Saturday, June 14, 2014

Trinity Sunday 2014

 
Holy Father, great Creator,
source of mercy, love, and peace,
look upon the Mediator,
clothe us with his righteousness;
heavenly Father, heavenly Father,
through the Savior hear and bless.

Holy Jesus, Lord of glory,
whom angelic hosts proclaim,
while we hear thy wondrous story,
meet and worship in thy Name,
dear Redeemer, dear Redeemer,
in our hearts thy peace proclaim.

Holy Spirit, Sanctifier,
come with unction from above,
touch our hearts to sacred fire,
fill them with the Savior's love.
Source of comfort, Source of comfort,
cheer us with the Savior's love.

God the Lord, through every nation
let thy wondrous mercies shine.
In the song of thy salvation
every tongue and race combine.
Great Jehovah, great Jehovah,
form our hearts and make them thine.
-Alexander V. Griswold image

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sun Erupts with 3rd Huge Solar Flare in 2 Days



The sun is hitting its stride. Earth's closest star shot off yet another powerful solar flare today (June 11) after producing a pair of major solar storms Tuesday. 

 Story

Plea for help from Canon White in Baghdad

11 Jun 2014
Andrew White

Dear Friends,

Things are so bad now in Iraq, the worst they have ever been. The Islamic terrorists have taken control of the whole of Mosul which is Nineveh the main Christian stronghold. The army have even fled. We urgently need help and support.

Please, please help us in this crisis.

Iraq is now in its worst crisis since the 2003 war. ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Group), a group that does not even see Al Qaida as extreme enough, has moved into Mosul, which is Nineveh. It has totally taken control, destroyed all government departments. Allowed all prisoners out of the prisons. Killed countless numbers of people. There are bodies over the streets. The army and police have fled, so many of the military resources have been captured. Tankers, armed vehicles and even helicopters are now in the hands of ISIS.

The area is the heartland of the Christian community. Most of our people come from Nineveh and still see that as their home. It is there that they return to regularly. Many Christian’s fled from back to Nineveh from Baghdad, as things got so bad there. Now the Christian centre of Iraq has been totally ransacked. The tanks are moving into the Christian villages destroying them and causing total carnage. The ISIS militants are now moving towards Kirkuk, major areas to the Oil fields that provide the lifeblood of Iraq. We are faced with total war that all the Iraqi military have now retreated from.

People have fled in their hundreds of thousands to Kurdistan still in Iraq for safety. The Kurds have even closed the border, preventing entry of the masses. The crisis is so huge it is almost impossible to consider what is really happening... the rest

(N.b. to assist Canon White, go to his website: http://frrme.org/canon-andrews-blog/)

Poland's PM Says Doctors Must Perform Abortions; Iraqi City-Apocalyptic” Murder, Terror ...more

Poland's PM Says Doctors Must Perform Abortions Despite Christian Belief
Poland's prime minister spoke out Tuesday regarding a nationwide abortion debate after a Catholic doctor refused to perform the life-ending procedure on a patient, even though the fetus had severe abnormalities.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in a statement Tuesday that the well-known Warsaw obstetrician Bogdan Chazan must choose the law over his faith after the doctor refused to perform an abortion on a fetus who reportedly had severe physical and brain abnormalities.

"Regardless of what his conscience is telling him, [a doctor] must carry out the law," Tusk said in a statement, according to The Associated Press. "Every patient must be sure that […] the doctor will perform all procedures in accordance with the law and in accordance with his duties."...

Is same-sex marriage destroying the United Methodist Church?  "Irreconcilable" disagreement over same-sex unions is once again prompting debate over splitting the historic United Methodist Church (UMC), one of America's largest denominations.

