Archive for April 22nd, 2009

Signs of the End of the Age

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

Destruction of the Temple

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

“Immediately after the distress of those days
” ‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24 (New International Version)

Image courtesy of The Temple Institute.

Obama Signs Huge Expansion of Youth Brigades Legislation

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

President Obama today signed into law the “GIVE Act,” H.R. 1388, which massively expands the National Service Corporation and allocates to it billions of dollars, and one executive for the program now says it will allow for the “managing” of up to 8 or 9 million people.

WND has reported on plans to create the corps since Obama told a campaign stop in Colorado Springs last year he wants a “Civilian National Security Force” as big and as well-funded as the U.S. military.

The bill includes a “National Service Reserve Corps” whose members have completed a “term of national service,” “training” and “not less than 10 hours of volunteering each year.”

In a conference call with reporters on the plan, Alan Solomont, chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, said the 75,000 current members of the AmericCorps program “leverage” about 2.2 million volunteers, and the total of all such volunteers who are managed through the federal program total about 4 million.

He said the possibility with the expanded authorization and funding means that up to 8 or 9 million could be involved.

“If we triple the size of AmeriCorps from 75,000 members to 250,000 members annually, and if we – if those 75,000 AmeriCorps members are currently engaging 2.2. million volunteers a year, we could triple that to 6.6 million volunteers, 250,000 AmeriCorps members. So I think – you can do the math – I think that was about six or seven million, and then we have another half a million in Senior Corps and another million or so in Learn and Serve America [for children],” he said.

WND reported when Obama delivered his Colorado Springs mandate and a copy of the speech provided online apparently was edited to exclude Obama’s specific references to the new force.

As the presidential campaign advanced last year, another video appeared that for many crystallized their concerns over such a “corps.” It shows a squad of young men marching and shouting praises to Obama.

Congress also is considering a “public service academy, a four-year institution that offers a federally funded undergraduate education with a focus on training future public sector leaders.”

Joseph Farah, founder and editor of WND, used his daily column first to raise the issue of a “national civilian force” and then to elevate it with a call to all reporters to start asking questions.

“If we’re going to create some kind of national police force as big, powerful and well-funded as our combined U.S. military forces, isn’t this rather a big deal?” Farah wrote. “I thought Democrats generally believed the U.S. spent too much on the military. How is it possible their candidate is seeking to create some kind of massive but secret national police force that will be even bigger than the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force put together?

“Is Obama serious about creating some kind of domestic security force bigger and more expensive than that? If not, why did he say it? What did he mean?” Farah wrote.

Solomont warned that people shouldn’t be “fixated” on such apparently small numbers.

“We hope sooner or later this will be a part of every citizen’s experience,” he said.

WND reported when the bill began its quick trip through Congress, and its original language called for a study of how best to implement a mandatory national service program for citizens of the United States.

Later the language was dropped from that bill, only to appear at the same time in another legislative proposal. That plan, H.R. 1444, now is in committee.

The White House announced today that the focus of the program will be “clean energy
, education, health care, veterans care, and economic opportunity.”

Melody Barnes, director of the White House domestic policy council, confirmed the plan was in response to Obama’s demand for civilian service during his campaign.

“That’s certainly something that the president has spoken about. And he started his call around nation service publicly during the course of the campaign when he talked about the fact that government cannot be a solution to all of our problems, and we have to work together,” she said.

Officials said there also are specific programs for seniors and children to become involved in the government operation, and the plan goes far beyond just working on planting trees or addressing storm damage.

“The bill provides the opportunity for a social innovation fund,” said one official, which will allow the government to pursue changes.

The plan also raises First Amendment issues over its limitations on what various corps participants are allowed to do.

For example, it states those in an “approved national service position” may not try to influence legislation, engage in protests or petitions, take positions on union organizing, engage in partisan political activities, or, among other issues, be “engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of proselytization.”

Judi McLeod of Canada Free Press wrote that the bill simply would turn everyone into a community organizer.

“Everybody means the roughly seven million people called to public duty in the $6 billion National Service effort,” she said. “But members pressed into the service of the one million-strong Youth Brigade, sanctioned by ‘Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE),’ will have none of the freedoms of the community organizer who started it all.

