Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Lord afflicts us at times; but it is always a thousand times less than we deserve, and much less than many of our fellow-creatures are suffering around us. Let us therefore pray for grace to be humble, thankful, and patient.
John Newton

May I be patient! It is so difficult to make real what one believes, and to make these trials, as they are intended, real blessings.
John Henry Newman

May the fiery and sweet strength of Thy love, I pray Thee, O my Lord, absorb my soul, and make all things under heaven as nothing unto me, that for the love of Thy love I may die, as Thou didst deign to die for love of mine. Amen.
St. Francis of Assisi

Web, military technology aiding in storm recovery
Aerial drones, sonic 'lasers' join bloggers in relief effort
Posted: September 3, 20055:35 p.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

Amidst scenes of chaos in New Orleans and devastation across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, an army of Internet bloggers – as well as some of the most sophisticated military equipment used in the Iraq war – have been marshaled to aid the recovery effort.

With cell phone towers damaged and most land line telephones out of commission, local websites, run by individuals or businesses that still have power, have become one of the major lines of communication from many storm-stricken areas. E-mail and local blogs often provided news of real time conditions during the storm and now are assisting survivors with offers of material assistance, matching those without shelter to those offering to open their homes, and maintaining contact lists to reunite separated families.

Story

New Orleans mayor fears CIA to take him out
Nagin says he has been yelling at governor, president
Posted: September 3, 20057:00 p.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said he's feeling better about his city, he feels confident he has gotten the attention of Gov. Kathleen Blanco and President Bush, but he said he fears the Central Intelligence Agency may take him out because he's been yelling at these officials.

He didn't say it once. He said it twice.

the rest

Baptist Hurricane Relief to Increase by Thousands of Volunteers
Saturday, Sep. 3, 2005 Posted: 3:53:05PM EST

Southern Baptist relief workers are engaging their current staff of 30,000 trained volunteers to reach out in a massive effort to provide help to Hurricane Katrina disaster relief. They will work in conjunction with other government and private relief groups.

Behind the Red Cross and Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Convention volunteers make up the third largest private relief group. They hope to increase the number of meals served to victims to 300,000 by this weekend and to 500,000 in the coming weeks.

"This undertaking is unprecedented in its scope," said Bob Reccord, president of the North American Mission Board of the SBC in a press release. He says the volunteers will reach out "in an operation of massive scale, never seen before in the United States."

The rest

Was Katrina Intelligent Design?
by John Piper
September 2, 2005

On his 89th birthday (August 31) NPR Senior News Analyst, Daniel Schorr, observed that President Bush had “staked out a non-position” on the debate between evolution and intelligent design. Bush had said that “both sides ought to be properly taught in the schools of America.” Then, with manifest scorn, Schorr linked the devastation of Hurricane Katrina with the concept of intelligent design: “[Bush] might well have reflected that, if this was the result of intelligent design, then the designer has something to answer for.”

No, Mr. Schorr, you have something to answer for, not God. God answers to no man. Come, Daniel Schorr, take your place with Job and answer your Maker: “The Lord answered Job [and Daniel Schorr] out of the whirlwind and said: ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. . . . Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed”?’” (Job 38:1-3, 8-11).


commentary

Faith survives the storm
Churches plan services, survey damage
Posted on Sat, Sep. 03, 2005
BY KAT BERGERON
SUN HERALD

The historic 1891 bell tower of Biloxi's Episcopal Church of the Redeemer is silent. This Mississippi Coast symbol of survival rang defiantly as the winds of Hurricane Camille claimed its sanctuary.

In Katrina 36 years later, the red wooden tower fell.

The beachfront site was chosen as the appropriate sacred ground for the Hurricane Camille Memorial Wall, with its beautiful mosaic pool and granite etched list of 172 names of the dead and missing in the 1969 hurricane. That memorial is at least badly damaged.

Informs a sign on the Redeemer grounds: ''Mass 9 a.m. Sunday. Bring Lawn Chairs.''
Story

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills --
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip --
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you --
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm --
He will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forever more.

Lectionary Readings for September 4, 2005

Ezekiel 33:(1-6)7-11
Psalm 119:33-48 or 119:33-40
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 18:15-20

Collect:
Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Romans 12:9-21
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.


Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." No, "if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

First Estimate Puts Storm's Economic Toll at $100 Billion
September 3, 2005
By
JENNIFER BAYOT

A risk management firm yesterday offered the first estimate of economic losses from Hurricane Katrina - $100 billion - and said that private insurance would probably cover less than a quarter of that. Federal money and charitable contributions may need to do the rest.

Saying the damage already appeared far greater than expected, Risk Management Solutions in Newark, Calif., said that insured losses would range from $20 billion to $35 billion, much higher than the firm's initial estimate of $10 billion to $25 billion.

The new figures suggest that Hurricane Katrina will cost the insurance industry more than any other natural disaster on record, unseating Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which cost $21 billion in 2004 dollars, according to the Insurance Information Institute, an industry group. Katrina's price tag may also overshadow the $23 billion in insured losses caused by four large hurricanes last year in South Florida.

The rest

Storm's Economic Shock, Job Losses Likely to Rival Worst
By Nell Henderson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 3, 2005; Page D01

Hurricane Katrina, by forcing an exodus of workers and families from New Orleans and surrounding areas, appears likely to rank alongside Sept. 11, 2001, and the Arab oil embargo of 1973 as one of the nation's most serious and sudden economic shocks -- particularly in terms of job losses -- in recent memory.

Before the storm, the Mobile, Ala., Biloxi, Miss., and New Orleans metropolitan areas supported about 1 million non-farm jobs, with about 600,000 of them in New Orleans. Analysts at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates estimated yesterday that the storm has wiped out several hundred thousand jobs along the Gulf of Mexico coast, at least temporarily.
the rest

The Example of George W. Bush
September 2, 2005 07:13 PM PST

I understand that an entertainer on the NBC special said some incredibly distasteful stuff about President Bush. No doubt a lot of folks will be pretty upset. I am taking my cue from the president, who spent the day in the company of a lot of folks who seem to have spent the last 48 hours doing nothing but blasting him in an attempt to escape fallout. President Bush said nothing about his critics, but kept the focus on the victims. W is in the business of getting the relief organized and saving lives. He isn't taking political shots, and I doubt he's going to, no matter how great the provocation. He's a good man and a great president, and his example should instruct his supporters to keep the focus on Americans in desperate need of help and hope.
Hugh Hewitt

