Thursday, September 26, 2013

Overshadowed...

Should pain and suffering, sorrow, and grief, rise up like clouds and overshadow for a time the Sun of Righteousness and hide Him from your view, do not be dismayed, for in the end this cloud of woe will descend in showers of blessing on your head, and the Sun of Righteousness rise upon you to set no more for ever. ...Sadhu Sundar Singh image

Daddy and Daughter Sings the Most Darling Duet Ever


Christians now suffering mass martyrdom, says Archbishop of Canterbury

Christians are being deliberately attacked because of their faith across parts of the Muslim world and even martyred for their faith in large numbers, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.
By John Bingham
25 Sep 2013

The Most Rev Justin Welby said that there had been more than 80 Christian “martyrs” in the last few days alone.

He was speaking about the bombing of All Saints Anglican church in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which 85 were killed and more than 200 injured.

But he said that Christians were also being singled out for violence in a string of other countries. the rest

Scrolling around...September 26, 2013

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 – winning pictures Stunning!

Why We Need Small Towns-And how they correct the supersized spirituality of evangelicals
...Of course, American Christians know something of the little way. The evangelical movement has always had its share of what novelist Wallace Stegner famously called "stickers." In the words of Wendell Berry, a student of Stegner's, stickers are people who "settle, and love the life they have made and the place they have made it in." America's first great theologian, Jonathan Edwards, spent much of his life serving in a single small parish. Presbyterian theologian B. B. Warfield spent nearly his entire adult life in Princeton, New Jersey, where he taught at the university and cared for his sick wife. The late Dallas Willard taught and ministered in the same philosophy department for nearly five decades. Just recently, my pastor interviewed a dozen fellow pastors who have served in Lincoln, Nebraska, for over a decade. All of them are committed to staying at their churches indefinitely...

Little Sisters of the Poor sue over Obamacare fines, contraception requirement
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finalized a contraception mandate that ignores the fact groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor are religious organizations, according to a lawsuit filed to protect them against fines for refusing to comply with an Obamacare mandate.

"We cannot violate our vows by participating in the government's program to provide access to abortion-inducing drugs,” Sister Loraine Marie said of a class-action lawsuit filed against the mandate on behalf of multiple religious organizations that provide health benefits...

Catholic Business Loses Contraception Mandate Appeal
A federal court ruled Tuesday against a Catholic business in Michigan and in favor of the Obamacare contraception mandate.

The court ruled that Autocam Corporation, which is a family-owned business, must comply with the mandate requiring companies to pay for contraception and abortion procedures.

John Kennedy, one of Autocam's owners, said the mandate violates their convictions. But the judge disagreed, saying it neither violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act nor the family's convictions.

"We dismiss the claims of the individual plaintiffs on standing grounds," Judge Julia Smith Gibbons wrote. She added that the decision to comply with the mandate will be up to the company, not the Kennedys, who own it...

Frightening new assault on homeschooling
...The Obama administration has argued in court that parents essentially have no right to determine how and what their children are taught, leaving the authority with the government.

Farris said although the cases have been in Germany, others should be concerned.

“I want the American homeschool community and other friends of liberty to take note – this mindset isn’t limited to Germany. Many U.S. policymakers and academics agree. … They are even working to see them realized here. So far, thankfully, homeschooling isn’t a legitimate reason (anymore) for the government to kidnap your children if they don’t go to state approved schools,” Farris said.

Donnelly said there are “already too many voices in the United States that want to advance the idea that the state must control education for the safety of the state or other reasons.”...

11 things pro-choicers don’t get

Si Robertson: Duck Dynasty's favorite uncle talks faith in God, wife, and children
...He previously revealed in an interview with The Christian Post that he signs two Bible verses when people ask him for an autograph. "When I sign people's stuff I put down John 3:16 and 17. Most people can tell you what 16 says, OK. 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.' But they don't know nothin' about 17. It says Jesus didn't come to condemn us. If anybody had a right to condemn someone, it would be the son of God. If he didn't do it, then hey, we definitely are not qualified to do it."...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Archbishop Duncan: "How it all fits together"


September 23, 2013 
Archbishop Robert Duncan speaks to how Anglicanism and the Anglican Church in North America continue to meld together.

