Saturday, October 22, 2005

Keep clear of concealment -- keep clear of the need of concealment. It is an awful hour when the first necessity of hiding something comes. The whole life is different thenceforth. When there are questions to be feared and eyes to be avoided and subjects which must not be touched, the bloom of life is gone.
... Phillips Brooks

A man may blaspheme against the Son of Man and be forgiven; but the sin against the Spirit of Truth -- what can God Himself do with or for the man who will not acknowledge the truth he knows, or follow the light he sees?
... Alexander Miller, The Renewal of Man

Lord, when we are wrong, make us willing to change; and when we are right, make us easy to live with.
... Peter Marshall

A Christian Lawyer’s Approach to Divorce:
A Personal Testimony
by Raymond Dague

I handle all kinds of legal work. I do real estate closings, probate wills, file bankruptcy, defend criminal charges, do guardianships, and represent churches and not-for-profit organizations, and plenty else. That is the way of general practice; something new every day, depending on who knocks on the door or the calls the office. Everything in the law has ethical implications, and is a challenge in this secular legal culture. But nothing is more ethically challenging than family court and divorce.

When I started my law practice over 26 years ago, I never imagined that I would get involved in divorce. Doesn’t Jesus frown on divorce in the Gospels? Other Christian lawyers I knew would not do them. My initial assumption was that this is an ungodly business which I would be best to avoid.

But two things changed my mind. I represent people in divorce, and a good number of those people are Christians. One thing which changed my mind is the people who have come my way with their personal stories. The other thing is a reflection on the scriptures.

A long time ago I saw a woman in my office whose daughter was abused by her husband. She had three other children, no job, little formal education and no prospect for a future. Another Christian lawyer told her to go home and pray for her husband, since Christians should not get divorced. She tried that, and then even more desperate she came to me.

When her estranged husband hot-wired her car one Wednesday night as she was at her church for a service, and took it from the church parking lot while she was inside at prayer, I realized that action is sometimes necessary. I took the case, and prosecuted a divorce. The case was personally gut wrenching for me, but the end was a “win.” It ended when the husband’s lawyer came to me and said that his client could not withstand a trial with the disclosures that would follow about his conduct. He asked for our terms for reconciliation. It did not happen immediately, but after much counseling and repentance, they were reconciled.

I rejoiced in the Lord at such a result, but said in prayer, “Please don’t send me any more of these clients; they are just too gut wrenching for me to handle.” That next week I got two more such clients with personal stories just as hair-raising as the first.

For some time I quietly handled divorce and family court cases. I did not widely advertise the fact, but people somehow found their way to my door. Selectively I took some of them. I tried to use spiritual criteria in doing so, but my thinking was not clear with a solid Biblical justification.

A few years ago the Christian Legal Society asked me to conduct a seminar for attorneys who handle family law cases. It turns out that there were a lot of Christian lawyers across the country doing so. It’s pretty tough to teach other lawyers about something unless you have thought it through pretty well. This forced me to reflect on the Biblical reasons in a way which I had never done.

I have long realized that Jesus and his seemingly absolute prohibition of divorce is not so absolute on the subject. Depending on which Gospel passage one reads there are exceptions for adultery, and other unfaithfulness. Jesus’ strong preference is that marriages stay together, but he made accommodation for man’s sin. Indeed his entire life, death, and resurrection is an accommodation for man’s sin. He is the escape from sin.

And then there is Moses. Jesus said that divorce was for man’s hardness of heart, but that God’s plan is for marriages to endure. Yet somehow God made accommodation for man’s hardness of heart and allowed divorce. God knew that sin was a fact of life.

The scripture tells us that Moses was a judge as well as God’s lawgiver. When the people of Israel were wandering in the wilderness they didn’t have much money or property to fight about. So what did Moses judge? Criminal violations of God’s laws, no doubt. But human nature being what it is, one of his principal jobs as a judge must have been dealing with what today is called family law. And the first record of a child custody case is in the Bible. Solomon had to decide which of two prostitutes was to be the custodial mother of a baby. Both claimed the child as her own. Pretty gritty stuff, yet God’s chosen had to deal with it all.

Divorce is not a good thing. The damage is threefold: spiritual, financial, and psychological. Yet God, as always, makes a way out for man’s sin. That is not to say that every divorce is one which a Christian lawyer should take. There must be a process of discernment. Even in the face of serious sin, one must somehow be faithful and listen to the Lord. Divorce should be a rare and extreme thing for the Christian, and for the Christian lawyer. But there does seem to be a place for family law in the practice of the Christian attorney.

Raymond Dague is a Syracuse NY attorney who has practiced family law for many years but who has never advertised that portion of his law practice until recently. He can be found at (315) 422-2052 and on the web at www.DagueLaw.com

SEX, LIES AND VIA MEDIA
News Analysis
By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
10/21/2005

Via Media, the liberal pansexual organization that bills itself as The Episcopal Church's "middle way", combining progressive and traditional approaches to the Bible, tradition, and human understanding, betrayed its true agenda when committee notes from one of their meetings were handed to VirtueOnline recently.

What we learned was a strategy being planned for the "Day After" the next General Convention in 2006 when presumably the momentum already begun by many orthodox parishes and priests to leave the ECUSA, will accelerate.

It was though the plans of the Nazis after they had invaded Poland was to make sure that Fascism would be the only ideology in every hamlet, town and home and any effort to oppose them would be met with personal deposition and removal of assets. It's a mop up operation as the Via Media see it. Resistance is useless.

What Via Media's plans revealed was startling in its audacity as it was in its final solution for the orthodox in The Episcopal Church. Any pretense of a "middle way" evaporated forever. Via Media is little more than a front for gay and liberal agit-prop in the Episcopal Church and their sole interest is in keeping the church a non transformative place to promote lesbitransgay behavior for future generations with the help of America's secular media.

The rest at Virtueonline

Legal Proceedings Explained to Central New York Clergy
10/21/2005

The Oct. 11-13 clergy conference in the Diocese of Central New York included an extensive presentation on ecclesiastical legal proceedings by the bishop against one of his rectors.

The Rev. David G. Bollinger, rector of St. Paul’s Church, Owego, has been inhibited and accused by the Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III of financial malfeasance. Those charges were made after Fr. Bollinger forwarded to the diocese a sexual misconduct complaint against a former rector of St. Paul’s. That priest remains a licensed member in good standing and canonically resident in the diocese. Prior to the start of the conference, Bishop Adams notified the clergy that he had allotted two hours on the opening day of the clergy conference for standing committee members to “update” clergy on the ecclesiastical proceedings against Fr. Bollinger who was not allowed to be present.

At one point shortly after the conference began, Bishop Adams was notified that a member of the clergy was using a tape recorder. The priest said the tape was being made for a colleague (not Fr. Bollinger) who could not be present, but Bishop Adams and others insisted that the priest stop and surrender the tape. After an angry exchange, the priest eventually removed the cassette from the machine and threw it in the direction of Bishop Adams. Later it was announced that the priest had left the meeting before its conclusion.
The rest!

