Saturday, August 19, 2006


May God grant that we learn day by day to wait more quietly upon Him. Do not wait upon God only for ourselves, or the power to do so will soon be lost; but give ourselves up to the ministry and the love of intercession, and pray more for God’s people, for God’s people round about us, for the Spirit of love in ourselves and in them, and for the work of God we are connected with; and the answer will surely come, and our waiting upon God will be a source of untold blessing and power. “The fruit of the Spirit is love.” Andrew Murray photo

"Greaser Babies"

Too funny! Turn on sound.

Ex-con now leads flock
By Martin Snapp
CONTRA COSTA TIMES

When members of St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Albany met to choose a new pastor, a few were wary of James Tramel's background.

And with good reason. It's not every day a church selects a convicted murderer to be its leader.

"But as soon as you meet him, those fears just fall away," said Becky Osborn-Coolidge, a member of the search committee. "Besides, if you're a Christian, you have to believe in redemption."

Tramel's story of redemption took him from San Quentin, where at age 17 he was the prison's youngest inmate, to 16 years at Solano State Prison in Vacaville, where he was ordained a deacon and priest in the Episcopal Church, to his selection this summer as the interim pastor at St. Alban's.
the rest

Va. bishop to help resolve Episcopal conflict
BY ALBERTA LINDSEY
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Aug 19, 2006

Virginia's Episcopal bishop is one of two U.S. bishops asked by the archbishop of Canterbury to convene a group to discuss difficult issues facing the denomination. Among them is the role of gays and lesbians in the church.

The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee and the Rt. Rev. John Lipscomb, bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, will bring the group of bishops together in New York next month, according to the Episcopal News Service.

The Most Rev. Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, invited four others to be part of the group. They are outgoing Episcopal Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori, who takes office in November. Others are the Rt. Rev. Jack Iker, bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, one of three dioceses that does not recognize the ordination of women, and the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, bishop of Pittsburgh, who heads the Anglican Communion Network, an association of 10 conservative dioceses considering splitting from the denomination.
the rest

Bishop Iker: Bishops' Summit May Provide Clarity
08/18/2006

The request for alternate primatial oversight (APO) is likely to be a significant topic of discussion during a
meeting that the Archbishop of Canterbury has asked Virginia Bishop Peter Lee and Southwest Florida Bishop John Lipscomb to convene next month in New York City, according to Fort Worth Bishop Jack L. Iker who said he was in regular contact with Lambeth Palace prior to the Aug. 18 statement announcing the meeting.

Both Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori have been invited. The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, will be the facilitator, according to a
report by Episcopal News Service, which quoted Canon James M. Rosenthal, director of communications for the Anglican Communion Office.

“The Anglican Communion Office has been responsible for many of the meetings and committees that have been given the portfolio for concerns of church unity in the midst of our diversity,” Canon Rosenthal said. “This meeting could well be an important step in that continuing work.”
the rest

Friday, August 18, 2006


Only those who try to live near God and have formed the habit of faithfulness to Him in the small things of our daily life, can hope in times of need for that special light which shows us our path. To do as well as we can the job immediately before us, is the way to learn what we ought to do next.
... Evelyn Underhill photo

Roundtable Drafts Articles for a Common Cause Federation

The Common Cause Roundtable which represents nine orthodox Anglican jurisdictions and organizations in North America met in Pittsburgh August 16–18, 2006 to continue its unifying work. The Common Cause Roundtable Partners accomplished three major tasks:

• affirmed their Covenant Declaration;

• amended and approved the Theological Statement of the Common Cause Partnership; and,
• recommended the formation of the Common Cause Federation (CCF).

The Roundtable drafted and approved proposed articles to create the Common Cause Federation which would formalize the relationship of the partners and allow for other orthodox Anglican groups to apply for membership. The representatives at the meeting will now take the three above-mentioned documents back to their constituent bodies for approval and adoption. The approval process is likely to extend over the next 18 months. The texts of the Covenant Declaration and the Theological Statement are contained below and are available on the website of the Anglican Communion Network at www.acn-us.org. The text of the Articles of the Common Cause Federation will be available in mid-October.


the rest at the ACN website

Texas Church Wins Tussle With Tax-Man, Gets Exempt Status Restored
By Allie Martin
August 18, 2006

(AgapePress) - In one Texas city, local government officials have been ordered to restore the tax-exempt status of a church that has been under a heavy tax burden for a number of years.

In 1997, the building housing the Full Gospel Church of God in Christ in Wichita Falls burned down. Officials with the local tax assessor's office later presented the congregation with a large tax bill, claiming the church failed to rebuild quickly enough. Since then, Full Gospel COGIC has continued to be taxed annually on its vacant property.

These facts prompted the church to seek legal assistance. As a result,
Liberty Legal Institute, an organization founded to help individuals, groups and churches fight for their religious freedoms and First Amendment rights, launched a lawsuit against the Wichita County Appraisal District on Full Gospel COGIC's behalf. the rest

9/11 book rankles Presbyterian faith
By Julia Duin

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
August 18, 2006

A book suggesting the September 11 attacks were engineered by the U.S. government is raising hackles among the faithful because its publisher is an agency of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the largest of several Presbyterian denominations.

"Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action" is already in its second printing after having sold 5,000 copies in its first month. It accuses the Bush administration -- in power only eight months at the time of the 2001 terrorist attacks -- of plotting September 11 to justify war with Afghanistan and Iraq, and to expand an "American empire."

The book has attracted volumes of criticism, boycott threats and attempted clarifications by various church officials.
the rest

New AIDS nightmare looms for gay men: study
Fri Aug 18

TORONTO (AFP) - The gay community in the western world, mauled by the first wave of the AIDS' pandemic, now faces a second storm, according to a forecast released at the International AIDS conference.

Since 2001, new cases of HIV in the homosexual population in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australasia have been rising by about 1.9 percent per year, the research by the University of Pittsburgh said.

Without action to correct this trend -- a return to safe sex or an unexpected medical breakthrough -- the infection rate is set to soar as the population ages.

In 2001, HIV affected on average roughly one in 12 gay 20-year-olds in these countries. By the time they are 30, researchers projected, the rate could rise to one in four. And by the time this group reaches 60, 58 percent could be infected.
the rest

The Digital Generation Goes Back to School
Albert Mohler
Posted: Friday, August 18

The signs are all around us -- school buses back on the streets, school supplies on display, families back in town -- the new school year is starting all over America. And as the school supplies -- we've come a long way from loose-leaf paper, number 2 pencils, and class folders.

