"Am I therefore become your enemy,because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH...?"
(Galatians 4:16)

Friday, December 7, 2007

ENVIRO CRAZE WATCH:'Polars bears on the brink? Don't you believe it'

When you're up above the Arctic Circle, on the trail of polar bears who haven't eaten a square meal in months, it's advisable to follow a few basic rules.Number one, as perishing cold as you may be, is don't drink too much coffee.Unfortunately, as an incurable caffeine addict, wildlife documentary maker Nigel Marven can't adhere to this great unwritten imperative while filming his latest series out on the frozen North Canadian tundra.As a result, I find myself peering anxiously from the safety of a frosten-crusted Jeep, wondering whether I am about to witness the moment that Nigel becomes his star performer's lunch.Polar bears, you see, have an acute sense of smell which helps them to track down prey up to 60 miles away.Normally, they use it to sniff out seal pups or Arctic foxes, but when the call of nature forces Nigel to venture out on to the ice (coffee being a diuretic), one keen-nosed 1,200-pounder scents the unusual smells of coffee.Unseasonably warm weather has left the huge male bear stranded for almost four months, far from his winter hunting ground on the edge of the sheet-ice - so a meaty, 6ft human looks too appetising to resist.Nigel is just emerging from behind a snow-dusted willow bush when the great white bear comes loping towards him. His instinct is to turn and run for it back to the Jeep.But the 46-year-old, famed for his daringly close encounters with dangerous animals, quickly remembers the rest of the bear-stalker's survival code.Realising he will never outpace a creature capable of springing across the slithery surface at 25mph by using his huge paws like snow-shoes, Nigel stands stock still.Then, showing the bear that he isn't afraid, Nigel raises himself to his full height.At the same time, he avoids eye contact to let it know he isn't a threat (a fact that seems rather obvious, given that the approaching beast is 3ft taller and seven times heavier).Alarmingly, however, the bear just keeps on coming....
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As in the days of Noah....

The Religion of (Peace) Death for Apostates!

I’m sure the idiot women on “The View” will blame the victim in this latest sharia nightmare story. Do you think they even know what apostasy is–let alone the Koranic punishment?
"The daughter of a British imam is living under police protection after receiving death threats from her father for converting to Christianity.
The 31-year-old, whose father is the leader of a mosque in Lancashire, has moved house an astonishing 45 times after relatives pledged to hunt her down and kill her.
The British-born university graduate, who uses the pseudonym Hannah for her own safety, said she renounced the Muslim faith to escape being forced into an arranged marriage when she was 16. She has been in hiding for more than a decade but called in police only a few months ago after receiving a text message from her brother. In it, he said he would not be held responsible for his actions if she failed to return to Islam.
Officers have agreed to offer her protection in case of an attempt on her life.
Last night the woman said: “I’m determined to live my life the way I want to because I should have that freedom in this country. “If you make the choice to come to this country, as my parents did from Pakistan, you have to abide by the laws of this country and that means respecting the freedoms of other people.
“I know the Koran says anyone who goes away from Islam should be killed as an apostate, so in some ways my family are following the Koran. They are following Islam to the word. “But I do not think every Muslim would act on that. “My situation is frightening, but I’m not going to let it frighten me to the extent I can’t live my life."
Paging the AWOL feminists:
"A study this year found that 36 per cent of British Muslims between 16 and 24 believe those who convert to another religion should be punished by death.
In July an Iranian immigrant to Britain, who converted to Christianity, was saved from deportation after it emerged she would be stoned to death in her own country. "
By Michelle Malkin

As in the days of Noah....

US criticises Israel over settlements

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, warned Israel on Friday night that its plan to build 300 houses on land captured in the 1967 war risked undermining fresh attempts to forge peace with the Palestinians.Delivering what for the Bush administration is rare criticism of Israel over its settlements policy, Ms Rice said she had told Ehud Olmert’s government it must concentrate on building confidence with the Palestinians in the aftermath of the recent Annapolis conference.Speaking in Brussels, where she met Tzipi Livni, Israeli foreign minister , in a Nato foreign ministers meeting, Ms Rice said of the plan: “We are in a time when the goal is to build maximum confidence with the parties and this doesn’t help to build confidence.“There should not be anything which might prejudge final-status negotiations. It’s even more important now that we are on the eve of the beginning of the negotiations. I made that position clear.”Ms Rice’s comments come at the end of a week that has seen the US put more effort behind the move to bring peace between Israel and Palestine with the announcement that President George W. Bush will visit the region early next year. Israel on Friday confirmed that the US had asked it to explain the plan to build new homes in Har Homa, a Jewish settlement on occupied Palestinian land just south of Jerusalem. Before the Annapolis conference, the Israeli prime minister renewed a pledge to stop building new settlements in the occupied West Bank.However, he did not explicitly rule out what Israel calls the “natural growth” of existing settlements.In addition, settlements that like Har Homa lie in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem are considered by Israel to fall outside the Palestinian territories.The government said the tender was part of a seven-year-old plan and repeated the Israeli position that the site was excluded from the country’s commitments under Mr Bush’s “road map” plan of 2003.Palestinian leaders, however, have angrily denounced the construction plan, saying that it could jeopardise the current peace efforts.Disputes over settlements and Jerusalem are central to negotiations that Mr Bush hopes to conclude before he steps down.

As in the days of Noah....

Three prisoners executed in Japan

Japanese authorities have hanged three men, bringing the number of executions in the country this year to nine.For the first time, the names of the hanged men were made public.Previously, authorities would not release any details about executed men, in order to reduce the psychological damage to their families.Human rights groups have been critical of the secrecy surrounding executions in Japan, one of the few industrialised countries to retain the death penalty.
New minister
The hanged men were named as Noboru Ikemoto, 75, Seiha Fujima, 47, and Hiroki Fukawa, 42. The decision to release the hanged men's names was taken by Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama, who took office in August."We praise this move away from secrecy in executions," Amnesty International Japan said in a statement.Human rights groups were less positive about Mr Hatoyama's call in August for the "automatic" execution of all inmates six months after the failure of their last appeal.Currently, ministers have to authorise every individual execution in Japan.Mr Hatoyama attempted to head off the criticism by commissioning a panel of experts and death penalty opponents to examine ways of reforming the system.The BBC's Chris Hogg in Tokyo says that Japan's execution policies have been much criticised by activists.In particular, he says, critics point to the practice of not telling inmates the date of their execution until just before they are taken to the gallows, and not informing inmates' families of the date until after the execution has taken place.Activists' views on executions are not shared by the Japanese population as a whole, however: a recent poll suggests that fewer than one in 10 Japanese people oppose the death penalty.

As in the days of Noah...

Kenya battles swarms of locusts

Kenyan authorities are battling swarms of locusts, which are reported to have damaged crops.A BBC correspondent says it is the first time such large numbers have been seen in Kenya for 45 years.The ravenous creatures - which are capable of stripping vegetation in minutes - are laying eggs in remote areas in the north-east of the country.The Ministry of Agriculture says it is spraying affected areas from the ground and from aircraft.Find out about the locust's life cycleThe BBC's Adam Mynott in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, says if the locusts are successful in laying eggs, then the threat lies in them hatching as hoppers in about two weeks.They would then turn into adult insects - which if uncontrolled are capable of devastating any vegetation they alight on.The insects can eat their own weight in food every day, which means a single swarm can consume as much food as several thousand people.Locust swarms have been spotted in many areas in the Horn of Africa, but it is the first time since the early 1960s that large concentrations have moved into Kenya, our reporter says.Africa experienced devastating swarms in 2004 when they swept across northern and western Africa, leaving 60% of Mauritania's population - 400,000 people - needing food aid.

As in the days of Noah...


