Saturday, February 16, 2013

Finally, the Devil showed Christ all the kingdoms of the world...

Finally, the Devil showed Christ all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said: All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. All Christ had to do in return was to worship the donor instead of God—which, of course, he could not do. How interesting, though, that power should be at the Devil’s disposal, and only attainable through an understanding with him! Many have thought otherwise, and sought power in the belief that by its exercise they could lead men to brotherhood and happiness and peace, invariably with disastrous consequences. Always in the end the bargain with the Devil has to be fulfilled—as any Stalin or Napoleon or Cromwell must testify. I am the light of the world, Christ said; power belongs to darkness. ... Malcolm Muggeridge image

Scrolling around...February 16, 2013

Fourth Grader Receives Assignment About Infidelity

It’s That Burn-a-Church-after-Friday Prayers Time of the Week
Mid East Christian News (MCN) reports with breaking news that a crowd of enraged Muslims in the town of Sarsana, Fayoum [southwest of Cairo], set fire to the Mar Guirguis Church today, Friday, February 15, after prayers.
The angry mob set the entire roof alight, says MCN, “and the priest was smuggled out before the crowd could assault him.” I wonder if he was lowered in a basket through an opening in the wall like Saul of Tarsus? Actually this was the only bright spot in the entire story because the priest was helped to escape by a Muslim family...

No exams on Wiccan, Pagan holidays at University of Missouri?
...The university’s latest “Guide to Religions: Major Holidays and Suggested Accommodations” — designed to help faculty know when and when not to schedule exams and other student activities — lists eight Wiccan and Pagan holidays and events right alongside more mainstream occasions...

So, not only are taxpayers funding free cell phones, we're also paying for street teams to hock them at hospitals, soup kitchens, carnivals and shelters.

Westernized Zen and the art of hiding sexual abuse
...In this case, however, the leader is Joshu Sasaki Roshi, one of the most famous Zen Buddhist monks in the world and a teacher who has had a tremendous impact in American elite culture. Now, it is being alleged (and in some cases confirmed) that since the 1960s he has sexually abused many, perhaps 100s, of his followers in Southern California and elsewhere...The allegations had lingered, literally, for decades and were allowed to become, in the words of one figure in the scandal “a tribal secret for 50 years.”...

Open the door, please.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that You will be with us...

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that You will be with us today and tonight and forever. Will You keep us from danger and protect us against fear? And will you show us the right way and not let go when we choose the wrong way and when we are in danger? It is wonderful to know that You take hold of our hands, that You hold us tight. And when you hold us tight, You lead us on, all our life. And when You lead us on through life, there will be a day when You bring us home safely. Thank you, Lord Jesus, Amen.
...Corrie Ten Boom image

Scrolling around...February 15, 2013

Imprisoned Pastor Saeed Abedini: 80 Congressmen Urge John Kerry to Intervene
..."This is a significant bi-partisan effort to secure the freedom of a U.S. citizen who faces incredible torture and life-threatening punishment in one of Iran's most brutal prisons – simply because of his Christian beliefs," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), in a statement on Thursday.

Syria: two priests abducted on the way to Damascus
Christians in Aleppo are seeking information on the wellbeing of two priests, Father Michel Kayyal (Armenian Catholic) and Father Maher Mahfouz (Greek Orthodox), who were abducted on February 9 by a group of armed rebels on the Aleppo-Damascus road. So far, attempts to open channels and negotiations have failed...

Are ashes to go a Protestant no-no?
This week’s celebration of Ash Wednesday has prompted several stories built around the theme of “ashes to go” — a recent phenomena of liturgical Protestant church ministers — (I’ve seen reports of Methodist, Episcopal and Lutheran clergy involved) imposing ashes on the foreheads of individuals in public places outside of the confines of worship...

Egypt Against Itself: A society on the edge of chaos.
...The economy is hemorrhaging reserves and incapable of securing foreign investment, while Egypt’s currency tumbles to record lows. The international community, captivated two years ago by the revolution, has little confidence that Egypt’s new rulers can make peace between the country’s feuding factions. If the conventional wisdom among Western policymakers holds that Egypt is too big to be allowed to fail, the stark reality is that by many measures it is already failing...

German Church Becomes Mosque
Muslim plans to convert a former Lutheran church in the city of Hamburg into a mosque is generating controversy across Germany.
From Berlin to Dortmund to Mönchengladbach, the gradual proliferation of mosques housed in former churches reflects the rise of Islam as the fastest growing religion in post-Christian Germany. In the most recent case, the church would be the first converted into a mosque in the second-largest city in Germany....

