Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Vanity of Vanities

I want to post an email sent out from Andrew Strom pertaining to the recent deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. When I read the email Saturday afternoon, it greatly echoed my thoughts earlier that morning as I read my bible. I was reading in Ecclesiastes thinking “vanity of vanities—poor Michael Jackson”. I was so into the Jackson Five, when I was a young kid myself. A huge fan back then. Today, looking at details into Michael Jackson's life, one can sense there was a certain emptiness-- something was not as it should be. Despite all he had: the money, the fame, and his unquestionable talent--there was something missing--a silent emptiness.

After I accepted Jesus as my Savior, the first thing I wonder when someone famous and (not famous dies) is whether they knew Jesus Chirst.

"Vanity of vanities..." Our physical lives are only temporary, and all mankind must consider the eternal. Indeed, it is a vapor compared to eternity.

Jesus said "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26

Hebrews 9:27-28
27) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Find the email article directly below:


-by Andrew Strom.

Most of you will have heard the sad news of the passing of two pop icons in one day yesterday. Farrah Fawcett was 63 and died after a long battle with cancer. Michael Jackson the "prince of pop", aged only 50, died in even sadder circumstances. How tragic that even the vast machinery of fame cannot shield its many lost sons from a lonely, miserable existence and an unhappy end.

No doubt Farrah Fawcett could look back on the glory years when young women around the world imitated her hairstyle and her "look". I can remember as a kid watching "Charlie's Angels", though I have to admit far preferring "The Six Million Dollar Man" as a 10-year-old. She will be remembered as a battler to the end, an icon of her era. But oh, how fleeting is life. And oh, how empty is fame. And oh, how pointless is earthly success when eternity stretches before all.

Michael Jackson could have looked back on years of pop glory and superstar fame - when his dance moves dazzled the whole world. But then came the surgeries, the bizarre behaviour, the ugly allegations, the court cases, the hundreds of million$ of debt.

Like another famous "prince" of pop (actually - his father in law - Elvis Presley), he seemingly died unhappy and alone, his "comeback" unrealized, his fame a chain around his neck, his death a shock in one still so young. Elvis died at 42, and now his son-in-law Michael at 50. Fame seemingly does not take good care of its own when they pass their "use-by" date. And so the ephemeral idols of our shallow culture continue crashing down.

"For what is your life?" asks the apostle James. "It is a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away."

"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher of Ecclesiastes, "All is vanity... All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again."

If it is one thing we can learn from the life and death of every 'icon' on this planet, it is that we all must live with eternity in view, not the fleeting charade of this present world. As Leonard Ravenhill so eloquently asked, "Are the things you're living for worth Christ dying for?"

A sad day.

Send feedback to - prophetic@revivalschool.com

God bless you all.

Andrew Strom.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Crackdown In Iran

As most know out there, Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi claimed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad committed fraud on the June 12th election of a president. Immediately following the elections, mass demonstrations broke out in Iran. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cracked down hard on the demonstrators, and very shortly after Ahmadinejad declared victory, the nation’s top cleric called the election valid—that is, proclaiming his “blessing” without any attempt to initiate investigation. After a live televised report by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in support of the current president, the typical chanting of "death to America" and "death to Israel" …occurred amongst partakers present... It's rather pathetic-- the finger pointing by Ahmadinejad at the US, Britain, and Israel as instigating these protests--that's one lame propaganda bluff. Such diversionary arrows are simply returning to him like a boomerang. Simply consider the quick actions taken to suppress Iranian citizens from using the Internet, and the violence directed towards those partaking in peaceful demonstrations when the election results purportedly came in. Currently, Iranian authorities are barring international journalists from reporting on the streets. Actions truly speak louder than words at times, and I dare, this is one of those times. Article directly below:

*Also see: Iranian cleric says "rioters" should be executed


Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vows not to waver over protests

From Times Online

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today vowed he would not waver in response to protests over the disputed presidential election.

Claims of vote-rigging in the June 12 poll have provoked the biggest street demonstrations since the 1979 Islamic revolution and been answered by a bloody crackdown in which at least 18 people have died and more than 1,000 arrested.

“I had insisted and will insist on implementing the law on the election issue... Neither the establishment nor the nation will yield to pressure at any cost,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, effectively closing the door on compromise with the reformists.

Iran also stepped up its rhetoric against Western governments, whom Iran accuses of orchestrating the protests. This morning, Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister, said that Tehran was considering whether to downgrade diplomatic ties with Britain.

Two British diplomats were expelled on Monday, accused of spying, prompting Gordon Brown to order tit-for-tat expulsions of two Iranian diplomats.

Mr Brown's spokesman said that Downing St was carefully considering Iran's latest move, and hoped to preserve a constructive relationship. “Iran’s decision to try to turn what are clearly internal matters for Iran into a conflict with the UK and others is deeply regrettable and without foundation."

