Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 79

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

Pride Part 2

Proud, Conceited, Humbled

Isaiah 2:12 For a day belonging to the LORD of Hosts is [coming]against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up – it will be humbled –

Selfish pride

Isaiah 5:21 Woe to those who are wise in their own opinion and clever in their own sight.

Example of humble tools

Isaiah 10:15 Does an ax exalt itself above the one who chops with it? Does a saw magnify itself above the one who saws with it? As if a staff could wave those who lift it! As if a rod could lift what isn’t wood!

Satanic origination of pride

Isaiah 14:13-15 You said to yourself: “I will ascend to the heavens; I will set up my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of the [gods’] assembly, in the remotest parts of the North. I will ascend above the highest clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you will be brought down to Sheol into the deepest regions of the Pit.

Crown of pride

Isaiah 28:1, 3 and 5 Woe to the majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards, and to the fading flower of its beautiful splendor, which is on the summit above the rich valley. [Woe] to those overcome with wine. The majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards will be trampled underfoot. On that day the LORD of Hosts will become a crown of beauty and a diadem of splendor to the remnant of His people,

God does not yield glory to another

Isaiah 42:8 I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, or my praise to idols.

Isaiah 48:11 I will act for My own sake, indeed, My own, for how can I be defiled? I will not give My glory to another.

Spiritual pride

Isaiah 65:5 They say: Keep to yourself, don’t come near me, for I am too holy for you! These practices are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all day long.

Romans 4:2-5 If Abraham was justified by works, then he has something to brag about – but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness. Now to the one who works, pay is not considered as a gift, but as something owed. But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who declares righteous the ungodly, his faith is credited for righteousness.

Pride and Arrogance

Jeremiah 48:29-30 We have heard of Moab’s pride, great pride, indeed – his insolence, arrogance, pride, and haughty heart, I know his outburst. [This is] the LORD’s declaration. It is empty. His boast is empty.

Ego offended by faith

Daniel 3:8-20 Some Chaldeans took this occasion to come forward and maliciously accuse the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever. You as king have issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum, and every kind of music must fall down and worship the gold statue. Whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire. There are some Jews you have appointed to manage the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men have ignored you, the king; they do not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” Then in a furious rage Nebuchadnezzar gave orders to bring in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king. Nebuchadnezzar asked them, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you don’t serve my gods or worship the gold statue I have set up? Now if you’re ready, when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum, and every kind of music, fall down and worship the statue I made. But if you don’t worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire – and who is the god who can rescue you from my power?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He gave orders to heat the furnace seven times more than was customary, and he commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the furnace of blazing fire.

Shattered pride

Daniel 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and glorify the King of heaven, because all His works are true and His ways are just. And He is able to humble those who walk in pride.

Proud of wealth, self-righteousness

Hosea 12:8 But Ephraim says: “How rich I have become; I made it all myself. In all my earnings, no one can find any crime in me that I can be punished for!”

“We did it on our own”

Amos 6:13 You who rejoice over Lo-debar and say, “Didn’t we capture Karnaim for ourselves by our own strength?”

Wages of pride

Zephaniah 2:10 This is what they get for their pride, because they have taunted and acted arrogantly against the people of the LORD of Hosts.

Desiring kingdom greatness

Matthew 18:1-10 Who is the Greatest? At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then He called a child to Him and had him stand among them. “I assure you, “He said, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child – this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one child like this in My name welcomes Me. “But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me – it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea! Woe to the world because of offenses. For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes. If your hand or your foot causes your downfall, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes your downfall, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, rather than to have two eyes and be thrown into hellfire!

The Parable of the Lost Sheep “See that you don’t look down on one of these little ones, because I tell you that in heaven their angels continually view the face of My Father in heaven.
    

If I Should be Raptured, Before You Wake
By Regina

If I should be raptured
before you wake
cry not for me,
but instead please take
these words to heart,
because they are the truth
and under the sun
there is nothing new.

We were all warned,
we knew that it’d come
death for many,
salvation for some.
There’s only one way
to Eternity for all,
it’s through Christ Jesus,
so hear the call.

But it’s not just one thing,
there’s something more
please listen very carefully,
and do not ignore
that in addition to belief,
and to an acceptance
a good heart as well
is required for salvation.

A good heart is a humble heart,
not one filled with hate,
one that seeks Father and
walks paths that are straight.
One that is loyal and obedient,
has faith and is humble,
To our Father and Savior,
who are there when we stumble.

For years now I’ve done
my utmost to serve,
our Father and Christ
in spreading the word.
The Kingdom Message of Salvation
this was their message,
I’ve dreamt the dreams
and felt the presage.

So if I should be raptured
before you wake,
do not curse our Creator
but be humble instead,
for it was Her son who
and for your sins that he bled,
and it’s his message to you
that he’s asked us to spread.

I’ve served, I’ve cried,
I’ve been turned inside out,
from the rooftops at times
I’ve wanted to shout,
“You’re deceived! Deceived!
Your eternal lives are at stake!”
But how could you see,
if you’re not awake?

Awake, awake,
wake up sleepy head,
open your eyes to reality
and get out of bed.
Be ready and prepared
for our Lord is coming
and will gather his sheep,
Be awake, awake,
and not sound asleep.

For if I should be raptured
before you wake,
I’ll be praying for the LORD
your soul to take,
for your eyes to be opened,
your heart to be good
and that Her will be done,
just as it should.

Inspired Writings

Faithful Worship

Worship is an interesting item. When an individual may be asked what worship is, a variety of answers may come. From the Internet dictionary, dictionary.com, the definition is as follows:

1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage: They attended worship this morning.
3. adoring reverence or regard: excessive worship of business success.
4. the object of adoring reverence or regard.
5. (initial capital letter) British. a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually prec. by Your, His, or Her).

A long while ago, maybe even about this time of year last year, a question came to mind that I had been meaning to ask, but I felt a little embarrassed about, because I felt like I should already know the answer. It was, “How do you worship Father?” This same question may almost be a mirror of the second sentence, and it may seem so simple, yet, can actually be very complex. An analogy that comes to mind is how the Earth, as a planet, rotates around the Sun. Now, the astronomy class may simplify the teaching and just tell their students that the Earth revolves around the Sun in a shape very close to a perfect circle, and does so because of gravity. This may be simple and easy to just take in and accept, but there is so much more to this that may not be initially realized. For example, what exactly makes the planet not revolve around the Sun in a perfect circle? And what influence does gravity have on the other planets in the solar system, even with each other? At the same time, what is it about the planet that makes it revolve around the Sun in its particular orbit as compared to planets quite a few times larger than the Earth, or smaller? And so, when it is asked, “How do you worship Father?” it is not as simple as saying that one just does so. To this, worship can be as deep as Father is deep, because for everything that Father is, there is something to worship.

To some, perhaps going to a church on Sunday, Saturday, midweek, everyday, could be considered worship. However, if going to a church and praying is considered worship, then what if a person simply just stays at home and prays in private each morning and each evening, even in-between at meals and other special events? Or perhaps if one considers singing hymns a form of worship, consider the following passage of Christ and His disciples:

Matthew 26:30 — After singing psalms, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

This was after Christ had broken bread and gave the cup of wine to His disciples, all as symbolic representations to help them remember Him. I have not personally heard of singing after eating, but I would consider singing a psalm to be a form of worship of Father. And as such, it can be seen that worship can be done in prayer, in singing, and at just about any time anyone is doing any of those things. Yet, there's more to this, in that, there is more a person does in a day than just pray, sing, and ponder Father's messages written in deep meanings in scripture.

For all the things one does in their life, whether it be prayer, singing, going to work, sleeping, or even bathing, the following would apply:

1 Corinthians 10:31 — Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God's glory.

When one worships Father, they are, in essence, giving glory to Father. They are technically giving Father their love, praise, their everything, including the best of their fruits. Thus, worship would include everything a person does, leaving out nothing. At the same time, worship must also be meaningful. If what one does is meaningless, without love and compassion, and then goes to worship Father, their worship is empty as well. One cannot live two different lives at once; they must be one or the other, and giving Father only half of one's heart is just wrong. So, when one gives their all at all times, because they are giving their all for Father and for Father's glory, they are then truly worshiping Father, as Father is all encompassing, they are allowing Father to encompass all their work and all their thought, and subsequently, all their heart.

Another item that may be added into this concept is simply that an individual always giving their full attention and all their energy towards doing work for and with Father can wear them out. In this, their energy may go very low, as their productivity and output are at their maximum potential. However, to this, there is a physical analogy that may be used. This analogy is when one goes for a jog or an endurance exercise. When they perform their exercise, they may push their physical being to a limit, and maybe more than that, which would really wear them down. However, after that, they have more energy in all the other activities they do, and may even be able to sleep better at night. The point of this is simply that Father provides the energy, and if one uses all the energy to Father's purpose, productively utilizing all She has given within Her Spirit, then there is always a surplus. When Father provides, and one always gives Her their all, Father always gives more. Her servants are never lacking.

And so, the simple answer to the question of worship could be, “By doing everything in Her name.” The complex form of the answer is simply to elaborate on the one answer, which is in the same line as being Christ-like, following Christ's footsteps, and following the Way in all facets of life. And while the simple answer may be made more complex, yet still simple, even the answers can be analyzed in a complex and simple perspective, because the answers, themselves, bode more insight into how Father works in Her servants. None would know the correct answers to any question if Father did not shed light on them. And furthermore, the correct and accurate answer may not even be in the language one speaks, especially if it veers off of what the correct tone, accent, and manner should be, as speech is not just letters and numbers. If one would correctly answer the question that was given, which even a child could think of, then even then they are giving Father the worship She very well deserves.

The Way – Part 13
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.

Avoid loose conduct, uncleanness, fornication, and adulty:
Galatians 5:19-21
Ephesians 5:5
1 Peter 4:3
Mark 7:21-23

Avoid lying and slander:
Colossians 3:9
John 8: 44
1 Timothy 3: 11
Proverbs 16:28

Avoid eating things that have been strangled, and avoid drinking blood:
Acts 15:28, 29
Genesis 9:4

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

Prince of Yahweh II: In the past, you've learned that our Creator stands in darkness as a flaming light among other God's like Herself; but, and before the creation of Her first-born Son Michael, Father was alone within; in other words, She resided, and still resides among a distanced path of others like Herself (that being that they are all equally Gods,) but Father wanted a family that She could nurture and care for, so that joy could be felt from within.