Indeed,
The New York Times reports that increasing numbers of parents are sending their kids back to elementary school armed with cell phones and flash drives, even as college students now "must" have laptop computers. In "Back to School With Cellphone and Laptop," Jeffrey Selingo reports:

It used to be that getting ready for another school year meant buying a few new No. 2 pencils, spiral notebooks and a lunchbox. Not anymore. Young children and teenagers, as well as college students, are going to school with more electronic gadgets than ever.
the rest

Faithful to God, Science
Dr. Francis Collins has mapped the human genome and embraced Christ. He sees no conflict, but there are skeptics on both sides.
By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer
August 17, 2006

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The dying woman looked up at her physician. "What do you believe?"The question unsettled Dr. Francis Collins. For days, he had watched the elderly woman serenely endure the pain of a failing heart, certain she was leaving this world for a better one. She talked to him often of her faith. He listened with bemusement.

He was a man of science; he had earned a PhD in physical chemistry at Yale and was completing his medical degree with bedside training at a North Carolina hospital. When his patients talked of God, he pitied them.

Yet confronted with the woman's earnest question, Collins felt not superior, but oddly ashamed. After 30 years, he still remembers how he flushed as he stammered: "I'm not really sure."
the rest

Conservative Episcopalians on the move in Mass.
By Associated Press
Thursday, August 17, 2006 -

BOSTON - Episcopal parish priest Bill Murdoch watched the developing split in his denomination over homosexuality and thought about the future.

In a denomination where the majority of seminaries are liberal, conservatives need to look for a way to move forward on their own, he thought. So he approached the country’s two most conservative Episcopal seminaries with a proposal - an academic partnership with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton - even though he hadn’t asked Gordon-Conwell yet.

The result is a new concentration in Anglican-Episcopal studies that gives traditionalist Episcopalians a place in one of the nation’s best-known conservative seminaries at a time when many don’t feel at home in their own church.

“We’re at the edge of the knife,” said Murdoch, a Gordon-Conwell alumnus from West Newbury. “If the church divides, there will be a need for courageous, well-trained young leadership.
the rest

Thursday, August 17, 2006


A lack of ardor in prayer, is the sure sign of a lack of depth and of intensity of desire; and the absence of intense desire is a sure sign of God's absence from the heart! To abate fervor is to retire from God. He can, and does, tolerate many things in the way of infirmity and error in his children. He can, and will pardon sin when the penitent prays, but two things are intolerable to him-insincerity and lukewarmness. Lack of heart and lack of heat are two things he loathes, and to the Laodiceans he said, in terms of unmistakable severity and condemnation:

I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.


EM Bounds

Multiculturalism is to blame for perverting young Muslims
By Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester
(Filed: 15/08/2006)

Islamic radicalism did not begin with Muslim grievances over Western foreign policy in Iraq or Afghanistan. It has deep roots, going back to the 13th-century reformer Ibn Taimiyya, through Wahhabism to modern ideologues such as Sayyid Qutb in Egypt or Maududi in Pakistan.

The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan gave it the cause it was looking for, and Afghanistan became the place where Muslim radicals were trained, financed and armed (often with Western assistance).

The movements that were born or renewed do not have any kind of centralised command structure, but co-operate through diffuse networks of affinity and patronage. One of their most important aims is to impose their form of Islam on countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia. This may be why they were not regarded as an immediate threat to the West. Their other aims, however, include the liberation of oppressed Muslims in Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya and elsewhere, and also the recovery of the Dar Al-Islam (or House of Islam), in its historic wholeness, including the Iberian peninsula, the Balkans and even India.
the rest

African bishops warn priests against witchcraft
Wednesday, August 16, 2006

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) -- Southern Africa's Catholic bishops have warned priests to stop moonlighting as witch doctors, fortune tellers and traditional healers, and to rely on Christ for miracles.

The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, which represents bishops in South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana, said on its Web sites some priests were adopting the traditional African practice of calling on ancestors for healing.

The bishops ordered priests to "desist from practices involving spirits," and to steer clear from witchcraft, fortune-telling and selling spiritual powers or magic medicines.

"The belief that ancestors are endowed with supernatural powers borders on idolatry. It is God, and God alone, who is all-powerful while the ancestors are created by him," said the pastoral letter to priests issued earlier this month.
the rest

Christians in the Muslim World
One-Way Sympathy
Chuck Colson

Thu, Aug. 17 2006

Since the start of the Danish cartoon controversy earlier this year, Vatican officials have expressed sympathy with Islamic outrage over the depictions of Muhammad. This sympathy comes from knowing what it's like to have your beliefs treated with disrespect and even contempt. Yet in much of the Islamic world, that sympathy isn't a two-way street.

That's why the Vatican issued a statement "urging Islamic countries to reciprocate by showing more tolerance toward their Christian minorities." As Angelo Soldano, the Vatican's Secretary of State put it: "If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us . . . "

Destroy is not too strong a word. The anger originally directed at Denmark is increasingly being directed at Christians. In Turkey, a priest was murdered in an attack that the Turkish media has connected to the cartoon controversy. In Pakistan, protesting mobs have ransacked churches and beaten Christians. In Beirut, which, unlike Pakistan, has a large Christian population, a Christian neighborhood was attacked by a Muslim mob.
the rest

CULTURE DIGEST: Princeton scholar warns of threats from Iran on Aug. 22
Aug 16, 2006
By Erin Roach Baptist Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Aug. 22 could be an ominous date for Israelis and Americans based on its significance this year as one of Islam’s most revered holy days, according to a Princeton professor who says Iran may be planning “cataclysmic events” to prepare the way for Shiite Muslims’ awaited messiah.

Bernard Lewis, a professor emeritus of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, warned in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that Aug. 22 this year corresponds to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427 on the Islamic calendar, which is when Muslims commemorate the flight of the prophet Muhammad on a winged horse to Jerusalem and then to heaven and back.

Aug. 22, Lewis said, could provide an opportune moment for Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to set in motion the return of the 12th Imam, whom Shiites believe will forever end the struggle between good and evil in the last days.
the rest

Gay-marriage advocates ignore history, reality
By Thomas Sowell
Originally published August 17, 2006

Now that a number of state courts have refused to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions, cries of "discrimination" are being heard.

