Sunday, September 30, 2012

Anglican Unscripted 51

September 29, 2012

Kevin and George weigh in on the difficulty of picking the next Archbishop of Canterbury and they also discuss the Anglican church closings around the world and the reason behind it. And Allan Haley and Kevin catch up on four weeks of legal news.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Inspiration...September 29, 2012

The Archangel Michael - Hans Memling
Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. image

Just Disconnect
It was said of John Henry Newman that he was never less alone than when alone. Newman liked the peace and quiet of isolation: it allowed him to read, to think and to write.

I confess to some sympathy for Newman on this. I do not like the hyperconnectivity of the current world. As an administrator at Westminster, I had a seminary cell phone. I had to upgrade it to a smartphone last year because Verizon indicated they would no longer support the vintage model I then possessed. I remember that, when I went in to exchange it, the man behind the counter looked at the phone, looked at me and then, choking back the laughter, declared "You're that guy!" Shamed into silence, I nodded mutely and mumbled my mandated request for a smartphone.

Now, having stepped down from the administration, I have rid myself of the thing and reverted to a phone that (and yes, this sounds terribly outdated, I know) simply allows me to phone people. You know, like they did in the olden days. Sadly, I am sure that the free market will ensure that it will be 'no longer supported' within a few years. At that point I will have to pay extra every month for a data package to provide data which I have no interest in receiving, but until then, I can resist, Canute-like, the incoming tide of things I really do not need or like but which others have determined that I apparently 'must have.'...

Changing the World Begins with Prayer
...The work of reaching and changing the world is, indeed, a work done on our knees. And, it is a work that takes on the nature of fierce and intense warfare. After all, one of Satan’s chief weapons is to cut off communication with God, communication that takes place in prayer. John Piper is certainly correct when he writes, “Prayer is meant by God to be a wartime walkie-talkie, not a domestic intercom … not for the enhancement of our comforts but for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.”...

Crown Nominations Commission deadlocked

Selection of a new Archbishop of Canterbury delayed until the "Autumn"
September 28, 2012
By George Conger

The Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) has been unable to agree upon a candidate for the post of Archbishop of Canterbury.

This week’s third and final meeting of the CNC was to have provided two names to Prime Minister David Cameron – a first choice and an alternate. However, on 28 Sept 2012 the Church of England press office released a statement at the close of the three day meeting of the Commission that indicated it had not been able to agree upon a candidate. the rest

Scrolling around...September 29, 2012

Top Five Worst Obamacare Taxes Coming in 2013
Of the twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare, below are the five worst that will be foisted upon Americans for the first time on January 1, 2013:

The Obamacare Medical Device Tax – a $20 billion tax increase...
The Obamacare “Special Needs Kids Tax” – a $13 billion tax increase...
The Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income – a $123 billion tax increase: 

  This is a new, 3.8 percentage point surtax on investment income...
The Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions – a $15.2 billion tax increase...
The Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike -- an $86.8 billion tax increase...

The Voice of John: A Nurse Speaks Out on a Baby Born Alive After an Abortion
...Yet this is not a film for just Christians. The Voice of John is a wake-up call to the nation as a whole. Despite your religious affiliation – or lack of it – and despite your involvement on either side of the abortion issue, and despite your current beliefs, this documentary is a must-see. We must individually wake up to the truth and choose to stand up for innocent lives. We must choose to forgive, and not condemn. Christians must choose to live like Christians, not just claim to be Christians...

In the Shadow of Ahmadinejad’s Hotel
...Where is this all going? Usually I like strolling down Sixth Avenue on a warm evening in early autumn. Wednesday night, when I left the area of the Warwick Hotel, I was full of unease. I had the sense of looking in on an unnerving sliver of history — a UN gathering where the most memorable act of America’s president was to hand out White House gift souvenirs on daytime TV, while Iran’s messenger dispensed threats from the heart of Manhattan. It feels like a time of growing shadows. Churchill had a phrase for it: the gathering storm.

Priest says Coptic Christian families fleeing Sinai town due to Islamic militants’ threats
Coptic Christian families have fled their homes in a town in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, fearing for their lives after receiving death threats from suspected Islamic militants, a local priest said Thursday...

Has Christianity Become Intolerable?
There has been a demonstrable move away from Judeo-Christian faith and practice in Europe for a number of years. Just ask British hoteliers Peter and Hazelmary Bull.

What was once respected as authoritative is now considered Victorian, and what was widely embraced as a moral guide has been dismissed with the morals in which it guided people…all in the name of tolerance, mind you.

And so the Bulls have experienced the irony of ironies that Christianity is being forced out of the room by those who claim tolerance as their guiding principle...

Aetna Forced to Pay $15M for Making Companies Cover Abortions
Insurance company Aetna has agreed to pay a $1.5 million fine because it routinely provided coverage for elective abortions, contrary to Missouri law — making companies pay for abortion services...

Liberal pastors attack Hobby Lobby stand against abortion
A coalition of liberal Christian groups has come out against Hobby Lobby's lawsuit challenging federal health care guidelines that require companies to provide insurance that covers the "morning-after" pill...

Lawsuit: Organs taken from patients that doctors were pressured to declare brain dead
The New York Organ Donor Network pressured hospital staffers to declare patients brain dead so their body parts could be harvested — and even hired “coaches” to train staffers how to be more persuasive, a bombshell lawsuit charged yesterday.

The federally funded nonprofit used a “quota” system, and leaned heavily on the next of kin to sign consent forms when patients were not registered as organ donors, the suit charged...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Joy of Books

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The incentive to peacemaking is love...

The incentive to peacemaking is love, but it degenerates into appeasement whenever justice is ignored. To forgive and to ask for forgiveness are both costly exercises. All authentic Christian peacemaking exhibits the love and justice - and so the pain-of the cross. ...John Stott image by Ben

Night Skies of Yosemite

Aug 27, 2012

Yosemite's vast acreage and remote location protect some of the darkest night skies in the country. Astronomers, photographers and city dwellers flock to the park to take advantage of this unique opportunity to view planets, stars, and galaxies.

A.S. Haley: Virginia Supreme Court to Hear Falls Church Petition

September 25, 2012

Today, the Supreme Court of Virginia informed the parties that it would hear a brief oral argument on October 16, beginning at 1 p.m., on the petition filed by The Falls Church to review the judgment entered against it in Fairfax County Circuit Court. In Virginia, appeals from civil judgments are not a matter of right. Only the Supreme Court hears civil appeals, and it has discretion to refuse review. The purpose of the brief argument is to give the appellant's attorneys an opportunity to emphasize to the Court's writ panel (which will consist of just three of the Court's seven justices) the reasons why it should accept the case for review.

The argument is limited to just ten minutes. Only the appellant's attorneys (the ones who filed the petition seeking review) may argue, but the appellees, their attorneys, and members of the general public may attend and listen to the proceedings. There is more about the writ panel procedure at this link.

