Thursday, December 08, 2016

John Glenn dies at age 95

John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, dies at 95  John Glenn, an astronaut, senator and old-fashioned American hero, died Thursday at the age of 95, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Glenn was the last survivor of the Mercury 7, selected in 1959 as NASA’s first group of astronauts. He became the first American to orbit the Earth on Feb. 20, 1962. It was a solo flight, not everything went as planned in space, and Glenn personified cool under pressure.

Those nerves had earlier served him well as a much-decorated veteran of two wars and a military test pilot ― and perhaps they came in handy later in his 24 years in the U.S. Senate representing his native state of Ohio...

NYT: John Glenn, American Hero of the Space Age, Dies at 95
John Glenn, a freckle-faced son of Ohio who was hailed as a national hero and a symbol of the space age as the first American to orbit Earth, then became a national political figure for 24 years in the Senate, died on Thursday in Columbus, Ohio. He was 95.
His death was announced on Twitter by Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.
Mr. Glenn had recently been hospitalized at the James Cancer Center at Ohio State University in Columbus, though university officials said at the time that admission there did not necessarily mean he had cancer. He had heart-valve replacement surgery in 2014 and a stroke around that time...

Bp. Julian Dobbs-radio interview: Christian persecution in Syria

December 8, 2016

The Rt. Rev. Julian Dobbs, bishop with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, has traveled to the Middle East, meeting with Christians facing horrendous persecution. With a focus on the plight of Christians in Syria, Bishop Dobbs shares with Jerry Newcombe on the persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ in places like Aleppo.

Ohio passes "Heartbeat Bill"; Christian Artists Face Jail Time...more

Ohio Passes Bill Banning Abortions after 6 Weeks Lawmakers in Ohio have passed a bill, that, if signed by the state’s governor, John Kasich, would ban most abortions after six weeks.

The NBC-affiliated station WCMH-TV Columbus reported that the “Heartbeat Bill,” as it is known, would be one of the nation’s strictest abortion laws.

Currently, after Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973, legalizing abortion, most states have resorted to allowing abortion up to the point of fetus viability--when a fetus is able to stay alive outside the womb.

If signed into law, the Heartbeat Bill will perhaps set a new precedent regarding abortion restrictions.

Fake news hysteria is why our elites aren't trusted   ...We noted earlier this week that elite media figures actually were fooled on a large scale by a fake story about fake news because it seemed to confirmed their pre-existing assumptions. Everyone is vulnerable to misinformation and spin—to suspend disbelief when it is convenient to do so. As Shafer says, the self-righteous conceit behind the sudden preoccupation with fake news is that this tendency is somehow more pronounced among Trump voters than everyone else—indeed, that many people could only have voted for him because they were misinformed. . . .

But the collapse in public trust in the mainstream press is also driven by politics and social divides. Much of the public believes that big city reporters do not understand them or their way of life, and hold their values in contempt. And the degree of hysteria that media elites are exhibiting about “fake news,” and the rubes who were supposedly taken in, will only reinforce this perception further...

Two Christian Artists Face Jail Time for Refusing to Make Invitations for Same-Sex Wedding Christian artists who create hand-painted invitations and cards could be facing jail time and heavy penalties for refusing to make invitations for same-sex weddings.

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of art design studio Brush & Nib, challenged an ordinance in Phoenix, Arizona that prohibits them from refusing clients for same-sex weddings. Under the same ordinance, they are also not allowed to discuss their convictions or the reason for not accepting clients for same-sex weddings.

If they should violate these laws, they would be imprisoned for six months for every day they fail to comply. They would also be fined $2,500, according to Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Kristen Waggoner, who appeared on Fox’s ‘The Kelly File’ last week to talk about the case...

Report Shows 2.5 Million Human Beings Created for IVF Have Been Killed ...Doctors typically create more embryos in IVF than they implant. Sometimes couples have embryos implanted in the womb multiple times before a baby survives to birth. In other cases, couples want to have multiple children.

However, this practice has led to millions of leftover embryos – who already are unique human beings with their own DNA. Some couples have the embryos destroyed, and others donate them to research. Both options are extremely troubling because they involve human lives.

But couples have another, life-affirming option that is gaining attention across the world. Embryo adoption, sometimes called snowflake adoption, allows couples to make adoption plans for their embryos with other adoptive couples....

Ransomed: The Freeing of 226 Christians From Islamic State  The millions in ransom money came in dollar by dollar, euro by euro from around the world. The donations, raised from church offerings, a Christmas concert, and the diaspora of Assyrian Christians on Facebook, landed in a bank account in Iraq. Its ultimate destination: the Islamic State group.

Deep inside Syria, a bishop worked around the blurred edges of international law to save the lives of more than 200 people — one of the largest groups of hostages yet documented in IS's war in Syria and Iraq. It took more than a year, and videotaped killings of three captives, before all the rest were freed...

Jesus, a Broken Car Window and a Girl from Oman
...We talked about what life was like as a migrant. She was smart, intelligent, well thought out.  I told her what Perth had been like in the 70s, compared to what it was now.  And then I asked her what she found hard about Perth.

