Archive for October 25th, 2006

Calm the Storm

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Mark 4:35-41 (New International Version)

Are you tossed by the storms of life? Do the “waves” and “wind” batter you, blowing you every which way except the direction you want to go?
Jesus can help.
As with the storm on the lake, threatening to swamp the boat, life can threaten to drive us under as well. But just as with the storm, Jesus can bring us peace. With just the words of “Quiet! Be still!”, Jesus can restore the calm to your life. He can calm the storm of life.
But the words “Quiet! Be still!” are not just for the storm on the lake or the storm of life, they are also for us.
Have you ever tried to listen to someone while you are talking? It’s hard, if not impossible to do. Some important fact is bound to be missed. That is why we should take to heart what Jesus told the storm, and apply it to our own lives. “Quiet! Be still!” Hear what God is trying to tell you.
There are many times, on the drive into work that I will turn off the radio and let the silence fill the car. What better way to hear God, then alone and in silence.
“Quiet! Be still!”
Hear what God is saying. Let Him calm the storms in your life.

Georgetown gets $20 million from prince promoting Islam

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Just months later, university ejects evangelical Christians from campus

But of course, there’s no connection between these two events…Right!!

The Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University has been renamed after Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal donated $20 million to its projects. And while that may be just the tail, the dog appears to be moving away from its historic Catholic and Jesuit teaching philosophy too.

The Center’s leaders say it now will be used to put on workshops regarding Islam, fostering exchanges with the Muslim world, addressing U.S. policy towards the Muslim world, working on the relationship of Islam and Arab culture, addressing Muslim citizenship and civil liberties, and developing exchange programs for students from the Muslim world.

The “Christian” part of the center’s projects at the university that has a history of 200 years of higher education following its Christian founding, is conspicuous by its absence in its website plans for its 10-year future.

But that won’t be a surprise to leaders of a number of Christian evangelical groups whose leaders recently were told to leave the campus and not list Georgetown University as a site for operations in the future.

That story, reported by WND earlier, still has folks wondering what happened to cause Georgetown officials to ban InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and others. InterVarsity spokesman Gordon Govier said the organization still doesn’t know why the move was announced by university officials, who did not return WND messages left inquiring about the situation.

“We still are a little bit confused about what happened,” he told WND. “We haven’t been able to identify clearly what happened.”

He said Christians in the InterVarsity organization still are meeting at Georgetown, but they have no official sanction and are meeting without recognition, much as many Christian churches in nations where religion is regulated meet.

He said there is a committee meeting that is supposed to hear concerns from Christians, and InterVarsity is hopeful there will be a positive outcome, but there’s no time frame set.

But the time frame for other interests that have become relevant to Georgetown are a little more apparent. The school’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding confirmed several months ago that the $20 million donation was made by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and a short time later the Center was given the added moniker as Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

The organization now features a number of pro-Muslim statements and articles, with little reference to any Christian statements or understandings. It even has co-sponsored events with CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

CAIR is a spin-off of the Islamic Association for Palestine, identified by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a “front group” for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Several CAIR leaders have been convicted on terrorism-related charges.

The center’s chief, John L. Esposito, summarizes the goals of the organization clearly: “The Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding is concerned with Islam and the West and Islam in the West. The Center, since its creation in 1993, has built bridges of understanding between the Muslim world and the West, addressing stereotypes of Islam and Muslims and issues and questions such as the clash of civilizations, and the compatibility of Islam and modern life – from democratization and pluralism to the status of women, minorities and human rights – and American foreign policy in the Muslim world.”

The Center says it recognizes the increasing demands because of the world’s “critical turning point in the history of Muslim-Christian relations” so it will expand its expertise base and operations, “as well as strengthen the website as a source of critical information about Islam and the Muslim world.”

The Center’s assistant director, Huma Malik, told WND that the $20 million came from the prince because the center is working on projects that interest him, but she could not comment on the influence of the donation or why the evangelical Christians were barred from campus.

Original Link.

‘Major attacks against Israel on their way’

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

No surprise here.

TEL AVIV – Terror groups allied with Hamas in the Gaza Strip are planning a series of large-scale attacks against Israeli positions near Gaza “within the coming days,” including rocket attacks, suicide bombings against Jewish communities and raids of Israeli military posts, several senior terror leaders in Gaza told WND today.