The last time this case was before the Virginia Supreme Court, in April 2010, only five of the Court's seven justices heard the case (including two retired senior justices), because four active justices recused themselves (most likely on the ground that they were Episcopalians). Of the active Justices who did not recuse themselves, Justice Cynthia D. Kinser is now the Chief Justice, and the former Chief Justice, Leroy R. Hassell, is no longer on the Court. The only other active Justice who sat on the prior appeal is Justice LeRoy F. Millette. The two senior justices who participated, Justice Elizabeth Lacy and Justice Lawrence Koontz, are still hearing appeals in the place of Justices who recuse themselves. the rest

Final meeting to choose the next Archbishop of Canterbury begins today

Three day meeting will nominate a successor to Rowan Williams
September 26, 2012
By George Conger

The Crown Nominations Committee starts a three day meeting today to finalize its selection of two names to present to the Primate Minister for appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury.

The location of the 26-28 September 2012 meeting has been kept secret as has its deliberations. Rumors as to the names under consideration have circulated freely over the past few months, with some candidates rising and falling in popularity among punters. The “favorites” at this stage of the process include the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, the Bishop of London, Dr. Richard Chartres, the Bishop of Durhan, Justin Welby, the Bishop of Coventry, Christopher Cocksworth, and the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James. the rest

Telegraph: Church leaders meet to elect new Archbishop of Canterbury

Christian Post: Church of England Leaders Deliberate on the Next Archbishop of Canterbury

Scrolling around...September 26, 2012

First Things: Harvard Theological Review Rejects “Jesus’ Wife”
The rumor is that Harvard Theological Review is now declining to publish Karen King’s paper (available here as a draft pdf) on the Coptic fragment she calls the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” ...
In theory, this is the sort of debate that should be carried out in journals over months and years, so scholarship can get it right. (Note the parallels with journalism: the pressure to get it first and the pressure to get it right work against each other.) In this case, I think Watson and others contesting the fragment’s authenticity are getting it right — I’m no papyrologist, but it seems to me most likely that the fragment is a modern forgery — and I think that their work has been careful and solid. Yet time and peer review are lacking. What if we will have been too hasty in dismissing the fragment?
Patients with dementia and psychiatric illnesses included as Dutch euthanasia cases rise steeply
According to Dutch media reports today, euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands in 2011 increased by 18% to 3,695. This follows increases of 13% in 2009 and 19% in 2010.

In fact from 2006 to 2011 there has been a steady increase in numbers each year with successive annual deaths at 1923, 2120, 2331, 2636, 3136 and 3695.

Euthanasia now accounts for 2.8% of all Dutch deaths.

In addition euthanasia for people with early dementia doubled to 49 last year and 13 psychiatric patients were euthanized, an increase of over 500% on the two reported in 2010.

But as alarming as these statistics may seem they tell only part of the full story...

Singer Andy Williams dies at age 84
Andy Williams, who charmed audiences with his mellow delivery of songs like "Moon River" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" in the 1950s and 60s, has died at his home in Branson, Missouri, his family said Wednesday. He was 84...

Out with colour: Islamists force Timbuktu women to wear black veils
To avoid being whipped, mutilated, and jailed, women in Timbuktu now have to wear black veils and loose-fitting clothing. Radical Islamists, who took control of the city months ago, are laying down their law – Sharia law – and for the first time since they’ve arrived, they’re specifically targeting women.
Over the past few weeks, Islamists from two armed groups – Ansar Dine and Mujao, who took over northern Mali in April – have increasingly made use of corporal punishment against the local population. This includes whipping, amputations, and even stoning people to death who do not obey Sharia law...

Rableh: 280 Christians held hostage
Christians kidnapped in the village of Rableh, on the border with Lebanon, in western Syria, spreads: after the maxi kidnapping which occurred yesterday, of 150 people (see Fides article 25/9), today another 130 civilians were detained and kidnapped by armed gangs in the area, creating a group of 280 hostages...

China facing one child policy dilemma

The Tip of the Iceberg of Christian Persecution
...Nadarkhani and Masih were certainly not released because their governments are acting according to universal standards of justice or reason. If so, they would not have been arrested in the first place. Nor do these releases suggest that Iran or Pakistan are rethinking their Islamic apostasy and blasphemy laws.

The fact is, there are many more Christians imprisoned in both countries for apostasy and blasphemy. Unlike Nadarkhani and Masih, however, the Western mainstream has never heard of these unfortunate Christians.

And that's the whole difference...

Pew survey: Catholics favor Obama by 15-point margin (unless they actually attend Mass)
...Among Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly, Romney holds a 51%-42% lead. Catholics who attend Mass “monthly” or “yearly” favor Obama by a 53%-39% advantage, while Catholics who attend Mass “seldom” or “never” back Obama by a 61%-32% margin... [So they are still considered "Catholic", I guess...]

Danish sperm donor passes genetic disorder to five children
A Danish sperm donor has passed a potentially severe genetic disorder to five children after a screening test failed to catch that he had the disease, health officials said Monday.
The donor transmitted the tumor-producing nerve disorder Neurofibromatosis type I, sometimes known as Von Recklinghausen's disease, to five babies he fathered, said the Copenhagen clinic where he gave sperm, Nordisk Cryobank...

Homosexuals in the military demand special privileges
...Senior military officials have allowed personnel in favor of repeal to speak to media while those who have concerns have been ordered to be silent. Two airmen were publicly harassed in a Post Exchange food court as they were privately discussing their concerns about the impact of repeal. A chaplain was encouraged by military officials to resign his commission unless he could “get in line with the new policy,” demonstrating no tolerance for that chaplain’s religious viewpoint. Another chaplain was threatened with early retirement, and then reassigned to be more “closely supervised” because he had expressed concerns with the policy change, again demonstrating no tolerance for that chaplain’s religious viewpoint...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The risen life of Jesus...

The risen life of Jesus is the nourishment and strengthening and blessing and life of a Christian. Our daily experience ought to be that there comes, wavelet by wavelet, that silent, gentle, and yet omnipotent influx into our empty hearts, this very life of Christ Himself.  ...Alexander MacLaren
image by Les Chatfield

Gloomy financial future facing the Anglican Church of Canada

Archbishop reports $900,000 shortfall for the first six months of 2012
September 25, 2012
By George Conger

A strict regime of cost cutting and layoffs has not cured the Anglican Church of Canada’s cash crunch, the primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz told members of the synod of the ecclesiastical province of Canada last week in Montreal.

Archbishop Hiltz stated that the close of the second quarter of 2012, the Anglican Church of Canada was running a deficit of C$900,000. The national offices of the Anglican Church of Canada are not the only institutions facing financial shortfalls, dioceses and church institutions are reporting a decline in income, and last week a seminary announced it was closing its doors. the rest
Between 1961 and 2001 the Anglican Church of Canada lost 53 per cent of its members, with numbers declining from 1.36 million to just 642,000. The rate of decline has increased in recent years, according to an independent report given to the Canadian House of Bishops in 2006 by retired marketing expert Keith McKerracher. Attendance statistics for recent years have not been released by the church.