Now kids think about this: The birthed creation of Michael gave Mother Yahweh much delight from within; "from within." So, where do you truly feel delight when you are delighted? In your mind, or your very heart that stems up to your mind? Therefore, our Mother was delighted to the heart of Her essence; we reside within the spiritual body of our Creator; there is where Her own heart lies.

Now, you see an emotion that became the natural order of Yahweh – that being "delight." She had never experienced that inner delight before, simply because She was alone from within; it was a cultured feeling that became Her nature.

Proverbs 8:22 "The LORD made me at the beginning of His creation, before His works of long ago." Keep in mind that this was at Michael's beginning – his start in creation, and the beginning of the "beginning" that would start Michael on the road as the bi-creator or "a skilled craftsman" to continue Yahweh's work from within.

At this time, Yahweh had not experienced the feeling of what? "the LORD your God, am a jealous God," What brought out this feeling of jealousy – though never before experienced by Her because She had been alone and there was never a reason to have this experienced feeling?

Exodus 20:5 "You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers' sin, to the third and fourth [generations] of those who hate Me," So, Yahweh equated any worship to false gods as hatred towards Her and Her right to be the only one worthy of Her subjects worship.

Yahweh, the torch of light shining in darkness among other God's like Herself had cultured some natural inner feelings after the creation of Michael, and after his own master work of continuing that creative work. Deuteronomy 4:24
"For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God."

Like Her own creation, Father has evolved in Her own nature; She not only feels delight, happiness, and jealousy, but also anger. She didn't invent those things; instead, they are a part of Her nature that developed with Her having created Michael to get things going, and then the experienced effect that She felt as Her creative works later began to unfold and take form over the generations; She did not intend sin to enter the picture of creation, but since it was later sown and took root by Dawn's disloyalty, Father developed the nature of "hatred" also, because Father detests sin; and sin is considered anything opposing Her Way of how She desires creation to be like. Like us, our Grand Mother has natural feelings that were spawned by events that brought them to the surface; and since we are from the very essence of Her energy storehouse, we share Her nature which makes up the feelings experienced from the angelic order all the way to the animal kingdom.

Psalm 9:15 "The nations have fallen into the pit they made; their foot is caught in the net they have concealed."

The nations have fallen into their own pit for concealing the net (Dawn, the net that snared them in sin) from a world of people that so desperately need Yahweh's help for Salvation to Christ.

What I, or what any other Holy Angel relays comes from Father; even if Michael gives us a message, it comes from Father, because Michael was created in Father's image and seeks to do only our Father's will.

But does our Grand Creator truly communicate with this Ministry via myself and others like me? What is the Scriptural basis that gives foundation for modern day messengers from Yahweh's throne?

Hebrews 1 "The Nature of the Son.
Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways."

Father uses different ways at different times; Gabriel gave the prophecy of Mary's intended birth of Jesus Christ; the "Nature of the Son" (Christ Jesus) is that messages often bear prophecy of a coming event; the Son's nature is that of our Creator's nature; therefore, our own nature is in unity with the Creator in communicating with Her children here in this dying world of people; we stand ready – always, in giving the advice Father commands us to relay to Her flock via the Ministry that carries out the work of communicating to the flock via the Newsletter; with each past issue, the flock awaits silently for the message of advice that comes forth from this Ministry's efforts.

Job 29:21 "Men listened to me with expectation, waiting silently for my advice."

How the Scriptures have all things from the past, present and future entwined within them by the many meanings:

Genesis 37:4 "When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring themselves to speak peaceably to him."

When Michael's brothers (the heavenly host of angels that developed jealousy – and Dawn being the first to feel this jealousy that led to hatred against Michael – saw that Yahweh had greater affection for Her first-born and like Dawn they spoke out against Father's arrangement to the spokesman they now detested; empty arguments that resulted in Dawn sinning first, and then those that also felt resentment.

What did Dawn's original sin bring out in a new feeling to Father by ruining Her creation? She felt sad at making Mankind, and yet She also felt pity for the children that would be born into sin; SADNESS – PITY………. and later, Father would grieve over the necessary death of Her first-born; all emotions that should never have been felt in Father's heart; but because of circumstances She did not cause, She felt those things within Her own natural makeup.

Does our Mother take delight in the need to exterminate the wicked humans that refuse to change their hearts?

Ezekiel 33:11 "Tell them: As I live"—the declaration of the Lord GOD —"I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked person should turn from his way and live. Repent, repent of your evil ways! Why will you die, house of Israel"

But……….

Ezekiel 18:21 "Now if the wicked person turns from all the sins he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is just and right, he will certainly live; he will not die."

However……..

Ezekiel 18:24 "But when a righteous person turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, committing the same abominations that the wicked do, will he live? None of the righteous acts he did will be remembered. He will die because of the treachery he has engaged in and the sin he has committed."

Importance of warning people………..

Ezekiel 33:8 "If I say to the wicked: Wicked one, you will surely die, but you do not speak out to warn him about his way, that wicked person will die for his iniquity, yet I will hold you responsible for his blood."

Your outcome for doing as Father commands:

Ezekiel 33:9 "But if you warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he doesn't turn from it, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your life."

The IMPORTANCE of this Ministry and what all of you are doing in UNITY cannot be described except as………….

2 Peter 3:18 "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."

Grow both in grace and knowledge – for eternity awaits all of you.

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

Triangular UFO spotted by two South African pilots
Examiner
March 24, 2009

A South African couple was witness to a 300-foot long black, silent, triangular-shaped UFO that "blocked out the stars" as it moved across the sky over their back yard. The 10-second sighting by these two pilots in May 1996 is something that they will never forget. Following is the original account from the witnesses. Only minor edits were made. We are Brian & Lynette van Malsen from a town called Springs 50 miles east of Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa. And we saw what your witnesses saw in your UFO news of AZ town in exact detail only 13 year's earlier. We are both retired pilots and very aware of things in the sky. And we can recall our sighting like it happened yesterday.

Witness reported UFO activity includes Texas landing
Examiner
March 25, 2009

A disc-shaped craft descended March 22 into a Lorena, Texas field, two witnesses reported, and while they observed the scene through binoculars, they watched as three occupants emerged. Two UFOs over Oklahoma on March 25 were "strobing" each other. The witness said it appeared as though the two crafts were communicating with each other. A triangular-shaped UFO the size of an airplane hovered March 18 between 300 and 500 feet off of the ground over Indiana and then slowly moved off. A Connecticut witness on March 19 watched a low flying triangular-shaped UFO move vertically, then moved directly over the witness. The craft had one white light on each corner, and one small red light at its center. In Pennsylvania on March 24, a witness watched as a series of bright lights moved across the sky in pairs. When they were directly overhead, the witness did hear what sounded like the "faint rumbling of an engine."

UFOs near ground level in TX, NC – new reports
Examiner
March 26, 2009

Three UFO low fly reports over Texas and North Carolina were recently reported to the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. A man and his daughter at Medina Lake near San Antonio on March 25 watched as a silent, semi-circular craft with no lights or windows, hovered just 30 feet off of the ground at a distance of about 100 yards. The craft measured about 12 to 15 feet across, and 5 to 6 feet in height. The object tilted slightly before disappearing. Four witnesses driving home from a restaurant watched a donut-shaped object at the rooftop level of nearby homes hover at a distance of 600 to 1,000 yards in Driftwood, Texas, on March 14. A peculiar sound from the object seemed to change pitch depending on the brightness of the object. A man stopped his tractor trailer after observing a hovering object as he was driving east on U.S. Route 64 near the first exit for Nashville, Norh Carolina, on March 10. He said the object was between 75 and 100 feet off of the ground. He described it as a silent, triangular-shape, 40 to 50 feet wide, with two red lights at the rear and a bright white light in front. It was between 200 and 300 yards away. The object hovered, then moved above a shopping center for 5 to 7 minutes, and then moved away in a southerly direction.

Three F18s scramble to intercept CA UFO
Examiner
March 27, 2009

Two UFO low fly reports in two days caught witnesses off guard and without cameras in California and Texas – while three F18s apparently attempted to intercept in one case. A Poway, CA, witness was standing outside in the mid-day sunshine under a perfect blue sky March 27 when an oval-shaped bright light moved across the southern horizen over a 10-second period. Three minutes later two F18s traveling from the northeast moved into position where the witness lost sight of the object. The jets circled the area and then continued flying in a southwest direction. Thirty seconds later, a third F18 came from the same direction and "loitered" in the area for three minutes before moving southwest.

Military personnel report UFO
Examiner
March 28, 2009

Military personnel reported a UFO to a Missouri Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) field investigator regarding a March 1 incident over government property. The investigator reports that the story originated in the Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO area. Fort Levenworth is nearby and just north of these two cities in Kansas. The military personnel reported seeing a ball-shaped object at 10:30 p.m. Some of the witnesses stated that the object was 3,000 feet up, others said 200 feet. The silent object was described as a glowing gold color, slow moving, traveling only about 20 mph. The military witnesses said that they feared being identified as they made their report. In Elwood, Indiana on March 15, a witness reported observing 3 to 5 lights and one bright strobing light that appeared to be part of a large object, about two to three times the length of a bus. MUFON Indiana Chief Investigator Stewart Hill said the case is an "unknown."

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

China's hi-tech 'death van' where criminals are executed and then their organs are sold on black market
Daily Mail
by Andrew Malone
March 27, 2009

Death will come soon for Jiang Yong. A corrupt local planning official with a taste for the high life, Yong solicited money from businessmen eager to expand in China's economic boom. Showering gifts on his mistress, known as Madam Tang, the unmarried official took more than £1 million in bribes from entrepreneurs wanting permission to build skyscrapers on land which had previously been protected from development. But Yong, a portly, bespectacled figure, was caught by the Chinese authorities during a purge on corrupt local officials last year. He confessed and was sentenced to death. China executed 1,715 people last year, so one more death would hardly be remarkable.

