Saturday, February 09, 2013

The Transfiguration...O wondrous sight!

O wondrous sight! O vision fair
Of glory that the church shall share,
Which Christ upon the mountain shows,
Where brighter than the sun He glows!

From age to age the tale declares
How with the three disciples there
Where Moses and Elijah meet,
The Lord holds converse high and sweet.

The law and prophets there have place,
Two chosen witnesses of grace,
The Father’s voice from out the cloud
Proclaims His only Son aloud.

With shining face and bright array,
Christ deigns to manifest that day
What glory shall be theirs above
Who joy in God with perfect love.

And faithful hearts are raised on high
By this great vision’s mystery;
For which in joyful strains we raise
The voice of prayer, the hymn of praise.

O Father, with the eternal Son,
And Holy Spirit, ever One,
Vouchsafe to bring us by Thy grace
To see Thy glory face to face.
...from the Sar­um Brev­i­ary

Scrolling around...February 9, 2013

Jellyfish Christianity
Some words are written down and are here for a day and then gone. Other words are so pointed, so perfect, that they stand for many years. J.C. Ryle is a man who wrote many books and pamphlets and sermons that are as powerful and relevant today as they were in the 19th century. His description of jellyfish Christianity could as easily have been written here in the 21st century...
 Awesome! Don't miss this!

Gay man and two lesbians on US toddler’s birth certificate
...Earlier this month a judge approved the set up which leaves one of the lesbians with “sole parental responsibility” and the other woman as a legal adoptive parent.

The gay man is recognised as the father by the State...

Probation for Episcopal Church's Hip Hop Priest
A New Jersey court has sentenced the Episcopal Church’s “Hip-Hop” priest, the Rev. Timothy Holder, to two years’ probation for stealing more than $35,000 from his Atlantic City parish...

Massachusetts evacuates parts of state after deadly storm drops more than 2 feet of snow on Northeast New Englanders began the back-breaking job of digging out from as much as 3 feet of snow Saturday and emergency crews used snowmobiles to reach shivering motorists stranded overnight on New York's Long Island after a howling storm swept through the Northeast.

At least eight deaths were blamed on the storm, including three in Canada...

NASA: Asteroid to Pass Very Near Earth
Astronomers around the world are preparing for a record-breaking asteroid flyby February 15.

Measuring 45 meters in diameter and weighing an estimated 130,000 metric tons, Asteroid 2012 DA14 is considered small by scientists who track the solar system's rocky debris, but it will zip past our planet so closely that it will be even nearer to us than our orbiting weather and communications satellites.

It is the closest-ever-predicted approach for an object this size. Experts emphasize there is no reason for concern...

Friday, February 08, 2013

He looks at your life to see if you have an obedient heart...

Some people say, 'God will not ask me to do anything that I am not able to do.' God always asks you to do things you cannot do. He is not interested in revealing your devotion to Him to a watching world, by giving you things you know you can do. He doesn't take an inventory of your gifts and abilities. He looks at your life to see if you have an obedient heart and are willing to let Him express His presence and His power through your life. ...Henry Blackaby  image

Scrolling around...February 8, 2013

Power goes out for thousands, evacuations expected as blizzard’s impact begins to be felt
A powerful blizzard is pummeling Massachusetts tonight with heavy snow and howling winds as residents hunker down in their homes. The potentially historic storm is expected to continue into the morning, dumping more than 2 feet of snow in some areas, whipping winds up to 70 miles per hour, and battering the coast with giant waves...

Nine Characteristics of Happy Churches
"Happy" is a nebulous term. It is usually understood better than defined. So I know I am taking a risk when I used such a subjective word.

Please allow me to explain. For almost twenty years, I served as a consultant to churches in the United States and Canada. After working with hundreds of churches, I saw several patterns develop. One of those patterns correlated directly with the happiness of the church. I was able to discern happiness by the interviews with members and staff, with diagnostic tools we used, and with a grasp of the histories of the churches, particularly in the area of church conflict.

Recently I reviewed the files of 17 of the happiest churches where I consulted. As is typical in consultations, patterns emerged. In the case of these churches, I found nine common characteristics among the congregations. In each case, the characteristic seemed to contribute to the overall happiness of the churches...

