Chosen: End Times Newsletter – Issue 87

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


Johnny Be Good
By Regina

I learned today that a friend of mine died in a motorcycle accident. He was 25 years old and his name was Johnny. He was tall, and blond with sparkling blue eyes and a cherubic face. He was a lover of all things vintage, particularly from the 30’s and 40’s and days away from receiving his college degree. He was just the sort of guy who made friends everywhere he went.

When I received the news, my memories immediately returned to the many nights of hanging out together and many social functions with friends, but most of all, his smile. We experienced many happy times together and my first reaction was a mixture of shock and disbelief. It's unexpectedness actually nearly took my breath away, and then the sadness set in and I began to cry.

Because I’d since moved many miles away I didn’t expect to ever see him again and it’d been nearly 2 years since I’d seen him or heard his voice, but his memory was very alive in my mind and my sadness was for any physical pain he may have endured and his friends and family who are going through so much emotional pain in coping with his unexpected departure from this earthly existence. I know that he will be very missed by all those who knew and loved him.

While the news of Johnny’s death was shocking because he was so young and it was so unexpected, in a way there is also a sense of relief. I know that this may sound odd to some, but I truly believe that Johnny is one of the lucky ones who has been blessed because he will receive an opportunity that much of mankind soon will not.

The opportunity is this: To learn and accept the truth.

Many people wonder what happens when you die. What happens is that once you pass over, Holy Ghosts (humans who have crossed over and are members of Father’s Holy Family) greet and accompany the person (normally, unless they’ve committed a vile crime) through the Azmon barrier of angels that have Satan and his evil doers blockaded from the upper planes of Heaven.

Once they reach the Edge of the Light, they are taken to the Edge of Light House of Worship that is located just outside the Baptismal Light. There, they are greeted by loved ones that have previously crossed over in past times.

From there, they will either enter the Light, or they will go to the Great Hall of Records first. They are nurtured and cared for and counseled and they are given the opportunity to accept the truth and choose to abide by Father Yahweh’s sovereign laws. It depends on the situation, but eventually, they enter the Baptismal Light and are crossed over; admitted to the Heavenly Realm that all Holy Ghosts originate from.

The reason for the sense of relief is the above opportunity that I have just described. This opportunity will not occur for many, many people who currently live on earth because we are living in the End Times, experiencing the Tribulation and once Father’s faithful are Raptured, (and there may also be a second Rapture, but that remains to be seen) those left behind will experience Armageddon first hand. Up until that time, those who pass over will be given the opportunity to learn and accept the truth both in the Physical Realm and the Spiritual Realm after passing over, but there will come a day in which that opportunity will no longer exist for this generation. And because we do not know when this day will come, only that it is coming soon, mankind can no longer afford to straddle the fence of belief and disbelief, acceptance or non acceptance. Their decision and acceptance of truth cannot wait until once they've passed. It must be made now.

In speaking with a fellow minister recently, I expressed the anxiety that I sometimes feel due to the knowledge we have been given and the internal struggle I sometimes fight in balancing the zeal and urgency that I feel so strongly for sharing the truth. Urgent because there is not much time left and because the message is a two part message – Salvation for those accepting Christ – Judgment for those that do not. Zeal because of the seriousness of the situation and the fact that we are serving Father and Christ in delivering this message. While I know that arms cannot be twisted, I also continue to learn with every new experience that there must be balance and that each individual must be given the opportunity to accept the truth on their own accord…or not. The rest is in Father’s capable hands.

When it comes to Johnny, I know where he is. I know what he’s experiencing and who's care he is under. While the end of his earthly life was indeed tragically unexpected and unforeseen, he’s begun a new life…one that will last for an eternity. And he will also be spared from that which much of mankind will soon encounter and for this I am so very thankful.

Be good Johnny. You’ll be missed, but for now I'll just say "see ya soon" and consider it only a trip that you’ve gone ahead of us to experience. Father willing we will meet again soon in Christ’s Kingdom. I look forward to seeing your smile.

A Lesson for a Lifetime
Submitted by Johanna

When I arrived at 6 a.m. in the large hospital kitchen, Rose was already checking name tags on the trays against the patient roster. Stainless steel shelves held rows of breakfast trays which we would soon be serving.

"Hi, I'm Janet." I tried to sound cheerful, although I already knew Rose's reputation for being impossible to work with. "I'm scheduled to work with you this week."

Rose, a middle-aged woman with graying hair, stopped what she was doing and peered over her reading glasses. I could tell from her expression she wasn't pleased to see a student worker.

"What do you want me to do? Start the coffee?"

Rose sullenly nodded and went back to checking name tags.

I filled the 40-cup pot with cold water and began making the coffee when Rose gruffly snapped, "That's not the way to make coffee." She stepped in and took over.

"I was just doing it the way our supervisor showed us to do it," I said in astonishment.

"The patients like the coffee better the way I do it," she replied curtly.

Nothing I did pleased her. All morning her eagle eyes missed nothing and her sharp words stung. She literally trailed me around the kitchen.

Later, after breakfast had been served and the dishes had been washed, I set up my share of trays for the next meal. Then I busied myself cleaning the sink. Certainly Rose couldn't criticize the way I did that.

When I turned around, there stood Rose, rearranging all of the trays I had just set up!

Totally exhausted, I trudged the six blocks home from the University of Minnesota Hospital late that June afternoon. As a third year university student working my way through school, I had never before encountered anyone like Rose.

Fighting back tears, I wrestled with my dilemma alone in my room. "Lord, what do you want me to do? I can't take much more of Rose."

I turned the possibilities over in my mind. Should I see if my supervisor would switch me to work with someone else? Scheduling was fairly flexible. On the other hand, I didn't want to be a quitter. I knew my older co-workers were watching to see if my actions matched my words.

The answer to my prayer caught me completely by surprise — I needed to love Rose.

Love her? No way! Tolerate, yes, but loving her was impossible.

"Lord, I can't love Rose. You'll have to do it through me."

Working with Rose the next morning, I ignored the barbs thrown in my direction and did things Rose's way as much as possible to avoid friction. As I worked, I silently began to surround Rose with a warm blanket of prayers. "Lord, help me love Rose. Lord, bless Rose."

Over the next few days an amazing thing began to happen. As I prayed for this irritating woman, my focus shifted from what she was doing to me, and I started seeing Rose as the hurting person she was. The icy tension began to melt away.

Throughout the rest of the summer, we had numerous opportunities to work together. Each time she seemed genuinely happy to see me. As I worked with this lonely woman, I listened to her–something no one else had done.

I learned that she was burdened by elderly parents who needed her care, her own health problems, and an alcoholic husband she was thinking of leaving.

The days slipped by quickly as I finished the last several weeks of my summer job. Leaves were starting to turn yellow and red, and there was a cool, crispness in the air. I soon would be returning as a full-time university student.

One day, while I was working alone in one of the hospital kitchens, Rose entered the room. Instead of her blue uniform, she was wearing street clothes.

I looked at her in surprise. "Aren't you working today?"

"I got me another job and won't be working here no more," she said as she walked over and gave me a quick hug. "I just came to say good-bye." Then she turned abruptly and walked out the door.

Although I never saw Rose again, I still remember her vividly. That summer I learned a lesson I've never forgotten. The world is full of people like Rose–irritating, demanding, unlovable – yet hurting inside. I've found that love is the best way to turn an enemy into a friend.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do [what is] good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil.

by: Janet Seever

Inspired Writings

Culture

Culture is defined as:

1. the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.
2. that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc.
3. a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period: Greek culture.
4. development or improvement of the mind by education or training.
5. the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture.
6. Anthropology. the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.
7. Biology.
a. the cultivation of microorganisms, as bacteria, or of tissues, for scientific study, medicinal use, etc.

The thing that stuck the most in sociology class, both in high school and in college, is that everyone, regardless of who they are, has a specific culture associated with them. This means that their very being is influenced by everything around them, from the ground on up. There is no limit to this influence, except where Father deems there is a limit, and there is every reason to be slightly concerned in this, because it means that the very things that make us slip in all the wrong ways may be due to an influence that we are unconsciously allowing to take form.

When one watches television, they take in not only images with their eyes, but they are allowing images to be burned into their subconscious memory. Perhaps this may be some reason why certain items from television come up in one's dreams, and why other things in life remind oneself of a dreamworld on television. This, in effect, if accepted, causes a change in a person. It alters their thought patterns, their way of thinking, to an extent, and might even alter their overall memory, saying that the vision on television pushes or covers one memory for what was seen on television (like a lock and key concept, where at one time seeing a sandwich may remind one of their mom's sandwiches is then replaced by a Quiznos commercial, and perhaps their catch-phrase). Unfortunately, this same thing can be used against oneself, and as many hypnotists and magicians have proven, visual and audible influences can cause various reactions depending on the individuals. At this, television is a startling reflection of the influence that many individuals have had, and perhaps also the other way around.

In the same aspect, television is not the only influence that there is on a large mass of individuals, as there are other forms of communication and overall impact on one's behavior. Video games, societies, politicians, those that are actually in control of governments, thought injections, engineers, designers of all kinds, in some way, one person has an impact on all those around them, and can be similarly impacted. For the better or for the worst.