Global trade 'will shrink by 9%'
BBC
March 23, 2009

Global trade flows are set to shrink by 9% during 2009, according to a forecast by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Hardest hit will be developed nations, where trade is set to fall 10%. Poorer countries will see exports fall 2-3%. The WTO blames the deepening recession for the downturn, but says trade could be "a potent tool" for recovery. It would be the biggest drop in trade since World War II, said WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, who called on global leaders to fight protectionism. Trade is one of the top issues on the agenda when the heads of state and government of the world's leading economic powers meet at the G20 summit in London on 2 April.

UK population must fall to 30m, says Porritt
The Times
by Jonathan Leake and Brendan Montague
March 22, 2009

JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society. Porritt’s call will come at this week’s annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron. The trust will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably. Porritt said: “Population growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure. “Each person in Britain has far more impact on the environment than those in developing countries so cutting our population is one way to reduce that impact.”

Pharmaceuticals found in fish across U.S.
AP
March 26, 2009

Fish caught near wastewater treatment plants serving five major U.S. cities had residues of pharmaceuticals in them, including medicines used to treat high cholesterol, allergies, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder and depression, researchers reported Wednesday. Findings from this first nationwide study of human drugs in fish tissue have prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to significantly expand similar ongoing research to more than 150 different locations. "The average person hopefully will see this type of a study and see the importance of us thinking about water that we use every day, where does it come from, where does it go to? We need to understand this is a limited resource and we need to learn a lot more about our impacts on it," said study co-author Bryan Brooks, a Baylor University researcher and professor who has published more than a dozen studies related to pharmaceuticals in the environment. A person would have to eat hundreds of thousands of fish dinners to get even a single therapeutic dose, Brooks said. But researchers including Brooks have found that even extremely diluted concentrations of pharmaceutical residues can harm fish, frogs and other aquatic species because of their constant exposure to contaminated water.

Japan slumps as its exports sink by 50%
The Independent
by Sean O' Grady
March 26, 2009

The world's second-largest economy, Japan, is suffering from a savage collapse in her export trade – a trend that seems set to precipitate a near-collapse in the car industry and which is driving the nation to the bottom of the growth league among the advanced industrial nations. A 49.4 per cent plunge in Japanese exports in February, compared with the situation a year ago, is the fourth successive month of record export declines. It is also the sharpest decline in at least 30 years. Exports to the rest of Asia retreated by 46 per cent and to EU nations by 55 per cent. Shipments of motor vehicles were down 64 per cent, with those to the US tumbling 71 per cent. Total exports to America fell by 58 per cent. Japanese manufacturers, as is seen graphically at their UK operations, have reacted rapidly to the downturn, slashing their stocks and throttling back output far more quickly than in previous recessions. Honda reported a 43 per cent drop in global output, and Nissan, part-owned by Renault, has seen its worldwide production decline by 51 per cent. Toyota is expecting to make its first loss since 1950.

Signs in Humanity

Poll examines faith's role in parenting
Baptist Press
by Mark Kelly
March 17, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The vast majority of parents hope their children grow up to live good lives but, for many, parental success does not include faith in God — even among parents who are evangelical Christians, according to a new study from LifeWay Research, the research arm of LifeWay Christian Resources. The national survey of 1,200 adults with children under 18 at home found the most common definitions of successful parenting include children having good values (25 percent), being happy adults (25 percent), finding success in life (22 percent), being a good person (19 percent), graduating from college (17 percent) and living independently (15 percent). Being godly or having faith in God is mentioned by 9 percent of respondents. Parents who attend religious services weekly are particularly likely to emphasize faith in God, but only 24 percent of them identify that as a mark of parenting success, the research found.

70 dogs found in alleged Ill. puppy mill
USA Today
March 25, 2009

CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities have removed as many as 70 puppies from a home on Chicago's South Side, where police say some animals were stuffed into bird cages and living without food and water. Agents with the Cook County Sheriff's Police and the U.S. Department of Agriculture raided the alleged puppy mill on Tuesday after undercover visits in the past weeks. One person is in custody and faces animal cruelty charges. Sheriff's police spokesman Steve Patterson says some of the dogs were too big for their cages. Other puppies were found in closets. Authorities say syringes and antibiotics were found at the scene, which an owner allegedly used to treat the animals. Officers also went through the trash because of reports of dog bodies being thrown into the garbage.

Suicide Bomber Destroys Pakistani Mosque, Killing 50
VOA News
March 27, 2009

A suicide bomber blew himself up in a packed mosque Friday in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 50 people and wounding around 70 others. Officials said the mosque, full of worshippers for Friday prayers, was destroyed and has collapsed. It is located near a police check point and is visited by paramilitary forces and tribal police. There has been no claim of responsibility. The attack took place in Jamrud town in the Khyber tribal agency, an area where Islamic insurgents have increased attacks on trucks carrying supplies for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan. The bombing came just hours before U.S. President Barack Obama announced a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Obama says al-Qaida terrorists are planning more attacks on the United States from safe havens in Pakistan and urged Islamabad to be a stronger partner in the fight against militants.

Graphic artists condemn plans to ban erotic comics
The Independent
by Jerome Taylor
March 23, 2009

A coalition of graphic artists, publishers and MPs have condemned Government plans to introduce a new set of laws policing cartoons of children, arguing that the current broad wording of the legislation could lead to the banning of hundreds of mainstream comic books. This week Parliament will discuss a new Bill which will make it a criminal offence to possess cartoons depicting certain forms of child abuse. If the Coroners and Justice Bill remains unaltered it will make it illegal to own any picture of children participating in sexual activities, or present whilst sexual activity took place. The Ministry of Justice claims that the Bill is needed to clamp down on the growing quantity of hardcore paedophilic cartoon porn available on the internet, particularly from Japan. But critics of the legislation say the current definitions are so sweeping that it risks stifling mainstream artistic expression as well as turning thousands of law abiding comic book fans into potential sex offenders.

Profile: Josef Fritzl
BBC
March 19, 2009

The story of Josef Fritzl has been described as one of the worst cases in Austria's criminal history. The 73-year-old fathered seven children with his daughter while he kept her locked in a cellar for 24 years, one of whom he admitted having murdered by neglect. In March, an Austrian jury sentenced him to life in prison and ordered him to be detained interned at a secure psychiatric institution. He was found guilty of all charges against him, including rape, incest, murder and enslavement. His lawyer Rudolf Mayer said he was a man who had always to be "powerful", while he was described in court as emotionally deficient by psychiatrist Dr Adelheid Kastner. In October, a court-ordered psychiatric assessment found he was aware of his actions during the 24-year period, despite suffering a "profound personality disorder".

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:

tomicheri – Modesto, CA – Hi, my name is Cheryl and I am a single mother of two and was laid off due to company closing down. I need to find employment a.s.a.p. I also need some help to pay my electric bill before it gets shut off until I can find another job. I will even sign a promissory note to repay any amount that you can help me with as soon as I find another job. God bless and thank you. I live in Modesto, California.

angelsamongus – Hartselle, AL. – Hi! My name is Brandy. I am a disabled mom of 5 children.My husband (bless his heart)has tried so hard to get a job since February.He has gotten interviews and that's where it stops.He calls them back to check on the job and they just keep telling him he is next in line to get the job.I receive a social security/SSI check for $694 and my rent is $475.I have utilities this month coming due and they are $173 and my water bill will get here shortly and be due.This is the problem…I bought a van about 1 month ago and it broke down 2 weeks later when my Aunt passed away.I called the shop where I bought it (it is a used vehicle)and they refused to help us fix it unless we paid them money(which I could not pay my rent this month because I had to be in Birmingham, Alabama for my Aunt's funeral~$694 can only go so far )So far we have scraped up $400.We had a yard sale and were selling my kids toys and clothes they could no longer where and paid our rent.We still owe $100 more ($25~late fee) So here we are stuck.My husband rides his bike everywhere he goes and puts in application after application.I had grabbed a food stamp application before my van broke down.I tried to send it with .42 they sent it back with .92 on it so time is wasting with this process.Many times I go to God especially when I am stressed because I have discovered when talking to God it seems to calm me and my nerves.I have contemplated suicide just because I don't want this burden on me anymore.I am physically disabled and have been without a vehicle for over a year now.I am getting worse because I can't get to the doctor.This is so depressing for me to feel this way when I have children to consider but sometimes I get to thinking my kids are better off without me.I feel so helpless.I have gotten into the check cashing places to cover bills until hubby was able to get a job but it doesn't seem like he will ever get a job and I will never get out of this financial rut because I have to keep borrowing each month to cover the expenses of the interest of the loan(I borrow $150 here and $150 there and then I have to end up paying $176.25 for each check~not worth it) Sorry so long but if any kind hearted soul can reach out to me and help me or lead me in the right direction where I can get some help I would be very much obliged. God Bless! Brandy

cammie67 – Mulberry, FL. – I live in Mulberry, Florida and we were found with a used trailer that we own, my husband has been layed off for over a year with no work to be found for him and I our savings is running out, we are in need of many things, first we have a leak that this causing our water bill to be high, then our pluming doesn't work so good and needs help fixing, the water leak has caused the floor to cave in areas and needs to be replaced, then whoever owned the trailer before us smoked inside the trailer which caused the ceiling, walls to turn yellow with cigarette smokes which is affecting my asthma badly, I have tired cloraxing the ceiling and walls and it is just not coming out, The ceiling needs to be repainted and the walls re-wall papered, our stove does not work and our refrigerator is on it's last leg, we are in need of both, my son has no bedroom furniture, we are in need of groceries, we need necessary supplies, I have only enough money to pay trailer payment, electric bill and water bill. If someone could donate their time and supplies to fix our trailer would be awesome, plus our car was stolen and we are in need of a reliable running car for us. Please be our miracle and help us!

