Archive for July 13th, 2007

The Ascension – A Bible Story Mural

Friday, July 13th, 2007

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Acts 1 (New International Version)

“I wanted the children to see Jesus as the risen Lord, triumphant over death and the grave, rising in the clouds upwards toward heaven.”
-Doug Westbrook, Artist of “The Ascension – 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 created 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.

France: Hizbullah Not a Terror Group

Friday, July 13th, 2007

And I was just starting to eat French food again…

Hizbullah is part of Lebanese politics and must not be regarded as a terror organization, said the French Foreign Ministry in a statement Thursday night.

The statement was an apparent about-turn by France after President Nicolas Sarkozy said that Hizbullah was indeed a terrorist group when he met with the captured IDF soldiers’ families in Paris last week. Thursday’s statement was prompted by protests from Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.

France is scheduled to host a conference Saturday bringing together representatives of rival Lebanese leaders, including senior Hizbullah representatives, in an effort to address the Lebanon’s political deadlock.

The conference, set to continue until Monday, is not expected to achieve any major breakthroughs and has been described more as an icebreaking meeting between foes.

The conference is set to focus on the political crisis in Lebanon revolving around the issue of an international tribunal into the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005.

Hizbullah is opposed to such a tribunal that is expected to convict senior officials in Lebanon and Syria.

Original Link.

Artifact Found Shows Truth of Old Testament

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Cuneiform Tablet

It’s always exciting to see the Truth of the Bible shown again and again by independent historical references, since Jews and Christians are held to higher burdens of evidence than others (By the way Atheist, there’s more evidence of the truth of the Bible now than there is of your Quasi-deity, Darwin’s half baked religion of evolution, and yet you continue to demand even more evidence from us concerning Biblical Truth).

As one commentator noted:
“It is refreshing to find that such a simple discovery has been made public. It is distressing to note that no major news media has picked up on this information. It is also no suprise that that has happened. Many thanks to the scholars who are patiently and thoroughly researching the past, and their honest admission of the facts that they find.”

The tablet I’ve shown in this post is not the one detailed in the article, but is the same type and style. (image courtesy of Qatna)

A researcher at the British Museum has made a discovery that supports Old Testament historical accounts as fact, says a report from the Telegraph newspaper.

Last week, Michael Jursa, a professor from Vienna, was searching for financial records among tablets from ancient Assyria, when he found a familiar name. Jursa scanned the book of Jeremiah and found that the name was that of Nebuchadnezzar II’s chief eunuch (Nebo-Sarsekim). In the Bible, the eunuch was said to be with Nebuchadnezzar when the Babylonians took Jerusalem.

Researchers at the British Museum have been studying over 130-thousand tablets for over 5 years, and research leader, Dr. Irving Finkel, called this discovery “a world-class find.” He said this eunuch was a throwaway character in the Old Testament, and it has been proven accurate. He says with such a minor detail true, the whole book of Jeremiah, and the entire Old Testament, has what he called “new kind of power.”

Original Link.

Here’s the Bible passage concerning Sarsekim:

Jeremiah 39 (New International Version)

The Fall of Jerusalem

This is how Jerusalem was taken: In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it. And on the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year, the city wall was broken through. Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon. When Zedekiah king of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled; they left the city at night by way of the king’s garden, through the gate between the two walls, and headed toward the Arabah.

But the Babylonian army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. They captured him and took him to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced sentence on him. There at Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes and also killed all the nobles of Judah. Then he put out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him with bronze shackles to take him to Babylon.

The Babylonians set fire to the royal palace and the houses of the people and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard carried into exile to Babylon the people who remained in the city, along with those who had gone over to him, and the rest of the people. But Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard left behind in the land of Judah some of the poor people, who owned nothing; and at that time he gave them vineyards and fields.

Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had given these orders about Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard: “Take him and look after him; don’t harm him but do for him whatever he asks.” So Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard, Nebushazban a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officers of the king of Babylon sent and had Jeremiah taken out of the courtyard of the guard. They turned him over to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to take him back to his home. So he remained among his own people.