Scrolling around...September 25, 2012

SAT scores show 43 pct of US high school seniors ready for college -study
Average national reading scores on the SAT college entrance exam fell to the lowest level in four decades and only 43 percent of 2012 high school seniors who took the test showed they were fully prepared for college, according to new data released on Monday...

Intel pulls funds from Boy Scouts over policy barring gay scouts and leaders
The Boy Scouts of America has lost one of its biggest corporate donors.
Earlier in September, Eagle Scout Zach Wahls launched a campaign urging Intel to pull funding from the Boy Scouts. It came following a report that revealed the company gave nearly $700,000 in volunteer matching grants to the Boy Scouts in 2010.
The campaign was based upon the Boy Scouts policy that bans openly gay

School lunch calorie limits leave bitter taste with some Kansas students
...The lunch included one cheese-stuffed bread stick, a small dollop of marinara sauce, three apple slices and some raw spinach. Kirkham supplemented the lunch with items from a salad bar, including cubes of ham, bacon bits and dressing, which were available only to teachers.

“I asked why the sauce had no meat and I was informed that due to the breadsticks containing cheese, the meat would put us over the guidelines for protein,” Kirkham wrote.

“Now think of a high school boy who works out at least three hours a day, not including farm work. … I’m furious. The ‘cheese’ inside the breadstick is approximately three bites. This is ridiculous.”...

France set to ban the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ from official documents
The move, which has outraged Catholics, means only the word "parents" would be used in identical marriage ceremonies for all heterosexual and same-sex couples.

The draft law states that "marriage is a union of two people, of different or the same gender".

It says all references to "mothers and fathers" in the civil code – which enshrines French law – will be swapped for simply "parents".

The law would also give equal adoption rights to homosexual and heterosexual couples...

On Bourbon Street you can show everything (but your faith)
On October 26, 2011, the city of New Orleans criminalized religious expression on Bourbon Street.

Subsequently, in May of this year, a preacher from Vieux Carre Assembly of God Church was told by police that he could not continue discussing religion on Bourbon Street, even though he had been preaching there for the past 30 years every Tuesday and Friday evening...

Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy: We have made no concessions
Following reports that Chick-fil-A had agreed to stop funding certain traditional family groups in order to get approval for a new Chicago restaurant, company President Dan Cathy said Friday the restaurant made no concessions and "we remain true to who we are."

Cathy's statement, posted on Mike Huckabee's website, came one day after the company released its own statement saying that its corporate giving has "been mischaracterized" for many months and that it will continue to fund programs that "strengthen and enrich marriages."...

Christian Families in North Sinai Face Threats, Refuse To Leave
Christian residents of Egyptian border towns Rafah and Al-Arish have so far refused to leave the city, as a local church had advised, after they received leaflets containing messages threatening to blow up their property if they do not leave within 48 hours...

California: No Doctor’s License Needed to Do Abortions Now
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that makes it so nurses in California can do abortions, even though they do not have a valid medical license certifying them as a physician...

Cohabitation harms marriage, expert says
Cohabitating couples are 30 to 50 percent less likely to have successful marriages, statistics show.

"We now know unequivocally that cohabitation doesn't work. Churches -- the gatekeepers of weddings -- can delay no longer. They must educate, equip and elevate marriage to the position it deserves," Mike McManus wrote in his book "Living Together: Myths, Risks and Answers."...

The Nation of Alcatraz
President Clinton, wagging his finger in accusation, has said that the Republican philosophy of government is, “You’re on your own.” The sheer absurdity of the statement staggers the mind. I doubt there is a single person in the nation who knows, even approximately, the number of government programs at all levels instituted to assist the poor, the unemployed, the elderly, the handicapped, and others in special need. That is not counting the number of private institutions, more effective at what they do, established for the same purposes, nor to mention the charitable assistance afforded by other groups whose main purpose is something else, or assistance given informally by free associations of people, or privately, by individuals...

Something Is Wrong
Don't look now, but Islam is becoming the MSM's official religion of America...

Same-sex 'Marriage' Defeated in Australia
..."The overwhelming vote in the House of Representatives in favour of marriage between a man and a woman is greatly welcomed," says Chris Meney, director of the Archdiocese of Sydney's Life, Marriage and Family Centre. "It is also a vote affirming the truth of how marriage has always been understood," he commented in a news story published on the Web site of the Archdiocese of Sydney...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Let's knock holes in the darkness...

Robert Louis Stevenson, one evening, stood transfixed at his nursery window watching the lamplighter in the street. When his nanny asked the boy what he was doing he replied: "I'm watching the man knocking holes in the darkness." We live in a universe made dark by sin. Let's knock holes in the darkness.
...Selwyn Hughes image by Kevin Dooley

US CANA Bishop Julian Dobbs Reports Suffering and Killing of Christians in Nigeria

McLean, VA (September 21, 2012) - The Rt. Rev. Julian M. Dobbs, Anglican Bishop in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America has recently returned from a visit to Nigeria where he reports on the suffering of Christians as a result of the attacks orchestrated by Islamist group Boko Haram.

In a recent report, Bishop Dobbs talks of congregations in Bauchi being completely wiped out and described the situation as "butchery on a daily basis."

His video report can be viewed at this link

Bishop Dobbs spent time in the north of Nigeria where Christian homes and businesses have been destroyed, churches burnt and Christians killed. He met with survivors of these attacks and many of their church leaders. The Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion] is the largest Anglican province in the world with over 20 million Anglicans.

Dobbs reports that 25 churches in the Anglican Diocese of Jalingo have been destroyed, a recent bomb was detonated in the cathedral, and members of the diocese cannot find employment because they have Christian names.

"In Maiduguri, 100 bombs have exploded, fathers have been killed by their own children if they do not agree with their religious views, and schools have been blown up."

The Bishop of Maiduguri reported, "We will keep the faith...If we perish, we perish." the rest

Scrolling around...September 24, 2012

A New Age of Miracles
...Surely the New Testament tells us two crucial facts about miracles: Christian ministry is marked by them, but Christian ministry doesn't focus on them. That's a delicate balance that many get wrong. Some people make no place for miracles. Others act more interested in miracles than in Jesus...

Royal Observatory Picks Best Astronomy Photos of the Year

The Obamaized Flag Poster Suddenly Disappears from Campaign Store
Last week, President Obama's campaign paraphernalia store on his website was heavily criticized for having a poster of a U.S. flag that was Obama-ized by having the field of fifty stars replaced with an Obama logo. Over the weekend, the item was suddenly "disappeared" down the Internet memory hole...