martyrc – Palmer, IA. – Currently we are a family of two that need financial help We want you to know we are credible people we have had a police officer,counselors, and ministers, whom testified on our behalf. . We also need help with lawyer fees! We are about to loose our house to! Recently my husband, Martin, was diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease, and has occurred medical bills that we are unable to pay. He still to this day has "Attacks" that no one can seem to explain! Martin has been to 4 different hospitals! He takes Nitrogen for his heart, and has no way to afford any more, and he is almost out. He also has a pulmonary problem they haven't figured out yet! And has had 2 surgeries on his hands and needs another one! Our computer is down, and our car is barely running I am afraid I won't be able to get him to the hospital if he has another attack! We aren't not proud to be asking for help, but there is nothing else we can do at this point. If you could find it in your heart to help us out, it would be greatly appreciated, and not forgotten. If you are able to help us out please e-mail us at cynthia58@live.com We will delete our sight if we happen to reach our goal again thank you! Unlike most, this is no Lie, it is simply true! Prior to reaching out to you, we have sold our beautiful furniture, our washer and dryer, even our tv. and microwave we have tried everything, now all we have to rely on is you! When our needs are met we will quit pursuing help,and we will delete this ad! But will contact all those who helped us and form a group where decent people can meet and share! A Group on line for truely good people to meet and stay in contact with other good People! We we also need fuel oil,medications, we've lost our coverage,house bills and more! You can send your donation directly to Marty and Cynthia Sweeney 27337 610th st. Palmer IA. 50571

cowboy2359 – Carrollton, GA. – Our family needs help in finding a motor home or large trailer to live in. Our home is being foreclosed on and we have nowhere to go. I lost my job in October and haven't been able to find one here. We want to move back to Texas where I can go back to working on the ranches. My wife works at one of the local truck stops, but only gets 2-3 days of work. We have to be out of this house by the end of the month or shortly after the first of April. We now live in Carrollton, Georgia and have lived in Georgia for the past 3 years and have not been happy here during that time. If there is anyone who can help with an rv we would appreciate it. We have bad credit so no one will finance us. We don't have much money so don't have a down payment but can make $200.00 per month payments. And if someone can even help with moving to Texas we could use it. Thank You. We can also be contacted by phone at 404-425-6088 or email pquarterhorse59@aol.com or leave message at the Arks of Safe Haven Forum.

burgessp – Hazlehurst, GA. – My name is Peggy Burgess, I'm 46 yrs old and i live in Hazlehurst, GA. I have been a nurse for 24 yrs. I was in a car wreck on 12-26-08 in Soperton, GA. I broke my c2 in 3 places, my l1 and my sternum, currently i have a halo and back brace. I had no medical insurance. I have no family to turn to for help, i am at the mercy of strangers to get through this difficult time in my life. Currently i am at home, and my home needs repairs, the roof leaks really bad and 2 rooms are already destroyed by rain damage, the walls and ceilings are covered in black mold. I also need help making the house payments and utilities until i can get back to work, which i pray will be at the end of this year. I am hopeful that there are enough people out there that care enough to help me get through this valley in my life. I have this incredible strength inside me that wont let me give up. Yes i cry and worry like others, but something pushes me not to give up. I face losing my home and being homeless, yet i keep pushing forward because i know God hears my prayers and no matter what happens, he will be there for me. I have spent my whole life taking care of others and now im in the position where i have to ask for help. If you can just find it in your heart to help me until i can get back to work, i know God will bless you richly. The peoples bank in Lyons, GA. have set up an acct. in my name in order for the public to help. Please contact Selena Lockley @ the bank @ 912-526-8171 for more information. God bless you and if you are not right with God, please go to church somewhere and thank God for the blessings that he has given you, for example your health, your safe journey home, your family, loved ones and friends, even the dinner you were able to put on the table today. There are people like me that dont know what that is like anymore. I love you all, God bless you.

Ginny – Sepulpa, OK. – I desperately need help to go see my sister, Valerie, who lives in Mass. I live in Sapulpa, Ok. She recently was diagnosed with heart disease and is on 2 different blood pressure medications. Also, her diabetes has gotten worse and sometimes she falls. I need to go visit her and make sure she is getting the care she needs. I cannot live with her because her social worker and landlord say her apartment (one-bedroom) is too small. I have offered to bring my sister back home, to Okla., to live with me. She is afraid of change because she has lived in her apartment for 16 years. I am hoping that once I am there, I can talk her into coming back with me. Since I am between jobs, right now, this would be the time for me to go. However, I cannot afford it and would lose my place to live and be behind on my bills if I go. I do not fly, because of health problems. Even gas cards would help. The trip would be around 1600 miles, one-way and my car gets around 25-30 mpg. Any help with my trip to Agawam, Mass., would be appreciated. God Bless YOU! Another reason I REALLY NEED to go see my sister is because last March I lost my grandmother, she lived in Mass. and I was not able to visit her before she died and still have not been to her grave. I plan on visiting her grave when I go to Mass. I hope you can/will help me, please. If you want to call and talk to me please feel free to call: 918-512-6483

Christopher – Ithaca, NY. – Hello! my name is Christopher Church. I live in Ithaca, New York. Unfortunately, I am in need. Being on disability with a spinal injury life has become somewhat difficult. I was always quite annoyed by beggars yet now I'm having to eat a lot of words and ideas I've held in the past. And this is a ministry set up to help so I guest I'm not really begging. I've got much to say yet let me get to the point at hand. Over my time on disability I've lot both my car and phone not being able to afford. I get ~700/month and my rent is 625. I do have a disability card which allows half price bus passage yet if one doesn't have even the little change that it takes 75cents or 75dollars is the same difference=no ride. It's really difficult without a phone as well I may be able to get a cheap track phone after the 1st yet the minutes will be another story. I had been volunteering at the local soup kitchen, my church, and The Ithaca Pregnancy Center but have had to stop all that because of the factors explained above. I wasn't even able to do my civic duty as an Election Inspector this year…without going on and on the bottom line is I need help. I've always done my very best to help others yet now in my time of need I find it's can be like pulling teeth just to get friends to help with a ride or use the phone. What say you all, can any one help?

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

Dike fails at Fargo's Oak Grove Lutheran School, at least two buildings affected
A permanent dike at Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo has been breached, allowing water from the flooding Red River to pour into the school's buildings and force an evacuation of a support group monitoring the school's flood situation.
By: Dave Olson, INFORUM
March 29 2009

A permanent dike at Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo has been breached, allowing water from the flooding Red River to pour into two of the school's buildings and force an evacuation of a support group monitoring the school's flood situation. Bruce Messelt, president of Oak Grove, said water began pouring into the lower level of Benson Hall and eventually reached the Scheels Center for the Performing Arts. He said the full extent of the flooding was not known as of early Sunday, but he said up to four of the five buildings on campus were at risk for water damage.

Dam Burst Near Indonesian Capital Kills 77
Saturday, March 28, 2009

CIRENDEU, Indonesia —Soldiers and police dug through piles of mud and debris Saturday in search of survivors after a dam burst outside Indonesia's capital, demolishing hundreds of houses, uprooting trees and killing at least 77 people. More than 100 others were missing and feared dead. Days of torrential downpours filled a large lake bordering the low-lying residential area of Cirendeu to flood level. A huge section of the Dutch colonial-era dike tore away before dawn Friday, sending more than 70 million cubic feet of water gushing through the gaping hole. Some residents said it felt like they'd been hit by a tsunami. They accused authorities of ignoring warning signs and failing to repair damage to the dam, claiming it had been weakened in several places over the years because of prior flooding caused by blocked spillways.

Alaska's Mt. Redoubt volcano erupts with five major explosions; ash cloud ascends 50,000 feet
6:53 AM, March 23, 2009
Outposts

Alaska's Mt. Redoubt Volcano, which had been in a tempestuous mood for two months, erupted Sunday night at 10:38 p.m., sending an ash cloud 50,000 feet above sea level and prompting several flight cancelations. The Alaska Volcano Observatory recorded four more large explosions during the night. Tina Neal, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said that "so far the major population centers in south-central Alaska have been spared any kind of dusting of ash." The enormous plume was drifting to the north over an expansive wilderness parcel and so far only the small town of Skwentna, 100 miles north of Redoubt, had reported experiencing ash fall, mixed with snow.

55 stranded whales die in Western Australia
Janine Beacham
March 23, 2009

About 55 stranded whales and dolphins have died after beaching themselves at Hamelin Bay, 10 kilometres north of Augusta, early this morning. The Department of Environment and Conservation said the mass stranding involved about 80 mammals, but only 25 had been found alive. Department staff and volunteers are working to stabilise the whales that remain alive. Incident controller Greg Mair said the whales were spread over a long expanse of Western Australia's south-west coast heading north from the Hamelin Bay Caravan Park. He said they were believed to be false killer whales, with some bottlenose dolphins among the group.

Zambia and Namibia face worst floods in 40 years
Wed Mar 25, 2009
Reuters
By Frank Nyakairu

LUSAKA, March 25 (Reuters AlertNet) – Zambia and Namibia face their worst floods in at least 40 years as rains swell the Zambezi River to record levels, destroying crops and swamping whole villages, disaster officials and aid workers said on Wednesday. Zambia has put its air force on standby to airlift people to safety and Namibia has declared a state of emergency in flood-hit areas as waterways burst their banks in the narrow Caprivi Strip between Zambia and Botswana. Some 400,000 people have been affected on both sides of Namibia's border with Angola alone, the international Red Cross movement said, adding that the number was likely to rise.

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

QUAKES –

3/22/09 –
5.3 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.0 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE

3/23/09 –

5.0 NORTH OF HALMAHERA, INDONESIA
5.2 TONGA REGION
5.5 CARLSBERG RIDGE

3/24/09 –

5.1 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.9 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.0 GUAM REGION
5.0 NORTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA

3/25/09 –
5.3 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
5.2 TONGA REGION
5.2 TONGA REGION

3/26/09 –
5.6 NORTHWEST OF RYUKYU ISLANDS
5.5 NEAR COAST OF NORTHERN PERU
5.2 TONGA REGION
5.8 MID-INDIAN RIDGE

CALIFORNIA – After the 4.8 quake, the California Emergency Management Agency believed that there was a 1% to 5% chance of a large earthquake (magnitude 7.0 or greater) on the San Andreas Fault over the next few days. They issued a warning to operational Red Cross areas throughout the state. Although there were no damages or injuries reported as a result of this event, The U.S. Geological Survey has been tracking an “unusual sequence” of over 50 aftershocks, that have been clustered about 1 to 3 kilometers southwest of a projected extension of the San Andreas Fault, in the Salton Sea area. “Swarms in the Imperial Valley are not a big deal,. We’re used to that. The reason that this one, and another one in 2001, got significant attention from us is that it’s very close to the San Andreas Fault.” "Based on scientific data, and the fact that these most recent earthquakes have been in close proximity to the San Andreas Fault, there is increased concern that these earthquakes could trigger a large earthquake (M7.0 +) on the San Andreas itself. Historically, a major earthquake on this southern portion of the San Andreas Fault has not occurred in over 300 years, so the probability of a large earthquake is thought by seismologists to be higher than on portions of the fault that have ruptured more recently (e.g. in 1857 and 1906)." “The fictional 7.8 earthquake that was the scenario for the shakeout drill started right here, OK? And this whole section hasn’t broken since 1680, probably, so that’s the reason for the close eye that we keep on it. It’s another straw on a camel’s back, but we don’t know how many are there and we don’t know how many a ‘camel’ can hold.” As each day passes the risk of a large San Andreas earthquake decreases.

