Saturday, April 14, 2007

O my soul, this day lay down thy wishes at Jesus' feet! If thou hast of late been somewhat wayward and willful, eager to be and to do after thine own mind, now dismiss thy foolish self, and place the reins in the Lord's hands. Say, "He shall choose." If others dispute the sovereignty of the Lord and glory in the free will of man, do thou answer them, "He shall choose for me." It is my freest choice to let Him choose. As a free agent, I elect that He should have absolute sway. ...CH Spurgeon

Rector to address Episcopal charges of theft, fraud
Armstrong plans 'forum' at church

By Todd Hartman, Rocky Mountain News
April 14, 2007

The Rev. Donald Armstrong today is scheduled to address accusations of theft and fraud outlined by the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado in a church version of an indictment.

The document, called a "presentment," outlines six counts against Armstrong, including allegations he used nearly $400,000 in church funds to cover family expenses, a grant to a friend, his own children's education and other, unknown, expenditures.

Armstrong, a rector of 20 years at the prominent Grace Church and St. Stephen's parish in Colorado Springs, has denied the charges, and plans to address the allegations this morning at what his spokesman called a "public forum" at the church.
the rest

Investigation Clears Bishop of Connecticut

The Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith, Bishop of Connecticut, has been cleared by the Title IV [disciplinary] Review Committee of charges that he violated canon law. The charges, brought by nine adult communicants and the rectors of six parishes, challenged a variety of actions that Bishop Smith took in pursuing abandonment of communion charges against the six clergy.

“The review committee has reached different conclusions with respect to different allegations,” the committee stated in a 92-page
decision released April 11. “With respect to a small number of the alleged offenses, the review committee has not found reasonable cause to believe that they constitute offenses under the canons. With respect to most of the other actions challenged by the charges, the review committee has not found reasonable cause to believe that they constitute offenses under the canons and in any event has not found reasonable cause to believe that Bishop Smith’s actions were taken with the intent required to be subject to presentment.

“The review committee has found reasonable cause to believe that one aspect of Bishop Smith’s response violated a canon, but that the violation cannot be subject of a presentment because the review committee could not determine that there was reasonable cause to find that it was an intentional, material and meaningful offense.”
the rest

Pope, as author, portrays the 'real Jesus'
The pontiff's new book is a 'personal search for the face of the Lord.'
By Tracy Wilkinson, Times Staff Writer
April 14, 2007

A book launch by the pope carries a certain kind of fanfare.

The formal presentation Friday of Benedict XVI's first book as pope took place in a large, solemn auditorium. Cardinals in blood-red skullcaps sat in the front row, priests and nuns shared the rest of the leather-covered chairs with diplomats, two former Italian presidents and journalists.

The event was broadcast live on television, though the author was not in attendance.

The book, a long and dense theological treatise on Jesus Christ, is due to appear in bookstores Monday, the pope's 80th birthday. Publishing companies say they expect they'll have a bestseller on their hands.
the rest

Pope Describes His Book on Jesus as a 'Personal' View, Not Doctrine

Friday, April 13, 2007

When in His mercy God leads a soul in the higher path of sanctification, He begins by stripping it of all self-confidence, and to this end He allows our own schemes to fail, our judgment to mislead us. We grope and totter and make countless mistakes until we learn wholly to mistrust ourselves and put all our confidence in Him. ...Jean Nicolas Grou photo

The Logic of Penal Substitution
Albert Mohler
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2007

Theologian J. I. Packer delivered an historic defense of objective significance of the cross in "
What Did the Cross Achieve? The Logic of Substitutionary Atonement," his 1973 Tyndale Biblical Theology Lecture at Cambridge University.

Packer starts by describing that the penal substitutionary understanding of the atonement "by and large, is a distinguishing mark of the world-wide evangelical fraternity." It is noteworthy that Packer expected his audience to accept that statement at face value. Just over thirty years ago it was safe to assume that most evangelicals understood the penal substitutionary view to be paramount.

In his words:

Broadly speaking, there have been three ways in which Christ's death has been explained in the church. Each reflects a particular view of the nature of God and our plight in sin, and of what is needed to bring us to God in the fellowship of acceptance on his side and faith and love on ours. It is worth glancing at them to see how the idea of substitution fits in with each.
the rest

The Road to Healing
Battling homosexual attraction one day at a time.


Society holds up the athlete, the jock, the handsome hunk as the ideal man. Believing that lie, I didn't stand a chance while growing up. I was average in appearance, awkward as an athlete, and short. Physical education classes in junior high and high school were nightmares. I was always chosen last. When we lost games, I was often the scapegoat. The gym teacher at my Christian school once joked about my lack of coordination in front of the class. My peers laughed. My heart sank. My already poor self-image was battered with the abuse. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

It was during those years that I started struggling with homosexual desires, beginning when I saw two male classmates in my Christian junior high school engaging in sex. Even though I had been attracted to girls when I was younger, my feelings for males intensified. In high school, the guys ridiculed gays. On the outside I laughed, but on the inside I was dying.
the rest

More Christians Secretly Confessing Sins on the Web
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Apr. 13 2007

Confessionals in the Catholic Church have seen less foot traffic over the past several decades. Much of that traffic, it seems, has moved to anonymous online confessionals. receives hundreds of anonymous confessions and over 1 million hits each day. The website tells visitors to confess their sins but it doesn't necessarily provide the peace and the forgiveness that a person would find in the church. Although it categorizes confessions by the 10 commandments, it's a secular forum. And while some are serious confessions, a lot of confessors reveal "kooky-weird" habits, some of which have been compiled into a book – Coming Clean.

Webmaster Greg Fox clearly tells visitors that each confession is "shamelessly presented to the entire planet, for the whole world to read."

Confessing anonymously on the Web has become a major outlet for both young and mature adults with DailyConfession being one of many web-based ways to get secrets or sins off their chest.
the rest

Thriving Church in Mormon Country Emphasizes Community
By Mark Ellis
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
Friday, April 13, 2007

OREM, UTAH (ANS) -- In a valley considered the spiritual heart of LDS culture, a 600-member evangelical church is remarkably healthy, with at least half the seats filled with ex-Mormons. All this has come without Mormon-bashing, or any special training or messages to Mormons at their worship services.

