Saturday, September 10, 2005

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labors, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,

Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

... Jan Struther

No Separation of Students From Prayer on Campus
Clubs gather to worship at public schools such as Arcadia High with the blessings of their principals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
By K. Connie Kang, Times Staff Writer

Every morning, Arcadia High School seniors Catherine Yao, Lucy Li and a dozen of their schoolmates get up at 5 a.m. so they can be at school by 6 to pray before classes begin.

Gathering in the center of the public school campus, they walk up three steps and form a circle. They pray — some quietly, others aloud as the spirit moves them. Then the members of the Christian group, some affiliated with the nondenominational Transformations Community Church and the Campus Christian Club, do a "prayer walk" around the campus. Sometimes they pray for a specific student or teacher. They also pray for Arcadia, Los Angeles, the nation and the world.

The rest

Hurricane Watch Posted for Southeast Coast
Sep 10 8:44 PM US/Eastern
By BRUCE SMITHAssociated Press Writer

A hurricane watch was posted Saturday for the Southeast coast as Ophelia strengthened into a hurricane once again and meteorologists said its meandering course could take a sharp turn toward land.

A hurricane watch was posted along a 300-mile stretch from the Georgia-South Carolina line to North Carolina's Cape Lookout, meaning hurricane-force wind of at least 74 mph was possible by Sunday evening, the National Hurricane Center said.


Ohio Abstinence Program's Results Surprise Researchers

( A recent study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior shows that "abstinence-until-marriage" programs have produced encouraging results among middle school students in Greater Cleveland.

The study was conducted by surveying 2,069 grade seven and eight students that had participated in the school-based program called "For Keeps," run by Operation Keepsake in Mayfield, OH. The program consists of five 40 minute sessions. The sessions stress abstinence-until-marriage, presents virginity as a "gift" that should be shared in marriage and emphasizes the dangers of teen pregnancy and sexual diseases, including HIV. Those students who were sexually active reported fewer sexual partners and sexual encounters five months later.


Homosexual "Marriage" is a Total Bust in Spain

( Only 22 same-sex "marriages" have been registered in Spain since the law was introduced in July, compared to the 35,000 heterosexual marriages that took place in the same period.

The lack of interest in "marriage" by same-sex couples has one writer commenting that the move was a bust. "The so-called need for legalizing homosexual marriages in Spain has one big problem. Hardly anybody wanted it -- that is except the politicians," writes Spero News writer Robert Duncan.

The rest

"Southern Decadence" Group Told to Hit the Road

AgapePress) Pro-family forces in Lafayette, Louisiana, are celebrating a victory.Homosexuals who had scheduled their annual "Southern Decadence" event in New Orleans last week were forced to look for another venue when Hurricane Katrina struck the city.

Lafayette -- about 130 miles west of New Orleans -- was to be the scene of an unofficial Southern Decadence celebration on Wednesday. But Danny Dardeau, manager of the American Family Radio station in Lafayette, says Christians in the area went to work. He says after hundreds of phone calls to the mayor's office and many prayers, Mayor Joey Durel refused to issue a parade permit to the homosexual activists, who had asked that permit restrictions be loosened to allow the hurricane evacuees a sense of normalcy.

The mayor's reaction? "I don't consider anything that's got the word 'decadence' in it to be normalcy," Durel told The Daily Advertiser. "If they want to have some semblance of normalcy, I would expect them to respect the normalcy of the community of Lafayette."

According to AFR's Dardeau, the so-called "celebration" ended up being nothing more than about a dozen participants "walking from one bar to another."


Lectionary for September 11, 2005

Ecclesiasticus 27:30-28:7
Romans 14:5-12
Matthew 18:21-35
Psalm 103 or 103:8-13

O God, because without you we are not able to please you mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalm 103: 1-12
Benedic, anima mea

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul, *
and all that is within me, bless his holy Name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,*
and forget not all his benefits.
3 He forgives all your sins *

and heals all your infirmities;
4 He redeems your life from the grave *

and crowns you with mercy and loving-kindness;
5 He satisfies you with good things, *

and your youth is renewed like an eagle's.
6 The LORD executes righteousness *

and judgment for all who are oppressed.
7 He made his ways known to Moses *

and his works to the children of Israel.
8 The LORD is full of compassion and mercy, *

slow to anger and of great kindness.
9 He will not always accuse us, *

nor will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, *

nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, *
so is his mercy great upon those who fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, *

so far has he removed our sins from us.

Friday, September 09, 2005

This is our great need, to be more like Christ, that His likeness may be seen in our lives; and this is just what is promised to us as we yield ourselves in full surrender to the working of His Spirit. Then, as we draw nearer to Christ, we shall be drawn nearer to His people; and in our search for unity with the members we shall be drawn closer to the Head.

... G. T. Manley, Christian Unity

How the Left Undermined America's Security Before 9/11
By David Horowitz
September 9, 2005
(The following article by David Horowitz first appeared in our March 24, 2004, issue. We are reprinting it to mark the three-year anniversary of 9/11. It has been updated to incorporate recent findings about the “Able Danger” unit. -- The Editors)

THE SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center marked the end of one American era and the beginning of another. As did Pearl Harbor, the September tragedy awakened Americans from insular slumbers and made them aware of a world they could not afford to ignore. Like Franklin Roosevelt, George W. Bush condemned the attacks as acts of war, and mobilized a nation to action. It was a sharp departure from the policy of his predecessor, Bill Clinton, who in characteristic self-absorption had downgraded a series of similar assaults—including one on the World Trade Center itself—officially regarding them as criminal matters that involved individuals alone.