CALIFORNIA –
Dozens of small earthquakes continued to rattle a desert area today about 90 miles east of San Diego. On Tuesday a magnitude 4.8 shaker hit the small desert town of Bombay Beach, near the Salton Sea. Since then, swarms of smaller quakes keep coming. The biggest one on Wednesday morning was a magnitude 3.5. Hardly anyone lives out there and there have been no reports of injuries or damage. Caltech scientists are keeping close watch on the increased activity because it is near a section of the San Andreas Fault that has not broken loose in more than 300 years.

There's about a 5 percent chance that a 4.8 quake will be followed by a larger quake, but the odds drop sharply if no quake occurs in the hours immediately afterwards.

AUSTRALIA – While the Australian continent is edging its way towards the north-east of the globe at a rate of about seven centimetres a year, the islands of the Pacific are moving towards them in a westerly direction at much the same speed. The result: an underwater volcano erupting on Monday in the South Pacific, an earthquake shaking Victoria on Wednesday, and a much larger quake near Tonga that caused a tsunami alert in the region. The events are linked by the fact that the country sits in the middle of a large tectonic plate, the Indian-Australian plate, which is crashing into the Pacific Plate that lies beneath the Pacific Ocean. A build-up of stress in the plate was released near Korumburra, to the south-east of Melbourne, in a magnitude 4.6 earthquake on March 6. While not surprising, a second earthquake of the same size at the same spot on Wednesday afternoon was an "unusual" event for Australia. The first earthquake transferred new stresses further along the geological fault line, which were eventually released in last week's tremor.

VIRGINIA
– The big earthquake near the Pacific island nation of Tonga sent seismic waves around the world. The impulse was felt in a USGS monitoring well in Christianburg, in southwest Virginia, where water levels surged as the seismic wave passed through the surrounding rock. This well is especially sensitive to seismic signals, and regularly responds to big quakes around the world. (graph)

MYSTERY BOOMS –

SOUTH CAROLINA – 3/20/09 – A loud noise was heard shortly before 3 a.m. Friday morning in Aiken, Richmond and Columbia counties. Local law enforcement agencies also report hearing the boom, but no one knows what caused it. Two Aiken County Sheriff’s Office deputies reportedly saw a fireball in the sky.

From the heavens came a fire ball, and a boom. Aiken is a town that’s not easily fooled, and is questioning the reports that the flash, and bang in the early morning sky, was a meteor. “I’ve heard the meteorite story, I’ve heard the airplane sonic boom story, I don’t know." "I’m not buying the meteor explanation, no."

There is a report that power was lost
over downtown Augusta, Georgia (at least) at around 3am that morning. It was restored by 4am. Of course, this could be a coincidence with the timing of the boom. Since the collision of Russian and American satellites on Feb. 10, 2009, there have been a number of similar (unexplained) incidents reported (booms, meteor-like objects, etc.).

Video evidence of boom and light – 3 property surveillance tapes captured odd footage. “…area right here, where the little swirl came down…there it went! There it went!“ The amazed owner never heard the sound…but after hearing reports, she believes she’s recorded light from the unidentified “object” that was seen and heard all over the CSRA, Friday morning. She has 3 surveillance cameras that captured 3 different images from that morning. Two cameras show something falling…this object fell a few seconds before the flash on the deck was seen…the other happened 42 seconds after the flash. A meteorite hunter is plotting points on a map of the area to try and pinpoint exactly where debris fell.

VOLCANOES –

ALASKA – Mount Redoubt volcano has exploded anew, hurling ash and smoke high into the atmosphere. At 4.24am AEDT today, the volcano began kicking out fresh debris, now reaching nearly 20,000 meters above sea level. The Alaska Volcano Observatory described the blast as "a major explosive event". Although no injuries have been reported, ash clouds have forced a string of flight cancellations and prompted concern in nearby towns. Authorities have placed the region on red alert, with residents warned to prepare for falling ash.

HAWAII – The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on the Big Island of Hawaii has released video of a robust brown plume associated with a "hybrid seismic event" on the summit of Kilauea at 11:03 am on Wednesday. Brown plumes like this one have appeared occasionally throughout the past year of eruptive activity at the summit, and are often associated with rockfalls. Wednesday's activity started with at least two more dusty plumes followed by a larger collapse at 11:03 am and a large, dense, brown plume; there were several more brown plumes over the next two hours before settling to a white plume moving southwest from the crater. Meanwhile, a glow from the vent has increased in intensity over the course of the week. The series of brown plumes produced a considerable amount of tephra – at least 100 times the average production rate for the past week or so. The tephra appears mostly reworked with little fresh material consistent with being rockfall material lifted by escaping gas and steam. Sulfur dioxide emission rates reportedly remain elevated and variable. The most recent emission rate was 800 tonnes/day on March 25, compared to the 2003-2007 average rate of 140 tonnes/day. Kilauea summit tremor levels were at elevated values until the hybrid earthquake occurred. Afterwards, tremor levels dropped by more than 50%. (video)

ALASKA – The U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Volcano Observatory finally released a batch of photos from of Mount Redoubt Volcano, which has erupted explosively six times since Sunday evening. Some of the more dramatic were taken on Monday.

Volcano plumes spin like tornadoes
– a phenomenon the researchers call a "volcanic mesocyclone." The columns of ash and gas that spew from erupting volcanoes behave just like tornadoes, a new study suggests. Volcanic plumes have been known to spawn waterspouts and dust devils, as well as sheaths of lightning around their roiling debris clouds.

ALASKA – The Redoubt Volcano Webcam feed was initially downed by the ash but "spontaneously" restarted Monday afternoon. Between Sunday and Monday night, Redoubt Volcano erupted six times, sending a volcanic ash cloud 9.5 miles (15 kilometers) into the sky, dusting nearby towns, sparking a swarm of earthquakes, and spurring massive mudflows. Based on seismic data, a lava dome appears to be forming in the volcano's crater. Early data suggest the volcano could continue erupting for days or even months. "I doubt this eruption is over. In fact, it may be just beginning."

ALASKA – Mount Redoubt volcano has erupted for the sixth time in 24 hours, spewing ash and steam 15km (9.3 miles) into the air. The volcano, 166km (103 miles) south-west of the state's biggest city, Anchorage, began erupting late on Sunday after a 20-year lull. Ash has fallen on towns north of Anchorage, but the city itself has not been affected by the eruption. Alaskan Airlines has cancelled a number of flights because of the ash. Officials at the Alaska Volcano Observatory were able to monitor the latest eruption live via a webcam. "We were able to see mudflows, pyroclastic flows and a nice ash column shooting out of the summit… If it is anything like the 1989 eruption, we could expect activity to continue for three to four months."

ALASKA – Mount Redoubt volcano has erupted, sending a cloud of ash 15km (50,000ft) into the air. The volcano, 166km (103 miles) from Anchorage, erupted late on Sunday, with three more explosions early on Monday. The Alaska Volcano Observatory has issued a red alert, meaning an eruption with significant amounts of ash is imminent or under way. Forecasters at the National Weather Service said they expected fine ash to begin falling later on Monday morning. "The ash cloud went to 50,000 feet and it's currently drifting towards the north-east." The web camera near the volcano is no longer functioning.

TONGA – The powerful underwater volcano that erupted in the south Pacific this week has created a new island off the coast of Tonga. The eruption, about 39 miles north-west of the Tongan capital, Nuku'alofa, began last Monday, shooting rocks, steam and ash thousands of feet into the air. The volcano had two vents, one on a small uninhabited island and another about 100 metres (330ft) offshore. Rock and ash spewing from the sea have filled the gap between the two vents, creating a new land mass measuring hundreds of square metres. Around 36 undersea volcanoes are clustered in the surrounding area.

All life has been extinguished on the tiny South Pacific island engulfed by an undersea volcano off the coast of Tonga, say witnesses who made a daring trip to the scene. A boatload of sightseers narrowly escaped a hot blast of poisonous gases and ash as their vessel neared the uninhabited island of Hunga Ha’apai. “There was a huge explosion and the smoke was coming towards us. People were yelling, ‘Start the boat, start the boat’ . . . we were a bit shaken, actually.” The sightseers found dead birds and fish floating in the water. The island was shrouded in black ash. Only the stumps of coconut trees remained. The volcano has sent spectacular columns of smoke skywards since it erupted last Monday. It has already reshaped the island and expanded it by thousands of square feet. There has been no danger to people on the main Tongan island of Tongatapu.

RUSSIA – Eruption of the Koryak Volcano in the Kamchatka region is menacing Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy – If ash emissions occur it will pose actual danger to operation of the local airport. There are few seismic acquisition systems in close vicinity to the volcano. And the majority of the systems are focused on nearby Avachinskiy Volcano. There is only one station designed for detection of Koryak volcano activity, but this is not enough. The eruption of the Koryak, which is situated in 28-30 km fron Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, occurred in December 2008. The scientists say that it is difficult to calculate the possible scenario of the volcano eruption.

TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –

Spotting risky rock formations that are about to collapse and trigger tsunamis could be done with the help of Google Earth, new research suggests. The software could prove a useful tool where other types of survey prove too difficult or expensive. One such spot has just been found in the Caribbean. "We were doing fieldwork on the volcanic island of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles and initially just used Google Earth to identify good study areas. But with its 3D flyover tool, we quickly got excellent direct glimpses of a slab or rock that may soon cause a tsunami. " They found plenty of evidence that this block of coastline is a landslide waiting to happen. "The flank is undercut by erosion from the sea and we saw scars from recent landslides and tension cracks above the block. Earthquakes are common in the area and we are pretty sure it's going to go soon." The researchers have calculated that when the rock tumbles into the sea, it could trigger a tsunami of up to 3 metres high. Though that is smaller than the waves of the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami, the coast of the island Guadeloupe is only 40 kilometres away and has vulnerable flat beaches. What's more, if other blocks above the problem slab were destabilised by a larger earthquake or movement of the slab itself, a much larger tsunami could result.

