CHOSEN: End Times Newsletter – Issue 117
The Minister’s Corner
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:32
A Box of Love
It’s just a few days away from the celebration of our Savior’s birth and as I pray to our heavenly Father on what words She would like for me to share with the flock this week, it is a single word that comes to me most clearly. “Love”. So in order to help bring this inspired word’s message into fruition for you all, I draw upon a personal experience that occurred just last week.
Like many mother-daughter relationships can be and when I was younger, and in my teenage years in particular, my Mom and I had a difficult relationship. I think that through no fault of our own we were either too different or too alike. Like oil and water we just didn’t mix. Hurtful things were said on both sides and so when I was old enough to do so, I moved away and set out to build a life of my own away from the source of pain I had experienced so far. Since that time I have lived many miles away from my parents and over the past 20 years the visits home have been few and far between. Letters, phone calls and emails have also been less than I’m sure we would have liked but it has just seems that the living of daily lives for all of us has gotten in the way.
Each year my parents send me a Christmas box and I received this box last week. It’s always a joy to receive because it brings back many memories of past happy family Christmases with my parents and siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, but this year it was most special because of the sentiment and thought involved…so much so that it brought tears to my eyes and still does, even as I type out these words.
As I opened the carefully packaged box to reveal the wrapped gifts inside, I found a note attached to each one. These notes were short stories telling me of somewhere they had been, what they had done and seen and that they’d picked up this particular item because they'd thought of me. Each gift couldn’t have been more perfect, but truly it was the handwritten notes that so touched my heart, right to the very core.
As I read the notes it began to sink in that these weren’t gifts that were hastily purchased out of obligation. These were thoughts of love that transcended the miles that separated us. And these notes, were proof positive that regardless of events in the past, I’m not just a fleeting thought at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and my Birthday, I’m her daughter who is thought of often and loved…really loved and that regardless of the past the love has never gone away as I thought that it had.
In a matter of moments, the wound that had resided in my heart for so many years ago and that had been festering for so long beneath a hastily placed bandage with the hopes of being forgotten was healed through the power of Yahweh’s love wrapped up in a box and contained in several small notes written by my mother’s hand.
I think perhaps that many of us keep our love for one another under lock and key, share it only sparingly because we might be unsure and afraid to take the risk being rejected or feeling the pain that a loss of love can cause. Many of us might even question unconditional love, not only due to the relationships we have with our parents, but also having experienced so many relationships in our own lives over the years which cause us to realize more and more how fickle people can be and how one could be loved greatly for a while, years even, but then one day the love stopped through no fault of our own and you never knew when it might happen again.
I’ve been so very blessed, we all are really, because if given the opportunity Yahweh will fill any holes in our hearts that might be there and not only that but She repairs what is broken. I see this “Box of Love” as Father’s work, again, assuring me that I am loved not only by my earthly mother, but by my heavenly Mother as well.
I truly believe that any time anyone is inspired within their heart to show love, that it is our Creator that is behind that inspiration, being a God of love Herself, and that the love stems from Her and like a tree, branches throughout Her creation. And this Christmas, She knew what gift I needed to receive most of all. A gift of love. And it came wrapped up in a box and traveled many miles to find me, but it did and it was the best gift I could have ever received past, present or future.
It all makes me think of the great gift that Father gave to us in the form of Her beloved Son Christ Jesus, who became our Savior. The one gift Her creation needed so badly and that would make our hearts whole and healthy once again. Christ Jesus was Yahweh’s love personified but Yahweh is waiting to share another gift with you as well – the gift of Her love via Her Holy Spirit.
You might be thinking that it’s too late, or that you’re not worthy of this love, or that you’re just unlovable or your sins are too great, but you’d be wrong. If only you turn to Her and regardless of the relationship you might have had with Her in the past, or lack of, She is there for you and She loves you and She is waiting with outstretched arms to forgive you and fill your heart with the gift of Her love.
And not only is Her love constant, but She is always and constantly with you. There are no miles to travel or keep you away from Her because She is only a thought and a prayer away. She is both Father and Mother to all of Her creation and knows exactly what it is that we might be lacking – and how to fix it, repair it, and make it whole. So whether you call Her God, Yahweh, LORD, Mother or Father…She is waiting…so if you accept any gift this Christmas season, and if you haven’t done so already, accept Her son as your Lord and Savior and also accept Yahweh’s love and let it be returned in full and with a whole heart and in the name of Her son Christ Jesus, Amen.
The True Meaning Of Christmas
by Brian K. Walters
Submitted by Johanna
In todays' day and time,
it's easy to lose sight,
of the true meaning of Christmas
and one special night.
When we go shopping,
We say "How much will it cost?"
Then the true meaning of Christmas,
Somehow becomes lost.
Amidst the tinsel, glitter
And ribbons of gold,
We forget about the child,
born on a night so cold.
The children look for Santa
In his big, red sleigh
Never thinking of the child
Whose bed was made of hay.
When we look into the night sky,
We don't see a sleigh
But a star, burning bright and high.
A faithful reminder,
Of that night so long ago,
And of the child we call Jesus,
Whose love, the world would know.
Avoiding the Twisting of Arms
A quotation from the Kingdom Message of Salvation says the following:
“We don't aim to twist arms or convince anyone of anything they aren't ready or willing to believe as their hearts will ultimately dictate what they perceive to be truth.”
This is important as it shows respect to Father as She has given people a gift of Free Will choice. At the same time, it shows respect and love for those that do listen, and helps to further spread Father's Light. It means that, as Christ's footstep followers, we do our best to be sure to state the Truth, and stand by Father's Way, and continually share the nourishment Father provides from within our hearts, Her very Word, Her Wisdom.
In these dark times, it is especially important to be sure not to force others to try to think the same way, or to accept things that they cannot or are not willing to accept. This would be like to try to force a seed onto ground that may not be fertile, or able to house the seed, which would destroy the seed, and further, disrespect Father by the destruction of Her Light. Now, although we may attempt not to twist arms or convince, or even have it in our heart to ever try to convince, we may not receive the same treatment, in how others may try to force their way of thinking upon us.
2 Peter 2:2 — Many will follow their unrestrained ways, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.
In a way, trying to force a way of thinking or a belief on another is like an unrestrained desire or action that is against someone else, and not for them. In this sense, it is not love that is shown to another, but rather, hate. It shows that a person does not like the other person and does not respect their free will, and in that sense, can also show a hate for Father's gift of Free Will, and hating a gift can be perceived as hating the giver.
There are multiple ways of coercion that can be used, some subtle, others more apparent. All of which are to be avoided, and at the same time, can be further reflected upon within oneself so as to avoid a personality conflict within oneself. In order to avoid this, the coercion being used against oneself, Father provides all the necessary tools to stay strong in faithfulness to Her.
2 Corinthians 6:7 — by the message of truth, by the power of God;
through weapons of righteousness on the right hand and the left,
Ephesians 6:16 — In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Although each situation may vary in conditions and respects, such as a confrontation with a stranger or speaking with a close friend, Father's Spirit and Wisdom remains the same.
Revelation 13:10 — If anyone is destined for captivity, into captivity he goes. If anyone is to be killed with a sword, with a sword he will be killed. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints.
These times will not be so simple with just a simple confrontation, either. Twisting of arms can be as simple as a phrase being consistently repeated on a news source on cable television (so as to brainwash or ignore the root item), or as violent as the threat of death with an armed weapon. In any or all of these cases, Father's Wisdom holds true and does not sway. So in the small things to the large things concerning the situations one may find themselves in, even varying in severity, there should not be a difference.
James 1:8 — An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.
