Archive for April 21st, 2010

Arizona House: Check Obama’s Citizenship

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

The question of Obama’s citizenship status continues to gain momentum.

PHOENIX — The Arizona House on Monday voted for a provision that would require President Barack Obama to show his birth certificate if he hopes to be on the state’s ballot when he runs for reelection.

The House voted 31-22 to add the provision to a separate bill. The measure still faces a formal vote.

It would require U.S. presidential candidates who want to appear on the ballot in Arizona to submit documents proving they meet the constitutional requirements to be president.

Phoenix Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema said the bill is one of several measures that are making Arizona “the laughing stock of the nation.”

Mesa Republican Rep. Cecil Ash said he has no reason to doubt Obama’s citizenship but supports the measure because it could help end doubt.

Original Link.

Will Iceland’s Eyjafjoell Volcano Have to Buy Carbon Credits?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

So it looks as if Iceland’s Eyjafjoell volcano may need to buy carbon credits from Al Gore or face massive cap and trade taxes.

Iceland’s Eyjafjoell volcano is emitting between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day, a figure placing it in the same emissions league as a small-to-medium European economy, experts said on Monday.

Assuming the composition of gas to be the same as in an earlier eruption on an adjacent volcano, “the CO2 flux of Eyjafjoell would be 150,000 tonnes per day,” Colin Macpherson, an Earth scientist at Britain’s University of Durham, said in an e-mail.

Patrick Allard of the Paris Institute for Global Physics (IPGP) gave what he described as a “top-range” estimate of 300,000 tonnes per day.

Both insisted that these were only approximate estimates.

Original Link.

“I Can Hardly Wait!” by Heidi Swander

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

I went out to dinner with a couple of girlfriends a while back and the conversation easily slipped into world events and how dire the forecast looks economically, socially, politically, etc.  Finally I burst out excitedly: “Goin’ Home!”  (This has become a trademark of mine.  When I see the rapid decline of so much in our world, the increase of earthquakes, the decline of the church, the rapid descent into socialism – it reminds me that the hour is late, and that reminds me that Jesus promised to come and get me!).  In response, one of my girlfriends smiled wryly.  I said, “Jesus could come back and get us tonight!” to which she replied, “Oh, Jesus could come back tonight, but I doubt it.”

My heart wrenched. It wasn’t that I believed it any less.  It was grief I felt that she, for all her lip service to the imminence of the Lord’s return for His bride, very obviously wasn’t anticipating Him, let alone waiting with baited breath.  And I wondered: how many does she represent in Christendom?  How many Christians say they are waiting for Jesus to rapture us out of this world and take us Home, but in practice they evidence a lack of belief because they don’t anticipate it moment-by-moment?  And their lack of joy reflects it.

Get all excited!

In speaking to the Philippians of our heavenly citizenship, Paul took it for granted that his Christian readers would all be greatly anticipating the return of Jesus Christ.  He said, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Phil. 3:20).  Did you get that?  Eagerly wait – that’s what he said.  Of this verb, John MacArthur in his study Bible says, “The Greek verb . . . expresses the idea of waiting patiently, but with great expectation.”

Paul used this same Greek verb in I Cor. 1:7 when he wrote to the Corinthian church, “So that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  In this context the whole scope of the second coming – from the rapture through His second coming just prior to the set up of His millennial kingdom — appears to be in view.

And then there’s Paul’s letter to the church at Rome.  In chapter 8 Paul discusses how all of creation is groaning in anticipation of its transformation back into what God originally intended.  And in that context he says, “. . . we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body [the rapture] (8:23). Yep, he used the same word Greek word again.

But Paul isn’t the only one who addresses this.  When writing to “the saints scattered abroad” in II Peter, the Apostle Peter admonished the believers that their conduct should be holy and they should be “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God,” (II Peter 3:11-12).  Of this verb – “hastening”, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible says, “. . . by implication, to await eagerly.”

