Saturday, May 31, 2008

TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR CHURNS OVER YUCATAN

UPDATE 3-Tropical storm Arthur churns over Mexico's Yucatan

Sat May 31, 2008 11:13pm BST

(Releads and updates throughout, pvs MEXICO CITY)

MERIDA, Mexico, May 31 (Reuters) - Tropical storm Arthur, the first of the year in the Atlantic and the second in the Americas, whipped up strong winds and dumped heavy rains on Saturday as it churned across Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

Packing sustained winds of near 40 mph (65 kph), Arthur drenched southern parts of Yucatan as well as neighboring Belize and Guatemala, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said. Up to 10 inches (25 cm) of rain are expected.

"These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in mountainous terrain," the center said.

Arthur, which formed a day before the official June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season, was centered 75 miles (125 km) northwest of Belize City.

It was moving westerly at 7 mph (11 kph) and was expected to weaken. It is expected to cross the Yucatan, south of the colonial city of Merida and emerge intact on Sunday in the Bay of Campeche, part of the Gulf of Mexico where there are oil platforms.

"Arthur is expected to weaken to a depression tonight, but it then could regain tropical storm strength if it emerges over the Bay of Campeche," the hurricane center said.

Arthur is seen lingering in the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico until Tuesday, according to a five-day tracking forecast map from the hurricane center.

Small boats were banned from leaving a handful of ports along the Mexican Caribbean coast, according to Nemesio Medina, head of Quintana Roo state government weather center. But conditions were not bad enough to evacuate, he told reporters.

Another tropical storm, Alma, which formed in the Pacific, broke up on Friday over Central America's mountains after slamming into Nicaragua's Pacific coast, killing three people. (Reporting by Jose Cortazar; Writing by Chris Aspin)

POPE TELLS YOUNG PEOPLE TO TRUST IN MARY


Pope tells young people to trust in Mary

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=12675





"For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
1 Timothy 2:5


At a meeting with young people in the northern Italian city of Savona, Pope Benedict XVI recited the Angelus prayer with the young people and invited them to trust in Mary.


He recalled the words the Virgin Mary spoke to shepherd Benedict Pareto in the year 1400 urging him to build a shrine on Mount Figogna, the place where she appeared.

Benedict Pareto, according to tradition, was worried because he did not know how to respond to Mary’s invitation to build a church in a place so remote from the city.


The Pope repeated the Virgin Mary’s words: “trust in me! With me in your midst you will not fail. With my help everything will be easy. Only keep your will firm. Trust in me!”

“This, Mary repeats to us today,” Pope Benedict said. “An ancient prayer, very dear in popular tradition, makes us turn in confidence to You with these confident words, that today we make our own: ‘Remember, O Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, sought your help or implored your intercession was left abandoned.’

“It is with this certainty that we invoke the motherly care of Our Lady of the Guard on your diocesan community, its pastors, consecrated persons, the lay faithful: young people, families, the elderly. To Mary we entrust the entire city, with its diverse population, its cultural, social and economic problems and challenges of our times, and commitment of those who cooperate for the common good."


ENERGY FEARS LOOMING, NEW SURVIVALISTS PREPARE

Energy fears looming, new survivalists prepare
May 24, 2:12 PM (ET)

By SAMANTHA GROSS

(AP) Peter Laskowski stacks firewood at his remote home in Waitsfield, Vt., Friday, April 11, 2008....
Full Image

BUSKIRK, N.Y. (AP) - A few years ago, Kathleen Breault was just another suburban grandma, driving countless hours every week, stopping for lunch at McDonald's, buying clothes at the mall, watching TV in the evenings.

That was before Breault heard an author talk about the bleak future of the world's oil supply. Now, she's preparing for the world as we know it to disappear.

Breault cut her driving time in half. She switched to a diet of locally grown foods near her upstate New York home and lost 70 pounds. She sliced up her credit cards, banished her television and swore off plane travel. She began relying on a wood-burning stove.

"I was panic-stricken," the 50-year-old recalled, her voice shaking. "Devastated. Depressed. Afraid. Vulnerable. Weak. Alone. Just terrible."

(AP) Peter Laskowski feeds his chickens and sheep at his remote home in Waitsfield, Vt., Friday, April...
Full Image
Convinced the planet's oil supply is dwindling and the world's economies are heading for a crash, some people around the country are moving onto homesteads, learning to live off their land, conserving fuel and, in some cases, stocking up on guns they expect to use to defend themselves and their supplies from desperate crowds of people who didn't prepare.

The exact number of people taking such steps is impossible to determine, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the movement has been gaining momentum in the last few years.

These energy survivalists are not leading some sort of green revolution meant to save the planet. Many of them believe it is too late for that, seeing signs in soaring fuel and food prices and a faltering U.S. economy, and are largely focused on saving themselves.

Some are doing it quietly, giving few details of their preparations - afraid that revealing such information as the location of their supplies will endanger themselves and their loved ones. They envision a future in which the nation's cities will be filled with hungry, desperate refugees forced to go looking for food, shelter and water.

"There's going to be things that happen when people can't get things that they need for themselves and their families," said Lynn-Marie, who believes cities could see a rise in violence as early as 2012.

(AP) Peter Laskowski plants vegetables at his remote home in Waitsfield, Vt., Friday, April 11, 2008....
Full Image
Lynn-Marie asked to be identified by her first name to protect her homestead in rural western Idaho. Many of these survivalists declined to speak to The Associated Press for similar reasons.

These survivalists believe in "peak oil," the idea that world oil production is set to hit a high point and then decline. Scientists who support idea say the amount of oil produced in the world each year has already or will soon begin a downward slide, even amid increased demand. But many scientists say such a scenario will be avoided as other sources of energy come in to fill the void.