Luke 16:10 — Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.
Father's signs and direction are all around and we are even created with direction made into our being, such as the wisdom that comes in Father commandments, to not steal or murder. Keeping an eye for all of Father's signs will help to also be sure to keep a watch for Father's guidance in not only following with Father's will, but in many more facets, which provide Father further glory and true, heartfelt worship.
Revelation 3:20 — Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.
Nourishment From The Throne
“For the LORD gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
Regina: Per Wikipedia, Tartarus is related to Greek Mythology and is basically hell – siting it as being similar to the Old Testament Sheol.
Pleiades is also related to Greek Mythology, as the seven sisters, Orion as a giant huntsman, but both are also each a cluster of stars.
As I ponder it in relation to the scripture given, it feels as though Tartarus isn't necessarily speaking of The Pit, (or is dual in meaning) but of the Detention plane where they are bound and forbidden from departing. The darkness is being separated from Father's light and wisdom.
Deborah: We are in union.
Jeshaiah: That was coming to mind about Tartarus, too, in that the Detention Plane is referenced as Tartarus.
Concerning the chains of the Pleiades or the belt of Orion, … the chains seem to be directly related to the chains that keep the prisoners in darkness. A belt can be related to a restraint, and in piecing together the concepts of Father having created the constellations in a particular way, could also show how Father has the ability to allow for certain restrictions to be "loosened," and at the same time, has created certain things to have certain restrictions.
Something that just came to mind is how although the demons have been freed from certain restraints of not being able to materialize, they still take on another restraint of the flesh…so in a way, restraints of one kind were just traded up for another. At the same time, those demons that are offed or are sentenced to the Orange Plane earlier simply go from one prison to another.
What is interesting is that the chains of the Pleiades are consistent of seven stars, so it's like a perfect control and restraint, while the belt of Orion is of three stars, a restraining tool held in Unity. It's like Father's creation of control and restraint having a perfect balance such that those held under or to a particular limitation cannot escape the limitation.
This could also help to strengthen our faith in Father, in showing that regardless of whether the demons are keeping tabs on each of us while in the flesh, Father has a particular setup to protect Her children.
Regina: All good observations, bro. I was also thinking about how angels are also referred to as stars, and how Father controls the heavens and the earth… and how in relation to the spiritual war, Father maintains balance and fairness.
Deborah: I agree. Good observations and connections Jeshaiah.
4 Facts, 2 verses and 1 fiction about the Pleiades found on the internet.
The cluster is dominated by hot blue stars.
The Pleiades are a prominent sight in the Northern Hemisphere in winter and the Southern Hemisphere in summer.
The distance to the Pleiades is an important first step in the so-called cosmic distance ladder, a sequence of distance scales for the whole universe.
Adding up the chain of 7 and belt of 3 makes 10.
Job 9:9 He makes [the stars]: the Bear, Orion, the Pleiades, and the constellations of the southern sky.
Amos 5:8 The One who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns darkness into dawn and darkens day into night, who summons the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the earth — Yahweh is His name.
From the following website page.. http://www.pleiadians.net/WHO_ARE_THEY_/who_are_they_.html
"Although in physical time, the Pleiadians are 541 light years away, they have learned to navigate other worlds, although not always in space ships. They understand our fear of the unknown, and so they come to help in ways that are non-threatening. They are coming now, sometimes in physical form where they can blend in, but most often through human consciousness. Their intent is not to harm but to help us evolve and develop."
Cherubic Commander: Well done!
Pleiades and Orion. A connection to this planet Earth. What of ancient time lines up with those two? Search until you find the answer.
P.S. The answer provides for another puzzle contained within the calculation of the ancient humans that knew and understood the importance of both Pleiades and Orion.
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
Russian internet sensation: Giant triangular 'UFO' filmed hovering above Kremlin
By MAIL FOREIGN SERVICE
Last updated at 10:27 AM on 19th December 2009
Hovering ominously over the city, this video of what appears to be a triangle-shaped UFO has left Russians baffled. Sitting motionless in the sky above the Kremlin in Moscow, clips of the unexplained object have become the most-viewed videos on Russia's YouTube. The two videos, one taken at night from a car and one during the day, were both filmed by amateurs. The UFO hovered for hours over Red Square in the Russian capital and was seen by hundreds of people.
Silent UFO slow moving over Spring Hill, Tennessee
December 16, 1:01 AM
A Spring Hill, TN, couple watched a slow moving disc-shaped object moving low and silently over their home on December 10, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness database. The object was described as having several "yellowish white lights" around it and one red light on top. The 37-year-old husband called the Spring Hill Police Department to report the sighting, and eventually talked to an officer who lives across the street. The officer witnessed the object too, but could not identify what they were looking at. Following is the unedited and uninvestigated report from MUFON. Please keep in mind that most UFO reports can be explained as something natural or manmade. Some reports may be hoaxes. If Tennessee MUFON State Director Eddie Middleton investigates and reports back on this case, I will release an update. TN, December 10, 2009 – Disk shaped craft with lots of lights flying very slow almost appeared to hover at times of my subdivision. MUFON Case # 21006.
Bizarre Orb UFO seen above Wales
17 December 2009
All News WebJadyn Cassidy
A committed UFO hunter from Cardiff in Wales is has been able capture some truly amazing images of UFOs using recording equipment with night vision capabilities. The film below is one example, clearly showing an intriguing UFO darting across the screen. The UFO hunter, Robert, writes regarding this film that: 'Don't know what to say to this?, all i can say is that this was my first capture of the evening and just setting up when i saw this come into view on my night vision optics, i could not see it without the aid of my device or could it be seen with my camcorder alone?. It was silent and moved from north to south direction and it was dark at the time. I thought at first it may be a balloon or a parachute but if this was so i would have had no problem spotting either with ordinary binoculars or my camcorder that has a 40x optical zoom and night shot'
Memphis pilot spots triangle UFO 'size of a football field'
December 11, 8:23 PM
A Tennesseee pilot watching departing traffic at Memphis International Airport reported seeing a triangle UFO with dull white lights on November 24, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The 8-year commercial pilot veteran said the object's lights were not blinking or strobing, and that it was silent. The pilot stated that the object was moving at between Mach 1 to Mach 1.5. Sizing the object up with other known aircraft in the sky at the time, the pilot believes this object was "the size of a football field." Reports appear to have increased on these large triangle crafts that are low to the ground. See Related Articles list for just a few recent examples.
Two Unknown Objects Photographed over Montauk, New York
Published: 3:18 PM 12/16/2009
Montauk, New York – 07-01-09
I was walking through Montauk with my family when my mom noticed the object shown below in photograph. I looked at it and at first thought they were two ballons. After watching it, I noticed they were stationary and about 3/4 to a mile away. I took a picture and thought nothing of it. About 15 minutes later I looked back and they had not moved! When I returned home I looked closely at the photo. It appears to have a source of light in the center of each object. They do not appear to be connected either.
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
Fastest Food Inflation Since Riots Means Milk Up 39%
by Alan Bjerga, Madelene Pearson and Yi Tian
December 14, 2009
Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) — Falling production in commodities from rice to milk is bad news for just about everyone except investors. Rice may surge 63 percent to $1,038 a metric ton from $638 on Philippine imports and a shortage in India, a Bloomberg survey of importers, exporters and analysts showed. The U.S. government says nonfat dry milk may jump 39 percent next year, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. forecasts a 25 percent gain for sugar. Global food costs jumped 7 percent in November, the most since February 2008, four months before reaching a record, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Farm prices this year lagged behind copper futures that doubled and oil’s 57 percent increase. A recovery from the worst recession since World War II would spur food demand and boost costs for buyers of commodities including milk processor Dean Foods Co. while increasing the number of hungry people that the UN says now exceeds 1 billion.