Palestinian and Israeli security officials said they are aware of the attack plans. Israel said it beefed up security at Gaza border crossings.

The Palestinian officials said the threatened large-scale attacks, which they claimed may be imminent, are meant to provoke an Israeli military response in Gaza that would unite the Palestinians and thwart any attempt by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

“The Israelis have misunderstood the period of calm in last few weeks and months. This was the calm before the storm,” Abu Abir, spokesman of the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees terror organization, told WND.

“The Palestinian resistance will carry out very soon a big offensive that will include shootings of rockets for a distance farther then until recently; it will include tunnel attacks and suicide attacks inside Israel,” Abu Abir said.

The terror leader urged Israel to respond with a Gaza assault.

“We wish Israel will come in (to Gaza) in a bigger way because we will turn the entire area of the Israeli operation into a big cemetery filled with Zionist soldiers,” Abu Abir said.

The Popular Resistance Committees is an umbrella of several terror groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Islamist sections of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the declared “military wing” of Abbas’ Fatah party. Israel says the Committees carries out terror attacks at the direction of Hamas.

Abu Ahmed, the northern Gaza commander of the Al Aqsa Brigades, told WND today his group decided to participate in the coming spate of threatened attacks from Gaza.

“The United States is pressuring Fatah leaders like (Gaza-based Fatah strongman and former PA security chief) Mohammad Dahlan into collaborating with them and dismantling the Palestinian government. We will not let the U.S. dictate the future of the Palestinian people,” Abu Ahmed said.

Abu Ahmed said that while his cell of the Brigades will work with Hamas, other Al Aqsa Brigades cells may not.

Asked whether his group is planning to attack Israel in order to stall the dismantlement of the Hamas-led government, the Committees Abu Abir replied, “No. But these attacks will mark to our people that the enemy is Israel. Killing Israelis hurts the Americans and the Israelis and this is who we should target. Not each other.”

The last major Hamas-led attack from Gaza was a well-coordinated raid through a tunnel of an Israeli military station at the Gaza border during which Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. The attack, which took place in June, resulted in the first large Israeli ground assault of the Gaza Strip since the Jewish state vacated the territory last August.

Israeli security officials say they have received multiple attack warnings against the same military station in recent weeks. They also said they received warnings of possible tunnels dug from Gaza into nearby Jewish communities.

Original Link.

Duplicity in Britain

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Anti-Christian Ad in U.K. Results in Gov’t-Applied ‘Hand Slap’
(AgapePress) – The quasi-governmental body that regulated advertising content in Great Britain has ruled against an anti-Christian newspaper ad published by the “Gay Police Association” there.

The ad bore the headline “In the Name of the Father” and featured a photograph of a Bible beside a pool of blood. It claimed that the Association had documented a 74 percent increase in “homophobic incidents, where the sole or primary motivating factor was the religious belief of the perpetrator.” The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which fielded more than 500 complaints about the ad, declared the ad “untruthful” and determined that its anti-Christian claims were “unsubstantiated.”

The Independent, the newspaper that published the ad, apologized to its readers, saying it regretted any offense the ad caused. But despite instructions from the ASA to ensure future campaigns were not presented “in a way that could cause undue offence” and a reminder not to use imagery that could send “misleading messages to consumers,” the Gay Police Association (GPA) refused to promise not to employ a similar tactic in the future.

Among the groups complaining about the ad was the U.K.-based group The Christian Institute, whose spokesman points out the ASA agreed with his members that the ad was untruthful. “It does mean that the GPA cannot publish the advert again,” notes Mike Judge. “However, I’m sad to say that the Gay Police Association have refused to give an undertaking not to place a similar ad in the future.”

Judge admits he finds it ironic that the Gay Police Association will face no penalty.

“What upsets Christians in Britain is that the Gay Police Association can seemingly place such a hostile ad like this and not have much sanction — and yet Christians in Britain are being arrested and even prosecuted for handing out Bible leaflets at gay rights events,” he states. (emphasis mine. -ed)

Among its arguments, the GPA said it failed to see how the ad could be interpreted as a call to violence towards Christians, and reiterated that it simply highlighted “homophobia” motivated by religious belief. The ASA agreed with that argument.