Also, check out the comments at titusonenine

Another take at Midwest Conservative Journal

Friday, October 21, 2005

In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: Within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities. . . They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied until they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water.

A.W. Tozer
The Works of A. W. Tozer

The American Anglican Council Condemns
Via Media’s Planned Coup of Biblically Faithful Dioceses

According to
documents and articles in circulation, Via Media USA is planning attacks against the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) dioceses and bishops at the conclusion of General Convention 2006. It is reported that they will have fill-in-the-blank deposition documents against ACN bishops, as well as true-church-lawsuit documents, ready to fill in for court litigation. If Via Media’s plans become a reality, every orthodox bishop and diocese will be ousted, leaving dioceses with rogue bishops and diocesan commissions. The biblically faithful within those dioceses would be held captive and lose their affiliation with the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Via Media’s exposed plot to supplant ACN bishops is outrageous and unconscionable. It is a travesty for a group bent upon abandoning any semblance of Anglican faith and order to call itself “via media”. The “via media” of Anglicanism historically refers to the Church of England’s middle ground between Roman Catholicism and Free Church Protestantism and emphasizes unity based on the essentials of faith as expressed in Scripture. To misappropriate this Anglican terminology and apply it to an entity established to promote a false gospel is beyond the pale.
The rest!

"Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on the water is easy to impulsive pluck, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is a different thing. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he followed Him afar off on the land. We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the strain magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes."

Oswald Chambers

The Threat of Quiet Islam
October 21, 2005 12:12 AM EST

Just about every conscious human in the free world knows about Islamic suicide bombers, train bombers, and night club bombers. Everyone knows that Muslims flying large commercial planes crashed into the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon on 9/11. Those are the actions of the obvious terrorist side of Islam.

It is interesting that those Islamics committing these heinous acts believe absolutely that the Quran orders them to do these things to achieve Mohammed’s plan of Islam dominating the world. Yet, all the world hears is the plea from Muslims to understand that Islam is a religion of peace and love. If that is so, does this mean that Islamics who are terrorists use a Quran that is different from the “peaceful” Muslim’s Quran?
Commentary

Indians call for Permission for “Fresh Embryos” for Research

MUMBAI, October 20, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Indian stem cell researchers are frustrated by their inability to create stem cell lines from frozen IVF embryos and are calling for relaxation of the rules to allow them to create embryonic humans explicitly for research.
the rest


Abortion Hospital Paid $1 per Pound to Dump Dead Babies Bodies

PITTSBURGH, October 20, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An ex-funeral director is facing charges for corpse abuse for failing to incinerate the corpses of 19 dead babies. Authorities, however, found the corpses of more than 300 babies, but because the remaining babies were either aborted, miscarried or stillborn, they are not considered persons.
The rest

Pro-Homosexual Rage Betrays Fear: Christians will Outlive Sterile Sexual Liberals
Publicity about happy family with 16 children sends California liberal over deep end
SAN FRANCISCO, October 20, 2005

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Judging from the almost unbelievable level of vitriol in a column in a San Francisco newspaper, one more item that the liberal champions of tolerance seem unable to tolerate is that of having a large family or being Christian.

SF Gate reports the apparently astonishing news that a family in Arkansas not only has delivered its sixteenth child, but plans to have more. In the SF Gate article, the paper blandly reports that parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar consider children a gift from God. The Discovery Health Channel and The Learning Channel are doing stories on the family. Jim Bob Duggar was an Arkansas state representative and the family has a website on which it has unashamedly espouses Christian principles for family life.
Story

Kennedy tries another tack on 'hate crimes
'Group says senator 'trying to slip it in under the radar'
Posted: October 21, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

After a failed attempt at passing "hate crimes" legislation,
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., is trying to attach an amendment favored by homosexual-rights activists to another bill, an activist group warns.
Kennedy sought to pass the controversial legislation – adding "sexual orientation" to the hate-crimes law – through the "Child Safety Act," but this time the vehicle is "The Streamlined Procedures Act of 2005," which deals with federal criminal procedures, says
Concerned Women for America.

The rest

Hurricane postpones another homosexual party
Theme for Florida Keys Fantasy Fest: 'Freaks, Geeks, and Goddesses'
Posted: October 21, 20051:13 a.m. Eastern
By Joe Kovacs

For the second time this year, an Atlantic hurricane is forcing the postponement of a popular homosexual event filled with "unthinkable debauchery."

The annual Fantasy Fest in Key West, Fla., had been slated to kick off today, but the threat of Hurricane Wilma is putting a damper on the festivities, delaying events until after the storm passes.


"We've never had a hurricane interfere with Fantasy Fest, at least as long as I've been here," Harold Wheeler, director of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council for the past 10 years told the Key West Citizen. "In fact, it's just the opposite – Fantasy Fest has always been there to open up our season."
The rest

The Churchman - No Taxation Without Representation
Brad Drell @ 8:21 am


“Why should Evangelicals be asked to prop up ministers and ministries which they do not accept? At the same time, the recent reappearance of the conservative Evangelical voice in church circles underscores the unfairness of the system as it now operates. How is it that a large and wealthy part of the Church is so seriously under-represented at the highest levels? Why is there not a single diocesan bishop who can be relied on to defend the conservative Evangelical position? How can it be that we are asked to make room for homosexuals and feminists, but nobody is prepared to move over for orthodox Christians?

There can be no taxation without representation, and Evangelicals are fully justified in withholding their cash from the Church until this imbalance is recognized and corrected. If members of WATCH, Affirming Catholicism, Fulcrum or the Modern Churchpeople’s Union are afraid that a diocese or two may become a no-go area for people of their persuasion, then take the logical way out-create permanent non-territorial bishoprics where Evangelicals can be left to their own devices.
The rest at Drell's Descants

From mental disorder to civil-rights cause

WORLD MAGAZINE INTERVIEW: Psychiatrist and Princeton law professor traces the advances of the gay-rights agenda in science and the law to a common source: political intimidation

PRINCETON, N.J.-A big contributor to the gay movement's political success is the portrayal of homosexuality as an orientation over which individuals have no control. Jeffrey Satinover, author of Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth (Baker Books, 1996) and other books, has practiced psychiatry since 1986 and come to a different understanding, which he explained at a recent conference of the Witherspoon Institute here.

Dr. Satinover is a graduate of M.I.T. (Humanities and Science), Harvard (Clinical Psychology), and Yale (Physics), and received an M.D. from the University of Texas Medical School. He presently conducts research into complex systems at the National Center for Scientific Research at the University of Nice in France and teaches civil liberties and constitutional law part-time at Princeton.
The rest at Virtueonline

Two Bishops Celebrate Pro-Homosexuality "Reconciling" Cause in Washington, DC
John Lomperis

After briefly praying to “God our Mother and Father,” Bishop Susan Morrison of Albany declared of homosexual ordination within United Methodism: “It will happen, and it won’t be soon enough.”