Rebuilding the Gulf Coast, One Group at a Time
The only way to rebuild the societies battered by Katrina is for specialized groups to find one another. The internet is ready to help.
by Hugh Hewitt 09/02/2005 12:00:00 AM

YESTERDAY America's emergency relief effort went into high gear and is likely to stay there for weeks, as all across the country citizens open their wallets to help out their fellow countrymen.
Before long, however, the extreme needs will be met and the long-term rebuilding will get underway. At that point it will become much less obvious how ordinary Americans can help. When terrorists struck on September 11, the carnage was huge and the loss of life staggering, but an entire community was not wiped out. With this disaster, America confronts for the first time the daunting reconstruction of complex social and political organizations.
Story

Alberta Christian Pastor Hauled Before Human Rights Tribunal For Letter to Editor on Homosexuality
Will not pay fines or write apology should decision go against him
RED DEER, Alberta,
September 2, 2005

(LifeSiteNews.com) – Currently Reverend Stephen Boissoin, a young Albertan pastor who spearheads a youth ministry that makes hundreds of weekly contacts with at-risk youth, is in the process of learning Arabic so he can better minister to the many Muslim youth who he says come to his centers. And with a wife and two children of his own, in addition to his full-time ministry, he repeatedly remarked during an interview with LifeSiteNews.com that he just doesn’t have a lot of time on his hands.

Story

New Orleans Residents: God's Mercy Evident in Katrina's Wake
By Jody Brown and Allie Martin
September 2, 2005

(AgapePress) - Two Christian leaders in New Orleans are testifying to God's mercy in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One suggests that the death toll could have been much higher had it not been for God's mercy -- and the other that God may have used the hurricane to purge wickedness from the city.

Chuck Kelley is president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, with facilities located near the southern banks of Lake Pontchartrain and in Chalmette, east of the city. Baptist Press reports that Kelley now finds himself homeless and with only a few personal belongings following Hurricane Katrina's devastating blow to the New Orleans area. But the seminary leader says he is able to discern God's hand in the situation.

The rest

Focus Launches Web Site for Non-Christians
The new Web site provides non-threatening, biblical help to people who might never visit a church.

When your non-Christian friends need help and don't know where to turn, tell them there is a new place to find trustworthy guidance:
TroubledWith.com.

Focus on the Family developed the new Web site to help both Christians and non-Christians.The online resource provides user-friendly, practical insights in a biblical, non-threatening format.

TroubledWith.com's expert advice, empathetic stories and practical referrals are aimed at meeting people who are facing anything from daily annoyances to major life challenges.

Story

Campus Crusade for Christ Mobilizes Youth for Katrina Relief Efforts
Saturday, Sep. 3, 2005
Posted: 10:24:33AM EST
Campus Crusade for Christ International anticipates that thousands of college students and adult volunteers will very soon join its Hurricane Katrina relief efforts through its humanitarian aid ministry, Global Aid Network (GAIN).
Story


Christian Hurricane Relief Efforts Continue; Concerned Americans Give Record Donations
Friday, Sep. 2, 2005
Posted: 8:40:40AM EST
As Christian relief groups work to set up command centers, and distribute basics such as food and water, the response from Americans has been strong as record donations are pledged.
Story

Convention Center Evacuation Begins
Sep 03 11:32 AM US/Eastern
By ROBERT TANNERAP National Writer
NEW ORLEANS
A fleet of air-conditioned buses rolled up to the city's devastated convention center Saturday to begin evacuating an estimated 25,000 people who have been waiting for days amid the stench of garbage and rotting corpses.
Thousands of people began pushing and dragging their belongings up the street to more than a dozen buses, the mood more numb than jubilant.
story

Draining New Orleans could take 80 days- Army
Fri Sep 2, 2005 5:33 PM ET
By Jim Loney
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Reuters) - Engineers may need up to 80 days to remove Hurricane Katrina's flood waters from the swamped New Orleans, a senior U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official said on Friday.
Work crews gained control over one of the breaches in the levee on Friday and expected to have another major gap closed on Saturday, Brig. Gen. Robert Crear told reporters at a briefing in Baton Rouge.
"We're looking at anywhere from 36 to 80 days to being done," Crear said.
Story

Salvation Army Receives $10 Million Grant for Hurricane Katrina Relief
Friday, Sep. 2, 2005
Posted: 6:23:25PM EST

A private foundation that supports the causes of religion, education, and community development has provided a $10 million gift to the Salvation Army to assist with on-going relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The funds provided by the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. are the largest single gift to the Salvation Army designated for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

“We are so grateful to the Lilly Endowment for their generous donation at such a critical time of response for the victims of this disaster,” said Salvation Army National Commander Todd W. Bassett, in a announcement released today. “At times like these, financial donations are always a vital need, and can be put to use much more directly and effectively."

the rest

Congregations open hearts, wallets for relief
By PAT KINNEY,
Assistant City Editor
Friday, September 2, 2005 5:08 PM CDT

CEDAR FALLS --- The Rev. Bob Wallace's voice broke with emotion as he related the phone call he had with a fellow pastor in Louisiana.

"She's telling stories of churches which are no longer standing," Wallace, senior pastor of Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, said after a conversation with the Rev. Robin McCullough-Bade of Lafayette, La., a fellow pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

She and her husband, Rev. David-McCullough-Bade, escaped major damage from Hurricane Katrina, "but they're without electricity well into the foreseeable future." Other pastors, and their congregations are in much worse shape.

The rest

Home Schooling Survives Opposition as Growing Numbers Opt In
By Jim Brown

September 2, 2005

(AgapePress) - Mike Smith, president of the
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), is hailing the measurable success and growth of the home-schooling movement in America, even amid the challenges that movement has faced and still faces. Of all those challenges, he points to increasing government regulation as the largest hurdle home-schooling families will have to encounter in the coming years.

Some convincing facts in support of home schooling are available to parents weighing that option for their families. For instance, on college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT, home-school students score much higher than their public-school counterparts. And on the average standardized achievement test, home-school kids continue to score 20 to 30 percentile points higher than other students.

However, Smith points out that achievement tests are by no means the toughest thing home-school students have to confront today. He says home-educated kids and their parents are laboring under burdensome regulations in many parts of the country, often being required to file copious paperwork and lesson plan documentation according to rigorous and complicated guidelines.

Story

Europeans Find Gas Prices Taxing
Americans Fear $4 a Gallon, a Bargain to Drivers in Paris or Rome
By John Ward Anderson
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, September 3, 2005; Page A27

PARIS, Sept. 2 -- As they grapple with soaring gas prices in France, Serge Poitevieau, a cafe owner, and Frederique Usher, an unemployed but well-heeled young woman, have dramatically different perspectives and radically different solutions.

