Saturday, September 05, 2015

Dumb-Sounding Birds Of North America


Sep 3, 2015

Blogging birder Nick Lund shared some of his favorite ridiculous bird songs

J.I. Packer: How I Learned to Live Joyfully

A wizened sage named Ecclesiastes tamed my youthful cynicism.
Christians like to quiz each other about their favorite book in the Bible. Finding out how people experience Scripture—especially those who write books about the Bible—is a natural interest to us. When asked which Bible book is my favorite, I say Ecclesiastes. Should people raise their eyebrows and ask why, I give them two reasons.
 
First, it is a special pleasure to read an author with whom one resonates. That is how the writer, who called himself Qohelet—Hebrew for “Gatherer,” a title that in Greek became Ecclesiastes, the “Assembly-man”—strikes me. I see him as a reflective senior citizen, a public teacher of wisdom, something of a stylist and wordsmith. As his official testimonial or third-person testimony (it might be either) in 12:10 shows, this man took his instructional task very seriously and labored to communicate memorably. Whether he was the Solomon of history or someone impersonating him—not to deceive but to make points in the most effective way—we do not know. All I am sure of is that each point has maximum strength if it comes from the real Solomon at the end of his life.
 
Whoever he was, Qohelet was a realist about the many ways in which this world gives us a rough ride. But while temperamentally inclined to pessimism and cynicism, I think, he was kept from falling into either of those craters of despair by a strong theology of joy.
 
How far this matches the way people see me, I do not know, but this is how I want to see myself—and why I warm to Ecclesiastes as a kindred spirit. (One main difference, of course, is that his thinking is all done within the framework of Old Testament revelation.)... the rest
How then should we finally formulate the theology of joy that runs through and undergirds the entire book? Christian rejoicing in Christ and in salvation, as the New Testament depicts, goes further. But in celebrating joy as God’s kindly gift, and in recognizing the potential for joy of everyday activities and relationships, Ecclesiastes lays the right foundation.

Please pray! Nigerian bishop kidnapped

04 Sep 2015
by George Conger

The General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria reports the Bishop of Gwagwalada in the Province of Abuja in north central Nigeria has been kidnapped. In a statement released today the Ven Prof. Israel ‘Kelue Okoye said: the Rt Rev Moses Bukpe-Tabwaye “was kidnapped yesterday, 3 September 2015, at the boundary of Edo and Delta States. The Primate of All Nigeria, The Most Rev Nicholas D. Okoh, (pictured) therefore, requests your fervent prayers for his immediate release.” Bishop Bukpe-Tabwayen is among the younger bishops of the Church of Nigeria and was consecrated bishop of the diocese in the southwest corner of the Federal Capital Territory along with two other bishops for Anambra State in April.     Anglican Ink

Anglicans demand troops protect churches from Boko Haram

Friday, September 04, 2015

Incest a 'fundamental right', German committee says; Weaponizing Same-Sex Marriage...more

ISIS suspected of using mustard gas in a series of recent attacks ...“The regime uses chemical warfare on a regular basis these days, and nobody bats an eye—yet when [ISIS] captures it from them and uses it against them it’s all of a sudden a huge problem?” ISIS fighter Omar Yilmaz, 27, said in a Tumblr post. “Fight them the way they fight you.”

The post marks the first time a public ISIS figure has declared that the group obtained chemical weapons from the Assad regime. And it comes just days after the first series of suspected ISIS mustard gas attacks in northern Iraq and Syria...

Christians Jailed, Homofascism Out of Control
It has come to this: Christians who stand for their faith, for conscience, and for religious freedom, are now being jailed in America. County Clerk Kim Davis is now in jail for refusing to violate her Christian conscience and do that which is immoral.

Some of us have warned for decades now that this is exactly where all this is heading. The homofascists will stop at nothing to achieve complete compliance to their agenda. All opposition will be dealt with in the severest fashion. And all this in the name of tolerance and acceptance of course...

The Inequality Act: Weaponizing Same-Sex Marriage
 If enacted, the deceptively titled Equality Act would punish dissenters, giving no quarter to Americans who continue to believe that marriage and sexual relations are reserved to the union of one man and one woman...

Albert Mohler: “In this World You Will Have Trouble”—Welcome to Rowan County
...In the case of Kim Davis, the hardest questions for the Christian conscience come after she had lost her appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. At this point, she has few options. Judge Bunning had his own options, and he opted to send Kim Davis to jail. That, at the very least, is an act of judicial overreach that is more of a political statement than a judicial act.

