Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 76
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Mother Is A Word Called Love
Submitted by Johanna
Written by Helen Steiner Rice
MOTHER is a word called LOVE
And all the world is mindful of
The love that's given and shown to others
Is different from THE LOVE OF MOTHERS…
For Mothers play the leading roles
In giving birth to little souls,
For though 'small souls' are heaven-sent
And we realise they're only lent,
It takes a Mother's loving hands
And her gentle heart that understands
To mould and shape this little life
And shelter it through storm and strife…
No other love than MOTHER LOVE
Could do the things required of
The one whom God gives the keeping
Of His wee lambs, awake or sleeping,
So Mothers are a 'special race'
God sent to earth to take His place,
And MOTHER is a lovely name
That even SAINTS are proud to claim.
If God Loves Us, Why are We Suffering?
Exodus 32:11 “But Moses interceded with the LORD his God: "LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people You brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand?”
In part articles, my fellow ministers and I have focused a lot about End Times and the Tribulation, Rapture and Armageddon. Our ministry has really been a lot about sounding a warning to the masses. First, with the Kingdom Message of Salvation so that Christ’s extended flock may prepare their hearts and then with the message that the Tribulation had begun so that they might prepare their minds for what we would all soon face and experience firsthand.
For nearly four years the world has experienced an increase in both the number of natural disasters that have occurred as well as their severity increasing. Now that so many are beginning to experience hardships due to the economic collapses occurring in our country and around the world, which have caused the loss of jobs and homes and many to go hungry and without medical attention and has caused pain and suffering in many different ways for many different reasons, some are beginning to wonder why.
Recently I was asked, “I just don’t understand why, if God and His son love me SO much, why, why, why make me suffer? It doesn’t bring me closer to Him, but makes me question my faith! And believe me; I don’t want to do that! It doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t see it as love, but as punishment.”
This is not an easy question to answer, because in reality there are many reasons, explanations and possibilities depending on the person asking the question. And it’s also not easy as a minister, who, while having compassion and empathy for those who are suffering, must also say to them in all truthfulness that, “Yes, God is angry.”
Aside from being truthful, it is also our responsibility to help Christ’s extended flock to gain knowledge, understanding and wisdom. And in order to gain knowledge as to what we are all experiencing in these End Times, the first thing to do is to look into what the word Tribulation means because while many of us are aware of the word as spoken of in the scriptures, it helps to actually read the definition so that we might apply its meaning to what we’re currently experiencing and come to a better and more complete understanding.
So what does the word tribulation really mean? It’s defined as being a great affliction, trial, or distress; suffering. But what you may not know is that it’s also defined as an experience that tests one’s endurance, patience or faith.
In learning the definition of the word tribulation, we discover that Father forewarned us all of what we would experience; a period of great affliction, distress and suffering. And that these things would also test our endurance, patience and faith.
Many people feel they are good people of good character and that perhaps they don’t deserve the pain or suffering, but it is important to realize that it’s not by our own standards that we are judged but by Father's.
So what is character? Character is defined as the features and traits that form the individual nature of a person, their moral or ethical quality, reputation, etc.
The building character can mean many things for many people. One sure thing that experiencing any sort of tribulation does, is that it builds character and based on how the person approaches that tribulation or does in response to the tribulation will determine the type of character that is built up within them. It can be either good or bad depending on the choices that are made by the individual.
For instance, a person who is faced with a situation in which they do not have the money with which to pay their rent might choose to turn to Father in prayer or, they might choose to turn their back on Father out of anger and commit an illegal act in which to gain the money they need.
Because our sinfulness is innate, there is always room in all of us for the building of good character. We are, none of us, worthy of the undeserved kindness that has been bestowed upon us. Building character can mean endurance, patience, understanding, obedience, compassion or strength. And it can even mean learning to be surrender and be humble. There are many, many qualities that we are all lacking in and that different tests, trials or tribulations may teach us.
Romans 5:4 “endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. “
So the answer is, yes, Father is angry but Father and Christ DO love us as well, and if you’ve ever loved anyone and been angry with them at the same time, then you know that it is absolutely possible to feel both emotions at the same time.
However, we must not allow the pain or suffering to cause us to question our faith, but instead to build our faith. We must endure because we are all tested in different ways, but we must remain strong and steadfast and obedient to Father's will. This too has also been illustrated in the scriptures as examples for us of Father’s chosen one’s who while they served Father faithfully, also experienced pain and suffering. They too were tested and while some failed, others endured.
Luke 21:19 “By your endurance gain your lives.”
Currently we are witnessing Father making Herself known to mankind through the effects of the Tribulation that is upon us, and over time more and more will question their faith and others will even curse Father for the judgment that is upon us. This is all a part of the culling process and must occur and as it must occur, we must endure so that we may gain our lives.
If at any point it feels that it’s too much, stop and consider this: Christ was of perfect character and without sin, and yet he suffered… for us.
Father does not wish that any of Her children should suffer or die – but these things must come to pass. So please, hold on tightly to your faith and do not let go no matter what. Continue to endure and guard your heart too. I cannot stress enough how important this is in this day and age.
Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.”
Our prayers continue to be with you all, in the name of our loving savior Christ Jesus, Amen.
Father is Nature
The fact that Father is nature has been taught to us a while ago, and has, ever since, I am sure, inspired further and further growth in different ways that not only makes us unique, but also very much alike. The fact that Father is nature not only places a greater understanding for the world around us in our hearts, but also places a greater bond for the natural world that we may have grown so far away from. Not just this, too, but also further binds our relationship with each other, as we are all a part of Father's natural world.
At first, personally, this was a little difficult to swallow. It was taken in faith, and it did not really have a bad taste. Perhaps some of the reason why the lesson was a little difficult to get into was because of personal experience with paganism and their beliefs. This analogy is kind of interesting, on the same plane, because it is like actually eating a hamburger from McDonald's, and having a bad experience, thus perhaps not having a particular liking for hamburgers from then on. But then, when one goes to a place where they have actually legitimate hamburgers, at first there may be a stigma against it, but then after trying it, may come to realize there was something else going on. This may be partially why it will be very different to become acquainted with living in Father's Kingdom, because our old memories of how things are will totally change how we initially try to learn new things, all of which are simply new to us, not to Father.
Further on the characteristic of nature being Father, one can possibly begin to see that nature, itself, mirrors all of Father's attributes. There is beauty in nature, which can be described in flowers.
Matthew 6:29 — And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don't labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these!
The wind can blow like Father's Spirit motivates and inspires. There are mountains that provide sanctuaries, and even the trees bare Father's signature. Each created animal that Father inspired also has their own aspects derived from Father's being, each made with wisdom.
Proverbs 30:24-28 — Four things on earth are small,
yet they are extremely wise:
the ants are not a strong people,
yet they store up their food in the summer;
hyraxes are not a mighty people,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in ranks;
a lizard can be caught in your hands,
yet it lives in kings' palaces.
At the same time, nature that comes from Father can also share many more lessons, and even be used to communicate to each of us. The clouds in the sky each hold a message, from each atom that makes the cloud, to the huge formations we may only see from our fragile eyes on the surface of the planet. Not only this, but the very birds and animals, the leaves on trees, and the overall ecosystem of the world tells each of us what is occurring, even the things that are spiritual and invisible to physical eyes. Global warming may be one idea of a sign of change, and expectantly so. Soon enough, Father's wrath will be fully and completely administered, and with no escape left on the planet. Another sign would be how the trees may seem to droop their leaves, or how all the animals in the wild seem a little less healthy, much more, how so many species of animals have already gone extinct. At the same time, animals and plants may be used by Father to communicate and share what She would have.