On the PeakOil.com Web site, where upward of 800 people gathered on recent evenings, believers engage in a debate about what kind of world awaits.

Some members argue there will be no financial crash, but a slow slide into harder times. Some believe the federal government will respond to the loss of energy security with a clampdown on personal freedoms. Others simply don't trust that the government can maintain basic services in the face of an energy crisis.

The powers that be, they've determined, will be largely powerless to stop what is to come.

Determined to guard themselves from potentially harsh times ahead, Lynn-Marie and her husband have already planted an orchard of about 40 trees and built a greenhouse on their 7 1/2 acres. They have built their own irrigation system. They've begun to raise chickens and pigs, and they've learned to slaughter them.

The couple have gotten rid of their TV and instead have been reading dusty old books published in their grandparents' era, books that explain the simpler lifestyle they are trying to revive. Lynn-Marie has been teaching herself how to make soap. Her husband, concerned about one day being unable to get medications, has been training to become an herbalist.

By 2012, they expect to power their property with solar panels, and produce their own meat, milk and vegetables. When things start to fall apart, they expect their children and grandchildren will come back home and help them work the land. She envisions a day when the family may have to decide whether to turn needy people away from their door.

"People will be unprepared," she said. "And we can imagine marauding hordes."

So can Peter Laskowski. Living in a woodsy area outside of Montpelier, Vt., the 57-year-old retiree has become the local constable and a deputy sheriff for his county, as well as an emergency medical technician.

"I decided there was nothing like getting the training myself to deal with insurrections, if that's a possibility," said the former executive recruiter.

Laskowski is taking steps similar to environmentalists: conserving fuel, consuming less, studying global warming, and relying on local produce and craftsmen. Laskowski is powering his home with solar panels and is raising fish, geese, ducks and sheep. He has planted apple and pear trees and is growing lettuce, spinach and corn.

Whenever possible, he uses his bicycle to get into town.

"I remember the oil crisis in '73; I remember waiting in line for gas," Laskowski said. "If there is a disruption in the oil supply it will be very quickly elevated into a disaster."

Breault said she hopes to someday band together with her neighbors to form a self-sufficient community. Women will always be having babies, she notes, and she imagines her skills as a midwife will always be in demand.

For now, she is readying for the more immediate work ahead: There's a root cellar to dig, fruit trees and vegetable plots to plant. She has put a bicycle on layaway, and soon she'll be able to bike to visit her grandkids even if there is no oil at the pump.

Whatever the shape of things yet to come, she said, she's done what she can to prepare.

---

Source: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080524/D90S5MLG0.html

THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING

THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING

There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

Refrain

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need:
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

There shall be showers of blessing,
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

Refrain

There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord;
Grant to us now a refreshing,
Come, and now honor Thy Word.

Refrain

There shall be showers of blessing:
Oh, that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!

Refrain

There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.

Refrain

Words:
Dan­i­el W. Whit­tle, 1883; first ap­peared in Gos­pel Hymns No. 4.

Music:
James Mc­Gran­a­han (MI­DI, score).

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

БЛАГОСЛОВЕНИЙ ПОТОКИ

Благословений потоки
Бог обещал ниспослать,
Ближним, чужим и далеким
Радость небесную дать.

Припев

Благословенья
С неба польются дождем.
Падают капля за каплей,
Боже, потоков мы ждем

Благословений потоки
Все освежат, оживят;
Нивы, холмы и дороги
Жизнью опять закипят

Припев

Благословений потоки,
Господи, свыше пошли!
В дом Твой введи одиноких,
Словом больных исцели.

Припев

Благословений потоки
Да наполняют весь дом.
Чувствуем наши пороки,
Падаем ниц пред Христом.

Припев

Благословений потоки
Бог в Свое время пошлет,
Если во свете мы ходим,
Если Он с нами живет.

Припев

Слова:
Даниил Уайтл, 1883.
Пер­е­водчик неизвестен.

Музыка:
Джеймс Гренахан (МИДИ, пар­ти­тура).

ELIJAH, FIRE, AND THE RAIN



1 Kings 18


1And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.

2And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.

3And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly:

4For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

5And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.

6So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

7And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my lord Elijah?

8And he answered him, I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.

9And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me?

10As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not.

11And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.

12And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth.

13Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?

14And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me.

15And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day.

16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah.

17And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?

18And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.

19Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.

20So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.

21And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

22Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

23Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:

24And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

25And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.

26And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.

27And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

28And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.

29And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

30And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.

31And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:

32And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.

33And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.

34And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.

35And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.

36And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

37Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

38Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

39And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

40And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

41And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

42So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,

43And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.

44And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not.

45And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.

46And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Friday, May 30, 2008

THE FORMER AND THE LATTER RAIN

The Former
and the Latter Rain

by E.G.White

Unless the former rain has fallen, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection.

Former and latter rain both personal and general

"Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain." "He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain." In the East the former rain falls at the sowing-time. It is necessary in order that the seed may germinate. Under the influence of the fertilizing showers, the tender shoot springs up. The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain, and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God's grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ.

The latter rain, ripening earth's harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection.

There is to be "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." There must be a constant development of Christian virtue, a constant advancement in Christian experience. This we should seek with intensity of desire, that we may adorn the doctrine of Christ our Saviour.

Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake. The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving His light and knowledge must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement, and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit ....

At no point in our experience can we dispense with the assistance of that which enables us to make the first start. The blessings received under the former rain are needful to us to the end. Yet these alone will not suffice. While we cherish the blessing of the early rain, we must not, on the other hand, lose sight of the fact that without the latter rain, to fill out the ears and ripen the grain, the harvest will not be ready for the sickle, and the labor of the sower will have been in vain. Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work ....

