Saturday, April 24, 2010

Devotional: As we give...

As we give the gifts of compassion and humility, our lives become demonstrations of the truth of God's Word. We create an atmosphere of grace, and build a highway of love between our hearts and the hearts of other people. Our willingness to be used as God's vessels can make His tender Father-heart a reality to our hurting world. ...Floyd McClung Jr image

In Praise of Small Churches

Joe McKeever
February 17, 2010

With a few exceptions, all churches were small at one time. They began with a handful of people and went forward from there. Some grew a great deal and are still expanding, some grew a little and leveled off, while some failed to grow at all.

If most of the churches in America of all denominations are small--and in my mind, that means 100 or less in attendance--then several things are true.

--In the words of Lincoln about common folk, "God must have loved them; He made so many of them."

--Small churches must be doing something right or people would not keep attending them.

--The "bigness culture" that is so dominant in American life has dumped a burdensome load of guilt on these small congregations. "If you're so good, why aren't you big?" seems to be the mantra.

--For every book celebrating the small church, there are a hundred telling them how to leave smallness behind and become "great."

Someone should put in a good word for small churches. Think I'll give it a try.

Here are my observations on small churches in America. the rest image

Being morally strong makes you physically strong

Nice guys do not necessarily finish last, claims a new study that shows being morally strong can make you physically strong.
By Richard Alleyne
Science Correspondent
20 Apr 2010

Researchers found that "do-gooders" appear to be naturally stronger than their counterparts and that an act of heroism can actually improve your overall stamina.

The findings turn upside down the idea that being altruistic can be detrimental to your own advancement.

They also contradict suggestions that only those people with heightened willpower or self-control are capable of heroism.

Researchers believe that simply attempting heroic deeds can confer personal power. the rest

Green Sin

by Lars Walker
April 23, 2010

My impression (of course I only move in limited circles, usually three times before I lie down) is that this past Earth Day was a relatively muted celebration. The Greenies were observing in private, while we Spoilers of the Earth were having a big old time whooping it up over tired Al Gore jokes.

So I think I’ll pile on a little more. But in a serious vein.

One of the most common responses I’ve met when talking religion with non-Christians (and liberal Christians) is, “I can’t believe in your angry God. Your doctrine of Original Sin offends me. My God is a God of love. My God would never condemn a baby for something Adam and Eve did.”

And it occurred to me, “Well, what do environmentalists believe about sin and guilt?” the rest image

A new conservative TV network is about entertainment, not news.

April 23, 2010

A few days ago, the public saw the first glimpses of RightNetwork, described by its founders as an “independently-owned media company, launching on television, web and mobile in 2010” that aims to “entertain, engage, and enlighten Americans who are looking for content that reflects and reinforces their perspective and worldview.”

While the title gave a hint of the network’s fundamentally conservative viewpoint, there’s been considerable buzz and discussion about what, precisely, the new company would be — a competitor to Fox News? An on-demand niche? The easygoing folks at True/Slant instantly denounced it as “media built specifically for teabaggers. It exists not to inform, or encourage critical thinking, but to reassure far-right, fringe ideologies. Quite simply: it’s propaganda.” (If only everyone could encourage critical thinking as well as those who insist upon calling the other side “Teabaggers.”) So what will viewers see on RightNetwork? the rest

From RightNetwork:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Anglican Leaders Welcome Anglican Church in North America

The leaders of eighty percent of the World’s Anglicans have called for the next to be a decade a “Decade of Mission” and have welcomed the Anglican Church in North America as “partners in the Gospel”
April 23, 2010

The leaders of eighty percent of the World’s Anglicans from 20 Anglican provinces have supported a call to make the next decade a “Decade of Mission” and have welcomed the Anglican Church in North America as “partners in the Gospel” during the Fourth Anglican Global South to South Encounter held at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore, April 19-23.

Archbishop Robert Duncan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the Anglican Church in North America, was grateful for the result and commended the communiqué to the people of the Anglican Church in North America. “We are moving forward in mission and relationship with Anglicans all over the world. Our unity and shared commitment to the work of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ is a reason for great joy,” said Archbishop Duncan.

Speaking directly of the Anglican Church in North America, the gathered archbishops and representatives said, “We are grateful that the recently formed Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is a faithful expression of Anglicanism. We welcomed them as partners in the Gospel and our hope is that all provinces will be in full communion with the clergy and people of the ACNA and the Communion Partners.”

The full text of the communiqué is available below or here on the Global South website.

the rest

The iSeminary Cometh

Online education is jolting seminaries with rapid enrollment growth.
John W. Kennedy

Shawn Cossin completed his bachelor's degree in Christian education at Wheaton College in 1993. After that, he became a military police officer in the U.S. Army. Eventually returning to his native Pennsylvania, Cossin became a state trooper—and a youth pastor at Sandy Lake Wesleyan Church.

In time, the church promoted Cossin to assistant pastor, and he felt pulled to enter full-time ministry, though he had never attended seminary. He imagined it would be impractical to quit both jobs, uproot his wife and two young sons, and immerse himself in studies on a residential campus for up to three years to earn a coveted ministerial degree.

But Indiana Wesleyan University provided another option: stay home, keep working, and earn a master of arts in ministry online. Cossin enrolled in the Marion, Indiana-based school in 2004. the rest

Global South Anglicans Reconsider Communion with Western Counterparts

Fri, Apr. 23 2010
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

Anglican leaders in the Global South have been encouraged to reconsider their relationships with The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada "until it becomes clear that there is genuine repentance."

