Saturday, February 04, 2006

"Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you," says Peter. If we do think it strange concerning the things we meet with, it is because we are craven-hearted. We have discreet affinities that keep us out of the mire - I won't stoop, I won't bend. You do not need to, you can be saved by the skin of your teeth if you like; you can refuse to let God count you as one separated unto the gospel. Or you may say - "I do not care if I am treated as the offscouring of the earth as long as the Gospel is proclaimed." A servant of Jesus Christ is one who is willing to go to martyrdom for the reality of the gospel of God. When a merely moral man or woman comes in contact with baseness and immorality and treachery, the recoil is so desperately offensive to human goodness that the heart shuts up in despair. The marvel of the Redemptive Reality of God is that the worst and the vilest can never get to the bottom of His love. Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but "to reveal His Son in me."

Oswald Chambers Art


"The Steering Committee of the Anglican Alliance of North Florida met Jan. 29-31 for prayer and planning concerning the next steps for the continually expanding Alliance. Out of this time came a renewed commitment to a unified Anglican presence in North Florida, and to cooperation for shared ministry. The Steering Committee believes that the Alliance is called to lay the groundwork for what an emerging American Anglican Church will look like in North Florida. To this end, the Alliance will continue to draw together churches with various Anglican affiliations, including the Anglican Communion Network, the Anglican Mission in , overseas Anglican Provinces, and what have been called the “continuing” Anglican Churches."

Press release found here at Connecticut Six

Florida Parish, Diocese Reach Facility Accord

The Diocese of Florida and Grace Church, Orange Park have reached an agreement over the use of the parish facilities, following a majority vote by the congregation to withdraw from the Episcopal Church. The agreement, to be signed in the next few days, permits the congregation to worship at its present facilities through Easter, according to the Rev. Canon Kurt Dunkle.

In a Feb. 2 letter to his congregation, the rector of Grace Church, the Rev. Sam Pascoe, wrote that vacating the property would prevent unseemly litigation “with which the diocese has repeatedly threatened us,” and avoids the specter of a poor witness within the community. The agreement also allows the congregation of 1,500 to “make effective plans” for its future.

Portions of 10 congregations in the Diocese of Florida have quit the Episcopal Church since 2004, citing the actions of the 74th General Convention and subsequent decisions by the Rt. Rev. John Howard. Clergy, lay leaders and communicants from Grace Church, Orange Park; St. Michael’s, Gainesville; St. James’, MacClenny; and St. Bartholomew’s, High Springs, have withdrawn from the diocese; as have St. Luke's and St. John's in Tallahassee; and All Souls’, Calvary, Nativity, and Redeemer in Jacksonville.
The rest

Friday, February 03, 2006

Our loving Lord is not just present, but nearer than thought can imagine - so near that a whisper can reach Him. . . our Very Present Help will not disappoint us. For Thou, Lord, hast never failed them that seek Thee. Amy Carmichael Art

With Gentleness and Respect
By Matt Kennedy+

We must always be prepared, says Peter, to give an answer for the hope that lies within us with gentleness and respect.

Peter is speaking to tone and intent. Gentleness must mark both the language we use and the intent of our hearts. Likewise we must not only speak respectfully, but also truly respect our interlocutors.

There are no exceptions.

Gentleness and respect are rare and difficult commodities these days in ECUSA. Personally speaking, I’ve failed dreadfully over the last few months on numerous occasions.

At the same time there is a counterfeit application of Peter's command. The counterfeit seeks always to hide rather than answer for the hope within.
The rest

San Diego Parish's Departure 'Totally Unexpected'

The Diocese of San Diego has not decided how it will respond to the Jan. 30 announcement that the rector and congregation of St. Anne’s in Oceanside, Calif., are no longer affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the diocese.

In a press release issued that same day, St. Anne’s Anglican Church said it had no plans to move from its current location and is “now under the jurisdictional oversight” of the Rt. Rev. Frank Lyons, Bishop of Bolivia in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. The church voted by a 97 percent majority the day before to leave.

“This was totally unexpected,” said Howard Smith, canon for administration, finance and communications for the Diocese of San Diego. “The Bishop [the Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes] has implored these people to stay at the table and talk. That is the only way there will be reconciliation. We are trying to ask ourselves what made Fr. [Anthony] Baron do this. We are trying to do what we can for the people at this point.”

the rest-The Living Church

The Importance of Embracing the Windsor Report

Recently, Bishop Lipscomb published his reflections on the Windsor Report and asked the Diocese to become a Windsor Diocese. However, many are still trying to understand what the Windsor Report says, what it means to embrace the Windsor Report as our Bishop has encouraged us to do, and why it is important to follow our Bishop's lead. The best and simplest answer that I can give is that the Windsor Report is the Anglican Communion's last-ditch attempt to avoid schism due to the crisis caused by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) and the Anglican Church in Canada (ACiC). Schism can be avoided only if all of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion accept the recommendations of the Windsor Report unconditionally. So, what does the Windsor Report do?

The Windsor Report does several things: first, it clarifies what our Anglican Tradition is and re-establishes our classical understanding of our Tradition as founded upon Scripture, Tradition, and Reason; it defines what it means to be a "Communion" and calls us to continue as a "Communion" verses a "Federation"; and finally it is an attempt to correct two erring Provinces and apply biblical discipline for the purpose of reconciliation and avoiding schism.
Found at Drell's Descants

The rest-excellent analysis of the Windsor Report!

Australia at Risk of a Bed Bug 'Pandemic'
Feb 3, 7:34 AM (ET)

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Planning a vacation to Australia? Consider bringing your own bedsheets. Pest control operators have reported a 1,000 percent increase over the last four years in the number of bed bug infestations reported and treated, according to Stephen Doggett, a head scientist with the Department of Medical Entomology at Sydney's Westmead hospital.

Doggett said Australia and other countries are at risk of a "worldwide pandemic" of bed bugs, due largely to an increase in the number of tourists arriving from developing countries where the biting bugs are common.

