Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 75

The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Pulling Away from Sin
By Regina

Considering that the word “sin” is mentioned 403 times in the Scriptures, is there any wonder that The Bible is God’s instruction manual to life for Her sinful children?

Do you consider yourself to be sinful, or do you consider yourself to be a good person who sometimes does inappropriate things? To understand what sin is, we must look at the very definition of the word.

Sin
–noun
1. transgression of divine law: the sin of Adam.
2. any act regarded as such a transgression, esp. a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
3. any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense: It’s a sin to waste time.

Transgression
–noun
1. an act of transgressing; violation of a law, command, etc. sin

The truth is that we are all sinful; no matter how “good” we believe we may be. We were all born into sin, which differs from Adam and Eve who were created perfect and who remained perfect until they sinned. In being perfect, they had only one way to go which was down, but having been born into secondary sin we must take it upon ourselves to move upwards and away from sin to achieve perfection in Father’s eyes.

Because we are all sinful, having been born into sin and stumbling daily, the Scriptures are there to help us in guiding us through our lives in a way that is righteous in Father’s eyes. It is our responsibility, each of us, to pull away from sin. At times this can feel like a game of tug of war; with our spirit on one end and our fleshly selves on the other, because while the spirit is willing the flesh is weak.

Matthew 26:41 "Stay awake and pray, so that you won't enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

I always thought that I was a “good person” too. I thought that I was a loyal, honest, kind, thoughtful, caring and loving. But as I began to learn The Way, I was able to really take a deeper look at myself and check off all the qualities that were most certainly human, but that could most definitely be improved upon. In short, I was humbled and was able to more easily see that while I am human I am also sinful and there is always room for improvement and that it was up to me to begin the process of changing myself from the inside and in essence, to “put on the new man” and leave the old behind. This is the process of pulling away from sin.

Ephesians 4:23-25 “you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on the new man, the one created according to God's [likeness] in righteousness and purity of the truth. 25 Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another.”

The first step to doing this is coming to an understanding of The Way and what is expected of each of us. This is done through study, prayer and meditation and a deep searching of our hearts. It can also be done in contemplating what Christ might do if he were faced with any given situation you may find yourself in. Think about past experiences and situations and how you handled them and ask yourself truthfully if you could have done anything differently that might have been more in line with what Father and Christ might have wanted. Be honest with yourself and if needed, step outside of yourself to get a better look at who you really are. In learning The Way and searching our hearts and approaching each and every situation with this mindset we become even more aware of our faults both small and large, and what we need to work on in order to pull away from sin and become less and less of this sinful world.

The Gift Of Lasting Love
Submitted by Johanna

Love is much more than a tender caress
and more than bright hours of gay happiness,
For a lasting love is made up of sharing
both hours that are 'joyous' and also 'despairing'…
It's made up of patience and deep understanding
and never of selfish and stubborn demanding,
It's made up of climbing and steep hills together
and facing with courage life's stormiest weather
And nothing on earth or in heaven can part
a love that has grown to be part of the heart,
And just like the sun and the stars and the sea,
this love will go on through eternity –
For 'true love' lives on when earthly things die,
for it's part of the Spirit that soars to the sky.

By Helen Steiner Rice

Not So Random Dreams
By Deborah

This morning I had what I thought was a random dream until I relayed it to one of my sisters in Christ. It began with me living in a foster home with other children. I felt a strong connection with one of the children (a boy) and enjoyed spending time with him. In the dream, he did something that was wrong and could no longer live in the foster home. I wanted so badly for him to continue living there, but the foster parents were firm. He broke the rules and could no longer live with the other children in the safety of this foster home. As a child, I was hurting and I was angry that I could no longer be with one whom I cared so much for. I even went so far as to blame the foster parents for splitting us up.

Reflecting on this dream now, I realize that there is much symbolism in it. The foster home is the Kingdom or the promise of the Kingdom. The children living in the foster home are those who have left the sin and danger of their current earthly homes. The foster parents are Father and Christ.

You see, not everyone will make it into the Kingdom. All are welcome, but few will actually qualify for such a gift.

Qualify
v qualify ['kwolifai]
1 to cause to be or to become able or suitable for A degree in English does not qualify you to teach English; She is too young to qualify for a place in the team.
2 (withas) to show that one is suitable for a profession or job etc, especially by passing a test or examination I hope to qualify as a doctor.
3 (withfor) to allow, or be allowed, to take part in a competition etc, usually by reaching a satisfactory standard in an earlier test or competition She failed to qualify for the long jump.

Matthew 22:1-14
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent out his slaves to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn't want to come. Again, he sent out other slaves, and said, 'Tell those who are invited: Look, I've prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet. '

"But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the others seized his slaves, treated them outrageously and killed them. The king was enraged, so he sent out his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned down their city.

"Then he told his slaves, 'The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore, go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet. ' So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests. But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.

"Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

"For many are invited, but few are chosen."

To allow every single person into the Kingdom without qualifying would devalue Christ’s sacrificial death and make it meaningless. And what would be the point in his suffering for us like that if we were allowed to rebel against Father and continue to break Her laws without conscience once we accepted and walked in the Truth?

Ephesians 4:23-24 you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on the new man, the one created according to God's [likeness] in righteousness and purity of the truth.

Colossians 3:9-11 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of his Creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.

All are invited to the Kingdom, but like the man who was thrown out of the wedding banquet, you must put on the new man (put on wedding clothes) to live in it. Only your best will do.

Some will get into the Kingdom, but will not be allowed to remain due to their hearts and willful sin. Christ will be in the position of judging who measures up and who does not.

It is true. There will be both rejoicing and sadness during this time of transition. Rejoicing that Father’s plan has been fulfilled. Rejoicing that sin is no longer allowed. Sadness that so many perished. Sadness that many of those we loved rejected the Truth.

But what must be understood and taken completely into our hearts is that Father and Christ are not to blame for our loved ones sinful decisions and actions. They are creating a safe haven for us, their children. To allow such a dangerous thing as sin to exist side by side with righteousness is impossible.

Father’s perfect creation will be returned to what was meant to be in the beginning. And to keep it that way we must be willing to protect it with all our hearts and know that Father above all knows what is necessary for that to happen. What is required. And what exactly is required from us as Her children? Obedience. Faith. Loyalty. Love. All given to Her with no hindrances or restrictions. Just 100% commitment.

Inspired Writings

Defeating Pharaoh's Army

Many would know about the historic event that took place in Egypt a few thousand years ago between the Egyptians and Israelites. After ten plagues and fleeing through the Red Sea, all because of Father's help, the Israelites were freed from the Egyptians' oppression. Now, what has happened in the past is very much like what is happening now, and nothing is new under the Sun. Much is left to occur, but it can be foreseen as to what will occur, and much of the understanding and perceiving for this is covered from certain eyes whose hearts cannot accept light, and hence neither do their eyes. At first, as it is written in Exodus, the Egyptians became afraid of the Israelites for their huge numbers, although they posed no immediate threat, until the Egyptians started it.

First, it may help to understand a piece of insight that was shared a long time ago…which although it had to have been within the passed three years, is still a long time if considering that Father can see one day like a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8 — Dear friends, don't let this one thing escape you: with the Lord one day is like 1,000 years, and 1,000 years like one day.). This piece of insight was that the Pharaoh of that time period in the beginning of Exodus mirrored Dawn Lucifer in so many ways that it may not be counted in a short time period. So, after the Pharaoh tells the Egyptians to deal “shrewdly” with the Israelites, putting them all into slavery and increasing their pains and labor, the Israelites only grew larger in number, making the Egyptians more afraid, and even taking more evil action, like attempting to kill newborn sons. This, all to itself, shows how Dawn has, as the serpent he is, attempted to act shrewdly with all the inhabitants of the Earth, and to an extent, has done so with great success, but to a very few who see the Light, has failed miserably. At the same time, Dawn has even inspired whole genocides of races of people, much less, has continually tried to persecute and destroy Christians all around the world, but to no avail, as the more he tries to eliminate the Christians, the more the Light is amplified in the darkness. Much less, Dawn's very actions have reflected his own personal nature, which is then reflected in those that follow his ways. All to itself, it shows how nothing has really changed in humanity as a whole, throughout thousands of years, except for details that are still derived from their original expressions, such as language. Even “technology” has been mirrored over the years. Chariots are replaced with armored personnel carriers, swords with … well … swords made of better steels, bows with guns, and siege machines with helicopters and jets (given that the purpose of a siege machine was to handle getting over walls sometimes, a flying machine handles that very well, but is also still susceptible to attack). When there are speeches and whole articles written about changing the government or a better way of handling things, one of the huge things that is failed to address is the cause of how bad things are, and the only way for anything to get better is only by Father, and this one path takes us away from our fancy televisions and remote control cars. And it is no doubt that these things have been continually happening for thousands of years, all of which is finally time for a close.

Now, the future holds many uncertain things, but it can be maintained in full confidence in Father that it will all come out exactly as Father would have it, because it has already been proven in the past that not only what has happened in the past is happening now, but also what Father has set out to do will be done and there is nothing stopping Her might arm. This being said, it can be seen that there are a ton of courses of actions that may be taken in order to fully bring about what is said will take place. Not only has the Pharaoh of this current time period already done much to try to be prepared for any uprising from Father's Kingdom (uprising…much like the Rapture in “up rising”), but they have also tried to enslave all they can, all to try to maintain a control based on an incorrect fear. This, itself, is a trap they lay for themselves, a bloating and puffing up to try to make oneself look big against an actually big opponent that can crush them even in a misstep. They bring themselves up, only to let themselves down. They try to fight against a law, the Law, but are bound to the Law, themselves, by which they would eventually destroy themselves and everyone else. Thankfully, there is salvation.

