Friday, August 16, 2013

New nova discovered shining in the night sky: How to see it

August 16, 2013

This week an amateur Japanese astronomer discovered a new nova shining in the night sky, and experts say it is getting brighter by the hour.

If you are familiar with the constellations and can read a star map, you can try to find it for yourself.
The newly discovered nova is just north of the constellation Delphinus. As of Friday afternoon, it was a magnitude 4.4, which means it is just on the edge of vision in a somewhat light-polluted suburb, said Alan MacRobert, a senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine.

If you'd like to find it, you can check out the star map at the rest

YouTube video August 15, 2013

A.S. Haley: California Abandons Rule of Law to Suit Gays

August 15, 2013

The case of Perry v. Brown (formerly Perry v. Schwarzenegger), about which I wrote at length here (and in further posts linked at this page), was a case of collusion to produce a desired outcome, namely, the disenfranchisement of the voters of California who passed Proposition 8 -- in favor of a tiny minority of gay-rights activists, and their left-wing supporters.

Nevertheless, it was just the decision of a single federal district court, in San Francisco. Since both California's elected governor and attorney general refused to appeal it, the Prop. 8 supporters hired attorneys to prosecute the appeal, only to have it thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court because the supporters lacked federal standing. Dismissal of the appeal meant that Judge Walker's original decision and injunction -- directed only at certain named individuals, and protecting only two gay couples -- would become final. the rest

Church of England in 'fracking land-grab'

The Church of England has begun legal action to claim ancient mineral rights beneath thousands of homes and farms, prompting fears the church could seek to cash in on fracking.
By James Kirkup
Aug 2013

Residents across England have started receiving letters from the Land Registry, informing them that the Church is seeking to register the mineral rights to the earth beneath their property.

Lawyers believe that the Church’s claim could allow it to profit from fracking, the controversial method of extracting oil and cash by fracturing underground rocks with water and chemicals.

Responding to residents’ worries, the Church insisted that it has “no particular plans to mine under any property” but failed to rule out allowing fracking on its property. the rest

Scrolling around...August 16, 2013

BBC to air kids’ show on ‘gay marriage’
...The show has been re-named for the edition, and will be called Marrying Dad and Dad instead of Marrying Mum and Dad...

Christian churches warned of Boy Scout legal risks
...The policy change has legal ramifications for religious chartering groups, potentially exposing them to lawsuits if they continue to sponsor troops while seeking to maintain the traditional Christian teaching that homosexual behavior is immoral.

What could happen is “somebody would come and say, ‘We want to use your church for a same-sex wedding ceremony,’ and the church would say, ‘Wait, we have a religious belief against that,’” said Erik Stanley, an alliance lawyer and Eagle Scout...

New Bishop, Old Problems: First Female Presiding Bishop Unlikely to Stem Lutheran Denomination Decline
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) elected Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA’s bishop for the Northeastern Ohio Synod, as the denomination’s first female presiding bishop on August 14, 2013.  Despite Eaton’s professed desire to unite Lutherans divided over contentious issues such as homosexuality, however, analysis and evidence indicate that her historic election has little chance of altering the “liberal-leaning” ELCA’s ongoing woes....

Appeals for prayer for Egypt
...Archbishop Mouneer Anis said St Saviour's Anglican Church in Suez was "under heavy attack" from Morsi supporters who threw stones and molotov cocktails at the church and destroyed the car of the Reverend Ehab Ayoub, the priest-in-charge of St Saviour's Church.

"I am also aware that there are attacks on other Orthodox churches in Menyia and Suhag in Upper Egypt, as well as a Catholic church in Suez. Some police stations are also under attack in different parts of Egypt. Please pray and ask others to pray for this inflammable situation in Egypt," Archbishop Anis said.

He added: "Please pray that the situation will calm down, for wisdom and tact for the police and the army, for the safety of all churches and congregations, and that all in Egypt would be safe."...

Calls for Obama to freeze Egypt’s military aid come from left, right

What do Muslim Brotherhood members do when Egyptian Security Forces launch a forewarned operation to clear them from Cairo tent cities?
Attack Christians. That's right.

'Horrible': Christian churches across Egypt stormed, torched
...Egypt will have much to deal with if, and when, things do settle down. Once that happens, Angaelos says that a proper investigation of the church attacks should follow -- especially since, he feels, the sheer scale of incidents suggests they were orchestrated, rather than a byproduct of chaotic unrest...