So you see, God expects us – as a matter of course – to eagerly anticipate our Home-going.  I looked up the word, “eager” in my American Heritage Dictionary and here’s what it said: “Intensely desirous of something; impatiently expectant.”  Reality check:  Are you intensely desirous and patiently (or impatiently) expectant for Jesus Christ to return to take you Home?

Do you love it?

As Paul was preparing to be martyred for Jesus, he eloquently spoke of looking back to a life lived in obedience to God and looking forward to his Home-going.  He specifically said that not only he, but all those who “love” Christ’s appearing, would receive a crown of righteousness.  The word “love” used here connotes passion.  And my faithful dictionary gives a description that seems to match the context very well: “A strong enthusiasm.  To like or desire enthusiastically.”  Reality check:  Do you enthusiastically, passionately desire for the Lord to come back and take us Home?

Another perspective

Let’s look at this from a different perspective: a wedding — specifically, a Jewish wedding.  In John 14:2-3, Jesus alluded to a Jewish wedding when He said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions . . . I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

In his article, “Pattern is Prologue: The Rapture, Part 2”, Chuck Missler does a wonderful job of outlining a Jewish wedding, upon which Jesus’ promise to us was predicated.  The analogies between the stages of a Jewish wedding and Jesus returning for His church are so numerous that I get excited!  I hope you’ll read Chuck’s article, but let me quote just a portion of it here so you can see what I mean:

Once the bridegroom paid the purchase price, the marriage covenant was established, and the young man and woman were regarded as husband and wife.  From that moment on, the bride was declared to be consecrated or sanctified – set apart – exclusively for her bridegroom. As a symbol of the covenant relationship that had been established, the groom and bride drank from a cup of wine over which the betrothal had been pronounced.

After the marriage covenant was established, the groom left his bride at her home and returned to his father’s house, where he remained separated from his bride for approximately 12 months. This afforded the bride time to gather her trousseau and prepare for married life.

During this period of separation, the groom prepared a dwelling place in his father’s house to which he would later bring his bride. At the end of the period of separation, the bridegroom came – usually at night – to take his bride to live with him. The groom, the best man, and other male escorts left the father’s house and conducted a torch-light procession to the home of the bride. Although the bride was expecting her groom to come for her, she did not know the time of his coming. As a result, the groom’s arrival was preceded by a shout, which announced her imminent departure to be gathered with him.

Can you imagine the anticipation of the bride as she waited for her groom to return? We in the Western world look forward with excitement to our wedding day — and we know when that wedding day is.  Imagine not knowing.  Imagine that you get engaged and then your fiancé (groom) goes off and you don’t even see him for 12 months or so while he’s building a house!  No dates. No letters.  No phone calls.  No e-mails. You just wait, and you wait with joy, anticipation and excitement imagining the new life you will live together!

That is the enthusiasm with which God wants us to await the return of His Son for us. Reality check: Does this picture you and your eagerness as you wait for Jesus to return to take us Home?

What we’re anticipating

It’s tough to look forward to something when you have no idea what you’re anticipating. I’m sure our Jewish bride had at least an inkling of the future, basis family and societal tradition – and she had personally met her groom face-to-face. So I thought I’d give you a little taste from Scripture of what it is we’re in for when our Bridegroom comes to get us:

We will be changed. Remember that “redemption of the body” I referred to earlier?  Paul covers that in great detail in I Cor. 15:35-55.  And John mentions it in I John 3:2 – we will be like Jesus!  Let’s cover a few things this means for us:

1.  An incorruptible body – it won’t get sick and it will never age or decay

2. Immortality – we will never, ever die

3.  No more sin nature – not only will we not sin; we won’t even be tempted to sin

4.  Not limited to the space/time continuum – there are many more dimensions than the three or four we are familiar with

5.  We will be like Jesus – we will have His nature and a body that functions like His resurrected body

We have an inheritance already prepared for us and we will receive it (I Peter 1:4)!  We don’t know all this entails, but some of things in our inheritance include: Eternal life (Mark 10:17); the Earth (Matt. 5:5); a kingdom (Matt. 25:34); a blessing (I Peter 3:9); a dwelling place of our own (John 14:1-3); and a beautiful, breathtaking city (Heb. 11:10; Rev. 21:1-22:5)

