[by Sandy McIntosh] The people who manage Chick-Fil-A, an American fast food chain have been severely criticized for their opinions about traditional male-female marriage. Because of their beliefs, they do not support the institution of Gay marriage, and they have expressed their opinions publicly. Their stance is pro marriage, but they are commonly described negatively, as Gay haters (watch this YouTube clip). Be warned, the video clip includes statements that you may find disturbing, like “They focus on hating other people, just like Jesus.” Many comments on the video article are negative:
James O’Keefe runs Project Veritas. Using video, his group goes undercover to record and expose corruption and questionable activities among the political élite of America. In their most recent video, they showed officials at Barry University, a Catholic school, essentially supporting the setting up of a pro-ISIS club on campus. ISIS is the Middle East terrorist group brutalizing Iraq and Syria. We recently posted a story of the organization beheading 21 people in Libya because they were Christians. Media also seems to release daily reports on horrific atrocities being committed by ISIS.
[by Earl Blacklock] The slave trade was a lucrative part of the British economy. British ships moved slaves from Africa to the West Indies to be bought and sold, then brought sugar and other goods produced with that labor back to Britain. William Wilberforce was a young man, born to privilege, who was a close personal friend of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger. In 1780, while still a 21 year old student at Cambridge, he was elected the Member of Parliament for Kingston upon Hull, sitting as an independent. At 25, he was elected the Member of Parliament for Yorkshire. Shortly after, partly due to the influence of his aunt, he went through a conversion experience, becoming an ardent Christian. He fought for social reforms such as the improvement of British factory conditions, and against child labor and animal cruelty.
[by Dean Smith] Irvin Finkel works at the British Museum based in London. He is also an expert on the ancient scripts used by the Babylonians, Sumerians and Assyrians. While exploring the cuneiform texts of the Ancient Sumerians, he came across one that describes a great flood. In some significant ways it is very similar to the Biblical flood account, but in other ways different. The account holds to the same basic theme. God destroyed the world with a massive flood, but a handful of humans and a representative of all the animals were saved by an ark that rode out the flood. According to the Finkel the text is old dating to about 1750 BC.
As Jewish worshipers were ending their sabbath early Sunday morning, March 22, 2015, an angry mob of 20 people attacked the synagogue. Nothing new here, as extremists have launched attacks against Jews for decades. But what is different is the location. The Ahavas Torah synagogue is found in London, England. Shortly after 1 am Sunday morning, a drunken group stormed the synagogue screaming “kill the Jews.” Inside the Jews struggled to hold them back, some picking up chairs to defend themselves. A couple of Jews were hurt, windows smashed and the synagogue vandalized.
An English judge has penalized Michael Overd $2,100 for citing certain portions of the Bible in public. This included a $300 fine and paying $1,800 in compensation for causing “emotional pain.” Last summer, Overd, a former British paratrooper, was street preaching in Taunton in the county of Somerset, England with a loudspeaker when spoke of Leviticus 20. The chapter speaks of the death penalty for homosexuality (verse 13). Though he referenced the chapter, Overd, who has been a street preacher for five years, claims he never spoke about the death penalty.
[by Dean Smith] Years ago, I attended a political meeting, when a young stay-at-home mom nervously approached a mike in an open session to address the several politicians, including the party leader, sitting at the front. She expressed her desire to be at home looking after her young children. She believed it was an important job, but government policies including higher taxation rates were making it increasingly difficult for her family to do this. It seemed everyone, in this largely conservative gathering, applauded her statement. Well, everyone I guess, except one.
[by Dean Smith] A 25-year study by sociologist Judith Wallerstein from the University of Berkley discovered the problems children encounter when their parents’ divorce often don’t show up until later — when the children are between 20 and 30 years of age. In her study entitled, The unexpected legacy of divorce: A 25 year landmark study, Wallerstein followed 100 children over a 25-years period commencing in 1971 when California liberalized its divorce legislation. Wallerstein stated the results surprised her. It was clear the delayed, negative impact of divorce on children was more far-reaching than first anticipated.
This past week, the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held its annual meeting in New York and of the 193 U.N. member countries, the commission only condemned one nation for violating the rights of women — Israel. During its meeting, the CSW issued 9 reports, 8 of which were procedural, and one which condemned Israel as the world’s only abuser of women because of its conflict with Palestine. This despite reports, the honor killing of women happens regularly in Palestine and Hamas used civilians as human shields in the war it provoked against Israel.