Morrison was at Foundry United Methodist Church on October 5 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of that DC congregation’s joining the pro-homosexuality “Reconciling” movement. She was joined by Bishop John Schol of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

The rest

Thursday, October 20, 2005

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

It is not in the gifts He received but in the virtues He practiced that Christ is our model. That which is asked of you, so that you may resemble Him, is to make the same use as He did of the gifts of God, according to the measure in which you have received them.
... Jean N. Grou

Executive order sought on prayers
By Amy Fagan
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
October 20, 2005


Lawmakers yesterday said Christian chaplains throughout the branches of the military are being restricted in how they can pray, and President Bush should step in to protect religious freedom.

"We're giving the president an opportunity to use the Constitution to guarantee the First Amendment rights of our chaplains," said Rep. Walter B. Jones, North Carolina Republican.

He is circulating a letter to send to Mr. Bush explaining that Christian military chaplains are being told to use general terms when they pray publicly, and to not mention the name of Jesus.

"This is a huge issue with many of the chaplains in the military," said Mr. Jones, whose letter has 35 lawmakers' signatures so far, and will be sent later this week.
Story

Chinese Gangsterism
October 20, 2005
David Aikman


Every American Christian knows about the suffering of the church in China, the beatings, the torture, and yes the occasional murder of Christian believers by the Chinese authorities. Recently, however, there has been a sinister new twist to these cruel practices.

In Hunan province in the past month, the authorities have started kidnapping Christian leaders, taking them to hidden locations, and then subjecting them to mind-altering drugs. Several Christians have recovered from stupor, only to discover, to their horror, that they have betrayed their fellow-believers while temporarily under the influence of these malign chemicals.

Senior representatives of China’s official and controlled Protestant church, have consistently denied that any Christian has been imprisoned merely for his faith. Now that lie has now been compounded by the use of old-fashioned gangsterism against China’s Christians.
Beyond the News


China auction Web site offers babies for sale
Reuters News Service
BEIJING - Shanghai police are investigating advertisements offering babies for sale on a Chinese Web site owned by Internet auction power eBay, state media said on Thursday.
Story

Chinese Christian Refugee's Religious Asylum Reinstated
By Allie Martin and Jenni Parker

October 19, 2005
(AgapePress) - After a long legal battle, a Chinese Christian refugee has won the right to stay in the United States rather than be deported back to China where he would likely have faced arrest, persecution and possibly death. His reversal of fortune is the result of a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The rest

Williams may meet gay US bishop during London trip
Risk of deepening crisis in Anglican communion

Archbishop has 'no qualms' about visit
Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent
Thursday October 20, 2005
The Guardian

Plans are being made for Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to meet the Anglican communion's most controversial cleric, Gene Robinson, the gay bishop of New Hampshire, for the first time when he visits London next month.

The Guardian understands that Dr Williams has no objection to meeting the bishop whose consecration two years ago convulsed the 70 million-strong worldwide communion, outraged church conservatives and strained relations with the Vatican. No appointment, however, has yet been arranged.
the rest

Hurricane Wilma slows as it nears Florida
Gov. Bush declares emergency
By Ken Kaye sun-sentinel.com
Posted October 20 2005, 1:05 PM EDT

South Florida will have to wait to learn its fate.

Because Category 4 Hurricane Wilma has not moved as quickly through the Caribbean as anticipated, and could even stall, it is projected to reach this region on Sunday or Monday.

How strong it will be on arrival also is a growing question, as forecasters say it could be anywhere from a Category 1 with winds up to 95 mph to a Category 3, with winds up to 120 mph.

In any case, the National Hurricane Center urges residents to have all preparations in place by Saturday afternoon.

Story

Court sides with 5-year-old after school censors Jesus
School's suppression of kindergartner's artwork may violate constitutional rights
Posted: October 20, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern

Officials at a New York state school may have violated the constitutional free-speech rights of a kindergarten student who included an image of Jesus in his homework assignment, according to an appeals court decision.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in Manhattan remanded the case back to a federal district court Monday for further consideration.
The rest

Actual Copy of the Via Media Steering Committee Minutes Outlining The Day After Strategy; Other Interesting Stuff
Brad Drell @ 9:14 am

No, I’m not revealing my source, but it is authentic:

Via Meeting Steering Committee 9/29/05

Dixie Hutchinson, Lynn Minor, Steve Westen, Rick Matters, Greg Fry, Joan Gundersen, Meg Ingalls, Andrew Grimmke

People began by introducing themselves. Meg’s parish just gave van bought with UTO money to Diocese of Mississippi.

After a prayer by Rick Matters, we began reports from the field.

VMFW Bishop Iker has been fairly quiet, but has gotten very vocal about women’s ordination. He has sent a formal request to Panel of Reference to shelter them from women’s ordination. He is claiming that the church is forcing him to accept women’s ordination. FWVM always responds with a letter. Sent one to the Panel of Reference. Now have a newsletter with a circulation of 950. Sent to all clergy, including the bishop. Got directories from every parish with membership in their group. The group is having to pay for mailing. They are now 501 c3. Fort Worth budget short $70,000 (i.e. one parish which is even MORE conservative).
The rest at Drell's Descants

How Hollywood Is Selling ‘Narnia’ to Christians

With the Dec. 9 release of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” still more than six weeks away, the companies behind this highly anticipated film adaptation are already making sure it doesn’t escape the attention of a targeted audience: Christians.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first of seven installments in The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, was released in England in 1950. It has undergone various adaptations through the decades, including versions for the BBC and radio. Now comes a behemoth vision on the scale of the recent “Lord of the Rings” adaptations by Peter Jackson.

The rest at titusonenine

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"Babes in Christ."—1 Corinthians 3:1.

ARE you mourning, believer, because you are so weak in the divine life: because your faith is so little, your love so feeble? Cheer up, for you have cause for gratitude. Remember that in some things you are equal to the greatest and most full-grown Christian. You are as much bought with blood as he is. You are as much an adopted child of God as any other believer. An infant is as truly a child of its parents as is the full-grown man. You are as completely justified, for your justification is not a thing of degrees: your little faith has made you clean every whit. You have as much right to the precious things of the covenant as the most advanced believers, for your right to covenant mercies lies not in your growth, but in the covenant itself; and your faith in Jesus is not the measure, but the token of your inheritance in Him. You are as rich as the richest, if not in enjoyment, yet in real possession. The smallest star that gleams is set in heaven; the faintest ray of light has affinity with the great orb of day. In the family register of glory the small and the great are written with the same pen. You are as dear to your Father's heart as the greatest in the family. Jesus is very tender over you. You are like the smoking flax; a rougher spirit would say, "put out that smoking flax, it fills the room with an offensive odour!" but the smoking flax He will not quench. You are like a bruised reed; and any less tender hand than that of the Chief Musician would tread upon you or throw you away, but He will never break the bruised reed. Instead of being downcast by reason of what you are, you should triumph in Christ. Am I but little in Israel? Yet in Christ I am made to sit in heavenly places. Am I poor in faith? Still in Jesus I am heir of all things. Though "less than nothing I can boast, and vanity confess." yet, if the root of the matter be in me I will rejoice in the Lord, and glory in the God of my salvation.