“There’s no room for God in Obama’s long promised Youth Brigade, no room to protest, petition, to boycott or to support a strike, and loopholes to give its mandatory membership a pass,” she wrote. “Obama’s plan requires anyone receiving school loans, among others to serve at least three months as part of the brigade.”

Gary Wood at Examiner.com said it’s part of Obama’s plan to set up national service. He noted the explanation offered by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel: “It’s time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, all Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service.”

Duane Lester, writing at All American Blogger, put into words the worst fears of opponents.

“Hitler knew that if you control the youth, you control the future. I wrote about him in ‘The Threats to Homeschooling: From Hitler to the NEA.’ As I noted in that article, Hitler said: ‘The Youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of innoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled,'” he wrote.

Original Link.

Grafted in Olive Wood Clock from the Jerusalem Gift Shop

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Weekly I highlight items being offered by the Jerusalem Gift Shop. Today it’s the Grafted in Olive Wood Clock.

Genuine Olive Wood Wall Clock

* size: 7.5 x 4.5 inches
* made in Bethlehem

Beautiful Christian Gift from the Holy Land

Take a moment to see all of the other interesting items they stock.

The Jerusalem Gift Shop 234x60

Christian Gifts from Israel – The Jerusalem Gift Shop

Sen. Feinstein’s Husband Cashes In on Crisis

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Typical…

On the day the new Congress convened this year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced legislation to route $25 billion in taxpayer money to a government agency that had just awarded her husband’s real estate firm a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms, the Washington Times reported on Tuesday.

Mrs. Feinstein’s intervention on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unusual: the California Democrat isn’t a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with jurisdiction over FDIC; and the agency is supposed to operate from money it raises from bank-paid insurance payments – not direct federal dollars.

Documents reviewed by The Washington Times show Mrs. Feinstein first offered Oct. 30 to help the FDIC secure money for its effort to stem the rise of home foreclosures. Her letter was sent just days before the agency determined that CB Richard Ellis Group (CBRE) – the commercial real estate firm that her husband Richard Blum heads as board chairman – had won the competitive bidding for a contract to sell foreclosed properties that FDIC had inherited from failed banks.

About the same time of the contract award, Mr. Blum’s private investment firm reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it and related affiliates had purchased more than 10 million new shares in CBRE. The shares were purchased for the going price of $3.77; CBRE’s stock closed Monday at $5.14.

Spokesmen for the FDIC, Mrs. Feinstein and Mr. Blum’s firm told The Times that there was no connection between the legislation and the contract signed Nov. 13, and that the couple didn’t even know about CBRE’s business with FDIC until after it was awarded.

Senate ethics rules state that members must avoid conflicts of interest as well as “even the appearance of a conflict of interest.” Some ethics analysts question whether Mrs. Feinstein ran afoul of the latter provision, creating the appearance that she was rewarding the agency that had just hired her husband’s firm.

Original Link.

“Miss USA’s Outrageous Double Standard” By Andrea Tantaros

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Apparently, there is a litmus test to be Miss (Liberal) USA these days.

Until the interview round of the contest, Carrie Prejean– who was representing the State of California was the front-runner. She drew a question by celebrity blogger Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr. who posts under the pseudonym Perez Hilton, the “Queen of Mean.”

The question:

“Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”

Prejean’s response:

“We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”

The outcome: The front-runner fell to first runner up and Miss North Carolina USA took the crown.

Perez Hilton has since gone on an angry blogging tirade against Prejean’s answer calling her an absolutely reprehensible five-letter word and later an even more unacceptable four-letter word that begins with “c” on a mainstream news network. He later apologized for his remarks, but then retracted his apology. “She lost it because of that question,” he admitted. “She was definitely the front-runner before that.”

Let’s consider the source: Perez Hilton is an openly gay, unstable and unreasonable left-wing blogger who reports on rumors with great braggadocio — not even real news — and often outs closeted gays in the public eye. If he doesn’t have respect for other homosexuals or an individual’s right to privacy why would he have respect for anything else?