Jonah 4:6 — Then the LORD God appointed a plant, and it grew up to provide shade over Jonah's head to ease his discomfort. Jonah was greatly pleased with the plant.
Jonah 4:8 — As the sun was rising, God appointed a scorching east wind. The sun beat down on Jonah's head so that he almost fainted, and he wanted to die. He said, "It's better for me to die than to live."
1 Kings 20:36 — He told him, "Because you did not listen to the voice of the LORD, mark my words: When you leave me, a lion will kill you." When he left him, a lion found him and killed him.
Every day, as the sun rises and the sun sets, there is much that is also being communicated. Just by the sun existing in our solar system shows a deep message, all of which may be passively waiting, but if one opens their heart to Father, has more than an earful and an eyeful that would expand horizons and strengthen all around. One observed item of interest was how the clouds seem to accent the sky with the sun's rays and colors. However, at the same time, the clouds can block off the sun's light, and even cause rain that may not be very helpful, especially if it is snow and hail. It sort of sounds like what Paul had said about sinning and amplifying Father's glory:
Romans 3:7-8 — But if by my lie God's truth is amplified to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, just as some people slanderously claim we say, "Let us do evil so that good may come"? Their condemnation is deserved!
I do not know if there will always be clouds in the sky, even in Christ's Kingdom. When the canopy is above the planet, again, there may not be any gaseous formations able to be made in the canopy, not without bubbles, at least…or to the extent of my understanding, which is extremely limited. However, the fact that the clouds help to create such sunrises and sunsets, and given what clouds do, it is quite interesting to think about what will happen to it all. Another item that was observed during a sunrise, and relating it to other observed sunrises, was how the clouds seem to always flow in a pattern that goes towards the sun when it rises. One time, I felt a gentle wind flowing from the south, but saw the clouds moving east, towards the sun. It's as if that which causes darkness flows further towards the light, possibly to continue a cycle that is a day to day basis. And the clouds may either reflect a miraculous color and maybe even disperse, or simply gather more and more molecules, all dependent on conditions that are guided by laws that Father has instantiated, nothing of which is done without Father's permission.
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.
1 Corinthians 10:10
1 Corinthians 5:11
1 Corinthians 6:9, 10
1 Peter 4:3
1 Corinthians 6: 9, 10
Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Gaining Understanding Before Wisdom – Part 1
Adjutant: Job 28:28 "He said to mankind, "Look! The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to turn from evil is understanding."
How can one come to fear Father if they do not have understanding of what Father's counsel is really all about? The wisdom comes from an understanding of the truth. That understanding causes wisdom to be imparted to those that seek Father in truth. It instills them to turn away from doing evil. When Christ Jesus said he'd come to make his Father's name known, that was the basis for coming to an understanding of who Father really is and what was expected from Her sheep. Later, wisdom was imparted by Father's Spirit so that those twelve disciples understood what the truth actually was. This was the imparting of wisdom that came forth after having understanding.
Those that gain understanding of the truth, but they do not accept it, they lack Father's wisdom of the heart. This is why Dawn Lucifer and his demons and the converts, they know with deep felt understanding what the truth is, but they have no holy spirit from Father. They have no wisdom, so simply knowing and understanding the truth will not save anyone. It is understanding coupled with wisdom that comes down from above. The ability to understand the truth is there for all free will agents to comprehend, but the wisdom of the heart must be given by Father.
Job 12:12 "Wisdom is found with the elderly, and understanding comes with long life."
Wisdom and understanding go hand in hand. The longer you live under Father's rule the wiser you become, and understanding continues throughout your existence.
Job 12:13 "Wisdom and strength belong to God; counsel and understanding are His."
Job 8:10 "Will they not teach you and tell you and speak from their understanding?"
Those that teach from their own understanding, they impart understanding to those that are open minded. Wisdom follows understanding, and is why some are warned not to become wise in their own eyes. That is worldly wisdom. Father's wisdom is planted within the heart.
Think of it this way. When you were a child you did not have wisdom to not play in a street, but your parents guarded over you until they could bring your mind to an understanding of what tragic event might occur. Later you became old enough to see firsthand that animals and humans are run over and killed in streets. From past learning and knowledge taught to you about the danger, and seeing what can happen, you gained wisdom. That is worldly wisdom, but wisdom that is beneficial. With Father's wisdom, you also gain insight.
1 Kings 4:29 "[ Solomon's Wisdom and Literary Gifts ] God gave Solomon wisdom, very great insight, and understanding as [vast] as the sand on the seashore."
Father's wisdom knows all things.
2 Samuel 14:20 "Joab your servant has done this to address the issue indirectly, but my lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the Angel of God, knowing everything on earth."
REGINA: It seems that this is what we have personally experienced within our own ministry.
As it says in the Kingdom Message, Proverbs 4:7 "Wisdom is supreme—so get wisdom. And whatever else you get, get understanding."
1. highest in rank or authority; paramount; sovereign; chief.
2. of the highest quality, degree, character, importance, etc.: supreme courage.
3. greatest, utmost, or extreme: supreme disgust.
4. last or final; ultimate.
It makes sense that one must have understanding first, before one can gain wisdom, which comes last.
Adjutant: Yes, correct. The goal is to obtain the wisdom from Father that comes from a basic understanding of the truth. This is what happens when people pass to the other side. They are counseled to gain understanding. If they accept the truth of Father's side in this war, then they gain wisdom. If they decline, then they have understanding but no wisdom concerning Father's Way. They choose an alternate course.
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
Second PA low flying UFO reported
March 5, 2009
HOLLIDAYSBURG, PA – A second low flying UFO report from March 4 is coming out of this Blair County town. Two silent rectangular-shaped objects were described as "massive" as they flew over the witnesses' home. Hollidaysburg has a population just over 5,000, seven miles south of Altoona. The famous toy known as the Slinky® is manufactured within Hollidaysburg by Poof-Slinky, Inc. We reported here yesterday that three V-shaped UFOs moved low and silently over Doylestown, Bucks County, east of this area. In Boston, MA, also on March 4, a witness reports seeing a "silver boomerang object" hovering above. There appears to be an increase in low flying UFO sightings recently, with reports coming in from around the country. Ufologist Stan Gordon comments below. The following unedited report was filed with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The MA report follows. PA, March 4, 2009 – long rectangle row of red and white lights on 2 craft.
Orange light UFOs again over TX
March 5, 2009
Two cases of orange lights in the sky were reported in Texas on March 5. Two witnesses five miles north of Rising Star, Eastland County, reported a series of orange lights – appearing and disappearing, sometimes blinking. In a second report, a witness from Abilene, Taylor County, reported a similar series of orange lights appearing in a row format like the Phoenix Lights case – where one light turns on, then a second, then a third, and so forth. This pattern of lights has been reported in many other cases. See the links to previous stories following the reports. In MO today, reports of a bright light hovering in the sky came in from two different witnesses. Following are the unedited reports filed with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. TX – March 5, 2009 – Orange lights appear then disappear and reappear
Czech Republic: UFO buzzes town, many stunned witnesses, good photo
March 6, 2009
Media in the Czech Republic is widely reporting a series of UFO sightings that occurred last month in the northern town of Cheb. Numerous residents have flooded radio stations, newspapers and police with calls regarding the UFOs prompting something of an investigation into the events. The events occurred at around 7.45 pm on Saturday February 14 of this year and again at around the same time on February 17. Local residents are completely at odds to explain the events. Pavel Beran was returning home from a night out with his wife when he saw the UFOs on 14 February.’ We saw two lights and then another two, one emitting a bright orange light, the objects then shot away into the distance in a westward direction. It all lasted about a minute’. Vaclav Tondl was also with his wife when he saw the same lights buzz over the town square. He reported five objects circling around the town, hover over the church, then fly into the distance. ‘It was like nothing I have ever seen before, they were definitely controlled craft’. Vaclav said that he did not hear any sound coming from the objects.
