Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 86
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Matthew 7:14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.
It doesn’t always take vile behavior to stray off the Narrow Path that leads to salvation and eternal life. More often than not, it is the subtle and yet equally deadly thoughts and behaviors that ensnare. Just as it can be the snake in the grass that isn’t seen until it’s already struck; these things that work against us and draw our focus outward rather than inward and where Father resides are the same things that rob us of the promise of life.
Proverbs 24:10 If you do nothing in a difficult time, your strength is limited.
These are difficult times. And in these difficult times, these things, these deadly things, are not seen for what they are. They are widely accepted amongst society and rampant in that they grow like weeds that choke the very life out of everything that is holy, righteous and beautiful.
They encourage us to find love in places where there is none. To fear the very things that make us stronger and more spiritually whole. To look to others for acceptance and approval. To seek truth where there is only darkness.
When you consider these things, like lust, loose conduct, unrestrained behavior, love of money, of power, greed…is it any wonder that this world and the people in it have gone so astray? You may think that you’re okay with Father and that Father is okay with you, but are you…? And is She…? How can you be sure? Where is your focus? Is it on matters of the heart that Father deems as important or those things of this world that are deemed important by those in it and of it?
Are these things truly as harmless as society tells us they are? Or like a surging wave, do they push us further and further into the ocean and farther and farther from the One who created us? Is it easier to be complacent with how things are, or to rebel? This evil world dulls our senses and complete awareness of right and wrong because it promotes complacency and all that is easy, easier and easiest; from fast food and “Easy Buttons” to the slow and steady progression and removal of our rights and liberties.
It is easier to agree than it is to disagree even though in your heart you know that it’s wrong, and it is certainly easier to just go with the flow of what society deems as being acceptable than it is to take a good look at who and what you are deep down inside and within your heart.
The choice is yours and yours alone to make.
It is a very hard thing to look in the mirror and see yourself for the sinful and stumbling imperfect human being that you are. These days, if we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see, we are able pay someone to surgically modify it. But how many of us are looking inward and modifying the things we find within our hearts that need to be? Are we afraid? Or are we simply complacent because to look within and change that which isn’t aligned with what Father would want of us is too hard?
John 6:60-66 Therefore, when many of His disciples heard this, they said, "This teaching is hard! Who can accept it?"
Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples were complaining about this, asked them, "Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to observe the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? 63 The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn't help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64 But there are some among you who don't believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning those who would not believe and the one who would betray Him.) 65 He said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to him by the Father."
66 From that moment many of His disciples turned back and no longer accompanied Him. 67 Therefore Jesus said to the Twelve "You don't want to go away too, do you?"
Because there is no “Easy Button” in being a footstep follower of Christ, we live in a time in which many have turned back. But it is not Father’s will that Her children should perish. Let Father be your inspiration to look inward, rather than outward, and find that which is missing and correct that which is lacking. It might be difficult at first, but be not afraid because it can be done.
Deuteronomy 30:11 [ Choose Life ] "This command that I give you today is certainly not too difficult or beyond your reach.
I'll Not Forget You Now
Submitted by Johanna
Through big glass doors, I watched the sun
Give birth to one more day.
My yard completely visible
No objects in my way.
I sat there with my coffee cup
Just staring at the view.
I started making mental notes
Of things I had to do.
So wrapped up in my daily thoughts
I really didn't see.
The beauty I was staring at
God put in front of me.
This quiet time allowed my mind
To organize the day.
Then suddenly an awful noise
Had taken them away.
Yes something hit the big glass doors
So I looked all around.
And then I saw this little bird
Was laying on the ground.
I didn't know what I could do
But still I had to try.
Through tears I kneeled beside the bird
And prayed it wouldn't die.
I picked it up and held it close
To show the bird I cared.
I talked and cried while petting it
I didn't want it scared.
It laid so still inside my hand
Yet watched each move I made.
I prayed for it to fly away
But in my hand it stayed.
The world had stopped right then and there
For just the bird and me.
And then the stare of death took place
Of where life use to be.
I held it's body up to God
And asked "Why did it die"?
God didn't say a word to me
As I yelled up at the sky.
Then raindrops started coming down
I turned around to see.
The glass doors that had killed the bird
Reflected only me.
The guilt cut through me like a knife
As I stared up at that door.
I promised then I'd never let
This happen anymore.
With trembling hands, I found a box
And placed the bird inside.
I whispered "Please forgive me, I'm
So sorry that you died".
I ran inside and got some cloth
And taped it to the door.
As I kept saying to myself
"I'm not worth dying for".
Then suddenly the rain had stopped
The moment I was through.
God seen it all and with his tears
He showed me what to do.
It's my fault due to carelessness
I should have been aware.
If I had put distractions up
The birds would know it's there.
It's our responsibility
Or so the Scriptures say.
For me, that grave will always be
Reminding me each day.
That sayings true "We just can't see
The forest through the trees".
It took a little bird to bring
This woman to her knees.
Then I asked God to do one thing
That only he knew how.
To tell my little feathered friend
"I'll Not Forget You Now".
© By: Freda H. Babinski
Ending the Trip Without Faltering/Falling
Many might be a little concerned about how they are going to end up when the end finally arrives, whether it be the end starting before Armageddon, or after the Millennium ends and Dawn's brood are awakened and released to test humanity and all of creation once more. Even Christ, who died on the cross, had an end very similar to all of this, where He was put to test by Dawn's minions, even Dawn himself, up to the very end of His short span of life that we was a man living on Earth. This article isn't purely written about what is happening now, as one might be able to perceive, but it is written in a reflection of what has already happened, and what is still yet to happen.
As Christ had said that we must take up our own crosses and follow Him, so will we be tested to see if we will obey.
Matthew 10:38 — And whoever doesn't take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.
In this, one can see that it is not only a standard that Christ has described to us from Father, as a standard is also a Law, but it must also be willingly done. Simply, it isn't about anything but Christ and Father.
There is a very interesting concept that had come to mind. Simply put, a person's heart may be the only thing that is left after they have been stripped of everything else. Just like Christ was stripped of everything, every joy and happiness, as He was crucified on the cross, there was very little left of Him. It was at this moment that everything that Christ was really showed through, because there wasn't anything further. Even amongst all the disgrace others were throwing at Him, not once was there a curse towards Father that came from His lips, as there wasn't any from His heart. Now, taking the fact that Father is able to mold hearts, and grow them, one may remember that we are like clay in Father's hands. And at the same time, Father is consistently refining our hearts, extracting the gold from amongst the wasted metals. And as She is growing our hearts, it is like She is taking the seeds of the good plants that grow and multiplying even more of our heart. In this, Father produces multiple miracles, not only in molding pure gold with Her own hands as one would clay, but also multiplying the very treasures of an object that is made of gold, as if it were plants. What more, She purifies with fire, a fire that comes from Her own self, a fire that also can grow, and She doesn't use any materials other than those that do not rust or deteriorate over any length of time.
Father proves through Her own Son that She is able to grow and multiply a heart that can withstand any form or amount of torture and pain; that She is able to construct and fortify an indomitable base that nothing can deter. In this, it is also seen what is required for Father to be able to do so. A heart that is pure and faithful, and one that will not destroy what She has placed, and will do what can be done to protect Her Spirit, as well. If She were to pull away Her Spirit, all that would be left are the structures She had placed, along with anything else She had molded. That would be the test of the structures She has developed over time. But only for a short time. Love that knows no boundaries, regardless of distance or presence, is a love that is immeasurable, and only one that comes from Father, so even if She feels distant, so long as that love is in place, She really has not gone anywhere at all.
