estimation, this seemed an odd place to draw the line. After all, this church has put up with much worse.

Story

Clergy and Church Members in the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut File Formal Charges Against Bishop Andrew Smith
Cynthia P. Brust
August 24, 2005

Nineteen Episcopal lay leaders and priests in Connecticut have officially charged Andrew Smith, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, under provisions of canon [church] law. The notification of charges was sent Monday to Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA). Specifically, signatories charge Bishop Smith with undermining the structure of the Episcopal Church and denying canonical due process for the so-called “Connecticut Six” clergy. These charges accuse Bishop Smith of violating the Episcopal Church’s Constitution, national canons, diocesan canons, and the laws of the state of Connecticut. Laity and clergy from Christ Church, Watertown; Bishop Seabury, Groton; Trinity, Bristol; St. Paul’s, Darien; and Christ and the Epiphany, East Haven; and St. John’s, Bristol, filed the charges.

Under canon law, a “charge” is defined as a “formal and verified accusation against a member of the clergy that the member of the clergy has committed an offense.” Offenses are delineated in Canon 4.1.1 and include such actions as crimes, immorality, conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy, and violations of the Constitutions or Canons of General Convention and/or the Diocese where the clergy member functions. Charges can lead to an ecclesiastical trial much like a military court martial.

The rest at AAC

God Above Human Philosophy

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
(1 Corinthians 1:19)

This verse is threatening so far as the worldly wise are concerned, but to the simple believer it is a promise. The professedly learned are forever trying to bring to nothing the faith of the humble believer, but they fail in their attempts. Their arguments break down, their theories fall under their own weight, their deep-laid plots discover themselves before their purpose is accomplished. The old gospel is not extinct yet, nor will it be while the Lord liveth. If it could have been exterminated, it would have perished from off the earth long ago.

We cannot destroy the wisdom of the wise, nor need we attempt it, for the work is in far better hands. The Lord Himself says, "I will," and He never resolves in vain. Twice does He in this verse declare His purpose, and we may rest assured that He will not turn aside from it.

What clean work the Lord makes of philosophy and "modern thought" when He puts His hand to it! He brings the fine appearance down to nothing; He utterly destroys the wood, hay, and stubble. It is written that so it shall be, and so shall it be. Lord, make short work of it. Amen, and amen.

CH Spurgeon



WE'VE HAD DESSERT
Biblical Malnutrition & Today's Episcopal Church

Excerpt:
"The Anglican tradition has been described as the perfect balance of Scripture, Sacrament and Ceremony. However, right now, there is great apprehension about what is happening to that balance. While of course this does not apply to each and every parish, indeed many have lost their way under misguided leadership.

The concern is not solely about the recent ordination of a practicing homosexual as Bishop of New Hampshire - and that is not the focus here. Gene Robinson's consecration was only a symptom of a much larger problem in our church that points to a significant shift in theology.

This new religion conveniently dismisses portions of Scripture, and seemingly accommodates all of our choices - regardless of what they entail. In an effort to "respect the dignity of every human being," we are now apparently moving toward validating their every notion and appetite. The growing claim is that this level of tolerance is our Christian obligation. However, by doing this, we bring God to the level of man, rather than the other way around.

Whether you realize it or not, history is in the making. "

Read the rest at Virtueonline

Do not miss this post!


Floods cause havoc across Europe

Torrential rains have caused havoc across central and eastern Europe, killing up to 34 people.
Worst affected is Romania where at least seven elderly people were killed overnight, bringing deaths there to 25.

At least 11 people are reported dead or missing in Switzerland, Austria and Germany where emergency services are struggling to restore basic services.

here

America Should Be Ashamed of SHAM
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Steve Salerno is a reporter with wide experience. As a freelance feature writer, Salerno has written for magazines including Harper's, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and many others. He has contributed articles to the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal. Many of his articles have focused upon "money stories," that deal with financial scandals and controversies in the business world. Now, he is ready to report on the biggest scandal he has ever encountered--America's self-help movement.

story

Abolishing Abstinence
Telling underage kids not to have sex is surprisingly controversial.
by Ted Olsen
posted 08/24/2005 09:30 a.m.

Can we be good without God? The question seems somehow abstract, a topic for
Atlantic Monthly cover stories and college seminars more than practical applications. So here's another question: Can we keep our pants on?

Ironically, the group that often answers "yes" to the first question says "no" to the second. And some believe that not only can't we stay chaste, but we should not.