"If we are one church, we cannot act as if we are two. If, in reality, we are two churches, it may not be wise to pretend any longer that we are one," concludes a statement last month from 80 traditionalists from across the UMC, which has 7.7 million U.S. members. (An additional 4.4 million members are overseas.)...
Presbyterians Decline while Other Churches Grow

Four Russian Bombers Flew Within 50 Miles Of The California Coast  Four Russian strategic bombers triggered U.S. air defense systems while conducting practice bombing runs near Alaska this week, with two of the Tu-95 Bear H aircraft coming within 50 miles of the California coast, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) confirmed Wednesday...

Christian Refugees Flood Out of Iraqi City; Trapped Residents Describe “Apocalyptic” Murder, Terror
Bodies of Christian children and their parents litter the chaotic streets of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, as violent Muslim extremists have seized a terrorized city Iraqi Christians once considered their last safe refuge.

“Very critical and even apocalyptic,” was an emailed description from Catholic Priest Najeeb Michaeel who signed off abruptly, saying armed extremists had surrounded the convent to which he had fled.

“Most of the inhabitants of the city have already abandoned their houses and fled into the villages,” wrote the Dominican friar. “Many thousands of armed men from the Islamic Groups of Da’ash have attacked the city of Mosul for the last two days. They have assassinated adults and children. The bodies have been left in the streets and in the houses by the hundreds, without pity...
The cleansing of Iraq’s Christians is entering its end game

India: A looming new arena for religious persecution
...For India’s Christians, one the greatest dangers of the new Hindu nationalist government is the high probability of a national anti-conversion law. Shah reported that Modi “is on record expressing hostility to Christian conversion.” Sahar Chaudry of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in a later presentation, noted that state anti-conversion laws generally require that the government “assess the legality” of any particular conversion and provide for fines or imprisonment for those who “force, fraud or induce to convert another person.” They also violate international standards (such as Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees religious freedom), particularly in their requirement that the government assess the validity of conversions and also in favoring those converting to Hinduism and disfavoring those converting out of Hinduism. The definition of “forced conversion” is so broad in these laws, Chaudry said, that such a statement as “God will welcome you in His house at the end of days” can be interpreted as an effort at forced conversion. Religious charity can also be interpreted as forced conversion. She pointed out that a national law establishes “strict regulations” on donations from foreign Christian groups to their fellow Christians in India, a law which is consistently used to prevent Indian Christians from receiving such money. Shah also noted that anti-conversion laws “provide the context that legitimizes nonstate groups to pressure people who are seen as converting.”...

Why Did the IRS Give the FBI 1.1 Million Pages of Taxpayer Info from Non-Profits?  ...
During the course of its probe into the IRS tea party targeting scandal, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said it learned the tax agency sent 1.1 million pages of tax return data about 501(c)(4) organizations to the FBI just before the 2010 midterms, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

The IRS responded that it identified issues with 33 tax returns out of more than 12,000 that included confidential taxpayer information. The majority of those groups “do not appear to have any connection to political activity,” the IRS said.

The two Republicans said they are “extremely troubled by this new information, and by the fact that the IRS has withheld it from the Committee for over a year,” noting that despite two subpoenas the IRS has not “produced material relating to these 21 disks and all associated information.”...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Real ObamaCare Numbers; Peter Singer’s Extremism; Violence Escalates in Iraq...more

Violence Escalates in Iraq as Insurgents Overrun Second Key City    Islamist militants overran Tikrit and freed hundreds of prisoners from its jails on Wednesday, seizing the second Iraqi city in as many days and further destabilizing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government.

The capture of Tikrit, the birthplace of former dictator Saddam Hussein, came hours after Sunni insurgents stormed the Turkish consulate in the northern city of Mosul and took 49 staff hostage, Turkish officials said.

Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, fell Tuesday to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, an al Qaeda offshoot. It was the most significant territorial conquest for the radical group, which has also taken control of parts of Syria during the civil war...

Denmark: Churches ORDERED to perform sodomy-based wedding ceremonies
...Well, the day we prophesied has arrived. Churches in Denmark - and the U.S. will not be far behind - have been ORDERED to perform sodomy-based weddings whether they want to or not.