China: UFO bathes city in violet light
March 5, 2009
Newspapers in the Chinese city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province not far from Hong Kong were recently inundated with calls from stunned residents of the city’s Futian district regarding UFOs that lingered above the city for over half an hour. One of the UFOs bathed the area in warm blue-violet light before shooting south. The incident took place at around 7.30pm on February 23 of this year. A Mrs Zhou saw the UFOs as she stood on her balcony; she said two of the three shot off while one remained for a while before leaving. ‘I have no idea what they were. The last one was emitting the strangest violet light which was very bright’. A Mr Yip also saw the UFOs and noticed that at least one of the craft was also emitting a blue flame from its underside. No photos have emerged yet of the incident (All News Web will post links when they do). Shenzhen is no stranger to UFOs; there have been dozens of sightings over the past two years. Futian is in the centre of the city and is a financial and business district. Shenzhen is in China’s ‘Special Economic Zone’ and is regarded as a boomtown and has an ultra modern skyline. It is home to over 8,000,000 residents. Perhaps alien visitors are taking an interest in China’s economic progress, weighing up whether humans in this part of the world are ready to deal with an open alien presence. China’s many thousands of UFO enthusiasts would certainly answer a resounding ‘yes!’ to this question.
V-shaped UFO group low over PA
March 4, 2009
DOYLESTOWN, PA, – Three meandering V-shaped UFOs moved low and silently over this Bucks County town late on March 3. A witness said she saw the first object from inside her home – what looked like two very bright car headlights. Outside as the object flew directly over her back yard, she noticed "mesmerizing" lights on a gray underbelly – strobe-style lights flashing white and blue/green. As the object passed over her front yard, it gained altitude and was joined by two identical crafts. The woman said the objects were close enough that there should have been the sound of an engine – but that they were silent. Also on March 3, a witness reported a "massive" UFO over an apartment complex in Ohio, with five white lights and a single red light. The woman said the object was the size of her apartment building or larger. The complete unedited reports are below as filed with the Mutual UFO Network database. PA – March 3, 2009 – Saw very bright lights in sky from house window. Went outside and it flew overhead. It was very quiet and had strobe flashing lights on underbelly.
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
Stocks plunge on financial fears
March 2, 2009
Stock markets have fallen worldwide, rattled by fears that turmoil in the financial sector is far from over. On Wall Street, the US Dow Jones index fell below 7,000 points for the first time since 1997. In the UK, the FTSE 100 index closed at a six-year low. Markets elsewhere in Europe also fell sharply. Confidence was hit by a fresh $30bn bail-out of US insurance giant AIG following a record $62bn loss, and by HSBC's plans to raise £12.5bn. The Dow Jones fell by 4.2% to end at 6,763, the lowest closing level since April 1997. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 4.7% at 701, briefly falling below the 700 level for the first time since October 1996. "We do feel that things can improve but it is going to be years before we get back to levels we saw in the markets a year ago," said David Chalupnik, head of equities at First American Funds.
Virus Mix-Up By Lab Could Have Resulted In Pandemic
March 5, 2009
It's emerged that virulent H5N1 bird flu was sent out by accident from an Austrian lab last year and given to ferrets in the Czech Republic before anyone realised. As well as the risk of it escaping into the wild, the H5N1 got mixed with a human strain, which might have spawned a hybrid that could unleash a pandemic. Last December, the Austrian branch of US vaccine company Baxter sent a batch of ordinary human H3N2 flu, altered so it couldn't replicate, to Avir Green Hills Biotechnology, also in Austria. In February, a lab in the Czech Republic working for Avir alerted Baxter that, unexpectedly, ferrets inoculated with the sample had died. It turned out the sample contained live H5N1, which Baxter uses to make vaccine. The two seem to have been mixed in error. Markus Reinhard of Baxter says no one was infected because the H3N2 was handled at a high level of containment. But Ab Osterhaus of Erasmus University in the Netherlands says: "We need to go to great lengths to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen."
The Groundwork Has Already Been Laid for Martial Law
The Rutherford Institute
by John W. Whitehead
March 4, 2009
During his two terms in office, George W. Bush stepped outside the boundaries of the Constitution and assembled an amazing toolbox of powers that greatly increased the authority of the Executive branch and the reach of the federal government. Bush expanded presidential power to, among other things, allow government agents to secretly open the private mail of American citizens; authorize government agents to secretly, and illegally, listen in on the phone calls of American citizens and read our e-mails; assume control of the federal government following a "catastrophic event"; and declare martial law. Thus, the groundwork was laid for an imperial presidency and a potentially totalitarian government–a state of affairs that has not ended with Barack Obama's ascension to the Oval Office, despite hopes to the contrary that President Obama would fully restore the balance between government and its citizens to a pre-Bush status quo. As Charlie Savage reports in the New York Times, "Signs suggest that the administration's changes may turn out to be less sweeping than many had hoped or feared–prompting growing worry among civil liberties groups and a sense of vindication among supporters of Bush-era policies."
US jobless rate increases to 8.1%
March 6, 2009
The US jobless rate jumped in February to 8.1%, according to official figures from the Labor Department. The number of people out of work rose by 651,000 during the month. Both figures were bigger than expected. The number of job cuts in January was revised up to 655,000 while December's losses were pushed up to 681,000. December's figure was the biggest job loss in a single month since October 1949. The unemployment rate was the highest since December 1983. President Obama said that the number of jobs lost so far in the recession was "astounding". Speaking in Ohio, he added: "I don't need to tell the people of this state what statistics like this mean," saying that he had signed his economic stimulus package in order to save jobs. The extra 161,000 jobs added to December and January's figures mean that almost two million jobs have been lost in the past three months. A total of 12.5 million people are now unemployed in the US. "It just continues to show the grim state of the labour market, which suggests a deepening US recession," said Joe Manimbo, currency trader at Ruesch International in Washington.
Obama hails special relationship
March 3, 2009
President Barack Obama has said the US-UK "special relationship" will "only get stronger", after holding talks with prime minister Gordon Brown. It was "not just important to me" but "important to the American people", he told reporters in the White House. The talks focused on the economy, as Mr Brown became the first European leader to meet the new president. Asked about their personal rapport, Mr Obama said they had "spectacular wives and wonderful children in common". On Wednesday Mr Brown will also become the fifth British prime minister to address Congress, when he is expected to warn against turning to protectionism as a response to the downturn.
Signs in Humanity
Designer Babies – Like It Or Not, Here They Come
by Keith Kleiner
March 2, 2009
Long before Watson and Crick famously uncovered the structure of DNA in 1953, people envisioned with both horror and hope a day when babies could be custom designed — free of inherited disease, yet equipped with superior genes for good looks, intelligence, athleticism, and more. Now the beginnings of that day have finally come. The Fertility Institutes recently stunned the fertility community by being the first company to boldly offer couples the opportunity to screen their embryos not only for diseases and gender, but also for completely benign characteristics such as eye color, hair color, and complexion. The Fertility Institutes proudly claims this is just the tip of the iceberg, and plans to offer almost any conceivable customization as science makes them available. Even as couples from across the globe are flocking in droves to pay the company their life’s savings for a custom baby, opponents are vilifying the company for shattering moral and ethical boundaries. Like it or not, the era of designer babies is officially here and there is no going back.