Poitevieau, 53, has stopped using his Spanish-made Seat automobile except to make weekend visits to his parents. He said he now gets around mostly on foot. As for France's notoriously high gas tax, "I say bravo," he said, leaning across the bar. "I think they should raise it more to discourage the traffic."

The rest

Friday, September 02, 2005

THE SACRAMENT OF SACRIFICE
"He that believeth in Me . . out of him shall flow. . . ." John 7:38

Jesus did not say - "he that believeth in Me shall realize the blessing of the fulness of God," but - "he that believeth in Me out of him shall escape everything he receives." Our Lord's teaching is always anti-self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a man; His purpose is to make a man exactly like Himself, and the characteristic of the Son of God is self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain, but what He pours through us that counts. It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out of us. Spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only by what God pours through us, and we cannot measure that at all.

When Mary of Bethany broke the box of precious ointment and poured it on Jesus' head, it was an act for which no one else saw any occasion; the disciples said it was a waste. But Jesus commended Mary for her extravagant act of devotion, and said that wherever His gospel was preached "this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." Our Lord is carried beyond Himself with joy when He sees any of us doing what Mary did, not being set on this or that economy, but being abandoned to Him. God spilt the life of His Son that the world might be saved; are we prepared to spill out our lives for Him?

"He that believeth in Me out of him shall flow rivers of living water" - hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed. It is time now to break the life, to cease craving for satisfaction, and to spill the thing out. Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him?
Oswald Chambers

Church of England to Modernise Advertising Campaign to Renew Image
"Church. Part of modern life". That's the latest message going out to the public from the Church of England in a bid farewell to the somewhat disastrous advertising campaigns of the past.
Posted: Friday, September 2 , 2005, 10:25 (UK)

The advertising agency that brought the Skoda range of cars back from the dead has been called in by the Church of England in the hope that it will do the same for their ailing fortunes also.

Ad agency Fallon has produced a series of black and white posters that aim to present the Church as less “churchy” and replace previous campaigns which have been criticised widely by bishops and clergy members for being overly triumphalist, painfully trendy or tastelessly provocative, The Times newspaper has said.

Rather than an overt emphasis on mission, the new line of posters aim to gently bring the attention of the public to the often overlooked practical role that the Church plays in their communities and daily lives, as well as its active contribution to the care of society in general.
the rest

I guess the rule is the slogans may be about anything except Jesus!

Shameful: Only 25 Nations Offer Help to the U.S.
Stewart Stogel,
NewsMax.com
Friday, Sept. 2, 2005

When the Indian Ocean tsunami devastated many nations across Asia in December, the United States rushed to the aid of victims by pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance,just as it has offered aid whenever a natural disaster strikes in another country.

Now the U.S. is facing a catastrophe of its own from Hurricane Katrina.

Though the U.N.'s own top official for disaster relief has called Katrina one of "the largest, most destructive natural disasters ever," shamefully only a handful of nations, at last count just 25,nations of the 191 countries in the United Nations have come forward to offer assistance.
And almost none have offered what America has so often provided: money.

Story

Guardsmen Evacuate Refugees From Superdome
By MARY FOSTER
ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW ORLEANS (AP)
September 02, 2005 at 14:28:13 PDT

National Guardsmen helped evacuate the mass of storm refugees from the Superdome on Friday, where thousands were stuck in knee-deep trash and blacked-out, putrid bathrooms. "This was the worst night of my life," one mother said.


At midday, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses rolled up so some 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the evacuation line - much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in the stinking Superdome since Sunday.


Story

Wow! Article written in October, 2004

Gone With the Water
By Joel K. Bourne, Jr.
Photographs by Robert Caputo and Tyrone Turner

The Louisiana bayou, hardest working marsh in America, is in big trouble—with dire consequences for residents, the nearby city of New Orleans, and seafood lovers everywhere.
It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV "storm teams" warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.


But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however—the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.

The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level—more than eight feet below in places—so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.

The rest!

Death toll in Louisiana could be above 10,000: US Senator
Fri Sep 2, 1:02 PM ET

BATON ROUGE, United States (AFP) - US Senator David Vitter said that the death toll from Hurricane Katrina could top 10,000 in Louisiana alone.

My guess is that it will start at 10,000, but that is only a guess," Vitter said, adding that he was not basing his remarks on any official death toll or body count.

Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, also called for the immediate deployment of regular US combat troops in New Orleans, saying the build-up of National Guard troops was too slow to quickly restore order.

Such a step would require Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco to formally request the dispatch of federal army soldiers, a highly unusual step.

The rest

Christ, Katrina, and My Hometown
Russell D. Moore
September 2, 2005

(Baptist Press)--In a very real sense, my hometown no longer exists. And I watched it all on CNN.

I am from Biloxi, Miss. My family members are there now, enduring the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina despite pleas to evacuate. The house I grew up in is a complete catastrophe, but at least it was not completely swept away. And as I spend most of the night praying and flipping from CNN to FOX News to MSNBC, I am reminded of how unnatural natural disasters really are.

The news reports, both nationally televised and through the south Mississippi grapevine, sound almost like a bad apocalyptic novel. Beauvoir, the Biloxi home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, was destroyed. This old Coast landmark had stood since 1854. The home of my friend and former boss, U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, was destroyed and washed away. He and his wife, Margaret, have lost everything. The mausoleums in some of the graveyards are said to have opened, with coffins and bodies floating down the streets. I watch the news reports, watching the place where I proposed to my wife, the place where I surrendered to ministry, the place where I ran down the beaches with my brothers, and all of it is gone.


the rest

Big oil spill spotted near tanks on Miss.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A huge oil spill was spotted near two storage tanks on the Mississippi River downstream from New Orleans, state officials said Friday.


The oil was seen in a flyover to the Venice area by the Department of Environmental Quality.

story

Houston's Religious Communities Scramble to Help Evacuees
"We're in this thing for the long haul" without government money, church leaders warn.
by Deann Alford in Houston
posted 09/02/2005 12:00 p.m.

As the flood of 100,000 New Orleans evacuees continued into Texas' biggest city, what may well have been Houston's most religiously diverse gathering with a purpose took place Thursday morning.

The sanctuary of
Second Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the country, filled with Christians from mainline, evangelical, and Pentecostal denominations, plus those from other faiths, including Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Bah'ai, and Unitarians.