 According to the London Telegraph, a new law passed by the Danish parliament "make(s) it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages." No options, no exceptions, no choice. Homosexuals are to be married wherever they want, regardless of whose conscience is trampled and whose sanctuary is defiled in the process.

While an individual priest may not be compelled to perform such weddings, his bishop has been ordered (under threat of what?) to find a replacement for him so that the priest's church can be used. Thus an individual priest can no longer protect the spiritual integrity of his own house of worship.

How long will it be before American churches will be ordered, as a condition of maintaining their tax-exempt status, to host same-sex ceremonies? How long will it be before American pastors are ordered to perform them?...

The Real ObamaCare Numbers
U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services disclosed  that 6 million of the 8 million people who signed-up for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will be receiving healthcare from Medicaid that is so affordable it is free. The revelation that seventy-five percent of the expansion of health insurance is Medicaid comes just 48 hours after the Department of Health and Human Services said many of the other 2 million that had “purchased” insurance on HealthCare.gov“ may have received greater subsidies than merited or were allowed to purchase plans for which they were ineligible.” Given the huge influx in border crossings, it appears ObamaCare is continuing to enroll large numbers of illegal aliens...

A Right to Abort But Not to Give Birth? Peter Singer’s Extremism  ...Then Singer compared women’s right to bear children to the traditional villager’s right to graze their cows on “common” grounds. As the villagers get more affluent and their cows die less from disease, he said, until the commons are overgrazed, ”yields are falling… and that’s a road to disaster.”

“Turns out that the right to graze as many cows as you like on the common was not an absolute right,” said Singer. “Obviously this is what I think we ought to be saying even about how many children we have… I hope we don’t get to a point where we do have to override it… but I don’t think we ought to shrink away from considering that as a possibility.”...

N.T. Wright on Gay Marriage



Transcript at First Things

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

“Christ is building His kingdom with earth’s broken things...

Reeds
“Christ is building His kingdom with earth’s broken things. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth’s broken lives, and there is no bruised reed that Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth’s saddest failure up to heaven’s glory.” ~JR Miller image

Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not 3quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice. 
 -Isaiah 42:1-3

Abortion 'comedy' film "Obvious Child"; Transgendered Episc. priest to give sermon at Nat. Cathedral; ...more

Washington National Cathedral Taps Transgendered Episcopal Priest for Sermon
Washington National Cathedral, seat of the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, has announced that it will welcome the first transgender priest ever to give a sermon on its altar.

"Join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist on the second Sunday after Pentecost [June 22]. The Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge is the guest preacher and the Right Rev. Gene Robinson is the guest presider in honor of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community's Pride Month," a notice on the cathedral's website says...

Utah police officer suspended for refusing to work at openly lewd ‘gay pride’ parade
Update: Bullies and bigots of Big Gay lie again: Cop didn't refuse to work parade
The Victorian, prudish, legalistic, starchy blue noses of the homosexual lobby have been in high dudgeon over the last several days. The object of their censorious wrath: a cop they claim refused to work a gay pride parade in Utah.

It turns out they were lying. The cop did not, in fact, refuse to work the parade. He just didn't want to lead it. He was originally assigned to the motor team which serves as the vanguard of the parade.

That role would have essentially made him a participant in the parade, and created the impression he supported sodomy, something his deeply held religious convictions do not allow him to do. He requested a behind-the-scenes role in patrol, traffic control or other police duties. In other words, he was perfectly willing to do his job of protecting and serving. He just didn't want to be the poster cop of homosexual activism....

8th Grade Lesson Plan Asks Girls to Declare How Far They Will Go Sexually
...The parents, who don’t want to be named, say their 14-year-old daughter was embarrassed because the teacher in her family life and health class instructed her and all of her classmates to stand under one of several signs. Each sign was labeled with a different phrase.

Some of the labeled signs were innocuous, according to KGTV. These included “smiled at,” “hugged” and “kissed.”