States Move Away From Abstinence-Only Sex Education as Teen Birth Rates Rise
By Brooks Blanton
March 5, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. — High school students from Connecticut to California could soon be learning about abstinence-only sex education — as ancient history. At least 24 states and the District of Columbia are moving from abstinence instruction to a more comprehensive approach that includes lessons about STD prevention and contraception, a massive shift away from the wait-until-marriage method pushed heavily by the Bush administration. Many states adopted abstinence-only education in return for federal funding, but 13 years after Congress designed the programs in 1996, teen pregnancy rates are on the rise and critics say kids are simply not listening to the abstinence-only message. "It's bad — we have the ninth-highest pregnancy rate in the country and it's clear that our students need more information," said Emily Pelino, education director for the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC).
Record 31.8 million on food stamps
March 5, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A record 31.8 million Americans received food stamps at the latest count, an increase of 700,000 people in one month with the United States in recession, government figures showed Thursday. Food stamps, which help poor people buy groceries, are the major U.S. anti-hunger program, forecast to cost at least $51 billion in this fiscal year ending Sept. 30, up $10 billion from fiscal 2008. "A weakened economy means that many more individuals are turning to SNAP/food stamps," said the Food Research and Action Center. Last summer food stamps were renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The average food stamp benefit is $115 a month for individuals and $255 a month per household. Enrollment for food stamps in December was up 2.2% from the previous month with increases in all but three states. Ohio had the largest increase among large states, up 3.4%, to 1.26 million people. Texas had the largest enrollment, 3.05 million, up 1.8%.
Adulterers used to flock to Brighton. Now it's divorcees
By Emily Dugan
March 8, 2009
It was bound to happen. Prompted by an explosion in the popularity of wedding fairs, the UK will see its first divorce fair next Sunday. Divorces have largely been sombre affairs, spared the hysteria and consumerism associated with "the big day". But the Starting Over Show in Brighton is expected to bring hundreds of divorcees or couples considering a split together with lawyers, accountants, counsellors, dating agencies, image consultants and even chocolate sellers touting for business. The show's organiser, Suzy Miller, said the fair's 30 exhibitors would put a more positive slant on the process. "I thought the best thing was to look at what to do next, and there's a strong emphasis on moving on," she said. Ms Miller had the idea for the show after she divorced her husband and was left with little support. "When I heard about divorce fairs that were happening in Europe, my first reaction was to laugh – then I thought about it for five minutes and realised it was fantastic", she said. "I knew it was a very lonely time, and there didn't seem to be any resources out there. "People assumed that mostly women would come, but a quarter of the tickets sold have gone to men."
Tamil family proud of son's 'sacrifice'
By Julian Joyce and Dan Bell
March 7, 2009
The UK-based family of a young Tamil man who set himself on fire in protest at the treatment of his countrymen in Sri Lanka have said they are proud of his actions. Thousands of Tamils living in the UK and beyond attended the funeral on Saturday in Northolt, west London, of Murugathasan Varnakulasingham, 26, who travelled to Switzerland last month to kill himself in front of the United Nations building in Geneva. Mr Varnakulasingham, a computing graduate who worked part-time in a supermarket, had attended demonstrations to protest against the Sri Lankan military's war against the Tamil Tigers. The rebels are fighting for a Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island. Thousands of people have been killed, and thousands more displaced on the island since fighting escalated after 2005.
Arks of Safe Haven
"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:
vandelet44 – AZ. – Mother of three just was vacated from her home of five years due to landlord went through foreclosure and failed to inform the mother. This mother paid her rent up eight months in advance just to be better prepared for her family. She lost her home, her job, and now is in a hotel she cant afford. She is living off her child support and needs help getting back on her feet. She is looking for anyone that is generous to help this family in getting a place to stay, help with her motel room, some food to feed her kids. If anyone can help this family please contact her ASAP. please anything anyone can do to help will help a lot. Thanks
Haelee – Kettering, OH.- We just moved here and are needing some help. we came over to this state a month ago on the greyhound from the west coast. we did it to be a little closer to family. we were only allowed to bring very few things with us on the greyhound so we need things for our baby and our new house. i am legally blind and get SSI and my fiance is a computer tech who works for him self. we really need some help getting things still. we need a baby crib, high char with the bar that goes between the legs so baby cant fall out, girls baby clothes size six to nine and nine to twelve, pots and pans and cookie sheets, kitchen utensils and appliances, anything to decorate and make it feel like home, baby blankets, blankets, towels, and the thing we need most right now is a bed bigger then a twin. Thank you so much for any help. also if anyone is able to help it would need to be brought to me because i am legally blind and cant drive. thanks again and god bless.
richbratton – Durham, NC. – I am the single father of two children. I have sickle cell disease and stay sick a lot of the time. My children and I were left by their mother a few months ago. She couldn't handle me being sick a lot. So, I am in desperate need of rental help. i need to have 150.00 to my landlord by Monday or he begins eviction procedures. I have an insurance settlement coming at the end of the month, but my landlord will not wait. If anyone can help, please email me. I live in Durham, NC. Thanks.
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
Beached whales, dolphins rescued in Australia
Yahoo News / AP
Mon Mar 2, 2009
SYDNEY – Rescuers used jet skis, backhoes and human muscle to save dozens of whales and dolphins stranded on a beach in southern Australia on Monday, officials and news reports said. The 194 pilot whales and half a dozen bottlenose dolphins became stranded on Naracoopa Beach on Tasmania state's King Island on Sunday evening — the fourth beaching incident in recent months in Tasmania. Strandings happen periodically in Tasmania as whales go by during their migration to and from Antarctic waters, but scientists do not know why it happens. It is unusual, however, for whales and dolphins to get stranded together.
Snowstorm Pounds Northeast, Snarls Travel
Monday March 2, 2009
TRENTON, N.J. — A massive late winter snow storm roared out of the Southeast and into the Northeast overnight, idling hundreds of flights and making Monday's morning rush treacherous as motorists contended with nearly a foot of snow in spots. Winter storm warnings were issued from North Carolina to New Hampshire, with most areas expected to see 8 to 12 inches of snow and higher amounts possible in northern areas. "It's the first of March, which, as you know, is the month that we say comes in like a lion and out like a lamb," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday. "It's pretty clear that the lions are getting ready to roar." The blizzard-like snow — together with sleet, freezing rain and wind gusts of up to 30 mph — contributed to four deaths on roads in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and on New York's Long Island.
The Big Question: Are shark attacks on the rise, and can anything be done about them?
By Steve Connor
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Why are we asking this now? There has been a spate of shark attacks on bathers swimming in Sydney, the most recent occurring on Sunday when a 15-year-old boy was badly injured. He became the third shark-attack victim in as many weeks. In one of the previous attacks a navy diver in Sydney harbour lost an arm and a leg after being savaged by a bull shark. The other attack was on a surfer using the city's Bondi Beach whose badly severed hand had to be surgically re-attached. Local fishermen claimed that shark attacks are on the increase, aided by anti-pollution measures that have brought shoals of fish – and their natural predators – closer to shore. Has there been an increase in shark attacks globally? There is very little data to support the idea of a statistically significant increase in shark attacks. The recent instances from Australia get widely reported but there is no obvious trend which suggests that shark attacks are getting more common. In 2001, for instance, there was a wave of media reports about shark attacks around the world – it became known as the "summer of the shark". There did appear to be a cluster of attacks at that time. However, when experts came to examine the figures at the end of 2001, the actual number of shark attacks and deaths for the year were down slightly on previous years.