Big Pharma paid $500,000 to Chicago psychiatrists who used children as guinea pigs
by E. Huff
December 18, 2009
(NaturalNews) A federal lawsuit has been filed against pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for its role in paying Chicago psychiatrist Dr. Michael Reinstein nearly $500,000 over the course of a decade to conduct research and to promote its anti-psychotic drug, Seroquel. Reinstein is being accused of wrongfully preying on thousands of mentally-ill patients in order to rake in profits for AstraZeneca. Reinstein has a long history of working with AstraZeneca, receiving regular payments for speeches he would make across the country promoting the drug. AstraZeneca was also paying a for-profit research company, Uptown Research Institute, who in turn was paying Reinstein consulting fees for his services.
Obama Declares War On Pakistan
By Webster G. Tarpley – BLN Contributing Writer
December 14, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC — Obama's West Point speech of December 1 represents far more than the obvious brutal escalation in Afghanistan — it is nothing less than a declaration of all-out war by the United States against Pakistan . This is a brand-new war, a much wider war now targeting Pakistan , a country of 160 million people armed with nuclear weapons. In the process, Afghanistan is scheduled to be broken up. This is no longer the Bush Cheney Afghan war we have known in the past. This is something immensely bigger: the attempt to destroy the Pakistani central government in Islamabad and to sink that country into a chaos of civil war, Balkanization, subdivision and general mayhem. The chosen strategy is to massively export the Afghan civil war into Pakistan and beyond, fracturing Pakistan along ethnic lines. It is an oblique war using fourth-generation or guerrilla warfare techniques to assail a country which the United States and its associates in aggression are far too weak to attack directly. In this war, the Taliban are employed as US proxies. This aggression against Pakistan is Obama's attempt to wage the Great Game against the hub of Central Asia and Eurasia or more generally.
AP: Monsanto dominating seed markets with patented genetics
The Raw Story
December 13, 2009
Report: 95% of soy, 80% of corn grown in US is genetically altered. Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.'s business practices reveal how the world's biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated Press investigation has found. With Monsanto's patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., the company also is using its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get wide distribution for their products, according to a review of several Monsanto licensing agreements and dozens of interviews with seed industry participants, agriculture and legal experts. Declining competition in the seed business could lead to price hikes that ripple out to every family's dinner table. That's because the corn flakes you had for breakfast, soda you drank at lunch and beef stew you ate for dinner likely were produced from crops grown with Monsanto's patented genes.
Banks with political ties got bailouts, study shows
By Steve Eder
December 21, 2009
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. banks that spent more money on lobbying were more likely to get government bailout money, according to a study released on Monday. Banks whose executives served on Federal Reserve boards were more likely to receive government bailout funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, according to the study from Ran Duchin and Denis Sosyura, professors at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Banks with headquarters in the district of a U.S. House of Representatives member who serves on a committee or subcommittee relating to TARP also received more funds.
Signs In Humanity
Peru's gold rush sparks fears of ecological disaster
December 20, 2009
The high price of gold has drawn thousands of miners to a region of south-east Peru, but deforestation and the high levels of mercury used in mining has led to fears of an imminent ecological disaster, as Dan Collyns reports. It is only from the air that you can see the full extent of the destruction. The forests seems almost endless until it is abruptly interrupted by the raw colours of sand and earth; rivers torn open and thousands of hectares denuded and pocked with dead, stagnant pools of water. Alluvial gold mining in Peru's southern Amazon rainforest has spread, driven by the high price of gold, now more than $1,100 (£680) per ounce, or $36 a gram. Close to 200 sq kms (77 sq miles) of jungle have been lost in the evocatively named Madre de Dios (Mother of God) region.
Drug dealers use child care as front
by Raquel Rutledge
December 14, 2009
More than a dozen Wisconsin child-care centers that reaped millions of dollars in state subsidies have had close ties to drug-dealing operations, including big-time crime bosses, a Journal Sentinel investigation has found. The newspaper identified 16 child-care centers with recent connections to drug operations, and the number is likely much higher. Those 16 alone have collected more than $8.5 million in public subsidies since 2006. Records show many of those centers have been used to stash and transport drugs, launder dirty cash and provide fake employment for criminals – at taxpayers' expense. In an ongoing investigation that has spanned more than a year, the Journal Sentinel has revealed rampant fraud within Wisconsin Shares, the state's $350 million child-care subsidy program. The investigation has spurred sweeping reforms by lawmakers and regulators, led to more than 130 child-care centers losing public funding and resulted in criminal charges against several providers.
U.S. autism cases show 59% increase, alarming activists
The Palm Beach Post
by Stacey Singer
December 18, 2009
One in every 100 children in the United States may have some form of autism spectrum disorder, far more than previously believed, and the rate appears to be worsening quickly, especially among boys, new figures from the CDC show. Researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the 2006 medical and school records of 308,000 children in 11 communities, including Miami. They found rates of autism much higher than a similar study done in 2002, said Catherine Rice, of the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. The 2000 data had suggested one in 150 children were affected. It was a stunning run-up of 59 percent in four years, and the increase could not be explained just by better awareness or an expanded diagnosis, researchers found. The findings were published Friday in the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The findings should be treated as a national emergency, autism activists said.
Are Americans a Broken People?
by Bruce E. Levine
December 16, 2009
Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not "set them free" but instead further demoralize them? Has such a demoralization happened in the United States? Do some totalitarians actually want us to hear how we have been screwed because they know that humiliating passivity in the face of obvious oppression will demoralize us even further? What forces have created a demoralized, passive, dis-couraged U.S. population? Can anything be done to turn this around? Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not "set them free" but instead further demoralize them? Yes. It is called the "abuse syndrome." How do abusive pimps, spouses, bosses, corporations, and governments stay in control? They shove lies, emotional and physical abuses, and injustices in their victims' faces, and when victims are afraid to exit from these relationships, they get weaker. So the abuser then makes their victims eat even more lies, abuses, and injustices, resulting in victims even weaker as they remain in these relationships.
Poll Reveals Trauma of Joblessness in U.S.
The New York Times
by Michael Luo and Megan Thee-Brenan
December 14, 2009
More than half of the nation’s unemployed workers have borrowed money from friends or relatives since losing their jobs. An equal number have cut back on doctor visits or medical treatments because they are out of work. Almost half have suffered from depression or anxiety. About 4 in 10 parents have noticed behavioral changes in their children that they attribute to their difficulties in finding work. Joblessness has wreaked financial and emotional havoc on the lives of many of those out of work, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll of unemployed adults, causing major life changes, mental health issues and trouble maintaining even basic necessities. The results of the poll, which surveyed 708 unemployed adults from Dec. 5 to Dec. 10 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points, help to lay bare the depth of the trauma experienced by millions across the country who are out of work as the jobless rate hovers at 10 percent and, in particular, as the ranks of the long-term unemployed soar.