Archbishop Welby sets the agenda for the Anglican future

A Call to Prayer for Kenya and Pakistan from Archbishop Duncan

Monday, September 23, 2013

We often think of great faith...

A Giant Hubble Mosaic of the Crab Nebula
We often think of great faith as something that happens spontaneously so that we can be used for a miracle or healing. However, the greatest faith of all, and the most effective, is to live day by day trusting Him. It is trusting Him so much that we look at every problem as an opportunity to see His work in our life. It is not worrying, but rather trusting and abiding in the peace of God that will crush anything that Satan tries to do to us. If the Lord created the world out of chaos, He can easily deal with any problem that we have. ...Rick Joyner image

Scrolling around...September 23, 2013

Henry Blackaby and the Positive Power of Social Media
We received the information early Friday morning that well-known Christian author and speaker Dr. Henry Blackaby was missing. Because of his close relationship to LifeWay professionally and to many of us personally, we made the decision to change the blog schedule at ThomRainer.com and related social media so we could get the word out about Dr. Blackaby.

The hours that followed were tense and ultimately extremely gratifying. We would soon learn that Dr. Blackaby had a heart attack and became disoriented. Christians around the world were able to hear through social media of his latest purported location according to his credit card charges. Of course, we were praying that he was the one actually using the credit cards—and he was...
Henry Blackaby to Have Surgery after Heart Attack

Lower Health Insurance Premiums to Come at Cost of Fewer Choices
Federal officials often say that health insurance will cost consumers less than expected under President Obama’s health care law.  But they rarely mention one big reason: many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers.

From California to Illinois to New Hampshire, and in many states in between, insurers are driving down premiums by restricting the number of providers who will treat patients in their new health plans.
      
When insurance marketplaces open on Oct. 1, most of those shopping for coverage will be low- and moderate-income people for whom price is paramount. To hold down costs, insurers say, they have created smaller networks of doctors and hospitals than are typically found in commercial insurance. And those health care providers will, in many cases, be paid less than what they have been receiving from commercial insurers...NYT

Obama Administration appeals Hobby Lobby/HHS mandate case to the Supreme Court
...On Wednesday the administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court ruling granting Hobby Lobby an exemption from the mandate, which requires employers to provide co-pay-free coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-causing drugs for all females of childbearing age enrolled in their company’s health plan.

More than 60 company owners have sued the Obama Administration over the directive, arguing that forcing them to pay for procedures and drugs their faiths hold to be immoral violates their constitutionally-protected religious freedom.

In the Hobby Lobby case, the company’s owners sought an exemption from the mandate because it requires coverage for so-called ‘emergency contraception,’ which works at least some of the time by making the uterus inhospitable to an already-fertilized embryo, inducing early abortion – something that goes against the owners’ Christian faith. Initially, a lower court rejected their case, but in July, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned their decision and Hobby Lobby was granted an injunction...

Powerful typhoon kills 20 in southern China, swipes Hong Kong
A powerful typhoon hit Hong Kong and the southern China coast on Monday, killing at least 20 people on the mainland, crippling power lines and causing flooding and gale force winds...

W.Va. Episcopal Church to bless same-sex couples
...Klusmeyer said he gave the issue much thought and prayer before making the decision, which he announced in Flatwoods at a three-day convention of the Diocese of West Virginia.

Klusmeyer said the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia is following the example of three other Christian organizations -- the Evangelical Lutheran Church, United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church in blessing the unions.

"There will be some [church members] who are elated and some who will be very disappointed," the bishop said.

There are 'parameters' to the church's blessings for gay unions, which are to begin on Dec. 1, at the start of the next Christian calendar, he said. The priest in charge and the congregations of individual churches must decide whether the church will bless the couples. Couples must be baptized and active members of a particular congregation for a minimum of six months...

Abortion Nation
America is only 1 of 4 countries to allow abortions post-viability...

Late-Term Abortionist Says Women Have Abortions “To be Good Mothers”
There’s one key reason a woman chooses to abort her baby: to be a good mom – at least according to Susan Robinson, a third trimester abortionist featured in the documentary film “After Tiller.”...

Is everybody wrong’ about health care except Obama?
That, in three simple words, was the question a reporter asked President Obama last week.