"An abstinence-until-marriage program is not only irresponsible," U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said last year. "It's really
inhumane."

The rest

Seeing Past the Abortion Rhetoric
By Paul Chesser
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

While it is important to change the makeup of the Supreme Court, social conservatives -- especially those concerned about abortion -- need not and should not be counting on such a change in the judiciary to accomplish their goals. What they ought to be doing instead is looking to the power of facts. Simply getting out the truth to the public has already done far more than any court or legislative action to reverse the trend toward abortion.

Consider the proliferation of pro-life pregnancy centers in the United States, now estimated to number more than 3,200. Helping spur that growth have been the tremendous advancements in medical ultrasound technology, now capable of showing three-dimensional images of the child in the womb.

story

Grooming Politicians for Christ
Evangelical programs on Capitol Hill seek to mold a new generation of leaders who will answer not to voters, but to God.
By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — In the blue and gold elegance of the House speaker's private dining room, Jeremy Bouma bowed his head before eight young men and women who hope to one day lead the nation. He prayed that they might find wisdom in the Bible — and govern by its word.

"Holy Father, we thank you for providing us with guidance," said Bouma, who works for an influential televangelist. "Thank you, Lord, for these students. Build them up as your warriors and your ambassadors on Capitol Hill."

The rest

Wisconsin company's Bible cartoons create global buzz
BY TOM HEINEN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE - (KRT) - Antoni, an ant living in ancient Egypt, faces a hard choice in his life. A cockroach named Roderick has humiliated him at the annual bug picnic, and Antoni plans revenge. Should the ant catapult slime onto the low-down roach - or forgive him?

Meanwhile, Joseph - governor of Egypt in the world of humans around Antoni - is wrestling with similar emotions.

Those are scenes, and one of the themes, from a new Bible-based video series created by a West Allis, Wis., company that is generating an international buzz. Lightning Bug Flix uses animated insects such as Antoni and Roderick in its "Bugtime Adventures" series to convey Biblical stories and values.

Story!

TBN Signs Deal to Broadcast on the Largest Chinese Cable System;
The 'Good News' Arrives in Hong Kong
Los Angeles -

LOS ANGELES -- "We have awesome good news to report!" announced TBN founder and President Paul Crouch during a recent "Behind the Scenes" broadcast. "We have signed the contracts to send TBN into the largest cable TV system in Hong Kong! Close to 1 million households can now receive TBN 24/7 on Channel 21."

TBN, the world's largest religious network, has been negotiating with Chinese officials and the nation's leading ministers of government since 2000. That is when Crouch first traveled to China as TBN's "Ambassador of Good News," where he introduced the TBN brand and its staple of religious programming and family fare to the nation's premier decision-makers.

"With its debut in Hong Kong, TBN has established an exceptional avenue for broadcasting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to multiplied millions," reported Susan Zahn, founder of WDC Media, a faith-based media relations firm.

the rest

Central Europe's First Christian News Agency Launched
BosNewsLife.com starts as European Union expands eastwards

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife) - Central Europe’s first Christian news agency on the Internet started operations Saturday May 01, 2004 as 10 mainly ex-Communist countries joined the European Union.

"We wanted to launch BosNewsLife and its website BosNewsLife.com on the day former Soviet satellite states rejoined Europe after decades of Communism to inform people living here and around the world about the spiritual and political challenges ahead," said Dutch Journalist and founder of BosNewsLife Stefan J. Bos.

The Budapest based news agency will report on "hard hitting news stories" with a special focus on persecuted Christians, Jewish people and other minorities in former and current Communist countries as well as other nations experiencing difficulties, Bos added.

story

California Court Declares One Child Can Have Two Moms
Pro-Family Advocates Call Rulings Nonsense, Harmful to Kids
By Jenni Parker
August 23, 2005

(AgapePress) - A spokesman for a leading West Coast pro-family organization says his group is shocked and saddened over an August 22 ruling by the California Supreme Court abolishing the traditional definition of parenthood. In three separate cases that raised fundamental issues as to the definition of family and parent, the court decided in each case that a child may legally have two mothers.