"Then said Jesus unto them again,Verily,verily,I say unto you,I am the door of the sheep.
All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers:but the sheep did not hear them.
I am the door:by me if any man enter in,he shall be saved,and shall go in and out and find pasture."
John 10:7-9

Light to shrink computer clusters

Supercomputers may one day be the size of a laptop thanks to research by IBM.Scientists at IBM have completed work that may make it possible to do away with the copper wires used to couple processing cores to each other.The connector created by the team uses light to pass data between the computational cores that is faster and uses less power than copper wires.The device is smaller than previously demonstrated connectors promising to shrink future computational clusters.The IBM development, reported in the journal Optics Express, could replace the copper wires that connect cores with a device that converts electrical signals to pulses of light.The device, called a silicon Mach-Zehnder electro-optic modulator, is many times smaller than previously produced convertors."What we have done is a significant step toward building a vastly smaller and more power-efficient way to connect those cores, in a way nobody has done before," said Dr Tze-chiang Chen, a spokesman for IBM's science and technology research division.It could also boost the power of coupled computational cores because by using light, the speed at which data travels between the cores would be accelerated.With light the researchers, led by Dr Will Green, can cut the amount of power needed to move data between processors and slash the amount of heat a large computational cluster produces.The technology, which can transfer data up to a distance of a few centimetres, is about 100 times faster than wires and consumes one-tenth as much power, said Dr Green.The lower power requirement should reduce operational costs for supercomputers.Doing away with some of the cooling systems for computational clusters could shrink the systems further.So far the team has only demonstrated the technology in a lab and it could be years before it makes its way into commercial chips.

As in the days of Noah....

TERROR WATCH:Terror manuals woman avoids jail

A woman who called herself a "Lyrical Terrorist" has been given a nine-month suspended jail sentence.Samina Malik, 23, from Southall, west London, had worked at a branch of WH Smith at Heathrow Airport.She was found guilty at the Old Bailey of owning terrorist pamphlets, including The Al-Qaeda Manual.The jury was told a "library" of extremist Islamist literature was found in her bedroom and Malik had written poems praising Osama Bin Laden.Malik is the first woman to be convicted under the Terrorism Act 2000.Her sentence is suspended for 18 months and she will have to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community. She will also be under supervision for the whole 18 months.She had earlier been found not guilty of the more serious charge, under Section 57 of the Act, of possessing an article for a terrorist purpose. She denied the charges.
Adopted nickname
Malik had posted her poems on websites under the screen name the Lyrical Terrorist, prosecutors said.She said the poems were "meaningless", but prosecutor Jonathan Sharp said: "These communications strongly indicate Samina Malik was deeply involved with terrorist-related groups."The court also heard she had written on the back of a WH Smith till receipt: "The desire within me increases every day to go for martyrdom."Malik told the jury she only adopted her "Lyrical Terrorist" nickname because she thought it was "cool" and insisted she was not a terrorist.The Recorder of London, Judge Peter Beaumont QC, said Malik's offence was "on the margin". He said: "The Terrorism Act and the restrictions it imposes on personal freedom exist to protect this country, its interest here and abroad, its citizens and those who visit here."Its protection embraces us all, its restrictions apply to us all whatever our personal, religious or political beliefs.'"In my judgement your offence is on the margin of what this crime concerns."Malik's lawyer, Iqbal Ahmed read a statement on her behalf outside the Old Bailey following the sentencing.He said: "What she'd like to say is that the trial process has been a terrible ordeal for her, and she's now relieved it's all over."The jury found that she did not have the material for terrorist purposes, which was an important part of her case. She now wants to get on with her life."
Not criminal
Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Muhammed Abdul Bari, told the Times he did not think the case should have reached court."Many young people download objectionable material from the internet, but it seems if you are a Muslim then this could lead to criminal charges, even if you have absolutely no intention to do harm to anyone else."Samina's so-called poetry was certainly offensive but I don't believe this case should really have been a criminal matter."A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said: "Samina Malik was not prosecuted for writing poetry."Ms Malik was convicted of collecting information, without reasonable excuse, of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism."This information included terrorism and poison handbooks as well as military manuals and other material likely to be useful to someone planning terrorist activity."
As in the days of Noah...

PESTILENCE WATCH:Kenya moves to halt Ebola spread

Kenya has set up screening centres on its borders with Uganda following an outbreak of the Ebola virus which has killed about 20 people.The highly infectious virus has killed two health workers in western Uganda, where the outbreak was first reported.Dr James Nyikal, the head of medical services in Kenya, said they are screening people entering the country and all facilities are on alert.There is no known cure for Ebola, which is fatal in around 80% of cases. Health authorities in Uganda say some 91 people have been infected with the current strain of the virus and experts from United States are helping to counter its spread.
"The sad news is that our doctor and a senior clinical officer who were in critical condition have died at Mulago hospital in Kampala," Samuel Kazinga, the Bundibugyo district commissioner said. Bundibugyo district is the most affected region - so far 36 people are still in local health centres."We are facing a crisis, health workers are scared and the morale is low, there is a very big shortage of nurses," Bundibugyo MP Jane Alisemera, told the Associated Press news agency. Media reports say the doctors contracted the virus due to a lack of safety equipment.Some health workers have threatened to go on strike unless they are paid risk allowances and provided with adequate protective gear.
Ugandan health officials originally suspected that the Marburg virus was responsible for the deaths, before it was confirmed as Ebola.The virus is thought to be transmitted through the consumption of infected bush meat and can also be spread by contact with the blood secretions of infected people.Some 174 people have died in DR Congo of a virus this year but only 13 of these have been confirmed as having Ebola.Uganda's health ministry has also deployed medics to the north-west to control outbreaks of cholera, meningitis and bubonic plague.Health Minister Emmanuel Otaala said they were battling with plague and meningitis in West Nile and Arua districts, while cholera had broken out in the northern Nebbi district.Aid agencies, which include World Vision and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), have set up makeshift health centres to ease the pressure on government health facilities.

As in the days of Noah...

Iranian hanged after verdict stay

An Iranian man has been hanged for rape despite his alleged victims withdrawing their accusations and a judicial review being ordered into the sentence.Makwan Mouloudzadeh, 20, had been found guilty of raping three teenage boys when he was 13 years old.The hanging took place on Wednesday morning at a prison in Kermanshah province in western Iran.Human rights groups say international law strictly forbids execution of child offenders, even after they become 18."On 11 November the head of the justice administration of Kermanshah received an order from the judiciary head, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, to stop the verdict being carried out," the lawyer, Saeed Eqbali, was quoted as saying."But the case, which was supposed to be reviewed in Tehran, was sent back from there to Kermanshah, and the execution was carried out quickly," the lawyer said.
Public execution
Clarisa Bencomo of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) group told Reuters news agency she had received information that Mr Mouloudzadeh's family had been told to come and pick up his body.Her organisation had spoken to people who had seen the body, she said.HRW says Mr Mouloudzadeh was arrested in September 2006 after three men complained to police he had raped them seven years earlier.During court proceedings, Mr Mouloudzadeh withdrew a confession he had made earlier, saying it had been the result of coercion by the police, the US-based group says.As a state that is party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran has undertaken not to execute child offenders.But Amnesty International says Iran has executed five minors so far in 2007 and 27 minors since 1990.The latest execution brings to at least 280 the number of people hanged in Iran this year, according to the AFP news agency. Many are public hangings.Capital offences in Iran include murder, rape, armed robbery, serious drug trafficking, apostasy, adultery and homosexual acts between men.

As in the days of Noah...

Have we struck a deal with the devil?