Florida Kindergartners To Celebrate LGBT History Month
...Honoring gay history within the realm of K-12 education is still a groundbreaking (and potentially controversial) public statement. Unlike California, which last year added LGBT history to the state’s education curriculum, Broward’s resolution is nonbinding, and largely symbolic...

Letter to Liberal Children
...Anyway I promised you common sense analysis of my decision so here we go. I find myself on the “other side” of just about every action that Mr. Obama has taken. So numerous are my disagreements and disappointments in Mr. Obama’s policies that it is impossible for me to deal with all of them here. So I will concentrate on just a few of the larger issues. These issues are all interconnected, and in analyzing the issues individually and with their connections, I believe that any common sense individual will see things as I do. You can go through the exercise of extrapolating to the other less significant issues if you’re interested...

Suicide Bomb in Nigeria Church Kills Five, Injures Dozens
In yet another bombing targeting Christians in Nigeria, four people and the suicide bomber were killed and more than 48 people were injured outside a Catholic church in the northern city of Bauchi on Sunday.
The suicide bomber, suspected to be a member of the Islamist terror outfit Boko Haram, launched the attack on St. John's Catholic Cathedral Church in the state capital of Bauchi during the first mass on Sunday, local media reported... also here:
Woman and child die in Nigeria cathedral bombing

NYC schools give out morning-after pills to students — without telling parents
...School nurse offices stocked with the contraceptives can dispense “Plan B” emergency contraception and other oral or injectable birth control to girls without telling their parents — unless parents opt out after getting a school informational letter about the new program...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Anglican Unscripted Episode 50

September 22, 2012

Kevin and George cover a breadth of topics this week: The crisis in the middle east, Jesus' wife and what was her name, and some very important domestic conversations.

Inspiration...September 22, 2012

How comforting it is to know the Bigness of God in the times of our deepest pain. What a blessed salve it is to our broken and wounded hearts to know that the Creator of the universe, he who holds all the stars in his hand, carries us in his heart. He knows us by name, he is intimately acquainted with every thought, he hears every heart cry and understands every motive of our heart and he loves us still. ...Katherine Walden image

Words on Wisdom and Sabbath Rest
Thus Sabbath is about more than external rest of the body; it is about inner rest of the soul. We need rest from the anxiety and strain of our overwork, which is really an attempt to justify ourselves—to gain the money or the status or the reputation we think we have to have. Avoiding overwork requires deep rest in Christ’s finished work for your salvation (Hebrews 4:1–10). Only then will you be able to “walk away” regularly from your vocational work and rest...

A Convenient and Relaxing Kind of Christianity
Loving God is not as simple as we sometimes think. Christians are fond of reminding one another that in a biblical sense love is a verb, not just feeling but action. This is true, but there is far more to it than that. Jerry Bridges came to this realization and began to reflect on the command to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” In The Discipline of Grace he describes how he came to see that love is rooted in obedience to God’s commands. “Whatever else might be involved in loving God with all my heart, obedience to His law was certainly a major part of it.” (Note that when he speaks of God’s law as it applies to us today, he refers to the permanent moral law, not the Old Testament ceremonial law). To put it another way, “Our love to God will always manifest itself in obedience to Him.”...

Shopping and False Intimacy
"For instance, when a pastor preaches to a crowd of a few hundred (or thousand – or even a few million now with podcasts) week after week, those who hear the sermons can develop a certain familiarity with the pastor. They think they know the pastor. After all, they know the names of the pastor’s kids, where the pastor went on vacation, and how the pastor likes his coffee. But sermons are one-way. The congregant knows a lot about the pastor, but the pastor knows next to nothing about the congregant.

The inverse is often true in smaller churches, where the pastor is expected to know the intimate details (ailments, relationships, and back story) of each church member, but few church members really know or want to know the pastor. In these cases, the pastor can serve almost as a hired hand – or better said: a hired ear, a hired heart, and hired soul"...

321-The Story of God the World and You

The role of singing in the life of the church
...Now there are all sorts of reasons why Christianity is a singing faith; for the practice of making melody to the Lord, and of hymn singing in particular, has many purposes. My intention in this article is to focus specifically on congregational singing (rather than Christian music generally), and to open up its three principal purposes; the three main reasons why, according to Scripture, God has given us this ability and called us to engage in this activity. These reasons are: (1) to help us praise, (2) to help us pray, and (3) to help us proclaim. So let’s look at each of these in turn...

The Boy They Couldn’t Kill
Go read Sports Illustrated’s The Boy They Couldn’t Kill.” It is far and away the best magazine story I’ve read all year and I’m pleased that we get to talk about it here at GetReligion. It’s long and I can’t begin to excerpt it in any way that gives it justice but the subhed to the piece is “Thirteen years ago, NFL receiver Rae Carruth conspired to kill his pregnant girlfriend and their unborn son. The child has not only survived but thrived—thanks to the unwavering love of his grandmother.”...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Albert Mohler: ‘Staying in His Lane’ — Joel Osteen’s Gospel of Affirmation Without Salvation

September 21, 2012

Joel Osteen was back on CNN this week, appearing Thursday morning on “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.” Osteen’s new book, I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life, recently hit the nation’s bookstores.

Osteen’s positive thinking theology was on full display in the interview, as in the book. O’Brien asked if he really believes that speaking declarations out loud can make them come true. Osteen assured her that he does, promising that speaking positive words can bring positive results and warning that speaking negativity will bring negative results. “I don’t think there’s anything magic about it, but those words go out and come right back in and affect your own self-image.”

In the book itself, Osteen asserts, “You’ve got to send your words out in the direction you want your life to go.” The theme of his book is simple: “With our words we can either bless our futures or we can curse our futures.”

The most enthusiastic response to Osteen’s message came from Deepak Chopra, the New Age self-help guru, who was also on the CNN program. He affirmed Osteen’s message and added, “I’ve believed forever that there’s no mental event that doesn’t have a brain representation, that every thought actually generates molecules.”

The two self-help experts then elaborated on their ideas, with Osteen urging “activating faith,” because “faith is what causes God to work.” Later, he even spoke of “speaking to the seeds of greatness that God’s placed in all of us.”

The appearance of Osteen and Chopra together was a priceless demonstration of the fact that the New Thought positive thinking philosophy that drives them both can be grafted onto either Christianity or Eastern religion. In the end, it all sounds the same. Chopra’s New Age spirituality and Osteen’s updated version of the word-faith movement end up as the same message, only with different trappings. the rest

The birds of Spain

The birds of Spain from Wildglimpses on Vimeo.

Scrolling around...September 21, 2012

Canada: Judge who told pro-lifer ‘Your God is wrong’ comes under scrutiny
The judge who told a pro-life activist “Your God is wrong” earlier this year came under scrutiny during an all-day appeal hearing at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto on Wednesday.
In a lengthy tirade, Justice S. Ford Clements had ripped Mary Wagner for what he saw as her “cowardly” attempt to speak to abortion-bound women inside the Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic, an abortion facility. She was convicted on charges of mischief and failing to comply with probation orders...

