Saturday, February 22, 2014

We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God...

File:Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 033.jpg
We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God, who will thwart our plans and frustrate our ways time and again, even daily, by sending people across our path with their demands and requests. We can, then, pass them by, preoccupied with our important daily tasks, just as the priest—perhaps reading the Bible—passed by the man who had fallen among robbers. When we do that, we pass by the visible sign of the Cross raised in our lives to show us that God’s way, and not our own, is what counts. ...Dietrich Bonhoeffer image

Ice-covered Great Lakes seen from space

 By Megan Gannon
February 21, 2014

A deep freeze has settled in over the Great Lakes this winter and a new image released by NASA shows the astonishing extent of the ice cover as seen from space.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of the lakes on the early afternoon of Feb. 19, 2014. At the time, 80.3 percent of the five lakes were covered in ice, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Earlier this month, ice cover over the Great Lakes hit 88 percent for the first time since 1994. Typically at its peak, the average ice cover is just over 50 percent, and it only occasionally passes 80 percent, according to NASA's Earth Observatory. the rest

“I thought the Affordable Care Act would save $2500 per family. What happened?”

Something Incredible Happens When a Citizen Asks Minnesota Democrats This Very Simple Obamacare Question
...The question: “I thought the Affordable Care Act would save $2500 per family. What happened?”...

Voters beware: Don't Mend, Just End ObamaCare
Vulnerable Democrats think they've found a winning strategy for the November elections: Tell voters they can fix ObamaCare, but Republicans won't let them. It's a con. ObamaCare is unfixable...

ObamaCare tax cost 33,000 jobs, medical trade group says
A new ObamaCare tax on medical devices has already resulted in the loss of about 33,000 jobs in the industry, according to a prominent health-care trade association.

The grim statistic negates claims this week by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that “there is absolutely no evidence . . . that there is any job loss related to the ­Affordable Care Act.”...

A.S. Haley: The Church of Identity Is No Church at All

Friday, February 21, 2014

Consider the following Canon of the Episcopal Church (USA), Canon I.17.5:
No one shall be denied rights, status or access to an equal place in the life, worship, and governance of this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities or age, except as otherwise specified by Canons.
(There is a similar Canon applying to the discernment process for would-be clergy.) The words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity and expression" are the most recent additions to the list of grounds upon which Episcopalians are called not to discriminate. As this Canon's predecessor stood from its adoption in 1964 (at the height of the civil rights movement) until 1982, it read:
Every communicant or baptized member of this Church shall be entitled to equal rights and status in any Parish or Mission thereof. He shall not be excluded from the worship or Sacraments of the Church, nor from parochial membership, because of race, color, or ethnic origin.
With only slight rewording in 1982, the threefold grounds of "race, color, or ethnic origin" remained untouched until General Convention 1994, when the categories were expanded by one Resolution (1994-C020) to include "national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, disabilities or age." Most recently Resolution 2012-D002 added the categories "gender identity and expression."... the rest

Friday, February 21, 2014

When you go to prayer...

When you go to prayer, your first thought must be: The Father is in secret, the Father waits me there. Just because your heart is cold and prayerless, get you into the presence of the loving Father. As a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth you. Do not be thinking of how little you have to bring God, but of how much He wants to give you. Just place yourself before Him, and look up into His face; think of His love, His wonderful, tender, pitying love. Tell Him how sinful and cold and dark all is; it is the Father's loving heart will give light and warmth to yours.
...Andrew Murray image

The Christian Leader in the Digital Age; Terrorist Training Compound Discovered in Rural Texas; Jesus Should Be “In The Center of Our Huddle...More

Albert Mohler: The Christian Leader in the Digital Age
The Digital Age is upon us. In the span of less than three decades, we have redefined the way humans communicate, entertain, inform, research, create, and connect – and what we know now is only a hint of what is to come. But the greatest concern of the church is not a technological imperative, but a Gospel imperative.

The digital world did not exist a generation ago, and now it is a fundamental fact of life. The world spawned by the personal computer, the Internet, social media, and the smart phone now constitutes the greatest arena of public discussion and debate the world has ever known.

Leaders who talk about the real world as opposed to the digital world are making a mistake, a category error. While we are right to prioritize real face-to-face conversations and to find comfort and grounding in stable authorities like the printed book, the digital world is itself a real world, just real in a different way...

Kidnappers Target Christian Children in Egypt
...According to Daniels, 69 Christian kidnappings were documented last year in the Minya province. In 61 cases, kidnappers got a ransom in exchange for releasing their victims. Ransom demands have ranged from $7,000 to $500,000...

FBI Docs: Alleged Terrorist Training Compound Discovered in Rural Texas
The Clarion Project has unearthed Federal Bureau of Investigations documents detailing a 22-site network of terrorist training villages sprawled across the United States. According to the documents, the FBI has been concerned about these facilities for about 12 years, but cannot act against them because the U.S. State Department has not yet declared that their umbrella group, MOA/Jamaat ul-Fuqra, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

MOA stands for Muslims of the Americas, which is linked to radical Pakistani Muslim cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani. The FBI documents that Clarion has obtained show that the group is headquartered in the well known “Islamberg” compound in rural New York. The facility in Texas is known as “Mahmoudberg.” It’s located in Brazoria county on County Road 3 near Sweeny. Sweeny is in far south Texas, southwest of Houston. The town of about 4,000 is a little under three hours’ drive from the state capital in Austin...

