Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 81
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Pride Part 4
Arrogance regarding spiritual success
1 Corinthians 4:1-21
The Faithful Manager
A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of God’s mysteries. In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one be found faithful. It is of little importance that I should be evaluated by you or by a human court. In fact, I don’t even evaluate myself. For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justified by this. The One who evaluates me is the Lord. Therefore don’t judge anything prematurely, before the Lord comes, who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God.
The Apostles’ Example of Humility
Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the saying: “Nothing beyond what is written.” The purpose is that none of you will be inflated with pride in favor of one person over another. For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you didn’t receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as if you hadn’t received it? Already you are full! Already you are rich! You have begun to reign as kings without us – and I wish you did reign, so that we also could reign with you! For I think God has displayed us, the apostles, in last place, like men condemned to die: we have become a spectacle to the world and to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! Up to the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty; we are poorly clothed, roughly treated, homeless; we labor, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we entreat. We are, even now, like the world’s garbage, like the filth of all things.
Paul’s Fatherly Care
I’m not writing this to shame you, but to warn you as my dear children. For you can have 10,000 instructors in Christ, but you can’t have many fathers. Now I have fathered you in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, be imitators of me. This is why I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you about my ways in Christ Jesus, just as I teach everywhere in every church. Now some are inflated with pride, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will know not to talk but the power of those who are inflated with pride. For the kingdom of God is not in talk but in power. What do you want? Should I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?
Proud of immorality
1 Corinthians 5:1-2
Immoral Church Members
It is widely reported that there is a sexual immorality among you, and the kind of sexual immorality that is not even condoned among the Gentiles – a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are inflated with pride, instead of filled with grief so that he who has committed this act might be removed from among you.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3
Food Offered to Idols
About food offered to idols: We know that “we all have knowledge.” Knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up. If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it. But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.
2 Timothy 3:7 always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.
2 Corinthians 5:12 We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may have a reply for those who take pride in the outward appearance rather than in the heart.
Pride about authority from the Lord
2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.
2 Corinthians 10:8 For if I boast some more about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I am not ashamed.
Falsely evaluating one’s self
2 Corinthians 10:12 For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding.
Recognize weakness, Subdue pride
2 Corinthians 11:30 If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses.
Humbling thorn in flesh
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So because of Christ, I am pleased in weaknesses, in insults, in catastrophes, in persecutions, and in pressures. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Danger of conceit
Galatians 5:26 We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
False estimation of greatness
Galatians 6:3 For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he is deceiving himself.
Do nothing in vanity
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.
Conceit in false doctrine
1 Timothy 6:3-5 If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, he is conceited, understanding nothing, but having a sick interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slanders, evil suspicions, and constant disagreement among men whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain.
Take pride in humble circumstances
James 1:9 The brother of humble circumstances should boast in his exaltation;
God resists proud people
James 4:6 But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
God gives grace to the humble
1 Peter 5:5-6 Likewise, you younger men, be subject to the elders. And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time,
1 John 2:16 the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle – is not from the Father, but is from the world.
Those who demand first place
3 John 9
Diptrephes and Demetrius
I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have first place among them, does not receive us.
Revelation 3:17-18 Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy, and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see.
Refusing to admit sin
Revelation 18:7-8 As mush as she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, give her that much torment and grief. Because she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never see grief, ‘therefore her plagues will come in one day – death, and grief, and famine. She will be burned up with fire, because the Lord God who judges her is mighty.
Following Your Heart
1 Samuel 14:7 His armor-bearer responded, "Do what is in your heart. You choose. I'm right here with you whatever you decide."
Often throughout the scriptures, the heart is spoken of. We are told to love God with all our heart, not to have a stingy heart, to take God’s commands and statutes and follow them with our hearts, to serve God with joy and a cheerful heart, to obey God with all our hearts, and even to offer our hearts to the LORD.
We are also told that the heart can be evil and deceptive, arrogant, anxious, fearful, hardened and broken. But these are just a very few of the things the scriptures tell us about our hearts and the heart’s importance and role that it plays.
The heart is actually so very important, that it is mentioned in the scriptures of the Holman Christian Standard Bible 679 times.
When people say, “Follow your heart”, what do you think that they mean? Some that it’s following your emotions rather than what your mind says is logical. Others say that it’s a sense of right and wrong. And still others that it’s listening to your intuition, which is also commonly referred to as a “gut instinct”.
When exploring the heart in regards to Father’s wisdom which is imparted in the Word, the word intuition helps to share some insight as we explore what it means to follow our hearts, in that its definition is as follows:
1. direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension.
2. a fact, truth, etc., perceived in this way.
3. a keen and quick insight.
4. the quality or ability of having such direct perception or quick insight.
Do you remember when you were a kid, and perhaps you were standing in line at the grocery store, you look off to the right to where all the candy is displayed and think to yourself, “I think I’ll just take one of those and not pay for it.” Do you recall the feeling you felt in your heart when you decided, “No, that would be wrong.”? THAT was definition #1 of intuition. It was the direct perception of the truth that stealing is wrong. That was Father speaking to your heart and that was YOU listening to and following your heart.
As we grow older and things in our lives become much more complicated, remembering – or – learning how to listen to and follow your heart can be a difficult thing and something that definitely cannot be done without the direction and guidance of Father’s Holy Spirit. So how is it done? What steps do you need to take on your part?
In order to follow your heart, you have to listen and in order to listen, you have to WANT to hear. What I have found to be the easiest way to listen to my heart is this:
Stop. Don’t make any rash or impulsive decisions. Slow down.
Pray. Go to Father in prayer and share your thoughts and concerns and ask in Christ’s name that Father guide you.
Wait. Be patient! Prayers are always heard, and the answers always come at the appropriate time, however, this timing may not be yours, but Father’s timing which is always perfect.
Look. Keep your eyes OPEN for any signs that may be occurring around you that will help to point you in the right direction.
Listen. Through it all have the ears of your heart open and accepting of any answer you may receive, even if you don’t understand it at the time. If it feels “right”, follow it.
To summarize the above, with any decision, big or small, in order to hear Father’s voice within your heart simply take the time to pray on it and ask for Father’s guidance. Depending on how big or small, simple or complex the decision is, the answer may not come right away, so you will likely have to wait and look for any signs that help in guiding your decision. This takes patience, faith and trust that the answer will come. So continue to listen…and wait and you will hear Father’s voice within your heart.
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
2 listening closely to wisdom
and directing your heart to understanding;
3 furthermore, if you call out to insight
and lift your voice to understanding,
Topics of Writing
An interesting item came to mind while considering a topic of discussion. Simply put, it was that there is truly anything and everything to speak and write about, as there is wisdom and insight in all of Father's creation. However, at the same time, it has all been already written and spoken of. Perhaps the different ideas were said in another language, or with different attitudes, or even written in different symbols and shapes. Yet, out of all of it, what is truly left to be written or said that has not already been written and said? For each individual person within their own growth lies the answer, in that each person follows a path, and that path leads to either an abrupt end, or an eternal life with Father.
In this, one may find that not all of it turns out to be looking for the “next best thing” or getting to a certain point in any aspect. Nor is it out of rivalry and/or conceit that one writes or speaks. If there is nothing new to do, or nothing to actually fulfill, as all these different things have already been fulfilled once before, then what remains the reason to do what one does? To this, there seems to be two different answers, one that is selfish, and one that is selfless.
And out of all of one's writing and speaking, what purpose does it serve, when another's ears are not filled by hearing, or their eyes filled with seeing?
Ecclesiastes 1:8 — All things are wearisome; man is unable to speak. The eye is not satisfied by seeing or the ear filled with hearing.
As well, as it is written in the above quoted scripture, if man is unable to speak, then where does he get the energy to do so? Much less, what is it that man is really doing when he speaks, and in other terms, writes?
One may go see one movie, but then, go see another, and maybe later, see the same initial two movies over again. This is just as one can go to the Word and read scripture, the same passages, over and over, without stopping, as the same words have much more meaning each time through. That is, if they are guided by Father in those respects. It is almost as if an individual is a conduit for different forms of energy to come through, perhaps to go in and out the same way, or to go in and be transformed to be used for a specific purpose. Regardless of how the energy would come and go, there is always some sort of impact that the energy had while it was inside its consumer. This, in effect, means that the writer, or speaker, is not only producing energy, but even more so, taking energy in at the same time, that is, because they must get energy to produce it. And yet again, there are two different places where energy would come, two different polarities.
