Saturday, January 02, 2010

Devotional: The blessed Lord condensed it all into one single message...

The blessed Lord condensed it all into one single message of eternal comfort spoken to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, It is I, be not afraid. He is the antidote to fear; He is the remedy for trouble; He is the substance and the sum of deliverance. We should, therefore, rise above fear. Let us keep our eyes fastened upon Him; let us abide continually in Him; let us be content with Him. Let us cling closely to Him and cry, Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
Psalm 46:2 ...AB Simpson image by brett.wagner

The Color of Faith

Monday, Jan. 11, 2010

One Sunday last fall, Bill Hybels, founder and senior pastor at the Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago's northwest suburbs, was preaching on the logic and power of Jesus' words "Love thine enemy." As is his custom, Hybels was working a small semicircle of easels arrayed behind his lectern, reinforcing key phrases. Hybels' preaching is economical, precise of tone and gesture. Again by custom, he was dressed in black, which accentuated his pale complexion, blue eyes and hair, once Dutch-boy blond but now white. Indeed, if there is a whiter preacher currently running a megachurch, that man must glow.

Yet neither Hybels' sermon, nor his 23,400-person congregation, is as white as he is. Along with Jesus, he invoked Martin Luther King Jr. Then he introduced Shawn Christopher, a former backup singer for Chaka Khan, who offered a powerhouse rendition of "We Shall Overcome." As the music swelled, Larry and Renetta Butler, an African-American couple in their usual section in the 7,800-seat sanctuary, exchanged glances. Since Hybels decided 10 years ago to aggressively welcome minorities to his lily-white congregation, Renetta says, few sermons pass without a cue that he is still at it. "He always throws in something," she says. She's been around long enough to recall when this wasn't the case.

In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. famously declared that "11 o'clock Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of the week ... And the Sunday school is still the most segregated school." That largely remains true today. Despite the growing desegregation of most key American institutions, churches are still a glaring exception. Surveys from 2007 show that fewer than 8% of American congregations have a significant racial mix. the rest

The Misandry Bubble

(mi·san·dry: n. Hatred of men)

Executive Summary:
The Western World has quietly become a civilization that undervalues men and overvalues women, where the state forcibly transfers resources from men to women creating various perverse incentives for otherwise good women to conduct great evil against men and children, and where male nature is vilified but female nature is celebrated. This is unfair to both genders, and is a recipe for a rapid civilizational decline and displacement, the costs of which will ultimately be borne by a subsequent generation of innocent women, rather than men, as soon as 2020.


Obama Makes First Transgender Appointment

January 1, 2010

Barack Obama has chosen Amanda Simpson as a Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Commerce, marking the first transgender appointment in an American presidential administration.

Simpson has more than 30 years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry, most recently serving as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. While working at Raytheon, she transitioned from male-to-female over a six-year period, and successfully lobbied to add gender identity to Raytheon’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy.

Simpson also holds degrees in physics, engineering and business administration along with an extensive flight background. She is a certified flight instructor and test pilot with 20 years of experience. the rest

Christianity's new centres of power

December 31, 2009
by Ron Nurwisah

It is a vision most mainstream Canadian church leaders can only dream of: Sunday mornings in which parishioners dance and sing through three-hour services. Seminaries overflowing and unable to keep up with demand for pastors as the number of the newly baptized rises.

The dream is a reality in such places as Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, where there is an explosion in Christianity. In the past decade, this demographic surge has started to spill out of Africa, as well as Asia and Latin America, in the form of missionaries to the West, a trend influencing everything from styles of worship to doctrine.

Whereas many Catholic intellectuals and academics in North America have the luxury to worry about, for example, the ordination of women, the Africans entrust that issue to the judgement of the Vatican and concern themselves instead with the practical work of basic survival. the rest

Harrisburg ELCA Congregation Gives Building to Coptic Orthodox Church

December 31, 2009

(ELCA) -- An Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregation here is breathing new life into its church building by moving out and turning its facilities over to a congregation of another denomination.

Following its worship service of carols and a celebration luncheon Dec. 27, Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church gave its building as a gift to St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church.