What are government officials now to do? This story centers on a County Clerk in Kentucky, but the questions will eventually extend to any office holder, anyone wearing the uniform of the United States military, and virtually any government employee. The same pressures will come on anyone teaching on a secular college campus and anyone working for a Fortune 500 corporation.

But the hardest question in this case has to do with the fact that Kim Davis holds a constitutional office that now requires her, according to the federal courts, to do what she believes she cannot do in good conscience. Anyone who sees this case in simplistic terms simply doesn’t understand the issues. Christians of good conscience may answer these questions in different ways. In a fallen world, some questions seem to grow only more vexing.

Without doubt, the legalization of same-sex marriage will mean especially hard questions for Christians who hold government office — and especially those offices that deal most regularly with marriage...

Incest a 'fundamental right', German committee says
Laws banning incest between brothers and sisters in Germany could be scrapped after a government ethics committee said the they were an unacceptable intrusion into the right to sexual self-determination.

“Criminal law is not the appropriate means to preserve a social taboo,” the German Ethics Council said in a statement. “The fundamental right of adult siblings to sexual self-determination is to be weighed more heavily than the abstract idea of protection of the family.”...

Oldest Fragment of Koran May Pre-Date Prophet Mohammed ...A Koranic manuscript consultant at Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Dr. Keith Small, told the Times that if the dating is confirmed, as he believed would happen, it could raise serious problems for Islam.

“This would radically alter the edifice of Islamic tradition,” he said. “The history of the rise of Islam in late Near Eastern antiquity would have to be completely revised.”

He noted that previous “peripheral” views among scholars suggested that Mohammed and his early followers may have based themselves on a text already in existence and shaped it to fit their own political and theological agenda.

This was a sharp deviation from tradition, which regards the Koran as a divine revelation to Mohammed. If the still-tentative thesis is substantiated, according to Small, Islamic scholarship would have to account for the existence of a book of scripture before Mohammed’s time and then explain how it was collated into what became the Koran.

Some academics said that the impact of the ancient text could be on a par with finding a copy of the Gospels that pre-dated Jesus Christ....

Thursday, September 03, 2015

9th Video: Planned Parenthood Sells Intact Aborted Babies, One “Just Fell Out” of the Womb

Steven Ertelt
September 1, 2015

Excerpt:
Perrin Larton, the Procurement Manager at ABR, is shown describing ABR’s fetal tissue harvesting practice to a prospective buyer.

She explains of situations where there has been a great enough degree of cervical dilation to procure an intact fetus: “I literally have had women come in and they’ll go in the O.R. and they’re back out in 3 minutes, and I’m going, ‘What’s going on?’ Oh yeah, the fetus was already in the vaginal canal whenever we put her in the stirrups, it just fell out.”

“And they have a smell. It’s just, it’s not right. It’s kind of icky,” Larton says of babies who have been killed with the drug digoxin, which doesn’t allow Planned Parenthood to sell them for their body parts.

At one point in the video, Larton gives the undercover acts two thumbs up — saying “We think that’s good” when body parts are easily obtainable from fully intact aborted babies... the rest


Jul 29, 2015

Ex-Planned Parenthood Director, Abby Johnson, reveals gruesome details.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

10 Year Old Stumps NFL Stars


Aug 30, 2015  

Cute!

The Muzzling of Free Speech in America; Why Homeschooling Is Growing...more

Sheep Led to the Slaughter: The Muzzling of Free Speech in America  ...More than 50 percent of the nation’s colleges, including Boston University, Harvard University, Columbia University and Georgetown University, subscribe to “red light” speech policies that restrict or ban so-called offensive speech, or limit speakers to designated areas on campus. The campus climate has become so hypersensitive that comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld refuse to perform stand-up routines to college crowds anymore.

What we are witnessing is an environment in which political correctness has given rise to “vindictive protectiveness,” a term coined by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and educational First Amendment activist Greg Lukianoff. It refers to a society in which “everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression or worse.”

This is particularly evident in the public schools where students are insulated from anything—words, ideas and images—that might create unease or offense. For instance, the thought police at schools in Charleston, South Carolina, have instituted a ban on displaying the Confederate flag on clothing, jewelry and even cars on campus.