If any of the questions from the above paragraphs were answered, it could take pages to completely explain it all. Yet, those same pages that would be written could hold even more questions, perhaps even more ideas. Each of those ideas could expand to even further questions, and so on. There would be no end to the ideas and questions and concepts that could come, with the exception of any limitations one would be provided, so that they may not only grow in one area, but grow in all areas, so that they lack no balance and solid foundation with everything that they are provided.
This all being said, one could then go to scripture and find what it is one has been thinking, writing, or saying, and see how they fit into the Word, where they stand, who benefits from what they say, if there is any benefit at all, and whether or not it is at all pleasing to Father with everything. Father's Word is true, and everything is all there to learn and understand. Therefore, as followers of Christ, we can find our every movement in Her Word, and come to completely understand and learn not only about Christ and Father, but also about ourselves, not by examining scripture in selfish terms, but in terms to are truly beneficial for others outside of ourself. By doing so, we further come to understand how Father has made each of us, so that there be nothing lacking. So when one speaks or writes about any topic, all of the topics must be taken into consideration in the one writing/speech, as each plays a unique role in influencing the whole. As such, each word one has has enormous implication, and therefore, should be spoken wisely and correctly; righteously, or there could be pain of equal or greater magnitude.
The Way – Part 15
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.
2 Timothy 2:23
Avoid revelries (engage in lively and noisy festivities.):
1 Peter 4:3
2 Peter 3:3, 4
Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Father's own emotional makeup — (Last Portion)
Regina: Much thanks again, Prince of Yahweh II. I now have a greater understanding as to the underlying meanings of the story of Cain and Abel and the jealousy that Cain felt towards Abel – it seems to typify the same jealousy that Dawn felt towards Michael.
Prince of Yahweh II: Yes Regina, it all intertwines back to Michael and Satan; the good son, the bad son; one doing Father's will and the other having jealousy against his brother to the point of becoming a murderous sinner.
LOZ Seeking Full Dominance
Prince of Yahweh II: This is the present situation; you've seen reports of our spacecrafts in the news; we are in space, the lower heavens, the seas and on this planet, but Dawn also has stepped up the pace to have his current beast seek and maintain full spectrum dominance. This includes the expanse of space surrounding this planet outside the Earth's atmosphere just inside of the Azmon Barrier; Daniel 2:44 says that we must CRUSH these modern day kingdoms: "In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever." Therefore, to crush we must engage them in fierce battles; and yes, if Father wanted to She could wave Her mighty right hand and they would be nonexistent, but that is not Father's way; instead, look to what happened to Pharaoh's mighty army in olden times; they were completely wiped out when they entered the Red Sea; but in this era, the LOZ will engage the elite military of this planet and effectively combat them and destroy them as with a crushing blow. That kids, that is the duty of the combined Holy Angelic forces making up the LOZ.
Here's some information on what we've been studying about Dawn's ability to try and have full spectrum dominance; through planning on our part we will defeat our foe for Father and Christ Jesus.
Things to be aware of:
Regina: Are the crafts connected to all the loud booms that so many people have been reporting across the country?
Prince of Yahweh II: Yes. And Sasa, in one issue of the Newsletter, you noted the Scripture that states the inhabitants of this planet will be destroyed; that's everyone left on this planet regardless of where they might be, including its interior; but before that occurs – the complete scourge, the first Rapture must occur. Just as the ancient Egyptian army pursued Father's people's escape in that day and time, so to shall this modern day combined army try to halt Father's will from taking place to rescue Her flock. Dawn has built up his armies on this planet to combat Father's coming invasion that carries with it the wrath of judgment; Dawn knows the Rules governing this future warfare, and he is trying to hold his present king (the USA as the beast) in its present position on the chess board to lead the way in trying to halt Father's advance of the Southern Storm; Dawn is the advance guard that watches over his own troops in this conflict.
Yahweh is going to have us wipe out every person and all living things that reside on this planet – even the birds; and, all things will topple to the destructive force; not one stone will be left upon another; the entire surface of this planet will be changed.
Zephaniah 1:3 I will sweep away man and animal; I will sweep away the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea, and the ruins along with the wicked. I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth—the LORD's declaration.
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
Giant 'Hand' Reaches Across Space
April 7, 2009
Tiny and dying but still-powerful stars called pulsars spin like crazy and light up their surroundings, often with ghostly glows. So it is with PSR B1509-58, which long ago collapsed into a sphere just 12 miles in diameter after running out of fuel. And what a strange scene this one has created. In a new image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, high-energy X-rays emanating from the nebula around PSR B1509-58 have been colored blue to reveal a structure resembling a hand reaching for some eternal red cosmic light.
UFO photographed over London
April 7, 2009
Ahmad Zaigham photographed the unidentified object from his home in South Harrow, North West London. Mr Zaigham, 30, said: "I was immersed in the TV programme when just by chance I saw this uncanny light in the sky and I was instantly mesmerised." The computer engineer was able to take one shot of the object whilst it was stationary for a few seconds. He said: "Then it moved rapidly up and above at incredible speed, a comparable speed to a fighter jet at full power, so fast that panning the camera in the direction was impossible." Mr Zaigham added the object made a "whistle kind of sound" and seemed to "quickly fade in light" after he took his picture. "The light coming from this thing is something I have never seen the like. I dont think any aircraft has a light like this," he said.
Security cameras clue to fireball
Security cameras in Northern Ireland may shed some light on the cause of a massive fireball in the sky on Sunday.
April 6, 2009
The shooting star was reported at about 0030 BST by people living as far apart as Donegal and Cork. David Moore chairman of Astronomy Ireland said they were fairly certain it was a rock from space which could have landed somewhere in Ireland. He said they were very keen to hear from anyone who has footage of what is suspected to be a meteor falling. "We're fairly certain that it was a rock from space, a meteor which may have dropped a meteorite," he said. "We are asking people to send in their reports, so we can triangulate on the path and figure out did it land on Ireland?" The last time a meteor was seen over Ireland was in 1999 over Carlow and there was a similar event over the skies of Northern Ireland 30 years earlier.
Four witnesses chase Illinois UFO into Indiana
April 9, 2009
Four Illinois witnesses in two vehicles chased a UFO April 1, after first spotting it near Frankfort Square about 8 p.m., according to a report filed with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The chase ended for two of the witnesses near Merriville, Indiana, at about 9:30 p.m. They described the object as a "large triangular object in the sky." "There were three lights on the object on each point and they appeared to be changing colors from red and blue constantly," according to one witness. "The lights were far enough in the distance that the shape was not clearly visible but when the lights moved, they stayed the same brightness and appeared to be equidistant from each other. The object appeared at times to be pointing downward and then it would appear to turn and be pointing up or to the side."
Ohio family spots three silent UFOs
April 11, 2009
An Ohio couple and their three children watched as a slow-moving and silent orange colored "flaming light/ball" moved across the sky. Seeing fire balls moving across the sky may not be anything anomalous, but what happened next does seem a bit unusual. The family saw a second, and then a third similar-looking fireball – all in a row moving across the sky until they disappeared from sight.
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
Cities Collapsing throughout the USA
Blog – The Coming Depression
April 7, 2009
“With enough abandoned lots to fill the city of San Francisco, Motown is 138 square miles divided between expanses of decay and emptiness and tracts of still-functioning communities and commercial areas. Close to six barren acres of an estimated 17,000 have already been turned into 500 “mini- farms,” demonstrating the lengths to which planners will go to make land productive. The city, like the automakers, has to shrink to match what’s left, said June Thomas, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor “The issue is how,” she said. “There’s no vision.” “People are moving out of the city, trying to find work,” said David Martin of Wayne State University’s Urban Safety Program. Those who stay “can’t afford to move out.” “Property abandonment is getting so bad in Flint that some in government are talking about an extreme measure that was once unthinkable — shutting down portions of the city, officially abandoning them and cutting off police and fire service.
