Saturday, June 26, 2010

Devotional: Keep God's covenant in your trials...

Keep God's covenant in your trials; hold you by His blessed word, and sin not; flee anger, wrath, grudging, envying, fretting; forgive a hundred pence to your fellow-servant, because your Lord hath forgiven you ten thousand talents: for, I assure you by the Lord, your adversaries shall get no advantage against you, except you sin, and offend your Lord, in your sufferings.
...Samuel Rutherford image

The ACL protests Katharine Jefferts Schori’s visit to Australia

June 26, 2010

The President of the Anglican Church League, the Rev Dr Mark Thompson, has issued this statement on behalf of the ACL’s Council:

We note with profound sadness that the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Schori, has been invited to preach in a Brisbane church in early July. This invitation shows an appalling lack of judgment and contempt for those who have suffered at the hands of the revisionists in The Episcopal Church.

The Presiding Bishop has defied the vast majority of the Anglican Communion, and even the Archbishop of Canterbury, by pursuing a program of moral and doctrinal revision, endorsing homosexual behaviour and approving the appointment of a lesbian bishop. Her actions have been taken in full awareness of the widespread international concern which has led to an official call for a moratorium on any such measures.

As recently as April 2010, the Statement issued at the end of the 4th Global South Encounter spoke of TEC’s ‘total disregard for the mind of the Communion’ and the way 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’. The statement continued, ‘Such actions violate the integrity of the Gospel, the Communion and our Christian witness to the rest of the world’.

This alarming behaviour has been compounded by a virulent attack on Anglicans in America who wish to remain faithful to the teaching of Scripture. The Presiding Bishop has been responsible for pursuing, in the secular courts, those who oppose her program of revision, as her agents seek to remove orthodox clergy and take over the property of faithful, Bible-believing congregations.

Katherine Jefferts Schori bears a great deal of responsibility for the current turmoil, division and anguish in the Anglican Communion. It is entirely inappropriate that she should be welcomed into any diocese in the Anglican Church of Australia.

Faithful Anglicans throughout Australia will be offended by this decision. The Council of the ACL calls on Archbishop Aspinall to reconsider and rescind the invitation.

Mark Thompson
President, Anglican Church League,
on behalf of the ACL’s Council,
26 June 2010.
link

NPR: More Couples Have Friends Perform Wedding

June 28, 2010

As the summer wedding season approaches, don't be surprised if there's something noticeably missing at the next wedding you attend: a member of the clergy. The Wedding Report, a research firm, says last year one out of every seven weddings in the U.S. was performed by a friend of the couple.

"I've seen it become increasingly popular over the last few years," says Melissa Evans, who has been helping couples plan weddings for more than a decade.

In fact, some say that the episode of the TV show Friends in which Monica and Chandler ask their friend to perform their wedding ceremony marked the point when this trend started taking off. the rest

There is also concern over whether having friends perform weddings is legal. Many ministries offer instant ordinations. With the Internet it takes fewer than five minutes — and in some cases, no money — to become a minister. Fill out a few boxes with information, click submit and you too can be declared ordained.

"That's a scam," says attorney Ray Dague, who specializes in religious and matrimonial law.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Devotional: It is a glorious thing...

It is a glorious thing to know that your Father God makes no mistakes in directing or permitting that which crosses the path of your life. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. It is our glory to trust him, no matter what. ...Joni Eareckson Tada
image by StephenMitchell

Amputee cat gets bionic feet

Fri Jun 25, 2010

LONDON (AFP) – A cat which lost both back paws after a traumatic accident involving a combine harvester has regained a spring in its step after being fitted with prosthetic limbs.

In a groundbreaking surgery carried out by Noel Fitzpatrick, a Surrey-based veterinary surgeon, the custom-made implants "peg" the ankle to Oscar's foot and mimic the way in which deer antler bone grows through skin.

The prosthetic legs, called intraosseous transcutaneous amputation prosthetics (Itaps) were developed by a team from University College London, led by Professor Gordon Blunn. the rest/image

For prayer: Joni Eareckson Tada diagnosed with breast cancer

Associated Press
6/25/2010

AGOURA HILLS, CA - Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic whose ministry provides wheelchairs to people around the world, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Doug Mazza, president of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, says the 60-year-old Tada will undergo surgery Monday, allowing doctors to determine how far the cancer has spread.

A diving accident when she was 17 left Tada paralyzed below the neck and wanting to die. Unable to commit suicide, she said she demanded that God show her how to live if He wouldn't kill her.

In a press release announcing her cancer, Tada says she now believes afflictions come from a loving God, and she's "content to receive from God whatever He deems fit." the rest

UK: Methodists 'live more than seven years longer than rest of population'

Methodists live more than seven years longer than the rest of the population, according to an academic study.
By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
25 Jun 2010

Men belonging to the famously clean-living denomination live to the ripe old age of 83.9, research has found, compared with a national average of 77.

For women the difference in longevity was even greater with female Methodists dying at 91.1 on average – nine years longer than the 82 years enjoyed by most British women....