The fourth definition found above can be quite an interesting concept, in that everyone is constantly learning, and possibly unlearning, different things, all the time. There may be progression or regression, and even hermits have a certain degree of influence they receive or give. Now, when culture takes a turn for the worst, and causes different activities to be “normal” that were once deemed horribly wrong and inappropriate, it is truly a time to take a step back and consider what is really going on in one's life. In the past, it has been uncovered that in such societies as Pompei, there were quite some deviant ways of life that were very abnormal, and wouldn't be seen in most societies today. Yet, in today's society, it can be seen that individuals are becoming more and more promiscuous, not on a single city basis, but in whole countries. Considering the television footage of old American families, much has changed since then, and many might argue that many of the actually good values that once were common in the past have been dissolved after generations of many children. And then to hear about the abominations that are caused, only on the news, days, weeks, and months after the events had actually occurred, it starts to become almost “common.” All in a short time, too, like hearing about inflation and war in Africa. When one hears about a murder or death in a city, it's almost a commonly accepted occurrence, or perhaps even seeing a homeless individual simply laying in the middle of a sidewalk for no reason. What seems to be uncovered of the past is a record of how things had gotten so bad, and then were ended in a bloody ruin of which people only see artifacts and the remains of which to either learn from or ignore. And of all these things, every bit of them are reflected in Scripture. Any individual could see that there were horrific abominations that were repeated in scripture, and mirrored in the artifacts of other cultures that are supposed to not have any direct contact with them.

This may seem like a bit of a stretch, but perhaps it can be considered what happened with the Israelites, when they had committed adultery by worshiping rocks and wood and other materials. Father gave them many afflictions that resulted in their ultimate ruin, of which, out of Father's grace, He spared them further absolute destruction. This same thing is reflected in Greece and Pompei, and even Sparta. To this day, I have not heard of there being a militaristic society still called Spartan, nor anything of natives of Pompei. It is, in fact, known by many that Pompei was destroyed in a massive volcanic incident. Whatever happened of the Spartans and their culture is not seemingly well advertised, but it is also known some of their own actions.

It is almost scary to see how things currently are becoming. Not just because of the impending punishment that is to be certain for continuous evil, but how scary it is to see different people become subjected to the sickness and catch onto it, acting in ways they hadn't before, and perhaps even know they shouldn't. Culture isn't just about different nations and societies with their different flavored foods and arts, but as the seventh definition as given above might allude, culture is also a continuously evolving cell to itself, whether it be cancerous or beneficial even to the point of defeating cancer. However, just as cancerous tissues can be removed to save the rest of a human being, so too will cancerous societies, as they have been. There will, however, be an end to the sickness, as even a sickly person can only undergo so much treatment. If this weren't the case, all of humanity wouldn't survive.

Matthew 24:22 — If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

Fruitage of the Spirit – Part 4
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.

You must prove your faith by being faithful in small matters as well as large things that put you to the test:
Luke 16:10

You must learn to fear the one you love – Yahweh; because He alone can determine whether or not you are in unity. Fear of Him teaches you wisdom:
Proverbs 1:7
Psalms 111:10
Proverbs 8:13
Psalms 33:8

You must be forgiving just as Yahweh is forgiving:
Mark 11:25
Matthew 18:21-22
Ephesians 4:23

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

Symbolic tie-ins with the Divine Plan

Prince of Yahweh II: Matthew 27:29 "They twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and placed a reed in His right hand. And they knelt down before Him and mocked Him: "Hail, King of the Jews!"

Christ's "crown of thorns" represented the cursed ground as part of his sacrificial death; in addition, Christ Jesus underwent the judicial punishment of the cup of wrath by dying a complete death of being nonexistent in creation except for his vessel remains that Yahweh chose not to "return to dust." And what was Mankind created from? The GROUND; that's what we are if we fail the mark and end up on the left side of the playing field.

Genesis 3:17-19 "And He said to Adam, "Because you listened to your wife's voice and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'Do not eat from it':The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust."

Ezekiel 28:13 "You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every kind of precious stone covered you: carnelian, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and emerald. Your mountings and settings were crafted in gold; they were prepared on the day you were created."

In reference to "Eden" being the chosen place to start Mankind off on the correct path, and the place where Yahweh was betrayed by Dawn Lucifer – now Satan the Devil; in likeness, Jesus was also betrayed in a garden: John 18:1-3 "Jesus Betrayed. After Jesus had said these things, He went out with His disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, and He and His disciples went into it. Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with His disciples. So Judas took a company of soldiers and some temple police from the chief priests and the Pharisees and came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons."

John 19:41 "There was a garden in the place where He was crucified. A new tomb was in the garden; no one had yet been placed in it."

Luke 23:33 "When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left."

The rebellion of sin began in a garden and the sacrifice to atone sin was completed in a garden. Eden, the garden of Yahweh intended to give continued life to Yahweh's human creation, and the "The Skull" was a place of death.

Dawn betrayed Yahweh with a lie; he became the first "son of destruction." He, like Judas Iscariot who later betrayed Jesus with a kiss, sought treasure of the visible creation; they both were greedy and without regard for what their selfish actions might bring upon others; Dawn unwittingly caused Jesus to be put to death because he was blinded to Yahweh's Divine plan to break up his works and put an end to sin, but Dawn was jealous of Jesus (whom he had known as Michael before he came to Earth) and he was blinded by the hate he had permitted to grow inside his heart against Yahweh's first-born; his anger against Michael did not permit him to reason out why Yahweh might permit the taking of Jesus life without intervention on Yahweh's part.

Matthew 26:14-16 Then one of the Twelve—the man called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and said, "What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?" So they weighed out 30 pieces of silver for him. And from that time he started looking for a good opportunity to betray Him [just like Dawn the opportunist waited for his chance to betray Yahweh when he went sour.]."

Zechariah 11:13 "Throw it to the potter," the LORD said to me—this magnificent price I was valued by them. So I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw it into the house of the LORD, to the potter."

Judas valued Christ's life for a mere 30 pieces of silver. He later regretted his action, but Yahweh was unforgiving of his having betrayed Her Son, just as She is unforgiving of Dawn having betrayed Her.

Luke 23:32-33 "Crucified between Two Criminals.
Two others—criminals—were also led away to be executed with Him. When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left."

Two died with Christ; one sought Christ, the other did not accept him as the Savior; this typified part of Mankind's acceptance of the truth, and those of Mankind that reject the truth. Christ remains in between those that do and those that don't; he uses his split energy as Michael to halt those that reject his truth of the Father and does not permit them to come on his right side; they remain on the left where eternal destruction awaits them.

Matthew 25:33 "He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left."

So kids, which side of Jesus do you think the thief (one of two) was on – his left or right side – when he rejected Christ during their executions?

Mark 15:21 [ Crucified between Two Criminals ] They forced a man coming in from the country, who was passing by, to carry Jesus' cross. He was Simon, a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus."

When Christ could no longer carry his cross, the person that took it up and followed was representative of those that would later follow the path of Christ by carrying their own torture stakes in the name of Yahweh; and if we aren't willing to do that: Matthew 10:38 "And whoever doesn't take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me." That means to do it willingly and not feel forced to do so.

Matthew 27:16 "At that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas."

Barabbas represented the sinners that are substituted by Christ's Ransom Sacrifice; in essence, Christ took away their sins and took their place to die a literal death on their behalf. Barabbas was deserving of the death penalty, but his release was effected by substitution of someone that did nothing deserving of the death penalty; this is how Yahweh is able to balance the scales of justice on Mankind's behalf.

Matthew 27:26 "Then he released Barabbas to them. But after having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified."

Matthew 26:39 "Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will."

Jesus knew that the cup he was to drink was the "cup of wrath" namely the judgment metted out at the Garden of Eden against Mankind;he was grief stricken over what it represented, but in the end he still sought to do Yahweh's will and fully accomplish his mission on Earth. However, his continued mission entails the carrying out of administering the "cup of wrath" upon those that do not accept the truth: Jeremiah 25:15 "[ The Cup of God's Wrath ] This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: "Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and make all the nations I am sending you to drink from it."

John 2:4 "What has this concern of yours to do with Me, woman?" Jesus asked. "My hour has not yet come."

Jesus referenced the "hour" that was to bring with it the judgment of wrath; this "hour" is typified by Mark 14:35 "Then He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him."

It represented this that will befall those that do not believe in the one that took our day ofjudgment and "hour" upon his own Sacrificial death: Matthew 24:36 "[ No One Knows the Day or Hour ] "Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son —except the Father only."

John 12:1 "[ The Anointing at Bethany ] Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, the one Jesus had raised from the dead."

The resurrection of Lazarus prior to Jesus' own death revealed that their would be those who would receive conditional life even before Salvation had been perfected by Christ; since Lazarus later died another physical death, this also revealed that though a person could be revived from death, there exists a second eternal death if sin continues within those that were freed from physical death; this was symbolic and does not mean that Lazarus died an eternal second death at his second passing; his second passing did however reveal as well, that the subsequent death of his human vessel was imminent due to Yahweh's judgment upon all corrupt flesh, and is why we must put on the new spiritual body that Christ has prepared for each of us; with it, you will be able to follow Christ's pattern and become flesh and blood at will, and return to a spiritual body as well. This is how uncorrupted energy can manifest Father's gifts.

Genesis 3:2,3 "The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, 'You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die."

That was the judgment Mankind remains under; breaking Yahweh's law. It was passed on to the offspring and required a Sacrifice to come out from under the offence.

The flesh and blood Israelites were freed from Egyptian bondage and taken to the Mountain of Yahweh in the wilderness on this planet Earth to receive Her Laws to live by. The Spiritual Israelites are to be taken to the literal Mountain of Yahweh to receive sanctuary and then returned to a cleansed Earth where they to shall also receive Laws under a new covenant to be taught during the Millennial Rule of Christ. Sanctuary is necessary until Dawn and his demons are dealt with, because as each of you are aware – they can kill spirit energies just as they have been engaged in doing over the past 6000 years of this war's conflict; therefore, Yahweh will provide safe haven for Her Son's flock.