This Sunday, Jan. 3, Memorial's members will worship at the James E. Morecraft Christian Education Building, owned by the congregation and directly across the street from the Memorial's former sanctuary. The congregation normally worships during the winter months at the Christian education building to conserve energy. However, it won't return to the sanctuary on Palm Sunday, which has been Memorial's practice, said the Rev. Rochelle E. Lewis, pastor.

Faced with declining membership and a large building to maintain, members of Memorial voted in August to begin transition talks with St. Mark Church. the rest

Friday, January 01, 2010

Robots Will Never be People and Should Never Have Rights

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wesley J. Smith

Transhumanists and other futurists insist that the future will bring us robots who have become “conscious” beings, and that when they do, “sentient” machines should receive what we now call human rights. This is all fanciful, of course. Robots of the kind envisioned would only be computers with very sophisticated software. In that sense, they would be no more entitled to rights–and would be no more capable of being harmed, as distinguished from damaged–than the toaster.

A major component of this discussion is the desire to deconstruct human exceptionalism, and thus, it warrants our notice. Take, for example, this opinion from Peter Singer and a Polish researcher named Agata Sagan published in The Guardian. the rest image

Mr. Smith, You're Needed in Washington

January 01, 2010
By Phil Orenstein

We no longer seem to be living in a constitutional republic. How could we be when the votes of our public officials are easily bought off with bribes, threats, and subversion of our Constitution? The Christmas fiasco of the Senate vote-buying ordeal to pass the health care bill is a perfect illustration of how Congress is out of control and no longer represents the will of the people. According to a CNN/ORC survey, the overwhelming majority of Americans are opposed to the Senate version of Obamacare, a bill that will nationalize one-sixth of the U.S. economy and grant unprecedented power to the federal government over the life of every American. Months of public outcry at town hall meetings since the summer, a one-million-man taxpayer march on Washington, D.C., thousands of local protests and rallies in every city and town across America, massive petitions, and thousands of calls and faxes have barely made an impression on the sixty senators who control the destiny of our country.

This ill-fated congressional makeup is the outcome of the 2008 election, in which hostile feelings against the GOP played out at the polls. As polling data shows, this hostile attitude keeps the GOP in low voter esteem even though all forty Republicans have lined up in opposition to the Senate health care bill. As public displeasure with the Obama administration and Democrats mounts, the GOP public approval has remained at a constant low of 28%. A Rasmussen survey shows that 73% of Republican voters believe their leaders in Washington are out of touch with the party base, and a hypothetical Tea Party would beat the GOP if general elections were held today. the rest image

A Cold-Blooded Foreign Policy
No despot fears the president, and no demonstrator in Tehran expects him to ride to the rescue.

It’s the word that best describes the Obama administration’s first year in office.

Religious liberty, 'gay rights' clash in 2 prominent cases

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
By Michael Foust

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--Religious liberty suffered a setback in the U.S. but won a victory in Canada in December in two closely watched cases involving the legal tug-of-war between religious rights and "gay rights."

Both cases are seen by American conservative groups as indicators of what could be in the nation's future if laws protecting homosexuality continue to pass and if "gay marriage" spreads to all 50 states.

In the U.S. case, a New Mexico judge ruled that a husband- and wife-owned photography company violated state anti-discrimination laws when they refused to take pictures of a lesbian commitment ceremony. The ruling -- which is being appealed -- held up an earlier decision by the state's Human Rights Commission. If the ruling is not overturned the husband and wife will owe the lesbian couple more than $6,600 in attorneys' fees.

In Canada, an Alberta court found that Stephen Boissoin, a Baptist pastor at the time, did not violate the province's so-called hate speech laws when he wrote a 2002 letter to a local newspaper criticizing homosexuality and warning against the "homosexual agenda." The court's ruling reversed a decision by the Alberta Human Rights Commission, which had ordered him to pay $5,000 in fines and write a letter of apology to University of Calgary professor Darren Lund, who filed the original complaint. The money for Lund would have been for the "pain and suffering" he allegedly endured. Boissoin's case has been watched by free-speech advocates worldwide. the rest

Mayo Clinic in Arizona to Stop Treating Some Medicare Patients

By David Olmos

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little.