“When you come to church on Sunday morning, you’re not going to hear about Mormonism,” says Scott McKinney, pastor of Christ Evangelical Church. The core message and philosophy of Christ Evangelical isn’t about winning arguments with Mormons. “If a Mormon comes to our church and hears a negative message about Mormonism they will get up and walk out,” he says.

First settled by Mormon missionaries in 1847, the Utah Valley is home to 450,000 living primarily in Orem and Provo. The valley is also home to thousands of mission-minded students at BYU, Utah Valley State College, and the church’s Missionary Training Center, which trains and sends out 53,000 missionaries to various parts of the world each year.
the rest

The prospect of all-female conception
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 13 April 2007

Women might soon be able to produce sperm in a development that could allow lesbian couples to have their own biological daughters, according to a pioneering study published today.

Scientists are seeking ethical permission to produce synthetic sperm cells from a woman's bone marrow tissue after showing that it possible to produce rudimentary sperm cells from male bone-marrow tissue.

The researchers said they had already produced early sperm cells from bone-marrow tissue taken from men. They believe the findings show that it may be possible to restore fertility to men who cannot naturally produce their own sperm.

But the results also raise the prospect of being able to take bone-marrow tissue from women and coaxing the stem cells within the female tissue to develop into sperm cells, said Professor Karim Nayernia of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
the rest

Episcopal bishops castigate Williams
By Julia Duin
April 13, 2007

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is increasingly under attack these days from his own bishops.

Several American Episcopal bishops as well as the archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada have -- in a rare show of public pique -- castigated the English prelate for his handling of the homosexuality issue.

And to date, Archbishop Williams has turned down a request for a meeting with some 140 American bishops, citing a crammed schedule, including an upcoming two-month sabbatical to write a book.

However, yesterday's London-based Guardian newspaper reported he plans to spend part of the sabbatical in the United States. His spokesman, Jonathan Jennings, refused comment about the sabbatical yesterday but said a meeting was still "under consideration."

"Hopefully," he added, "there will be an announcement before the end of the month."
the rest

Gay bishop says church can heal, to discuss issue at VU
Sewanee grad, now New Hampshire Episcopal leader, says furor stuns him

The man at the center of a controversy that threatens to shatter the worldwide Anglican church remains hopeful that his church can heal.

Bishop Gene Robinson, a graduate of the University of the South, is the first openly gay bishop in the U.S. Episcopal Church. More than 20 churches have split from the Episcopal Church in protest over his consecration in New Hampshire, and worldwide leaders of the Anglican church have issued a stern call to the U.S. church to fall back to a more conservative stand on homosexuality and gay marriage.

Robinson, who is in Nashville today to speak at Vanderbilt University, remains quietly astonished over the controversy.

"It would be hard in retrospect to look back and imagine that would be the case," he said. "People in the diocese were just looking for the next bishop. I had been in New Hampshire 30 years. They felt they knew me, my skills, my gifts. While we knew this would be somewhat controversial, none of us expected it to have such breadth and depth."
the rest

Fla. Anglican Church Loses $4 Million Property
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Apr. 13 2007

An Anglican church in Jacksonville, Fla., lost its church property to the Episcopal diocese in a court ruling earlier this week.

Judge Karen Cole ruled that Redeemer Anglican Church belongs to the Diocese of Florida, which put parish members on legal hold until an official report is issued for review.

"We are naturally disappointed that the diocese ignored the appeals of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Panel of Reference," Redeemer's rector, the Rev. Neil Lebhar, told VirtueOnline, a voice for global Orthodox Anglicanism. "We had hoped that the Primates Communiqué would be taken seriously and honored by the Diocese of Florida."

Anglican leaders from around the world had requested in a February communiqué that congregations in the United States back away from property litigation as they wait on a response from the Episcopal Church – the U.S. arm of Anglicanism – to the communion's moratorium on consecrating homosexuals and blessing same-sex unions. More recently, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Anglicanism’s spiritual leader, had recommended in a letter presented last month to suspend litigation over property.
the rest

Church dismisses religious charges against Episcopal bishop
April 13, 2007

HARTFORD, Conn. --A national review committee of the Episcopal Church has dismissed all the religious charges brought against Connecticut Bishop Andrew Smith by leaders of six conservative parishes, the bishop said Friday.

The parishes had alleged, among other things, inappropriate application of church law in Smith's decision to support the Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the church's first openly gay bishop. Robinson's 2003 consecration divided the U.S. Episcopal Church and expanded the rift over gay issues among churches in the global Anglican Communion.

Dubbed the "Connecticut Six," the priests had asked to be supervised by a different bishop because they disagreed with Smith's support for Robinson.

The committee issued an 89-page decision that was mailed on April 11 to attorneys for the Diocese and for the churches. There is no provision for appeal. The committee, comprising five bishops, two priests, and two lay persons, is similar to a grand jury, which determines if there is enough evidence to continue to a church trial.
the rest

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Try to give your agenda to God. Keep saying, 'Your will be done, not mine.' Give every part of your heart and your time to God and let God tell you what to do, where to go, when and how to respond. God does not want you to destroy yourself. Exhaustion, burnout, and depression are not signs that you are doing God's will. God is gentle and loving. God desires to give you a deep sense of safety in God's love. Once you have allowed yourself to experience that love fully, you will be better able to discern who you are being sent to in God's name. ...Henri J. M. Nouwen

NYT: Keeping The Faith
Published: April 8, 2007

Walk into a shop to buy a newspaper or a wurst or a Game Boy in the German city of Regensburg and your server will probably welcome you with a brisk “grüss’ Gott,” shorthand for “God greet you.” It’s the local form of hello: street-corner dudes and grandmas, everyone says it. This is Bavaria, Germany’s Catholic heartland, a region that gives the lie to the popular notion that Western Europe has tossed its Christian heritage in history’s dustbin. Bavaria is as modern as you please — a center of the European telecommunications industry, the home of BMW (as in Bavarian Motor Works) — but on any special occasion you see couples wandering around looking like Hansel and Gretel, in lederhosen and dirndls. Elsewhere in Germany, Bavarian jokes serve the same function that Polish jokes used to in the United States. Bavarians will tell you they hold to tradition, religion and antique styles of speech not out of stupidity or addiction to kitsch but because they believe these things encompass what is real and true.