"Some of our Provinces are already in a state of broken and impaired Communion with The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada. Their continued refusal to honor the many requests made of them ... have brought discredit to our witness," said some 130 Anglicans from 20 provinces at the conclusion of the Fourth Global South to South Encounter in Singapore.
They condemned the two western bodies for their continued "defiance" of Scripture and the rest of the global Anglican Communion with their pro-gay actions. the rest

IG report: Several top SEC staffers surfed porn sites as economy teetered

Apr 23, 2010
Posted by Doug Stanglin

Several senior staffers at the Security and Exchange Commission were spending hours a day surfing pornographic Web sites on office computers while the nation's economic crisis unfolded, the Associated Press reports. quoting a governor watchdog agency.

The AP, which obtained a copy of an Inspector General's memo, says 31 of the 33 IG probes of employees viewing explicit images occurred in the 2 1/2 years since the financial system began melting down.
the rest

Kevin Keller debuts as first openly gay character in Archie's Veronica Comics

"Betty or Veronica . . . or Kevin?"
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 23, 2010

The decades-old question that has driven more Archie Comics plot turns than a white-walled jalopy just got a new twist.

Archie Comics announced Thursday that Riverdale High will enroll its first openly gay character in September.

The character, a blond newbie named Kevin Keller, will debut in No. 202 of Veronica Comics. In the initial story line, titled "Isn't It Bromantic?," Veronica is stymied when her womanly wiles hold no sway with Kevin, who has more in common with fellow foodie Jughead. the rest

Potentially lethal fungus moves south from Canada

Cases are rare, but it can be difficult to diagnose. Officials are on the lookout for it in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California.
By Thomas H. Maugh II
Los Angeles Times
April 23, 2010

A potentially lethal fungus normally found only in the tropics has established a foothold on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia and has slowly made its way southward into Washington, Oregon and Idaho, researchers said Thursday.

Health authorities are not unduly alarmed by the fungus because the number of cases so far remains small, but both federal and state officials — including those in California — are monitoring its progress in the fear that it will spread more rapidly as it reaches warmer climates.

"Overall, I don't think it is a large threat at this time," said molecular biologist Edmond J. Byrnes III of Duke University Medical Center, the lead author of the report appearing in the online journal PLoS Pathogens. "But the fact that it is continuing to spread geographically and the number of cases is rising makes it a concern." the rest image

Deadly Airborne Fungus Spreading in Northwest

What a surprise: Report: Health Overhaul Will Increase Nation's Tab

A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the new health care law will expand insurance but won't reduce runaway costs
April 23, 2010
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law will increase the nation's health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation.

A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the health care remake will achieve Obama's aim of expanding health insurance -- adding 34 million Americans to the coverage rolls.

But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president's twin goal of controlling runaway costs, raising projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years. That increase could get bigger, however, since the report also warned that Medicare cuts in the law may be unrealistic and unsustainable, forcing lawmakers to roll them back.

The mixed verdict for Obama's signature issue is the first comprehensive look by neutral experts. the rest

New healthcare law could lead to higher prices, employers dropping coverage
Foster states, "The additional demand for health services could be difficult to meet initially with existing health resources and could lead to price increases, cost shifting, and/or changes in providers' willingness to treat patients with low-reimbursement health coverage."

Military's health care costs booming

The Bible in 66 Verses

by Sarah Wilson
April 05, 2010

I can’t imagine that this has never been done before, but the idea popped into my head one day and it seemed like an interesting exercise to try. The rules I imposed on myself were that each book of the Bible had to be represented by one single, whole verse (no convenient deletions, like we do with the psalms in worship), and no more than that one verse (inspiring lines spanning two or more verses were out)...

I can’t imagine that this has never been done before, but the idea popped into my head one day and it seemed like an interesting exercise to try. The rules I imposed on myself were that each book of the Bible had to be represented by one single, whole verse (no convenient deletions, like we do with the psalms in worship), and no more than that one verse (inspiring lines spanning two or more verses were out). the rest image: House of Sims

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (1:1)

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (20:2)

“Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.’” (9:2)

Whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Arise, O Lord, and let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You.” (10:35)

“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (6:4)
and so on

Global South Anglicans vow to act against US Church’s pro-gay shift

by Jenna Lyle
Friday, April 23, 2010

Some 130 Anglican leaders from the Global South have condemned The Episcopal Church in the US (TEC) over its plans to consecrate a second openly gay bishop despite huge opposition from within the Anglican Communion.

Canon Mary D Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, will be consecrated as a bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles in a ceremony next month.

Anglican leaders from 20 Global South provinces concluded a meeting in Singapore today with a statement declaring their intention to continue speaking out against TEC, the Anglican Church of Canada and “all those churches that have rejected the way of the Lord as expressed in Holy Scripture”.

The leaders said TEC’s intended consecration of Glasspool demonstrated “a total disregard for the mind of the Communion”.
the rest

Albert Mohler: From Megacity to “Metacity”-The Shape of the Future

If the Christian church does not learn new modes of urban ministry, we will find ourselves on the outside looking in. The Gospel of Jesus Christ must call a new generation of committed Christians into these teeming cities. As these new numbers make clear, there really is no choice.
Thursday, April 22, 2010

The history of humanity traces the flow of the earth’s inhabitants into cities. For thousands of years, that flow was slow, but still traceable. In 1800, only 3 percent of the human population lived in cities. By 1900, cities held 14 percent of the population. By 2000, fully half of all human beings lived in urban areas. We are fast becoming an urban species.