We will reign with Jesus. This encompasses both the millennium and eternity (Rev. 5:10; Rev. 22:3-5).  Reign. Let that word sink in. Beloved, we will be the government under the auspices of Jesus Christ Himself who will reign supremely from Jerusalem!

Are you excited yet?

Present benefits

Yeah, Heidi.  I see your point . . . I’m getting excited.  But what good does it do me to get so excited about His return?  Answer:  It sanctifies you.

As I mentioned earlier, the Apostle John wrote of the wonderful truth that when Jesus is revealed – when He comes for us – we will become like Him in nature.  Then John says, “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure,” (I John 3:3).  If we think He may show up at any minute, it behooves us to live every day in a way that will please Him – in case today is the day!

Here’s what John MacArthur says in his study notes to this verse: “Living in the reality of Christ’s return makes a difference in a Christian’s behavior.  Since Christians someday will be like Him, a desire should grow within the Christian to become like Him now.”

And here’s something else it does in the here-and-now according to that same verse:  It gives us hope.  Hope that no matter what crummy situation we find ourselves in here on Earth, there’s a better day coming!  We can endure anything if we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our future – our eternal future – is everlastingly bright!

Hope.  That’s a topic for another day, because when the Bible uses the word “hope” it’s a sure thing.  Just like the fact that Jesus will come to take us Home – God willing in the very near future. I can hardly wait!  Can you?

Original Link.

“How Evil Works” – Editor Jamie Glazov Interview with Author David Kupelian

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

FP: David Kupelian, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Let’s start by talking about the Stockholm syndrome that, as you discuss in your book, is affecting the West right now in its confrontation with Islamic Jihad. Give us your perspective.

Kupelian: Jamie, thanks very much for giving me the opportunity to talk about “How Evil Works.” In Chapter 3, “How Terrorism Really Works,” I use the Stockholm syndrome to explain the inexplicable level of weakness and appeasement we continually see in the West toward Islam – for instance, in our disastrous failure to stop Nidal Malik Hasan before he shot dozens of people at Fort Hood, killing 13, even though we knew full well he was a jihadist time bomb waiting to explode.

Everyone’s heard of the Stockholm syndrome, named after the Swedish bank robbery when two escaped convicts terrorized four hostages in a bank vault for five and a half days, during which time the hostages grew increasingly sympathetic toward their captors and antagonistic toward the police who were risking their lives to rescue them. The hostages, who had been tied to chairs, had nooses around their necks and guns trained on them day after day, ended up siding with their captors wholeheartedly, later raising money for their defense and refusing to testify against them at trial.

The syndrome, which law enforcement psychologists recognized long before it had a name, is pretty simple: When we’re seriously intimidated, in a life-threatening way, some of us start to side with whomever or whatever is intimidating us. I don’t mean just cooperating and “agreeing” with a captor as a survival strategy, which makes perfect sense. Extreme intimidation has a way of sometimes flipping our sympathy and loyalty in favor of the people doing the intimidating. In the news business, we see this in high-profile cases like Patricia Hearst, Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard.

Radical Islam is extremely intimidating – by design. The more crazy it acts, the more powerful it becomes. Just a few weeks ago, in Nigeria, Muslim gangs slaughtered 500 Christians, including many children and pregnant women and old people – hacked them to death with machetes. Islam has spread in this way – “at the point of a sword” – for centuries. As I write in “How Evil Works,” I personally lost many family members, perhaps over 100, in the genocide of the Christian Armenians at the hands of Muslim Turks. I tell one story in which my great grandfather, a Protestant minister, was martyred, along with 60 or 70 other clergymen and their wives, in Adana, Turkey, because they refused to convert on the spot to Islam. This is how it spreads, by traumatizing people. Many, just to survive, join the religion.