Houston Opens Doors, Hearts to Evacuees


HOUSTON (AP) - As the tragedy unfolded in New Orleans, Houston's mayor threw open the Astrodome and the convention center to tens of thousands of Katrina's refugees. Then he did something more remarkable: He essentially told convention groups whose plans were spoiled by the move, "Tough luck."
The decision could ultimately cost Houston a bundle in lost business and burden its social service agencies for many years to come. But so far, this city of swashbuckling capitalism - of self-made oil men, engineering magnates and real estate tycoons - is backing Bill White in his act of municipal compassion toward the mostly poor, mostly black victims of the storm.

For White, an enormously popular first-term Democrat up for re-election in November, this could very well be his "Giuliani moment" - the moment he, like New York's mayor in the aftermath of Sept. 11, distinguished himself in a crisis.


Abortion Parental Consent Law Ruled Constitutional and Enforceable
September 9, 2005,

( -- After seven years of litigation initiated by the American Civil Liberties Union the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati has upheld an Ohio law (H.B. 421) that requires girls under the age of 18 to get parental consent for an abortion.

Another requirement is that a meeting with a doctor 24 hours prior to the procedure must take place so that a woman can get a description of the procedure and be made aware of the risks and alternatives.

As in other states an exception is made which allows a minor to seek a judge’s permission to bypass the parental consent requirement. At this time it is unclear as to whether the ACLU will appeal the ruling.


Feverish Pace for Aid Efforts in Overcrowded Baton Rouge
Friday, Sep. 9, 2005 Posted: 2:17:22PM EST

Churches and Christian relief groups in Baton Rouge, La., have been organizing their members, cooperating with other churches, and providing aid for an estimated 250,000 people that have come into the city escaping the now nearly empty New Orleans.

The flurry of activity has turned the city of 500,000 into a nest of activity, crowding streets with drivers who escaped the fury of Katrina before it hit neighboring New Orleans, and those who came later, having lost everything. For many in desperate situations, the atmosphere is tense.

"You just have to stand on the corner in Baton Rouge and see people driving around, and you know from the look in their eyes and the confusion, that they are not from here and they don't have any place to go," said the Rev. A.J. Heine, a deacon at St. James Episcopal Church, according to the Episcopal News Service (ENS).

the rest

When Good Churches Aren't Good Enough
Rebekah Montgomery
Contributing Writer

Sunday morning. The acrid taste of dread fills your mouth as you think: “I have to go to church.” You want to go to church; just not your church. Your church is a 'good' church. The music is tolerable, the people are fine, the sermon is okay - mostly based on Scripture. But the whole experience slips over your soul like unflavored gelatin - tasteless and fluffy.

Sound familiar? And that's the experience of clergy and laity alike. In a world desperate for Truth, a good church just isn't good enough.


College bars Christian from sharing faith
Religious expression not 'cultural, educational, social or recreational'
Posted: September 9, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005

A man barred from speaking about his Christian faith on a New York state college campus filed a civil-rights lawsuit claiming violation of his free-speech rights.

Officials at
Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge, N.Y., told Greg Davis of Indian Lake, N.Y., that he needed to file a facilities use permit application to speak about his faith with students in a public, grassy area on campus in October 2003.

But when he did so, his application was denied because the school claimed his desired religious expression does not constitute a "cultural, educational, social or recreational" activity.

the rest

I Was a Stranger
Ministry in the Astrodome and beyond.
by Deann Alford in Houston
posted 09/08/2005 09:00 a.m.

In T-shirts and pajama bottoms they'd worn for four days and shoes caked in New Orleans sludge, Christopher and Monika Sheppard arrived at Houston's Astrodome. In one arm was a cardboard box that held all they owned that the rising waters didn't snatch before they escaped. In another arm was their 16-month-old son, Jackson, quiet with fever and clutching a baby bottle.

They joined an ever-growing number of those made homeless when levees broke following Hurricane Katrina's rampage through Louisiana last week. Although the family owned a car, like many residents of the below-sea-level city who weathered the storm in their homes, they stayed because they had no place to go outside New Orleans and thought they could ride it out.


Eagle Scout Pens a 'Moving' Defense of the Boy Scouts
Get Off My Honor
by Hans Zeiger
Book Review by Randall Murphree
September 9, 2005

(AgapePress) - "The problem with Boys Scouts," Will Rogers once said, "is that there aren't enough of them." Twenty-year-old Eagle Scout Hans Zeiger agrees. And because of the current amoral climate that dominates America's politically correct landscape, Zeiger is doing his part to preserve the legacy and the integrity of the Boys Scouts of America.

It's hard for a rational person to imagine that anyone can find fault with the Boy Scouts, an institution that has trained generations of young men in life skills and moral values. But there are others -- powerful, politically correct, liberal groups -- who try to bulldoze over any group that upholds absolute moral values.


Skepticism Chic and The Exorcism of Emily Rose
by Marc T. Newman, Ph.D.