Wenchuan earthquake mudslides emit greenhouse gas
Mudslides that followed the 12 May 2008 Wenchuan, China earthquake, ranked by the US Geological Survey as the 11th deadliest earthquake ever recorded, may cause a carbon-dioxide release in upcoming decades equivalent to two percent of current annual global carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion, a new study shows. Mudslides wipe away plants and topsoil, depleting terrain of nutrients for plant regrowth and burying swaths of vegetation. Buried vegetable matter decomposes and releases carbon dioxide and other gases to the atmosphere. The expected carbon dioxide release from the mudslides following the Wenchuan earthquake is similar to that caused by Hurricane Katrina's plant damage, report Diandong Ren, of the University of Texas at Austin, and his colleagues, who used a computer model to predict the ecosystem impacts of the mudslides. What's more, the vegetation destruction will lead to a loss of nitrogen from the quake-devastated region's ecosystem twice as large as the loss of that nutrient from California ecosystems because of the October 2007 wildfires there, Ren says. And, as the biomass buried by the China quake rots, 14 percent of the nitrogen will be spewed into the atmosphere as nitrous oxide, a pollutant typically released from agricultural operations, automobiles, and other sources.
Platte River Flooding Traps Homeowners
Action 3 News
Posted: March 4, 2009
North Bend, NE – A flood warning for parts of Dodge and Saunders Counties is set to expire at 8:15 in the morning on Thursday. The warning went out on Wednesday, after an ice jam on the Platte River started pushing water over the bank, flooding the riverside neighborhood near North Bend. Wednesday's spring warm-up creates a sudden flood threat on the river and for homeowners. Early Wednesday, the National Weather Service issued a flood warning in-effect for Dodge and Saunders counties until 8:15 Wednesday night. Dodge county emergency managers flew over the river early Wednesday morning. They report the ice jam to span, about three quarters of a mile long. Many homes around McGinn's Lake are already flooded. River water rushes out of the banks, running over roads, through fields and into homes. Ice jam flooding along the mighty Platte River stuns some residents. Dan Krienert learned of the rising water after a neighbor phoned him. Krienert says, "I peeked out the window and knew right away there was a problem." The problem was the frigid water flooding into his back yard. Krienert quickly rushed outside to save his pets. He says, "I had to go out in the cold water and get the dogs. Believe me the water is cold." Homeowners in the McGinn's Lake area jumped into boats and paddled through fields just to get around. The water level completely covered the road into the residential area. It was so deep in places Action 3 News could not drive our Jeep Liberty in. Thankfully a resident took us on a tour of the muddy mess.
Natural Disaster Update
6.4 NORTH OF SVALBARD
5.4 NORTH OF SVALBARD
5.1 NORTH OF SVALBARD
5.8 FIJI REGION
5.1 NEAR SOUTH COAST OF MYANMAR
5.2 SIMEULUE, INDONESIA
5.0 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.2 ANATAHAN REG, N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.1 MOLUCCA SEA
5.0 EASTERN SICHUAN, CHINA
5.1 BONIN ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION
5.2 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.3 GUAM REGION
5.2 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
5.1 NEW IRELAND REGION, P.N.G.
5.6 SULAWESI, INDONESIA
And a large cluster of small quakes in Western Turkey.
5.0 EAST OF NORTH ISLAND, N.Z.
5.2 FIJI REGION
5.5 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.3 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.1 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
6.3 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.5 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
5.0 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
5.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
BRITAIN – A earth tremor yesterday rocked Kent – where a quake damaged 500 homes less than two years ago. Houses shook in Dover and parts of Folkestone in the latest shaker. The tremor lasted a few seconds and there were no reports of damage. Folkestone was hit in April 2007 by a quake which wrecked cars and chimneys. That one measured 4.3 on the Richter scale.
CHINA – Wenchuan earthquake mudslides emit greenhouse gas – Mudslides that followed the 12 May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, ranked as the 11th deadliest earthquake ever recorded, may cause a carbon-dioxide release in upcoming decades equivalent to 2% of current annual global carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion, a new study shows. Mudslides wipe away plants and topsoil, depleting terrain of nutrients for plant regrowth and burying swaths of vegetation. Buried vegetable matter decomposes and releases carbon dioxide and other gases to the atmosphere. The expected carbon dioxide release from the mudslides following the Wenchuan earthquake is similar to that caused by Hurricane Katrina's plant damage. What's more, the vegetation destruction will lead to a loss of nitrogen from the quake-devastated region's ecosystem twice as large as the loss of that nutrient from California ecosystems because of the October 2007 wildfires there. And, as the biomass buried by the China quake rots, 14 percent of the nitrogen will be spewed into the atmosphere as nitrous oxide, a pollutant typically released from agricultural operations, automobiles, and other sources. "From above, the area will look green in a few years, because grass grows back quickly, but the soil nutrients recover very slowly, and other kinds of plants won't grow."
OREGON – Deep quake in SW was a RARE one. A light earthquake deep under the mountains of southwestern Oregon may have left many slumbering at 2 a.m. Thursday, 2/26, but a geologist said it was an eye-opener. The quake was about 24 miles deep and arose from a plate of basalt under the Pacific Ocean sliding beneath the North American continent. For years, scientists doubted that such deep quakes happened under Oregon. The quake Thursday was light, at magnitude 4.1. But it's a sign that one of magnitude 6 or 7 could arise from that slab, known as the Juan de Fuca plate. The plate is the source of many earthquakes of greater magnitude in the Puget Sound area, but it is under greater stress there. Scientists says its the ONLY ONE OF ITS KIND TO HIT WITHIN MILES OF THE REGION SINCE 1833.
ALASKA – Okmok Volcano now joins Redoubt among the restless volcanoes. Okmok Volcano rumbled a bit Monday night, causing the Alaska Volcano Observatory to raise its alert level. Okmok exhibited signs of elevated unrest Monday evening with a series of short bursts of volcanic tremors. Scientists say the seismic activity decreased significantly over the past 12 hours, but they will continue to closely monitor the volcano.
TROPICAL STORMS –
AUSTRALIA – Strong winds and high seas are expected off the north Queensland coast as Category 2 Cyclone Hamish makes its way south.
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
AUSTRALIA – Flooding in Western Australia's Pilbara has spawned a potentially deadly mosquito-borne virus authorities warn is particularly dangerous to newcomers to the region.
AUSTRALIA – 'The great ignored flood of the north-west'. It started flooding in Queensland's north-west on January 1 and eight weeks on it's still under water. Graziers are becoming increasingly frustrated with what they say is a slow response to their situation by the state and federal governments. Tempers are fraying among cattle producers as they near the beginning of a third month in flood. "It's very stressful, we haven't been able to move for eight weeks. We didn't receive a food drop for six weeks."
HAWAII – A big wind, or "dust devil," that blew a portion of a roof off a school building on the Big Island is RARE in Hawaii, according to the National Weather Service. "A dust devil — especially one that produces wind damage — is very rare." The duration of strong winds for the past five days is UNUSUAL. The gusts are expected to continue through tomorrow and begin subsiding Thursday and Friday. Tradewinds from the northeast can be strong near the end of winter and the start of spring, although these type of winds can happen at any time of the year. A weather advisory for the Kau District has been in effect since last week, warning of the potential for 30 mph winds, gusting up to 50 mph. Typically short-lived and about a couple of hundred feet wide at the most, dust devils are formed when high winds strike terrain and turn in a circular motion. Within the last five days, the weather service had two reports of smaller dust devils occurring on Oahu and Kawaihae in West Hawaii.