British Education ‘California Style’?
Meanwhile, a new “anti-discrimination” law being considered by the British government could lead to schoolbooks that endorse homosexuality being forced on children as early as kindergarten. Books promoting the homosexual agenda are already on the recommended reading lists that the British Department of Education distributes to primary schools.

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge warns that new laws designed to ban discrimination against homosexuals in education could result in those recommendations being requirements.

“At the moment in Britain, each headmaster at a school has the right to refuse to use whatever materials he wishes in his school,” he explains. “But we fear that if these regulations come in, gay rights groups can use these laws to sue schools that refuse to use gay-friendly literature.”

Judge is hopeful the law will be amended to mirror a recently passed statute against religious discrimination. “Very similar laws that the government introduced just last year on discrimination on grounds of religion deliberately did not include the school curriculum because they did not want religious arguments over what was taught in schools,” he shares.

The Christian Institute spokesman warns Christians in America that legislation passed in the name of “tolerance” can easily be used against biblical values.

In September, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation that would have changed textbooks in the state’s public schools to require that they include positive presentations of transsexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality.

Original Link.

Tenn. City Official: ACLU Picked Wrong School District for Anti-Christian Attack

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Well, the Anti-Christian Litigation Union (ACLU) are attempting to deprive Christian students of their First Amendment rights again.

(AgapePress) – Hundreds of people are expected to turn out for a prayer rally tonight in one Tennessee town to show support for a school district that has been sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The Wilson County School District is being sued for allegedly promoting religious activities at Lakeview Elementary School in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

This evening’s prayer rally at the school was organized by Mount Juliet Commissioner Glen Linthicum. He considers the gathering a way for the community to take a stand against the ACLU, which is suing on behalf of an anonymous family that is upset over, among other things, prayers around the school flagpole, a National Day of Prayer event, and a group of parents who pray regularly for students.

Linthicum thinks many of the people in his community were, like himself, aware of liberal attacks like this from a distance without feeling really involved — until now. “We watched these issues on TV; we watched them on the national news, where they were going on in California, going on in New York,” he says. But this time the issue “turned up in our backyard.”

And that proximate challenge is what has “really gotten the people in Tennessee and middle Tennessee really involved in this, and myself included,” the city commissioner observes. “If this is in our backyard,” he says, “we can no longer be silent or be that ‘silent majority.'”

Possibly, Linthicum speculates, the American Civil Liberties Union and its attorneys decided to attack his community’s schools because the group saw it as easy prey. “Maybe they thought that the Wilson County School District would roll over in fright to the big, bad ACLU,” he says. “We are a small community just outside of Nashville.”

However, the commissioner believes the ACLU miscalculated — and its lawsuit, he contends, is frivolous. “I think they chose an area that they thought would just roll over for them, and they chose wrong,” Linthicum says. “I really do.”

The Alliance Defense Fund is defending the Wilson County School District against the ACLU’s legal action. The liberal group’s lawsuit alleges that a student at Lakeview Elementary School suffered damages from the school’s alleged endorsement and promotion of a Prayer at the Flagpole event, a National Day of Prayer event, the activities of a “Praying Parents” group, teacher-led classroom prayers, and a Christian theme and overtly religious songs at a Christmas program.

Linthicum’s response to these claims is not a denial but an assertion, that Muslim, Jewish, and Hindu students have “a constitutional right to pray or to read their scriptures at school on their own time, but so do Christians!” He says it is “outrageous” that the ACLU would seek to ban Christianity from the school grounds.

Original Link.

A soldier and his family in need

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Michelle Malkin has brought our attention to a military family in need. SPC Reid Stanley, who is also a millblooger (military blogger) was in Afghanistan after 9/11 and is now in Germany. Recently, his wife, Ellicia, was diagnosed with cancer. She has tumors in her brain, breasts, and lungs. The family is in the process of relocating to the states (Charleston area). Ellicia will be entering hospice soon afterwards. Hospice is not covered by military insurance.

Please pray for this family as they go through this hard time. Pray that God will bring complete healing to Ellicia.
If you are able to do so, please help this family financially.
Follow the links to either donate or to an e-Bay online auction, from either Michelle’s page or SPC Stanley’s page.
Thanks!!
-Steve

“Help a milblogger” by Michelle Malkin
“A Storm In Afghanistan” by SPC Reid Stanley