It was reported today that one of Iran's most hard-line prosecutors has been appointed to lead the judicial crackdown on reformists. Human Rights Watch says that Saeed Mortazavi, the prosecutor-general of Tehran, has been put in charge of bringing dissidents' cases through a special court.

The New York-based campaign group says that Mr Mortazavi's credentials include personally interrogating Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist who died in custody in June 2003. Her family's lawyers say that her body showed signs of torture, including blows to the head.

The government of Canada continues to claim that not only did Mr Mortazavi order Kazemi's arrest, but supervised her torture and was present when she was killed. The Iranian Parliament has accused him of orchestrating a cover-up.

In 2000 while still a judge Mr Mortazavi reportedly ordered the closure of more than 100 newspapers and journals suspected of voicing dissent, and in 2004 he is said to have ordered the detention of more than 20 bloggers and journalists, who were allegedly held in solitary confinement in secret locations and coerced to sign false statements and make televised confessions.

Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East and North Africa director, said: "Iran is in the midst of a violent and arbitrary crackdown on reformist protesters that has already claimed lives and led to over a thousand arrests.

"The role of Mortazavi in the crackdown suggests that the authorities are preparing to bring trumped up charges against its opponents."

Iranian officials have promised punitive sentences against those arrested during the wave of protests against the allegedly rigged June 12 presidential election that returned President Ahmadinejad to power.

More than 1,000 people are believed to have been held - some of them protesters arrested on the streets, some university students held in midnight raids, while others are prominent journalists and politicians who have been rounded up at their homes and offices. Many are reportedly being held without charge in Evin prison outside Tehran, without access to lawyers or relatives.

“Elements of riots must be dealt with to set an example. The judiciary will do that,” Ebrahim Raisi, a top judicial official, said.

Mr Mortazavi has been linked with the crackdown on opposition leader and defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, reportedly ordering the arrest of 25 staff at his newspaper on Monday. Mr Mousavi has also been the subject of vitriolic attacks from the hardline press.

Zahra Rahnavard, Mr Mousavi's redoubtable wife, demanded the immediate release of detainees and said it was her patriotic and religious duty to continue fighting injustice.

“I regret that a large number of people among the political elite and others have been arrested, and I ask for their release,” Zahra Rahnavard said in remarks published today on her husband’s campaign website.

“I have not been arrested. I continue my work at the university but, at the same time alongside others, I protest.

“Nationalism and the blood of the martyrs demand that I be on the scene, always protesting against the result of the election and defending people’s rights within the framework of the law."

The crackdown was authorised by Ayatollah Khamenei in his sermon at Friday prayers in Tehran university last week, when he warned that opposition leaders “will be held accountable for all the violence, bloodshed and rioting" if they did not halt the rallies.

The authorities have flooded the streets with armed police and militiamen, stepped up raids on universities suspected of being hotbeds of dissent and arrested known dissidents.

On Saturday more than 450 protesters were arrested and at least 10 of them killed, including 26-year-old Neda Salehi Agha Soltan, who was shot as she stood in the street. A near news blackout has been imposed on the deaths and public funerals appear to have been banned in an attempt to prevent them becoming martyrs.

Penitent protesters have been paraded on television, saying that they were incited to riot by the BBC.

The crackdown is now being extended and tightened. Newspapers in Tehran reported yesterday that at least four members of the country's football team have been told they will never play for the national squad again, after daring to wear green armbands signalling support for the protests during last week's World Cup qualifying match against South Korea. According to one report their passports have been confiscated.

The Iranian Football Federation could not immediately be contacted for confirmation of the reprisals against Ali Karimi, Mehdi Mahdavikia and Fahid Hashemian - top players whose names and reputations rival those of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard within Iran.

Meanwhile a chink appeared in the reformists' defiance when Mohsen Rezai, one of the three defeated presidential candidates, withdrew complaints of vote rigging, saying that he was acting in the national interest.

In a letter written to the Guardians Council, Mr Rezai - a former head of the Revolutionary Guard - said that the country’s political, social and security situation had entered such a critical phase that loyalty was more important than the election.

“I feel it is my duty... taking into account my pledge as a soldier of the revolution, the leader and the people, to inform you that I renounce following up on my complaints," he wrote.

Although the Guardians Council has yet to issue a final ruling on the election, Ayatollah Khamenei has already endorsed the results, and blamed foreign powers particularly "treacherous" Britain - for trying to undermine them. “Some of our enemies in different parts of the world intended to depict this absolute victory, this definitive victory, as a doubtful victory. It is your victory. They cannot manipulate it.”

Tehran has repeatedly accused London of meddling in the post-election unrest, claiming that spies had been flooding into the country for the last two years. Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, the Iranian Intelligence Minister, repeated the allegations this morning when he told the Fars news agency that some people with British passports “had a role in the riots".

