Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Danger of Speculative Ideas

There is a time of trouble coming to the people of God, but we are not to keep that constantly before the people, and rein them up to have a time of trouble beforehand. There is to be a shaking among God’s people; but this is not the present truth to carry to the churches. It will be the result of refusing the truth presented.

The ministers should not feel that they have some wonderful advanced ideas, and unless all receive these, they will be shaken out, and a people will arise to go forward and upward to the victory. Satan’s object is accomplished just as surely when men run ahead of Christ and do the work He has never entrusted to their hands, as when they remain in the Laodicean state, lukewarm, feeling rich and increased with goods, and in need of nothing. The two classes are equally stumbling blocks.

Some zealous ones who are aiming and straining every energy for originality have made a grave mistake in trying to get something startling, wonderful, entrancing, before the people, something that they think others do not comprehend; but often they do not themselves know what they are talking about. They speculate upon God’s Word, advancing ideas that are not a whit of help to themselves or
to the churches. For the time being, they may excite the imagination; but there is a reaction, and these very ideas become a hindrance. Faith is confounded with fancy, and their views may bias the mind in the wrong direction. Let the plain, simple statements of the Word of God be food for the mind; this speculating upon ideas that are not clearly presented there, is dangerous business.—Undated Manuscript 111.

The danger that threatens our churches is that new and strange things will be brought in, things that confuse the minds of the people, and give them no strength, at the very time when they most need strength in spiritual things. Clear discernment is needed that things new and strange shall not be laid alongside of truth as a part of the burden of the message to be given at this time. The very messages we have been giving to the world are to be made prominent.—An Appeal for Canvassers, pp. 1, 2.

Selected Messages Book 2, pp.13,14.

The Pope And Obama Share A Knack For Inspiring The Young

by Don Gonyea
March 29, 2014 8:00 AM

Listen to the Story
Morning Edition Weekend Saturday

3 min 51 sec

President Obama met with Pope Francis this week at the Vatican. Among those watching most closely were young American Catholics.


The Gathering Time

September 23, the Lord showed me that He had stretched out His hand the second time to recover the remnant of His people, [see page 86.] and that efforts must be redoubled in this gathering time. In the scattering, Israel was smitten and torn, but now in the gathering time God will heal and bind up His people. In the scattering, efforts made to spread the truth had but little effect, accomplished but little or nothing; but in the gathering, when God has set His hand to gather His people, efforts to spread the truth will have their designed effect. All should be united and zealous in the work. I saw that it was wrong for any to refer to the scattering for examples to govern us now in the gathering; for if God should do no more for us now than He did then, Israel would never be gathered. I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the Lord, and that it should not be altered; that the figures were as He wanted them; that His hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none could see it, until His hand was removed. [This applies to the chart used during the 1843 movement, and has special reference to the calculation of the prophetic periods as it appeared on that chart. The next sentence explains that there was an inaccuracy which in the providence of God was suffered to exist. But this does not preclude the publication of a chart subsequently which would correct the mistake, after the 1843 movement was past, and the calculation as then made had served its purpose.]

 Then I saw in relation to the “daily” (Daniel 8:12) that the word “sacrifice” was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text, and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the “daily”; but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed. Time has not been a test since 1844, and it will never again be a test.

The Lord has shown me that the message of the third angel must go, and be proclaimed to the scattered children of the Lord, but it must not be hung on time. I saw that some were getting a false excitement, arising from preaching time; but the third angel’s message is stronger than time can be. I saw that this message can stand on its own foundation and needs not time to strengthen it; and that it will go in mighty power, and do its work, and will be cut short in righteousness.

Then I was pointed to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to go to Old Jerusalem, [see Appendix.] and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes. Such a view is calculated to take the mind and interest from the present work of the Lord, under the message of the third angel; for those who think that they are yet to go to Jerusalem will have their minds there, and their means will be withheld from the cause of present truth to get themselves and others there. I saw that such a mission would accomplish no real good, that it would take a long while to make a very few of the Jews believe even in the first advent of Christ, much more to believe in His second advent. I saw that Satan had greatly deceived some in this thing and that souls all around them in this land could be helped by them and led to keep the commandments of God, but they were leaving them to perish. I also saw that Old Jerusalem never would be built up; and that Satan was doing his utmost to lead the minds of the children of the Lord into these things now, in the gathering time, to keep them from throwing their whole interest into the present work of the Lord, and to cause them to neglect the necessary preparation for the day of the Lord.


Dear Reader,
A sense of duty to my brethren and sisters and a desire that the blood of souls might not be found on my garments have governed me in writing this little work. I am aware of the unbelief that exists in the minds of the multitude relative to visions, also that many who profess to be looking for Christ and teach that we are in the “last days” call them all of Satan. I expect much opposition from such, and had I not felt that the Lord required it of me, I should not have made my views thus public, as they will probably call forth the hatred and derision of some. But I fear God more than man.

When the Lord first gave me messages to deliver to His people, it was hard for me to declare them, and I often softened them down and made them as mild as possible for fear of grieving some. It was a great trial to declare the messages as the Lord gave them to me. I did not realize that I was so unfaithful and did not see the sin and danger of such a course until in vision I was taken into the presence of Jesus. He looked upon me with a frown and turned His face from me. It is not possible to describe the terror and agony I then felt. I fell upon my face before Him, but had no power to utter a word. Oh, how I longed to be covered and hid from that dreadful frown! Then could I realize, in some degree, what the feeling of the lost will be when they cry, “Mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.”

Presently an angel bade me rise, and the sight that met my eyes can hardly be described. A company was presented before me whose hair and garments were torn and whose countenances were the very picture of despair and horror. They came close to me and took their garments and rubbed them on mine. I looked upon my garments and saw that they were stained with blood, and that blood was eating holes in them. Again I fell like one dead at the feet of my accompanying angel. I could not plead one excuse. My tongue refused all utterance, and I longed to be away from such a holy place. Again the angel stood me upon my feet and said, “This is not your case now, but this scene has passed before you to let you know what your situation must be if you neglect to declare to others what the Lord has revealed to you. But if you are faithful to the end, you shall eat of the tree of life and shall drink of the river of the water of life. You will have to suffer much, but the grace of God is sufficient.” I then felt willing to do all that the Lord might require me to do that I might have His approbation and not feel His dreadful frown.

