Archive for May 13th, 2009

Jesus Calms the Storm

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

Jesus Calms the Storm

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Luke 8:22-25 (New International Version)

Spiritual Warfare – It’s Real

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

[Dr. Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention], says spiritual warfare is real for all believers. “Satan is not just going to roll over and relinquish the kingdoms of the world to become the kingdoms of our Lord,” he counsels.

“And in much more subtle ways, I think that target is on the church and on Christians and [is] just responsible for our failure to live a victorious Christian life that would draw people in our own society into the Kingdom of God.”

The Bible, says the missions enthusiast, has clear strategies for Christians. “Faith is the victory that overcomes the world,” he explains. “We have the shield of faith to deflect the lies of Satan. We’re told in [the Book of] Peter [to] resist him, firm in our faith.”

Original Link.

Holy Land Stone – Grafted In – from the Jerusalem Gift Shop

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Weekly I highlight items being offered by the Jerusalem Gift Shop. Today it’s the Holy Land Stone – Grafted In.

“Grafted In” symbol with scripture etched on this stone

Psalm 102:14 “For your servants have yearned for her stones and will cherish her dust”

These unique stones have been designed for the increasing yearning of peoples all around the World, to experience and connect with the Holy Land of Israel.

Holy Land Stone
These same stones served a major Historic role, embedding the paths on which the “Footsteps of Jesus”, his disciples and many other biblical giants stepped on while they made their historic journeys all over and through the Holy Land of Israel.

* box size: 5 x 3 x 2.5 inches

Comes in a beautiful display box with window on the top – Truly unique Christian gift for all lovers of Israel

Ministries, Businesses and Churches
Have your own logo, motif, scripture etched onto a Holy Land Stone – please contact us for details

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

Pontiff Slammed for Comments in Support of Palestinian State

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

JERUSALEM – If Pope Benedict XVI so fervently supports a Palestinian state – which would split sections of Israel – he also should divide Rome, charged the leader of a coalition of more than 350 Israeli rabbinic leaders and pulpit rabbis.

“I was shocked to hear that the first thing the pope had to say when he landed in Israel was that the Holy Land must be divided to make room for a Palestinian state,” said Joseph Gerlitzky, rabbi of central Tel Aviv and chairman of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace, which includes some of Israel’s most prominent Jewish leaders.

“I suggest that he divide Rome. The Holy Land was promised to the Jewish people and absolutely no human being on this earth has a right to relinquish even one inch of this land,” Gerlitzky stated.

Gerlitzky made the remarks at a speech today commemorating the Jewish festive day of Lag Ba’Omer, which is about the mid-way point between Passover and the day on which the Jews were said to have received the Torah.

In his opening comments after disembarking at Israel’s international airport yesterday, Benedict called for the creation of a Palestinian state with the hope that Israelis and Palestinians “may live in peace in a homeland of their own within secure and internationally recognized borders.”

Gerlitzky’s comments were just a taste of the criticism directed at the pope from Israeli lawmakers and religious leaders here, some of whom were disappointed with segments of Benedict’s closely scrutinized visit to the Holy Land.

The pontiff’s speech yesterday at Jerusalem’s famed Holocaust Memorial Museum has been slammed, largely for stopping short of an apology on behalf of the Catholic Church, which historians charge could have done more to save European Jews during the Holocaust. The pope’s speech did not once mention “Nazis” or “murder.”

Benedict came under fire from the Jewish world earlier this year for lifting the excommunication of a bishop who had denied the Holocaust.

Israeli newspapers today were filled with criticism.

“One would have expected the Vatican’s cardinals to prepare a more intelligent text for their boss,” one columnist, Tom Segev, wrote.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said in a radio interview the Vatican and its German-born pope had “a lot to ask forgiveness from our people for.”

“And he is also a German, whose country and people have asked forgiveness. But he himself comes and speaks to us like a historian, as an observer, as a man who expresses his opinion about things that should never happen, and he was – what can you do? – a part of them.”

“If we let this go, in the end they’ll say, ‘the Jewish people can manage,'” Rivlin said.

Rivlin said of the speech that “everything that we feared came to fruition.”

“I came to the memorial not only to hear historical descriptions or about the established fact of the Holocaust. I came as a Jew, hoping to hear an apology and a request for forgiveness from those who caused our tragedy, and among them, the Germans and the church. But to my sadness, I did not hear any such thing,” he said.

“The visit to Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum) does not constitute an expression of regret as such,” Rvilin added. “The eyes of Jews across the world, and of the nation in Israel, were directed here, in anticipation of hearing honest communion – personal and determined – regarding the Holocaust of their people. And we heard nothing of the sort.”

Holocaust Museum chairman Avner Shalev told the Jerusalem Post there was “certain restraint” in the pontiff’s speech, which he labeled a “missed opportunity.”

“I did not expect an apology, but we expected more,” he said. “This is certainly no historic landmark.”