As Stewart Brand argues, we are becoming a “city planet.” Vast populations are moving into huge international cities, drawn by the hope of a better life. As Brand notes, cities have always been wealth creators, and the exploding populations of the largest cities draw even more inhabitants with the hope of securing an economic future. “At the current rate,” Brand writes, “humanity may well be 80 percent urban by mid-century. Every week there are 1.3 million new people in cities. That’s 70 million a year, decade after decade.” the rest
image by wili hybrid

If the Christian church does not learn new modes of urban ministry, we will find ourselves on the outside looking in. The Gospel of Jesus Christ must call a new generation of committed Christians into these teeming cities. As these new numbers make clear, there really is no choice.

Communiqué: Fourth Trumpet from the Fourth Anglican Global South to South Encounter

23 April 2010
St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore
19th – 23rd April 2010

16. In contrast, we continue to grieve over the life of The Episcopal Church USA (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada and all those churches that have rejected the Way of the Lord as expressed in Holy Scripture. The recent action of TEC in the election and intended consecration of Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, as a bishop in Los Angeles, has demonstrated, yet again, a total disregard for the mind of the Communion. These churches continue in their defiance as they set themselves on a course that contradicts the plain teaching of the Holy Scriptures on matters so fundamental that they affect the very salvation of those involved. Such actions violate the integrity of the Gospel, the Communion and our Christian witness to the rest of the world. In the face of this we dare not remain silent and must respond with appropriate action.

17. We uphold the courageous actions taken by Archbishops Mouneer Anis (Jerusalem and the Middle East), Henry Orombi (Uganda) and Ian Ernest (Indian Ocean) and are encouraged by their decision not to participate in meetings of the various Instruments of Communion at which representatives of The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada are present. We understand their actions to be in protest of the failure to correct the ongoing crisis situation.

18. Some of our Provinces are already in a state of broken and impaired Communion with The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada. Their continued refusal to honor the many requests1 made of them by the various meetings of the Primates throughout the Windsor Process have brought discredit to our witness and we urge the Archbishop of Canterbury to implement the recommended actions. In light of the above, this Fourth South-to-South Encounter encourages our various Provinces to reconsider their communion relationships with The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada until it becomes clear that there is genuine repentance.

19. We were pleased to welcome two Communion Partner bishops from The Episcopal Church USA (TEC) and acknowledge that with them there are many within TEC who do not accept their church’s innovations. We assure them of our loving and prayerful support. We are grateful that the recently formed Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is a faithful expression of Anglicanism. We welcomed them as partners in the Gospel and our hope is that all provinces will be in full communion with the clergy and people of the ACNA and the Communion Partners.

20. For many generations Anglicans have lived together with a shared understanding of our common faith; indeed among our great gifts has been the Book of Common Prayer that has provided a foundation for our common life. In recent years the peace of our Communion has been deeply wounded by those who continue to claim the name Anglican but who pursue an agenda of their own desire in opposition to historic norms of faith, teaching and practice. This has led to a number of developments including the GAFCON meeting that took place in Jerusalem in June 2008. 2

21. Global South leaders have been in the forefront of the development of the ‘Anglican Covenant’ that seeks to articulate the essential elements of our faith together with means by which we might exercise meaningful and loving discipline for those who depart from the ‘faith once for all delivered to the saints.’ We are currently reviewing the proposed Covenant to find ways to strengthen it in order for it to fulfill its purpose. For example, we believe that all those who adopt the Covenant must be in compliance with Lambeth 1.10. Meanwhile we recognize that the Primates Meeting, being responsible for Faith and Order, should be the body to oversee the Covenant in its implementation, not the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.

22. Over the last 20 years we have been distracted by conflicts and controversies that have kept us from effectively fulfilling the Great Commission. While we have been so distracted, Christian heritage, identity and influence has continued to decline in the West. We believe that there is a need to review the entire Anglican Communion structure; especially the Instruments of Communion and the Anglican Communion office; in order to achieve an authentic expression of the current reality of our Anglican Communion.

Full Communiqué

Global South to South Encounter news

Go to AnglicanTV for more videos from the Global South Encounter in Singapore

GSE4 Audio Messages

Church Times: Global South counselled to gain financial self-sufficiency

John Chew Appointed Head of Anglican Global South
Archbishop John Chew Hiang Chea has been elected head of the majority Global South Anglican bloc. The announcement was made yesterday by outgoing Vice-Chairman Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda. Archbishop Chew, who heads the 100,000-member Province of South East Asia, will succeed retired Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola of Nigeria.

Muted response to Archbishop’s call for caution
The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged patience and forbearance upon Church leaders attending the Fourth Global South to South Encounter in Singapore, asking them not to take any hasty decisions over the future of the Anglican Communion.
However, the reception accorded to Dr Rowan Williams’ pleas for restraint from the leaders of the evangelical wing of the Communion was muted, with no applause or outward show of appreciation from the delegates at the close of his address. For most of those present, his words were too little, too late.

Numbers for the Anglican Communion

April 23rd, 2010
Anglican Mainstream

The Global South Communique speaks of the Global South being "the vast majority of the active membership of the Communion". A review of the statistics available would bear this out and gives a percentage of about 80 percent.

On the Anglican Communion Office website the number is given as 80 million. This cannot be the case given a proper understanding of the figures for the Church of England. Of these 80 million 26 million are reckoned to be with the Church of England. The Church of England official statistics gives the total attendance for all ages on Christmas Eve / Christmas Day 2008 as 2.6 million. (see here) So the real total for the Anglican Communion needs to be reduced by at least 20 million...

the rest-breakdown of statistics

'Muhammad' now a dirty word on 'South Park'

April 22, 2010

Now "South Park" can't even say the words "Prophet Muhammad."