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

Reports of multiple UFOs at single locations on the rise
Examiner
May 17, 2009

Reports of multiple UFOs seen at the same location over time are on the rise, according to witness statements filed with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Three reports made to MUFON within the past 48 hours, plus a fourth report made directly to UFO Traffic Report today, if believed, suggest that the number of UFO "hot spots" in the U.S. may be increasing. Keep in mind that this is an unscientific and casual observation, after reading MUFON reports daily for more than four months. Other similar cases occurred recently in Salt Lake City, Utah, and in a small Iowa town. Most "hot spots" tend to describe larger regions, rather than a single town or specific location. Both Texas and Pennsylvania earned "hot spot" status recently after experiencing higher than average reports over the past year when compared with other states.

UFO Traffic Report: CA Pilot spots triangle UFO that emits blue flash of light
Examiner
May 21, 2009

The UFO Traffic Report for Friday, May 22, 2009, includes nine selected sightings over eight states, according to witness statements filed in the past 24 hours with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Today's stories include: A California pilot who spots three lights in a triangle formation that emit a blue flash of light before shooting away; two more triangle UFO cases from Illinois and Oklahoma that are seen less than two minutes in the sky; a rectangular-shaped craft near West Springfield, Massachusetts that seems to change shape before being "switched off"; a round object over New York that decreased in size before "disappearing into thin air"; Two lights over New Mexico that seemed to have come out of another light; a series of lights over Maryland skies near a cigar or disc-shaped object; and formations of lights over Washington and California.

Mississippi UFO caught on video as large group of helicopters surround the scene
Examiner
May 22, 2009

A group of people in Mississippi saw bright lights in the sky, stopped to take some video footage – and then watched a large group of helicopters move into the area, according to witness testimony filed today at the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Their video from May 20 was posted May 21 at YouTube under the screen name jim20201. Are these flares dropped by the military during a training operation with helicopters? Or something more? From the YouTube page: "Around 10:30 a formation of lights sit in the sky as helicopters head for it. And towards the end watch as 3 lights appear below them. You get to see one appear out of nowhere. Its amazing thing to see.im excited.Hope to get more videos of these strange lights. We did go down to memphis but its too far so we stopped." The UFO Traffic Report for Wednesday, May 20, 2009, includes 11 selected sightings over seven states, according to witness statements filed in the past 24 hours with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. Today's stories include, a bright light over El Vado, New Mexico, that seemed to be emitting black rays; a round object hovering over Boulder, Colorado; a triangle-shaped UFO caught on camera over Colorado; a low flying boomerang-shaped object that moved over Harleysville, Pennsylvania; a bell-shaped object over Indiana; a disc-shaped object hovering over a Pennsylvania pasture; and five interesting cases of bright lights over Indiana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Alabama.

West Virginia man watches spherical-shaped UFO conduct ground search
Examiner
May 22, 2009

A Hampshire County, West Virginia witness watched a spherical-shaped object hover near his home as it beamed a spotlight onto the ground, according to testimony filed with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The glowing and silent object appeared to be searching for something on the ground, the witness said.

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

Dollar hits new multimonth low vs euro, pound, yen
Breitbart
AP
May 22, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) – The dollar kept falling Friday, notching fresh multimonth lows against the euro, pound and yen as a warning that Britain's debt level may result in its credit rating being cut ricocheted into worries about the massive U.S. deficit. The 16-nation euro rose to $1.4015 in morning trading from $1.3889 in New York late Thursday—its first time above $1.40 since Jan. 2. The British pound rose to $1.5916 from $1.5890, peaking at $1.5945 earlier in the session, its highest point since Nov. 6. Meanwhile, the dollar edged up to 94.51 Japanese yen from 94.23 yen—after earlier falling to 93.82, its lowest point since Feb. 23.

Homosex-fest mocks traditional families
WorldNetDaily
by Bob Unruh
May 18, 2009

Promoters of an annual sex event in San Francisco, who in 2007 mocked the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting of the Last Supper to publicize the Folsom Street Festival, this year are making fun of the traditional family in their poster. The organizers for the X-rated Folsom Street Fair have produced a poster to promote this year's event that features half a dozen actors and actresses playing the roles of the iconic "nuclear family" photograph from 40 years ago – but dressed in leather, holding fetishes and not quite fully clothed. "Will House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., denounce this attack on the natural family, or will she continue to pander to her homosexual base – as she did by refusing to condemn a version of the above that blasphemed the Last Supper?" asked Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth. "Few Americans have any clue about just how deviant America's Queer Mecca is," he said.

PENTAGON ENDS USE OF BIBLES IN BRIEFINGS
New York Post
AP
May 19, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon said Monday it no longer includes a Bible quote on the cover page of daily intelligence briefings it sends to the White House as was practice during the Bush administration. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he did not know how long the Worldwide Intelligence Update cover sheets quoted from the Bible. Air Force Maj. Gen. Glen Shaffer, who was responsible for including them, retired in August 2003, according to his biography. For a period in 2003, at least, the daily reports prepared for President George W. Bush carried quotes from the books of Psalms and Ephesians and the epistles of Peter. At the time, the reports focused largely on the war in Iraq.

American Express Will Slash 4,000 Jobs, Take Charge
Bloomberg
by Hugh Son and Ari Levy
May 18, 2009

May 18 (Bloomberg) — American Express Co., the largest U.S. credit-card company by purchases, will cut about 6 percent of its workforce as cardholders squeezed by rising unemployment fail to pay debts. American Express will take a charge of $180 million to $250 million in the second quarter, mostly tied to severance and other costs from eliminating 4,000 positions, the New York-based company said today in a statement. Additional reductions will be made in marketing and travel costs and consulting services. The cuts, in addition to 7,000 job eliminations announced in October, may save about $2 billion in expenses this year, the company said. American Express has had to set aside more reserves for failed loans as surging U.S. unemployment makes it harder for customers to pay debt. The jobless rate reached 8.9 percent in April, a 25-year high.

'Killer Chip' tracks humans, releases poison
WorldNetDaily
by Jay Baggett
May 16, 2009

You can run, but you cannot hide … and if you try, one push of a button will cause a lethal poison to immediately begin flowing through your body. That's the Orwellian future a Saudi inventor was seeking to bring to Germany until that nation's patent office announced last week it was rejecting his request to patent what has been dubbed the "Killer Chip." The tiny semiconductor device is intended to be surgically implanted or injected into the body, according to the patent application, for the purpose of tracking visitors from other nations by global-positioning satellites and preventing them from overstaying their visas. A German Patent and Trademark Office spokeswoman told Deutsche Presse Agentur the inventor's application, titled "Implantation of electronic chips in the human body for the purposes of determining its geographical location," was submitted in October 2007 and published 18 months later, as required by law, in a patents database.

Signs in Humanity

La. student shoots self, misses teacher
USA Today
by Rick Jervis
May 18, 2009

LAROSE, La. — A 15-year-old middle school student in southeast rural Louisiana cried out, "Hail Marilyn Manson!" at the start of a Monday morning English class before shooting at a teacher with a nickel-plated .25-caliber handgun and, later, shooting himself in the head in an unsuccessful suicide attempt. In his backpack, a journal contained detailed plans to commit the act, including where to enter the school and in which bathroom to "gear up." "Ya'll will die," one journal page read, according to Sgt. Lesley Peters, a Lafourche Parish Sheriff's spokeswoman. "I will commit suicide after the killings ha ha ha." The shooting at Larose-Cut Off Middle School, about 45 miles southwest of New Orleans, prompted authorities to lock down and evacuate the school and rattled the quiet, Cajun fishing community. The 15-year-old boy remained in critical but stable condition at Terrebonne General Medical Center in nearby Houma, La. Sheriff deputies did not release the boy's name Monday. No one else was hurt.

Tamil children 'being abducted'
BBC
May 20, 2009

A number of children in camps for people displaced by Sri Lanka's Tamil conflict have been abducted, international human rights groups say. The groups say they have verified reports of disappearances in the Vavuniya area and are calling for the United Nations to investigate. Suspected former Tamil Tiger child soldiers are said to have been removed by paramilitaries for questioning. A Sri Lankan military spokesman denied the groups' allegations. A spokeswoman for the groups, Charu Lata Hogg, said the motives for the abductions were unclear but some children were being questioned about alleged links to the Tamil Tiger rebels, or LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). Tens of thousands of children were among those displaced in the recent fighting, many finding themselves in government-run refugee camps.

NM mom charged with killing son on the playground
One News Now
AP
May 22, 2009

A mother playing with her children at a park spotted a little black sneaker sticking out of the sand underneath the playground equipment. Figuring a youngster had lost his shoe, she bent down to pick it up. It was strangely heavy. She had made a ghastly discovery: a dead little boy, buried in the sand. For nearly a week, who the toddler was, how he died, and who put him there were a chilling mystery until Thursday, when a drawing of the youngster circulated by police led to the arrest of a young mother on murder charges. Albuquerque police said Tiffany Toribio, 23, confessed to suffocating her 3-year-old son, Tyruss "Ty" Toribio, as he slept on the climbing gym _ a crime so cold-blooded that neighbors struggled to comprehend it, and even veteran officers became choked up.