So the murderous Islamic tantrums we keep hearing about have a certain dark logic to them, in terms of enabling the spread of Islam. Remember the Danish Muhammad cartoons, which resulted in over 50 deaths? Or when Newsweek reported (incorrectly) that someone at Gitmo flushed a Quran down the toilet, which led to at least 15 deaths? Or the Miss World contest in Nigeria, when a single comment by a newspaper columnist about the beauty of contestants led to insane Muslim rioting in which rioters massacred over 200 people with machetes, or beat them to death or burned them alive – all because of a single sentence a newspaper columnist wrote, which wasn’t even offensive?

How do we respond to these outrageously demented and murderous tantrums? We refer to terrorist acts as “man-caused disasters.” We proclaim Islam as a “religion of peace.” Burger King recalls thousands of its ice cream cones because someone thought the ice cream swirl logo looked too much like the way the word “Allah” is written in Arabic and was therefore sacrilegious. “The 3 Little Pigs” is repeatedly censored in Britain so as not to offend Muslims, who don’t like pigs. In the U.S. we have a middle school curriculum that requires our children to dress up in Islamic garb, take on a Muslim name, memorize verses of the Quran and play so-called “jihad games.” Imagine trying that in today’s public schools with the Christian religion!

America, Europe and Britain today, in the way they deal with radical Islam and the terror threat, reveal something very akin to a low-grade, widespread Stockholm syndrome.

Bottom line, we don’t want to offend Muslims. Why? Because we’re afraid of them. We’re not afraid of Christians or Jews, because Christians and Jews don’t have tantrums and burn down other religions’ houses of worship and cut of people’s heads and commit terrorist acts. Radical Muslims do. We’re so afraid that, even after the Fort Hood attack, the Pentagon, in its 86-page postmortem report analyzing the event, did not see fit to mention the word “Muslim,” “Islam” or “jihad.” This is reminiscent of the “Harry Potter” stories, where everyone is so spooked by the villain Voldemort that they are afraid even to utter his name.

Ironically, people in the grip of jihadist fervor have nothing but contempt for our weakness and appeasement, which actually encourages more violence. Their madness is neutralized only by strength. Ronald Reagan knew this, which is why his watchword was “Peace through strength.”

Read the complete article here.

“Take That Taliban” by Nonie Darwish

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Pleasing Islamist tyrants is not difficult to do. Just agree with all their demands, confine women to a life of imprisonment in a Burka and in the home, hand them Israel on a silver platter and allow the spread of Islam in your country, preferably to such a degree that it will finally be taken over by Sharia. That is all that Islamists really want. Being true to goals of political and religious freedom and to human and women’s rights will only get you in trouble with Islamists. Why bother with that if you want them to love you and to stop their terrorism? It is not difficult or brave to try to please Islamists and to ignore Muslim reformists who, after all, form the minority.

-Nonie Darwish, from “Take That Taliban”

Read the complete article here.

Bible Stories CD-ROM – from the Jerusalem Gift Shop

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Weekly I highlight items being offered by the Jerusalem Gift Shop. Today it’s the Bible Stories CD-ROM.

Introduce your children to the Bible using The Bible Stories Cartoons and Games CD-ROM

Bible Stories CD-ROM, an interactive, Inspiring, cartoons, Bible software for children aged 4-10 years. The Book of Genesis illustrated by the most adorable animation of the Biblical figures ! (See screen shots at bottom of page.) Each story is followed by a game that relates to the chapters completing the perfect combination of aural, visual, and active experience.