[by Earl Blacklock] Something that has always astounded me is how completely the `world-changing influence of Christian men and women is ignored even as their legacy is celebrated. Ask the average person to give a summary of the impact of Christians on history, and you are more likely to hear their 10th hand rendition of real and imagined offenses during the Crusades and the Inquisition rather than how our modern society is indebted to the groundbreaking work of these Christians. One of the most influential of these Christian pioneers was a young woman, born to privilege, who created a profession that touches every life. Nurses around the world universally credit Florence Nightingale as the woman who made their profession one of honour. She introduced virtually all of the protocols and standards that are now understood by even a first year student nurse.
[by Dean Smith] TOMS Shoes as its name suggests is a shoe manufacturer with a unique approach to business. I have probably only bought two pairs of shoes in the last 25 years. It’s sad, but my wife doesn’t trust me to buy my own clothes. Some who knew me as a bachelor would say for good reason. As soon as I mentioned the brand name, my daughter’s interest was instantly piqued. “I love TOMS,” she said. Whenever TOMS sells a pair of shoes through a retail outlet, it provides a free pair of shoes to a child in a developing country. It does the same with its high-end sun glasses, but provides corrective glasses for children with seeing impairments, instead of the much cooler shades.
[by Dean Smith] I didn’t realize this, but solar eclipses are connected with other historical eclipses. NASA refers to these groups as a Saros cycle. Blood moons run in similar cycles as well. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. A Saros cycle refers to groups of eclipses where the moon has the same geometry, the same distance from the earth and occurs at the same time of the year as earlier eclipses. These cycles occur at intervals of 18 years, 11 days and 8 hours. Essentially the solar eclipse occurring on March 20, 2015 is repeating an eclipse that occurred 18 years, 11 days prior and that one is connected to an eclipse that happened 18 years 11 days before it.
[by Dean Smith] Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is considering seeking the Republican nomination for the American 2016 Presidential elections. Speaking to the National Religious Broadcasters in February, Walker confided he is still trying to decide God’s direction on this decision. Walker said: “I’m still trying to decipher if this is God’s calling. You’ve got to be crazy to want to be President of the United States … To look at what it does to a person and a family you have got to be crazy. But you should only do it if you feel God’s called you to get in there and make a difference. We’re still trying to decide and we’re going to ask you for your prayers in that regard.” This statement was picked up by a number of media types, including the Wallstreet Journal. But perhaps the most odd response came from a series of tweets made by Political Wire publisher Taegan Goddard.
UPDATED MARCH 23, 2015: [by Dean Smith] Israel’s Temple Institute, based in Jerusalem, just announced it had finished constructing the Altar of the Lord (also called the altar of burnt offering) this past December. The altar would be used for animal sacrifices if a new Jewish Temple is built in Jerusalem. The Romans destroyed the last temple in 70 AD. There were two altars in the original temple — the altar of burnt offering — which was just built and the smaller altar of incense. The Institute built the new altar according to the strict measurements and conditions laid out in the Old Testament. The media originally reported it stood 5 meters high (16 feet), however according to information just released by the Temple Institute, the altar is actually five amot high (a Biblical measurement) which works out to 7.7 feet and 24.5 feet wide. It comes complete with a ramp that allows for easy access to the top of the altar where the sacrifices took place.
[by Dean Smith] As I read of Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt found in the Book of Exodus, one thing always puzzled me. Why didn’t the Pharaoh just order a hit job on Moses? Moses came before the Pharaoh several times asking permission for Israel to leave Egypt. Each time the Pharaoh said no and then Moses announced another plague. There was plenty of opportunity for the Pharaoh to end it all by simply taking out the Jewish leader. But the Pharaoh didn’t do it? Why?