Benedict began his speech stating, “I have come to stand in silence before the monument erected to honor the millions of Jews killed in the horrific tragedy of the Shoah.”

He continued: “They lost their lives, but they will never lose their names. These are indelibly etched in the hearts of their loved ones, their surviving fellow prisoners, and all those determined never to allow such an atrocity to disgrace mankind again.

“I reaffirm – like my predecessors – that the church is committed to praying and working tirelessly to ensure that hatred will never reign in the hearts of men again,” he said.

“As we stand here in silence, their cry still echoes in our hearts. It is a cry raised against every act of injustice and violence. It is a perpetual reproach against the spilling of innocent blood,” he said.

“I am deeply grateful to God and to you for the opportunity to stand here in silence: a silence to remember, a silence to pray, a silence to hope,” the pope concluded.

The Vatican today defended the pope. Spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters that Benedict had mentioned his German roots previously, specifically when visiting a synagogue in Cologne, Germany, in 2005 and at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland the following year.

“He can’t mention everything every time he speaks,” Lombardi told reporters in Jerusalem.

Original Link.

‘Deviancy’ Protected by ‘Hate Crimes’

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

A congressman from Iowa says he fought the so-called “Hate Crimes” bill as it moved through the U.S. House because it essentially will provide a level of protection for sexual deviancy in the United States that is not afforded any other behavior.

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, was interviewed today by WND columnist Janet Porter, who also heads the Faith2Action Christian ministry.

“Americans need to know what’s going on here in Washington,” he said, “when we get these radical positions … the public needs to know.”

He said the bill provides protection for those with “sexual orientation” issues, but then doesn’t define the terms. So he said it’s apparent that all of the 547 ‘philias’ – or as he described them “deviancies” – would be protected under the law.

“Anything you can imagine, no matter how revolting it might,” King said.

He said he suggested an amendment that would make it clear pedophilia was not a protected “sexual orientation’ under the law, but the Democrats, who are in the majority, refused to accept that.

“It was a breath-taking thing,” King said. “Their strategy was that if they exempted pedophiles, there were a number of other proclivities they would have to exempt as well.”

King also warned the bill provides federal money to have the Justice Department help local law enforcement agencies enforce their own “hate crimes” laws.

“A pastor might be preaching from Leviticus or Romans; that could be a direct violation of a city ordinance,” he said. “Under Title 18 in the federal code, if you are shown to aid, abet, to counsel or to in some way influence one of those ‘incidents,’ you are as guilt as the principal,” he said.

“We could see pastors thrown in jail for a decade for the content of their sermons,” he warned.

King said he read part of George Orwell’s “1984” into the congressional record:

“This is what was written in 1949: ‘We don’t care about any overt action, it’s the thought we care about because if we control the thought, we control the action,”‘ he said.

“That’s where we are today,” he warned.

A hearing on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, already approved by the U.S. House as H.R. 1913 and pending in the Senate as S. 909, is expected in the Senate Judiciary Committee soon. It’s been described by Shawn D. Akers, policy analyst with Liberty Counsel, as a bill to create penalties against “victims” who were chosen based on an “actual or perceived … sexual orientation, gender identity.”

According to Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, in a nation of more than 300 million people, there were only 242 recorded assaults on record under the cited “epidemic” against homosexuals.

WND has reported multiple times on the developing legislation
– a plan that failed under President Bush when he determined it was unnecessary and most likely unconstitutional.

Radio talk icon Rush Limbaugh has warned his audience about the advancing threat of “hate crimes” laws.

“Some people are going to be put in jail for things that they say,” he said. “Hate crime legislation. That’s where they determine what’s in your mind when you commit a crime. That’s when they decide what you were thinking … If you were thinking unapproved thoughts, that would make the crime you committed even worse.”

“For those who say the ‘Pedophile Protection Act’ isn’t accurate here’s a bit of a review. In committee, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, offered the amendment to exclude pedophiles from receiving elevated protection in the House version of the bill … [suggesting] ‘The term sexual orientation as used in this act or any amendments to this act does not include pedophilia,'” said Porter.

“It’s straightforward. And it was rejected,” Porter said.

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., confirmed that anyone with any “disability or all of these ‘philias’ and fetishes and ‘isms’ … need not live in fear.”

William Greene of RightMarch.com. “Critics say that would allow for prosecutions against pastors who preach a biblical ban on homosexuality if someone who hears such a message later is accused of any crime. A pastor’s sermon could be viewed as ‘hate speech’ under this legislation if it’s heard by someone who then commits an act of violence against someone based on ‘sexual orientation.’ The pastor could be prosecuted for ‘conspiracy to commit a hate crime,'” according

The Institute on Religion and Democracy joined in the campaign of concern.

“All victims of violence are already rightly protected by law, no matter the motive of their assailants,” said IRD President Mark Tooley.

“If you guys don’t raise enough stink there’s no chance of stopping it,” Gohmert said last week on a radio program.