Their sole order of business: Feeding the 25,000 homeless, destitute evacuees, many of whom had earlier taken shelter in New Orleans' Superdome and were brought to the city in expectation of being housed in Houston's Astrodome. Many are the poorest of New Orleans' poor. Many will never go back to Louisiana because they have nothing to go back to. Meanwhile, groups such as the Red Cross won't help match evacuees with Houston residents who offer housing because they are concerned about liability.

story

In the secret of God's tabernacle no enemy can find us, and no troubles can reach us. The pride of man and the strife of tongues find no entrance into the pavilion of God. The secret of his presence is a more secure refuge than a thousand Gibraltars. I do not mean that no trials come. They may come in abundance, but they cannot penetrate into the sanctuary of the soul, and we may dwell in perfect peace even in the midst of life's fiercest storms.

Hannah Whitall Smith

National Guardsmen Pour Into Louisiana
Sep 2, 11:00 AM (ET)
By ALLEN G. BREED

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Thousands of National Guardsmen with food, water and weapons streamed into Louisiana on Friday to bring relief to New Orleans' suffering multitudes and put down the looting and violence. "The cavalry is and will continue to arrive," said one general.
The assurances came amid blistering criticism from the mayor and others who said the federal government had bungled the relief effort and let people die in the streets for lack of food, water or medicine.

In Washington, President Bush admitted "the results are not acceptable" and pledged to bolster the relief efforts with a personal trip to the Gulf Coast on Friday.

"We'll get on top of this situation," he said before setting out, "and we're going to help the people that need help."

The rest

World stunned as US struggles with Katrina
Sep 02 10:08 AM US/Eastern
By Andrew Gray

LONDON (Reuters) - The world has watched amazed as the planet's only superpower struggles with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with some saying the chaos has exposed flaws and deep divisions in American society.

World leaders and ordinary citizens have expressed sympathy with the people of the southern United States whose lives were devastated by the hurricane and the flooding that followed.
But many have also been shocked by the images of disorder beamed around the world -- looters roaming the debris-strewn streets and thousands of people gathered in New Orleans waiting for the authorities to provide food, water and other aid.

"Anarchy in the USA" declared Britain's best-selling newspaper The Sun.

"Apocalypse Now" headlined Germany's Handelsblatt daily.

Story

A More Demanding Faith
Christian history is full of attempts to lead a more radical faith.
by David Neff
posted 09/02/2005 09:45 a.m.

When Rob Moll, CT's online assistant editor, went to visit the Simple Way in Philadelphia, it was the children who burned themselves into his memory. The intentional Christian community's main house sits on a street corner, allowing children to route their boisterous parade from one sidewalk through the back door into the kitchen, through the living room, and out onto a different sidewalk by way of the front door. Like these children, the communities Rob visited showed both a touch of chaos and an abundance of vibrant life.

The Simple Way felt vaguely familiar to Rob: lots of well-worn second-hand furniture; people intensely devoted to a goal. It felt like the house he lived in during college—except that the focus was not on studies but on serving the neighbors.

That devotion dovetailed with what Rob saw at worship the first night he stayed with them. About 50 people gathered in the Circle of Hope worship service in the warehouse space above the church's thrift store. Though postmodern in style, the spirit was ancient, drawn straight from the Book of Acts.


the rest

We rest on Thee, our shield and our defender!
Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;
When passing through the gates of pearly splendor,
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.

... Edith Gilling Cherry

Fifth Day of Disaster Begins With Fire
Local and State Officials Unable to Contain Emotions as Refugee Centers Reach Capacity in Texas
By Fred Barbash

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 2, 2005; 8:33 AM

Explosions and fires hit the New Orleans riverfront a few miles south of the French Quarter Friday morning but there were conflicting and fragmentary reports about whether the blazes involved railroad cars or warehouses or empty oil drums.

While the fire glowed in the sky and TV stations speculated about whether or not there were any "toxic clouds," Walter Maestri, head of emergency management for Jefferson County, came on talk radio four hours after the explosions and said "it was not the major incident we thought it was."

The rest

Explosions Fill New Orleans Sky With Smoke and Flames As Troops, Police Try to Stem Lawlessness
Friday, September 02, 2005 08:39:59 AM

An explosion at a chemical depot jolted residents awake early Friday, illuminating the pre-dawn sky with red and orange flames over a city awash in corpses and under siege from looters. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Vibrations from the blast along the Mississippi River and a few miles east of the French Quarter were felt all the way downtown. A series of smaller blasts followed and then a cyclone of acrid, black smoke.
To jittery residents of New Orleans, it was yet another fearful sight in a city that has deteriorated rapidly since Katrina slammed ashore Monday morning.
Congress was rushing through a $10.5 billion aid package, the Pentagon promised 1,400 National Guardsmen a day to stop the looting and President Bush planned to visit the region Friday. But city officials were seething with anger about what they called a slow federal response following Hurricane Katrina.

Story

N'Orleans descends into hellish chaos
As city refugees battle floods, each other, House speaker sees no hope of rebuilding
Posted: September 2, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

As New Orleans descended into anarchy in the wake of devastating Hurricane Katrina and its inundating floods, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert delivered his stunning opinion that rebuilding the historic city would be pointless and a waste of money.

Hastert said it makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that's seven feet under sea level.

"It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed," the Illinois Republican said in an interview yesterday with the Daily Herald of Arlington, Ill.

Hastert's comment reverberated with Fox News anchor Shepard Smith in New Orleans, who said, "In my wildest dreams, I cannot conjure up a vision of this city rebuilt."

The rest

PETA Continues to Use Religious Images
The radical activist group, People for the Ethical Treatment of animals uses jarring religious images to make its point.
By HUGH S. MOORE

(RNS) Activists from the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stood outside the U.S. Capitol handing out pamphlets in front of an exhibit they called "Animal Liberation."

Like many PETA efforts, this one, in mid-August, employed jarring imagery some find religiously offensive. A billboard depicted a gaunt Holocaust prisoner next to a picture of a laboratory monkey, noting that both were "experimented on.

"It's a decade-old but, according to PETA, effective strategy. The 850,000-member organization based in Norfolk, Va., displays images and slogans connected to Judaism and Christianity, all in an effort to equate animal and human suffering.

Story

Churches start war on Crusci-fiction
Liam Houlihan,
religious affairs reporter

02sep05

AN ARTWORK that shows Star Wars characters nailed to crosses has sparked controversy before its public debut.
The controversial piece called Crusci-fiction consists of a roomful of 25 replicas of robot C3P0 hanging on crosses.
Church leaders and Christian groups have condemned the exhibit as ridiculing and trivialising their beliefs.
They said it was only a matter of time before Christians started to use Victoria's religious vilification laws to defend their faith.