"Bed bugs have been an ongoing problem in Third World nations and so it's likely that, just because of the huge amount of people movement, there's been a great opportunity for bed bugs to be carried round the world," Doggett said.

Megachurch Myths Dispelled in New Report
Friday, Feb. 3, 2006
Posted: 10:01:08AM EST

Researchers found that there are nearly twice as many known megachurches now than there were just five years ago, raising the number of U.S.-based megachurches to at least 1,200.

According to Megachurches Today 2005, a joint project released today by Hartford Seminary and the Leadership Network, there are about 1,210 Protestant Churches in the United States with an average weekly attendance of over 2,000.

“That is nearly double the number of megachurches that existed five years ago,” said Warren Bird, Director of Research at Leadership Network.

Satanic cult sentenced for Italy killings
01 February 2006

ITALY: Five Satanic cult members received heavy prison sentences today for killing the singer of their amateur rock band and two other women in brutal ritual murders that shocked Italy.

Nicola Sapone, one of the leaders of the Beasts of Satan rock band, was sentenced to life behind bars for the double homicide in 1998 of singer Fabio Tollis and his girlfriend Chiara MariNo
The group had apparently believed that Marino, who was stabbed to death under a full moon, was the personification of the Virgin Mary. She was 19.


Another Adult Stem Cell Breakthrough: Lupus Successes
By Terry Vanderheyden
February 2, 2006

( – A young woman and lupus sufferer is praising a new adult stem cell treatment that she credits with giving back her life.

Edjuana Ross, now 33, was diagnosed with the autoimmune condition known as systemic lupus erythematosus – lupus for short – soon after graduating from high school. She was one of 48 people who received the experimental therapy – a stem-cell transplant from her own bone marrow.

Ross said she has been in remission since recovering from her stem cell treatment done in 2003. “I’m just trying to get used to being well, and it’s a very weird feeling,” she said, according to an Associated Press report. Thirty-three of the 48 patients with lupus who received the groundbreaking treatment from Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital have been symptom free ever since.

New Kind of Priest to Serve Rappers, Nightclubs & “Hoodies”
The Church of England has today unveiled plans for a new initiative to spread Christianity to rappers, nightclubs and the “hoodies” of the shopping arcades.
Posted: Friday, February 3 , 2006, 13:57 (UK)

The Church of England has today unveiled plans for a new initiative to spread Christianity to rappers, nightclubs and the “hoodies” of the shopping arcades.

The new form of priest called, “pioneering ministers” are part of the “Fresh Expressions” initiative, which has been backed by the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.

These new ministers are to receive special training before ordination, preparing them for their mission field- not the traditional parish church, but the housing estates, skateboard parks, pubs and cafes.

The Archbishop of Canterbury wants to make the church appeal more to people whose faith may have lapsed and those with virtually no contact with organised religion.
The rest

Prescription for Tolerance
Is Moral Judgment a Mental Disorder?
By Allan Dobras
February 2, 2006

It was bound to happen. In the span of a single generation, we have seen the practice of sodomy evolve from a bizarre sexual behavior to a normative alternative lifestyle; from illegality to a constitutional right; from the closet to the boardroom; from tolerance to promotion; and lastly, from the bathhouse to the marriage altar. The next step, which is already in process, is reminiscent of a Soviet-style “reeducation” program.

According to a December 10, 2005, Washington Post article, “
Psychiatry Ponders Whether Extreme Bias Can Be an Illness,” it seems there is a serious move afoot to formally designate those who are repulsed by homosexual practice as suffering from a pathological neurosis—“homophobia.” In other words, a person who views the legitimization of homosexuality as sinful, immoral, or destructive to society may have a mental disorder!

the rest

Lay Liberalism and the Future of Evangelicalism
Albert Mohler
Friday, February 03, 2006

With amazing regularity, the national media take notice of the fact that, generally speaking, America's conservative churches are growing while the more liberal churches are losing members. If this is news, it is almost a half-century old by now. What is going on?

Observers of American church life notice this striking phenomenon--the high levels of lay involvement in evangelical churches. Against the backdrop of decline and membership losses in the more liberal denominations, trends related to attendance, giving, and active participation among church members are setting evangelical churches apart from larger trends. Why?

Liberal churches and denominations are suffering massive membership losses and the evacuation of active church members from congregational life. While some observers are interested only in the levels of church attendance and membership, others note that active participation in the life and ministry of the church is directly linked to long-term involvement and attendance.
The rest!

Appellate Ruling Affirms Florida Citizen's Right to Host Home Prayer Meetings
By Allie Martin
February 2, 2006

(AgapePress) - A Florida county will have to revamp its land use ordinance after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the law not only too vague but also in violation of a federal statute.

Five years ago, officials in Orange County, Florida, ordered Rabbi Joseph Konikov to stop holding prayer meetings in his home, claiming that in holding these gatherings he was violating local laws. Then, in May 2002, after officials refused to negotiate a settlement, Konikov sued the County.


Hamas alarms Bethlehem's Christians
By Betsy Pisik
February 3, 2006

BETHLEHEM, West Bank -- While Israelis struggle to come to terms with the election of Hamas in Palestinian elections last week, another group also is worried by the rise of the avowedly Islamist organization -- the Christian Arab minority centered here in Jesus' birthplace.

The Palestinian draft constitution of 2003 establishes Islam as the official religion while noting that Christianity will be "equally revered." It also names Islamic Sharia law as "a major source for legislation."

The secular Fatah government, which drafted the language, posed little threat to the estimated 30,000 Christians living in the West Bank and Gaza. But some are wondering whether Hamas will use the articles to make their daily lives more difficult.

"I know they are not Taliban," said one Bethlehem mother of two, who did not want her name used. "But I wonder what they mean by 'Islamic.' We are Christian, we don't want trouble."