List of churches in Egypt destroyed by the Muslim Brotherhood

Islamists Raid Ancient Monastery in Egypt, Pledge to Turn it Into a Mosque
...Bishop Aghabious of Deir Mawas has sent a call to national and international authorities to request help to save what is remaining of the monastery, which dates back to the fifth century AD.

The bishop said the militants looted most of the valuables and announced they would be converting the monastery into a mosque for Friday prayers...

Egyptian Christians Targeted by Islamists
...Some called it "Black Wednesday," the day when Muslim Brotherhood mobs stormed, looted and burned churches and Christian organizations throughout Egypt...

This Coexist Poster is Much Better

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

If the Lord be with us...

If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer-His grace sufficient, His promises unchangeable. ...John Newton image

Scrolling around...August 14, 2013

Imprisoned Pastor's Torture-Related Internal Injuries Growing Worse
The Iranian family of American pastor Saeed Abedini was once again able to visit him in Evin Prison in Iran. Despite previous threats from Iranian authorities that they would cut off Pastor Saeed’s visitation privileges, he was able to spend some brief time with his family on Monday.

Unfortunately, we have learned that Pastor Saeed’s internal injuries are causing him increased pain. He has been suffering from internal bleeding—the result of intense beatings he has sustained in prison for his faith...

German Companies To Automatically Encrypt Emails
 Two of Germany's biggest Internet service providers said Friday they will start encrypting customers' emails by default in response to user concerns about online snooping after reports that the U.S. National Security Agency monitors international electronic communications...

China: A new type of anti-abortion activist emerges
SLIGHTLY built and soft-spoken, Wang Lin hardly seems the typical activist. Nor is his cause a typical one in China: abortion, brutally used over 30 years to enforce China’s strict one-child policy. On August 2nd officials announced they would “propose plans to improve” the policy, another hint that they intend to scrap it eventually.

But Mr Wang’s objections are not to the coercion; he opposes abortion itself. His stance would be familiar to Americans, but it is rare in China. Many Chinese oppose the family-planning policy, he says, but as to whether abortion is ethical or not, “most Chinese do not give it a thought”... -The Economist

16-year-old girl became infertile from Gardasil vaccine: British Medical Journal
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) Case Reports journal has reported that a healthy 16-year-old Australian girl lost all ovarian function and went into menopause after being injected with the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil.

Dr. Deirdre Little, the Australian physician who treated the girl, provides solid evidence that Gardasil caused the destruction of the girl's fertility...

Military chaplains weathering ‘front wave’ of culture shift
...Recent months have brought challenges on many fronts as chaplains face navigating their ministry in light of the military's repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the U.S. Supreme Court's abolishment of the Defense of Marriage Act and other religious freedom issues facing chaplains and members of the military.

The decisions and changes mean chaplains might be asked to perform marriages for same-sex couples as well as counseling, marriage retreats and funerals. There are also concerns about whether military chaplains will be able to quote certain Scripture passages without facing disciplinary action for offending homosexuals.

"Those of you serving in the military are at the front wave of what we are eventually going to be facing all over this country," Moore told the chaplains. "You are going to be dealing with some things that every community in the United States will be dealing with in a few short years."...

IRS probing thousands of small businesses, raises eyebrows in Congress
...“We want to reassure the relatively small number of business owners who receive these letters that the IRS is requesting information based on what the taxpayer reported on the return,” officials wrote in a statement sent to On Small Business, adding that the agency is “giving taxpayers the opportunity to explain and fix errors.”

Still, some lawmakers are taking issue with the tone of the letters and their apparent implication.

“This gives the impression that the IRS is looking for more than just additional information,” House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) wrote in a letter to the agency officials, noting that the first line states “your gross receipts may have been underreported,” which he says “implies that this is a serious matter that could lead to assessments of additional tax, penalties and interest.”...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Man of Sorrows, Lamb of God

Man of sorrows, Lamb of God
By His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God
Has been on Jesus laid
Silent as He stood accused
Beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father's will
He wore a crown of thorns

Oh that rugged cross my salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee
Sent of heaven God's own Son
To purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones
Who nailed Him to that tree
Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled
Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
See the stone is rolled away
Behold the empty tomb
Hallelujah God be praised
He's risen from the grave

Scrolling around...August 13, 2013

Are You Needed in Your Church?
...My husband and I started attending our church nearly eight years ago. We were there just a few months before people were volunteering us to serve in various areas. We found ourselves part of a newly formed “Greeting Ministry,” I was working in the nursery, we were teaching kids on Wednesday nights. It was a little overwhelming. We didn’t know how to say “no,” so we “served” begrudgingly. Truth be told, we were both pastor’s kids and were unsure how to be normal church members.