The partisan furor erupting over the selective release of two pages from this year's National Intelligence Estimate report aside, it raises a lot more questions than it answers.The first question that comes to mind is why? The White House is allegedly "incensed" that those particular pages were declassified and released, and it might even be true.Or it might not.Let's look at both arguments. Leaking the NIE report handed all the cards over to Iran, seemingly emasculating the administration's entire Iran foreign policy. The National Intelligence Estimate is highly classified information-for any of the 16 intelligence agencies to leak it is tantamount to treason.For it to be freely released to the public seems inexplicable.For four years, the Bush administration has been building a case against Iran's nuclear program. Two years ago, the NIE reported "with high confidence" Iran was moving full steam ahead with a nuclear weapons program. It estimated Iran was only a matter of a few years, if not months, before it would pass the nuclear point of no return.The leaked portion of this year's NIE says the consensus opinion of the nation's intelligence community is that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. However, while it has "high confidence" the program was suspended in 2003, it also concluded with "medium to high confidence" that Iran is keeping its nuclear weapons development options open.The left immediately seized on the revised NIE assessment to attack the president's credibility, drawing the inevitable connections between the failed Iraq intel in 2003 and the NIE's abrupt turnaround in 2007.Notwithstanding the fact that the NIE's assessment is what the president was relying on in the first place (making attacks on his personal credibility ludicrous), the partisan opportunism in Washington virtually hands Tehran a blank check from henceforth.There is no way short of a Iranian nuclear test that Bush will be able to rebuild domestic or international support for additional sanctions (or especially military strikes) against Iran in months remaining in his presidency.For all intents and purposes, the U.S. lost the war against Iran's nuclear program 10 seconds after the NIE summary hit the front page of the New York Times. There is no point in wasting ammunition.So in this view, the NIE leak was very, very bad news for the administration and worse news for Israel, in that it seems to inoculate Tehran against further Western interference in its domestic nuclear program.On the other hand, it seems illogical for the White House to be taking its release so calmly. It undid four long years of U.S. foreign policy in an instant.To leak it would be tantamount to treason. Deliberately declassifying it suggests government incompetence that has reached dizzying new heights-a possibility I don't lightly discount.But it is the Bush administration's National Intelligence Estimate. Declassifying secret intelligence summaries is a White House prerogative. And its release did torpedo U.S./Iran foreign policy.So what is it doing on the front page?There is but one alternative explanation. Either some kind of a U.S. deal with Iran has already been struck, or one is so close that maintaining the coalition is no longer deemed necessary.What kind of deal? Virtually any kind of deal with Iran is in Washington's interests. Until the fall of the shah, Iran was America's chief ally in the Middle East. American geopolitical strategy is always aimed at preventing the rise of a regional or continental power bloc that can threaten the U.S. or Europe.In the Islamic Middle East, Sunni outnumber Shia many times over.Iran is predominately Shia. Arabs outnumber Persians in similar numbers. Arabs and Persians have historical animosities stretching back millennia to days of Xerxes and the Persian Empire. In terms of U.S. geopolitical strategy, Iran is the spoiler.As a consequence of U.S. long-term strategy and Persia's unique circumstances, America and Iran are natural allies. And an alliance with Tehran would go a long way toward containing Hugo Chavez while keeping Venezuela's oil pipelines open.Iran's current relationship with Russia is forced and unnatural. The last nation to occupy Iran was Russia, and the Persians have a long memory and an outstanding score to settle.Iran's youthful majority doesn't trust the Americans, but they don't like the Russians, either. Given the choice between the two cultures, however, all the polls indicate they'd dump the Kremlin in a heartbeat.Something is clearly about to break, and the NIE is but one indication among many.The Saudis have recently done an about-face and concluded, over U.S. objections, a major arms deal with the Russians. The Saudis are Shia, Iran's natural and religious enemies, and the Saudis also fear being dumped by Washington in favor of a deal with Iran.The Arabs tend to get worried whenever the Americans or the Iranians rattle sabers in their direction. The prospect of a deal between Iran and the United States is enough to send them scurrying for their prayer mats.Clearly, a deal between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran seems absurd on its face, and maybe it is. But no less absurd than the prospect that the White House has deliberately sabotaged its own foreign policy agenda during the final months of the Bush presidency.Whether there is a deal in the works or whether the Bush administration has surpassed its own high standard for intelligence-processing incompetence remains to be seen.But there is more here than meets the eye, and you can bet that they are burning the midnight oil in Riyadh, Moscow and, especially, Jerusalem, trying to figure out what. Meanwhile, keep an eye on what the prophet Ezekiel predicted about this region. It is more illuminating than the New York Times, or any other media right now.
By Hal Lindsey
As in the days of Noah....

Broadcaster to Counter Anti-Christian Kids TV in Arab World

After celebrating its 10th Anniversary last year, Arabic Christian television pioneer SAT-7 is launching special channel for kids this month to send message of hope to kids in the Arab world who are watching other channels that are thought to be propagating anti-Christian messages.The new TV channel for Kids, SAT-7 KIDS, “will go live exactly one minute after midnight on December 9th, and will be available for Arab children to watch when they wake up on December 10th," says Rita El Mounayer, SAT-7’s director of programming. According to SAT-7, one hundred million children under the age of 15 live in the Arab world and at least half have access to satellite television. “This huge population of young people represent the future of the region, one currently torn by conflict, hatred and a lack of hope,” the station states. “Children living in the midst of strife often turn to TV as a place of safety where they can escape. TV can provide hope, new ideas and a place where young viewers often open their hearts to Christ’s message."“Our goal,” says El Mounayer, “is to provide a safe place for children, where they can grow, learn more about the teachings of Christ, and see the fun and bright future that God can provide for them.”Currently, at least six other Arabic children’s channels are targeting this audience. Many of these deliver anti-Christian ideas and attitudes and some Arabic channels produce and broadcast violent programs for children. Some glorify martyrdom, even using children to deliver the message to their peers. SAT-7 KIDS is said to be the first and only channel to provide quality, locally-made Christian children’s programming that is available 24 hours a day. According to SAT-7’s El Mounayer, the station’s teams in Lebanon and Egypt have been working very hard for the launch of the first Christian TV channel for kids in the Arab world. “They are extremely excited and anticipate a huge response,” the director says.“On SAT-7 KIDS, viewers will see wonderful programming for children which will include messages about love, forgiveness and turning the other cheek,” notes SAT-7 CEO Terence Ascott. “We will be broadcasting cartoons, dramas, Bible stores, game shows and many kinds of programs that will attract children and help them learn about God’s love for them and how they can walk with the Lord.”SAT-7 KIDS will enable children to watch Arabic Christian programming any time that is convenient for them, across the five time zones in the Arab world.Ascott says that entire families in the Arab world will be impacted as many parents will also be drawn to sit with their kids and take in the positive messages broadcast on SAT‑7 KIDS."Half of the homes in the Arab world today have Satellite television. This is a unique opportunity for such households to bypass the censorship on all kinds of media and to hear the Gospel," adds Ascott.The outreach TV station is urging believers to donate for the project to help pay for the new equipment needed to help make the extra programs for the channel.SAT-7 KIDS can be watched on Hot Bird 6 Satellite, 13 Degrees East, Transponder 157, 11,642 MHz, Horizontal Polarity, 27.5 MSym/sec, FEC ¾.

As in the days of Noah...

Missions Not 'Extra Work', Reminds Chinese Church Leader

KELANG,Malaysia-“Why do churches conduct missions?”That was the question posed by a prominent Chinese evangelical minister to mission leaders who had gathered earlier this week.At the 29th Kelang Methodist Mission Conference in Malaysia, the Rev. Dr. Thomas Wang, president of Great Commission Center International based in Sunnyvale, Calif., noted how “some churches take missions as extra work for God.”“This belief is wrong,” he affirmed in his message, titled “World Missions, Everyone's Responsibility."“On the contrary, if a church does not participate in missions, then it is not obeying the will of God.”Citing from Matthew 28, Wang reiterated the words of Jesus, who said, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”“This is the command of the Lord,” he exhorted. “We must obey the Lord’s command of making all people in all nations ‘my disciples;’ this is world missions."Wang, who served as the international director for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization in 1987, brought up three suggestions regarding world missions.First suggestion Wang brought to the table was concerning a movement called “One Leading One,” which the Chinese minister encouraged all believers to participate in for their own ethnic groups. The movement requires each believer in the church to lead at least one person to Christ and have them attend church. If this is followed, then churches shall grow exponentially, Wang said. Second, he said, the congregation must continue to develop. As the number of congregants increases non-stop, the churches must set up churches non-stop in order to contain more people.Lastly, the commission of the church is not limited to a believer’s own ethnic group."Let’s look at Mark 16:15,” he told mission leaders. “Let me know if I am reading this correctly: ’He said to them, go into all the world and preach the good news to all Chinese?’ Why didn’t the Lord say Chinese but all creation?"Wang said Chinese believers for many years have been engaging in missions to overseas and mainland Chinese because of similarities in language, culture, and background. But God’s Great Commission is beyond tribes and cultures, Wang said. The gospel is to be proclaimed to all people in all nations, he added.