Analysts say that Iran appears to be treading a fine diplomatic line by focusing its anger on Britain, last known to have interfered directly in Iranian politics in the 1950s, rather than on America, where President Obama has been offering a fresh start in diplomatic relations.

Monday, June 22, 2009

To Preach Repentance

*From Revival School/Andrew Strom via email:

-by S. Hill.

Would that be Ezekiel due to the intensity of his visions? Would that be Isaiah due to the accuracy of his revelation of Jesus? Would that be Daniel due to his wisdom and ability to interpret dreams that kept him at the power centers of two world empires? Would that be Enoch who had such a powerful encounter with God that he literally was not here anymore?

According to Jesus the greatest prophet was John the Baptist who came preaching "repentance for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand". So far as we know John never had a vision, dream or angelic encounter. Yet Jesus called him the greatest prophet!

How many prophets do you know who are preaching repentance?

It is difficult for them to preach repentance from the practice of casual divorce and remarriage since such would close "ministry doors" to them and offend folks who pay for their conferences and buy their books. But Jesus did so in Matthew 19:9!

It is difficult for them to preach repentance from selling the gospel and making merchandise of the people of God since most have embraced the same values. But in Matthew 10:8 Jesus commanded us to freely give as we have freely received. In II Corinthians 11:5- 21 Paul said that the difference between the true and the false was not in message, anointing or gifting but in how they related to the people and money!

It is difficult to for them to preach repentance from self promotion, the love of position and title since most have embraced celebrity status but Jesus did so in Matthew 23:1- 12.

It is difficult for them to preach repentance from seeking special experiences and angelic encounters since those experiences are their tickets to "prophetic" status in a world that values experiences above obedience. But Paul did so in Colossians 2:18- 19.

You cannot preach repentance from inside the camp! You support the camp. You can only preach repentance from outside. The court prophets support the court. The prophets from the wilderness are free to preach repentance. That is why Hebrew 13:13 calls us to follow Jesus outside the camp.

Jesus said that "the pure in heart shall see God". The result of true repentance should be a pure heart to see God.

Once you see God the claims for revelation from the prophets will literally be seen in a different light. Once you see God all dreams, visions and words will take their proper place. That some talk about third heaven experiences as casually as a trip to Pizza Hut and claim to be able to teach others how to have them, shows that they have never been farther than their own imaginations.

Maybe the fascination of the general church world with the supernatural experiences, dreams, revelations is simply because few of them have ever seen God? Maybe we put prophets in a wrong place because we do not have God in the right place?

Maybe we would be less fascinated with "supernatural experiences" if we understood the vision of God that Jesus presented to us? Yes, He came to show us the Father but He also said that if we served the least, we served Him.

He placed the face of God on every suffering child.

The pure in heart will see God and when they do the whole religious game of status, money, recognition, book sales and numbers will fade away. They will see God and they will see His face as the face of human need and they will serve.

Jesus is the greatest Prophet!
Hear Him!

-SOURCE: www.harvest-now.org

Friday, June 19, 2009

North Korea Threatens

North Korea. In the past month it's president, Kim Jong II, seems to be going on a dictatorial tantrum---from throwing the two American journalists into a labor camp, continuing to test nuclear missiles to demonstrate his defiance, and just recently threatening the state of Hawaii. Many experts claim its a bluffing game, but how many times have we seen dictators in just the last century commit atrocious irrational acts of hatred and pride? Or for that matter, underestimate them? Too many times for my comfort. Looking at news today, it also appears allegations of insurance fraud and corruption within the government is being exposed by a defector.


Pentagon: NKorea Missiles Could Threaten US

WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea's missiles could hit the United States in as few as three years if the reclusive rogue nation continues to ramp up its weapons system, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

At a Tuesday morning Senate hearing on missile defense, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn pointed to Pyongyang's recent steps to accelerate its long-range weapons program and agreed with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that the U.S. should be prepared for a "worst-case scenario" with North Korea.

"We think it ultimately could — if taken to its conclusion — it could present a threat to the homeland," Lynn told McCain during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Lynn did not immediately know how long it would take North Korea to build a powerful enough missile to hit Alaska or Hawaii. But Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it would take at least three to five years for North Korea to pose a real threat to the West Coast of the United States.

"That's assuming a lot of luck on their part in moving forward," Cartwright said during questioning by Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.

But Lynn and other Pentagon officials at the hearing said the U.S. currently has enough missile interceptors to protect the U.S. should North Korea launch an attack. Lynn said the Pentagon was building silos for as many as 30 interceptors stored at an Army base in Alaska — including some that are obsolete and need to be upgraded to counter future threats.