The rest

No school, no books, no teacher's dirty looks
By Traci Tamura and Thelma Gutierrez CNN
Friday, February 3, 2006

CNN) -- It's a child's dream. Wake up whenever you want, with nobody telling you what to do and when to do it. And here's the kicker: No school to rush off to.

Welcome to the world of "unschooling" -- an educational movement where kids, not parents, not teachers, decide what they will learn that day.

"I don't want to sound pompous, but I think I am learning a little bit more, because I can just do everything at my own pace," said Nailah Ellis, a 10-year-old from Marietta, Georgia, who has been unschooled for most of her life.

Nailah's day starts about 11 a.m., her typical wake-up time. She studies Chinese, reading, writing, piano and martial arts. But there's no set schedule. She works on what she wants, when she wants. She'll even watch some TV -- science documentaries are a favorite -- until her day comes to an end about 2 a.m.
The rest

Iraq Christians on edge as cartoon row escalates
By Ahmed Rasheed

(Reuters) - Iraq's Christians are bracing for attacks on their ancient community, fearful that deadly bombings of their churches last month were linked to Muslim fury over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad published in Europe."

The church blasts were a reaction to the cartoons published in European papers. But Christians are not responsible for what is published in Europe," Louis Sako, the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, told Reuters in the northern city.

"Innocent people were killed because of these cartoons ... this is terror," he said, referring to car bombings at several churches last month that killed three people and wounded 17.

The caricatures of Mohammad published in European newspapers have enraged Muslims worldwide, including Iraq, where al Qaeda and other militant groups have been launching spectacular suicide bombs since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
The rest

Gay Marriage Ban Fails in Md.
GOP Sponsor Vows to Revive Measure With Parliamentary Ploys

By Matthew Mosk and Robert Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, February 3, 2006

A measure that would have put a same-sex marriage ban on the November ballot died yesterday in a hail of parliamentary maneuvers as tempers flared in the Maryland House of Delegates over an issue that carried implications both deeply personal and broadly political.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) abruptly halted the morning floor session after learning that Republicans had gathered enough signatures to petition the measure to the floor for a debate.

Bishops fear over clergy burnout threat
Date: Feb 3
By Michael Brownand Jonathan Wynne-Jones

CLERGY are working too hard and more of them could find their marriages breaking down as a result, a bishop has warned. The Bishop of Hulme, the Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, is so concerned at the potential “burnout” of priests and the effects on their families that he has called for a national debate on their plight. In an article published in this month’s edition of CRUX, the Manchester diocesan magazine, he said that clergy have not got the “life/work balance” right.

Last week, a survey revealed that more than half of clergy wives have suffered from work overload, but the Bishop’s comments highlight the challenges faced by the clergy family. “I know some clergy who never take holidays, are not happy about leaving their church to other priests’ care. And I know some clergy families who feel they always come second to the job and suffer as a result.” Bishop Lowe continued: “Clergy marriages are not supposed to break down or go through choppy waters. Clergy children shouldn’t make demands on their parents that take them away from the parish – the excuse that ‘I need to put my child to bed tonight’ doesn’t seem convincing.”
The rest

Boycott NBC: Not By Coincidence, the Network Bashing Christianity
February 02, 2006 02:16 PM EST
by Michael J. Gaynor
NBC contemptuously and contemptibly chooses to bash Christianity and to ridicule Christian beliefs and values for profit and fun. It is a network that good people of all faiths should shun, unless and until it really repents what it has done and swears to refrain from doing it again. In "The Lord's Prayer," Jesus said, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Likesome noxious NBC programming. NBC, the acronym for National Broadcasting Company, is determined to mock Christianity. So boycott NBC as long as it remains the Network Bashing Christianity!

The people responsible for NBC programming have their own sacrilegious agenda, and bashing Christianity is at the top. They want to "protect" the "right" to blaspheme. Theirs is the secular extremist agenda that denies God and mocks religion, especially the Judeo-Christian tradition on which America was founded. The rest

Review: NBC Drama is 'Gay Agenda' Soap Box, Knocks Catholicism
By Randall Murphree
February 2, 2006

(AgapePress) - NBC's drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit used its December 6 episode to champion same-sex parenthood while heaping disrespect and shame on the Catholic faith.

Detectives Stabler and Benson (series stars) get the case of Shawn Hammil, a 12-year-old St. Victor's Catholic School sixth-grader, who is dumped from a speeding car near the hospital. He has been stabbed in the back. The rest

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Presentation of the Lord

1 "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.

2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.

Malachi 3:1-4 art

Rep. Bartlett Wins Support to Ban Abortion Pill
Thursday, February 02, 2006
By Elissa Petruzzi

WASHINGTON — Not only is the abortion pill
RU-486 killing babies, Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett said Wednesday, it's now known to kill their mothers and should be banned immediately.

Bartlett held a news conference Wednesday to boost passage of his legislation, commonly known as "Holly's Law," which calls for the
Food and Drug Administration's suspension of RU-486.
"I don't want it on the market," the pro-life Republican said. "We need to be responsible. We need to move on this. This is a very modest bill."
the rest

Partial Birth Abortion Act Ruled Unconstitutional by U.S. Courts

Two federal appeals courts yesterday upheld rulings that the Partial Birth Abortion Act, passed by Congress in 2003 but barred by the courts, is unconstitutional because it does not include an exception when the health of a pregnant woman is at risk.

The rulings, which came on the same day from three-judge panels in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, and the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, were substantially based on a United States Supreme Court decision in a Nebraska case in 2000. In that case, the Supreme Court found that any abortion ban must include an exception allowing a procedure that involves a partly delivered fetus after the first trimester of
pregnancy, known among opponents as partial birth abortion, when alternative methods could endanger the woman's health.

Since the appeals court for the Eighth Circuit, in St. Louis, reached a similar conclusion last July, the three legal challenges nationwide to the abortion act have now been affirmed on appeal. This month the Supreme Court several times postponed deciding whether to hear the Eighth Circuit case.
The rest

Kirkuk Bishop Sees "a Church of Martyrs"
FEB. 1, 2006

( Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk says the Christian community in Iraq is becoming "once again a Church of martyrs," after Sunday's car bomb attacks.