$1.8 trillion shock: Obama regs cost 20-times estimate
Current federal regulations plus those coming under Obamacare will cost American taxpayers and businesses $1.8 trillion annually, more than twenty times the $88 billion the administration estimates, according to a new roundup provided to Secrets from the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute...

UK: Interest in church weddings on the increase
More couples are considering marrying in church, according to the Church of England.
Visitors to the Your Church Wedding website increased by nearly 50 per cent in 2011, from just under 273,800 in 2010 to 410,000 the following year.
There has been growing interest in church weddings after a change in the law in 2008 to make it easier to marry in church...

More Muslims Seeking Christian Higher Education in U.S.
Christian colleges in the U.S. are welcoming more Muslim students onto their campuses this fall -- especially female students, according to the New York Times...

Gynecologists’ Association Recommends Implanted Birth Control for Teens
A national group of gynecologists said Tuesday it recommends physicians point eligible teens toward birth control implants instead of the more traditional pill...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Albert Mohler: The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife? When Sensationalism Masquerades as Scholarship

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This is sensationalism masquerading as scholarship. One British newspaper notes that the claims about a married Jesus seem more worthy of fans of Dan Brown’s fictional work, The Da Vinci Code, than “real-life Harvard professors.” If the fragment is authenticated, the existence of this little document will be of interest to historians of the era, but it is insanity to make the claims now running through the media.

Professor King claims that these few words and phrases should be understood as presenting a different story of Jesus, a different gospel. She then argues that the words should be read as claiming that Jesus was married, that Mary Magdalene was likely his wife. She argues further that, while this document provides evidence of Jesus’ marital status, the phrases do not necessarily mean he was married. More than anything else, she argues against the claim that Christianity is a unified body of commonly-held truths.

Those familiar with Karen King’s research and writings will recognize the argument. Her 2003 book, The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle, argued that another text from the era presented Mary Magdalene as the very model for apostleship.
King and Pagels both reject traditional Christianity, and they clearly prefer the voices of the heretics. They argue for the superiority of heterodoxy over orthodoxy. In the Smithsonian article, King’s scholarship is described as “a kind of sustained critique of what she called the ‘master story’ of Christianity: a narrative that casts the canonical texts of the New Testament as a divine revelation that passed through Jesus in ‘an unbroken chain’ to the apostles and their successors — church fathers, ministers, priests and bishops who carried these truths into the present day.”

A dog on a trampoline

Scrolling around...September 20, 2012

Pew Research: Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion
  • Changes in Government Restrictions
  • Changes in Social Hostilities
  • Changes in Overall Restrictions
  • Patterns among Specific Types of Restrictions and Hostilities
  • Harassment of Specific Groups
  • Regions and Countries
  • About the Study

  • The Obama You Don't Know
    ...Over the years and in two autobiographies, Obama has presented himself to the world as many things, including radical community organizer, idealistic civil rights lawyer, dynamic reformer in the Illinois and U.S. senates, and, finally, the cool presidential voice of postpartisan hope and change.

    With his air of reasonableness and moderation, he has projected a remarkably likable persona. Even in the midst of a historically dirty campaign for re-election, his likability numbers remain impressive, as seen in a recent AP-GFK Poll that found 53 percent of adults have a favorable view of him.

    But beyond the spin and the polls, a starkly different picture emerges. It is a portrait of a man quite unlike his image, not a visionary reformer but rather a classic Chicago machine pol who thrives on rewarding himself and his friends with the spoils of public office, and who uses his position to punish his enemies...

    'Planned Bullyhood'
    A former executive at Susan G. Komen for the Cure has written a book about how Planned Parenthood "bullied" the organization she loves into being affiliated with it.

    Islam and the Closing of the Secular Mind
    ...Then there is the sheer ignorance of history prevailing among much of the secular intelligentsia. This was unfortunately exemplified by the lamentable historiography that was on full display in President Obama's once much-touted, now much-forgotten2009 Cairo speech. Among other things, the President referred to how Islam "carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment."
    Really? Did the President's advisors and speechwriters know that this thesis has been subject to withering critique for over 100 years? Were they conscious that, as the French professor of Arabic and religious philosophy Rémi Brague demonstrated in his bookEurope, La voie romaine (1992/1999), the statesman-scholar-monk Cassiodorus (c.485-c.585 AD) not only collaborated with Pope Agapetus I in arranging for the translation of classical Greek texts into Latin, but also established a monastery-school on his family estate to safeguard and study the same works? Were they aware that the works of Antiquity never somehow vanished but were preserved for centuries by Greek-speaking Eastern Christians? Or that Aristotle was known and read in the medieval West long before Arabic translations appeared in Europe?...

    Muslim Riots Reach Europe: Free Speech Under Threat
    Protests over an American-made anti-Islamic YouTube film, Innocence of Muslims, have spread to Europe. Muslim rioters have clashed with police in several European cities, and more demonstrations are being planned. The protests are part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about the amateur film, which ridicules Islam and depicts the Muslim Prophet Mohammed as a fraud, a madman and a sexual deviant.
    Muslims in many European countries are calling on governments to outlaw the controversial film. They are also pressing elected officials to enact anti-blasphemy laws that would criminalize the criticism of Islam. As most European countries lack American-like First Amendment protections, the momentum is building for the imposition of legal curbs on free speech when such speech is perceived to be offensive to Islam...

    Military flaunts ‘gay marriage’ in state where it’s illegal

    The Bride of Christ?
    “Oh no,” I thought, “here we go again.” News of a long lost textual fragment which many will think could undermine traditional Christian faith is breaking, the latest in a long line of interesting discoveries sensationalized by the media into something supposedly subversive of traditional Christian faith. Whether the frenzy concerned the claims of The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, the Secret Gospel of Mark, St. James’ supposed ossuary, or the Gospel of Judas, when the smoke cleared, traditional Christianity was left standing...

    Oh, good grief. Should we “uplift” the intelligence of animals? Transhumanists generally say yes, if only to shatter human exceptionalism. But really...

    Two DOJ Officials Step Down In Wake of Fast and Furious Report
    The Justice Department's internal watchdog on Wednesday faulted the agency for misguided strategies, errors in judgment and management failures during a bungled gun-trafficking probe in Arizona that resulted in hundreds of weapons turning up at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico...

    Orlando:‘Kill Your Baby for Free’ Day Sees Dozens Slaughtered
    Dozens of babies were literally massacred in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday in what area pro-lifers will remember as "free baby-killing day."...

    Here Comes Incest, Just as Predicted
    ...A gay man and his partner once asked me, “But how can you say our relationship is wrong? We’re not hurting anyone and there is no victim.” I asked them, “Would you approve of two adult gay brothers having a relationship?” They both replied, “But that is so wrong!” Yet when I pressed them further, they could not say why their relationship was fine but that of two consenting brothers was not...