After last week's episode of the Comedy Central series sparked a threat (and yes, it was certainly a threat) from a radical Islamic website, the network has cracked-down-for-their-own-good on creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone during last night's continuation of the show's storyline.

For those who missed the drama, the show's 200th episode last week mocked the one "celebrity" that the series has been largely unable to depict, the Prophet Muhammad, who was hidden from view in a bear costume. A U.S.-based website then warned Parker and Stone they could end up like Theo Van Gogh (the Dutch filmmaker who was murdered by Muslim extremists after depicting Muhammad on his show) and even posted the address of the show's production office. The site has since been shut down. the rest

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Devotional: Not what my hands have done...

Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my awful load.

Your voice alone, O Lord, can speak to me of grace;
Your power alone, O Son of God, can all my sin erase.
No other work but Yours, no other blood will do;
No strength but that which is divine can bear me safely through.

Thy work alone, O Christ, can ease this weight of sin;
Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, can give me peace within.
Thy love to me, O God, not mine, O Lord, to Thee,
Can rid me of this dark unrest, And set my spirit free.
...Horatius Bonar

Goldman's White House connections raise eyebrows

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
By Greg Gordon
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — While Goldman Sachs' lawyers negotiated with the Securities and Exchange Commission over potentially explosive civil fraud charges, Goldman's chief executive visited the White House at least four times.

White House logs show that Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein traveled to Washington for at least two events with President Barack Obama, whose 2008 presidential campaign received $994,795 in donations from Goldman's political action committee, its employees and their relatives. He also met twice with Obama's top economic adviser, Larry Summers. the rest

Malkin: All the president’s Goldman Sachs men

Anglican Global South Attracts Major Potential Ecumenical Partners

Thursday, Apr. 22, 2010
Edmond Chua

Though it has been struggling with an internal crisis, the worldwide Anglican Communion is still attracting positive attention.

Casting sights on possible ecumenical partnerships with the Communion are the registered Protestant Church in China and Coptic Orthodox Church.

This is mainly due to the rise of the Anglican Global South.Representatives of both church bodies were invited to the fourth Anglican Global South summit held this week in Singapore.

The church leaders have expressed an interest in deepening their relationship with the Anglican Communion. the rest

Messenger As Vital As Message: ABP John Chew

Cherie Wetzel:Thursday morning in Singapore

Iceland volcano: photos

April 19, 2010

As ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano continued to keep European airspace shut down over the weekend, affecting millions of travelers around the world, some government agencies and airlines clashed over the flight bans. Some restricted airspace is now beginning to open up and some limited flights are being allowed now as airlines are pushing for the ability to judge safety conditions for themselves. The volcano continues to rumble and hurl ash skyward, if at a slightly diminished rate now, as the dispersing ash plume has dropped closer to the ground, and the World Health Organization has issued a health warning to Europeans with respiratory conditions. Collected here are some images from Iceland over the past few days.

Photos here-magnificent!

Canada: Euthanasia Bill Defeated in Canada 228 - 59

By Patrick B. Craine
OTTAWA, Ontario
April 21, 2010

( - The Canadian Parliament overwhelmingly defeated today the private members bill seeking to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The House of Commons rejected Bill C-384, proposed by Member of Parliament Francine Lalonde (La Pointe-de-l'Île, BQ), by a vote of 228 to 59, with two additional members noting immediately afterwards that they mistakenly voted for the bill when they had intended to vote against it.

In a point of order after the vote, Conservative Member and Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Stephen Fletcher, wished it to be recorded that he abstained from the vote. Fletcher urged that all possible support be given to patients in need, but also stressed that he believed "the individual is ultimately responsible" for his fate. Fletcher is a quadriplegic MP confined to a special motorized wheel chair. the rest

Albert Mohler: “The Year of Our Lord” — Diploma Trouble in Texas

The controversy at Trinity University tells us so much about the loss of Christian conviction in colleges and universities, the insanity of secular revisionism, and the contradictions of Muslim students who are offended by the words “the year of our Lord,” but seem perfectly happy to have the name “Trinity University” printed in bold on their diplomas.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A group of students at Trinity University in San Antonio is petitioning the administration to remove the words “in the year of our Lord” from the school’s diplomas. Senior Sidra Qureshi said she started the petition in order to assure the school’s commitment to diversity. A Muslim student who presides over the “Trinity Diversity Connection,” Miss Qureshi told the media: “A diploma is a very personal item, and people want to proudly display it in their offices and homes. . . . By having the phrase ‘in the year of our Lord,’ it is directly referencing Jesus Christ, and not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.” the rest

'Idol Gives Back' -- To Pro-Abortion Groups

April 21, 2010

Christian Newswire -- Once again, "American Idol" is aligning itself with pro-abortion groups. Among the groups benefiting this year's "Idol Gives Back" fund-raising campaign are Save the Children and the United Nations Foundation. "Idol Gives Back," which airs tonight, will feature several celebrities who will urge Americans to make a donation.

Save the Children has a working relationship with what it calls "prominent international organizations." Several of these groups are actively pro-abortion, including Better World Fund, Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Population Action International, and the U.S. Committee for UNICEF. the rest

Bringing Thunder-ous Change to New Jersey

April 22, 2010
By George Will

MORRISVILLE, Pa. -- The bridge spanning the Delaware River connects New Jersey's capital with this town where the nation's most interesting governor occasionally eats lunch at Cafe Antonio. It also connects New Jersey's government with reality.