When one prepares a feast, a work of art, or anything else, is it ever perfect or just right? In one's eyes it may be, in another's there may still be work to do. There are some painters, at least one of whom I recall, who would go back to the same painting and continue editing and working on it until the painting feels complete, and this may be periodic, repeating all the time. A feast may never have just the right wine, or just the right combination or balance. There could always be more or less of something to keep everything just right, and as time progresses, the food may even become lukewarm, which is not something that is probably preferred at a banquet. Even during the Millennium, there will continuously be work to perform and different tasks to complete, each of which could possibly be performed better and better, further and further. And when it all amounts, the work and focus, the derivation of everything one has done comes down to Father, and moves up towards Her, as She encompasses it all, and all followers go along with Her plans.
Fruitage of the Spirit – Part 3
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. http://www.biblegateway.com can be used as a reference tool with the Holman Christian Standard Bible as the recommended version.
As a Minister of Christ, you must be encouraging and up building to others:
You must learn to be enduring, persevering, and steadfast in your loyalty to Christ and his Father Yahweh that have opened your eyes to the Truth. You must be for the Truth, at any cost:
1 Corinthians 15:58
To do the above, you must cultivate unwavering faith in Christ and Yahweh. Your goal is to earn eternal life and to please Yahweh. That faith puts you in unity:
1 John 5:4
Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Position of the Azmon Barrier
Johanna: I can understand why She would regret making mankind. She put all that She was into mankind including Her love just for mankind to turn their backs on Her and not walk in Her Way even though it was taught to mankind via Her son Jesus and Her Word. Mankind basically thumbed their noses at Her and Her love for us.
Prince of Yahweh II: I'm testing you 🙂 Was it really 5 – or was it 8 She spared? If it was 8 – what does the 8 symbolize? Infinity for future Mankind that serves Father and Christ for ETERNITY.
Johanna: It was 8. When I seen you had 5 I thought it was a typo. It was Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wife's if I am remembering correctly. Right 8 symbolizes infinity within Father
Prince of Yahweh II: Genesis 7:21 "All flesh perished—creatures that crawl on the earth, birds, livestock, wildlife, and all creatures that swarm on the earth, as well as all mankind."
Genesis 7:23 "He wiped out every living thing that was on the surface of the ground, from mankind to livestock, to creatures that crawl, to the birds of the sky, and they were wiped off the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark."
Apply to what is coming; and on this Scripture, consider that the ENDURANCE is of the present Earth, because what has been will be again – PARADISE 😉
Genesis 8:22 "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease." How much longer will this old Earth "endure" under Dawn's control? Where is the promise of paradise? It's close.
Johanna: Genesis 7:13 On that same day Noah along with his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, Noah's wife, and his three sons' wives entered the ark with him.
Signs From Above
“He rescues and delivers, He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:27
UFO Traffic Report: Cigar-shaped craft hovers low over NY
May 13, 2009
The UFO Traffic Report for Wednesday, May 13, 2009, includes 13 selected sightings over 11 states, according to witness statements filed in the past 48 hours with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Today's stories include a wingless cigar-shaped UFO hovering over New York, more UFOs near Murrysville, PA, with the sighting of this V-shaped craft, a Minnesota driver who pulls over to get a better view of an odd red light and discovers a disc-shaped object, a bright orange disc 200 feet over Georgia, three small spheres spotted just over a neighbor's home in Michigan, a round UFO with lights that seemed to move counter clockwise over Ohio, several New Hampshire lights that lead to the witness seeing a disc-shaped craft, two Illinois brothers who witness silent bright lights wobbling in short bursts, a bright ball of light that stops and hovers over New York skies, a bullet-shaped object over Florida with an odd trajectory, a slow moving orange ball over New Jersey, a bright orange object over Idaho, and a low flying and silent fireball over Pennsylvania. In other news, Two triangle UFOs low flying over Ohio, and a witness asks, Is Sedona, AZ photograph a UFO? Anyone out there from Highland, IL? You may also want to check out a short mention by Fox News, St. Louis, that strange lights were being reported over your area Sunday night. On the paranormal page, please check out two guest columns running today – MUFON's Pennsylvania and West Virginia director steps up to talk about – John Ventre: 2012 End Times Prophecy; and psychic Edward Shanahan has Theory on spirits of the paranormal.
KAZAKHSTAN: UFO FALLS, OFFICIAL INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED
May 14, 2009
Two mysterious metal objects fell from the sky on May 14 in western Kazakhstan. A team from the Department of Emergency Situations has been dispatched to the area to investigate. According to eyewitnesses in Zelenovsk, two large balls about 60 centimeters in diameter crashed to earth. "I was standing by my tractor when the guys started shouting, ’Look, there are some balls flying.’ They were big and sparkling with yellow, red and green," the Russian news agency Interfax quoted an eye-witness as saying. Kazakhstani news agencies added that the objects consisted of "a very hard alloy" and do not appear to be radioactive.
Eerie Bristol UFO footage
May 13, 2009
AN office worker was left spooked after recording this incredible video of a UFO flying over Bristol. Terrified Andy Hadlington witnessed the mysterious triangular-shaped object silently hovering above a residential neighbourhood in the West Country city on Sunday evening. The video shows the spinning grey object gliding around the village of Knowle — without making a sound. UFO experts have been clambering to verify the sighting and are hoping to speak to more witnesses and views of the eerie episode. Computer game writer Andy, 36, said: ”It was the freakiest thing I have ever seen in my life. I was sitting in my office and saw it out of the corner of my eye. ”It was quite exciting – it sort of hovered past the houses. There was no sound. I ran downstairs and out of the garden to see where it went but I couldn’t see anything. ”My fiancee was out at the time but I’m sure other people must have seen it. It was so clear.”
Two triangle UFOs low flying over Ohio
May 12, 2009
A West Portsmouth, Ohio, witness saw two unusual objects in the sky May 12 while driving along U.S. Route 52, described as large, flying slow at a low altitude with flashing lights, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The driver pulled over to observe the object better. "There were several instances in which the craft stopped completely. The lights beneath the craft seemed to behave somewhat erratically." While watching this object, an identical object appeared in the sky that seemed to be following the first object. Both objects were silent. Based on the witness illustration, it would appear both craft were triangle shaped – including the typical three points of light and a center light.
Is Sedona, AZ photograph a UFO?
May 12, 2009
A photograph shot through glass at a Sedona, AZ, hotel on May 1 puzzles the photographer – who claims the lights in the sky were not noticed until the photo was reviewed later, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The witness also states that there were no interior lights on in the room where the photo was taken. Take a look for yourself.
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
G.M. Tells 1,100 Dealers It Plans to Drop Them
The New York Times
By Nick Bunkley
May 15, 2009
DETROIT — General Motors told more than 1,100 dealers Friday that their franchises would not be renewed next year, bringing the total for the week to nearly 2,000 car dealers that learned they were no longer wanted. The action, which involved only half of the showrooms that G.M. ultimately hopes to eliminate, was another step toward a probable bankruptcy filing at the end of this month. Though G.M. says it still hopes to avoid bankruptcy and subsist on more government loans, Mark LaNeve, G.M.’s vice president for North American sales and marketing, acknowledged that the dealer cuts “would be hard to enforce” outside of court.