CYPRUS – FREAK weather conditions caused a number of problems for residents. Several roads, mostly in the Paphos district, have been covered by water and there have been cuts in electricity supplies. A man was killed by lightning during a severe thunderstorm in the Cyprus capital. In Polis Chrysochous, flooding took several boats, which were sitting on land near the marina, out to sea. Several people were trapped by snow while driving in mountainous roads and had to be rescued by police.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –
"Gravity wave" powered late-season snowstorm – Near the height of the most disruptive storm of the winter, one that became a daylong nuisance throughout the region, high drama was playing out in the skies above South Jersey. Just before midnight Sunday, a band of rapidly rising air – part of what is known as a "gravity wave" – developed in the upper atmosphere from eastern Virginia into eastern New Jersey. And this was a particularly potent one. For the next few hours, it generated heavy snow in South Jersey, with 10.5 inches in Hammonton by daybreak, and powerful wind gusts of 60 m.p.h. in Atlantic City and 59 m.p.h. in Cape May. By early morning, 20,000 customers would be without power. In all, the storm could cost the state up to $7 million. Meanwhile, the wave temporarily would shut off snow to areas to the west. The snow did come back as the storm entered a second phase at daybreak. The snow totals were impressive – generally, 6 to 8 inches in the Pennsylvania suburbs, more in South Jersey – and of some statistical note. The 5.6 inches measured Monday in Philadelphia BROKE THE MARCH 2 DAILY RECORD, 5 inches, set in 1914. And while this won't be remembered as a particularly ferocious winter, it is the FIRST IN MORE THAN 30 YEARS TO HAVE TWO SNOWFALLS OF 8-PLUS INCHES. The effects of the storm might have been worse in the western suburbs if not for the gravity wave over New Jersey that held down nighttime accumulations. The atmosphere in a storm behaves not unlike a stormy ocean, with rising and falling waves. Snow forms when warm air rises over cold air, and when air is rapidly rising, it snows heavily. Meanwhile, the area to the west of the wave crest has to sink, aided by the pull of gravity, and that has a drying effect. Gravity waves are a relatively recent discovery, and not easy to forecast – or find. "Those waves are superimposed on the larger-scale feature, and they are very hard to track."
MARYLAND – Tuesday's low of 10 degrees just before dawn at BWI-Marshall Airport was the COLDEST OFFICIAL READING ON A MARCH 3 SINCE RECORD-KEEPING BEGAN in 1871. It shattered the previous record of 12 degrees, last reached downtown on this date in 1925. On Monday, they SET A NEW RECORD FOR SNOWFALL on a March 2 in Baltimore – 4.7 inches. That beat the previous record of 3.7 inches set back in 1969. They are under a very strong, very cold dome of high pressure. Highs circulate clockwise, so as this high moves east, they'll lose the cold northwest winds and come into the return flow of warmer breezes from the south.
U.S. – Late-season snow and high winds punched through the eastern United States, killing at least five people as the freeze snapped power lines, closed schools and snarled air and road traffic.
U.S. – A RARE March snow has blanketed much of Alabama and winter storm warnings are in effect along the U.S. East Coast. The icy blast threatened to drop up to a foot of snow in the Philadelphia area, 13 inches in New York and 15 inches across southern New England late Sunday. Maryland has already spent more than $40 million responding to bad weather in what's been a colder-than-usual winter. The late Southern snowfall revived memories of a large storm in 1993 that forecasters nicknamed the "Snowfall of the Century," which spanned a region from Alabama to north of Washington, D.C. In that storm, Atlanta received 4.2 inches of snow and 13 inches fell on Birmingham, Alabama.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
DROUGHT is killing off trees in Brazil's fragile Amazon rain forest and depleting the region's carbon reservoirs – an ecological double-whammy with devastating implications. The Amazon's lush vegetation in a typical year absorbs nearly two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, one of the chief culprits causing climate change. Drought also accelerates the depletion of the region's carbon sinks, natural reservoirs that accumulate and store the chemical compound for an indefinite period. Researchers said the total impact of the drought was an additional five billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – more than the combined annual emissions of Europe and Japan. The Amazon accounts for more than half of the world's rainforest, covering an area 25 times the size of the United Kingdom. The findings are especially sobering because climatologists predict the creation of a potentially devastating cycle in which the Amazon's hotter and more intense future dry seasons in turn lead to more greenhouse gas emissions and even more drought.
Climate Change – A growing body of evidence, including analyses from military experts in the United States and Europe, supports the estimate that by midcentury, climate change will make vast parts of Africa and Asia uninhabitable. Analysts say it could trigger a migration the size of which the world has never before seen. Some of the big questions remain unanswered: How many people will really move? Where will they go? How will they go? Will they return? But experts estimate that as many as 250 million people — a population almost that of the entire United States — could be on the move by 2050. They will go because temperatures are rising and desertification has set in where rainfall is needed most. They will go because more potent monsoons are making flood-prone areas worse. They will go because of other water events caused by melting glaciers, rising seas and the slow and deadly seepage of saline water into their wells and fields. The worst migration cases will be nations like the Maldives and small islands in the Pacific. Their inhabitants will go because their homelands will likely sink beneath the rising sea. A minimum of 207 million people in Latin America, Asia and Africa will not have enough water inside a decade. In Asia, an extra 130 million people will be at risk of hunger by the middle of the century. By 2100, crop revenues in Africa will drop 90 percent. And scientists see Bangladesh as ground zero. By the end of the century, more than a quarter of the country will be inundated. About 15 million people in Bangladesh alone could be displaced. That's the equivalent of every person in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The first shifts will start within countries. Scientists see families flocking from rural and coastal areas to cities where livelihoods are less tied to fickle weather patterns. It's a pattern that is already happening against a background of rapid global urbanization, in which the desperate rate of growth far outpaces jobs and infrastructure. The next step in the migration pattern is across national borders. Military experts predict a downward spiral of violence and conflict as people desperate for food, water and jobs cross into neighboring countries where resources may be only slightly less scarce. Wealthy nations like the United States and the European Union, meanwhile, could also be asked to take in millions of the world's displaced people even as they negotiate international disputes.
AUSTRALIA – Many trees fell and windows from a Melbourne city skyscraper were blown out during 24 hours of furious weather. As winds battered the state, more than 440 volunteers were called into action to help out residents caught out by the FREAK conditions. Pedestrians were lucky to avoid broken panels of glass which fell from a building about 3.20pm yesterday as winds gusts topped 120km/h. Volunteers removed trees that had fallen on buildings and roadways and assisted with minor to moderate building damage, such as dislodged tiles, sheeting iron and even trampolines flying into houses. Conditions eased overnight. The Bureau of Meteorology has reissued a severe weather warning for west and south Gippsland districts for the rest of the day. Winds are expected to reach between 60 to 80km/h, with peak gusts of 110km/h predicted.
AUSTRALIA – Emergency services in Victoria are adamant they are not "crying wolf" with warnings about extreme fire danger followed by an extreme storm event over the next couple of days. The temperature is set to rise to 31 degrees Tuesday, accompanied by winds of up to 150km/h. Authorities are pleading with residents throughout Victoria to prepare for the conditions. The conditions are being compared to Ash Wednesday and Black Saturday. "We're expecting a lot of trees to come down with the wind. A lot are unstable anyway, with the fires and the very dry conditions…We can not assume that any part of the state will be safe tomorrow." Four major fires are still burning, with the north-eastern end of the Kilmore-Murrindindi fire causing the most concern.
CALIFORNIA – The governor declared a state of emergency because of a severe drought and warns of possible water rationing. He urged the state's cities and towns to cut water consumption by 20%, or face the prospect of compulsory cuts. Three dry winters have left California's reservoirs at their LOWEST LEVELS SINCE 1992. The years of below-average rainfall could cost California an estimated $3bn (£2.1bn) and 95,000 jobs. "This drought is having a devastating impact… making today's action absolutely necessary. We have a water system that is for 18 million people – now we are 38 million. We've got to go and redo our water system – bring it up to date." Farmers have been particularly badly hit in a state which is the largest producer of food and agricultural products in the US. The drought has resulted in many fields being left fallow and thousands of farm worker have been laid off.
