Archive for June 4th, 2007

Daniel in the Lion’s Den – A Bible Story Mural

Monday, June 4th, 2007

“So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: “O King Darius, live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing.

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, O king, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”
The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”

Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.

Then the men went as a group to the king and said to him, “Remember, O king, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”

So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.

At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”

The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”
Daniel 6:6-23 (New International Version)

“What a wonderful example of God’s faithfulness. Daniel was faithful in honoring and praying to his God and God was faithful to deliver him from the Lions’den.”
-Doug Westbrook, Artist of “Daniel in the Lion’s Den – A Bible Story Mural”

See Mr. Westbrook’s Bible Story Murals here.
Bible Story Murals
If your church is looking for a unique way to bring the Word of God to it’s children and young people, take a look at Doug Westbrook’s Bible Story Murals. Each wall sized mural is based on the hand painted originals Mr. Westbrook painted at Central Baptist Church in Houston, Texas and represents a different well known Bible story.
They are available on durable vinyl wallpaper for easy installation.

Radicals Target Pakistani Girls’ Schools

Monday, June 4th, 2007

The religion of peace (aka Islam), being the cowards they are, have decided that the “hardest” targets they can destroy are girl’s schools. You see, Islam is all about subjugating women and removal of freedoms. When they can’t do it any other way, they resort to killing woman and children and destroying schools.

All throughout the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Pakistan’s impoverished western border with Afghanistan, lie the ruins of barbershops and music and video stores – symbols of Western-oriented life that religious extremists have destroyed in a growing wave of violence.

Now Islamist militants have a new target, and if they are successful, observers say their campaign could be disastrous for Pakistan’s future.

In what appears to be an escalating spree over the last year, extremists have bombed at least four girls’ schools and circulated violent threats warning girls to stay at home. While no girls or school staff have been killed, girls in some areas have stopped attending classes – marking a direct blow to Pakistan’s national enterprise of “enlightened moderation,” which posits female education as a central pillar.

Pakistan finds itself at a precarious tipping point: Tremendous gains have been made in female education in recent years, but a considerable gender gap remains. Extremists’ efforts to undermine education for women, who are historically one of Pakistan’s most potent forces of moderation, could further empower Pakistan’s growing ranks of Islamist militants.

“Because girls are the ones suffering from these oppressive ideas, if they are educated they will be a better ally in the promotion of liberal ideas and secularism,” says Farzana Bari, who heads the gender studies department at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad.

The continuing wave of attacks could tilt Pakistan’s sensitive political balance, observers say, and hurt crucial economic development efforts. As female education improves, infant mortality rates tend to decrease, family health improves, national incomes rise, and female citizens become more politically active and aware of their rights, say development experts.

“You’ll be keeping half the population of Pakistan idle [if the bombings continue],” says Syed Fayyaz Ahmad, the joint education adviser of the Ministry of Education in Islamabad. “[Girls] would not add to the economic development of NWFP. If your female children are not educated, your next generation of boys and girls are affected.”

Entrenched tribal, religious, and economic imperatives in conservative areas regard the schooling of girls as either improper, since girls should not venture outside the purview of the family home, or unnecessary, since girls are often needed for work.

As a result, Pakistan has one of the highest rates of female illiteracy in South Asia, at about 60 percent, and the lowest rate of primary school enrollment for girls, at somewhere between 42 and 48 percent. Those shortcomings are particularly pronounced in the NWFP, which, as of 2004, had the lowest ratio of female enrollment of any province in Pakistan, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG). In areas like the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where the government’s presence has historically been weakest, only 1 percent of women and girls are literate.

The issue has become even more of a battleground in recent years, as resurgent Islamic extremism bumps heads with the government’s recent efforts to expand girls’ education. In 2002, the NWFP provincial government allocated 70 percent of its entire education development budget to girls’ schools and created more than 300 primary and middle schools for girls in the NWFP between 2002 and 2005, according to government figures. Local authorities also gave parents small stipends and free clothing to encourage them to enroll their girls.

It is these new schools that extremists like Maulana Fazlullah, a powerful preacher in Swat valley, tend to target. For months, using a pirated radio channel, Mr. Fazlullah had warned locals against sending their girls to school, calling it un-Islamic and a violation of purdah, the religiously mandated confinement of women away from public scrutiny.

“A woman has been asked to remain behind the four walls of the house. Men have been given preference by God,” Fazlullah explains in an interview on the banks of the Swat River, where he is building a madrassah, or religious school. In a recent peace treaty signed with the government, Fazlullah agreed to stop preaching against girls’ education in return for keeping his illegal radio station.