“No one talks to anyone,” she said, “Everyone keeps to themselves. There’s no community life and everything closes so early.”
“What about the other unit owners?” I asked, looking out the window as a couple of shaven headed big bearded blokes took a smoko.
“No one really says anything.  I miss the way everyone back home talked to each other.”...

He Came Down

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Pentagon study exposes $125 billion in waste; Canadian law erases "mother" and "father" from documents...more

Cal Thomas: Remembering the heroism of Pearl Harbor 75 years later   Only five of the 335 men who survived the unprovoked attack that sunk the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941 remain alive. Donald Stratton, 94, is one of them. He has added to the historical knowledge of that day and the beginning of America’s entry into World War II in a new book, “All the Gallant Men: The First Memoir By a USS Arizona Survivor.”

Typical of so many men of that era, the book (written with Ken Gire) is less about Stratton, a 19-year-old kid from a tiny Nebraska town ravaged by the Great Depression, and more about the men with whom he served.

According to the book, total casualties at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day amounted to 2,403 dead and 1,176 wounded. Many of Stratton’s shipmates lie interred in the bowels of the Arizona, which still secretes oil, a constant reminder to “never forget.”... image

Owners of Production Company Refuse to Film Same-Sex Marriages The owners of the Telescope Media Group production company in St. Cloud are suing the state of Minnesota. Carl and Angel Larsen say state law violates their religious beliefs by requiring them to produce videos for same sex marriages.

"We said from the beginning we exist to glorify God," Carl Larsen said...

Christian Bed and Breakfast Owner Must Pay $80,000 in Fines and Penalties After Refusing to Host Same-Sex Ceremony  ...But even after that setback last month, Walder has said he has plans to fight on and to appeal to the full commission, telling the outlet that he opposes gay marriage and believes hosting the event would have hampered his religious rights.

He also alleged that two of the three members of the panel who reviewed the case are either “LGBT activists or openly gay” — something called a “a very strange coincidence,” according to The News-Gazette...

Canadian Law Erasing Moms, Dads From Docs Makes Children Chattel Nobody has a mother or a father, according to a certain Bill 28 recently passed in the legislature of Ontario, Canada. Got that? The law’s official title is: “An Act to amend the Children’s Law Reform Act, the Vital Statistics Act and various other Acts respecting parentage and related registrations.”

Basically, the law scrubs the words “mother” and “father” from documents, and replaces them with the neutered term “parent.” The law also raises the number of legal parents to as many as four per child. In other words, the government of Ontario will cease to legally recognize the natural origins of any of its citizens.

If you live in Ontario, you now have no right for the state to recognize you as either a mother or a father to your child, biological or otherwise. Likewise, no child there has the right to a legally recognized biological mother or father. Recognizing the relationship is now the sole prerogative of the state...

The Grand Canyon Between Islam and Christianity
The god of Islam is most definitely not the same as the God worshipped by Christians and Jews.

That is the no-nonsense conclusion of Sam Solomon’s new book, Not the Same God (Wilberforce Publications), dedicated to tackling a thorny theological issue which has left many confused and misguided.

A number of Christian scholars are said to have suggested that ‘sufficient similarities’ exist between Islam and Christianity to warrant co-operation between the so-called monotheistic faiths which may even prove helpful in introducing Muslims to Christ.../

Pentagon Hid Study That Exposed $125 Billion in Waste  The Washington Post has revealed that the Pentagon hid $125 billion in wasteful spending because officials feared Congress would use the evidence “to slash the defense budget.”

The study started with good intentions. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work wanted the Defense Business Board to operate the study in order to become “more efficient and reinvest any savings in combat power.” But Work immediately changed his mind when the board presented its findings...

Trump named Time's person of the year
Donald Trump is Time’s person of the year for 2016, the magazine’s editor announced Wednesday morning on NBC’s “Today” show.

“When have we ever seen a single individual who has so defied expectations, broken the rules, violated norms, beaten not one but two political parties on the way to winning an election that he entered with 100-1 odds against him,” Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs said. “I don't think we have ever seen one person operating in such an unconventional way have an impact on the events of the year quite like this.”...

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

GAFCON Chairman’s Advent 2016 Letter

6th December 2016

To the Faithful of the GAFCON movement and friends from Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the GAFCON Primates Council.

My dear people of God,

As the season of Advent begins, I am calling on all of us who belong to the GAFCON movement to make this a time when we focus our prayer and our giving on the great work God has called us to do.

At the heart of our mission is the task of restoring the Bible to its rightful place at the centre of the Anglican Communion and if we really believe its message, then everything we do will be shaped by the promise of Christ’s glorious, personal and universal return as Saviour, Judge and Lord. In an uncertain world, this is certain. The election of an outsider as the next President in the United States and the upheaval of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union earlier this year remind us of the uncertainty of human rule and the urgency of proclaiming God’s rule and kingdom.

