Saturday, September 17, 2005

The moment we make up our minds that we are going on with this determination to exalt God overall, we step out of the world's parade... We acquire a new viewpoint; a new and different psychology will be formed within us; a new power will begin to surprise us by its upsurgings and its outgoings.

... A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Lectionary Readings for September 18, 2005

Jonah 3:10-4:11
Philippians 1:21-27
Matthew 20:1-16
Psalm 145 or 145:1-8

Collect:
Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 1:21-27
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again. Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel.

Call to Prayer!

Central New York Rector: Bishop Suppressing Sexual Misconduct Investigation

It has been more than three years since an unexpected visitor told the Rev. David Bollinger that a former rector at St. Paul’s Church in Owego, N.Y. “molested” him when the man was 12 years old during an unsupervised overnight trip. Since then Fr. Bollinger says others have come forward with similar complaints. The accused continues to be licensed as a non-parochial member in good standing of the Diocese of Central New York.

On May 31, the diocese served Fr. Bollinger with a 90-day notice of inhibition, charging him with possible criminal misuse of his discretionary fund. The inhibition was extended for another 90 days following a meeting of the standing committee on Sept. 8.

“This has been the summer from hell for me and my family,” Fr. Bollinger said. “My wife and I have borne the brunt of this madness. Every morning we strategize how we are going to get through the day.”

Fr. Bollinger denies misuse of any Church funds. “I have always operated above board and with the full knowledge and agreement of the vestry,” he said. “I have used that fund for much good in this community.”

The rest at titusonenine

Father, we lift up this whole situation and put it into Your hands. You know all of the details and we pray for Your Holy Spirit to break through and shine in all the dark corners so that the light of Your truth, justice and mercy may prevail. In Jesus' holy name. Amen.

Ruling awards $81K to church
Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles must pay legal fees to Newport's St. James, judge says.
By Lauren Vane, Daily Pilot

An Orange County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles must pay more than $81,000 in legal fees to St. James Church, the Newport Beach congregation that split from the diocese over a dispute about church doctrine.

The same judge, David Velasquez, ruled Aug. 15 to dismiss a lawsuit against St. James Church's congregation that claimed the Newport Beach breakaway church's property and assets belong to the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

The rest

Humanist Group Blasts Bush for 'Promoting Prayer'
By Melanie Hunter
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
September 16, 2005(CNSNews.com) -

A humanist group is criticizing President Bush's call for a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance Friday for Hurricane Katrina victims, accusing him of using religion to deflect from the administration's "poor response" to the victims of the storm.

The American Humanist Association said Bush used "religion as a diversion instead of fully admitting his mistakes and focusing on responsibility and readiness" regarding the Katrina disaster.

The rest

UK Evangelical Council Backs Deposed Brazilian Priests and Bishop
The Church of England Evangelical Council have given support this week to thirty-seven evangelical clergy who have been excommunicated in Brazil.
Posted: Friday, September 16 , 2005, 8:20 (UK)

The Church of England Evangelical Council have given support this week to thirty-seven evangelical clergy who have been excommunicated in Brazil.

A statement from the evangelical council called on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel of Reference to investigate the situation “as a matter of urgency,” according to the CoE Newspaper.

Brazilian primate Archbishop Orlando Santo de Oliveira had dissociated his province from the actions of the Bishop of Recife, the Rt Revd Robinson Calvacanti, in taking part in irregular confirmations in Ohio in March 2004.

Bishop Calvacanti was deposed and Recife had appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel of Reference. But last week the situation was inflamed even more when the suffragan bishop Rt Revd Filadelfo Oliveira of Recife, removed all 32 clergy who had been loyal to Bishop Calvacanti.


Story

The Bible and interactive Google Maps

Sometimes we get ideas that are impractical to implement on the ESV website but that might enhance other websites or help people learn more about the Bible.

One such idea is this: why not overlay a Google Map with Bible map data?

Here’s an interactive map we made showing certain cities from the life and ministry of Jesus. Click any of the pushpins to see the name of the city and a link to passages in the ESV that mention the city.

Found here

Out-of-state gangs 'invaded' N'Orleans
Used boats, SUVs to enter city, turn it into 'free-fire zone,' says military analyst

Posted: September 17, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

Well-organized, heavily armed, out-of-state street gangs from as far away as Memphis, Dallas and Miami invaded New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina evacuation of the city and turned it into a "free-fire zone," said military analyst Col. David Hunt.

Hunt made the charges on Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor" last night, saying local police forces were unprepared, outgunned and overwhelmed.

Article

Church of Nigeria Redefines Relationship with Anglican Communion
Saturday, Sep. 17, 2005
Posted: 11:08:47AM EST

The Church of Nigeria redefined its relationship with the Anglican Communion on Thursday, as a result of the ongoing unresolved debate over homosexuality and same-sex blessings with its liberal counterparts in the Communion.

"With a careful rewording of her constitution, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) redefined her relationship with all other Anglican Churches," declared a statement released from the offices of the Archbishop on Thursday.

The decision was made on the last day of the General Synod of the Church of Nigeria, running Sept. 10-14, which was led by Archbishop of Nigeria Peter Akinola in the Onitsha Diocese.

According to the released statement, all former references to "communion with the see of Canterbury" were deleted from the Constitution. As a result, the official name "the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)" will be changed to "The Church of Nigeria".

The rest

Moving Pictures: Why Exorcism Works and Echoes Doesn't
By Dr. Marc T. Newman
MovieMinistry.com
September 16, 2005

(AgapePress) - There was no altar call at the end of the critically acclaimed mystery-thriller The Constant Gardener, but I am sure that many people walked out of it converted to, or at least strengthened in, a belief that evil pharmaceutical companies are ravaging the African countryside. The Wedding Crashers -- which just crossed the $200 million mark -- had no redeeming moral value; but snickering audiences surely emerged feeling a little better about their own promiscuous behavior. If you can laugh at it, how serious can it be? These are movies, not sermons, yet their persuasive appeal to certain audiences is undeniable. Think what you will, these movies work. And they do so because they have not forgotten (though, unfortunately, many Christian filmmakers have) what fiction films are supposed to do.

Story

Mo. Governor Signs Abortion-Limiting Bill
Sep 15 7:27 PM US/Eastern
By KELLY WIESE Associated Press Writer
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.

Gov. Matt Blunt signed legislation Thursday placing further restrictions on abortion, and Planned Parenthood and an abortion clinic quickly filed legal challenges to the measure.