Record GDP Drop Sharpens Pain Across Euro Zone
Wall Street Journal
May 16, 2009
BERLIN — The euro-zone economy suffered its sharpest slump on record in the first quarter of 2009, underlining the severity of Europe's recession. Gross domestic product in the 16-nation euro currency area fell by 2.5% in the period from January to March, compared with the fourth quarter of 2008. That means Europe's economic heartland was contracting at an annualized rate of nearly 10% in the first quarter. Germany, Europe's biggest economy, had an even bigger quarterly fall, its worst since 1970 — contracting by 3.8%, or an annualized minus 14.4% However, the latest monthly indicators for business activity suggest the pace of Europe’s recession has slowed sharply. “This kind of pace of contraction will probably not be repeated,” said Greg Fuzesi, economist at J.P. Morgan in London: “You’re not going to get -10% again.”
World needs fair and just financial system: China's Wu
May 16, 2009
VIENNA (AFP) – China's parliamentary head Wu Bangguo held talks with Austria's Economy Minister Josef Proell on Saturday, after having called for a fairer and more just world financial system. Wu, the second most powerful man in China's ruling Communist Party, is in Austria for a four-day visit to strengthen bilateral ties. He met Austrian President Heinz Fischer and parliamentary president Barbara Prammer, on Friday, said a statement from the Austrian parliament. During his talks with Prammer, he called for "a fair and just financial system, providing more monitoring and control mechanisms and better taking into consideration the needs of developing countries," said the statement.
Critics Deride Bill Designed to Keep Weapons Out of Terrorists' Hands
By James Osborne
May 17, 2009
A bill designed to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists is drawing fire from gun rights advocates who say it could infringe upon regular citizens' constitutional right to bear arms. The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009 would authorize Attorney General Eric Holder to deny the sale or transfer of firearms to known or suspected terrorists — a list that could extend beyond groups such as radical Islamists and other groups connected to international terror organizations. Critics say the names of suspected terrorists could be drawn from existing government watch lists that cover such broad categories as animal rights extremists, Christian identity extremists, black separatists, anti-abortion extremists, anti-immigration extremists and anti-technology extremists. "It doesn't say anything about trials and due process," said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. "This is one of the most outrageous pieces of legislation to come along in some time. It's basically saying, 'I suspect you, so your rights are toast.'"
Obama budget cuts funds for abstinence-only sex education
By Sharon Jayson
May 11, 2009
President Obama's new budget would eliminate most money for abstinence-only sex education and shift it to teen pregnancy prevention — a U-turn in what has been more than a decade of sex education policy in the USA. The proposed budget, sent to Congress last Thursday, "reflects the research," says Melody Barnes, director of the team that coordinates White House domestic policy. "In any area where Americans want to confront a problem, they want solutions they know will work, as opposed to programming they know hasn't proven to be successful. Given where we've been in recent years, I think this is a very important moment," she says. Abstinence-only sex education programs, which emphasize a no-sex-until-marriage message, received almost $1.3 billion in federal dollars from fiscal years 2001-2009, according to the Office of Management and Budget. At the same time, studies of abstinence-only programs have shown little success; the most often-cited study, released in 2007, was congressionally mandated and federally funded and found that abstinence-only programs don't prevent or delay teen sex.
Crop Circle Watch
Peaks Down, nr Swindon, Wiltshire. Reported 9th May
We visited this formation in the early afternoon of Sunday 10th May and it was apparent it had had very few visitors before us. There was no apparent damage to the plants apart from a few being broken at ground level. Most of the stems were bent over and there was no evidence of any scrapping. The crop was lying uniformly on the ground and was fluffy leading us to feel that we had to tiptoe carefully around plants. The standing edges were very distinct.
All the circles were laid clockwise around a central swirled nest or flat spiral area. The centres were in fact not in the centres of the circles but placed slightly 'off to one side'. The nest in the middle of the central circle was nearly two feet off centre.
Roundway Hill (2), nr Devizes, Wiltshire. Reported 10th May
(No Field Report Available at this time)
Signs in Humanity
Army suicides continue troubling climb
by McClatchy Newspapers
May 7, 2009
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Suicides by active-duty soldiers continued an alarming rise over the first four months of the year, although they fell off in April following a service-wide push to identify soldiers on the brink, the Army reported Thursday. Through April, the Army reported 64 confirmed or potential active-duty suicides, compared with 39 confirmed suicides over the same period last year. The 129 confirmed suicides for all of 2008 marked a record high since the Army started tracking them in 1980.
Teen killed by dad was carrying his baby
by Dorian Block
May 13, 2009
A Bronx man who strangled his pregnant 14-year-old daughter and threw her naked body in a boiler last year was also the father of her unborn child, according to prosecutors. Miguel Matias, 36, appeared in Bronx Supreme Court Tuesday as prosecutors consolidated the two indictments against him – an earlier one for his daughter's murder on Feb. 16, 2008, and the newest one for second-degree rape and incest. DNA taken from Matias matches a sample taken from the fetus carried by his daughter, Anna, said Steven Reed, spokesman for Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson. Matias confessed to the murder, saying he was driven to strangle Anna with an electrical cord when he caught her writing "sex things" on her computer, police said.
Father tried to hire prostitute for 14-year-old
By Theo Usherwood
May 15, 2009
A man who wanted a prostitute to take his son's virginity as a present for the 14-year-old was spared jail today. The Polish national took the boy out in his car and allowed him to pick the prostitute, who was standing at the side of the road in Nottingham's red-light district. But the 42-year-old father was arrested after the teenager chose an undercover police officer, Nottingham Crown Court heard. Today, the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was handed a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for a year. The full-time carer, from Bulwell, Nottingham, earlier admitted a charge of trying to solicit a woman to have sex with a child.
Another 1,225,980+ Guns Bought by Law-Abiding Americans
May 14, 2009
NEWTOWN, Conn. – The upward trend in firearms sales continued in April, marking the sixth consecutive month of significant increases. Data released by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reported 1,225,980 checks in April 2009. This figure is a 30.3 percent increase from the 940,961 reported in April 2008. FBI background checks are required under federal law for all individuals purchasing either new or used firearms from federally licensed retailers. The checks serve as a gauge of actual sales but do not reflect the actual number of firearms sold, since, following a background check, a customer may decide not to purchase a firearm or may purchase more than one firearm.
Mentally Disabled Forced Into 'Fight Club' at Texas Home
by Angela M. Hill, Joseph Rhee, and Brian Ross
May 12, 2009
Terrified residents at a Corpus Christi, Texas, state school for the mentally disabled were forced to be part of a brutal "fight club" operated by night shift employees, who made videos of the sessions with their cell phones, the newly released videos show. On the videos employees can be seen and heard laughing and prodding the residents to fight. One resident is seen on the video trying to run away from his attacker and a large group of employees and residents tracking him through the halls. When cornered, he wails and moans and tells the employees, "I will behave." The videos were discovered by police in March when one of the school employees left his phone at a hospital and it was turned over to police. In an effort to find its owner, officers saw the disturbing videos. A judge ordered the tapes released to an attorney suing the state on behalf of a former resident also forced into the "fight club."
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.
angelgirl9976 – Coos Bay, OR. – I am a single mother than needs to pay my rent ASAP! In the process of searching for employment. Going through a divorce with two small children. I just need to get through this month & will have income to pay next month. I have a car title that you can hold for collateral. I would like to be able to repay by end of July! Willing to pay small interest as well. Thanks for any help you may be able to offer!