As in the days of Noah...


"Verily,verily,I say unto you,He that entereth not by the door into the sheephold,but climbeth up some other way,the same is a thief and a robber.
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
To him the porter openeth;and the sheep hear his voice:and he calleth his own sheep by name,and leadeth them out.
And when he putteth forth his own sheep,he goeth before them,and the sheep follow him:for they know his voice.
And a stranger will they not follow,but will flee from him:for they know not the voice of strangers."
John 10:1-5

Breakaway Anglicans Move Forward with Orthodox Initiative

The first annual meeting of a flourishing breakaway Anglican group opened Thursday, marking the "coming of age" for the orthodox Anglican initiative, said one bishop. Hundreds of clergy and lay delegates representing more than 60 congregations in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) converged in Herndon, Va., for the first council addressing the current state and future growth of the orthodox group."This is the first time that we have been able to gather so many CANA clergy and lay leaders together and I would be most remiss if I did not express my personal gratitude to all of you for your remarkable faith," CANA missionary bishop the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns said in his opening address Thursday. "Your willingness to step out of the boat and become part of this community of faithful Anglicans called CANA is a source of continuing encouragement."Presiding over the council this weekend is Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, who set up CANA in the United States as a missionary initiative of the Church of Nigeria - one of the largest provinces in the global Anglican Communion. CANA is now a body for realignment or what Akinola called a place to provide a spiritual home for those discontent in The Episcopal Church – the U.S. branch of Anglicanism – and its liberal direction in Scripture and theology.In his "State of the Church" address, Minns retraced divisions in the Anglican Communion back to 1998 during the decennial global Lambeth Conference when a resolution rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture was passed. The resolution provoked strong dissent from many in The Episcopal Church."'No one can tell us what to do!' was a persistent reaction," Minns explained about the U.S. Anglican church's reaction. "Very quickly that was translated into a much more aggressive embrace of non-biblical views on human sexuality and, in general, a diluting of the Gospel to the point where it was barely recognizable as traditional Christianity."In 2003, The Episcopal Church widened rifts when it consecrated its first openly gay bishop – V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Some Episcopal leaders also affirmed the practice of same-sex blessings."These specific actions revealed that those in control of The Episcopal Church were ready to separate themselves from the ‘faith once and for all delivered to the saints’ and embrace innovations that were essentially a new religion," Minns said. "This was a step too far for many orthodox believers."Minns was consecrated last year as the first full-time bishop for CANA as the breakaway group grew with congregations seeking to be biblically faithful and remain a part of traditional Anglicanism, they contend. CANA now numbers about 60 congregations and over 100 clergy in 20 states and with a total average Sunday attendance of approximately 8,600.Rapid growth, however, presents some challenges to the diverse breakaway body. The question of women's ordination has come up and while CANA has committed to the full participation of women in the leadership of the church, dissenting voices have been raised among the conservative members. Minns proposed that the group continue allowing women clergy while still honoring the position of those unable to support women's ordination. A task force has been set up to continue work on this issue.Several CANA congregations in Virginia are also currently involved in a multi-million dollar property battle with The Episcopal Church. Lawsuits were filed against 11 churches that disaffiliated with the national church. The first of two trials concluded last month and breakaway leaders are confident they will keep their church properties.Despite the challenges, CANA members are moving forward with "great joy and conviction that this is the right thing that God has led," said Minns in a conference call Thursday.To date, five of 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion have recognized CANA as a provincial structure, reported Minns. And he is optimistic that they will receive Communion-wide recognition.

As in the days of Noah...

Pakistan's First Female Suicide Bomber Killed Near Christian School

The burka-clad woman believed to be the first woman suicide bomber in Pakistan blew herself up near a Christian missionary school on Tuesday, officials said.Though initial media reports could not confirm whether the woman intended to plant the bomb or planned to kill herself with it, along with other people, the chief of police in the city where the explosion happened told the New York Times the woman was definitely a suicide bomber given that a belt was strapped to her.“We have found pieces of the belt used in the bombing, which shows that she was a suicide bomber,” said Peshawar Police Chief Tanveerul Haq Sipra.The target is believed to have been the military checkpoint she was approaching, given that pro-Taliban militants the day before had captured six Pakistani security officials and blew up their checkpoint.Recently, there has been an upsurge in violence within the Muslim-majority country as the Pakistani military launched a fierce clampdown on Taliban-sympathizers, especially in the volatile northwest region, where the latest incident occurred.No casualties were reported following Tuesday’s explosion.

As in the days of Noah...

Russian Church Head Equates Europe's Loss of Christian Roots to Signing 'Death Warrant'

The spiritual leader of the Russia Orthodox Church has given an ominous warning to Europeans, urging them not to abandon Christianity or it risk being vanished from history.Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II urged European nations to retain their Christian identity, claiming that the failure to do so would be akin to them signing their own “death-warrant.”"Modern Europe will not create a new post-Christian culture and civilization but will simply vanish from history," Alexy said at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow Wednesday evening, according to the Interfax news agency."Losing their Christian roots, the people of Europe will sign their own death warrant," he added.Religious groups, and notably the late Pope John Paul II, have lobbied European Union leaders to get a mention of Europe's Christian roots in the EU constitution. Poland, Italy and Germany have also backed such a move, but have been blocked by France, Belgium and others who fear such a measure could discriminate against other religions and on longstanding national laws on division of church and state.Pope Benedict XVI, in September, told thousands of Catholics that Europe faces a bleak future unless more children are born on the continent and its people return to faith in God and traditional values."Where God is, there is the future," he said in an outdoor mass at an 850-year-old pilgrimage site in Austria.More recently, the pope has strongly criticized atheism, saying it had led to some of the "greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice" ever known.

As in the days of Noah...