Arks of Safe Haven
cainfamily – Breckenridge KY – Trying to build a home for a disabled couple we have the land and we will have the septic put in and power on so we need lumber concrete windows doors they live on a fixed income and we have 3 kids so we are doing all we can. Currently they live in a small motor home and it's not wheelchair friendly at all. We are willing to tear down a building for the useable material.They also have some small shih-poo pups (she took her dog to the groomer and it got bred) they are trying to sell to raise money to buy building materials also have 3 adults and 2 trucks can do odd jobs to raise money can go to grayson county or brekinridge county Kentucky.
april402 – Omaha, NE – I am posting this ad on behalf of my father, 2 sisters and brother. My step-mother died 8 wks ago from Lung Cancer. My father quit his job to take care of her, in which he did so until she died at home. My father is now left to raise 4 children on his own, he does not have not one family member, as he is a Korean war orphan. They currently live in housing that is strictly for the disabled & their family. My step-mother had back issues and that is why they were able to live there. However, since she has passed, the manager gave them 60 days from the date of her death to move out. Extentions are only granted for the disabled. My father has found a place to move to, but does not have the money for the deposit that is needed or to give the kids a christmas. I am not in a position to help, as I was layed off of my job 3wks ago. As of today, Christmas is only 8 days away and as of now, my siblings will have no christmas. The Salvation Army & other Toy Drives were contacted; However, it is past the sign-up deadlines, as they were in the beginnings of November & December. If there is any way you would be able to help this family in desperate need, this holiday season, please call me at # 402-706-4179. My name is April.
Mitch Trimmer – Denton TX – It is only 7 days until Christmas and we only have 5 days to make a miracle! Sometimes it takes a change of perspective to plant the seeds of a miracle in the making. I would like to give you a change of perspective to consider.
I live right here in Denton, TX. I have a great job, a loving wife and eight wonderful children (seven are still at home) and life seems hard some times. But there is a family who lives down at the other end of our street who has changed my view of things quite a bit over the last two weeks, and dramatically within the last 48 hours. Please let me introduce you briefly and tell their story. I am not selling anything, I am not a charitable organization, I am just a man who is looking for some good old “peace on earth and goodwill to man”.
A couple of weeks ago when the weather turned cold and wet, my wife started giving a ride to a 10 year old little boy who goes to McNair elementary with our youngest son. For the sake of his and his family’s dignity, I will call him Nathan. His mother could not transport her own son because she is very sick with a cancer that has returned after a very short third remission and shows no signs of going away this time. She has 5 other children to care for as well. Her husband had to give up his job because the care of his wife–taking her for chemo and radiation and being with her as she recovered from the effects—and the care of his children would not allow him to keep regular work hours. Two weeks ago their 26 year old car lost its transmission and most of the engine. Now they are out of work, out of transportation and living on very little.
My wife is a stay at home mom and has been able to take our neighbor to her chemotherapy, radiation treatments, other weekly doctor’s visits and to the grocery store several times a week. We had the privilege of inviting Nathan to spend the night at our house this week. My wife surprised this charming, polite and very quiet 10 year old by taking him shopping so that he could pick out some Christmas gifts for his mother. Nathan was ecstatic and proclaimed that “this will be the best Christmas ever”. After picking out three or four gifts, my wife paid for the items and Nathan gave her a little hug and said, “thank you Mrs. Trimmer”. He then took a couple of tentative steps toward the exit of the store and then suddenly stopped, turned around and ran into my wife’s arms and held her with the tightest hug a 10 year boy could muster. After clinging to her for a long time, he finally let go and with huge tears running down his cheeks he whispered, “thank you” one more time.
My wife then asked Nathan if he had eaten dinner already. He said that he had and my wife, being the ever watchful mother hen, asked him what he had for dinner. “Oh, we had Ramen noodles again.” My wife commented that it must take a lot of Ramen noodles to fill up a growing boy like him. “Oh, I got a whole package for myself this time,” Nathan said proudly. With that my wife promptly pulled into the closest fast food restaurant and let Nathan order whatever he wanted off the menu. With a bag of chicken strips and French fries in tow, then came back to our house.
As bed time approached we got our 7 kids ready for bed and Nathan’s mom called to check in on him and to make sure he got ready for bed and off to sleep since it was a school night. Nathan sat on the steps that lead to our second floor and talked to his “momma”. He told her all about our house, our two crazy dogs, what he had for supper and a variety of other fascinating things. Finally he promised his momma that he would go off to bed and get up in time for school. The last thing he said before hanging up was; “I love you momma and I will pray for you that you will wake up in the morning.”
Imagine being a 10 year child who has little to eat, no transportation, a momma who is extremely ill and going to bed each night only to pray that your “momma” will actually wake up in the morning. Think about that tonight as you go to bed and tell me you can sleep soundly.
I am not a charity and I cannot offer you a tax deduction. I cannot promise you unimaginable wealth if you pass this on to 10 people within the next 4 hours. I can only tell you that I am on a mission to provide this very, very needy family with a good Christmas and a reliable vehicle so that they can take care of themselves. I work in the car business for a very reputable local dealer (Classic) and can get a nice vehicle at a good price. I will contribute whatever money of my own that I can. I am looking for any donation possible to help make this happen. I will not profit one cent from this, in fact, my family has already donated a considerable sum of time and money to this family. I figure that if I can get 250 people to donate $20.00 I can get a reliable used car for this family. If you or anyone you know can help with a little, or maybe you or someone you know can help with much more, I know that God will bless you and that you will receive the gift of peace and a warm feeling in your heart.
If you have a heart and can help please call Mitch Trimmer at 940-435-8183 or April at 94-453-0411. Send donations by mail to 2109 Acorn Bend, Denton, TX 76210.
If you have a email address book would you please forward this to everyone you know. If you have a face book account please post this, or at least an abbreviated version. I would like to maintain this family’s dignity by not disclosing their identity. They have asked for absolutely nothing from us, but this is Christmas. Christmas is about a little poor boy being born in a manger because his parents could not get into the inn. Christmas is about the Magi bringing gifts to the newborn King—the King who would one day grow up and say such profound things as: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, and “whatever you do to the least of these (little children) you do also unto me.”
Christmas is only 7 days away and we all have 5 days to make this miracle happen.
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
Historic storm becomes history
Kevin Roth, and M. Ressler, Lead Meteorologist, The Weather Channel
Dec. 20, 2009
The snow from the big storm has shifted eastward from coastal New England to across Nova Scotia, but the plowing and shoveling continues from this record event. Winds continue to gradually subside across eastern New England and the eastern Mid-Atlantic. Accumulations topped 20 inches in parts of 10 states: southeast Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Long Island in southeast New York, New Jersey, southern Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and western North Carolina. This storm rewrote some of the record books from Roanoke, Va., northeast through Long Island.
Taiwan hit by 6.4-magnitude quake: USGS
(AFP) – December 19, 2009
TAIPEI — A strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit off eastern Taiwan on Saturday evening, the US Geological Survey said, the biggest tremor to rock the island this year. Buildings were shaking for about 20 seconds in the capital Taipei, in the northern part of the island, but there were no immediate reports of serious casualties or damage anywhere. "It was the strongest quake to hit Taiwan this year," said Kuo Kai-wen, head of the Seismology Centre at Taiwan's central weather bureau. "The Japanese authorities have issued a tsunami warning so we urge the public to stay away from the sea," he told reporters. The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami alert. The epicentre of the undersea quake, which occurred at 9:02 pm (1302 GMT), was 25 kilometres (15 miles) southeast of the eastern coastal city of Hualien, according to USGS. The quake was at a depth of 44.6 kilometres, USGS said.
Govt: Brace for Mayon's hazardous explosion
ANDREO C. CALONZO, GMANews.TV
Residents of towns near Mt. Mayon in Albay province should brace themselves for a hazardous eruption after Christmas, a government volcanologist said Saturday. Mayon’s intensified abnormal activities within the past 24 hours may indicate a more hazardous explosion in two to three weeks, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum Jr. said in a GMA News report. “The intensified activities of Mt. Mayon is an indication that the explosion is nearing. The probability that the eruption would be more hazardous is increasing. This might still take time, say, in two to three weeks," he said in a television interview.