Muslim Persecution of Christians: December, 2012
As usual, the month of Christmas saw an uptick in Christian persecution under Islam, in a variety of forms, from insults to murders. In Iran, Pastor Youssef Nadarkhani—after being imprisoned and tormented for years for converting to Christianity, then recently released thanks to international pressure—was rearrested again, on Christmas Day, to serve the remainder of his 45 days, which the court had earlier decreed could be served in the form of probation; in Syria, near Christmas, Islamic rebels beheaded Andrei Arbashe, a 38-year-old Christian man, and fed his body to the dogs; in Nigeria, Christmas mass celebrations in several churches, were, once again, turned into scenes of carnage; and in Pakistan, Christians spent yet another "Dark Christmas."///

Conservative Dr. Ben Carson speech upstages Obama at prayer breakfast

Doctors feel ill winds blowing as they look closely at ‘Obamacare’
...The Affordable Care Act isn’t scheduled to be fully implemented until next year, but some doctors already are viewing it as dead on arrival. The medical rumor mill is abuzz with stories about physicians girding for Mr. Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement by limiting their exposure to Medicare and Medicaid, selling their practices, converting to fee-for-service approaches, or even retiring from medicine altogether...

My Sunday at an Atheistic Church
Yes. A church for atheists.

13 Abortions for Every 10 Live Births in Russia
...Russia's demographic disaster, Last details, is being exasperated by the fact that abortions are outpacing live births in Russia. "Abortion is rampant, with 13 abortions performed for every 10 live births," writes Last. "Consider that for a moment: Russians are so despondent about the future that they have 30 percent more abortions than births."...

Tale of two Easters: Holy Land Catholics, Orthodox to celebrate as one
...For the past 15 years, Catholic parishes throughout the Palestinian territories and many in Israel have been celebrating Easter on the Greek Orthodox date. Now, following a directive from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, within two years all Eastern Catholics and the Latin Patriarchate in the Holy Land will officially adopt the Greek Orthodox Julian calendar date...

Woman Dies After Botched 33-Week Abortion Takes Her Life
A 29-year old woman died yesterday as the result of fatal complications suffered during an abortion at 33 weeks. Late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart (left) performed the abortion at the Germantown Reproductive Health Center in Germantown, Maryland.

According to information the pro-life group Operation Rescue released to LifeNews today, the unnamed woman went to the abortion facility for a third trimester abortion from out-of-state and arrived at Germantown Reproductive Health Center on Sunday to start the abortion process. Local pro-life advocates protesting outside saw her every day until yesterday, and described her as appearing “pale and weak.”...

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Texas Episcopal Church May Become First Congregation in State to Perform Same-Sex Rites

By Michael Gryboski
February 6, 2013

A historic congregation in Texas may become the first church in the state to perform the same-sex union blessing recently approved by The Episcopal Church's national leadership.

St. David's Episcopal Church of Austin, which is under the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, may begin performing a recently approved rite blessings for same-sex couples by next month. Jeanie Sablatura, director of communications for St. David's Episcopal, told The Christian Post that her church's decision to move forward was part of a "Unity in Mission plan" set up by the Texas Diocese. the rest

Bp. Daniel Martins' letter- Clarifying the Episcopal Church's stance on marriage

Scrolling around...February 7, 2013

The disgusting consequences of plastic-bag bans
...Most alarmingly, the industry has highlighted news reports linking reusable shopping bags to the spread of disease. Like this one, from the Los Angeles Times last May: “A reusable grocery bag left in a hotel bathroom caused an outbreak of norovirus-induced diarrhea and nausea that struck nine of 13 members of a girls’ soccer team in October, Oregon researchers reported Wednesday.” The norovirus may not have political clout, but evidently it, too, is rooting against plastic bags.

Warning of disease may seem like an over-the-top scare tactic, but research suggests there’s more than anecdote behind this industry talking point. In a 2011 study, four researchers examined reusable bags in California and Arizona and found that 51 percent of them contained coliform bacteria. The problem appears to be the habits of the reusers. Seventy-five percent said they keep meat and vegetables in the same bag. When bags were stored in hot car trunks for two hours, the bacteria grew tenfold.

That study also found, happily, that washing the bags eliminated 99.9 percent of the bacteria. It undercut even that good news, though, by finding that 97 percent of people reported that they never wash their bags... image

Obamacare’s Fiscal Nightmare-If the law isn't scaled back by 2014, we're ruined.
...The savings provisions of the ACA are insufficient to both finance an extension of Medicare solvency and to fund a massive new health entitlement. So even if the law’s savings provisions all worked as originally envisioned, the ACA would still add at least $340 billion to federal deficits over its first ten years. Even this outcome would require that lawmakers allow many of its provisions to inflict a steadily higher toll on taxpayers, providers, and beneficiaries over time. If instead Congress re-indexes these provisions in keeping with historical precedent, the deficit increase under this more pessimistic scenario would be over $500 billion in the first decade alone...