Bible
There’s no better way to help your child remember the stories of the Book of Books than by making it fun!
The Book of Genesis is divided into 8 episodes
Bible Stories Menu:

1. The Creation of the World
2. Driven Out from the Garden of Eden
3. The Great Flood
4. The Tower of Babel
5. Sodom and Gomorrha
6. Isaac
7. Esau and Jacob
8. Joseph and His Brothers

Ten different games, each with three difficulty levels:

1. Birds (place each bird in its nest)
2. Memory (match the animals that Noah gathered into the Ark)
3. Animal Sounds (match the animal to its sound)
4. Loyd (one of those pictures with mixed-up pieces, each a different picture from the stories)
5. Puzzle (each level a different picture from the stories)
6. Tower (build the Tower of Babel from the stones)
7. Path (put the path back together to help guide Abraham and little Isaac back home)
8. Sounds (help the dim-sighted Isaac identify which object makes which noise)
9. Labyrinth (guide Joseph and his brothers through the maze)
10. Musician (make your own music on the instruments from the Bible)

Bible Stories CD-ROM comes with complete instructions, and are available at the click of a button on every screen.

* Windows XP, NT, 2000, 98, or 95 operating system
* 6-speed or faster CD-ROM drive
* 16-bit sound card and speakers required for audio
* 8 MB RAM

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

“Obama, Israel and the Genesis Prediction” by Dennis Prager

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Further to this article, I see even more danger in Obama’s course of action; he is bond and determined to anger Almighty God, who holds to an eternal covenant with Israel. The United States is set on a course for disaster, one we have only flirted with in the past.
The Bible seems to indicate that in end time events, the United States has either ceased to exist, is so reduced as to be inconsequential or absorbed into one of the alliances mentioned.
I can see, that in our current direction, how two main events might be realized. One would be a peace treaty that gives Israel a false sense of security. The other will be Obama calling down the wrath of God on the United States, effectively destroying us as a country. A series of natural disasters, coupled with our financial instability and overextension, could very well end the United States as we know it.
Pray, Saints of God. Pray as you have never prayed before!!

Most observers, right or left, pro-Israel or anti-Israel, would agree that Israeli-American relations are the worst they have been in memory. Among the many indications is that only 9 percent of Jewish Israelis think President Barack Obama’s administration is more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian, according to a Smith Research poll taken during the last week of March on behalf of The Jerusalem Post. Given how much Israelis love and admire (and emigrate to) America, this level of mistrust is all the more remarkable.

Commentators on the left, of course, blame Israel. For them, this is a no-brainer; blaming Israel is as natural as breathing. One just does it. Furthermore, Israel is headed by a conservative prime minister, and America is presided over by the most pro-left president in its history.

Meanwhile, commentators on the right are virtually unanimous in supporting Israel. This is not simply an anti-Obama, pro-conservative-Netanyahu reflex, however. It stems from a variety of reasons:

First, Israel is our staunchest ally. Among other things, Israel votes with us in the United Nations more often than any other country, and it provides us with uniquely important technological know-how and intelligence.

Second, conservatives’ values are closer to Israel’s values than perhaps those of any other nation. As President Harry Truman said, “Israel is the embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.”

Third, while a rift with Israel hurts Israel, it hurts America at least as much (as we shall see) and does not make Palestinians any more likely to make peace with the Jewish state. Recall, the Palestinians unleashed mass terror against Israel after a left-leaning Israeli prime minister agreed to give the Palestinians 97 percent of the territory conquered in 1967 and 3 percent more from Israel itself. Why, then, would the Palestinians make peace with Israel now, when half of the Palestinians are governed by Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction? Because Obama humiliated the Israeli prime minister during the latter’s visit to Washington — over Israeli plans to build 1,600 apartments in Jerusalem?

Fourth, the greatest international threat today emanates from Iran, a threat that will be exponentially increased if Iran is not prevented from developing nuclear weapons. A weakened Israel means an emboldened Iran. And this frightens conservatives more than it does the world’s left and Obama.

Finally, there is a fifth reason tens of millions of Americans, many conservative commentators, support Israel and worry about America if American support for Israel wanes.