The bridge is a tutorial on a subject this government has flunked -- economics, which is mostly about incentives. At the Pennsylvania end of the bridge, cigarette shops cluster: New Jersey's per-pack tax is double Pennsylvania's. In late afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie says, the bridge is congested with New Jersey government employees heading home to Pennsylvania, where the income tax rate is 3 percent, compared to New Jersey's top rate of 9 percent.

There are 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans in New Jersey, but in November Christie flattened the Democratic incumbent, Jon Corzine. Christie is built like a burly baseball catcher, and since his inauguration just 13 weeks ago, he has earned the name of the local minor league team -- the Trenton Thunder. the rest image

"Feelings" Education---It Starts in Ed School

April 16, 2010
By Mary Grabar

The teenage girl standing with her father in line behind me at Kroger was clearly annoyed with her teacher. "I just gave her some b.s.," she said.

They were discussing the school day, and a writing assignment. Her father asked her what the topic had been and between loading my items onto the conveyor belt I gathered that the assignment had involved a journal entry regarding feelings about family and living arrangements.

"Well," her father replied, "you could have answered that with fewer than twenty words: 'My parents went through a ten-year custody battle and now I live with my father.'"

"Yeah," the daughter replied, "she has no business knowing about that stuff."

I cheered her on inside, for her resistance to an intrusive English teacher. the rest image by APDK

The indispensable dad

It’s scientific: kids need not just two parents but a mother and father.
David Eggebeen
Monday, 19 April 2010

In recent decades fathers have become both an “optional extra” for single-mother households and the “essential second parent” in middle-class families where the mother is in the workforce. But is it merely a question of parenting, or do fathers do something irreplaceable for their children? In this interview with MercatorNet Associate Professor David Eggebeen of Pennsylvania State University suggests some answers.

MercatorNet: The role of fathers in child care and other domestic tasks is a hot button topic these days when so many mothers are in the workforce. But is there more to this issue than simply “shared parenting”?

David Eggebeen: Certainly there is. My work looks at fatherhood in two different ways. First, in the way that almost everybody else in this field does: What do fathers do for kids? How important are fathers for the lives of children? But my most recent work addresses a further question: Do fathers make unique contributions to child development? In other words, is there something that fathers bring to the table of parenting that is not easily replicated by mothers, and which is of benefit to kids and cannot be given by just two “parents”? the rest image

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sun Gets in the Loop

April 21, 2010

A huge loop of material shooting up from the sun's surface in March was one of the first events witnessed by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Known as a prominence eruption, the loop was born from a relatively cold cloud of plasma, or charged gas, tenuously tethered to the sun's surface by magnetic forces. Such clouds can erupt dramatically when they break free of the sun's unstable hold.

"We are all living in the outer atmosphere of a star. Its variability influences Earth, the other planets, and the whole solar system," Richard Fisher, NASA's director of heliophysics, said today at a press conference. For example, strong solar eruptions called coronal mass ejections can send bursts of charged particles streaming toward Earth, where they can overload our planet's magnetic shield, knocking out satellite communications and power grids. the rest/image

Archbishop Kolini calls for new Anglican Council

GSE4 Day 2 Report
21 April 2010

Day 2 of the 4th Anglican Global South-to-South Encounter was a time for all present to listen, meditate and share on the richness of the covenantal idea. As Archbishop John Chew reminded us, to allow the covenant effected by Jesus to “challenge and engage us… to reflect it in our lives.”

The day started off with the Holy Communion, led be participants from Asia, with the Archbishop of Melanesia, David Vanugi serving as the celebrant. Then the morning Bible Study followed, led by the Bishop Rennis Ponniah, the Assistant Bishop of Singapore. Sharing from Isaiah 6: 1-13, he exhorted us to be like the contrite prophet who was “undone by the stunning holiness of God, amazed by the sheer grace of God, and captivated by the salvation purpose of God.” It was a call to repentance and humility, that God cannot use us as His servants unless we are totally broken before Him.

In the Encounter’s second Thematic Address, Abp John Chew shared on being a “Covenant for All Peoples.” He took us back on a biblical and theological journey examining the covenant relationship between Israel and God. Focused on Jesus, we are able to recover the lost vocation that Israel could not live up to and be a Covenant for all peoples. He challenge all present to build our Covenantal relationships on a deeper biblical and historical basis. the rest

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Devotional: To live by faith...

To live by faith is a far surer and happier thing than to live by feelings or by works, The branch, by living in the vine, lives a better life than it would live by itself, even if it were possible for it to live at all apart from the stem. To live by clinging to Jesus, by deriving all from Him, is a sweet and sacred thing. If even the most just must live in this fashion, how much more must I who am a poor sinner! Lord, I believe. I must trust Thee wholly. What else can I do? Trusting Thee is my life...CH Spurgeon

AnglicanTV: Archbishop Okoh-"The Gospel of Jesus Christ"


Supreme Court on Major Discrimination Case: 'Huh?'

Before the justices can render an opinion in the Christian Legal Society dispute, they'll have to figure out what the facts are.
Ted Olsen

Headlines today are calling the Supreme Court sharply divided over whether a University of California law school can require its Christian Legal Society chapter to open its leadership to all students, including critics and non-Christians.

But there was sharp agreement, too: At some point during yesterday's oral arguments, nearly every justice wondered aloud what they were supposed to be discussing.

Justice Anthony Kennedy put it most baldly. "What is the case that we have here?" he asked. "It's frustrating for us not to know what kind of case we have in front of us."