The rest

State Senate Votes to Let Gays Marry
Passed without the help of Republicans, the bill is headed for a tough fight in the Assembly.

By Jordan Rau and Nancy Vogel,
Times Staff Writers

SACRAMENTO — The California Senate voted Thursday to allow homosexuals to marry, becoming the first legislative body in the United States to embrace the idea and setting off a scramble for three votes needed for passage in the Assembly.

Almost completely along party lines, the Democrat-controlled Senate approved the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, which would allow marriage between two people rather than only between a man and a woman.

the rest

AUSTIN, TX: Episcopal High School Promotes Gay Sex Book
Parents threaten to withhold $3 million if book not pulled
By David W. Virtue

http://www.virtueonline.org

AUSTIN, TX (8/30/2005)--An explicit short story about two homosexual male cowboys featured as part of the Senior English program at St. Andrew's Episcopal High School in Austin, has caused a furor with parents complaining and some threatening to withhold $3 million dollars to the school, if the Episcopal institution does not pull the book.

The short story used in the English class was Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx. It is a pornographic story of two homosexual cowboys that is being made into a major motion picture. The book which is set in Texas and Wyoming features the romantic tale of two male cowboys from very different backgrounds who meet and fall in love while working together as sheep ranch hands near Wyoming's Brokeback Mountain during the summer of 1961. The movie was shot in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and is due to be released in December, 2005.

VirtueOnline received a letter written by one irate contributor Mr. Cary McNair, son of Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, who threatened to withhold a significant amount of money if the school did not pull the book from the classroom. A VirtueOnline source said the amount was in excess of $3 million.

The rest at Virtueonline

They Saw It Coming
By MARK FISCHETTI
Published: September 2, 2005
Lenox, Mass.

THE deaths caused by Hurricane Katrina are heart-rending. The suffering of survivors is wrenching. Property destruction is shocking. But perhaps the most agonizing part is that much of what happened in New Orleans this week might have been avoided.

Watching the TV images of the storm approaching the Mississippi Delta on Sunday, I was sick to my stomach. Not only because I knew the hell it could unleash (I wrote an article for Scientific American in 2001 that described the very situation that was unfolding) but because I knew that a large-scale engineering plan called Coast 2050 - developed in 1998 by scientists, Army engineers, metropolitan planners and Louisiana officials - might have helped save the city, but had gone unrealized.

The rest

Thursday, September 01, 2005

God's word is-
1. Supernatural in origin;
2. Eternal in duration;
3. Inexpressible in valour;
4. Infinite in scope;
5. Regenerative in power;
6. Infallible in authority;
7. Universal in application;
8. Inspired in totality.
Read it through, write it down; pray it in; work it out; pass it on.The word of God changes a man until he becomes an Epistle of God.

Smith Wigglesworth

Evangelical Anglicans Plan First International Gathering
Thursday, Sep. 1, 2005
Posted: 7:19:03 AM EST

Traditional Anglicans gained strength in the months following the controversial ordination of the first openly-gay Episcopal bishop in the United States. In November, they will tout that newfound strength and unity with their first international conference, slated for Nov. 10-12 in Pittsburgh.

Titled “Hope and a Future,” the conference will be hosted by the Anglican Communion Network and supported by all the major reformed Anglican groups in North America, including the American Anglican Council, Anglican Communion in Canada, Anglican Communion Network, Anglican Mission in America, Anglican Province in America, Essentials Federation in Canada, Forward in Faith North America, Network in Canada, Reformed Episcopal Church, and the Conference of North American Anglican Bishops.

the rest

Planned Parenthood Solicits Funds to Offer Chemical abortion for Hurricane Victims
HOUSTON, September 1, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Red Cross has volunteer teams with food, water, emergency shelters and medicine and is working around the clock to help the people struck by Hurricane Katrina. The Catholic Charities is there too, as is the National Guard, the Salvation Army and nearly every other humanitarian assistance organization imaginable, bringing every sort of assistance to the people left homeless and dazed by Katrina’s incredible fury. Thousands of individuals, organizations and commercial companies are donating time, material resources and cash in an international effort to help as quickly as possible.
Story


New Orleans City Council President: "Maybe God's Going To Cleanse Us"
NEW ORLEANS, September 1, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The popular adage, "there are no atheists in the trenches" sums up the truth that in times of disaster it is natural for people to turn to God, for help and also for an explanation. The devastation wrought by hurricane Katrina has brought that reality home to the United States, particularly in the affected regions.
story


Churches rally to aid refugees Many BR sites providing services
By WILLIAM TAYLOR
Advocate staff writer
Roman Catholic Archbishop Alfred Hughes, himself a New Orleans refugee with maybe two changes of clothes, can't go home either, but he could minister Wednesday to fellow victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Hughes and Bishop Robert W. Muench of Baton Rouge went to pray with those in the makeshift shelters.
story

He prays, but He hears prayer. He weeps, but He causes tears to cease. He is bruised and wounded, but He heals every disease and every infirmity. He is lifted up and nailed to the Tree, but by the Tree of Life He restores us, yes, He saved even the robber crucified with Him. He dies, but He gives life, and by His death destroys death. He is buried, but He rises again; He goes down to Hell, but He brings up the souls; He ascends to heaven, and shall come again to judge the living and the dead.
A quote from Gregory of Nazianzus
--from The Fourth Theological Oration XX, NPNF Vol. VII, P. 309.


A Prayer for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina

O God, we remember when the disciples of Jesus were terrified after a long night on a turbulent sea. When they cried to you for help, you stilled the sea and brought them to safety. We ask now that you comfort and still the hearts of those suffering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. We pray for those who have been displaced and who now must return to homes destroyed or damaged by the storm. We pray for those whose lives were lost and for those who now must grieve the loss of a loved one. We pray for those who are attempting to offer help and relief to victims. While we wonder why such devastation can occur, where lives and property can seem held so capriciously in the hand of what is uncontrollable, we know, O God, that you count every hair on our head and that our names are written on the palm of your hand. Let your loving grace wash over those who must now face damaged lives, homes, and possessions. Hold them close to yourself until they are sure of the security of your loving embrace. Calm their hearts and still their souls, O Lord. We ask this for the sake of your love.
Amen

Sewage in Floodwaters Carries Disease
Sep 1, 12:02 PM (ET)