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
Deadly volcano threatens DRC
May 15, 2009
The Great Beyond
Volcanoes in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo could erupt “any day now,” razing the city of Goma with lava and poisoning the air with methane and carbon dioxide, says Dieudonné Wafula, the head scientist at Goma’s Volcano Observatory (OVG). In the last few weeks, the OVG has recorded a sharp increase in the activity of the Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo volcanoes (see USGS map), including increased local temperatures, tremors and larger than usual plumes of gas and volcanic dust. The Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo volcanoes last erupted in 2002, forcing 300,000 people to flee lava flows in central Goma city, says Michel Halbwachs, a volcanologist from the University of Savoie, in an official report on the eruptions. But the real worry is that an eruption could destabilize the deep waters of Lake Kivu, 18 km away on DRC’s border with Rwanda, releasing lethal doses of carbon dioxide and methane gas.
Scientists chasing killer tornadoes across Midwest
(CNN) — It sounds like something from the movie "Twister" — teams of scientists in vans, armed with high-tech measuring equipment, barreling across the Oklahoma plains in search of tornadoes. But these scientists are colleagues, not rivals, and these storms aren't Hollywood digital wizardry but the real thing. Welcome to VORTEX2, or V2 for short, the largest and most ambitious field experiment ever devoted to studying tornadoes. Now under way through June 13 in Oklahoma and surrounding states, the project brings together almost 100 scientists and students from 16 universities and research institutes. VORTEX2 kicked off Sunday, and its teams didn't have to wait long to find the targets of their research. Violent storms tore through four Midwestern states Wednesday, killing three people in northern Missouri, according to Kansas City affiliate KMBC. The storms damaged dozens of homes and left thousands without power.
Violent storms tear through Midwest; 3 dead in Mo.
May 14, 2009
KIRKSVILLE, Mo. (AP) — Violent storms tore through four Midwestern states, killing three people in northern Missouri, damaging dozens of homes and leaving thousands without power. Kirksville apparently took the hardest hit Wednesday night. Police Detective Sgt. Ron Celian said the storm damaged 30 to 40 homes and flipped cars and shattered windows at a car dealership. One home was destroyed. "It just tore everything up," said Don Williams, who rode out the storm in his basement with his wife and four children. "It was just a blur. Insulation and trees blowing everywhere. I could see stuff just flying through my house." Sullivan County Emergency Management director Rick Gardner said a woman was killed Wednesday night when what appeared to be a tornado struck a mobile home east of Milan in Sullivan County.
Downpour prompts floods, mudslides in WNC
May 17, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Heavy rain soaked portions of North Carolina on Sunday, causing flooding and mudslides in the west and dropping significant amounts in the east. The rain came just three days after the latest map indicated no area of the state was experiencing drought conditions. Flooding was reported in Madison County, where some roads and some private bridges were damaged. A dispatcher at the sheriff's office said a bridge on Teague Road on the Buncombe County line was washed out, and that some trees had been toppled from a combination of wind and soggy ground. No other problems had been reported, she said. National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Outlaw said at least three locations in Madison County had recorded at least 1 inch of rain as of the early afternoon. Candler, in Buncombe County, had 1.57 inches as of Sunday afternoon, with more expected.
Many diseases plague tomatoes
May 14, 2009
We have more than our share of diseases that attack both the tomato plant and the fruit. Buckeye rot attacks the lowest tomatoes first. Bruised-looking areas appear on the fruit and rapidly enlarge. Promptly harvest and dispose of infected fruit. Make sure plants are mulched to prevent the fungus from splashing up from the soil onto the lower fruit. If needed, apply the fungicide chlorothalonil to minimize damage. Blossom end rot forms a dark, dry, leathery area at the bottom of the fruit. This disease is caused by a calcium deficiency in the fruit. Blossom end rot can be controlled by maintaining an even supply of soil moisture (be sure to mulch) and by applying calcium if needed. Blossom end rot sprays that provide available calcium are also available and can be applied to developing fruit to prevent the condition. Early blight is a fungus disease that can affect both leaves and stems of tomato plants. Symptoms of the disease are brown spots on stems or leaves, which eventually turn yellow (usually starting on the lowest leaves). Preventive sprays at regular intervals are necessary to control early blight.
Natural Disaster Update
5.2 SOUTHWEST OF SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.3 EASTERN UZBEKISTAN
5.1 OFF COAST OF ECUADOR
6.1 OFF COAST OF ECUADOR
5.0 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
5.7 MID-INDIAN RIDGE
5.2 TARAPACA, CHILE
5.4 GUAM REGION
5.4 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
6.1 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 POTOSI, BOLIVIA
5.2 KEPULAUAN TALAUD, INDONESIA
5.5 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.1 SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS
5.2 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G.
5.2 MOLUCCA SEA
Munich Re is marketing a 100 million euro catastrophe bond that will protect the world's biggest reinsurer against losses from European windstorms and Turkish earthquakes. The three-year bond will be managed by Munich Re itself. The deal will be the first catastrophe bond of 2009 based on a non-U.S. peril. Some investors have bemoaned a lack of diversity in the sector, which has seen nearly $1 billion of new supply so far this year. Total 2009 issuance is forecast to reach about $3 billion. Munich Re last tapped the catastrophe bond market in March 2008, securitising European windstorm risk with a 170 million euro transaction. Only one catastrophe bond covering potential losses from earthquakes in Turkey has been issued to date. Munich Re has previously transferred Japanese earthquake risk to the capital markets, placing a $250 million catastrophe bond dubbed Midori in October 2007 for the East Japan Railway Company. It arranged a $300 million Japanese quake transaction, Muteki Re, for sponsoring insurer Zenkyoren in May 2008. Insurers have used catastrophe bonds since the 1990s to manage their exposure to natural disasters by transferring potential losses to investors, who receive a high interest rate but risk losing their principal if a catastrophe occurs. A $150 million transaction for U.S. insurer USAA is also currently being marketed. The deal will provide USAA and subsidiaries with three-year protection against losses over $35 million from U.S. hurricane and earthquakes, with one tranche also covering potential losses from severe thunderstorms, winter storms and wildfires.
MYSTERY BOOMS / SKYQUAKES –
AUSTRALIA – 5/6/09 – A Newtown man has described seeing a meteorite-like shower of sparks over Highton the night the suburb was rocked by an explosion. He believes some type of debris burnt up in the atmosphere, causing sparks in shades of green and the noise. "I thought straight away something has come in from space, I thought it was a meteorite or something like that. It was definitely something coming in, it came down on the angle. You could say it was like a flare coming down but a flare just floats down, this thing was barrelling until it disintegrated and it had a tail." Residents reported hearing an explosion about 8.30pm last Tuesday. The noise drew people from their houses. Highton and Belmont fire brigade units responded to a call-out but were unable to find a source for the blast. The big bang followed similar reports of a boom at Grovedale between 10pm and 11pm on April 30. Electricity and gas companies all but ruled out faulty lines as causes. Residents in Melrose Ave off North Valley Rd, Highton, earlier this week said it sounded like a rock had been thrown at their kitchen window.