TROPICAL STORMS –

MOZAMBIQUE – Floods in Mozambique have left at least 4,000 people homeless and a tropical storm is threatening to make the situation even worse for the nation on the southeastern coast of Africa. The Mozambique National Meteorological Service is warning fishermen to stay on land as Tropical Storm Izilda heads toward the coastal resort of Inhambane at 48 miles per hour (78 kilometers per hour). The tropical storm is expected to make landfall Friday or Saturday and dump torrential rains. In the northern part of the country, heavy rains have already destroyed homes and crops,. Floods have also affected the southern African nations of Angola, Namibia, and Malawi.

Tropical Cyclone Jasper has strengthened to a category two storm over seas off the state's north, but still poses no immediate threat to Queensland.

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

INDONESIA – Deadly dam burst outside Jakarta – A 10-foot high “mini tsunami” crashed through a neighbourhood. Dozens of people are feared dead after the dam burst southwest of the capital Jakarta. Witnesses said a "horrifying" flash flood engulfed hundreds of homes in Cirendeu in the Tangerang district. It is not clear what caused the burst but an official said the Situ Gintung lake behind the dam became overloaded after several hours of heavy rain. At least 32 people have died but officials say dozens more are missing and the death toll is expected to rise. There had been heavy wind and rain overnight with many trees uprooted. People in the area were being evacuated to higher ground. "About half of them are still on rooftops waiting for help."

NORTH DAKOTA – earlier optimism is fading as officials predict the Red River would reach a RECORD-HIGH crest of 43 feet by the weekend. That's 2 feet higher than earlier predicted. The city of Fargo is in "UNCHARTED TERRITORY, because it's a learning curve for all of us, when we get into new levels and so forth." A 1997 flood saw the waterway hit 39.6 feet, but the record of 40.1 feet has stood since 1897.

CANADA – Ice jams, falling snow and rising water upstream in the Red River have put Manitoba at an "UNPRECEDENTED" risk of flood. The cold weather could reduce flood risk by delaying snow melt, but the cold is also causing unpredictable ice jams. "It's quite a weather mess, quite a hydrologic mess we're in." The Canadian military was on standby, prepared to send soldiers in to help place sandbags. The Red River flows north from North Dakota into Manitoba. The river is expected to crest late Friday at Fargo, N.D. Thousands of people might have to evacuate, and a few had already been forced from their homes. At least 30 families left their homes Wednesday north of Winnipeg, as ice packs caused flooding. States of emergency were declared in several communities Wednesday night as crews worked at breaking up ice in streams and culverts to speed the water's northward flow.

Floods cause havoc in US Midwest – North Dakota has been declared a federal disaster area because of RECORD SPRING FLOODING across the mid-Western state. Floodwaters from the Red River, which is expected to peak later this week, have closed roads and bridges. National guardsmen and volunteers are reinforcing flood defences. The rising waters are also affecting the neighbouring state of Minnesota which, like North Dakota, borders the Red River on its route towards Canada. A blizzard has brought snow and freezing rain to the area and high winds have knocked out the electricity supply to some towns in the state. The snowfall has blocked hundreds of miles of highways and roads in North Dakota and the neighbouring states of Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska. The extreme flatness of the Red River Valley means the overflowing water tends to go wide, move slowly and take weeks to recede because the soil is increasingly saturated. "You will have an extremely wide river." A waterway that now measures 100 yards wide "might turn into between a mile and a mile-and-a-half". An ice jam blocking the Missouri River burst today, sending a further surge of water downstream towards North Dakota's capital Bismarck, where flooding has already led to some evacuations in low-lying areas. The floods may delay planting of the largest US spring-wheat crop. The Missouri flows south and east, eventually joining the Mississippi River.

Monday's blizzard in the Northern Plains was pretty EXTREME. Rapid City, South Dakota tells the story well – the wind gusts there have been over 60 mph for more than 24 hours, while the temperature has fallen from freezing to 22 degrees F. Monday afternoon, they reported a thunderstorm with heavy snow and near-zero visibility from 1 PM to 4 PM, then overnight, they gusted to 97 mph during heavy ice fog with zero visibility.

NAMIBIA – The UN reports more than 200000 people have been affected by heavy flooding and nearly 100 killed, although that figure is expected to go higher.

EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-

NEW YORK – Red Flag warning – This month's dry weather is leading to an UNUSUAL increase in grass fires throughout New York State.

Australians Face Climate Change Relocation – Senior government officials in Victoria are warning residents of towns on the Murray River that they could become the first Australians to be displaced by climate change. The region has suffered at the hands of a long-running drought that many scientists and politicians have blamed on global warming. The very dry conditions have restricted the flow of water into a river that is part of the Murray-Darling Basin, which provides much of Australia's food, prompting dire warnings about the future. Flows into the once mighty Murray River have fallen significantly, in recent years. Its health is indelibly linked to the prosperity of many large agricultural towns in southeastern Australia. A senior Victorian government official has warned that the Murray River crisis is so severe that those living near its banks are "pretty close" to becoming "Australia's first climate-change refugees." Other parts of Australia are also vulnerable. Unlike towns near the Murray River, communities along Queensland's popular Gold Coast are threatened by rising sea levels. Much of the region south of Brisbane is low-lying and exposed to serious flooding with residents facing the real prospect of being forced to move. The city council is spending millions boosting its coastal defenses. "We accept that climate change is a reality. We are very susceptible on the eastern coast. The Gold Coast is probably the most vulnerable city in the whole of Australia and the kind of mapping that I've seen come from reliable sources is quite frightening." Although not everyone believes that a shifting climate is the result of man's excesses, most Australians think that behavior has to change. A long-standing drought and water restrictions in most major cities and regional farming areas have helped to focus their minds on the environment.

Global warming 37% to blame for droughts – Global warming is more than a third to blame for a major drop in rainfall that includes a decade-long drought in Australia and a lengthy dry spell in the United States, a scientist said today. What he found was an underlying trend where rainfall over the past 15 years or so has been steadily decreasing, with global warming 37 percent responsible for the drop. "The 37 percent is probably going to increase if global warming continues." There are four regions where rainfall has been declining. The affected areas were the continental United States, southeastern Australia, a large region of equatorial Africa and the Altiplano in South America. But there were two areas in the tropics where rainfall has been increasing — northwestern Australia and the Amazon Basin. "This is all part of a global pattern where the rainfall is generally increasing in the equatorial tropics and decreasing in the sub-tropics in mid-latitudes. This is a little bit like the pattern that the (computer) models predict for global warming but this is coming out of the rainfall observations of the past 30 years." The rainfall trend was also accompanied by a trend in global sea surface temperatures. Sea surface temperatures have been rising as the atmosphere warms. The Atlantic conveyor belt was 27 percent to blame for the decreased rainfall, while the two Pacific ocean circulation patterns were 30 percent responsible.

PAKISTAN – there are certain weather patterns being observed in Karachi and its adjoining geographical region. These include declining intensity of monsoon rains and rising frequency of occurrence of tropical cyclones in Arabian Sea. Initial studies of the weather patterns have suggested that Karachi and its adjoining areas come under the effect of extreme weather with decreased intensity of regular weather patterns owing to climatic changes including global warming. The decreasing trend of monsoon rains in the region is the latest area of concern for experts related to fields of Meteorology and Geography. “Researchers associated with University of Dundee Scotland have claimed that the phenomena of monsoon rains in South Asia would end by 2012. In this backdrop, there is a lot of work that should be done locally to verify this theory, as a lot of socio-economic processes in the region are heavily dependent upon monsoon rains." Then there are UNUSUAL weather events such as the occurrence of three tropical cyclones in the Arabian Sea near the Karachi coast in 2007 alone. The patterns and intensity of monsoon rains in the region has been of much interest for meteorological and geophysics experts of both India and Pakistan. If it is established scientifically that the region will experience a year of El-Nino (Southern Oscillation) in the near future, there is a greater chance that there will be low prevalence of monsoon rains during 2009.

COLORADO – Mud storm blankets Vail Valley – High winds before rain and snow carried dirt to Vail Valley. The crowd of mud-splattered Vail Valley vehicles lined up behind the Eagle River Car Wash Monday afternoon looked like an off-roading after party. But the exceptionally dirty cars were really victims of a mud storm that hit the area Sunday night, a forerunner to the cold spell and snow that came in overnight. “It’s UNUSUAL. When you wash your car you expect snow or rain soon afterward – not mud.” The dirty rain was part of the storm that brought three inches to the Vail Valley Sunday night. The storm was preceded by high winds of up to 43 miles per hour, which kicked dust into the air. “There were strong winds in front of (the storm). That dirty air from further west made it eastward, then showers brought it all down. The western Colorado counties got it the worst.” The dirty rain was reported as far west as Grand Junction.

MINNESOTA – Volunteers are working 24-7 to raise dikes to block the Red River's flow, but this week's forecast calls for even more rain and snow. After a day of sandbagging to fill gaps in permanent dikes, residents and officials of Breckenridge believed they were protected 1 foot higher than the 19-foot crest predicted to pass through the city beginning at midday today. Thousands of volunteers up and down the Red River Valley toiled mightily Monday as potential record flooding threatened those along the north-flowing river. In Fargo, sandbaggers worked to fill nearly 2 million sandbags ahead of Thursday's anticipated crest. "This is coming up way faster than in 1997. We had a lot more time then." By this morning, the prospects seemed to be improving. The Red River in Breckenridge and neighboring Wapheton, N.D., was expected to crest at 19 feet, about a foot lower than initially thought. And in Fargo, the National Weather Service says the Red should crest at 40 feet early Friday. An emergency dike system to protect downtown was being raised to 42 feet, but some low-lying neighborhoods were threatened. The river was at 25 feet on Monday and rising. Already main roads — Interstate 29 on the North Dakota side and Hwy. 75 in Minnesota — were closed. According to the National Weather Service, as much as an inch of rain could fall before turning tonight to snow that will linger through the rest of the week. That could be a mixed blessing. Colder weather will slow the melting that is feeding the flood, but it will make it tougher for volunteers to erect the cities' flood defenses.

HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –

New report predicts "New Global Ice Age" – "The reality is that there are forces at work, already affecting the weather for the past two years, that will make the next twelve years significantly cooler than anything we have seen in past decades. This report explores these forces and provides a roadmap of what to expect as the new ice age unfolds." "Unfettered by the Gore-Tex straitjacket of global warming dogma, one might ask some obvious questions. Why, in 2008, did Toronto, the Midwest United States, India, China, the United Kingdom and several areas of Europe all break summer rainfall records? Why was South Africa converted into a 'winter wonderland' this past September? Why did Alaska record its coldest summer this year — cold enough for ice packs and glaciers to grow for the first time in measured history? Why has sea ice achieved record levels in recent months? Lastly, why did a rare October snow fall on London, on the 29th, as British Parliament debated — appropriately enough — a climate bill?

VERMONT – The 2008-2009 winter across Vermont and much of the North Country was wild, marked by temperature swings, lots of precipitation and even a rare weather phenomenon on Lake Champlain. In December the most dramatic event was the ice storm that moved through the region on Dec. 11-12. This storm played havoc with air travel in southern New England and left millions without electricity. The ice storm this winter was very complex. January 2009 saw more flip-flops, both in terms of temperature, as well as in the amount of precipitation around the state. January had bone-chilling temperatures which set new records across the state. Many of Lake Champlain's bays froze over (and remained so until the first week of March), with ice fishing enthusiasts reporting some of the thickest ice seen in years. Why these temperature swings? The January cold snap was marked by an unusually strong and very extensive high pressure system that formed over the central states and expanded to encompass the entire eastern half of North America. How did this extraordinarily high pressure – with its frigid, dense air – develop and persist? When the North Atlantic Oscillation system near Iceland is dominated by high pressure and that near Gibraltar by low pressure, we experience the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation. In this case, cold Arctic air invades eastern North America and Europe, as we saw here in January. On a somewhat different note, Jan. 15 also marked the rare occurrence of a waterspout in Lake Champlain, the second one on record since 1954. One of the month's highlights was the blizzard of Feb. 22-23. The town of Sutton was at the center of this swath of snow, where 20.6 inches fell on that day alone. 24-hour snowfall amounts set new daily records that were only superseded as a monthly record by the Valentine's Day blizzard of 2007.

NORTH DAKOTA – Up-and-down temperature pattern likely to continue – The early part of this late winter and early spring season has been marked by impressive turnarounds in temperature. This began on the final day of January, when our temperature suddenly rose to 44 degrees. This was followed by a rare early February rainstorm. Then February grew very cold again, and this cold lasted through the blizzard of March 10. Such an up-and-down temperature pattern is a common product of the Pacific Ocean weather pattern known as La Nina, which has been building for the past few months.

SPACE WEATHER-

The frequency of cosmic ray "hits" correlates closely with a rare and sudden warming of the stratosphere called, appropriately, a sudden stratospheric warming (SSW). An SSW can affect both the severity of winters in northern regions and levels of ozone over the poles. Being able to detect and study these events will help weather forecasters and climate modelers improve their predictions. "The advantage of this technique is, we have [cosmic ray] records from various experiments in the world that go back several decades. Now we can go back in the historical records and see [how cosmic ray data correlates with stratospheric weather events over long periods of time]. People trying to figure out how weather in the upper atmosphere works will have another tool to build models of it." In the Arctic and Antarctic, winds whip around the poles in a circular pattern called a polar vortex. But if the heart of the vortex can be likened to the eye of a hurricane, sometimes that eye wobbles off center and causes various weather events. "It's as if the vortex is taking an excursion." From wobbling of the vortex to SSWs to weather on the ground, everything is connected "but it's not a simple correlation." SSWs occur on average about every other year, but they are dramatic: In just a few days the temperature can shoot up as much as 75 Fahrenheit degrees and stay there for a couple of weeks. And they have been devilishly unpredictable. But maybe now that will change.

80-ton asteroid's impact recorded – Scientists from Queen's University in Belfast have become the first to study an asteroid before it impacts with Earth. The asteroid in question, 2008 TC3, weighed 80 tonnes and had a diameter of four metres. It landed in the Nubian Desert in Sudan last October, where it scattered after exploding at an altitude of 37km. "This was the first ever predicted impact of an asteroid with the Earth and the very first time an asteroid of any size has been studied before impact." Fifteen meteorites were recovered over an area 29km-long along the calculated approach path of the asteroid. "The recovered meteorites were unlike anything in our meteorite collections up to that point. The asteroid has been confirmed as a rare type called F-class, corresponding to dark ureilite achondrite meteorites with a texture and composition unlike any other ureilite meteorites found on earth before." Comparing the asteroid and meteorite data tells us that 2008 TC3 may have only spent a few million years existing in the inner Solar system before it hit our planet. "Larger impacts of the size associated with the Tunguska event of 1908 occur every few hundred years and even larger impacts with asteroids and comets the size of mountains occur every few tens of millions of years."

Unusual Wave Clouds over the Aral Sea – Distinctive lines of clouds stretch out from the shore of the Aral Sea in this photo-like image captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on March 12, 2009. While wave clouds like this are not unusual, this particular pattern over the Aral Sea is HIGHLY UNUSUAL. The clouds conform exactly to the shape of the western shore.

TASMANIA – 3/21/09 – UNUSUAL lights that sparked a wave of concern were probably a meteor or space junk. The unusual trail of lights seen speeding across the sky on Saturday afternoon was most likely a natural phenomenon. But the source of the mystery lights remains unknown. Police took dozens of calls about 1.30pm from people around the state who saw the lights heading south. Police said the sightings had triggered fears that a plane or a meteor was about to crash. If the light had been a meteor, it was likely to have either burnt up before it reached the ground or landed somewhere in the ocean.

ZIMBABWE – March 1, 2009 – A large rock, weighing about 100 kilogrammes fell from the “sky,” in Nkayi at the beginning of the month, shocking villagers while at the same time sending the whole district wild with excitement and speculation. The stone, which many villagers now believe is a gift from God, fell with a thunderous noise in Madlilika Village in the Mjena area of Lukampa at about 5pm on 1 March. It fell five metres from two villagers who were herding cattle in the bush. Villagers from the area said they heard a thunderous sound coming from the “sky,” and another sound resembling a bomb exploding. “The noise later fizzled into a sound similar to one made by an aircaft on take-off before dying away." People from the area believe the rock could have been a special gift from God containing very precious minerals while others believe that it could have been sent by their ancestors in a bid to communicate something to them. They have since vowed to jealously guard it until they get a satisfactory explanation on what it symbolises or what mineral it contains. The villagers believe that the unique stone could turn out to be something of great significance. “There is a lot of speculation at the moment but one thing for sure is that no one seems to think it is a bad omen, although people were initially shocked by the incident. A number of people touched the stone and nothing has happened to them but the strongest belief seems to be that it is a precious stone." The unique sound which accompanied the rock made some people believe that there was something supernatural about it. The rock was heard in the entire Lukampa area as well as Matshena, Mbuma and Nkalathi areas. The rock weighs 15kg and is black and very smooth outside. It is grey inside. The object could be a meteorite that dropped to earth from outer space. “I would say maybe a small meteorite." Numerous people have over the years reported sounds being heard while bright meteors flared overhead. While some scientists have dismissed the idea of sounds accompanying meteors, given the relatively slow speed of sound, sound recordings made under controlled conditions in Mongolia in 1998 by a physicist support the contention that the sounds are real.

The sun has been without spots for nearly a month, but the blank spell could be coming to an end. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is monitoring intense activity on the sun's northeastern limb – the source could be a sunspot located just over the horizon. We'll know within the next 24 hours. Solar rotation is turning the active region toward Earth, and by March 27th direct viewing should be possible.

"We're moving closer and closer to the edge of a possible disaster"
– Over the last few decades, western civilisations have busily sown the seeds of their own destruction. Our modern way of life, with its reliance on technology, has unwittingly exposed us to an extraordinary danger: plasma balls spewed from the surface of the sun could wipe out our power grids, with catastrophic consequences. It sounds ridiculous. Surely the sun couldn't create a profound disaster on Earth. Yet an extraordinary report funded by NASA and issued by the US National Academy of Sciencesin January this year claims it could do just that.

The projections of just how catastrophic make chilling reading. Imagine it is midnight on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power. A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation's infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event – a violent storm, 150 million kilometres away on the surface of the sun. The incursion of the plasma into our atmosphere causes rapid changes in the configuration of Earth's magnetic field which, in turn, induce currents in the long wires of the power grids. It's just the opposite of how we usually think of natural disasters. Usually the less developed regions of the world are most vulnerable, not the highly sophisticated technological regions." If it is dark from the eastern seaboard to Chicago, some affected areas are hundreds, maybe thousands of miles away from anyone who might help. And those willing to help are likely to be ill-equipped to deal with the sheer scale of the disaster. The "perfect storm" is most likely on a spring or autumn night in a year of heightened solar activity – something like 2012. Around the equinoxes, the orientation of the Earth's field to the sun makes us particularly vulnerable to a plasma strike. It could come in the next three or four years. "It could conceivably be the worst natural disaster possible…A really large storm could be a planetary disaster."