Others have delivered the same message through force. In March, police in Orakzai agency, part of FATA, defused a bomb planted on the grounds of a girls’ school, and other schools in the NWFP, including the provincial capital of Peshawar, have received written threats saying girls and female teachers should wear full veils or face dire consequences. Many worry that the violence is spreading.

‘”Everywhere these girls are going, the teachers are threatened,” says Fazilla Gulrez, the manager of communications for the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) in Islamabad.

There could be little to stop it. Ms. Gulrez adds that the voices of extremists, particularly when conveyed through bombs, are often much stronger than those of concerned parents or civil society. “The parents are poor. They don’t have a voice. The situation is so volatile, but civil society cannot take a stand.”

Original Link.

“Was Jerry Falwell Afriad of Homosexuals?” by Paul Edwards

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Watching intently as Larry King interviewed guest after guest on his program the night Jerry Falwell died no man’s words intrigued me more than those of the Rev. Dr. Mel White, the man once hired by Jerry Falwell to write his autobiography. After working with Dr. Falwell on his autobiography Mr. White announced to his family that he was gay. He soon left his wife for his male lover. He had “come out.” He now leads a pro-homosexual, anti-evangelical activist group of college kids who purport to be both Christian and homosexual, two things the word of God clearly says are incompatible (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

Two days after his appearance on Larry King Live I had a conversation with Mel White on my radio program in Detroit. I asked him, given his personal relationship with Dr. Falwell, if it was fair of him to characterize Dr. Falwell as the face of homophobia less than ten hours after he had died, to which he replied:

When I say Jerry Falwell was the face of homophobia there’s no doubt in my mind that the things he said about gay people are totally untrue. And because he had such a large following he was probably the most important person we had in terms of misinformation… Jerry loved to caricature and create straw men because that’s the way people got afraid. Jerry used fear a lot to mobilize volunteers and to raise money and do those things, but you must remember I’m saying he was sincere in all of that.

Mel blames Dr. Falwell’s message in part for his own lifelong battle to overcome same-sex attraction. He told me:

I went through 35 years of electric shock, and aversive therapy and exorcism trying to get rid of the demon of homosexuality. I finally slit my wrists and went to the hospital, and my wife said, “You know, Mel, you’re a good person, but you’re gay and you need to accept that.” And in accepting that I began a new kind of life; my whole life changed, and I became a person who loved Christ in a whole new way, I felt His Holy Spirit working in a whole new way.

Mel has it both wrong and right. He is right that the struggle to overcome patterns of sinful behavior can drive a person to the point of suicide. The Apostle Paul recounted the same struggle with his own pattern of sinful behavior in Romans 7:15-25, pushing him to the end of himself: “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death!” That’s Mel White’s story, it’s my story—and it’s your story. All of us have patterns of sinful behavior which must be overcome. Struggling to overcome sin in your own power will ultimately force you to slit your wrists.

Mel is wrong when he says that admitting to himself he was gay gave him new life and has freed him from the consequences of his guilt. Genuine new life offered by God’s grace doesn’t come from accepting who you are; it comes from accepting who Christ is and dying to your sinful passions and living your life in the power of Christ, through whom all sin is overcome. Mel White may have overcome his guilty conscience by buying the lie that he is who he is and therefore he is OK. Christ died for sinners so that we don’t have to accept ourselves as we are, but so that through His grace and mercy we might become new creatures in Christ Jesus. That’s the message Jerry Falwell proclaimed. That’s the message Mel White believes earns Dr. Falwell the moniker face of homophobia.

There is no question that there was fear inherent in the words spoken by Jerry Falwell on the moral issues confronting our nation. But it wasn’t Dr. Falwell’s fear of homosexuality (or any other sin) that fueled his passion to call this nation to repentance, but rather his fear of God. Jerry Falwell spoke the words of Christ to the nation. Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22). Jerry Falwell was a voice crying in the wilderness of the moral decline of late 20th century America. He lifted up his voice like a trumpet, boldly confronting his generation with Christ’s words. The voice of the prophet may be silenced, but the word of our God shall stand forever.

Paul Edwards is the host of The Paul Edward Program and a pastor. His program is heard daily on WLQV in Detroit and on godandculture.com. Contact him at paul@godandculture.com.

Original Link.

School Indoctrinates Students and Adults Alike on How to Be a Better Muslim

Monday, June 4th, 2007

In an attempt to make the coming Dhimmitude of America easier on us, a school district in Amherst, New Hampshire, held an event which simulated an Islamic Saudi Arabian Bedouin tent community. You remember Saudi, right? The country that’s supposed to be our ally, but will arrest anyone practicing any other religion aside from Islam, that subjugates their women and persecutes those who want women’s rights. You remember this country, don’t you?