While Jeremiah had been confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him: “Go and tell Ebed-Melech the Cushite, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am about to fulfill my words against this city through disaster, not prosperity. At that time they will be fulfilled before your eyes. But I will rescue you on that day, declares the LORD; you will not be handed over to those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the LORD.’ “

From Strong’s Concordance H8310 (courtesy of the Blue Letter Bible):

Sarsechim = “prince of the eunuchs”

1) a ruler or general of Nebuchadnezzar at the taking of Jerusalem

al-Qaida Bakes Children and Invites Parents to Dinner

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Did that title get your attention? I assume that it did. I must warn you that what you will read in the article below is very graphic. It is beyond scary, but it is important that we realize who we are dealing with when we talk about terrorists. These people are monsters and no atrocity is to grizzly for them to carry out.

A reporter embedded with the U.S. military in Iraq reports a government official has recounted a new atrocity by al-Qaida: several instances in which terrorists baked a young boy, then invited his family to lunch with the victim as the main course.

The report is from Michael Yon, a Special Forces soldier who returned to Iraq to report on the successes there, inspired, he told radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt, by a “news cycle that seems to pander toward the terrorists.”

Yon was in Baqubah listening to the statements of an Iraqi official who asked that his name not be reported. Yon said the Iraqi told him al-Qaida arrived in Baqubah and united a number of criminal gangs, leaving death and destruction behind.

Original Link

Al-Qaida Works to Plant U.S. Operatives

Friday, July 13th, 2007

The rabid dog of Islamic Terrorist, Al-Qaida, continues to work on ways to kill you and I as we go around our daily routine of shopping at the super market, going to little league games and trying to make an honest living.
You see, we are all “ligament targets” to them. Our crime? Being an American.

WASHINGTON- Al-Qaida is stepping up its efforts to sneak terror operatives into the United States and has acquired most of the capabilities it needs to strike here, according to a new U.S. intelligence assessment, The Associated Press has learned.

The draft National Intelligence Estimate is expected to paint an ever-more-worrisome portrait of al-Qaida’s ability to use its base along the Pakistan-Afghan border to launch and inspire attacks against the United States over the next several years.

Yet, the government’s top analysts concluded that U.S. soil has become a harder target for the extremist network, thanks to worldwide counterterror efforts since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Among the key findings of the classified estimate, which is still in draft form and must be approved by all 16 U.S. spy agencies:

-The U.S. will face “a persistent and evolving terrorist threat” within its borders over the next three years. The main danger comes from Islamic terrorist groups, especially al-Qaida, and is “driven by the undiminished intent to attack the homeland and a continued effort by terrorist groups to adapt and improve their capabilities.”

-Al-Qaida is probably still pursuing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and would use them if its operatives developed sufficient capability.

-The terror group has been able to restore three of the four key tools it would need to launch an attack on U.S. soil: a safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas, operational lieutenants and senior leaders. It could not immediately be learned what the missing fourth element is.

-The group will bolster its efforts to position operatives inside U.S. borders. In public statements, U.S. officials have expressed concern about the ease with which people can enter the United States through Europe because of a program that allows most Europeans to enter without visas.

The document also discusses increasing concern about individuals already inside the United States who are adopting an extremist brand of Islam.

On a positive note, analysts concluded that increased international efforts over the past five years “have constrained the ability of al-Qaida to attack the U.S. homeland again and have led terrorist groups to perceive the homeland as a harder target to strike than on 9/11.”

Those measures helped disrupt known plots against the United States, the analysts found.

National Intelligence Estimates are the most authoritative written judgments that reflect the consensus long-term thinking of senior intelligence analysts.

Government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been finalized, described it as an expansive look at potential threats within the United States and said it required the cooperation of a number of national security agencies, including the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security Department and National Counterterrorism Center.

National security officials met at the White House on Thursday about the intelligence estimate and related counterterrorism issues. The tentative plan is to release a declassified version of the report and brief Congress on Tuesday, one government official said.

Ross Feinstein, spokesman for National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, declined to discuss the document’s specific contents. But he said it would be consistent with statements made by senior government officials at congressional hearings and elsewhere.

The estimate echoes the findings of another analysis prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center earlier this year and disclosed publicly on Wednesday. That report- titled “Al-Qaida better positioned to strike the West”- found the terrorist group is “considerably operationally stronger than a year ago” and has “regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001,” a counterterrorism official familiar with the reports findings told the AP.

On Thursday, news of the counterterrorism center’s threat assessment renewed the political debate about the nature of the al-Qaida threat and whether U.S. actions- in Iraq in particular- have made the U.S. safer from terrorism.