The center of Regensburg is all old stone, a carefully preserved medley of medieval towers, gates and spires clustered on the banks of the Danube, and in various ways — the firmness of the material, the rigorous workmanship, the serious commitment to the past as a component of the present — you might see this clutch of buildings as a metaphor for the mind and heart of Bavaria’s most illustrious native. Joseph Ratzinger — Pope Benedict XVI — was born in a little village tucked between a ridge and a broad plain of farmland to the east, and the major events of his childhood and much of his adulthood played out around here. the rest

The Homosexual Agenda is Coming to Your Child's School Next Week
An Interview with ADF Attorney Mike Johnson

Audio link

Date set for Grace parishioners to vote on vestry’s severed ties
April 9, 2007

On May 20, parishioners at Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish will vote whether to support their vestry’s decision to leave the Episcopal Church.

But congregants loyal to the Episcopal Church say that the vote isn’t legal under canon law and that they’re not going to participate.

The Rev. Donald Armstrong, longtime rector for Grace, the church formerly tied to the Episcopal Church, announced the May 20 date in a letter to parishioners sent Friday. The vote will conclude a 40-day period of discernment, beginning Wednesday, in which Armstrong and the church’s vestry will meet with congregants to explain allegations leveled against Armstrong and tell them about the Convocation of Anglicans in North America — an organization affiliated with the Anglican province of Nigeria. The vestry voted March 26 to align the parish with the Nigerian adjunct.

Armstrong has dedicated an April 14 meeting to discuss allegations by the diocese that he misused church money. He was suspended by the diocese in December.
the rest

Senate votes to lift stem-cell ban
By Sean Lengell
April 12, 2007

The Senate yesterday passed a bill to lift a Bush administration ban on federal funding for research on new lines of human embryonic stem cells, disregarding the president's vow to veto it again.

The chamber also approved a second stem-cell-research bill endorsed by the White House that its Republican authors say skirts the moral concerns of destroying human embryos for research.

The more expansive of the two bills, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, was approved by a vote of 63-34 -- the same number of yes votes that a similar bill received last year.

It's uncertain whether the measure has enough votes to override a veto in the Senate, which would require 67 votes if the full 100-member Senate is present. A similar bill to fund embryonic stem-cell research passed the House in January by a vote of 253-174 -- a margin even further away from the needed two-thirds majority.
the rest

CNY Diocese: Episcopal Church Gets Limited Status in Lawsuit to Seize Syracuse Parish
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Contact: Raymond J. Dague 315-422-2052

The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church (abbreviated DFMS) was told by a New York supreme court judge that it could participate as little more than an observer in the property dispute lawsuit by the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York against St. Andrews Church in Syracuse. Supreme Court Justice James P. Murphy in a written decision earlier this week ruled that “DFMS only asserts that St. Andrew’s property is held in trust for the benefit of the Episcopal Church as promulgated by certain Episcopal canons, and as such, the Court finds its legal interest to be insufficient.” The judge allowed DFMS to intervene in the ongoing lawsuit, but “that the permissive intervention of the DFMS should be limited.”

The court ruled that the attorneys for the Diocese must serve as lead trial counsel for both the Diocese and Episcopal Church. The Diocesan lawyers will also have to “submit, coordinate, conduct, and control all discovery, including depositions, on behalf of both” DFMS and the Diocese, and will “supervise and control all motion practice on behalf of both entities.” … “DFMS may also attend any and all discovery proceedings, but DFMS may not individually conduct any discovery without the express permission of the Court, following a showing that the interest of DFMS is somehow different or unique to the Diocese’s interest.”

“This is a win for the parish, but there is still far to go in our defense of the attempt by the diocese to seize our church,” said attorney Raymond Dague who represents the upstate Anglican congregation which split from the Episcopal Church last year and joined itself to the Anglican province of Rwanda. St. Andrews has successfully resisted the attempt by the diocese, and now the Episcopal Church, to take the parish through legal action, both last July and again last September. In September, the judge dismissed the part of the lawsuit where the diocese sued individual members of the parish vestry, and also denied a request for a preliminary injunction against the local church. The lawsuit against the parish and the rector was allowed to continue. It was this lawsuit which the New York City based church corporation sought to join in this intervention attempt.

St. Andrews Church was the first local parish sued by the Episcopal Church since Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori took office in November of 2006. The Episcopal Church has also intervened in the lawsuit by the Diocese of Virginia to seize 11 parishes in northern Virginia, including the historic Falls Church. A similar attempt by the Episcopal Church to intervene and assert claims against three parishes in the Los Angeles Diocese was dismissed by a trial court judge last year. Those cases are now on appeal.

The Syracuse case is apparently the first one in the country where the Episcopal Church was granted only limited rights to participate in the litigation between a Diocese and a local parish.

The parish and the larger church organizations which are suing it are on opposite sides of a controversy over homosexual bishops and the authority of Scripture which has plunged the Episcopal Church into litigation across the country. St. Andrews adheres to the traditional teaching of the church that sex outside of marriage is prohibited by the Bible, while the leaders of the larger church have been outspoken supporters of the actively homosexual bishop of New Hampshire.

PDF: Legal Decision

Pope Says Evolution Can't Be Proven
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

BERLIN, Germany (AP) -- Benedict XVI, in his first extended reflections on evolution published as pope, says that Darwin's theory cannot be finally proven and that science has unnecessarily narrowed humanity's view of creation.

In a new book, "Creation and Evolution," published Wednesday in German, the pope praised progress gained by science, but cautioned that evolution raises philosophical questions science alone cannot answer.

"The question is not to either make a decision for a creationism that fundamentally excludes science, or for an evolutionary theory that covers over its own gaps and does not want to see the questions that reach beyond the methodological possibilities of natural science," the pope said.
the rest

NYT: About Creation, Pope Melds Faith With Science

CWA Claims Fake “Hate Crimes” Being Used to Force Legislation through Congress
Laws would give homosexuals and their behavior special protections under US law and muzzle free speech

By Peter J. Smith
April 11, 2007

( – Fake “hate crimes” are providing the impetus behind legislation pushed though Congress that would give homosexuals and their behavior special protections under US law and muzzle free speech protections of those who oppose homosexuality.

According to Concerned Women for America (CWA), liberal lawmakers in the Democrat controlled Congress are poised to push the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1592) - which would include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in current “hate crimes” legislation – despite the fact that homosexual activists may have fabricated an alarming percentage of the miniscule number of “hate crimes.”
the rest

The Morning I Heard God's Voice
I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God still speaks today.