As we seek God for the Holy Spirit, it will work in us meekness, humbleness of mind, a conscious dependence upon God for the perfecting latter rain. If we pray for the blessing in faith, we shall receive it as God has promised. (TM 506-509)

The former rain

Necessary preparation made. As the disciples returned from Olivet to Jerusalem [after Jesus' ascension], the people looked on them, expecting to see on their faces expressions of sorrow, confusion, and defeat; but they saw there gladness and triumph ....

In obedience to Christ's command, they waited in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father--the outpouring of the Spirit. They did not wait in idleness. The record says that they were "continually in the temple, praising and blessing God." Luke 24:53 ....

As the disciples waited for the fulfillment of the promise, they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief. (AA 35-36)

These days of preparation were days of deep heart searching. The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely. They were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls. They realized that the gospel was to be carried to the world, and they claimed the power that Christ had promised.

The disciples prayed with intense earnestness for a fitness to meet men and in their daily intercourse to speak words that would lead sinners to Christ. Putting away all differences, all desire for the supremacy, they came close together in Christian fellowship. (AA 37)

Notice that it was after the disciples had come into perfect unity, when they were no longer striving for the highest place, that the Spirit was poured out. They were of one accord. All differences had been put away. And the testimony borne of them after the Spirit had been given is the same. Mark the word: "The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul." Acts 4:32. (8T 20)

Spiritually affected. The Spirit came upon the waiting, praying disciples with a fullness that reached every heart. The Infinite One revealed Himself in power to His church .... And under the influence of the Spirit, words of penitence and confession mingled with songs of praise for sins forgiven. Words of thanksgiving and of prophecy were heard. (AA 38)

Those who at Pentecost were endued with power from on high, were not thereby freed from further temptation and trial. As they witnessed for truth and righteousness they were repeatedly assailed by the enemy of all truth, who sought to rob them of their Christian experience. They were compelled to strive with all their God-given powers to reach the measure of the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. Daily they prayed for fresh supplies of grace, that they might reach higher and still higher toward perfection. Under the Holy Spirit's work- ing even the weakest, by exercising faith in God, learned to improve their entrusted powers and to become sanc- tified, refined, and ennobled. As in humility they sub- mitted to the molding influence of the Holy Spirit, they received of the fullness of the Godhead and were fash- ioned in the likeness of the divine. (AA 39-40)

Witnessing affected. What was the result of the out- pouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? The glad tidings of a risen Saviour were carried to the uttermost parts of the inhabited world. As the disciples proclaimed the message of redeeming grace, hearts yielded to the power of this message. The church beheld converts flocking to her from all directions. Backsliders were reconverted. Sinners united with believers in seeking the pearl of great price. Some who had been the bitterest opponents of the gospel became its champions. (AA 48)

The sword of the Spirit, newly edged with power and bathed in the lightnings of heaven, cut its way through unbelief. Thousands were converted in a day. (AA 38)

With what burning language they clothed their ideas as they bore witness for Him! Their hearts were surcharged with a benevolence so full, so deep, so far-reaching, that it impelled them to go to the ends of the earth, testifying to the power of Christ. They were filled with an intense longing to carry forward the work He had begun. They realized the greatness of their debt to heaven and the responsibility of their work. Strengthened by the endowment of the Holy Spirit, they went forth filled with zeal to extend the triumphs of the cross. (AA 46)

The ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ's character and to labor for the enlarge- ment of His kingdom. (AA 48)

The latter rain

Preparation required. I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of "refreshing"and the "latter rain" to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. (EW 71)

I was shown that if God's people make no efforts on their part, but wait for the refreshing to come upon them and remove their wrongs and correct their errors; if they depend upon that to cleanse them from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and fit them to engage in the loud cry of the third angel, they will be found wanting. The refreshing or power of God comes only on those who have prepared themselves for it by doing the work which God bids them, namely, cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (1T 619)

It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now. Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him. It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ. But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it. (TM 507)

Partakers of His Spirit

As the members of the body of Christ approach the period of their last conflict, "the time of Jacob's trouble," they will grow up into Christ, and will partake largely of His spirit. As the third message swells to a loud cry, and as great power and glory attend the closing work, the faithful people of God will partake of that glory. It is the latter rain which revives and strengthens them to pass through the time of trouble. Their faces will shine with the glory of that light which attends the third angel. (1T 353)

At that time the "'latter rain," or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out. (EW 86)

Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the Tree Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation. (1T 187)

Under the showers of the latter rain the inventions of man, the human machinery, will at times be swept away, the boundary of man's authority will be as broken reeds, and the Holy Spirit will speak through the living, human agent, with convincing power. No one then will watch to see if the sentences are well rounded off, if the grammar is faultless. The living water will flow in God's own channels. (2SM 58-59)

Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers .... Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand. (GC 612)

More abundant than the former rain. The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are "the times of refreshing" to which the apostle Peter looked forward when he said: "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus." Acts 3:19, 20. 20 The work will be similar to that of the Day of Pentecost. (GC 611-612)

Why has the history of the work of the disciples, as they labored with holy zeal, animated and vitalized by the Holy Spirit, been recorded, if it is not that from this record the Lord's people today are to gain an inspiration to work earnestly for Him? What the Lord did for His people in that time, it is just as essential, and more so, that He do for His people today. All that the apostles did, every church member today is to do. And we are to work with as much more fervor, to be accompanied by the Holy Spirit in as much greater measure, as the increase of wickedness demands a more decided call to repentance. (GC 611)