CH Spurgeon

U.K. Squirrels Are Nuts About Crack
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It's every city dweller's worst fear: rodents on crack.

Squirrels in Brixton, South London, have been observed behaving bizarrely — and authorities there believe it may be because they're hooked on crack cocaine hidden by addicts, according to the London Sun.

A recent crackdown by cops on dealers and addicts is thought to have inspired users to start hiding their stashes in the ground — which the squirrels are digging up.

The rest

Australian Anglican Primate: Gay and Women’s Rights ‘Won’t Split Church’
The primate of the Anglican Church in Australia and Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Phillip Aspinall, has denied the Church will split over gay and women's rights.
Posted: Tuesday, October 18 , 2005, 8:40 (UK)

Dr Phillip Aspinall, primate of the Anglican Church in Australia and leader of four million Australian Anglicans, has played down fears that the Australian Church might split from the Church of England over disagreements regarding gay priests and the ordination of women as bishops.

The primate’s comments follow the Sydney Diocese’s recent announcement that leading Sydney layman Robert Tong will put forward a motion for debate at the diocese’s annual synod to change the Church’s constitution, making the traditional link to Canterbury optional.

“I think a large part of the church in Australia would be reluctant to lose its very close connection with the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury, even if such a move got support in Sydney and that remains to be seen,” said Dr Aspinall, who is also Archbishop of Brisbane.
The rest

Light Speed Bible Released as Answer to Busy Lives
A new version of the Bible promises busy people to speed read the whole book just 24 hours.
Posted: Wednesday, October 19 , 2005, 10:21 (UK)

new version of the Bible promises busy people to speed read the whole book just 24 hours. The new "Light Speed Study Bible" has a speed-reading approach with a contemporary version to help readers read through the whole Bible in no time.

The Light Speed Bible, which uses the Holman Christian Standard translation, is edited by William Proctor, graduate of Harvard Law School and former copy editor of New York, and published by Broadman & Holman Publishers. The Light Speed Bible does not leave out anything from the original Scriptures, according to editor Proctor.

Proctor says the idea is to empower people to read every word of the Bible fast, yes, but to understand it, too. He said studies show that factual comprehension increases for readers using speed techniques.
Story

Dr. Phil Promoting Homosexuality and Abortion Groups
LOS ANGELES,
October 19, 2005

(LifeSiteNews.com) – Christian groups are calling on the popular television psychologist Phillip C. McGraw, Ph.D, a.k.a. Dr. Phil, to stop promoting Planned Parenthood and the homosexual lifestyle.

McGraw touts Planned Parenthood as a trustworthy, independent resource on issues relating to sexuality, as evidenced by a recent broadcast in which he challenges a guest who asserts that abstinence is the true reason for the falling U.S. teenage pregnancy rate.

“The fact is that the research does not support what you’re saying,” Dr. Phil claimed. “If you look at the massive studies that are nationwide, if you look at the Planned Parenthood studies, the fact of the matter is that kids who go through a thorough sex education program of which making condoms available with some anonymity…that kids do use them when they have them.”
Story

Via Media Groups Mobilize for the 'Day After'
10/19/2005

Members of the steering committee for
Via Media, USA, have authenticated, but sought to diminish the significance of plans already underway for the “Day After” the 2006 General Convention. The plans, documented in a draft copy of minutes from a Sept. 29 meeting of the steering committee, include the attempted removal from office of bishops and lay leaders in dioceses affiliated with the Anglican Communion Network and their replacement with persons the organization believes will remain obedient to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention.

“The steering committee meeting was not open to the public and the minutes were not intended for public release,” said Joan R. Gunderson, who is listed at the end of the four-page document as temporary secretary. The steering committee, she said, met prior to the start of the Sept. 29-Oct. 2 annual meeting in Dallas, which was open to the public. Mrs. Gunderson, who is also vice president of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh, an independent local organization affiliated with Via Media, USA, said the “strategy discussion” was part of a “what-if” contingency plan based on a “worst-case scenario” in which after the 75th General Convention next June in Columbus, Ohio, the Episcopal Church would remain in a smaller Anglican Communion with the majority of Anglican provinces in Africa breaking communion with the See of Canterbury and the network bishops seeking to follow.
The rest

CONNECTICUT: New vestry cuts ties with Connecticut Six
The Bristol Press
BRISTOL, CT (10/19/2005)

--The newly elected vestry of St. John's Episcopal Church announced Tuesday that the parish is no longer affiliated with the so-called "Connecticut Six," a group of churches and clergy who have been in conflict with Connecticut Bishop Andrew Smith over his support for the church's first openly gay bishop. The 2003 consecration of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire has divided the U.S. Episcopal Church and expanded the rift over gay issues among churches in the global Anglican Communion.

The new vestry at St. John's was elected at a special parish meeting held Sunday. On Monday the group, which is the lay leadership of the parish, unanimously voted to withdraw from the American Anglican Council and the Anglican Communion Network, according to a press release issued Tuesday. The two groups also have opposed consecration of Robinson.

The rest at Virtueonline

Newark archbishop to oversee admittance of Anglican clergy

The Vatican has placed Newark Archbishop John J. Myers in charge of admitting Anglican clergy into the Catholic Church.

Myers will work with all U.S. bishops to make sure the prospective priests, some of whom are married and serve in the Episcopal Church USA, are properly received and prepared to serve the Catholic Church.

The appointment was made by Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The last cleric to hold the position was Cardinal Bernard Law, former archbishop of Boston.
“I’m grateful that the holy father and Archbishop Levada have placed their trust in me to assist in welcoming these men into the church, and to work with my brother bishops on this delicate but important service,” Myers said.

The rest at titusonenine

Appeals court hears 'Islamic indoctrination' case
Public students in California taught to 'become Muslims'
Posted: October 19, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

A case brought by parents and children challenging a California school district for its practice of teaching 12-year-old students to "become Muslims" will be heard in U.S. appeals court today.

As
WND reported, the lawsuit was filed by the Thomas More Law Center against the Byron Union School District and various school officials to stop the "Islam simulation" materials and methods used in the Excelsior Elementary School in Byron, Calif.
Story

Natural Disasters: When Nations Neglect God's Business for Their Own
By Rev. Mark H. Creech
October 18, 2005

(AgapePress) - A two-foot snowfall in Los Angeles -- a severe drought this summer in the Midwest that dropped water levels in the Missouri River to their lowest on record -- a heat wave of temperatures of over 110 degrees that in one week killed more than 20 people in Arizona -- hurricanes in Florida, Carolina, and of course, the monster of all storms, Hurricane Katrina, which essentially washed away the city of New Orleans. All, says Ross Gelbspan of the Boston Globe, are the results of human-induced global warming. According to Gelbspan, it's not just America, but places around the world like Scandinavia, Spain, Portugal, and India that are feeling the heat of catastrophic environmental changes.