Health workers on trial for vaccine scam in Poland
April 6, 2009
WARSAW (AFP) – Nine health workers went on trial in northern Poland Monday accused of having tested a vaccine against bird flu on nearly 200 patients without their knowledge, court officials said. The accused — three doctors and six nurses — are charged with "fraud, creating false documents and delivering health care without authorisation" to 196 patients, judge Piotr Szadkowski of the Torun region told AFP. If found guilty, they risk up to 10 years in jail. All nine accused, some reportedly clad in wigs and sun glasses to avoid being identified, pleaded not guilty. The medical personnel are charged with administering a vaccine banned in Poland against the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu that can be transmitted to humans. The patients were paid for the vaccines, Polish news agency PAP reported.
Afghan Reviews Rape Law Amid Int'l Outcry
The Christian Post
By Ethan Cole
April 7, 2009
Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s spokesman said Tuesday that the controversial new law that would essentially allow husbands to rape their wife is under review following international outcry. The measure, slipped into a recently passed bill for minority Shia Muslims, has been sent to the Ministry of Justice for review, said spokesman Humayun Hamidzada, according to The Associated Press. According to reports, many members of parliament did not know that the measure was even in the Shia state law that was meant to give the Shia community its own identity within Sunni-majority Afghanistan. Some female Afghan parliament members, not knowing about the included measure, voted for the bill. Under the measure, a man has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every four days, even if she says, “No.” The allowed exception is when the woman is sick. President Obama has called the law “abhorrent” and said his administration has made it clear to the Afghan government that it opposes the legislation.
Japan to pump £105bn into ailing economy
by Sarah Arnott
April 10, 2009
Japan is to pump another ¥15.4 trillion (£105bn) into its ailing economy in an attempt to avert the worst recession since the Second World War. The stimulus package announced yesterday – equivalent to 3 per cent of GDP – is the second since the global recession took hold last autumn. It includes multi-trillion yen spending on childcare, education, nursing and medical services; subsidies for green technologies such as solar panels and environmentally friendly vehicles; infrastructure building schemes; loan guarantees to support business; and tax breaks for parents giving money to their children to buy houses. Between ¥10bn and ¥11bn in bonds may be needed to fund the plan, pushing government debt – already a massive 170 per cent of GDP – even higher.
Riots follow state of emergency in Bangkok
April 12, 2009
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's ousted prime minister called for a revolution Sunday after rioting erupted in the capital, with protesters commandeering public buses and swarming triumphantly over military vehicles in unchecked defiance after the government declared a state of emergency. Bands of red-shirted anti-government protesters roamed areas of Bangkok, with some furiously smashing cars carrying Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his aides and others beating up motorists who hurled insults at them. At least 20 intersections were occupied by the protesters, who used buses to barricade several major roads. Police Gen. Vichai Sangparpai said up to 30,000 demonstrators were scattered around the city. Police vans at some intersections were abandoned and looted. Ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, regarded by most of the protesters as their leader, called for a revolution and said he might return from exile to lead it. "Now that they have tanks on the streets, it is time for the people to come out in revolution. And when it is necessary, I will come back to the country," he said in a telephoned message to followers who surrounded the prime minister office.
Signs in Humanity
Caretaker Admits to Killing Priest With Machete in Mexico
Fox News – AP
April 7, 2009
NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico — The caretaker of a Texas priest's home in Nuevo Laredo admitted Tuesday to killing the 69-year-old reverend and said the two were intimately involved. Manuel Martin Torres told police and reporters during a news conference that he stabbed and attacked Rev. Jesse Euresti with a machete after learning the priest was kicking him out of the home. Torres said he had demanded Euresti pay him between $10,000 and $15,000. Torres said he had been seeing the priest for the past year, and he would visit him every Monday in Nuevo Laredo. He said Euresti had recently met someone else. "I was so angry," Torres said. "How is it possible that after using me for so long, he was going to give me a kick in the butt?"
Ranks of homeless swell as middle class teeters
San Francisco Chronicle
by Kevin Fagan
April 6, 2009
Just last year, Paul Conroy was riding high as a sound and stage technician. He lived in tony Marin County and had steady work either rigging shows at San Francisco's Orpheum or Curran theaters or setting up movie shoots for Francis Ford Coppola, Robin Williams and more, all over the Bay Area. Now the only technical work he does is at the San Rafael library, where Conroy goes each day to check on a half-dozen job-listing Web sites. His Burberry suit and tie are in the trunk of his Honda Accord, alongside his John Riley golf clubs. He keeps himself well groomed at motel rooms he rents with unemployment checks or the occasional shelter for when that next golden opportunity arises for work. But for now, a year after his last job and four months after he was evicted from his apartment for falling behind on the rent, he is facing the hard truth of rootlessness. It's an unexpected reality coming in a place like Marin County, where the median household income of $85,892 is the highest in California and the 11th highest in the nation.
Why Are Army Recruiters Killing Themselves?
by MARK THOMPSON
April 2, 2009
When Army Staff Sergeant Amanda Henderson ran into Staff Sergeant Larry Flores in their Texas recruiting station last August, she was shocked by the dark circles under his eyes and his ragged appearance. "Are you O.K.?" she asked the normally squared-away soldier. "Sergeant Henderson, I am just really tired," he replied. "I had such a bad, long week, it was ridiculous." The previous Saturday, Flores' commanders had berated him for poor performance. He had worked every day since from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., trying to persuade the youth of Nacogdoches to wear Army green. "But I'm O.K.," he told her. No, he wasn't. Later that night, Flores hanged himself in his garage with an extension cord. Henderson and her husband Patrick, both Army recruiters, were stunned. "I'll never forget sitting there at Sergeant Flores' memorial service with my husband and seeing his wife crying," Amanda recalls. "I remember looking over at Patrick and going, 'Why did he do this to her? Why did he do this to his children?' " Patrick didn't say anything, and Amanda now says Flores' suicide "triggered" something in her husband. Six weeks later, Patrick hanged himself with a dog chain in their backyard shed. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now the longest waged by an all-volunteer force in U.S. history. Even as soldiers rotate back into the field for multiple and extended tours, the Army requires a constant supply of new recruits. But the patriotic fervor that led so many to sign up after 9/11 is now eight years past. That leaves recruiters with perhaps the toughest, if not the most dangerous, job in the Army. Last year alone, the number of recruiters who killed themselves was triple the overall Army rate. Like posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, recruiter suicides are a hidden cost of the nation's wars.
Riot squad retakes prison after 19-hour rampage by inmates
by Andrew Johnson
April 12, 2009
Specially trained riot-squad officers yesterday battled to gain control of Ashwell prison in Rutland after rioting inmates caused millions of pounds of damage to the building. Prison officers had anticipated that trouble would continue into this morning, but said at 9.30pm yesterday that the jail had been secured, after some 19 hours of rioting. The flare-up could prove the “first of many” in a “summer of discontent” spreading through Britain’s prisons as a result of overcrowding, they warned. Pete Chapple, national executive for the Prison Officers Association (POA), said 360 of Ashwell’s 600 inmates had been taken to other prisons. “There was about a hardcore of 60-odd … who weren’t going to surrender, but they have been accounted for and put on vans,” he said. “We anticipated it would go on throughout the night but it has climaxed earlier than we thought.” Seventy-five per cent of the jail had been damaged, including four accommodation wings, the reception and the healthcare centre, he said.
Demand for boys fuels kidnappings in China
New York Times
by Andrew Jacobs
April 12, 2009
The thieves often strike at dusk, when children are playing outside and their parents are distracted by exhaustion. Deng Huidong lost her 9-month-old son in the blink of an eye as a man yanked him from the grip of his 7-year-old sister near the doorway of their home. The car did not even stop as a pair of arms reached out the window and grabbed the boy. Sun Zuo, a gregarious 3 1/2-year-old, was lured off by a stick of sliced mango and a toy car, an abduction that was captured by police surveillance cameras. Peng Gaofeng was busy with customers when a man snatched his 4-year-old son from the plaza in front of his shop as throngs of factory workers enjoyed a spring evening. "I turned away for a minute, and when I called out for him he was gone," Peng said.
Arks of Safe Haven
"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and to not ignore your own flesh [and blood]?" Isaiah 58:7
The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.
Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.
How You Can Help?
In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father's ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small. Visit http://www.arksofsafehaven.org and view the many posts from those in need to see if you're able to help with advice, prayers or goods & services.