Likewise, Justice Sonia Sotomayor admitted, "I'm not quite sure what the record is on these issues. I'm somewhat confused on the factual assumptions underlying this case."

In theory, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez could be a very important case, with both sides worried about discrimination. UC-Hastings wants to ensure that students aren't discriminated against in any campus context on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, gender, race, or handicap. The Christian Legal Society (CLS) chapter says the school's policy that it must open its leadership to those who disagree with its core beliefs is discriminatory. the rest

Iceland volcano: Some European flights take off; London still shut

posted April 20, 2010

(AP) PARIS — Applause, cheers and whoops of joy rang out at airports around the world Tuesday as airplanes gradually took to the skies after five days of being grounded by a volcanic ash cloud that has devastated European travel.

But weary passengers might have to tamper their enthusiasm. Only limited flights were allowed to resume at some European airports and U.K. authorities said London airports — a major hub for thousands of daily flights worldwide — would remained closed for at least another day due to new danger from the invisible ash cloud.

And with over 95,000 flights canceled in the last week alone, airlines face the enormous task of working through the backlog to get passengers where they want to go — a challenge that certainly will take days. the rest

Atheist Group Calls on Obama to Endorse ‘National Day of Reason' Instead of 'National Day of Prayer'

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
By Pete Winn, Senior Writer/Editor

( – An atheist group is calling on President Obama to ditch the National Day of Prayer and formally recognize its own “non-theist” version called “The National Day of Reason.”

Last week, a federal judge in Madison, Wis., ruled that the law designating the first Thursday in May to be the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional because, the judge said, it negatively impacts non-believers. the rest

Tebow: I Lost Endorsement Opportunities over Pro-Life Ad

Monday April 19, 2010
By Kathleen Gilbert
NASHVILLE, Tennessee

( - Tim Tebow recently told a sold-out crowd at Lipscomb University that "multiple companies told him before the Super Bowl that they could not let him represent their products if he went ahead with his pro-life commercial at the Super Bowl," according to the Palm Beach Post.

However, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and pro-life celebrity went on to say that, "losing sponsors was a small price to pay for the ability to spread his message about family and faith."

The story of Tim and mother Pam Tebow, who was advised to abort Tim after she contracted amoebic dysentery while pregnant in the Philippines, was the center of a Focus on the Family-sponsored ad that ran during the Superbowl in February. The ad became the center of a nationwide uproar after top pro-abortion groups, without ever having seen the ad, drew massive attention to it by lobbying CBS to reject it. the rest

Imagine the Loss of the Christian Holy Places

Monday, April 19, 2010
Michael Novak

On Easter Sunday, I was able to sit in prayer for a while at the Shrine run by sweet Italian nuns on top of the Mountain of the Beatitudes, the most famous of Sermons. It was infinitely peaceful, and I needed it.

Later it hit me: What if the mad leader of Iran fulfilled his pledge to wipe Israel from the map with the Iranian nuclear weapon, coming soon? What would we Christians do without the Mount of the Sermon?

Without Capernaum? Without Nazareth? Without Cana?

Without the lovely and mystical city of Jerusalem–without Golgotha, and the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Tomb?

Without Bethlehem? the rest image

Web apps target the faithful

LaReeca Rucker
April 20, 2010

Want to worship God?

There's an app for that.

With more than 100,000 phone applications to choose from, it makes sense that some created for Apple products would target the religious community.

New Albany native John Hugh Tate, a Harvard Divinity School graduate who helped found Jackson's Bellwether United Methodist Church congregation in 2007, has owned an iPhone about a year and a half.

About three months ago, he downloaded Holy Bible, an iPhone app that enables users to read the Bible when they're on the go. the rest

Archbishop Akinoloa GS4 Opening Sermon

Archbishop Rowan William's message to the 4th Global South to South Encounter

Singapore: Among those in attendance:
Anglican Communion in North America
the Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Archbishop
the Rt. Rev. John Guernsey
the Rev. Phil Ashey
Mr. Hugo Blakingship

The Episcopal Church – Communion Partners Representatives
the Rt. Rev. JOhn Howe, Central Florida
the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, South Carolina

Monday, April 19, 2010

Devotional: People cannot become perfect...

People cannot become perfect by dint of hearing or reading about perfection. The chief thing is not to listen to yourself, but silently to listen to God. Talk little and do much, without caring to be seen. God will teach you more than all the most experienced persons or the most spiritual books can do. You already know a great deal more than you practise. You do not need the acquirement of fresh knowledge half so much as to put in practice that which you already possess. ...Francois Fenelon
image by Matt Murf

Freedom of All Student Groups at Stake in CLS case at Supreme Court

Monday, April 19, 2010

Marci Hamilton's column for this site regarding Christian Legal Society v. Martinez states that this case will cause the Supreme Court to "wade into the culture wars morass." To be sure, this case arises out of a leftwing university's attack on a theologically orthodox religious group. However, the legal principles involved transcend the particular positions taken by the contending sides on religious and moral questions. At stake is the freedom of all student groups to choose leaders who share their respective missions, free from undue government pressure. For decades, counter-cultural groups have invoked the First Amendment to protect themselves from hostile university administrators. In the past, groups on the Left resisted officials they perceived to be conservative. Now the roles are reversed. Just as the courts vindicated the Constitution in those cases, they should do so now as well. There is no need for the Court to "choose sides" in the culture war. It simply needs to uphold the Constitution.

