Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holy Saturday 2013

LORD, God of my salvation;
I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry!

For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
and you overwhelm me with all your waves.

You have caused my companions to shun me;
you have made me a horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O LORD;
I spread out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the departed rise up to praise you?

Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

But I, O LORD, cry to you;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
O LORD, why do you cast my soul away?
Why do you hide your face from me?
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your dreadful assaults destroy me.
They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in on me together.
You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
my companions have become darkness.
-Psalm 88 image

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday 2013: O sacred Head, now wounded

 O sacred Head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, thine only crown:
how pale thou art with anguish,
with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish
which once was bright as morn!

What thou, my Lord, has suffered
was all for sinners' gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve thy place;
look on me with thy favor,
vouchsafe to me thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever;
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love for thee.
image
 

Good Friday 2013

Blest Jesus, when Thy cross I view,
That mystery to th’angelic host,
I gaze with grief and rapture, too,
And all my soul’s in wonder lost.

What strange compassion filled Thy breast,
That brought Thee from Thy throne on high,
To woes that cannot be expressed,
To be despised, to groan and die!

For man didst Thou forsake the sky,
To bleed upon the accursed tree?
And didst Thou taste of death, to buy
Immortal life and bliss for me?

Had I a voice to praise Thy name,
Loud as the trump that wakes the dead,
Had I the raptured seraph’s flame,
My debt of love could ne’er be paid.

Yet Lord, a sinner’s heart receive,
This burdened, contrite heart of mine;
Thou knowest I’ve naught beside to give;
And let it be for ever Thine.
...Conrad Speece image

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Holy Thursday 2013

Be known to us in breaking bread,
But do not then depart;
Savior, abide with us, and spread
Thy table in our heart.
 
There eat with us in love divine;
Thy body and Thy blood,
That living bread, that heavenly wine,
Be our immortal food.

...James Montgomery image

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The God on whom we rely...

The God on whom we rely knows what suffering is all about, not merely in the way that God knows everything, but by experience. In the darkest night of the soul Christians have something to hold onto that Job never knew. We know Christ crucified. Christians have learned that when there seems to be no other evidence of God's love, they cannot escape the cross. "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?"(Rom. 8:32) … When we suffer, there will sometimes be mystery. Will there also be faith? Yes, if our attention is focused more on the cross, and on the God of the cross, than on the suffering itself. ...DA Carson image

Scrolling around...March 27, 2013

India's target-driven quotas for female sterilisation are producing horrific scenes, all with the aid of Western money
The end of the financial year has arrived in India, as it has in a number of other countries, but there the pressure of the bottom line has produced a very shocking effect. Early last month two doctors working at a hospital in the Malda district of West Bengal, performed sterilisation surgery on 103 women in one day. Since the hospital could only accommodate 30 women the rest were carried out on rough stretchers and dumped on an open field to recover. Some were loaded onto rickshaws, still bleeding and in semi-conscious or unconscious states, to be sent home. One woman fell off a rickshaw on her way home and had to be hospitalised with severe injuries...

UN report equates lack of access to abortion and reparative therapy for homosexuals with ‘torture’   A recent United Nations report on torture and mistreatment in health care systems around the world singled out lack of access to abortion as a form of “torture,” classifying it as a human rights violation on par with female genital mutilation, forced sterilizations and state-sanctioned beatings.
The report also says governments should recognize the preferred sex of ‘transgender’ individuals without regard to biology, arguing that forcing such people to undergo sex-reassignment surgery in order to prove their case is equivalent to torture.

Revealing What States Are Hiding About the Real Costs of Public Education
...In a new paper, Heritage expert Jason Richwine reveals that “Proper accounting would reveal tens of billions of dollars in extra teacher pension costs, equivalent to somewhere around $1,000 in unreported spending per student.”
That’s right—the real cost of education is far higher than we’ve been told, but it’s not because of extra classroom resources or newer facilities. It’s because of teachers’ pensions...

Albert Mohler: Marriage in the Dock—The Supreme Court Considers Same-Sex Marriage  ...Both cases are significant. Together they represent a monumental set of issues for the justices. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was passed by huge majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate back in 1996. It was then signed into law by President Bill Clinton. DOMA requires the federal government to define marriage exclusively as the union of a man and a woman, and it makes clear that no state is obligated to recognize a same-sex union conducted in any other state. President Obama, whose constitutional responsibility requires him to defend the laws of the United States, has ordered his Attorney General not to defend DOMA in court. It will be defended by attorneys representing the House of Representatives...

Are the Polyamorists Next in Line for Marriage Equality?
...Not to be outdone by their colleagues in Hollywood, the liberal news media has also gone out of its way to “innocently” ask questions about polyamory. In 2009, Newsweek asked if Polygamy was the next sexual revolution (because the old sexual revolution was not destructive enough of society). The article features a life and times of a Seattle “triad” made up of one woman and two men. This seemingly happy “family” figured out how to overcome the “hard-wired” tendency towards jealousy through the process called “compersion”—or learning to find personal fulfillment in the emotional and sexual satisfaction of your partner, even if you’re not the one doing the satisfying.”...