The "equal protection of the laws" provided by the Constitution applies to people, not actions. Laws exist precisely in order to discriminate among different kinds of actions.

When the law permits automobiles to drive on highways but forbids bicycles from doing the same, that is not discrimination against people. A cyclist who gets off his bicycle and gets into a car can drive on the highway just like anyone else.

In a free society, vast numbers of things are neither forbidden nor facilitated. They are considered to be none of the law's business.

Homosexuals were on their strongest ground when they said that the law had no business interfering with relations between consenting adults. Now they want the law to put a seal of approval on their behavior. But no one is entitled to anyone else's approval.
the rest

Anglican: Homosexuals Marry Sans Sex
by Grant Swank
August 17, 2006

Talk about apostasy taking itself into the twilight zone of lunacy.

Furthermore, talk about the so-called high hat churchly intelligence going dumb, dumber and dumbest.

Now, according to the Church of England, homosexuals may wed one another but must promise to refrain from having sexual relations. In other words, "
married" men to men and women to women will be recognized by the ecclesiastics if they don’t share sexual experiences.

No touch. No feel. No sex.

Of course, as the world knows, homosexuals enter into their trysts in order to have sex. That’s the prime point of it all. And scores of homosexuals have hundreds — some thousands — of trysts over a lifetime. Therefore, to commit one’s sex drive to celibacy in order to satisfy the Anglican Communion is the height of naivete mixed with crazy head.
the rest

Forget Judas, let’s have sympathy for the Devil
By Ruth Gledhill
August 05, 2006

A medievalist professor from California says that Satan is not really bad, just misunderstood
THE DEVIL has been unfairly and wilfully maligned and deserves a reassessment, according to a new study.

Professor Henry Ansgar Kelly, a medievalist, says that the Devil has had an unfair press and been the victim of groundless aspersions. Satan is no more evil than the head of MI5 or the Prime Minister, he says.

In his book Satan: A Biography, to be published by Cambridge University Press this month, the California university academic argues that exegesis of the Bible shows that the Devil suffered a “severe blackening of character” by the clergy, early church fathers, artists, philosophers and religious scholars. The “Devil is in the detail” — literally, he says.
the rest

No Children Allowed -- No Kidding
Albert Mohler
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2006

It should seem obvious that one key determinant of a society's future prospects is its attitude toward children. The formula is quite simple -- no children . . . no future.

Keep this in mind when you read the August 13, 2006 edition of
The New York Times Magazine. In "Childproof," Christopher Caldwell traces the rise and spread of adult-only (or "age qualified") communities in America.

the rest

Pluto, Soon to Orbit in a Less Important Circle?
By
Adriane Quinlan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 17, 2006

For some generations, it's "My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles." For others, it might be "Mother Very Easily Made Jane Stop Using Nail Polish," or "My Very Enormous Monster Just Sucked Up Nine Planets."

We discovered such mnemonic devices in grade school to learn the planetary order of things. And since 1930, these silly little sentences have ended in P for Pluto, that planet on the edge, the bad boy fronting the darkness beyond telescopes.

the rest

Staph Skin Infections on rise in U.S.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A once-rare drug-resistant germ now appears to cause more than half of all skin infections treated in U.S. emergency rooms, say researchers who documented the superbug's startling spread in the general population.


Many victims mistakenly thought they just had spider bites that wouldn't heal, not drug-resistant staph bacteria. Only a decade ago, these germs were hardly ever seen outside of hospitals and nursing homes.

the rest

Ruling Favors Christian Students' Discrimination Claim Against UC
By Jim Brown and Jenni Parker
August 16, 2006

(AgapePress) - A federal judge has rejected the University of California's motion to dismiss a lawsuit that accuses it of viewpoint discrimination against Christian students. Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta filed suit last summer against the UC system, claiming it prohibits high school students from receiving academic credit for courses taught from a Christian perspective.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, California, after six Calvary Chapel Christian School students claimed their religious views had hurt their chances of being accepted to a UC campus. Joining Calvary as a co-plaintiff is the
Association of Christian Schools International, which represents 800 religious schools nationwide.

The claimants' lawsuit accuses the UC system of violating Christian students' rights by rejecting private Christian school courses such as Calvary's "Christianity's Influence on American History" and "Christianity and Morality in American Literature" as too narrow, meanwhile giving credit for other schools' curriculum offerings, including courses like "Jewish History" and "Ethnic Experience in Literature."

the rest

Male sex sending HIV out of control in Asia: group
Tue Aug 15, 2006
By Natalie Armstrong

TORONTO (Reuters) - AIDS is "spiraling out of control" in Asia among men who have sex with other men, activists warned on Tuesday -- and the epidemic is likely to spread because many of these men also marry or have sex with women.

And because the issue of homosexual sex is taboo in many Asian cultures, these men are difficult to identify and reach through public health campaigns, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, or AmFAR, and a group called TREAT Asia said in a joint report.

"Unless we address male to male sex and HIV risks and vulnerability, it is going to have a major impact on the general population because a lot of the people we work with are also married," said Shivandanda Khan of Naz Foundation International, a non-governmental organization that works with men who have sex with men (MSM) in India.
the rest

YouTube: The new campaign tool
By Charles Hurt
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
August 17, 2006

Welcome to politics in the age of YouTube.

Founded last year as a way to share personal video clips online, YouTube.com quickly became an Internet sensation. So it was only a matter of time before political campaigns -- and others with a political ax to grind -- began using the Web site to distribute videos, including campaign ads.

This week, the site made one of its biggest splashes with a video of Sen. George Allen referring to an opponent's volunteer, who is of Indian descent, as a "macaca" during a campaign event in southwestern Virginia. A macaca is a Southeast Asian monkey.

That video was one of the most-viewed clip on the site yesterday, with more than 70,000 viewings, according to YouTube. But that video is certainly not the first political footage to be broadcast on YouTube.
the rest

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I wish, brothers and sisters, that we could all imitate "the pearl oyster"—A hurtful particle intrudes itself into its shell, and this vexes and grieves it. It cannot reject the evil, but what does it do but "cover" it with a precious substance extracted out of its own life, by which it turns the intruder into a pearl! Oh, that we could do so with the provocations we receive from our fellow Christians, so that pearls of patience, gentleness, and forgiveness might be bred within us by that which otherwise would have harmed us. —Charles Spurgeon photo

For a global perspective, look to the next pew
Increasingly, immigrants expand the area's congregations, a census survey shows
BY EMILY GURNON
Pioneer Press

If you want confirmation that the Twin Cities is becoming more diverse every day, go to church.
Catholic churches now offer 23 Spanish Masses, compared with nine offered two decades ago.