By JOHN HEILPRIN
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sewage and chemicals are mixed into a potentially toxic bathtub soaking New Orleans, posing the threat of disease for residents forced to wade in Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters.
"Probably the more immediate health risk to the people is that whatever was in the sewer is in the water," said John Pardue, director of the Louisiana Water Resources Research Institute at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. "Whatever bacterial or viral diseases that people put into the system before the flooding is now in the water."
Story


New Orleans Mayor Issues 'Desperate SOS'
Sep 01 5:24 PM US/Eastern
By ADAM NOSSITER Associated Press Writer
NEW ORLEANS
Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday. "This is a desperate SOS," the mayor said.
story


Bush warns looters, urges Americans conserve gas
By Steve Holland 45 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
President George W. Bush said on Thursday looters in New Orleans and elsewhere in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina should be treated with "zero tolerance" and urged Americans not to buy gasoline if they do not need it because of looming shortages. Story

Hurricane hits just before homosexual event
Christian activist: Act of God prevented 'Southern Decadence' festival
Posted: August 31, 20054:38 p.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
Hurricane Katrina walloped New Orleans just two days before the annual homosexual "Southern Decadence" festival was to begin in the town, an act being characterized by some as God's work.
Southern Decadence has a history of "filling the French Quarters section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars," says a statement from the Philadelphia Christian organization Repent America. Story

Anger floodsNew Orleans
Gunfire disrupts evacuation, corpses scattered in open
Posted: September 1, 20053:26 p.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
Thousands of National Guard troops in armored vehicles moved into flood-ravaged New Orleans today amid mounting lawlessness marked by gunfire, trash fires and rising tensions among desperate refugees low on food and water.
At least seven corpses were scattered outside the New Orleans Convention Center where displaced residents broke through the steel doors of a food service entrance.
story

Buffeted, knocked down but never knocked out,
cast down but never in despair, persecuted but never forsaken, because - praise the Lord! - you have found the answer to what it takes to stand in the ministry you have received: a clear view of Jesus, in contemplation; in reflection of His glory in the midst of the battle; and then being made like unto Him as day by day your heart is lifted up to the Lord Jesus and He imparts to your life the sweetness and loveliness of His character.

Alan Redpath

Katrina and Disgusting Exploitation
By James K. Glassman

A profound tragedy is unfolding in New Orleans, the most beautiful city in America, with the richest cultural history and the most wonderful style of living. I lived in New Orleans for seven years. I was married there. My children were born there. I have many friends there.

My daughter, her husband and their little baby managed to get out of the city ahead of the flood on Sunday, driving 14 hours into Texas with the few belongings they could stuff into their car. They have no idea what has become of their house and their possessions, not to mention their friends, their pets, their jobs, their way of life.

Tragedies happen, and my daughter and her family are happy just to be alive. Their losses and those of hundreds of thousands of other innocents deserve mourning, prayer and respect.

commentary

Spiritual guidance... in the workplace?
Companies that hire workplace chaplains find that besides helping employees, they may help their bottom line, too.
By
Jane Lampman
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

NEW HAVEN, CONN. – In the middle of a winter night last year, the family of a forklift operator in Danville, Ill., suffered two devastating blows. In a fire that destroyed their home, the Kemps also lost their youngest child. While the family had no pastor, priest, or rabbi to turn to, someone came to their aid immediately: the chaplain at McLane Co., David Kemp's employer.

Cleveland Taylor arrived amid the fire trucks, helped the family get clothing and meet its needs over many weeks, and held the funeral service for the baby.

Story

After the Storm Hurricane Katrina: The good, the bad, the let's-shoot-them-now.
Thursday, September 1, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
Peggy Noonan

Katrina is a huge and historic story. The human cost, the financial cost, the rendering uninhabitable of a great and fabled American city--all of it amazing. A quick look at the good, the bad, and the let's-shoot-them-now.

excellent commentary

CHRISTIANS UNIQUELY PREPARED TO HELP HURRICANE VICTIMS, SAYS CEN CHAIRMAN; BELIEVERS CALLED UPON TO OFFER HOPE OF CHRIST TO VICTIMS OF KATRINA
Salvation Army Leader Says Katrina Impact Is Unprecedented; With Impact Just Being Realized, Needs Must Be Met Prayerfully And Wisely
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
By Michael IrelandChief Correspondent,
ASSIST News Service

GULF COAST (ANS) -- With Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 level storm, making first landfall just east of New Orleans, at about 6 a.m. CDT, August 29, emergency response officials moved men and materiel into place to help those affected while predicting it could be one of the most damaging storms in the history of the United States.
Christian Emergency Network (CEN) Founder and Chairman Mary Marr is calling upon Christians to help share the love of Christ in this trying time with a single voice, and to heed the advice of emergency preparedness experts.
In a press release to media outlets, Marr said: "At a time like this, the inclination of a Christian is to help, and that is exactly what we should do."
"However, it is critical that we help in ways that are the most practical, so it is important to heed what experts tell us. Some efforts could be unnecessarily duplicated, or folks could actually hinder the work of emergency workers if they don’t respond appropriately."

Story

Colombian Radical Feminist Reveals Dis-Information Strategy to Legalize Abortion
BOGATA, Colombia,
September 1, 2005

(LifeSiteNews.com/Catholic News Agency) – It is not just in Canada that the courts and media have been abused as a means of imposing immoral practices into national legislation. In the South American nation of Colombia, a former high-ranking official of the Justice Ministry, Rafael Nieto Loaiza, has accused abortion activists of using the country’s court system to impose abortion on a country that doesn’t want it.

Nieto wrote in an article about efforts by a Colombian radical feminist activist to use a campaign of media trickery to sell abortion to Colombian courts and the public. He wrote, “those who seek its legalization have been exposed.” Nieto refers to the effort of Monica Roa and her group of abortion activists to manipulate the “good will” of Colombians to establish abortion in cases of pregnancy from rape or when there are fetal abnormalities.

The rest

Katrina Recovery Will Take Years, Bush Says
Melanie Hunter
Senior Editor

(CNSNews.com) - Calling it "one of the worst natural disasters" in history, President Bush said Wednesday the recovery effort from Hurricane Katrina will take years. Flying over the Gulf Coast on his way back from Crawford, Texas, the president could see the devastation that Hurricane Katrina caused.

"The vast majority of New Orleans, Louisiana is under water. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses are beyond repair. A lot of the Mississippi Gulf Coast has been completely destroyed. Mobile is flooded. We're dealing with one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history," Bush said in a Rose Garden press conference.


the rest

Methodist Spirituality Meetings Planned Amid Shocking Youth Statistics
The Methodist Church has reacted passionately to new research released showing that a large proportion of young people living in urban areas feel that life is not worth living.
Posted: Thursday, September 1 , 2005, 10:04 (UK)

The Methodist Church has reacted passionately to new research released showing that a large proportion of young people living in urban areas feel that life is not worth living.