John Piper


Let me tell you about a most wonderful experience I had early Monday morning, March 19, 2007, a little after 6 a.m. God actually spoke to me. There is no doubt that it was God. I heard the words in my head just as clearly as when a memory of a conversation passes across your consciousness. The words were in English, but they had about them an absolutely self-authenticating ring of truth. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God still speaks today.

I couldn't sleep for some reason. I was at Shalom House in northern Minnesota on a staff couples' retreat. It was about 5:30 in the morning. I lay there wondering if I should get up or wait until I got sleepy again. In his mercy, God moved me out of bed. It was mostly dark, but I managed to find my clothing, got dressed, grabbed my briefcase, and slipped out of the room without waking up my wife, Noël. In the main room below, it was totally quiet. No one else seemed to be up. So I sat down on a couch in the corner to pray.

As I prayed and mused, suddenly it happened. God said, "Come and see what I have done." There was not the slightest doubt in my mind that these were the very words of God. At this very place in the 21st century, God was speaking to me with absolute authority and self-evidencing reality. I paused to let this sink in. There was a sweetness about it. Time seemed to matter little. God was near. He had me in his sights. He had something to say to me. When God draws near, hurry ceases. Time slows down.

the rest-Awesome!

The Atonement -- Understanding the Meaning of the Cross
Albert Mohler
Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2007

Last week, with the cross and resurrection of Christ prominent in many public conversations, several figures launched direct attacks upon the idea of penal substitution. Most notably, The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey John of the Church of England rejected the doctrine as "repulsive" and "insane" [
see here]. Following in this line, Dr. Giles Fraser, Vicar of Putney, affirmed John's argument [see here].

Now, with the press having moved on to other pursuits and interests, we should return to the question and remind ourselves of why penal substitution is so important and essential to New Testament Christianity.

To that end, I commend an excellent article written almost a year ago by Dr. Mark Dever, pastor of Capiol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. In "Nothng But the Blood," published in the May 1, 2006 edition of Christianity Today, Dr. Dever presents one of the best and most succinct summaries of the doctrine and its importance.
the rest

Ephraim Radner–The March Statement by the House of Bishops: Confusing the Flock

Many, including those opposing its content, have praised the recent House of Bishops Statement for its “clarity”. In what follows, I want to dispute that evaluation. The Statement is unclear in numerous important respects, except one, viz. its animus against the Anglican Communion’s Primates’ Meeting. The reasons for that animus, however, are hardly spelled out, are often contradictory, and are lodged within a tissue of assertions that are without stated rationale. This is not clarity at all. And in the context of the current agonized and conflicted debate within TEC and the Communion, the Statement amounts to an act of pastoral and theological irresponsibility of the highest order.

Many bishops who supported the Statement have since criticized conservative members of their church for drawing dire conclusions from their work, arguing that such conclusions are precipitous and uncharitable, even while they pat themselves on the back for finally “standing up” to the so-called Communion bullies. The celebration will be short-lived. The Statement itself, rushed out without open consultation on key elements which supposedly inform its perspective, in the face of pledges to hold off from just such rash and emotive response to the Primates, does nothing but encourage despair over our bishops’ capacity to exercise their ministries with a modicum of prudence, let alone the humility of Christian wisdom. The dire conclusions are more than justified, short of some unexpected reversal of attitude and performance by the House of Bishops in the near future.

the rest at titusonenine

Archbishop of Canterbury still hesitates about meeting Episcopal Church's bishops
Stephen Bates
Thursday April 12, 2007
The Guardian

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is still hesitating about whether to accept an invitation from American bishops to meet them to discuss the gay crisis in the Anglican communion, even though it turns out that he is spending part of the summer in the US. The American Episcopalians are threatened with expulsion from the worldwide church after September because of their welcoming attitude towards gays and, following a meeting last month, their bishops asked to meet Dr Williams to explain their point of view. You might think that the archbishop would want to meet them, not least since they provide much of the money which keeps the Anglican mission going. His answer instead is that he is planning to spend much of the next three months on sabbatical and holiday, so won't be available. What the Church of England hasn't said is that he'll be in the US. Asked yesterday whether he might offer them a little time, Williams's spokesman said: "No, that's off limits."
the rest

'Let women be bishops' - Morgan
Wednesday, 11 April 2007

The leader of the Anglican church in Wales has called for his church to allow women priests to become bishops.

Archbishop Barry Morgan used his presidential address at the opening of the Church in Wales governing body's meeting in Swansea to make the call.

Dr Morgan, a strong supporter of women priests, said allowing them to be elected as bishops was now the "only logical step".

A final decision on whether to allow the move is expected in a year's time.
the rest

Abortion foes work to expand informed-consent laws
Activists on the other side say the sort of information mandated for women amounts to a misleading scare tactic.
By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer
April 12, 2007

One of the most intense battlegrounds in the abortion debate these days revolves around a simple question: What do women need to know before they terminate a pregnancy?

South Dakota lawmakers want to compel doctors — under penalty of a month in jail — to tell women that the abortion they seek will kill a "whole, separate, unique, living human being."

South Carolina is on the verge of requiring that a woman review ultrasound images of her fetus with a physician before consenting to end a pregnancy. In Mississippi, a woman must be given a chance to listen in as the abortion doctor checks the fetal heartbeat.
the rest

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins."
—Psalm 25:18.

It is well for us when prayers about our sorrows are linked with pleas concerning our sins—when, being under God's hand, we are not wholly taken up with our pain, but remember our offences against God. It is well, also, to take both sorrow and sin to the same place. It was to God that David carried his sorrow: it was to God that David confessed his sin. Observe, then, we must take our sorrows to God. Even your little sorrows you may roll upon God, for He counteth the hairs of your head; and your great sorrows you may commit to Him, for He holdeth the ocean in the hollow of His hand. Go to Him, whatever your present trouble may be, and you shall find Him able and willing to relieve you. But we must take our sins to God too. We must carry them to the cross, that the blood may fall upon them, to purge away their guilt, and to destroy their defiling power.