Maps show where tsunami floods would hit state
David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor
December 18, 2009
When major earthquakes strike along the Aleutian island chain in Alaska, they could trigger tsunamis sweeping down along the California coast and threatening many low-lying regions with disaster, including parts of San Francisco. The danger has long been known, but Thursday a team of state scientists and emergency management specialists announced they have completed an updated series of 135 "inundation maps" covering shoreline areas in the state's 30 coastal counties and every harbor and inlet that could be threatened. The maps reveal in detail just how far large tsunamis might send ocean waters rushing inland to threaten beaches and coastal towns. They also indicate evacuation routes that lead to higher ground. The maps are being released online today by the California Emergency Management Agency.
Food prices to skyrocket as supplies plunge
Low inventories, lack of farmers brings on 'perfect storm'
December 11, 2009
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
In a recent report on the state of the economy, the New York Times said food stamps are being used by a record number – one in eight – of Americans and one in four children. At the same time, food banks run by churches are being overrun with requests for help. And if that isn't troubling enough, other data point to a much darker future. According to the National Inflation Association, food costs are about to skyrocket. Officials cite agricultural commodities which have remained at historically low levels despite a worldwide shortage of farmers and record low food inventories. They equate this to a "perfect storm" that could bring about a dramatic rise in food prices.
Natural Disaster Update
5.1 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
5.6 KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION
5.6 SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION
5.1 KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND
5.4 WEST CHILE RISE
5.8 BOUGAINVILLE REGION, P.N.G
5.4 TIMOR REGION, INDONESIA
5.0 ALAMAGAN REG, N. MARIANA ISLANDS
5.3 XINJIANG-GANSU BORDER REG, CHINA
5.6 KURIL ISLANDS
5.2 JALISCO, MEXICO
5.0 RYUKYU ISLANDS, JAPAN
5.0 MAHARASHTRA, INDIA
5.1 NEAR EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA
5.0 NEAR COAST OF NICARAGUA
5.2 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
5.1 NEAR EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA
MALAWI – About 4,000 people from the Kalonga district in northern Malawi are to be relocated following a wave of earthquakes that have been hitting the area since last week. The earthquake that hit Saturday and in the early morning hours of Sunday destroyed seven houses. “Water has now started emerging from the cracks and no place within the area seems safe, this is a rift valley close to the lake and there could be flooding shortly." Even those whose houses have not been affected by the quake are in fear of sleeping in their houses. “We are distributing relief items like maize, cooking utensils and blankets, however the demand is becoming high as the problem progresses.” The emerging worry was now over the people’s health as communicable diseases were expected to emerge.
SWITZERLAND has ended a pioneering geothermal project, authorities said Thursday, three years after the deep drilling into the ground caused a series of earthquakes, scaring residents of the northwestern city of Basel. The project aimed to be the world's first to generate power commercially by boiling water on naturally-ocurring rocks buried three miles (five kilometers) underground. But when the site in the middle of the city accidentally triggered tremors, including a 3.4 magnitude quake three years ago, the project was put on hold and a risk analysis was conducted. Assessment clearly showed that the risk of further earthquakes would be too high to continue drilling up to 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) into the ground – the depth necessary to heat the water from the rocks. Continuing the project in Basel is impossible because it would trigger up to 30 earthquakes in the first phase of drilling alone. The project designer and geologist has been charged with property damage and will have to stand trial in a Basel court next week. Geopower has paid around 9 million Swiss francs ($9 million) in compensation for cracked walls and similar damage on nearby houses and other buildings. Other attempts in Switzerland to tap the heat of the Earth's crust to produce clean energy continue in zones that are less earthquake-prone. Engineers in Zurich started preliminary drilling last month to see if the area was suitable for such a geothermal project. Another Swiss city, St. Gallen in the east of the country, plans to start drilling on its own project next year.
ITALY – An earthquake registering 4.2 on the Richter scale on Tuesday caused panic and damaged houses along the border of the Italian regions of Umbria and Tuscany. The earthquake was most noticeable in the city of Perugia and surrounding areas. Several smaller towns were evacuated. An aftershock measuring 2.8 on the Richter scale spread fear, but cause neither damage nor injuries. An April earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 flattened large parts of the region around the southern Italian city of L'Aquila, leaving tens of thousands homeless for months.
PHILIPPINES – Authorities moved more than twenty thousand villagers from harm's way near the Philippines' most active volcano Tuesday after it oozed lava and shot plumes of ash, and said they probably would spend a bleak Christmas in an evacuation center. State volcanologists raised the alert level on the Mayon volcano overnight to two steps below a major eruption after ash explosions and dark orange lava fragments glowing in the dark trickled down the mountain slope. Nearly 50,000 people live in a five-mile (eight-kilometer) radius around the mountain.
PHILIPPINES – Mayon may erupt soon; alert level 3 raised. Evacuation of residents set. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level on Mayon volcano from 2 to 3, which means that the volcano’s highly restive state could lead to a dangerous eruption. The evacuation of thousands of residents in villages around Mayon volcano has been set for Tuesday. Phivolcs officials said the alert level, which meant the volcano’s restiveness was at a critical level, was raised due to the increasing lava flow on the southern portion of the volcano. "We are monitoring if lava fragments have enough strength to bring pyroclastic flows. This is what's dangerous." The volcano exploded at around 7:04 a.m. today, sending grayish ash clouds that crept downslopes after Friday night's minor ash explosion. Earthquakes accompanying the ash explosion lasted for about two minutes and 25 seconds. Seismographs recorded 43 volcanic quakes, the highest number of such quakes since alert level 2 was raised last July 10 this year.
MONTSERRAT – Volcanic activity alert raised to Level Four in Montserrat. The National Disaster Preparedness and Response Advisory Committee on Thursday, raised the alert level to four after an increase in activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano. "A large pyroclastic flow at 06:40 am on the morning of the 10th December went beyond the trigger point at Lees yard and reached the west end of Lees Village, leading towards the top of Belham Valley. The Montserrat Volcano Observatory is no longer in a position to give residents of ZONE B sufficient warning of activity during hours of darkness…Residents in Zone B will therefore, be restricted to daytime access only from Thursday 10 December."
YELLOWSTONE – Information from a vast seismograph network confirms a magma plume extends at least 500 miles below Yellowstone National Park. The scientists used a network of 150 seismographs over an area 435 miles long and 310 miles wide to record seismic waves from earthquakes around the world to make a three-dimensional image of the plume. "I think for the first time it all fits together." The bottom of the magma plume is unclear, though instruments show it extends at least 500 miles below the Earth's surface. "It wouldn't surprise me that it would go deeper." The Earth's mantle, the layer below the crust, is flowing from the northwest to the southeast and deforming the magma plume. Meanwhile, the North American tectonic plate is sliding to the southwest. "This hot, melted material is coming up (at an angle). It would normally rise vertically." Earlier this year an earthquake swarm of more than 800 earthquakes was the most intense swarm recorded in Yellowstone since a swarm that rattled the West Yellowstone area in 1985.
TROPICAL STORMS -
Heat loss forces Cyclone Ward change course, weaken – Tropical Cyclone Ward has spooked forecasts by real-time cyclone tracking models by changing course overnight on Sunday and heading west-southwest from its previous day's bearing over the southwest Bay of Bengal. It has since ceased to become a tropical cyclone, having weakened a notch lower into a deep depression with further prospects of weakening before it encounters the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka this morning for the first landfall. Real-time tracking models expect the weakened ‘Ward' to later emerge into the Gulf of Mannar and crawl into the south-east Tamil Nadu coast between Kanyakumari and Pamban for a second landfall by Tuesday morning. An analysis of the meteorological parameters determining the course of ‘Ward' suggested that the sudden drop of sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) may have caused the system to decelerate and weaken. The cyclonic storm had helped launch the north-east monsoon back into a vigorous phase over coastal Tamil Nadu. International models suggested that another wave of disturbed weather would descend over south-east and adjoining south-west Bay of Bengal from December 21 onwards.