It is with an earnest longing that I look forward to the time when the events of the day of Pentecost shall be repeated with even greater power than on that occasion. John says, "I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory." Then, as at the Pentecostal season, the people will hear the truth spoken to them, every man in his own tongue .... Thousands of voices will be imbued with the power to speak forth the wonderful truths of God's Word. The stammering tongue will be unloosed, and the timid will be made strong to bear courageous testimony to the truth. May the Lord help His people to cleanse the soul temple from every defilement, and to maintain such a close connection with Him that they may be partakers of the latter rain when it shall be poured out. (SDABC EGW's comments on Acts 2:1-4 p. 1055)

Source: http://dedication.www3.50megs.com/1888/white_latter_rain1.html

'POLYGAMIST SECT' CHILDREN RULING



It's official that the Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the FLDS children confiscated from their parents on April 3, 2008 , near El Do-RAID-o, Texas, should be returned to their parents. The Texas high court ruled that the removal of the children from their parents at the Yearning for Zion Ranch was unwarranted. These children are currently placed in 'better living conditions' on the Texas foster care system.

More than 450 children were initially taken into protective custody after an allegation of child sexual abuse at the ranch. The claim was made by a caller who said she was 16 years old and being abused at the complex. But state officials say they have not located the girl, and there is growing evidence the call was a hoax.1

The hypocrisy of this Machiavellian abuse of government power is that while certain states want to intrude into the lives of austere religious individuals exercising their God given rights (and guaranteed by the Constitution) to worship in the manner that they choose, other states are opening the flood gates of Hell by legislating in favor of gay and lesbian marriage. In other words, Texas barges in on FDLS "Polygamist Sect" and apprehends their children to prevent older men from marrying young girls; While California, Massachusetts, and New York State, legislate to allow same gender marriages. Is this insanity or what? The concept that these two issues have in common is marriage. Texas is concerned on how many wives a person has; While CA., MA., and NY., want anyone to marry in spite of the biological impossibilities! Texas wants to protect its boys and girls, so they say; While these other states want men to marry men, and women to marry women. Aren't the court dockets full of cases that have been waiting for their day in court that have precedence? Yet, these intrusive laws in one instance, and frivolous and outlandish in the other, take up priority when more constructive and just causes are languishing? What do I see in all this confusion? Two sides of the spectrum: I see a Texas-sized blunder, a California style Holly-wood fantasy, and a New York 'Empire State' mess in the works.



Where's the just-ice? Justice is blind, and it's getting more blind by the second as humanity descends into sin. It's as if their discernment is beclouded by gibberish, and they can only focus on nonsense, and decadence. As if they abhor righteousness, and are fascinated by depravity. Meanwhile, all the media spin is continually : Sex and the City, Sex and the City, Sex and the City....

My brethren, my friends the Lord is calling His faithful children to repent and separate themselves from a world that has gone amok and is descending into utter confusion. Won't you take His offer today? Accept His invitation for Salvation. He is coming soon. Will you be like the faithful virgins and prepare? My prayer is that you heed His call. The signs of the times are all about. Read Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 17 & 21; And you'll see the warnings Jesus gave us to watch for. The prophetic times are here. Prepare!
Arsenio A. Lembert Jr.

55543555

Here's are some current articles that substantiate what I've discussed:

Calif. ruling revives gay marriage debate
State urges California Supreme Court not to delay same-sex marriages

NY to recognize same-sex marriage
Fighting Same-Sex Policy Seems to Be Uphill Battle

Resources:

1 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90970877

SECRET PENTAGON STUDY NARROWS DOWN IRAQ



Secret Pentagon Study Narrows Down Iraq

Thursday, January 25, 2007

WASHINGTON - A Pentagon review of Iraq has come up with three options - injecting more troops into Iraq, shrinking the force but staying longer or pulling out, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The newspaper quoted senior defense officials as dubbing the three alternatives "Go big, go long and go home."

The secret military study was commissioned by Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and comes as political and military leaders struggle with how to conduct a war that is increasingly unpopular, both in the United States and in occupied Iraq.

The postelection debate over Iraq is intensifying as members of Congress from both parties pose remedies and the Bush administration hunts for answers.

Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York proposed a military draft, which the administration has repeatedly said it doesn't need.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said more troops should be sent in and that the soldiers there now are "fighting and dying for a failed policy."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said troop withdrawals must begin within four to six months.

"I believe the consequences of failure are catastrophic," said McCain. "It will spread to the region. You will see Iran more emboldened. Eventually, you could see Iran pose a greater threat to the state of Israel."

Taking the opposite tack, newly empowered Democrats pressed their case for a phased withdrawal of American forces.

They hope a blue-ribbon advisory panel led by Bush family friend and former Secretary of State James Baker and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, would propose a way ahead for Iraq, while making clear the U.S. military mission shouldn't last indefinitely.

Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he'd like to see the commission assert that U.S. troop commitments are not open-ended; propose a clear political road map for Iraq; and recommend engaging Iraq's neighbors in a political and diplomatic solution.

The United States should "begin to let the Iraqi leadership know we're not going to be staying," he said Monday on NBC's "Today" program.

"Over the next four months let them know we're going to start to phase out, force them to have to address the central issue. That is not how to stand up Iraqis, but how to get Iraqis to stand together," Biden said.

"The idea that we're going to have 140,000 troops in Iraq this time next year is just not reasonable," he said.

McCain, a front-running GOP presidential hopeful for 2008, said the U.S. must send an overwhelming number of troops to stabilize Iraq or face more attacks - in the region and possibly on American soil.

"The consequences of failure are so severe that I will exhaust every possibility to try to fix this situation. Because it's not the end when American troops leave. The battleground shifts, and we'll be fighting them again," McCain said. "You read Zarqawi, and you read bin Laden. ... It's not just Iraq that they're interested in. It's the region, and then us." He was referring to Osama bin-Laden and the late al-Qaida leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

With about 141,000 U.S. troops in Iraq more than 3 1/2 years into the war, the American military has strained to provide enough forces while allowing for adequate rest and retraining between deployments.