    New York City: Soft Drinks Bad, Late-Term Abortions Okay
    New York City has two endangered species: Soda and babies. Unfortunately the city cares more about the soft drink than the human life...

    Obama 'flag' reminds some of blood-stained walls at Benghazi consulate
    A new Obama "flag" poster sold by the campaign is designed to look something like the U.S. flag, but on Thursday, a post at the Gateway Pundit noticed that the "stripes" are eerily similar to blood stains on the walls at the Benghazi consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    Anglican Perspective: Works Without Faith

    September 19, 2012

    The Archbishop of Kenya, Eliud Wabukala, recently raised concern about the Anglican Communion's efforts at relief and advocacy. In this week's Anglican Perspective, Canon Ashey tells us about his conversation with the Archbishop and how we ought to view addressing poverty. Read more from Canon Ashey on this subject in his recent article "A Biblical Theology for Works of Justice and Mercy."

    First Things: Anglican Bishops Against Free Speech

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012
    David Mills

    Four Anglican bishops serving in northeastern Africa and Cyprus have written the United Nations asking that “an international declaration be negotiated that outlaws the intentional and deliberate insulting or defamation of persons (such as prophets), symbols, texts and constructs of belief deemed holy by people of faith.” They make this proposal in response to the recent movie on Muhammad and “similar offensive incidents [which] have occurred in some European countries” and ”evoked massive and violent responses worldwide.”

    It is a bad idea, a very bad idea, on many levels. For one thing, such a law would violate the Western ideal of free speech we should not give up. For another, it would quickly be used to suppress not only “deliberate insulting or defamation” but reasonable criticism and disagreement. One man’s well- and kindly-argued belief that another man is in error can be to that other man insult and defamation, especially if he has no natural appreciation for the free exchange of ideas.  the rest

    Matt Kennedy+: A Very Bad Letter

    Scrolling around...September 19, 2012

    Science professor: Kill sperm, save the planet
    ...“Sperm is a vector … which leads to increased populations, so many scientists want to know, ‘Are there new ways we can control population or fertility rates?’ … so individuals can make the decisions to keep those rates low,” he said. “We are talking about controlling human fertility.”...

    Catholic High School To Open Muslim Prayer Room
    Mother Teresa Catholic secondary school, a high school in London, Ontario, Canada is about to open a Muslim prayer room.
    24 Hours Vancouver reports the Catholic secondary school with a student population of about 1,400 has about 25 Muslim students, who lobbied the school beginning last year for a place to pray. The prayer room will be located on the second floor, just steps away from the school’s chapel, and is scheduled to open at the end of the month...

    Your Taxes At Work: All You Need To Know About Who Pays What Taxes In The US

    Eric Metaxas: How gay marriage harms religious liberty
    Christians are often asked by gay activists why they oppose same-sex marriage. "How does our marriage hurt you?" they ask. Well, I can think of one significant way it will hurt us: It will destroy religious freedom and free speech rights...

     Persecution of Christians on rise–in U.S.
    ...“It is dramatic,” says Liberty Institute Founder Kelly Shackleford, of the recent hike in reported incidents of persecution. “I have been doing these types of cases for almost 25 years now. I have never seen the levels of attacks like these and how quickly they are now proliferating.” Shackleford says government, from schools to social programs, is the ringleader. “There are children being prohibited from writing Merry Christmas to the soldiers, senior citizens being banned from praying over their meals in the Senior Center, the VA banning the mention of God in military funerals, numerous attempts to have veterans memorials torn down if they have any religious symbols such as a cross, and I could go on and on,” Shackleford said...

    Canada rises to Top Five in world economic freedom ranking as U.S. plummets to 18th
    ...Meanwhile, the United States, once a “standard bearer” of economic liberty among industrial nations, spiralled 10 spots from the 2011 rankings to 18th place — its lowest position ever, and a huge drop from its second place spot in 2000...

    L.I.:The American Commodus
    Whereas the reign of Marcus Aurelius George W. Bush had been marked by almost continuous warfare, that of Commodus Obama was comparatively peaceful in the military sense but was marked by political strife and the increasingly arbitrary and capricious behaviour of the emperor president himself. In the view of Dio Cassius Mark Steyn, a contemporary observer, his accession marked the descent “from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron”—a famous comment which has led some historians, notably Edward Gibbon anyone familiar with the Constitution, to take Commodus’ reign Obama’s presidency as the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire American republic…

    High Ranking DOJ Official Refuses to Affirm 1st Amendment Rights

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    For the first two or three years after my conversion...

    For the first two or three years after my conversion, I used to ask for specific things. Now I ask for God. Supposing there is a tree full of fruits, you will have to go and buy or beg the fruits from the owner of the tree. Every day you would have to go for one or two fruits. But if you can make the tree your own property, then all the fruits will be your own. In the same way, if God is your own, then all things in Heaven and on earth will be your own, because He is your Father and is everything to you; otherwise you will have to go and ask like a beggar for certain things. When they are used up, you will have to ask again. So ask not for gifts, but for the Giver of Gifts: not for life but for the Giver of Life—then life and the things needed for life will be added unto you. ...Sadhu Sundar Singh image by Liz West

    A.S. Haley: It Really Is That Simple, Folks

    September 18, 2012

    There is only one viable candidate in this year's election, and his name is Mitt Romney. I do not like that fact, because there are many things about Mitt Romney of which I frankly disapprove. But that realization cannot blind me to this simple truth:

    The President of the United States is an executive position -- one of the biggest and most important (if not the biggest and most important) in the world.

    Mitt Romney is an executive, with considerable experience as a CEO.

    Barack Hussein Obama is not.

    Yes, it really is that simple.

    We already have had three and a half years of Barack Obama as chief executive, and what have we seen? He is like nothing so much as the boss's son, who grew up partying and playing golf, and then was foisted on the business by his doting father (who then died immediately afterwards).

    He has no clue of what it takes to run a business (remember "you didn't build that," anyone?) -- let alone run an entire country. He spends so much time on the golf course or at basketball, and appearing on TV shows and now at continuous fundraisers, that he cannot be bothered to attend intelligence briefings, or to make time to meet with Israel's prime minister on the eve of an impending nuclear war in the Middle Eastthe rest

    New TEC provisional bishop of Fort Worth named

    Former Texas suffragan Rayford High to lead loyalist group
    September 18, 2012
    By George Conger

    The former suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Texas, the Rt. Rev. Rayford High has been named provisional bishop of Fort Worth. Pending confirmation by the 3 Nov 2012 diocesan convention in Stephenville at Tarleton State University, Bishop High will succeed the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, Jr., as bishop of the faction loyal to the national Episcopal Church in North Texas.