In the case of Elisa B. v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court held that a lesbian who had agreed to raise the children born to her partner, but who then split up with her partner, was required to pay child support for the minors as a parent. And in K.M. v. E.G., the court held that the existence of a written waiver of rights did not prevent a lesbian woman who had donated ova to her partner for in vitro fertilization from asserting rights as a parent. Meanwhile, in Kristine H. v. Lisa R., the court found that a stipulation signed by the natural mother conferred a legal right to her lesbian partner to exercise the role of a parent over the child.

story

Survey: Two-Thirds of Evangelicals Doubt Jesus' Words Regarding Salvation Thru Him Alone
By Fred Jackson
August 23, 2005

(AgapePress) - There's a new poll out which points to a growing rejection among Evangelicals that Jesus is the only way of salvation.

For years, most evangelical Christians have been taught and accepted the words of Jesus in John 14:6, where He states, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no man cometh unto the Father but my Me." But now a new
Newsweek/Beliefnet poll is showing a shocking number of people who call themselves evangelical and born-again have come to reject those words.

The rest

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, ‘above all that we ask or think’. Each time, before you Intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!"

Andrew Murray

PETA Twists Religion to Promote Animal 'Rights,' New Report Charges
By Randy Hall
CNSNews.com Staff Writer/Editor

August 23, 2005(CNSNews.com) - Americans are accustomed to the tactics of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, but the group's in-your-face advocacy is increasingly calculated to offend, provoke and otherwise show contempt for America's religious faithful, according to a new report released by the Center for Consumer Freedom.

Entitled "Holy Cows: How PETA Twists Religion to Push Animal 'Rights,'" the document claims that this animal rights group hijacks religious rituals and institutions in an attempt to impose its stated philosophy of "total animal liberation."

The report also chronicles PETA's controversial assaults on the scriptures and traditions of Roman Catholics, Protestant Christians, Jews, Mormons and Muslims and contains an inventory of scriptures contradicting PETA's assertion that only vegetarians can claim to be observant people of faith.

"The world's great religions are under attack by disrespectful PETA activists who twist scripture and history to suit their goals," said David Martosko, director of research at the center.

story

PRAYER CHOICE AND PRAYER CONFLICT
"When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and pray to thy Father which is in secret." Matthew 6:6

Jesus did not say - Dream about thy Father in secret, but pray to thy Father in secret. Prayer is an effort of will. After we have entered our secret place and have shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray; we cannot get our minds into working order, and the first thing that conflicts is wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is the overcoming of mental wool-gathering. We have to discipline our minds and concentrate on wilful prayer.

We must have a selected place for prayer and when we get there the plague of flies begins - This must be done, and that. "Shut thy door." A secret silence means to shut the door deliberately on emotions and remember God. God is in secret, and He sees us from the secret place; He does not see us as other people see us, or as we see ourselves. When we live in the secret place it becomes impossible for us to doubt God, we become more sure of Him than of anything else. Your Father, Jesus says, is in secret and nowhere else. Enter the secret place, and right in the centre of the common round you find God there all the time. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God.

Oswald Chambers

Are you ready for the Renewal
of North American Anglicanism?

The Hope & A Future conference for North American Anglicanism promises to be a watershed event you don't want to miss! There are a limited number of hotel rooms available so we encourage you to make your conference and hotel reservations soon. Special Conference rates have been established at five hotels in downtown Pittsburgh.
Click here for more information.

The Hope and A Future will be held at the David L. Lawerence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA November 10 - 12, 2005. The cost of the conference is $95 (with special rates for youth - 24 and under - and seminarians. The conference begins Thursday afternoon at 2 PM, concluding at noon on Saturday.

Rick Warren , Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church, will join key leaders from around the globe speaking in support of our Hope in Jesus Christ and His mission, our Future!

"Mobilizing and empowering everyone - especially the laity - is essential to the rebirth of a Biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America. This is the vocation of the Anglican Communion Network and this is what the "Hope and a Future Conference is all about. As we move toward the challenges of 2006, I believe this conference will also be a key witness to the strength of our movement." -The Right Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan, Pittsburgh


Conference information here!

Sirius Drops Gospel, Prompts Complaints
"If Sirius can make room for the values Howard Stern represents, we'd also like them to make room for the values we represent."
By HUGH S. MOORE

RNS) A decision by Sirius Satellite Radio to cancel The Word Network, a station broadcasting African-American religious programming and gospel music, has prompted more than 15,000 listeners to sign letters of protest.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and several Word executives delivered the letters to Jay Clark, vice president of programming for Sirius, at a meeting in which they urged Sirius not to cancel the religious station. They noted that Sirius is preparing to add shock jock Howard Stern to its lineup.

Lewis Gibbs, vice president of operations for The Word Network, said the decision reflects a lack of moral consideration on the part of Sirius.