Raising questions is what The Exorcism of Emily Rose does best. The film is based very loosely on the true story of a young Bavarian university student, Anneliese Michel, who endured an exorcism in the mid-1970s spanning 10 months which ended in her death. The priests who performed the exorcism were arrested for negligent manslaughter and placed on trial. The Exorcism of Emily Rose uses the courtroom as a framing device and reveals the story in flashbacks which are truly frightening. The dramatization the audience sees depends upon who is on the stand at the time. When believers for the defense tell the tale, Emily is shown as a woman initially beset, and then possessed, by demons. When skeptics testify, the same scenes are shown but now Emily is a victim of epilepsy and psychotic delusions. Little effort is made in the film to sort out fact from fiction -- viewers are placed in the role of the jury; we are left to decide the truth for ourselves.

The rest

Thursday, September 08, 2005

For the power Thou hast given me to lay hold of things unseen:
For the strong sense I have that this is not my home:
For my restless heart which nothing finite can satisfy:
I give Thee thanks, O God.

For the invasion of my soul by Thy Holy Spirit:
For all human love and goodness that speak to me of Thee:
For the fullness of Thy glory outpoured in Jesus Christ
I give Thee thanks, O God.

... John Baillie

President Bush declares Sept. 16th a day of prayer

From a transcript of President Bush’s remarks this afternoon:
Throughout our history in times of testing, Americans have come together in prayer to heal and ask for strength for the tasks ahead. So I’ve declared Friday, September the 16th, as a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. I ask that we pray — as Americans have always prayed in times of trial — with confidence in His purpose, with hope for a brighter future, and with the humility to ask God to keep us strong so that we can better serve our brothers and sisters in need.

from Lent and Beyond

Flood infections kill four
By Joyce Howard Price
September 8, 2005

Four persons have died in what federal health officials think was likely a bacterial infection circulating in Hurricane Katrina's contaminated floodwaters in New Orleans, and new EPA tests show the water is full of sewage and lead.

Environmental Protection Agency Director Stephen L. Johnson said yesterday that the amount of E. coli and coliform, a bacterium found in sewage, in the water was at least 10 times EPA's recommended levels. Lead levels in the water also were elevated, he said.

"Human contact with the floodwaters should be avoided as much as possible ... and no one should drink the floodwaters, especially children," Mr. Johnson said at a press conference, where he released testing data for post-hurricane water samples collected daily since Friday from residential sections of New Orleans.

the rest

The ABCs of adult Sunday school: renewing Christian education
Stephanie Douglas
Special to ChristianWeek

It’s Sunday morning. Worship doesn’t start for an hour, but there’s a buzz of excitement in the air. In one class, a group of seven discuss the challenges of single parenting following a video. In another, half a dozen adults are engrossed in a passage from Mark, busily circling and underlining text on photocopied pages. A little further down the hall, there’s an explosion of laughter from the young adults class, before a lively discussion on vocation resumes.

It’s Sunday morning. This is a vision of what things are—or could be like—at an adult Sunday school near you.

The rest

Alpha Course Hits British Cinemas in Bid to Reach out to Millions
Posted: Thursday, September 8 , 2005, 14:10 (UK)

The Alpha course, one of the world’s most successful evangelistic projects, will now begin to show advertisements on national cinemas across Britain to extend its reach and attract even more of the UK population.

An advertising firm which has produced campaigns for Sony Playstation, Pringles, Ariel, Nike and Virgin Records, has been hired by Holy Trinity Church in Brompton, home to the Alpha course, to promote 7,000 courses that will start across the country this autumn.


CMF: Government & Media Must Give Balanced Picture of Stem Cell Research
Peter Saunders of the CMF called the government's presentation of scientific data regarding embryonic stem cell research 'irresponsible' and 'dangerous'.
Posted: Thursday, September 8 , 2005, 12:37 (UK)

The Christian Medical Fellowship has called on the government and media to present a more ‘balanced’ and ‘accurate’ picture of the therapeutic potential of embryonic stem (ES) cells.

The call comes in response to comments made by Lord Professor Robert Winston in Monday’s edition of The Times, in which he said that the benefits of ES cells and the speed with which they were supposedly able to help patients had been exaggerated in order to win political and public support.

CMF General Secretary, Peter Saunders, said: “The day is now closer when scientists will attempt to implant embryonic stem cells into human patients. But major safety, logistic and ethical issues have yet to be addressed.

“We praise Robert Winston’s honesty but wish that the government and media had been more up front with the public over this vital issue.”


Report: Louisiana blocked Red Cross
Relief trucks were positioned to assist Superdome evacuees
Posted: September 8, 200512:00 p.m. Eastern

The Louisiana Department of Homeland Security blocked a vanguard of Red Cross trucks filled with water, food, blankets and hygiene items from bringing relief to the thousands of hungry and thirsty evacuees stranded in the New Orleans Superdome after Hurricane Katrina struck, according to a Fox News Channel report.

The state agency responsible for Louisiana's security "told the Red Cross explicitly, you cannot come," said Fox News reporter Major Garrett in a radio interview.


Katrina Relief Organizations – Which Are Pro-Life, Pro-Family?
September 8, 2005

( - The list of organizations providing relief and assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina is growing. Many websites are featuring lists of groups that are doing yeoman’s’ work on the ground providing food, shelter, clothing and medical supplies. offers a list of those groups and their position on abortion and abortifacient contraceptives and “gay marriage” to guide readers in making donation choices to organizations that truly respect the dignity of the hurricane victims. Very few, even of the Christian organizations offering assistance, hold to a complete or consistent pro-life ethic and readers are cautioned to examine the groups carefully.