Rangel, the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Sunday "there's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft."

In a speech Monday at Baruch College, Rangel said he wants to hold hearings into current troop levels and future plans for Iraq and other potential conflict regions, noting that the administration has said more troops may be needed.

If they are, the congressman said, it is impossible not to ask where more troops would come from - making the draft an egalitarian way to meet those demands.

"If the country's in danger, everyone should share in the sacrifice," Rangel said.

Speaking with reporters afterward, Rangel said, "You cannot increase the military without raising the possibility of the draft."

He said the purpose of a hearing would be to ask questions, such as, "Mr. President, share with me what is victory, and if you have any clue what you're talking about, who is the enemy ... who do we negotiate the victory with ... who sets the agenda in the Middle East?"

House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi said Monday that restoring the draft will not be on that list and was not something she supported. "The speaker and I discussed scheduling and it did not include that," said her top deputy, incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

Rangel spoke Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation," McCain appeared on ABC's "This Week," Levin on CNN's "Late Edition," and Biden wrote in Sunday's Washington Post.

Source: http://home.peoplepc.com/psp/newsstory.asp?cat=politics&id=20070125/45b83950_3ca6_1552620070125-423188286

VATICAN SENDS THREAT OVER WOMEN PRIESTS

Vatican sends threat over women priests




  • Story Highlights
  • Vatican threatens to excommunicate anyone who ordains a woman as a priest
  • Women who are ordained also face immediate excommunication
  • Opponents predict church's resistance will backfire
  • Next Article in World »




From CNN Bureau Chief Alessio Vinci
ROME, Italy (CNN) -- The Vatican announced Thursday in a general decree that it will excommunicate anyone who would attempt to ordain a woman as a priest and the woman herself.
art.ordination.gi.jpg

The Anglican Church has taken a different approach to ordaining women -- even accepting women as bishops.

According to the decree, the excommunications would take place with immediate effect.

The decree was signed by Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith.

It was not persuasive to Regina Nicolosi, a program coordinator for Roman Catholic Womenpriests (sic), who was ordained two years ago.

"We have come not to take that too seriously," said Nicolosi, a 66-year-old married mother and grandmother who lives in Red Wing, Minnesota, and said her group is composed of 40 to 50 women priests, none of whom are recognized by the church hierarchy.

"It's one of the very last patriarchal hierarchies in the western world, and I don't know when they will be ready to let go of that."

Though she said she wants to reform the church from within, she will continue her work as a volunteer in a nursing home who celebrates mass in small groups even if she is excommunicated, she said.

She predicted that the church's resistance will backfire. "This is bringing more and more women into our group, and I think we're getting more support from Catholics who are saying this is getting ridiculous," she said.


Source: http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/05/30/vatican.women.priests/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

FIRE DESTROYS LANDMARK SEAFOOD BUSINESS IN BOSTON

Fire destroys landmark seafood business in Boston
By MARK PRATT, Associated Press Writer
6:37 AM PDT, May 30, 2008
BOSTON -- Fire destroyed a landmark seafood business on the waterfront early Friday, snarling rush hour traffic. There were no reports of injuries.

The cause of the blaze at James Hook & Co. was unclear. The wholesale and retail company extends on pilings over the harbor.

Firefighters struggled to contain the blaze several hours after it broke out about 3:30 a.m. Flames burned through rooms full of corrugated cardboard boxes used for shipping seafood, fire department spokesman Steve MacDonald said.

They battled the fire from outside the wooden building out of fear it would collapse. Divers were in the harbor to check the integrity of the pilings below the building to ensure the pier was safe. They also had hoses in the water to keep fire from threatening a nearby wooden pedestrian bridge, MacDonald said.

No one was in the building when the fire began. Fire Chief Kevin MacCurtain said damage was estimated at $5 million, including the loss of about 60,000 pounds of lobster.

"When you've been coming to the same place for 30 years and opening up every morning and suddenly you can't service your customers anymore, it's a strange feeling," said one of the owners, Ed Hook.

He said he received a call from his brother, Jimmy, around 4 a.m. that their business was burning. The company is now run by third and fourth generations of their family.

"I didn't know how to react. I was in shock. He said there was a fire and it was bad, so I got in my car and headed over," Ed Hook said. "It hit me when I got here."

James Hook & Co. has been in business since 1925, when the Hook brothers started trucking their catch of lobsters from Maine and Canada to Boston's fish piers and selling them directly to the city's top restaurants. The business now ships 50,000 pounds of lobster a day, according to its Web site.

The building sits in the heart of Boston's waterfront, close to the luxury Boston Harbor and Intercontinental hotels and a Coast Guard facility. It is across the street from fire department headquarters and the city's financial district.

A portion of Atlantic Avenue, the main thoroughfare along the waterfront, was shut down and an Interstate 93 exit closed.

Meanwhile, firefighters in New York continued to battle a stubborn blaze that broke out Thursday evening at the F.X. Matt brewery in Utica.

The fire erupted just as a weekly outdoor concert hosted by the company was starting. Concert-goers were evacuated. Hundreds of nearby residents were told to leave their homes.