I have frequently been falsely charged with teaching views peculiar to Spiritualism. But before the editor of the Day-Star [see Appendix.] ran into that delusion, the Lord gave me a view of the sad and desolating effects that would be produced upon the flock by him and others in teaching the spiritual views. I have often seen the lovely Jesus, that He is a person. I asked Him if His Father was a person and had a form like Himself. Said Jesus, “I am in the express image of My Father’s person.”

I have often seen that the spiritual view took away all the glory of heaven, and that in many minds the throne of David and the lovely person of Jesus have been burned up in the fire of Spiritualism. I have seen that some who have been deceived and led into this error will be brought out into the light of truth, but it will be almost impossible for them to get entirely rid of the deceptive power of Spiritualism. Such should make thorough work in confessing their errors and leaving them forever.

I recommend to you, dear reader, the Word of God as the rule of your faith and practice. By that Word we are to be judged. God has, in that Word, promised to give visions in the “last days”; not for a new rule of faith, but for the comfort of His people, and to correct those who err from Bible truth. Thus God dealt with Peter when He was about to send him to preach to the Gentiles. (Acts 10.).

To those who may circulate this little work, I would say that it is designed for the sincere only and not for those who would ridicule the things of the Spirit of God.


Early Writings, pp.74-78.

Happy Sabbath

5.1 earthquake shakes L.A., Southern California

William M. Welch, USA TODAY 10:16 a.m. EDT March 29, 2014

(Photo: Mark Rightmire, AP)

LOS ANGELES — A 5.1 earthquake centered at La Habra near Los Angeles rolled Southern California Friday evening.

The strong earthquake was felt widely across the region shortly after 9 p.m. PT. The USGS said the epicenter was one mile from Brea, located about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, and three miles from Rowland Heights and Fullerton.

Southern California Edison reported power outages to nearly 2,000 customers following the quake.

The quake triggered a rockslide that closed Carbon Canyon Road in northern Orange County near the center of the quake, the California Highway Patrol and Brea police reported. The rockslide caused a car to overturn, and the people inside the car sustained minor injuries.

Up to 50 people have been displaced due to housing damage, the Orange County Register reported.

Seven water leaks, including a broken water main in Fullerton, not far from the center of the quake, were attributed to the temblor, the Register reported. Other minor structural damage was reported in Brea, La Habra and Buena Park.

The quake was felt as far south as San Diego and as far north as Ventura County, according to citizen responses collected online by the U.S. Geological Survey.

More than two dozen aftershocks rattled the region. The 5.1 quake was preceded by a 3.6 quake an hour earlier.

Police and fire officials said they were looking for any damage. Several people who live in the area near the quake posted pictures on social media showing broken glasses and dishes that tumbled from shelves or cabinets.

Tom Connolly, a Boeing employee who lives in La Mirada, the next town over from La Habra, said the magnitude-5.1 quake lasted about 30 seconds.

"We felt a really good jolt. It was a long rumble and it just didn't feel like it would end," he told The Associated Press by phone. "Right in the beginning it shook really hard, so it was a little unnerving. People got quiet and started bracing themselves by holding on to each other. It was a little scary."

Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully was on the air calling the Angels-Dodgers exhibition game in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium.

"A little tremor here in the ballpark. I'm not sure if the folks felt it, but we certainly felt it here in press box row," Scully said. "A tremor and only that, thank goodness."

MORE: Dodgers, Angels play through earthquake

Los Angeles Department of Public Works said it was sending crews to check dams, bridges and other infrastructure for damage.

Callers to KNX-AM reported seeing a brick wall collapse, water sloshing in a swimming pool, and wires and trees swaying back and forth.

"Tonight's earthquake is the second in two weeks, and reminds us to be prepared," said L.A. Mayor Garcetti. "The Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments have conducted an assessment and report no damage in the City."

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones at CalTech in Pasadena told the Los Angeles Times that the 5.1 quake has a 5% chance of being a foreshock of an even larger quake. "There could be even a larger earthquake in the next few hours or the next few days," she said.

Preliminary data suggest Friday night's 5.1 magnitude earthquake occurred near the Puente Hills thrust fault, which stretches from the San Gabriel Valley to downtown Los Angeles and caused the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, Jones said.

"It's a place where we've had a lot of earthquakes in the past," she said.

The 5.9 Whittier Narrows quake killed eight people and caused $360 million in damage.

At Disneyland in Anaheim, rides were stopped as a precaution, the L.A. Times reported.

Friday's quake hit a week after a pre-dawn magnitude-4.4 quake centered in the San Fernando Valley rattled a swath of Southern California. That jolt shook buildings and rattled nerves, but did not cause significant damage.

Southern California has not experienced a damaging earthquake since the 1994 magnitude-6.7 Northridge quake killed several dozen people and caused $25 billion in damage.

Contributing: Associated Press

Merchandise is strewn across the floor in a La Habra Walgreens following a 5.1 earthquake centered near La Habra on March 28, 2014. 1(Photo: Blaine Ohigashi, AP)


Obama Smiles

Photo (Courtesy)

Photo (Coutersy)


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Obama Meets the Pope

Politics Religion

Noah Rayman @noahrayman 7:48 AM ET

President Obama met with Pope Francis in Vatican City today, an opportunity for both world leaders to discuss their shared commitment to combatting economic inequality. "Welcome, Mr. President," the Pontiff said. "I'm a great admirer," the President told the religious leader

Inside Obama’s Meeting With Pope Francis

President Barack Obama met with Pope Francis on Thursday at the Vatican, in his second Papal visit and first with the new Pontiff.

“Wonderful meeting you,” Obama told the Pope upon being greeted outside the Papal Library, following a ceremonial procession led by the Vatican’s Swiss Guards.

“It is a great honor. I’m a great admirer,” Obama said. “Thank you so much for receiving me.”

The White House said before the visit that the meeting would be an opportunity for the two world leaders to discuss their shared commitment to combatting economic inequality, an issue Pope Francis has prioritized during his first year in office. Democrats have increasingly used the Pope’s emphasis on inequality as a political cudgel against Republicans ahead of the midterm elections.

But the gathering is also seen as an opportunity for the president to smooth ties with the Vatican and the large Hispanic Catholic population in America whose support for Obama has waned since helping vote him into office. The Vatican has been critical of a measure in Obama’s health care reform law that mandates contraception coverage, and officials said before the meeting that Pope Francis would likely raise those concerns.

Pope Francis, who was TIME’s Person of the Year in 2013, is widely popular globally and in America, where 8 in 10 Catholics viewed him favorably in a recent Pew Research Center poll.