But the Pentagon's spending plan halts a planned expansion of its missile defense system, shaving at least $500 million from key programs, said Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly, director of the military's Missile Defense Agency.

In all, the missile defense budget is being cut by $1.2 billion, said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

"This whole budget has taken quite a hit," Sessions said.

The Pentagon officials also acknowledged that North Korea is working with other nations, including Iran and potentially Syria, to develop ballistic missiles.

The Pentagon is reviewing its missile defense program, a study that should be completed by the end of the year.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another Demonstration On The Evilness Of Hate

'Was He Capable of This? Yes.'
By Ashley Halsey III and Paul Duggan
Washington Post Staff Writers

The anger of James Wenneker von Brunn was too big for the quiet civility of the small town on Maryland's Eastern Shore where he made his home for much of the past three decades.

The venom that seethed within him spilled over time and again, shocking the people of Easton who bore witness. They were shocked once more at news of Wednesday's fatal shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, but not at word that the alleged gunman was the 88-year-old white supremacist who once lived in their midst.

"Was he capable of this? Yes," said Laura Era, who saw him explode with anger twice in her Harrison Street art gallery. "Our intuition that he was creepy, that he might go postal, all came back to us when we heard the news."

As more details emerged yesterday about von Brunn, an avowed racist and anti-Semite who was shot and critically wounded by museum guards, the U.S. attorney's office in the District charged him with murder and another offense under a federal statute that makes him eligible for the death penalty if prosecutors decide to seek it.

In an incident that was captured by the museum's security cameras, he allegedly entered the building with a .22-caliber rifle and shot 39-year-old security guard Stephen T. Johns in the chest.

FBI agent Ronald Farnsworth said in a court affidavit that von Brunn, driving a red 2002 Hyundai, double parked outside the museum entrance on 14th Street SW near the Mall at 12:44 p.m., got out of the car and walked toward the building, carrying the rifle at his side. Johns, a guard at the museum for six years, "was kind enough to open the door" for a person whom he apparently thought was a harmless elderly visitor, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said at a news briefing yesterday.

Authorities who viewed the video did not say whether von Brunn was holding the rifle at his side in a way that concealed it from Johns.

Von Brunn "raised his rifle, aimed it at [Johns] and fired one time," hitting the guard in the upper left side of his chest, Farnsworth wrote, adding, "The defendant continued through the door and raised his firearm as if to fire again." But two other guards fired first, and von Brunn, who was shot in the face, "fell backward outside the door." He remained in critical condition yesterday at George Washington University Hospital.

Investigators found three spent .22-caliber shell casings from von Brunn's rifle and 10 live rounds still in the weapon. The two guards apparently fired eight rounds from their .38-caliber revolvers. According to a federal law enforcement source, the rifle is a Winchester model that is at least 70 years old.

Searching the Hyundai, Farnsworth said in the affidavit, investigators found a notebook in which von Brunn had scribbled some of his thoughts.

"You want my weapons -- this is how you'll get them," von Brunn had written. "The Holocaust is a lie. . . . Obama does what his Jew owners tell him to do. . . . The 1st Amendment is abrogated -- henceforth."

To people who knew him on the Eastern Shore, the rants are familiar.

Easton is the seat of Talbot County, a place where bloodlines run deep into those of the colonial founding families and where the countryside that fans from Easton's outskirts is divided between farmland and the estates of moneyed families. Civil behavior and good manners are the price of acceptance in proper circles.

Von Brunn didn't fit.

"Most people who I know to be bigoted are quiet about it in polite company," said Denise Riley, editor of the local newspaper. "But this guy was right out there in the open about it."

Like many people who bear a grudge against the world, von Brunn -- a former Navy officer who commanded a PT boat in the Pacific in the last weeks of World War II -- appeared to be a loner to neighbors, who said they saw him but never knew him.

A 1943 graduate of Washington University in his home town of St. Louis, he bounced from one address to another on the Eastern Shore. He worked in the mortgage and real estate businesses, peddled his paintings of Western landscapes and shared with all who would listen his hatred for blacks and Jews.

He wound up living with a sister on Trippe Avenue in Easton before decamping to an Annapolis apartment rented by his son and the son's fiancee about two years ago. The fiancee told investigators that von Brunn, who paid the couple $400 a month for a room at the apartment, had two rifles when he arrived, a .22-caliber and a .30-caliber, according to Farnsworth's affidavit.

Authorities took the .30-caliber rifle and a quantity of .22-caliber ammunition from the apartment after the shooting.

Von Brunn's determination to make the case that the Holocaust was a fraud found its way into every conversation of consequence and poisoned the few friendships he attempted, people who know him said. He invited Laura Era's mother, Dorothy Newland, now 88, out to supper one evening about 10 years ago. She thought him "a good looking, well-spoken man."

