Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 85

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

By Regina

Frustration, frustration, it’s setting in!
The worst of it all is about to begin.
They hate, how they hate what they can't see!
The end, and return to what was meant to be.
Their ears, their ears, must tickle so much!
Belief in the lies but not seeing them as such.
Truth sits and stares; shining so brightly!
But it’s not seen by most, not even slightly.

Frustration, frustration, oh why can’t they see?
See what seems so plain to you and to me?
Fear disguised as hope that things will get better,
Meanwhile it continues to get wetter and wetter.
There goes one drop, now two, three and four,
Before long it'll become a complete downpour.
Mountains will crumble, crumble and shake
People will wonder how much they can take.

Frustration, frustration, oh why didn’t they see?
That which we knew would come to be?
We delivered the message, we warned and we called,
But instead of hearing, into their holes they crawled.
Now fear disguised as anger is directed our way,
Like children who lost at the game they played,
They throw down their pieces and stomp their feet.
But they’re standing on sand and not on concrete.

Frustration, frustration, only it’s twofold now.
For them and for us in not knowing how,
to reach them before opportune time has passed.
Before it’s too late and the final move is cast.
Oddly enough I feel better in getting this out.
By turning the knob and just letting it spout.
Calmer now, slowly I… breathe out…breathe in…
It’s in Father’s hands, just as it always has been.

Rely on Father
By Johanna

This article is about two songs that move me. They are Jesus Take the Wheel and To Small. Carrie Underwood is the artist that sings these beautiful songs with an incredible voice. Some of her songs really touch my heart and then there are some that speak of cheating, drinking and violence. In this article I will share with you a few of her songs that truly move me and reminds me when things get tough that Father is still there ready to pick me up. The first one I would like to share my thoughts on is Jesus Take the Wheel. I have not added the full lyrics to this song. However you can find the full lyrics online.

Jesus, take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus, take the wheel

How many of you rush through life without taking notice of what is going on around you or what is going on inside your heart? I know that I have many times in the past. I always stayed worried over one thing or another in my everyday life. This song reminds me to slow down and hand my troubles, worries and concerns over to Father because She can take care of them better than I can. In this song she ask Jesus to take the wheel of the car from her hands because she realized that Jesus would and could handle the out of control car. She also asked to be saved from the road that she is on. How many of us can relate to that in some way or another? I know I can because my life was out of control and I needed help to get on the right road that leads straight to Father. In the Word it tells us over and over again not to worry.

Matthew 6:31 – So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or What will we wear?’

Matthew 6:34 – Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

And for the first time in a long time
She bowed her head to pray
She said, "I'm sorry for the way
I've been living my life
I know I've got to change
So from now on tonight"

She turned to Father in prayer because she knew that she couldn’t continue without Her. It took a big scare to get her to open her eyes and see that the way she had been living wasn’t the right way. She asked Father for forgiveness and put her life into Fathers hands. We have to TRUST in Father to do what is right for each one of us because She is our creator and She loves us with all that She is. If we are still worrying about trivial things then are we truly putting our trust and our lives in Her hands? There are times when I get to worrying about things that may not be going the way I would like them to go. I catch myself every time and turn to Father when I recognize what I am doing. It is really hard to put into words how I feel and how blessed I am to have Father and Her Son Christ in my life. I feel safer and freer then at any time before I turned to Her.

The next song of Carries that I would like to share is So Small. I have liked this song from the get go but I don’t believe that I really listened to the words closely. I was in my truck the other day and this song came on so I listened closely and I was in tears.

Yeah, yeah

What you got if you ain't got love
The kind that you just want to give away
It's ok to open up
Go ahead and let the light shine through
I know it's hard on a rainy day
You wanna shut the world out and just be left alone
But don't run out on your faith

In the Word it clearly states that love is the greatest out of faith and hope. We should share our love. The love that we have inside of us comes from Father. Each time we share that love and treat others kindly it is letting Fathers light shine through us. It is wonderful to have Fathers love within me. When I turned to Father and I felt Her love it was the most amazing feeling. I felt whole for the first time in a long time. I knew that I had returned home.

1 Corinthians 13:13 – Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Cause sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
Is just a grain of sand
And what you've been out there searching for forever
Is in your hands
And when you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else seem
So small

It's so easy to get lost inside
A problem that seems so big at the time
It's like a river that's so wide it swallows you whole
While you're sitting around thinking about what you can't change

“It’s so easy to get lost inside.” Those six words brings to mind how people can really get lost inside. I think a lot of people find it easier to “get lost” in their own worlds instead of seeing what is going on around them in the real world. They are too worried about themselves to reach out a helping hand when one is needed. Sadly a lot of people don’t help other people out unless they gain something in return. For me seeing a smile on that persons face is the best thing and knowing that Father worked through me to let Her light shine through.

Have any of you ever stepped back from a huge problem to realize that it isn’t as big as you thought it was? That you were making a mountain out of a mole hill? I know that I have in the past. Don’t get me wrong it is still something I struggle with in my day to day life. That is when I stop what I am doing and go to Father. I know that She will guide me through whatever I am going through. Another point I want to make is in the last verse it says “While you’re sitting around thinking about what you can’t change” Who says you can’t change something in this world? I think that is where a lot of people change their minds about doing something that would change things for the better. They think they can’t do it or it is too much work for them to do. ANYTHING can be changed no matter what if you have faith in Father and it is Her will for it to be changed.

And worrying about all the wrong things
Time's flying by, moving so fast
You better make it count cause you can't get it back

This last section talks about worrying about the wrong things while time is flying by. When we worry over things does it change the outcome? Does it fix the problem you are worrying about? Or does it just make time fly by so fast that you can’t remember what you did the day before? No matter how much we wished to do something over again it more than likely won’t happen unless Father steps in to make it happen. You can’t get your past back whether it was yesterday or ten years ago. Live your life for today and tomorrow serving Father to bring about Her will and only Hers.

Deuteronomy 6:5 – Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Psalm 6:4 – Turn, LORD! Rescue me; save me because of Your faithful love.

Inspired Writings

How a Flower Blooms

All things come in a steady progression that come from Father. By continually studying all that She has already shared with us through Her servants, we are able to gain knowledge of how Father progresses all Her activities and deeds, all of which direct everything in the path that She has planned from a very, very, very, very long time ago. Each of the progressions can also be related to other things that have progressions and different stages. All of these things can be hindered in each of their stages, yet at the same time, have a resistance to any hindrances that may come about.

A flower, for instance, does not just immediately grow from a seed to a flower. The flower has to go through various stages in its plant-life, which may either end, or continue, in flowering. First, the seed is planted, then it breaks through a tough shell and spreads roots and a thin base. Then the base breaks above the surface of the ground, with deeper roots, and begins cultivating sunlight. By the time it is actually ready to flower, the plant's roots have grown strong enough, with a solid enough base or stem, and the internal activities of the plant are prepared to pollinate and be pollinated. When the flower blooms, there is not only beauty, but also a purpose, which all fulfills Father's Will. In the end of the flower's cycle, it may come to producing seed, scattering its seed to spread further in the soil, and further growth. Later, it may die, or simply hibernate and wait for the next best opportunity to further reproduce and grow. And in any of these stages, the plant may be protected from, say a destroying worm:

Jonah 4:7 — When dawn came the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, and it withered.