[by Earl Blacklock] Marian Anderson was a black singer in the U.S. whose singing ability was considered exceptional. Famed conductor Arturo Toscanini once told her she had a voice “heard once in a hundred years.” In 1925, she began singing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and was an immediate success. She followed that up with an appearance at Carnegie Hall in 1928, and a tour of Europe in the 1930s. She sang at the White House for the President and the King and Queen of England. A black singer in the U.S. during the 1930s faced enormous obstacles. In 1939, she was barred by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) from playing at Constitution Hall. There was a public outcry against the decision, led by Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of the President. She, along with thousands of other DAR members, cancelled her membership in the organization in protest. She went further, helping to persuade Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes to permit Marian to sing in an open air concert on the steps …
[by Dean Smith] For those with an eye towards the end times, next week could prove interesting. On Friday, March 20, 2015, there will be a total eclipse of the sun. The total eclipse will happen over the North Pole and is expected to last 2 minutes. The eclipse will be so strong, particularly in Europe, that some in England are concerned it may cause power outages in that country because of its growing dependence on solar energy. In fact, England’s Daily Mail referred to it as a “Great Eclipse” as some parts of England will experience 97% darkness. In England the eclipse will start at 8 AM, peak around 9:30 and will finish by 11 AM. However, the timing of the eclipse is as unusual as the eclipse itself. It will fall on the Spring Equinox, an event that would only occur once every 100,000 years. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and sun.
Young America’s Foundation (YAF) has a chapter at the George Washington University (GW) based in Washington, DC. Established in 1969, YAF is a conservative academic organization geared to training young people on the principles of liberty, traditional Christian values and free enterprise. Students at George Washington have recently accused YAF of committing an “act of violence.” So what grievous thing did this non-violent, conservative group commit?
Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a little known pharaoh who may have had a connection to Joseph. According to what was written on the tomb’s wall, his name was Senebkay. He had looted a nearby tomb of Pharaoh Sobekhotep I, stealing a cedar chest, suggesting Senebkay was not financially well off. The tomb found in Abydos had been ransacked by grave robbers. They even ripped apart Senebkay’s coffin, including his mummy, which was buried under a pile of debris. His body was found in January 2014.
[by Dean Smith] My wife, daughter and I were recently watching a favorite program on Netflix, when I hit the pause button. “I have a simple question for both of you,” I said. It was part of my less than scientific survey on perceptions surrounding global warming. “If we cut out a swath of the earth’s atmosphere made up of 10,000 atoms and molecules, how many of them would be CO2.” What would be your answer to this question?
[by Earl Blacklock] U.S. Coast Guard cutter George M. Bibb was designed as a ship of war – and of hope. In World War II, its crew rescued hundreds from the waters of the North Atlantic, but its greatest challenge was the post-war rescue of those in a downed trans-Atlantic airplane. The Bermuda Sky Queen, piloted by Captain Charles Martin, was a Boeing 314 flying boat with 62 passengers and seven crew. On October 14, 1947, the plane was flying from Ireland to Newfoundland when it encountered unexpectedly strong headwinds from a heavy gale. Martin realized that the plane didn’t have enough fuel to make it to land in either direction, and he decided to land the plane beside the Bibb, on weather station duty nearby.
If only one had heard it, you could blame a hyperactive imagination, but when three say they heard the same thing, you have to wonder what was going on. There is no explanation why the car Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, 25, was driving ended up upside down in Utah’s Spanish Fork River along with her 18-month-old daughter Lily. And it wasn’t until the next day, an estimated 14 hours after the crash, that a man fishing along the banks saw the bottom of the car protruding from the shallow waters of the river.
[by Sandy McIntosh] World leaders seem paralyzed by the Islamic State. The most recent news is that IS is bulldozing ancient ruins. Apparently they are destroying the historical heritage of the entire human race, with the attitude, we don’t need a past, we just need their future. Future generations have lost part of their heritage forever. The problem is us, not them. The world has no solution to this horrible problem. I believe the failure comes from our western bias, we believe in our own success but we are confronted by a victorious enemy. World news is grim. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria continues to shock the world and no-one can stop them. Thousands of Russian soldiers are in another country, Ukraine and they won’t leave. Iran seems close to building a nuclear bomb, and Saudi Arabia has responded by planning to build its own.
[by Dean Smith] This past week, horrific photos surfaced of the terrorist group Islāmic State (IS) amputating the hand of a suspected thief in the Iraqi city of Mosul. IS is setting up a Caliphate or Muslim state ruled by a supreme leader known as a Calif in an area covering parts of Iraq and Syria. It comes with a full implementation of Sharia law that provides for amputation of a thief’s hand for a first offense. After the second, IS starts lopping off feet. The photo documentary shows the brutal punishment from its first stage inside a crowded van as they drive to a market for the public punishment. On the trip, the man’s arm is tightly bandaged to slow blood flow. The victim is then pumped full of drugs to reduce the pain and further restrict blood loss after the hand is hacked off.