The most painful things I’ve ever borne are betrayals by Christian friends
Here’s how Don Carson recently replied to a question about suffering during a Q and A. (This is a lightly edited transcript from 13:37 to 14:40 in the audio file.)

The Beards of Ministry A field guide for pastoral facial hair...

Meteorite Shower Hits Russia Injuring 524

Meteorite Shower Hits Russia Injuring 524
More than 500 people have been injured after a meteor strike in central Russia, the country’s interior ministry said.

Fragments of at least one meteorite - the weight of a double-decker bus - were seen falling from the sky in the Chelyabinsk region at around 9am local time, around 1,500km east of Moscow.

Russia’s Ministry of Emergencies said 524 people have been injured of which 82 are children. Two people are in intensive care while another 32 adults and 12 children are being treated in hospital...

Update: Meteor injures more than 980 in Russian city

Thursday, February 14, 2013

There are so many different ways of being healed...

There are so many different ways of being healed. The best way, and by far the commonest, is to be loved. To be loved by God, and to know it and live it, is to be healed indeed. The Good News first of all is that you and I are accepted and loved by God. From all eternity you and I have been in the mind of God. God's love for us is utterly reliable and has no conditions whatsoever. ...Cyril Brooks image

Scrolling around...February 14, 2013

An Unconscionable Use of “Conscience”
You knew, when Benedict announced his resignation, that everyone and his brother would comment, and that some of those comments would be really goofy. The conservative Anglican website Stand Firm has started a series on what the writer calls “Papal Malarkey Syndrome” — my thanks to William Tighe for pointing me to it — and the first entry comes from the writer Mary Hunt.

Writing for the Religion Dispatches website, she points to Benedict’s explaining that he had examined his conscience before God and decided he could not continue as pope...

NASA to Chronicle Close Earth Flyby of Asteroid
NASA Television will provide commentary starting at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) on Friday, Feb. 15, during the close, but safe, flyby of a small near-Earth asteroid named 2012 DA14. NASA places a high priority on tracking asteroids and protecting our home planet from them. This flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close.

The half-hour broadcast from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will incorporate real-time animation to show the location of the asteroid in relation to Earth, along with live or near real-time views of the asteroid from observatories in Australia, weather permitting.

At the time of its closest approach to Earth at approximately 11:25 a.m. PST (2:25 p.m. EST / 19:25 UTC), the asteroid will be about 17,150 miles (27,600 kilometers) above Earth's surface.

The commentary will be available via NASA TV and streamed live online at:  and ...

 Pope Says He Will Be 'Hidden to the World' in Retirement
Saying he would soon be “hidden to the world,” Pope Benedict XVI took his leave of parish priests and clergy members of the Diocese of Rome on Thursday as he offered personal, and incisive, recollections of the Second Vatican Council, the gathering of bishops 50 years ago that set the Roman Catholic Church’s course for the future...

The Element Of Force In The Abortion World
A New York hospital is apparently ending a policy of forcing employees to participate in abortions -- and a Texas teenager is hopeful a court will intervene so she won't be forced by her parents to have an abortion...

Students Told to Stop ‘USA!’ Chant, Take Off American Flag Bandanas
Four California high-school students were reportedly suspended for chanting “U.S.A! U.S.A!” and wearing American flag bandanas during a basketball game. While their punishment has since been rescinded, school administrators said “the incident is far from over.”
Oxnard Union School District superintendent Gabe Soumakian told Fox News Radio that “we need to pursue this further” and “work with teachers and students and the community about the concept of cultural proficiency.” Soumakian and Camarillo High School principal Glenn Lipman felt that the students’ actions might have had racist undertones since the schools have large Hispanic student populations.

“We wanted to make sure [their actions weren't] racially motivated...

After Botched Late-Term Abortion Complaints, Medical Board Blocks Pro-Lifers
...“This is a direct attempt by a radically motivated pro-abortion Medical Board to prevent future investigations into the practices of unregulated abortionists in the state,” said Tara Shaver of Project Defending Life, who obtained records of 14 medical emergencies at Albuquerque abortion clinics over a 2 year time period. “Since 2010, the New Mexico Medical Board has done nothing less than try to cover for Albuquerque abortionists who are injuring women at staggering rate.”...

