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Showing posts from March, 2006

Katrina's Tidal Surge

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"Morning of Hurricane Katrina…Bay St Louis, Mississippi beach front

This is a picture taken at St Stanislaw, Bay St Louis located on the waterfront, by a brother on the third floor. He was with a group of international students when they saw the “tsunami” type wall of water coming in. The water level was measured at 68 ft! You can see from the picture that it was one continuous “wall” and not just a wave separated by water. Of course we now understand the devastation that ensued… Imagine the terror of that moment!"
My friend Al Serino, who is coordinating help in Hancock County Mississippi, contrasted this wave to the Indian Ocean tsunami. While the water rushed in about 5 miles in India, it came 15 miles inland here in Mississippi. If the people had not had warning in Mississippi to evacuate, the proportion of lives lost would have been simliar to the tsunami. We visited a house that sits in Diamondhead, 25 feet above sea level that had at least 5 feet of water rush through …

Life Issues Institute, Inc.

another useful pro-baby website.

Abortion Statistics by U.S. State, Race, Age and Worldwide Statistics

good source of abortion numbers, especially per state.

Dragons are Dads

Donald Miller writes short entertaining and stimulating books. So i can write a short and perhaps entertaining book report. I've read Blue Like Jazz and now To Own a Dragon. This book report is about the latter. His writing style is conversational. So he meanders to his points. Its not unlike a book of blog entries. If you were raised by your mother as a single parent, like Miller, then you might find this very interesting. If your father was around when you were growing up then you'll learn empathy for those without. The best part of his story is seeing God the Father pointed to over and over. In a society that has lost its biblical bearings, a refreshing provocation to prayer and Bible reading and eldership is necessary. This book is something easily given to your friends who aren't believers.

Understanding the Emerging Church

Its not a bad place to start to come up with 3 categories of American Emergents, relevants (soul patch and candles), reconstructionists (the small group is the church), and the revisionists (why stop at the Bible?). So give this short article a click.

Going out of town.

If my body can prevail against this virus/flu, i won't be blogging for a few days. I'll be observing the ongoing relief work organized by Willing Hearts on the coast of Mississippi.

Religion and Reconstruction

a brief review of "VALE OF TEARS: New Essays on Religion and Reconstruction."
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This book supplies fresh research on one of the saddest chapters in American history. It shows how American churches contributed to the subjugation of freed slaves after the Civil War, how Christian leaders helped the Southern Democratic Party violently deprive black citizens of the vote, and how a number of thoroughly evangelical spokesmen (and spokeswomen) justified lynching as a legitimate means for putting black folk "in their place." Several chapters also explain why most Northern reformers quit the struggle against racism after the constitutional victory over slavery.Points of light include accounts of freed slaves who persevered in the face of great opposition to build strong churches and accounts of a few whites (some from the South) who resisted the regime of racial terror. All the essays are well researched, but Gaines Foster on how the South became the "Bible Belt&quo…

Civil War and slavery: a friend replies

a friend writes.........
Very nice. Lots of good quotes (but
some references not cited). I was happy to see what you put. I agree
100%. It will live on in everlasting shame for the South that they
elevated the institution of slavery so high. The Germans will have shame
for a long time, and surveys show that they are still suffereing from
it. May there, one day, come a day when America has shame for the 30 -
40 years that we lived with and protected the right of abortion on
living children THROUGH NINE MONTHS OF PREGNANCY. This is by far more
shameful then either the South or Germany.

jpu-other former slave holding countries such as England and France and Brazil don't seem to have the same continued problems that the US does. Problems are definitely there but not to the same degree as the US. also those countries have restricted abortion rights, unlike the carte blanche that is in the US.

Interesting to see that the South leads the fight against abortion,
having much stricter state laws again…

Causes of the Civil War in their own words then some of mine

The best place to start is the "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union."
the highlights include: "an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution...the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice
fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia...Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property estab…

Basque Cease-Fire Ends Decades of Violence - Yahoo! News

i was in the Basque city of San Sebastian 5 or 6 years ago when an ETA bomb went off. This is good news. The Basques are effectively an unreached people group. Pray for their salvation.
One group working there, I.A.M., is sponsored by a network of New England Vineyard churches.