Or maybe even removed from a harsh environment that is not conducive to its growth over to an environment that is more suitable:

Matthew 13:4-8 — As he was sowing, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on rocky ground, where there wasn't much soil, and they sprang up quickly since the soil wasn't deep. But when the sun came up they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. Still others fell on good ground, and produced a crop: some 100, some 60, and some 30 times [what was sown].

But of course, what Father has set Herself to do, no one can stop:

Isaiah 14:27 — The LORD of Hosts Himself has planned it; therefore, who can stand in its way? It is His hand that is outstretched, so who can turn it back?

And in these same ways, Father plants Her Spirit into those hearts whom are open and willing to accept them. Her gift grows in stages, but so do Her punishments. It is a huge saga that spans over several books in the Old Testament, which there is actually only one whole testament, none of it being new or old, of which details the Israelites' rebelliousness against Father and all their punishments. The punishments started out soft, and then eventually became more and more harsh, until all the Israelites were just banished from their homeland that Father had initially planned to give to them. At the same time, a lot of what the Israelites witnessed in those times can be seen even now, if not all of what they had witnessed. However, these times are different, as there will be a coming of plagues that we still have yet to see that Father does not plan on ever doing again, including the Lions of Zion whom will lead the executions of those left behind at Armageddon. It will be much worse than anything our forefathers had experienced during their time on earth, any of them.

Now, because Father's punishments come in severe, progressive stages, one can still see how they are constructive to a strong degree. First, the punishments in progressive stages give warning so those being punished can turn from their ways and heed the warnings without being immediately decimated and obliterated. Second, the punishments provide something to learn from, not only for ourselves, but for our children, too. In this, we are taught by our Greatest Example of a Parent, exactly how to parent. And at the same time, progressive stages mean progressive movement, predictable actions that help to further individual observation, so that it may be better known what Father is planning to do.

The opposite of progressive stages are the immediate reactions, such as might be spawned by Satan, themselves. Consider how it has been taught that fast-food chains and instant gratification are basically and essentially Dawn's mannerism, in that patience is not a core value, and nor is the hard work and dedication required to actually produce something worthwhile there. If suddenly the penalty for making a mistake was immediate death or a penalty of being in a dark realm for eternity, away from Father's light and love, or perhaps even the disfiguration of a body part for eternity, or something or other of any horrible nature, there would be very little constructive energy, and a lot of destructive and impairing movement. Immediate and instant reactions can cause horrible reactions that are not savory, to say the least:

Proverbs 14:29 — A patient person [shows] great understanding, but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness.

Thus, in all of this, one is not only able to relate one progression of one thing to another, but may even see how they all differ, all for different reasons and different purposes. As different things are meant to live on for eternity, and others for a short time span, anything can be changed in a moment's notice by Father, in all She deems appropriate and necessary. Even the current animal kingdom will be restructured in the Millennium, which is a testament to Father's strength and glory. Not one detail is left not noted, as each of Father's stages of action is not only dependent on Her plans, but the overall focus of everything at once and at each piece, and not only a whole plan, but a plan for each individual piece in-between, thus a plan correlating with another plan, with another plan, and with another plan, all working together like a well orchestrated masterpiece, but better.

Fruitage of the Spirit – Part 2
This week we will start to look at attitudes to be cultivated. 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. can be used as a reference tool with the Holman Christian Standard Bible as the recommended version.

You must be content with what you have at present:
1 Timothy 6:8
Hebrews 13:5

You must learn to be cooperative:
Ephesians 4:16
1 Corinthians 16:16

You must develop confidence and courage as a part of your mental makeup:
Philippians 1:14
2 Corinthians 5:6

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

Position of the Azmon Barrier

Prince of Yahweh II: Dawn and his demons are sealed off within the Azmon Barrier; if you astral project, you can easily find the barrier if you go out beyond this planet; the gateways we (the holy side) are permitted to pass through appear to be in fixed locations, however, this planet like all other bodies of mass that you might encounter in space are moving; the Earth travels through space at 66,700 miles per hour; therefore, the Azmon Barrier matches its speed.

Johanna: The earth is in constant movement in rotation.

Prince of Yahweh II: Correct. Yahweh's HOLY CITY and Yahweh's Holy Armies of both angelic and crossed over disciples of Christ; keep in mind that the Converts are barred from passing back to the holy side any longer; they are prisoners within the confines of the Barrier as well. "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters." The Barrier forms around this planet; the Barrier itself is empty except for the Earth and its inhabitants that are human (as well as the animal kingdom, ect. caught in the middle of this mess), and the demonic forces and Converts that are both here and on the outer space fringe near the inner-edge of the Barrier; DARKNESS (Dawn's WAY) covers the surface of the inner-Barrier to the inner-edge of the Barrier – and the people are like the "surface of the waters" that Yahweh's "Spirit" is "hovering over" with the Azmon Barrier acting in Her behalf to contain SIN within one area of creation. Is it any wonder that the "watery depths" are what began with our creation on this planet and were then later used to destroy most of Mankind the first judgment? Why so? Because Dawn's darkness (his violent behavior) spread to Mankind and Yahweh took appropriate action to end it – just as She is preparing to do again. When will this happen again? "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters."

Right after Armageddon? When Father has cleaned the earth of all sin.

Prince of Yahweh II:
You are correct. Genesis 6:7 "Then the LORD said, "I will wipe off the face of the earth: man, whom I created, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them." But, Yahweh spared 5 people even when She said the above; and, She also saved Her chosen animals as well as all of the insects that hopped aboard the Ark. That Scripture also NOW applies to the coming wrath of Armageddon. Yahweh regrets that She made (though Michael was instrumental in our creation) …. regetted She made those that would reject Her offer to walk in Her Way. The Earth will soon again be formless and empty as Yahweh reshapes this planet to Her original purpose; formless of evil humans – empty of SIN

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

Triangle UFO reports on the rise
May 3, 2009

Triangle UFOs take the April prize as the most popularly reported shape – with 27 cases in 15 states, according to non-scientific results from UFO Traffic Reports. Most UFO Traffic Report cases come from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON ) database, with just a few original reports coming directly from witnesses. All reports are classified as to the object's shape, and sometimes, that's a hard task to tackle. In some cases, witnesses might use several key words – like they saw a V-shaped triangular UFO. And if you look at photos or sketches of the chevron or V-shaped craft, compare it to triangle craft, and again with boomerang craft – you will often see similarities. Some of my reports get a double classification – so you might see the same headline link listed under triangle, again under V-shape, and in some few instances – a third designation – like large size or morphing shape.

UFO visits Chinese city twice
May 6, 2009

A Chinese city has had the honour of being visited by a UFO twice in two days last month. The residents of Changsha, the capital city of the province of Hunan in Central China witnessed a large glowing orange object shoot across their skies on both the April 7 and 8. A group of friends were on the way to a badminton hall at around 6pm when one of them noticed the UFO above their heads. The quick thinking resident pulled out her mobile phone and managed to film the object. 'It appeared to be moving at a slower speed than a plane' the witness noted. Meanwhile journalists from China's various news networks received more calls from the public regarding the sighting, some having seen and filmed the UFO on April 8 as well.