Holy Apostle Episcopal in St. Paul, once in danger of closing, now is thinking about expanding to accommodate a burgeoning rush of new parishioners, almost all Hmong.

Zion Lutheran Church shares space with a group of Sudanese who worship in a combination of Arabic and English.
the rest

God, abortion and gobbledygook
by Judie Brown
August 16, 2006


In our current age of enlightenment it doesn't take much for a person to identify himself as an expert. For example, a person who has experience in cleaning bathroom fixtures can say that he is an expert in dealing with difficult situations that confront the homemaker.

So too a man who has experience in reading the Bible and attending a seminary can say that he is an expert in understanding the mind of God.

Continuing this line of reasoning with one more example, I offer the thought that people who defend the preborn child are expert in understanding the difference between falsehood and truth.

While some would immediately argue that words like truth and falsehood are subjective terms, the fact is they are not. Truth does not change regardless of who is wearing a Roman collar or who is claiming to be a man of God. And a lie is a lie – period!

Thus it should come as no surprise that the recent editorial opinions of Tom Ehrich, an Episcopal pastor from North Carolina, and his collaborators at USA Today jumped off the page and slapped me silly.

Their recent discussion about God and abortion exemplifies precisely why so many people are sorely out of touch with both truth and reason. the rest

FCC cracks down on 'fake news'
Owners of 77 TV stations queried on paid video stories
Tuesday, August 15, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission has mailed letters to the owners of 77 television stations inquiring about their use of video news releases, a type of programming critics refer to as "fake news."

Video news releases are packaged news stories that usually employ actors to portray reporters who are paid by commercial or government groups.

The letters were sparked by allegations that television stations have been airing the videos as part of their news programs without telling viewers who paid for them.
the rest

Hackers target latest Windows fix

Hi-tech hackers have started to produce malicious programs that target the latest bugs in Microsoft's Windows.

A worm has been spotted in the wild that tries to use vulnerabilities to hijack home computers.

Any computer compromised by the worm will become part of a large botnet set up to send out junk mail.

At the same time Microsoft is re-issuing a recent security patch which has made the Internet Explorer browser crash on some computers.
the rest

Prosecutors to Monitor Madonna's Act
The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 15, 2006

BERLIN -- Prosecutors plan to keep an eye on Madonna's weekend concert in Duesseldorf to see if the pop diva repeats the mock crucifixion scene that has drawn fire from religious leaders.

Johannes Mocken, a spokesman for prosecutors in Duesseldorf, said Tuesday that a repeat of that scene during Sunday's concert could be construed as insulting religious beliefs.

Madonna, who is known for her theatrical, action-packed shows, wears a crown of fake thorns while performing on a mirrored cross.

The stunt, which has been included from the outset of her worldwide "Confessions" tour, has been criticized as an act of hostility toward the Roman Catholic Church.
the rest

BBC Feminist's Sordid Suicide Pact Made Public
By Hilary White
LONDON, August 15, 2006

(LifeSiteNews.com) – This week, a popular BBC radio announcer told the public that she had entered into a “suicide pact” with friends should she be incapacitated by illness.

Jenni Murray, the presenter of BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, a feminist and euthanasia advocate, said that she does not want to be “trapped” into caring for her mother who is ill with Parkinson’s disease.

Murray, a member of the Order of the British Empire and a patron of the Family Planning Association, is airing her views tonight on a BBC television program called “Don’t Get Me Started.” Publicity material for the show says that Murray “plans to end her own life when she becomes a burden to those around her.” She discusses methods, including smothering with a pillow or injecting with drugs, with two friends.
the rest

Mainline-Supported Coalition Promotes Homosexual Agenda
Kathryn Davis

At the July 2006 “Summit on Black Sexuality” put on by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights (RCRC), guest speakers and lecturers seemed bent on propagating a pro-homosexuality message.
Member organizations in the pro-abortion rights coalition include the Episcopal Church, two national boards of the United Methodist Church, three national offices of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, and various Jewish and Unitarian agencies. The United Methodist Church and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are officially opposed to homosexual practice, even though they lend their name and funding to this organization that promotes it.

In his workshop entitled “From Genesis to Revelation—Sex in the Bible,” the Rev. Madison Shockley, a United Church of Christ minister, highlighted specific passages of Scripture to support his pro-homosexuality stance. Referring to Old Testament laws prohibiting sex outside of marriage, Shockley claimed that the purpose of the “Levitical codes” was to regulate fertility. According to his reasoning, “If the culture is obsessed with fertility, same-sex sex is forbidden because it doesn’t produce offspring.” The culture of the 21st century is no longer focused on fertility, Shockley said. “Now that we have 6 billion people on the planet, fertility isn’t our primary goal for marriage.”
the rest at IRD

Survey: Churchgoing Women also Struggle with Porn Addiction
By
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Aug. 10 2006

Responses from a recent poll indicated that sexual addictive behaviors are not foreign inside churches and a large number of women in the pews struggle with the same temptations.

According to a poll by ChristiaNet.com and Second Glance Ministries, half of all Christian men are addicted to pornography. While the statistics for men are nothing new, the poll found 20 percent of all Christian women to be addicts to pornography.

Additional findings showed 60 percent of the women respondents admitted to having significant struggles with lust, 40 percent admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year, and 20 percent of the church-going female participants struggled with looking at pornography on an ongoing basis.
the rest

Narnia Sequel ‘Prince Caspian’ Starts Shooting in January
The next part in the Narnia series is to begin filming in January 2007 and brings together the same four rising stars as in the "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" for another battle against the forces of evil.
Posted: Wednesday, August 16 , 2006

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, will begin shooting in January 2007 in ‘the forests of Europe’, producer Mark Johnson revealed.

Disney is targeting a summer 2008 release as director of the first Narnia sequel, Andrew Adamson, again co-writes and directs.