More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the government’s largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix, said Michael Yardley, a Mayo spokesman. The decision, which Yardley called a two-year pilot project, won’t affect other Mayo facilities in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Obama in June cited the nonprofit Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for offering “the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm.” Mayo’s move to drop Medicare patients may be copied by family doctors, some of whom have stopped accepting new patients from the program, said Lori Heim, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, in a telephone interview yesterday. the rest

Ben Nelson Attacks Pro-Lifers Again, Pledges No Vote if Abortion Deal Weakened

Defrocked Episcopal priest sues his own lawyer

Fri, Jan. 1, 2010
By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

The Rev. David Moyer, the outspoken former Episcopal priest who unsuccessfully sued his bishop in 2008 for sacking him, has filed a malpractice lawsuit against the lawyer who represented him - often free - for many years in his battles with the diocese.

The suit, filed in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, alleges that prominent Philadelphia litigator John Lewis and the firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads failed to adequately represent Moyer in the unusual trial against Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. and then failed to file an appeal when the jury rejected their claim.

Moyer and the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont - where he serves as rector despite his ouster by the diocese in 2002 - are seeking millions of dollars in compensation for the legal costs of the trial and what they say is damage to Moyer's and the parish's reputations. the rest

Anglican leader laments 'terrible and gruelling' decade

posted Jan. 1, 2010

LONDON — The world had endured a "terrible and gruelling" past decade, the Archbishop of Canterbury said in a New Year message Friday that called for cooperation to tackle issues like extremism and global warming.

Rowan Williams, the leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, added though that people should not give up on the "hope for change" or "shrug our shoulders and lower our expectations".

It had been a "terrible and gruelling 10 years in all kinds of ways", he said, stressing the global nature of many of today's concerns.

"The truth is that there are fewer and fewer problems in our world that are just local.

"Suffering and risk spread across boundaries, even that biggest of all boundaries between the rich and the poor. Crises don't stop at national frontiers. the rest

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Devotional: Christ is building His kingdom with earth’s broken things...

Christ is building His kingdom with earth’s broken things. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken—in building their kingdoms. But God is the God of the the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth’s broken lives, and there is no ‘bruised reed’ which Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow—and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth’s saddest failure up to heaven’s glory! ...JR Miller image by lrargerich

A Happy and Blessed New Year to all the readers of Transfigurations!

Nine Big Stories the Mainstream Media Missed in 2009

From radical advisers in the Obama White House to hacked e-mails showing questionable work by climate scientists, 2009 has seen its share of scandals. But if you only followed the mainstream media, you might have missed some of the biggest stories of the year. Here's a list of the top nine stories the mainstream media ignored in the past year.

Van Jones


Science Czar John Holdren


Politicizing the NEA

Chas Freeman

Tea Party Protests

Kevin Jennings, Safe Schools Czar

Democratic Stimulus


Anglican Churches sent final text of Covenant — ‘not a penal code’

by Pat Ashworth
31 December, 2009
Church Times

THE proposed Anglican Covenant will not solve all the Communion’s problems, the Archbishop of Canterbury warned, as the final draft went out to all the provinces for approval last week.

It was not going to be a constitution, “and it’s certainly not going to be a penal code for punishing people who don’t comply,” Dr Williams said in a short video address, posted on YouTube, after the Communion’s Standing Committee had met from 15 to 18 December.

The meeting approved the revised Section 4, a sticking-point at the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Jamaica in May. After long debate and a confused voting pro­cedure, that meeting delayed the dispatch of the full Ridley Draft until a working party had made any revisions consequent on consultation with the provinces...the rest

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Devotional: I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed...

I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problems recognizing me - my banner will be clear! ...Anonymous African Pastor - Nailed to his wall.
image by danisabella

A.S. Haley: Debasing the Currency of Truth

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Simultaneously with the debasement of our nation's currency, there has occurred a debasement in what I will call "the currency of truth". Nearly anything passes for "the truth" these days, as when Secretary Napolitano can claim that "the system worked" when a Nigerian failed to blow up an airliner because he was unable to detonate his bomb in the cabin -- after smuggling the device aboard with no difficulty, while lacking a valid passport, and after having been specifically identified to the State Department (by his own father!) as a potential terrorist. Yes, certainly, "the system worked".

the rest

Russia may send spacecraft to asteroid

Associated Press Writer
December 30, 2009

MOSCOW – Russia's space chief said Wednesday his agency will consider sending a spacecraft to a large asteroid to knock it off its path and prevent a possible collision with Earth.