SOUTH CAROLINA – 5/13/09 – Reports of an earthquake in Pawleys Island Wednesday are unconfirmed. Initial reports of an earthquake came in between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Seismometers around the state do not show an earthquake, however, data coverage in the area is sparse and a small earthquake out to sea is still possible. Another possible source of earthquake reports, especially rattling along the coast, is a sonic boom at sea. While planes are not allowed to cross the sound barrier over land, they are allowed to do so at sea and weather conditions may cause that boom to travel long distances. There have been earthquake reports in years past from John’s Island and Isle of Palms that did not show up on any seismometers and are strongly suspected to be sonic booms.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Fears are rife that Mount Nyamulagira in the Democratic Republic of Congo may soon erupt. This comes on the heels of a significant increased volcanic activity around Goma in the east of the country. Residents say by day, the air in the city is thick with volcanic dust. By night, residents can often see the red glow of burning lava trickling out of the summit of the nearest volcano, Mount Nyiragongo. Significantly increased temperatures have been recorded around Mount Nyiragongo recently and a larger than usual cloud of volcanic dust was being thrown into the skies. However, it is Mount Nyamulagira that is likely to erupt.
RUSSIA – The Shiveluch Volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula released a small plume of vapor as the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite passed overhead on May 10. Shiveluch exhibited above-normal seismic activity from May 6 to May 12, and ash plumes may have reached a height of 6.7 kilometers (22,000 feet).
TSUNAMI / FREAK WAVES / ABNORMAL TIDES / RISING SEA LEVELS –
AUSTRALIA – Tsunami 'could annihilate data cables' – Scientists from the nation's leading tsunami authority believe that 70 per cent of Australia's undersea cable capacity would be destroyed in a single stroke if a tsunami similar to the one that devastated coastal Thailand and Sri Lanka in 2004 were to strike Hawaii. Hawaii is the main thoroughfare for cables linking Australia to the rest of the world. The cables were built after Hawaii's most recently recorded major tsunami disasters in 1964, 1960 and 1946. "I think it's very reasonable to imagine that had the cables been in place at the time, those tsunamis would have substantially damaged the kind of cable infrastructure now present in those locations." A major cable breakage in Hawaii would have a catastrophic effect on the Australian economy. Now that we realise these very tsunamis that can travel across entire ocean basins can occur and that they probably occur a bit more frequently than we realise, there's a serious risk here." Australia's internet capacity to the US was cut by 25 per cent in December 2007 when severe storms in Oregon took out part of a major cable.
TURKEY – The second biggest concern after whether or not Istanbul will be hit by another large earthquake is the possibility of a tsunami threatening its immediate shores. A Geology Professor said Istanbul’s next big earthquake would create a tsunami based on historical findings of an excavation of Yenitepe. And because Istanbul’s coastlines are narrow, the tsunami waves are liable to cause serious damage to vehicle traffic and buildings in that corridor. "A wave one meter high may cause all the cars on the shore to drift into the sea and people to drown."
The three great holes in the Marmara Sea are all going to trigger tsunamis. "In order for a tsunami to be formed by an earthquake, there needs to be a vertical movement on the seabed. If an earthquake occurs at the lateral movement fault lines, tsunamis may not be formed. There are fault lines in the Marmara Sea that may cause vertical movement. Under normal conditions, in order to cause a tsunami, the earthquake must be at least seven on the Richter scale. There are at least three holes at the Marmara Sea bottom that exceed 1,000 meters in depth. There is soft, unconsolidated mud that has been carried from the shore at the precipitous slopes of these holes. An earthquake registering six on the scale would not cause a tsunami but underwater avalanches could occur. The mud on the slopes of those holes may move to the bottom suddenly due to the underwater avalanches and this change at the bottom may cause tsunamis. Deposits that show traces of previous tsunamis were dug at the excavations on the Marmara’s shores. There have been over 40 destructive tsunamis on the shores of Marmara. There are cases when the waves came on shore covering 2,000 to 3,000 meters with their height exceeding 6 meters. Those waves sometimes entered the Bosphorus and affected districts like Eyüp and Üsküdar alongside important valleys. The facts that Istanbul’s topography is not straight and its shores are narrow are disadvantages when it comes to tsunamis. Even small waves may be deadly on shores approximately 150 to 200 meters wide. "In the earthquake of 1894, the sea first ebbed by 50 meters then the returning sea waves destroyed the whole Ottoman navy on shore."
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
VERMONT – The National Weather Service has confirmed it was, in fact, a tornado that tore through Washington, Vermont Saturday night. Winds estimated at 90 to 100 miles per hour ripped down trees, destroyed a barn, and tore the roof off a six-unit apartment complex. Trees were uprooted and torn to shreds. Pieces of the apartment building's roof were wrapped around neighbors' trees. The NWS said damage from a tornado is RARELY SEEN in Vermont. "Generally when we do see them they are relatively weak, every couple years or so,. This time of year is a little more RARE. Usually we'll see them in July and August, so May is definitely not the time we usually see it." This tornado was the second earliest since records began in 1950.
BRAZIL – Forty-four deaths had been confirmed in northern Brazil’s worst flooding in decades, fed by two months of unusually heavy rains in a zone stretching from deep in the Amazon to normally arid areas near the Atlantic coast. In spite of a gradual Sunday retreat of water in some areas the number of homeless climbed to 300,000. In the state of Amazon, crossed by the Rio Negro, water is climbing three centimetres per day and is beginning to reach the historical centre of the capital Manaos. In the state of Piauí in most towns power is down and the drinking water system has collapsed. Teresina the capital is preparing for a second major flood in less than a week. According to an official estimate, the total economic losses from the flooding – most severe since mid-1950s – would be about the equivalent of 500 million US dollars.
Meanwhile in the south of Brazil, an acute drought has hit the famed horseshoe-shaped Igauzu falls cutting back the tumbling waters to reveal the rocky sides. Only a third of the usual volume of water is now flowing over the top of the stunning falls. The falls, which are actually made up of 275 waterfalls stretching some 2.5 kilometres are taller than the Niagara Falls and twice as wide. Southern Brazil has been hit by its worst drought in 80 years. Another unique wildlife area in Brazil is suffering from the lack of rainfall: the world famous and largest lowlands of Pantanal. “We have the lowest rainfall records in 35 years.”
NEW ZEALAND – Wild weather wreaked havoc in the western Bay of Plenty and north of Auckland Monday afternoon with a mini tornado, giant hailstones, waterspouts and heavy rain causing floods and property damage. Two thousand shoppers were evacuated from the Bayfair Shopping Centre in Mt Maunganui after a manhole collapsed sending floodwater into the building. Roads were also flooded, causing severe traffic disruption. The winds that accompanied the spouts were horrendous, and the hailstorm that followed left the beach looking like it was coated in snow. The hailstones were 10 centimetres deep in places.
TROPICAL STORMS –
Tropical depression CHAN-HOM was 287 nmi S of Kadena AB, Okinawa.
The death toll from the typhoon that struck the Philippines last week has climbed to 36. Typhoon Chan-hom weakened into a low pressure area over the weekend after roaring across the country's mountainous north Friday. About 5,500 houses were destroyed and more than 16,700 others were damaged. Most of the deaths were caused by landslides, drowning and flying debris. About 20 typhoons and tropical storms lash the Philippines each year, usually after the rainy season starts in June, but Chan-hom came in the country's summer, an UNUSUAL OCCURRENCE. Although government disaster agencies repeatedly issued warnings about the typhoon, some people may not have fully prepared for its deadly force because it struck in summer. The typhoon struck too early, when there was still no sense of urgency for such problems. A tropical storm that hit the northeastern Philippines earlier this month left 27 dead.