The bill, passed in a special legislative session called to address the issue, allows lawsuits against people who help teens get abortions in violation of Missouri's parental consent law.

The bill's supporters say they are trying to stop people from helping teens get abortions in Illinois, which has no parental consent law.

The rest

Roving Methodists redefine old-fashioned 'camp' meeting
BY MARK HUNTER

Special to The Advocate

RAYNE -- Once a month, nearly year-round, a small group of dedicated Methodists meet at campgrounds around Louisiana to fellowship and introduce other like-minded folks to the joys of Christian camping.

The group, Louisiana Chapter 15, is part of the National United Methodist Campers Inc., a "national Christian family camping club affiliated with the United Methodist Church through the General Board of Discipleship," according to the group's brochure. There are 14 other state groups from Alabama to Connecticut to New York to Texas.

Story

Starbucks cup promotes homosexuality?
Baylor University orders removal from campus store
Posted: September 17, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

Officials at Baylor University told the Starbucks store on its Waco, Texas, campus to remove a cup said to promote homosexuality.

The offending cup, part of a series with quotes from various American thinkers called "The Way I See It," features the words of homosexual novelist Armistead Maupin.

It reads:
"My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make that mistake yourself. Life's too damn short."

Baylor University, the world's largest Baptist school, refused to comment on the issue, said KCEN-TV in central Texas. Employees at the campus Starbucks said none of their customers had complained about the cup, but they removed it.

The rest

'Three Wishes' Star Amy Grant Has a Wish of Her Own
-- Singer-TV Host Hopes NBC's New Reality Show Inspires Others
By Jenni Parker

September 16, 2005

(AgapePress) - It's no fairy tale -- a new reality-TV show premiering next Friday (September 23) will be granting real wishes for ordinary people across America. In each one-hour episode, NBC's "Three Wishes" will follow host Amy Grant and her team of experts to a different town where they will spend one week turning the hopes and dreams of deserving locals into reality.

Each episode of the weekly show depicts individuals, families, and entire towns that are affected as the Three Wishes team moves from town to town, where they inquire about people's wishes and select three to grant. Then, the wish-granting experts go to work, and soon they are witnessing firsthand the extraordinary consequences of their involvement and the powerful spirit of community that often helps fuel their missions to make dreams of all sizes come true -- from the simple and light-hearted to the more dramatic and serious.

Story

Friday, September 16, 2005

Healing Scriptures

James 5:13-16
Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray... Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over them, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has commited sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Matthew 4:23
And Jesus went about all Galilee... healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Matthew 8:17
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, He Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

Exodus 15:26
... I am the Lord that heals you.

St. Andrew's in the Valley is hosting a healing retreat with
Deacon Nigel Mumford
on Friday, September 16 at 7:00 PM
and Saturday, September 17, from 9:00 - 12:30 PM
Address: 5013 S. Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13205
Child care provided.
Cost: free. Offering will be taken.

Akinola Denies Anglican Split on Agenda at Forthcoming Meeting
Archbishop Peter Akinola has firmly denied reports that next month's meeting of Anglicans in Egypty will put into place schism between supporters and opposers of liberalisation trends in the U.S. and U.K. branches of the Anglican Church.
Posted: Friday, September 16 , 2005, 6:37 (UK)

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, has come out to deny media reports stating that the purpose the Anglican meeting next month in Alexandria, Egypt, was create a schism between conservatives and liberals in the Anglican Church, reports Reuters.

The Anglican Communion is facing a growing crisis as traditionalists, mainly from Africa and Latin America, continue to virulently oppose the advancement of gay rights by liberal Anglicans in the United States, Canada and Britain. According to reports, the meeting in Alexandria next month would see the creation of a new independent Africa-based Anglican community to be headed by Akinola, one of the most outspoken critics of the Church’s increasing liberalisation.

Story

President Bush: Not Perfect, but Preferable
September 16, 2005 11:36 AM EST
by Michael J. Gaynor

Politics is the art of the possible. Elections give Americans a choice. The choice is always between better or worse. There never has been a perfect candidate.

Some emailers have complained that I automatically defend President Bush and refuse to acknowledge his mistakes.


Not so.To be sure, I enthusiatically supported President Bush against Vice President Al Gore in 2000 and Senator John Kerry in 2004, because I found him immensely preferable, although not perfect.

Story

Some of the Uprooted Won't Go Home Again
By Richard Morin and Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 16, 2005

HOUSTON, Sept. 15 -- Fewer than half of all New Orleans evacuees living in emergency shelters here said they will move back home, while two-thirds of those who want to relocate planned to settle permanently in the Houston area, according to a survey by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

The wide-ranging poll found that these survivors of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath remain physically and emotionally battered but unbroken. They praised God and the U.S. Coast Guard for saving them, but two weeks after the storm, nearly half still sought word about missing loved ones or close friends who may not have been as lucky.

The rest

Nineveh, New Orleans, and the City of Man
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Friday, September 16, 2005

"Cities do not last. Those built in precarious places collapse. The rest are doomed to decay or suffer humanly induced destruction." That is the assessment of historian Felipe Fernandez-Arnesto. He spoke those words with reference to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but his historical judgment would well apply to Nineveh, Tyre, Babylon and a host of cities long ago covered with dust.

The pictures out of New Orleans tell the story. Broken glass, twisted steel, sunken streets, and abandoned homes testify of the city's impermanence. And yet, the pictures of devastation wrought by nature paled in light of the picture of moral devastation that followed the hurricane. Lawlessness in the streets, rioting in the Superdome, and sniper fire aimed at rescue teams revealed the disorder and anarchy that lie close beneath the surface of human civilization.

story

The Making of the Christian
Richard J. Foster and Dallas Willard on the difference between
discipleship and spiritual formation.
Interview by Agnieszka Tennant
posted 09/16/2005 09:30 a.m.

Prayer. The Word of God. Spiritual gifts. The sacraments. Social justice. Pursuit of holiness. Christian disciplines. These are the rivers of Christian tradition that flow into the interdenominational sea of small groups called Renovaré. It's impossible to say how many of these spiritual formation groups function worldwide, because the group's leaders say that "it would be a failure" if they counted them. They're not into numbers and organizational growth charts.

But it's likely you've heard of them anyway.