“He can cause people around to the world to stop and perhaps rethink old attitudes and begin treating one another with more decency and compassion,” Obama said in an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera before the meeting.

The White House said Obama presented Pope Francis with “a custom-made seed chest featuring a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House Garden,” noting that the Pontiff said earlier this month that he would open the gardens of the papal summer residence to the public.

“I bring greetings from my family,” Obama told the Pope upon meeting him. “The last time I came here to meet your predecessor I was able to bring my wife and children.”

Obama, on a week-long tour in Europe that has primarily focused on regional security amid recent tension with Russia, is the ninth president to make an official visit to the Vatican.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Believers Should Plan to Leave Cities as the Way Opens

More and more, as time advances, our people will have to leave the cities. For years we have been instructed that our brethren and sisters, and especially families with children, should plan to leave the cities as the way opens before them to do so. Many will have to labor earnestly to help open the way. But until it is possible for them to leave, so long as they remain, they should be most active in doing missionary work, however limited their sphere of influence may be. As they yield their talents and their all to God to be used as he may direct; as they live out their consecration by engaging in practical missionary work wherever opportunity affords, God will bless them with wisdom and discretion, and in his own way and time he will make it possible for them to place themselves where they will not be surrounded constantly with the contaminating influences of modern city life.

Review and Herald, September 27, 1906.

Hope for Laodicea!

36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 

39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Luke 12:36-40
(King James Version)

Bin Laden's son-in-law convicted at NYC terror trial

Published March 26, 2014
Associated Press

In this undated image made from video and provided by by Al-Jazeera, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, is shown. (AP/Al-Jazeera)

NEW YORK – Usama bin Laden's son-in-law, the voice of fiery Al Qaeda propaganda videotapes after the Sept. 11 attacks, was convicted Wednesday of conspiring to kill Americans for his role as the terror group's spokesman.

Bin Laden's Son-in-Law Convicted

The verdict came after about six hours of deliberation over two days in the case against Kuwaiti imam Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the highest-ranking Al Qaeda figure to face trial on U.S. soil since the attacks.

As the verdict was read, Abu Ghaith remained composed as he had throughout the trial. Just before he was led out of the courtroom, he turned toward a spectator — a longtime friend from Kuwait — and smiled.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said he hoped the verdict brought some measure of comfort to victims of Al Qaeda.

"He was more than just Usama bin Laden's propaganda minister," Bharara said. "Within hours after the devastating 9/11 attacks, Abu Ghaith was using his position in Al Qaeda's homicidal hierarchy to persuade others to pledge themselves to Al Qaeda in the cause of murdering more Americans."

Defense attorney Stanley Cohen emerged from court promising to appeal.

Asked about his client, he said: "He was stoic. He was at ease. He has confidence this is not the end but the beginning."

Abu Ghaith had testified during a three-week trial that he answered bin Laden's request in the hours after the attacks to speak on the widely circulated videos used to recruit new followers willing to go on suicide missions like the 19 who hijacked four planes on Sept. 11, 2001.

"The storm of airplanes will not stop," Abu Ghaith warned in an October 2001 video that was played for the jury.

Also shown repeatedly to the jury during the trial were frames of a video made Sept. 12, 2001, that showed Abu Ghaith seated next to bin Laden and two other top Al Qaeda leaders as they tried to justify the attacks.

Sentencing was set for Sept. 8. The charges — conspiracy to kill Americans, conspiring to provide support to Al Qaeda and providing support to Al Qaeda — carry a potential penalty of life in prison.

On Monday, during closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Cronan underscored the importance of Abu Ghaith's post-9/11 status.

"Going to that man was the very first thing Usama bin Laden did on Sept. 11 after the terror attacks," he said. "The defendant committed himself to Al Qaeda's conspiracy to kill Americans, and he worked to drive other people to that conspiracy."

He added: "During the most important period of time in Al Qaeda's savage history, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was Usama bin Laden's principal messenger. ... He used his fiery oratory to incite Al Qaeda's growing army of terror in this war with America."

Captured in Jordan last year and brought to New York, Abu Ghaith actively participated in his trial. He listened to testimony and arguments through headphones linked to an Arabic translator.

Taking the witness stand in his own defense, Abu Ghaith calmly denied he was an Al Qaeda recruiter and claimed his role was a religious one aimed at encouraging all Muslims to rise up against their oppressors. He insisted he agreed to meet with bin Laden in a cave on the night of Sept. 11 out of respect for bin Laden's standing as a sheik.

"Despite knowing that he was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, you met with him to be polite, correct?" prosecutor Michael Ferrara asked on cross-examination.

"I didn't go to meet with him to bless if he had killed hundreds of Americans or not. I went to meet with him to know what he wanted," Abu Ghaith said.

Abu Ghaith's lawyer argued there was "zero evidence" that the 48-year-old former teacher knew of the conspiracies the government claimed he knew about. Citing the videos of his client, Cohen warned jurors not to let prosecutors "intimidate you and to frighten you into returning verdicts not based upon evidence, but fear."

Those videos, though, emerged as the centerpiece of the government's case. One — titled "Convoy of Martyrs" — features Abu Ghaith preaching over horrific footage of a plane flying into one of the World Trade Center towers. Another showed the defendant looking at bin Laden admiringly as the Al Qaeda leader boasted that he knew the attack would make both towers fall.

Prosecutors used Abu Ghaith's testimony and closing arguments as an opportunity to reshow the image of the burning towers to jurors.

And in his closing argument, Cronan used the defendant's testimony against him.

"Accept it as totally true. If you do that, he's guilty," Cronan said.


ABC's Jon Karl to Obama: Did Romney Have a Point About Russia?

 World News Flash

Published on Mar 26, 2014

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JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Mr. President, thank you. In China, in Syria, in Egypt, and now in Russia we've seen you make strong statements, issue warnings that.

October 14, 2012, Felix Baumgartner ascended more than 24 miles above Earth's surface to the edge of space in a stratospheric balloon. Millions across the gl.

alaysia Airlines officials on Tuesday defended their decision to notify relatives of missing passengers of Flight 370's presumed fate via text message, as Ch.

White House Carney Plays Birther Card; What If Obama Birth Certificate Legitimate - - - M.

At a news conference at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, President Obama was asked by Jonathan Karl of ABC News whether Mitt Romney had a point when.