But as they shared drinks and salads at the Rustic Inn, he talked about a book he was writing.

"It was all about things he objected to," Newland said. "He was very definitely against certain political things. I don't remember the details or whether it was particularly racist. I only listened with half an ear because I knew I wouldn't buy the book." She had heard enough, however, to know not to date him a second time.

The book, eventually titled "Kill the Best Gentiles!," rails against the Talmud, blacks and Jews, and belief in the Holocaust. He posted similar rants on his Web site.

Joseph Persichini, head of the FBI's Washington field office, said authorities knew of von Brunn well before the shooting but lacked the legal basis to investigate him.

"Many of these individuals are totally aware of what you can and cannot say, and crossing the line, which would initiate a domestic terrorism investigation. . . . That's the delicate balance," Persichini said.

Riley, editor of the Star Democrat newspaper, said von Brunn arranged in 1994 for a local public-access cable channel to run a Canadian-produced documentary on the "myth of the Holocaust." Von Brunn had paid for an ad in the paper promoting the show, but someone objected when he sought to have it published again.

Von Brunn and Riley faced off. Her father, an Army medic, had helped liberate a Nazi concentration camp, and snapshots of bodies piled atop one another had haunted her since childhood.

"I said that I found it incomprehensible that someone who said he had fought in that war could be spouting this junk," Riley said. "He turned toward me and almost hissed and said, 'Mrs. Riley, how do I know your husband isn't a Jew?' " The anger escalated into a brief tussle as von Brunn tried to grab a notebook from a reporter and then was escorted from the building.

"An incident like that is seared in your memory forever," Riley said.

He frequented the Troika Gallery, owned by Era, Newland and a third woman, Jennifer Wharton. On two occasions, his temper exploded in their shop. His work, mostly Western landscapes, some with flags and bald eagle themes, did not measure up, the owners said. Newland said he was "not only an amateur, but he was in acrylic, not oil."

When they told him it wasn't good enough for their gallery, Era said, "he went stomping out, screaming that he would never come back. But in a few months he did."

Newland and Era recalled another incident: More than a year ago, he stormed into the gallery in a fury. He had seen a bride and groom emerging from their wedding ceremony in the garden of the nearby Historical Society. One was white, the other black. Paying no mind to the customers in the gallery, he vented his anger to Wharton.

"He charged in here spewing things about race," Era said. "Jennifer told him he had to leave."

And that was the last they saw of him.

"He must have had a mental glitch, and he needed to be needed," Newland said. "But we couldn't need him."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's Not Just Entertainment!

I just read this very insightful article on the appeal of witchcraft in our present day culture ( some of you have likely read it when it came out in January 2009). Even among some Christians, many believe media portrayals of such things to be harmless entertainment; yet it can open the door to future occult involvement in our lives.


Potions and charms and spells! Oh my!
by Marsha West

Witches are coming out of the broom closet. But they’re not calling themselves witches anymore. Instead those in “the Craft” prefer Wiccan, which comes from the earlier form of the word for witch. [1] Perhaps the name has been changed to take the sting out of it, but a witch by any other name is still a witch.

“I will continue to proclaim that I am a Witch, and I am Wiccan, for it means the same thing. It is my religion, and it is my craft. It is my life.” --Mike Nichols, Wiccan

Witches are coming out of the broom closet. But they’re not calling themselves witches anymore. Instead those in “the Craft” prefer Wiccan, which comes from the earlier form of the word for witch. [1] Perhaps the name has been changed to take the sting out of it, but a witch by any other name is still a witch.

It’s impossible to determine the numbers of Wiccans there are worldwide because they have no formal membership. Estimates vary but there could be as many as 3 million practicing the magic arts in America. Some say Wicca is the fastest-growing religion in the country! Whether this is true or not, one thing’s for sure: many young people, especially female high school and college students, are joining covens. Because of Wicca’s reverence for the earth and nature, young environmentalists are drawn to Wicca.

What do modern day Wiccans practice and believe?

“Wicca is a faith system that has no central organization or theological belief system defined for all of its adherents. It may be best understood through its typical practices, which include performing magic and sorcery, casting spells and engaging in Witchcraft. It is a ritualistic faith based on a loose set of pagan beliefs that are generally pantheistic in nature. Those who are involved commonly go through initiation rites for membership, teaching and leadership. Contrary to a widespread assumption, however, Wicca is not synonymous with Satan worship. Wiccans most frequently worship gods and goddesses that are found in nature. Wicca generally embraces the notions of karma and reincarnation, and promotes a laissez faire form of morality.” [2]

Wicca is a neopagan, nature-based religion. Wiccans celebrate eight season-based festivals. Typically, Wiccans worship the horned god and the triple goddess. “A key belief in Wicca is that the Goddess and the God (or the goddesses and gods) are able to manifest in personal form, most importantly through the bodies of Priestesses and Priests via the rituals of Drawing down the Moon or Drawing down the Sun.” [3]

One online resource, ReligionLink, tells us that “Wiccans are smashing stereotypes as their movement matures. Throughout the country Wiccans are organizing congregations and youth groups, training clergy, pursuing charity work, sharing pagan parenting tips and fighting for their civil rights.” [4]

Wiccan’s are fighting those who follow tradition mainstream religions:

"I call out for protection of the Goddess's people from the wrath of right-wing fundamentalists and their God" --Wendy Hunter Roberts, pagan priestess.