U.S. Officials Admitted that Boys Were Sodomized In Iraq Prison
George Washington's Blog
May 21, 2009

Many people have heard Pulitzer prize winning reporter Seymour Hersh's claim that boys were sodomized at Abu Ghraib and that the Pentagon has video of the rapes. Many people think that they'll believe it when and if they ever see the video. But we don't need to wait for the military to release the videos. There is already proof that Hersh is right. For example, the Guardian wrote in 2004: The October 12 memorandum, reported in the Washington Post…came to light as more details emerged of the extent of detainee abuse. Formal statements by inmates published yesterday describe horrific treatment at the hands of guards, including the rape of a teenage Iraqi boy by an army translator… According to the leaked memorandum … it also called for military intelligence officials to work more closely with the military police guards at the prison to "manipulate an internee's emotions and weaknesses"…

Bakersfield dad accused of biting out son's eye
Bakersfield
by Steve E. Swenson
May 15, 2009

A Bakersfield father is accused of biting out one of the eyes of his small child and similarly mutilating the other eye, leaving the child blind. After attacking the child, 34-year-old Angel Vidal Mendoza Sr. quickly left his apartment in a wheelchair, entered a backyard of a nearby vacant home and attacked his own legs with an ax, severely injuring himself, Bakersfield police reported. The child, 4-year-old Angelo Mendoza Jr., later told police, "My daddy ate my eyes." Doctors at Mercy Hospital said it is unknown whether the child will regain vision in his right eye. Child Protective Services cannot discuss the case, CPS program director Brian Parnell said. But in cases of serious abuse, the child is taken into protective custody, he said.

Arks of Safe Haven
www.arksofsafehaven.org
"Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and to not ignore your own flesh [and blood]?" Isaiah 58:7

The mission of Arks of Safe Haven is to connect via an extensive network and online message board forum, those individuals and families who have been affected by recent economic downfalls and are in need with those individuals who are ready, willing and capable of providing assistance to those in need with employment, shelter, work, food, clothing and other necessities.

Coupled with our primary mission of delivering the Kingdom Message of Salvation, the assistance of Arks of Safe Haven is available to all who are in need. Our purposeful intention is to follow in the footsteps of Christ as our example, by providing hope to the hopeless and answering the prayers of those who have been forced to live outside of society.

How You Can Help?

In order to provide for those whose outcry of prayers have reached our heavenly Father's ears, Arks of Safe Haven is seeking out those who are able to provide shelter, whether it be an extra bedroom, empty rental property or a work for room and board agreement. Additionally, we also act as a liaison in connecting those with tangible items to donate to those in need like Food, Water, Clothing, & Other Personal Items. We pray that your heart is motivated to make a contribution, no matter how small. 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.

LovingLife – Lawrenceville, GA – I am a single mom and desperately need help. I was getting a check from my scholarship every month, which was covering my rent. I just graduated, so I no longer get the check. I have been looking for work for over a month, to no avail. In 1 week, I will have no place or money for my children to live. I have a baby that is only 4 months old. I have tried calling everyone for help, but no one has the funds available. I have a place that I can move into, if I give them 2 months rent up front. If anyone can please help me, I don't have the money to pay to take my RN licensing test. I am trying to make a better life for my children and know that there is someone who can answer my prayers. I want to work, but cant find anything. No one wants to hire me when they see I went to school for nursing, because they say I wont stay, but I cant get a job nursing until I get licensed, and I cant do that until I have the money. I pray every day for someone to help my family.

jennipepsi67 – Norfolk, VA. – I CANNOT STRESS HOW DESPERATE WE ARE BECOMING, WE WILL LITERALLY BE PUT OUT OF OUR HOME ON JUNE 5TH WITH OUT 1800.00 IN BACK RENT DUE. WE WANT TO WORK FOR OUR RENT TO SAVE OUR HOME, OUR SON IS 3, MY HUSBAND CAN DO ANY HOME IMPROVEMENT, CARPENTRY, ROOF, BUILD DECKS, ROOMS, I CAN DO ANYTHING U NEED, BS IN ELEM. EDUCATION, MANAGER , DIRECTOR, CLERICAL, ADMINISTRATIVE, COOK, CLEAN, WALK YOUR DOG. PLEASE HELP US EARN OUR RENT SO WE CAN STAY…WE HAVE NO WHERE TO GO, NO FAMILY TO HELP US, MY FATHER IN LAW RECENTLY PASSED FROM BRAIN CANCER, WE HAVE NO ONE. ALSO, IF YOU COULD DONATE BUS PASSES, FOR JOB INTERVIEWS, AND HOPEFUL JOB ITSELF, EVEN A DAY PASS, OR 7 DAY PASS. PLEASE, WE NEED YOU

THE PALMER FAMILY
4225 DUNNING ROAD
NORFOLK, VA 23518

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

L.A. earthquake should have San Diego taking notice
Preparedness is the key as experts say a big earthquake will hit the region.
By Eric Yates, SDNN
May 18, 2009

With Sunday’s 4.7-magnitude earthquake in Los Angeles, which was felt as far south as San Diego, and last month’s earthquakes in Italy and Mexico, many in San Diego may be wondering, “could we be next?” Well, to be quite frank, yeah. We could be. Such is the nature of living in “quake country.” But it’s nothing new. If you are like the majority of San Diego County residents, you’ve experienced earthquakes before. You may have even felt, or at least heard about, the swarm of small quakes that happened in late March in Bombay Beach near the Salton Sea (about 90 miles east of San Diego). During that swarm, dozens of sub-3.0-magnitude quakes shook the region, but did no significant damage. What is significant is Bombay Beach’s close proximity to the southern edge of the San Andreas Fault. Dozens of small earthquakes near one of the largest fault lines in the world? That can’t be good. Right?

Small Wildfire in the Mountains
Firefighters Seem to Have Two Acre Blaze Under Control
May 20, 2009
Santa Barbara Independent

Just as Santa Barbara County residents began breathing a little easier with Jesusita Fire victims moving into recovery mode, a small fire began on the backside of Santa Ynez Mountains on Wednesday afternoon. According to chatter on the police scanner, the two-acre blaze located near off Paradise Road between Paradise Park and Portreo Lane appeared to be under control by 1 p.m., but, with winds picking up, more engines were coming and law enforcement was going to be setting up traffic control. An air attack had also been called in.

Torrential rains flood Australia's east coast
Thousands in two cities flee; some areas under 32 feet of water
MSNBC
May 22, 2009

SYDNEY – Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes Friday as torrential rains and strong winds pounded Australia's east coast, causing severe flooding and forcing the closure of hundreds of schools. The severe weather has battered the region for the past few days. One man was killed in Queensland state's Surfers Paradise on Wednesday when a sheet of metal that winds had torn off a nearby building crashed through his office window. The New South Wales state government declared the area a disaster zone and hundreds of schools were closed on Friday. The State Emergency Service ordered the evacuation of 5,000 from the city of Lismore in northern New South Wales after the city's river threatened to overflow. An evacuation order had also been issued in Grafton, a town of 9,000 residents that officials expect to be inundated overnight by an overflowing river, State Emergency Services chief Murray Kear said Friday.

Ice jams plug up Yukon River at Russian Mission, Pilot Station
WARNINGS: Extensive flooding occurs upriver of Pilot Station, and conditions at Marshall may worsen.
By JAMES HALPIN
May 21st, 2009
Anchorage Daily News

Extensive flooding has been reported on the lower Yukon River as ice jams held fast in two locations Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported. A flood warning was in effect for the Yukon from Russian Mission to Pilot Station until 5:30 p.m. Friday, and a flood watch was in effect until Monday from St. Marys to Emmonak and Alakanuk on the Bering Sea coast. Flooding has affected almost every community along the Yukon to some degree — Eagle Village was largely destroyed — since breakup began earlier this month, pushing floodwaters and ice down river. Officials now say the flood waters could drain into the sea in a matter of days. "We're getting close," said weather service hydrologist Ed Plumb. "We're down to the last 100 miles or so of the river."

Mississippi tornadoes remain above average
May 20, 2009
Examiner.com

Just one year ago, Mississippi was in the midst of a record year for tornadoes. Sixty-eight tornadoes were confirmed from January to mid May 2008. 2008 went on to produce over 40 more tornadoes, for a record total of 109. This year, only 35 tornadoes have been confirmed across the state through mid May 2009, which is significantly down from last year. March and May have been the most active months so far this year, with 14 confirmed tornadoes in both months. Despite a less active severe weather season, Mississippi is above average for tornadoes. (35 confirmed)

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

QUAKES –

5/17/09 –
5.1 MOLUCCA SEA
5.4 NORTH OF SVALBARD
5.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
5.1 ATACAMA, CHILE
5.6 TONGA

5/18/09 –
5.0 SOUTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
5.0 SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS
5.1 SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS
5.1 NEAR COAST OF SOUTHERN PERU
5.7 NEAR THE COAST OF SOUTHERN PERU

5/19/09 –
5.1 EASTERN KASHMIR
5.0 MID-INDIAN RIDGE
5.6 WESTERN SAUDI ARABIA
WESTERN SAUDI ARABIA also had other quakes of 4.6, 4.6 4.9 & 4.9.
5.5 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.2 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION

5/20/09 –
5.2 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.1 CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO REGION
5.3 TONGA REGION
5.1 OFFSHORE GUATEMALA

5/21/09 –
5.0 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.7 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
5.4 SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA
5.2 SAMOA ISLANDS REGION

CALIFORNIA – Authorities ordered a Long Beach apartment building evacuated after the structure sustained severe roof damage in a quake that rattled the area earlier in an earthquake aftershock Tuesday afternoon. At least a dozen people were forced out after someone noticed damage to the building's eaves. No injuries were reported. Earlier in the afternoon, a magnitude-4 quake centered near Los Angeles International Airport shook Southern California. The aftershock occurred near the epicenter of Sunday's 4.7 quake, which caused strong shaking and light damage in the beach towns south of the airport.

SAUDI ARABIA – The sun rose Wednesday on cracked houses in Yanbu Al-Bahr as tremors rocked Harat Al-Shaqah in the Al-Eis area all through Tuesday night. The houses had cracks in them as a result of the night’s seismic activity. The Civil Defense received over 350 reports of earth tremors. The people of Yanbu Al-Bahr have opened their doors to the fleeing residents of Al-Eis and are hosting them in their own houses.