As Director Adamson returns for the new sequel along with the young quartet of British actors: Georgie Henley, 10, Skandar Keynes, 14, Anna Popplewell, 17, and William Moseley, 18, he shared: “If we don’t make [the film] now, we’ll never be able to because they’ll be too old.

the rest

CWA Warns Christians: 'Don't be Easy to Dupe'
Church members fall prey to billion dollar scam by investment firm

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 /
Christian Newswire/ -- Concerned Women for America (CWA) draws attention to an article by the Associated Press reporting on a new scam –– a religious rip-off –– that has bilked billions from Christian believers. The investment firm JTL –– the letters stand for “Just Trust the Lord” –– is a typical scam targeting church members. Randall Harding of JTL became an active church member earning the trust of people at Crossroads Christian Church in Corona, CA before implementing his Ponzi scheme that included wire fraud and money laundering. According to the Associated Press, Harding stole upwards of $50 million from Christians –– which is a relatively modest portion of the $2 billion that such schemes have taken in since 1984. the rest

London Journal: "Moderate" Muslims Behaving Badly
By
Don Feder
FrontPageMagazine.com
August 16, 2006

I was in London last week, where I gained a renewed appreciation for the religion of peace and insights into the war we are in.

Thursday evening, I was lying in bed in my hotel room in Russell Square, less than 24 hours after MI-5 and the British police foiled a plot to blow up as many as 10 trans-Atlantic flights – with a potential death toll of 4,000. Officials described it as attempted “mass murder on an unimaginable scale.”

On the show I was watching, a BBC reporter interviewed a neighbor of one of the 24 terrorism suspects arrested – all British-born Muslims.
the rest

Episcopal Priest Resigns over Church's 'Pervasive Homophobia'
From Stand Firm

Delaware, Ohio--A central Ohio Episcopal priest has resigned his ordination to protest what he calls “pervasive homophobia” coming mostly from the church leadership in the third world.

Former Rev. Paul Nicely issued a written statement July 25 saying, “I no longer in conscience can honor my vow as a priest to be subject to the authority of a church which persists in sanctioning bigotry and exclusion.”

“There’s not much an individual can do,” Nicely said in a later interview. “There’s not much political influence for an individual, but I wanted to be expressive in my views on this.”

Nicely, 80, retired 17 years ago from the faculty of the Methodist Theological School of Ohio in Delaware, where he spent most of his career.

His resignation means he is now only able to preach as laity, and can no longer perform priestly functions.

The resignation does not affect his pension, as that is coming from the seminary, not the church.
But Nicely’s language to church leaders is poignant.

“At my age, having tried for 30 years to educate my little corner of the church about the normalcy of homosexual orientation, and having battled a witless biblical literalism much longer than that, I am unwilling for my church any longer to choose false unity instead of elementary justice,” he wrote.


Comments at Stand Firm

Court: Bible display must go
Ruling finds Harris County monument's initial purpose was changed
By HARVEY RICE and BILL MURPHY
Houston Chronicle

A Bible must not be part of a 50-year-old monument in front of the Harris County civil courthouse because a district judge changed it from a secular to a religious use in violation of the Constitution, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

"Its recent history would force an objective observer to conclude that it is a religious symbol of a particular faith located on public grounds," a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 decision.
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Vatican to Anglicans: No Women Bishops
August 16, 2006
by Grant Swank

Female clergy and condoning homosexuality are the two obstacles in the way of closer ties between the
Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.

The Vatican has warned the Church of England that if the latter proceeds with women as bishops, unity between the two groups will be "unreachable."

Anglicanism is close in worship style and liturgy acceptance to traditional Roman Catholicism. However, when it comes to the increasing liberalism of Anglicanism, the Vatican pulls away from so-called ecumenical alliances. The Vatican won’t budge on the two matters stated above.

Although at the grassroots there is debate concerning homosexual clergy and tolerance for same within Catholicism, in Rome there is no tolerance.
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Anglican Archbishops pay tribute to Maori Queen
Wednesday, 16 August 2006
Press Release: Anglican Church in Aotearoa For immediate release
August 16, 2006

“A Star in our sky” – the Anglican Archbishops pay their tributes to Te Arikinui
The three Anglican Archbishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, have added their tributes to Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu.

And they’ve each acknowledged Te Arikinui’s importance to their own particular tikanga, or culture – and to the task of unifying them all.

Archbishop Brown Turei, Te Pihopa o Aotearoa, (head of the Maori Anglican church) has described her as a “truly royal lady, a leader of immense historic significance who shaped Tainui, Maoridom and Aotearoa New Zealand as a whole for 40 good years.
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Five vying to be bishop of Episcopal diocese in Hawai'i
By Mary Kaye Ritz
Advertiser Religion & Ethics Writer
Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i has narrowed its search for a bishop to five candidates.

Two women, one local priest and a former Iolani School chaplain are among those vying for possible election this fall at the diocesan convention. Bishop Richard S.O. Chang, 64, announced plans to retire in October.


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Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Prayer and action, therefore, can never be seen as contradictory or mutually exclusive. Prayer without action grows in powerless pietism, and action without prayer degenerates into questionable manipulation. If prayer leads us into a deeper unity with the compassionate Christ, it will always give rise to concrete acts of service. And if concrete acts of service do indeed lead us to a deeper solidarity with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the dying, and the oppressed, they will always give rise to prayer. In prayer we meet Christ, and in him all human suffering. In service we meet people, and in them the suffering Christ.
... Henri J. M. Nouwen photo

Episcopalians will gather, chart course on gay issues
The meeting in Navasota is called to codify stance against same-sex unions, bishops
By RICHARD VARA
Houston Chronicle

Bishop Don Wimberly of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas will host a "consultation of bishops" who want to remain within the worldwide Anglican Communion in the face of a possible international schism over the U.S. church's consecration of a gay bishop.

Wimberly, considered a centrist, has invited bishops to Camp Allen near Navasota Sept. 19-22 to address concerns raised about the American church by an international committee of Anglican clerics in the Windsor Report.
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Conservatives Put Faith in Church Voter Drives
Evangelicals seek to sign up a new flock of GOP supporters in states with crucial November races.
By Peter Wallsten, Times Staff Writer
August 15, 2006

WASHINGTON — As discontent with the Republican Party threatens to dampen the turnout of conservative voters in November, evangelical leaders are launching a massive registration drive that could help counter the malaise and mobilize new religious voters in battleground states.