Major winter storm heading toward New England
..."This has the potential for being a dangerous storm, especially for Massachusetts into northeast Connecticut and up into Maine," said Louis Uccellini, director of the weather agency's National Centers for Environmental Prediction...

The Postal Service and America's fiscal problems: Why we're doomed
...We are doomed because last year the House and Senate considered separate measures aimed at reforming the Postal Service. Neither of them made it out of Congress. The farther-reaching House bill never came to a vote. The Senate bill passed, but was not taken up by the House. And, really, it wasn't a reform bill at all. Rather, it delayed the reforms sought by the service, and put off a decision on Saturday delivery for two years. Even with the American people pushing at their backs, the senators could not take that baby step. The service had to use some dubious legal reasoning to finally pull off the move...

Founder of Ground Zero Mosque Accused of Taking $3 Million from Mosque Fund

Harvard Study: Just 6 in 10 Millennials have jobs, half are part-time
...The report, released by Harvard's Institute of Politics, paints a depressing economic portrait of young Americans, many of whom are stuck with huge college tuition bills and little chance of finding a high-paying job. Those figures are stark: 62 percent halve jobs; 31 percent of those work part-time; and 27 percent are out of the workforce. The rest are dubbed "unemployed."...

Pew Charitable Trusts Study: Yeah, Voting Is Kind Of A Hot Mess
Surprise! ...The group ranked all 50 states based on more than 15 criteria, including wait times, lost votes and problems with absentee and provisional ballots, and the order often confounds the conventional wisdom...

Go to church or the devil will get you!
...But, more positively, if “go to church” means be part of a gospel-shaped community, and “the devil will get you!” means you’re more susceptible to his schemes apart from such community, then the sign is absolutely right. By all means, if this meaning is the case, go to church or the devil will get you. Here’s why: first, Satan is real and he hates you; second, God designs that Christians persevere in faith by means of one another....

Beyoncé: Power or Bondage?
...Women say they want men to stop objectifying them, yet I wonder. Are we helping our cause with hyper-sexual performances such as Beyoncé's? I do not fault her alone. I believe she is a product of her environment, the pop music industry. Sex sells, and she's a smart businesswoman...

Turning Our Schools Into Totalitarian Enclaves
...Nowhere is this more evident than in the increasingly harsh punishments and investigative tactics being doled out on young people for engaging in childish behavior or for daring to challenge the authority of school officials. Whereas in the past minor behavioral infractions at school such as shooting spitwads may have warranted a trip to the principal’s office, in-school detention or a phone call to one’s parents; today, they are elevated to the level of criminal behavior with all that implies. Consequently, young people are now being forcibly removed by police officers from the classroom, strip searched, arrested, handcuffed, transported in the back of police squad cars, and placed in police holding cells until their frantic parents can get them out. For those unlucky enough to be targeted for such punishment, the experience will stay with them long after they are allowed back at school. In fact, it will stay with them for the rest of their lives in the form of a criminal record...

Just 15% Think Today’s Children Will Be Better Off Than Their Parents
Optimism about the future of today’s children continues to hover around all-time lows.

Pro-Obama voters took us ‘a step deeper in the culture of death’: Brooklyn’s Bishop
...“The forces of death press on from every side in contemporary American culture,” he said. “It is clear there is an assault on the people of faith in our country.”...

As sin becomes a civil right, Catholic military chaplains could soon become outlaws
...The military chaplaincy is under threat by our own government as part of its social agenda. One year ago, the Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains tried to forbid Catholic chaplains from reading a statement from the Military Ordinary, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who oversees all priests in the Catholic Ordinariate for the Armed Forces, in which he objected to federally mandated health insurance covering sterilization, abortifacients and contraception in violation of the right to religious freedom. Now the government would compel chaplains to acquiesce in “same-sex” simulations of marriage. The Army’s deputy chief of staff in charge of personnel has said that military members who dissent from this agenda are “bigoted” and “need to get out."...

This Is What The Internet Did To A Photo Of Obama Shooting A Gun

Sheer Delight!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

You never know how much you really believe anything...

You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by a rope over the precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it?...Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief. ...CS Lewis image

Scrolling around...February 6, 2013

‘There’s a human being growing inside your stomach!’