Those living in this current time on the planet, as it has continually and consistently repeated, are currently living in a time of tribulation and increasing hardship, not only from the flawed system we are under and slaves to, but also from the planet itself. Just as hail stones fell from the sky and onto all the Egyptians' land, not in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were, so too will there be hail in this time that is just as destructive. The very planet will rage with natural disasters that will send fear to all inhabitants. This, itself, is a defeating of Pharaoh's army, as there is no way they can control the weather, much less really influence it. Heavy resistance may be eventual, but a hardening of a neck also eventually leads to a broken one. With no cure. Or anyone to help.

It may be remembered that in Exodus, the Israelites crossed over, much more, passed over, from one side of the Red Sea to the other, with the Egyptians chasing after them, all until the sea came back down on them, swallowing them whole. A militaristic strategy that mirrors this would be a pincer movement, where the enemy will be put into a trap, with no escape, and certainly no chance. The Rapture could be the same way, if that is what is to occur. All of the Spiritual Israelites will pass over and up towards Father's Salvation, and the enemy may attempt to follow and even attack those fleeing this world. But, as quickly as the enemy would be attempting to foolishly stop Father's Will, so too would they only be rushing to their own destruction. It may not seem that way to those left on the planet, but with Father's insight, it may make more sense as to what has truly occurred, which was a sure and sudden defeat of Dawn's attempt at hindering Father's Will.

A very interesting aspect to all of this is that no matter what Dawn will try to do, Father has all the best strategies, even ones that may or may not be fully understood, yet. Father will defeat Dawn on all his own terms, because the Light overcomes the darkness, and Dawn's darkness is self defeating. Not only is Father his enemy, but he, himself, can be his very own, as well. So it is for his children, too. Dust to dust. Ashes to ashes.

The Way – Part 9
This week we continue looking at Wrong Attitudes to be Avoided. We will be sharing what has been given to us, but in groups of 3. Before our Ministry holds Bible Study each week, we pray to Father Yahweh for guidance and help in understanding Her Word. We pray the wisdom imparted will find its way to your heart where it may be written up on it. Amen. http://www.biblegateway.com can be used as a reference tool with the Holman Christian Standard Bible as the recommended version.

Wrong practices that should be Avoided

Avoid abusive speech and reviling (to criticize in an abusive or scornful way.):
Ephesians 4:31
1 Peter 2:23
1 Corinthians 6:9, 10

Avoid accepting or offering bribes:
Exodus 23:8
Proverbs 17:23
Psalms 26:9, 10

Avoid bragging:
Psalms 94:4
1 Corinthians 13:4

Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6

Prince of Yahweh II: This old system of Dawn's won't last much longer; the entire world is set to enter a chaotic period of time; Dawn will then be forced to fulfill the prophecies Father has laid out for the path he must follow to bring forth the promised wrath of Armageddon; by the time you kids and all others slated for salvation are Raptured off the dying world – you'll think Father had forgotten you 😮 because things are getting ready to get neck hair raisin' downright frightful as everything falls apart in society; when people come to the realization that Obama can't deliver on his promises, it's gonna get messy as the unemployed run out of unemployment checks, and the streets become filled with an ever growing number of homeless people; hope will be lost in the government; violence will become rampant; homes will be taken over by those feeling cast off from society; gangs will fight for territory as the police become overwhelmed by the increasing violence. Not a pretty picture kids, and it's all right around the corner as this year evolves to wards a bleak looking future for the residents of planet Earth.

Think: USA EARTHQUAKE!!! Not just any old run of the mill earthquake. This one is gonna be so bad that it would take trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars to rectify the structural damage that will soon occur; it is the final blow designed to bring down Dawn's present beast and finalize the fact that it cannot be resurrected to support Dawn in worldly affairs; he will be forced to abandon this prized beast for the awaiting image of the beast. The Cherubs are finalizing the preparations to orchestrate this event in the near future; it will be the final straw that breaks this dying camel's back.

Signs From Above
“He rescues and delivers, He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:27

UFO 'squadron' low over Salt Lake City
Examiner
March 1, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Feb. 27, 2009 – A series of UFOs flew over the city here during a four-hour period, including a triangular-shaped craft at 7:10 p.m., a huge V-shaped object at 8:30 p.m., a second V-shaped object at 8:45 p.m, and a squadron of 15 to 17 triangular-shaped objects at 11 p.m. All of the objects were silent and fast moving, according to the witnesss. Some of the craft appeared to be "bending light" around them.

Amazing vid of chef's M40 UFO
The Sun
Feb 27, 2009

COULD this be the clearest evidence yet of extra-terrestrial existence? Chef Christian Crowder was having a break after his shift when he noticed a dazzling light in the sky last Saturday. "At first me and my friend thought it was a very bright star," said the excited chef. "But then we noticed it was changing colour and moving very erratically." The chef rushed back into his restaurant near the M40 in Bicester, Oxford, and grabbed his phone to record the unidentified craft. "We always see planes or helicopters fly past but I haven't seen anything like this before," the chef said.

UFOs witnessed over four states
Examiner
March 1, 2009

A silent V-shaped craft with "five or six lights under each wing" moved across CO skies near Boulder on Feb. 28, while a blue "streak of light" caught a witness's attention near Brighton, CO at 6:24 p.m. In KY, a black disc was spotted at a height of 40 feet – hovering, silent and "wobbling" – until it shot off quickly. In MI, a hovering craft began rotating and then moved slowly across a freeway toward an airport. Three lights appeared in the NJ sky just as the witnesses' street lights went out, then the sky lit up blue and "everything around us was blue." Following are the unedited witness accounts from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. CO, Feb. 28, 2009 – V shaped wing with 5 or 6 lights on each wing flying in N-NW direction

Greece: Clear UFO sighting near Corinth, multiple witnesses

All News Web
Feb 28, 2009

It appears that visitors from other worlds are taking a real interest in Greece. Greek newspaper ‘Espresso’ recently reported that earlier this month on Tuesday February 3 a clear UFO sighting occurred on the Peloponnese Peninsula near the Isthmus of Corinth. The UFO was witnessed and reported to local the police by a number of people. One of the witnesses, Mr Patapios Palaiologou, a 42 year old worker at a local casino was driving his daughter to school when he saw the UFO. ‘The time was 8am in the morning and I was with my daughter in our car. It was a sunny day and the sky was totally clear. . Suddenly, I saw a huge object over the small hillside opposite the village where we live. . It looked like nothing I had ever seen before and I could not believe it. I pointed it out to my stunned daughter. I got out of the car to get a better look. It appeared to be it about 400 meters above ground and it was huge, about 300 meters in diameter. It looked like the planet Saturn with a red ring around it and was metallic silver in colour’.

UFO Stalker

Case Number: 15772
Submitted Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 19:04:50 GMT
Event Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 00:30:00 GMT

Description: time was around 7:30PM ON FEB 25TH 2009. I WAS IN MY BACK YARD WITH MY TWO DOGS. STOOD UP LOKING SOUTH (TOWARDS JOHNSON COUNTY) noticed two red lights come on or appear in the southern horizon. first saw two lights one slightly above and to the upper left of the lower light(both lights were red in color} both lights moved up and to the left over a 3 to 5 second period of time. one lone red light appered shotly after this maybe 15 seconds after the two lights went off, this light stayed on about 3 to 5 seconds also. I live close to the greenwood In. airport (about one mile east), I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY LIGHTS IN THIS AREA THAT LOOKED,OR BEHAVED IN THIS WAY. I HAVE NOT RULED OUT THAT THESE LIGHTS COULD HAVE BEEN FLARES BEING DROPED. BUT LIKE I SAID THIS WAS SOMETHING DIFFERENT FROM ANY AIRCRAFT I HAVE SEEN AROUND THIS AREA!

Signs Down Below
"But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of religion but denying its power."  2 Timothy 3:1-5


U.S. Army To Buy $6 Million Of Riot Equipment

Infowars
by Steve Watson
February 24, 2009

The U.S. Army is to invest $6 million in riot equipment, a fact that has furthered fears that troops will be used inside the U.S. in order to quell any civil unrest resulting from the ongoing economic crisis. The U.S. Army Contracting Agency, based at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, has a post on the Federal Business Opportunities website, requesting the equipment and has received several notices of interest from potential vendors. The request titled “84–RIOT EQUIPMENT” outlines the need for hard polyethylene Shin and Chest Guards, shock absorbing Forearm Protectors, Interior leg brace supports as well as knee and ankle protectors. The ACA asks that the equipment be able to “safely withstand a substantial blow… from non-ballistic weapons or flying debris”.

Buffett Says Economy Will Be ‘In Shambles’ for 2009

Bloomberg
by Rick Levinson
March 1, 2009

Billionaire Warren Buffett said the economy will be “in shambles” for the rest of this year as financial firms take losses tied to reckless loans made during the housing boom. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will probably gain in three-quarters of the next 44 years, just as it did in the period since Buffett took over Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in 1965, he said today in his annual letter to the company’s shareholders. While Buffett and business partner Charlie Munger can’t predict how stocks will perform in 2009, they’re certain “that the economy will be in shambles throughout 2009 — and, for that matter, probably well beyond,” he wrote.