CALIFORNIA – A mild earthquake has rattled Los Angeles just two days after a moderate tremor that struck a densely populated area and put the sprawling California metropolis on edge. The 4.1 magnitude quake struck at 3.49pm local time (08.49 AEST) and shook buildings across a wide area of Los Angeles. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The quake was centred just 16km southwest of downtown Los Angeles at a depth of 12.1km, very close to where a 4.7 quake struck on Sunday night. Geologists say an earthquake capable of causing widespread destruction is 99 per cent certain of hitting California within the next 30 years.

CALIFORNIA – Glass shattered and ceiling tiles fell as a moderate tremor shook laid-back Southern California, rattling residents' nerves and reminding them they need to update earthquake emergency plans. No significant damage or major injuries were reported but the greater Los Angeles region vibrated for about 10 to 15 seconds Sunday night and the tremor was felt as far south as San Diego. "This was a serious jolt." It measured magnitude-4.7 and was centered about 10 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles and three miles east of Los Angeles International Airport. At least 10 aftershocks had followed by early Monday, with the largest registering magnitude-3.1. "People should be on their toes." Glass broke at a Starbucks in Torrance, and one person there was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Ceiling tiles fell in a movie theater during a screening of "Angels and Demons" in Redondo Beach and moviegoers fled. Television images showed a storefront window knocked out of a Long Beach drapery business. The shaking was most intense in the coastal communities south of the airport, including Long Beach. The quake originated 8.4 miles below the surface and appeared consistent with movement on the Newport-Inglewood fault. That fault was responsible for the magnitude-6.4 Long Beach earthquake in 1933 that killed 120 and caused more than $50 million in damage. The last damaging earthquake in Southern California was the 1994 magnitude-6.7 Northridge quake that toppled bridges and buildings. Since Northridge, the region has been in a relative seismic lull, although activity has picked up in the past year. Last summer, a 5.4-magnitude quake was centered in Chino Hills, east of Los Angeles, but did not cause major damage. Earlier this year, an earthquake swarm shook the desert near the southern end of the San Andreas Fault. "The activity that we've seen in the past year isn't the highest by a long shot, but I WOULD NO LONGER CALL LOS ANGELES QUIET."

CALIFORNIA – A prolonged 5.0 earthquake shook the Los Angeles area on Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Residents across a wide area of Los Angeles felt a sharp rumbling that lasted 10 to 15 seconds at about 8:39 p.m. (11:39 p.m. EDT/0339 GMT). The tremor follows a 5.4 earthquake which jolted Los Angeles last July, the most powerful seismic shock to rock the city in 14 years.

WESTERN NORTH AMERICA – The Cascadia Subduction Zone has ruptured its entire length from Northern California to Vancouver Island, B.C., about 19 to 20 times in the past 10,000 years. Each event measured 9 plus, with the last major earthquake occurring Jan. 26, 1700. The subduction zone has modes, with the southern portion rupturing more often, albeit with less intensity, than the central and northern zones. Washington has experienced a major earthquake about every 500 years; central Oregon, about every 450 years; and the southern Oregon/Northern California area, about every 250 years. "If you are in northern Oregon, there is between a 15 and 25 percent chance of an earthquake in the next 50 years. As you go south, the probability for having one in the next 50 years goes up and up and up." For a time, one hypothesis held that the Juan de Fuca plate had frozen and ceased to subduct. A second was that the plates were so lubricated with sediment that they had suppressed the earthquakes. Now scientists believe the Juan de Fuca plate and the North America plate are locked in a fierce battle, with the basaltic Juan de Fuca plate pushing the weaker North America plate back 35 millimeters per year — about 17.5 meters (about 57.5 feet) in the past 500 years. That could mean trouble is brewing. "They are compressing like springs, ratcheting tighter and tighter and tighter. Eventually, it will break. When it does, the North America plate will spring 17.5 meters in a minute or so. It has been squished for 500 years, and it is going to get all that back all at once. It is a huge amount of energy. The biggest energy release on Earth." (map)

VOLCANOES –

ALASKA – Officials at the Alaska Volcano Observatory in Anchorage say seismicity remained elevated Wednesday at Mount Redoubt, and the lava dome continues to grow.

SAUDI ARABIA – Civil Defense forces on Tuesday night evacuated all the remaining residents of Al-Eis, some 26,000 people, after a quake measuring 5.4 hit the region on Tuesday, just hours after a 4.8 tremor. Authorities closed all entrance routes coming from Madina, Yanbu and Umluj to Al-Eis town and villages in the vicinity. Authorities evacuated villages in a 20-km radius from the al-Ais volcano. By Wednesday morning streets and houses in Al-Eis were deserted and police and Civil Defense authorities had departed from their stations. The Saudi Geological Survey said Wednesday that an air inspection at “Al-Harrat As-Shaqqah” (lava field) and the surrounding areas revealed the existence of what it described as ground groves at the seismic activity area. It explained the increase in the number of tremors on the rise in temperature and concentration of gas in some regions of volcanic area.

SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi authorities evacuated five western villages on Monday after tremors hit a volcanic region in the past weeks raising concerns of possible eruptions. A 4.68 earthquake hit the region on Sunday. "There was a large quake, the largest so far." Al-Ais, 150 km (100 miles) northeast of the Yanbu on the Red Sea, is not close to the oil and petrochemicals facilities. The region lies on a fault line, and newspapers reported that in the past few days magma levels had risen to 4 km (2.5 miles) below the surface from 8 km. Fears of an eruption in dormant volcanoes in al-Ais have sent panic stricken residents voluntarily fleeing to the holy city of Medina and Yanbu last week.

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

AUSTRALIA's tsunami early warning system has been vandalised and pilfered, possibly by Indonesian pirates or scrap metal collectors. The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that one of its five deep ocean buoys used to provide Australia with at least 90 minutes of warning needed to be replaced because it had been picked apart. Two of the buoys are positioned in international waters between Australia and Indonesia. The bureau has previously expressed concern about the prospect of the buoys, worth about $500,000 each, being stolen or pilfered by pirates.

SOUTH AFRICA – Sea tempests threaten to destroy Kalk Bay landmarks. This weekend extreme weather lashed Cape Town and the storm-battered former fishing village of Kalk Bay. Kalk Bay is at the front line in the stormy debate over climate change and the contested theory of rising sea levels, with top ocean scientists at loggerheads over whether businessmen will survive the storm or be flushed out to sea. One man's insurance company has cancelled his policy after massive waves caused R1-million damage last year to his restaurants at Kalk Bay harbour. He had three spectacular restaurants overlooking False Bay. But he didn’t bank on the sea getting closer to him, or crashing right through his kitchens. “We paid (insurance) for 10 years and never had a claim. Then the one big hit and they just said bugger this we’re going. I don’t know exactly what the answer is now. We’re not insured at the moment and it’s a concern. The problem is I’ve got the lease here for 24 years. I don’t know what will happen, maybe it will be an underwater restaurant here.” The owner of the Kalk Bay restaurant The Brass Bell also has no insurance against sea-water damage. “They also say they won’t insure me for sea-water damage, otherwise the premiums would be astronomical." Most seafront restaurants were hard at work this week preparing for a low-pressure system travelling south of the country. The veteran Kalk Bay harbour master said weather conditions had deteriorated over the past 30 years. Last year he had to relocate the entire rock lobster trawler fleet due to massive waves. “Every year it seems to be getting worse…The sea is getting rougher and wind picks up more and has become more unpredictable.” Violent waves and storm damage have prompted action from several coastal municipalities, including Cape Town and Durban. A study commissioned by the city of Cape Town found there was a one-in-five chance that vast chunks of territory could be flooded by waves as high as 6.5m within the next 25 years. Less dramatic, but nevertheless catastrophic, events like the storm with 2.5m waves that tore into Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal in 2007 — are considered almost a certainty.

TROPICAL STORMS –

A trend has emerged since the mid-1970s where storms tend to last longer and be more intense, with a strong correlation to the rise in tropical sea surface temperature. Several large African cities are at risk from rising sea levels and intense storms, experts warn. In such low-income urban centres, infrastructure is often non-existent or ill-maintained, while storm-water drainage infrastructure is often outdated and inadequate. In sub-Saharan Africa, storm surge zones are concentrated in Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique and Nigeria. These countries alone account for about half (53 percent) of the total increase in the region’s surge zones resulting from sea level rise and intensified storms. "Coastal flooding has started to be of concern in the last 10 to 15 years. Now, a few times each year, there are people who wake up in water." In 50 years, some coastal towns in Mozambique will disappear if nothing is done – such as Nacala, Beira, Quelimane and Mahajanga. Coastal agriculture, in terms of extent of croplands, will be affected 100 percent in Nigeria, 66.67 percent in Ghana, and 50 percent in Togo and Equatorial Guinea. Mauritania is experiencing the impact of a changing climate exemplified by a steadily creeping desert and other extreme weather events. It is one of the countries likely to be worst affected by intensified storm surges. An average 78 million people worldwide are exposed each year to tropical cyclone wind hazard and another 1.6 million to storm surges. In terms of economic exposure, an annual average of $1,284 billion in GDP is exposed to tropical cyclones. "Currently 10 percent of the world’s total population (over 600 million people) and 13 percent of its urban population (over 360 million people) live on the 2 percent of the world’s land area that is less than 10m above sea level, known as the Low Elevation Coastal Zone."