Three people died and more than 20 were injured when bombers targeted six churches in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk.

Describing the "astonishing courage" of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants alike, Archbishop Sako, 57, spoke of the defiance of his faithful, who "would not be pushed out of Iraq" by acts of aggression.

After presiding at the funeral of 14-year-old Fadi Raad Elias, who died in the blasts, the archbishop described how people packed the Kirkuk cathedral to show "they were even more attached to Christianity than ever before."

The prelate told the charity Aid to the Church in Need that his faithful were consoled by the many Muslims who attended the funeral, even Muslim women, which, he said, was very unusual.

The archbishop said that he had given money from Aid to the Church in Need to grieving families and friends struggling to pay for the funeral and lacking essential needs.

"They felt so grateful," he said. "For them, it was an important symbol of solidarity. It means they are not isolated."

Evangelicals Will Not Take Stand on Global Warming
By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 2, 2006

The National Association of Evangelicals said yesterday that it has been unable to reach a consensus on global climate change and will not take a stand on the issue, disappointing environmentalists who had hoped that evangelical Christians would prod the Bush administration to soften its position on global warming.

Over the past four years a growing number of evangelical groups have embraced environmental causes, urging Christians to engage in "Creation care" and campaigning against gas-guzzling SUVs with advertisements asking, "What would Jesus drive?"
The rest

The Big Business of Making Babies
Albert Mohler
Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Brave New World we now experience is filled with a myriad of moral dilemmas--and none demands more urgent attention than those related to human reproduction and the massive technological advances that are related to human fertility and babies.

In one sense, these moral dilemmas directly affect only a small percentage of the American population. The vast majority of babies born in the United States are conceived through natural means--completely without the assistance of reproductive technologies. Nevertheless, a growing number of American couples find themselves facing difficulty conceiving and bearing a child. Furthermore, homosexual couples--both male and female--increasingly demand a "right" to have children, and these are joined by some unmarried individuals who have similar access to these technologies.
the rest

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"In the shadow of His hand He hid me." What a beautiful picture of the loving, nurturing care with which God surrounds His children. It is as though the hand of God were cupped over each of us, forming its protective shield against all danger, affording us shelter from the blazing heat of adversity. Because we are hidden in the shadow of His hand, no foe can alarm us, no harm can befall us. Under His protecting hand we are safe from every evil that would assail us. The shadow of His hand affords peace and rest. For Jesus' sake, the hand that casts the shadow removes from us our every burden of guilt and shame. In the shadow of His hand we find spiritual refreshment, for there we feed on His Word, and there we are blessed by His Spirit, who restores our souls and renews our hearts. Isa 49:2

The Episcopal Church Endorses Abortion
By Rick Harris, O.P.
Stand Firm Alabama

"Recently, the ECUSA Executive Council clearly told us that in its inclusivity our church does not make any room for a pro-life point of view. With respect to the emotionally-charged issue of abortion, the Episcopal Church categorically rejects any viewpoint other than unfettered support for abortion on demand. At its January 9-12 meeting in des Moines, Iowa, the Executive Committee formally made the Episcopal Church a member of the
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, a group that works against abortion restrictions and opposes the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito."

Excellent!-don't miss this! Essay at Stand Firm

Conservative Anglican Group: Regardless Who Is Next Presiding Bishop, ECUSA Loses
By Jim Brown
February 1, 2006

AgapePress) - A conservative Anglican group says the four bishops who have been nominated to be the Episcopal Church USA's new leader are "committed theological revisionists." None of them, says the group, are willing to adhere to the authority of scripture or lead the denomination towards repentance.

Bishop Henry Parsley of Alabama is the only nominee who voted against the 2003 ordination of the denomination's first openly homosexual bishop, V. Gene Robinson -- a move which has alienated conservative Episcopalians and Anglicans worldwide. The other nominees are Bishop J. Neil Alexander of Atlanta, Bishop Edwin Gulick of Kentucky, and Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of Las Vegas. Schori is the first woman nominated to head ECUSA. The
American Anglican Council (AAC) says it is "deeply disturbed" that none on the slate of candidates is "representative of orthodox Anglicanism."

Cynthia Brust with the AAC says the three who voted to consecrate the homosexual bishop more than two years ago also voted against a resolution to affirm the authority of scripture and other basic tenets of the Christian faith. And Parsley's actions, she asserts, "belie his claims of orthodoxy."
The rest

Women Sue Wal-Mart Over Contraception
By Associated Press

BOSTON -- Backed by abortion rights groups, three Massachusetts women sued Wal-Mart on Wednesday, accusing the retail giant of violating a state regulation by failing to stock emergency contraception pills in its pharmacies. The lawsuit, filed in state court, seeks to force the company to carry the morning-after pill in its 44 Wal-Marts and four Sam Club stores in Massachusetts.

The rest

Government’s Religious Hatred Bill Defeated; Christians Rejoice
Evangelicals and Christian groups were celebrating last night after news that the government’s Racial and Religious Hatred Bill was rejected by the House of Commons.
Posted: Wednesday, February 1 , 2006, 9:55 (UK)

Evangelicals and Christian groups were celebrating last night after news that the government’s Racial and Religious Hatred Bill was rejected by the House of Commons.

Tony Blair faced up to a dramatic defeat last night after he failed to cast the vote that would have saved his Government from defeat over plans to create the new legislation.

Official voting records showed Blair did not enter the voting lobbies as MPs gave backing to a series of safeguards designed to water down the Bill by a majority of just one.

It was revealed that Blair voted in the first of two divisions on Lords amendments to the Bill, only to see the Government lose by 288 to 278, a majority of 10. However, Blair failed to vote in a second division when MPs voted by 283 votes to 282, a majority of one, to back safeguards inserted by peers. Had he voted, it would have left the division tied, leaving the Speaker to exercise a casting vote, which is something not witnessed since 1993.