    "I am deeply honored and humbled by the fact that the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth would ask me to be their provisional bishop," Bishop High said, according to an announcement posted on the diocese’s websit. the rest

    Anglican bishops call for U.N. ban on blasphemy

    Scrolling around...September 18, 2012

    Stats: Homeschooling by the numbers
    Amazing-this infographic compares national average percentile scores of homeschoolers with public and private education...

    Sacrificing journalism on altar of gay advocacy
    ...What happens when you cover something like a cause rather than a news subject is that the journalism suffers. We saw the eleventy billionth example of that with a puffier than puffy one-sided hagiography of a gay Christian activist named Matthew Vines. Headlined “Turned Away, He Turned to the Bible” with the url “matthew-vines-wont-rest-in-defending-gay-christians.”
    It seemed, from the piece that ran in — of all things — the “Fashion & Style” section of the paper that an interesting story could have been written about the man and his advocacy work in favor of changing traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality. But because it read like a press release rather than a news story, we didn’t get the chance to have an interesting story that really engaged the work...

    Cairo: Muslim cleric desecrates Bible
    ...“I tore it apart and threw it to the demonstrators to step on it with their shoes,” Abdullah told an Egyptian newspaper, adding, "next time I will make my grandson urinate on it, as the saying goes, an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth and the starter is at fault.”...

    Growing up with married parents is as important as a good education to escaping poverty
    Growing up with married parents vastly increases a child’s prospects of escaping poverty, a study has revealed.
    A stable home was found to raise a child’s chances of escaping the poverty trap by 82 per cent.
    When equally well-educated families were compared, marriage increased a child’s chance of living above the poverty line by 75 per cent...

    More Americans opting out of banking system
    In the aftermath of one of the worst recessions in history, more Americans have limited or no interaction with banks, instead relying on check cashers and payday lenders to manage their finances, according to a new federal report.
    Not only are these Americans more vulnerable to high fees and interest rates, but they are also cut off from credit to buy a car or a home or pay for college, the report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said. ...

    Report: Top Obama Bundlers Bag Millions in Taxpayer Money
    An investigation by the Government Accountability Institute found that more than half of the most politically active 50 campaign bundlers for President Obama were either appointed to a presidential council, committee, board, or other White House post. Many bundlers’ businesses or relatives' businesses also received millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded federal contracts, grants, loans, or other crony perks...

    8,786,049: Yet Another Record for Americans Collecting Disability
    The Social Security Administration has released new data revealing that 8,786,049 American workers are collecting federal disability insurance payments in September. That sets yet another record for the number of Americans on disability...

    Professor Made Students Sign ‘Vote for Obama’ Pledge
    A Florida community college has launched an investigation and placed a tenured professor on leave over reports that she made students in a math class sign a pledge to vote for President Obama.
    A spokesman for Brevard Community College told Fox News that Sharon Sweet was placed on an unpaid leave of absence effective immediately after they received a call from a concerned parent...

    Parents steam as strike rolls on
    As Chicago children missed yet another day of school Monday, residents throughout the city chanted, cheered and waved signs to let their feelings about the ongoing teachers strike be known...

    Ageing businessmen fuel boom in 'voice-lifts' as they seek to restore authority in boardroom discussions
    Surgeons inject stomach fat into vocal cords to strengthen speech...

    'Last Ounce of Courage' Has Largest Theater Debut Since 'The Passion'
    Last Ounce of Courage, a freedom, family and faith film that premiered on 600 screens across America on 9/11 in commemoration of Patriot Day, will release nationally in more than 1,400 theaters on Sept. 14, making it the largest opening weekend for a faith-based film since "The Passion of the Christ."..[ Rotten Tomatoes critics (so far) unanimously gave the film a 0% rating-however, audience approval was 75%-PD]

    British NHS Issues DNR for Man With Down Syndrome Without Consent
    ...An NHS hospital is being sued by a family who say doctors placed a “do not resuscitate” order on their relative, denying him potentially life-saving treatment, because he has Down’s syndrome...

    Monday, September 17, 2012

    Beagle puppy barking for the first time

    New blogger interface stinks!

    September 17, 2012

    Blogger has now forced its new  interface on me.  It is not supported well by my internet explorer.  I can blog in Chrome, but it doesn't change the fact that the new interface is much more confusing and complicated to use. It actually wiped out my posting for today. 

     I have seen a lot of complaints on various forums as to all the difficulties many bloggers are having with this. The old interface was simple and easy to use, especially for those of us who are computer challenged.  I am not sure I can continue to blog as I cannot justify the extra time that would be needed to try to get a posting up.  

    Will be praying about it!   
    Pat Dague

    * Update: Well, my computer-savvy son Ryan came over for supper and tweaked one button (something called "compatibility view") which I had somehow turned on. Of course I had no idea it existed or what it does, but I can now blog again in IE8 with the new interface. Thanks Ryan (and Robin Jordan) for your concern and help!

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

    Waiting till the wedding night – getting married the right way

    By Steven Crowder
     September 14, 2012

    As anyone who’s read my abstinence column here at Fox News Opinion could guess, my wedding is something that I’ve looked forward to for quite some time. After having tied the knot at the end of August, I can now say beyond all shadow of a doubt, that it was everything I’d hoped and prayed that it would be since childhood. (I’d also prayed to be bitten by a radioactive spider and develop sticky hands, but… I was an idiot.)

    Let me preface this column by saying this: my wife (I have to get used to saying that) and I not only waited sexually in every way (no, we didn’t pull the Bill Clinton and technically avoid “sex” sex,) but we didn’t shack up as live-ins and most importantly, we courted each other in a way that was consistent with our publicly professed values.

    We did it right.

    Feeling judged? I couldn’t care less. You know why? Because my wife and I were judged all throughout our relationship. People laughed, scoffed and poked fun at the young, celibate, naive Christian couple.

    We’d certainly never make it to the wedding without schtupping, and if we did, our “wedding night would be awkward and terrible,” they said.

    Turns out that people couldn’t have been more wrong. Looking back, I think that the women saying those things felt like the floozies they ultimately were, and the men, with their fickle manhood tied to their pathetic sexual conquests, felt threatened.

    I think it’s important to write this column not to gloat (though I’ll be glad to), but to speak up for all of the young couples that have also done things the right way. When people do marriage right, they don’t complain so much, and so their voices are silenced by the rabble of promiscuous charlatans, peddling their pathetic world view as “progressive.”  the rest -love it!

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    Orlando Anglican church first in Florida to become Catholic

    September 13, 2012
    By Jeff Kunerth

    A College Park church will become the first in Florida to convert from Anglican to Catholic on Sunday under a process approved by Pope Benedict XVI.

    The Cathedral of the Incarnation will become the Parish of Incarnation during a 10:15 a.m. Mass of Reception at the church on 1515 Edgewater Dr. in Orlando. The Parish of Incarnation joins about 20 other former Anglican or Episcopalian congregations in the Ordinariate of the United States and Canada formed on Jan. 1.