More Bible proof: Temple relics unearthed

WorldNet Daily
February 23, 2009

JERUSALEM – Israeli archaeologists yesterday announced the discovery of a large building dating to the time of the First and Second Temples associated with Hezekiah, the King of Judah. The Israeli government's Antiquities Authority oversaw the excavation in the southern Jerusalem village of Umm Tuba. The agency said its archaeologists unearthed the remains of an ancient building consisting of several rooms arranged around a courtyard, containing pottery and other artifacts from the First and Second Temple Periods. The finds include official government seals bearing the names of Ahimelekh ben Amadyahu and Yehokhil ben Shahar, who were high-ranking officials in Hezekiah's government. The life of Hezekiah, the son of King Ahaz is detailed in the biblical books of Kings, Isaiah and Chronicles. Hezekiah was the 13th king of independent Judah.

Let them eat cake in Zimbabwe?
The Christian Science Monitor
by Matthew Clark
March 1, 2009

British tabloids have taken to calling him ‘Mad Bob.’ On Saturday, Zimbabwe’s president seemed to be living up to the moniker. Robert Mugabe threw himself a A $250,000 party with 3,000 spectators celebrating his 85th year on this planet. And, really, what’s a party without a 187-pound cake? Nevermind that more than half the population is on emergency food aid, that inflation (by far the world’s highest) floats somewhere well above 200 million percent, or that his own government just days ago asked its cash-strapped neighbors for $2 million more in aid. Oh yeah, and then there’s that cholera epidemic that’s blamed for claiming nearly 4,000 lives in recent months: a tragedy, that stems from government failure at the most basic levels. As the Monitor wrote in a December story, the outbreak even threatens regional stability.

Latvia's government collapses
International Herald Tribune
by David L. Stern
February 22, 2009

Latvia's center-right coalition government collapsed Friday, a victim of the country's growing economic and political turmoil and the second European government, after Iceland, to disintegrate because of the international financial crisis. The government in Riga, faced with forecasts of a severe drop in the economy this year, was the first in Eastern Europe to succumb to turmoil caused by the crisis. Its collapse rounded out a week that saw worries about feeble investment, banks and output in Central and Eastern Europe coursing through international markets. Latvia has had a history of revolving-door politics and complex coalitions since pulling free of the Soviet Union in 1991. Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis, who presented his resignation to President Valdis Zatlers on Friday, had been in power only since December 2007. But the precipitous plunge of Latvia's economy, which helped provoke the worst riot since 1991 last month, played a major part in the government's downfall.

Signs in Humanity

Bay Area nonprofits brace for 2010 Armageddon
Meredith May, Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, March 1, 2009

Nonprofits are seeing an alarming drop in funding and increased demand for help this year, setting the stage for a complete shakeup of the sector in 2010. Unlike recessions past, this one could permanently alter the nonprofit landscape, say nonprofit CEOs, forcing possible closures and mergers as the sector restructures to survive. Hardest hit will be the Bay Area, home to one of the highest concentrations of nonprofits in the nation. There are 25,000 nonprofits in the region; 7,000 in San Francisco alone. Among them are 10,000 charitable nonprofits with budgets above $25,000. Their combined budgets account for 14 percent of the Bay Area's gross national product – twice the national average.

New U.K. Sex Ed Urges Parental Talks with No Values
By Ethan Cole
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Feb. 24 2009

In the wake of a British boy becoming a father at 13, the British government has come up with a new strategy to address the country’s growing teen pregnancy problem. Parents in the United Kingdom are encouraged to discuss sex with their children and educate them without telling them what is right or wrong, according to ABC News. The government pamphlet, to be available in pharmacies across the country starting March 5, discourages parents from trying to pass along their own values about sex to their children. "Discussing your values with your teenagers will help them to form their own,” the pamphlet reads. “Remember, though, that trying to convince them of what's right and wrong may discourage them from being open."

Florida Musician Kills Wife, 2 Daughters and Self; Son Escapes
February 25, 2009
Fox News

A 53-year-old Miami musician fatally shot his wife and two daughters Wednesday before turning the gun on himself, and a 16-year-old son who survived the attack managed to call police on a cordless phone as he fled, police said. Officers went to the home, located in southern Miami-Dade County, just before 6 a.m. after receiving a call about shots fired. "The son was inside of the residence and he was able to escape unharmed," Miami-Dade Police spokeswoman Rebeca Perez said. Police are still questioning the teen, according to the Miami Herald.

Man, 28, dies from Viagra overdose during orgy
February 26, 2009
By Diana Fasanella
APP.com

A Russian man collapsed and died from an overdose of Viagra after betting two women he could satisfy them for 12 hours. The women bet mechanic Sergey Tuganov of Moscow around $5,000 that he wouldn’t be able to satisfy them both for a half a day, according to The Sun. Tuganov took on the women and won the bet, but a few minutes later, the 28-year-old dropped dead from a heart attack, according to police. Emergency services were called, but by the time they arrived, it was too late. The women said he also ate walnuts and cream, which is considered to have a natural aphrodisiac.

Homosexual Activist’s Home Named D.C. Landmark

Friday, February 27, 2009
By Staff, Associated Press

Washington (AP) – The Washington, D.C., home regarded as the epicenter of the city's gay rights movement is being designated a historic landmark. The home belongs to 83-year-old Franklin E. Kameny, who is considered the "father of gay activism" by the Historic Preservation Review Board. Kameny fought in World War II, earned a doctorate and then moved to D.C. to work as an astronomer. But he was fired by the Army Map Service in 1957 for being gay. In 1961, Kameny argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that a federal policy calling homosexuals a security risk was "no less odious than discrimination based upon religious or racial grounds." It was the first civil rights claim in a U.S. court based on sexual orientation. Kameny says he's touched by the recognition.

Child prostitutes rescued in US
BBCNews.com
Monday, 23 February 2009

The operation targeted the trafficking of children for prostitution. US authorities have rescued nearly 50 child prostitutes – some as young as 13 – in a nationwide operation against the trafficking of children for sex. More than 570 suspects were arrested during the action, which took place over three nights. FBI agents and local police forces were involved in the operations which spanned some 29 cities. Officials say a 16-year-old girl who recruits children as prostitutes is being sought as a priority. Special Agent Melissa Morrow, of Washington's FBI, said adult prostitutes who were among those arrested tipped authorities off about the girl. "She is currently 16 and started when she was 13," Agent Morrow said. "Now she is out there recruiting other juveniles as well," she said, adding that finding her was "at the top of our list", the Associated Press news agency reported.

Arks of Safe Haven
www.arksofsafehaven.org
"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and to not ignore your own flesh [and blood]?" Isaiah 58:7

The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.

Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.

How You Can Help?

In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father's ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small.

CURRENT CASES THIS WEEK:

kardel1982 – Talladega, AL. – My husband and I are in great need of kitchen appliances, cabinets, building materials & groceries. We were staying in my boss's rental house until we could finish our house he is owner financing for us. The house had to have a lot of repairs. We had to rewire the house & put in new plumbing. That took all our money to put into the house. It is still not finished, but it is somewhat livable. We were on a deadline to be out of the rental and into the new house by March 1. Well, time and money is a problem now. We are having to borrow kitchen appliances from my boss until we can get our own. But, we have no money to buy any with now. And to top it off, we need kitchen cabinets. We are also not finished fixing up the house, but we have no choice but to move because the tenant that is moving into the rental house we were staying in, her house burnt down the other night. Now we are really pushed to be out by this weekend. All our extra money has gone into the house, and it is not even finished. If anyone has any left over building materials or could help us out. Our food stamps got cut out about 3 months ago because my husband wasn't working and I was just over the limit ($7) for 1 person. We were doing good, but this home, along with all the bills, is eating us alive. Our food is the lowest it has been in a long time. If anyone could help us out with groceries also, that would be great. My husband is working now and I am going to reapply for food stamps. Maybe we won't be just over the limit for 2. Bottom line is, we are hard working people who have fell in a hole because we are trying to stay on top of everything & get a house ready to move into. We have run out of money. If anyone could help in any way even other than this, please let me know. Karen

robertsbaby27 – Clayton, NC. – I am a mother of four small children aged 8,7,6, and 4. My husband was laid off from his job 3 months ago and things have been really hard. We got evicted out of our home and when his taxes came in we were finally able to obtain a new house but that's about as much as we were able to do so now I'm seeking help help with rent for here for next month which will be $550. I am also seeking help with gas for the car since I'm taking the kids back and forth to school and to the doctor and things like that, also we live in Clayton and we attend church in Morrisville so it's a little bit of a drive. I hate to change churches when the kids are adjusted to theirs. I am also seeking help with food. I have plenty of can goods but I'm in need of things like bread, milk, meat, cheese, trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, and things like that. If you would be able to help me then please let me know and I really appreciate you taking the time to read this. Also if anyone could pray for my family and keep your eyes open for any electrician jobs we would appreciate it. Thanks Teresa

youngs – Milford, OH. – Hello everyone, I have been unable to work due to the NON EXISTENT CHILDCARE for my 7yr little boy who is disabled. We (myself and 3 children under 7) live on his small SSI and an additional small amount from the State every month to make our grand monthly income $1100 for the 4 of us.. THINGS ARE VERY TIGHT. As they are all over. My biggest need right now is for the extra funds to have brakes put on my car and to purchase an oil pan. I have a church locally that will provide the time and labor I just need the funds to provide the parts. I interviewed at an AWESOME organization today, I am praying I get the position. The hours will work within my time constraints for my oldest school hours. 10-2 M-F the position pays fairly decent, but it is a catch 22. The more income into the house the more I put out for rent and electric and the less available in FOOD STAMPS. BUT I feel like I have to do something I just can't sit at home. My oldest is developmentally delayed and suffers from Epilepsy. He was scheduled to under go brain surgery early Feb. but the doctors didn't take him off one of his anti-convulsants in time so it was either go ahead with the surgery and risk severe bleeding or post-pone the surgery until the DOCTORS could get their act together. WE are currently seeking a 2nd opinion. THANKS so much for your time. Sincerely, Casandra