Partial Birth Abortion Law Struck Down in Two Courts
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2006 Posted: 1:39:55PM EST

Two federal courts ruled on Tuesday that the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003, which bans a certain type of late-term abortion, is unconstitutional, putting two cases on track to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld lower court rulings that the law was invalid because it did not provide an exception when the health of the mother was in danger.

The Partial Birth Abortion Act, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Bush, had already been ruled illegal in a previous court decision. That case has been appealed to the Supreme Court but the Justices are still considering whether to take it up. Tuesday’s rulings were the second and third cases in which the law was ruled as violating the constitution.

With the appointments of two conservative Supreme Court justices in recent months, observers will be looking to see how the court tackles the abortion issue. Justice Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. on Tuesday replaced Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who supported legalized abortion.
The rest

Some headlines at The Voice of the Martyrs website

*Serious Injuries as Christian Prayer Meeting Raided in India
*Homes Burned and Christians Beaten in Orissa, India
*Orphan Dies as Indian Orphanage Stoned
*Bishop and Three Priests Pelted with Stones in India

read the stories here and pray for our brothers and sisters in India

February 01, 2006 12:03 AM EST
by Michelle Malkin

Something very important is happening in Denmark -- a showdown over freedom, tolerance, and their wolfish menaces in religious clothing. So, please, turn off "American Idol," put down the Game Boy for a moment, and pay attention. This does affect you.

Last October, a Danish newspaper called the Jyllands-Posten published a dozen cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. The illustrations included various depictions of the prophet Muhammad, some innocuous (Muhammad walking in a pasture) and a few with provocative references to radical Islamic terrorism. One showed Muhammad with a bomb in his turban; another had Muhammad wielding a sword in front of two, wide-eyed Muslim women covered in black abayas; another featured a cartoonist hunched over his desk, sweating in fear, as he drew Muhammad in suicide bomb-like apparel.

The newspaper was making a vivid editorial point about European artists' fear of retaliation for drawing any pictures of Muhammad at all. (Remember: It's been a little over a year since Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered by an Islamist gunman over his movie criticizing violence against women in Islamic societies.) A Danish author had reported last fall that he couldn't find an illustrator for a book about Muhammad; the Jyllands-Posten editors rose to the challenge by calling on artists to send in their submissions and publishing the 12 entries they received in response (available at

The reaction to the cartoons has resoundingly confirmed the fears those artists expressed about radical Islamic intolerance and violence. In fact, the Jyllands-Posten reported, two of the illustrators received death threats and went into hiding. The Pakistani Jamaaat-e-Islami party placed a 5,000-kroner bounty on the cartoonists' heads. A terrorist outfit called the "Glory Brigades" has threatened suicide bombings in Denmark over the artwork.
The rest

Jesus Sells: The Real Reason for Kanye’s Rap
January 31, 2006 09:56 PM EST
by Nathan Tabor

Kanye West’s song “Jesus Walks’ won him a Grammy award in 2005. In his song, he spouts his faith in Jesus, peppering his theme that ‘Jesus walks with everyone’ throughout his lyrics.

Now, we have Kanye posing as Jesus on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. Is Kanye motivated by a devout need to bring Jesus back to the people? Is he trying to revive faith in Jesus in our youth? Not likely. Kanye West is out to sell his music, out to make as much money as he possibly can and build his own wealth.

Kanye has figured out that Jesus Sells.
The rest

Attendance Declines Put 20/20 Goals in Jeopardy

Just 11 of the Episcopal Church’s 100 domestic dioceses had an increase in average Sunday attendance (ASA) from 2003 to 2004, figures released by the Episcopal Church Center indicate, with attendance for the whole Church declining by 3.3 percent.Church-wide attendance information was released last summer, but the attendance information for each
diocese has only recently been made available.

The missionary Diocese of Navajoland experienced the sharpest percentage increase among all dioceses in 2004, increasing its ASA by 10.4 percent, followed by North Dakota at 4.0 percent. Other dioceses that had an increase in ASA were South Carolina at 3.1 percent, Western Kansas at 2.9 percent, Southwestern Virginia 1.8, Quincy 1.6, Dallas 1.4, Nevada 0.7, Western Michigan 0.6, Wyoming 0.6, and Alabama 0.1.
The rest

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

For all the strong and courageous churches taking a stand to remain faithful to Holy Scripture whatever the cost:

One of the greatest obstacles we face in following Christ is fear of the unknown. We yearn to know in advance the outcome of our obedience and where He is taking us, yet we are given only the assurance that He is with us and that He is in charge. And with that, we venture into the unknown with Him.

Abraham modeled the response of a person who is willing to walk with God into an uncertain future. "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8).

Abraham knew that God had called him and had given him a promise—and that was enough. He was willing to entrust his future to the Lord.

We may do the same by trusting our Lord for the future and stepping out in faith. As we stand on the threshold of a new year, may this prayer of faith and anticipation be ours:

O Lord God, who has called us, Your servants,
To ventures of which we cannot see the ending,
By paths as yet untrodden,
And through perils unknown,
Give us faith to go out with good courage,
Not knowing where we go
But only that Your hand is leading us
And Your love is supporting us. Amen.
—David McCasland

Meditation found here
(Thank you David!)

St. Anne's Church Aligns with Worldwide Anglican Communion
News from St. Anne’s Church Contact: Joan Gast
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Phone: 760-966-2950

St. Anne’s Church Aligns with Worldwide Anglican Communion

Oceanside, Calif. – January 30, 2006 – St. Anne’s Church, a biblically orthodox church, affirms its membership in the Worldwide Anglican Communion and will no longer be affiliated with the Episcopal Church USA or the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. The church is now under the jurisdictional oversight of the Rt. Rev. Frank Lyons, Bishop of the Diocese of Bolivia in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. The Diocese, and the Province led by Archbishop Greg Venables, are members of the mainstream 77 million-member Anglican Communion which has churches in 164 countries. The Episcopal Church USA only represents about three percent of the Anglican Communion.