    The ordinariate allows those churches to become Catholic while maintaining some Anglican practices and traditions.

    "The majority of our people consider themselves Catholics already," said Father William Holiday. "And now the Catholic church will recognize us as Catholics also."  the rest

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    One of the most essential qualities of faith...

    One of the most essential qualities of faith that is to attempt great things for God and expect great things from God, is holy audacity. Where we are dealing with a supernatural Being, and taking from Him things that are humanly impossible, it is easier to take much than little; it is easier to stand in a place of audacious trust than in a place of cautious, timid clinging to the shore. Likewise, seamen in the life of faith, let us launch out into the deep, and find that all things are possible with God, and all things are possible unto him that believeth. ...AB Simpson
    image by Shelly Prevost

    Honey, You Didn't Build That

    Aug 28, 2012

    Check out "Honey, You Didn't Build That" for an explanation of what the president said, that even a child could understand.

    Anglican Perspective: Canterbury's Misdiagnosis

    September 13, 2012

    In this week's Anglican Perspective, Canon Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council looks at the Archbishop's diagnosis of the problems in the Anglican Communion and what the Bible says about how doctrinal issues should be dealt with.

    Huge explosion spotted on Jupiter

    September 12, 2012
    by Emma Woollacott

    An amateur astronomer in Dallas has filmed an enormous explosion on Jupiter which took place early on Sunday morning.

    George Hall says the incident was first noted by Dan Peterson, prompting Hall to examine his footage and find he had recorded the event.

    Petersen says the explosion occurred at 11:35:30 UT, just inside Jupiter's eastern limb, at about Longitude 1 = 335, and Latitude = + 12 degrees north. The flash appeared to be about 100 miles in diameter. the rest
    "All of a sudden, a brilliant pinpoint of blazing white light started to grow and brighten just inside Jupiter's morning limb, this was in stark contrast to the planets yellowish color, its shape was slightly elliptical in it's north/south axis and was about as bright in appearance as a fourth magnitude star," says Peterson.

    A.S. Haley: Tempest in a Teapot in South Carolina

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    By making the changes approved at the recent meeting, all the Cathedral did was to clarify that its day-to-day operations would be in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese, and not with the Constitution and Canons of ECUSA. This was fully appropriate, because as noted, the Parish is not a member of ECUSA, and the latter's Constitution and Canons have no provisions in them which have any direct effect on the operations of parishes in individual dioceses.

    To be sure, there are national canons which speak of parishes and spell out certain business and accounting principles to which they are expected to adhere, but those canons cannot be enforced by the national Church against parishes. Any such enforcement would have to be carried out by the Diocese of which the parish is a member, and its Bishop. And the Diocese has the same kinds of canons regarding parishes as does the national Church, plus many more which are even more specific to parishes.

    So it makes abundant common sense for the parish to spell out that it will be governed and guided by the Constitution and Canons of its own diocese. As long as that diocese remains a member of the national Church, there can be no question of the parish's affiliation.

    There is no need, therefore, for Episcopalians to rush to the Cathedral and start reclaiming those candlesticks and altar cloths which they gave to it earlier... the rest

    Scrolling around...September 13, 2012

    Canada: Education Minister supports school boards in refusing parents’ right to pull kids from sex classes
    As a Hamilton father fights his school board in court for the right to protect his children from classes on sexuality that he considers objectionable, Ontario’s Education Minister is backing the board.
    In a statement to LifeSiteNews about whether she supports the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s decision to forbid religious accommodation to students seeking to withdraw from classes dealing with homosexuality, Education Minister Laurel Broten says school boards may refuse parents’ requests for religious accommodation if they deem fit...

    The Biblical Literacy of Teenage Believers
    Youth ministry researcher Chap Clark says, “I’m convinced that the single most important area where we’ve lost ground with kids is in our commitment and ability to ground them in God’s Word.”
    As a result, Barry Shafer says, “The church today, including both the adult and teenage generations, is in an era of rampant biblical illiteracy.” Duffy Robbins takes this one step further when he says: “Our young people have become incapable of theological thinking because they don’t have any theology to think about. … And, as Paul warns us, this … leaves us as ‘infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching’ (Ephesians 4:14).”...

    ISLAMISTS Storm US Embassy in Yemen – Torch US Flag & Vehicles (Video)
    Chanting “death to America,” hundreds of protesters angered by an anti-Islam film stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen’s capital and burned the American flag on Thursday, the latest in a series of attacks on American diplomatic missions in the Middle East.

    American missions have been attacked in three Arab nations — Yemen, Egypt and Libya — that have faced persistent unrest and are struggling to restore law and order after last year’s revolts deposed their authoritarian regimes...

    Las Vegas: Obama compares campaign volunteers to murdered embassy staff
    ...“And obviously [our] hearts are broken for the families but I wanted to encourage those folks at the State Dept. that they were making a difference,” Obama told volunteer leaders in Las Vegas, according to the pool report. “The sacrifices that our troops and our diplomats make are obviously very different from the challenges that we face here domestically but like them, you guys are Americans who sense that we can do better than we’re doing….I’m just really proud of you.”...

    Congress to Block Obama Admin. Welfare Law Changes
    Last week, the General Accounting Office (GAO) determined that the Obama administration did change the work requirements in the Welfare Reform Act. On Thursday, two House committees -- Ways and Means and Education and the Workforce -- will introduce resolutions to allow Congress to block the rule change that allows states to effectively waive the law’s work requirements...

    Chicago Teachers’ Strike: Last Straw for Voters?
    ...The $400 million increase in the CPS offer over the next four years would have made the situation even worse. Yet rather than accept that while the city and state try to find other ways to balance the budget and improve performance, the teachers walked out on hundreds of thousands of students, many poor and disadvantaged – not least by their own public school system – and stuck to what the late Mike Royko often insisted was the city’s true motto: Ubi est mea? Where’s mine?...

    Unrecorded Muslim Marriages, Bigamy, and Polygamy
    ...In a review of over 70 sharia Muslim divorce cases for a  policy study, this author earlier demonstrated that it is not unusual for a husband to leverage the sharia customs, which avoid city hall, against the courthouse route, which would enforce civil and constitutional requirements. A wife does not have much of a case against a husband who wishes to escape support or dowry responsibilities when a judge cannot legally recognize the marriage from square one. Even sharia-promoting legal advocacy groups which promote sharia la note the tendency of Muslim husbands to find jurisdictions where there is room to game the system.

    The few cases which do make it to the courts are representative of a much larger problem. Adherents of strict sharia law often perform verbal divorces, with the result that many cases are not submitted to a judge. The wife rarely has access to the resources required to contest the terms of the divorce or to appeal an erroneous determination. In this case, there were multiple proceedings as the intermediate court rationalized the terms of the marriage to pass muster, but found that the verbal divorce did not meet legal standards and so concluded that the second marriage was indeed bigamous. The cumulative costs at the end of three trials had to be staggering...