"Our request is simple: If Sirius can make room for the values Howard Stern represents, we'd also like them to make room for the values we represent," Gibbs said. "Sirius has a slice of the public airways and therefore has a responsibility to serve the public. We had hoped Sirius would decide to serve the public interest as well as their own economic interests. Clearly, we were wrong."

story

Editorial: The Fate of Iraqi Christians
Chuck Colson
BreakPoint
August 23, 2005

As if sectarian divisions and murderous insurgency weren't enough, the drafters of Iraq's new constitution have a new foe to worry about: Mother Nature. A recent meeting of the various factions drafting the document had to be postponed because of a blinding sandstorm. But that's neither the only nor the most damaging storm likely to be associated with this constitution.

In fact, the more you know about the Iraqi constitutional process, the clearer three things become. First, Baghdad isn't Philadelphia. Second, none of the people involved will ever be mistaken for James Madison. And third, the document that will emerge from these negotiations will bear little resemblance to the U.S. Constitution.

the rest

Feds Warn That Terrorists May Pose as Homeless
Monday, August 22, 2005

WASHINGTON — Asking for increased vigilance in the wake of the London bombings (
search), the government is warning that terrorists may pose as vagrants to conduct surveillance of buildings and mass transit stations to plot future attacks.

"In light of the recent bombings in London, it is crucial that police, fire and emergency medical personnel take notice of their surroundings, and be aware of 'vagrants' who seem out of place or unfamiliar," said the message, distributed via e-mail to some federal employees in Washington by the U.S. Attorney's office.

the rest

A Great Injustice to "The Great Raid"
August 23, 2005
Michael Medved

The new movie "The Great Raid" tells an inspiring true story from World War II about 121 Army Rangers going 30 miles behind Japanese lines to rescue POW's who had survived the Bataan Death March.

With a talented cast led by Joseph Fiennes and Benjamin Bratt, the movie avoids over-the-top Hollywood clichés, focusing instead on everyday heroism of men in uniform.

Most critics, however, hated this picture. This negativity reflects political bias, not honest artistic judgment: one Internet reviewer cited the movie's "stark black-and-white tones you'd get in a Bush State of the Union Speech" while the New York Times related the film to "reckless war-mongering" and "ill-fated imperial ventures."

Despite critical distaste for any project that glorifies our armed forces, the American people are finding--and loving--"The Great Raid" which, in its first weekend, earned the third-highest per screen box office take of all major releases.

Here

Federal Funds For Abstinence Group Withheld
By Ceci Connolly

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Bush administration yesterday suspended a federal grant to the Silver Ring Thing abstinence program, saying it appears to use tax money for religious activities.


Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services ordered the group to submit a "corrective action plan" if it hopes to receive an expected $75,000 grant this year.

The rest

Court: Gay parents must pay child support
Tuesday, August 23, 2005;
Posted: 5:47 a.m. EDT (09:47 GMT)

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- In the latest ruling to recognize rights of same-sex couples, the California Supreme Court has said gay and lesbian couples who raise children are lawful parents and must provide for their children if they break up.

The state's custody and child support laws that hold absent fathers accountable also apply to estranged gay and lesbian couples who used reproductive science to conceive, the high court ruled Monday.

Being a legal parent "brings with it the benefits as well as the responsibilities," said Justice Joyce Kennard.

The decision comes a month after the justices ruled that a California domestic partner law grants gays and lesbians who register with the state many of the same rights as married couples, but does not allow them to marry.

story

Monday, August 22, 2005

All Shall Be Well

But all shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of thing shall be well.

Julian of Norwich

How Stupid is Hollywood Really?
Commentary
By John Jalsevac

This summer it’s been my lot to see a few of the newest pickings of the cinematic crop. By all accounts most of these movies are awful, and if they’re not awful they’re something worse, and anybody who knows the first thing about cinema knows it. You can be sure it’s gotten bad when reviewers replace the thumb with the shrug. Reviewers can’t even conjure the conviction to give the yea or the nay any more. Instead they shrug. “It was a movie,” they say. “Pretty. But not much else.” And so the former feeling of cinematic magic is gone, smothered by this onslaught of mediocrity.