A CADRE Response to The Da Vinci Code

another link farm with good responses to the FICTIONAL DVC

Barna's Revolution - a book report

This is the spiel from Barna's website:
"There is a new breed of Christ-follower in America today. These are people who are more interested in being the Church than in going to church. They are more eager to produce fruit for the kingdom of God than to become comfortable in the Christian subculture. They are focused on the seven spiritual passions that facilitate their growth as genuine people of God and citizens of the kingdom. These people are Revolutionaries..."

He starts the book with an fictional account of two church drop outs golfing on a Sunday morning. One guy is a regular drop out and the other is a spiritual guy who serves his community and goes on family mission trips. However, he's still a loser in my eyes because he elts his family go to church without him. Lousy example bro. If you like your kids in church that's boring to you, suck it up and set an example.

"...In this courageous new book from bestselling author and renowned researcher George Ba…

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Review Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act

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WASHINGTON (February 21, 2006) -- Six years after its much-criticized ruling that Roe v. Wade fully protects the brutal practice of partial-birth abortion, the U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to take another look at the issue.

The justices announced that they would review a lower-court ruling that has blocked enforcement of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, a bill signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 5, 2003. The Bush Administration had urged the Court to accept the appeal, most recently in a brief filed by the Solicitor General on February 14.

The Court will hear arguments and decide the case during its next term, which begins in October.

Commenting on today's Court announcement, Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), said, "Unless the Supreme Court now reverses the extreme position that five justices took in 2000, partly born premature infants will continue to die by having their skulls punctured by seven-inc…

The Criminalization of Christianity

I just finished this Conservative American Christian book lent to me by a friend. the same friend who got me thinking the house church way. The author is Janet Folger, who "Janet served for nine years as Legislative Director of Ohio Right to Life where she successfully lobbied for passage of the nation's first partial-birth abortion ban, which sparked the national debate in Congress and throughout the country. She also secured passage of the Woman's Right to Know Law, Parental Consent, Fetal Homicide, Clinic Regulations, Adoption reform, as well as removing all state funding of abortion."

But this book also looks at the homosexual agenda. She points to examples of Christians in liberal democracies and the states who bear government persecution for teaching God's word. Their crime is hate speech. Quickly, hate speech and God speech seem to be equitable. The lists of anti-Christian jurisprudence and eerie similarities to Nazism in the 1930's are depressing. But …

William Still: Underground RR Conductor

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quoted from the site: From Slave to Conductor One of the most effective organizers of a formal segment of the Underground Railroad was a free African American named William Still. His father, Levin Still, had purchased his own freedom. His mother, Sidney, and his two brothers and two sisters, remained enslaved in Maryland, however. Sidney and the children managed to escape once but were captured and returned to Maryland.
Aware that all five could not escape together again, Sidney made one of the most difficult decisions any mother could make. In 1807, leaving the two older boys behind with their grandmother (who was also a slave), Sidney struck out for freedom again. This time, she took only the two younger girls. They succeeded, and she was reunited with her husband. To conceal their identities, they changed Sidney's name to Charity and the family name to Still. Fourteen years later, William Still was born free in New Jersey.
At age 23, Still moved to Philadelphia, where he work…

Kiss and Tell the Gospel

"That is why the ritual kiss was so interesting to me. At first it seems so astoundingly trivial, yet for the early Christians it was far from trivial. They're writing about it all the time, connecting it with some of the most important theological arguments and debates going on in the early centuries. Even though it's only one aspect of Christian history, I think a lot can be learned from it."

Anyone going to a kissing assembly here?

North Korea comes top of persecution list

the isolated nation of North Korea came top for the fourth year in a row, but the charity found that overall ‘slightly more openness’ was being observed in other communist countries in the top 10 – Vietnam (7), Laos (9) and China (10).

Saudi Arabia came second in the list of countries most dangerous to the health of Christians, followed by other Islam-dominated countries such as Iran at three, Somalia at four, the Maldives at five and Yemen at eight. Bhutan represented the only Buddhist nation in the top 10 at six.

will the real 1st century church stand up?

Dan Edelen rebuts narrative with narrative. i like it.

Musings of a Postmodern Negro

i thought this was short enough to display in full.

"A recent article informs us that black men are not fairing well in our society. I was just recently in conversation with my mother dealing with a topic very similar to this. She told me about how growing up during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era black folks of varied socio-economic status lived in the same communities. She talked about how integration paved the way for middle class/affluent blacks to leave those close-knit black communities for greater opportunities. This left behind a black under class in mostly urban centers. What also happened in this black middle class exodus was a weakening of traditional black institutions that were autonomous from the dominant culture. Anyways…this article gives much food for thought for those of us who are engaged in inner city work or ministry."