St. Anne’s, a church body of 250 members, has remained steadfast and loyal in their commitment to the Holy Scripture, the historic teachings of Christianity and the Anglican Communion for over 100 years. However, the Episcopal Church USA has chosen a path that no longer reflects the membership’s steadfast faith.

“We are a biblically orthodox church that accepts Jesus Christ as the One and Only Lord and Savior, and acknowledges the authority of the Holy Scripture as the Word of God,” said Connie Fowle, a congregational leader. “Our devotion is to God, not to an institution. When an institution no longer represents our understanding of God’s Word and His Will, we must have the courage and faith to stand by our convictions. That time has come.”

The church members and board of directors overwhelmingly made this decision with the support of their pastor, The Rev. Tony Baron, reflecting the desire of the church to stand firm on its religious convictions.
The rest at Connecticut Six

And: Church of the Nativity Disassociates from

Is new AOL IM slogan marketing blasphemy?
'I AM' pitch takes God's name in vain, say some shocked critics
Posted: January 31, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern

When Ian Millar opened up his AOL Instant Messenger program yesterday and linked to the new AIM Triton site, he wasn't prepared for what he saw.

"I have been an AIM customer for many years, and although I do not use AOL for my mail client, I have recommended it for relatives and friends," he said in a letter to top executives of the company. "In general, I appreciate AOL and your business savvy."

But when Millar saw the company's new slogan, he was shocked and disgusted. He was not alone.
The rest

The 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2005
What do exorcists, terrorists, caped crusaders, and a talking lion have in common? They're all characters in some of the year's most redeeming movies, presented here in our second annual list.

posted 01/31/2006

So, we put our heads together to come up with the 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2005, and what a diverse list it is. Our second annual such list includes everything from brutal boxing to wheelchair rugby. Everything from exorcists to terrorists. Everything from a mysterious caped crusader with a penchant for justice, to a wide-eyed young boy with a heart for compassion. And a talking lion.

What do we mean by "redeeming" films? They're all stories of redemption—sometimes blatantly, sometimes less so. Several of them literally have a character that represents a redeemer. And with some of them, the redemption thread is buried beneath the surface; you might have to look a bit harder for it, but it's most certainly there. Some of them are "feel-good" movies that leave a smile on your face; some might leave you with more of a contemplative frown, asking, "How should I process that?"

See the list here

Google Holds Copies of All Emails and All Websites Visited
By Terry Vanderheyden

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California, January 30, 2006 ( – Some commentators are describing Google, the world’s most used internet search engine, as “scary,” after learning that the internet giant stores web search history and e-mails.

The UK’s Times on Line reported that Google keeps an “extraordinary amount” of user information. Google logs searches on its search engine, storing the information “indefinitely.”

“Because every computer has a unique IP (internet protocol) address, every visit to every website can be traced back to the computer making it – a fact which is well known in geek circles but remarkably under-publicised outside them,” the Times article explained.
Google’s alternative to hotmail, their new free e-mail service, Gmail, stores all e-mails indefinitely on their server. The company already admits to scanning e-mails in order to send targeted advertising.

Missionaries of Learning
Why Christians Must Be ‘People of the Book’
January 31, 2006

Ever wonder what Jesus meant when He said, “Let him who has ears, hear?” Well, an experience relayed to me by my good friend R. C. Sproul helps us understand the words of Jesus in today’s culture.

Some years ago, Sproul offered a rigorous course in Romans. Two hundred serious disciples signed up. Half-way through the course, Sproul took a week off to enroll in Evangelism Explosion (EE) courses. When he came back, he told his students about EE, including conversation openers like, “Why should God let you into heaven?” On a whim, he asked class members how they would answer.

Anyone who knows Sproul knows he teaches the great evangelical doctrine in Romans, justification by faith alone, in unmistakable terms. Every student should have known the answer. Not so. There were awkward pauses; some people mumbled about living a good life. Only thirty out of two hundred answered correctly. How could this be?

the rest at Breakpoint

Pro-Homosexual School Posters Fostering 'Intolerance,' Says Family Advocate
CFI Leader Says It's Wrong to Imply Teachers Approve of Dangerous Lifestyle
By Jim Brown and Jody Brown
January 30, 2006

(AgapePress) - A pro-family leader says five public school teachers in the San Francisco Bay area are putting their jobs on the line to protect their students from "propaganda" that homosexual activists have forced into the classroom.

Five teachers at San Leandro High School have refused to abide by a school district order to display a rainbow flag poster in their classrooms. The notebook paper-sized poster sports the logo for the
San Leandro Unified School District (SLUSD) as well as the inverted pink triangle, an international symbol for "gay pride." Addressing itself to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, [and] questioning youth," the poster reads: "This is a safe place to be who you are. This sign affirms that support and resources are available for you in this school." the rest

Palestinian Christians Need Our Prayers

I have a real burden to ask all of you to write down "Palestinian Christians" on your prayer lists. The reason is because yesterday we found out that Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections instead of Fatah.

This victory for the terrorists Hamas are, isn't good for any Christian who lives in or near Palestine. I'm very concerned.

The only other mention of the concern over the Palestinian Christians I have found is an article written on called Christians Anxious Over Hamas Victory. A few passages from that article follow.

Persecution Blog

By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
Jan 31, 2006

More than a decade after the American public started cruising the Web, it is clear that children can find everything from nudity to sites featuring sexual violence and other extremes. For parents, this creates challenges that never existed before: how to keep porn away from young eyes, and what to do when safety measures fail.

"'Kids are exposed to this at incredibly early ages, when their brains are going through profound developmental changes,' says Michael Bradley of Philadelphia, a psychologist and author specializing in childhood and adolescence. 'This has caught parents off guard. (Porn) has always been there, but it's always been in a lower volume,' according to Linda Spillers, AP.
The rest

Another Warning for Parents About On-Line Pornography
Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 2:11 am ET
Albert Mohler

Janet Kornblum of
USA Today warns parents that children as young as grade school are often exposed to on-line pornography.