Three Gospel writers — Matthew (Matthew 27:33), Mark (Mark 15:22) and John (John 19:17) — refer to the place of Jesus’ execution as Golgotha. The Aramaic word “Golgotha” means simply “skull” and the three writers add the phrase the “Place of a Skull” to specifically describe the spot. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull, (Matthew 27:44 NASV) For years, many were uncertain what Golgotha referred to. Jerome, an early Latin priest (347 AD – 420 AD), said the place received its name from the skulls that littered the execution area after crucifixion. Others today believe it refers to an unusual weathering of limestone rocks that created a skull-like appearance in the rock, still visible today.
[by Dean Smith] I was waiting in the doctor’s office for an appointment when I saw it — another confirmation of the Book of Genesis. The waiting area is a large room with eight rows of padded chairs down the middle. In the far corner, there is an enclosed play area for children. Only a choice few chairs have arms. I quickly sat in one of those. The room was half full of people with various ailments. Old to young. Mostly women.
[by Dean Smith] In an interview on CNN, Ben Carson, a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination, was asked if being gay was a choice. There are several pushing the idea that homosexuality is genetic, however, a number of studies on identical twins suggest this is not the case. In a response to Chris Cuomo’s question, Carson said he believes being gay is a choice. Using the prison system as his example, Carson stated: “Because a lot of people who go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”
[by Dean Smith] If there was anyone I would have written off as an impossible case for conversion, it was Dr Rosaria Champagne Butterfield. She was a left-winger, lesbian, atheist and an English professor at Syracuse University. In my world, three strikes and you are out. But thankfully, a reformed Syracuse Presbyterian pastor and his wife, Ken and Floy Smith, had more faith than I did. In her testimonial, “My Train Wreck Conversion,” on Christianity Today, Rosaria tells how God chased her down. One of my favorite lines from her article is: “As a leftist lesbian professor, I despised Christians. Then somehow I became one.”
[by Dean Smith] The Muslim’s Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem has been a source of conflict between Muslims and Jews for years. In a video at the end of this article, you will see a confrontation between a group of Muslim agitators and US senator Dennis Ross when he recently visited the Dome. According to tradition, the Dome of the Rock sits on the original site of the Jewish Temple before the Romans destroyed it in 70 AD. The Dome, built in 691 AD, is considered one of Islam’s oldest buildings. The State of Jordan operates and manages the Dome, which is probably Jerusalem’s most notable land mark. But recently some are suggesting the Dome of the Rock was not the original site of the Jewish Temple.
[by Dean Smith] In a Biblical Archaeological Review article, archaeologist Ken Dark reports he may have found Jesus’ childhood home in Nazareth. According to the Bible, Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1), raised in Nazareth (Luke 4:16) and eventually moved to Capernaum (Matthew 4:13) where He started ministering. In 670 AD, an Irish Monk named Adomnan from Iona wrote a document called De Loctis Sanctis that discussed the pilgrimage of Bishop Arculf to Nazareth. During his journey, Arculf visited a church at the site of the home where Jesus grew up.
[by Earl Blacklock] From his childhood, Jean Henri Casimir Fabre was a gifted self-taught observer of nature whose extensive research and writings on insect and arachnid anatomy and behavior set the highest standard for scientific inquiry. Fabre won a scholarship to a school for teachers, where he taught himself Latin and Greek. While studying a text on entomology, he discovered an error. The book said that the hunting wasp kills beetles before feeding them to its larvae. Through careful observation, Fabre saw that the wasp instead paralyzes its prey, delivering them to its young still alive. From that observation, Fabre learned the principle that in science, all authority must be questioned. A teacher of biology at a high school for boys in Avignon, Fabre devoted his free time to the study of insects and arachnids. He would spend hours after school studying and recording the drama of the lives of creatures that lived nearby, from the way they would signal their presence to how they killed their prey.
I know it’s the politically correct thing to do — blame all the Muslim’s woes and outrage on the crusades that happened 11 centuries ago. Even on the video when ISIS brutally beheaded 21 Coptic Christians on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, its spokesman indirectly referenced the Crusades. And in that spirit, President Obama did exactly the same thing at the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington D.C. on the morning of Thursday, February 5, 2015. During his address to a largely Christian crowd, President Obama talked about the brutality of ISIS and then in almost the same breath spoke of the terrible brutality of the Crusades, “justified in the name of Christ.”