UFO Sweden releases 18,000 Swedish UFO reports to the public domain
May 6, 2009

Breaking News! UFO Sweden is releasing thousands of UFO files beginning May 9-10, 2009, according to a news story in Swedish online news magazine Expressen. Translation of the story was provided by Exopolitics Sweden and editor of Soul Travel Magazine. Sassersson's translation states that: "Besides the 18,000 Swedish cases are thousands of cases from Denmark and other Nordic countries. Thousands of US cases on micro film are too included. The archive (Norrkoping) will be open to the public domain starting with May 9-10, 2009.

Witness photographs UFO over Phoenix
May 5, 2009

A Phoenix woman reported today on an August 31, 2009, UFO she photographed near South Mountain. Following is her original report on what she saw. Please keep in mind that most UFO reports can be explained as something natural or manmade. If MUFON investigates and reports back on this case, I will update this page. You can read my selected cases by type of UFO report at the UFO Traffic Report main page. The following report is unedited. This is a shot that was taken in Phoenix behind South Mountain on August 31, 2008. This was seen around 5-5:30 pm in broad daylight. My husband, myself, and my son all witnessed it from our backyard. It was moving at a slow steady and purposeful speed below the high clouds heading from south to north around the I-10 freeway. I was thrilled to hear others have seen this triangle object too. To us, it appeared like three round white objects held together.

UFO Traffic Report: Couple has close encounter in Nevada desert
May 8, 2009

The UFO Traffic Report for Friday, May 8, 2009, includes seven selected sightings over five states, according to witness statements filed in the past 48 hours with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Today's stories take us first into the Nevada desert where a couple say they witnessed three boomerang-shaped objects – one of them hovered silently and slowly close to them. Both witnesses in this case filed reports. Two Texas witnesses had their own desert encounter when a bright light coming toward them moved through the cab of their SUV. Three small triangle UFOs were spotted moving slowly over Mississippi skies. Another couple in CA watched as a "part of the sky was moving" in this story of a giant cloaked UFO. A massive object the size of an "apartment building" floated over Ohio. And a black, non-reflective cube was seen over Texas. In other news, take a look at this UFO video over Redondo Beach, CA. Illinois MUFON Director Sam Maranto reminds me that the Out of This World UFO Conference is right around the corner – May 28 – 31. Read more here.

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

'Steep rise' in Sri Lanka deaths
May 10, 2009

At least 378 people have been killed by fierce shelling from the Sri Lankan army in the past 24 hours, a health official has told the BBC. The doctor, working in the northern conflict zone, said 1,122 others had been injured – and more bodies were on beaches and by the sides of roads. The army denies shelling the designated "safe zone" for civilians, and blames any deaths on Tamil Tiger rebels. The claims are impossible to verify as reporters are banned from the war zone. But the BBC's Charles Haviland, in Colombo, says a steady stream of information coming from the area suggests that civilians are being killed.

DC approves same-sex marriage law
May 6, 2009

Washington DC city council has voted to recognise same-sex marriages conducted in other US states. As Washington DC is not a state, the decision will now have to be approved by Congress before it can become law. Four US states – Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa – now permit gay marriage, and legislation to allow it is in progress in other states. A bill allowing same-sex marriage in Maine is likely to be sent soon to the governor to decide whether to sign it. On Wednesday, the Maine House of Representatives approved the legislation by 89 votes to 56. The measure will now go back before the State Senate, which is also expected to pass it before going to Democratic Governor John Baldacci.

Anti-government clash in Georgia
May 7, 2009

Anti-government protesters and police have clashed in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, amid rising national tensions. Riot police used batons on protesters trying to enter a police compound where three people were being held over the alleged beating of a local journalist. The clashes were the first major unrest since anti-government demonstrations began in early April. They come a day after the authorities said they had thwarted an army mutiny at a base outside the capital. Later in the evening, opposition leaders and supporters gathered outside parliament for a rally, as they have daily since 9 April. The BBC's Tom Esslemont in Tbilisi says attendances at the rallies have dwindled but tensions in the city appear to be rising. The protesters are calling for the resignation of President Mikhail Saakashvili over his leadership record and his handling of Georgia's war with Russia last summer.

Feingold Bill Gives ALL US Water To The Feds!
May 8, 2009

In April, 2009, Senator Feingold introduced (and gathered 24 co-sponsors already) legislation, S. 787, to fundamentally change the definition of "water" under control of the federal government: SEC. 4. DEFINITION OF WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES. Section 502 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1362) is amended– (1) by striking paragraph (7); (2) by redesignating paragraphs (8) through (25) as paragraphs (7) through (24), respectively; and (3) by adding at the end the following: (25) WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES- The term `waters of the United States' means all waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, natural ponds, and all impoundments of the foregoing, to the fullest extent that these waters, or activities affecting these waters, are subject to the legislative power of Congress under the Constitution.'.

Commuters No More
The Washington Post
by Chris L. Jenkins
May 4, 2009

LURAY, Va. Steve Morgan fired up the weed whacker and flicked away a morning cigarette. "I should be in the middle of a workday right now," he said, starting in on a patch of weeds at the base of his acre property. Later, he would mow the lawn and muse about the Chinese garden he'd like to put out back one day. "I figure I'll put up a stone wall on the back there when I can afford it, maybe make a little stone path leading to the creek, there." Morgan is not used to this kind of morning routine. For about five years, he started his day at 2:30 a.m. preparing to drive to his warehouse job in Manassas. He traveled 60 miles each way, every day, for the job that paid $17 an hour. The job helped him buy this plot of land, his first, so he never complained about the pre-dawn drive there or the bumper-to-bumper drive back home. But that job is gone now. It evaporated in the sputtering Northern Virginia economy. So Morgan, along with many others in Luray and surrounding Page County — where unemployment recently was as high as 17.7 percent — spend their days picking through the scant job listings, tending to daytime chores or hunting for day laborer work.

Crop Circle Watch

All Cannings Bridge, nr Stanton St Bernard, Wiltshire. Reported 6th May.

This formation was discovered from the air around 10.45am Sunday May 3. The glyph can not be seen from the surrounding landscape. Overall diameter of this event is approximately 180 feet. Due to severe time constraints no critical examination of the laid plants was carried out. It did however appear that at least a few people had visited the circle during the early morning of day one, resulting in random damage to plants all over the formation.

Clatford, nr Manton, Wiltshire. Reported 4th May.

This Pictogram was discovered from the air in the early morning of May 4 2009. It is not viewable from any position in the local landscape. During the night of the creation of the glyph there was moderate rainfall in the local area.

The Glyph measures approximately 800 feet in length and around 250 feet wide. The crop is around 5 feel high. Further, the formation stretches over the crest of the hill at the top of the field, making any direct full length sight line out of the question.

More or less all the laid rape-seed plants in the formation were noted as broken and / or severely damaged at the base of the stems. Also much severe bruising was well evident on the laid plants. Some of this damage to the plants can be seen in the ground shots on this page. Most notably this damage shows as dark strips that run down the centres of the narrow avenues in the formation.

All damage to this formation looked systematic and intentional, and did not convey the appearance of standard regular hoaxing activity.

According to a very qualified and certificated tracker that was present during the inspection "the visible damage to the plants must have occurred between 5 and 6 hours prior to our inspection". This damage therefore must have occurred between 6am and 7am on May 4.

A small key-ring torch and a sweet wrapper were found "placed" in the circle during our late morning inspection of the site, Neither the paper wrapper nor the torch had been exposed to the night rain or early dawn dew, therefore it is very probable that they were inserted later in the morning. This could be considered at best extremely curious!.