...Dr Richard Vautrey, vice president of the Methodist Conference, said, “I’m sure there are many different factors at work for Methodists to attain these numbers.

“But I would guess that our emphasis on caring for our spiritual as well as physical health, avoiding excess, engaging with people in our communities and being good neighbours all help.” the rest

Christians must exert ‘significant influence’ on Government, says writer

by Maria Mackay
Friday, June 25, 2010

The author of bestseller ‘Systematic Theology’ has called upon Christians in the UK to stand against threats to the Gospel by engaging in politics and increasing their influence on government.

US writer Wayne Grudem, a co-translator of the English Standard Version of the Bible, addressed a packed St Helen’s church in Bishopsgate, London, last night in the first leg of his UK tour tackling the question of whether political involvement distracts from the Gospel.

He said God was calling Christians in the UK to “stand against evil” and “threats that would silence the Gospel and remove it from the public square”, particularly laws passed in recent years promoting homosexuality and attempts to loosen existing abortion regulations.

Gudrem argued that far from being a distraction from the Gospel, Christian involvement in politics was necessary. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Case Against Marriage, Courtesy of Newsweek

One essential task for the Christian Church is to rebuild and maintain a marriage culture — even when marriage itself no longer makes sense to so many around us.
Friday, June 25, 2010

“Once upon a time, marriage made sense.” So write Jessica Bennett and Jesse Ellison in the June 11, 2010 edition of Newsweek magazine. The two women who wrote the article are both young adults who identify themselves as “committed to our careers, friendships, and, yes, our relationships.” But, as for marriage, not so much.

As Bennett and Ellison explain their case, marriage once made sense, at least for women, because it “was how women ensured their financial security, got the fathers of their children to stick around, and gained access to a host of legal rights.” But now, thanks largely to the feminist movement, they claim, the financial and legal rights are theirs without marriage. They never actually get around to saying much about fathers sticking around to take responsibility for children.

The Newsweek article represents what may be the most direct journalistic attack on marriage in our times. Though only an op-ed column, it presents arguments that had to date been made largely, if not exclusively, outside of mainstream circles. Consider this column an opening salvo in a battle to finish marriage off, once and for all. the rest

The World's Reaction to Landon Donovan's Game Winning Goal

Portland doctor plans house where terminally ill can kill themselves

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Anne Saker, The Oregonian

A Northwest Portland psychiatrist who the state has reprimanded for wrongly prescribing drugs says he plans to open a facility in the city and charge fees to help patients end their lives under Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.

Stuart G. Weisberg has mailed invitations to local doctors and politicians inviting them to a July 21 "presentation" at the deluxe El Gaucho restaurant in downtown to unveil his new business, End of Life Consultants LLC.

Share Weisberg did not return calls Wednesday seeking more information on his venture, which apparently would be the first of its kind in the nation. Weisberg filed incorporation papers with the state June 2. the rest

10-Year-Old Grand Marshal at Gay Rights Parade Sparks Controversy Across U.S.

June 24, 2010
FOXNews.com

When the Fayetteville, Ark., Gay Pride Parade steps off on East Street Saturday on its way to the Wal-Mart parking lot, it will be led by a young man who has made a career out of fighting for gay rights.

Make that a young boy. Will Phillips, the grand marshal, is 10 years old, and his presence has thrust Fayetteville's Gay Pride Parade into the national spotlight. the rest

Provincetown to rethink condom policy that leaves parents out
Governor urges no access for young children

Books With Gay Themes for Young Readers Take Off

California welfare recipients withdrew $1.8 million at casino ATMs over eight months

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issues an executive order requiring recipients to promise they will use cash benefits only to meet basic subsistence needs. GOP legislators call for the cash to be returned.
By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
June 25, 2010

California welfare recipients using state-issued debit cards withdrew more than $1.8 million in taxpayer cash on casino floors between October 2009 and last month, state officials said Thursday.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order requiring welfare recipients to promise they will use cash benefits only to "meet the basic subsistence needs" of their families. The order also gave the state Department of Social Services seven days to produce a plan to reduce other types of "waste, fraud and abuse" in the welfare program. the rest

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Devotional: The cost of true greatness...

The cost of true greatness is humble, selfless, sacrificial service. The Christian who desires to be great and first in the kingdom is the one who is willing to serve in the hard place, the uncomfortable place, the lonely place, the demanding place, the place where he is not appreciated and may even be persecuted. Knowing that time is short and eternity is long, he is willing to spend and be spent. He is willing to work for excellence without becoming proud, to withstand criticism without becoming bitter, to be misjudged without becoming defensive, and to withstand suffering without succumbing to self pity. ...John MacArthur image

How Vulnerable Is Your Car to Cyber Attack?