Virginia – Sapulpa, Ok. – I recently lost my job and have filed for unemployment, but it may take 4-5 weeks before I know if I will get it or not. My rent is due on March 4th, it is $200. I am looking for another job, but it's hard. I live by myself and pay all my own expenses, including my car payments. My water bill will be due, soon. Any help I can receive would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you and God Bless You! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Virginia at schoolbluehawaii@yahoo.com

burton434 – Nashville, TN. – We both were laid off and have tried doing odd jobs to pay our bills, but are just making enough for food and gas. Our electric is going to be shut off any day now and I have no idea how we are going to pay rent. If you have odd jobs or cleaning we could do to help please let me know. Thank you!

Pam – Charleston, SC. – We rent our apartment, and as of this moment we owe for February & soon March. Our landlady has been very understanding, and I know that it isn't her fault this happened to us. But if she were to tell us we had to pay everything we owe right now or get out, well, we'd have to get out. No family or friends here. Being homeless or living in the streets? Its not too far off. The situation is this… I cant work because I am sick. I had gastric bypass in 2003 and I have lost 170 lbs. I had a routine Hysterectomy in 2005, and immediately I noticed that my bladder wasn't working right. Then the pain started. The pain has turned into agony. Ive been to a billion doctors. We moved here to find better doctors to help find out what is wrong with me. Ive been like this for 4 years. I found out Wednesday that I have several bulging disks in my lower back and I have to have surgery to remove my gallbladder and fix an intestinal blockage. Maybe that will help some of my pain. When we got here, the job that my husband had lined up fell through. So he has been working here and there but nowhere for an extended amount of time. He was out of work for 4 months then found this job painting houses (which is what he does) that lasted a month and in December he was laid off from that job. We at this point had ran out of money that we had in savings. He didn't work at this job long enough to qualify for unemployment. Our van died the week before Christmas. No car = no job. So I sold the last of my jewelry to put money down on a car that someone we know around the corner was selling. My husband just finished a temporary job. No more work again. Our water was turned off a month ago because we couldn't pay the bill. It was either the water or the electric. Electricity = heat and food so we chose that. We don't waste our money when we get it. We save every penny and put it where we can. My husband has to take medication every day for chronic back pain, and its $15 a day he has to pay. We have to pay taxes and get a tag for the car and the insurance is due. We cant get enough money at one time to get the water turned back on. Its $330! I feel like a failure because I cant go to work to help out paying the bills. I thank God everyday for what we do have, because even now I know we have more than some. It just seems, the harder we try to do things right and get on our feet, the worse things get or bad things happen. I don't understand what we are supposed to do. We cant quit trying to make it, can we? I appreciate anything anyone does for us. From the bottom of my heart. I do it all for them, my family. I could even rough it if it were just myself and my husband, but our son needs water to bathe in and to drink, since that's what he drinks anyway. He is 12. I need to do his laundry so he will have clean uniforms for school. People take having water for granted! I know I never will again. WE NEED WATER! I get online using my son's hand held video game, and it's hard to type on the little screen and getting a signal sometimes can be a pain, but I am thankful for it. We don't have a phone even, so this is my only link to the outside world. I thank you for at least hearing me out. Even that helps. Thank you for caring about people enough to help them out. If I were in a better position, I would be doing it too. I do my part when I can. We weren't always like this, you know? I even gave a homeless man a home to help him get his life back. Its the kind of person that I am. Thank you and God Bless.

hopenfaith – I truly mean that with all my heart! I am in a very bad situation. I am loosing my car and I need it to get to work I am a single mother of two and I am a waitress. The area where I live the bus service is very limited. I have to to get to work, I need this job. I will also loose my home in April or May. I have no where to go nor do I have the money for deposit and rent. My health is not the best or I would get a second job. They have found spots on my lungs, but I lost my insurance (they say I make too much) anyways, I have no idea if they are cancerous or not. With the economy right now the restaurant business is slow, I struggle everyday with food, utilities, you name it. My son is in his first yr. of college, but will not be able to continue due to money (he is going for law enforcement) this is breaking my heart! My daughter is a angel also, she will be joining the Air Force in July., and she tells me "Don't worry mom I'll come back and get you and it will all be better" I feel like such a failure , because I am suppose to be able to provide a home and the basics and I can't! It's killing me, it hurts so bad that they have to pay the price. There are so many days I just want to give up and I know I can't, they still need me, but its so, so hard. I don't sleep or eat like I should and they see this and it hurts them. I need help, we need help! Please, please help us!

kybound – , KY. – we moved to Ohio from KY, not more than 8 months ago for a new start. Unfortunately, my husband had surgery, and got laid off. and I'm being laid of on the 6th of march. Our kids recently moved back in and our lives have fallen apart due to economic problems.We've used all our monies for the bills, and rent. And that's all due again…We need to get back home and start again…. If your interested in helping our family, It would be greatly appreciated…ky.bound

Signs in Natural Disasters
“You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” Matthew 24:6-7


Catastrophic Fall in 2009 Global Food Production

dprogram.com
Feb 10, 2009

After reading about the droughts in two major agricultural countries, China and Argentina, I decided to research the extent other food producing nations were also experiencing droughts. This project ended up taking a lot longer than I thought. 2009 looks to be a humanitarian disaster around much of the world To understand the depth of the food Catastrophe that faces the world this year, consider the graphic below depicting countries by USD value of their agricultural output, as of 2006.

Worst Drought in Half Century Shrivels the Wheat Belt of China

The New York Times
Feb 24, 2009

QIAOBEI, China — Northern China is dry in the best of times. But a long rainless stretch has underscored the urgency of water problems in a region that grows three-fifths of China’s crops and houses more than two-fifths of its people — but gets only one-fifth as much rain as the rest of the country. The current drought, considered the worst in Northern China in at least half a century, is crippling not only the country’s best wheat farmland, but also the wells that provide clean water to industry and to millions of people. In the hamlet of Qiaobei in China’s wheat belt, a local farmer, Zheng Songxian, scrapes out a living growing winter wheat on a vest-pocket plot, a third of an acre carved out of a rocky hillside. He might have been expected to celebrate being offered the chance to till new land this winter. He did not.

Deadly Australian bushfires flare
BBC
Feb 23, 2009

More Australian residents have been forced to flee their homes as renewed bushfires destroyed at least one house and injured three firefighters. Strong winds and searing temperatures are said to be driving flames towards towns to the east and north-west of Victoria's state capital, Melbourne. The new threat came as the death toll from the fires which ravaged the state two weeks ago increased to 210.

Drought may cut off federal water to Calif. farms

USA Today
Feb 20, 2009

SACRAMENTO — Federal water managers said Friday they plan to cut off water, at least temporarily, to thousands of California farms as a result of the deepening drought gripping the state. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials said parched reservoirs and patchy rainfall this year were forcing forcing them to completely stop surface water deliveries for at least a two-week period beginning on March 1. Authorities said they haven't had to take such a drastic move for more than 15 years. The situation could improve slightly if more rain falls over the next few weeks, and officials will know by mid-March if they can update their projections to release more irrigation supplies to growers from behind the mountain dams where water is stored.

Texas Blaze Destroys at Least 10 Homes
Fox News
March 1, 2009

BASTROP, Texas — Firefighters are battling a Central Texas blaze that has destroyed at least 10 homes and two businesses. At least two helicopters and two air tankers were dousing the estimated 400-acre wildfire near Bastrop and Smithville on Saturday. Officials have evacuated residents and shut down the highway leading into the area. Officials say at least one firefighter has been treated for smoke inhalation. Up to 200 homes are threatened and 13 outbuildings have been destroyed.