MysticAngel – Orange County, CA.- Single Female in urent need of help. I dealt with health issues for years and have ended up broke with my life pretty much a train wreck. I got rental assistance once recently, but am at a loss for what to do in order to afford life presently. I used to have faith, but currently don't really believe that people exist (surrounding me anyway) who do things out of the goodness of their heart or soul as opposed to expecting something in return. It's mind blowing too because I would be helping people continuously if I were wealthy. It's sick and disturbing that many of the wealthy people in existence are the worst quality people in existence. I'll never understand why good people struggle and suffer while those behaving as pure evil prosper. I realize that money can't buy happiness, but it can give someone a peaceful foundation to build upon something much greater and deeper and life just doesn't work without it. I guess I have nothing left to lose but a few minutes of time in placing this ad. Just in case it might ever be relevant, I'm in Orange County, CA.
LindaBarber – I am a single mother of two great kids. I divorced their father about seven years ago because of domestic violence, and I swore I would never get myself into this situation again. I started seeing someone about a year ago, and he turned out to be the same way. When he found out I was trying to leave, things went from bad to the unimaginable, and I really need to move so that I can provide a safe home for my children and for myself. Enough is enough. I have to get out of this environment immediately, and I have to protect my children. No woman should ever feel as though leaving is the wrong choice. I don't want to send the message to my kids that we are stuck. I have found a safe apartment to move into and have paid the security deposit, but I really need help with the first month's rent. Please help me and my children if you can. The amount needed is 750.00. Any help you give us I will give back to others in some way. Thank you for listening.
Needy – Nashville, TN. – i am a mother of 4 kids age 2, 6, 9 , and 14 i am disabled on ssi with my check being 673 each month i don't get any afdc or child support from there father i do have a boyfriend that helps out a little hes out of work himself but he doesn't live with us my lights are fixing to be turned off i owe 732 dollars by April 13th or there going to turn them off i don't no what to do i have` tried to get help i called metro action they wont help me because` they helped` me pay a 300 dollar water bill i am trying to find a cheaper place to rent but that's impossible I'm trying to keep my family together i cant walk so there for its very hard i mean i can get around the house with my oxygen but that's about it. what am i going to do i pray everynight that the lord will bless my family im just ready to give up thanks for reading this.
Gary – Pompano Beach, FL. – I am desperately seeking monetary help to pay my rent. I am not looking for a handout, I would consider it a loan with every intention of paying it back or working it off. I have had no work and can not find substantial work. I could not pay my rent and am on the verge of being evicted. Please if anyone can, I would be forever in your debt! If you could post this for me and or help me reword it I would appreciate it.
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
Strong aftershocks hit Italy; survivor found
April 7. 2009
L'AQUILA, Italy (AP) — Strong aftershocks Tuesday sent a fresh wave of fear across earthquake-shattered central Italy, and rescue crews pulled a young woman alive from a collapsed building about 42 hours after the main quake struck the mountainous region. Eleonora Calesini, a 20-year-old student, was found alive in the ruins of the five-story building in central L'Aquila, said her grandfather, Renato Calesini, in the seaside town of Mondaini. "She's safe!" he told The Associated Press, adding that her father had gone to devastated city in the snowcapped Apennine mountains to try to locate the student, who wears a hearing aid. She reportedly had an arm injury but was in good condition otherwise. The death toll from Italy's worst earthquake in three decades climbed to 235, with the bodies taken to a makeshift morgue in a hangar at a police officer's training school, the ANSA news agency reported. The dead included four students trapped in the rubble of a dormitory of the University of L'Aquila, ANSA said.
Fargo sandbagging again as flood threat looms
April 8, 2009
(CNN) — In anticipation of more flooding next week, residents of Fargo, North Dakota, began stacking sandbags Wednesday for the second time in just over two weeks along the banks of the Red River. They hoped to fill 1 million, said Fargo spokeswoman Karena Lunday. "If we get a million, that will be a total of 4 million we've made since the flood started," she said. The first sandbag effort began about March 23. The Red River crested at nearly 41 feet at Fargo on March 28, breaking a record that had held since 1897, when the Red River reached 40.1 feet.
Erupting Chile volcano's crater blocked with debris
Apr 8, 2009
* Llaima volcano's cone blocked with debris * Experts fear build up of pressure, renewed explosions * Intensity of eruption dies down SANTIAGO, April 8 (Reuters) – The crater of Chile's erupting Llaima volcano, one of South America's most active, is blocked with debris that could prompt a pressure build-up and renewed explosions of lava, experts warned on Wednesday. Llaima, which is in Chile's picturesque lake region about 435 miles (700 km) south of the capital Santiago, began spitting lava in a fresh bout of activity on Friday night.
Tornado roars through Arkansas town, kills 3
Apr 10, 2009
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) – At least three people were killed and two dozen injured on Thursday night when a tornado smashed through Mena, Arkansas, officials said on Friday. "About half the injuries were reported as serious," said Tommy Jackson, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management at North Little Rock, Arkansas. Mena, with a population of 5,600, is the seat of Polk County, on the Arkansas border with Oklahoma, and is about 130 miles west of Little Rock, the state capitol.
North Texas wildfires claim third victim, spur evacuations
By BILL MILLER
A woman in Montague County died Thursday, perhaps from a heart attack, bringing the death toll from wind-whipped wildfires to three, officials said Friday. Meanwhile, the wildfires, which continued to burn Friday, charred more than 100,000 acres across Texas and destroyed property in numerous counties, officials said. Montague County Sheriff Paul Cunningham said the woman died after calling for an ambulance in a fire near Bowie on Thursday, The Associated Press reported. Also Thursday, Matt Quinn, a former reporter for WFAA-TV/Channel 8, and his wife, Cathy, died when flames covered their property near Stoneburg in Montague County.
Natural Disaster Update
Failure to organise a bailout for ecological debt will have dire consequences for humanity. The ecological debt crisis, which threatens much more than pension funds and car manufacturers, is left to languish. It is like having a Commission on Household Renovation agonise over which expensive designer wallpaper to use for papering over plaster cracks whilst ignoring the fact that the walls themselves are collapsing on subsiding foundations. Each year, humanity's ecological overdraft gets larger, and the day that the world as a whole goes into ecological debt – consuming more resources and producing more waste than the biosphere can provide and absorb – moves ever earlier in the year. Using thresholds for risk identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on current trends, in only 92 months – less than eight years – we will move into a new, more perilous phase of warming. It will then no longer be "likely" that we can prevent some aspects of runaway climate change. We will begin to lose the climatic conditions which were those under which civilisation developed. Work on abrupt climate change indicates the planet has previously experienced a 10C temperature shift in only a decade, and possibly "as quickly as in a single year". In tackling climate change we need urgently to recalibrate our responses, just as governments had to when they rescued the reckless finance sector. Then officials had to ask themselves "is what we are doing right, and is it enough?" "Here we are, faced with the loss of an environment conducive to human civilisation, and we find governments prostrate before barely repentant banks, with their backs to a far worse ecological crisis."
5.7 KYUSHU, JAPAN
5.1 TONGA REGION
5.0 HINDU KUSH REGION, AFGHANISTAN
5.3 TONGA REGION
5.0 KURIL ISLANDS
5.1 CENTRAL ITALY
5.1 CENTRAL ITALY
6.3 CENTRAL ITALY
5.0 AZORES-CAPE ST. VINCENT RIDGE
5.1 BANDA SEA
7.0 KURIL ISLANDS
5.0 EAST OF KURIL ISLANDS
5.2 OFF E. COAST OF N. ISLAND, N.Z.
5.2 CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.0 VANUATU REGION
5.2 EAST OF SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS
5.3 KURIL ISLANDS
5.4 NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.0 CENTRAL ITALY
5.4 CENTRAL ITALY
5.2 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.3 SCOTIA SEA
5.2 INDIA-PAKISTAN BORDER REGION
ITALY – A powerful aftershock has hit central Italy, nearly two days after a major earthquake caused severe damage. The 5.5-magnitude tremor brought down masonry from already damaged buildings and was felt as far away as Rome. Rescuers are continuing into the night their search for victims trapped in the rubble from Monday's earthquake. Hope remains that more people will be found alive, as a woman was found alive 42 hours after the quake.
In Monday's quake, more than 200 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured. One-hundred-and-fifty people have been pulled alive from the rubble. More than 10,000 buildings have been destroyed – mostly in L'Aquila. Apart from the search for survivors, the most urgent task is to find some kind of accommodation for thousands of people who are now unable to return to their damaged homes.