Added to this is a growing list of programs, policies, laws and cultural taboos that defy the First Amendment’s safeguards for expressive speech and activity. Yet as First Amendment scholar Robert Richards points out, “The categories of speech that fall outside of [the First Amendment’s] protection are obscenity, child pornography, defamation, incitement to violence and true threats of violence. Even in those categories, there are tests that have to be met in order for the speech to be illegal. Beyond that, we are free to speak.”

Technically, Richards is correct. On paper, we are free to speak.

In reality, however, we are only as free to speak as a government official may allow...

A new, deadly drug is extremely popular among high-school students ...Synthetic cannabinoids are made of dangerous research chemicals that are usually imported from drug traffickers in China and mixed into a solvent, according to Barden. The solvent is then sprayed on crushed-up tea leaves that are meant to look like marijuana. The drug is supposed to mimic the effects of a marijuana high by having the chemicals in the drug bind to the brain's CB1 receptors.

But since the chemicals are so much stronger than traditional THC — the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — Barden says they can produce serious side effects, including nonresponsiveness, elevated blood pressure, hallucinations, tremors and seizures, numbness and tingling, vomiting and agitation, anxiety, organ and brain damage, and death...

Why Homeschooling Is Growing
...In other words, they aren’t exactly denim-wearing, backwoods-living hicks. Farris says, “Almost every parent with school-aged children knows at least one homeschooling family. And in the vast majority of cases, the impression is very favorable.” It’s this impression that inspires other families to choose to homeschool.

There are more opportunities than ever for parents to show their children real, hands-on learning thanks to nonprofit organizations, museums, and other industries opening their doors to homeschoolers via special events just for them. Last year, USA Today reported that “[m]useums such as the National Museum of Natural History and the New York Historical Society offer programs exclusively for home-schooled students. And there are listservs and other online communities where parents can seek advice and voice concerns.”
 
Farris noted, “The biggest shift in the homeschooling movement in the last few years is the development of more co-op type approaches for some specialized classes. The heart of homeschooling is still a mom and dad teaching their own kids. But, there is a strong growth in shared specialty courses, especially at the secondary level. Science, math, history, and debate are very common courses for this shared approach.”...
 
Two sisters sentenced to be raped in India after their brother ran off with a married woman from a higher caste   ...Meenakshi and her little sister were with their family in Delhi for a wedding when a neighbour called and told them not to return to their village.

The neighbour warned that the un-elected village council, Khap panchayat, dominated by the upper caste 'Jat' men, had ordered the two sisters be raped and paraded naked with their faces blackened as punishment for their brother's actions.

Their brother, Ravi Kumar, 25, from the Dalit caste - historically known as 'untouchables' - had been in a relationship with 21-year-old Krishna from the Jat caste for almost two years...

Christians in India Honor 7th Anniversary of Hindu Attack on Christians

156 YEARS AGO, A GEOMAGNETIC MEGA-STORM  ...As the day unfolded, the gathering storm electrified telegraph lines, shocking technicians and setting their telegraph papers on fire. The "Victorian Internet" was knocked offline. Magnetometers around the world recorded strong disturbances in the planetary magnetic field for more than a week.

The cause of all this was an extraordinary solar flare witnessed the day before by British astronomer Richard Carrington. His sighting marked the discovery of solar flares and foreshadowed a new field of study: space weather. According to the National Academy of Sciences, if a similar storm occurred today, it would cause a trillion dollars in damage to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to ten years for complete recovery....


Once in a Blue Moon from Luke Taylor on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Half of Guantanamo Population Should Never Be Released; Consequences of abortion...more

 Triple trouble: Satellite sees three hurricanes in the Pacific 
...This sort of gathering marks a very rare happening. Says the Weather Channel: "This is the first recorded occurrence of three Category 4 hurricanes in the central and eastern Pacific basins at the same time."

Pondering Hitler's Legacy
... Of course in all of this, perhaps the most important thing that Hitler did was unleash the United States, a country where earning a living is the definition of life. Hitler believed that his defeat meant the triumph of Bolshevism. It really meant the triumph of the United States and its culture, which it distributed in Western Europe through occupation and in the Soviet bloc through imitation.