AMHERST— For one night, on May 9, the quaint colonial town of Amherst, New Hampshire, was transformed into a Saudi Arabian Bedouin tent community, with the help of 80 seventh-graders at the Amherst Middle School. The weather cooperated, providing 85 degree temperatures to give an authentic Saudi feel to the evening.

More than 250 guests arrived at the open tent and were welcomed with an Arabic greeting of “Marhaba” by students at a Saudi customs desk.

During the check-in, guests selected a traditional Arabic name for their name badge and completed an actual Saudi customs form, which warned in bold letters “Death for Drug Trafficking ” at the top.

Once inside, guests were encouraged to circulate among 14 different stations created by the students.

The Arabic food-tasting station offered four entrées, curried chicken, lamb, tomato chicken with cardomom, and Moroccan chicken, served with pita breads, hummus, and couscous. Fresh fruits, cardomom coffees, and spice teas were also served.

Flowing fabrics hung from the ceiling separated the family and men-only dining sections. The tables were set on large rugs and lowered so that the diners sat on the floor.

Only the seventh-grade boys were allowed to host the food stations and the Arabic dancing, as the traditions of Saudi Arabia at this time prevent women from participating in these public roles.

Dressed in traditional Arabic wear—long plaid kilts, white shirts and turbans—the boys offered food and entertained guests. The Arabic dancers enthusiastically performed to music and encouraged male visitors to join their dance.

Seventh-grade girls hosted the hijab and veil stations, where other female guests learned how to wear the required head covering and veils. An antique trunk full of black abayas worn by women, and white thobes worn by the men, were available for guests to try on.

Cultural items displayed throughout the room included Arabic books, games, food, and newspapers and magazines.

An Islamic religion station included a Muslim prayer rug with a compass imbedded in it to locate Mecca, readings on the Islamic faith, call to prayer items and prayer beads.

Younger visitors gravitated to the Arabic listening station, the Arabic coloring book stations and the mural, while visitors of all ages found the slide shows of Saudi Arabia to be captivating.

The “open tent” was created to encourage participants to reach out and learn from people around the world, and to promote curiosity and cultural understanding.

Original Link.

Ahmadinejad: Israel Will Be Destroyed

Monday, June 4th, 2007

The psychotic leader of Iran wants to make sure we haven’t forgotten that he plans on destroying Israel as soon as he get his nukes built. Remember, there are no veiled threats with this guy. He has come right out and told us what he plans to do. Us Americans, with our 30 second attention span, can’t fathom this concept, so we reject it as irrelevant and go back to our “Idols”, “reality” TV and sporting events. In our opinions, no one would actually do this sort of thing.
Yes, he will do it. He is evil.
Evil is another concept we can’t get our 30 second attention spans around either. liberals have taught us that there is no morality, it’s all about how we “feel”. Who are we to say that some is “evil”. He couldn’t be evil; he just must be misunderstood. Let’s talk to him and try to understand him.
Ahmadinejad is not misunderstood at all. He’s been very clear about what he plans to do. America and Israel are both in his sights, and as soon as his nukes are ready, he will use them on us. The lose of life will be tremendous. We will be the dead lying in the streets. Our sons and daughters, fathers and mother, brothers and sister. Dead. By the hands of a madman who told us plainly that he was going to do it.
We could stop him right now, but it would take a commitment much longer than the 30 seconds we are willing to give things outside of our immediate sphere of influence.
Poor America. We will sit on our hands and do nothing until it’s too late. Poor Israel. They’ve caught we have. Lethargy. All of us will sit on our hands until it’s too late. Then, we’ll point fingers at everyone but the guilty party. Ourselves.

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday said the world would witness the destruction of Israel soon, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Ahmadinejad said last summer’s war between Israel and Hezbollah showed for the first time that the “hegemony of the occupier regime (Israel) had collapsed, and the Lebanese nation pushed the button to begin counting the days until the destruction of the Zionist regime,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

“God willing, in the near future we will witness the destruction of the corrupt occupier regime,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying during a speech to foreign guests mostly from African, Arab and neighboring countries who attended ceremonies marking the 18th anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who is known as the father of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has lost public support after Israel failed to achieve its goals during last summer’s 34-day war with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon — freeing two captured soldiers and crushing the militant group.

The war was sparked after two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah militants in a cross-border raid. The fighting ended with a U.N.-brokered cease-fire that called for deployment of U.N. peacekeepers and Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon along the border with Israel.

Ahmadinejad has made anti-Israel comments in the past.

In October 2005, he caused outrage in the West when he said in a speech that Israel’s “Zionist regime should be wiped off the map.”

His supporters have argued Ahmadinejad’s words were mistranslated and should have been better translated as “vanish from the pages of time” — implying Israel would vanish on its own rather be destroyed.

Original Link.