Evangelical Leaders Combat Media Misunderstandings
Thursday, Sep. 8, 2005 Posted: 9:43:10AM EST

NEW YORK – For the fourth time since February, the secular media will hear today what an Evangelical is, as Christian leaders attempt to combat misunderstandings about the diverse group.

"There has been an upset in many stories, many in politics created some stories that are truly accurate and some truly stereotyped," said Mike Paul, spokesperson for the “What is an Evangelical?” seminar.

To remedy the problem, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), Christianity Today, and the New York Divinity School are hosting the seminar for the press in New York City today at the New York Divinity School in Times Square.

the rest

The Supreme Court's Tyrants and Their Leftist Friends
By Brannon S. Howse
September 8, 2005

(AgapePress) - On Saturday night, as I watched Fox News Channel reporting on the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, I was appalled to hear Alan Dershowitz verbally dancing on the yet-to-be-dug grave of Justice Rehnquist.


Some people want to see God with their eyes as they see a cow, and to love Him as they love their cow -- for the milk and cheese and profit it brings them. This is how it is with people who love God for the sake of outward wealth or inward comfort. They do not rightly love God, when they love Him for their own advantage. Indeed, I tell you the truth, any object you have in your mind, however good, will be a barrier between you and the inmost Truth. ... Meister Eckhart

I sought Him where my logic led.
"This friend is always sure and right;
His lantern is sufficient light --
I need no star," I said.

I sought Him in the city square.

Logic and I went up and down
The marketplace of many a town,
And He was never there.

I tracked Him to the mind's far rim.

The valiant Intellect went forth
To east and west and south and north,
And found no trace of Him.

We walked the world from sun to sun,
Logic and I, with little Faith,
But never came to Nazareth,
Or found the Holy One.

I sought in vain. And finally,
Back to the heart's small house I crept,
And fell upon my knees, and wept;
And lo! -- He came to me!
... Sara Henderson Hay

New Orleans: A Green Genocide
By Michael P. Tremoglie and Ben Johnson
September 8, 2005

As radical environmentalists continue to
blame the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation on President Bush’s ecological policies, a mainstream Louisiana media outlet inadvertently disclosed a shocking fact: Environmentalist activists were responsible for spiking a plan that may have saved New Orleans. Decades ago, the Green Left – pursuing its agenda of valuing wetlands and topographical “diversity” over human life – sued to prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from building floodgates that would have prevented significant flooding that resulted from Hurricane Katrina.

Interesting read!

Report Warns of Terrorists' 'Great Ramadan Offensive'
By Sherrie Gossett Staff Writer
September 08, 2005

( - Al Qaeda's plans for a series of spectacular terrorist strikes in October, targeting American interests as well as U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East and said to be coordinated by Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenant in Iraq - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi -- are the subject of a non-public report issued by terrorism experts this week.

The attacks, planned to coincide with the Muslim observance of Ramadan and dubbed the "Great Ramadan Offensive," are designed to create a "fateful confrontation" with the U.S. and Israeli forces in the Middle East, according to a May 30 letter from Zarqawi to bin Laden. The contents of the letter are referenced in the report written by Yossef Bodansky, the former director of the U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.


California Governor Schwarzenegger To Veto Gay "Marriage" Law - Open to Redefinition by Courts
September 8, 2005

( - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced through his press secretary late Wednesday that he would be vetoing the gay 'marriage' legislation which received final passage in the Assembly Thursday.

The announcement noted that his decision to veto the law comes in response to the public expression against homosexual 'marriage' in 2000 when 61% of Californians voted to support Proposition 22 - the Defense of Marriage Act.

The rest

God in the Storm--Part Two
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Thursday, September 8, 2005

An event as large and catastrophic as the hurricane which struck the Gulf Coast of the United States last week can only be understood in the context of the full teaching of Scripture. It is not enough to focus on one or two texts. On the contrary, we must look at the big picture and draw our conclusions only in light of the entire storyline of the Bible.

the rest

Concerns grow about toxic floodwaters
AP National Writer
Sep 8, 8:12 AM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Soldiers toting M-16s strengthened their grip on this swamped city as concerns grew about the risks posed by the toxic floodwaters and officials braced for what could be a staggering death toll by readying 25,000 body bags.

Across miles of ravaged neighborhoods of clapboard houses, grand estates and housing projects, workers struggled to find corpses and persuade convince the city's last stubborn residents to leave.


Analyst: Local, State Officials Given 'Pass' on Katrina; Media Place Blame on Bush Instead
By Chad Groening
September 7, 2005

(AgapePress) - A conservative media watchdog organization is calling the mainstream media to task for using the Hurricane Katrina disaster as another opportunity for "Bush bashing."

A spokesman for the Virginia-based
Media Research Center (MRC) says the mainstream media has pulled out all the stops in blaming the president and members of his political party for the lack of response in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. MRC news analyst Geoff Dickens says the media, for the most part, has given local and state officials a pass.

"First responders, quite frankly, are the people in local government," Dickens says, adding that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco "certainly should be taken to task first and foremost." And while he acknowledges that the federal government could have responded more quickly, he adds: "You've got to remember: the people first on the ground are the ones in the local government."

the rest

Most New Orleans Parishes Spared Destruction

As the flood waters from Hurricane Katrina begin to subside from New Orleans, plans for the rebuilding of the Diocese of Louisiana are firmly in hand, according to Ann Ball, director of communication. While the members of the 18 New Orleans parishes are dispersed across the Southeast, many having lost their homes and livelihoods, the flooded parishes may have escaped destruction.