North Dakota Now First State to Ban Abortions Based on Down Syndrome
With the governor’s signature on the ban today, North Dakota has become the first state to ban abortions based on genetic “defects” like Down Syndrome. When diagnosed before birth, such genetic abnormalities prompt couples to have abortions 90 percent of the time...

Egyptian mosque turned into house of torture for Christians after Muslim Brotherhood protest
...Such stories have become increasingly common as tensions between Egypt’s Muslims and Copts mount, but in the latest case, mosque officials corroborated much of the account and even filed a police report. Demonstrators, some of whom were Muslim, say they were taken from the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in suburban Cairo to a nearby mosque on Friday and tortured for hours by hard-line militia members...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"

Some of us think at times that we could cry, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" There are seasons when the brightness of our Father's smile is eclipsed by clouds and darkness; but let us remember that God never does really forsake us. It is only a seeming forsaking with us, but in Christ's case it was a real forsaking. We grieve at a little withdrawal of our Father's love; but the real turning away of God's face from His Son, who shall calculate how deep the agony which it caused Him? In our case, our cry is often dictated by unbelief: in His case, it was the utterance of a dreadful fact, for God had really turned away from Him for a season. O thou poor, distressed soul, who once lived in the sunshine of God's face, but art now in darkness, remember that He has not really forsaken thee. God in the clouds is as much our God as when He shines forth in all the lustre of His grace; but since even the thought that He has forsaken us gives us agony, what must the woe of the Saviour have been when He exclaimed, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"
...CH Spurgeon image

Does God really love us?

Does God really love us? I say look to the crucified Jesus. Look to the old rugged cross. By every thorn that punctured His brow. By every mark of the back lacerating scourge. By every hair of his beard plucked from his cheeks by cruel fingers. By every bruise which heavy fists made upon His head. God said, "I love you!" By all the spit that landed on his face. By every drop of sinless blood that fell to the ground. By every breath of pain which Jesus drew upon the cross. By every beat of His loving heart. God said, I love you. ...Billy Lobbs image

Scrolling around...March 26, 2013

Elizabeth Scalia: A Gospel Pasteurized for Our Protection
...This past Sunday—Palm Sunday—the assembly was invited to put down their missalettes. The priest celebrant was escorted from the sanctuary and into a pew, and members of the liturgy committee entered with bare feet and grave expressions to “act out” for us the Gospel “message” which dispensed with Luke’s narrative for a kind of scripted amalgam of all four Gospels.

It struck me as odd that the same people who say they wish to “build up the community of the People of God,” and who often decry what they see as “limitations” to the role of the laity, completely omitted any interaction between themselves and the people in the pews. The Gospel reading for Palm Sunday is the only one inviting lay participation, yet none was permitted. That seems a terrible mistake and a loss...

Do you own technology, or does it own you?
Have we all lost our minds and perspective?

Planned Parenthood Gets Pro-Life Teacher Removed, Holds Sex Toy Class  Last week, a Portland, Oregon math teacher was led out of his classroom by police and is expected to be fired for his opposition to Planned Parenthood. For years, Benson High School teacher Bill Diss has protested Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette (PPCW) building an abortion facility as well as their infiltration into the city’s schools....

Real Bullies: The Homosexuality Is Normal Movement
...My point is, homosexual activists are extremely aggressive while portraying themselves as innocent victims of an intolerant society. In reality, we who believe in traditional values are the ones being bullied. The MSM gang vilifies anyone who dares to stand up for traditional marriage. Come hell or high water, they are going to make us embrace homosexuality as being normal by severely punishing those who refuse to comply...

Are Benghazi Survivors Hiding In A Washington, D.C. Hospital?
..Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has learned that “as many as seven Americans have been or are currently being treated,” at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C.—less than 11 miles from the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Wolf cited two independent confidential sources for his information.

And the number of survivors may be even larger than previously suspected. There may be more than 30 survivors, including State Department and CIA personnel as well as government contractors, according to a March 1, 2013 letter sent by Rep. Wolf and Rep. Jim Gerlach to Secretary of State John Kerry . As for those government contractors mentioned, they are believed to include former U.S Navy Seals and other former special-forces operators.

And it seems that the survivors have been told not to talk...

In times like these...

Some very eerie and prophetic words spoken by Jesus on the way to the cross
By Msgr. Charles Pope
March 24, 2013

Excerpt:
...And the Lord Jesus, looking beyond 70 AD must have seen our times and had them in mind when he said to those women of old that they would see an enemy (Satan): dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls.
 