The founder of Renovaré is Richard J. Foster, Quaker author of Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, a classic named by ct as one of the top ten books of the 20th century. Another luminary at Renovaré is Dallas Willard, a Southern Baptist, professor of philosophy at the University of South California in Los Angeles, and author of The Divine Conspiracy: Recovering Our Hidden Life in God, which was CT's Book of the Year in 1999.

The rest

Messianic Jews Harassed in Israel
Protests Against Violation of Religious Freedom

By Wolfgang Polzer
Special to ASSIST News Service
September 14, 2005

ARAD, Israel (ANS) -- Messianic Jews have called for international protests against violations of religious freedom in Israel. Orthodox Jews have harassed a congregation in the desert town of Arad in Southern Israel for more than 18 months.

Messianic Jews number approximately 6,000 in Israel and at least 100,000 worldwide. They believe in the Messiah Jesus Christ. Orthodox Jews regard them as apostates.

An orthodox group called Gur Chassidim has been persecuting 30 messianic Jews in Arad. They have been insulted in public as Nazis, whores and dirty Christians. According to eyewitnesses the police have turned a blind eye or even sided with the persecutors. An assembly hall has been burnt down.


Story

Godman is translated into Portuguese,
more languages to come
September 16, 2005

Brazil (MNN) -- It's a high-tech, 3D, animated film on the life of Christ. It's
Book of Hope International's "Godman." It's been years in the works. It's a film that will have a profound impact on the lives of young people for years to come. English was the first translation, then Spanish a month ago, and now another translation is available.

Book of Hope's Rob Hoskins. "We just completed the Portuguese for Brazil. And, I was just down there premiering it with an unbelievable response from the church and our volunteers and our workers. They're going to begin to go out and show it across Brazil to children and young people."

Here

Proclamation by the President: National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters in our Nation's history and has caused unimaginable devastation and heartbreak throughout the Gulf Coast Region. A vast coastline of towns and communities has been decimated. Many lives have been lost, and hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans are suffering great hardship. To honor the memory of those who lost their lives, to provide comfort and strength to the families of the victims, and to help ease the burden of the survivors, I call upon all Americans to pray to Almighty God and to perform acts of service.

Proclamation

Divergent paths in gay marriage debate
Constitutional ban's sponsor cites polygamy fears; his opponent cites values of family
By CLAY ROBISON
Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

AUSTIN - The sponsor of a proposal to lock a ban on same-sex marriages into the state constitution said Thursday that traditional marriage must be protected now or someone may try to legalize polygamy next.

"If you start down that road, where do you stop? Do you have multiple partners?" state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, asked in a debate on Proposition 2, the gay marriage ban, one of nine constitutional amendments on the Nov. 8 ballot.

the rest

The creeping mainstreaming of porn
By Phil Kloer
COX NEWS SERVICE
September 15, 2005

ATLANTA - Porn and bingo. Now there's a couple of concepts that don't usually hook up. But every Tuesday night at the Gravity Pub in hip East Atlanta, host Charlie Leach calls bingo for a crowd of twenty- and thirtysomethings and between games leads them in hoisting a toast to "porn star birthdays."

He'll name a porn star having a birthday and then rattle off a list of her movies, most of which are unprintable, as the patrons laugh and cheer. "Some of the funny ones are plays on real movie titles," he says, "like 'The Sub-Pornos' instead of 'The Sopranos.'?"

Story

Storm-relief money spent at strip clubs
Police in Houston find misuse of FEMA's $2,000 debit cards
Posted: September 16, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

On the heels of a report earlier this week that Atlanta area Katrina victims were using $2,000 debit cards to purchase luxury items like Louis Vuitton handbags, Houston police yesterday discovered the cards, provided by FEMA and the Red Cross, being used at local strip clubs.

The Houston Police Department just formed a task force to investigate the abuse of the cards, which were distributed to thousands of Katrina hurricane victims to provide for necessities, such as food, clothing and toiletries. On the first day, the police found the cards being used to buy beer while ogling exotic dancers.

The rest

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Healing Scriptures

Who his own self bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes we were healed. I Peter 2:24

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases. Psalm 103:3

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5


Whatever you ask for in prayer, with faith, you will receive.

Matthew 21:22


St. Andrew's in the Valley
is hosting a healing retreat with
Deacon Nigel Mumford
on Friday, September 16 at 7:00 PM
and Saturday, September 17, from 9:00 - 12:30 PM
Address: 5013 S. Salina St, Syracuse, NY 13205
Child care provided.

Cost: free. Offering will be taken.

Oscars for the Orthodox
14th September 2005
David Banting and Chris Sugden

North Americans do award ceremonies and do them well. Last week in New York were held what some dubbed “Oscars for the Orthodox”.

On Thursday, September 8, 2005, four Anglican archbishops were presented with the first Kairos Journal Award: Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Archbishop Henry Orombi of the Province of Uganda, Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone of South America; and Archbishop Datuk Yong Ping Chung, of the Province of South East Asia.

“The Kairos Journal Award is given to individuals who demonstrate exemplary fidelity to the authority of Scripture and exceptional pastoral courage in their efforts to restore the prophetic voice of the Church,” said Emmanuel A. Kampouris, publisher of the Journal and a lay member of the Orthodox church from Egypt. The Kairos Journal is not an Anglican entity so it is highly significant that it honoured Anglican leaders from the Global South for its first award.

The rest

CHURCH OF NIGERIA REDEFINES ANGLICAN COMMUNION
From the Anglican Church of Nigeria Website

With a careful rewording of her constitution, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) redefined her relationship with all other Anglican Churches.

All former references to ‘communion with the see of Canterbury’ were deleted and replaced with another provision of communion with all Anglican Churches, Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the ‘Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and Discipline of the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church’.

Emphasis was also placed on the 1662 version of the Book of Common Prayer and the historic Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.

The Constitutional change also allowed the Church to create Convocations and Chaplaincies of like-minded faithful outside Nigeria. This effectively gives legal teeth to the Convocation of Anglican Nigerians in Americas (CANA) formed to give a worshiping refuge to thousands in the USA who no longer feel welcomed to worship in the Liberal churches especially with the recent theological innovations encouraging practices which the Nigerians recognize as sin.

the rest at titusonenine

Traitors in the Cradle of Liberty
By Rocco DiPippo
FrontPageMagazine.com
September 15, 2005

Boston's Faneuil Hall, built in 1742, is known as the "Cradle of Liberty." It was there that Samuel Adams and other patriots fomented the American Revolution.