“We are hearing good news in terms of our churches,” Mrs. Ball said. The parishes around Lake Pontchartrain appear to have survived the storm. “Christ Church in Slidell is OK, as is Grace Memorial in Hammond,” she said, while Christ Church, Covington, sustained only “damage to their chapel.”


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Faith is not a refuge from reality. It is a demand that we face reality, with all its difficulties, opportunities, and implications. The true subject matter of religion is not our own little souls, but the Eternal God and His whole mysterious purpose, and our solemn responsibility to Him.

... Evelyn Underhill, The School of Charity

Bush praises Americans' aid to hurricane victims
By Joseph Curl
September 7, 2005

President Bush yesterday urged Americans to continue to donate to private charitable organizations and faith-based groups in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "We've got people who represent thousands of volunteers who are in the midst of helping save lives," the president said as he praised charity leaders at the White House. "If you want to help, support the Red Cross or the Salvation Army or your church or the United Way."


Louisiana Officials Could Lose the Katrina Blame Game
By Jeff Johnson Senior Staff Writer
September 07, 2005

( - The Bush administration is being widely criticized for the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina and the allegedly inadequate protection for "the big one" that residents had long feared would hit New Orleans. But research into more than ten years of reporting on hurricane and flood damage mitigation efforts in and around New Orleans indicates that local and state officials did not use federal money that was available for levee improvements or coastal reinforcement and often did not secure local matching funds that would have generated even more federal funding.

The rest

California Gay Marriage Bill Passes; Gov. Urged to Veto
Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2005
Posted: 11:13:17AM EST

California's legislature became the first in the nation to pass a bill to allow gay marriage, defining the institution as gender-neutral Tuesday night. Conservatives said the bill was detrimental to families and urged the governor to veto it.


God in the Storm--Part One
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina once again raises questions about the goodness and power of God. These are not easy questions, and not just any answer will suffice. If we are to understand how to think rightly about God and the storm, we must look to the testimony of Scripture.

In Job 37, Elihu, one of Job's friends, speaks to him: "Out of the south comes the storm, and out of the north the cold. From the breath of God ice is made, and the expanse of the waters is frozen. Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; he disperses the cloud of His lightning. It changes direction, turning around by His guidance, that it may do whatever He commands it on the face of the inhabited earth, whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen." [Job 37:9-13]


The Dark Side of Man
The devastation of Hurricane Katrina has stripped away more than houses and land; it has uncovered the darkness of the human soul.
Feature by Steve Crampton

September 7, 2005

(AgapePress) - The epic tragedy of the New Orleans disaster grows sadder every day. We all breathed a sigh of relief when Katrina turned east just before striking the city, sparing it from the full brunt of the storm's awesome power. But as the story continues to unfold, we have gone from hope to despair, as first the levees broke and now rescue efforts have sputtered and slogged forward due to the lawless looting, shooting, and the resistance of many to leave. There have also been reports of rape.

Lest anyone respond that the looting is justified because the looters are simply trying to feed their families, I have two responses. First, stealing is wrong under any circumstances. Second, food is not the primary item being stolen. As one newspaper from Biloxi, Mississippi, reported, in a recent break-in at a convenience store, cigarettes, cigars and beer were taken, but the food was not touched. One of the most often stolen items is guns. Nursing homes are under siege. Almost overnight, New Orleans has become a war zone.

the rest

Churches rise to answer South's call
Americans 'can't wait for government to take care of the problem'
Posted: September 7, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
By Art Moore
© 2005

Local churches across the nation quietly are emerging as heroes of hurricane relief as the needs of an estimated 3 million people left hungry, homeless and jobless by Hurricane Katrina strain government resources as never before.
Though the many already hard at work seem to have needed no prodding, evangelist Franklin Graham, who heads the evangelical relief agency
Samaritan's Purse, is calling on church leaders to adopt 10 refugee families and offer not only shelter but complete assistance, including job opportunities and help in relocation.


Pastor says purpose drives people to offer hope amid despair

Advocate staff writer In his bestseller, "The Purpose Driven Life," the Rev. Rick Warren advises that "God never wastes a hurt."
Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., adapted that message Tuesday afternoon for a hundred-plus church leaders gathered at Florida Boulevard Baptist Church in Baton Rouge.
"God loves to bring good out of bad," Warren reminded them. "He loves to bring resurrections from crucifixions."
Out of the suffering Louisiana is experiencing now comes an opportunity for churches here to set an example for reaching out to people and caring for them the way Jesus would, Warren said.

The rest

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Eternal Lord, how faint and small
Our greatest, strongest thoughts must seem
To Thee, who overseest all,
And leads us through Life's shallow stream.

How tangled are our straightest ways;
How dimly flares our brightest star;
How earthbound is our highest praise
To Thee, who sees us as we are.

Our feet are slow where Thine are fast;
Thy kiss of grace meets lips of stone;
And we admit Thy love at last
To hearts that have none of their own.

... Robert MacColl Adams

Hurricane Weblog: In Every Thing Give Thanks
Even in tragedy, there is hope in Jesus.
Compiled by Rob Moll
posted 09/06/2005 04:30 p.m.