Jon Karl Asks Obama: 'What Has Been Your Biggest Mistake' This Year? by Tommy Christopher | 3:18 pm, December 20th, 2013 5 [potus] On Friday afternoon, Presi.

Several of the state-based ad campaigns aimed at getting young people to sign up for Obamacare have become points of criticism for conservative opponents of .

Real News @ — Obama 'More Concerned' with Threat of Nuclear Weapon Exploding in Manhattan Than with Russia. At a news conference t.

While speaking at the Nuclear Security Summit, President Obama slammed Russia as a regional power losing strength. More from CNN at To . While speaking at th.

Jon Karl tracks the latest from the 2012 presidential campaign trail.

2014 Actual News, Please Subscribe Our Channel! Is Obama's Syria Policy Working? Carney Says Yes videos.. Please click here to subscribe to my channel.. Amid.

Chris Rock showed his ignorance and stupidity by calling Barack Obama our Boss. We live in a Constitutional Representative Republic and the President of the .

News Conference: Obama expresses concern that Russia will move deeper into Ukraine, warns Putin not to THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — With no sign of Russia a.

ABC News obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely b.

This is obamas main concern? Dont be scared! Be prepared. They don't come out and announce something like that unless they plan to be proven right in the fut.

Eye On Economy: Obama Calls Income Gap Defining Challenge - Divide Conquer Tactic.

Several of the state-based ad campaigns aimed at getting young people to sign up for Obamacare have become points of criticism for conservative opponents of .

For more Latest and Breaking News Headlines SUBSCRIBE to Obama says 2013 wasn't worst of presidency Citing economic.

Least 70 dead, hundreds injured from deadly clashes in Ukraine.

alaysia Airlines officials on Tuesday defended their decision to notify relatives of missing passengers of Flight 370's presumed fate via text message, as Ch.

Obama's worry: A nuke in Manhattan

The Oval David Jackson, USA TODAY 4:01 p.m. EDT March 25, 2014

(Photo: SAUL LOEB, AFP/Getty Images)

In disputing Mitt Romney's claim that Russia is the nation's top foe, President Obama on Tuesday provided a bracing image of a bigger threat.

A nuclear attack in New York City.

"I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan," Obama told reporters after this year's Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands.

Ever since 9/11, government officials in both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations have expressed concern about a nuclear attack by terrorist groups.

Romney, who during the 2012 campaign said Russia is the United States' "number one geopolitical foe," has in recent days criticized Obama for "faulty judgment" in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Obama, who defeated Romney in the 2012 election, said Russia is threatening Ukraine and other neighbors "not out of strength, but out of weakness."

Russia's actions "are a problem," Obama said, but "they don't pose the number one national security threat to the United States."

He then said the line about a nuke in Manhattan.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Ukraine Live: Russia attacks one of Ukraine’s last Crimea ships

by Rohini Chatterji 16 mins ago

#Crimea #G8 #NewsTracker #Ukraine #Vladimir Putin

9.20 pm: Russian forces storm one of Ukraine's last Crimea ships 

 Russian forces on Monday stormed a Ukrainian navy ship that they had earlier blocked in a lake in western Crimea and which had been one of the last vessels to avoid falling under Kremlin control. An AFP correspondent saw plumes of smoke rise over the Kostyantyn Olshanskiy moments after the Russian forces launched their Donuzlav Lake assault. A Ukrainian defence spokesman said the ship's crew had fired smoke grenades in self-defence. (AFP)

Read more at:

Ukraine Evacuates Service Members in Crimea

World News

March 24, 2014

Ukraine's interim government has ordered its troops to withdraw from Crimea, after Russian forces took control of three military installations over the past three days.

Ukraine said Monday it is pulling out its troops in response to the annexation of Crimea by Russia. Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, said the defense ministry has been instructed to redeploy Ukrainian forces from the Black Sea peninsula. He said the move is a response to threats by Russian forces on the lives of Ukrainian service members and their families.

Earlier Monday, Russian forces seized a naval base near the eastern Crimean port of Feodosia, using stun grenades and automatic weapons. Ukraine's defense ministry said two service members were wounded and between 60 and 80 were detained.

Ukraine's new pro-Western government in Kyiv has been criticized for its indecision on Ukrainian troops in Crimea, who have been besieged by Russian forces for weeks.

In The Hague, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was set for another meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to discuss Ukraine on the sidelines of an international nuclear energy summit.

Russia meanwhile announced it is barring entry to its borders for 13 Canadian lawmakers and officials, in response to Canadian sanctions on Russian officials linked to the annexation of Crimea.

On Saturday, heavily armed Russian troops fired shots and used armored vehicles to smash through the gates of Ukraine's Belbek air base. The Ukrainian forces inside the Crimean base offered no resistance. Russian forces also took control of a Ukrainian naval base at Novofedorovka.

Ukraine has remained highly unstable since November, when then-President Viktor Yanukovych backed off from signing a trade agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. The move led to weeks of anti-government protests in Kyiv that forced Mr. Yanukovych to flee the country last month.

Crimeans voted last week in a highly controversial ballot to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian federation, a move quickly embraced by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The United States and the European Union say the vote is illegal.

In Brussels Sunday, NATO's top commander warned that Russia has deployed a "sizeable" military force on its borders with Ukraine, and says Moscow may be seeking to expand its territorial reach into new areas.

U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove said Moscow may be eyeing a small Russian-speaking separatist region on Ukraine's southwestern border known as Transdniester.

Breedlove says the NATO command finds the potential for a Russian move into the Transdniester region, which declared independence from Moldova in the 1990s, "very worrisome."

Moscow insists it is complying with international troop limits near the Ukrainian border. Additionally, Russia's defense chief sought last week to assure U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Russian troops massed near Ukraine have no intention of crossing the border.


Legal questions abound over same-sex marriages in Mich.

Tresa Baldas and Paul Egan , Detroit Free Press 9:42 p.m. EDT March 23, 2014

(Photo: Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press)

DETROIT — They popped the champagne corks, paid the $20 marriage-license fee and said their "I do's."

But scores of same-sex couples who married over the weekend in Michigan are still left wondering: Are we really married, or not?

"We really don't know," said Jennifer Chapin-Smith, 36, of Ann Arbor, Mich., who was eager to announce her marriage to Alexi Chapin-Smith at her Sunday Quaker meeting, which is akin to a church service. "Everybody at first said, 'Congratulations.' Then they said, 'What's going on?' I said, 'I really don't know.' "

That's the predicament roughly 100 couples are in following an order late Saturday from the U.S. 6th Court of Appeals, which issued a temporary stay of a lower court ruling that declared Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. The order didn't come down until late in the day — well after roughly 300 same-sex marriage licenses had been handed out across Michigan.