Other signs, such as “above the waist,” “below the waist” and “all the way,” were to varying degrees considerably less innocuous...

Abortion 'comedy' film "Obvious Child"
...Feminists like these movie-makers don’t see a moral dilemma. They see abortion as a natural part of the daily grind. You wake up, you get an abortion, you have a cheeseburger. The critics call this a “refreshing matter-of-factness” about abortion... I call it monstrous.

Why the Supreme Court could soon review regulations on chemical abortion 
...Overall, the regulation does not ban the use of such life-ending drugs; it merely advances the state’s interest in protecting women’s health by directing abortion providers to use the drugs as restricted by the FDA. A federal district court in Arizona initially declined to issue a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the law, meaning that the regulation could go to work protecting women while litigation over its constitutionality continued. Planned Parenthood appealed, and the Ninth Circuit reversed the lower court’s determination, preventing these health-and-safety standards from going into effect.

The decision released by the Ninth Circuit embodies what we have come to expect from that liberal court. It embraces weak arguments from Planned Parenthood and employs its own renegade analysis that is at odds with clear Supreme Court precedent....

Va. Christian student wins free speech lawsuit; 23 college campuses agree to change policy  A U.S. District Court has ruled in favor of an evangelical student, who was barred from preaching on campus without prior approval, ruling that outdoor areas of a Virginia Community College System comprising 23 college campuses are "venues for free expression."...

Monday, June 09, 2014

Holiness comes not of blood...

Vineyard
Holiness comes not of blood—parents cannot give it to their children: nor yet of the will of the flesh—man cannot produce it in himself: nor yet of the will of man—ministers cannot give it you by baptism. Holiness comes from Christ. It is the result of vital union with Him. It is the fruit of being a living branch of the True Vine. ...JC Ryle image

Gestational Surrogacy; Trial of Sudanese Mother begins; Radical Islam in UK Schools...more

Why the Millennials are Doing So Poorly
...The conclusion is neatly summed up in the subtitle: "Detached from Institutions, Networked with Friends." Overall, it found, 18-33-year-olds in America are less connected to political parties, churches, local associations, and their own country than are older Americans. They are solidly liberal, but their values seem more derived from social attitudes than from political policies, supporting same-sex marriage and "lead[ing] all generations in the share of out-of-wedlock births." They favor an "activist government," understood as maintaining entitlements and benefits, not as a political or economic outlook.

In other words, they judge politics by how it affects them, and we see that personal-only perspective in their social focus. They are much more connected to friends and peers than their elders are, with fully 81 percent of Millennials having Facebook accounts, and the "median friend count is 250"! They "are also distinctive in how they place themselves at the center of self-created digital networks," for example, posting "selfies" at higher rates.

There you have the equation. More peer stuff means less civic sense. While 75 percent of Baby Boomers and 81 percent of the Silent Generation believe the phrase "A patriotic person" fits them "very well," only 49 percent of Millennials do. Half of them, that is, have little appreciation of their country and fidelity to its traditions. They don't much care about civics and politics and history, and they don't know much about it, either... Don't miss this!
Why Half of Today's 20-year-olds will never get married

The Troubling Rise of Thoughtcrime on College Campuses
...The Class of 2014's attempted censorship of nearly everything they disagree with has troubling implications, for liberalism has no monopoly on truth, and twenty-year-old college students certainly don't either. Universities are increasingly becoming places where "thoughtcrime" is so palpable as to stifle academic dissent. Juxtaposed beside the open and diverse atmosphere these institutions profess to strive for, that is incredibly ironic.

Class of 2014: You may have graduated, but you still need to grow up...

The Brave New World of Gestation Surrogacy
...Gestational surrogacy is a messy business. There are many kinds: gestational surrogacy and egg donation, gestational surrogacy and sperm donation, gestational surrogacy and embryo donation, and others.