In fields, parking lots, or among the ruins of former church buildings, churchgoers met last Sunday to thank God for sparing their lives, loved ones, and for providing comfort during and after the storm. Churches have become
shelters and relief centers for refugees and neighbors looking for a way to help. Last Sunday was no different as churches collected donations and offered assistance to the victims of Katrina.


Abortion Clinic Caught Shredding Documents as Kansas Court Considers Mandating Records Release
WICHITA, Kansas,
September 6, 2005

( - Women's Health Care Services, the late-term abortion mill run by the notorious George R. Tiller was caught Friday, September 2, 2005 shredding hundreds of medical documents. The action occurred just days before oral arguments are to be heard by the Kansas Supreme Court on September 8 in the dispute between Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline and Tiller over Kline's demand for medical records in his criminal investigations of child rape and possible illegal late term abortions.


Supreme Court Vacancies Offer 'Historic Opportunity' for Bush
Chief Justice Rehnquist's Death Results in Second Opening on High Court
By Bill Fancher and Jody Brown
September 6, 2005

(AgapePress) - With the passing of Chief Justice William Rehnquist on Saturday, President George W. Bush has chosen to elevate his nomination of John Roberts -- whose confirmation hearings were scheduled to begin today -- as Rehnquist's replacement on the high court. At least one Christian conservative legal advocate is applauding the move. With two vacancies on the Supreme Court, other conservative and pro-family advocates are saying the president now has a historic opportunity to shape the nation's future.

In light of Rehnquist's death, the change in Roberts' nomination, and the ongoing relief efforts in areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Roberts' hearings have been postponed until Monday, September 12. He was originally nominated to fill the vacancy left after the retirement of Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.


Rebuilding New Orleans -- and America
Thomas Sowell
September 6, 2005

The physical devastation caused by hurricane Katrina has painfully revealed the moral devastation of our times that has led to mass looting in New Orleans, assaults on people in shelters, the raping of girls, and shots being fired at helicopters that are trying to rescue people.

Forty years ago, an electric grid failure plunged New York and other northeastern cities into a long blackout. But law and order prevailed. Ordinary citizens went to intersections to direct traffic. People helped each other. After the blackout was over, this experience left many people with an upbeat spirit about their fellow human beings.

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Musicians and Worship Leaders
For Church Musicians and Artists (Book of Common Prayer, p. 819)

O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty,and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled forevermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Homosexuals celebrate in ravaged New Orleans
Dozen of 'gays' march up Bourbon Street, reslate Southern Decadence for tomorrow
Posted: September 6, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
By Joe Kovacs

Despite the devastation and ongoing suffering by thousands from Hurricane Katrina, homosexuals paraded on Bourbon Street in New Orleans over the weekend, and have rescheduled their "Southern Decadence" event for tomorrow.

"It's New Orleans, man. We're going to celebrate," Matt Menold, a 23-year musician wearing a sombrero and a guitar slung on his back, told the Associated Press.


Katrina Disaster Brings Together Denominations, Faith Groups
Tuesday, Sep. 6, 2005 Posted: 7:35:50AM EST

Christian leaders that normally stand on opposite ends of the theological spectrum gave a united cry for those suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina last week

The devastation is so severe and the situation is so desperate that I'm sending out a spiritual S.O.S. to Christians of all faiths to come…” said Bobby Welch, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), according to Baptist Press. Everyone from the conservative Welch to the more liberal Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A, urged their congregants to give prayers, gifts and physical aid, and grab hold of the chance to put Christian servant-hood into practice.

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The Rehnquist Court and American Constitutionalism
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

The death of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist brings to a close one of the most tumultuous and historic eras in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice Rehnquist died Saturday at the age of 80, after an almost year-long fight against thyroid cancer. His total term on the bench, including fourteen years as an associate justice, ranks him among the longest-serving jurists ever to serve on the nation's highest court.


Water receding, but New Orleans anxious
Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- With a major levee break finally plugged, engineers struggled to pump out the flooded city Tuesday as authorities braced for the horrors the receding water is certain to reveal.

"It's going to be awful and it's going to wake the nation up again," the mayor warned.
Mayor Ray Nagin said after an aerial tour that about 60 percent of the city was under water, down from 80 percent during the darkest hours last week.

"We are starting to see some significant progress. I'm starting to see rays of light," he said.

Nagin said it would take three weeks to remove the water and another few weeks to clear the debris. It could also take up to eight weeks to get the electricity back on.


Embryonic Stem Cells Found to Acquire Mutations
Abnormalities Could Produce Tumors; Scientists Say Evidence May Point to Need for Fresh Colonies
By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 5, 2005

Human embryonic stem cells, treasured by researchers because of their potential to help rejuvenate ailing organs, do not remain as ageless and perpetually unblemished as scientists once thought, according to a new research report.


Indonesian Christians Sentenced to Jail
By Jay Esteban
CBN Asia – Three Indonesian women are going to jail for holding Christian services at a local school. The women's defense team argued that the services were intended only for Christian students. Nevertheless, the court convicted the three mothers of trying to convert Muslim children. This is happening on the island of Java, in the town of Indramyu. The court sentenced Eti, Ratna and Rebecca to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of $158.