As cars barrel toward full electronic control, are they vulnerable to cyber attack?
By Glenn Derene
June 21, 2010

Last November, on a closed airport runway north of Seattle, Wash., a team of researchers from University of Washington and University of California–San Diego performed an ominous experiment on a late-model sedan. With a chase car driving on a parallel runway, they sped the test vehicle up to 40 mph, then turned off the brakes—via Wi-Fi. "Even though we knew what was going to happen, it's a very unsettling feeling to have a loss of control," says Alexei Czeskis, the researcher who was driving the test car. "You get full resistance from the brake pedal, but no matter how hard you press, nothing happens."

The test sedan was rigged up with a laptop hooked into its OBD II diagnostic port. On the computer was a custom-coded application, called CarShark, that analyzes and rewrites automobile software. That laptop was linked via a wireless connection to another laptop in the chase car. In addition to temporarily rendering the test car brakeless, the setup also allowed the research team to remotely turn off all the vehicle's lights (including the headlights and brake lights), turn on the windshield wipers, honk the horn, pop the trunk, rev the engine, disable specific cylinders, engage individual brakes and shut down the vehicle completely while it was in motion. the rest
Computer-security pros agree that there is little reason for drivers to worry today, since the chances of random hackers killing your brakes on the interstate are slim to none. Yet now is the time, they say, for the auto industry to start concentrating on cybersecurity.

New England Journal of Medicine: Blindness Reversed in Dozens of Patients By Adult—Not Embryonic—Stem Cell Therapy

Stem Cells Reverse Blindness Caused by Burns
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
By Alicia Chang, Associated Press

Los Angeles - Dozens of people who were blinded or otherwise suffered severe eye damage when they were splashed with caustic chemicals had their sight restored with transplants of their own stem cells--a stunning success for the burgeoning cell-therapy field, Italian researchers reported Wednesday.

The treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others, with benefits lasting up to a decade so far. One man whose eyes were severely damaged more than 60 years ago now has near-normal vision.

“This is a roaring success,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Ivan Schwab of the University of California, Davis, who had no role in the study--the longest and largest of its kind. the rest/image

This image from an Italian study published online Wednesday, June 23, 2010 by the New England Journal of Medicine shows the eyes of three patients with alkali burns before and after successful stem cell transplants.

48% See Government Today As A Threat to Individual Rights

June 24, 2010

Nearly half of American Adults see the government today as a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those rights.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Adults see the government today as a threat to rights. Thirty-seven percent (37%) hold the opposite view. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.

Most Republicans (74%) and unaffiliateds (51%) consider the government to be a threat to individual rights. Most Democrats (64%) regard the government as a protector of rights. the rest

Persecution of Christians in Afghanistan

A Report by the Rev'd Canon Julian M. Dobbs
06-22-10

On June 9, a group of Afghan Christians issued a statement to the global Christian community, pleading for prayer and support on behalf of the Christians in Afghanistan who are being arrested and executed in raids officially sanctioned by the government.

The increased hostility towards Afghan Christians appears to be the result of years old television footage which shows Muslim converts to Christianity being baptized. The media has called for Afghans to find more converts and report them to local authorities. On May 31, the Deputy Secretary of the Afghan Lower House of Parliament, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, called for the public execution of the Afghan Christians shown in the Television program.

This latest hostility towards the Christian community in Afghanistan is all in accordance with Shari’a law which is the foundation of the Afghan constitution. Article 3 of the Afghan constitution states, “In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.” Under Islamic Shari’a law, women are oppressed, sometimes beaten and abused. Converts to Christianity and other faiths are severely persecuted. While many Christians in the West take for granted the right to religious freedom, in Islam all schools of Islamic law agree that adult male apostates should suffer the death penalty. the rest

North Carolina Abortuary Hammered by Pro-Life Prayers Ceases Abortions

Wednesday June 23, 2010
By Kathleen Gilbert
RALEIGH, North Carolina

(LifeSiteNews.com) - A Raleigh abortuary that has seen constant prayer from pro-lifers with the popular 40 Days for Life campaign has ceased performing abortions.

The Raleigh News and Observer reported Wednesday that National Women's Health Organization of Raleigh is, in the words of one local pro-abortion affiliate, "in transition." The affiliate, Ann Rose, said that the last abortions would be conducted on Saturday, but she would not explain what other changes the “transition” would entail.

The paper reports that the abortuary was generally thought to be for sale after its founder, pro-abortion activist Susan Hill, passed away of breast cancer in February. There are two other facilities in Raleigh where abortions are performed. the rest

'Mitergate' latest Anglican-Episcopalian rift

Thursday, June 24, 2010
BY DANIEL BURKE

In a public snub that's been dubbed "mitergate," Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was told not to wear her miter — a tall, triangular hat — during services in London earlier this month.

Some observers say it's a stark sign of how relations have deteriorated between the Church of England, Anglicanism's mother church, and its headstrong American offshoot, the Episcopal Church. Others call it an attempt by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, to keep conservatives from seceding.

Jefferts Schori called the whole affair "nonsense" and "beyond bizarre."