STORY: Court issues stay on Mich. same-sex marriages
STORY: Michigan gay marriages could fall into legal limbo

The state, meanwhile, still won't say whether it recognizes the marriages or not. Neither Attorney General Bill Schuette, who requested the stay, nor Gov. Rick Snyder would say Sunday whether Michigan plans to recognize the marriages. They are waiting first for a decision from the 6th Circuit, which granted a temporary stay until Wednesday while it considers whether to grant a permanent stay pending the appeal process.

No hearing has been scheduled.

Some legal experts say the state should immediately say how it plans to treat the same-sex marriages, noting too many couples are in legal limbo and deserve to know where they stand.

That "creates even more uncertainty for those families who were married as to whether or not they have any rights or not," said Salt Lake City attorney Laura Milliken Gray, who is representing same-sex couples in Utah whose marriages were thrust into limbo.

In that case, more than 1,000 same-sex couples got married in Utah after a federal judge in December struck down as unconstitutional Utah's ban on same-sex marriage. The judge in that case refused to grant a stay, as did the higher federal appellate court. But 17 days later, the U.S. Supreme Court intervened and issued a stay, stopping anymore same-sex marriages from taking place.

Given what's happened in Utah, Gray is urging Michigan's same-sex married couples to move quickly to assert their married rights, including adoption and joint tax filing rights.

Chapin-Smith is already on it. She and her spouse filed their state and federal income taxes at 4 p.m. Saturday, one hour before the 6th Circuit issued the stay. She noted that she and Alexi had previously married in Maryland in January 2013 in a Quaker ceremony and got married in Michigan for the legal recognition here.

"This is our fourth wedding actually," Chapin-Smith said. "We're already married in the eyes of God and our religious community, our family, friends and our neighbors. It's just the state of Michigan that wouldn't recognize reality. It's frustrating. Why can't the state recognize what is real and truthful?"

Beth Bashert, who married Lisa Bashert, her partner of 25 years Saturday, shares that frustration. She noted that she opted not to get married outside Michigan because that would have made her "feel like a fugitive."

The Basherts, meanwhile, are in a tougher legal quandary than other couples. She and her spouse had a big wedding with 70 people Saturday night at a friend's house in Ypsilanti. There was a fancy wedding cake, champagne, food and flowers.

The one hitch: they didn't turn their marriage form back into the clerk's office.

STORY: Judge strikes down Michigan's ban on gay marriage

"We're going to submit it on Monday. But I just don't know what our status is. Literally, I don't know," said Beth Bashert, who is trying to focus on the positive. "It was so powerful and so amazing to be married. I'm trying not to worry about it. I can't control it. I just want to continue to feel good."

Beth Bashert said she expects her marriage will ultimately be recognized.

"Whether it happens right now or whether it happens in awhile ... we're going to have a legal marriage," Bashert said, noting she's used to living with uncertainty. "We've been in a legal limbo for 25 years. ... I'd rather be in this limbo than one without being married."

Dan Ray, a constitutional law professor at Thomas Cooley Law School, believes the marriages that were performed before the stay was issued are valid.

"The state will undoubtedly say we will not recognize these marriages until the judgment becomes final," Ray said. "But I think that they are going to continue to remain valid marriages."

Clerks in Ingham, Oakland, Washtenaw and Muskegon counties opened their doors for same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses after a Friday ruling in Detroit by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman, who declared Michigan's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Schuette immediately appealed to the 6th Circuit, which didn't issue a temporary stay until late Saturday.

That left a window of opportunity for many couples to get their marriage licenses and have weddings. Some, however, got only the licenses, but didn't get married.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said Sunday she will be seeking the advice of county attorneys on whether same-sex couples who obtained their marriage licenses before the stay was issued but did not get married are in a legal position to have their ceremonies performed this week.

Michigan has argued that it has a legitimate interest in preserving the traditional definition of marriage because — it contends — children thrive best when raised by married moms and dads, and there's nothing irrational about striving to keep that family structure as the ideal.

It also has argued that the 2.7 million voters have already spoken on the issue of same-sex marriage, and their decision should stand. Michigan voters decided in 2004 that the definition of marriage in Michigan should only be a union between one man and one woman.

But just because the voters want something doesn't make it legally right, said constitutional law expert Bob Sedler, a law professor at Wayne State University who supported the plaintiffs who fought to overturn Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

"So what if the people voted for it," Sedler said of the Michigan Marriage Amendment Act. "If it's unconstitutional, it's unconstitutional — whether the people voted for it or not."

Contributing: Louise Knott Ahern, Lansing State (Mich.) Journal


Vice President Biden's Remarks from the 2014 HRC LA Gala

Human Rights Campaign

Published on Mar 22, 2014 Vice President Joe Biden spoke to over 1,000 LGBT rights supporters at the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles gala on March 22, 2014. Vice President Biden's inspiring remarks in support of global LGBT equality represent the latest step from a White House that has made fairness and dignity for LGBT people one of its top priorities.

Jimmy Carter Issues 'Call To Action' Against Subjugation Of Women

March 22, 2014 2:44 PM

Morning Edition Weekend

5 min 35 sec

Editor's note: To hear our full interview with Jimmy Carter, tune into Weekend Edition on Sunday, March 23.

President Jimmy Carter has written more than two dozen books over the course of his career, about everything from the art of aging to how to achieve peace in the Middle East. All his writing is anchored by a deep-seated belief in the equality of all people.

In his new book, A Call To Action, Carter tackles a fundamental question of equality head-on: the subjugation of women in cultures around the world. Carter joins NPR's Rachel Martin to talk about the state of human trafficking and whether religion can be a conduit for lasting change around gender.

Interview Highlights

On how the Bible is used to argue for both equality and the inferiority of women

There are some verses ... [that] can be interpreted either way. And, for instance, St. Paul, who's looked upon as the chief theologian in the Christian church, has differing points of view.

In one letter, to the Galatians, he says there's no difference between Jews and gentiles; there's no difference between male and female; there's no difference between slaves and masters. That all of us are equal in the eyes of God.