Anatoly Perminov said the space agency will hold a meeting soon to assess a mission to Apophis, telling Golos Rossii radio that it would invite NASA, the European Space Agency, the Chinese space agency and others to join the project once it is finalized.

When the 270-meter (885-foot) asteroid was first discovered in 2004, astronomers estimated the chances of it smashing into Earth in its first flyby in 2029 were as high as 1-in-37. the rest image

Canada: Anglican churches file appeal

By Vikki Hopes - Abbotsford News
December 29, 2009

St. Matthew's Anglican Church in Abbotsford is among those involved in an appeal filed against a B.C. Supreme Court decision that could have forced them to vacate their properties.

Cheryl Chang, in-house legal advisor for the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), said the appeal was filed on Christmas Eve in order to meet a 30-day deadline since the judgment on Nov. 25.

Chang said trustees of the four congregations decided to file the appeal now and then weigh their options after the holiday season. An appeal can be withdrawn at a later date, but it cannot be filed once the deadline passes. the rest

Williamsburg County schools settle with students over same-race discrimination

by Fred Horlbeck
Dolan Media Newswires

"What made this unique is that this, as far as I know, is the only Title VI case ever brought in federal court when it's an intra-racial hostile environment," Kobrovsky said.

Title VI prohibits allowing a racially hostile educational environment in schools and programs receiving federal financial assistance and provides for a private cause of action for violations.

The younger student initially asserted nine causes of action, but only the Title VI claim went to trial.

She claimed she suffered emotional trauma because she was subjected to racial and sexual slurs at an elementary school in Salters during September and November 2006. She had to receive home instruction for the rest of the school year, according to an amended complaint.

Despite complaints, school administrative staff and district officials allowed the abuse to "escalate to the point where [she] was physically threatened, assaulted and battered," the suit alleged. the rest

Episcopal Incompetence: Bishop Oversees Massive Losses in Western New York

Sarah Hey
Stand Firm
Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's hard really to grasp the weight -- the sheer tonnage -- of the displays of massive incompetence from Bishop Garrison over the past six years. The mind boggles, and then slows, struggling to come up with the words to describe what has happened: immense losses in people and funding, displays of childish spite and clueless denial, the dull recitation of failures and losses in seeming oblivious serenity as to the leader's responsibility, the casual usage -- and then tossing aside -- of the remnant congregation, not to mention the callousness of throwing a new priest into an artificial "church plant" situation, blaming others for his punitive actions, then passing the buck when convenient to other diocesan entities . . . and all with a bright and breezy disregard for what he has done to his diocese.

This man has been bishop for 11 years. In that time, his diocese has lost some 2000 in average Sunday attendance, and some 6000 members. It has been a steady stairstep of decline, culminating in 2008 with the loss of the largest parish in the diocese, after a display of pettish spite that vastly damaged what "relationship" he had mustered in the previous years. [So you'll need to bump up those losses since the church stats only measure through 2008 currently.]

Imagine such a recitation of boring failures made by a CEO in front of shareholders. the rest

American Exceptionalism and American Religion

First Things
January 2010
Joseph Bottum

It is a curious formula, that phrase “American exceptionalism.” As commonly used, the phrase suggets that the United States somehow escaped the typical patterns of history—the patterns that seemed almost inviolable and iron-clad historical laws, precisely because they appeared in one European country after another. The socialist revolutions of 1848, and the intense nationalism that escalated into the First World War, and the cultural malaise that followed the war, and the subsequent rise of fascistic movements—all of these had their American forms, to be sure. But in the United States they were always echoes, rather than originals, and they were never, in a certain sense, serious.