Lambeth Palace, Williams' London headquarters and home, told Jefferts Schori not to wear her miter when she presided at a service at nearby Southwark Cathedral, according to the Episcopal News Service. Photos from the service show Jefferts Schori carrying the miter under her arm as she processed down the cathedral's nave. the rest

Apple and Microsoft Chart a Porn-Free Future for Smartphones

by THOMAS L. McDONALD
06/23/2010

Technology pundits like to point out that “porn drives new media technologies.” Like much common wisdom, many accept this without evidence.

And, like much common wisdom, it is flatly untrue.

For every example of new technology which flourished partly due to pornography (such as VCRs in the 1980s and the Internet in the 1990s), there are dozens that made their impact with little to no dependence upon pornography: the printing press, photography, film, radio, television, cable television, personal computers, compact discs, portable music players, video games, mobile phones, DVD, Netflix, iTunes, Facebook, and so on.

In order to make their “media technology needs porn to succeed” arguments, critics make questionable claims. These range from the patently absurd, such as the notion that Chaucer and Boccaccio are examples of medieval porn, to the merely irrelevant, such as the existence of obscure “stag” films from the early days of cinema.
the rest image by Gonzalo Baeza Hernandez

In a separate exchange with TechCrunch.com, Jobs reiterated, “We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone.”

Episcopal Head Likens Anglicans to 'Teenagers'

Wed, Jun. 23 2010
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

U.S. Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori recently described the global Anglican Communion as "a bunch of teenagers growing up and finding their adult identity."

She explained, "Like teenagers, there's rebellion against the parents. And some people see the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury as the big parent in the system."

But Jefferts Schori, the first female primate (or chief bishop of one of the communion's 38 provinces), doesn't believe that's a fair way of looking at it.

"We're siblings," she said in the interview, adding that the U.S. body became the first separate church that was in full communion relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury. the rest

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Devotional: The love of God...

The love of God is one of the great realities of the universe, a pillar upon which the hope of the world rests. But it is a personal, intimate thing, too. God does not love populations, He loves people. He loves not masses, but men. He loves us all with a mighty love that has no beginning and can have no end.

In Christian experience there is a highly satisfying love content that distinguishes it from all other religions and elevates it to heights far beyond even the purest and noblest philosophy. This love content is more than a thing; it is God Himself in the midst of His Church singing over His people. True Christian joy is the heart's harmonious response to the Lord's song of love.

...AW Tozer image

Jury: Philly can't evict scouts for no-gays rule

By Maryclaire Dale
Associated Press Writer
June 23, 2010

PHILADELPHIA—The city of Philadelphia cannot evict a local Boy Scouts chapter from a city-owned building for refusing to admit gays, a federal jury ruled Wednesday.

The city had insisted that nonprofits given free use of its property must abide by local anti-discrimination laws, which include equal protection for gays. But the jury found the city's reason violated the local scout council's First Amendment rights.

"We do hope that eventually national (Boy Scouts of America) will change its minds. But at this point, the Cradle of Liberty (Council) is still obligated to follow its policy," said foreman Merrill Arbogast, 40, of Reinholds, a trucker and former Eagle Scout. the rest

Rare earthquake shakes Ottawa, Montreal

(AFP)
posted June 23, 20190

OTTAWA — A strong earthquake shook Ottawa and Montreal in eastern Canada on Wednesday, forcing office workers out onto downtown streets in the nation's capital.

The US Geological Survey reported the temblor of a magnitude of 5.5 hit the Ontario-Quebec border area at 1741 GMT, rattling downtown Ottawa shortly after midday.

The USGS said the epicenter was 61 kilometers (38 miles) north of Ottawa.

AFP journalists witnessed walls in downtown office buildings shook for several seconds. Cracks appeared in the Parliamentary Press Gallery building in Ottawa, and outside. Some people appeared shaken up, but unhurt. the rest

Canada earthquake rattles buildings in northern N.J., New York state

USGS: 5.5-magnitude earthquake near Ottawa, Canada

(I felt it here in Syracuse-the house shuddered, but initially I thought it was a wind gust.-PD)

Obama's Gulf Oil Spill Commission and the Missing Experts

June 23, 2010
By Robert Eugene Simmons Jr

Instead of an oil spill commission staffed with experts, as promised in his Oval Office address, the president has announced a panel with membership that reads like a Who's Who of radical environmentalism. Former Senator Graham of Florida, for example, has consistently pushed for a ban on oil drilling, and Frances Beinecke of the National Resources Defense Council has argued for the global warming agenda -- including linking "global poverty" to global warming, an argument used at the Copenhagen conference to support reparations to be paid to nations such as Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe for our supposed global crimes.

In fact, if you peruse the names of the council members, there isn't a single expert in oil drilling, oil platform rigs, or petroleum engineering. The panel's membership doesn't even include a single oil drilling company executive, or even a field engineer. In fact, the only technical-minded person on the commission at all is Cherry Murray, Dean of Harvard's Engineering School. Murray has had a long and distinguished academic career at all of the "right" schools, but she has absolutely nothing in her resume to indicate that she has the slightest knowledge about petroleum exploration. When it comes to academics, there isn't even one professor that specializes in petroleum exploration despite the plethora of possible names that could be drawn from institutions such as the prestigious Colorado School of Mines.