The media, including advertisers and book and magazine publishers, are lending their support to Wicca and Witchcraft. Not surprisingly book sales on Witchcraft have jumped dramatically since the late 1980s.

The Harry Potter (HP) books, probably the best-known books on Witchcraft, have cast a spell on children. The Potter books fly off the shelves like broomsticks and have made the author, J.K. Rowling, a gazillionaire. Young and old alike read the books and flock to theaters to see the HP movies. And of course parents rush to stores to purchase all the latest HP collectables for their youngsters. Not surprisingly kids dress up like the Potter characters on Halloween. It seems everyone’s wild about Harry. Rowling is masterful at promoting the idea that Harry and his friends are “good” wizards and witches who battle the forces of evil. As a result of HP’s popularity, youngsters are enchanted by Witchcraft and all things pagan.

It’s easy for teens to learn about Witchcraft. All they have to do is surf the internet, where Wiccan sites abound. They learn about spells, incantations and magic potions that are designed to influence circumstances and/or people.

Hollywood has used its movie magic to promote Witchcraft and alter the public perception of witches for years. The 1930s classic “The Wizard of Oz” hit the silver screen to favorable reviews. The movie had a huge impact on the way people perceive witches. Today when you think of a witch, who springs to mind but Margaret Hamilton, the actress who played the Wicked Witch of the West. You remember her green face, pointy black hat, hooked nose with a wart on the end of if, and of course the broomstick she straddled and streaked through the sky. There was also a “good” witch in the movie, beautiful Glenda, the Witch of the North, who looked like a fairy princess. In the 1950s “Bell Book and Candle” staring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak was a big hit with audiences. In the 1960s “Rosemary’s Baby” scared the stuffing out of movie-goers. The 1980s conjured up “The Witches of Eastwick.” That same year “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” won an Oscar for its visual effects. In the 1990s Tinseltown gave us “Practical Magic,” “The Craft” and “The Blair Witch Project.” The current decade has been all about witches. Four Harry Potter movies played on the big screen. The first, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,” was a box-office smash. In July 2009 the “Chosen One” will once again mount his broomstick and whiz into a theatre near you in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

On television, shows like “Bewitched” (which was also made into a movie starring Nicole Kidman), “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Charmed” have been hugely popular, especially with teens. Last year even the Hallmark Movie Channel, which promotes good clean family-friendly programming, brought us “The Good Witch.” In this made for TV movie, Catherine Bell plays Cassie Nightingale, a mysterious woman who moves into a haunted mansion in a small town. Cassie soon has everyone in town wondering if she is a witch because of all the magical changes she brings into the lives of the townsfolk. The mayor’s busybody wife suspects Cassie’s a witch and tries to set everyone against her. For her actions she’s portrayed as irrational, mean-spirited and intolerant. In other words, the one who is against the practice of Witchcraft is bad. The witch, of course, is good. “The Good Witch” was so popular with the audience that Hallmark has produced a sequel.

What is important to know about all the supernatural hullabaloo, that’s become such a huge temptation for the younger generation, is that God strongly condemns it. Sure, it’s a bummer because casting spells is fun, so is playing with the Ouija board, but the Bible makes it clear that God condemns the magic arts. But no one seems to care what God says anymore nor do we have a healthy fear of the Lord.

“Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence…?”(Jer. 5:22)

What could it hurt to try to contact the dead or to have an astrologer calculate the astrological compatibility between you and another person? Well first of all, God is a real party pooper when it comes to sorcery. He forbids dabbling in the magic arts, period, end of discussion. His prohibition is for our own good. Behind the supernatural powers lurks the god of this world, namely Satan. The minute a person opens the door to the occult, Satan directs his evil forces to their doorstep. Once someone is caught in Satan’s trap, it’s hard to break free! Occult practices are addictive! And for some people, it becomes an idol.

The Apostle Paul gave Christians this sober warning:

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places"(Ephesians 6:12).