Natural Disaster Update
Source: http://home.att.net/~thehessians/disasterwatch.html

QUAKES

2/17/09 –

5.2 HALMAHERA, INDONESIA
5.0 WESTERN TURKEY (plus tons of small aftershocks)
6.0 KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND
5.0 NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

2/18/09 –
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
7.2 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.4 BALLENY ISLANDS REGION
5.6 SOUTH OF AFRICA
5.3 SOUTH OF AFRICA

2/19/09 –
5.1 MID-INDIAN RIDGE
5.0 FLORES SEA

2/20/09 –
5.4 SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA
5.3 PAKISTAN
5.1 FIJI REGION

2/21/09 –
5.4 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.0 PERU-ECUADOR BORDER REGION
5.1 REYKJANES RIDGE
5.6 SOUTHEAST OF RYUKYU ISLANDS

2/22/09 –
6.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.2 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
5.1 SOUTHEAST OF RYUKYU ISLANDS
5.3 EAST OF KURIL ISLANDS
5.1 NEAR EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA

2/23/09 –
5.6 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 NEAR N COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
5.5 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 TONGA
5.0 SOUTHERN ALASKA

2/24/09 –
5.5 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
5.1 SULAWESI, INDONESIA
5.1 VANUATU
5.6 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
6.1 MARIANA ISLANDS REGION
5.2 MID-INDIAN RIDGE

2/25/09 –
5.0 SOUTHEAST INDIAN RIDGE
5.2 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS

WASHINGTON – A 4.5 magnitude quake that rattled the Puget Sound region on Jan. 30 caused no damage to Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct. But new sensors on the elevated highway showed the top deck shook 10 times harder than nearby ground. The measurements confirm the structure and the fill dirt it's built on amplify earthquakes. Officials fear the 56-year-old viaduct could collapse in a stronger quake. Transportation officials are working on a plan to replace the mile-long section of Highway 99 along the Seattle waterfront.

CHINA – The weekend began disastrously for tens of thousands of people in northwestern China when a 5.2 magnitude earthquake shook two provinces. No casualties have been reported in the Friday afternoon temblor. Losses are estimated at more than 10.8 million U.S. dollars. Officials in the mountainous Kalpin and Akqi counties reported that more than 28,000 residents had suffered economic losses. Some 600 people in people in Kalpin were evacuated. More than 5,000 homes were damaged and about 200 destroyed. An additional $6.5 million in agricultural losses were reported in Akqi. While that area was still being shaken by aftershocks, a second tragedy took place in Shanxi province in the northern part of the country. A gas explosion in a coal mine early Sunday morning trapped at least 96 miners underground, according to initial reports. At least 74 miners were killed and hundreds injured.

TURKEY – An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the open-ended Richter scale jolted western Turkey yesterday, causing the death of a woman. A separate earthquake measuring 5.4 on the same scale occurred beneath the Ionian Sea east of Greece several hours earlier, but there were no reports of damage or injury. The Turkish tremor struck at 7:28 am, with its epicenter in the town of Simav, in Kütahya province. The earthquake, which sent residents fleeing their homes in panic, caused minor damage. "There are cracks on the walls of some buildings and furniture fell over in some houses with the quake."

NEW JERSEY – A small earthquake has rattled Morris County — the second in less than a week and the third to strike the area this month.

VOLCANOES

COLUMBIA – Authorities in the south of Colombia are on high alert after the Galeras volcano Friday erupted again. A loud explosion caused by the eruption that shook the Nariño capital of Pasto occurred just minutes after 7AM. Authorities immediately raised the level of alert to red and again called on people living in the vicinity of the volcano to evacuate. During the eruption of the same volcano last week, locals refused to leave their farms, not wanting to leave their crops and animals unattended. There have been no reports of injuries, even though the eruption caused rocks and ashes to fall from the sky.

CHILE – Chile has evacuated more than 150 people who had returned to the southern town of Chaiten after it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption last year. Authorities decided to take action after the Chaiten volcano erupted again on Thursday, sending a stream of lava down its slopes. Authorities say no one will be allowed to stay in the area, in Patagonia. "Our security team has observed an increase in the size of a column of ash and smoke, with a deformation to one side. That leads us to presume that there is a collapse of one of the cones. This is more proof of the imminent risk in the area. It is a time-bomb." About 20 of Chile's more than 100 active volcanoes are in danger of erupting at any time.

ALASKA – Redoubt volcano in Alaska still rumbling as eruption watch continues. If Alaska's Mount Redoubt is going to blow its top, will it hurry up already? For weeks, the volcano has rumbled and grumbled and scientists remain reasonably sure an eruption — the first since a long series of them in 1989-90 — will occur. But the tempestuous 10,200-foot peak 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, towering above the Cook Inlet across from the Kenai Peninsula, is keeping scientists and Alaskans guessing. On Monday there was "elevated seismicity dominated by ongoing volcanic tremor and occasional small earthquakes." A 3.6-magnitude earthquake 45 miles northwest of Anchorage was "clearly seen on Redoubt webicorders." In the 1989 eruption: "There was an intense swarm of repeating long-period earthquakes for about 24 hours prior to the first explosion" on Dec. 14. Three more ash-rich explosions occurred the following day, with the last blast generating a flow of hot gas and rock down the Drift Glacier. So far at Redoubt, there has not been the long series of earthquakes. The latest AVO update: "Unrest at Redoubt Volcano continues. Volcanic tremor is ongoing and remains elevated since yesterday morning." Stay tuned. The big bang could happen later today … next week … or perhaps not at all.

TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – Monster waves stall ferries – Fourteen-foot waves kept the the two inter-island fast ferries out of service again Suday, leaving an estimated 840 passengers stranded on each island. Operation of the ferry service has been disrupted several times over the past weeks because of rough seas.

TROPICAL STORMS

NEW ZEALAND – Strong winds and rain are forecast for much of the country on Friday as a low, fed by tropical Cyclone Innis, moves onto the country. The small tropical cyclone is expected to merge with a trough over Australia, and move over the Tasman Sea, while an associated front, accompanied by very warm and humid air, sweeps across the North Island and much of the South Island. Heavy rain is forecast for the central North Island, including Coromandel and as far south as Taihape.

Winds associated with Tropical Cyclone "Innis" are not too strong at this stage. The tropical cyclone is moving southwest and away from New Caledonia. “It's now not near any islands but it is moving towards the southwest with around 40 knots near the centre and 34 knots upto 150 nautical miles away from the centre.” The largest land mass in line is Norfolk Islands.

HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER

AUSTRALIA – Townsville in north Queensland has recorded its WETTEST SUMMER ON RECORD, with 1725 millimetres of rain falling during the December, January and February.

CALIFORNIA – In the past week, Mount Shasta received double the normal amount of precipitation for the entire month of February.

AUSTRALIA – Raw sugar output in Australia, the world’s second-largest exporter, may drop 10 to 15 percent because of flooding in Queensland state. More than 3000 Bellingen residents remain isolated by floodwaters after downpours of more than 375 millimetres in the last 48 hours.

BRITAIN – The swollen Thames River hit LEVELS NOT SEEN HERE IN 30 YEARS, visiting a watery headache on Chatham for the second time this year. The region’s water authority says the river crested early yesterday, soaking downtown businesses and washing out streets in what experts call a ONCE-IN-15-YEAR flood. The water peaked about five metres above normal — similar to the high-water mark reached in 1977. But what makes the river’s rise even more noteworthy is the fact it was just early last month that it last swelled significantly, to about five metres above normal. “It’s VERY UNUSUAL. (This) was a significant event. It’s one you would expect to happen every 15 years. But the weird thing is we had one six weeks ago.”

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – More than 700 people in Papua New Guinea's Western Highlands province have been left homeless after a river burst its banks following weeks of heavy rain.

AUSTRALIA – A natural disaster was yesterday declared in Bourke almost 200mm of rain – more than two-thirds the average ANNUAL rainfall – flooded the town. Emergency services are bracing for further evacuations on the Mid-North Coast today, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting another bout of severe weather. "There is another pulse coming down from the north and that will hit the Mid-North Coast through the morning or into the afternoon. It's debatable as to whether it will be same intensity as before but there is definitely the potential for heavy rainfall." The rain and floods caused havoc on the Pacific Highway between Kempsey and Coffs Harbour, where traffic was reduced to a crawl for much of the day. Airline commuters fared no better, with flights from Sydney to Port Macquarie turned back due to bad weather. Only 5mm fell in Sydney in the 30 hours to 3pm but even moderate falls today could be enough to inundate parts of the Mid-North Coast saturated by record downpours. The floods are also threatening thousands of head of cattle in what is one of the state's prime pastoral regions. The rain started falling on Friday until 5pm yesterday. Bellingen received 300mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday – the highest in the region. Further south, almost 500mm has been dumped on Kempsey since Friday, making it the town's WETTEST FIVE DAYS IN 35 YEARS. The storms have made it Port Macquarie's wettest month since April, 1988, while Smoky Cape near Kempsey has received 463mm so far this month – the HIGHEST RAINFALL ON RECORD at the site. Rains hit Western Australia’s mineral-rich Pilbara region, causing floods and damage to a fresh-water pipeline, threatening supplies. Flood warnings are in place for the Fortescue and Maitland river catchment, Onslow coastal streams and the Ashburton River. Some 353 millimeters (13.9 inches) of rain has fallen in the northwestern town of Pannawonica in the past four days. “The low pressure system is still present and isolated falls between 50 millimeters and 100 millimeters are still possible over the next 24 hours.”

HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD

AUSTRIA – Austria is readying itself for possible avalanches in the wake of recent heavy snowfall. In the Ybbstaler Alps, where more than 2.5 metres of snow have fallen in less than a week, there is talk of this winter's first level 5 warning. Level 5 is the highest possible avalanche warning. Level 3 and 4 alarms are being considered in the Tyrol. In the province of Styria, the entire Radmer municipality has been cut off from the outside world. The only road leading to it was closed for fear of avalanches.