On Tuesday, Sept 13, 2005, British Member of Parliament (MP)
George Galloway, flanked by a bust of John Adams and a portrait of George Washington, defiled Faneuil Hall by bouncing a torrent of anti-U.S, anti-West pro-Islamist invective off its hallowed walls.

The event, sponsored by the radical-Left
Traprock Peace Center, the International Socialist Review, and the anti-Israel National Council of Arab Americans, began with a cavalcade of minor anti-U.S., anti-Western, and anti-Israel speakers.

the rest

The menace of multiculturalism
Suzanne Fields
September 15, 2005

It's not easy to dislodge a trendy fad, particularly among the public intellectuals and the aspiring sophisticates of the chattering class, but "multiculturalism" may be getting an intellectual re-examination. The strivers so easily captured by the hula hoops of academic imagination have a long way to go, but the signs are there (and not a moment too soon).


"Multiculturalism" is the notion that all cultures are inherently equal; the notion should not only be tolerated, but encouraged. The Judeo-Christian values that undergirded the founding of our country and inspired the moral rules that bound us together in a common culture, honored even when honored in the breach, are to be held in doubt and suspicion. When these values were deconstructed, so that they no longer held us together, the literary, philosophical and historical canons of Western civilization changed.

column

Mice Infected With Bubonic Plague Missing
Sep 15 1:04 PM US/Eastern
NEWARK, N.J.

Three mice infected with the bacteria responsible for bubonic plague apparently disappeared from a laboratory about two weeks ago, and authorities launched a search though health experts said there was scant public risk.

The mice were unaccounted-for at the Public Health Research Institute, which is on the campus of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and conducts bioterrorism research for the federal government.

Federal official said the mice may never be accounted for. Among other things, the rodents may have been stolen, eaten by other lab animals or just misplaced in a paperwork error.

Story

Spiritual reckoning?
By Gary J. Andres
September 15, 2005

When Democratic senators sent a letter to President Bush opposing his Social Security plan in February, they punctuated it with strong moral language. "Our country needs to get back to following the teachings of Romans 13:8, which says we should 'let no debt remain outstanding,' " they sermonized.

Last week, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California reminded CNN correspondent Kyra Phillips that the Gospel of Matthew implores us to "love one another," then turned the other cheek and blasted Mr. Bush for his response to Hurricane Katrina.


The rest

President's Call for Remembrance of Storm Victims Spurs PPT's Online Prayer Rally
By Allie Martin
September 15, 2005

(AgapePress) - The
Presidential Prayer Team (PPT), a grassroots prayer movement with more than two million members, is organizing a massive online Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi Gulf Coast region hurricane victims. The group is encouraging Christians everywhere to join in its "Virtual Prayer Rally," which is set to take place on Friday.

Last week, President George W. Bush proclaimed September 16 as a national day of prayer in the wake of the devastation and loss of lives caused by Hurricane Katrina. John Lind, president and CEO of the Presidential Prayer Team, says the Virtual Prayer Rally is a way for Christians to come together in a concentrated effort to respond to the disaster. "I think we're trying to rally the people together to answer the question, 'What can we do?'" he says.

Story

Attorney Sees Pattern in Pro-Homosexual Lawsuits Against Schools
By Jim Brown and Jody Brown
September 15, 2005

(AgapePress) - A 17-year-old lesbian student in California has sued the Garden Grove Unified School District in Orange County, alleging she was unfairly disciplined for hugging and kissing her girlfriend on campus. But one pro-family attorney views the suit as an attempt at social engineering through student activism.

The lesbian student, who is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, claims her behavior did not violate the school's student handbook. According to an ACLU press release, Charlene Nguon was told by Santiago High School principal Ben Wolf that either she or her girlfriend would have to leave the school at the end of her junior year and attend a neighboring school. She was also suspended for a week, says the ACLU, and an invitation to her to join the National Honor Society was rescinded.

the rest

WHAT TO RENOUNCE
"But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty."

2 Corinthians 4:2

Have you "renounced the hidden things of dishonesty" - the things that your sense of honour will not allow to come to the light? You can easily hide them. Is there a thought in your heart about anyone which you would not like to be dragged into the light? Renounce it as soon as it springs up; renounce the whole thing until there is no hidden thing of dishonesty or craftiness about you. Envy, jealousy, strife - these things arise not necessarily from the disposition of sin, but from the make-up of your body which was used for this kind of thing in days gone by (see Romans 6:19 and 1 Peter 4:1-2). Maintain a continual watchfulness so that nothing of which you would be ashamed arises in your life.

link

Americans 'back church leaders'

Forty percent of people in the US would like religious leaders to be given more power, a Gallup poll commissioned by the BBC World Service suggests.

In the US and Canada, 49% of people said they trusted religious leaders, compared to a global average of 19%.

This would seem to confirm the view of many that religion played a big role in President Bush's victory, analysts say.

BBC news

Hurricane Roberts Sweeps DC
by Lisa Fabrizio
September 15, 2005


Excerpt:
"But John Roberts knows how and why this country was founded. He understands the document meant to govern it and is presently schooling those who swore an oath to protect it. Most senators have law degrees but haven't seen the inside of a courtroom in years, and it shows. John Roberts--with his photographic memory and incredible command of the facts--is running rings around the older but unwiser senators on the Committee.

And he will be confirmed easily because the Democrats have no choice; he is that good. And they have cover now since he is "replacing" William Rehnquist instead of Saint Sandra. Though they will continue their desultory attacks to placate their base, they will save the dirty bombs for the next nominee, because Roberts has simply blown them away."

Found here

Linking Katrina to 'Global Warming' Called 'Shameless'
By Marc Morano
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
September 15, 2005

Washington (CNSNews.com) - Environmentalists seeking to form a link between Hurricane Katrina and any human-caused climate change are engaged in "shameless opportunism," according to a spokesman for the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis.

"That is pure politics," the Center's Sterling Burnett told Cybercast News Service Wednesday, 16 days after the hurricane demolished Gulf Coast towns in Louisiana and Mississippi and breached levees in New Orleans, resulting in the flooding of almost the entire city.

"The science is pretty consistent in saying that we are seeing some increased hurricanes right now and it has nothing to do with climate change," Burnett said. "It has to do with natural cycles that fluctuate on the order of 10 to 30 years."

The rest

President, Cabinet, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter all targeted in vulgar filmstrip
Posted: September 14, 200511:59 p.m. Eastern
By Joe Kovacs

President Bush is the target of a new "Google bomb" where he's labeled an "a-- hole" in a
vulgar filmstrip when the graphic term is entered into the popular search engine.