The program, coordinated by the Colorado-based group Focus on the Family and its influential founder, James C. Dobson, would use a variety of methods — including information inserted in church publications and booths placed outside worship services — to recruit millions of new voters in 2006 and beyond.
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Mammoths may roam again after 27,000 years
By Mark Henderson, Science Editor

BODIES of extinct Ice Age mammals, such as woolly mammoths, that have been frozen in permafrost for thousands of years may contain viable sperm that could be used to bring them back from the dead, scientists said yesterday.

Research has indicated that mammalian sperm can survive being frozen for much longer than was previously thought, suggesting that it could potentially be recovered from species that have died out.

Several well-preserved mammoth carcasses have been found in the permafrost of Siberia, and scientists estimate that there could be millions more.

Last year a Canadian team demonstrated that it was possible to extract DNA from the specimens, and announced the sequencing of about 1 per cent of the genome of a mammoth that died about 27,000 years ago.
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Media War of Words on Terrorism
by
James Hirsen
Posted Aug 15, 2006

President Bush recently demonstrated that the choice of words can set the tone and mood of the nation.

It was the first time that in describing the nation’s fight against terrorism the president modified his prior rhetoric and clearly stated that what we are engaged in is a “war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those who love freedom [and] to hurt our nation.”

Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has been ahead of the curve when it comes to the vocabulary of war. In a July 2006 speech at the National Press Club, Santorum examined President Bush’s penchant for use of the phrase “war on terror.”

“Some say we're fighting a war on terror,” Santorum said. “That's like saying World War II was a war on blitzkrieg. Terror, like blitzkrieg, is a tactic of war used by our enemy; it is not the enemy. … In World War II, we fought Nazism and Japanese imperialism. Today we are fighting against Islamic fascism.”
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Alabama abortion clinic rules eyed in wake of clinic shutdown
DESIREE HUNTER
Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - State health officials have determined Alabama's rules for abortion clinics are not clear enough and will be revised, a move that comes just months after a clinic was closed amid allegations of numerous rules violations.

Rick Harris, who directs the department's Bureau of Health Provider Standards, would not specify the areas of Alabama law that women's clinics are having trouble understanding. But he said Wednesday proposed amendments should be ready in about 45 days.

He commented after representatives from anti-abortion groups, including former Chief Justice Roy Moore, met with state health officials on the issue.
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"E-passport" debuts in Colorado
By Bruce Finley Denver Post Staff Writer

The federal government Monday rolled out new electronic passports embedded with radio microchips holding personal data - starting in Colorado.

State Department officials plan to issue millions of the thicker, redesigned blue "e-passports" nationwide by year's end. They say these will speed security checks and thwart forgers who could use fake documents to hurt the United States.

Privacy advocates questioned the necessity, warning that personal data could be skimmed.

But the first travelers granted new passports - at the State Department's new Colorado Passport Agency north of Cherry Creek Reservoir - reluctantly embraced the idea.
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Katrina victims blamed for Houston crime
Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A letter to inmate No. 1352951 and a cell phone bill for $76.63, both found in a soggy New Orleans duplex ruined by Hurricane Katrina, led Louisiana bounty hunter James Martin to Texas. Again.

It marked the seventh time since Katrina that Martin, whose pursuit of bail jumpers often begins with clues salvaged from abandoned New Orleans homes, has followed a trail to Texas.

"I don't think Texas really knows what they got," Martin said.

Katrina sent a lot of bad guys to Texas, as Houston is finding out.

Houston took in 150,000 evacuees – the most of any U.S. city – after Katrina struck on Aug. 29. Houston police believe the evacuees are partly responsible for a nearly 17.5 percent increase in homicides so far this year over the same period in 2005.
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Monday, August 14, 2006




Can we follow the Savior far,
who have no wound or scar?
-Amy Carmichael

Bishop Lee, Bishop-Elect Minns Seek Solution
08/14/2006

The Bishop of Virginia, the Rt. Rev. Peter Lee, announced that he and the Rev. Canon Martyn Minns, rector of Truro Church, Fairfax, are working together to address the ramifications of Canon Minns’ election by the Nigeria House of Bishops to serve as a bishop of the Church of Nigeria in the United States. Canon Minns’ consecration is scheduled for Aug. 20.

In a letter to his diocese Aug. 13, Bishop Lee noted that Truro had begun searching for a successor to Canon Minns prior to the Nigerian election in June, though he has not yet announced a resignation date. “While this situation presents many complex issues of governance and polity, the situation is made more complicated by the desire of the Truro Vestry to have Martyn continue as rector until his successor has been identified,” Bishop Lee wrote.
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Generation Y in Australia Turns Away from Religion
Australia's young generations are turning away from religion, a trend that the Anglican Bishop of South Sydney said was 'entirely expected'.
Posted: Monday, August 14 , 2006

The Generation Y in Australia is gradually departing from religion, a new study has found.

According to the study, 48 per cent of Generation Y, defined as those born between 1976 and 1990, believe in a god.

The three-year national study, The Spirit of Generation Y, was a joint project between Monash University, the Australian Catholic University and the Christian Research Association.

Dr Andrew Singleton of Monash University, a co-author of the study, said they were surprised by the findings. "It's well-known that there has been a turn away from church attendance and participation in young people," he said.
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Buddhist Extremists Attack Christian-Run Children’s Home in Sri Lanka
Christian Solidarity Worldwide has reported of attacks by extremist Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka on a children's home in the country run by the Dutch Reformed Church.
Posted: Monday, August 14 , 2006

A 200-man mob, accompanied by extremist Buddhist monks, has attacked a children’s home, which was being run by the Dutch Reformed Church in central Sri Lanka at the beginning of August.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a human rights organisation which specialises in religious freedom, has reported that the mob fiercely attacked the home, following which, they climbed to the roof and planted a Buddhist flag on the roof.

CSW reported that the mob forced their way into the children's home in Balana, Kandy District, assaulted staff and threatened to kill the “house parents”. They threw stones at the house and broke roof tiles and rainwater gutters. The fence surrounding the property was completely destroyed.

The attack came after posters were put up demanding that the Dutch Reformed Church cease renovation work on the orphanage. The building was under renovation at the time of the attack, and no children were present.
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Minister arrested after taping Mormon pageant
By Jennifer Dobner
The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - An evangelical Christian minister claims he was unlawfully arrested while trying to tape a performance of a Mormon-themed pageant in the Clarkston Cemetery near Logan Friday night.