In addition to the shocking lack of engineering and petroleum drilling experience on the panel, there isn't a single person with experience in investigation or forensic science. When we consider that the actual Deepwater Horizon rig is at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, we might expect to see an expert in deepwater salvage on the commission, but that expertise is also lacking. the rest

If the Obama administration had any sense of ethical responsibility, the commission would be staffed with experts and investigators looking for answers, not environmentalists looking to impose their agenda on the American people.

New Anglican Church group growing across New Brunswick

The Anglican Network in Canada has established a church in Moncton and is setting up other N.B. branches
Wednesday June 23rd, 2010
Chris Morris
Telegraph-Journal

A rift in the Anglican Church, whose long history in New Brunswick reaches back to the Loyalists, is fuelling the expansion of a new Anglican movement in the province.

The Anglican Network in Canada, a breakaway group from the Anglican Church of Canada, has established a church in Moncton and is setting up satellite congregations in Sussex, Miramichi and Saint John.

Rev. Don Hamilton, minister at the newly-established Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church, said in an interview Tuesday the network provides a safe haven for worshippers who are uncomfortable with the more worldly direction of modern religion. the rest

'Freedom of Worship' Worries

New religious freedom rhetoric within the Obama administration draws concern.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra
6/22/2010

"Freedom of worship" has recently replaced the phrase "freedom of religion" in public pronouncements from the Obama administration. Experts are concerned that the new rhetoric may signal a policy change.

"Freedom of worship" first appeared in President Obama's November remarks at the memorial service for the victims of the Fort Hood shooting. Days later, he referred to worship rather than religion in speeches in Japan and China.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed the shift in language. In a December speech at Georgetown University, she used "freedom of worship" three times but "freedom of religion" not at all. While addressing senators in January, she referred to "freedom of worship" four times and "freedom of religion" once when quoting an earlier Obama speech.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom noted the shift in its 2010 annual report. "This change in phraseology could well be viewed by human rights defenders and officials in other countries as having concrete policy implications," the report said. the rest
Freedom of worship means the right to pray within the confines of a place of worship or to privately believe, said Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom and member of the commission. "It excludes the right to raise your children in your faith; the right to have religious literature; the right to meet with co-religionists; the right to raise funds; the right to appoint or elect your religious leaders, and to carry out charitable activities, to evangelize, [and] to have religious education or seminary training."

Albert Mohler: The End of Men?—A Hard Look at the Future

What does it mean for large sectors of our society to become virtual matriarchies? How do we prepare the church to deal with such a world while maintaining biblical models of manhood and womanhood? …The real issue here is not the end of men, but the disappearance of manhood.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is our postmodern, postindustrial society simply better suited to women than to men? Hanna Rosin makes the case for this claim in the current issue of The Atlantic, and her article demands close attention. Men, she argues, are simply falling behind women in almost every sector of cultural influence and economic power. This shift, she understands, is nothing less than unprecedented in the span of human history.

Rosin begins her article with the fact that sex-selection technologies in the West are now more often used to select a preference for girls than for boys, reversing the historical trend. Why? She explains: “Man has been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But for the first time in human history, that is changing—and with shocking speed. Cultural and economic changes always reinforce each other. And the global economy is evolving in a way that is eroding the historical preference for male children, worldwide.” the rest

Earliest icons of Peter and Paul found

Experts restore 4th-century paintings in Roman catacomb
June 22, 2010

ROME - The earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul have been discovered in a catacomb under an eight-story modern office building in a working-class neighborhood of Rome, Vatican officials said Tuesday.

The images, which date from the second half of the 4th century, were discovered on the ceiling of a tomb that also includes the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew.

They were uncovered using a new laser technique that allowed restorers to burn off centuries of thick white calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath. the rest

Zenit: 4th Century Images of Apostles Found in Catacomb

Five-year-old Ukrainian boy slaughtered by Muslim shouting "Allahu akbar"

June 22, 2010

And authorities are worried that this horrific slaughter will "ignite tension" -- instead of calling upon the Muslim community to renounce once and for all any and all teachings involving any kind of violence against Infidels. "Ukrainian Boy, 5, Slaughtered 'Like a Goat' by Religious Fanatic," from NewsCore, June 22 (thanks to DJM):

A 5-year-old Ukrainian boy was slaughtered by an alleged religious fanatic as he played in a sandpit with his friends, Pravda reported Tuesday.

The stranger strolled up to little Viktor Shemyakin before pointing to a tree and saying: "Look, there is a bird up there."

When the youngster glanced upward the maniac plunged a knife into his throat, Pravda said.

the rest

New hit song for Palestinian children: When we die as martyrs
'Birds of Paradise' produces song in which children welcome death to regain Palestine.

Obama Expands His Pro-Homosexual Agenda by Regulation, ‘Interpretation’

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer
Washington

(CNSNews.com) – Without action by Congress, President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced that his administration will issue regulations applying the Family and Medical Leave Act to homosexual couples and requiring most hospitals to allow homosexuals to visit their partners.