When people are arguing for tolerance and equal rights for gays they undermine their own argument when they resort to intolerant, hateful language that shows a complete disrespect for women. Whether you are talking about gay marriage or the price of coffee at Starbucks, it is absolutely unacceptable to use that language about females to advance your argument.

The double standard is astounding.

I didn’t hear the outrage when Joe Biden said that he and Barack Obama are against gay marriage. No incendiary language, no insults, no four letter obscenities.

Why is it acceptable for Obama and Biden to have this opinion but not a conservative female? And where are the women’s rights and feminist groups to speak out against this kind of language? Or gay rights groups to denounce this clown because he does nothing to advance their agenda of tolerance? The same place they were when other females who possessed traditional values or beliefs like Sarah Palin exercised their right to free speech and expressed these views: they’re nowhere to be found.

I ask: How can a pageant that is supposedly designed to advance women put a judge who clearly has no respect for females on the judging panel? Enter Donald Trump. The Miss Universe organization is a for profit organization owned by Trump. The Donald, who I wouldn’t exactly call a champion for women’s rights or a moral touchstone, recently, defended the diatribe of Hilton. Congratulations Donald, we knew you were rich, just not ignorant. You can now add apologist for sexism and blatant disrespect for women to your resume after real estate mogul and reality TV producer.

Going forward no participant will stand up for what they believe in fearing punitive action. What message does that send to young girls? You can be fearless and unapologetic as long as you have traditional beliefs? Keep in mind the pageant was televised by NBC, which seeks to propagate and advance a far left agenda. Enough said. Apparently the network has joined the Leftist jihad of intolerance and disrespect toward females, and free speech.

This issue goes beyond beauty contests and reveals a much scarier truth: You cannot voice a dissenting opinion without being assaulted by the progressive left. The left is not interested in debating, only suppressing debate. Destroying your life and career is the sentence for anyone who dissents on these issues. The activists will carry out the sentence with the willing assistance of a compliant media.

If Perez Hilton, The Miss USA organization, Donald Trump, the mainstream media and the Left want to get in battle over free speech and treatment of women, bring it on.

Andrea Tantaros is a conservative commentator and columnist. Her commentary can be found at www.andreatantaros.com.

Original Link.

Please Pray Earnestly For James and Gail

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Our friend, James, who is suffering from cancer, is not doing well. The brain tumors are growing and he is too weak to take any kind of chemo, let alone the aggressive kind need for brain tumors.
They seem to be coming to terms that James will not be with us much longer.
Please continue to hold these dear people up in your prayers.
Thank you,
-Steve

Miss California Feels Backlash From Former Hollywood Friends and Colleagues

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Let’s recap.
Miss California, Carrie Prejean, When asked a loaded question by judge Perez Hilton, an openly gay gossip blogger, whether she believed in gay marriage, Miss California, she said “We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”
The judge asked her for her opinion, to a loaded questions that should not even have been asked at this competition, to which she gave he honest opinion.
For her honesty, she is now reaping the typical “tolerance” the homosexual activist expect from everyone, except themselves. By “tolerance”, I mean that she is receiving the pure unadulterated hate that the homosexuals use to berate anyone who disagrees with them.

Former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, who is now the director of the Miss California USA pageant, spent the last few weeks in Las Vegas actively promoting her pageant princess, Carrie Prejean.

But Moakler and her business partner, Keith Lewis, a strong activist against Proposition 8, were so infuriated over Prejean’s answer to Perez Hilton’s gay marriage question during Sunday’s crowning, they refused to make contact with the San Diego native after the show.

While all of the state pageant directors were quick to greet their beauty queens after the live telecast, Moakler and Lewis did not go backstage, nor did they call Prejean to congratulate her on being first runner-up for Miss USA, after Prejean told a national TV audience that she was personally opposed to gay marriage.

Instead, Moakler started Twittering.

“This is why we have judges at Miss USA, so we find the girl to rep us ALL,” Moakler Twittered after the pageant.