All Cannings Bridge, nr Stanton St Bernard, Wiltshire. Reported 6th May.

This circle was spotted from a nearby road in the early morning of May 6. The formation measures 202 feet in diameter. Much of the formation was shabby and trodden by late morning on day one, making any full critical examination nonviable. Some percentage of the laid plants were noted to be bent and not broken at the base.

Signs in Humanity

Many die in Turkey wedding attack
May 5, 2009

Masked attackers have raided a wedding party in south-eastern Turkey, killing 44 people, including six children. Sixteen women also died when attackers wielding automatic rifles and grenades burst into a celebration in Bilge Koyu, in Mardin province, officials said. Turkey has fought Kurdish separatists in the area for 25 years, but this attack has been linked to a local "blood feud" and a pro-Turkish militia. Eight people were arrested with weapons overnight, the interior minister said.

Abusive messages to 12-year-old victim
The Independent
by Terri Judd
May 6, 2009

Within hours of being diagnosed with swine flu, schoolgirl Phoebe Wyburd began to receive a string of text messages, one of which said: "You will die." The 12-year-old, one of six pupils at her school with the H1N1 virus, has also had strange calls and abusive postings on Facebook, the social networking website. "We do feel a little bit like we have got the plague, but it is just like a minor cold," said her father, Francis, 45. "We have had some crank calls. And there are some worried, quite aggressive parents saying 'none of you should be allowed out'. It is rather extreme."

Some stockpiling to prepare should times turn perilous
Kansas City Star
by Rick Montgomery
April 25, 2009

Ammo. Canned goods. Vegetable seeds. Fortified water by the case. They are reportedly flying off the shelves, these staples of the stockpile crowd. “Survivalist” isn’t the right term, not in a downturn that has got everyone nervous. “Preparedness” or “self-sufficiency” — that is what they are saying. Adhesive bandages. Gardens in the works — be they victory gardens or, as some prefer, “crisis gardens.” The closet off the living room in the Owens home near Lawson, Mo., isn’t huge, but it’s organized. Heavy coats, sweatshirts and Ron Owens’ cap collection greet wife, Jan, as she enters and flips the light. She pulls back the heavy coats. There, on a rack covering the wall: Nonfat dry milk. Rice. A cast-iron skillet. “You never know when you’ll need it,” she said of the food supplies she began stockpiling five months ago.

Farming family guilty of 'grotesque' cruelty
The Independent
by Terri Judd
May 9, 2009

Five members of one family were found guilty of "grotesque" cruelty yesterday after one of Britain's largest horse-rescue operations. RSPCA inspectors who raided Spindle Farm in Buckinghamshire last year found a "horror scene" of starving, emaciated and diseased animals, surrounded by the rotting corpses of others. In total, 115 horses, ponies and donkeys were rescued and 32 others were found dead in varying states of decay. Yesterday, trader James Gray, 45, and his son James Junior, 16, were found guilty of 11 charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. His wife Julie, 41, and daughters Jodie, 26, and Cordelia, 20, were each convicted of two charges under the same Act. Nicolas De Brauwere, the head of welfare at Redwings, one of the horse sanctuaries called in to help, said: "I feel the evidence of cruelty and the extent of equine suffering in this case was so overwhelming that a guilty verdict was the only possible outcome so I am delighted with today's result. "I have no doubt that what myself and my colleagues saw that day will remain with us for the rest of our lives."

Immigrants hurt in Greek violence
May 10, 2009

Five immigrants have been injured after far-right demonstrators tried to storm a disused courthouse in Athens occupied mainly by illegal migrants from Africa. Dozens of protesters hurled stones and fireworks at the eight-storey building on Saturday night, while those living inside threw bricks and masonry slabs. Police said nine officers were also injured in the violence. Three youths were arrested over the attack, which came after a march by the anti-immigrant Golden Dawn group. The protesters waved banners reading "Foreigners mean crime" and "We have become foreigners in our own country".

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 and view the many posts from those in need to see if you're able to help with advice, prayers or goods & services.

Cowboy2359 -  We found a motorhome in running condition but it needs some work. We need some paneling,a refridgerator that is 24" front to back woithout the doors on ( so it will fit through the entry door of the motorhome) 110v or 110 and gas, and any other supplies that can be donated. Thank you all for your responses to our earlier call for help. The suggestions were great. Thank you and god bless you all.

Kat1961 – Highland Heights, KY – Highland Heights, KY (close to Cincinnati, Ohio) First off, thank you for taking the time to read this. I became very ill in September, lost my job in October and lost my car in early January. I have had fibromyalgia for 13 years, and unfortunately, it flared up quite severely. Additionally, it was discovered I have pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency). In the past month, I have become well enough to get back to work. I'm blessed with 23 years of experience as an AdministrativeAssistant so I have good, strong skills to fall back upon. I have registered with an agency, and tested very well on all Microsoft products. The problems I am facing are being behind in my rent one month ($690 + late fees), a $300 electric bill balance and not having a car to get to and from work. My apartment complex manager has been great and patient. I've already gotten help from every group in town on the electric bill, and I get food from the pantries each month. I would be happy to ride the bus, but the bus stop is quite a long walk, and I'm not physically able to walk to and from it each day. I need to find an old, yet reliable car that I could buy from someone who would allow me to make small payments on for a couple of months. Thank you in advance for your very kind consideration. God bless you all!

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

Death toll from Brazil floods increases to 30

SAO PAULO (AP) — Authorities struggled Wednesday to reach dozens of small cities in northern Brazil after floods and mudslides washed out roads and highways. The death toll from the flooding rose to at least 30 people. Months of heavy rains extending from the Amazon jungle to the Atlantic coast have dislodged nearly 200,000 people from their homes and stranded thousands more in 10 states, according to civil defense officials. "We are having difficulties getting help to people because many roads have been swept away with the floods," said Abner Ferreira, the civil defense official in the hardest-hit state, Maranhao, where at least eight people have died. Ferreira said at least six highways were shut down. "We have two helicopters from the air force," Ferreira said. "We are using trucks and boats to get people help." Television footage showed the rooftops of houses poking out of water in flooded towns and people using boats to move around.

California Fire Disaster: Fierce Winds Rage On
Firefighters Attempt to Rein in Unrelenting Flames; Thousands Forced to Flee
May 7, 2009

A fierce wildfire raged through the hills near Santa Barbara, Calif., on Thursday, forcing thousands of residents to flee. More than 2,300 firefighters are working to control the fires. Propelled by 50-mile-per-hour winds,at least 75 homes vanished in flames. The fires have scorched at least 2,700 acres of the American Riviera. "There were these walls of what looked like 300-foot-high flames right in front of the house," one resident told ABC News. "The embers were… right in front of our front window. …You could feel the heat." Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who declared a state of emergency in Santa Barbara County on Wednesday, estimated that dozens of homes had been destroyed — but no real figure exists because the thick smoke and intense blaze have prevented an accurate tally.