‘Mother’ and ‘father’ to be scrapped from Scottish law
...Where current matrimonial law refers to “mother” and “father”, the Scottish Government plans for legislation to use the gender–neutral term “parent”...

Why It's Time to Break the Code of Silence at the Airport
...Why do people keep their mouths closed when they feel violated? A combination of powerful motivators keeps air travelers quiet. Only by understanding these influences can we end them...

Anglican Perspective: More Than A Feeling

February 14, 2013

Couples around the world will be celebrating Valentine's Day this week. Sadly, though, statistics say that many of those married couples will eventually file for divorce. In this week's Anglican Perspective, Canon Phil Ashey addresses the reality of divorce, and infidelity, in marriages and the hope and example that Christ provides for all who are married.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails...
1 Cor. 13:4-8

A Holy Lent...

I found this at Lent and Beyond where you can go to be refreshed and blessed with LOTS of scripture, meditations and thought for prayer!

Yesterday, I decided just to have a quiet day with little media input (except necessary email) to start my Lenten observance. It was a very different sort of day, as Ash Wednesday usually is, but I did realize how much I look to the internet for news and to distract from the daily routine.  I am certainly not saying that it is bad or wrong to be involved in media, and blogging requires a certain amount of time to check out what's going on, but it was interesting how much more time I spent just thinking and praying in between my work and errands.  No big revelation here, of course, just a personal head's up for me. -PD

Raymond wrote this today:
Today is the day after Ash Wednesday, and the start of Lent. If there be any lesson on Ash Wednesday, it is that to focus on God rather than on self is the key to our happiness. It is oh so easy to look to ourselves, and to see our needs, our desires, our spiritual life.

We do not fulfill these with this inward looking. The Eastern philosophy of Buddhism looks for fulfillment within, and they take it as an article of faith that to look inward to yourself is the way to salvation. That is the wrong direction to look. Only when we look out to God, and not into ourselves, can we find fulfillment. God is not in us in that sense, but rather outside of us and beyond us. He will give us his Holy Spirit to be in us, but even then he is wholly different and other.

I can take no thought of basking in the light of God in me when I am filled with the Spirit. Even those moments, or perhaps especially in those moments, I look to him who is beyond me. The more I look inward as a way of self-improvement, the more I shall fail. But when I sit in my morning prayer and see God’s face and call on his name, and especially see it in the guise of Jesus, then and only then will my heart truly be satisfied.  -Raymond Dague

My faith looks up to thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Saviour divine!
Now hear me while I pray;
Take all my guilt away;
O let me from this day
 Be wholly thine.!

May thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire;
As Thou hast died for me.
O may my love to Thee
Pure, warm and changeless be,
A living fire.

While life's dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow's tears away,
Nor let me ever stray
 From Thee aside.

When ends life's transient dream,
When death's cold, sullen stream
Shall o'er me roll,
Blest Saviour, then, in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above,
A ransomed soul.
 -Ray Palmer

My prayer is for a Blessed and Holy Lent
for all the readers of this blog! -PD

Monday, February 11, 2013

God is a great king above all kings...

God is a great king above all kings, and has a throne above all thrones of earthly princes.  The rise and fall of princes, the issues of war, and all the great affairs of state which are the subject of the consultations of wise and great men, are no more above God's direction than the meanest concerns of the poorest cottages are below his notice.  It is not without the divine permission that the devil deceives men, and even thereby God serves his purposes. ...Matthew Henry image

Jake Says the Darnedest Things

Scrolling around...February 11, 2013

The Absentee Commander in Chief
The Defense secretary told the president that Americans in Benghazi were under attack.
Then: nothing.

Mother and Baby Killed By Notorious Maryland Abortionist
...Reports state that 29-year-old Jennifer McKenna Morbelli of New Rochelle, New York died on Thursday following complications from a botched abortion. Morbelli was 33 weeks pregnant with a baby girl that had been named Madison Leigh.

According to sidewalk counselors outside of abortionist LeRoy Carhart’s Germantown Reproductive Health Center in Maryland, Morbelli had traveled to the abortion facility the previous weekend for a late-term abortion. It is believed that the woman had been informed that her 8-month-old daughter suffered from fetal anomalies, and opted to end the child’s life. She traveled from New York to Maryland to have the procedure performed, with members of her family accompanying her...