It takes a fantasist—determined to read American history solely by European lights—to think that the nation was ever at much real risk of having a socialist revolt in the nineteenth century or rule by homegrown fascists in the twentieth century. Philip Roth’s 2004 what-if, alternate-history novel, The Plot Against America, had elements of this fantasy, imagining a 1940s America in which Charles Lindbergh becomes president and the United States resembles Hitler’s Germany. The most interesting element of the book, however, may be its final recognition of something like American exceptionalism: Even if, by some unlikely historical contrivance, a native Nazism had gained power, the resilient nation would have managed to shrug it off fairly quickly. The whole thing is just too European, just too alien, and just too weird.

Most often, however, the notion of American exceptionalism involves talk of religion in the United States. It was sometimes heard as a boast of America’s mainline Protestants about the enduring character of the nation’s faith, but, most often, it was used as an escape hatch for historians and social scientists. the rest

Airliner suicide mission blessed by imam

Cleric linked to suspect in Fort Hood shootings
December 30, 2009
By Victor Morton

The Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner had his suicide mission personally blessed in Yemen by Anwar al-Awlaki, the Muslim imam suspected of radicalizing the Fort Hood shooting suspect, a U.S. intelligence source has told The Washington Times.

The intelligence official, who is familiar with the FBI's interrogation of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, said the bombing suspect has boasted of his jihad training to the FBI and has said it included final exhortations by Mr. al-Awlaki.

"It was Awlaki who indoctrinated him," the official said. "He was told, 'You are going to be the tip of the spear of the Muslim nation.' " the rest

U.S. Knew of Airline Terror Plot Before Christmas

Mom, Baby Revived After Dying During Birth

Docs Revive Baby In Father's Arms
DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer
December 30, 2009

DENVER -- Mike Hermanstorfer was clutching his pregnant wife's hand in a Colorado hospital on Christmas Eve when she stopped breathing, her life apparently slipping away. Then he cradled his newborn son's limp body seconds after a medical team delivered the baby by Cesarean section.

Minutes later he saw his son show signs of life in his arms under the feverish attention of doctors, and soon he learned his wife had inexplicably started breathing again.

"My legs went out from underneath me," Hermanstorfer said Tuesday. "I had everything in the world taken from me, and in an hour and a half I had everything given to me." the rest

'Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus'

Newspaper deifies American president, dismisses Christ December 29, 2009
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

An editorial in a Danish newspaper, citing both foreign and domestic policies pursued by President Barack Obama, is deifying the American political leader.

"Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus – if we have to play that absurd Christmas game," opined the unsigned editorial yesterday in Politiken, which boasts of being Denmark's largest newspaper, in publication since 1884. the rest image

Thousands of Spanish Catholics march against abortion and gay marriage

Tens of thousands of Spanish Catholics marched in Madrid against the socialist government's policies on abortion and gay marriage.
By Edward Owen in Madrid
28 Dec 2009

At a huge rally in the capital, Cardinal Antonio Rouco, the leader of Spain's Roman Catholics, told protesters the birth rate in Europe will be depleted unless Christian values are maintained.

Catholics attended a huge open air mass beside Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium.

The mass marked the Feast of the Holy Family. But Catholic leaders from across Europe joined their local counterparts and members of the Spanish centre-Right opposition to castigate the socialist government's policies.

"Europe will be practically without children," warned Cardinal Rouco, 73, the conservative Archbishop of Madrid. "Who denies to defend a human being so innocent and weak, already conceived but not born, commits a grave violation of moral order." the rest

Vt. judge: Birth mom must give child to ex-partner

Associated Press Writer
Tue Dec 29, 2009

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The birth mother of a 7-year-old Virginia girl must transfer custody of the child to the woman's former lesbian partner, a Vermont judge ruled, adding that it seems the woman has "disappeared" with her daughter.

Vermont Family Court Judge William Cohen ordered Lisa Miller of Winchester, Va., to turn over daughter Isabella to Janet Jenkins of Fair Haven at 1 p.m. Friday at the Virginia home of Jenkins' parents.

But in the Dec. 22 order denying Miller's request to delay the transfer of Isabella, Cohen wrote: "It appears that Ms. Miller has ceased contact with her attorneys and disappeared with the minor child."