Mission Arlington - Taking church to the people

"Something extraordinary is happening in Arlington, Texas. People are coloring outside the lines of traditional church work to take the gospel to the people one person at a time. Followers of Jesus from across denominational boundaries are hard at work. They gather people for Bible studies in apartment club houses, mobile homes, and neighborhoods — wherever anyone is open. Without professional seminary degrees and armed only with the truth of John 3:16, these lay men and women become pastors, and club houses become sanctuaries. With 264 congregations, a multitude of social services, volunteers from across the U.S., and missionaries around the world, the Mission Arlington family lives to make a difference in the world for Christ."

This is being done by a network of house churches. neat stuff.

blackprof.com: Poverty, Race and Gender Impact Black Men Very Negatively!

some snippets...

These were among the recent findings:

¶The share of young black men without jobs has climbed relentlessly, with only a slight pause during the economic peak of the late 1990's. In 2000, 65 percent of black male high school dropouts in their 20's were jobless — that is, unable to find work, not seeking it or incarcerated. By 2004, the share had grown to 72 percent, compared with 34 percent of white and 19 percent of Hispanic dropouts. Even when high school graduates were included, half of black men in their 20's were jobless in 2004, up from 46 percent in 2000.

¶Incarceration rates climbed in the 1990's and reached historic highs in the past few years. In 1995, 16 percent of black men in their 20's who did not attend college were in jail or prison; by 2004, 21 percent were incarcerated. By their mid-30's, 6 in 10 black men who had dropped out of school had spent time in prison.

¶In the inner cities, more than half of all black men do not finish high…

Hopegivers President Arrested at Gunpoint in India

NEW DELHI (Compass) – Rajasthan state police officers on March 16 arrested the Rev. Dr. Samuel Thomas, president of Emmanuel Mission International (EMI) and son of Archbishop M.A. Thomas, EMI’s founder.

The arrest took place in Noida, Uttar Pradesh state. Both Thomas and his father had gone underground after Hindu extremists accused them of distributing a controversial book that they alleged denigrated their religion and deities.

Archbishop Thomas is still in hiding. Projects run by the ministry he founded – including orphanages, schools, and a hospital – have been targeted for closure by a wide array of Hindu extremists the past few months, including some who have offered a reward of $26,000 for the heads of the archbishop and his son.

State Welfare Minister Madan Dilawar said earlier this week that he should be stoned if he did not “take action” against Thomas and his father.

The arrest took place at noon when Thomas arrived in the driveway of the home of attorney R.K. Jain, a senior ad…

Christian convert faces execution in Afghanistan

KABUL -- An Afghan man faces the death penalty for converting to Christianity, an Afghan supreme court judge said on Sunday.

Supreme Court Judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada said that Abdul Rahman, who converted from Islam to Christianity, is in police custody and that he could face the death penalty if he refused to become a Muslim again.

Abdul Rahman was detained two weeks ago after his relatives reported to the police about his conversion which is forbidden under Islamic Sharia law.

"Yes that's true, a man has converted to Christianity. He's being tried in one of our courts," Supreme Court judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada said, adding that his trial began early last week.

He said the man could face the death penalty if he refused to revert to Islam as Sharia law proposes capital punishment for any Muslim who converts to another religion. Afghanistan's constitution states: "No law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam."

If sentenced, the man will be the f…

Prayer for enemies

I know its important to forgive those who've sinned against me, but i really don't think very often in terms of enemies. i don't know if anyone on this world is my enemy. although i have managed to irritate and annoy thousands in my brief life. some who might border on being classified as persecutors in my life only said mean things to me. i know i live in a tolerant society, so i'm not at much risk of being stoned for my beliefs. so i can only admire the concept that Jesus is making in Matthew 5
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I
say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your bro…

Mormon Wiki

looks like an interesting wiki not hosted at wiki.

a lesson in futility

read the comments yourself and tell me if i should pursue it any further. i've linked favorably to this blog before and now disagree and i'm not sure i'm being treated the way he wants us to treat others, specifically mormons.

Apostle to the Irish

Chuck Colson does a great job too. He writes all that follows...