To the left in America and around the world, this reason is dangerous nonsense. But for a vast number of America’s Christians, many Jews and even many non-religious conservatives, it is deeper than any military or political reason. The reason is based on a verse in Genesis in which God, referring to the Jewish people, says to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”

One need not be a Jew or Christian or even believe in God to appreciate that this verse is as accurate a prediction of the future as humanity has ever been given by the ancient world. The Jewish people have suffered longer and more horribly than any other living people. But they are still around. Their historic enemies are all gone. Those who cursed the Jews were indeed cursed.

And those who blessed the Jews were indeed blessed. The most blessed country for more than 200 years has been the United States. It has also been the most blessed place Jews have ever lived in. Is this a coincidence? Many of us think not.

Those who curse the Jews today seem to be cursed. The most benighted civilization today is the Arab world. One could make a plausible case that the Arab world’s preoccupation with Jew-hatred and destroying Israel is decisive in keeping the Arab world from progressing. The day the Arab world makes peace with the existence of the tiny Jewish state in its midst, the Arab world will begin its ascent.

Read the rest of the article here.

“Obama’s Next Big Push: ‘Solving’ the Middle East Crisis” by Joel Mowbray

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Evidence is mounting that President Barack Obama will unveil a new Middle East peace plan in the coming months. While a desire for peace is indeed admirable, such a move should only be welcomed by the enemies of America.

Not only would this attempt inevitably fail, but it would directly harm U.S. security by shifting our national focus away from very real—and far more dangerous—threats in the region.

Nearly two weeks ago, both the New York Times and the Washington Post reported on the same day about a high-level meeting two weeks beforehand in which National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones had lobbied Obama to craft an American peace plan. Last Monday, J-Street, a left-wing Jewish group with close ties to the White House, ran a full-page ad in the New York Times urging Obama to impose “concrete plans for a two-state solution.”

Obama himself further signaled something is in the works by stating at the close of a press conference last Tuesday that resolving the Middle East conflict was “a vital national security interest of the United States.” Likely at the prodding of White House officials, the New York Times ran a front-page story two days later suggesting that an Obama Peace Plan could be drafted over the next few months and introduced this fall.

But the strongest indicator of an upcoming peace initiative is Obama’s own track record to date.

Health care became the defining issue for Obama’s domestic policy, and the Middle East is the logical global corollary. Far from being content to fiddle around the edges, Obama has an appetite for broad, sweeping change. And the Middle East is quite a tableau.

When he encounters resistance, Obama redoubles his efforts. Witness his resolve after Scott Brown’s stunning victory in Massachusetts. In other words, if Obama has already set his mind to achieving transformational change in the Middle East, the odds he will be dissuaded are quite low.

Should Obama embark on the Quixotic quest of Middle East “peace,” there will be no oxygen left in the national discussion to focus on threats far more insidious to U.S. national security, such as the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, a teetering democracy in Iraq, an ascendant al Qaeda in Yemen, and most significant, the Iranian mullahs’ nuclear ambitions.

The argument in favor of putting all hands on deck for striking an Israeli-Palestinian deal is that it will be the first domino that will rally the Arab states to prevent Iran from obtaining nukes and somehow pacify our enemies elsewhere to realize they had misjudged America.

This is absurd. Arab dictators already want to stop Iran, as they fear the political dominance the mullahs will achieve across the region should they acquire nukes. As for Islamic extremists battling our soldiers, it’s patently naïve to think that a peace deal would convince them to lay down their arms.

U.S. support for Israel is mere pretext for calculated flare-ups of violence in the battlefield or the Arab street, but the underlying reasons for their hatred of America have little, if anything, to do with the Jewish state.

Obama’s Middle East domino theory is also flawed because peace is not possible in the short term. As close as experts now say a deal had been during the Clinton Administration, the only end result from those negotiations was Palestinian terrorism.

Original Link.