“Wondrous Miracles” Grow Pastor’s Church

This article was posted back on 7/25 on the GFA website, but I was reminded of it when I read the last article they sent me.

And it made me think back to a class the adult group in church was having on euthanasia in bioethics. The “lecturer” proceeded to inform us about the Terri Schiavo case insomething like this:

Life is precious. [Therefore, we should seek to preserve all life.]

Seemed pretty secular to me. Firstly, no one is going to argue that life isn’t precious. Even the Extremist Muslims in the Middle East feel that life is precious. Unfortunately, they just have a different view of what that means for them on earth. To segue, secondly, Jesus’ idea of life was entirely different than the one secular humanism believes in.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Matt 10:39

In any case, because this particular man was a doctor, I’m sure he thought (as I learned, through a heated discussion) that his experience in the field would thereby lend credibility to his case. But here were my questions: what about the will of God and the power of God?

Wouldn’t God have allowed Terri Schiavo to live if he so chose? Wouldn’t prayer and a sincere heart for God have worked a miracle? I doubt he would’ve answered yes.

Moreover, it is indicative of an increasing self-reliance vs. reliance on God.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Matt 7:24-25

Miracles are in no short supply! They just don’t tend to happen where people have little to no faith.

http://www.gfa.org/gfa/latestnewsarticle?wid=DnfnePbS0lVrA3ABz0HrmA

Pastor Darpan’s church is thriving.

“God is using Pastor Darpan vigorously and doing wondrous miracles as he ministers and prays for the sick and needy who approach him,” writes a GFA correspondent.

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Airline Terrorism Plot Foiled in London

While the People’s Daily Online coming up as the most updated site on a Google News search would be a small lesson in propaganda for another day, the actual story registered as only a blip on my personal radar screen. High-rise elevator TVs, on the other hand, were another matter.

I did find it intriguing that an early-20-something average-working-joe friend of mine became alarmed enough to say to me, “Man I don’t wanna be anywhere near [the Sears Tower]. Did you hear about the [terrorist plot]?” – especially when the only things he really talks about are hot girls and how much money he’s making.

(Would he be willing to exchange more of his freedoms for a greater sense of security?)

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Miliband unveils carbon swipe-card plan

This article sure has undertones of “666”/one world government to it, in one sense. But realistically, such an ordinance would be impossible to enforce, especially with six billion people, corrupt authorities, and the implausibility of free-market rationing. More on this in another post.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/green/story/0,,1824238,00.html

David Adam and David Batty
Wednesday July 19, 2006
Guardian Unlimited

The environment minister, David Miliband, today unveiled a radical plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by charging individuals for the amount of carbon they use.

Under the proposals, consumers would carry bank cards that record their personal carbon usage. Those who use more energy – with big cars and foreign holidays – would have to buy more carbon points, while those who consume less – those without cars, or people with solar power – would be able to sell their carbon points.

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Coping with high oil prices

An excellent article talking about the economics of Peak Oil via EnergyBulletin. Among some questions that were approached were: with energy prices so high, why isn’t the “world” suffering from a massive economic downturn? Have firms been taking a hit at all?

Unfortunately, due to its West-centrism, it fails to acknowledge that the high prices have effectively destroyed semi-developed countries such as Zimbabwe, and is working against some countries exporting oil such as Indonesia and Qatar due to outdated domestic policies regarding subsidies. But even more importantly is the talk of “transition”.

Looking at Japan’s post-70s example of transition, while maintaining some of the highest efficiency standards, it remains number three in oil consumption, behind only the US and China.

By Nikos Tsafos

The most surprising feature of the current oil crisis is that it does not
really feel like a crisis. Oil and gas prices may be high and many
people are struggling to cope with rising energy bills, but at a macro
level, the world’s largest economies have grown consistently in the
past two years. Hardly is our fear realized—that high energy costs will
force an economic downturn, much less a recession. What explains this
disconnect between expectation and reality?

To examine this question, take three mechanisms through which oil
prices affect economic performance (there are more, but let’s focus on
three): a reduction in income caused by the need to spend more money on
energy leads to reduced demand for goods and services and this, in
turn, forces an economic slowdown; an increase in inflation generated
by higher prices that firms charge to cover energy costs leads to a
reduction in real income; and worsening performance by firms,
reflecting mainly higher costs and/or reduced overall demand by
shrinking real income.

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Crude Oil Rises to Record as Middle East Conflict Escalates

Please note that these posts aren’t meant to create anxiety or arouse a sense of apocalypticism (i.e., the world is ending very soon). Rather, peak oil is virtually guaranteed to create massive problems (and already has) with much of the third and developing world, which in turn means greater exploitation, greater nationalism and protectionist policies, an increasingly larger wealth distribution gap.

So, the same old story of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer – or even starving.

What are you doing about it?

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aBEjDi4er6jI&refer=home

July 14 (Bloomberg) — Crude oil rose above $78 a barrel for the first time as concern mounted that escalating violence in the Middle East, supplier of 30 percent of the world’s oil, may cut supply.

Israeli forces attacked Lebanon for a third day. Iran, embroiled in a dispute with the United Nations over its nuclear research, warned Israel against expanding the conflict. Chevron Corp. today said 40 workers in Nigeria were released after being held by kidnappers.

“I’m not going to say we’re going to $100 a barrel right away, but neither am I going to rule it out,” said Peter Beutel, president of Cameron Hanover Inc., a New Canaan, Connecticut, energy consultant. “If events drag Iran into the situation and it deteriorates to the point that they want to block the Strait of Hormuz, and we get a hurricane, yes, we will see $100.”

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The peak oil crisis: energy & building

The latest from Tom Whipple, via Energybulletin via Falls Church News. It should be noted that despite Japan’s massive efforts in energy efficiency, they are still the number 2 user of oil in the world behind the United States.

by Tom Whipple

When worldwide oil depletion sets in, initial concern will be with transportation. First attention will be fixated on the “unbelievable” gas prices, then, what to do with the SUVs, miles per gallon, public transit, bicycles, telecommuting, and anything else having to do with getting ourselves and our stuff around.

In time however, it will dawn on us that cheap oil played a bigger role in our daily lives than just propelling cars. It won’t be long before other concerns arise such as growing, raising, transporting, and preparing food, and keeping our buildings habitable. I would like to talk about buildings in an era without cheap oil, without cheap natural gas, and without cheap electricity. Continue reading