If you ask people who Saint Patrick was, you’re likely to hear that he was an Irishman who chased the snakes out of Ireland.

It may surprise you to learn that the real Saint Patrick was not actually Irish—yet his robust faith changed the Emerald Isle forever.

Patrick was born in Roman Britain to a middle-class family in about A.D. 390. When Patrick was a teenager, marauding Irish raiders attacked his home. Patrick was captured, taken to Ireland, and sold to an Irish king, who put him to work as a shepherd.

In his excellent book, How the Irish Saved Civilization, Thomas Cahill describes the life Patrick lived. Cahill writes, “The work of such slave-shepherds was bitterly isolated, months at a time spent alone in the hills.”

Patrick had been raised in a Christian home, but he didn’t really believe in God. But now—hungry, lonely, frightened, and bitterly cold—Patrick began seeking out a relationship with his heavenly Father. As …

Smart Mom Blog: Saint Patrick

My wife, Karla does a great job here. Did you know I'm half Irish, yup, my mom is a Kennedy, not the rich and famous ones though.

Book Report - Providence & Prayer

my wife thinks i should call these book reviews, but i prefer book reports because compared to guys who are actually published, i'm an amateur. i think a reviewer has authority or at least some credibility. when you read these think along the lines of an amazon review. it could be good and it might not. i've finished a few books lately, but none on prayer. i read this book over a year ago, and it took a long time to read. its 400 pages long and gets pretty technical. so it took awhile to read. it wasn't something i plowed through every night.

Mentioned on an internet discussion i bought it. Here is the publisher's enticement...

'Lord, please give me a parking space!'

That prayer sounds right on your third time around the block, frustrated and late for an appointment. But is it consistent with how God works in the world?

Does prayer change God's mind or only our feelings? Does God do things because we ask him to? Or do we ask him because he prompts us to do so? …

The Da Vinci Code : Apologetics research resources

no good christian blog would be adequate without some DVC rebuttal. so i'll just link to Anton's site. he's the best place to start on many things.

Prayer in groups

Jesus taught his followers to pray with an example prayer, Matthew 6:9-13, that begins with "Our Father" and goes on to request "our daily bread" and "forgive us our sins as we forgive" and "lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one." Those 1st person plural pronouns are fascinating to me. It seems that he expected his followers would be praying together. but just before this prayer he encourages them to not be show offs in their prayers like the hypocrites who are praying to draw attention to themselves. instead he encourages them to go find a closet to talk to God who sees what is done in secret and rewards those who pray that way. so there's a tension between show off praying and prayer in community.

times in group prayer are times of extremes for me. sometimes i feel i'm in heaven, other times i'm asleep. i think i've said before, i'm losing my embarrassment of falling asleep during prayer. why shoul…

"Live" with Shelby Steele

"STEELE: I’ll give you my bottom line: We’ve done worse in freedom than we did in segregation. It’s abominable that we made more advances between 1945 and 1965 than we have since, but it’s the truth. According to studies by Stanford’s Thomas Sowell and Harvard’s Abigail and Stephen Thernstrom, we made up more ground with whites in the 1950s than in other decades. This is something I’m writing about in my next book.

Something people overlook is the shock of becoming free. When an oppressor finally takes his foot off your neck—whether it’s the European powers withdrawing from their colonies, or whites in America passing civil rights legislation and starting a Great Society—the group that has created an entire culture to cope with oppression is suddenly disoriented. Becoming free can give a profound shock. We don’t have the values in place for dealing with it. We don’t have the ideas. We have the mechanisms for wearing masks, for manipulating an oppressor, for surviving under harsh c…

Gay Parents are everywhere - how to use statistics to obfuscate

"There are only 78.1 million children under the age of 18, according to 2000 census data. Even though reliable data suggest the percentage is much smaller, let’s be generous and say that 5 percent of the United States population is gay. Does it really make sense that 5 percent of the population is caring for up to 18 percent of the children?"

another update on Hopegivers in India

For the second week in a row, anti-Christian hate groups and local police have continued a siege against the 2,500 orphaned and abandoned children protected at the Emmanuel Hope Home in Kota, Rajasthan. The Kota home is funded by Hopegivers International, based in Columbus, Georgia. Eight American volunteers are among the staff working to feed and care for the children at the Kota orphanage...