At a news conference Thursday, President Bush acknowledged al-Qaida’s continuing threat to the United States and used the new report as evidence his administration’s policies are on the right course.

“The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on Sept. 11,” he said. “That’s why what happens in Iraq matters to security here at home.”

Yet Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said Iraq has distracted the United States. He said the U.S. should have finished off al-Qaida in 2002 and 2003 along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Instead, “President Bush chose to invade Iraq, thereby diverting our military and intelligence resources away from the real war on terrorism,” Rockefeller said. “Threats to the United States homeland are not emanating from Iraq. They are coming from al-Qaida leadership.”

Rockefeller, who voted in favor of toppling Saddam Hussein, called for the U.S. to end its involvement in what he called the Iraqi civil war.

In recent weeks, senior national security officials have been increasingly worried about an al-Qaida attack in the United States.

Appearing on a half-dozen morning TV shows Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff laid out a list of factors contributing to his “gut feeling” that the nation faces a higher risk of attack this summer: al-Qaida’s increased freedom to train in South Asia, a flurry of public statements from the network’s leadership, a history of summertime attacks, a broader range of attacks in North Africa and Europe and homegrown terrorism increasing in Europe.

“Europe could become a platform for an attack against this country,” Chertoff told CNN, although he and others continue to say they know of no specific, credible information pointing to an attack here.

National security officials are frustrated by an agreement last year between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and tribal leaders in western Pakistan, which gave tribes near the Afghan border greater autonomy and has led to increased al-Qaida activity in the region.

Nevertheless, Bush administration officials still view Musharraf as a partner.

Speaking to a congressional hearing, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said that Pakistan under Musharraf has captured more al-Qaida operatives than any other country and that several major Taliban leaders were captured or killed this year.

“There is a considerable al-Qaida presence at the border, but they are under pressure,” Boucher told a House national security subcommittee.

Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., was skeptical, saying al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders apparently feel safe there. “Is this a Motel 6 for terrorists?” he asked.

Original Link.

Hillary Memory Lapse – Duplicitous as Always

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Just in case the American 30 Second Attention Span thing has gotten in the way again, here’s a simple reminder…

Hillary - Duplicitous as Always

Original Link.

Sex Offender Latest in Rash of Child Kidnappings/Killings

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Zina Linnick

In what has become an almost common headline in recent months, yet another child who kidnapped has been found dead. The main suspect in this case is a known sex offender, from Thailand, convicted in 1990 of incest. Why is this man still in our country? He was convicted of a sex crime 17 years ago. He should have served his prison time for the crime and then been deported immediately. If the government had done what they were supposed to do, a beautiful girl, named Zina Linnick, would be alive today.

TACOMA, Wash. — Police and FBI agents found the body of a 12-year-old girl who was snatched from an alley behind her house during a July 4 fireworks celebration, police said.

Information provided by a man in custody on an immigration complaint led police and FBI agents to an undisclosed location in Pierce County where they found Zina Linnik’s body, Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell said late Thursday.

The news brought “great anguish” to the Linnik family as well as Tacoma police and FBI agents who had worked to find the girl, Ramsdell said.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the Linnik family and we will continue to put forth our best efforts to bring the perpetrator of this senseless and horrific crime to justice,” Ramsdell said.

Ramsdell did not identify the man who provided the information.

A partial license plate description of a gray van seen in the alley around the time Zina vanished led police to Terapon Adhahn, 42, a Thai immigrant who was convicted of incest in 1990.

A search of the home where Adhahn had been staying turned up “girl’s undergarments,” according to a search warrant return.

Adhahn denied any involvement in Zina’s disappearance and said he was not in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood July 4, Detective L.J. Wade wrote in an affidavit filed in Pierce County Superior Court in support of the search warrant application.

Investigators and forensic experts from the FBI searched the home on Monday, seizing items including used vacuum cleaner filters, bedding, black plastic sheeting and the undergarments.

Adhahn was being held at a federal immigration detention in Tacoma because he could face deportation for his 1990 incest conviction, said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lorie Dankers. He also has been charged in Pierce County with failing to register as a sex offender, and would face that charge before being deported.

Ramsdell took no questions Thursday night. Messages left seeking comment Thursday from Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum and the FBI were not immediately returned.

There was no immediate word on the cause of death or when the girl died.

Original Link.