Joel Kramer, 39, was arrested and booked for disorderly conduct after he told a Cache County sheriff's deputy he was not violating any laws by videotaping the pageant. The pageant depicts the life of Martin Harris, an early disciple of Joseph Smith, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"These are free pageants, so there's no copyright violation and I'm within my rights to be on public land," Kramer said. "I feel like it was the LDS church influence. That's the reason I was arrested."

Kramer, who claims the entire incident was recorded on video and audio tape, said he was told by a sheriff's deputy the Mormon church had requested Kramer turn off his cameras.
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Top bishop returns home

CORVALLIS — When the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected June 18 as the new head of the Episcopal Church in the United States, no group of people could have been happier or more proud than members of the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan in Corvallis.

The congregation quickly issued an invitation for her to come back to the parish where she first began preaching 12 years ago.

At 4 p.m. today, Jefferts Schori will speak in a choral Evensong service at the church, 333 N.W. 35th St. The public is welcome to attend and to participate in a reception afterward celebrating her election as the denomination’s 26th presiding bishop.
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Archbishop's peace vigil in tent

The Archbishop of York has moved into a tent in York Minster as part of an act of "public witness" to encourage peace in the Middle East.

Dr John Sentamu will live on a liquid diet while he camps inside the Minster for seven days, to highlight the plight of people caught up in the conflict.

He has given up a family holiday in Salzburg, Austria, to sleep rough and fast while praying for peace.

To launch the vigil on Sunday he publicly had his head shaved.
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White House: Lesser Bird Flu May Be Here
Aug 14 11:34 AM US/Eastern

By LAURAN NEERGAARDAP Medical Writer
WASHINGTON

Scientists have discovered the possible presence of bird flu in wild mute swans in Michigan _ but it does not appear to be the most worrisome strain, the
Bush administration announced Monday.

The birds might have the H5N1 virus _ confirmatory tests are under way _ but other tests have ruled out that it could be the highly pathogenic version of that virus that has ravaged poultry in many other countries, Agriculture Department officials said.
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The Sea Stings Back
By
LISA ABEND AND GEOFF PINGREE
Sunday, Aug. 13, 2006


Stifling heat, sunburn — to the peculiar pleasures of Spain's beaches in August, add the sting of the jellyfish. In the last couple of weeks, fleets of bloblike Pelagia noctiluca have reached beaches from Barcelona to Málaga.

In Catalonia alone, the Red Cross has treated 14,044 bathers for the painful stings. Local governments in Benidorm and elsewhere have posted signs in three languages warning of the dangers. The Interior Ministry has publicized advice for those who are stung — wash the affected area with salt water, don't rub it, seek assistance. (In rare cases, an allergic reaction to the sting can prove deadly.) The Environment Ministry is sending out boats armed with large nets to snare the jellyfish before they reach shallow water.


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Female Priest Defies the Catholic Church
In San Diego, Jane Via leads a Mass by herself. She is facing possible excommunication.
By Robin Fields, Times Staff Writer
August 14, 2006

Jane Via said she would probably cry and, sure enough, she did.Midway through her homily at the rented San Diego church used by her upstart congregation, Via choked up, thanking the packed house of 100 worshipers for sustaining her over the last week.

Sunday's service was the second Mass that Via has led since her illicit ordination in Switzerland in June, and the first over which she has presided alone.

It also marked her congregation's first gathering since she met with San Diego Bishop Robert Brom to discuss the consequences of her ordination, which could ultimately include excommunication.


Via, 58, is among 15 American women who have received ordination in recent ceremonies.

Unlike the Episcopal and Anglican churches, which now allow women's ordination, the Catholic Church bars women from becoming priests or deacons.

The Vatican's position on women entering the priesthood has not budged, despite polls showing a majority of American Catholics favor allowing them to do so.

A Roman Catholic canon says only baptized men can receive ordination. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has not taken a formal position on the issue, but three of the American women have received letters from diocese officials warning that they had chosen to excommunicate themselves.

Via called such consequences "unwelcome," but also, in a sense, liberating.

"I was so angry for so long at the church and church men who weren't willing to make even the smallest change in language to include women," she said. "My anger is gone."


Last November, Via co-founded the congregation where she is a priest, the independent Mary Magdalene Apostle Catholic Community. Its roughly 65 regular members include many people who found themselves increasingly discontented with aspects of mainstream Roman Catholic churches.

Dan Dinan said that, with two daughters and four granddaughters, he had always been bothered by what he saw as women's second-class status in the church. In Via, a married mother of two who is also a deputy district attorney for San Diego County, he sees an ideal pioneer.

"She's not a radical, she's not far out," he said.Many of those at Sunday's service said they had been drawn by the news of Via's ordination. Perhaps as many as 20% of the attendees were newcomers, including Alfred O'Brien, who usually attends one of two Catholic churches near his La Jolla home.


O'Brien said he blamed recent scandals in the Catholic Church partly on the absence of female leaders. "There was no one around the foot of the cross when Christ died except women," he said. "Women are the backbone of the church. That's why I'm here. It's long, long overdue."

Most attendees were well aware of Via's tenuous position with church officials. All said her stature would remain unaltered in their eyes even if she were excommunicated.

"It would be painful, in the sense that the church can be that narrow, but it doesn't stop us from going forward," said Sandy Trybus, a congregation member and one of Via's longtime friends.Trybus accompanied Via to Switzerland for her ordination and said that Via had anticipated an official reaction to what she was doing. Dinan said publicity about Via's situation might have an upside, attracting non-Catholics looking to champion women's rights.

"I resent people who say love it or leave it," Dinan said of the Catholic Church. "We're not going to leave it. We're going to change it."
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Iowa's Episcopalians expect difficult choices await them
Local congregations preach unity, despite disagreeing with the U.S. church on issues such as homosexuality.
By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR
August 14, 2006

The members of two Episcopal churches in Iowa are learning how to live in Christian love in the face of the most divisive issue for American Protestants today — human sexuality.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Des Moines and St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Durant in eastern Iowa are conservative congregations. Many of their members are deeply disturbed by the national Episcopal Church's ordination of a gay bishop, blessings for same-sex unions and the election of a woman as its next presiding bishop.