It was Italy's WORST EARTHQUAKE IN THREE DECADES. Aftershocks continue to rattle the region. Monday's quake left at least 235 people dead, with 15 still missing. Reconstruction will cost about 1.2 billion euros, or almost $1.6 billion. Falling temperatures, rain and aftershocks that threatened to cause further building collapses complicated efforts overnight as rescuers used dogs to try to find those buried across the region, which has a population of 300,000. Temperatures fell to 39 degrees in L'Aquila, dipping to near freezing at higher altitudes.
ITALY – Rescuers are continuing to search for signs of life, a day after the devastating Italian earthquake left at least 150 people dead. As the pouring rain turned brick dust into a white sludge, exhausted emergency workers toiled through the night, pulling away bricks and broken pieces of wood with their bare hands. With 1,500 injured and some 50,000 homeless after Monday's pre-dawn quake struck L'Aquila and its region, many survivors spent the night in shelters. Emergency crews have reportedly pulled 100 people alive from the rubble. But as dawn broke with as many as 250 still thought to be missing, hopes were dimming of finding many more alive. There was a strong after-shock around 2200GMT, which lasted for around two seconds and made the ground feel like jelly. It was the strongest of dozens of after-shocks felt throughout Monday. Many houses in L'Aquila have been reduced to piles of rubble, dotted with crushed cars. Much of the centre of L'Aquila had to be rebuilt after an earthquake in 1703.
Town 'ignored warning' of imminent earthquake – a seismologist who claimed he could have given up to 24 hours notice of the disaster said his repeated warnings had been ignored. Even as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declared an emergency and promised a record number of rescue teams, a bitter row was raging over whether lives could have been saved by evacuating homes before the quake struck at 3.32am. A flurry of earth tremors struck the L'Aquila area in mid-January, prompting Giampaolo Giuliani, a researcher at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, whose laboratories are deep beneath the Gran Sasso mountain on L'Aquila's skyline to sound the alarm. In interviews before the earthquake struck he claimed that he had developed an early warning system based not on seismic waves but on radon which is only expelled from the earth under intense pressure. After his warnings, vans with megaphones toured L'Aquila urging people to leave their homes. But the mayor allegedly served the seismologist with a warning of criminal charges for scare-mongering, even though the region had experienced nine tremors since the start of April. "Now there are people who have to apologise to me and who will have what has happened on their conscience," Mr Giuliani said. The expert said he was helpless to act as it became clear to him on Sunday that a quake was imminent. "I didn't know who to turn to, I had been put under investigation for saying there was going to be an earthquake."
Claims by an Italian technician to have foretold the devastating quake which struck central Italy prompted seismologists on Tuesday to shake their heads in sadness and skepticism. No proven method exists, they said, for predicting earthquakes with any accuracy — and the best way to save lives from Earth's wrath is to beef up construction standards and educate people about seismic risk. Hours after the quake struck Italy's Abruzzo region on Monday, Giampaolo Giuliani, a technician at the National Institute of Astrophysics, unleashed a storm. He said he had predicted the event by detecting a surge in emissions of radon gas that leaked from stressed rocks, but his warning had been stifled by the authorities. The idea of using radon, a radioactive gas naturally sequestered by certain rocks, as a telltale for impending quakes dates back to the 1970s. "So far, nothing has been proven. You have to know exactly what you are measuring. Radon emissions depend on many factors. For instance, if atmospheric pressure falls, it's easier for radon to escape from the earth's crust. It's very difficult to make a coherent comparison of emission levels. There are lots of people who are looking at radon levels in the world, and so far they have not been able to establish a correlation" with earthquake occurrence. In Monday's quake, "something must have happened in the Earth's crust for the radon concentrations to have changed. But was it pure coincidence that the earthquake happened just afterwards, or was there a connection?"
ITALY – A desperate search for survivors is on in the mountain city of L'Aquila in central Italy after a quake killed at least 90 people and injured 1,500. Rescuers are picking through rubble in the walled medieval city and nearby towns and villages, some of which are said to have been flattened and virtually destroyed. 30,000-40,000 are homeless. The 6.3-magnitude quake struck at 0330 (0130 GMT) close to L'Aquila, 95km (60 miles) north-east of Rome. It lasted about 30 seconds, bringing down many Renaissance-era and Baroque buildings. Boulders fell off mountain slopes, blocking roads. Houses were reduced to piles of rubble and cars crushed by raining debris. 26 cities and towns have been damaged in the region, not including villages and hamlets. (photos & map)
ALASKA – A satellite is tracking a sulfur dioxide cloud emitted by the April 4th Mt. Redoubt eruption: image. The cloud will probably move across North America in the days ahead. Keep an eye out for volcanic sunsets.
CHILE – The eruption of the Llaima volcano in Chile intensified Sunday, blowing ash four miles into the sky and prompting more evacuations. Llaim began spewing lava on Friday night in a fresh bout of activity. A towering cloud of ash was drifting toward Argentina, extending 62 miles southeast of the volcano. “The volcano continues to permanently erupt, with explosions, lava flows and ash. More people were evacuated overnight because of the risk of mud avalanches as the lava melts snow on the volcano.” Lava was flowing down the volcano’s sides in three directions for hundreds of yards and 71 people have been evacuated.
HAWAII – Big Island volcano scientists have released video footage showing the recent eruption activity at the Kilauea summit.
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –
CHILE – The crater of Chile's erupting Llaima volcano is blocked with debris that could prompt a pressure build-up and renewed explosions of lava, experts warned on Wednesday. Llaima began spitting lava in a fresh bout of activity on Friday night. It belched ash 4 miles (7 km) into the sky during the weekend, prompting the evacuation of 123 people from the surrounding area. Activity died down and there is now a much smaller ash cloud but national emergency office ONEMI said the situation remained critical. The cone of pyroclastic material, essentially molten rock, had built up and now jutted above the crater, extending the height of Llaima to 10,630 feet (3,240 meters) above sea level from around 10,397 feet (3,169 meters) previously. "It would be much better if the crater were unobstructed, so it can release energy gradually and slowly." The volcano's eruptive activity is very erratic and could quickly surge.
Americas on alert for sea level rise – Climate change experts in North and South America are increasingly worried by the potentially devastating implications of higher estimates for possible sea level rises. The Americas have until now been seen as less vulnerable than other parts of the world like low-lying Pacific islands, Vietnam or Bangladesh. But the increase in the ranges for anticipated sea level rises presented at a meeting of scientists in Copenhagen in March has alarmed observers in the region. Parts of the Caribbean, Mexico and Ecuador are seen as most at risk. New York City and southern parts of Florida are also thought to be particularly vulnerable. The 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report suggested that sea levels would rise by between 19cm (7.5 inches) and 59cm by the end of this century. But several scientists at the Copenhagen meeting spoke of a rise of a metre or more due to melting of the polar ice sheets, even if the world's greenhouse gas emissions are kept at a low level. Sea level rises are "climate committed", in the sense that because of existing and projected greenhouse gas emissions, they will continue long into the future. "The level and direction of change will destabilise extensive coastal areas in Latin America. Once flooded, there is no way back." Scientists stress that uncertainties remain about future sea level rises, including the behaviour of the giant polar ice sheets, the time span over which rises will take place, and their interaction with existing coastal conditions.
TROPICAL STORMS –
Three people were killed and 800 made homeless by tropical cyclone Jade on the Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar.
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
NORTH DAKOTA – A storm system could bring additional precipitation as cities experience a second flood crest, according to the National Weather Service. The computer models used to determine weather forecasts “have been in agreement the last several days” that a system is heading toward the region. That storm most likely will get here sometime between April 16 and 18, which is when many cities along the Red River Valley will be nearing their second crest this spring. But the amount of precipitation it may bring or where it will impact the most remains too far away to determine. “We can’t really predict precipitation with any accuracy beyond four days. You can see it, but you’re not quite sure.” The latest probabilistic forecast released Friday said there is a 50 percent chance the second crest would hit 41.7 feet in Fargo and 51.7 feet in Grand Forks. Flooding this year has proved to be UNUSUAL for many reasons. Many communities are noticing very slow recessions of water levels after reaching their first crest. The Red River typically rises and falls at a similar rate, but this year it is not acting that way. Another UNUSUAL characteristic is the approaching second crest. In Grand Forks, this has happened only five times in the past 58 years, most recently in 1999. Another UNUSUAL factor was the early spring melt that caused rivers to rise last month. “This is an EXTREMELY UNUSUAL event to have a flood at this magnitude this early." Below-average temperatures have kept much of the soil moisture frozen in the ground, but as the month progresses and temperatures rise, all that water will join the new snowmelt and cause another wave of flooding. A recent band of heavy snowfall in the southern valley “basically reloaded the gun, as it were.” “To have spring floods like this back-to-back is just an unfortunate series of events that have come along to plague us this spring."