Yes, Satan has deceived us with deceptions of power, distortions of freedom, and crushing lies of “choice.” 55 million dead in American alone since 1973, our children dashed to the ground.
 
The Lord goes on to say, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ Yes, and those days are here, days when people celebrate barrenness, have themselves surgically sterilized, and celebrate contraception. The days are here when the greatest danger seems to be the “terrible and fearsome proposition” of getting pregnant, of having “too many children.”
 
Yes, the days are here when most people cry out: blessed is barrenness, blessed are small families. Life it would seem, is a terrible burden to be contracepted and aborted away and some awful threat. It is an age that cries out “Blessed the career women who has not stymied her life and progress by the terrible and terrifying prospect of children.”
 
Yes, said the Lord to those ancient women, in effect, “You think this is bad? The days are actually coming when things will be so bad and so dark that people will celebrate NOT having children, will celebrate barrenness.”...   Full Essay image

Monday, March 25, 2013

The image of Christ...

Doctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life. It is worse than useless; it does positive harm. Something of "The image of Christ' must be seen and observed by others in our private life, and habits, and character, and doings.
...JC Ryle
image

Scrolling around...March 25, 2013

The Cyprus Deal ...The agreement avoids a controversial tax on bank deposits, a measure the country’s parliament rejected last week. But it’s likely to devastate the country’s financial-services sector—the source, according to the Cyprus Employers & Industrialists Federation, of 80 percent of the country’s GDP and 72 percent of its employment. In exchange for a 10 billion-euro bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, President Nicos Anastasiades agreed to shutter the nation’s second-largest bank, Cyprus Popular Bank, largely wiping out deposits above the insured limit of 100,000 euros. Depositors in the country’s biggest bank, Bank of Cyprus (BOC), could lose as much as 40 percent of their uninsured savings. “We don’t have any numbers or real data on how this will affect our lives,” says Kattou’s husband, Pambos Kattos, 52, a civil engineer who will likely lose his job at the bank that’s being folded. “But there will be great destruction.”...

Potentially harmful virus missing from a lab at U-Texas Medical Branch
...During a routine internal inspection last week, UTMB officials realized one vial of a virus called Guanarito was not accounted for at the facility....

U.S. Border Patrol Uniforms Manufactured in Mexico
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has granted uniform contracts to VF Imagewear, Inc., an apparel company that relies on manufacturing sites in Mexico for a “significant percentage” of its occupational garments...

Scam Cell: California’s embryonic stem-cell research institute fails to deliver ...In fact, CIRM directed a full 91 percent of its research funding to institutions with representatives on its governing board. Similarly, the CIRM board overruled the Institute’s own scientific reviewers, who twice rejected a proposal to fund a for-profit company on whose behalf CIRM founder Robert Klein had lobbied, and the board went ahead and gave the money to the company anyway. According to a Sacramento Bee report, “it was the first time in the board’s eight-year history that it approved an application twice rejected by reviewers.”...

Holy Land Catholics and Orthodox to celebrate Easter simultaneously Most of the Catholic communities in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Cyprus are preparing to celebrate the liturgies of Holy Week. However, they will be joining their Orthodox brethren in celebrating Holy Week during the first week of May, according to the Julian Calendar followed by the Orthodox communities. This bucks the practice of most Christians elsewhere who follow the Gregorian calendar, which celebrates Holy Week March 24-29, with Easter falling on March 30...

Obamacare Red Tape Tower will make you cower
A tower of 20,000 pages of Obamacare regulations, wrapped in a neat red ribbon and first unveiled publicly by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference, made its way to the Senate floor today as the upper chamber debated the continuing resolution to fund the government. It took several GOP aides to haul the paper tower through the Capitol to make its appearance...(picture)

Clinic escort: woman who had 10 abortions is “empowered”
...Elsewhere in her blog, the clinic escort talks about sidewalk counselors offering to help the women with adoption or other alternatives. Pro-lifers often offer free help to pregnant women outside abortion clinics. To the escort, this is “shaming.”...

Bp. Julian Dobbs: Palm Sunday Visit 2013

Bp. Julian Dobbs and Brenda


Bp. Dobbs and Rector Brian Smith


Blessing the palms

Church of the Holy Trinity in Syracuse NY was blessed with a visitation by Bp. Julian Dobbs who along with his wife Brenda celebrated Palm Sunday with us.  -PD (pictures by Raymond Dague)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ride On, Ride On, In Majesty!

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
Hark! all the tribes Hosanna cry;
O Savior meek, pursue Thy road
With palms and scattered garments strowed.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die!
O Christ! Thy triumph now begin
Over captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
The wingèd squadrons of the sky
Look down with sad and wondering eyes
To see the approaching sacrifice.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh;
The Father, on His sapphire throne,
Expects His own anointed Son.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain,
Then take, O God, Thy power, and reign.
...Hen­ry H. Mil­man image