One conservative group criticized the White House for handing out “political favors” to the homosexual lobby – and vastly expanding presidential power in the process.

“Piece by anti-democratic piece, the White House is executing its plan for a vast expansion of presidential power,” the Family Research Council said. “What this administration has accomplished is nothing less than suspending the power of Congress.” the rest

The Appeaser-In-Chief

'Wal-Mart Moms' Turn on the Democrats
The bad news for Democrats keeps pouring in. Now it comes from Wal-Mart moms -- women with children under 18 who shop at Wal-Mart. They tend to be Democrats and more of them than not voted for President Obama in 2008. But they’re leaning Republican this year. And despite the happy economic talk from the White House, they believe the economy is hurting their families and their situation will be just as bad a year from now.

Study Confirms Abortion Triples Breast Cancer Risk Among Sri Lanka Women

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 22, 2010
Washington, DC

(LifeNews.com) -- A new study coming from researchers in Sri Lanka finds women who had abortions more than triple their breast cancer risk compared with wome who carry their pregnancy to term. The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology and found a 3.42 odds ratio against women having abortions compared with those who kept their baby.

Abortion was the most significant factor in the study on breast cancer risk and researchers found a significantly reduced risk associated with prolonged duration of breastfeeding a newborn.
Malintha De Silva and colleagues from the University of Colombo led the study.

The Sri Lankan study is the fourth epidemiological study in fourteen months to report an abortion-breast cancer link, including studies from the U.S., China and Turkey. the rest

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Transfigurations-5 year anniversary!

June 22, 2010

Well, it's hard to believe that it's been 5 years since my first posting on Transfigurations. At the time, though I barely knew what a blog was, and was woefully ignorant of computers (still am), I felt very strongly I was to do this. I was fascinated by this new media and was constantly reading TitusOneNine, the Web Elf Report, Stand Firm, MCJ, Lent and Beyond and other Anglican blogs.

So, after prayer and encouragement by husband Raymond, I decided to launch out. My son Ryan was a trooper and helped me get started and with (mostly) great patience taught me enough to get by. (It didn't help when one of his friends said to me: "I can't believe Ryan's mother has a blog!"). I learned to post pictures and videos and to manipulate the html a bit. What came easily to others was a struggle for me, however.

I am very grateful of the support of many people and new friends that I've made through this blog. Transfigurations is a very little fish amongst the bigger ones and from time to time I ask the Lord if I am to continue-it does take a chunk of time out of my day and similar stories get posted elsewhere to greater effect and readership.

I have posted a few of my favorite devotionals below, although I had a hard time picking. The devotionals are my favorite part and I love trying to match an image to emphasize the word picture. Many of them give voice to something going on in my spiritual life or, for that matter, in my everyday life in general, (should be the same thing). I find needed encouragement and I hope that others find them a blessing too.

Thanks to all who stop in from time to time! -Pat Dague

Is He not following thee with daily mercies, moving upon thy soul, providing for thy body, preserving both? Doth He not bear thee continually in the arms of His love, and promise that all things shall work together for thy good, and suit all His dealings to thy greatest advantage, and give His angels charge over thee? And canst thou be taken up with the joys below and forget thy Lord Who forgets not thee? ...Richard Baxter image


The human race-every one of us-is the sheep lost in the desert which no longer knows the way. The Son of God will not let this happen; he cannot abandon humanity in so wretched a condition. He leaps to his feet and abandons the glory of heaven, in order to go in search of the sheep and pursue it, all the way to the cross. He takes it upon his shoulders and carries our humanity; he carries us all-he is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. ...Benedict XVI image


"And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision." 1 Samuel 3:15

God never speaks to us in startling ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand, and we say, "I wonder if that is God's voice?" Isaiah said that the Lord spake to him "with a strong hand," that is, by the pressure of circumstances. Nothing touches our lives but it is God Himself speaking. Do we discern His hand or only mere occurrence?

Get into the habit of saying, "Speak, Lord," and life will become a romance. Every time circumstances press, say, "Speak, Lord"; make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline, it is meant to get me to the place of saying, "Speak, Lord." Recall the time when God did speak to you. Have you forgotten what He said? Was it
Luke 11:13, or was it 1 Thess. 5:23;? As we listen, our ear gets acute, and, like Jesus, we shall hear God all the time.

Shall I tell my "Eli" what God has shown to me? That is where the dilemma of obedience comes in. We disobey God by becoming amateur providences - I must shield "Eli," the best people we know. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli; he had to decide that for himself. God's call to you may hurt your "Eli;" but if you try to prevent the suffering in another life, it will prove an obstruction between your soul and God. It is at your own peril that you prevent the cutting off of the right hand or the plucking out of the eye.