A song and video critical of the president, his Cabinet and high-profile conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter appear as the sole result in
Google searches when the words "a-- hole" with a space between the words are put into Google's engine, and the "I'm feeling lucky" button is punched.

the rest!

Is the Pledge of Allegiance Unconstitutional ?
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A federal judge in Sacramento ruled Wednesday that it is unconstitutional to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates the right of children in the public schools to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."

Once again, the driving force behind this case is Michael Newdow, an attorney and medical doctor who won a similar decision at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2002. That court ruled that Newdow, an atheist, had successfully made his case that requiring his daughter to recite the pledge of allegiance with the words "under God" violated his own first amendment freedoms. In essence, the California-based appeals court ruled that the mere presence of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance constituted an establishment of religion by the government.

Story

Muslims ransack Christian village
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
TAIBA

Sep. 5, 2005

Efforts were under way on Sunday to calm the situation in this Christian village east of Ramallah after an attack by hundreds of Muslim men from nearby villages left many houses and vehicles torched.

The incident began on Saturday night and lasted until early Sunday, when Palestinian Authority security forces interfered to disperse the attackers. Residents said several houses were looted and many families were forced to flee to Ramallah and other Christian villages, although no one was injured.

The rest

Young Life reaches out to hurricane victims, fear funding crisis
September 14, 2005

USA (MNN) -- While officials continue to count the cost of Hurricane Katrina, ministry leaders are wondering what the cost will be in several areas.
Young Life is just one such group.

Young Life's Mississippi Valley Director John Evans says his region, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, has been affected by the hurricane.

"We've had five or six staff (members) that have been displaced, so their lives are in absolute turmoil. And, we're trying to figure out how to support them and make sure that they figure out the next step for them."

Story

Jews sickened by Palestinian desecration
Looting, burning of former homes, synagogues saddens refugees
Posted: September 14, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
By Aaron Klein© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

JERUSALEM – Watching television images of Palestinians looting the remains of their former homes and burning down the synagogues they built, Jewish Gaza refugees told WorldNetDaily yesterday they are "sick to their stomach" and "disgusted by the barbarity of the Arabs."

"It is tearing me up inside, and is the saddest thing I ever had to watch," said Dror Venunu, who was the director of housing in Gaza's former Gush Katif slate of Jewish neighborhoods. "I am forcing myself to look at the pictures and the video of what is going on to see what these animals are doing to my community. It's so much to take in."

the rest

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Room for the penitent, burdened with sin,
Room at the open door—let him come in;
Weary and tempest tossed, where can he flee?
Jesus, Thou Lamb of God, only to Thee.

Refrain
Room for the penitent; where can he flee?
Jesus, Thou Lamb of God, only to Thee.

Room where the living stream flows at His feet,
Room at the throne of grace—God’s mercy seat;
There may the broken heart lose all its grief,
There may the contrite soul find sweet relief.
Refrain

Room at the blessèd feast God has prepared,
Room where the bread of life millions have shared;
Room where the smiles of love tenderly fall;
Room in Thy arms, O Christ, room, room for all.
Refrain

link

"I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin."—Psalm 32:5.

DAVID'S grief for sin was bitter. Its effects were visible upon his outward frame: "his bones waxed old"; "his moisture was turned into the drought of summer." No remedy could he find, until he made a full confession before the throne of the heavenly grace. He tells us that for a time he kept silence, and his heart became more and more filled with grief: like a mountain tarn whose outlet is blocked up, his soul was swollen with torrents of sorrow. He fashioned excuses; he endeavoured to divert his thoughts, but it was all to no purpose; like a festering sore his anguish gathered, and as he would not use the lancet of confession, his spirit was full of torment, and knew no rest. At last it came to this, that he must return unto his God in humble penitence, or die outright; so he hastened to the mercy-seat, and there unrolled the volume of his iniquities before the all-seeing One, acknowledging all the evil of his ways in language such as you read in the fifty-first and other penitential Psalms. Having done this, a work so simple and yet so difficult to pride, he received at once the token of divine forgiveness; the bones which had been broken were made to rejoice, and he came forth from his closet to sing the blessedness of the man whose transgression is forgiven. See the value of a grace-wrought confession of sin! It is to be prized above all price, for in every case where there is a genuine, gracious confession, mercy is freely given, not because the repentance and confession deserve mercy, but for Christ's sake. Blessed be God, there is always healing for the broken heart; the fountain is ever flowing to cleanse us from our sins. Truly, O Lord, Thou art a God "ready to pardon!" Therefore will we acknowledge our iniquities.


CH Spurgeon

Mass. Lawmakers Reject Gay Marriage Ban
Sep 14, 3:39 PM (ET)
By STEVE LeBLANC

BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that sought to ban gay marriage but legalize civil unions, a year after the state performed the nation's first government-sanctioned same-sex weddings.

It was the second time the Legislature had confronted the measure, which was intended to be put before voters on a statewide ballot in 2006. Under state law, lawmakers were required to approve it in two consecutive sessions before it could move forward.

After less than two hours of debate Wednesday, a joint session of the House and Senate voted 157-39 against the measure.

the rest here

Hurricane Ophelia closes in on North Carolina
Hurricane warnings shifted northward
Wednesday, September 14, 2005;
Posted: 4:27 p.m. EDT (20:27 GMT)

NAGS HEAD, North Carolina (AP) -- Hurricane Ophelia crept up the North Carolina coast Wednesday with high wind, driving rain and pounding surf that washed away a barrier island street, cut off electricity to thousands and threatened widespread flooding.

The storm had sustained wind of 85 mph Wednesday afternoon, up from 75 mph early in the morning, the National Hurricane Center said. Hurricane warnings were shifted northward, covering the entire North Carolina coast from the South Carolina line to Virginia, where a tropical storm warning covered the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.

The rest

Survey Shows Church Shift to High Tech
Churches are replacing pew Bibles with large-screen projection systems.

(
Barna Group) A new study shows that during the past five years, Protestant churches have been incorporating technology into their ministry efforts at a brisk pace.The study indicates that double-digit growth has occurred in relation to the use of websites, large-screen projection systems, electronic fund transfer, satellite broadcasting technology, and the use of e-mail blasts for congregational communication.

During the same period, a decreasing percentage of churches have used "pew Bibles" in their sanctuaries.