“I don’t know how you can call a gay man or woman your friend and not want them 2 have the same joys as yourself. In my family we believe in equal rights for all, I am sad and hurt, I agree with Perez 100 [percent]. It’s one thing to have an opinion I am very opinionated n have dealt with backlash from it, it’s another to alienate people who cared about u.”

Moakler, who sources say was very close friends with Prejean (who was first runner-up in the Miss California USA pageant in 2008 before winning in 2009), also issued an apology to her state pageant sponsors on Monday, saying that “Prejean’s opinions do not stand for those of the Miss California family.”

According to sources, Moakler, who is best know as Travis Barker’s wife in the MTV reality show “Meet the Barkers,” and who was Playboy’s Miss December 2001, said that she fully supported Lewis’ condemnation of Prejean’s views.

Sponsors for the 2010 Miss California USA pageant, which will again be held in Palm Springs, have not yet been finalized, and the question remains whether this year’s sponsors will re-sign. 2009’s three main official sponsors — Hotel Zoso, Palm Springs Florist, and Studio 838 — did not respond for comment.

“Every year, tens of thousands of dollars are donated for the pageant and its prizes,” explained a source close to Moakler’s team. “Already she (Moakler) has had to deal with very upset companies, because they gave so much to Carrie, and think she betrayed them. People in California, more so than most states, are particularly passionate about overturning Prop 8 –especially those in the pageant/beauty world.”

Original Link.

Why Carrie Prejean, Miss USA Runner-Up, is a Big Deal

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

I must admit, when I posted about Ms. Prejean and how she handled comments from a hostile homosexual activist judge of the contest, I never expected the flurry of comments we received.
That made me start to think on why it caused so much controversy.
Most Christians understand that we are locked in battle for the soul of our country, with one of the most vocal and active adversaries being the homosexual movement. So to have a contestant, who typically tend to be notoriously “politically correct”, take a stance as she did, is refreshing.
But on top of that, let’s take a look at what has become of some of the former “beauty queens”.

Tara Connor, Miss USA 2006: Beautiful bubbly blond Tara Connor seemed like America’s Sweetheart at first, but that pristine image was thoroughly tarnished when reports of her hardcore partying, cocaine use, and a smooch-fest with Miss Teen USA were revealed. Tara gave a tearful public apology and promised to clean up her act, which kept her from being de-throned.

Tara Connor, Miss USA 2006: Beautiful bubbly blond Tara Connor seemed like America’s Sweetheart at first, but that pristine image was thoroughly tarnished when reports of her hardcore partying, cocaine use, and a smooch-fest with Miss Teen USA were revealed. Tara gave a tearful public apology and promised to clean up her act, which kept her from being de-throned.

Vanessa Williams, Miss America 1983: Vanessa Williams was the first ever African American Miss America, but the victory was short-lived when Penthouse magazine published racy photos of the beauty taken several years prior. A humiliated Vanessa was forced to resign, but was able to triumph in the face of controversy with a highly successful career.

Ashley Harder, Miss New Jersey 2007: Ashley Harder was forced to turn in her crown after becoming pregnant, as the Miss USA rules don’t allow contestants who are pregnant or have children.

Katie Blair, Miss Teen USA 2006: Katie Blair came under fire after stories surfaced claiming she danced on tables and made out with Miss USA Tara Connor during a night of drinking and snorting cocaine. Tara took most of the heat for the incident, but Katie faced the wrath of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), who announced they would no longer use Katie as their spokeswoman against underage drinking. Yes, we can see why that might happen.

Katie Rees, Miss Nevada USA 2007: After compromising photos of Rees were posted on MySpace, she was forced to give back her crown. She found herself in hot water once again in 2008 after an altercation with a cop led to an arrest.

Danielle Lloyd, Miss Great Britain 2006: Danielle was stripped of her title when it was revealed that she had posed for Playboy and had dated one of the judges during the time of the pageant. She is currently reportedly being sued for nearly $200,000 by pageant organizers, who claim that she has hurt the competition’s reputation.

So just in light of the behavior of the winners over the last several years, it is refreshing to see a contestant who has high moral values and isn’t afraid to stand up for them, even if it may have cost her the contest (another facet altogether).

Original Link.