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Dad Banned from Lexington Schools Plans to Address Parents' Rights Rally
Man Demanding Notification of Homosexual Presentations at Son's School Vows He'll Keep Fighting
By Jim Brown
September 6, 2005

(AgapePress) - A Massachusetts parent is preparing to face trial on criminal charges stemming from his protest of homosexual material being presented in his son's kindergarten class.

In April, David Parker was arrested for criminal trespassing after he refused to leave the campus of Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington. During a meeting with the school, he told the Estabrook Elementary officials he would not leave the campus until they agreed to grant his request to be notified when discussions of transgenderism and homosexuality took place in his son's kindergarten class; and as a result of his insistence, he ended up spending a night in jail, facing criminal prosecution, and being banned from the Lexington schools.


AFA CL&P Defends Picketers Against Lawsuits Filed By Owner and Patron of Nude Bar
Tupelo, MS -
The American Family Association Center for Law & Policy has agreed to defend fourteen (14) individuals against two lawsuits brought against them by the owner and a patron of a nude bar called Club 71. The bar, located in Sunny Valley, Oregon, opened in February, 2005 despite widespread community opposition.

The defendants, mostly retirees, have been picketing the bar and discouraging patronage since it opened. In addition to peaceful sign display, the picketers photographed the faces and license plate numbers of patrons and dancers, which were then placed on a website called The website states that its purpose is to fight strip clubs coming into the community.

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Lord, I have shut the door: speak now the word
Which in the din and throng could not be heard.
Hushed now my inner heart: whisper Thy will
While I have come apart, while all is still.

In this blest quietness clamorings cease;

Here in Thy presence dwells infinite peace.
Yonder, the strife and cry; yonder, the sin.
Lord, I have shut the door, Thou art within.

Lord, I have shut the door, strengthen my heart;

Yonder awaits the task -- I share a part.
Only through grace bestowed may I be true:
Here, while alone with Thee, my strength renew.

... William A. Runyan

He Held Their Lives in His Tiny Hands
By Ellen Barry, Times Staff Writer

BATON ROUGE, La. — In the chaos that was Causeway Boulevard, this group of refugees stood out: a 6-year-old boy walking down the road, holding a 5-month-old, surrounded by five toddlers who followed him around as if he were their leader.

They were holding hands. Three of the children were about 2 years old, and one was wearing only diapers. A 3-year-old girl, who wore colorful barrettes on the ends of her braids, had her 14-month-old brother in tow. The 6-year-old spoke for all of them, and he told rescuers his name was Deamonte Love.


Churches welcome victims
Physical thirst is quenched; spiritual thirst addressed
Advocate staff writer

Inside Istrouma Baptist Church on Sunday a praise band led worshippers in the song, "Lord I Lift Your Name On High."

Outside, children tossed basketballs at portable goals set up between the sanctuary and the children's education building that now houses 600-plus Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

People across Baton Rouge as usual went to church, but it wasn't church as usual in most places.

Members of some congregations dressed down in hopes of making guests from New Orleans and surrounding areas more comfortable.

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Continuing God's work in the waters of death
By Mark Coultan
Herald Correspondent in New Orleans
September 6, 2005

On Sunday, August 29, there were only 22 people at the 9am service at the Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral in New Orleans.

A small turnout was understandable - Hurricane Katrina was heading towards the city, and it was time for action. Prayers could wait for later.

When a mandatory evacuation order was given, the dean of the Cathedral, Reverend David duPlantier, cancelled the 11am service and, at the urging of his wife, packed his car and headed for Little Rock, in Arkansas.

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Church World Service in Hurricane-Affected Area; Pope Sends Aid
Stories of hope and faith amid the devastation of Hurricane are slowly emerging, as the CWS visits church leaders in Louisiana.
Posted: Monday, September 5 , 2005, 12:10 (UK)

The Church World Service has been visiting parts of Louisiana devastated by Hurricane Katrina Saturday. The visit includes meetings with religious leaders in order to construct plans for long-term recovery efforts.

“People are homeless and will have to start new lives, and the faith community has to be a partner with them,” says Rev John L. McCullough, CEO and Executive Director of the CWS.

Mr McCullough met with members and pastors of independent churches in Louisiana, as well as representatives of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Committee on Relief, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

He said at the meeting, “This is not just an urban story; it’s a rural story”.


Bush Nominates Roberts as Chief Justice
By Fred Barbash
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 5, 2005; 1:39 PM

President Bush announced this morning that he will nominate John G. Roberts as the 17th chief justice of the United States.

If confirmed, Roberts will replace William H. Rehnquist, who died Saturday from cancer and will be buried Wednesday. Roberts clerked for Rehnquist in 1980 when Rehnquist was an associate justice.

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Jihad declared against LAPD
Nation of Islam flyer calls for gangs to unite against cops
Posted: September 5, 2005
3:15 p.m. Eastern

The Nation of Islam in Los Angeles is calling on the Crips and Bloods street gangs to stop fighting each other – and to unite in a jihad against the LAPD.

That's the essence of a flyer obtained by KFI News and circulated in South Los Angeles, calling on members of two violent street gangs to start a "holy war" against the police department.