Church WebsitesNearly six out of every ten Protestant churches (57%) now have a website. That is up from just one-third of all Protestant churches in 2000, an increase of 68%.

Here

Ontario Moving Ahead to Crush Pharmacists Conscience Rights
OTTAWA, Ontario,
September 14, 2005,


(LifeSiteNews.com) -- Events are unfolding rapidly in Ontario that may see the Ontario Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) rule in favour of restricting pharmacists ability to exercise their conscience.

On March 22, 2005, the Ontario College of Pharmacists submitted their recommendations regarding the “Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians”. Iain T. Benson, executive director of the Center For Cultural Renewal in Ottawa, issued a release yesterday calling attention to “Principle 4” of that submission.

The statement reads: The pharmacist and pharmacy technician respects the autonomy, individuality and dignity of each patient and provides care with respect for human rights and without discrimination. No patient shall be deprived of pharmaceutical services because of the personal convictions or religious beliefs of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician."

here

Thousands Prepare to Rediscover the A2 Church
Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2005
Posted: 11:41:07PM EST

Thousands of leaders and teams from hundreds of churches around the world are coming together to restore the original church, or what some are referring to as the A2 church.

According to the Willow Creek Association, which will sponsor A2 sessions in four states next month, A2 churches are churches that strive to follow the dream and vision of building the true church that comes out in the second chapter of the book of Acts in the Bible, particularly in verses 42 to 47.

During the upcoming A2 session event, slated for Oct. 12-14, the sessions’ teaching, application, music, drama, and worship will help the participants learn about the latest breakthrough strategies working in churches around the country. Such strategies include: Creating irresistible church environments; Building family ministries; Evangelizing post-moderns; Reaching into neighborhoods; and Holistic ministry that transforms lives and communities.


Story

Rick Warren Speaks about Purpose at United Nations
Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2005
Posted: 12:18:53PM EST

NEW YORK – After weeks of bitter debate shed many of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's most ambitious goals to tackle poverty and reform the United Nations, reactions to the hard fought compromise text for the U.N. World summit declaration ranged from measured satisfaction to downright disappointment.

Amid thick tensions present earlier yesterday, “Purpose-Driven” Pastor Rick Warren told U.N. dignitaries and delegates to lay aside their worries for a moment and focus on the meaning of existence.

Story

Massachusetts Lawmakers Expected to Turn Away Pro-Marriage Amendment
By Jim Brown
September 14, 2005

(AgapePress) - A Massachusetts pro-family activist says it's a foregone conclusion that state lawmakers will vote down a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex "marriage" but allow homosexual civil unions.

Lawmakers in the Bay State will decide today (Wednesday) whether the compromise amendment will be placed on the 2006 ballot. The amendment was put together in response to a decision by the state's Judicial Supreme Court in May 2004 to legalize homosexual marriage.
According to conservative activist Brian Camenker with the group
Article 8 Alliance, the amendment was never popular in the first place. It was panned, he says, by both conservatives and pro-homosexual activists.

Story

Judge: School Pledge Is Unconstitutional
Sep 14 3:19 PM US/Eastern
By DAVID KRAVETS Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO

A federal judge declared the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional Wednesday in a case brought by the same atheist whose previous battle against the words "under God" was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court on procedural grounds.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."

the rest

Impractical Christianity
Faith really begins to make a difference when it stops 'working.'
by Peter K. Nelson
posted 09/14/2005 09:00 a.m.

Pragmatism runs rampant in American Christianity. If faith does not "work," it lacks value. We expect prompt and measurable results from knowing Christ. Concrete, visible changes in our lives show that the gospel is relevant and its transforming power is for real: bad habits broken, strained relationships restored, church attendance figures on the rise, giving that's ahead of last year's. If you can't graph positive results, what is the point?

Following Christ makes a difference, and we take special pleasure in the dramatic before and after of practical spiritual progress.

the rest

An Extinct Biblical Plant returns to Life
Israeli scientists have germinated a sapling from a date palm seed

that is nearly 2,000 years old!

“We are interested in preserving very valuable species in the Middle East,” Dr. Sarah Sallon, who heads the project, told israel today.

“Some of them are extinct but may be able to be resurrected.” Sallon, who works at the Louis Borick Natural Medicine Research Center in Jerusalem, said it is the oldest seed ever brought back to life. Until now, the oldest specie to be revived came from a 1,200-year-old lotus seed that was germinated in China.

The palm seed was found at the historic fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea, where 960 Jewish zealots chose suicide over capture by the Romans in 73 A.D. “We managed to get a few of these seeds, and we planted them, and some six or seven weeks later a bud appeared,” said Sallon.

The rest!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Does it grieve you my friends, that the name of God is being taken in vain and desecrated? Does it grieve you that we are living in a godless age...But, we are living in such an age and the main reason we should be praying about revival is that we are anxious to see God's name vindicated and His glory manifested. We should be anxious to see something happening that will arrest the nations, all the peoples, and cause them to stop and to think again.

Martyn Lloyd Jones

I had no God but these,
The sacerdotal trees,
And they uplifted me,
"I hung upon a Tree."

The sun and moon I saw,
And reverential awe
Subdued me day and night,
"I am the perfect light."

Within a lifeless stone --
All other gods unknown --
I sought Divinity,
"The Corner-stone am I."

For sacrificial feast
I slaughtered man and beast,
Red recompense to gain.
"So I a Lamb was slain."

"Yea, such My hungering Grace
That whereso'er My face
Is hidden, none may grope
Beyond eternal Hope."

... John Banister Tabb

LBJ's Other Quagmire
Long before Katrina, the welfare state failed New Orleans's poor.
BY BRENDAN MINITER
Tuesday, September 13, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

"What the American people have seen in this incredible disparity in which those people who had cars and money got out, and those people who were impoverished died."

The above comment about Hurricane Katrina comes to us from Ted Kennedy, who went on to say that the question for Chief Justice-designate John Roberts is whether he stands for "a fairer, more just nation" or will use "narrow, stingy interpretations of the law to frustrate progress." But why stop there? Sen. Kennedy is onto something and, indeed, the question isn't only for Judge Roberts. It's also one for the national debate now under way in the wake of the most devastating hurricane to hit the U.S. in decades.

the rest

Help your Church's Small Groups Climb Toward Intimacy
Whitney Hopler
Contributing Writer

The people in your church's small groups are like mountain climbers on a mission. They're meant to be teammates who grow together as they reach for higher and higher goals. And God wants them to eventually arrive at the summit of all relationships - intimacy.