Cyclone Laurence continues on its southerly track with winds estimated to reach 230 km/hr any time this morning. Residents of Derby, Western Australia have been urged to stay indoors and keep vehicles off the roads. The Great Northern Highway has been closed east of Roebuck Road House and west of Fitzroy Crossing and all roads in between have been closed until the all clear is issued. Cyclone Laurence is expected to hit Derby at 5am (WST) on Thursday at Category 2.
The weather system known as Cyclone Mick has weakened into a depression and there are downgraded weather warnings as it heads towards Tonga. A gale warning is now in force for the Tongatapu island group in Tonga. A strong wind warning remains in force for Nomuku and Ha’apai groups. Close to its centre the weather system is estimated to have average winds of 30 to 35 knots with momentary gusts to 45 knots. It is currently moving southeast at 10 knots. If it maintains its current intensity and its forecast track, it may bring damaging gale force winds over the Tongatapu and Eua island groups in the next 24 to 30 hours.
A puzzle named Ward – "Looking back, Tropical Cyclone Ward was, from my recollection, a slow starter that took days to spin up within the ITCZ east of Sri Lanka. Ward then peaked late last week as a tropical cyclone east and northeast of Sri Lanka. As of Tuesday, Ward was downgraded to a tropical depression. What is more, I recall that this weather system has been baffling numerical forecasts since well ahead of its naming. And it seems to still be doing so. (I say all of this cautiously as I was in no way focused upon the weather in this area during the last week or so.) The JTWC issued a `final warning` on Ward. However, satellite imagery as of Tuesday has showed a tropical weather system still being supported aloft by good radial outflow. And the GFS, rather than killing Ward over southern India, keeps its center right off the Tamil coast before veering it northeast to the open Bay of Bengal. Something like this odd behavior could happen, I believe. Tropical cyclones are `reluctant` to make landfall at times when air over land is cooler and drier than that over water. Thus, owing to light steering winds, I see the possibility of some `fancy footwork` that would allow a persisting circulation center to drift northward and then northeastward during the next few days. I would not rule out Ward`s regaining storm status. Thus far, rainfall linked to Ward has been about 18.8 cm at Karaikal, Tamil Nadu. I am not aware of high amounts on Sri Lanka, though I believe this to be likely. Looking forward, I foresee heavy falls and flooding, at in a localized way, along and near the Tamil coast to about Chennai. It looks as though the heaviest rains would shift slowly northward before either dissipating or, should Ward reemerge over the Bay, leaving for open water."
HEAVY RAINS / FLOODING / LANDSLIDES / UNUSUAL & OUT-OF-SEASON WEATHER -
BRAZIL – A girl of 4 years died after her house located in Osasco, in Greater Sao Paulo, collapsed during the storm that struck the metropolitan area on Wednesday. The storm left Osasco and part of the Northern Zone of São Paulo under water. The heavy rains that hit the Greater Sao Paulo have caused flooding, power outages and traffic chaos in the capital and the metropolitan area. Osasco was one of the most affected. Streets were flooded and cars submerged. A vehicle came to be upset by the force of water. Even with the end of the storm, the roads remained with plenty of water, hindering the traffic of drivers and pedestrians.
U.S. – In New Orleans, this is not only THE WETTEST DECEMBER ON RECORD but it is also THE WETTEST MONTH IN ANY YEAR ON RECORD at the Louis Armstrong International Airport with over 22.4 inches of rainfall (only the first half of the month), surpassing May 1995, when 21.18 inches was recorded for the month. It is worth pointing out that the all-time record month for rainfall for the entire New Orleans Metropolitan Area stands at 25.11 inches in October 1937. It is possible New Orleans could make a run at that record with at least 2 more rain events before the end of the month.
In Mobile, Alabama, near record December rainfall was reported with over 12.50 inches. This makes December 2009, the second wettest on record for this location. The record for the wettest month of December stands at 13.09 inches set back in 1853 and this record will likely fall tonight and or on Friday with more rain expected. Two significant rain events in a span of 3 days (Saturday and Saturday night & Monday and Monday night) contributed to the near-record and record-breaking rains across these areas. While these 2 heavy rain events were due to mainly a stalled out frontal boundary along the coast with several weather disturbances moving along it, the overall weather pattern has evolved into a classic and or typical El Nino pattern, at least for the South and Southeast with the development of several lows in the Gulf of Mexico over the past few weeks with above average rainfall along the coastal areas. Flooding was a major problem across Southeastern Louisiana, Southeastern Mississippi and Southwestern Alabama from both of the significant rain events. New Orleans was particularly hard hit with the first heavy rain event on Saturday and Saturday night with at least 1 person killed. While flooding was reported in and around the city again with this latest event, the most hard hit area this time was Southwestern Alabama, where some areas neared or surpassed 10 inches of rainfall.
VENEZUELA – Ruins abound 10 years on from Venezuela floods. On 15 December, 1999, Venezuela suffered ITS WORST NATURAL DISASTER OF MODERN TIMES when a wall of water, boulders and debris came down the side of the Avila mountain. "It had rained non-stop for two weeks." The exact number killed in the tragedy is hard to know, as many bodies were buried under the mud or washed into the sea. But there are estimates that between 10,000 and 30,000 people lost their lives. Tens of thousands more were made homeless. Today, entire apartment blocks remain semi-collapsed, as though the flood waters had just hit. Yet people live among these ruins. The Avila mountain has become even more denuded over the past 10 years as those who lost their homes in the floods have set up houses further up the hillsides. "It could happen again, at any time. We live without knowing if another mudslide is going to come exactly like before. In fact, it would be worse because there are so many dilapidated buildings here." International aid and reconstruction money was sent from abroad, amounting to tens of millions of dollars, and emergency funds were freed up by the national assembly to the government. Dozens of important reconstruction plans have never been carried out and numerous accusations of corruption have been made against the then-state and national authorities. Some work has undoubtedly taken place, but many residents of Vargas say it has been patchy and inconsistent.
BRAZIL – The village Itaim in Sao Miguel Paulista has flooded streets, dirty water, rats, cockroaches, and mosquitos and people are using kayaks to get out of their homes. The chaotic situation in the neighborhood of the East Zone is a result of heavy rains that fell in the capital since Monday evening (12/7) . More than 48 hours after the rain ceased, the water level in the neighborhood had not decreased. (photos)
The rain that hit Sao Jose do Rio Preto (438 km from Sao Paulo) Thursday (10th) left the main avenue of the city completely flooded. The storm lasted only one hour with the current sweeping away cars, knocking down walls, destroying crops and killing animals.
An extratropical cyclone hit Porto Alegre on the afternoon of Saturday (12th), bringing gusts of up to 100 kilometers per hour, causing the fall of trees, roof damage and more than 37 thousand left without power. The area hardest hit by the storm was south of the capital. On the edge of Guaíba in the Ipanema district, wind gusts between 70 to 90 kilometers per hour changed the landscape of the place later on Saturday in the capital. Waves of up to two feet high covered the strip of beach, boardwalk and Guaíba lane boulevard. The water came to invade the backyards of some homes. The fury of water attracted to the local residents who took pictures and watched incredulously. An Ipanema resident for 26 years said he had NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT. "It's scary. It is a sense of order to the world. It seems that nature is screaming for help." Since November, when heavy rains hit the state, 177 cities have enacted emergencies. The number represents more than 35% of the municipalities in the state, which has 496 cities. About ten thousand people remain out of their homes throughout the state. People who are out of their homes are staying in shelters, churches and gymnasiums. Since the beginning of the rainy season, eight people have died in Andhra Pradesh due to the storms. About 340 homes were destroyed and 15,580 were damaged.