Philip Jenkins: The Dark Ages
...Another fascinating parallel for me has been the relationship between old and new churches. In the Dark Ages – excuse the phrase – missionaries built new churches in Ireland and England, which soon went on to amazing cultural and spiritual glories. By the eighth century, these regions were sending their own missionaries to revive the moribund churches of Western Europe.

The children, in other words, outgrew the parents. In numerical terms at least, something similar is happening worldwide today, with the spectacular growth of churches in Africa and Asia, and these bodies are now sending their own missionaries to reconvert Western Europe...

Boy Scouts postpone decision on admitting gays
...“After careful consideration and extensive dialog within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America's National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” Deron Smith, the BSA director of public relations, said in a statement...

Archbishop Chaput slams phony ‘compromise’ on Obamacare HHS mandate
“The White House has made no concessions to the religious conscience claims of private businesses, and the whole spirit of the ‘compromise’ is minimalist,” the Archbishop wrote in the column, called Making Sense of Another Ambiguous ‘Compromise.’

Canada Doc: We inject late-term fetus with potassium chloride to avoid problem of live, aborted infant
The doctor writes:
“When performing an abortion on a woman who is 21 weeks pregnant or more, in addition and prior to following general procedures, we are instructed to inject digoxin or potassium chloride into the fetus or the amniotic sac. This effectively kills the fetus, thereby avoiding having to deal with a live, aborted infant."

The instruction, she says, comes from a document she received this week by the Quebec College of Physicians...

West Virginia college students overwhelmingly reject Planned Parenthood campus group
Planned Parenthood is not only facing an uphill battle in state legislatures seeking to deprive the organization of taxpayer dollars, it is also receiving a distinctly chilly welcome at some university campuses...

Seven million will lose insurance under Obama health law
...CBO said that this year's tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so. Instead, they'll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade...

Tragic consequences in Canadian scouting
In November 1998, under the mantra of wanting to be more "inclusive," the board of governors overseeing scouting in Canada decided to admit females, atheists, agnostics, homosexuals, bisexuals, and transsexuals into scouting. And in 1999,Scouts Canada approved the establishment of an all-homosexual troop. As a result, scouting membership rolls in Canada -- within five years -- dwindled to less than half what they had been (from 300,000 to 130,000).Brian Rushfeldt, president of Canada Family Action, says Canada opted for political correctness despite definitive evidence of the negative consequences.

"They have the secret files [here in Canada] as they do have down there [in the U.S.] of guys that had abused kids that they hadn't reported," he tells OneNewsNow. "There were investigations into the abuse of boys, which really never produced anything in Canada....

Monday, February 04, 2013

Christian holiness...

Christian holiness, whether for the church or for the individual, can never be a static thing, something gained once for all. It has to be maintained amidst conflicts and perils that are renewed day by day. It is a moving thing; it can only exist as a function of pilgrimage. ...Stephen Neill image

Bishop Justin Welby confirmed as Archbishop of Canterbury

The Rt Revd Justin Welby announced as new Archbishop of Canterbury (Click to enlarge)
Monday, February 4, 2013

The Bishop of Durham has officially become the Archbishop of Canterbury at a ceremony today.

The Confirmation of Election took place in St Paul's Cathedral and forms part of the legal process bringing the Right Reverend Justin Welby's appointment as Archbishop into effect.

The ceremony was overseen by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. the rest image

Justin Welby: Ex-oil executive facing Church of England's 'impossible job'
...For the new archbishop will inherit a Church whose numbers have declined dramatically in recent decades, and which is struggling to promote a Christian message to an increasingly sceptical and secular society.

It will be seen as his job to unite a Church deeply riven by disputes about women bishops, and, more dangerously, sexuality.

He will assume the leadership of the divided worldwide Anglican Communion - but one which is disputed by many in the autonomous Anglican churches that make it up...

Archbishop of York's welcome to Archbishop Justin Welby

Welby becomes Archbishop of Canterbury in ceremony at St Paul's

Scrolling around...February 4, 2013

Study: 22 Military Veterans Commit Suicide Every Day
The results of a new study indicate that suicide rates among veterans in the United States are increasing.
An estimated 22 military veterans take their lives every day in America, according to the study helmed by Robert Bossarte, an epidemiologist and researcher who works with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“While the percentage of all suicides reported as Veterans has decreased, the number of suicides has increased,” the conclusion of the study stated...