Johnston Hit By Apparent Tornadoes

As many as a dozen homes across eastern North Carolina were damaged and three minor injuries were reported from apparent tornadoes that touched down shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Two of the injuries were reported in Nash County, and one in Wilson County. In Johnston County, at least two homes sustained significant structural damage, along with a building at Cattail Pond on N.C. 96 north of N.C. 42, WTSB radio reported. Debbie and Ricky Davis were in their home on N.C. 96 North when the twister struck. Ricky Davis said he had just enough time to yell at his wife who was cooking and they both took shelter in a closet. Within seconds, the home they had shared for 16 years was destroyed. "The roof is gone and there is glass everywhere," he told WTSB. While in the closet, Mrs. Davis remembered she had left the gas stove on, but her husband said if they had emerged from the closet while the tornado was tearing through their home they would have been killed.

Alaska's Mt. Redoubt volcano showing increased activity
May 5, 2009
Las Angeles Times
Kelly Burgess

Though it's still at an "orange" watch level instead of a "red" eruption level on the Alaska Volcano Observatory website, the most recent observation posted on the site states that seismic and rockfall activity is at a heightened level. Scientists monitoring the volcano believe an eruption is likely in the coming days. Their observations conclude that the growing lava dome is becoming increasingly unstable. Should a dome failure occur, it likely would result in a significant explosion producing high-altitude ash plumes and possible ash fall in parts of south-central Alaska. Sounds as if the slumbering giant is reawakening.

Venezuelan capital jolted by 5.3 earthquake
May 4, 2009

CARACAS (Reuters) – An earthquake sent residents running from their homes and shook buildings across oil exporting Venezuela's densely populated coastal region, including the capital Caracas, before dawn on Monday. The quake was 5.3 magnitude, with the epicenter 25 miles south of Caracas and at a depth of 6.2 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The tremor was the second to hit Venezuela in recent weeks, unusual for OPEC member nation. Despite early morning rain, many Caracas residents ran from their homes as buildings shook at 5:40 a.m. EDT. Venezuela's Civil Protection Authority said the quake had caused alarm but there were no reports of damage or casualties. State oil company PDVSA said its installations were unaffected. The tremor and three smaller aftershocks were felt in several of Venezuela's most populated states close to the Caribbean coast and officials called for calm.

Natural Disaster Update


5/3/09 –

5/4/09 –

5/6/09 –

5/7/09 –
There was a whole collection of small quakes all around Europe and Turkey.


INDONESIA – Volcanologists at Mount RINJANI in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara Province closed the mountain as eruptions intensified since Monday (April 27). On Sunday, repeated explosion were heard since 5.50 AM local time, but activities have been escalating since Saturday (May 2) afternoon. The Mining and Energy office of West Nusa Tenggara Province reported a crater began to form at the eastern slope of the mountain. The eruptions had not caused terrible impacts “but a small crater began to form” in the eastern part of the mountainous area at Mount Baru Jari. On Saturday (May 2) volcanic ash and smoke eruption have reached to about 8.000 meters. The eruption is the latest major one recorded in five years. The last huge eruption was in 1994.

INDONESIA – Mount BARUJARI, a volcano in the middle of the crater lake of Mount Rinjani on Lombok Island, continued to emit volcanic ash and smoke on Sunday. But the eruptions were relatively smaller than those on Saturday. “The eruptions are almost like firecrackers, but the volcano is safe." The volcano, sprayed hot ashes into the Segara Anak, the crater lake contained within Mount Rinjani. The lava did not pose a danger to people because it was quite far from the nearest village in Senaru, Bayan subdistrict, in North Lombok. The volcano last erupted in September 2004.

ALASKA – Seismic activity at Mount Redoubt increased over 24 hours on Sunday and a steam and ash plume rising above the volcano increased in size dramatically in the 9 o'clock hour Sunday night. The activity "appears to be gaining intensity. Seismic activity has increased markedly in the last 24 hours, showing stronger volcanic tremor and more frequent rockfall events." Late Sunday night scientists said that an explosive eruption is now more likely in the next few days than it has been in the last few weeks. The alert level remains at orange. Redoubt has not had an explosive eruption since April 4 when the volcano created an ash fall along the Kenai Peninsula. An eruption on March 28 forced the closure of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport for about 20 hours. The first series of explosive events began March 22 when Redoubt ended months of anticipation with six powerful blasts. (photos)

INDONESIA – Besides Mt Baru Jari, several volcanoes in Indonesia have shown an increase in activities recently. Mt Slamet in Central Java sprayed thick ash last week, covering the nearby regencies of Tegal and Purbalingga. On April 24, Mt Anak Krakatau, located in the Sunda Strait, also showed increasing activity, with 237 small eruptions. This started on April 15, with 156 small explosion and 25 volcanic quakes. Earlier last month, Mt Kerinci, the highest mountain in Sumatra, also sprayed ash, covering areas in the Kerinci regency of Jambi province. Small eruptions continued throughout the month. In March, Mt Semeru, which, at 3.676 meters above sea level is the highest volcano in Java, also showed increased activity with several small explosions and tremors. Residents in regencies around the mountain, including Lumajang and Malang in East Java, were told to be on alert.

Dukono, a volcano on the Indonesian island of Halmahera, released a plume of ash and steam on May 3. The plume continued a pattern of intermittent activity in an ongoing eruption. Dukono is a complex volcano with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. The volcano’s remote location makes reports of its activity rare, but it ranks among Indonesia’s most active volcanoes.

ALASKA – Get ready for another possible eruption from Redoubt within the next few days as activity at Mount Redoubt is again increasing. Late Tuesday, seismic activity at Mount Redoubt intensified from discrete, repeating events to continuous tremor.

HAWAII – The vog (volcanic smog) covering the islands is the WORST IT HAS BEEN IN YEARS, American Lung Association officials said. A combination of light winds out of the south and the eruptions at Kilauea Volcano created the situation.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – The volcanoes in the central African nation could be about to erupt, threatening Goma, which has a population of more than half a million people. Scientists found evidence of intense volcanic activity — including tremors, pools of lava and plumes of smoke — at two volcanoes near a major city in eastern Congo, and said some residents had fled for fear of an eruption. The two volcanic peaks are Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira. "The eruption could be tomorrow, or the day after — or at any other time." The Nyiragongo crater is only 11 miles (18 kilometers) north of Lake Kivu, where Goma is located. 1.3 million people are threatened by the two volcanoes, including the residents of Goma, the villages surrounding it and the inhabitants of Gisenyi, located across the Rwandan border. "The villagers living near Nyiragongo have already left their villages after they saw the volcano shake today. They thought it was already erupting." Nyiragongo is listed as one of the eight most dangerous volcanoes in the world and its lava can flow at up to 24 miles (40 kilometers) per hour.


CALIFORNIA – 5/5/09 – Something went boom in the night Tuesday, but no one seems to know what it was. The boom seemed especially powerful along the coast, where residents reported windows, doors and houses shaking at about 10 minutes before 8 p.m. There was speculation that the sound and accompanying sensation came from a supersonic jet, officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S.Geological Survey said Wednesday. Navy officials said they knew of no aircraft activity Tuesday night that might have caused the boom. Marine officials said they would research whether their aircraft might have been responsible. "The only kind of aircraft that can fly at supersonic speeds are military aircraft. Typically, when military aircraft are going that fast, they're flying in military airspace off the coast, not in civilian airspace." Similar booms were reported earlier this year. There is speculation that those booms, felt March 3 in Orange County and March 4 along the Central California coast, were sonic booms from military jets. . Because Tuesday's boom was reminiscent of the sound and feel of an earthquake, people have been calling the U.S. Geological Survey, which monitors seismic activity. There was nothing to suggest an earthquake occurred.