The rulers of this dark world are not human beings, they are spirits! According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the New Testament, “The context (‘not against flesh and blood’) shows that not earthly potentates are indicated, but spirit powers, who, under the permissive will of God, and in consequence of human sin, exercise satanic and therefore antagonistic authority over the world in its present condition of spiritual darkness and alienation from God.” [5]

Mary Daly, ex-Roman Catholic nun, eco-feminist pagan witch, said of these powers:

"There was some primary warfare going on...an archetypal battle between principalities and powers...and I willed to go all the way in this death battle."

Luke 22:31-32 tells us that Satan is on a leash, so to speak. Therefore he cannot go beyond what our sovereign God will allow. We’re told in Job 1:9-12 that Satan had to obtain permission from God before afflicting Job. It’s reassuring to know that God is in complete control of the universe! Satan can do only what God allows him to do -- but Satan was permitted to put Job through the ringer!

When God’s people mess around in practices He expressly forbids, such as Witchcraft, He does not overlook it. Not for a millisecond! And He just might allow the devil to put those who are deliberately disobedient through the ringer!

Followers of Jesus Christ must give Him their total allegiance. Far too many Christians are leading two lives. They are following both Christ and the culture. Paul says this in 1 Cor. 10:14: Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” In other words, flee from anything that displeases God. Paul continues in verse 21-22: “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils…22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?”

Just so you’ll know some of the practices that provoke the Lord to jealousy, here’s a short list of terms and actual practices to steer clear of:

Angel (communication or worship)


Automatic writing



Dungeons and Dragons (role playing games)

Extra sensory-perception


Goddess (Gaia)

Lectio Divina (contemplative or centering prayer)

Mental telepathy


Mysticism (so-called Christian or otherwise)

New Age spirituality



Ouija board game

Palm reading



Psychic anything

Reincarnation (belief in is unbiblical)


Spirit guides (angels, ascended masters, entities)



Tarot cards

Lastly, God’s people must daily “Put on the full armor of God” to protect against the forces of evil! Learn how to arm yourself by clicking here (http://www.emailbrigade.com/84.html )

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:

‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.’

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” --Ephesians 5:6-17

Friday, June 5, 2009

Greedy Ministries

It’s really sad to see how many people are being manipulated by greedy ministers. Money hungry sharks. They play on peoples’ fears to get people to contribute to their ministries and support their lavish lifestyles. Know I am not excusing them; but I think some have been taught this, and therefore, they teach others. Deceived, they go out deceiving others. But you better believe there are some cognizant of the manipulative techniques they use on people. Laughing in the shadows when no one is looking. Yet there is One looking—God. He sees and He knows their hearts.

I became born again in a church which taught if you give, you will get back ten fold, one-hundred fold, etc.. They also taught people to sow monetary seeds for miracles—although I rejected that notion some years ago—there is no biblical support for it. Nevertheless, for several years after I became a Christian, I gave money to get healed, and it never “manifested”. I gave money to get better off financially, and it never manifested. I tithed faithfully; yet there was no ten-fold, 100-fold or 1000-fold harvest. There were no extra perks for giving above my tithe—just the same old work check week after week. I believe we have to support good ministries and churches out there with our financial contributions, but miracles are not for sale. Nor do I believe giving to a certain ministry to provide you with some sort of “anointed covering”—unless it’s some pimped up winter blanket for excessive contributions. Surely their faces would be plastered on it somewhere—woven in the threads---along with an 800 number.

Speaking of 800 numbers and high visibility; some host telethons and hold telethons. There is entertainment of course, and sponsors get additional perks. Gold, silver, and bronze memberships abound. Gold will allow you to sit in choice seats at conferences, maybe even get a plug or two for your own ministry while the camera cranks. Silver gets you a yearly calendar and pre-printed envelopes with prosperity scriptures on them to send contributions in. They are very concerned about you saving $1.50 cents in paper so you can send $1500.00 to them yearly. Just tugs at the heart, doesn’t it? Bronze gets you a free mini-book and free tickets to free events. You will be covered daily by prayer by the prayer team for all in partnership. And the poor fellow James was talking about in the New Testament—in vile raiment, security will be hauling him out for trespassing if they don’t shoot him first. Lately, some of these slick types haul beds on the stage, to demonstrate if they can “get some” maybe you can too!!! ‘Increase your sex life NOW by ordering the Cd today’! …Ok, I won’t go there. But do “get some Pepto Bismal” for watching and listening to these folks.

James 2:1-6
1) My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2) For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3) And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4) Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5) Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
6) But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

When I stopped sending my weekly contributions to my church, they stopped calling me with their ever so concerned monthly ministry call. I was in a fight for my very life--medically, had no insurance and could no longer work. My sister appealed for help to them in my behalf. They sent a free book to her. Sweet. And still no phone call, even to say we are praying for you. There was a direct correlation to ceasing to contribute to ceasing to call. A + B =C.