Women, Religion, Violence, and Power

by NPR Staff

Hardcover, 211 pages

More on this book:

In another letter, written to Corinthians and others, he says that women should not adorn themselves, that women should not speak openly in church and that wives should be subservient to their husbands. But at the same time, in the same passage as the last one that I mentioned to you, it says that husbands and wives should respect each other on an equal basis and that the husbands should love the wives as Christ loved the church.

So you can pick out individual verses throughout the Bible that shows that the verse favors your particular preference, and the fact that the Catholic Church, for instance, prohibits women from serving as priests or even deacons gives a kind of a permission to male people all over the world, that well, if God thinks that women are inferior, I'll treat them as inferiors. If she's my wife, I can abuse her with impunity, or if I'm an employer, I can pay my female employees less salary.

On human trafficking

We have a terrible affliction here of slavery. There's a greater number of slaves sold now across international borders, according to annual reports by the U.S. State Department, than there was in the 18th and 19th centuries. And the total slavery income in these days, we call it human trafficking, is more than $32 billion.

On whether religion is a conduit for lasting change around gender

That seems to be the easiest answer, but I don't think it is the answer, because it's very difficult to get, for instance, the Catholic Church to change its policies. I've written to the pope, by the way, and I got an encouraging letter back from him saying that he believes that the status of women and the activity of women within the church needs to be increased, but there are some specific and very difficult things to overcome if the Catholic Church made that an ordained and official commitment. But at least the new pope is aware of it and is much more amenable, I think, to some changes than maybe most of his predecessors.

In the Southern Baptist Convention, from which my wife and I have resigned — we go to a more moderate Baptist church — I don't think that they are likely to change their policy that a woman must be not only inferior to her husband, but also deprived of an opportunity to be a pastor, or a missionary, or a chaplain in the Army, or to be even a deacon in the church.


Irish abuse victim, Boston cardinal named to Vatican sex abuse panel

Eric J. Lyman / USA Today | Mar 24, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) An Irish woman who was a victim of sexual abuse as a child is among eight members of a special commission appointed by Pope Francis on Saturday (March 22) to start the long and arduous process of confronting the church’s chronic sexual abuse problems.

Cardinal Seán O’Malley presided at the Annual Rites of Election for the Archdiocese of Boston which was held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Sunday (March 9). There was a record number in attendance at the two liturgies. Photo by George Martell – Pilot New Media, courtesy of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

Francis appointed four women and four men — a mix of clergy and laypeople — from eight different countries to a panel that will advise the church on the best ways to protect children, identify and punish abusers, and train church personnel. Plans for the panel first emerged in December.

The creation of the commission is one of the strongest steps Francis has taken to confront the problem that has severely stained the church’s reputation and cost it billions in court settlements and legal fees. The pontiff has called the issue of sexual abuse “the shame of the church” and vowed to take strong steps to confront the issue.

The high-profile names on the commission give some indication of the importance Francis has given to the panel. In addition to Marie Collins, an Irish anti-abuse activist who was molested at age 13 by a priest in the 1960s, the group includes Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston; former Polish prime minister Hanna Suchocka; and British Baroness Sheila Hollins, a noted psychiatrist and a member of the U.K. House of Lords.

“Pope Francis has made it clear that the church must uphold the protection of minors amongst her highest priorities,” the Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a statement.

Calls for action have become louder following condemnation from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in January, with many critics saying the Vatican has acted too timidly in confronting the problems.

Even after the appointment of the committee, victims of abuse said the church should do more, with the U.S.-based Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests saying Francis must still “take strong steps right now to protect kids, expose predators, discipline enablers and uncover cover-ups.”

Hollins, founder of the victims support organization One in Four, has called for the Vatican to punish church leaders who fail to implement or enforce church rules on pedophile priests, while O’Malley in 2011 famously published a database of Boston-area clergy accused of sexual abuse.

Suchocka is a former minister of justice who was also Poland’s ambassador to the Vatican for a dozen years ending in 2013, and Hollins is an ex-president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Medical Association.

(Eric J. Lyman writes for USA Today)


Council of Laodicea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Council of Laodicea was a regional synod of approximately thirty clerics from Asia Minor that assembled about 363–364 AD in Laodicea, Phrygia Pacatiana.

1 Historical context
2 Major concerns
3 Biblical canon
4 Astrology/astronomy
5 References
6 External links
Historical context

The council took place soon after the conclusion of the war between the Roman Empire and the Persian Empire, waged by Emperor Julian. Julian, the last Constantinian emperor, attempted a revival of paganism and resumed discrimination against Christians. After his death in battle on June 26, 363, officers of the army elected the Christian Jovian as his successor, who in his precarious position far from supplies ended the war with Persia unfavorably for Rome. He was soon succeeded by Valentinian I, who named his brother Valens Emperor of the East.
Major concerns

The major concerns of the Council involved regulating the conduct of church members. The Council expressed its decrees in the form of written rules or canons. Among the sixty canons decreed, several aimed at:

  • Maintaining order among bishops, clerics and laypeople (canons 3–5, 11–13, 21–27, 40–44, 56–57)
  • Enforcing modest behaviour of clerics and laypeople (4, 27, 30, 36, 53–55)
  • Regulating approach to heretics (canons 6–10, 31–34, 37), Jews (canons 16, 37–38) and pagans (canon 39)
  • Outlawing the keeping of the Jewish sabbath (Saturday) and encouraging rest on the Lord's Day (Sunday) (canon 29)
  • Outlining liturgical practices (canons 14–20, 21–23, 25, 28, 58–59)
  • Restrictions during Lent (canons 45, 49–52)
  • Admission and instruction of catechumens and neophytes (canons 45–48)
  • Specifying a Biblical canon (canons 59–60)

Read more


Our Distinctive Sign

The banner of the third angel has inscribed upon it, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Our institutions have taken a name which sets forth the character of our faith, and of this name we are never to be ashamed. I have been shown that this name means much, and in adopting it we have followed the light given us from heaven.... The Sabbath is God’s memorial of His creative work, and it is a sign that is to be kept before the world.

There is to be no compromise with those who are worshiping an idol sabbath. We are not to spend our time in controversy with those who know the truth, and upon whom the light of truth has been shining, when they turn away their ear from the truth to turn to fables. I was told that men will employ every policy to make less prominent the difference between the faith of Seventh-day Adventists and those who observe the first day of the week. In this controversy the whole world will be engaged, and the time is short. This is no time to haul down our colors.