MYSTERY BOOMS –
CALIFORNIA – 3/4/09 – Mysterious rattling reported in county; earthquake ruled out as the cause. Even though Central Coast residents felt rattled Wednesday morning, the source of the shaking was not under their feet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. At 9:15 a.m., USGS sensors detected ground movement, but the signals did not resemble an earthquake. The movement appeared to originate off the Monterey Bay coast. "Our best guess is that it was a sonic boom from a jet off the coast. That's all we can say scientifically." The Air Force reports it did not have jets flying off the coast that morning. After receiving calls about a boom in Southern California, the Federal Aviation Administration said it is searching through flights they monitored Wednesday morning to find the supersonic jet. "We haven't found anything yet that would explain the sonic boom." "The energy travelled across our seismic sensor network at the velocity of a compressional wave in air rather than the velocity of a similar wave through the ground, which is much faster." "I was outside and heard two loud booms. My husband said the house shook quickly, like a truck hit it, not the typical earthquake shaking, much quicker." One man heard four loud booms – two before 10 a.m. and another two around noon. "They made our windows rattle. It was like a blast, it sounded like a dynamite blast almost." Residents in Salinas and Monterey also reported feeling the boom. The ground did move Wednesday morning also. The USGS Web site reported four minor earthquakes in the region. A magnitude 2.0 earthquake hit near Los Altos Hills at 8:40 a.m. Two quakes struck outside Tres Pinos: a 1.3 magnitude at 5:42 a.m. and a 1.6 at 7:52 a.m. The shaking detected at 9:15 a.m. was not posted on their site, because it was not classified as an earthquake. At 11:12 a.m., a 1.7 movement was measured in a quarry near Portola Valley. The USGS attributed that to a probable quarry explosion.
FINLAND – 3/1/09 – A fist-sized meteorite plummeted to Earth somewhere in southern Savo. At least three cameras captured the bright streak of the space-rock making its fiery descent over the weekend. "The meteorite has probably fallen along the border between Kangasniemi and Hankasalm." The landing site got quite a bit of snow over the weekend, which makes finding and retrieving the meteorite quite difficult. The rock shot into Earth's atmosphere at 15.4 metres per second, but it slowed down as it approached the ground. Both the Ursa Astornomical Association and its local affiliate Jyväskylän Sirius are requesting that witnesses submit accounts or pictures of the shooting star. [Site note – This isn't far from the location of the quakes North of Svalbard] (photo)
Moon mystery – Ever since the invention of the telescope, observers around the world have occasionally watched small areas of the moon brighten or "turn fuzzy." Sometimes they even turn reddish. Because the bright patches are ephemeral, lasting only last a few minutes, these events have come to be known as transient lunar phenomena, or TLPs. "About 1,500 of these have been reported." Astronomers already know they're not meteorite impacts. Those produce brighter, briefer flashes as the meteorite hits the surface and vaporizes. But nobody yet knows what TLPs are – or even whether they truly exist. Many astronomers think they're simply optical illusions or figments of observers' tired eyes and overactive imaginations. Scientists have long believed the moon to be a dead world, but if TLPs are real, then some form of geological activity must still be going on. In a project begun last year and expected to continue at least into 2010, two telescopes are photographing the moon every 20 seconds. At each site, the images are fed into computers that can examine them for changes that might signal a TLP. That may sound easy, but it's not. Minor disturbances in Earth's atmosphere can also cause lunar features to brighten, dim, or distort. A statistical analysis of all known TLP reports, searching for patterns, found that in the most reliable reports, the vast majority appeared to have occurred in a handful of lunar locations. Half, in fact, were in a single crater, Aristarchus, while another 20 percent took place in the crater Plato. The areas where TLPs have been most frequently sighted were compared to regions where Apollo space missions observed evidence of a short-lived radioactive gas, radon-222, escaping from the Moon's interior – a clear sign that some type of geological activity was going on. The Apollo instruments spotted several such outbursts – all in areas where TLPs are frequently reported. "The chances of this happening at random are extremely small." Gases including radon might be migrating up from deep inside the moon, making their way to the surface via fractures in the rock. "When we look at the moon, we think of [it] as a dead place. But it may not be dead. It may be having these last gasps."
Almost nothing is immune from space weather – not even the water in your bathroom. Experts analyzed what might happen to our modern, high-tech society in the event of a "super solar flare" followed by an extreme geomagnetic storm. The problem begins with the electric power grid. "Electric power is modern society's cornerstone technology on which virtually all other infrastructures and services depend." Yet it is particularly vulnerable to bad space weather. Sprawling power lines act like antennas, picking up the currents and spreading the problem over a wide area. Interconnectedness makes the system susceptible to wide-ranging "cascade failures." In a super flare, more than 350 transformers are at risk of permanent damage and 130 million people would be left without power. The loss of electricity would ripple across the social infrastructure with "water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, fuel re-supply and so on." The total economic impact in the first year alone could reach $2 trillion.
The strongest geomagnetic storm on record is the Carrington Event of August-September 1859. Geomagnetic activity triggered by the explosion electrified telegraph lines, shocking technicians and setting their telegraph papers on fire; Northern Lights spread as far south as Cuba and Hawaii; auroras over the Rocky Mountains were so bright, the glow woke campers who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning. At the moment, no one knows when the next super solar storm will erupt. It could be 100 years away or just 100 days. (map of areas of probable power system collapse)
Last week, on Feb. 23rd, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory watched a comet plunge into the sun and disintegrate. The doomed snowball was a member of the Kreutz sungrazer family. Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a giant comet some 2000 years ago. More than a thousand of these fragments have been catalogued since the observatory was launched in 1995. Most are small and faint, but this one was a beauty. (video)
Monday's asteroid likely "would produce a tsunami" had it landed in an ocean. Asteroid 2009 DD45, thought to be between 68 and 152 feet across, passed within 38,000 miles of Earth Monday – a close call in astronomical terms. It raced by Earth almost seven times closer than the moon at 6:44 p.m. New York time. "NO OBJECT OF THAT SIZE, OR LARGER, HAS BEEN OBSERVED TO COME CLOSER TO THE EARTH."
An asteroid which may be as big as a ten-storey building has passed close by the Earth. The object, known as 2009 DD45, thought to be 21-47m (68-152ft) across, raced by our planet at 1344 GMT on Monday. The gap was just 72,000 km (44,750 miles); a fifth of the distance between our planet and the Moon, and only twice the altitude of satellites in geosynchronous orbit. The closest recent flyby is 2004 FU162, a small asteroid about 6m (20ft) across which came within about 6,500km (4,000 miles) of our planet in March 2004. It is in the same size range as a rock which exploded over Siberia in 1908 with the force of 1,000 atomic bombs.
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
Largest Christian groups report membership decline
Christian Post Reporter
Monday, March 02, 2009
The Southern Baptist Convention and the Roman Catholic Church – the two largest Christian communions in the country – have joined the ranks of mainline denominations in reporting membership losses, the latest church yearbook shows. After years of continuous growth, membership in the Roman Catholic Church dropped by 0.59 percent and the Southern Baptist Convention decreased by 0.24 percent, according to the 2009 edition of the Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, published this week. Although the percentage losses are small compared to the total membership of the churches, the yearbook pointed out that the two communions had "grown dependably" over the years and "now they join virtually every mainline church in reporting a membership decline."