In "
Porn 'Tidal Wave' Puts Parents to Test," she advises: If your child surfs the Web, chances are he or she already has seen pornography -- maybe even hard-core porn. More than a decade after the American public started cruising the Web, it is clear that children can find everything from nudity to sites featuring sexual violence and other extremes. For parents, this creates challenges that never existed before: how to keep porn away from young eyes, and what to do when safety measures fail. the rest

Primary care about to collapse, physicians warn
Group proposes solutions for changing reimbursement policies for doctors
Updated: 3:14 p.m. ET Jan. 30, 2006

WASHINGTON - Primary care — the basic medical care that people get when they visit their doctors for routine physicals and minor problems — could fall apart in the United States without immediate reforms, the American College of Physicians said Monday.

"Primary care is on the verge of collapse," said the organization, a professional group which certifies internists, in a statement. "Very few young physicians are going into primary care and those already in practice are under such stress that they are looking for an exit strategy."

Dropping incomes coupled with difficulties in juggling patients, soaring bills and policies from insurers that encourage rushed office visits all mean that more primary care doctors are retiring than are graduating from medical school, the ACP said in its report.
The rest

Same-sex couple in tax protest
Refuse to pay on $2 million because they can't get married
Posted: January 31, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern

Calling it an act of civil disobedience, a North Carolina man is refusing to pay federal and state income tax on more than $2 million, claiming discrimination because he can't wed his male partner and receive the deductions granted married couples.

"I think it's unfair because marriage is about love, it's not about two people who are different sexually,"
Charles Merrill, 71, told WND. "Two men can love each other, and two men can love each other just as a man and a woman."


Jew to Lead National Prayer Breakfast

The annual National Prayer Breakfast will be co-chaired by Sen. Norm Coleman, the first time in memory that a Jew will lead the gathering, and at a time when some rabbis have expressed misgivings about what they see as the event's overtly Christian tone.

The breakfast is staged without government funding every year by the Fellowship Foundation, an evangelical Christian group. Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush have attended, along with members of Congress and world leaders. This year, King Abdullah II of Jordan will give the keynote speech at a lunch following the breakfast, which is scheduled for Thursday.

Although the breakfast has historically been a Christian event, Jews have had more of a presence in recent years, including a speech by Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., an orthodox Jew.

Sweeping anti-abortion laws proposed
Jan. 31, 2006 at 9:28AM

Legislators in at least five states are proposing bold anti-abortion measures as the Bush administration reshapes the U.S. Supreme Court, a report said.

With the goal of challenging the Roe vs. Wade ruling that ensured a woman's right to an abortion, lawmakers in Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee propose banning all abortions except when the woman's life is in danger, reported.

If enacted, legal experts said the laws would be the first absolute abortion bans since the landmark 1973 ruling.
The rest

Muslims join plea to reject new religious hatred laws
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 31/01/2006)

An unlikely alliance of humanists, secularists, Muslims and evangelical Christians issued an eleventh-hour plea to MPs to reject the Government's proposed religious hatred legislation.

The appeal will increase the pressure on ministers to make significant concessions when the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill returns to the House of Commons for a critical vote today.

The group say in a letter to The Daily Telegraph today that the Bill, as it currently stands, will undermine free speech in a society where it is vital to allow debate.

"As people with strong views on religion, we know how easy it is to offend those with whom you disagree and how easy it is to resent what others say, and see insult in it," the letter says.

"But we also recognise that a free society must have the scope to debate, criticise, proselytise, insult and even to ridicule belief and religious practices in order to ensure that there is full scope - short of violence or inciting violence or other criminal offences - to tackle these issues."
The rest

Senate confirms Alito to Supreme Court
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 11:27:22 AM

Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. became the nation's 110th Supreme Court justice on Tuesday, confirmed with the most partisan victory in modern history after a fierce battle over the future direction of the high court.

The Senate voted 58-42 to confirm Alito _ a former federal appellate judge, U.S. attorney, and conservative lawyer for the Reagan administration from New Jersey _ as the replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who has been a moderate swing vote on the court.

All but one of the Senate's majority Republicans voted for his confirmation, while all but four of the Democrats voted against Alito.

That is the smallest number of senators in the president's opposing party to support a Supreme Court justice in modern history. Chief Justice John Roberts got 22 Democratic votes last year, and Justice Clarence Thomas _ who was confirmed in 1991 on a 52-48 vote _ got 11 Democratic votes.
The rest

Monday, January 30, 2006

Oh, it is sad for a poor Christian to stand at the door of the promise, in the dark night of affliction, afraid to draw the latch, whereas he should then come boldly for shelter as a child into his father's house. William Gurnall photo

In Jesus the weak are strong, and the defenceless safe; they could not be more strong if they were giants, or more safe if they were in heaven. Faith gives to men on earth the protection of the God of heaven. More they cannot need, and need not wish. The conies cannot build a castle, but they avail themselves of what is there already: I cannot make myself a refuge, but Jesus has provided it, His Father has given it, His Spirit has revealed it, and lo, again tonight I enter it, and am safe from every foe.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon The Spurgeon Archive

All Saints Priest, Parish Continue To Defy Diocese

(Irondequoit, NY) 01/30/06 -- An Episcopal priest from Irondequoit continues to defy an order to step away from his position.

A few days ago, the Episcopal Diocese Of Rochester inhibited The Reverend David Harnish. He is banned from performing duties or leading Sunday services for the next six months.

However, Harnish says he is now under the Anglican Church of Uganda which allows him to carry on. He has also renamed the church to All Saints Anglican.

"It's unfortunate authority here, former authority does not see and recognize the authority of primate of church," he said.

The dispute between the parish and the diocese began when the parish protested the ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire.

The All Saints Property still belongs to the Rochester Episcopal Diocese, but the diocese says it has no plans to lock out Harnish and his parishioners.