It was easy to think, “Well I’m not sure this is my gifting. Maybe I should find something that uses my talents and abilities better.”

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to use our gifts to serve our church family. But then again, who would say they have the spiritual gift of changing diapers? Holding doors open? Setting up chairs?

Thankfully the Lord revealed to me the selfishness of my heart. I wasn’t serving anyone, really. I was performing needed tasks, but my heart was not in it. Even still it’s easy to slip back into this. It’s the mentality that thinks my service on the Sundays in which I sing with the worship team are more valuable that those in which I am a substitute teacher in the preschool department...

Mystery Priest Who Showed Up at a Crash Scene Then Vanished Has Been Identified
The mystery priest who recently showed up at a crash site, anointed a victim and then vanished has been identified — and he came forward by posting his identity in the comments section of a Catholic news site. The story began on Aug. 4, after Aaron Smith, 26, struck Katie Lentz, 19, in a head-on car crash. In the days that followed, the tale of a faith leader who disappeared went viral.
But now the individual, who brought calm upon the situation and who rescue workers have been hoping to find and thank, has been found. A press release provided to TheBlaze from the Diocese of Jefferson County confirmed that the Rev. Patrick Dowling, one of the priests who works with the diocese, is the individual whom they have been seeking...

Benghazi Was About 400 Surface-to-Air-Missiles Stolen by 'Some Very Ugly People,'
Former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova, who now represents one of the Benghazi whistleblowers, told a Washington radio station Monday that the real scandal in Benghazi is the theft of 400 surface-to-air missiles by some "very ugly people." The Obama administration fears those missiles will be used to shoot down an airplane or blow up one of our embassies, he said.

Speaking to WMAL on Monday morning, DiGenova blasted President Obama for revealing, at his Friday news conference, the existence of a sealed indictment against a Benghazi suspect or suspects.

‘Abortion Doula’ Professor Posts Video, But Catholic College Defends Employment
A professor at The College at Mount St. Vincent in New York recorded a video blog detailing her work as an “abortion doula.”

In 2011, The Cardinal Newman Society first reported on the scandal of Bianca Laureano teaching a course titled "SOC OF HUMAN SEXUALITY" for the Catholic college while volunteering as an “abortion doula.”...

Skateboarding Friars

The maniacal mind of Mark Steyn
...I had the opportunity of interviewing Steyn a couple years back when I did freelance work for The Jewish Independent. Steyn was coming into town to speak at the Hillel gala, and a few of us were going to have lunch with him a day or so prior to the event. As I asked him questions for my Independent article, I decided to throw in a question about abortion, just out of curiosity.

“Why does anyone think Europe needs huge numbers of Muslim immigrants?” Steyn replied, “Supposedly to keep their welfare state in business, because they are the children that Europeans couldn’t be bothered to have themselves. One third of German women are childless. If you just take your average, dopey Western feminist at a university campus in North America today, and she’s concerned about patriarchy, [she thinks that by] forming a pro-life club you’re forcing your backwards, patriarchal views on her. If she thinks you’re the big, stern, dominating patriarch, she ought to wait twenty or thirty years in the average Canadian city. She’ll be figuring out what the people in Amsterdam and Brussels and Malmo and Paris are beginning to figure out right now—that there’s a whole, far more motivated breed of patriarch that’s going to be walking around those cities. That’s what the dopey, clap-trapped, cobwebbed 1960’s feminist doesn’t get—that abortion is an indulgence and the indulgence only works for a generation or two before a bunch of other people take over and rebuild the future you weren’t interested in building for yourselves.”

And suddenly, abortion is put in context. It’s not simply killing—although it certainly is that. It’s cultural suicide. It’s emblematic of the bloody, narcissistic tailspin of the West at twilight. It is, as Mark Steyn refers to it elsewhere, Big Government’s back alley...

Archbishop of Uganda's Press Statement about Anglican Communion Crisis and GAFCON

Press Statement
The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali
Archbishop of Church of Uganda
13th August 2013

The first GAFCON was very significant because it created a global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans led by a Primates Council and it also called for the creation of a new Bible-believing Anglican Province in North America. That new Anglican Province has now been created and is thriving. It is called the Anglican Church in North America.