A company was presented before me under the name of Seventh-day Adventists, who were advising that the banner or sign which makes us a distinctive people should not be held out so strikingly; for they claimed it was not the best policy in securing success to our institutions. This distinctive banner is to be borne through the world to the close of probation. In describing the remnant people of God, John says, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). This is the law and the gospel. The world and the churches are uniting in harmony in transgressing the law of God, in tearing away God’s memorial, and in exalting a sabbath that bears the signature of the man of sin. But the Sabbath of the Lord thy God is to be a sign to show the difference between the obedient and the disobedient. I saw some reaching out their hands to remove the banner, and to obscure its significance....

When the people accept and exalt a spurious sabbath, and turn souls away from obedience and loyalty to God, they will reach the point that was reached by the people in the days of Christ.... Shall anyone then choose to hide his banner, to relax his devotion? Shall the people whom God has honored and blessed and prospered, refuse to bear testimony in behalf of God’s memorial at the very time when such a testimony should be borne? Shall not the commandments of God be more highly esteemed when men pour contempt upon the law of God?—Manuscript 15, 1896.

Selected Messages Book 2, pp 384,385

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Seventh-day Adventists Urged to Leave the United States?

Seventh-day Adventists Urged to Leave the United States.
A statement that "the day is coming, and is not far off, when every Seventh-day Adventist will wish . . that he were out of the United States," has been incorrectly attributed to Ellen G. White. It is part of a sermon by A. T. Jones, published in the General Conference Bulletin, April 16, 1901, pages 265, 266.

Preparing for the Final Battle

6 Preparing for the final Battle


Published on Jan 11, 2014

No description available.

Sunday Law News Report - Day of Rest


Published on Mar 20, 2014 - Inside today's Sunday Law News Report, we'll take a look at just three of several recent "day of rest" events that practically scream Sunday Law.

1. Do It Yourself stores across France will not be allowed to open on Sundays. A French court ruled that Sunday opening went against the principles of a weekly day of rest and that day of rest.

2. The British Court of Appeal upheld protection of Sundays as a day of worship and rest for Christians.

3. An astonishingly large variety of religions recently came togtehr to to celebrate Sabbath. Yes, you heard me correctly...Sabbath! Of course, by saying Sabbath, they actually mean Sunday.

The Religious representatives included Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Baha'i, Zoroastrian, Native American, Quaker, Unitarian, and several others.

Nearer, My God, to Thee

SE Samonte

Uploaded on Nov 19, 2008

A familiar Christian hymn written by Sarah F. Adams, 1841. Sung in the video by the Sharon Singers of the Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute.

Please click to play all the featured Christian hymns:

To purchase a music CD of the Sharon Singers, click:

Politically Correct?

Is the United States Politically Correct?  While it promotes immorality?
It now defends those that live in a manner which has been established (until a few 'minutes' ago) as obscene, while it censors the ones that protest this new found tyranny.

Politically Correct? Or, more precisely spiritually wrong, fundamentally confused.

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair was fined $20,000 and reprimanded but avoided jail time Thursday after he acknowledged committing adultery and mistreating his former mistress, an Army captain.

While the United States of America promotes homosexuality and lesbianism around the world as the new normal...  They stifle the opinions and the freedom of speech of those that disagree.  America has taken its new found secular satanical ideology on the road demanding that all nations on Earth  celebrate Gay liaisons...  While most of the world lives in free will fornication....  America court-martial(s) its Generals for ADULTERY?  And at the same time passes laws in every state to uphold homosexuals and lesbians who want to MARRY?

Politically Correct? No, more like Spiritually Blind and Morally Corrupt!


 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 
- Isaiah 5:20.


Rome in Prophecy

The prophecy of Revelation 13 declares that the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns shall cause "the earth and them which dwell therein" to worship the papacy --there symbolized by the beast "like unto a leopard." The beast with two horns is also to say "to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast;" and, furthermore, it is to command all, "both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond," to receive the mark of the beast. Revelation 13:11-16. It has been shown that the United States is the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall enforce Sunday observance, which Rome claims as the special acknowledgment of her supremacy. But in this homage to the papacy the United States will not be alone. The influence of Rome in the countries that once acknowledged her dominion is still far from being destroyed. And prophecy foretells a restoration of her power. "I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." Verse 3. The infliction of the deadly wound points to the downfall of the papacy in 1798. After this, says the prophet, "his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." Paul states plainly that the "man of sin" will continue until the second advent. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8. To the very close of time he will carry forward the work of deception. And the revelator declares, also referring to the papacy: "All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life." Revelation 13:8. In both the Old and the New World, the papacy will receive homage in the honor paid to the Sunday institution, that rests solely upon the authority of the Roman Church.

Since the middle of the nineteenth century, students of prophecy in the United States have presented this testimony to the world. In the events now taking place is seen a rapid advance toward the fulfillment of the prediction. With Protestant teachers there is the same claim of divine authority for Sundaykeeping, and the same lack of Scriptural evidence, as with the papal leaders who fabricated miracles to supply the place of a command from God. The assertion that God's judgments are visited upon men for their violation of the Sunday-sabbath, will be repeated; already it is beginning to be urged. And a movement to enforce Sunday observance is fast gaining ground.

Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false sabbath and that they are preparing to enforce it by the very means which she herself employed in bygone days. Those who reject the light of truth will yet seek the aid of this self-styled infallible power to exalt an institution that originated with her. How readily she will come to the help of Protestants in this work it is not difficult to conjecture. Who understands better than the papal leaders how to deal with those who are disobedient to the church?

The Roman Catholic Church, with all its ramifications throughout the world, forms one vast organization under the control, and designed to serve the interests, of the papal see. Its millions of communicants, in every country on the globe, are instructed to hold themselves as bound in allegiance to the pope. Whatever their nationality or their government, they are to regard the authority of the church as above all other. Though they may take the oath pledging their loyalty to the state, yet back of this lies the vow of obedience to Rome, absolving them from every pledge inimical to her interests.

History testifies of her artful and persistent efforts to insinuate herself into the affairs of nations; and having gained a foothold, to further her own aims, even at the ruin of princes and people. In the year 1204, Pope Innocent III extracted from Peter II, king of Arragon, the following extraordinary oath: "I, Peter, king of Arragonians, profess and promise to be ever faithful and obedient to my lord, Pope Innocent, to his Catholic successors, and the Roman Church, and faithfully to preserve my kingdom in his obedience, defending the Catholic faith, and persecuting heretical pravity." --John Dowling, The History of Romanism, b. 5, ch. 6, sec. 55. This is in harmony with the claims regarding the power of the Roman pontiff "that it is lawful for him to depose emperors" and "that he can absolve subjects from their allegiance to unrighteous rulers."--Mosheim, b. 3, cent. 11, pt. 2, ch. 2, sec. 9, note 17. (See also Appendix note for page 447.)