WINDS –

WISCONSIN – Midnight blast damages property on north side of Kenosha. A FREAK wind gust early Wednesday morning uprooted trees, fence posts and shook houses, causing a cluster of property damage on the city’s north side. Many residents said it sounded like a freight train, including one who was watching television around midnight Wednesday when his house’s windows began to shake. “We heard this loud banging. My wife was asleep. It scared the dickens out of her, and she came running down the stairs.” The gust was the product of a storm front heading north to south. As the front moved over the area around midnight, winds out of the southeast took a sudden turn and triggered severe winds. “It was almost a 90-degree wind shift, and right along that front was where the strong winds were.” The weather event wasn’t severe enough for it to be classified as a microburst as some initially thought. The National Weather Service recorded a 57 mph wind gust in Dane County, but there were no measured wind gusts in the Kenosha area. Fence posts were ripped from their concrete foundations and tossed into a field to the east. The concrete pieces were cracked and broken as though struck with a sledgehammer. Part of a street sign was embedded in the fence. A crab tree was snapped off at ground level. A 400-pound grill was shoved to an opposite corner of a deck, along with a group of patio furniture. A piece of glass also is missing from a patio table. A swingset was broken and dropped in a neighbor’s yard — next to a twisted trampoline that had come from another property to the north. Shingles and pieces from a neighbor’s exploded shed were strewn across yards and into the street. “It was windy and then all of a sudden it was just a really increasingly scary noise. It came as quite the shock in the neighborhood to everybody.” One of the shed panels crashed into the side of a home, and knocked pictures off the wall. “Whatever it was, it grabbed that stuff pretty well. There was a roar, but it wasn’t an ongoing roar. It was like a quick three-, four-second roar. The house shook and then I bailed out.” One man said he'd experienced earthquakes, but nothing like what he experienced early Wednesday. “It was scary, and I’m just glad nobody was hurt."

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

Tempers Flare at Debate on the Devil
Does Satan Exist? Sides Square Off During 'Nightline Face-Off'
By DAN HARRIS
and ELY BROWN
March 26, 2009

The concept of Satan provokes strong emotions, and sparks a series of fundamental questions about good and evil, about human nature, and about the nature of God. The question of whether Satan exists is one of the most contentious theological debates possible, and last week four fascinating, polarizing people from around the country convened in Seattle to tackle that topic in the third "Nightline" Face-Off. According to one poll, 70 percent of Americans believe Satan is real. Some believe he — and almost all believers say Satan is a "he" — is a fallen angel. Others believe Satan is a shapeless, malevolent force; the enemy of God. But there are also many people who believe that Satan is a myth, and a dangerous one, because his name is often invoked to justify unspeakable acts of violence. The Face-Off was hosted at Mars Hill Church, and the church's pastor, Mark Driscoll, argued that Satan does exist. Driscoll is a hip yet hard-line preacher with a young, often tattooed following to whom he preaches a strict doctrine, in which the devil figures prominently.

Pastor Tackles Truth, New Age Spirituality, Mormonism
Today, many people generally view Mormons as a people with strong family values and clean living, according to one pastor at McLean Bible Church. Some also believe they are just one of many Christian denominations.
The Christian Post
Mon, Mar. 23, 2009

Today, many people generally view Mormons as a people with strong family values and clean living, according to one pastor at McLean Bible Church. Some also believe they are just one of many Christian denominations. But that view is the result of a multibillion dollar campaign over the last couple of decades by Mormons who have attempted to present themselves in such a way, according to Todd Phillips, teaching pastor at Frontline, the young adult ministry of McLean in Virginia. Many Americans, including Christians, see Mormons as "just another branch of Christianity who talk about Jesus all the time and likely do a better job at adhering to family values than most Christian do in churches in America," Phillips told hundreds attending service and watching over the Internet on Sunday.

43 Percent of French Catholics Want Pope to "Step Down"
By Hilary White

ROME, March 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A pair of polls released in France show that increasing numbers of French people want Pope Benedict to "step down." According to Catholic commentators, the polls come at a time of unprecedented hostility in the media to the Pope's reiteration of Catholic sexual morality. According to a poll published in France's Le Journal du Dimanche weekly, 43 percent of French Catholics want Pope Benedict XVI to resign or retire. The poll was divided into "practising" and "non-practising" Catholics, with 47 percent of the latter, and only about a third of the former wanting Benedict to "step down." More than 80 percent of those polled said they want the Church to "modify its position" on contraception and abortion. Le Journal du Dimanche reported that "significant majorities" want the Church to change the teaching on remarriage after divorce as well as homosexuality. Another poll published in Le Parisien daily found that 57 percent of respondents have a negative opinion of the pontiff.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: When religion drives us from God
Post-Bulletin.com
3/25/2009

We are losing our religion.

That, with apologies to R.E.M., is the startling conclusion of a new study, the American Religious Identification Survey, conducted by researchers at Trinity College of Hartford, Conn. The poll of more than 54,000 American adults found a sharp erosion in the number of people claiming religious affiliation. A few highlights: The number of people who call themselves Christian is 76 percent, down 10 percentage points since 1990. Thirty percent of married couples did not have a religious ceremony. Better than one in four Americans do not expect a religious funeral. It is important to reiterate that we are talking about overall percentages. In raw numbers, there are actually about 22 million "more" Christians now than in 1990. Still, the trend is clear, particularly as illustrated in one telling statistic: In 1990, 8.2 percent (about 14 million) of us said "none" when asked to specify their religion. Last year, 15 percent (34 million) did.

Saudi Arabia to its women: Drop dead
By Harris Zafar
Saturday, March 21st 2009, 4:00 AM

Attention all Saudi women: If you need assistance of any kind, you are on your own. The government of Saudi Arabia made this clear to all women residing in their country when, late last month, it chose to arrest a 75-year-old widowed woman for being in the company of unrelated males who were simply helping her. In an embarrassing display of law enforcement, the Saudi government convicted and sentenced the widow to 40 lashes and four months imprisonment for mingling with her late husband's 24-year-old nephew and his friend, after she had asked them to deliver some bread to her house. (Since her husband's death, she often asks others for help. The Saudi government claims that she has sinned.) As a Muslim who studies, understands and follows true Islamic tenets, such incidents sadden and infuriate me. There is nothing in classical Islamic jurisprudence, nor in the Holy Quran, that would condone this punishment. It simply is not an Islamic injunction. Saudi Arabia has become infamous for its religious police (known by the Arabic word "mutaween"), who have the power to arrest unrelated men and women caught socializing, seize products regarded as "un-Islamic" and enforce Islamic dress codes and dietary laws. In March 2002, they forcibly barred schoolgirls from escaping a burning school in Mecca because the girls were not wearing head scarves and black coats. Consequently, 15 girls died and 50 were injured.

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

Gingrich to launch outreach to Christians
Criticizes Washington bureaucracy that just doesn't 'get it'
March 20, 2009
WorldNetDaily

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich plans to launch a new outreach to Christians and religious conservatives, because Washington's bureaucracy just doesn't "get it," he said in an interview. Gingrich told Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News his organization, called Renewing American Leadership, has some of the nation's top Christian activists on its board. Gingrich said he's been affected personally by the changes in America society; specifically the attacks on established Christianity and its traditions. "I am very sobered that my grandchildren might live in a secular society that might drive God out of public schools in such a way that they are now antireligious centers of propaganda," he said.

Suit claims recognition of God violates law
Brief challenges plan to stop acknowledging prayer
March 21, 2009
WorldNetDaily

A court should reject arguments from those who seek "relentless extirpation" of any reference to religion in public life, according to a brief submitted in opposition to a Wisconsin lawsuit that challenges the National Day of Prayer. The lawsuit was filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which asserted the law that sets the first Thursday in May as "National Day of Prayer" should be declared in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The case pending in a Wisconsin court now, however, has drawn the attention of the American Center for Law and Justice, the ACLJ, which submitted a friend-of-the-court brief asking for the case to be dismissed. The ACLJ's filing includes a list 60 pages long of presidential and other proclamations recognizing America's need for a "day of prayer" and said the concept was adopted even as the U.S. was being created as a nation.

Atheist author Hitchens, apologists debate topic of God at Dallas' Christian Book Expo
Sunday, March 22, 2009
By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News
samhodges@dallasnews.com

Best-selling atheist author Christopher Hitchens took on four Christian apologists Saturday in a civil but spirited two-hour discussion as part of the Christian Book Expo. Hitchens challenged Christianity on a number of fronts, including questioning how a loving God could allow so much suffering in the world and be "capricious" enough to delay sending Jesus as savior for thousands of years. The Rev. Jim Denison, theologian-in-residence for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, said God grieves for the suffering of humans, but gives them free will. "So you know the mind of God?" Hitchens asked Denison. "I know what God has revealed of his mind," Denison answered.

US Public Schools Teaching Children Pro-Islamic Propaganda
By Marc Sheppard
March 09, 2009
American Thinker

Christianity was started by a young Palestinian named Jesus and the 9/11 murderers were not Islamic Fundamentalists but simply a generic "teams of terrorists." That's the caliber of politically corrected crap many of our children are being taught in American public schools — and it's past time all parents took serious notice. A five year study by Gary Tobin and Dennis Ybarra of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research cites hundreds of such errors and distortions found in "28 of the most widely used social studies and history textbooks in the United States." Their book, The Trouble with Textbooks: Distorting History and Religion, examines the pro-Islamic disinformation they uncovered, including the assertion that Jesus was a Palestinian, not a Jew. Ybarra claims that the textbooks also treat Islam with special privilege and tend not to criticize or challenge it, as they do Judaism and Christianity. He offers this example from the glossary of World History: Continuity and Change: It calls the Ten Commandments "moral laws Moses claimed to have received from the Hebrew God," while the entry for the Koran contains no such qualifier in saying it is the "Holy Book of Islam containing revelations received by Muhammad from God."

PAKISTAN: ONE WOMAN DEAD IN ATTACK ON CHRISTIANS
Would-be rapist instigates attack in response to charges leveled against him.
Monday March 09, 2009
Compass Direct News

ISTANBUL, March 9 (Compass Direct News) – Gun and club attacks on a Presbyterian church and neighboring homes in the predominantly Christian area of a village in Pakistan last week killed one woman and left 16 people wounded. Seeking revenge for a robbery complaint that a Christian filed against him, local Muslim Waseem Butt on March 2 led groups of his friends and family members in indiscriminate attacks aimed at the Christian community in Sangu-Wali, village, near Aroop town in Gujranwala district, reported advocacy group Sharing Life Ministries Pakistan (SLMP). Groups of between five and 15 Muslims arriving from different directions attacked the church and area homes, said Sohail Johnson, head of SLMP. During the violence, 45-year-old Shakeela Bibi sustained bamboo rod blows to the head and died before reaching the hospital. “The death of my wife is an irreparable loss to me and my children,” Manzoor Masih, Bibi’s husband, told SLMP. “I am concerned that Muslims are very strong here, we are poor, and we can not afford enmity with them. They will kill us too.”

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