Never ask the advice of another about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you ask advice, you will nearly always side with Satan. "Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood."
...Oswald Chambers
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In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: Within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities... They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied until they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water. ...AW Tozer image


O Thou who art my quietness, my deep repose,
My rest from strife of tongues, my holy hill,
Fair is Thy pavilion, where I hold me still.
Back let them fall from me, my clamorous foes,
Confusions multiplied;
From crowding things of sense I flee, and in Thee hide,
Until this tyranny be overpast,
Thy hand will hold me fast;
What though the tumult of the storm increase,
Grant to Thy servant strength, O Lord,
And bless with peace.
..Amy Carmichael photo



Content yourself with leading a simple life according to your circumstances. For the rest, obey the Lord and bear your little daily crosses. You need them, and God gives them to you only out of pure mercy. The great thing is to make light of yourself sincerely, and to consent to be made light of by others if God permits it. Nourish yourself with him alone. ...Francois Fenelon image


Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive
that the valley is the place of vision.

LORD, in the daytime stars can be seen from the deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.
Valley of Vision
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Ten Reasons to Despise Planned Parenthood

Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 11:20 AM
Joe Carter

10. A recent report reveals that Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s (PPFA) audits show the organization spent just $657.1 million between 2002 and 2008 from federal government grants and programs, but the abortion behemoth’s own annual reports show that it took in $2.3 billion from government grants and programs during the same time period.

9. PP’s repeated and consistent willingness to turn a blind eye to reports reports of statutory rape.

8. Consumer Reports ranked their condoms the worst, failing tests that measured strength and reliability (they burst when filled with air).

the rest

Bible translators hope to have every language covered in 15 years

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post
06/22/2010

A Christian endeavor of almost 2,000 years could be substantially completed by 2025.

Protestant translators expect to have the Bible — or at least some of it — written in every one of the world's 6,909 spoken languages.

"We're in the greatest period of acceleration in 20 centuries of Bible translation," said Morrison resident Paul Edwards, who heads up Wycliffe Bible Translators' $1 billion Last Languages Campaign.

Portable computers and satellites get the credit for speeding things up by about 125 years. the rest

The last-ditch plan to keep Anglo-Catholics happy will separate the Anglicans from the Catholics

By Damian Thompson
June 21st, 2010

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are planning to force the General Synod to offer safeguards to traditionalists unhappy with women bishops. And I do mean force, since the Synod had already decided not to offer those safeguards.

Whatever. Although it’s none of my business, and if I was a supporter of women bishops I’d be outraged, I sort of hope that Dr Williams and Dr Sentamu get their way. As Fr Ed Tomlinson SSC notes on his blog, the Primates’ plan would separate worshippers who are serious about belonging to a Catholic Church as it was understood by the founders of Anglo-Catholicism – none of whom would countenance any degree of communion, however remote, with women bishops – from those prepared to turn a blind eye to the DIY ecclesiology of “alternative oversight”.

Fr Tomlinson, a supporter of the Ordinariate, makes a neat (if mischievous) distinction between those who want to be part of the “Catholic faith” and those who want to be part of “Catholic tradition”. The former can become Roman Catholics in the conventional way, or join the Ordinariate, or become Orthodox, or find a “continuing Church” in the apostolic succession. (I used to think such outfits were complete jokes, but one of them, the TAC, managed to kick-start the Ordinariate process, no mean achievement.) the rest

Ratzinger's Ordinariate
What I think most starkly distinguishes the Holy Father's offer from the Archishops' (apart, of course, from obvious things like bringing us into communion with most of the world's Christians, and making available to us the full benefits of the Magisterium) is the trust which the papal scheme demonstrates. Ratzinger's Anglicanorum coetibus gives us an autonomy unknown since the centralisation of church life under the papacy in the nineteenth century - most strikingly in this: that the Ordinariates themselves, not the papal nuncio in consultation with the local hierarchy, will submit the terna of names to Rome when a new Ordinary is to be appointed. And witness the powers given to the Council of an Ordinariate.

Pressure rising on healthcare long before overhaul takes effect

Millions will struggle to keep coverage until the law sets up a safety net in 2014.
By Noam N. Levey, Tribune Washington Bureau
June 21, 2010

Despite passage of the landmark healthcare overhaul this spring, the nation's existing health system is continuing to fray, raising the prospect that the country could experience a crisis before the law establishes a new safety net in 2014.

Three months after President Obama signed the law, state governments struggling with budgets savaged by the recession are contemplating further cuts in healthcare aid for the poor, despite the promise of more federal dollars.

At the same time, several million laid-off Americans and their families who have used federal assistance to hold on to health insurance will lose coverage in coming months as the special assistance program expires. Those with jobs face their own challenges as employers continue to look for ways to pare health benefits and shift more costs to employees, if not drop health coverage altogether. the rest

Massachusetts may find US health care changes costly
As rules stand now, poorer to pay more

Back to the Roots: The Founders and the Separation of Church and State

by John Rossomando
6/19/10

The cry, "That violates the separation of church and state!" has been the centerpiece of the secularist drive to marginalize Christianity in the public sphere since the 1940s. The real -- and often neglected -- question is what precisely that separation means and how it should be interpreted and applied.