Brewery officials said the fire started in a brick building where the Saranac brand is canned and processed. Two employees of the 120-year-old company were treated for smoke inhalation, they said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-boston-fire,1,7042752.story

McCLELLAN STORY TAKES SHARPER POLITICAL TURN

Friday, May 30, 2008

WASHINGTON NEWS

McClellan Story Takes Sharper Political Turn

Scott McClellan's White House memoir remained the top media story in the country for another day. With former White House aides leading the charge against the book, McClellan emerged from the shadows to sit down for interviews with all three networks and several major newspapers only this time as a full-fledged critic of President Bush's policies. The story took a markedly political turn yesterday. In a sign of the former aide's political transformation, he told interviewers that he is "intrigued" by Sen. Barack Obama's presidential candidacy. ABC World News noted McClellan is "even considering voting for a Democrat." McClellan: "I'm intrigued by Senator Obama's message," but "I haven't made any decision." The statement was repeated almost verbatim in other interviews.

Meanwhile, the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page this morning makes allegations that place the story squarely in the middle of this year's presidential election. The Journal writes, "You can tell the Democratic presidential race is all but over. Cable television has returned to 24/7 coverage of whether President Bush lied us into war in Iraq. The latest peg is the Texan-bites-Bush story of former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's memoir. ... We'd merely note that the book's publisher is PublicAffairs, an imprint founded by left-wing editor Peter Osnos and which has published six books by George Soros. PublicAffairs is owned by Perseus Books, which is owned by Perseus LLC, a merchant bank whose board includes Democrats Richard Holbrooke and Jim Johnson, who is now doing Barack Obama's vice presidential vetting. One of Perseus's investment funds, Perseus-Soros Biopharmaceutical, is co-managed with Mr. Soros."

Moreover, the Los Angeles Times editorializes this morning that "the person who needs to respond to McClellan's charges is not George W. Bush but John McCain." McCain's "ideas on how and when to end the war matter more now than his vote to give the president the power to wage it. But voters should know whether he believes the invasion was a strategic mistake." Adds the Times, "If McCain wants to be taken seriously as a more honest, competent and moderate Republican than Bush, he's going to have to answer some of the questions he has avoided," dealing with the run-up to war and the White House's treatment of "dissenters."

ABC World News noted McClellan said "his change of heart" about Bush "came after only a lot of soul-searching and truth-seeking." McClellan was shown saying, "This was a presidency that veered badly off course. It was something that all of us would have preferred didn't happen." Asked about his "loyalty" to Bush, the former aide said, "No one questioned my loyalty to the President when I was there," but now "it's a higher loyalty. It's a loyalty to the truth. It's a loyalty to the values I was raised upon." Of Bush, he said, "I have a lot of personal affection for him. I think, in terms of some of his policies, he was misguided." McClellan repeated the loyalty line on the CBS Evening News.

USA Today also conducted a phone interview with McClellan. McClellan "cited 'two defining moments' that led to his becoming 'disillusioned with the way the White House operated.' One involved claims by White House aides Karl Rove and Scooter Libby that they had nothing to do with news leaks about Plame. ... The second event occurred in April of 2006, just before his departure." Bush "told McClellan he had authorized the leak of parts of a secret intelligence report on Iraq, even though the administration had publicly opposed such selective disclosure of classified information." But the AP reports that in an AP interview, "McClellan said Bush 'still clings to the hope that history is going to vindicate him.'" He added, "I would welcome such a development."

That Was Then, This Is Now NBC Nightly News noted that "if the knock on McClellan is: 'why didn't he speak up sooner?,' it should sound familiar. Here's what then press secretary said four years ago when asked about counterterror adviser Richard Clarke's critical book about the President." McClellan was shown saying, "Why all of a sudden if he had all these grave concerns did he not raise these sooner? This is one and a half years after he left the Administration. Now all of a sudden, he's raising these grave concerns that he claims he had."

Yet yesterday Clarke was among McClellan's defenders, saying on Comedy Central's Daily Show, "It's like an echo chamber. I turned on the TV the other day and there were White House people saying he is a disgruntled ex-employee, that he is out of the loop. ... I think there is a little box in the White House that says, 'If anybody escapes from the White House and tells the truth, break this box and take out these talking points...say he is a disgruntled employee, say it is an election year and he is trying to sell books.'"

White House Criticism Cast As Orchestrated. Some stories this morning focus on the continuing criticism of McClellan. The New York Times remarks on the "kind of public excommunication of Mr. McClellan by some of the people he once worked most closely," whose "cries of betrayal from former aides served as a stern warning to other potential turncoats that, despite some well-publicized cracks, the Bush inner circle remains tight. Their language was so similar that the collective reaction amounted to a big inside-the-Beltway echo chamber." The Times adds, "All seemed to take their cues from Dana Perino, the current press secretary. Ms. Perino used the words 'sad' and 'puzzled' to describe the White House response, as if Mr. McClellan had undergone some kind of emotional breakdown, while making the case that if Mr. McClellan had problems with Mr. Bush he should have raised them while in the president's employ." And "all seemed to suggest that maybe Mr. McClellan had been hijacked by liberal New York book editors who prodded him to turn out a memoir that did not reflect his own beliefs." USA Today and Christian Science Monitor also touch on the White House response to McClellan.

The Washington Post, meanwhile, reports on McClellan's motives for writing the book, and concludes they may be warranted: "One wonders whether this book would have been written were it not for the deep resentment he harbors toward those involved, particularly Karl Rove and Scooter Libby but also the president and vice president, for allowing -- even encouraging -- him to stand in the White House briefing room and unknowingly give out false information." The Washington Post also reports, "There are a number of signs that McClellan's focus hardened over time. A book cover still depicted yesterday on Amazon.com, for example, had the subtitle ending with 'What's Wrong with Washington' rather than 'Washington's Culture of Deception.'"

Source: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/bulletin/bulletin_080530.htm

CRANE COLLAPSES ON UPPER EAST SIDE; 1 REPORTED DEAD




Updated, 9:23 a.m. A crane being used at a construction site toppled over and crashed into another building at East 91st Street and First Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan moments after 8 a.m. on Friday, according to witnesses and officials. Scores of Fire Department trucks and emergency medical workers responded to the scene. At least two people were pulled out of the wreckage.