Here

Scientology reaches out and touches a nerve
A Boys & Girls Clubs director wants the club logo removed from an L. Ron Hubbard booklet.
By ROBERT FARLEY, Times Staff Writer
Published September 9, 2005

CLEARWATER - Look where you might bump into the teachings of the Church of Scientology and its creator these days.

If you attended a fashion show that raised money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Clearwater last week, you may have found L. Ron Hubbard's "Way to Happiness" booklet in your goodie bag.

The rest

March of the Conservatives: Penguin Film as Political Fodder
By JONATHAN MILLER
Published: September 13, 2005

On the conservative Web site
WorldNetDaily.com, an opponent of abortion wrote that the movie "verified the beauty of life and the rightness of protecting it."

At a conference for young Republicans, the editor of National Review urged participants to see the movie because it promoted monogamy. A widely circulated Christian magazine said it made "a strong case for intelligent design."

Story

Giving Patterns Reveal Increasing Focus on Those 'Worthy' of Compassion
Charities must now frame issues so that donors believe

they are giving to innocent victims.
by G. Jeffrey Macdonald,
Religion News Service posted 09/12/2005 09:00 a.m.

As Americans set new records for charitable giving in response to Hurricane Katrina, some fundraisers are seeing a principle confirmed: when the suffers are perceived as innocent victims, donors respond generously.

On the other hand, giving patterns suggest donors are losing patience with chronic problems such as poverty, in which suffering is arguably exacerbated by questionable choices. Private donations are shrinking for homeless shelters, AIDS-related services and programs for troubled youth, to cite just a few examples.


The rest

Training for Trials
by Betsy Childs

The word "trial" has different meanings according to its context. It can be a court case (such as a murder trial), a test (such as the clinical trial of a drug) a qualifying race (such as an Olympic trial), or a period of difficulty (such as a trial of faith).

When I think of "going through a trial" my associations are negative, but the word "trial," when free of context, is really neutral. When a new drug goes through clinical trials, it may cause bad side effects, or it may work even better than anyone expected. When athletes approach a preliminary competition, they are often excited about the trial, for it is a chance to prove their ability and go on to further competition.

Although it is never fun to be faced with difficult circumstances, I believe we can learn a lot about how to face trials from the way athletes approach tests of their physical strength. They prepare for trials, expect them, and look with anticipation to being tested and proven. Paul writes, "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training" (1 Corinthians 9:25a). I have watched friends train for marathons. On many days, they are not eager to go out for a run. But they know that they must build their endurance if they hope to be able to run the race.

I don't believe that most prospective Olympians enter the Olympic trials because they love to feel their muscles aching and their hearts pounding. They come because they want to prove themselves and go on to compete for a medal. They endure tests that would overwhelm the average person's body because they are seeking a better-than-average prize.The apostle Paul compares the hardships he faced to an Olympic race: "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize" (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Most athletes will not enter a trial unless they believe they can make it. Likewise, God only leads us into testing that He knows we can endure. Paul goes on to explain, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

It is not that God has great faith in our ability; rather, He has great faith in his own faithfulness to us, to win the victory through us. When we face trials, we must not forget that there is a point to them; there is victory on the other side. Rather than folding under the weight of difficult circumstances, we should consider that this is what we've been trained for. May we expect God to supply the strength that we need as we run in such a way as to win the prize.

found here

Shine within our hearts, loving Master, the pure light of Your divine knowledge and open the eyes of our minds that we may comprehend the message of your Gospel. Instill in us, also, reverence for Your blessed commandments, so that having conquered sinful desires, we may pursue a spiritual life, thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to You. For You, Christ our God, are the light of our souls and bodies, and to You we give glory together with Your Father who is without beginning and Your all holy, good, and life giving Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Monday, September 12, 2005

Guide me, O Lord, in all the changes and varieties of the world; that in all things that shall happen I may have an evenness and tranquility of spirit; that my soul may be wholly resigned to thy divine will and pleasure, never murmuring at thy gentle chastisements and fatherly correction; never waxing proud and insolent, though I feel a torrent of comforts and prosperous successes.

... Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living

Rival Anglican Church to be Founded by Fed-Up Africans
African Anglicans have said they have "had enough" of the endless debating in the Church of England over gay clergy and same-sex union blessings.
Posted: Monday, September 12 , 2005, 11:12 (UK)

Africa’s Anglican primates, bishops, priests and laity fed-up with the Church of England’s endless debate over same-sex blessings and the ordination of gay vicars are set to found their own Anglican Church.

The African Anglicans have accepted help from their Latin American counterparts, who co-organised next month’s conference in Alexandria, Egypt, with them.Archbishop of Central Africa, Bernard Malango, said last week, “We’ve had enough” and that members are “sick and tired” of the endless debate within the Church of England on gay clergy. The African-based Anglican community plans to replace the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams with the outspoken Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, as spiritual leader and exclude homosexuals from serving in the clergy.


Story

Desperate Hurricane Katrina Aftermath Creates Huge Demand For Bibles
While most relief efforts are tending to the physical devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Gulf Coast, Christian groups are also doing what they can to fill in the spiritual vacuum that was left.

Posted: Monday, September 12 , 2005, 10:17 (UK)

While most relief efforts are tending to the physical devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Gulf Coast, Christian groups are also doing what they can to fill in the spiritual vacuum that was left.

Pledging to provide spiritual support, leaders from Christian ministries such as the Bible Society agree that "the most important thing to provide is a sense of hope, something that is an absolute essential for life to be remade."

The rest

Roberts Told 'Don't Take the Bait'
Chief Justice Nominee Begins Hearing Before Senate Judiciary Committee
By Jody Brown and Bill Fancher
September 12, 2005

(AgapePress) - Hearings on the nomination of John G. Roberts as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court began today (Monday). Early on, he was offered some wise counsel by the former attorney general of Texas, who now sits on the Senate committee conducting the hearing.
Shortly after sitting down to begin his opening hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Roberts was given a bit of advice from John Cornyn: "Don't take the bait," he was told by the senator from Texas. "Decline to answer any question that you feel would compromise your ability to do your job."