Two of Six Preachers Turn Over Financial Data for Probe

Only two faith-based ministries have met a Thursday deadline to turn over financial documents for a Senate investigation on alleged opulent spending. Six were asked to cooperate.Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) received the requested papers from Kenneth Copeland Ministries on Thursday and Joyce Meyer Ministries earlier this week."It’s good that some of the ministries are cooperating. I hope all of them will cooperate in the end," said Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Finance, in a statement. "For the focus of this inquiry, ministries are the same as any other non-profit organization. It’s a question of abiding by tax laws just like any tax-exempt group."A month ago, Grassley sent letters to six high-profile ministries-led by Paula and Randy White, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Benny Hinn, Meyer and Copeland-requesting financial statements and responses to pointed questions about salaries, perks and other organizational and personal finances. The Senate probe was launched to determine whether the ministries are abusing their tax-exempt status as churches for extravagant lifestyles.Churches, unlike secular nonprofits, are not required by law to make their finances public. And while some of the ministries under investigation stated they comply with tax laws, churches report very little information to the IRS and very little transparency is legally required of them, according to Richard Hammar, editor of Church Treasurer Alert! and Church Law and Tax Report.One of the requirements to be tax-exempt, however, is that the organization does not pay unreasonable compensation. And that is a main concern of the Senate investigation.Recent media coverage and reports by watchdog groups have alleged the six ministry leaders of generous salaries and amenities such as private jets and Rolls-Royces. Grassley told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that he "can't be impressed" by the argument from some of the preachers that the Internal Revenue Service already monitors them, because his past inquiries have unearthed information that the IRS never knew, according to The Associated Press.Creflo Dollar, one of the preachers under investigation, sent Grassley a letter asking that the investigation either be referred to the IRS, which would give greater privacy, or that the Senate committee get a subpoena.Dollar's lawyer, Marcus Owens of Washington, explained that turning over information through a subpoena would keep the church's information from being released to the public and "guarantees you privacy," as reported by The Wall Street Journal.Early in the investigation, Dollar had released some information about the finances for his church – World Changers Church International in College Park, Ga. – showing that the 30,000-member church took in $69 million in 2006."I generally don't make this public," he said at the time.Dollar along with several other pastors have raised concerns about invasions of privacy and violations of religious freedom regarding the Senate probe.Dismissing the religious liberty argument, Grassley said, "Forget it. They don't have a leg to stand on."Representatives of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., said publicly that the ministry will cooperate with the Senate request but Grassley has not yet received any material or contact from the ministry. Bishop Eddie Long, who leads the Baptist church, has called Grassley's request unjust.Texas-based faith “healer” Benny Hinn has asked for more time to respond. A meeting with Hinn's attorneys is set for Friday, Grassley's office said.Lawyers for Paula and Randy White of Tampa gave initial contact to Grassley's office Thursday but no further response has been given.Grassley said he's willing to give the ministries more time to respond "as long as they’re cooperating and in contact with my office." "It’d be very unusual if they don’t cooperate," he added. "I’ve looked at a lot of non-profit groups over the last five years, and they’ve all cooperated. The only possible exception is when I was chairman, and then-Ranking Member Baucus asked for my help in getting a subpoena for charities connected to Jack Abramoff. That was an extreme case.”"I expect that in the end we won't have to work hard to get all these folks to cooperate, and I'd be very disappointed if I did," the Iowa senator said.

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ISRAEL Infected with Racism:Ethiopian community hit hard by discrimination

Organizations working for the advancement of rights of Ethiopians in Israel have been receiving hundreds of complaints each year concerning discriminatory and racist attitudes towards members of the minority ethnicity in Israel.The facts seem to show that these attitudes are not confined to specific areas of the country but rather represent a collective phenomenon within Israeli society.In one instance, a teacher who called in a troublesome student's parents for a private conversation told them that the proper punishment for their son was his removal from the class. She explained that:"This Ethiopian boy is a nuisance not only to other Ethiopians but to the Israelis in the class as well."On the website of a school in the north, the administration proudly proclaims that"there is a small quantity of Ethiopian children in our educational institution."It should be noted that no other ethnic groups are mentioned.In another instance, in a kindergarten in southern Israel Ethiopian children were removed from the school after other children's parents protested that there were too many of them. In coming days, a lawsuit is to be filed against the mayor of the city.Even FIDEL, which dubs itself the "Association for Education and Social Integration of Ethiopian Jews in Israel," encountered difficulties when it was searching for an office in the center of the country. Representatives from the organization went on a tour of potential locale but when the landlord of the building heard Ethiopians planned to occupy his property, he brusquely suggested they look elsewhere."There is an office with a lot of medicine nearby, I don't want any problems with theft and drugs," the owner told them. Another group called Tebeka, which carries the slogan "Advocacy for Equality and Justice for Ethiopian Israelis," filed complaints in a number of incidences of racism across Israel. According to agency representatives, since the beginning of 2007, their office has received over 100 appeals for help.Attorney Yael Segel-Maklis, manager of the judicial affairs department at Tebeka, told Ynet that "there is a fundamental problem of illegitimacy with regard to Ethiopian immigrants. Israeli society is shooting itself in the foot because it has caused a frustrated generation (of Ethiopians) to grow up here, and we're seeing all of the severe consequences of this."
Racism in Israel
At the headquarters for the struggle for social equality for Jewish Ethiopians there are plans to call the attention of Israeli society to the problem of racism and other negative social attitudes towards Ethiopian immigrants.Gadi Yevrakan, the director of the struggle, said that he is "no longer surprised by anything, there is no difference between the neo-Nazis…and all those that discriminate against Jews from Ethiopia."The Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews (IAEJ) intends to send letters to the Attorney General requesting that he check up on local authorities in their handling of absorption of Ethiopian Jews.Avi Maspin, a spokesman for IAEJ, said that "racism is a word that I have feared using until now, because I did not believe that it could exist in Israel in 2007, but the time has come to call a spade a spade. Israeli society is profoundly infected by racism and unfortunately there is no suitable punishment for racism in Israel."

As in the days of Noah....

Decision time on Iran nearing,Livni says

Iran is close to crossing a technological threshold after which it will be able to secretly produce nuclear weapons without supervision, Tzipi Livni said Friday at the NATO foreign ministers conference in Brussels, Belgium."The time to reach a decision (regarding Iran) is near," the FM said, adding that Israel would continue to urge Western countries to maintain a firm stance against Tehran.Livni, who is scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice later in the day, lauded the decision to uphold the sanctions policy."The American intelligence report on Iran should not change the tough position taken against its nuclear program," she said.Livni is expected to tell the NATO foreign ministers that "the world must unite to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear arms."The foreign minister, who is also set to meet with her counterparts from Germany, France and the UK, hopes that the European Union will back the Bush administration's call for continued pressure against Tehran."If this happens, then the diplomatic process in which the Western world conveys a tough policy toward Iran will be complete," Livni is expected to tell the conference.
'Iran remains a threat'
Germany and France said on Thursday that Iran's nuclear program was still a threat and the search for more UN sanctions should go on despite the US intelligence report saying that Tehran was no longer trying to build an atomic bomb.Speaking at a joint news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the existing dual track policy of preparing sanctions against Tehran while leaving the door open to negotiations should go on.
"I think that we are in a process and that Iran still poses a threat," Merkel said, adding that talks between mediator Javier Solana and Iran's top nuclear negotiator should continue.Sarkozy said he fully agreed with Merkel, adding: "What has made Iran move until now is sanctions and firmness."Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht told reporters that the ministers accepted the Bush administration's argument that Iran remains a threat and needs to be treated as such.
"On Iran, everybody around the table agreed we should not change our position," he told reporters after a dinner at which Rice presented Washington's position.
As in the days of Noah...

Israeli Arab leader to PA: Don't recognize Israel as Jewish state

The Palestinian Authority must not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, head of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee Shawki Khatib said Friday during a Hadash party annual convention in Nazareth.Hundreds of the party's supporters, including PLO and Palestinian Authority representatives, attended the gathering, which marked 30 years since the movement's establishment.According to Khatib, Israeli Arabs in Israel have been pushed to the margins due to the country's definition as Jewish state, and are paying a heavy price for this. He urged PA envoys who attended the event not to comply with Israel's demand for such recognition. Responding to Khatib's statement, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who spoke at the event's opening ceremony, said that he would not "apply for membership in the Zionist movement.""When Livni presented this demand," Erekat said, "I asked her, 'Why do you ask for such a thing when you can do this on your own using basic laws?' But some say that Israel is trying to get rid of the refugees issue before it is even discussed." Erekat referred to the situation in Gaza and the West Bank, saying that "the Hamas revolution will end once a Palestinian state is established, but if no such state is founded, the situation in the West Bank may become worrying."Erekat also claimed that any recognition in Israel would be motivated by "pragmatic reasons" alone.
Abbas: Palestinians must unite
One of the PA's representatives read out a message from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in which the leader stressed that the Palestinian people would not be able to regain their rights without first achieving internal unity."Hamas will realize that in order to renew negotiations, the Palestinian people had better be united again," Abbas wrote. Referring to Hadash, the president stated that the party was home to "the true and most prominent leadership of Palestinians in Israel. We trust you to continue influencing the political discourse in Israel, as you have done in the past."Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti also sent a message to the convention's participants. According to Barghouti, "This convention takes place against the backdrop of an ongoing attack on the Arab population in Israel, and some believe that you are a strategic threat that must be eradicated."Your remaining in the homeland is the greatest and most important national treasure for you and the Palestinian people. Your struggle for national rights and your effort, alongside the progressive Israeli camp, to end the occupation is beyond measure," he added.