The special lesson of the text is this:—that we are to go to the Lord with sorrows and with sins in the right spirit. Note that all David asks concerning his sorrow is, "Look upon mine affliction and my pain;" but the next petition is vastly more express, definite, decided, plain—"Forgive all my sins" Many sufferers would have put it, "Remove my affliction and my pain, and look at my sins." But David does not say so; he cries, "Lord, as for my affliction and my pain, I will not dictate to Thy wisdom. Lord, look at them, I will leave them to Thee, I should be glad to have my pain removed, but do as Thou wilt; but as for my sins, Lord, I know what I want with them; I must have them forgiven; I cannot endure to lie under their curse for a moment." A Christian counts sorrow lighter in the scale than sin; he can bear that his troubles should continue, but he cannot support the burden of his transgressions. ...CH Spurgeon

Chris Tomlin singing How Great is Our God

and How Great Thou Art

Draft Response to Primates' Communique Reviewed

An Executive Council work group has received the draft of a legal document in response to issues raised in the primates’ communiqué.

The draft document was written by Sally Johnson, the chancellor to the president of the House of Deputies, Bonnie Anderson, who also serves as chair of the work group. It was distributed to members of the task force during a conference call April 4.

A revised version of the document will be presented to Executive Council, which meets in Parsippany, N.J., in June. The final version will be offered as a partial response to the primates.

The Living Church: the rest

First Ever Global Chinese Alpha Conference Commences in Hong Kong
Around 2,000 Chinese pastors and believers of all denominations from over 25 countries witnessed the opening of the first ever Global Chinese Alpha Conference.

Claudia Cheng
Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2007

HONG KONG- Around 2,000 Chinese pastors and believers of all denominations from over 25 countries witnessed the opening of the first ever Global Chinese Alpha Conference in Hong Kong on Monday.

At the Hong Kong International Trade & Exhibition Centre in Kowloon, the British Alpha Chaplain Rev. Nicky Gumbel, Bishop Joseph Zen of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, General Secretary of the Hong Kong Anglican Church Rev. Paul Kwong and many denomination representatives were presented at the grand ceremony.

It has been one of the most memorable occasions in Hong Kong Christianity where all Catholic, Anglican and Protestant leaders have united in one heart in supporting the Conference. As Chinese Christians around the world commemorate the bicentenary of the first western missionary Robert Morrison bringing the Gospel to China, the Conference has become a unique opportunity for global Chinese Christians to celebrate the grace of the Lord upon China, as well as to open up a new era of mission by putting their strength together.
the rest

“A really cool church"
“It is plausible that the all-male priesthood has caused some Catholic women to convert to the Episcopal Church to be ordained”
April 11, 2007

“I didn’t realize how much pain I had from growing up in a church that did not permit women as pastors,” said Melanie Donohoe in an interview published March 22 in the Oakland Tribune.

Donohoe was talking about growing up Catholic. “I was not one of those girls who wanted to be a nun,” said Donohoe. “I always loved the spiritual, the mystical, and the sacramental, but I did not sit around dreaming of being a priest.” But, today, Donohoe is a priest -- or what some would call a priest. She is an Episcopal minister and associate rector of Transfiguration Episcopal Church in San Mateo. “I'm really happy being a priest,” she said, “and I love my parish.”
the rest

Abortion attempt charge lodged
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
By Catie O'Toole Staff writer
Syracuse Post-Standard

A West Monroe woman is accused of trying to kill her fetus, Oswego County sheriff's reports said.

The 24-year-old woman, who lives on county Route 11, took several over-the-counter and prescription medications last week in an attempt to abort her 13-week-old fetus, Sheriff Reuel Todd said Tuesday.

"We don't know exactly why she did it, other than that she wanted to terminate the pregnancy," Todd said.
the rest

Executive Council group begins communiqué work
Members will draft response for Council’s June consideration

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
April 10, 2007

[Episcopal News Service] An Executive Council work group, appointed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, has begun considering the role, responsibilities and potential response of the Executive Council to the issues raised by the recent communiqué from the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

The Executive Council called for the work group via Resolution EC008, passed at its March 2-4
meeting in Portland, Oregon.

The work group members are Bishop David Alvarez (Diocese of Puerto Rico); Bishop Jon Bruno (Diocese of Los Angeles); the Rev. Dr. Ian Douglas (Diocese of Massachusetts; Sherry Denton (Diocese of Western Kansas); Dr. Delbert Glover (Diocese of Western Massachusetts); the Rev. Canon Mark Harris (Diocese of Delaware); the Rev. Gay Jennings (Diocese of Ohio); the Rev. Timothy Kimbrough (Diocese of North Carolina); and Bishop Stacy Sauls (Diocese of Lexington). Resolution EC008 named Anderson, who is also vice president of Executive Council, to chair the work group. (Jefferts Schori is president of Executive Council.) Sally Johnson, Anderson’s chancellor, is a consultant to the work group.
the rest

Bishop Robinson: N.H. civil unions won't threaten religion
Associated Press Writer
April 10, 2007

CONCORD, N.H. -- V. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church's sole openly gay bishop, added his voice to New Hampshire's civil unions debate, saying legalizing same sex unions doesn't threaten religion or families.

Robinson testified at a Senate hearing on civil unions, which passed the House last week. He said he went to the Legislature as a religious leader and a New Hampshire citizen seeking equality for himself and his partner of nearly 20 years.

What we seek in the civil realm is the equal treatment by the state government in supporting this development of our relationship with the legal, financial and societal underpinnings which are afforded married couples at the very moment they say 'I do,"' he said.

Church, family and the state collided Tuesday under the Statehouse dome as the Senate took a first look at the bill, which if passed, would make New Hampshire the fourth state to allow gay and lesbian couples to enter civil unions. Canada and Massachusetts allow gay marriage. Vermont, New Jersey and Connecticut provide civil unions. New Hampshire's civil union bill would give same sex couples everything marriage entails, except the word.
the rest

A Bronze Age Vessel of Purification Reveals the Signature of Moses
Aparil 11,2007

ESCONDIDO, Calif., April 11 /
Christian Newswire/ -- THE VESSEL OF PURIFICATION is believed to have been associated with the Prophet Moses over 3,300 years ago. Researchers have identified upon the Bronze Age Art-scroll artistic montage distinctive Paleo-Hebrew writing including the signature of its artist that elaborately signed, yet clearly spelled out his name, 'MoSHeH.'

The investigation of a Hebrew artifact holds great significance to Muslims, Christians and Jewish people. The copyrighted artifact and its illustrations are available. The certified laboratory data collaborates with the ancient sacrificial system of ceremonially clean animals as well as healing plants used within the ancient Hebrew sanctuary.
the rest

Mexico: Big Abortion's safety net
Posted: April 11, 2007
By Mark Crutcher

When the U.S. government began dropping the hammer on American tobacco companies, these corporations became alarmed that their prospects for long-term survival might be no better than it is for the people who buy their products. Their response was to redirect their marketing efforts toward foreign countries where the governments don't regulate the sale and use of these little white cancer sticks. The plan worked, and today, an enormous percentage of the profits made by "Big Tobacco" are generated by cigarette sales in foreign countries.