Tropical storm Fay never attained hurricane status, yet dumped over two feet of rain in many areas of Florida in August of 2008. Fay may not be remembered with Charley, Ivan, Wilma and the other devastating storms that have slammed Florida over the past few years. But emergency responders say they get headaches thinking about Tropical Storm Fay, and the chaotic path it followed across Florida last August STILL CONFOUNDS SCIENTISTS. Fay, which caused $195 million in damage and killed five people in the state, underscored the danger that even seemingly lesser storms pose. It also highlighted the uncertainty that remains in storm forecasting, despite increasingly sophisticated computer models and remarkable advances in accuracy over the past 15 years.
The Gulf of Mexico may see intense, rapidly developing hurricanes during the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season that appear to pop up without warning. "We're not going to see the long-term classic storms crossing the Atlantic and the Caribbean like we saw in 2008. We may see rapidly developing storms like (hurricanes) Humberto and Alicia." Hurricane Humberto popped up off Port Arthur, Texas, in 2007 before coming ashore to knock out electrical power to three refineries. Hurricane Alicia in 1983 was the last hurricane to hit Houston before 2009's Hurricane Ike. AccuWeather may cut the number of tropical storms forecast to form in the 2009 hurricane season, which begins June 1, from a prediction of 10 made on Thursday morning. "I may even drop that a bit further." The conditions reducing the overall number of storms contribute to increased risk of rapid development close to the Gulf Coast. An El Nino pattern of warm water in the Pacific Ocean is forming. An El Nino creates wind shear that can blow apart tropical storms in the Atlantic and Gulf. Also, sea waters in the tropical Atlantic off the west African coast are cooler than last year, when 16 tropical storms formed, including eight hurricanes, four of which impacted the U.S. coast. High pressure in Africa is blowing dry air and dust into the tropical Atlantic, which further inhibits storm development. This year, however, high winds in the stratosphere favor rapid development off the Gulf Coast. "We're not talking long-developing African waves,. We're talking about in-close development. That's what I'm concerned about."
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER –
IRELAND – Atrocious weather conditions along the western seaboard have plunged livestock and tillage farmers into despair. Rainfall levels in the west were three times higher than normal last week — supposedly the start of summer. Dairy farmers on heavy soils in Kerry, Limerick, the west and northwest have been forced to re-house cows for the past 10-14 days. The move is costing them dearly in terms of lower milk protein levels, higher feed costs and reduced fertility. "The full effect of the disastrous weather will not be known until next spring, when farmers have empty cows and late calvers. Fertility is reduced in stressed cows and heat detection rates are lower when cows are indoors." Milk suppliers are being forced to feed poor-quality silage and up to 7kg of expensive ration to boost milk yields. Farmers in Kerry have seen milk yields fall by 0.5-1.5gal/cow over the past fortnight. Some have resorted to cutting grass on drier out-farms and bringing it directly into the sheds for cows, but this is only an option for some farmers. Spring cereal crops are also suffering from the recent weather conditions. Growth was poor because of the cold, wet and windy conditions. Some crops were patchy because of nitrogen deficiency caused by waterlogged areas in fields. Meanwhile, potato growers have only 50pc of the crop harvested at a time when at least 75pc should be sown.
BAHRAIN – Weather conditions in Bahrain over the last two days are HIGHLY UNUSUAL for this time of the year, according to meteorology officials. Strong surface winds, with average speeds of between 24 and 25 knots have been reported in Bahrain since Monday night with gushes of wind sometimes reaching between 34 and 36 knots. "This is expected to continue over the next few days and should subside by Friday." The high-velocity north-westerly, "40-day winds" normally begin in early June and continue till the middle of July. "We are experiencing these conditions because of a low pressure area over India and Pakistan. They begin as soon as the monsoon season begins to set in in the Indian sub-continent." It was also UNUSUAL for the monsoons to set in so early. "This is VERY UNUSUAL and experts all over the region have nothing else to blame than global warming and climate change…It is unusual now, but if it happens over and over again, it will affect the weather patterns in this part of the world." People should take care in the high velocity winds and fishermen were warned not to venture out into the sea unless necessary. The winds were leading to rising sands in several places, which was causing discomfort to workers and motorists.
KENTUCKY – the storm on Friday was VERY UNIQUE and the National Weather Service center is still researching exactly what happened Friday. This is apparent with the inability to even name what it was. “One of my friends calls it a meso-cane. A meso-scale storm that looks like a hurricane.” Despite its popular nickname "inland hurricane," it was really several storms in one that formed with hurricane force winds that ripped through the area on Friday. Friday’s storm was born in Springfield, Mo. and died out around Harrisburg. The storm traveled at speeds of over 60 miles per hour and blew winds exceeding 100 mph, uprooting trees, flipping trailers and destroying homes along the way. At first the storm looked like one large area of thunderstorms, but once it moved in to southern Illinois it became apparent it was something larger. Once the hurricane force winds formed, the thunderstorms around it followed into Illinois and were swept in with the circulation. There really isn’t anything in history to compare the storm to except a 2007 tropical storm that hit Oklahoma called Tropical System Erin, killing 16 people and causing millions of dollars in damage. The NWS knew there would be severe weather but they couldn’t have predicted the storm that came to be Friday. Red flags weren’t raised until the center in St. Louis called. “They called us screaming they were getting stormy wind damage."
BOLIVIA – One of Bolivia's most famous glaciers, once the world's highest ski run, has almost disappeared as a result of climate change. The Chacaltaya glacier, 5,300m (17,400 ft) up in the Andes, used to be the world's highest ski run. But it has been reduced to just a few small pieces of ice. Many Bolivians on the highland plains, and in two cities, depend on the melting of the glaciers for their water supply during the dry season. The team of Bolivian scientists started measuring the Chacaltaya glacier in the 1990s. Not long ago they were predicting that it would survive until 2015. But now it seems, the glacier has melted at a much faster rate than they expected. Photos taken in the last two weeks show that all that is left of the majestic glacier, which is thought to be 18,000 years old, are a few lumps of ice near the top. The World Bank warned earlier this year that many of the Andes' tropical glaciers will disappear within 20 years. This, the bank said, would both threaten the water supplies of nearly 80 million people living in the region, and jeopardise the future generation of hydropower. Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru depend on that power for about half their electricity. (photos)
The world's most important coral region is in danger of being wiped out by the end of this century unless fast action is taken, says a new report. The Coral Triangle covers 1% of the earth's surface but contains a third of all the world's coral, and three-quarters of its coral reef species. 40% of reefs in the Coral Triangle have already been lost. The area is shared between Indonesia and five other south-east Asian nations and is thought to contain 75% of the world's coral species. It is likened to the Amazon rainforest in terms of its biodiversity. What we can expect if the world's richest coral reef is destroyed: It's 2099, and across south-east Asia, a hundred million people are on the march, looking for food. The fish they once relied on is gone. Communities are breaking down; economies destroyed. And that could happen this century. "Up until now we haven't realized how quickly this system is changing. In the last 40 years in the Coral Triangle, we've lost 40% of coral reefs and mangroves – and that's probably an underestimate. We've fundamentally changed the way the planet works in terms of currents and this is only with a 0.7 degree change in terms of temperature. What's going to happen when we exceed two or four or six?" "Pollution, the inappropriate use of coastal areas, these are destroying the productivity of ocean which is plummeting right now. That is the system that traps CO2 – 40% of CO2 goes into the ocean. Now if we interrupt that, the problems on planet earth become even greater."
SOMALIA faces its WORST DROUGHT FOR AT LEAST A DECADE, with nearly half the population suffering malnutrition.