As in the days of Noah...


"And as Jesus passed by,he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him,saying,Master,who did sin,this man,or his parents,that he was born blind?
Jesus answered,Neither hath this man sinned,nor his parents:but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
I must work the works of him that sent me,while it is day:the night cometh,when no man can work.
As long as I am in the world,I am the light of the world.
When he had thus spoken,he spat on the ground,and made clay of the spittle,and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.
And said unto him,Go wash in the pool of Siloam,(which is by interpretation Sent)He went his way therefore,and washed,and came seeing.
The neighbours therefore,and they which before had seen him that he was blind,said,Is not this he that sat and begged?
Some said,this is he:others said,He is like him:but he said,I am he.
Therefore said they unto him,How were thine eyes opened?
He answered and said,A man that is called Jesus made clay,and anointed mine eyes,and said unto me,Go to the pool of Siloam and wash:and I went and washed,and I received sight.
Then said they unto him,Where is he?He said,I know not.
John 9:1-12

Pentagon plans unchanged by Iran report

WASHINGTON-A U.S. intelligence assessment that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 has had no effect on Pentagon planning, a senior U.S. military officer said on Friday.
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Sattler, director for strategic plans and policy on the U.S. military's Joint Staff, said officials were still digesting the National Intelligence Estimate released on Monday.Sattler told reporters at the Pentagon he would not talk publicly about any U.S. military contingency plans but he said:"There has been no course correction, slowdown, speedup given to us inside the Joint Staff based on the NIE."The Bush administration has insisted that it wants to resolve its dispute with Tehran over Iran's nuclear program through diplomacy but will not rule out military action.Analysts have said the intelligence estimate, which reversed previous assessments, makes it much less likely that the United States would attack Iran.Following the release of the estimate, President George W. Bush said Iran remained dangerous and would be dangerous in the future if it had the knowledge to make a nuclear weapon. Iran say its nuclear program is purely for energy generation.In Kansas City on Friday, Vice President Dick Cheney restated the administration's stance on Iran."We're dealing with a country that is still enriching uranium and remains a leading state sponsor of terrorism. That is a cause of great concern to the United States," he said."Not everyone understands the threat of nuclear proliferation in Iran or elsewhere but we and our allies do understand the threat and we have a duty to prevent it," Cheney said in remarks delivered at the National World War I Museum.At the Pentagon, Sattler declined to say if he believed the NIE's findings meant Iran was now less of a threat."That is a strategy question and a policy question and we are in the process of discussing it," he said."I'd rather wait and let us sort our way through it than give you a knee-jerk response."

As in the days of Noah...

JIHAD WATCH:Two Israeli Muslim Terrorists Arrested

Security officials announced Thursday that they had arrested two Arab citizens of Israel who were planning terrorist attacks against IDF soldiers and Jewish civilians. One of the two, 21-year-old Akrama Jurin, admitted to the charges against him and said that he and his collaborator had been influenced by the international terrorist organization Al-Qaeda and the Islamic idea of global jihad. The two Arab-Israeli terrorists, residents of Jaljulya, were arraigned Thursday at a Tel Aviv District Court. They are to be charged with an attempt to kidnap and murder a soldier and an armed security guard, and with planning to open fire at IDF soldiers and Jewish civilians. Jurin and his accomplice also researched bomb-making online and carried out experiments with explosives near their home town. Security forces found materials for constructing an improvised explosive device (IED) in their possession.The terrorists drove to a major highway junction near the Arab Israeli town of Kfar Kassem armed with knives. Their plan was to offer a soldier a ride, murder him and use his weapon for a shooting attack on other soldiers waiting at the intersection. They aborted their plan when they found no soldiers at the junction.The would-be killers furthermore admitted that they intended to stab a security guard at the entrance to the Jewish town of S'dei Hemed, in order to infiltrate the town and use the guard's firearm in an attack on residents. However, that plan also was called off when they arrived at the entrance to S'dei Hemed and found it unguarded. After leaving S'dei Hemed, the terrorists drove towards the Jewish city of Kfar Saba, at which point they were apprehended.Jurin told interrogators that he frequently watched videos of Al-Qaeda preachers showcased on Islamic Internet websites. He added that he also used the online videos as a tool to convince his 17-year-old accomplice to join him in the abortive jihad attacks.Security officials said that this case is an example of the deep and widespread influence of jihadist messages on the Internet. Such ideological incitement leads to independent acts of jihad in the real world, the officials said, as the recent arrests amply demonstrate...
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
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New PA Law: Negotiating Jerusalem is an Act of Treason

The PA legislature has passed the first reading of a law forbidding any concessions in, or even negotiations regarding, Jerusalem.Ahmed Bahar, a leading Hamas member and the Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Authority parliament, announced Thursday that the body had passed a first reading of a "Jerusalem bill."The legislation, proposed by Hamas parliament member Ahmed Abu Hilbiya, absolutely bans giving up any part of Jerusalem.The bill states that Jerusalem, according to its "borders recognized during the period of the Islamic Khalifate," is "Palestinian, Arab, Islamic land." It further avers that all of Jerusalem, "including its archaeological sites and the sites that are holy to Islam and Christianity, are waqf (dedicated in sanctity) for Palestinian, Arab and Islamic generations." This would appear to include not only the Temple Mount, but also the Western Wall, the Jewish Quarter, and the City of David.
The new PA bill also states that it is forbidden to discuss, cede, or negotiate over any part of Jerusalem, or hold a referendum on this matter - and that if such negotiations or votes are held, they are null and void in advance. Anyone who violates the above provisions on behalf of the PA will be considered guilty of treason, the bill states, and will be liable to the relevant punishments. The PA legislature will convene "soon," Bahar said, to pass the law's second reading, after which it will be passed on to PA chairman and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas for his signature.
Jewish People and Jerusalem
The Jewish People have taken a similar stance regarding Jerusalem, even if Israel's government has lagged somewhat behind. In July 1980, the Knesset approved the Jerusalem Law, determining that "complete and united Jerusalem is Israel's capital."However, current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said last week that "the Government of Israel has a sovereign right to negotiate anything on behalf of Israel." He made his position clear that Jews outside Israel had no right to participate in decisions about the future of Jerusalem. At a prayer vigil in Chicago just prior to the Annapolis conference last week, religious Jews of all stripes stood together in prayer for Jerusalem. The message, as stated by Young Israel's Rabbi Pesach Lerner, was clear: "Yerushalayim [Jerusalem] is not for discussion, Yerushalayim is not for sale, Yerushalayim must remain undivided forever." Agudath Israel of America adopted a blunt resolution at its 85th national convention the day stating,"Israel must not relinquish parts of Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty, and the American government must not pressure the Israeli government into doing so."The Orthodox Union (OU) declared it had no intention of dictating policy to Israel, but expressed its "resolute stand" that all Jews in the world have a share in "the holy city of Jerusalem." The Coordinating Council on Jerusalem stated unequivocally, "World Jewry opposes Israeli negotiations which would include any discussion of ceding sovereignty over part or all of Jerusalem." Before news of the new PA law was learned, Transportation Minister Sha'ul Mofaz - somewhat of a hawk within Kadima - stated at a Kadima Party Chanukah candle lighting ceremony Thursday evening, "Jerusalem must remain united as Israel's capital forever."Opposition Leader Binyamin Netanyahu of the Likud said on Thursday, "The People of Israel has spilled blood and tears; it did not sacrifice its most precious sons in ancient times, nor now, just so the current government could give up Jerusalem. We will not let such a thing happen. The Temple Mount is in our hands, and must remain in our hands."
by Hillel Fendel
As in the days of Noah...