IRS: Parents Must Pay Federal Fine for Uninsured Kids
...In its final regulations, the IRS states that parents will be made to pay the penalty (called a "shared responsibility payment") if they can claim an uninsured child or spouse as a dependent, regardless of whether they actually claim them or not...

Ex-’gay’ Warns Scouts: ‘boys Imitate Leaders’
Just as details emerged of growing financial and political pressure on the Boy Scouts to reverse a century-old and Supreme Court-approved policy barring homosexuals, the president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays issued a plea to the Scouts to seriously consider the dangers of giving in... 

Ontario’s new lesbian Premier promises to bring back explicit lower grades sex-ed curriculum

New York Governor Wants Law for More Late-Term Abortions
...In a recent press conference, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, voiced his support for a new “reproductive health” law. New York currently bans abortion after 24 weeks, except to save the life of the mother. Cuomo wants to eliminate that restriction and allow abortion throughout pregnancy – up until birth – if the abortion is done for “health” reasons...

Religious Liberty Remains Under Attack in Latest HHS Guidance
The latest administration proposal does nothing whatsoever to help businesses like Hobby Lobby or Dominos Farms. All for-profit companies are subject to the contraception/abortion mandate, just as before. They will have to seek legal protection from the courts, and in some cases (at least) will likely receive it from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act...

Nuns Must Have Birth Control Coverage
...So, let’s say that the Sisters of Mercy have 150 employees. They must receive birth control coverage. They just don’t pay for it. But simply by being covered with health insurance, their carrier will be required to automatically enroll all employees for birth control under a separate policy on the corporate dime.

Thus, nuns will have birth control coverage whether they like it or not, and a private company will be forced to provide the coverage to religious organizations for free, coverage they can charge for in other contexts. A double dose of authoritarianism...

Albert Mohler: So What if Abortion Ends a Life? Rare Candor from the Culture of Death
...Then, in chilling candor, Williams proceeds to affirm that every single unborn child is a human life. But, her argument is not pro-life. Far from it.

In her words:
“When we on the pro-choice side get cagey around the life question, it makes us illogically contradictory. I have friends who have referred to their abortions in terms of “scraping out a bunch of cells” and then a few years later were exultant over the pregnancies that they unhesitatingly described in terms of “the baby” and “this kid.” I know women who have been relieved at their abortions and grieved over their miscarriages. Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn’t the same? Fetuses aren’t selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.”

Williams skewers the “pro-choice” evasion. The fetus is a human life, she asserts — every fetus, wanted or unwanted by its mother, planned or unplanned as a pregnancy. She even affirms that life begins at conception. But, she quickly argues, the fact that the unborn child is a human life doesn’t mean that it should not be aborted...

Richard Dawkins Loses Debate Against Former Anglican Head Rowan Williams at Cambridge University-VIDEO
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, defeated prominent atheist professor, Richard Dawkins, in a debate at the University of Cambridge in England on Thursday night, as a vote taken at the conclusion of the debate ruled that religion does have a place in the 21st century.

The debate motion that "religion has no place in the 21st Century" was well-defeated at the event held in front of an audience of about 800 people, mostly students, at the Cambridge Union Society's chambers, according to the U.K.'s Independent newspaper.

Dawkins lost the debate by 324 votes to 136, as he failed to convince the house that religion has no place...

Cultural Pandering No Boon for Shriveling United Church of Christ
Advocates for churches and Christian institutions reconsidering biblical teaching on sexual morality frequently claim that such cultural accomodationism is “needed” if Christian communities are to have any hope of surviving in an America whose secular culture is increasingly intolerant of moral boundaries for sexual expression (beyond consent)...
...So how has such pandering worked out for the UCC?
As of this writing, the UCC stands poised to finally dip below the benchmark of one million members, which is less than half the size it had when it was founded (by merger) in 1962....

Pope Benedict Takes To Social Media To Spread The Faith
...The Pontiff encourages the use of social media as a new forum for Agora, an ancient Greek term for an open public square where people can share ideas...

Dodge Paul Harvey Spot Best Super Bowl Ad of 2013

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Anglican Unscripted Episode 64

Feb 3, 2013

In this week's episode of Anglican Unscripted your host discuss the adventure (misadventures) of Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori as she descended onto the city of Charleston last week. Allan Haley examines the legal details of the preemptive strike launched against TEC and Schori and how this battle was won. There is also much international news with stories on Egypt and Nigeria and no AU is complete without a story from Canterbury with Peter Ould - this time he talks about the coming wave of Same-Sex Marriage in England.