A law enforcement official said it appeared at least one person was killed in the collapse, a worker who was operating the cab of the crane. But the official stressed that though it appeared that man was dead, it had not been officially confirmed. The official said the cab operator was one of two who were reported to be injured.


The crane’s top piece apparently broke off, the official said. “It’s a confirmed crane collapse,” the official said. “It snapped at some point along the crane and stuck a building on the ohter side of 91st Street and First Avenue.” The official said the crane was working on a “new construction” site on one corner of East 91st and First and that when it broke, the broken piece cascaded down and fell into a building on the other side of the street.


The Fire Department got the first 911 call at 8:06 a.m., with the caller saying a “crane was down,” said Firefighter Chris Villarroel, a spokesman.


He said units rushed to the scene and found the wreckage. “We pulled out two people,” said Mr. Villarroel. “We don’t know their condition.” It was unclear immediately if those rescued were construction worker or pedestrians in the street or in the building.


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority reported that several bus lines — the M15, M31, M86 and the X90 — have been rerouted because of the accident.


New York 1 reported that the building under construction was the Azure, a high-rise condominium tower at 333 East 91st Street; about 12 of the 34 planned stories have been completed. The crane apparently crashed into a white-brick apartment building at 1749 First Avenue, which houses a Duane Reade drug store on the ground floor.


According to city records, the company that is building the Azure is the Leon D. DeMatteis Construction Corporation of Elmont, on Long Island. A call to the sales office of 1765 First Associates L.L.C., a subsidiary of DeMatteis, was not immediately returned.


Joe Quinn, 25, a member of a lathers union, had started work at 7 a.m. as part of a crew of about 25 workers on the roof of the building when the accident occurred. The turntable, which was attaching the crane to the tower, “came right off,” Mr. Quinn said in an interview “Boom. There was no weight on it. It boomed up, then just boom! There was no load on it. It wasn’t hooked up to anything. The disk came off where it attaches to the tower.”


After the crane fell, “I ran like hell,” Mr. Quinn said. He used ladders and stairs to get down from the roof.


City records show that the building has been the subject of several complaints from residents who have called the city’s 311 hotline. On May 20, a caller complained about the crane, saying that its platform extended across the sidewalk and well into traffic. A Buildings Department inspector responded but determined there was no violation.


Bolivar Quiroz, 56, a construction worker who was standing and 92nd Street and First Avenue, said it sounded “like a bomb was crashing.” “We were standing outside working, and we ran outside because we heard the noise,” he said. He and his colleagues looked toward where the crash occurred. “I saw, at the fourth or fifth floor, a support, but they’re supposed to have another support just above that and they didn’t. We looked and the crane was wavering back and forth.”


A 57-year-old woman who would only give her name as Anna R., who said she lived at 1771-1773 First Avenue, a small prewar building adjacent to the construction site, said, “I’m so glad the crane went the other way. My building would have been gone because they’re so old.”


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, in a previously scheduled on-air interview on WOR-AM, said, “We’re not going to tolerate any rate of accidents any higher than it has to be.” He did not appear to have been fully briefed on the details of this morning’s accident. “We’re not going to stall,” he vowed. But he added, “It may just be a piece of steel breaks and there’s nothing you could ever have done about it.”


The accident occurred only two months after a tower crane collapsed on East 51st Street between Second and First Avenues, killing seven people. The city’s buildings commissioner was forced out of her job and an extensive review of the city’s cranes was conducted in the aftermath of that accident, one of the worst construction disasters in the city’s recent history.


The New York Times is interested in reader photos of the accident; such photos should be e-mailed to cityroom.nyt@gmail.com.


Al Baker, Jennifer Mascia and Margot Williams contributed reporting.


Source: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/30/crane-collapses-on-upper-east-side/index.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Thursday, May 29, 2008

BEN EDICT XVI: SOCIAL, ECONOMIC PROBLEMS CAN'T BE SOLVED WITHOUT GOD,...



POPE-ITALY May-29-2008 (320 words) xxxi

Social, economic problems can't be solved without God, says pope

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Social, political and economic problems can never be resolved fully if humanity does not put God back at the center of life, Pope Benedict XVI said.

It is only through God and with one's hopes and values springing from him that "it is possible to rediscover a strong and steady faith in life and give soundness and energy to our projects" promoting people's welfare, he said.

The pope spoke May 29 during a private audience with Italian bishops who were meeting for their general assembly in Rome.

Even though Italian society is facing many problems, the pope said, "the fundamental problem of humanity remains the problem of God."

"No other human and social problem will ever be truly resolved if God does not return to the center of our life," he said.

The pope repeated a call he made during his April visit to the United States -- that as evangelizers and leaders of the Catholic community bishops must "participate in the exchange of ideas in the public square, helping to shape cultural attitudes."

Christianity can offer "a key contribution" to the clarification and resolution of some of the major social and moral problems Italy and Europe are facing today, he said.

Priests, parents and educators also must help give children spiritual guidance and a moral compass rooted in Christ, he said.

The pope urged the Italian bishops to continue to promote the importance of the family based on marriage between a woman and a man and the sanctity of life, especially that of the weakest and the infirm.

"Nor can we close our eyes and be speechless before the poverty, hardships and social injustices that afflict a large part of humanity," he said. The poor and disadvantaged of the world need "the generous commitment of everyone," he said.