Professor Hamilton declares that "no one who engages in sex that occurs outside of marriage between a man and a woman may be an officer or prayer leader." This is simply incorrect. CLS stated as follows on pages 35-36 in its opening brief filed in the Supreme Court:

In accordance with traditional Christian teaching, the CLS chapter does not exclude all those who engage in what they regard as immoral conduct, sexual or otherwise: The CLS membership policy excludes only those who do so "unrepentantly," which is religion-speak for those who do not regard the conduct as wrong or sinful and resolve to cease acting in that manner. Thus, far from excluding people on the basis of orientation, the CLS Statement of Faith excludes them on the basis of a conjunction of conduct and the belief that the conduct is not wrong. the rest

Unicorn After Wisdom Teeth

Viral video-just had her wisdom teeth out.

Eleven-year-old girl refuses abortion, understands a 'life is growing in her womb'

Chetumal, Mexico
Apr 19, 2010

(CNA).- Despite protests and pressure from feminists and pro-abortion groups, an 11-year-old girl in the Mexican city of Chetumal has refused to undergo an abortion. The young girl explained her decision saying that she understands, “a life is growing in her womb.”

The girl is receiving medical attention at a local clinic, where doctors say the results of psychological tests have been positive. The recent tests, said Lizbeth Gamboa Song, director of the National System for the Comprehensive Development of the Family, show the girl has a proper understanding of the new life within her and of what to expect during the pregnancy. the rest

No hooking up, no sex for some coeds

By Stephanie Chen, CNN
April 19, 2010
Nashville, Tennessee

Almost every weekend, there is a tradition called raging at Vanderbilt University.

It's a recurring, drunken activity that isn't the proudest moment for student Frannie Boyle. After consuming large quantities of alcohol before a party, her night would sometimes end in making out with a stranger or acquaintance.

Casual hook ups fueled by alcohol may be the norm across college campuses, but Boyle, now a 21-year-old junior at the school, chose to stop. Her reasons to quit hooking up echo the emotional devastation of many college students, particularly girls whose hearts are broken by the hook-up scene.

"I saw it [hooking up] as a way to be recognized and get satisfaction," said Boyle, shaking her blond ponytail. "I felt so empty then." the rest

Love and Fidelity Network

Congress may get fined by its own health-care law

By Jonathan Strong

Congress may be fined tens of millions of dollars a year under its own health-care law, in part because the bill dumps members of Congress and their staffs from their current health-care plans.

But no one really knows for sure what the bill does, not even the experts. For instance, exactly who qualifies as an “employer” — and therefore is subject to fines up to $3,000 per employee — is undefined in the bill.

If Congress were subject to a $3,000 fine for each of its employees, it would need to shell out approximately $50 million each year to Uncle Sam. Congress’s research arm, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), informally confirmed the possibility to Republican aides.
the rest

Fourth Anglican Global South to South Encounter begins in Singapore

April 19, 2010

Most of the 130 primates, bishops, clergy, senior lay leaders, associates and observers have now arrived for the five-day Encounter which starts today, Monday 19th April.

A few—including Ugandan Primate Abp Henry Orombi— have been stranded or delayed after a volcanic ash cloud grounded flights across Europe.

This Encounter builds on the ecclesiological vision of the “One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ” shared at the last Encounter at El-ein-Suknah, Egypt in 2005.

The theme of this encounter is: “The Gospel of Jesus Christ—Covenant for the People; Light for the Nations” and the mission statement is: “To Recover, Reform, Revitalise and Restore Ourselves as Anglican Covenantal Community for Mission and Ministry in Jesus Christ.”
the rest

It’s time to move forward - GSE4 Day 1 Report, 19th April

Abp. John Chew: A Welcome Address from the Conference Host

Abp. Peter Akinola: Sermon at GSE4 Opening Service

Abp. Nicholas Okoh: GSE4 Thematic Address 1: “The Gospel of Jesus Christ”

Lent and Beyond: Roundup of South to South resources


From the Supreme Court: Christian Legal Society v. Martinez

Left to right: Mike McConnell (Stanford law professor who will argue the case), Kim Colby (lead attorney for CLS) and Greg Baylor (Alliance Defence Fund)

9:08 am: Raymond just sent me this from the Supreme Court. Mr. McConnell who represents the Christian Legal Society in CLS v. Martinez will present oral arguments at 10:00 am this morning. Please be at prayer for Mr. McConnell!

Info on the case: Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (UC Hastings)

Added 11:54 am:
The End of Religious Freedom?
A Christianity Today editorial

The nightmare scenarios could very well unfold, but they are not the last word.

The U.S. Supreme Court hasn't taken on many significant religion cases lately. Perhaps the justices were resting up for what could be one of the biggest rulings yet: Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which went before the court April 19, is in some eyes the title fight between anti-discrimination laws and religious identity. It's a case that both sides have long been waiting for.

At issue is an anti-discrimination rule at Hastings College of the Law (part of the University of California). Hastings says the rule means that the Christian Legal Society's (CLS) on-campus chapter cannot make its leaders sign a statement of faith and abstain from "unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle." The school said student group leadership positions must be open to all students—even to those who would seek such positions precisely in order to destroy the purpose of the group.

If CLS loses the case, in time it would mean that "religious and other groups that adhere to traditional moral views could be driven from the public square in the name of enforcing nondiscrimination," CLS told the court.

A loss could "effectively remove evangelical organizations from state college and university campuses throughout the United States," according to a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the National Association of Evangelicals and other evangelical groups.

Even more than that, "It is not hyperbole to argue that … this case ultimately threatens the future of public education as we know it," said a friend-of-the-court brief from the Rutherford Institute. Hastings is subjecting the freedom of association on campus "to state censorship grounded in political ideology," the organization said.
the rest-don't miss this!