CANADA – Floods closed a highway between Canada and the United States today, blocking a significant trade route that could remain shut for weeks.
INDONESIA – Southern Java Residents Warned of Extreme Weather Conditions – The Cilacap Meteorology & Geophysics Agency told southern Central Java residents to be alert about heavy rains and strong winds in the area. “The wind speed is 45 kilometer per hour and this is dangerous." The extreme weather conditions will go on until June. “The wind is hard to predict. It comes suddenly and lasts for some minutes. It is indicated by extreme temperature. First it is hot, then suddenly cold, with cumulus nimbus clouds forming." Last week, bad weather caused flooding in Glembang village in Maos, Cilacap.
IOWA – It has now been confirmed, a tornado did in fact touch down near Fairfield Saturday…causing some structural damage. The first report of damage came from a shed two miles south of Fairfield. The roof was completely torn off. It then moved to the northwest, causing more damage to a farm. Three outbuildings were destroyed and two homes damaged. Pivots were also overturned there and debris was scattered throughout the property. The national weather service in Hastings said it was an UNUSUAL situation. “Normally when we're looking at these, we're going to see the inflow or the front side of the storm being where the tornado's going to be. In this case it occurred on the EXACT OPPOSITE SIDE…on the back side of the system. So it was kind of UNIQUE in that aspect and difficult to detect with the radar." Other weak tornadoes were reported southwest of York and north of Beatrice.
TROPICAL STORMS –
Tropical Cyclone Lin did not come ashore in Tonga over the weekend, but the winds and heavy rain generated by it disrupted power supplies on the main island of Tongatapu. Food gardens and fruit trees around the island have also been damaged. There's expected to be food shortages in Tonga after the cyclone. "Bananas and the tapiocas were the main ones that were damaged." Locals are still checking to find out if the extended land mass of the island of Hunga Ha'apai, generated by the recent volcanic eruptions, has survived the cyclone. "Whether there is still anything left above sea level or not." What's left of Cyclone Lin is now located south east of Tonga.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
OKLAHOMA, TEXAS – Wildfires have destroyed dozens of homes and forced evacuations in parts of the US states of Oklahoma and Texas. Firefighters were struggling to contain the blazes, which started on Thursday and were worsened by strong winds. Dozens of people have reportedly been injured by the fires, which prompted the closure of a motorway in Oklahoma. "The wind is the biggest issue, because we can't get ahead of the fires."
A United Nations document on "climate change" envisions A HUGE REORDERING OF THE WORLD ECONOMY, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes – all under the supervision of the world body. Those and other results are blandly discussed in a discretely worded United Nations "information note" on potential consequences of the measures that industrialized countries will likely have to take to implement the Copenhagen Accord, the successor to the Kyoto Treaty, after it is negotiated and signed by December 2009. The Obama administration has said it supports the treaty process if it can come up with an "effective framework" for dealing with global warming.
A mammoth negotiating session started on March 29 in Bonn, Germany, the first of three sessions intended to hammer out the actual commitments involved in the new deal. The negotiators are known as the "Ad Hoc Working Group On Further Commitments For Annex I Parties Under the Kyoto Protocol." The consequences of their negotiations, if enacted, would be nothing short of world-changing. Getting that deal done has become the United Nations' highest priority. No effort was made to calculate the magnitude of the costs and disruption involved, but despite the discreet presentation, it is made clear that they will REVERBERATE ACROSS THE ENTIRE GLOBAL ECONOMIC SYSTEM.
In an influential but highly controversial paper called "Key Elements of a Global Deal on Climate Change," British economist Nicholas Lord Stern has declared that industrial economies would need to cut their per capita carbon dioxide emissions by "at least 80% by 2050," while the biggest economies, like the U.S.'s, would have to make cuts of 90%.
Plants and trees are growing faster because of rising carbon dioxide levels, potentially buying Earth more time to address global warming. The phenomenon has been discovered in a variety of flora, ranging from tropical rainforests to British sugar beet crops. It means they are soaking up at least some of the billions of tons of CO2 released into the atmosphere by humans that would otherwise be accelerating the rate of climate change. Scientists have been looking for a similar impact on crop yields and the experiments generally suggest that raised CO2 levels would boost the yields of mainstream crops, such as maize, rice and soy, by about 13 per cent. "The problem is that humans are releasing so much that plants can remove only a fraction of it." Humans are believed to generate about 50 billion tons of the gas each year. Scientists point out that although levels will boost plant growth, other factors associated with climate change, such as rising temperatures and drought, are likely to have a negative effect.
PHILIPPINES -Freak winds that packed frightening power lashed at some areas of western Pampanga on March 29. Several poultry houses growing broilers for the integrators collapsed like decks of cards. Probably a million about-to-be-harvested broilers were pinned down by the collapsed houses. The loss, in terms of poultry infrastructure, was huge. Worse, there were hordes of wild-eyed men from a nearly resettlement community ready to scoop in the pinned-down broilers. It cannot get worse than that, being preyed upon by human vultures in your hour of grief. The bigger loss, though, was suffered by the mango plantations. From March 30 to April 3, the farm gate price of mangoes in the affected areas was P3 per kilo (it was P25 to P40 per kilo elsewhere) because scores of mango farms had to dispose off their wind-blown fruits. The freak winds that also brought intermittent rains struck on a Sunday afternoon in March, supposedly the peak of summer. The parishioners in the barrios hit by the freak winds were mostly in church, sweltering in the late noon heat, when clouds of dust swept into the open churches, followed by a gloomy overcast and the sudden downpour. Some of the parishioners made the sign of the cross and thought it was God’s wrath. Those who know had a sense of what took place – the wrath of global warming in full display. Freak winds that cut swaths of destruction. Unbearable heat then the sudden downpour. For the first time in our lives April and March rains are now regular occurrences. Even weather forecasters are baffled by the sudden climatic shifts.
Climate change will bring about major shifts in worldwide fire patterns, and those changes are coming fast. Preliminary results show hotspots of fire invasion forming in parts of the western United States and the Tibetan plateau, while regions including northeast China and central Africa may become less fire-prone in the coming decades. "Fire patterns are going to change, and we need to start thinking about what that means for ecosystems, and what our response should be. Fire will be a major driver of change. A large decrease in fire activity is not necessarily a good thing for an ecosystem that has adapted to periodic wildfires. Some species of trees rely upon fires occurring at specific times to regenerate, for example, so changes in a fire regime have the potential to dramatically alter the landscape over time." Scientists warned in 2006 that climate change could increase bushfire risk across southeast Australia. Three years later, on top of years of drought, a blistering heat wave sent temperatures soaring up to 20 degrees above average in the region. These conditions, consistent with those expected under future climate change, set the stage for the deadliest fire in the country's history. "What Australia showed us is that things can happen faster than we think."
The Past Says Abrupt Climate Change In Our Future – "When we look at records of the past, climate often changed abruptly rather than smoothly. This is true wherever and whenever you look." While studies of ice cores, sediments and other relics of the past indicate these abrupt changes, the models currently used by those predicting the future of climate change do not do a good job of simulating abrupt changes in the past. The abrupt changes are especially notable in temperature near the north and south poles and in precipitation away from the poles. In the near term, nature sometimes changes smoothly, sometimes remains the same and sometimes changes all at once. In the long term, abrupt change appears to be the norm. Current models all tend to change smoothly and do not capture abruptness.
Climate change likely includes a process of approaching and crossing a series of thresholds. Climate forcing factors are like a tower of blocks. Building the tower, blocks can be added, and the tower remains stable, but eventually the block height crosses the threshold of stability and the tower abruptly topples. With climate, the thresholds in the past have sometimes been reached in as few as 10 years. "It will be a long time, if at all, before we are really good at predicting climate change and it may not be easy. Any reality may be very different from the predictions and we need to anticipate changes and surprises. We need to build uncertainty into our models of dealing with climate change."