UConn Football Coach Resigns After Saying Jesus Should Be “In The Center of Our Huddle
A newly hired assistant football coach has resigned his position at the University of Connecticut one month after igniting controversy with a comment he made about keeping Jesus Christ at the center of his team’s huddle...

Ticks Carrying Lyme-Like, Mystery Bacteria Found In Bay Area Parks
A newly-discovered mystery bacteria with unknown health effects is being carried by ticks and found in Bay Area parks, according to a Stanford University study.

The bacteria, Borrelia miyamotoi, has been found on ticks also carrying the bacteria which causes Lyme disease, B. burgdorferi, researchers said in a study to be published in the March issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Disease.

While only two percent of the samples were infected, ticks carrying one or both pathogens were found in nearly every one of 12 recreational areas along the Peninsula they looked at, according to the researchers...

Statement from the Global South Primates Steering Committee, Cairo, Egypt

20 February 2014 

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3).

1. The Global South Primates Steering Committee met at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014. We were delighted to have The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, the Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), and Canon David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director for Reconciliation, as guests joining this important meeting in which we discussed the way ahead for the Anglican Communion and other matters. The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala, the Primate of Kenya, and The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, the Primate of Congo, apologized for not being able to attend.

2. We thank God for the times of fellowship, Bible study and prayer together. We also appreciated the frank discussion, open sharing, and spirit of unity among us. We are also encouraged by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s emphases on renewal, mission and evangelism within the Church of England and the rest of the Anglican Communion.

3. As we reviewed the current situation, we recognized that the fabric of the Communion was torn at its deepest level as a result of the actions taken by The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada since 2003. As a result, our Anglican Communion is currently suffering from broken relations, a lack of trust, and dysfunctional “instruments of unity.”

4. However, we trust in God’s promise that the “gates of hades will not overcome” the church. Holding unto this promise, we believe that we have to make every effort in order to restore our beloved Communion. Therefore we took the following decisions:

a) We request and will support the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for a Primates Meeting in 2015 in order to address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion. It is important that the  agenda of this Primates Meeting be discussed and agreed upon by the Primates beforehand in order to ensure an effective meeting.

b) We decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dromantine in 2005 and Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.

c) We realize that the time has come to address the ecclesial deficit, the mutual accountability and re-shaping the instruments of unity by following through the recommendations mentioned in the Windsor Report (2004), the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (2005) and Dar es Salam (2007), and the Windsor Continuation Group report.

5. We appreciate the costly decision of the House of Bishops of the Church of England, as well as the pastoral letter and pastoral guidance of The Archbishop of Canterbury and The Archbishop of York, in regard to the decision of the Westminster Parliament for same-gender marriage. The faithfulness of the Church of England in this regard is a great encouragement to our Provinces, and indeed the rest of the Communion, especially those facing hardships and wars.

6. We stand in solidarity with The Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul and the people of South Sudan and Sudan, calling for the cessation of fighting, an end to violence, and for a process for peace and reconciliation. We call upon the international community to give every help and support to those displaced as a result of fighting. We commit ourselves to pray for the people of Sudan.

7. We were encouraged to learn about the new constitution of Egypt and how the interim government is achieving the roadmap that was decided by its people on the 3 July 2013. We support the people of Egypt in their efforts to combat violence and terrorism.

8. We decided to activate the Task Forces established at the 4th Encounter of the Global South, which are: Economic Empowerment (coordinated by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala), Theological Resourcing (coordinated by Archbishop Bolly Lapok), Emerging Servant Leaders (coordinated by Archbishop Ian Ernest), and Inter-faith Relations (coordinated by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh).

9. We decided to hold the 5th Encounter of the Global South in 2015 and also organize a seminar for Global South leaders on “How Africa shaped Anglicanism”.

This statement is approved by:
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt and Chairman of Global South
The Most Rev. Ian Ernest, Primate of the Indian Ocean and General Secretary of Global South The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Primate of Myanmar
The Most Rev. Hector “Tito” Zavala, Primate of the Southern Cone
The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, Primate of Burundi and the Chairman of CAPA
The Rt. Rev. John Chew, representing the Primate of South East Asia
The Rt. Rev. Francis Loyo, representing the Primate of All Sudan

This statement was abstained by:
The Most Rev. Nkechi Nwosu, representing the Primate of All Nigeria
14-15 February 2014

Overseas Anglican Archbishops applaud Welby on gay marriage, but urge action on America
The Archbishop of Canterbury has met with overseas archbishops seeking ways to save the Anglican Communion from further schism and collapse. Meeting at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo the Global South leaders applauded last week’s reaffirmation of Christian marriage and the sinfulness of homosexual activities made by the House of Bishops of the Church of England, whilst also warning the Most Rev. Justin Welby they would be willing to take the lead in reforming the global Anglican Communion if he were not able to do so.