'God Hates Fags' group rallies
Kansas church blames recent tornadoes on Oklahoma’s homosexual community
By Kory Oswald, Correspondent
Published: Monday, March 2, 2009
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church traveled more than 300 miles to picket high school students and the Oklahoma state government yesterday. Six members of the church, all family members, traveled from Topeka, Kan., to preach at the State Capitol and Moore High School on the corner of Main Street and Toby Keith Avenue. They were greeted and vastly outnumbered by a boisterous crowd of Oklahomans from all over the metro area that came to hold a counter-protest. “I came to stand up for what I believe in,” Athena Gonzalez, a freshman at UCO, said. “Everyone has their First Amendment rights, but I wanted to show them that their hatred will not be accepted here.” The Moore police department, expecting about 10 protesters from Kansas, shut down two blocks of Main Street by the south parking lot of the high school because they anticipated many more Oklahomans to show up.
Minister murdered wife who uncovered his affair
Body of BBC make-up artist dumped in woodland by cheating husband
By Mark Hughes, Crime Correspondent
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
A spiritualist minister who killed his wife when she discovered his infidelity has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years after being found guilty of murder. David Chenery-Wickens, 52, killed Diane, 48, a television make-up artist, and dumped her body in woodland in January 2008 on the day she found out he had been having an affair and phoning gay chat lines. Her body was found by a dog-walker four months later, dumped in brambles near their home in Duddleswell, East Sussex. It was so badly decomposed that a cause of death was never established. The judge at Lewes Crown Court, Mr Justice Cooke, said Chenery-Wickens had deceived his wife throughout their marriage. He said Chenery-Wickens had killed the award-winning BBC make-up artist after an argument. "Whether it was a sudden loss of temper or in a controlled rage, you killed her, most probably by strangling her, though it's clear from the evidence that blood was spilt so it is quite possible that you also stabbed her," he said. "You then disposed of the body … knowing it was unlikely that it would be seen for a long time or ever." Chenery-Wickens killed his wife on or around 22 January last year when she confronted him about an extramarital affair. She found two unfamiliar telephone numbers on their shared bill and, when she dialled them, found one belonged to a woman he had been seeing and the other was a gay chat line.
Church Document Encourages Congregation To Obey Government
Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
A shocking document has come to light from a church in Ohio which educates its congregation that Barack Obama’s presidency is appointed by God and that Obama himself is “God’s minister,” in another perversion of Romans 13, the bible verse cited as an excuse for Christians not to oppose tyranny. Ohio District Superintendent Rev. John Wooton was responsible for distributing the pamphlet, which was handed out at the Assembly of God church in Ohio, according to a reader who forwarded the document to us. Click here for the PDF file. “This was handed out at the Assembly of God church that my fiance and I used to attend. We immediately stopped attending after getting this flier about ’submitting to Obama and the government,’ states the reader. “The pastor even brought children to the front of the church, encouraging them to submit to teachers, firemen, and the police. It was insane.”
Pope rescinds promotion of 'Katrina' pastor
Priest came under fire for suggesting hurricane was God's punishment
Mon., March. 2, 2009
VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI on Monday formally rescinded the promotion of an ultraconservative priest who came under fire for suggesting that God punished New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina. The Vatican announcement confirmed a previous decision by the priest, the Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner, to give up the promotion. In January, Benedict promoted the 54-year-old Wagner to the post of auxiliary bishop in Linz, Austria's third-largest city. The move sparked outcry from Austrian Catholics and church groups that argued the decision could motivate people to leave the Catholic 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
Elementary blots out 'In God We Trust'
Student-made posters censored for using words of faith
Posted: March 03, 2009
By Drew Zahn
An elementary school
in Tennessee, after successfully rebuffing an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit over religious expression on campus, has nonetheless ordered the words "God Bless the USA" and "In God We Trust" covered up on student-made posters in the hallway. Administrators at Lakeview Elementary School in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., told parents that the posters, promoting the See You at the Pole student prayer event, mentioned "God" and are therefore precluded by school board policy and prohibited in the hallways as inappropriate. Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal alliance defending religious liberty, filed a lawsuit today on behalf of 10 parents and their children, seeking an injunction against banning private religious expression on student-made posters. "Christian students shouldn't be censored for expressing their beliefs," said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum in a statement. "It's ridiculous as well as unconstitutional to cover up these references to God and prayer – one of which is the national motto itself – on posters announcing a student-led activity." Further, Kellum surmised, "School officials appear to be having an allergic reaction to the ACLU's long-term record of fear, intimidation, and disinformation, despite a previous court ruling at this very school that said students can observe these types of events on school property."
Bible club bullied for faith statement
University threatens group for requiring leaders be Christian
Posted: March 03, 2009
By Drew Zahn
A university in Ohio has threatened the future of a campus Bible organization for requiring voting members and office holders be Christian. According to Campus Bible Fellowship representative Gary Holtz, his group had been a registered student organization at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, for more than 30 years. Upon seeking re-registration for 2009, however, the university denied the Bible group's access to facilities, student club fairs, advertising venues and recruiting opportunities – essentially blacklisting the club – because of CBF's requirement that voting members adhere to a doctrinal statement and "accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior." In response, the CBF chapter sought the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, an organization that states its mission is to defend "freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty and sanctity of conscience" at America's colleges and universities.
Christian officer accuses NYPD of religious discrimination
Published: March 3, 2009
NEW YORK (AP) – A police lieutenant who once reported seeing a demon at police headquarters is suing to get his gun and badge back, claiming supervisors took them from him because of his religious practices. Dominic Maglione, a 44-year-old desk officer, says he’s a Christian who prays and fasts regularly. Court papers say Lieutenant Maglione told psychiatrists after he was admitted to a hospital more than 2 years ago that he was praying as much as 10 hours at a stretch and fasting twice a week. At the hospital, Maglione told a medical professional that he had seen a demon at police headquarters, according to a police medical board report. It also says he lost 40 pounds in six months by fasting. The medical board said Maglione, who’s been on the force for 22 years, should not carry a gun since he felt obligated “to do what God wants him to do even if he destroys himself.“ Maglione’s lawsuit accuses police officials of violating his First Amendment rights.
Atheists strategize against book on God
Online plot reveals plan to give Christian writing low rating
Posted: March 04, 2009
The Christian author whose book "You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence but You Can't Make Him Think" bumped atheist Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" on Amazon.com's best-seller list says he's uncovered a conspiracy to attack his work. Ray Comfort, who works with Living Waters ministry and has argued against atheism at Yale University, debated the issue on ABC's Nightline and has authored some 60 other books, including "God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists," "How to Know God Exists" and "Evolution: the Fairy Tale for Grownups," noticed an unusually large number of negative reviews on the book sale website. "If you look at the reviews on Amazon.com," he said, "you could come away thinking that this is worst book ever written. It has masses of one 'stars' with scathing reviews, saying things like 'Comfort is a charlatan' and 'Dreadful piece of drivel.'"
Ban on a type of prayer in school allowed to stand
By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press Writer – Mon Mar 2, 2009
WASHINGTON – Coach Marcus Borden used to bow his head and drop to one knee when his football team prayed. But the Supreme Court on Monday ended the practice when it refused to hear the high school coach's appeal of a school district ban on employees joining a student-led prayer. The decision on the case from New Jersey could add another restriction on prayer in schools, advocates said. "We've become so politically correct in terms of how we deal with religion that it's being pretty severely limited in schools right now, and individuals suffer," said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization that focuses on First Amendment and religious freedom issues. But Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said some parents had complained about Borden leading prayers before the East Brunswick, N.J., school district ordered him to stop and banned all staff members from joining in student-led prayer. "The bottom line is people in positions of authority, like a coach, have to be extremely careful about trying to promote their ideas, or implying that if you don't pray, you may not play," Lynn said. The high court without comment refused to reconsider the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision upholding the ban.