AUSTRALIA – The persistence and severity of the drought in the Murray-Darling Basin has been described as "UNPRECEDENTED" after late summer inflows to the river system fell to a 117-YEAR LOW.
Arctic ice getting thinner, fading fast – Ice in the ocean surrounding the Arctic is THINNER THAN IT'S BEEN IN 30 YEARS, and there's much less of it. A team of climate scientists is predicting from earlier data that the Arctic's ice cover has been melting so rapidly over the past few years that much of it could be gone within another three decades. The ice that begins freezing every autumn over the vast ocean surrounding the pole is so thin it may last only a year. By contrast, ice that doesn't thaw during the spring and summer becomes perennial ice that grows thicker and thicker year by year. By the end of February, the survey team found that ice cover over the far north had reached 5.85 million square miles this winter, representing the fifth-lowest area of ice cover since satellite surveys began in 1979. This year the cover is mostly thinner than normal and will not last the summer season. Thin ice made up more than 70 percent of the total cover this winter, compared to 40 to 50 percent in the 1980s. The older thick ice – ice that lasts two years or longer – made up 30 to 40 percent of the Arctic ice cover in the 1980s, while this year it amounts to only 10 percent of the total. The Arctic is losing sea ice far more rapidly than the world's experts had predicted in the last report from the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The rapid loss of Arctic sea ice over the three years from 2005 to 2008 marked "a NEW MILESTONE." The warming ocean has caused summer air temperatures across the Arctic to rise by as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit more than the IPCC had predicted. "We predict a nearly sea-ice-free Arctic in September by the year 2037." (September is the end of the melting season and the beginning of the next year's freeze)
AUSTRALIA – Heatwave 'killed more than bushfires' – January's extraordinary heatwave could have killed 374 Victorians, more than double the number of deaths in the Black Saturday bushfires.
FOOD / WATER / SUPPLIES-
MEXICO – The National Water Commission said Tuesday it will suspend part of Mexico City's water supply for several days because of a water shortage and planned maintenance. The Cutzamala reservoir system, which supplies about a fifth of the capital's water, will shut off supply completely on Thursday for 36 hours, and then resume supplies at 50% of capacity until Sunday, when it resumes full supplies. The interruption is largely due to critically low water levels in reservoirs because of low rainfall last year. Usually, Cutzamala cuts off water supply to Mexico City twice a year for about 12 hours to carry out maintenance. They rejected assertions that the interruption will leave major areas of the capital entirely without water for days.
AFRICA – Water shortage already critical in Darfur villages. Aid agencies provided handpumps and food for the camps, but virtually nothing has been done to help villages. Few pumps have been provided in remote areas and people have been forced to walk for many hours to reach water, despite the risk of attack. Existing pumps that have broken down have been left unrepaired. Even basic health care is not available. An influx of refugees will further undermine the chance of survival for these villages.
CHINA – North China’s Hebei Province, the major water supplier to Beijing, is facing a serious water shortage due to overexploitation and drought.
NEPAL – Nearly half of the 75 districts of Nepal will face an acute food shortage if the government does not act fast. At present, 37 districts are facing food shortage. "We don't have adequate funds to supply food in drought-hit areas." A study by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives reveals that there was 30% drop in paddy yield and 80% drop in winter crops yield, mainly wheat. Last July, the government had declared drought-hit the hill districts in five zones. Later, they added seven Terai districts to the drought-hit areas as there was inadequate rain in winter. Meanwhile, food supply to far-western hill districts has stopped since three days due to unavailability of aviation fuel.
TANZANIA – Famine is threatening Arusha and Manyara due to prolonged drought that has hit the northern regions. Most affected areas are semi-arid northern plains and highlands inhabited by livestock keepers. Some herders have started marathon journeys with their animals to places where they can find pastures and water. People in Ngorongoro, Karatu, Mbulu and Simanjiro districts are already starving, while people in other districts are worried. There have been reports pointing to the possibility of more exodus of people and their animals from the vast districts because of the punishing drought. Normally Ngorongoro receives the first rains in November but until March 20th, it had received only some drizzles lasting only for two days. More than 34,000 households are facing food shortage, needing an emergency food supply of 9,000 tonnes of cereals. The situation has also been grim in Karatu and Mbulu districts where thousands of people have migrated from their homes for search of food. Much of Lake Manyara has dried up and elephants are roaming villages destroying farms. More than 240,000 people in Tanzania are in dire need of food.
SOUTH AFRICA – WINE GRAPES – The wine harvest will drop 8 percent after a heat wave shortened the picking season by a month.
AUSTRALIA – GRAPES – Australia expects grape production to drop this year. This year they were hit by a heatwave in late January and early February which further reduced yields.
INDIA – COFFEE – India’s coffee exports decline as heavy rain reduces harvest.
TEXAS – WHEAT – The first U.S. Department of Agriculture report on the 2009 U.S. winter wheat crop said 40% of the crop in Texas is in very poor condition. Across the country, winter wheat acreage mirrors conditions from a year ago, with the bulk of the acreage in the moderate rankings between poor and good. Following an "excessively dry" winter in the Southern Plains, the USDA lists 37% of Oklahoma's winter wheat crop as in very poor or poor condition.
TEXAS – COTTON – Rio Grande Valley cotton crop could be SMALLEST ON RECORD due to drought.
ALASKA – Redoubt ash cloud raises food shortage concerns – With experts predicting that eruptions could continue for several months, the state of Alaska is fearing the possibility of food shortages. Alaska receives a large portion of its food and supplies via air travel, with Anchorage being a major hub for this transport. Especially during the winter months, air travel is the only method of food transport, as seas in the Arctic Ocean are too rough and clogged with ice to allow transport by boat.
INDIA – MANGOES – Mango farmers of Gundlav and other villages in Valsad district are a worried lot due to extreme changes in the weather. Late flowering this season had not left them with much hope of a good harvest. Fierce storms in last two days have just added to their misery. Many mango growers are not interested in harvesting as their orchards do not have a significant yield left. The constant change in weather is likely to have an impact on mango production this year, sources say. The fogginess and heat could also affect the quality of the produce. "We expect mango production this year to be around 10 to 15 per cent of what it was last year. Constant change in weather and late flowering have taken their toll on the crop." High temperature is also affecting mango production. South Gujarat has been experiencing about 42 degree Celsius temperature for last few days. "Because of the high temperature, mangoes turn yellowish and fall off early."
MEXICO – Mexico City officials have shut down a main pipeline providing fresh water to millions of residents because reserves have fallen to RECORD LOW LEVELS. The closure, due to last 36 hours, will affect five million people, or a quarter of the city's population. Unusually low rainfall last year and major leakage are blamed for leaving reservoirs less than half full. This is the third time the capital has faced such a drastic form of water rationing this year. The local government says it will carry out emergency repairs to the water supply network. More than 50% of the water carried by the pipeline leaks out before it reaches its destination.
FLORIDA's worsening drought sparks water fights – A worsening drought is sparking battles over dwindling water supplies, with Florida's southwest coast demanding relief for rivers and estuaries. Everglades marshes and Big Cypress swamps are drying up. Estuaries at the mouths of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers are turning too salty. Lake Okeechobee, brimming from Tropical Storm Fay less than a year ago, is slipping into the low zone again. Overall, the region has received less than 30 percent of its normal rainfall. ''If we don't get an inch of rain in the next three weeks, this will be the driest dry season on record." Water managers say the region lucked out last year when Tropical Storm Fay dumped 20 inches north of Lake Okeechobee, erasing the last long and damaging drought in a few days. ''That's all we have between us and disaster.''
While most of the world's water shortages appear to be local in nature, there is dramatic new evidence to suggest a global water shortage is taking shape. The Indus, Rio Grande, Colorado, Murray-Darling and Yellow rivers are significant sources of fresh water that no longer reach the sea. Further stress is put on the water supply by the economic rise of developing nations — who use water to create electricity and produce feed for livestock.