“Yes, they are,” the president said with a straight face. “People will look back and they’ll be asking, ‘What was the argument about? Why is everybody fighting this so much?’”

Why? Well, here, Mr. President, are just a few of the many, many reasons...

The IRS Hit List Democrats Don’t Want You To See

Gafcon leaders to review Nairobi meeting plans

George Conger
posted September 23, 2013

Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney has released a video stating that he and Bishop Martyn Minns will travel to Nairobi this week to review security arrangements for next month's Gafcon conference at All Saints Cathedral.

Dr. Jensen said it was his "desire" not to relocate the gathering of over 1000 delegates from across the Communion to another country, as he believed it was important for overseas Christians to stand in solidarity with their "Kenyan brothers and sisters" in the face of attacks by Muslim terrorists. The archbishop noted that New York, London and other major cities had been victims of terrorism in recent years, and "we will look into the arrangements already put in place" for the Nairobi gathering. Security was an issue at the 2008 Gafcon meeting in Jerusalem, he said, adding that he would report back to participants shortly.
Anglican Ink

Suicide bombers kill dozens of Christians in Pakistan. NOW will the world wake up to the Islamist war against Christianity?
...Come to that, how much have Muslim community leaders around the world done to condemn this sort of slaughter by their co-religionists? Not enough. Let's see if they manage more than their usual regretful throat-clearing today...

Kenya Mall Attack: Smoke Billows After Explosion
A large explosion sounded Monday afternoon before a black plume of smoke billowed up into the Nairobi skyline from the upscale shopping mall that has been under a terrorist siege since Saturday.

Gunfire preceded the blast and local television channels reported that a section of the mall was on fire...

150 dead in Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria

A.S. Haley: Federal Court in Fort Worth Closes Two Lawsuits

Fiday, September 20, 2013

Excerpt:
What your Curmudgeon finds remarkable in these recent developments in the litigation over withdrawing dioceses is that there are still some Episcopalians who believe that, just because they think there ought to be an implied rule against unilateral withdrawal, the courts must enforce it anyway, just on ECUSA's say-so. Those days are over. ECUSA has shown, when push comes to shove on its claims, that it has zero evidence of any such rule ever having been enforced in its 225-year history.

And even if it could now make up such a rule, and get it passed by General Convention, the courts would be prevented from enforcing it by the developments in First Amendment jurisprudence that have occurred in the last seventy-five years. A diocese, incorporated or not, has the same rights under the First Amendment as any single individual does. And those rights include the ability to associate with whomever the person chooses to associate, regardless of what some group may claim to the contrary.

Making up "rules" after the fact has been a specialty of the current regime at 815. ("Oh, we've always done it that way." "Well, we don't need to follow the Canons in this particular instance, because we like the result we can get by not following them.") That may be the way for Calvin and Hobbes to run their exclusive club, but it is not the way to run a church governed by a Constitution and Canons. ECUSA is finding that its leaders' lawlessness will carry it only so far. And it is about time.  the rest

Taking up the Fiddle While Rome Burns
...The Presiding Bishop's job -- and future reputation -- is, in effect, on the line. She and her personal Chancellor have been so identified with the litigation agenda of ECUSA (because they run that agenda without interference from anyone else in the entire Church) that they are taking a hit, so to speak, on account of the reversals which that agenda has recently suffered in Texas (Fort Worth), Illinois (Quincy), South Carolina, and yes - let it be said -- in San Joaquin (even though there is as yet no final judgment there, ECUSA faces a decidedly uphill battle to convince the California court that its canons allow it to take the property of the withdrawing diocese).

In a (rather desperate, and, some would say) clumsy attempt to protect her prerogatives on the litigation front, the Presiding Bishop (and, as always, her personal Chancellor, whose law firm earns millions each year from the Presiding Bishop's continuing patronage) asked the "Ecclesiology Committee" to deliver a counter  to the "Bishops' Statement on Polity" promulgated by the Anglican Communion Institute and the Communion Partner Bishops within ECUSA. (Note that Bishop Martins is a Communion Partner bishop, who signed the 2009 Statement on Polity, and who -- along with six other bishops and three priests -- faced disciplinary proceedings for having the temerity to repeat what it said to the courts in Illinois and Texas.)...