Perhaps we could let sleeping dogs lie were it not that this particular breed of artistic triviality has profound moral consequences. You see, some of the half-baked films currently drawing an ever thinner crowd of exhausted moviegoers are The 40-year-old Virgin, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Wedding Crashers, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The Aristocrats. One of those was called a “boob raunch-fest” by Matthew Drudge of drudgereport.com, and that description could be extended to most any of the others. The online family-friendly movie-reviewing website, Screenit.com, stigmatizes every one of these with an “extreme” grade for sex and nudity, not to mention profanity, and pretty much anything else that forbids a responsible parent to bring their child or watch the movie themselves.

Excellent!

Pro-Lifers Considering First Amendment Lawsuit Against City of Albany, NY
By Allie Martin
August 22, 2005

(AgapePress) - Authorities in New York are being accused of trying to trample on the First Amendment rights of pro-life activists.

Each summer, pro-life activists take part in "Oh Saratoga!," a march and rally that winds up in Saratoga, New York, the site of a decisive battle in the American Revolution. Marchers recently contacted the American Family Association
Center for Law & Policy (CLP) after officials in Albany refused to allow the pro-life activists to use any amplification equipment during a planned rally.

Stephen Crampton, chief counsel for the CLP, says the city eventually rescinded that decision and allowed activists to use amplifiers, but prohibited pro-life demonstrators from using a public sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic.

the rest

"The most eloquent prayer is the prayer through hands that heal and bless. The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless. "

William Franklin Billy Graham

World Youth Day Concludes With a Call For Church Unity
More than 800,000 young Catholics gathered at Marienfeld on the outskirts of Cologne for the conclusion of World Youth Day.
Posted: Monday, August 22 , 2005, 17:40 (UK)

The Pope ended World Youth Day yesterday in Cologne with an appeal to young people around the world to unite “to build a better world” by helping the poor and elderly.

The Pope was speaking to a crowd of more than 800,000 young flag-waving Catholics at a special Mass to close the festival when he made the appeal. He added that greater commitment should be shown by young Catholics to the rituals of the Church.

He told the crowd: “Do not be deterred from taking part in Sunday Mass, and help others to discover it too.”

He added: “Religion constructed on a do-it-yourself basis cannot ultimately help us.

“It may be comfortable but at times of crisis we are left to ourselves.”

Pope Benedict was definitely not shy in his scolding of Church members who simply select the parts of the religion that suit them while, ignoring the rest, saying that Catholicism was not a “consumer product”.


The rest

Seniors, Others Benefit from 'Church in the Park' Reversal
By Allie Martin
August 22, 200

(AgapePress) - Owners of a mobile home park in one California city have backed down from a decision that shut the doors on a ministry to senior residents.

Earlier this year, an outreach was begun for seniors at a mobile home park in Lake Forest, California. The congregation became known as "The Church in the Park," and received permission to meet in the clubhouse on Sunday mornings. However this summer the park's management said the church could not have any more meetings in the clubhouse, although other organizations were allowed to meet there.

Church members then contacted the
Pacific Justice Institute, which intervened on behalf of the congregation. Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, sent a demand letter to managers of the park, explaining that viewpoint discrimination is violation of state law.

story

Do little things as though they were great, because of the majesty of Jesus Christ who does them in us, and who lives our life: and do the greatest things as though they were little and easy, because of His omnipotence.

... Blaise Pascal

Pornified America--The Culture of Pornography
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Monday, August 22, 2005

"For most of my life, I gave little thought to pornography. It was not something I considered relevant to me, nor did I consider it--in the daunting spectrum of social, cultural, and political problems--a particularly pressing issue facing this country," recalls Pamela Paul, author of Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families. Her new book is likely to attract attention as it represents one of the few comprehensive reports on how pornography has transformed American culture.

Paul, a contributor to TIME magazine and other major journals, developed her interest in the cultural impact of pornography when she was asked to write about the subject for TIME. "Like many Americans, I believed pornography was no big deal," she explains. Nevertheless, her experience writing about pornography for TIME changed everything. "My eyes were blown open," Paul now remembers.

What Pamela Paul discovered was that pornography is not merely a major player in the economy. Now, it has become an engine for transforming the entire culture--and corrupting countless lives.

Excellent

Million Father March escorts children to school
By Brian DeBose
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
August 22, 2005

Cities across the country are calling on a million fathers to take a little time out of their busy morning routine, get to work a little late if necessary, so they can walk hand in hand with their children to the schoolhouse doors on the first day.

The Million Father March, a pro-family and fatherhood initiative created by the Chicago-based Black Star Project, a black family advocacy group, is entering its second year, with 100 cities participating -- up from 25 cities in 2004, said Phillip Jackson, the organization's executive director. The marches began in Atlanta on Aug. 8, the earliest first day of school in the country and will continue through Oct. 1.