Now, another American institution faces a similar situation and embraces the same response.

If all goes as predicted,
Mexico will soon legalize abortion and become a full-fledged participant in the most prolific holocaust the world has ever known. To bring this about, the Mexican abortion lobby has regurgitated the same collection of lies and distortions that their American counterparts have used over the last 40 years or so. They clearly operate on the assumption that Mexican politicians are as stupid, corrupt, immoral and cowardly as American politicians, and the results show that the assumption is not unjustified. the rest

Filipino bishops celebrating Easter on ‘YouTube’
Bishops launch their own video blog, posting Easter teachings and homilies. It will soon serve as a forum linking the Filipino Church and Filipinos around the world

by Santosh Digal

Manila (AsiaNews) – In addition to churches, Filipino bishops celebrated Easter this year on YouTube. They inaugurated in fact their own
YouTube video blog last week by posting Church teachings and reflections on the essence of Holy Week for the benefit of Filipinos, especially the young, around the world, thus heeding the call of the late Pope John Paul II to make the most of the Internet to spread the Gospel.

“The launching was timed for Holy Week, it being the most appropriate time to issue short catechesis on the liturgical significance of the celebrations that have been most misunderstood,” said Mgr. Pedro Quitorio III, spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and director of its Media Office.

The first CBCP video blogs feature Quitorio in a Holy Week series where he discusses various Easter traditions, such as the Washing of the Feet, Visits to Churches and the Veneration of the Cross.
the rest

A rare philosemitic Christian narrative
April 4, 2007

Scanning the books clamoring for attention in the book editor's closet at The Jerusalem Post, Haim Chertok, an occasional reviewer for the paper, noted a festschrift - a collection of commemorative essays marking the centenary of the birth of an Anglican priest, James Parkes.

Chertok had read two books Parkes had written, including one about the unhappy history of the early church's relations with the Jews. The other, Whose Land?, examined the claims that Jews, Christians and Muslims had on the Holy Land and concluded that on historical grounds, the Jews had the strongest case. Chertok, who taught English at Ben-Gurion University, toyed with the notion of selecting a novel to read on the bus back to Beersheba but in the end his hand reached for the essays on Parkes.

That casual choice in 1997 would decide the direction of Chertok's life for the next decade.
the rest

Billy Graham: Islamic Differences Won't be Solved 'Overnight'
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

He is 88 now, bent by age and ailments, spending his days sitting with his beloved bedridden wife, Ruth, at their home in the mountains of North Carolina.

Yet the stature of Billy Graham, whose global ministry got its start in Minnesota, continues to grow. In December, the Gallup Poll named him among the 10 most admired men in the world - a 50th time for him on that list.

Few living Christians have been stronger unifying forces, commanded such respect or influenced more people. Among high-profile evangelists, he stands out for personal integrity, openness to cultural change and a lack of interest in wealth.
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Diabetics cured by stem-cell treatment
David Rose
April 11, 2007

Diabetics using stem-cell therapy have been able to stop taking insulin injections for the first time, after their bodies started to produce the hormone naturally again.

In a breakthrough trial, 15 young patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes were given drugs to suppress their immune systems followed by transfusions of stem cells drawn from their own blood.

The results show that insulin-dependent diabetics can be freed from reliance on needles by an injection of their own stem cells. The therapy could signal a revolution in the treatment of the condition, which affects more than 300,000 Britons.
the rest

BBC news: April 11, 2007

Woman loses final embryo appeal

Portuguese abortion law in force

Fight over fatally ill US toddler

Assam's missing women and the sex trade

One-parent families on the rise

Diabetes 'blocked by stem cells'

Who do you say I am?
Episcopal priests discuss conflicts in their church

Just before he died, former President Gerald Ford expressed concern that his beloved Episcopal Church might be facing a schism. Ford, who was eulogized as a healer, was painfully aware of the conflict going on in the Episcopalian Church over sexual issues. Consider the following three recent developments:

Nine Episcopal churches in Virginia are planning to leave the Episcopal Church in the United States and come under the oversight of Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, in part because of the consecration of Gene Robinson, a gay priest, as bishop.

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of the Anglican Church of Uganda informed the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, that he and other bishops from dioceses south of the equator "cannot sit together with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori" [the only woman archbishop in the Anglican Communion] at the church meeting that took place in Tanzania, Feb. 14-19.
the rest

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We ought to give ourselves up to God, both in temporal and spiritual things, and seek our satisfaction only in fulfilling His will. Whether He leads us by suffering or consolation, all is the same to one truly resigned. ...Brother Lawrence

Constantly practice the habit of inwardly gazing upon God. You know that something inside your heart sees God. Even when you are compelled to withdraw your conscious attention in order to engage in earthly affairs, there is within you a secret communion always going on.
... A. W. Tozer

Canadian Primate: Communion Headed Toward Schism

Canadian Archbishop Andrew Hutchison said the Anglican Communion is headed for schism and blamed the Archbishop of Canterbury for not being more decisive at critical moments.

The remarks come less than a week before Archbishop Rowan Williams is scheduled to make his first official visit to Canada since assuming the See of Canterbury in 2002. On April 17, Archbishop Williams will lead a retreat for members of the Canadian House of Bishops gathered for their spring retreat at the Mount Carmel Retreat Centre in Niagara Falls, Ont.

the rest at The Living Church

St. Andrew's Intro Video - with What you can do

St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Versailles, KY has a new video.

"This is a story of the rebirth of Anglican faith in Kentucky,"

St. Andrew's Anglican Church
Versailles KY 40383

Thousands are baptised in Beijing, while in Zhejiang two priests are imprisoned
The wave of new conversions makes it difficult to find sufficient godparents. In the interim of the Pope’s long awaited letter to China’s Catholics, the Patriotic Association’s iron fist is felt, particularly in Hebei and Zhejiang.

by Bernardo Cervellera

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Thousands of people were baptised into the faith in Catholic churches across China on Easter night. Yet in some areas the underground Church is still subjected to persecution and imprisonment.