5.6m register for Zim polls

Harare - More than five million Zimbabweans have registered to vote in next year's presidential and parliamentary polls, says a top election official, rejecting opposition allegations that voting would be rigged.George Chiweshe, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), said on Thursday that 5.6 million people had registered. The country had a population of about 13 million people.He emphasised at a press conference in Harare that people could still register.In August, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change denounced the voter registration programme as a sham after only 80 000 people had registered, saying the system was aimed at boosting President Robert Mugabe's chances of victory.The opposition said the ruling Zanu-PF regime was trying to rig the election "through a biased and opaque voter registration that sought to disenfranchise the young population and urban voters, where the opposition enjoys majority support".However, Chiweshe dismissed the opposition complaints. He said: "They will always be complaints and compliments. Some are valid and some not so valid. Our electoral system is as good as any in the region. Some people make allegations without facts."Zimbabwe was likely to go to the polls in March next year after 83-year-old Mugabe would seek a seventh term in office.Mugabe vowed last week that the elections would be monitored only by "friendly and objective members of the international community".The estimated three million exiled Zimbabweans would not be allowed to vote.

As in the days of Noah...

QUAKEWATCH:Quake near climate summit

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Company acknowledges life is 'not by bread alone'

At least one consumer says he's glad to see a national company-the producer of Sunbeam Bread-unafraid to acknowledge the country's religious connection to its holidays. And it's something he says Christians should support when they see the effort.With the publicity that surrounds each Christmas season about companies that appear fearful to mention Christmas because of the religious connection to the name, evangelist and pastor Joseph Groux of Orange County, Virginia, points out an exception to that trend. Groux says he's been glad to buy Sunbeam Bread the last few years, after seeing the change the brand quietly makes with its logo character, "Little Miss Sunbeam," beginning at the Thanksgiving holiday."They change the whole packaging of the product with a new bag," he explains, "and instead of the character just being up there smiling, she now has her hands folded in prayer and the caption underneath says 'Not by bread alone.'"Mary Krier, a spokesman for the bread's marketing company Flowers Foods, says company officials feel the holiday image from a 1950s billboard is appropriate for this time of year. It is apparent they are not worried about being politically correct."That image dates back to the 1950s, the 'Not by bread alone' as well as the image of her in a reflective pose," says Krier. "They just felt that it brought people back to remembering what's important in life."Groux says he uses the logo as a witnessing tool in store checkout lines, and encourages Christians to support the bread company as a testimony to those businesses he says "go out of their way" to avoid the name of Christmas and its religious connotations."What a great display of power that would be to [those] corporations," he says.
As in the days of Noah...

While Nebraska Pastor, Prompted by God, Prays Protection over Family at Omaha Mall, Wife and Son Avoid Danger

Omaha, Nebraska-This week, Joe Smith, a resident and pastor, living in Omaha, Nebraska, learned firsthand, the value of listening to the promptings of God's Holy Spirit.Because of his prayers for the protection of his wife and son—which he felt specifically led to pray over them on two separate occasions, just a little while before the mall shooting this week—Joe's loved ones narrowly avoided being part of the tragedy, when 19-year-old Robert Hawkins opened fire, in the crowded Omaha mall.Below is Joe's account, in his own words, of what happened on Wednesday, just minutes before unsuspecting holiday shoppers were gunned-down….
"[Wednesday], my wife called me at 12:00 [noon], and said, ‘Let's meet for lunch at the Westroads Mall.' [I thought], ‘Great, I love that teriyaki chicken from Sarku restaurant.' The 3 of us met, my wife Gayle, my son Benjamin, and I.
"We finished lunch at around 12:45 or so, and I had to get back to work. Before I left the mall, I pulled my wife and son to me and said, ‘I am led to pray for you both before I leave.' We prayed, (I pleaded the blood of Jesus over them) and I left.
"At 1:30 the Lord had me call my wife again, and say, ‘Honey, I am troubled for you and Ben, and am praying for you both, but I am deeply troubled in my spirit for you both….' She was going [to go] into Von Maur, to the girls department (on the 3rd floor of Von Maur, where just minutes later there would be a massacre), to shop for our 10 year old daughter, [but] she decided to leave the mall.
"At 1:35 or so, she and Benjamin walked out the door (from the Von Maur side of the mall), and got in the car and left. At 1:42 the shooting started!
"All last night, the Lord kept speaking to me and reminding me of Matthew 4:4 (Man does NOT live by bread alone, but by EVERY word out of the mouth of God)..
"He showed me how when we hear His voice, we LIVE!.. We are deeply saddened by this event and for the victims' families and all, but I praise the Lord that I still have a wife and son!"
After having a day to think about the trauma she narrowly missed, Gayle, Joe's wife, put down her thoughts on the couple's ministry website. Here are a couple excerpts….
"At about 1:30, Joe called my cell and asked what we were doing, I said, 'Still shopping,' and he said 'Gayle, I am really praying for you guys, I'm not sure what is up, or if it maybe has to do with the President being in town, but God has me really praying for you guys.' I said, 'Great, keep it up,' not sensing any danger, any urgency, just totally enjoying my time with Ben and the joy of the season. At 1:35, I left the Younkers store heading into the mall, and glanced at my watch thinking I had time to still hit Von Maur's girl section.
"It was at that moment that the thought came to me that 'you do not have time to do that, you need to go to the bank and get Jaymie from school.' I turned to Ben and said, 'We have got to go, we will have to do Von Maur another day, we are just out of time.' We walked straight to the exit through the food court and stopped by the doors. I knelt down and struggled with Ben's gloves and hat and all, he could not seem to get his fingers into his gloves properly and I felt stressed that we weren't out the doors yet. So I told him to leave them on and I would straighten them in the car. We loaded up and pulled out, driving directly by the Von Maur store, at what must have been about 1:42, which is exactly when the shooting started…"
The more you get to know the Lord, and get into His Word (the Bible), the greater becomes your perception of His voice (usually not an audible voice, though sometimes it is), in your heart and mind.
As we hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to pray for those around us, or specific situations, let's not dismiss it, but let's begin to heed what God might be saying to us. You never know when it could directly affect those you hold dear, or even some you may never meet—this side of Heaven!
Source: Pastor Joe and Gayle Smith-Prophetic Ministries.com
As in the days of Noah...


"And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
When Jesus saw him lie,and knew that he had been now a long time in that case,he saith unto him,Wilt thou be made whole?
The impotent man answered him,Sir,I have no man,when the water is troubled,to put me into the pool:but while I am coming,another steppeth down before me.
Jesus saith unto him,Rise,take up thy bed and walk.
And inmediately the man was made whole,and took up his bed,and walked:and on the same day was the sabbath."
John 5:5-9

Gospel for Asia, American Family Radio team up for Christmas campaign

Two Christian ministries are joining forces in an effort to help the lowest and poorest caste of people in India.Gospel for Asia (GFA) and American Family Radio (AFR) recently kicked off an initiative that allows people to provide items for the poorest of the poor in India.In that country, people known as the Dalits-or untouchables-are considered subhuman by many.The shunned caste group has a population of over 300 million.The Christmas campaign initiated by the two ministries will allow donors to reach out to this group by purchasing practical gifts for families such as chickens, sewing machines, and water buffaloes. GFA's Chris Brewer says the initiative can have an eternal impact."There's such abject poverty in that country, hundreds of millions of people are subject to that poverty," he points out. "So the opportunity that we have to get involved in their lives through this program we're going to be doing is a tremendous open door to share the gospel and make a difference, not only in their lives now, but to make a difference for eternity."Currently, GFA has more than 16,000 native missionaries working throughout Asia.