Ancient tsunami 'hit New York' – Sedimentary deposits from more than 20 cores in New York and New Jersey indicate that some sort of violent force swept the Northeast coastal region in 300BC. It may have been a large storm, but evidence is increasingly pointing to a rare Atlantic Ocean tsunami. The origin of such a tsunami is under debate. An undersea landslide is the most likely source, but one research group has proposed that an asteroid impact provided the trigger. Today, a wave of the proposed size would leave Wall Street and the Long Island Expressway awash with salt water.


The death toll from tropical storm “Dante"
(Kujira) has risen to 21 while three remain missing in the Philippines. While tropical storm "Dante" moved away from Philippine territory Monday, state weather forecasters warned of a new possible weather disturbance. The tropical cyclone may reach Philippine territory as early as Wednesday. The cyclone, should it enter Philippine territory, will be named "Emong."

PHILIPPINES – residents might have to brace for a tropical storm that will enter Philippine territory this week on Wednesday or Thursday. It may make landfall on Saturday. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the cyclone will be named “Emong" once it enters the country. The coming cyclone, which is considered a tropical storm [Chan-Hom] , packs winds of 64 to 117 kph.

Tropical Storm Kujira will move away from the Philippines as it treks northeastward into the Pacific. Showers and thunderstorms will persist across the Philippines.

PHILIPPINES – The government on Wednesday beefed up precautionary measures against the possible onslaught of tropical storm "Emong" (Chan-Hom), which was expected to enter the Philippine territory this morning. Tropical storm Emong will likely hit northern Luzon, Central Luzon, and the National Capital Region. It is expected to bring heavy rains that might trigger landslides and flashfloods.

Chan-hom – At least 22 people were killed and thousands displaced overnight as Typhoon Chan-hom raked the northern Philippines.


CALIFORNIA – Thousands of people are told to leave their homes near Santa Barbara as a wildfire prompts a state of emergency. The rapidly moving blaze has burned more than 500 acres. TV pictures show flames destroying several large hillside properties in the exclusive region. At least 20 structures have been destroyed and some 2,000 homes are threatened. The blaze has been fanned by RECORD TEMPERATURES and strong winds of up to 50mph (80km/h). "We are having very extreme weather." Weather forecasters are warning of more strong winds and it may take several days to bring the blaze under control.

BRAZIL – Southern Brazil has been hit by its WORST DROUGHT IN 80 YEARS, leading authorities to declare a state of emergency in some areas, while the usually arid northeast of the country is suffering from floods.

AUSTRALIA – Perth is on the way to breaking a NEW RECORD WITH THE WARMEST RUN OF MAY DAYS EVER. Today is likely to mark the eighth successive day of temperatures 25C plus which equals the previous record. Currently the record for days over 25C stands at 11 days recorded between May 1 and May 11 set in 1962. In addition to record-breaking warm May days, Perth is on its way to a RECORD DRY SPELL. Perth has now experienced the most late-April to May days without rain since 2000. It has been 15 days since Perth has received any rain with the last falls recorded on April 23, when just 0.2mm fell. Meanwhile, Bunbury is also experiencing RECORD BREAKING WEATHER CONDITIONS. The town has not had a single drop of rain since March 26, surpassing the 41-day autumn record dry spell set in 1950. "Whilst we have had higher than normal daytime temperatures we have had cooler than usual nights. The average to date is 9.2C while the normal minimum for this time in May is 10.8C."

CALIFORNIA – winds will continue to gust to near 60 mph through today in Santa Barbara. For the second day in a row, their high temperatures reached triple digits… 101! That TIES THEIR ALL-TIME HIGHEST TEMPERATURE RECORD FOR THE MONTH OF MAY. The heat is totally caused by the wind… Ventura, 30 miles south of Santa Barbara, warmed to only 80. Winds were fairly light in Ventura. That's an extreme example of a microclimate! As the northerly winds descend from the 4000' Santa Ynez mountains immediately north of Santa Barbara, the air is forced to compress. In physics, that's a warming action… the stronger the wind, the more intense the compression, the more dramatic the heating. Think about a bicycle pump… when you pump it, you are compressing air in the chamber, then out the tube into your tire. Feel the chamber after you've been pumping a while… it heats up! The same thing happens in the North State when the north winds blow, as the air descends from the Siskiyou mountains. The winds should subside this weekend, aiding the Southland firefighters tremendously in their efforts.

Southern California is experiencing extraordinary weather conditions. Wednesday, persistent offshore winds pushed the temperature to a RECORD-BREAKING 100 degrees in Santa Barbara. "Devil winds" also developed Wednesday evening in Los Angeles, where the mercury jumped from 78 at 5 p.m. to a balmy 89 degrees by 8.

Santa Barbara fire signals 'horrific' season ahead – officials warned of another bad fire year as California struggles through its fourth year of drought. The springtime wildfire that threatened thousands of homes in Santa Barbara may be unseasonal – but has become the norm. "Every year now is a horrific fire season. It's definitely scary. You can see how early the fires started. Climate change is definitely a factor here. We're living in a warmer, drier California, a more crowded California and the costs of fighting fires is going up – and it's year-round." 20 percent of residents now live within fire-prone areas, with the remaining 80 percent shouldering firefighting costs that last year exceeded $1 billion.

Climate change is likely to raise more than just the world's temperature – changing conditions in the Western U.S. leading to more and more severe wildfires will raise insurance rates too. A spate of California wildfires has led officials to declare that the state's fire season now lasts all 365 days of the year. Although it is too early to know how this extended fire season will affect homeowner and property insurance, it is likely that in the future insurance premiums – in California and other arid Western states – are going to become more costly, and policies more difficult to come by. A 2006 study found that since 1986, the number of major wildfires has increased by 400 percent, and the amount of land these fires burned increased by 600 percent, compared to the period from 1970 to 1986. The change has come about mainly because summers have gotten longer, hotter and drier. "The transition has been marked by a shift toward unusually warm springs, longer summer dry seasons, drier vegetation and longer fire seasons." Insurance companies recognized early on – as early as the mid-1970s, in some cases – the dangers posed by climate change. Their concern has grown more acute in recent years.


OREGON – Severe thunderstorm storm with gusts up to 50 mph hit Portland area, one killed – A short but severe thunderstorm Saturday afternoon killed one person, cut power to about 30,000 people, capsized two sailboats, clogged traffic and knocked over trees across the Portland area. One person died when a tree or large branch fell on a car. A cold front moved into the region from the southwest. Unstable weather is common this time of year, but storms of this magnitude are RARE. On Friday, forecasters saw the potential for thunderstorms Saturday, but the severity wasn't apparent until the storms hit.