Miller and Jenkins were joined in a Vermont civil union in 2000. Isabella was born to Miller through artificial insemination in 2002. The couple broke up in 2003, and Miller moved to Virginia, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian. the rest

Lesbian 'mother' case presents constitutional issue

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Israel’s Chief Rabbis: abortions delay the arrival of the Messiah

29 December, 2009

JERUSALEM - The two Chief Rabbis of Israel have spoken out against abortions in Israel, stressing in a letter that "they are delaying the messianic redemption," said Tuesday the newspaper online Y-Net.

In this letter to all Jewish communities in Israel, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger and his co-disciple Sephardic Shlomo Amar denounce "this epidemic, which annually costs the lives of tens of thousands of Jews."

Some 50,000 abortions are recorded annually in Israel, with 20,000 made in illegal conditions, emphasize the two spiritual leaders. the rest

Update on Fr. Nigel Mumford

From: Elizabeth Strickland
Mon, 28 Dec 2009

Fr. Nigel continues to improve, although it is in miniscule amounts, again much like a mustard seed. His mind is far ahead of his body in his recovery. He is extremely uplifted emotionally to be home with Lynn and Megan, but he is frustrated at his lack of strength and stamina. Walking from his room to the living room saps him of his strength. He is amazed and frustrated about his lack of strength in doing even menial tasks. As an example, he enjoys sitting in his recliner, but doesn’t have the strength to get out of it, so he has to call Lynn. He has gone back on the oxygen and is using a tube under his nose which is very manageable. He continues in some pain from the bed sore. He is spending much time in prayer and reflection.

Lynn is pleased to have him home and not to be driving over an hour each way to and from the rehab facility each day. She can attend to Fr. Nigel’s needs easily at home and help him with his continued rehab and exercises, etc.
Please pray for:

* Continued healing of his lungs so that he can breathe on his own
* Building up and strengthening of his muscles
* Refueling of his energy
* Complete healing of his bedsore and relief from the pain of the bedsore
* Deep peace while he communes with our Lord
* Please also continue to pray for peace and stamina for Lynn and Megan as they nurse him back to health.

We thank you Lord for your healing touch on your servant Nigel, and we rejoice in celebration at the birth of your Son, our Saviour Jesus, and the rebirth of Nigel. Thank Your Lord Jesus.

Albany Intercessor

Boo Boo

Click on picture to enlarge!

Planned Parenthood vice president chaired Georgetown’s health administration department

December 29, 2009

Dr. Gary Lewis Filerman, who chaired the Department of Health Systems Administration at Georgetown University until 2008, is a former Planned Parenthood vice president, according to the university’s web site. Dr. Filerman, who began to teach at Georgetown in 2000, served as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s vice president for international development from 1993 to 1996, as president of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington from 1990 to 1991, and as a member of the board of directors of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington from 1986 to 1992.

Explaining the work of his department in a 2007 interview, Dr. Filerman said that “we’re trying to attract people to careers in the management of health systems who are committed to making them more effective-- more efficient and safer. The issue of the day is quality of [patient] care, and we teach our students about quality and our faculty do research related to quality. The gap in quality is the difference between doing what we do and doing what we know, and it’s a serious gap.” the rest

Gay marriage in Argentina is 1st in Latin America

Associated Press Writer
Tue Dec 29, 2009

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – They had to travel to the ends of the Earth to do it, but two Argentine men succeeded in becoming Latin America's first same-sex married couple.

After their first attempt to wed earlier this month in Buenos Aires was thwarted, gay rights activists Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre took their civil ceremony to the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, where a sympathetic governor backed their bid to make Latin American history. the rest

College to train parishioners in church management

Associated Press Writer
December 27, 2009

HARTFORD, Conn. - With the number of ordained priests declining nationwide, a Connecticut college is launching a master's degree program to train lay persons to become parish administrators.

Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell recently received the state Board of Governors for Higher Education's unanimous approval to offer the degree, a master of arts in pastoral studies.

It will be the first of its kind in Connecticut, where about 1.3 million of the state's 3.5 million residents are Catholic.