TURKEY – An avalanche in northeastern Turkey engulfed and killed 11 climbers Sunday with six others from the group making a miraculous escape. Two of the climbers who escaped death on the mountain's slopes were hospitalised, but one of them, a woman, was not breathing on arrival at hospital and could not be revived despite a two-hour effort by staff. Authorities launched a rescue operation after receiving news around 11:00 am (0900 GMT) that an avalanche hit 17 climbers in the Zigana mountains in Gumushane province, close to the Black Sea. One of the climbers who was rescued form under snow by a team member said that they had been walking in a single line in deep snow when a big block of snow fell on them from above. Officials said the avalanche may have been caused by UNUSUALLY WARM temperatures loosening the snow on the ground.

AUSTRIA – The authorities have issued avalanche warnings for the Alps. The recent heavy snowfall has increased the risk of avalanches greatly, especially in the north and west of the country. The risks are greatest in locations above 1,400 metres. Following the deaths of five skiers in the past few days, winter sports fans have been urged never to leave secure skiing slopes. The snow is also making life difficult for drivers. Many roads in Austria, as well as in southern Germany and Switzerland, are now impassable, while many others are choked with long traffic jams. The severe weather will continue to cause drivers problems in the coming days.

EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE

CHINA – China's monthslong drought has worsened in northwestern Gansu even after snow and rainfall eased the crisis in seven other provinces.

AUSTRALIA – Conditions behind Australian wildfires could last until April. That is how it will be until late March, early April unless they get some rain. "We've just had the driest January on record in Victoria."

How much are natural components involved in natural climate change? Until we identify natural components, and subtract that from present temperature rise we cannot tell very much, how much the man-made effects will be. We can go back to about 1650: All the data, and all the way to the present, if you look at all the data, there is almost a linear change, a linear increase in temperature, about 0.5° Centigrade, about 1° Fahrenheit, per hundred years. It's continuous all the way to the present. That is to say, temperature has been increasing as far as we can go back, to about 1700. This has been happening well before the Industrial Revolution, so we have to consider that natural change. One idea is that we have not recovered really from the Little Ice Age. There was a warmer period around 1200, and then, around 1400, a colder period began. And it was cold until about 1800, when it started to recover. Most people assume that period called the Little Ice Age is over, but that temperature has been increasing almost linearly at a constant rate of about 0.5° C, by 100 years, continuously; to the present. "So I doubt that much of the increase over the last 100 years the IPCC says, of about 0.6°, is due to the greenhouse effect – that's what they say. Well, they assume. They have not taken the natural component; we don't know what they did! So, definitely climate change, or temperature, has been rising. Somehow the IPCC decided that the increase in the last 100 years is due to the greenhouse effect; however, a significant part of that would be just due to natural change. So, even if we spend lots of money on suppressing CO2 release, it wouldn't do any good, because it's a natural change. But changes are still going on. There are all kinds of ideas as to why this is happening, but we still do not know the cause of this Little Ice Age to begin with, so this is something we have to investigate. Even just in the last 100 years there was a large increase in temperature from 1910 to 1940. It's comparable to the range of increase of about the same as what we have today. That is to say, there was an increase from 1910 to 1940; then temperature began to decrease from 1940 to 1975, when CO2 began to increase in 1940! Then temperature began to increase again from 1975. And no one can explain the temperature rise from 1910 to 1940, or explain the decrease from 1940 to 1975. My point is, that until we understand the increase from 1910 to 1940, we just cannot say the increase from 1975 to the present is entirely from the greenhouse effect."

IRAQ – Iraq's southern marshes, by far the Middle East's most important wetlands, are under threat again. At stake is a unique ecosystem that for millennia has sustained a vibrant and diverse wildlife, as well as the extraordinary way of life evolved by the Marsh Arabs for 6000 years. Partially drained by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s to drive out rebels, the marshlands were revived after his overthrow in 2003. Now they are shrinking again, thanks to a combination of drought, intensive dam construction and irrigation schemes upstream on the Tigris, Euphrates and other river systems. The most immediate cause is low rainfall, though it's far from being the only problem "The drought is indeed very serious. The 2007-2008 season was ONE OF THE WORST DROUGHTS ON RECORD, and snowfall in the catchments feeding the Tigris and Euphrates has also been limited. All predictions are that the drought will continue over the 2008-2009 winter, with rainfall levels well below average." Climate change also seems to be kicking in. "We can see the effects of global warming on the level of our rivers, and on the dried-up parts of the marshes now. The evidence that THESE ARE ONLY PRELIMINARY SIGNS OF WORSE TO COME is quite strong, and the government of Iraq needs to seriously begin developing contingency and adaptation plans to deal with climate change."

AUSTRALIA – Firefighters brace for Friday scorcher in Victoria. Firefighters are still battling blazes on Melbourne's eastern fringes and in central Victoria ahead of what could be another horror day on Friday. Conditions were likely to deteriorate on Friday with temperatures tipped to top 38C combined with strong northerly winds and a south-westerly change. "(It's) nothing like February 7 in terms of temperature or wind but nevertheless we're looking at something at the top end of the 30s and in the north of the state the low 40s."

THAILAND – More heat and drought – grim outlook for summer. People in many areas of the country are already roasting under a heat wave of up to 38 degrees Celsius and arid conditions, with the coming summer expected to last to mid-May – and it could be even hotter and drier than last year. Northern and northeastern provinces will swelter under temperatures of up to 42 degrees in April. Reports from December 18 to February 2 showed that drought had stricken 13 provinces. "Although the La Nina phenomenon is expected to trigger more downpours than last summer, rainfall will not be enough for people to use during this hot season." Agriculture will be affected so people, especially in the Northeast, should find ways to store rainwater for both farm and household use. Tropical storms with gales of up to 40 to 50 kilometres per hour were predicted. "Such storms may become a real threat to high buildings, houses and billboards that are not safely constructed." A storm surge may hit the Gulf of Thailand in May.

VIETNAM – Coming temperatures may reach 39C in south. The dry season has just begun in earnest with higher than usual temperatures. The coming months could see 38-39oC. In HCM City, top temperatures have reached 36.6oC over the last few days, these will be the HIGHEST TEMPERATURES IN 30 YEARS. In Dong Nai and Binh Phuoc provinces temperatures have reached 37oC. Hot weather generally appears toward the end of February but has started early with RECORD TEMPERATURES. The hot spell has been affected by a low pressure moving from the west. The dry season will continue to get hotter, with higher temperatures appearing from mid-March until the end of May. La Nina, a phenomena which occurs between every two to seven years in the southern Pacific Ocean, has affected weather patterns and will cause unseasonal rains from the first half of March and early-April.

AUSTRALIA – Dozens of communities – including many already ravaged by bushfires – are on alert once again as dangerous bushfire weather grips Victoria.

MORE EXTREME WEATHER MAY BE IN STORE FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER 35 YEARS – Since mid-1967, we have seen more long-standing weather records broken worldwide for both temperature and precipitation than we did from the end of the Civil War until the late 20th Century. Based on long-term weather charts that date back to 600 B.C., we may be only halfway through a long-term 70-YEAR GLOBAL CYCLE OF WIDE WEATHER "EXTREMES" that began in the late 1960s and probably won't end until at least the late 2030s. The weather has a number of cycles that range from nearly 7 days to 6 weeks and much longer. This particular global cycle of wide weather EXTREMES seems to occur about every 500 years. Since this cycle began, we've seen at least 70,000 WORLDWIDE RECORDS fall that once stood for over 200 years. Since the early 1990s, we've experienced the WARMEST period overall since the last cycle of global warming about 1,000 years ago. During that time, it was warm enough that the Vikings were farming parts of southwestern Greenland. But, 200 years later, the climate drastically changed and the so-called LITTLE ICE AGE brought bitter cold and snow to that region forcing the Vikings to evacuate. In early 2008, global temperatures dropped approximately seven-tenths of a degree Fahrenheit since August of 2007. Sunspot activity has noticeably quiet in early 2008. We eventually see more sudden shifts in the fast-moving upper-level jet stream winds that help steer weather systems around the planet. These global shifts in climate tend to occur with the arrival of the virtually every El Nino, the abnormal warming of ocean waters, or La Nina, the abnormal cooling of sea-surface temperatures in the South-Central Pacific Ocean along the Equatorial regions near the West Coast of South America. Within the last several years, we've seen dramatic warming and cooling of ocean temperatures within very short periods of time. So when will we finally get out of this Cycle of Wide Weather Extremes that's the strongest in about 1,000 years? Since it started around 1967, it probably will not peak until at least 2038 and possibly will become the worst such climatological cycle in at least 6,000 years. Until then, expect more long-standing weather records to fall.

CHINA – Beijing enjoyed its third day of artificially induced snow on Thursday after its longest drought in 38 years. The four-month drought ended on Tuesday when snow fell after iodide sticks had been fired into the sky to seed clouds. Hundreds of sticks were also blasted on Wednesday to increase the snowfall over northern China. "The snow has brought moisture to the soil, which may help end the drought." The Chinese authorities have used cloud-seeding methods in the past – including to prevent rain in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics – although there is little scientific evidence of their effectiveness. The snow led to the closure on Thursday of 12 main roads around Beijing.

GUAM – The National Weather Service has put out a fire weather watch for Guam which will remain in effect until next week. And officials have determined the coming days to be THE HOTTEST IN THE PAST DECADE. Weather watchers say the season is RARE this year as it is only February, and apparently we're having an exceptionally very dry season. The last time Guam has seen such severe dry weather was in 1998, that's over a decade ago. And the heat making the ground brittle is just the recipe for a potential large grass fire. They've already spotted a couple of fires in the last 24 hours. The dry season normally runs until the end of May. And while the island experiences little chance of rainfall, any fires which do get started in these conditions will be more difficult to control, especially during the afternoon hours. The fire watch will remain from Thursday morning through Monday afternoon.