HAWAII – The Central Pacific Hurricane center announced Wednesday this year's climate conditions point to a near to below normal hurricane season. But there is a small probability that they could see a higher occurrence of cyclones. Hurricane season in Hawaii starts June first through the end of November. There is an 80% that they will see 3 to 5 tropical cyclones. These include tropical depressions, storms, and hurricanes. There always some degree of uncertainty. If an El Nino weather pattern amplifies, they could actually see more cyclone activity. That's where the other 20% comes into play and a stronger "El Nino" pattern would bring above normal activity, which is greater than 5 cyclones. Regardless of how many storms are forecast, the National weather Service says now is the time to prepare. During times of natural disaster, government agencies will be busy restoring water, power, and communications as a first priority. Residents should be prepared to survive on their own for up to 5 days.

PHILIPPINES – A low-pressure area near Palawan province has intensified into an active low-pressure area (ALPA) and may intensify into a tropical cyclone. The disturbance will be named "Feria" once it becomes a cyclone.

INDIA – a low-pressure area will form over central Bay of Bengal around Saturday (May 23) and intensify thereafter. International models saw a tropical cyclone spinning up out of the system later on. There is an increased chance for tropical cyclone formation in the Bay and further east across into the South China Sea during May 19 to 25. This is being attributed to the anomalous westerly flows and areas of low vertical wind shear and above average sea surface temperatures (SSTs). While high vertical wind shear kills budding storms, raised SSTs aid storm building. It may hit the Kolkata coast for a landfall around May 27. Later, the remnant system is shown to move in a northwesterly direction into east India. Another model sees the landfall over Bangladesh, subsequent to which the weakened system would head back into mainland India. The NOGAPS sees the cyclonic storm being active within the Bay basin from Friday to Sunday after the causative ‘low’ takes birth in the central Bay.

FLORIDA – Low pressure in Caribbean heads their way . As of Sunday afternoon, the flare-up to the southeast of Jamaica looks impressive, but is really just a disorganized complex of showers and storms. In fact, it doesn’t have many tropical characteristics as it’s associated with a mid to upper-level trough and has cooler air aloft. Tropical systems have warm cores throughout the atmosphere and stand independently from troughs and fronts. Regardless, the area of low pressure is going to move in their direction and bring the State of Florida plenty of rainfall (2-8 inches) from this afternoon through Wednesday. Brush fire and drought problems continue across parts of central Florida, but Mother Nature will help that in a big way. The winds on the east and northeast coast will be onshore so riptides and beach erosion may come in to play over there. The area of low pressure looks like it wanders northwest into the northern or northeastern Gulf of Mexico by Thursday and Friday. If it has any chance to become a sub-tropical storm (which would give it the name Ana), it would be late in the week as it moves just off the Louisiana to Florida Panhandle coastline. It would be in this area that it could separate itself from the upper-level trough and strong wind shear which prohibits development. Water temperatures are just above the 80 degree mark so the core of the system could become warmer, but, the waters quickly cool just beneath the surface so it’s hard to envision this system picking up a lot of strength. Some of that cooler water beneath the surface would quickly get pulled up, restricting future development. Right now it’s still a low chance that it gets the first name of the season, but name it or not, it will bring plenty of rain and breezy weather to the state.

PHILIPPINES – State weather forecasters are monitoring on a low-pressure area (LPA) off Palawan, which they said has a “50-50" chance of intensifying into a cyclone. "Let’s give it a 50-50 chance, but it is very near a land mass. Most likely it will end up in the South China Sea where tropical cyclone ‘Emong’ came from." As of 2 a.m., the LPA was estimated at 200 km east-southeast of Puerto Princesa City, embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone affecting the Visayas and Mindanao.

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

FLORIDA – A slow-moving low-pressure system has soaked the state for nearly a week. Tampa received 1.26 inches of rain Monday, a record for that date. The old mark of 1.11 inches had stood since 1911. The rains are providing a major boost for the dwindling aquifer, not to mention all the lakes and rivers that had hit record lows. And they have put a damper on the wildfires that have already consumed hundreds of thousands of acres around the state. "This is really what the doctor ordered for most of Florida." The one exception: Northeast Florida, where some areas have already seen more than 11 inches of rain and 50 mph gusts of wind. The combination has produced minor flooding and beach erosion, both likely to be exacerbated by the continued pounding of wind and water. Normally May is the end of the dry season. "I've been here 13 years and I've never seen a May like this. This is an UNUSUAL WEATHER EVENT."

AUSTRALIA – Emergency services are on alert this morning as the brunt of a storm front that threatens destructive 125kmh wind gusts and heavy rain heads for Perth.

Australian authorities declared a state of emergency in Queensland Wednesday as torrential rain and gale force winds caused extensive flooding and left one man dead. Almost 30,000 homes were without power in the state's southeast, where some areas recorded 300 millimetres (12 inches) of rain in 24 hours and wind gusts exceeding 100 kilometres (62 miles) an hour. A 46-year-old man was killed by flying glass when a FREAK WIND GUST smashed in a window on a building on the Gold Coast tourist strip. The floods were causing havoc on roads in southeast Queensland. "There are quite a large number of people who are at this stage isolated in their vehicles and I am further advised there are a number of schools that have been cut off as well." Police said tables, chairs and barbecues had been blown off the top of high-rise buildings on the Gold Coast. Meteorologists have warned the wild weather could last for days.

FLORIDA – the rains Highlands County and West Central Florida are experiencing aren't the usual summer showers and it isn't tropical, either, according to the National Weather Service. "It is not our typical summertime pattern." Some areas have experienced 1 to 2 inches of rain. As much as 4 to 8 inches are possible in some areas of West Central Florida before the week is through. It is part of a dissipating front affecting much of the Florida peninsula followed by a low front trying to form over Cuba. There are conflicting models showing where this front could go, but into the Gulf of Mexico is a likely possibility. "This is not tropical." The hurricane season doesn't begin until June 1. "For the last few days it has seemed more like July than May, as leftover moisture from a dissipated front has combined with daytime heating and the sea breezes to cause scattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms."

AUSTRALIA – Brisbane's WETTEST DAY IN EIGHT YEARS. A number of communities have been isolated as torrential rain caused flash-flooding across southeast Queensland, with weather watchers warning the worst is yet to come. Beerburrum has recorded 302mm, its WETTEST 24-HOUR PERIOD IN 17 YEARS, while Redcliffe had 151mm. 89mm fell on Brisbane city in the 24 hours to 9am today. "Daily rainfall totals well in excess of 100mm will be commonplace, and we are expecting falls over the next few days to exceed 500mm in some locations." The weather bureau says widespread flash-flooding will intensify as a low-pressure system hovers off the southeast coast. A number of small communities have been isolated by floodwaters, including Pullenvale in Brisbane's western outskirts.

PHILIPPINES – Rescuers found more bodies under tonnes of mud and debris after rain-induced landslides hit a mining village in the southern Philippines, increasing the death toll to 17.

Back on April 29, a RARE CLOUD FORMATION moved across North Escambia and South Alabama capturing the attention of many North Escambia residents. And now a series of photos from an area resident is giving the opportunity to see the cloud in motion. Forecasters at the NWS did not know exactly what to call the cloud formation, settling on calling it just an “arc cloud”. They say the cloud would have been formed by a rapid surge of warm moist air.

BRAZIL – Swelled rivers that have flooded homes to their rooftops and forced more than 260,000 people from their homes in northeastern Brazil will probably take a few more weeks to recede, Brazilian authorities said over the weekend. The intense flooding has paralyzed large swaths of this sweltering tropical region, where schools and government buildings have been closed for weeks and whole towns are almost underwater. While water levels have receded somewhat in recent days, showers continued through the weekend. The flooding, which began in April, has been the third-worst in the past 49 years, based on the amount of rainfall in a single month. It is the second time in six months that intense flooding has turned into a regional disaster. In November, torrential rains in Santa Catarina, in the south, caused landslides that left 135 people dead and swept more than 78,000 from their homes, affecting some 60 towns. “What we are observing in the last few years in Brazil is a pattern of droughts and more intense rains.” Colder temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, which climatologists have called the La Niña effect, are colliding with warmer temperatures in the tropical southern Atlantic Ocean, one possible explanation for the extreme weather patterns.

EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-

MINNESOTA – The Twin Cities hit a RECORD HIGH of 97 degrees as hot weather pushed across southern and central Minnesota.

UNITED KINGDOM – The Met Office says it is too early to tell whether it will be a very hot summer this year, but the signs so far are that it will be warmer than their last two summers and conditions could well trigger its heatwave warning system.

AUSTRALIA – The devastating February bushfires that killed 173 people generated enough energy to fuel 1500 atomic bombs the size of Hiroshima. "It's an enormous amount of energy." In some areas, the blaze created spotfires 35km ahead of the main fire. It is important to evaluate a fire on a three-dimensional level, taking into account not just surface winds but upper winds created by the plume of smoke above a fire. Trees had been snapped off about three to four metres above ground level in the February 7 Black Saturday bushfires by these types of winds. "You would have needed winds of 120kmh or more to produce that.''

AUSTRALIA – Victoria's road system could not support a massive evacuation in the event of catastrophic bushfire events similar to Black Saturday. Mandatory evacuations need extensive infrastructure which Victoria does not have. In California, which has a mandatory evacuation system, 22 people still died in one incident six years ago. "I've seen situations in California where the very extensive freeway system they have is just log-jammed with cars…The road network in Victoria certainly wouldn't support that sort of a huge scale leaving."

HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD –

NEW ZEALAND – Unseasonable weather has brought on a large avalanche 2000 metres up Birch Hill in the Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park. The event is UNUSUAL FOR THIS TIME OF THE YEAR and has most likely been brought on by the unseasonable weather in the mountains, which includes two storms. Only two people, hunters, were in the park at the time and were not near the area where the avalanche occurred. It is thought to have happened on either Sunday or Monday. First reports suggested it had been a size five avalanche, the largest on the scale, which would have been capable of wiping out a village. The slip was now thought to be a size four. There has been extensive damage to High Country farm tracks, fencing and flood gates caused by the recent heavy rains, which on Sunday saw the Rangitata River peak at its highest level in 15 years.

GEORGIA – After almost a decade-long spell of consistently hot and dry weather, coastal Georgians may have recently noticed A STRING OF WACKY WEATHER PATTERNS bringing an UNUSUAL amount of rain and record-breaking low temperatures. On Monday, Liberty County and the surrounding area experienced a RECORD-BREAKING LOW TEMPERATURE of 66 degrees. “It broke the 1875 record of 71 degrees." To further illustrate the area’s unexpected weather, the record comes on the heels of a noticeably wet spring, which nearly brought the state out of a decade-long drought that once plagued residents with water restrictions and depleted lakes. “I think what we are seeing is a return to more normal patterns after a period of drought. The last decade was dry overall, but there were certainly some wet periods within it, particularly during the tropical storm seasons in 2004 and 2005…Georgia is a subtropical, humid climate where rain is supposed to happen frequently." In April 2009 there were 6.91 inches of rain and only 2.56 in 2008. In May 2009 there has already been 5.28 inches in comparison to 2008’s 1.32 inches. When rain increases, however, weather patterns can get interesting as it often has a snowball effect. “Now that the soils are moist again, it is much easier to generate thunderstorms when we have a front or low pressure area move over Georgia. During the drought, any thunderstorms would evaporate when they hit the dry area, but now they propagate nicely." Liberty-Hinesville Emergency Management Agency monitors changing local weather. Noting strong increases in precipitation and wind, they’re watching conditions daily and are warning people of supersaturated grounds and rotting root systems, which could cause trees to fell. “We’ve had a WEIRD outbreak of tornadoes. We get them every spring, but not like this. THE WHOLE SPRING HAS BEEN UNUSUAL.”

OHIO – Freezing temperatures are RARE in Northeast Ohio this late in the spring: There is only about a 10 percent chance of going below freezing here after May 15, according to maps from the National Climatic Data Center. But Monday's low temperature of 34 degrees, recorded at 4:20 a.m. at the airport, BROKE THE PREVIOUS LOW MARK of 36, set in 1985.

SOUTH CAROLINA – A WEATHER RECORD WAS SHATTERED Monday, with the area posting the LOWEST HIGH TEMPERATURE IN ITS HISTORY. Monday’s high was around 57 degrees. Before that, the lowest high temperature was 71 degrees in 1875 for Savannah. There is no record temperature data for Beaufort County; Savannah is the closest weather station. “We’re going to shatter that record by 10 to 15 degrees, which is quite impressive." They attribute the record cool to a weather pattern called “cold air damming” that is usually seen in this area in January and February. It is “QUITE UNUSUAL” for that pattern to occur in May. It is caused when cold, dry air from the piedmont of Georgia and North Carolina is met by cool, light rain. The rain evaporates, cooling the air even further.

MASSACHUSETTS – RECORD-BREAKING COLD expected to bring frost to Western Massachusetts. Record-breaking temperatures in many areas are expected to sink into the upper 20s.

AUSTRALIA – This month has been the SUNNIEST ON RECORD in Perth, but the run of unseasonal weather is about to end as the rain arrives and temperatures tumble.

U.S. – One hundred degree heat will again be expected throughout the Southwest today, with triple-digit temperatures reaching as far north as Northern California. Temperatures should top out AT LEAST 25 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL from California's Central Valley into Oregon. A heat advisory is in effect today for the San Francisco Bay area and the central coast of California. This excessive heat will affect air quality, with code red (unhealthy) air quality forecast for Bakersfield, Fresno and Visalia, Calif. The rapid snowmelt associated with the heat will also increase the avalanche risk today for California's Mount Shasta.

COLORADO – RECORD HEAT on the way for Denver. While temperature in the 90s before Memorial Day are UNUSUAL for Denver, it is not unprecedented.

SPACE WEATHER-

'Stealth storm from Sun' captured – Astronomers have captured what they claim is the RARE sight of a "stealth storm" that erupted from the Sun even though its surface looked tranquil. A team caught the sight of the blurp of ionised gas that blasted into space from surface of the Sun without warning, using images taken by the STEREO twin solar probes. The eruption was a coronal mass ejection — a bubble of plasma that, if energetic enough and pointed at Earth, can well zap satellites, endanger astronauts, and knock out power grids. The Sun ordinarily gives some warning when it is about to let loose a coronal mass ejection (CME). However, the latest observations have shown that the eruptions are simply stealthy and without any prior indication. "This proves coronal mass ejection (CMEs) exist that have no significant signature on the (solar) disk." The CME emerged so stealthily because it didn't originate deep within the sun. Instead, the shallow emission gathered up material over a larger area, causing a less pronounced disturbance at the star's surface. If the plume had been pointed at Earth it would have created a minor geomagnetic storm by space weather standards, but strong enough to affect migratory animals and cause minor fluctuations on power grids. "All the big dangerous things come from much more powerful explosions, which as far as we know are always strong enough to make some signature on the face of the Sun. It's in some sense a mystery because we hadn't actually seen it. But, the team has shown that yes, indeed, that's actually what it is."

HEALTH THREATS –

Swine flu claimed its first death in New York and more schools were shut in the city as the number of infections worldwide swelled to more than 8000. The number of confirmed cases of the new Influenza A (H1N1) flu has climbed to 8480 while the death toll has remained static at 72.

The number of infection cases of influenza A/H1N1 in the Asia-Pacific region hit 121 on Sunday and the region is now facing the risk of grass-root outbreak.

More than 90 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Japan although none of the A/H1N1 cases are critical. The figures have been rising rapidly and WHO may raise the alert level.

The global spread of swine flu could have notable effects on the world economy, according to a senior IMF official, who's warned the financial crisis is far from over. The risks posed by the new type of flu are "hard to predict'' but it could have "notable economic effects.''

Japan reported a spike in novel H1N1 cases – Health officials voiced concern over a surge in novel H1N1 influenza cases in Japan, particularly among young people. Case numbers rose from 4 to 129 over the weekend, leading to more than 2,000 school closures. Many of the new cases are from Kobe and Osaka, where officials believe the virus spread during a high school volleyball tournament. Community spread in a region outside of North America could trigger a rise in the world's pandemic alert level, although WHO has been urged to go slow on declaring a pandemic.

The global number of novel H1N1 cases pushed to 8,829 in 40 countries.
The count includes 3,103 cases and 68 deaths in Mexico, 4,714 cases and 4 deaths in the United States (as of May 15), 496 cases and 1 death in Canada, and 9 cases and 1 death in Costa Rica. Countries reporting their first cases over the past few days include Ecuador, Peru, India, Malaysia, Turkey, and Australia.

An assistant principal at a New York City school shuttered with a high rate of novel H1N1 i
nfections died Sunday night, raising the number of US deaths from the disease to six. The 55-year-old man died 6 days after he became ill. His family said his only underlying condition was gout. The man reportedly received an experimental modality using ultraviolet rays to decrease pathogens in the blood. Other outlets reported he was also treated with ribivirin.

Some UNUSUAL PATTERNS are emerging with the novel H1N1 virus in young people. Officials have already noted that the new virus has disproportionately affected younger people. However, hospitalizations are primarily occurring in those 5 to 24 years old. Also, the number of school closures this late in the season in diverse parts of the country is also UNUSUAL.

The global number of novel H1N1 cases climbed to 9,830 cases in 40 countries. The count includes 3,648 cases and 72 deaths from Mexico, 5.123 cases and 5 deaths in the United States (as of yesterday), 496 cases and 1 death in Canada, and 9 cases and 1 death in Costa Rica. No new countries were added to the list.

The US stockpile contains only 39 million surgical masks, far short of the 27 billion federal officials say would be needed in a serious influenza pandemic. The nation's supply of 80 million respirators also falls short of the government's 3 billion estimate. Also, most of the masks are made in Mexico or China, and it's unclear if the few US-based companies could supply enough for a serious outbreak. The CDC has said the benefits of wearing surgical masks are unclear.

New strain of MRSA seems to be triggering a deadly form of pneumonia in people who catch flu. Researchers believe the new strain of the antibiotic-resistant bacterium is becoming more widespread. Unlike most forms of the superbug, it poses a significant risk outside hospitals. Death rates following infection may be higher than 50%. The emergence of swine flu could intensify the problem, as CA-MRSA appears to strike people who are already ill with flu. The latest study warns that community-acquired cases are beginning to increase.

Excessive cola consumption can lead to anything from mild weakness to profound muscle paralysis, doctors are warning. This is because the drink can cause blood potassium to drop dangerously low. There is a curious case of an Australian ostrich farmer who needed emergency care for lung paralysis after drinking 4-10 litres of cola a day. He made a full recovery and was advised to curtail his cola drinking. "We have every reason to think that it is not rare."

Flu outbreak tests military pandemic plans
– The novel flu outbreak, which launched from North America, wasn't the overseas threat that the US military envisioned when it prepared its pandemic plan, according to details that surfaced in briefing documents obtained by the Associated Press. According to the closely guarded plan, in catastrophic circumstances the military would help law enforcement enforce quarantines, limit travel, and protect government buildings. The six-phase plan also calls for measures to protect the armed services.

The count of confirmed and probable novel H1N1 cases in the United States grew to 5,710, of which 8 were fatal, from 48 states and the District of Columbia. No new states reported confirmed cases. The newly reported deaths of a 44-year-old St Louis man and a 57-year-old Arizona woman were included in the fatality total.