Singer Barbra Streisand recently commented on the phenomena. In an interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC News, Streisand insisted: "We are in a global warming emergency state, and these storms are going to become more frequent, more intense. There could be more droughts, dust bowls. You know, it's amazing to hear these facts, I mean; the Andes have no ice caps on the mountains in winter. The glaciers are melting ...." Streisand's solution was that America and the world sign the Kyoto Protocol, regulating the emission of carbon-dioxide gases.

WorldNetDaily, however, reports experts tend to disagree about what's really taking place. Dr. Sami Solanki, director of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gottingen, Germany, says dramatic weather changes are caused not by man-made activity, but the result of the sun heating up, which "may now be affecting global temperatures." Max Mayfield, head of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, and Hurricane forecaster William Gray, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, essentially say the current "onslaught of storms 'is very much natural.'"

It's hard to believe what's been occurring of late is simply "very much natural." The succession and intensity of these events have rightly caused people to sense something isn't right in the earth, and scientific data alone can't explain it.
the rest

Homosexual Activists Suspected of Pulling Students' Strings in GSA Lawsuit
By Jim Brown
October 18, 2005

(AgapePress) - A conservative activist group is accusing the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union of using students to further its radical, pro-homosexual agenda in schools.

Two seniors at Maple Grove High School have sued their school and the Osseo School District for allegedly discriminating against their student group called "Straights and Gays for Equality," or SAGE. The students claim the school has violated the Federal Equal Access Act by not allowing the homosexual group access to meeting rooms, bulletin boards, and the public address system on campus.

However, Linda Harvey of the conservative pro-family group Mission America believes the students' lawsuit is yet another ploy orchestrated by pro-homosexual activists in an effort to gain legitimization for homosexuality. "This is one more of these situations, I would have to say, where students are being motivated and manipulated by adult homosexual activists and civil liberties proponents, and especially the American Civil Liberties Union," she contends.
Story

"Alarming Tensions" in the Anglican Communion says Drexel Gomez
The Bahama Journal

October 19, 2005

In Anglican Church Tensions in the worldwide Anglican Church are increasing "at an alarming rate" over issues of homosexuality, the head of the Anglican Church in The Bahamas His Grace Archbishop Drexel Gomez warned in his annual charge Monday night.

The Episcopal Church in the United States [ECUSA] and the arm in Canada have fiercely stood their ground about condoning homosexuality, though the former has offered regret. Anglican traditionalists - Archbishop Gomez included - remain opposed to it."As a province, we have to determine our future relationship with ECUSA and the province of Canada," Archbishop Gomez told a packed congregation at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Nassau.

"Our present official position is that we exist in a state of impaired relationship at the formal level with both provinces. However, if these provinces, through their convention or general synod, refuse to accept the prevailing Anglican consensus as represented by the Windsor Report, we will have to consider moving beyond a state of impaired communion.

"Relations with other provinces who remain strenuously opposed to the actions taken by the U.S. and Canadian church will factor heavily in that decision, the archbishop explained.
The rest at Virtueonline

Miers Once Vowed to Support Ban on Abortion
But Conservatives Still Question Nominee's Views
By Amy Goldstein and Charles Babington

Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 19, 2005; Page A01

Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers once pledged that she would "actively support" a constitutional amendment banning abortions except to save a mother's life, participate in antiabortion rallies, and try to block the flow of public money to clinics and organizations that help women obtain the procedure.

Those 1989 written promises to an antiabortion group, made as she was campaigning for a seat on the Dallas City Council, came to light in documents that Miers delivered to the Senate yesterday. They emerged one day after she assured two senators that no one knows how she would vote on Roe v. Wade , the landmark case that legalized abortion nationwide.
The rest

Wilma Now Most Intense Atlantic Storm Ever
Oct 19 8:53 AM US/Eastern
By FREDDY CUEVAS Associated Press Writer
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras

Gathering strength at a fierce pace, Hurricane Wilma swirled into the most intense Atlantic storm ever recorded Wednesday, a Category 5 monster packing 175 mph wind that forecasters warned was "extremely dangerous."

Wilma was dumping rain on Central America and Mexico. A hurricane watch was in effect for the east coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, parts of Cuba and the Cayman Islands, and forecasters warned of a "significant threat" to Florida by the weekend.

"All interests in the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula should closely monitor the progress of extremely dangerous Hurricane Wilma," the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
the rest

Strong Earthquake Hits Japan; No Injuries
Oct 19 9:11 AM US/Eastern
TOKYO
A strong earthquake rocked eastern Japan late Wednesday, shaking buildings in Tokyo and nearby areas, but there was no immediate report of injuries or damage.
The earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5, was centered 24 miles below the sea off the coast of Ibaraki prefecture, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Japan's meteorological agency earlier put the magnitude at 6.2 from the quake, which hit at 8:50 p.m. (7:50 a.m. EDT). There was no danger of tsunami, it added.
Story

Pakistani quake toll could be 100,000
By Muhammad Najeeb,
Islamabad

A staggering 100,000 people could have died in the devastating Pakistani earthquake, even as officials Monday gave out varying figures of the toll.
While a
military spokesman put the figure at 100,000, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and a foreign office spokesperson separately placed it at 40,000.
"Over 40,000 people have so far been reported killed and many remain missing. The exact number of victims will probably never be known," Aziz told reporters here. The administrator of Pakistani Kashmir said 80,000 people had died in his province alone while his North West Frontier Province (NWFP) counterpart said 20,000 people had died in his state.
the rest

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

In all His dispensations God is at work for our good. In prosperity He tries our gratitude; in mediocrity, our contentment; in misfortune, our submission; in darkness, our faith; under temptation, our steadfastness; and at all times, our obedience and trust in Him.
Anonymous

Faith, if it be a living faith, will be a working faith.
... John Owen

If your every human plan and calculation has miscarried, if, one by one, human props have been knocked out, and doors have shut in your face, take heart. God is trying to get a message through to you, and the message is: "Stop depending on inadequate human resources. Let me handle the matter."
... Catherine Marshall

Losing Bet -- Why Christians Should Avoid Lottery Fever
Albert Mohler
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The newspaper headlines certainly command attention when a record Powerball jackpot of at least $350-million is at stake. As a matter of fact, the gambling interests are counting on lots of attention -- and hoping for even greater sales.

The multi-state Powerball lottery's newest record jackpot comes almost three years after the last record-setting pay-off in 2002 ( a mere $314.9-million), and has been produced by a change in the lottery intended to boost jackpots in order to compete with other state lotteries.

Of course, the reality of the lottery is a bit more complicated. If a winner shows up with a ticket that matches all six numbers, the winning ticket-holder will not walk away with the full $350-million. The "cash option" for the jackpot will be $164.4-million -- and that's before the government steps in to claim taxes. Nevertheless, we can be sure there will be enough money left to entice participation. Thousands of ticket-buyers are rushing to purchase tickets.
The rest

Bishop Duncan Welcomes Lawsuit Settlement

Lawsuit settlement affirms authority of elected diocesan leadership Bishop Robert Duncan welcomed news of Judge Joseph M. James’ approval of the proposed settlement agreement in the litigation between Calvary Episcopal Church, East Liberty; St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Wilkinsburg; certain individuals and 18 members of the diocesan leadership.