And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.

God's word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.
The Great Controversy, pp. 578-581.

2014 U.S President Obama Visits Rome - Pope Francis I


Published on Mar 17, 2014 2014 U.S President Obama Visits Rome - Pope Francis I

Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God. He is paying homage to Rome, and to the power which enforces the institution ordained by Rome. He is worshiping the beast and his image.

Happy Sabbath

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A U.S. Border Shelter That Attracts Asylum Seekers Far And Wide

March 20, 2014 5:00 AM

Listen to Story
Morning Edition

7 min 48 sec

The La Posada Providencia shelter in San Benito, Texas, is run by a group of nuns. While the shelter is just across the border from Mexico, the asylum seekers come from poor, troubled countries around the globe. Kainaz Amaria/NPR

I've understood this truth ever since I went to Afghanistan in 2001. A man told me how he left his country without any travel documents and somehow crossed Iran by bus and foot, only to be caught in Turkey and sent back. He didn't give up, and a few years later came to visit me in Washington.

What I didn't clearly understand was how people in troubled nations finally make it here. It turns out that for some people, the key to the journey is the Borderland, the U.S.-Mexico border, which we have traveled this month for NPR.

If you lack a U.S. visa, you can't just board a flight for New York's JFK airport. The worse off your country is, the harder it may be to obtain that visa. American consular officers are likely to suspect, when you're coming from Yemen or Syria carrying everything you own, that your journey is more than a quick tourist trip.

But a network of smugglers can, for a fee, guide people to the airports of Latin America. From there, established land routes lead through Mexico to the US.

The La Posada Providencia shelter for asylum seekers is a nondescript building in San Benito, Texas. Kainaz Amaria/NPR

La Posada Providencia shelter, an unassuming cluster of buildings near the border in San Benito, Texas, has in the past year received people from about 20 countries, such as Albania, Romania, Nepal, India, and China.

When we visited, we chatted with men from Somalia and Cuba. And we ran into three Ethiopian women who were studying English as a second language, taking a class over a kitchen counter.

Women staying in the shelter gather for an English lesson. The shelter has housed asylum seekers from Albania, Bangladesh, Belize, China, Congo and beyond. Kainaz Amaria/NPR

They have applied for asylum in the United States, and are allowed to stay at the shelter while the government considers their cases and the stories they have told.

You really need to hear the voice of Saraa Zewedi Yilma, one of the Ethiopian women, who told of her story Thursday on Morning Edition. We're mapping her incredible journey (from Ethiopia to Sudan to Brazil, then through Venezuela, Colombia and beyond) for our upcoming digital feature on Borderland.

For now, listen to that story in her own words. Hers is a soft voice, sometimes hesitant as she struggles to find the language. She is a tiny woman who took an immense journey; and the population of the La Posada shelter suggests her story is not uncommon. 

Saraa Zewedi Yilma is seeking asylum from Ethiopia. Her journey to the U.S. border cost $15,000. Kainaz Amaria/NPR


Pope Francis tops Fortune's 'World's Greatest Leaders' list, but no Obama

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Pope Francis was named the world's greatest leader by Fortune magazine, topping a diverse list released Thursday.

Fortune’s first list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders includes a Hollywood actress, a baseball superstar, a teenage education advocate and the president of a small California college. It also includes a former American president, but the current one failed to make the cut.

Former President Bill Clinton ranks No. 5 on the list, selected for being a “relentless and forceful advocate” in numerous causes, but noticeably absent is one of his successors and the current leader of the free world.

SAUL LOEB / AFP - Getty Images
President Barack Obama, here at a film screening on Wednesday, didn't make Fortune's list. 

"President Obama wasn't excluded from Fortune's World's 50 Greatest Leaders list,” Fortune said in a statement. “He simply didn't make this year's list of 50 outstanding individuals who have demonstrated rare leadership, leadership in multiple areas or who have demonstrated a long history of leading.”

The White House did not respond to an NBC request for comment.

Pope Francis ranked first among the world leaders for an attitude that has drawn more attention and admiration in just one year than any of his predecessors have over several decades.

Francis, who just celebrated his first anniversary as pontiff, has helped clean up the money-scandal that plagued the Vatican bank and has begun to address the church's child sexual abuse scandal. He also has "set a striking new tone through his personal example of modesty and inclusiveness — this is what a great leader does,” the magazine said about the Pontiff, who just months earlier was named Time's "Person of the Year."

Fortune said it was difficult to winnow down its list to just 50 “men and women, young and old, who are leading the way people want to be led. Crave to be led.” The list also includes: Angelina Jolie (No. 21) and Bono (No. 8) for their humanitarian efforts; New York Yankee Derek Jeter (No. 11), captain of arguably America’s most iconic sports franchise; and Maria Klawe (No. 17), the Harvey Mudd College president leading the charge to bring more women into science and technology careers.

AP; AFP-Getty Images; Reuters
Derek Jeter, Angelina Jolie and Bono all made Fortune's "World's 50 Greatest Leaders" list. 

Leaders on the list range from corporate — like Gail Kelly, the chief executive of one of Australia's largest banks, Westpac — to inspirational, such as 16-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai (No. 34), who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for her outspoken defense in a female’s right to education.

“We have drawn a distinction between leaders and people who are admirable and powerful but who are not transformative leaders,” the magazine said. “Simply running a large organization or serving in an influential role does not meet the threshold to be on this list.”

All candidates had to be currently active, so retirees or recently deceased leader such as Nelson Mandela were not considered.

1. Pope Francis, pontiff, Catholic Church

2. Angela Merkel, chancellor, Germany

3. Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor Co.

4. Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

5. Former President Bill Clinton, founder, The Clinton Foundation

6. Aung San Suu Kyi, chair, National League for Democracy

7. Gen. Joe Dunford, Commander, U.S. Forces, Afghanistan

8. Bono, lead singer, U2

9. Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of the Tibetan people

10. Jeff Bezos, CEO,

The full list of Fortune's "World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” can be found at



And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast?
who is able to make war with him?

Revelation 13:3&4