Bishop Jack Mckelvey said he is concerned about church records and wants all paperwork about weddings, baptisms, and funerals returned to the diocese.

CoE has 'reaped a harvest of plagues'
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 28/01/2006)

The Church of England has "reaped a harvest of plagues" after abandoning the historic faith and ordaining women as priests, the bishop who leads its traditionalist wing will tell a 2,000-strong rally today.

The Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Rev John Broadhurst, will say that he prophesied 13 years ago that the Church would face serious consequences if women became priests, and worse will follow if they become bishops.

The bishop, who is president of Forward-in-Faith, the traditionalist umbrella organisation, will deliver his warning at a meeting in London a week before a critical General Synod debate on women bishops.
The rest

Episcopal exodus
The exiting clergy and parish leaders say ECUSA has departed from biblical Anglican faith
by Edward E. Plowman

A huge exodus from the Episcopal Church (ECUSA) is underway in the Diocese of Florida, which spans 21 counties across the northern part of the state. Within the past six weeks, more than 20 percent of the diocese's 70-plus congregations from Jacksonville to Tallahassee have voted to leave or announced plans to do so, and still others say they intend to walk this summer, following the ECUSA general convention. ECUSA at that time is expected to reject calls to repent from consecrating an openly gay bishop and from approving blessings for same-sex unions.

The exiting clergy and parish leaders say ECUSA has departed from biblical Anglican faith. They have placed themselves under spiritual oversight of Anglican provinces abroad.

Some of the congregations have voluntarily given up their properties; others vowed to fight to retain theirs. Under church law, the properties belong to the diocese, said Bishop John Howard, who insists he and the diocese are orthodox in faith. He threatened "legal peril" for those who refuse to move out.

D.C. Episcopal diocese OKs same-sex blessings
By Julia Duin
January 29, 2006

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington voted yesterday to approve same-sex blessing ceremonies at its annual convention at the Washington National Cathedral, while the Diocese of Virginia, meeting in Richmond, passed an omnibus resolution that touted unity.

The Washington diocese has unofficially allowed same-sex ceremonies for years, and it has had a same-sex rite on the books since June 2004.

However, that rite has been put on hold until a meeting of the Episcopal General Convention in June in Ohio, when the denomination's future stance on homosexual clergy and same-sex blessings will be decided.
The rest

By J. Grant Swank, Jr.
Jan 30, 2006

When visiting Mennonite friends in central Pennsylvania, they informed us of their grave concern. Because they are born again Christians, life-long Mennonites, they are alarmed at the enemy taking over the Mennonite congregations.

The theological enemy equals homosexuals, practicing homosexuals and those endorsing their lifestyle as God blessed.

So while having breakfast with our friends, Paul showed me a magazine published by the Mennonites. There were numerous letters to the editor exclaiming over the infiltration of homosexuals.

I wondered how this could be. Homosexuals have taken over the Episcopal Church of America so that now the bishop states to media that biblical Episcopalians are "of the devil." The whole apostasy has spread so far as to influence the worldwide Anglican communion.
The rest

Super Bowl Sunday terror chatter high
Release of al-Qaida tapes seen as tip on timing of future attacks
Posted: January 30, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern

WASHINGTON – There is a high likelihood of a major terrorist attack next Sunday, say international terror analysts and intelligence sources.

The warning is made on the basis of several factors, according to
Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin:

There is increased "chatter" in the terrorist world about a major new attack in the West – a sign often leading to an impending strike;
The date Feb. 5 has been specifically referenced in some of this chatter;
The date is significant to Osama bin Laden;
Much of the western world will be watching television that day;
The release of al-Qaida videotapes seems to provide clues about the dates of future attacks and, in this scenario, Feb. 5 becomes the most likely near-term terror strike date.

Terror attacks seem to follow the release of al-Qaida videos by about 30 days. Some intelligence analysts are noting the significance of the release of videos recently by both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The rest

Churches targeted in Iraq blasts

Car bombs have exploded outside the Vatican embassy and near four churches in Iraq, killing at least three people.

The apparently co-ordinated attacks took place within 20 minutes of each other, Iraqi police said.

Three of the bombs went off in the capital Baghdad, while a further two were detonated in the northern oil city of Kirkuk.

All the fatalities reported were in Kirkuk, while at least nine people were wounded in the blasts.
The rest

Man signs voter registration as 'God'
Monday, January 30, 2006 07:25:37 AM

One registered Republican won't be able to vote in the next election unless he appears at a Berks County Elections Board to explain the signature on his registration form.

The man is registered as Paul S. Sewell, but his form is signed "God."

County Solicitor Alan S. Miller said Sewell claims his "God" signature is merely a legal mark like the "X" used by people who are illiterate.

Sewell, 40, said he will be happy to explain. As the owner of a bail enforcement agency, he finds fugitives, he said.

"Whenever I go to arrest somebody, they say, 'Oh, God, give me another chance. Oh, God, let me go. I'll turn myself in tomorrow,'" Sewell said.

He said he thinks his designated mark is legal. "PennDOT accepted it on my driver's license. I have a credit card with it," he said. "It shouldn't be a problem."

Other gods
January 29, 2006 10:44 PM EST
by Erik Rush

Whether one goes back to theater in ancient Greece, the days of Shakespeare, or various other eras, people in the arts have always tended to be eccentric and, well, freaky.

Maybe it’s a left-brain thing. Whether thespians, musicians, comedians, or those in the visual arts, they’ve often tended to lean toward the idiosyncratic and bohemian, libertine lifestyles. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, depending on their perceived social standing within a culture. Celebrity hasn’t always meant what it does today.

As I have mentioned, I was raised on the arts, and did spend some time in the entertainment industry. I even have a fairly close relative who is a gen-u-ine Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famer. I won’t disclose who this individual is, as I imagine they wouldn’t be any happier about this association becoming public than I would, since we embody antithetical lifestyles and points of view.
The rest