It also has special significance in the state, where financial scandals involving priests led to an ill-fated legislative effort last spring to give lay members more control over parish finances. That proposal drew more than 3,500 angry Catholics to the Capitol for a protest rally. the rest

Extended Discussion of Palliative Sedation in the New York Times

Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wesley J. Smith

Palliative sedation, that is putting an imminently dying patient into an artificial coma and allowing the disease to take its course, is a legitimate palliative technique–when the symptoms warrant it. Thus, in the rare case where pain can’t be controlled or a patient panics due to severe agitation or inability to catch a breath, a legitimate answer is sedation.

This should give us all the great comfort of knowing we need not die in agony–no matter what our condition. And today, the New York Times has a pretty good in-depth discussion of the issue. It is too long to detail fully in a blog, but there are some points worth highlighting.
the rest

Flight 253: The Failure of Counterterrorism

by Robert Spencer

The chief lesson of the attempted jihad attack on Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day is that our entire anti-terror strategy is a huge and abject failure. Of course, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would beg to differ, as she has said that the stopping of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempt to set off an explosive on the airplane showed that “the system worked” and “everything happened that should have.”

The “system worked”? So the “system” now involves hoping that other passengers will tackle the jihadist? After all, a passenger on Flight 253, Jasper Schuringa, subdued Abdulmutallab. The “system” now relies on all of the jihadis’ detonators failing, as did Abdulmutallab’s? Napolitano’s optimism was based on an appalling disconnect from reality that in saner times would result in her dismissal. Barack Obama, by contrast, would be more likely to issue her a commendation, if he weren’t too busy golfing and shooting hoops during his Hawaii vacation.

In contrast to Napolitano’s fantasies, Flight 253 revealed a massive failure not only of airline security procedures, but also of the larger strategy that America and the West has been pursuing against jihad terrorism. the rest

Cal Thomas: Malfunctions

It can happen here

'Hundreds of al-Qaeda militants planning attacks from Yemen'
Hundreds of al-Qaeda militants are planning terror attacks from Yemen, the country’s Foreign Minister said today. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi appealed for more help from the international community to help to train and equip counter-terrorist forces.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Temple Prostitution: A Modest Proposal

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Rev. Paul T. McCain

Last summer, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to accept actively homosexual persons as members of their clergy and to condone gays and lesbians living in “lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships.” This has caused a firestorm of controversy in that church body. In response, the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, an independent pan-Lutheran organization that produces a magazine called Lutheran Forum, and a newsletter Forum Letter, published an article titled “Temple Prostitution: A Modest Proposal” by the Associate Editor of Forum Letter, Pastor Peter Speckhard, nephew of the late Father Richard John Neuhaus. I asked for permission to share this brilliant piece of satire here and they kindly granted it. And so, here is the article printed in the December 2009 issue of Forum Letter.

Temple Prostitution: A Modest Proposal

Theologian J.I. Packer reflects on sharing his faith

By Sue Nowicki
Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's been a good year for the Rev. J.I. Packer, one of the world's best-known theologians. In March, the Anglican priest and Regent College professor won Bible of the Year and Book of the Year honors for editing the English Standard Version Study Bible. He also released two of his own books -- "Praying: Finding Our Way Through Duty to Delight" and a year-long devotional using his seminal work, "Knowing God."

Packer, listed as one of Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" in 2005, sat down with the Bee of Modesto, Calif., at the Christian Book Expo in Dallas this year to talk on a wide range of subjects, from growing up in England to C.S. Lewis's impact on his life to becoming embroiled in the Anglican/Episcopal dispute. Here's what he had to say:


Rising from the Ashes: The New Anglican Church

Warren Cole Smith
December 24, 2009

According to numbers released in December by the Episcopal Church, that denomination's membership dropped by 3 percent in 2008. That doesn't sound like much, but I am a bit of a demographics junkie, plus I researched and examined a lot of church membership and growth data in writing my book A Lover's Quarrel With The Evangelical Church. I can tell you that I have never heard of a major denomination that has ever lost 3 percent of its membership in a single year.

What's even more interesting about these numbers is that the Episcopal Church now says it has only about 2 million members in its 7,000-some parishes in the United States. That's particularly astounding when you consider that the Episcopal Church had 3.5 million on its rolls in 1965—that's a 43 percent drop from a year when the United States had about half as many people as it does today.