Story

The unexpected joy of involuntary singleness
Date: Sept 9

By Teresa Morgan

When it comes to relationships, Western Christianity has never been further from the spirit of the New Testament and Early Church. I’m not talking about what we do – in some ways, our social and sexual practises are closer to those of the early Roman Empire than they’ve ever been. I’m talking about our attitudes. Because in recent years, the Church has leapt on the secular bandwagon and become obsessed with not just the social but the psychological and theological virtues of sex, marriage and relationships. For St Paul, and for several hundred years after him, Christian attitudes to relationships were fairly straightforward. The rest

Learning to love the Single Consecrated Life
Date: Sept 9

“No Sex Please, We’re Teenagers,” so BBC2 advertises a new series about 12 teenagers (aged between 15 and 17) who are challenged to remain celibate for five months. What about those who decide to remain celibate for the rest of their lives? The Anglican Religious Communities Year Book 2006-7 states that in the Anglican Church there are estimated to be 2,415 people living under a vow of celibacy (995 men and 1,420 women). In Europe the figure is 705, made up of 180 men and 525 women. The majority of whom will be living in a monastery or convent, but there are those who live their consecrated life in the community where they live and work.
The rest

Bleak future predicted for declining churches
Date: Sept 9

A NEW report is predicting that Britain’s churches may well face extinction with only two per cent of the population attending Sunday services by the year 2040. The new study by Christian Research, one of the bleakest reports ever produced into church attendance, concluded that with congregations plummeting by two-thirds over the next three decades, the impact for churchgoing was clear: “rapidly moving towards virtual wipe-out.”

The report, The Future of the Church’, found that if the current trends continue, the number of Muslims attending prayers at British mosques on Friday will be double the number of Christians at church on Sunday by 2040. Struggling against the rising tide of secularisation, the current 9.4 per cent of the population in regular attendance of Sunday service is expected to be under five per cent by 2040, and of those worshippers 65 per cent will be over the age of 65. The study predicts that some 18,000 churches will be forced to close.

the rest

CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST AND AUTHOR BLASTS EPISCOPAL CHURCH
By David W. Virtue
NEW YORK, NY (Sept. 8 2005)

Christian apologist and author Dr. Os Guinness blasted the Episcopal Church telling several hundred persons at a Kairos Awards dinner that among mainline denominations it was the worst and most extreme capitulation to the spirit of the age in its abject surrender to the sexual mores of the modern world.

Calling them “kissing Judases” (From Soren Kierkegaard) -- followers of Jesus who betray him with an interpretation, Guinness ripped the church saying, "we have seen a troubling growth of those who bend every nerve to reach successive generations of the cultured despisers of the Gospel: and then join them and become like them and no longer faithful to Jesus Christ. Some have surrendered to Enlightenment ideas, and become skeptics about God’s sovereignty, or skeptics about human sin, or skeptics about the possibility of the supernatural and any world beyond the here and now."

Guinness, an Episcopalian who attends The Falls Church in Northern Virginia, said that at one level, the result was an Alice in Wonderland church in which Christian leaders now openly deny what all Christians have believed and many have died to defend; Christian leaders who celebrate what their faith once castigated; Christian leaders who advance views closer to their foes than to their founder; and Christian leaders who deny the faith, but stay on shamelessly as leaders of the faith they deny.

Virtueonline

Katrina’s Warning
Security from Nature and Terror
September 12, 2005

Hurricane Katrina was a wake-up call to this country. As I mentioned last week, it wakes us up to the fact that our God is sovereign and we should be constantly in a state of repentance, humbly seeking God’s favor.

The catastrophe also has revealed how vulnerable America is by knocking out, as it did, at least for a time, thirty percent of our refinery capacity. The result: gasoline in short supply across the country, and gas prices soaring. People complained all across America instead of being grateful that they are alive.

So, one lesson I draw from Katrina is that we had better win the war on terror and resolve to prevent another September 11. Katrina exposed how easy it would be to take a city out. A terrorist could set off a dirty bomb in a strategically located city and bring America to its knees. And as we saw with Katrina, when governing restraints are taken away, rioting follows. All a terrorist would have to do is interrupt the power supply of this country or shut down the Internet, and Katrina and its aftermath would look like child’s play by comparison.


The rest

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

Christians Blogging For Katrina Relief
Heather Lynn Ivester
Guest Writer

When Hurricane Katrina pummeled her fury into the Gulf of Mexico coastline, we stared in horror at our TV screens. Then floodwaters descended upon New Orleans, erasing the image of good life in the Big Easy. We watched as helpless refugees were airlifted from the tops of buildings by helicopter and forced to survive in cramped, powerless evacuation shelters.

That’s when blogger fingertips started tapping.

The virtual community of Christians who maintain active web logs, or “blogs” have built up a ready-made audience of followers. In the wake of Katrina’s devastation, thousands of bloggers discovered an instant way to activate their faith where it could best be used, in offering financial assistance to the victims.

the rest

Ontario rejects sharia law
Jews, Christians to lose their religious tribunals as Premier vows 'one law for all'
Natalie Alcoba
National Post, with files from CanWest News Service
September 12, 2005

TORONTO - All forms of religious arbitration -- including Islam's sharia law, which was the subject of worldwide protest last week -- will be outlawed in Ontario, the Premier said yesterday.
''I've come to the conclusion that the debate has gone on long enough,'' Dalton McGuinty told The Canadian Press yesterday.
''There will be no sharia law in Ontario. There will be no religious arbitration in Ontario. There will be one law for all Ontarians.''

Story

Surfer Dudes Catch Some Gospel Along With Waves
N.J. Gathering Tends To the Body and Spirit
By Michelle Garcia
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 12, 2005; Page A03

OCEAN GROVE, N.J. -- It's early morning, and the sun seems to hover atop a gentle roll of waves. A dozen or so long-haired, pierced-navel, broad-shouldered dudes with killer tans prepare to introduce some surfing newbies to a level of higher consciousness.

"Surfing is a spiritual pursuit," Steve Brooks said to the initiates. "Being in the water, you feel something bigger."

Story

A Growing L.A. Ministry Extends a Helping Hand
By William Lobdell, Times Staff Writer

For two days after Hurricane Katrina made a ruin of his New Orleans neighborhood, David Mince, 50, waited on the roof of his flooded 9th Ward house, eating Spam and crackers, watching dead cats, dogs and humans float by, and waving to helicopters until one finally rescued him.

A few days later at a Baton Rouge shelter, his surreal week took another strange turn. A representative of the Dream Center, a Christian ministry based at the former Queen of Angels Hospital near Echo Park, offered Mince a free Lear jet ride to Los Angeles.

The rest!