Rajasthan Hindi language newspapers quoted an extremist leader identified as Mr. Agrawal offering a reward of $52,000 to anyone who will capture and behead the Thomases. Agrawal is a reported member and high-ranking official of the strongly anti-Christian groups Shiv Sena and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

To counter the well-organized campaign of terror, slander, frivolous lawsuits and intimidation, Hopegivers has started an Emergency Defense Fund in an effort to cope with the illegal actions of the local government and the onslaught of civil and human rights violations that are occurring in the st…

Chrysostom on prayer

Homily 10 on the Gospel of Matthew, sec. 8 "Let us therefore cut away excess, and drinking the salutary medicine of moderation, let us abide in our proper temperament, and give careful heed to our prayers. Though we receive not, let us persevere that we may receive; and if we do receive, then because we have received. For it is not at all His wish to defer giving, but by such delay He is contriving for us to persevere."

Marks of a missional church

in their own words

racism, power, and the art of listening

"The greatest lessons I've been learning in the last two years after moving into the city have primarily been around issues of power, and who has it. Racism is a component to this conversation more often than not. That word throws up an aweful lot of defenses and the end result, often times, is that we don't hear each other due to our preconceived notions of what the other is thinking when that word arises."

From Structure to Anti Structure and Agency

"there has been a rapidly growing conviction that the individual does not need the structures and institutions of modernity to legitimize one’s self. The reasons for this are complex, but sources of the shift are the emergence of the technological and the information age. These dual movements of late modernity have required an increasingly educated population in which growing numbers recognize they don’t need to be committed to structures and institutions in order to thrive.

The shift from structure to agency

In late modernity, structures not only lose their legitimacy, but there is a shift to the primacy of agency. This is the continuing reshaping of modernity’s own inner dynamic. The self is the measure of all things. Structures (organizations) are but means for individuals to fulfill their identities. [2] The shift frees agency from structure (structure shifts its location and modalities—from corporatist organizational structures of the 20th century denominations and schools wi…

follow up news on Hopegivers in India

Government says it will help Christian mission in Rajasthan
New Delhi: The central government Monday indicated it would take steps to revive the bank accounts of a Christian mission that were frozen by the Rajasthan government after some groups alleged it was involved in defaming Hindu gods and goddesses.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil gave this assurance to a group of Left party MPs who met him in parliament to discuss the issue.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Rajasthan had frozen the bank accounts of the Emmanuel mission in Kota after Hindu groups led a "systematic campaign" against Christian missionaries there.

"The home minister assured us that the centre would take measures to ensure that the bank accounts were activated and to restore the LPG (cooking gas) connection to the orphanage in Kota which was disconnected after local agents were threatened," said Communist Party of India-Marxist MP K.S. Manoj.

Manoj was part of a five-member delegation that v…

attractional vs. missional vs. incarnational

these are the buzzwords in american evangelical church culture.

what does attractional mean? a church tries to entice unbelivers to darken their doors. whether its through music, drama, jargon free sermons, power point presentations, or door prizes (this is true). these churches usually do not have signs out front that say "turn or burn" or "my God can beat up your god." in fact they might not have anything churchy about their interior design such as crosses. the thinking is that unbelivers might not want ot hear a message if they are offended by something with too much religious baggage. the baggage may be incorrect but why waste time explaining the falsehood before offering the gift of salvation? churches who label themselves, seeker-sensitive, are examples of the attractional church. the sunday service is often evangelistic in order to bring those seekers into the kingdom of God. "the Emerging Church may be seen as both a reaction to, and a continuation of …

FLYLEAF

a new band. they rock. man they are good.

The Autobiography of John Parker

"Nearly everything we know about John Parker comes from the autobiography. According to the memoir, Parker was born in 1827 in Norfolk, Virginia. His father was apparently a wealthy white man; his mother a slave like Parker. He spent the first 18 years of his life as a slave, earning himself a reputation as a troublemaker. In 1845 he purchased his freedom. He was married to Miranda Boulden of Cincinnati in 1848 (she is rarely mentioned, never by name, in the autobiography), and moved to Ripley, Ohio the next year. He and Miranda had six children together (two of whom, inheriting their father's intelligence, went on to study at Oberlin College).

It was in Ripley, a hotbed of abolitionist activity, that his work on the Underground Railroad began and flourished. By his own count, he helped over 400 slaves to freedom. By day, however, Parker was a successful businessman; in 1865 he purchased an iron foundry, and he patented several popular inventions.

"A more fearless creature…