LOUISIANA – nonstop wind – the wind has been blowing at RECORD levels, for RECORD lengths of time, never pausing as it winds around the dial. What happened to normal spring weather patterns that provide a few days of relative calm between fronts? February (11.2 miles per hour), March ( 11.3) and April (10.8) have the highest average daily wind speeds, making them the windiest months of the year in these parts. But this spring has been especially windy due to some UNUSUAL — not unheard of — weather patterns. This spring has been UNUSUAL, not just because of the number of fronts but also because many of them have stayed to their north. So while they have had blue skies, they also had stiff southeast and easterly winds. In April, twenty of its 30 days had average wind speed far above the average of 10.3 miles per hour — including several days over 20 miles per hour. Spring normally is a windy time because as days get longer, the sun begins to warm the air in the first few thousand feet closest to the land. As that warmer air rises, it runs into the layers of air above it that remain winter cold. "When you have such a big temperature gradient from the surface to the top, you get a lot of vertical mixing, which creates very unstable conditions. That's why this neck of the woods gets a lot of violent weather this time of the year." That continues until the Jet Stream, which dips south in the winter, begins its summer seasonal movement northward. This allows the upper atmosphere to begin warming, creating more stable air through the summer months. That's one reason June (7.9 miles per hour), July (7.0), and August (6.9) have the lowest average wind speeds of the year. Their fall weather tends to be very placid because while the surface temperatures begin to cool with shortened periods of daylight, the upper atmosphere already is cooler. "You don't have that severe temperature gradient between the surface and the upper levels of the atmosphere in the fall that you have in the spring." But this spring has come in more like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. "It's all about those pressure lines on the weather maps." The lines mark changes in atmospheric pressure as weather systems move across the globe. If you look at them like the elevation lines on a topographical map, you can get a quick picture of wind conditions across the landscape. When the lines are close together on a topo map, you know the elevation rise/fall is very steep. The same is true with isobars on a weather map. "And just like water, wind runs downhill — from a high point to the low point, or in this case, from high pressure toward low pressure." So when you see a lot of lines in a short space on the weather map, that indicates a steep variation in pressure, which means air will be moving more rapidly over the short space. The most violent movement occurs when high pressure approaches low pressure. Think of that as a very tall cliff approaching a flat plain. If you roll a bowling ball off the top of that cliff, it will fall a long way, picking up a great rate of speed by the time it hits that plain. That's why a hurricane is considered more dangerous the lower the pressure drops at its center. As it moves across the Gulf, air is falling toward that deep hole. The deeper the hole, the higher the wind speeds. In a typical delta spring, late cold fronts (low pressure) moving south react with the high pressure of the so-called Bermuda Ridge, stationed to their east. So they get a lot of wind during the approach and often a lot of rain.

BRAZIL – Severe flooding has hit Brazil's perennially drought-stricken northeast, killing 15 people and leaving 70,000 others homeless.

COLUMBIA – Hundreds of houses in the south, north and north west of Colombia this weekend were destroyed by rains, floods and extremely heavy winds. Hardest hit was the south-eastern department of Nariño, where 117 houses were destroyed when heavy winds blew off roofs of the mainly poorly constructed buildings. Reports of sudden strong winds that destroyed houses came from the north-eastern department of Antioquia. Heavy rainfall in the northern city of Barranquilla caused floods in 21 of the city's neighborhoods. In the Tolima department, one person died and dozens of houses were damaged when a heavy storm hit the south of the department. This year's rainy season, traditionally accompanied by heavy downpours and sudden storms, has already killed dozens of Colombians and is expected to last until the second half of May.


WHO officials estimate there are 1003 cases of swine flu spread through 20 countries, but are not planning to raise the alert level yet.

Flu virus's likely human-to-swine jump triggers concern –
Humans occasionally pick up influenza viruses from pigs. Reports of human-to-pig transmission are apparently RARE, but such cases are assumed to happen. The tentative detection of the novel swine influenza H1N1 virus in an Alberta swine herd over the weekend shook Canada's pork industry and raised concern about the potential for new hybrid viruses to emerge. Canadian authorities said on May 2 that preliminary testing detected the virus in an Alberta herd and that it probably came from a Canadian carpenter who works on the farm and had a flu-like illness when he returned from a visit to Mexico in mid-April. The worker had contact with the pigs on Apr 14 and about 220 pigs in the herd of 2,200 began showing signs of sickness on Apr 24. The carpenter has recovered and the pigs were recovering. Pigs are often infected with flu viruses, including strains from humans and birds. They are described as a mixing vessel where different viruses can trade genes (reassort) and produce new variants. The novel H1N1 virus itself has been said to contain genetic material from swine, avian, and human flu viruses. The virus isolated from the swine does not appear to differ from the virus spreading among humans. "There is no sign that it has changed at all. But this could of course happen like with any other flu viruses." Despite repeated official assurances that proper cooking destroys any flu viruses in pork, ten countries have banned Canadian pork products since the Alberta finding. The USDA said it is "actively working to develop an H1N1 vaccine for swine, just as the CDC is doing for humans."

The number of confirmed US swine flu cases surged by 60 per cent today to 642 from 403, with infections reported in three more states and the death toll now at two. Forty-one US states are now reporting confirmed cases of (A)H1N1 flu, and the US death toll has gone up, with the first US citizen reported to have died from swine flu. The acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said he expected the virus to continue spreading in the United States and around the world, and fully expected the outbreak to become a pandemic. "With the number of cases in other countries, I would be suprised if we don't get to level six" on the World Health Organization's six-phase pandemic alert scale. Poland and Sweden reported their first confirmed cases and other countries in Europe extended their tally of (A)H1N1 cases.

The number of influenza cases worldwide is 1893, in 24 countries. In two weeks, swine flu jumped from isolated reports in the U.S. and Mexico to a widening circle of infections in Central America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand and prompted quarantines to limit the outbreak. Hong Kong, which confirmed its first case of swine flu on May 1, and China, are today releasing some people who were isolated after they were found to be on the same flight as the patient. The World Health Organization, on the brink of declaring a pandemic, said a panel will meet May 14 to decide whether vaccine makers should begin producing hundreds of millions of doses of a separate swine flu shot. The virus, with symptoms similar to seasonal flu, is a new strain that’s dashing across a world population with little natural immunity. Swine flu may affect at least one-third of the world’s 6 billion population within the next year. “Even if the illnesses appear relatively mild at the individual level, the global population level adds up to enormous numbers." Disease trackers are monitoring 81 cases in Spain and 27 in the U.K. to determine whether the virus formally called H1N1 has established itself outside North America. Such a finding would prompt the WHO to declare a pandemic, the first since 1968. “I wish I could predict what we’re going to see in the fall, because that would make it very easy to make the kinds of decisions we’re going to need to make as a nation over the next couple of months." WHO determined that a swine flu shot would have to be made in separate plants from the seasonal flu version. The swine flu vaccine may also require a follow-up booster shot to be effective because it is an entirely new strain.

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

Orthodox Jewish Community Struggles With Abuse Allegations
Alleged Victims and Advocates Say Sex Abuse Common, Rarely Discussed
May 5, 2009

When Joel Engelman was 8 years old, he says, he was called from his Hebrew class to the principal's office at his Brooklyn yeshiva, a Jewish religious school. His parents had recently told Rabbi Avrohom Reichman that their son had been abused by an older boy at the school, he says. But he says the rabbi was not offering to help that day. When Engelman arrived at the principal's office, he says, Reichman told him to close the door. He told the boy to sit on his lap and began swiveling his chair back and forth, Engelman says. Reichman then touched him, moving from his shoulders down, Engelman claims. The same kind of abuse went on twice a week for several months before he left the school, Engelman claims in a civil lawsuit filed against the yeshiva, the United Talmudical Academy. For more than 10 years, Engelman, now 23, kept what he says happened to himself. He left the orthodox community and found new friends. It wasn't until about two years ago, when he says he heard that other boys allegedly had been abused by Reichman, that he tried to do something about it.