CHOCOLATE – Scientists are warning of a possible chocolate shortage as disease ravages cocoa crops across the world. Some of the world's largest chocolate-producing countries, such as the Ivory Coast, could lose a third of their crop this year, because of the problem. One disease, the cacao swollen shoot virus (CSSV), which can kill the trees, is affecting crops in west Africa. Around 70 per cent of the world's chocolate comes from west Africa. In Brazil, another major producer of chocolate, crops are being affected by a fungus called witches' broom. Research has uncovered cacao varieties in Africa which are partially resistant to the disease and scientists are trying to breed more hardy versions.
IRELAND – 4/5/09 – Security cameras in Northern Ireland may shed some light on the cause of a massive fireball in the sky on Sunday. The shooting star was reported at about 1230 BST. "We think…it came from the west across the centre of Ireland." "We're fairly certain that it was a rock from space, a meteor which may have dropped a meteorite." The last time a meteorite was seen over Ireland was in 1999 over Carlow and there was a similar event over the skies of Northern Ireland 30 years earlier.
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
America's wishy-washy pastors
April 08, 2009
America achieved its independence and freedom in the 18th century in large part because colonial pastors stood up for biblical principles, preached them, lived them and refused to back down from them – even in the face of death. The American War of Independence has been accurately called a "pulpit revolution" for this reason. It was inspired by great men of God who recognized evil and called it by its right name. What a difference two centuries, combined with affluence and the corporatization of the 501(c)3 church culture has made. A good example of this was on display on CNN's "Larry King Live" this week, as "America's Pastor" Rick Warren did a soft shoe act on his role in the same-sex marriage battle over Proposition 8 in California.
Osteens: Obama doing great job, loves the Lord
Wed April 8, 2009
(CNN) — Joel Osteen is the senior pastor for the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. It's America's largest congregation. His wife, Victoria Osteen, is the co-pastor there. The Osteens, known for their optimistic outlook on life, visited "Larry King Live" Tuesday night for a wide-ranging interview that covered President Obama, same-sex marriage, the recent outbreak of mass shootings, the state of religion in America and more. The following interview has been edited for brevity and clarity: Larry King: Since you were last on, we have sworn in our first African-American president. What are your impressions [of Barack Obama]? Joel Osteen: Well, I think he's doing a great job. I'm impressed with his skill, his calmness, his just strength under pressure. These are tough times for him.
Author: 10 Things I Hate About Christianity
By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Apr. 09 2009
So you're frustrated with Christianity? So is a former pastor and founder of a Christian rock band who wrote his first book, 10 Things I Hate About Christianity, to help himself and others resolve the issues they have with the Christian faith. “This book is filled with my angst-ridden frustrations,” writes Jason T. Berggren, founder of the Christian hard rock band Strongarm and former associate pastor at Calvary Fellowship Church in Miami. “This book is me sitting on the counseling couch having it out with God. Telling Him how I feel and trying to find my way.” But contrary to what the title suggests, the book is meant to channel the anger and frustration non-believers and believers have with Christianity and use it to build a stronger relationship with God.
Fla. Church Draws Fire with 'No More Christians' Series
By Nathan Black
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Apr. 10 2009
"No More Christians," says one Florida church. Mosaic Church in Crestview has drawn a storm of criticism for advertising that slogan around the community on signs and in television commercials. Those three words have offended many believers who believe it's another attack on their Christian faith. But the intent of Mosaic's ad campaign was not to attack Christianity. It was simply to catch the attention of people "who are searching," Pastor James Ross told the News Bulletin. The church ended up drawing more negative attention than anything. "No More Christians" is a new teaching series that begins at Mosaic – a two-year old church currently holding worship services at an elementary school – on April 12, Easter Sunday. According to Ross, they began promoting the series on April 1.
When Christians condemn God’s children during the Easter season
It is Holy Saturday, today, the final day of Holy Week and of Lent – “a period of spiritual preparation for Easter which typically involves fasting, penance and prayer”. Besides fasting, penance and prayer, the Lent period in Uganda this year has been characterized by something else: virulent gay-bashing. This is a project that has been, and is still being, championed by “serious” Christians such as Mr Stephen “Heterosexual” Langa of the Family Life Network and Pastor Martin “Heterosexual” Ssempa of Makerere Community Church. And yet we are all, in our ‘sinning’ difference, God’s children! What happened to tolerance and understanding as cherished values in Christ’s church and civilised society in general? Well, homosexuality is illegal in Uganda. That much, even if nonsensical, is clear. What is not clear is Mr Langa’s bigoted behaviour and how he goes about displaying it. He seems to have unilaterally declared 2009 the Year of Homophobia in Uganda. He spent much of March parading several men (and why no women?) who claimed they are reformed homosexuals. Good for them.
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
Expulsion threatened over prayer for sick teacher
Students' lawsuit against California college moves forward
Posted: April 09, 2009
Attorneys representing two students who have been threatened with expulsion by a California college because of a prayer for a sick professor say a federal judge has refused the school's efforts to have the case dismissed. "It's outrageous," said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which is working on the case brought by students Kandy Kyriacou and Ojoma Omaga of the College of Alameda in Alameda, near Oakland. "Since when does praying for a sick teacher to get well – with her consent – earn a suspension? This is not just a constitutional violation; it is a complete lack of common sense. These students were not looking for a fight, but since the school to this day insists that it can expel them if they pray again, we will have to resolve it in federal court," he said.
Crosses, Bibles banned from hospital chapel
Officials cite 'respect' after new Muslim prayer room opened
Posted: April 08, 2009
Administrators at a hospital in Australia have thrown the crosses, crucifixes and Bibles out of their chapel to comply with new rules that followed the construction of a special prayer room for Muslims. According to a report in the Mosman Daily, the change has been made at the Royal North Shore Hospital in St. Leonards. The move, according to senior members of the hospital staff quoted by the newspaper, was made to avoid offending Muslims or Hindus who may be at the hospital. The newspaper cited a hospital spokeswoman who said the ban was imposed after "the chapel was enhanced with the provision of a Muslim prayer space in the loft area." "At that time the decision was made to display the symbols of each faith, for example the chapel's cross and Bible, during specific services and ceremonies only," the spokeswoman said. "This decision was made out of respect for the many faiths that make up both the hospital and also the modern Australian community."
Motive sought in deadly attack at Calif. retreat
By GILLIAN FLACCUS
April 8, 2009
TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) — Investigators are trying to determine why a resident of a Korean religious retreat that helps the homeless allegedly went on a deadly rampage targeting his fellow volunteers. Police said John Chong, 69, shot one woman dead Tuesday night and wounded her husband before being disarmed during a struggle with another couple. Chong had lived at the Kkottongnae (GOHT'-dohng-nay) Retreat Camp for four or five years as a volunteer after moving from the Los Angeles suburb of Lynwood. The two couples attacked also were resident volunteers. Detectives, having trouble piecing together exactly what happened because many witnesses speak only Korean, were unable to immediately determine a motive. "We have no evidence that this was a domestic dispute. We do not have a motive or reason for this incident," sheriff's Sgt. Michael Lujan said Wednesday.
Congress to Revive Hate Crime Bill to Censor Christians
By Dr. Gary L. Cass
One of the gravest threats to religious liberty and freedom of speech is the proposed hate crime legislation. Even while national attention is focused is on the economy and Obama’s radical economic and foreign policy, the far left is at work undermining our First Amendment rights at home with hate crime legislation. In other countries where these types of laws have been implemented, pastors and Christians have been jailed and fined for their faithful adherence to the Scriptures. US Congressman John Conyers is reintroducing the same hate crime bill that was passed in the last Congress, but was vetoed by President Bush. Conyers hopes that it will be passed and signed by President Obama. This new hate crime bill is making its way to the Judiciary committee as soon as this Friday!
Faith schools 'should be phased out to stop segregation', says teachers' union
By Laura Clark
06th April 2009
Faith schools should be phased out because education is becoming ' segregated', teachers will say this week. They will also call for Christian assemblies to be scrapped to let schools reflect all faiths – or offer no worship at all. Leaders of the National Union of Teachers are expected to support a long-term drive to create a wholly secular school system when they convene for their annual Easter conference in Cardiff this week. They will say the 7,000 state-funded primary and secondary faith schools should be stripped of their right to select pupils based on their religion. Delegates will also debate an active campaign against proposals for new faith schools. The drive would put the union at odds with ministers, who have encouraged an expansion of faith schools and solicited sponsorship of academies by religious organisations.