"I hate what it is doing to the Episcopal Church," said Ginger O'Keefe, a St. Luke's member. "It's my profound hope that we won't have to pull away from the national church. I have been an Episcopalian as long as I can remember, and I don't want to be driven out of the church."
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New Zealand: Catholic and Anglican Bishops join forces
Monday, 14 August 2006


Press Release: Catholic and Anglican Bishops Catholic and Anglican Bishops join forces for peace.

The Catholic and Anglican Bishops in this part of the world have amplified the pleas of their partner churches in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine for the ceasefire promised for that region, for aid for the victims of the war – and for Church leaders here to swell the international chorus calling for a permanent end to the hostilities.

And the bishops have asked the country’s Catholics and Anglicans to reach out to the victims of the war through their two respective aid agencies, Caritas NZ and Christian World Service, or other agencies committed to alleviating the Middle East suffering.

Archbishop David Moxon, who is one of the three co-presiding Bishops of the Anglican Church here, says to stay silent is not an option.
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Sunday, August 13, 2006


Clouds and darkness are round about him—Psalm 97:2

The presence of clouds upon your sky and trials in your path are the very best evidence that you are following the pillar of cloud and walking in the presence of God. The disciples had to enter the cloud before they could behold the glory of the transfiguration. A little later that same cloud became the chariot to receive the ascending Lord, and it is still waiting as the chariot that will bring His glorious appearing. Still it is true that while clouds and darkness are round about him, mercy and truth are ever in their midst and shall go before thy face (Psalm 89:14). Perhaps the most beautiful and gracious use of the cloud was to shelter Israel from the fiery sun. Like a great umbrella, that majestic pillar spread its canopy above the camp and became a shielding shadow from the burning heat in the treeless desert. One who has never felt an oriental sun cannot fully appreciate how much this means-a shadow from the heat. So the Holy Spirit comes between us and the fiery, scorching rays of sorrow and temptation.
AB Simpson photo

Exercise Smartens Up the Aging Brain
Review of the data finds activity keeps mental decline at bay
FRIDAY, Aug. 11

(HealthDay News) -- Exercise may slow age's impact on brain function, helping maintain whip-smart cognitive ability well into the senior years and preventing dementia-like illness, a new review of the data shows.

While there are varying opinions on the brain benefits of exercise and activity, "our review of the last 40 years of research does offer evidence that physical exercise can have a positive influence on cognitive brain functions in older animal and human subjects," wrote the study authors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"We have found that physical and aerobic exercise training can lower the risk for developing some undesirable age-related changes in cognitive and brain functions and also help the brain maintain its plasticity -- [the brain's] ability to cover one function if another starts failing later in life," the authors wrote.
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Major Computer Attack Coming?
Security Flaw in Microsoft Windows Leaves Millions Vulnerable
By JONATHAN SILVERSTEIN

Aug. 11, 2006 — The Department of Homeland Security released a statement Wednesday advising Windows PC owners across the nation to update their computers or face a potential attack from hackers.

"The Department of Homeland Security is recommending that Windows Operating Systems users apply Microsoft security patch MS06-040 as quickly as possible," the statement read.

"This security patch is designed to protect against a vulnerability that, if exploited, could enable an attacker to remotely take control of an affected system."

Mike Murray, director of vulnerability research at the security firm nCircle, said the fact that DHS made this urgent plea is evidence that the threat is real.

"They realize that of all the vulnerabilities that have come out in the last year or two, this is definitely the most severe and the most likely to be attacked," he said.
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This East Side tree does its own watering
08/10/2006
Vincent T. Davis
Express-News Staff Writer

Lucille Pope's red oak tree has baffled tree experts, water specialists and nursery professionals.

The knotted, towering tree, more than 100 years old, has become the root of scrutiny in her East Side neighborhood.

The tree has gurgled water from its trunk for the past three months.

Pope, 65, has sought answers from several specialists, calling experts from the Texas Forest Service, the Edwards Aquifer Authority and nurseries for an explanation.
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University students at centre of terror plots
By Roya Nikkhah, Andrew Alderson and Julie Henry
(Filed: 13/08/2006)

The recruitment of Muslim students at British universities to take part in terrorist attacks is at the heart of the alleged plot to blow up passenger jets, it is feared.

A dossier of extremist Islamic literature has been uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph on the campus of a north London university, one of whose students has suspected links to the alleged terrorist attack.

Waheed Zaman, 22, a bio-chemistry student and the president of the Islamic Society at London Metropolitan University, was one of 24 people arrested last week. Material found at two portable buildings used by the society includes documents advocating jihad and a pamphlet on how to deal with approaches from the security services.

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A Second Look at the War on Terror
August 12, 2006
by Nathan Tabor

It was the headline seen on websites around the world—“Airlines Terror Plot Disrupted.”

Westerners awakened on August 10th to the news that a terrorist plot of possibly unprecedented proportions had been planned for planes from the U.K. heading to the U.S.

Scotland Yard reported that the diabolical plan called for “mass murder on an unimaginable scale.” Ironic, considering the fact that filmmaker Oliver Stone’s patriotic masterpiece on the World Trade Center attacks is just hitting theaters now. In light of all this, one has to wonder:

What are those Americans who respond to national public opinion polls thinking?

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Preparing for College by Reading the Bible
What Students Need to Know

by Chuck Colson
August 11, 2006

Is it possible to be an educated person without knowing about the Bible? That’s the question that was posed to thirty-nine English professors at some of our leading universities. Their answers should not come as a surprise, although given our culture’s “Christophobia” and the politically correct attitudes on campuses, they probably do.

The relationship between biblical literacy and education was the subject of a survey conducted by the Bible Literacy Project. The study, whose subtitle is “What University Professors Say Incoming Students Need to Know,” found that every professor surveyed agreed with the following statement: “Regardless of a person’s faith, an educated person needs to know about the Bible.” Every professor!

By way of elaboration, Professor George P. Landow, from my alma mater, the very liberal Brown University, said, “[Without the Bible] it’s like using a dictionary with one-third of the words removed.” Professor Ulrich Knoepflmacher at Princeton said that the lack of “Bible knowledge is almost crippling in students’ ability to be sophisticated readers.”

Case in point: A preparation workbook for the Advanced Placement Literature exam lists sixty-seven biblical allusions among the 105 allusions that it recommends students know. Yet, only 8 percent of public high schools teach about the Bible even as literature.
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