The research instigated by the Commission on urban Life and Faith, and undertaken by the University of Wales, Bangor and the Children’s Society, has revealed shocking figures. According to the findings 70 percent of young people in urban areas have the feeling that life is not worth living, 52 percent often feel depressed and 27 percent have even gone to the extent of seriously considering suicide.

Story UK

Guard Troops Deployed, Police Abandon Rescue Effort to Stop Growing Lawlessness in New Orleans
Thursday, September 01, 2005 08:50:03 AM

National Guard troops in armored vehicles poured into New Orleans Thursday to curb the growing lawlessness as Mississippi's governor vowed to deal with looters in the neighboring state as "ruthlessly as we can get our hands on them."

About 10,000 National Guard troops from around the country were ordered to shore up security, rescue and relief operations along the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast.
"The truth is, a terrible tragedy like this brings out the best in most people, brings out the worst in some people," said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on NBC's "Today" show. "We're trying to deal with looters as ruthlessly as we can get our hands on them."

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin also ordered virtually the entire police force to abandon search-and-rescue efforts and stop thieves who were becoming increasingly hostile.

Story

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

There is no power like that of prevailing prayer - of Abraham pleading for Sodom, Jacob wrestling in the stillness of the night, Moses standing in the breach, Hannah intoxicated with sorrow, David heart-broken with remorse and grief, Jesus in sweat and blood. Add to this list from the records of the church your personal observation and experience, and always there is cost of passion unto blood. Such prayer prevails. It turns ordinary mortals into men of power. It brings power. It brings fire. It brings rain. It brings life. It brings God.

Samuel Chadwick
Biography link

Hurricane city to be abandoned
From Tim Reid in Washington
New Orleans mayor fears thousands may have perished

NEW ORLEANS is to be abandoned as flood waters pour in through huge breaches in the city’s defences. The Governor of Louisiana gave the order as the mayor said that thousands may have died.

“Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands,” said Ray Nagin, the Mayor, when asked about the death toll. “There are dead bodies floating in the water. The rescuers were basically pushing them aside as they rescued people.”

The governor’s order has few precedents in modern history, but officials said that the city of 500,000 faced catastrophic destruction and could be rendered uninhabitable for months. President Bush said that it could take years to recover from the flooding.

story

Katrina Recovery Will Take Years, Bush Says
Melanie Hunter
Senior Editor

(CNSNews.com) - Calling it "one of the worst natural disasters" in history, President Bush said Wednesday the recovery effort from Hurricane Katrina will take years.

Flying over the Gulf Coast on his way back from Crawford, Texas, the president could see the devastation that Hurricane Katrina caused.

"The vast majority of New Orleans, Louisiana is under water. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses are beyond repair. A lot of the Mississippi Gulf Coast has been completely destroyed. Mobile is flooded. We're dealing with one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history," Bush said in a Rose Garden press conference.

here

Hurricane Weblog: Katrina Relief Under Way
Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco declares Wednesday a day of prayer.
by Rob Moll
posted 08/31/2005 12:15 p.m.

Yesterday Wal-Mart
donated $1 million to the Salvation Army for disaster relief. The Salvation Army says the money will lessen the unprecedented devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

"The size of this is massive," said Maj. Dalton Cunningham, Salvation Army divisional commander. "It is covering several states and coming several hundred miles inland. So the needed resources are going to be more widespread. This one is hitting multiple cities."

As of yesterday, "approximately 100 Salvation Army workers are presently working either in the field—such as at shelters in New Orleans—or at national and regional headquarters to coordinate activities. Another 200 are standing by at the perimeter of the storm, waiting on the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assess where best to direct resources," said
the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is preparing to serve 400,000 people per day on 72 mobile canteens. Another 20,000 people can be fed by two 54-foot mobile kitchens.

The rest

Pro-Life Activist: U.S. Needs to Cut Off Rich Abortion Mill's Taxpayer Funding
STOPP Director Says Plan B Means Big Bucks for Planned Parenthood
By Mary Rettig

August 31, 2005

(AgapePress) - The head of the pro-life activist group Stop Planned Parenthood (
STOPP) says it's time to call for a halt to U.S. government funding for that organization, especially now that the supposed non-profit agency has made what he calls a sweetheart deal with Barr Pharmaceuticals, producer of the "Plan B" morning-after pill.

STOPP executive director Jim Sedlak says the arrangement between the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Barr Pharmaceuticals means that the nation's largest abortion provider will be making $20 in profit for every Plan B kit it sells. "And last year," he notes, "Planned Parenthood says they sold 774,000 kits, which means they made a profit of over $15 million."

story

Professor Michelle Ghetti, Southern University Law Center - On Hurricane Katrina’s effect on the Administration of Justice
Brad Drell @ 5:17 pm

I’m sorry for not deleting the arrows and making other formatting changes; things have been a bit crazy to blog as I usually would. But, Professor Ghetti’s thoughts were very sobering. While lawyers are often the object of many jokes, this is simply no laughing matter.

>Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 8:22 AM
>Subject: Lawyers lives & the justice system devastated

>>I know your hearts, in particular, are for lawyers. Think of this…

>>5,000 - 6,000 lawyers (1/3 of the lawyers in Louisiana) have lost their>offices, their libraries, their computers with all information thereon,>their client files - possibly their clients, as one attorney who>e-mailed me noted. As I mentioned before, they are scattered from>Florida to Arizona and have nothing to return to. Their children’s>schools are gone and, optimistically, the school systems in 8>parishes/counties won’t be re-opened until after December. They must>re-locate their lives.

The rest @ Drell's Descants

Katrina's Staggering Blow
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

THE WORST-CASE scenario, or something close to it, has befallen southern Louisiana and its Gulf Coast neighbors, Alabama and Mississippi. Hurricane Katrina's howling, lethal force has dealt an immense blow to the region, exacting a shattering price in treasure and lives. As a human tragedy, Katrina's magnitude is still difficult to comprehend, but spare statistics hint at it: tens of thousands of homes destroyed; 2.5 million people without power; a death toll running into dozens and possibly scores.

The rescue and relief effort over the coming weeks and months will have to address not only physical damage that may reach into the tens of billions of dollars, but also the peril to public health. In a major American city whose neighborhoods and streets are now submerged under water befouled by garbage, gas and debris, and whose hospitals -- if they have not been evacuated -- are overflowing, the authorities could have their hands full maintaining a decent level of public health.