The United States redefined European culture. As I have written in Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, it was not Coca-Cola but the computer that was the carrier of American culture. The computer had nothing to do with metaphysics or with the true or beautiful. It had to do with the narrowest form of instrumental reason: It simply got things done, and in doing so, it justified its existence. The computer dominated the world — and Europe — and with it came a mode of thinking, contained in programming, that was so radically different from what European culture consisted of as to almost be from another planet. Of course, Europeans helped found the culture, but they bequeathed it to their heir, the United States. Paradoxically, the United States remains the most religious of countries, with church attendance at its height. Religiosity and instrumental reason are compatible in the United States — a point to ponder....


Defense Secretary: Half of Guantanamo Population Should Never Be Released ...The Defense secretary estimated “there are some, maybe half or so, of the population at Guantanamo Bay that, under conditions that are safe, that is, where we can mitigate the risk that they’ll ever return to the battlefield, we may be able to transfer them to some other country.”

“But there’s another roughly half of them that are not safe to release, period. So they need to be detained somewhere,” Carter continued. “If they’re detained at Guantanamo, fine. I would prefer to find a different place for them, and right now, we’re working with the Congress, because the Congress has to agree to this, because there’re laws restricting what we do with — with respect to Guantanamo Bay.”

“So we’ll try to come up with a plan and work with Congress to see if we can do that or not. It would be a — it would be a nice thing to do and an important thing to do if we — if we can do it. But we gotta be realistic about the people who are in Guantanamo Bay. They’re there for a reason.”...

Eight facts most don’t know about physical and psychological consequences of abortion for women
The following figures, referenced below from an Elliott Institute publication, are eight evidence-based facts about the consequences of abortion for women’ health. I have, where possible linked the references to the original sources.

1. 31% of women having abortions report suffering physical health complications

2. 10% of women having abortions suffer immediate, potentially life-threatening complications

3. Women have a 65% higher risk of clinical depression following abortion vs. childbirth

4. 65% of women suffer symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after abortion

5. Women's death rates from various causes after abortion are 3.5 times higher than after giving birth 

6. Many women describe their experience as ‘a nightmare’, which can hardly equated with ‘choice’. 60% of women surveyed after abortion responded that: ’Part of me died’

7. Suicide rates among women who have abortions are six times higher than those who give birth

8. Abortion increases a woman's risk of future miscarriages by 60%

Anglican Leaders Received in Moscow

ACNA
posted September 1, 2015

This week, Archbishop Foley Beach, at the invitation of Patriarch Kirill of Russia, led a delegation from the Anglican Church in North America to Moscow for formal ecumenical meetings with the Russian Orthodox Church. 

The delegation made a pilgrimage to the monastery of the Holy Trinity and St. Sergius on Monday, August 24th before beginning meetings with Metropolitan Hilarion , chairman of the Department for External Church Relations on Tuesday, August 25th.  Later in the day, the conversations continued when the delegation was officially received by Patriarch Kirill at his residence. 
Patriarch Kirill gave thanks for the Anglican Church in North America’s courageous witness in the midst of the dual challenges of an increasingly secular western culture, and an environment of religious compromise:
“Your church went through a very difficult period of its history, and the faithful took courage and had the ability to respond to a great temptation. There are two models of the behavior of the Church and of Christians. One involves obedience to the secular power and the powerful forces that have an impact on social development. The other model involves the ability to speak the truth and to remain faithful to the Christian message.”
 the rest

The Matthew 25 Initiative
The Matthew 25 Initiative is an ACNA initiative to develop North American churches and non-profit ministries who serve the poor and needy. It was born out of the heart of Archbishop Foley Beach and the desire of an anonymous donor to empower new and expanding ministry programs and financially establish ministries for a future of long-term social work...

Monday, August 31, 2015

There Are No Unanswered Prayers

Who Knows What Tomorrow Brings?
Courtney Reissig
August 28, 2015

Excerpt:
Sometimes God answers our prayers immediately. We pray for a job offer in the morning and get a phone call by dinner. We pray for clarity in a difficult circumstance and find resolution by week’s end. But sometimes he answers prayers more slowly. Sometimes he’s working behind the scenes of our trials, yet we can’t see his handiwork—leading us to feel like our prayer has fallen on deaf ears. When we are in the position of waiting for God to act—to remedy a situation, to heal an illness, to bring a wayward child home—and we don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, it can overwhelm us and cause unbelief to surface. Like most people, many prayers leave me wondering if I’ll ever hear an answer in this life.

We aren’t the first to experience such silence.