To make these numbers even more troubling (at least, if you're a leader in the Episcopal Church), is the fact that while there may be 2 million on the rolls, it's likely that only about 800,000 people actually attend Episcopal Churches on any given Sunday. the rest

Oops, Democrats Admitting Abortion Will Be Taxpayer Funded

2009 December 27
by Paul Cooper

The biggest problem with trying to lie all the time is that at some point the truth just may accidentally slip out. How many times have we heard the White House or Democrats tell us that abortion will not be covered in the new health care bill? Well, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have unwittingly let the cat of truth slip out of their bag of lies.

President Barack Obama has tried to keep health care reform from being about abortion. He told ABC News recently that “this is a healthcare bill, not an abortion bill.” Democrats have continually cited the Hyde Amendment (a law banning government funded abortions) as proof there will be no abortion coverage in any new health bills (even though those same Democrats have repeatedly tried to get rid of the Hyde Amendment.) Many on the Left have consistently used talking points on major media outlets to argue that people are lying when they say abortion will be covered. Obama set the model for that argument when he told the religious Left in August that people were distorting the facts on abortion. the rest

Anti-Humanism: Now Plants are the Most Ethical Life Form?

Saturday, December 26, 2009
Wesley J. Smith

I have written extensively about how the Swiss Constitution declared the legal intrinsic dignity of individual plants (and an ethics committee declared the “decapitation” of a wildflower to be immoral). I have also written how Nicaragua’s new constitution created the “rights of nature,” co-equal to the rights of humans.

Now the folly has gone one step further, by imputing morality to the lives of plants, spread, no less, in the august pages of the New York Times. Science columnist Natalie Angier discusses the undeniable complexity of plant life, and anthropomorphizes away. the rest

Hugh Hewitt: President Obama's year of failure

By: Hugh Hewitt
Examiner Columnist
December 28, 2009

President Obama's year of blunders is ending with the worst failure yet by the president and his team: An Islamist terrorist penetrated the United States and came very close to perpetrating the greatest mass-casualty attack within the U.S. since 9/11.

The president's first year in office has been marked by a string of pratfalls. the rest

Now, Michelle Obama too is sliding in the polls

The Terror This Time

Janet Napolitano says the system worked. No, we were brave and lucky.
DECEMBER 28, 2009

A U.S. government that has barred the phrase "war on terror" has nonetheless acknowledged that a failed Christmas day bomb attack on an airliner was a terrorist attempt. Can we all now drop the pretense that we stopped fighting a war once Dick Cheney and George W. Bush left the White House?

The attempt by 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab follows the alleged murders in Ft. Hood, Texas by Islamist-inspired Major Nidal Hasan in November. Brian Jenkins, who studies terrorism for the Rand Corporation, says there were more terror incidents (12), including thwarted plots, on U.S. soil in 2009 than in any year since 2001. The jihadists don't seem to like Americans any better because we're closing down Guantanamo. the rest

First case of highly drug-resistant TB found in US

The Associated Press
Sunday, December 27, 2009

Today, all the leading killer infectious diseases on the planet - TB, malaria and HIV among them - are mutating at an alarming rate, hitchhiking their way in and out of countries. The reason: Overuse and misuse of the very drugs that were supposed to save us.

Just as the drugs were a manmade solution to dangerous illness, the problem with them is also manmade. It is fueled worldwide by everything from counterfeit drugmakers to the unintended consequences of giving drugs to the poor without properly monitoring their treatment. Here's what the AP found:

- In Cambodia, scientists have confirmed the emergence of a new drug-resistant form of malaria, threatening the only treatment left to fight a disease that already kills 1 million people a year.

- In Africa, new and harder to treat strains of HIV are being detected in about 5 percent of new patients. HIV drug resistance rates have shot up to as high as 30 percent worldwide. the rest

The Perils of Paganism: Woman from NH being treated for anthrax
A Strafford County woman with gastrointestinal anthrax is in critical condition in an out-of-state hospital.

State health officials say the infection may have been caused by naturally occurring spores carried in African instruments used at a monthly drum circle at United Campus Ministry at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. the rest