 On 14 February 2014 Archbishop Welby and the Rev. Canon David Porter, his Director for Reconciliation, met with the Steering Committee of the Global South Primates led by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Most Rev. Mouneer Anis. the rest

Bishop Iker Resigns in Protest From Nashotah House Board

Matt Kennedy
February 20, 2014

The following memo has been received by a number of clergy in the Diocese of Fort Worth and we have confirmed that the memo is genuine and the content is accurate:
“BISHOP IKER HAS RESIGNED AS A TRUSTEE on the Nashotah House Board, where he has served for the past 21 years. This action was taken in protest of the Dean’s invitation to the Presiding Bishop of TEC to be a guest preacher in the seminary’s chapel. Citing the lawsuits initiated by her against this Diocese, Bishop Iker notified the Board that he “could not be associated with an institution that honors her.” Similarly, Bishop Wantland has sent notification that he “will not take part in any functions at Nashotah” nor continue “to give financial support to the House as long as the present administration remains.” He is an honorary member of the Board (without vote) and a life member of the Alumni Association.” the rest

Robert S. Munday: If I had it to do all over again
...In my last year as Dean and the year following, a majority of the student body at Nashotah House came from ACNA dioceses.  The downturn we were experiencing was a temporary one as the ACNA found its legs and began to take off.  The House could have weathered this period and emerged as a seminary that, while continuing to train any students from TEC who wanted an orthodox seminary education, was free from TEC's unwholesome influence.  As proof of this one only has to look at Trinity School for Ministry, which took Episcopal out of its name and the Episcopal shield out of its logo.  In  recent years, Trinity has had no students from TEC in their incoming classes.  Yet, they have not only survived, they are thriving.

My experience at both Trinity and Nashotah House has led me to conclude:

1.  You can be an Anglican seminary outside the control of the Episcopal Church and still survive.
2.  You cannot be a seminary in the Episcopal Church and remain orthodox....

Seminary Invitation to Episcopal Presiding Bishop Sparks Uproar

Monday, February 17, 2014

Nigeria: Over 1,000 Anglican Church Leaders Meet on the State of the Nation

Anglican Primate visits Borno, prays for come back of peace
17 Feb 2014
By Ademola Babalola

About 1,000 delegates from the 178 Dioceses of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) will today storm Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to deliberate on the progress of the church and much more importantly, review the state of the nation.

The church, which is worried over the state of the nation’s economy and high level corruption in the country, would from today embark on a week-long conference to address the issues, with a view to proffering an enduring solution to the endemic situation.

The 1,000-member standing committee of the church, led by its Primate, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, according to Anglican Bishop of Ibadan Diocese, Most Reverend Joseph Akinfenwa, who addressed journalists in Ibadan to herald the meeting, reeled out a tale of woes of the nation as regards the national polity but concluded that with divine intervention, the forthcoming 2015 general election would be a success story.

While disabusing the minds of Nigerians on the fears over the prediction that the country would break up in 2015, Akinfenwa said: “God is able to overrule that prediction. We trust in God and we have been praying ceaselessly for His divine intervention.”... the rest  image

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Anglican Church in Meltdown

February 15, 2014
By Fr. Dwight Longenecker

In 1992 I was an Anglican country vicar on the Isle of Wight. The Church of England was debating the question of women’s ordination. After due consideration I had come down on the side of those opposed to this innovation.

As we discussed the matter in my parish council it emerged that most of my people were on the other side. They either had no objection or they were positively in favor of women’s ordination. I said at that time, “You are debating this question now. Ten years from now you will be debating whether homosexual people may get married or not.”

My suggestion was met with incredulity, shock and dismay. “The two issues are not connected!” they cried. “We would never consent to something like that! Why the whole idea is preposterous!” I was wrong. It took twenty years, not ten. The Anglicans had to take time off from the progressive agenda to get women bishops first.

Now that women are lined up for the pointy hat, the progressives are rolling up their sleeves for the next battle: full acceptance of same sex marriage. My father in law once joked that he had no objection to same sex marriage as long as they didn’t make it mandatory. We laughed. It will soon be mandatory. Of course they will not make anyone marry someone of the same sex, but they’ll make you approve and conduct those marriages in church.

Earlier this week Archbishop Justin Welby prepped his team for the next big game. The lights are on, the stadium is packed and the coin is about to be tossed. Time for the great Anglican same sex marriage debate to begin. Be prepared for all the usual game tactics: sob stories from all those who are “wounded”, “deeply concerned” and “saddened” by how homophobic and backward the Church of England is. Those who uphold Christian marriage will be cast as medieval puritanical funamentalists while the progressives are up to date, compassionate and open minded smart people.

Progressive bishops (are there any other kind?) will go through the motions of due process with the General Synod while they are making back room deals with the activists. Oodles of time and money will be spent conducting ‘indabas’ — Zulu sort of pow wows where everyone is supposed to go in frowning and come out crying and hugging one another... the rest image

Church of England gay lobby "appalled" by bishops' gay marriage ban

Bishop Jefferts Schori to give annual C.S. Lewis Legacy Lecture