A warning to college profs from a high school teacher
...If you, as a higher education professional, are concerned about the quality of students arriving at your institution, you have a responsibility to step up and speak out. You need to inform those creating the policies about the damage they are doing to our young people, and how they are undermining those institutions in which you labor to make a difference in the minds and the lives of the young people you teach as well as in the fields in which you do your research.

You should have a further selfish motivation. Those who have imposed the mindless and destructive patterns of misuse of tests to drive policy in K–12 education are already moving to impose it on higher education, at least in the case of the departments and schools of education that prepare teachers: they want to “rate” those departments by the test scores of the students taught by their graduates...

California lacks doctors to meet demand of national healthcare law  As the state moves to expand healthcare coverage to millions of Californians under President Obama's healthcare law, it faces a major obstacle: There aren't enough doctors to treat a crush of newly insured patients.

Some lawmakers want to fill the gap by redefining who can provide healthcare.

They are working on proposals that would allow physician assistants to treat more patients and nurse practitioners to set up independent practices. Pharmacists and optometrists could act as primary care providers, diagnosing and managing some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure...

China Eclipses U.S. as Biggest Trading Nation
China surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest trading nation last year as measured by the sum of exports and imports of goods, official figures from both countries show...

Boy Scouts Flirt With Calamity
...In backing away from the proposed membership change, the Boy Scouts at least temporarily averted calamity. If the committee had rammed through the change in membership policy, it would have dealt a serious blow to the Boy Scouts of America on several fronts...

Boy Scouts of America and the dismantling of core values
...But it seems the BSA has confused delay and distance. Why? Perhaps because the very question up for debate is, “What are our core values?” If you no longer know what you believe, ethics can’t guide your decision-making...

Get the Federal Government Out of the Natural Gas Business
...Loris notes that the United States has more than a century’s worth of natural gas beneath its soil at current consumption rates. With more than 12 million Americans out of work, you would think that an economic boom like this would be welcomed—but once again, the federal government is standing in the way...

Pope announces resignation due to age

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Pope explained his unexpected decision in a statement.

"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," he said.

"In today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me."

The Pope steps down on 28 February, becoming the first to do so since Pope Gregory XII stepped down in 1415.

The news has been met by widespread surprise. Writing in The Telegraph, Damian Thompson said Catholics would be "deeply shocked and, in most cases, dismayed by this decision".

Despite this, he said he saw it as evidence of Pope Benedict's "deep humility". the rest image

A message from the Archbishop of Canterbury on Pope Benedict's resignation
Monday 11th February 2013
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has released the following message on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

It was with a heavy heart but complete understanding that we learned this morning of Pope Benedict’s declaration of his decision to lay down the burden of ministry as Bishop of Rome, an office which he has held with great dignity, insight and courage. As I prepare to take up office I speak not only for myself, and my predecessors as Archbishop, but for Anglicans around the world, in giving thanks to God for a priestly life utterly dedicated, in word and deed, in prayer and in costly service, to following Christ. He has laid before us something of the meaning of the Petrine ministry of building up the people of God to full maturity.

In his visit to the United Kingdom, Pope Benedict showed us all something of what the vocation of the See of Rome can mean in practice – a witness to the universal scope of the gospel and a messenger of hope at a time when Christian faith is being called into question. In his teaching and writing he has brought a remarkable and creative theological mind to bear on the issues of the day. We who belong to other Christian families gladly acknowledge the importance of this witness and join with our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in thanking God for the inspiration and challenge of Pope Benedict’s ministry.

We pray that God will bless him profoundly in retirement with health and peace of mind and heart, and we entrust to the Holy Spirit those who have a responsibility to elect his successor.

+ Justin Cantuar

The Catholic Church in England and Wales will have no say in the papal conclave. Just as well, perhaps

Pope Benedict XVI resigns. This is unbelievable news, but evidence of the his deep humility  -Damian Thompson

Weigel on Benedict: “Realities of World Where People Live Much Longer”

NYT: Pope Benedict XVI Says He Will Resign

Pope Benedict XVI – in pictures -these are awesome!

Pope Benedict's Surprise Resignation Left Cardinals In The Room Speechless

An Evangelical Looks at Pope Benedict XVI-First Things
With Pope Benedict XVI’s shocking resignation this morning, Evangelical Christians might be tempted to see this the way a college football fan might view the departure of his rival team’s head coach. But the global stakes are much, much higher. As Pope Benedict steps down, I think it’s important for us to recognize the legacy of the last two bishops of Rome that we ought to honor and conserve: an emphasis on human dignity...