“Both sides have been working toward a settlement for almost a year now. It is a blessing to see that work bear fruit,” said Bishop Duncan.

Filed in November 2003, the original lawsuit maintained that the members of the diocesan leadership it identified could not be trusted to fulfill their responsibilities under the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church and charged that the leadership had breached their fiduciary obligations to the Episcopal Church and to the Diocese, and disposed or attempted to dispose of property interests of the Episcopal Church. It asked for a court injunction requiring the defendants to take all necessary action to preserve and protect the interests of ECUSA, the Diocese and individual plaintiffs.

The settlement affirms the competence and responsibility of the bishops and other elected diocesan leaders to continue fulfilling their fiduciary and property duties under the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh with a series of stipulations. Both parties have agreed to follow the stipulations.

Ther rest:
The Connecticut Six Website

IRELAND: Nigeria and the Anglican Communion
Setting the standard for all faithful Anglicans in a new realignment of the Communion
REFORM IRELAND

The recent statement of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, defining itself and its relationship with other Anglican churches, on the basis of a common faith and doctrine, is not only to be heartily welcomed, but should be the standard for all faithful Anglican churches and ministers in a new realignment within the Anglican Communion.

The Church of Nigeria has defined itself as being in full communion with all Anglican churches, Diocese, and Provinces that hold and maintain the Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and Discipline of the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, as the Lord has commanded in His holy word and as the same are received as taught in the Book of Common Prayer and the ordinal of 1662 and in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion'.

With the Church of England drifting inexorably towards official acceptance of homosexual lifestyles, (as evidenced recently by the House of Bishops' Pastoral Letter regarding civil partnerships), the Church of Nigeria has correctly identified that interrelationships between Anglican churches and between Anglican Provinces ought always to be shaped by the Gospel. This is indeed the theological position of the Articles, the BCP and the Ordinal of 1662. It is the Word of God that governs what Anglicans believe and how they witness to the world. Therefore, even though the relationship to Canterbury has been long and close, if the Gospel is undermined by the Church of England (or any other Anglican Province), then it is time to insist on Scripture as the chief basis for an ongoing relationship.

The rest at Virtueonline

'Roe' of Roe vs. Wade addresses pro-life event for L.A. Hispanics
By Paula Doyle
10/14/2005

OS ANGELES (CNS) -- More than 100 parishioners from a dozen East Los Angeles parishes turned out Oct. 8 at Resurrection Church for a Spanish-language respect life program featuring Norma McCorvey, the "Roe" of the Roe vs. Wade 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. "I think the archdiocese (of Los Angeles) is trying to light a spark in the Hispanic community regarding the pro-life movement," said organizer Jay Hernandez, a member of the archdiocesan Family Life Issues commission.

"When you show people what abortion is, you get their attention," he said, noting that community feedback has been
positive since the Spanish-language respect life campaign kicked off in August. The rest

Britons fly abroad for stem-cell makeovers
By Steve Bloomfield
Published: 16 October 2005

Britons desperate to halt the ageing process are being injected with the stem cells of aborted foetuses at a clinic that charges £15,000 for a controversial new cosmetic treatment. Despite warnings from biologists in the UK that the process is unproven and could be harmful, dozens of British women have flown to Barbados in the hope that the injections will make them forever young - and possibly even boost their sex drive.

The treatment is also available in Ecuador, Russia and Ukraine, where it was developed by scientists to treat Parkinson's disease and blood disorders. But converts claim that wrinkles can be ironed out and the fresh face of youth restored.
Story

Drawing the Line for Mormons: A Closer Look at the LDS Church
10/17/05

Mormons want you to believe that they are "Christians" and that their church, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," is just another Christian denomination. Mormons themselves believe that they are Christians and that their church is the only true church. There is even a move among Mormons to shorten the name of their church to simply "The Church of Jesus Christ."


Excellent analysis of what Mormons bellieve!

The Return of Jezebel

A few years ago, when the evangelical book fad The Prayer of Jabez was in full swing, I joked that the feminist revisionists would respond with their own small devotional volume: The Prayer of Jezebel. Well, now it is here.

Fortress Press, the publishing house of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has announced the publication of The Jezebel Letters, which "combines top-notch biblical scholarship with a fictionalized first-person account of the biblical character." According to the Fortress press release, the book "transforms the stereotype of the notorious biblical queen into a more historically based portrayal of a powerful, literate royal woman."

How is she "transformed"? Well, in this reading, Jezebel is the protagonist. According to a Hebrew and Old Testament professor at the University of Amsterdam, the book uses "fictional but not fictitious letters and memoirs written by the ancient Queen herself," allowing us to "reverse our "cultural opinion of 'Jezebel' and see her for what she probably was: a regal, wise, politically active wife, mother and queen in Israel." A biblical studies professor at Claremont laments that "biblical narrative castigates Ahab and his Queen Jezebel as depraved idol worshipers who led their country to ruin." In fact, he writes, she was "the urbane and thoughtful Queen of Israel who gives voice to her efforts and those of her family in guiding Israel through one of its most challenging, and least understood, periods."
The rest

Parker T. Williamson: Sign of the times

History tells us that most institutions do not die gracefully. When threatened by extinction, institutional managers instinctively fight for survival, even at the cost of the organization’s own founding principles. Typically, the final phase – when an institution’s demise is imminent – becomes (to borrow from Hobbes’ state of nature)
“nasty, brutish and short.”

The world saw an example of this in the last years of the Soviet Union. Decades before the fall, the Marxist vision had lost its hold on the hearts and minds of the Soviet people. Economists in Russia’s universities knew that Communism was untenable. Peasants in the streets were skeptical of rhetoric coming out of the Kremlin. Their vigorous black market constituted a daily no-confidence vote.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn described those final years in his Gulag Archipelago. Managers of a system that was thoroughly discredited in the eyes of its own people held their empire together by the only means left to them: coercion. The KGB was never more cruel than during its final years. Police brutality shored up the teetering structure for a time, but ultimately the state’s intellectual, moral and economic bankruptcy forced its collapse.

An institution called the Presbyterian Church (USA) is manifesting similar ungracious behavior. Historically, denominational leaders could count on a three-legged stool to support their claim on their churches. The first, and primary leg, was a common faith, anchored in Scripture and the Confessions of the Reformed tradition. Its leaders having weakened the essential leg of Scriptural authority in their pursuit of cultural relevance, the denomination’s structure became unstable.
The rest at titusonenine

Rector Battles Against Liberal Drift of Episcopal Church
Mark Ellis
ASSIST News Service/Agape Press

He leads one of three Episcopal parishes in California that stood up against the consecration of an openly homosexual bishop in New Hampshire. After his church bolted from its diocese and aligned with the conservative Anglican Church in Uganda, a battle erupted with his former diocese concerning ownership of their buildings and other property.