Abraham waited years and years for God to provide the promised son (Gen. 21:1–7). Joseph suffered silently and alone in Egypt until adulthood, waiting for God to reunite him with his family. On more than one occasion the Israelites faced captivity for hundreds of years as they waited on God to deliver them. They waited for the promised land in the wilderness. And they waited on the Messiah to be born.

In each of these circumstances, the waiting lasted far longer than anticipated. And at many points Israel trusted in what was seen, not in what was unseen.

When God is silent, we’re often tempted to doubt his goodness. We’re tempted to doubt his promises can really be true. We doubt he will answer our prayers. the rest  image

‘All Lives Matter’ March Draws 20,000; Obama targets Chicago attorney who is helping persecuted Christians...more

‘All Lives Matter’ March Draws 20,000
...Led by conservative activist and talk show host Glenn Beck, more than 20,000 people chanting “All Lives Matter” marched the historic civil rights route from Kelly Ingram Park to Birmingham City Hall this morning.

“It’s about taking our church out in the streets,” Beck said. He said marchers came from as far away as China, Dubai and the Netherlands.

Actor Chuck Norris, a conservative activist known for his martial arts, action movies and TV show “Walker, Texas Ranger,” marched about two rows behind Beck. Alveda King, a niece of civil rights activist the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., marched in the front row. Bishop Jim Lowe, pastor of the predominantly black Guiding Light Church in Birmingham, co-organized the march with Beck and marched with him at the front. As a child, Lowe attended Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, where the march started, a headquarters church for the civil rights movement in Birmingham. Lowe and his sisters were in the church when a KKK bomb blew up the church and killed four little girls on Sept. 15, 1963.

“Love is the answer,” Lowe said as he marched. “God is the answer.”...

Black Lives Matter Activists Chant 'Pigs in a Blanket' After Cop Murder  Black Lives Matter activists tried to disrupt the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday and marched down the street, shouting a chant that called for the deaths of police officers: “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon!”

The phrase “pigs in a blanket” refers to police officers in body bags and has been used overtly by a Black Lives Matter-influenced activist who murdered two police officers.

Video shows that, as the group happily chanted about murdering police officers, they had a police escort protecting their safety and First Amendment rights...

Obama targets Chicago attorney who is helping persecuted Christians   ...Some find it ironic that the Obama administration is going after a lawyer who helps persecuted Iraqi Christians gain asylum while it welcomed and granted cart blanch asylum for more than 68,000 unaccompanied alien children from Central America last summer.

At the same time Central Americans are being greeted with a “catch and release” policy at the border, a group of 27 Assyrian Christians who made it to the border earlier this year are being detained indefinitely.

“The way that some of our federal judges view the plight of Christians in Iraq and the way some of the adjudicators view them, you would honestly think ‘what is wrong with these people?’” DeKelaita, who lives in a suburb of Chicago with his wife of 25 years, Ester, and two sons, told WND. “Why can’t they see what the rest of the world sees?”

He said one judge told him: “To argue that Christians in Iraq are being targeted for their religious beliefs is to appeal to either ignorance or emotion.”...

Federal Judge Orders IRS to Disclose WH Requests for Taxpayer Info   A federal judge on Friday ordered the Internal Revenue Service to reveal White House requests for taxpayers’ private information, advancing a probe into whether administration officials targeted political opponents by revealing such information.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the IRS’s argument that a law designed to protect the confidentiality of such information protected the public disclosure of such communications with the White House.

The law, 26 U.S. Code § 6103, was passed after the Watergate scandal to protect citizens from retribution by federal officials. Jackson scoffed at the administration’s claims that the statute could be used to shield investigations into whether private tax information had been used in such a manner...

Over 1,000 US Rabbis Pen Open Letter to Congress Opposing Iran Deal   Over 1,000 American rabbis have signed a letter to Congress, urging US lawmakers not to accept the nuclear accord reached between the P5+1 powers and Iran earlier this summer. The petition, organized by the Zionist Organization of America, calls “upon our Senators and Representatives to consider the dangers that this agreement poses to the United States and our allies, and to vote in opposition to this deal.”...

80 Year Old Woman Trampled To Death In Venezuela Supermarket Stampede  An 80-year-old Venezuelan woman died, possibly from trampling, in a scrum outside a state supermarket selling subsidized goods, the opposition and media said on Friday.

The melee at the store in Sabaneta, the birthplace of former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, was the latest such incident in the South American nation where economic hardship and food shortages are creating long queues and scuffles. ...