U.S. – Emergency teams on Sunday were assessing damage from deadly storms that devastated parts of Missouri, Kentucky and West Virginia this weekend — even as the threat of more severe weather continued. The storm that tore through Madison County, Kentucky, on Friday was a category EF-3 tornado. An EF-3 is the third-strongest category of tornado, with winds of 136 to 165 mph, strong enough to destroy large buildings and lift cars off the ground. At least one person was killed by that storm, with several other serious injuries. A waste water treatment plant was destroyed, two fire departments sustained major roof damage and some manufacturing facilities were damaged. Three people were killed in southern Missouri during high winds, thunderstorms and flash floods. A weekend of storming in West Virginia destroyed as many as 400 buildings and severely damaged an additional 1,000.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
The collapse of a major polar ice sheet will not raise global sea levels as much as previous projections suggest, a team of scientists has calculated. The researchers said that the demise of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet would result in a sea level rise of 3.3m (10 ft). Previous estimates had forecast a rise in the region of five to six metres. However, they added, the rise would still pose a serious threat to major coastal cities, such as New York. "Sea level rise is considered to be the one of the most serious consequence of climate change. A sea level rise of just 1.5m would displace 17 million people in Bangladesh alone." The world has three ice sheets, Greenland, East Antarctica and West Antarctica, but it is the latter that is considered most vulnerable to climatic shifts. "It has been hypothesised for more than 30 years now that the WAIS is inherently unstable. This instability means that the ice sheet could potentially rapidly collapse or rapidly put a lot of ice into the oceans." "Sea level rise is not uniform across the world's oceans, partly as a result of disruptions to the Earth's gravity field. It turns out that the maximum increase in sea level rise is centred at a latitude of about 40 degrees along the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards of North America." This would include cities such as San Francisco and New York. These areas could expect increases of one-and-a-quarter times the global average.
ARCTIC – One estimate for the demise of summer sea-ice in the Arctic says that the ice, which has been a permanent feature for at least 100,000 years, is now so thin that almost all of it will DISAPPEAR IN ABOUT A DECADE. It will become seasonal, forming only during the winter. "By 2013, we will see a much smaller area in summertime than now; and certainly by about 2020, I can imagine that only one area will remain in summer." Until recently, most climate forecasts suggested that the Arctic Ocean would have ice-free summers only towards the end of the century. The most extreme scenario was for the ice to retreat as soon as 2013, but that was dismissed by many as far too soon. Now there is "almost a breakdown" in the ice-cover. "It's like the Arctic is covered with an egg shell and the egg shell… is now just cracking completely." Over most of the Arctic, there has been a massive decline in the amount of so-called multi-year ice – ice that is tough enough to withstand the summer warmth. Much of what is left of this ice accumulates in an area north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island in Canada, and may form "a last holdout, a kind of Alamo". "The change is happening so fast. It's the result of this steady thinning over four decades that has brought it to a state where its summer melt is causing it to disappear." After a record melt in 2007, and an above-average melt last year, this coming summer is seen as crucial for determining the rate at which the sea-ice will disappear. An ice service analyst said that the ice was likely to retreat as much as it had in the past two years. Typically, about 40% of the Arctic Ocean is covered with older, thicker ice, but that has been greatly reduced
Climate change appears to be cutting the winter snowpack in Washington's Cascade Range by at least 20 percent.
Some Michigan mammal species are rapidly expanding their ranges northward, apparently in response to climate change.
FOOD / WATER / SUPPLIES-
AUSTRALIA – RICE – The rice harvest has been ravaged by both drought and flooding, with the NSW Riverina expected to deliver just 5% of its normal output. About 65,000 tonnes are expected to be harvested this year in the nation's rice growing heartland – down from 1.2 MILLION tonnes in a typical year – while trial crops in northeast NSW have been destroyed by heavy rainfall. Early forecasts for a 75,000-tonne crop in the Riverina were not realised, after a heatwave in February damaged flowering. Despite the poor conditions, this year's crop is bigger than last year's, when just 19,300 tonnes were harvested – the SMALLEST CROP SINCE THE INDUSTRY BEGAN in 1928. With Riverina irrigators on their third year of zero water allocations, the industry has been seeking to develop in wetter – or better watered – areas such as northeast NSW. Global rice shortages caused PRICES TO HIT RECORD LEVELS THIS YEAR and have encouraged experimentation outside the Riverina. After several years of experimental trials, nearly 800ha of rice was planted in the coastal Northern Rivers region of NSW late last year. "The crop up there is essentially grown without irrigation, relying on natural rainfall." But that crop was hit by drought in December and January. Then, in late March and early April, "the skies opened up and most of the region up there received 500 to 600mm of rainfall in about a 15-day period. Many of the rice crops were totally inundated, with water levels going over the top of the panicles that had mature grain in them. That led to a serious sprouting problems; what is called shot and sprung grain." Late-planted crops not damaged by the rain are unlikely to produce well with the continuing wet and humid conditions.
HEALTH THREATS –
SWINE FLU BREAKING NEWS
Over the past week doctors have learned that the H1N1 novel flu virus ("swine flu") appears to be no more severe than regular seasonal flu, and it appears to be spreading in the same manner. Even though H1N1 appears to be less of a concern than first thought, they still want you to take steps to avoid it. They recommend:
– Washing your hands often.
– Do your best to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
– Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing (don't cough into bare hands or on another person).
– Avoid close contact with sick people. (Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through the coughs or sneezes of infected people).
H1N1 novel flu symptoms are the same as symptoms from the seasonal flu. It usually starts with a fever, sometimes as high as 104, sore throat, dry cough and muscle aches. Most of these symptoms improve over three to five days, but may last as long as eight days. Vomiting and diarrhea are unusual, but can occur. True influenza is a respiratory disease. What some refer to as the flu, or stomach flu with nausea and diarrhea, is not influenza.
If the WHO pandemic threat level changes from 5 to 6 it means that the H1N1 virus has spread around the globe to the point that it has become a pandemic. It is important to remember that pandemic is a term that refers to the spread of a disease and not the severity.
CANADA – Four new cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Canada, bringing the total number of people infected with the virus nationally to 285.
U.S. – More than 2500 swine flu cases have now been confirmed in the US, with three deaths.
JAPAN intensified follow-up checks to prevent the spread of swine flu Sunday after confirming its first cases of the virus in four Japanese recently returned from a trip to North America.
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
Griffin: A study on why people abandon their religion
By Richard Griffin/Growing Older
Wicked Local Cambridge
Posted May 11, 2009 @ 11:25 AM
Cambridge — Many, if not most, of my Catholic friends have adult children whom they raised in the Catholic faith but who no longer profess themselves Catholic. Among these middle-aged or older parents, this fact often provokes discussion. They wonder how this happened, how their children’s strong Catholic upbringing did not “take.” Sometimes, they confess to being unhappy at this outcome. Though I have not heard parents of other faiths talk about this subject, they may feel the same way. Observant parents — Protestants, Jewish or Muslim — are unlikely to feel indifferent when their children reject the religion in which they grew up. Many of these people probably do not realize that, for Americans, leaving their religion is a widespread tendency. In a poll published this year, the Pew Trust finds that “about half of American adults have changed religious affiliation at least once during their lives.”