"I'm confident we'll win in the end," says Father Bill Thompson, rector of All Saints Anglican Church in Long Beach. One of the three breakaway churches -- St. James Church in Newport Beach - won their first round in court recently after a Superior Court judge ruled in their favor based on free-speech rights. Thompson's church will have a hearing later this year with the same issues in play.
the rest

Monday, October 17, 2005

What should we set as our ultimate goal in this life? The answer: the most perfect worshipers of God we can possibly be. . . . I sought no more than how to be God's and God's alone. My goal made me resolve to give my all for the All. . . . Always I worshiped Him as often as I could, keeping my mind in His holy presence. When I wandered I brought Him back to my mind. . . . At all times, every hour, every minute, even at the busiest times. I drove away from my mind everything capable of spoiling the sense of the presence of God. . . . I just make it my business to persevere in His holy presence. . . My soul has had an habitual, silent, secret conversation with God.

Brother Lawrence
Biography and Works

Witch creed? Meet the new face of worship
Worship is becoming more diverse, writes Barney Zwartz.

WITCHCRAFT is a religion for the weak and oppressed, especially women. It has nothing to do with Satan, nor is it about sex. So says a leading Melbourne witch, Caroline Tully.

Ms Tully is part of an Australian trend in which witches and charismatic Christians are leading religious growth. Many women are turning to witchcraft or paganism as a reaction to the patriarchal nature of traditional Christianity. Academic Dr Philip Hughes, of the Christian Research Association, told a Melbourne seminar on spirituality that "nature" religions rose by 140 per cent between 1996 and 2001. Agnostics are on the rise, too. For many, the nature religions were seen as environmentally friendly and empowering.
Story

New Orleans Corrupt 'Down to the Bone,'
Former Pol Charges
By Jeff Johnson
CNSNews.com
Senior Staff Writer
October 17, 2005

(CNSNews.com) - A former president of the New Orleans City Council and member of the Orleans Levee Board blames corruption "down to the bone" and "unbelievable ineptness" for the loss of life and injuries during and after Hurricane Katrina. The Republican politician also fears the worst for her city if local officials are allowed to manage the federally funded rebuilding efforts.

"The corruption in city hall was horrible, and it was the same thing at the levee board," Peggy Wilson told Cybercast News Service. "The corruption in Louisiana and in the City of New Orleans goes down to the bone." Story

World Evangelical Alliance Opens Huge New IT Centre
The World Evangelical Alliance recently opened a Centre of Information Technology in San Francisco, USA in continuing its ongoing efforts to expand its internal and external communication.
Posted: Monday, October 17 , 2005, 9:38 (UK)

The World Evangelical Alliance recently opened a Centre of Information Technology in San Francisco, USA in continuing its ongoing efforts to expand its internal and external communication.
According to the global network of churches, the new centre comes in keeping its need for a “long-ranging goal to take communications and networking ‘to a whole new level.’” "We believe this new Information Technology Centre will be a very important tool in assisting the global church in building more effective ties that will lead to greater connectiveness and strategic partnerships,” said WEA’s International Director, Geoff Tunnicliffe.
the rest

L.I. principal nixes school's senior prom
By FRANK ELTMAN Associated Press Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Brother Kenneth M. Hoagland had heard all the stories about prom-night debauchery at his Long Island high school: Students putting down $10,000 to rent a party house in the Hamptons. Pre-prom cocktail parties followed by a trip to the dance in a liquor-loaded limo. Fathers chartering a boat for their children's late-night "booze cruise."


Enough was enough, Hoagland said. So the principal of Kellenberg Memorial High School canceled the spring prom in a 2,000-word letter to parents this fall.

"It is not primarily the sex/booze/drugs that surround this event, as problematic as they might be; it is rather the flaunting of affluence, assuming exaggerated expenses, a pursuit of vanity for vanity's sake - in a word, financial decadence," Hoagland said, fed up with what he called the "bacchanalian aspects."
The rest

Mobs Expel 80 Christians
Growing number of evangelicals threatens liquor profits.
by Deann Alford
posted 10/17/2005 09:00 a.m.

Huichol mobs wielding machetes and clubs in western Mexico's Jalisco state have expelled 80 evangelicals from Agua Fria village, threatening to burn the Christians and refusing to allow their return unless they recant their faith. The mobs reacted against evangelicals' shunning of Huichol native religion, which encourages taking hallucinogenic peyote.


Statutes in the village of Agua Fria, where most of the nearly 1,000 residents practice a mix of traditional Huichol animism and Roman Catholicism, specify that residents may live in the village only if they practice Huichol culture, defined in part by religion. On August 14 the mob targeted all Agua Fria evangelicals, which included members of Baptist, Seventh-day Adventist, and Apostolic Faith churches. In February, Huichol traditionalists torched the home of evangelical Hermelinda Vazquez de la Cruz. Severely burned, she escaped with her children and now uses a walker, confirmed Mark Schultz, an evangelical missionary in Porvenir, Baja California, who ministers among Huicholes. Story

God bloggers' religious and political power
Jamie Wilson in Washington
Monday October 17, 2005
The Guardian

What would Jesus blog? This was among the questions considered by a conference of God bloggers in California at the weekend, which heralded their growing numbers as potentially the most important development in the spread of Christianity since the Gutenberg printing press began churning out bibles in the 15th century.

The three-day gathering at Biola University brought together around 135 Christian bloggers to discuss topics ranging from their relationship with the traditional church to their growing influence on mainstream politics.
the rest

Going to church awakens memories
By BLYTHE BERNHARD
The Orange County (Calif.) Register

IRVINE, Calif. -- They might have trouble recognizing their children or remembering their address, but on Wednesday they sang "Amazing Grace" and recited the Lord's Prayer from memory.

More than 30 seniors with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia-related conditions attended Mass at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, where familiar religious rituals awakened their long-term memories.

"It's seeing the stained-glass windows. It's sitting in the pew and seeing the minister," said Jacque Schweppe, an Alzheimer's Association volunteer. "It's a blessing to see how many respond. We know for most of them as soon as they leave those doors it's going to be lost for them."
The rest

Inmates experience a renewing of the mind in jail's `Christian Tier'
BY JEFF COEN
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO - (KRT) - LaShun Members was relaxed for someone sitting at a metal table in the middle of a maximum-security tier in the Cook County Jail.

"Look at my feet," Members said, sliding one out on the concrete floor to reveal a beige, rubber slipper. "Shower shoes.
"
In most parts of the jail, inmates would be afraid to keep them on in a dayroom, he said, because you never know when a fight will break out and you'll need good footing.

Members, 31, lives in the Life Learning Dorm of Division 10. Despite the well-known cliche of finding religion behind bars, inmates and officials agree that problems in the "Christian tier," which opened in 2000, are negligible compared to the rest of the complex.

"If we see any disagreements there, they tend to be verbal," said Scott Kurtovich, the jail's acting director. "They tend to talk and work it out."