The rest

"On mine arm shall they trust."—Isaiah 51:5.

IN seasons of severe trial, the Christian has nothing on earth that he can trust to, and is therefore compelled to cast himself on his God alone. When his vessel is on its beam-ends, and no human deliverance can avail, he must simply and entirely trust himself to the providence and care of God. Happy storm that wrecks a man on such a rock as this! O blessed hurricane that drives the soul to God and God alone! There is no getting at our God sometimes because of the multitude of our friends; but when a man is so poor, so friendless, so helpless that he has nowhere else to turn, he flies into his Father's arms, and is blessedly clasped therein! When he is burdened with troubles so pressing and so peculiar, that he cannot tell them to any but his God, he may be thankful for them; for he will learn more of his Lord then than at any other time. Oh, tempest-tossed believer, it is a happy trouble that drives thee to thy Father! Now that thou hast only thy God to trust to, see that thou puttest thy full confidence in Him. Dishonour not thy Lord and Master by unworthy doubts and fears; but be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Show the world that thy God is worth ten thousand worlds to thee. Show rich men how rich thou art in thy poverty when the Lord God is thy helper. Show the strong man how strong thou art in thy weakness when underneath thee are the everlasting arms. Now is the time for feats of faith and valiant exploits. Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord thy God shall certainly, as surely as He built the heavens and the earth, glorify Himself in thy weakness, and magnify his might in the midst of thy distress. The grandeur of the arch of heaven would be spoiled if the sky were supported by a single visible column, and your faith would lose its glory if it rested on anything discernible by the carnal eye. May the Holy Spirit give you to rest in Jesus this closing day of the month.

CH Spurgeon

Media Responsibility
August 30, 2005
11:15 PM EST

At the time of the Los Angeles riots, I wrote a piece for the May 3, 1992 Los Angeles Times titled "When Television Throws a Riot." It isn't available in the online archives, but the thrust of it was that televsion coverage can and does communicate invitations to lawlessness which are acted on by people who realize that there is no threat of police arriving and arrest.

This same dynamic seems to be taking over in New Orleans right now, and even though very few folks are watching television with the power out, news still travels instantly, and television producers have got to discipline themselves to refuse to broadcast pictures of and locations of looting, especially in the areas outside of New Orleans. The government cannot enforce such a ban, but it is very much in the interest of the people in the devastated region these media outlets purport to serve to downplay civil unrest. The national shows also need to avoid throwing fuel on the fire. If you want more civil unrest, broadcast pictures of civil unrest and the cell phones and blackberries will do the rest.

the rest @ Hugh Hewitt

Cash Sought To Help Hurricane Victims
Volunteers Should Not Self-Dispatch
Release Date: August 29, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Voluntary organizations are seeking cash donations to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina in Gulf Coast states, according to Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. But, volunteers should not report directly to the affected areas unless directed by a voluntary agency.

“Cash donations are especially helpful to victims,” Brown said. “They allow volunteer agencies to issue cash vouchers to victims so they can meet their needs. Cash donations also allow agencies to avoid the labor-intensive need to store, sort, pack and distribute donated goods. Donated money prevents, too, the prohibitive cost of air or sea transportation that donated goods require.”

Volunteer agencies provide a wide variety of services after disasters, such as clean up, childcare, housing repair, crisis counseling, sheltering and food.

List includes many Christain agencies for relief

Day of prayer declared in Louisiana
By UPI
Aug 31, 2005, 19:00 GMT

NEW ORLEANS, LA, United States (UPI) -- Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declared Wednesday a day of prayer as uncounted bodies floated in and around hurricane-battered New Orleans.

Two days after Hurricane Katrina came ashore with winds of 140 mph, city and state officials were still unable to estimate how many died from the winds and flooding from heavy rain and two broken levees that swamped New Orleans.

In declaring Wednesday a day of prayer, Blanco suggested residents ask "that God give us all the physical and spiritual strength to work through this crisis and rebuild."

Story

Navy Sends Ships to Aid Hurricane Victims
Aug 31, 7:55 AM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Navy is sending four ships carrying water and other supplies to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, while medical disaster teams and Red Cross workers from across the country converged on the devastated Gulf Coast region.

The Red Cross, which sent in 185 emergency vehicles to provide meals, reported it had about 40,000 people in 200 shelters across the area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said medical specialists from Washington state were joining similar teams called in from Massachusetts, New Mexico, Ohio, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Florida to assist people in damaged areas.

Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said Wednesday the Bush administration will also release oil from federal petroleum reserves to help refiners affected by Hurricane Katrina. The move is designed to give refineries in the Gulf Coast area a temporary supply of crude oil to take the place of interrupted shipments from tankers or offshore oil platforms affected by the storm.

The rest

America fights to save New Orleans
By Sam Knight
Times Online

The US Army, Navy and Coastguard will try and save the city of New Orleans and reach survivors of Hurricane Katrina today as the full force of the federal Government is swung into action after the country's most devastating natural disaster in recent times.

With hundreds feared dead in shattered buildings along the Gulf Coast and tens of thousands more homeless, President Bush returned to Washington last night to oversee the rescue effort. The Pentagon called up army reservists and ordered five ships, a hovercraft and eight naval rescue teams to the region.

The most audacious repair effort will continue today in New Orleans, where the Navy and the US Army Corps of Engineers are dropping sandbags and concrete into the broken dams that have been overwhelmed by the floodwaters of the storm.

The rest

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Lord of compassion and power,
be with those who have survived this disaster:
minister to their needs of mind and spirit,
body and circumstance;
heal those who are hurt;
give peace to the dying;
comfort and support the bereaved;
and to all who are working to bring relief and restore order
give strength and resilience to do their work well;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Mormonism may sour Romney for some in Christian right
By Nina J. Easton,

Globe Staff
August 30, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The Southern Baptist Convention website categorizes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a ''cult" that is ''radically" different from historic, biblical Christianity.

A faith guide issued by the influential Christian right group Focus on the Family declares that ''God cannot be identified . . . with the Mormon religion's notion of god." And each year, evangelical organizers behind the National Day of Prayer bar Mormons from speaking at their proceedings.

As Governor Mitt Romney mulls a race for president in 2008, his strategists expect their ''family values" candidate -- who opposes gay marriage, abortion, and some forms of embryonic stem cell research -- to find a natural base of support among religious conservatives. ''As Mitt's traveled the country and tested the waters, he's gotten very strong responses, including from religious conservatives," said Michael Murphy, a political consultant who advises Romney.

Story