NORTHERN AUSTRALIA is facing a fresh wave of potentially catastrophic mammal extinctions, experts warn. Extinction looms as 1500 species in danger. Australia has the worst mammal extinction record in the world, with 22 mammals becoming extinct in the last 200 years. Scientists now say the evidence suggests Australia is on the cusp of another wave. "What we are seeing is a reduction both in the abundance of mammals but also for some species really catastrophic declines across their range. They've shrunk down to 10 per cent of their former distribution (and) the frightening thing about it is the rate at which it's happening. Some species have already disappeared from more than 90% of their past range across the north." Scientists believe a cocktail of feral cat predation, inappropriate fire regimes and over-grazing is responsible for declines. "It's quite likely (Australia will lose a large number of species) and we've got to act soon, in the next year or so."

AUSTRALIA – Firefighters in Victoria are working to consolidate control lines around five major blazes, under the threat of a return to hot, windy conditions.

Firestorms and Deep Freeze: Climate Change May Bring Both
– Global warming deniers keep pointing to snowstorms as proof that climatologists are wrong. But both extreme heat and cold are on tap. Last week, the heaviest snowfall since the '90s blanketed the U.K., disrupting bus, rail and air transportation and costing areas like London a cool billion in lost revenue. Meanwhile, in Australia, a punishing, record drought was worsened by the nation's worst heat wave and worst wildfires, wherein over 400 conflagrations killed over 200 people (and counting), torched a thousand homes. Those who would argue that these are isolated events do so at their own peril. The more time passes, the more both examples of extreme weather resemble two sides of the same fearsome coin known as catastrophic climate change. And depending on how the science plays out, it could get much worse indeed, and fast. Everything is worsening beyond what Earth's greatest scientists have concluded in their "state-of-the-art climate models."

INDIA – Kashmir valley is witnessing warm weather in last few days, an UNUSUAL feature for this time of the year, which experts view as a "serious threat" to agriculture and horticulture. The minimum temperature in Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital rose three notches above normal to settle at 3.5 degrees on Tuesday morning. The maximum temperature also remained five degrees above normal on Monday to hover around 13.2 degree Celsius. Places such as Kokernag, Qazigund, Pahalgam and Kupwara recorded a low of 3.0, 2.6, 1.2 and 0.7 degree Celsius respectively. This unusual feature has worried the experts, who say that such a change in weather is a "serious threat" to agriculture and horticulture in the valley. "The increase in temperature will lead to decline in agricultural and horticulture products this season." Almonds, apples, mustard and other products are likely to germinate before the scheduled time, leading to decline of nearly 25 per cent of the productivity. Earlier, Action Aid, an international agency, in its annual report had said that climatic change is devastating for food production in Kashmir. The agency had attributed the decline in agricultural productivity to the melting glaciers, changing rainfall and snow patterns, and drying springs in the state.

NYC can expect big storms more frequently – New York City's average temperature could rise by as much as 7.5 degrees Fahrenheit this century, and once-in-a-century storms may occur as often as every 15 years, a climate change panel said on Tuesday. "The climate change projections developed by our expert panel put numbers to what we already know — climate change is real and could have serious consequences for New York if we don't take action. We cannot wait until after our infrastructure has been compromised to begin to plan for the effects of climate change," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The report predicts average annual temperatures will increase by 4 to 7.5 degrees Fahrenheit and extreme events such as heat waves, intense rain, droughts and coastal flooding will become more frequent and more intense. Coastal floods that are now expected occur once every 10 years could occur once every three years and floods that occur once in a century could begin to occur once in every 15 to 35 years

HIGH WINDS

ANTARCTICA –
More than 100 people are trapped on board a cruise ship which ran aground in Antarctica are to be evacuated. The ship carrying 74 passengers and 39 crew members became trapped near an Argentine navy base on Tuesday. The tour company is sending another ship to take on the stranded passengers and deliver them to the southern city of Ushuaia. High winds pushed the vessel into craggy rocks. The ship should be able to break free on its own as the tide rises, but high winds prevented two attempts so far.

SPACE WEATHER

RECORD-SETTING gamma-ray burst
detected with the GREATEST TOTAL ENERGY AND FASTEST MOTIONS EVER SEEN. Gamma-ray bursts are the universe's most luminous explosions. Astronomers believe most occur when exotic massive stars run out of nuclear fuel. As a star's core collapses into a black hole, jets of material — powered by processes not yet fully understood — blast outward at nearly the speed of light. The jets bore all the way through the collapsing star and continue into space, where they interact with gas previously shed by the star and generate bright afterglows that fade with time. This explosion, designated GRB 080916C, occurred at 7:13 p.m. EDT on Sept. 15, 2008, in the constellation Carina. The explosion took place 12.2 billion light-years away. "Already, this was an exciting burst. But with the GROND team's distance, it went from exciting to extraordinary." The blast exceeded the power of approximately 9,000 ordinary supernovae, if the energy was emitted equally in all directions. This is a standard way for astronomers to compare events even though gamma-ray bursts emit most of their energy in tight jets. Within the jet of this burst, gas bullets must have moved at least 99.9999 percent the speed of light. This burst's tremendous power and speed make it the most extreme recorded to date.

Comet Lulin is approaching Earth and brightening rapidly. It is now visible to the naked eye as a faint gassy patch in the constellation Virgo before dawn. Even city dwellers have seen it. Backyard telescopes reveal a vivid green comet in obvious motion. Just yesterday, amateur astronomers watched as a solar wind gust tore away part of the comet's tail, the second time this month such a thing has happened. Lulin's closest approach to Earth (38 million miles) is on Feb. 24th; at that time the comet could be two or three times brighter than it is now.

The sky is falling, but it's meteors, not satellite debris,
that lit up the sky in Kentucky, Texas and Italy on Friday, 2-13-09. Three fireball meteors were seen over Italy just hours before the lights began streaking across Kentucky. The Kentucky light and sound show was seen over a large area of the state, with some people saying it shook houses and briefly turned night into day. Then, on Sunday, 2-15-09, runners in a marathon in Austin, Texas, saw a fireball so bright that it was visible in daylight. "Meteors are seen all the time. Occasionally they are very bright and lead to a sonic boom-type noise." A spokeswoman with the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, which tracks man-made objects entering the Earth's atmosphere over North America from Colorado Springs, Colo., said she was not aware of Friday's reports from Kentucky. But they sounded similar to what was coming out of Texas on Sunday. NORAD saw nothing on its radar on Friday night or over the weekend and there was "definitely nothing" from last week's satellites hurtling through the sky. "If something was re-entering the Earth's atmosphere, we'd track it."

HEALTH THREATS

Two United Nations bodies warned that renewed vigilance was necessary to prevent the further spread of deadly bird flu in Vietnam, which has reported three new cases in as many months, with one person dying.

Rats spark plague fear in Bangladesh
– Scientists warn of the possibility of an outbreak of bubonic plague in south-east Bangladesh because of a surge in rats. The rat population has soared in the past year as they feed off the region's bamboo forests, which are blossoming for the first time in decades. Neighbouring regions in India and Burma have suffered from the same problem. There is already an increasing incidence of disease and fever. Bubonic plague is no longer a fatal disease if treated promptly with antibiotics. According to local folklore, the flowering of the bamboo, the subsequent surge in rat numbers and the famine that follows occur every 50 years.

Peanut Recall Expanded To "All Ingredients"
– Peanut Corp. advises customers not to use any products from its plants. The large number of products and brands recalled already, and the large quantities of some products recalled, makes this ONE OF THE LARGEST FOOD RECALLS EVER in the United States. More than 650 people in 44 states have gotten sick after eating the peanut butter and the Centers for Disease Control has linked eight deaths to the outbreak. In Texas, state health officials said they have taken control of the recall of products from PCA's Plainview plant, describing the company as "unresponsive." Texas inspectors said they closed the Plainview plant after finding what they labeled as filthy conditions in the production area. To date, more than 2,100 products in 17 categories have been voluntarily recalled by more than 200 companies, and the list continues to grow.

Mental health planning for pandemic – Each state has a disaster mental health coordinator. From stigmatization of people exposed to the virus to maintaining methadone treatment facilities, public health officials need to plan for a wide spectrum of mental health challenges that would likely emerge during an influenza pandemic. Public perceptions and conclusions will affect their decision-making and behavior, which will be especially important when public health officials need their compliance with social distancing measures and other pandemic-related actions. "The more an individual knows what to expect, the more mitigation of fear and panic." Pandemic planners can use prepandemic stages to identify credible and trustworthy leaders who can address the public during a pandemic. The experts singled out children as a vulnerable group. "It's vital to limit what they watch on television. They don't need to be overwhelmed by the trauma." After a pandemic ends, mental health services will gravitate back to face-to-face interventions focusing on those who were most impacted and suffered multiple losses. However, they urged planners to consider public ways to make a mental health connection after the pandemic, such as convening a community memorial on a pandemic anniversary date.