Story

Skin Cells Converted to Stem Cells
Scientists' Work Could Clear Moral Hurdle to Embryonic Research
By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 22, 2005

Scientists for the first time have turned ordinary skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells -- without having to use human eggs or make new human embryos in the process, as has always been required in the past, a Harvard research team announced yesterday.

The technique uses laboratory-grown human embryonic stem cells -- such as the ones that President Bush has already approved for use by federally funded researchers -- to "reprogram" the genes in a person's skin cell, turning that skin cell into an embryonic stem cell itself.

The rest

Frist's 'capitulation'
TODAY'S COLUMNIST
By Gary Bauer
August 22, 2005


Recently, Sen. Bill Frist made two surprising announcements on the Senate floor. First, the Senate majority leader announced that he now supports expanding federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research (ESCR). Secondly, he announced that he does not intend to run for president in 2008.

Well, Mr. Frist didn't exactly say that he won't run in 2008, but he might as well have. Because if he sticks to his decision to back legislation that would publicly fund the destruction of embryos for experimentation, the senator will be turning his back on pro-life conservatives, thus dooming his 2008 presidential nomination chances.

here

Ex-homosexual threatened with death
San Diego 'gay' activists call for 'suppression,' 'elimination' of Christians
Posted: August 21, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

A homosexual activist website in San Diego has published a threatening message directed specifically at a prominent ex-homosexual and more generally against other Christians activists.


Hillquest, a homosexual-oriented business promotion company, published the anonymous threat against James Hartline, who produces an email newsletter circulated through the Christian community in San Diego, and others like him. The message was signed only by "A Concerned Community Member."

"Now is the time to come together, to reconcile our differences that we all tout and to once again march under the same banner," said the message. "The moment was never riper for the San Diego (LGBT) community to push for the elimination and suppression of the James Hartline's (sic) of the world. We currently have an openly lesbian (interim) mayor of San Diego and an openly gay mayor of Chula Vista; PEOPLE....WE are in POWER! WE are IN CHARGE!"

The rest

Pagans to hold 'Pride Day'
Followers come out of the closet to gain acceptance
Posted: August 21, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

Following the cues of homosexual activists, pagans in Florida are coming out of the closet to hold Pagan Pride Day.

Pagans in New Port Richey, Fla., say they told the Tampa Tribune they're tired of being labeled as devil worshippers who sacrifice animals under a full moon.

"People think paganism is evil," said Robert Crom, 25, regional coordinator for
Pasco Pagans. "Some people, especially among mainstream religions, feel threatened by us."

Crom's group of 50 members, formed a couple of years ago, was issued a permit Thursday to hold the event at New Port Richey's popular Sims Park next month.

The daylong activities – including music, pagan worship and public education – are expected to draw at least 100 devotees.

Story

Talk-show host fired for linking Islam, terror
Michael Graham refused retract demand by CAIR, ABC's WMAL in Washington
Posted: August 21, 20059:21 p.m. Eastern
By Joseph Farah© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

WASHINGTON – Michael Graham, the Washington, D.C.,
talk-show host suspended for linking Islam and terrorism, has been fired by ABC Radio following weeks of pressure applied by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a group with its own well-documented connections to terrorism.

Graham was the popular mid-morning host on
WMAL in the nation's capital until three weeks ago when CAIR demanded he be punished for his on-air statements about Islam. After initially backing the host, WMAL suspended him without pay July 28.

"CAIR immediately announced that my punishment was insufficient and demanded I be fired," Graham said in a statement to WND. "ABC Radio and 630 WMAL have now complied. I have now been fired for making the specific comments CAIR deemed 'offensive,' and for refusing to retract those statements in a management-mandated, on-air apology. ABC Radio further demanded that I agree to perform what they described as 'additional outreach efforts' to those people or groups who felt offended. I refused. And for that refusal, I have been fired."

the rest

Tertullian

Tertullian was a north African presbyter (c. 155-c. 222) who created Christian Latin literature.

Prayer cleanses from sin,
drives away temptations,
stamps out persecutions,
comforts the faint-hearted,
give new strength and courage,
brings travelers safely home,
calms the waves,

confounds robbers,
feeds the poor,

overrules the rich,
lifts up the fallen,
supports those who are falling,
sustains all those who stand firm.

link