The telephone number listed for the Nation of Islam's Los Angeles mosque near 87th and Vermont has been disconnected, but a check of a reverse directory reveals the phone number on the flyer is connected to the mosque at the same address, according to KFI.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

He has not made us for nought; He has brought us thus far, in order to bring us further, in order to bring us on to the end. He will never leave us nor forsake us; so that we may boldly say, "The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me." We "may cast all our care upon Him who careth for us." What is it to us how our future path lies, if it be but His path? What is it to us whither it leads us, so that in the end it leads to Him? What is it to us what He puts upon us, so that He enables us to undergo it with a pure conscience, a true heart, not desiring anything of this world in comparison of Him? What is it to us what terror befalls us, if He be but a hand to protect and strengthen us?

John Henry Newman

Gunshot wound claims Episcopal minister
Antoinette Konz

American Staff Writer

Michael Osborne was an ordained Episcopal minister with seven children and two grandchildren who loved God and his fellow man.

On Thursday, family members say the 52-year-old left his Lake Serene home around 6 p.m. to go to Lowe's on U.S. 98 in Hattiesburg, likely to buy supplies to fix the damage done to his property caused by Hurricane Katrina.

What happened next has left the Hattiesburg Police Department with a murder investigation and his family and friends with a lot of unanswered questions.

Paramedics found Osborne dead of a gunshot wound to his shoulder around 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Police say shortly after being shot in the 1200 block of Coit Street, he crashed his red Chevrolet Suburban into a telephone pole on the corner of Dewey and Loula streets. He was pronounced dead on the scene.


Was Katrina a Messenger?
by Sher Zieve
September 04, 2005 02:02 PM EST

Looking and sounding more like Somalian drug lords had taken over the city, arsonist-set fires increased and shots rang out in the city of New Orleans. Overwhelmed police attempted to engage the roving gangs of AK-47 toting thugs.

Many of the police had already suffered gunshot wounds and some had been murdered. Then, the thuggery that had previously been relegated to the cloak of night began to occur openly and blatantly in the sunlight. As rampant rape and looting continued in this ever-sinking-city, depravity seemed to have won over goodness, basic humanity and even common sense. One has to wonder if some of those who refused to leave New Orleans and escape Katrina's fury had these purposes in mind, from the beginning. Mercifully, the National Guard and branches of the US Military were finally requested and they arrived to rescue people and bring order to this societal devolution.

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Living Paycheck to Paycheck Made Leaving Impossible
By Wil Haygood
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 4, 2005; Page A33

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 3 -- To those who wonder why so many stayed behind when push came to water's mighty shove here, those who were trapped have a simple explanation: Their nickels and dimes and dollar bills simply didn't add up to stage a quick evacuation mission.

"Me and my wife, we were living paycheck to paycheck, like most everybody else in New Orleans," Eric Dunbar, 54, said Saturday.


Churches 'on road to doom if trends continue'
By Jonathan Petre,
Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 03/09/2005)

Britain's Churches will be well on the way to extinction by 2040 with just two per cent of the population attending Sunday services, according to a new report.

If current trends continue,
churchgoing will plummet by two thirds over the next three decades while Islam will mushroom, the statistical analysis by the Christian Research organisation says.
By 2040 there will be nearly twice as many Muslims at prayer in mosques on Friday as Christians worshipping on Sunday, it says.

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Prince clashed with Carey over his interest in Islam
(Filed: 04/09/2005)

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, was concerned that the Prince of Wales's passion for Islam was hindering his development as a Christian, writes Andrew Alderson.

In his letter to Jonathan Dimbleby, Prince Charles reveals that he had strained relations with George Carey over his desire, when he becomes King and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, to be styled "defender of faith" and defender of "the Divine" - rather than "defender of the faith". The letter makes it clear that the archbishop (above, with the Prince) had rebuked him for his views.

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New Orleans Begins Grisly Cleanup
Sep 04 1:18 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

Rescuers going house to house searched for hurricane survivors Sunday, and New Orleans turned its attention to gathering up what could be thousands of bodies from the floodwaters. "It is going to be about as ugly of a scene as I think you can imagine," the nation's homeland security chief warned.

No one knows how many people were killed by Hurricane Katrina and how many more succumbed waiting to be rescued. But the bodies are everywhere: hidden in attics, floating in the ruined city, crumpled in wheelchairs, abandoned on highways.

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The Lord can clear the darkest skies
Can give us day for night.
Make drops of sacred sorrow rise
To rivers of delight.

... Isaac Watts, Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

Methodist Bishops to Speak at Pro-Gay Conference Despite Protest
Saturday, Sep. 3, 2005 Posted: 1:53:18PM EST

Despite protests and criticisms from conservative Methodists across the nation, three United Methodist bishops will be speaking at a conference hosted by a group that advocates change in the denomination’s ban on ordaining gay priest and blessing same-sex unions.

Bishops Sally Dyck, Scott Jones and John Schol will participate in a panel discussion session tomorrow during the first convocation of Reconciling Ministries Network – the largest unofficial United Methodist advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.

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New Orleans left to the dead and dying
By ALLEN G. BREED Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- As the last weary refugees from the Superdome and convention center headed to shelters, New Orleans drew closer to dealing with its dead, a gruesome landscape of corpses expected to number in the thousands.

No one knows how many people were killed by Hurricane Katrina and how many more succumbed waiting to be rescued. But the bodies are everywhere: hidden in attics, floating in the ruined city, crumpled in wheelchairs, abandoned on highways.

Echoing the mayor's prediction, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Saturday she expected the death toll to reach the thousands. And Craig Vanderwagen, rear admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service, said one morgue alone, at a St. Gabriel prison, expected 1,000 to 2,000 bodies.

The story