In Beijing alone during the Easter Vigil, the number of adult baptisms numbered in the thousands! In the Church of Our Holy Saviour (Beitang) there were 180; in St Joseph’s (Dongtang) hundreds and in the Church of St Michael, where the Chinese of Korean origins, hundreds more, added to these, baptisms carried out in the underground Church.

The wave of religious rebirth and conversion to Catholicism is so great that the Christian community is having some difficulty in finding godparents to accompany the new catechumens. In the capital it is almost standard that any one godparent will have at least a dozen newly baptized to follow. The situation is analogues in most of China’s large cities: Shanghai, Xian, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xiamen, Shenzhen…
the rest

Surprised in the Desert

Series: Walking Through Life's Deserts
Tuesday, April 10 2007
Nancy Leigh DeMoss

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Families warned, Disney to allow homosexual 'weddings'
Allie Martin and Jody Brown
April 10, 2007

Christian families could be exposed to more than they bargained for if they take a vacation to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, according to the president of the American Family Association.

The Walt Disney Company recently announced it was making wedding ceremonies at its parks and on its cruise lines available to homosexual couples. For years, The Walt Disney Company had limited its "Fairy Tale Wedding" program to couples with valid marriage licenses. But a Disney spokesman says that policy was changed after a homosexual couple contacted the company, wanting to use its wedding service.
the rest

At the Local Abbey, Singing Unto the Lord an Old Song
Published: April 10, 2007

SOLESMES, France, April 5 — One of the tasks of Roger Server as mayor of this quaint village in western France is to console misguided tourists who want to hear the monks in its 11th-century monastery singing in Gregorian chant. “People come and ask, ‘Can you visit the concerts?’ ”

Tourists are restricted to the back of the church, he said, shaking his white hair in mock exasperation. “I tell them: ‘You can visit at the offices. You can admire the sculptures in the church.’ But the monks say, ‘We’re not here to receive tourists; we’re contemplatives.’ ”

The monks, 55 of them, inhabit the monastery that hovers over the village like some great granite mother hen over her chicks. But in recent times the monks have gained a measure of fame for their dedication to Gregorian chant, the simple vocal music whose cadences, in Latin, for centuries adorned the Roman Catholic liturgy.
the rest

Wisconsin's abortion rate continues to decline
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

By Scott Bauer
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. - Activists on both sides of the abortion debate took credit Monday for a new report that shows the number of women who had the procedure in 2006 was down for the third straight year and at the lowest level on record.

There were 9,580 abortions in Wisconsin last year, the lowest number since the state started tracking them in 1974, according to the report by the Department of Health and Family Services.

Sue Armacost, legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life, said she was "absolutely ecstatic" that the numbers continued to decline.
the rest

Fate of Episcopal Church Left to Anglican Leaders, Not Head
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Apr. 10 2007

An Episcopal bishop recently revealed that the latest Anglican conference, while publicly centered on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, had a hidden agenda - concern over the issue of homosexuality.

More than 400 people had convened in Boksburg, South Africa, last month for the Towards Effective Anglican Mission (TEAM) conference. While discussing concerns on HIV/AIDS, poverty, women and education, Pennsylvania Bishop Charles E. Bennison said the hidden agenda of the gathered Anglicans "concerned how our House of Bishops would respond by the Sept. 30 deadline set in the Feb. 19 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Communiqué."
the rest

"Beloving" vs. Believing?
Albert Mohler
Monday, April 09, 2007

Marcus Borg, soon to retire from his teaching post at
Oregon State University, is described by Portland's leading newspaper as "Oregon's leading theologian." Here is how The Oregonian introduces a profile on Borg:

Oregon's leading theologian walks his dog up and down the trendy streets of the Pearl District. His neighbors know Henry, the shaggy gray Glen of Imaal terrier, whose short legs set the pace. But few recognize Marcus J. Borg, the graying guy in the wool cap, as the spokesman for a different approach to Jesus Christ.

At 64, Borg is a public theologian and a private mystic. He writes theological books, several of which have made best-seller lists, and he reads murder mysteries. He was trained at Oxford University, and he teaches at Oregon State. He lives in a neighborhood overflowing with espresso, and he drinks Taster's Choice instant decaf.

Marcus Borg certainly is a "spokesman for a different approach to Jesus Christ. His approach, shared with other members of the "
Jesus Seminar," is to treat the New Testament writings, especially the Gospels, as multi-sourced, highly-edited, somewhat fictionalized renderings of Jesus. Borg's Jesus is a decidedly non-supernatural figure who, though stripped of such supernatural trappings as miracles and bodily resurrection, remains a figure of compelling spiritual power. the rest

Surrender Syndrome
By Cal Thomas
Thursday, April 5, 2007

Portstewart, Northern Ireland - Everywhere one looks in Europe there are signs that free people are prepared to surrender without a fight to those who would place them in bondage.

In England, a new government-backed study has found that British schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons. Teachers are afraid to teach about the Nazi atrocity because Muslim students might take offense.

The study also discovered resistance by teachers to cover the 11th-century Crusades, when Christians fought Muslims for control of Jerusalem, because the lessons contradict what Muslim students are taught in mosques. The sacrifice of truth in favor of propaganda for fear of violence is the first step on the road to enslavement.

It gets worse. A new survey by the respected YouGov organization has found most Britons want to scale down their country's involvement in world affairs at a time of great international challenge. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they oppose Britain "punching above its weight," trying to have more influence in the world than its military and economic strength would seem able to support.
the rest

McCain, Romney Advisers Spar Over Mormon Religion
By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 9, 2007

The tension between the campaigns of Arizona
Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was palpable when Harvard University gathered together top GOP strategists last month.

The issue was Romney's Mormon religion and for a few minutes, the audience was transfixed by an exchange between McCain advisers Bill McInturff and Stuart Stevens and Romney advisers Alex Castellanos and Ben Ginsberg.

The discussion underscored the deep sensitivity within the former governor's campaign about the potential impact of his religion on his presidential aspirations.
the rest

U. OF C. HEALTH STUDY: Physicians believe God can help patients get healthy
April 10, 2007

A majority of American doctors believe God or another supernatural being intervenes in patients' health, a study has found.

And nearly two in five doctors believe religion and spirituality can help prevent bad outcomes such as heart attacks, infections and even death, according to the University of Chicago nationwide survey of 2,000 physicians.