Such specialized programs have gained recognition in recent years, particularly after the 2003 dedication of Florida's Lawtey Correctional Institution, billed as the nation's first "faith-based" prison. Officials across the nation have latched onto the idea that religion might be one way to reduce recidivism.
Story

GREATER WORKS
"And greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father." John 14:12

Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work. We think of prayer as a common-sense exercise of our higher powers in order to prepare us for God's work. In the teaching of Jesus Christ prayer is the working of the miracle of Redemption in me which produces the miracle of Redemption in others by the power of God. The way fruit remains is by prayer, but remember it is prayer based on the agony of Redemption, not on my agony. Only a child gets prayer answered; a wise man does not.

Prayer is the battle; it is a matter of indifference where you are. Whichever way God engineers circumstances, the duty is to pray. Never allow the thought - "I am of no use where I am;" because you certainly can be of no use where you are not. Wherever God has dumped you down in circumstances pray, ejaculate to Him all the time. "Whatsoever ye ask in My name, that will I do." We won't pray unless we get thrills, that is the intensest form of spiritual selfishness. We have to labour along the line of God's direction, and He says pray. "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest."

There is nothing thrilling about a labouring man's work, but it is the labouring man who makes the conceptions of the genius possible; and it is the labouring saint who makes the conceptions of his Master possible. You labour at prayer and results happen all the time from His standpoint. What an astonishment it will be to find, when the veil is lifted, the souls that have been reaped by you, simply because you had been in the habit of taking your orders from Jesus Christ.

Oswald Chambers

Archbishop Peter Akinola writes an Open letter to
Archbishop Robin Eames, Primate of All Ireland
16th October, 2005

The Most Revd Dr. R.H.A. Eames
Primate of All Ireland
Archbishop of Armagh

Dear Robin,


Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have noted with profound sadness your recent pronouncements in Virginia, Washington, DC, and Connecticut about the actions of the Church of Nigeria. I was surprised by the harsh tone of your remarks and also that you have chosen to address me personally in a remarkably one-sided conversation through the media. You have always been the one to advocate careful, mutual listening and I wonder about the reason for this sudden change of behaviour. Since, however, you have chosen a public forum for your remarks I will respond accordingly.

Let me say again that the recent actions of the Church of Nigeria were not the “preemptive strike” of a single voice but rather the deliberate, prayerful and unanimous action of the more than 800 members of our General Synod. It was, and is, our intention to make clear our commitment to the faith once delivered to the Saints as expressed in historic Anglicanism and its traditional formularies at a time when these understandings are being challenged and distorted. If you read our recent statements more carefully you will see that we are not making up our own faith nor are we asking others to submit to our own interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. We have made it clear that if others choose to redefine the Faith that we once held in common, and walk alone they will do so without us because we will not, we dare not, follow them. Your comments about a ‘Provincial only’ view of the Faith are precisely what we are seeking to avoid, whereas that is exactly what your friends in ECUSA are seeking to impose upon the rest of the Communion.
The rest at titusonenine

Wands and wine for imprisoned pagans
By Richard Ford, Home Correspondent

PAGAN priests will be allowed to use wine and wands during ceremonies in jails under instructions issued to every prison governor.

Inmates practising paganism will be allowed a hoodless robe, incense and a piece of religious jewellery among their personal possessions. They will also be allowed to have Tarot cards but are forbidden from using them to tell the fortunes of other prisoners.

The guidance, issued by Michael Spurr, the director of operations of the Prison Service, makes it clear that Skyclad (naked pagan worship) will not be permitted. Prison staff have been told that pagan artefacts should be treated with respect.
the rest

Split over New Hampshire Church Leader extends prelates’ reach

About 140 people attended, several of them coming forward to kiss the bishop’s hand and be anointed with oil.


Turnout was so high, church workers had to pull out extra chairs and get more communion bread.
In his message, Lyons alluded to the challenges the congregation has faced since it was launched this summer by dissatisfied Episcopalians.

“We’re under persecution because we’re trusting the Lord and we’re believing the Scriptures,” he said.

Despite it all, he encouraged the crowd to “keep the joy of the Lord.”

The Bolivian bishop didn’t seek or receive permission to minister in the territory of Kentucky Bishop Ted Gulick, but he said such a request was unnecessary.

“We don’t recognize the Episcopal Church as our representative here,” he said.

The rest at titusonenine

Stem Cell Test Tried on Mice Saves Embryo
By NICHOLAS WADE

Scientists have devised two new techniques to derive embryonic
stem cells in mice, one of which avoids the destruction of the embryo, a development that could have the potential to shift the grounds of the longstanding political debate about human stem cell research.

The destruction of embryos is a principal objection of anti-abortion advocates who have strenuously opposed federal financing of the research.

The second new technique manipulates embryos so they are inherently incapable of implanting in the uterus, what some see as a possible ethical advantage in the proposed therapy, which converts a patient's skin cell into embryonic cells and then new tissues to repair the body. Both methods are described in today's online edition of Nature.

The technique for making embryonic stem cells without compromising the embryo has yet to be adapted to people, but the two species are very similar at this level of embryonic development. "I can't think of a reason why the technique would not theoretically work in humans," said Brigid L. M. Hogan, an embryologist at Duke University.

If it does work in people, which could take many months to find out, the technique might divide the anti-abortion movement into those who accept or reject
in vitro fertilization, because the objection to deriving human embryonic stem cells would come to rest on creating the embryos in the first place, not on their destruction. The rest

Sunday, October 16, 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


Personal Godliness
Urgently do we need a revival of personal godliness. This is, indeed, the secret of church prosperity. When individuals fall from their steadfastness, the church is tossed to and fro; when personal faith is steadfast, the church abides true to her Lord.It is upon the truly godly and spiritual that the future of religion depends in the hand of God. Oh, for more truly holy men, quickened and filled with the Holy Spirit, consecrated to the Lord and sanctified by His truth.Brethren, we must each one live if the church is to be alive; we must live unto God if we expect to see the pleasure of the Lord prospering in our hands. Sanctified men are the salt of society and the saviours of the race.
--CH Spurgeon

Jesus warned that "if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you."

(I-Newswire) - This year, hundreds of Christians will face jail, enslavement, and death while we lay on a beach, sunbathing and sipping our cold drink through multi-coloured straws, or while we sit in a comfy office with the only worry to trouble us being whether we are sitting too close to the PC monitor.

The mainstream media of many countries appear to be content to remain silent. How many newspapers were silent while North Korean, Kim Il Sung, ordered the death of Christians who were slowly run over, feet first, by steam rollers because they would not renounce their faith.

Archbishop Gary Beaver of the Old Catholic Church of Great Britain stated “Christian persecution is growing at an alarming rate. More Christians are persecuted and martyred for their faith in this century than all previous centuries combined. It is estimated that over 160,000 were killed last year alone. Yet, the Body of Christ, the men and women of faith that make up the Church Universal, of all denominations, are strangely silent as a unified body while their Christian brothers and sisters are persecuted”.

Today, over 2.7 billion people are living in nations where freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association are unknown concepts, an environment where a reality of freedom of faith is not known or understood. Recent estimates report 200 million Christians around the world face actual persecution, and another 350 million face discrimination and restrictions.
The rest