The secularists' interpretation of the establishment clause -- the line of the First Amendment that reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" -- ultimately rests upon anti-Christian prejudice and involves cherry picking from certain founders' writings. In recent years, we have seen groups such as the ACLU, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State; Web sites such as Infidels.org; and leftist publications such as the Nation come out of the woodwork with attempts to refute the notion that America was ever a Christian nation. Instead, they recast the founders as anti-clericalists in the mold of the French revolutionaries.

Nothing could be further from the truth. the rest

Our founders never mandated a complete exclusion of Christianity from the public square because they wanted to foster a marketplace of ideas wherein Christianity would remain vibrant. In contrast, secularists try to undermine that same marketplace and reduce traditional Christians to the status of second-class citizens. But they should tread lightly here. The 1965 Supreme Court decision United States v. Seeger shows that belief in a deity is not essential for a system of beliefs to be considered a religion within our legal 
system. From that standpoint, the degree of devotion homosexual-rights advocates or feminists give their own ideologies could actually be considered a form of religion.

The irony is rich.

'Allahu Akbar!' shouted as Christians cuffed

Witness: 'I never thought I would see this in America'
June 21, 2010
By Chelsea Schilling

Four Christians were arrested and thrown out of a public Arab festival in Michigan – and at least two people claim a crowd cheered "Allahu Akbar!" while the Christians were led away in handcuffs for doing nothing more than engaging in peaceful dialogue and videotaping the event.

Nabeel Qureshi, David Wood, Paul Rezkalla and an 18-year-old woman identified as Negeen attended the 15th annual Dearborn Arab International Festival on June 18 in Dearborn, Mich., where an estimated 30,000 of the city's 98,000 residents are Muslim. the rest

Monday, June 21, 2010

Biden's Kenya Constitution Support 'Invites Canonical Censure'

By Kathleen Gilbert
CORPUS CHRISTI
Texas, June 21, 2010

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Corpus Christi, has called for a canonical reprimand against U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. Biden, a Catholic, recently travelled to Kenya to lobby for the country's proposed constitution, which has been strenuously opposed by pro-life groups due to its pro-abortion language.

Biden told a crowd earlier this month that the Kenya government should adopt the new constitution in order "to allow money to flow" to Kenya from other countries.

When asked about the lobbying of U.S. pro-life groups against the document, Biden told religious leaders that the Obama administration did not share the position of such groups, and said that their activites are "one of the drawbacks of democracy."

Bishop Gracida wrote on his blog Saturday that Biden "has crossed the line as a Catholic" by supporting the document. the rest

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Archbishops risk 'bloodbath' over women priests by letting opponents of reform remain in the clergy

By Jonathan Petre
20th June 2010

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are to make a dramatic intervention in the long-running row over women bishops this week by demanding that opponents of female clergy are not driven out of the Church.

Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu are so concerned thousands of traditionalist churchgoers will quit when women become bishops that they are to risk the wrath of liberals by calling for major reforms in Church legislation.

Sources said their statement will spell out a legal formula that will give traditionalist clergy and parishes the right to reject the authority of a woman bishop. the rest

MCJ: JOHNSON’S FIRST LAW OF ANGLICAN THERMODYNAMICS

Planned Parenthood's missing millions

New GAO report reveals disturbing financial discrepancies
By Rita Diller
Friday, June 18, 2010

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on federal tax money funneled into Planned Parenthood and similar organizations raises more questions than it answers about the nation's largest abortion chain.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America's (PPFA) audits show the organization spent just $657.1 million between 2002 and 2008 from federal government grants and programs, but the abortion behemoth's own annual reports show that it took in $2.3 billion from government grants and programs during the same time period.

That's not pocket change. Why the discrepancy? the rest

Long Prairie congregation votes to exit ELCA

The more than 700-member American Lutheran Church in Long-Prairie, Minn., passed its second and final vote to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
By J. Shane Mercer, INFORUM
June 17 2010

The more than 700-member American Lutheran Church in Long-Prairie, Minn., passed its second and final vote to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

At the May 23 meeting, 92 percent of the estimated 200 voters cast their ballot to leave the ELCA, said the Rev. Bill Bakewicz, the congregation’s pastor.

American Lutheran Church is listed as having 737 members and an average attendance of 189 in the ELCA 2010 yearbook. the rest

The Year of the (Pro-Life) Woman

By RAMESH PONNURU
June 11, 2010

WHEN President George W. Bush signed the bill banning partial-birth abortion in 2003, supportive legislators gathered around for a photograph. All of them were men. Nancy Pelosi, then the House minority leader, called the image “a slap in the face to women across America.”

My fellow pro-lifers winced at the picture — both because it offered Ms. Pelosi a political opportunity and because it reflected an enduring political weakness of our movement. American women are just as likely to be pro-life as American men, but few pro-life women have gone into politics.

The Gallup organization recently concluded that “abortion polling since the mid-1970s finds few remarkable distinctions between men’s and women’s views on the legality of abortion.” It has found that 48 percent of American women consider themselves pro-life, while 45 percent consider themselves pro-choice. the rest