"Most physicians apply medical science while maintaining a belief that God intervenes in patients' health," Dr. Farr Curlin and colleagues wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
the rest

Sex Offenders Test Churches’ Core Beliefs
Published: April 10, 2007

CARLSBAD, Calif. — On a marquee outside and on a banner inside, Pilgrim United Church of Christ proclaims, “All are welcome.” Sustained by the belief that embracing all comers is a living example of Christ’s love, Pilgrim now faces a profound test of faith.

In late January, Mark Pliska, 53, told the congregation here that he had been in prison for molesting children but that he sought a place to worship and liked the atmosphere at Pilgrim.

Mr. Pliska’s request has plunged the close-knit congregation into a painful discussion about applying faith in a difficult real-world situation. Congregants now wonder, are all truly welcome? If they are, how do you ensure the safety of children and the healing of adult survivors of sexual abuse? Can an offender who accepts Christ truly change?
the rest

Wrenching politics surround stillborns
Bereft moms want birth papers, but abortion complicates issue

Ilene Lelchuk, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cherie Golant has three photos of her daughter Julia at birth. She has a lock of Julia's newborn hair, thick and dark. She has Julia's handprints, footprints and hospital wristbands.
She also has memories of 30 hours of grueling labor -- but no official record of Julia's birth.
Julia was stillborn, with her umbilical cord around her neck. The state issued only a death certificate.

"I remember my discharge nurse said to me, 'You are still a mom. Don't forget that,' " said Golant of San Francisco. "It was amazing to me how important those words were in the days and weeks after my daughter died. But there was no official evidence I was a mom. I had the milk in my breasts and the potbelly of a postpartum mom, but I didn't have a birth certificate."
the rest

Archbishop of Wales Calls for End to Discrimination, Trafficking
by Jennifer Gold
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Archbishop of Wales has called for discrimination in the Church in Wales to end against women and gay people.

The Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan, who is the head of the Anglican Church in Wales, said that the church was in danger of becoming a place where people feel marginalised, during his Easter message.

The Church of England's Hereford Diocese was recently forced to defend itself against allegations of discrimination when it turned down a gay man for a position. The diocese has strongly denied that the man was turned down because of his sexual inclinations.
the rest

Monday, April 09, 2007

"Come, see the place where the Lord lay," with joy and gladness. He does not lie there now. Weep, when ye see the tomb of Christ, but rejoice because it is empty. Thy sin slew him, but his divinity raised him up. Thy guilt hath murdered him, but his righteousness hath restored him. Oh! he hath burst the bonds of death, he hath ungirt the cerements of the tomb, and hath come out more than conqueror, crushing death beneath his feet. Rejoice, O Christian, for he is not there—he is risen.
...Charles Haddon Spurgeon photo

Primate says Williams is indecisive leader
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

An Anglican primate has launched a stinging attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury's "indecisive" leadership amid growing fears that the worldwide
Church will split within months.

The head of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, said yesterday that Dr Rowan Williams's handling of the
crisis over homosexuality had been "disappointing and lacking" at critical points.Archbishop Hutchison, a liberal ally of the American Episcopal Church, urged Dr Williams to meet the American bishops in an effort to avert a schism that could result in the Canadian Church splitting away as well.

He also said that he had advised Dr Williams to cancel next year's Lambeth Conference, the 10-yearly gathering of bishops in Canterbury, to help defuse the crisis.
the rest

Vigil service includes two baptisms
About 60 attend service at Episcopal cathedral featuring music of Irish group, U2.

Sunday, April 08, 2007
By Renée K. Gadoua Staff writer
Syracuse Post-Standard

During an Easter vigil service Saturday at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, John and Jennifer Owens took turns bouncing their 11-month-old daughter, Maggie, to the music of U2.

Late afternoon sun colored the stained-glass windows in the dark sanctuary as the couple sang "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," one of the many songs the Irish musicians have laced with a spiritual message.

The Owenses, who live in Syracuse, said "Jesus, the Rock who Rolls our Sins Away!" was a great way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his message of hope.
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Valley Reality
Series: Walking Through Life's Deserts
Nancy Leigh DeMoss


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Popular TV show House Shows Unborn Child Grabbing Doc's Finger
(aired last Thursday)

Must See YouTube Clip!


Men-Only Church Times Sermons, Meets in Gym
Outreach is part of national movement to reverse 'feminization' of Christianity.

By Jim Ellis
Associated Press Writer
Sat, Apr. 07 2007

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - No hymnals. No pews. No steeple. No stained glass windows. And no women.

This ain't your grandma's church.

Organizers of the Church For Men say that guys are "bored stiff" in many churches today.
"We try to make it interesting for them. We meet in a gym and we talk about issues that mess men up," said Mike Ellis, 46, the church's founder.

The Church For Men meets one Saturday evening per month, drawing about 70 guys dressed in everything but straight-laced shirts and neckties. The service features a rock band, a shot clock to time the preacher's message and a one-hour in-and-out guarantee.
the rest

Johnny Hart, 'B.C.' creator, dies at 76
By MARY ESCH Associated Press Writer
April 9, 2007

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Cartoonist Johnny Hart, whose award-winning "B.C." comic strip appeared in more than 1,300 newspapers worldwide, has died. He was 76.

Hart died Saturday while working at his home in Endicott.

"He had a stroke," his wife, Bobby, said Sunday. "He died at his storyboard."

"B.C.," populated by prehistoric cavemen and dinosaurs, was launched in 1958 and eventually appeared in more than 1,300 newspapers with an audience of 100 million, according to Creators Syndicate Inc., which distributes it.

"He was generally regarded as one of the best cartoonists we've ever had," Hart's friend Mell Lazarus, creator of the "Momma" and "Miss Peach" comic strips, said from his California home. "He was totally original. 'B.C' broke ground and led the way for a number of imitators, none of which ever came close."
the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury: God’s Love Overcomes Human Failure
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has reminded believers of the power of God’s unconditional love to overcome human failure in his Easter sermon yesterday.

by Maria Mackay
Monday, April 9, 2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has reminded believers of the power of God’s unconditional love to overcome human failure in his Easter sermon yesterday.

Archbishop Williams said in his sermon, preached on Easter Day at Canterbury Cathedral, that conflict and failure are part of the human condition, but said that the death and resurrection of Jesus turns that on its head:

"We share one human story in which we are all caught up in one sad tangle of selfishness and fear and so on. But God has entered that human story; he has lived a life of divine and unconditional life in a human life of flesh and blood."
the rest