Signs in False Shepherds & False Religion
"For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men who are corrupt in mind, worthless in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress, for their lack of understanding will be clear to all, as theirs was also." 2 Timothy 3:6-9

Embrace commandment of war, Hesder students told
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
Feb 25, 2009

A small number of young men soon to be drafted into the IDF from Hesder yeshivot around the country gathered at the Jerusalem Theater on Monday evening to hear speakers from the national-religious camp espouse the virtues of fulfilling "the commandment of war." Hesder yeshiva students about… Hesder yeshiva students about to enter the IDF dance at a Jerusalem event held in their honor. The event, the first of its kind, was organized to salute young religious men about to be inducted and attracted just over 100 youths. IDF Chief Rabbi Brig.-Gen. Avichai Ronsky told the youths it was a privilege to be able to take part "in the commandment of war and the preparations for fulfilling it." "Embrace this commandment with all your hearts. It is a right previous generations could not realize," Ronsky said.

Plano-based GodTube has a new name, new purpose

Friday, February 20, 2009
By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News
samhodges@dallasnews.com

In the beginning, there was GodTube. Now there's tangle.com. The popular Plano-based Internet site changed names this month as part of a broad effort to boost its audience and advertising base – and move into profitability. Known as a evangelical Christian knockoff of YouTube, GodTube was mainly a place to post or download religious videos, everything from sermons to Christian pop music to cute features such as a little girl reciting Psalm 23. As tangle.com, the video component remains, but the aim is for full-fledged social networking in the MySpace or Facebook way, only with content carefully screened to make sure it's "family-friendly." But is the site, under its new, secular-sounding name, still Christian? Well, sort of. "The old name 'GodTube' was a little polarizing. We wanted a name that was more encompassing," said Jason Illian, CEO. "We don't shy away from our faith-based community, but we wanted to expand that."

Malaysia to allow Christians to use 'Allah'
By JULIA ZAPPEI
2/26/09
AP

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The Malaysian government has softened an earlier ban on the use of the word "Allah" by Christian publications to refer to God and is allowing them to use it as long as they specify the material is not for Muslims, a church official said Thursday. The government had earlier argued that the use of Allah in Christian texts might confuse Muslims, who might think Allah refers to their God. The revised order was issued Feb. 16 by Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, said the Rev. Lawrence Andrew, the editor of the Herald, the Roman Catholic Church's main newspaper in Malaysia. He said the publication has already started printing "For Christianity" on its cover. The Herald publishes weekly in English, Mandarin, Tamil and Malay with an estimated readership of 50,000. The ban on "Allah" concerns mainly the Malay edition, which is read mostly by indigenous Christian tribes in the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak. The other three editions usually do not use the word "Allah." The dispute has become symbolic of increasing religious tensions in Malaysia, where 60 percent of the 27 million people are Muslim Malays. A third of the population is ethnic Chinese and Indian, and many of them practice Christianity.

THOU SHALT NOT NICKEL-&-DIME! CHURCH SHAMES SMALL DONATIONS
By ANGELA MONTEFINISE
New York Post
February 22, 2009

It's time to cash in on Catholic guilt. At least that's what some parishioners think is happening at St. Luke's Church in Whitestone, Queens, where detailed breakdowns of members' weekly donations have begun appearing in the weekly bulletin. "I don't like it," said Pat McGlinckey, 56. "It's like they're hitting below the belt to get us to give more." "It just left a bad taste in my mouth," said a 20-year churchgoer who didn't want to be named. "What someone gives is their personal business. They shouldn't be made to feel bad that they're on the lower end of the spectrum." Without naming names, the church leaflet two weeks ago began revealing exactly how many parishioners tossed their church-supplied donation envelopes into the collection basket at Sunday Mass – and how much cash was in each envelope.

Homosexuals Could Head Presbyterian Congregations

Reported by: Rick Jackson
Last Update: 2/20/09

The controversial stance of keeping homosexuals from joining the Presbyterian clergy has just been dropped. A group representing the majority of Presbyterians in Alabama has cast a vote that could call for a big division within the denomination. Thursday's vote to change the fidelity and chastity clause has broken the barring for homosexuals in the Presbyterian clergy. The North-Central Alabama body of the denomination favored to drop the language set over a decade ago. The Reverend James Ephrim of First United Presbyterian Church says he was surprised with the outcome, being that the votes were taken in the heart of the Bible Belt. "Even though it was a narrowly-won vote, it does begin to open the window and opportunity for us as Christians and Presbyterians to begin to explore a little deeper," Ephrim says. The reverend believes that the decision will undoubtedly cause a major division among local believers. He says some are already leaving. Ephrim also adds that he hopes the mainstream focus will now sway from gay and lesbian lifestyles to enhance the value of the church.

Faith under Fire
“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Matthew 5:11-12

“You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endured to the end will be delivered.” Matthew 10:22

A documentary exposé of Christian persecution
'First Comes Saturday, Then Comes Sunday' explains exodus from Mideast
Posted: February 24, 2009
WorldNetDaily

WASHINGTON – Bethlehem, once a 90 percent Christian town in Israel, now claims a Christian population of only about 20,000 of the 60,000 Arab residents – about 35 percent. The number drops day by day, month by month, year by year. They haven't left for no good reason. They have left for very good reasons. In fact, knowing the conditions these Christians face today, it's surprising there are still 20,000 there. In the last 20 years, some two million Christians have fled the Mideast. One of the most important aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has been overlooked is the plight of Christians in the Holy Land. Christians in the Palestinian territories have dropped from 15 percent of the Arab population in 1950 to just 2 percent today. The latest exodus began when Bethlehem was transferred by Israel to Palestinian Authority control. Here's how one Bethlehem Christian community leader explained it: "You want to know what is at play here, just come throughout the year and see the intimidation from the Muslims. They have burned down our stores, built mosques in front of our churches, stolen our real estate and taken away our rights. Women have been raped and abducted."

'Gays' put 'terrorist' label on Christians

Georgia Log Cabin Republican compares pro-family group to Nazis
Posted: February 20, 2009
By Bob Unruh
WorldNetDaily

A leader of a homosexual faction of Republicans is lobbying the new party chairman, Michael Steele, to ignore the suggestions of a pro-family Christian group to support traditional marriage, because the Christians are "terrorists." The attack comes from Jamie Ensley, president of the Georgia "Log Cabin Republicans," who also compared the Illinois-based Americans for Truth to Germany's Nazi party. Ensley's comments followed a request by Americans for Truth that the GOP rebuild its conservative base by defending a definition of marriage limited to one man and one woman. Now Peter LaBarbera, chief of Americans for Truth, says Republicans who seek a party without a special homosexual agenda should let Steele know what they believe.

Christian Encyclopedia publishers suppressing truth, says editor

Sunday, 22nd February 2009. 9:08am
By: Toby Cohen.

The editor of a Christian Encyclopedia pulped for being “too Christian” says the publishing company is now trying to suppress the truth. George Kurian, who is also the president of the Christian Heritage Society and the Forum Against PC Censorship Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization was successfully completed in September 2008. It was completed a year ahead of schedule and in four volumes instead of the contractual three. It was edited, copyedited, fact checked, proofread and finally approved by Blackwell’s editorial team. It was printed and bound and then launched to high praise. “Then the devil struck,” said Mr Kurian, alleging that the Oxford based editors “determined that the Introduction and many of the entries were ‘too Christian, too orthodox, too anti-secular and too anti-Muslim and not politically correct enough for being used in universities.’”

N.Y. Residents Speak Out for Family Persecuted in China
By Joshua Philipp
Epoch Times Staff Feb 24, 2009

NEW YORK—Last year, more than 10,000 people were arrested in China for their belief in being truthful, compassionate, and tolerant—the principles of a Chinese meditation discipline called Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong). On Friday, three New York residents told the story of their relatives who are currently imprisoned in China for their belief in the banned practice. The event was held on the steps of City Hall and was hosted by the Global Mission to Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners. Close to 50 community members came to show their support. Ms. Yu Wang told the story of her 61-year-old mother who was arrested on Feb. 1. Ms. Wang said that, according to the information she has received, her mother was distributing leaflets in Tianjin City about the persecution of Falun Dafa, when she was arrested by police and placed in a detention center. “She received no trial, no documents, or any fair legal process,” Ms. Wang said. “My family was told by police that my mother is facing one year and three months of ‘re-education through labor.’” “What does re-education mean?” Ms. Wang asked. “They want her to believe the lies that they have told the whole world, distorting the truth about China’s appalling human rights.”

Christian Radio Gets Nervous About the Fairness Doctrine

Some worry that Obama and Democrats will impose "stealth" fairness doctrine policies
By Dan Gilgoff
Posted February 26, 2009

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson remembers hosting The 700 Club in the days before the "fairness doctrine" was lifted—and he doesn't want to go back. A Federal Communications Commission rule that was in effect until 1987, the fairness doctrine required TV and radio stations to provide contrasting points of view to controversial opinions. If a station failed to balance a conservative argument from Robertson or his guests with a liberal one, viewers or listeners could file a complaint with the FCC, which might force the station to either comply or risk losing its license. "It was a sword of Damocles constantly hanging over us," says Robertson, who recalls hiring a team of lawyers to fend off the FCC when a viewer challenged his assertion that there were only 5,000 Jews in the United States around the time of its founding. When the fairness doctrine was informally lifted, under the Reagan-era FCC, Robertson got more political on the air, launching a presidential campaign that same year. "We didn't have to censor what we said anymore," he says.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Advertisements