America: A nation of religious drifters
Eric Gorski – Associated Press Writer – 5/2/2009

WASHINGTON – The U.S. is a nation of religious drifters, with about half of adults restlessly switching faith affiliation at least once during their lives, a new survey has found. And the reasons behind all the swapping depend greatly on whether one grows up kneeling at Roman Catholic Mass, praying in a Protestant pew or occupied with nonreligious pursuits, according to a report issued Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. While Catholics are more likely to leave the church because they stopped believing its teachings, many Protestants are driven to trade one Protestant denomination or affiliation for another because of changed life circumstances, the survey found. The ranks of those unaffiliated with any religion, meanwhile, are growing not so much because of a lack of religious belief but because of disenchantment with religious leaders and institutions.

United Methodists: Church Is a Verb, Not a Noun
By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, May. 02 2009

The United Methodist Church is urging the world to "rethink Church" through a new campaign that seeks to offer the church not as a building but as a movement of people empowered to transform the world. Addressing the question "What has God called The United Methodist Church to be in the 21st Century?" the nearly 8 million-member U.S. church (12 million members worldwide) is launching more than $20 million in ads over the next four years to convey the message that church is a verb, not a noun. "The campaign goal is sweeping and ambitious – to invite the church and those unchurched who seek spiritual fulfillment, to become more outwardly focused and engaged in the world," according to United Methodist Communications. Ads pose such questions as "What if church could bring sides together?" and "What if church could shape world events?" and illustrate how United Methodists are making a difference in the world.

2,553rd Birthday of Buddha
The Seoul Times, May 4, 2009

Seoul, South Korea — Millions of Korean Buddhists on May 2, 2009 took time out to celebrate the birth of Buddha some 2,500 years ago in a garden in India. Buddhism is one of the world's major religions and the Buddhist way of life of peace, loving kindness and wisdom is evident today throughout the world. At Wawoojeongsa Temple, situated 48Km south of Seoul, hundreds of Buddhists observed the Buddha's Birthday with members of foreign diplomats corps accredited to Korea in memory of Buddha achieved enlightenment. Foreign envoys included Amb. Myo LWIN of the Union of Myanmar and Amb.John Asitha Ivon PERERA of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and their family members. Buddha's Birthday should not only be about celebrating with parades and lanterns, but thanking him for believing and spreading his wisdom, a Buddhist follower said.

'Honor killing' claims life of singing star
Attack perceived as threat to lives of other female performers
Posted: May 07, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

Another name and photograph has been added to an online gallery that honors victims of Islamic "honor killings:" popular Pakistani poet and singer Ayman Udas. Blogger Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs has assembled the gallery to highlight the travesty of women killed by their Islamic relatives for the "honor" of the family. According to a new report from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Udas was a female vocalist in Peshawar, Pakistan, in the nation's Northwest Frontier Province, who was shot to death. The report said musicians and dancers in the region now are terrified because of the death, which came allegedly as a result of the increasing Taliban influence in the region.

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

Armed militants fire into crowd, seriously injuring three; jizye tax imposed in Orakzai.

ISTANBUL, April 27 (Compass Direct News) – As Taliban control hits pockets of Pakistan and threatens the nation’s stability, Christians worry their province could be the next to fall under Islamic law. Violence on Tuesday night and Wednesday (April 21-22) near the port city of Karachi – some 1,000 kilometers (nearly 700 miles) from the Swat Valley, where the government officially allowed the Taliban to establish Islamic law this month – heightened fears. Christians in Taiser town, near Karachi, noticed on the walls of their church graffiti that read, “Long Live the Taliban” and calls for Christians to either convert to Islam or pay the jizye, a poll tax under sharia (Islamic law) paid by non-Muslims for protection if they decline to convert. As members of the congregation erased the graffiti, armed men intervened to stop them. Soon 30-40 others arrived as support and began to fire indiscriminately at the crowd, leaving several injured. Among those seriously injured were three Christians, including a child, according to a report by advocacy group Minorities Concern of Pakistan: Emrah Masih, 35, Qudoos Masih, 30, and Irfan Masih, 11. A Pashtun named Rozi Khan was also among the injured.

Swine flu: Egyptian police battle Christians as they enforce pig cull
Egyptian police fought running battles with stone-throwing members of the country's Christian minority after moving in to enforce a cull of pigs ordered because of swine flu.
By Richard Spencer in Dubai
Last Updated: 8:18PM BST 03 May 2009

Pig farmers, many of whom keep their animals in the backstreet slums of the capital, Cairo, mounted a blockade against government workers moving in to slaughter their animals. When they began throwing stones at police trying to force a way through, officers fired shots in the air and let off tear gas. At least 12 people were injured in the melee, according to one report. The cull has been criticised by international agencies such as the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, who say that despite the name there is no possibility of pigs passing on the disease. The Egyptian authorities have admitted since ordering the slaughter last week that it was mainly a pretext for carrying out a reorganisation of the country's pig farms, which are used to supply the country's Coptic Christians, ten per cent of the population.

Teacher's rant on Christians draws court rebuke
Rules harsh criticism of student violated Establishment Clause
May 04, 2009
By Bob Unruh

In what apparently is a first-of-its-kind decision, a federal court has ruled that a California teacher violated the rights of a student by making fun of Christianity. Teacher James Corbett of Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo already had a reputation for dissing the faithful when Chad Farnan began taking an Advanced Placement European history class from him two years ago. In his class and in front of Farnan, Corbett criticized creationism as "religious, superstitious nonsense" and now he's been brought up short by a federal court ruling that determined his statements violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. That prevents Christian teachers from proselytizing during classtime, and now apparently prevents agnostic or atheist teachers from condemning the faith during class time.

U.S. military destroys soldier's Bibles
Fred Jackson – OneNewsNow – 5/5/2009

The U.S. military is confirming that it has destroyed some Bibles belonging to an American soldier serving in Afghanistan. Reuters News says the Bibles were confiscated and destroyed after Qatar-based Al Jazeer television showed soldiers at a Bible class on a base with a stack of Bibles translated into the local Pashto and Dari languages. The U.S. military forbids its members on active duty — including those based in places like Afghanistan — from trying to convert people to another religion. Reuters quotes Maj. Jennifer Willis at the Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, who said "I can now confirm that the Bibles shown on Al Jazeera's clip were, in fact, collected by the chaplains and later destroyed. They were never distributed."

Immigration officials threaten to kill convert from Islam unless he renounces faith.

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 8 (Compass Direct News) – A pastor trying to visit Somalia’s autonomous, self-declared state of Somaliland earlier this year discovered just how hostile the separatist region can be to Christians. A convert from Islam, Abdi Welli Ahmed is an East Africa Pentecostal Church pastor from Kenya who in February tried to visit and encourage Christians, an invisibly tiny minority, in the religiously intolerant region of Somaliland. Born and raised in Kenya’s northern town of Garissa, Ahmed first traveled to Addis Ababa, the capital of neighboring Ethiopia. When he arrived by car at the border crossing of Wajaale on Feb. 19 with all legal travel documents, his Bible and other Christian literature landed him in unexpected trouble with Somaliland immigration officials. “I was beaten up for being in possession of Christian materials,” Ahmed told Compass. “They threatened to kill me if I did not renounce my faith, but I refused to their face. They were inhuman.”

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