“It’s entirely in the hands of your listeners and people across the country,” Gohmert said in an interview with Porter. “If you guys put up a strong enough fight, that will give backbone enough to the 41 or 42 in the Senate to say we don’t want to have our names on that.”

President Obama, supported strongly during his campaign by homosexual advocates, appears ready to respond to their desires.

“I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance,” he said.

Original Link.

Aide Told Pelosi of Waterboarding Use

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

The ever duplicitous Pelosi knew about the waterboarding despite her attempts to lie her way out of it. She needs to just admit she knew and take her lumps. It’s not like anything bad is actually going to happen to her anyway.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly was told in February 2003 by her intelligence aide, Michael Sheehy, that waterboarding was used on CIA terror detainee Abu Zubaydah, directly contradicting Pelosi’s account that she had never been informed of the technique’s use.

According to a report, Sheehy attended a briefing with Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., in February 2003 and discussed the CIA’s use of waterboarding.

When the aide told Pelosi waterboarding had actually been used on the Al Qaeda terrorist, she didn’t object because she was not personally briefed on the matter, an unnamed source confirmed to CNN.

Pelosi then supported a letter drafted by Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and sent to the Bush administration, raising concerns over the technique, the network reported.

A CIA document made public last week shows that Pelosi received a briefing in September 2002 on the tactics used on Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda leader and one of three prisoners subjected to waterboarding. Pelosi said she was told the agency was discussing its legal right to use the tactic in the future.

“We were not — I repeat — were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used,” said Pelosi, D-Calif.

The House majority leader reluctantly agreed Tuesday that congressional hearings should investigate Pelosi’s assertion that she wasn’t informed, more than six years ago, that harsh interrogation methods were used on the Al Qaeda leader.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., called Republican challenges to Pelosi’s assertion a diversion from the real question of whether the Bush administration tortured terrorist suspects. Nonetheless, he acknowledged the controversy should be resolved.

Democrats will hold a series of hearings on Justice Department memos released last month that justified rough tactics against detainees, including waterboarding — simulated drowning — and sleep deprivation.

While Democrats want the hearings to focus on what they call torture, Republicans have tried to turn the issue to their advantage by complaining that Pelosi and other Democrats knew of the tactics but didn’t protest. Pelosi was briefed in 2002 while on the House Intelligence Committee.

However, the CIA has blocked Republican efforts to stir the controversy. Late Tuesday, the spy agency turned down the request of Rep. Pete Hoekstra, ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, for the CIA to declassify the “notes to file” from the CIA officers who briefed members of Congress on the enhanced interrogation program.

The agency told the House Intelligence Committee that the documents “remain highly compartmented and classified.”

“This decision is unbelievable — that, even with all the exposure this program has gotten, these documents would not be released,” Hoekstra, R-Mich., said.

Hoekstra said he believes the documents would provide far more detail and make clear what kind of techniques were described in the briefings, shedding more light on what Pelosi and others were told, according to contemporaneous notes from those who briefed them.

Asked at a news conference whether Democrats were inviting political problems for themselves by holding hearings, Hoyer said, “I think the facts need to get out.

“I think the Republicans are simply trying to distract the American public with who knew what when. My response to that is, look, the issue is not what was said or what was known; the question and focus ought to be on what was done.”

But he added that the controversy over “what was said and when it was said, who said it … is probably what ought to be on the record as well.”

Hoyer also was asked whether he believes Pelosi’s support has been undermined among Democrats.

“No, I don’t,” he said.

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee holds the first hearing on the interrogation policy on Wednesday, but has scheduled testimony unrelated to the Pelosi matter.

Original Link.

American Psychological Association Revises Statement on Homosexuality

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

There isn’t and never was a “gay” gene. People are not born “gay”. It is a lifestyle choice.

A publication from the American Psychological Association includes an admission that there is no “gay” gene, according to a doctor who has written about the issue on the website of National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality.

A. Dean Byrd, the past president of NARTH, confirmed that the statement from the American Psychological Association came in a brochure that updates what the APA has advocated for years.

Specifically, in a brochure that first came out about 1998, the APA stated: “There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality.”

However, in the update: a brochure now called, “Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality,” the APA’s position changed.

The new statement says:

“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles. …”

“Although there is no mention of the research that influenced this new position statement, it is clear that efforts to ‘prove’ that homosexuality is simply a biological fait accompli have failed,” Byrd wrote. “The activist researchers themselves have reluctantly reached that conclusion. There is no gay gene. There is no simple biological pathway to homosexuality.”

Byrd said the APA’s documents both new and old “have strong activist overtones,” but the newer document “is more reflective of science and more consistent with the ethicality of psychological care.”

“On the question of whether or not therapy can change sexual orientation, the former document offered a resounding ‘no,'” Byrd wrote. “However, the current document is much more nuanced and contains the following statement: ‘To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective.'”

Original Link.