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Venezuela expert says Chavez loss may have been larger

An expert on Latin American affairs says Hugo Chavez's first electoral defeat shows just how "clueless" the Venezuelan leader is about how far out-of-touch he is with his own people and their anger with his regime.Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez says he may have been too ambitious in asking voters to support extending his term in office to seven years and giving him greater authority to, among other things, seize private property and businesses. The Venezuelan government says voters in the oil-rich country narrowly rejected Chavez's proposed constitutional reforms by 51 percent to 49 percent.Jim Roberts, a Latin American expert at the Heritage Foundation, says Venezuelans did not want "true communism" brought to their country and see their property confiscated. Roberts describes the situation in the South American country."The store shelves are bare of the necessities-there's no milk, bread, chicken, meat, vegetable oil. There's violence in the streets-Caracas has the highest murder rate in the world. And inflation is running 20 percent or more, even seven percent just last month," he says. "People are afraid, and a lot of them viewed this [referendum] as just a step too far, telling Chavez he can't do that, can't change the constitution to radically change Venezuelan society."Roberts also doubts the outcome on the referendum was as close as Chavez would like people to believe. There are reports the actual voting figure against Chavez was more like 60 percent."The Venezuelan government owns a company called Smartmatic that makes electronic voting machines. In fact, they've sold them here in the U.S.," he points out. "So there have been allegations in previous elections that results have been influenced by manipulating those machines."Roberts says it is fortunate the Chavez regime had little "wiggle room" in terms of how it could manipulate the election. One reason for that, he suggests, is that university students in Venezuela were "really radicalized" against Chavez leading up to the vote."They were present at every polling place and carefully counting the number of people going in and out," says the Heritage Foundation expert.Nevertheless, says Roberts, even though Chavez was dealt a "stunning and shocking defeat," he still poses a large threat to the U.S., the region, and his own people.

As in the days of Noah....

Liberal leaders in Australia expected to approve same-sex unions

Newly elected liberal leaders in Australia are set to approve a law that will officially recognize "same-sex unions."Last month, Kevin Rudd was elected prime minister of Australia, defeating longtime incumbent John Howard. Now the incoming attorney general, Robert McClelland, says the liberal Labor Party is not likely to block a proposal that would give legal recognition to unions between same-sex couples. "We would be prepared to look at it with good faith rather than with the intention of obstructing it," McClelland told The Sydney Morning Herald. "The Labor Party has already resolved not to agree to gay marriage, but we are given to examining appropriate forms of registration of de facto relationships, including same-sex de facto relationships."The president of the Australian Federation for the Family says such radical policies are not a surprise. "I've met Mr. Rudd on a number of occasions; I've spoken at conferences [and] I've been doing a lot of work in Canberra [the Australian capital] over the last few months," explains Jack Sonnemann. "We were making terrific head roads in curtailing pornography and getting all kind of things done. Now I'm afraid all that work that we've done will be for naught."According to Sonnemann, the prime minister-elect is the exact opposite of Howard in his views. The family advocate calls Rudd's election "a significant blow" to the pro-life and pro-family movement in Australia-even though Rudd "portrays" himself as a Christian, he adds.John Howard was prime minister of Australia for more than a decade before last month's election, and a similar same-sex union proposal was blocked last year by the Howard government.

As in the days of Noah...

CULTURE of DEATH:Grand jury given green light against KS abortionists

A Kansas pro-life activist says there are no further legal hurdles preventing a grand jury from investigating alleged illegal abortion activities by Planned Parenthood and Wichita abortionist George Tiller.Planned Parenthood has dropped plans to file a motion with the Kansas Supreme Court, asking it to block the citizen-called grand jury in Johnson County from investigating the abortion business. Last week, the court rejected a similar action by late-term abortionist George Tiller of Wichita, who is also facing an investigation for allegedly violating state laws.Troy Newman, president of the Kansas-based Operation Rescue says,"Pro-life victories are few and far between, and we need to enjoy each and every one of them-and this is certainly a victory. Operation Rescue has put a lot of effort and a lot of money into filing Supreme Court briefs blocking their actions to commit illegal activities."Newman also states that it "definitely is pleasant when things finally go our way." He claims abortionists have been acting as though they are above the law for years, and he prays that their day of reckoning will finally come.

As in the days of Noah...

100,000 AIDS orphans to hear the Gospel

Zambia-Starting in January, 500 churches in Zambia will begin identifying AIDS orphans to reach out to. Every Orphan's Hope has challenged each church to find 200 children-- that's 100,000 children total.The evangelism outreach runs from January through September until the big day in October.Gary Schneider explains why this is crucial. "They know where this child lives, they know their circumstances, they've met with the child, and developed a relationship with the child. But come Orphan Sunday, the first Sunday of Oct. in 2008, that child will be invited to the church where each one will receive a personal presentation of the Gospel using the Good News wristband."Every Orphan's Hope is working with EvanTell who has already started evangelism training sessions with those who will train the churches in Zambia. "The church itself, across denominational lines, has been organizing itself, now, for the last four years building up to this event," said Schneider.Schneider explained that their goals are "first of all, of course, hopefully, to secure their eternal salvation. More importantly, it will really connect the church and the children together that there might be a growing relationship and discipleship in the Lord Jesus Christ."The long term goal of this yearly project is to encourage, equip, and mobilize the church so that they can reach every orphan with the Gospel, which will be 20 million by 2010.
As in the days of Noah...

Transforming Jewish Hearts towards Christians

"If we continue to hate the Christians, why shouldn’t they hate us back? Love breeds love. Hatred breeds hate. Anti-Christianism breeds anti-Semitism."
I have been told by some of my Jewish brethren to stop loving the Christians, to desist from furthering relations between Jew and Gentile and return to being a good Jew. Apparently being a good Jew means being an isolationist. I have spent a good portion of my life building bridges between Jew and Christian, recognizing Christians as the best friends of the Jewish state. Now I am being encouraged by some in the Jewish community to discontinue these endeavors, in particular a joint Judeo-Christian political party in Israel.The immigration of more than a million immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia to Israel was just the spring fruit of the fig tree. I wonder what is going to happen when the autumn fruit, which is even more bountiful, arrives in Israel.When Moslems start the second Holocaust on the streets of America and other western nations, are Jews going to be required to leave their Christian spouses behind in order to immigrate to Israel? Will the children of the intermarriages in the Diaspora be left abroad by their parents?Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky warned of a Holocaust in 1920. I am warning of the Islamic Holocaust in 2007. I am loyal both to the Torah of God and the Torah of Jabotinsky. How long will Jews continue to disconnect from reality?The next wave of aliyah (immigration to Israel) will include mixed Judeo-Christian families.[We allow Moslem Arabs who hate Israel to serve in parliament. Why not also the Christians, who are intermarried with us, love us, serve in the army and pay taxes? When God in heaven brings his exiles home, some of them will be Christians. We must get over it and deal with it.]Batya Medad, who belonged to the same Zionist youth movement that I did back in New York, wrote on her blog that it would be bad for Israel to have a joint Jewish-Christian political party.“You can do that in the United States, but Israel is the only Jewish country in the world,” Medad wrote. “I don’t want Christians having political power.Things are dangerous enough as it is when our weak, ‘miss-guided’ politicians run after world praise and approval rather than doing what’s best for us and obeying God.”I believe God is using the Moslems to heal the breach between the Jews and the Christians who are considered by Islam to be one people: The People of the Book.The only difference in Moslem eyes is that the Jews keep the Sabbath on Saturday and the Christians keep it on Sunday. [[Therefore the Moslems say: “Kill the Jews on Saturday. And kill the Christians on Sunday.”
If we continue to hate the Christians, why shouldn’t they hate us back? Love breeds love. Hatred breeds hate. Anti- Christianism breeds anti-Semitism. ]]The Bible says that the fathers’ hearts will turn to the sons and the sons’ hearts to the fathers (Malachi 4:6). This is the purpose of the Bible Bloc Party (Gush Hatanachi) that I am forming. We don’t want these Christians to immigrate to Israel with their Jewish relatives and then turn on us because we pretend they aren’t here. It seems we Jews are unable to stop hating the Christians.We may think it is justified to hate the Christians because of two millennia of history, but we may be dead wrong.
By Avi Lipkin
As in the days of Noah....