Some hustlers do telethons saying there are 58 people out there needing a miracle. ‘God says to send $58.00 and you WILL see your miracle manifest. You just need to take that FIRST step of obedience. Maybe it will manifest in 58 days or 58 minutes! Hallelujah!’

Of course, more than 58 people clamor to the phones, desperate for their miracle; believing the ever so benevolent pimp master. Perhaps, these people calling in to donate question themselves: “God is testing me and I must pass this test of obedience.” I tell you, this breaks my heart. Just deceitful and hurtful manipulation. Greedy wolves they are. The money-miracle connection. If you see it-- run from it. Steve Muncey, Mike Murdock, Leroy Thompson, —yet there are some not so obvious.

I don’t believe we are to give just to get bless. I believe we should give from the heart. Yes, God may bless us, but in His own way, on His own terms. I know that is a foreign concept to some people, but consider what Jesus told his disciples:

Luke 17:10
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

Yet these pulpit pimps teach contrary to this, and they are very adept in manipulating people.

Some of these hustlers are selling “financially anointed” prayer clothes, and I say it’s not even good for mopping up jelly spills off kitchen tables. Have they no shame? Where is their fear of God? Yet, some are so deceived, they believe their own lies. And too many times the people sending in their finances are desperate for a financial miracle. Could it be poor and middle class people are furnishing their luxurious homes with marble counter tops and Ming dynasty vases? Hotel suites for $10,000 a night? Georgio Armani suits and gold Rolexes and diamonds while sister so and so weeps because no return came off her last two dollars? Yet are they not the teachers, the experts, and do we dare question them? Yes, we dare question them, and we turn to our bibles and away from the theories of men.

I remember being in a church where the pastor made fun of people driving old cars, and a check went off in my spirit, even as a very new Christian. I left that service thinking ‘this guy cannot be right’. What a person drives is not a reflection of how their relationship with God is like, as this pastor implied in his sermon. Was John the Baptist an unfaithful servant? Where was his nice threads and delicacies?

You got mobsters living the good life on this planet, rich, and straight on their way to Hell. Millionaires, and likely billionaires, rich, without Jesus, straight on their way to Hell. Some of them have benevolent hearts too, and still, some are miserly. Yet they are super rich. Some earned their money with dirty hands through ill gotten gain, like some of these ministers. Are we to look at them with envy and awe, and emulate them? Are we to look at them and proclaim, ‘you must be “in the know” with God because you are rich’?

1 John 2:15-17
15) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.

What’s alarming is how many of these pimping the prosperity gospel will point to scriptures such as above, and say ‘you cannot be covetous’, ‘God must be number one’, etc. Yet a huge portion of what they preach is on what He can do for us, as oppose to what we can do for Him. And such bait often makes the sale.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Homelessness In Rural Areas

Bag ladies and others who gather bottles, cloth, half-used cigarette butts and the like are an all-too-familiar sight in big cities, and they're increasingly evident in rural places as well

*Homelessness in America. It is not just a problem for urban areas, but rural as well. Click the title below for all the photos displayed in the article directly below.


Homeless Don't Inhabit Only Urban America

If Americans look at the homeless around them at all, they see disheveled, sometimes incoherent adults wandering the streets of big cities and passing the night on sidewalks in ratty sleeping bags.

They don't, as often, notice the growing number of entire families on the street - or the thousands and thousands of dispossessed people in rural America. They include many of what's called the "economic homeless," displaced by layoffs and other recent troubles brought on by the recession. The USA Today newspaper recently wrote about an entire tent city of the economically displaced in Pinellas County, Florida.

In Cecil County, Maryland, you'll find the homeless among the 14,000 citizens of Elkton, the county seat, and also living in the woods and under bridges, like the hoboes who huddled around campfires during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

But it is also in Cecil County that you'll find Clairvaux Farm, an 8-hectare (20-acre) spread with a farmhouse, barns, meeting house, chapel, cookhouse and small houses that are home to about 50 of the previously homeless. It's run by a Presbyterian group called Meeting Ground but also receives outside donations of food and money and volunteers by the hundreds from across the nation.

And Meeting Ground is opening a daytime-only center in Elkton that will offer showers, food and friendship to those people from the woods.

Not everyone in Cecil County is thrilled about this. As the Elkton newspaper wrote recently, "No one wants people asking for handouts at shopping centers. We'd all like to see the makeshift tents disappear. [But] short of issuing every homeless person a one-way bus ticket out of town, there is no easy way to 'just get rid of them.'"

The paper applauded Meeting Ground's ministry to the homeless and its efforts to teach people job and interviewing skills.

Meeting Ground Director Carl Mazza, a minister who himself had no home as a teenager, says homeless people's stay at Clairvaux Farm lasts an average two months while they get their dignity back and re-enter what he calls the "human community." They don't have to be society's lone wolves, fending for themselves, he says. And their children can be warm, welcome and safe.