Taiwan reported its first novel H1N1 case, in a 52-year-old foreign physician who had been in the United States several months and arrived in Taiwan via Hong Kong on May 18. Meanwhile, Australia reported four more cases, all in people who had recently been in the United States, raising the country's total to five. Greece was the only new country added to the list, with a report of one case.

A substantial portion of older Americans may have some immunity
to the swine-origin H1N1 influenza virus, a finding that may prove useful when and if a vaccine to the new flu strain becomes available.

RECALLS & ALERTS –

Nutro Products Announces Voluntary Recall
of Limited Range of Dry Cat Food Products – The cat food is being voluntarily recalled in the United States and ten additional countries. This recall is due to incorrect levels of zinc and potassium in the finished product resulting from a production error by a US-based premix supplier.

Signs in False Shepherds & False Religion

Children in Congo forced into exorcisms
By Dan Harris, Special for USA TODAY

Isaac Mananga, 10, and his half sister Chanel, 7, knelt on the dirt floor of the church, staring up at the pastor through scared, confused eyes. Standing before a wooden cross, Pastor Moise Tshombe, in a robe adorned with pictures of Jesus, went into a trance. Claiming to be speaking through the Holy Spirit, he declared, "These children are witches." Moments later, with Isaac and Chanel by her side, the children's grandmother, Marie Nzenze, said she believed the charges. "God has spoken through the mouth of the prophet," she said. "God has not lied." According to a United Nations report issued this year, a growing number of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being accused of witchcraft and subjected to violent exorcisms by religious leaders, in which they are often beaten, burned, starved and even murdered. The relatively new phenomenon has become one of the main causes in Central Africa for humanitarian groups, which are organizing programs to protect children's rights and educate pastors on the dangers of accusing children.

'The Catholic church failed me. I despised myself and lost all confidence'
An inquiry into child abuse by Catholic priests is published today. Its impact will be seismic, says victim and author of new book, Colm O'Gorman.
By Angela Levin
20 May 2009
Telegraph.co.uk

Few men have made such an extraordinary personal journey. Raped and abused in his early teens by Father Sean Fortune, one of Ireland's most notorious paedophiles, Colm O'Gorman ran away from home when he was 17 and lived rough on the streets of Dublin. It was the Seventies, when both church and state were in full-blown denial that any priest could be guilty of sexually abusing a child, and Colm felt only shame and fear. His future could not have been bleaker. Yet, with effort and determination he fought back, spoke out about the abuse, and in 2002 even tried to sue the Pope arguing that, by moving paedophile priests like Fortune to different parishes and deliberately concealing their actions from the local authorities, the Vatican had failed to protect children like him. He was outraged when the Pope claimed diplomatic immunity but, undaunted, continued to campaign that the authority of the Irish church should not be above that of the State.

Former fundamentalist 'debunks' Bible
May 15, 2009
CNN.com

CNN — Just so you know, Bart Ehrman says he's not the anti-Christ. He says he's not trying to destroy your faith. He's not trying to bash the Bible. And, though his mother no longer talks to him about religion, Ehrman says some of his best friends are Christian. Ehrman, a best-selling author and a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a biblical sleuth whose investigations make some people very angry. Like the fictional Robert Langdon character played by actor Tom Hanks in the movie "Angels & Demons," he delves into the past to challenge some of Christianity's central claims. In Ehrman's latest book, "Jesus, Interrupted," he concludes: Doctrines such as the divinity of Jesus and heaven and hell are not based on anything Jesus or his earlier followers said.

Hundreds of Irish Catholic priests 'to be implicated in child abuse report'
Hundreds of Catholic priests are expected to be implicated in alleged child abuse in Ireland in a major report this week.
By Sarah Knapton
17 May 2009

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse has spent nine years looking into allegations from thousands of former pupils of state schools and orphanages, some which date back more than 60 years. It is due to report on Wednesday while a second report looking into how sex abuse complaints were handled by the Catholic Church will be published by the commission in the summer. It is thought some 500 priests have been implicated in the abuse allegations. Many thousands of children suffered at the hands of religious orders such as the Christian Brothers and Sisters of Mercy at industrial schools and orphanages. Most of the children were born outside wedlock or came from large impoverished families that could not afford to feed them.

After the Rapture: Orlando man will deliver messages to those left behind
By Jeff Kunerth | Sentinel Staff Writer
May 15, 2009

There are those who believe in the Rapture prophesied in the Bible. And there is Joshua Witter, avowed atheist. They need each other. At least some people think so — those willing to pay Witter to be their post-apocalyptic postman, delivering cards and letters to their non-believing friends, relatives and neighbors who will be left behind when the Day of Reckoning arrives. About 70 people have paid the Orlando man about $5 apiece to get their messages to those doomed to face the plagues, pestilence and darkness of Armageddon. As sure as the True Believers are they will escape this earth when the Rapture arrives, Witter is just as certain he will be left behind to deliver their mail. He has committed blasphemy to make sure. "Anyway you look at it, I'm screwed. It's too late for me," said Witter, a 24-year-old computer software engineer who wears long sideburns and hip black-framed glasses.

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

Home: No place for Bible study
County demands pastor spend thousands on 'Major Use' permit to host friends
May 22, 2009
By Drew Zahn
WorldNetDaily

A San Diego pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a county official and warned they will face escalating fines if they continue to hold Bible studies in their home. The couple, whose names are being withheld until a demand letter can be filed on their behalf, told their attorney a county government employee knocked on their door on Good Friday, asking a litany of questions about their Tuesday night Bible studies, which are attended by approximately 15 people. "Do you have a regular weekly meeting in your home? Do you sing? Do you say 'amen'?" the official reportedly asked. "Do you say, 'Praise the Lord'?" The pastor's wife answered yes. She says she was then told, however, that she must stop holding "religious assemblies" until she and her husband obtain a Major Use Permit from the county, a permit that often involves traffic and environmental studies, compliance with parking and sidewalk regulations and costs that top tens of thousands of dollars.

From horse's mouth: Christians targeted!
Palestinian official says they need to be watched,
prevented from evangelizing, converting Muslims
May 21, 2009
By Aaron Klein
WorldNetDaily

JERUSALEM – Christians in the Palestinian territories are being "watched," a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority admitted to WND. "We have been watching this Christian organization and for the moment there is nothing special in their activity," said Adnan Dmeire, spokesman for the PA's security organizations in West Bank. Dmeire was referring to the Association of the Holy Book, one of the main groups that attends to the needs of Christians in the Palestinian territories. The group has been accused by both the PA and Hamas of carrying out missionary activities. A Bible store the association sponsored in the Gaza Strip – the only Christian bookstore in the territory – was attacked by Islamists several times. The store's owner, Rami Ayyad, was found shot to death in 2007, his body riddled with bullets.

Christian cross complaint targets nation's faith factor
Campaign assembled to protect recognition of veterans' sacrifices
May 21, 2009
By Bob Unruh
WorldNetDaily

A cross erected in the remote southern California desert by U.S. veterans in memory of their lost World War I buddies has become the focal point for an effort by the American Civil Liberties Union to eradicate references to Christianity from America's heritage. But now a campaign has been assembled to fight back, to honor the veterans who have kept the nation safe for generations and to endorse the right of the public to acknowledge those efforts. Liberty Legal Institute has launched a new website called Don't Tear Me Down that describes the attack on the cross in the desert, which now needs a favorable ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court or faces demolition. The Mojave Desert Memorial Cross in the Mojave National Preserve has stood for more than 75 years in honor of America's lost soldiers. It was erected in 1934 by World War I veterans who saw the image of a doughboy in the shadows on the stone hillside and wanted a place to remember their lost trench-mates from the big war. But the ACLU, representing a man from Oregon who has alleged he might drive on a desert road in California and might be offended by the cross, has won lower court rulings that the cross must cease to exist.

Taliban Strikes Christians with a Vengeance
By John Malhotra
Christian Today Reporter
Mon, May. 18 2009

The Taliban has turned on Christians with a vengeance for the ongoing army offensive against the Islamic militants in Pakistan. Furious over the U.S. and Pakistan's military operations in Swat Valley, the Taliban attacked a Christian colony, causing fear and panic among its members and forcing them to join 200,000 others fleeing the town. In Karachi city, a growing foothold of the Taliban, there were reports of an attack on a Christian slum by extremists. Pastor Salim Sadiq of Holy Spirit Church in Karachi told Christian Today that Christian homes were pounded by Islamic extremists who have vowed to avenge for "the suffering of their brotherhood in NWFP area." "They barged into our homes shouting 'death to infidels' and beat us, hurling murderous threats if we don’t convert to Islam," Sadiq recalled.

Parents Fuming as Texas Schools Let Gideons Provide Bibles to Students
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
FOXNews

Some parents in Frisco, Texas, are fuming because their public school district allowed Christian evangelists to provide Bibles to students on school grounds, which administrators say was done to stop even more proselytizing outside the schools. Frisco Independent Schools allowed Gideons International to display Bibles on tabletops in all 13 of the district's middle and high schools last week. Officials say it didn't violate the law, but some parents say school is not the place to be offering the Good Book. "I was never notified by the schools that they were going to allow this. I was a little shocked," said Debbie Lutz, a mother with three children who attend schools in Frisco, about 20 miles north of Dallas. Michael Baier, who has a son at Frisco's Lakeland High School, said that religious groups should not be allowed to offer their teachings on campus. "If they're God-fearing Christians … they should be giving those items wherever they worship. School is a place to learn, not a place to worship," Baier told FOXNews.com.

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