This second GAFCON conference is also very important at this time in the life of our church. We are holding it in Nairobi this time because it is closer to the majority of the Christians who make up GAFCON.

I have called you here today because I want all our Christians to know about it, to pray for it, and to support it financially.

GAFCON is to the Anglican Communion as the East African Revival was to the church in Uganda. At first it was small revival fellowships meeting outside the church structures and church services. But, as the revival spread, it became mainstream in the Church. Now, most of the Church of Uganda is led by clergy and Bishops shaped by the East African Revival.

In the same way, we are going to GAFCON 2 in Nairobi to see that the Biblical faith of GAFCON spreads like revival throughout the whole Anglican Communion, so that global Anglicanism is brought back to its Biblical and evangelistic faith.

So, I am calling on all Christians to get involved in three ways:
Full statement here

Monday, August 12, 2013

Scrolling around... August 12, 2013

‘Totally Offensive and Inappropriate’: Military Base Reportedly Hosts Drag Queens During ‘Diversity Day’ Celebration
Several drag queens reportedly took the stage at the Los Angeles Air Force Base on Thursday as part of the military base's 2013 "Diversity Day" celebration...

Ella Mae sings "An American Trilogy" by Elvis Presley
(20 months old)

Mohler: The Wrath of God Was Satisfied: Substitutionary Atonement and the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention
...There were indeed real and crucial theological concerns. And, by no coincidence, crucial refers to the cross. As these examples reveal, the debate over the atonement is not new—even within the Southern Baptist Convention. This debate has stretched well beyond the SBC as theologians continue to defend or deny the meaning of the cross, specifically its penal substitutionary nature. The Conservative Resurgence in the SBC sought a theological recovery in the denomination and a rejection of the inroads that theological liberalism had made within its schools. A denial of penal substitution was the goad; the goal was its recovery as the Bible’s central message about the cross of Christ...

Is Jesus a Baptist?
Catholic theologians speak of a “hierarchy of truths,” a phrase found in Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis redintegratio, 11). This concept does not mean that some truths are truer than others, or that the Catholic faithful are free to pick and choose among the teachings of their church as they please. It means, rather, that in the economy of divine revelation, more theological weight, as it were, is given to those teachings that relate directly to the foundational truths of the Christian faith. This point is similar to the distinction Thomas Aquinas makes between some articles of faith which are such secundum se and others in ordine ad alia (ST 2-2, q.1, a.6). (See the excellent study by the Capuchin scholar William Henn, “The Hierarchy of Truths Twenty Years Later,” Theological Studies 48, [1987].)
In this vein, I would like to propose a “hierarchy of ecclesial realities.” What do I mean by this? While I recognize myself as a Protestant, an Evangelical, and a Baptist, none of those labels defines my spiritual and ecclesial identity at the most basic level. Being an evangelical Protestant, a Baptist, indeed a Southern Baptist, are all important markers of my place within the community of faith, but there is a more primary confession I must make: I am a trinitarian Christian who by the grace of God belongs to the whole company of the redeemed through the ages, those who are “very members incorporate in the mystical body of Christ” (Book of Common Prayer)...

Oregon Health Care Board Denies Chemotherapy, Will Push Rationing Under Obamacare
Oregon rations healthcare to Medicaid recipients. Terminal cancer patients are denied chemotherapy to extend life–and now the Oregon rationing board wants to go deeper into the weeds...

41%: Obama's Approval Drops to Lowest Level in Gallup Poll Since 2011 the Gallup poll's three-day tracking average, the lowest it has been since Dec. 28, 2011

Building collapses as 40-foot sinkhole opens up in Florida resort near Disney World
..“The building on the west side … a portion of that structure just collapsed. It’s literally breaking in half,” he said at about 3:20 a.m. ET.

The elevator building was leaning over at “about 30 or 40 degrees,” Cuellar said...

Unions, Gov. Cuomo Protect State Workers Found Guilty of Abusing Disabled Patients
On Friday, The New York Times released a follow-up report, revealing that only 25% of NY state home-workers found guilty of abusing disabled and mentally ill patients are terminated from their positions.

The majority of workers found guilty of physical, sexual or psychological abuse receive written warnings, deduction of vacation days, or suspension; 25% of those found guilty are sent to other state-run homes.

The Time’s original investigation began over two and a half years ago, when they started exposing the quality of state-run care in over 2,000 New York homes for the disabled and mentally ill...