Christian group declares UFOs 'evil spirits' of the Bible
by Rich Bowden – May 13 2009
A Christian counter-cult ministry will hold a symposium as part of the upcoming Roswell UFO Festival (July 03 to July 05, 2009), putting its own angle on the ongoing debate concerning the mysterious existence or otherwise of unidentified flying objects and alien species. Amid all the fun and mystery of this year's festival, which includes the rumoured appearance of legendary band Jefferson Starship, the Christian group known as 'Alien Resistance', will outline its Biblical philosophy that all UFOs are in fact the "evil spirits" of the Bible, according to a May 12 statement. "From a Biblical Christian perspective it becomes clear that 'aliens' are actually the evil spirits of the Bible," contend the group, which will also use the symposium to deliver its message on counter-cult evangelism, creationism, and spiritual warfare. "This idea is backed up experientially with the evidence of numerous testimonies of 'abductees', which show that 'alien abduction' experiences stop in the name and authority of Jesus Christ," the statement continued.
£5m claim over sex abuse by Jesuit priest can go ahead
Afua Hirsch, legal affairs correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 5 May 2009 23.13 BST
A lawyer who suffered years of regular sexual abuse by a Jesuit priest as a child was told today that his claim for up to £5m compensation against a Catholic school can proceed. Patrick Raggett, now 50, was told by the high court in London it accepted that the late Father Michael Spencer abused him while he attended Preston Catholic College in the 1970s. The court heard the priest "took every opportunity to get him on his own and … require him to remove his clothes after which he would touch him sexually and observe and film him in various degrading positions". In a written judgment on the first part of the case, Mrs Justice Swift said that Raggett should be allowed to claim compensation against the school in Lancashire despite more than 28 years having passed since he left. "I have no doubt that the claimant was the victim of a sustained course of sexual abuse and assaults by Father Spencer," the judge said.
Pious, loyal and unhappy
May 7th 2009
From The Economist print edition
Less like their non-Muslim compatriots than adherents of Islam elsewhere, but British nonetheless
WHETHER strong religious identity, and the ethical views that go with it, necessarily undercut national identity has long furrowed brows, especially in Western secular democracies with heavy immigration. Terrorist attacks in London and Madrid, and racial unrest in France, have made the debate more urgent. What makes for national cohesion? A study put out on May 7th by Gallup, a polling organisation, casts new light on the matter. Few would be amazed to learn that European Muslims are much more conservative socially than their non-Muslim compatriots. What is surprising is how wide the gap is in Britain. Gallup looked at attitudes in France, Germany and Britain on some key issues of personal morality among adherents of Islam and the public in general. The gap between Muslims and others on the acceptability of homosexuality, abortion and premarital sex was wider in Britain than in either Germany or France (see chart 1), even though British non-Muslims professed themselves more strait-laced than their continental counterparts on most issues.
Are we all praying to the same God?
By Lee Witting (Lee Witting is pastor of the Union Street Brick Church in Bangor.)
My work draws me into conversations with people of many denominations and faiths. A phrase I often hear repeated is, “Well, we are all praying to the same God, aren’t we?” And I hardly ever disagree, because God alone knows the understandings of our hearts. When religions collide, they often say we are worshipping the same God, but with wrong understanding. Christians told Jews the God of Moses exists in three aspects — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Mohammad told pre-Islamic nomadic Arabs that Allah was no longer the high god above the goddesses Manat, al-Lat and Uzza, who reigned over a host of nature deities. Under Islam (which means “submit”), Allah became defined as the only god, the God of Abraham, and thus the same God Jews worship.
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
CHINA: RELIGIOUS RIGHTS ABUSES CITED
Foreign Ministry spokesman asserts ‘full religious freedom’ despite arrests, torture.
DUBLIN, May 8 (Compass Direct News) – A U.S. government body cited increased harassment, imprisonment and torture of members of unregistered religious groups in China last year, which a Chinese official roundly denied. After the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) last week recommended China remain on the U.S. Department of State’s list of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry said USCIRF’s report was “an attempt to smear China.” “It is a fact that the Chinese government protects its citizens’ freedom of religious belief according to law, and every ethnic group in any part of China enjoys full religious freedom,” Ma Zhaoxu, said Tuesday (May 5) in a statement quoted by the Chinese daily Xinhua.
Judge: Prayer ban OK
Officials prohibited from promoting, endorsing religion
Carmen Paige • firstname.lastname@example.org • May 9, 2009
A federal judge on Friday approved a consent decree that calls for Santa Rosa County School District officials to stop promoting their religious beliefs in schools. School officials now are prohibited from promoting or endorsing prayers during school functions and from organizing school functions at religious venues. The consent decree must be distributed to all employees. "The court has ensured that decisions about religion will be left in the hands of families and faith communities and not public school officials," said Benjamin Stevenson, an American Civil Liberties Union of Florida attorney based in Pensacola. The ACLU and ACLU of Florida sued the district in August on behalf of two unnamed Pace High School students. The students claimed school officials regularly promoted religion and led prayers at school events.
Victory against gospel ban in public park
State settles lawsuit after forbidding church talking about Jesus without permit
May 08, 2009
By Chelsea Schilling
In a freedom of speech victory, state park officials have agreed to settle a lawsuit with a church after they demanded members obtain a permit before speaking about Jesus Christ. Liberty Counsel filed a federal lawsuit against the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation after Fort Macon State Park officials threatened members of Grace Baptist Church for sharing the gospel. Church members played games, went swimming in the ocean, held a picnic and told park visitors about Jesus Christ. They also handed out bottles of water as part of their fellowship.
VIETNAM: ALLEGED MURDERER OF CHRISTIAN STRIKES AGAIN
Local authorities complicit or turn blind eye to assaults on Christians.
LOS ANGELES, May 11 (Compass Direct News) – A Hmong man in Vietnam’s Northwest Mountainous Region who murdered his mother in February because she had become a Christian has assaulted another Christian, leaving him critically wounded, according to area Christian sources. Lao Lia Po on April 25 allegedly attacked Koua Lo of Meo Vac district, Ha Giang Province because he had become a Christian, according to a local church leader. Koua sustained severe head injuries; according to witnesses, his head was split open in two places with parts of his brain visible. Koua was taken to a hospital, but after three days doctors said they could do nothing more for him and sent him home. As his injuries were life-threatening, those close to Koua did not expect him to recover. The alleged attacker, Lao, is still at large and has not been charged. The assault took place in Sung Can Village, Sung Tra Commune, Meo Vac district, Ha Giang Province.
EGYPT: CONVERT’S RELIGIOUS RIGHTS CASE THREATENS ISLAMISTS
Muslims said to fear that freedom to legally change religion would wreak societal havoc.
CAIRO, Egypt, May 12 (Compass Direct News) – In the dilapidated office here of three lawyers representing one of Egypt’s “most wanted” Christian converts, the mood was hopeful in spite of a barrage of death threats against them and their client. At a court hearing on May 2, a judge agreed to a request by the convert from Islam to join the two cases he has opened to change his ID card to reflect his new faith. The court set June 13 as the date to rule on the case of Maher Ahmad El-Mo’otahssem Bellah El-Gohary’s – who is in hiding from outraged Islamists – and lawyer Nabil Ghobreyal said he was hopeful that progress thus far will lead to a favorable ruling. At the same time, El-Gohary’s lawyers termed potentially “catastrophic” for Egyptian human rights a report sent to the judge by the State Council, a consultative body of Egypt’s Administrative Court. Expressing outrage at El-Gohary’s “audacity” to request a change in the religious designation on his ID, the report claims the case is a threat to societal order and violates sharia (Islamic law). “This [report] is bombarding freedom of religion in Egypt,” said lawyer Said Faiz. “They are insisting that the path to Islam is a one-way street. The entire report is based on sharia.”