Meanwhile, in the north of Brazil, 550 cities have been without rain since September.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES has witnessed a SPATE OF UNUSUAL WEATHER over the past week, including sandstorms and heavy rainfall. The NCMS recorded wind speeds of up to 55kph. Seafarers were warned to avoid the water as waves reached heights of up to 2.5 metres. The sandstorms were caused by a low-pressure system travelling west from the Red Sea, decreasing visibility to 500 metres in some places. The rain also had an effect on temperatures, which hovered at an average of 24°C Sunday. “There’s a huge cloud bank hovering over the UAE.” Al Foah, near Al Ain, got the most rainfall: 34.8mm in less than 48 hours, most of it falling within a three-hour period.
EXTREME HEAT / WILDFIRES / DROUGHT / CLIMATE CHANGE-
AFRICA – failure of rains across swathes of East Africa is putting millions of lives at risk. This is the sixth successive season of failed rains in an area already hit by its WORST DROUGHT IN 20 YEARS. Some 20 million people face starvation in vast areas of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, the UN has already warned. November rainfall was less than 5% of normal in much of Turkana in northern Kenya, all of Somaliland and Ethiopia's Central Highlands. In Turkana, one of the worst affected areas, nearly one person in three is malnourished. The crisis is most severe in parts of Somalia, where worsening conflict and the drought have left 3.6 million people – a third of the country's population – in need of aid. 1.5 million cattle, goats and sheep – on which many rely – have already died. The cattle that survive are being sold off at rock bottom prices. To make matters worse, farmers are leaving the land to search for a living in cities already suffering from high unemployment.
AUSTRALIA – Firefighters are battling four major bushfires across New South Wales, including two on Sydney's outskirts.
Russia is far less concerned about climate change than other European countries. Russia has pledged to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 are at least 25% below 1990 levels. But since they are currently 34% below 1990 levels – thanks to an economic slump that coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union – the economy can continue to grow for some time before it becomes necessary to go green. Officially, the Kremlin has recognised that human activity has contributed to climate change. But this is at odds with the message put out by state television, which has screened documentaries on the "myth" of global warming. "We only think about drilling for more and more oil and selling it to the West. Who's thinking about ecology? Who cares that 10% of oil will spill or leak out while being transported to the West? No-one does… That's not important, what's important is getting the money, building a new house and buying new cars." There was a time, in the years immediately after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, when environmental issues were high up on Russians' list of concerns. They have now slipped a long way down. Ordinary people worry most about low salaries and ever-rising prices, unemployment, corruption, crime and terrorism. They don't lose sleep over the fact that the country is accepting trainloads of French nuclear waste, and that unsorted domestic and commercial waste is being burned in incinerators around the country without regard for the toxic gases released. These practices continue across the country with toxic fumes poisoning the population, and with an average life expectancy for men of only 59 years.
HEAVY SNOW / EXTREME COLD -
CANADA – Edmonton was the coldest place in North America Sunday morning and at one point the frostiest in the world with the windchill. The Edmonton International Airport recorded a low of -46.1C, with the mercury dropping to -58.4C with the windchill, outfreezing even the Arctic. Only Dzalinda, Siberia, appeared to be colder, with a weather station there recording temperatures of -48C. "The cold high pressure has been moving down from the Arctic over the Prairies." British Columbia and Saskatchewan also experienced plummeting temperatures. The frigid temperatures broke the previous record for Dec. 13, which was -36.1C set in 2008, as well as the RECORD FOR THE COLDEST DAY IN DECEMBER, a low of -44.5C set on Dec. 9, 1977. Cold Lake, Grande Prairie and Whitecourt also had RECORD LOWS. The extreme weather was enough to stall some planes at the Edmonton International Airport.
HEALTH THREATS -
China's health ministry says that flu deaths have risen by a third over the past few days to 442. This announcement comes just a few days after health officials warned that flu activity could rise during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, when millions of people travel and return home. Last week the health ministry said it would step up vaccination efforts to add to the 34 million in China that have already been vaccinated.
After a slight increase in flu activity after students returned from Thanksgiving break, the number of cases dropped again on U.S. college campuses, reflecting a decline seen across the nation. New cases were down 35% from the week before. The attack rate was 3.4 cases per 10,000 students. The percentage of students who have received the pandemic vaccine rose from 5% to 7%.
Commentators say it's time for US to share vaccine – With the H1N1 vaccine supply growing rapidly, the United States and other rich countries should now donate 10% of their supply to the poorest countries, write three professors from Johns Hopkins.They note that the US and eight other countries previously pledged to give away 10% of their supply. They also say the World Health Organization (WHO) should set up a public system for reporting contributions to the global H1N1 vaccine supply.
Lack of surveillance has led to the perception that Africa has a low prevalence of influenza, but sporadic reports show that flu circulates there undetected. The authors say improved surveillance and research into vaccine efficacy in rural tropical conditions are critical to reducing illness and death from endemic and pandemic flu in African countries.
Serbia closes schools to slow flu spread – Serbia's education ministry announced the country will close schools for the holiday break early, starting Dec 18, to slow the spread of pandemic flu. The measure was suggested by a working group monitoring flu developments in Serbia, where the vaccination campaign will begin Dec 17.
USDA conditionally licenses vaccine for pigs – Pfizer was granted a conditional license for an H1N1 flu vaccine for use in pigs. It is the first H1N1 flu vaccine license issued by the USDA and is valid for a year. Under USDA regulations, a product shown to be pure and safe and deemed likely to be effective may be licensed while data on efficacy and potency are still being gathered. The vaccine can be used only by veterinarians.
WHO says pandemic has peaked in much of Europe – The current pandemic wave has passed its peak in western, northern, and eastern Europe as well as in temperate parts of North America. As of Dec 6, flu activity continued to increase in parts of central and southeastern Europe and southern and eastern Asia. Transmission also remained active in much of western and central Asia, and limited data indicated the virus was present in most regions of Africa as well.
UK reports death rate similar to US's – Pandemic H1N1 flu has killed fairly low numbers in the United Kingdom, British officials determined, but public health officials should stay vigilant and vaccination campaigns continue. The comprehensive analysis of data through Nov 8 revealed 26 H1N1 deaths in every 100,000 cases – a case-fatality rate (CFR) of 0.026%. The CDC released figures indicating a US CFR of 0.021%.
Aggressive steps may have worked for Japan – Aggressive pandemic control steps such as hygiene measures, social etiquette, and quick testing and antiviral prescribing have helped Japan curb H1N1 better than other nations. The report found a Japanese rate of 2 deaths per 100,000 H1N1 cases, considerably lower than other countries' published rates. Japanese doctors are advised to administer antivirals to anyone suspected of having flu, even if a rapid test is negative.
China's outbreak may not peak for months – Cases of novel H1N1 may not peak in China for several months, its health ministry said. The ministry said that hundreds of millions of people returning home for the traditional Chinese New Year in late January and February may exacerbate the outbreak. The country has confirmed more than 100,000 cases but only 326 deaths. China's peak flu season, which could last till March, will be critical for flu control and prevention.