Consider this definition of gestational surrogacy and embryo donation: “A surrogate is inseminated using donor embryo. Such embryos may be available when others undergoing IVF have embryos left over, which they opt to donate to others. With this method, the resulting child is genetically unrelated to the intended parents and genetically unrelated to the surrogate.”

That’s right. The closest this lucky kid ever gets to blood relatives is never. And they do this deliberately in order to please adults. No other reason...

Appeals Court Begins Trial of Sudanese Mother Sentenced to Death for Christian Faith
...The young mother was convicted on April 30, and was given three days to recant her Christian faith on May 11. "The court has sentenced you to be hanged till you are dead," Judge Abaas Al Khalifa finally told her on May 15 after she refused to forsake Christianity.

Ibrahim, who was accused by her Muslim relatives, has been kept at the Omdurman Federal Women's Prison in North Khartoum with her son since Feb. 17.

Ibrahim's father was a Sudanese Muslim who left her when she was just 6 years old. She was raised by her mother, an Ethiopian Orthodox. However, Sudan's Islamic law recognized her as a Muslim because her father was one. It also considers her relationship with her Christian husband as "illicit."...

Claim: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Does Not Fund Abortion, Melinda Reveals
Philanthropist Melinda Gates revealed that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the most charitable private foundations in the world, does not fund abortion.

"I understand why there is so much emotion, but conflating these issues will slow down progress for tens of millions of women. That is why when I get asked about my views on abortion, I say that, like everyone, I struggle with the issue, but I've decided not to engage on it publicly – and the Gates Foundation has decided not to fund abortion," Gates wrote earlier this week, reflecting on a recent overseas trip...

UK: Radical Islam in secular schools-now the shocking truth emerges
"Students' understanding of the arts, different cultures and other beliefs are limited." That's one of the complaints about Birmingham schools made by Ofsted in their leaked report. It sounds like a relatively mild criticism.

Not so. What the Trojan Horse scandal has revealed is that leaders of the Muslim community in Birmingham have been creating a Wahhabi-inspired counterculture in secular, not faith, schools.

Put simply, the interpretation of Islam that's sweeping through the Muslim world, thanks to Saudi money, seeks to deprive children of any exposure to the arts, which it condemns as idolatrous. Even listening to music is haram, forbidden. The underlying teaching is that the arts, by seeking to create beauty, blaspheme by detracting attention from the only source of true beauty, Allah, which can be appreciated only in the natural world he created.

The imposition of this ideology on Muslim cultures is a tragedy – for them. But secular state schools in Birmingham are not part of Muslim culture, and their ghettoisation under the years of Labour government is a scandal...

9 Fascinating Facts About People Who Attend Megachurches

Sunday, June 08, 2014

NZ Anglican priest quits diocese over gay blessings

06 Jun 2014
by George Conger

An Evangelical Anglican vicar in the Diocese of Auckland has quit the Anglican Church of Aoteara, New Zealand and Polynesia in protest over last month’s vote by General Synod to begin the process towards regularizing gay blessings.

The Rev. Charlie Hughes, (left) vicar of St Michael’s Anglican Church in Herndon reports that he and half of his staff along with two thirds of the church wardens had quit the diocese in protest over synod’s vote to “formally recognize” same-sex couples who are in civil unions or state same-sex marriages.

A participant in the 2013 Gafcon conference in Nairobi, Mr. Hughes said he had “received several offers of support and episcopal oversight, all of which are kind and may well appeal to others in my situation. However, I have instead chosen to join an existing non-episcopal congregation. Those who choose to leave with me will amalgamate with that congregation and I will join the current pastor in the leadership of the new hybrid,” he told Anglican Ink... the rest

I owe everything to the gift of Pentecost...

I owe everything to the gift of Pentecost. For fifty days the facts of the Gospel were complete, but no conversions were recorded. Pentecost registered three thousand souls. It is by fire that a holy passion is kindled in the soul whereby we live the life of God. The soul's safety is in its heat. Truth without enthusiasm, morality without emotion, ritual without soul, make for a Church without power. ...Samuel Chadwick image