Source: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0802888.htm




P.S. THIS IS A BLACK AND WHITE ISSUE.....Arsenio

RELIGIOUS LEADERS SUPPORT REWORKED SENATE BILL

CLIMATE-WENSKI (UPDATED) May-23-2008 (600 words) With photos posted May 21. xxxn

Religious leaders support reworked U.S. Senate climate-change bill

By Chaz Muth
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Christian and Jewish religious leaders May 21 formally threw their support behind a reworked U.S. Senate bill that addresses environmental climate change.

During a media briefing on Capitol Hill, Bishop Thomas G. Wenski -- chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace -- joined bill co-sponsors Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., and John W. Warner, R-Va., and other Christian and Jewish religious leaders to discuss what he called "ground-breaking legislation" that also takes the poor into consideration when combating global warming.

Though other Christian and Jewish religious leaders wholeheartedly pledged their support for the reworked bill, Bishop Wenski stressed that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not lead an interest group but a church.

"We are not here to endorse the many details in this or any other legislation" but applaud lawmakers' efforts to consider the impact climate-change mandates will have on the low-income populace, said the bishop, who heads the Diocese of Orlando, Fla.

"We welcome and support the leadership of these senators in lifting up and seriously addressing how climate change will disproportionately affect the poor and vulnerable in our country and around the world," said Bishop Wenski. "This represents a significant advance on previous proposals. We are grateful for the hard work and renewed commitment this legislation represents."

The bill -- set to be debated on the Senate floor June 2 -- calls for reductions in U.S. carbon emissions and the development of clean energy technology. It also establishes an International Climate Change Adaptation and National Security Fund expected to generate more than $342 billion over the life of the bill to help developing countries adjust to climate change and avoid its destabilizing effects.

At the request of the religious leaders, Boxer, Lieberman and Warner added tax cuts and energy rebates for low and middle-income taxpayers in the bill to help those citizens pay for costs related to increased fuel prices.

"The real inconvenient truth is that those who contribute least to climate change will be affected the most and have the least capacity to cope or escape," Bishop Wenski said. "The poor and vulnerable are most likely to pay the price of inaction or unwise actions. We know from our everyday experience their lives, homes, children and work are most at risk."

To gain votes from Republican senators, Warner said the bill gives the president authority to re-evaluate climate-change regulations during times of economic crisis or in the case that advancing technology falls behind schedule.

"Together, we've made this a tripartisan effort," Lieberman said, referring to the fact that the trio of senators represent the Democratic, Republican and Independent parties. "Now, we just hope this gets through the Senate."

The lawmakers said they have more than 50 committed votes from other colleagues and are diligently working to get 10 more senators to back the bill.

"God does say to Adam and Eve, make use of this natural bounty, but protect it and guard it for future generations," Lieberman said.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director and counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said global warming has caused severe droughts that plague the earth from sub-Saharan Africa to America, causing forest fires, compromised drinking water and lost crops for farmers.

"We are running out of time and we need to act and act now," Rabbi Saperstein said. "Today the whole garden is our earth and we need to tend to it. We're taking a giant, groundbreaking step to do something remarkable."


Source: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0802791.htm

TROPICAL STORM ALMA FORMS OFF CENTRAL AMERICA

Tropical Storm Alma Forms Off Central America
This NOAA satellite image taken Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 01:45 PM EDT shows a swirl of clouds off the coast of Central America in the Eastern Pacific Ocean associated with Tropical Storm Alma. The storm will make landfall along the north coast of Nicaragua as a possible weak hurricane Thursday evening. This storm will cause devastating flooding and strong winds. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

By The Associated Press

MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Tropical Storm Alma lashed the coast of Central America with heavy rains and high winds on Thursday after becoming the first such storm of the eastern Pacific season.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Alma had maximum sustained winds near 65 mph (100 kph) and was expected to strengthen to a hurricane before plowing into the northwest corner of Nicaragua late Thursday.

The storm was located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Managua and was moving north at 7 mph (11 kph).

Authorities issued hurricane warnings for the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras. Heavy rains caused flooding in Managua.

Costa Rican authorities evacuated low-lying areas and set up more than 160 storm shelters after Alma dumped rain over the country for 24 hours. A few highways were blocked by landslides.

The hurricane center predicted the storm would plow through the southern border region of El Salvador and Honduras early Friday.

Forecasters warn that Alma could dump as much as 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain in places.

The eastern Pacific hurricane season began May 15.

Source: http://www.myfoxstl.com/myfox/pages/Weather/Detail?contentId=6653201&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=9.1.1

JESUS' INTERCESSORY PRAYER FOR HIS DISCIPLES

John 17

1These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

2As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

3And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

4I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

5And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

6I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

7Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

8For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

9I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

10And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

12While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

14I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

25O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

26And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

D.R. PRESIDENT TO ATTEND WORLD FOOD SUMMIT IN ROME

25 May 2008, 1:32 AM
Dominican President to attend World Food Summit in Rome
President Leonel Fernandez
Zoom Picture

Santo Domingo.– President Leonel Fernandez will attend the World Food Summit organized by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome from June 3 to 5.

Fernandez will be accompanied by First Lady Margarita Cedeno, Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso, Agriculture Minister Salvador Jimenez, as well as Administrative Minister of the Presidency Luis Manuel Bonetti and Hacienda Minister Vicente Bengoa.

According to the organizers, the summit on food security will discuss the current global food shortage crisis in a time of mass migration to cities, when food output has stagnated, prices have risen and food stocks are at their lowest since 1980.

The FAO says that the situation is "alarming" and that by the end of 2008 food import costs could be four times what they were in 2000.

President Lula da Silva of Brazil, Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Giorgio Napolitano of Italy and Cristina Fernandez of Argentina are also expected to attend the summit.

Source: http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2008/5/25/28086/Dominican-President-to-attendWorld-Food-Summit-in-Rome