So we must be ready and prepared, understanding the times, just as the Apostle Paul urges the Christians in Rome when he writes: ‘the hour has come for you to wake out of sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed’ (Romans 13:11).

At this critical point in the life of the Communion, we need your full support. Will it return to the ancient paths or sleepwalk into fatal compromise? By the grace of God, GAFCON is a movement of spiritual awakening in a Communion standing at the crossroads.

I am greatly encouraged by what has already been achieved. GAFCON pioneers new structures where old ones have failed, we are recognised as the leading voice for orthodoxy in the Communion, we are equipping key leaders, in the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration we have given the Communion a contemporary standard of historic Anglican confession and every five years the Anglican Communion has a taste of what it can become as faithful Anglicans gather in growing numbers from around the world in worship and fellowship around God’s Word.

But what especially encourages me about GAFCON is the recovery of gospel courage and enterprise. Much of the Anglican Communion owes its existence to missionary pioneers who were ready to lay down their lives because they were confident in the promises of God, however difficult their circumstances. Now, the same courage is needed to guard that legacy and re-evangelise the increasingly secular West. Let me share just two examples.

Firstly, I thank God that Archbishop Greg Venables will be re-joining the GAFCON Primates Council now that he has been elected to serve again as the Primate of the Anglican Province of South America in succession to our greatly esteemed colleague Presiding Bishop Tito Zavala. His ministry demonstrates that courage which is so central to the GAFCON story. In his previous term as Primate, despite much opposition, Archbishop Venables bravely supported orthodox Anglicans in North America and stood with the Diocese of Recife in Brazil after it had to withdraw from the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil.

We are now seeing similar courage in England as GAFCON UK, led by Canon Andy Lines, endures hostility simply for speaking the truth about the increasing breakdown of church discipline in the Church of England. There are now clergy and bishops who openly take pride in their rejection of biblical preaching and have even launched a website to encourage the violation of the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution I.10 on human sexuality.

But more disturbing is the response of the Church of England at its highest level. The Secretary of the Archbishops’ Council has written an open letter to Canon Lines in which he describes the Lambeth resolution as merely ‘an important document in the history of the Anglican Communion’. But this is no ordinary resolution. It has been the standard appealed to again and again in Communion affairs and most recently in the Communiqué from the Sixth Global South Conference in Cairo which describes it as representing the ‘clear teaching of Scripture’.

God has greatly blessed GAFCON, but there is much yet to do. My vision is for ordinary Anglicans in every continent to be fully alert and committed to this movement of the Holy Spirit to restore our Communion. So please visit the GAFCON website where you will find much to give thanks for and much to pray for. And please help boost our finances. You can donate online, either a one-off gift or regular donation, here.

My brothers and sisters, may we long for our Lord’s appearing and let us pray and let us give as those who will one day stand before him in the full splendour of his majesty and power.

The Most Revd Nicholas D. Okoh
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the GAFCON Primates Council

Found here

Monday, December 05, 2016

Bp. Dobbs: Habakkuk Online Bible Study Part II

Habakkuk # 2 from Julian Dobbs on Vimeo.

Part I here

J. I. Packer on Having the “Christmas Spirit”; Heartbreaking Quotes From Women Who Aborted Their Babies...more

Trump picks Ben Carson to be HUD secretary
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Dr. Ben Carson, a onetime political rival who became one of his leading surrogates on the campaign trail, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development...

J. I. Packer on Having the “Christmas Spirit” and the “Christian Snob” ...It is our shame and disgrace today that so many Christians–I will be more specific: so many of the soundest and most orthodox Christians–go through this world in the spirit of the priest and the Levite in our Lord’s parable, seeing human needs all around them, but (after a pious wish, and perhaps a prayer, that God might meet those needs) averting their eyes and passing by on the other side. That is not the Christmas spirit. Nor is it the spirit of those Christians–alas, they are many–whose ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle-class Christian home, and making nice middle-class Christian friends, and bringing up their children in nice middle-class Christian ways, and who leave the submiddle-class sections of the community, Christian and non-Christian, to get on by themselves...

8 Unbelievably Heartbreaking Quotes From Women Who Aborted Their Babies We as a society are constantly bombarded with the pro-choice rhetoric that abortion is sometimes necessary. We also hear the words of post-abortive women like Cecile Richards who will say that their abortions were the right thing to do. But whether they are stuffing down their emotions or just plain lying, abortion is never a happy ending.

It kills a child and leaves a mother to live the rest of her life with the knowledge that she took her child’s life. Nothing brings that pain to light better than the words directly from the mouths of everyday post-abortive mothers who are ignored by the major media outlets. Unlike Richards, these women have nothing to gain from sharing their stories. They only hope to help other mothers choose life...

France Bans Video of Kids With Down Syndrome: It Would “Disturb” Women Who Aborted Such Babies ...France’s High Audiovisual Council removed the commercial from air earlier this year, and in November the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, upheld the ban, since the clip could “disturb the conscience” of French women who had aborted DS fetuses...

Biblical Pillar of Cloud Over Golan Protects Israel From ISIS