Flu response frays state, local public health – Responding to the H1N1 pandemic has stretched some already financially strapped public health departments to the point of pulling back in other areas such as testing for other infectious diseases and doing restaurant inspections. For example, public health nurses in Maine have had to limit home visits only to major health threats. Both the House and Senate health reform bills contain new funds to strengthen public health infrastructure.
Signs in False Shepherds & False Religion
For among them are those who worm their way into households and capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men who are corrupt in mind, worthless in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress, for their lack of understanding will be clear to all, as theirs was also. 2 Timothy 3:6-9
Fishers school adjusts holiday program after conservative group protests
By Chris Sikich and Vic Ryckaert
December 12, 2009
FISHERS, Ind. — A Hamilton Southeastern elementary removed a mention of Allah in its holiday show after it drew the anger of a national conservative Christian group. Lantern Road Elementary Principal Danielle Thompson said school leaders sought to teach inclusiveness through the second-grade program, which included pieces about Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Las Posadas and Kwanzaa. "It went off last night without a hitch," Thompson said. "Several families thought it was a nice program." School officials removed a phrase saying "Allah is God" after the American Family Association launched a protest of the program on its electronic newsletter. The change was made, Thompson said, because no other deities were directly named in the program.
Theology Group Reflects on Impact of Prosperity Gospel
By Audrey Barrick|Christian Post Reporter
Dec. 17 2009
The growing prevalence of the prosperity gospel around the world, and particularly in Africa, has prompted a group of theologians to release a statement of concern and a call for further reflection. While recognizing that "there are some dimensions of prosperity teaching that have roots in the Bible," the Lausanne Theology Working Group says its overall view is that "the teachings of those who most vigorously promote the 'prosperity gospel' are false and gravely distorting of the Bible." The statement was released this month through Christianity Today and is derived from a number of papers that were discussed at the group's meetings in October 2008 and September 2009. The theology group, which includes the Revs. Dr. Chris Wright and Dr. John Azumah, makes clear that its intent is not to be "exclusively negative" regarding the health and wealth gospel and recognizes the social realities within which the teaching flourishes. But the group finds the overall impact of the teachings on churches pastorally damaging, spiritually unhealthy and may even deflect people from the message and means of eternal salvation.
FRANKLIN GRAHAM: 'OUR CHURCHES ARE DEAD'
By Paul Proctor
December 16, 2009
I read an interesting article/interview with Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist, Billy Graham, in a publication called The Gathering where he not only expressed the importance of sharing the gospel, but also some less than flattering comments about today’s churches and pastors “going directions Jesus never told us to go into,” referencing the new “liberal” evangelical emphasis on “social justice” and “Christianizing” the culture. Of course, I can’t speak for Franklin Graham, but it sure sounded like a slap in the face of Rick Warren with his Global Peace Plan. Certainly, there are many who have made the social gospel job one, but none more notable than the Purpose Driven pastor from Saddleback Church. Unfortunately, Graham didn’t name names, an all too common practice among clergy today, which leaves many vulnerable to “Christian” celebrities who put people-pleasing programs and global agendas over and above the Word of God and the call to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. If Mr. Graham believes certain pastors are out there leading others astray with a false gospel, he has a duty to warn them, not just make vague references that will go in one ear and out the other as if who’s doing it doesn’t really matter. Souls are at stake here.
Coke-snorting millionaire Rabbi who built 'synagogue of sin' walks free from court
By Jaya Narain
17th December 2009
A rabbi who lived a double life as a cocaine-addicted playboy walked free from court yesterday. Multi-millionaire Baruch Chalomish, 54, hosted sex and drugs orgies at his luxury apartment. One party hosted by the eminent Jewish scholar was attended by 20 guests and went on for five days. During that time the rabbi stayed up for over 72 hours repeatedly snorting cocaine and having sex with high-class prostitutes. At other riotous parties call girls were laid on for wealthy friends including a hospital surgeon, a GP and several businessmen. But today Chalomish was spared jail after a court heard he had thrown himself into a life of sex and drugs following his wife’s death. Manchester Crown Court was told the rabbi had been a leading and well-respected member of the local Jewish community.
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
Teacher sacked over 'pupil prayer'
Maths teacher Olive Jones was let go from her job teaching children who were too ill to go to school after visiting the home of a pupil for a lesson and discussing her faith with the girl's mother. The girl was too poorly for the lesson so instead Mrs Jones, 54, spoke about her belief in miracles and asked whether she could say a prayer, but says when the mother said they were not believers she did not go ahead. A complaint was then made by the mother that Mrs Jones' comments had distressed her and her child. As a supply teacher who did not have a formal contract, Mrs Jones was told her services were no longer required just hours after the visit on November 25.
Hamas digging up Christian graves in Gaza, claims rights group
Israel Today Staff
December 13, 2009
The leader of a Christian human rights group who arrived in Israel on Sunday claimed that Hamas is regularly digging up Christian graves in the Gaza Strip and disposing of the bodies of believers in Jesus. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Reverend Majed El Shafie, President of One Free World International (OFWI), asserted that "Hamas digs up the bodies of Christians from Christian burial sites in the Gaza Strip claiming that they pollute the earth." El Shafie is heading a delegation of human rights activists, Canadian lawmakers and religious personalities, and hopes to enlist Israel's help in combatting the persecution of Christians in the Muslim world.
Mass. Father Defends Claim That Boy, 8, Was Sent Home From School for Jesus Drawing
December 16, 2009
Chester Johnson, 40, said his son did indeed draw the picture circulated to reporters and that Taunton School District officials later said was not the same drawing discovered by the second-grade student's teacher earlier this month. "I swear to God, on my grave, you could kill me if I'm lying," Johnson, 40, told FoxNews.com. "I wouldn't make nothing up. This is the holiday season — I don't have time for that." Johnson, who said he works for the Taunton School District as a part-time custodian, told FoxNews.com that his hours have been cut since the controversy made headlines locally and nationally. "It's put a toll on me," Johnson said. "Now I'm trying to get a transfer." Late Wednesday, The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization based in Virginia, issued a statement on behalf of Johnson citing the "psychological damage" to the boy's family. “This is a case of overreaction by school officials,” said John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “[The boy's] drawing was simply a reflection of something he saw at a Christmas light show. The psychological damage to this family is appalling, and it is a clear-cut violation of their constitutional rights.”
Oslo police chase Christians from Nobels
By Bob Unruh
December 12, 2009
A Christian minister who has been arrested twice previously in Oslo for talking about Jesus in public now has been chased from the city center by police officers with the threat of yet another arrest if he returns, according to a lawyer who is working on his case. Joel Thornton of the International Human Rights Group told WND today that Larry Keffer, who works through the Biblical Research Center in Tampa, Fla., was among a team of Christians trying to proclaim the message of Christ during the recent visit to the city by President Obama. Obama was in Oslo to accept a Nobel Peace Prize for which he was nominated days after he took office in the United States. Obama admitted he had few accomplishments and used his speech to defend the use of war just nine days after ordering 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
Teacher orders 3rd-grader: Put Bible away!
December 16, 2009
A third-grade New Jersey girl is once again allowed to read her Bible during classroom "quiet time" after her teacher ordered her to stop reading the Good Book. A dispute developed after Michelle Jordat learned her daughter, Mariah, was told to put the Bible completely out of sight at Madison Park Elementary School in Old Bridge, N.J. "She was upset and she was hurt that she wasn't able in her own free time to read the Bible," Jordat told New York's WNYW-TV. "Her teacher told her to put it away, and she put it in her desk. And then the teacher told her, 'No, put that in your backpack. I told you to put it away.' And it hurt her feelings and confused her. Why would my teacher say that I can't read the Bible when I'm not bothering anybody else?"