NYT: ObamaCare will drive up costs, burden the healthy

April 18, 2010
by Ed Morrissey

Perhaps the New York Times needs to change its well-known motto to All the News That’s Fit to Print … Eventually. In today’s edition, buried in its Regional section, comes an analysis of the health-insurance reforms imposed by the state of New York over fifteen years ago. Like ObamaCare, the state required insurance carriers to issue policies to people with pre-existing conditions as a means of making the industry more “fair” and imposed community pricing rather than risk-based premiums. How did that work for New Yorkers? About the way ObamaCare critics predicted:

New York’s insurance system has been a working laboratory for the core provision of the new federal health care law — insurance even for those who are already sick and facing huge medical bills — and an expensive lesson in unplanned consequences. Premiums for individual and small group policies have risen so high that state officials and patients’ advocates say that New York’s extensive insurance safety net for people like Ms. Welles is falling apart.

The problem stems in part from the state’s high medical costs and in part from its stringent requirements for insurance companies in the individual and small group market. In 1993, motivated by stories of suffering AIDS patients, the state became one of the first to require insurers to extend individual or small group coverage to anyone with pre-existing illnesses.
New York also became one of the few states that require insurers within each region of the state to charge the same rates for the same benefits, regardless of whether people are old or young, male or female, smokers or nonsmokers, high risk or low risk.

Healthy people, in effect, began to subsidize people who needed more health care. The healthier customers soon discovered that the high premiums were not worth it and dropped out of the plans. The pool of insured people shrank to the point where many of them had high health care needs. Without healthier people to spread the risk, their premiums skyrocketed, a phenomenon known in the trade as the “adverse selection death spiral.” the rest

Tea Parties & The Inconvenience of Truth

April 19, 2010
By Ross Mackenzie

Let's talk tea parties -- and the press.

The past week included Tax Day (April 15) and a lot of local tea party rallies drawing thousands of primarily middle-class citizens protesting the growing role of government in their lives.

These rallies heard much about federal abuses to capitalism, liberty, the Constitution, individual responsibility, and national sovereignty. Perhaps the earliest indication of public disaffection happened Feb. 27 of last year with small rallies in 50 cities at which taxpayers protested the $786 billion stimulus bill. Those rallies began the tea party movement.

Protest is the essence of America. It formed the nation. To say people attending these rallies are loons is to say the same of those who dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest British taxes. the rest
image by Street Protest TV

With all that, would it be too much to suggest the tea partiers are riding to the nation's rescue on the political/ideological inconvenience of the truth?

Americans Are More Skeptical of Washington Than Ever

A desire for smaller government is especially evident since Barack Obama took office.
April 19, 2010

By almost every conceivable measure, Americans are less positive and more critical of their government these days. There is a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government—a dismal economy, an unhappy public, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials.

These are among the principal findings from a new series of Pew Research Center surveys. Rather than an activist government to deal with the nation's top problems, these surveys show that the general public now wants government reformed and a growing number want its power curtailed. With the exception of greater regulation of Wall Street, there is less of an appetite for government solutions to the nation's problems—including greater government control over the economy—than there was when Barack Obama first took office. the rest

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bp. David Bena: Defending the Faith, and Church Property

April 12, 2010

It's certainly unfortunate that we've come to another round of church versus church, as the Virginia Supreme Court tomorrow will hear the appeal in the church property suit brought by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and Diocese of Virginia against nine faithful Anglican churches in Virginia.

Although we expected the appeal, it is unfortunate that this dispute has continued, and, for that matter, started in the first place.

Several years ago, our orthodox churches made a decision to remain faithful to the teachings of the Bible and the worldwide Anglican Communion after it became clear that TEC was on a wayward path. How did we come to that costly conclusion? TEC formally rejected the authority of Scripture. In its formal response to the Anglican Communion's call to return to the authority of Scripture, TEC said, "We cannot accept what would be injurious to this Church and could well lead to its permanent division."

The painful irony is that TEC's decision to reject the authority of God's Word has been gravely injurious, and has itself caused the very division that TEC's leaders claimed they sought to avoid. Once someone rejects Scripture, then they reject Jesus Christ and Christianity as a whole. It's as simple as that. We could not follow a national body that rejected the very Word of God.

Our Anglican churches (under the umbrella of the Anglican District of Virginia) attempted to resolve matters with the diocese and TEC graciously and out of court, following a process that we spent almost a year developing with diocesan representatives. But the diocese and TEC abruptly broke off discussion of settlement and instead launched a legal confrontation. They sued not only our churches, but also almost 200 individual clergy and volunteer board members. the rest

(Reposted in case anyone missed this excellent editorial!-PD)

Christians, Muslims almost equal in numbers in Africa

Proximity a flash point for conflict
By Julia Duin
Friday, April 16, 2010

A continent once known more for witchcraft than worship has become a stronghold - and a flash point - for the world's two largest religions, the Pew Forum said in a survey released Thursday.
With more than 90 percent of the region's population saying faith is "very important" in their lives, it's also on one of the major fault lines of religious conflict.

Northern Africa is heavily Muslim and southern Africa is mostly Christian but where the two religions meet in a 4,000-mile belt from Somalia to Senegal has often turned violent, especially in Nigeria, where hundreds of Muslims and Christians have died since January fighting each other.

At least 45 percent of the Christians surveyed in Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda and Chad - which topped the list at 70 percent - consider Muslims to be violent. Far smaller percentages of Muslims see Christians as violent - Djibouti had the largest percentage at 40 percent, followed by Kenya and Uganda in the low 30s. the rest

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